Sunday, April 03, 2011

The 10 Plagues

I am preparing for talking about the plagues that lead up to passover. These are simply my notes.
  1. Water into blood; 7:14-25 (Magicians reproduced this plague)
  2. Frogs; 8:1-15 (Magicians reproduced this plague)
  3. Gnats or lice; 8:16-19 (Magicians could not reproduce this plague and admitted it was by the hand of God)
  4. Flies; 8:20-32 (God made a distinction between His people and Egypt, no flies in Goshen. Pharaoh almost gives in.)
  5. Livestock die; 9:1-7 (God made a distinction between His people and Egypt, no Israelite livestock dies.)
  6. Boils/sores; 8:8-12 (Magicians couldn't even stand)
  7. Hail; 9:13-35 (God tells Pharaoh how to protect His people from this plague. Some servants fear God, some don't. No hail in Goshen. Pharaoh admits he has sinned.)
  8. Locusts; 10:1-20
  9. Darkness; 10:21-29
  10. Death of the firstborn; 12:29
I found a site years ago that showed a mom who had an activity for each plague. I did most of them last year and at least I thought it was fun! Go here to see what she did for Passover. Here is what I used:

  1. Blood - red food coloring in anything with water (toilet, water bottle), wonder if red egg dye could be put in faucets so water coming out of it was red?
  2. Frogs - plastic frogs placed all over, even in food
  3. Gnats or lice - rice (messy, but fun anyway)
  4. Flies - plastic flies everywhere
  5. Livestock die - stuffed and plastic animals everywhere on floors
  6. Boils/sores - the stickers you put on 3 hole punch holes to strengthen them (look like donuts) on dolls, parents and sleeping kids if you can
  7. Hail - practice golf balls, throw lots of them around the room (cotton balls make good snowballs, a possible alternative)
  8. Locusts - can't remember what I did! Maybe plastic grasshoppers?
  9. Darkness - blindfolds, night activities
  10. Death of the firstborn - not an appropriate plague to act out really
I try to do these over the 10 days before Passover. The original plagues actually took much longer, with days between some of them, but that doesn't seem important.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

New life in the garden

I really never post on here. I think about it so often, but still never get around to it. I can only hope I'm spending my time wisely, although I suspect otherwise!

I was about to post some research I am doing in preparation for studying the 10 plagues with the girls, when I realized I should probably post the most important event of 2011: Our 3rd daughter was born!

I've never been consistent about my decision to use their names or what names to use for them on this blog. So here we go, my little flowers they shall be. Daughter #1 will be my Rose, after her mama. She is so like me in many ways, the dear little dreamer. She is currently 4 1/2. Daughter #2 will be Daisy, a sweet pretty little thing. Actually, when I was pregnant with her, her Daddy said when he pictured her he saw a daisy. A tiny girl, she loves things to be in their place and to make people smile. She is currently 2 1/2. And daughter #3, oh I can't decide! I barely know her! Since she is just a bud, we shall call her Sunflower unless she blooms and shows us otherwise. She is our calmest baby yet, perhaps just because she is the third. She is eager to see the world around her and very patient with her mama and her adoring older sisters. She loves to sleep on her Daddy's shoulder, smile and "talk."

This tiny bud of a flower was born in February, our largest baby and my most intense birth to date. I was blessed to have her here at home, my first planned homebirth, and I couldn't have been more thankful to be here. She took her own sweet time to start breathing, giving us quite a scare. After the intensity of labor and the uncertainty of her first few minutes, I felt very very little. The world seemed huge and looming, I felt tiny, and I felt surrounded by God's love in a way I have never felt before. I was almost laid flat by the intense knowledge that my Abba loves me and cares for me in ways I could never imagine or anticipate. I looked at all 3 of my birth experiences and sensed His hand in my life in a way that shook me to my core. A friend, upon hearing my story in detail, said, "Honey, that's the fear of God!" What a gift this birth was, and as always, this baby is.

A few things I've learned since this wonderful little girl made us parents of 3:
  • With 3 kids, I am never alone, and suspect I never will be again. And that doesn't scare me!
  • With 3 kids, you suddenly have to take the garbage out 259 times a day.
  • With 3 kids, I spend every second of every day realizing how much our obedience to our Father in Heaven must bless Him. I spend every second of every day leaning on Him.
So welcome to our garden. Enjoy hearing about the Rose, Daisy and Sunflower, if their Mama has time away from tending them to write.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Homemade Granola Bars

I just made this recipe for chewy, healthyish granola bars today for the first time. I had a recipe I was going to try that made crunchy bars, but thought my picky little one might try chewy before crunchy. This looked really simple and, yipee, it was! Of course when you make it with a 4 year old it takes FOREVER, but hopefully she missed some of the frustration in my voice. Or at least can forgive me for it, poor baby.

