Resurrection Eggs for kids

Time for an Easter Egg Hunt!

And no egg hunt would be complete without a dozen Resurrection Eggs to tell the story of the very first Easter. Each egg has a surprise hidden inside. Symbols retelling Jesus’ journey to the cross and His triumphant resurrection. You can use these eggs with your own children on Easter Sunday, during Lent with your church family, or if you dare: host an egg hunt like I did one year.

I had great expectations for a lovely small party. God had other plans! 

Here’s my story:

Many Easters ago, I envisioned an elegant party for our youngest daughter and her friends. {Our oldest daughter joined me as co-host.} We made and mailed invitations for 5 of her young friends. Delicious desserts, handmade chocolates, finger sandwiches and yummy snacks were on our menu. I bought a DVD of a Veggie Tales Easter story for the girls to watch. We loved having parties and no party would be complete without a few games. We chose some fun games to play and I decided to end the party with a good old-fashioned Easter Egg Hunt! I purchased a dozen plastic eggs per girl. Filling them with goodies I found at my local Christian bookstore. I bought a carton of Resurrection Eggs, thinking this would be a fun way to share Jesus with the girls.

My plans were going wonderfully. The party would be perfect! Six little girls giggling; searching inside my small home for hidden eggs in their pastel Easter dresses. I numbered the Resurrection Eggs and would allow each girl to find two of them. As each little girl would present her numbered egg in order, I would tell them the story of Jesus and Easter and life would be good!

Those were my plans. Controlled. Quiet. Pink and Frilly.

Now, let me tell you GOD’s plan:

Once the invitations were delivered, it began.

The first phone call came. A mother asking if a few siblings could attend as well. I hesitated. [My plans!] But thought, I should share Jesus with those kids too. I did some recalculations and decided the girls could each find nine eggs now rather than fourteen. No big deal. Well, then…

…another call came followed by another. And so on. My party dreams were spiraling out of control. Soon I had brothers and sisters and cousins and friends and parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles on my guest list. You have to understand something about me. <<I am an organizational freak.>> I had notes upon notes and a schedule and party game rules and recipes for FIVE guests! What was I going to do?? I now had over FIFTY people coming! I couldn’t fit everyone inside my home!!

Panic set in and honestly, at first I was miffed that my plans were hijacked.

The thought to cancel played with my mind. I was no longer in control. Yet…somehow I sensed peace. Where I wanted to share Jesus with 5, God placed in front of me the opportunity to share Him with 50! Wow. What was I complaining about?? Ugh.

In the midst of my chaos, there I find God in complete control.

Once God had given me a much-needed attitude adjustment, I fervently went to work changing my entire itinerary. I bought more eggs while some parents helped by donating some. We hid eggs all around our homestead, recording the exact location of each Resurrection Egg. The children gathered on the patio while the adults stood close behind. One by one, the Resurrection Eggs were opened to reveal their hidden treasure. And the story of Jesus was proclaimed.

“You must be very careful not to forget the things you have seen God do for you. Keep reminding yourselves, and tell your children and grandchildren as well.”

~ Deuteronomy 4:9  (CEV)

Fancy food was not served. No frilly dresses. The DVD never played. My plans did not see the light of day. But His did!

And, it was one of the bestest days of my life!!

 

Gift Exchange Games

Gift Exchange Games~BackToFamily.net

The Gathering!

For many, many years my  husband’s family has been gathering to celebrate the birth of Jesus. We eat. We laugh. We exchange gifts. We eat. We catch up on the latest goings on with each other. We play cards and board games. And we eat some more.

Due to the continuous growth of the family, we have discontinued individual gift giving. Replaced it with a group gift exchange. Everyone brings one gift item suitable for male or female within a specific price limit. This way everyone can participate without breaking the bank. The games will work for any family- no matter the size.  The games will work for any special occasion and party too.

Choose a letter!

During our Thanksgiving feast we choose a letter of the alphabet to represent our Christmas gift exchange. This year L was the chosen letter. We set a budget of $10. Off we went shopping looking for gifts that began with the letter L in the range of 10 bucks. Then once we had our gifts selected, the wrapping was almost as crucial as the choosing. We are a creative family. Some boxes were humongous and some were tiny. As many different shapes and sizes as days of the month. Some were boxes within boxes within boxes. Some used duct tape to secure wrapping paper. Some electrical tape. Do NOT write your name on the outside of the package. Gifts are anonymous!

