January 31, 2011

Bible in 90 ~ Week 4 ~ Give it all, or just most?

I can't believe it's been 4 weeks!  I know you are sick of me saying it, but I am so glad I am doing this.  I have learned more than any other time in the word, especially just reading totally on my own (without a Bible study).

This has been the hardest week thus far.  Not because the reading was uninteresting, though.  I've had tension headaches from spending so much time looking down.  I've struggled to focus and not felt well because of food reactions and hormones.  (I can even tell as I'm writing this I don't feel like myself and this is taking so much work!)  My two calm weekend days didn't pan out as I thought and I was frustrated I was reading late at night to finish.  But I know it's such a good commitment and worth the struggle.

This week we read through 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings.  I tried really, really hard to stay focused and absorb what I was reading.  If I found my mind wandering I went back and re-read the section, because I really wanted to get it all!  What I am finding is that pieces to this puzzle that have previously been missing are falling into place as I read it in this way.  I'm understanding things I've not understood for my entire life spent in church!  And I'm so thankful for it.

There were many kings who made a lot of rotten choices, and a few kings who made some good ones.  All of the "good ones" served God and followed all of His commands.  But in almost every case "they left the high places" and the Asherah poles.  They allowed people on the outskirts to still worship false Gods.  I wonder if I make mostly the right choices, but I keep a few idols hidden in the high places.  Do I give it almost all to God?  Or do I do like Josiah did and destroy everything that separates me from Him?

January 25, 2011

Oatmeal Bars

These are a new favorite breakfast around here.  They're easy and can be made from ingredients I can buy at Wal-Mart!

Oatmeal Bars:

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water  (original recipe calls for milk)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil         
  • 3 cups rolled oats
    • 2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup ground flax or other flour

1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped or grated apple
  • Use 1c honey and omit the sugar.
  • Use applesauce in place of oil for low-fat option.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Pour into a 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. (Mine do best when they get to cool for 10 minutes or so.) Cut into squares.

*These are not firm like a granola bar, though the second day they could be eaten on the go.  My kids cut them into bites or just lean over their plate!  They clear almost the entire 9x13 in one breakfast.

January 23, 2011

Bible in 90 ~ Week 3 ~ Building Altars

Check out where that ribbon is... over 1000 of us have read about 1/5 of the Bible so far!  I have to say, this has been the most enjoyable time I have ever spent in the word.  I know I've said that already, and I'll probably say it again.  This week we read Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth and 1 Samuel.

In Joshua, The Israelites are choosing the twelve stones to build an alter to remember God's miracle of holding back the waters of the Jordan River.  Joshua 4:6-7 says, "That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?  Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever."  When I read this I started wondering if I'm "building altars" to share with my children what God has done for me?  Am I sharing 
my struggles so they can see His victories
my failures so they can see His grace
my need so they can see His provision,
my pain so they can see my trust in His plan?  
I don't want to hide these treasures from my children by "protecting" them from the"grown-up"  hardships of this fallen world.  I want them to know how much I don't understand of the big picture, how badly I need a Savior, how desperately I need mercy, how thankful I am for His everlasting love, and how dead I am without His grace.  I want to train them to recognize God's goodness when they see it because I want them to notice it at first glance as they grow in their own relationships with Him.  I want to "build altars" that my children notice so they will ask me what the Lord has done for me.

I suppose one of the biggest hardships I've experienced - that hasn't gone unnoticed as I read these old stories - is my unsatisfied desire for another pregnancy.  Repeatedly in these stories "God remembered her"  and gave her the child of her longing.  Sarah, Rachel and Hannah all cried to the Lord and "God remembered them."  I know God hears me, I know He can heal us, I know He's chosen not to.  I don't know why, and it's hard to not wonder sometimes just what I've done to prevent Him from opening my womb like He did theirs, but then...

the other thought I've mulled over this week I've had as I noticed Israel begging for a king "so we can be like everybody else."  They couldn't hear God (because they were being rebellious) and wanted a king who would talk to them and tell them what to do.  The problem was that they already had a King who was perfectly happy to direct them and had already told them what to do!

Is that what I do?  Do I listen to God and the commandment I’ve already been given or do I look for another plan… a plan more to my liking… a plan more like everyone else’s?  Do I sit and rest in His plan for me right now or do I keep begging for something “better?”  Do I consult a friend... someone I can hear or do I quietly seek His will for me?

