Change . . .

In church today, Mara’s class wrote (or in her case, drew) something that they do that they know they shouldn’t do. Next they wrote what they should do instead.

Mara is in a class of mostly boys, so some of the boys said they were going to draw a picture of hitting their brother.

Mara’s picture depicted something else: she drew a picture of Carissa sitting at the computer. When Mara wants to get on the computer, she will say to Carissa, “Hey, Carissa! Go get your baby!” (In the picture it looks like Mara wrote “go eat your baby” but her ‘g’s’ are backwards.)

Little unsuspecting Carissa will run upstairs to get her baby, and while she is gone, Mara will slip on the computer. . .


I was thankful to see that Mara knows this is wrong, and she wants to change.


Ninety-seven, ninety-eight. . . ONE HUNDRED!

Yesterday, while Mara was reviewing her 1 – 20 cards, she decided to keep counting. . . and counting . . . and counting. . .

By the time she counted to “58, 59. . . SIXTY!” I could see the little wheels in her head spinning and it was obvious that counting “ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy. . .” had finally “clicked” in her little mind!

She kept going until she reached “One hundred!” and she had counted perfectly!

What an exciting moment! Mara jumped off her stool and began shouting, “I can count to one hundred! Let’s call Daddy right now and tell him I can count to one hundred!”

Daniel has been very busy at work this week,¬† so I knew that wouldn’t work out. But when he got home that night, she greeted him, “Daddy!!!! Guess what?! I can count to one hundred!”

And she did. Right then!

She counted for Daniel exactly as she had for me, right up until “Ninety-seven, ninety-eight. . .” and in her excitement, she completely skipped over “ninety-nine,” and shouted, “ONE HUNDRED!!!” Of course, leaping and jumping in the air. We were both laughing with delight.

The next day she told me she was going to write all the numbers from one to one hundred¬† on the white erase board. She tried to quit a couple of times, but I encouraged her to stick it out. She is weaker on her number-writing than letter-writing, so I thought it would be good practice. She also reversed several of her numbers and transposed others. For example, on the “70’s” line, she had written “70 17 27 37 47 57 67 77 87 97,” so I had her re-write that line. I think all this will work itself out as she gets more practice.

After “100,” she decided to one-up herself and write the numbers by hundreds up to “900.” She was quite pleased with herself. “Look! I wrote from 1 to 900!”

One of the joys of homeschooling is getting to be there and see her delight as she learns each new concept and skill!

Lesson 2: Favorite Colors

Lesson 2 was on favorite colors.

The kids loved it. It was more like “activity time” than “school,” really. Maybe kindergarten is like that? (I actually don’t know, since I never went!)

The science activity was color mixing. I gave each of the kids a couple of clear glasses of water, and we got to experiment with different color combinations. Carissa, 2, joined in the activity time too. Even though these activities and concepts are very basic–stuff they already know, I’m happy that the kids are looking forward school and excited to do more. (Besides, this is only Lesson 2!)


Afterwards, the kids picked their favorite of the colors we had used, and then named something that was that color. Predictably, Micah chose yellow and said “paints” were yellow. Carissa of course chose orange “kittens.” And Mara picked purple and red, since pink was not an option, and she thought of butterflies.

It was a little anti-climactic for the kids though. They were sure we were going to dye Easter eggs, but all we did was color the water. . .

After that, Mara and Micah colored their worksheets according to the directions. It was interesting to see how Micah could color deliberately within the lines, but when he got tired of “school,” his coloring was so much messier. (Note the pink of the ears–staying in the lines.)

He was quite pleased when he finished.


Micah took a picture of Mara’s worksheet, so I decided to include it here too.

Lesson 2 introduces the Vick Family, characters in the stories that are read throughout the entire school year. Micah especially liked “Josh,” Kate’s three-year-old little brother. I think Micah can relate to little Josh.

All in all, it was a good day of school!

Day 2: Prince of Peace

Today’s Christmas passage was Isaiah 9:2-7. Mara understood more than Micah, but even for her (and me!) this passage was a little complicated.

We focused on the names of Christ and talked through the meanings of each and why He is called that:

  • Wonderful
  • Counselor
  • The Mighty God
  • The Everlasting Father
  • The Prince of Peace

When we got to the “Prince of Peace,” Mara gushed, “Oooooo, maybe I could be his princess?!?!” And. . .in a sense. . . if Christ is King. . . and we are His children . . . in a sense, she can be a princess! (Just probably not exactly in the way that she’s thinking right now.)

Our ornament craft today was a crown–relating to him being the “Prince of Peace.” A simple 2-inch section cut from a paper towel roll, painted and lovingly adorned with jewels.

This craft I did with Mara first, and then with Micah. Poor Carissa, never got a crown . . . oh, well–when she is older!!!! [After Carissa tasted the glue while making the “Light” ornament on Day 1, and Micah squirted glue on his pants and the floor while I was with somebody else, I do not feel so compelled to do the craft with all of them at once. I think a one-on-one setup will be preferable going forward, whenever circumstances allow. Even having the materials prepared for all of them ahead of time, it is still challenging to help all three at the same time within their varied and limited levels of capability.]

I’m never happy with indoor pictures–these more so, because they fail to capture the enthusiasm of Mara and Micah in this painting project. They were SOOO excited!! (I’ve never painted with them other than watercolor, so this really IS a whole new experience for all of us. When the paints came in the mail, and Mara and Micah were thrilled beyond words to pick out their brushes and begin!)

As small as the crowns are, it took longer to get ready than to paint them, and being the self-proclaimed “princess” that she is, Mara insisted on wearing the crown–which in reality all of us do at one time or another, don’t we?

After painting those teeny-tiny crowns, Mara and Micah both wanted to paint pictures. I didn’t have heavy-weight paper, so they just painted on a side of a cardboard box.

Micah was so cute. He leaned his cardboard on a paper towel roll as if he were painting on an easel! Unfortunately, it didn’t work so well, but I’m guessing he must have seen people painting on an easel before.¬† And Mara loved mixing colors. It was cute to see her face light up when she figured it out: “[GASP!] Re-ed! and Blue! Make–Purple!!!!!”

Micah explained his painting to Daniel–something about “here is where we live. . .” but beyond that, I think he was mostly mixing colors.

Mara told me she painted a picture of giving her purple crown to Jesus. And I was touched.

I thought of the passages in Scripture that indicate that we will receive “crowns”/”rewards” in heaven not for our righteousness (because we have only Christ’s) but for our faithfulness and endurance. And Scripture indicates that we will take those crowns and give them back to Jesus someday in eternity.

That’s what I thought of when I saw this picture.

Then I thought of how she is giving Jesus a paper-towel roll crown.

And it hit me that a paper-towel-roll crown is really about the best any of us has to offer Christ. Our crowns are “earned” as we yield to Him and He works in and through us. . . and it made perfect sense why we would give them back–because they were all His to begin with.

When we give to Him–ourselves, our plans, our possessions, our dreams, even our family; when we yield to His plans for us, to His will and His way, then we find the peace that He came to bring.