Dear graduate

A dear friend of mine graduated from high school last year, as part of her graduation I wrote this letter, and I had it on my mind to share it with other graduates.

Dear graduate

Dear Graduate,

I’ve been thinking about what to write to you as you head off to college.

I have watched you grow from a young excitable immature girl into a beautiful young woman of God.  I can’t wait to see what God does in and through you.

As you head off to college here’s my advice to you.

Find a good church

Look for a church that challenges you to dig deeper into the Word.  Disagree with the pastor sometimes, but be able to defend why.

small group at church

Get involved.  As you’ve already learned, you will never grow so close to God as when you are serving Him.  He will challenge you in all new ways, and you will find new depths to your faith.

Find great friends

Just as with your church, find friends who love you too much to leave you where you are.

Dear graduate, find good friends

Yes, I did not meet her in college, but she is a good friend

Find friends who go to a different church.  Make good friends with a Catholic, or a Baptist.  Ask them why they believe that, go to their church.  Invite them to yours, talk about how they’re different.

Stay up until 2 AM discussing missions in Africa and the situation in Iraq.

Read great books

Haunt the library for hours, find out what others read and try those books.

Read classics.  Don’t be guilty of chronological snobbery.  Amazing books were written hundreds of years ago and they are being written today.

summer reading list

But remember: Read many great books, but LIVE IN ONE!

Figure out who you are and who you want to be

Part of college is figuring out who you will be and that may change from right now to when you graduate.  It will change after you graduate, but knowing this will help keep your core.

Figure out who you want to marry

Not the actual person (though that may happen), but what type of person.

What character traits do you want?  Make friends with boys and look at traits they have.  Are they involved at church or do they treat it like a social club?

What personality do you want in your husband?  Serious? Take charge of laid back?  Always ready to laugh?

What interest should he have?  A reader? A sports fanatic or movie fan? Ideally you share interests with your husband, but you need to think about what if you don’t.


I am so excited for the journey you’re starting on.  Enjoy every minute of it.


picture used with permission and was modified

Belt pouch tutorial

On the rare occasion I post about arts and crafts on this site, on an ever rarer occasion I post about Mommy crafts, which usually means sewing because I like to sew. This is that blue moon where I share a sewing tutorial, today it’s a belt pouch, and you’ll get a small glimpse into the craziness of my mind.

belt pouch tutorial

A bit of fashion history: what is a belt pouch?

A belt pouch is a small bag worn on your belt.  This ensured thieves could not steal it from you, and was before pockets became common.

belt pouch ideas

Then people started having pockets, paper money became more common, so belt pouches weren’t needed.

Then in the 1980s fanny packs were introduced.  They were a horrible amalgam of several things and just looked awful.

Now, belt pouches seem to be relegated to costumes and Renaissance Festivals.  I’ve got about 4 of them, and they are immensely useful, because I can’t accidentally leave my belt pouch behind.


Belt pouch supplies

scrap paper for designing the pattern

fabric scraps (approximately 1/4 yard, or a fat quarter)

8 inch zipper

sew in velcro


Making your belt pouch pattern

First decide on the size of your pouch.  I wanted my kids’ pouches to hold a mini-water bottle, a couple of protein bars, and their wallet.  I also wanted it slightly tapered and to be gusseted,  wider at the bottom than the top, I’ve learned this is best for holding the most stuff efficiently.

belt pouch pattern making

Now using a straight edge draw out the top and bottom of your pouch, ours is about 6 inches tall, 4 inches wide at the top, and 6 inches tall at the bottom.  I connected the two lines with a straight edge, and then traced around a plate to get a rounded corner at the bottom.

belt pouch pattern making

Then I folded my pattern in half and cut it out to ensure it was equally balanced.

Cutting out the belt pouch pieces

belt pouch pieces

cut out a back belt pouch piece

cut out an 8×4 inch rectangle (top front piece)

cut out an 8×8 inch square (bottom front piece)

cut out a 2×24 inch rectangle for the side gusset

cut out 2 2×5 inch rectangles (belt loops)

cut out a 4×5 rectangle (front pocket)

Sewing your belt pouch

belt pouch back sewing

Hem your belt loops by folding under 1/4 inch and sewing around them, then place your belt loops on your back belt pouch piece about 1.5-2 inches below the top, sew the top and bottom to the back belt pouch piece.

belt pouch add zipper

Iron under 1/4 inch hem on the top front piece and do the same for the back front piece, and attach the zipper however you feel comfortable.

backstitch over zipper for belt pouch

Trace the shape of the belt pouch onto your pieces sewn together.  Sew over the zipper inside your cutting line so the zipper pull cannot come off as you are putting your bag together (make sure the zipper pull is inside the sewing lines).

