Fashion Show Birthday Party

July 1st, 2016

Fashion-show-birthday-party

My daughter recently celebrated a fashion show birthday party. She had so much fun! The party included a runway with dress-up clothes, a doll fashion show, and a dress cake!

Our table centerpiece for the party was a miniature runway, with mannequins the size of Barbie dolls. (The kit we used was called Fashion Time Fashion Show, but you can create your own fashion show with actual dolls.) My daughter could decide what colors of cloth go together to make great outfits, and then she shoved the cloth into a vertical groove at the back of each mannequin.

fashion-show-dolls

You can embellish your fashion outfits with ribbons or lace. As you can see, the table runway looked great! I used hot pink confetti for the runway on top of a white tablecloth with lace.

After opening presents, my daughter did another fashion show with her American Girl doll, placing new doll outfits on her that she had received as gifts from her friends.

fashion-dolls-for-kids

Next we made a dress cake. We baked a rectangular cake and let it cool in the refrigerator. Then we cut out the shape of a dress and placed it on a piece of cardboard lined with foil. We iced the cake with cherry icing, and we used chocolate chips for the buttons. I also created a pleated skirt effect by scoring downwards with a knife on the lower half of the cake.

dress-cake

I took out lots of dress up clothes from previous activities we’ve done: the poodle skirts from our 1950’s party, medieval dresses from our Medieval Unit Study, hippie clothing from our 1970’s party, cowboy outfits, ruffled skirts, boas, and an assortment of hats.

dress-up-fashion-for-kids

We made a red carpet runway down our living room by placing our hallway rugs end to end, and putting a wider red rug at the far end. The girls would turn around when they got to the end of the runway, to show off their fashions. The girls were having such a great time that the fashion show lasted a full hour! Who knew that a fashion show for kids would be so much fun?

fashion-show-for-kids

101 Reasons to Pray

June 20th, 2016

101-Reasons-to-Pray

If you are wondering why you should bother to pray, here are some good reasons to pray:

