Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases...

We are having our second snowfall in a week! It is so beautiful and unusual for our part of the country. It is like a blanket of peace upon our house.

The last of the 4 boys came down with the flu today. Our oldest came down with it last Tuesday and we have been steadily working our way through each of them until this morning my 7 year old woke up with fever. It has been exhausting, yet as always God's grace has been ever present to help. It is such a unique time when you have been nursing sick children for a week. I think about the women who have gone before me and sat by sick beds for much longer than what I am doing. I think about their faith and perseverance. I think about my friend Amy who stood by her daughter's side through suffering and death. I am grateful for the example of faithful mothers who care for their children.

A few days before the flu came to our house I was remembering that THE STEADFAST LOVE OF THE LORD NEVER CEASES. I kept thinking that phrase over and over and finally looked up the passage in Lamentations 3:21-24,

"But this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him."

How did Jeremiah (the author of Lamentations)call this to mind. How did he know that amidst suffering God's love was steadfast? Well, I think he knew it because he knew the law of God. If you read Deuteronomy 5:1-21, right in the midst of the 10 commandments you find where Jeremiah got his hope. The Lord promises to show steadfast love to those who love him, even while he is bringing judgement on those who hate him.

How blessed we are to have the example of those who have gone before us and the word to dwell upon.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.

Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 1

Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?

A. That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ, who with His precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins, and redeemed me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, that all things must work together for my salvation. Wherefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live unto Him.

Friday, October 30, 2009

His Faithfulness

By Amy Carmichael

O wind of God, blow through the trees;
O birds of God, come sing your song;
For now I know the joy that frees,
The joy that makes the weakest strong.

The vapors march in shining crowds,
High in the trackless roads of air;
I look, and lo, unto the clouds,
His faithfulness is even there!

Pass foolish fears; the fresh winds blow;
O birds of God, come sing with me.
My God is faithful this I know;
My Father, I have all in Thee.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Introducing...


The Iron Clad Beetle
Mark's mother found this beetle ,at her house, in the dog food dish. She put him in a jar and brought him to us. Well, the poor little guy looked as though he were dead. There were a couple of times that I thought I saw him moving, but everytime I went to check- there he was laying on his back-- dead. We were planning to add him to our dead insect collection, but at last we found that the little guy was playing a trick on us. He was actually still alive, but anytime we came near he played dead. We were so impressed with his trick that we set him free in our flower bed.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Education is an Atmosphere

Over the summer I read and loved the book, When Children Love to Learn. It was very inspiring and hopefully as our routine smoothes out I will be able to post some of my thoughts. But for now I thought I would show you some pictures of our learning areas.

Our Learning Atmosphere begins with books!





This is where we keep our nature books and field guides.






Here is where you will find our art supplies and some of our prints.










This is my desk and the red nature table.



This is our butterfly collection.


On my desk, I like to put a print from the art period we will be studying along with a reminder of our nature focus (birds), and I really just like mushrooms so that is on there, too.



This is our work table and the light from the windows caused this picture to not turn out well. We have our timeline as a backdrop and on the table from left to right are the following: Turkey feathers in a gourd vase, shells in blue jars, a picture of mushrooms, a terrarium, our book of months, and finally our pencils, paintbrushes, and erasers.



As I cleaned and arranged I was thinking about the visual aspect of atmosphere. Although there is more to atmosphere than the placement of desks, pictures, and pencils, it is an aspect of atmosphere that is important. A place where the mind is inspired and at peace; a place for both inspiration and contemplation.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Backyard Science

A little over a week ago, one of the boys came running into the house to let me know that he had spotted a strange caterpillar on the fence. Of course this is an invitation for me to go outside and investigate with him. So I grabbed the camera and off we went. Indeed it was a very fascinating specimen. The black barbs and bright colors made us a little wary of touching it. We looked through our caterpillar book and could not match it with any of the drawings, although one was close. So, we decided to do some searching on google. We found a site with great photos and it had a perfect match to our caterpillar---the Gulf fritillary.
Later in the day he noticed that the caterpillar had assumed its position of hanging upside down and we knew it wouldn't be long until it was a chrysalis. Sure enough, the next morning we found him as a chrysalis. We never cease to be amazed at this transformation! Now we are watching and waiting for the butterfly to hatch!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Sketch Tuesday-Fences







Last week was so busy and I forgot to send the boys sketches in for Sketch Tuesday; so I promised to post them here!






Tuesday, June 30, 2009

10 Year Anniversary

It is hard to believe that 10 years have passed since we were married! Actually June 5th was our anniversary. I am so grateful for my sweet husband. He has been enormously patient with me! I hope and pray that God gives us many many more years together. My prayer is that we would be united for Christ and glorify the Lord together and exalt His name forever!

