Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Kid Activities

Your kids are driving you nuts because they are running around, screaming like banshees, taking toys from each other and screeching because a sibling looked at them.
Here's some ideas I've had that have worked wonders.
A long sheet of paper.  I've learned from experience that it needs to be taped to the floor.  We have an abundance of painters tape, so it's my go-to.  I bought a large roll of paper at Ikea for about $5.00, but I know there are other places you can get them.  Another idea with the roll is to trace the kids' bodies and let them decorate themselves.

Newspaper.  Just give it to your kids, they know what to do with it.

Again with the painters tape.  I made streets and city blocks.  The kids decorated the city with buildings.

  Balloons.  You can get large packs cheap at the dollar store.
Oh, and turning on some music they can dance around to is always fun.  In this pic, the kids are bopping balloons to Mary Poppins on Pandora.
Next time you're going nuts, hopefully one of these can give you some sanity.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Nursery Know-How: 5 Tips for an Easy Church Nursery Experience

I recently started working in the nursery on Sunday mornings.  It had been a while since I was a nursery worker.  About 15 years, in fact.  I wasn't a mom when I first started working in the children's ministry.  In fact, I was 13.  But I loved it and I continued for the next 10 years until I was the person in charge of Sunday night child care at my church.  I learned a lot during those years.  But I've also learned a lot in the last few months as a mom who has a child in the nursery, and who also works in the nursery.

If you're new to dropping your baby off at the church nursery, you might find these five tips helpful:

1. Make sure your child's name is on the diaper bag and sippy cup/bottle.  Obvious to some, however, after working as a child-care worker for years, I know for a fact there are many nameless bags.  By the way, Sharpie marker easily washes off of bottles, however, stickers don't.  Preempt the sticker and use a Sharpie to write your child's name on the liquid delivering device yourself.

2. If your child has allergies to anything, make sure it is written on their name tag and verbally tell the nursery worker every time you drop off your child.

3.  My baby always falls asleep on the way home from church, and if the diaper wasn't changed, he wets through, so it is always helpful to me to ask when/if his diaper was changed.  No judgement if it wasn't changed, I just need to know so I can change it!

4. If you have any special instructions for the workers that you need followed through on, write them on the name tag; e.g. "put on ointment at diaper change" "change into pjs" "bottle at 9"

5. Finally, kids cry when you leave them in the nursery.  This is a part of growing up.  Trust your nursery care workers and don't hover around, peeking through the door to see how your kid is.  To ease your mind, you can let the workers know that if your child is still distraught (read: hasn't calmed down at all) after 15 minutes, you want to be notified.  Usually, kids calm down within the first five minutes.  Sometimes, the child will calm down just a little bit, but still be very clingy to the first person who held him.  And often the child will have moments where he remembers that his parent left him and cry for a few minutes.  Let me assure you, your child won't grow up feeling as if you abandoned him.  However, if you don't want to leave your child in the nursery, please find a church that is accepting of kids in the sanctuary.  Churches have reasons for how they operate.  A church that has a "no kids in service" policy usually has a great children's ministry.  The reason they don't want kids in the sanctuary is so the moms can actually listen to the sermon.  Moms have kid-radar-ears.  We hear a baby coo and our attention is immediately drawn away from the pastor and to the child.

Hopefully you and your baby will have a wonderful time during church.

Do you have additional tips?  Please leave a comment and let me know!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Speak only what is good for building up people and meeting the need of the moment. This way you will administer grace to those who hear you.
Words have great power behind them.
Tonight, I was hurt by words from a friend, words that seemed harmless enough, but dug deep into my insecurities and made me feel as if I was that gangly, awkward, inexperienced 14-year-old again.  A lack of confidence in my abilities and a lack of trust in my judgement left me damaged.
However, I knew that there was more to my hurt than just the paltry words.  I was dealing with hurts from the past as well as from the present.  Hurts that I thought I had left behind me; ghosts that came whispering in between the lines.
Honestly, I don't know how to come to grips with what she said, other than giving it completely to God.  More than just dealing with what she said, I'm having to deal with the past that I thought was dead and buried.  As Colossians says, "Don't be angry with each other, but forgive each other. If you feel someone has wronged you, forgive them. Forgive others because the Lord forgave you."  Forgiveness, like love, is an action, not a feeling.
I'm praying that my words will "always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone."