Friday, February 27, 2009

Ruby's Story

What can we learn from Ruby Bridges? Courage, bravery, compassion, peacefulness, forgiveness, faith and so much more. This beautiful story written by Robert Coles is based on the real life experiences of six year old Ruby during the 1960's. Sunshine is so touched by this story that she has been discussing it with the family daily. Ruby's story is so powerful; I feel blessed to revisit it and share it with my own children. My favorite part of the story is when Ruby stops in the middle of the angry mob of people and prays for them.

Read more from the School Library Journal:

Ruby Bridges was the first African American child to attend an all-white elementary school in New Orleans in 1960. Coles tells the brief story of her daily walk past furious white adults, her time alone with her teacher in an otherwise empty classroom because white parents kept their children home, and the dramatic moment when she prays in front of the furious crowd for God to forgive them. An afterword explains that later in the school year, parents slowly began to send their children back to school and eventually the crowd dispersed. Although neither the text nor the realistic watercolors are notable, children will find the story of Ruby's courage and steadfastness inspiring. It has a strong religious element with a scene of Ruby's family in church, as well as the dramatic picture of Ruby praying, which will please readers who find too few references to religion in their books.-Kathleen Odean, Moses Brown School, Providence, RI

Listen to this inspiring song by Lori McKenna: Ruby's Shoes

Many blessings,

Jen

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Rainbow

Yesterday, Sunshine had to read a folktale for her Language Arts class. Luckily, I read over it first, so that I was prepared to ask her critical thinking questions. We discussed how folktales were told because people in the past tried to understand creation. This folktale talked about how the world was gray at first before all of the colors came and it discussed how the world was created with color. God was not mentioned anywhere in this folktale.

What an awesome discussion we had after reading this! Sunshine discussed the biblical truths that she knew about Creation and we compared this with the folktale. This experience opened up my eyes a bit. I've tried to shelter my kids from things that go against my own beliefs, but I won't be able to do this forever. Instead of sheltering them, I realize that with some things, I just need to guide them with thinking critically about it in relation to our faith.

For example, many Christians aren't comfortable with The Harry Potter Series that contain magic, etc. If my child wanted to read them, I think that I would let them as long as we discussed them together.

A Christian women shared this idea with me a while back. She said that it was important for her to teach her teenage daughters how to think critically about things in the world, because they will be exposed to a lot.

I was pleasantly surprised by my daughters knowledge about Creation and what she believes. Also, this folktale just seemed quite silly to her and she wondered how people could possible even believe that a rainbow was created this way!

God Bless,

Jen

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Dress Up!




Just Reminiscing. This photo was taken many years ago, but isn't it fun to look back. So hard to believe they will be 5 and 7 this Spring.

For more W.W. be sure to visit: 5 Minutes for Mom

Have a great Wednesday!

Jen

Monday, February 23, 2009

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom

Moses listened to God even when he didn't have the confidence to do what God had chose him to do. He trusted God and led the slaves out of Egypt. Harriet Tubman was called the Moses of her time, because she trusted God and led many slaves to freedom.

Recently Sunshine has had an interest in the Underground Railroad and leaders who fought to end slavery. So we took a trip to the library to find books at her level that would interest her as well. We were excited to find the book, Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom. This Caldecott Winner was illustrated by Kadir Nelson and written by Carole Boston Weatherford. The illustrations were just beautiful, but the message even more so. I loved the way Harriet surrendered her situation and trusted in God. Her relationship with God is apparent throughout the entire book. Through this book, I was able to show my children how God can use people to do great things.

We can do great things through Christ who strengthens us. We just need to listen and allow him to use us even in challenging situations.


Many Blessings to you,
Jen

Friday, February 20, 2009

Morning Devotions


Recently, I was reading a blog post and noticed that the children were having a morning devotion. Usually, I would read the bible with my girls at night or do a devotion with them then. Lately though, it seems that we are rushing at bedtime and our devotion time has become inconsistent. I want to stress the importance of reading God's word daily, so I'd like to be a better role-model for my children. Therefore, I'm thinking about trying a morning devotion. We can all put God first before our day even begin. When Sunshine was in Kindergarten, we would pray every morning before she went to class. I miss these morning time prayers with her.

Do you do a devotion with your children? Do you prefer doing this during the day or at night? I'd love to hear from other Christian families about what you do for your devotions in order to grow together.

Many Blessings,
Jen

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Open my Heart, Lord

Dear Lord,

May I wake up tomorrow with a better attitude, more patience and love for my family, and a willingness to open my heart fully and let you in. Help me to hold my tongue when I am angry and to discipline fairly. Help me to be the best wife and mother that I can be for my family and remind me of my purpose, Lord.

In Your Precious Name,
Amen


My days have been a little rough; need to spend some more time with my Heavenly Father. Have a great day!

