Sunday, August 22, 2010

Jed's Cottonwood Yoke Made it to Santa Fe.....

If you know what that means, you must be a fan of Holling C. Holling's book, Tree in the Trail !

This is book #2 in the Beautiful Feet  Literature/Geography study.

First,  we read The King's Fifth by Scott O'dell aloud as a family.  (It's a great read!)

After the book was finished, we jumped into Tree in the Trail.  We 'watched' history through the branches of a Cottonwood tree from the Native Americans to the Spanish Conquistadors to The Westward Expansion along the Santa Fe/Cimarron Trail .

Tree in the Trail Map - Santa Fe Trail & SW United States
Tree in the Trail Map - Santa Fe Trail & SW United States 

For our map, we did things a bit different this time.  Instead of having the kids write out the states, capitals and rivers, I typed little tags for them to tape onto the map.  It made the map much more legible AND made the end of book quiz easier too.  I just removed the tags and had each child put them back where they belong on the map.  I did have them draw in the Santa Fe and Cimarron Trails and Coronado's route complete with a map key.

Pioneer Wagon Craft
Pioneer Wagon Craft

One of our hands on activities was to draw a Conestoga Wagon.....why draw one when you can build one?

Early American Research
Early American Research

We also researched Cottonwood trees, Bison, flint and iron arrow heads, Matchlocks (gun), bows, arrows and ox yokes.  My children have varying degrees of artistic talent, but I think they all enjoyed drawing these things as well.

Cottonwood Trees
Cottonwood Trees

Next we cruise down the Mississippi River with a Turtle named Minn......

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Inspiring a Little Girl

Within our home, there are three boys and one girl.  Or more precisely, three boys and one princess.  As you can imagine, one on one time with my daughter is absolutely precious.  The thing my daughter loves to do is to go shopping with me.  Her favorite place to go when she has me all to herself is the Girlie Girl Things Shop. 

At first, I was a little concerned by how much she enjoyed going there.  After all, consumerism isn't the way to happiness.  Besides a wonderful owner who has taken much time to talk with my daughter and wrap her little purchases with the whole 'boutique experience', I finally get why she likes going in there.

First of all, it's not a humongous store -- so she doesn't feel swallowed up.
Second, it's not jam packed with everything under the sun --- so she doesn't feel overwhelmed.
Third, there's no loud music playing --- so she doesn't feel bombarded.

But, most importantly as I watched her look around and around at all the accessories, I realized that she wasn't scheming for her next purchase.  She was BRAIN STORMING about what HER boutique would look like.  What SHE would create to put in HER front window.  She was picturing her future and how she would use the gifts and talents God had given her. 

Yes, she is only 7 and now owns her own little sewing machine.  But I can see that this is start of something bigger.  I can see the *spark* of interest and possibilities --- SHE can see them too.

This blog post was writing on my own whim without any compensation except the distinct pleasure of watching my daughter discover a dream!
For more information on The Girlie Girl Things Shop, visit this link
Girlie Girl Things Shop

Thursday, August 5, 2010

FINALLY - I own my dream house!

But Lisa, you haven't moved....what gives?

This is true.

The Lord brought a couple of memories to my mind the other day.

Many years ago, before I had children, I use to visit with a family of 6.  Their house was in the wrong part of town and looked run down from the outside.  The interior was a mish mosh of modern-garage sale.  It was a clean environment, but, things were not always in their place.  But what was so incredibly different was the fullness of love within the house.  At the core of the home, a marriage that had been stoked over the fires of adversity and time, strengthen by a commitment to the Lord.  Next was a Mom who consistently put her children above the affairs of the world and gladly stopped whatever she was doing to savor a few minutes of playtime on the floor with her kids.  Yes, she was responsible for her household.  Yes, she took care in training them up - but, she didn't allow the notion of a 'clean house' to override the needs of her children.  Her relationship with God filled her each day and allowed the overflow of her heart to minister to their needs.  She had a kingdom perspective on raising her children.  That was her goal - pure and simple.

I loved the simplicity of their home and the unity of purpose within it.

Fast forward many years. 

We were living in a huge home.  You would think that all my dreams would be met in this rambling 3800 sq ft home filled with a loving husband and 3 kids, but, that wasn't the case.  I choose to focus on what I didn't have.  I choose to be empty.

Fast forward again and now, I find myself in a tiny 1200 sq ft home.  It takes almost 5 years, but, I put behind me the sense of loss and unmet expectations.  It took the shrinking of circumstance for me to discover a marriage that has been stoked over the fires of adversity and time, strengthen by a commitment to the Lord.  And see that I've become a mom who consistently puts her children above the affairs of the world and gladly stops whatever she's was doing to savor a few minutes of playtime on the floor with her blessings with a kingdom perspective for raising those children.

Let the laundry pile a little higher....
Let the dishes soak a little longer...

Because TODAY, I have found my dream house and I've been living in it ALL ALONG!!!!!!!!