We tried a new recipe this week, and we enjoyed it! The combination of pasta with cauliflower and tomatoes was delicious. Plus, for those children who may not like veggies very much, if they happen to not see you cut up the cauliflower florets, they may not even realize that cauliflower is in this recipe!
I don't know if it was the addition of the Serrano peppers that gave this a unique flavor, or not, because the sauce wasn't spicy at all. We all like trying new recipes, and this was a favorite by everyone. Brittany laughed when she realized that each pepper we purchased (all two of them) cost only 2 cents each! If you would like a spicy zing to your sauce, you will probably want to use jalapenos or something hotter instead of Serrano peppers.
Paccheri (Pasta) with Cauliflower and Tomatoes
Cook cauliflower florets in large, 6 qt. pot full of boiling, salted water. Halfway through cooking (about 6 minutes), add the pasta to the pot of cauliflower. In the meantime, gently crush the clove of garlic and sauté with the chilli pepper in a saucepan with the extra virgin olive oil. Add the tomato purée to the saucepan, salt and pepper to taste, and cook for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, drain the pasta after cooking for the length of time specified on the pasta package. Mix cooked pasta and cauliflower with the tomato sauce and grated cheese. Serve immediately.
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Last night, I suddenly came upon the music of little 7-year-old Rhema Marvanne. (I think she's turned eight years old by the time of this writing.) A friend of ours posted a YouTube link to one of Rhema's videos, and I was enthralled, not only by this little girl's vocal talents and stage presence, but also her exuberant love for Jesus and her willingness to share the love of Christ with everyone.
If you are able to listen to some of her YouTube videos and take a look at her website (www.RhemaMarvanne.com), I think you will also be inspired by her beautiful voice and her love for life. All this from a little girl whose mother passed away two years ago when Rhema was six years old; her mom had ovarian cancer.
Welcome to the Christmas season, and I hope that Rhema's Christmas songs on YouTube and on her Christmas CD will inspire you to use your own talents for God's glory!
Phil Vischer, the creator of the VeggieTales phenomenon, has been busy developing some fun and catchy videos and tunes with the brand new, "What's in the Bible?" DVD series.
This new video series has one main purpose: introduce children to the Old Testament and tie all of the main stories together with biblical history and maps to make it more real to children.
I would describe the "What's In the Bible?" series as a combination of Vacation Bible School lessons and Sesame Street. The tunes are fun and catchy; the cartoons, animations, and puppetry are silly and entertaining.
While this method of teaching children about the Bible may not be my favorite, it is definitely popular with children. Children laugh, giggle, listen intently, and sing along when they are presented with material in this type of format.
My main concern is that presenting the Holy Scriptures in this format is possibly making the Bible less believable and "real." However, if the "What's In the Bible?" series is presented alongside a parent's guidance and in-depth Bible teaching over many years, then I don't think that viewing these DVDs will do any harm. The concern is when parents rely on DVDs and material like this and don't put their hearts into molding, guiding, and shaping their children's faith with anything more than "Sesame Street" formats of Christianity, which will be blasted almost immediately at almost all public and private and even some "Christian" colleges and universities once our children are 18 and older.
And specifically about the What's In the Bible? series, the content rushes by in each DVD that I've viewed so that it could be overwhelming to some children. Of course, with numerous viewings of the DVD, I know that children would begin to get the hang of what concepts are being taught.
Especially if moms and dads aren't used to doing family Bible and worship time together each evening, the "What's in the Bible?" DVD series can be used to jumpstart a family's faith-building program at home. A basic and general overview of the Old Testament is provided with these DVDs, and each one covers at least several books of the Old Testament. "What's In the Bible? Battle for the Promised Land" covers the books of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth.
Here is a small portion of what you will find in the "What's In the Bible?" DVD series:
See? Catchy, fun, goofy, and silly, yet with a biblical message. I think that most Christian families will enjoy the What's In the Bible DVD series, although I would recommend using this as a small percentage of your family worship/Bible times together. Have fun - but continue to guide and direct and teach as one of your primary focuses as a Christian parent!
