The 3-year-old Thriller

Next month (tomorrow) I won’t be posting any Monday Humor posts. The reason being is that it's Adoption Awareness Month! All next month I will be posting videos, articles and resources about adoption. I hope you stay tuned to learn a thing or two no matter what stage of life you are in. The more I research I do, the more I believe Christians need to play a role in adoption-the only question is HOW-to-be-involved.

Because I won’t be posting a Monday Humor post until December I thought I’d get one more in until then. Two videos below is a 3-year-old dancing to Thriller. I thought to better appreciate it you may want to refresh your memory of the original dance (the dance starts at about 8:30). Don’t you remember dancing to Thriller when you were a kid?! So much fun! Enjoy!


Shai Linne tells a good children's story

My husband got me into hip-hop before we got married. As I enjoy all things related to reaching children for the glory of God, I really loved this story. It’s so hard to find good children’s stories where God is the hero and the focus of the story. Often times it’s about the cute little donkey that gave Jesus a ride into town-and how special the donkey felt. Sadly, the majority are super fluffy and unfortunately it’s hard to find God-centered ones. (However, not all books are this way! If you are looking for solid children’s books look up: R.C Sproul, Noel Piper & Francis Chan-and that’s just a few authors) I’m hoping that one day this story of Penelope Judd is made into a book. If they lyrics in the video are too small I posted them below as well.

Penelope Judd
By Shai Linne
Once upon a time in a distant land
Far beyond the sea where there lived no man
Or woman- in fact, lo and behold
The oldest person there was only 12 years old
Because all the grown-ups had washed away in a flood
One town in particular there was called Mud
Because every sister, cousin and brother
From head to toe in mud they were covered
But anyway, in this town called Mud
There lived a little girl named Penelope Judd
Now Penelope was a very sad, sad girl
Because she was living in a bad, bad world
Where kid teased each other and acted really mean
They lied, cheated and stole and their speech was obscene
With no grown-ups around, nobody was really wise
So every kid did what was right in their own eyes
Penelope would cry- like every single day
No matter what she did, the tears wouldn’t go away
But deep down in her heart, she hoped it would get better
Because of what her grandpa had written in a letter
He said, “Penelope, it’s great news that I bring
On the mountain top there lives a great King
The King has a Son, and being a proud Father
He’s going to throw the Prince a huge party in His honor
But the good part: and I hope it gets you excited
Penelope Judd, you’re officially invited!
He’s sending a Dove- He’ll tell you all you need to know
Just have your bags packed and be ready to go”
It had been such a long time Penelope was waiting
She wondered if the letter was true or just faking
But one day she was playing outside
And to her great surprise, the Dove had arrived!
He said:

Off we go with no delay
Don’t let nobody try to make you stay
We’re gonna see the King, we're on our way
And all the old things gon’ pass away
The Dove told her that He was sent by the King
If she wanted to go, she had to run and grab her things
Penelope said, “OK. I’ll be right back!”
Ran into the house and came back out with her knapsack
The Dove said, “Penelope, the party is in a day
Stay alert, follow me and I’ll lead the way”
So as He flew and Penelope walked the path
She waived good-bye to her friends and they started to laugh
They said that she was silly for following the Dove
Just to go to some stupid party up above
Penelope and the Dove continued on their way
But then she got sad, because part of her wanted to stay
But then she thought to herself, “Why would I want to stay?
Because all they do is play in the mud all day
And while they’re doing that, I’m gonna see the King!”
It made Penelope so happy, she started to sing
She said:

Off I go with no delay
And ain’t nobody gonna make me stay
I’m gonna see the King- I’m on my way
And all the old things gon’ pass away

