Thursday, October 23, 2008

God's Design for the Physical World

We had our first science class today in our wonderful new house. It was so much fun I can hardly contain myself. We had 14 children ranging in age from 3 to 13. Okay, so only 8 of them actually participated in most of it, but they all made windmills (with some mom help). The curriculum is from Answers in Genesis. It is called God's Design for the Physical World. The first book is about heat and energy. Today we talked about all the different kinds of energy. The kids did a worksheet about energy conversion. Then we talked more specifically about mechanical energy. That is when we made the windmills. It was great fun to see the kids actually excited about learning. When we were going through the worksheet about energy conversion and they actually got it, I was amazed. Even the 7 yo was getting it. It is so great to see the kids learn to work together with other kids of all ages rather than being confined to a class full of kids the same age. I would highly recommend this curriculum, just based on the first 2 lessons. I have looked ahead, though and am very excited about what's to come. Hopefully, next week I will be able to get some pics of the models they are going to build. It should be quite interesting.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Vinegar - The Ultimate Multitasker

As most of you know by now, we have moved into an older home. It has some issues here and there, but nothing major. One of those issues was the shower door. Shower doors have a propensity to build up soap scum and make every little thing visible. Unlike curtains, you can't just throw them in the washer. My first thought was to steam it. That did not even make a mini dent. So then I had an aha moment. I know vinegar works great on windows and mirrors, why not the shower door. I took my little spray bottle and wiped, wiped, wiped. It worked quite well. I did have to break out vinegar's good friend baking soda for some of the thicker spots. Now, much to my delight, my shower door "shines like the top of the Chrysler Building". So that got me to thinking. How many uses can we come up with for vinegar. I will get the list started, but please add your uses in the comments. Let's see if we can get to 100.
1. Clean soap scum from shower doors.
2. Clean windows.
3. Clean mirrors.
4. Cheap and effective fabric softener. $2.99 for a huge bottle as opposed to over $5 for the small bottle of fabric softener. And I think my clothes and towels are softer. Plus it helps get the sweaty smell out of Chris' work clothes.
5. Cooking (better not forget the obvious one)
6. Salad dressing (another obvious one)
7. Soothes stings from jelly fish. Always carry a spray bottle to the beach. If you forget, the lifeguards do have it on hand.
8. Volcano experiments (just add a little baking soda and some red food coloring you get great lava, Mentos and Diet Coke make great fun too)
9. Cleaning coffee pots.
10. Ant repellant
11. Coloring Easter Eggs
12. Decalcify chicken bones (it was an experiment to show how important calcium is to our bones, the bone turns rubbery)
13. Kill weeds on the driveway and sidewalks
Thanks to my friends for the next suggestions.
14. Gum removal from fabric
15. Tenderize meat
16. Clean tile
17. Pickle eggs
18. Clean silver (with the help of baking soda and aluminum foil)
19. Remove stinky odor from wet sneakers.
20. Apple cider vinegar for dandruff and athlete's foot.
21. I learned from a friend that apple cider vinegar has all sorts of health benefits, but I think I'll save that for another blog. I will do more research and possibly some self testing first.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Boy Meets Girl Equals Techno Failure

This is kind of a random post, out of the normal school or inspiration catagories. I used to be very tech friendly. My dad brought home our first Commodore 64 when I was 9. I loved it. I excelled at it. I took every kind of computer class I could in school. Starting with typing, all the way through computer programming. I have never had a problem figuring out technological stuff. Until I met Chris. You know how it is. A boy meets a girl, he wants to think he knows more than the girl, so the girl acts all impressed by his knowledge and pretends to know nothing. The girl just lets the boy take care of all the technological stuff. Skip ahead in time 12 or so years. The girl got lazy and now the boy really does know more than the girl. It's not that I'm a total moron when it comes to technology. But I realized I was a little out of touch when my ten yo son showed me that there are games on my Ipod. What? How is it that I went from being totally in touch with the future to my son knows more than me? AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! I guess I need to stop being so lazy and start paying better attention to technological things. Though I do need to add, that I am very impressed with my son and his tech savvy. The amount of stuff he knows is amazing. Now if I could just get him to apply that to his schoolwork, the world would be a wonderful place. Well, at least my world would be.

Monday, October 6, 2008

God's Love is Like Mashed Potatoes

Well, not exactly. Yesterday at church our pastor used this analogy and it really made an impact. I suppose you're wondering exactly how God's love can have anything in common with mashed potatoes. I did too. 1 John 3:1 says, "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God." The key word is lavished. Pastor spoke of a lavish plate of mashed potatoes and gravy, to illustrate the term. I don't know about you, but talking about food is usually a good way to get me to pay attention.

So once he has my attention and talks about God's love being lavished on us like a big plate of mashed potatoes, he goes on to an analogy with even more impact. He talked about the difference between foster children and adopted children. Being an adopted child myself, I am profoundly aware of that difference. Adopted children are chosen for life. We all have been chosen by God to be adopted into his family. I was adopted as an infant, but as a teenager I really struggled with being adopted. Being raised Catholic, I believed in God and Jesus, but I didn't understand about having a relationship with Christ. I didn't see God's love being lavished on me. I thought if my own mother didn't want me, how could anyone else possibly love me. I felt like I had a hole that could only be filled by my mother. The truth is, it was a hole that could only be filled by my Father. At age 19, I had that hole filled by opening my heart to God and receiving His love. "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life" John 3:16. At that point, I finally realized that my self worth had nothing to do with my mother and everything to do with who I am in Christ. I am a child of God. He loved me enough to die for me and my selfish sins. It didn't matter if anyone on earth ever loved me. However, it was at that point that I also realized that my parents chose me. I was not an unwanted accident to them. They chose me. But I never really thought about God choosing me, until last week. My self centered brain thought I chose Him. Chris and I have been reading through Romans. Romans 8:29-30 says, "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified he also glorified." I didn't really get that until yesterday. My parents chose me, but God predestined me. What that means to me is that He chose me before I was able to be chosen. I didn't yet exist, and God chose me. But it gets better. "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord," Romans 8:39-39. That is the love that is being lavished upon us. If we tried to lavish our love on each other, we all put together couldn't come close to God's love. But even that minute amount would make the world a wonderful place. So remember, in this time of political turmoil: God is in control, and nothing can separate us from His love.