Saturday, December 31, 2011

The (Eva) Joy of Our Lives

Our precious little Eva is almost five months old! That is so extremely hard to believe, considering the last two weeks of my pregnancy lasted three months! But nevertheless, she is such a sweet part of our lives. We love to cuddle her, and love on her. She gives us the biggest grins! It's amazing how such a little person, in such a short time takes such a big place!

Little screamer, cute though she may be:

Dressed in her church bonnet:
Love her sleeping cheeks!

Contagious smile:
Watching movies with the biggest brother:
Yes, she's our girl!

Thankful in December

Today is church-cleaning day. Sometimes it is rough... on my attitude. It's not that I mind vacuuming. I don't mind washing dishes, and straightening hymnals. It doesn't bother me to change a trash bag. What does bother me is that we do it with all three kiddos... sometimes all screaming. So the tension adds up, just like the messes we are cleaning. And I find myself steaming, annoyed, and basically not right with God.
Today, during one of those such moments, the Lord shared a thought with me: I should be so thankful! First of all, that I do have three little kiddos. They can all scream, therefore they are pretty healthy! ;) We have been called into the ministry, and this was a small opportunity to serve the Lord together... as a family.
Let's all remember to be thankful, even for a small way to serve God!

Flash Figures and Frogs

I have been teaching Sunday School since mid-September. It has been so fun for me! I first started teaching Sunday School when I was 14 years old. I taught primaries, and I usually had 3 in my class. :) Even then I loved it. I loved being in charge. I loved teaching God's Word. I loved how it helped me study and want to know more, even about the most familiar Bible stories. But most of all, I loved to plan the "fun stuff." :)
I stopped teaching when I started college. It just became too much for me with all my studies. A few years after college when Jamin was a youth pastor, I would occasionally fill in for an absent teacher. And other times, we would split the teens and I would teach the girls. I loved it.
Since we have been in Ohio, I haven't really had the opportunity to teach. I have taught ladies' meeting a few times. And I taught the teens once or twice. But not until this September did I realize how much I love to teach kids! I have really missed it and have felt so much more at peace since I started. Maybe that sounds weird, but I think it's just "for me."
So I want to share a couple things. It's not that I'm creative at all, I just want to share a few of my ideas in case it could help you.
I recently decided not to use curriculum any more. Some of the lessons were so "empty," and I think it's so fun to write my own Bible stories so I launched out. I'm starting on the "Miracles of Jesus" tomorrow and I'm very excited about it. But the problem with writing my own lessons is that they don't come with visuals. We have great flannelgraph at the church (Betty Lukens), but it gets boring if used week after week. I can't draw. Sometimes I can find a few things online, but usually only one picture... and that's not enough for an entire story. So... I asked my talented sister-in-law Becky to draw for me. So she did. And she did a great job! Tomorrow I am doing the story of Jesus turning the water into wine and here are the pictures she drew:
I think they are so good! She drew them as pencil sketches and emailed them to me. And since my printer decided to run out of ink today and wouldn't print them clearly, I traced over them, chalked them, and laminated them. I have decided to coin the term flash figures. :) Woo hoo!
Also, instead of trying to find a craft or activity for my difficult ages (4-12 yikes!) I'm going to start implementing Bible games for review. I got them from Ed Dunlop books. If you have never heard of him, I suggest you read one of his books. He is very good! And he has a lot of experience. Tomorrow we are playing Leap Frog! Here is the game ready to go in my classroom:
The students have to answer a review question correctly, then they choose a log from each row to try to get across. Some logs have alligators behind them and eat frogs! And some of the logs say "pass" so they don't have to choose another log. I think the kids will love it. So we shall see!