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Archive for April, 2008

The other day, John was reading to me out of his Abeka 5th Grade reader entitled Of America, Volume 1, (copyright 1999 Pensacola Christian College) and he read the following poem on page 224 that really set us both to thinking:

NO SENSE IN PRETENSE (author unknown)

You tell what you are by the friends you seek,

By the manner in which you speak.

By the way you employ your leisure time,

By the use you make of dollar and dime.

You tell what you are by the things you wear,

By the spirit in which you burdens bear,

By the sense of humor that you display

By the music that your stereo plays.

You tell what you are by the way you walk,

By the things of which you delight to talk,

By the manner in which you bear defeat,

By so simple a thing as how you eat.

By the books you choose from the well-filled shelf;

In these ways and more, you tell on yourself.

So there’s really no particle of sense

In any effort at pretense.

This reminds me of Proverbs 20:11 which says, “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.”  (By the way, this verse applies to adults as well!)

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Wow, this smells good!

 

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Ahh…..Spring!

Spring has finally arrived on the Prairie, and God has blessed us with an exceptionally beautiful one!  As I was out walking this weekend, I was astounded by the beauty of the flowering trees all around.  I just had to take my camera on my next walk!

These trees are quite a reminder of our Wonderous Creator.  He has placed such lovely things around us–I need to take more time to notice and appreciate them.

Click to play Spring Trees
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We just finished reading the second Little Pear book by Eleanor Frances Lattimore entitled Little Pear and His Friends.  These sweet books are about a young boy from a small Chinese village at the turn of the century. 

We read the first book about Little Pear before I travelled to China to adopt Kara, and, believe it or not, it helped me on my journey!  As we walked in a beautiful park in Hefei, we saw children eating what looked like candied apples on skewers, and immediately I remembered the Little Pear book.  This character’s favorite sweet were these candied fruits called Tang-hulurs.  I thought what I saw the Chinese children eating had to be these Tang-hulurs, but I couldn’t remember what they were called.  So, I contacted John on Internet Messenger to find the Little Pear book to look up what they were called.  Then I asked my guide if these treats were Tang-Hulurs, and she was quite impressed that I was right! 

I found this picture that shows the treat that I saw the Chinese children eating. I don’t know if all of these skewers are “Tang-Hulurs,” but I am pretty sure the ones with the red fruit are!

Anyway, this book is the sequel, and, yes, Little Pear still enjoys Tang-Hulurs!  In Little Pear and His Friends, a new baby joins Little Pear’s family.  The sweetest part in the whole book is where Little Pear uses his own money to buy his new baby brother a hat.  The rest of the book tells of Little Pear’s innocent but mischievious adventures.  He is very much like any other six-year-old boy, and I think that is one of the things that makes this book so enjoyable.

All of my kids enjoyed this book.  Even Kara followed along with the story and was so excited about Little Pear’s baby brother that she decided she wanted a baby too!  (We told her that she’ll just have to wait until she grows up to get her own baby!)  I even found Luke reading this book today, so I would say it was definitely a hit!

This book is a nice, innocent story.  It’s great that books like this are still available for my kids (even though they seem to be rather rare!)

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We had a very good Camp Fire USA meeting this afternoon.  We finished the Fun with Science project of the Trail to the Future with this lesson entitled I Wonder Why.  This lesson was a mis-match of several simple experiments that the kids really enjoyed.

We started out doing an activity using a small jar half filled with water and half filled with cooking oil.  We talked about how the oil is lighter than the water, and since it doesn’t mix with the water, it floats on top.  We then added a couple drops of food coloring, and that proved to be very interesting!  The food coloring did not immediately sink to the bottom, but kind of hesitated between the layers of water and oil.  We shook it up and then watched what happened.  After allowing the mixture to settle for a few minutes, we saw that the food coloring actually separated out of the oil and was only in the water!  A pretty cool experiment with a lot of “Wow factor.”

During our meeting, Dan had taken Brock to Webelos.  As we were doing the oil/water experiment, we noticed that they had forgotten to take the snacks for Webelos, so we made a quick delivery!  This ended up being quite an adventure because Dan realized the missing snacks about the same time that we did, and he headed home to get them the same time that we left to take them there!  So, we crossed trails, but eventually everyone and everything ended up in the right place.  🙂

We made homemade “Bubble Stuff” when we got home.  I had tried some recipes for this a few years ago and had never found the right mixture.  It just never seemed to work quite right.  But, the recipe in the Camp Fire USA materials worked very well!  So, it is a keeper!  Here it is:

1 cup water

1/2 tsp. sugar

2 tsp. liquid detergent

We did a mini-lesson on seeds since our decoupage flower pots are finished.  The kids dissected lima beans that had been soaked in water to see the different parts of the seed.  This works really well because the seed coat and the embryonic plant are so easily visible in large lima beans.  Then we planted flower seeds in our pretty new pots.  I sure hope that they grow–the kids would really enjoy that!

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It’s not very often that every single person in my family likes a certain recipe, but this recipe for French Dip Sandwiches is one that hits that lofty goal! This recipe was shared with me several months ago by my internet friend, Jill. She is a very neat lady. She and her husband have adopted several children from all over the world and are currently in the process of adopting another little boy from China. She said that her kids liked this recipe, so I gave it a try, and it has been requested over and over since then. Thanks for sharing such a great and easy recipe, Jill!

By the way, check out Jill’s beautiful family at their family website at http://www.wherelearningflows.blogspot.com .

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Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.godtube.com posted with vodpod

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.godtube.com posted with vodpod

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.godtube.com posted with vodpod

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.godtube.com posted with vodpod

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