Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Commandments Calendar

I think this is really a great way to teach the ten commandments this coming year: One of my favorite sites has calendars children can create with all types of themes, but I particularly like this one with the ten commandments. You print the calendars with images or without images (so your kids can draw their own), and you can make yearly or monthly printouts. Great if you want to make some up and give as New Year's gifts since it's too late for Christmas.

SG had a calendar publication which has now been discontinued for sale, but it was good for giving as gifts for Sunday school students at Christmas. These would work as well. Nice project for children who like to draw and/or color.

Praying that the coming year is blessed indeed for your family.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Once in Royal David's City

Once in royal David’s city
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her Baby
In a manger for His bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little Child.

He came down to earth from Heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable,
And His cradle was a stall;
With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
Lived on earth our Savior holy.

And, through all His wondrous childhood,
He would honor and obey,
Love and watch the lowly maiden,
In whose gentle arms He lay:
Christian children all must be
Mild, obedient, good as He.

For He is our childhood’s pattern;
Day by day, like us He grew;
He was little, weak and helpless,
Tears and smiles like us He knew;
And He feeleth for our sadness,
And He shareth in our gladness.

And our eyes at last shall see Him,
Through His own redeeming love,
For that Child so dear and gentle
Is our Lord in Heav’n above,
And He leads His children on
To the place where He is gone.

Not in that poor lowly stable,
With the oxen standing by,
We shall see Him; but in Heaven,
Set at God’s right hand on high;
Where like stars His children crowned
All in white shall wait around.

~ Cecil Alexander

Oh the wonderful truths in these words written by Mrs. Alexander, who loved to write poetry to help children understand the doctrines of the Bible! She has captured in this beloved hymn the real meaning of Christmas.

May you and your children be blessed by this Savior who was born in a lowly manger but is now set at God's right hand on high!!! Merry Christmas from our homes to yours.

Beverly and Maxine

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Total Lunar Eclipse

Nice show put on courtesy of our Creator God in the early morning hours of December 21st. If you can afford the lost sleep and if the weather would permit doing so from outside, no doubt this would be quite worth while observing with your kids. More information is at The Old Farmers Almanac site. Please bookmark the sky watch page for kids to use in your science studies.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Amy Carmichael, a Christian Heroine

Having the particular love that I have for children, especially little girls, I feel that it was kind of the Lord to bless my husband and me with two little girls to raise. And now, He’s even blessed us with two granddaughters, who have been born to loving parents and a loving extended family. But there have been times and places (and still are) where it was dangerous to be born a female baby. Evil things could happen to her and evil people could harm her.
It was this way for many little girls in India. These children knew hardship and fear. But there were some, not a few, who found a sweet rescuer. They called her “Amma”, which means that she was a mother to them. Many of you have heard of the “Amma” of many little Indian children. Her name was Amy Carmichael and her story is exciting. Read the article about her in Glimpses for Kids, viewable online at CHI. Let your daughter read it too. No matter how old she is, she’ll remember Preena, and she’ll remember the woman who rescued her.
Ask your daughter to remember, too, the life changing events in Amy’s life that guided her to extraordinary years of service. Who knows what God may bring in your child’s experience that will lead her to do great things for Jesus? He did it for Amy, so isn’t it possible He could do it for her?
Lovingly, Maxine

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Childhood Devotions

How important is it to instill in our children a love for the Word of God? How important is it that they grow into adulthood having firmly established that the precious Word is a vital part of their lives? We at Speakable Gifts believe this is indeed a top priority in the raising of our children and we further believe that establishing a daily time for devotions is a primary means that can be used by God to accomplish this. If you would read my article entitled "A Case for Daily Devotions in Childhood" you'll understand better how we feel about this.

Also, we're excited to tell you that for a limited time, in honor of Cyber Monday which we missed, our child's devotional book Bright Gems for His Crown will be selling for only $8.50. That's a savings of $3.00 off our regular price!! And not only THAT, but for a short time only there will be free shipping on all retail orders, no minimum order amount. Now is that generous of us or not??

Please let this be known if you would, especially the offer on the devotional book. Perhaps it would be a nice gift to give to some of the children who are dear to you, while at the same time having spiritual implications for their future.

Many blessings,

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Pilgrims Came

The Pilgrims came across the sea,
And never thought of you and me;
And yet it's very strange the way
We think of them Thanksgiving day.

