Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Classroom Corner and Gifted Gab--New Year's TpT Sale!

Hi, everyone!  Hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your families!  Just wanted to let you know that there are several winter items on sale in my TpT store from Thursday-Sunday.  The links below will take you to a few of them.  Enjoy the remaining days of your break, and I hope you all have a wonderful New Year!!!

My Winter Resource Pack:
Winter/Snow BINGO:
Primary Snowman Sudoku:
Elementary Snowman Sudoku:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Our family's Christmas celebration would not be complete without our annual Happy Birthday, Jesus cake.  Chocolate cake and icing with the cousins--such fun memories!
With all the family, we gathered to sing all 4 verses of our Advent song.  Then we lit a cross candle in the center of our Advent wreath and sang, "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Jesus, happy birthday to you!"
With warmest wishes, we hope you and your families have had a very Merry CHRISTmas!  Love and prayers from all of the Bryants!

Ministry Minute and the Parenting Place--Advent Week 4

The last week of Advent already!  It has been so fun this year, since I have been able to do Advent with my Children's Church kids as well as our own personal family.  The word for this last week was PEACE.  We began by singing, "Light one candle for peace, one bright candle for peace.  He brings peace to everyone, He comes, He comes."  We focused on the story of the wise men and their search for the newborn king.
Tucker and Tate read aloud from Matthew 2:1-12.  Then we shared as a family about times when we especially needed God's peace in 2011.  Examples included times of sickness for family members, when our 6th grader started middle school this year, etc.  We also prayed for the Lord's peace in the days to come as we prepare to enter 2012.  We pray His precious peace for your families as well!
Our nightly craft was to use simple drinking straws and a hot glue gun to make star ornaments for our Advent tree.  We added string at the top with which to hang them.   
Here is a snapshot of our completed Advent tree for this year!
After the crafting fun we had a snack of toast and hot chocolate.  We used a star cookie cutter for our toast and sipped our hot chocolate with some of the leftover straws from our crafting project.
After blowing out the candles on our Advent wreath, it was time to open the last Advent gifts.  The boys got new nutcrackers for their collection, and Sadie opened a princess cup and plate set.  
May the Prince of Peace be with you as we finish out the month of December!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ministry Minute and the Parenting Place--Advent Week 3

Hi, everyone! got so busy for a bit that I simply have not had time to update with Advent details.  Hope your family is having a wonderfully blessed Christmas season so far!  For week 3 of Advent, our family focused on the word JOY.  Of course, we lit our 3rd candle and sang:  Light one candle for joy, 1 bright candle for joy, He brings joy to everyone, He comes, He comes! 

In our family share time, my boys read aloud from the Scriptures as the angels proclaimed in Luke 2:10b, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people."  We each talked about things that had brought us joy in this past year, as well as ways that we tried to bring joy to others.

For our snack time, we had a family favorite--Christmas Krispy Kreme doughnuts!  Dad brought these home as a surprise, and here in our hometown, it doesn't get any better than warm doughnuts on a chilly night!

Lastly, we concluded with Advent crafting fun--we used cardboard squares and our fingerprints to make shepherd ornaments.  On the back, we included Luke 2:10.  (These could easily be done on inexpensive plastic balls and would be a great keepsake for years to come.)

Last but not least, our kids got to open their Advent gifts--Veggie Tales movies all around! :-)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ministry Minute and the Parenting Place--Advent Week 2

Hi, everyone!  Hope you are having a wonderfully blessed Christmas season!  WOW, is your December already shaping up to be as busy as ours?  This weekend alone we have been to a Christmas Civil War play with our boys, Disney on Ice with my daughter, kids' choir practice, etc. 
We did make time tonight for Advent, however, and what a fun night it was.  Around here, we celebrate HOPE on night #2.  Remember, your Advent devotions can happen on any night of the week--Sunday just works well for us.  We lit our 2nd candle and sang our Advent song: Light one candle for hope, one bright candle for hope, He brings hope to everyone, He comes, He comes.  For tonight's theme of hope we did a couple of group sharing activities.  First we each shared 1 gift we were hoping to get this Christmas.  (Of course, my husband Kevin wished for a new truck, which he will not be getting LOL).  Then we each shared a hope we had for another person.  We prayed for each of these requests, including sick friends and family needs.

Sadie reviewed last week's lesson for us about love, and then the boys read aloud from Luke 2:1-7.  We talked about how long ago on that Christmas night, the world had no idea that the greatest gift of hope had entered the world through the miracle of a tiny baby. 
For our snack we made chocolate chip Christmas trees.  For our craft I cut the letters HOPE and a Christmas tree shape out of simple cardboard.  Then we painted and glittered these for hanging on our Advent tree. 
Of course, the night couldn't end without opening Advent gift #2--a Max Lucado DVD for Sadiebug and a Bible Man DVD for Tucker and Tate.  Christmas blessings to all of you!  Praying for each of you as this season unfolds before us!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ministry Minute and The Parenting Place--Advent Week 1

Well, Advent Night 1 is in the books at the Bryant household.  Tonight we gathered around the Advent Wreath to sing our traditional Light One Candle song, while we lit candle number 1 for LOVE.  We usually do our weekly Advent devotions on Sunday nights, but you can choose a day and time that works best for your family.  Tucker, our oldest, read aloud from Luke 1 about the GIFT of the coming Messiah.  Tate also read from John 3:16&17, about God's GIFT of LOVE--Jesus Christ!

