Sunday, December 29, 2013

As the year comes to a close, give me a steaming cup of cocoa, a book of poetry, a flickering candle, and may the cares that 'infested' 2013, fold their tents and silently steal away (my favorite lines from the last stanza).  Can you hear them tiptoeing away?  God has been good this year, as always.  Looking forward to meeting his daily mercies every day of the new year...

The Day is Done

The day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.

I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist,
And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me
That my soul cannot resist:

A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.

Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.

Not from the grand old masters,
Not from the bards sublime,
Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time.

For, like strains of martial music,
Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life's endless toil and endeavor;
And to-night I long for rest.

Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start;

Who, through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.

Such songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
That follows after prayer.

Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.

And the night shall be filled with music
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Hobbits Are Back!

My kids love books.  My kids love audio-books.  I think they may have the audio version of The Hobbit memorized by now.  Due to my admittedly stubborn preference for paper pages in binding, we read it aloud first.

To coincide with the theater release of Part Two of The Hobbit, our amazing local library staff created another great event for the kids.  They do large scale (at least they look large scale to me) events regularly, and every one I've attended with the kids has been a blast.  The invite said to 'dress the part,' so we did.  Alex and Kathryn got brand new hobbit cloaks from my reluctant sewing machine. 

*Sewing intimidates me, frankly.  It's the whole inside-out, 3-d construction thing- messes with my head.  Ask my poor sister (recipient of my first attempts), whose super-comfy jammies' crotch was soundly mid-knee.  Nathan's pockets were sewn shut, and his jammies turned into a long skirt.  I've improved a bit since then, and cloaks are decidedly 2-d in nature, so we pulled it off.  Please note the highly artistic furry feet (brown magic marker :o)  Please also note that Kathryn refused such nonsense, making her perhaps the most well-groomed Hobbitess ever.*

Activities included making it safely through the spider webs, making furry feet (not as easy as ours), creating one's own dragon breath fire blower, the troll toss and lots of food for "our supper and afternoon tea."  Note to library staff:  yes, it makes sense to tell the children they mustn't touch the spider web threads (so they won't just go barging through), but such a command has a strange effect on my (thankfully) obedient and (somewhat) OCD kids.  That will explain Alex's slow and strange contortions to get through (wish I had a video of that- haha!) and Kathryn's mid-web panic when she realized it wasn't ACTUALLY POSSIBLE to not touch any threads.  Just so you know... 

Here are some fun pics of the "Unexpected Gathering" which was obviously expected, so... never mind.


Wednesday, November 06, 2013

It's Fall!  Let's Cook!

"She moved from the window and walked quickly to the kitchen. She would do something that, if only for the briefest hour, had the power to solve everything, to offer certain and absolute consolation. She would cook."- Jan Karon

OK, so I don't think cooking will bring world peace or anything, but it sure is therapeutic to my own heart.  It's a quiet activity that gives me time to think, pray, praise, whatever.  As the days get shorter, I want just a few simple things- lamps lit, candle burning, beautifully calming music, a cup of great coffee, and the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg in the kitchen.  More than a few I guess, but the above combination does my heart good.

With that in mind, I thought I'd share a Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe with you that I've been using for years and is absolutely no-fail.  Kathryn requests these year round, so I make a batch once a month and throw them in the freezer.  They reheat beautifully and make for a yummy breakfast or bedtime snack.  And even though I'm not a 'food blogger,' I thought some pics might be fun.  

Wet Ingredients:  4 eggs, 1 can pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling), 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce, 1/4 c. canola oil
Dry Ingredients:  2 1/2 c. self-rising flour, 2 c. sugar, 1/2 c. whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg 
1-2 c. chocolate chips
Makes:  24 muffins (well, today I got 26 muffins out of it ;o)  To imitate me exactly (and of course, get such wonderful results -haha!, see my notes below...)

