Monday, December 19, 2005

Our First Try At Making A No-Sew Fleece Blanket...

Our First Try At Making A No-Sew Fleece Blanket...

I have a beautiful story to tell you.

My hubby's great grandmother made each of her great-grandchildren a baby quilt when they were 'on-the-way'. We have four baby blankets, one she made my oldest daughter to fit her twin size bed when she was about 3 with a matching pillow, and a big quilt she made for us when we got married.

She is now in a nursing home and no longer able to do much. In fact, the last time I saw her she kept repeating the same questions over and over, asking for family that wasn't there and even for one that had died years earlier.

We were telling the kids about their blankets the other day when one of their cousins came over to spend the night and he brought his blanket from great-granny. Since then, none of our little ones have put their blankets down. They sleep with them every night and carry them around throughout the day.

Soon after telling them about great-granny our 6 year old son came to me and asked if he could buy her a ring. I told him that was very sweet and thoughtful of him, but great-granny can't wear jewelry anymore. He then asked me if we could make her a blanket like she had made us. He even had tears in his eyes. What a tender heart that little guy has.

So, we made our first 'no-sew' fleece blanket today (since we don't own a sewing machine... boo hoo... and so everyone could help make it). The kids picked out the two pieces of fleece we used. They said the yellow would bring her a little sunshine each day. *sniff sniff*

We were going to take it to her tonight because a group from our church is going there to sing Christmas carols to the residents, but we have two sickies... one being daddy! So we have decided to go later in the week, hopefully before Christmas.

Here's a picture of how it turned out. I'll post more when we actually get to take it to her.

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Father's Love Letter

My Child,

You may not know me, but I know everything about you... Psalm 139:1 I know when you sit down and when you rise up... Psalm 139:2 I am familiar with all your ways... Psalm 139:3 Even the very hairs on your head are numbered... Matthew 10:29-31

For you were made in my image... Genesis 1:27 In me you live and move and have your being... Acts 17:28 For you are my offspring... Acts 17:28 I knew you even before you were conceived... Jeremiah 1:4-5 I chose you when I planned creation... Ephesians 1:11-12 You were not a mistake...Psalm 139:15-16 For all your days are written in my book... Psalm 139:15-16 I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live... Acts17:26

You are fearfully and wonderfully made... Psalm 139:14 I knit you together in your mother's womb... Psalm 139:13 And brought you forth on the day you were born... Psalm 71:6

I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me... John 8:41-44 I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love... 1 John 4:16 And it is my desire to lavish my love on you... 1 John 3:1 Simply because you are my child and I am your Father... 1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could... Matthew 7:11 For I am the perfect Father... Matthew 5:48 Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand... James 1:17 For I am your provider and I meet all your needs... Matthew 6:31-33

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope... Jeremiah 29:11 Because I love you with an everlasting love... Jeremiah 31:3 My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore... Psalm 139:17-18 And I rejoice over you with singing... Zephaniah 3:17

I will never stop doing good to you... Jeremiah 32:40 For you are my treasured possession... Exodus 19:5 I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul... Jeremiah 32:41 And I want to show you great and marvelous things... Jeremiah 33:3

If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me... Deuteronomy 4:29 Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart... Psalme 37:4 For it is I who gave you those desires... Philippians 2:13 I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine... Ephesians 3:20 For I am your greatest encourager... 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles... 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you... Psalm 34:18 As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart... Isaiah 40:11 One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes... Revelation 21:3-4 And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth... Revelation 21:4

I am your Father and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus... John 17:23 For in Jesus my love for you is revealed... John 17:26 He is the exact representation of my being... Hebrews 1:3 And He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you... Romans 8:31 And to tell you that I am not counting your sins... 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled... 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you... 1 John 4:10 I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love... Romans 8:32

If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me... 1 John 2:23 And nothing will ever separate you from my love again... Romans 8:38-39 Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen... Luke 15:7 I have always been Father and will always be Father... Ephesians 3:14-15

My question is... Will you be my child?... John 1:12-13 I am waiting for you... Luke 15:11-32


Your Father

Almighty God

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Another Celebrated Dancing Bear

Another Celebrated Dancing Bear

November 7-11, 2005

We started this week out with finding Russia on the map. Gosh how it looked SO far away. 2ds6 even knew right away, before we found it on the map, that Russia is way on the other side of the world from us. But then we started looking at Russia on our globe and noticed that actually, if we flew from our home to California, then on to Alaska, that we could simply hop on a boat and sail right to Russia! That seemed much closer than flying all the way around the world. We then colored a map and made flags of Russia.

