Thursday, July 31, 2014

N is for Nature Shelf

I have a nature shelf. I have looked at other people's nature tables, shelves, corners. I have pinned a number of them on Pinterest.

While on holiday, I picked up some more shells. I found some shells among the pebbles on the beach.

The shells were the inspiration to start a nature table, shelf, corner or what it really is here a nature windowsill. I looked around for things that I could add.

A book about shells, one of the nature books Along the Seashore, and magnifying glass, and my whiteboard frame.

Miss K had the magnifying glass and a shell and told me she was being a scientist. That is the exact purpose of the nature table to encourage exploring nature.

I love the colours of the books and the way it all creates a bright learning area.

It makes me smile when I see it. There are reminders of holiday, bits of colour, and most of all something to explore plus the fact that after pinning and pondering, I did it. I created a nature shelf. I also did it with things we had in the house.

I have grabbed Along the Seashore a few times and used that for Miss K's copy work.

Now I will have to think about what is next for the nature shelf. Autumn does give opportunity for leaves so that might be the theme.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Snip, Snip - Building Scissor Skils

I will say that Miss K does have scissor skills when it comes to cutting hair. She has cut her own hair about two or three times. Scissor skills seem to be one of those skills that you want the child to learn but there is also the danger associated with learning. That is what to cut and what not to cut. I think we have learned that rule.

When we began scissor skills, we used loop scissors. I was able to find them at a local teacher's store. Loop scissors open automatically so the child doesn't need to open but rather just cut. We have some like this.

It has taken some time to build the finger strength for cutting. There are various pinching and squeezing activities that will help build the strength. Miss K also has the challenge of her stubby fingers.

One thing that I bought that has really helped is Kumon's My First Book of Cutting. You could probably find things to cut out and use but this book gives about 35 pages that are a bit thicker in weight and make it easier to cut.

This is her serious cutting face. I think she was working hard on that page.

She did a great job. She looks like she is ready to eat it.

I have given her one or two pages each week to cut and practice.  She discovered that there is a certificate at the end of the book so she is working to finish the book and get the certificate.

She cut these the other week and I was impressed with her cutting.

The scissors that she has been using are Melissa and Doug and they are supposed to only cut paper. I tried it on my hair and they didn't cut my hair. These are a good but I think she is moving to being ready for a bit more regular scissors.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Praying for the Heart -- A Loving Heart

Praying for a Loving Heart

The love that is in our hearts flows from God. I John 4:7. As we understand and experience God’s love we will be able to love those around us.

God loved us unconditionally. While we were yet sinners he loved us. (Romans 5:8) Throughout his ministry here on earth Jesus interacted with sinners and showed them God’s love. We need to learn to love in this way.

God loves us unselfishly and sacrificially. He loved us so much that he sent Jesus to be the final sacrificial lamb. Are we willing to love with that kind of sacrifice?

God’s love is steadfast. It does not change, which can be a comfort to us. Both Moses and David write of God’s steadfast love (Exodus 34:6-7 and Psalm 36:5).

From our love will flow all the character qualities listed in I Corinthians 13. We will be patient, kind, not envying or boasting, not arrogant or rude, rejoicing in truth, bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things and enduring all things.

We are to walk in love as Christ loved us. (Ephesians 5:2) Walking in love implies action, a steady continual giving of love.

A loving heart is one that knows and experiences God’s love. “Beloved, let us love one another for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” I john 4:7

Do you know and experience God’s love? Do you understand the depth of his love for you? Pray that you will have a deeper knowledge of God’s love.

Others in this series:

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

M is for Memories

M is for memories

I was cleaning out some things and found some old photos. Years ago you used to take photos with film and then you could get them printed with a 3x3 inch photo and 2 small 1.5x1.5 inch photos on the side. I found two old 1.5x1.5 photos. I decided I really should scan these so I have them saved that way.

This is myself (on the right) with my cousin and my mom's uncle. He was a missionary doctor in Africa for a number of years and then the local doctor in our town. I remember going to him at least once or twice when I was sick.

I am guessing that this was taken the same day. I would guess that I am about 4 or 5. This was my grandmother's kitchen and I am helping my great grandmother dry dishes. She is the only great grandparent that I knew.

