Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Cross

My husband wrote a story about the cross that I think is perfect to share right before we celebrate Easter.  I hope it touches your heart as it touched mine.  What a great sacrifice Jesus paid for us.

The Cross (by Kevin)

She was at the market purchasing bread when she heard a tumult coming up the street. As the large group approached, she came to realize that it was another criminal being marched outside of Jerusalem to be crucified. She supposed it was another lazy vagabond who was caught stealing from a tax collector. Why wasn’t this solved per Moses’ command she thought as she gripped the sack of food tighter. She turned away from the barley loaves she was looking to purchase and turned towards the center of the market. A large group surrounded the parade of soldiers escorting the criminal.

Wasn’t it bad enough that this criminal stole or killed someone? To be tortured on a cross by the Roman soldiers was more than she could tolerate. It was inhumane to die that way. Couldn’t they wait until the Passover was finished before executing judgment on this man? With anger rising within her she became distracted from her well laid out plan of obtaining food for the feast.

The crowd came up the alley where she was standing, and the man dragging the cross stumbled to the ground. It was very loud, with yells and cries from all around the criminal. She heard a man yell “Crucify him!” and an old woman say “He made himself out to be the Son of God”. She also saw a group of women crying at the back of the group. A young religious leader lunged toward the condemned and spit on him. The moisture hit the cross causing a red sparkle of light to shine from the wood as the spit mixed with blood.  This act caused the procession to stop. The young leader was standing near with his chest heaving with each breath and his face red with rage. The criminal looked at him and stared deeply. He didn’t show anger. He looked on the young rabbi in a way that reminded the woman of her father’s look before being embraced with a hug.

This reaction caught her off guard, as she couldn’t fathom what she just observed. She found herself following the group as they slowly moved out of town. When she realized where they were heading she felt a shiver of fear come upon her. They were going to the place known as “The Skull”. She looked up the hill and saw two crosses standing in the distance. What was she doing? Her family would be wondering what was taking her so long. She wanted to go home but she couldn’t stop following the group.

At the top of the hill the malefactor again collapsed to the ground. The soldiers quickly rolled him onto his back and placed the cross member under his head. They forcefully grabbed his hands, extended his arms and tied them tightly to the beam. Then another soldier knelt down with a large mallet and metal spikes in his hand. He swiftly swung the mallet, hitting the spike, and driving it through the man’s arm. She heard the muffled thud of the strike. Then the man cried out in pain as the crowd quieted. The woman nearly collapsed from the shock of the brutality. For the next few moments all that was heard was the strikes of the powerfully swung mallet. Each thud echoed in her body louder than the last blow. She dropped her bag and tears began to flow down her face.  She couldn’t control the tears and sobs. There were cries for mercy from the edge of the crowd but the soldiers were indifferent to the pleas. They methodically completed their task and hung the man on the cross. Between the tears, she noticed that this man didn’t fight to get off the cross, as the criminals he was between. The nails weren’t tearing through his flesh as she expected. It was as if something else was holding him there.

She then noticed a sign that was affixed to the cross above the man which stated “This is Jesus the King of the Jews”. She couldn’t believe that this was the mighty prophet and miracle worker that she had heard so much about. Why did the sign say he was the King of the Jews? Did he claim to be the Messiah? While she thought on this, the crowd began to taunt Jesus saying,”If you be the Son of God come down from the cross.” He didn’t reply to the accusation. He didn’t even beg for mercy as the two criminals around him pleaded to get relief from the tortuous pain. He acted as if he was ready to die. It was as though he acknowledged his crime and was stoically accepting a just punishment.

The sky darkened and it appeared as if a storm was forming. A cold gust of air blew over the hill and she moved towards a windbreak with some of the women who followed after Jesus. She could still see the cross, with Jesus’ silhouette at the skyline. The sky grew darker and she was afraid to leave the safe location between the rocks. Then she heard a loud cry at the top of the hill. Jesus called out and all of the onlookers hushed to hear what he was saying. While looking towards Jesus, she heard the wood of the cross crack and groan. She saw the beams bow as if a tremendous weight had been hung on them. Jesus was writhing in pain and she could hear the anguish in His voice. He cried out again, but this time His voice was followed by a sound of distant thunder. The noise increased in intensity and she realized that the ground was shaking and the sound was the earth breaking below her. She moved away from the rocks as they toppled into each other. She was frightened and ran towards her home.  Before reaching the road to Jerusalem she turned back and saw Jesus hanging lifelessly from the cross.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Week 28, MFW Adventures & K

Here's a picture of Matthew, just because he's cute!  For week 28, we continued our study of Abraham Lincoln and his presidential years, including the Civil War or course.  Caleb loves to hear about war, and he read a few of our school books all by himself!

