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Christ-Centered Christmas Countdown (Fun Arts & Crafts!)

Friday, November 30, 2018

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Two years ago, I started doing a Christmas countdown and my boys loved it. This time, I decided to do it again but with simpler activities. This way, even busy mothers can participate and get crafty at home.  The important thing is to focus and understand the story of the day based on Bible verses. As a Christian parent, I firmly believe that it’s our duty to share the life of Christ and it’s lessons to our kids. Christmas is the perfect time to share the true meaning of this event – it’s all about our savior Jesus Christ who died for our sins.

It took me a while to finish researching the activities (most I found from Pinterest) and to put it all together because of this very busy season. Nevertheless, I’m excited to start soon! Some of the activities are inspired by pictures I saw online. I tweaked some of the activities to make it more personal.

I used couple of my kids’ children’s Bible books like “The Beginner’s Bible ; Timeless Children’s Stories” and “The Action Bible”  to read the stories to them before doing the activities. We also use this as a guide to help us decide which story of Jesus we want to discuss on a certain day.

Here are some of the craft activities to help my kids understand more about the story about Jesus.

DECEMBER ONE

An Angel Visit Mary (Luke 1:26-38)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

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(source)

Materials:

Paper Plate

Drawing of a face

Glue/ Tape

Paper, Pencil and Scissor

Marker

DECEMBER TWO

Baby Jesus Is Born  Luke 2:1-7

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

1

(source)

Materials:

Small Paper Bag

Scratch paper

Marker

Star sticker or yellow cardstock

Glue

Scissor

You can use popsicle stick or craft stick and wrap it up with tissue paper. Use pen to draw the face.

DECEMBER THREE

Shepherds Visit  (Luke 2:8-20)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

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(source)

Materials:

Cereal Box

White Paper

Black Marker

Cotton balls

Popsicle sticks

Glue

DECEMBER FOUR

The King of all kings (Matthew 2:1-12)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

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(source)

Materials:

Yellow cardstock

Different colors of kraft paper (cut into small square size)

Glue

Crayons (optional)

Glitter Markers (optional)

DECEMBER FIVE

John Baptizes Jesus (Matthew 3:1-7; Mark 1:1-11; Luke 3:1-22)

Read: The Action Bible

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(source)

Materials:

White paper plate (or any white cardstock)

Piece of orange paper

Eye decor

White feather (you may add more if you’d prefer)

Glue

DECEMBER SIX

Jesus chooses his disciples (Matthew 4:18-22; 9:9; 10:1-4; Mark 1-3; Luke 5-6)

Read:  “The Beginner’s Bible”

5

(source)

Materials:

Straws (cut in half)

 Craft Papers, cut out of people as 12 disciples

Small bowl

DECEMBER SEVEN

Jesus’ First Miracle (John 2:1-11)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

7

(source)

Materials:

Water

Cup

Kool-Aid

DECEMBER 8

Jesus teaches on a mountain (Matthew 5:1-12)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

jesus teaches on a mountain 1608_Week3_03 (source)

Materials:

Small Canvas or white card stock

Acrylic Paint (2-4 colors)

Cottons and Clothespins

Tape

Cut out heart shape using cardstock

DECEMBER NINE

Up on the roof (Mark 2:1-12)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

8

(source)

Materials:

Yarn / Twine

(2) Popsicle Sticks

Small cardstock or small fabric

Lego man

Small Box

DECEMBER TEN

Jesus calms the storm (Matthew 8:23-27)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

10

(source)

Materials:

Empty Large Bottle

Blue Glitters

Water

Toothpicks to make the boat

DECEMBER ELEVEN

The hungry crowd (John 6:1-14; Mark 6:30-44)

Read: The Action Bible

11

(source)

Materials:

Printed fish and bread (or draw a simple drawing and cut it)

Glue

Paper Plate

Wire string

DECEMBER TWELVE 

Jesus Walks on Water (Matthew 14:22-33; John 6:15-21; mark 6:45-52)

Read: The Action Bible

IMG_1573 (1)

(source)

Materials:

Boat Water Illustration

Wood Sticks /Popsicle sticks (2)

