Monday, August 29, 2016

Seeing Mary with new eyes

The Biblical story of Martha and Mary is well known.  For those unfamiliar, these are the verses: Luke 10: 38-42. "Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. "But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." NKJV

Over the years, I have heard these verses preached many times.  I have read Bible studies and devotionals centered on these verses.  I have taught these verses to my children.  Yet today, while doing school with B5, I got a new perspective...

Most of the time, when I hear these verses, I pacify myself... I tell myself that most of us are Martha's... that some of us are ingrained that way.  That being a "Mary" is a goal to set and work towards.  That it basically means I need to not overload myself with works, but rather take time for Bible reading and personal devotions.  That this period in my life is busy, so I need to just do what I can.  Basically, I lied to myself!

For B5's school, the story was written on a child's level.  It talked about Martha trying to make the house spotless, knowing Jesus was coming to visit.   She also tried to make sure food was ready and beverages.  She was worried, running around like a crazy-lady, in a total frenzy.  And yet, Mary was calm, peaceful, and JOYful, listening at the feet of the Lord.


How many times have I rushed through a devotional or Bible study... or totally skipped it... knowing I had a list of other things I needed to tackle?  How many times have I pushed my morning Bible time to the side for extra sleep, since one of my littles were up during the night?  How many times have I panicked and stressed over getting the house clean and straightened, yet not worried nearly as much about cleaning up the inside of me?  How many times have I stressed over making sure my children, hubby, and guests are fed nourishing delicious meals, but not nearly have I stressed over the much needed spiritual food of my soul!?!?  How many moments of the day do I spend in a worried, running around like a crazy-lady, frenzy, rather than a calm, peaceful, joyful Child of God, sitting at my Savior's feet?!?!?

I tell my children that excuses are like noses... everyone has one and some smell better than others.... Time to see the Great Physician!  

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Going Down Memory Lane

Our family is in a time of transition, getting ready to move to our forever home :)  As such, we are going through many of our items and purging.  In doing so, we are coming across items that we have saved (and will continue to do so!) over the years.  Some of these items are clothing...  I thought I would share a few pictures with you :)

Part of my mom's side of the family is Amish... yes as in horse and buggy, no electric, old order Amish.  When I was pregnant with my oldest, my cousin made my daughter a beautiful Amish dress.  I absolutely treasure this dress.  Here is E in it:

These next two outfits are ones I wore as an infant.  I'm pretty sure the purple one matched my mom's bridesmaid's dress.... I think, hahaha.  The other, I want to say was my going home dress, but it seems pretty big for that, so I'm not positive.  In any case, my mom had saved both dresses for me, and I love thinking about that, seeing E in them.

This last outfit is actually one that I made for W9 and L10 back in 2009. I had made them when we went to Disney with my best friend and her family.  I'm pretty sure they wore their outfits for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.  Anyways, here is B5 in the Prince Charming outfit :)

And that is all for Memory Lane for today ;)  Anyone else this sentimental or is it just me???

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon - Field Trip

The other week, our family took the afternoon to go to the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon.  L10 has been reading and completing a unit study on "Treasure Island" and we are studying the Revolutionary War in history, so it seemed quite fitting!!!

Due to the time of our arrival, we started down in the Dungeon for the tour.  It began with the start of Charleston... being built between the Cooper River and Ashley River in order for trade to occur.

The tour guide then went on to discuss Blackbeard and Stede Bonnett... two pirates that joined forces against Charleston.  Bennett was later captured along with a number of his men, kept in the dungeon, and later executed, as were his men.  Their bodies were left in the open for a time, so that any other pirates might be deterred from raiding Charleston, and it worked!  Blackbeard was later caught and executed up in North Carolina.

The Dungeon was later used at the beginning of the Revolutionary War... much like Boston, the Charlestonians refused to buy the English Tea.  Unlike the Bostonians, however, they did not dump the tea, but rather the tax collector, or collector of customs, suggested putting it in the dungeon and waiting to see if it sold.  The Charlestonians banned drinking it for two years!  Then, it was sold for funds for the patriot's cause, which infuriated Britain!

At one point during the Revolutionary War, knowing the British were coming, the Charlestonians moved all the gunpowder to the Dungeon and built a wall around it.  Even while the British occupied the premises, they did not realize the gunpowder was there due to the wall being built by the same bricklayers that had built the original building... it was 100% concealed and the Brits stayed clueless!

Perhaps the most famous prisoner kept in the dungeon, however, was Isaac Hayne.  This widowed father of 7 was a prisoner due to "treason" and was executed a mere couple months before the end of the Revolutionary War!  It is said he was not allowed a fair trial or hearing, but rather was used as an example :(  Women were also prisoners... especially ones that were considered helpful to the Patriots.

Once the tour was done, we finished looking at the items down in the dungeon, which focused on the pirates.

Next we headed to the first floor.  There you will find an old post office set up, which was housed in the Old Exchange.  The children were fascinated with the old type of post office boxes and stamps.

We then went into the "NSDAR Room" which houses a lot of old artifacts from that time period.