Gift Exchange Games~ BackToFamily.net

Like I said, we are a rather creative family. This year’s goodies included: BBQ flavored Larva, the game of Life, maple bacon flavored Lollipop, a toy Lamborghini, dill pickle flavored Lip Balm, gift cards for Long John Silvers, a camo Lantern, gift card for Little Caesar’s Pizza, Lemon heads candy, Lincolns ($5 bill), LCR dice games, Laxatives, Lamps, a stuffed Lamb, Lip gloss, a Lock, a Labyrinth game, Lance crackers, night Lights, Licorice, Lysol, hand Lotions, and Lavender hand soap among many others!

It’s Game Time!

The first year my sister-in-law, Cindy read a Left/Right story. Last year my niece, Jessica led us in a game of dice. It was similar to the December Dice game found here. This year was my turn. I searched the internet for ideas. Lots of great left/right stories can be found here. And here is a different way to exchange gifts by selecting slips of papers in a jar and following their instructions. I loved this Grinch game especially for youngsters.

I chose to use the Right Left Christmas Game Nativity Story found at www.diva-girl-parties-and-stuff.com. And I threw in a card game too as an added bonus.

Gift Exchange Games~ BackToFamily.net

Let’s Get Started!

I used 2 decks of playing cards and a printed version of the Nativity Story.

  • As our 35 family members made their way to sit in a circle they each chose one playing card per gift. Some brought additional gifts to represent family members unable to attend.
  • When everyone was seated and had a card in hand, I then randomly chose cards from the second deck I held in my hands. I called out the cards rather quickly and continuously until all the cards had been used.
  • When each family member heard their card called, they chose a gift from the center pile of all the L gifts keeping ahold of their cards.
  • I announced that all King bearers were Keepers. When opening gifts later, no one could switch gifts with them without their permission.
  • After clarifying which direction was left and which is right, I began to read the Nativity Story Left Right game emphasizing when I came upon the words left and right. The game worked well for our large group as the gifts really made their way around.
  • When the story was finished, I drew cards one at a time from my deck. The holder of the matching card could open the gift they now held or could switch with anyone holding an UNOPENED gift and open that gift. Once a gift is opened it belongs to its owner and cannot be switched. The contents were held up for all to see.

 

 

Cinnamon Ornaments

Hey Mom! Looking for a fun and easy Christmas craft to do with the kids? Here ya go.

Making Cinnamon Ornaments has been a fun family tradition in our home for years. The Holiday Season officially begins by rolling out a batch of these yummy smelling decorations. They can take up to a week to completely dry so be sure to make them ahead in plenty of time before decorating your Christmas tree. Your home will smell fabulous!

Cinnamon Ornaments ~ BacktoFamily.net

To make your Christmas gifts more festive tie them on packages with ribbon. Your child can give them as gifts to teachers, instructors, school bus drivers and Sunday School teachers. Make a dozen as a gift to Newlyweds to celebrate their first Christmas! So many possibilities…

C’mon! Let’s get started!

Gather your ingredients and supplies:
  • 7 bottles (2.8 ounce) of ground Cinnamon
  • 1 quart Applesauce
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of ground Cloves (optional)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of grated Nutmeg (optional)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of ground Allspice (optional)
  • Ribbon, Yarn, or Twine
  • 4 Wire Cooling Racks or Paper Bags
  • Small straw
Gather the family and let the fun begin:
  1. Blend 6 bottles of cinnamon and the other spices in a large bowl.
  2. Stir in the applesauce one cup at a time.
  3. Knead with your hands till smooth.
  4. Divide the mixture into fourths.
  5. Dust your counter with the remaining bottle of cinnamon as needed.
  6. Dust the rolling pin and top of dough ball with cinnamon.
  7. Roll each section to ¼” thickness onto the cinnamon covered counter.
  8. Cut out with your favorite cookie cutters. Gingerbread men look especially nice!
  9. Cut a small hole in the top with a small straw.
  10. Place on racks to dry. This could take up to a week.
  11. Turn daily to dry evenly. They will get lighter as they dry.
  12. Thread with ribbon, yarn, or twine.
  13. Makes about 4 dozen ornaments.
Picture Tutorial:

Cinnamon Ornaments 3~ BacktoFamily.net

Cinnamon Ornaments 4~ BacktoFamily.net

Cinnamon Ornaments 5~ BacktoFamily.net

Cinnamon Ornaments 6~ BacktoFamily.net

Cinnamon Ornaments 7~ BacktoFamily.net

Cinnamon Ornaments 8~ BacktoFamily.net

Cinnamon Ornaments 9~ BacktoFamily.net

Cinnamon Ornaments 10~ BacktoFamily.net

Cinnamon Ornaments 11~ BacktoFamily.net

Cinnamon Ornaments 12~ BacktoFamily.net

Cinnamon Ornaments 13~ BacktoFamily.net

Left Behind Movie 2014

LEFTBEHIND ~ backtofamily.net

In an instant, millions of people around the globe disappear.

