Friday, April 30, 2010

Life!

Don't you just love Springtime?! When the dead-looking branches spring to life and fill the countryside with new color and vibrancy. Such joy!

We've been spending many hours in the great outdoors lately -- starting our vegetable garden, in addition to planting blueberries, raspberries, asparagus, and 20 fruit trees on our acreage. After living in town for 10 years, its wonderful to now have the space to landscape and plant!

Charissa has been lovin' the fact that Mommy needs her help when planting things like onions, peas, and beans. She's also learning that its probably not a good idea to pull the plants out of the ground just to see if their roots are growing! *smile*

Picking rocks out of our lawn...our snow remover got a little carried away with pushing rocks where they don't belong!

Onions

Since the boys have been working very long hours these days, Hannah and Susanna 'graduated' to the task of lawn-mowing. They're thrilled!


Dig :: Dig :: Dig!

With 20 holes to dig -- at 3 foot deep each -- we're starting to feel a bit like gophers! With Ruth's interest in nutrition (especially in relation to our foods), she discovered a non-conventional tree-planting method that we decided to implement with our saplings. We also planted a couple the traditional route, so we're looking forward to watching the growth and comparing the two!

:: Digging ::

"There He makes the hungry dwell, That they may establish a city for a dwelling place, And sow fields and plant vineyards, That they may yield a fruitful harvest.
Whoever is wise will observe these things,
And they will understand the lovingkindness of the LORD."
Ps 107:36-37

Lil' Sweetie

We're lovin' the fact that our darling niece [granddaughter] lives less than a mile from our home. Even though we get to see her several times each week the line to hold her is always a long one!

She brings us such joy!

Check out her mommy's sweet post here.

"Children are a heritage from the Lord." Ps 127:3

Friday, April 23, 2010

NCHEA 2010


Although it's been two weeks since the NCHEA Kid's Conference, we're still marveling at the wonderful things the Lord did that weekend. So I hope you'll humor me in one more 'picture post'...with a few specific testimonies of the Lord's goodness!

We had another record group of children this year -- 320.

Our specific prayer was that the Lord would prepare each of our hearts for the lessons HE wanted us to learn during the conference. We really saw this prayer answered in the children's eagerness and thoughtful responses to the lessons.

[Leading songs with 'Yankee Doodle']

This was the first year our 'team' has tackled the momentous task of creating our own curriculum. As we saw the Lord work in mighty ways through the "Let Freedom Sing!" Musical, we desired to expand the Biblical principles and concepts into the Kid's Conference format.

It was exciting to see how the Lord gave specific inspiration for every aspect of the weekend -- from the 8-part drama, to teacher's curriculum, songs, verses, activities, and games. With a core group of 5-7 people working on the project, we sensed a clear unity throughout the whole project.

This year was also the first year we had an entire 'small group' teaching session devoted to sharing the gospel message. Although in past years we've always included it in some aspect of the weekend, it was a much greater focus this year. There were several children who had good one-on-one conversations with their teachers regarding this, and we continue to pray for the seeds that were planted!

Another answer to prayer this year was the music. I'd been working on writing new music for several weeks, but somehow was not able to come up with any new, fresh material except our theme song. With the final week progressing, I messaged several friends from church to join me in prayer...and two days before the conference, the Lord gave me two fun kid's songs that fit perfectly with the theme and the message we were hoping to portray!

Each of us were involved in such a variety of different roles during the weekend...here's a small glimpse:


During an activity on Saturday, Elizabeth was chosen for the 'stylish relay'!
Glamorous, don't you agree?!! [smile]

This was Hannah's first year as team staff. This little girl became her inseparable shadow during weekend!

As a team leader, Elizabeth accepts an award for her team.

Ruth was also a team leader. Its such a joy to interact with these children and watch them soak in the Biblical lessons!

Of course, Matthias and Stephen always come through with some great comic antics for the drama and this year was no exception!

Andrew gained some buddies over the weekend!

And the drama was incredible this year. A HUGE "applause" to each of the actors and actresses who gave of themselves in such an incredible way!


Thank you for all your prayers!

To GOD be the glory,
Great things HE has done!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Springtime!

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Liberty Bell

At the risk of back-tracking, I've just uploaded oodles of pictures from the past two weeks. With the NCHEA weekend, most of our energies were focused in that direction...and now we're moving on, but with lots of pictures and special memories! I'll try to get more posted soon!

For now, here's just one of our pre-NCHEA projects: An life-size version of the Liberty Bell. For those of you who have always wanted to make your own version of the famous bell, here's a quick 'how-to'!

Cut white fabric into 4 inch strips.
[Another huge answer to prayer! When we're working on educational projects like this, we always call hotels and ask if they'd be willing to donate old bedsheets. Plenty of fabric...for free! Paper mach'e is most often done with newspapers, but this is all we had to work with!]

Soak the strips of fabric in 50/50 glue and water.

Build a frame with cardboard circles and chicken-wire.

Get ready, get set....

...GO!!

Cover the framework with the glue-soaked fabric.

This is by far the largest paper-mach'e project we've ever tackled. Lots of experimenting!

Repeat the process four times

Its always good to enlist help!

Close to completion!

Paint in gold/brown tones and it's done! The kids at the Conference loved this and had fun taking pictures in front of the historic landmark.

And there you have it! The making of the Liberty Bell. [smile]

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

2010 Kid's Conference

It's been a very full and exciting week, climaxing with the opportunity to again share during the Nebraska Homeschool Kid's Conference. This year, the theme was "LIBERTY...Discovering the truth that sets men free."

It was an amazing few days with 320 children and 90 staff. I'd love to share more, but for now, here's a picture re-cap of the weekend. Thank you all for your prayers!


This was the LORD's doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.
Psalm 118:23

Friday, April 02, 2010

Such Great Love

"For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."
Romans 5:6


What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered,
Was all for sinners’ gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression,
But Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior!
’Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor,
Vouchsafe me to Thy grace.

What language shall I borrow
To praise Thee, heavenly friend,
For this my dying sorrow,
Thy pity without end?
Lord make me Thine forever,
Nor let me faithless prove
Oh let me never, never
Abuse such dying love

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Tea Party

Since arriving home, our days have been filled with a new sort of activity -- preparing for the 2010 NCHEA Kid's Conference. Every year this is a huge highlight for us, as we look forward to sharing with over 300 children and 90 staff during this 3-day weekend -- April 8-10.

[To see posts from past conferences, click here]

This year, our theme is LIBERTY! -- Discovering the Truth that Sets Men Free. We worked with a team of young people from church, developing the curriculum as a take off from the amazing things we saw the Lord do through the Musical last summer.

Thus, our home is filled with creative projects these days as we prepare for the 8-part drama and other aspects of the upcoming weekend! There are many more pictures to post, but here are a few from last week...

Cutting out 'tea bags' for our drama's rendition of the Boston Tea Party.
With the help of our friend, Anna!

Sew...sew...sew!

Anna's sister, Esther, came to help, too -- thanks, girls!

Dyeing the 'tea bags' with....tea!!

And finally, labeling them with a stencil

Teamwork!

And finally, 100 tea bags...ready for the Kid's Conference drama!

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might;"
Ecc 9:10