Sunday, April 29, 2012

the ten plagues

We are nearing the end of our Sunday School year so I thought I would share what we've been up to recently as we make our way slowly through the Old Testament.

This morning we continued our lessons through the ten plagues by discussing flies, boils and dead livestock. I usually use the flannelgraph story board to tell the actual Bible lesson, but this morning I simply retold the interaction between Pharaoh and Moses with some props(like a flyswatter!). Then we worked on some crafty papers to help them see how terrible the plagues would have been for the Egyptians.
They used fabric paint as glue and dabbed some on their paper with a q-tip to stick a mini pom-pom on for a "fly". The boils were just dabs of red fabric paint that I did the night before and they got to stick mini band-aids on the blisters. And the coloring paper for the dead livestock showed cows laying upside down, so they got to add some farm animal stickers to put upside down too. Most of them wanted their nice sticker animals to be healthy and upright. :)

This is the first time we let them handle the glue themselves(last week, we applied the glue for them)and they far exceeded our expectations for staying on task and understanding the idea. The key seemed to be in removing the messy stuff as soon as they had finished their work which inhibited the temptation to make mischief and kept everyone mess-free. No small feat for two, three and four year olds! We are having a wonderful time together and I am so thankful for all the help from other moms who make it easier for me to teach the lessons, especially Vanessa who has stuck with me this whole year. Love you, Vanessa!

kitchen helpers

I've been mentioning some of Kate's recent developments, so here is some video footage of her working in our kitchen. No, she will not be handling the sharper knives in the future. :)


 And in this video, Laura joins in to help form an assembly line to reach the higher drawers.  


Thursday, April 26, 2012

field and home

Last week we were invaded by a wave of butterflies.

Seth and Laura ran ragged with their nets.

Just happened to be reading Dewey's Treehouse, and discovered that they appear to be Red Admirals.

One was escorted into the jar and put to sleep.

He spent some time relaxing and then was pinned into place.

Looking near perfect, he is ready to be examined.

He is currently awaiting larger accommodations.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Taking it all in

A little context to this story is in order.
We have an vintage book about a bear named Boris and a moose named Morris.

Boris amongst other things is trying to teach Morris what a riddle is.
One of the riddles he tries is, "What has four legs, a tail and flies?".
Morris guesses a moose in an airplane and is told he is incorrect; it is a horse in an airplane.
This leads Morris to making his own similar joke so that the answer can be a moose.
Boris gets frustrated because that's not how the joke is supposed to go.
Actually Boris gets very frustrated, but that's another story.
Onward to our short story.
Shane and Seth have traded their own versions of "What has...?" jokes back and forth for over a year, each time getting sillier and sillier.
Two weeks ago while we were in PA hanging out with my parents, Shane asked Seth yet another version of the riddle with something like this:  "What has four heads, five arms and ...(other stuff I can't remember)?"
Seth without missing a beat, replies in all seriousness, "One of Jesus' elders?".
We laughed and laughed because we knew exactly what he meant and it seemed to be the only natural response since our pastor has been doing a series on Revelation for a very long time.  :)

watching and learning

I alluded to some of Kate's achievements in an earlier post, so here are a  few more glimpses of her at play. This morning, I came across her trying to diaper her doll with one of Laura's diapers, so I offered her a diaper that came with some dolls we bought a couple of years ago. It took her a few tries to accurately peel the tabs, stick them snugly on the front and then peel them back when she wanted to undo the diaper. The girls' diapers work more like velcro, but these tabs are stickers that adhere to the front.

She then smoothed down the shirt and went off to find the doll's bloomers. Getting those on by herself was a struggle but after I helped her, she patted her doll's back and proceeded to walk her around the floor a bit. Laura was of course, fascinated by all this and after she finished her muffin, she had a turn trying to do it. We have more diapers and more dolls so I expect this will be another area of play for the girls.

And here she is trying to figure out how to use the scissors to slit open the sale flyers bag like she sees me do. She didn't know exactly what to do with the scissors so she was just poking the bag gently with them. Yes, we know that she isn't ready to use scissors safely yet, so I did take them and do it for her. But I had to laugh because she obviously watches everything I do around here.

eating what you have

One of the benefits of the grilling season is leftover steak or chicken which I love to throw in a tortilla and have as lunch the next day.

Heat the leftover steak in the skillet with little bit of butter or olive oil, place on tortilla and warm together in skillet.  Shred some cheese, toss on some cucumbers, spinach and tomatoes and top it off with Ceasar dressing. Depending on what I have on hand, it tastes different every time, which is part of the reason it's so delicious!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

beauty and interest

A selection of links to linger over and enjoy:

Sweet 16

La vraie amitie

Whatever is Lovely

This short film:

(seen on

Also heard about this show, River Cottage.  Found some episodes on Youtube and  so far I am really enjoying it.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

love along the way

It seems perhaps premature to be writing like this but my mind has wandered into this thought pattern several times in the last little while so I thought I should write it down to remember for days to come.

I thought there would be much more that she simply would not be able to do. I thought she would be a lot more work. I thought she would bring awkward times when we would feel embarrassed by her outbursts or strange noises or manners. I thought we wouldn't want to have any more kids because she would take up so much of our time and energy. I thought I would have to teach her everything. I thought I would have to grit my teeth and just struggle through her homeschooling.

I never thought I might be wrong.
I never thought it would be so wonderful to be wrong.

She is an amazing, beautiful little girl who wants to learn and wants to help and wants to love. She brings smiles and laughs and compliments from strangers and soaks up love from our church family, our friends, our neighbors and our own dear families.
She happily plays with her older brother and her younger sister and finds so much to keep her busy and content. She has worked so hard and accomplished so much and we pray that we have more to look forward to.

Last year we prayed for her to walk. And God answered our prayer.
This year we pray for her to talk. I know many of you are praying with us. On behalf of Kate and our family, thank you for this act of love.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

a mending request

Always love to find these notes. This one was left for my Mom. Handwriting and spelling are coming along nicely for a left-handed eight year old boy. :)

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Easter with family

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. ~1 Corinthians 15:20