Fireflies: November 2012         

Nov 30, 2012

CLIP Review: The Relatives Came

Authors:  Cynthia Rylant
Illustrated:  Stephen Gammell


Spending a week with our cousins was always the highlight of the summer for me and my sisters. Knowing the delights that lay ahead made us giddy with anticipation. We didn't even mind eating the pre-made sandwiches mom had packed along with drinks in the cooler to save time and money while driving. Back then our car had no air conditioning so talking meant yelling over the noise of the wind blowing with all the windows open. Though hot and sticky, we didn't care. Even our endless, "Are we there yet?" pleas to daddy went in one ear and out the other.  And finally...

"Then it was into the house and so much laughing and shining faces and hugging in the doorways.  You'd have to go through at least four different hugs to get from the kitchen to the front room. Those relatives!"

You'll surely recognize a relative or two as you enjoy the delightful illustrations in this sweetly hilarious book of a family reunion. How many times have you had to make a bed on the couch or squeeze another person into bed with you? With relatives you just "make the best of things" because that is what family does. I guarantee you will remember some stories of your own to share after reading this book! 

Don't miss Monday's Fireflies post:  Creating Magnetic Family Personalities!  A great DIY Christmas gift to make for your little ones.  Bundle your gift with the book, The Relatives Came!


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Nov 28, 2012

Favorite Apps: Merry Christmas!

I went on a hunt for Christmas apps this month even though they have a limited play/interest period.   The following are three totally different apps to enjoy, each celebrating the Christmas season.  Enjoy the music of Tchaikovsky, make some Christmas cookies and build a Nativity Scene.

The Nutcracker Musical Storybook

by Mouse King Media
I'm more a fan of the music than the storyline but this app does a great job of introducing children to both - the music and the story.  Every child should be given a chance to recognize such classics as the March and the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.  (How many of you just started humming the beginning of The March?) 
The reader joins Clara and The Nutcracker Prince in a fully animated storybook adventure of the Christmas classic, The Nutcracker Ballet.  The original artwork is created by Yoko Tanaka and is paired up with "full symphonic orchestral excerpts of Tchaikovsky’s timeless score."   

The storyline is a bit fragmented.  For instance, at one point, the nutcracker breaks but in the next scene is whole again with no explanation as to how he was "healed".  Also, the font chosen for the text is difficult for an emerging reader to read.  It's a lovely font, but not practical for early readers.  

This app is an excellent introduction to the story and music of The Nutcracker Ballet. 
I believe it is available for both android devices as well as the iPhone and iPad.  The cost is around $3.00.

A Christmas Cookie Maker
by Crazy Cats Inc


Mary Kline will be sharing one of our all time favorite books next week; think Christmas cookies & character traits.  This is a delightful app to share with your child after reading our Christmas cookie book...this app is just plain fun.

The graphics and cookie designs are terrific and easy to manipulate for young children.  After downloading the app, it takes only a few minutes to figure out how to create your own special Christmas cookie.   Any child could beat my "figuring out the app" time, I'm sure.  What I appreciated the most were the many decorating choices.  I can't wait to share this app with my little ones over Christmas.

Children mix the ingredients, use cookie cutters to create their cookies and then place them in the oven.  Once the timer goes off, it's time to decorate the cookies with various shades of icing, candies and so much more.  

You can even select different Christmas dishes on which to display your cookies!   Once your masterpiece is finished, you might want to share your creation with Grandma by emailing a picture of your Christmas cookie. 

This is a great, "hand the iPhone to your impatient child in the restaurant while waiting for dinner to arrive" app.   (Oh, and did I mention that it's free?)

My Nativity Scene
by Life's Good Entertainment


You can build your nativity scene inside on a table
(don't forget to start with the moss) or outside.

There are over 60 items to use to create your nativity scene.

One click and your nativity scene goes from daytime to nighttime.
You can also choose your weather: sunny or snowy.

I'm not 100% crazy about this app - even though I really wanted it to be awesome.   However, at 99 cents, you can't go wrong.   The only real problem I have with it is the figures are a bit small for little fingers.  Please comment below and share with us if you found a gem Christmas app to share.

Enjoy!
Deni Corbett





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Nov 26, 2012

Capture Your Family's Magnetic Personalities....