So when I wrap this all together, I want to make the choice to seek God's will for me as my King.  I want to graciously go through the plan He has set before me.  And I want to share it all with my children... pain, stumbling, victory, grace and all.

January 21, 2011

Review: Magnificent Moon


DNGs are digital units complete with everything you need for a week of school for your K-4th grader.  They include links to videos, vocabulary words, printable worksheets and lapbook components, suggestions for books to enjoy and so much more!  Click here to check out all that's available.  As far as DNGs go generally, there is too much for us to cover in one week for sure.  Jacob does not like doing lapbooking components or hands on stuff (the reason I don't have a lot of pictures of my kids doing stuff), so we just do the reading, videos, and discuss the questions that available to print.  (I love that I don't have to spend time looking for the videos and my kids enjoy them!)  Mattie enjoys the lapbooking stuff for her level, but she's not writing or reading yet, so she just sits and reads with us too.  When Mattie gets older, I could see her enjoying these a lot more.  

Magnificent Moon
This past week the kids and I enjoyed Magnificent Moon!  Jacob learned about the moon when he was in Kindergarten, but it's been a while so it was good to review it all.  In addition to reviewing the phases of the moon and observing them in our (albeit cloudy) winter sky, we learned a lot of surprising things about the moon, its characteristics and the astronauts who have seen it all!  Unique to Magnificent Moon (in my DNG experience anyway) is an art component where we learned about specific paintings done by an astronaut who has walked on the moon.  My kids enjoyed the stories behind the paintings that Amanda Bennett provided for us... I think they'll actually remember the art because they know why it was painted.

by Jacob, 8 years

Here's what else you'll experience when you use Magnificent Moon with your children:
Day 1: What Exactly Is a Moon?
Day 2: Getting to Know the Moon
Day 3: The Story of the Moon
Day 4: Science Secrets of the Moon
Day 5: Cool Things About the Moon

Page Spread

Lot's of links to share this time:
Click here to enter a contest to win these moon maps!

See how other families are using Magnificent moon by clicking on any of the thumbnail images below:

January 19, 2011

Such a Perfect Representation

Mattie had the neighbor boy over the other day and they both love doing art projects, so I pulled one out for their snowy playdate.  These are all incomplete for various reasons, but I couldn't resist showing you what happened.

I made this example as I was giving them some general directions:

Here is MacGregor's painting:

Here is Mattie's painting:

This is just a perfect example of life with Mattie.
She does not do anything as suggested.
As long as she thinks it's pretty, it makes no difference what anyone else thinks.
And she is very much like a walking tornado, much like her snowman.

I'm just sayin'.

If you'd like to complete this craft, you just paint the snowmen using marshmallows and the snowflakes using q-tips.  Then, the step I don't have in the pictures because MacGregor took his home still wet and Mattie (no surprise) didn't want to do it, you "dress" your snowman using markers or paints.

January 17, 2011

Bible in 90 ~ Week 2 ~ So You Would Know

This is a "hard" week of reading.  It's not full of uplifting stories or entertaining ones, for that matter.  But it's full of God, and that makes it enough.

This week was Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.  I have to say, reading them all in quick succession like this is much more enjoyable than being bogged down in them for a whole month or more.  And I was able to see things in the big picture rather than in just some isolated chapters (which has made them disconnected for me in the past).  God did a lot of hard things in these chapters.  He chose to harden hearts.  He chose to give consequences as a result of disobedience... and stuck to His guns.  He led them into hardship on purpose.  And He gave them a long list of commands to follow.  

And as I was pondering it all I read this:
Indeed, ask about the earlier days that preceded you, from the day God created man on the earth and from one end of the heavens to the other: Has anything like this great event ever happened, or has anything like it been heard of? Has a people ever heard God's voice speaking from the fire as you have, and lived? Or has a god ever attempted to go and take a nation as his own out of another nation, by trials, signs, wonders, and war, by a strong hand and an outstretched arm, by great terrors, as the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? You were shown these things so that you would know that the LORD is God; there is no other besides Him. He let you hear His voice from heaven to instruct you. He showed you His great fire on earth, and you heard His words from the fire. Because He loved your fathers, He chose their descendants after them and brought you out of Egypt by His presence and great power, to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you in and give you their land as an inheritance, as is now taking place. Today, recognize and keep in mind that the LORD is God in heaven above and on earth below; there is no other. Keep His statutes and commands, which I am giving you today, so that you and your children after you may prosper and so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you for all time."  Deuteronomy 4:32-40, HCSB

And then I saw grace in Deuteronomy 9:6. 
"You are not going to take possession of their land because of your righteousness or your integrity. Instead, the LORD your God will drive out these nations before you because of their wickedness, in order to keep the promise He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."  