Hopefully you are able to read the above plaque... it tells of true Southern Hospitality... a trait that I have come to love about the south, but is dying much like the founding beliefs of that time period! Rebecca Motte was forced to leave her home in the "city" due to possession by the British.  She and her daughters went to their plantation home.  They were then again forced to leave, due to the British possessing that home as well.  The Patriots met with Rebecca and devised a plan to burn Rebecca's plantation in order to force the Brits into surrendering.  She agreed!  The plan worked, the Brits surrendered and then they ALL worked together to save the house.  Rebecca, being the Southern Lady that she was, then served BOTH sides' officers (American and British) dinner!

We then headed to the second floor.  We started in the far room - in the Isaac Hayne room.  The man himself spent his final hours prior to execution in this room.  

We then went into the main room, though there wasn't much in there as far as artifacts.  There was, however, a lady in there that showed the children some older toys and let them give them a try.  There was a Jacob's Ladder, Cup and Ball, and yo-yo.

Overall, the field trip was a great learning experience.  I think the children were a little tired of reading everything, but they thoroughly enjoyed the tour in the dungeon and trying out the games :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

FIAR - How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World - Week 2

This post is waaaaaaay over do!  Can I just say "life happens" and leave it at that!?!?

For the second week of How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World, by Marjorie Priceman, we focused less on the apple aspect and more on the world aspect ;)  We of course made sure to read our primary book each day, as that is the premise of FIAR (as a side note - please remember that these activities are extras, not the core of FIAR!!!)

After reading the book, one of the first things I wanted to show the children was the actual path taken in the book.  I showed them this both on a cloth map as well as on the globe.  The globe seemed to make the most sense to the children. 

Then we looked at each country individually, starting with Italy. In Italy, the girl was there during the harvest of semolina wheat.  Due to sensitivities to regular wheat, our family looked at Einkorn wheat berries.  I set some of the berries aside for later in the week.  We then read a few books - some on apples (Apples A to Z, by Margaret McNamara and One Green Apple, by Eve Bunting) and one centering around Italy (Little Bo in Italy, by Julie Andrews Edwards).  The littles also separated "apples" (beads) by color as well as played with apple pie play doh.  Oh and for dinner we ate spaghetti :)

The following day, we talked about her getting a chicken from France.  My sweet 5 yo reminded us that there is no chicken in apple pie.  I told him he had to think about why she would need the chicken, and he figured out it was for eggs (which is in the book!).  Then he wanted to know why she didn't just get the egg.  This was a perfect introduction into our "egg experiment" of how long they could carry an egg around, without letting it break.  This was so much fun!!!  They tried to be so careful with their eggs in the bags, but they definitely did not last long!!!!  For our extra reading, we read A Visit to France, by Kirsten Hall and Where Do Chicks Come From, by Amy E Sklansky.  We also baked apple fritters and worked on a cutting and pasting practice apple tree.  For dinner we ate Coq au Vin with Creme Brulee for dinner.

The third day, after reading the book and looking at the globe again, we focused on the cinnamon bark from Sri Lanka and the cow from England.  We took a piece of cinnamon stick and ground it into cinnamon powder.  B5 stated it was easier to just buy it already ground, hahaha.  We then read Cinnamon Does Grow on Trees by Jeremy and Josie Schroeder.  Then we discussed how she got a cow for milk... and the milk for butter.   Before making butter with the kiddos, I wanted to read our extra books.  We read Milk from Cow to Carton, by Aliki, Out and About at the Dairy Farm, by Andy Murphy, Moo Moo Brown Cow, Have You Any Milk, by Phillis Gershator, and Moo-n Over Main Street Metropolis, by Mary Jane Butters.  Then we made our butter.  What fun!  We totally cheated and used my food processor!  After we were done with that, we put pom poms on the apple tree and worked on patterns with foam apples.  For dinner we ate Fish and Chips.

Day four we looked at getting water from the ocean and sugar cane from Jamaica.  First we read the book and looked at the globe.  Then we discussed why she got water from the ocean and how she would have gotten salt from it.  We went to the ocean and got some water.  After having the children taste it, I poured the water into a 13x9 and set it out to dry.  We then read The Story of Salt, by Mark Kurlansky.  Next we discussed getting sugarcane from Jamaica.  We took this time to discuss different sweeteners, including raw sugar, white sugar, brown sugar, molasses, honey, and maple syrup.  We also read J is for Jamaica by Benjamin Zephaniah.  For dinner we had Fiery Hot Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Jamaican Jerk Potato Salad, and Caribbean Coleslaw.

For our final day, we focused more on apples.  In the story, the girl got her apples from Vermont.  We looked at pictures of our last apple picking trip.  Then we read M is for Maple Syrup, by Cynthia Furlong Reynolds, Apple Farmer Annie, by Monica Wellington, and The Apple Pie that Papa Baked, by Lauren Thompson.  The children also made an apple toilet roll paper craft and put apple stickers on a construction paper tree.  Once this was done, it was time for our BIG activity... making pie!  We ground up our flour using the Einkorn berries I had set aside, used our ground cinnamon, freshly made butter, our salt that we got from the experiment, and our apple pie filling that I had canned from our last trip to the apple orchard.  Yummy!!!