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Easter Crafts with Littles {Thoughtful Thursdays}

Thoughtful Thursdays on as Jules is going

portrait of a happy young studentThis week I want to feature a guest post from Olivia Glendale, a a 20-something year old mother of two, both under 2 years. When she’s not busy soothing tantrums and changing diapers, you can find her blogging about home décor, organizing, and DIY projects at www.DIYMother.org. Today, she has super cute ideas for Easter crafts you can easily do with your littles!

My family has a tendency to get caught up in spring fever. My husband is a DIY addict like me, so springtime means outdoor projects every weekend: staining the deck! Cleaning the gutters! Yay!

I, on the other hand, prefer to garden and host gatherings with the extended family. And Easter is one of my favorite holidays to fill with family and fellowship. Because, really, what better way is there to celebrate a season of new life and growth than with the resurrection of our Lord?

This year will be the first year I can involve my 18-month old in Easter crafts. Naturally, I’ve been looking around for fun crafts to do with her, as well as all of her cousins on Easter Sunday. Here are a few of my favorite Easter crafts I’ve found. The links to the tutorials are listed below each photo.

Egg Carton Cross

Egg-Carton-Cross-10
From Housing A Forest

This is a great craft for the kids after church on Easter Sunday-especially if you have some cooking to do. It’s pretty simple: cut out 5 cups in a row and then 3 cups in a row from an empty egg carton, preferably the cardboard kind.

Glue the inside of the middle cup in the row of three and glue the cross together. Let the kids paint it, add glitter, beads, or cover them with fabric.

Rice Krispie Eggs

Easter-Egg-Rice-Krispie-Treats
From HTYM.com

I absolutely love this idea and cannot believe I’ve never done it. Prepare the Rice Krispie treats as your normally would; no need to go through the steps, we’re all parents here…we should be pro’s by now. Then wash and dry some plastic eggs and spray the insides with non-stick spray.

Push the Rice Krispies into each half of the plastic egg, working it up the sides. You want to create a cavity, so leave enough room to fit candy inside. Let the Rice Krispie mix set and gently slide them out of the plastic egg. Put a few pieces of candy inside (jelly beans, robin’s eggs, whatever you prefer) and press the egg halves together using a little bit of pressure. You can even decorate the Rice Krispie eggs with sprinkles or icing.

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Indian Joyn Purse

In my Fair Trade Friday Club trail box, I received the gorgeous purse. The most beautiful part of this item were the 3 names, individually written, specifying who personally did each step of crafting this purse. Skimming my fingers across the ink, I can just imagine the sigh of relief that was breathed as each women pinned her name after her hard work was complete and she knew she was finally able to provide for her family.

signitures

Gagan, Samtagoh, and Serita, THANK YOU for your quality work and craftsmanship. This item will be used and treasured for years to come with it's thick fabric, tight piping, and sturdy magnetic snap.

Joyn Purse handmade in India

“We are so thankful for this partnership. Our hear ts align and our missions align. Fair Trade Friday purchases JOYN products - each one made some of the most  marginalized and oppressed people in the world - individuals with leprosy, disability, those who have grown up begging on the streets, former prostitutes, former  addicts and your purchase employs at least 70 of our artisans with every order,"
-Melody, Joyn Founder, India

Interested in joining the Fair Trade Friday Club or Earring of the Month Club? click those highlighted thinks!

note: If there's a waiting list, DO IT anyways. That allows them to plan ahead and increase their boxes for members, product production, and inevitably empowered women working to provide for their families!

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Synopsis of The Valley Church