God has a heart for us to be near to Him and living in obedience to Him.  In these chapters He does promise severe consequences for not following His commands, and I had this thought (though I don't know if it holds any theological water) and wonder if I've been off base for the 30 years I've been learning about the Old Testament.  I'd love know what you think.  The "commands" all throughout Leviticus and Deuteronomy and Numbers were laws, but they were also sacrifices.  The sacrifices were because He knew His people were going to sin and if I remember right He always promises a way back to Him through those sacrifices.  So maybe it wasn't really 100% compliance with the laws that He was looking for (because He knew better), but a right heart ready to sacrifice what they could to bring glory to His name after they sinned.  The laws displayed their lack of perfection quite well, but the sacrifice was always an opportunity to give Him what was rightfully His... their acknowledgement that He. was. God.  So in the long run, it's Grace that He displayed... the undeserved opportunity to run back to Him.

And I loved the way God showed obvious affection for Moses here when Miriam and Aaron were grumbling in jealousy about Moses being more respected than they were.  

"Suddenly the LORD said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, "You three come out to the tent of meeting." So the three of them went out. Then the LORD descended in a pillar of cloud, stood at the entrance to the tent, and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them came forward,  He said: "Listen to what I say: If there is a prophet among you from the LORD, I make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. Not so with My servant Moses; he is faithful in all My household.  I speak with him directly, openly, and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD
So why were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?" 9 The LORD's anger burned against them, and He left."    Numbers 12:1-9

That just makes me smile.  :)  God loved His boy, Moses.

You know...

You know you live in a food allergy house when this is all open in your frig at the same time.

Robert's, Jacob's, Lissa's, Mattie's

January 15, 2011

We Made Snowflakes!

As a part of our Snowflake Bentley, Winter Wonders DNG, and The Snowy Day units where we learned about crystals, we made Borax crystal snowflakes.  This was a great activity that gave us great results!

We poured boiling water (that had cooled for about 10 minutes) in these glasses and added Borax by the tablespoonful until the water was saturated.  We added 1 drop of blue food coloring just to make them pretty.  Then we took pipe cleaners that we had fashioned into the shape of snowflakes and hung them on pencils so we could easily get them out.  Within hours we had some crystals and within 24 hours ours were complete!

This snowflake is on the snow in our front yard.

January 14, 2011

Kid Funnies (and a not so Funny)

We'll go for the not so funny first:
Mattie gave us a good opportunity to be thankful for God's protection on Wednesday.  I heard a big pop, buzz, and a breaker trip while we were heading out the door to go to piano lessons.  Went up to see what had happened and saw two of her "play" (but very real) house keys in the electrical outlet by her bed.  When she saw me she was quiet, but quickly fell apart with big tears wailing, "I'm so sorry, Mommy!!  I'm so sorry!"

The more I looked I noticed she actually melted 1/4" off one of the keys! There was black all over her hand and the keys and rings had burn spots on them in 4 or 5 places... not to mention the black all over the outlet and the wall surrounding it.  The praise??  She actually (for once!) had shoes with rubber soles on that kept her safe.  I'm not much of a worrier, but it's not fun to think about how badly she could have been hurt.  The keys had rings on them, so they touched each other forming a complete circuit. 

I actually wasn't convinced enough that she would remember it. (Mattie is my repeat offender child for sure!) But when she saw the two feet of sparks when Robert tried to turn the breaker back on, I think that sealed the deal for her.  I sure hope it did anyway!
Now for the funnies:
Robert gave Jacob a kiss one night while tucking him in.  Jacob said, "Quit, Dad!  Stop acting gay."

