Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

We are up to our eyeballs in homeschooling here...we're still getting used to our schedule and routines, but we're getting there.  I ordered the Letter of the Week curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler to do with Jojo and Jkaile together.  While I'm not doing the entire curriculum with them, I'm using a lot of the print-outs and ideas.  One idea that I loved was to use the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and make your own palm tree to put the letters on each week.  I found the book at the library last week and I think that we'll just have to invest in one of our own because Jkaile absolutely loves this book.  I don't think he'll be wanting to take it back! 

So here is my 'designer' version of the Chicka Tree...it
turned out a lot better than I'd imagined!  Scrapbooking paper
just makes everything better...each of the pieces are individually
backed with magnets so they can be rearranged.

Isn't that a happy grin?!
It would probably be a good idea to line the rest of the letters
with cardstock or cardboard, though, since it
appears they will be handled a lot!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Acceptance: Communicating Respect for Others-Part I

Acceptance: The Second Step of the Pilgrimage*
Links for previous posts in this series here and here...

Acceptance and rejection are among the most powerful behaviors known to man...how many of your devastating life experiences come from feeling rejected--no longer accepted?  And how many of your cherished experiences come as a result of feeling completely accepted--one of the group, trusted, secure, respected, wanted, valued, desired.  Life feels good when we feel accepted. 

Acceptance is defined as the ability to communicate value, worth and esteem to another person. 

Four Major Points regarding Acceptance:

1)  Acceptance begins with God. 

Romans 15:7..."Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God." 
  • Jesus took the initiative in accepting me; he took the first big step toward establishing the relationship with me
  • He accepted me without any conditions, not based on my performance; in spite of my sin and weaknesses, he accepted me just as I was
  • His acceptance of me is forever, no termination point
  • Because he accepts me, I am secure, no fear of exclusion or dismissal
  • He sees me as a person, without ethnicity, gender, nationality or social status labels
  • He valued me enough to give up his life; accepting me cost him dearly
  • "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8) expressses God's profound acceptance of us, the degree to which he valued us, and his desire for a relationship with us
2)  The second major point is that we are to "accept one another" with the standard being "as Christ accepted you."  With this standard in mind, accepting one another will look like this...
  • We are to take the initiative in showing acceptance toward others, making them feel valued and respected
  • We unconditiaonlly accept others without considering their external features, lifestyle, decisions, habits and so forth (acceptance does not equal approval)
  • We do not have the option of rejecting any person, though we may, in a culturally appropriate way, address behaviors that the Bible clearly declares as sinful
  • We are to avoid dehumanizing behaviors such as threats, intimidations, power-plays and other ungodly forms of manipulation
  • We accept people, period.  Like Jesus, we must reject labels such as race, generation and gender as defective guides for how to treat another human being
  • We expect that accepting others in these ways may cost us dearly
3)  The third major point "connects acceptance of others with the glory of God.  Something amazing happens when the people of God become accepting people.  It reveals the glory of God.  Here is the lesson for all who work cross-culturally and belong to Christ.  Accepting one another may be among the most powerful acts of love we can offer to each other because it promotes oneness.  Oneness in Christ is so wonderful that the natural expression is to sing the praises of God.  The world notices the healing love and wholeness of the body and sees a great and mighty God.  They see his glory."

4)  The fourth major point  is that accepting each other promotes the mission of God...when we accept one another in spite of our differences, it promotes unity in the body of Christ.  This unity reveals the glory of God and the power of his love...if Satan can create dissension among Christians, then they will not be able to accomplish much of significance...therefore, accepting each other becomes "absolutely central to the mission God has given us!" 

*Notes for this post taken from the book Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fun at the Farm

We had a great time at the farm!
Lots of family, food (too much food, in fact!), fun...the biggest attraction
was definitely the creek and fortunately the weather cooperated
...wasn't too hot or too cool...

Every time we go, we build a dam in the creek for fun...
Jkaile is pointing to where they threw the snake that the boys killed...

One of the most fun things to do at the creek is
to catch crawdads...

Grammy was surprised to find out that her white colander
was actually the main crawdad-catcher
 in her absence...she's been using it in the kitchen
since she got back home from Colombia!  oops.

Jkaile spent hours wading and splashing...

Gracia didn't spend as much time at the creek
 as the boys, but she did her fair share. 

Micah the Model

My sister Liz, my Aunt Helen (my dad's sister), and me

Relaxing in the hammock...Miguel had this hammock
made for me even before we were married. 
It has my name woven into it...so much fun
 to get it out and use it again!

And I just had to throw in this picture of Elisa, my niece. 
What a doll! 

Friday, September 3, 2010

Over the Hills and Through the Woods...

...to Grandmother's house we go!  Literally!  When we're not in the U.S. we rarely even notice when Labor Day weekend comes around, but now that we're here, I guess it is one of the bigger holiday weekends in that most people get Monday off...it's going to get a bit crazy at my Mom's house in Oklahoma with quite a bit of family descending on Mom and Papa John this weekend.  It's going to be fun!  We haven't seen Grammy and Papa John for over two years, so we're looking forward to it (they just returned from serving in Colombia for two years...my Mom is retiring from full-time ministry, the end of a 30+ year career).  I found an old picture of the farmhouse and scanned it in.  This is the house my dad built during the last couple of years before he died. 

And while I was at it, I scanned in this picture, too, of my Mom and Micah and I.  The staircase behind us was the last project my dad worked on...he fashioned the two main supports for the stairs from a tree from the farm property.  This house holds a lot of memories for us...