Get Your Kids Into The Kitchen This Week! (What Malachi is Learning)

I tell you, when my older boys were little I had them in the kitchen learning with me all the time. It’s amazing, though, what Malachi has missed out on by being the youngest of four. Poor kid. I read to him less, took fewer pictures of him – basically he has all the “baby of the family” issues. You can see how sad and miserable he is as a result:

pineapple fluff malachi

There. We can’t say I never took his picture.

One thing that has been nice the past few months is that while the older boys have been at basketball practice on Tuesday/Thursday nights – Malachi has had quite a bit of one-on-one time with the parents. We’ve used these nights to work on special projects – one in particular has been in the area of cooking. (He’s also been dreaming of and planning a state-wide Lego Convention with Matt, because when Malachi has an idea it’s go big or go home.)

I’ve been pulling him down onto my lap (because yay, he still fits!) and together we’ll watch a cooking video from the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse that came out in January. We talk about what we watched. We make plans for what to cook, based on the skills he just learned. We practice the skills together. This kid has made huge strides in just a few weeks!

In fact, he and I got so excited about what he’s learning that we spent part of the month of February writing a little cookbook together! I’m not even kidding. (More about his book later!)

Malachi's Favorite Cookbook small

Score one (or one-thousand) for being intentional. That’s really all it takes: Deciding you’re going to teach your kid something – then actually following through with it. (That is profound parenting advice, right there.)

malachi cutting

Free 3-Part Kids Cook Real Food Videos

This all started for Malachi and me back in January when we took advantage of Katie’s FREE Knife Skills Training Lessons. He learned loads in those lessons alone. Now Malachi confidently cuts everything from apples to strawberries to carrots – and I confidently hand him the sharp knives. (I am totally working myself out of a job.)

malachi cutting berries

I’m so happy to share that Katie opened up access to these FREE video lessons again just for Heavenly Homemaker readers. They are completely free – so grab the videos, grab your kids, then grab some knives. ( <—For your fruits and vegetables. Oh, you know what I mean.)

What You Can Expect This Week

All this week we’ll be focused on getting our kids into the kitchen. Why?

  • Our kids need to know how to cook.
  • Our kids need to know about cooking nutritious foods (not just about putting a frozen pizza in the oven).

Even if you don’t have kids at home, I think you’ll still enjoy the posts during the next several days (because recipes and a craft!!!). Here’s the line-up for this week:

  • Kid (and everyone else) Friendly Recipe: Crustless Pizza Pie
  • Kid (and everyone else) Friendly 3-Ingredient Recipe: Homemade {Real Food} Tootsie RollsI am not kidding!
  • Easy 5-Minute Recipe Card Holder Craft Tutorial for Kids and Adults Alike (If I can make it, you can make it. Wait until you see how cute!)
  • Lists of easy recipes (with links) your kids can learn to make on their own
  • And don’t forget that this week only, you have access to the FREE Knife Skills Videos and Lessons.

kids in the kitchen week

A Word About the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse

Registration for Katie’s Kids Cook Real Food eCourse closed right after Malachi and I signed up in January. Since that time, it has benefited our family more than I ever imagined it would. Malachi wasn’t super thrilled to watch the first video with me and get started in the kitchen (because it’s easier to let someone else do the work, right?). But in just a few weeks, he has gone from knowing very little about cooking to being able to do dozens of kitchen tasks. Now each week when a new lesson hits our inbox, Malachi actually gets excited!

“Did we get a new cooking video? I really like those, Mom. You should tell Katie that I really like the videos and the lessons. What’s this new one about?”

That is why I emailed Katie recently – to let her know that her eCourse has been a huge blessing to our family, and to ask her if she would pretty please open up her cart for a few days in Feb/March so more of you can jump aboard this amazingness with Malachi and me. She said “sure!” You need to know that we scored big to be given this privilege, because the cart doesn’t open back up for the general public until May!

What Surprises Me Most About The Kids Cook Real Food eCourse

I’ve been cooking since I was about 8-years old. I’ve been researching nutrition and real-food eating for over 10 years. I consider myself to be pretty good in the kitchen and pretty knowledgeable about food in general.

But I have learned oodles of facts I did not know while working through this eCourse with Malachi.

I didn’t know the thing about the garlic! I didn’t even know the thing about the rice. (I can’t tell you which things because that’s not fair to Katie.) If your kids are taking the course and you read/hear the things about the garlic and the rice, please email me to tell me if you knew. Did you know??

