Playground Photography

Playground Photography

Hello! I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ‚̧ A few mornings ago, I visited a playground with my mom and siblings. While my mom followed Elizabeth around, I stayed with Isabella, who had just gotten up from taking a nap. She was happy to explore her surroundings, and I enjoyed photographing her! In this post, I’m happy to share the best pictures I took from that outing with you. ūüôā

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7 Reasons Why I’m Loving ‘Too Small To Ignore’

7 Reasons Why I’m Loving ‘Too Small To Ignore’

Hi there, and Happy Tuesday to you! ‚̧ In yesterday’s post, I shared some of the things I recently purchased at one of my favorite thrift stores, which you can see for yourself¬†here! For today’s post, I’d like to share a more in-depth reason for why one of the books I got, called ‘Too Small To Ignore,’¬†is one of the best books I’ve ever read.

I usually find myself giving books a high rating, not because it was an extremely well-written book, specifically – my ratings and reviews revolve around what the book taught me, how it made me feel, and the impact on me. That’s what defines a good book for me! And it has been a good while since I found a book that was able to affect me so deeply, and I know that this was the Lord’s doing. ūüôā It blesses me so much when He uses other resources to speak to my heart!

Before I begin, I’d like to share a bit about me: I’m the oldest sister of five kids (there are three girls and two boys), and since Samuel was about four years old (he’s 6 now), the Lord has been teaching me to love children. Being a nurturing, loving older sister is something I’m constantly working on, a work of art He is consistently pursing within me. As well as this, I also have a heart for other children (especially Guatemalan children!), and since I read the first few pages of ‘Too Small To Ignore,‘ the Lord has made it real to me how important it is to Him that I love children as He does.

Whether I’m caring for my younger siblings, or working with children around the world, and one day having little ones of my own – He is teaching me to love them as He does, and I find that absolutely beautiful. ‚̧

So, as you can tell by the title of this post, I am sharing with you today the seven¬†reasons why I’m loving ‘Too Small To Ignore.’ It is a beautiful book, and at only a third of the way through it, I eagerly anticipate reading what the rest of its chapters beholds.

Let’s get right into this!


7 Reasons Why I’m Loving
‘Too Small To Ignore’

1. Its subtitle. These seven words remind me of the part in the 10th chapter of Mark when Jesus brings that group of children, one by one, up onto His lap and invokes a blessing upon them. This book stresses the importance of how great the love of our Lord is for the least among us, and why they truly matter the most!

2. The real love the author feels for children. The reader can see it in how Dr. Wess Stafford speaks of his childhood friends, his own children, and the countless others he has had the pleasure of being with – it is absolutely contagious!

3. The awareness it brings to readers just how much children matter. For years, I have known of how tenderly Jesus cared for the children His apostles thought would bother Him. It turned out that those men keeping the young ones back was what ended up bothering Him! Throughout my adolescent years, and into adulthood, as well, my love for children has gotten so much stronger – especially with the birth of my three youngest siblings – and I can’t wait to work with children on the mission field one day, too.

4. The author’s focus and his call to us to ‘rise up and teach the next generation.’ He stresses the importance of including young ones in our lives¬†now,¬†and of not waiting until their childhood is over to teach them the great work they can do for the kingdom of God. Just as Jesus said in Mark 10:14,

” … Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

5. Learning of the importance to teach young ones about the Lord. In this book, Stafford shared the staggering statistic that 9 out of 10 Christians accept Jesus into their heart before the age of 18.

If an individual is not open to knowing Him past this age, there is only a 23% chance that he or she ever will.

This is one of the biggest reasons why the Lord has such a huge heart for children – it is the time in their lives when, if given the opportunity to learn of Him, will be open to accepting Jesus into their hearts.

This fact gives me even greater reason to love little ones – it is the most important time in their lives to be told about the Lord!

6. The author’s tips and words of advice. Stafford has such a unique, sound way of encouraging others to love kids, and this aspect of the book especially has been helpful to me. I desire to be the best big sister and encouragement to young ones that I can be!

7. His encouragement to those of us with/around children to do right by them. He mentions in one chapter that uplifting a child through praise and attention just once can impact their entire lives!!! Words and actions make or break a person, and the positive influence of others is extremely important to little individuals. One smile, one statement of praise … that encouragement could stay with them for a very long time to come.

 


Thank you sooo much for reading!

I hope that you may be convinced not only to check out this book for yourself, but also to simply be more open to loving little ones … for to such belong the kingdom of the Lord. ‚̧ ‚̧ ‚̧

— Maggie

8 Awesome Second Language Learning Activities

8 Awesome Second Language Learning Activities

If you are interested in finding new ways to expose the little one/s in your life to the beauty of a new language, then you’re in the right place! On this post, I’ve compiled a list of¬†8 awesome second language learning activities that I’ve thought of, looked up,¬†and tried out myself. ūüôā

Typically, when you think of immersing children in a language that’s new to them, you think of high-cost programs, interactive TV shows, etc., but those aren’t the only resources out there! There are plenty of fun, free ways to teach children and let them have a great time, as well.

