Friday, August 28, 2015

10 Days in the Fruits of the Spirit {Day 4 ~ Peace}

Good morning!  It's an absolutely beautiful day outside!  On days like today, it's easy to have peace.  Other times, not quite so much.  Peace is an ongoing conversation at our house.  As adults, it's hard to truly rest in the peace of Christ.  As kids, it's even harder to understand.  While we talk about turning to God anytime we feel troubled, here's what we did specifically during our lesson on peace.  If you missed the other posts, you can catch up here (Overview, Love, Joy, Resources)!

Day 4 of a 10-day "Breakfast with the Bible" unit for kids over the Fruits of the Spirit!  So fun!

This lesson is another super simple, no objects necessary, no prep required lesson! As a quick recap, we started every lesson with the Hi Hi the Bible Guy video and a Fruits of the Spirit song.  We read the page from Pups of the Spirit for the specific fruit of the day.  

PEACE ~ I won't be afraid because I trust in God. 

Our verse for peace was John 16:33.
I have told you these things, so that in me, you may have peace.  In this world, you will have trouble.  But take heart!  For I have overcome the world.

To start digging into peace, we had a quick chat about times that we felt afraid, worried, confused, or "troubled."  That was a new word and we spent a moment defining what it meant to be troubled.  Then, we talked about how we handled each of those situations.  Most of Little Man's responses were things like talking to Mommy, telling a teacher, crying, snuggles, or reading a story.  While all of these things are great, they don't offer the ultimate peace.

I apologize, but I don't have a picture of this object lesson.  I had Little Man put his hands together, prayer-style.  He rubbed them together as we listed all the things that trouble us.  Then I told him to "just stop."  "Look at your hands.  What does it look like you are doing right now?"  Praying.  

"Yes!  When we are feeling troubled, we can just stop.  We can talk to God.  We can give our worries and troubles to Him and He will ALWAYS help us."  

God doesn't completely take away our troubles, but He definitely gives us the strength to handle them and the peace to know that He's in control.  I'm taking it as a personal challenge to reinforce this in myself by trying to model it for my boys.  God has a neat way of teaching us those lessons!

Because of the nature of this lesson, it was crucial to carry it out into our day-to-day routines.  One of the things I've done is to make sure that I model what it looks like to give a worry to God.  If Little Man is feeling frustrated, I ask him if he's said his "10 Fingers" (Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.). When we pray at night, instead of keeping my worries to myself, I let him hear me pray about them (age-appropriate worries, of course).  

Just as we did with our other lessons, we ended by reciting our memory verse praying over our daily verse using the ACTS model.
"Father, I praise You for being in control of everything.  It's so good to know that I can always talk to You about things.  I'm sorry that I forget You are in control when I try to handle things myself.  I'm sorry that I didn't show that I trusted You when I worried about _____.  Please forgive me.  Thank you for taking care of me.  Thank you for helping me grow and learn.  Please help me to know that You are always with me every single minute of every single day.  Amen."

I hope you are enjoying these Fruits of the Spirit lessons!  They were fun to create and fun to do!  I've loved watching the growth in my Little Man as he has started thinking about them on a daily basis.  

Day 4 of a 10-day "Breakfast with the Bible" unit for kids over the Fruits of the Spirit!  So fun!

Don't miss Day 5!  Follow us on Bloglovin'!

Monday, August 24, 2015

5+ Fun-Filled Resources for the Fruits of the Spirit

Ok friends... We're in the middle of our Fruits of the Spirit series.  Today, I'm guest posting over at Joy in My Kitchen!  She has some excellent things to say about being an example of the Fruits of the Spirit for our children.  I'm sharing a full week's worth of resources for the picture book we used during our study, Pups of the Spirit!  Hop on over and say hi!

I'd love to share more about the book we read and the extension activities we did!  I absolutely LOVE picture books.  I'll turn them into a mini thematic unit and we'll do different activities every day.  There are so many early literacy and math skills as well as Biblical truths that can be incorporated into these units!  This makes my teacher heart and my mommy heart very happy!  

Stop by Joy in My Kitchen to see what we did all week!  

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

15 Fantastic Verses to Memorize With Your Family {Colossians 3:23}

Happy Sunday, friends!  Here at Mommy & Her Men, we are BIG on memorizing Scripture.  When our minds are filled with God's Word, all the ugly things have no room to sneak in!  Today, we are excited to start a brand new series with you!  Every Sunday, we will be featuring one of our top 15 memory verses.  Now, I'm going to be completely honest with you.  These are probably not the top 15 of all time, for ever and ever.  These are *my* favorite 15 for this very moment.  I mean... I'm pretty sure my favorite verse changes daily.  The Bible is just full of good stuff!

15 fantastic verses to memorize with your family!  Printable Scripture cards for everyone!  This is great for everyone to memorize verses at the same time!

I'm going to keep this short and sweet today.  Go spend some time with that sweet family of yours!  Here is a set of four cards... one for each member of the family.  Each week, for the next 15 weeks, we'll share another of our favorite verses.  Here's how it works.  Every Sunday (Scripture Sunday, if you will...), I'll post the set of four cards.  Save them as images and then print however many you want!  They are designed to print as a 4x6, but other sizes should work as well.  Print them on cardstock (or even just regular paper) and stick them in a photo album to review!

Spend the week memorizing these verses with your family!  Come back next week for the next verse!  We'd also love to have you hop over to the Facebook page and let us know your favorite way to practice your verses!  Right now, ours is the Lego stack!

15 fantastic verses to memorize with your family!  Printable Scripture cards for everyone!  This is great for everyone to memorize verses at the same time!

15 fantastic verses to memorize with your family!  Printable Scripture cards for everyone!  This is great for everyone to memorize verses at the same time!

15 fantastic verses to memorize with your family!  Printable Scripture cards for everyone!  This is great for everyone to memorize verses at the same time!

15 fantastic verses to memorize with your family!  Printable Scripture cards for everyone!  This is great for everyone to memorize verses at the same time!

May I ask a favor of you?  Pretty please?  If you like these, be a good friend and share!  See those icons over to the left?  Click one!  Let's fill each other with God's Great Word!

Want to make sure you don't miss next week's verses?  Be sure to follow us on Bloglovin'!

Y'all are awesome!  Have a great week!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

10 Favorite Bedtime Stories for a New School Year

In this house, we LOVE bedtime stories!  It's seriously an ordeal to pick them out every night.  The teacher heart in me will always love a good trip to the library, picking out a collection of books for whatever theme seems to fit the upcoming weeks.  Right now, back-to-school season is upon us.

(I'm going to pause right here and say that I just typed out, erased, typed again, and erased again about 6 different paragraphs all describing how I feel about sending Little Man off to school this year.  I am an absolute jumble of emotions over it, but that's a post for another time.)

Now, back to the point of this post.... picture books!  I love, love, love them!  I also love favorite characters... As a teacher, I would collect every single book about a certain character.  As a mom, I am beyond thrilled when my boys find a character they like and want to read every single book.  Love it all!

This week and next week are all about school starting for us.  Here is our list of our favorite characters' back-to-school stories (in no order at all because I'd never be able to actually put them in order)!

Here are 10 bedtime stories to enjoy with your little ones before we send them off to school!  All of our favorite characters are included!

I love the Berenstain Bears!  They instill such great morals into their precious cubs.  I so wish I had the patience and grace of Mama Bear and she handles all of their adventures!

My teacher heart loves the repetitive language of this book.  Early readers will enjoy "reading" the words along with you!

Not going to lie, I *may* tear up every single time I get to the line, "It's too much for little llama."  Ugh.  It's too much for Mommy!

Franklin is just so good!  He's such a wholesome little turtle!  It wasn't until I became a teacher that I began to fully appreciate how good-natured Franklin is, but he was definitely Little Man's first favorite character!

We love the "How Do Dinosaurs..." series.  I like to act this one out with the boys.  Right now, they're at the age that Little Man will act it out for Baby Boy.  Hilarious!

I don't know if this "technically" counts as a favorite character.  The Old Lady is a character, right?  Either way, I love them all!  The repetitive language is fantastic in this one as well.  It has a such a great rhythm and flow.  I actively seek out new books in this series.  When I saw that a school-themed version came out, it instantly went into the rotation!

If you have younger ones, there is also The Night Before Preschool and The Night Before Kindergarten.  All of them are super cute!

As a work-from-home mom, I teach from home.  I'm a 4th grade reading teacher.  My theme in my "classroom" this year is frogs.  I will definitely be incorporating lots of Froggy books.  If you hang around the blog long enough, you just might see a full year's curriculum based around Froggy books.  This, and the Old Lady series, are my absolute favorites.  Seriously, my favorites.

Curious George was Little Man's 2nd birthday theme.  He was a favorite then and he's a favorite now.  Who doesn't love an adorable monkey who is crazy curious about life?  I mean, what could go wrong with that?!

Clifford is great.  Puppy Clifford is absolutely fantastic.  He's precious!  He ranks right up there with Franklin.  He's helpful, kind, respectful...  Let's get some more of that into this generation, shall we?

There are actually a few Little Critter books that relate to school.  This one is on our list this year.  We own one of the other ones (The Best Teacher Ever).  I'm pretty sure we went through a phase and read that one every single night for a few weeks.  I may or may not have that one memorized.  I think Little Critter and Little Man could be brothers.

When I taught Pre-K, I had this in big book format.  We had a whole series of lessons on it.  I have very fond memories of circle times with this book.  I always love a good book that encourages great, healthy friendships in children.  Even as adults, that's sometimes hard to find.

Splat the Cat is something else.  Little Man pulled out the Halloween story a few weeks ago and has been begging to read it every night.  Seriously, it's a battle if I say it's too early to Halloween stories.  We haven't gotten to this one yet in our list.  Hopefully it will be an acceptable substitution.

This one was also one I had in big book format.  Minerva Louise is just too much!  It encourage some great thinking as I asked my students to link the pictures and text.  Minerva Louise finds things like yarn, but thinks it's a funny sort of straw for her nest.  It's a very intentional book when it comes to making little ones use those good brains!

I mean... who doesn't love this series.  It's another one that I don't think can technically be considered a favorite character, but it's definitely a favorite series!  We own every single one!  See my post here about a busy bag activity for If You Give a Mouse a Cookie!  We got to meet Mouse at a library storytime last summer. Little Man loved it!

So there you have it!  *Most* of the favorite characters we love and definitely a great list of back-to-school read alouds for you and your little ones!  Pray over those precious babies and cherish every moment you have.  I'm reminded daily how quickly it goes by!

Every night, when I pray for my boys, one of the verses I pray is Luke 2:52.  I'd like to pray that verse for all of us today.

Father, may our children grow and seek to be like Your Son.  May they grow in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with You, God, and with man this year.  May their teachers grow.  May we grow as parents.  May Your will be done in our children this year, Lord.  Amen.

If I'm going to be honest with all of you, I'm struggling this year.  I'm having a harder time letting go this year in first grade than I did in Kindergarten.  Even as I type this now and I typed that prayer, I'm crying.  Can I ask for prayer from each of you?  As moms, we know it's hard to let our babies go.  Can we join together and pray for each other and our little ones and their teachers as this year begins?  I know we can.  Y'all are awesome.  

Want more picture books?  Follow us on Bloglovin'!  We'll keep them coming!  :)

Come join the fun!  We're linking up at Kid Minds!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

10 Days in the Fruits of the Spirit ~ Day 3 {Joy}

Hello friends!  I missed being here last week!  Lots going on at the same time!  However, that intentional time with our children is an absolute must, so here is Day 3 of our Fruits of the Spirit study!  If you need to get caught up, here's where you can find Day 1 {Overview} and Day 2 {Love}.

Day 3 {joy} of a 10-Day "Breakfast with the Bible" Study over the Fruits of the Spirit for you and your little ones!  Includes a memory verse, discussion time, picture book, object lessons, and extension activities!