Our church body has had an outpouring of support from friends, family, and complete strangers from all over the state as well as many other states. Most recently, we've had a couple Vacation Bible Schools focus their missions offering collection on us. They want to educate kids on local missionaries as well as support them financially. I thought I'd just share the simple overview we've given them so their kids know a little about us.

~~~

Matt and Julie Rothacher {Roth-ache-r} were youth ministers in Arkansas until God called them to plant a church in a new community.

There was a lot of planning, moving, and remolding that happened before They Valley Church launched on Easter 2013. Lots of other churches helped by donating money, time, and supplies.

This is a picture of the launch Team Easter evening in front of the space they were leasing that used to be Vilonia's old Dollar General. Since that time, God has done some crazy fun stuff through this group of people.

the church in the valleyThe Church in the valley family pics

There has been unspeakable life change, people come to Jesus for the first time, 8 baptisms, and lots of unique ministries done in the community to show the love of Jesus.

the little valley launch sunday IMG_2720

The Valley has services on Sunday mornings as well as Valley Groups {small groups} on Wednesday nights. Children birth through 6th grade met at the building for Little Valley Kids groups where we are walking through the Bible book-by-book using The Gospel Project {by Lifeway} curriculum. During Sunday services, we believe "big kids" {K+} are smart enough to learn from the lead pastor so we don't have a kids church, although we do a few things during the service to make it more kid friendly- provide color sheets, clipboards, and soapboxes full of crayons, as well as do crazy and unexpected things during the teaching portion of the services like have odd props- goats, flannel graphs, giant mountains, painting during the message, and lots of humor to keep their attention along with their parents.

Kids are learning about Jesus as well as how He wants to be apart of their lives every day. They are learning that every story in the Bible points to Jesus as does everything in our life. Kids are excited to love their friends, family, and neighbors like Jesus would and know God has a plan for their life that specific just for them.areal view

Shortly after celebrating our 1 year anniversary, the town of Vilonia was hit by an F4 tornado. It started on the southwest side of town and cut all the way across to the northeast side. One family with a mom, dad, and 2 young boys that go to the valley lost their home as well as a two of their best friends who lived down the street.

The building that the valley was meeting in was in the center of town, right where the storm went through. The tornado knocked down 3 of the 4 walls of the building and destroyed, blew away, or dropped walls on top of all the stuff in the building including all 3 nursery rooms and playground where the kid tables, chairs, books, curriculum, and toys where.

The morning after the storm all the people who attend the valley showed up where the family who lost their home was and started to dig through what was left of their house and possessions. They collected any clothes, toys, movies, dishes, and pictures they could find.

The same people showed up later that afternoon at "the slab" where the building used to be and helped dig through rubble to find anything that was still useable.

After those two places were quickly cleaned up, the valley church was excited to find unique ways to minister to the town of Vilonia during such a hard time. The people of Vilonia lost businesses, restaurants, animals, homes, and people they loved. They needed physical help as well as emotional and spiritual support for healing.

One of the first things the valley church was able to do was start "The Playplace". This was a place kids could come have breakfast and lunch, play, rest, watch a movie, do crafts, and be with friends far away from the sad sights and dangerous areas that were all over town. The local primary {elementary} allowed them to use their giant multipurpose room as well the playgrounds outside and several restaurants supplied food. The Playplace was Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

As soon as people heard about what was going on, strangers from in town, all over the state, and some from other states, brought supplies and donations for affected families, along with toys to send home with the children.

Another fun thing the valley was able to do for the town was take all the mommies to a fun night out with their friends since most of them were very sad and stressed. The mom's went to a "Mom's Night Out" that included dinner, shopping, getting their hair, nails, and make-up done, all before going to the new movie, "Mom's Night Out".

Mom's Night Out {group pic} Mom's Night Out

The storm that knocked down the valley's building happened on a Sunday night, and the very next Sunday, the valley church had service on the empty slab where it once stood. People from all over the state brought lawn chairs, folding chairs, and even pews for people to sit on and there were over 300 people out in the hot sun who came to sing praises to Jesus and learn more about Him.

After that, the same school that allowed us to host the playplace let us host services for the valley church. Right now they are meeting at the local fire station in the big bays {with no AC} and the Little Valley Kids and Valley Groups just kicked back off last week. Valley Groups for teenagers and adults meet in homes and the younger kids get to meet at the local Senior Citizens' building on Wednesdays.

at the school:
IMG_0010 IMG_0011IMG_0012

at the SCC:

I know lots of you may think this is weird but not the valley. God has taught us that He is good no matter what. That means, even when bad things happen, we can trust that God has plans for our life. Plans to prosper us, not to harm us. He also taught us that The Church is the people who are following Him and not a place or building.

I will remember our Covenant

