5/29/15

Christian Baby Shower Theme Ideas

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Christian Baby Shower Theme Ideas | Through Clouded Glass


I have been to many baby showers, and I've even had an opportunity to throw one for my sister.  Recently, however, I was challenged to think of Christian baby shower ideas, and I realized that I don't think I have been to a baby shower that had a Christian-based theme.  I have been to many that incorporated Christian principles into the baby shower, but none that had a theme surrounding a Christian principle.

And I thought, why not?  I think there are several cute baby shower themes that could be pulled out of Bible verses!  And since I don't know if I will ever have a chance to throw another baby shower (at least not until my daughter is married and having babies), I wanted to share some of my ideas, in the hopes that someone out there can use them.

I have not thrown any of these showers myself, so I am afraid I don't have gorgeous pictures of these ideas to show you.  Use your imagination, and if you do end up using one of these ideas, take pictures and send them to me!  It will make this post more fun to look at, and I'll give you a shout out!

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Arrows In The Hand Of A Warrior


"Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth.  Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them." Psalm 127:4-5a


Christian Baby Shower Theme Ideas | Through Clouded Glass



This verse is a classic passage of the Bible to emphasize how children are a blessing, which is a great thing to focus on at a baby shower!  I think using an arrow/warrior theme would be especially adorable for a boy baby shower, but you could use it for girls too.

Color scheme ideas?  If I were throwing this party, I would go bright or tribal!  This is a color scheme I like for a warrior/arrow theme:

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(via)

Other ideas to get you started:  Pick out invitations (or make your own) that incorporate images of an arrow.  Print out the verse above and display it on the food table.  Make an arrow shaped cake, or arrow shaped cookies.  Make paper arrows to hang from the ceiling.  Buy some faux arrowheads (they are fairly cheap on Amazon), and write the baby's name and due date on them - pass them out as party favors so guests will remember to pray for the new baby.



Knit Together

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." Psalm 139:13 (NIV84)


Christian Baby Shower Theme Ideas | Through Clouded Glass


This verse is one of my favorites, as I am sure it has been for many expecting moms.  It is so special to think of God knitting a baby together inside their mother's womb, and that becomes so much more real as you experience pregnancy yourself and mark the weeks when your baby's heart starts beating, when all their organ systems are in place, when they start practicing those soccer kicks.  And knitting can be such  cute theme for a baby shower!

Color scheme ideas?  You could do any color scheme with this theme, but I would pick cream with warm or cozy colors for accents.  I think this theme would be perfect for a fall/winter shower, and I would pick my colors accordingly.  Here are some schemes I like:

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Boy Color Scheme (via)

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Girl Color Scheme (via)


Other ideas to get you started:  Include the verse on the invitations. Decorate with knitted (or crocheted) blankets draped across chairs, or as a table cloth.  Put some knitting needles in mason jars and balls of yarn in baskets (you could probably even find ways to incorporate these items into some of your games).  If you are good with your knitting needles (or have a friend or family member who is) you can knit some coffee cup cozies as game prizes.



Light Of The World


"You are the light of the world. . .Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven." Matthew 5:14a, 16



Christian Baby Shower Theme Ideas | Through Clouded Glass


This verse speaks to what is our hope for our kids as Christian mothers - that they would be lights for Christ in a dark world.  You could go a couple directions with this theme, either focusing on the light aspect, or the world aspect - I am going to focus on the world aspect!  This theme idea was inspired by my friend Bethany, who had a "Welcome To The World" shower theme, and this is one way you can put a Christian spin on it (there are a lot of ways you can make a "Welcome To The World" theme a Christian theme, this is just the way I came up with!).

Color scheme ideas?  Once again, you can almost use any color scheme, but I might let my globe inspire the scheme for me a bit.  I like this one (and just emphasize the purple or blue, depending on whether baby is a girl or boy):

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(via)

Other ideas to get you started: Decorate with a globe on the food table.  Use a map as a table runner.  Visit the dollar store for some inexpensive globes that you can hang from the ceiling.  Make a globe or map-inspired cake.  Make round cookies and decorate them like a globe.  Have guests write messages for baby onto a world map, as a keepsake for the mom and baby, or as a nursery decoration.