The next night ~ 
Jacob:  Now don't you start acting gay again.... Dad, what is gay anyway?
Robert:  Well you know.  You said it.
Jacob:  I know, but I just can't understand it.  
Robert:  I know.  Some people think it's okay.  They don't think it's sin or that God doesn't want us to act that way.
Jacob:  Don't they know that it will never work?
Robert (nervously):  What do you mean?
Jacob:  Well, if two men get married, there's not going to be anyone there to do the housework, like cooking and cleaning.  That'll never work.  Don't they get that?  Now if two women got married, it would be okay because they know how to do that stuff.

Clearly it's time for Robert to start doing some cooking and cleaning around here!!!

The kids were going round and round with tongue twisters for several days at breakfast and lunch time.  One day, after many (very) unsuccessful attempts at Peter Piper picking a peck of pickled peppers... I heard Mattie say, "Here.  Let's do this one!  If Peter Piper picked a tomato..."

January 11, 2011

Word of the Year

Many people in my online circle of friends have gone to a "Word of the Year" sort of thinking as opposed to a New Year's resolution.  The first year I saw it was in 2009.  Honestly, I've prayed about it for two years now and have never felt the Lord give me a word.  I didn't want to just pick one just to have one like everyone else, because it wouldn't last anyway.  So because I didn't sense His leading, I just decided it was not for me at that time.  The funny thing is that there have been two years that I could easily define by one word, but that was after the fact.  One year would have been "gracious" and one would have been "Healer."  I remember specifically many lessons where the Lord revealed these words to me throughout the year, changing me or helping me change my perspective on a given issue.

This year I feel like He's given me a word:

~ Grace  ~

I feel like He's leading me to delve into the word... the meaning of it, the application of it, the etymology of it, the weight of it, the finality of it, the gift of it, the Giver of it...

God has whet my appetite using a church service at my sister's church the day after Christmas.  The songs and the sermon have been replaying in my head ever since.  I'm rounding up the pieces so I can revisit them and study each piece.  Right now I feel like I have all of these disconnected molecules that need to be locked together into the right molecular formula, and that the bond will be made as He reveals to me the understanding He wants me to have.

So this is the year of Grace.  I can't wait to see what He has for me!

January 09, 2011

Bible in 90 ~ Week 1 ~ Birthstones?

MomsToolboxTo say I have enjoyed this week of reading would be quite an understatement.  I have enjoyed reading Genesis and Exodus as a story, with continuity, as I would a novel I couldn't put down.  More than once I wanted to keep reading, and I did when I had the time.  One day I had a really hard time focusing, but it was the one time the kids were awake and in the room for all of it.  (Won't do that again!)  But every day I enjoyed it and the Lord has given fruit in the time I've given Him.

All of Genesis and Exodus ~ It's always a good reminder that the heroes of the faith were really as screwed up as I am!  They made as many mistakes as I do and God still used them to lead tribes of people, be High Priests and actually let Moses be in His presence!  So I suppose that means I really can't make so many mistakes that He'll stop using me.

Exodus 18:13-27 ~ Moses was exhausted after trying to adjudicate all of the Israelite's troubles.  He had a visit with his father-in-law, Jethro, who was living somewhere else.  Jethro immediately had a wise suggestion for Moses (implement a team and delegate!) that gave Moses some immediate relief.  How often do I stay involved in some situation where I'm just spinning my wheels when there really is a better way?  And do I have relationships with wise people who will point out my unfruitful behaviors in love and share their wise thoughts with me?  The Lord has given me several people like this in my life that I'm so thankful for!  I love intergenerational small groups for this exact reason. 

Exodus 20: 25 ~ If they were going to build an altar, God wanted it only built out of uncut stones.  He said if they cut them they would be defiled.  I wonder if God knew they'd spend time carving and then waste pride on their work?  And would they begin to worship the altar itself as opposed to the Person to whom the altar was built to acknowledge?  Either way, it was a reminder that God wants me just with what I've got in my natural state.  I don't have to pretty myself up to come to him.  He'll take me with all the bumps, holes, imperfections and jagged edges I've got.  He's the one who can smooth them all out and heal them anyway.  And praise Him for that!!