  1. To have a relationship with God.
  2. To experience God’s peace.
  3. To be transformed into the image of Christ.
  4. Because God commands us to pray.
  5. To be involved in God’s work in people’s lives.
  6. To show people we love them enough to pray for them.
  7. To receive guidance from the Holy Spirit.
  8. To get wisdom in a difficult situation.
  9. To see how God answers prayer.
  10. To learn perseverance and endurance.
  11. To get rid of anxiety and worry.
  12. To turn God-ward.
  13. To give us a proper perspective.
  14. To know the love of God.
  15. To connect to the God of the universe.
  16. To learn thankfulness.
  17. Life is hard. Without Jesus beside us, it would be unbearable.
  18. To feel the presence of God during trials.
  19. To stand in the gap for a loved one.
  20. To ask for the salvation of someone.
  21. To ask that God would transform a difficult person.
  22. If we have a need, that God would provide it.
  23. To receive comfort during sadness.
  24. To align your heart to God’s heart and feel what He feels.
  25. To receive forgiveness for sins.
  26. For God to help us to control our words.
  27. To adore the Creator.
  28. When someone is in the hospital, that God would bring healing.
  29. After a car accident or other trauma–for the ability to get through the situation.
  30. For the reconciliation of a broken marriage.
  31. For an estranged child to come back to Christ.
  32. For our bills to be paid.
  33. For safety during travel.
  34. For God to use our spiritual gifts for the edification of the church.
  35. For God to unify His people.
  36. To accomplish God’s work.
  37. To perform our daily tasks well.
  38. To raise our children with hearts for God.
  39. To talk with God, to commune with Him.
  40. To receive insight into God’s Word.
  41. For God to give us the right thing to say to someone.
  42. To remove fear and give us confidence.
  43. To receive encouragement from God.
  44. To delight in the Lord.
  45. To be strengthened inwardly.
  46. To grow in faith and trust.
  47. To glorify the Lord.
  48. To receive answers to specific prayers and praise God.
  49. For the church to have revival.
  50. To listen to God.
  51. To find God’s purpose and calling for your life.
  52. To push back the powers of darkness and shine light to others.
  53. To gain clarity in a confusing situation.
  54. To be able to commit ourselves to God when falsely accused.
  55. To make Jesus Lord of our lives and allow Him to rule us.
  56. To abide in Christ like a branch in a vine.
  57. To set people free from bondage.
  58. To learn to trust God and to see His faithfulness.
  59. To be sanctified so that we can be useful vessels to the Master.
  60. To grow in our faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God.
  61. To receive more rewards when we finally are with Christ in heaven.
  62. To gain assurance of salvation.
  63. For protection in a dangerous situation.
  64. To remove excuses for sin.
  65. To be guided by God and His Word.
  66. To be convicted over sin and retain a clear conscience.
  67. To bring delight to God.
  68. To repair a friendship.
  69. To receive wisdom for parenting.
  70. To know how to prioritize a busy day.
  71. To grow in holiness.
  72. To enable us to rejoice in all things.
  73. To know that all things will work out for our good.
  74. To gain boldness in evangelism.
  75. To acquire gentleness in rebuking someone.
  76. To learn to live in dependence upon God and not our own resources.
  77. To be set free from our own strongholds or sinful patterns of thought.
  78. To gain generosity to help the poor.
  79. To give true encouragement to the fainthearted.
  80. To help someone feel that they are not alone.
  81. To grow in intimacy with a spouse.
  82. To get excited about Christ’s return.
  83. To get rid of false guilt and condemnation.
  84. To have hope in a hopeless situation.
  85. To take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
  86. To gain a greater awe for God.
  87. To not grow weary in doing good.
  88. To discover the hidden things of God.
  89. To ignite a deeper love and commitment to God.
  90. To ask God how to lead His children closer to Himself.
  91. To align your will to God’s will.
  92. To thank God for our daily food and His provision of it.
  93. To overcome temptation.
  94. To appreciate what God has given.
  95. To ask God to enable you to get out of debt.
  96. To not be blind to an area of sin.
  97. To break harmful addictions.
  98. To set our hearts on things above and not on earthly things.
  99. To learn contentment.
  100. To be a rock for other people in the midst of a storm.
  101. To enjoy the presence of God.

I hope you can see that prayer is vital and that there are so many reasons to pray. Can you think of other reasons we should pray?

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101-Reasons

I & II Thessalonians Unit Study

June 1st, 2016

Thessalonians-unit-study

We had a great time filming our I & II Thessalonians Unit Study. We re-enacted lots of skits, referred to a map of Thessalonica, and baked a cake to represent the Day of the Lord.

When looking at the overview for I & II Thessalonians, we saw that one of the main themes was the Day of the Lord. We filmed Jesus and an archangel up on a chair holding some clouds while the archangel blew the shofar, the Jewish trumpet. The dead in Christ rise first to meet the Lord in the air, so we had a black gravestone made out of black poster board. One of my sons floated up out of the gravestone to meet the Lord in the air. You see him in the clouds with Jesus and the archangel.

map-of-thessalonica

We looked at a map of where Thessalonica was located, which is in Macedonia north of Greece. I have a beautiful biblical map that a woman from my mom’s church gave her. It was created with markers on a large piece of felt. You can easily look in the back of your Bible to find a map of Paul’s missionary journeys, and you will find where the city is located.

be-patient-with-all-men

We acted out various skits to bring to life the topics discussed in these two letters from Paul to the Thessalonians:

  • If you don’t work, neither shall you eat. (Give bread to the one that is working, but don’t let the lazy person have any bread.)
  • While saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction comes. (Throw lots of couch pillows on an unsuspecting person.)
  • Admonish the unruly. (An out-of-control person gets scolded.)
  • Encourage the fainthearted. (When someone is sad, give them a hug.)
  • Help the weak. (Help an elderly man walk across the street.)
  • Be patient with all men. (Have a kid sit in a chair while people around him are being annoying. Have him sit patiently, as pictured above.)
  • Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks. (Act out each of these commands.)

rapture-cake

We also make a cake that represented the Day of the Lord. It is a cloud shape with white frosting. A trumpet shaped by chocolate frosting is on the top. This was the culminating activity for our I & II Thessalonians Unit Study.

