Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Life of Joseph - A Review!

"Walk with Joseph as he goes from a prince in Canaan to slavery in Egypt and then to the courts of Pharaoh. Your students will enjoy this engaging Bible study!

Follow Joseph as he travels from the tents of Jacob to the house of Potiphar and eventually becomes second in command to Pharaoh. Watch to see how Joseph reacts to slavery and false accusations. See how God uses difficult circumstances in Joseph’s life to prepare him to save thousands of people, including those who mistreated him. Joseph’s story is one of betrayal, forgiveness, and restoration. Take a look at this fascinating Bible story today!

Multi-Level Book: Designed for ages 7 and up
~ Grapevine Studies
I recently received a copy of the Joseph Multi-Level Bible Study by Grapevine Studies to use and review in anticipation of its launch on August 1st. As always, I just love using their units! With the recent knowledge of my oldest two children's learning barriers, the units from Grapevine Studies mean even more - because it is something they can do.

The first thing I noticed about the Joseph study was that it is set up like a time line. That is a fabulous discovery for me because I recently became aware that my children do not understand what a time line is (even though we have done them in the past in our schooling).

The next thing I discovered while working through the study with my children was that it was quite thorough! This was no fluff story of Joseph; this was a Biblical account of how his life happened. And beautifully woven into the study about Joseph were review questions intended to help children process what they had learned, both about Joseph and about God's character. That sort of lesson is priceless to me. We have so much to learn about God if we are going to learn to trust Him in times of trouble - as Joseph undoubtedly knew.

As always, the Grapevine Studies units require very little in the way of supplies: a Bible, a dry erase board and dry erase markers of varying colors (they suggest 8), a copy each of the teacher book and the student book (multiple student books if you are working with multiple children like I am), and some colored pencils. The Multi-Level lessons are easy for children of many ages to complete (my 4-year-old gave it a shot, though she was less able to reproduce recognizable drawings than she was to retell the story), and there is usually something mixed in that even I didn't know. (Bonus!)

As this lesson will take us several weeks to complete, I will say that we are not finished with the unit as I write this review. However, it pleases me that we have a few more weeks to learn about Joseph as a family because my children seem to enjoy this study immensely. As I was perusing the ending sections this evening, my son was standing behind me, captivated by the simple stick-figure drawings, asking questions like "who is that?" and "what are they doing?" He is fairly anti-school, so that is a really good sign!

*Disclaimer: I was given a copy of the Joseph Bible Study at no cost to me by Grapevine Studies for the purposes of this review. A positive review was not necessary, just deserving.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Summertime Silliness!

By about this time of the summer, the kids are a bit heat-weary, and everyone is less enthused about the outside stuff than they were in May. Coincidentally, this is also the time of the summer that Target begins to mark their summer fun stuff down. You know what that means: time for a trip to Target!

We recently stocked up on bubbles, sidewalk chalk, water blasters, and soaker balls in an attempt to drag out the summer fun for at least another week or so. With 100-degree days fading into one another with little respite, we've learned to make the most of the water fun we can engage in in our front yard. (Three kids and sunblock do not a happy mommy make, so we stay close to home.)

Slamming each other with splashy balls of water, running amok around the yard in an all out Water War, and sticking our butts over the sprinkler are all ways we enjoy a good cooling off in the afternoon.When evening arrives, the sidewalk chalk, balls, and bicycles come out... and an occasional Popsicle doesn't hurt either!

Happy Summer Silliness, y'all!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Faithful Father

Not a single person on earth is faultless. Not one is without error, sin, faults; whatever you want to call 'em, we've all got 'em! So, here i sit in my comfortable life, messing up with the best of 'em, and my Heavenly Father remains faithful.

I screw up. Sometimes terribly. Yet He forgives.
I make mistakes. Sometimes huge ones. Yet He forgives.
And even better than that forgiveness, at least to someone like me, is His teachings. He never lets me escape the opportunity for a lesson. I yearn for and appreciate those lessons sometimes!! Other times... not so much. But, He is faithful to provide just exactly what i need, even when i don't know what that is.

How anyone can live a life without knowing Him is beyond me. He is the very Air i breathe, the One to whom i can turn when i am struggling, the Nourishment to my soul, the Rest in times of trouble.

There is nothing this world can put me through that i cannot endure with the help of the One who created me. He is faithful. He is the best Father a girl could have.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Value of Good Health

I'm really struggling with something lately: How do i put a price tag on my child's health and well-being?

Let's say, for just a moment, that i found out my child had cancer (God forbid!). Let's then assume, for the sake of this conversation, that my insurance doesn't cover the treatment. Further, the treatment is just over $5,000 and will take weekly therapy for 8-12 months. What would i do? Quite obviously, i would treat my child to get rid of the cancer!

Now, imagine the health concern is merely that her eyes don't function properly. I don't mean she needs glasses; i mean, she has eyes that do not operate physically the way they are supposed to and it interferes with her brain's ability to understand what she is seeing. Basically, she sees everything as if her eyes operate independently of one another, and her brain thinks she is seeing double (and that is really only one of the problems).

That may not seem life-threatening, and certainly, she'll not die of this condition. But imagine for a moment that you see every set of words as if there are two of them and they slightly overlap. Now go read for an hour a day. Do 30 minutes of math every day. Write interesting and grammatically correct essays every week. Right. That's what i thought. Not just a nuisance, but a real handicap in school.

However, we truly cannot afford the treatment. Besides which, our son needs the same treatment, so multiply that figure by two. And just like when we treat cancer, there is no guarantee. It is a great likelihood that they will walk away "cured" of their vision development problems forever! But it is also possible they cannot be fixed completely. Helped, but not necessarily "cured."

So my struggle is that i feel like i am putting a price tag on my children's future. It is all well and good to say "we couldn't afford to send him to karate" or "we never had the money for her to pursue dance" when we reach graduation day. But, folks, how do i look at my children each day for the rest of my life and accept that i did not help them SEE.

God, only You can help me with this dilemma. Only You know my heart AND my situation. Please direct my path and focus my heart on You.