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Ice, Ice Baby (aka “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?”)-Free Printable

21 Feb

Vanilla IceYou are a child of the 80s if you know who this gentleman is. Oh, come on! You know you remember! He is famous for ONE song that has been my anthem this week.

“Ice, Ice, Baby. Alright stop, collaborate and listen…”

And…I could go MUCH further into the song lyrics, but I don’t want to embarrass myself  and give you any inkling of how much of the song I actually remember! Ha!

So, this week in good ol’ Music City USA we have enjoyed a week of being snow and ice. Therefore, the words of Ice, Ice Baby have been continually on my lips, and these poetic 80s words pretty much summarize the weather that we have enjoyed for the past week. (And…as a side note, my hat goes off to those of you who live in the Northern regions of the United States. Snow on the ground, all winter-this is your reality. Wow, just wow! You are my heroes, beloved.)

Because my children have NO IDEA who Vanilla Ice is AND because my singing invokes eye-rolling and “M-O-M!” I decided to identify with this younger generation and bust out a song that they can recognize and sing along with. Fast forward to 2015 and a winter-themed chorus that is known and loved by children everywhere, “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” (I am secretly laughing on the inside because can’t you just picture 25 years from now? This generation will have children of their own and their posterity will “eye roll” and gasp in horror when Frozen songs are jubilantly sung by their parents. What goes around comes around, right? But, I digress…) This musical masterpiece, thank you, Disney, has been more palatable for them when compared to Vanilla Ice, and I can’t imagine why! 🙂

So, if you’ve been frozen in all week and looking for a way to build a snowman without venturing out in the snow, or, if you need another winter-themed song to get “Ice, Ice Baby” out of your head, THIS, my friend is your lucky day!

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I drew this Olaf picture for use in my Classical Conversations class during Review Game time. (See below for how I used this in my CC class.) I scanned the drawing, and you can download it here to print and use at your casa. Your Frozen fanatics will have fun with this one, I hope! AND, it’s a great way to build a snowman while staying WARM! Download here: Olaf Printable. Here’s the final product!

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For those of you who are in Classical Conversations and are curious about how I used this as a Review Game, here’s what I did. 🙂 I printed and laminated two copies of Olaf. I divided my class into two teams, and each team was charged with building a snowman! For each question answered correctly, they got to add another snowman piece to their team’s Olaf. The kiddos seemed to really enjoy it!

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The Word Became Flesh: Lenten Advent Calendar

14 Feb

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I have written again and again and again about our wonderful Christmas Advent Calendars. Those advent calendars have become such a significant component of Christmas for our family. I longed for this same Scripture-rich, God-honoring, daily-reading family activity… for Easter.

Thankfully, 3 years ago, my dear friend, who first introduced me to the Advent Jesse Tree, wrote a book, The Word Became Flesh, which is a devotion used as an Easter Advent calendar during the 40 days or Lent. In addition to the daily devotions designed to use with your family, Faye, a gifted artist, has included hand drawn sketches that can be photocopied and used as “ornaments” much like the Advent Jesse Tree. We participated in an ornament swap and hang our ornaments on a grapevine wreath. This is a peek at what ours looks like.

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To read more about how The Word Became Flesh works and has impacted our family, read these two previous posts here and here. When I first wrote about The Word Became Flesh two years ago, Faye’s book had not been published and was, therefore, only available to purchase from Faye. Last year, Faye was able to get her book published (wahoo!!!), so you can now buy it from Amazon and have it arrive just in time to start next week on Ash Wednesday, February 18.

I can’t wait to hear how this book blesses your family and leads you to focus on Christ this Easter!

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy here.

Valentine’s Day Tradition & FREE Printable

31 Jan

I LOVE Valentine’s Day! My birthday is a few days afterwards, so I have many fabulous memories around this time of year. As I became a mom, I wanted Valentine’s Day to be a special time to show my sons how much they are loved. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be ooey-gooey-sappy love between boys and girls. It can also be a wonderful time to demonstrate love within our families!

These are two posts from the archives as we gear up for the LOVE month!

IMG_7791We have a Valentine’s Day Tradition–Valentine’s Day Stockings. I enjoy filling them with various things that remind me of my sons and husband. This year the boys will be getting some Usborne books that they’ve been eyeing (this, this, and this). Read the original post for instructions on how to make these. Seriously, I am NO seamstress, so if I can make them, anyone can!

I Corintians 13.4 to 7

I created this printable of from I Corinthians 13 for my Pre-K Sunday School class at church. They memorize verses 4-7, so I made this craft, which can be transformed into a mobile or garland for your mantle. I love having the TRUTH about love displayed during this month of LOVE! See the original post for the FREE download.

I LOVE my readers, so thanks for your kind and encouraging words! Thanks SO MUCH for  reading!

Friday Favorites: Christmas Cards=Prayer Cards

28 Nov

FRIDAY Favorites

I am excited to have a dear friend and mentor, Dr. Kimberly Thornbury, with a Guest Post today. I had the splendid pleasure of working with Kimberly while we were both at Union University. It was then that she introduced me, a newlywed at the time, to her family’s House of Prayer. At the time, I longed for the day that I could start this tradition with children of my own. If you are wondering what to do with the charming Christmas cards forthcoming in your mailbox once December 26 arrives, enjoy Kimberly’s tradition and incorporate it into your home during 2015.

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When my two daughters were very young, I wanted to teach them about the importance of prayer, and also help them understand more about family and friends they had not yet met. In 2004, shortly after Christmas, I took an old green Pampers wipes plastic bin, covered it with construction paper, and filled it with Christmas cards our family had received that holiday season. I stapled a 3 x 5 index card to each of the Christmas cards, and wrote down specific prayer requests related to that particular family or individual.

During meal times, our two daughters were very interested in the new ritual of pulling out a colored photo. We would pass around the photo and pray specifically for the person or family on the card. Often times, we would write updates on the back of the card. Although we didn’t pray for these people daily, we would pray for them regularly and most certainly consistently. Our prayers became less monotonous, more creative and more intentional.

Sometimes if we didn’t have a card on someone, the girls would take time to find a picture of someone in a magazine (for example the president of the United States) and create a card. Tragic situations, would often result in the girls writing words like “Haiti” on 3 x 5 card.

That little Pampers box looked like a tiny house, and it was also a symbol for the Thornbury family being characterized as a “house of prayer.” Over the years we have moved to a small cardboard “Amazon” box, but I am sure more “pinterest” moms would make something super cute out of wood.

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I have worked with college students for over 20 years. As I mentor college students throughout their tenure at the University, often times I will pray over the students I am mentoring through my house of prayer card system. You can imagine their delight, when I copy the back of the card a few weeks before their wedding day, reminding them of God’s answered promises to them. Biology tests were passed, boyfriends who were not God’s best for them faded away, they reached their goal of graduation, and will soon be married to their beloved.

Also, when someone is going through a particularly hard time (like a friend whose son was recently diagnosed with leukemia), we will find their card in the stack, update it, and pray for them right there on the spot.

When we have guests come over, the house of prayer is a way for us to explain the Gospel to others, and our belief in intercessory prayer.

I’m a fallen mom, and so thankful for God’s grace in my life. I am far from perfect, but this God-given idea has really worked for our little family, and been a tool to draw us closer to Him.

Dr. Kimberly Thornbury is the Vice President for Institutional Research and Strategic Planning at The King’s College in New York City. She can be reached at kthornbury@tkc.edu or on Twitter @kthornbury

Happy Thanksgiving: Enjoy this 11-Minute Film About Squanto

26 Nov

Squanto Film

This is an 11-minute historical piece for Thanksgiving on Squanto, based on the Eric Metaxas book, Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving (this is our family’s favorite Thanksgiving book, hands down!)

One of the Dads from our Classical Conversations community helped make this video and cameos in the film. 🙂 It was filmed about 15 minutes from our home at Historic Mansker’s Station, which you should TOTALLY visit if you’re ever in my neck of the woods and another local community near us.

