One of the reasons that we started Our Purposeful Life is to share ideas about how to teach our kids. We are passionate about the idea of being purposeful as we raise each one of them according to God’s plan.
Here is a compilation of some of our favorite posts about our sacred role of Parents as Teachers.
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Last weekend we went apple picking with my in-laws. I love U-pick patches and this one is always a hit for my family. Cider Hill Family Orchard is just a few miles west of the Legends shopping area in Kansas City, Kansas. We really like going here and it works great for the kids. We were on a time crunch this year so we weren’t able to enjoy all the extras that the orchard has to offer, but we did get more than enough apples to bring home. I really need to write down how many apples we buy so I can remember it the next year. I always get too into it and forget to stop picking! 🙂
Here is our link to last year’s post that will tell you more about Cider Hill. In this post you can also find a link to the most amazing Apple Fritters and our recipe for homemade applesauce.
This year I made my applesauce a little different. My crockpot was being used to make Apple Butter so I made my applesauce on the stove. I chopped up a bunch of apples and cooked them on the stove top. My apples did not produce enough juice on their own, so as they cooked down so I had to add some water to the mixture. Once the apples were very mushy, I put them into my food mill and ground them into a very smooth consistency. I did not add any sugar or cinnamon to my applesauce since my family is used to the natural applesauce from the store, but you could add either to taste if that is what your family prefers. Continue reading →
Yesterday my kids got the privilege along with 5 other families to minister to residents at a nursing home. One of the residents attends our church and asked us to come and share a few songs. It was an awesome opportunity for us to serve the older and wiser generation. Our performance was simple but touched so many hearts.
Our kids ranged from 1 years old to teenagers, and all got to play a little part. Our worship Pastor headed this event up. She picked four songs for the kids to sing and then gave any kid the opportunity to share a poem, Bible verse, book, song or joke.
It was a great opportunity for the kids to do some public speaking in a safe and loving environment. It also gave them an opportunity to be a light and serve others. After the performance we passed out little cards that the kids had made for the residents to take home. To make the cards we cut a piece of cardstock into fourths. The kids then used a white crayon to write a message on the card. The kids came up with the messages. A couple of the messages were ‘Jesus Loves You’ and ‘Have a Blessed Day.’ Then they used watercolors to paint them and make them unique. Hopefully this brought a little sunshine into their lives.
It was amazing to watch our children interact with the residents as they handed out the cards. The kids were able to ask them questions and answer theirs. It did this mama’s heart good to see my children blessing others – it blessed me as well!
Do you know someone in a nursing home that you can go and bless? Get a couple of your friends together and go and brighten their day. Pick some songs that you know well and teach them to the kids. You don’t have to have a piano; acappella or with a CD works just fine. Have the kids do a simple craft that they can hand out to bless the residents. You will be amazed at how God can use this opportunity to minister to everyone involved.
James 1:27 (NASB)
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
Each Summer I put together “summer school” for my kids to keep their minds active. We feel it is so important to instill a love for learning at a young age, because a love for learning will help them be successful their entire life. Summer is the perfect time to focus on their passions and give a little extra attention to those areas where they struggle to make the next school year run a little smoother. This year one of our kids asked to learn more about the human body. Another one needs a little extra help with math.
