Sunday, February 19, 2017

Valentine's Day/100 Day of School

This week we celebrated both Valentine's Day and 100 Days of School!  We kicked off the week with Valentine's Day.  We'd actually did a few activities and trays last week. 

Ladybug and Taz did a tray where they sorted candy hearts by colors and then counted them.  We discussed which color had the least, most, etc.  With Miss Priss we worked on poetry and she wrote her first little poem.  She also graphed candy hearts.  I have to admit Valentine's Day seems to fall a little short when it comes to great books but we read several, including my favorite:  The Biggest Valentine Ever

So come Tuesday, Valentine's Day, we just kept it pretty simple.  (Of course!)  As I've mentioned before, we like to create a special meal on Valentine's Day.   We started the day by making a Valentine Trifle for our Valentine meal.  It's easy, basically just layering so great to do with kids.
Taz adding in a layer of whipped cream.

Look Mom, we're pretending like it's snow!
That is unless you leave the cool whip container out and they decide to play in the "snow".  (Side Note: We were studying snow the week before and had a sensory bin of shaving cream and baking soda which looked very similar to cool whip and I had been allowing them to play in it.)

It wouldn't be Valentine's Day without cards, so we made those next.  I found this
Polka Dot heart card from A Thrifty Mom.  The first couple went well but then they decided to venture off and just do their own thing and that was alright too! 

About half way through making our cards, Taz started to say he wanted me because his head was hurting.  He proceeded to just lay it down on the table and sit very still which is SO not him!  Sure enough, he had a fever.  When he's sick he just wants to be held.  (Is it terrible, that I sometimes like it when he's a little sick, so I get extra cuddle time and less cleaning up messes????) 

That kind of put a damper on anything else I had planned.  Instead, I went upstairs and watched Paw Patrol with him while the girls finished up their cards.  He fell asleep after about 30 minutes and I knew we just had a little time to finish preparing for our Valentine Day!   The day before after piano lesson, I had let the girls go in Dollar Tree and pick up a few decorations.  So for a grand total of $7 we were ready to decorate!  They decided they wanted the meal to be in their playhouse.  Since we hadn't been out there much this winter, it first had to be cleaned up a little.  So the girls started cleaning while I started pulling out the decorations we were going to use.  Then we all set the table together, added some candles in the windows, an electric fireplace, and we finished just a few minutes to spare before Taz woke back up! 

About an hour before Daddy got home, the girls started getting ready as they wanted to wear their princess dresses and make up.  I had planned on dressing up a little too, a shower at least would have been awesome!  But with Taz not feeling well - that didn't happen!  That's ok though!  Dinner was just as good in a t-shirt with juice spilled down it!

Fortunately by Friday everyone felt well for our 100th Day of School celebration and we even invited GiGi over for the fun.  She was a little offended and wondering if the kids thought she was 100, but joined right in with us!  Here's a few pictures from the day:

100th Day Breakfast




Sunday, February 12, 2017

Redeemed: HIStory for my Life Wrap-Up

Here we are at the end of another study!  I hope you find yourself with a deeper meaning of being redeemed and a clearer vision for your part in God's story of redemption.  As a wrap up, I wanted to go back to some of the questions I asked in the first blog post and answer them.

What does it mean to be redeemed?

It means we belong to Christ.  He has bought us with His precious blood.  In doing so, we have been freed from sin.  Christ is constantly working on us, perfecting us until that final day of redemption. 

Why is redemption necessary?

Adam and Eve sold us out to sin.  (Genesis 3) We were condemned to a life of sin and death.  It's easy to blame them, but truth be told, if not them, then it would have been us.  We are all sinful by nature.  (Rom. 3:23)   Sin separated us from God.  Sacrifices of goats and calves were made but they only put the sin off temporarily.  Eternal redemption could only be obtained by the perfect blood of Christ.  (Hebrews 9:12)   

What does a redeemed life look like?

It looks like the children of Israel standing at the Red Sea with Pharaoh's army behind them and dry ground ahead, choosing to move forward in faith rather than return to a life of complacency. 

