Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Another Celebrated Dancing Bear

Bethany and I have been reading the book "Another Celebrated Dancing Bear" this week. The main lesson plan comes from Five in a Row Volume 1. We are having a good time with this fun book. The story is about two bears who are best friends. One of the bears is a dancer with the Russian circus.

So far we have learned about Russia--using books from the library, maps and our geography book, talked about the calendar and making/keeping appointments, talked about the different vocabulary words ("glum", "greeted with a wave", etc.) and reviewed what we learned about bears (from early this month).
Tomorrow we will work on time and occupations with a spot of tea in the afternoon. Come join us, won't you?

I've found a couple sites that have some good ideas and have them listed below.

Someone's lap book pictures of the book.

Another homeschooler's ideas and plans for this book. Lots of good links.

Learning and Loving

God has brought to my attention time and time again the importance of loving Him with all my heart, soul and mind. I can be overwhelmed by this thought and by pondering what it means, how do I get myself to stop thinking about me and love HIM.

Well, one big way is by showing love to those around me. The book Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas is very good. It's giving me much to think about.

From the book:
Mark Twain tells the sobering tale about deeply exploring the Mississippi River he loved so very much. After virtually memorizing the river's bends, twists, and turns, and navigating its waters with rapt admiration, he chagrined to wake up one day and find that the river had lost much of its poetry. The mystery of that mighty waterway had been replaced with a boring predictability. He had literally loved his love out of that river.

Every marriage goes through this stage. An enrapturing love quiets down to a predictable routine. The mystery is replaced with an almost comical familiarity--the wife knows exactly how the husband will sit on the couch, the husband knows exactly how his wife will answer the phone.
As our partners and their weaknesses become more familiar to us, respect often becomes harder to give. But this failure to show respect is a sign of spiritual immaturity more than an inevitable pathway of marriage. Consider Paul as he wrote to the Corinthians. Even though he was addressing a church full of quarrelers (I Cor. 1:11), unlearned and simple people (1:26), "worldly" infants (3:1-3), arrogant egocentrics (4:18), a man sleeping with his father's wife (5:1), greedy men suing fellow believers (6:1) and childish thinkers (14:20), he still honors them by saying, "I always thank God for you..." (1:4). He knew them well enough to be familiar with all their faults, yet he continued to be thankful for them. Why? The key is found in the second half of verse 4: "I always thank God for you because of his grace given to you in Christ Jesus".

...spend more time looking for evidences of grace than finding fault. Giving respect is an obligation, not a favor, it is an act of maturity, birthed in a profound understanding of God's good grace.

(Taken from pages 56-57)

Now, that just gives a girl a lot to think about. How often do I think more about how my husband irritates me than looking at the way he is a testimony on his job, or how he reads and prays with the kids, or how he hugs me and tells me he loves me, or how he thanks me for taking such good care of our kids and home?? These are the evidences of grace...the good work of Christ in his life. Think on these things. Like Mark Twain and his love of the river, I surely don't want the mystery of my marriage and my man to be replaced with boring predictability.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Catch all post

I have a couple things to post about and thought I'd do it all in one big post. ;)

I'm learning to knit and am hosting a group of sweet girls at my home once a week to learn knitting. No, no, I'm not teaching them...a good friend of mine is. She is doing a great job with all of us. My baby boy loves it because he thinks the knitting needles are drum sticks! He has successfully taken out all my work and Marissa's work so far. We are learning to hide our knitting when we are not working on it.

I borrowed a book from the library called Quick Crochet Huge Hooks. This book has some great projects in it. Currently I'm working on a rag rug using strips of fabric, crocheting them together. Hopefully it will be a wedding present for a friend of ours. I'll post a picture of it when I'm closer to being done. Oh, that reminds me, I'd better renew the book at the library!

I'm reading a couple books right now--why can't I just read one at a time?? I'm still working my way through The Holiness of God by RC Sproul. I recently started Sacred Marriage by Gary L. Thomas. It has been thought provoking. I'll try to share some notes from the book as I go.

