I was recently inspired by my magazine Thriving Family, by Focus on the Family to notice “acts of love” throughout the month of February. In our family, we talk a lot about Godly love and how to show God’s love, so this idea of recognizing acts of love went right along with our teaching.
How it Works
Throughout the month of February, anytime someone in our family acts in love they will get to pick out a heart to hang on our “Love Chart”. Some examples would be “wow, Claire, you really showed that you love God by obeying me the first time, you get to pick out a heart for our love chart”, or “wow, Landen, you really showed love to your sister when you gave her your last piece of candy, that was kind”.
At the end of every day, we will count how many times God’s love shined through our actions. We will talk about how if we grow closer to God, his love will continue to shine through us. Then we will close the day by praying for God to teach us to love others. This would be a great closing to the day after everyone is ready for bed, or at the family dinner table.
Make Your Own
This board was super easy to make, it was leftover from one of my advent calendars, so I am excited to use it for another holiday.
One of my favorite childhood memories is playing fox and geese as a family during the winter. This last winter we taught our children this game. My (then) 4 year old LOVED it. We would turn on our outside lights and play almost every night after daddy got home.
How to Play
Make the track
Fox and Geese is like playing tag, but on a track. To make the track one person makes a large circle in the snow (everyone follows to help make the track visible). The bigger the circle the more you will run. Then starting on one side you cross the middle of the circle cutting it in half, do this again the other way, creating a large x in your circle. We always only did two diameter lines, you can add more if you want, creating more “spokes” in the large wheel (your circle).
Rules of Play
One person is the “fox”, the fox must start the game on the circle. All the “Geese” (everyone else) gather in the middle of the x (where all the spokes cross), this is the safety spot, the fox can’t tag (eat) any geese in this spot.
The fox starts the game by saying “scatter geese” all geese must then run from their safety spot, everyone must stay on the track at all times, no running off or cutting corners. One special rule is that once a goose starts down a path, they can’t turn around until they reach an intersection (we don’t use this role with our little ones). After the Geese have ran from the safety spot, they can return to it and safety at any time. If all geese gather in safety in the middle, the fox again calls “scatter geese”.
When the fox tags a goose they become the new fox and the fox is now a goose. All geese gather in the middle and play starts over.
There are so many ways to open gifts on Christmas morning. Times of gift giving can be a great opportunity to teach your children about love and gratefulness. It can also be a time to feed greed and a materialistic desire if you are not careful.
In our home we usually hand out Christmas gifts by the “giver”. Each person giving the gifts hands the gift they are giving to the recipient, then they watch them open it. We all take turns doing this. Focusing on the giver, rather than the recipient, aids in teaching the joy of giving. Our children have always loved this and usually delight in watching the gift they are giving be opened.
I was visiting a local store here in my town and found some awesome window clings that are also cute! We purchased some fall themed sets, but they have all seasons and designs!
These are called GelGems, so far I am happy with them. They are a thick gel that clings well to the window. My children have spent a significant period of time arranging and re-arranging leaves and turkeys. The recommended ages are 4+, which I would definitely agree with. My son decapitated a turkey on the first day-he thinks it’s fun to stretch the gels until the tear.
At this point I am definitely happy with my purchase, besides one decapitated turkey they seem to be holding up well.
It is the Christmas season! Some years we exchange gifts, some we don’t . Some years I have a gift exchange or other ladies I want to get a small gift for. If you are looking for some ideas for small gifts, this is one of my favorite kitchen tools that is relatively inexpensive.
It is a manual food processor, the price runs ~$12-20. I use this to chop onions, carrots, peppers, garlic, nuts (does a fine chop), potatoes etc. It does a fine rough chop. I usually peel (if necessary) my vegetable, then cut it into big chunks to fit, put the lid on, pull the handle, and in a matter of seconds it is chopped! There are many manual food processors available. I recommend the pull/spin design as opposed to the “pump” design.
One of our favorite traditions is decorating the Christmas tree, and house, as a family. The day after Thanksgiving we turn on Christmas music, pop popcorn, and pull out all the decorations. It’s quite a party. If you don’t already do this as a family, try it this year. Isn’t it more important to have a great family memory than the perfect looking tree? Try making it special by either cutting down your own tree, or having your children help make special goodies for the “decorating party”. It’s the times together that our children will remember.