We tell their story, old and true
Of how they sailed across the blue,
And found a new land to be free
And built their homes quite near the sea.

Every child knows well the tale
Of how they bravely turned the sail
And journeyed many a day and night,
To worship God as they thought right.

~ Annette Wynne

Blessings to all for this Thanksgiving holiday!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Special Puppies

A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell. He painted a sign advertising the 4 pups. And set about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt a tug on his overalls. He looked down into the eyes of a little boy. "Mister," he said, "I want to buy one of your puppies."

"Well," said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat off the back of his neck, "These puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money." The boy dropped his head for a moment. Then reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer. "I've got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?"

"Sure," said the farmer. And with that he let out a whistle. "Here, Dolly!" he called. Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran Dolly followed by four little balls of fur. The little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence. His eyes danced with delight.

As the dogs made their way to the fence, the little boy noticed something else stirring inside the doghouse. Slowly another little ball appeared, this one noticeably smaller. Down the ramp it slid. Then in a somewhat awkward manner, the little pup began hobbling toward the others, doing its best to catch up....

"I want that one," the little boy said, pointing to the runt. The farmer knelt down at the boy's side and said, "Son, you don't want that puppy. He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would." With that the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and began rolling up one leg of his trousers. In doing so he revealed a steel brace running down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially made shoe.

Looking back up at the farmer, he said, "You see sir, I don't run too well myself, and he will need someone who understands." With tears in his eyes, the farmer reached down and picked up the little pup. Holding it carefully he handed it to the little boy. "How much?" asked the little boy.

"No charge," answered the farmer, "There's no charge for love."

Thanks to Christian Life Stories for sharing this sweet story with us.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Story of Jonah

Had to share this precious video which I copied from a friend on Facebook. This little girl has the gift of storytelling. I think the Lord is going to use her! I think your kids would enjoy this.

The story of Jonah from Corinth Baptist Church on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Writing Contest Postponed

We had every intention of hosting our fourth writing contest this fall, but unfortunately, we think it will need to be put off until the beginning of next year. There is just too much going on here, and probably in your house as well, so maybe having it during the dismal days of mid winter would be better for all. Perhaps your kids will be a bit more eager to participate when there's not so much else happening!

So we'll let you know for sure at some point after the holidays.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Candy Corn Cookies

Candy corn is one of my favorite treats for this time of year. I could go on and on stuffing them in if a bowl is set before me. YUMMY! I saw this unusual recipe on one of my Yahoo groups today and wanted to pass it on. Might be a fun activity for you and your kids, only I would change the margarine to butter. For our household, margarine is a no-no for flavor. It's got to be butter for baking. Anyway, hop on over to the "Cooking with Kids" site and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

On Line Puzzles at TOFA

The Old Farmers Almanac kids section has some fun online puzzles your children might enjoy doing. You'll find them here. Hope they enjoy!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Birthday Celebrations

This is a great video to look at together as a family. Maybe you could have a time or prayer, with your children joining in? Even if you're not able to sponsor at this time, it surely would be a good matter to pray about and if there is any chance that your family could participate, this would be quite an incentive!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Theology Matters

Hopefully you'll agree that it's important to teach theology to even our youngest children. For the very young, I would recommend Leading Little Ones to God by Marian Schoolland. To me, it's the best book out there for teaching biblical truths that even the very youngest can understand. Also, I've written a couple of books that should be helpful. Bright Gems for His Crown focuses on character issues while weaving in just enough Bible doctrine to help you to teach them yourself while they go through the book on their own or as a study with you, the parent. We recently released The Romans Treasury, which is a study for teen girls in the book of Romans, and as we all know, when you study Romans, you're studying theology.

Regards, Maxine

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Uzbek Children

Isn't this little girl adorable?

What is a normal, happy childhood? In Uzbekistan, some of the Christians there have been accused of depriving their children because they take them to church. Do your children have any idea just how blessed they are? Please read the KOC feature for this month and please make it a matter of prayer in your home.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Build a Dollhouse

I came across the following website quite by accident and I LOVE it!!! I just HAD to pass it on to folks who come here to HCG so that you can bookmark it. Excellent project(s) for the whole family to work on together and a wonderful hobby for older boys and girls alike. You'll find links to all kinds of goodies, especially for art and applying math skills. Hats off to this lady, Jennifer; I sure do wish I had tried this when my children were smaller.

