Archive for June 2012

Cousin Olympics

There are 7 cousins in my kids’ generation level on my side of the family, ranging from age 8-22.  I count it as a tremendous blessing that I am close with all of them and they adore each other!  But that doesn’t come without effort.  Some of our best memories involved some prep work, but have proved immeasurably worth it in terms of family bonding.   There is no specific tie-in to “parenting with Scripture” here except to say that I’m thankful to be an aunt to these 5 amazing kids/young adults and take seriously the opportunity to pray often for them, engage them wherever there are in life, be available to them, create memory makers like Cousin Olympics, and love them no matter what!

So, what exactly is Cousin Olympics?  Every two years near the time of summer or winter Olympics, we plan our own crazy version called Cousin Olympics!  We started this before the youngest cousin was even born and it’s a hoot to go back and look at pictures and videos of the kiddos through the years.  They love laughing at whatever they were wearing, hair styles, etc. from the old photos!

Pictures speak louder than words so I’ll explain along with each snapshot…

The rings, podium, medals, and cupcakes were ideas from Family Fun Magazine.
My daughter (almost 10) made the score board.  Great hands-on activity for using rulers and math to figure out spacing for the chart.
The torch is just a white piece of cardstock rolled into a cone with flame colored tissue paper tucked inside (tape to secure).


We made our medals out of clay rather than the paper plate Family Fun version.

These came from either Family Fun or Pinterest.
Though these did produce some fabulous Kodak moments, I’ll spare all the cousins the Internet embarrassment!
Ping Pong Precision Pitch –
Cheezy Toss –
Freestyle Shake-a-thon –
Stumps Tug-of-War –
Shake That Head and M&M Smiley Face –
This Blows With Straws/Balloons –

Scoring was tricky because the older four have a much easier time at most activities than the younger three kids.  One of our math-minded family members figured out a way to give a “handicap” and we ended up perfectly with the younger three getting the gold, silver, bronze, and the older four getting gold, silver, and a tie for bronze.  One of the teens pulled up the Olympic theme song on her iPod and had it playing while they took their places on the podium for pictures!  Yes, this is totally cheezy for the older ones but they still are great sports about it because it’s part of our family tradition.  After our evening ended, I love that a couple of them posted on Facebook, “You never outgrow Cousin Olympics!”

Comments Off on Cousin Olympics   Posted In:     |    Written By: admin
read more>>  

Being a missionary from home!

Summertime means Vacation Bible School or Neighborhood Bible Clubs!
While they are wonderful ways for our own, churched children to learn more about God, it’s also a time when many who don’t know Jesus hear the Good News!  As we began preparing for our upcoming Neighborhood Bible Club at a Life Group family’s home, it occurred to me to explain it to my kids in terms of them being home missionaries by praying for the clubs.  During one of our family devotional times, we got out a stack of notecards and brainstormed different ways we could pray for the club.  I jotted each suggestion on different note card and we came up with a good handful.  When we have family prayer time, we each draw a couple of the ideas from the pile and go around praying for them.  It’s a fun and engaging way for us to keep the club in our prayers and for the kids to feel more invested in them.


Comments Off on Being a missionary from home!   Posted In:     |    Written By: admin
read more>>  

Summer Fun Series – Playing with Scripture

Many children are tactile learners.  Consider these fun boredom busters for a hot summer day.

Shaving cream or Cool Whip:
Squirt some on a table, tub, or any surface that can be easily wiped down after the activity.  Spread it out with the palm of your hand and let your child use a finger to “write” each word of a verse you are learning, “erasing” with the palm of your hand in between each word.  If your child can’t write yet, guide his finger to make the first letter of each word as you say the verse.  Little ones may be tempted to lick their fingers, so Cool Whip is a safer choice for them.

 My 4th grader who didn’t want to get her fingers messy!


My 4th grader guiding a 2-year-old friend’s hand to make a heart for “God is love.”  1 John 4:8b



A 3-year-old friend making a happy face for “God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7


Use playdough to make the first letter of each word of a verse you are learning.

Sidewalk Chalk:
Help your child write a favorite verse with sidewalk chalk.  If he can’t write, let him decorate around the verse.  If it’s a verse you are helping your child learn, make a game out of it and hop alongside each word as you say them.  Start slowly and then see how fast you can get at hopping and saying the verse.

 “A friend loves at all times.”  Proverbs 17:17a
Decorated by kids the ages of 3, 7, 2, and 9 (same order below).

Scrabble Tiles:

Use Scrabble game tiles to write out words.  Or, make clues with the first letters of words of a verse your child is learning.

