The Singing Bible Drill

Does your 4th-6th grader need some last-minute help memorizing verses for the Bible Drill State Competition?

Check out the Singing Bible Drill! Every verse is set to music! Watch the example below and then check out even more  at singingbibledrill.com.

 

Events & Happenings, Summer 2013

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Did you know Pottery Barn Kids stores have special events? Today, July 2nd, Curious George will make an appearance in several stores nationwide (see the list here). And July 23rd, Cat in the Hat will visit some locations! Not to mention, PBK has weekly storytimes and a summer reading program. See all their events on this site.

 

Want to eat our with kids … but save some bucks? Here is a great list of restaurants that have kids-eat-free programs on certain nights. {You’ll want to ask your location, of course!}

 

With AMF’s Summer Unplugged, kids can bowl two games free every day until 8 p.m. at all of their bowling alleys. Information can be found and you can register here.

 

With Regal’s Summer Movie Express program, you can watch a fun, family-friend movie on the cheap Tuesday and Wednesday mornings all summer. Admission is $1 and part of the ticket price benefits the Will Rogers Institute. See participating theaters and movies here.

 

Need some more ideas? Stain your deck. Make popsicles. Host a “drive-in movie” for your neighborhood. Fly a kite. Splash in a kiddie pool. Shop for crazy sunglasses. Make your own “Ninja Warrior” obstacle course in the backyard. Have a front-yard ice-cream party and invite anyone who walks by.

What summer events are you looking forward to?

Welcome to Our New Blog!

Hello! Welcome to our new blog!

A few months ago we began to review our blog and realized that it might be time for a refresher. And boy did we get one! We really love our new look and we hope you do too! We’re so excited, that we are planning three huge weeks of fun! From now until October 31, expect to see a post AND a giveaway every day (well, Monday through Friday)! Simply follow the directions at the end of each giveaway post to be entered. We’ll announce the winner the following morning and then announce the new giveaway. And if that wasn’t fun enough, we will be announcing a huge mystery giveaway on November 1st!

So, let us know! What do you think of our new look? And make sure to check out the links in the upper right hand column to our Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest pages. We hope you’ll interact with us there too!

Girls of Grace Conference Celebrates 10 Years

 

Girls of Grace: The Beautiful Truth” hits Eden Prairie, MN, on September 22 at Grace Church. The conference is an interactive high-energy event for teenage girls (6th – 12th grade) with live music and speakers that focus on common age-related issues with a positive Christian message. Tickets are available now through September 21 for $49 and at the door for $65.

“At times girls feel like they are the only ones who struggle with certain issues,” said Point of Grace’s Denise Jones.  “With a Girls of Grace Conference it gives them the opportunity to come together in a large group and realize that we all have our own struggles, and yet, we are in this together.”

The event runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and includes a full day of live music and guest speakers. Recording artists Britt Nicole, Sidewalk Prophets, and Meredith Andrews are set to perform. The day also features renowned guest speakers including celebrity stylist Amber Lehman, inspirational author Annie Downs, FINDINGbalance (a Christian non-profit company with an emphasis on eating and body image) Founder and CEO Constance Rhodes, Youth Speaker and Director of Student Initiatives at Show Hope Chris Wheeler and Girl’s Director at WinShape Camps and daughter of Chick-fil-A founder, Trudy Cathy White.

Girls of Grace will be celebrating their 10th anniversary during the whole 2012-2013 season of conferences, but this kick-off is the main event. 

For more information on this and other upcoming events, check out the GIrls of Grace Web site or their Facebook page.

 

What’s the Big Deal About Comic-Con? Trends and Truth with Mike Nappa

July inaugurates the annual pop culture earthquake known as Comic-Con International. Curious what the fuss is all about? Read on to learn what you need to know.

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What is Comic-Con?

Comic-Con began in 1970 as a low-key gathering of 300 San Diego-area comic book fans. The event quietly grew over the next few years until it became nationally-known, and a must-list activity for fanboys, fangirls and their families. Before long, Hollywood discovered the marketing power of the Con and started using it to generate buzz for new projects.

Today, armed with the burgeoning power of the internet, Comic-Con has become a bonafide arbiter of pop culture hits and misses—and grown to enormous size: More than 125,000 people crowd the San Diego Convention Center each year to participate in this four-day event.

What Goes on There?

The centerpiece of Comic-Con is the cavernous exhibition hall where pop culture producers showcase their wares. Marvel Comics and DC Comics, of course, are exhibitors, as well as most major movie studios, some TV shows, and all kinds of hobby-centric companies. Comic book retailers abound, along with sci-fi and art booths, and book and gaming publishers. And, thanks to the annual “Masquerade” contest, people in creative superhero costumes wander joyfully everywhere.

