So Many Books, So Little Time

Right now in our homeschool, we are reading out of 6 or 7 books during our together school time where I read aloud to the oldest 6 kids.

We are reading The Basket of Flowers. It is a Lamplighter book, and these books are always so convicting because the main characters are so much more forgiving and loving than I could ever be. Maybe some day. I am being changed into His image…

We are also reading some books about the Reformation. I got interested in this subject after reading the Crown and the Covenant series. I’m reading about John Knox on my own, but I got some children’s library books about the Reformation that I’m reading aloud to the kids.

We are still keeping up with the Daily Bible. I’m so proud of us! It’s so hard to stay consistent every day doing the same thing. But we catch up if we get behind, and we’re still reading each day’s reading. We’ve made it all the way through April practically. My goal is to read it all the way through the whole year. Then we will have read through the Bible in a year. All of us!

We are also reading one of the books by Jack Deere – the one called Surprised By the Power of the Spirit. It is so refreshing to read about someone leaving the unbelief of cessationist teachings and embracing the reality of the power that God wants us to operate in today in signs and wonders, miracles and healing.

We are also reading The Great Dinosaur Mystery – Solved by Ken Ham. Patrick requested more Science and Creation teaching, and I was happy to oblige.

Anna reads Mr. Pipes Comes to America in her excellent British accent. She is on the last chapter, but we can’t seem to get it finished because of lack of time each day.

I just bought the first book of the Wilderking Trilogy which is a fantasy based on the life of David from the Bible. I want to start reading it, too, but it will have to wait.

In the middle of all this, my wonderful neighbor brought me some books she got at a conference and let me borrow them. I read the first one to myself and then started reading it to the kids the next day. It was really good. It was a novel for children about spiritual warfare, similar to Rick Joyner’s books The Final Quest, The Call, etc. They also reminded me of Frank Peretti’s books, This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness. The main characters were kids, but the story was good and the characters were so likable that Kelsey said she hoped the next two books would have the same characters in them. This book was so short that I was able to read it to them in two days, but, surprisingly, it was captivating even to us story snobs who want a story to last for weeks and to draw us in so that we feel like we’re living with the characters and they become part of our family. The series is called Dread Champions of the King. It is written by Frostie Hall. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants their kids to get excited about living for God and praying and really doing spiritual warfare.

Well, that’s the gist of what we’ve been reading together in our homeschool.

Oh, I found out that the book I read to the kids about Early American History written by Angela Elwell Hunt called Rehoboth was part of a series. She also wrote a book about Roanoke the Lost Colony and another one about Jamestown. So guess what? I got Roanoke from the library, and I’m going to read that one to the kids, too.

See why my unit studies last so long! We are almost to the time of the cowboys in the lapbook and now I’m going to start reading a book about Roanoke which was before Jamestown and the Pilgrims. Oh well, we’ll learn all that we need to learn. I’m not in any hurry. Thankfully, I’m on God’s timetable, not man’s.

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Threatening Weather Was Just That

Wow, what scary-looking clouds we had last Saturday. I was afraid we might have a tornado after I heard the tornado siren go off. I spent most of the next hour watching the sky. We never even got much rain. Praise the Lord! He protected us from what it looked like the weather was trying to do.

And on… and on

On Friday, these hungry caterpillars ate through apples, pears, strawberries, oranges, muskmelon, and even pickles. The pickles were not on my menu (I’m not a big pickle person), but the boys must have read the book and noticed that a pickle was included in the caterpillar’s Saturday menu. Anyway… they ate through all of these foods, and guess what!!! They were still hungry!!!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Unit Goes On.. and On and On

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I have been watching Eric Carle’s videos about how he paints his pictures and other topics and checking out lots of ideas for extension activities for The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

I lay awake last night thinking of ways to incorporate caterpillar activities into our math. I came up with two games. One of them is for addition facts through 10. The other is for counting by 5’s and by 10’s.

One of the side benefits of constructing these games was that the twins got to work on their fine motor skills. I had them trace around circles and then cut them out for the parts of the caterpillar bodies. Emma even got to do some scissor work and tried to punch holes with the hole punch. It was hard for her, but she wanted to try. I’m going to have the twins do some hole punching tomorrow and probably some more cutting. I’m also going to have them play our new math file folder games!

Feels Good to Hear From My Daddy

This morning I heard the words “right place at the right time” just as I was waking up. Last night I prayed that God would speak to me again the way He did when we were going through our fiery trial. I used to hear phrases and songs all the time when I desperately needed to know that God was with me and that everything was going to be okay. Now we are wondering where we will move to and what will be next for us. The Lord is leading us along from one job to another, one state to another and giving us all kinds of different experiences along the way. We are being changed into His image. I know that He is taking us from glory to glory.

We always have to wait until he brings us to the next destination. Nothing has happened quickly or easily along the way. That is, until it finally breaks open. Then it happens so quickly that it leaves us breathless, trying to pack and move everything within a matter of a couple of days. We are praying that God will send us where He wants us to be. We are also praying that He will send us to the place that will be home to us – a place that we can be established and settled – soon. We only want His will. But He says to come to Him and ask for what we want, so we’re telling Him we would like to be settled soon.