After reading, we went around in a circle, and each family member shared something they loved about the person on their right and left.  Side note:  Video these moments--they will be precious family memories!  Kids around our house also LOVE opening GIFTS, so as scandalous as it is, each kid got to open 1 present from under the Christmas tree.  ;-) What did they get?  Erector sets for the boys and a new Barbie for sweet Sadie!

We made a special LOVE-themed snack--heart shaped sugar cookies.

Lastly, family craft time...always a hoot and a family favorite.  We used GIFT wrap to cut out heart shapes for tonight's theme of LOVE.  We then Mod Podged these onto cardboard.  Once they dried we cut them out and hung with green ribbon on our Advent Tree.  We made our Advent Tree using simple sticks from the yard and an old glass vase.  We decorated this "Charlie Brown" homemade tree with ribbons and garland and placed it in our dining room.

Hope these ideas help inspire you to carve out your own special family time this month!  God bless!  Shannon :-)

The Parenting Place--Making a Jesse Tree with Your Children

If you have downloaded any of my FREE Christmas devotion packs in the past, then you know at our house we do a Jesse Tree as one of our Bryant-family Christmas traditions.  The Jesse Tree ornaments that we traditionally use are included in the available Christmas resource packs on the FREE DOWNLOADS tab here on my blog. 

This morning in Sunday School, my husband-Kevin, began a series of adult Christmas-themed lessons.  We discussed a great resource on the web we found for creating do-it-yourself Jesse Tree ornaments.  This would be a fun way to actually have your kids create a special ornament each night as a part of the Christmas countdown.  As a family devotion, you could discuss the Bible story to accompany each picture. 

Hope you can use and enjoy!!!!  :-)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Parenting Place--Advent Fun and Family Christmas Devotions

Hi, everyone!  It is almost that time!  Advent begins this week, and the countdown has begun to my favorite time of year--Christmas!!!!  Just a reminder that there are FREE Christmas devotion resources available for you and your family at my TpT site.  The links available on the FREE DOWNLOADS page of my blog will take you there. 

Last year's Advent ideas are also still available at this site by checking my blog history.  Just look in the January and December sections of my blog located on the bottom right of your screen.  Last year I planned my family's devotions based upon a Christmas color each week and those are the ideas and pictures you will see there. 

Whatever you do to celebrate the season, this is just a reminder to keep Christ at the center of your holiday!  Hope these ideas are a blessing to you!  Would love to hear how God is working in your family!  Shannon :-)

PS--I will try to keep you updated with ideas and pictures of this year's family devotions.  Also, for my sweet teacher friends out there, TpT is hosting a huge sale on Monday, so absolutely everything in my TpT store will be on sale!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Wishes!

Just a note to say Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours during this special week!  I am so thankful for so many things, including all of you!    My mom has a magnet hanging on her fridge that I love;  it says I was counting my blessings and you came to mind.  Hope you enjoy a little time off to spend with friends and family!  God bless you!  Shannon :-)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Parenting Place--A Broken Arm and a Thanksgiving Reminder...


Well, Sunday was an excellent day on one hand--as a part of our family ministry that we do at our church, my husband and I were thrilled to be a part of FEC Fall Family Fest 2011.  On the other hand, the day brought a crisis that we were not anticipating at all.  The day's events remind me now of the Bible verse, "We make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps."~Proverbs 16:9. 

While I helped with preschool games and relays and my husband raced from generator to sound to stage, our 8-year old suffered a "substantial" upper arm break on an inflatable bouncy slide.  Tate landed wrong at the bottom of the slide, and realizing that something was wrong, he leaped off of the slide and took off running.  His little legs were flying as he raced across an open field, only to collapse in either shock or pain in the center of a circle of adults.  Imagine my panic as I heard my oldest son, Tucker, screaming my name over the roar of the band, laughter, and fun.

Loading Tate in our van and racing to the ER, it is amazing how quickly things snapped into focus.  By the time Tuesday rolled around, we found ourselves praying over Tate and kissing him goodbye as he rolled into the OR for surgery.  Emerging a few hours later with the heaviest camouflage cast I had ever seen, I realized that this Thanksgiving would be a different one.  Yes, we will still have turkey and dressing, still visit family and friends, still dress up in coordinating shades of brown and orange...but this year I will hug my kids a little tighter and give thanks for days of health and happiness.  What I thought was going to the main thing--running a fall festival on Sunday afternoon--turned out to be only a blip on the radar screen.  Just a reminder to all of you sweet parents out there to keep the main things the main things.  Why did Tate break his arm?  We might not ever know.  But what did I learn from this experience?  God is still God, and He holds it together.  Giving thanks for my sweet children and especially my resilient Tate this November!  Praying you and yours have a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving as well!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ministry Minute--Bible Verse ABC's

Hi!  Just wanted to take a minute and share something I am working on with my preschool children's church kids.  We are learning a different Bible verse each week, based upon the letters of the alphabet.  I am using them in 3 ways:

1) laminated on scrapbook paper for a hallway display.
2) laminated and placed on a flip ring for classroom practice.
3) photocopied for printable coloring sheets.

Here are a few pictures for you to see:

Hope this inspires you to add some scripture memory into your own life!  If you are interested in seeing more, you can visit the following web address. 
Have a happy and blessed week!!! :-)