Friday, June 28, 2013

Weekend Happenings, Celebrating the 4th of July in Birmingham, A Toddler Devotion (God is Our Good Shepherd)

Good Friday afternoon!

Boy, have I got a story to tell you!

However, it will have to wait until Monday because I am just now seeing the end of the story... and I want to tell it just one time.

Since the above is a HUGE teaser, just let me say, "Settle down. It is a story, but it's relevance to anyone other than me and mine is minimal. Maybe even nonexistent. You can be the judge Monday morning."

RANDOMNESS #1 - I have a few new readers, and although I wrongfully assume everyone in the entire world knows what I am talking about and who I am talking about at all times, I have been informed that is not the case.

I'm going to give you a little tutorial on "Who's Who in The Enchanting Belinda's World."

I'm going to skip the basics. If you don't already know Mikie, Austin, Josh and Roxie, it will not take you long to figure out who they are.

However, after The Faulkner Five, the Family Tree gets a little trickier.

We'll start off with my identical twin sister... Bev.

Just kidding, just kidding. Bev looks like my Dad, and I look like my Mom.

But we have the same voice. People cannot tell us apart on the phone.

Beverly married Tommy a few years ago.

And they begat...

Brad (13 months younger than Austin)...

And Katie (3 months younger than Josh)...

And Zac (17 months younger than Roxie).

And then Bev and I called it quits in the "Having Babies Department."

It would be so wrong of me not to mention Austin's girlfriend, The Lovely Melia...

And Brad's girlfriend, Stephanie. (I haven't given Stephanie a nickname yet, but when I do, it will be very complimentary.)

We call these two chicks our own.

And now for Mikie's side of the family...

This is Becky (Mike's sister) and her husband, Guy.

Becky and Guy begat...


And Jared.


Brandi married a nice young man coincidentally named Jared (like her brother)...

And Jared (Brandi's brother) married a sweet chick named Amber.

Brandi and Jared begat...

Matthew (MY great-nephew)...

And Lauren (MY first great-niece).

Are you still with me?

And then Amber and Jared begat...

Mackenzie (MY second great-niece).

And at this time in my life, that is pretty much the Family Tree.

All of the grandparents have appeared numerous times in A Simple Life, and I'm always careful to label them appropriately. I don't think there has been any confusion as to their identities.

But just in case...

Grandma and Grandpa are Mikie's parents.

And Grandmother is my Mom.

If I think of any more, I'll post them on Monday!

RANDOMNESS #2 - I liked these pictures of Josh and Roxie because they accidentally kinda matched one day. It doesn't happen often (as in NEVER) so I didn't want to let the moment pass.

A Toddler Devotion (God is Our Good Shepherd)

I found this on Pinterest and wanted to share it with my new friends who are currently parenting toddlers. Although this lesson plan was originally written for a classroom setting, it would work well as an object lesson for a young family.

Bible Passage - Psalm 23, John 10:1-18
Bible Lesson Title - God is Our Good Shepherd
Target Age Group - Toddlers, age 18 to 24 months
Original Teaching Context: Toddler Sunday School
Main Idea - God is our good Shepherd. We are His sheep. He takes care of us.
Supplies - Bible, picture of shepherd and sheep. (See additional activities below for supply list.)

With toddlers, you want to keep your devotion short and simple. Show the kids the picture of a shepherd. Hold up your Bible. Tell them, "The Bible tells us God is our good Shepherd. The Bible is His Word. God is our good Shepherd. We are His sheep. He takes care of us." (Repeat three times.)

Choose the following activities which will work best for your kiddos.

1. Follow the Shepherd

Supplies - Shepherd staff, healthy snack for toddlers, water to drink.

What does a sheep say? (Baaaa.) God is our Shepherd. We are His sheep. He takes care of us. I will pretend to be your shepherd. You are my sheep. Follow me, and I will care for you.

Have another adult get on the ground and act like a sheep to encourage the toddlers to do the same. Lead your sheep to water. Encourage them to drink. Lead them to food. Encourage them to eat.