Tis the season for family get-togethers, and I just happen to be crazy in love with my extended family.  We don't live close geography-wise, but the love we share is deep.   I now have four grandchildren and am constantly thinking of ways to create memories for them - ways for them to know my family.  Mom passed away two years ago at 96 years of age before two of my grandchildren had a chance to experience her hugs and arm scratches.  I want them to know Great-Grandma Moegerle as well as my three brothers and their families, and each of my husband's siblings.   The question is, HOW to pull this off?   

Here is the Christmas gift I'm creating for my grandchildren, in hopes that the creative play that comes as a result will help them to feel closer to the family members who live from California to Washington, DC.  These are the same family members who are lifting their name in prayer and loving them from afar.   So here is my idea...

I've always loved the idea of creating free play using magnetic objects.  One of the first items I installed in my own children's room was a magnetic board. So I decided to combine my love of magnetic free play with paper dolls.  I knew that creating magnetic pirates and/or knights would be a hit with my boys, but I'm thinking of something more personal.
Family magnetic personalities!   

This project fits so well into our theme this month - relatives and family gatherings over Christmas.  (Don't miss Mary's CLIP book review this Friday!)  

There was only one problem - of the hundreds and hundreds of images I have saved on my computer, very few of them worked for this project.  It's surprising how few pictures I had of family members standing (with hands and feet showing).   Actually, I have NO pictures that work. I'll be asking for each family to take a special picture of each family member for this Christmas project.  We'll call it the "Corbett-Moegerle Magnetic Paper Relatives Collection".  (Good thing I have a little time to work on that title.)  Each of my family members will be getting a link to this post with a request for the perfect picture for this project.  Please feel free to forward this idea to your relatives!

1.  Take pictures of relatives standing in a traditional paper doll pose.  You may want to remove the background from the image.  (You can do it right in Word.)  Or simply take the picture against a blank wall.  Removing the background saves printer ink but is not necessary.   

An image with background.
An image with background removed.      


2.  Lay out the images in a Word document.  You should be able to get about 6 - 8 figures to one sheet of magnetic paper.   I placed the paper in landscape orientation.


3.  Print images off on magnetic backed paper.   I was surprised how easy this is to do.  The paper is pricey, so I would suggest running off your images on a test sheet first and fit as many as possible on each sheet.  Note to self - Do a better job of sizing your objects to avoid the "giant baby" magnetic doll....


3.  Cut out images and enjoy.   I might print out skate boards and other objects for the puppets to interact with next.  Don't throw away your magnetic scraps!  Use them to draw trees and chairs and beds with permanent marker.   Once you start thinking of items to create - the ideas will start flowing.  Look around your home and replicate items for your children to play with on their magnetic boards.




4.  I purchased pizza pans at the local Dollar Store to use as the "stage" for our magnetic play - easy to take in the car and to the restaurant.  Next, I have to figure out a creative way to package each collection to give away as gifts.   

Please send us pictures of your "Magnetic Family Personalities".  We're always inspired by the efforts of truly creative people.

Note: If you want to create different outfits for your children to play with, have them stand in the same position while wearing different outfits.   Put a piece of tape on the floor so there is always the same distance between the camera and child.  Then cut out just the outfits to place over the magnetic people.


ENJOY!
Deni Corbett
Dear Grandma, Grandpa, Gary, Jane, CJ, KC, Gil, Mim, Lani, Todd-Boy, Non, Jan, Eric, Amy, Dan, Janon, Megs, Chris, Jon, Jordon, Rachel, Noah, Lisa, Tiff, Jen-Lynn, Aly, AJ, Papa, Mimi, G. Bob, G Jeri, A. Theresa, Untow Mite, Mooge and Macy... (all of your family members - and anyone else we're related to...),   

Please send me a picture of you by yourself standing in front of a wall (the less busy the better).   I need to see from your feet to the top of your head.  Do whatever you want with your arms/hands.   Thank you for becoming a part of my "Corbett-Moegerle Magnetic Paper Relatives Collection" Christmas gift for my little ones.  I'll try to represent you well and not make anyone a giant baby!

PS I love each of you more than you could ever know - and I want to share my love of you with Davis, Hill, Ryder and Caroline through the stories I'll tell as we play together with our magnetic people...

Deni

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Nov 24, 2012

Fireflies on Facebook!

Be sure to check out our Facebook page for updates and pictures from our followers! 

Below are pictures from The Kline Family Thanksgiving.  This year they put on the Fireflies Presents:  "T is for Thanksgiving" and shared the pictures with us.   Like us on Facebook and share us with your friends.  Thanks!   

PS  There is still time to purchase a Fireflies Presents Puppet Theatre for Christmas, like the one below.