I Have a Bunch of Free Stuff for You To Go With This eCourse

You might remember me saying that I’ve been wanting to put together a Kids Cooking eCourse for years. I was even a little bit disappointed when I heard Katie was making one because I wanted to make one! (<— best read in a whiny voice.) Then I saw what Katie had put together, and I was like, “Well, wow. This is a million times better than I would have/could have done. This is incredible.”

But if I would have made one (which I didn’t), I would have geared it around my Teaching Your Kids to Cook and Learn to Cook ebooks. They would have gone hand-in-hand because those books have a lot of basic cooking information and of course – many easy-to-make real food recipes.

Katie’s class is perfectly set up to teach your kids to cook the real foods you regularly make in your kitchen. This means that if your family has allergies, your child learns to make allergy friendly food your family can eat. It means that if your family has favorite recipes, your child learns to make your family’s favorite recipes. This means that no matter what cookbook your child has, he/she can read it and cook from it.

That’s why it’s fun to be able to give you all 212 pages worth of my Teaching Your Kids to Cook and Learn to Cook ebooks FOR FREE when you buy the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse this week. Then you and your kids will have even more great real food recipes to work with!

Free Teaching Your Kids to Cook eBooks

Additional Freebies!

I’ve been creating some simple activities for Malachi to complete as he has been working his way through the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse. They are fun and effective – reinforcing the skills and nutrition tips he’s been learning. So I packaged them up for you to enjoy with your kids too! Get the Kids Cook Real Food Activities Packet for FREE when you buy Katie’s eCourse this week.

Kids Cook Real Food Activities Packet - Free with Purchase

A Special FREE Copy of Malachi’s Favorite Cookbook

Malachi and I had so much fun working together to write a cookbook. Wait until you read, “Malachi’s Best Cooking Tips!” on page 2 of his book. (He actually used the word, “duh!” which I edited out then put back in because he is eleven and adorable and I couldn’t not include it.)

I’m guessing Malachi’s favorite recipes will soon be your child’s favorite recipes. The book includes 16 of his favorites. Of course, now that we’ve completed it and we keep cooking together, he keeps thinking of more. “We should have added that recipe to my cookbook!” Good thing we included extra pages at the back of the book for your child (and mine) to add new favorites as he/she discovers tasty recipes he/she enjoys!

Malachi agreed that we could give this book away for free this week to anyone who buys the eCourse. “People should get these classes, Mom. They’re really good. Tell them it’s really good.” <— Malachi has spoken.

Malachi's Favorite Cookbook Samples2

So Let’s Review

  1. Everyone can sign up this week to enjoy the FREE Knife Skills Training Videos with your kids. Do this now! You’ll love it!
  2. I have some really great recipes and a craft tutorial ready to share with you this week. Homemade tootsie rolls? Absolutely, yes!
  3. The Kids Cook Real Food eCourse is open just for Heavenly Homemaker readers, just through Monday, March 7. It is well worth your money and time investment.
  4. To sweeten the pot, I’m giving everyone who purchases the eCourse a free Learn to Cook eBook (102 pages), a free Teaching Your Kids to Cook eBook (111 pages), a free copy of Malachi’s Favorite Cookbook (15 pages), and a free KCRF Activity Packet (10 pages)!

To get your freebies and to be entered into our drawing, you’ll just need to email me to let me know that you made the purchase. I’ll have your name in a ledger, but I won’t have your email address. So I can check the ledger, then email you back with the goods!

It’s going to be a great week! At home we’ll be starting with Malachi cutting broccoli, carrots, and zucchini for stir-fry. See? Told you I was working myself out of a job. :)

Look forward to fun kid-friendly recipes coming right up!

Learn More About the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse Here.

This post contains my referral links.

Kid Cooking Skills and Character Training – At the Same Time! (A Fun Freebie for You!)

malachi cooking1

I’m so excited to give you all this freebie today! I mean, you get a book, not the cute kid making muffins up there. He’s mine. All mine.

I’ve been getting Malachi into the kitchen with me more and more since we started working our way through Katie’s Kids Cook Real Food eCourse a few weeks ago. (The class isn’t open to join right now, but I love it so much that I’m sweet talking Katie into offering you a special promo here in a couple of weeks.) I’ve been amazed to watch Malachi’s skills improve and his confidence grow in just a short time.