Who alone could orchestrate such circumstances in Squanto’s life? Only God Himself could have beautifully pieced together these exact events in the life of Squanto so that he could, at the time God appointed, return to his home and help save the lives of the Pilgrims. Only God Himself could have turned the dark events of Squanto’s life into a beautiful story of redemption.

Please enjoy with your children, especially if they’ve read the book! Happy Thanksgiving!

What We’re Reading Wednesday: Squanto & The Miracle of Thanksgiving

12 Nov

What We're Reading WEDNESDAYS

Here’s a repost from the archives. Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving is our favorite Thanksgiving book because of how it has led our family to celebrate the greatness of God. Read more here.

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Also, this previous post features other Thanksgiving reads that our family has enjoyed. Of particular note is Thank You, Sarah, which was a new one that we read last year. It is a delightful read about the woman who petitioned for Thanksgiving to be a national holiday. 🙂

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy here.

 

Friday Favorites: Handprint “Thankful Tree”

24 Oct

FRIDAY Favorites

When I observe my calendar inching ever so close to November, I know that one of our family’s favorite traditions is right around the corner! Each November our family erects a tree in our kitchen. It’s not just any tree; it’s a tree filled with handprints from all 5 family members. During the month of November, we daily each add a handprint to our tree, and on each handprint is written something for which we are thankful.

Handprint Thanksgiving Tree

This short moment during breakfast or dinner seems microscopic when compared to the remaining 23 hours and 50 minutes in the day’s remainder. However, by intentionally pausing, even for only a few minutes, to reflect on God’s gracious, abundant, never ending blessings in our lives is refreshing, humbling, beautiful. I pray, too, that is memorable for my children. I pray that they will clearly see that “every good and perfect gift IS from above…” (James 1:17), that Mommy and Daddy, aka “the grown ups”, also, need the discipline of regularly, consistently coming before God to thank Him for all that He does for us.

No matter how you decide to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, find creative ways the entire month of November to cultivate thankfulness within your family. Hearing your children and family members articulate reasons of thankfulness is truly something for which you will be thankful this year and the years to come.

For details on how to create your own Handprint Thankful Tree, read this previous post.

 

 

Seeds Family Worship–All CDs $9.97!!!

13 Aug


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ALL Seeds Family Worship cds are currently on sale for $9.97!! We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Seeds! Read this previous post for an exorbitant amount of reasons WHY we adore our Seeds Family Worship cds!  Or, do not stop go, do not collect $200 and go shop ’til you drop right now!

If you are new to Seeds Family Worship, know that by ordering ONE cd, you get TWO copies of that cd! This is their “buy and share” vision! (Isn’t that marvelous!?!?!?!) So, get some birthday present or Christmas shopping done! Or, call your BFF and order a gaggle of these cds together to split shipping costs. (Because who really ADORES paying for shipping?!?!? Splitting shipping costs is what BFFs are for, ya know?!?!?)

So, enough reading, go shopping! I can’t wait for you to get God’s Word stuck in the heads and hearts of your children (and your own!) via Seeds Family Worship’s brilliant musical masterpieces!

Also, if you’re in the Nashville area like me, there is a LIVE Seeds Family Worship/What’s In the Bible? event September 5th. There are other locations this fall as well. Go here for more information and to purchase tickets.

A Letter To My Parents on Their 43rd Anniversary

11 Jun

Frost Family

My brothers and I with my parents (May 2014).

My parents are celebrating their 43rd Anniversary today. I am forever indebted to them for their love, discipline, encouragement, support, selflessness, and faithfulness to not hide the things of God from me (Psalm 78:1-8). This is the second year in a row on their anniversary that they have kept our sons for my husband and me due to commitments that we’ve had. (Thanks, guys!!!) Again, they are selfless and love us well. Six years ago, my husband and I had almost 3 year old and almost 1 year old sons, and I believe that only after becoming a parent myself did I truly begin to appreciate what a gift God gave me in my Mother and Father. I wrote them a letter that day on the occasion of their 37th Anniversary, and six years later, the words still ring true. I love you, Mom and Dad! Thank you for demonstrating God’s love and grace to me as a child and continuing to do so as an adult. I pray that these same words can be written by our sons to my husband and me when we’ve been married 43 years; it will only be by God’s grace, if so! To those of you who are moms or dads, aunts or uncles, or godparents reading this post, never underestimate the impact that you can have on the life of a child! Praying that each of us will be faithful to the words of Psalm 78:1-8 …that the next generation might know the ways of God. Mimi & Pop and Mosley boys

My parents with my 3 sons. Thankful for their investment, now, in my own children!

