Get Growing: Earth Day

Get Growong- Earth DayHappy Earth Day!

Let’s celebrate creation by lifting our eyes to the Creator with words from the Bible. Print out this post or dig into the Bible for verses to share with your family today.

Use these ideas to extend the learning for your children.

• Show you kids how to use the concordance in the Bible to find other verses describing this beautiful planet God created.
• Cut out the verses from the PDF. Glue on construction paper. Encourage your children to illustrate.
• Take a walk today with your children. Notice all of nature (birds chirping, waves lapping, sun shining, etc.) Record your findings in a journal or notebook.

Many blessings,
xo Becky

In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Psalm 95:4-5
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But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:7-10
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How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number– living things both large and small. Psalm 104:24-25
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Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy…                    Psalm 96:11-12
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For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1:20

For in him all things were created:
things in heaven and on earth,
visible and invisible,
whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;
all things have been created through him and for him.
Colossians 1:16

How will you celebrate Earth Day with your family?

Credit for all photos in this post: 1C13P

Get Growing: Nature Field Trips for Families

Nature Field Trips for FamiliesGetting outside after a long winter is balm for the soul. Little kids, big kids, and grownup alike are looking forward to time in the sun, to run, play, and enjoy being outside unencumbered by snow gear.

When they were little, my boys would choose outside activities over indoor any day of the week. Things don’t change too much. Both boys still love to be outdoors. There’s just so much to do!

Enjoy springtime with your children with these family field trips.Here are a few ideas to get you started. I’ve added links to my favorites in the Twin Cities. 

• Landscape Arboretum
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

• Nature Center
Woodlake Nature Center

• Zoo
 Minnesota Zoo (Catch the Farm Babies exhibit April 1-30!)

• Farm
 Gale Woods Farm

• Conservatory
Como Park Conservatory

• Farmers market
 Minneapolis Farmers Market (Opens April 25th.)

• Local nursery

• Neighborhood park

Plan a destination. Explore creation. Encourage imagination. Most of all, thank God for this beautiful place and the wonders of spring!

For what can be known about God is plain to them,
because God has shown it to them.
For his invisible attributes,
namely, his eternal power and divine nature,
have been clearly perceived,
ever since the creation of the world,
in the things that have been made.
So they are without excuse.
Romans 1:19-20 ESV

Pass on the NEWS to your friends in the Denver area!
HeartCORe Parenting Conference
May 9, 2015

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Get Growing: A Science Experiment for Kids

Get GrowingThe snow finally melted. The grass is beginning to turn green. The onions, chives, and strawberry plants in my kitchen are popping up out of the leaves and soil. Springtime is here! It seems like it always takes a little longer in Minnesota to get things growing!

This month we are going to focus on outdoor fun in the garden, family field trips, plants, and recipes for children. Art, science, reading, and more are all part of Get Growing!

Now is the time to plan a garden with your kids. Spending time outside, digging in the dirt, planting, and harvesting are fun, especially with children. Get books on gardening at the library. Visit the local greenhouse to observe seedlings. Check out the many varieties of seeds available to plant. There are lots of ways to garden with children; a community plot, a sectioned off area in the yard, a raised bed or a single pot all qualify.

We are going to start at the beginning with a Germination Station. This is an interesting science activity for for children to observe seed germination and growth.

Materials
bean seeds
ZipLoc bag
absorbent paper towels
tape
south-facing window
magnifying glass
paper
crayons/markers
pencils

Instructions
Soak bean seeds in water overnight to soften. Fold paper toweling to fit snuggly in the ZipLoc bag. Moisten with water. Arrange seeds in bag on paper towel. Seal the ZipLoc bag carefully, pressing air from bag. The beans will stay in place if air is removed. Hang in window with tape, beans toward sunlight. Additional watering is not necessary as the water is trapped in the bag. Children can observe condensation forming in the bags, similar to rain clouds in the atmosphere.

Check the beans progress each day with your children. Make a chart with the days of the week to keep track of the germinating beans. How long did it take the beans to sprout? What color are the sprouts? Allow your children to examine the germinating seeds with a magnifying glass. Use the following questions to get the discussion going.

What do you think will happen to the seeds? Why?
What do the seeds need to grow?
What color are the roots?
Which direction do the roots go?
Which direction does the sprout go?

