We closed out March with a smashing fun day at the Bronx Zoo! The kids and I used our membership from Christmas to tour the zoo in the lovely sunshine while Ben was meeting with a contact for Bible Study in the Bronx. Our last stop at the zoo was a bust…not many animals out and a cold day. Today we saw everything we wanted to – even heard the lions roar! Aside from the million public school kids also taking advantage of good weather, it was a lovely trip.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Saturday, March 18, 2017
We planned an outreach blitz for our Kingsbridge neighborhood in the Bronx. Things were so up in the air with the house and possible closing date that we didn’t invite many people, but Ben’s parents did come down to help us distribute special invites. They looked like this…
I have never really made a big deal out of St. Patrick’s Day. After all, I’m not Irish, not a big fan of green, and I don’t drink. But I saw some cute craft ideas online and decided to teach the kids about the real Patrick – the one who evangelized Ireland in the 5th century.
I set the kids up with some how to draw videos for festive leprechauns and pots of gold. They did good, huh?
Thursday, March 9, 2017
Ever since we have been living in this tiny town of Mountainville, NY, a lot of people pull down our driveway looking for the state park. Schunnemunk State Park. It’s actually the mountain behind our house (and there is I-87 between us and the mountain), but a lot of GPS have the coordinates wrong. We decided we should check it out before moving back to the city. We had a nice day and the kids were itching to get out and move, so we took a hike down the trail in Schunnemunk Mountain State Park.
It was mostly cow pasture and field that we walked through that day, but we found a great clearing for kite flying. We came back a couple of days later for a picnic and kite flying day off of school, and then we hiked farther up the trail and crossed the train tracks.
Friday, March 3, 2017
One of my goals this year was to teach my kids a new hymn each month in our morning pledge and prayer time for school. I want my kids to learn the rich doctrine in the good old hymns that the church has used for so long in corporate worship.
Through our travels we were in many kinds of churches. Some were big and had lots of kids programs, and some we small and didn’t even have a nursery worker, much less a children’s program for every age group. I also got the impression that many times in church we feel we have to have something to entertain the kids in every service, or some program or activity “on their level”. After a couple of struggles in church with four, and then five kids, who didn’t want to sit still or be quiet while their daddy was preaching, we set out to teach our kids how to sit in church, and proper “etiquette” for the worship service. The twins were very young, and Elaine and Nolan had never sat through church because they were always in a children’s program.
We practiced our church etiquette at home, and every time we go to church they sit in at least church service, even if there is a children’s program available. I want them to hear God’s Word preached, and even at 5 and 7, Elaine and Nolan are learning to pay attention and write down words in their notebooks. I want them to be able to sing along in the hymn time, even when they can’t read the words of the hymnbook yet. So…we are learning hymns.
I picked twelve familiar hymns that I felt were often sung, well loved, and had lots of doctrine in them. I visualize them with clipart available free online. I try to pick pictures which represent the words in a way kids would think of them, or that I can use to explain the concept of that portion of the hymn. I also look for black and white sketches, so that the kids can help to color the pictures.
I chose a rainbow because it reminds that God always keeps His promises, which says to me that God is always the same! One of my pages in this song had morning glory flowers on it, because it’s really hard to visualize “glory”.
This picture of Abraham shows the sands of the sea and the stars in the sky, representing God’s promise of innumerable descendants to Abraham. It has nothing to do with the song, except that tells us we can rest on God’s promise. It was just a discussion starter!
Then we laminate the song, and sing it each day at the beginning of school, along with our pledges and morning prayer. It’s exciting when they go to church and know the hymn, and are able to sing along! (We have already learned Victory in Jesus, Amazing Grace, Nothing But the Blood, and several other hymns in family devotion time).
Hymns “every child should know” - to learn in 2017!
January: Yesterday, Today, Forever
February: ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
March: At the Cross
April: He Lives (for Easter)
May: It Is Well
June: The Bible Stands
July: Sweet Hour of Prayer
August: Power in the Blood
September: Nearer, My God to Thee
October: Jesus Paid It All
November: To Go Be the Glory
December: Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne (for Christmas)
In college I was required to take a class on Teaching Bible to kids, and we had to visualize things like stories, verses, and songs. I made a lot of kids choruses in that class, but I have been applying the same techniques and principles to my visualized hymns. Here are a few of my visualized songs that you can print and use for personal use, or to get an idea for making your own!
At the Cross
Do You Know About Jesus (kids chorus to the tune of Take Me Out to the Ballgame)
’Tis So Sweet
Yesterday, Today, Forever
From Alaska to Nebraska (sung to the tune of The Battle Hymn of the Republic)
Holy, Holy, Holy
Praise Him, Praise Him
- Patch the Pirate has a CD of “Hymns Every Child Should Know”
- Hymns.net has a lot of mp3 clips of the accompaniment if you want to play the hymn while you sing. They also have printable sheet music for a lot of hymns.
- I usually just google the words for the hymn I want to use.
- Pixabay has a lot of nice, free, images if you don’t want to use color-able clipart
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Henry always lets us know when it’s time to eat. Sometimes I find him getting out the cereal boxes or raises as a “hint-hint” that he’s hungry. He’s also developing quite a sweet tooth…
He’s not too happy when I say “no” to more cinnamon rolls! (He already had two!). He loved the candy package from Grandma Godby for Valentine’s Day!