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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Truth and Training Thursday



With only two more weeks of Awana meetings to go before the kids are out till January 4th, the kids are trying to complete as much in their books as possible before Christmas Break. 

Today, Alyssa's Sparks got to head to the Awana Store, so they really didn't do much as far as verse recital. They did have a short lesson in regards to the birth and naming of John the Baptist as well as  Zechariah's song of praise as described in Luke 1:56-80.  

Here' they are heading to the chapel after being at the Awana store. Alyssa walked right by me without realizing I was there. 


So I had to call her name to take a quick picture ;)



For Truth and Training, Ashleigh completed section 2.5 in her Evidence of Grace book. This week we focused on the book of Acts and what happened right after Jesus Christ went back to heaven.  We also discussed how the early church began and how even today, we can share the good news about Christ with others.  

Last week, the awards list was lost, so they had to wait an extra week to receive their awards.  Ashleigh earned her 2nd Element for the year.  We're still waiting for her to start receiving her silver patches, maybe next week?? 




For her memory work this week, Ashleigh actually decided to tackle quite a bit and I am very proud of her.  

To start with, she had her verse for section 2.5.   

And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord,  and as many were appointed to eternal life believed. 

And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region.   --  Acts 13:  48-49

This was followed by reciting the next section of books from the New Testament.  

Acts   Romans   1 Corinthians  2nd Corinthians  Galatians  Ephesians   Phillippians  Colossians

To end the section, she had to also recite her verse from last week. 

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received:  That Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures. 

That He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures  
                                                                                                           -- 1 Corinthians 15: 3-4


Te original plan was to complete section 2.5 and then work on Sections 2.6 and 2.7 together for next week. However, Ashleigh decided to complete her first TruthScript of the year by reciting the 23rd Psalm.


The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 

He makes me lie down in green pastures. 
He leads me beside still waters. 

He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths for righteousness for his name's sake. 

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil, for you are with me:
your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;  my cup overflows. 

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.   -- Psalm 23



Next week, we're hoping to complete sections 2.6 and 2.7, and if possible, allow her to complete 2.8 to be gone with the section before Christmas break.  This will have her working to memorize 2 Thessalonians 2: 15 and Revelations 1:1-2, as well as reciting all 7 verses she has worked on for this section as well as all the books of the Bible.   She'll also be going to the Awana Store next week.  Currently, she has 39 Awana dollars as well as her Golden Buck so it will be curious what she will end up with ;) 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

For a Good Time - Break out the Microscope


Saturday, while we were out in town to do our grocery shopping, we stopped by Hobby Lobby to pick up some new ornaments for our tree.  It's a new store and up until it's opening, we hadn't been to a Hobby Lobby in nearly 10 years so we were pretty excited to have one open up here.  Once we snagged the ornaments we wanted, we took a look around and I about freaked when I saw them selling a set of 5 microscope slides that had muscle and nerve samples.  After my 40% off coupon, I ended up snagging these for 5 bucks. 


The kids have been taking Anatomy and Physiology this year and while we finished the section on the muscles a few weeks back, I thought it would be fun to revist what we had looked at in our text book and compare those photos with what we could see in the slides.  (We will be using the Nerve slides in a few weeks). 

Enter Jack, our beloved Elf on the Shelf.  Our Elf loves Science and he left a hint that we needed to have a microscope lab today.  




Skeletal Muscle 

Even Alyssa came in to take a look.


Drawing what she was viewing through the scope.  They each keep a composition book where they draw their observations.  Since this was our first microscope lab for our A&P course, new composition books were started.


Separated Smooth Muscle cells

Cardiac Muscle




This was a piece of mom's hair.  I know I have a ton of split ends, and they wanted to look at a piece of hair, so what the hay ;)



The kids didn't want to stop at just our muscle cells, so they looked at a few slides that we have for our Apologia Biology slide set.  This was a slide of the scales from a butterfly's wing.



We always have a great time on Microscope lab day and the kids love hands-on science, so it was a win/win.  Thanks for the suggestion, Jack :)

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Weekend Meal Planning


It's the weekend and Thursday was payday, so that means I'll be taking the trip to town today for another big shopping trip.

