Friday, April 24, 2015

Olivia's Double Digit Birthday

Happy 10th Birthday to our first born :)
 We did a fun pinwheel theme to the decorations.

We made her a pinwheel cake. 

We decorated the yard with lots of pinwheels.

This is the message that God gave me for her along with the pinwheel theme:

Dear Olivia Hope Sarine,
This week you will turn 10 years old. You will no longer be just one number but 2. That is a big milestone. You are becoming a little lady. I thank God every day for your life. You are beautiful and precious. Today we celebrate you. You have a heart of gold. You love freely. You have great joy. You bring joy and hope to those you meet. Today we put all these pinwheels in the yard because they remind us of you. They make us smile. I pray that you would hold on to the innocence, playfulness, and carefree-ness of your childhood even as you move into double digits. May this next year be a great year for you. Don’t grow up on me too fast. God has big things in store for you though. You have so many gifts and talents to offer those around you. I am so thankful to be your mother. Continue to be who God made you. You are just right!

One of her favorite things is arts and crafts. We gave her a box of various crafty items like Perler beads, a cross-stitch set, origami paper dolls, a Rainbow loom tool, and more bands.

The Molner girls (Caitlin, Amber, Natalie, and Bethany) came to celebrate with her. They also added to her crafty collection with yarn (they taught her to finger knit and use a circle loom), floss, and stickers. They also gave her two books, a Nancy Drew book (she has been borrowing from their collection) and a Minecraft book. They are all sleeping downstairs as I type this. It is the first time we have done a sleepover and it's been lots of fun. They did some crafts together and then watched a movie before finally passing out.

The next morning after breakfast we played.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Passover 2015

**WARNING: If you are squeamish at all, you may not want to read further. There are pictures of a lamb being slaughtered, skinned and roasted.**

Passover is our favorite holiday each year. It's such a powerful time to remember God's redemption and grace, not only with the Israelites being led out of Egypt, but with the death and resurrection of Messiah. Our Passover is filled with traditions that we just love. :)

The first is that we read and act out the 10 plagues with the kids. We came up with fun little activities with each plague so the kids would have something tangible rather than just the story to hear. This year was a little different because we had the kids actually act out the various roles. Olivia was Pharoah, Gabe was Moses, and Ezra was Aaron.

They got pretty into it with Ezra shouting at her to let his people go and Olivia shouting back that she wouldn't :)
Pharoah's "Boils"
Irene saw the Plague of frogs and decided she wanted some frog legs. So not kosher...

The kids also cut Hebrew letters out of a big matzoh box and glued them to sticks like signs. The letters are Pei, Samech, and Chet, which together spell Pesach, the Hebrew name for Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

The next day was preparation day. It's our tradition (4th year now...:) to gather with 3 other families and go through the whole process of selecting, slaughtering, skinning and roasting the lamb, just as described in Exodus 12. This year was a little different for us, personally, because we've become so involved with our wonderful church community of Valley of Blessing. We got lots of questions about why we weren't coming to their event, but when we described our tradition, everyone completely understood. Doing it this way is such a powerful way to connect with the Word of God. 
I also got asked by a couple of people,"Is that a sacrifice?" and the answer is No. It's an act of remembrance. It's also an act of obedience since God says that this shall be a feast to be celebrated forever. Are we obligated? No, because we aren't Jewish. But if our Messiah did it and we want to be more like Him, shouldn't we celebrate as He would have? 
Everyone gathered to watch, including the kids. This isn't the first time they've seen this, but they 

It doesn't look so great here, but after 3 hours of roasting, the smell was mouth-watering...

The day is also about fellowship. We always have a wonderful time celebrating with our friends. The kids, of course, love it because they get to hang out and play for hours and have a sleepover. :)

Throughout the day, we take a few minutes at different times to do the Four Cups, a tradition of the Passover Seder. The Four Cups are the cups of Sanctifcation, Deliverance, Redemption, and Restoration and comes from Exodus 6:6-7: "Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians."

 This year, to add to the tradition, each family decorated their own Passover Cups to use during the blessings.

The kids each made their own so they could keep them for next year. :)

We all gathered around before dinner to read the Passover story to the kids. The book we use is very interactive and we all enjoy shouting, "A Plague!A Plague!A Plague!" :)

Not only is there a feast when we eat the lamb, but also at breakfast the next morning! :)

It's not only about Passover, though. This is also the time when Yeshua was walking to His ultimate act of mercy. He became the Passover lamb for us all. To commemorate the day, the kiddos made little "tombs" out of flower pots and stones. 

They placed a cross beside the tomb and left the tomb empty! 
That's because Yeshua, our Passover Lamb, is risen.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Artwork - January-March 2015

So for art over the last couple of months, we've been trying new media and techniques. We talked about Albrecht Durer, who we looked at when we studied the Medici family in history. One of his big things was woodcuttings for printing. The kids got to try using foam sheets to scratch a picture and then roll over it with ink and press a sheet of paper to make a print.
 Olivia tried making two prints from one rolling. :)

Then we talked about Pieter Bruegel, who used bright colors to paint scenes of everyday life. We'd seen his work before as well. The kids used veggies to make various shapes on the page. The used slices of green peppers for the clouds, broccoli for bushes and the tops of the trees, corn cobs for tree trunks and logs and carrots for things like rocks and the sun. 

After Bruegel, we learned about someone new: Giorlamo Francesco Maria Mazzola who became known as Parmigianino. He did a lot of work with distortion, like painting the view in a curved mirror or a spoon. The kids' projects were doing watercolor "lifts" which involved painting the background and then using more water and a paper towel to soak back up some of the blue paint to make clouds. Then they painted angels on them. :)

Finally, we tried our hand at blocking, which is painting over something on the page and then removing it. They did candles in darkness and it was pretty cool how they came out.

Friday, March 20, 2015

FIAR - How To Make An Apple Pie And See The World

How To Make An Apple Pie And See The World is now one of our favorite and most involved FIAR books we've done. We had a ton of activities that really got the kids involved in the book, especially Ezra. Now that he's learning to read and do basic math, he was able to do a number of activities that he hadn't been able to do in the past.

 He did things like counting the seeds in apples, finishing patterns, circling the right number of vehicles on a card and the life cycle of an apple. 
Gabe was not exactly idle either. 
He did a huge math sorting puzzle that involved adding up numbers to put them in the right baskets. 
 He sorted a huge pile of apples into odd and even trees.
 He even made butter! :)

 It was yummy on some freshly baked rolls.

 Everyone got to play with cool sensory box that had little representations of items from the book.

Together the boys played a game making silly sentences. They would roll three dice that each had a different category of words on them (noun, verb and adjective) and then they'd make up a silly sentence. It was my job to attempt to illustrate it. :)

Finally, all the kids together made a fantastic apple pie!

Because of the late hour, they didn't get to eat it that night, so...

Who says you can't have apple pie and ice cream for breakfast?

This book also just happens to be the last one we're doing from the FIAR Volume 1. It's been such a fun time doing all the books and seeing them all over our big wall map. If you look closely, you'll see the apples that mark the places from this book where all the ingredients were gathered. :)

There is another book that is similar that we look forward to doing down the road when it fits our history studies.