Salt And Light


"You are the salt of the world…you are the light of the world.  Let you light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 13a, 14a, 16

Christian Baby Shower Theme Idea | Through Clouded Glass


Once again, this verse speaks to our hope for our children, that they would be salt and light to those around them.  And it could also be incorporated into a cute theme!  I think you can use both of these aspects in your shower, or you could focus on one or the other.

Color scheme ideas?  I like mineral inspired colors for this theme, and I would keep it light and airy.  Good news is that minerals come in boy and girl colors, so it would be easy to do this theme for either gender!  If you want to take it that direction, this theme could also have a spa-type feel to it.

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Boy Color Scheme (via)

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Girl Color Scheme (via)


Other ideas to get you started: Light lots of candles!  Decorate with candles and vases filled with bath salts. Print the above verse and display it on your food table. Serve salty snacks.  Have small tubs filled with warm water, and pamper your guests with a (salt) foot or hand scrub.  Create your own jars of salt scrubs (you could probably get away with using sugar, it looks just like salt, right?), and give them away as prizes for your games.  Make or buy salted caramels or votive candles as party favors.



Growing In The Lord

"Do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord."  Ephesians 6:4


"So then neither the one who plants, nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth."  1 Corintthians 3:7 NASB



Christian Baby Shower Theme Ideas | Through Clouded Glass


This theme is all about our responsibility as parents - helping them grow not only physically, but spiritually!  We need to train our kids in the Lord, planting and watering those seeds, and pray for them as we see God working in their hearts and growing them.

Color scheme ideas?  Anything botanical!  I like these:

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Boy Color Scheme (via)

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Girl Color Scheme (via)


Other ideas to get you started:  This theme especially works for you gardeners out there!  Decorate with potted plants, or cut flowers (or make paper flowers to hang from the ceiling if that is more your speed).  Make a flower or tree shaped cake (or cookies).  Create a "tree" out of branches in a vase and have guests write a message to mom and baby on leaf-shaped papers (got this idea from my friends Lyndsey and Emily).  Have experienced guests or mentors of the new mom write their "gardening tips" for how to train children in the training and admonition of the Lord.  Give packets of seeds as party favors, with a message to pray for the new mom and baby as they watch their plant grow.



His Eye Is On The Sparrow


"Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin?  And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Do not fear therefore; you are more valuable than many sparrows."  Matthew 10:29-31



"And I sing because I'm happy; and I sing because I'm free!  His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me." -Civilla D. Martin, "His Eye Is On The Sparrow"



Christian Baby Shower Theme Ideas | Through Clouded Glass


I think the verse is pretty explanatory - what a great way to remind a new mom that God watches over her and her new baby, because they are valuable to Him!  My ideas for this theme focus mostly on birds, but I think it would be interesting to incorporate elements of copper into the party too since the verse refers to a copper coin.

Color scheme ideas?  You really could do anything for this theme, because birds come in so many colors!  Like I said, I think copper accents would make it that much more interesting though.  Regardless, I like this one, plus or minus the pink or blue depending on baby's gender:

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(via)

Other ideas to get you started:  Print out the words to this hymn and display on a table (I really like this print).  Include a silhouette of a bird on the invitations. Use faux feathers or small fake birds (used in floral arrangements) or nest and egg arrangements in your decor.  Create bird silhouettes out of coordinating scrapbook paper to hang as a banner.  Use the tree idea mentioned for the previous theme, but use bird-shaped cards instead - have guests write of their hopes for the new "baby bird" as they grow and learn to "fly".  Have a cake decorated with birds, or make bird-shaped cookies.


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If I ever throw one of these parties myself, I will most definitely post pictures!  I love the idea of using the entire shower theme to bring focus to what is really happening at a Christian baby shower - celebrating a new life that God has given, and supporting the new mom and dad as they prepare to answer their call to parenthood.

If you are throwing a Christian baby shower and would like more ideas for activities and gifts, I am also on Tommy Nelson's blog today, sharing many more Christian baby shower ideas!  Hop on over there to read more activity and gift ideas for Christian baby showers.

When I initially prepared to write that post, I had no idea where to start, so I asked my lovely friends if they had any ideas - and I was blown away by how many wonderful things they came up with!  If you get a chance, visit these ladies at their blogs as well - their creativity and hearts for Jesus are obvious!

Amanda from A Sweet Serenity
Alli from Our Family Grace
Alex from Inspiration Clothesline
Lyndsey from The Loflands
Faith from The Life Of Faith
Leslie from Did You Hear About The Morgans?
Emily from Live A Charmed Life
Bethany from Blessings And Lilacs
Amber from His Grace Is Sufficient
Natalie from She Builds Her Home


Thank you, ladies, for all your help!

Have you ever thrown a Christian baby shower?  Do you have any theme ideas, or ideas for activities or gifts that have a biblical focus?  Please comment and tell me what you came up with, I'd love to read your ideas!

5/28/15

What Would Jesus Post? - Review

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Several months ago I shared the story of the time I got off Facebook.  When I decided to give up Facebook those few months, it was because I had become suddenly aware of how social media (particularly Facebook) was affecting me and my relationships in a negative way.  I eventually got back on, but not until I had thought long and hard about what kind of boundaries I needed to establish.

When I saw the book What Would Jesus Post by Brian D. Wassom, I was very interested in reading it, because the subtitle “Seven Principles Christians Should Follow In Social Media” reminded me of how I had set up boundaries for myself to make sure my online sharing and interactions were in a healthy place.  I was curious to see how Wassom’s “seven principles” would match up with my thoughts on the subject.

I have to say, i agreed with every one of his points!  He covers everything from thinking before you post, to guarding your heart against the negative effects social media can have, to building relationships online and handling online conflict.  Many of the principles he discussed were conclusions that I had already come to myself, and I love how he addressed everything not just from a practical perspective, but from a biblical one.  A couple of the sections also gave me knew things to think about with regards to my social media interactions (I'm not perfect, after all).  I actually came away from this book with a lot of new insight (and maybe even a few post ideas, since I never really followed up on my “giving up Facebook” story).

This book is a practical guide for how to use social media to glorify the Lord, and I think it would be helpful for any Christian to read!  It is short (could easily be read by anyone in one day), which I think makes it especially useful because it’s not hard to review the material.  I think I will definitely be using it as a reference, and if I could I’d have every Christian who is involved in social media read this!

Note: I received this ebook for free from BookLook in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.

5/27/15

Things I Learned In May

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(Follow me on Instagram to keep up with me and the kiddos!)


Can you believe May is drawing to a close already? This month went by really quickly, and a lot happened - we found out the gender of our baby (not telling until Monday!), and we lost our first fur-baby.  Fun things happened, and stressful things happened, and it just went by really fast.  So what did I learn during this whirlwind month?

1. They make 10+ hour lipsticks.

Why did I not know this?  I have tried lip stains before, but I am not a big fan of sponge applicators and keeping my kips apart for sixty seconds so I don’t mess it up.  Then I discovered L'Oreal Infallible lipsticks, and I love them!  They go on like a lipstick, and the color sticks around all day (and doesn’t come off on my kid’s cheeks as badly as regular lipstick).  You all are laughing at me right now, but I seriously have never tried a long-lasting lipstick before.  Do any of you have favorite brands?