One summer we learned about the different states that we were going to visit over the summer. Another year we learned more about plants and animals. I always have some component of reading, English and math in our summer curriculum. Most of the time I just use the big workbooks that you can find anywhere that are grade specific. I rip the pages out or write page numbers on a paper telling the kids which page they will complete for the day. A few years ago I found 3 ring dividers that had pockets. I labeled the dividers Monday-Friday. Then I placed each day’s worksheets in the labeled pockets. Continue reading →
It is May in Kansas City and I have one word for you….STRAWBERRIES!!!!! I am so excited that strawberry season is almost upon us. When I was a child, my grandparents had a U-Pick strawberry patch. I have many fond memories of going to their house and staying for a week to help my grandma run her business. Most years I was a picker for those who could not bend over or the heat was too much. Eventually, I got promoted into the job of selling the strawberries from the nice shade of the barn. Continue reading →
One of my most favorite Christmas traditions is driving around the city looking at Christmas lights. We pack a supper, everyone gets into their warm PJs and we jump into the car and make a night of it. Now, when I say we make a night of it, I am not kidding! We typically spend 3-4 hours in the car looking at lights. (2 hours of driving and 2 hours of watching) How do we spend this much time in the car and still love each other at the end of the night? Well I am glad you asked 🙂 Here are our tips for making this night a success. Continue reading →
Ladies- a relationship is a two way street. We shouldn’t expect our husbands to be the only ones to plan date nights. You can play an active role in this area of your marriage too. Not only will it relieve some of the pressure off your husband, but you might actually have a lot of fun planning it yourself.
It’s not the gift but the thought that counts! Right? Here is one gift idea that the thought will really count in your husband’s book. Nate still claims it was one of his favorite gifts ever! Two years ago I came across this idea on Dating Divas, and I have since found it on other websites as well. It is a gift of twelve envelopes. Each envelope represents a month of the year. Within each envelope is a note describing what date you will be going on that month. The dates can range from a fancy, candlelight dinner and dancing to a movie night at home. It is your choice. Our budget doesn’t allow expensive date nights each month so I had to get creative. This was the fun part. The point is the thought that went into it and not how much money you spent. Continue reading →
One of my many favorite Christmas traditions is taking the kids to a Christmas Tree Farm to pick out the “perfect” tree. I am a real tree kind of girl. Some years I think it would be much easier if we would just get a fake tree, but I have yet to find one that meets my specifications. I love medium height, FAT trees. The fatter the better!! The kids love going and picking out the perfect tree! We walk up and down the rows trying to decide what tree is the best. We think we have found the perfect one but then walk around back to find a big empty hole in the branches. Typically we end up with two trees that we love and we spend about 15 minutes running back and forth between the trees trying to decided which one is “the one.” Then we send Daddy to go get the saw and the rest of us stand guard making sure no one else picks our tree. Each kid takes a turn cutting the trunk until finally we yell “timber” and our tree comes down with a bang. Then we excitedly watch Daddy carry our tree back to the car as we talk about the fun that is ahead of us.
Last year’s short, but FAT tree 🙂
Now I know some say you should let your tree soak in a bucket of water overnight before you decorate it, but most years we are unable to wait this long. After Nate puts the tree in the tree stand and we have it in the perfect position he hangs the multi-colored lights. The more lights the better is the philosophy in our house! Then the kids and I decorate it with our ornaments. Each kids gets to hang up their own ornament and then they help me hang up the rest, all the while listening to our favorite Christmas songs.
A couple of weeks ago we enjoyed another one of our annual U-Pick traditions. This time: Apples! It was a perfect fall day! The wind had a slight chill, but we were comfortable in pants and a light coat. The coats even came off as we got into the middle of picking. The trees were very prolific!! We picked a full bushel of apples in 20 minutes, and that was picking at a leisurely pace.
Our favorite Apple Orchard is Cider Mill Family Orchard. It is located at 3341 N. 139th Street in Kansas City, KS. It is just off of K-7. When you are going north on K-7 it is immediately after Leavenworth Rd. There is no entrance fee to this Orchard. The Orchard does an excellent job of keeping their picking report up to date on their Facebook page…they will even update it throughout the day. Make sure you check it out before driving to the patch!! They are open Thursday thru Friday 9-5pm and Sunday 12-5pm. At the Orchard they provide a hayrack ride out to the trees that is always fun for our kids. They even provide the ingredients for you to make smores! We learned that they do not waste any of the apples. The fallen apples are either taken to a homeless shelter if they are still good or taken to a mill to be made into applesauce for local shelters. This is definitely a cause I can support! Continue reading →