Halloween Ideas: Pumpkin Box Halloween Tract {a review}

Fall time celebrations are quickly approaching! If you are anything like our family, you may keep an eye out for alternative or out-of-the-box ideas for holiday giving. In lieu of door to door trick or treating at halloween, many families enjoy harvest festivals, or small pumpkin/bon fire parties with their friends or homeschool co-ops.

This year we had the chance to try out some really fun candy alternatives for giving at halloween- Is There Anything Better Than Candy? Box-Tract by Let the Little Children Come. These little pumpkin Halloween tracts are perfect for a fun little something to drop into trick or treater bags, share with those in the community, or create in a children’s church classroom.

The small paper pumpkins are made of a nice quality card stock and sit nicely in the palm of my hand (for size reference). The inside of each section contains a simple, yet colorful message on how to know Jesus, and be saved. These are a great evangelism tool for young children to gain confidence in sharing the gospel of Jesus with friends, relatives, and those in the community.

My 7yo daughter immediately thought of  people we could share them with:

  • nursing home residents
  • trick or treaters
  • harvest festival hand outs
  • hand out at your family’s farmer’s market or craft show stand (if you have one)
  • leave out and about in the community (park picnic tables, benches down town, self check out at grocery store, etc)
  • co-op fall party
  • classroom/sunday school/co-op parties
  • drop in neighbor’s mailboxes

These were very simple to use, even for my 7 and 5 year olds; we carefully popped them out of the perforated paper, laid them pumpkin side down, and gently folded up the sides starting with the stems. Each “petal” has a small slit cut into it, and we simply slid the slit over the top of the stem pieces. Then, we continued until all the petals/sections were up, making sure that #6 was the last one. They were both able to completely assemble their pumpkins independently.

**The key (for us) to not tearing the tract while assembling was to gently squash the pumpkin down as we added sections to the stems, instead of trying to pull up and over the stems.

 

Things that could fit inside:

  • homemade mini-muffin-tin crayons
  • foam stickers
  • hand written notes on fun card stock
  • a handmade friendship bracelet
  • fabric book mark (maybe from a handicraft like crochet or knitting, done in homeschool?)
  • those little sticky jewels for crafts
  • small plush keychain
  • handmade leather beaded necklaces
  • small hand painted rocks
  • small foam stamps
  • stickers
  • a few tootsie rolls, peppermints, gum, or other small candies

(You know those plastic containers small vending machine toys come in? Pretty much anything that would fit in there, would fit inside these, with a little room to spare.)

We really enjoyed putting a few of these together! When we get a little closer to halloween, we will probably fill them with hand painted rocks and drop throughout the community as a little “happy” for someone’s day.

This is a fun and safe way for children to share the gospel this fall season!

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Comparing schedules

Ive been going back and looking over my blogs from when L was Mister’s age.  Turns out they are so much alike it’s unreal.  On my Nov 12th post, when Lady was 2.5 months old, she was sleeping exactly as long as Mister is, about the same size, and eating about the same amount.  The biggest difference is with her, I didn’t start meds for her reflux, and I didn’t have her napping quite as well as M does.  I think that just has to do with A) him being no meds and B) me knowing what to look for as far as him being sleepy.

However, I’m worried his Zantac isn’t working anymore … The last two days have been horrible.  He’s been in a lot of pain and only naps well in his swing. I’m not sure exactly what’s going on but I’m going to give it the weekend before I call the dr about upping dosage (for weight increase) or changing meds; he has started pulling off while nursing again, and after eating he will cry out and then gulp/choke/gasp for breath.  So I know the reflux is hurting him; and I don’t think the rice is helping.  I can’t make it any thicker and it go through the nipple, so I’d have to spoon feed it to him, and I think he’s just too young for all that.  Anyway, after the weekend we will see.  The Coliccalm doesn’t seem to be doing anything for the reflux, not sure about his gas?

My days now are a bit more structured, mainly because I understand what baby whisperer and baby wise are saying and also because I have a 2 year old smack dab in the middle of her terrible-ness.  At that time, I had L on a great routine, but looking back she was definitely way over tired by the time I was putting her down for naps, and therefore wasn’t napping well.  But she always had good night time sleep (thank goodness!). So that was an okay trade off!

But, at almost 8 weeks old, here is what Mister’s routine looks like:

  • 5:00-6:00- Wakes, Zantac, small feed, goe back to sleep (either in crib or with Mama in chair)
  • 7:00- wake for the day, regular feeding, nurse then 3-4oz bottle
  • 8:05- Down for nap- rests on and off depending on gas/reflux until
  • 10:00- Eat, nurse 3-4 oz
  • 11:05- down for nap- rests on and off depending on gas/reflux until
  • 1:00pm- Eat
  • 2:05- down for nap (however he usually has not slept well at this mid morning nap, and therefore goes to sleep closer to 1:30pm, sleeping until about 3:30 in the swing if necessary)
  • 4:00 Eat
  • 5:30pm Cluster feed
  • 7:00pm last feeding of day
  • 7:35 asleep in crib
SO, that is typically what our routine looks like, but with him being so young and having the reflux and gas, it tends to be more flexible in the naps department.  Eating, however is always the same.  After his 10:00 feeding, we usually go for a walk and/or play outside.  If it is a day we plan to go grocery shopping or run errands, we do this about 8:30, home by 10:00 for him to eat and L to have a snack.  At 25 months, her routine looks like this:
  • 6:40-7:00- wake, daddy gets her from crib, she demands milk
  • then snuggle time with Mommy and “my Max” while mommy nurses and daddy gets ready for work
  • 7:30-  breakfast (yogurt, toast, oatmeal, fruit, etc)
  • play time
  • 11:30-12:00- lunch depending on am wake time
  • 12:00-12:30- down for nap depending on am wake time  (here is when she usually poopies in her pullup (this whole potty training thing has us all out of whack), I have to go change her, then put her back down for nap… but because this interrupts her getting ready for sleep, I’ve been going back in at the hour mark and rocking her to sleep.)
  • 2:30- if she didn’t nap I get her out of bed at the 2 hour mark
  • 3:00- if he napped, she is awake by 3:00
  • play outside, crafts, etc if napped… relax and keep it low key if she didn’t
  • 5:45pm- dinner
  • 6:30-7:00- bedtime depending on morning wake time
Right now, L needs a total of about 12 hours of sleep.  Her naps are usually 1.5 hours, which leaves 11.5 hours of night sleep on days she naps.  If she does’t nap, she has a very early bed time to prevent over tiredness the next day.  It’s all a numbers game..
So, big plans for the next few weeks.  This weekend we are going to a family reunion in LA.  Then next weekend my dad comes to visit, the next weekend my mom comes, then a few weeks later we have Thanksgiving!  ALREADY!  That’s insane.  I think we are going to Memphis for Thanksgiving… that should be a fun challenge.  Our first overnight trip wrangling two!  Fun Fun!  Of course halloween is this coming week.  Ew.  I’m not a fan of halloween, and until my kids are old enough to stay up late enough, we aren’t celebrating.  And yes, I will be one of the moms that takes the candy and exchanges it for something cool, a toy or new clothes, etc… like the tooth fairy only for crappy, overpriced junk food.  =)
OK, well I am going to bed now.  It;s 9:17pm, that’s about 20 minutes past my bed time!

 

B is for Booty!

Lexie is definitely coming into her own.  She has a strong personality anyway (cannot imagine where she gets that from ..) but she is getting more and more hilarious as the days go by.  As I have mentioned before, she picks up on every little thing we say and do.  As I am changing her diaper I usually give her a toy because she is so wiggly these days; apparently she has picked up on me saying “I am trying to wipe your booty, hold still!”.  Because NOW she says “booty” every time we go to the changing table.  It’s really quite hilarious.  She also knows when I say “I need to check your diaper” to come see me, and tots right over.  


Lexie knows most of her important body parts; eye, nose, mouth, belly, feet, toes  ….. and booty!  =)
She is signing more and more; literally, she signs “more” now.   She did this for a while a few months back, and then we both got out of the habit of using it.  Mainly she uses “please” A LOT!  It is just too precious when she is pulling on my leg, and I  look down to find her signing “please” to be picked up!  HOW CAN YOU DENY THAT?!  It’s so sweet.  


Next, I am going to work on “help” and “thank you.”  She will say “thank you” after I do, but she does not do it on her own.  However, I am not sure how to enforce the use of “thank you.”  With “please” I just withheld whatever it was until she copied my sign, and now she does it all on her own.  I can ask her “what do you say?” and she will sign “please” and SOMETIMES (but rarely) say it, too.  But thank you may be a different story since that is something you say after you receive something.  So I don’t know.  I used to sign “eat” a lot, and haven’t done it in a while; one of her Baby Einsteins is a signing DVD.  She has learned to sign “eat” from watching it!  It can’t be from me, because I haven’t used it in a few months, I’m sure.  She is just a genius.  😉


Her daddy has taught her to say “clock” and she is obsessed with pointing to it and the fan.  Sometimes the fan is “fan” and sometimes it is “clock.”  She says “juice,” although her juice is about 1oz juice and 6 oz water, and milk is still “gack.”


Her misbehaviors are pretty much pinpointed to pulling up her play mat, now.  I wouldn’t mind her doing it so much, except she eats them.  Apparently she is never going to get out of the “oral” stage, because everything still goes in her mouth before she tried to figure it out.  It is like an octopus using it’s tentacles to feel something out before it uses it; that’s what Lexie does with her mouth!  haha  No, really though I guess it is the teething, now everything goes to the side/back of her mouth, so it must be those new teeth.  Ick.
Anyways, back to her behavior.  When she does that I will try to distract her, then say her name once, and then tell her she will get time out. … (that’s technically 3 warnings). Time out for a one year old.  I mean, she gets it.  She knows when she goes in her pack n play with no toys and I say “time out” it is because she has done something she shouldn’t have because when she gets out (after one minute) she usually doesn’t try it again.  But I am not sure if that’s the right way to handle it.  squeezing her hand doesn’t work anymore, and popping her “booty” doesn’t work most of the time.  Unless JTom does it.  Then her feelings are really hurt and she will stop. It is rare that it comes to that.  Most days we have no problems at all.  She is just learning and pushing her boundaries, which is normal.  I’m thankful she is such a sweet, smart baby girl!
——
Her teachers LOVE her.  They always have a funny story about something she has done that day.  Last time it was using baby doll clothes to wipe her feet off (Hrm, wonder where she gets that?)  She also does this thing where she props herself up in the highchair at home and kicks her foot up against the try while she drinks her milk.  Evidently she has started to do that at school.  Only at school, they sit in real-life chairs attached to the table and her legs gets stuck.  So they have to un-attach the whole chair and pull her leg out when it is time to get up.  Haha  She is a mess..


And, the last big announcement: it is FALL!  Woo hoo!!  How exciting.  I  love this time of year; I really want to decorate, but that will have to wait a little while.  I am trying to decide what Lexie will be for Halloween.  We have done the bumble bee; a friend suggested a butterfly or the hungry caterpillar.  That is a possibility, but I don’t know if that will just be too much of the whole Hungry Caterpillar thing.. but it’s cute!  So, I don’t know.  Any suggestions are welcome!

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