Tuesday, December 14, 2010

You Just Can't Be Replaced!

  I am sitting here right now, just crying, missing all my wonderful, close, loving family members and friends, the same ones I always squawk about:).  I know, God has called us here, He will take me through.  Somehow, right this moment, it isn't really making things easier.  I think it started this morning when I skyped with my bestie...it just caused reality to set in once again.  Sometimes I just put it out of my mind, the things we are missing, other times I try to stay focused on what God is doing in the big picture and how blessed we are.  Either way, it's just more difficult at certain times than others.  Knowing that my family is going to all be together in a few days and all of the warm fuzzies that Christmas time brings to the heart, just causes my heart sadness.  There are friends here, and I have my favorite family with me(my immediate)--thank the Lord...so, I will get off of here and go muster up some potpourri, put on some carols, and choose to make the most of this season.  The outreach is Saturday and then we need to finish up the rest of our shopping.  Thank you my wonderful online journal for being my ear right now :).  And, to anyone else reading...just give those closest to you extra love this season...believe me, if they weren't around, you would realize what you have.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Jolly Jumpbuck in the Tuckerbag!

  I hope you are all having a snuggly, Christmas'y', toasty week.  This is such a wonderful season.  Celebrating Jesus is the best time of year, no doubt!  Yes, it does get busy, but I think planning, is the best way to enjoy the season.  I am writing from halfway around the world, so I don't have as much going on in a culture that doesn't get really down with celebrating, but it is still busy.  
  Please be in prayer about two things.  One, we are having a Christmas party here at our home on the 18th.  We are focusing on the people in our community of Joho that we have had short or long-term relationships with over the past 3-4 years.  Pastor Yawd and his family are going to work with us on this.  We are going to have a simple meal, play a game, share Jesus, and send everyone home with  a gift.  Then, on the morning of Christmas Eve, John has been invited to share the Christmas Story with the students/staff of Ratchasima II. That means anywhere from 2,000-3,000 people (more or less?).  We are very excited about both of these open doors in the community.  If you would please join in prayer with us concerning these events we would greatly appreciate it.  God is ALIVE, working on the hearts of the people everywhere!  Pray that the hearts of the Thai people will be soft, that their ears will be able to understand, and that they will have understanding.  We are expecting great things!! 
  Well, our tree is far from perfect, it is actually quite annoying, but that's not what the season is all about anyway.  I do enjoy that part of it though, and I have had to get really creative with it. There are 11 plugs into our one strip outlet, the lights all do something different.  If I could only get them still :).  Nonetheless, we are thankful and happy.  At least I can get white lights!  I decorated this year with spices and dried fruits.  It is so beautiful to me!  Wish you could see it.  The garland above the kitchen sink is my favorite, by far.  I used some kind of cool-looking twine and strung it with dried bael fruit (the juice around here is one of my faves), sat oranges on it and added some cinnamon down the sides...HA-here's a pic:

So far, we have enjoyed 'Elf' and 'Holiday Inn' during the Christmas time movie nights.  It's been fun.  If you haven't seen Holiday Inn, it's an oldie, and definitely one of our favorites.  There ya go...a little peek of life from around here lately!  

Love you all and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Egyptian Pyramid Replicas

We are trying to do one fun, crafty project per term that goes along with any topic that we have studied.  The children chose Egypt and the pyramids.  I found this on a blog somewhere called affectioknit, I think?  Anyway, tweak it to meet your needs. This is how our project turned out.

Step 1:
  We just did a little math, to make sure everything was going to be even and then traced, cut, and folded.

Step 2: Next we folded the cardboard and used masking tape to connect all sides.

Step 3:

 Using yarn, we glued it around the pyramids. (I let my toddler 'paint' the glue all over the pyramids--that was FUN for him). When the project is finished the yarn helps it look like 'bricks'.

Step 4: Paper Mache...let it dry for a couple of days or longer, unless you live in Thailand, then it will be finished in approx. 24 hours or less :)
**While doing paper mache, be sure to leave two of the sides uncovered where you can easily cut the yarn in order to OPEN your pyramid. 
Step 5:  We painted them brown, let it dry,  painted glue on again, then poured sand all over them.  I think you could probably skip the 'paint them brown' part.

Step 6:  Find a sturdy piece of cardboard to use as your base.  The one I chose was very thin and the pyramids ended up to heavy, especially once you add the tomb on the inside. If you mix a glue with blue food coloring, when the river dries it is shiny and 'fun' looking. We made a couple of boats out of grass to float in the river. 
(Please excuse my sweet potatoes ;)

Step 7: We made salt dough, cut them into triangles to fit inside the pyramids.  They then constructed a burial chamber, the air shafts, the treasure compartment.  You can get as detailed as you want, even down to labeling everything.  We chose NOT to label, mainly because we had already spent 3 weeks working on the project and it was Thanksgiving week, time to bake!

This is the inside of M's pyramid.  I forgot to mention that we looked up their names in hieroglyphics and added that to the inside.  This was by far their favorite part of the project.  Getting to paint everything, wrap the 'body' and just finishing it. 

It was a fun project, a little messy.  I recommend doing it all outside and be sure to have a sturdy base.  Oh, yea, we added capstones as well.  We rigged a pulley system with twine and brass brads in order to open and close the pyramid.  Just play with it and figure out what works best for you. 

Happy Building!

Leave your comments and thoughts please.  They encourage me!