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Monday, March 31, 2014

Effective Memorization

Effective Bible Memorization
Guard my words as your most precious possession. Write them down and also keep them deep within your heart.  Proverbs 7:2
Effectively teaching memorization commonly fails just because we want to know how to do it best.
  • Is it best to give children the passage to learn as an assignment for the next class?
  • Should the passage be memorized in class?
  • Should repetition be used on a class level?
  • How and how often should review be conducted?
  • What is the best way to test the children’s memorization of the passage?
Short, Frequent classes
Psalm 1:1-2  Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,  but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
A lesson with memorization does not, and should not, be long and drawn out each and every time you do it.  Our memorization time should not become so big that we feel defeated and allow too much time between sessions.  For example, if classes are held at week-long intervals, many children (and adults) will procrastinate until the deadline (or after), because it is human nature to put off what we feel is too hard for us to do.
On the other hand, if classes are not held often enough you will tend to assign a longer passage to learn each time.  Again, this is frustrating the student, the teacher, and the parent.  We don’t want to discourage someone away from learning God’s Word.
Regular classes give the student little chance to procrastinate.  With frequent deadlines to be encountered the student will stay alert and keep God’s Word in the forefront of his mind.  Also, the constant review provided by frequent classes will help him to retain the material much better.
Some of the things we have incorporated into our daily lessons is
  • study first thing in the morning - this not only starts your day off right, but gets you thinking about God first thing in the morning
  • study last thing at night
  • Write the verse on a notecard or two and put them in a place you look often (light switch, mirror, wallet)
  • Use a dry erase marker on a mirror
  • On the first day of the month spend 1 minute studying.  On the second day of the month, 2 minutes.  On the 5th day of the month, spend 5 minutes studying.  This goes on for the entire month.
  • Have someone hold you accountable.  If no one knows you are even trying, no one can help and encourage you.
portions paraphrased from Teaching Bible Memory from Rod and Staff Publications, Inc.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Green Smoothie

I have been trying to incorporate more green and raw foods into our diets.  Not easy with hubby.

I found this recipe at  The kids and I enjoy it.

This recipe is really two recipes in one! It's a recipe for a green smoothie, and also a recipe for spinach popsicles! You can make one, either, or both!

You'll need:

2 bunches of spinach
3 bananas, frozen and sliced
1 to 2 cups water
(I also added half a green apple - just to add sweetness and fiber)

 Blend the water and spinach in a blender until smooth. Then add the frozen bananas and blend again on high speed until smooth.

For a smoothie, just drink it like it is.

For popsicles, pour the mixture into popsicle trays and freeze for several hours or overnight.

This recipe can be doubled or tripled if you have a larger group

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Adventures in Adoption - Paperwork signing

After a few hours of back and forth emails with Ms. Case Worker we came up with a date and time to get together and sign more paperwork.

We spent the two days between her initial email and her arrival making sure that the house was 'clean enough' and everything was still up to code (extinguishers in the proper places, outlet covers where they belong.....)  Things happen during the week - I just wanted to make sure.

She arrives, we talk.  She goes over a few things I had forgotten since the classes a year ago, and clarifies a few things I was confused about.  She answers any questions I have as well.  We go over all the paperwork thoroughly.  I had a few questions, and she answered.  Quick and easy.  The only thing I need to keep up with is

  1. Monthly fire drills
  2. Random inspections at anytime
  3. 30 hours of yearly training - I'm not sure if this is going to be easy or difficult.  10 hours can be "self taught" with books, seminars, and such. I will keep you posted. 

As Ms Case Worker gets ready to leave I ask if she needs to look around and check anything - nope.  Hmmm....  this was much easier than I expected.

Now I just wait to start getting broadcasts.  This is simply and email with profiles of children.  I say yes or no and we go from there.  I say 'no', no biggie.  I say 'yes' and we move forward..

For now, I keep praying that we are fully prepared for the children' that God has picked for us.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Adventures in Adoption - We're finally licensed!

Yeah!  After many, many months of waiting, praying, and almost giving up - we are finally here.  I know this is just the beginning, but it is a step in the right direction.

Today started as a normal Monday.  We got up and went to co-op.  Mondays aren't the most exciting day, but it is a full day that we enjoy.  I leave at noon (my teaching commitment is just for the first three hours) to grade papers, send class emails, take care of grandma.....  All those fun mommy things.

I get home and open my email to send my weekly class email.  What do I see?  I see an email from our case worker.  The subject line simply said RE: Arrow.  I didn't think anything about it.  I get lots of emails from Ms. Case Worker.  Then I opened it....

Congratulations your home is open.   I will need to set a home visit appointment to complete licensure documents. Please give me a couple of date and times when you guys will be available.

Yeah!  I wanted to cry!  I realize that it doesn't mean a lot to some people, but it was the first big milestone in a while.  What now?  After a few emails back and forth Ms. Case Worker will be here in a few days.  