I’d say I’m working myself out of a job, except that I’m finding that more than turning over the kitchen to my kids – I much prefer working side by side with them there. Some of our best conversations, our most fun inside jokes, and our most relaxed opportunities for teachable moments have come when we’re working in the kitchen together.

Parents – pull your kids into the kitchen with you! For so many reasons – from cooking skills to conversation opportunities – I feel this is important.

This leads me to the freebie I want all of you to have today.

FIll Em Up Coversm

Fill ‘Em Up! is one of the very first eBooks I wrote – based on fun and meaningful experiences I have had with my own kids or with teenagers from church. It is written for parents or teachers of children ages 4-18 (give or take). And actually, some of the ideas work for adult Bible lessons too. I’ll be using the “Homemade Butter in a Jar” idea this weekend with a group of ladies I study with.

Fill ‘Em Up! contains seven recipes, and each recipe is accompanied by two Bible lessons (one suggested for use with children ages 4-10, the other suggested for use with children 11-18).

The recipes and character lessons included are:

  • Pizza Casserole (A Lesson on Building Our Faith)
  • Honey Wheat Muffins (A Lesson on Using Our God Given Gifts)
  • Peanut Butter Fudgies (A Lesson About Following a Godly Leader)
  • Homemade Butter in a Jar (A Lesson About Being Transformed)
  • Fruitie Smoothies (A Lesson About Filling Ourselves with Goodness)
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies vs. Sugar Cookies (A Lesson About Not Comparing Ourselves with Others)

While you spend special time cooking and baking with your kids and filling their tummies…you also experience the joy of discussing God’s word together, which will fill their hearts with His wisdom. Thus the name…Fill ‘Em Up! What a fun way to study God’s word together!

This eBook is for sale in our shop here.

But wouldn’t you rather get it for FREE?

Well, of course.

For one week only, we’re giving this eBook away for free to anyone who wants it! Click here to access this freebie.

I’m super excited to share that signing up for these freebies will connect you to our new Heavenly Homemaker’s Learning Zone. It’s free, of course. You can unsubscribe at any time, your info will never be shared or sold, and being on this list means that you’ll be the first to know of the other fun (yes, FUN!) educational tools we’re putting together! 

P.S. If you are already subscribed to Heavenly Homemaker’s Learning Zone, you should have received an email yesterday giving you instant access to this freebie. Look in your inbox for the subject: A Free Kids Recipes and Character Training Book For You!

That One Time I Handed Out Knives to All My Kids


It is a real thing that once your kids know how to cook, you can holler at them at meal prep time and say, “Hey, I need you to go cook dinner for us tonight please.” Then you can go about your business of running other household tasks while your children efficiently cook a meal.

It’s one of the coolest things ever, and I’m not just talking about handing them boxes of mac-and-cheese.

As the mom of four sons currently ages 11, almost 14, almost 16, and 18 – all of whom can cook at various skill levels – I can’t say enough about the importance of teaching your kids to cook. Is it easier to just go into the kitchen and do it yourself? When the kids are younger, absolutely. There were many times I banned all my little boys from the room so I could just get it done. But allow me to remind you about sentence number one up there. Our kids need to know how to cook! It is worth taking the effort to teach them to cook when they are young so that when they are older they can wait on you hand and foot (and also feed themselves well and all that).


Boy #2 always walked around on the counter-top (close to the stove) while cooking.
He has grown out of this habit. We are grateful.

It’s been fun to revisit some pictures of my little cooking angels from back in the day. For some teenage reason, they don’t like me to take pictures of them cooking now. I mean, I think they’re still cute when they’re slicing and scrambling, but they usually say something about “hair not fixed” and “really, Mom?” so I put the camera away and let them go about their boiling and chopping. But cooking with these little guys has led to being cooked for by big guys, so I’ll just treasure it in my heart and leave my camera in my office.




My children with knives…





Walking on the counter-top by the stove aside, let’s talk about kitchen safety. Knives are almost always involved in cooking. There are so many questions about this! At what age is it safe to give kids a knife? What is the best way to teach them to cut safely? What should they be allowed to cut?

At this point in the mind of a parent, we get too scared to risk it and banish the kids from the kitchen (to play in the street). It seems safer.

Don’t give way to fear, and don’t hide the knives! You simply need to teach your kids how to use a knife safely. Just released today, here’s a fantastic, inexpensive tool for us!