Once you have secured the zipper cut out your front belt pouch piece.

belt pouch pocket installation

My kids’ wallets are about 4×3 inches, so I needed a front pocket about 5×4 inches.  I made a rectangle about that size, and hemmed the top while sewing the soft side of the velcro to it (to save on space I cut my velcro in half along the length to make it narrower).  Iron under the remaining three sides, and set the pocket aside for a moment.  Sew the hook side of the velcro to the front of the belt pouch, and attach the soft side of the velcro to it.  Now sew the remaining three sides of the pocket to the front of the belt pouch.  If you’re worried about edges fraying I would zig-zag over the loose ends or use an iron on stabilizer to cover them (I chose to zig-zag over the whole thing, I wasn’t worried about how it looks).

belt pouch sewing side seam

Now attach your side gusset to the front, right sides together.  I used a half inch seam allowance and sewed around the entire thing, then I zig-zagged inside the seam allowance to finish the hems (if you have a serger this is not necessary, or if you opt to line it).

Repeat and sew the back to the side gusset, right sides together.  Do whatever ironing you wish to make sure seams are flat.  Turn the bag right side out and unzip the zipper.

Now turn the bag inside out and fold in the gussets, then sew the top seams closed, and zig zag over it to finish the raw edges.

Turn your belt pouch right side out through the zipper, and there you have a nice simple belt pouch that probably took you an hour or less to make.

Paul in Corinth Sunday School lesson

After Paul’s rather crazy second missionary trip, he needed a nice calm week, and this Sunday School lesson is certainly a breath of fresh air for me after a rather hectic week.

Paul in Corinth

Sometimes God gives us a break, like God did for Paul in Corinth

Paul had been through a couple of rather crazy months, possibly years.  He’d been beaten, thrown in jail, stoned, and people were questioning if he had the right to be an apostle.  That’s a lot for any man to deal with.

Paul arrived in Corinth expecting a similar time.  But, he did not know how God had prepared the way for him already.  Claudius had thrown the Jews out of Rome, and so Corinth was swarming with Jews, so Paul had work for the first time in years as hundreds of Jews were looking for tents or other things to live in.  He also met friends who card for him, and served with him.  Sometimes I think we downplay how important friends can be in life.

Paul in Corinth

God gave Paul 18 months of peace and a fruitful ministry.  The church in Corinthians grew by leaps and bounds, and Paul saw the results (now Corinth did later give Paul so many problems he wrote 4 books to them, but that’s not the point of today’s lesson).


Paul in Corinth craft

{Amazon links in this post are affiliate links, and are marked with *}

I wanted the kids to understand how restful this was, and how much peace this time gave Paul.  It’s a very hard concept to translate to kids, so I compared this time in Corinth to a security blanket.  Just wrapping yourself up in it gives you a sense of peace and like you are home.

Paul in Corinth activity

So, we made security blankets for their dolls.  Princess decided hers needed to be more of a quilt, so she sewed two pieces of fabric together before decorating hers with Fabric Markers*, and Superman decided his needed to be longer than it was, but overall it was a fun simple craft.

Paul in Corinth craft

They were all quite proud of their projects, and now have some nice snug figures in their blankets.


Coming soon, see Paul in Ephesus and see how disagreements on doctrine can lead to big fights. Dun Dun Duuuunnnnnnn.

Paul's trip to Corinth Sunday School lesson

Paul in Corinth resources

Color Changing Milk Experiment

The Color Changing Milk Experiment is an all-time classic of hands-on science for kids.  It uses ingredients you can find around the house, produces an exciting visual reaction that kids love, and has a simple scientific explanation that relates science to real life (in this example, cleaning the dishes).

(Ticia’s side note, I don’t usually have guest posts on my blog, but every now and then I find one that I particularly enjoy their idea, and besides it’s got puppets, you can’t go wrong with cool puppets).

