Changing Directions

Welcome followers, Thank you for all your support over the years and being part of Marshmallow Madness. For those of you just joining us, Marshmallow Madness is going to be slowing down, as we dive into new things.
What will this look like? Well, Families Matter Most now does bi-weekly podcasts. Click Here to check them out.
My email list is another way to get great tips- I offer a FREE class with sign up, monthly tip emails, podcast worksheets, and Families Matter Most updates. Click Here to sign up.

What else am I doing these days? Well Jenn Dean is branching out with her husband to do a Radio Show for Jack FM. (This is not Christian so be aware this is outside of Families Matter Most, but still on topics hitting families today.) Listen in Sunday’s 12-6pm.

Hope to talk to you all again soon!

Families Matter Most ep#5 Spanking

Spanking- Is is ever ok? In this podcast I’m goin there…now I want to know what you think. Grab a cup of coffee, and join in the discussion.

Family Fun

It’s cold and dreary, and our house has been kind of miserable lately. I mean, honestly, I haven’t been a very fun mom. When this happens I try and think of creative ways to bust out of the habit of negativity. Because really, complaining about things I don’t like isn’t really working. So here’s my goal: try and have a great belly laugh every day with the kids. I’m sharing some ideas with you- I’d love to hear about how they worked in YOUR house!  Disclaimer: I have boys. Teenage boys. So far I’ve had three days of belly laughs, and two of them involve violence! What can YOU do in YOUR house? Share your ideas for others with younger kids, or families that aren’t obsessed with action movies.

Bad Joke Battle: During supper I handed out a bunch of terrible jokes I’d written out, and we took turns trying to say and hear them with a straight face. We got 1 point for each smile or laugh, and the person with the fewest points won the game.

I’ve been posting about our family fun on social media, and some of you are wanting the jokes we used. Print these off and have some belly laughs today!

Did you hear about the superhero with a lisp that always worked out?         ~He’s Thor

If spaghetti made an action movie  what would it be called?          ~Mission Im-pasta-ble

What do you call a teacher who doesn’t fart in public?              ~A Private Tutor!

How do billboards talk?              ~Sign Language

What do you call somebody who gets mad when they don’t have any bread?           ~Lack Toast Intolerant

What do you call syrup with a speech impediment?     ~Mrs. Stuttersworth

What’s the best way to carve wood?     ~Whittle by whittle!

What do Mexican clocks say?     ~tick taco

What do you call a ghost poop?     ~boo boo

What do you call a lazy doctor?     ~Dr D-Little

What do mermaids wash their fins with?     ~Tide

Why couldn’t the toilet paper cross the road?     ~He got stuck in a crack

What did the fried rice say to the shrimp?     ~Don’t you wok away from me!

Why did the stallion give the pony a glass of water?     ~Because he was a little hoarse.

Why does the sandwich cook?     ~When it’s bacon lettuce and tomatoe.

What is the foot’s favorite snack?     ~DoriTOES!

Why did the salad go to the music store?     ~To get some beets!

 

Marshmallow Battle:   I gave the kids five minutes to build their defensive fort, and then attacked with a bag of marshmallows! It was so much fun! This was easy and not messy at all. I recommend you go out and buy a bag of large marshmallows (or three) and have a battle tonight! BUT only if your kids are not teenagers. I learned that marshmallows can actually hurt when pelted by teenage boys. Check out Families Matter’s Most instagram post for a fun video of Evan getting attacked by marshmallows!

We’ve also watched Try Not to Laugh youtube video’s and had a slow motion movie fighting scene. More plans include eating a feast style supper with only your fingers (no utensils), having a backwards dinner, and waking the kids in the middle of the night for an impromptu ice cream sundae! Any more ideas? Could you tweak this for use in your family? I’d really love to hear about it 🙂

Families Matter Most ep4: Hard Kids

Episode 4:  Hard Kids

This podcast episode is for every parent who struggles. Encouragement to not give up, to look for ways to reach your child’s heart even when you want to sit on your steps and cry.

If you haven’t already, why don’t you set aside one hour of your time to enjoy my free video workshop on finding Balance. The amount of time and stress it can save you is priceless, but it’s completely free! Just something to love on my people because I want to give you as many tools as possible to help. Look, I get it. Parenting is HARD! I can make it easier. Get your free class here!

Episode 3: Mixed Feelings

Mixed Feelings: You probably deal with this every single day!  I want to help you reach the hearts of your kids. This episode gives insight into “mixed feelings”, what it means and how to use it to help our kids through fear and anxiety.

