Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Archive for October 2012

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When was the last time you got mail? Not email–the real thing. A handwritten letter complete with stamps and scented stationery. For most of us, the only stuff we ever get from the post office are our bills. So when Allyra's lesson was about the mail carrier (community helpers), the most natural thing to do was to write an actual letter and send it thru the post office.

She made one for each set of grandparents, a simple love note with her drawing. We're gonna buy mailing envelopes tomorrow and go straight to the post office. Oh, and since we used ordinary bond paper, we'll spray it with perfume and hope the scent stays until it reaches our folks on the other side of the world.

Our kids may not be able to give their lolos and lolas warm hugs and wet kisses, but we hope they feel our love as they open this letters maybe a week from now.

Have a wonderful day everyone!

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Look at our little garden! 3 days ago, we planted monggo seeds because Allyra suddenly wanted to plant flowers so she could send them to her Lola Em-Em, her granny (my mom). Since we live in an apartment with no garden where we could grow flowers (plus the fact that I have no idea what to grow and how to care for them as well), I settled for the next best thing as well as the easiest one to do: plant monggo seeds in a cup with moistened cotton. We’ve done this way back in grade school as a science project, and I thought it would be a good way to illustrate the concept of time, specifically the length of 3 days and 3 nights. I honestly did not remember how long it took for the plants to bloom but 3 days and 3 nights seemed like a good idea so that I could relate it to how long Jonah was inside the whale and how long Jesus was also dead before he was resurrected.

After 2 days and 2 nights of waiting impatiently (haha! Allyra kept on wanting to check on the plants several times a day), I started to doubt whether we’d really see leaves on the 3rd day because all we had then were seeds that were beginning to sprout. And so night came and today is the 3rd day. Lo and behold! Such beautiful plants! Amazing! (We’re not gonna be sending these to the Philippines, of course. I told my kid we’ll take pictures instead and send those to her Lola.)

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I am reminded again of how amazing our God is. We can plant all we want and care for the soil and water it everyday but only God can make it grow. Well, in the first place, we couldn’t even make our own seeds — even that was provided for us by our amazing God.

I pray today that the seed, the Word of God, planted in our hearts will also continue to grow like this tiny plant. Though sometimes, it may seem like nothing is happening and it’s not sprouting, God is always working and as He gives us more faith, the seeds of His lovingkindness, goodness, mercy and grace will continue to grow in our hearts. I know that’s what I continue to pray and hope for as God enables me to plant the seed of His love on my children’s hearts. It may not always be obvious now, but as He said in Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

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To God be all the glory and praise!

I wonder how it feels like to truly go rainbow-chasing?

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Chasing Rainbows

For the past couple of days, we barely made a dent in our weekly target lessons. I wanted to do some one-on-one teaching with my kid this week (instead of the BJU videos doing the teaching) but as it turned out, my baby boy was extra fussy due to his cough and colds. So we ended up doing nothing, and that why we did some cramming today to catch up.

Fortunately, the lessons were very easy–stuff that my little girl already knows so it was more like a review for her. We even got to do a bit of science (not in our target this week) because she asked about rainbows (a hangover from our lesson about Noah’s ark). We’re not yet done with our lapbook, by the way.

All this cramming made me remember how much of a procrastinator I was during the time I was still studying. It has become such a lifestyle for me that I usually can’t get my creative juices flowing to do a project or write a paper until the night before the deadline (sometimes, even just hours before the class). It was definitely not a good habit, and one that I hope my kids won’t follow.

The bible tells us to, “Be very careful, then, how you liveโ€”not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16).

By God’s grace I’ve made it this far even if I lived a big part of my life unwisely. And today, God is reminding me of these things. It is only by God’s grace my daughter and I were able to meet our target for the week by cramming, and only because the lessons were easy. If the topic had been introducing new concepts that are far more difficult, cramming would probably not have worked.

Yeah, I know we should take it easy because after all, we’re talking about a 4-year old here. But discipline must be learned while young, and as long as we follow a reasonable pacing, she enjoys learning. And its me – yes me — who has to model discipline. So I make a note to myself that says, “No more cramming!”

How about you? Have you done some cramming lately?

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“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” – Ephesians 6:4

I’m so glad hubby has established the habit of reading bible stories at bedtime to Allyra (with little Sam deciding he wants to join as well). This used to be an occasional thing, but now they do this every night. Reading the Bible with Daddy is something she really looks forward to now. ๐Ÿ™‚

By the way, Allyra is holding a minibook in the photo. It’s part of the Noah’s Ark lapbook that we made today. We postponed all other lessons in favor of Noah because I thought it best to pursue her renewed interest on this favorite bible character. It started with her Math lesson yesterday about the number one. The story of Noah’s ark was discussed and the significance of the ONE door of the ark symbolizing Jesus as the ONE way to salvation was emphasized. She asked her daddy to read to her the story last night and now she’s reading the minibook on her own.

We made the lapbook but we still have some pages to fill. We got the idea and the free printables here: Noah’s Ark Lapbook

I’ve been wanting to make this with my daughter ever since I first saw it a couple of years ago but I thought she was still too young for the activities. Soooo glad we could do this now. ๐Ÿ™‚

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We’ve finished the story about Hannah, Samuel and Noah, and we’re going to take up Joseph the Dreamer next. As we learn about the lives of these prayerful men and women of God, we’re going to do a felt prayer book. I’ve got some tshirt transfer paper so we could put actual photos on our felt book project. That’s going to be lots of fun for sure! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve made a lot of of play dough for my daughter and for our kids church and the children always loved it. I always make the cream of tartar recipe with varying proportions of the ingredients, depending on what website I opened. So far this seems to be the best one I’ve ever tried: ย play dough recipe

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With the dough cooked, Ate Allyra was now ready to help me color the play dough

Here’s the recipe:
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1 tbsp oil (cooking oil will work but baby oil will make it smell really nice)
2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup iodized salt (too much salt dries the dough)
Food coloring

Mix everything in a pan using a wooden spoon. Using medium heat, keep in mixing while cooking until you can harldly move the spoon. Put the dough on a table and use a rolling pin to mix everything together while still hot. Continue kneading and add food coloring and glitters if you want.

If you’re only making a single color, you may add the food color before it is cooked. Otherwise, adding it later and mixing different ones to make new colors is also a fun activity and one we prefer to do.

This will be a great tool for reviewing our days of creation lesson. Will post pics soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Even the little one wants to play with the dough. Good thing this is entirely made up of food ingredients. If he tries to eat it (and he did!), he’s gonna spit it out co’z it’s too salty! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Last night, Allyra made this for herself. She folded a piece of notebook page into a book, wrote her name and the word, “Bible” in front, then asked her dad to write down her verse inside. She then proudly showed her handiwork and read the verse to me.

It’s not exactly what is written in Genesis 1:1, which shows her lack of focus while the verse was being taught, but her inclusion of the word “animals” and the phrase “happy everyday” shows she’s been getting the message. God made the heavens, the earth and everything in it, and that of course includes the animals. When we teach bible verses to our children, we are not only looking for accuracy in memorization, but more importantly, we pray that the Holy Spirit gives them understanding and a heart willing to obey God’s Word.

By the way, “happy everyday” comes from the song from last week’s lessons: “We must not forget God’s Word; That is where His voice is heard. If we listen and obey, we’ll be happy everyday.”

Allyra and Sam: classmates. #itsmorefuninourhomeschool

My answer: because that’s what God lead us to do.

Being a housewife and a full-time mom has always been a dream of mine since high school. I don’t know why God put that desire in my heart but I am forever grateful to Him for allowing me to be the “keeper of my home.” Being a wife and mother is a high calling and my No. 1 ministry. Wanting to homeschool our kids came naturally for me. Furthermore, we are based in a place where there are no Christian schools. My husband and I agreed that we wanted the best for our kids not only in terms of education, but more so in training them up to be God’s faithful servants. I know all parents want the best for their children, and we have to make the most out of what our situation is. In our case, we decided it was best to homeschool Allyra, at least until during her formative years, and I just realized, even baby Sam is already part of our homeschool! Praise God for leading us to Victory Christian International School where we were able to get the wonderful Bob Jones University Press books and materials.

In all humility I admit we are imperfect in our ways, and each day brings new challenges to make this homeschool work. But we are having fun while learning, and that’s good. We’re doing this because we believe that God gave us our “fearfully and wondefully made” bundles of joy and weย are here to guide them to find and live according to God’s will and purpose in their lives.ย We are doing this only by God’s grace, and we give Him back all the glory and praise. ๐Ÿ™‚