What did my girls think of What's In the Bible? Battle for the Promised Land (vol. 4)?
Kelsi (age 12): These are fun DVDs to watch, and they are pretty goofy. I like them, but I also like watching more realistic and historical versions and reenactments of biblical history. There wasn't anything new on this DVD that we haven't learned together as a family.
Brittany (age 10): I love watching these, although there are a couple of things (a character, a song) that drive me batty because they are just weird! I'd like to watch the rest of the series for fun.
If you'd like to know more about the What's In the Bible? Battle for the Promised Land, you can learn more here at www.whatsinthebible.com and www.tyndale.com.
Ever judge someone just by looking at them?
Of course, we’ve all made snap judgments about people. But what if we really got to know them? How would our opinions change?
And what if we were forced to become them… how would the shoes fit then?
Stressed-out high school teacher Trish Fahey can’t understand her students’ lack of effort and why their parents don’t seem to care.
This is especially true of Justin Kremer, a popular, skateboard-loving, basketball star who is underperforming in her class. Trish has him suspended from the team and quickly chalks up the situation as a case of bad parenting.
This perspective dramatically changes when Trish meets Molly, a mysterious stranger intent on helping her see things differently. When Trish wrecks her car, Molly is there as Trish wakes to find herself living the life of Cindy Kremer, the woman she has personally judged and criticized. Trish discovers that there is often more to the story and learns a powerful lesson that affects everyone she interacts with. Her husband, her daughter, the ex-Marine next door… No one is left unchanged.
A Walk In My Shoes was filmed in Oregon, my home state, and some friends of mine were extras in the movie! Our family has also been to some of the settings in the movie, so that will be neat to see.
Our family has also enjoyed the two other P&G/WalMart-sponsored films that debuted in 2010:
It is quite refreshing to be able to find something on television that is family-friendly and appropriate for all or most ages. Other than movies like this, the girls and I rarely watch television shows other than the news.
Our family has been using The Mystery of History as a chronological, biblical history curriculum for five years now. We love the world history aspect provided in this curriculum, because when I was in school (K-12th grades), I only had a tiny bit of world history: ancient Egypt in 2nd grade for one month, and one month of boring textbookish ancient history in 6th grade. My extent of history K-12 was this:
1. Read the chapter.
2. Answer the questions at the end of the chapter.
3. Take the test.
You can probably guess that by the time I graduated from high school, I strongly disliked history. I would say the word "hated", although I have trained myself over the last 10 years to only use that word in seriously evil situations. "Hate" is a very strong word that really shouldn't be used to describe my feelings about an academic subject!
Because we are educating our children at home, I needed to select a history curriculum that I could use with the girls. Since my brain thinks chronologically, I chose a program that began with Adam and Eve and would end in modern times today, or at least through the 1980s or 1990s. My other requirements were that the history curriculum had to be in-depth; it could not be textbookish, if that is even a real word. In other words, instead of having 3 sentences about Abraham Lincoln, it would need to have an entire lesson or series of lessons on Abraham Lincoln and his role in history.
Obviously, this eliminates ALL public school history textbooks, because they specialize in covering 3 million events within 150 pages, and they barely touch on all of the people and historical events that really matter.
This also eliminated some homeschooling historical curricula that either was not chronological, or was not biblical (keeping in line with true biblical events that have been proven to have happened), or was boring and textbookish.
The Mystery of History has been an excellent program for educating myself, as well as my children. Since I only had a few weeks of ancient history in elementary school, and I never learned anything of European history, The Mystery of History, volumes 1-3 have been amazing to change the way I think and process history. I finally "get" history. I can have an intelligent conversation with both my husband and my dad about many historical topics, and I'm able to fully participate and provide rational for what I've learned.