Has this podcast helped you in any way? I’d love to hear about it. Send me a message telling me how this has helped your family so I can share it with the masses. Your story could be just what another family needs to hear 🙂

Episode 2: Anger

In this episode, Jenn gives some tools to help kids recognize frustration before it leads into anger. You’ll learn how to recognize cues that trouble is brewing, and develop a new perspective on the emotion itself. It’s not so terrible!

Marshmallow Madness: Snowflakes

My thoughts are not like your thoughts. And your ways are not like my ways,” announces the Lord. “The heavens are higher than the earth. And my ways are higher than your ways. My thoughts are higher than your thoughts. The rain and the snow come down from the sky. They do not return to it without watering the earth. They make plants come up and grow. The plants produce seeds for farmers. They also produce food for people to eat. The words I speak are like that. They will not return to me without producing results. They will accomplish what I want them to. They will do exactly what I sent them to do.” Isaiah 55:8-11

We know the Bible mentions snow, 25 times in fact, but often we think of it figuratively. The Bible speaks of our sins being washed as white as snow for example, but the people of Israel must have experienced pure, blinding, fresh snow in order to understand that powerful metaphor.

In my part of the world we’re covered in snow from November to March, and it can be difficult to stay excited about frigid temperatures. We have to remind ourselves that yes, spring actually will come. In Isaiah 55, God encourages us to remember His reasons are better than ours and we need to trust that everything He does is for a reason. Even snow. The scripture tells us that the snow waters the soil and makes plants grow. We don’t usually associate snow with gardening, but actually, all moisture waters the earth. Check out this advanced scientific TedEd video, or this video with the kids to learn how snow is formed. It’s pretty miraculous!snowflake

Today you and the kiddos can create your own snowflake masterpieces using marshmallows and toothpicks.

Let’s keep in mind that although we don’t always understand God’s purpose, he has good plans for us and, just like the scripture above, He intends to accomplish good things in us. In Jer 29:11 He says, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” We can trust that.

Finish off with a quick family prayer. God cares about every area of our lives; let’s encourage the children to pray about whatever is on their hearts. Add to your prayer journal weekly, and be sure to leave space to jot down a quick note when God answers the prayer. Your kids will grow stronger in their faith when they can look back and see what the Lord has done.How did this work for you? Did you adapt it to fit your family?

Marshmallow Madness: Trail Mix

The Lord your God has directed me to teach you his commands, rules and laws. Obey them in the land you will take over when you go across the Jordan River. Then you, your children and their children after them will honor the Lord your God as long as you live. Obey all his rules and commands I’m giving you. If you do, you will enjoy long life. Israel, listen to me. Make sure you obey me. Then things will go well with you. The number of your people will increase greatly in a land that has plenty of milk and honey. That’s what the Lord, the God of your parents, promised you. Deuteronomy 6:1-3

Make up some trail mix with the kiddos, letting them mix the ingredients or even choose a few of them. Some suggestions are mini marshmallows, banana chips, raisins, nuts of any kind, chocolate chips or carob chips, candy pieces, dried fruit, yogurt chips, popcorn, pretzels, cereal or whatever else you can imagine. Pack the mix into small baggies and store extras in the fridge.

trail

The bible is not a bag of trail mix, you can’t just pick out the pieces you like and ignore the rest! But in order to fully understand that we have to know what our Bible says.

Read the beginning of Deuteronomy together and challenge the kids to retell the first verses in their own words. Do they want to live a long happy life? Of course! Do they want their children’s children to honour God? YES!

Then we need to obey the rules and commands in the Bible, not just the ones we learn in Sunday School. We need to study them for ourselves. Ask the children how they would like to learn the Bible themselves, whether it’s in a group setting or privately, by listening to an audio Bible, reading aloud, or reading quietly. And then help them achieve that goal. They’ll have days they don’t feel like it, but they will thank you for installing that discipline, really they will, one day.

Marshmallow Madness: Spring Flowers

He waters the furrows with abundant rain. Showers soften the earth, melting the clods and causing seeds to sprout across the land.  Then he crowns it all with green, lush pastures in the wilderness; hillsides blossom with joy.”

Psalm 65

1-2 O God in Zion, we wait before you in silent praise, and thus fulfill our vow. And because you answer prayer, all mankind will come to you with their requests. Though sins fill our hearts, you forgive them all. How greatly to be envied are those you have chosen to come and live with you within the holy tabernacle courts! What joys await us among all the good things there. With dread deeds and awesome power you will defend us from our enemies,[a] O God who saves us. You are the only hope of all mankind throughout the world and far away upon the sea.

