Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Taco Soup

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Unbroken

I am so encouraged by the stories of those giants of the Christian faith that have come before us. I recently read Unbroken, which I highly recommend reading (don’t watch the movie, they leave out the good stuff).  The story of Louis Zamperini is a encouraging tale to every parent who wonders if the Lord hears those prayers cried in the darkness, to every wife who prays diligently for her husband’s salvation, in fact for anyone who is praying for someone.  God is listening!  And sometimes He answers those prayers in unexpected ways.  Let us all be faithful to seek after Him, faithful to pray for those we care about, and faithful to invite others to church and/or evangelistic events.  To God be the glory!

Art on the cheap – part 2

In a continuation of my previous post on ways to have fun with art without busting the bank, here are a few more ideas, this time focusing on places other than home to experience the joy of creating.

  • Find a good storytime at your local library. The best ones always do a craft to go along with the story. And it’s free!
  • Many arts and crafts stores feature classes and activities for either free or cheap, with supplies provided. The mess stays at the store, but the finished product comes home to decorate your child’s room. We’ve made crowns and picture frames, colored pictures, and more.
  • Home Depot and Lowes Home Improvement feature woodworking crafts for free! They provide all the materials. My daughters have made flowerpots, picture frames, airplanes, and more. In our home, this is Daddy-daughter time, leaving Momma the chance to catch up around the house!
  • Another fun option is Chick-fil-a Family Nights. In our area, these are every Tuesday night. The craft usually matches a theme or the season, making it easy to plan ahead and even add it into your curriculum if you’re homeschooling. The craft time itself is free, though most families choose to eat dinner. A more frugal option is to just get a drink, or fries, or a small ice cream. That allows the feel of a treat without the cost of a full meal.
  • The children’s museum usually has an arts and crafts area, with guided art projects during specific times. Look online at their calendar to see when yours does arts and crafts. Hopefully it will coincide with a discount day! The one near us also offers a homeschool discount, so if that applies to you, call to see if yours does.
  • Take the fun outside!
  • Take a sketch pad and pencils to the park or your backyard and let your kids draw what they see. Grab a roll of tape, pull off a long piece, flip it inside out, attach the ends, slip it on your child’s wrist, and let them make a nature bracelet with whatever treasures they find. Using your digital camera or camera phone, let them look for photographs to take with an artist’s eye. Color a large space on your sidewalk with chalk and spray it with water from a spray bottle to watch the colors run and mix. Truly outside the possibilities are endless!

    While certainly not exhaustive, I hope this list gives you some more good ideas for adding arts and crafts to your day when you are out and about!

Art on the cheap

Art can be messy, it can be fun, but it doesn’t have to be expensive! Here are some ideas for keeping costs down while still having great art experiences for your children.

  • Buy paint in primary colors, plus black and white. When your children want to paint, let them mix colors to create just the shade they want. Store leftover paint in air-tight containers. I like to reuse jars for this.
  • Buy paintbrushes in the bulk bargain pack for artists sold at art stores. This will give your child lots of options in choosing a brush without having to buy them separately, saving costs while still expanding their artistic horizons.
  • Save scraps of fabric, ribbons, and buttons to add dimension and fun to works of art. You can also use bits of aluminum foil, wax paper, or Saran Wrap. Keep a shoebox just for scraps to keep the clutter potential under control.
  • Study the works of famous artists and use them as inspiration. A quick search on Google images for the artist’s name will bring up tons of pictures of their art. I highly recommend doing this on your own first, though, to ensure that the images are appropriate for your child.
  • There are many how to draw books available at the library. Pick one that is appropriate for kids, like Ed Emberely.

This is just the beginning of ideas for enriching your child’s art education at home. Have fun and be creative!