With the holiday's right around the corner, I'm trying to cut a few corners and make meals that won't hurt the pocketbook too badly.   For this shopping trip, I'm hoping to spend under $200 for 14 days worth of meals for a family of five.  Whether or not that will happen, I don't know. If I go over budget, that's okay as most of the Christmas gifts are bought but it would be nice to have a bit of extra cash in the bank.   (Post note: I spent $170  lol)

For those wondering,  I only list our dinners in our meal planning.  But in addition to these meals, I also purchase breakfasts and lunches for each day but since these meals tend to be things like cereal, veggie patties, steamed clams (my kids love these things for lunch) and canned pasta, I just don't bother listing those for each day.

I will admit, I have much more pasta then what we typically eat in a 2 week period. But, pasta is always a hit with the kids and with the temperatures getting colder here, a hot plate of pasta just hits home.

Saturday - Creamy Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti

Sunday - Beer Brats with chips

Monday - Creamy Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti

Tuesday - Cornbread Waffles with Chili and Fixings

Wednesday - Mince and Tatties with Yorkshire Pudding

Thursday - Chicken Yakisoba

Friday - Chicken and Broccoli Shells and Cheese

Saturday - German Jagerschnitzel with Gerkensalat and Potato Dumplings

Sunday -  Sheet Pan Shrimp Boil

Monday - Butternut Squash Chili

Tuesday - TexMex Velveta shells and cheese with Salad

Wednesday - Cheddar Bay Chicken Biscuit Bake

Thursday - BBQ Beef Casserole with Salad

Friday - Tomato Spinach Chicken Spaghetti

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Truth and Training Thursday


Thursday is here and that mean's it's time for Truth and Training at Awana.

The kids had last week off since it was Thanksgiving.  Everyone seemed to have had a great holiday and was ready to recite their verses tonight.  In addition to Awana night, it was also Boys Vs Girls night, where the girls and boys compete to see which team can collectively recite the most verses.

Alyssa's Sparkys talked about the Great announcement made to Mary by the Angel saying that she would give birth to the Savior.  They also talked about how John lept in Elizabeth's womb when he heard the voice of Mary when she visited Elizabeth.

The wonderful Janet Till teaching the Sparkys this weeks lesson

Alyssa's blue team did VERY well with their verses with Nine earning their badges/wings and jewels.



For Truth and Training, Ashleigh completed section 2.4 in her Evidence of Grace book. This weeks lesson continues the teachings of the books of the Bible and discussed the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). We discussed how each book talks about what Jesus did while he was on earth and how each book tells the same true story, just from a different point of view.  We took a look at a few verses from each Gospel that highlighted important events in the life of Jesus and then we took a look at John 3:17 where Jesus tells exactly why he came to earth (to save the world).

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received:  That Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures. 

That He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures  
                                                                                                           -- 1 Corinthians 15: 3-4

In addition, Ashleigh also had to recite her verse from the week before Thanksgiving.

I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brothers.  And I will put My words in his mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command him. 

And whoever will not listen to My words that he shall speak in My name, I myself will require it of him.    --Deuteronomy 18:18-19


Finally, she had to be able to recite the first four books of the New Testament. As she has already learned all the books in the Bible in order, this part was easy for her.  She is actually irritated that she couldn't just recite them all at one time and be done with it.. LOL 

Matthew Mark Luke John

Since it was Girls vs Boys night, Jerry (the head of the Awana program at our chapel) reminded the kids what the true meaning of Awana is (learning verses and being able to help spread the words of Jesus to all around them) before that there was a tie between the two teams.


As a tie breaker, the children were given a riddle to answer:  A lake has algae growing on it's surface. Each day, the amount of algae doubles.  If on day 10, the algae covers 1/2 of the lake, how many days would it take for the entire lake to be covered?  After many guesses, one of the girls came up with the correct answer (1 day) and so the tie was broken.  As a reward, the girls were each given a pen that had a pullout insert that listed all the books of the Bible.

Ashleigh and her best friend, Abagail, show off their rewards.

Since Advent starts this Sunday, the kids wanted to check out the decorations that the chapel has in the sanctuary.  The Nativity scene has not been added yet, but the tree, banners and the Advent candles were out and on display.  




