The crazy life of the ClarkClan. Living a life of grace through Jesus Christ.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Wild Drive

I had a meeting up in Denver this past weekend. Matt took some time off and went with me. We also took my Grandmother and dropped her off to visit relatives. The meeting was for the women’s auxiliary of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, the LWML (Lutheran Women’s Missionary League). It was a great meeting, with good Bible studies and lots of great information. But, the part I want to ponder on is the ride home.

Denver was forecasted to have a blizzard the day we were planning on leaving. So we decided to leave early to out run the storm. One of the ladies attending the meeting was from El Paso. She figured she had a great chance of her flight being cancelled and she would be stuck in Denver (she was right, it was cancelled). So she drove home with us to avoid spending the night in the airport. We also had my grandmother who was visiting relatives while I was at the meeting.

So there we were, Matt driving, myself, A, and my Grandmother. We had the best time during that ride home and all we did was….talk. It is a nine hour drive. We did about 4 1/2 hours of it on Saturday and the rest on Sunday. I think that the way things worked out was ordained by God.

We never ran out of things to talk about. We enjoyed each other’s company. It is amazing to me to think that God can put three women of vastly different ages together and create a bond between them. I was the youngest at 39, then A is in her 50’s and my Grandma is 85. I so enjoyed the ride that the time just flew by.  I am thankful to God for the time spent with those two wonderful, Godly women.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

God’s GREAT Covenant

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About the Product

God’s GREAT Covenant – Old Testament 1 Genesis to Ruth is a Bible course designed for elementary age students. This is a complete full year Bible course. It contains 32 chapters divided into 5 units.

Unit I covers In the BeginningGod’s Power  (Genesis 1-11)

Unit II covers By the Patriarchs…God’s Promises (Genesis 12-50)

Unit III covers Out of Egypt…God’s Redemption (Exodus 1-34)

Unit IV covers Through the Wilderness… God’s Provision (Exodus-Deuteronomy)

Unit V covers In the Promised Land…God’s Faithfulness (Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Job)

Each chapter in the student book is divided into four parts. The first part is the Memory Page. This page tells the Lesson Scope, Theme, Memory Verse, Key Facts, Things to Remember and Who is God?. The second part is Story Time. This tells the Biblical account in story form. Mp3 downloads are available which narrates the Story Time. The third section of each chapter is a Worksheet. The Worksheet is two pages  and includes a variety of activities to review the lesson. The last part of the chapter is a Chapter Quiz. This is a one page quiz over the chapter contents.

The teacher book is very detailed. It includes the entire student text, answer keys, and copious facts to help the teacher explain and expand on the concepts presented in the lesson.

ClarkClan Experiences

I used this Bible Course with Ben (11) and Rebekah(9). We start each morning with worship time. We continued this tradition, adding God’s Great Covenant to the end of our worship time.

I found a suggested schedule on the Classical Academic Press website that I followed. The Five –day lesson plan was designed to take about 20 minutes each day. This was right on target for my kids.

On day 1, usually Monday, we would read through the Memory Page together. With this we discussed all the elements of the lesson including the theme, memory verse, Key facts and the Things to Remember. Then we would read the Story time pages.

For the Story time I would have Ben and Rebekah take turns reading while I followed along with the teachers book. Points in the Story time were marked, so I could stop the reading and add information and explanations to further their understanding.  I liked this part. We could read, talk,and  interact with each other.

One note about the Mp3 audio files. These audio files are word for word readings of the Story time pages. They are very well done. Christopher Perrin does the reading and it is a pleasant listening experience. That being said, we did not use the audio files while doing our lessons. We tried it and I found that I preferred having the kids read to me and then I could easily bring up the discussion points. This was not easy to accomplish while listening to the audio. I have put the audio files on the kids I pods so they can listen to them at later times for review.

Day 2 consisted of reading the actual Scripture passage out loud. I would generally read this so the kids could listen and absorb God’s Word without worrying about mispronounced words. Then we discussed the reading, and reviewed the memory verse.

On Day 3 I would have Ben and Rebekah complete the review worksheets on their own. I encouraged them to look the answers up in the chapter if they needed help. We would also review the memory verse again.

On Day 4 we would go over the worksheets and have some discussion. We would also review the memory verse and Key Facts. Some weeks, we only had four school days instead of five. When that happened, Day 4 is what I would cut out to keep on schedule.

Day 5 was taking the Quiz. On the quiz I did not let them look up the answers in the book. They had to know the information on their own. Then we would check the quiz together.

I will say we are thoroughly enjoying this Bible course. I have had some trouble with non-denominational Bible courses that teach theology contrary to what Lutherans believe. I have not come across anything of that nature while reviewing this course. I like that they include Catechism questions at the beginning of each chapter. These are taken from the Westminster Shorter Catechism..

Another feature of this study that I love is the little side notes in each chapter titled Jesus in the OT (Old Testament). This is something I strive to teach to kids when I am teaching Bible lessons. This feature points out how Jesus is portrayed throughout the Old Testament.

