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).


Little House in the Big Woods: Chapter 7

Chapter 7: Sugar Snow

There was so much to learn in this chapter! We learned how Laura's Grandpa made Maple Syrup from the Maple trees. It was an amazing process of planning and hard work.

 But as Pa went off into the Big Woods to help Grandpa, Laura commented that her Pa was, "Strong, brave and swift." So, I had the children list things three things or more (using adjectives) about there daddy and draw a picture of him!

 "Daddy and me."

 That night at dinner they surprised my husband by reading it to him.
Next, we learned the parts of a tree. We studied how the roots take in the water and send it up to the leaves. My son said that it's like a big straw is inside the tree sucking up the water! So, we made a very big straw and tried very hard to suck up the water.

Lastly, The children were given three different sets of questions to choose from. Each one had to answer and explain different aspects of the process:

Then, they made their own bucket, drill and trough and put their questions and attached the answers to it.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Little House in the Woods: Chapter 5

Chapter 5: Sundays

In this chapter we read how the Ingals family celebrated Sunday.
First they took their baths on Saturday night to be ready for Sunday-the day of complete rest. In the morning the girls were dressed in their finest outfits, with fresh ribbons in their hair. On Sundays the children were not allowed to run, shout or play noisily. They were allowed to look through the family Bible that was full of pictures or through Pa's book, "The Wonders of the Animal World." Sunday was not a day of work in any measure. No cooking, cleaning, or sewing. A full day of nothing. I was impressed, but my children were not. They felt that it would be too dificult to be quiet all day.

Then Pa retells a story to his girls about how Sundays were for their Grandpa. Needless to say it was twice as difficult. It was a funny story of how their Grandpa made and rode a sled with his brothers on Sunday!

With my older children we studied in Deutronomy the Ten Commandments. We knew before reading it that it would say, "Keep Holy the Sabbath day," but there was more information given. We learned that no work should be done. Neither you, or your family, or servants nor the stranger at your gate.  The children discovered that the Bible clearly says that there should be NO work done on Sunday, but it did not say, "No laughing, or smiling." We talked about how people interrupt the Bible wrongly and it is a very dangerous and sad thing to do.

After we discussed the The Ten Commandment I allowed my children to journal about what we do on Sunday as a family, and compare it to Laura's childhood. I think we had a great discussion.

Since Pa's Grandfather made a sled I thought it would be fun for my kids to make a sled too! No, I am not handy with wood or a saw. We made our sleds out of thick construction paper. (It actually found it's use-many a stuffed animal took a ride on it!).

Another great many lessons learned!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) 

The invitation has gone out. It is at our doorstep. Pick it up and read it, for Jesus says, "Come."  
You are welcome to walk in. "Come." You are accepted. "Come." You are wanted. "Come to me." Jesus is calling your name and desires to know you.

My pastor's wife read that Scripture aloud, and as soon as I heard, "Come" I got choked up. I heard His invitation. I felt His love. I knew His acceptance and was overcome. My Lord has invited me.

I cannot remember, nor am I able to count, the amount of  times where I have had the realization that I was not invited. Talking with friends, laughing, enjoying each other, and then the 'party' came up. Friends would say, "Oh, I thought you just couldn't make it." or "Oh, you weren't invited?" Then came the pit in my stomach in realizing that for some reason or another I wasn't invited. I wasn't wanted. Sadness would ensue for days. Rejection, my steady friend and companion for years, would show up alongside me, BUT Jesus, God, Lord of the Universe, says, "Come to me" to us

And what is His invitation? To come into rest. If you are tired and burdened, (raise your hand if you are tired and weary) and come and rest. He desires for you to come in, drop your bags at the front door, slop over to the couch and lay down. He actually wants us to stop 'doing' and rest.

I remember, about ten years ago when I had four children under four years old, my grandmother-in-law invited me and the kids over to her house for lunch. I came in with two babies in infant car seats, baby bags, blankies, and all the paraphernalia that goes with having little ones. She met me at the door and began to 'unwrap' me from my heavy load. She took one baby, than another. She set up a play area for the kids. Then welcomed me in. As I entered her home I saw the dining room table was set, for me. Beautiful dishes were laid out and more enticing food than I could have asked for. We talked for awhile and then we sat at the table for lunch. She served me. As I took my first bite I began to cry. I felt ridiculous, but the tears flowed without my permission. She put her arm around me and said, "Rest." I didn't have to explain. She knew how very tired I was. How difficult my life was. She understood and offered me to rest. She then got down on the floor and played with my infant twins while I sat and ate lunch in peace. The tears did not stop once while I ate.

Jesus is offering to us, to come in  rest, and "learn from me." Rest your mind, surrender your worries, and "learn from me." The invitation is here, how will we respond? I say, "Yes." I want to learn from God. I want to hear what He has for me. I want His advice. I want to stop striving, stop trying to achieve in making everything right and perfect. I want His plan-His perfect plan. "for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." He is gentle, not harsh. We are safe in Him. We can trust Him. 

I have known Jesus in a deeper way since 1988. In all these years of 'coming' to Him, I have learned that He not only calls us into rest, but into much more. 

Jesus calls us to come into repentance.

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17) Jesus offers forgiveness for our sins. Forgiveness from shame. Forgiveness from guilt. He removes it from us, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." (Psalm 103:13) and washes us from our sin "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." (Isaiah 1:18). With the forgiveness of sins, that only Jesus can give, we become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), and receive the fruit of the Spirit which, "is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control." (Galatians 5:22-23)

 He calls us to come and trust Him. 
 "Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:25-31)
Jesus calls us to come into a deeper trust, a deeper faith in Him.

Jesus calls us to come and follow Him.
"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will send you out to fish for people." (Matthew 4:19) We can follow Jesus and tell others about Him.

If you have never asked Jesus into your heart and asked Him to be your Lord and Savior and would like to, read the prayer below and believe that when you ask Him to come to you, He will.

Dear God,

I know that I am a sinner. I believe that you sent Jesus to be my Savior, and that He died on the cross to take away my sins. I believe that Jesus rose from the dead and is coming back someday. Please forgive me of all my sins, come into my heart and change me. Please help me to follow you for the rest of my life. Thank you for saving me and taking me to heaven one day.

In Jesus' Name,

If you have prayed the above prayer, and would like to talk to someone about your commitment to Jesus Christ, please feel free to contact me.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Little House in the Big Woods: Chapter 4

Chapter 4: Christmas

This week we read about how Pa and Ma prepared for Christmas.
Pa made a wooden shelf for Ma, but made it special by carving into the wood little pictures of birds, flowers, and stars. I did not have the proper wood for children to whittle, so we took the idea to carve SOAP and give it away as gifts.

Ma prepared LOTS of wonderful foods to eat for Christmas. One thing was Molasses Candy. The ingredients are: Molasses, brown sugar and SNOW! Well, I happen to have a SNOW cone machine- so we got busy!

Here we are making snow...

and the molasses candy...

and pouring it on the 'snow' just like Ma.

We also read about how Laura's Aunt Eliza was saved from a panther by her dog, Prince. At lunch that day we sat and watched, "Old Yeller." It was perfect.

On our last day of reading we read about the presents Laura received. She was given: A pair of red mittens,

 a peppermint stick, which I bought for the kids at our local "Cracker Barrel' restaurant and her doll.
My older children compared and contrasted our Christmas to Laura's Christmas.

The little guys had to color in a picture of Laura and her new doll and the older children wrote a report on their favorite Christmas present they have received.

Big week, lots of work and I'm hoping LOTS of learning!