This lesson was one of my favorites!  The object lesson was so super simple, but it has so much potential as our kiddos start to think more deeply about these concepts.  As a quick recap, we started every lesson with the Hi Hi the Bible Guy video and a Fruits of the Spirit song.  We read the page from Pups of the Spirit for the specific fruit of the day.  For joy, the book related it to being happy and having a positive attitude.  We took it one step further. 

JOY ~ I will be okay with what I have. 

Our verse for joy was Psalm 118:24.
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

For our conversation, I just jumped right into our object lesson.  For this particular lesson, you'll need a glass, enough marbles to fill it, a water dropper (or spoon, straw, whatever you want to use), and probably a plate or towel. 

I placed the empty glass on the plate and asked Little Man to start naming things that make him happy.  He said things like Minecraft, our puppies, playing Legos, pancakes, pizza, dessert, video games, etc.  Each time he said something, I poured a dropper-full of water into the glass.  "Those things can make us really happy, huh?  They're really fun!  But look at the glass.  Is it full?"  No.  The water never reached the top.  

Then I asked him to start telling me things that God gave us and things that bring us closer to Jesus.  He said things like family, the sunshine, going to church, reading our Bibles, singing songs.  Each time he said something, I dropped a marble into the water.  "Wow!  Look at how full the glass is?!  What do you think is going to happen?"

We finished the lesson by reciting our memory verse and dropping a marble as we said each word. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Against such things there is no law."  "Look!  The water just overflowed out of the glass!  God fills us with joy just like that!  When we find our joy in Jesus, we will overflow and can spread that joy to others!"

Now, Little Man and I did not do this next part, but it could potentially be really powerful if you had a child who was old enough to comprehend it.  If you filled the glass with water with all the "happy things," it could overflow.  Let it hang out on the counter for a week or so.  The water will evaporate.  When we fill ourselves with happiness from this world, we will never be fully satisfied.  It won't last.  That happiness will evaporate just like the water and we'll have to keep refilling ourselves.  The next week, fill it with marbles.  They obviously won't evaporate.  When we fill ourselves with joy found in the Lord, it's not easily lost.

Just as we did with our love lesson, we ended by praying over our verse using the ACTS model.
"Jesus, it's so amazing that You can fill us with joy when things like video games and toys can't.  I'm sorry that I don't always choose joy.  I'm sorry that I didn't choose joy when I got upset about _____.  Please forgive me.  Thank you for waking us up today!  Thank you for giving us the sun and the rain.  Help me to remember that I can be joyful and rejoice in You even when I am sad or upset.  Amen."

I went off to clean up breakfast and he worked on his torn paper stained glass.  He would randomly think of something else that would fit into one of the two categories ... happiness or joy.  He'd mention it and we'd decide which category it fit in.  

So, I really loved the object lesson for joy.  I think there is so much potential for deep thinking and the teacher in me just loves that!  But it's also so true.  Throughout the week, I found myself asking Little Man, "Are you choosing joy right now?"  As time has gone on, I find myself more and more telling him to go add a fruit to his basket because he did such an excellent job of choosing joy even when I know he would have rather done something else.  He opened my eyes.  God's really cool like that and uses our kids to humble us regularly.  I had an incident this week that just really upset me.  I was running my mouth to my husband ("I can't believe she said that!  What kind of friend is she?") and just being pretty ugly.  Well, Little Man overheard me and very politely reminded me that I should be choosing joy.  Yes, kid, I should.  I don't need to seek approval from friends, coworkers, or anyone else on this earth.  I find my joy in Christ.  Thanks for the reminder, Little Man.

Day 3 {joy} of a 10-Day "Breakfast with the Bible" Study over the Fruits of the Spirit for you and your little ones!  Includes a memory verse, discussion time, picture book, object lessons, and extension activities!

Don't miss Day 4!  Follow us on Bloglovin'!

Come join the fun!  We're linking up at Teaching MamaMy Joy-Filled Life and 1+1+1=1!

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