I'm so thankful that my children will never have the incredible deficit I've had with learning history. They understand some historical events better than some adults right now. It's not because my children are any smarter than anyone else's children; it's because they've been taught using a curriculum that covers history well.
Several years ago, the author and publisher of The Mystery of History got together and decided to publish a family curriculum based around this excellent history program. Illuminations combines The Mystery of History with Bible lessons, vocabulary studies, literature, writing, grammar, English roots, handwriting, and more.
I had heard of Illuminations before as I'm a part of the Mystery of History Yahoo group, but I'd never seen it up close and personal.
As a member of the TOS Crew, I learned that I was going to be able to use and review one year plan of Illuminations this fall. We downloaded the material we needed, and began to use it with the girls.
In the video below, Tyler of Illuminations explains what the program is for those who are not familiar with it:
You may watch additional videos to learn more about Illuminations HERE including the following:
Here are some of the topics and other curriculum choices which have been planned into the Illuminations schedule for families to use:
Literature and Writing
Year Three focuses on literature and writing primarily related to the time period of The Mystery of History Volume Three. Family Study Guides, Read-Alone Guides, hands-on activities, vocabulary, and other tools are provided to guide the students through the process of getting the most out of their literature.
English from the Roots Up, Volume 1
Grammar ~ Choose from:
Selections come from literature, the Bible, and The Mystery of History.
Writing ~ Choose from:
We also provide a complete spelling program—in daily lessons— written by Kathryn Stout, author of The Natural Speller.
Lesson Plans for A Young Scholar’s Guide to Composers by Melissa Craig & Maggie Hogan
Lesson Plans for Christian Kids Explore Chemistry by Robert and Elizabeth Ridlon
Lesson plans for The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide (6th grades & up)
or Galloping the Globe by Dari Mullins (Early Learners – 5th)
Your choice; a reading schedule is provided.
Many optional, supplemental resources are also listed in the weekly study guides to accompany The Mystery of History: NetFlix movies and Drive-Thru-History DVDS as well as Diana Waring and Jim Weiss CDs.
Parents of early learners (K-2) will enjoy the bonus Early Learners Literature List, daily Bible reading schedules just for them, and lessons from Galloping the Globe. Christian Kids Explore Chemistry has been adapted to meet the needs of the youngest students.
Our Thoughts and Impressions of Illuminations
The weekly lesson plans for Illuminations are presented in a very easy-to-use format. I was easily able to print off weeks of the lesson plans and place them into a 3-ring binder for our use. Each curriculum choice used week by week has already been planned out for the parent or teacher. Most of the school day subjects are laid out lesson by lesson, week by week, so the parent doesn't need to do additional lesson planning except for math and art.
There were some academic subject areas where we already had specific curriculum chosen that was different from what was specified in the Illuminations plan for the year. That is fine; the weekly schedule for the parent to use in the eDocuments has a neat schedule grid where we can type out our own curriculum choices and lesson plans to include with the Illuminations plans. I really liked how I could easily type out the week's schedule, merely backspacing over a few of the curriculum choices and typing in my own. Then, I just printed out the schedule and kept it available for the week's lesson plans. Neat!
The authors of Illuminations have chosen to provide some excellent selections of additional curricula to accompany their program. I'm pretty fussy about what I use with my girls for their yearly school plans, but I would be comfortable with any of the curricula listed in the Illuminations program.
My girls enjoyed working through the Illuminations lessons we were able to use so far. We plan on continuing its use throughout the remainder of the school year, in combination with one other historical planning program we have. Kelsi did say that she wished that there were more literature books for her to read for each week's lesson. Brittany thought that the amount of reading was appropriate for her. Their comments didn't surprise me, knowing their different reading styles!
To view the prices of Illuminations as well as view samples of some of the levels, click HERE.
You may also learn more about Illuminations by joining one of the Yahoo groups for the different levels of the program.
