Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Badge Ceremony

Last year I used to hand out the badges at the beginning of each meeting.  I would fumble through the envelope looking for each girls' and I always seemed to struggle (not quite sure why).  So this year I decided to simplify. 

We are having 2 badge ceremonies this year.  Absolutely nothing fancy, just waiting to give out the badges.  We did one back in February and we'll do the other at the end of the year.  It saves a lot of frustration on my part, and really, who sews on badges every month?

Monday, March 3, 2014

A Night Out at the Assisted Living Home

This year, I have been trying to add more service projects for our group.  It was suggested that we visit a nursing home.  I was truly blessed that one of the religious education teachers volunteers at an assisted living place here in town.  She was able to get me connected with the activities director.  I told her that these girls weren't used to visiting so if she had some ideas for us, we would appreciate it.  She was so awesome.  She told me just to show up and she would have Bingo all set for all of us to join in.

It turned out to be a wonderful experience for all of us.  She led us in and got the game going right away.  It was so neat to see how much some of the residents enjoyed playing with the girls.  Each girl was given a chance to call a game.  While there wasn't a whole lot of visiting, it gave the girls a chance to get used to going there. We were invited back to spend another evening there.  It is my hope that each time we go back, the girls will feel more comfortable and start interacting with the residents.

Now to think of a craft we can do with them.

Self-Control - Wreath III

I guess I'm a little behind in my posts.  There have just been so many snow days!!! Our meeting for Self-Control was back in February.  I'm finally getting around to posting this.  

Jessica led the meeting.  I was lucky that she typed up all of her notes for me so I'm going to go ahead and just post them as is.  It was a great meeting and the girls really enjoyed the activities.

Set out a cup of M&Ms in front of each girl – do not let them eat it until the end. This will demonstrate self control.

Explanation of Self-Control 

Does anyone know what self control is? 
Once girls raise their hands, I asked them to all raise their hands (that demonstrates right there a sign of self control)
control or restraint of oneself or one's actions, feelings, etc. (from

·         Remind children that they will never be tempted beyond what God will help them handle *Self control is taking us out of the center of our hearts, minds and universes and putting Christ in it. (from leaders book)
·         It’s even a daily struggle your parents face, but with Jesus as our guide we can do all things well, even control ourselves! (from leaders book)

·         What is a good way you could help yourself maintain self control?
1.    Example, do not sit beside a friend who you enjoy talking to when you are supposed to be quiet, or choose to leave a play area
2.    when tempers are getting heated and you feel angry with a friend.
3.    When doing homework
Kick-off craft

The craft suggested here will help remind your children to practice self-control and is based on
1 Peter 5:8: “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around looking for someone
to devour.”

A self-control poster

  •  Help your children draw or trace a picture of a lion on the poster.
  •  Next have your children place their hands over the lion and trace around their hands.
  • Write the memory verse of your choice on the poster.
  • Use the poster as a reminder that the best way to defeat Satan when he tries to devour us is to pray.
  •  Review the questions for discussion below to enhance your children’s understanding of the concepts.
Throughout the day, encourage your children to clasp their hands together tightly when they feel like they are going to lose self-control. Have them come to you so you can help them pray. Explain that Satan is strong like a lion, but we can be stronger than Satan when we go to God for help. Just as the tracing of their hands covers the lion, they can be stronger than the temptation Satan sends when they are full of the Holy Spirit. Tell your children that putting their hands together will help remind them to talk to God and ask for His help in maintaining self-control.

WWJD sign (read #6 and do it in a group)
fulfill #6 on your list for this month

Self-control scenarios
– give scenarios and ask the 3 questions after each one.
• Someone has just taken your favorite toy from you.
• You have had one piece of cake and your stomach feels full. Someone offers you
another piece.
• Someone has just called you a mean name that hurt your feelings – now they are laughing at you.
• You just received some discipline from one of your parents, now your brother or sister is smiling.

Questions for discussion
• Would you need to use self-control in this situation?
• Would it be easy or hard to be self-controlled in this situation?
• If you would have a hard time using self-control, how could you make it easier?

Key concepts
·         When we are full of the Holy Spirit, it is easier to use self-control. It is one of the fruits of the Spirit.
·         Remind them - you will never be tempted beyond what God will help you handle.
           (1 Corinthians 10:13).
·         Close by praying and thanking God that He understands what it is like to be tempted and that He will never let us be tempted beyond that which we can handle.

Talk about St. Felicity  fulfill #2 on your list for this month (
Felicity was a noble Christian woman of Rome. After her husband's death, she served God by prayer and works of charity. Her good example led others to become Christians, too. 

This angered the pagan priests (they worshipped false gods), who complained to Antoninus Pius, the emperor. They said Felicity was an enemy of the state because she was making the gods angry. 

So the emperor had Felicity arrested. Her seven young sons were arrested with her. Like the mother of the Maccabees in the Old Testament, Felicity remained calm. The governor tried to make her sacrifice to the false gods but she absolutely refused. 

They finally threatened to kill her sons one by one if she did not do as she was told. The governor said to her, "Unhappy woman, if you wish to die, die! But do not destroy your sons." And Felicity answered "My sons will live forever if, like me, they scorn the idols and die for their God."

This brave woman was forced to watch her sons being put to death. Four months later, Felicity, too, was beheaded. Her strength came from her great hope that she would be with God and her sons in heaven. 

St. Felicity, it could be said, was martyred eight different times as she had to watch each of her sons die. Then she too gave up her life for Jesus.  

Look how praiseworthy it is to die for the King (Christ). This woman (St. Felicity) feared not the sword, but perished with her sons. She was given eternal life.

Bible Story and questions
Picking fights
Read Genesis 26:17-22.
Questions for discussion
1. What do other kids do when they want to pick a fight?
2. How about your brother/sister?
3. How do you feel when someone says that something you own is his/hers?
4. What happened to Isaac’s servants?
5. What did they do?
6. How many wells did they have to dig before the herdsman of Gerar didn’t bother them?
7. What is the best thing to do if someone picks a fight with you?

Key concepts
Isaac’s servants had moved into a new territory. Part of moving into new territory involved finding water for the flocks they were caring for. As Isaac’s men dug wells, the herdsman living in the new territory argued with them and kept claiming the wells as their own. Instead of fighting back and fighting for the wells that were rightfully theirs, Isaac and his people just kept moving on and digging another well, until the herdsmen of Gerar left them alone. These men exercised self-control and didn’t fight for their rights. Isaac and his servants set a good example for all of us of what to do if someone picks a fight with you. The best thing to do is to walk away and keep the peace.

Giggle game
Then I selected one LF to go before the entire group to attempt to make the group laugh.  She had full reign to be silly and the audience had strict instructions not to laugh.  A good time was had by all.  Upon completion of this round, the girls discussed their strategy to exercise self-control so they did not laugh despite the silly antics. 
We held one more round.  This time the silly girl could not get her audience to laugh.  We discussed the reason for this outcome, was it because it was not funny or was it because it becomes easier to exercise self control after time of practice?

After the game, talk about self-control. Explain that it is usually okay to laugh in life, but there are times when we shouldn’t laugh. We should not laugh when someone is hurt or sad, during quiet time at school or church, or if they are somewhere where they have been asked to be quiet. The following questions will help to clarify this for young children.

Questions for discussion
• Can you think of some times in life when we shouldn’t laugh?
• Eating is fun, like laughing is fun, but there is a time to eat and a time to stop eating. When is it
time to stop eating?
• Playing is fun. But when Mom or Dad say it is time to stop, it can be tempting to continue. When is it time to stop playing?
• Chasing around and being silly is fun, but there is a time and a place for silliness.
• When is okay to be silly?
• When is it not okay to be silly?
• How can you have self-control in these situations?

Key concepts
There are times when we need to obey the instructions of parents and stop doing what seems
to be fun. Even though it is tempting to do what feels good instead of stopping, we can ask God to help us be self-controlled and to choose to stop what we are doing.

Relevant Scripture
Ecclesiastes 3:1,4 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heaven. . . . a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.”

Clap Hands Game(or use a drum)  (
Children crouch down with eyes shut on the floor and can only jump up like a Jack-in-the-box when you clap your hands, or hit a triangle etc, The length of time before clapping is varied so children have to really listen and not jump up impulsively.

Games (
·  Mirror what I do. For this game the parent and child sit in a chair directly facing one another. The parent plays the role of the leader and the child plays the role of the follower. The parent sits still in the chair using few words, so the child focuses on controlling his or her body movements. The object of the game is to have the child mirror the movements of the parent. This game increases self-control skills in children and helps them learn to become more aware of body placement and positioning.
·  Story sharing. Story sharing is a great activity that can be played anywhere— even in the car. One person begins a story with a short sentence and then the other members of the family take turns adding one sentence at a time. Story sharing helps children laugh their way to becoming more cognitively flexible, attentive, and self-controlled.
Finally they can eat their candy- this demonstrates the virtue self control. J