Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Week of Creativity

Inspired by a pin I saw on Pinterest (you HAVE lingered there, right?!), I made this wall hanging as a gift for a friend who is having her first baby:

The fabric and ribbon are new, but most of the buttons are "vintage."

....and I made a card to go with it:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Thankfulness Journal

We've begun a new unit on Miracles in our Sunday School class, and it motivated me to follow through on something I've been meaning to do for a couple years:  create a Thankfulness Journal.

I had one years ago when I first started working - it was a confidence booster at the time, where I wrote things people said that (what to me at the time) seemed to validate my work, my competency, etc.  I needed it when I was feeling unsure of myself.

Other times I've written lists of things for which I am thankful, but those were impermanent and I couldn't put my finger on them now if I had to.  Therefore, I'm going to dedicate one of the many hard-backed, blank, lined journals I pick up here and there to a Thankfulness Journal.

What does Thankfulness have to with miracles?  Well, for me, I am SUPREMELY thankful when I see God play an active part - even in small ways** - in my daily life ~ some people call them "God Sightings" or "God Winks," but neither of those phrases really grab me, so until I find a new way to describe them, I'll just refer to them as things for which I am thankful and write them in my journal.  Personally, I think they are "Mini Miracles," because, I mean, hey, isn't it a MIRACLE that the GOD OF THE UNIVERSE cares about little ole' me?

I see God alive and at work in my life in the smallest ways.  I mean, VERY SMALL.  An atheist or agnostic might dismiss things that I notice as coincidence, I take it as evidence that God cares about every part of me and is involved in the mundane day to day activity in my life.

FOR EXAMPLE, and here is a Homeschooling Moment:

This morning we began our school day as we always do - with our Bible lesson and memory verse of the week.  This week's verse is
Matthew 5:16:  Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

(OF COURSE, we sang This Little Light of Mine)

But to put our verse in context, I backed up some....
Matthew 5:13:  You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how [e]can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

We had a lovely discussion about salt losing its saltiness ~ (background:  If the four year old finds a salt shaker on the table and pours it out on said table, licks it....licks it...licks it.... she throws up.  She doesn't say why she is retching, however, but Mama's detective skills are improving.  We Have Learned That Too Much Salt Is Not Good For Our Bodies And They Reject It.) ~ which has been a pertinent issue in our home at least twice.  They know about salt.

Anyways, we moved on to History.

We are using Mystery of History as our backbone curriculum and (more on that in another post) this morning we began to look at cultures outside of the middle east, specifically, China.  We did the lesson, learned about the first couple dynasties and, as a surprise, I took the girls to "Chinese" for lunch.  We compared the characters of the Chinese alphabet on the back of our chopsticks packages to hieroglyphics and cuneiform writing, talked about the differences in food and the different gods (idols) they worshiped ~ Chinese restaurants aren't complete without a Buddha! 

Lovin' us some homeschooling!

So then it was Fortune Cookie Time.

Now daggone it if I didn't lose my 'fortune,' but it said something about filling someone's head with knowledge vs. teaching them to learn for themselves.  I "just happen"** (see above) to be reading to be reading a book about Classical Education vs. Outcome-Based Education.  Right on target!  Hannah's fortune was: Keep negative comments to yourself, avoid any disputes.  Eh?  Maybe not.  Nice, but not necessarily words to live by.

But what I thought was REALLY NEATO was that on the back her "Learn Chinese" word was, SALT.


Yes, really.

Its going in the journal.