Tuesday, November 30, 2010

3 Wise Men and googly eyes

This week is was Adam's turn to lead 'Super Family Bible Night' and the kids always look forward to Adam's night – they are always very clever, creative and fun! And this week's was no exception. Although it didn't start off so well (or end so well for that matter). Toby (8) has been learning piano and we'd printed off some music for him to learn how to play some Christmas Carols, however I got a little over excited and decided it was about time that I learn how to play the piano too – or at least learn how to play Silent Night. So the first 10minutes of Super Family Bible Night was with me and the kids trying to play and sing Silent Night together – completely out of tune much to the delight of us 3 and with Adam smirking and rolling his eyes at us all. Mental note – don't try and learn piano on a 'Super Family Bible Night' it will only end in singing – lol.

With piano practise aside we officially began the night. Adam's story was of the "3 wise men" a great idea to look at the stories around Christmas – I can't believe it's only a little over 3 weeks until Christmas. I do love the Christmas season. Adam read and discussed how the wise men saw the large star in the sky, and followed it to Bethlehem. What was doubly brilliant was that Kids Church this week spoke about this same story and so Toby was able to share lots about what he'd learnt in Kids Church. Toby & Lily had even been playing with our Nativity scene the day before, and so Toby had been teaching Lily about the 3 gifts that the wise men had brought for Jesus. Kids Church had even found mirth and Toby shared how disgusting it smelt – although Lily kept calling it "Perth." (I love my church!) This made it easier for Adam to talk about the story because the kids already knew lots about the story.

After the story Adam's creative side shone through again. He'd purchased some little gold boxes and he pulled out the craft box, and spent some time decorating our little gifts to remind us of the gifts that the wise men had brought to Jesus. There was pipe-cleaners, glue, stickers, sparkles and even some googly eyes (left over from our week on ladybirds ***blog insert here***) that was until the googly eyes decided they didn't want to stick onto the gift boxes and kept sliding off. Thus begins the tears... "My eyes won't stay on... sob... my eyes won't stick mum... bigger sob and the beginning of anger... why won't my eyes stick?" At first I was able to contain my amusement of how upset Toby was getting about his googly eyes and give him some thoughts on how to get his googly eyes to stick on his gift box but when he began hitting the googly eyes with his fists – my small hidden smirk – came out as a little giggle and then a good ole belly laugh. I know I shouldn't laugh at my children but sometimes they are so funny and I can't help it. So after some more tears, anger and a few camera shots Toby was able to calm down and I had to promise not to put up any photos of him having his googly eye tantrum. Of which I will keep. We then finished off our gift boxes and hung them on the Christmas tree for us to remember of the gift of Jesus.

So in summary how did the night go? The story was a fantastic idea especially leading up to Christmas – the craft idea was perfect especially since we'd just put up the Christmas tree the day before. The only downside of the night was the distraction of Silent Night piano practise and those rotten googly eyes. Mental note – consider throwing googly eyes out!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Moses & the placemats!

This week it was my turn for 'Super Family Bible Night' and we decided to look at Moses, the baby in a basket. I considered for a split second that we could do a dramatised version of the passage but then thought about the use of water and children and thought that combination wasn't a good choice just before bedtime. So I went with a crafty option.

I grabbed the Kids Bible and read them the story of Moses being placed into a basket as a baby. I purposely chose not to show the kids the pictures as I wanted them to be able to use their imagination for the 2nd part of the night. After I'd finished reading the story everyone chose a coloured piece of paper and we spent some time drawing a picture about the story of Moses. Lily of course was infatuated with the princess – and made sure she was the first part, Adam being the very creative one in the family included the Pyramids and heaps of detail, me – well, I drew some blue lines for water and some reasonable stick figures. Toby on the other had created a magnificent picture. However, I am a little concerned, as you may be able to see in the photo – there is 2 sharks in the Nile River. Now I'm pretty sure there weren't any sharks in the story I read and I'm pretty sure there aren't any sharks in the Nile River – so that made for an interesting discussion (although they are pretty smart drawings of sharks).

