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August Memory Verse

Hubby and I have been asking our kids (a lot!) to get self-control, so our August Verse is James 1:19: “…let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger…”

Join along, and work on memorizing James 1:19 with your family!

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December Memory Verse

9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity?

By living according to your word.

10 I seek you with all my heart;

do not let me stray from your commands.

11 I have hidden your word in my heart

that I might not sin against you.

12 Praise be to you, LORD;

teach me your decrees.

13 With my lips I recount

all the laws that come from your mouth.

14 I rejoice in following your statutes

as one rejoices in great riches.

15 I meditate on your precepts

and consider your ways.

16 I delight in your decrees;

I will not neglect your word.

{Psalm 119}

Download and print a memory verse with picture clues to work on with your child(ren) this month: December Verse

Thoughts on Scripture Memory with Toddlers and Preschoolers:

  • Use key words and word cues. When we started working on Scripture memory with Ladybug, I chose key words in a verse for her to say and I cued her with the rest.  The first verse she ever learned was Genesis 1:1.  It went like this:

Me: In the beginning

Ladybug: God

Me: created the heavens and the

Ladybug: earth

Me: Genesis

Ladybug: one, one

As she has grown, I give her more of the verse we are working on to say aloud.

  • Use picture clues to help your kids remember the key words.  As you can see on our fridge, this month’s verse is written with three pictures.  A baby, the earth, and a cross– Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.  (If you’d like to work on this verse this month, you can print it out using the link above!)  Pictures are indeed worth a thousand words when you’re working with children!
  • Individualize Scripture memory for each of your kids. Ladybug is (and always has been) a chatterbox, and she learned her first verse before she was two.  She already knows this month’s verse and can rattle off, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,” without help.  However, Stinkbug has not been very verbal (until recently), and has just started working on his first few verses.  Right now he knows, “Children obey,” (Ephesians 6:1) and “Be thankful,” (Colossians 3:15).  As you can see, his verses are short and sweet, which is perfect for his verbal abilities right now.
  • Be diligent about speaking, learning, repeating, teaching, saying, memorizing, and reflecting on Scripture with your kids!  Use the Deuteronomy 6:7 principle for learning Scripture with your children–You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Practice your verses all the time– in the car, in line at the grocery, at the dinner table, before bed…
  • Set a good example. If you are learning Scripture right along with your kids, you are setting the best example.  Share with them which passages you are memorizing and show them that Scripture memory is a lifelong discipline!  (If you’re not great with Scripture memory, share that with your kids and ask them to help you learn your verses too!)
  • Teach the reference. I always teach a verse’s address as part of the verse.  To me, it is so important!  Some verses I have memorized over the years have faded, or get jumbled in my mind, but if I can recall the book, chapter, and verse, I can easily find it in the Bible to read it.


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A Jesse Tree for Advent

{Update at bottom}

It’s such an exciting and beautiful time of the year– advent.

Advent means “the coming”– celebrating and anticipating Jesus’ first coming and celebrating and anticipating His second coming.

The word “advent” has different connotations for each person.  If you grew up in a church steeped in tradition and ceremony, you might view advent as a ritual lighting of candles.  Maybe you had an advent calendar growing up to count down the days until Christmas.

As parents who want to point to Christ, there are many ways we can celebrate Advent.  There are adorable advent calendars, that daily reveal a piece of the manger scene until you have built the entire Nativity on Christmas.  There are schedules of daily readings that you can find and print with Google.  Or you can make a Jesse Tree.

I was intrigued with the idea of a Jesse Tree when I first read about it.  Basically our family will chronologically story through the Old Testament through the month of December until we tell the story of Jesus’ birth on Christmas Eve.  As we read a story each evening, our kids will hang a symbol from the story on our “Jesse Tree”.  The name “Jesse Tree” comes from Isaiah 11– A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

As you can see, we aren’t using a real “tree”, just a mug tree that usually holds my necklaces.  A branch, a small Christmas tree, a house plant, or anything else with arms to hold the symbols will work.  My symbols are nothing fancy.  Some of them are die-cuts I had in our arts and crafts cabinet, some I drew, some I cut out of foam or felt I already had, and some are clip art I printed from the computer.  I punched holes in them and threaded ribbon through the hole, so each symbol can be hung on our Jesse Tree.


My
desire is not to create an award-winning art project, but to share stories and symbols with my children each night during the month of December. Stories that point to Christ and His first arrival on earth.  Hopefully the symbols will help them remember the stories as the month wears on and anticipate His “coming”!  And as we repeat this Advent tradition year after year, I pray the stories will become engraved on their hearts.  What a great way to celebrate the season of Advent!

Here is a copy of the Scripture readings and symbols we will be using: The Jesse Tree (Feel free to print it out and use it if you wish!)

There isn’t a formula to making a Jesse Tree.  You may wish to include different Old Testament stories than I have.  Or you may think different symbols better represent certain themes.  The important thing is teaching our children about the true meaning of Christmas!  And don’t feel like you’re too late for this year!  You don’t have to have all the symbols ready today!  Prepare yourself by reading a day or two ahead and reflecting on each story and how best to communicate with your children about each theme.  Then draw or print a simple symbol, and you’re ready!

{Update} Ann Voskamp is offering a free Jesse Tree e-book!  Her book even has pages of symbols all ready for you to print and use, along with Scripture and a family read aloud for each day!  How perfect!  Go download it now if you’d like to do a Jesse Tree in your home this year!

How does your family celebrate Advent?

(Eventually I would like to sew or buy a keepsake set of Jesse Tree Ornaments to use with my children.  Until then, my did-it-myself set will work just fine!)

I found a lot of my information and Scripture readings for my Jesse Tree here.


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DIY: Wipe Off Menu Board

House projects intimidate me.  I want to be crafty.  I drool over crafty ideas on other blogs.  But moi? Just don’t have the time, patience, or materials on hand usually.

Last week, my friend, Erin, shared a cute do-it-yourself dry erase board that she made from an idea she found here.  Love it!  So it took me a few days, but I decided to give it a try…

{drumroll please}

Isn’t it a cute way to let the family know what’s for dinner?  My favorite part?  With the swipe of a rag, I can change my mind about what’s for dinner… Hey, it is my prerogative as the family chef to change my mind from time-to-time!

Materials:

  • Frame with glass (mine is an 8 x 10 I already had at home)
  • daily specials page, or scrapbook paper for background, cut to fit in the frame
  • Dry Erase Marker

Directions:

  • If your frame is as dusty as mine, wipe it down with Windex. {sheepish grin}
  • Print daily specials page, make a menu sheet yourself, or cut a piece of scrapbook paper to fit into your frame.
  • Write your menu out for the week.
  • Wait for Hubby to notice your crafty prowess and congratulate you.  Or point your cute new wipe off menu board to him when he gets home from work.


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Weekly To Dos List

I have told you before that I’m not a very “scheduled” person by nature.  Lately though between pregnancy brain, summer heat, and a lot of stuff going on in my season of life, I need to get my act together a little bit.  I have tried using other people’s to dos and dockets, but I figured it was best for me to actually make something that fit my not-really-a-scheduler personality type.  I decided on a whole weekly list, since the daily thing just doesn’t happen for me.  I also made a place for a verse to memorize each week since this is an area of my spiritual life where I’d like to grow.

Look like something you could use? Here, grab a copy! Weekly to dos

Not look like something that “fits” you?  It wasn’t hard to make– just open up Word or Publisher or any other word-processing application on your computer and make yourself something to help you keep track of the things you’d like to accomplish!