Showing posts with label Lent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lent. Show all posts

Christian Reviews -- Lent Alzheimer and Tweens & Teens

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of each of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

It is hard to believe that Ash Wednesday is this week!! Every year I try to find ways to prepare myself and my family for Easter and one thing I enjoy is having some devotional to help me become more focused on Jesus and the true meaning behind the amazing holiday of Easter. This year I found an amazing small devotional. It is The Easter Code by O.S. Hawkins. 

Spring and Easter Crafts, Ideas & More with Products from Oriental Trading -- a Crafty Weekends Review & Link Party

Disclosure: I was sent these items to review free of charge from Oriental Trading. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

Can you believe Easter is only two weeks away? I love spring and Easter and love making various crafts for this time of year. I also am always looking for some non-candy ideas for the Easter eggs and basket. I turned to my friends at Oriental Trading for some of all of these. I cannot wait to share with you what we have been making and what surprises Hazel will have on Easter morning. We will start with ideas for the Easter eggs and basket and our new Easter flag.

Lent Ideas for Kids

Today is Ash Wednesday. Yesterday and today Hazel and I put together a Lenten table to help us think about the meaning of Lent and prepare for Easter. We pulled out many of our projects from past years. Some of these projects Hazel does not remember, so we are working on redoing some of them. We missed going to our church's pancake supper for Shrove Tuesday. I knew one of the activities they were doing with the kids was to decorate an "Alleluia" to put away in the box. Since "alleluia" is not used during Lent. I had Hazel do one at home.

Sharing Saturday 17-8

It is time for Sharing Saturday!! This is a link party to share all of your child-oriented crafts, crafts made for kids, activities and lessons as well as your parenting and/or teaching posts.

On Sunday night we also host Crafty Weekends for all your crafts (done by any age), patterns, and craft product reviews! It is the perfect place to share your creative side!! And for all of your cultural posts come share them at the monthly Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop.

Thank you to everyone who shared with us at our last party! It was full of many great ideas, crafts, lessons and more!! There are ideas for celebrating Dr. Seuss's Birthday, Lent, Easter and St. Patrick's Day and more! Our features are just a sampling of them so if you haven't checked them all out, you should! This week we have three groups of features: Books & Learning, Math, and Everything Else Features.

The Berenstain Bears' Easter Blessings -- A First Look Review

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review free of charge from Worthy Ideals. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

What is Easter about for your kids? Is it about the candy, the egg hunt and the Easter basket? Or do they get the amazing blessing Easter really is for us? Do we really get that? 

Amon's Adventure -- Lent Book Review

 Disclosure: Kregel Publications sent me a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Lent is the time Christians prepare for the most amazing miracle and gift from God, the forgiveness of sins and living with God. Jesus came to the earth as a human to suffer for all the sins of humankind. He died because of people's sins and then on Easter morning was resurrected. During Lent people often give up something to share in the suffering and sacrifice. This past December we enjoyed reading a storybook for Advent called Ishtar's Odyssey (the fourth in a series of Advent books). I noticed that Kregel Publications had a storybook for Lent as well, Amon's Adventure by Arnold Ytreeide.

Lent Craft & Activity Round Up & Meatless Recipes for Ash Wednesday

Since today is Ash Wednesday, I thought I would do a round up of Lent activities and crafts that we have done in the past. This year I have convinced Hazel and Steve to give up candy with me. We will see how we all do. Last year I gave up chocolate and I was only really tempted once. All candy will be much harder though.


1) Lenten Cross Puzzle for Lenten Table
2) Lent Prayer Bracelet--The Pearls of Life
3) Lenten Tree on Lenten Table
4) Resurrection Garden
5) Easter Egg Grass
6) Tissue Paper Cross Craft

Then since Steve is Catholic and cannot eat meat on Ash Wednesday or Fridays during Lent, I put together a round-up of our meatless main dishes. Since we do not eat fish, it is often a pasta dish with cheese. However now that Hazel is on limited dairy, I am not sure what I am going to do this year.

1) Rainbow Stew
2) Growing Vegetable Soup
3) Gazpacho
4) Harvest Apple Soup
5) Pasta Salad
6) Vegetable Baked Ziti

What do you do for Lent? For more Lent and Easter ideas check out my Pinterest Board and stay tuned for what we do this year!

Vegetable Baked Ziti

Since my husband is Catholic, he tries not to eat meat on Fridays during Lent. Since neither of us eat fish, this makes Friday meals a bit hard. Here is a recipe for baked ziti I came up with adding as many vegetables as he will tolerate. If I wasn't making this during Lent I would add a pound of ground turkey breast to the recipe.

Vegetable Baked Ziti

Your Recipe
6 PointsPlus Value (Weight Watchers)
Prep time:  20 min
Cook time:  30 min
Serves: 8



  • Cook pasta. While pasta is cooking saute zucchini and garlic in oil. Add spinach and carrots when zucchini is looking basically cooked. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce and herbs and parmesan cheese. Turn to low. After pasta is drained, combine in pan with ricotta. Mix. Then stir in sauce. Pour into 13 by 9 inch pan. Sprinkle mozzarella on top. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes. 
    Pin It

    A Snowy Day

    Lenten Share:
    Just thought I would give you an update on our Easter egg grass. We were very excited to notice some grass growing this week.

