Saturday, February 23, 2008

Saturday - Tests, Swings and Other Such Things

I've obviously been writing book reviews. ::snort::

We cleaned the house this a.m.

Jared missed a CAP safety briefing a few weeks ago because Mike was out of town, and I had a dinner to attend. I needed him to watch the little ones. We tried every solution we could think of - and he was very understanding when none of them worked out. Because he missed that CAP meeting, he was not able to participate in today's stock show parade. We didn't realize that at the time. YEAH - the CAP took first place in the parade. Hurrah! The Sr. Leadership did allow him to come after the parade and do the PT tests. We ran up to base, and he did that. He passed them all and now has all the qualifications to promote to Senior Airman. You have to hit the dates just right for all the tests in order to promote - he was relieved to have passed the PT test, or he would have had to wait another month to promote. He's been waiting several weeks for a chance to take the PT tests.

While Jared tested, I took the younger ones to a swing set. I'd say "park,"  but we discovered we no longer have a public park on this base. They tore down the one and had made a nice new one, but it is behind a fence for the CDC's use. Maybe they aren't done building and the fence will come down in a few months. I had promised the youngers we'd play.  Thankfully, there is one play area that the After School program uses that isn't fenced so we swung on the swing set and made big tunnels in the sand. ::snort::

We grabbed lunch, went to the commissary, came home for dinner and movies, tucked kids into bed, studied for upcoming events this week, and now I'm waiting for the older boys to get home from work. They'll both be working long hours this week as this is the Stock Show and Rodeo week - they actually let kids out of school for this. Really.
I did get Mike's car home from the airport.

Sharing the Easter Faith with Children - Carolyn Brown

(pub by Abingdon Press - click photo for link)

Yes, I'm on a roll. This is another on my Ever-Changing 2008 Reading List.

Sharing the Easter Faith with Children is divided into 4 parts: Telling the Easter Story to Children, Keeping Lent and Easter with the Congregation and Family, Study Session for Parents, Teachers, and Worship Committees, and Easter Resources for Children and Their Adults.

This book is a treasure trove for ME - I think it may be for others, as well. I am excited about this book because it contains SERVICES for children - that can be used at home, in Sunday School, Children Worship or even at special celebrations. There are services for Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. These are services that I think would clearly communicate to CHILDREN. They are unique and fun from a Palm Sunday Parade (different stations and such) to several suggestions for a Tenebrae service. I plan to do several of these activities either at home or at the chapel.

The author began with explaining how Easter often is jumbled in a child's mind because parents aren't sure how to deal with topics such as betrayal, crucifixion, death and resurrection with their children. Many children hear the hoopla of Palm Sunday - and then Easter Sunday the excitement of Resurrection, but they know nothing of the Passion of Christ and are left wondering what all the excitement is about. This is just what I had been feeling was going on for our younger children.
A chart is presented that SHOWS which parts of the Easter story various ages can understand from Birth - 12. They idea is to share the Easter Season at each maturity level. For each age level, she suggests the heart of the Easter message for that age, the most significant Bible stories, themes and activities for that age, key Easter words to learn and meaningful activities for that age level. This will help parents who worry about over-exposing children to death at a young age. I found this chart to be helpful as I often tend to overwhelm our youngest two with info that our youth can understand. For instance at Stacia's age (18 - 36 months) the author suggests the heart of Easter would be "Jesus is Alive,"  most significant stories to focus on are Palm Sunday and Jesus is Alive, terms would be Easter, Hosanna, Alleluia, suggested activities are waving palm fronds, opening surprise eggs (Resurrection eggs), hearing Easter music and experiencing forgiveness. The authors' focus is in allowing our children to learn more each year - always keeping their age in mind as you share.
I'm also excited about the Devotional book that you can make for your children/students. Pages are included to copy along with items to purchase for the students to attach as the week goes by. We will do this at home and may do it at chapel too on Palm Sunday.
There are lessons to share with those who work with children - themes and suggestions on how to deal with difficult topics in a way that is age-appropriate.
There are also pages of book suggestions in the appendix. Some are from the early 90's, but I think most are available. I will take this list to the library with me next week.
At this point this is my favorite find.Photobucket

Family Celebration at Easter - Ann Hibbard

(published by Baker Books - click photo for link)
I was blessed to get this book on Paperback Swap.

This book has 3 main sections and a few extras.

The first section contains Lenten Devotionals. These begin with a "real life" illustration, then have a Scripture, worship song, discussion questions and a prayer. There are little "ornaments" you can make for an Easter Tree that go along with each devotion. We've not used the devotions in this book because we liked the child's perspective in "A Family Journey with Jesus Through Lent" for our younger set (2 of which we are still training to sit through family circle).

The second section offers an Easter family worship service and directions for a "Holy Treasure Hunt." I had already gleaned this idea from Debbie when she shared how she uses the Resurrection eggs. The author also suggests setting up a table that is then filled with "treasures" as the season goes along. You fill it with various of thorns, cup, bread, stone, etc. I think that could be fun in future years, or maybe we'll still do it this year, but I've not gotten that far. I think if I took the snowmen down, I'd have room to set up a treasure table in our entry way.

The third section of the book explains Passover, preparation for a Seder, the Passover meal, and includes the script for a messianic Passover. At this point, we plan to use the haggadah from this book for our Passover. This was a very concise and yet meaningful explanation of Passover.

There are a few other extras in the book. There are directions and patterns for symbols to create an Easter Tree. Now that I see my Jesus Tree is a "kit," I may well go ahead and copy these, color them, laminate them, and use them on the pine trees that stay in my living room year round. I need to study them more. I need to explore how much meaning the symbols will have without the accompanying devotionals. The book also has the music and words to several hymns.

While I'm not using a lot of this book, I liked it well enough that I decided not to re-post it on PBS. ::snort::

Another on the ever-changing 2008 Reading List.

Stacia's Fashions

It's either dresses or....
Her brother's clothes!