We are thrilled to be a part of what God is doing in Vilonia and are continuing to find new and unusual ways to love these people. We are also looking into doing something we never imagined doing {especially only being a year old}; buying land and putting up a simple building for the valley church to use for the glory of God.

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Strawberry Shortcake (cheater) Recipe {Thoughtful Thursday}

Thoughtful Thursday is {usually} a weekly post where I like to share recipes, crafts, DIY projects, or other helpful/thoughtful things I love! Welcome to the 1st 2014 Thoughtful Thursday!!!

Thoughtful Thursdays on as Jules is going

I know you're not surprised but I tend to 1/2 read recipes and end up 'messing up' the recipe. Sometimes it turns out yummy though & my way is usually easier {because I'm lazy}.
Tonight I'm sharing MY recipe for Strawberry Shortcakes that are EeeeeZeeee!
The original recipe {I messed up} was from Betty Crocker's BIG RED Cookbook- classic!

HERE is the online version which is not the same as the tangible cookbook.

easy homemade Strawberry Shortcake

Baking Ingredients

  • 1/2 Sugar
  • 1/3 cup margarine
  • 2 cups all-purpose Flour
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 cup Milk

Baking Directions

  1. Preheat oven 450'.
  2. In a mixer, combine sugar & margarine until creamy.
  3. Slowly add 1/2 the flour, then the baking powder and salt, and then the rest of the flour.
  4. When that's all mixed up, add the milk and mix until it's a thick pancake batter consistency.
  5. Spray a cookie sheet with no-stick spray and then begin plopping globs of the batter on the pan. {I used a large spoon ~2tbs}
    You can get about 8-11 on a large cookie sheet without them running into one another & baking together.
  6. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown {around the edges. if the top is browning, the bottom is likely black}

 

Serving Ingredients {per serving}

  • 1-2 shortcakes
  • 1/4 cool whip
  • strawberry syrup

Serving Directions

  1. I like to either divide a single shortcake or use 2 to make a sandwich
  2. Put the dollop of cool whip inside
  3. Then drizzle with the strawberry syrup.
  4. If you like real strawberries, throw some of those on there, too.
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5 Days of Summer {little style}: Entertainment

This week I get to be apart of the "5 Days of..." series again!

5daysofsummerbanner

I think the number one thing most people think of when they hear "Summer" is OUTSIDE.

Being outside in the warm {or cooking HOT} weather is involved in most "summer" activities: swimming, BBQ, beach vacations, swinging, lake trips, sports, slides, sprinklers, camp-outs, and so much more.

With my littles being 5 {this Saturday, sniff sniff}, 3.5, and 2.5-years old, we can't spend the entire day outside without heat exhaustion, sunburns, and major meltdowns BUT we do spend tons of time outside. Especially since in the past we haven't had a place to play outside but the this year we are staying in a house that has a huge deck AND we will be moving into our new home that has a BACKYARD in the next few weeks!!! Here are some of the things we have been doing outside and a few more we plan to do:

5 Days of Summer- Entertainment

Permanent Outside Toys

Outdoor Toy Box Contents

Toy box {basket/tub}:

  • Chalk
  • Bubbles
    BUBBLES- a summer must
  • Sports Equipment
  • Stilts {homemade- how-to coming soon}
    Stilts
  • Goggles
  • Trampoline {we have a small "exercise" one now but plan to get a larger one when they're a bit older}
  • Riding Toys
    Riding Toys
  • Dog {entertaining all year round}
  • Bug Nets
  • Swing Set {coming soon!}

Occasionally Setup

5 Days of SUMMER- Day 1-- Entertainment

  • Swimming Pool
    Although my kids do love swimming, for my and my littles, there's a lot less stress with a baby pool. Which ends up being used as a "water table" along with their water toys.
  • Water Toys
    Anything that can be used to fill, dump, strain, measure, float, splash, etc, we consider a "water toy".
    water toys storage
  • Corn Box
    We do corn instead of sand to avoid being the neighborhood litter box & for easier kids clean-up. We also keep it in one of those flat "under-bed" plastic lidded tubs for easy access, clean-up, usability, and cleanliness.
    Corn Box
  • Sprinkler
    We have a simple round lawn sprinkler that hooks to a water hose. This is more than entertaining placed on the ground but if you want to switch it up you can make a shower-like contraption using a rack.
    When we move to our new house, my husband is also going to build us a PVC pipe sprinkler that the kids can run under adding creative games like "car wash" to our list of outdoor games.
  • Play in the rain.
    This is something we do in "non-stormy" rain. ie: no thunder/lighting
    Playing in the Rain
  • Paint
    We haven't tried washable paints but that could be fun as well naked or in a manageable place. Right now, using water to "paint" has been just as fun. Add some wet sidewalk-chalk & there's some color
  • Kites
    We don't leave these out all the time...mainly because they're a booger if the kids get the string strung everywhere. But with supervision, its oober fun.
    Fly Kites
  • Parks!!!
    Take advantage of FREE public parks. Try them all in your area.
    Hit up the Public Parks

Now, for those days where it's storming outside or just too stank'n hot to brave the heat, we have plenty of indoors activities as well.

Indoor Fun

  • Dress-up
  • Baking/Cooking
  • Coloring
    Coloring
  • Painting
  • Playdough
  • Crafting
  • "Pillow Pile" Movie Time
    Pillow Pile Movie
  • Fort

For more awesome SUMMER Entertainment, check out my Pinterest board, "The Ones about KID Stuff" where there are tons of other super creative mom's and their ideas!

The rest of the week includes:

Tuesday-- 5 Days of Summer {little style}: Food

Wednesday-- 5 Days of Summer {little style}: Rest

Thursday-- 5 Days of Summer {little style}: Learning

Friday-- 5 Days of Summer: Summary & a GIVEAWAY

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