Blessings,
Jen

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: I Dressed Myself!



Peanut dressed herself! Look at the stripes on her tights. Too funny. (Don't look at the mess in the background- pray that God will send some angels down to help me out a bit. He, He!)


(Thanks 5 Minutes for Mom- Happy W.W.)

Have a Great Day!!
Jen

Monday, February 16, 2009

Kidz Kick-off Celebration


If you haven't had a chance to meet mommy blogger, Tara, from Too Much Information, then you have to be sure to check out her family blog. Recently, she has done a wonderful job on her new site- Kidz. God is truly using her to be an inspiration to others. She writes that she created this site to be

"an uplifting resource that celebrates the lives and lessons of special needs children, a.k.a. kidz. This is a site for everyone, because all children are special and we can all benefit from connecting and learning from each other."

Today, is her kick off celebration for her website and she is giving away fabulous prizes. Be sure to check out her new site and also spread the word about this wonderful new resource for parents.

Blessings,

Jen

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Feeling so blessed today to have my husband and children to love and be loved by! To celebrate, my husband and I had a wonderful evening together without children. Yes, we adore them, but even they need a break from us now and then! A little peace and quiet was just heavenly.

My girls and I had a lot of fun celebrating with a variety of activities. Take a peek over at my other blog to see what we've been up to! Creative and Curious Kids!

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Jen

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Be My Valentine!


Today, I received a sweet surprise from a friend. A little bag filled with treats, a tea bag, and a wonderful message. On a heart, she wrote:

A friend loveth at all times.. Proverbs 17:17





This was a little wake up call for me. With all of the cute heart crafts and conversation heart math and all of the other fun things going on in our house, I have left out talking about Valentine's Day in relation to God's love for us!

God's love is greater than anything we could ever imagine, so how in the world did I miss this opportunity at this holiday to focus on it?? Well, it's not Valentine's Day yet, so I decided today to integrate some bible study this week with my Valentine's Day activities. One thing that I'd like to do is read a bible verse each day that focuses on love and discuss what this verse means to them. These will be posted on hearts and used as decorations. Below are a few of the verses that I'll be sharing with the girls.

1 John 4:7
Let us love one another, for love comes from God. (NIV)

Proverbs 17:17
A friend loves at all times..

1 John 3:18
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. (NIV)

1 John 4:8
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (NIV)

Proverbs 13:24
Those who love their children care enough to discipline them. (NLT)

Another idea that I have is to sing Christian children's songs or read poems that focus on love, such as Jesus Loves the Little Children, Jesus Loves Me, Jesus I Adore You, and More. Here's a cute song that I found on http://www.dltk-bible.com.

To the Tune "Are you sleeping Brother John".

Jesus loves us, Jesus loves us
all the time, all the time.
Even when we do wrong, Even
when we do wrong.
He's so kind, he's so kind.


A few great resources:
Fruit of the Spirit Unit
A Kid's Heart
Bible Rhymes and Songs for Kids

Celebrate God's love this week- Happy Valentine's Day!

Many Blessings,

Jen

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Secret of Being Content

"Aw, now that refreshing," I say as I'm walking out the front door.

"Are you crazy?" responds my mailman, George.

I guess you could call me crazy, but there has been something about the cold air on my face that makes me feel so alive. Maybe it's due to the fact that I've been cooped up a lot these days with the cold weather, so when I do get out- I've been enjoying it. So while everyone else may be hoping for Spring, I've been living in the moment. I actually like the white glistening snow on the trees and watching inches and inches of snow fall in my yard.

This is probably the first winter that I've felt this way and oh how wonderful it is to feel content. Content with my circumstances, not wishing for Spring or Summer or Fall, but just living for the moment- enjoying the cold brisk air.

Yesterday, I met a friendly man and his small child who just moved into our country. He has only been in the country for 20 days and we were discussing how his family was adapting to the temperatures. In their country, temperatures reach 120 degrees. He smiled and shared with me that this was the first time in thirty years that he had ever seen snow. Excitedly, I pulled out the photos of our snow princess to share with his daughter. She couldn't speak English, but her father explained to her what was in the photo. Forgetful of the fact that there are others who have never experienced the beauty of snow, I embraced our cold temperatures.

If winter sticks around for a bit longer, I'll be okay. There is still fires that need to be lit in the fireplace, cocoa to be enjoyed, snowflakes to watch fall, and sleds to ride!

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:12,13 NIV

Many blessings to you,

Jen

Monday, February 2, 2009

New Bible for My Little One

I've been thinking about purchasing a bible for my six year old for some time now. She has grown out of her story bibles and is ready for a bible more appropriate for her age. Here are a few that I want to take a closer look at:





If you have a child close in age, please share any suggestions that you may have relating to the above selections or one that you may already be using.

Have a great day- Blessings,

Jen