Illuminations Level 1 covers ancient history from Creation to the Death of Christ:
Illuminations Level 2 covers the Middle Ages/Medieval Times, from the Resurrection to the Fall of the Roman Empire:
Illuminations Level 3 covers the Reformation and the Renaissance:
Eventually, Volume 4 of The Mystery of History will be published, and then an Illuminations program to accompany it will be developed.
You may view other TOS Crew members' reviews of Illuminations and other Bright Ideas Press curricula choices HERE.
I look forward to using Illuminations in the years to come!
Disclaimer: I was provided with a free one-year program of Illuminations for the purpose of using it and providing my own opinions of this program. No other compensation was provided.
Our beloved Samantha had her last days on earth this last week. Samantha was a special cat to our family; for Brittany, life didn't exist without Samantha. It's all that she knew: that Samantha was always here with us.
Samantha came to us in an unusual way. We don't know all of her history, although I wish that I did.
About 9 years ago, Samantha belonged to a neighbor a few houses up the street. We had playdates with this family every week, and so we got to know her a little bit that year. She had been dumped off at the end of the road, which was surprising, because she was so incredibly sweet and loving. She had once had a litter of kittens, but she had later been spayed. To drop off a spayed, sweet cat seemed unusual to us.
Samantha came to live with us after her owners up the street were no longer able to care for her due to moving and some other issues.
We kept her in our home for two weeks before we let her go outside. She only tried to go up to the previous owner's home once, that we are aware of, although she did visit the houses directly next to ours from time to time.
Samantha was a large cat; she weighed almost 13 pounds in her heyday. However, about a year ago, we noticed that she was losing weight, quickly. About six months ago, after making some attempts to fatten her up, we took her to the veterinarian because it was obvious that our sweet Samantha was ill. We were told that without bloodwork being done for around $200, she probably had diabetes, feline leukemia, or feline HIV. There are no cures for either disease, so the veterinarian encouraged us to keep her comfortable, provide her with a high protein diet (a.k.a. chicken and meat scraps), and then when it was obvious that she was no longer comfortable and doing well, to bring her in to put her down.
She had become so thin that we could feel her ribs and every bone. Figuring she only had a month or so of life left in her, we chose to get two eight-week-old kittens from a friend of ours. After we brought the kittens home, Samantha was so jealous and hateful toward them that it actually rallied her for a while! She began to eat the kitten chow, and she probably gained a full pound in a week! We were thrilled. We thought that maybe she just needed a change of pace.
After a couple of months, she began to lose weight again. She was still very hateful toward the kittens; she refused to use the litter boxes at all because of the kittens' use of them. She refused to stay in the house at night, because I think she knew that I wasn't planning to get up in the middle of the night and let her go outside to "go potty." In the evening, when we were getting ready for bed, she would literally stand at the front door and growl and growl until we let her out. There would have been no rest for me if I had ignored her and refused to let her out.
In the last few weeks, she began to become severely grumpy and mean. She swatted me hard on the back of my head and drew blood. She wasn't trustworthy to be around the girls or other children. She growled and hissed frequently; she acted like she had distemper, although that would have done her in within a few days if that had been her problem. (26 seconds into the video, she can be heard growling for no apparent reason, if your volume is turned up louder.)
Finally, it began to become quite cold at night, at least for here. The thought of a "skin-and-bones" cat being outside in the 30- and 40-degree weather made me feel like an irresponsible pet owner, even though if she had been in normal health with her normal body weight, this would have been safe for her.
Samantha began to bite and chew at her fur, her tail, etc. as if she had some mental illness. She wasn't caring for herself very well, and she wasn't keeping her nails and fur groomed like she usually did.
We prayed about it as a family for several days, and then we finally decided that it was time. Interestingly, when I went outside and called, "Treat!" and her name, that afternoon, she was nowhere to be found. Instead of running to meet us at the front door, she did not come. This was not normal behavior for her. I wonder if she knew that her end was near.
