Chase Fireflies


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Why We Celebrate Halloween (as Christ followers)

Beyond

meeting neighbors
reaching out to the community
visiting old neighbors and friends

dressing up and pretending
eating candy
laughing

using it as a springboard to teach about fear

spending family time
giving to others
celebrating children

favorite childhood memories
leaving our light on and opening our door
not allowing fear to to have a foothold in faith

this is a great article too.  (Christianity Today)


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A DIY Sweet Halloween Candy Wreath

Are you picky about your candy?  We are in this house.  Reese Peanut Butter Cups are diamonds.  Now or Laters, not so much.  The sticky tacky stuff makes me think dentist’s drill.  The hard stuff makes me think choking hazard.  (I have issues?) 

Nevertheless, we eat candy.  I reward with candy.  And I get rid of candy shamelessly.  We had a ton of candy leftover from Selah’s birthday party pinata, so we decided to make it into a wreath.  I have no idea why we put it on a wreath, but it seemed like a fun way to get ready for Halloween. 

If you’re looking for a way to welcome your princesses, goblins, and angry birds, this wreath might just be for you.  Or if you simply need to get rid of the stuff that no one will eat, well then it’s an idea too.  Our kids went crazy over making this.  Crazy.  But quite possibly that was just the sugar high kicking in:)

What kind of candy is gold to you?  Do you enjoy dressing up for Halloween?  Or do you prefer welcoming your neighbors?  I have to say.  I really love both!


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Candy Corn Center: Word Families (Early Literacy)

We’re studying word families in kindergarten, so this activity makes for a great center.   I first saw a similar idea on Pinterest – with candy corn addition, but it can be adapted for nearly anything.

Have your little ones swap the yellow pieces out to make new words.  Once they complete a word family correctly, celebrate with the edible kind of candy corn – the good stuff.  (For classrooms, write the answer key on the back and laminate.) 

All of a sudden, our little preschool man has taken quite the interest in reading.  I am not above bribing with candy! 


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Corn Husk Dolls for Kids (A Laura Ingalls inspired craft)

Selah’s taking a big liking to the Laura Ingalls series.  For us who have much, I love the perspective of the pioneer life. Simplicity, family togetherness, gratefulness, and hard work. 

In Little House in the Big Woods, Laura has one doll – “a corncob wrapped in a handkerchief, but it was a good doll.  It was named Susan.”  Corncob dolls were popular in pioneer days, because they were easy to make and because corncobs were plentiful. 

I was really surprised at how much both of the kids enjoyed making these.  It makes for a great lesson in thankfulness.  Let me know if you give them a try. 

To make a corncob doll:

1.  Remove the husks and silk from the ear of corn and set them aside to dry.
2.  Cut the raw kernels off, scrub with soap and water, and dry.  (Ours took a day in the sun.)
3.  Soak the cornhusk in warm water and dry.  Wrap around the cob and tie. 
4.  Draw a face on the husk, add hair (use corn silk, husk, or yarn) and wrap with a handkerchief.   
      adapted from My Little House Crafts Book, by Carolyn Collins and Christina Eriksson


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Love Small.

Her hands are worn and weathered with the soil. 

If you walk into the little white country church, she sits in the back pew, to the left; sometimes alone or with children; most often with her grandson.  I don’t know where he would be without her. 

One time I sat in her home with our baby, sunken deep into her living room couch.  I asked questions because I needed to learn.  About so many children and an only love buried and how they first made it work to get by.  She told me simple stories of love.  Loving with basketball games, loving with nachos and cheese, loving with pies. 

More recently and most ridiculous, is this story of butternut squash.  For two weeks, I scoured grocery stores for butternut squash, when there was none to be found.  But why would she know that.  Then out of nowhere, she has bags of squash so heavy that the bags are breaking.  She gives them to my in-laws who give them to me.  And I can’t keep from laughing at God’s goodness. 

When you plant seeds deep within the soil, you have no idea what will become of them.  You work hard with your hands and no one sees.  You don’t work for approval.  You have no idea what will become of these plants.   You cannot see the end from the beginning.  You work anyway.  You love anyway. 

Maybe extravagant love is just this.  It’s the ordinary kind, worn and weathered.  My Lord dried feet with a towel.  My Lord taught others using seeds and a lamp and salt.  My Lord told stories.  My Lord cried.  My Lord sat with children and ate bread with friends. 

Maybe it’s not that we love much, it’s that we love small.  Love in the ordinary.  Love in the nondescript.  And maybe then the Gardener will take what is meager and multiply it till bags are breaking.

For those whom we love and for recipients unknown. 

With Love (the small kind),
Kristin


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Easy Pumpkin Pancakes: Kids in the Kitchen


I am enamored with pumpkin at this time of year.  I cannot get enough of it.  Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin gobs, pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup, pumpkin tortellini.  You get the idea.  The good thing is, our kids are fanatical about pumpkin themselves. 

When I mentioned the idea of pumpkin pancakes, there were grand jetes and mad fist pumps and body slams into the comfy couch.  These were super easy for kids to make and they tasted amazing with cinnamon sugar and syrup.  Even better was that they got a veggie serving in for breakfast.  I love that! 

Easy Pumpkin Pancakes for Kids

1 cup milk
2 eggs
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
2 cups Bisquick
vegetable oil spray

1.  Spray a non-stick skillet with oil.  Heat over medium heat.
2.  Pour batter into the pan.
3.  When the pancakes have puffed up, flip over and cook another minute. 
4.  Remove to a serving tray and cool slightly. 
5.  Press a pumpkin cookie cutter into the pancake. 

Recipe adapted from Highlights High Five October 2011 Issue

What is your favorite pumpkin recipe? 


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Candy Corn Shake (A Healthy Version): Kids in the Kitchen

We’ve been eating through the alphabet round these parts.  So far, we’ve tried Amazing Autumn Acorn snacks and Brownie (Waffle) Bites.  For the Letter C, I’ve been wanting to make something with Candy Corn.  When I saw this recipe, it looked too cute to not whip up. 

However, with donut holes and brownies on our plates from previous weeks, I wanted something a little healthier.  The kids and I brainstormed this recipe from what we had on hand.  And, IT WAS SOOOOO WORTH IT!  We slurped up these fruit drinks in no time!  (And I didn’t feel guilty for serving my kids complete junk!)

Candy Corn Shake

Ingredients: 
can of mandarin oranges
can of mixed fruit
bananas
whipped topping
ice
vanilla frozen yogurt
decorative sprinkles and candy corn
optional yellow and orange food coloring

Recipe:
1.  Drain both cans of fruit.
2.  Mix each one separately with ice in the blender.  (Add a drop of food coloring to reach desired color if needed.) 
3.  Mix bananas with vanilla frozen yogurt
4.  Chill each layer separately in freezer for 15 minutes. 
5.  Pour in a third of each mixture in a tall clear glass to create the layered look (oranges first, mixed fruit second, banana last.)
6.  Garnish with whipped topping and sprinkles.
7.  Add a straw and enjoy!