Thursday, January 26, 2012

Playdate Crafts

Judith's good friend Kirsten came over for a playdate this afternoon.  They play pretty well together for the most part (they are 3 1/2, after all!), but, just in case, I had a couple contingency activities for them.  I decided to have them do the activities just to give them a little break from the "stress" of constant toy sharing.

No-Mess Finger Painting
A friend of mine blogged this craft yesterday (, and I thought it looked like something Judith might enjoy. 

Put blobs of paint in a ziplock bag.  Squeeze the air out of the bag.  Tape the bag to the window (or, presumably, any flat surface).  "Draw" on the outside of the bag with your fingers - spreading the paint around and making designs.

finger painting

I think Judith enjoyed it - but it wasn't Kirsten's cup of tea, and peer pressure made Judith abandon it before she might have otherwise.  She did go back to it this evening (I'd left it hanging on the window), and she was having fun drawing letters and making dots. 

Before I do it again, I think I'll purchase additional paints.  It might have been a little more exciting if there were more than four colors.

Fishing by Magnet
Found this craft on Pinterest (golly, I love that site!) (, and decided to put it together on the spur of the moment when I knew Kirsten was coming over.  I gathered some paint sample cards (lots of bright colors!), cut fish shapes from them, and clipped a paper clip to the top of each fish.  I cut some short sticks from pile of tree trimmings that's out in the back yard, and we tied a piece of yarn to the end of each stick and taped a little magnet onto the string.  This activity was hit.  The girls had a wonderful time fishing off "the bridge" (over the foot of my bed) and proclaiming in loud voices the color of the fish they had just caught.  I gave them a little bucket to put their "caught" fish in.  When they were all gathered, the girls could just "toss them back to the sea" and start over.  And at the end of our playdate, Kirsten could take home her pole and some of the fish.  (Of course then we had to make Daddy a pole so Judith has someone to fish with :-).
"Hey look - fish!"  
Making a fishing pole

Fishing off the bridge
The Joy
It's wonderful to watch (and listen to) the girls play together.  They're learning, little by little, what it means to have conversation, to play together, and to share the things they want.  I remember their laughter and their arguments - their constant joy in being together, and it lifts my heart.  We, as humans, are created so much in need of that kinship with each other.  I'm learning that I need to plan grown-up "playdates" to fill that need in my own heart.

Joy to you!

A New Name

Since I re-started my blog, I've been ruminating about a new title for it.  (I did change it (to montyfordsgirls) when I combined them, but only as a place-holder for the final result of my ponderings.)  And this morning, as I lay awake wishing I wasn't awake, I found the title I wanted. 

As part of my resolution to study my Bible, I have recently decided to study the book of James with a friend.  And yesterday, as I read through the five chapters to start with an overview, I was struck by  James 1:2-4, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." (ESV)  And in today's early morning hours, as I was thinking about what title I could come up with that would encompass all of my life - all the things I blog about and who I want to be - it occurred to me, that that's what I really want: to be joyful in all circumstances, and to be steadfast in my faith. The NIV, which is the version I grew up memorizing, translates verse 2, "consider it pure joy..." and I like the ring of that!

Joy has further significance for me, because it's my middle name (no really, it is).  And I want very much to live up to it.  I don't want to go through life finding fault with my circumstances, myself, or the people around me.  I want instead to shine with the Joy of steadfast faith, seeing all of life - the trials and the blessings; the mundane and the extraordinary - as the process that brings me into greater alignment with who God calls me to be.

I hope that my new blog title will channel my focus for this blog.  I will still blog about whatever's going on - Judith, parenting, cooking, baking, crocheting, crafting, and more - but it's my intention to "wrap up" every entry with "The Joy" - the way(s) in which I can find Joy for that day.  (I imagine that some days the joy may be difficult to find, while some days it'll be self-evident.)

And I've found my sign-off, which I'm borrowing from a friend:

Joy to you!