Candy Cane Hunt

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The weather was so pretty yesterday! The mild temperatures and bright blue skies were calling us outside. How could we resist! Normally the children have the best time dreaming up all kinds of pretend play while I rake endless piles of leaves but I wanted to do a little something extra for fun. We picked up a box of candy canes on our grocery run Sunday night and I pulled them out to play a fun game we’ve played for a couple years now- Candy Cane Hunt!

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It’s sort of a twist on the Easter egg hunt tradition. Instead of hiding eggs I hide candy canes throughout the yard, hanging on low tree branches, or toys. The girls had a blast finding as many as they could! My little man was content to break open and eat the first one he saw. :)

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This is such a cozy time of year. The house is so warm and inviting to stay snuggled up but we’ve wanted to get out more. Soak up the Winter sunshine and expend all the energy we can. If you’re looking for a fun way to get out and play this would be such a fun idea! Normally I’ll go out and hide the candy canes while they nap and then it’s a super fun surprise when they wake up!

How are you getting out to play lately? Or what are your favorite holiday games? I always love hearing your ideas too!

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaway

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! If you know me you know I l-o-v-e Christmas time! You know what else I love? Sending out happy mail! I have so enjoyed your friendships and support in this little space and I’m thrilled to share I’ve partnered up with some of my most favorite small businesses to bring you 12 Days of giveaways.

Starting on Monday, for the next 12 week days I’ll share a different giveaway each day. I’m so excited to introduce you to some of my favorite tools, resources, and treasures! Best of all I’ll get to send them to 12 winners to get to enjoy them in person! Be on the look out for daily postings! There’s no limit so feel free to enter them all. All giveaways end on Wednedsay, December 12 and packages will ship out the following day! Hopefully they’ll arrive in time for Christmas! How super fun is that!?

Here are some of the great treasures you’ll find in the giveaways:

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Color + Kindness: A-Z Bible Truth Cards

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Tales of Buttercup Grove: a full set of books

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Crafty Lia: a handmade crayon roll

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Daily Grace Co: Children’s Study + a FULL set of their scripture cards & conversation cards.

….plus 8 others coming your way soon!

Be sure to follow me @little.learner on Instagram to participate and win!

JOY Filled Family Christmas

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Thanksgiving is a little over a WEEK away and Christmas is just around the corner! Who’s excited!? I know we are!

I’ve been sharing on my Instagram about our JOY-Filled Family Christmas and wanted to elaborate on it a little more here! While I am a giant fan of all things crafty and creative I recognize that the holidays are so full that there are days I barely catch my breath much less pull out our “make things” box. :) Instead of adding pressure to do, go, make, or feel stressed I wanted to encourage you this holiday season! The JOY-Filled Family Christmas set is a tool to use as you spend time just being together as a family. And what better way than by pointing your family back to the very reason for the season!

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The cards encourage families to begin by singing! Music, however “joyful” the noise :) may be is a perfect way to begin the time together. Each card has a suggested Christmas carol to sing. As we get a little closer to December I’ll be sharing my Christmas carol playlist- some of my favorite renditions of the songs both old and new! :)

In my little family this year we’ll continue to read the Jesus Storybook Bible. This is how we begin most days but in December we’ll have a special focus on the story of Jesus’ birth. I’ve had such a longing in my heart to invite my children in to the inspired scripture of the Holy Bible. I want them to hear God’s word directly from Him and so I was inspired to create a reading plan for the holidays. I included the background to the Christmas story and broke it down in to manageable sections to read with little ones.

To follow up with the reading the cards have one question. This can be a launching pad for further discussion or there’s full freedom to let the questions rest rhetorically in the minds of your family members.

As you finish the time together you’ll find a simple prayer of praise on the last section of the card.

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The thoughts and ideas of little ones are incredible! Setting aside time each day throughout the holiday hustle and bustle is a worthwhile investment in the hearts of your littles. Consider joining us for the JOY-Filled Family Christmas! There is absolutely no prep and only takes a few minutes each day, but it’s a beautiful way to slow down and point your family to the true hope and joy that Christmas brings! God promises in scripture that His word is powerful and effective (Isaiah 55:11.)  What a joy to see the power of scripture in our hearts and homes! May this Christmas be the sweetest one of all! 

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Back to Fresh: Collard Quiche

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Wow, I can’t begin to tell you how amazing these smelled yesterday afternoon! And better yet how easy they were to whip up! If you’ve been following along lately you know I’m on the hunt for great ways to plug in greens to our daily menu. The kick off of a new school year seemed like the perfect time to get into good habits!

Enter these gorgeous greens! So beautiful and so good for us too! However, my crew can be picky- like most toddlers and preschoolers so I got creative and enlisted the help of Nature’s Greens super simple, ready to use Fresh Greens. I L-O-V-E the simplicity of just opening the bag and having ready to use veggies at the drop of a hat!

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This week I tried my hand at mini homemade quiches. Little people love little things don’t they?! They eat them right up! (no pun intended- haha!) This recipe only requires a couple ingredients and to make life easier- because moms are all about keeping it simple- I used a pre- made pastry sheet for the crust.

