How I not only survive but enjoy Mommyhood

Teaching the Bible and Kindness with Elf on the Shelf day 11

Okay I am going to be honest here…I am tired.  Tired of moving this silly elf, tired of staying up way past my bed time to research new bible verses. Then finding the time (usually in the morning before the kids get up) to update the blog about it.  That being said, I find it all WORTH IT.  Teaching the bible is so important!  I am glad that my kids (and hopefully yours too) are responding so well.  They are listening to it, talking about it, and even LIVING it.  So it makes it all worth it! So if you like this blog, please share it!  Share with others, so that maybe everyone will teach the bible with the Elf on the Shelf, rather than just have it be a naughty elf.

Day 11 the bible verse was about the fruit of the spirit.  Our elf was in a fruit basket of course!  (I am going to be honest, I did not think of this idea.  I got inspiration from an amazing Mommy friend of mine.  She is also teaching the bible with her elf and she shared this with me!)

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Galatians 5:22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

This verse teaches so much!  Rather than doing something for someone else today, Elfie asked the girls to create a chart saying how they have the different fruits of the spirit.  How they can show these things.  We also discussed how some are easy, like love and gentleness, but some are very hard, like self-control.

I am attaching our note and the chart that I created to have the girls discuss the different fruits of the spirit.  They are all in the same word document.  Click kindness elf day 11!

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Teaching the bible with Elf on the Shelf Days 9 and 10

I am updating again!  My kids are really enjoying the elf, are yours?  My little one, Kailani asks each day, “What message did Elfie send today?” and I love hearing that!  Kares likes to read them too.  Our elf is never really naughty, just silly.  I don’t want to teach my kids to be naughty, but I do want them to have fun. Our elf was in the fruit basket, hanging from the light, in the bathroom…nothing to crazy, but fun still. I want the focus to be Jesus, not the silly elf. Here are some hilarious blogs about some people who go over the top! Click here for 1 Click here for the other

Day 9  We were still on vacation.  Elfie was hiding in my suitcase. (Smart there, he stayed in my suitcase so that I didn’t forget to bring him home!)

 Luke 16:10

If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.

Sometimes the smallest little acts of kindness and love can make the biggest difference. Today they had to try to hold the door open for someone.  Let them go through first (and do it with a smile)! Sometimes the little things, turn into big things.  The more you do kind and loving things, the more you act like Jesus!

Click Here for Kindness elf day 9

Day 10

Elfie was hiding in the bathroom. He drew the girls a Christmas Tree on the mirror.  It was really cute.

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Today’s verse was from Acts 20:35

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Today Elfie asked the girls to donate some food to those in need.  We talked about helping others and how we are able to help others.  We can help by donating some food from the grocery store and not expect anything in return.

Kindness Elf Day 10

Christmas has turned into a focus on presents, that I wanted my girls to GIVE than RECEIVE.

I am so glad that we are doing this bible study.  My girls are learning the bible, focusing on Jesus, and doing kind things for others.  They have really enjoyed it too.  Are your kids liking it?  Leave a comment and let me know!  Do you have suggestions for a bible verse?  Let me know!

Teaching the bible and kindness with Elf on the Shelf days 7 and 8

Day 7 is from  from John 15.

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

My girls have had a hard time getting along lately (as all siblings do).  So I thought this was perfect.  Elfie explained the bible verse, saying that God loves us NO MATTER WHAT.  Their act of kindness today was to tell each other how much they loved one another.

Click here for Kindness Elf 7

 

Day 8

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We went away for the weekend.  Elfie met the girls at the hotel in the morning!  What a great surprise!  This verse is from Proverbs 16:24

Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Elfie brought the girls a sweet treat for this sweet bible verse!  I wanted them to have the experience of kindness too.  Elfie was doing random acts of kindness for them.  They were instructed to use sweet words just like Jesus today.

Click here for kindness elf day 8

Teaching the bible with Elf on the Shelf Day 6

Today Elfie was caught fishing!  He was fishing for some goldfish next to the real pet fish!

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The bible story John 6:1-14 is one of my favorites.  It is about how Jesus fed thousands of people with just 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread.  This is a story my girls have heard many times, but they still love hearing it!  It also teaches such a wonderful lesson about sharing and about faith.  These two things are so important and things that I don’t think anyone does near enough.  Share what you can with others, and ALWAYS have faith in Jesus, he WILL work miracles.

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To get the word document for day 6  Click kindness elf 6

Teaching the Bible and Kindness with Elf on the Shelf Days 4 and 5

Today (Day 4 of our Elf on the Shelf) Elfie came to the girls with a note saying how much our mailman liked his cookies and his note.  He also praised them for sharing so nicely the day before.  It is important that Elfie notices the good things they are doing!

