Monday, March 16

An Easter Garden

We've made Easter gardens out of collected items before, but I don't think we've ever grown anything.  This year, inspired by some of the lovely gardens on pinterest,  I bought some lavander (it smells so lovely) and another inexpensive house plant, grass spot repair (it grows fast and comes in a small bag), potting mix, a small pot and a large plant saucer.   Rowan and Isaac were happy to help me and then used the leftover grass seed to fill spots around the yard (a bonus!)

Five days later grass is already sprouting.  We are keeping it indoors by a window and I'm using a spray bottle to water it so the seed doesn't wash away.  It should be very green by Easter.

Thursday, February 19


We had a very quiet Ash Wednesday.  It was a snow day.  I think this will be a week made of one school day (assuming tomorrow isn't called off too).  And, we have yet another bug going through our family; it has been a terrible year for staying well around here.

The one thing we did manage to do to mark the time was to play with finger paints in red, blue and purple.  The simple act of finger painting a cross is perfect for preschoolers and they loved mixing the colors to get various shades of purple.  I loved talking to them about this time of waiting and beginning our journey through Lent together in this simple way.

We are reading through All About Jesus:The Life and Teachings of Jesus in the Bible's Own Words
during Lent.  I've done various reading plans of Mark in the past, but love that this book is illustrated and goes through Christ's life (beginning at Creation - that was a fun discussion last night!)  And there is something very simple about grabbing a book to read each night, which is very much where we are right now!

Godly Play (at church!)

Forgot to post this last week... 
It has been over a year and a half since I've led Godly Play.  I can't believe it has been that long!  When we moved to Richmond we looked for a church with Godly Play in place, but that wasn't meant to be.  We love St. Matthews and I'm very excited to begin tomorrow as the storyteller  in our new little godly play room.  A few godly play supplies have arrived and more are on order.  I have an amazing team of volunteers who are willing and eager to learn about the method so we can serve our preschoolers.  After teaching in the church office and then chior robbing room in St. Andrews I'm really excited to have our own space.  I'll be sure to share some pictures along the way!

 I am at moments so very excited by the possibilities that stand before us as Godly Play takes shape and at other moments this mama of four little ones feels a little overwhelmed by all that should could be done.  But really, I'm mostly excited.  It has been so good to reread Jerome Berryman's books and to present the ideas behind Godly Play to parents and volunteers.  When I began in St. Andrews I knew some theory behind Godly Play, but had so many unanswered questions.  When I look back at some of my early posts on Godly Play in this space I grin; they are very much process pieces.  I was figuring this all out as I wrote.  I still wouldn't call myself an expert by any stretch, but I've actually been trained now and have taught the majority of the lessons in volumes two through seven.  I understand the why of Godly Play on a much deeper level and it is fun place to be as I begin again.

I'm also excited about doing Godly Play regularly (every other week until we have more storytellers trained) because it will come into this space and I'm really excited to be writing about Godly Play and why I love this method.  I've been so influenced by Jamie Smith's work in Desiring the Kingdom and Imagining the Kingdom and rereading Berryman and thinking about Godly Play in light of better defined ideas about Christian Ed as a whole has given me a host of things I really want to share in this space.

Monday, February 9

Creating a Lenten Space

I have a post on creating a Lenten space today on the blog Building Faith.  Find it here.

Saturday, February 7

For Valentines

I'm hoping some valentines will be made this afternoon.  We've had the flu (x6) and while we are all now well, we are all tired.  This might be just the activity for a quiet afternoon.

If you are thinking towards Valentines Day here are a couple links from past Valentines Days:

Wednesday, February 4


O God, who by the leading of a star didst manifest thy only-begotten Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know thee now by faith, to they presence, where we may behold thy glory face to face; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen
- Book of Common Prayer: Collects (162)

Crafting Notes: The boys did a wash of orange and yellow liquid watercolor on heavy watercolor paper.  We sprinkled salt on the color before the paint dried to get texture (and it adds an element of magic I think).  I cut out the stars free hand (but I'm sure you could find a template online if you want more symmetry.)  The branch, one of many collected on our daily walks, is suspended from the blind frame with heavy duty quilting thread.  I hot glued the stars to the thread and tied the thread around the branch.  

A sweet reminder of Epiphany and a prayer that Christ will be made manifest to us!

Friday, January 23

Trial and Triumph

I want to share a book that we've been enjoying ever so much as a family!  I was at a coffee shop a couple weeks ago to work on a talk on Children's Spirituality that I shared at church last night, but before I began, I browsed a couple favorite blogs.  I came across a review of Trial and Triumph: Stories from Church History on Aslan's Library (which I highly recommend as a place to look for good kid theology books).  Before I was done with the review I had spent my Christmas Amazon gift card and the book arrived two days later.  I was thinking maybe we'd read it in the season of Pentecost... but well, the boys saw it and they were eager and I was eager (and there was a chapter on Athanasius), so we are already half way through and they keep begging for more!

Each chapter highlights the life of one historical figure.  Hannula does a wonderful job of telling the story of each person, gives a sense of a larger historical narrative and highlights significant theological ideas of the time.  He doesn't overly simplify the men and women in his stories, showing both the good and the bad of their lives.  Best of all, there are lots of the historical figures' own words worked into the narrative, we aren't just hearing about Augustine, Ambrose and Athanasius; we are also hearing from them.  Jim and I are enjoying the writing and I would highly recommend this book for family or classroom reading.  Rowan thought the story of how Ambrose became bishop was hilarious and has recounted it for me a couple times a day this past week.  And what mama doesn't want to hear her preschooler recounting church history!

I recommend reading a fuller review over at Aslan's library and you can find the book here.  Enjoy!

Note: And because I know someone will ask, the icons are from this site.  Athanasius (right) was a gift for Athan and Augustine (left) was Jim's Christmas gift.  I thought it was fitting as Jim has taught The Confessions four times in various contexts over the past two years.  I'm dreaming of a whole collection of icons on this wall above our collection of historical church writings.