Peter and Jesus Illustration

DECEMBER THIRTEEN

Faith at First Sight (from action Bible; John 9:1-10:21)

Read: The Action Bible

Blind man at Siloam game

(source)

Materials:

Illustration of a man’s face

Brown paper

Tape

Blindfolds

DECEMBER FOURTEEN

A good Neighbor (Luke 10:25-37)

Read: The Action Bible

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(source)

Materials:

Illustration of a man

Crayons

Cotton and Glue (or you can use band-aid)

I’ll draw a wounded man on a piece of paper and let the kids do the coloring. Once done, I’ll color a red spot (wound) on the man’s body. The kids can be the good samaritan helping a stranger by attending to his wound with glue and cotton.

DECEMBER FIFTEEN

Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

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(source)

Materials:

Marker

White cardstock

Crayon to color the ears

Tape

Scissor

DECEMBER SIXTEEN 

The Lost Son (Luke 15:11-32)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

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(teaching kids forgiveness / source)

Materials:

Pencil

Scissor

Cardstock

Wiggle eyes

Glue

Twine

Marker

Printed Bible Verse: Ephesians 1:7

DECEMBER SEVENTEEN

Lazarus Lives Again ( John 11; Mark 10:13-22)

Read: The Action Bible

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(source)

Materials:

Cut out papers (tomb, man and white small strips of paper)

Wiggle Eyes

Glue or Double sided tape

DECEMBER EIGHTEEN

Man in a Tree (Luke 19:1-35; John 12:1-8)

Read: The Action Bible

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(source)

Materials:

Paper Plate

Green paper

Scissor

String

Popsicle stick

short man illustration

DECEMBER NINETEEN

The True King (Mathew 21:1-11; Luke 19:20-42; John 12:12-19)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

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(source)

Materials:

Green craft papers

Popsicle sticks

Tape

Scissor

DECEMBER TWENTY

Washing the Disciples’ Feet (John 13:3-30)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

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(source)

Materials:

Action figure (or doll)

Paint

Bowl of water

Papertowel

DECEMBER TWENTY-ONE

The Last Supper (Matthew 26:17-29)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

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(source)

Materials:

Cut out of brown paper as a bread

Cut out of white paper as wine cup

Purple crayon (Kids will color the cup)

Glue

DECEMBER TWENTY-TWO

On Trial (Matthew 26:57-27:2)

Read: The Action Bible

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(source)

Materials:

Red Paper for hand cut out

Round white paper

2 small triangle yellow paper

Pencil

Glue

Scissor

Popsicle stick

Wiggle eye

DECEMBER TWENTY-THREE

Death Sentence and Crucified

Read: The Action Bible

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(source)

Materials:

Salt dough (find the recipe here that I used before.I probably will double the ingredients)

Bag of Toothpicks

Oven

DECEMBER TWENTY-FOUR

The Sealed Tomb (Matthew 27:59-28:15)

Read: The Action Bible

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(source)

Materials

Clothespin

Card stock (for one person and tomb)

Crayons

Scissor

glue

This activity is perfect for preschoolers. It teaches them to be more creative and resourceful. At the same time, they learn about a lot of things too, from vocabulary to storytelling. Expensive materials are not necessary for these activities. You can use anything that’s lying around your house. The important things is to share the story and meaning of Jesus Christ’s life.

How do you teach your kid’s the true meaning of Christmas?

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Give Back and Share the Love

Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Give Back and Share the Love adidas helloislandmama 6

Thank you so much to adidas for sponsoring this post.

These past few days, I’m grateful more than ever for the blogging opportunities that I have received. I’m not a big time blogger/influencer and is still quite relatively new in this field. I’m always thankful and feel extremely blessed for everything that I have right now. I know that I can’t do anything without God’s help and I believe there’s a bigger purpose to what I’m doing. I also know that God wants me to share the blessings I have received. I partnered with adidas to share a few gifts to someone who I really want to help.

The first person who came to mind is Charity – she’s a mom of two boys and I have met her through a Bible group study. Her positivity and strength was noticeable when we first met. Unfortunately, she was one of the victims of Hurricane Harvey last 2017 in Houston. Her home was flooded and destroyed the furniture they own. They now reside in a trailer with one bedroom. I truly admire Charity’s faith and resilience. After everything that happened, she remained positive and still thankful to God for every bit of blessing even after the ordeal.

