What is my blog about? It's about Torah family living. It's about letting Torah affect our daily lives, from mealtime to bedtime, homeschooling to farm chores.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Little Torah Books

The next My Little Torah Book is ready.  This one is all about eating kosher.  I remember my children quoting how a kosher animal chews its cud and has a split hoof.  Doug would quiz them as a game until it was second nature.  This is important for children to understand so they will have the foundation to make informed decisions as they grow older.  Hopefully this book will help.

Download:  We eat kosher

Have a great day!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A peek at my projects

I am humbled and grateful to see all the positive comments on the resources I have posted.  YHVH has been very good and has put more ideas in my brain than hours in a day.  I'm so glad you have been able to use them.  I thought it would be fun to give you a little peek at projects in the works, and give you the opportunity to suggest any improvements,etc. to make the materials more useful to you.  I want to be able to encourage you to raise your family in Torah.  Torah needs to be taught when we rise up, when we lie down, when we walk in the way.  I pray that these resources can help you on your way.  So here are some things in the works.

My Little Torah Books - We eat Kosher - is complete and will be posted this week.

Torah copywork will be posted a little bit ahead of each portion.

I plan to put together a chart for each portion that will help you match up the subjects with the "Heart of Wisdom" 4 year cycle.

The next "Walking out the Word" topic will be- just weights and measures.

I am working on some yearly copywork e-books that will be available for a reasonable price.  These will cover various topics in Scripture, or take you through specific books of Scripture.  They will cover K-12 with writing assignments with enough for 40 weeks of school.

I am nearly 25% done with the book you have heard a little about.  It is a beginner reader Torah written for 6-8 year olds.  This will be submitted to a publisher, because I want it to be available in hardcover.

I am always grateful for your feedback, so that the materials I write are the most helpful to you.  Happy homeschooling, and enjoy your journey through Scripture!

Terumah - my lesson plans

I seem unable to actually keep track of what we are doing in school and organize it in a post.  I do keep track of our schoolwork, but you aren't interested in my cute little checkmarks lol!  But I can tell you what we plan to do this week.  This will give you a fairly good idea of how school has looked in our house lately.

We always start school by reading one chapter each day of the current Torah portion.  This week I hope to add torahclass.com lessons to match what we are reading.  My children enjoy the illustrations you can download.

We will continue reading "Tirzah," a book about a girl who lived through the Exodus.  It has been wonderful to see the possible details and points of view behind the story we read in Scripture.

We will probably spend some time studying light this week.  This is an ongoing unit study we work on when I don't have anything striking in the torah portion.  I have a couple websites that we can spend time exploring.
Discovering light   Life before artificial light 
I also found a new preschool site with printables for Sadie here.

Okay. my apologies.  Since I began writing this post, I worked on Terumah for Torah School.  I was amazed at how much I found in the next Torah portion!  But in keeping with my rule to stay within my limitations, we will focus on building a paper model of the tabernacle.  Pdf printable is found here.  This is incredible and very doable for younger children with mommy's help. 

We will do the Torah copywork lesson for Terumah, available under the tab "Torah Family Printables."  We do one sentence a day and practice some reading with it.

Holly and Isaac will continue their reading lessons in Language Lessons for Little Ones 2.  This is helping me go systematically through the various sounds.

Naomi is getting near the end of Language Lessons for Little Ones 3. 

Naomi will finish lesson 25 and start lesson 26 in Math-U-See Alpha.  She works mostly independently.  She has been getting 100% on everything, so I am very pleased with her progress.

Holly and Isaac are working on Lesson 8 in Ray's Primary Arithmetic.  They get to play around with bottle caps, etc. and do all their lessons orally right now.  Naomi will switch to this book when she finishes the Math-U-See she is working on.

Naomi will do about 4 pages in her cursive workbook.  She has the most beautiful handwriting for an eight year old.  She is very precise, which can also be a real time sucker.  It's a mixed blessing lol.

We do hebrew lessons with Daddy.  I have a dry erase board on an easel.  We do most of our school at the kitchen table.  They copy down the hebrew words I write into their notebooks, including Daddy.  Then I have them come up and write words that we have already learned.  Sometimes one person draws a picture on the board and we try to label everything in hebrew.  We also do reading practice with the help of "Time to Read Hebrew."  This book has helped us begin to learn our vowel points.

I download coloring pages from aish.com for the current week's torah portion.  The kids can color those if they finish a subject early, etc.  They use the pictures to tell the story of the torah portion on Sabbath for Daddy and I.

