Saturday, March 28, 2009

Monkey's First Backpacking Trip

James and Monkey went on their first backpacking trip last week.  She, well...they both, have been looking forward to this trip since last year.  They went to Red River Gorge and hiked to Grey's Arch.

He's such a good Daddy!

Monkey hiking with her monkey, Lollipop, in tow.

Monkey with Grey's Arch in the background.  She is a strong hiker.  Her Daddy said she only stopped twice on the hike in.

Their home away from home for the night :)

She even sat the table.  Monkey chose spaghetti for their dinner.

Best Daddy ever!  He is planning to take Lulu on the next trip.  Lil wants to go as well...but he may just take her to the campground for a night.

And no trip to the Gorge is complete without stopping by Miguel's!

They had a really great trip, just the two of them!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Nature Day

Friday we spent the afternoon with friends at Salato in Frankfort.  We love going to Salato.  They have fishing ponds, picnic selters, an indoor nature center, animals native to Kentucky, and hiking trails.  Did I mention that it is FREE!  We love free!

Lulu and Monkey doubled up on their work throughout the week.  All they had to do on Friday morning was Bible, spelling, math, and phonics.  Then we packed our lunch, grabbed our nature bag, and loaded in the van.  Our friends are fairly new to our area so they had never been to Salato before.  We had a great afternoon.
Lil and her buddy, MD!

And we finally were able to get some nature study in!  The kids caught some bugs and observed them.  They did leaf rubbings.  They drew pictures of the bugs.  It was lots of fun. 

Lulu, Monkey, and friend E

Now that's cool!

Lil drawing a centipede.  She did a great job.  It really looks like a centipede!

S and MD looking at the fish.

Another great day spent at Salato!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Conquering the Monkey Bars

Monkey has officially conquered the monkey bars!  She is so proud of herself.

This was Monkey's first attempt.  Right after this shot she crashed to the ground.

But that did not stop her.  Monkey was right back up there for a second go.

She's working hard...holding on tight.

Almost there...

Sweet victory!!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Preschool Activities in a Bag Swap

I hosted an activity bag swap at our co-op this week.  This is the second year we have done the swap.  Just like last year, I came home with many activities for Lil to enjoy.  We now have over 30 bags for her to learn with. 

Fruit Puzzles, Hidden in a Bottle, Sort-n-Pour, b or d?, ABC-123 Match, Clip It, Cut -n- Collage

Tissue Collage, Trace-n-Erase, ABC Puzzles, Bag O Beads, Stringing Straws, Foam Pattern Match

Lil's favorite so far is Trace-n-Erase.  She loves using the dry erase board.  We have been working on letters and numbers all year.  So this is great for her.  She enjoys tracing them. 

If you have preschoolers, I encourage you to find other Moms to do a swap with.  It is a great way to come home with a lot of different activities.  And you only have to make one of them! We used  Preschool in a Bag Book 1 and Book 2 for our swap.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Esther - week 9

I finished my study of Esther last week.  It was very good.  I highly recommend Beth Moore's Bible Studies.  She speaks to the heart of women.  You will grow and learn, that's for sure.

In chapter nine of Esther we find out that they Jews are defending themselves against those in the Persian Empire that want to destroy them.  God gave them victory over their enemies.

Great quotes to me in week nine are:
"When Satan has much to gain, he also has much to lose.  His every scheme against a child of God is a gamble."  Beth Moore, pg. 202

"No matter what life - or Satan himself - hands us, the favor God has on His children causes that "lot" to tumble out on the table in such a way that, instead of destruction, the child will discover that her portion turned into destiny one trusting step at a time."  Beth Moore, pg. 208

"Getting the credit is the wrong reason to do the right thing."  Beth Moore, pg. 213

That last one goes right to your heart.  It did mine anyway.  This last week spoke to me about motives.  What are my motives for doing the things I do?  I pray that I act with the right motives.  I know in the past I have not always done that.  I don't want to do something for an earthly treasure that will one day rot away.  Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:19-21:

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Trip to Indy

We went to the children's museum in Indianapolis a few weeks ago.  It was a great trip away.  The night before we had loads of fun at an indoor waterpark.  The girls really enjoyed the museum.  They have a great exhibit on Ancient Egypt.  This would have been a wonderful addition to our study a couple of years ago.

