Valentine Wrap Up

We had the most lovely Valentine’s Day! Miracle claimed that she just loves Valentine’s Day and that it is the prettiest and yummiest day ever! That comment made the whole day worth it to me. You see, I was never much of a Valentine’s Day girl. Andrew and I don’t exchange gifts and we don’t do the obligatory date. Sometimes Andrew will pick me up some February 15th priced flowers and I love them even more at half the price. But since I decided to celebrate even the little holidays, I went all out making Valentine’s Day a day where we celebrate family and friends and love for each other. Get ready for some pictures!

The kids woke up to this:

Valentine Breakfast Ready to Eat

Orange Juice with Cranberry Juice Heart Shaped Ice Cubes

Cranberry Orange Heart Shaped Muffins

and Yogurt Dipped Frozen Strawberries

Side note on the food: The heart shaped muffin idea is from this pin and the frozen yogurt strawberries is from this one. I’m using my Valentine’s Day Pinterest Board!

The kids begged me to sew up some heart shaped pockets that they could fill with chocolates for their teachers. It was a bit of trial and error, so I filled my testers with foam hearts for the kids (and Andrew). They each had a heart that said their name on it and then three smaller hearts each with a word that describes them. Oh, and a chocolate kiss too because Valentine’s Day is a great day to eat chocolate for breakfast! This idea was inspired by this pin.

She Was Completely In Love With This Breakfast

For lunch the girls and I had heart shaped sandwiches and pink (strawberry) milk. Then Miracle filled up her heart pockets for her teachers and it was off to school where I got to be the Valentine helper for her class party!

I Took the Teaching Opportunity to Figure Out How to Evenly Divide the Chocolates

Then we came home and made some pretty tasty brownies with amazing frosting and brought them to eat for dessert at Carbones! Andrew serenaded the dinner crowd and we ate pizza and treated everyone to a tasty Valentine dessert. Recipe is from this pin and I guarantee you want to try it!

All in all we had an amazing, tasty, pretty Valentine’s Day full of love, family and friends! (And I think I fulfilled my Pinterest Project of the Week quota.) I hope you all had a great day and didn’t get caught up with relationship status and overpriced flowers.


I’m Crazy For You Valentine!

I used to not really pay any attention at all to Valentine’s Day. I feel like I have missed out on so much! This year since I am trying to add a little spice to life by acknowledging and celebrating all the little holidays I normally pass by, I have realized that Valentine’s Day is so fun. It is all girly and lovey and full of hearts and pinkness.

The kids and I made their Valentines for their school mates tonight. I’m not sure where Axel came up with that, but he kept calling them his school mates and I thought it was cute! They have so many Valentine rules… No peanuts (which I get) ‘but please know that even things like candy hearts and pretzels may have nuts’. And then they recommend healthy snacks for treats and even suggest that ‘things such as pencils and stickers make great treats’. haha. I’m fine with it. I like going from the norm and getting creative. Plus I really hate buying candy. I do however like eating candy.

A Little Hot Chocolate and Valentine Making

So I was thinking about what to do that would be fun and yet financially realistic and remembered how much they love crazy straws and decided that those would be perfect. I  created a simple Word document to make tags that say “I’m Crazy For You Valentine!” and then under that typed From: (insert name here). I also considered “You’re So Silly Valentine” but we liked the one we chose better.

Working So hard

Then we sliced them apart with my handy dandy slicer, folded, ran the glue stick over them and glued them to the straws. Being careful of course not to get glue on the straws and to put the tags on a middle loop so that they don’t slip off.  What I recommended to the kids was that they put their finger on the fold mark and then run the glue stick down the rest of the tag. That way they hold the tag in place while applying the glue and the middle stays free of glue so it doesn’t get on the straw.

This was such an easy, quick, inexpensive project! It requires very little prep and few supplies- most of which you probably have around already! My kids love it and Miracle (4 years) had no problem helping with the slicer (in a perfectly safe way) and  doing the gluing on her own.  They are excited to give their friends a fun gift with a silly saying that they made themselves.

