Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Box House

While we were in Texas, Poppy made Eliana a box house. It was wonderful. It was made from a long, narrow box, like a giant hallway. It had a door, several windows, and an A-line roof. Mommom and Poppy even put  doorknobs on the inside and outside of the door. Eliana loved it. She thought it was perfect.

Then, Poppy got an idea. While Ellie was playing in her box house, Poppy built another box house just like it, minus the door. Then, when Ellie was outside of her box house, Poppy began cutting a door in the the other side of it, so he could match the two houses together and make an even bigger play area for her. She watched him cut into her box house with horror in her eyes and cried, "Poppy! Please don't cut my box house! You're ruining it!!"

Poppy's answer was simple, "Eliana, you're just going to have to trust me that I am making it even better."

Isn't that what we do to God? We cling to the life we have, no matter how small, how battered it may be, and we cry out to God, sobbing in the darkness for Him to stop cutting it, because couldn't He see that He is runing it? In His infinite wisdom He tells us to trust Him, that He is making it better. He is preparing a palace for us, one beyond any of our wildest dreams, and we are clinging to a cardboard house as if it were a treasure.

Poppy did attach the second room to Ellie's cardboard house, and she did like it, even better than at first. But those moments between her trust and sight were painful for her, just as they are for us. We may not see the greater plan while we are here on earth, but we can trust in the knowledge that He IS making us better, if not for now then for eternity.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

C is for Children... and more...

Looks like I've gotten a little lax about posting Ellie's verses over the past few weeks. Really, the last couple weeks I've even gotten lax about doing them! We go over the ones she's learned so far, but haven't introduced any new ones lately. Summer makes me lazy. =D (Okay, so really I'm pretty lazy in general, and I just like to use Summer as an excuse...) So here's where we are so far:

C is for Children:
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right." Ephesians 6:1 (She goes around saying this one a lot!)

D is for Draw:
"Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you." James 4:8 (She can say this one, but I'm pretty sure she doesn't quite know what it means. When she messes up she tends to say it, "Draw near to God and he will draw your neighbors." I think she thinks that "near to God" is an object you can draw. So we're still working on that. =D)

E is for Even:
"Even a child is known by his deeds, by whether what he does is pure and right." Proverbs 20:11 (This is by far Ellie's favorite verse so far. She spouts it to random people and then asks if they know that verse, too. It's cute to see her enthusiasm.)

F is for For:
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23

And that's where we stopped. We will keep going with them. I really like them, and I think she does, too. I took the CD out of the car so we could copy the songs to mp3 (I will be taking an mp3 player to Texas with us), so we haven't had the regular reminder in the car to go over verses. We also haven't ripped the songs yet, so that's not helpful. Really we've been off schedule completely for a few weeks, since thing got so busy in June! It won't slow down until next week, though, when we head to Texas! So... it may be Fall before we move on to G, but I've heard her singing the song in her room so I know she already knows it. ;)

Book Review: America The Beautiful

Happy Fourth of July!!

As part of our 4th of July celebrations today, Ellie and I read "America The Beautiful" by Katharine Lee Bates (the original poet) and Susan Winget (illustrator).

It contains the original poem by Katharine Lee Bates, as well as a short bio about the author and the story behind the poem. The illustrations are very Americana, but done beautifully, providing some conversation topics to discuss along with the poem. I appreciate that the illustrations are not merely pictures of what the words are conveying, but representations of history. Covered wagons, ships, soldiers on horseback, farms, bald eagle, Abraham Lincoln, flags, George Washington... all of these open the way for further discussion, even with small children.

The poem is long, but the pages go by quickly and the illustrations held Eliana's attention. She did not appreciate me singing the words, though, after about the third page. Still, she was happy to listen to the whole book and ask questions about the pictures. It was an enjoyable read and one that I'm glad we have in our library. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

********************************* end of review ****************************

Next year I'm hoping we can read Robert Sabuda's version of the poem. I am loving his pop-ups and hope to add this one to our collection, too. Maybe it will go on sale after the holiday! ;) I got a couple Christmas ones just a few weeks ago at Borders for $5 each (!!) and can't wait to read those with Ellie this winter. How fun!