Dollhouses are so great. And making your own. . .well, that's the best. Hours of enjoyment for young people of all ages and surely you'll agree that it reaps lots of imaginative benefits as well as decorating skills which will be useful in future days.

If any of you out there do try your hand at any of these projects, please let us know how you make out. Go now to
Let's Build a Dollhouse and look around!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Riddle Answer 1

I cannot believe that not one single person was brave enough to take a guess at our riddle in the last post.'s the answer.

Monday, September 13, 2010

With Pointed Teeth

When we first opened this new site, we promised that puzzlers/riddles were coming, so here is the first one. For more information on these, see the first post under this category.

Remember, these are just for fun, but stretching the mind is healthy for children and adults alike. Have your children give it a try, and there's no age limit!!! Dads and moms are welcome to help out. :) We'll give the answer in a few days whether it's guessed or not. No prizes, just fun guessing.


With pointed teeth I sit and wait,
To join my victims and determine fate.
My bloodless subjects show no fright,
Even when I pounce for a single bite.
What am I?

From Lots O' Riddles, published by Barbour Publishing, Ind. Used by permission.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

No Joke

Have you ever read any of those cute little prayers from children? This one is priceless:

Little boy's prayer:
"Dear God, Please take care of my mommy and daddy and sister and grandma and grandpa. And please, God, take care of Yourself, or else we're all sunk!"

This was my calendar "joke" for Friday, but these childish words are no joke. They are good sound theology. Without the Lord God Almighty, this whole universe is done. We're all sunk. But God is perfectly capable of taking care of Himself along with the rest of us.

Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. I Chronicles 29:11

Friday, August 27, 2010


There is one thing modern technology hasn't ruined. We can still give our kids a blank piece of paper and a box of crayons and keep them occupied for who knows how long. And what benefits! The TV and computer have not yet taken away this wonderful means of encouraging imagination and quiet time activity. Do you keep the projects that your children so lovingly give you? You can always date them, punch holes, and start a notebook to give to them when they graduate from high school! Wish I had done that!

And aren't coloring books wonderful ? One of the few things that is still cheap at that!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pakistani Action Packs

This picture is of a Pakistani family receiving one of the Voice of the Martyrs Action Packs. The sweet smile of the little girl certainly warms our hearts, doesn't it? Another face of courage in the midst of adversity. You've probably heard about the recent flooding in that country. Also, there is much persecution against Christians that goes on there, which we recently talked about in a Kids of Courage post. Perhaps your family or Sunday School could put together an Action Pack to send. Go to the VOM site for more info.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Best Knowledge

‎"Let us teach our children to value the Bible. The very best portion we can give them is a knowledge of the Scriptures." ~ J.C. Ryle

Monday, August 9, 2010

Learning from Joseph

We're having VBS at our church this week and our theme is the story of Joseph. Need I tell you of the many lessons which kids can learn from this Bible character? It's a story of forgiveness, of course, but there are many other important Biblical truths to be learned. Have you ever read through the account of Joseph to see all of the similarities to Jesus in his person and life? You might want to get out a little notepad and jot them down. You may be surprised at how many there are. Our pastor handed out a listing of some. Here's an interesting one: "Both Joseph and Jesus were stripped of their clothes." That's really something! I hope you'll be teaching your children about this Old Testament saint, instilling meaningful lessons of godly principles while you do. He's one of those Christian heroes we want to hold before them, even if he was from long ago.

The above image is a little craft you can do with children from this story, either in your home school or Sunday school. It's one of the many neat crafts found at a favorite site of mine. Go here to check out this activity and many others.

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Tiny Predator

How big is a mosquito? Not big at all, right? But oh, the damage and sorrow one little mosquito can cause. This is especially true in some areas of the world where malaria is a danger. Just imagine. There have been cases where a child has died from one mosquito bite. You could help, you know. By sponsoring a child in certain endangered places through World Vision, you could help protect that child from malaria by providing funds which could be used to provide insecticide treated bed nets. This is just one of the many that sponsorship could help. And think about the experience it would be for your children. Think about the lessons they will have in compassion. How much is that worth? More information is here and we invite you to pray and think about it if there is any way you could work this out in your household.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

National Pastime

Baseball is the game I enjoy the most, even though this year my favorite team, the Philadelphia Phillies, is not doing very well. Above is the Phillies Phanatic, the team's mascot, and he's been pretty sad of late. Oh well, it's important that we all remember to take it for what it is, only a game, and make sure our children see it as just that. The guys who play are entertainers and certainly not heroes. There are many Christian Heroes whom we may hold before our kids who can be for them so much better as examples.