Happy 37th Anniversary! What a wonderful blessing, as a child, to know that my parents still love each other and have kept their marriage vows. Now that I have children and know the stresses and bumps in the road that come along with life, I have even more respect for what you both did for Phillip, Carl, and me as you raised us. Thank you for investing in & being steadfast in your marriage and honoring your vows during your childbearing/childrearing years. I see the temptation of investing too much in your children and sacrificing your marriage, and I know of the physical and emotional energy required to nurture and to strengthen a marriage with young children underfoot. The easy road would have been to not go the extra mile in your marriage and to be selfish and lazy with the minimal excess energy you had during those years. However, you were not and did not and for that I am grateful. As Jamie and I, too, have made the decision for me to stay home with our boys, I recognize the sacrifices that you made, Mom, to give us what we needed most–love, nurturing, and instruction from our Mother. I know what it’s like to be with small children all day and extended family hours away. I know, Dad, the pressures placed on you as the sole financial provider. I am grateful that you both valued us–not material possessions–and were willing to sacrifice the financial gain that accompanies a double-income household. As an adult, I now understand the ‘shoestring budget’ that the five us lived–and thrived–on! I never knew that we were living on a ‘shoestring budget.’ I never felt that I missed out on anything; we were rich in my eyes. You were creative with what we had, and it is amazing to relive memories of family vacations and youth camps and to know that those memories were a gift from you. You both did without certain things in order for those memories to be made. We, as children, did without things that you would have liked to have given us, but I can’t even begin to think of what we had to “do without.” I have no memories of every lacking anything! With all of the external pressures of life weighing down on our family, I never felt the pressure, stress, uncertainty that was possibly there. This is where the greatest gift you gave me was evidenced. The faith that you both have in Christ obviously carried you through those days. That same faith was passed on to us. You instructed us in the ways of God and His Word. You loved and valued His bride, the church, by your actions. You cultivated that in me. You did not teach us to fret and to worry about life. For if you had done so, I would remember that. Instead, you taught us to love the Church and to trust Him as our Sustainer and Provider. That was evident because that’s what I remember. Oh, and did He provide! What a wonderful blessing to be able to look back on His gracious provision to our family! These same things that you valued–God, our family–are what we long to pass on to our boys. We feel the weight of the task before us. However, it is a gift of God’s grace that we have such a wonderful example from you both to reflect on and to learn from. We are thankful that even as Grandparents you are investing in our boys the same way that you invested in Phillip, Carl, and me. Proverbs 1:8-9 says, “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.” As parents, you gave me a graceful garland for my head and a beautiful pendant for my neck through your instruction and teaching. Both of which were both rooted in the wisdom of God’s Word. I wear them today as a testimony and fruit of your labor. This is what I celebrate today on your anniversary.

Your VERY grateful daughter,
Suzanne June 11, 2008 (and 2014!)

Seeds Family Worship–15% OFF COUPON (ends 5/16)

15 May

Seeds of Character
We LOVE Seeds Family Worship cds! (You can read here to find out more about what Seeds Family Worship cds are and HOW MUCH we love them!) If you’ve been wanting to order some of these fabulous cds, you can save 15% when you use the coupon code: SPRING.

Also, Seeds CDs come with 2 cds when you buy 1 cd. They want you to keep one copy for yourself and give one away! Don’t you just love that?!?!? So, keep that in mind when you order. These cds, therefore, make GREAT gifts! Just a note that the code doesn’t work on the “Give ‘Em Seven” bundle.  The Seeds of Character cd shown above has a GREAT song that teaches all of the New Testament books of the Bible. I’m hoping, hoping, hoping, they’ll come out with one for the Old Testament books.

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy here.