Monday, July 23, 2012

From fearful to fearless!

Events occur in our lives that set us back, throw us off our comfortable axis, and change our perspective on life.  Tragedies, temptations, and worldly circumstances bombard us and we are left reeling...not sure which way to go.  Fear can almost paralyze us. 

Only with God's grace are we able to move from being frozen by fear to becoming fearless.  In Beth Moore's Study on Esther, she told us of the most repeated command in the Bible.
"Do not be afraid."  It is read throughout the Bible and commands us to live a life of faith not fear. 

So do not fear, for I am with you.  Isaiah 41:10

Crazy Horse experienced a fearful situation recently.  After learning to swim last year, his 1st swim of this season while away from home resulted in panic.  He went further than he intended into the pool and panicked when he couldn't touch the bottom.  Old Crow was there to rescue him (which he loves to tell everyone).  This left Crazy Horse fearful, and he would not even leave the pool steps.  He cried if I even carried him around in the pool.  

Well, then came swim lessons.  With the special touch of a talented teacher, our Crazy Horse has learned to love the water again.  He faced the fear and dove right in.

He even jumped off the "big diving board."

He was fearful and then became fearless!  Way to go, little man!

In His love,

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

2012-2013 Curriculum: Heart of Dakota

Last year, as I began our first year of homeschooling, choosing the curriculum was one of the hardest and most nerve-wracking decisions I've ever made.  I spent many hours on the internet reading reviews, had many discussions with other parents, asked my teaching sisters for their opinions, and prayed, and prayed.  I finally chose our curriculum, and it worked great for us...but it required a lot of planning on my part.  So with my busy family in mind, I began looking for something different for Old Crow's 1st grade year.

I wanted something Christ-centered and literature-based with a unit approach.  And something with a complete teacher guide!  I wasn't sure if I would find the right one!!  Then one night I was reading a question posted on The Old Schoolhouse Magazine's Facebook page about this very thing...the overwhelming response and suggestion was Heart of Dakota Publishing. I had never heard of this curriculum before, but the more I read and researched, the more I was drawn to this program.  

Ordering Old Crow's program, Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory, was the easiest choice I've made since beginning our homeschool journey.  When our package came in the mail, everyone was so excited to open it up!  

Memphis Belle was so excited to see a book with a dog on the cover.  She gave it kisses!!

Old Crow looked through the books and found his Early Reader's Bible.  He also loved seeing Mr. Popper's Penguins.

Crazy Horse also enjoyed looking through the books...especially the silly penguins on the cover of Mr. Popper's Penguins.

I have high hopes for our upcoming year and can't wait to see how Old Crow matures in his learning with Heart of Dakota.  Crazy Horse and Memphis Belle will return to half-day church preschool, and I look forward to seeing them grow and develop both at home and church.  :)

In His Love,

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dinosaur Dig

When my dinosaur-loving son found this fossil kit at the local supermarket, I knew it would be a great summer afternoon activity.   So we set up everything in the kitchen, and he went on a dinosaur dig!  

Old Crow used the enclosed blue tool to chip away at the dirt ball.  As he went deeper into the dirt we finally found a fossilized bone!

He then used the red brush to sweep away dirt and carefully extract the fossil.

 More digging!

And more brushing!

Once all the bones were found, he then put them together to create the whole dinosaur.

And now he has a miniature T-Rex!

So when you are out at the supermarket or dollar store, be on the lookout for interesting games and activities your kids would love.  This was perfect for an indoor activity during the hot summer afternoons.  It would also work great for fun workbox fillers during the school year.

Happy Hunting!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Roly Poly Terrarium

One afternoon after a storm, the boys helped pile up all the tree limbs that fell in the yard.  As we were moving one limb, we found a large family of roly poly bugs. We gathered them up and made a "roly poly habitat" so we could observe them. The neat thing about a roly poly is that they do not try to climb out of the container (unlike ants).  So we could just leave it uncovered and watch them move all around.

After putting together a temporary habitat, we decided to create a terrarium for our roly poly bugs.  The first thing we did was buy a terrarium from the nearby pet store.  Then we researched a roly poly on the internet to find out what they need to survive.  We practiced our list-making skills and wrote down all the things we needed to put in the terrarium. I love making lists!

First we dug up some good soil and placed in the bottom of the terrarium.

Next, we pulled several weeds with the roots and planted them in the soil.  A roly poly bug is self-sufficient and lives off decaying plant matter.  So there is no need to give them any food other than plants.

 We added some bark, wood chips, rocks, and sticks for them to hide under. Then we added the roly poly bugs we had already gathered.  

Last, we misted the terrarium with water.  They need moist conditions to survive...we don't want them to dry out.  

And now we have a roly poly terrarium!  

Enjoy nature and see what you can find!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Turtle in the Tub

One afternoon Daddy and the boys went on their weekly "Man Day."  They enjoy this time of strictly males doing only the things they can understand...mud bogging, fishing, riding around the farm, buying Gatorade from the Flash Food, etc.  While riding the dirt roads, they found a turtle and had the great idea of bringing it home and putting it in our tub.  Everyone got a kick out of it!

As we ran the water to watch the turtle swim they boys kept wanting me to touch the shell.  I touched the shell, and then Old Crow kept saying, "No, touch that spot."  He pointed to a circular shape on the shell that looked like a different looked soft and squishy.  "Uhhhh, I don't think so."  We kept going back and forth until finally Daddy touched it.  And it was definitely not part of the shell.  I'm so glad I kept my hands off!

Notice:  The spot mentioned is at the bottom center of this picture.  It looks very much like the shell pattern.  Look hard. ;)

So we brought the ipad into the bathroom and we all had an impromptu lesson on....:LEECHES!!  Yes, it was a leech on the turtles shell, which we learned was quite common.  But all I could think of was how doctors used them to suck the "bad blood" from sick patients long ago.  I ordered everyone to immediately wash their hands.  

Of course then we wanted to watch the leech move.  So we poked a little and it began to move around.  It even came off and began to swim around the tub.  (Yes, it has been sanitized several times since).

Then the turtle finally decided to "come out of his shell" and took a swim too...much to the delight of everyone.    

Who know what the boys will drag home next.  But I'm sure it will be enjoyed by all.  ;)