Now when they had been walking for a long time
They reached the foot of the mountain and they started to climb
Penelope got scared, not sure if she could keep
going because the mountain was very, very steep
On top of that, it was now dark outside
The Dove said, “Keep your eyes on me- I’ll be your guide”
Getting to the top was a difficult trip
But the Dove was there to pick her up whenever she slipped
And she was so excited when they got near the top
that she didn’t even stop when her knapsack dropped
The Dove led her to the Palace and said, “Farewell!
See you inside!” He flew away; Penelope rang the bell
A huge angel answered, looked her up and down
She knew something was wrong because he had a big frown
“Can I help you, ma’am?” “Yes, I’m here for the party
I have an invitation” He said, “I’m so sorry!
There’s no way that I can let you through these doors
The King won’t let anyone dirty up His floors”
She didn’t understand, so without coming near her
He reached into his pocket and He pulled out a mirror
And for the very first time, she saw that she was dirty
The Palace was spotless- she knew she was unworthy
As the angel continued, “I’m sorry, little friend
but…”A voice inside the party said, “You can let her in”
The next thing she knew, the Prince Himself was at the door
He looked at her, smiled and said, “There’s room for one more”
He reached out and touched her- instantly she was clean
Wearing the brightest robe that she had ever seen
If the Mud kids had seen it, they would have gone blind
“Where’d you get it?”, she asked, He said, “Actually, it’s mine”
And as He lead her in through the Palace doors
He sang the sweetest song she ever heard before
He said:

Long ago, laid aside my crown
Became a Mud kid, traveled to your town
They kicked me out, didn’t want me around
But those who love me get to share my crown


What to do with Halloween

This is my 2nd Halloween working at a Christian Preschool. It also happens to be my 2nd time thinking seriously on what exactly to do with Halloween. The history of it is pretty interesting. I’m not going to try and ignore history and say that the holiday isn’t pagan. I’m not going to say that no, people didn’t disguise themselves by dressing up as evil spirits so they that other evil spirits wouldn’t attack them. That is exactly what happened. In fact, the Christian response back in the day was All-Hallow’s Day to celebrate the lives of the faithful saints before us. To read a quick history of Halloween & All Hallows Day go here.

However, with everything I think there can be healthy balances. To me, it’d be extreme to hide children from costumes, and never talk about the 31st. I think it’d be extreme to condemn those who participate in Halloween as I also think it’d be extreme to condemn those families that dress up as angels and bible characters and go to church. There has to be some balance. Below I posted a video on John Piper’s thoughts on Halloween. He talks about 3 different views Christians have on it. It may be different when I have children but I tend to see Halloween as a time for family/community tradition. I tend to see it as one opportunity to share the gospel with children and surrounding neighbors. I like what he says at the end (as some say) “lets redeem, and penetrate it and use it.”

To read a transcript of the video go to the original source here.


Art Linkletter & Kids

Kids are always listening to what we say. That's one thing that makes videos like this SO funny! Happy Monday!


Preschoolers: Understanding time & age

Since preschoolers tend to be in the stage where they are primarily focusing on the alphabet and numbers they normally don’t have much math down (besides simple counting). Because of that, if they attempt to measure you or do any type of mathematical thinking they only use what they know. This makes answers to questions about directions, ages, and measurements quite funny. For example, just recently I was being measured by a 3-year-old. When I asked her how tall I was she said I was “exactly 6-years-old.” Again, just this week, I realized that my kids know how old they are but they don’t quite know how long they have been around.

This is what happened…

The question came up when one of the preschoolers was explaining very dramatically how she’d never seen a rainbow in her “whole entire life.” I thought it was funny considering her whole entire life is a total of four whole years. Expecting a fun response I said, “And exactly how long have you been living?” to my delight, she then put her hands parallel about 1 foot apart and said “This much.”

Trying to help her along in logic (I can’t help myself) I said, “I’m 24 years old and I’ve been living for 24 years.” Then I asked her, “How old are you?” She said, “4” and I said “And how long have you been living?” Then she changed her answer and said, “41.” Yup, NOT 41 years NOT 41 days NOT 41 months, just simply 41.
So I went to the next one sitting at the lunch table.

Me: How old are you Jenny?
Jenny: 3
Me: And Jenny how long have you been living?
Jenny: 25 metals
*she calls miles “metals”

For your further enjoyment…J

Me: How long have you been living Katie?
Katie: April 7
*kids are used to people asking them their birthdays I suppose J
Me: How long have you been living Sarah?
Sarah: 2 times because I was a baby
*oh so that’s why                 

Me: Micah, how long have you been living?
Micah: 15 years and that would be a 100
*aha, I see…
Me: Patrick, how long have you been living?
Patrick: 100 days
*Wow, that’s pretty long

Me: How long have you been living Abby?
Abby: 16 and then 7
*It was said so matter-of-fact

Me: “How long have you been living, Laney?”
Laney: “4 hours, actually 5, no actually 6”
* okay, so you’ve been on earth for 6 hours then
Me: “How long have you been living Sam?
Sam: “100.
*again, just a simple number. A bigger one though this time.

