With two little girls growing up at our house, I’ve come to know a lot about princesses. God’s Little Princess Devotional Bible by Sheila Walsh is a devotional book for young girls that highlights character traits a true princess would have and connects them to a Bible character or passage.
Growing up,we didn’t go out to eat a whole lot – certainly not as much as we do with our children. There were four of us kids, so even a fast-food meal wasn’t exactly cheap. I believe we were headed somewhere on a trip and had gone through the drive-through at McDonald’s to get lunch, my dad placing the order for all of us. We pulled over into a parking space to divvy up the food before continuing down the road. Somehow the food I received wasn’t what I had ordered. I mentioned that I had gotten the wrong sandwich and, while it wasn’t what I had wanted, I could have eaten it. However, I remember my dad taking the time to get out of the car, walk back into the restaurant, stand in line and get the food I had requested.
The neatest thing is to see that same quality in my husband when he deals with our girls. Last night, our eight-year-old had left some books in the car and headed out to the garage to get them. I was busy in the kitchen when she came right back in saying it was too dark and she didn’t want to go out there by herself. My answer was to tell her to go on out there and just turn on the light and get her books. Yet her dad, overhearing the conversation, walked out there with her and turned the light on for her. Such a small thing, but he took the time to stop what he was doing and help her out.
Both stories are about a dad showing his love for his daughter by doing something that may seem insignificant at the time, yet cultivates that special father-daughter relationship, which is a finer thing indeed!
Most of my Teaching Tuesday’s for the summer will revolve around what the girls and I are doing in our self-developed summer learning program. You can read here about what I have planned out for us to do each week. My younger daughter wants to call this “school” while the older one prefers the “summer learning” term.
After returning from a wonderful week of family vacation, I can definitely say I learned some things! Maybe you can relate to some of these.
This week I learned that…..
- starting the day at a theme park with your first-ever roller coaster ride as a family and getting off the ride with both daughters crying can be overcome
- there is a valid reason I normally don’t ride water rides at theme parks
- I actually can get tired of eating out
- seeing a picture of your daughter’s face taken at the height of a large roller coaster ride is unbelievably priceless
- riding the swings five times in a row is one child’s notion of pure pleasure
- watching your husband being a great dad and having fun with his kids is one of the best feelings ever
- there’s nothing like sleeping in your own bed
- I thank God for my family whom I love so much and enjoy spending time with
- I’m already looking forward to our next vacation!
What is the fastest two-legged animal? Which animal weighs less than a paper clip when born? The answers to these questions and other fascinating animal facts can be found in this exciting book by Jack Hanna.
Jungle Jack’s Wackiest, Wildest, and Weirdest Animals in the World showcases one animal per page and includes vibrant, close-up pictures. Key information is given about each of the animals including what they eat, where they live and how big they get. Jack Hanna shares some of his own experiences of his interaction with many of these animals. A helpful glossary is included at the end of the book.
I appreciate that the book is written from a Christian perspective with several references to God’s creation of animals and no mention of evolution. The book is written in an easy-to-read style and is specifically geared toward children with information they would find exciting. The colorful photos add a wonderful dimension of interest to the pages.
If your child is at all interested in animals, he/she would thoroughly enjoy this book. It would be great as a read-aloud for younger children and a read-alone for older ones. This book opens the door to understanding the diversity and uniqueness of some of God’s creations.
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Last week I posted a schedule of weekly themes and activities that I’m hoping to do with the girls this summer. Since then, I have been trying to work out a daily schedule for us to follow. Here is what I’ve put together for my girls so far.
Is it because, in a sense, she’s a firstborn that she is like me (also a firstborn) in her perfectionistic tendencies, her desire to please those in authority, her love of order and organization? The old “nature versus nurture” debate rages on.
Yet as much of myself as I see in her, there are parts of her daddy present, too. For starters, she looks much more like him. She can run fast and tans beautifully – two traits she unquestionably inherited from father!
She has handled well the pressures of being the oldest, having parents who want to do their best expecting much from her, while perhaps unconsciously relaxing a little more with the younger one.
I am overwhelmingly thankful for this long-awaited child, the answer to years of prayers, the entry to parenthood we desired. The door to parenthood had been barely nudged ajar by the brief life of our Angel; this daughter flung it wide open.