We all knew that we were making the best decision in the interest of Samantha, but that didn't make the decision any easier. The veterinarian kindly explained to the girls how cats and animals only see one day at a time, and when they wake up in the morning to a day full of hopelessness, that is what they think they will face for the remainder of their days. She also agreed with us that it was time.
I couldn't bear to stay while she received her injections, so the girls and I left the room. We all sobbed as we went out the door and into the car. I was supposed to take Kelsi to her youth orchestra rehearsal, but we were all crying. She finally decided that she could make it to the practice, even though I told her she could skip this time and stay home with us. We were a few minutes late, but she made it through the rehearsal. I think it actually was good for her to take her mind off her immediate situation.
Brittany is the one who had the hardest time dealing with the loss of Samantha. I was surprised about this; I thought it would have been Kelsi, our animal lover of the family. But no, it was Brittany. This, in Brittany's words, was because ever since she could remember, around age two, was that life was full of Samantha! I certainly understand that. She cried off and on for several days, but it got easier by day four.
We are thankful for our two sweet kittens, who are now six months old. They are precious to us, as well, and they will help to fill the spot that Samantha left.
Even though in the video, above, our Samantha doesn't look thin, she is half of her normal body weight, and she was skin and bones. Her poor legs were so skinny; I'm sure it hurt her when we would pet her, because her backbone and ribs were all that was there. Rest well, Samantha. We loved you dearly.
There have been many little Christmas books I've enjoyed over the years. My husband and I always make time with our girls to read through one of three very special Advent adventure stories as part of our Bible devotional time each December; we usually finish the last page of the devotional on Christmas morning...before we open Christmas gifts!
Last week, I was sent a brand new book by R. William Bennett (not the Dr. William Bennett with whom you may be familiar), called The Christmas Gift. It is a smaller book in size, so I knew that I'd be able to read this quickly and tell you about it.
However, what I didn't realize was that I'd end up being the last member of the family to read it!
The girls asked me what came in the mail, and when they saw that it was "just" another book to review, they didn't act overly excited about it. However, by that evening, Kelsi had read and finished the book. It may have helped that she was ill with something, and the book had been sitting near the couch, where she resided all day.
Within a couple of days, Brittany had read the book, unbeknownst to me. She's a picky reader, so there are far fewer books she'll start and actually finish. However, this book was finished quickly by her as well!
Then, on Day 4 of having The Christmas Gift in our home, my husband asked me where "that Christmas book" was. Hmm. He acted nonchalant about it, but he had obviously been reading it already and wanted to finish it.
This week, it was finally my turn to read the now much-treasured book! It took me about an hour to read The Christmas Gift, and I'll readily admit that tears stung my eyes more than once. From the look in my children's and husband's eyes after they finished reading it, I knew that they, too, felt the same way I did.
I guarantee that unless you have a heart made of stone, The Christmas Gift will have a deep impact on the way you think about others and how you treat others. The main theme in this book describes how I've tried to live my life the last 15 years or so. Sometimes, it has been taken well by others, and sometimes it hasn't.
The Christmas Gift encourages us all to look deeper into others' lives, to try to discover why some people treat us the way they do. Why do some people find it so hard to speak in a kind and friendly manner to us? Why do some people make lifestyle decisions that impact everyone around them in a negative way? (Don't worry; this book is not a sermon; it is truly a fiction story!)
The Christmas Gift is all about forgiveness, and how extending forgiveness to others can radically change their lives. This is how I've sincerely tried to live my life, not to necessarily make an excuse for someone's poor behavior, but to at least attempt to understand what may have caused them to react in that particular manner.
The Christmas Gift also shows us the vital importance of having a heart of forgiveness and being willing to go to someone whom we have wronged, to offer forgiveness to them.
Forgiveness brings healing to our own souls. When we choose to swallow the awful pill of bitterness, we are the only person who suffers greatly from refusing to forgive another person.