    Spring Fairies and a Leprechaun

    Today is the last day to enter my second giveaway. There are some amazing entries over at Sharing Saturday. Please go check them out and get inspired, and feel free to share your newest creations and ideas while there.

    Put Together

    A Giveaway from PrintRunner!

    Our Cross from Soup Supper
    The final craft we did at the Lenten Soup Supper at church was to make a tissue paper cross. This was from a kit from Oriental Trading. We did not put the "He Lives" stickers on it yet since that seems more Eastery than Lent. We have this hanging above our front door as a reminder of the season.
    I was recently contacted by PrintRunner! about offering a giveaway. As you know I have only done one other giveaway, but they offered a sticker giveaway and I thought what Crafty Mom doesn't want custom stickers. I know Hazel loves stickers and would love some with a picture of her or similar!
    PrintRunner is your convenient online printing resource. Check out their print stickers. 

    They have offered a lucky winner 250 standard sized (width 2", height 3.5") stickers in full color (four color process) or black and white printed on premium sticker stock with no proof. And the prize will be ready to ship in 3 business days from submission. This giveaway is open to US Residents only who are 18 and older. (Sorry to all of my international friends and followers!)

    Thank you to PrintRunner for providing us this giveaway, I will receive a set of stickers for hosting this. Good luck to all of you!

    Easter/Spring Buckets--Dollar Tree Crafts

    Getting some inspiration from Pinterest, I decided to go to The Dollar Tree to see if I could gather some supplies to make similar things. The first inspiration was from The Sweet Survival. It is a Hydrangea Covered Easter Egg. I had trouble finding a reasonably priced large Easter egg (Michaels had them for $10 or more) and The Dollar Tree had none. However I love hydrangeas so I still wanted to use them. (Hydrangeas were the flowers at my wedding.) I also saw these cute baskets at Kids flower crafts. I liked these ideas but wanted to do them differently.

    I found these green buckets at The Dollar Tree as well as a faux hydrangea bunch and faux forsythia branches. I bought two of the forsythia branches and one hydrangea bunch and two buckets, so a total of $5 plus tax. Since I wanted Hazel to help me with it, I did not use the hot glue gun. I used tacky craft glue. However, this did not work well. We did start to take the center parts out to make them smooth to glue better. We also found we needed to work sections with it laying down on a side and let it dry completely before trying another section. I will touch them up with some hot glue later. I'm also thinking of adding a ribbon around them.Or maybe we will continue with our gluing and cover them completely. We may make a few more to give to the family or at least grandparents who we will see at Easter.
    We also started on the pink pail that I bought for Hazel's kitchen in which to keep her cloth napkins and napkin rings. She got bored part way through this one though. She did say she wanted to put both types of flowers on it though. So stay tuned for what we do with this one.

    Even though this has been a warm winter, I am starting to want the spring weather already. I love seeing flowers this time of year. I often buy flowers for the table to keep remembering spring is on the way. Here is a rose from a bunch I bought over a week ago. They still look beautiful. (I have not had much luck with the spring flowers lasting--tulips, daffodils.)
    The Bunch after a week

    I guess this post is appropriate today since we are suppose to get snow tonight. I hope you are having a great day!

    The Ant and The Grasshopper and Prayer Bracelet for Lent

    On Sunday, one of the crafts at the Lenten Simple Soup Supper was to make The Pearls of Life bracelets to use in our prayers. Each bead means something. Starting with the gold one which is to represent God. The clear oblong ones are for silence. The white pearl is the I bed. The white bead is the baptism bead. The brown bead is the desert bead. The blue bead is the serenity or calm bead. The red beads are for love given and received. The three small white beads are the secret beads. The black bead is the night bead. The translucent circular bead is the Resurrection bead.  For more details about the meaning of each bead check out here. For a bit about the history of them read here. Personally I like to wear it especially during Lent to remind me to prayer and to bring me closer to God.

    Sharing Saturday is still open through tomorrow. Please go check out the amazing projects people have shared. There are many for celebrating Dr. Suess' birthday on Friday as well as St. Patrick's Day and more! And I hope you will follow me at Facebook!! And voting at Circles of Moms is still open. I'm at number 34 and could use some more votes. You can vote every 24 hours.
    One of our favorite books to take out of the library lately is Ant and Grasshopper by Luli Gray. So today, we began to work on some ants and grasshoppers. We also plan to make Ant's house out of tissue boxes. Hazel has already included Ant and Grasshopper in her daily activities of shopping, etc. when she plays. She also repeats some of the things Ant says in the book. I for the most part made both of these, however Hazel is working on some as well. We will share those when they are finished.
    The story is a take off of the Aesop Fable. Ant is rich and has a big house. He likes to count the food he has collected each day. Grasshopper sings and plays the fiddle in Ant's yard and bothers Ant while he is trying to count. As fall comes Grasshopper tries to come into Ant's house and get fed and Ant laughs at him and turns him away. One night Ant wakes up and finds Grasshopper on his stoop nearly frozen to death and covered in snow. He brings him in and saves his life. There are so many lessons that can be taught from this story. The Grasshopper is homeless. Ant admits in the story he wishes he could sing. And the last line is my favorite: "'Everybody counts.'"
    I used pom poms, pipe cleaners, googly eyes and felt for the grasshopper's wings. Hazel is painting some egg cartons for them and I have a great grasshopper out of TP roll pattern I found in several places when I searched grasshopper crafts. Here is one location. Another with a template is here.