All in God's timing.  I pray everyday for the children he is preparing us for.  I pray that we will be ready and that until the proper time, they are safe and well cared for.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Adventures in Adoption - Breakthrough, weekend 2

  • Thursday

Yea!  Foster Mom needs us again.  Well, yea for us.  She is going to a funeral.  So..... never know what to say......
This is going to be a long weekend.  This morning I woke up in a 'funk' (girl stuff), and the sky is overcast.  Let's see how it goes....

  • Friday 

I pick up the babies from day care and we go to track.  Big Girl has a track meet tomorrow.  I leave her with the coach and take the other 5 kids to the playground.  Being Super Mom again, I had an afternoon snack packed (string cheese, yogurt and bananas).  We had fun running and swinging and climbing.  We walked to the pond and counted ducks and even saw two beautiful rosette spoonbills.

When we had about 20 minutes to pick up Big Girl we loaded up in the truck to drive to the other side of the park to get her.  I had the big kids run to the other playground (gotta get energy out) while Baby G and I drove.  About the time I get to the playground my phone rings.  "Momma, can you come get me?"  I dread hearing those words.  After confirming that practice was, in fact, still going on, Big Girl confirmed she had injured herself.  We load up and drive the 100 feet to where the runners are practicing.  Coach is busy with a parents meeting, so I help Big Girl hobble to the truck.

We go home and Big Girl elevates and ices her foot while the other kids play in the playroom.  Baby G sits in her saucer while I make dinner.  We will not be going to the track meeting tomorrow.  Good thing we had several things planned in case of rain.

After dinner we pulled out the clay, a piece of cardboard, and tin can and made a volcano.  I hoped it would dry overnight.  I am glad that crayola clay is non toxic - Little B thought it was cookie dough.  Fortunately he spit it right out.

  • Saturday

Great day to sleep in.  The sky is overcast, it's humid, and Big Girl is not in excruciating pain when she is asleep.  I don't even let the dogs out until Baby G is awake.  After making breakfast and lots of play time we decide to explode the volcano.  It's not quite dry, but it will do the job.  Using the patio table we put an ample amount of  baking soda in the tin can.  I then let Little girl go crazy with the vinegar.  Both Big B and Little B burst with giggles.  We did it again and again until the baking soda was completely diluted.  Then we pulled out the balloons and showed them how to blow up a balloon with vinegar and baking soda.

This worked well and kept the boys attention for about 15 minutes.  After the balloons started to deflate, Big B and Little B found more interest in the trampoline.  We blew up balloons and played with them on the trampoline.

Later in the afternoon we made play dough cookies.  This is just sugar cookie dough that was colored. This was much safer for Little B.  They had fun making dogs, purple people eaters, trees, and all kids of crazy stuff.  I had some candy eyes that were added on to nearly every cookie.  We only used about half the dough, but the boys and Big Girl had fun making their creations.

Last thing to do today - grocery store.  HEB had fajita meat on sale.  Daddy had the day off, so I took just Little B, and Big Girl.  Big Girl hobbled around on crutches while Little B tried every sample and ate half a bag of Baby gold fish.  When we got home, I put Little B down for a nap.  30 minutes later I check on him, still awake.  I guess he is not getting a nap today.

Today was a good day.  We didn't do a whole lot, but we got to know the boys and just have fun together.  About 7:30 it dawns on me that today is the time change.  TIME FOR BED!  That means its really 8:30.  We have church tomorrow!

  • Sunday

Still not feeling like myself.  Big Girl didn't sleep well and still hurts a lot.  We got up and got everyone fed, cleaned up, and dressed.  We got to church - not just on time, but 20 minutes early.  No Kroger stop today.  We go to Sunday school then I meet up with the big kids in service.  Big Girl asks to go home because she is hurting pretty bad.  We pick up the babies and go.  I know better than to go home before band practice.  Don't do it - ever.

We get home and Big Girl puts up her foot and takes some meds.  I start lunch.  Baby G is in her saucer.  We eat.  I walk up stairs to talk to Big Boy while the little boys eat.  In less than 3 minutes Little Girl decides to take Big B and Little B outside.  You would think that is a good idea, but now the boys are covered in mud.  Ugh.  Into the bath - no band practice for us.  I put the boys clothes in the wash while they play in the 'big bath.'   I figure I might as well let the boys play for as long as they want.  They ended up playing for 90 minutes!  I wash their hair and get them dressed in their freshly washed clothes.

We also miss Awana.  I don't like when our days are so off, but what can you do?  We hang out for the afternoon while Big Girl dozes (sleep is the best medicine when in pain).  By 6:30 it's time to take the babies home.

This time the big kids don't want to come.  Saying good bye isn't going to be easy because there is no guarantee that there will be a next weekend.

God gives us time with lots of people everyday.  All we can do it let Him be the light they see in us.  We should show His love and pray that even those small moments can somehow positively affect them in the future.