March 17, 2017

Battling Pests, and How We Do Bible Time Together


If you're used to big box stores like Costco, it could be a bit of a shock to find that in Madagascar it's pretty normal to buy flour and sugar in one kilogram bags from a store. For those of us who bake bread on a regular basis, it means we are buying many small bags of flour each trip to the grocery store.

There is a chinese store not too far from my house, and I saw they were selling large 50 kilogram bags of flour. That's more like it! With a little bit of cost savings per kilo, I decided to buy one of these large bags and save myself from the hassle of buying many tiny bags each week.

It turned out that I just traded one slight inconvenience for another grosser one. The bag is already crawling with bugs, and their larva. So our baking routine now involves sifting every scoop of flour...

Up close and personal with the bug larva in our flour


We are at a pretty neat stage right now with our Bible time as a family, in that everyone is at an age where they can share the reading aloud and engage in some discussion. The best book I have found that really helps teach foundational doctrines is Leading Little Ones to God. I have looked at many devotional books, and none really come close to giving the types of age-appropriate explanations this book does. It goes over things like Who Is God, How to Become a Child of God, What Does a Child of God Do.... it gives explanations for glory, holiness, sin.... It's just a really great book.

As much as I have questioned including Bible reading as part of our school, like another thing that has to be checked off, I hope it is helping to develop good habits for life. I am praying that their hearts follow in due time--that part is not up to me.

Each of the kids has their own Bible, whether it's the full version, or a Beginners Bible. My 8-year-old son loves his NIV Adventure Bible. My 10-year-old daughter is working through a Kay Arthur inductive Bible study for kids on the Gospel of John and she's really enjoying it.

The kids always have verses they are memorizing. Some of my kids like to sing their verses, while others aren't so keen. It is quite amazing to me to see my young ones memorize longer Psalms or other longer whole passages. It also helps me keep my memory sharp as I listen to them recite the same verses over and over. My three older ones work on the same passages, and my kindergartener is working through Sing The Word from A to Z, which are 26 verses that begin with each letter of the alphabet. 

I have implemented various reward systems for memory work and it has been a great motivator over the years. This year we're doing a candy system *gasp* ! And I'm encouraging the kids to review verses (for rewards) to keep all of their work fresh in their minds. This also helps them review verses they didn't have perfectly memorized when they "passed" them the first time round. Again, this is an area where it's pretty rote, and I'm praying all of these "seeds" will take root in their hearts as they grow and mature in their own personal relationships with Christ.

Ongoing Projects

My husband and I spent a couple of evenings with a stapler and the fabric my daughters and I bought, and we recovered our sectional. I love how this turned out! The contrasting brown cushions with the lighter seat material really work in this room. And the fabric we chose for the seats is a light brown speckled pattern, so I think it will help hide dirt well. We hired a lady to sew the piece onto the armrest on the far left. I'm so glad we went with recovering it instead of making a slip cover, which we'd originally considered. I think we would have been constantly readjusting a cover and frustrated with how it sat. This looks tidy and fresh.


This Bird of Paradise is another one of my favorite flowers in my garden! This one I have in a pot on our back terrace and it opened literally overnight. So fun to see.

On My Side Table

My reading has slowed way down this month. I just finished My Life In France: Julia Child

Television programs have kind of taken precedent in my evenings.... it's just mindless, and I've enjoyed relaxing in front of the tv more, recently. I do have a growing list of novels I want to get into over the upcoming months however. 

Now, less mindless... I am involved in a ladies Bible study at my house by Jen Wilkin. There are about seven of us working through the Sermon on the Mount together and it's pretty heavy, so that is taking up some of my free afternoon moments. If you're looking for a Bible study to do, I highly recommend Jen Wilkin. Her book Women of the Word is so good at pointing us toward digging more in our Bibles for ourselves for the purpose of heart transformation. 

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