It was probably Christmas as each Christmas that whole side of the family would gather for a meal. There were probably about 50 people or so. That particular year it was at my grandparents' house. They used to have a general store attached to the house but that was no longer operational now it was just a big room with an attic full of old things like post office boxes, sofas, tables. A fun place for kids to play. We called it the store.

Great grandma liked pinkies. That is what we called the candy that she liked. (I searched and discovered that these are Canada Mints.)

When I was in high school, I did a black and white photo of my great grandmother reading her Bible for a photography competition.

My blog is named after my Great Aunt. I should probably save that story for another day. I wonder if I have any photos of her?

That was a short walk down memory lane. I am thankful for the godly heritage that I have in my family. Missionaries, prayer warriors, and family that love and serve Jesus.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Praying for the Heart - A Pure Heart

Pray for a Pure Heart

Psalm 119:9 tells how to keep your way and heart pure: by guarding it according to God’s word. God’s standard is purity. God is pure. His Word is pure.

A pure heart is one that is marked by chastity. This has the idea of sexual purity. God desires us to be pure in this way as clearly stated in the Ten Commandments, “You shall not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14)

Purity also includes our motives. It is easy to manipulate other people and situations to our advantage. When that happens, our motives are not pure. Our conduct needs to be pure in this way. There should be no question regarding our motives.

Joseph displays purity when he was tempted by Potiphar’s wife, he fled. He remained pure. That cost him his job and his freedom. Later we see that God worked all of this to his good and there was a reward for his purity.

When we are living a pure life we will be blameless. Love, knowledge and discernment will all lead to a pure and blameless life.

If this is an area of struggle, remember David’s confession after his sin. Psalm 51 records the whole prayer but verse 10 is the plea for a clean or pure heart. God is faithful to forgive.

A pure heart strives to live as God desires, keeping sin confessed, motives pure, and behavior honoring. This comes from knowing God’s holiness and guarding our thoughts and actions.

Pray that you will remain pure in your thoughts and actions. Pray for others about this specifically. Satan would like nothing better than to cause us to sin in this area. Pray for a pure heart.

The others in this series:

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Battle Abbey

William the Conqueror and the Battle of Hastings

One of the points in our timeline that we did with Classical Conversations. The year was 1066 and the battle was for the English throne. In January of 1066 Edward the Confessor the king of England had died without an heir. Harold Godwinsson was appointed King. William Duke of Normandy claimed that he had the right to the throne based on a treaty with Edward the Confessor.

It was here on 14 October 1066 that King Harold after a forced march from York and the victory over the Vikings battled William who had sailed with his men from Normandy. We had just been in York a few weeks ago and we though of the drive we had and how the men had been forced to march that distance and then fight another battle.

We arrived at Battle Abbey in the morning. We saw a short video which gave us an overview of what happened here in 1066. We also got the audio tour and had ours set to the kids tour so we could hear what they were hearing including the warnings to be careful about stray arrows.

We walked along the battle field and had an excellent view of the abbey and buildings.

The abbey was built here as penance for the bloodshed or maybe a memorial to the end and a symbol of Norman triumph.

"St. Benedict and Monasticism" Another point in our timeline. This was a Benedictine abbey until the suppression of the monasteries under King Henry VIII.

We were able to walk through the abbey and see the old quarters where the monks lived. It was common that the second son would become a monk.

The high altar was in the abbey church was at the very spot where Harold fell.

We learned that most places have a Discovery Centre which is a fun place for kids. It might just be a room but it is fun to dress up.

He is ready for battle. Not sure which side he is fight on.

There always have to be a princess that needs to be rescued. This is a very cute princess.

It was fun to take some photos of the kids while we wandered around. I thought this was a very cute photo of Miss K.

This is the view we enjoyed while we were eating our lunch.

It was a fun day and we did learn a bit of history.

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Camping - Making Memories

I told a friend we were going camping and I think she laughed for a week. I don't know if it is was picturing us sleeping in a tent or the idea of us cooking over a camp stove. It really was a new experience for us. Okay, I admit I camped when I was a kid. That was at least last century.

A friend had an extra tent and most of the equipment and asked us to join her family. We decided that camping might be a cheaper way to see things here. This would be a good way to try it with someone who is experienced.

Here is my husband putting up the tent. I have to say this is a much bigger tent than we had when we tented a few times growing up. It had four bedrooms and a large space in the middle.

