Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Our Spring Break 2010 FieldTrip

So we went on a little fieldtrip last week for Spring Break.  We had loads of fun in Atlanta, GA.

First stop: American Girls

We have literally been studying American History all year long through the American Girls series.  At this point, NyGirl has finished reading through each series up to, I think,  Molly.  So it's been fun.

The doll was expensive, but for all the hard work NyGirl has put into school this year I think it was well deserved.
"let me think, let me think!".... He is such a good daddy! He agrees that the cost was worth the joy we see in her face on the pics below.

Ny and Addy

Next stop: A wonderful Messianic congregation right outside of Atlanta, for a taste of Hebrew on Shabbat.

It was probably a bit of a culture shock to NyGirl at first but I think in the end she enjoyed it.  Especially Oneg.  Wonderful kosher food, fun, and restful fellowship was involved.  I would say our family had a great time there.

I think more than anything I enjoyed the Davidic dance and the Hebrew.  There is nothing like sitting back to listen to the radiating sound of the Hebrew language resonate through your soul.   It is soul-stirring-- I enjoyed it.

Next day, stop 3: Coca Cola, downtown Atlanta.

NyGirl, enjoying a fieldtrip at Coca Cola:

I couldn't resist getting in the pic with the Coca Cola wall!
Gotta love this wall!

Me and my man :-)

There's the bear. What was his name again?

Here is where learning gets fun. Since my husband's native language is French, he tells us how he remembers these exact ads growing up.
I take it "Arrete-vouz" is French for "STOP!". :-) Fun.

More French ads:

Okay, now don't judge me. I am no American Idol fan-- but the American Idol couch was gotta take a picture, right?

Lots of taste-testing going on there. There were over 60 countries (if I am not mistaken) represented at the taste-testing. Of all the countries, the colas I liked the least were European (Russia- very bland taste imo), and South America (too peppery for me). South Africa was interesting -- everything had this Cola nut or pineapple kind of zing to it. Japan was pretty yummy! Ha.
When I finally got around to tasting North America's samples, I felt relieved to be "back home" where the tastes are familiar. But it was a fun experience overall. The kids loved it.

So, last but not least, we head over to the Children's Museum of Atlanta.
 BabyZ finds activities to get into right away. Her energy level never ceases to amaze me.

We get NyGirl settled into some clay-dough forming activity which was really cool. The substance was really different- not even clay dough to be exact. It is dry enough to feel a little like sand, but moist enough for you to squeeze it into shape without much effort, AND it doesn't make a mess. Big plus in my house. I wish I knew what that stuff was -- I would buy some for play dough fun.

Afterward we enjoyed a nice cozy meal at Azio's in downtown Atlanta, then headed back to the hotel to rest for the next day's travel back home.

All in all, it was a fun and educational experience for the kids, and for the parents too!

We had a great time on our field trip, Spring Break 2010.

Here's a quick video clip I created about our fieldtrip:

Create your own video slideshow at

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Jewish Children’s Learning Network

hebrew akhlahI found this really neat site: Akhlah. There is a Hebrew letter of the day and Parsha of the week available (plus lots of games, puzzles, and more). By the way, Parsha is simply the weekly reading of the Torah divided up into the weeks of the year. For messianics, it also includes the Haftarah and Brit Chadasha (the complete old testament and new testament, respectively) readings.

It might be important to note on this particular site that in place of "God" the name "Hashem" is used (many observant Jews will not spell out the entire name of God out of respect in keeping His name holy, and therefore will use Hashem, which means literally "The Name", in place of Elohim, Adonai, Jehovah, or YHWH). Depending on how comfortable you are with introducing your children to this level of jewishness, you may want to skim through the site and see what fits your family best.

I love the aleph bet (Hebrew alphabet) presentation.  Kids can practice writing using script or block print, hear the pronunciation of each letter, and color a coloring page.  You can also print out flashcards.

For even more resources, this site offers info on Jewish history, heroes (like the patriarchs- Abraham, Isaac, etc.), Jewish traditions, info on Israel, and holiday info for kids, including songs for Shabbat (sabbath).

This is a very culturally rich site filled with info for any family wishing to do an in depth study on Hebrew roots especially for young children.  Even if you are not Jewish, depending on your family/school goals, you can incorporate some of this into your lessons if you were doing a unit study on the Jews.

 As a Christian believer looking into Hebrew roots of my faith, this fit in pretty well for our home school.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Purim Feast

This past week on February 28th, our family celebrated a typical Jewish holiday, Purim.

Although we are not Jewish I find myself constantly wanting to learn more about the Jewish background of our Christian heritage, and I felt that it would be a wonderful  concept to explore this year for our whole family.

