how we started

Gabriel (our 3 year old) is really starting to get into music. He’s enjoyed singing for awhile now, but recently after coming home from our church gathering, he will have picked up the chorus from one of the songs we were singing. Of course as a parent this makes my heart melt (weepy happy face) … and also encouraged. Something is sinking in!!! :D. So he can memorize little bits.

our little girl Karis also recently started getting into music. When I’m rocking her to sleep at night she will look up at me and say, “Jesus” (this means she wants me to sing “Jesus loves me” to her) or her new favorite, “Ho ho ho” (Ho-Ho-Ho Hosanna, Ha-Ha-Hallelujah).

So I’m thinking I should try to take advantage of this.

We’ve been having a morning Bible time for awhile now (details below), right after daddy leaves for work in the morning. Its a very simple time, but in my heart if they pick up nothing else, I want them to get the idea that God comes first. Its not always easy. It’s not always convenient. But if they can catch Matthew 6:33, “seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness”, that’s my goal.

Before I post about what we are going to jump into, I want to share what we have been doing.

Well for about a year we’ve been going through the Read Aloud Bible Series by Ella K. Lindvall. This is a collection of 20 bible stories in 4 volumes. Can I just put in a shameless plug for this series?  I LOVE IT. The stories are straight scripture but told with plenty of animation and written so that its easy for even the most inanimate reader to make the story exciting.

A snippet from The Wind That Obeyed, Volume 1:

 Jesus got into the boat/Jesus’ friends got into the boat./Splash went the little waves/Splash, splash

Jesus’ friends began to make the boat go./Pull, push, pull, push

But Jesus was tired/He lay down in the back of the boat and went to sleep.

Now while the boat was going/The wind started to blow/Who-o-o-o Who-o-o-o Who-o-o-o

It blew the men’s hair/It blew their clothes/It blew the water/WHO-O-O!

So, the little boat was rolling/up and down/up and down/

Then some water came into the bloat/SPLASH! went the big waves./SPLASH! SPLASH!

Jesus’ friends were wet./They were afraid too.…

This one example really doesn’t do the book justice, but its something quick that I could type in to illustrate the book. If you really are interested, Amazon has some stories you can preview here:  The books are solid hardcover and big (8.5 by 11.5 big) and well worth the price.

I really can’t say enough about these books. Sometimes I tear up reading the stories to my kiddos because they are so simple, but the lessons are real. I need to hear about Jesus calming the storm. I need to read about the leper returning to tell Jesus thank you and the prodigal son saying I’m sorry because he made his daddy sad. There is something really special about these stories that touches something deep within my spirit. Its more than a kids story, there is a spirit in the simplicity and truth of the writing that makes it very real and powerful.

One note. My husband makes fun of the pictures. Really. He and my three year old have a running joke about all these people who have gum in their mouths. And three fingers. And their hands on backwards. But honestly, Gabriel (my almost 4 year old) never commented on the illustrations before and we have been reading these books to him since he was one. He loves them. The pictures are a little bit lacking, but I really don’t think he nor his sister notice.

So … enough of my shameless plug.

So for about a year… we have been going through one story a day (repeating often), almost every day. Recently. after we finish our story, we will sing a few songs that they already know (Jesus loves me, read your bible/pray every day and you’ll grow grow grow, God will make a way, Ho Ho Ho Hosanna … all popular around here right now). We also threw the the Pray & Play Bible (see here) into the mix recently also, because we needed to add to our repertoire of stories. This book has some GREAT pictures. The storyline is not as fun, and geared for slightly older children, but I like that at the end of each story, there is a page or two for adults with craft and song ideas. Some of the songs are really useful and are put to tunes like “old mcdonald” or “bingo” or “mary had a little lamb”, so they are easy to just pick up and teach, which I like.

So thats what we have been doing.

I’ll cover what we want to start doing in my next post