Katie from Kitchen Stewardship put together a Knife Skills Training for Kids Video Series. In fact, she has put together an entire, incredible eCourse on teaching kids to cook because she is nothing short of amazing. Through January 18, Katie is kicking off her eCourse by offering this Knife Skills Training course for FREE!

Malachi (my 11-year old) and I just signed up and watched Video #1 from start to finish. It is super! I love how Katie put catchy names to the different knife safety rules and methods to help kids remember the safe way to hold and use knives. (My favs are Top Chop and Up and Over Soldier – you have to watch the video to know what these are and to see how her methods make so much sense!) She created free downloadable flashcards to use along with the lesson too.

Malachi ended up taking the entire Kids Cook Real Food eCourse. It has been a game changer at our house! I can’t say enough good about it.

Want a freebie?

Sign up here to get a great little booklet filled with great (healthy!) snacks kids can make themselves!

This is how we work ourselves out of a job, help our kids appreciate the hard work it takes to prepare a meal, and keep all their fingers intact. Join me?

What have been your experiences with your kids in the kitchen?

This post contains affiliate links.

Gratituesday: Brother Teaching Brother


You know how your two year old can “help” you by bringing you diapers for the baby, putting away a few toys, and stirring a plastic spoon around in some soapy water as a way to “wash dishes?”  Some of those little fella jobs are really just “here let me keep you busy so that I can keep you from painting the cat with plaster of Paris” right? But it also teaches responsibility and a servant heart. So moms of toddlers and preschoolers:  Keep teaching your kids to work and serve and help!!!

As tough as it is to let your little ones help you, especially knowing that you could do it forty times faster by yourself, I’m here to tell you that it is so very worth your extra effort! Even when our oldest was 7, I could tell a huge difference in his ability to really help ease my work load. Now that I’ve got kids 9, 12, 14, and 16? Well, I haven’t scrubbed a toilet in years. We put these kids to work, and it’s a huge benefit to our household.

My favorite thing from today is this:  Not only were my kids working hard, they were teaching each other. Asa (16) has been our expert guacamole whipper-upper for several years. I asked him to make some to go with our lunch today. Then I asked him to pull Elias (12) in with him and teach him how to make it. It was awesome. They did the work from start to finish, and now, thanks to Asa, Elias also knows how to make this great dip.

brother teaching brother

We devoured this Spicy Avocado Dip with our burritos today. So good!

This afternoon, the boys pulled out our Risk game. I loved hearing Asa and Justus (14) teach our younger boys to play. Even Malachi (9) was figuring it out.

brother teaching brother 2
Teaching your kids new skills is great. Letting older kids teach younger kids? Even better.  I’m thankful for hearing my olders teach my youngers today.  The conversation was sweet, the arguments were few, and we all got to eat awesome guac. Happy day. :)

Now your turn. Share what you’re thankful for!  Leave a comment on this post letting us know how God is working in your life. If you’ve written a blog post about what you’re thankful for, leave the link in the comments so we can visit your blog to read about it. We love sharing and reading about God’s blessings!

Getting Fit With Your Kids

My great friend and personal trainer, Jen, of Getting Fit With Jen, has said it to me time and again:  “Sometimes, working in time to exercise can be as easy as getting up and playing with your kids.”

The statement makes perfect sense and ultimately, I agree. But I also have to say that doing this has often been a struggle for me. I’ll admit that I don’t often just stop and “play”. There is work to be done!!! Often, I find that the best time to get that work done is when my kids are off happily playing…on their own. Happily playing children means that I have a moment of peace to focus on other tasks. To take the time to stop my cooking, laundry, website work, house work – and instead go play with my kids? It almost feels as if I would put myself behind in some way. That I would be more stressed out because of the growing “to-do” list that didn’t get finished.

All of that may be true sometimes. There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of quiet moments and content children when there is work to be done. But – I promise you that I have never, ever regretted time I have taken out of my “very busy schedule” to go play with my kids. And when that play involves some sort of exercise? Well, I do believe we can call that multi-tasking. :)

Remember the day I scored five!!?!?!? (Why yes, I did just give you the link to that post so that I could brag some more in case you forgot that story.)  It was a great workout, and wow did we all have fun! A few days after that, while waiting for our seven year old to warm up for his soccer game, I headed over and kicked a ball around with our 10 year old. You should have seen his face light up once he saw me and recognized that I was there to play with him!! Golden. Never will I regret taking advantage of opportunities like this to play with my kids.