So we decided to include it in our curriculum.

After much searching the web for good resources on how to incorporate Jewish studies into a Christian curriculum, here is what I came up with:

Hebrew4Christians- we began using this site extensively to help us learn the Hebrew alphabet, especially for handwriting.

TorahTots-Now this is a cool little site for kids that help them learn about the Jewish holidays, background on each, coloring pages, fun online games, and other little odds and ends that help bring the celebration of Jewish holidays into a realistic point of view for kids.

But probably the most helpful and insightful of all of my findings was the company, Heart of Wisdom.

Here is what owner and author of A Family Guide To The Biblical Holidays has to say about the Jewish aspect of our Christian faith:
We study a Hebrew book-written by Hebrews; we serve a Hebrew Lord-who had Hebrew disciples; we desire to follow the first century church-which was first predominately Hebrew; and through Christ, we are grafted into a Hebrew family! It makes sense to study our fascinating heritage.

During this season of my Christian journey I find myself completely in agreement with Robin and am very grateful to her for writing this book (along with co author Linda Pierce).  This book is an EXCELLENT resource for any Christian family wanting a gentle Messianic approach to incorporating the Jewish holidays, culture, and background into your home school or family life.

So, here is what we did:

  • I am not much of a sewer, but decided to use the sewing version for creating the symbolic flags for our dinner centerpiece.  They are found on pages 72-73  of Robin and Linda's book, A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays

My daughter and I decorate with rhinestones:

There was a learning curve involved for me.  I had no clue I was supposed to iron these studs on, so initially I had my daughter attempting to peel some "backing" off them individually.

Funny.  But we got a hang of it and figured it out.  We eventually got all the studs ironed on the correct way.  This will be good experience for me whenever I do learn how to sew, for real.

Now, on to the multi-holiday centerpiece flags.  We created two of these for Purim but will need to create a few more for future holidays.  I got all the fabric I needed for the upcoming holidays.  Here I cut out a few squares, made a photocopy of the pictures of the Star of David and Cup of Bread, provided in Robin's book on page 75.  I did a little painting on the fabric for decoration, added the wooden dowels, but instead of sewing I just ended up gluing them on.

Along with my styrofoam base, here is what my final product looked like for my centerpiece (on a small table, that is-crown and sceptre to be added later):

Now for dessert, where NyGirl insisted on using the beater for the cookie mix.  We decided on Hamantashen cookies (page 427 in the book).  Basically they mean "Haman's pockets" and are supposed to resemble the hat Haman may have worn.  Another traditional food she mentions in her book is Esther's Banquet Bars. We have the ingredients for this, but decided to wait until next week to cook this set since we had so much batter from the Hamantashens left over:

So, to wrap it up:

We cut the batter into circles using a cup, filled the middle with raspberry preserves, folded into the shape of hat, then cooked.

The next day, our feast was beautiful.  My two girls, husband and I enjoyed a yummy meal of baked chicken with rice and snap peas cooked in turkey bacon.  Yummy.  We had our Hamantashens for desert with sweet tea, and my husband enjoyed reading the girls a book about Esther.

In all, it was a beautiful Purim feast.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Dancing my troubles away

I began to praise the Lord at that point. I put on some praise music and began to dance before Him. I didn't care that my children were watching. In fact, they joined in because mom was so happy!!!

I recently started a thread at my online community for Christian women about the Fruit of the Spirit- Joy.  One of the ladies at the group made this profound statement:
What our God doesn't do when facing adversity is become doubtful, fearful, or anxious. He also never falls into discouragement, despair, depression, or self pity.

...this really made me think. I thought about all of the many times this past year that I have been doubtful and fearful and anxious and fell into discouragement and despair and depression and self pity.

I have been a mess...and all because I did not understand how crucial the JOY of the Lord is in my life.

It was recently- about a month ago, that the Lord jolted me into reality.

As I was pacing about my house with a frown in my spirit, complaining and nagging and nit picking about what was NOT right about my current situation, He sat me down and convicted me of the Truth of His LOVE.
I felt ashamed to have been complaining when all along He loves me so much and is willing to give me His best.
Only, I must be patient for these things.
He wants us to have the desire of our hearts, but only when we delight ourselves in HIM first and foremost.

With delighting ourselves in Him, comes the spirit of Joy.

I danced and danced and danced until those nasty chains of depression and bitterness and anger fell off my spirit.
I danced and danced until tears streamed down my face in gratitude for what Christ has done.

I am reminded that only through Christ and in Jesus-Yeshua the Messiah, can I find any true joy.
His JOY becomes our strength in times of weakness and keeps us strong even in the good times.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...