There are five levels to this museum.  It sounds like a lot, but there was only two or three exhibits on each level.  Right now they have a big Lego exhibit.  It is a knight theme.  The girls enjoyed playing in there for awhile.  James was exciting in the comic book exhibit because they had one of the batmobiles that was actually used in the movie.  He was very tempted to go back right before closing and go under the rope to touch it.  He was good, though, and self-control won out. 

Another really cool thing was the dinosaur world.  Of course, since this is a state museum, they tote the millions of years garbage.  But the displays were wonderful.  They even had a section on dragons.  One of the models of a dragon's head is what James and I envisioning Leviathon looking like.  The girls sat at drawing boards and tried to draw the head.  Lil's was pretty good. 

It was so nice to get away for a couple of days.  We were glad to get back home though.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Geocaching Again

Several years ago when Monkey was a baby we stumbled upon a really cool activity called Geocaching.  

Geocaching (pronounced geo-cashing) is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A geocacher can place a geocache in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS technology and then share the geocache's existence and location online. Anyone with a GPS unit can then try to locate the geocache.

Last night we reintroduced Geocaching.  Lulu remembered most of the other caches we had found.  Monkey was too little to remember any of it.  It was Lil's fist time.  We all had a great time, even though it was a little cold by the time we finished.  We found two caches and were planning to come back home.  Lulu and Monkey begged to find some more.  We ended up finding five caches. 

Geocaching is a great family activity.  The only cost involved is your GPS.  You can find them pretty cheap now.  You don't need a fancy one.  Once you have a GPS, go to the website and create your free account.  Get your coordinates and start hunting.   You will find some really neat places in your area that you did not know were there.  Take a picnic lunch and make a day of it.  We are looking forward to the warmer weather so that we can camp and geocache!

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Esther - week 8

Chapter 7 of Esther ends with Haman being hung on the gallows he had built for Mordecai.  Things seem to be looking up for the Jews.  But the reality is that the law has not changed.  Persian law could not be changed.  And even though Esther begged Xerxes to change it, he would not.  He gave Mordecai the signet ring and told them they could write another law.  So Esther and Mordecai give the Jews the right to defend themselves when the Persians attack them. 

God wants our all to be about Him.  He is a jealous God and desires to share us with no one.  There are times in our lives when we ask for it all to just go away, the pain to leave, the memory to be gone, the situation to be  If we never face these moments we will not be able to see God's hand at work.  He wants to work through us so that we know He did it.  Not someone else.  God was not going to allow Xerxes to fix things for the Jewish people.  He wanted His people to know that He fixed things for them by empowering them. 

Another thing that spoke volumes to me from this week's study was being prepared to act.  Mordecai and Esther had fasted and prayed before she took action against Haman.  When Xerxes said write the new decree, they had to act now.  There was no time to wait and see what may be.  Their actions had to be swift.  What would have happened had they not already been fasting and praying?  The outcome could have been very different for them.  We, as children of God, must be ready.  We do not know when our trials will come.  We just know they are coming.  If we are serving God and doing our best to live holy before Him, we know trials and tests are coming.  Satan wants to see us fall flat on our faces in failure.  The trials are coming.  Be ready.  Be reading God's Word.  Continue growing.  Learn from others.   Sometimes we watch those we care about go through trials only to find out years later that we too are facing the same trial.  Be prepared to act!

And remember God can take anything negative in our lives and turn it into something positive.  The Jews in Persia received the decree of their destruction eleven months before it was to take place.  They had to live with that over their heads for a long time.  But in the end God turned that around for their good.  Only He can turn our doubt into faith, our brokeness into wholeness, our bitterness into praise, our sadness into joy.