Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What does it mean to Create, a #fmfparty post

The word prompt for five minute Friday this past week was create.

  • : to make or produce (something) : to cause (something new) to exist
  • : to cause (a particular situation) to exist
  • : to produce (something new, such as a work of art) by using your talents and imagination 
Think about that for a moment, to create is to cause something new to be made.   One can create a poem, a piece of art, a new start in life in someone struggling, a business, a lesson plan, a play, and more. 

Have you ever paused to consider where that act of creation comes from?

The Bible tells us that in the VERY VERY BEGINNING God.. God created the heavens and the earth and everything that dwells within it.  (Genesis 1 and 2).  In the process of creation, God created us as the pinnacle of his creation.

When he made us, he made us in his likeness.  Think about what that means for a minute.

Take my boy for instance.  EVERYONE who sees him says "you look like your father"  (and he does).  BUT he has my sensitivity and love of animals, and he likes to garden (GO FIGURE).   So as much as my boy looks like he is made in the image of his father, he's also made in the image of his mother...  Two different aspects, one external image.

When God made us in his image, he didn't just go for looks, he also went for WHO HE IS.

Our God is a supremely creative (just look at the world around us), and he is WAY more than we are.  He is. he's God, not man.

We get our creativity from him. 

So as you go out and create, remember what spawned that creativity, that ability you have to create a child, a piece of art, a business... remember where it really comes from.   The one that created you in the first place.  

Go well.. create!   :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Review and Giveaway: All Things Bright and Beautiful

Today I have a sweet hardcover book to tell you about.   It's called All Things Bright and Beautiful.   Written by Cecil Frances Alexander and Illustrated by Katy Hudson.   It's a pretty, well illustrated book that I think your young children would enjoy.

About the book:
First published by Cecil Frances Alexander in 1848, this favorite hymn has become a mainstay of churches and Sunday school classes everywhere. Here artist Katy Hudson brings new joy to the words with her fresh and bright watercolor style. Readers can join in the fun as they follow two little girls and their brother on a day filled with the discovery of “all things bright and beautiful.”

About the artist:
Katy Hudson was raised in Middlesbrough, England, and started her career as a small child drawing on freshly painted walls. Her parents quickly encouraged drawing with pencil and paper instead. The idea stuck, and after earning a degree in illustration, Katy is now a freelance illustrator. Katy works at a desk in a studio within Old London Library and likes to tap dance in her spare time.

My Thoughts:
Beautifully illustrated, this is simply a lovely book filled with bright colourful images the illustrate the first verse of this hymn wonderfully.  

Just look at all the things you can point out to your children, or questions you can ask about what they see, flower petals they can count.

Each page is fully illustrated, with easy to read text if you want to read to a group of children.  You can almost imagine a fish jumping in the river to delight the children.

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, July 11, 2016

Favourite posts this week

So here I am, I write a blog.   I find it fun, and helpful.
On the odd occasion I read what others write as well.

T'is a good thing to do you know, we read what others have written.
Sometimes it because it stimulates my thinking.

This post made me wonder what I'll be reminiscing about when my boy gets some older...All Growed Up.  "Whenever discouragement set in, my grandmother’s oft repeated words of how she “never tired of waking up with her babies because they were hers” would remind me that those babies would grow and I would wish for just one more sleepless night holding them. She was right."

Sometimes it inspires posts of my own.   Yes...Now I want to do my own posts about why I school as I do.. but that could be a bit daunting!   :)

Year-round homeschooling, an introduction. "There are many different styles of homeschooling year round. Yes, we have breaks. No, we don't have school every day of the year. Now that the top two questions have been answered, I feel like I can move on! Some families do four days a week, while others stick to the five days a week. Some families do 6 weeks of homeschooling with a one week break, while others will do 3 or 4 weeks of school with a one week break. Whatever you decide is what you will use for your homeschool."

Sometimes it mirrors something that you write on your own blog.   I love doing my own hymn Studies.

Abide with Me.  "Not much more can be asked of God. And abide He will if we seek Him, though His word and through our actions, following the plans He has set forth for us. God is as close as a prayer; closer probably but I don’t know how else to write it. And I ask in my daily prayers “O Lord, abide with me!”"

Sometimes it inspires you to again, pick up what was dropped and move forward again.

Have a plan for reading the bible. "When we have a plan, we're more likely to follow through and less likely to be tempted to skip reading Scripture all together. "

Sometimes it just makes you smile at the creativity of others.

Dog Crate to Side Table.  "I think owning pets comes with the struggle of trying to keep a clean, open home without sacrificing the safety of your pets. This dog crate cover turned side table was my solution for having the dogs fit neatly into our home decor."

Sometimes it brings back memories.   I used to make zucchini relish too,   have gotten away from it over the past bit... perhaps I'll get back to it with this recipe....

How to Can Zucchini Relish. "One of my absolute favourite zucchini recipes is my Aunts zucchini relish.  When I was a little girl she used to bring over jars of her canned zucchini relish and I can say it didn't last long.  When I first started to can this was the first non-jam recipe that I made.  Since then I've made large batches of zucchini relish every year."

Anyways, there they are.   A few of the posts that intrigued me this week thus far.  :)  If I have time later this week... I'll add to the list.  :)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Joy in Learning about World Civilizations

Over the past month, as part of our bedtime reading, my lad and I have been reading a book called "The Children's Atlas of Civilizations".   I think I picked this book up at our bi-annual hospital rummage sale but really I am not certain...I just remember talking with a girl who was all "OOH!!!   If you don't that book I'll take it, I'm geeky enough I find these books fascinating."   I turned down her offer but we had a nice chat about how fun it is to read dictionaries and overview books.. how we learn so much by doing so.

When we finished it, my lad's response was "AW, we're finished it?   But I liked that book!"   I need to find another we can read.

The question remains.   Why did we like reading this book?   What made it a joy to read?


We got to see from page to page how each section of the world changed as nations rose and fell.  Borders expanding and contracting, see where people came from and how it changed the people conquered, and the back and forth between east and west.  It was so interesting.

Along with that came good text, explaining where people came from, what changes they made, how long they stayed in power and why sometimes countries fell again.

Each page came with a global image, to help with the "where it was the world".   This helped as we moved from section to section, and gave an opportunity for me to say so we just finished the section here, now we are moving over here.   Gave a good distinction for us.
Tons of images filled this book of the different architecture and art from these different civilizations, along with explanations of why we don't know alot about some of the different cultures (didn't have any writing so we can only make guesses based on what we have dug up), or these cultures had a picture form of writing which no one can read so this is what we think it means, or why we know lot about a culture based their language is still understood and people wrote about it. 

It was intriguing to learn how religion changed cultures, how it shaped their artifacts and the decisions they made.

It was fascinating to learn how some cultures simply vanished.  They were there one day and then it was as if they simply weren't.   AND there are no explanations as to why that happened. 

Cultures and people, as varied as the land that makes up this wonderful world that we live in.

My search is on to find another book that will intrigue us as much.

Do you have any suggestions for us?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Review: Shark Week

I have to tell you about this wonderful resource I was sent by Raincoast Books.  It's called Shark Week by Martha Brockenbrough.   This book is named after the Discovery Channels very popular Shark Week.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this book, it is so full of interesting facts.
Did you know that there is a shark almost as long as a school bus?
Or conversely a shark only about 10 inches long?   I know amazing isn't it, the differences?!?!
How about this fact... not all sharks breathe the same way and some can switch how they breathe?
Or another that lives in volcanoes?
And this interesting fact... some sharks can have babies WITHOUT mating!!!

I know.. it's fascinating isn't it!?!?!!   :)

Full colour images.
 Sufficient text to give good information without being too succinct. In-depth information without information overload...just enough to make a person want to look deeper.   Learning about sharks that live in a volcano led me to look for more information.

 Interesting facts, with a good break in the text, pictures fitting with what the text is talking about.
 Facts to amaze and astound, like comparing the great white to the kodiak bear.
Shark Week runs around 150 pages, teaches more about sharks than you might believe possible, I was SO fascinated, and I think you will be too.  Imagine..shark week.. in your own hands to enjoy for much longer than a week.

