Archive for the ‘Learning with your Kids’ Category

Today we spent our afternoon at The Cleveland Zoo – Rainforest. I STILL feel like I am getting used to having 6 kids. Every once in a while I get this sinking feeling that we are missing someone. A group of 5 and a group of 6 looks very similar, so I find myself counting heads, just to make sure! 🙂


The kids always LOVE going to the zoo, but no one likes it the way my animal/nature lover does! He was so excited to take his new camera with him and took videos and pictures the whole time we were there. To his delight and Friday22surprise a couple of the monkeys had recently had babies. I loved to see his expression! He was so happy he would forget to capture it, because he was too busy sharing the great news with us! He is so special and really, so unique!

He really wants to start working on documentaries of things he likes and starting his own YouTube channel. He has so much passion and loves communicating with other about things he cares about!

His favorite topic of all…monkeys! During our trip he found out about the danger the Amazon Rainforest are in because of deforestation. I explained to him that the Amazon Rainforest could be gone in his lifetime! He was so upset, and so expressive about it, as always! His first comment was, “Well, that means NO MORE MONKEY!” The expression on his face and emotion in his voice was priceless! I LOVE his heart!


He asked if there is anything he could do about it. How awesome is that?! When you love something it is difficult to do nothing! Love will spring you into action! Being a spectator is NOT an option! I realized yesterday just how much he loves animals and monkeys in particular. Although I do not share this love and passion with him, his desire to get involved makes me respect him and get involved with him.

I said that together we would find out how he can get involved! Now I am on a quest to find organizations or projects he could do to channel his passion and love of monkeys and nature and his desire to help save them!

Do YOU know of a way he could get involved?

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead


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White Fang Movie BookMy search for good books for my boys to read is never-ending, especially for my 9-year-old. I don’t like it when he reads just because I tell him to. I want him to love reading and discover the insatiable pleasure of good literature!

Today we starting reading White Fang by Jack London. The boys (9, 8 and 6) LOVE the action and the suspense! When I hear them begging me to “read one more chapter” I know we found a great book! In fact, they love it so much my 9-year-old took it to his room and told his brothers he would read them the following chapter! I LOVE IT!! He doesn’t even realize he’s reading because he is so caught up in the story!! These are the type of books that can get a boy hooked on reading!

Come to find out, this book is actually a classic! Disney made of movie of it! See the trailer and the movie online!

Another book we read that got similar reactions from the boys was The Cricket in Times Square. Read more about our experience with this unforgettable book by clicking  here: We Lost a “Best Friend”.

What good books have you read with your children? What book did you read when you were little that was most unforgettable?

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CLICK ON THIS IMAGE and follow this board to find great book lists for your kids!

Last night was bittersweet. We finished The Cricket in Times Square. It really is true. Finishing a good book is like losing a best friend.

This was a special book. It was one of the few that had the boys asking for more each time. When we sat down yesterday to read, we had 4 chapters till the end. My plan was to read 2, because of the time. When I finished reading, the boys were torn. They wanted to keep going and see how this touching story of friendship would end but didn’t want to end their journey in the book.

When I started the last chapter, they braced themselves and got closer. They wanted to hold on to every word, wanting to make the last few moments with their friends, Chester and Tucker, last as long as possible.

The story was simple but the lessons in it will stay with all of us for years. The Cricket in Times Square is a timeless book about friendship.
We learned from Mario how to love a friend selflessly. Chester will be an object lesson for years because of his honesty and integrity. Tucker mouse will always be remembered as the character who had the boys laughing so hard, one of them rolled off my bed!

You do lose a friend when you finish reading a good book. But the void it leaves behind will have you looking for your next “best friend”!

One of my favorite sources for books that are timeless, exciting and memorable is Pinterest. I have a board with hundreds of book titles!

Click the image above and follow this Pinterest board. Use it in your search of  your next  “best friend”!

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20121202_224742-1 (1)Like in many other homes, The Jesus Storybook Bible is a favorite for both my children and myself. Sally Lloyd-Jones does a great job at walking the fine line of writing the biblical stories in a simple way without losing the clarity and depth of the truths found in God’s Word.

I just heard a radio show where she was interviewed. She talked about her latest book, Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing. The interviewer asked her why she wrote this book. She said her niece was being bullied in school and she wanted her to have a devotional that would help her see what God has to say about who she is in Him!

We have been learning lots of life lessons the past few weeks. One of my sons was recently involved in an activity where he was being harassed by a child 5 years his senior. My son enjoyed the activity, but his experience was clouded by the actions of this boy. One day I picked him up and he said “I feel so bad about myself because of all the names this boy calls me.”

As a homeschooler, bullying is one thing we don’t come across much. This experience has helped me understand how helpless a parent can feel when their child is being bullied in school. My heart broke when I looked into my child’s eyes and heard him tell me these words. I know his heart, his gifts, how unique the Lord has made him, how awesome he is. I was so angry to hear about how this 13-year-old boy, even if for a moment, was making my son doubt his self-worth. I couldn’t find the words to counter-act the effect they were having on him.

Needless to say, we pulled our son out of this situation, especially since the adults involved where not taking appropriate action. Now, we are using this experience to teach him and his brothers bigger lessons:

• How can we implement Jesus’ command of loving our enemies? What does that look like?617vYV9yWrL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_
• How can we be a light, in this situation for the boy in question and those around?
• Where do we find our identity and our worth, in spite of how others treat us or what they say about us?

This last one is a big one. This is one I am still learning myself! What an awesome thing to learn with my children! To find our identity and worth in Him; to learn to see ourselves the way our Savior sees us! What inner peace this will bring them, and me!

I am thinking this will be a nice gift to give to the boys for Christmas. I look forward to reading this book with them, and together learning to embrace God’s grace! As it helps us search the Scriptures, I look forward to learning to appreciate the Gospel in a much more practical way with my children…and truly celebrate Jesus’ gift to us…His unconditional love!

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This is a great experiment! Quick and easy, but will give you the “oohs” and “aahs” from the kids! After watching the video, the boys loved it! I am going to have to buy multiple cans 😀

We tried it this morning and it failed 😦  The can we used was too big. The boys thought up a couple of things that would have made the experiment work better. We will try it again tonight and will post up the video!

Try it and share YOUR results!


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