But having said that, baseball is fun and it's a good and healthy activity for all ages. A very interesting site has been brought to my attention through one of my groups and I wanted to pass it on. It's all about the sport which is known as our national pastime and I think you and your children will like it if you like the sport itself. Enjoy it here.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Having Fun!

We all know that we should never leave a small child alone with the family dog, no matter how wonderful our pet may be. But when properly supervised, the relationship between these "siblings" can be rewarding for both. What fun these two are having! Your kids of all ages will enjoy this one and you will too.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Look at me!

Look what I can do, Mom!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Children & Patriotism

This time of year two years ago, I wrote an article for our newsletter on the topic of instilling patriotism in children. It's now archived on our site and I thought I'd link to it here in case any of you would like to read it.

A blessed fourth of July weekend to all. Stay safe and healthy. Please enjoy your Independence Day, but remember that more importantly, it's the Lord's Day.

God bless,

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Nosy Postman in Pakistan

Pakistan is a country that is dear to our hearts. You see, we have precious Christian friends who come from there and they still even have family there. I see that Voice of the Martyrs featured Pakistan on their Kids of courage site for the month of June and I wish I had seen it sooner. Well, better late than never. Please have your children read about a Pakistani teenager named Sidra. After you read this story, please talk to them about what it must be like to be a believer there, and especially what it must be like to be a young person who loves Jesus in that country. Then, most importantly, have them pray for the children there. You can read the article here. If they've changed the article on the VOM site, it will be in archives. I'll try to catch it and move it to the archive link in a few days, but if I miss it you'll be able to find it through the link at the top of the page at the Kids of Courage site.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Unusual Playmates

Unusual playmates at a zoo! Wonder how these chicks got in there!?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Homemade Children's Parties

There's something about children's parties you may not know, especially in our day: Your sons and daughters, of any age, can have just as much enjoyment at a party at home as they could at McDonald's, Chuckie Cheese, or any other place. Going on an outing to the skating rink or the like is great, but the contention here is that for their birthday party, home can be a fun place to have a fun time and for you, it could be at a fun price. If you don't teach them differently -- they won't know any better! It may cost you more time and effort, but less money, and this is a promise: it would be quite meaningful. Here are some suggestions for a good party:

1. Don't Leave God Out

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31. This verse applies to a party as well as anything. If you think of ways to have the Lord be a part of your festivities, He will be pleased and you'll have the joy that comes when Christ is honored in the life of your family. If you child has a life verse, maybe that could be brought in somehow. If you put your mind to it, you'll find there are many creative ways that God's Word can be included. And don't forget party favors -- you can often include something spiritual there. A word of caution: don't overdo this, especially if there are children attending who come from unbelieving families, but do try and think of something to bring glory to God.

2. Have a Theme

There is something about having a theme that brings about excitement and anticipation. A theme enhances the enjoyment of party preparations and draws out the imagination and creativity of the birthday child, especially the older one. Usually, the theme of a party is a reflection of your child's interests; thinking up decorations, game and crafts will add even more pleasure to an already happy occasion. If you try it, you'll see.

3. Keep it Short

Two to two and a half hours is plenty of time to get everything in without allowing the goings on to get stale. In some cases, especially for children over ten, three hours will work out okay, especially if there's a meal, but seldom does it need to go any longer. No matter how much fun is being had, after two and a half hours or so, weariness sets in for all, and the likelihood of irritability and crossness increases. You want everyone to part in a good state of mind, and that usually can be accomplished more readily when the party is short and sweet.

4. Let Your Child Help

The older the host child, the more he or she can do. Who cares if everything isn't done perfectly? You'd even be surprised how much younger children can do (with just a bit more patience on your part), such as putting stickers on favor bags or sorting colored strips of paper for craft projects. Actually, learning can take place during party preparations. Be innovative about duties and how you can add them to the overall education process. As they mature, give them more and more responsibilities depending on their aptitudes. Eventually, they and their siblings can do almost all of it themselves and all you need to do is supervise!

