Monday, June 25, 2012

A New Guest Blogger--Welcome to Mondays with Mimi!

I am so excited to introduce you to my mom, Anne, known affectionately by us as Mimi.  I am so thankful for her friendship, her wisdom, her advice, and her laughter!  I feel so fortunate to have her love and guidance as I raise my own little ones.  While thinking about this one day, an idea hit me...there are tons of sweet moms, friends, and teachers out there who may love a bit of Mimi's motherly wisdom as well.  So, an idea was born!  Welcome to Mimi...looking forward to many more Mondays with you.  Now without further adieu...

A Tribute to My Dad

As my 2 oldest grandchildren were swimming in my pool the other day, I found myself repeating words to them that I said to my own children. Even funnier, they were words my Dad said when he was on pool duty with my children over 25 years ago. Isn't it strange how we say we will not "say what our parents” said -- as we repeat the exact wording with identical enunciation?! The moment made me smile and brought back sweet memories of Daddy who has now gone on to be with the Lord.

My dad loved to teach me, but more importantly -- he wanted me to learn -- from the art of Bridge to the importance of being on time to Sunday School. He believed in the necessity of teaching, but more importantly -- the love of wanting to learn. Somehow, he intricately wove the two together in one piece of fabric...all my life.

So, this first Monday is a tribute to my Dad who took the moments to teach his only child to love to learn. Actually, he possessed the innate skill that is known today as “siezing teachable moments” with children, only he did so long before books and articles were written on this topic. With most circumstances he taught as he talked directly to me. He seized moments to discuss anything from the gift of gardening to the placement of politicians -- and much in between. I was probably the only 5 year old that could use a wooden Coca Cola crate as my stage to recite the Gettysburg Address or that could tell her 2nd grade teacher which fertilizer was the best to use while handing her a bouquet of the garden's finest tulips. He spent a lot of precious time teaching me the why’s and what’s of life.

I guess for all of us, including my Dad, we have a heart's desire to give more to our children than we had in our lives, so Dad you have your heart’s desire granted...I pray not just for opportunities of the priceless scattered ” teachable moments” he gave to me. I seek more. I desire a more intentional way of life with my eyes always toward Heaven, my feet never leaving the Christ-like path, and my heart always in the moment prepared to teach.

I desire all the days of my Kingdom calendar to be filled to capacity with teaching others to want to learn. And yes, let it be from gardening to politics and everything in between. I want to teach the beauty of gardening -- but to also show that is it from my God who is the Maker of all Beauty. Let me share the importance of politics -- but share that it is more than electoral votes, appointment of rulers, and service to country. I want my life to teach so that one day the Lord of Lords will say, “Well done, your time was well spent.” Anne

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ministry Minute and the Parenting Place--Alphabet Letter X

As you can see, this week we are on letter X, and you will see that we took a little creative license with our letter X word--eXceeding...

Almost to the end of the alphabet :-( I can hardly believe it! Today we were visited by our puppet friend Cleo the Camel. (Some of you may recognize Cleo from my 7 Wonders of the Ancient World unit.)

 Cleo brought a seed to plant for the girls and boys, but this wasn't just any ordinary seed...

This seed grew out from behind our puppet stage in a way that was faster and exceedingly more amazing than we could have even guessed!  Do you see this enormous flower that grew in only a matter of seconds?  WOW!

We used this simple illustration to then talk about how God can do eXceedingly and abundantly more that we can ask or imagine.  We reviewed examples from the Bible like Daniel in the lion's den and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace.  Those young men all trusted God to do great things in their lives!  The girls and boys also shared their own personal examples related to this verse.

It was a special blessing to have my niece and nephew with me in town to be a part of today's lesson.  Say hello to William and Catherine Anne!   :-)

Here is a copy of our laminated poster mounted on scrapbook paper for hallway display.

On a personal note, God has been so faithful to answer prayers in my own life in greater ways than I could have even asked or imagined.  Whatever you are facing and however dark the defeat, trust Him and His power that is at work within you!  Love and prayers, Shannon :-)

PS--Stay tuned for a special guest blogger this week.  Watch for our new series...Monday's with Mimi!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Parenting Place and the Classroom Corner--Proactive vs Reactive

Did you grow up hearing sayings like I did such as "Get ahead of the curve!" or "Cut 'em off at the pass!"  With a dad who was part suburbanite/part racecar driver extraordinaire, these were words and phrases we heard often around our house.  As a parent, teacher, and preschool minister, those same words of wisdom ring true today, even though I am no longer referring to hitting a pitch, riding a barrel horse, or racing on a drag strip.  Today's tip deals with proactive rather than reactive discipline.

