Golden and Noble Works

“A wife too should regard her duties in the same light, as she suckles the child, rocks and bathes it, and cares for it in other ways; and as she busies herself with other duties and renders help and obedience to her husband. These are truly golden and noble works."
Martin Luther

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Book Recommendation

My daughter turned 3 yesterday. For her birthday, her Godparents sent her a wonderful book called, Hosanna, Loud Hosanna A Treasury of hymns for children by Kelly Klages. I love this book! It's just what I've been looking for for a long time now, didn't find and thought about ways to make on my own. I'm so glad I didn't have to.

It's so important to me to have my little ones grow up learning and singing hymns. I grew up in a church that didn't value hymns, but saw them as "old fogie music", boring and almost pointless. As an adult I discovered the rich treasure of doctrine and heritage that they are.

This book has 25 hymns. It's divided into two parts. In the first part the hymn lyrics are written and are accompanied by illustrations for each hymn. The second part has the music, short explanations, questions to ask children to get them thinking about what the words teach and a memory verse that goes with the hymn. It's great!

You can listen to an interview with the illustrator on Issues, Etc. here. (Scroll down a bit to "Teaching Hymns to Children").

And if your babies like to color as much as mine do, you can find coloring pages from the book's illustrations here.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Update on Bethann's Baby Nursery

BethAnn writes:

We are all done except for the valance which should be up shortly. The crib and Bear are compliments of Adam's family and cousins.

The dresser was painted with Roo, Rabbit, and Owl paint so it would match the room.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Christmas in July!

BethAnn let me know about a craft fair being held in Wausa NE this weekend. Here are some of the details if any of you are interested!

Held at the Wausa Community Auditorium on July 23rd 9 am to 3 pm
Admission is a donation of a $1 or an non -perishable food item to go towards local flood victims
There will be many different vendors

You can contact BethAnn or leave a comment here if you have any questions.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

First Veggies!

Kristi L. writes:

Summertime is here, and our garden is finally producing. We’ve been battling fungus on our 12 tomato plants, so we’re still waiting on those.

We did however, get some green beans and baby beets. Yum-yum.
You won’t find a picture of the grape tomato because it found its way to Joanna’s mouth before I could snap a photo of it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How Does My Garden Grow? - Kathy F.

Kathy writes:

Very well...I must say. Just thought I would give you a quick update....the potatoes, cucumbers, beans and tomatoes all have a few flowers....but as you can see, it is all doing well. I have a timer on the sprinkler to water for one hour every morning from 5-6 while we are gone...I look forward to seeing what it all looks like when we return.

The big box that doesn't look as lush are the strawberries...which are in their first year, so they didn't get super big. But we did get a few small berries...which made Hannah very excited.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 be or not to be....that is the question

Kathy F. writes:

A question? Or is it? Doesn't the Lord say that we are to be content with whatever we have and wherever we are? To trust only in Him for our Daily Bread...."Give us this day our Daily Bread"? this world, that is one hard thing to do. Lately I have caught myself complaining about some of the craziest things...having to put gas in the car....again. (Well, at least we have a car...actually 2....that work well). Complaining about not having room in the refrigerator for tonight's leftovers (can you believe it...complaining of a FULL's FULL for goodness sake...we have food). Complaining about having nothing to wear to church...all the while looking at an over crowded closet (NOTHING to wear...good grief). Complaining about the torn up roads from the snow plows last winter...but I never complained once about the snow plows actually plowing the snow last winter. Complaining about a cluttered and messy house and then complaining some more because I want MORE...I always want MORE. Complaining about the water in our basement after a 3 inch rain in 1.5 hours....but I should be grateful to HAVE a basement...a safe haven for us when the spring tornado watches and warnings are posted.

Wow...Satan sure knows how to take hold of my thoughts...complaining is easy, being grateful isn't so easy. And it's even harder to instill gratefulness in our children, especially if we, ourselves aren't. My challenge to myself is to be verbally grateful for at least 5 things everyday. I plan to tell my husband, my kids, my friends and whoever else I can find to listen my 5 things. Some days I am sure it will be easy to do...other days, not so much. But I figure if I can do 5 things a day for a while, then I can up my number...and change my attitude about all of the blessings I receive daily from our Heavenly Father. I challenge you to do the same.