The Lord provided a way for me to join a small group Bible study at church. It starts this Wednesday and we are going through the book Seeking Him by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I haven't had an opportunity to look through this book/workbook. But I'm looking forward to the study.

The other day I pulled a book off the shelf called A Woman's High Calling by Elizabeth George. I turned to the chapter on marriage and took these notes:

*Side note: she acknowledges that some husbands are difficult to love, however that doesn't excuse us from obeying God's Word and seeking to love our husbands.

1. Make the choice to love your husband. A choice to love your husban is most definitely a choice that will benefit both him and you. A choice to love your husband is also a choice to love God by obeying His high calling of Titus 2:4. It is a choice that honors the Lord and is a testimony to His glory.

2. Make a choice to love your husband before or ahead of your children. (Not a choice to love your husband and NOT love your children...just setting priorities.) Make sure with all the busyness and activity that children generate that loving your husband doesn't get crowded out.

3. Submit yourself to be "taught" to love your husband. The role of the older women in the body of Christ is to teach the young women the necessity of loving their husbands and the "how-to's" of such love.

4. Set up a prayer book or prayer page for your husband. Then commit yourself to pray daily for him. Prayer for your husband releases the power of God, for prayer is asking God to do what you cannot do.

5. Write a letter to God--expressing your desire to be a wife who majors on loving her husband.

6. Cultivate willful love--listen to God's Word and not our feelings

7. Listen to God's Word, not the world

8. Read daily on marriage

9. Do the works of love heartily (Colossians 3:23)

10. Do all to the glory of God

11. Confess any bitterness of heart (Hebrews 12:15)

12. Learn to ask your husband--little things can say a lot. Asking your husband before you commit yourself to something (whatever it may be) shows consideration for your husband. It shows a willingness to cultivate and defer to our husband's leadership.

13. Put your husband first, even ahead of yourself. Philippians 2:3-4

This list will never be complete--our works of love are unending.


On to the regular scheduled blog....

I read a great little article about some Valentine's ideas to do with your family. The article can be found here. Family Life Today's Family Room has good articles and ideas; check them out.

This evening I'm going scrapbooking. It's been a looonnnggg time since I went. Maybe even since the girl gave me the gum with the chewable wrapper. I don't anticipate anything that exciting happening tonight. Although my friend, Deb (yes, the same one who dared me to eat the gum wrapper), got a new tool (toy) for Christmas. I'm not sure what it can do, but I've been assured that it is cool.

My kids were the recipients of several great Christmas gifts. One in particular was this CD...called Seeds Family Worship--Courage. The actual Scriptures are put to music--upbeat and uplifting. My kids love this CD and I like it too.

Well, my last bit of "catch up" was to post a couple pictures. But I've tried a couple times and the connection has timed out. With dial-up posting pictures is a hassle. However the good part is, I've posted on just about everything I wanted to!

Happy Friday!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

Praising God for of the little ones in our family. So much to be thankful for...
God has given me so many reminders of the importance of making the most of every day and trusting Him for each day's strength and needs. I cannot ignore these reminders (of course, God doesn't want me to either).

He is Creator, Sustainer and Lord of our lives.

I read a great blog entry* on the meaning of this Sunday for this family-- the wife has Cystic Fibrosis and has just given birth to a sweet, precious little girl. Pray for this family as they go through these trials. Their faith is strong and their testimony is all for the glory of God.

*(The entry is a two-parter starting January 19th.)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Winnie the Pooh Party

Today is A.A. Milne's birthday. So in his honor, we are having a Winnie the Pooh Party. (Fun little parties are a great way to shake off the "winter blah's". )

Here is a link to a kid's level biography of the author.

A more detailed biography with lots of old photographs.

A site with all sorts of Pooh related stuff. Including a page for teachers--ideas of how to use Winnie the Pooh with lessons.

Some preschool activities using Eeyore including a donkey template.

Some quotes:
“My spelling is Wobbly. It's good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.”