From my past experiences, when I've extended forgiveness to another person, it hasn't always been received in the way I had hoped. Most people will embrace my apology with open arms and a sincere smile, drawing us together in a deeper friendship and love for each other. However, a few people have become more distant, and our friendship has withered or become less personal. No matter how my apology or act of forgiveness has been accepted, I know that I have done the right thing to offer it. I know that the burden of wrongdoing is no longer on my own back, and the peacemaking between the two of us is now up to them to continue or reject. With that out of my hands, I can relax and sleep well at night.
Mr. Bennett has portrayed these deep principles of godly living in a way that any child, ages 8 or older, can understand. We will read this book again and again, and maybe some day we will learn that a movie has been made from the story. It would be well worth watching!
Below is a letter from the author to his readers of The Christmas Gift:
Dear Readers of The Christmas Gift,
This is a simple Christmas story I hope will touch your heart.
My family and I love to read stories at Christmas. Our favorites focus on the small, everyday events and emotions we all encounter that change our character in miraculous ways. One year, we decided to create our own story that would teach some of the principles we value most in life.
The result is The Christmas Gift, the tale of a young man who, in his effort to stand up for the victim of a bully, becomes the bully’s new daily target. Eventually, having been humiliated and tormented beyond his limits, the young man lashes out and manages to cut to the core of the bully’s heart. While attaining near hero status in his school, he is troubled by his conscience. To the complete bewilderment of some around him, he decides to make an apology.
What results is a unique relationship between these two most unlikely of friends. This friendship, built on understanding and forgiveness, becomes the rock upon which the two boys rely when faced with a crisis that will change them, and generations after them, forever. I hope The Christmas Gift will draw you closer to the ones you love and help you find others that may need your caring. May the miracles of the heart that spring forth at Christmas fill you all the year long.
I hope that many of you will consider begging, borrowing, or buying The Christmas Gift. It is truly a treasure whose message is needed to be heard by all.
Which Christmas books are "must reads" in your family each year? Do you have a favorite Christmas book of your own?
Disclosure: I received a copy of The Christmas Gift for the sole purpose of reading and reviewing it here on my blog. No other compensation was provided.
Before I married my husband (near Christmas) almost 16 years ago, his siblings warned me that he really loved Christmas.
"What do you mean by this?" I asked them. They warned me that Christmas is the one time of year when Elmer's creativity and decorating spirit come alive.
Okay, well, I have no problem with that.
But how has this played out in our marriage, in our lives together, you may ask?
I smile when I write tonight, thinking of what Christmas means to my husband.
According to him and a couple of his siblings, he had two specific events happen during Christmas in his childhood and young adulthood that were very negative, at least personally to him. I think he really wants to make each and every Christmas very special not only for himself, due to those past incidents, but also for our family. This doesn't mean that we spend a lot of money on each other, but it does mean that we spend a lot more time together making family memories and planning times for fun and laughter together.
And, since he also wants to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ with gusto, this makes Christmas even more special for him.
So, what Christmas means in our household is that we always carry a Mannheim Steamroller Christmas CD in the car, and it can be popped in to the CD player at any given moment, no matter which month of the year it is! (I try to switch out the various Mannheim Steamroller Christmas CDs every few months, so I don't get tired of hearing them, although I also enjoy this group.)
It also means that while I write our Christmas letters and cards and plan out holiday foods and meals, I am very "hands off" when it comes to decorating our home.
In fact, since the day we married, I have hardly placed any Christmas ornaments on the tree, or hung garland, strung Christmas lights, or set up the nativity creche. Elmer loves to do this himself. It has been a stretch for him to allow the girls to help him, especially in their younger years, as he has always really enjoyed doing the Christmas decorating all by himself, and he is quite the perfectionist when it comes to having things arranged the way he wants them to be arranged. (You see why this was probably such a stretch for him when the girls were much smaller!)
Our first Christmas together was on Day 10 of our marriage, so I don't remember us doing much decorating at all. We may have had a tree in our tiny, 675 square foot triplex apartment, but it would have been one that I would have decorated before our wedding day. I think that was the last tree I decorated, if I'm truthful about it!