We learned the advantage of going before school holidays. The campground is not that crowded. We had a nice quiet corner and not a long walk to the bath house.

Stuart and the kids were learning to play cricket. I think they tried to use some baseball rules as well but were corrected.

Even Miss K got into the action. It wasn't really that cold for long sleeves but she had picked that out herself.

Miss K going to sleep. I think she did manage to stay in her sleeping bag. Sleeping in the dark is a challenge for her and one we are trying to break. She did a great job while we were camping. She was very excited to camp as her brother has been to camp and has been camping and this was her first time.

We were not far from the coast and we went to the sea on two different days. The beaches here are pebble beaches not the sandy beaches we are used to. The pebbles were a bit hard to walk on.

Miss K loves to just sit and dig though she did get in the water a bit. The water wasn't as cold as we thought. We had some warm days and so it had warmed up.

Bob is the bowler. I think he was learning but he did have some good form.

One of the things that you check when camping especially tent camping is the weather. The weather was great for the most part. We got a bit of rain on Thursday evening but last night we watched these clouds roll in around 8:30. We had already quickly cleaned up things that were outside and done a trip to the bath house. We got thunder and lightening and it rained for quite a while. It was windy and I was hoping that the tent would not blow down. It stayed up and stayed dry.

The days are long here at this time of the year. The sun comes up around 5:00 in the morning and goes down around 9:00 so we really didn't need flashlights or torches as they are called here.

It was a great first camping experience. We were told that this campground is one of the nicer ones. We might try it again.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Praying for the Heart - A Truthful and Honest Heart

Pray for a Truthful and Honest Heart

The dictionary defines honest as free from fraud or deception; genuine, real; humble, reputable, respectable; creditable, praiseworthy; marked by integrity. The opposite of honest is deceitful. Honesty is about our actions, our behavior, and our motives.

Job was a man that vowed to continue living a life of integrity even with all he had been through he was striving to life a life of integrity. Those that walk in integrity will walk securely (Proverbs 10:9) A life was deceit will be full of twists as you try to continue that deceit. Ananias and Sapphira acted deceitfully. There was some truth to what they said but not the whole truth. Their deceit was punished. (Acts 5:1-11) God calls each of us to live a life of integrity. 

Truthful is referring to our words, words that are true, telling the truth. Paul writes to the Ephesians telling them to “speak the truth to one another”.  A lying tongue is one of the things that the Lord hates. (Proverbs 6:16-17)

We need to be truthful with ourselves. No one talks to you more than yourself, so the words that you say to yourself need to be full of truth.

A truthful and honest heart is one that understands God’s holiness and God’s standard of integrity and truth. A heart that listens to truth guards the thoughts and actions of the heart.

Do you tell yourself the truth? Pray that God’s truth will shine through in your heart. Pray that you actions will be marked by integrity.

Other Posts in this series:

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Monday, July 14, 2014

L is for Listening

I listen to lots of voices and lots of people every day. Do you know the one person that I talks to me the most? No, it is not Miss K even though she talks all the time. It is not Bob and he talks quite a bit as well. It is me. I am the one that I hear the most.

Stop and think about what you tell yourself. I might wake up in the morning and tell myself, "I am tired." Maybe something is not going the way you want and so you tell yourself, "I am so frustrated."

Those might be true but what if I were to say, "I am tired but this is a new day and I am looking to God for the strength for the day." What would happen if we guard our thoughts and think in light of God's truths.

You are the one that talks to yourself the most. What are you saying? Are you listening to truth?

Speak the truth even when it is just talking to yourself.

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Miss K's Birthday

Miss K was very excited for her birthday. She had been looking forward to being 10 for more than a year. Nothing special happens when you turn 10 but it was just the next number.

I had told her I would make pancakes with a 1 and a 0. She would not let me forget.

I think this is the first time I have made pancakes since we moved.

Miss K had football in the morning and then we had a BBQ later so she opened her gifts in the morning.

She was excited to untie the bag and reach in and see what was in the bag. I love my gift bags they are so easy to use -- no scissors or tape required. Just find a bag that is the right size, put the gift in and tie it up.

She was excited to get some more dishes.

We had a team BBQ and they had bought a cake for her. It was just the right cake for Miss K -- a Hello Kitty cake.

Happy Birthday, Miss K. Enjoy 10 while you count the days down till you are 11. (11 will be easy to make with pancakes.)

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