Monday, October 18, 2010

The Battle

When I consider what Christ has done for me,

When I envision that bloody, rugged tree,

I understand my responsibility,

To arm my mind in the strength of His might,

To follow His steps and faithfully fight

The Battle.

When I remember the love of Calvary,

When I hear his great cry of full agony,

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

My heart dissolves that I may give him all

and unreservedly obey His call

To Battle.

When Jesus tells me that He has died for me,

I reply in tears, “Lord, I will live for thee!”

Henceforth I leave the world and yield my body

In full surrender to His Spirit's grace,

To triumph in Him everywhere, always

In Battle.

When I discern that Christ did learn to obey

And endured the cross for the joy of the day

That the Lord made to show the eternal way,

I account joy each trial sent from Him,

And live to do His will, although be grim

The Battle.

Shall I not fight having made such profession

Like Christ who before Pilate gave confession

That His kingdom was no earthly possession?

Yes, I must strive, for He witnessed for the truth

That I might be free. His wounds show proof

Of Battle.

Yes, against sin, Jesus Christ strove unto blood,

That he might redeem His chosen unto God,

Translating His Church to heaven from the sod.

Christ spoiled powers by death's great cost,

And freed them from death's fear. The devil lost

The Battle!

When I reckon that I am free from all sin,

(Because his blood leaves no place for guilt within)

With a pure heart and good conscience, I now win.

Because he first loved me, I serve my King.

His victory secures mine; now I sing

In Battle.

So I must fight, holding not an earthly stand,

But for hearts and minds of men fights Jesus' band.

Spiritual wickedness stretches forth its hand,

But I take the armor of Jesus' might

And pull down the holds which against Him fight

In Battle.

When I think that Christ rose from the dead for me,

Over death and hell winning full victory,

Justified by Him, I have a living plea!

So through ever-living strength I fight on,

Sure to overcome, for He has won

The Battle!

~by my 19 year old brother, Isaiah

Bat Day

There are so many great bat resources!

Anna did the Bat Shape Book at Enchanted Learning, Rose had an Itsy Bitsy Bat Book, .

There are lots of other great bat activites and printables at KidZone.

Isn't this little brown bat cute?

Visit BatCon and don't miss the Kidz Cave.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nature Journals

We started our nature journals in regular three prong pocket portfolios. The pockets were handy, the covers got dirty, and the prongs made it difficult to move pages around. I though a flexible three ring binder becasue it was lighter, but they are very difficult to write in. So my current recommendation is a 1/2 - 1" hard cover three ring binder, this works for us because we add projects and worksheets.

This post is making me batty because some of my favorite pages, especially for little journallers are downloaded on my computor, but I cannot find the original sources to share with you. Often the best pages for littles are just plain paper, or for fun simple bordered paper. Ask what they see, hear, smell, feel, and write it down for them. Encourage them to draw whatever capture their interest. And get some page protectors so that treasures found can be pressed and saved.

Now here are some other great resources for starting your nature journals:

Head to Your Nature Journal to get inspired and connect with multiple resources.

My favorite of Meddybemps Nature Notebook Pages is the list page - we keep it in the back of our jounals to use as a life list to keep track of each new animal or plant that we find or see for the first time.

Donna Young has nature journal sheets for full or half sized binders.

Cornell's Feeder Birds Coloring Book is wonderful. It has nice drawings with a series of questions to answer about markings, size, etc. I printed several birds that I thought we were likely to see, and when we have a chance to have an extended observation of one of them, we pull the sheet out of the nature journal and fill it in.

Notebooking Pages has some really nice nature journal pages. Her feather pages were a free download at one time, and I use them for feather collecting by stapling small zipper sandwich bags to them for the feather.

Currclick has some free products, including Journal Junction's Signs of Spring, Cedar Tree Press' Nature Journal Pages, and Notebooking Nook's bird notebooking pages.

Jimmie's Collage has unthemed, pretty notebooking pages.