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"
"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"
"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully.
"It's the same thing," he said.”

“Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." Christopher Robin to Pooh

Have a fun Winnie the Pooh Day!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Happy Anniversary to My Hunny

In honor of our 13th wedding anniversary, I thought I'd list 13 reasons I love my Hunny. (These will be in no particular order.)

1. My Hunny continues to love me even though so often I'm unlovely.
2. He has a hilarious sense of humor.
3. He is passionate about his Lord and Savior.
4. He loves our children and puts their needs before his own. (Yep, he's the first one to get up in the night with them.)
5. He supports my creative pursuits and appreciates the way I strive to make our house a home.
6. He encourages me to have time to myself and tries to make ways for the two of us to have time alone.
7. He enjoys lots of types of music and dances with our kids around the house.
8. He senses when one of the kids (or I) need extra cuddle time with him and he will sit with that person hugging and whispering sweet nothings.
9. He takes care of our house and vehicles.
10. He works extremely hard to provide for us.
11. He loves and cares for our extended family members.
12. He thinks I'm pretty...and funny.
13. He has honored the commitment we made to each other 13 years ago.

Happy Anniversary, Hunny.

My Music Boy

My little boy loves music. He loves everything that has to do with music...drums, microphone, piano, and the guitar--just to name a few. Playing and singing with passion, he impresses us with his 'moves'.

The world is his stage. Whether it be the small toy box, the portable file box, the plastic kids' table, he is standing on it belting out "Jesus loves me" or strumming his guitar.

One day, I was telling my friend about it and we laughed at his antics. However when she saw him in person, of course he was off playing with the other kids, too busy to play the guitar for his fans.

So, Margie, if you are reading this...this is for you. :)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sisterly Love

Bethany lovingly declared:

"When I grow up, I'm going to marry my brother. "

Brown Bear, Brown Bear

This week, Bethany and I are doing a unit study on Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin, Jr. and illustrated by Eric Carle.
We've gone over the book once a day and by now, Bethany 'reads' it to me. Here is a list of things we've studied along with the book.
  • color words
  • sentences and end marks--period and question mark
  • long /e/
  • grizzly bears
  • polar bears
  • panda bears
  • addition and subtraction with teddy bear counters
  • graphing with gummy bears

I had several ideas and activities in my file cabinet and I found several more online.
Below are some links I thought were worth checking out.

Hubbard's Cupboard
--lots of ideas and plenty of links to get you going.
DLTK's book break--more ideas and free printable templates
AtoZ Teacher Stuff--resources and lesson plans

Monday, January 7, 2008

Getting back into a routine

Today was our first day back to school and some sort of routine. I worked some of the weekend trying to get lessons planned, chores mapped out and my life in order (ha! that would take much more than a weekend!) But anyway, we made the best of the day--but people, it was a hard day. We were all struggling. I heard this song over the weekend and it has been a great reminder...

Michael English - The Only Thing Good In Me

I heard someone say the other day
They’d seen in me true love displayed
Blessed by something I had done for them
No sooner did they speak those words
I found myself somehow disturbed
Uneasy as I took their compliment
‘Cause I know the heart inside this man
I know the truth of who I am

The only thing that’s good in me is Jesus
The only thing that’s good in me is Jesus
I’ve lived long enough to know
No matter what this life may show
The only thing that’s good in me is Jesus

If you could walk the hallways of my heart
And see things as they really are
I wonder if you might be surprised
Seeing faded walls of pride and fear
Rooms I’ve filled with faithless tears
And corners where I’ve stood in compromise
But you’d see the work His grace has done
You’d know just how far I’ve come


In a thousand years
When the dust of this world clears
And I look back on my life
And see in perfect light

The words to this song are so me--especially the 2nd verse. I'm thankful for His grace and mercy in my life. He is the only good in me.

My blogging goal is to be back to regular posts real soon (like by the end of this week). I have fun things to share about homeschool plans, craft projects, yummy recipes and more!

Note: lyrics were found here.