Here are some materials I used for the gift basket:

Kraft paper

Twine

Artificial Christmas pine leaf

Scissors

Wax paper (for the banana bread)

Basket

Give Back and Share the Love adidas helloislandmama 4

I made the bread from scratch using the recipes from allrecipes.com (I used plain yogurt instead of sour cream). I find making something for someone infinitely better and more heartfelt than store bought ones. Let the banana bread cool down before wrapping in wax paper.

Give Back and Share the Love adidas helloislandmama 8

I love using twine as a finishing touch for presents. I added an artificial mini Christmas wreath to make it more elegant.

Give Back and Share the Love adidas helloislandmama 2

Since Charity and her family live in a trailer, her two boys often play outside. I thought to include a mini basketball and Adidas track suits (5t and 3t size) for her kids since the weather is getting cold in Houston.

Give Back and Share the Love adidas helloislandmama 5 I used twine and an artificial Christmas leaf to wrap the clothes.

Give Back and Share the Love adidas helloislandmama 1

If you want to make your basket more festive, try adding ribbons of your preferred style. You can use a glue gun or adhesive to help keep it in place. Give Back and Share the Love adidas helloislandmama 7

Give Back and Share the Love adidas helloislandmama 3

Do you know someone you can help even in the simplest way? How do you give back especially this season?

 

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Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Merry Christmas Hello Island Mama Photo Card DIY hello island mama Christmas family photo 2017 a

Merry Christmas everyone! I can’t believe there only 2 days to go before Christmas. I hope everyone finds peace and embraces the season with loved ones, even if it’s one of the busiest time of the year. Since I rarely post my whole family’s faces on my blog and Instagram to set some boundaries, here are my beautiful boys who always make my day so alive (starting at 6:30 AM or earlier…) and my man. Having family and kids makes my Christmas more meaningful and exciting! One of the other reasons I love Christmas now is that we can have a family photo session, even though it is quick (like I shared some editing tips in my previous blog post). Obviously, our baby was photoshopped since he sleeps unpredictably. 😉

Thank you for continuing to stop by my little blog. I hope everyone has a safe trip if you are traveling for Christmas.

Have a wonderful Christmas time with your family and loved ones!

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Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial

Monday, December 18, 2017

Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 5

My husband Brent has always been a fan of Star Wars. I remember the first year we were married, he tried to have me watch Star Wars and I fell asleep… 😉 There is a new Star Wars movie out this month, and I will accept his invitation to watch it with him. I think that will be my gift to him. 😉  With the new movie out, I wanted to share a Star Wars inspired gift wrapping tutorial on my blog. You can use it this Holiday season for your presents to loved ones, who are avid fans of Star Wars. Whether you’re wrapping a gift for Christmas, anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, etc., this idea is totally fun and easy to make.

Materials:

Kraft Paper

Darth Vader Photo (saw this free printable from this site and made a layout (See below) for you to print for your gift wrapping)

Scissor

Twine

Tape

Red Straw

Black Paper

Glue

Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 1

STEP 1 Wrap your presents with kraft paper and seal with tape.

STEP 2 Use this FREE printable Darth Vader layout with a standard sized paper and cut the image out. It comes in two sizes, so that it will work with small or large gifts.

STEP 3 Glue the Darth Vader print out and place on top of the gift wrapped item.

Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 2

STEP 4 For the lightsaber, cut the red straw in half and cover the bottom with a piece black paper, using glue to stick.

Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 8

STEP 5 Wrap twine around the gift wrap and stick on the DIY Darth Vader lightsaber.

Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 3

Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 4

STEP 6 This is optional: You can paint the initials of the person you are giving the gift to on the bottom of lightsaber, to serve as the name tag.

Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 7 Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 9

Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 6

That’s it! Easy and fun to create for Star Wars fans out there.