If you enjoyed these activities, you will love the Bible section of the Unit Study Treasure Vault that includes unit studies for every book of the Bible!

Mound Cutaway with Strata

May 2nd, 2016

mound-cutaway-with-strata

When studying ancient history, you can start by having your kids draw a mound cutaway with strata. Talk about archaeology, and how each layer represents different periods of time that you can excavate to discover the artifacts or items that were used in each culture. Usually the older civilizations are on the bottom, with the newer civilizations on top.

Of course, floods and volcanic eruptions mess up this theory because lots of layers are laid down pretty fast, and all during the same time period. Answers in Genesis has found modern items in the lower levels of dirt.

Each of my kids created a drawing of a mound cutaway with strata:

geologic column

As you can see, there are fossils of various kinds in the different layers. There are also remnants of houses, pottery, jewelry, and weapons. My son drew a tree and some bushes at the top of the picture.

mound-cutaway

This cutaway is more of a mound. Dirt is at the top, so you wouldn’t notice that there were hidden civilizations under your feet. Seashells are found in various layers, along with fossils and bones. A dinosaur head is down in the oldest layer.

strata

These strata layers of rock are comical. The third layer from the bottom contains a man being chased by a dinosaur. Apparently a flood or volcanic eruption buried them rapidly so they are caught in the act. Once again, in a higher level of rocks, a man is throwing an object at another man, and somehow the flood waters buried both of them at the same time, freezing their actions for all eternity. An unfinished building is in one of the layers, along with buried pirate treasure.

elementary-geologic-column

My daughter drew some fun layers of strata that included bones, coins, pottery, jewelry, and weapons. She highlighted some of the archaeological finds by drawing enlarged pictures and gluing them to the black card stock paper for her history notebook.

The kids had fun deciding what to place in each of their layers of rock while drawing their mound cutaway with strata.

Awe and Trembling in Prayer

April 22nd, 2016

awe-and-trembling-in-prayer

Prophets in Scripture trembled in the presence of God. Do we fear God like we should? Do you ever experience awe and trembling in prayer? In Scripture, when the greatest men and women are in the presence of God, they are physically trembling. Here are a few Scriptures to show how fear and trembling display proper honor to the Lord:

  • Jeremiah 5:22a NASB “Do you not fear Me?” declares the Lord. “Do you not tremble in My presence?”
  • Psalm 114:7 NASB “Tremble, O earth, before the Lord, before the God of Jacob.”
  • Daniel 10:7-9 ESV  “And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision, but a great trembling fell upon them, and they fled to hide themselves. So I was left alone and saw this great vision, and no strength was left in me. My radiant appearance was fearfully changed, and I retained no strength. Then I heard the sound of his words, and as I heard the sound of his words, I fell on my face in deep sleep with my face to the ground.”
  • Isaiah 6:5 NASB “Then I said, ‘Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.’”
  • Ezekiel 38:20 ESV “The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground.”
  • Psalm 2:11 ESV “Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.”
  • Philippians 2:12 ESV “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

The wisdom books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes boil down to “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” So do you have wisdom? Do you fear God?

As you can see in the above Scriptures, fear of God often involves trembling. People fall on their faces when approaching God. If we truly understood the magnitude of the enormous power of God, we would find ourselves shaking in His presence, even though He is our Abba Father.

Some people might object by saying perfect love casts out fear (I John 4:18). In some ways, because we are on God’s side, we need not fear death or condemnation. However, we should be afraid to sin because it grieves a holy God. Are we scared to sin? Do we understand the full ramifications of the sins that we commit against a holy God, or do we sin flippantly? God promises to discipline His people when they sin (Hebrews 12:11).

We ought to tremble because we realize that we sin and that we are unclean before a holy God. In Isaiah 6, even the sinless angels block their eyes before a holy God. Justice would demand that we who are sinful be struck dead, and yet God allows us to enter into a personal relationship with Him. How exquisite and beautiful is His love for us, that He condescends to interact with His creatures!

Awe and Trembling in Prayer (Prayer Video # 13)

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