Tyler- the head narrator...didn't even mind the occasional pine cone falling on his head!

Even-narrator and ass't to the younger puppeteers...what an awesome helper!

Judah and Rachel wanted to put the play on a second time!

Rachel doing double duty - could it be that the "director" messed up

Our annual Thanksgiving feast held outdoors at a state park was even better this year- these amazing puppeteers presented "T is for Thanksgiving" to an audience of about 50!!


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Nov 22, 2012

Visual Comm: Turkey Treasures

Turkey Treasures - buried beneath the holiday napkin aer nuts and candies but you could fill with slips of paper for you guests to play charades, read Bible verses, or fill with hings you are thankful for, etc.!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Here is a sweet turkey to make with your little one.  We made these in pur Circle Christian School art classes and the students enjoyed not only constructing them, but the thought of surprising everyone with the treasures inside.

You will need:
  • brown paper lunch bag
  • red, orange, yellow, brown, black, white construction paper
  • one sheet of yellow foam, cut into triangles for beak
  • red chenille for gobbler
  • googly eyes
  • paste (works best for classroom), glue sticks, or hot glue
  • wooden popsicle sticks (optional but helps with the stability of the turkey)
Fold a sheet (or a half sheet for small hands!) of red, orange, and yellow construction paper in half.  Trace one of the child's hands onto the each sheet.  Cut out the hand prints so you will have 6 hand prints.  Arrange as: red, orange, yellow, red, orange, yellow, and fan them into tail feathers.  Staple at the base so the feather stay together.  Set aside.


Cut brown paper lunch bag about halfway down so it is not too tall.  Paste tail feathers onto the back side of the paper bag while it is shut and set aside.

For the front of the bag, make a bowling ball shape on brown construction paper for the body.  Add a pilgrim hat, googly eyes, yellow foam beak (which we put two triangles together so it was dimensional and looked like he was saying what was on our signage, "Happy Thanksgiving!)  For the signage, simply make a white rectangle, frame with a larger black rectangle and write whatever your child wants on it, whether it's Happy Thanksgiving and the year or just their name if they can write it!  Encourage your child to put his his "mark" on it in some small way.

Paste the turkey on the front side of the bag after he is all assembled.  If you cut your bag too short or just for stability, you may wish to put a popsicle stick behind the turkey as you can see in the photo above (bottom right corner.)

Open bag and line with a pretty holiday napkin.  Fill with treasures whether they be candies, nuts, rolls, slips of paper with Bible verses, charade topics, conversation starters, a gift for Grandma, etc!

God bless you and your family and thank you for sharing with us!
Circle Christian School students so happy to show their Turkey Treasures!


Love to you and yours,
Laura Bird Miller
Artist/Art Instructor



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Moments: Stones of Remembrance


Joshua 4:1-24 tells part of the story of God's guidance and provision for His people.  At the end of chapter 4 God instructs them to set 12 stones to remember their journey. Several years ago I wanted to find a way to keep the faithfulness of God before my family. I wanted a visual reminder of the ways God has blessed us, provided for us, and moved mountains on our behalf.   We came up with our “Stones of Remembrance”, which I’ll explain below. 

One of our largest “stones” of how God provided for our family was the financial provision for our first born Isaiah.  My husband and I had felt the Lord leading us to join a mission organization called Youth With A Mission.  That meant quitting our jobs, letting go of our insurance and moving away from our family and friends.  Three weeks after joining YWAM I became pregnant with Isaiah. Prior to leaving I had been told by an expert in fertility that I would struggle to get pregnant because of damage my reproductive organs had suffered during my stressful adolescence. We also were using birth control so you can imagine our surprise when the test we took was positive.  We had planned on waiting several years to be in a more secure place financially before having kids, but God had other plans. During my pregnancy people kept reaching out to me saying “I feel like God wants you to have this verse”,  and it was always Matthew 6:25-34.  To me this said, “Don’t worry about how you will provide for your child, I will provide for your family”.  We saw this was true time and time again during my pregnancy and in the months following Isaiah's birth.  

One of the greatest examples of this was 2 months after our son was born. We were weeks away from paying off the balance which was in the thousands for my doctors care during the pregnancy - we had about $100 to our names.  My husband was going through our files when he came across a tax return check for almost the exact amount, minus about $15 dollars, that had been issued a few weeks before our son was conceived. We were floored. Neither of us remembers getting that check, certainly we don’t remember filing it away and we would have surely spent it on other things had we been aware of it. It was as if God had hidden it from us until right when we needed it and then used the date it was issued to assure us that even before Isaiah was conceived God knew all we would need and had provided it.  This was a significant moment in time for our family.  Learning to trust that, as we step out in obedience, God is faithful to provide.  