Dump wet ingredients unceremoniously into one bowl, and mix with a fork.
Dump dry ingredients unceremoniously into second bowl (larger bowl is smart) and mix with a spoon.
Now you will have this...
Mix wet into dry, making sure to SCRAPE THE BOTTOM OF THE BOWL, or you WILL have a flour streak in a muffin, causing a child to weep over such a terrible discovery at the breakfast table. 
Note that it is still lumpy.  Don't mix the daylights out of it, or your muffins will not have very good texture.  Time for the good stuff...
Spray your muffin pan with nonstick spray and bake at 400 for 18-22 min or until toothpick comes out clean (19 mins. for my oven :o)
Take out and make child, mom, dog (if she gets a chance) very, very happy!  Continue reading below...
 For self-rising flour that will make a truly Southern product (I must belabor this point, TRULY SOUTHERN), one must use WHITE LILY FLOUR.  There is no acceptable substitute (otherwise known as a sob-stitute if I cannot find my beloved flour).

I use any and every brand of pumpkin (generic is just as good & and I suspect Aldi's brand to be better than Libby's), eggs, and applesauce.

I used Nestle's Semisweet Chocolate Chips in the big bag from Sam's.  Most cost effective.  

NICE expensive cinnamon is lovely, but I go with cheap.  I will confess, though, to being a nutmeg snob.  The extra zing from freshly grated nutmeg just makes my day (p.s. mace is the outer shell of a nutmeg.  I just grate a happy amount in, so it's officially mace and nutmeg :o)  I order a bag of them off Amazon. 

Whole wheat flour:  This batch was made with the best (see the grainy texture on the top of the finished product!)  That is true gorgeous-ness.  This batch was from Mingus Mill in the Gatlinburg area where I stumbled upon their water powered, stone-ground amazing flour.  I will be very sad when this bag runs out.  I store it in the freezer.  Check out this flour!

I spray my muffin tins with canola oil.  I got a Misto sprayer off Amazon ($10 or so) a while back and LOVE it.  Now just pure oil gets sprayed on my pans without the sticky residue.  I have two- one for olive and one for canola.  So much cheaper, too, as I  just refill it over and over.

One last tip:  clean your oven before doing a food post ;o)  Maybe I'll just look 'real' to all ye fellow moms?  One last, last tip:  Don't toss extra batter.  Pop it in, but put a little water in the empty cups to help the baking remain even.  

Friday, October 11, 2013

Dreams and Visions:  Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World 
(A Book Review)
Five Stars!!!!!

On October 6, 2010, I put up a blogpost about the movie The Stoning of Soraya M.  Three years later, I just completed Tom Doyle's excellent book Dreams and Visions.  These two resources have totally changed my view of the Muslim world.  If you're looking for a fantastic book about how God is working in a mighty way, pick up Dreams and Visions.  It is an account of what may be termed the Muslim Great Awakening.  Along with gripping stories from all over the Middle East, Doyle also offers a good biblical reference frame for analyzing whether or not a dream or vision is actually from Christ.  What I picked up from the book is that Jesus is telling the Muslims "I love you" and "Follow me!"  And they are.  In droves.  By the millions.  I can't recommend this amazing book highly enough.  My only negative remark is that I kept find myself sneaking around the house to sit down with the book, reading while brushing my teeth, grabbing it up at every spare moment.  As another reviewer stated, get ready for a "splash of grace!"  God is amazing!!!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Kathryn's Dress #2 from Mom Brown! 

Here you go, Mom!  It fit her perfectly, and she loved the twirly-circle skirt effect!

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Summer's Almost Over?

How can that be?  This summer is flying by!  When the public schools start back up here in a couple of weeks, we will celebrate by going to the deserted lakes and parks and such for a couple of weeks.  The beauty of homeschooling and picking one's own schedule!!!

Here are a few pics of what we've been up to this summer.  (We did go to church camp at the beginning of the summer, but my camera didn't make it.)  But here's a few of Alex's b-day at Mom and Dad Brown's, the kids playing "fairy," and Kathryn modeling a new dress made by her Grammy.

Alex celebrates the end of K5!

Nathaniel, Chelsea and me at the celebration on the arrival of his adopted son, Brayden!

Brayden was tired of having his beautiful smile photographed.  My kids think it's really cool and exotic to have a cousin of a different race.  As Kathryn tried to explain it to Alex, "He has dark skin, but he's white on the inside like us."  I had to tweak that explanation a bit, but she's in love with this little doll who shares her birthday.

Mitzi does her best to sneak onto Dad's side of bed while he's at work to mourn his absence and sleep.

