Sunday, December 7, 2014

Little House in the Big Woods: Chapter 10

Chapter 10: Summertime

In the beginning of this chapter we learn that Laura, after being taunted by Mary, slapped her sister across the face. Pa notices and calls her inside. Pa explains to Laura that one of the rules in their home is to refrain from hurting another person. He then tells her that she must mind what her Pa and Ma say. The discipline was a spanking. After Laura's spanking, Pa scoops her up in his arms, holds her tight and loves her.

Our assignment for the day was to look up Scriptures pertaining to discipline. We found Scriptures that clearly speak to the parent about disciplining their child, 'as to drive the foolishness bound up in a child's heart far from them.' (Proverbs)  We also saw how God discplines those He loves so we may be holy. (Hebrews) We talked about how discipline is an example of love. The parent cares so much for the child and desires them to live according to the Bible that they would take the time to discipline them. I love that after Laura was given her spanking her Pa holds her and loves her. He spanked her, not in anger, but in love and that love was received.

Our project was to make a small Bible. On the inside we wrote down the Scriptures we looked up and explained in our own words how discipline is a form of love.

Next we read about how Ma made cheese. To be honest, it was confusing for me, since I had NO idea, in the least, what any of the terms she used so freely, meant. I turned to YouTube to help me. I searched, "How to make cheese" and came up with the video below. Seeing it done made it very clear. So, the children and I watched it together.

Making Cheese: The Traditional Way (In Northern Italy)

I also rented, Extra Cheese, Please, by Cris Peterson from the library. The children and I read all about how to make cheese and then wrote about it.

                                                           Also in the this chapter,
                                                we learned about how Pa found and
                                                      collected honey from a tree.
                                             I added more books to this lesson and
                                                         we read about honey farms.

                             After we learned all there is to know, we spent time writing
                                    the steps down in our "Collecting Honey" booklet.


I'll tell you one thing I've learned through all the many lessons is that Pa and Ma never stopped working! They worked from sun up to sun down. They are an inspiration to me of what hard and diligent work really is. How much they loved each other and their children and how they worked so hard to provide a beautiful home for them. They have kept me on my toes just trying to teach my children all the different chores they did naturally every day!


Monday, November 17, 2014

Little House in the Big Woods: Chapter 9

Chapter 9: Going to Town

There was much to learn in this new chapter, but what we focused on were just a few things.

First, we talked about the little poems written on the candies the girls received and then worked together to write our own poems.

Next, the little kids learned how to sew Laura's pocket! They loved it.

Lastly, we talked extensively about how Laura compares herself to her older sister. Laura is not grateful to God for her brown hair or the candy she received because her poem was smaller than Mary's.  We discussed how ungratefulness and jealousy can lead to bitterness and anger towards God. The older children were given Scripture verses to look up. (This idea came from The Prairie Primer). The older children made their own pocket and placed the Scriptures into the pocket.


Superman Party!

My Superman!
This little guy not only wanted a Superman birthday party,
but wanted his siblings and friends to make a Superman movie with him.
So, we did!

We wrote the script for the movie as a family.
Each night at the dinner table we all added our thoughts and ideas.
I was in charge of costumes!
My husband in charge of filming it and
all the kids were the actors.
My youngest wanted to be a princess AND a supergirl-
So- that's what she is!

The villians in our story were the
Lucky, Ducky Duo...

 It took almost two hours to film a 6 min. movie!
But it's a memory we'll never forget!

I found Superman rings at a local cake shop,
so I make cupcakes and placed a Superman ring on each one!

A cereal box piñata!

My friend told that making a cereal box piñata is easier to make than an old fashion paper mache piñata- and she was right! So, I had a double size cereal box and had no idea what else to make than Superman's shirt.
1) first I filled the box with lots of candy!
2) I first wrapped the box in wrapping paper.
3) Then wrapped it again in this royal blue glitter tissue paper.
4) I used a sheet of the tissue paper and wrapped it around a plastic disposable cup to make each arm.
4) I used red streamers to make his cape.
and 5) Lastly, I cut out the Superman symbol from one of the cake plates!
I completed this piñata in less than one hour!