Exodus 29-30 ~ I couldn't help but notice all of the responsibilties that came along with Aaron's assignment as High Priest, and that Aaron (from what I could see) didn't really ask to be assigned to that ministry.  It was a large load to bear, failure had tremendous ramifications that affected a lot of people, yet God didn't really ask him if he wanted the position!  I think God does that with us.  He gives us ministries, positions, loads to bear that can negatively affect a lot of people if we bear them poorly or lead them all toward Him if we carry it out right.  Our challenges and troubles in life determine many of the ministries we have, whether or not we want them.  He gives us stories to steward and we have a choice as to how we do that.  We can do it poorly while complaining in bitterness, grumbling loudly and consistently (most definitely prolonging our misery and that of the people around us) and grieving Him in the process.  Or we can do it well, trusting Him and His understanding of the big picture, clinging to Him in our darkest hour, taking our thoughts captive and begging Him to help us in those times of unbelief, and therefore blessing our Maker by bringing glory to Him.  I want to steward my stories in the latter manner.  Oh may it be so!

Exodus 39:10-13 ~ On a trivial note, I noticed the twelve gemstones places in Aaron's breastplate and wondered if they were the origins of birthstones.  Though they've changed through the years to stones more available, that is where birthstones are said to have originated.  The twelve stones were meant to represent the twelve tribes of Israel of course, but also corresponded with the twelve months of the year.  Who knew?  :)

So this week it's Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.  I know from my reading in the past these are challenging (read: boring) books to stick with.  I'm praying the Lord reveals something to me besides a list of things I'm thankful I don't have to do anymore to stay in His good graces.  :)  Be praying for me and all of use reading.  I'm reading with over 1000 people who signed up on Mom's Toolbox, and 4 others I'm encouraging along the way.

Review: Winter Wonders!


DNGs are digital units complete with everything you need for a week of school for your K-4th grader.  They include links to videos, vocabulary words and their definitions, printable worksheets and lapbook components, suggestions for books to enjoy and so much more!  Click here to check out all that's available. 

Winter Wonders

We have been blessed with snow this winter!  Where we live, we typically have some dustings, but not often more than once or twice for the kids to get outside and play.  This year we've had 4 or 5 enough-to-play-in-snows already!  The best part is that some has come right while we were enjoying Winter Wonders, a DownloadNGo unit study.

This week we've made snowflake crystals (photo above), snowflake cookies, learned the history of hot chocolate, looked specifically for an individual snowflake and its shape, and learned about specific characteristics of winter.  And that's just some of it!

Winter Wonders had enough information that we could choose what fit best for us each day.  Some content is perfect for Mattie and some is perfect for Jacob. 
Here's what you'll learn when you jump in to Winter Wonders:


Day 1: What is Winter?
Day 2: Science Secrets of Winter
Day 3: People and Places of Winter
Day 4: Time for Tips and Treasures of Winter
Day 5: Goodies and Gadgets of Winter 

Click right over here to purchase so you're ready to get started!  And then click on the thumbnails below to check out how other homeschool home schooling families are using Winter Wonders. 

I received this product for at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

January 06, 2011

The Individual Snowflake.

The kids and I are learning about winter this week using the DNG Winter Wonders (more to come in a couple of days!).  We were planning on reading about this stuff in books, but God delivered a beautiful snowfall for us last night! 

A thick, heavy, wet snow... perfect for photos and snowmen.  :)

So for the first time in my life I sought to find an individual snowflake among the white blanket.  I knew they were there all clumped together, but it was so neat to find flakes displaying their distinct shapes!  A Moment of Joy for sure!

I was like a kid in a candy store outside in my jammies, slippers and really bad bedhead trying to take some pictures before it all started melting.  Then I carefully scooped some snow up with a spatula and put it in the freezer so we could look at the later for our science lesson.  I was supposed to pull together a physics lesson, but I had this great snowflake book and this lesson was way cooler!  Then because I also had to do an introduction to PowerPoint lesson, we made a PowerPoint together to review what we learned about snowflakes today.

~ ~ ~

I want to slow down and teach my children to appreciate the beauty and delicacy of an individual snowflake

and the grandeur of His entire creation.

And I believe they will, one little nature lesson at a time.

January 05, 2011

Moments of Joy 17

Has it really been since May that I posted a list?  I formulate these lists in my head often, but I apparently don't get here often enough to share them.

There have been many, many calmer moments around here lately and I'm very thankful for them!  The implementation of a very structured behavior/chore/consequence/privilege system has encouraged the kids to change some things up... some things that desperately needed changing up!  Everyone is happier, Mama is happier!!!, we have more time to enjoy each other since we're not struggling over power and control all. day. long, school is getting done in half the time, and chores are done more consistently and diligently.  But mostly, I think we realized we actually like each other!