Encourage your children to hang the bag in a window, turning 90 degrees each week and record the results. Discuss what might happen. (Roots will always turn down, the sprout and leaves will go up. This will happen even if the children continue to turn the bags!)

Plant the seedlings in small plastic cups and then in the garden when the weather is warmer, after May 15.

Then God said,
“I give you every seed-bearing plant
on the face of the whole earth
and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.
They will be yours for food.”

Genesis 1:29

Do you live in Denver or have family or friends in the Denver area?
Take part in the HeartCORe Parenting Conference on May 9!
Register HERE!

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Springtime Sweets

Springtime Sweets If you’re looking for a fun activity for the children, both big kids and little kids, here are two recipes for sweet treats that are sure to please. The mess is minimal, good for Mom. The projects are fun, good for the kids.

The end products can be used in a variety of ways for Easter. Place a cookie pop alongside each place setting at the dinner table. Serve the bird nests on a bed of green coconut  as a dessert. Both make darling hostess gifts too.

My sweet little nieces and I made the cookie pops and bird nests last week. We had a really fun time. I hope you and your children have a good time together in the kitchen too!

Springtime Sweets 2Pastel Cookie Pops

Double Stuff Oreo Cookies®
white chocolate
cake pop sticks
parchment paper
pastel-colored M&Ms®
cello bags
ribbon

Place stick in cookie frosting securely.

Melt chocolate in microwave safe bowl.

Dip the cookies into the chocolate.

Set the cookies on a parchment-covered tray.

Decorate the cookie pops with the M&Ms®.

Allow the chocolate to harden. Wrap in cello bags and secure with ribbon.

Springtime Sweets 4

Springtime Sweets 3Springtime Bird Nests

2 C chocolate chips
½ C peanut butter
1 pkg. chow mein noodles
¾ C roasted peanuts
parchment paper
pastel malted milk balls

Melt chocolate chips in microwave safe bowl. Add peanut butter. Microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Stir well. Add peanuts and noodles. Using a large spoon, scoop the chocolate mixture onto parchment covered trays. Set a malted milk ball in the center of the chocolate. Allow to cool before packaging on paper plates.
NOTE: Shake shredded coconut in a baggie with a few drops of green food coloring to make a base of “grass” for the bird nests on a serving tray.

1C13P Series 1

Wrap Holy Week in Faith

Wrap Holy Week in Faith 2Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, March 29. How will this Easter be more faith-filled for you and your family? According to a Barna Study, two out of three Americans recognize Easter as a religious holiday, and less than half, 42 percent, connect Easter with the resurrection of Christ.

Holy Week provides time to walk children through the death and resurrection of Christ. Use the Word of God to lay the framework for the week. Read Luke 19:28-38 before attending the Palm Sunday service. On Good Friday, read Mark 14:22-26 to prepare for Communion. John, chapters 18-20:18, tell of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Make a point this year of making Easter all about the Savior by using the Bible as a teaching tool.

The 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team has a Passion Week activity booklet for families to wrap faith into the week. Download this free resource, No Greater Gift: A Family Guide for Celebrating Passion Week and the Resurrection. Focus on Easter as a true holy-day rather than just a another holiday. 

Easter from 1C13P Final

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Romans 10:13 & Acts 2:21

Pompeii Pizzeria

Pompeii Pizzeria

Scott, the boys, and I love to try new restaurants, especially local establishments. When we travel, we choose small town diners over fast food and chain restaurants to get a feel for the local flavor. Typically I order the special of the day. The thought process is that the chef probably has concocted something new and delicious with in- season fruits and vegetables or a special cut of meat. Ninety-nine percent of the time the entrees have been winners. (I would not recommend cuttlefish prepared in it’s own ink. Trust me on this one!)

This brings me to a new favorite pizzeria. A local magazine had an intriguing article listing their picks for the top 12 pizzas parlors. Scott and I decided to try out Pompeii Pizzeria with one of our two boys. The restaurant is located in a historic building in downtown Elk River, Minnesota.

IMG_2700Pompeii Pizzeria is casual, good for families with kids. Just order at the counter and find a table. The glass window separating customers from the chef makes for good entertainment for the kids.

We ordered a Pompeii Salad, the Roman Pizza and a Napoli Pizza. The salad had a balsamic vinegarette and was loaded with pistachios, Parmesan cheese, and prosciutto. Delicious! The pizzas are prepared in a wood fire oven from homemade dough with fresh mozzarella, made daily. All three of us vowed to go back! With the standbys on the menu, Pompeii Pizzeria also offers seasonal topping combinations.