What are some examples of God providing for your family that you want to make sure you and your children remember?  God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Remembering His faithfulness in small and big ways gives us faith and hope for the needs of tomorrow.

Joshua 4:21 - Then he spoke to the children of Israel, saying: “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ 22 then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’; 23 for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over, 24 that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”

Stones of Remembrance
 What you will need
  • Large glass vase
  • Sand
  • Stones
  • Journal (optional)

Start by having one of your kids or yourself pour in about an inch or two of sand in the bottom of the vase and read Psalms 139 :17-18

"How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
 they would outnumber the grains of sand.

When I awake, I am still with you."

Looking for a new Thanksgiving tradition?  Consider taking turns remembering times when God provided for your family and place a stone for each of those times. You may want to keep a journal and write down what your stones represent.  We keep our vase out year round with a bowl of stones next to it for whenever someone in the family is aware of God’s moving on behalf of them so we can continue to add to the vase.

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Nov 19, 2012

November Masterpieces: Henry Bacon and Jennie Brownscombe

Landing of the Pilgrims 
by Henry A. Bacon, 1877, oil on canvas





Can you image what it would be like to land on the shores of a new land, far from your home, with no cell phone, little food, no shelter, no heat, indoor plumbing, or air conditioning, with no idea where in the world you were?  How would you feel?  Excited?  Scared?  Cold?  Lonely?  Surviving a very rough boat trip and experiencing a very challenging first winter, the Pilgrims' story of courage and perseverance inspires American hearts and is an important part of our heritage. 
The First Thanksgiving, Plymouth,
Jennie Augusta Brownscombe,
1914, oil on canvas

The Pilgrim's First Thanksgiving of 1621 at Plymouth is not recorded with photos; however, this painting by Jennie Brownscombe painted in 1914, 300 years since that major event, is a beautiful and historic reminder of the Pilgrim's story, God's grace, and the importance of thankfulness.

Young students are used to colorful animations, cartoon drawings, and perky graphics. Here are some questions and activities to get them engaged with these historic paintings:

1.   How would you feel if you arrived in a new land with no phone, air conditioning or heat, running water, bathroom facilities, house, job, food? (Answers will vary.)

2.  Notice the colors in these photos.  What colors do you see?  Are they bright or dreary?  Do you think they reflect how the Pilgrims felt?  (Neutral colors, greys, blues, browns, golds, greens.  The colors are drab and somewhat dreary, perhaps reflecting the somber tone of the paintings.  The top painting is a little brighter, showing expectancy with formality.)

 3.  Do you think the Pilgrims/Pilgrim children in these paintings were scared? What do you do when you are scared? (Hide, pray, run to parents, cry, freeze, etc.)  Draw something you are afraid of. (Notice the colors they use and what they are trying to communicate.  Art is a powerful tool that can help children express their thoughts and emotions long before they can fully express themselves with words.)

 4.  In the first painting, we feel a sense of movement along with the feeling of expectancy with formality.  The oars are up, and the young girl, Mary Chilton, is getting off the boat.  You can almost feel the cold wind and the boat rocking with the waves against the rocks!  In the second painting, we feel a sense of stillness and reverence as everyone is still and praying.  Even though the color schemes are similar giving a tone of somberness, one painting shows movement and the other shows stillness. Which painting do you like better?   Why?

Relax and watch your little ones engage with you through these important historical paintings as you dig deeper with them!  Your engagement with the paintings and curiosity about the masterpieces and their subject matter will be contagious.  They take their cues from us as their teachers, parents, authorities, so if you get excited about the Pilgrims and this elegant historic art, they will too!  I hope it is meaningful to you and yours.  And, by the way, happy thanksgiving; I am so grateful for you readers!  Blessings to you and yours, and stay tuned for our super-fun masterpiece connection/response activity in our next post!

Love,
Laura Bird Miller
Artist/K-12 art instructor
Orlando, Florida

Laura Bird Miller - http://wwwfacebook.com/laurabirdart

 

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Nov 17, 2012

Over the River and Through the Woods


[Verbal Communications]


Over the river and through the woods
To Grandmother's house we go.
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
Through white and drifted snow.