Our 1 cup of extras included coconut, peanuts, flax seed, chocolate chips, cherries and sunflower seeds. They were super sweet, maybe because of the chocolate chips, although there weren't very many. Well worth trying again. I can only imagine they are much cheaper then store bought. Meanwhile, I have a few snacks in the freezer.

School Days

All my school plans changed at the end of summer when we borrowed Rod and Staff's preschool workbooks. I've kind of struggled with them, they aren't exactly the fun experience I envisioned and so much more rigid in their learning style.

But every time I whine to God (not suggested by the way :), He shows me all the good that is in them and the wisdom of my husband for choosing them. Very quickly, using the books showed me that my daughter does not like to obey or do a good job unless she has decided something is worth doing and fits in her definition of fun. Right away, God showed me how not meek and quiet I am when I do not immediately get the results I expect when I ask for them. Hmm, sound like a family trait?

I also found myself very thankful on many occasions that I can open the book and help her work on it, no planning required. I'm pregnant and I don't have the energy I'd always like to have. But I don't have any quilt for not getting around to school time because it is easy.

Now I'm trying to also include #2 daughter because she needs to learn and because my husband said I need to work with her. Got to be honest, right? Yesterday was the first day I tried and, whew, its hard. Today was even harder. My brain really likes to concentrate on one thing at a time, but little ones want to do things at the same time as their bigger siblings. Meek and quiet, meek and quiet, long suffering and not easily provoked... who is homeschooling for again?

I would like to post what we are doing throughout the week, but we shall see what actually happens, k?

Friday, October 08, 2010

Impromptu Tea Party

On a really crazy day, I think the day before Yom Kippur or something, #1 Daughter wanted a tea party. I was really stressed, making food and getting ready for a sabbath, but didn't want to do my usual "no, not right now."

So I did my best to stall.

I gave her stuff to make invites, and baked cookies.

I had her clean the tea set, and took out the garbage.

She put a table cloth on the coffee table, and I put dishes away.

She set out the dishes and party favors, and I did laundry.

We both worked on cookies and tea throughout the whole process.

Finally, we were ready!

The whole set up. Don't you like our table cloth?!

Harvest cookies, apple slices and passion fruit tea... use what you have on hand, right?

Everything was a bit damp, but all was eaten. Even #2 drank tea!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Rosh Hashanah Food

I have never really been on the ball for any of the festivals, but was really excited this year for Rosh Hashanah. At the very least, I had a meal plan way ahead of time for some fun food. Then I looked at the calendar. It was a night we were supposed to be at my in laws, AND I had agreed to watch my friend's 4 year old daughter during dinner time. Oh, and I had a mom and kids bible study for 2 hours in the morning and swimming lessons after nap time. So, in laws were invited to our house and we did it all anyway. Whew, what a day.

I did my best to prep as much as I could the day before. I have The Children's Jewish Holiday Kitchen cookbook, but had never used it. I found a recipe in it for the main dish, side and dessert: Orange Chicken, Carrot Tsimmes and Baked Apples. The best thing about this book is that it breaks each recipe into what the kids can do and what the adult needs to do.

To make the Carrot Zimmies for example, they had me boil the carrots and let them cool. Then, #1 was able to cut them up! How fun is that? And they were a great texture too, not as soggy as I expected. She also got to measure and put in orange juice, pineapple, sugar, water and prunes. This was like candy folks.

The Carrot Tsimmes
I got this table cloth while in New York and absolutely love it. I'm not much of a woven cornucopia or turkey decorated table kinda girl. And I found cloth napkins to match, 7 of them, at a garage sale for $2! That never happens to me!

My Favorite decided to get back into the swing of baking (yipee!) and made these amazing soft pretzels. They were the hit of the night, for sure. We also made baked apples, and both girls got to put in the butter, sugar, cinnamon and cover it with orange juice. The leftovers, mixed with oatmeal, made the best breakfast ever.

All in all, it was memorable and delicious, at least for me. Even if the chicken took WAY too long to get done!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My little tortillas

We make corn tortillas quite often. It is easy to have the supplies on hand (masa mix, salt and water) and they are easy to mix. With the tortilla press I have from my time in Mexico, they are easy to press and cook. #1 daughter has been helping me for at least 2 years, and really, other then reading and measuring, she could do everything: mixing, making balls, using the press, getting them off. I will do the cooking for quite some time, but you get the point. Now we have added #2 daughter to the mix and it is an adventure!

#1 Daughter rolling the individual balls. All that playdough practice is so helpful!

#2 Daughter setting them in the press. She is very particular about doing this, and is quite good.

I could use some work on being more gentle and kind and encouraging in the kitchen, but despite my failings, I do love working with my girls.