Saturday, April 30, 2011

National Geographic Giveaway Winners!

National Geographic Little Kids

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who entered!  I've enjoyed reading your comments, and they've given me lots of ideas!!  Now to find time to implement them all...

Out of 208 entries, the winners are jesusgrl2@ and betsy.breaker@.  I've contacted you via email.  Please respond within the next 48 hours!

Thanks again for all your entries and encouragement and suggestions!  I have amazingly wonderful friends and readers out there!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Last Call: National Geographic For Little Kids Giveaway!

National Geographic Little Kids

This is the last day to enter the National Geographic for Little Kids giveaway!  Head over here to enter!  The giveaway ends at 8 PM (CST)!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

GIVEAWAY!! One Year Subscription to National Geographic Little Kids

National Geographic Little Kids

It's giveaway time!!  I have two subscriptions of National Geographic for Little Kids to share!

Entering is so easy!  All you need to do is fill out your name and email address below and make sure to let me know how you follow me.

*I'll also give you an extra entry if you push the little share button below to share this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter.

*Plus, you can earn one more entry if you leave me a comment about what you like on the blog or what you'd like to see more of on The Amazing Mess!

The giveaway will end Friday at 8 PM (CST).  The winners will be chosen with help from!

(If you're viewing this through e-mail subscription, make sure to visit the post here to enter!)


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Flower Treats

Here are just a few ideas from last spring for "flower-themed" snacks!

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Masterpiece Monday: Georgia O'Keeffe

We're focusing on flowers because the girls and I are visiting some beautiful gardens later this week! 

Our spotlight artist is Georgia O'Keeffe.  You can find out more about her at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.  (For Masterpiece Monday's, I generally share information about the artist and let the girls look through the paintings/artwork.)


1)  Cut a large petal shape.  Trace the petal around a large circle to form the flower.

2)  Use chalk to shade the flower.

3)  Smudge with tissue.

4)  Fill outside the flower with crayon.

If you'd like to preserve the chalk, spray with fixative!

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday Savings: The Beginner's Bible: The Easter Story for FREE

The Very First Easter
Right now, you can download The Beginner's Bible:  The Very First Easter for FREE.

Remember that you don't have to have a Kindle to read these eBooks. Simply look for and download the Kindle Reading App you'd like to use!  (I just download them and read them on my computer!)


Friday, April 22, 2011

Journey to Easter (Day 5): Caterpillar to Butterfly Craft

On our Journey to Easter, we've used the book Passion Hymns for a Kid's Heart to guide us.  For our final day, I wanted to focus in on the new life we have because of what Jesus did on the cross....and His resurrection!  A wonderful symbol of this new life is found in the butterfly!

(This is a repost, but it fits so perfectly with this idea!  I also recommend a Butterfly Garden if you want to experience this fully!) 

Pom poms
Small wiggly eyes/beads
Coffee filter
Toilet paper tube

1)  Glue pom poms onto a clothespin to make a caterpillar.

2)  Glue on eyes.  I didn't have any wiggly eyes that were small enough, so we substituted beads.

3)  Use markers or watercolor paints to color a coffee filter.

At this point, we oohed and aahed over the caterpillars they created.  The girls went to bed, and I finished these steps.  I thought it would be a fun surprise, but you could have your child do each step themselves.

4)  Scrunch the coffee filter and clip with the clothespin to form butterfly wings.

5)  Place the butterfly in a toilet paper tube.  Tape and wrap a streamer around the tube to form a chrysalis.

The next day, I asked the girls where the caterpillars went.  We "found" the chrysalises and decided the caterpillars must be in them!  Later, I cut a slit in the bottom of the tube and pulled the butterfly out slightly.  The girls helped the butterflies emerge from their chrysalises!

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" -- 2nd Corinthians 5:17


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Babies and Toddlers: Egg Shape Sorter Box

I'm watching my niece today...and we had out our Easter Eggs, so I decided to make a quick little activity for her!  You could easily decorate the box and make it look a little nicer, but simple is the word around here!! 

Shoebox or tissue box
Plastic eggs

1)  Cut a round hole large enough for the eggs to fit through.  Cut a few more shapes.  Make them small enough the eggs cannot fit through them.

2)  Show the older baby or toddler how to put the egg in the correct hole.  Let them give it a try!! 

I was surprised, but my four year old loves this!  She used the egg-coloring tongs to put eggs into the hole!  So, I guess it is an adaptable activity!!

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

When You Need Some Eternal Encouragement...

Last Friday evening, I sat down to write a review about Eternal Encouragement magazine....and I didn't want to do it!

You see, I felt a little...or a lot...stressed.  I had overcommitted myself.  Too much blogging, too much housework, too much schooling, too much soccer, too much crying, too much disobedience, too much cooking, too much visiting.  You get the picture.

