The Castle Cure
Tim’s foot hurt. His cast felt hot and itchy, and he was tired of just lying on the couch.
“Mom,” Tim called and waited.
“Mom,” he called again, a little louder. She must be upstairs with the baby, he decided. He looked over the stack of movies she had borrowed from the library. He’d already watched them all—twice. He looked out the window. In the backyard, little Heidi climbed up on her plastic slide while David slid down. Sun lit their hair, and he could hear them laughing. “It’s not fair,” Tim grumbled to no one in particular. He wished his foot wouldn’t ache anymore.
He heard a rumble approaching the house, followed by a loud squeal. The school bus. Soon the front door creaked open, and he heard the thud of backpacks and instrument cases hitting the floor. Brian and Eric are home, he told himself. He listened to their footsteps heading toward the kitchen.
“Hey, Tim,” Brian’s voice said.
Tim couldn’t see him over the back of the couch. “Hi,” he answered quietly.
“Feeling any better?” Brian’s head popped into view.
Tim frowned up at him. “No. And I’m bored.”
“Do you want a snack?” Eric called from the kitchen. “There are lots of frozen treats in here.”
“I’ll have a grape one,” Brian said.
Tim heard a box snap open and wrappers crunch as Eric fished one out.
Tim flinched when the frozen treat hurtled over the couch and bashed against his cast. “Ouch!” he yelled.
Brian grabbed the treat.
“Oops, sorry,” Eric called, taking his treat outside.
“So, have you worked on your castle yet?” Brian asked.
Tim shook his head.
“It’s downstairs.” Tim had crutches, but he wasn’t supposed to use them yet. His bedroom—and everything else downstairs—had been pretty much off-limits since his foot surgery last week.
“Do you want me to get the stuff for you?”
Tim shrugged. The castle was to be made out of tiny plastic blocks of many shapes and colors. Even though the set was brand-new, it would take him hours to find all the pieces he’d need—especially because he wasn’t supposed to even sit up for very long.
“I can help you put it together,” Brian offered. “I don’t have that much homework to do.”
Tim smiled. “Really?”
“Sure. We can build it on this table right by the couch. I’ll hand you the pieces, and you figure out how they fit.”
Brian threw his empty stick into the trash and tromped down the stairs. Tim listened to hear his steps coming back up.
“Here it is.” Brian handed the box to Tim.
“Thanks.” Tim slid his finger between layers of cardboard and opened the box. Inside, the pieces glittered in plastic bags. He handed Brian some colorful pages with pictures and directions.
“Awesome,” Brian said. He moved the box to the table and began sorting blocks. “Here’s one you’ll need for the foundation,” he said, holding it out for Tim.
By the time Dad got home, the castle was almost finished.
“Tim, this looks great!” Dad exclaimed.
“Brian helped a lot,” Tim said.
“Wow, Brian, that was nice of you!” Dad looked at Tim again. “And how’s your foot?”
“Lots better,” Tim said. “I even forgot it hurt.”
Dad patted Brian on the back. “You should be a doctor, Son.”
Brian grinned down at the last few blocks. “We’ll call it the castle cure,” he said.
Plague of Frogs
When Moses asked the pharaoh of Egypt to let the children of Israel go into the wilderness, Pharaoh refused. The Lord sent plagues (many really bad things) to help Pharaoh change his mind. One of these was a plague of frogs. The frogs were everywhere, and the people hated them.
Make your own plague of frogs by gathering several 3″ x 5″ (8 cm x 13 cm) index cards and frog-color crayons and/or markers, then following these steps (see illustrations for each step):
Decorate the blank side of the card with lines, dots, and squiggles.
Fold the card in half the long way with the design on the outside. Then open it back up.
With the blank side facing you, fold the right top corner down to the left edge to make a triangle, then open the card back up.
Do the same on the left top corner to the right edge, then open the card back up.
Turn the card over to the frog-colored side. You will find a folded X on the card. Fold the top half of the card down so that the X is folded in half.
Open the card back up and turn it over to the blank side. Push the sides in and down along the fold lines at the top. Push the top down to form a triangle.
Fold the right flap of the triangle to the center. Do the same with the left flap. This will form a diamond shape.
Fold the right and left flaps to the bottom edges of the diamond. This makes the front legs of the frog.
To start making the back legs, fold the bottom part of the card inward from both sides so that two sides meet in the center.
Fold down the top of the frog just below the diamond shape.
Turn the frog over and fold the bottom part of the frog in half toward you. This gives the frog “knees.”
Turn the finished frog over and make eyes. To make the frog jump, push its back down and quickly let it go. Have your family help you make a plague-sized batch of frogs. Then use them in a family home evening lesson about Moses and the children of Israel. Afterward, your frogs can plague your desk or bookcase. You can also have frog races or jumping contests.
Sparkle Apple Snacks
Mix 1 tablespoon of water with confectioner’s sugar to make a thick frosting. Using a clean paintbrush, paint designs on an apple. Roll the apple in sugar to add extra sparkle.