Joy In Jesus

{We are going through a study with the kids in our Jr. Church program and I absolutely love the simplicity, straightforwardness, and practical application of it. (If you are looking for something for your own church I highly recommend it. You can find Rock-Solid Followers here.) I want to share with you weekly the main scriptures from the lessons. These kids (I teach 3-5 year olds) are soaking this stuff up and are making such an impact on me, and I want to share the Jesus love!}

Philippians 4:4, Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! (New Living Translation)

Acts 16:16-40 (New Living Translation)

Paul and Silas in Prison

16 One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a demon-possessed slave girl. She was a fortune-teller who earned a lot of money for her masters. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.”

18 This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her.

19 Her masters’ hopes of wealth were now shattered, so they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities at the marketplace. 20 “The whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews!” they shouted to the city officials. 21“They are teaching customs that are illegal for us Romans to practice.”

22 A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. 23 They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. 24 So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks.

25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. 26 Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! 27 The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. 28 But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!”

29 The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” 32 And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. 33 Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. 34 He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God.

35 The next morning the city officials sent the police to tell the jailer, “Let those men go!” 36 So the jailer told Paul, “The city officials have said you and Silas are free to leave. Go in peace.”

37 But Paul replied, “They have publicly beaten us without a trial and put us in prison—and we are Roman citizens. So now they want us to leave secretly? Certainly not! Let them come themselves to release us!”

38 When the police reported this, the city officials were alarmed to learn that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. 39 So they came to the jail and apologized to them. Then they brought them out and begged them to leave the city. 40 When Paul and Silas left the prison, they returned to the home of Lydia. There they met with the believers and encouraged them once more. Then they left town.

Life Focus:

In any situation, I can praise Jesus and remember that He gives me joy.

Week One: Saved By Jesus

Week Two: Help From Jesus

Week Three: Sent By Jesus

Week Four: Loved By Jesus 

Week Five: Guided By Jesus

Loved By Jesus

{We are going through a study with the kids in our Jr. Church program and I absolutely love the simplicity, straightforwardness, and practical application of it. (If you are looking for something for your own church I highly recommend it. You can find Rock-Solid Followers here.) I want to share with you weekly the main scriptures from the lessons. These kids (I teach 3-5 year olds) are soaking this stuff up and are making such an impact on me, and I want to share the Jesus love!}

Romans 8:39, No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (The New Living Translation)

(Acts 14:8-20 New Living Translation)

Paul and Barnabas in Lystra and Derbe

While they were at Lystra, Paul and Barnabas came upon a man with crippled feet. He had been that way from birth, so he had never walked. He was sitting  and listening as Paul preached. Looking straight at him, Paul realized he had faith to be healed. So Paul called to him in a loud voice, “Stand up!” And the man jumped to his feet and started walking. When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in their local dialect, “These men are gods in human form!”  They decided that Barnabas was the Greek god Zeus and that Paul was Hermes, since he was the chief speaker.  Now the temple of Zeus was located just outside the town. So the priest of the temple and the crowd brought bulls and wreaths of flowers to the town gates, and they prepared to offer sacrifices to the apostles. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard what was happening, they tore their clothing in dismay and ran out among the people, shouting,  “Friends, why are you doing this? We are merely human beings—just like you! We have come to bring you the Good News that you should turn from these worthless things and turn to the living God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them.  In the past he permitted all the nations to go their own ways,  but he never left them without evidence of himself and his goodness. For instance, he sends you rain and good crops and gives you food and joyful hearts.”  But even with these words, Paul and Barnabas could scarcely restrain the people from sacrificing to them. Then some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowds to their side. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of town, thinking he was dead.  But as the believersgathered around him, he got up and went back into the town. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.

Life Focus:

Every day I can see evidence of God’s love for me.