Each child has a folder which I fill up at the beginning of each week.  Any printables like their copywork, coloring pages, cursive etc., are put in the folder.  This week they will have their copywork and coloring pages, a map of Israel and Egypt, which we add to each week, and Naomi will get a math test.  Sadie always gets extra coloring pages because that is the majority of her schoolwork right now.  We also often do pages where the kids label the parts of something.  Last week we labeled the parts of a tooth.

So that's the plan. It's not glamorous or complicated.  But it is do-able and I have been able to remain faithful to get it done every day.

In reality, Isaac will be more interested in building a gun with duplo parts and shooting the "monsters" in the hallway.  Holly will want to draw pictures.  Sadie will distract everyone by building towers with the math blocks when they are trying to read a sentence to me.  Naomi will complain that the cursive is too hard even though her cursive nearly exactly matches the example.  And Elisha will bang a spoon in a pan on the floor so no one can hear what I'm saying.  But we'll stick to it.  We'll get the work done.  Lunch will taste really good when we are done.  And I will delight in Naomi getting an A on her math test.  I will be proud of Isaac when he sits still long enought to finish his copywork.  I'll be thrilled to see Holly making up math problems with the bottle caps for her brother to solve.  And Sadie will use three different colors in the same picture and stay in the lines.  Even Elisha will crawl up in my lap as I teach and snuggle into my neck.

So homeschooling is a wonderful thing.  Teaching Torah to my children is a great honor.  Watching my children remember to help their siblings like Torah says is a reward in itself. 

So here's to praying for a good week for all of us.  Stick to it.  Teach confidently.  Trust YHVH to lead you and give you discernment.  Be patient for just a few minutes longer.  And enjoy the fruits of your labors.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Psalm 37:6 Hebrew word study

Psalm 37:6

And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

Tsedeq - righteous - This is the idea of behaving right, walking a straight path, and performing justice.

Ore - light - Refers to light that brings brightness and order, enabling you to see where things are, etc.

Mishpat - judgment - This word involves making a judgment with discretion and according to the law.

Tsohar - noonday - This is a light that shines bright, sometimes described as a double light. A shimmering, glowing olive oil is also involved in this word. It is interesting to note that the olive is crushed before you get to oil. Some roots of this word involve pressing and crushing.

So here is my humble attempt at a better understanding of this verse.

Each day, decide to do what is right. How do we know what is right? By following what is prescribed in the law, YHVH’s law. The weightiest matters of the law are justice, mercy, and faith. We must use discretion and fairness in our dealings. We must have compassion on those around us, particularly those less fortunate. We must trust YHVH to keep His promises as we do our best to obey. When we do, He promises to make our efforts shine like a bright light. Those around us will be able to see clearly and know what to do because of our example. They will be able to bring order to their lives by seeing the law obeyed in our lives. In order for our light to be extra bright, we must undergo some testing and growing. We must do right even when it’s hard. But we can trust that YHVH will use our righteousness to help others to do the same. They will be blessed through us.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Simple Woman's Daybook #2


Outside my window...it is dark and there is lots of snow.  I don't go out much if I can help it.  But I did make it to the mailbox today, a 1/3 mile walk.

I am thinking...about what to have for snack lol!

I am thankful for...Torah, a home, a family, and a pretty belly.

From the learning rooms...We have been doing a lot of changing it up in the last couple weeks.  This is why I haven't posted much on homeschooling.  We are doing copywork everyday, Hebrew lessons, and I switched math curriculums, so I'll get together a post soon.

From the kitchen...Well, I have a new island that I absolutely love.  Doug just needs to plug the holes, because it was supposed to be used for a workbench.  It has 32 holes drilled in the top, a challenge when you are chasing crumbs.

I am wearing...my purple butterfly wrap skirt, a brown tshirt, kneesocks, a purple headscarf, and okay, I admit it, an orange plaid flannel shirt.  Hey, I'm cold!

I am creating...a wool hoodie for Doug.  It has blue, green, and brown stripes, but I'm wondering if I should leave the sleeves and hood a solid color.  We'll see.

I am going...3 hours away for an ultrasound in less than a month!  I am very excited to see what's going on in there.

I am reading...Living More with Less, The Three R's, and several Torah portions at a time.

I am hoping...to finish my book before my due date.

I am hearing...The Fox and the Hound, which the kids are watching right now.

Around the house...I have been cleaning various areas of the house.  Chalk it up to nesting.

One of my favorite things...spring.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  I hope to finish three more chapters in my book.  I'd like to sew a couple diaper covers and fix Doug's snowpants.  Hey, maybe I'll even make some cookies!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Looks like someone was having fun before mommy woke up!  Elisha took his first step this week!