Some of my favorite moments of late:

~ enjoying advent with the kids... we chose to keep it slow and I'm really thankful we did
~ listening to Jacob sight read a song on the piano and be really proud of himself at how well it went
~ watching my kids enjoy their Christmas presents (and not being let down when the last present was over!)
~ spending time with my growing up family over Christmas.  I'm so thankful for the foundation, security and identity God gave me in them.

~ going in to Target to get snuggly jammie pants after Christmas (I chose to walk away ;) before Christmas because I really didn't need them). There was one pair in the store.  It just "happened" to fit perfectly, be a print I love and be $6.  God didn't have to do that for me.
~ wondering why Mattie's closet was so void of non-play dresses, remembering that I loaned them to someone thinking I'd have them back in time for her to need them, then getting handed down a bag of dresses that are perfect (and a lot nicer than what we had to begin with!)
~ Mattie coming to me to ask if we could pray for the man going in the ambulance on the stretcher.  "I already prayed for him, but can we pray for him again? He needs God to heal him."
~ hearing all my kids are really learning and internalizing from their Sunday School teachers

~ getting my love tank filled up by my man in ways I was hoping and praying for
~ listening to Jacob and Robert play a piano/guitar duet and Jacob planning another practice session for tomorrow
~ reading Mattie's first chapter book (a Christmas present) with her and her begging to read more
~ dancing and doing wii fit games with the kids to get us all moving... hilarity is more appropriate than joy, I think!

January 04, 2011

A quick update on the Katie situation

Okay, I do realize that most of us live in reality, though my four year old quite often does not!  And since I let you all in on our emotional (imaginary) death a few weeks ago (and since several of you blessed friends have asked), I thought I'd let you know all is well!  Apparently the beast had eaten Katie, so when Prince Daddy (aka Robert) arrived and killed the beast, they found Katie in his stomach alive and well!  She joined us for a play date just this morning.

Day 1!

Today was my first day on the Bible in 90 days program with the Mom's Toolbox crowd!  I've really been looking forward to it for a few weeks now, so I was glad to get reading today.  I read Genesis 1-16 in one sitting, and really enjoyed it.  I noticed that as I was reading, since I was reading for reading's sake, I wasn't distracted by the hope of something profound. 

I don' t know if you ever do this, but I tend to read and wonder what the Lord has for me.  If I'm not on a reading plan, I'm kind of lost and wonder if I've "landed" in a divine spot.  (I know that's ridiculous, but I'm just being real here!)  But today as I read, I just enjoyed reading what was there.  It made me think I probably have this whole thing all backwards.  Rather than reading for my benefit, I should probably read as an act of worship and wait on Him to reveal what He may (or may not) have to highlight on any given day.  It was just an interesting paradigm shift for me, one that I hope sticks.

I had to get up and grab a notebook, because I quickly started having a list of things I wanted to check out later or just remember.  I'm reading in the Holman Christian Standard Version (the new Bible I got a few months ago) so it's all "new" to me.

I was surprised at how much stood out to me, as these chapters were not new to me... at all. 

It's still amazing to me that God said and there was.  That's it.  The entire UNIVERSE  was created at His spoken word!!

In Genesis 7:7 I noticed that Noah was on the ark for 7... seven! days before it rained.  In the stories we hear they always make it sound like it started sprinkling as he's loading up the animals, you know?  I just think to say my faith would be wavering on day 6 1/2 would be the understatement of the year.  I don't always have the guts to obey for 2 hours without proof, much less seven days with my entire town mocking me!

The one other thought I had (and I haven't had time to look into it at all) is that Noah's grandson, Canaan, basically is chosen to be "cursed" with slavery (Gen 9:25) because his father, Ham, blows it and mocks Noah when Noah gets drunk (by accident?) at the planting of the first vineyard.  I just thought it was interesting that from this one sin of disrespect committed by Ham, his son is chosen to bear the punishment and in turn ends up fathering the nations that (I think, but haven't checked my history) will basically all be conquered as God leads His people into the promised land years later.

I will certainly not have random thoughts to post every day, or the time to do it, but I wanted to share about it now that I got started.  I had one person tell me yesterday she's decided to read with me after I wrote about it here, so if you're reading too, let me know so we can pray for each other!!