Week One: Saved By Jesus

Week Two: Help From Jesus

Week Three: Sent By Jesus

Beat the Heat

Here in MN it is a billion degrees out this week. I have put together a list of fun things to do inside to stay safe and cool during the hot spell- without having the kiddos drive you nutso. (Note: this list does NOT include Chuck E. Cheese!) Most of these places are for the St. Paul/ Southeast metro locals, but there are some things you can do at home too. Do you have any ideas to add?

Plaza Maplewood Theatre. Seeing movies is always fun, but the price tag isn’t. It is only $2 per ticket to go to the Plaza, and concessions are reasonable as well. We took the kids to see Rio today and they are also showing Hop and Judy Moody (along with some grown up flicks as well).

Science Bob. Axel is an absolute science nut and there are a ton of fun experiments on here. We made slime this morning and it has kept them entertained all day. All the experiments are submitted by parents and tested so you know they work! You can even search by age category to find something just right for your family.

Waffle Cookies. Who wants to turn the oven on when it is this hot out? Not me! This recipe is super easy to make and tastes yummy too. Instant cookie gratification (they bake in less than 90 secs). Make sure you read through the tips at the bottom of the page- just don’t pay attention to the bad reviews, because these are great! We think they would be good garnishing ice cream, or as ice cream sandwiches.

Woodbury Central Park. We like to pack a lunch order Jimmy Johns delivery and eat in the beautiful indoor park area that has trees, waterfalls and plants. Central Park connects the library (get some good books), YMCA (go swimming or play in the gym), and Lookout Ridge (indoor playground). They also play movies and have concerts in their indoor amphitheater.

Just Jump. What could be more awesome for burning off energy than a room full of inflatables? And it’s not just for the kids. Moms and dads are invited to jump, run, slide and race right along with the munchkins. It is located in Woodbury and prices range from $6-8 for open play. Check their website for times.

MN Children’s Museum. We are members so this one is a freebie for us. I definitely think it is worth the admission price though. There is also a McDonalds and Subway connected via the skyway so you can make a day of it and grab a cheap lunch too.

(She did her own face-painting...)

Popsicle Stick Bracelets. I’m all about easy cheap crafts to do with the kids. These look like so much fun and I can’t wait to try them out. I would love to see pictures if you do them.

I try and post a few fun links on my Facebook every day with fun activities (not just for the kids). Like me over there and I’ll keep the good ideas (crafts, recipes, activities, etc.) coming.

Stay cool and drink lots of water!

Help From Jesus

{We are going through a study with the kids in our Jr. Church program and I absolutely love the simplicity, straightforwardness, and practical application of it. (If you are looking for something for your own church I highly recommend it. You can find Rock-Solid Followers here.) I want to share with you weekly the main scriptures from the lessons. These kids (I teach 3-5 year olds) are soaking this stuff up and are making such an impact on me, and I want to share the Jesus love!}

Romans 12:10, Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. (The New Living Translation)

(Acts 9:23-31 New Living Translation)

After a while some of the Jews plotted together to kill him. They were watching for him day and night at the city gate so they could murder him, but Saul was told about their plot.  So during the night, some of the other believers lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the city wall. When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe he had truly become a believer! Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told them how Saul had seen the Lord on the way to Damascus and how the Lord had spoken to Saul. He also told them that Saul had preached boldly in the name of Jesus in Damascus. So Saul stayed with the apostles and went all around Jerusalem with them, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord.  He debated with some Greek-speaking Jews, but they tried to murder him. When the believers heard about this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus, his hometown. The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers.

Life Focus:

When I have problems and need help, one of the best ways Jesus helps me is through His followers.

Week One: Saved By Jesus

New Sunscreen

I recently read that your sunscreen expires after a year. So throw out those leftovers from last year, get some new stuff, and try some of these outdoor summer activities!

10 Fun Outdoor Games for Kids

Outdoor Summer Activities for Toddlers

Top 12 Summer Activities 



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