October 30, 2014

Thankful

My dear bloggy friend Angela invited me to join in on her thankfulness link party. I have been wanting to post a weekly thankful post for some time and now I am going to do it! :)

Angela blogs over at www.angelastrand.com and I encourage you to go and read everything she has ever posted. She is a great mom, wife, and lover of Jesus. She inspires me and I can relate to her in a myriad of ways :)

On to my thankful list...

Thankful to be back studying the book of Hebrews again. Wow it is such a good book!

Thankful for hand drawn Christmas lists, even though it is October :) I received these adorable Christmas lists from my boys. I love these! This is the first time they have ever given me a list :)

I'm thankful for my baking times with my daughter. We did a lot of baking last week and when we bake together I have to hold back my emotions the whole time. It is a precious time spent with my sweet girl. She is a sneaky girl though and I always catch her nibbling on the dough...

Thankful for my times exploring with this cutie, it is always the best way to spend a day...

I'm thankful for this photo my husband captured. It is a rare but special blessing to be in a photo with my kiddos since I am usually the one taking all the shots :)

Thankful for my arts and crafts times with my kiddos. With homeschooling we explore together, create together, learn together, and live out life together. I'm thankful a million times over for the opportunity to stay home with my kids and make things like these maple leaf impressions...

Thankful for midweek bible study in the book of Proverbs. Last night this verse stood out to me: "Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in him." Prov 30:5

And today I am thankful for a science experiment that worked! We made this bottle thermometer and at first it was leaking so I readjusted it and now it is measuring the weather! The kids are super excited to watch the temperature rise as the water heats up and expands. Yay!

And lastly, I am thankful for Angela who encouraged me to stop and blog about what I was thankful for this week. Thank you Angela!

Blessings to you all,
Janiene





October 19, 2014

Japanese Weather Predicting Game

We have been using a curriculum called "5 in a Row" to explore social studies, history, geography, science, cooking, and some math too, all through reading some amazing children's books. We are loving the style of this curriculum and have even been inspired to grab other books that are not part of the curriculum and create our own unit studies (like our unit on Johnny Appleseed). 

Last week we had a blast reading "A Pair of Red Clogs", which is one of the recommended books from "5 in a Row"...

In the book we learned about some Japanese culture and history. The little girls in the book also play a weather predicting game with their clogs and I thought it would be fun to play the game with the kids. To play the game you simply throw your clog (or in our case, our shoe) and depending on how it lands it will predict the weather. If the shoe lands right-side-up then it will be a fine day tomorrow. If the shoe lands on it's side then it will snow. Lastly, if the shoe lands upside-down it will rain. I love the illustrations in this book! Just look at the look of determination on the little girls face as she tosses her clog...

So we headed outside and the kids lined up to toss their shoes...

We tossed the shoe 8 times and graphed the results each time it landed...

We had a column for "sunny", "snowy", and "rainy". 
Based on the data that both boys gathered, their shoes predicted that the weather would be fine the next day...

After graphing everything they journaled about their findings (I helped my kindergartner on the left, lol). This was the funnest game to play! We now find ourselves randomly taking off our shoes and tossing them to predict the weather for the next day. I wonder what our neighbors must think of us! Haha! 

I encourage you to join in the fun of this ancient Japanese weather predicting game by taking a shoe off and tossing it!

Blessings, Janiene


October 11, 2014

Painting Pumpkins {Year 4!} & Sharing the Gospel through Carving a Pumpkin

We have a few family traditions that we have picked up along the way, and painting pumpkins is one of them! This year my eldest painted a scene on his pumpkin of good fighting evil. He has been asking a million questions about the meaning of Halloween and why people decorate their homes with scary things and I think he is starting to grasp the concept of Halloween vs. Harvest. He is a thinker and his processing always comes out at the coolest times, like today in painting his pumpkin. Anywho, we started painting pumpkins back in 2011 and have continued the tradition every year since.

Here were our pumpkins in 2011...


And here were our pumpkins from 2012...


And then last year's pumpkins...


And this year's pumpkins did not disappoint! The kids each picked out their pumpkin, with Owen choosing the biggest pumpkin!

We cleaned the pumpkins before painting them...

They chose their paint colors and got to it (we use acrylic paint)...

Drum roll please. Introducing our 2014 painted pumpkins! Ta-da!...

We let them sit out until Halloween day and then we bring the pumpkins inside and I share the gospel with the kids as I carve the pumpkin! Click {here} to see my post on "Sharing the gospel through carving a pumpkin". I talk about how we can paint the outside to look as colorful or as beautiful as we want but yucky gunk called sin is still inside. This activity is always a very powerful illustration of the gospel for the kids. Here is what the pumpkin will look like after you have carved it, awesome huh!? It looks so awesome at night...


