Archive for Spring

Apr
27

How Does Your Garden Grow?

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It’s Spring! 

What are you planting this year? 

What are you cultivating in your heart and mind;

and in the hearts and minds of your children?

 

Great minds - Eleanor Roosevelt

 

~

 

“Keep clear of personalities in conversation.

Talk of things, objects, thoughts.

The smallest minds occupy themselves with persons.

Do not needlessly report ill of others.

As far as possible, dwell on the good side of human beings.

There are family boards where a constant process of depreciating,

assigning motives, and cutting up character, goes forward.

They are not pleasant places.

One who is healthy does not wish to dine at a dissecting table.

There is evil enough in man, God knows.

But it is not the mission of every young man and woman to detail and report it all.

Keep the atmosphere as pure as possible,

and fragrant with gentleness and charity.”

– John Hall, Pastor (1829-1898)

 

~

 

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ,

set your hearts on things above,

where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

Colossians 3:1-2

 

~

 

“A house is no home unless it contain food and fire

for the mind as well as for the body.”

– Margaret Fulle

 

~

 

May we sow seeds of heirloom quality.

[An heirloom seed is seed from a plant

that has been passed from one generation to another,

carefully grown and saved

because it is considered valuable.]

May we grow strong and sure,

seeing a heritage of fine harvests.

 

Blessings,

pk_siggy-pale-blue1

 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted; they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace, and may not be used without permission.

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Apr
14

When I See a Storm

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Puddle Jumping - KneeDeep

 

Along with the cheerful laughter of children, and the Holy Spirit-filled music of a congregation praising God, I think the sound of rain is one of the most wonderful sounds on earth!  Whether it be the calm, soothing cadence of a spring shower, or the booming symphony of a torrential down pour; both are pleasing to my ear.

Rainy days of mist and drizzle are the perfect setting for cozy clothes, my favorite corner of the couch, and a good book.  While outside, the gently falling drops seem to wash the ground and fill it with life.  A soft, warm breeze rustles the newly sprouted leaves on the trees; and they appear to quiver with an excitement that mirrors mine.  When the sun breaks through the clouds, and I see the hills dressed in glistening, fresh green; pathways dotted with puddles, and a rainbow-painted sky — it’s in moments like this — I hear the world whisper God’s blessings.

“You heavens above, rain down My righteousness;
let the clouds shower it down.
Let the earth open wide,
let salvation spring up,
let righteousness flourish with it;
I, The Lord, have created it.

[Isaiah 45:8]

We all know that rain does not always come so peacefully.  Sometimes, it comes with the crack and roll of a thunderhead.  Massive gray billows, charged with electricity, blanket the sky.  Minutes after they arrive, roadways may become rivers, and power outages common place.  Perfect family-bonding weather, at least for my family; with everyone safe at home.  I have great memories of playing board games and eating PB & J sandwiches by candle light, and nights falling asleep watching the lightning show outside my window.

I am constantly amazed and in awe of the raw power of a storm.  As I watch and listen to it rumble across the horizon, I can’t help but think of how awesome our God is!  He created these magnificent, uncontrollable, forces of nature; yet they are small and insignificant when compared to His infinite might!

“Summon Your power, God;
    show us Your strength, our God, as You have done before.”

[Psalm 68:28]

How thrilling it is!

“. . .His way is in whirlwind and storm,
    and the clouds are the dust of His feet.”

[Nahum 1:3]

The Dust of His Feet by Sarah E. Koshiol

The clouds are the dust of His feet!

I have never been one to shy away from a churning tempest.  You will not find me quaking under my bed or in my closet, no — I’ll be on the front porch.  The crisp smell of the rain hanging in the air, and the feel of the wind blowing across my skin, fills me with giddy anticipation and gives me goosebumps.  Thunder and lightning enrapture me!  If I were invincible, I would dance in a hurricane.  I’m not really crazy, though.  I know to be cautious and wise.  It’s not like I want to be electrocuted.

When I see a storm coming or watch the rain fall, I do not look on it as the embodiment of trouble or sadness, as some people do.  I am reminded of the cleansing of my soul.  Simply, I see God.

Warmly,

Sarah E.

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted; they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace, and may not be used without permission.

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Jan
11

It’s a Wrap!

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At our house, a school day might begin something like this…

A Younger Child:  “Hey, Momma, did you know that all of the Anderson’s have the flu?”

ME:  “I didn’t.  When you talk to Katie, find out if they need anything.”

Younger Child:  “Okay.”

An Older Sibling:  “Did you know that our great-great-grandmother died from the flu?  Nana was born in 1912, so she was only six when her mom and her little brother died in 1918.”