5. Have Various Activities

Plan and be prepared. Make a list of several activities -- games, crafts, music, snacks, gift exchanges, whatever. Have plenty to fill the time, and even some extra things in case they're needed. Better to have more activities than needed in case something flops.

Hope in the future we can give you some ideas for themes and some other tips. We've had a lot of homemade parties at our house and loved ever minute of it!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Guess What?

Yes, "Guess What?" was another page we had on our site for children, and anybody else young in heart for that matter. That page was just for fun and to stretch the mind a bit. It was a page where we would periodically post a puzzler, riddle, or guessing game. This, too, will be a category on this blog rather than a page, with the benefit of being able to go back and read past posts. Also, now kids can make guesses right here via comments, if they would like to. We won't put the answer right away, to give chances for guesses, but if someone really wants to know an answer without waiting, they're welcome to email us (Use Speakables tab to get the email address) at any time and we'll get back to them pretty quickly with the answer.

This post is just to set up the category and to explain what it's all about. A puzzler or riddle will be coming soon.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Animal Crackers

Now this has been something of a challenge: what to do with the "Animal Crackers" page from our main site. Since it primarily was an activity for the youngsters, it was therefore another of the pages in the child's area, which means it needs to be moved here. We had lots of pictures of critters with clever captions (some from contests on my personal blog) and every so often a new one would be added. Most of them are cute and fun and it would be unheard of to not have them as a part of the family here at the new place.

So, I'm making this post to introduce the category so that we can add them, one at a time, until they're all here with us. Then when the current residents have all been added, we'll keep finding and adding more! To add the ones from the main site, all we'll do is make a post for each of the pictures and the caption without further comment. Then, they'll be in the archives under the category name, to which we'll link from the sidebar. Pretty ingenious, don't you agree? We'll spread this out over a few weeks or so.

You'll have to excuse us; we're an animal loving family, but as you may know, most kids love animals too. I have a category on my personal blog by the same name, because I enjoy writing about God's wonderful creatures and of course, our pets. It's fun when we find cute pictures of them too!


Here is the paragraph which we wrote to the children on that special page:

"Take a look at some cute critters. God made them all! Each of these pictures would be a good topic to write about. Think of a neat title and look up some facts about one kind of animal. Perhaps you can talk about the different species within that Biblical 'kind'; of animal. Make an outline and think up things you've found interesting about that part of God's creation. Maybe you could write a story. You could do a funny story or a serious one. Be creative!"

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Setting Things Up

I like Blogger's new template designer, and it's just in time for this new blog! We've put together a design which we think is just right for what we're all about--hope you like it too. We're working on setting up the new pages, including six of the seven "Speakables." We've decided that our Child of Courage writing activity will now be one of the categories on this site instead of a page, so that we can pick up stories from the Voice of the Martyrs site on different occasions and they can be archived here.

You will see the tabs for Speakables at the top. One is a general explanation, the rest will be the writing activities themselves. I don't know how often they'll get changed, it depends on so many factors. We just hope they'll be useful to folks from time to time. But we HOPE to be able to have another writing contest in the not too distant future. We enjoy them as much as the children do.

The Gems for Bright Gems is at the page with the tab entitled "Gems" (of course), and I hope to follow the same schedule of changing that one bi-monthly. If you're not familiar with the Gems devotional activity, click on the tab!

Also, we have one more page that we hope you'll read or have your kids read. It's the "A Gift" tab, which you might agree is appropriate for an SG site. But the gift talked about on that page is one of greater value than anything we offer for sale as a company. Please go read it when you can.

I guess that's it for now. I'll be back to say more after we have all the pages up.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Welcome to the new home of "Helping Children Grow," a ministry of Speakable Gifts, a family-run business which is dedicated to helping families live, and give, the message of Christ in and from their homes.

We've had writing activities for children posted at our main site for quite a few years now, and have called these activities "Speakables." Other than these writing projects, we also have had devotionals, as well as puzzlers for fun, and a periodic writing contest.

We're making quite a few changes at Speakable Gifts, adding new products and going in new directions, and it seemed fitting that our kids' section have it own place. So here we are. In the next post, we'll explain what we're doing and how we're going about it.