February 20, 2011

Children in Church and Sermon Notes

Years ago, I found a form on the web for young children to use to take notes in church. Recently, I tried to find it again and was unsuccessful. However, I did find this form from Blue Ridge Bible Church which is perfect for my older kids to use.

BRBC's post on Kids and Sermon Notes references another really good piece by John and Noel Piper called The Family: Together in God's Presence which discusses both the practical aspects of teaching children to take notes, worship, etc., but more importantly the "whys" of family-centered worship. A must-read for those attending family-integrated churches or who prefer to keep their children with them in church services. I explained to my 5-year-old who can't read enough to sing along that his job during worship is to "listen very hard" and that seemed to click with him.

After a lot more google searching for the old form (most searches for "kid's sermon notes" and the like pulls up Sunday school or children's church lessons and activities), I discovered that Ginger, a friend from our old church in Texas, has created a very similar Worship Notes for Children form. I think I'll give this one to my 5yo and maybe my 8yo, who isn't quite getting the hang of note-taking on the other form. Thanks, Ginger!

February 12, 2011

Dairy-free Cornbread

When I want to make really awesome cornbread, I use Patsy Watkin's Rocking Cornbread recipe, which I cut out of the newspaper several years ago. It involves melting butter on the stove in a cast-iron skillet, adding the ingredients including buttermilk, then baking it in the oven. You can add corn, cheese, and jalapenos if you like, and it's really, really good.

However, when we want something easier to assemble, dairy-free, and just pretty good, I use this recipe:

Beat together:
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups rice, almond, or soy milk (or other milk substitute; or you could just use milk if you don't need it to be dairy-free)

Then add:
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 1/2 cups flour
6 T. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt

Bake in a 9" square pan at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

You can fiddle a bit with this recipe and it will still come out well. I've used whole wheat pastry flour when I was out of white four; and more white flour when I was out of cornmeal. Just make sure you use a total of 3 cups flour with approximately half of that being cornmeal. If anyone tries this recipe with gluten-free flour, let me know how it turns out!

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