Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Whether by car, plane, or boat...

Don't forget your coat!    

Indiana Unit Study
Interesting Facts
1.  William Henry Harrison, the 9th President, was the 1st to set many records in his government career.  
* He was the 1st governor of the Indiana Territory
* He delivered the longest inaugural speech (1 hr. 45 mins.) He was not wearing a hat or coat in the bitter snowstorm during the speech which led to him getting a cold which led to pneumonia which made him...
* The 1st president to die in office
* He served the shortest time in office (31 days)
* He and his grandson, Benjamin Harrison (23rd President), were the only grandfather-grandson presidents. 

2.  Samuel Morris - This young man had a powerful testimony!  We watched the YouTube movie (this is an old school movie but we looked past that to the inspiring story :-). We also watched the Heroes of the Faith DVD. Unfortunately, Samuel didn't realize the effects that the cold, snowy weather can have on someone if they are not dressed appropriately. One day he went out to share his testimony without his hat & coat, similar to President Harrison, he got really sick and died shortly after that.  However, God used Samuel's short life to have a lasting impact at Taylor University.

3.  Indianapolis 500 - I know you have heard of this well-known car race.  But, do you know what every winner gets once they drive into the winner's circle - A cold bottle of....Milk! This tradition is dated back to the 1930's when the winner requested a cold bottle of buttermilk to quench his thirst.  
The kids decided to have their own car race.

Of course the winner (Kalia) got a nice cold cup of chocolate milk! :-) 

Carysse made a pic of a car race on the iPad. 
She said the bystanders are all people with special needs in wheelchairs.  
Her compassionate heart often looks out for opportunities to include the disabled.

We spent most of the unit focusing on The Wright Brothers.  
They invented and built the world's 1st successful airplane.
Wilbur Wright (left) was born in Indiana.

The girls made clothespin airplanes.

 We culminated our unit by watching Disney's Planes Movie.  
We don't have a TV, but we enjoy watching movies on the wall with a projector.
It's our own Family Theater!   

They made paper airplanes with daddy.

Monday, February 17, 2014

If the hat fits...

Wear it; whether you're a chef or the president! 

Illinois Unit Study
On this President's Day, I thought it would be nice to post about our Illinois study of Abraham Lincoln. As a young adult, he moved to IL with his family.  He started his career in IL.  He had various jobs (such as store clerk, postman, soldier, lawyer, & legislator) before becoming the 16th President.  His greatest contribution to society was his ambitious, passionate efforts to end slavery in this country which led to the Civil War which led to the Emancipation Proclamation.  Although Lincoln was assassinated before seeing the fruit of his labor, God used his efforts to establish the 13th Amendment which abolished slavery throughout the U.S. in 1865.

During the week of our study, we walked in the post office and saw this big poster of this stamp.  What a "God-incidence"!

While Lincoln worked as a postman and lawyer, he kept the mail and important papers in his top hat.  So, I made a construction paper hat for Carysse to write facts about Lincoln. 

Lincoln was born and lived in a log cabin throughout his childhood.
The girls made log cabins out of pretzel sticks.

I had to keep the roaming baby bear occupied by giving him some to eat. :-) 

It was fun studying my home state! 

Idaho Unit Study
Of course we decided to focus on potatoes for our study of Idaho.  But, we can't talk about potatoes without talking about potato chips! George Crum, a mixed race (African American & Native American) chef, "accidentally" created chips while trying to fix a complaint by one of his customers that the french fries were too thick.  Most findings say this incident is true but others say it's a legend.  Either way, we enjoyed reading about Crum and his life.  

Carysse wrote facts about Crum on a chef's hat.

The girls made potato print snowmen.

 We also grew potato plants!

Two weeks later, we did a 2nd observation.  The girls were excited to see buds coming out of their potatoes. 

Four weeks after we started the experiment, Carysse's potato buds started growing stems!
Kalia's potato (left) didn't change much from the 1st observation.  I think it's because she mutilated it by insisting on making a "sun" with all her toothpicks :-). 

I found this sheet for her to record the observations.  


Monday, February 10, 2014

Eleven Fears in Eleven Years...

Backdrops for the Lord's faithfulness to be displayed! 

Through Christian's 11 years of life, I've had many fears!  All of them were turned into cries out to the Lord.  Most of those prayers were not answered in the way that I desired.  Nonetheless, God's plan for my son and our family weren't hindered (Job 42:2)!  He has definitely worked all of our joys & sorrows for our good and His glory; to conform us into Christ's image (Rom. 8:28-29).  Here are 11 fears turned into prayers that I've had over the years and what God's Word has spoken to me through them.  

1. In a hospital bed, while 25 weeks pregnant with my son, I prayed that he wouldn't be born early.   
God's Answer: No. He was born the next morning.
God's Word for Strength: Isaiah 41:10

2. I prayed that he wouldn't have a lot of complications or have to be in the hospital for a long time.  
God's Answer: No. He stayed in the hospital for 135 days & endured a breathing machine for 2 months, feeding tube for 2.5 months, various infections, 6 blood transfusions, & 1 surgery. 
God's Word for Faith: John 11:4

3. I prayed that he wouldn't have any other issues besides prematurity.
God's Answer: No. He had his 1st seizure at 9 months and then diagnosed with Sturge-Weber Syndrome.  
God's Word for Trust: Psalm 112:7

4. I prayed that he wouldn't have any mental delays.  
God's Answer: No. He is significantly mentally disabled. 
God's Word of Wisdom: 1 Corinthians 1:27-29

5. I prayed that he would be able to talk. 
God's Answer: No. He has never said a word.
God's Word of Sovereignty: Exodus 4:11 & John 9:1-3

6. I prayed that he would be much further along in his mental understanding & development by now.
God's Answer: No; in order to show that God's purpose for Christian cannot be hindered by man's opinions, labels, growth charts, or IQ tests.
God's Word of Purpose:  Psalm 138:8

7. I prayed that he would be able to walk & feed himself.
God's Answer: YES!  He started walking at 2.5 yrs. & feeding himself at 9 yrs. old!
God's Word for Praise: Psalm 126:3

8. I prayed that the Lord would wipe out all of our medical debt in those early years of Christian's life.  
God's Answer: YES! It was paid within 6 months!
God's Word for Provision: Philippians 4:19

9. I prayed that we would have enough babysitters to watch Christian along with our 3 other children for our regular date-nights and for our annual Anniversary get-aways. 
God's Answer: YES!  You will have all the help you need! 
God's Word for Help: Psalm 121:1-2

10.  I prayed that my son would have a class on Sunday mornings where he could hear and learn about Jesus like his siblings.
God's Answer: YES! This past fall, a new Sunday School class started for children with special needs called, "His Strength".  
God's Word for Inclusion:  Mark 9:36-37

11. I prayed that he would do well at school and that the Lord would protect him each day.
God's Answer: YES! He's been well taken care of for 8 years now and acquiring new skills each year! 
God's Word of Blessing: Numbers 6:24-26

Even though I have all these remembrance stones of God's faithfulness, I often have to cast off fears that I have about the future.  I'm striving to remember the many ways that God has shown Himself strong and been so good to our family.  I want to constantly recall to mind that, "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is His faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:22-23).

I thank God for using Christian to teach me that "God's Word will never return empty without accomplishing what He purposed" (Isaiah 55:11)! 

Happy 11th Birthday, my dear son!