For Language Arts we first went over some words from the book that were new to us (czar, elegant, glum, samovar, magnificent, jealous, audience, marvelous, embraced, pyramid, and comical). Now when we hear these words again, we’ll know just what they mean! We also talked about how it is important to take your time in titling your stories in order to have one that is just perfect and not one that had no thought go in to it. And lastly, we noticed how the author used some ‘descriptive writing’ to make the characters more interesting. We played with this for just a bit, coming up with more descriptive ways of saying things.

With many of the books we’ve read, we’ve noticed that several places around the world have a piece of architecture that, when we see it, tells us where that book or movie or story is taking place. For example, we’ve studied the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, the Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, and the Statue of Liberty in New York City. So with this book we looked at the onion-shaped tops to many Russian buildings. We looked at pictures in several different books, then drew our own picture of them. 3ds5 said instead of onions the roofs look like ‘chocolate’, meaning Hershey’s Kisses! Mom thought that was very observant of him. Now when we see these ‘Hershey Kiss-topped buildings’, we’ll know we’re looking at Russia!

And finally, we remembered that Max and Boris would put the samovar on to boil to make tea, so we talked about how water can be a solid, a liquid, or a gas. We pretended we were the molecules in the water in each of these forms and moved as they would depending upon what state they were in. We also ate ‘strawberry preserves on brown bread’ and mom and 3ds5 were even brave and tasted tea, but it’s safe to say that we are not a tea-drinking family!

A Pair of Red Clogs

A Pair of Red Clogs

September 19-23, 2005

On Monday, we found Japan on the map and then also on the globe. On our flat map it looked like Japan was so very far away from the United States, but with the globe we saw that if we sailed west we could get there much quicker. We also did a map worksheet on Japan to help reinforce our map skills and we made and colored the flag of Japan. Lastly, we recalled what an ‘island’ is from some of our other Five In A Row stories and discovered that Japan is indeed a country and an island!

On Tuesday we talked about ‘reminiscing’. We each thought about something that happened to us when we were younger and then told our story. 2ds6 and 3ds5 dictated their stories to mom and she wrote them for them. 3ds5’s story was about getting his friend, Mr. Bear, when he spent a week in the hospital. He was admitted on his 2nd birthday. 2ds6’s story was about having surgery when he was four and being ‘King’ for the day! Mommy then told a story about when she was a little girl. We had fun ‘reminiscing’ and sharing our stories like the grandmother does in A Pair of Red Clogs.

For art, we looked closely at how the illustrator blended different colors to achieve new colors and we tried the same thing with paint. It was really cool to watch yellow and blue make green, red and yellow make orange, and red and blue make purple! We then used our new colors to paint pictures. We also talked about how, if we want our pictures to have a ‘warm’ feeling we can use warm colors such as oranges and reds and browns, like the colors in the fire in the book.

For our science lesson we learned about predicting weather. We watched the weather on the news each evening and recorded what the weather man said it was going to be the next day, then waited to see if he was right! We talked about what weather each season brings and how weathermen can predict what weather is coming and what they use to do this.

And just to end the week on a fun note we went outside and played the ‘weather-telling game’ with our shoes. Needless to say, it didn’t snow, as many flips of our shoes indicated it would! We had a lot of fun doing this and we laughed so much!

Monday, September 12, 2005


*Monday- We found Ohio on the map and did a map worksheet on Ohio, which had geography-type questions on it also, helping improve our map skills. We talked about memorials and monuments and what they represent. It was very easy to tie in our soldiers that are fighting right now for our freedom in Iraq.