The girls have dance class today and Elfie told them to bring their dance teachers treats with a note today. He said that maybe he will make the teachers’ day just as the girls made the mailman’s day.

The verse today was: 

Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. –I John 3:18

Elfie explained that although saying nice things is good, what is most important is that we DO nice things.  Click Kindness Elf 4 for the word document.

We made some soup for dinner that night.  I suggested that we bring some to our neighbors.  Kares said, “Mommy that is doing something kind and Elfie will like that!”  Although I would her rather say, God will like that, I am still pleased that she is getting excited about doing something for others.

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On day 5  Elfie came flying in!  He was hanging from our Thankful Garland. (Don’t judge that I still haven’t taken it down! Or the messy house…no super mom here…we are very real in this house!) Oh and I am not the most creative when it comes to placing our elf in silly places…we try hard, but sometimes it is just exhausting!

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Click kindness elf 5 for the link to day 5.  Elfie came with this verse:

Luke 6:35 says

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.

The note then gave an explanation of the verse so the girls could easily understand it.

Today Elfie asked the girls to bring a bottle of water to the gate guard who checks IDs when we get back on the Army post.  I was so pleased with Kares today.  We had just bought the girls some little candy canes (they have been begging for them).  Today Kares wanted to share her candy canes with her friends at our Homeschool group.  She said this is being kind with nothing back.  I thought, “THIS IS REALLY STARTING TO WORK!”

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I will try to keep posting more and more as we do them.  I hope you are sharing the bible too!

Teaching the bible and kindness with Elf on the Shelf

For the last 3 years we have done the traditional Elf on the Shelf.  This was all fine and good, but my kids weren’t learning ANYTHING about what Christmas is all about…GOD!  They were so focused on the Elf, Santa, and the mischief the little elf got into that we missed the birth of our Savior. We missed the lessons on kindness, giving, sharing, generosity and so on. I decided this year was time for a change.  I was inspired by this blog post here.

This year our elf, named Elfie, brings a message to the girls each morning. He brings a bible verse, an explanation of the verse, and an act of kindness for the girls to do.  Not to worry, we still have LOTS of fun.  Elfie finds silly places to hide, gets into things and makes for some silly mornings.  I didn’t want the girls to have the fun taken out of the elf, but I did want them to learn about the bible and about kindness.

Our elf brings a bible verse and act of kindness each day!

Our elf brings a bible verse and act of kindness each day!

Today’s verse is from Deuteronomy 16:17 and says,

Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.

With this verse Elfie asked the girls to make some cookies and a note for our mailman.  We will leave the cookies in a bag in the mailbox for him.

Other ideas are to donate old toys, to bring dinner to a friend, write a sweet note to a family member and so on.  I am also going to have Elfie do random acts of kindness.  One night he might pick up toys for the girls, or put shoes away.  I want the girls to know what it feels like when someone does something kind and asks nothing in return.

Our first day was quite different than a typical day! We are going away for Christmas this year.  The girls really wanted a trampoline from Santa.  We decided to have Elfie bring them one early!  He wrote a note about how God constantly gives us the gift of grace and forgiveness.  He gave us his only son so we could be saved!  Santa gave the girls a gift early too.  Elfie showed up at our house that morning and there was a trampoline in the backyard!  What a great way to start the Christmas season.  Santa did say he would be back to fill up stockings for the girls and to eat the yummy brownies (we don’t leave cookies) that they always make him.  So we will still have our Christmas morning, minus a really big present.  This way they get the joy and the magic twice!

Here is the link to the word document we used the first 3 days. Kindness Elf  1Kindness Elf 2Kindness Elf 3

I will try my best to upload photos and templates if you are interested in doing this too!  I think it is a wonderful way to still have fun with Elf on the Shelf and teach about the REAL meaning of Christmas! Subscribe to my blog by clicking the follow button on the right so you don’t miss out!

Ballerina Birthday Party

I went to an adorable birthday party last weekend and realized I never posted about Kailani’s second birthday party.  I have also not posted in quite a while…things have been very busy.  So here are all the details of my littlest’s ballerina birthday party.  I wanted everything to be pink and girly.  I also wanted the girls to be free to dance, giggle, and just have fun.  We asked that each girl were her favorite dance outfit and said tutus would be provided on the invitations.

Here is how we made it happen.

First the Party Favors:

Each little ballerina received a pink tutu upon arrival.  Watching those babies dane around the house in their fluffy tutus was PRECIOUS!  They also got a happy birthday tiara.  I also used these as part of the decorations for the room.  I hung them up on a pink ribbon.  It really gave the room a huge splash of color too!