Balloons:  (For older children) Write each word of a verse on a slip of paper, roll it up, and put it in a balloon.  Blow up each balloon, tie it off, and let your child have fun trying to keep all of them up in the air.  After he’s had a chance to play with the balloons, have your child put on tennis shoes or boots and stomp the balloons to pop them and find the word slips.  Then, his challenge is to put the words of the verse in order.  Once correct, he can paste them to a paper to keep as a reminder card or memory help for the verse.

Texting: (For older kids) Each person playing will need a texting device.  One person will start by texting the first word of a verse to another player.  The next person adds the following word, and so forth.

Comments Off on Summer Fun Series – Playing with Scripture   Posted In:     |    Written By: admin
read more>>  

Summer Fun Series – Praying with Scripture

Think of someone you know who needs prayer.  Who doesn’t?!  Find a topical verse that fits and remember to pray those words for that person for several days at meal time or bedtime.  Help your child write and decorate a card with the verse on it.  Mail it to the person with a note added that you are praying it for him or her.  Consider having your child decorate a second verse picture that you can post on your fridge or put by your child’s bedside to help you remember to pray for the person that week.



Comments Off on Summer Fun Series – Praying with Scripture   Posted In:     |    Written By: admin
read more>>  

Summer Fun Series – Cooking & Snacking with Scripture

Cooking with Scripture:
Bake up a batch of your favorite baked goodies with your children.  While they are cooking, pick a verse applicable to whomever you are surprising with the treats.  Your children can write the verse on plain paper, note cards, or even with a permanent marker on the baggies that will hold the treats.  If you have a child that can’t write, let him decorate around the verse.  Some suggestions:

 “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Mark 12:31
We love these treats and hope you do too!  Thankful you’re our neighbor!


“A cheerful heart is good medicine.”  Proverbs 17:22
So is chocolate!  Hope these treats bring cheer to your heart!

Have fun delivering these goodies that will bring smiley faces and happy tummies!

Snacking with Scripture: 
Use Alphabits Cereal or Cheez-It Scrabble snack crackers to write out words of verses, or the first letter of each word.  As each letter or word is eaten, see if your child can still say the verse.

See if you know the rest of this verse.  If you need a hint, look up Proverbs 15:1.


Comments Off on Summer Fun Series – Cooking & Snacking with Scripture   Posted In:     |    Written By: admin
read more>>  

Summer Fun Series – Singing with Scripture

Have you ever had the experience of hearing a song and it taking you back to a specific place and time?  Wouldn’t it be neat to create that memory for your kids with Scripture set to music?   Great options for summer sounds for younger children are Hide Em in Your Heart – Volumes 1 & 2, by Steve Green.   For older children, try Seeds of Faith 2, by Seeds Family Worship.  Clink on the links below to order or hear samples.

Comments Off on Summer Fun Series – Singing with Scripture   Posted In:     |    Written By: admin
read more>>  

Summer Fun Series – Vacationing with Scripture

Consider having a theme verse for your summer trip.
I’ll share a couple of examples to get you thinking.

 “Do everything without complaining or arguing.” Philippians 2:14

Vacations may be fun, but often present numerous opportunities for arguing and complaining.  Going into the trip, with the more positive mindset of this verse can be helpful and make the time more pleasant for everyone.  We were tested on this right off the bat with our Disney World vacation.  Everyone had boarded the plane and we were all ready for take-off, when the pilot announced that we would have to de-board and find another flight because of mechanical issues.  It would have been easy for us to complain about the inconvenience, the possibility of missing our character dinner reservations, etc.  However, with that verse on our minds, we focused instead on being grateful that God spared us from a potentially hazardous flight.

“Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:16

I love this one because it causes us to think before we act or talk and remember that we are representing Christ wherever we go.  On our way through an airport terminal, we stopped at a Starbucks.  The man in front of him was in full military garb.  My husband, Tim, discreetly leaned forward to the cashier and told him that he would like to pay for the soldier’s order and then thanked the soldier for his service.  Tim’s example was a shining light to our family and I hope the same for the cashier and serviceman.

 Another idea – Thankfulness Vacation Journal:

Another idea is to create a Thankfulness Vacation Journal for the trip.  Before we left for a vacation to Colorado, I made sure to pack several sheets of paper and enough pens for each member of the family.  At the beginning of the trip, each person took a page and numbered up to the total days of our vacation, multiplied by five.  For example, a 7 day vacation would be a list of 35.  Before bedtime each night, we gathered and listed the top five things we were thankful for from the day and then shared them with each other.  My son, who couldn’t write well yet, told me his ideas as I wrote them down for him.  We tried not to repeat anything we had written in the past so we would have unique entries.  It was a special way to end our days and gave us a personalized keepsake for our trip.


Comments Off on Summer Fun Series – Vacationing with Scripture   Posted In:     |    Written By: admin
read more>>  

Want weekly tips on Parenting with Scripture?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and
receive notifications of new posts by email.