Saturday, February 25, 2012

Vikings and Castles, Oh My

We have been plugging our way through our history program...we have finished our discussions about Vikings.  We learned about where Vikings originated, why the were called Vikings, about their terrible demeanor and about their ships.  The kids worked on drawings of a Viking ship.  The first one belongs to Peanut.  Out of all the girls, she most loves drawing and anything artsy.

Sissy also tried here hand at drawing a Viking ship. We have several of the Draw and Write Through History books and this is where they found the step by step drawing of the Viking ship. Here is Sissy's ship.

After talking about Vikings we have since headed into the Middle Ages.  We have had much fun learning about knights, kings, castles,monks and all that goes with it.  We use God and the History of Art, which not only has the kids trying their hand at various drawing and shading techniques, but they learn the history of certain art techniques as well.  We had been discussing stained glass when I found this adorable "stained glass" cross idea on Pinterest.  It was very easy and so the girls decided to make them.  We used black card stock for the outline, colored tissue paper cut into squares for the "glass"  and clear contact paper.  The clear contact paper goes over the cross and as the kids fill in the cross, the tissue paper sticks to the contact paper.  Such fun and lovely!

Here is another drawing..this one by Peanut again.  The assignment was to draw something from the middle ages, and she drew this picture of knights in battle.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February 15th...A Tragedy or a Blessing?

No photos with this entry, just testimony.

11 years ago today our family experienced a tragedy.  Of course now, 11 years later, I question whether it was actually a tragedy or rather, a blessing.  11 years ago today I was pregnant with our 2nd child, Emma Catherine.  We were just days away from being 36 weeks pregnant when I woke up and realized that I had not been woken up all night by her movements.  A bagel, glass of o.j. and some time flat on my back did not change the fact that this otherwise active baby was not doing the "good morning " dance.

After a call to my doctor I was told to head to the hospital where the nurses there would find her heartbeat and then send me home.  Needless to say, the day did not pan out the way the doctor expected. 

After trying to find her heartbeat and then being sent down the hall for an ultrasound, the doctors confirmed what her daddy and I were dreading.  Indeed, she had died at some point.  Thankfully my doctor agreed to a c-section so we did not have to labor.  I'm sure you are wondering why I would consider this day to have been a blessing at all.

At this point in our lives neither my husband or I were Christians; however, I did attend a M.O.P.S. (Mothers of Preschoolers) group which met at a local church.  When I called our Mentor Mom to let her know what happened, the entire M.O.P.S. group was praying as well as the charter church.  In addition more than 70 notes came to us from strangers at this church - strangers who were telling us about how much they were praying for us and sharing their stories and compassion.  Through this tragedy we were shown the true love of Jesus and it was just a a little over 2 months later that I was baptized - my husband just over a year later.

This tragedy has indeed been a major blessing.  Due to her short presence with our family, Emma and our Lord drew an entire family to Him.  We are forever changed.  We still think of her.  11 years later we still mention her at least weekly and mom still thinks of her nearly every day.

After 11 years I am encouraged to do something to help other mothers who are going through  a loss of their sweet babies.  It is a shame that it has taken me 11 years to find something to do in her name.  Check out this blog:  The founder of this outreach is actually a 2nd cousin somewhere on my family tree - a family member who I have recently re-established contact with.  Megan lost her sweet boy (a twin) 3 years ago and started this organization in his memory.  Teeny Tears makes cloth diapers for families who have lost a child due to stillbirth or early miscarriage.  Often these babies are to small for Pampers- even preemie ones.  Rather than introducing these angels to their parents with a naked bum, Teeny Tears supplies hospitals with 2 diapers per baby.  One for baby and one for mom and dad, as a keepsake. 

I am hoping to get started on a first batch of diapers for the hospital that lovingly took care of our family - so we can give something to the families that are suffering a loss, just like we did.  I say "hoping" because I am not gifted in the area of sewing, but my kindred spirit Megan assures me that it isn't at all difficult.  So, if you live locally to me and want to donate some flannel, feel free!

I often tell people that if Jesus came back today and offered to give me my daughter, in exchange for my family knowing Him now, I would have to say no.  I have no reason to exchange the rest of my years knowing my Savior for her because I am confident that when all is said and done, I will see her again in Heaven.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mid-Year Ceremony

Excitement at our house again due to American Heritage Girls.....Our troop's Mid-Year Ceremony was Tuesday evening.

In addition to the girls being awarded any merit badges they have worked on, they received any service stars they have earned. Sweet Baby's unit has worked on the Best Me I Can Be badge, so all the girls who participated received that badge. In addition Sweet Baby had earned the Kid Care and Family Helper badge by working on it at home. She also received service stars for 20 service hours.

Peanut's unit worked on the Bible Basics badge. This is the only merit badge she earned thus far. She has started, and is nearly finished with, the Family Helper badge and the Gardening and Plant Science badge. She should be receiving those at the end of the year. She received service stars for 30 hours of service.

Sissy's unit has been working hard since this fall (when we took the girls camping in the fall) and they earned the Fire Safety and Building badge as well as the Photography badge. Sissy blew everyone away with 75 hours or service ALREADY this year! Many of those hours were earned with rehearsals for the church Christmas play, but a huge amount was also earned doing child care for some friends and not charging, and helping teach a bible class for pre-schoolers at our church this summer.

For the ceremony Sissy led the color guard (the flag procession) by reading through the flag ceremony. She even had to lead prayer twice - in front of about 150 people.

I cannot go on enough about how much we love this program. I have seen my oldest grow into a young lady who has drive and determination to earn awards. I have witnessed her learn demonstrate organizational skills I did not know she had, but most importantly I have seen her spiritual gift laid out time and time again. God has cultivated a gift of service in her. I love watching it grow.

The younger girls are just having fun and solidifying Christian friendships. I'm excited to watch the little girls grow through this program.