A Child

"If you make children happy now, you will make them
happy twenty years hence by the memory of it."
- Sydney Smith -

Mark 9:36 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them:
and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them,
37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me:
and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

Mark 10:14 ...Suffer the little children to come unto me,
and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God...
16 And he took them up in his arms,
put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

It is so easy to be a blessing to a child and to make them happy that it is really a shame that
some folks don't take more time to do so. Children loved Jesus or they would not have felt so
comfortable with Him. This means that He had a merry heart and that they knew He really
loved them since children are not generally attracted to adults that are stern and unloving.


I Love You

1. After  St. Valentine's Day pick out a box of marked down "I love you" cards that make no reference to that Catholic unholy day, but have simple love greetings.  If you are a grandma (or aunt), use these to send to your grandkids (or nieces and nephews) from time to time throughout the year. Kids love to get mail. If you are a mother, use the cards when a child needs extra encouragement, has been disappointed or hurt, has done something that especially blessed you, etc.

2. After Valentine's Day or before, you can also buy a supply of heart and "I-love-you" items. There are plenty of things you can pick up without "Valentines" or cherubs, etc. Get some placemats or paper plates and decorations. Save them for a while and then plan an "I-love-you" feast for the family. (Special feasts are Biblical.) You could plan it for your wedding anniversary, the anniversary of when you and your husband were engaged, Sweetest Day (the third Sat. in Oct.) or any date you want. Include small gifts for each family member if you so desire. This may also be a good time to take up a special offering in the family to buy something to give to a shut-in, orphan, widow, or someone in need to extend the love of Christ Jesus to others.

3. Buy some write-in cookbooks, or some hard bound blank books for your daughters. Write in, or have them write in the recipes that you make that they especially like. Someday, if the Lord doesn't come soon, they will be very thankful for this special gift to take with them to their own homes.

4. Take the time to ask your kids what their hopes and dreams are, then really listen to what they have to say. If necessary, make time to spend occasionally with each child as an individual. This will let them know that you are interested in them as an individual and that they can come to you with private problems, questions, or hopes that they perhaps do not want their brothers and sisters to know.

5. If you have to run an errand that doesn't involve much of a wait, invite a kid to go with you. Take time to get to know them better and encourage them in their walk with the Lord. (Mothers take their kids often anyway, so this might apply more to adult siblings and relatives, and to folks who don't have younger kids any more.)

6. Buy a special plate for birthdays at a yard sale or second hand store. Use it only for birthdays. Wash it between each meal and see to it that the "birthday person" gets to eat on that plate at each meal on their birthday.

7. Buy some little "special treat" for a kid once in awhile. Try to remember something he or she especially likes -- something to eat, a hair ribbon, a fancy pencil, etc. Be sure not to favor one kid in a family over the others, though! Share the blessings equally, even to those who "don't deserve it."  If our blessings from God were all base on what we "deserve," we wouldn't get any. Also beware of favoring the delinquent ones in hopes of getting their attention and buying more obedience and cooperation.


Fun, Games
and A Sense of Wonder


Kids need to play. It is part of growing up. But, how do you find good clean fun
to keep them entertained while expanding their minds? Here are a few suggestions:

1. Make an obstacle course for them out of different size boxes:  small ones for jumping over and larger ones for crawling through. When the game is over, stack the boxes inside each other as much as possible to store till next time. (Use clean boxes.)

2. For a fun "relay" race, make up a box of large size clothing-- shirts, socks, hats, belts, etc. Have the kids put on as many clothes (over theirs) as fast as they can. Time them, and when the timer goes off, count the items on each child to see who has the most extra clothes on. (This would be a great photo opportunity. :-) Grandma and Grandpa would love the pictures.)

3. Have "tea time." Make it special by cutting sandwiches into shapes with a cookie cutter (scraps can be snacked on later). Get out "special" pickles and jellies/jams for the occasion. If someone in your family likes sardines and/or haring, buy some tins when they're cheap to use at "tea time." Also, be sure to have something that's sweet; fruit (canned or fresh), cake, cookies, candy, biscuits and honey, etc.; whatever you have on hand. Make tea for everyone and pour it out of a tea pot, if you have one.  If you feel your kids are too little to drink strong tea dilute it with a lot of milk. (Tea is actually good for kids, contrary to former belief. It strengthens the enamel on their teeth! If the caffeine seems to be a problem, have your tea party at noon.)

4. Take time to play their games with them. The little time that you spend playing a round of "Go-Fish" or "Memory" is not going to put you that far behind schedule.

5. Teach a child your hobby. You may be surprised how well they might take to it. If they don't, try something else. (We have a friend that taught her daughter to sew by hand and crochet. She is the type of child that tends to have a short attention span and is constantly moving from one thing to another, however it is amazing how careful and diligent she will be on a time-consuming sewing or crocheting project! Her mother never would have guessed she had that in her if she had not tried teaching her.)

6. Give a section of your garden to a kid. Have them plant their own flowers or vegetables. Show them how to weed, water, cultivate, etc. Start with a small space and enlarge their area yearly as their skill and interest increases. This can also be used to teach them giving by helping them think of someone to give their first fruits and extra produce to. If adults find gardening relaxing, why not kids too?

7. Simple tasks like washing the floor or dishes, picking up toys, etc. can be made into games. Use your imagination to invent a "plot." You might want to include a time limit so that the "playing" doesn't get more interesting than getting the job done. :-)
For example, dusting can be turned into a detective's job with the duster trying to find everywhere that the dust could be "hiding." Washing dishes can be a search are rescue operation of collecting all the dirty dishes to be found in the house and cleaning them up and putting them in the "hospital" - dish drainer. Folding clothes can be done on the race principle to see who can fold the most the quickest - and the neatest. (Now, somebody is bound to object to this and say that kids should be taught to work for the sake of work and not mix play with it. Well, I'm not suggesting that all work be made into play nor that any job be play every time. Certainly kids should be trained to do jobs cheerfully, and to bear their responsibilities joyfully. We all have things we don't like to do. But, have you ever noticed that often times the people that seem the happiest about their work are the ones that enjoy it, or find ways to do so? Also, the people that tend to stay the youngest in their minds are the ones that take the most childlike pleasure in life. They also seem to get the most pleasure out of life, much like contented children do. And, I'm not talking about being childish here.)


We do not necessarily agree with the people at these sites.
Please use the material available with discretion.

Bible kids fun zone Here's a site that offers printable coloring projects for free. You will find some useful things, but use good judgment as some of their stuff is not Biblical.

Monterey Bay Aquarium live web cams Here's a site with live web cams of fish and aquatic animals. The sea otters are the most fun, but I've also watched the penguins being fed!


background & graphics by mary vannattan
Thank you to Jamie for the picture of one of her treasures. :-)