Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Moments with Mimi--Grocery Cart Etiquette...

Set an example...a phrase that as parents and/or teachers we have probably heard and even spoken more than once.  This week's blog post from Mimi focuses on doing the right thing.  Why?  Because little eyes are always watching and our ACTIONS SPEAK VOLUMES!  Enjoy and share!

Grocery Cart Etiquette

When shopping today, I came very close to hitting a buggy that had been haphazardly left across two parking places at the grocery store. I was a little irritated that “whomever” it was did not return their buggy to its correct location because I always return buggies to the correct bin in a parking lot – well almost always. ;-)

Seriously, I really do try to return my grocery carts, and library books, and … well, you get the point. It may seem a small thing in the scheme of life to endeavor to see that buggies aren’t left loose in parking lots, but still a lesson can be learned here about rules and discipline.

Recently my oldest daughter asked me why I had not written something about discipline in one of my weekly Monday Moments with Mimi, and I had to hold back an LOL. I am the loved and loving Mimi of 5 precious grandchildren – who finds herself bending 90% of the rules along with my grandchildren 90% of the time, but only for the sake of learning, laughter and love. Isn’t there a difference in bending rules and breaking them? Ah, the joys of being a Mimi!

Through years of my children and grandchildren grocery shopping with me, I don’t know if I have ever even told them a “rule” about buggy etiquette. But they have always seen a “practice” of returning buggies to their proper bin demonstrated for them. In essence, I have been modeling the idea that true character is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.

Now to apply this small illustration to my thoughts on rules and discipline...

Certainly there are places for rules, laws, and even Commandments with strict observance and severe consequences!!! But for now, I am focusing on discipline and training on a smaller scale. What if, from the start, we represented a model of expected behavior for our children to follow; it is just that simple.

With us consistently interacting with our children, we have opportunities to also consistently regulate their behavior. Repetition, consistency, and modeling...3 factors which we as adults cannot underestimate. Repeat, repeat, and repeat again an explanation when needed, and be consistent, consistent, and more consistent with desired actions--your actions modeled in front of them.

Discipline to me, is not so much about establishing “the rules” and then doling out punishments or rewards. It is, rather, respectfully and consistently regulating one’s behavior, for the good of those watching, and in turn, teaching our children to do the same for others. Daily Discipleship...those aren’t new words...

So yes, I will take the buggy back to its place every time and tell my children why; “Becuase if you don’t, a blonde lady on the loose, frantic and in a hurry, might come into the parking lot, hit the out of place buggy, make it roll into your car, and wouldn’t that be the ruin of an otherwise lovely day?!” Blessings, Anne (Mimi)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

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

I cannot believe that we have already reached the end of our Bible alphabet study in children's church!  It is always such a blessing to worship with my little ones every Sunday morning.  I hope you too have been blessed as we have shared ideas for these lessons over the past few weeks and months!  I have certainly enjoyed sharing these Sunday morning moments with you.
For this final lesson we focused on the Book of Psalms--Old Testament praises written for our Heavenly Father.  Our Scripture for today's lesson was Psalm 97:8.
During our puppet skit we were visited by bears...lots and lots of them.
The 3 bears were "BEARY, BEARY" happy because Sadie brought them some new friends to play with.  We connected this to our lesson by discussing what God has blessed us with that makes us beary (very) happy.  You can see an example of one child's response shown below.  Other responses included family, friends, a home, our church, etc.  As usual, the children also colored their corresponding Z coloring page as well.
Below are the links to these resource pages if you are interested.  Blessings, Shannon
PS--I am so excited about our next series...The Fruit of the Spirit.  Watch for details in the coming weeks.

On Teachers Pay Teachers:

On Teachers Notebook:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Another Olympic-Sized Sale--This Time on TpT!

In addition to my Teachers Notebook store, I am also running a 20% off SALE on EVERYTHING in my TpT Store!  Visit it by clicking the link below.

Hope you enjoy! I love the Olympics--especially watching them at home with my 3 little ones!
In case you are interested in some more Olympic-inspired fun, check out my 7 Wonders of the Ancient World Unit shown below. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Enjoy an Olympic-Sized 20% Off Sale on Teachers Notebook!!! :-)

Hope you enjoy!  I love the Olympics--especially watching them at home with my 3 little ones! 

In case you are interested in some more Olympic-inspired fun, check out my 7 Wonders of the Ancient World Unit shown below. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hi, everyone!  No, you are not mistaken.  Today's Monday Moment with Mimi is actually posting on Tuesday.  Sorry, I go back to school this Wednesday, so this week has gotten away from me rather quickly. 

