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Wisdom and Righteousness

Wisdom and Righteousness: November 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Simple Memories

Our house doesn't celebrate Santa because a few years ago someone had pointed out that if we tell our children about Santa, who they can't see, and also tell them about God, who they can't see, then when they find out Santa isn't real, it might make them question God.  I thought that was fair reasoning.  We do however, mention that many families celebrate in that way, and that it is a game parents and children play just for fun.  Our kids know not to tell other kids that Santa isn't real (or the tooth fairy, or the easter bunny), and that when people ask what Santa brought them, they are just asking what gifts they received for Christmas.  I think each family has to decide what works best for them.  We do have fun playing along with all of the Christmas make-believe, fully knowing that it is all pretend, and we make sure it doesn't detract from the true meaning of Christmas.  Last night was a great example of how this works, and it just flowed out naturally - no planning on my part!

We popped some popcorn and sat down to string some up on thread to use as garland on the Christmas tree (I have such fond memories of loving that as a young kid!).  We watched a classic "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" movie.  It naturally led to us talking about how the reindeer made fun of Rudolph because he was different, but that it was exactly that different which gave his life a special purpose.  We too, are each created unique.  Some of us may look or act different than a lot of other people, but God has uniquely designed us for His purpose, and one day we can "Shine in the darkness", pointing the way to Christ! (just like Rudolph's nose pointed the way!)

We also talked about how we were "knitting together" the popcorn, and how the Bible tells us we were knitted together in our mother's room.  God put us together perfectly - we are "fearfully and wonderfully made!"

Such wonderful memories I store up in my heart!


Advent Experience {Truth in the Tinsel}

I found a fun Advent resource by Amanda White with all kinds of great projects that walks you right through Advent!  No more tedious planning!  Perfect for the younger grades!

I love that the scriptures are repeated several times throughout the month so that the kids really understand and remember the Truth!  This is all about Christ, and leads us to the cross - you can't love the manger, unless you know it was ultimately for the cross!  Check it out!

When you BUY THE BOOK, you’ll have 24 full days, detailed supply lists, alternative schedules for those busy weeks, free printable templates and some great tips on how to use the book!  Best of all, it's only $4.99!!!  Forget about all the time and effort spent planning - spend that time with the kids!  Totally worth it!

So excited for this resource!  Hope you enjoy it too!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lapbook 3 for use with Classical Conversations Weeks 13-18!

Lapbook 3 is now complete!  This is a tri-folder Lapbook template for use with Classical Conversations Cycle 3, weeks 13-18.  We use it to review and record our memory work!  Such a fun way for students to get their hands into what they are learning! 

I really like the way this one came together!  Check it out:

Love the red, white and blue theme too!  You can get your copy here. Or click at the Resource tab above to see all of the Lapbook Resources!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I am attempting to make it easier for everyone to find the resources you are looking for (specifically, Lapbooks).  I have added a toolbar to the top of this page that links to the Posts with the Lapbooks.  Further improvements should be coming.....


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

When a lesson is caught...

He hands me the small yellow square - a message scratched out by a five-year-old on a yellow sticky note.

He says, "I wrote Mommy Loves Daddy, because you do" and I smile.

It is the same thing a woman leaned over and said during church fellowship time, that when I walked in and that love of mine put his arm around my waist while we sang hymns, that my daughter noticed and her eyes sparkled. Sometimes it is scary that they will learn more from what they see in us than what I try so hard to teach them....

And I wonder, is that true of the world in general?  Will they learn more from what they are exposed to than by what we say?

We watched videos of children in poverty this morning.  I wanted my little girl, who has been so eager to sponsor a child, to see what those people go through.  We explained how it wasn't just sending someone money, but that she would be part of our family, adopted as our child (though far away) until she is old enough to be on her own.  We talked about Colombia, where she lives and looked it up on the globe.  It really isn't that far around this big world to a seven year old spinning a blue ball on its center.  The child speaks Spanish, and my little girl wants to learn so she can tell her in her own language how she has been adopted into our family and how God wants to adopt her into His family, and how we are adopted too, into this family of believers - chosen just the same, in the midst of our need and despair.  My little one smiles as she stares at her new Colombian sister.  And somewhere around the globe, I imagine a mama smiling too, wondering who chose her child.  Her husband puts his arm around her waist, and they sing hymns of praise for the Lord's provision.  Our new Columbian daughter sees her father embrace her mother, and she whispers "Mommy loves Daddy" in Spanish, and the lesson is caught, the image of their embrace forever etched into her heart.

Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

True Education

I read a post on A Holy Experience and feel like it was meant for me - a term I threw around a few times this weekend at my women's conference being used right there in the post, as if to taunt me.  I remember what I want my children to learn most of all today - His compassion, His Mercy, His Grace to His people.  That there are people that God gave needs to, and others he gave an abundance to, and if we would just open our hands, to let go of our grasp on the abundance, and receive our Daily Bread alone, then we all would have just enough.  And the biggest needs are not monetary - they are a shoulder, a hope, a friend.  We can pray hard.  We can remember these people who need food when we sit down to our abundance.  We can learn about their country and send them letters a million miles away.  We can send them hope.  We can send them a friend.  We can meet Christ in that, and we will never call the time we spent in prayer, the time spent writing, the time spent studying as sacrifice or discipline, or work, but as the work of God in us, renewing our minds and hearts to awaken to Him in this world, in this moment.  There is life in this.......the Truest of Life....