The days and weeks seem to be going by faster now. May I treasure the moments to be with her, to grow to know and understand her better as we journey together into uncharted waters.
After all, I’ve never been the mom of a third grader before.
- Anticipation. Thinking about and planning for our vacation is lots of fun in and of itself.
- Watching the girls play in the hotel pool. Finding a hotel with an indoor pool is pretty much top priority for any trip these days. That way we know that they can be entertained no matter what the weather. They don’t have a lot of opportunities to swim in a pool here at home, so they thoroughly enjoy all-day access to a pool.
- Spending time together as a family.
- No cooking (although I am definitely ready for a home-cooked meal by the time we get back)
- No cleaning
- Being in the mountains. For whatever reason, I seem to feel more calm and peaceful when I see mountains around me.
- Reading. Without laundry to do and meals to prepare, I have more time for reading books and magazines.
- Amusement parks. The girls are at the age where they’re able to ride more rides (and want to ride the same ones over and over again!)
- Relaxing. No schedule or bedtimes to keep…..
- Water. I love seeing waterfalls or even just the little streams that run alongside the road.
- Pictures. I like taking pictures of the girls in the different places we visit, to record the fun times we have together.
- Getting home. As much fun as it is to go away, it’s also pretty sweet to sleep in your own bed after several nights away!
In case you missed my many references this week to our upcoming vacation (ha!), I thought I’d share one of my favorite packing tips. Not to confuse things, though – I really dislike packing. I must say, however, that it is so much easier at this stage of life when we’re past carting all the baby gear along!
Since this is the last week of school here, I decided it was time to get myself in gear for the summer. While I like to take it easy during these months, I also know that the girls still need a bit of structure to their days. When we have at least a general plan of things to do, it keeps both them and myself more focused and under control. Since swimming lessons aren’t being offered at our normal location this summer, the next few months are pretty low-key as far as activities go.
I wanted to do a theme for each week of the summer and plan our reading and other activities around it. Monday will be our library day. I plan to go online and reserve some titles ahead of time, but will also browse through the shelves while we’re there to get a good selection of books. If there is a related video or dvd to go along with our theme, we’ll check that out as well. Since my girls are six and eight, we will choose materials that they can mostly read by themselves.
The outings I’ve chosen each week are free or relatively inexpensive. For the few that cost a bit more, we will use the money we had set aside for those swimming lessons to cover the expense. I also have included a Bible verse for them to memorize each week that goes along with the theme we’ll be discussing. Again, they are old enough to read through the verse on their own and can practice it together.
The order of the weeks may change as we go along, depending on what other items are added to our schedule. Here’s the plan I’m starting with for now.
Week 1 Theme – Countries
Books: Each girl can choose five countries to read about
Outing: Grocery store (Since we will have just returned from our vacation, our outing will be to the grocery store where the girls can help me choose ingredients to make meals from some of the countries they choose to read about.)
Bible verse: Acts 1:8
Week 2 Theme – Ocean
Books: Ocean/Ocean Life/Sea Animals
Verse: Psalm 139:9-10
Week 3 Theme – Animals
Books: Each girl chooses five animals to read about
Verse: Psalm 104:24
Week 4 Theme – History
Books: Each girl will choose one time period from world history and one from American history to read about
Outing: Fort Moultrie, SC
Verse: Psalm 77:11-12
Week 5 Theme – Flowers & Trees
Books: Encyclopedia or overview books about various types of flowers and trees
Outing: Middleton Place Gardens
Verse: Matthew 6:28-29
Week 6 Theme – Sports
Books: Three sports each
Outing: Bowling and/or minor league baseball game
Verse: 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
Week 7 Theme – Famous Americans
Books: Five for each girl – biographies or autobiographies (to include one native South Carolinian each)
Outing: Downtown Charleston, SC
Verse: Hebrews 12:1
Week 8 Theme – Missionaries
Books: Three for each girl – biographies or autobiographies
Outing: Service project (I would like to find some service project we can do as a family)
Verse: Matthew 28:19-20
Week 9 Theme – Health/Our Bodies
Books: Anatomy/Exercise/Healthy Eating
Outing: Local park (hiking trail) and/or farmers market to choose new fruit or vegetable to try
Verse: Psalm 139:14
Next week I plan to share what our daily schedule will look like. I will update throughout the summer as to what is (and what isn’t!) working for us!
photo courtesy Public Domain Pictures