*Tuesday- We talked about what the 'climax' of a story is and found the climax of Lentil. We then drew a 'hill' showing how a story starts out (the first side of the mountain), reaches a climax (the top of the hill), and then ends (the other side of the mountain). We thought about some of the other books we've rowed in the past and some movies we have watched and decided what we thought would be the climax of each.

*Wednesday- For art we looked closely at the illustrations and each made a guess as to what the illustrator used as his medium for the book. We discovered he actually used charcoal, something none of us guessed! We then got out a piece of charcoal and tried drawing our own picture. It wasn't too easy, but it was pretty interesting and new.

*Thursday- We learned all about our taste buds and made little folding/pop-out mouths with tongues! We also did a paper where we labled where the different taste buds are on our tongue. To test out our own taste buds, we had our first experience at tasting a lemon, then used the rest of the lemons to make our own homemade lemonade. We also talked briefly about 'tone' and how sounds get absorbed into carpet and furniture, but in the bathroom sounds 'bounce' and thus 'the tone is improved 100%'!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Story About Ping

Monday: We found China and the Yangtze River on the map and saw on the globe that China is WAAAAAYYYY on the other side of the world from us! We did a map worksheet on China that mom got from Enchanted Learning, and we talked about how everything that seems good may not actually be good.

Tuesday: We learned what a 'classic' story is and saw that The Story About Ping is a classic because it was written in 1933 and is still loved by children today. We charted this year, along with all of our birth dates on a timeline. We also learned the difference between 'fiction' and 'non-fiction'.

Wednesday: We looked at the illustrations from Ping and decided that the medium the illustrator used must have been mostly crayons, and that there is a lot of blending of colors in this book. Then we blended colors to make our own Yangtze River on a blank sheet of paper and used a duck stamp and yellow paint to stamp ducks onto our River. 2ds6 then remembered how we talked about how to make it appear that something is in water and he did this to his picture.

Thursday: We started out by placing a duck on our Animal Kingdom poster under 'Vertebrates: Bird', and then we colored a picture of ducks and labeled them either 'duck' for the mommy duck, 'drake' for the daddy duck, and 'duckling' for the baby duck. Then we did a buoyancy experiment where we first poured maple syrup in a clear glass, then added a layer of vegetable oil, then water. We watched as the water and oil traded places, and then dropped in a grape, which floated on the syrup layer, a cork, which floated on the oil level, and a piece of wax candle, which also floated on the oil level but we THOUGHT would float on the water level. Oh well. Such is science, right?

Friday: We went to the parkand fed the ducks. We saw lots of drakes (male ducks) and ducks (female ducks), as well as many ducklings. We even got to watch one fly (while quacking loudly) right over our heads! 3ds5 didn't even know ducks could fly he said! While we were there, we played at the playground for a little while before heading to the local Chinese restaurant to pick up some chopsticks and fortune cookies. They had a HUGE picture of the Great Wall of China, so that was a really cool bonus! We then came home and ate our fortune cookies and home-made Yangtze River lemonade with rubber ducks floating in it to represent Ping and a couple of his family members (we couldn't fit his mother and his father and two sisters and three brothers and eleven aunts and seven uncles and forty-two cousins in the bowl)! We also tried to eat with chopsticks, which everyone but mom learned how to do! 2ds6 had the best idea though... he picked up his piece of hot dog by piercing it with the chopstick! But he did eventually get the hang of how to use them.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Oh My!

I had the distinct pleasure of going out all alone today! I'm sure you other mommies know exactly what I mean when I say that I had a huge smile on my face as I cascaded out the front door like I was really somebody important!

Where was I going you might ask? Well, none other than the local Kroger of course! True, it was only to pick up pop for the hubby and juice for the kiddies, but I was ALONE! It was QUIET all the way there, and all the way back! Pure bliss. Ahhhhhhh......

However! While AT Kroger, well, THAT'S a whole other story.