I love my mom's post this week for a couple of reasons...1) because I also had the privilege of climbing this lighthouse with her and 2) because this post reminds me of one of my favorite Bible verses.  Psalm 34:4 says, "I sought the Lord and He answered me; He delivered me from ALL my fears!" 

I must admit, fear is something I have struggled with and will even face as we approach a new school year.  I know this sounds hilarious, but I still get first day jitters although I have been in the classroom for a long, long time.  Read and enjoy, and know that sometimes...whatever the challenge we are facing...we just need to do it afraid!   Enjoy and share, Shannnon :-)

Fearfully Climbing Lighthouses!

My oldest grandson and I engaged in something that I have wanted to do for the past 5 or 6 years on vacation. We climbed to the top of Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse in Florida.  There were 203 steps to the top—and it was quite high up at the top I might add.  It was a challenging, memorable ending to a wonderful summer of adventures that is too rapidly coming to a close!
I have loved all of the summer adventures I have had with my children and grandchildren!  As now we near the end of summer, I realize that school is approaching soon.  All too soon our children and grandchildren will be leaving us—whether they are heading off to Preschool or College. All will be embarking on new adventures. For many it will be what they have looked forward to and simply can’t wait to get there, but for others it may be something they fear and are cautiously apprehensive as the day they have been dreading approaches.

For those around us who are facing fear, we need to look intently for ways to help them arrive at their destination with security—ways to avoid being paralyzed by the fear factor. I myself have experienced the dread of walking the path of the unknown with ever present fear looming there.    

But the feeling of fear is not always a negative thing, as long as we understand it at time serves as a valuable guard rail of life. Guard rails such as these can equip us to make wise and cautious decisions!  (Such as holding the hand rail when climbing hundreds of feet into the air!)
As we get older and mature, fear should not become a road block that paralyzes us!  Fear that keeps us from going down a particular life path or prevents us from braving the 203 steps of a tall lighthouse we’ve always wanted to climb can steal our joy and rob us of the present adventure at hand.

Fear may simply be the flag that waves to us to be cautious or go slow.  And yes, sometimes it does wave – STOP!!!! And then we need to just STOP!!!

But if fear is unfounded, it can become more than a guard rail; it has then become a road block.  We often too easily turn, go back, and feel defeated too soon. Or even worse, we continue on without any joy or enjoyment, but don’t realize that we have allowed fear to become our traveling companion.

There are many that have been awarded the title of hero by fearlessly accomplishing various acts of rescue and grand deeds of valor.  To me, true heroes are those who respond and act in spite of their fears.  Sometimes they may have seemed fearless on the surface, but were actually trembling inside; apprehension was in their heart, a knot was in their stomach, and sweat was on their palms…and yet they still marched boldly forward to accomplish the task before them.

Some of these heroes simply walked bravely into a new classroom, pointed their car toward their new school in another state, or even walked back down the 203 steps lighthouse steps after reaching the top.  But all had minds made up to conquer their fears!
Many little heroes will be fearfully entering the classroom soon—forming a new circle of friends, leaving Mom for the first time, meeting a new teacher—but they will be entering and climbing in spite of their fears. These children are small in stature compared to heroes of old, but they will be heroes in their own right, and I challenge all of us to cheer them on, encourage their efforts, and reward their accomplishments as we remember we have all walked in their small shoes at some point in our lives.  Blessings, Anne (Mimi)

Our View from the Top...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Moments with Mimi--When You Wish upon a Star...

When You Wish upon a Star…

On vacation this past week, I was sitting out on the balcony of our 4th floor condo looking at the stars with my granddaughter, Sadie, on my lap.  We were up late--much past both of our bedtimes.  She was eagerly, and somewhat accurately, pointing out the constellations to me--Orion’s Belt, the Big and Little Dippers, and then a falling star. (I suspect it was actually an airplane from the nearby airport, but we called it our falling star.)

Sadie said we should quickly make a wish.  I was prepared to explain to her that we did not really wish on falling stars, or low flying airplanes, but I waited out of curiosity in order to hear what her wish was. She closed her pretty eyes, held up her pointer finger and wished that she could spin a basketball on her index finger like the boys did.

She then said, “Mimi, you make your wish.”  I hesitated and then just said what I was actually thinking at that moment, “I wish DanaBug (my youngest daughter) and her family could stay with us longer at the beach.”  Kids in the pool below us jumped and splashed below us and that was the end of our conversation. Sadie’ interest shifted down to the pool activities below us.

