Tuesday, March 31, 2009

April Fools

My kids are old enough that I can now play tricks on them! I am so excited! :)

For lunch I am serving faux fish sticks and peas. This was in the Family Fun magazine this month. I absolutely love this magazine, lots of fun ideas, crafts, etc!

April Fools Lunch


I decided to make these ahead of time, so there would be less chance of the kids catching on. The peas were super easy, and look awesome! The fish sticks were very easy as well, messier, but still super easy.

I am also going to serve some faux fries on the side

Faux Fries

I got as much done ahead of time as I could. The Faux Fries I knew would be better fresh, so I sent the kids to their room, telling them that I was making them a VERY SPECIAL lunch. The anticipation of what it was was absolutely killing them, and they kept peeking out.

 So when they came out, this was their initial checking-it-out, just a little super wary!

 After hearing some grunts and moans I had to explain a little about April Fool's and let them know it was not what it looked like. It did not take too much convincing for my 4 year old son, who is also a lot more of an adventurous eater.

My 6 yr old daughter was a whole other story. Just because her brother liked it, did not mean that she would, and convincing her to try anything is like pulling teeth! As this photo demonstrates!

She did eventually eat it, and get a bit happier about it as well. lol!

Should be fun. Then once I get them into the spirit of it, we'll prepare a few tricks to play on daddy when he gets home. :)

For the daddy trick, we made him a "soda". It is actually jello with a straw in it. The kids were super excited to trick him. We also played a little soap trick. We had some trick soap from the dollar store, and it was hollow with a spider on a string underneath it. I removed all other soap from the bathroom counter and hid them in the shower so he would be forced to use that tiny bar of soap, and the kids were just waiting for his reaction, so what did he do, saw the teeny bar of soap and grabbed one out of the shower instead! Stinker! Our trick kit from the $ Store also had a fake mouse/rat thing, super ugly thing. We stuck it between our screen and downstairs window and the kids pointed it out to their daddy. I think it tricked him for just a minute, but the giggles lasted much longer!

And be sure to check out my many other years of April Foolery

Go Track a Yak by Tony Johnston

Go Track A Yak! Go Track A Yak! by Tony Johnston

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is one of the cutest children's books ever! My kids absolutely LOVE this book. We check it out from the library over and over and over! It is great! Must be read with lots of enthusiasm!

View all my reviews.

I absolutely LOVE this book. One of my all time faves! And the kids' too!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Robert Munsch

Someone asked me for children's books recommendations, so I thought I would do a few posts about that, some of my faves, the kids faves, and maybe authors that we love.

First up is Robert Munsch. I just love his books, his most popular is "Love You Forever" which is a great little story that makes me cry every time I read it. I bought this book for myself when I was still in highschool, just love it!

He has a whole ton of other books, and most of them are very very silly. I read on the cover of one of his books that he does not print a story until it has been told over a hundred times! His stories are very much like being told a story in person, made up as you go along (which is often how he does it). They are cute, silly, and very childlike. My kids LOVE them. We are always checking one of his books over the library, often the same ones over and over and over and over!

Here is his official website:

and the book list:

Some of our faves are:
Makeup Mess (a message about true beauty)
Stephanie's Ponytail (being original)
Something Good
Andrew's Loose Tooth
David's Father (looks can be deceiving)
I Have to Go (Ah, the joys of potty training!)
Moira's Birthday
Murmel Murmel Murmel
and Thomas' Snowsuit
Paper Bag Princess

There are many more, many of which we have not read yet, but so far, I have liked every one!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Religious Easter Ideas

My husband's cousin (and my new friend!) inspired me. She had a post on her blog about your favorite Easter memory. My mom did a great job of trying to keep Easter religious. We would usually get some small toy, but the rest would all be religious items: scriptures, books, religious pictures, scripture story dolls with cassette tapes (that I still have!), etc. We have tried to continue that with our children.

A few years ago I was trying to find religious Easter ideas for a daytime enrichment that I was in charge of. I thought I would share a few of the best ideas here!

Resurrection Cookies: I made these with my children a few years ago, as did my sister with her boys. I need to do it again, now that my children are old enough to understand more. Every ingredient is symbolic, and it was just awesome to make them. It was very hard to beat the pecans (as it is symbolic of the Savior being beaten by the soldiers). It was hard to do, but very moving as well. It sounds like they would not be overly appetizing, but they were, kind of like divinity.

Easter Cookies
To be made the evening before Easter
You need:
1c. whole pecans
1 tsp. vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch salt
1c. sugar
zipper baggie
wooden spoon
Preheat oven to 300.

Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested He was beaten by the Roman soldiers.
Read John 19:1-3

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink.
Read John 19:28-30

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life.
Read John 10:10-11

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.
Read Luke 23:27

So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1c. sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him.
Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God' s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.
Read Isa. 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid.
Read Matt. 27:57-60.
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed.
Read Matt. 27:65-66. GO TO BED!

Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.
Read John 16:20 and 22.

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.
Read Matt. 28:1-9
(special note) Great to use for a Sunday School Class or Vacation Bible School too... Cookies can be left on a very very low temp..like 250 degrees. and be ready in a couple of hours...when surface of cookie looks dry and cracked....they are ready to eat!!!!!

Another great one is resurrection rolls, my sister and her kids liked these better, I think my daughter liked them better as well. However, not as much symbolism, but still a good object lesson.

Resurrecting Rolls
Ingredients: 3/4 cup warm water
1 large egg
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. sugar
6 Tbs. butter
3 Tbs. dry milk
1-1/2 tsp. yeast
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 Tbs. cinnamon
24 marshmallows
Combine first 8 ingredients. Let rise till double. Divide into 24 balls and flatten. Mix sugar and cinnamon together. Dip rolls in melted margarine, then into sugar mixture. Wrap roll around a marshmallow, covering completely. Dip once more into butter, and again into sugar. Place rolls in a large greased pan and allow to rise till double. (approx. 35 min) Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes, or until done. Rolls should be completely empty when cooled...like the empty tomb.

I think this would be a cute neighbor type gift:
Jesus Jelly Bean Bags
Place jelly beans in a snack size ziplock bag and attach the following prayer:
Red is for the blood He gave,
Green is for the grass He made,
Yellow is for the sun so bright,
Orange is for the edge of night.
Black is for the sins that were made,
White is for the grace He gave.
Purple is for the hour of sorrow,
Pink is for the new tomorrow.
A bag full of jelly beans,
Colorful and sweet,
Is a Prayer...is a Promise... Is an Easter treat!

My sister organized this activity for the kids for an Easter party about four years ago. We had her boys, some of my siblings, and a few little ones. It was more for the older kids though. She had each object in a paper sack, and we made it a scavenger hunt for the kids to find the bags. Then we had them tell about the item in the sack.

Easter Object Lesson
Buy a six inch paper mache Easter egg and collect the following items to put inside, in order , and use during the lesson. These items can be found at a dollar store or amongst household items or toys. As you hold up each item, let the children tell the story of Easter, and you can fill in any details as you wish.
1. DONKEY- reminds us of Palm Sunday when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the donkey.
2. SMALL PURSE OR BAG CONTAINING COINS-Judas' betrayal of Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
3. SMALL ROOSTER- Peter's denial of ever knowing Jesus.
4. PIECE OF ROPE- "After they had bound him, they led Him away."
5. THORNS FROM A ROSE OR HAWTHORNE BUSH- reminds of the crown of thorns.
6. SMALL WOODEN CROSS- He carried His cross (Simon the Cyrene)
7. PIECE OF SPONGE-They gave Jesus vinegar to drink as he was dying on the cross.
8. SMALL BOX WITH GRAVEL AND ROCKS- the rocks rent and the earth quaked.
9. SOLDIER-Centurian said, "Truly this is the Son of God."
10. PIECE OF WHITE LINEN-Nicodemus and Joseph took Jesus' body down from the cross and wrapped Him in linen. 11. ANGEL- "He is not here, He is risen."
12. COTTON OR ANGEL HAIR- the ascension story, Jesus rises to Heaven in the clouds

This is a cute idea of symbolic things to put in Easter eggs, maybe for a church class or something. I know I made it for something, either a church class, or maybe when I was a missionary, I can not recall.

Scriptures and Objects to fill Easter Eggs
1: Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. The people waved palm branches.
Matthew 21:1-11 Piece of palm branch

2: Mary poured expensive perfume on Jesus' feet.
John 12:2-8 Small perfume sample or cloth with perfume

3: Jesus shared the Last Supper with His disciples.
Matthew 26:17-19 Chex cereal

4: Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
Matthew 27:3 3 dimes

5: Jesus carried His own cross.
John 19:17 Popsicle stick cut and glued in a cross form

6: Soldiers placed a crown of thorns on Jesus' head.
John 19:2 Small thorny branch

7: Soldiers parted Jesus' garments and cast lots for His coat.
John 19:23 Swatch of burlap and a nail

8: Jesus was nailed to a cross and pierced in His side.
John 19:18,37 &
John 20:25-29 A nail

9: They gave Jesus vinegar mixed with gall on a sponge to drink.
Matthew 27:34 A small sponge

10: Spices to prepare Jesus for burial.
John 19:40 7 or 8 whole cloves

11: The stone covering Jesus' tomb was rolled away.
John 20:1 A small rock

12: The napkin around Jesus' head was lying separately from His linen clothers. He was not there. He has risen!
John 20:6-7 A scrap of linen-type fabric

Thanks for reading. I hope you all have a wonderful Easter and remember the Savior and his sacrifices for us!