Festivals / Holidays               Thoughts On Parenting               Fun Things To Make               The Great Outdoors               Creative Learning

Friday, September 27, 2013

Michaelmas - The Armor of God Slays the Dragon Within

picture courtesy of Answers VBS

Yesterday we began commemorating Michaelmas by focusing on the Armor of God during our homeschool lessons.  Our main reference is from Ephesians 6:10-17

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

This video "
I'm a Soldier in the Army of God" was a big hit with the boys.

Today, in keeping with our tradition, we read Margaret Hodges "St. George and the Dragon" and went on to talk about the armor of God, using the knights armor to illustrate the point.


Then the boys colored and labeled their own armor of God.

  I also touched on the archangel Michael, for whom the festival is named. I am still searching for a way to explain Michael fighting the dragon in Revelation and just what that means for us today in the here-and-now.  To keep it simple, yet meaningful, I explained that we all have our own "dragons" in our life to slay. Then we each picked something that we can improve upon in our life and then what aspect of the armor of God we could use to make the change.

We will work over the next few weeks at holding each other accountable toward our introspective self improvement that comes naturally as we pull in from the world around us.  It is seen throughout nature.  Here in central Pennsylvania, nature has offered her best, the harvest is coming in.  After a radiant burst of color, the leaves will fall, the sky will turn gray and a time of dormant introspection will begin in preparation of the spring season when all will be made new.  As in years past, we will look to God and His natural wonders to guide while we center our lives and our family looking forward to another season of growth.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Summer Bugs: Bees

This evening sees the end of summer and the beginning of autumn and to see summer off, here is the last installment of our Summer Bugs series.

These last few weeks, we learned about bees.  Big beautiful bumble bees tend to hover just outside our door where our bright lavender blooms.

Some of our favorite books included:

An easy to read little book that gives kids the facts about a bee's life.
From the perspective of a honeybee, the backyard is a busy place. A young bee faces many challenges as it takes its place in the hive and joins in the work of the bee community.

 Follow the chain reaction, and discover how important honey bees are.

Here is a great tutorial for needle felted bees from Passengers on a little spaceship.

Watch a PBS video about bees and their role in the beehive.

Here are some bee printables.

Illustrations courtesy of The Toymaker
So ends our Summer Bugs series.  Now on to new and creative learning.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Summer Bugs: Fireflies

In my early childhood I lived in Oklahoma with hot and humid summers.  When I was eight, we moved to Idaho, and while I consider Idaho home to this day, one thing I missed about Oklahoma was the fireflies (often called lightening bugs). The way they lifted above the grassy fields and lit up the sky at dusk entranced me in those early years.  Then, because it simply isn't humid in Idaho, I thought I would never see them on a regular basis again.  I was wrong, when I moved to Pennsylvania as an adult, to my delight, I found fireflies again!  Now my husband and I enjoy sharing their ethereal beauty with our children.

Here are some of the great books we read to learn more about fireflies.

Have you ever wondered how a firefly lights up? Fireflies in some areas of the world light up all at the same time, or in a specific order and pattern. Eager readers will glow with excitement while learning about these special insects!

An easy read for the beginning reader with beautiful, simple photographs.

A young girl recalls a remarkable moment-how she waited patiently through a long, hot afternoon for night to fall so she and her family could make a journey to the top of a hill to see an amazing sight: a multitude of blinking, winking, twinkling fireflies lighting up a nearby mountain
Here are some fascinating videos about fireflies:

fireflies in Utan  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFOmPQWw4Io

Our youngest loves walking around the neighborhood with his little glowing friends using his bug house from Imagine Childhood.

For a craft, we made paper bell jars, cut out the center, and put packing tape on both sides of the open space (laminating paper would have been even better). To make the fireflies, the boys drew little firefly bodies and using glow-in-the-dark paint painted little wings on with a q-tip. The boys hung their pictures from their bunk beds so they could see the litte fireflies glow at night.
It's not very impressive in the daylight, but
offers a subtle glow of light as little ones
drift off to dreamland.
Next week.... bees!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Green Bean Teepee

This year we decided to have a little more fun with the food we grow, so early in the spring I started green bean plants indoors and once the weather warmed, we built a frame for a green bean teepee. At the base of each string line we planted the bean plants and between the bean plants, we planted zucchini. It seemed to grow so slowly, then in August it suddenly filled out and we had a bounty of beans!

The green bean teepee has turned out to be a fine place to look for summer bugs.

We also planted rainbow carrots and orange peppers from Cubits. More on those in another post.
The contents of this blog, including text, original photos and ideas are the sole property of the author. If you intend to use my text or images, please link back to this blog and give credit to How the Sun Rose. Please do not republish an entire post or post photos of my family. A notification email would be greatly appreciated too!