Monday, April 7, 2014

Learning to Overcome | My Messy Beautiful

Today I'm taking part in Momastery's Messy Beautiful Warriors Project! Click on the link at the bottom to read other's stories and get more information on the book Carry On Warrior.

Messy, Beautiful Warrior

My name is Monique and I feel like the fear is always there. And I know that it’s never good to say always but it feels like it’s there A LOT and that I spend a good deal of my thought life fighting the fear. 

The messy of my life is the fear. On a day to day basis I am pretty sure I don’t come across as a fearful person and that’s not because I’m hiding a bunch of stuff. I’m pretty confident. Pretty confident in my self, my parenting, my teaching, my writing, my business, my marriage - all those things that I feel like I have some measure of control over. I don’t need to be the best but if I am not good at something - I will get good at it (except music, I can’t get good at that one). And that’s not an arrogance thing, it’s an I have Jesus and I was raised to know I can DO anything thing. 

But the things I don’t have any control over… the lump on my rib cage, the other driver coming at me on the highway, the person who decides I’m not worth their time, those things stress the hell out of me. I hate the fear that all this undeserved goodness and blessing is going to at some point run out. Even putting words to those fears can throw me into a panic, because what if then they come true? 

Cliffs that will obviously result in death. 
Bill Johnson wrote in his book “Supernatural Power of the Transformed Mind” that “Fear is a deception that blinds you to what is true.” That fear I battle with is just that. It’s a deception that blinds me to the true heart of The Father. To the truth of His goodness and perfect love. It’s also deceptive in that sometimes I don’t even recognize it as fear until it’s turned from a thought seed to a full blown ugly fear weed in my life. I’m starting to learn though that if I am fighting to control something - fear is likely at the root. 

In the same book Johnson expands on the verses Philippians 4:6-8 in a way that keeps me coming back time and time again to that passage and has helped me retrain my first response to these fears. 

Be anxious for nothinghe says the enemy is constantly lying to us about our circumstances so that we agree with his perspective. We need to learn to interpret those events with a renewed mind. I used to think that I could be all about Jesus and still worry and live with fear, that I just needed to bring that to Him. I do need to bring that to Him but I’ve come to realize that that fear and worry are simply agreeing with the kingdom of hell. There is no middle ground. That truth makes entertaining those thoughts a way more serious. I don't want to agree with those lies. 

When I pray with thanksgiving I am able to come back into agreement with the kingdom of heaven where perfect love casts out fear. 

And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Johnson explains that the word “guard” literally means to “protect by a military force… to prevent hostile invasion.” He says “there is a place in God for you where you are protected by His peace, and you can live without struggling against the constant bombardment of the enemy’s lies.” That is such a GOOD word!

By living in agreement with heaven I can step out from behind that filter of fear that colours every circumstance in my life. Through prayer with thanksgiving I can be protected by the peace of Christ that literally shields me from the constant lies of the enemy, from the constant fear. That is such good news. Such a beautiful truth. 

Quotes from “Supernatural of the Transformed Mind” and it’s accompanying 40 Devotional and Personal Journal by Bill Johnson. You should read it ;)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Junior Black Jack | Working on Addition

We love games for math. Last night as I was planning for today my mind started to wander on what types of games using a deck of cards we could play to work on the boy one's addition skills. Black Jack suddenly seemed like a good idea but we're not quite at the point of being able to add to 21 yet. So I made up a modified Black Jack Addition game :)

Now before you get all judgey on me... I don't encourage gambling. I don't gamble myself. I've been to Vegas three times and have gambled $1 total on the penny slots at the airport on the way out!

We don't do any wagering in this version but you do win a "chip" if you win the round.

I've altered this game to go to 11 but you could choose any number. We've just started addition and are working on adding to 10 so 11 made sense for us. 

Objective: Draw cards and get a total number closest to 11 without going over.

Set Up: 
Remove cards 8 - King in your deck of cards leaving with Ace through 7 to play with. 
Shuffle Cards
Set out "chips" or counters to use for your points system.
Set out a number line if needed to assist in the addition

* Ace counts as 1 or 11. It's up to the player how they want to use it. *
Deal one card face down to each player.
Flip them over at the same time. 
Each player decides if they want to "hit" (draw another card) or "stay" if they are quite close to 11.
Those players who request a hit each get one more card face down.
Flip again at the same time and add the numbers.
Anyone who is over 11 is bust and out of the round. 
Those remaining choose whether they will stay or get another hit. 
Draw another card and add to the previous number. (Continue until everyone is either bust or staying).
Determine which player is closest to 11 without going over and reward them with a counter.
In the event of a tie both players get a counter.

Winning the game:
You win if you have the most points at then end of specified time or number of rounds. You can also play to 11 counters.

Addition Strategies:
I encourage my son to either use the number line if he doesn't know the answer or to count the symbols on the cards.
When counting on the cards, start with the largest number first and then count from there. For example with a 7 and a 3 have your child say point to the 7 and say "7" then to the 3 "8, 9, 10".

Both the boy one and I had a blast playing and we made sure we used proper hand signals for "hit" and "stay". 
It's really great for kids to practically consider the value of numbers as they have to decide how close they are to 11 and what the chances of going over are. 

The game is also very easily modified so if you want to include higher number cards or change the number you're trying to attain - it all works!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Operation Stick Family

It all started with this text to a group of brave and hilarious individuals.  (September 19, 2013)

There was no hesitation and they signed up for the covert operation.
Agent Bolan
Agent Kowal
Agent Aspinal
Agent Wagstaff
Agent Tregoning

The first to go on was my ballerina. English One is my neighbour and so I kept close watch to see when they were home. I waited for the cloak of darkness and made my move.