And then....just like that, my computer crashed.


I was frantic.  I didn't have another computer with internet access, and I finally had an evening to get all of my posting ready to go.  But I couldn't.

The next morning was Saturday, so I made a few quick calls to see if anyone could fix my computer.  The first company I tried was going to need 5 business days!!  Argh.

The next company could do it that day -- for an extra charge. 

I got it fixed. 

(It actually ended up costing just $10 more than the first company -- and I had it back that night.  Thank goodness!)

*What does this have to do with my review?

My computer was infected with various malware and spyware and whatever kinds of stuff computers get (I'm very technical about all of that -- can't you tell?) -- and my computer was obviously not protected very well.

I had not taken the time to do the routine maintenance I needed to do.

It made me think a little bit about how my life gets cluttered up with stuff. Sometimes bad stuff -- sometimes good stuff. And instead of taking time for regular maintenance, I just get "too busy" and don't take care of it.

The problem is that I will have to deal with it eventually -- and it will be overwhelming by that point.

Much better to take the time and tackle things before they grow too big!

*Umm, what does this have to do with the review again?!!

Well, after my computer crashed...I had some spare time on my hands.  So, I began to read, and, wouldn't you know it?  Just like my review a few months ago, God used it to speak to me about how I had misused my time -- routine maintenance isn't just for computers -- it's for people, too! 

This month's issue of Eternal Encouragement was filled with articles about T-I-M-E.  The importance of time, ways to stop wasting time, utilizing a timer, etc.  Plus, there were plenty of other helpful, encouraging articles (and some convicting ones, as well)! 

There were so many wonderful little nuggets of wisdom I could share with you - like this acronym for time:

T:  Treasure it.  All time should be treated like the treasure it is.  We only have a set amount, and once it's gone, it's gone forever.
I:  Invest in it.  Spend your time just like you spend your money:  wisely, with careful, thought-out decisions.
M:  Make memories with your time.  Turn everyday necessary jobs into events with your children and make daily chores fun.
E:  Eternally.  The best measure against which to consider all time spent it to ask yourself, "Is this eternally valuable?"
For me, in my role as mom, time either seems to go too slow or too fast.  Those colicky evenings with my firstborn were the slowest days of my life.  On the other hand, the days we spend fishing or playing outside are gone in an instant...

...which made me think of another nugget from the magazine:

A Mother Who Takes Time
(Author Unknown)

I hope my children
Look back on today
And remember a mother
Who took time to play.
There will be time
For cleaning and cooking
But children grow up
While we aren't looking.

What a great blessing to be reminded of what's truly important!  I just wasn't expecting it to be by words in a magazine!

You can subscribe to Eternal Encouragement magazine at  It's an easy-to-read, purse-sized magazine.  Just perfect for those little bits of time you have while waiting.  Definitely encouraging!  Definitely recommended.

*Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of Eternal Encouragement from my participation in program!  All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Journey to Easter (Day 4): Resurrection Rolls

This is reposted from last year, but we are doing this again (on Friday)!  We're reading about the hymn Christ the Lord is Risen Today in Passion Hymn's for a Kid's Heart.  It fits perfectly with these "Resurrection Rolls"!

1 package refrigerated crescent rolls
Large marshmallows
1) Mix 1/4 tsp. of cinnamon with 1/4 cup of sugar in a small bowl. Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in another small bowl.

2) Using a package of crescent rolls, lay out one triangle.  This is the "tomb".  Roll the marshmallow (representing Jesus) in the butter and then in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.  This represents the oil and spices used to preserve the body.

3)  Roll up the marshmallow in the dough (Jesus' body in the tomb).  Make sure to pinch the sides and corners as well as you can (we had some leaky marshmallows!).  Roll the outside of the dough in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Each container should make eight rolls.

4)  Follow package directions for baking.  After they have cooled, enjoy!!  The "tomb" will be empty!! 

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die.  Do you believe this?" -- John 11:25-26


Monday, April 18, 2011

Journey to Easter (Day 3): Stained-Glass Cross Craft

On Day 3 of our Journey to Easter, we read about the song The Old Rugged Cross from
Passion Hymns for a Kid's Heart.  While I carefully choose the words, I do not shy away from sharing that Jesus died on the cross.  It all depends on your comfort level -- and your child.  My three-year-old often tells me that "My God died on the cross."  Of course, the story doesn't stop there, but we'll get to that tomorrow! 

I had this plan to make a "stained-glass" cross, but the girls had another idea -- so, I'll share both with you!

1)  Cut a cross from black paper.  Using scraps of paper, cut strips.  Your child can cut across the strips to make squares/rectangles.

2)  Glue squares onto the cross for a "stained glass" look.

Instead of cutting paper, the girls had the idea to use some leftover foam shapes!