Over the river and through the woods,
Oh, how the wind does blow.
It stings the toes and bites the nose
As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the woods
To have a full day of play.
Oh, hear the bells ringing ting-a-ling-ling,
For it is Thanksgiving Day.


        Why not consider having an older child (or grandparent) read or recite this 
        traditional poem by adding it to your Fireflies Presents' program?

"Over the River and through the Wood" is a Thanksgiving song by Lydia Maria Child. Written originally as a poem, it appeared in her Flowers for ChildrenVolume 2, in 1844. The title of the poem is, "A Boy's Thanksgiving Day". It celebrates her childhood memories of visiting her Grandfather's House. Lydia Maria Child was a novelist, journalist, teacher, and wrote extensively about the need to eliminate slavery.

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Nov 16, 2012

CLIP Review: The Very First Thanksgiving Day

Author:  Rhonda Gowler Greene
Illustrator:  Susan Gaber


This is the food, 
gathered and blessed,
the corn and sweet berries,
the wild turkey dressed, 
shared on the very first Thanksgiving Day.

But where did the corn and berries come from? Who planted them? How were the turkeys caught? Who shared the first Thanksgiving? What a perfect time of year to find books that answer these questions and read them with your children. Here's a great one to get you started! 

The paintings in this book are colorful enough to delight young readers while maintaining attention to historical detail. The author's and illustrator's notes at the beginning of the book lay the foundation for the simple text which follows. Once you read those, you will "see" much more detail within the story as you read. For instance, in learning that the Pilgrims brought two dogs, a mastiff and a spaniel, with them on the Mayflower, the illustrator has painted them within several illustrations. How many times can you find them?

            These are the Pilgrims who farmed the new land,
            Who steadfastly labored and toiled by hand,
            and learned from the Indians, skillful and strong.

May we never be too proud to realize that others may have skills that we may need. All of us have something to offer others and we can all learn from one another.

Mary Byrne Kline

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Nov 15, 2012

Fireflies Presents: "T is for Thanksgiving"


T is for Thanksgiving

Welcome to Fireflies Presents…

It is my hope that the ideas we share will be the spark that motivates you to intentionally celebrate your family; your children.  These memories are designed to be created in your family room, around a puppet theater, with the smell of fresh popcorn wafting from the kitchen.

We have written the Fireflies Presents content for one or more children between the ages of 3 – 6. There is a lot of parent involvement and very little preparation or practice needed on the part of the child(ren).   We kept it simple…promise!  We have provided everything you need including the puppets (no cutting or coloring).
Our turkey puppet - just print out, fold, glue to a dowel and put on a show!


What is a Fireflies Presents Family Night?

Fireflies Presents celebrates the imagination and creativity of what it means to be a child and it begins with a theme and a ticket.

This month the theme is thankfulness:  "T is for Thanksgiving".
1.     Select an evening for family and friends to gather and pass out tickets as a reminder.  Make your popcorn cones!  (template provided)


On the evening of Fireflies Presents…

2.     Children collect the tickets at the front door.  
Watch your child’s face light up as they realize they are a part of something very special; something that requires a real ticket!


3.     Every person attending is then given a program & popcorn cone that has been decorated based on the theme.   You may want to keep a large bowl filled with popcorn so that guests can refill as needed.  The stars of the show sometimes need a popcorn break before the show...


4.     Guests take their seats in chairs that are lined up in front of a doorway or opening that holds the Fireflies Presents puppet theater.

5.     SHOWTIME!   Fireflies Presents…  "T is for Thanksgiving"


Welcome to our show!!

The Turkey Poem "Gobble - Gobble"!


"On Thanksgiving Day"


Family Read Aloud Time
The First Thanksgiving Day



Psalm 100:4


Take a bow!


6.     Applause and Autographs!  Even if your child can only make a mark for their signature, ask for their signature.  Imagine how special that “mark” will be in 20 years.   That means you have to keep each Fireflies Presents program!



7.     Reception: Serve refreshments that correspond with the theme of the evening.  Don't worry, we've even supplied the recipes.  

All the information you need to enjoy a Fireflies Presents evening during Thanksgiving is included on our website.  Chick here:

Sorry, but this script is no longer available.  Scripts are posted for two weeks only.


Please feel free to create your own unique family event by using these ideas merely as suggestions.   

Thank you for joining us on this journey to create precious family memories and develop communication skills while experiencing the best in children’s literature.
                     
Deepest Blessings,   
Deni Corbett

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Nov 14, 2012

Focus on: Fireflies Presents...