Their window was wide open and they were watching T.V. while I stealthily crept to their vehicle. I watched for passerby-ers and had to dive for cover when her husband stood and stretched in front of the window. Ballerina was on and I had to risk the flash to get a pic!

Next up Bolan went on a cross city mission to find the Gallipeau vehicle...

Located! At the church. Close call when Dani went up the stairs to the offices where she could see into the parking lot!

Up to a family of 5!

Kowal was next. She asked that I notify her when Gallipeau lights were out. I said it was more fun if you could get caught ;) She bundled up and headed down the street.

Hooligans with balloons across the street made another loop around the block mandatory! Oh the suspense. 

Little Girl has landed. Family of 6!

Tregoning ventured over a couple of nights later with "Misfit the Business Woman". 

Family of 7!

Text Convo:
Bolan: Love it! Their family is getting awkward!
Kowal: Wish we could get her reaction on camera when she realizes.

Text Convo:
Kowal: Wow the family might grow by triplets today!
Willms: Lol. While you're there want to blow some dust on ours so they don't look so new?

Then a devastating thing happened. Ballerina and Misfit went MIA. We all felt the loss dearly. 

However, Hockey Boy and Skipping Girl stepped up to replace our lost. These "agents" missed the memo on proper stealthy attire. 

Back to a family of 7. 

Text Convo:
Kowal: Skipper Girl is getting a slap shot upside the head.
Wag: He's ADHD :)
Aspinall: We pretended to be joggers on our way by.
Kowal: I'm killing myself!

And then.... ANOTHER tragedy! Hockey Boy and Skipping Girl met their untimely demise. 

Text Convo:
Wag: Poor little hockey player :( He had such a bright future.
Kowal: Ha ha
Aspinall: Poor Skipper
Wag: Maybe they're lost together at least...

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark (aka There's something fishy going on!) She is either taking them off or the window was too dirty when we put them on.

So... We re-purchased and replaced Ballerina and Misfit. This time I WINDEXED the entire window. I tested, tried to pull them off but they were stuck well.

(This pic may be a couple days later after it got dirty again :) )

Within days they were GONE!

Grrr... definitely fishy.

So we upped the ante a bit. It's hard to see in this pic but in the top right corner we have twin babies and a dad. We also put a baby bottle in the mom's mouth down below :)

 At the time of this post all have been removed except the extra baby boy (which they are having in January) so I think this gig is up!

So Gallipeaus... we are dying to hear your side of the story. We're quite intrigued that you never once mentioned the stick figures to any one of us (though Crystal overheard Annette say "Oh, she left Angle and the Cat up this time.")

The mission has brought a multitude of belly laughs and constantly "pinging" phones as we updated each other on our covert operations and voiced our suspicions regarding the MIA figures.

A little friendly prank seems to always bring people together and I'm pretty blessed that I have such funny friends.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Not A Box | Homeschool Co-operative

We are super blessed to be a part of a Homeschooling Co-op our very first year of homeschooling. Our first event took place today and I hosted a "Not A Box" afternoon.

If you haven't read the book by Antoinette Portis, I recommend it. It's super cute and a great jumping off point for some imaginative fun!

We started out reading the story together. (I snagged the pic from "gluesticks" instagram to prove I was there :)

We used a printable from Harper Collins to imagine and draw what we thought the boxes could be.

And then came the construction! After brainstorming ideas of what to create we went outside to our plethora of boxes. Each family contributed large boxes and we had LOTS to work with.

The boy one's race car.

Gavin's cannon!

Fiona and Nate collaborating on Nate's #9 train.

Mr. Nate.

 Miss Karah took over as conductor of her brother's train.

Kai in his Watch Tower.

Hannah and Karah made a Tunnel Castle. It consisted of a lot of boxes connected by secret passageways and mini lights popped through the roof!

The kids surprised us by staying involved for HOURS! They kept working on their structures and even arranged them into a little street at one point. It was awesome. 

Their imagination didn't stop! Here they've turned into boats :)

And the whole group (minus the two families who couldn't make it)! They are such an amazing bunch of kids and I'm looking forward to lots more fun get togethers!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Star Wars Kindergarten Unit

This fall I will officially become a homeschooler!

After a degree in Middle Years Education and and 6 years teaching Middle Years ELA I was excited to get back teaching but feeling a tad bit lost about becoming a Kindergarten teacher. Though I could never do Kindergarten with 20 + kids I can honestly say that I am ecstatic about teaching 1 of them and am having a blast creating and planning our units for the year!

My first endeavour was this Kinder Star Wars Unit that I just completed. I am beyond excited to delve into all of these activities and my little Jedi has been begging to start school already so he can do "Star Wars School".

Already I have been super blessed by other teachers and home schoolers providing their units for others to use and so I want to offer mine to any that would like to use it as well!

You can download the 27 page packet here:

In the packet you'll find my unit plan chart with subject, activity and outcomes listed. There are activities in the chart that do not have corresponding work sheets like making edible light sabers and creating a Star Wars Mini Movie. 

You'll also find ELA activities that reinforce various sight words and the "ar" word family as well as a simplified plot sequence. Many of the math activities revolve around measuring with various "units" and number sequence (1-20). 

I hope you enjoy using the packet and be sure to let me know how it goes over with your kids!

~ Monique

* Also, please note that I'm a first time Kindergarten teacher and have developed this knowing where my child is at and how I plan to teach him various things. For example, it might mix kids up to be introduced to different pronunciations of "ar" words such as star and war but I figure he's got to learn it at some point and I know he'll want to read the title "Star Wars"!