Color changing milk experiment

As a former-science-teacher, I wanted to take the fun up a notch, so I asked my friend, Bob the Dragon, for help. Together, we created a video where Bob shares his excitement about the experiment, but his utter disappointment that he’s forgotten the secret ingredient. He needs your kid’s help to figure it out!

color changing milk experiment

Figuring it out involves testing different ingredients to see which one will cause the reaction to occur.  This adds a scientific-discovery angle to the original already-great experiment. Now your kids aren’t just doing science, they’re helping a distraught dragon solve a very real problem!


Doing the Color Changing Milk Experiment

To do this experiment with your kids, watch the first half of this video with them. Bob the Dragon will introduce the experiment and get your kids excited about doing it. Then the second half of the video will show you exactly how to do the experiment with your own kids.


The Ingredients You’ll Need On Hand for the Color Changing Milk Experiment

One pie dish, paper plate, tupperware, etc. to hold the milk

One cup 2% milk

1/2 cup juice (orange juice, apple juice, punch – any will work)

1/2 cup cooking oil (any type of oil will work)

Dish Soap (any liquid dish soap will work, but I find that “Sun” dish soap makes the reaction last longer)

Blue, Red, Green, & Yellow Food Coloring

Toothpicks (can also use a fork, or anything you can dip in the dish soap to apply it to the surface of the milk)


Then just follow the directions given in the video!  Have fun, and Bob thanks your kids for their help!

Meet the Author

Curt Nelson is a former science teacher and school assembly presenter. Now he (and Bob the Dragon) make learning science fun at Follow along with them there or on YouTube.


Summer reading list for animal lovers

As part of our summer learning plans I want my kids to continue their reading, and while I have some assigned books, I also try to give them freedom with just fun books to read on their summer reading list.

summer reading for animal lovers

My daughter loves animals.  Her room is filled with stuffed animals, and she loves to learn about them.  She also loves to read about animals, and I’m more than happy to oblige with books for her summer reading list.

Summer reading list for animal lovers

(I’m working on summer reading lists for my boys, Princess was easy because I’d read half of these books, limiting it was the problem)

{Disclosure, Amazon links in this post are affiliate links}

Sparky and Tidbit (Ready-to-Reads)– This looks to be the start of a new series, and while it’s an easy reader, Princess loves reading picture books still, and loves dogs, so this is an instant win.

The Critter Club 3-pack: Amy and the Missing Puppy; All About Ellie; Liz Learns a Lesson– This series already has about 10 books in it and Princess is nuts for them.  They’re high on getting along, low on conflict, and lots of cute animals, what’s to dislike in her mind.

Bad Kitty’s Very Bad Boxed Set (#1)– We just got the first book in the series, and the kids are all fighting over who gets to read it next.  I’d say this is a step up from Sparky and Tidbit, but not as hard as The Critter Club books, and very silly.

Snot Stew– I included this one because I read it as a kid, and I’m hoping to convince the kids it’s awesome.  It’s the story of two sibling kittens growing up together and they are rather like human siblings, quite cute.

Because of Winn-Dixie– We read this a year ago, (check out our Because of Winn-Dixie movie night), and I love this book.


What about you?  Do you have any animal lovers in your house?  Any other books or book series I can recommend?

I’m slowly collecting up books I want to read or my kids to read on my “Books worth reading” pinterest board. Follow Ticia Adventures in Mommydom’s board Books Worth Reading on Pinterest.

Leif Ericson discovered America

I’ve been a bit all over in posting our history lessons this year, partially because they’re getting more complex.  Shortly after we learned of Eric the Red and the discovery of Iceland and Greenland, we also learned Leif Ericson discovered America.

And because Lego history is more fun, let’s see the Lego history version of Leif Ericson discovers America.

Leif Ericson discovered America


Supplies for Leif Ericson discovered America

{This post contains affiliate links (marked with *).  For more information read my disclosure page}

lots of Legos (I’m partial to these two sets for gaining helpful figures and accessories for history (or you can buy lots of pirate and castle sets): Lego history*, LEGO Pirates Treasure Island* or LEGO Juniors Pirate Treasure Hunt Set* for the ship); large map, Lego history*, and Vis-A-Vis Markers* (I am fairly sure I NEED this set, look at all the pretty colors).