Have you watched the new Star Wars movie already? Please convince me to watch it. 😉

Check out more of my DIY gift wrapping ideas: Christmas Wreath Inspired / DIY Christmas Wrapper / Santa, Reindeer, Star Wars 

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Baby’s First Christmas Shoot + Photo Editing Tips

Saturday, December 16, 2017

babys first christmas shoot photo editing tips (3)

Our baby will be celebrating his first Christmas in the next few days!! Since our baby arrived last summer, he has given us so much joy, especially for his older brothers. Having another baby taught Brent and me to be more mature, though it is really hard most of the time. However, we can’t wait for all of them to play together next year!! It will be awesome… And loud! 😉

We had our Christmas family photoshoot last week and it was the quickest shoot ever (less than 15 minutes). I wanted to share with you all a DIY Christmas box that we used as a prop with the boys. My friend Sabine suggested wrapping a box to use as a prop, for a family shoot. It was a great idea for the toddlers to make sure they stayed in the same place. Since I love doing fun and creative photo manipulation, I thought to apply some editing for our baby’s photos. I thought it was cute!

Here is a simple and quick DIY gift box to try for your Christmas family shoot.

babys first christmas shoot photo editing tips (4)

Materials:

Kraft Paper

Ribbon

Scissor

Hot Glue

Tape

I used a medium sized box in which ideally, my baby would fit inside. I did not put him inside though and I don’t recommend that you actually put your baby inside either. :) Wrap up the box with kraft paper or any Christmas wrapper of your choice. I wrapped the box on the inside as well just in case the camera can see the inside of the box. I used thick ribbon and hot glue to make sure everything was set for the shoot. That’s it!

babys first christmas shoot photo editing tips (1)

babys first christmas shoot photo editing tips (2)

If you ever use Photoshop or are planning to learn about this software for your Holiday card, here are some tips from yours truly:

  1. Take a lot of shots of you and your props from different angles. I also use a tripod and remote to make sure everything is in the same frame and to make the shoot fast and easy (before the boys wake up!).
  2. Take photo of you and your baby in the same location to get the same lighting.
  3. I like to use a vector mask so it’s easy to remove the background or to undo it. Sometimes, I also use the pen tool.
  4. I consider the shadow of my baby as well to make it more realistic, when I overlap him onto the main image.

babys first christmas shoot photo editing tips (5)

babys first christmas shoot photo editing tips (6)

P.S. I also love to style myself, wear a pretty sweatshirt from Pink Blush, and put some makeup on (I love this brand! 100% natural that works! ). Santa hats are also cute to add for the shoot! :)

I hope my little man brightened your day today! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram.

God bless, friends!

 

 

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7 Husbands Reveal What They Want for Christmas…

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

7 husbands reveal what they want for Christmas Hero 1

I’m always clueless about what a man really wants for Christmas, and by man, I mean my husband. I mostly give him what I “think” he should have, such as men’s facial wash, moisturizer, a nice watch, etc. As it turns out, these are things he rarely uses. Today, I want to share what my blogger friends’ husbands really want for Christmas and why. And yes, I included my husband too. But oh boy, his wish is out of my budget. 😉 Enjoy browsing!

7 husbands reveal what they want for Christmas gift guide

 

1) “I’d love some leather motorcycle gloves for riding that keep my hands warm. I’d also love this beard kit from Zeus Deluxe Beard Grooming Kit for Men. Their products are amazing and help me keep my beard looking the way I like.” – Jake, husband of Bethany of Waves and Lilacs

2) “For Christmas I’d love to have a Samsung Galaxy Note 8. It’s an excellent phone for jotting down notes at work, taking high-quality pictures of family, and viewing media on its huge display.” – Brent, my husband 😉

3) “A Google Home so we can link all our smart devices together and so I don’t have to get up or use an app to turn our lights on and off.” – J.C., husband of Dee of Enjoy Mamahood

4) “I’d love to get a treadmill for Christmas this year. Taking care of myself physically  is important but with two kids getting time to go to the gym is nearly impossible. If I could workout at home I’d be more motivated!” – Hashem, husband of Deseree of Vivela Mama

5) “I want a big screen 4k TV for Christmas. I like to watch movies and my favorite shows in ultra HD.” – Andrew, husband of Cristina of Style Anthropy

6) “We moved from an apartment to a house this year and we had been waiting to get a grill, until I could get the kind that I want, without apartment restrictions. We enjoyed grilling out with friends and family, and the George Foreman grill isn’t cutting it anymore. ;)” Husband of Jenn of Harper Hadley Events

7) “I would really like to have a wooden display case to put all my watches because I like to have a nice box to put them all in.” –  Husband of Maryann of Arroyo Adventures

 

 

 

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Gift Guide: 7 Pretty Gifts For Her

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

7 pretty gifts for her gift guide pink blush (2)

7 pretty gifts for her gift guide pink blush (1)

Top sponsored by Pink Blush.