So after some time, and a request for more time - we each presented our pictures and explanation of what we'd drawn. I was surprised at how much the kids got into drawing a picture of the story and we've decided to laminate the kids pictures and they can use them as placemats (I decided put mine in a very special place - the recycling bin J).

This week worked really well and it was super easy! And Toby & Lily have a lasting memory of Moses on their placemats!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The ‘exercise ball’s’ been rolled away

Tonight was Lily's turn for 'Super Family Bible Night', and she was super excited. She been planning for awhile – this was her 'most favourite' story and she couldn't wait to do it. The story required a grave, a stone, grave clothes, swords, a cross and angel, mean people and friends. Can you guess what story she chose – yep – Jesus' death and resurrection!

Tonight was a bit cooler so we stayed indoors – and headed for the kids bedroom, we created a grave with the kids bunk beds with a sheet and a large blue exercise ball to create the grave, an old sheet to become the grave clothes, we found some of dads wood and string to create a cross and of course fairy wings for the angel – however we had a dilemma – 'no sword'  (I know I can't believe it either) – what were we going to do?? Thankfully Lily had an idea – Barbie dolls!! I have no idea how Barbie dolls could also be a substitute as a sword. But it was Lily's night so I didn't bother questioning.

Lily had all the parts allocated for the night – she was (of course) Jesus, the rest of us swapped between friends, mean people, guards, angels and then friends again. We began with Jesus praying in the garden and his friends falling asleep and Jesus had to keep waking them up (Lily loved being able to wake us up over and over again). Then Judas arrived to betray Jesus. Toby was thrilled with the idea of being Judas until we told him that Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss (meaning that he had to give his little sister a kiss on the cheek) he was repulsed at the thought and didn't want to be Judas anymore, but after some coercion he reluctantly gave Jesus (Lily) a kiss. Jesus was then taken to the court to be judged and then crucified. Although I think Toby enjoyed the 'nailing Jesus to the cross' part a little too much. After Jesus (Lily) died (a quite dramatic death might I say) we wrapped Jesus up in the grave clothes (old sheet) and moved Jesus into the grave (bunk bed) and rolled the stone (exercise ball) into place. On the 3rd day and 'angel of the Lord' appeared (aka Adam) and informed the friends that Jesus was no longer dead but was alive – the friends were thrilled to see Jesus again.

Lily loved being able to lead this week, she especially loved being able to play the part of Jesus – it was really interesting to see how excited she was. She even told me this morning that her favourite stories in the bible – 1 Jesus death & resurrection and 2 Jonah & the whale. Interestingly both of those were ones that she led in 'Super Family Bible Night', and it made me realise that she was really engaged in the nights but she was especially loved it when she was the one in charge. It made me realise how much my kids were learning and loving these nights.

Summary – although I was a little concerned about how the re-enactment would go on the death of Jesus the kids did a really good job of it, and I think they actually began to understand the sacrifice a bit more. It was a big one to cover – and I think our little 5yo did a pretty good job of it. She even had a magnificent prayer time afterwards thanking God for the cross, for the bible and for her family – priceless (and a tear jerker). The only problem was that most of the night I had that song "The Stone's been rolled away" in my head but instead of stone – I kept thinking "the exercise ball been bounced away" – didn't have the same ring to it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Talking Donkey & a cricket bat

This week was Toby's turn for 'Super Family Bible Night' and he was very excited – that could have something to do with the fact that it involved a cricket bat and a donkey - Or maybe it was just the Word of God – mmm but I'm guessing for an 8yo boy it was the former. As you may have guessed Toby's choice was the passage in Numbers 22 about the talking donkey.


We were directed onto the grass in the backyard but we were missing someone, Toby couldn't be found. It was his night to lead 'Super Family Bible Night' where on earth was he???