Nature Detectives is a wonderful website with hundreds of printables. The only drawback is that it is part of the UK's Woodland Trust, so many of the trees and animals are not native to the US. Download the

Some imaginative pages from Wisconsin

The American Museum of Natural History's Online Field Journals are great for identifying just about anything.

Exploring Nature Educational Resources are just that, topically listed.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Apple Orchard 2010

I really didn't want to go apple picking this year. I tried to bribe them with a trip to the local farm for apples and apple pie, candy apples and apple printing, but they would not be dissuaded.
We finally got there this past weekend, much later in the season than usual. Brian felt worse and worse as the day wore on, so we left him on a sheet under an tree and hauled all the way to the opposite end of the orchard to pick what was left - Granny Smiths. Fortunately, no one seemed to mind eating them, even if they are considered baking apples.

I'm really glad I took the wagon, but hauling the apples and Bella up and down the hills of the orchard reminded me yet again that our pioneer predecessors would have been ashamed of my lack of stamina.

Some apple cider helped revive me for the wagon ride.

And the pumpkin patch finally yielded the photos I'd been hoping for.

And look at little miss "I don't look at cameras and smile". She grinned her head off in a whole series of photos with her daddy. Go figure.

Owl Day

I've missed doing themed school days. It's a lot harder to fit in when multiplication and writing and so many other things second and fourth graders need to know overshadow the simple joys of early school days. We did a lot of these days when Ethan was younger, now I try to squeeze them in when I can, especially for Rosie, who ought to be doing fun things for kindergarten.

Sooo... Ethan is rather obsessed with owls right now. They are his favorite animal and he's really nature-obsessed anyway. He constantly is working on decorating his room to look more like nature with stuffed animals, vines, and other natural things. He recently confiscated two fans that I was getting ready to put in the attic and positioned them in his room so that he could simulate windy days.

When the National Wildlife Federation magazines came for October and Your Big Backyard was completely owl themed and Ranger Rick had an owl feature too, I knew that it was time for an owl day. So yesterday, we did our usual math and breakfast Scripture reading, then launched into our theme.

First we watched this video of Owl Moon:

Next Anna Kate read us Snow Moon, its wonderful illustrations making her giddy with delight.

Then I read Baby Owl's Rescue, and Rosie read the simple Owls Live in Trees.

They watched a Birds of Prey video, then read their NWF magazines (wow! didn't know all that cool owl stuff was there!).

Ethan read The Life Cycle of an Owl.

They watched Animal Profiles: Owls (sorry most of these videos are on the Discovery Education member website that our state pays for) and National Geographic Kids Wild Detective: Night Owls.

Then we grabbed a quick lunch and headed to a local college campus for the kids to ride their scooters (we've been trying to get out as many days as possible for some exercise) and to collect and observe different types of leaves for our botany studies. We left the scooters to take a nature trail that turned out to be at least three times longer than I'd expected. Ethan's leg hurt, and sleepy Bella was cranky and bit heavy in the Moby, but Anna Kate kept exclaiming that it was the best nature walk ever as we found wildflowers and leaves and pincones.

Not long before we made it back to where we'd started we found these gorgeous trees. Look for Rose at the base of the tree for some size perspective:

We made it back home and put Bella to bed and the children still had happy hours to spend outside with their friends riding scooters, playing basketball, and enjoying the tree house. We topped it off with Rose's favorite barbeque pork riblets and some owl cupcakes (cupcake topper template here, addtional party details and products here.)

We like to do bat watches, particularly when driving home at twilight. Night before last, we had a bat watch and saw several, but Rosie kept missing them. She was particularly distressed as Anna counted off "14, 15, 16" (I only saw two.) She never could see any, so tonight as darkness fell, I swooped her up from her chair at the table and carried her across the street to the field and we watched and waited.
We were finally rewarded by a bat swooping right over our heads! Rose was a happy girl.
This morning she said to me, "I loved Owl Day - can we do it again today?" I promised a Bat Day soon.