Pompeii Pizzeria at 315 Jackson Street in Elk River a definite winner from Faith First Foodie!

Dining out is a GREAT way for kids to practice their manners! For more on children and manners, click HERE.

Faith First Foodie

 

 

Five Tips for Helping Kids Mind Their Manners

Five Tips for Helping Kids Mind Their MannersManners start at home. Restaurants give children a place to practice their polite table manners. Before leaving home for a meal out, give your children a quick run-down on the expectations you have for dinner. Consider the type of dining you’re doing. Dinner at at sit down establishment will be different than a fast food meal. Either way, manners matter.

Actions are powerful, so both good manners and poor manners stand out, and good manners win. Really, would you rather hang out with a friend who is polite or rude? Society may focus on the crass and unruly, but respect and polite behavior will always be in style

Teaching manners goes far beyond please and thank you. And it is not one of those lessons a parent can just check off the “To Do List” like shoe tying instructions. If might take a long time to master the skill but once the shoes can be tied, the kid is on his way. Manner lessons go on, and on, and on. Even with teenagers, it’s a continual time of coaching.

Five Tips for Helping Kids Mind Their Manners

1. Give directions in the positive. For example, “Please take your elbows off the table.” rather than “Don’t put your elbows on the table.”
2. Praise success. A little positive reinforcement can go a long way in strengthening a child’s desire to do well.
3. Verbalize your expectations. “We are having dinner at Grandma’s house tonight. I expect you to sit and the table, eat with a fork and use a quiet voice.” Children generally desire to live up to Mom and Dad’s expectations.
4. With younger children, focus on one manner at a time. Concentrate on table manners then move to phone manners. Be tolerant of lapses, but don’t overlook them. Use slip ups as teachable moments.
5. Make it fun! When my boys were little, I would pretend to be the rude friend that came for lunch and broke every rule in the book; elbows on the table, speaking with my mouth full, napkin left on the table, reaching across others for food. The boys would laugh themselves silly. Then we’d talk about what a polite guest looks like as compared to the rude friend.

Make polite manners part of what your family does everyday. 

The next two weeks Faith First Foodie will be highlighting two fun restaurants for families. What’s your favorite place to eat out with the kids?

Faith First Foodie

Somebody Needs to Hear…Tricia Goyer

Friends,
Tricia Goyer, a woman with a heart of gold, is guest posting today at Faith First Parent with her new book, Teen Mom: You’re Stronger Than You Think. Tricia is a wife, mom of five, grandmother of two, and the author of more than 50 books. She mentors young moms and serves “ordinary women by encouraging them to do extraordinary things with God’s help.”

I’ve participated in book launches with Tricia in the past including Lead Your Family Like Jesus (Ken Blanchard, Tricia Goyer, Phil Hodges), Balanced, and Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions (Jon Avery Whitaker, Crystal Bowman, Tricia Goyer). Lori and I were honored to have her write the foreword for Raising Little Kids with Big Love.
Be blessed by Tricia’s words and insight,
xo Becky

Somebody Needs to Hear...Tricia GoyerSomebody Needs to Hear 

Last night I sat in a small support group of teenage mothers, and one brave young woman, Liz, walked to the front of the room.

“Guys, I usually sit there among you, but I asked Miss Tricia if I could share. You see, I’ve started this journey with Jesus, and I have to share all the amazing things God has done for me.”

Less than four months ago Liz showed up at our group with a dump truck of sin weighing down her heart. She was so ashamed of her recent mistakes that she’d missed many meetings. Yet a glimmer of hope stirred inside. Go to them, and ask for prayer; maybe they’ll still love you.

The first night back, Liz took me aside, and we found a quiet room. She poured out her heart, and I cried along with her. Then she prayed and accepted Christ in her heart.

As I led her in that prayer I could feel the weights lifting: pain, shame, disgrace . . . they were boulders being hurled from her back. We stood and embraced, and the light on her face reflected the transformation in her heart. She prayed and asked God to take over, and He did. Man, how He did!

“You’ll never believe all God’s done for me. He’s provided people to care for me, to mentor me, and He’s taken care of all my needs and the needs of my two kids.” Liz walked away from unhealthy relationships and discovered a community of Christians to care. She’s a different mom, a different student, a different friend.

