About Me

Van Walton

Fun Facts about Van Walton

My favorite smell: The way the earth smells after it rains.

My favorite sound: The first notes of a grand symphony.

My favorite way to relax: Sitting anywhere outside - on my front porch, on my deck, or by the lake, early in the morning with my first cup of coffee.

My favorite birthday dessert: a Peach cobbler baked by my husband. He’s my fave chef!

I will not eat: Avocado. They turn my stomach into a volcano that never erupts.

Technology I couldn't live without and why: My laptop - it takes me anywhere I want to go.

One thing that makes me smile: My sons' faces!

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My Resources

My book, From the Pound to the Palace, is available for $10
from Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Pound to Palace

My book, Little Halos, is available for $5.99 from Proverbs
31 Ministries.

Little Halos

Proverbs 31 Ministries


Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

Saturday, December 1, 2007


My favorite Christmas activities with children:

*This activity needs a collection or two of magnetic letters and children who are reading and writing and spelling. I set apart the letters for Christmas words and place them in a baggie. Each child picks a bag and arranges the letters to spell out a word like manger, Jesus, star, gold, or lamb. Then I ask each child to write or say a sentence with their word. This is a great activity that lays the foundation for good writing skills.

My friend has asked that I teach her grandchildren Spanish. Her husband is Cuban and together they decided to give the grandchildren a gift of inheritance for Christmas – Spanish lessons. You may wonder why I would be teaching Spanish. In the days when I worked for pay, I taught high school Spanish because I I sort of stumbled upon a Spanish major due to my own heritage. I was born in Venezuela and grew up bilingual.

Anyway I agreed to begin the lessons – once a week for 30 minutes. Thursday my friend, her daughter-in-law, three little ones – all under four and I all sat on a mat in the middle of the family room. We played and learned Spanish words! I do not need to say that we had a wild and crazy fun time.

It had been so long since I had been around children of that age that I had forgotten, their little minds skip from one activity to another, rarely stopping for long. If we are surrounded by little ones we have to be willing to skip around also or they will leave us behind! Second, I remembered that all learning takes placer in a play environment.

I bring these two thoughts up because I think the greatest gift we can give our children is play, not presents, but play. Why not make Christmas a season of play rather than concentrating on one day of wild disarray? I really believe children would rather spend an hour or two playing with their parents every day than experiencing the thirty minute blur that describes Christmas morning. At the end of the self-absorbed, charge through the perfectly presented presents, most children suffer disappointment. “Is that all? Is there anything else for me?” They feel a void because, in reality, nothing fills us like time well spent in relational interaction.

Maybe, like so many parents, you are simply too exhausted to play with the children. That is alright. When we forge ahead building relationships, filled with praise and music the Spirit of Christmas which is Jesus joins us in our activities

Providing the strength we need.

There we have it, the secnd ‘P’ in ‘purpose’. What is the purpose for the party?
Jesus POINTS to my heart. He UNCOVERS my sins, RAISING my status, and PROVIDING the strength I need to give my children the attention they crave and deserve.

It’s time to turn on the music and fill our hearts and homes with Christmas music and join your children in play.

Here are a few other activities I remember sharing with my sons and children in the neighborhood:

* Give each family member a cozy throw and a pillow to be kept in the family room. These can be used for snuggling, camp outs in the family room, cuddling by the fireplace, or Christmas tree and nativity scene viewing.

*Get creative. Design a special activity each evening to encourage children's good behavior. Our favorite was the game of YONDER STAR. After baths and supper, before bedtime, to encourage quiet and calm in our house I lowered all the lights. My flashlight became YONDER STAR. The boys were the wise men. I traced the ‘star’ across walls and ceilings while little wise men followed the ‘star.’ Some nights the star stopped over the kitchen table where the family pitched a tent and crawled underneath with pillows and cozy blankets. There with our individual flashlights we gazed in amazement at the nativity or Christmas tree. On weekends, depending on my children's behavior during the day I would reward them by letting them "camp out." The next evening the game continued until the star stopped at the nativity scene where we listened to Christmas music and sang carols.

* FINISH THE STORY. One person begins: "The angel came to Mary." Another continues: "Mary was very afraid." Next someone says, "The angel told Mary, Do not fear." Each participant says one sentence until the story is over. This is a good game to play in the car. The game can be "dragged out" by adding interesting details like, "On a beautifully sunny day, Mary went to the river to wash her hair. " Next person adds. "Suddenly a bright light appeared." The object of the game can be to see who says the most sentences. Each person who says a sentence gets a red or green M & M. Once the story ends, the winner is the one with the most candies! Tape these family activities to develop memories and traditions.

J O Y!