Friday, January 31, 2014

Home Depot Fun

Brad has been taking the kids to the Home Depot workshops once a month.  Cody is in heaven when he goes with his daddy!  Lila is a little builder as well.  Wish we had this when the older kids were little.  At least now they can come and help the littles.  That's what is great about having littles!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Our Jello Cell

We are studying biology this year.  This is our attempt at making a cell with Jello.  The slice of hard boiled egg is supposed to be the nucleus.  All the other items are supposed to represent another part of the cell.  Lila seemed to learn a lot by watching Newton's Workshop Cell-abration.  Lila wrote notes in her journal and colored pictures of animal and plant cells.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Habits of a Child's Heart

Habits of a Child's Heart: Raising Your Kids with the Spiritual Disciplines  -     By: Valerie E. Hess, Marti Watson Garlett

I wanted to share a book, Habits of a Child's Heart:  Raising your kids with the Spiritual Disciplines.   I've used it years ago with my older kids, and I am planning on using it again this year.  It has twelve chapters which makes it perfect to focus on one habit a month as a family.  The book also has practice and teaching suggestions for different ages of children.

Chapters include:  Meditation, Prayer, Fasting, Study, Simplicity, Solitude, Submission, Service, Confession, Worship, Guidance, and Celebration.

So, this month we will focus on Meditation.  I will meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.  I will delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.  Psalm 119:15-16.

An example to share about meditating in God's Word is using tea.  Brew tea with your children and talk about "how we are the hot water and the Word of God is the tea bag.  The longer the tea soaks in us, the more we become stained with the likeness of God."  Then use a tea bag as a book mark in your Bible for the rest of the month.  Of course, I love tea and my kids know this, so this is a perfect way to share this discipline with my children.

This seems like a great way to start the new year! 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tub Fun

Sometimes my 3 year old gets bored in the tub.  But I found a fun idea at least for a day - a gallon zip lock freezer bag.  He enjoyed filling up the bag scoop by scoop.  It got so heavy which gave him a chance to show how strong he was and his big muscles.  Then the bag got a small hole which added to the fun.  Sometimes I look for anyway to keep him occupied for a couple more minutes and this worked!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Theme Word 2014: SEEK

Last year my word was abide - the perfect word for last year.  I had a hard time knowing what was the right word for this year.  I prayed about peace, grace, steadfast, seek, etc.  I read my posts from last year.  I read a lot of scripture to hear how God might be leading me.  And I kept coming back to SEEK.

I like it because it is active.  Last year I felt like God wanted me to rest and abide with him.  This year I need to be more active seeking after Him.  I want to be Sara seeking after God's Own Heart.  Seeking after His Word.  Seeking ways to serve Him.  Seeking after my children's hearts and husband's heart.  Seeking with all my heart.  Seeking justice and peace.

I spent a quiet night last night reading scripture about seeking God.  There was much to glean! 

I will start with just one or two today scriptures and post throughout the year on other passages.

Deuteronomy 4:29
But if you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Psalm 9:10
Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.

Psalm 105:4
Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.

Psalm 119:10
I seek you will all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.

This reminds me of when Jesus says, if you love me you will obey my commands.  (John 14:15)

and ...

Matthew 6:33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Lord, I will seek.

Celebrating Epiphany Ideas

Our family likes to celebrate Christmas as a season along with the twelve days Christmas.  The 12th day is Epiphany when we remember the wise men visiting baby Jesus - the culminating of the season.  I usually save our stories with the wise men to read on that day.  A couple of days ago my mom called me and asked me about ideas to celebrate Epiphany with my nieces so I thought it would be great to actually be a little more intentional this year. 

Here is what I hope to do this year to celebrate The Feast of Epiphany:

We may make a King's Cake.  I think we will make a bundt cake (we're into bundts right now) that looks like a crown.  Traditionally a toy baby or 3 beans are baked into the cake as a surprise.  (King's Cakes are also traditional on Mardi Gras.)  Other sweet treats could be star or crown sugar cut out cookies.

Another tradition that sounds fun to me is a house blessing like the Magi's blessing on the family.  This is also known as "chalking the door".  The markings include the year along with C, M, and B.  These letters could be an abbreviation of the Latin blessing Christus mansionem benedicat, which means, "May Christ bless this house."  Some also say it stand for the traditional names of the Magi (Caspar, Melchoir, and Balthasar).  So this year would be 20 + C + M + B + 14.

Some games or activities for the day could include a Follow the Star parade stopping to visit Herod and Baby Jesus and then going home a different way.  I think we might get a helium star balloon to follow.  Or you can do a star scavenger hunt following 12 clues for the 12 days of Christmas to find the start.

Epiphany can also be a time of hospitality.  It seems the advent season can be so busy it is hard to fit in a get together with friends. If you want to include a simple meal you can make a crown pizza with 3 upside down slices a plate.  Have your friends bring cans of food or other gifts to give to a food bank or homeless shelter as gifts for the King.

Other tidbits:

*The three wise men were from afar which shows how Jesus came for all! 
*Many countries around the world celebrate Epiphany exchanging gifts on that day!
*Many families limit Christmas gifts to 3 representing the gifts of the Magi.
*Epiphany can also be a day of "undecorating" of "burning of the greens."
*Have you heard of the 4th wise man?
*You can study the stars.  January is a great month to see the sky.

And, of course be sure to read about the visit of the wise men in the Bible, Matthew 2: 1-12.

As the saying goes, Wise Men Still Seek Him!

Another great site for Epiphany ideas: Annie's Homepage