“If you want to join me on my journey, call me whenever you want or text me. Come over and we’ll read the Bible together. There’s so much He has for you.”

And as I sat and listened with tears in my eyes, I realized that every moment I’ve spent volunteering in these teen mom support groups was worth it. It was worth it because Liz is worth it . . . and so is every other young mom who needs to hear the truth of Jesus’ love.

I’ve been honored to watch these stories of transformation unfold, but that’s only happened because deep down I knew there was someone out there who needed to hear. There is someone in your community who needs to hear, too. Someone who feels alone. Someone who feels unworthy. Someone who feels ashamed.

Somebody needs to hear . . . they are worth your time.
Somebody needs to hear . . . that God’s grace is for them.
Somebody needs to hear . . . that their darkest sins are not too dark for God’s light.
Somebody needs to hear . . . there is hope.
Somebody needs to hear . . . peace can come.
Somebody needs to hear . . . about a second chance through Jesus.

But before they can hear all those things, they must hear something from you first. Things like:
Do you want to meet for coffee?
 How can I help you?
What do you need most right now?
 What’s your story?
Do you want to hear how I’ve messed up? 
Do you want to hear what God did?

People need to hear about Jesus, and it’s hard to take the time, energy, and even money to make that a priority.

As I leave home and drive to our Thursday night meetings, I’m lucky if I’ve slapped together peanut butter and jelly for my husband and kids. I’ve stepped out of movies to take desperate phone calls. I’ve bought food, diapers, and door prizes to draw in the young women who need help, and I’ve asked myself, “Will they ever understand?” when it seems like they won’t.

But I continue because I know that someone needs to hear . . . and if I don’t tell them who will?

I also remember being the one who needed to hear about Jesus’ love and forgiveness when I was a soon-to-be mom at age 17. Somebody talked to me, and it cost them, too. Was it worth the cost? Was I worth the cost? I feel it was. I feel I am.

“Take up your cross and follow me,” Jesus said, and in 2015 that looks a little different than what it did in Jesus’ day. It might mean asking a friend to drive your child to t-ball practice, or walking away from that pile of dishes, or spending hard-earned cash to hire a babysitter for two hours so you can take someone out to just talk.

Sacrifice is sacrifice, big or small. But transformation is TRANSFORMATION in the lives Jesus touches through you. Without us stepping out and doing our part, who’s going to tell them? Who’s going to tell her?

And without being told how, will they know Who to follow?

And if they don’t know Who do follow, where will they wander? Into sin, pain, darkness, shame and regret. It’s easier to shake our head at their choices than to reach out an be a friend. Because it costs us something, doesn’t it?

Will you do it? Will you speak? Will you give? Will you love?

tricia-looks-up-2-2209USA Today bestselling author Tricia Goyer is the author of more than 50 books, including the novelization for Moms’ Night Out. She has written over 500 articles for national publications and blogs for high traffic sites like TheBetterMom.com and MomLifeToday.com. Tricia and her husband, John, live in Little Rock, Arkansas, where Tricia coordinates a Teen MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. They have six children. teen-mom-3dcover

Top 10 Sleep Tips for Kids…and Parents

Top 10 Sleep Tips for Kids...and ParentsIn regard to attitude, health and general well being nothing beats a good night sleep. I know at my house when we are not getting enough of the old shut eye things deteriorate quickly; tempers are quick to flare, work doesn’t get done and we all usually end up sick.

Rest is important! Even God rested after creating the universe.

How much is rest enough for our children? Generally speaking, babies need 14-15 hours of sleep per day, with sleep patterns beginning to be established at 4-5 months. Your baby’s three naps a day will typically decrease to two afternoon naps around 6 months. Toddlers need 12-14 hours of sleep per night with one nap during the day. Work your schedule around nap time. For the preschool crowd, ten to twelve hours of sleep are recommended.

In matters of rest, consistency helps. Determine a bedtime and try to stick to it. Your child’s internal clock will develop a pattern, which is exactly what is needed.

As children grow, a proper amount of sleep is necessary. Bodies are growing! Elementary school age children should be getting 10-11 hours a night and your teen still needs 8-9 hours to be fully rested. And sometimes more. If you have teens, you know exactly what I mean.

