Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Science of our Choice

I really like Apologia Science. My oldest daughter used Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day in 6th grade. This year we are using General Science. It is a great overview of science and although my daughter isn't thrilled about science--I really like this curriculum.

Knowledge Box Central has a lapbook for General Science that has really helped my daughter to logically lay out the information and remember it.

Donna Young has a link for Apologia General Science that includes a schedule, lab sheets, worksheets and a lot more! She has the whole book laid out into a daily schedule--so helpful!

This link is from a General Science Co-op. The teacher has listed lots of helpful links to the modules along with free downloads.

Apologia is written from a Christian perspective by a homeschool father and university professor. I have been learning right along with my daughter. When my now first grader becomes a better reader, I will start her on the elementary books (probably in third grade). I'm looking forward to going through these books with her (and my little guy, eventually).

Apologia Science works for us! To read other Works for Me Wednesday ideas, visit We are That Family.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Girl is Seven!

My baby girl turned 7 yesterday. We had a wonderful time celebrating her birthday. We aren't huge birthday party people, so we enjoyed ourselves with one other family. We went to a favorite local restaurant and had dinner and ice cream. The place we went to has animals that you can pet as well as a little play ground area. The kids had so much fun running around. I'm thankful for the simple things that bring us joy:
  • baby goats
  • eating ice cream
  • opening hand made gifts
  • hugs from our children
  • laughing with friends

Monday, April 27, 2009

Barriers to Worship

Yesterday at church a local Christian University singing group led us in worship. It was wonderful, convicting and inspiring. The leader of the group gave a 'mini' sermon on the "Barriers to Worship". What keeps us from worshipping God? He gave 3 reasons:
  1. Ignorance--we've never been taught
    Romans 12:1-2 "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."
    Psalm 63:4 "So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands."
    Matthew 15:8-9 "This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me, in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men." It starts in the heart. Don't do in public what you haven't already done at home.
  2. Fear--we are so afraid of being judged. What will others think about us?
    Psalm 40:3 "He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord."
  3. Arrogance--we really don't think our sin is that bad. When we sing about God's amazing love, we aren't convicted or moved to any point because we don't see our sin as ugly, wretchedness before a holy God.
    Isaiah 64:6 "We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind take us away."
Sin is sin. Preach the gospel to yourself every day. Meet Him at the cross.

From the Inside Out

A thousand times I've failed
Still your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
Still I'm caught in your grace

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
my heart and my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Your will above all else, my purpose remains
The art of losing myself in bringing you praise

Jesus Messiah by Chris Tomlin
He became sin
Who knew no sin
That we might become His Righteousness
He humbled himself and carried the cross

Love so amazing
Love so amazing

Jesus Messiah
Name above all names
Blessed Redeemer
The rescue for sinners
The ransom from Heaven
Jesus Messiah
Lord of all

Now do you see why it was so wonderful, yet convicting and inspiring? Jesus, I need You every hour!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

What kind of Legacy?

I've been thinking a lot about what kind of legacy I am leaving. We've grieved the deaths of many close friends and loved ones in the last two years and several in the last month. I can't help but think, "what kind of life am I living and what will be said about me when I am gone?"

At the homeschool conference Mark Hamby quoted someone else: "The world has not seen what God can do through a man wholly committed to Him." I want to be that person wholly committed to Him. Not for my own glory, oh no, that is lonely and empty...for His glory, forever. I live the chorus of Nicole Nordeman's song, "Legacy". "Did I point to You enough? A child of mercy and grace who blessed Your name unapolgetically." That's the legacy I pray that I am leaving.