Funny how Kathryn always wins at chess! :o)

Gandalf's "fireworks" being blown out.  Happy 6th birthday to my big little man.

Isn't this AMAZING!?!  Bag End a la Marianne Brown.

Complete with cauliflower and pumpkin patch.

Yes, there is a lot of testosterone in this bunch.  Kathryn is alone, but quite happy to hang out with these crazies.

A slightly more normal look ;o)

When Kathryn was little, I often played the Book Fairy.  I got tired of a gazillion books in the floor of her room so I established a "secret library" and the "book fairy" system.  I would tell her the book fairy was coming so she would close her eyes.  Then I would sneak out the ten or so books she had and replace them with 'fresh' ones.  When she opened her eyes, the magic would be complete.  Here the kids are playing fairies with their magic 'wands.'  They were trying to sneak around and do things unnoticed.  Since Tinker Bell is the only fairy they know of, Kathryn said Alex transformed himself into a cat and Tinker Bell into a mouse.  He ate her.  Said her hair tasted nasty.  All this because she doesn't wear enough clothes.  Immodest ladies, watch out.  This child will not just avert his eyes... he will devour you.

Wings... b/c fairies must have them.

Mitzi became an unwilling fairy, but she did wear her wings a good while. 

Pardon the cheesy smile ;o), but she was delighted with her package from Grammy.  They had gone fabric shopping together, and Grammy's making her some outfits from her chosen fabrics.  She is so excited about these.  I am so excited to not have to sort through the 'prostitot' clothing in the 8 and up section of the store.  Ugly, ugly clothes in there.  I want my little girl to look like a little girl.  Imagine that...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blogging in My Head

I have been blogging regularly this summer.  Just inside my head.  You know, there are times that are so deep in changes, in thoughts, even in stress... that no words make it to paper.  At least none that make it past the "draft" category to be posted.  Pictures coming soon of Alex's fun birthday party.  But for today, I'd like to share a paraphrase I recently did of a passage from Jeremiah.  When God pulls a passage out and hits me upside the head with it, I try to take it seriously.  Part of the way I do that is after I study it, I put it in my own words to personalize it.   Here's Isaiah 26.

In that day, this song will be sung in Judah:
We have a strong city to run to
One built by God, its defenses are nothing less than Yeshua!
Open the gates, so the righteous may come in and dwell;
The ones that are keepers of the truth.
As they have kept the truth, God will now keep them.
He will keep them perfectly secure as they continue depending on Him,
Believing Him to be faithful to care for them.
He says, “Hang your life on this Rock forever; it will never, ever fail you.”
In the past, He has accomplished the impossible.  Walk around the ruins of the city of your Enemy, and see what God has done. 
Those who were “helpless victims” now walk in triumph over the ruins of their enemy’s fortress.
When You lay out a path for the faithful, it is unmistakable. 
You go before them to roll away all the obstacles and to straighten the crooked sections. 
And while we walk this road behind You, we wait for You with bated breath
Longing for Your voice, Your name, even Your memory
It is with eager hearts we expect to hear from You.
In the darkness of the valley we long for You and we leap up at daybreak expecting You.
Upon hearing Your Word, people learn to live a holy life- they “learn righteousness.”
But when the wicked are given the unmerited favor, the undeserved gift, of hearing the truth,
They still refuse to “learn righteousness,” but persist in their own way.
They do wrong even surrounded by the godly,
And they fail to comprehend the beautiful and dangerous majesty of God.
You are doing great things for Your people, but they cannot see it.
May their eyes be opened, and may they be ashamed and repent before they are destroyed.
For God is going to destroy His enemies; in fact, they will be utterly consumed!
Lord, You will hold us safe and keep us secure in these walls of Yeshua.
You will do this because everything we do is nothing more than Your work in and through us.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Bodily Exercise Profiteth Little and God Looketh on the Heart... So How Does Health Fit Into a Christian's Life?

For the past year and a half, I've worked as a Weight Watchers employee.  I've recently said 'adieu' to this position, as the time constraints of homeschool are demanding my attention.  It's been fascinating being on the other side of the desk, observing and counseling those who are trying to achieve a healthy weight.  I would say that my lovely group was unique.  These were people who really wanted to be healthier.  They were not obsessed with 'sexy.'  (And if you're from my old group, you are now laughing because you know what I mean.)

