Fun With Apologia's Swimming Creatures

Our little friend's amazing ocean box
We recently finished up our year long science study using Swimming Creatures by Apologia. This was my favorite year so far! Although I loved the Botany studies we did last year, and my sons really enjoyed Astronomy, it was amazing to learn about all these crazy creatures that inhabit our oceans. 
The shark, it had been out of the water for a while.

As a finale for our year, we did a few crafts with the younger kids, displayed the ocean boxes that we had worked on, shared reports and even dissected a shark. 

The other two families that we have been studying science with over the last several years, contributed so much to our fun last day, and although the shark brought some unexpected surprises to me, shark brain in the freezer, anyone?,  it really capped off an incredible year.


Aside from working on our Sculpey clay sea creatures throughout the year, we didn't do a lot of crafts, so my littlest student really enjoyed decorating a paper bowl which became his own pet jellyfish, complete with a cutout of a fish pasted into it's "tummy".


We are so happy that we have friends to learn with! Our many years of doing homeschool co-ops have brought so much fun and creativity to our lives.

Click here for a slightly more sophisticated jellyfish craft


Family Mission Trips

We have been doing mission work in Mexico for over 15 years and just got back from another wonderful weekend in this precious country.  Another brave family came with eight of their children and one adorable grandchild.


This was one of our quickest trips ever, we rolled into Mexico on Saturday evening and were in the border line at 5pm on Monday, quick but full of excitement.

Sunday morning after a brief and cozy sleep at the mission house we headed to Calvary Chapel Rosarito for Sunday morning service. When we first moved to Mexico we attended this church which at the time met in a small retail building. The children were all packed into a downstairs room while the adults, around 40 people worshipped upstairs. Fast forward 10 years and this church now has over 1,000 people who meet in a huge warehouse and have new believers and new church plants growing as an outflow of their ministry. It was inspiring to be back in such an exciting place. 

Sunday afternoon we drove an hour east to visit one of these church plants which is pastored by a couple we had known since living in Mexico. This brand new church meets under a couple of Costco car covers in one of the poorest squatter communities in Tijuana. 
Scott and I were honored to testify of God's goodness in our lives to these spiritually hungry people and to share some tools which we had learned at the Love After Marriage conference we attended in February. While the service was going on our children had the fun of directing the children's class which met in a little dirt floor classroom. To get to the classroom you ascended a staircase made of old tires. An incredible place to sow into.


Monday, after a fabulous breakfast of chorizo and eggs with fresh tortillas and pan dulce we headed over to the orphanage. We have been supporting this orphanage for the last 8 years and love how they really parent the children. It was wonderful to listen to the children recite much of Ephesians 6, although with my faulty Spanish I kept another child close at hand to help me.

After feeding the children pizza and fixing up a sunshade over their outdoor dining room we headed back to the U.S. We were across the border in 30 minutes, one of the shortest crossings we had ever experienced. It was an inspiring weekend because there is nothing quite as special as ministering cross culturally with your children.