Friday, July 15, 2011

And the survey says....

Ok friends... if you have ever wanted to express yourself... now's the time to do it! We are heavy in the packing stage of things, which has brought forth quite a few questions. So... this is my survey! If you read this, I need you to help! Just leave your comments answering any or all of my questions.

1. What are the top 3 kitchen items you would take to Africa?

2. What are the best children's books you would take?

3. What are the best toys/activities that occupy kids on a VERY LONG plane ride?

4. What would you put on your iPod? Favorite Worship Songs? Best all around music?

5. What Podcasts do you listen to?

6. Favorite games?

Thanks for your input!!



  1. Favorite worship music - pretty much anything by Klaus

    Podcasts - any sermon by Greg Boyd.

  2. Oh, girl this is right up my alley with the kids stuff :) Just my opinion...

    1. good knife and hand mixer
    2. I would take any Dr. Seuss just because they are fun. "Biscuit" the dog books are fabulous for beginning readers. And, for a great mommy/child bonding book, I would take Love you Forever by Robert Munsch for sure. Holds such a special place in my heart! I could go on and on, call if you need more suggestions :).
    3. Wikki Stix or Bendaroos are great for kiddos. They are the same thing (wax bendable sticks) but called different things at different places. They can make shapes, letters, designs, etc. and they are no mess! I would also take expo markers and a small dry erase pad/board so they can erase and re-draw something. Of course your standard coloring books/activity pads are great too. Though I wouldn't want my child to have this 24/7, I might resort to getting a portable DVD player just for the plane ride to keep your sanity.
    4. Love music by Sara Groves or Sandra McCraken. Calming and worshipful all at the same time.
    5. Matt Chandler from the village church and David Platt! You would get a kick out of Matt Chandler...I feel like his personality is a lot like yours :)
    6. Bananagrams is a great word game for when your kids get a bit older. We also love scattergories.

  3. 1.When we moved to Guatemala, the kitchen things I missed the most were GOOD cooking utensils. Everything available here is plastic that melts when it gets hot. Yuck! I am glad I brought my good knives, and the mixer does come in handy.

    2. Since we moved when our daughter was barely talking, but planned to eventually homeschool- here's what worked for me with books: Between the ages of 2 and 3 there is literally a brain and language explosion! I was grateful that I brought books that could work for several age ranges including some that are good for beginning readers. Our daughter loved the Dr. Seuss, Curious George and things like that. I tried to mainly bring the ones that were big books with many stories inside to cut down on luggage. One thing is certain, no matter what you bring, it seems more books are always going to be in demand.

    3. Something my daughter really likes are those magnetic drawing boards with the "pencil" attached and the little lever that "erases" the picture so that you can start over. I like it because it isn't messy and we can practice letters, drawing and storytelling. Besides this, we use books, a variety of snacks and that's about it. Guatemala is only a 3 hour flight for us, thankfully, so we haven't invested in electronic gadgets yet.

    4. I wished I had access to more worship music in English in Guatemala, because I realized that my daughter was missing out on it and that she really enjoyed it when we came back to the States to visit. For her, specifically the simple worship songs work well since she's still learning the words. For you? I'm not good at suggesting music, but I like Kendall Payne, Nicole Nordeman, Geoff Moore, and Selah.

    5. N/A

    6. Right now we're really into tactile games like Jenga and blocks. But I like that we have Dominoes because it's really great for math/matching concepts(and making trains.) We also like Uno, Phase 10 and "Bancopoly;" the Guatemalan version of Monopoly. I look forward to when we can play games like Apples to Apples as a family.

    I hope that was some help, though we have different kinds of kids and ages. I know that no matter how much you plan, when you get there you'll still realize something you'll have wished you'd brought. But it's Ok. We're moms and improvising is one of our superpowers! ;)


  4. 1. I agree with taking good kitchen utensils. Go ahead and spurge on long lasting things. I also like collapsible things such as a collander, measuring cups, and they also have mixing bowls. Good knives are a must.

    2- I agree with what everyone else says here.

    3- When I went to Korea, I saw many families traveling with books, card games and coloring activities. Colored pencils were a hit.