ME:  “The worst plague in America was the Influenza Epidemic of 1918.  More people died from the flu in that year than died in all of World War I.”

Younger Child:  “She was younger than me.”

ME:  “She was.  Then, her dad died when she was just 12.  She was your sister’s ages living through The Great Depression.”

Older Child:  “1929-1939 or 41, or something?”

Younger Child:  “What’s The Depression?”

ME:  “I’ll tell you what, after breakfast, I’ll show you some pictures of kids during The Great Depression.  I’ve got a book, someplace.  I’ll find it.  It’s called Children of the Great Depression.  Just the photographs will give you a good idea of what The Great Depression was, but we’ll talk about it, too.”

At this point, my brain is charging ahead with plans for today and tomorrow, and beyond.

THINKING:  “I’ll make breakfast a little hardier than I initially planned, so I can just give them bread & water for lunch.  Seriously, hunger was real during The Depression.  Maybe we’ll follow a bare-bones-potato-soup recipe for dinner and eat by the light of an oil lamp.”

I know my older ones read The Great Depression, America 1929-1941, by Robert S. McElvaine, but the mids haven’t, yet.

THINKING:  “I’ll pull that out and we can read excerpts from it, to everyone, but they can work on reading the whole thing, themselves, over the next week.  They’ll definitely need to start a vocabulary/spelling list.  I have some Penmanship/Copywork pages I can add for the younger ones and an essay assignment for the oldest.”

DANCING INSIDE MY HEAD:  I can download an instant e-Book from Zeezok Publishing!  One of their Z-Guides to the Movies for the Depression era.  I’m pretty sure they have one for Kit Kittredge, and since we already own the movie we could actually work on it this week.  They love that movie, but with the Z-Guide they’ll see it in a whole new light.”

 

 

 

Books, movies, the internet.  The library, Netflix, museums.  I use them all.  Anything and everything that I can get my hands on and afford, that will stimulate my children’s desire to learn and successfully educate them.

Zeezok Publishing has been providing materials for the homeschooling community since 1993.  They’ve published government and history texts, and sixteen classic biographies on the great composers.  In 2010 they introduced us to Z-Guides to the Movies.

 

 

Each Z-Guide is developed for a specific movie.  We’ve found many of the movies at our local library; most are available for rent on Netflix, Zeezok sells a few and some you may already own.  There are more than 30 Z-Guides available, now, and another 25 are due to be released in the spring.

 

$12.99 gives you access to an instant e-Book download, of your choice, or you can have a CD shipped.  Many topics and time-periods are covered –

 Ancient Civilizations

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Greece

Ancient Rome

Medieval Europe

16th, 17th, 18th & 19th Century Europe

American and French Revolution

Westward Expansion

War Between the States

The Roaring Twenties and The Great Depression

World Wars 1 & 2 and Post-WW2

and the Vietnam War

You’ll get a topic, time-period overview; a movie synopsis, giving you an understanding of the relationship between characters, events and situations.  A list of review questions to be discussed and answered as the movie is being watched, and additional activities prompting research and writing.  My favorite section of every Z-Guide is the Filmaker’s Art and Dramatic License Activity.  I do not have the ready knowledge that I find in this section.  Even as my children are learning, so am I.

“The Filmmaker’s Art activity helps the student recognize the tools being used to influence the viewer.”  Without the Z-Guide, I don’t always discern these as clearly.  “The various guides discuss how filming techniques, music, lighting, humor, character development, irony, foreshadowing, and even character names are used by the director and producer to influence the viewer to get their agenda across.”  Z-Guides to the Movies has changed the way we see a movie and that’s their goal.  They “want the student to be able to discern not only the agenda of the movie, but also how they are being influenced by it. The goal is that when the student goes to the theatre and watches a movie, he walks out not thinking it was an entertaining movie, but understanding the bigger message behind each film.”

My children are enhancing their critical thinking skills.  Besides movies, they now look at reading material differently, and also examine the influence and impact they may have on others with what they personally write or visually and musically produce.

I think  Z-Guides are impressively thorough.  In 2011, I used one with The Hiding PlaceClick the link to read my review.

Recently, we did, indeed, use the Z-Guide for Kit Kittredge.  Written for elementary and middle school, it was easily adaptable to include our K5 through high school and adult.

Topics and Activities covered ~

The Great Depression

Journalism

Prejudice

Family Unity

and Hobo Life

It was a perfect wrap to an interesting study!

The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew has had the opportunity to review several different Z-GuidesClick on the banner below to read what my crew mates thought of each one.

Comments or Questions?