Ben and Rebekah have both greatly enjoyed this course. They eagerly work on the book work with no complaints. My kids have studied the book of Genesis and read the Creation account, Noah’s Ark, and The Tower of Babel many times. This course has helped open their minds to thinking about these accounts in new ways. While we were studying the sin of Adam and Eve, Rebekah asked questions about when the sin occurred. Her questions stumped me. When we went to church on Wednesday night and Rebekah was able to ask her question to Pastor who gently guided her.

There was one item that bothered me while reviewing this Bible course. The pictures included in each chapter had cartoon looking Bible characters. This is a pet peeve of mine. I would prefer that the pictures contain “real” looking people. Kids know cartoons are fake. I worry that by, drawing cartoon looking Bible characters, kids may associate true teaching as being no different than a story such as The Cat in the Hat..


I would highly recommend this Bible Course for children. It is in depth, yet easy to understand. I am looking forward to finishing this course with Ben and Rebekah.

As part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I was able to review this Bible Study course along with many of my Crew Mates. Other products reviewed include God’s GREAT Covenant Book 2 and  Song School Spanish. Visit the Crew Blog to read what my Crew Mates thought about their products.

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Small Changes– Update

I have been trying some small changes to my routines. While I have not been perfect, I have fairly reliably kept up with the small changes I have attempted. My first small change involved a new wake up time. I have consistently been waking up around 5:50 am, ten minutes before my previous wake up time. I thought about trying for a 5:30 am wake up but then decided that I would have to go to bed too early in order for that to happen. I do like my sleep.

The reason for waking up so early is to be able to throw a load of laundry in before I leave for my morning walk. I was getting the laundry started just like I wanted. Then I got sick, AGAIN! This threw a small wrench into my laundry plan. Now that I am all well, I am working on catching up on my laundry so that my system of one or two loads a day will work smoothly again.

My next small change was not using paper towels. This is for everyone in our family. We have been doing this for about a month now and I have to say that I do not miss paper towels. When I decided to go paper towel less, I cut up old flannel bed sheets. I used my pinking shears so they would not ravel as much after washing. I placed the rags inside a nice tote bag that sits on my counter top. Easy to use, easy to access and even the kids have learned to use the cloth. I keep a bucket under my sink for the dirty rags and wash them in the washing machine when the bucket gets full.

I am about to begin my next small change, since these two changes have worked out so well. I am going to attempt to clear the counter on the island in my kitchen at least once a day. This island is our junk collection point. Things pile up quickly on the it, but I really like the look of a clutter free counter. So I am going to try to remember to have my kids and I  clear it off daily. My plan is to set an alarm on my phone to help us remember to get this job done.  This is going to be a hard thing to change, but I am going to attempt it anyway.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Nutmeg–5 Weeks

Here is Nutmeg at 5 weeks. Because she is still too young leave her mother, we went to visit her last week. I was able to see her walking around, following her mother, playing, and sleeping with her brothers. We also took the opportunity to hold her and cuddle a little.

Nutmeg 5 weeks

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Teachable Moments

During our bible study, we were talking about Adam and Eve and how God made Eve out of Adam. We then went on to discuss how men and women are to leave their father and mother and become “one flesh”. Then I went on to bring this into Ben and Rebekah’s everyday lives.

I pointed out that my relationship with God comes first, second is my relationship with Matt and third is my relationship with my children. Ben and Rebekah were fascinated by this topic. Matt was in the kitchen and we outlined his priorities: First, his relationship with God, Second his relationship with me, third his relationship with the kids. We re-read about a man leaving his father and mother and being joined together with his wife. His wife was leaving her family as well. Matt and I went on to explain that we love our children very much, but one day they will leave and we will still be together. We are “one flesh”. This is how God designed it.

These little moments, that at times can seem insignificant, sometimes leave a lasting impact. I am thankful when they come around.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

ClarkClan Granola

I have been making granola for years. I remember eating granola my mother made when I was growing up. I have tried many variations of granola, this is the one I keep going back to again and again. This is the basic recipe that my mother made, with modifications. My mother has modified it and then I have taken it and modified it even more for our family tastes. It is an extremely versatile recipe.

ClarkClan Granola

8 cups or 1 small box Old Fashioned Oats

1/2 cup wheat germ, and/or 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (optional)

1/2 cup dried milk

1 cup All-Bran cereal, ( Fiber One cereal is the same thing)

1 small pkg coconut

1 cup nuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts (your choice)

Combine the above ingredients and toast in large baking pan at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Stir after 10 minutes.

Combine in saucepan

1/2 cup oil (your choice really, my standard is coconut oil)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup water

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Heat over low heat until brown sugar (and coconut oil, if using) dissolves, then add 2 teaspoons vanilla.

Toss sugar mixture with oat mixture.

Bake 15 minutes stirring every 5 minutes.

When cool add in dried fruit if desired. I love craisins and dates.

Store tightly covered.

Since this makes a fairly large batch, I tend to divide it and freeze half. We eat this with milk in the morning. I add it to my yogurt and some frozen fruit to make parfaits. We put it in baggies and eat it dry, as a snack,. Enjoy!