I believe that His words to me this morning meant that He is listening and He has a plan and He will put us in the right place at the right time, and we just need to be patient. Got it. Okay, we’ll wait patiently and with faith and trust that our Daddy has good plans for us. Wherever He sends us next, we know it will be good, and if it’s not home, we’ll continue to wait patiently. After all, this is not really our home. We know that now.

Are You As Hungry As A Caterpillar?

Today we finished the first part of our Very Hungry Caterpillar lapbook.

We did some other activities to tie in with the days of the week and the life cycle of the butterfly. We also made a little book about the food pyramid.

I got the lapbook from Lapbook Lessons at Melissa’s blog. You can find a video for it here.

I used some of the links that she listed on her blog. For the days of the week, I got handwriting pages from here. I got the Little Pockets of Time for The Very Hungry Caterpillar from Fortunately for You Books at CurrClick.

I got the food pyramid booklet and the life cycle of a butterfly booklet from Enchanted Learning.

We will add more to the lapbook as we finish the other elements. When it’s finished, it will probably be a lot like Melissa’s. I might do some things a little bit differently. I haven’t found the counting game that she put in hers, so I probably won’t have a last section like she has. The twins are beyond that anyway. But I do plan to do more activities for the days of the week and the months of the year and include them in the lapbook.

We have been working on the elements of this lesson for over a week now. The twins have been learning to recognize the names of the days of the week. They are learning the basic food groups. Today we also talked about other things we need to do to stay healthy, like getting enough sleep and exercise. And they are reviewing what we learned about the life cycle of the butterfly (we made a butterfly lapbook last year).

Oh yes, I got the days of the week magnets from Target in the section where they sell the bulletin boards and white boards. I guess they were for a magnetic calendar, but I just got the names of the days of the week.

This has been a fun project for me. I think the twins are enjoying it. But they might just be doing it for the M&M’s I give them if they cooperate each day.

Yes, my little caterpillars eat M&M’s every day of the week. Just a few. They don’t want to become very fat caterpillars! Either way, I know they’re learning something. About caterpillars, days of the week, foods that are good for you … or how to earn candy.

What is Happening in Atlanta?

This is really scary. This woman, Nancy Schaefer, who was supposedly murdered by her husband was a strong Christian woman who was investigating the Child Protective Services in Atlanta. She was a former state senator of Georgia. She was President of Georgia Eagle Forum, a well-known and respected Pro-Family organization that Phyllis Schlafly started in 1972. She and her husband were both strong Christians. Their deaths have been reported by the media as a murder-suicide, minutes after (or before, it seems) the investigation started. They don’t even say “alleged” when they report it as a murder-suicide. I thought investigations were done before these kinds of allegations were made.

I got this from Riley Dad’s Weblog at the link at the bottom of this post.

Senator Schaefer had been investigating and exposing the Child Protective Services. She had been working on exposing one of the most vile rings of child slave trafficking involving the Child Protective Services agency in Georgia (particularly in the Atlanta area). Her efforts had been thwarted by politicians of both parties and ignored by the media, but she pressed on – more details to follow, but here is the gist of it :

“Specifically in Georgia, former Senator Nancy Schaefer had found during the last few years that:
* DFCS in Georgia housed children in a foster home with a known pedophile who molested the children.
* DFCS in Habersham County failed to remove six children from a home where they are being abused and tortured.
* DFCS in Georgia turned two girls over to a California father who had a pornographic video business.“

Please read the rest of the article at Riley Dad’s Weblog.

It is very disturbing, but it’s better that we know it than that we remain unaware of corruption in our government.

http://rileydad.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/unbelievable-government-corruption-child-slavery-and-the-age-of-political-violence/

Developing a Unit Study on Early American History – the Spirit-led Way

We have been doing a unit study on Early American history… for a while now. Many moons ago, I asked Shawn if there was an area of history that he felt we hadn’t covered well enough. He said that he didn’t really know much about the Colonial period of American history.

So I ordered an Early American history lapbook from In the Hands of a Child.

I happened to get a book from Goodwill called Rehoboth by Angela Elwell Hunt. It was a Christian novel, but as I read it, I realized that it was about the Wampanoag Indians and King Philip’s war right after the time of the first Pilgrims. It told about the ministry of John Eliot to the Indians. I read it first, then I read it aloud to my oldest children. We all really enjoyed the story, told from the perspectives of the Indians, the white missionaries and the Indian missionaries.

I got the Time Travelers – Colonial Life from Homeschool in the Woods.

I made this model of Jamestown settlement that I got from Homeschool in the Woods.