It was such a fun day!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

"Close Your Eyes"

I have found that when I say to my children, "Let's Pray," they all begin to get into a serious posture for prayer, but then someone along the way, and not the same person each time, will open their eyes and start playing with something or stare off into space. I can't really blame them because as a child there were times I couldn't keep my eyes closed long enough for the prayer of Grace before a meal. But,  I'll notice it, wink at the child to close their eyes or I'll wait until the prayers are finished to say something. This has been going on for years and lately I've begun to feel frustrated. I didn't even know why it bothered me so much, but it was and our prayer time together was more frustrating than peaceful, that is, for me.

So, I did the only sensible thing I could do, I prayed alone and asked God, "Should I be making a big deal about closing our eyes when we pray?"  In my quiet time He impressed on my heart how very much He loves my children and wants to give them visions or Words of Knowledge or Prophecy. Then I realized, we should close our eyes so we can hear from God. It was a revelation of sorts. I would tell my children to close their eyes so they could be listening to what was being said and come in agreement with it, but now it was so much more than that.

The next day I shared with my children what I learned. I was so excited for them. GOD wants to talk to them. He has something HE wants to show them! Thus, the eye opening problem during prayer time has stopped.

Now for why I'm really writing this article...

The other day I prepared a great lesson for my children and I was looking forward to doing it. The activity that went along with the lesson was to simply write or journal about their favorite Christmas or Christmas present and explain why. Sounds fun, right? Sounds easy, correct? WRONG! One of my daughters began to cry. She told me it was too hard for her. She didn't understand the assignment. She couldn't do it. I'll be honest, inside I wanted to go run and hide and leave her to figure it out alone. I could not emphasize.  I had no compassion. She cries whenever anything deviates from the norm and I just felt so lost-- her too.

So, without any ideas of how to reach her, I took her in my arms and began to pray for her. (Don't think I'm a great mom, wait to you hear the rest of the story). I DIDN'T close my eyes. I prayed a rote  prayer, and had a, "Nothing is going to change" attitude! In my mind I was done with the crying and the "I Can't" attitude. (Believe me, this isn't easy to admit or write about, but it's the truth of my ugly, imperfect heart and how God loves me still).  As my eyes were opened I heard the Lord speak to my heart, "Ellie, Close your eyes I want to show you something." I closed my eyes immediately.

With my eyes closed, I settled down.
The frustration began to leave and then I saw a vision.
The Lord showed me my daughter's heart. In her heart was a treasure chest. A beautiful treasure box, but it was locked up. Shut tight. I was dying to see what was inside. So, I prayed, "Lord, I see in my daughter's heart a glorious treasure chest, that is sealed with a key. Will you open it for her?" Then He showed me that she is afraid to have it opened. She is afraid of being rejected or made fun of. All her gifts and talents are inside waiting to come out." Compassion flooded my soul. I prayed for her to be released from fear. I prayed, "Perfect love drives out all fear" (I John). I prayed for her to know in her soul that she is accepted.

I could feel her tears water my shirt.
I could feel her heart pounding.
I could feel her fear.

I held her tighter .
Kissed her head.
I asked her, "Do you want God to open the treasure box in your heart?"
She nodded.
I prayed.
"Lord, will you now open the treasure chest. Will you take your Holy key and open it up. Allow the gifts and talents you have given her to come forth. Pour down your freedom. Let her shine! Amen."

We hugged a final hug.
I asked her, "Do you think you need help with your creative writing assignment?"
"Nope." she said in confidence and walked away and wrote a lovely remembrance.

Since that day she has been open in sharing her thoughts, feelings and expressing herself in dance and worship. I tell her in her ear, "I love the treasures God has given you!"

She sweetly smiles a look of freedom.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Little House in the Big Woods: Chapter 8

Chapter 8: Grandpa's Dance

In this chapter Laura and her family go to Grandma's house. Laura talks about how much she loves going to visit her Grandma and the reasons why. My children were given time to reflect on what they love about going to their Grandma's house and why.

                               I can't wait to let their Grandma read all of these!

Uncle George blew his bugle to announce the beginning of the party, and played it during the dance. We made our own bugles too!

 BUT the part of the story that I couldn't wait to read with them was when Pa took his fiddle and began to 'call' out the dance! I rented a Square Dancing Video from the local library and taught my children how to square dance! We were one person shy of having a complete square of eight, but how much fun we had. The children laughed and laughed! (I also rented a CD on square dancing so they could hear the calls and respond). This has been a great experience.

And lastly, Laura spoke about all the food at the party. I let my kids choose which food item named that they would like to make- they chose the, "Heart Shaped Cookies" recipe. We got straight to work. (I used the Little House Cook Book for the recipe).