TEN THINGS about Geography with Little Ones

I love LISTS and I love things being organized in box-type containers. A TEN THINGS list is like that!  I enjoy writing things in a structured, contained way. You will find links to all the TEN THINGS posts at the end of each. ENJOY!

My hubby and I don’t believe in separating subjects into their particular parts and doing only that subject for half hour slots at a time – but we do love maps and travelling and learning about the world – and so do our children! Here are 10 things we do that has them learning in leaps and bounds about the world at ages 7, 5, 2 and 1!

1. We have various large detailed world maps and country maps that we put on the dining room table under a clear plastic table cover. Great conversation enhancers at mealtimes!


2. We have a big world globe which we love to study and to spin. This not only teaches them about the places but about the time zones, the oceans and how it all works with the moon and sun, seasons, etc.

3. Virtual Travel is something we learnt about from Se7en. What a wonderful idea! We jumped right in and now are always travelling in some or other place – if you meet one of our little ones they’ll probably tell you we are in Alaska this month. We pack our backpacks, make some “fake” money from that country, gather our passports and tickets and during a family fun night Dad will often fly us somewhere – and there we will remain while we learn about that place for a few weeks. We learn a few words in the language, listen to the national anthem, explore the animals and see the people on youtube, cook some food from that country and have a cultural meal and then pray for the people in that country.

4. We have a few large children’s atlases with pictures of animals and other details in each country. These are pored over by our little ones for hours!

5. Actual Travel 🙂 We haven’t travelled too far afield but wherever we go they are so keen to learn the names of the places, oceans and how it all fits together.

6. We have a poster of the Country Names with their flags which is also on the table under the plastic table cover. They love to study this and comment on the strange country names and the unusual flags.


7. We read stories set in different countries – when hubby does it he even gets the accents going!

8. We love to look at Google Earth together! Its incredible to be able to see your own house, the local nature reserve, your extended family’s houses in Belgium and Georgia, USA and see the actual street view. Wow!

9. We love listening to the geography songs CD from Sonlight – awesome!

10. The ANT RACE! Commission one of your children to find a live ant and to bring it to the table. Set it down on a world or country map and then all of you commentate on the ants journey – great way to learn country and city names.

Learning Geography is so effortless – it happens so naturally and is such fun!

“Give [instruction] to a wise [man], and he will be yet wiser: teach a just [man], and he will increase in learning.” Proverbs 9 v 9

TEN THINGS POSTS

TEN THINGS We Love About ‘Read-Aloud’ Lounge Time
TEN THINGS We No Longer Value and What Has Replaced Them
TEN THINGS about Family Fun Night
TEN THINGS “I Do Notice, Mommy”
TEN THINGS about Geography with Little Ones
TEN THINGS To Do with Edible Seeds
TEN THINGS to Help You in the Kitchen
TEN THINGS About My Days

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Business to Babies – Our Life’s Puzzle Part 2

When my husband and I were living in the USA for about a year, we used to take long walks on the beach and talk about what we wanted out of life.

I wanted to start my own business using the things I loved: computers, photography and multimedia and make an impact on people’s lives through that. My hubby wanted to support me in that and develop his career in a whole different direction to what it is today. “Church” wise we wanted to get more involved in church media. Its funny how much we have changed!

We met some homeschoolers at a big church picnic in the park and thought that the concept of homeschooling was totally weird! We met some special families who encouraged us to have many children as they were such a blessing! “Hmmm,”, we thought, “maybe one day”.

Our Farewell Party (My goodness – we look strange!)

We came back from the USA in 2001 and carried out our new plans to a T. We bought a house, set up my multimedia business and hired some friends to work with me. We got involved in church media. It was wonderful – and I loved being able to work with great people and make multimedia to impact people’s emotions (and hopefully their lives).

The “Office”

Though life was busy and full and felt good; some things felt really out of place. I spent the whole day running operations and never had the time or space to do the actual multimedia – so that had to happen after hours. My husband was terribly patient and supportive but I didn’t have much time to spend with him.

I also found that the competitive drive that you need to make a business work, I just didn’t have! I really didn’t care much about the rich executives from “insert company name here” who wanted to impress their head office with fancy multimedia. The whole business world felt so empty to me. I cared about the NGO’s that we did work for as they really were a blessing to others but most of the work felt empty and purposeless. I realised that the things I had dreamed about and wanted for so long were leaving me empty and were taking me away from my wonderful husband. I wasn’t able to help him at all – he was so busy helping me!

Everything felt upside down. I wasn’t making an impact where it counted! There wasn’t much that was of eternal value that I was spending my time on. God was working in me – he had to shout rather loudly for quite a long time before I started to even be aware of His voice. Eventually I realised that this wasn’t how He wanted our lives to be.

We had built up so much and it was hard to know how to begin to break it down – and how to change. My hubby and I made the decision together to close my business and get ready to have children as I knew there was no way I could do both. (The friend who worked with me the longest is also now a stay-at-home Mom.)

Those months were filled with such incredible peace! I knew we had made the right decision and that I had listened to God’s voice in my heart. I fell pregnant a few months after that and we were so overjoyed! I wanted this little child so much!! Most of our friends already had children – but we had been more interested in “other” things in life – now we were so excited.

I don’t think I had ever seen a baby under 3 months old and certainly didn’t have much idea what to do with one but I knew I was following God’s direction in my life and that He would show me. I used to have such a fear of childbirth and of everything surrounding it – I really hate hospitals and hated the way that pregnant women seem to be treated like sick patients. I also hated how everyone said how awful childbirth was and that the only good thing they could find to say was that “you forget!” Not much comfort in that! I asked God to give me a testimony that would be a blessing to expecting Moms and an encouragement to girls looking to have children later.

In the year preceding the pregnancy I had read and researched and learnt lots and I spent many months preparing my body for childbirth. Our little girl was born at home 3 weeks early (or so we thought – we still didn’t have the whole date thing properly figured out!) and God so answered my prayer for a positive testimony. My main memories are walking around the house peacefully listening to some worship music at about 2am and resting through each contraction. My hubby was asleep and the midwife slept in the spare room. I woke them a bit later 🙂 The birth was HARD WORK but I wasn’t out of control and I wasn’t overwhelmed. I could cope! Our natural endorphins really do help so much! My husband was a wonderful support to me. My very first thought when my little girl was born was literally “oh my word – a real baby!” Then – “what beautiful tiny fingernails”. How blessed we were! I also remember my hubby and I sitting on our bed with this incredible new baby in my arms; eating fruit salad that the midwife had made for us.

Baby Dedication

God has added four blessings to our family and we hope he will keep adding more. I’d much rather spend my nights feeding a precious little one than doing multimedia 🙂

We wasted seven years and all those years on the pill mean that I don’t fall pregnant easily. But God knows and we trust Him!

I now spend my days enjoying and serving our little family and running our little homeschool and loving it!

Its hard work, there are times every day when I wonder if I am doing it “right” or “doing enough” or “giving them what they need” but I know that God has led us each step of the way and that if we continue to faithfully pray for our children he will direct our paths. I love spending my days on what is of eternal value!

We love learning to know God together and my husband teaches our children from the Bible – we love to see how keen they are to learn. We are now learning what “church” things we should really be involved in – being a blessing to the body of Christ in whatever way He calls us to. That is something that doesn’t come easily to me – its so much easier to hide behind the camera or the computer screen and call it ministry – but I am learning. I am also learning to be my husband’s helper rather than the other way around. It is such a rich fulfilling role that God has for us and I can see my husband loving it! I so want our children to learn God’s way!

I am so glad that God is so patient with us and never gives up on us and I am so blessed with the life He has led us to!

Part 1

“Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou [art] the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. ” Psalm 25v5

TEN THINGS To Do with Edible Seeds

I love LISTS and I love things being organized in box-type containers. A TEN THINGS list is like that!  I enjoy writing things in a structured, contained way. You will find links to all the TEN THINGS posts at the end of each. ENJOY!

Seeds are so good for you! They contain so much wonderful stuff – good nutrients, great oils and they are protein power-packs! Here are 10 things you can do with edible seeds. If you’d like any recipes for things in this list, please leave a comment and I’d be happy to send them to you!

1. Sprinkle raw (as in not toasted) seeds  onto salad. I love to add sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds to my salad – yummy!


2. Grind up a combination of  seeds in a coffee grinder and sprinkle over salad or blend with a little with fruit juice or water and spread on a cracker for a great savoury protein snack.

3. Make salad sprinkles by blending / grinding 6 T sesame seeds with 2 T nutritional yeast flakes and 1/2 teaspoon salt – adds wonderful texture and flavour to salad.

4. Eat your seeds just as they are as a great snack with some fruit.


5. Add sesame seeds to your date balls (mix equal quantities moistened rolled oats, soaked dates and coconut plus 1T honey and 1T sesame seeds.)

6. Use sesame and sunflower seeds in your homemade muesli.

7. Grind seeds and add to healthy smoothies – we add ground flaxseeds to our cashew and strawberry smoothie for some great fibre.

8. Use sunflower seeds in combination with cashew nuts as a great base for creamy raw dips (other basic ingredients: water, lemon juice and honey).

9. Toast them and use them to top pizza and pasta – pumpkin seeds work great for this.


10. Add pumpkin seeds to your bread dough or brush a loaf or rolls with some butter then sprinkle sesame seeds on top just before baking.

Or – use them to play maths games with your children!

This post is linked to WFMW and Day2DayJoys.

“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” Matthew 13 v 31,32

TEN THINGS POSTS

TEN THINGS We Love About ‘Read-Aloud’ Lounge Time
TEN THINGS We No Longer Value and What Has Replaced Them
TEN THINGS about Family Fun Night
TEN THINGS “I Do Notice, Mommy”
TEN THINGS about Geography with Little Ones
TEN THINGS To Do with Edible Seeds
TEN THINGS to Help You in the Kitchen
TEN THINGS About My Days

TEN THINGS to Help You in the Kitchen

I love LISTS and I love things being organized in box-type containers. A TEN THINGS list is like that!  I enjoy writing things in a structured, contained way. You will find links to all the TEN THINGS posts at the end of each. ENJOY!

1. A great way to get your spaghetti not to stick together in clumps when cooking is to put a spoonful of coconut oil or butter into the boiling water (about the time you add the salt) before popping the spaghetti in to cook.

2. Making your own butter is SO EASY and so much healthier than buying butter. Buy organic cream or scoop the cream off the raw milk you order. Fill a small jar about 2/3 full of cream – leave space for it to expand. Then you and your family take turns shaking the jar for about half an hour. Its so exciting to see the butter form! You can open the jar periodically to peep – you will clearly see a solid yellow lump when the butter is ready and the buttermilk will be separate. Pour off the buttermilk and keep it for some yummy baking. Mush the butter gently with a spatula to get the last of the buttermilk out and then put your soft butter into a container in the fridge overnight – BEAUTIFUL!

3. Coconut oil is wonderful for your health and makes a great replacement for butter. It is the oil extracted from coconuts (cold-pressed) and is a solid at room temperature (so its very stable and safe for cooking with). If you want the best quality breast milk for your baby – eat coconut oil! We use it in stir frys, baking, spread on bread or waffles, or just straight into toddlers mouth – they love it!

4. For an easy way to get the pip out of an avocado, cut the avo in half and then whack the pip with the knife so that the knife sticks into the pip – and pull the pip out! Keep the avo pip on top of your salad for a couple of hours until you serve it to prevent the avo from discolouring.

5. After making pesto (basil, parsley, etc.) freeze it overnight and then defrost in the fridge overnight again. It will then last in the fridge for about 3 weeks and you can scoop out a bit anytime you need without needing to defrost.

6. To cut down on your salt intake grind up some dried herbs in your blender or coffee grinder (basil, oregano, parsley, sage, rosemary), then combine half salt, half herb mix to make a great homemade herbal salt.

7. Replacing sugar with honey or jaggery in most recipes will be tasty and healthier for you!

8. For quick & easy soup chop 1 potato (skin on), 1 carrot and 1 large leek and then add about 2 cups of any vegetable you like – brocolli, cauliflower, butternut, peas, etc. Cover with water, add 1T soup stock and boil till vegetables are soft. Blend the soup, add salt and cream to taste and ENJOY!

9. For a cheap and healthy cleaner – use VINEGAR! Clean surfaces, sinks, stovetop, floors, oven and inside of cupboards with a little vinegar on a clean cloth.

10.  Not enough time to make a proper quiche with crust and all? – try a delicious crustless quiche for a quick and easy healthy meal!

This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesday

“And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken [meat] that was left seven baskets full. ” Matthew 15v37

TEN THINGS POSTS

TEN THINGS We Love About ‘Read-Aloud’ Lounge Time
TEN THINGS We No Longer Value and What Has Replaced Them
TEN THINGS about Family Fun Night
TEN THINGS “I Do Notice, Mommy”
TEN THINGS about Geography with Little Ones
TEN THINGS To Do with Edible Seeds
TEN THINGS to Help You in the Kitchen
TEN THINGS About My Days

The Very Bestest Exercise!

Want to know the very best exercise? – become like a little child!

* Jump or hop enthusiastically about 20 times on your way to the bathroom.

* Skip around the house joyfully when you have nothing else to do or are waiting for something.

* Climb up the furniture & dangle off it – good for strengthening tummy muscles! (yes, I do allow my children to do this – at our house!)

* Twirl around wildly to see your dress fly out around you.

* Don’t sit still on a chair but bounce up & down as hard as you can. If you are afraid you might break the chair then rather sit on it & bounce your legs and feet up & down as fast as you can making a cool clunking noise on the floor each time your feet touch.

* Dance around while brushing your teeth.

* Chase a balloon around the room.

* Stand on one leg while working in the kitchen.

* If you see a wide open stretch of grass run wildly and joyfully across it until you reach the end, run back again and then fall down and watch the sky.

* Laugh hysterically at something (until your tummy muscles hurt).

* Roll around on the floor with your hubby, wrestling and tickling.

* Run around a room as fast as you can while singing at the top of your voice.

* Have FUN whatever you happen to be doing! 🙂

D’you have any more ideas to share? Please do!!

“And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them” Matthew 18v2

What’s Your Fruit?

I’m such a messed up mysterious mixture of fear and faith, hope and frustration, joy, pain and selfishness. I need God’s grace EVERY day and I need God’s word EVERY day! My flesh is a hopeless horrible lump that always tries to pull me away from God and from what he has called me to do daily  – from the wonderful joy of my precious family and from HIM. When I lie in bed at night with my Bible, I am reminded that what God has called me to is for NOW – this short life on earth and..

… ETERNITY IS FOREVER.

If the apostle Paul had to be vigilant lest he be “a castaway”, shouldn’t we examine ourselves, using God’s word as our mirror?

“But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” 1 Corinthians 9v27

I ask myself these questions:

Is my heart turned wholeheartedly towards God?

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” Mark 12v30a

– or like an unfaithful lover, is my heart turned towards something else?

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.” 2 Corinthians 13v5a

Do I love God’s word and desire it to change me?

But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. ” Psalm 1v2

Am I profoundly thankful in my heart to God for creating me, dying for me and loving me?

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

1 Thessalonians 5v18

Do I have appetites that hold me back from walking with God – appetites that I turn to rather than to God?

Food

Movies

Blogging

Socialising

“That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” 1 Peter 4v2

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3v2

Am I faithful to what God has called me to? Do I love and serve my husband and love my children wholeheartedly and with all my energy?

“And whatsoever ye do, do [it] heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; ” Colossians 3v23

Will my works stand up in the fire of Christ’s judgement or will they be burned to nothing?

“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” 1 Corinthians 3v13,14

Is there secret sin in my life? Is there denial in my heart – where I know deep down that if I were to face Jesus Christ now I could not say to him: “Lord, I love you with my whole heart!”

“With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119v10,11

Do I believe God’s Word as it stands?

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4v3,4

Do I obey God?

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” James 1v22

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7v21-23

Sometimes we read these verses quickly or we hear about them in Bible stories – have you read what they actually say? They are true – and they bring fear to my heart! – and they draw me closer to an awesome loving mighty merciful God.

“Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7v16-20

CHRIST is our only hope! See you at the foot of the cross.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”1 Peter 1v5

Our Days in June

Our June has been a joy-filled, hard working and hard playing month!

Lounge Tenting.

Our little 1 year old’s absolute favourite way to help is to sweep under the table with the dustpan and brush!

Racing round the chairs when its raining outside.


We made the Carob Chunk Cookies  into Rocky Road Cookies by adding some chopped marshmallows when they were nearly done and then popping them back into the oven for 5 minutes.

This graceful girl has started her own cookie mix gift factory. (see the jars in the background)

She uses money she has saved from her earnings to buy the ingredients and then layers them in the bottles. We’ll show you the cute way she decorates the jars later – then she gives them as gifts, very precious!

Who needs playdough when you can do THIS?

She’s gotta wear that apron – she comes running at any opportunity to help in the kitchen and drags her step over and gets out her apron.

Dad’s legs make a great tunnel!

Fire “chick”

A rest in the shade of a tree on a “leaf bed” on a beautifully warm winter’s day.

Pin that trunk on!

Frog hopping.

A delighted birthday boy…

with 2 wonderful new pets

for us all to enjoy!

Balloon animals (not quite recognizable!)

A cute birthday kiss

… and a Farm Cake!

Candle making.

And woodworking with Dad.

We are so blessed!

“When he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.” Acts 11v23