See for yourself: If you have a preschooler in your life ask them a question that has to do with directions, or people’s ages, height, time or even pay. If you are looking for a laugh, I promise this won’t let you down.

Yes, I LOVE my job.


The Marshmallow Test

If you’ve studied child development you’ve probably seen a video similar to the one below. Dr. Walter Mischel did a longtidunal study on children ages 3-5 years old. He gave them 1 marshmallow in a room by themselves. If they waited to eat it until he came back-he’d give them another. If they didn’t want to wait they could ring a bell and eat it right away-but would not get a second. He followed the children’s lives into adulthood and found that the children that had a hard time with self-regulation in early childhood tended to also struggle with things like, relationships, academics, and behavioral issues while the children that waited for the 2nd marshmallow tended to “succeed” in those things.

Now, I know do not know if Dr. Mischel loves Jesus or not. But I do know that this study doesn’t prove anything about the children’s hearts. They could have great grades, good relationships and go to a good college but their lives could also be filled with pride and their hearts may or may not love Jesus. Hearts are always more important than behavior. As Tedd Tripp talks about in his book “Shepherding a Child’s heart” we so often focus on behavior and miss the heart. Reaching the heart of a child is the best way to impact their behavior.

So though the test misses something huge in the life of every child- it did make me think. What this experiment can point us to is that teaching children the importance of self-regulation (I would say self-denial) for a greater reward (being satisfied in the love of Christ) has long term effects. Also, the years of 0-5 will be a very important window of time to teach self-denial for sake of knowing Christ more. Thanks Dr. Mischel. Enjoy the humorous re-make of the original experiment.

I remember watching a similar video and the professor asked us to watch what the children did in order to delay gratification: some looked away, some tapped fingers, etc, etc. In this particular video it’s pretty funny to watch and see how close they try and get to it, without eating it. Human nature, eh?

To read more about Mischel & his experiment there’s a pretty good article here.


the story of why i write

the worry.
Occasionally, I worry that my posts as a childless wife and thus inexperienced mother I may either not be taken seriously or that I may come off as a “know-it all.” Often times, I have read posts to my husband so he can correct any pride or the way I phrased something.

For the purpose of this blog and benefit of the reader, I’d like to tell you a bit about myself and why I started this blog. Here goes nothing…

the story.
I graduated with a degree in Child Development. I thank God for the time I spent at a secular college. However, throughout my time there, I rarely had the time to compare the theories, lectures, and opinions of my professors to biblical truth. In fact, going through college I was pretty sure that Dr. James Dobson was the only guy out there that had anything legitimate to say about children. The one Christian Professor I had was only able to refer me to him and other secular authors on parenting. It was very discouraging. But God has his perfect timing.

After college, I had an experience with christian leaders giving children a warped introduction to God. It was all very fluffy, fake and sometimes scary. It had me crazy inside. The problem was, I knew this leader was wrong but I didn’t know HOW the right way was supposed to look.

Eventually as God was bothering me with this particular experience, I happened to stumble upon this website. Here I found tons of Christ-centered ways to talk to children about the gospel.

a re-education.
I started to listen. It was like I was in college again; I took notes, wrote quotes, bought books. The “re-education” of Heather had begun.

Now I’d known for a while that I wanted to be a preschool teacher. But now, more than ever, God was giving me this passion for children to know the beauty of God and His Son.

I started seeing that children don’t need to be told all these moralistic lessons but that they need to know the character of a mighty, loving, gracious God. In fact, I started seeing if we don’t start in the early years, when they are learning the most, then we are doing them a disservice.

a renewed passion.
So this over-whelming passion started rise. Continually, I’d have to give it to God because I didn’t know what to do with it. God was gracious and has given me more than one on-going opportunity to share what I am learning. I daily have conversations with my students about God’s goodness and our human condition. Not only that I was encouraged by a friend to start a blog. So a couple weeks later I entered my first post.

the reason i write.
I write here because I want people to know that children can understand big…no HUGE things about God.

I write here because I want people to know there are God-centered resources out there.

I write here because it’s been so helpful for me to find practical ways to talk to children about the Gospel and I want parents & teachers to see/ learn them too!

Finally I write here because it’s fun to hear about the precious things children say and the things they do.

These are the reasons I have a blog. Occasionally, you will see a post that is off the topic of children-but again I always want to write for the purpose of benefitting readers that pass through.