I looked in my book All Through the Ages for some books about the Founding of America and the Colonial period. I found a book called This Dear-Bought Land by Jean Lee Latham about Jamestown and Captain John Smith. We had never studied Jamestown in depth, so I was happy to read a book by an author that I already loved from reading her book Carry on, Mr. Bowditch years ago. My children really enjoyed this book about Captain John Smith, and we really got a feel for the time period and the dangers they faced from starvation, poor leadership and organization, lack of people willing to work and hostile Indians.

Simultaneously, I read a book about Pocahontas that I happened to have, The Story of Pocahontas by Brian Doherty, a Dover book.

We watched the HBO mini-series about John Adams. Not being from a Christian perspective, it was slightly depressing. It lacked the element of hope and the strong biblical foundation that our Founders actually worked from. I read aloud a library book about Abigail Adams, a biography by Dorothie Bobbe.

We then studied Thomas Jefferson by reading books from the library about him. I read a book aloud called Thomas Jefferson: Champion of the People by Clara Ingram Judson. In reading about Thomas Jefferson, we also read about the Lewis and Clark expedition and the Louisiana Purchase. I read several other books myself for background information but didn’t have time to read them all aloud. We wrote an essay together about Thomas Jefferson.

I also read a library book called Grand Papa and Ellen Aroon by F. N. Monjo. It was about Thomas Jefferson written from the perspective of his granddaughter. It was a sweet book that was informative and enjoyable.

I got several videos by David Barton of Wallbuilders, and we watched some about the American Revolution and the Foundations of American Government.

Somewhere in there I read aloud Justin Morgan Had a Horse by Marguerite Henry. In this story, the main character, Joel Goss, went and fought in the War of 1812 and actually met President Monroe.

After doing all of this reading and soaking in the time period, we are now putting together that lapbook I ordered from Hands of a Child. The children are writing about the things they have learned from reading (or hearing me read) many living books about early American history. The lapbook goes up to the era of the cowboys and the Gold Rush, so I have had Kelsey and Morgan read some books about Davy Crockett and will probably read a few novels about Westward Expansion before I end this unit. I have been finding a few books in our home library from this general time period and assigning them to different ones of the children to read independently.

We have been working on this unit for about a year. The lapbook is our culminating activity. I have learned so much about American History through this study. I have a much better grasp of what happened when and why. We are so blessed to be able to learn this way – all together. We have had many discussions that have caused each one of us to think deeply about the Declaration of Independence and the biblical foundations of our government and the principles of freedom that so many of our people have died for. And we have become even more thankful for the wisdom of the Founding Fathers and for the Constitution that they provided for us.

Here is our lapbook so far:

This is an example of Spirit-led homeschooling.

A Van for the Douglas Clan

This is the van we are believing God for. We have sowed for others to get what they need, and we believe that God will provide what we need. When Jesus needed a donkey to ride into Jerusalem for the Triumphal Entry, a donkey was right there at his disposal. When other people of faith have needed vehicles, houses, money, etc., God has provided them. Our whole family has been praying for a Savana van for about eight years. We sowed for it, so we don’t believe we will have to go into debt for it. So please pray with us for the provision of this real need.

Doing Spiritual Warfare and Getting Set Free

Wow, my brain has been turned on! We did some spiritual warfare and deliverance two nights ago, and since then I’ve had all kinds of ideas about ways to do things. I have figured out how to do things that I’ve had on to-do lists for months but just couldn’t seem to get accomplished. Suddenly, I know how to work things out that I just couldn’t get a handle on before.

Shawn identified some family curses that had been passed down to him through my side and through Gary’s side of the family. He shared them with us. Gary led us in prayer to break all of those curses in Jesus’ name, and I have felt different ever since. Shawn broke them over himself before he told us what had happened, but Gary went ahead and broke everything over all of the kids, too.

This is not the first time we have experienced deliverance and freedom from curses. We had always been under a spirit of poverty during our whole marriage. No matter how much money we made, it always felt like we were putting it in a bag full of holes. We knew what the Word says about how God wants to bless His people with prosperity and abundance, but we never saw it happening for us. We were faithful church attenders and very active in the church. We tithed and gave offerings. We were honest in our financial transactions. We didn’t spend foolishly. But we still couldn’t get ahead.

We finally got some CD’s from Arthur Burk about breaking curses off of your life. He is the founder of Plumbline Ministries. The Seven Curses CD’s were the ones we listened to. They also have renunciations you can go through after hearing about all of the curses. Gary and I went through and renounced all of the curses mentioned. Not long after that, everything changed for us financially. Someone surprised us with a gift of $20,000 not too long after that. Gary got a job that paid a whole lot more than he was making before. We were able to move into a house that was like new and big enough to accommodate our large family. We can buy what we want when we want – in moderation, of course. We don’t have too much month and not enough money any more. We don’t have to rely on food banks or thrift stores, although I still like to go to Goodwill and consignment shops. 😉

Basically, life is much easier and more enjoyable now than it was before we broke those curses. While I was in a Prophecy Room at IHOP-KC, one lady told me, “The time will come when you will be able to breathe again.” Well, that time has come. And I sure appreciate the peace and calm that God has blessed us with.

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