Contact Zeezok Publishing

email –

info@zeezok.com

write –

P.O. Box 1960

Elyria, OH  44036

call –

800.749.1681

or

440.782.1193

and

facebook

The next time you study, tie everything together with a Z-Guide and a family movie night!

Blessings,

 

 

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

I am not affiliated with Netflix and I receive no compensation for references.

 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

 

I appreciate your encouragement.  Thanks for your comments.  PK

 

 

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Mar
23

Wordless Wednesday

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A Herald of Spring ~ Yellow Forsythias

 

 

“…and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
“Therefore do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?’ or “What shall we drink?’ or “What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”  Matthew 6:29-33

 

 

Blessings,

*Photographs and contents of this blog are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

Thank you.

 

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Mar
18

Friday’s Fave Five #102

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Living to tell The Story sponsors Friday’s Fave Five Meme.  An opportunity for me to pause and note 5 Favorite moments of my week or to give thanks for 5 wonders or blessings or

 

1.)  Loving memories of my mother.  A St. Patrick’s Day baby born during WWII.  Her daddy made her an Irish Kawleen.  We knew her as Ma, Mom and Gramma.  She died in 2003, just 3 months after being diagnosed with colon cancer.  She would be amazed at how often we think of her and how much we miss her.  Even I am amazed at how real her life seems to the children that didn’t even have a chance to know her.  One of my little ones walked into my room, yesterday, and said, “Today’s Gramma’s birthday and I have the perfect present for her.”  Before I could say anything, she blew a kiss Heavenward and said, “Happy Birthday, Gramma.”

It’s so easy to hear my mother’s voice and her laughter.  I hear them when I talk with my sister’s.  I hear them in my own voice and the way I phrase a sentence when I speak to my children.  I see the hint of her features when I look in the mirror and it makes me smile when one of my older children touches my hair and says, “Oh, Momma, your hair is starting to feel silky, like Gramma’s,”  and a younger one says, “I wanna feel.”

She was a good woman.  She loved God and she loved us.  Growing up, she was everything I wanted to be.  I look forward to “meeting her in the morning, just inside the Eastern gate, over there…”

A Skelton photograph


2.)  Ah, the sunshine.  The warm breeze.  The chill is out of my bones and I am sure that spring has arrived!  A sweet respite before the hot, humid; sometimes languid days of summer.

Photo by PK

 

3.)  $3.99 All You Can Eat Papa’s Pizza Buffet.  Tossed salad, cucumbers, tomatoes, banana peppers and shredded cheese; broccoli salad with raisins and dried cranberries, nuts and sunflower seeds.  Thin crust loaded veggie pizza, thick crust three meat… your way, any way!  Have you noticed grocery prices, lately?  I don’t know how he does it.  1 case of head lettuce – $62.  This time last year, 1 case of head lettuce – $38.  Good food.  Good people!

 

4.)  Older children licensed to drive themselves to work and thereby enabling this momma to sleep in, just in case she was up until 3 a.m. writing or some such nonsense.

A Mustang dream

 

5.)  A child’s laughter.  Anyone’s child.  Anywhere.  I love to hear a child giggle and laugh.  Innocent.  Trusting.  No inhibitions.  In spite of all of the tragedy and heartache in this world, when I hear a child’s laughter I hear the sound of hope.

Photo by PK

 

Count_Your_Blessings

“Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.”

 

*Photographs and contents of this blog are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

Thank you.

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Mar
11

Friday’s Fave Five – #101

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Living to tell The Story sponsors Friday’s Fave Five Meme.  An opportunity for me to pause and note 5 Favorite moments of my week or to give thanks for 5 wonders or blessings or

1.)  I’m sincerely grateful for this meme and the possibility of the personal archive of memories that may be built from it.

 

2.)  Daffodils – everywhere – and the hope of spring, right around the corner.

 

3.  I am married to a man after God’s own heart and his banner over me is love.

 

4.)  I know that no matter what circumstances come against my family, we [individually and collectively] have a firm foundation on The Rock that holds and God will see us through.  My thoughts and prayers are for Japan’s earthquake victims and their families and those in the path of the tsunami.  May God have mercy on them.

 

5.)  I have a little, inexpensive digital camera, but I was able to capture a lovely picture for my Wordless Wednesday post, this week.  It reminds me of tea time with my Father God ~ a cup of peace in the midst of the day to day turmoil of life.

Counting my blessings and hoping you will count yours, too.

 

With a heart of thanksgiving,

*Photographs are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

 

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Mar
02

Wordless Wednesday

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Ecclesiastes 3:1  “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:”

 

 

 

 


 


Spring Blessings,

Please, do not use my daffodil pictures without my written permission.  Thank you.

 

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