Wednesday, February 20, 2013

G2 Babysitting for the First Time

I have never babysat before, so didn't know what exactly to do.  I've been studying a website about babysitting, but haven't completed it yet.  My mom was there while my charge was in the house with us on Valentine's Day from 3-6pm so her parents could go on a date (isn't that sweet...).  Mom had three of us, so she knew what to do.   I knew that this 15 month old liked to read, so Mom helped me find some board books that my brothers and I used for me to read to her.  She also liked playing with the puzzles we used. 

I also knew that this baby liked to move, so I kept her moving.  She doesn't walk or crawl, but scoots upright on her backside.  Mom helped me carry her upstairs so I could practice the trumpet quietly and she didn't get upset at the loud sound at all.  During the last few minutes she was here, I could tell that she was really tired so I bounced her on my knee.  I also picked her up carefully and carried her on "tours," which means walking around the house.  I was really tired after my first babysitting job.

I'm looking forward to this summer when I get to take the class for babysitting that my local library offers for kids my age.  Mom says that my brothers have to take it too in order for each of us to be certified.  I hope they don't make me change a diaper, but I know that's part of the job someday.  For a reward, the baby's parents gave me a bag of goodies.  Yummy!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Elemental Science for Logic Stage Earth Science and Astronomy

We've completed the first four units of Elemental Science Logic Stage Earth Science and Astronomy.  The kids enjoyed a week of rock study with a hardness scale kits from my favorite science store out west.  And, I've decided to have these three read a chapter from the typical classroom text on evolution perspectives of the beginning of our Universe this coming week.  We'll discuss the Geologic Time Scale and names/dates/events attributed to each period.  As a former junior high earth science teacher, I'd feel awful not having discussed what other kids (CLASSROOM) think is normal material.  In this, I hope to inform about how I was raised to believe and what I've come to understand is perfectly acceptable about what the Bible tells us of the Beginning of His Universe.
Then it's off to climate and meteorology for the end of this school year. Such fun as I recall my graduate program in climatology at university such a long time ago.  Glad to not be tromping around in wetlands amongst phragmites, typha and rush grass, but to appreciate how useful they are in this suburban setting and getting that point across to my three students.

The Merchant and the Monk - A Book Review


The Legend of the Monk and the MerchantTwelve Keys to Successful Living

By Terry Felber (Published by Thomas Nelson)

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book (in e-book format) from the publisher with the expectation that I would provide an honest review of the book.
I am usually a little skeptical about parable-type books, where the author tells a simple story to illustrate bigger ideas since I often find them to be too simple and obvious.  The legend of the Monk and the Merchant was very different and was a very pleasant surprise.  The story itself is good, but the study and discussion guide is the real gem in this book. 
In The Legend of the Monk and the Merchant, Terry Felber tells the story of a wealthy merchant in Venice telling his grandson about the keys to his business success.  The merchant had collected his experiences and insights in a journal over the years with his mentor and uses it to encourage his grandson who is deciding what he wants to do with his life.  Along the course of the story, they discuss God’s view of money, wealth and work, principles of success in business and life, and man’s obligation God and his fellow man.
Also, and this may be because we (my Wife and I) have young adolescents at home who—before we know it—will be making their own decisions about careers, we were really impressed with the challenging questions in the discussion guide about choosing their vocations based on God's call.
Students of Christian approaches to finances and stewardship (including Dave Ramsey, whose foreword presents a very persuasive endorsement of the book also) may find at last some of the principles familiar.  However, the way in which they are presented and the practical reflections of them in the story are very real and compelling.
Felber goes beyond just another book on Christian business principles by examining the artificial distinction between clergy and laity.  Without harping on it, he effectively makes the point that all work is sanctioned by God and that the merchant is no less ‘godly’ than the Monk.  He uses the setting, in Renaissance Venice to underscore the observable differences in the two callings at the time and thus make his point that fundamentally they are not really different at all if one truly understands God’s call to work. 
The story that Felber uses to make these points moves quickly and is deceptively simple.  A good reader could easily read it in a single sitting.  The Study guide is where this book transforms from potentially run-of-the-mill to outstanding. 
The study guide contains twelve sessions that delve deep into the ideas and concepts with challenging, soul-searching questions.  This isn’t a simple personal or small-group study that you can just answer with shallow quick off-the-cuff answers.  Felber asks the Hard Questions that really make you think and examine what you think, what you believe and how you act.  This book can be greatly valuable to people who are looking to learn about a Christian perspective on finances, but it also has a lot to say about those considering their careers—either where to start them, or thinking about a work change.  As my Wife and I observed, it is also an excellent book for young teens to read and then review with their parents as they start looking at possible careers and what it means to be an adult.
We highly recommend this book and encourage  readers to invest the time to go through the questions and let themselves be challenged—and potentially inspired—by wrestling with the questions it asks.

She Can Still Hear Herself (Band Happy)

Mid-year success in band attitudes (See right side picture of G2). Thankful that the broken clarinet was successfully take apart and mended by G3. That boy will never cease to surprise me.  G1 still thinks that percussion is the best place to be. Maybe he hopes to take over from Phil C someday...