Little did we know that hiding behind the trampoline was a little boy dressed as a donkey. So with all family members accounted for, 'Super Family Bible Night' began. But just what did Toby have planned... yet again we were acting out the story. Toby played the part of the donkey, (I don't know about you? But don't own a donkey costume, so Toby held a hobby horse and covered up with a brown sheet) Lily was Balaam (which looked totally funny in her nightgown and gumboots), Dad was narrator and Mum was king and also marvellously transformed into an angel.


The story began with the king commanding Balaam to put a curse on God's people, and Balaam agreeing (glad we were reading from a kid's bible that explained a curse much better than I would have). So Balaam left on his journey with his donkey, to curse Gods people but then an angel (amazing transformed from a king) appeared, and the donkey saw it and went ballistic. Balaam was so angry...


Lily knew this bible story and was looking forward to her part which involved a cricket bat and her brother (I mean a donkey, or maybe it was her brother). We had strictly advised her to only hit the donkey's head (the hobby horse) not Toby. Thankfully she listened, but I think it took everything within her not to hit her brother with a cricket bat. And so she gave that poor little hobby horse a hiding.

Back to the story... cowering the donkey, spoke to Balaam and asked why he was beating him, then suddenly to angel appeared to Balaam and instead of cursing he blessed God's people.
Summary: a very fun night, however it could have been a very dangerous night with the inclusion of a cricket bat and permission to hit a donkey. Mmm very thankful that it turned out as well as it did.


Next week is Lily's turn, and just what will a 5yo have in store for us??

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Jesus heals ‘Big Ted’

This week was Adam's turn for 'Super family Bible Night' and we decided to do it on Tuesday this week as we had a day off (love having a public holiday for a horse race – thank you horseys). The kids were thrilled when Adam asked them for all their stuffed toys to be able to use in the bible story, that was an easy task for Toby as he sleeps with more than 20 stuffed toys – Lily is the opposite and only sleeps with her 'Sheepy', so she had to go searching for her stuffed toys (and was very disappointed that 'Sheepy' couldn't be involved).

So with arms full of stuffed toys we headed outside to our pergola, where there was a ladder and a box tied up to the roof with a pulley system. As soon as Toby saw it, it yelled in delight "I know what the story is, it's 'Through the Roof', it's 'Through the Roof'" and sure enough when Adam opened the bible the title in the kid's bible was 'Through the Roof'. Before we started we needed to decide on who was going to be the sick person – Big Ted from Play School was chosen. The next choice was which stuffed animal was going to play Jesus – and 'Flames' the flying Dragon was chosen because he's the most powerful and he can beat & kill anyone (mmm interesting choice but let's go with Flames).

And so the story began, all the stuffed toys were gathered around Jesus (Flames) listening to him teach, when 4 friends brought their sick friend (Big Ted) to the house in a box to be healed by Jesus, but they couldn't get near Jesus, so the friends carried Big Ted up a ladder in the box, and lowered him into the roof (well when I say lowered – I really mean – Big Ted had a carnival ride into the house – similar to the 'Giant Drop' at DreamWorld, you know the one... where you are slowly taken up very high and then when you least expect it are dropped at a ridiculous speed and stopped just before you hit the floor. Poor Big Ted, I think he was injured more from being lowered into the house than he was beforehand). So when we got Big Ted in front of Jesus, it was met with cries of 'let's do it again, let's do it again – I want Beanie Teddy to have a go'. After letting Toby & Lily know that all the stuffed toys can have a go after the story – we got some focus back.

Thankfully, we eventually got to the part of the story where Jesus healed the sick man and Big Ted was all better. We were able to chat to the kids about the importance of caring for our friends, how these people cared for their sick friend – enough to dig through the roof of a house to get to Jesus and after he was healed they were very thankful & praised Jesus for healing the man.

After some time sharing and praying, the kids got back up the ladder and gave each one of their stuffed toys a carnival ride, some stayed in the box – most fell out – which they thought was hilarious!!

Summary, the kids loved being able to involve their favourite stuffed animals in the bible story. Whether they got the point - not so sure - but they'll forever remember taking their toys for a ride on the Giant Drop.