Thursday, February 17, 2011

Illness and The Quotable Kids Roundup

It's been a crazy couple of weeks. Last Wednesday afternoon the two older kids came down with a fever/body aches/turns into a nasty cold after a few days virus. Rosie got it Saturday, and Bella came down with it on Tuesday.

Meanwhile Brian was working 12 days swamped in projects that served to make his fibromyalgia stay at a completely hideous level, so if he wasn't at work he was completely crashed here at home. Now I know what house arrest is like, unless you count Walgreens runs for more medicine and tissues or midnight trips to WalMart.

We did make it out to enjoy the gorgeous early spring weather for a short picnic on Valentine's Day, but it kind of backfired as toddlers and picnics really aren't the best combination, and the feeling better kids of the morning all came home moaning. Rosie suggested that we reschedule Valentine's Day because it didn't feel like Valentine's Day.

Which, considering that Brian's mom also had emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix this past Friday, and is of the same opinion, may just happen. We did, however, do the best we could on the actual day, but I was seriously outnumbered by sick people.


Now for the funnies. If you're my friend on facebook, you can disregard the rest of this post because I type them in there first, but I have to save them here for posterity. Blogger better last for posterity...

February 13 -

After having a fever and body aches all day yesterday, Rose ended the day by saying, "This was a wonderful day, I got to watch lots of movies, eat yummy food [like frozen yogurt tubes], and take my favorite medicine!"

She then went on to have fever induced night terrors two nights in a row and she wasn't as easygoing about her holiday being spoiled the next day, though. She'd been sick Christmas day too, and I think she was more than a little bummed to be sick on a holiday again. :^)

February 14-

Anna: Where's Daddy?
Me: He just went to work.
Anna: It's Valentine's Day!
Me: You don't get off work for Valentine's Day.
Anna: Why?? That's rude!

Ethan had a very similar, though less shocked, reaction.

And today:

First a discussion on a dinner dish morphed and Rose elaborated, "But I don't like it because it has beans, and I don't like beans. Except for chocolate beans - those are the best beans!"

Then later:

I was trying to figure out how and who might be able to make it to the missions conference tonight that we've been planning on and preparing for.

Me: I wish I knew what to do.
Ethan: Don't ask me. I wish I could give you advice, but I don't have any experience being a mother.

He continued on about how there were probably mothers at church that had experience -why don't I call one of my friends - and besides half of my friends were grandmothers, they had children and grandchildren which was double experience and there were probably even some that had great great grandchildren and that would be a lot of experience!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Creation

A friend was blogging to today about African American poets. That got me thinking about some of my favorite poems, the sharing some youtube videos with my kids, and then my kids wanting to write their own poems. So here is my Ethan's poem. He'll love you forever if you comment on it on his own blog, Art by Ethan, where it was originally posted. He wanted it to be more theologically and technically accurate than the famous version.

"God's World"
by Ethan

In the beginning, there was God, and there was shadow.
God said, "Let there be heavens and let there be earth."
And they were.

Then God made light, and grabbed it, and formed it to a ball,
And made the sun.

God blew on the sun, and from it came the stars.
And there in the darkness a glow from a rocky mirror shined out it's light,
There the moon.

God threw out lightning and broke water from water.
There was land.

A wave from the sea cracked up fish and the birds.
The land gave birth to all living creatures.
And God gave birth to man.

This was inspired by Genesis 1 and "The Creation" by James Weldon Johnson


And now the video of James Weldon Johnson's version that we loved so much:

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Missions Emphasis Week - Homeschool Edition

Our old church had just a handful of missionaries. As a new church they chose to support fewer missionaries at large percentages of their support so that they could be a part of the church body when on furlough and we could know them intimately. The pros to this system are obvious (to me, at least), but difficult to transition to.

Our new church has the more traditional approach to mission support and, as a result, supports over sixty missionaries as well as more than a dozen ministries. And - here's the really cool part - next week we are having the annual Missions Conference! From an international covered dinner to prayer and worship and a Children's Conference, it's looking like an exciting four days.

Soooo....I've been brainstorming our Missions Emphasis Week at home to correspond with the Missions Conference. Here are my ideas. Don't worry, I won't get to them all in the one week, but some we've already done, and I plan to use the others later.

  1. A huge list of missionaries... how to get to know them? Thankfully the church published a booklet with a picture, bio, and prayer requests for each missionary. Each day I've chosen specific geographic regions. We'll spread out our laminated floor world map and locate each missionary, reading about them as we go, and praying for them. You could also have your kids go through a list of missionary names and countries and give them different color highlighters for each continent - then let them categorize the list.