But the weight-loss / fitness industry is.  If you're overweight, the clothing recommendations read like this:  "Not ready to show off those gams yet?  Cover them up with..."  "Until your hard work pays off in flashing some summer skin, here's how to..."  If you're working out, the fitness DVDs say, "You're looking great.  This is going to help you rock that bikini" and  "This is going to give you the tight buns you need for that outfit for the club." 

I recently spent an evening on the University of Alabama's main campus in Tuscaloosa.  I graduated from there in 2003.  I noticed one big change, okay, two big changes.  One, there was not a crowd of smokers around every entrance.  Thank you!!!  Two, all these gals were running around to class in workout clothes. Weird.  They were actually more 'modest' I suppose than the tiny little shorts they used to wear when I was in school, but weird.  (I stuck out like a sore thumb, even having a professor exclaim in front of 50 students when I walked in the door for a summer class, "Well!  SOME people think they have to $!% dress from head to toe."  BTW, if you're a parent thinking of sending your child to a public university, be aware that the environment is something for which they should be WELL PREPARED!)  Back to topic, being a 'gym rat' is oh-so-chic right now, I guess. 

Is our popular culture really obsessed with health?  I don't think so.  Why?  Because the implied reason for taking care of one's body is so it will look good enough to really enjoy the one time ride that life offers.  The same girls in workout gear are into the hook-up culture (casual sex, friends with benefits, whatever you want to call it) and going 'clubbing.' (which involves lots of alcohol and risky behaviors).  What good are those hours in the gym if you're infected with some of these!  My OB/GYN tells me the number of diseases he sees on the tables everyday are astounding.  I say, "Go wash your hands AGAIN... in bleach!" 

In a bit of a rambling side note:  any opinions on getting one's children vaccinated against HPV?  I really stood opposed until my Christian dr. said, "I don't want to vaccinate your children against sinful behavior.  I think in this sick world, with the possibilities of sexual abuse/rape, I think of it as a small protection against the creeps out there."  Now I don't know what I think...

So if you're reading this, and you want to be healthier.  I say 'healthier' b/c I don't consider myself 'uber-healthy.'  There are always a gazillion ways to improve.  Take a mini-micro-baby step today.  Here are a couple of ideas that I've implemented this year:
1.  Keep a liter bottle of water in the fridge.  Fill it up everyday, and try to get through it by the end of the day.  (Keep the kids out of it, or you'll never know how much you're getting).  And ALWAYS take it in the car- my easiest time to hydrate.
2.  Pack a snack.  Never leave the house without a healthy snack.  5 min. of prep will save you money! and time in a drive-thru with desperately starving children ;o).  I usually have an apple and a drink at least for everybody.
3.  Eat some dark chocolate.  It feels like dessert, but it's healthy.
4.  Try to eat a fruit or veggie with every meal and snack.  (Harder than it sounds- I'm working on this one.)
5.  Be a little less efficient.  Park a little farther from the store.  Take the laundry downstairs in 3 trips instead of one. 
6.  Insist on time.  My kids have been taught that a mommy who is strong is a better mommy, and that I'll fix them breakfast after I finish.  They get a snack and read a book, or... actually I have no idea what they do ;o)  (just kidding)  When they were little, I kept them with me if they were awake (of course.)
7.  Be the mom.  Kids survive if they don't get junk food at the store.  Little Debbie's are either God's gift to man or the original fruit that hung on the tree that Eve ate- I'm not sure which.  I just know if Swiss cake rolls enter this house, I will eat them.  So they rarely come home.  I'm just super-weak that way.
8.  Pop a stick of gum.  This is crucial for me when I'm baking (I really don't need to taste test the dough 20 times, now do I?  But I will- I kid you not!)  Also useful when I'm cleaning up after dinner.  Yes, close my eyes tightly and throw that last bite away.  Try not to think of starving children.  Be OK with not being the family's garbage disposal.

If this topic makes you want to go eat an extra snack b/c it brings on pain, stress, or sadness, you're not alone.  I never met a single person in the meeting room who didn't associate 'getting healthy' or 'losing weight' with guilt, shame or pain.  Why do you think WW stocks Kleenex?!  So cry a little.  Look in the mirror at your FACE, and say, "I'm a precious treasure, worth more than the world, a person Christ died for.  I am valuable.  I want to feel better."  And then make a tiny, teentsy change.    


