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December 30, 2007

Logan, the Sky Angel Cowboy!

This was played at our church today and I was very moved by it. I just had to share it here. Hope you are blessed too. You might want to pause the music player first.

December 28, 2007

Books to read in 2008

I am planning to read through the Bible using the "Reina Valera" (Spanish version), which is the version I grew up with. After reading/studying the Bible in English for the past 10 years, I can't wait to go back and read it in Spanish!!

Here's what I have to get me started....



  • Desiring God (John Piper)

  • A Charlotte Mason Companion (Karen Andreola)

  • Hinds Feet on High Places (Hurnard)

  • Through Gates of Splendor (Elizabeth Elliot)

  • Caught Off Guard: Encounters with the Unexpected God (William P. Smith)

  • Jesus Among other Gods (Ravi Zachariah)

Still need to act some fiction books...any suggestions??

December 27, 2007

Looking back and forward...

2007 was a year of spiritual struggle for me. I was often distracted, disoriented, discouraged, lacking focus and perspective. I experienced a lot testing of faith. Testing on trusting God, on waiting on God, on displaying the fruit of the spirit, growing in intimacy with him, on loving unlovely things and people, patience with my kids and husband, testing of humility and surrender, to let go of dreams of my own that are not in God's sovereign plan for this season of my life.


But one thing has been very evident to me and that is the truth that God never changes! What an awesome attribute of God! He has been my constant companion. Even when I don't follow through on promises, He still remains faithful. There's no one like our God! And what a comfort that has been for me this year. To know that His promises are true, His love never ends and His Word will endure.


I love what Tozer has to say about this...



In this world where men forget us, change their attitude toward us as their private interests dictate, and revise their opinion of us for the slightest cause, is it not a source of of wondrous strength to know that the God with whom we have to do changes not? That His attitude toward us now is the same as it was in eternity past and will be in eternity to come?
What peace it brings to the Christian's heart to realize that our Heavenly Father never differs from Himself. In coming to Him at any time we need not wonder whether we shall find Him in a receptive mood. He is always receptive to misery and need, as well as to love and faith. He does not keep office hours nor set aside periods when He will see no one. Neither does He change His mind about anything. Today, this moment, He feels toward His creatures as He did when He sent His only-begotten Son into the world to die for mankind.
God never changes moods or cools off in His affection or loses enthusiasm. His attitude toward sin is now the same as it was when He drove out the sinful man from the eastward garden, and His attitude toward the sinner the same as when He stretched forth His hand and cried, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy


It's my longing for the new year that I will continue to draw closer to God. To know Him more, to surrender to hHim more, to let go of my sin, to worship Him in service to His people and those in need, to shine His light and to be more like Him, constant, authentic, genuine and with unshaken faith.

December 25, 2007

December 23, 2007

Our December Lapbook

Here are some pictures of our December lapbook. We used Hands of a Child "Christmas Cheer" project pack and then we added more crafts, stickers and our memory verses. This is only our second lapbook and I am so proud of my little ones for their effort and their creativity putting everything together. You can click on the images to see more details. ;-)



The cover has one of the snowflakes Caleb made along with stickers and clip art.


This is the front view. Left side: Gingerbread Baby, Candy Cane Shapes Matching Game & Santa Shapes Puzzle Craft. Middle: Santa craft. Right side: Christmas Tree mini book & Rudolph Craft.

Here's a view of the inside.

Colors of christmas matching cards, Snowman puppets

Reindeer counting book, Christmas letters book

The back of the front flap has the boys painting of a wreath & "reindeer paint" with sticks and our memory verses.

December 20, 2007

Holiday Crafts & Treats

The boys working on decorating the Gingerbread Boys
Aren't these cute?? Noah couldn't wait for the picture so he gave his cookie a lick and ate one leg right away. ;-)

The boys working on their Santa crafts. These are both from the "Christmas Cheer" Lapbook from Hands of a Child. A coloring page of Santa with cotton balls for his beard and a paper Santa made out of shapes. I made a model for the boys to copy.
Here's Caleb's work.
A close-up of the Santa. And here's Noah's work. I love seeing how much dedication he puts into doing his crafts even if it usually ends up being his own "creative art"...hehehe






December 18, 2007

This week in our preschool

We will hopefully finish our "Christmas Cheer" lapbook by Friday and I'll post some pictures. So far it looks like we have a lot of things to put on it!


Yesterday we read "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" and the boys learned the song as well. We also did some fun crafts that I'll show in the lapbook pictures.


Today we are reading a fun book titled Christmas Tree Farm by Ann Purmell. Great title! It follows a grandpa & grandson on a Christmas Tree farm from seedling to selling to decorating the trees. The end of the books includes a Christmas tree timeline and facts sheets and a double-page spread of the different types of Christmas trees.


Still to read this week....

  • The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg. Check out a GREAT unit study for this book over at homeschoolshare.
  • The Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Jack Keats (we found a CD with the music at the library so that we can sing along!)
  • The Friendly Beasts Illustrated by Sarah Chamberlain

December 17, 2007

Yesterday's Baggage

I was blessed to receive this devotion from Pastor James. It's so true how we let things in our lives piled up and don't even realize.

Hope you take the time to read it and that it will be a blessing to you too.

http://www.walkintheword.com/weeklywalkemail.htm

Ramblings of a tired mom

The stomach flu visited our family last week, including me. Just 2 weeks ago my kids had cold and 3 weeks ago we all had the flu. Caleb's stomach is still very sore from all the vomiting so we are taking it very slow this week.

With all these ill days, this week I am so tired and honestly with no energy or focus. I just realized that Christmas is next week and that we have not even began to write our Christmas cards...only a miracle will allow me to mail these before Christmas so it looks like we will be greeting and wishing everyone a happy new year instead!

Inside the boys' drawers are still tank tops and swimming trunks from the summer.. Their winter clothes are piled up on top of empty storage bins by their beds.

Not everything has turn out the way I planned it (but it rarely does anyways), not even the kids Christmas unit. But at least we've been able to read some good books (mostly in bed), sing carols, prepare simple crafts (only because I had all printouts & materials prepared in advanced...and improvised the rest with things we found at home...clever mom!) and thank God for sending Jesus to us.

The boys got a lot more TV than usual and they loved that as well.

This past weekend with everybody feeling better we spend Saturday and Sunday doing some simple lessons and this week plan to finish the rest with multiple changes.

But just in case we get sick again or I don't feel like making time for blogging....let me be the first to wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS and click here to enjoy a little dance from our family. ;-)

December 13, 2007

December 12, 2007

5 Things To Do on a Snowy Day-part 1

For the past week we've been having lots of snowy/drizzly/freezing rain days so here's the list of the top 5 things that saved our days (and kept mom's mental healthy intact...or almost).

#5
READ, READ, READ and READ books: our favorite "snow" books in no particular order

This BFIAR title is one of our favorites! We read it all year around, snow or no snow. Follow Peter on his snowy day adventures. Your little ones will be imitating him in no time.



Another FIAR title that's a favorite at home (aren't they all?). Katy is a powerful tractor who is known for her mighty rescue jobs in the town of Geopolis and this time around she will face the BIG SNOW. Can Katy save the day??



This Usborne Books titles is a great companion to any snow unit. It explains what makes it snow, where animals take shelter, animals tracks in the snow and more.


A classic story of the animals in the woods and the people who saves them from the big snow. There is a free unit study for this book at homeschoolshare.



Froggy is determined to play in the snow, after mom's advice to go back to sleep since that's what frogs are supposed to do in the winter. While getting dressed, he forgets to put some of the clothing and has to come back into the house for them. First his pants, then his shirt and coat and then...well you'll have to read it to find out. Really funny book!




We found this title at the thrift store one day and the boys enjoyed it a lot. It follows a snowy day in a town. Meet the Farmer, the Postman, the Policeman and his Wife as they go on their duties in the snowy winter.





Another cute Usborne book from their "touchy-feely" collection. My 2 year old (Noah) loves this book. Good for vocabulary building on little ones.

#4
Do some fun crafts. Here's 3 simple ones we did that the boys really enjoyed....

"Snow Paint" (using equal parts of water & epsom salts). It looks a lot better than in this pictures but when the water/salts dry on the paper, it forms shinny crystals. Idea taken from Hands of a Child's "Christmas Cheer" project packet.

Paper Snowflakes (cut out a large circle, fold in half and then fold in half again. Then cut triangles and ovals all around) Idea taken from "Usborne's Christmas Things to Make & Do
Snowman Puppets (the boys colored them and we punch out holes for their fingers) Patterns from Hands of A Child's "Christmas Cheer" project pack.
For free snow craft templates, as well as printable coloring pages and worksheets go here.


#3

Get active: jump, dance, do games, play hide and seek

Check out more snow themed activities here.

#2

Watch a new movie....or an old favorite

And for #1.....

...you will have to wait until tomorrow because I still need to upload the pictures!

December 11, 2007

Our Window View-Winter



Well is not officially winter yet but here's our window view from this morning. To see our view from last month go here. This was taken right after breakfast which explains Noah's shirt. :o)

December 07, 2007

A new favorite in our home


If you are looking for a book that would have your little ones saying "read it again, please!", you gotta check out this title.