2.  Appreciate what you have before it’s gone, and really look at those around you.  

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that we lost our sweet Ralphie dog this month.  He wasn’t old, so this was sudden.  Derek got Ralphie for me when we got engaged, and he was just the sweetest dog.  He did these superman jumps off the couch, where he would jump straight out like he was trying to fly.  He got scared when we had parties with a lot of people, and he’d hide between my feet.  He loved being scratched behind the ears, and he crawled into bed with me every morning and snuggled in a ball against my legs.  I keep expecting to turn around and see him following me around the house.  His comforting little presence meant more to me than I ever realized before.  Life with three young kids is hectic, and I didn’t really look at him enough.  I took him for granted.  Even though I had been more intentional about loving on Ralphie over his last few months (for which I am so grateful), I wish I had spent more time over the last couple years just appreciating my little dog and spending those small moments with him really present.  It has been a good lesson for me to apply to the people in my life.  You never know when someone you love might just be gone.



3. It can literally rain every day for two straight weeks.

Many of you already know this because of where you live.  But you have to understand, I live in one of the sunniest states, statistically.  An old-time hotel used to offer free room and board on days when the sun did not shine - that’s how often the sun shines here.  But the last couple weeks it has rained, and rained, and rained.  Pretty much everyone in the state is grumpy and depressed.  I’ve felt more irritable lately, and the kids have been cranky, and it occurs to me that we are all missing some Vitamin D!  Kudos to all of you who live in rainy coastal states - not sure I could do this long-term.  Rain, rain, go away!  Thankfully it looks like it might break for our party on Saturday.

(Speaking of which, vote here on whether you think Baby is a boy or girl and you might win a Starbucks from me!  Stay tuned next week for the big reveal!).


What did you learn in May?


Linking up with Chatting At The Sky and Tuesday Talk.

5/26/15

Reservations For Two Review

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Reservations For Two by Hillary Manton Lodge starts out with Juliette traveling to France and Italy to learn more about her grandmother’s mysterious past.  She finds some old letters, and soon discovers many things about her grandmother that she never knew.  In the midst of her family’s mystery she is also dealing with the opening of her new restaurant, her mother’s cancer, and her own tangled love life.

I was so excited to read this book after reading A Table By The Window (the first book in this series) last year!  This book was just like the first one in that it was unhurried, but it kept me interested.  There are really two storylines going, one with Juliette’s grandmother through the letters, and one with Juliette’s own life, and they are woven together very well.  You can even see some parallels here and there between Juliette’s love life (though in a less dramatic sense), and her grandmother’s from so many years before.  I like the characters in this book, because they seem so realistic - not too perfect, and you may not like all their decisions, but they are likable. 

The word pictures that the author paints in this book are probably my favorite part, and they way she describes the gourmet food makes me hungry.  I love that recipes are included for many of the dishes that are mentioned.  I’m not much of a gourmet cook, but this book makes me want to try!

There was a twist in Juliette’s personal life at the end of the book that I was not expecting, and I am very interested to see how it turns out.  The book ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, and I am still very unsure about what is going to happen with Juliette and her family.  I will most definitely be looking out for the next book in this series!

Note: I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for this review. This is my honest opinion.

Healthy Baby - 22 Weeks #4

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This week I am 22 weeks pregnant!  And yes, we know the gender!  I’m not gong to spill it until next Monday though, so stay tuned...

Our anatomy ultrasound went well, except for an odd ultrasound tech - but Baby Four looked great!  There were a couple structures they couldn’t get a good look at, because the baby was curled into a little ball way down low.  I thought it was so funny to see how this baby was laying, because basically he/she was laying sort of transverse, sort of head down, and facing down.  Baby Four was curled up with arms and legs tucked in, but he/she was moving the entire time - just moving arms and legs in little circles or tiny stretches!  The hands were balled into little fists too, so Baby kind of looked like a tiny little professional boxer, dodging and jabbing.  It was so cute!



In addition to the positioning, I also found out I have an anterior placenta - which explains why I wasn’t feeling as much movement.  Baby was moving constantly, but I couldn’t feel most of it because of the tight tucking in and placenta.




