Sunday, October 14, 2012

Rock around the clock

Remember my promise to Jeremiah to return to the Clock Tower each month until he got to the top?  Well, last Sunday was the first 'next month'.

First platform
Climbing down from the second platform - those stairs are steep!

He only made it to the second platform, but that was farther than last month!  YAY!

Second level

 It does mean we'll be going back next month though - so stay tuned for updates ;)


Yesterday was the Camperdown Show.  The girls' dance school was asked to participate.  The weather left a lot to be desired, but they had fun anyway.

Getting ready with the dance team:

Colourful, energetic, FUN!

Can you find Bethany and Abigail?  (Naomi opted out...)

A testament to the conditions:

After the performance, we didn't want to stay too long as Lydia wasn't 100%.  However, we did have a quick look through the handcrafts and decided we might try to contribute something next year.  After that we stayed just long enough for some hot jam donuts and a wildlife show.

Rock around the clock?  Well, not quite.  But it was a fun title!  ;)

Only by His grace,

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Big Sisters!

The children were so excited to see their big sisters today!


 Mexican Train Dominoes

This generation making memories...

Checking the result


This is the hardest part...

...for everyone

We love you too girls!

Only by His grace,

Daylight Savings Begins!

Go turn your clocks forward!  (Or you can wait until the official start time - 2am!)

Only by His grace,

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Young Man in Training

Only by His grace,

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Dig - Week Three

Last week we studied through the third week of the The Dig for Kids.  (We are a week behind the Dig in Community.)  I just love the simplicity of this study.  If you don't have a lot of time, no problem!  Just open and study.  10-15 minutes and everyone can be off again.  Have more time to spend?  You can prepare more activities and / or dig even deeper.  We are loving it!

We don't have a set time for our study.  We pick it up whenever is best each day.  Often, this time falls after our evening meal while we are still around the table.  However, with the lovely weather starting to appear more often we have found ourselves outside a lot more.

Our memory verse for the week has been:

Do to others as you want them to do to you.
~Luke 6:31 (NIRV)

It has been a wonderful opportunity to help our children learn to treat each other better.  Although they get along well for the most part, they still have times (like all of us) when they need to make better choices.

We talked about how important it is to pray before you make important decisions.  We looked at how Jesus prayed All. Night. Long.  But this principle applies to more than just the major decisions of life.  We should have a life of prayer, including God in every moment of our lives.  If we fall and graze our knee, pray.  If we feel scared, pray.  If we are feeling upset, pray.  If we get to go to our favourite park to play, pray...and be thankful!

Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
~1 Thessalonians 5:15-18 (NIV)

After all God wants our heart.  All of our heart.  Every minute of the day.

I once heard it said, "If you don't feel like praying, talk to God about it".  :)

We talked about loving enemies.  This seems to be difficult for the children to understand.  As they are home educated, they have not really been exposed to bullying or very mean behaviour on the part of others.  How do you explain an enemy?  I have found it hard.

We have also been working on not judging each other.  A common phrase has been, "You may point out his/her faults when you are perfect".  Instead of pointing the finger at another, we must look at our own behaviour.  A good reminder for Mum too!

I am loving how The Dig for Kids is helping us become closer as a family and I thank the Lord for putting it in my path!

Want to dig in too?  Click the pic to get your copy!

Only by His grace,

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mr. Toad and Miss Purple

This is  Allie.  She is the daughter of a very good friend of mine.

Allie recently played a part in the production of

This production was based on the book by Kenneth Grahame, "The Wind in the Willows".  Here she is in costume.

She makes a gorgeous weasel doesn't she?  Hard to believe this is the face on one of the villains. 

The cast was made up of 90+ children aged between 4 and 12.  We went to see the production on Thursday, along with Allie's younger sister Katie, and I have to say all of those children did an amazing job!

Allie's Mum was required to be in the 'green room' for the first two performances so she offered to take Lydia with her.  Of course she won the hearts of all the Mums in there.  She seems to be a budding little actress herself.  Here she is learning the lines of Mr. Toad.  ;-)

Prior to leaving the theatre, there was the obligatory toilet stop.  Naomi ran ahead and tried to hold the door open for the rest of us.  The doors at the theatre are VERY heavy.  She couldn't hold it and got her left index finger caught in the hinge side of the door.  It looked terrible - swollen with a couple of small cuts and a lovely shade of purple - so after applying some ice, it was off to the Emergency Department.

The triage nurse popped her arm in a sling so her finger was elevated to help with the swelling.

Then it was off to x-ray.  The results were unclear.  The bones in the hands of children are so small, it was difficult to see it clearly - even though she was SOOOO still for the x-ray!  The radiology doctor on duty was one that usually works at the Royal Children's so he was very experienced and even he couldn't tell!

Anyway, there was a small 'discrepancy' on the x-ray that was positioned at the 'right place' for bone damage.  So they thought she had a hairline fracture and treated it as such.

We were instructed to keep it splinted until Monday (today) and then have it checked by a GP if it was still swollen or painful etc.  I made an appointment so we had it available if we needed it.

On Saturday we were at the home of another friend.  Most of the children were playing outside and Naomi was jumping on the trampoline.  Then we heard crying.  As far as we could understand through her tears was that she had 'face-planted' onto the mat.  Turns out she actually landed on the metal bar (this trampoline is not one that has a net).

