Little Builders Preschool and our Early Education Center are ministries of YWAM (Youth With A Mission) San Diego/Baja. We aim to provide quality and affordable education to our missionary families and families in the local community. Just like Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man, we want all the children who come through our doors to not only gain knowledge and experience a fact-based learning environment but we also want them to know God on a personal level and learn vital social and independent skills so that they can be a well-rounded individual. Our schools follow closely with the Montessori method of learning which plainly speaking leans more towards a project-based learning style. It is very hands-on and offers each student a learning plan that is specific to them, their skills, and their developmental level all while creating a fun environment and safe place where they feel loved and accepted, not judged or a failure.
Well, tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I honestly can't wrap my head around the fact that another year is closing in the next week. How & why does time seem to speed up as we get older when we can actually appreciate it? So many amazing things have transpired this past year as a missionary with YWAM San Diego/Baja and I will be writing about that next week, just in time for New Year's.
I did, however, want to take the time to wish you all a very Merry Christmas wherever you are in the world and whatever the situation you find yourself in.
I know some of you are spending this holiday season with your family while some of you are not. Some of you are celebrating this year rejoicing over all the awesome things God has done and some of you are grieving the loss of a loved one that stings so strongly during the holidays.
Whatever the situation I pray that you will know the true meaning of the season and life in general; God gave His only Son so that we might have life & life more abundantly. In a dark, damp, disgusting barn a Miracle was born to a virgin and they named Him Jesus. This baby Boy would grow up to be a Man that is still being talked about today! He would forever change the course of History and Eternity. His birth, life, death and resurrection are the reason for life and celebration.
So as you gather, wherever you are, take a moment to thank God for His beautiful gift of Love.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and hear about my life as a full-time missionary. It's not an easy life but it is very rewarding. If you liked this blog post, perhaps you would like to read more like them. Below are a few I think you might like:
Make sure you also check out all of the other stories through our YWAM Ministries.
Want to join us for the next quarter? Check out all of our awesome upcoming schools that you can be a part of! Head on over to our newly designed website to find out more. If you have questions, let me know!
One of my favorite memories in college was dinners with friends. I lived in a small apartment complex in a small apartment and every week we'd get together with the neighbors and have dinner. We'd each take turns hosting, making some delicious recipe to share that reminded us of home. Perhaps it was the only thing we knew how to cook. I remember one such evening we all decided to cook the meal together including dessert. This made for a very comical night since we were about 6 people in a kitchen really only made for one. These nights were always so much fun. I'm honestly not sure that we would have all been friends had we not been "stuck" in this tiny complex together and had we not been the only college students living there. I have very fond memories of that place. It was my first "home".
This was one of the "famous" desserts we concocted one of those evenings.
It is so super easy and super inexpensive. Now, this one does take a bit of prep time so make sure you have plenty before you start.
refrigerated canned biscuits (typically come in packs of 4 cans) - the kind that pop open and scare the living daylights out of you (for all those back home)
Mix together to your taste preferences some cinnamon and sugar. Put this mixture in a gallon-sized ziploc bag.
Open the canned biscuits and quarter each one.
Roll each quarter into round balls.
Place the balls into the ziploc bag and shake until evenly coated. Do this in small batches so that they don't stick together and each ball gets coated with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
Once the balls are coated, place in a bundt pan or a baking sheet. Balls should be placed together tightly.
Once all the balls are done, melt a bit of butter along with part of the remaining cinnamon/sugar mixture (reserve some for the crust).
Pour the melted butter/cinnamon/sugar mixture evenly all over the balls. Sprinkle the left over reserved dry cinnamon/sugar mix.
Bake according to the directions on the biscuit can.
The balls should be soft with a sugar glazed crust on top. ENJOY!!!!
*stay tuned for a variation of this awesome and easy dessert recipe called Gorilla Balls. Let's just say they have an extra creaminess added to them that make them to die for!
If you are coming over from Pinterest, WELCOME!! Make sure you check out a few of my other Easy Recipes.
Here are a few to get you started:
What are some of your favorite things? Leave a comment below to let us know!
When I taught preschool we always made Christmas presents for the parents. Of course, all parents LOVE anything with their little one's handprints or footprints on them so whenever we could incorporate these into a present we would make it happen. My four year olds loved getting messy so for Christmas that year, we decided to paint a LChristmas Tree Hanging craft. Here is how we did it:
burlap (this can be purchased at a fabric store or Walmart stores in the fabric dept)
2 wooden dowels (the thickness doesn't really matter)
Craft Paint (NOT WASHABLE) - Red, Green and Yellow
old paint clothes (since the paint is not washable, protect your clothing)
hot glue gun with glue sticks
To begin, make sure that your work surface and child is fully protected as this paint is NOT WASHABLE. Cut the burlap to fit the wooden dowels. Lay the burlap out. Place a bead of hot glue along the edge and center one wooden dowel on top of glue. Continue gluing until the dowel is wrapped completely in burlap. Repeat for the bottom.
