Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Sower And The Seeds

It dawned on me earlier this year that while the boys are pretty familiar with Old Testament characters and happenings, they aren't as grounded in the New Testament things outside of the birth and death of Jesus. So I felt the deep need to start working in the New Testament this year. Oddly enough, Koorong had children's calendars up for grabs this year that were based on the parables. (It was actually put out by the Bible Society Australia, who offers a kids magazine throughout the year as well. While it would probably be a bit pricey to have it shipped to you if you didn't live in Australia, you can download it for free from their site!)

As for that calendar each month the kids learn a new verse (for each week) based on a parable. They read the story and make a craft or recipe to go along with it. To top the whole thing off with I purchased a book from CBD with Make & Take Bible story books for the boys. So after much fussing with my printer (which after staying up hours too late I realized wasn't necessary, but that's so not the point) we set to work on learning about The Sower & The Seed.

The boys were highly impressed that Jesus told stories, and I heard a few mumblings about the lack of booster rockets in them. We read the "story" from Matthew & from Mark. We discussed the defining of time with the Old and New Testaments, which worked relatively well as we're currently using a Konos timeline. (We use the strips not the chart.)

We also made a birdseed craft to reinforce the whole seed concept. The craft came directly from the calendar, and it worked well despite our changes.

You'll need a hanger, birdseed (I used 2 cups), egg whites (I used 3 left over from the chocolate pudding the night before), a tin can or a terra cotta pot, and an oven bag

Dump the bird seed and the egg white in a bowl.

Mix it all up with a spoon

Line the can or terra cotta pot with the oven bag.
(Is using a tin punch a hole with a nail in the bottom of the can!)

Fill the can with the seed mixture, and press down firmly to avoid being cut by the edge of the can I used a 1 cup measuring cup (flat side) to press down with.

Cut the flat section of a coat hanger off with wire cutters, then bend one end of it into a small hook.

poke the coat hanger into the can (not visible in picture) and pull it through the hole so the hook is lodged in the birdseed. Crumple the oven bag up on can leaving a hole for steam to escape.

Bend the wire in half and place the can in the oven slipping the wire in between the "holes" in your oven rack. See picture for placement ideas. Bake at 100 c for an hour.

Place on cooling rack in the same manner you placed it in the oven. Lawrence put my cooling rack on top of two glasses so that my hanger could dip down below it without causing any problems. I let it sit while we made and ate lunch (45 - 60 minutes) then I loosened the oven bag, straightened the wire, and pulled the whole thing out by pulling up on the oven bag!

Tada! I let ours cool on the over bag for a bit longer for fear it was too warm for the birds to eat, then we hung it up outside near a window. I will add that some of the seed crumbled off as I pulled it out of the can, but not enough to panic about.

Lastly, we took the kids outside with a bowl each of the extra birdseed and they scattered it as if they were the "sower":

they had fun looking to see where there seeds fell..

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