Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Superhero Celebration Recipe

My children are not perfect, little angels. Nope, they are sinful people, just like the rest of us. So frequently I find myself focusing more on the wrong that they do, rather than looking for growth and good choices. Last week I was convicted of this wrong focus, and I decided to watch for growth, and to celebrate what I saw. My mom was brilliant at the skill of spotting the good in my sister and me. I want to be like her in that area. My mom was also a fantastic maker-of-occassions. Her memory inspired me to create a special occassion for my family this week.

During last school week, I learned that Snapper had made some great strides in the areas of courage and wisdom. Pepper also displayed some growth in obedience and self-control. As I was pondering this, a great idea flashed into my mind--why not have a superhero theme day, and celebrate character growth? After all, it is strength of character that makes a real-life superhero. We included our friends the W's in our special day. Since many of you have wanted to hear more about it, here is what we did.

1. Start a morning with a special activity that requires endurance. We climbed Pinnacle Mountain, a 1,000-foot-high mountain in Central Arkansas. It is a very rigorous trail that has rendered me still completely sore a whole 3 days later! Other options might be taking a hike, completing a challenging obstacle course, or biking a longer route than usual.
2. The hike to the top of Pinnacle took us about an hour and a half. When we reached the top, we ate the picnic lunch we had carried up.

Then we presented each child with a certificate honoring their areas of character growth, and a Bible verse to go with it. We made a big deal about each child, and told them how we had witnessed the growth. At the conclusion of your activity, discuss with your kids how building character is like climbing a mountain; it is challenging and can be difficult at times, but the rewards are great. If you would like the template for the certificates I made, email me at lifeartist48@yahoo.com and I will email them to you.

3. After we got down from the mountain, we stopped at a convenience store for cold water and ice cream--cool refreshment and a sweet reward for hard work.

4. Snapper and I made a brief stop at home for showers before heading out to our local paint-your-own-pottery shop. (Matt and Pepper opted for naps at home). On the way there, I told Snapper what we were doing next. We discussed how we are like pots in God's hands, and that He is making us into a spectacular work of art. We are not finished overnight, and the work is often painstaking. In fact, we have to go through hard times for our character to become beautiful. She really seemed to get it when the lady at the pottery shop explained how firing our piece turns the paint a brighter color, and makes it shiny.

You can go the pottery shop route. Other options would be building something with clay at home (Fimo, Sculpey, or salt dough can be baked), making Shrinky-Dinks, or working in the garden. Use the process to talk to your kids about how growing godly character is a challenging, sometimes painful process.

5. End your day with a Superhero Supper. I served Hero Burgers, Tater Tots, and Powerade. I had originally planned on serving Super Smoothies, but I ran out of energy (and grapes).

Hero Burgers

Slice a loaf of French bread lengthwise. Toast middle-up under the broiler until light brown.

Mix together:
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 can tomato soup
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. dried minced onion
1/2 tsp. salt

Spread meat mixture over toasted bread, making sure to cover the edges of the bread to prevent burning.
Broil 4 inches from the element for 10-12 minutes.
Top with grated cheddar cheese and broil until cheese is melted.
Slice into 3-inch-wide pieces and serve.

6. Pray with your kids and thank God for helping them grow to be more like Him. Over dessert, you can discuss other areas of their character that need work, and commit to help them grow in those areas. Don't forget to notice the progress they make, even when it is very slow. Because they know you are watching for growth, your recognition and praise will mean a lot.

Great follow-up for this fun day is to begin reading about real-life superheroes. There are many of them to be found in the Bible. Others--such as Amy Carmichael, Billy Sunday, Hudson Taylor, and Elisabeth Elliott--are delightful to study, too. Your local Christian bookstore can direct you to the biographies of these heroes of the faith.

If you try having a Superhero day, I would love to hear all about it!


Debbie said...

Emily, can I be your child? You sound like a wonderful mother! This is my first time participating in this what I'm learning meme but I'm loving it. I get to meet new blogging friends. You are so creative and inventive and I think I want to return here. Your photography is wonderful too.

Southern Belle said...

What an amazing day you all had! You put so much thought and detail into every moment, what a great mom you are. I am inspired to do something similar--minus the hike up a mountain, lol.

Jen said...

What an awesome post!

I moved my blog back to blogspot, so please come and visit!

~Simple Pleasures~

Stef said...

I'm not sure how, but I lost your blog! I found it and I Love the new layout!!
So nice to be back. :)

Stef said...

I have to add, you are such an awesome, creative Mom!! You're giving me such great ideas for good encouragement for my kids. Ethan especially has shown growth over the past few weeks and I do need to pay closer attention to giving praise where its due.

Proud USMC Wife said...

It sounds like you all had a really great day. You really inspire me to be a better Mom.