I made a list on my blog post today about some of the gift ideas for the women in your life. These are great, whether they’re for your wife, mom, best friend, sister, or in-laws! There are many products popping out this season and I know it can be overwhelming. That’s why I wanted to help by giving you some ideas for your shopping list, to surprise the special women in your life.

7 pretty gifts for her gift guide

 

  1. Sleek Petite OrganizerThis a 12-month planner, spanning from January to December 2018. It comes with a gorgeous golden metallic pen and pen loop. It is sleek and would be perfect to hand-carry and easily fits inside the purse or bag.
  2. Best of brushes set  – These brush sets are perfect for gifting, including yourself (Why not?! You deserve good brushes too!). It comes with a powder brush, angled brush (to contour some bronzer), and two kinds of eyeshadow brushes. Most brushes are expensive when you buy them individually, so the set is a good deal, as you get four brushes for under $60! It’s a limited edition release, so they are only available this Holiday season.
  3. Photo Clip Firefly String Lights – If you want a gift that involves pictures, this is a great way for gifting printed photos. String together memories from the past year with these fun Photo Clip String Lights. These can be use on the living room wall, a workspace, or even bedroom wall.
  4. Poppy lip duoThis set is a perfect lip duo of lipstick and lip gloss, that are just in time for  the Holiday season.The shade of pink-red is good for every type of skin tone.  All products contain natural ingredients and are safe to use, so you are not only giving gorgeous makeup this Christmas, but are also sharing a clean and safe product for your loved ones.
  5. Fringe Boots – Neutral colored booties are easy to style and match for this season. If you have someone who loves to dress up, from casual to flowy dresses, this is fun to wear because of its boho style fringe! I like how the heels aren’t so high and can be worn by moms with little kids.
  6. Bubble Wrap Calendar 2018 – A clever and fun idea to mark each day. This poster-size Bubble Wrap Calendar allows you to pop dates throughout the year. A fun gift for women who love unique Christmas gifts.
  7. White Marble Phone CoverMarble has been so popular, and this white marble cover gives your phone a sophisticated look!

7 pretty gifts for her gift guide pink blush (4)

What’s your favorite product from the list?

 

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Christmas countdown 2017 (opening a book)

Friday, December 1, 2017

Christmas countdown 2017 opening a book Christmas countdown 2017 opening a book 2 Christmas countdown 2017 opening a book 4

Cheers to the first day of December! It’s that time of the year again for the Christmas countdown with my kids. Last year, we would open a paper bag with notes inside and draw one out of the bag everyday until Christmas. Each note contained a Bible verse about Christ and activities for the day (see our Christmas countdown last year) to teach them more about the true meaning of Christmas. This year, I decided to start the countdown by opening a book each day, which has been used by some moms and grandparents out there for kids. I’ve been looking for Christmas themed books that talk about the birth of Christ and/or about sharing and giving. I was able to see fine a few of them online. I’ve also included non-Christmas themed books that still talk about kindness and giving, as we as parents try to teach these values to our kids. My two and three-year-old boys love to listen during storytelling and I’m sure they will be excited to do this every morning, especially unwrapping the books. Here are a few books that are perfect for Christmas reading.

1 The Giving Tree

2 Did I ever tell you how lucky you are? By Dr. Seuss

3 God gave us Christmas by Lisa Bergren

4 The mine-o-saur by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

5 The Pine Tree Parable by Thomas Nelson

Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend!

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Hello Island Mama is a makeup, DIY, photography, motherhood and lifestyle blog by Em Smith. She is the mother of three boys and a wife, who loves to inspire and encourage others through her works and stories. Based in Houston, Texas. Originally from the Philippines.

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

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