I often hear friends say, "My child is unruly in Kroger!" or "I am too embarrassed to even go shoe shopping with Taylor.  She screams and cries until we leave."  Trust me--as a mom of 3 and teacher of 103, I have also dealt with my share of irate toddlers and adolescents! In fact, these very same thoughts I have had myself.  Maybe I'll just wait until they are 18 to ever venture to Wal-mart again.  ;-)

But be encouraged!  I want to share a proactive strategy that has worked really well for me in these cases! 

When I roll my super-fly minivan up into a parking place, I turn down the radio and summon the kiddoes surrounding me to attention.  ;-)  I clear my throat and say, "Guys, when we are in Store X we are not going to run up and down the aisles.  Sister, you are going to ride in the front of the buggy and not get out until we get to the milk aisle.  Kevin, you are not going to pitch a fit while we are in this store either (hee, hee, hee--Kevin is my husband LOL).  Guys, we want to have a great afternoon, right?  No consequences, right?"  After a not so very thrilled chorus of "yes ma'ams," it is then time for the Bryant bunch to enter the shopping abyss. 

This same proactive principle applies to my classroom.  "Girls and boys, today we are going to have a great day!  We are not going to argue over whose turn it is at the computer center" or "We are going to have a ball in the library, but remember, we are going to walk and whisper if we want our full break time!"

I wish I could tell you that this system came with a 100% guarantee, but unfortunately I cannot.  What a can say is that this approach has drastically reduced the amount of crying (by my kids and me) whenever I head out to shop, church, browse, etc.  Call it proactive discipline, call it the power of positive thinking..either way try it and see if you find a little more success with this approach to correction and redirection.  Today is a gift--that's why they call it the present...Blessings, Shannon 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy Father's Day, everyone!  Here is my sweet hubby after taking a pie in the face from our little one at Vacation Bible School this week--now that's a good Daddy!  I am so thankful for Kevin and for my own dad shown here with my kiddoes on Easter this year!
This Father's Day weekend I am offering 20% off of everything in both my
Teacher's Notebook and TpT stores!

I hope you have a wonderful Father's Day, and most of all I must say I am so thankful for my Heavenly Father!  "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Love and best wishes, Shannon :-)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ministry Minute and the Parenting Place--Bible Alphabet Letter W

This week is a busy one around church for us!  Vacation Bible School is in full swing, and I hope to post more pictures later in the week of our fun time together!  What do I love most about VBS?  So many doing so much so willingly on behalf of the Lord!  Here is a pic of my kiddoes in our foyer which has been transformed to a SKY Airlines baggage claim! :-)
Before the VBS fun could get underway yesterday, we did have our regular Sunday Children's Church.  I cannot believe that we are already on letter W!!!  The W verse goes perfectly with our VBS theme for this week, "With man this is impossible, but with God, ALL things are possible!" 
Matthew 19:26.
Sometimes as an adult, I need to remember this!  There is no situation too big or too out of control for God!  During our puppet skit, Penny the Penguin struggled with opening a box of Legos, my kiddoes shared their struggles with obeying their parents or being nice to their younger siblings, and I shared my struggle with patience--waiting on the Lord's plan and timing for our family.  There is no one like our God and there is no one more powerful than Him!!!!  Blessings, Shannon
PS--Saw this funny Joyce Meyer post on FB.  
Thought I would share...and then get busy cleaning my house!!!! ;-)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Ministry Minute and the Parenting Place--Bible Alphabet Letter V

This week in Children's Church we began work on our Bible verse which corresponds with the alphabet letter V:  "Verily, verily I say to you, he that believes in Me has everlasting life"  John 6:47.   Sadie poses here with our classroom poster and weekly coloring sheet.
For our lesson we were visited by Penny the Penguin.  Penny told us she had a surprise for us from her garden.  Of course we were very excited--until she showed us a dead fern. :-(  "Oh no!"  Penny exclaimed, "I forgot to put this one in water." 

Penny ran back to her garden and came back with another plant.  Thank goodness! This one was healthy and alive.
After Penny left, I explained to the children that we can find LIFE in Christ.  Like the dead fern, our sins lead to death and separate us from God.  That is what this V verse is all about--with belief in Christ we can have life--EVERLASTING LIFE!  What an amazing gift!  Shannon :-)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Father's Day FREEBIES!

For those of you with a bit of school still ahead, I have 2 Father's Day FREEBIES for you available at both my TpT and Teacher's Notebook stores.  I hope you enjoy the Adventures of SUPERDAD!  You can also use these with your personal children for some summer enrichment.  Enjoy and hope you are having a wonderful week!!!  Shannon :-)