Since that first Christmas, I am still busy doing the Christmas shopping and wrapping, preparing Christmas cards and letters for mailing, meal planning and grocery shopping, and other odds and ends, but Elmer and the girls spend hours stringing up the outside Christmas lights, decorating the inside of the house, and more.
It is actually a relief to know that I'm not in charge of "everything" for Christmas anymore. If I was, there would be a lot fewer decorations placed up around our home, and only inside Christmas lights on the indoor tree and maybe on a couple of window sills. Already working as many hours as I do each day, I have very little time at the end of my day to squeeze in any more activities like extensive holiday decorating! I do, however, help him bring all of the Christmas decoration boxes out of the attic and then back into the attic after he has repacked them at the end of December. Especially when life at his job is stressful, he deserves a helping hand, and for that task, he willingly accepts it!
Because our anniversary is so close to Christmas, we have rarely celebrated it over the years, other than buy each other a small gift and a anniversary card. It's just such a busy time of year, that in some years when the girls were small and he was working nightshift, we didn't even go out to dinner together. But last year, as it was our 15th wedding anniversary, we decided to buy tickets to the Christmas 2009 Mannheim Steamroller concert which was taking place about an hour north of us in mid-December. We ended up with Row 4 seats, which meant that it was quite loud (eh?), but beautiful to see one of our favorite music groups close up and in person. Usually, we are very frugal with anniversary and birthday gifts for each other, but Elmer was enthusiastic about buying the tickets for this special concert! It was a big treat for us both, although we sure arrived back home late that night due to the traffic and traveling out of town.
Does your spouse or family member become very enthusiastic about Christmas holiday traditions and decorations? If so, how do you divide the Christmas "tasks" and planning in your own family?
This evening, I've been preparing for tomorrow's Latin classes I teach weekly in my home. Tomorrow's Latin II class will be learning a new Christmas hymn in Latin:
Veni Veni Emmanuel
...or...Oh, Come, Oh, Come, Emmanuel.
I didn't do a ton of research on the history of this song, but I did see that it was originally a Gregorian chant written in the 1200s, and at some point in the 1400s it was used during at least one major funeral in France or in a French-speaking area.
I've included some YouTube videos of this song performed in Latin. They are beautiful! This has always been one of my favorite Christmas hymns, although actually it is considered an Advent hymn, and not specifically a Christmas hymn.
I just found a free list of books on the "Institute for Excellence in Writing" website, and I loved the title of the list:
Book List for Boys and Other Children Who Would Rather Be Building Forts All Day
Isn't that great? !!!
I don't have any boys, but I do have an "Other Children" who would fall into this category. She began reading at age 4.5, fluently, as in picking up my Bible and reading easily from it (thanks to Spell to Write and Read that we were using with older sister), but it took her literally five years to develop enough "sit still long enough" to be able to begin and finish reading a chapter book, finally due to my insistence.
I looked at the list on the IEW website, and sure enough, some of those book titles are what I specifically used to help her become interested enough in reading an entire book. Her reading comprehension was a couple of years above her age/grade level, but she just preferred picture books for years and years. I never got upset about it, but I prayed a lot and encouraged her.
Finally, I started putting the girls to bed 20 minutes earlier each night (or most nights), but they were allowed to read in bed for those 20 minutes and then needed to turn off the light. There was something about her reading in bed that made it fun and special, and she loved it!
Anyway, here's the link to the book list. There are some great books listed here. I found that sometimes with this particular daughter, I would read aloud the first chapter, get her hooked into the characters and plot of the book, and then require her to go read a chapter every day or read for 30 minutes, until the book was finished.
We made a big deal out of it when she finished reading her first chapter book, and from then on, it wasn't a problem getting her to read. She reads a lot now! But it did take some prayer and some great adventure stories to get her over the hump.
Here's the link to the free book list:
Hi! I'm Julieanne!