There was a lot going on in our home school co-op in April, including a drama production and our end-of-year celebration, so I’m late in publishing my Favorite Things. This month I also have a separate Home Education/Parenting section, so if you’re interested in that, be sure to scroll down to it. There’s some really funny stuff from this month, too, that I wouldn’t want you to miss. Hope you enjoy! ~Elizabeth
Easter Sunday was, as usual, phenomenal at our international church. I went through a dry season last year, but after seeing a spiritual director in January, I’ve been able to respond to God emotionally again, which made Easter all the better.
One of my sisters is skyping us regularly for phonics lessons with my youngest daughter. It’s precious to watch them getting to know each other better and helpful to learn some new kinesthetic tools for reading instruction.
We received a package from my mom and new hand-me-down clothes from a teammate.
We have also procured new hand-me-down tables for the school room whose shape and height make more room for both study and play.
Jonathan and I had the chance to teach at a youth event. He talked about a Biblical view of sexuality, and I talked about building intimacy with God. Opportunities for me to serve outside the home can be rare indeed, and I always appreciate them when they come along.
Most recently, I participated in the Velvet Ashes Online Retreat with a friend. It was so good to catch up with her personally and to process the retreat material together. The retreat material stirred up issues inside me that I didn’t know needed addressing — which was good but not fun.
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. Here I am again, reading children’s lit and calling it leisure. This one made me laugh but also offered astute insights into human nature and the mind of a child.
The Middle Moffat by Eleanor Ester. This is the second book about the Moffats, and though I’ve read it aloud before, the girls don’t remember it, and we’re giving it a re-read. Jane, “the middle Moffat,” cracks us up!
Mark: The Gospel of Passion by Michael Card. I finally finished this one, just in time for Easter. I wish I had a book club for this book (and his other Gospel commentaries). There are so many things to think on.
Invitations from God by Adele Calhoun. Almost finished with this one.
Also I just barely started Eugene Peterson’s Reversed Thunder, which is his commentary on the book of Revelation. It takes my breath away, it is so different from anything I’ve ever read on Revelation. It’s poetic and pastoral and speaks to the pastor and poet within.
First the FUNNY: Cosmo and Déjà Vu by Rebecca Reynolds. I laughed so hard I was shaking. I think I interrupted my husband’s own date with a nerd book. This is long but WORTH IT. Whatever you do, do not skip this post.
Now the overseas living stuff:
In Defense of Second Class Missionaries by Amy Medina.
You Are Not a Failure by Rachel Pieh Jones.
Three Reasons to Love an International Church by Jerry Jones.
And finally, this prayer from Danielle Wheeler.
MOVIES AND PODCASTS
Hidden Figures. Deviates somewhat from history, as do all movies, but this is a truly perfect storyline. And after watching her in this movie (and in the series Person of Interest), I can say Taraji P. Henson is a truly brilliant actress.
Bejeweled was a movie I watched on the Disney Channel growing up, and I wanted my children to see it. It can be incredibly difficult to find some of these made-for-TV movies from the 1980’s and 1990’s, but I was able to find a mediocre version online that was good enough to introduce my kids to this family-friendly non-murder mystery.
Polly was another made-for-TV movie from my childhood. (My family used to have both on VHS, but who knows what VHS is anymore, let alone still has the video players?) I was able to find a version of this one online too. It’s based on the classic Pollyanna story, but with a racial reconciliation twist. I wept at the ending. It was even better than I remember. I can’t wait for the new heaven and new earth when all WILL be made right.
Next up for movies from my childhood? Hopefully Perfect Harmony, another Disney movie about racial reconciliation.
Kathy Litton on Helping Grieving Friends at Grace Covers Me.
An evangelical climate scientists talks to David Remnick about winning over climate change skeptics. A short 15-minute listen. Powerful.
Kid Snippets from Bored Shorts. I laugh so hard at these. (See below for explanation and specific links.)
HOME EDUCATION AND PARENTING
First the FUNNY: Math Class from Kid Snippets.
Which reminded me of this meme:
Attachment Parenting in the Teen Years: 8 Applications by Melia Keeton-Digby. In the early years I was most definitely an attachment parent, but I never really thought about it extending past the baby and toddler stages.
Getting Through to Teenage Slackers by Joshua Gibbs.
Processing Speed 101, a Webinar at the online community Understood. This is an interview with the authors of Bright Kids Who Can’t Keep Up: Help Your Child Overcome Slow Processing Speed and Succeed in a Fast-Paced World. Encouragement and explanation for those with non-traditional learners.
The Low-Down on Narration from the Schole Sisters (Brandy Vencel, Pam Barnhill, and Mystie Winckler). I need all the help I can get on narration.
Sheila Carroll on Narration for the Mason Jar podcast. You may have to search iTunes to access the entire interview, including the info on narration.
Amusing Ourselves to Leisure, also from the Schole Sisters. Comforting to know I’m not the only one who gets to the end of the day or the week and is too tired to do something educational for myself.
Pam Barnhill’s interview with Missy Andrews of Center for Lit (whose podcast I also listen to when I have the time). It’s always helpful to hear experienced mothers talk about family and education.
In Jesus Name by Darlene Zschech.
What a Beautiful Name by Hillsong Worship.
Covered by Planetshakers.
Victors Crown by Darlene Zschech.
Even So Come by Kristian Stanfill.
Even Unto Death by Audrey Assad.
Hosanna by Paul Baloche.
We Believe by Newsboys.
Overcome by Jeremy Camp.
The modern worship songs I mostly hear at church, and I truly love them. But I’m still homesick for the acappella hymns of my childhood, and since my kids don’t know them, we’ve recently started adding hymns to our morning family devotionals. We take one hymn and sing it all week long. So far we’ve done We Praise Thee O God, Hallelujah Praise Jehovah, and To God Be the Glory. Every time I sing a hymn I think it must my favorite. But they’re pretty much all like that. I love their beautiful language and their metrical structure and their theological depth. So much truth packed into a small, easy-to-swallow (and memorize) package.