    4- Music- Salty the Musical Soundbook was something we grew up listening to. It might drive you nuts but I think your kiddos would love it. I agree with all the kids praise and worship things you can find. For you guys, I am sure you have all I could possibly suggest. Make sure you have something upbeat.... like NitroPraise.

    5- No idea.

    6- Card games are great and travel well. I don't know if you guys have a Big Lots in TX but we find all kinds of unusual card games there.

    Please let my family know of things we can send along the way. We want to help you guys as you transition to Zambia. We will be sure to ask your family lots of questions as we transition overseas in the coming years.


  5. 1. hand can opener!!!A MUST!, a good (don't have to sharpen) knife, durable vegetable peeler
    2. Big Truth for Little Kids, All 3 of F. Chan's kid books, The Big Picture Bible, The Jesus Storybook Bible
    3. Anything that you can write on and wipe off and use over and over again and again. then stock up on the markers that you would use.
    4. Most definiely Mandi Mapes (she sings humbly and so truthfully I think you would be blessed from her, esp. in Africa!) and Lecrae!
    5. David Platt, John Piper, Tim Keller (don't know if they are on podcast, I am "old school" and just listen to sermons online.
    6. games that don't require anything: Hide and seek and name that object (cover kids eyes and put a random object in their hands and have them guess what it is) FARM ANIMAL UNO is the best kids game to invest in at your children's ages, as well.

    Hope this all helps! Love you and your family LOTS!

  6. Also, definitely pack PLAY-DOH! The endless hours to occupy kids, I am eternally grateful to the inventor of that stuff! :)

  7. 1) Good knives
    2) The Jesus Storybook Bible and Dr. Seuss
    3) Felt (cut into shapes) to tell feltboard stories,small cookie sheet with felt/flannel glued to one side for felt board and magnet play on the back. Also a hard surface for coloring. Dry erase board (I just discovered dry erase crayons that don't stain clothes!)
    4)Chris Tomlin and David Crowder
    5)I don't know if they are podcasted but listen to sermons online by David Platt, Matt Chandler, John Piper and Mark Driscoll a lot.
    6)Taboo, Catch Phrase (you could even take the cards and occupy yourselves on the plane.

  8. 2. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney, Jan Brett books, Max Lucado's kids books.
    4. For worship music: Chris Tomlin (especially the songs Our God and I Will Lift My Eyes,) Hillsong United, Phil Wickham, and Third Day. For just music in general: Group 1 Crew, Ingrid Michaelson(especially her song Everybody,) Mikeschair (their song Let the Waters Rise is one of my all-time favorite songs,) Tenth Avenue North, and Shawn McDonald.
    6. Bananagrams is my favorite game, but you can never go wrong with a plain deck of cards.

  9. Hey, Mitzi!

    A good children's book that I would recommend to take with you is "The Moon Shines Down" by Margaret Wise Brown. The book talks about the different parts of the world, the children who live there and how the Moon is the same everywhere. After each country, the book says "I see the Moon and the Moon sees me, God bless the Moon and God bless me." My little girl LOVES it and loves trying to find the koala bear on each page. She also loves paper dolls - you can cover each doll/clothes with Contact paper and keep them in an envelope. You can do this with coloring pages or print outs as well (i.e. Elmo, Curious George, Bible characters, etc). To piggy back off of what one of your other commenters said - you can put small magnets on the back of each piece and they can use a cookie sheet as the background. This is seriously hours of entertainment for my little one. Hope this helps!!

  10. Here's my two cents...
    1. Good knives, a good BIG pan and BIG pot
    2. Dr. Seuss is a must! Really good for kids who are learning to read!
    3. All I can say is good luck. I can't imagine taking my kids on the plane for that long! I'll definitely be praying. I'm sure you've already got lots of good ideas on that score anyway. You've always been soooo creative!
    4. Blessings by Laura Story, anything by Casting Crowns - especially Voice of Truth. You might need some upbeat, down home music to clean house to (I know I do...)
    5. What's a podcast?
    6. I love card games. Cranium is a good one. Sofia isn't too into games right now so I'm kind of clueless, actually.
    Love you girl!