Archives for January 2014

A Beautiful Exchange

january blog photo

I was 21 when I had my first son Isaiah. My husband and I were  missionaries with Youth With A Mission (YWAM). We lived on a YWAM base in Chico, CA, that provided a close community  from which I gleaned much as a new mother. One of the mothers I learned  from was a precious Brazilian friend named Nalva. She was a passionate  woman of God who loved to intercede. She came to me one day with a gift; a book titled, “Lord Bless My Child.” She  invited me to meet with her once a week and we would pray together for  our children. We would not only pray for the immediate needs of our  kids, depending on the stages they were in, but we would sow seeds of faith into their growing character. I had been  raised in a family that valued and modeled prayer, and God used that  foundation, and the influence of my friend, to establish an  understanding and belief in my young mother’s heart that God wants us to raise our children with Him. He takes very seriously our  prayers and petitions. As we lift our children before him and ask that  He move on our kid’s behalf, he not only answers those prayers but in exchange He deposits His peace in our hearts. And all of us moms know that peace is definitely needed to keep us moving  forward with clear vision and hope for our families.

I want to invite you this year to a time of praying together. Maybe you  have some mom-friends that you want to invite to meet together to pray. Each month we will have a prayer focus and we will stand together and lift up our kids before the throne of  grace. We will use as our overall theme in 2014 praying the Armor of  God.

My prayer for you this month, as you consider the needs of your family, is Philippians 4:6-7, Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Amen

Lanise Santala

Art of the Senses


Master Artist Andrew Wyeth: “Wind from the Sea” (1947)

Poetry is music to our ears as fine art is a symphony for our eyes.  “Good” art can elicit our senses and bring about emotion.  Drink in this beautiful painting by Andrew Wyeth with your eyes and share:

When I look at this painting, “Wind from the Sea,” by Andrew Wyeth…

1.  I feel: _________(a sense of wonder, a cool/warm breeze, happy/sad, the curtains tickle my arm?)

2.  I smell: _________ (fresh-cut grass, a warm breeze, fresh air?)

3.  I hear: _________(curtains flapping, the wind whistling, mosquitoes buzzing, birds singing, grandpa/grandma humming?)

4.  I can almost taste: ________(grandma’s cinnamon-apple sauce, fresh bread, etc.)

Andrew Wyeth’s paintings are known for their realism and emotional impact.  What greater way for students to learn about this artist but to engage their senses?  To learn more about Andrew Wyeth, click here.

“One’s art goes as far and as deep as one’s love goes.”
Andrew Wyeth


Black and white profile photo 2

Author:  Laura Bird Miller

Artist/Art Instructor
Coffee and Canvas




The Carnival of the Animals

Composer:  Camille Saint-Saens
Verses by:  Jack Prelutsky
Illustrated by:  Mary GrandPre’

carnival-of-the-animals-grandpre-prelutskyThe Carnival of the Animals may have originally been intended to introduce young children to classical music, but children of all ages will fall in love with this captivating book!

Welcome to our carnival,
Where birds and beasts and such
Behave a lot like people do,
At times a bit too much.

While enjoying the somewhat hysterically colorful animals that gallop, hop, tromp, fly, and glide across the pages, the reader is also drawn into the rhythm and cadence of the musical CD.

I truly thought I could hear the elephants approaching as I read Prelutsky’s poem and listened to the music…

When elephants gather, the ground starts to tremble
Beneath the great weight of their ponderous feet.
Be glad there are elephants left to assemble –
Without them our planet would feel incomplete.

Carnival of the Elephant (Saint – Saens)

Powered by

Along with introducing children to classical music,  why not provide them with the opportunity to  act out the animal roles as they listen to the music and the verses?  I’m certain there will be an animal to spark every child’s interest.

Mary Byrne Kline



Animals on Parade


What better way to end a reading of the Carnival of Animals than with this adorable and easy snack.  We put on our CD of Camille Saint-Saens’s “The Carnival of the Animals”, read through the book and after reenacting each page of animal antics, put together this quick snack.  Perfect little “lesson” for the little ones with an emphasis on reading, poetry, gross and fine motor coordination, imaginary play, exposure on music and an added bonus of a lesson in yumminess.

Here is all you need:

  • Peanut butter
  • Animal crackers
  • Celery
  • Cutting board
  • Knife


Wash your celery and dry off the excess water.  Cut longer sections of about 5 – 6 inches.


Spread peanut butter down the center of the celery.


Line up the animals, standing in the peanut butter.


And that’s it!  Easy peasy.  Every kids needs to have one of these snacks.  No, seriously, each kid needs to have his own snack OR you end up with one quite happy 5 year old and one slightly pouty lipped 3 year old who comes down after nap time and feels completely left out.  See him envying his brother’s snack in the background below?  Poor little snack-less guy…


Ah, that’s better.  Now all is right in our household.



Author: Rachel Skvaril
Sugar Artist
Fondant Flinger