Top 10 Sleep Tips for Kids…and Parents

1. Develop a routine and keep it consistent. (Jammies on, teeth brushed, reading time, prayers, and kisses.) Include a time for quiet activities 30 minutes before bedtime to “set the stage” for bedtime.

2. Stick to a consistent bedtime.

3. Make your child’s bedroom a quiet and comfortable place to sleep.

4. Use the bed only for sleeping. Do not put a TV or computer in your child’s bedroom.

5. Limit food and drink before bedtime.

6. If your child has difficulty falling asleep, read books about bedtime. Have a cuddly friend (stuffed animal) that is really tired join in the story time.

7. Play soft music. This masks other household noise and is soothing.

8. Tuck your child into bed snugly for a feeling of security, using Scripture to remind your child of the Lord’s constant care.

9. Move bedtime by ten minutes each night to accommodate Daylight Savings Time on March 8, 2015.

10. Get to bed at a reasonable hour yourself. You’ll feel great and be better prepared for the day ahead.

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. 
Psalm 4:8

Connect with 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting for faith, parenting, education, recipes, and more! The 1Corinthians 13 Parent Series: Raising Little Kids with Big Love and Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love and the Study Guides are available on Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com.
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The Proverbs Challenge for Lent

The Proverbs ChallengeToday is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. It’s a time to prepare our hearts and minds for Passion Week and Easter, ultimately growing closer to God. Many people give up something for Lent (chocolate, television, etc.) as a form of fasting. Sacrificing an item, pleasure or bad habit helps us to turn to ward God.

If you’ve chosen to not partake in an indulgence or give up a habit during Lent, great! But I’m proposing you and your family add something this year too. Dive into the Word of God.

Join me in the Proverbs Challenge! There are 31 chapters in Proverbs. Read a chapter a day with your family. This will take you right up to Holy Week, beginning on Palm Sunday.

Start the Proverbs Challenge with downloading the schedule and finding a time that works for your spouse and children. When Ryan and Eric were young, breakfast was our time for Bible study and devotions. A hot breakfast was the carrot! Maybe dinnertime or bedtime will be better for your family.

Today’s activity is from 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting to help us realize who we are as Christians. The activity is described on today’s post. You can link to the Ash Wednesday post and printable HERE.

Take turns reading the chapters or verses. Make the wise words into a prayer. For example, from Proverbs 1:2 To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding…  Lord, allow ______ to listen to Your Word, to attain wisdom and knowledge, to understand words of insight. Insert family members’ names into the prayer, or include the whole family by using “us” and “we”.

On Sundays, discuss where you’ve seen God move in the lives of your family members. What have your children learned about God’s Word? In what ways have each of you grown in wisdom and knowledge? Were there opportunities to tell other about God?

The Proverbs Challenge Schedule

February 18 Download A Christian’s Identity in Christ 
from 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting
February 19 Proverbs 1
February 20 Proverbs 2
February 21 Proverbs 3
February 22  Sunday
February 23 Proverbs 4
February 24 Proverbs 5
February 25 Proverbs 6
February 26 Proverbs 7
February 27 Plant a Resurrection Garden
Directions will be posted at 1Corinthians13Parenting on February 27!
February 28 Proverbs 8
March 1   Sunday
March 2 Proverbs 9
March 3 Proverbs 10
March 4 Proverbs 11
March 5 Proverbs 12
March 6 Proverbs 13
March 7 Proverbs 14
March 8   Sunday
March 9 Proverbs 15
March 10 Proverbs 16
March 11 Proverbs 17
March 12 Proverbs 18
March 13 Proverbs 19
March 14 Proverbs 20
March 15   Sunday
March 16 Proverbs 21
March 17 Proverbs 22
March 18 Proverbs 23
March 19 Proverbs 24
March 20 Proverbs 25
March 21 Proverbs 26
March 22       Sunday
March 23 Proverbs 27
March 24 Proverbs 28
March 25 Proverbs 29
March 26 Proverbs 30
March 27 Proverbs 31
March 28 Download the Holy Week Guide,
No Greater Gift: A Family Guide to Passion Week and the Resurrection,
from 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting
March 29       Palm Sunday

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: 
for attaining wisdom and discipline;
for understanding words of insight; 
for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life,
doing what is right and just and fair; 
for giving prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young– 
let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance– 
for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise. 
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Proverbs 1:1-7