From learning about the prehistoic Whorl Shark, to how sharks hunt, breathe, reproduce and where they live.   Learning how much they are the same to each other, and yet how different they are as well.

This book is for every shark fanatic who wants to get even more up close and personal.   Now you really can live every week like it's shark week.

 Feiwel ; Friends
Author: Martha Brockenbrough
8.99 x 10.92 · 160 pages
Ages 9-12 years
Shark Week: Everything You Need to Know

Friday, June 24, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Rest

Hmm... rest.

We all need rest don't we?

 Even if we aren't busy we need rest... have you ever noticed that?   Sometimes we need rest from our "not busyness"... like when I'm on vacation and I realize I want to get home and get back into routine and back into being into this that and the other thing.  :)

BUT when we are busy with all kinds of things... that is when rest more often feels craved right?

Or when we are busy fighting a battle with our minds or our souls or feel like there is just too much going on around us.. we just need to stop, and consider and change and refocus...

We NEED to rest.

We need to remember what's important in the long run.

This morning my lad and I were working on a new art project, it called for some fine detail and we'll be using new techniques and materials.... My lad was stressing out...and I sent him to walk up and down the stairs... to get rid of those stress endorphins and to just grab a moment to regroup.  He needed to rest his mind from the stress of trying to do perfectly something he was learning for the first time.   It's hard for a perfectionist to do something right the first time giving it a try.   And one of the things I'm trying to teach him is... be a perfectionist...but give yourself the needed time to do it properly.   Don't rush it... rushing it never  helps.  :)   Take the time to rest and relax into the moment of trying something new.   Rest instead of stress.

Mind.. some people work best under pressure they really do...but not in our household.  Stress just makes us crazy in our heads and we forget about what's most important.

Recognizing the giftings God has given to each of us.
Remembering the importance of family and relationships.
Remembering that just as God "always has our back" we do the same thing,  we help each other through times of stress.

Resting gets us away from the craziness and back to what's most important.

What does resting do for you?

FMF is a community of writers.  Writing for five minutes on Fridays (sometimes a wee bit later) gathering a word prompt Hosted over at Kate's.   This week the word was REST.    Come along, join us won't you?

Friday, June 17, 2016

Review: Adventure Bible "I Can Read" books

Today I have two lovely "I can read" books up for review.   They are Adventure Bible books, one named "Great stories of the Bible" and the other "Heroes of the Bible Treasury"
 These are lovely books for children that are filled with full-colour illustrations.   Each book contains six books in the one.  They have a solid hard-cover that feels good in the hand.  They open nicely to that children can see the whole picture easily, without any part being cut off.

 Heroes of the Bible Treasure presents us with stories about
  • Paul Meets Jesus
  • Brave Queen Esther
  • Joseph the Dreamer
  • Noah's Voyage
  • Elijah, God's Mighty Prophet
  • Moses, Meets the People
 Simple children's stories, that don't tell the whole story, but do give children a glimpse into the lives of these Bible heroes.  Good stuff.

 As you can see, the full colour illustrations continue from one page to the next which is just a lovely feature. 
Contained within the pages of Great Stories of the Bible are the following stories:

  • God's Great Creations
  • Facing the Blazing Furnace
  • Ruth and Naomi
  • Miracles of Jesus
  • A Father's Love
  • The Good Samaritan

These books are level two readers, great for children who are learning to read on their own but might need some help reading larger words.

The illustrations help to tell the story, which is also of good benefit to early readers.

One needs to be aware with these books that the stories are greatly simplified and the whole story is not told, and sometimes it is simplified to the point of not being accurate.   This is where one can start teaching children discernment in what they read.  Just because a book says (bible-based or not) doesn't mean it is telling the truth (or the whole story).  That is why God gave us his word so that we can know the truth.

BUT books can be helpful in introducing us to some of the stories of the bible, and THAT is what these books do.  They begin to teach children about God's action in the lives of his people.   Just teach them there is more to it eh?  :)