Easter Baskets

Over the years I have made a point of adding items to my kids’ Easter baskets that represent the REAL meaning of Easter — stickers, puzzles, booklets, pencils, etc.  When they were younger, I gave each of them an Easter picture book.  Some good titles include:

  • Easter ABCs by Isabel Anders
  • The First Easter by Carol Heyer
  • Parable of the Lily by Liz Curtis Higgs
  • Easter is for Me! by Dandi Daley Mackall
  • Journey, Easter Journey! by Dandi Daley Mackall

Here is a link to some books for young children:  http://www.cph.org/searchnew.aspx?SE=0&SearchTerm=easter%20books&pagenum=1&pagesize=9999&viewall=Y&cset=1&sortby=Rank%20Desc.

Last year I began a new tradition since my kids were tweens or nearly that age.  I gave each of them a biography about a Christian man or woman who has had an influence in our world.  Most of the books come from the Christian Heroes Then and Now series:  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_16?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=christian%20heroes%20then%20and%20now&sprefix=christian+heroes%2Caps%2C310.  Another series which shorter books is the Hero of the Faith books:  http://www.cph.org/p-22271-hero-of-the-faith-biography-set-8-books.aspx?SearchTerm=biography.

This year I am keeping the basket simple since they are all tweens — one biography, a few small treats, and their favorite candy in a larger size.

What do you put in your children’s baskets?

 

 

 

Backpack Blessing

It’s that time of year again. What type of blessings have you given your children as school has started? ~ pk

Families in Faith

Place your hands on the backpack and have your children do the same – then have them repeat this prayer and blessing.

Heavenly Father,
Bless this backpack and all it contains.
Let this pack represent the coming school year and all that it entails.
Lord watch over me as I travel to school and back home.
Bless me with courage as I enter 2nd grade.
Fill me with a love of learning
and a passion for school.
Bless my teachers with wisdom and compassion.

Guide my choices
and keep me mindful of my actions.
Give me your Holy Spirit
that my faith might grow
and that I might love you more.
I dedicate this backpack
and this school year to you Lord,
may my time at school bring you Joy.
May my thoughts and actions
bring glory to your name.
In Jesus’ Holy Name
– Amen.

Continue the Blessing throughout…

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Start Here

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If you are new to Families in Faith – START HERE

These videos are designed to lay the foundation for Families in Faith.  This is a good place to start as you preview our site and use our app.

Note:  There will be 5 videos total in the “start here” section – videos added weekly.

Winter Picnic

Plan a family picnic out in the cold of winter.  Use this experience to talk about the season of winter – how everything seems cold and dead – yet we know that Spring is coming where life will come bursting forth.  Connect this to our life in Christ.  When have you gone through a season of ‘winter’ in your life?  How did your faith help you through that cold time?  Talk about the wintery season in Jesus’ life that lead to his death on the cross – just like Spring brings new life after winter – Jesus rose from the grave bringing new life to all who believe in him.  Share your winter picnic stories by replying to this post.

Jesse Tree

A wonderful Advent Tradition for families is the Jesse Tree.  This count down to Christmas project looks at Jesus throughout the Old Testament.  Families will learn about how the entire Bible points to Jesus as well as create ornaments to represent each day.  These daily ornaments can be placed on your Christmas Tree or a speical Jesse Tree.
Here are some Links to get you started…

http://simplemom.net/jesse-tree/

http://www.aholyexperience.com/2010/11/free-jesse-tree-advent-devotional-book/

http://www.jesse-tree.com/jesse_tree.html

http://www.jesse-trees.com/index.html

http://christianity.about.com/od/christmas/qt/jessetreeadvent.htm

http://www.crosswalk.com/special-coverage/christmas-and-advent/from-adam-to-jesus-the-jesse-tree-tradition-11641703.html

http://www.etsy.com/shop/inspiredtraditions

http://suite101.com/article/ideas-for-a-jesse-tree-advent-calendar-a82510

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=The+Jesse+Tree

http://rocksinmydryer.typepad.com/shannon/2008/11/jesse-tree.html

Take 5 for Family Devotions

Family devotions prove time and time again to be the most effective method for passing on the faith (outside of the Holy Spirit of course).  Family devotions show the importance that parents put on worshiping God in the home, as well as provide an opportunity for families to grow in their faith together.  They help families take the faith they practice on Sundays and turn it into something they do everyday… following Jesus is not something we do, its who we are – and Family Devotions help kids grasp that idea.

But – how do you do family devotions?

It doesn’t have to be difficult, complex, or long.  Check out this PDF called “Take 5 for Family Devotions” for easy ideas for creating family devotions in your home.

 

Family Devotion Page

Backpack Blessing

Place your hands on the backpack and have your children do the same – then have them repeat this prayer and blessing.

Heavenly Father,
Bless this backpack and all it contains.
Let this pack represent the coming school year and all that it entails.
Lord watch over me as I travel to school and back home.
Bless me with courage as I enter 2nd grade.
Fill me with a love of learning
and a passion for school.
Bless my teachers with wisdom and compassion.

Guide my choices
and keep me mindful of my actions.
Give me your Holy Spirit
that my faith might grow
and that I might love you more.
I dedicate this backpack
and this school year to you Lord,
may my time at school bring you Joy.
May my thoughts and actions
bring glory to your name.
In Jesus’ Holy Name
– Amen.

Continue the Blessing throughout the school year by adding notes of prayers and blessings for your kids to their backpacks or lunches.  Here are some Bible verses and ideas for notes to add.

Backpack Blessing Ideas

Technology resources for growing in faith

The internet if FULL of great sites to help people of all ages grow in their faith. There are also many great apps, for those of you who use your phones more than your computer. Here’s a starter list. What sites, apps, or other resources have you found helpful for growing in faith?

Concordia Seminary free resources (via iTunes) – www.iTunes.csl.edu

Bible Gateway online Bible – www.biblegateway.com

YouVersion online Bible (also available as an app) – www.youversion.com

WGTS 91.9 radio station – www.wgts.org

Truth for Life – www.truthforlife.org

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries – www.rzim.org

Answers in Genesis – www.answersingenesis.org

Proverbs 31 Ministries (aimed at women) – www.proverbs31.org

Technology resources for cyber bullying

As use of technology grows among children and teenagers, the rates of cyber bullying increase as well. Here are some websites with helpful information for parents and kids about cyber bullying. What resources have you found helpful in this area?

Cyber Bullying Research Center – www.cyberbullying.us

Stopy Bullying (US Department of Health & Human Services) – www.stopbullying.gov

National Crime Prevention Council – www.ncpc.org/cyberbullying

Prevent Cyber Bullying & Internet Harassment – www.cyberbully411.org

Technology resources for helping those in need

There are many ways we can use technology as a tool to help those in need within our families and our communities. Here is a starter list, focusing specifically on northern Virginia. What are some ways you have utilized technology to help those in need?

Scheduling meals (called Helping Hands Ministry at Prince of Peace) – www.takethemameal.com

Ecumenical Communities Helping Others (ECHO) – www.echo-inc.org

NOVACO (helping homeless victims of domestic abuse) – www.novaco.org

Volunteer Fairfax – www.volunteerfairfax.org