Saturday, December 12, 2009

O Christmas Tree

We did something different with our Christmas tree this year. We made ornaments that represent the names of Jesus. It was fun to research various names of Jesus and finding the Bible verses that go with them. I tried to have the girls do something beside just color the pictures that would be on the ornaments. All the ornaments are laminated (my new favorite toy) so that they have some durability.

Here are my girls in front of the tree and . . .

. . . here is our finished tree.

The individual ornaments:

We put glitter on the cross and then laminated it.

After we laminated, they used sticky felt to make the blanket for baby Jesus.

Added gold glitter for the flame and then laminated.

Put masking tape for the cross, chalked and then removed tape. I hindsight it would have looked better with either darker paper with the white chalk or darker chalk.

I used two pieces of cardstock and laminated them back to back. I then carefully cut out three sides of the door so that it could open and had the girls write "Jesus" on the inside.

Laminated the face and then had the girls glue strips of ribbon for the mane.

Had the girls make a basket then laminated to back of verse. I did not glue it so that I could carefully open the top of the basket and insert the laminated loaves of bread.

Glued foil on back of verse and laminated, them made a 3-D star and glue over the foil. Also, put a little glitter glue on star to make it sparkle a little.

Cut out the ribbon part and taped ribbon to back before attaching to back of Bible verse and laminating.

Laminated crown to back of Bible verse and then glued those decorative gems you find in floral department to the crown.

Used pipe cleaner to make staff.

Got a twig in the shape of the cross to represent the Righteous Branch.

This is our Jesse Tree. Of course, this is how it will look on December 25. We put one ornament on the tree each day and read the corresponding Bible verse. Starts with Creation and ends with Jesus.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Let Me Entertain You -- NOT!

In our homeschooling schedule, I have recently started group time before we officially "start school". This is a time for prayer, praise and any information I need to share with my girls. It has been somewhat difficult. My youngest (7 years old) has a very hard time sitting still and not being disruptive during this time. I can not blame her totally for her behavior--I have tacitly allowed it. What a terrible disservice I have done to my daughter. Well, all that is going to change. Not just in our homeschooling but also in the way we "do" everything--even church.

I was reading a Voddie Baucham article about family worship and including younger children. It has really opened my eyes.

This is one of the songs that he uses in his worship time. It brought back memories of my childhood.

I especially like this from his post:
Worship is not about entertainment. Worship is a solemn encounter. Sure, there are times when we have powerful, emotional encounters with God. However, those are not the norm. And when we try to make that the norm, we miss a very important truth. Spiritual Disciplines are just that... Disciplines! . . . We don’t believe every meal needs to be a grand feast, do we? Unfortunately, somebody told us that worship should be ‘exciting’ and ‘fun’ and we believed them. The fact is, sometimes worship is boring, and that’s alright. Dinner is boring sometimes too, but we still need to eat . . . How do we expect this from children whose entire religious foundation is built upon entertainment? Ironically, one of the most important things small children learn in family worship is the discipline of ‘sitting through’ something that is not necessarily entertaining.

"Sitting through" . . . I like that. The word "enduring" came to mind. Sometimes, I endure a service. It is so hard for the words of the songs to even come out of my mouth, but I endure through it. Even though I don't have a "fireworks" experience, it is okay. God is there and is ministering to me.

I feel that our church misses that very point--before every worship song we are told how awesome we are supposed to feel while singing this particular song. You know sometimes I do feel awesome--but there are times that I sing the songs and don't quite "feel" it the way I think they want me too. That bothers me--not my feelings but the expectations that are being put on my worship experience by well-meaning folks. I worry about other folks who have the same experience that I have. Do they think something is wrong with their spiritual walk because they don't feel all warm and fuzzy after every praise song?

I sometimes feel so old--I don't remember having all this stuff during church. We sang hymns/praise songs, had Bible reading and a sermon. None of the bells and whistles that they have now. I am not anti-technology, in fact I love technology. I do not think it should not be used just because it is there. I don't quite understand video taping the church announcements with all the fancy editing. I would be nice to have a living person make the announcements.

We are training our children to have the same expectation. They are subjected to all these bells and whistles when they attend children's church and then when they are in 4th grade and are required to go to big church, we wonder why they are bored and can't behave. So we tailor church to satisfy that need.

I am just as guilty of sending my kids to children's church. That is going to change. I know it is going to be hard and at times, I know many stares are going to come from people because we are going to have to enforce some discipline, but I know it will be worth it in the end.

Until next time . . .