Leif Ericson discovered America lesson

To start the story of Leif Ericson discovering America, first we need to talk about his Dad.

Leif Ericsson discovered America

Eric the Red was a hotheaded man, and in a fight he killed a man and was exiled from Iceland and so he sailed off to Greenland to start his own colony where he could be in charge.

Leif Ericsson discovered America

Young Leif grew up in Greenland with his parents, and heard all the great stories of Vikings discovering stuff.  He wanted to discover something for himself.

Leif Ericsson discovered America

Then a trader named Bjarni Herjolfsson came talking about an amazing country with woods, animals, and great farmland.  Now Vikings are always looking for great farmland because they don’t particularly have that.

Leif of course wanted to set out immediately, but his Dad kept saying “No, you need to grow up more.”  But eventually Leif got his way and headed off to find this great new land.

Leif Ericsson discovered America

He sailed off with about 35 men (that boat with a few people sure looks like 35 men, doesn’t it?), but don’t worry they were very well armed.

Leif Ericsson discovered America

On his trip he named several places, we’re not precisely sure where each one is, but our best guesses (made even worse by my lack of knowledge of Canada geography).  His first discovery he named Helluland (Slab-land).  Then he called an area Mark-land (Forestland).  From there he came upon New Foundland (we think), and he named it Vinland (Wineland).  He and his men wintered there, but didn’t settle America.


Leif’s brother and sister capitalize on Leif’s discovery of America

Remember how I said, Leif never founded a colony?  Well his brother and sister found the story fascinating, and first his brother set off with a large number of people.

Leif Ericsson discovered America

At first their colony was going well, but then they started having fights with the natives, who they called skraelings, and they gave up on their colony.

Leif Ericsson discovered America

Later Leif’s sister would return to harvest fur from the area and go back to sell them, but there is even less records of her journeys then there are of Leif’s brother Thornvald.


For more history ideas from the Middle Ages check out my Mystery of History 2 pinterest board.

Follow Ticia Adventures in Mommydom’s board Mystery of History 2 on Pinterest.

Paul’s First Missionary Journey lesson

After the brief break from Paul’s story to hear about Peter and Cornelius, our Sunday School lesson is back to talk about Paul’s first missionary journey.

Paul's first missionary journey as told by Legos

Have you ever looked at a map of Paul’s first missionary journey?

Most Bibles will have a map of Paul’s missionary trips in the back.  When I was a kid I used to trace the route with my finger over and over again, and wondered why he took each route.

Then I grew up and learned a bit more about Roman history, and read the book of Acts a couple of times.

Paul's first missionary journey looking at the map

If you notice in most of Paul’s trips it goes like this:

  1. Paul goes in and preaches the news to the Jews.
  2. The Jews at first eagerly embrace Paul, but then they get jealous of the attention he’s getting.
  3. Paul gets kicked out of the synagogue.
  4. Paul goes to the Gentiles and preaches to them, he is successful and grows a large crowd.
  5. Someone, and this depends on the flavor of the city either Jews or those who lead the local religion, get upset with Paul taking their parishioners and the donations that go with it, and report Paul to the civil authorities.
  6. The civil authorities don’t want a riot and the “official attention” that brings, so they either throw Paul in jail, beat him, or just go straight to kicking Paul out.
  7. Paul moves to the very next major town out of reach of the previous magistrate.

This cycle repeats over and over again.  I think there’s only one city Paul isn’t kicked out of, and I think God had a reason for that as well.

This is why God needed someone who is stubborn to the point of idiocy, because Paul is going to have a rough go of it.  A very rough go of it, and a lesser man would recant, say he’d made it up, or something else.  Paul keeps going.  I have to admire that.


The Lego history of Paul’s missionary journey

The kids had already noticed Paul has some fun on his trip, and as I gathered materials they studied their map from Wonder Maps of Paul’s missionary journeys.

You know what they came up with?

Paul's first missionary trip map

This part of Paul’s journey looks like a dinosaur head.  See Mom, there’s the horn, there’s the mouth.  That part over there is his body.  And once they pointed that out of course that’s all I could see.

Sigh, not so helpful that.

Paul's first missionary journey

Paul and Barnabas were commissioned by the Antioch church to go out and preach to the Gentiles.  They set sail and went to Cyprus.

