Monday, February 25, 2013

Decluttering win

I have a love-hate relationship with 'stuff'. I feel like our house is crammed to the brim and I'd love to own less, but I have a hard time getting rid of things, and I'm good at buying more things too. 

This year, I'm following along with Brooke at Slow Your Home. She's aiming to get rid of 2013 things in 2013. I'm not doing the count (because I fear that would lead the decluttering to take over my life), but I am finding her monthly list of areas to tackle very helpful. 

On Saturday, I cleaned out the car and the bathroom cupboards, which finished up January's list and got me started on February's. Yes, I know Saturday was 23 Feb, but it's not a race, right? I'll be quite happy if it takes me two years instead of one. I'm just going to keep plugging at it. 

February's list includes the office and paper clutter. Yikes. Wish me luck...

And feel free to take a peak inside my bathroom cupboards :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Where does your anger come out?

SP (3 1/2) is struggling with anger at the moment. Particularly hitting, kicking and screaming. Unfortunately these angry tendencies come from me, although I expressed them a little differently in my childhood, so I'm particularly keen to help him to deal with his anger better than I do. 

We've been doing 'use your words', with some success, and also some deep breathing and counting to 10, but I've recently hit on something else.

Here's what I said to SP: 
- the Bible says it's OK to be angry, but it's not OK to sin (say 'no' to God / do the wrong thing) when you're angry. 

- when he hits and kicks, he's letting his anger come out through his arms and legs. When he screams, he's letting it come out through his voice. These things are not OK. 

- it's better to let his anger come out through his breath. Nice slow deep breaths to gather up the anger and let it out. 

I saw him use this without prompting this evening (yay!) and he looked a bit like a woman in TV labour, but it worked :)

And I've realised in writing this post that I left the God bit out of the solution. I'll be having another chat and add in 'tell God what you're angry about and ask him to help you' and 'the Holy Spirit is working in you and helping you not to be angry.' Sometimes, blogging is very useful. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Easter Readings goes global

I'm a bit excited - there are actual people using my material :) The response from members of our church was pretty good, there are a few facebook friends & rellies using it (including one in the UK, hence the 'global' bit) and another church has picked it up too. A big church, with lots of people. Some of whom knew me as a primary schooler. That feels weird and a bit scary. 

But I like being useful.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Easter Reading Booklet Download

I never do things the easy way. When my friends first expressed interest in using my Easter reading ideas, I thought it would take me a couple of hours to put together a couple of pages for them.

Then I got started. 

Two weeks later, here it is. All 37 A5 pages of it. But I'm really happy with the way it's turned out.

If you're interested in using it, here are the download links: 

To read on a screen, download this one (one page per sheet)
To print your own booklet, download this one and print back-to-back (two pages per sheet with pages in order for booklet printing).

Feel free to print a copy for your own use. I'd love you to leave me a comment to let me know you're using it, and later to tell me how it works for you. Constructive criticism very much appreciated. 

If you would like to print multiple copies for use in your church or group, please comment here or send me an email ( to ask for permission. 

I'd appreciate your prayers as I promote this at church tomorrow. We have quite a few families with young children who aren't in any regular Bible reading habits, and I'd love to help them. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Got a couple of spare minutes to waste?

Try this. Almost makes me feel like a philosopher. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New Testament Matching Game

Last week at Church4Kids we covered the 4 gospels, focusing on the idea that they tell the same stories from different perspectives.
I gave each child a print out of the Palm Sunday story from a different gospel, and helped them to colour in key words & phrases in different colours. Their faces lit up when they compared passages and saw the similarities. I love teaching 'well-churched' kids new things, or at least old things from new angles. 

This week, we're heading into Acts. We'll cover Jesus' ascension & the Holy Spirit coming at Pentecost, which should be revision from previous terms. And I'll introduce some of these little guys and their books: 

Which brings me to the reason for this post. These visuals took me longer than expected, so I thought I'd share them. They're still a little wonky, and don't ask why James is the first book in the list. 

Here's the link, use them however you want. There's some little boxes with author descriptions in there too. Oh, the pictures aren't mine. They're from here and here. Aren't the little bible guys cute?

I'll get the laminator fired up and we'll use them all term. Hopefully they'll help us to match authors to books, and also to put the books in order. I've got a song for that too - I might post it sometime :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sleep needs

On Sunday night, I was asleep by 8pm. Yesterday I had one of my most productive mornings in recent memory, and the whole day went smoothly. 

On Monday night, I was asleep by 11pm. Today has felt like one long series of bad decisions. 

Correlation does not infer causation, but I think a link is pretty likely, don't you?


SP is re-enacting David & Goliath in rest time. Except he's using a sword instead of stones. 

I just heard: "Oh no, Goliath is dead. He's gone to be with Jesus."

Hmm. What do I do with that one? :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Computer filing frustrations

Why oh why can I find a camp program from 2005, and not the graphics from my Easter Calendar of 2 years ago? Sigh. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Ideas, Ideas, Ideas

A week ago, I was all set to teach my year 1-3 church4kids class for a term on Acts, with a little bit structure of the NT thrown in. But I was a bit bored with that, so I'm now writing my own term's lessons on the whole New Testament, using Acts as my backbone. Fun :)

This morning, I went to a Children's Ministry Training morning, where we were reminded from 2 Timothy about the importance of both parents and churches in teaching kids about Jesus. During the team discussion time, I mentioned the Easter Calendar that I developed a couple of years ago. The mothers present were very keen to use it with their families, and even the non-mother wants the readings in the hope of re-starting reading the bible with her husband. 

With Easter so early this year, the first reading should occur on Sunday 17 February. So the pressure's on to convert my scribble into something usable by others. I'm also hoping that the graphic designer in our congregation might be able to redo the pictures for me.

Please pray for great wisdom as I write some notes to go with the readings. My primary audience will be Christian parents (of mostly 2-6 year olds) who are good at taking their kids to church but not in the habit of Bible times at home. Pray that I'd make the notes very user friendly, so that whole families will enjoy talking about Jesus together. 

I'd love some volunteers to proof it for me in a few days time. Anyone?