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Getting in the Holiday Mood

OK. It is finally cool (don't know if it will last, but I will take it while I can get it), the OfficeMax ElfYourself site is up, I can smell people's fireplaces burning (wish we had one boo hoo) and I am itching to bake some cookies.

I want to decorate but I don't want to forget about Thanksgiving, so I am patiently waiting.

I found a cool cookie press at Goodwill and I am just dying to try it. Unfortunately, no instruction manual came with it. I searched the web and found the item on various sites for sell but alas no instructions. I emailed the company and hopefully I can get a manual from them. Here's hoping.

Until then, I will use the directions below.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Curly's Hometown Movie Surfer

We went to see the Train Tour of Disney's Christmas Carol when it was in town. The girls signed up for a chance to be a Hometown Movie Surfer. We were excited when we got the call that Curly won. We did a video about Curly's experience taping the segment. At the end is a review of Disney's A Christmas Carol. Enjoy.

Align Center

You can see Curly's video online at

When you get to the Hometown Movie Surfer map, just click on Curly's picture and you will see her video.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

La Clase Divertida (The Fun Class)

Los Vocales en Espanol

We are learning Spanish. The program we are using is La Clase Divertida. One of the first thing the girls learned was the vowels in Spanish (hence the name of the song). The progam came with an instructional DVD, a CD with all the songs and lessons for them to listen to, a fun workbook and a teacher's book. My girls listen to their CD at night when they are going to bed. They really like this song.

We got to record it on Curly's new Flip Video Camera. She won it in the "Disney Be a Hometown Movie Surfer" Sweepstakes when the Disney The Christmas Carol Train Tour can to our town. Hopefully she will be on the Disney Movie Surfers website by next week. We are going to have fun video taping segments to add to the blog. For now, enjoy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

All I Can Say Is . . .

PREACH IT PASTOR! Voddie Baucham

Catching Rainbows


This was a full rainbow I saw from my front yard. I ran in, grabbed my camera and told the kids to come outside. Of course, I had to take the "catching a rainbow" pictures.

We were on our way home from Fort Walton Beach, when I saw this rainbow stretch across the road. I had to take some pictures. Excuse the dirty windows.

Jaguar Game

Meeting Jackson DeVille

Meeting some of the Jaguar Cheerleaders

Waiting for game to start

This is what a 6 year old does when she is bored at a football game . . . Enjoy.

By the way, the Jaguars beat the Redskins!

Castillo de San Marcos, St. Augustine

I really enjoyed our visit to the Castillo de San Marcos. I think it was because I had prepared in advance for the trip.

Before we went to the Castillo de San Marcos, I downloaded the Junior Ranger Program Booklet from the National Park Service (NPS) website. It has information about the fort and the NPS. I incorporated it in our history lessons. A couple of days before we went, we completed the sections that could be done at home. The rest we finished during our visit to the Castillo de San Marcos. (You can get the booklets on site but it is a lot of work to do while there. They do give the option of mailing it in to receive your badges.)

The booklet directed us to places that we probably would not have gone.

For their Jr. Ranger Badge, the girls had to ask a park ranger and a park volunteer a question, it opened up a dialogue that gave us more information than we could have gotten from reading all the signs.

Curly is holding the device that lights the flint on the cannon.

Hubby enjoys sharing with Curly.

Curly enjoys listening to her father.

Angel does her Vanna White impersonation while showing us the cannon.

Now to my favorite part of the entire Castillo de San Marcos visit . . .

. . . the cannon demonstration.
Sorry for shaky video, holding onto daughters hand while taping.

When the girls showed a ranger their books, they both received a Jr. Ranger Badge and a very nice certificate. Because they wrote a letter about their visit to the fort (an activity in the booklet), they also received a Jr. Ranger Patch.

I will tell you I was impressed. I thought they would get a cheesy sticker and maybe a photocopied certificate.

A tired group leaves the Castillo de San Marcos.

Side Note:
My husband was curious about a show that he had seen about the Castillo de San Marcos. The show was Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel. According to a park ranger, they totally manipulated the footage they took. They edited answers from one question and put with another question. They misrepresented the facts--only two people died at the Castillo and both are buried in cemeteries on the other side of town. The "bodies' (as they are referred to in the show) that were found were in the area where they threw away trash and was, as gross as it is, amputated body parts. Think about it, that is how they treated a musket wound, amputate and throw away. Drafts that they felt, were from air shafts not some "ghostly" presence and their most dramatic video--someone walking with a lantern could easily be explained as lights from a boat in the water. Totally sensationalize their visit at the Castillo.