Torah School copywork

Just a quick note to let you know some more Torah copywork is available for you.  It will also have a link in the proper Torah portion over at Torah School.  If there is something else in the copywork lessons that you would find helpful, please let me know.  I'll see what I can do. 

I'm very thankful that YHVH has helped me be productive lately, at least in the writing department.  A nap every day tends to cut down on my working time, but the writing has been an enjoyable task I can do in a chair lol!

Download:  Trumah copywork

Download:  T tsaveh copywork


Monday, January 24, 2011

My Little Torah Books

Yeah!  The next My Little Torah Book is ready!  Holly and I have worked long and hard on these drawings.  She loves to draw and has such a good time doing it.  I hope you and your children enjoy this little book.  It is all about YHVH's creation, particularly the people in a little child's world.

Download: YHVH made me

Have a great day!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Psalm 37:4 Hebrew word study

(Psa 37:4) Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Anag - Delight- This is a rather surprising word. It gives an image of luxurious softness and pure pleasure. Picture sinking into soft satin sheets and being waited on. This is the type of pleasure we should get when we spend time with YHVH.

Nathan - Give- This word simply means to give as a gift.

Mish alah - Desires- The base of this word is to draw out. It can refer to the spoils of battle, prosperity, or unknown knowledge.

Lev - Heart- In Hebrew thought, the heart is the center of our being, our inside authority, or base for wisdom, understanding, and thought.

To put this verse in a more Hebrew context, it might look like this.

When you spend time with YHVH, bask in the luxurious and rich experience of being in His presence. Receive each bit of wisdom as a gift. Find your wholeness and completeness in Him. Then He will surprise you, and give you gifts far beyond what you can imagine. He will search your deepest being, the part of you that you barely know. He knows the part of you that you dare not share with anyone else. He knows what you always dreamed of, but feared you would never realize. He delights in giving you those very things that you thought you would never see. He also wishes to give you wisdom, understanding, and peace. He will make your desires His desires as you delight in Him. And you will be overwhelmed, because all you really needed was the beauty of His presence.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Skirt

I made another skirt last night!  I salvaged this fabric from a half made jumper I had started years ago.  The bodice was too small, so I turned the bottom half into a drawstring skirt.  It took about 30 minutes to put together since it was already cut out.  It's lavendar corduroy with little purple flowers.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I dye daily

That used to be a very true statement.  I used to have a knitting and dying online business.  I had yarn in the dyepot almost everyday.  Those days came to an end when I started homeschooling.  I knew I couldn't do both.  But I was recently asked to dye some yarn for a previous customer, and I was happy to oblige.  So here's a side of me you haven't really seen yet.  Welcome to my world of fiber arts.

This is my trusty dyepot, full of yarn in process.  This colorway is called Turtle Haven.  It has shades of green, brown, and blue.  It's one of my favorites, and was always very popular.  Once the dyeing is done, it goes in my washer for the spincycle.  Then it gets hung by the woodstove to dry. 

These skeins are a new colorway I just came up with, but haven't named.  There is blue, purple, and soft burgundy.  They have been reskeined to mix up all the colors and make it real pretty.

So there you have it.  Once you've squeezed a skein of hand dyed wool yarn, you are never the same.
Have a great day!

Torah School copywork

For those of you who use copywork as part of your schoolwork, I have put together a download to go with the Torah portion.  There are three levels, K-3, 4-8, and 9-12.  K-3 has some simple verses to copy from the portion, with lines right on the paper to make it simple for them.  The 4-12 have longer passages to copy from the portion and the haftarah and brit chadashah (notebook needed), along with suggestions for writing assignments.  I also included some Hebrew words for you to add to your vocabulary.  We try to learn 3-4 new words each week.
I will have this available at Torah School, with the proper Torah portion.

Download:  Mishpatim copywork

As with all my downloads, you can access them any time at the tab at the top of the page: Torah family printables.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Psalm 37:3 Hebrew word study

Trust in YHVH and do good, so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Psalm 37:3

Batach - Trust - The concept is one of clinging to security, having confidence in, relying on.

Tov - Good - This word is so much more than good. The idea is of a home, functioning well, beautifully maintained, a place of comfort and bounty.

Shakan - Dwell - This gives the idea of a permanent, settled residence. There is not constant upset with moving around.

Ra’ah - Fed - The entire picture of a shepherd and his sheep is in this word. The sheep do not think of their next meal, or lambing season, or how to treat a broken leg. They simply know the shepherd will handle it. They are fully cared for by the shepherd.

