Monday, October 13, 2014

From Sunflowers to Peaches...Thanks Bees!

North Dakota Unit
North Dakota is the nation's top sunflower grower; producing 50% of the U.S. crop.  Before attending the Family Retreat, we had already planned to focus on sunflowers the following week.  Let me tell you...God delights in bringing even the smallest blessings to His children! We were driving away from the retreat & all of a sudden we saw fields of sunflowers!  We must have missed them on our drive up.  I couldn't control my excitement!  I started taking photos from the van.  Then my sweet hubby decided to pull up next to one of the fields so that the girls & I could get out & get a closer look. None of us had ever seen so many beautiful sunflowers. That was definitely a memorable family moment! 

This photo is not as vivid because it was taken from the van; but I wanted you to check out all that yellow; the sunflower fields were massive!

 I also found this fun activity to do. 


South Carolina Unit
Although Georgia is named the Peach State, South Carolina actually produces more peaches.  It is the second largest peach producing state with California ranking first.  Therefore, we thought it would be a "sweet" idea to focus on peaches for this unit. 

After reading Katie and the Sunflowers during our ND Unit, we talked about still life paintings and artists.  The girls did some peach still life art of their own.

After reading From Pit to Peach Tree, they did this peach craft.

We culminated the unit with a cooking project - Peach Pie Pops
These were super easy & fun especially using Ready-made refrigerated pie crust

The girls were all into you can see from the flour on their faces.  :-) 


Baby bear enjoyed them the most! 


Lots of peachy keen fun! 

Vermont Unit
Vermont's state insect is the Honeybee.  Without this special insect, there wouldn't be any beautiful sunflowers or delicious peaches! Honeybees are super important to farmers because they are the principal pollinators of many of their crops.  Although we run away from them in fear of being stung, we tend to run to the pantry for their delicious honey. Bees are most likely the most useful insects on earth! 

Another "Coincidence" - The same week we studied bees, this article was on the front cover of the newspaper! 

Our verse of the week
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24
We talked about the verse and did Honeycomb Art

They also did a Bubble Wrap Beehive craft

Beehive from pattern blocks

Thanks for stopping by! 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Our 6th & Final Family Retreat

Once again, we had a wonderful time at the Joni & Friends Family Retreat!  This will be our final Family Retreat :-( (at least for awhile) because our family will be transitioning into a new season of ministry.  For those of you who have not heard, the Lord has called my family to plant a church in East St. Louis, IL.  You can read more at our website - City of Joy Fellowship.
Therefore, we made sure we enjoyed every moment of the retreat!  
The theme was "Hope Overflowing" which came from my favorite verse in the Bible -

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  
Romans 15:13

The Lord blessed Kempton to unpack the meaning of the verse in its context.
We were definitely encouraged to press on with hope through joy & peace! 

We were privileged to have Joni & Ken Tada attend this retreat! 
We had not seen them since 2009.

My Little Star

That's Carysse's "I am smiling!" face :-)

Elsa has been our babysitter/PCA for a few years.
We were so glad that she wanted to join us at the retreat this year.

Sweet bro-sis moment

Fun for Everyone! 

Christian wanted to give Kempton a kiss...precious!


My athletic one just had to join this volleyball game.

My creative one was busy making sand creations.

My two oldest sweeties

 I love this photo! 


These sweet sisters served our table at each meal.
They were definitely role models of diligent serving.

May these retreats continue to be a little piece of heaven for all the families who attend!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Flying High, Twisting About, & Sailing Low

New Mexico
Have you heard of the White Sands? Well, we didn't until we studied New Mexico.
It's another Spectacular Creation from our God. 
I decided to create a "White sand" (aka Moon sand) sensory box for my little man.
All that's needed is 8 cups of flour & 1 cup of baby oil. He had lots of fun!  

The hot air balloon is New Mexico's official state aircraft.  
The girls enjoyed making their own hot air balloons! 
(As you can tell by seeing what Kalia said for hers, this activity was done before July 15). :-(

First, we put the baking soda in a balloon. 

Next, we added vinegar to a water bottle. 

Then we added water. 

Lastly, we attached the balloon & shook the baking soda into the solution.

And watched the balloon get bigger & bigger!

This state is in the Tornado Alley so it's most likely to get hit by these dangerous storms.  
We talked about tornadoes and prayed for those who were affected by the deadly tornado in May 2013. We also compared hurricanes to tornadoes and talked about the importance of our emergency box that we prepared when we studied hurricanes

The girls are busy doing their tornado craft.

We did this "Tornado in a Jar" Experiment but unfortunately I couldn't get a good photo of it. :-/ 

Rhode Island
*The Smallest State
*Nicknamed the "Ocean State"
*This state is only 37 miles wide & 48 miles long but has 384 miles of shoreline.

With all that said, we decided to focus on boats for this unit. We first talked about how God is higher than a hot air balloon, more powerful than a tornado, and stronger than a boat.  
Our saying was, "People need boats, but Jesus can walk on water!" 

The girl worked hard on their boat activity

Rhode Island's State Motto is - Hope.  The state flag is pictured below. It is said to be inspired by Hebrews 6:19 - "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul." This a sweet reminder to us believers especially with all that's going on around the world.

Coincidently, our theme for this year's Family Retreat was Hope (more about that later). 
So, the girls wore their Hope shirts even though they're hard to see behind the boats. :-) 

May our Hope be built on nothing less than Jesus' blood & righteousness!