Paul's first missionary journey

There they met with the Roman proconsul Sergius Paulus (side note, up until a few years ago skeptics pointed to this name as proof the Bible was not real, and then they found a cornerstone from that time period with his name on it), and he basically said, “Not my circus, not my clowns”  (You can look, it’s right there in the Greek, right there in my special Ticia translation), but then he believed what Paul said, and gave him leave to teach in Cyprus.  They traveled around the different cities in Cyprus

But, that cycle I mentioned earlier happened, the Jews got angry and they were thrown out of the last town in Cyprus after a stoning.

Paul's first missionary journey

They traveled off to Iconium, their stay there was so short I didn’t have time for a picture.  So they sailed off to Lystra.  Isn’t that great name?

Paul's first missionary journey

They they came to town and Paul healed a lame man.  The locals said, “This must be Zeus and Hermes.”  When Paul realized what was going on he laughed so hard he fell over (again that’s in the Ticia Greek translation, much like my Bible professor’s translation said “zap” and “dude.”)

But just like before they got made at Paul, I mean he did laugh at them and make them look like fools, so they stoned Paul and Barnabas leaving them for dead.

Paul's first missionary journey

Their fellow Christians, you know the people who’d converted in the last month or so came to get Paul and Barnabas off the trash pile and bury them when they discovered the two men were alive.  So they snuck Paul and Barnabas out of town and sent them off to the next town.

Paul's first missionary journey

From Derbe they felt God calling them back to their home in Antioch.  They traveled home and gave their report to the believers there and in Jerusalem.


Paul’s first missionary journey activity

I wanted the kids to get just how serious traveling then was, and have a bit of fun so I had them plan their own travel supplies.

Paul's first missionary journey

They happily set to drawing and writing their supplies.  You can tell the differences in my kids when Princess immediately started writing as fast as her marker could write, and the boys immediately started drawing every single item.  EVERY. SINGLE. ITEM.  I mean they literally drew out each shoe.  It was kind of funny.

Paul's first missionary journey

Some of the items they packed were genius, like a pocket knife or food for the trip, but I was a bit amused at Superman’s deciding to pack his Legos.  Or Batman’s question, “Am I packing as if I was a kid or an adult?”  So, he packed lots of grown up things like a pocket knife, and a lighter.  Princess meanwhile was worried about the weather, what kind of clothes should she pack.

Paul's first missionary journey

Paul’s first missionary journey resources

(Amazon links are affiliate links, marked with asterisk)

It’s been a roller coast of a few months, and I’ve been remiss in posting weekly reviews

I usually try to put a bit of how our week went in the bottom of my Friday post, but these past few months its’ felt like I’ve done good to write a post and get it posted, but I miss writing how things are going.


I have to laugh at the picture the boys taped to their door.  It rather explains their recent viewpoint.  They’ve been very BOY lately, and all that entails.

art museum field trip

We went to the Blanton Art Museum for a field trip with our co-op, and it was really cool, but I’d love to go back and take more time.  It was an abbreviated visit, and there were so many interesting places to talk about.  There’s the constellation piece with all of us laying down and looking at them.  There’s the plywood piece with pockmarks and all sorts of stuff going on to talk about.  Or the art piece of $5000 dollars of pennies with bones, and all sorts of things to talk about the cruelty of building the cathedrals.

It was fascinating to go there, but I wanted to spend hours and hours more.

Alice in Wonderland exhibit

From there we went to a fabulous Alice in Wonderland exhibit at another museum, and I was incredibly happy being a rather big fan of Lewis Carroll.  We got to see different covers, artwork, art inspired by the books, listen to adaptations, watch different movies, and a few crafts.  It was a great field trip, but it was a tiring day because from there I was taking Princess to a sleepover for AHG.


Mommy daughter weekend

Princess and I had a Mommy/daughter weekend, and if you follow me on Instagram you got to see lots and lots of pictures from that weekend as I took pictures of all the activities we did together.  I repeated my annual discovery that I am not made to be the Mom of an only kid.  I give major kudos to moms of onlys.