Hoping to bless the Church,


Kids say the darndest things

Don’t you just love the things kids say? I always tell my husband how I wish they’d bring that show “Kids say the darndest things” back. It’d be great! Working with preschoolers I get to hear some of the funniest things. During prayer once, a preschooler asked for a “real zebra”, others politely ask their friends to “Please stop chuckling.” They refer to the American flag as the “Grand ol’ flag” or just happen to mention that daddy is 10 years older than mommy.  These little recording machines say the funniest things. As I was looking for other funny things that kids say I came across a website by Denise Dew. A part of her website is dedicated to the things kids say. Here are some that stood out to me:
Do Unto Others
My children, Blake and Cindi, in grade school, were running 'round and 'round the house. Blake's long legs taking him on a gallop of about 4 feet per stride, with Cindi chasing him, half a dozen strides to each one of his, scowling and screeching at him. I called them in, sat them down on the couch and proceeded to lecture them. The lecture started out with the standard Love-Thy-Sibling chapter and was ending with the Do-Unto-Others- As-You-Would- Have-Them-Do- Unto-You summation, when Cindi exclaimed: "But Mother! He already did-it-unto me!"
A Terrible Place
When Sara was 2 years old, I read her the first 100 lines of Milton's "Paradise Lost," just to see what response, if any, she would have. She quickly picked up on the phrase, "fiery gulf," Milton's poetic figure for Hell, and asked me what it meant. I said, "Well, the fiery gulf is a terrible place. It's where the devil lives, and we don't ever want to go there." Several weeks later, at the dinner table, Sara's mother mentioned to me that our pastor had played 18 holes of golf that day. Sara's eyes grew wide and said, "Daddy! Golf is a terrible place!"
The Foot Dad
When my daughter remarried she explained to her son Cody that her new husband was not his real dad, but his step dad. Cody's friend Kyle came over to play and Cody said, "Kyle, I have something very important to tell you. Dennis is not my real dad. Instead he's my "foot dad."
Hope you enjoy the Monday Post and that you got a chuckle or two. I'd love to hear some of your stories too!


Preschooler's Prayers

Each month in our class we get to ask our kids what they’d like to talk to God about. We tell them they can (1)ask God something (2)Tell God sorry about something (3)Tell him how good he is or (4)Tell him thank you for something. It’s one of my favorite things we do. I thought I’d share some of their 3 & 4 year old prayers:

Dear God, I like dogs because you throw something and they fetch it. I like cats because they lick sometimes. 

Dear God, Thank you for all the creatures that live on the earth.

Dear God, please make my really, really, really, really, really, grandma feel good.

Dear God, Thank you for the rain and the thunder.

Dear God, God is in heaven.

Dear God, you are mighty.

Dear God, thank you for the rainbows.

Dear God, I love you and I love your son. Thank you God for this whole world.

Dear God, thank you so much for my sparkly shoes you gave me. Cuz they are so sparkly.

Dear God, Sorry for hitting someone.

It’s a blessing to hear little ones talk to God. Sometimes they have simple sweet (yet very trusting) prayers other times they talk about sparkly shoes. ;) For more on preschoolers and prayer go here and here.


Children see, children do

As I’m trying to finish this awesome book “Duties of the Parent” By J.C. Ryle I came across a quote that fits exactly how I feel about being a Christian Preschool Teacher. I’ve said before that I often fear any thoughts of parents possibly thinking that the Christian teacher or even Sunday School Teacher will be the one to pass on the faith, to teach the stories, and to build character. We are only a reinforcement of the truths that are taught at home. God did not ordain for us to have as big of an impact as parents do. This is what J.C. Ryle says on “school masters” vs. parental example:

“Fathers and mothers, do not forget that children learn more by the eye than they do by the ear. No school will make such deep marks on character as home. The best of schoolmasters will not imprint on their minds as much as they will pick up at your fireside….Take care, then, what you do before a child. It is a true proverb, ‘Who sins before a child, sins double.’….”

Below is an example of what children can catch from their parents-simply by watching. The visual really makes one think.

That video can be super sad. I think it’s meant to have that effect to make us think. But if there could be a video of your children following in your footsteps, what would they be doing? Would they be lifting their hands in worship? Would they be running to pray with you? Would they be retelling bible stories to their dolls and siblings? Sin isn’t the only thing that catches on to children. 