Remember how my kids were doing this:


And then they talked me into doing this:


I loved every minute of that – and so did my kids!

Jen is right. Now that I’m being more intentional about being active with my kids, I’m finding that there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy spending time with them in this way. And lo and behold – all of my other work still gets done somehow. ;)  After playing, I get right back to the house work or computer work – this time full of extra energy because I’ve just been up moving around!

Here are some specifics Jen had to share on this topic:

Anything that involves moving for several minutes at a time will increase your heart rate and be beneficial for your health. Go outside with your kids. Kick a ball around, chase them, play some sort of tag, play catch, go for a walk or bike ride – the ideas are limitless. Your kids will love this time with you and you will be burning calories, building muscle, and increasing your endurance level.

Do recognize your limitations so that you don’t injure yourself. Don’t break into a full on sprint to chase your kids if you aren’t used to running. Pace yourself, maybe taking short breaks between play times. Remember, even 10-15 minute segments of activity will be good for your body.

Your example to them will encourage them to want to be fit as well. Get out there and be active with your kids!

Be sure to visit Getting Fit With Jen to learn more about how you can make fitness a part of your life.

17 phone calls

As of this month, I am now 38 years old and have been married to my beloved for 17 years. Speaking of my beloved (because it’s more fun to avoid talking about how old I am and to instead focus on my anniversary) – do you want to know what Matt did for me on our special day?

He was out of town all weekend at a soccer retreat with the college team he helps coach, making it impossible for us to be together on our anniversary. (Don’t worry, the story gets better.)  We’d decided to celebrate later and I happily supported his decision to go be with the team. His cell phone broke while he was gone (no really, the story gets better), so he was unable to call without borrowing a phone and going to a little extra trouble. He called in the morning to wish me a happy anniversary, and then later in the evening when he had a moment. And that’s when the fun started.

No sooner had he and I hung up from our conversation that the phone rang again. It was one of the soccer girls, Isabelle, calling to wish me a Happy 17th Anniversary. I hung up with Isabelle and the phone rang again. It was Katie, another soccer player, calling to wish me a Happy Anniversary. Then Jen called. Then Jordan. Then Anna, then Macy, then Hannah, then Morgan. And so it went for 17 phone calls.

Yes, my husband had arranged for 17 soccer gals to call and wish me a Happy 17th Anniversary. It was the sweetest thing ever. The girls kept saying things like, “Coach Copp has been talking about you all day.” and “Thanks for sharing your husband with us this weekend.”  It totally made my night (and totally kept me from washing dishes because who can wash dishes when the phone rings 17 times in a row?).

And that is why I made him a peach cobbler when he got home with 17 peaches from our peach tree. (Okay, just kidding, I don’t really know how many peaches I used, but 17 peaches sounded more romantic.)

Stocking Stuffers for Kids

I think I love stuffing stockings almost more than any other gift giving at Christmas time!! My mom made our family’s stockings and they are just beautiful! But they’re a little bit small. It seemed that no matter how small I kept the stocking stuffers, half of them still wouldn’t fit through the top! I finally bought the boys new, bigger stockings. My mom’s stockings are still hanging for decoration and will always be among our favorite Christmas decor. You can read more about her hand made stockings here.

christmasdecor0915smI have learned during my last 13 stocking stuffing years that filling stockings with junk is a waste of money and toy box space. There are all kinds of little things on the ends of store aisles that are touted as “Great Stocking Stuffers”, but they’re made of junk. The kids will play with them for a total of two minutes before they get lost under the couch cushions.

I now avoid junkie toys and go with items that are truly usable, educational, or consumable.

This year (don’t tell my kids), they’re getting quite a few consumable items. I got them some treats that we hardly ever buy, which means they’ll be thrilled to find them in their stockings! Here are some consumables they’re either getting this year or have been given in years past:

  • Annie’s Mac and Cheese box
  • Juicy Juice 100% juice
  • Pack of Gum
  • A Can of Black Olives
  • A Favorite Candy
  • Cereal Bars
  • A Small Jar of their Favorite Jelly
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Beef Jerky
  • Fruit
  • Fruit Leather

I love consumable stocking stuffers because well…they will be quickly consumed. They won’t get lost in a toy box never to be seen again. They’re treats we rarely enjoy, making them a pretty special gift!