"He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.  By His wounds you have been healed."  1 Peter 2:24


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday Savings: National Geographic for Little Kids Subscription from $5

$10 for One-Year Subscription of National Geographic Little Kids Magazine ($23.94 Value)

This was a big hit over at Motherhood on a Dime, so I wanted to share it with you in case you don't follow me there!  I would think the recommended ages for this magazine would be about 3-7 years (but that's just my guess)!

Mamapedia is offering a one year subscription to National Geographic for Little Kids for just $10. If you are new to Mamapedia, you can use the code MOMS5 or WELCOME5 to save $5 -- making your subscription just $5!!

If you've purchased through Mamapedia before, you can't get quite that good of a deal -- but you can enter the code EASTER10 to save 10% (making your price $9).


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Journey to Easter (Day 2): Easy Homemade Soap for Kids

Day Two of our journey to Easter included the song What Can Wash Away My Sins from Passion Hymns for a Kid's Heart.  We talked about how we need something to cleanse us from our sins -- and that something is the blood of Jesus.

We made soap to remind us how Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

2 cups soap flakes
1/4 cup water
Food coloring, if desired

1)  Measure out two cups of soap flakes.  I didn't want to buy any, so I just chopped up some old bars of soap in the food processor.

2)  Add 1/4 cup of water to the flakes.

3)  Mix the flakes and water.  You can put vegetable oil on your hands if the mixture is too sticky.

4)  Shape the soap however you'd like!  Allow to set over night.

We made a few "soap balls" and then added some food coloring to make bathtub crayons.  This was very messy!  If you'd like a less messy idea, check out this post on how to make frugal foaming soap!

"But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin."  1 John 1:7


Monday, April 11, 2011

Repost: Preschool "Resurrection Eggs"

I've had this idea in my head for a little while.  I really like Resurrection Eggs, but my littlest ones don't sit very well through the retelling of the Easter story using them.  So, I finally came up with a spin-off idea just for them!

Six empty plastic eggs
Stickers or markers
Heart sticker
Paper cross
Tomb formed out of clay

1)  Using stickers or a marker, put a letter on each egg to spell the word Easter.

2)  Using the pictures below, fill each egg with the corresponding item. 

E is for Each of us.  God loves everyone.
(Heart sticker)

A is for A broken world, so He sent His Son.

S is for our Sins that Jesus took away.
(Paper cross)

T is for the Tomb where He lay for three whole days.
(Clay tomb)

E is for the Empty tomb.  The stone was rolled away!

R is for the Risen Lord.  Jesus is alive today!

I shared the story of Easter with my little ones opening each egg as we went through this poem I wrote.  Of course, I added extra narration as well!  You can easily store the eggs in a small plastic bag or basket with a copy of the poem.


E is for Each of us.  God loves everyone.
A is for A broken world, so He sent His Son.
S is for our Sins that Jesus took away.
T is for the Tomb where He lay for three whole days
E is for the Empty tomb.  The stone was rolled away.
R is for the Risen Lord.  Jesus is alive today!


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Saturday Savings: FREE Greeting Cards from Tiny Prints

Tiny Prints has a great special just in time for Mothers’ Day with their Tiny Prints Greeting Card Collection! The collection contains personalized cards with photos from $1.99. They have cards for everyone in your life from your mom, to your grandmother, sister, daughter or anyone else important to you. You can create personalized Mother’s Day Cards and have them mailed! You can also add a gift card from Amazon, Target, Gap, and more -- the code will be printed directly on the inside of the card!!

As a special bonus, from April 6th to April 12th, all Mother’s Day Greeting Cards will be 99¢.  You can also sign up for a Free Greeting Card Membership, giving you three FREE cards to use right away, as well as discounts on future cards.


Saturday Savings: FREE Preschool Activity Calendars

Over at Quirky Momma, you can print out a calendar with a month's worth of ideas for preschool play, math and literacy. There is one idea per day (so it's not overwhelming)! I love that the ideas are simple and use items you can easily find at home. If you ever get stuck and need an idea, these are perfect!   You can print April's calendars here!


Friday, April 8, 2011

Journey to Easter (Day 1): Palm Branch Craft

As I begin to share some Easter crafts over the next two weeks, the girls and I are using the book Passion Hymns for a Kid's Heart by Bobbie Wolgemuth and Joni Eareckson Tada in our morning devotion time.  I'm designing our crafts and activities to coincide with the hymns and stories in the book!  Our first craft is a classic Palm Sunday activity to go along with the song All Glory, Laud, and Honor.

Green construction paper
Pencil, straw, or pipe cleaner

1)  Cut a leaf shape from paper.

2)  Cut short slits around the leaf.

3)  Tape a pencil, pipe cleaner, craft stick, or straw to the leaf.

The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!"
John 12:12-13