Thursday, April 11, 2013

April 11, 2013 Daybook Entry
Outside my window …. It is the quiet dark just before dawn.  The cats are prowling.  May they find many voles in my yard and eat them all.

I am thinking …. I accomplished a huge amount yesterday.  In fact, if I had a cape, I’m pretty sure I could have flown.  Maybe I should take a day off.  Wishful thinking.

I am thankful for …. good coffee and the fuzzy little dog that meets me so happily every morning.

Around the house …. we are putting in new doors soon.  Outside, everything is a yellow wonderland of pollen.  The beautiful banks of wisteria are putting on flowers amongst the kudzu down the street.  Love!  This picture isn't local, but I'll try to get up one soon.

I am loving …. my cute fluffy read from Fannie Flagg.  So far, so good.

I am hoping …. That it won’t be raining too hard when we’re out today for the Charlotte’s Web production at the Birmingham Children’s Theater.  You know the mommy waddle with two growing children glued to her sides, trying to keep all body parts perfectly dry.  The “Kathryn’s making my big toe get sprinkled on!” wails.  The “I think I felt a half a drop on my dainty finger.  Move over.”  Maybe it’s time for individual umbrellas.  

I am stitching …. Normally nothing.  Yesterday, I sewed up a long slit into a more acceptable walking vent.  Does that count?

I am drooling over …. The Fiesta Bean Salad from  Wishing I had made more, since I ate it all myself :o)

I am sorely tempted by …. The thought of sneaking into the bathroom and wrapping an unsuspecting Nathan up in the wet, cold shower curtain.  I’ll wait until my braces are out; it’ll only be funny if I don’t get smacked in the mouth by the flailing appendages.   

I am reading …. every morning for my daily Bible reading plan.  Moving right along.  Also, we are reading the Hobbit during our morning homeschool, and Patricia St. John’s “Treasures of the Snow” for bedtime.

On my Kindle Fire… the children, usually.  I thought I bought it for myself, but there seems to be a lot more of Happy Jump and Temple Run on there than good books.

On my mind …. The creep who has been knocking on my Mom’s door before sunrise, and right after my dad leaves for work.  They live out a ways, so the cops aren’t super close.  I’ve been praying that God would strike him dead if he plans to hurt my mom.  I’m also very, very sure that God can keep her far safer than I can.  Thankful for the right to own guns.

On my To Do list …. Having my car detailed inside.  The vomit from last week may not stink or be gross, but having red Kool-Aid as the main ingredient did a number on the upholstery.  The glamorous life of a mom.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Exploring Culture With Children

I try to expose my children to lots of different cultures.  Homeschool gives me lots of opportunities for that.  Their daddy traveled the world with his family when he was a teenager, and he even lived in Beijing for a school year.  I haven’t traveled nearly as extensively as he has, but my skills in Spanish have allowed me special opportunities to explore the Latin American cultures through linguistics.  And since the woman who hung the moon (that would be Gramme- Dr. Nadine Brown) loves Asia, so does my little girl! :o)  So we love the places, the foods, the tales, the languages of the world, and that’s just ‘our thing.’
In public school, we were taught to ‘celebrate’ these other cultures.  If we went to Moundville, an American Indian burial ground, we were taught about these people’s search for God and how fantastic their culture was.  Culture was presented as amoral (unless it included human sacrifice), and something to be explored with freedom. 
In my adulthood, I have asked other questions.  What is it?  Is it amoral?  How do I understand other religions?  Are some cultures ‘better’ than others?  Should they be celebrated?  What do they tell me of God?  What does the Bible say? (The last being the most important)  I’m just going to share some conclusions I’ve come to, and how they work in parenting in cultural exposure. 
Some excerpts I pulled off Merriam-Webster online:  (Culture is) the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization.
Presupposing the existence of absolute truth and morality, if something is the collective of a people’s shared values, beliefs, and actions, it MUST necessarily be ‘moral’ in nature.  And if a culture is not amoral, then some must be ‘better’ than others.  But how to rank them? 
A culture is ‘better’ or ‘worse’ as its values, beliefs and actions line up with, or stray from, God’s truth.