Singapore 2A is definitely more work than 1B.  One thing that Caleb really dislikes is the practice pages in the textbook.  Having to write your answers on a separate paper instead of doing a workbook page is a terrible thing apparently.  Which is funny because I remember being excited about going into 3rd grade because we didn't have math workbooks anymore, we got to write in our own notebook!  Funny!  Below is his practice page.

I found this base ten set at a special school sale for only $10.  It's the classroom set, which sells on amazon for $79.59!  Although, the basic set is all we (or you) really need.  Click on the amazon links below if you're interested (they are affiliate links).  I also bought some watercolor paints and chalk pastels for really cheap.  I was hoping to find a giant case of glue sticks, but no luck!  I think we have a monster that lives in our house and eats glue sticks!

Art went better this week, I didn't throw anything across the room!  Here they are painting.  The painting lessons usually go well, it's their favorite.  Although you would have thought Caleb had been shot and was bleeding when he got red paint on his arm!  (Much screaming...)

They were practicing painting with control, and then painting with shading.

Rebekah moved on to the letter B for butterfly.  I was really impressed by her handwriting.  I think it's as good as Caleb's already!  I haven't had as much time to do the fun activities from K with Rebekah.  I feel bad some days, but she doesn't realize that she's missing anything.  We skipped raising butterflies this year, and I skipped painting a butterfly.  I did have a coloring sheet though.

That's the end of week 28!  Only 6 more weeks left of our school year!  I'm getting excited about moving on to My Father's World's Exploring Countries and Cultures!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Finished Quilt - (Re-purposed Shirts & Pants)

My quilt is finished!  You may remember seeing my completed top a few weeks ago.  I made the entire top with my husbands old shirts and pants.  I have a lot of memories of these shirts, most from while we were engaged and first married.  The back was a large bed covering that I found at the thrift store for only $3.50!

This was the first machine quilt I've done.  I made Rebekah a small toddler size quilt when she was 2, but I hand stitched that one.  I didn't think I'd be able to stuff this quilt into my sewing machine to get it quilted, but it wasn't as hard as I thought.  The walking foot was definitely necessary!  I stitched in the ditch to quilt it, although I only did a few lines in each of the fancy squares.  Some parts of it are a little wonky (love that word), but that only adds character, right?

My husband has been using his current blanket since college (him mom gave it to him), so I had to save a piece of it.  I cut out this picture of deer and added it to the back of his new quilt, and also signed it with a permanent fabric marker.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Week 27, MFW Adventures & K

This week we covered the states of Minnesota and Oregon, and started learning about Abraham Lincoln.  It's amazing how much I'm learning along with my kids about him.  One thing that fascinated me was the books that he had growing up.  They were the Bible, Aesop's Fables, Pilgrim's Progress, Robinson Crusoe, The Life of Washington, and History of the United States.  These books built his faith, his good character, and his patriotism for our county.  He really was an amazing man!  Above are all the books we've looked at this week, and will continue with next week.  This first week we mostly focused on Lincoln's early years.

We started reading Mountain Born, and so far are enjoying it a lot.  It goes well with our bible verse this week, which talks about Jesus being our Good Shepherd.

We had more fun in science too with Science in the Kitchen.  Here is Caleb showing you our cups of ice.  One is covered with a towel and we were watching to see which one would melt first.  They ended up being the same... oh well.

I found this crystal growing kit at Goodwill, so I thought we'd try it.  So far we've only grown one, and it wasn't as amazing as hoped for.

Caleb is still using Singapore 2A, but I'm also still working with him every day on math facts.  I found these neat placemats at Target in the dollar section.  They can use dry erase markers.  Rebekah likes the addition one too!  (I also got an alphabet one for Joshua.)

We're still using Primary Language Lessons for our language arts curriculum.  Below is a dictation that Caleb did, it's part of a poem.  The top is the dictation, and then I had him copy it correctly below.  He tried to squish it all into one line on the bottom so it got a bit sloppy.


Art... it's a love and hate subject, usually on the hate side.  The clown pages below were to help them learn the difference between warm and cool colors, thus a happy and sad clown.  You can tell when Caleb got tired of coloring and just started scribbling to finish (the first one).  This drives me crazy!

Enter bubble letters...  I knew this would be tricky, so I copied the page in the book first so they could practice before using their marker card.  Unfortunately, we ran out of ink after only copying one...  I tried to give one the copy and one a blank paper with the teachers manual to copy from...  Bad idea...  Let's just say, I may have gotten a bit upset, and I may have crumpled up their papers and threw them across the room, maybe that was me...  In the end, they did the marker cards by themselves with no help from me and did a really good job.  Caleb's is first again.

Rebekah is cruising through her Kindergarten with no problems.  We finished up the letter J.  I love her picture of a Jumping Jack.  She has had a hard time remembering which way the J goes, as well as a few other numbers and letters.  I wonder if it's because she's left handed.  I'm not worried about it though, I expect it will correct itself eventually.