The kids completed a great Bible study together about siblings, which helped somewhat with their squabbling, but not as much as I’d like.  That’s an area I’m doing a lot of praying in and working on my attitude and theirs.

best field trip ever

We went on the best field trip ever and I was going to take all of these pictures to have these amazing visual references for history, and 10 minutes in my camera died.  And as the day got later and later my phone battery was dying, so I was even losing that.  We left the jousting tournament with my phone at 1% and hoping I would make it to buy a charging cord because I didn’t know how to get home and I needed my phone for directions.

But, seriously this was the best field trip ever.  The kids got to try on armor, we talked to people actually riding in REAL jousts, not the show ones at the festivals, and learn about the importance of different armor, what type of horse is best (a smaller one), what armors were used for what.

And the playscape there?  AMAZING!  They had a giant pirate ship my kids spent 30 minutes playing on , and there was a fort they spent a good 20 minutes running around in.  And the tree houses?  So much cool stuff.

Oh, and Batman met a blacksmith there who thoroughly intrigued him, and now Batman wants to be a blacksmith when he grows up.


I would love to say this is an unusual way for my daughter to be listening to her history lessons, but that would be a lie.  I also frequently see my son standing on his chair and leaning over his desk to write.  It seems to work for them.

pencil pouch worked on

I’ve been working on a pencil pouch, these are pictures of the almost completed project, I finished it earlier this week, and now I need to take lots of pictures and or a video of the whole thing.


We went and saw Love’s Labours Lost, one of Shakespeare’s bawdier plays, which thankfully the kids did not get most of the jokes.


We went down to the Nature Center, which my kids always think is the coolest thing ever.  Here the kids are trading in nature things they found and/or drew for points to buy stuff there.  The boys bought bones, and Princess bought shells.

Princess dance

Princess had her dance recital.  It was quite amusing to see an entire crowd of little girls all doing the dance at different rates.


With all of this business, the kids have been amazingly tired, so I had them take naps one day, and I just had to get pictures of them all spread out.  Princess was only pretending to sleep, but it’s still cute.


We’ve gone for lots of walks, as I’m trying to get a bit more exercise in.  The kids look at this as another time to play and pretend.  Most frequently with cloaks and weapons.


We went out dancing with our small group from church, and there were quite a few Dads dancing with their daughters, and of course Jeff and I got a few steps in.

muddy boys

It’s been raining nonstop, which has added into my malaise, and of course has created lots of mud.  Lots and lots of mud, which my boys always find.

homeschool ready school

I leave you with my very silly little girl supposedly ready for school.

Ella Enchanted book and a movie night

It’s been awhile since I posted one of our book and a movie nights, and since I last posted with Mr. Popper’s Penguins, we’ve had about 5 more movies we’ve read and watched.

Ella Enchanted book and a movie

{This post contains affiliate links (marked by *).  For more information read my disclosure page}

Supplies for this Ella Enchanted movie night

Read the book: Ella Enchanted*

Watch the movie (be warned the characters are much used and abused): Ella Enchanted*

Food in lots more detail below

Ella Enchanted is a fabulously fun retelling of Cinderella, and I love it.  However the movie….. it’s not as good, but I knew my kids would enjoy the silliness, but my Mommy heart sang when at the end of the movie Princess stood up and declared, “That totally betrayed the book,” and will now tell anyone her thoughts on the matter.

Ella Enchanted learning activity

grafitti wall

This time I wanted the kids to ask questions as they read the book.  This is their first time reading a fractured fairy tale, and I’m hoping it isn’t their last because it’s one of my favorite genres.  So I got some butcher paper (actually I think it was just Easel Paper*), and taped it to the wall.  As they thought of questions from reading the book they came and wrote them down.

I also encouraged them to write down their guesses of which fairy tale Ella Enchanted was.

Eventually the paper was all filled up with questions and answers.  At our end of book discussion we talked about all their questions and what the answers might be.  Actually I think I might hang one up again for our current book (The Jungle Book*).


Ella Enchanted Discussion Questions

There’s a lot of fun discussions to be had with this book.  Here’s a few I thought of:

  1. Ella thinks her gift is a curse, what gift do you think would be a curse?
  2. Did Ella make the right decision when she ran away from school?
  3. What do you think is small magic or big magic?
  4. Which fairy tale do you think Ella Enchanted is based off of?