Hush! A Thai Lullaby by Minfong Ho 2005 Caldecott Honor Book


This book has it all: a well written-repetitive rhyme, introduction to the Thai culture (homes, nature, animals, clothing, climate, etc.), a cautious momma, a cute funny baby and beautiful illustrations.

In the book, the mom is busy "hushing" all the animals near by to make sure they don't wake up her baby who's sleeping. But what she doesn't know is that her baby is sneaking out of his hammock and playing around.
It's hillarious to spot to baby on each page and see what he's up to! The end is very funny too.


Homeschoolshare ladies: this would be a great book to write a unit for. I might try it myself. ;-)

December 06, 2007

Quaker Summer


A few weeks ago I finished reading Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson. You can learn more about her here.

I must admit that it was very difficult for me to get into this book. I had a hard time with how it's written on first person (it's like reading her diary entries). But once I passed the first few chapters I was hooked!

Loved this story and what it teaches us. I was challenged in my faith and how I live it out; who I share it with; who I choose to bless. I think about the city I live in and the many needy people who need the light of Christ in their lives. There's so much work that needs to be done and sadly the workers are very few (just like our Lord Jesus said).

While reading the story I kept thinking of this song by Christian songwriter Tim Hughes titled "God of Justice". It's from his latest recording Holding Nothing Back. Great CD. If you haven't heard it yet, you should. And if you haven't read this book, you should too. ;-)

God of Justice
(by Tim Hughes)
God of justice, Savior to all
Came to rescue the weak and the poor
Chose to serve and not to be served
Jesus, you have called us
Freely we've received
Now freely we will give
We must go
live to feed the hungry
Stand beside the broken
we must go
stepping forward
keep us from just singing
move us into action
we must go
To act justly everyday
Loving mercy in every way
walking humble before you, God
You have shown us, what you require
Freely we've received
Now freely we will give
Fill us up and send us out, Lord.

December 05, 2007

Pre-k talk

Oh, the wonderful things my preschoolers say and do!
Enjoy these recent accounts from our household.




    New Band-Aid

    A few weeks ago Noah came running out of the bathroom with a pantyliner on his arm and says: "Mama, mama! I found a big band-aid for my arm!" Then he runs around the house with a big smile telling Dad and Caleb "Look at my band-aid!".

Facebook Moment

I walk into the living and see Caleb dancing to Veggie Tales music. He turns towards me and says: "Hurry, get the camera! You need to put this dance I'm doing on Facebook!"

Polite Boy

  • Caleb tells Noah, while playing with his train set: "Excuse me Noah, could you please go poo-poo somewhere else?? I am playing here and cannot concentrate with the smell." Sweet Noah just walks away quietly to get mama to change his diaper.

  • Brotherly Love

Me (while changing Noah's diaper): You know Dad...I think instead of having another child we should adopt one who's already potty trained. I don't know if I can do this with another child.

Caleb (who was quietly playing near by): No, Mom! I love Noah please don't give him away!! He's my brother! Don't switch him for a new child!

December 04, 2007

December Plans

Here's what's happening at our preschool this month.

This week...

We started listening to Christmas music and designated a wall in our home where we will display the Christmas art the boys will do this month.

Our memory verse for the month (from children's ministry at church) is "And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world". 1 John 4:14

We also did a paper chain to countdown the days till Christmas and taped it to a star that reads "Jesus is born".

Next week...

we start a 2-3 weeks focus on different aspects of Christmas time. We will be working on our second lapbook from Hands of a Child, "Christmas Cheer". They suggests completeing it in 5 days but I am expanding it to 10 to incorporate our read-aloud and activities.

  • Day 1: Wintertime/snow
  • Day 2: Snow
  • Day 3: Decorations (Tree, Wreath, lights)
  • Day 4: Santa Claus (we don't celebrate Santa coming on Christmas Eve but do want the boys to know about this tradition)
  • Day 5: St. Nicholas (the real Santa)
  • Day 6: Reindeer/bells
  • Day 7: Treats-Candy Cane
  • Day 8: Treats-Gingerbread Man/House
  • Day 9: Carols
  • Day 10- Carols

We will choose every week a different account of the birth of Jesus to read from Scripture. Can't wait to start! Now I just have to gather the books and materials we will use.... ;-)

December 01, 2007

Feliz Navidad

This is Caleb when he was 2 years old singing Feliz Navidad during our family christmas gathering. It's hard to hear because of the laughs but at the end he is saying "again...again" and this was his third time singing the song.