Once you have your "wall hanging" you are ready to paint. You are going to want to paint "upside down" meaning you are going to be painting with the fingers up but when hung, the fingers will be pointing down. To do this, you simply place the "top" of the burlap closest to your body and the "bottom" of the burlap away from you.
Starting with the green paint, paint your child's hand completely and paint a row of hand prints near the "bottom" of the burlap (furthest away from you). Make sure that you reload your child's hand with paint often. Making a pyramid, move up one row and repeat, the number of hands getting smaller and smaller. Repeat until you have only one hand print at the top. (see picture for clearer understanding). Wash the green paint completely from their hands and move on the next task.
With the red paint, simply paint the fingertips or the thumbprint in red and have the child paint the "ornaments" on the tree.
For the star at the top, you can either paint freehand with a paint brush or you can use your child's hand print (this time with the fingers facing UP, opposite than the tree). Simply cover the hand in yellow paint and place hand on top of tree. You can also use a star sponge.
After the painting is completely dry, you can write the child's name and date on the bottom of the hanging with a sharpie and glue some Christmas ribbon to the dowel to create a way to hang this wonderful Christmas surprise.
While I was visiting my family in Alabama during November I was able to spend some time at my Dad's house in Tuscaloosa. As I approached the entry door I noticed this really cool decorative pumpkin hanging. As I looked closer, I realized it was simply burlap that had been cut & painted to look like a pumpkin. It was so super cute & seemed so super easy to recreate. As I was wandering around the house I saw several other versions of this type of decor; a cross here and a welcome plaque there. Here is what I have come up with as the easiest way to recreate this artwork.
Paint (non-washable, any desired color)
plastic grocery bag
Simply cut out burlap in desired shape (need 2 of the shape to sandwich them together).
Paint background solid with a mixture of paint & white glue.
Paint the desired design. You can use puff paint or paint sticks to add details.
Once dry, hot glue the edges together leaving a space on one edge to stuff.
Stuff the inside with plastic grocery bags to desired poorness.
Secure opening with hot glue.
To hang, simple add some decorative wire with beads or some ribbon.
You can also use on a table with a picture holder.
Consider doing separate designs on each side so it is versatile. *the pumpkin had "Boo!" written on the back.
This artwork can be used indoor or outdoor.
Happy crafting!! ~ Sheril
Our family Christmas traditions have changed through the years as I'm sure most families do as they grow; children get older, in-laws are added, etc. One thing that my family started doing, which I'm pretty sure was actually started by me, is whenever we open a present we put the bow or ribbon on ourselves. This started when I was in college. My mom had made my sister and I (don't remember if my little brother had them as well) some Christmas pajamas. They were VeggieTales bottoms with a t-shirt lined with ruffled VeggieTales fabric and little character appliques. They were cute. My sister, brother and I were OBSESSED with VeggieTales after my college roommate introduced them to me. Yes, you read that correctly, I was obsessed with VeggieTales in COLLEGE!! Actually, I still am but that's a whole nother blogpost.
So we got up "early" to open presents in our pjs. Mom always puts our stockings around the room and we sit by our stockings to open presents. We have to open our stockings first which ALWAYS include oranges and mixed nuts still in the shells. We typically just put those back in the bowl on the kitchen counter where they came from the night before. This year was no different. We went around the circle, opening our stockings and then gifts in order and one at a time. I remember, just being silly, that every time I had a bow or ribbon on my present, I put it on my head or on my shirt. I randomly also found some Easter Bunny Ears on a headband and decided to wear that as well. It was a super fun Christmas. I also remember the neighbors coming to the house that morning and answering the door in my beautifully created Christmas outfit, bunny ears, bows & all. What a sight I must have been to the kids across the street, one of which was my age and a really cute guy I had had a crush on in high school. Not that I really cared or I wouldn't have opened the door in that attire. I'm pretty sure that since that time, every time my family opened Christmas presents together, I would put the bows & ribbons on my head and I think my sister did too but maybe it was just me. :0)
So fast forward some 17 years and this past week at our San Diego office Christmas party, amongst my fellow coworkers and missionaries, my first instinct when I opened my present was to put the tied ribbon on my head. I wore it around the rest of the night. When anyone made a comment, I just explained it was a family Christmas tradition.
What are some of your crazy or time-honored Christmas family traditions?
I am on an amazing adventure traveling the world with Jesus. Join me on my adventure and learn what I learn.
*Add a note stating it is Staff Support for Sheril Brasher or Little Builder's Preschool