We continued on with our night: TV, snacks, teeth brushing, and then bedtime. After our goodnight story, Sadie began her nighttime prayers which included thanking God for our fun day, keeping those at home safe, fun for tomorrow, and then the interesting part…she paused and said, “And God, don’t forget what Mimi said about Aunt Dani tonight. Amen.”

I was touched.  This child with her simple ways had spoken volumes to a Mimi that was prepared to deliver spiritual clarity about wishing two hours earlier. But my explanation hadn’t been necessary, because Sadie already knew that a “wish” about important things was really prayer. And she already knew that my “wish” was worth repeating to God, just to remind Him. She had offered an intercessory prayer on my behalf.

Sadie didn’t know about the formality or structure of intercessory prayer, but was tenderly, sensitively mindful of doing it!!!!! Interesting isn’t it?

Thanks for the lesson reminder, my sweet Sadie, that I too should always be sensitive to remember the prayers of others.  Did I mention that she just turned 5?  Interesting isn’t it, what a child can teach us?  Anne

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

Beach memories!  Look at these sweet toes in the sand...ahhhhh...but alas, home again and back to work.  :-)

Although coming home from vacation is at times a bit depressing, I was so excited to see my children's church kiddoes this morning!!!  What a great way to spend my first day back at home!

  We are so close to the end of our Bible alphabet.  Today was the letter Y, and our verse came from Matthew 5:14, "You are the light of the world."

Here is our poster for hallway display.
Before doing our Bible story from the Sermon on the Mount, we were vistited by Tate and Willie the Watchdog.  Willie had been looking everywhere for his lost shoe.  There was just one problem.  Tate discovered that Willie had forgotten to turn his flashlight on.  Of course, once Willie realized he needed his light to shine, he immediately found his lost shoe under the bed.  Tate and Willie pose here for a picture.

The children and I talked about ways we too can be the light of the world.  We can shine the light of God's love with encouraging words, acts of service, and sharing His love!  Hope the Son shines on you and through you this week!

In case you are interested, web addresses are listed below for our ABC verses and coloring sheets.  Enjoy!  Shannon :-)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Moments with Mimi--Hills and Patriotism...

Happy 4th of July, everyone!  I am so excited for a chance to enjoy some rest and relaxation with friends and family this's the stuff of memories...laid back summer smiles and lazy days of summer; sparklers with my sister's family and fireworks with just doesn't get any better!  Here is today's Monday Moment with Mimi!  Love and blessings!  Shannon :-)

Hills and Patriotism

This has been such a wonderful week of the 4th!  Since I love family, friends and fireworks, I can honestly say it was a wonderful Independence Day!

I began my July 4th  morning early by attempting to run/walk at a local track.  I may be slow and I admit I do walk on areas of the track when I am especially weary…but not the hills.   Don’t get me wrong…there are days when I walk…like during my extended illness a few years ago or on my lazy days.  But even on days like these, my goal has always been to run the hills.  As a runner, it has become mental as much as physical.  Don’t give up; don’t give in!  I may walk the paths, but I will run the hills.  This always leaves me with a feeling of accomplishment, small at best…but still a feeling of accomplishment!

 On the 4th of July as I ran, I passed quite a few runners dressed in patriotic garb, and I was reminded of a day many, many years ago that I too proudly displayed a small flag on the leg of my jeans.  It was displayed at the bottom of my pant leg and was very carefully stitched… 

Sadly though, I tell you, that I stitched the small flag on upside down.  I was expressing an unhappy feeling about our country and understood very little about the era I was living in—except how to sew on a flag.

That Saturday morning, I struck off on an adventure with my friends, until my Dad, a decorated WWII veteran, eyed me across the road.  Or, shall I say, he eyed my faded jeans.  Or, shall I say, he eagle-eyed the upside down flag on my jeans – my faded jeans—that I had so proudly sewn on just hours before. 

After an intense lecture from my dad--Mr. J. A. Hill--on patriotism, flags, and respect, I must admit I was feeling rather checked.  Since then I have never displayed, nor desired to display, our U.S. flag in such a manner.

What made it worse was that on that day I realized I couldn’t even tell my dad a good reason why I had worn the tiny flag in such an unpatriotic manner, other than that’s what all the others were doing.”

Now to tie today’s tale together…Some 40 years later, I feel strongly that today we are in a place where some “things” of our country are truly upside down.  But I also know wholeheartedly that God has blessed this land too much to give up, give in, and just walk the paths.

Instead we must run the hills for what we know to be Truth…put forth effort to correct and change…live out our convictions and beliefs.  Running the hills--it's what my dad, Mr. Hill, taught me to do with his patriotism, his example, his passion, and his love for country!  Happy Independence to you and yours!  Anne

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Let Freedom Ring! FREEBIES for You!