As I gracefully and elegantly guided my buggy (that's what we call 'em here in the country, ya' know) into the lovely check-out lane, still smiling like I knew a glorius secret no one else knew, I suddenly heard...

I WAN DA CA... I WAN DA CA... I WAN DA CA... I WAN DA CA... I WAN DA CA... I WAN DA CA... I WAN DA CA... I WAN DA CA... I WAN DA CA... I WAN DA CA... I WAN DA CA... I WAN DA CA... (hold on, let me count how many that is.....ok, 12, only 45 more to go...)

Ok, so I'll spare you the full, wonderful experience. But about four check-outs over was a mommy and her, I'd say, 2 year old son. If I was guessing, I would say that this little angel must and yelled, not screamed mind you, but yelled this phrase AT LEAST 57 times, over and over and over and over and over and over and over. Non-stop. I don't even think he took a breath! It was one of those forceful yells with a tad bit of 'whaa haa' behind it. You know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, I had no idea WHAT this kid was saying. But I did hear the mom saying, 'We're not going to be here that long' a couple of times, in, surprisingly, a very calm voice! Let me tell you, THIS momma would NOT be talking in a very calm voice. Granted, no one else but my dear son would be hearing what I was saying or how I was saying it, but I can promise you, it wouldn't have been with a smile. Not a sincere one anyway.

Come to find out, what this little boy was actually saying was, 'I want the car'. The reason I know this is because as soon as the mother was finished checking out, they were about to pass a buggy that is in the form of a 'car' that children can ride in and she was again telling him that they weren't staying in the store long enough. Oh my, that was the wrong thing to say.

And, what does this unbelievably calm mommy do? Well, she does what any loving mommy would do...


WHAT?!?!?! I could NOT believe what I had just seen! There is NO WAY on God's green earth that that child would have been allowed to even LOOK at that car buggy let alone SIT in it had he been mine! His bottom would have been so sore when we got home that he wouldn't have been ABLE to sit in one... EVER!

But suddenly, the store was remarkably quiet. We watched the happy mother and son walk out, or should I say, the mom walked while angel-boy got pushed out in the beloved car buggy. But what do you think happened as soon as they got to their car and she had to put him in the car?

Now, you may think that the sole purpose of this whole story is to down this mother and her son. Not at all. God's been teaching me a WHOLE lot in that area.

No, rather, this little incident got me to thinking.

The past year and a half has been the hardest my husband and I have ever lived. You see, because of my husband standing up for the right thing instead of agreeing to more-or-less take part in some things that weren't exactly ethical, he lost his job. No big deal. He was doing the right thing so naturally God would provide another job, right? Well, that is right, but little did we know at the time that it would take 17 months for that job to come.

How often in those 17 months must I have sounded to God just how that little boy sounded to me today? "Goooooood, I waaaaaannnnnttttt you to send another joooooooobbbbbbb, nooooooooowwwwwwww". "Pleeeeeaaaaaasssse". "We neeeeeeeeeddddd another joooooobbbbb". "Booooo hooooooo hoooooo". Or as this little boy so matter-of-factly put it, "I WAN DA JOB. I WAN DA JOB. I WAN DA JOB".

But, at the same time, how often must God have looked down at me, just as this mother did to her son, and smile and say, "But you're not going to be in this place long". Just as I'm sure those 10 minutes that little boy was in the store felt like an eternity to him, those 17 months felt like they would NEVER end for us. But, in the end, what did God do? He looked down at us and smiled, gently picked us up, and set us in the place we wanted to be. And it feels so good.

Now if only we could learn to trust that when those times come when we're plucked up and set somewhere we don't want to be, that our loving Heavenly Father has a plan to set us back into the place we're to be, a place of true peace and happiness... in His time.

Does this mean that I look at this little incident differently now than how I did when I was actually witnessing it? Heavens no! I'da busted his little tail faster than you can say I WAN DA CA! And he SURE wouldn't have gotten to sit in DA CA.

But what I am saying is that I want to always be willing to let the Lord teach me to be more like him through any situation that may present itself, regardless of how it looks to these human eyes.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

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