It looks like a young boy without fear, slaying a giant with just a slingshot.  Then a man who had an affair with another man's wife, but then came to sorrowful repentance.   

It looks like a child being afraid to sleep at night for fear of dying, and God saving her soul and giving her sweet sleep.  It looks like a teenager questioning God and God showing her without a doubt He's real.  It looks like a young married couple leaving everything behind and trusting their jobs, home and future to God and God providing.  It looks like a Mom with a messy bun, pajama pants, and a cup of coffee pouring her soul out once more so God can fill her up with what she needs for the day.   

The children of Israel were never without, even in the wilderness.  David had some heartache over his sin, but ended as being known as one of Israel's greatest kings, part of Christ's bloodline and a man after God's own heart.  And that child, young girl, wife, and mom - I can personally tell you out of those instances came some of her biggest blessings!  A redeemed life looks like a surrendered life.  

What is hindering us from being free to live the life God has called us to live?   

I think perhaps the more accurate question is as Paul phrased it to the church:  "...who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?" (Galatians 5:7)

The who is ourselves; the what is anything we are putting between us and God.  Christ has already freed us from all sin, so if we are holding onto it; it's not because Christ is wanting us to; it's because we are choosing to.  It may seem like the safe thing to do; but in reality it is the crippling thing to do.  It's stealing our joy, our peace, our freedom and the wonderful life God has for us. 

What is God's plan for the redeemed now and in the future?

His plan for the redeemed is to keep molding and perfecting us until the final day of redemption when He will return and we shall live with Him forever.  I think Paul does a great job in Titus 2 summing up God's plan of redemption:  past, present and future.
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.  These things speak, and exhort and rebuke with all authority.  Let no man despise thee.

Friend, I hope you've seen throughout this study the redeemed life is a good life, the best life!  It's not about being perfect.  It's about understanding that He has already conquered and freed us from sin.  It's not anything about our goodness, but it's about His.  God has a plan for us, but we have to get ourselves out of the way.  We have to realize that apart from Him we are nothing; with Him we have everything.  Being redeemed, is about being His.  Allowing Him to use our good, bad and ugly for His glory.  For one day our lives will be nothing but history.  Then once we do, we will experience the incredible journey He has for us - HIStory for our life!

I would love to hear what God has shown you through this study!

“There are cracks in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” ~ Leonard Cohen

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

P is for Penguins

We wrapped up our unit on penguins.  I've been teaching for ten years now and I don't know why this was my first time to do a unit on penguins.  They are so much fun!  We kicked off our unit by watching March of the Penguins.  I admit I didn't make it all the way through the movie, but then I rarely do now a days.  One thing I did realize though is that compared to penguins, parenting my little humans is a breeze! 

We spent the next week researching penguins - especially emperor penguins.  We labeled a penguin and recorded what we learned on these sheets.  We also explored the National Geographic Kids website for penguin information and some fun videos!

For our reading, we read a few non-fiction books we had checked out from the library.  Our two favorite fiction books were One Cool Friend and Mr. Popper's Penguins.  After reading Mr. Popper's Penguins we discussed what it would be like to have a pet penguin of our own.  Using the writing process, "Miss Priss" also wrote an opinion piece

We combined fine motor skills, colors, shapes and art together to create these awesome penguin pictures.  I loved how unique these all turned out!
We wrapped up our penguin unit with a family fun night!  We watched Mr. Popper's Penguins (which the kids and I were disappointed to learn that it was nothing like the book other than there is a Mr. Popper and he has penguins).  We also made some penguin cupcakes and had a relay race.  For the relay race we had to balance a ball between our feet and pass it off to our partner, much like the mom and dad penguins do.  We couldn't let it "hit the ice" or it would break and we lost! 

During our two week penguin study, we also did the letter "M" with my two youngest.  The highlight being playing in the mud and making mudpies!  We also made monkey puppets and had muffins and milk with Mom one morning! 

Fun times!  Now on to our snow unit!