Blessings my dear sisters,

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Journal

When anyone asks about why I choose homeschooling, I try to do my best to explain to them that we yearned for a "one-piece life" with no division between secular and sacred.  A life lived to glorify God Sunday through Sunday.  Now that I am in the thick of it, I have found that sometimes our one-piece life gets lost in the laundry and all that is clean is our underwear.  Maybe that's too wild of an analogy for all of you...  :)

I went to a conference this weekend that was so uplifting, challenging and encouraging.  It gave me the chance to stop and think about all we have accomplished so far this year in school and in our family.  I took a look at what we say are our priorities and what really gets most of our time.  I stoked the fire yearning to knit our lives together with Christ above all, and set to making a plan to find a new center (hint, it was not how many school subjects I can squeeze into one day).

The result?  "Our Family Praise and Gratitude Journal".  We are going to record as a family either by words, pictures, or things we can paste in the binder, different ways that we see God at work each day.  We are striving to be awake to the gifts he perpetually gives.  The Bible tells us in Psalm 89:14-17,

"Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim You,
Who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord,
They rejoice in Your name all day long;
They exult in Your righteousness.
For you are their glory and strength."

So we attempt to awaken to His glory, His work, His presence among us in all we do, and to give it back to Him.  And the natural way to demonstrate the acceptance of a gift is through thankfulness.

Our list today:
1. Warming hearts with the Word and tummies with hot chocolate
2. A house to live in (Becca)
3. Our toys (Robby)

It will be exciting to see how the entries change over time, and if we will have a habit of looking for gifts from God.  Hopefully we run out of paper naming them all!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thanks Giving

Not sure how to celebrate God's provision and the gift of Everlasting Life this Thanksgiving season?  What better way than with Thanks and Giving trees?  Loving this great tool for November from the blog: Chocolate on My Cranium.  Check it out!


With a week break from CC class, you would have thought we would be over-prepared for presentations, but on Tuesday morning when Becca asked right before heading out the door to CC, "What are our presentations supposed to be on today"  I realized I spent too much time designing lapbooks over break.  :)

We threw something together - Becca talking about her baby picture album - a complete full album, all of which takes place in only the first month of life.  The next three kids not only do not have an album from the first month of their life, but they have no albums at all.  Good thing they are boys and don't seem to really care so far.....someday I'll have time for that, right?

Robby's presenation was about rockets....He loves those things, but really, we should have something more prepared.  Next week is going to be awesome - the kids are both "refining" their presentations (Actually Becca is switching to a rocket presentation too.  We have outlined the parts of the rocket and the steps to launch.  At the end of their speaches they will tell their class that we will launch a rocket at lunch time.  Hopefully all goes well since this mama has never launched a rocket, but it sounds like something a cool mom would do, and since I am never in that category, I think I should give it a try.

So excited for life-sized bodies this week that I almost threw myself on the butcher paper and yelled "trace ME!". I restrained myself long enough to trace Robby's spindly legs and cute ears onto the paper.

It is our family's turn for presentations.  I have no idea what we will talk about besides the fact that the kids can destroy anyone's house in 2.5 seconds flat.  That really is our best skill.  Cleaning up, well, that takes a bit longer.... 

Getting into a routine this week, and finally finding a schedule that works better for us.  Completely different than what I had planned at the beginning of the school year, but so far this week, it is working fairly well.  Who knows what next week brings.  If it really seems to work for us, I will try to post it.  It only took us until November to figure out...... :)

I am reading "The Core" by Leigh Bortins, creater of Classical Conversations.  I have avoided this book in the past because I really don't like being marketed to, and of course I assumed that it would be full of that, but after a CC mom said it really gave her a lot of clarity behind the classical model in the younger ages, I was excited to read it.  I am really enjoying it, and haven't been marketed to once!  I am hoping it answers the question "How much is too much? and How much is not enough?" as far as school time and efforts go.

When I was talking to a friend at lunch the other day it hit me: If I spend time educating my kids on something that they don't retain, aren't I really just entertaining them?  i came up with that before I started Leigh's book, and of course she refers to that concept, but ever-so-more eloquently.  She calls it "edutainment".  That is so true.  If we ship our kids off to school and they do crafts and projects and read great books, but cannot tell us one thing they learned a year later, wasn't that pretty much a waste of a year.  And come to think of it, can I recall much of my education as a child?  Do we assume it has to be that way, or is that way because of our age?  What if age has nothing to do with it, but rather technique and practice do?  Such good ponderings!

Headed off to the Extraordinary Women Conference in Rockford tomorrow with a great group of gals!  Praying first of all that God will show up in a mighty way, and that we will all be broken before His magnificent throne, and return restore, refreshed, renewed with a vision for our family in service and full of desire for Him.  Other than that tiny request, I am so excited that Ann Voskamp from A Holy Experience will be there!  Oh, how I have treasured and been encouraged by her words!  May God be with her tomorrow as she shares a message with His daughters!

Here are some pics I thought were great - Baby Gabe as a "thinkin' puppy" takes the cake!  Also love Robby's "tongue in action" when he is cutting out his head (now that just sounds weird...)  Last but not least, trial one of the Rocket speech - sure to be better next week!

Oh yeah, and I caught the kids reading stories to each other - so adorable!

Favorite moment this week so far.......

The whole family cuddled up in an armchair and couch with Daddy reading the last chapter of Farmer Boy - from the "Little House" series......LOVE IT!