In honor of my mom this Mother’s Day!
Recently I came to the realization that much of what I believe about children in the church is shaped by the way my parents raised me. We weren’t an overly religious family. We went through stints of trying family devotions or praying before meals. We went to church most Sundays, my mom taught Sunday school, and they chaperoned youth group events. It was more about the way we experienced life in our family. As a child, I always felt valued. I had a voice.
One particular memory that exemplifies this happened when I was probably in 5th or 6th grade. You know how parents will often make comments about needing a break from their kids. They say it somewhat jokingly, generally with other parents, who understand their need for a break, despite their deep love for your children. Well, one particular time when my parents were with friends, they were all making those little jokes about wanting a break from their kids. I was really hurt, enough to keep me awake that night stewing over it. So I wrote my parents a letter about how I felt and stuck it on their pillows before leaving for school the next morning. When I came home my mother sat me down to talk about it. She apologized and explained how sorry she was that I felt that way from hearing those comments. She said they wouldn’t do it again and I never heard her say anything like that in front of me again.
Not only did I feel heard and cared for, I learned an important lesson from my mom. Parents will not always be perfect, but one of the greatest things they can do for their children is modeling how to act when you make a mistake.
Some of my favorite childhood memories were activities we did with my mom. She was a stay at home mom for much of my life, and we were always busy. I thought in honor of my mother this mother’s day, I would pass on some of my favorites.
English Muffin Pizzas
I love english muffin pizzas for lunch. It is a great cooking project that kids of all ages can do.
- Cut an english muffin in half.
- Spread sauce on both halves.
- Add your favorite pizza toppings (make it more fun by making faces or designs with the toppings).
- Top with cheese.
- Bake it in the oven until the cheese melts.
This is a classic and was always my favorite! Mixing corn starch and water to create a fascinating goo that hardens when you squeeze it, and turns to liquid in your hands. We always loved it! We also made playdough often, and when it became popular we started making homemade gak.
Paper Mache Piñatas
I don’t think we ever bought a piñata for our birthday parties, but we often made our own.
- Blow up and large balloon.
- Make a paste from flour and water.
- Rip up strips of news paper.
- Dip the newspaper into the paste and stick the pieces of newspaper onto the ballon until it is covered with at least two layers.
- Let it dry overnight.
- When it is dry you can paint it.
- Cut open the top and fill it with candy or other goodies. Tape the bottom back on.
- Tie a strong string to the opening knot.
- Now it is ready to hit it with a bat. These piñatas may not be as sturdy as store bought ones. Make it harder for the kids by moving the piñata while they are swinging at it.
Always a favorite of mine, and I do it often with kids in Sunday school classes because it is an easy quick recipe and delicious.
- 1 tbsp yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/3 cup flour
- 1 beaten egg
- course salt
- Dissolve yeast with warm water.
- Add the honey, salt and flour to the yeast and water mix.
- Knead the dough. Roll it out and fold it in the shape a letter (or anything else you want).
- Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with course salt.
- Bake for 10 minutes on greased pan at 425 degrees.