  2. Read missionary biographies. I'm planning to read With Two Hands: Stories of God at work in Ethiopia (Hidden Heroes) by Rebecca Davis. We love her - and we love her books! We were able to preread her last book of short missionary stories before it was published and my kids were hanging on every word and still talk about some of the stories. We've also enjoyed the Trailblazer series.

  3. Write your own missionary biography. Interview one of your missionaries in person or by phone and have your child write a short biography - they can illustrate it too, if they like. Be sure to send a copy to the missionary. :^) Research papers on the lives of past missionaries are always a good assignment too.

  4. Write a country report. Learn about the place your missionary is serving. Younger children will love filling in this free Cool Country Report poster from Scholastic. You'll want to print it poster size.

  5. The Torchlighter DVDs are wonderful and many of them are missionary stories. I think we have a new one at the library that we haven't seen yet. Ethan wants to see the Eric Liddle story again if they don't.

  6. E-mail missionaries. Many missionaries have access to e-mail. Ethan had a lady visit his Sunday School class a couple of weeks ago. She encouraged the children to e-mail her and so he did. She replied back the same day, and he was thrilled! Encourage your kids to keep up with it. Make it their writing assignment once a week, and check their e-mails for proper letter form, spelling, and grammar before hitting "send".

  7. Write postcards to missionaries. Postcards are short and easy to write. Why not find a missionary kid to become pen pals with?

  8. Look up the ministries that your church supports. We're going to go to each ministry's website and get to know what they're about and how we can help.

  9. Have a yard sale. Our church supports Hydromissions, and it was the featured ministry fro VBS offerings this year. My kids were disturbed that the goal was not met and have been planning a yard sale ever since - hopefully we can get that in this spring.

  10. If your church supports a crisis pregnancy center, collect coins in baby bottles - some ministries supply these during fundraising seasons. Why not get a roll of quarters, dimes, nickles, and pennies? Then have your children complete tasks or reward them for good deeds and see who can earn coins to fill their bottle first. You could even deliver the filled bottles yourself along with other supplies, such as baby blankets.

  11. Visit Voice of the Martyrs' Kids of Courage site. Their previously published children's magazine is there online and highlights a different country each month. They offer lots of ways to learn and be involved in supporting the persecuted church around the world.

  12. Call a missionary on the phone. Check out your phone plan. If you have a flat rate long distance plan, you will probably be amazed to find that you have international minutes for free, or that cost a mere 5-10 cents per minute. Skype is another great alternative. Learn about time zones and find a good time to call.

  13. Support a pastor/missionary. Whether you choose to add support to your church's mission program or on your own, find a way to make it personal. Our family supports a church planting pastor in India through Gospel for Asia. For $30 a month we cover half of his support, and we have a picture and receive letters from him.

  14. Start a missionary wall, with prayer cards of missionaries.

  15. Invite a missionary to your home. Have them for lunch, or coffee and dessert. We once had an ice cream social for our small group and were able to have a very personal look at one of our missionary's ministry and family.

  16. Work with your church's mission board. Ask how you can volunteer. Find ways to encourage others in your church to be more involved in missions. Perhaps you could set up a missionary display featuring a different missionary each week or month. Leave note cards out for people to write a note right then, then mail them all together. Or head up a special Christmas collection or baby shower package for a missionary.

  17. Join a missionary's personal prayer team. Make the commitment to pray for them every day - then do it! My yahoo e-mail sends me a reminder every day. And the missionaries in South Africa that I pray for send a facebook update nearly every day as well. Many missionaries have e-mail lists. Sign up. Share updates with your family. And pray!

If you homeschool, work to create a cohesive life. Don't divorce geography from missions. Every time you study geography, study the mission field. That's what the world is. Communicate with your missionaries, get to know them. There really is no excuse unless your missionary is serving in a sensitive area. If that is the case, learn how to communicate with them safely, and send encouragement their way.

How do you incorporate missions into your family/homeschool?

Sadie's First Birthday

Since Sadie found us rather than the other way around, we took the vet's best guess at her age, counted backward, and chose February 5th to be her birthday. So we got her a new Mr. Squeakers - this one is named "Bananadog" . Mr. Squeakers was smallish and pink and is in need of repairs, but Bananadog is large and yellow and Sadie was quite pleased with her gift. Brian also got her some gourmet treats that she typically refuses to eat. Sadie doesn't like dog treats. Even ones that look like people treats. Just Kibbles and Bits. And whatever people food Bella manages to feed her. Which really is quite a bit.