This year as we celebrated we not only had a special date for the two of us, but we also had a special celebration with the boys. A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love for one another, but it is also the celebration of the beginning of our family and God's faithfulness to us through the years. Marriage is designed not just for the couple, but for the family. The boys enjoyed having a part in celebrating with us.

Sketch Tuesday

We have been enjoying our summer break. One of the activities we have been taking part in is Sketch Tuesday, hosted by Harmony Art Mom. This weeks assignment was to do a picture study of the above Monet painting and then sketch the picture or a part of the picture. Here are the boys sketches for this week:





Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Here is an example of why 3 year olds really don't need chewing gum!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Doing the Math



I found this over at Justin Taylor's blog. Pretty interesting!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Looking for Spring

On the first day of Spring I gave the boys the camera and we went looking for signs of Spring. It was great to get outdoors and hike around. Here are a few things they found.
The post oak with it's new flowers.
A little purple flower growing near the pond.
A white flowering bush
A flowering fruit tree (peach, I think).
And the lovely fire ants we have in Texas!
The cottonwood showing it's flowers-We have been waiting to see whether this tree was female or male. The one in our old neighborhood was male. This one happens to be a female. You can identify them by their flowers.
The beautiful wisteria we found that was climbing on a neighbor's tree.


After all the fun of searching for Spring we decided to attempt to paint spring trees with the aid of this tutorial. It was so much fun and the boys loved the way the branches on the tree looked real. Happy Spring!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Give Nature Study A Try



" Out in this, God's beautiful world, there is everything waiting to heal lacerated nerves, to strengthen tired muscles, to please and content the soul that is torn to shreds with duty and care....She (teacher/mother) finds, first of all, companionship with her children; and second, she finds that without planning or going on a far voyage, she has found health and strength."Handbook of Nature Study, page 3




I read this today on the Handbook of Nature Study blog, and thought it perfectly captures what has been my experience with nature study. If you haven't tried nature study with your children or even by yourself, I highly reccomend you give it a try this spring. It is very refreshing.




If you need help getting started the above mentioned blog is a great place to look. A recent post entitled: How To Use The Outdoor Hour Challenges: Fitting The Challenges To Your Family, gives you a picture of what it might look like with preschoolers and elementary students.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

WE CONQUER BY HIS SONG

By Amy Carmichael

We see not yet all things put under Thee.
We see not yet the glory that shall be;
We see not yet, and yet by faith we see;
Alleluia, Alleluia.

We see the shadows gathering for flight,
The powers of dawn dispel the brooding night,
The steadfast march of the triumphant light;
Alleluia.

Be we in East or West, or North or South,
By wells of water or in land of drouth,
Lo, Thou hast put a new song in our mouth;
Alleluia.

Therefore we triumph; therefore we are strong,
Though vision tarry and the night be long;
For lifted up, we conquer by Thy song;
Alleluia.

Nature Study- A Vulture's Nest

I think that I have posted before about how nature study tends to involve the whole family. Well, today my husband was gathering some old wasp nests, that I had requested, from an abandoned house. All that is left of the house is pretty much just the shell. Anyway, as he was doing this he thought that he saw something in one of the rooms on the floor. He said that he caught a glimpse of something that reminded him of a deer lying on the ground. So he decided to walk around to another window to get a better view. Well, to his surprise it was not a deer, but a vulture sitting on its nest! Immediately the bird flew out the door. After he determined that it wasn't after him; he got a good look at the nest with two large eggs! If you watch closely, right at the beginning of the video, you can see the bird flying out the door. Then at the very end of the video is the nest with eggs. The nest is in a hollowed out place on the floor and the two large eggs are easy to see.

video

Friday, January 30, 2009

Outdoor Hour Challenge #45 Squirrels










We had fun observing this squirrel that often visits our bird feeders. We finally caught him removing the roof to the top feeder. We see him almost everyday out our kitchen window. He likes to retreat to a branch about 15 feet from the ground that sticks out only about 2 feet from the tree. Instead of drawing our squirrel for the nature notebooks, the boys completed a coloring sheet. The boys also loved the videos on Barb's blog. They watched them numerous times and every visitor had to watch them as well! We are very fond of squirrels and enjoy watching them and taking their picture. The two photos below are old, but memorable.


This squirrel has had something happen to his tail. We wondered if maybe he was Squirrel Nutkin, from Beatrix Potter's book by the same name.


This is a very friendly squirrel we encountered at my mother's house. We were able to get very close to him without him being frightened.