Yesterday we noticed that what was a small bruise on her nose the day before was beginning to expand.  This morning it was even bigger.  I was glad I had made the appointment just in case.  I was definitely going to attend and have her nose checked too!

The hospital had forwarded the final results of the finger x-ray to the GP.  They had decided there was no fracture after all.  The splint has been removed and she is able to move it well.  The finger is still badly bruised, but that will subside in the coming days.

Thankfully, there is no fracture in her nose either.  It is swollen on one side and quite bruised, but that's as bad as it gets.

The doctor said a number of times how 'lucky' she was.  Lucky that there was no ligament damage in her finger.  Lucky there was no eye damage.  Lucky there was no damage to the nasal septum (the 'wall' between the nostrils - apparently this is bad).

Miss Purple - always smiling!

Luck?  Pfft!  What I see is the protection of a loving Heavenly Father.  Praise God!

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
Lam. 3:22-23 (NIV) 

Only by His grace,

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Dig - Week Two

I am a little late with this post, but better late than never, right?

We have been continuing our study through Luke with The Dig for Kids.


It has been difficult to be consistent with it to be honest.  This has nothing to do with the study itself - we think it is fantastic and we are loving learning together!  It just seems like since we decided to make this part of our day, something happens to try to thwart us.  This past week has been so busy; we are about 2 days behind.  However, I am learning to just pick it up where we left off and not letting myself get discouraged.  I am, in spite of all the distractions, encouraged to see things like this:

We are continuing with our treasure books and as the children look back through them, they can tell me about the treasures they have picked up throughout our dig.  They can also recite their memory verses - so they are still learning!  I want to encourage anyone out there who is finding it difficult to remain consistent in studying the Bible with their children, that you can all learn even if there are interruptions!  Just don't give up.  I encourage you to have fun with it, allowing lots of discussion and decide to laugh and be joyful when the baby decides to sing at the top of her voice in the middle of the lesson.  ;-)

When our children are not behaving as we would like - being noisy, disobedient, interruptive, it is easy to begin to see them as our enemy.  They are not.  They are children - men and women in training.  This wise woman says, "We have an enemy; but it is not each other."  A very important thing to remember. It is just as important to remember that our children are watching how we deal with the disruptions that happen in life.  I must admit, there are many times I fail in setting a good example.

During week two of our dig we talked about praying for people we know who don't know Jesus yet.  We picked 5 families to pray for each day until the end of our study.  As a visual reminder, we created a 'Prayer Tree'.  The children have a photo of this in their treasure books too.

I cut a simple trunk shape out of brown card, traced around the children's hands on green card, cut them out and assembled them in the shape of a tree.  It is currently stuck on our whiteboard with Blu-tack.  I am thinking I might one day create a large version of this as an ongoing reminder of our current prayer focuses.

Are you looking for a study to use with your elementary-aged children?  I recommend checking out The Dig for Kids!

Only by His grace,

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Dig - Week One

We have just finished our first week with The Dig for Kids.  We decided to do this study with the whole family and we are thoroughly enjoying it!

We are using the New International Readers Version of the Bible for our readings and memory verses.

Our first day we went to a local cafe and sat in the sun.  It was one of the first beautiful days of Spring and we just HAD to get out!  :-)

We did a bit of brainstorming with the children and decided to start Treasure Books.  I got each of the children an A5 visual art diary from the Reject Shop and they decorated them with stick on jewels.

Inside the front cover we have our map of Israel and, on the next page, our first memory verse.

They now adorn the mantel piece above the fireplace in our dining room.  This is where we do most of our studies and school bookwork.

Each day something is added to remind us of our treasure and how we can display it to the world.  It could be a drawing, colouring picture or simply a word.  We may include photos and other mementos we dig up along the way.  I also resize the Oasis Activity before printing it out so it can be glued into their books.

Naomi, age 4 - a rainbow to remind us God keeps His promises, and the word 'Patience' - self explanatory!

Jeremiah, age 6 - Owl, to remind us to live wisely.
Elijah, age 8 - Spreading the word about Jesus.
A dove to remind us that we have the Holy Spirit.

The children get a special sticker on their memory verse page if they can recite it on Oasis Day.  All of them got their sticker today.  Even 2 year old Abigail.  Okay, she didn't get the memory verse correct, but she got the general idea (read - she remembered a word here and there).  ;-)  I was also a bit chuffed that the children were able to answer the Oasis questions without much prompting.

I'm hoping over the next nine weeks the children's drawings or mementos become more detailed and thought-out, and that we can continue this idea beyond The Dig.

Now, all of these photos look nice and cheery and like everything went perfectly.  I'm sorry to say, it did not.  Six children aged 8 down to 1 who have had a number of full, long days in succession, being taught by two tired adults whose patience is wearing thin...well, you can imagine.  In fact, by the time we got to about lesson 4, I was almost ready to quit!  I confess, I did not react well and needed to apologise to my children.  It actually made a pretty good object lesson as we happened to be talking about repentance the next day; but I wouldn't recommend it!

Ruth, from The Dig for Kids, has some great ideas to help your time together run smoothly.  In addition, we are finding if we give each child something specific to listen for, they are able to focus a little better.  (Making sure the baby has something to nibble on, a toy to throw about and a dummy within reach helps too!)

Only by His grace,