Wide-Eyed Wonder

By Leigh Bortins

“We perish from want of wonder, not from want of wonders.”—G. K. Chesterton

Have you ever watched your children squeal in delight when they turn over a large rock and discover that a whole colony of insects has been living right beneath it? This is what scientific study is all about—wondering about God’s creation and recording what you learn. As we grow older, many of us forget to wonder. We forget to stare at the stars above us at night, to wonder what they are made of and what governs their motions. We forget to see the wildlife all around us, to ask for the names of all of the birds in the backyard. I am grateful that we live on a lake that is home to many different species of frogs. Every night, their musical croaking in varied voices is a symphony in tribute to the astonishing diversity of Creation.

How can we train our children to continue to explore the world with wide-eyed wonder at the works of His hands? First, we know that a little bit of knowledge is usually fodder for more curiosity. If small children memorize the types of volcanoes—active, intermittent, dormant, extinct—then they will be more likely to want to read books about volcanoes. In addition, their ears will perk up when they hear of stories of ancient volcanoes, such as Pompeii, or of volcanoes in current news stories.

So far, I have already mentioned two important activities for small children in the study of science. ( (more…)

De-Clutter Your Home in Time for the Holidays!


By Malia Russell


Several years ago I realized I was outnumbered. There were more people bringing clutter into my home than I could control. With five children in the house, several sets of grandparents, and lots of generous friends who would give us their hand-me-downs, my children rarely saw a day where they were truly in need of something. For that, I am truly grateful. What that also means is that everything brought into our home needed a place, or we would quickly drown in utter chaos. Add to that the fact that my husband and I both have things we love to collect. For me, it is books. He has what we affectionately call “The Cord Hoard.” He loves electronics, and sometimes decades after an electronic device is no longer functioning, we will still find its cord tucked away someplace unexpected. By themselves, cords do not take up much space, but after twenty-one years of marriage, we have lots of them. I secretly think that some other families have been leaving cords here too.

In any case, when I had only one or two children, I simply went through their rooms each month or so and would make sure things were back in their proper places. A little excess never really bothered me because it was tucked away in the privacy of their rooms, which I needed to see only in the morning and at bedtime. However, once children started sharing rooms, the excess began to spill out of the closet and onto the floor, under the beds, into my room, and into the main part of the house. Before long, I felt like I could never get the house clean. There was too much stuff to move around, organize, and dust before I could begin to vacuum, scrub, and polish.

Now that many of my children are older, I have found that having frequent de-cluttering days with challenges and prizes has been a fabulous tool.

Here is how we do it:    (more…)

A Stress-Free Advent Season

Taken from http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.net/

Organize Advent Activities in Advance

{disclaimer: affiliate links are used in this post}

Advent is a special time for many families and the choices of how to celebrate and make this time meaningful are bursting up all over the internet as December 1st approaches. I shared our free Jesse Tree collection a couple of weeks ago, which is a great option for those of you looking for meaningful but simple.

We have used Truth in the Tinsel for the past two years and loved it. If you are looking for something new and haven’t done Truth in the Tinsel yet with your little ones, I highly recommend it! I even have a discount code for you {off of the eBook only, which is $7.99 regularly priced}. Use code: ONEPLUS to get 20% off!   (more…)