Frequently used phrases with little friends

My co-worker and I once talked about writing down all the phrases that preschool workers use frequently. Working at a private preschool here is what I came up with. There’s a couple that just always make me crack up each time we use them:
Sneaking in the sugar before the protein:
“Healthy food first.”
Standing/ dancing on furniture:
“Your feet stay on the floor.”
Playing spider-man up the slide:
“Up the stairs, and down the slide.”
Excluding friends from playing pony:
“At school, everyone plays together.”
Throwing sand in each others’ faces/hair/eyes:
“The sand stays down.”
Telling the teacher that someone won’t pass the ball:
“Did you tell so-and-so how that made you feel?”
Running a plane into someone’s tower of blocks:
“Don’t destroy someone’s creation without asking.”
Telling on someone/disobeying:
“Who is the Teacher? You or me?”
Throwing puppets/play food/blocks:
“You may only throw balls”
Running from the dragons & monsters in class:
“Walking feet inside the class”
Spraying spit on someone:
“We only spit, when we brush our teeth.”
Calling each other: “poop”, “poopie head”:
“Those words are only used for the bathroom.”
-We haven’t had any clever children yet run to the bathroom to put the words to use yet. I suspect that’s more of 5-year-old+ logic.
And a personal favorite is….
Sticking beans/rocks/etc in noses & ears:
“We never stick things in the holes of our bodies.”

I could think of quite a few different ways to respond to particular items. However, as a preschool TEACHER we are limited in the length of conversation to each wrong that is committed. So sometimes short simple phrases are how we can put peace to a situation when there are so many kids.

Newer phrases I’ve been trying to exercise:
“I hate you”:
“The only thing we can hate is sin”
NOT sharing (being selfish):
“We can share because Christ shared his life with us”
(Thanks Tonya)
Admiring GOD’s creation:
“Look at God’s ____________ (rainbow/butterfly/etc). That shows us a little bit of how beautiful God is”
Gospel Truth #1
Seeing a child angry or frustrated:
“Sometimes it helps to use your words, so you don’t hurt someone when you have a frustrated heart.”
Stomping on harmless insects:
“We take care of/admire of God’s creation.”
(This is a minor concern-yet a building block to the one below)
Me: “Would you hit a dog?”
Child: “No.”
Me: “Well God made people more special than dogs. So-and-So is God’s creation, and we always take care of God’s Creation.”


This should make you smile

This video is so precious. 4 smiling, laughing babies: Enjoy the Monday laugh.


Storms: A perfect time to talk about God’s sovereignty in weather

Rainy days are always fun. They’re different. You may have to stay inside and play-but you get to go to a different room with different things which often means a different schedule. They are especially fun with preschoolers who are (in a lot of cases) just watching thunder and lightening for the first time (at least as far as they can remember). Yesterday was a rainy in San Diego.

Last year when it was stormy I came across a perfect “weather” scripture. I marked it and said “Next year when it’s stormy out, I’m totally reading this to the preschoolers.” Well it’s “next year” and it was “stormy.” So at lunch, I ran through Job 37-which basically talks about God’s sovereignty over weather/creation. Some of the things I quickly defined in preschool terms and in a dramatic way. But for most of it I was just able to read straight from the ESV:

God thunders wondrously with his voice; he does great things we cannot comprehend. For to the snow he says, “Fall on the earth,” likewise to the downpour, his mighty downpour….By the breath of God ice is given, and broad waters are frozen fast. He loads the thick clouds with moisture; the clouds scatter his lightening. They turn around and around by his guidance, to accomplish all that he commands them…” (Job 37: 5-12)

After lunch was outside time. Out we went. It wasn’t long before we heard thunder. Though I loved it, I knew it would scare many of them. Sure enough they kind of froze and weren’t quite sure how to feel about it. However, I wanted them to see God’s beauty and power instead of fearing the loudness of thunder and lightening. So I smiled and started clapping saying, “Thank you God for your thunder, you are so strong!” So all the kids clapped along and started smiling and saying “Thank you God!” It was precious. Then we actually saw a huge streak of lightening and we clapped again thanking God. Of course we went inside after that. But we didn’t stop watching. The kids were thrilled and we watched from a window for about 20 minutes clapping and thanking God for His lightning and His thunder.

Rainy days are fun. Seeing lightning and hearing thunder is especially fun. Watching preschoolers thank God for thunder and lightning is the MOST fun.