This recipe is also perfect for inviting your little ones to join you in the kitchen. Some of our sweetest memories have been made around the kitchen table or up at the kitchen counter. You’ll use a cup/glass slightly larger than your muffin tin opening to cut out circles. Then very gently press them into the muffin tin cups. Next you’ll layer in the ingredients, pour over the egg mixture, and top with a little extra cheese.

They only need to bake for about 20-22 minutes but in that brief passage of time your house will fill with the most delicious aroma. Awakening the senses and hunger in your littles! They’ll be so excited to try this yummy treat they won’t give a second thought to those sometimes challenging greens!

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AND they store well so you can easily double the recipe and toss a few in the fridge or freezer for busy mornings on the go! I’ve even caught my husband grabbing a quiche or two on his way out the door too! :) They’re really irresistible!

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To top it off I’m sharing another set of free printables along with this week’s recipe card! Click the button below to get the recipe, a sweet game, AND lunch box riddles to brighten your little’s day!

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Mabel's Labels

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While we're still soaking up and soaking in the sweetness of Summer for just a few more weeks, I am starting to think ahead and get us organized for the new school year! My oldest officially starts kindergarten this year (cue the tears!) She is over the moon excited and I am so happy seeing her excitement! One of my favorite ways to get organized is with school supplies! This year we're using Mabels Labels to get each of the children's backpacks, water bottles, jackets, and more ready to take with us on Bible Study days, field trips, and more. 

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While we spend our days learning and playing at home there are a few outings we take each week where it's important that the children have backpacks, water bottles, etc. One of those being our Thursday morning Bible Study. Each of the children (even sweet baby Rutledge) have a class they attend while I'm off in my own small group before a larger lecture. It's one of the sweetest parts of our week!

The study we attend is full of families with small children! They require each family to clearly label all their belongs- which is very reasonably necessary! Over the years I've tried different labels that just didn't stick. Last year I resorted to sharpie on all the things. I worked but didn't look as lovely as you could imagine. 

This year we're set! Mabel's Labels has the perfect solution with personalized, adorable labels that are both durable and informative! They're washing machine and dishwasher safe! 

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As if I wasn't already sold on the personalized name stickers the custom shoe stickers sent me to the moon! I absolutely LOVE how cute these are but even better I LOVE that my cute crew can finally put their shoes on the right feet! Haha! Anyone else have this struggle?! 

Bonus: When Sadie goes to class and takes her shoes and sweater off (must be a 3 year old thing?) her teachers will know who they belong to!

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So while you're stocking up on supplies and gearing up for the new year be sure to check out Mabels Label's! They have everything from iron-on clothes labels to bag tags and everything in between! AND their shipping is free in the US!

I love them so much I want to give you a chance to try them out too! This week I'm giving one happy mama a personalized set of Mabels Label's sent straight to her mailbox! Check out my instagram to find out more! 

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Happy Labeling! 

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All About Apples

A month packed full of apple fun! 50+ pages of literacy to numeracy to STEM and everything in between! You’ll explore apples inside and out with your little! Perfect for preschool, kindergarten prep, and kindergarten too! One fun filled, inspiring activity everyday. Not too much to overwhelm you and just enough to make the time together something really special. Minimal to no prep required on most activities. Includes a suggested book list and bonus printables + a FREE art print! Read More about this unit on the blog!

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Little Ones in the Word

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Teaching my littles is something I'm clearly passionate about. We have the best time playing and learning in our home. From finger painting letters to review their sounds to counting jumps in hopscotch to introduce number sense and everything in between. I believe education is invaluable and so very important but above any academic skill is something so much bigger, so much more important, and of eternal value. 

Teaching my littles about Jesus, who loves them the very most, is my greatest joy. I'm no super mama and I fail every single day but I take heart in knowing He doesn't call us to perfection but to faithfulness. Today I wanted to share with you a couple of resources I've been using lately.

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Deuteronomy 6:7-9 "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

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The first thing is something really special our church created for children called a "Word and Witness Journal." It's divided into 4 seasonal sections with passages throughout the Bible. Each passage has activities and though provoking questions. After reading the passage for the week we talk through what we read and what that means about God. She's not old enough to journal but I love when she gets her little pencil out and scribbles her "journal entries."

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Another tool we use is the verse cards from Daily Grace Company. Macie Jane got these from her grandparents for her birthday and we have loved how sweet they are! We just used a rolled up piece of painters tape to hang them all through out the house. So many precious promises and reminders to see, read, and repeat throughout the day. 

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Of course we have always loved our Jesus Storybook Bible and last month my best friend introduced me to Hero Tales. I absolutely love this collection of true life stories. It's the abridged biographies of Christian heroes along with a pairing of vignettes from their lives. I love how each section ends with thought provoking questions and a passage of scripture to think on as it relates to the story. My children are still so small that it serves best as a read aloud but will be a great independent read as they age. 

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Ok, and the last thing I'm sharing today is one I'm so excited about! As important as it is to read and teach my children truth I want them to walk in it as well. Practically speaking we're using the cutest cards called, Tiny Tells as a means to encourage others. Christi over at Tiny Tells has developed a whole line of miniature cards perfect for handing out, tucking into, or attaching to gifts, lunchboxes or mailboxes.