Legacy by Nicole Nordeman

I don't mind if you've got something nice to say about me
And I enjoy an accolade like the rest
You could take my picture and hang it in a gallery
Of all who's who and so-n-so's that used to be the best
At such'n'such ... it wouldn't matter much

I won't lie, it feels alright to see your name in lights
We all need an 'Atta boy' or 'Atta girl'
But in the end I'd like to hang my hat on more besides
The temporary trappings of this world

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy

I don't have to look too far or too long awhile
To make a lengthly list of all that I enjoy
It's an accumulating trinket and a treasure pile
Where moth and rust, thieves and such will soon enough destroy

Not well traveled, not well read, not well-to-do or well bred
Just want to hear instead, "Well Done" good and faithful one...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Mark Hamby: The Media, The Mind and the Moral Imagination

I had the great privilege of attending the Midwest Homeschool Convention last weekend. It was wonderful to be with friends and go to so many encouraging workshops and lectures. My first session was Mark Hamby of Lamplighter Books. The title of this session was The Media, The Mind and the Moral Imagination. You can find his power point here. I thought I would type out some of my notes in order to 1) share them with you and 2) catch what I missed because I was busy taking notes. :)

If character is not engaged our children won't go far in their spiritual pilgrimage.
Luke 1:17 "to make ready a people prepared for the Lord".
You are what you read.
A mind oversaturated by media has decreased capacity for creative imagination, concentration and delayed gratification. The formation of mental pictures and imaginative play does not come easy as parents find these children apathetic and unmotivated to join in group and outside play.
Too much media misconstrues reality and the supernatural is blocked. Knowledge helps free us from things that bog us down.
There is a link between violence and viewing any television.
Violence begets violence.
We need to help our children find their God-given talents and help them practice their skills.
We are created in the image of God. We need to be upset and offended at what offends God. Ironically, while audiences long for reality in their media, their own lives are becoming less real. Instead of actively participating in life--sports, art, outdoor play, etc. children in our culture watch other people do things with increasing hope that what they watch will be 'real'.
"If we educate a man's mind but not his heart, we have educated a barbarian." Theodore Roosevelt.

"What fires together, wires together."
Reading teaches us to think in a logically connected way.
Media can't take the place of the written word.

book recommendations:
Culture-Wise Family by Dr. Ted Baehr
The Vanishing Word by Arthur Hunt
Amusing ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I've been ever so grateful for numerous things in the last couple weeks. Here's a simple list in no particular order:

Daily Bread (and much more)
friends who are like family
Freedom to homeschool our kids
The love of my Hunny
Working vehicles
The Word of God that meets me where I am all the while urging me to be more
My sisters
hugs from my kids

In a fallen world, it is easy for me to lose my perspective. God is on His Throne, He is in control, He is sovereign. God knows our frame. He knows my mind and heart can take a downward turn in the daily-ness of daily living. He knows that I'm compassionate and sensitive toward others and that sometimes I can take the burdens of others on myself. My desire is to look toward heaven, realizing that this is not my home. My desire is to keep my focus on the Author and Finisher of my faith. My desire is to lay my burdens and the burdens of others down at His feet.

Thank You God for today.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Feathered Friend of a Different Sort

I love this little birdie. She even has a tail in back. I found the pattern here on Bitter Sweet's blog. It wasn't too difficult to crochet. I'm hoping to make a whole flock.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Goodness

Celebrating Easter was especially meaningful this year. Thinking about how God sent His Son to die on the cross was extremely difficult for me. As I posted here about my Momma heart, I'm struggling with the pain parents go through watching their child suffer. Therefore, Christ's death seized my heart. Only God could have done what He did. Then, celebrating His Resurrection was overwhelming. How wonderful, how marvelous!

At church we sang "In Christ Alone" which was also one of the songs at Sarah's Memorial service. Gripping...

"In Christ Alone"
Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2001 Kingsway Thankyou Music

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.
Each year, we try to get our kids something meaningful for Easter. This year we were able to buy them each a Bible. Interestingly enough, they each needed one.

For Trenton, who will be 4 in the summer, we got this Bible, My First Study Bible. He had completely worn out his Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes, by Kenneth Taylor. We read that to him at nap and bedtime and he would sit and look through it by himself. He would even tell me stories page after page.

