Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nature Explorers Club~Arroyo Seco Trail

It was the first meeting of the Nature Explorers Club! I wasn't sure what to expect being as this is the clubs first year and I'm organizing it. I warned everyone far in advance that they would all be my guinea pigs! Our group, which mostly consists of fellow homeschooling CCPCS familes, met up by the Rose Bowl Aquatic center. I read them "A Seed is Sleepy" by Diana Hutts Aston. Warning: Prepare to wait awhile to allow giggles to subside after reading about "naked seeds"! I knew the kids would get a kick out of that part. After a brief overview of the safety rules, we were off and headed up the road to the trail head. The hike was a very easy and family friendly trail. Roundtrip was a little over 1 mile (thanks Dane!) The kids had a great time-stopping along the way to point out seed discoveries. Did somebody say "naked seed"? Diego was kind enough to point out the dog seeds and horse seeds along they way! Oh yeah, and naked seeds. Though I may not be plant and tree savvy, I hope that these outings will accomplish one thing in the kid's hearts-to develop a great love and awe of our Creator who is very involved in the lives and ways of ALL His creatures. (Luke 12:6;Psalm 139:15) At the end of our hike, we worked on a page for our nature notebooks. Next month's theme: Trees! Can't wait!
Gotta start 'em young
A wild cucumber! (

Hunting down those elusive lizards!
What's that on the tree?
It's just a little guy!

Plug your nose!
Bag o' seeds

More seeds!

What'd you find???

I think that grasshopper has seen better days!

If you take the time.....
to slow down....
you just might find.....
Really Cool!
It's always okay to get a little silly :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Teach Your Kids How To Pray Thoughtfully

"I've encouraged my kids at different times and in different ways to pray thoughtfully. It's easy for our little ones to just repeat the same prayer that they do everyday or copy what they've heard us pray without any thought. I really want them to understand the power of prayer and to take full advantage of it with earnest, heartfelt communication with the Lord.(Proverbs 15:29)  It's an amazing thing to have complete and total access to the God who created and sustains the whole universe and all within it and yet we tend to take that privilege for granted. We can come boldly with full confidence knowing that God hears us and desires to grant to us our petitions, according to His sovereign will.(Hebrews 4:16; John 14:13; Mark 11:24)
  Recently, I stumbled on a great article in a home school magazine that addressed this very issue. The magazine was Home School Enrichment and the article was "Prayer Basket Devotions" by Wendy Dellinger. In the article, she explains a great resource that I immediately applied for our prayer time at home. It is amazingly simply yet incredibly effective and my kids just love it. They now approach prayer time enthusiastically!
What the author implemented as a prayer basket, I have turned into our prayer jar. All you need is 5 different colors of contruction paper and a jar. Each color of paper represents a different prayer category: Countries, Ministries and Missionaries, Family and Friends, Prayer Requests, and Godly Characteristics. Discuss with your children each of the categories and come up with ideas of what to include as you write them down on little scraps of colored paper designated for that category. (For example, we write all ministry and missionary prayers on red, prayer requests on orange, godly characteristics on purple, friends and family on green, and countries on blue.) Fold up all the little pieces of paper and put them in your jar. Then, during your prayer times, each person gets one folded paper of each color and prays for those specific things. It has been a true blessing to our family and I have seen God's hand in it from day one! For example, one of our good friends was going on a trip so we wrote her prayer request for a safe trip on orange paper. Every day following that, one of us "heppened" to get her prayer request! This system has helped us is many ways. First, it has helped us to be diligent with our prayer time. Second, it helps us to remember specific requests that we have promised others to pray about. Lastly, it encourages us to pray for people and places that we ordinarily wouldn't think to pray on behalf of. I pray that you and your family will find this helpful and encourage you and your children to develop a prayerful heart!