Chase Fireflies


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Hodge Podge Love

Lest there be any question!  Let’s go Pats!

One of the BEST articles I’ve ever read.   The Ancient Solution for Future Generations

 Teaching Adden this, especially:  Choose Your Heroes Carefully 

Try this queso blanc dip (so goooood!), among other delish stuff:  Superbowl Ideas

And the laundry waited, happily:  What’s Happened to Play

Great for a long car ride:  Books Should Be Free


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The Storybook Bible for Kids

There has been a lot of buzz about this children’s Bible.  And it is all credible. 

We love this telling of the story of God!  Selah cannot get enough of this Bible, which is awesome.  We will read multiple chapters at a time and she will beg to read more. 

Tonight the Storybook Bible won out over Barbie Mermaid Adventure – now that is saying something!  It makes me smile:)  The kids have both asked so many questions.  This book has prompted them. 

It is age-appropriate and beautifully narrated.  Every chapter points to our need for a Redeemer.  It explains tough concepts and allows children to think.  I would highly recommend this Bible for family devotions, for Christian school teachers or Sunday School teachers, for grandparents, etc. 

As a mom, I couldn’t love it more!


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Enjoying Life After Christmas and Castle Weekend (Prayer Request)

This week has been lovely….

Not often getting out of my pajamas
Swimming with the kids
Time spent with Paul
Reading

Back to running
Laughing over new games
Rearranging our home
Sleeping in

Tomorrow we head away for our annual Castle Retreat. Paul’s been busy planning forever to have teenagers and college students and beyond descend upon a castle for a weekend away.

Would love if you would take a minute to pray for the following:

Students hearts to be receptive and open to God’s leading.
Relationships to be built and centered around Christ.
All of the details to come together.
A safe weekend for everyone.
That God would be honored in our speaker, worship, games, hanging out, prayer room, room assignments, late night talks, meals together, movies, everything. 

I am really anxious to see what God will do.  Happy New Year’s Friends!  Thanks for praying!

Anything I can be in prayer for?  Email me.  Thanks!


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The Cards in the Tree (A Christmas Gift Idea)

Every Christmas morning, there are two envelopes hidden somewhere in our tree.  One for Paul and one for me.  But neither are really for us, which is the cool part. 

They are gifts given somewhere around the world, on behalf of the other. 

The hurt is there.  The hunger is there.  The injustice is there. 

But greater is He in us than he who is in the world.

The opportunity is 0urs.  To heal, to feed, to love in His name.  Because He first loved us. 

Maybe the person receiving the envelope is an educator.  Give books on their behalf.  If a pastor, give a Bible.  If a counselor, give aftercare counseling.  If a cook, give food.  Extend their heart and passion around the world. 

So here are some ideas, ya’ll.  Give and love much. 

Gifts of Freedom:  IJM Holiday Gift Catalog

Equip Churches to Seek Justice $25
Urgent Aftercare Package for a Trafficking Survivor  $40
Legal Representation $65 
Bicycle for a Former Slave $72
Transform a Life with a Scholarship $330

Gifts of Compassion:  Compassion International Gift Catalog

Soccer Ball for $13
Art Supplies for $20
Clean Water $25
5 Ducks for $30
Dental Care $38

These two organizations are just ones we have worked with in the past.  I love them and wholeheartedly believe in their work.  But there are countless like them.  If you know of other worthy organizations, I would love to hear of them here.  Thanks!


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Barnabas Bear (An Idea for Classrooms or Families)

Meet Barnabas.  A rather humble little bear with a propensity for travel.

Barnabas was the creation of a first grade class I had 13 years ago.  He was our mascot and travelled everywhere with us, my students, their families, etc.  He carries a backpack that documents his adventures in a journal and with photographs.  Back in the day, we created  a bulletin board in his honor, charting his travels across the states or world. 

Since the kids and I are homeschooling this year, we have dug poor dusty Barnabas out of the basement.  (I love Barnabas for social studies especially and he wasn’t learning too much in his confinement!)  So now he is back at it again, pen in hand, ready to document his adventures. 