I will start: I am thankful for air conditioning as today's heat index is to go above 100 degrees. I am thankful for a congregation that allows us to leave town for nearly 3 weeks on a summer family vacation...and allows us another 2 week vacation at Christmas time. I am thankful for the blessings of 15 years of marriage to Dan, ...along with 3 happy and healthy children. I am thankful that I am able and desirous to homeschool those 3 wonderful children. I am thankful for my dear friend at church who has taught me everything I know about gardening. Here are a few pictures of her handiwork....(I helped....but she designed) . I only wish I had a before picture....but simply picture a large dirt rectangle where a veggie garden used to be.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Celebrating Independence Day

I went a little crazy gathering fun crafts and food ideas for Independence Day and wanted to share them with all of you.

Slap Bracelet Napkin Rings
Red, White, Blue Garland
Drink Parasols
Clothespin Pinwheels
Firework Pom Poms
Cans for utensils, flowers, breadsticks, whatever!

Crafts For Kids:
Hand Print Eagle Tee
Patriotic Pinwheel
Paper Plate Uncle Sam
Paper Plate Door Hanger

For Eating:
Spangled Sandwich Pops
Revolutionary Berries
Patriotic Drink
Easy Cupcakes here and here
Pretzel Sparklers
Apple Pie or this American Flag Berry Pie

Other fun things to do this 4th of July weekend:

Drink Root Beer Floats
Watch Patriotic movies:
The Patriot, Glory, Gettysburg, Saving Private Ryan, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Men of Honor, The Crossing, Air Force One
Or Baseball Movies:
The Sandlot, Field of Dreams, A League of Their Own, Pride of the Yankees

Listen to and learn some patriotic songs
Have a Tin Can Race!

I'd love to hear how you celebrate Independence Day or if you'd like to share a memory of a time when you were "proud to be and American" comment here or email me!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Independence Day! - From Kathy F.

Kathy writes:

I was getting my haircut the other day when my haircutting friend said something about teaching her 8th grade daughter to do the laundry. My response to her was that my 3 kids know how to do the laundry which I was glad she had put the scissors down...because she could have easily chopped a extra chunk out as her mouth almost dropped to the floor...she knows my 3 children are ages 7, 9 and 11. "YOUR children do the laundry????" At that point I realized just how important it is to teach our children skills they will use for the rest of their lives.

We are getting ready for an almost 3 week vacation starting July 5th and it is times like this when I am thankful that I have taught my children some life skills that have not only made them INDEPENDENT, but also helpful and more self confident. They will be doing their own laundry and packing their own suitcases (with an inspection by mom before it all goes in the bag), just for starters.

Whenever I take the time to teach them a skill that is useful, I can almost physically see their confidence, self-value, and perceived worth to the family increase. They are capable, they can help, they can be trusted with this task, that up until this point was done only by an adult. They are INDEPENDENT.

Does it take more time and energy to teach than to do? This IS most certainly true (spoken by a true Lutheran Pastor's wife), It is more trouble, and possible more dangerous...will they hurt themselves, will something break, will the kitchen be a BIG mess...yes, yes, and yes. But in the long run, it is so worth every mess and every extra minute it took to train them.

We get so used to doing things for our infants, toddlers and small children, that when our kids get to be school age we just keep doing things for them...this is not only bad for us (we simply can't do everything required of us everyday), but it is also not good for the children.

So what do my 7, 9 and 11 year old do around the house? Well let me start by saying it's not done perfectly...or the way I would do it..or as often as I would like....but it is done. My kids do their own laundry from start to finish...from dirty laundry basket to their drawers and closets when clean. Hannah is learning to make some very basic meals and this week she will learn how to make bread in our bread machine. All 3 kids can make coffee. Each child weeds and cares for their own squares in the garden. Of course cleaning their rooms is in there. They also all know how to run the vacuum, make their bed (not just pulling up the blankets, but actually washing their own sheets and then replacing them on the bed....the person on the top bunk gets a little extra help). Collecting and taking out the trash, cleaning the mirrors and bathrooms sinks are all done here too.

I have discovered one simple trick to making the kids excited about doing these things...they are no longer called chores...but rather privileges. It is a privilege to run the washing machine, the bread maker and coffee pot.
When they see how much their contribution is a blessing to our family, and they get praise for their efforts, they are so willing to help....most of the time. I read recently this quote and I have decided to adopt this philosophy:
Whenever a child can do for himself (or others who cannot), he should do.

Maybe it is time, for their own good, and yours, to allow them the thrill of being useful and capable.