He formed the mountains by his mighty strength. He quiets the raging oceans and all the world’s clamor. In the farthest corners of the earth the glorious acts of God shall startle everyone. The dawn and sunset shout for joy! He waters the earth to make it fertile. The rivers of God will not run dry! He prepares the earth for his people and sends them rich harvests of grain. 10 He waters the furrows with abundant rain. Showers soften the earth, melting the clods and causing seeds to sprout across the land. 11-12 Then he crowns it all with green, lush pastures in the wilderness; hillsides blossom with joy. 13 The pastures are filled with flocks of sheep, and the valleys are carpeted with grain. All the world shouts with joy and sings.

This psalm speaks of new life, of creation, of spring. There is a feeling of overcoming in this psalm of David, as if he has been through a hard time previously. Sometimes seasons are more than a time of year. Tell kids about a hard winter in your life (waiting for a long time for something, a time when your prayers didn’t seem to get answered), and a new spring. (like maybe when you had children- or started your career- or went to high school). Just like cycles in nature, there are many seasons of life. As David teaches us in this psalm, we need to keep praying, trusting, and believing that God will bring us through! As spring is blooming all around us, it would be fun to try and make marshmallow flowers- the kind you see on fancy cupcakes. While we aren’t baking for this devotional, if you had some cupcakes bought or made ahead of time it would definitely be a bonus.  

20150518_161943_resized_2Supplies are large and small marshmallow, sugar and some kind of food coloring. Drop some coloring into a small bowl of sugar and mix to create colored sugars. Though most of us have some food coloring in the back of the baking shelf, if you’re desperate for color try juice or melt a colorful hard candy in the microwave and add it to the sugar. Once you have the suger just give the kids some marshmallows, a knife or scissors, and a plate each. The sugar will stick to only the sticky “cut” face of the marshmallow.

1) Cut a large marshmallow in half to make a large sticky circle.
2) Cut mini-marshmallow lengthwise DIAGONALLY to create petals.
Press the petals sticky side into the sugar.
3) Place the petal color side up onto the round sticky large marshmallow.
This is what the petals will stick to. Alternatively, if you have any icing they will stick to that as well.20150518_163108_resized_1

Finish off with a quick family prayer. God cares about every area of our lives; let’s encourage the children to pray about whatever is on their hearts. Add to your family prayer journal weekly, and be sure to leave space to jot down a quick note when God answers the prayer. Your kids will grow stronger in their faith when they can look back and see what the Lord has done. 

Marshmallow Madness: Chocolate Milk

John 14:26  But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Family Time Training is sharing their post with us this week. If you like this teaching tool,  check out their unlimited access to 280 family devotionals for only $6 per month www.famtime.com

You need 3 clear glasses, milk, a large heart cut out of cardboard, chocolate syrup and two spoons.Place three glasses on the table. You say the words in bold. These glasses each represent a different type of person. Pour cold milk in each glass so it is 3/4 full.The milk represents the choices we make in life like attitudes, thoughts,and actions.Put the cardboard heart over one of the glasses. The opening of the glass represents the person’s heart. We have three glasses, one represents a closed or hard heart and two are open. Jesus is the bottle of chocolate syrup. He is not welcome in the life of the person with a hard heart. Since the other two people have open hearts, Jesus can come in. Pour in the chocolate syrup so that there is a visible layer of chocolate on the bottom of the glass. These two people have Jesus in their lives. When we have Jesus we also have the Holy Spirit represented by this spoon. Place a spoon in each of the two glasses. Stir the spoon in one of the glasses and point out how the color of the milk changes. The stirring represents the Holy Spirit being active in a person’s life: listening to what the Spirit says and doing it. This person’s life looks different. People can tell by the choices that he makes that he is a believer. Do not stir the spoon in the other glass.This represents the person who believes in Jesus, has the Holy Spirit in his life but does not listen to the Spirit or do what the Spirit says. The attitudes, thoughts, and actions (milk) looks alot like  the non-Christian. It’s hard to see the difference. This might be a “Sunday Only” Christian.

The three glasses represent the three types of people in this world. The non-Christian who has a closed heart, the Christian who goes to church but doesn’t let God influence his life, and the Christian who is actively listening to the Holy Spirit. As a Christian have you got milk? Or have you got chocolate milk? Allow children to drink the milk and chocolate milk as you complete this lesson.

John 15:26 “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.”

John 16:13 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”

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