Friday, July 31, 2015

The Hidden Treasure {Parables of Jesus Series}

The parable we're hanging out with today doesn't have a whole lot of behavior modification attached to it. It's more like, affection modification. :)

The parable of the hidden treasure is set inside of a bigger set of parables about the nature of the Kingdom of Heaven (i.e. the Kingdom of God). It's not about heaven, per se, but about the Kingdom of God right here, right now, on earth. God is always working, always bringing about his Kingdom- it's really about whether we recognize what's going on or not.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Coconut Popcorn

If you remember, I have been trying to snack a little smarter lately. And popcorn has been a go-to for me. Here is one of my latest creations: Coconut Popcorn.

When I first made this, Sebastian asked me, "Did you make this?!" He was genuinely, pleasantly surprised that I had come up with this snack all on my own. I have to say I was right there with him. I don't often make things up. I am a recipe follower. But this one, I did.

Monday, July 27, 2015

10 Great Tips for Teaching Your Child to Touch Type

I recently asked my friend if they were teaching typing in her daughter's school, and she laughed and said, "Yeah, they're so advanced they are teaching them to type with their thumbs!"   I will say, when I got my first smart phone a couple years ago my speedy thumbs developed pretty quickly.  However, I seem to remember the process of learning to type on a computer keyboard being considerably more labor intensive!  Thankfully, technology has come a long way in making it fun to learn to type.

Here are some things to think about when deciding whether or not it's the right time for your child to learn to touch type:
  • Most children will not have the developmental and physical ability to use proper keyboarding skills until they are at least 7 or 8 years old, and should definitely be able to learn by 4th grade. 
  • Once your child is expected to type his or her work for school, knowing how to type will allow them to express their thoughts more quickly and with less frustration.
  • The longer your child "practices" bad typing habits (hunt and peck), the harder they will be to break!
  • Learning to type is a time commitment!  Once your child learns where the letters are, consistent practice is needed in order for him to develop a muscle memory.  
  • When you start it's about technique.  Accuracy and speed are not important until technique is mastered.  When my son is practicing his typing, he knows he HAS to use the proper fingers to hit each key.  He's SUPPOSED to keep his eyes off the keyboard, although I know he peeks sometimes.  

Friday, July 24, 2015

Workers in the Vineyard {Parables of Jesus}

We are continuing our look at the Parables of Jesus by diving into the parable of the workers in the vineyard.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Lemon Sponge Pie

I love lemon flavored desserts, so I fell in love with this lemon sponge pie when my mother-in-law first made it!  It has such a light and creamy texture, but without all the pressure of getting a perfect top on a lemon meringue pie.

Monday, July 20, 2015

How to Learn All of the Countries of the World

Asante and I have the big audacious goal of learning all of the countries of the world.

I didnt think it was that big of a goal until we actually started doing it.

I LOVED geography back in junior high and during that time we learned all of the countries of the world. I remember counting down the days until it was time to start a new map of a new continent. Opening my atlas to discover all of the countries, rivers, and mountain ranges of each new place was completely fascinating to me.

I've pretty much forgotten most of what I learned, but as we're trying to be and build global thinkers in our little home, I realized that, duh, we need to KNOW the countries of the world.

I'm completely awful at memorizing things without going over it a gazillion times, so I created a bunch of different avenues for us to learn throughout the day!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Lowest Seat at the Feast {Parables of Jesus Series}

Isn't it funny how we didn't have to teach our kids to want to be first?  I mean, my husband I don't sit down for lunch and then declare, "I'm the winner!" if we finish our sandwich first!  So if it isn't a learned trait, then I suppose my kids must have just been born with the desire to be best, first, and most important.  If you think about it, it traces all the way back to the story of Adam and Eve.  They failed to trust that God's plan for them was good, and sought to make themselves better by taking things in to their own hands.  My kids are much the same, always seeking to establish their own importance no matter the situation.  That's why I thought that teaching about the parable of the lowest seat at the banquet may be helpful.

The Word: Luke 14:7-14

When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

The Main Point

In Bible times, the seating arrangement at a table was very important, and where a person sat designated how important each person was.  But as we know from many other parts of the Bible, Jesus tended to turn things like that upside down!  In this story, the person who pleases God isn't the most important person, but rather the must humble person.  Not to mention the fact that pointing out one's own importance can lead to rather embarrassing experiences...  Check out these verses for God's perspective on pride and humility!  

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. 
Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes shame, but with humility comes wisdom.

The Activities

Ok, I'm not going to lie.  This week I worked for three days and then left for a trip to my parents' house.  Sooooooooo, that means I didn't actually have time to do any of these activities.   Guess that means I'll be "pinning" my own post for later! #bloggermomfail
  • Have a super slow race!  Have your kids race to a location and then announce that the child who came in last is the winner.  Have them race again and do the same thing.  See how long it takes for them to get the hang of what's going on.
  • Build a tower of blocks and ask your kids what they think will happen if you take a block off the top of the tower.  Then ask what they think will happen if you take a block off the bottom.  Boom goes the tower!  It's not always the things on top that are most important!
  • Do something kind for someone else.  I'm planning to have my kids draw pictures for the child we sponsor through Compassion International.  It's something we can do to encourage someone else, without expecting anything in return.  Or you can check out this post about simple service projects kids can do.  
  • Look to water as an example - it always finds the lowest place.  Make a path out of tinfoil on a slope in your yard.  Put your hose at the top and send the water down.  What can the water take with it?  A rubber ducky?  A boat?  Can it knock down or get past an obstacle in its way? Water is very powerful even though it's on it's way to the lowest place.  
  • Act it out.  Because acting things out is fun.
How do you encourage your kids to think of others and live a life of humility?

Want more parables? If you're interested in the other parables we've already talked about, and what we've got planned next, here's the list!