God is our Shepherd. He provides us with food and water. He cares for us. (While they are eating, count your sheep.)

All of my sheep are here. I am a shepherd and I protect my sheep. God is our good Shepherd. He protects us. (Lead them to a resting place.)

When we are tired, God gives us rest. Can you pretend to rest (sleep)? God is our good Shepherd. He takes care of us. (While they are resting, count your sheep.)

All of my sheep are here. I am a shepherd and I protect my sheep. God is our good Shepherd. He protects us.

If they have trouble following you during this activity (straying from the other children), remind them, "Sheep follow their shepherd! I need ________________ (child’s name) to follow me! God is your good Shepherd. He knows your name and calls you to follow Him!"

2. Box Pull

Supplies - Shoes boxes with a hole punched near the top of one small side (tie a string long enough for a toddler to pull the box around behind them), stuffed lambs, blankies.

Here is a sheep for you to take care of. Can you tuck them in and keep them safe? The Bible says God is our good Shepherd. We are His sheep. He takes care of us.

Show them how they can pull the boxes behind them and lead their sheep. Repeat the main idea as much as you can.

3. Cotton Ball Discovery

Supplies - Medium or large box/container, cotton balls, small Bible, toy sheep, toy shepherd, small books about sheep or any other small items that might go along with the lesson theme. Fill your box with cotton balls. Hide the items throughout.

Sheep are soft like these cotton balls. Can you feel the cotton balls? (Pass around a few cotton balls. Show them how to touch them to their faces to feel the softness.) There are some things hidden in these cotton balls! (Pull one small item out.) Let’s see what you can find!

4. Touch and Feel

Bring real wool to class. Let them touch it and describe the texture. Repeat the main idea as they touch the wool.

5. Sheep Experience

If this is an option for you, find a nearby farm with a real sheep or lamb. (You can also go to The Birmingham Zoo.) Let your toddlers pet the sheep. Talk to them about what sheep are like (behavior, eating, etc.). Repeat the main idea as they are discovering new things about sheep.

6. Pray

Hold hands or bow your heads together (just demonstrate and ask them to do the same. Some may, most may just watch.) Say a short prayer like the following, "Dear God... You are our good Shepherd. We are your sheep. You take care of us. Help us to follow you. We love you. Thank you for loving us. Amen."

Celebrating the 4th of July in Birmingham

Here are a few things you might want to try as a family this weekend AND on the 4th of July...

1. AT THE TWILIGHT’S LAST GLEAMING - Wave that flag and cheer. Patriotic songs will be on the agenda at 7:30 p.m. this Sunday when the UAB Summer Band performs on the lawn outside Bartow Arena. Director Sue Samuels and her 75-member ensemble will offer a star-spangled program that also includes traditional pops fare. Admission is free. For more information call 205-934-7376.

2. FLAG MAKING AND PARADE - Go to Oak Mountain State Park, Campground Pavilion at 10:00 a.m. on the 4th of July. Make flags and other patriotic crafts at the Campground Pavilion. Call 205-620-2520 for more info.

3. BIRMINGHAM BARONS - Watch the Barons take on the Mobile Bay Bears at 6:00 p.m. on the 4th of July. You will have a front row seat at the end of the game for a fantastic fireworks show.

Weekend Happenings

1. Believe it or not, basketball is back in our lives... yesterday, today and tomorrow. Roxie is attending Basketball Camp and Mike and I will be watching a couple of games today and all of the games tomorrow.

2. Sunday, our family will be celebrating Bev's belated birthday. (See Family Tree above if you are still not sure who Bev is in the grand scheme of things.)

Roxie is baking her cake, and I must say, it is going to be epic. It will be one of the best she's ever made... if everything turns out as planned.

Other than some church attending, dog washing, chicken sandwich serving and hedge trimming, that will be it for our weekend.

I hope you and yours have a great pre-4th of July weekend. I'll be back Monday with just a few more 4th of July ideas, cake pictures, basketball pictures and a semi-interesting story.

Take care, and I'll talk to you Monday morning.


The Enchanting Belinda

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