Ella Enchanted snacks

Ella Enchanted movie night snacks

This is my kids’ highlight of the whole experience.  I think this is also the last movie I had full ownership of the snacks.  After this the kids started giving suggestions and helping make and decorate them.

Ella Enchanted pumpkin carriages

Pumpkin carriages

These were made with pumpkin muffins and Rolo* on toothpicks.  I put a bit of green frosting on the top for the vine.

Ella Enchanted movie night preparing snacks

The kids got a hold of some leftover ones and made “Mommy’s carriage” a multi-deck monstrosity of sugar.  But they were quite proud of it.

Ella Enchanted snack her book

Ella’s book

In the movie Ella had an enchanted book that was constantly changing and telling amusing stories.  In the movie they destroyed that concept with a horrid talking book.  I took a Hershey’s Nuggets* and put a bit of frosting on it to act as bookmark.

Ella Enchanted snack muffins

Mandy’s Treats

In the book Mandy is a genius in the kitchen (in the movie she’s bordering on being an idiot) and all of her foods are healthy AND delicious, so we made apple muffins to represent her treats.

And because we didn’t already have enough sugar.

Ella Enchanted snack pumpkin candy corn

Pumpkin candy corn (apparently officially called Fall Mellowcreme Pumpkins Candy*)

For the rest of our book and a movie nights click on my awesome book and a movie logo.

Book and a movie transparent

If you’d like to see other people’s brilliant book extension activities (and a few of my own) check out my book and activity pinterest board:

  Follow Ticia Adventures in Mommydom’s board book and activity on Pinterest.

Peter and Cornelius Sunday School lesson

I’ve always wondered at the placement of this lesson in the Bible. I’m always tempted as I plan our Sunday School lessons to switch it to before Paul’s conversion, because it feels like a break in the narrative.


But, as I was rereading the material I realized, it’s not a break in the narrative.  It’s a necessary pause before you get into Paul’s work.

What does Peter and Cornelius teach us?

spaghetti carbonara recipe

Aside from being free to eat as much bacon as we want?  For which I praise God and thank him with the eating of much spaghetti carbonara.

Peter and Cornelius

No, that’s just my personal happy takeaway from this lesson.  The big takeaway is God isn’t just for the Jews.  I know for us that’s not a big deal, but in Peter’s time that was HUGE.

I mean stop the presses, let everyone know this life-shattering story, shout it from the rooftops, and then head over to the mountains.

Philip and the Ethiopian

Previously, the gospel had been taken to the Samaritans, that was strange enough, but at least they were still Jews, if only in name.  That one Ethiopian could be an anomaly.  But, this is a Roman, the same people who oppressed them, and the same people who killed Jesus.

Surely, God didn’t mean this?  But He did, and that’s the whole point behind God showing the vision three times, and then delivering the centurion to Peter’s door.  He meant this, and He was going to make sure Peter got it.

We need this step before Paul goes off on wild adventures converting half the Roman world.  This is why Luke takes a break from Paul’s story to tell us this.


When God had Peter talk to Cornelius that was a huge challenge for him.  What challenge has God called you to?

I didn’t really have any grand activities or games planned for this lesson.  You could go through and find the animals the Jews were now free to eat, or you could make a meal out of them or something, but it wasn’t appealing to me right then.

Peter and Cornelius challenge

Instead, I challenged my kids to think about what God might call them to they were uncomfortable to do.

Peter and Cornelius challenge

At first they came up with very generic silly answers that were nice Sunday School answers (and no I don’t remember the exact answers, just I made them throw out the first sheet).

Their second attempts were better.  Those were personal answers.  Our church is going through a building campaign, and they were worried God might call them to sell their toys.  Or share them with another kid.  And it wasn’t the idea of generic toys that upset them.  They’re actually kind of excited to try selling them to get money.

Peter and Cornelius challenge

They were worried about their favorite animals, the ones they cuddle with every night.  But, they were willing to admit that might happen.  I was rather proud of them as they started to talk about it.  In case you’re wondering my worries of what God calls me to do usually involve going places without plumbing or where they expect me to eat odd things.  I like my comforts.

Peter and Cornelius Sunday School lesson

Peter and Cornelius resources

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Next week, or whenever I can find my missing pictures (and it better be soon because I’m teaching this lesson in 2 weeks), you’ll get to hear about Paul’s first missionary journey.

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