Related Post: 6 Ways To Make Second Language Learning Fun

Just remember that you don’t have to be proficient in the language yourself to teach your child! You can learn songs, read short books, do finger plays, play simple memory games, etc., and be learning right along with them. That’s what I’m doing, and I’m enjoying it just as much as my five-year-old brother!

I hope you enjoy this post!

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{Language Learning Activities}

1. Songs.¬†This is a great one for all ages! From nursery¬†rhymes to hit pop songs, there’s a large music selection¬†out there across a whole variety of languages. I’ve been listening to GallinaPintadita on YouTube recently because I’m¬†teaching my younger siblings Spanish, and “Los Pollitos Dicen” has been our favorite so far!

2. Finger plays. Look up “finger plays” in the language that you’re teaching and see what you find! I just did that myself, and I found an article on Google¬†that I’m going to have to read later hahahah

3. Simple conversation. Teach them words that they’d like to know in the new language! Bring up how to say different¬†subjects that they’re interested in, from cars, to toys, to animals,¬†and anything else, really. ūüôā

4. Digital activities. Computer games designed¬†for young children can easily be turned into a language learning experience if you talk about what they’re seeing and playing¬†in the new language, even if the game itself¬†is in English (or whatever language you two primarily speak). Be creative!

5. Books. This one’s my favorite! If you can get your hands on books written for children in the new language, then that’s a perfect way to immerse¬†your child (as long as they’re enjoying it!).¬†However, if you have to get picture books¬†or wordless books to discuss with them because you can’t get any in the language that you’re teaching, that works, as well. Visit your library and see what they have (unless you’re teaching a very young child, in which case I’d browse board books online).

6. Games. There are all sorts of games, from board games to card games to word games! Browse Google and see what you can find.

7. Flashcards. Depending on the child,¬†flashcards¬†can be very fun, or very boring. If you think your little one would enjoy flashcards (alphabet, animals, words, etc.), definitely give it a try! And if not … I wouldn’t recommend them. But don’t be discouraged! There are plenty of other fun ways to teach them.

8. Television. I don’t highly recommend this one, as studies done on children who watched foreign language shows have shown little to no signs of further language development, I thought I’d go ahead and list it as a possibility. This is because if you were to watch one of those shows with your child (Dora the Explorer or Handy Manny, for example) and talk about the show as you two watch it, that will be a¬†way better experience for them than if they watched it themselves!

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The key point throughout this whole post is that children will not be as receptive to a new language when left to learn it on their own. TV shows, books, computer games, interactive apps, and movies are awesome resources for doing with your child, not off by themselves.

Just like when¬†adults are learning a new language, children also learn best through experimentation; trying out new words, letting new sounds roll off our tongues, and growing more confident through praise and understanding. Simply watching and listening¬†doesn’t provide the same experience.

I hope that this post has helped and inspired you. If you have any suggestions of your own, please leave them down below!

How would YOU teach your child a new language?

If you have any questions, I’d be happy to help!

— Maggie

The Four of Us

The Four of Us

Recently, someone thought that Joshua and I were twins.

A few years ago, someone thought that I was his mother.

I’m sure that multiple people have thought that Elizabeth is my daughter.

This is the life of the eldest child in a group of four siblings that are very different ages.

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The comments, remarks and assumptions can be quite awkward sometimes – but I wouldn’t change these age differences for the world.

Without these three hooligans beautiful siblings in my life, I would be a completely different person; much more quiet, much lonelier, much more selfish … I’m pretty thankful for them.

True, we have our differences, and oftentimes, the range of maturity levels clash. But we’re all learning to accept each other the way we are, to understand where each person is in their walk in life, and that has brought us so much closer.

Would you like to meet all of us individually? Come read below!

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Like I already mentioned, I’m the oldest! I have a passion for sharing God’s love, photography, and trying new things (especially new desserts). You can read more about what my hobbies and interests are here.

My first younger brother, Joshua, is the closest to me in age; we’re about four years apart. I used to be able to call him my ‘little’ brother, but man – he suddenly got so tall this past year! He’s a really sweet guy, and he loves sports, science, games, and movies! We easily squabble and get on each other’s nerves all the time, but underneath all of that, we love each other. Oh, and by the way, he has own gaming channel that I run for him – you should go check it out if you want a good laugh!

Samuel is my second little brother, and he’s still small – though goodness knows for how much longer that will be! At five years of age, he loves playing pretend, being silly, watching TV, and learning new things – right now, he’s learning to write! He’s the most adorable, kindest kindergartner you’ll ever meet.

The youngest member of our squad is baby Elizabeth. She’s a spunky 7-month-old with the fluffiest hair ever! Her facial expressions and vocalizations are the cause for much laughter and joy in our household. I love getting to watch her grow up! I’ve always wanted a sister, and she was well worth the long wait.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this little post about us! I quite enjoyed writing it.

— Maggie