Those left behind, thrown into chaos, searching for answers.

My family and I went to see the new Left Behind movie with Nicolas Cage on opening night.

Full disclosure: I went as a Christian to support a Christian movie. That’s about it. I was skeptical. I have read the books and loved the videos based on the books starring Kirk Cameron. I wasn’t expecting much from this latest movie.

I wasn’t expecting to be blown away!

Seriously! I loved it. It made me laugh. And at times, cry. It was suspenseful to say the least. And the end?? It found me leaning back in my seat, white knuckles gripping the arm rests. My daughter reminded me, “Mom! You know how it’s gonna end!” Yep. I sure did. But still…my heart raced.

#AreYouReady? backtofamily.net

I especially loved Lea Thompson (Back to the Future, Hallmark’s Jane Doe) as Irene Steele. The cast did a great job bringing the characters to life. Read about one of the cast members wild past on The Blaze here. While it seems the movie received less than favorable reviews from critics, the movie goers themselves gave rave reviews on various websites.

Here’s what the Dove Foundation had to say: “Left Behind” (2014) has earned five Doves from The Dove Foundation, our best rating. It is entertaining, suspenseful, and will motivate viewers to examine their own lives.

Dear friend, I hope you will consider making the drive to the theatre nearest you showing Left Behind. I really don’t think you’ll regret it.

#AreYouReady? backtofamily.net

#AreYouReady?

I hope so friend…

First Love

He’s a girl’s first love.
True unconditional, everlasting love.

He is handsome. Funny. Strong. Gentle.

When both my girls were younger, they each proclaimed when they grew up they were going to marry him!

He can fix anything from broken bikes to broken hearts.

A girl’s first love may even take her out on a date.

Watching this video of a girl’s first date will tug at your heartstrings!

You can read about the story behind the video here. It was a real first date!

Check out the company behind the video here.

100% of the profits made from BeCause of Camilito are donated to one of three Compassion International funds!

Our family sponsors an adorable young girl through Compassion. As a matter of fact we just received a letter from her yesterday. She drew an adorable picture for us of her bunny.

I just came across this video and BeCause of Camilito today.

From what I can see, they appear to be a genuine company with a heart for God’s children.

Their video of a girl’s first love was so cute I just had to share with you.

First love ~Back To Family.net

photo credit: Screenshot from The Best First Date video (http://youtu.be/GiOJuIPl8vE)

A girl’s first love. Her prince charming. His name…Daddy!

God’s Not Dead

This headline from The Blaze does not surprise me one bit:
‘God’s Not Dead’ Rocking Box Office in Stunning Debut — Per-Screen Average Near Top of the Heap

It is expected to come in at #3  [UPDATE:#2] this weekend with only 780 theaters showing it across the country

Hel-lo???

Seriously. When will Hollywood get it that there is an audience for Faith-based Family-Friendly films??

Our family drove over an hour to the closest theater last evening to watch it.

It took me nearly TWO HOURS to get my online ticket order through.

I tried ordering through Fandango. My order kept voiding out as the theater continually updated the ticket count. I did this twice before engaging a Live Chat with Fandango. This prompted my bank to put a hold on my bank card! The representative suggested I call in my order. That didn’t work either. I then went through the theater’s website and successfully ordered through them. However, I had to wait to see this long time anticipated movie as the next available showtime was Saturday at 10 pm. The other showtimes were SOLD-OUT and they even added an extra time slot! When we arrived, the theater had a barricade section for God’s Not Dead patrons to wait for seating.

I imagine the “rush” is almost over now and you should be able to get a ticket easier than I.

This is a must see movie! Especially if you have children. And most especially if they are Middle School through College age. If you’re able, I would recommend allowing them to invite a friend.

God’s Not Dead exceeded my expectations in a big way.

There are four story lines we follow throughout the movie and those lives intersect. Characters are genuine with real-life problems. It was easy to step into their shoes and feel their emotions. The ending was unexpected and dramatic.

The theater was filled with laughter, tears, shock, and ended with a roar of applause.
God's Not Dead

Source: https://www.facebook.com/PureFlix

 I love the way the ending of the movie gives you a Call To Action. Which I did even though it was after midnight…

Well done Pure Flix! Well done.

2014: The Year for Faith Based Movies

Have you noticed how many movies are coming out this year with a Biblical theme?

It’s hard to keep track of release dates, so…

I thought I’d compile a list to keep track of them all.

In Theaters:

February 28th- Son of God 20th Century Fox

 

March 21st- God’s Not Dead Pure Flix Entertainment ***Now on DVD***


Continue reading~ 2014: The Year for Faith Based Movies »