That's it for week 27!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Homemade Rice-a-Roni Mix

Homemade Rice-a-Roni Mix!  I always love quick and easy meal ideas.  I used to love things like Rice-a-Roni and Hamburger Helper, but now I stay away from them because I realized that they are full of additives that are not healthy for us.  I was thrilled to find a recipe for this mix.  I modified the seasoning from the original and doubled the recipe to fill my canister.  I have made this twice now and all the kids like it, although Rebekah had to put honey mustard dressing on hers to eat it... I won't complain.  Here it is:

Rice-a-Roni Mix
2 cups uncooked, non-instant rice (can use brown)
1 cup Spaghetti noodles, broken into 1" pieces (can use wheat)
1/4 cup dried parsley flakes
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper

To use:  Shake container to mix ingredients.  Place 1 cup of mix and 2 tsp of olive oil (or butter) in a saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring, until rice just turns a bit brown.  Add 2 1/4 cups of water or broth and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat, simmer for 15 minutes, or until rice is tender.

You can also use this recipe as a base and add vegetables and/or meat to it to make a one pot dinner!

Linking up with A Mama's Story.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Week 26, MFW Adventures & K

I've been trying to transition Caleb to using regular wide lined paper.  Apparently, writing the verse was too restrictive for him and he went a little crazy with the reference number!  We've been having a lot of fun in science, using this book:

Below are pictures of raisins in a glass of white soda.  We learned about fizz!  The gas collected on the raisins, and they floated to the top (2nd picture).

This was baking soda and vinegar.

Here, we made "fizz in your mouth" from our book.  The ingredients were, powdered sugar, citric acid, and baking soda.  When you put it in your mouth, it fizzes.  It really did!  It didn't taste very good though.  Caleb didn't wait for my instructions that he should only take a little on his finger, and he put a whole spoonful in his mouth!!!  Ha!  It started fizzing in his mouth and he started yelling, it was SO funny!  He didn't try any more!  Rebekah liked it though.  I recommend only making a quarter of the recipe though, it made way more than we needed.  I bought the citric acid in the canning isle at Walmart, I'll use the rest for canning tomatoes in the fall.

In history, we learned about California and the Gold Rush.

Caleb did his summary all by himself without any complaining or whining, so I didn't make him write a third sentence like I usually do.

Rebekah finished her 100 chart this week!  We had jelly beans to celebrate.

I got the egg carton idea from a friend.  She put 10 jelly beans in each section to make 100, then we all ate a bunch!

She also started a simple addition/subtraction workbook.  She LOVES having her own math book and has been doing a lot of pages!

Here are a couple of her student pages.  She did the math page all by herself, I was impressed she understood the equations already (she did this before she started her math book above).

One morning while I was still sleeping, they both made their own ipads and cell phones out of cardboard, complete with paper cup chargers!  They've been a little obsessed with watching other kids play their ipads at church.  I have one ipod I let them play on occasionally, but not very often.  This really made me laugh.  Especially when Caleb was playing with his when he was supposed to be doing his math, I thought I was going to have to take away his pretend cell phone!

They also played a lot with this building set.

And I found this matching book at Goodwill that they had fun with too.

That's all for week 26.  Thanks for taking a peek.  I'm linking with:

Monday, March 24, 2014

Week 25, MFW Adventures & K

It was back to regular school after our week and a half doing our Iditarod Unit Study.  Above is a picture of our science book, Usborne First Encyclopedia of Science (Internet-Linked), with our cup of water.  They were a little confused about atoms and molecules, it's difficult to understand something you can't see.  But they loved making model water molecules with jelly beans and marshmallows!

We also took a look at soap using, Science in the Kitchen.  Below is a picture of how dish soap spreads out on the surface of water, moving the baby powder out of the way.  Of course, they also did the dishes for me this day... all in the name of science!  (Ha Ha Ha)

This is what Joshua does when no ones looking... at least he's cleaning up his mess!  (That's the pencil sharpener he took apart and dumped all the shavings)

In history, we covered the states of Wisconsin and Iowa!  For Iowa, we tried a corn casserole, because they are big corn growers.  Kevin and I thought it was good, but no one else did.  Oh well.

Art has not been going that great.  Below are their drawing pages, which were supposed to be done using colored pencils.  They just don't seem to care about art, they rush to finish it as quick as possible.  I think maybe I'll just do the paint and marker cards from now on, they seem to like them.  The first one is Caleb's.

Rebekah learned her favorite letter this week, R!  I let them play with a bucket of rice, because rice starts with R.  We also read a few books about rocks.

She's almost done with her 100 chart, so we started counting money.  Every day we add a penny and count what we have.  I trade her nickels and dimes for her pennies.

That was week 25, thanks for stopping by and taking a look.  I'm linking with:

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