Each little ballerina received a tutu and birthday tiara.

Each little ballerina received a tutu and birthday tiara.

The next big decoration was a tutu hanging from the fan in the center of the room. I took a hulahoop and tied different colored tulle around it.  Then hung it from the fan with some curling ribbon.  It was so easy and looked pretty cute.

I made a tutu that hung from the fan.

I made a tutu that hung from the fan.

I wanted the living room to look a little like a dance studio.  A friend gave me an old mirror, it was green and not so pretty. I just taped some left over Christmas silver ribbon onto the sides and covered up the green.  Plus what 2 year old girl doesn’t love looking at herself?  I also brought down the stand up mirror from my bedroom.  They loved twirling in front of them.

I attached silver ribbon to an old hand me down mirror a friend gave me.

I attached silver ribbon to an old hand me down mirror a friend gave me.

Tissue balls are my favorite cheap decoration!  They are SO easy to make and each one costs about $0.25.  I made a bunch of these and hung them up around the house.

I made tissue balls and hung them up all around.

I made tissue balls and hung them up all around.

Then of course the crepe paper!  We just streamed them from the corners of the room to the light and to the fan.  It really made the room look fantastic.

The room was decorated top to bottom with frilly pink decor!

The room was decorated top to bottom with frilly pink decor!

The next part was the entertainment.  Of course I had lots of cute music playing and running around dancing was really all the entertainment needed!  (It was entertainment for the adults too)  But I wanted something for them to do and take home.  So we made adorable handprint pictures.  The moms had to help, but they are pretty easy.  I precut the leotard part and then the girls made the tutu out of handprints.  Finally they glued on a bow.  (I premade them for a quick easy thing to do).  We hung them up to dry and it doubled as another decoration.

A little ballerina and her Mommy making the craft.

A little ballerina and her Mommy making the craft.

A closeup of the birthday girl and the ballerina craft.

A closeup of the birthday girl and the ballerina craft.

The adorable ballerina crafts all finished.

The adorable ballerina crafts all finished.

One of my favorite parts was the cake!  I made a chocolate cake and iced it with pink icing.  Then put sparkly silver sprinkles on top.  To make it fancier I create a tutu to put on the cake stand!  Again, this was SO easy.  I just tied tulle onto curling ribbon and tied it onto the cake stand.

The cake with pink icing, silver sparkle sprinkles and tutu cake stand.

The cake with pink icing, silver sparkle sprinkles and tutu cake stand.

Blowing out the candles on her frilly cake!

Blowing out the candles on her frilly cake!

When it comes to parties…you have to have food.  Kailani really wanted pizza.  So we ordered pizza and then had fresh veggies and fruit to go along with it.  I put the fruit in muffin papers.  This made it so easy to just grab what they wanted.  We had orange slices, grapes, and berries.  The veggies were on a tray.  I also made chocolate covered marshmallows.  (See my blog post about these here)  They were a big hit and looked so pretty.

Pink was everywhere...even on the food table.

Pink was everywhere…even on the food table.

Chocolate covered marshmallows with sparkle sprinkles.

Chocolate covered marshmallows with sparkle sprinkles.

Eating a chocolate covered marshmallow with sparkle sprinkles!

Eating a chocolate covered marshmallow with sparkle sprinkles!

When the party was over each girl got to leave with her very own tutu.  She also got her ballerina picture and then Kailani gave each ballerina a flower.  The flower had a ribbon on it with a note that said, “I had ‘tutu’ much fun twirling with you.”

Each of the ballerinas received a flower when leaving for a wonderful performance!

Each of the ballerinas received a flower when leaving for a wonderful performance!

All in all I think the party was a huge hit.  The little ballerinas had so much fun.  It also didn’t break the bank.  See the bottom for a cost breakdown.  Here are some other snapshots from the party!

Tiny little ballerinas all dress up!

Tiny little ballerinas all dress up!

This princess crown tiara was the perfect addition to her outfit!

This princess crown tiara was the perfect addition to her outfit!

Cost Breakdown:

Decorations:

  • Tulle (price for 3 colors)- $15
  • Curling Ribbon- (I had a big spool of pink, but new it is about $3)
  • Hulahoop- I used the girls from outside – FREE
  • Tissue Paper balls- $4 (this made 16 balls!!)

Craft:

  • Paint- Already Had
  • Construction Paper-Already had but can get it at Dollar Tree
  • Ribbon- $1 for a spool at Michaels

Party Favors

Food

  • Depends on what you want!  We kept it cheap and simple by doing Pizza and snacks.
  • Cake- Secret recipe (1/2 box, 1/2 homemade) Kept cost down low!