So to rewrite this verse, it may look something like this:

Cling to and fully rely on YHVH. Your source of hope and confidence is in Him, and not yourself. Bloom where you are planted. Make the very best of your present condition. Make your home a beautiful haven for your family and fellow earthly travelers. YHVH will give permanence to your work and your home. He will make your efforts last. He will give you a home in His land when the time is right. He cares for you as a shepherd for His sheep. He knows how you will get through tomorrow, and has already put in place everything you need. You need to do your very best, but you do not need to be prepared for every possible outcome, because He already has it taken care of. When you cling to Him, you will not fall.

A little praise

I would like to share something exciting that happened to me.  It may be a small thing to others, but it was a big thing to me.  I was talking on the phone to Doug at work, when it felt like I got something in my eye.  I had to hang up the phone while I tried to blink out whatever was in my eye.  I couldn't see anything, and it was impossible to get some drops in.  Doug is always warning me, "Don't rub, or you'll scratch your eye."  Well, I was quickly becoming convinced that I had probably scratched my eye from the beginning.  The "object" had never moved the whole time I was trying to get it out, and I couldn't see anything.

So I had awful pain in my eye.  I couldn't open my eye.  I checked on the internet for scratched eyes.  This was an adventure, since it was hard to see.  Basically, everyone warned that you need to see an eye doctor asap.  Doug would not be back till at least lunchtime the next day.  There was no way I could get to an eye doctor.

So I began to pray.  I prayed for healing and thanked Him for the answer.  As I prayed, it occured to me that if my eye was in pain, perhaps my perspective was wrong about something.  So I began to search my heart, and discovered that I needed to fully trust YHVH with this pregnancy.  We have alot of unanswered questions right now.  It had been very tempting to just freak out, but YHVH wants me to trust.  I prayed for a right, biblical perspective, and then I went to bed.  It was challenging to go to sleep with a painful, bloodshot eye, but I did eventually.

When I woke up the next morning, I could open my eye.  It wasn't in pain at all, and wasn't even bloodshot.  Praise YHVH!  He is so good.  He completely healed the scratch and I am so thankful.

Shabbat Shalom!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Beginning Readers

Okay, I've been at it again.  This writing thing is contagious, or just plain addictive.  Holly and Isaac are currently practicing their short vowel sounds, and I made this book to give them further practice.  I hope your children will enjoy it, too.

This book gives practice with the (at) family.

Download "A cat on my mat"


At the beginning of this post, I am going to make it clear that I am in a silly mood.  That said, I have been enjoying the pictures of all the ladies in skirts this week.  I have been wearing skirts or dresses only for at least ten years now.  But I have not participated for a few very important reasons.

1. I only have two skirts that fit right now.  The number is only so high because I made another skirt on Monday.

2. Due to reason number 1, I have been wearing my pajamas, because they fit around my belly.  (By the way, it is officially big, measuring 7cm ahead.)

3. Even if my clothes were actually fitting, I don't go anywhere all winter, and my primary concern is warmth.  In other words, I'm not all pretty like the pictures I've seen.

Okay, I lean towards the funky in my dress.  I like bright colored knee socks, wild print head scarves, hot pink rubber boots, etc.  But today, I went over the top even for me lol!

So, I wish to share with you my award winning outfit today.  No, you do not get a pic, because my camera batteries are dead.  Be grateful!  I am saving your eyes!

Starting at the bottom, I have gray and black striped knee socks, think wicked witch of the west.
My new skirt is great, wrap around ankle length blue denim with purple butterflies fluttering all over it.
My maternity tshirt is gray with little tiny flowers all over it.
I'm cold so I added a pink and purple plaid flannel shirt.
My headscarf is a bandanna with blue and purple large flowers all over it.
Hey, don't be so mean!  I remembered to put my tsitsiyot on!

Now, aren't you glad I didn't post a pic!  May I provide you with a healthy chuckle that seizes you suddenly in about 4 hours.  Have a great day!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Our journey to simple living

I have always been drawn to the simple life.  My mom made our own clothes and toys, and my dad grew a big garden and hunted venison to help with food.  Now, with a home of my own and 5+ kids to care for, my heart is seeking the simpler ways again.  Part is from necessity, and part is from the desire to live as the scriptures teach. 

I am currently reading the book Living More with Less by Doris Longacre.  She wrote this book thirty years ago, from a mennonite perspective, but I am amazed at how her philosophies and ideas line up with Hebraic thinking.  We must look at our life as a whole, centered around relationships.  It is far better to work together, than spend our money on labor saving devices.  The list goes on.  So I have spent much time evaluating and trying to implement change where I feel led.  I thought I'd share a few things I have been doing.  Perhaps you will be inspired to seek the simple life, too.

