Thursday, January 29, 2009

RRRR! A Rainy Day Idea

The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything sent my boys into a never-ending pirates phase:"RRRR! It's a fine day at sea, Mom!" So I thought I'd pass around yesterday's successful game at our house. Bonus: It also gives them beginning map-reading, direction-following, problem-solving, and spatial skills.

1) Choose and hide a treasure. I'm sure you can surprise older kids, but my two preschoolers might be looking all day and taking a lot of things that they considered treasure as their own (it can be something new, or just a toy they like, or a piece of candy).

2) Draw a simple map. I drew a dotted line for the path to take since they're preschoolers...and since Dora does it.

3) If they're into it, encourage costumes. Nothing like looking the part of a treasure hunter, pirate, explorer, etc. Baden and Will like to look like all three.

4) After round 1, consider switching sides: You're the explorer! Baden drew a pretty good map for me (we're always looking for a chance to get a pencil in his hand...boys and fine motor skills). Just wish the treasure was the cell phone I've been missing for a week.

Have fun, mateys.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Need your ideas! Outreach from home

John and I are headed up to Northwest Arkansas (where it is even colder than it is here! Brrr. If it's going to be cold, I'd like snow!) this weekend for a missions conference, and I'm going to be talking at a ladies luncheon briefly about lifestyle evangelism and outreach from home. I know you are a bunch of creative and loving people, so let me have it! Here's the list I've begun from what I've seen and occasionally attempted. Gracias in advance for your speedy help! (Even if you read this late, of course we'd still love your ideas! Kingdom expansion is always a good thing.)

1) Keeping up your own home (to avoid exuding a "We live next to the Clampetts!" fragrance of Christ)
2) Invite their kids to your kids' birthday party
3) Bring bread, extra veggies from your garden, cookies
4) Host a neighborhood barbecue
5) Host a HomeBuilders study
6) Party at your house for a sports event (Super Bowl, March Madness, Olympics, etc.)
7) Offer to feed an animal, watch their home while they’re gone
8) Have Christian friends each bring several dozen of two kinds of Christmas goodies, then swap to make Christmas cookie plates for neighbors, teachers, trash guys, postmen (postpeople?), etc.
9) Send cards on birthdays (kids who are still at home, too) or anniversaries
10) Walk or work out together
11) Take them out to coffee or breakfast ("I've just wanted to get to know you more!")
12) Bring dinner when they’re sick or going through a hard time
13) Bring a care package when they're in the hospital
14) Mow their lawn when you mow yours
15) Pray regularly for them, and for opportunities to speak with them
16) Making the most of those driveway/taking out the trash/mailbox/fence conversations
17) Host a soup/salad/bread potluck in the winter
18) Host a board game night
19) Volunteer your skills to help them: sewing, housecleaning after a new baby or when they're sick or having family in town, your husband's mechanical skills (with his permission), tutoring a child in a hard subject
20) Invite them when you're going on a fun outing--picnic, trip to the zoo, seeing Christmas lights
21) Babysit
22) Scrapbook or make greeting cards together
23) Ask them to teach you a skill

In general, I'm thinking a key is to be aware of the "holes" in their lives--needs that are great places for the Gospel to flow through, in word and deed. May God give us all the ability to love our communities well.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Five Reasons You Didn't Waste Your Degree

Wow--this post has gotten the most immediate response on MomBlog that I've had, so at the risk of sounding self-promoting, hope it encourages someone out there. I wrote it on a day when I needed to compile the reasons for myself (you know, one of those days when laundry is your biggest accomplishment and you can't even get that done). Sent with love to all you moms!