Here is a list of items I recommend that are fun, small enough to fit into most stockings and either educational or useful!

What items do you put in your kids’ stockings?

What Matters Is My Kids

There are many things in my life that are important. There are many things that have to be done. There are great events to attend. There are many people in my life that I love and want to spend time with. There are hurting people everywhere. There are so many hurting people that my heart aches to feed them all, clothe them all, counsel them all and house them all. But I can’t do it all. 

I’ll choose to let go of the guilt.

I have to make choices and above all I have to choose my kids. They are the ministry God has given me and when all is said and done…what matters is my kids.

It doesn’t matter that no matter how hard I try, the laundry is never caught up. It doesn’t matter that the dishes constantly pile up by the sink, even though I’m pretty sure I wash dishes all day. It doesn’t matter that there are dirty windowsills and…what is that stuck to the pantry door? Oh well…it doesn’t matter.

What matters is my kids.

It doesn’t matter that I can barely get through writing this article because my kids keep coming in and interrupting me.   They want to tell me about the game they’re playing together. They want to remind me about what happened at the soccer game. They want to ask what I’m making for dinner. I’ll stop what I’m doing and look at their faces and I’ll talk to them because it truly is a joy that they love talking to me. The article can wait.

What matters is my kids.

In the big picture, it really is okay that the emails are piled up even though I hate it that so many people have to wait for weeks for me to respond. It really is okay that I’m never caught up with my work and it really is okay that even though I’m working really, really hard…I can’t do it all. I’ll stop sweating all the details in my life that cause me to worry and get worn out. The details don’t matter.

What matters is my kids.

I’ll let go of the guilt and the pressure I feel about all the jobs around me that are left undone and instead focus my heart on my husband. I’ll cherish him and serve him and meet his needs and enjoy him. I’ll make our very limited time together meaningful because keeping our relationship alive and sweet is incredibly important. 

Because more than anything, it matters to the kids.

And they don’t care that we’re having pancakes and eggs for dinner again or that the living room is covered with boxes and bubble wrap mixed with lego men and building blocks. They don’t care that there are scuffs on the walls (they put them there after all) and they don’t care if the scuffs stay there forever.

What matters to them is the security of knowing that their mom loves them and takes care of them and laughs with them and trains them and prays with them and reads to them and talks to them.  What matters to them is their mom understands one very important thing which is…

What matters is my kids.

Inexpensive and Fun Summer Activities: A Guest Post

Please welcome Jolene of A Random Woman’s Life. She has four boys and has some wonderful ideas to make summer time a blast!

Summer is here and I have the daunting but delightful task of entertaining 4 young boys day after day. My sons range in age from 3 – 9 years of age and their interests are just as varied. I often find myself struggling to find ways to engage and entertain all four at the same time, especially on rainy days. 

I know there are a multitude of craft type projects I could do and that would work for a little while. However, one thing I have learned about my boys is that their attention span for craft type projects is limited. They are boys…they need physical activity. They are not content with being motionless for very long. A Disney movie is about their limit and even then we don’t always make it through a whole film before we start to squirm and complain of boredom. I took them to one of those indoor inflatable playgrounds one day with some friends and their sons – 10 boys in total – and within an hour and a half my eldest was complaining of boredom.  So what’s a mom to do? 

  Here are some of the frugal things I have found to do.  See if similar events/specials are available in your area.

~    Visit the local nature center. There are usually a number of trails that you can walk on, some paved some not. Take pictures and put them in a special scrapbook.

~    Check out your local library for free playgroups, or reading program which challenges the children to read a designated amount of hours in order to earn some prizes.

~    I have found a number of free music nights and free movie nights in nearby parks. Some are weekly events, some are monthly but most allow you to bring your own treats and beverages so you can make an evening out of it. 

~    Try a monthly home movie night when a new family friendly movie is released on DVD. It helps if you can find someone who has already purchased the movie and borrow it from them for movie night. Make homemade pizza and popcorn, turn down the lights and off you go! 

~    Potluck play dates. Get a few of your friends with children together at a local park. Make it after lunchtime if possible then you only need to bring a snack to share and some beverages.