For Bethany, who will be 7 in 2 weeks (!), we bought NIrV Kids Study Bible. She already declared that she loves her new Bible.

For our 13 year old, Marissa, we bought a NIV Thinline Bible with a brown and sea blue cover. She also has mentioned that she loves her new Bible.

I'm really thankful that we had coupons for this purchase! I'm so thankful that we were able to buy the kids these Bibles, and on Easter--special memories. My prayer for my kids is that they will wear out these Bibles too! I don't remember the exact quote, but I remember someone saying "If your Bible is falling apart, it probably means your life is not." :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Homemade Pretzels

We made homemade pretzels today. This is the first time I've made them.
I used this recipe:
1 1/3 water
2 T. butter
1 1/2T. sugar
3/4 t. salt
4 c. flour
2 1/2 t. yeast

I put the ingredients in my bread machine on dough cycle. I was going to use this recipe, but I really wanted to use my bread machine.

I let Bethany and Trenton help roll the dough and shape them into pretzels. We have some interesting looking pretzels, just to say.

Now they are rising and then this is what I'm supposed to do:
In a cast iron or other nonaluminum pan, bring water and baking soda (1 1/2 teas.) almost to a boil. Gently lower (by hand or slotted spoon) pretzels into water for about 1 minute, turning once. Do not let water come to a full boil. Remove pretzels and return to greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt or Kosher salt. Bake in a preheated 475 degree oven for about 12 minutes.

Edited recipe: I had to add more water than the 1 1/3 cups. I just added it slowly as my bread machine was mixing until the dough looked right.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Meal Plan for the Week

I've found that a meal plan makes our week go so much smoother. Keeps me on track and, of course, stops the "AHH, it's 5 o'clock and I have no idea what's for dinner" syndrome.

So here's the plan for this week:
Monday: Pasta Meatball Soup
Tuesday: Parmesan Chicken Sticks and Salad
Wednesday: Breakfast for Supper
Thursday: Stir-fry Chicken and veggies
Friday: BBQ Chicken in the crock pot, rice and salad
Saturday: Homemade pizza (I'm going to try this recipe for the dough.)

I made this plan before my good friend, Melanie shared this website with me: $5 Dinners. The gal who writes this blog goes to church with Melanie and her blog has gained national attention. I'm going to enjoy perusing her recipes and seeing what I can add to our menu.

We are going to make pretzels this week too as part of our Lent activities. From what I've read, homemade pretzels originated as a Lenten treat and their twisted shape suggested arms crossed in prayer. I'm going to use this recipe.

Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more fantastic meal plans.

Baby Kate a.k.a. crocheted doll

I've been working on "Baby Kate" for two months. This is my first project like this, always before I've done blankets, dish cloths and the like. I felt a little bit like Gepetto as I watched her 'come to life'. I found the pattern in The Big Book of Weekend Crochet by Hilary Mackin and Sue Whiting. I'm not sure where the "weekend" part comes in, maybe I'm just slow. It was a very rewarding project though.

She kind of looks like a football player here...sorry, but I wanted you to see the cute little button.

The name "Kate" comes from our sweet friend, Sarah Katharine, who died two weeks ago today. Baby Kate will soon belong to our neighbor's little girl, Alea. I babysit her a couple days a month and have done so since she was about 10 weeks old. Alea loves all items crochet. She loves to put her little fingers in the holes and she sleeps with two such items, lovingly called "binks". She turned two the first week of March, however Baby Kate didn't have a dress yet. After a day and a half of sitting on the couch with my sick little girl, Kate's dress is finished. Alea is going to love her. :)

The Comforts of Friendship

The roads we sometimes travel
Often have uncertain ends
But beneath the dust and gravel
We find comfort in our friends
For just like a torch to shoulder
Their hearts guide us on a trail
Where the sunlight is much bolder
And our spirit can prevail.

