Boat Birthday Party

June 29th, 2015

boat-birthday

A boat birthday is perfect for the summer! What better excuse to spend some time on a nearby lake? Last weekend we celebrated my son’s birthday by giving him a boat birthday party. If you have friends who own a boat, it doesn’t have to cost you any money. If you don’t have friends who own a boat, you will need to save up to rent a motor boat. But it’s an experience that your family will never forget!

boat-party-invitation

How to Make a Boat Party Invitation

I made the boat invitations by using some origami paper and folding it into a boat. ThenĀ  I stabbed a wooden skewer in through the bottom of the boat, and I taped it in place. Then I printed out the information for the party, and I cut it out in a sail shape and stabbed the skewer through the sail. Finally, I added a tiny flag at the top, taping it in place.

lake-cupcakes

How to Make Lake Cupcakes

Bake some cupcakes and frost them with blue frosting. You will need to stir blue food coloring into white frosting. With a knife, make little waves on top of the blue frosting “water.” Super easy!

You will want to make cupcakes rather than cake if you are planning to eat it on the boat. Make sure to place the cupcakes into a container and put them on ice in a cooler so that they do not melt on a hot summer day in the boat.

boating

Enjoy a day of boating. Often the best gifts are experiences.

My daughter had never been on a boat, so it was super exciting for her. We borrowed a large innertube from a friend and attached it to the boat. The kids loved taking turns being pulled on the innertube by the boat!

boating-party

Okay, maybe the children weren’t the only ones enjoying the boat birthday party!

lake-12

Missionary Kids and Nostalgia

June 22nd, 2015

missionary-kids-and-nostalgia

What’s up with missionary kids and nostalgia?

For some reason, even though I never truly fit in when I was growing up, every time I see Hispanics in the States, I feel like I’m home, like I’m somehow understood. I’ve always been more comfortable around brown-skinned people. That’s because I grew up as a missionary kid in Guatemala, where I lived until I was 18. It shocks Hispanics that I speak fluent Spanish because of my white skin and bright red hair. You should see their expressions! But they are always honored that I know their language, and they always treat me like an insider once they hear my Spanish.

For years I didn’t see a single Hispanic here in Washington state. I finally stopped looking. Two years ago I met a white woman at a park, who said she attended a Hispanic church where the pastor was from–of all places–Guatemala! An American missionary had led him to Christ, and now he was a pastor in Washington state. I said to her, “Are there enough Hispanics to actually make up a church?” Yes. The Hispanic populationĀ  had apparently grown while I wasn’t looking. A church that started in this man’s garage had grown to 200 members!

When I first stepped into the Hispanic church, I was transported through time to my childhood. I felt so nostalgic that I had to choke back a lump in my throat. My emotional reaction was so intense that I was overwhelmed. I was happy, but I wanted to sob. I felt like I was home, and I had no idea how much I missed my people. The fact that I hadn’t used Spanish in 20 years hadn’t affected my fluency. There was something about being with these people that brought me back full circle so that I finally felt complete, like part of me wasn’t missing.

Last Christmas the pastor’s wife made some Guatemalan tamales, and she gave me some. As soon as I took a bite, I began weeping. I was alone in my dining room, so there was no point in holding back the tears. These tamales are nothing like the other tamales I’ve had in the States–these were real Guatemalan tamales. I pulled out a bone and laughed. Yes, Guatemalan tamales often have bones from the meat. I laughed and wept and savored every atom of the tamale. When it was gone, I just sat there. I smelled the aroma of the tamale on the empty banana leaf. And I sighed with satisfaction and joy.

 

Keep up with my MK posts by liking my missionary kid page.

Colossians Activities for Kids

June 15th, 2015

put-on-Christ

Here are some fun Colossians activities you can do with your kids to internalize this book of the Bible. You will need card stock paper in various colors, string, a hole punch, scissors, and glue. You will also need a computer with a printer so that you can print out various words.

Are you ready?

Colossians Activity #1: Blindfold

Put a blindfold on a child and have him walk around in darkness. How did it feel? Ask: Did you bump into things? Were you disoriented? This is what happens when we walk in sin. It leads us astray and ends up hurting us. When you take off the blindfold, your eyes are full of light, and you can see where you are going. There is safety and peace when you walk in the light.

Colossians Activity #2: Deeds of the Flesh

Print out the deeds of the flesh, which include anger, malice, slander, abusive speech, and lying. Print them in bold letters from your computer, leaving plenty of space around each word so that you can cut them out and paste them to a piece of black card stock paper.

Punch two holes in the top of the paper, and tie string through each hole, making sure to leave enough space for a child’s head. The child can now wear the deeds of the flesh around his neck (see above illustration).

Now you can make another card stock sign of love. Cut out a heart from red card stock paper, and print out “love” from your computer. Glue the label to the heart. Hole punch two holes on the top of the heart, and the child can put off the deeds of the flesh and put on love.

love

You can also put on Christ after taking off the deeds of the flesh. Use your creativity to make a sign representing Christ. We used a yellow cross glued to black card stock paper. Once again, you will need to punch two holes and tie string to the holes so that the child can “put on Christ.”