I have to do another ultrasound next time I go in, just so they can look at the aortic arch and spine a little better - and hey, I’m not going to say no to seeing my baby again!  But everything looked great, and we are so thankful for a healthy baby!  Heart rate was (if I remember right) around 155 bpm.  I’ve gained about 9 pounds so far, which is right about on track.

I am feeling good, though I have definitely been getting more lower back pain the last couple weeks - and I wonder if it has something to do with the way Baby was laying.  All my other kids were in a nice head down position at their anatomy ultrasounds, so this one is doing his/her own thing.  It probably also wouldn’t hurt to get a chiropractic adjustment - my back muscles actually cramped up on my right side the other day to the point where I couldn’t move without pain.  My brother had to come over to help me get the kids out of the car (we just got home), and I had to lay on the couch for an hour before it finally felt normal again.  So an adjustment might be in order.





I have been feeling the baby move way more ever since the ultrasound, which makes me think maybe he/she changed position (or maybe just got bigger).  I am so glad, because baby movement is my favorite part of pregnancy and it is finally starting to pick up!  The movements are mostly really low down, but I have felt a few nudges above my belly button too, so I’m not sure what Baby is doing in there. I felt like I could almost feel a couple kicks from the outside, which is exciting!  I’m hoping Derek can feel the baby soon.



The kids are being so cute about the pregnancy, as always.  Wyatt will randomly comment about how my tummy is getting bigger, and Gwen points sometimes and says “There’s a baby in der.”  Clyde has no clue what is going on, but he gives me kisses all the time (he is my kissiest baby to date), and sometimes if I’m laying on the couch he’ll kiss my tummy, which is adorable!

Preparations?  Nothing new for the baby’s actual arrival, but we have our gender reveal part coming up on Saturday!  Though I am starting to worry about how it will go.  I was so excited to do an outdoor party at a park this time around, but for the last 2-3 weeks it was been raining almost every day - so I am praying that we don’t get rained out!  I’m crossing my fingers that we won’t get any major weather that day and can proceed as planned.



Maternity Outfit Details:

Jean jacket - Target (similar style)
Black lace top - Forever 21
Necklace - A gift from my MOPS secret sister, Lindsay!  So I'm not sure where. (similar style)
Patterned trouser pants - Target
Black sandals - Payless, a long time ago (similar style)

And can I talk for a minute about this spring/summer's fashion and say that I am so glad there are so many stretchy waistbands? I wasn't sure about the whole palazzo/lounge pant trend at first, but then it occurred to me that these pants are perfect for pregnancy.  So comfortable, and hopefully I can get a bit more use out of them next summer too!

I will have the big announcement up on the blog next Monday, but if you haven’t had a chance to vote on what you think the baby is, you can fill out the form below!






Someone who gets it right will be getting a Starbucks on me, just for fun.  I’m excited for everyone to know!  It’s been challenging avoiding baby conversations and watching my words so I don’t let it slip!




Check back next week for the news!

5/21/15

How To Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird (Review)

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How to love your neighbor review

A few months ago, we had a guest speaker at our church who spoke about Jesus’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself”.  But in the message he spoke about reaching out to your literal neighbor - knowing who your neighbors are and forming relationships with them, with the hope to ultimately reach them for Christ.

I was convicted, and for Christmas we grabbed some Thin Mints from the dollar store and passed them out to a few neighbors - and for the first time in six years, I actually knew the names of a few people living around me.

When I heard about the book “How To Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird” by Amy Lively, I snapped it up - I was hoping for more ideas on ways to reach out to these people whose names I finally know!

You know how sometimes it feels like a chore to finish reading certain books?  This book was not like that.  Lively opens up with her personal testimony, and then tells the story of how she started a neighborhood Bible study.  She effortlessly weaves stories into encouragement for why we need to reach out to our neighbors, the benefits and challenges, and practical encouragement.  I felt like there were a lot of good ideas and inspiration in this book for getting out there and really talking to your neighbors.  This book is definitely more geared toward women, so if your husbands are interested in getting to know the neighbors better too, you might try finding some more male-geared resources for him.

