New Life

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly." Richard Bach

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Migrant Worker

Photo credit
 I haven't been able to get this picture off of my mind.  I am captivated.  We are almost finished with a year long American History picture study and this week we happened upon

The Migrant Worker.....

This large picture was up in our house all week, but it wasn't until after the picture study that I even noticed the small baby in her arms.

Dorothea Lange's account:
"I saw and approached the hungry and desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet. I do not remember how I explained my presence or my camera to her, but I do remember she asked me no questions. I made five exposures, working closer and closer from the same direction. I did not ask her name or her history. She told me her age, that she was thirty-two. She said that they had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that the children killed. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food. There she sat in that lean- to tent with her children huddled around her, and seemed to know that my pictures might help her, and so she helped me. There was a sort of equality about it." (From: Popular Photography, Feb. 1960).
The caption on Shorpy reads 
"Destitute pea pickers living in tent in migrant camp. Mother of seven children. Age thirty-two." Nipomo, California. February 1936. Photograph by Dorothea Lange.
"The anonymous subject of this famous Depression-era portrait known as "Migrant Mother" came forward in the late 1970s and was revealed to be Florence Owens Thompson (click for interview). She died in 1983."

We are learning about this time of The Depression, the dust bowl, unemployment, and real, authentic poverty.  Ms Lange helped shock America into seeing the horrors of it; people couldn't believe that this was really happening in the prosperous U.S.

I keep looking into her eyes, her anxious hand up at her mouth, and wonder what she was thinking.

I am grateful I don't have to think those thoughts.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Memorization & 10 Chocolate Morsels

Memorizing has become an integral part of our homeschool.  It is even on our schedule.  When we first started learning scripture, my two little girls (4 and 2 at the time) and I would make a train, being silly, dancing and singing to scripture on Cd's as we paraded through the house.

“... dance like nobody's watching, ...”  Mark Twain


  The girls still remember scriptures that we memorized this way.  It was tucked in their hearts.

Now that they are older, we discuss how His word can be applied to our lives.  It makes it real.

We memorize a line or sentence daily and commit to memorizing it for a week.  It literally takes about five minutes total every day for the four of us to recite it; ten minutes tops as the recitations get a bit longer.  (And that includes counting out chocolates too. ☺)

The motivator and the reward is chocolate.  The friendly competition of knowing that their sisters can 'do it' helps.  But the true reward is that they will keep God's words in their hearts and on their tongues.  Even they can see this as they remember scripture from years ago.

I give 10 chocolate morsels for saying it correctly.  You don't get the chocolate until you DO say it correctly.  Every week we add on another verse or line and every day during that week, we learn just that one line adding it on to what we have already memorized.  You have to say it ALL correctly to get the chocolate.  Sometimes this can be a couple hundred words.  Even mom must say it correctly!  It isn't a bribe.  They do look forward to the chocolate.....  And it does make it fun. 

At the beginning of the year, we committed The Beatitudes to memory.

Even the four year old did it!

She knew it all by heart (although she didn't do as well when she was being recorded).   And the beauty of it is that it doesn't have to be perfect.   Here is just a part of it as we were not finished learning it in it's entirety at the time of the recording... (pause music at top right to hear)

Now we are in the midst of tackling Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and are almost through.  I think another 6 weeks should do it.

Here is my middle daughter reciting almost all of it...(pause music at top right to hear)

I believe our success comes from doing a little bit each day and layering upon what we have already committed to memory.  It is the old cliche.....How do you eat an elephant?

One. bite. at. a. time.

This has been a ten year journey.  Some of the scriptures we have learned, off the top of my head, include Proverbs 31,  Psalm 1, The 10 commandments, and numerous others.  We also have learned poetry.   Several times I have picked verses from Our Keepers At Home Club.  The girls earn pins at the end of the school year for Bible memory.

10 chocolate morsels and a little consistency is all it takes.

If we can do this, I mean, if even a four year old can do it, then anyone can.   Won't you join us?

Psalm 119:11-16 (NLT)

 11 I have hidden your word in my heart,
      that I might not sin against you.
 12 I praise you, O Lord;
      teach me your decrees.
 13 I have recited aloud
      all the regulations you have given us.
 14 I have rejoiced in your laws
      as much as in riches.
 15 I will study your commandments
      and reflect on your ways.
 16 I will delight in your decrees
      and not forget your word.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A story in six words.

"She mentioned her marriage was over."

Keeping my fingers crossed that I will win the free scholarship to She Speaks this July!