A New Perspective on Halloween

Yesterday our pastor said to us that Halloween was a Christian’s most important holiday.

Yes, he actually said this.

He went on to explain that on what other day is our culture turned on its head. When else do neighbors take the time to talk. When else do you intentionally go to your neighbor’s door and he to yours?

If we are Christians we should be deeply saddened for those around us who don’t know Jesus. We should care about our neighbors and their future. We should be intentionally building relationships with them so we can have opportunities to care for them and meet their needs. And by so doing have the opportunity to introduce Jesus to them.

It’s a different way of thinking for sure! But I LOVE it!

For a number of years my kids have carved their pumpkins to in some way reflect God’s love for us. This little thing has become a fun and creative tradition that has allowed my children many opportunities to explain to people why they carved a heart, crown,smiling face, whatever in the pumpkin.

This year we are handing out cups of hot chocolate and apple cider with the candy. An opportunity to start a conversation and get to know our neighbors better!

Hats

This morning I repeatedly told my 5 year old that he needed a hat, mitts, coat, snow pants, and boots on before he got on the bus.

His choice of hats was not one that I approved of. That being said, I should know better by now to be more specific. The OBVIOUS isn’t always as obvious as we think!

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From now on it’ll be “warm winter hat”! LOL!

Renfrew Educational Services Kindergarten Evaluations

This weekend I received my son’s evaluations from Renfrew Education’s assessments of the students in his class a few weeks ago.

Let me begin by recognizing that I am EXTREMELY grateful for the incredible services they offer through our kindergarten. Free of charge any students who require it receive Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy (Speech and language pathology), and Physiotherapy. Their Kindergarten program catches many, many uncaught issues our children have and works with the kids to correct these at a young age.

In fact they do such a great job, that when my youngest daughter was in a group speech program the kids NOT in the program were jealous! They have worked extremely hard to prepare programs of therapy that are fun and beneficial!

All that said, this year I was a bit surprised when we received the assessment. Most of what was written didn’t surprise me. But a couple of things did. The fact that it said my son needed assistance holding a pencil, that was a shocker. The one that said he needed additional work on cutting skills also surprised me. That he was having difficulty drawing circles and squares and triangles and X’s came as no surprise. That he had difficulty following classroom routines (coat off, indoor shoes, going to circle) also surprised me. Finally that he doesn’t always pronounce his “s”, absolutely no surprise.

So, I went to his teacher and asked her about the results. I explained that a few things I wasn’t at all surprised by, but a few I was. I explained that I wanted to make sure I was doing whatever I could at home to improve these lacking skills – if indeed they were lacking.

I explained that I was surprised that his pencil holding was requiring assistance. She first explained that she had no consultation in the assessment and in fact didn’t even get to see them. They were given to her sealed. I was surprised that the teacher’s input wasn’t gotten because she knows my child best, and has more time with him than 2 hours on a given day where evaluations of 20 unknown students are being made.

She explained that if the child doesn’t hold the pencil in a perfect pyramid they are assessed as needing help. Really. I don’t always hold my pencil that way.

I inquired about his cutting. I explained his love of cutting…pants, blinds, curtains, head phone cords, tax receipts, tablecloths, head phone cords, tax receipts, and even occasionally paper. She showed me his recent cutting of a curvy ghost. I thought, wow! That’s really good. She said, he could have gotten slightly closer to the black lines, but I wouldn’t have requested additional support.

I asked her about following classroom routines. And I asked if it was considered that his school bus is frequently late so he’s the last student to arrive in class, often AFTER everyone else has already made their way to the carpet. She responded that he didn’t have any trouble in this area at all and she was unsure of why it was marked. I DO know that his bus was late the day of evaluations (I’m the driver and the Board will not allow adequate time for the run to get to school on time).

So, I gratefully appreciate Renfrew Educational Services and all the great work they do…however, I think it could be greatly improved by seeking input from the teacher – like they used to do.

I’m not going to worry about the results, or the follow-up assessments in a few weeks. If he gets extra help, it can only benefit him! And if he doesn’t I’m not too worried!

Explaining being Robbed to a 5 year old and 7 year old

I was explaining to my 7 year old not to be worried if we got home and there were police at our home. You see my 5 year old and I walked into our home to find it had been burgled. We’re pretty certain his loud talking and singing scared away the culprits.

However, the police came and then the investigators were coming to fingerprint and gather further evidence.

Meanwhile 2 gentlemen had been caught burglering another nearby home and were in custody. I was explaining to my little ones that we needed to pray for the robbers because they had drug addictions and needed to get help for their problems. They stole the jewelry to sell to buy bad drugs.

Then we prayed that the thieves would get help for their problems and that they would find someone who cared for them and who would show Jesus to them.

After we were done my 7 year old said to me. Mama do you remember when I stole and you made me take it back and say I was sorry and I didn’t want to and I cried. I said yes. She continued saying I was so upset and I asked Jesus into my heart so I wouldn’t feel bad anymore. That’s what we want them to do too, right. I said yes.

I simply can’t say it any better than she did!

Bible in a Year for Your Kids

I found this Day by Day kid’s Bible the other day. I have read it the past 2 days with my kids and it’s fantastic.

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It’s the entire Bible from start to finish. It is for slightly older kids. It’s intended for ages 7-10. It doesn’t have any pictures, but it is easy to understand so it easily held all my kids attentions…even my 5 year old son.

It has broken the Bible into approximately 7 minute daily readings. It’s a perfect length for a story without pictures.

I LOVE that it’s the entire Bible simplified for children’s understanding, and not just another Bible storybook!