Every Month for Military Kids

April 27, 2011

 

 

The month of the Military Child is coming to a close. We have thought of ways to celebrate the resiliency of kids who learn to wait for a parent to return, who move frequently from friends and extended family, who can’t feel roots, though they test their wings in ways most children never do.

They sleep with bears that speak with the voice of a deployed parent, on pillows with that parents picture. They wear dog tags that say “I will be strong and courageous” and strong and courageous they are.

We cannot forget the children. April is a great month to celebrate them, but please remember, parents are deployed every month of the year, and children wait at home.

If you know a Miltiary Family, look out for the kids. Offer to help with homework, take them for ice cream, tell them you know it is not easy.

Kids are resilient, but not made of stone. Tears are good sometimes and a listening ear a comfort to the heart.

If you are a teacher and have a Military child in your class, perhaps you can make a point of having the class send notes, or artwork occasionally to that child’s parent. It will please the parent,  and create a belonging and sharing in your class that can  help that child feel less alone.

If you are a parent, remember that though your children are very close to you, you need to talk about problems and difficulties with another caring adult. You are the rock while your spouse is away, and children need to feel secure. The temptation to share too much with a child is there, as you feel alone too, but there are many people willing to help you if you reach out to your church, your friends, family or other Military Families who know what you are going through.

Children need to stay connected. There are many good resources to help you guide a child in creative and fun ways to stay in touch with a deployed parent. The resources at We Serve Too! are designed with this in mind. These resources can be found at  at http://weservetoo.com/

Lets remember to celebrate these wonderful kids, and not just in April!

 

The Easter Story…in cookies!

April 11, 2011

This recipe was given to me by Paula when I asked her if she knew of a good way to do something meaningful for Easter. I wanted something for  my grandkids to teach them something more than to search for jellybeans. Our kids were very interested and engaged in this.  If you want the kids to enjoy a hands on, meaningful,  and yummy activity try this one!

Ingredients:

1 cup of whole pecans in a ziploc bag (I had two kids so divided into two ziploc bags)

1tsp. vinegar

3 egg whites (don’t get any yolk in it)

a pinch of salt

1 cup of sugar

A large spoon,mixing bowl , wax paper, cookie sheets

Preheat oven to 300

Take the bags of pecans and let the children beat them with a large spoon to break them into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3

Let the children smell the vinegar. Put one tsp into the mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink. (they can try it on a folded paper towel, touching their tongue to it, like Jesus did on the sponge and  hyssop) Read John19:28-30

Add the egg white to the vinegar (since it won’t work if the yolk is mixed in, I separated the eggs and did not have the kids do that ). Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life, to give us life. Read John 10:10-11

Sprinkle a bit of salt into each child’s hand. Let them take a tiny pinch and place it in the bowl, then taste what is in their hand. Explain that the salt represents the tears shed by Jesus’ followers and bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27

So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup of sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16

Beat with a mixer on high speed until stiff peaks are formed (12 to 15 minutes) Explain that the color white represents the purity in Gods eyes of those whose sin is cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3

Fold in the broken nuts. Drop by the teaspoon onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60

Put the cookie sheet in the oven. Close the door and and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed.  Read Matthew 27: 65-66 .

GO TO BED! Explain they might feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter Jesus’ followers were amazed to fine the tomb empty and open. Read Matthew 28:1-9

He Has Risen!

I did this with my 9 year old and 6 year old grandchildren. I looked up Scriptures ahead and marked them, knowing that the attention span may not allow for me to look them up as they waited, but I was probably not giving them enough credit. They loved taking turns adding the ingredients, but I could not convince them to taste the vinegar! They really were excited about getting up in the morning to see what the cookies were like. They thought they tasted like marshmallows and had several!

Do you have any special activities you do with your kids for Easter? We would love to hear about them!

P.S.

(If you have nut allergies, you can use some chocolate bars that are cold, and can break them up in the same way and add those to the cookies instead, to get the rocky tomb idea, though I have not tried this.)