At first I felt like the author almost assumed that you already knew a lot of your neighbors and were building on an already formed connection, and I was a little frustrated because there didn’t seem to be a lot of information for how to practically go about establishing those relationships to start with. But finally toward the end of the book she gave some ideas for how to meet your neighbors.

Lively gives ideas for different events to host or attend to get to know your neighbors, and encourages you to open your home to your neighbors.  But I felt like much of the book focused on encouragement for forming a neighborhood Bible study.  In a lot of her stories about her own neighbors, she talks about neighbors she has who already follow the Lord.  I don’t think every neighborhood would have so many Christians in it (some might have only one other believer or none) so I think it might be a little challenging for every person to follow her suggestion to establish a neighborhood Bible study.  It might work beautifully for some neighborhoods, but might not garner interest in others.

My neighborhood, for instance, is one where people are very private - that’s why we live where we live, because it’s private.  We live on acres (not fractions of acres), and it’s difficult to talk to neighbors over the fence, or say hello in passing, because we are so spread out.  I know that I only know three neighbors in my neighborhood by name so far, and I can’t really say we have any sort of neighborly relationship yet.  I’m still working on it, so it would be a little “weird” for me to go up and just invite people to a Bible study at my house right off the bat.  Lively does suggest that you establish the relationships first, but most of the book assumes you have already done that - I’d like more information/encouragement for those very first steps!

Regardless, this book was insightful and gave me a lot of inspiration for getting out there and trying again with my neighbors.  I do think the “love your neighbor” commandment has been largely ignored in recent days when it comes to our literal neighbors, and I love that there are more books out there addressing this issue - and this one is a great one for more ideas on connecting with your neighbors!

Note: I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.

5/20/15

Noah's Ark Activity Ideas

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Do you ever have a hard time coming up with activities to do with your kids?  I know my kids love doing anything out of the ordinary, especially craft or theme related activities.  I feel bad for them because I am not super-creative when it comes to coming up with special things to do with my kids.  On the one hand, this has made them great at independent play.  On the other hand, I think they deserve some organized or planned activities every once in a while.

The other week I was having an especially good day, and while the kids were napping I put together a little activity plan.

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First we sat down and read the story of Noah’s ark - which is always a favorite for my kiddos, since they love animals.

After that we went outside to draw with some sidewalk chalk - Wyatt has been itching to draw on the sidewalk for a week, so he was so excited!  I started off with drawing a picture of Noah’s ark and some animals on it (elephants, giraffes, etc).  Then I told the kids to draw some animals on Noah’s ark too!  Wyatt thought this was a ton of fun and set about drawing a snake right away.  Gwen preferred to draw some flowers, and then they asked me to draw specific animals.  My art skills are not the best, but they didn’t seem to mind!

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A little bit later we came inside, and I gave them what I like to call “monkey food” - i.e.. whatever cereal/candy/nuts I happened to have in my cupboards, mixed into a bowl.  Ours consisted of Fruit Loops, pretzel sticks, and cherry flavored baking morsels.

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You could also add in some sort of Noah’s ark craft, or gather your kids stuffed animals and toys and act out the story together.

Ideally, I think it would be a ton of fun to follow up this activity with a surprise trip to the zoo!  If we ever do this again in the future I think we’ll make it into a full Noah’s Ark day and go talk about all the zoo animals that were on the ark.




And if you are like me, my blog friend Keri from Living In This Season just came out with an ebook with activity ideas for kids - I haven’t read it yet, but it sounds fun!



You can read more about it and check it out here, and I am excited to be a part of her Blog Hop/Book Launch party!  You can check out all these lovely ladies for more ideas on activities to do with your kids this summer.









Are you one of those creative people who always come up with fabulous kids' activities?  I would love to get more ideas from you - comment below!
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