In fact, I caught him eating clam cakes last night and double fisting it with a Dunkin D’s in one hand and a Del’s lemonade in the other.   Hmmmm…. where on earth could he be? 

Read more up on how Barnabas can be used for Family Ministry here.


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Red Letter Words (Canvas Art: A Christmas Gift Idea)

Last year, I happened upon Red Letter Words: Faith Inspired Art. 

As soon as I saw her site, I loved her work.  I especially loved the word of God – like this canvas art and this greeting card set for youth group girls.  But then I wondered if she could design a custom print for me – one of all of the places God has allowed us to serve since Paul and I got married.

So I contacted her, placed an order, and she was sooooo sweet about creating this canvas.  The cool thing was – she was just as excited about this idea as I was!  She was great to work with, personable, and a complete blessing.  

This was the only Christmas present that I almost could not wait to give Paul.  It hangs in our home so that we see it every time we head out the door.  It’s a reminder of how God has been faithful through ordinary us (even though we are I am terribly inept at times!)  It also helps us to remember the missionaries still serving at each location.

Now I need another good idea for him.  Anyone?  What have been some of your favorite Christmas gift ideas?


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15 Ways to Raise Children Sensitive to the Needs of Others

 

The little boy bows his head and prays.  Every time, he remembers her name.  And hers.  And his.  And if I am negligent, he remembers.  Their hurts are his.  Carried on the shoulders of a four year old. 

I have much to learn from him. 

So how do you grow that sensitivity from four to fourteen to forty?  How does it mature and how do you balance it with strength? 

These are some questions that I’ve been asking myself. 
I don’t know the answers yet, but this is what we’re learning so far: 

15 Ways to Raise Children Sensitive to the Needs of Others 

1.  Model sensitivity yourself.  Look for needs in the grocery store, next door, and within your own family.  Respond.
2.  Be intentional.  Beyond ballet and basketball, look for ways to get children involved in serving at a young age. 
3.  Do not give into fear.  Look to God for faith.
4.  Visit those who are sick or elderly.  Sit with them and talk.  Sing songs.  Listen a lot and learn.  Laugh together.
5.  Host an Open House for someone in recovery.  Invite friends and family to encourage. 
6.  Bring Joy.  Make silly cards to make someone smile.  Take funny photographs.  Be ridiculous.
7.  Pray. 
8.  Learn God’s Word together.
  Refer to it often.
9.  Go!   Take your children on a missions trip. 
10.  Do not shelter them.  Allow them to see needs.  Talk about what you’ve seen. 
11.  Sponsor a child from Compassion.
12.  Give.  Go on a shopping spree for Operation Christmas Child, a food bank, a friend.  Give anonymously. 
13.  Allow them to experience diverse settings. 
14.  Encourage thankfulness. 
15.  Cook together. 
Make your favorite recipe for someone who could use a night off from cooking – a single mom, a new mom, a widow, a college student, etc. 

Now it’s your turn.  What do you do in your family to grow senstivity?  I would love any suggestions or personal stories that you may have.  Thanks so much!  We are a work, very much in progress. 


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Fun Family Devotions for Kids

Hey guys!

I’ve been on a family devotions kick lately over at the children’s ministry website

We’ve been diggin our feet in the sand, picking blueberries at the farm, and making zoo animal cupcakes.  We’re baking bread, making rainbows of fruit, and tasting the difference that salt makes.  We’re also making lemonade “to make a stand for clean water.”

Check out some of the latest articles if you get a chance:)  Thanks!   

5 On- the – Go Family Devotions for Summertime

Cooking Up Family Devotions with your Kids

and

Family Service Project:  The Lemonade Stand

Enjoy:)


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Zoo-ing it Up

Last week we zoo-ed it up with a few of our favorite girls.  I tell ya… these 5 are fantastic.

girls

See how proud my little one is?  She thinks the world of them.  Me also.

with adden

For this pic, the little man popped in.  See him on the right?  Keeping his distance from all the ladies with the hormones and the schemes:)

polar bear

We caught a glimpse of fantastic polar bear dives.

posing

And super-cute polar bear fans.

amy & selah

And I just want to say…
I’m crazy thankful for each of the girls and guys in our lives…
Who put up with us and love on our kids.