Happy 4th of July!  I am so incredible grateful for the FREEDOM we have in our wonderful country!  I am also profoundly grateful for the freedom we have in Christ.  Today I have thought and thought about the verse from John 8:36 that says, "If the Son has set us free, then we must be free indeed."  I hope and pray this verse brings you joy and comfort on this very special holiday.  Free indeed--awesome!  I personally have had a great 4th enjoying swimming, food, and fireworks with my loved ones!  I hope you have as well!

What better way to close out today's celebration of FREEDOM than with a couple of FREEBIES!  I am including the links here from both my TpT and my Teachers Notebook store, so feel free to access it from your favorite site at the links below.  Enjoy!  Shannon :-)


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Independence Day Sale!

Hi, everyone!  Just a quick note to let you know that EVERYTHING will be on sale in my Teacher's Notebook and TpT stores from July 3rd-6th in honor of Independence Day!  What a gift to live in the best country in the world!  Have a happy and safe 4th with your families!  Shannon :-)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday Moments with Mimi--Cookies and Blessings

Hi, friends!  Welcome back for week 2 of Monday Moments with Mimi.  I feel so blessed to be able to share these words of wisdom and anecdotes from my mom with you.  Enjoy, share, and be blessed!  Shannon :-) 
Cookies and Blessings

Just a week or so ago I was blessed to be surrounded with all 5 of my precious grandchildren in various combinations and in different locations for 5 days, 4 nights, 9 hours, and 37 minutes.  It was an exciting time, but when they all were gone, all I could say was WHEW!!!!!!  And remember and smile.
Memories like these I have come to treasure.  For example, in my kitchen, I have a cabinet where I keep chocolate chip cookies. As little additions have been made to the family, I have purposely dropped the location of these cookies from the top shelf to the middle shelf to the bottom of the cabinet.  It’s only fair that all have equal reaching opportunities.

From day one when my grandchildren were not even tall enough to reach the handle of the cabinet to pull the door open, they could use their little fingers to pry open the door from the side, and there lay the cookies in the package.  Often I’ve listened to the unique squeak of the door opening, the shuffling of the cookie wrapper as they worked diligently to get the cookies out, and then the door quietly closing.  All the while, I wait because I would have gladly given them the cookies, but to them it is something to be said that they have done it on their own.

As I remember the sound of the cabinet opening with its unique squeak, I always smile.  I know that to them, they have found a prize and gotten away with something big at Mimi’s.  What an accomplishment for them!!!! (Like I didn’t hear the sounds all along.)  
They have missed the concept that I have purposely bought and placed the cookies within their reach, waiting for them to discover what their little hearts’ desire, and I am smiling at their find.

So much more it is with the Lord. He daily places Blessings of Life within our reach for us to enjoy and then smiles as we too, like the kids, think that we have worked and made the secret find on our own, when all the while He has lovingly provided.  Anne

Ministry Minute and the Parenting Place--A 4th of July Devotion for Kids

4th of July...The birthday of our country, a time for celebrating our American freedoms with friends and family, and what a great opportunity to teach our kids about true FREEDOM that comes from knowing and following Christ! 
For this lesson, we used the Scripture found in Galatians 5:1,
"It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us FREE!"

The supplies were very simple:  a template I made on copy paper with a flag outline on the front and our Bible verse on the back, glue, red paper collage squares, larger blue paper squares, and sheets of foil star stickers.
Our lesson began with a visit from our puppet friend, Penny the Penguin, but you could use any puppet you have available.  As you can see, Penny had been helping Mom at the office and had become quite entangled in the print feed from the computer room.

Penny was very frustrated at this predicament!  I asked Penny if he would like to be free.  Of course, the answer was yes, so the children helped Penny untangle himself.  I used this as an object lesson to launch into our lesson.  Sin can often entangle us and there is only 1 way to break free--to ask God to forgive us and to remove the sin that so easily ensnares us.
Once Penny was free, you can see that he was a much happier penguin!  That is how we also feel when we have been forgiven.  Christ loves us and extends this gift of freedom to us all! 

After the lesson we transitioned to our tables to complete the flag craft using the supplies described above.
For older children, your flag could be more realistic.  My preschoolers were able to do about 10 stars and 3 red stripes unassisted.  Older children could make American flags which were more true to scale with 13 stripes and 50 stars.

I hope you all have a fabulous week of the 4th!  Watch for more goodies from me throughout the week!  Shannon :-)