The reason I bought the book in the first place was because we are trying to cut our electric bill, and use alternative energy where we really need it.  So I have been going through the house, looking at wattage on the back of all our appliances.  Shocking, really!  I am thankful that I bought some appliances that are hand operated, like my grain mill.  Yes, I turn a crank to produce about 4 cups of flour every day.  I have been unplugging things, but I can't believe I didn't look inside the dryer sooner.  It takes 5600 watts to run.  In my neck of the woods, that equals about $20 a month.  Well, I can think of some better uses for that money, like more bulk whole grains.  So, starting a week ago, I have been drying my clothes on a rack by the woodstove.  I was unsuccessful at first, but here a a few tricks I learned that you might find helpful.

  ~ I put my laundry in the washer right before dinner, and hang it on the rack by the woodstove right after dinner.
 ~ I do one load a day, which fits on my current drying setup.
 ~ I hang as much as possible on hangers on metal rods Doug rigged for me.
 ~ Diapers go at the top of the drying rack, where the heat rises.  They also get folded over the rod with one end longer.
 ~ Blankets and towels get flung over shower curtain rods.  Sheets go over doors.
 ~ Before I go to bed, I flip everything over that is hanging on the rack.
 ~ By breakfast, everything is dry and it gets sorted into small laundry baskets.  Everyone in the family has one with their name on it.  All the laundry is put away and the drying rack collapsed by breakfast.  No hanging laundry in everyone's way all day!

It would probably be fun to put 75 cents in a can every time I don't use the dryer!

We do not live with less for it's own sake.  We live with less so there is more to share with others.

Shabbat Shalom!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Walking out the Word printable

I want to introduce another printable I just finished.  This series is called "Walking out the Word."  Each set addresses one command in the torah and gives kids lots of hands on ways to understand and practice it.  The first in the series is about wearing tassels.  It has bible studies, coloring pages, hands on activities and printable cards.  Check it out!

Download: Walking out the Word - tassels

Also, my next My Little Torah Book is almost done.  We're working on the last of the illustrations.  Holly has been sweet enough to help me out with some drawing. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Some helpful links

I would like to share some websites and resources that you might find helpful.  I know they are currently very helpful to me.

First, I'd like to bring your attention to the website Spinning Babies.  It explains the importance of baby positioning to help have an easier delivery.  It gives specific exercises and posture techniques to promote the optimum position.  Problem positioning is also addressed with specific tips for each.  I have had 5 children, 2 c-sections, and difficult births.  Looking back, many of my problems were due to poor positioning.  So I'm anxious to do what I can to prepare.  I have been praying much for this upcoming delivery, and YHVH keeps answering my prayers and worries by sending me, rather unexpectedly, to sites that address fetal positioning.  So I intend to take His answers and act on them.  It makes me think of the story my brother-in-law brought up the other day. 

A man firmly believed that God would save him from the coming flood.  A bus drove by his home, offering him a ride to safety.  But, no, he refused, because God would save him.  As the waters rose, a boat came by, again offering a ride to safety.  But, again, he refused, knowing that God would save him.  Before long, he was sitting on his roof, due to the rising waters.  A helicopter tried to save him, but again, he refused.  He soon found himself in heaven and demanded to know why he had not been saved.  God replied that He had sent a bus, a boat, and a helicopter.  What more did the man need?

We should pray for help, and do our best to recognize when He sends us an answer.  Many times, He will direct us to the ways we can work with the creation that He set up.  That's why we give our children garlic when they are sick, and enforce bedtimes to get enough rest.  YHVH doesn't always have to send a miracle, because many times he gave the solution right in His creation and the laws of physics.  A good reason to teach our children science, huh?  He designed our wombs perfectly, but I, in my ignorance and fear, did not understand how to work with that design.  I spent my pregnancies in recliners, worrying about all that could go wrong.  With YHVH's help, I want to learn and work with His perfect design.  Will it still hurt?  Yes.  Will it still be hard wok?  Yes, but I want to see my body work the way it was created to work, and see YHVH deliver this baby His way.  So, I hope this site is a blessing to you, too.

OK, next up is an ebook I would like to bring to your attention.  Telling your Time has been a real help to me as I try to prioritize what I will spend my time and energy on.  It also happens to be on sale this week thru Jan. 7, for $7.  If you are needing help, not only with scheduling your time, but priortizing, this book will help you on your journey.  Be sure to use the coupon code "CLEANSLATE."  I hope you enjoy it.

Have a great week!

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