Since posting our first Fireflies Presents script, several of our Fireflies Blog followers have asked, "What exactly is Fireflies Presents?"

Basically, the idea and motivation for the Fireflies Blog came from an outpouring of our past memories and our present passions. Even the title comes from nights when we would chase fireflies around our front yards while parents and neighbors sat in chairs sharing glasses of ice tea, swapping stories on summer nights.   We literally "sigh" when thinking about those nights.

Each month on FirefliesBlog.com, Mary Kline reviews 3 - 5 of our favorite children's books based on a particular theme. Activities are then created for by our Fireflies team based on the theme and chosen books.   Those activities include Masterpiece Appreciation and Response (Laura Bird Miller), Cooking & Creating (Rachel Skavil), Nurturing the Child's Heart (Lanise Santala), along with additional posts on developing Communication Skills and Favorite Learning Apps reviews.

We believe that every child must be encouraged to develop their communication skills and that is why we have launched Fireflies Presents...   Again, it goes back to the days of our childhood when we weren't allowed to park ourselves in front of a TV, computer, or video game; we had to make our own entertainment - and that we did! This past summer my brothers and I revisited our childhood home and reminisced about the days of creating radio shows from the basement and "broadcasting" them through our stereo in the living room.   There was also a piano and an organ in that same living room and many nights the four of us, along with Mom, became the Pennsylvania Von Trapps; getting out our instruments and dusting off the sheet music (always hymns...)


That is our dream for Fireflies Presents.   We want to give you enough ideas, support and material, that you will want to create an evening centered around family in your living room. We have created our own (ADORABLE) doorway puppet theatre for Fireflies Presents, but a box, or table & tablecloth work just as well.    Pass out tickets (provided) and the popcorn cones (provided).  Grab a program (provided) and a sing-a-long sheet (provided) and get ready to enjoy the poems, rhymes and stories (all provided) chosen for each month.    Afterwards enjoy the food prepared using the theme-based recipes (provided) and ask for autographs on the special autograph page of the program (provided).    Be sure to take lots and lots of pictures because I promise you, many years from now, you will look back on these evenings as family legacy highlights!   I promise.   Oh, and did I mention that the way we created the script, there is very little to no rehearsal time needed? - of course that depends on the "control temperament" of each parent and/or grandparent.   We're after relaxed family fun, not Oscar nominations.

Each month we will provide you with a free script based on our theme for that month.   All we ask is that you share with us your photos so that other families will be encouraged to create a Fireflies Presents evening in their home.

Tomorrow we will be presenting our "T is for Thanksgiving" script.  What a perfect opportunity to begin a new tradition.   On Thanksgiving Day, why not gather in the living room and applaud wildly as "Mr. Turkey" takes center stage?

May God fill your home with love, laughter and sweet family moments together as you serve Him,

Deni Corbett


PS If you are looking for a Christmas gift for children 3 - 7, check out our Fireflies Presents doorway puppet theatre.   It is custom made for our scripts and can also become anything from a grocery store to a library, with our custom valances hand painted by Laura Bird Miller.   Check the WEBSITE for more information and to order one in time for Christmas.

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Nov 12, 2012

Print Comm: Thanks for Thanksgiving

Author:  Julie Markes
Illustrator:  Doris Barrette
Age:  2 - 5 year olds
[Print Communications]

Writing down the many reasons we have to be thankful is a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving and introduce young children the importance of communicating gratitude.

I found this book last year and wove it into our family Thanksgiving traditions.  Now that we had grandchildren, I wanted some way to catalog our blessings each year.   Before dinner we read Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes.  It is wonderfully illustrated and a quick read, simply listing things to be thankful for, from the turkey on the table to warm, cozy cuddles.  The best blessing of all?  Being together as a family.


The last two pages are designed as a place for each family member to write down blessings for which they are thankful.  From our youngest grandchild who said he was thankful for "moon" to Great Grandpa Corbett who wrote, "I am grateful for the peace God has given me during our recent health concerns." each of us journaled our thanks to God for His provision and blessings in 2011.   

I just unpacked this special book for Thanksgiving Dinner 2012 and already know what I'm going to write this year.  "Thank you heavenly Father for the two precious additions to our family this year, Ryder Joel and Caroline Elizabeth!  Thank you for undeserved favor."  

Why not consider adding Thanks for Thanksgiving to your home library and begin a new Thanksgiving tradition of written gratitude?

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