~    Join a local moms group. Most have a yearly cost around $20 – $30 for memberships. Many also have regular kids activities. A great way for your children and you to make some new friends. Two sites to start with to find a group(s) near you:   &

~    Try Letterboxing. LETTERBOXING is an intriguing pastime combining navigational skills and rubber stamp artistry in a charming “treasure hunt” style outdoor quest. A wide variety of adventures can be found to suit all ages and experience levels.   Basically you get clues to find a box or container in your area in a public place such as a park. The containers usually have some goodies to look at as well as a place for you to place your own special family stamp and sign the book, putting it all back in place for the next group to find. A great place to get started is  Your family can take a trip to your local craft store and pick out a great stamp & fun inkpad to use in your adventures!

~    Catch lightning bugs! Get a jar or two together and have your little ones catch them at dusk…pair that with making s’mores and you have a great and nearly free night of entertaining, just don’t forget to release the little bugs so you can catch them again another night!

~    Back yard camp. If the thought of going to a campground is not all that appealing, or if time is an issue, camp out for a night in your backyard! Cook out on the grill or fire pit, have a cooler full of drinks, grab your flashlights & sleeping bags and pitch the tent. You get the ambiance of camping with the comforts of home nearby in case they are needed.

With some imagination and input from your kids you are sure to find some fun, easy and frugal ways to entertain the entire family!

Be sure to visit Jolene at A Random Woman’s Life!

Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve Curriculum Kit…It’s Finished!! It’s Finished!!!

If it’s loud in here, that’s because I’m running around the house with my arms waving in the air screaming:

It’s done, it’s done, it’s done, it’s done, it’s donnnnne!!!!!!!!!

After two years of planning and writing, fixing, changing, editing, dreaming, praying, crying and praying some more…it’s done!!! It’s DONE!!!

I’d like to take a moment to thank all the little people.

Seriously. The little people. My kids.  The ones who were the inspiration for all of this back in the day when they didn’t eat so much food.  Back when they were my preschool servants.  They are now a little bigger and I can’t thank them enough for eagerly helping me add ideas, create projects and take pictures for the tutorials included in the kit. And also for being patient with me during the past few weeks when they would ask me questions and I would look up from the computer with glassy eyes. God bless you boys for putting up with me.

And of course, you know how much I want to thank my husband. He is the reason this kit is finished, the reason it exists at all. My husband is my rock, the one who points me toward The Rock. He spent hours editing, offering suggestions and in general putting up with a wife who was distracted and talked in her sleep, as I spouted off craft ideas all beginning with the letter Ii. Seriously, this endeavor had me talking in my sleep. About the alphabet. To my husband. And he was kind enough not to make fun of me. I’m keeping him forever.

I also MUST thank Lenetta, who had the grueling task of editing the entire kit when it was formatted all crazy like. She has a gift for making the written word shine on paper and screen. And Char…for all your help in the past few days as we got everything finished up, I thank you.

And now…without further ado…Learn Your Letters, Learn To Serve Complete Curriculum Kit!


Teach your child to serve…one letter at a time! This 240+ kit includes thorough lesson plans, games, crafts, recipes, memory verses, Bible story suggestions, vocabulary stimulation and discussion, play, books to read and so much more…all while encouraging service to God!

Each letter you study includes suggestions for service, such as “Take a new Bible to B__________” on Bb week, “Make soup for someone who is sick on Ss week, and “Deliver flowers to F_______________” on Ff week. Your child will make gifts or food, offer help and learn to think of others. As a family you can delight in praying together about who you would like to serve and what form of service you would like to offer! 

This curriculum kit can be used as a supplement to what you are currently doing to teach your child preschool basics…or it can be used all on its own as a complete early learners curriculum tool.  It is absolutely not just for home schoolers.  Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve is for any family who would enjoy learning and serving together with little ones.  In addition, Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve Curriculum Kit may be purchased for use in a Sunday School Classroom or Preschool Classroom.

To get a feel for what this kit is like, help yourself to this free sample lesson!

What Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve includes:

  • 159 Page Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve Book of ideas, instructions, recipes, tutorials and service planners  (the majority of this book can be left paperless, unless you choose to print it and bind it)
  • Alphabet Practice Packet (26 pages of printable letter writing practice)
  • Alphabet Project Packet (printable projects that go along with various lessons)
  • Memory Verse Packet (26 printable memory verses to decorate and place on the wall or in a binder)
  • Parent Planning Packet (planning pages, teaching suggestions, scheduling ideas)

Feel free to email me with questions!

I pray that you will be as blessed as our family has been as you learn and serve together!



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