What are the various ways you bring Christ into holidays like Halloween? Or do you avoid it all together? We are constantly looking for ways to redeem this day and spend it for the Lord. As the kids get older we will celebrate Reformation Day in place of Halloween. Maybe one day you will see a post where we went to all our neighbors and posted a copy of the 95 Thesis on their doorposts like Luther did to the church. But for now we celebrate the Harvest and thank the Lord for all the increase He brings into our lives :)

Blessings,
Janiene


October 7, 2014

Apple Seed Packets

For the past couple weeks we have been learning about Johnny Appleseed. The boys and I are making some apple butter today and I got an idea to make apple seed packets to give away, just like Johnny Appleseed. He would carry apple seed packets with him and pass them out to the settlers and Native Americans along his journey. He was a giver! We talked about who we would give apple seeds to and the boys started rattling off the names of some family and friends, so we decided we had to make some for them :)

My 2nd grader helped me peel the apples... 

My kindergartner collected all of the apple seeds...

To practice grouping the boys grouped the seeds in 5's...

Then they grouped them by 15's...

Each boy amazingly ended up with 75 seeds! I just poured seeds on both of their mats and they both ended up equal! My boys like everything to be even and without even trying their seeds were the same! God is sooooooooo into the details, isn't He? :) The boys took their 5 groups of 15 seeds and put them in ziplock baggies...

We took pieces of scrapbooking paper and folded them and cut them to the length of the ziplock baggies. This became the label on the top of the seed packets. The boys wrote out "APPLE SEEDS" on each label and wrote their name on the back...

 To attach the label to the baggie we used a stapler...

He really got into it and used his body weight to get the job done ;)

So proud of their finished seed packets...

This was a simple & fun craft to do on this warm Fall afternoon. 
And now to send them off to their new owners...

I wonder if my boys will effectively start a Johnny Appleseed revival here in Southern California?? Apple trees for everyone! :)

Blessings,
Janiene

October 3, 2014

Friday Favorites


It has been TOO LONG since I have done a Friday Favorites!
So, let's do this!


1) I love to teach my kids creative ways to make a painting. We recently learned how to do print art, without using any brushes. I used the book "1 2 3 I Can Make Print Art" book for the lessons and inspiration. This is the adorable print art caterpillar my kindergartner made using a gatorade bottle cap, pencil eraser, and sharpie marker...

2) I made some homemade hamburger buns using Chef John's recipe on AllRecipes. They were easy to make and super tasty! Here is how mine turned out...

3) We were able to celebrate Grandma Joan's birthday. We had lunch, apple pie a la mode, laughs, and fun with Sarah the dog...

4) Lessons from the life of Johnny Appleseed filled our week. One of my favorite lessons the boys drew from Johnny was that he was a giver. They both commented on the blessing of giving to others. I pray my boys grow up to be givers too. Here they are making flip booklets of Johnny Appleseed's life...

And here they are making paper mosaic apples after reading Johnny Appleseed once more...

5) We started the month of October with our traditional pumpkin pie breakfast! What a fun and sugary and pumpkiny morning that was! Yum.

6) I made Naan Bread and man was it delicious! This recipe went straight into my recipe book. It is a keeper! I used this Naan Bread recipe from Mic at AllRecipes. This was easy to make and filled my entire house with the most amazing yeasty garlicy aroma. Here is how mine turned out...

7) Cheeseburger pizza! OK, this was the bomb of all pizzas. 4 out of 5 of us Bishops want it again, tomorrow night! My eldest son thought there was too much cheese, so I will reduce the cheese next time for him. This was a super simple pizza to make. I browned hamburger meat and seasoned it with garlic, kosher salt, and cracked black pepper. I made my dough from scratch but you can use refrigerated dough to save time. I used pizza sauce, cheddar & jack cheese, hamburger meat, and sliced green bell peppers. Bake on a pizza stone for 15 min at 425 degrees. YUM, YUM! This one is going in my recipe book too...

8) I have been using this brown topaz eye liner from Almay.
It is perfect for my blue eyes. I love it! It is subtle, shiny, and stays on all day. Winner!

I love when a blogger cracks open their life to give me a glimpse of things that help them or bless them from their everyday life. That is what I have tried to do for you today. What I love about really seeing someones life is that I can relate to SO MUCH! None of us is perfect and none of us has mastered life. We are all just learning, growing and seeking to share what is working with us (at least, what is working right now, lol). So, if this list blesses you in some way, hooray! 

Blessings,
Janiene