That means that a culture whose laws reflects God’s and whose people act morally is better (morally speaking) than one whose people do whatever is right in their own eyes. 

People of one culture are not more ‘valuable’ or ‘better’ than those of another, as every single person on the face of the earth is a precious treasure, whose soul Christ died to save.

Romans 1 describes God’s general revelation to all men, and the ways in which they have rebelled against the light.  According to Romans 1, there are no ‘innocents,’ rather all men have seen the light of His general revelation, and have purposely turned and shoved their way rebelliously into the darkness.  It even lists the consequences of such a rebellion.  That means…

The religions of the world are not man’s search for God, rather their attempts to rebel against the light they have been given.  Every person, in every time, and in every place has been given enough light to come to God, and each of us has chosen our own way.  We are without excuse.

Practically speaking, I do not allow the children to bring home any paraphernalia of other religions as souvenirs.  They are marks of rebellion against God (at best), and demonic (at worst).  That can really shrink the gift shop, if you know what I mean.

God’s laws are true, across all cultures.  

If immodesty is sinful, it is sinful in the church, in the store, and at the beach (ouch!)  It’s also sinful when it’s part of a ‘cultural costume.’  If lying is sinful, it is sinful everywhere.  If adultery is sinful, no cultural custom makes it OK.  Exposing children to the cultures of the world means that they will observe sin in action.  This is a fine line to walk, and each parent should carefully consider what they expose their child to.  We never, ever participate in any foreign language chants, dances or rituals, as they are often religious in nature.  (Turns out the devil understands all human language, even if I don’t, and I sure don’t want to be calling down some force into my life.)  If a display is sensual or very immodest, we leave.  I try to be sensitive to my kids’ consciences, and if their heart is troubled by something, I want to honor that.
I think God has chosen to reflect Himself in different ways in different people groups/cultures.  Some cultures have really strong godly values in a certain area, which I try to bring out to the kids.  

Some more examples of how these ideas play out in our homeschooling world and in other areas of life:
We read a children’s version of the Epic of Gilgamesh in history this year.  A character named Utnapishtim survives a world-wide flood, etc.  There are a lot of hints of truth found in the legends of the world.  We talked about how they’re alike, how they’re different.  The gods are annoyed with the noise level on the earth and decide to destroy it, or a goddess puts her necklace in the sky (the rainbow).   We talk about how bits of the truth persist and how they’re twisted by oral traditions.  We talk about the importance of preserving the truth.

We read a story of Mu-Lan (legendary Chinese princess)- also made into a Disney production.  Honor for parents is a big part of Chinese culture, as well as ancestor worship.  We talk about how the one reflects God’s values, and the other a rejection of the truth.  We talk about how sad it is that the devil has blinded so many to the truth, how important it is to share the gospel, how valuable each of them is.  

We watched a dance troupe of little girls doing a Balinese dance.  We talked about the beautiful fabrics, and how God has placed His love for beauty into the hearts of that culture. 
 (I encourage the children to admire the handiwork of other cultures, and point out that God is pleased with hard work, with excellence in our skills.)

We studied about the caste system of India, and how in their creation story, some people came out of the mouth, shoulders, knees and feet of the first man.  We talked about why our church runs an orphanage in India and ministers to the widows and leper colonies.  We talked about the untouchables, and how all this comes from an unbiblical view of God, Creation and the value of human beings.  

We watched a Native American demonstrating his skills with a bow and arrow.  We talked (later!  I don’t allow them to bring up their concerns in front of the people involved- love for others, love for others!) about his immodesty, and how God gave Adam and Eve clothing to COVER the body, and how much that should be based on our best biblical interpretation. 

We go to Wal-Mart.  That’s right- we live in a culture just as unique as those on stage.  There are beliefs, values, and actions played out every day that can reinforce our teaching Biblical truth to the children.  I could go on and on, but hopefully something here gave you an idea, or maybe you can give ME one.  Parenting is too important to be unintentional, and I love the opportunities cultural exposures give us to share God with our children.  Bring on the Lebanese food festival!!!  Hummus, anyone?

*pic from (this is the same group we saw yesterday)