    We will share more of our ants and grasshoppers and our Ant's house soon. Hope you are having a lovely day!

    Lent and The Big Wide Mouthed Frog

    Our Lenten Table
    Close up of our Lenten Tree
    So Lent started last Wednesday. I was away and didn't really do much for it (except stop eating candy) until yesterday. Last night my church held a Simple Soup Supper for Lent. It consisted of soup, rolls, drinks and desserts (potluck style on the desserts) and crafts. We went, but I brought a hot dog and mixed vegetables and blueberries for Hazel since she doesn't do too well with soup yet. One of the crafts was a Lenten Tree. It was a cardboard tree trunk and branches and you added leaves. The directions said you should cut out 40 leaves and write things to do to celebrate lent (like do something nice for someone else) and then put all the leaves in a jar and have one person pick one each day and then try to do that thing during the day. This is a bit beyond Hazel's comprehension so we cut out 40 leaves and colored on six of them (for the six days that have already gone by) and I wrote words like Jesus, God, Love on them. Then we glued those six on. Now we will do one each day until Easter when we can decorate our tree with yellow or gold ribbon. I put our tree (and extra leaves) on a table in the living room that we covered with Hazel's purple play silk (it has red undertones which came out in the picture) along with a cross I received when I was young, and a purple candle. This will be our Lenten table. We will add more to it as the season goes on. And I will let you know some of the different Lenten activities we do.

    Just a reminder that Sharing Saturday is still going on. Feel free to share a kid-friendly activity or craft with us and go check out all the amazing ones already shared! I also bit the bullet and started a Facebook page, so please come like me over there. And finally, please vote daily for me in the Circles of Moms Top 25 Creative Blogs. (I'm so honored to have been nominated!!) Thank you for all your help!!

    A few weeks ago, Lorie over at Reading Confetti posted a great craft to go along with the book The Big Wide Mouthed Frog by Ana Martin Larranaga. I looked for the book at the library and we loved it. Instead of doing her craft, we decided to make all the animals.  I did some searching on-line for help. I found several at DLTK-Kids. I needed a wide mouthed frog, kangaroo, koala bear, possum, emu, and crocodile.
    Our collection minus the crocodile
    The wide mouthed frog is the main character of the book. He goes out into the world one day to explore and asks every animal he meets what they are and what they eat. Then he tells them he is a big wide mouthed frog and that he eats flies. He does this until he meets the crocodile who eats big wide mouthed frogs. So needless to say he was the most important animal to make. I found a great paper plate frog puppet template at DLTK-Kids. I followed it mostly except I used white pom poms and googly eyes for the eyes instead of the print outs.

    The frog first meets a kangaroo. The kangaroo we made from a TP roll and followed the directions at DLTK-Kids. Next he meets a koala. The koala bear also is from TP roll and we used the color template and directions at DLTK-Kids as well.
    Our Kangaroo and Koala

    The third animal he meets is a possum (hanging upside down). The possum I had more difficulties finding. I found an interesting looking one at Danielle's Place but since I'm not a member I couldn't get the actual template and instructions, so I went from the picture and made a few changes. I used two pipe cleaners for the tail and used a TP roll to give the body some weight and steadiness. Then I cut the body from grey scrapbook paper and made a cone for the head from a grey beige paper. I added a small black pom pom for the nose and some paper ears and googly eyes. Overall, I'm happy with it.
    Our Possum

    The next animal he meets is an emu. I did a google search and found a paper plate one at MSSS Crafts. Changing a few things to go with the story and based on what we had available we came up with a pretty good one. We did glue feathers onto it instead of a paper bag. I also made sure his feet had three long toes since the frog calls him three long toes.
    Our Emu
    The final animal the frog meets is a crocodile. I didn't really like my options on this one that I found. DLTK-Kids had some TP roll templates but they were green and since the frog calls the crocodile a knobby brown log I felt it needed to be brown. Since Hazel is not great at coloring in lines, etc. I figured that might be too hard. I also wanted it to be bigger than the frog since it eats frogs. So, I painted a paper plate brown for the mouth. I stuffed a brown paper lunch bag with paper and plastic bags and glued it the open end around a paper towel roll for the tail. I then glued on the bumps from a cardboard egg carton to make it knobby and added some googly eyes. I also tried to shape the paper towel roll to be a bit pointed at the end. Ok, I probably should have given her some legs and feet, but this was good enough for us.
    Our Crocodile
    So now when we read the story we have all the characters to act it out with. What do you think? Hazel loves them.

    Happy Monday!!