Additionally, celebrities gather upstairs to chat up their fans, sign autographs, and sell pop culture memorabilia. Panels and workshops introduce fans to their favorite stars and pet projects. There’s also “Artists’ Alley” where aspiring illustrators sell their artwork. And there’s a mini-film festival and other side events happening everywhere. In all, it’s basically one big party for pop culture enthusiasts of all ages.

Why Is Comic-Con Such a Big Deal?

The influence of so many pop culture fans gathered in one place makes Comic-Con a phenomenon unto itself. Movie producers and other entertainment media creators know that fan enthusiasm at Comic-Con will light up the blogosphere with anticipation—and translate into cold hard cash. Case in point is the recent blockbuster, The Avengers, a Comic-Con staple for the past two years that just broke all box office records with a $207 million opening weekend.

Should I Take My Kids to the Show?

On the one hand, the Con encourages families to come (children under age 12 are admitted free) and the convention floor is full of families having a good time. All the costumes and pop culture connections are fun for all ages.

At the same time, some exhibiters at Comic-Con sell R-rated products, and some include occult images and ideas. While these are the minority, they are there, so parents should be aware of that.

Generally speaking, if your family is a fan of pop culture and able to walk past occasional unsavory displays, you’ll have a great time. If not, you might want to skip the show.

Where Can I Learn More?

Check out the official Comic-Con website.

 

Have a pop culture question for Trends & Truths? Email it to parentlife@lifeway.com!

Mike Nappa is a bestselling author, a noted commentator on pop culture, and founder of the website for parents, FamilyFans.com.

CentriKid Live!

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Wanna see what REALLY goes on at camp? Tune in as CentriKid worship goes all the way live!

LOCATION: facebook.com/CentriKid

DATES/TIMES: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 6:45 p.m. (EST)

BROADCAST FROM: LifeWay Ridgecrest Conference Center, Ridgecrest, NC

CAMP SPEAKER: Jon Merryman

WORSHIP LEADER: Jeff Slaughter

Insider camp information and the 2013 CentriKid theme will be revealed during CentriKid LIVE!

Ministering During Vacation Bible School by Jessie Weaver

 

Is it VBS time at your church? We had our Vacation Bible School early this year, starting on June 3rd. Sadly, I got strep throat in the middle of VBS week and missed two nights of teaching my little first-graders. (And am praying I didn’t infect any of them when I was there!)

While I was teaching, though, I had a wonderful time. I loved LifeWay’s theme this year of Amazing Wonders Aviation. For me, it’s not that hard to work VBS, though. Our church’s is at night, so I left my kids at home with daddy to go. I am a stay-at-home mom, so I have time during the day to work on preparations. Not every volunteer has those privileges!

I’m sure you realize that the busiest individual during Vacation Bible School is probably your children’s minister or VBS director. Our lovely minister – a good friend as well – has two preschoolers AND her husband was in Africa during VBS!!

I try to make it a priority during VBS week to cook her family a quick dinner they can heat up. Feeding people is kind of my "spiritual gift"; it may not be yours. How else could you minister to a busy director or volunteer during VBS?

  • I have to reiterate that preparing a dinner can be such a blessing! Here are some ideas for my favorite go-to meals and some tips. If you don’t cook, even picking up dinner from Subway could help!
  • Offer to watch children for a few hours so the individual can get some rest, have some quiet time, or simply work undisturbed for a bit.
  • Help make last-minute trips to the Christian bookstore or warehouse store.
  • Give her a gift certificate for a post-VBS pedicure or him tickets to the movies.
  • Pray vigilently for your VBS, directors, ministers, and the children attending.

And if your VBS has already happened, too? File away ideas for next year, your next big event, or an everyday surprise. Our ministers work hard! They need spoiled every once in a while.

 

SNV32999 copy.jpgWhen Jessie Weaver is not busy being the resident ParentLife Blogger, she writes at Vanderbilt Wife and also for magazines like HomeLife and ParentLife. She lives in Chattanooga with her husband, where they run after two little ones: Libbie (3) and David (1).

Blessing Teas for Your Daughters

Are you ever a bit envious of our friends from other cultures who faithfully honor their children turning into young adults on their 13th birthdays? As Christians, we may not hold Bar or Bat Mitzvahs or Quinceaneras, but we can certainly recapture the spirit of this unique age by commemorating this milestone with a Christ-centered celebration. While many American families are throwing slumber parties for their 13-year-olds, one woman in California decided to throw a “Blessing Tea” for her daughter—and the trend is taking off among Christians. 

Inspired Design Pt-1.1pdf 24.jpgRoxanne Packham, President of InspiredDesign Ministries, had the idea several years ago to put on a “Blessing Tea” for her then 13-year-old daughter. The concept is taken from the Jewish tradition of celebrating this momentous year of “becoming a woman” with a huge party, centered on the Jewish Scriptures.