Explain what it means to put on Christ. This means we are to yield to Christ and manifest the fruit of the Spirit in our lives rather than the deeds of the flesh.

Colossians Activity #3: Sing Hymns

We are to encourage each other with Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, so go ahead and obey the verse by taking out some hymn books and singing your favorite hymns.

Colossians Activity #4: Cancelled Debt

Print out a sheet of paper with the title “Debt.” You can show negative money numbers listed on the paper. With a pen, mark “Cancelled” over the debt. You could also print the word “Cancelled” on another sheet of paper and glue it over the debt. I outlined the word “Cancelled” with black marker.

debt-cancelled

Talk about how our debts (our sins against God) have been nailed to the cross and cancelled because of what Christ did for us. You could have kids mention specific sins, and write “Cancelled” in another colored marker over those sins to represent that the sins are now gone because they have been forgiven if we have repented of them.

If you enjoyed these Colossians Activities for Kids, you will love the huge Bible section inside the Unit Study Treasure Vault!

Make Your Own Miniature Treehouse

June 2nd, 2015

miniature-treehouse

Making a miniature treehouse with your kids can be super fun, especially if you are reading Swiss Family Robinson as a read-aloud! Or it can be a fun open-ended toy for your children instead of an ordinary doll house. I’ve always been fascinated by treehouses, so this was a fun experience for my sister and I to make.

Supplies for Building a Miniature Tree House

You will want to gather some materials before you begin:

  • wooden base
  • brown stain or paint
  • real or fake branch
  • silk leaves
  • string
  • bits of wood
  • a drill
  • hot glue
  • wire cutter
  • scissors
  • pebbles
  • toilet paper tube
  • orange or red feather for fire
  • necklace chain
  • fake leather
  • lace

How to Make your Own Miniature Treehouse

miniature-treehouse-2Step 1: Start with the base. Get a wooden base at a craft supply store, or cut a base from a piece of wood. Stain the wood dark brown or paint it. Drill a hole in the back center, and insert the branch into the hole. Hot glue the branch in place, and hot glue the silk leaves into place.

Step 2: Decide how many levels you want in your treehouse. Stain or paint the wood after cutting it into the shape you want. I already had wood scraps, and I used what I already had. Hot glue the levels onto the tree. If you need a pole to keep the level up, you can hot glue a pole to the top and bottom, stabilizing the level.

Step 3: I made a bench swing on one level. I hot glued red fake leather to some wood and glued two pieces of wood together. We drilled four holes on the bottom of the bench swing, and I stuffed a chain necklace through the holes. You can use a wire cutter. Attach each chain to a branch of the tree.

miniature-treehouse-3Step 4: On the top level of the treehouse, I hot glued some walls on three sides. Then I made a hammock out of lace. I sewed two pieces of lace together and ironed down the edges to make it look more authentic. I sewed the string to the lace and hot glued it to the walls of the tree house.

Step 5: My sister made a rope ladder by drilling holes in the two sides of small pieces of wood and threading a string through them. We attached the rope ladder to the upper level of the treehouse.

Step 6: Hot glue small pieces of wood to the trunk of the tree, like steps leading up to the first level. Super easy!

Step 7: Make a picnic table by hot gluing pieces of wood together until you have a structure resembling a picnic table.

miniature-treehouse-4Step 8: Make a fireplace by opening a toilet paper roll with scissors. Put hot glue onto the open toilet paper roll and quickly dump lots of small pebbles on it. Lift up the toilet paper roll and see where you need to add pebbles. Hot glue any pebbles down.

Step 9: Get some twigs to use for logs and assemble them to look like a bonfire. Hot glue an orange or red feather to it for the flames.

You have now completed your miniature treehouse. Isn’t it cute?

LEGO Portraits

May 11th, 2015

lego-portraits

My son made some LEGO portraits of our family! He started with his dad. My husband has dark hair, a beard, and green eyes. So my son started with a green LEGO base, and he looked at the shape of my husband’s face. As you can see, the receding hairline is correctly portrayed by the white LEGOs for the face. Because brown LEGOs are scarce, my son used black LEGOs for the hair.

family-picture

Next he made his mother. Just now I noticed that he made me with blue eyes instead of green. Oh, well. He got the red hair right, and you can definitely tell that the LEGO portrait is me. As you can tell in each portrait, the nose is a gray upside-down “T” to contrast against the white skin of the face.

I noticed that the faces of the children are not as elongated as the faces of the parents. The younger the children, the more rounded the faces. My oldest son has dark hair and green eyes, with a light moustache if he forgets to shave. Yes, my 14-year-old has a slight moustache.

My second son has lighter hair. When he was younger, it was blonde, which is represented by yellow. Everyone has a red smiley face because we’re all happy. That’s nice.

My third son parts his hair on the side, so you can see that the hair is a different hairstyle, which changes the way the LEGOs are arranged at the top of the forehead.

My daughter is blonde with blue eyes and has longer hair, which is shown at the bottom of the face. My son chose to give us all blue shirts.

It’s helpful if you can either look at the person while making the LEGO portrait, or look at a picture of the person so you can correctly shape all the colors of the LEGOs to correspond to what the person really looks like. I hope you enjoyed our LEGO portraits. Why not make some of your family?

 

 

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