Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bible Poverty

I am privileged. So is the rest of my family. So are many of you. We can know the One True God and we have his book in our very own language. Actually, we have numerous translations in our very own language. Go ahead, go count how many bibles you have in your home. What about all the ones you have easy access to?
So, the point of this is that I am beyond thankful for knowing God and having access to the book through which he can speak to me in such a personal way. And I can give that gift to my kids. In addition to reading the Bible, I can hide the words in my heart through meditation and memorization. I feel this is an integral thing for me to do in my own life and to help my children do to. For the Word of God is living and active and able to help me each and every day.
Our family has several ways that we hide God's Word in our hearts. We have a memory box that we review from each day around the breakfast table. We have some scripture CDs in our car that we listen to. And, this year, I memorized Romans 8. That is 39 verses. Well, I mostly memorized it. I can recite it using the first letters as a prompt, but that counts right? :) I am still working on it. Olivia memorized 39 verses from the book of Matthew this year. She read the entire book of Matthew and then she memorized (and copied) select verses as a part of the My Father's World-Exploring Countries and Cultures curriculum. Below you will see the videos of her and I reciting. Olivia, unlike me, needed little to no prompting. It is amazing what she can memorize. We included Emma in my video, hoping her cuteness will give you reason to watch. :)

But there are many people in the world who do not have access to the Bible at all and there are many who do not have access to it in their heart language. My friend, Katrina, wrote an amazing blog post last September that inspired us. Go read it but come back, please. :) We are going to get involved by donating $78 (that is a dollar for each verse O and I memorized) to The Seed Company for their One Verse campaign. For $26 dollars you can translate one verse of the bible for a people group that don't have access. Our family will get to translate 3 verses for the Vidunda people in Tanzania (my friend's chosen group).

 Will you join us? We did the memorizing and we would love for you to give in response to that work. (like pledges) Or you can certainly take the challenge to memorize too and then donate based on your memory work.  Here is the link to donate. Thank you!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wrapping Up Our Journey Around the World

We finished out our journey of exploring people and animals around the world with a wrap-up and celebration night. Olivia reviewed her notebooks and we remembered the various projects completed this year. 

This is an animal height chart that we used this year. First, we placed her and our dog Sarah on the it. Then as we talked about each animal we added it. This was one of the resources from the Winter Promise company that I added to our MFW-ECC curriculum.
Then we put on our Wee Sing album and had a flag parade and dance.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Marshes and Swamps

Olivia and I have been studying marshes and swamps over the past 4-6 weeks and have had a fun time doing it. This is the final ecosystem that she has learned about this year following others like deserts, forests, mountains, rain forests, lakes, ponds, rivers and streams. For each one there have been tons of activities that we did in the "Burrows, Beehives & Beds Journal" from WinterPromise. We took several trips to local wetlands like the Bog Garden to observe the animals and insects that live there.

We saw dragonflies "playing tag"
a Great Blue Heron hunting for food, (if you look closely, he has a turtle in his beak.)
Painted Turtles,
more turtles sunning themselves
lots of fish and tadpoles
ducks, both big
and small,

along with other birds, like this nuthatch, taking advantage of the abundant food in the swamp. We watched him beat the tar out of that caterpillar for a good 5 minutes. He was determined...

We learned a lot about the benefits of swamp ecosystems, which help with flood control by giving rivers and streams somewhere to overflow, cleaning up water pollution by filtering it through soil, and providing refuge and nutrition to hundreds of animal species.

Olivia learned the proper water-to-dirt ratio for making good mud.
"not too much and not too little."

We attempted to open a "bug dessert bar" but the rain washed it away before we could get any customers.
We mashed together some brown sugar and overripe banana and smeared it on a tree.


One of Olivia's favorite books that we read was "Bullfrog at Magnolia Circle". We studied the differences between frogs and toads and made a couple of attempts to find and catch a toad, but we were unsuccessful. However, one ill-fated trip actually let us see a swamp in action. There had been a major storm earlier in the day and when we got into the Bog Garden, it was almost completely flooded. The boardwalk was just barely above the water level, when it's usually mostly over dry ground. there was evidence that earlier in the day, it had been underwater - a difference of 3 to 4 feet from normal levels!

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Some of the books we have been reading either with FIAR or FIAR style. They have included fun action rhymes, little teaching moments, and lots of talk about nature/animals.

Counting practice. The kids like these counting and sorting games. We also do colored cups with different colored objects.
making lemonade out of lemons

they like to play a game they call "jump" (just as you would think, it involves jumping on the couch cushions and other pillows), other make believe games, book reading nooks, and this is often when I hear them play acting out the things we have learned. yes, my boys like to run around without that a problem? i mean it makes for less laundry right? :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Can't Get Enough of the Park

 This park is a little drive from our house but it is a great combination of a "play park" and a "walking park" as my kids refer to them.

It was so fun, I had to get in on the action! :) (Emma was actually sleeping)

checking out a millipede

Friday, June 15, 2012

Butterfly Week

We spent the week learning about Butterflies. All the kids like them. Ezra is probably the most enthusiastic to point out butterflies anytime he sees them.
We started with some good books:

We visited All-a-Flutter Butterfly Farm:
They gave a great interactive presentation to learn about butterflies. And then it was off to the butterfly house.

There were around 250 Monarch butterflies in the house. They were very friendly.

We finished out with a craft that I copied from a friend: