Exploring Creation through Zoology

Genesis 1:20 Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” 21 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

 

Last school year, I made a last-minute curriculum change decision. Instead of teaching through Apologia’s Exploring Creation through Astronomy, I thought we would try something new, something that looked “kid-friendly”. Meh. I chose a Christian Kids Explore text (used) that covered Earth and Space. I won’t go into details lamenting the entire textbook and lackluster experience. Many people seem to enjoy the series, and that’s great for them. I think we should all find what works for our families and stand by those decisions. I ended up piecing together short units based on the subjects in the text and hardly using the text at all. My advice? Get your hands on things before implementing them.  We did some neat projects throughout the year, as you can see…

Measuring melting rates and movements of pure ice "glaciers" versus "glaciers" full of sediment.

Measuring melting rates and movements of pure ice “glaciers” versus “glaciers” full of sediment.

 

Showing the earth's layers.

Showing the earth’s layers.

 

 

On the upside, I have gone back to Apologia. I wanted to try something new, see if there was something…better? Anyway, the Young Explorer series offers everything we need in a rich science study, and God is glorified in the process. To ice that cake, Pinterest has become a homeschooler’s goldmine, offering up everything from applicable Netflix suggestions to corresponding art projects and where materials can be had for less money.  The kidlets have created their binders already, and I have the first lesson printed out, with each lessons taking two weeks to complete, topped off with an experiment.  Once I purchase my lesson planner, I’ll scribble in the lesson plans and get to focus on the best part of all – gathering experiment supplies and LEARNING TOGETHER!

Delicious!

 

For two days, I’m doing a mini cleanse.  There are so many types of cleanses one might do, and many people fast as part of their cleanse.  I have decided, this time, to do a fruit and veggie cleanse.  I’m drinking diluted fruit and veggie smoothies twice a day, eating gigantic organic salads with a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar and slices of avocado, and taking Super Cleanse by Nature’s Secret.  If I start to get fidgety, I’ll have a cup of plain tea or a few nuts.  Most importantly, I’m chugging 9-10 cups of water each day.  Want to try your own smoothies but can’t decide what to choose?  Give this handy little chart from Good Clean Health a shot.

Good_Clean_Health_Smoothie-Worksheet1

 

The rhythms of our seasons lend themselves to helping us create habits out of spring and fall cleansing as our bodies prepare for different circumstances.  Those dandelions in the yard bugging you?  Pull the leaves (provided they haven’t been sprayed with weed killer) and add them to your salad to aid in cleaning out your bloodstream after a winter of heavy, starchy foods.  April showers got you down?  Let them remind you of thoroughly cleaning out your digestive tract, replacing filters around your home, and cleansing your sinuses with a Netipot.  The heat and added activity of summer?  Drink lots of water.  As crops and bushes begin to produce, we are blessed with good nutrition if we eat them fresh.  When the temperatures begin to drop, we add spices to our cooking, which in turn helps our bodies to warm up from the inside-out.  Cinnamon in particular is helpful (to diabetics as well) to aid in the use of sugars in our bodies.  Cloves aid in cleaning the air we breathe (steaming or diffusing), numb topical pain (think toothaches), and are antimicrobial (how helpful in the cold and flu season)!  If we work with the seasons and rhythms of life rather than fight against them, we can learn so much about ourselves and God’s creation.

Need a little more inspiration to begin the summer eating energizing, clean foods?  Try the link below for so much deliciousness that you may very well jump out of your chair, jump into your car, and buy out the produce at your local farmer’s market or grocery store!

freshsalads

 

 

 

Plastic brownie knives

The following is a post from years ago that wanted to see the light of day again.  Enjoy! 🙂

 

At a ladies’ fellowship meeting last fall, the hostess handed out plastic knives with a sparkly ribbon tied around each one. Then she read this to us…

 

Oddly enough, I’m thinking about plastic knives today. You know, the kind you get with your to-go meal at restaurants, packaged with a plastic fork, spoon, and napkin? For years I ditched the plastic knife, thinking they are a waste of energy and not very useful at cutting my food. Steak, chicken, pot roast …metal knives slice right through these, but not plastic knives. Hard foods are not their forte.

Where plastic knives do excel, however, is in cutting fresh from the oven, piping hot brownies! Have you ever cut brownies with a table knife and made a ragged mess out of them? Well, I’ve discovered a way to enjoy them, and keep them in tact, while they’re still warm. I’ve used this trick successfully for years, as my hips will attest. Nice squares of warm, gooey chocolate goodness with smooth edges can be yours when cut with a plastic knife.

Knowing plastic knives’ special knack for cutting brownies, I use them specifically for that purpose. I don’t try to cut cardboard, steak or wood with them. That would be a senseless misuse of their gifts. Oh, but how often have I misused my gifts or stepped away from my natural talents, attempting something I am not really cut out to do? This usually leads to frustration and a mess.

The point is this: God designed each one of us with certain abilities, but we tend to look at the abilities of the other women and we get caught in the comparison trap. We try to emulate her gifts and her talents when God has called us to something totally different. Some of my friends have better culinary skills. Some of my friends train their children better than I. Some of my friends are well organized. Some of my friends…well, it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is this: What am I going to do with what I am?

Paul puts it this way in I Corinthians 12.17-19: “If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be?” (ESV) In what way has God gifted you? Have you yet to use that talent for His glory? Are you a wonderful hostess? Then don’t compare yourself to the woman who is a teacher. Are you an organizer? Then don’t compare yourself to the woman who is creative. Are you great with children? Then don’t compare yourself to the woman who writes the newsletter. After many years of anguish over my place in this world, or in my church, or in a women’s group, I’ve come to embrace that which God has blessed me with. And I’ve decided I love being a plastic brownie knife!

 

Which of YOUR gifts do you regularly ignore or wish you could trade for something else?  Please, please,  do your very best to remember how incredibly unique and very special you were created to be.  There is no one else like you, nor should there be.  

 

~V