Like a rainbow, ‘cross the valley
On an early springtime day
Friends allow our souls to rally
From the saddened shades of gray
Their comfort lasts for the duration
Through each reassuring glance
And provides a warm sensation
Regardless of the circumstance.

As we journey down life's freeway
Often rocky, rough and steep
And find choices we must survey
For the good or bad they reap
We shall find comfort forever
Resting in the seat beside
For our friends shall leave us, never
On this blessed, earthen ride.

© 2005 - Jill Eisnaugle's Poetry Collection

Saturday, April 4, 2009

My Momma heart...

My baby girl woke up at 4:30 a.m. with a 103.5 fever! It took a few minutes for the sleepy fog to clear my brain, but after that I sprung into action. As I was tending to her, despite her fever, sweetness was spilling out of her...

Bethany: Momma I'm sorry I woke you up.
Me: No, Bethany. You are sick and you did the right thing. You know you can wake me up anytime for any reason.
Bethany: Give me a kiss, Momma.

My Momma heart melted as I kissed her hot little cheek.

At some point in between refreshing the wet cloths and praying for her, I realized that a big part of my sadness over Sarah's death is the deep ache I feel for her parents. My Momma heart is broken for them. The sorrow I feel for them throws me at the feet on the One who is our Shepherd, Refuge and Savior. Please scoop them up in Your arms and tend their hurt, grief and sorrow.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dance with Me

I don't know about you, but I can't dance. There, I admitted it. My hunny, now, he can dance. Not me though. We met a little girl (almost 3 y.o.) this past weekend who was very friendly and huggy. She hugged all the other little people she met including my Trenton. Trenton didn't quite know what to do with her... he loves to sing, play drums, dance, etc. Still she took him off-guard.

She bounded up to him and poised her hands on him like she'd taken dance lessons all her life. One hand on his shoulder and one on his waist... then she said, "Dance with me!" As he was trying to duck and run away, she tightened her grip on his shoulder. Makes me smile just to remember it.

Finally he broke away and really began to run from her, she pursued, as only a two year old could do. Much laughing and running continued until I stopped Trenton and told him that if he didn't want her chasing him to just say, "No, thank you." His response: "I don't want her chasing me, but I kinda like it." oh. dear. me.

Here's Trenton playing his old guitar...a year ago.
I tried to find a dancing picture, but couldn't come up with one.

There's another kind of dancing that I've been thinking about lately; in fact dance was almost one of my words for last year. The words of this song grip my heart every time I hear it:

Chris Rice - Untitled Hymn (Come To Jesus) Lyrics

Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!

Now your burden's lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain, so
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!

And like a newborn baby
Don't be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk
Sometimes we
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!

O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can't contain your joy inside, then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory's side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!
My heart's desire is to live for Him and to glorify Him. I want to know Him, find my significance in Him and have a deep abiding joy that makes me dance for Jesus. God is so good. I'm amazed again and again at His mercy and love for me. I can fall on Him when I screw up (which certainly happens), I can cry to Him when the pain is great and I can dance for Him when I can't contain my joy. What a wonderful God we serve.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Heather Meets FaceBook

So I joined the Facebook family...eerr...facebook people, network, whatever. I'm still not entirely sure what to think of it. I mean, really, I'm chatting with people on Facebook that live 15 minutes down the road...I know more of what's going on in their lives from reading their facebook pages than from actually talking to them. Is that good?

I still haven't decided.

What has been fun is connecting with people I knew a long time ago--you know, like in high school. It's been fun in an interesting kind of way. Not even sure if I can explain it. Being friends with college buddies and long lost friends has been neat.

So on to the next neat thing about facebook--when Sarah died her facebook lit up with friends saying good bye to her and leaving condolences for the family. Astounding. I think it gave people an outlet for expressing their grief and sharing their grief with others who love and knew her.

If you are on Facebook, do you like it? If so, what do you like about. Educate me on the benefits of Facebook. :) Okay, well until they come up with some technology that will make homemade meals, I'd better get supper going.