Roxanne invited several of the most influential Christian women in Hannah’s life (mentors) to join them for a tea to honor her daughter. While she used her love for table decorating to create a beautiful environment, the real beauty lay in the hearts of the women who came to “bless” Hannah.  

Each special mentor woman shared a note/letter to Hannah. The notes included encouraging words, favorite memories, prophetic insights, special scriptures, and wise teaching/advice for the teenage years. 

The concept of a Blessing Tea began to take off in homes of people who had heard of Roxanne’s experience.  One woman, Camille, a long time friend of Roxanne’s, loved the idea so much she has now done it with two of her teenage daughters.  She added an additional layer of giving each of the mentors their own blessing and Scripture as a way to honor the women who have helped to guide and shape her daughters spiritually.  

According to Roxanne, “Especially because I only have one daughter, I wanted to make the most of every moment of her life.  I was inspired to use my gift for creating a beautiful table and practicing hospitality with my love for my daughter.  My biggest desire was to create an environment where very dear Christian women could pour into my daughter blessings and encouragement to carry her through the next phase in her life.  Often, a mother’s impact alone only goes so far!“

Roxanne’s book Inspired Design has a chapter about this Blessing Tea and serves as inspiration for other mothers looking to recapture the age old tradition of “coming of age” for young women. Proceeds of her book sales all go to fund the Heart of Hope Ministries International who provide love and resources to orphans in Romania.

 
Would you consider having a Blessing Tea or other event to commemorate your daughter’s entrance to her teenage years?

Camp Corral: Spots Still Open for Kids of Military Vets

As Memorial Day approaches, Golden Corral is focusing attention on its special effort to build on its long-term commitment to honoring disabled American veterans. Camp Corral is a free, week-long summer camp experience for the children of families with fallen, wounded or disabled veterans or service members.

 
Piloted in 2011, Camp Corral has been expanded nationally this year from one camp to a network of nine summer camps in eight states. That means more than 1,800 children — six times the number in 2011– will have an opportunity to enjoy "a week of a lifetime" free of charge. Eligible families can still register their children on-line at www.campcorral.org to attend one of the camps offered in July or August in these states: N.C., Va., Ga., Fla., Ohio, Kan., Tex. or Colo.
 
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Camp Corral is a one-week camp experience where kids, ages 8 to 15, are free to be kids apart from the day-to-day challenges they face as children of fallen, wounded or disabled military veterans and service members. Camp Corral provides kids non-stop fun and activities like canoeing, swimming, arts and crafts, target sports, horseback riding and other camping and outdoors activities. The camp encourages campers to create friendships and bond with other kids who share a similar family situation. Each of the camps is managed and staffed by the 4-H Youth Development organization and accredited by the American Camp Association.
 
"All four of my boys attended Camp Corral last year and they are excited to be returning in 2012," said Clifford Parker, of Summerville, S.C. and former Army reservist who was wounded in Afghanistan. "The children loved all of the usual summer camp activities such as canoeing, archery, and making friends, but their favorite was Camp Corral Military Day where the National Guard flew in military helicopters and other large equipment used in battle. The boys were thrilled to get to see the vehicles up close and meet the members of the Guard."
 
"We’re thrilled to be expanding Camp Corral nationally and still have spaces available for this year’s camps," said Dolly Mercer, the Golden Corral organizer of the summer camp. "Sending these children to camp is just one way our company, our generous guests and our restaurant owners want to show their appreciation to these special military families and thank them for their service."
 
Camp Corral locations, camp weeks, and other information is available at www.campcorral.org. There also is a Camp Corral Hotline for questions at 855-605-1267.

Memorial Day with Kids by Jessie Weaver

 

 

I’m not sure how much I really thought about why we have Memorial Day until a few years ago, when one of my best friends from childhood lost her little brother to the Iraq War. Just 23, Jeffrey was 15 days away from returning from his second tour of duty when his vehicle was struck with a grenade.

I flew with my tiny baby girl back to Virginia to attend his funeral. What else could I do to honor this young man—whom I had known from the time he was a silly, elementary-school kid—who gave his life for our country?

The last few Memorial Days, then, have brought about entirely different feelings. As my kids grow, I want to teach them what the day is truly for: honoring those men and women who gave their lives in combat.

While I feel like mine are too young to really understand war and death (1 and 3 years old), it’s not too early to instill some patriotism into them! Here are some ideas for honoring Memorial Day with your kids.

  • Visit a wounded or recovering soldier at a VA hospital. Bring treats or flowers and a homemade card.
  • Take flowers to the gravestone of a soldier killed on duty.
  • Make Memorial Day poppies.
  • Attend a local parade.
  • Make an American flag craft and talk about the sybolism of the flag.
  • Have a family prayer for those who have lost parents, siblings, and friends in battle.

Do you commemorate Memorial Day with your children? How?