Next week, the Sparkys will be going to the Awana Store to spend the Awana dollars they have earned so far this year.  TnT will not go until the following week.   Instead, Ashleigh will be learning about the Acts of the Apostles and will work on memorizing Acts 13: 48-49.  She is also working on memorizing Psalms 23 in order to earn her first Truth Script pin.  

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Enjoying Our Thanksgiving Holiday


Thanksgiving is over. How the heck we're at the end of November and at full steam heading towards December and the end of 2017, I don't know.  This year has flown by so fast, it seems like only yesterday we were sitting at this very same spot in 2016.

I hope each and every one of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family.  Since we are thousands of miles away from our family, it was once again just the five of us but that didn't stop us from having a great meal.  Our Thanksgivings almost always go along the same route.  We watch the Macy's parade while Charles and I share the kitchen together, preparing our "feast".  Charles makes the best turkey, hands down, so that's always left to him, along with the homemade cranberry sauce.


The rest of the dinner is my job - cornbread dressing, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, and fry bread.  We cheat on the pies though and usually order premade from the Schwan's truck.  Maybe one year I will get brave and make a pie from scratch.  (I am planning to make a peppermint cheesecake from scratch for Christmas though).


Our Finished Feast, ready to eat. 
Usually, we eat around 5pm.. Then, when everyone's fat and happy, Charles and I call our parents to see how their holiday went.  Finally, all the leftovers are put away which is a job in itself, like playing tetris trying to find out how to fit it in our tiny fridge, especially the turkey.  Dishes are put in the dish washer, counters wiped down and then it's time to relax.  (Sometimes with a glass of wine lol)


Thanksgiving is also a time for family fun.  That usually means family game night.   Our new game for this year (we always get one new board game for Thanksgiving) is Battleship, so Dad taught the kids how to play.  Garrett caught on really quickly and I think it has now become his new favorite game.



Afterwards, we pulled out Ticket to Ride.  I had bought it back in June but we hadn't played it yet.  Charles has declared it's the best game he has played in a long time and really enjoyed it.


In the end, Mom ended up winning (blue trains) after completing all my tickets and didn't get the penalty. (Alyssa would have won but she had a 20 point ticket and even with the longest continuous, it wasn't enough for the win).


Ashleigh and Garrett pulled out one of their favorites, Tapple, and had a bit of fun with that before it was time for bed.

Another one of our post-Thanksgiving traditions is putting up our Christmas tree and enjoying our dinner of Thanksgiving Leftover Pasties while admiring it. Then, by the light of the tree, we whipped out a few more board games and had a bit more fun.



Most people do not know what a pastie is (Pronounced pah-stee).. These are Cornish handpies that are extremely popular in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  We spent about 3 months living in the UP outside of Houghton 10 years ago and one of the things we brought back to the south with us was these wonderful pies.  The miners use to bring these with them, wrapped in foil, for their lunches because they were convenient and was able to stay warm by the time they were ready to eat it. Traditionally, they are made with minced beef, potatoes, rhutabega, and spices wrapped into a flaky dough. However, these are made with Thanksgiving leftovers - turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce.


As my oldest would describe it, "Think of it as a huge Hot Pocket stuffed with Thanksgiving dinner"..  I'll do a post tomorrow with the recipe, in case you're looking for a way to use up some of those leftovers.



Another round of Battleship - per Garrett's Request. 


While my animals have it in their minds that the tree was put up just for them to sleep under.



Today, we spent most of the day putting up our Christmas decorations outside.  Charles started hanging up the lights around the house (but realized he is going to need an additional extension cord in order to hang up the colored lights) while I tackled the ground decorations.







And finally, it was time to decorate the tree.. We almost always allow the kids to do the decorating now, as they have such a fun time picking where each ornament should go.




This is the only ornament that I actually hang each year.  This was the ornament that Charles and I bought on our honeymoon at Disney World and it always has a very special spot on the tree.







And here's the finished tree in all it's glory..  We usually put ribbons on the tree, but Charles decided he didn't want to do them this year.  That's okay though, I think it still looks pretty nice without them.

Since the tree is up and decorated, tonight our Elf on a Shelf, Jack, will most likely make its appearance for the year.  Which means I have 30 days of trying to figure out something to do with the lil toy every night. LOL



We've had a wonderful long Thanksgiving weekend and we hope your family had a wonderful holiday as well. 
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