{ Un-Saintly Samples }

The light bulb went on recently.

I am a homeschool educator and if I’m going to spend time writing these “Daily Word Prompt” posts, I should probably pass along the learning and inspiration to my students (my children.)

Duh.

That way, I can

  • Justify spending time in writing exercise
  • Share and pass along the learning
  • Give them the opportunity to exercise their writing muscles

Most of all, I want them to see that you can just dive into writing.  Do it regularly. Don’t stare at a page for wasted minutes, just move your pen or mouse and start writing.

Very important: Spelling doesn’t matter in these exercises. The focus is to loosen up the flow of writing, making it fun & easy.

During the last week, I have shared the “word prompt of the day” with them.

Then, I give them one other challenge, such as:

  • use one of your spelling or geography words in your paragraph
  • include a few hyphenated compound words
  • Use “island” or the specific name of an island (we are studying islands this year.)

Someone even asked for the new word prompt today before breakfast!

They are allowed to bring up their laptops and start in.  This gives them something to do while everybody migrates to the work table…and it gives me time to make that second cup of coffee.

They are allowed around 15 – 20 minutes at the beginning of our school day for these writing exercises.

Today’s word: saintly.  They can use the negative “unsaintly” also.

(Most everyone liked using “unsaintly” instead of “saintly.” Hmmm….)

Today’s extra challenge: use at least one of this week’s geography vocabulary words.

  • Marco, age 10 wrote this:

The unsaintly, unshaven robber stole some money from the Commerce Creek Bank.  He hid it inside the hollow tree.  An alarm went off.  The police came.  They found no evidence or fingerprints.

  • Here is another, by 9-year-old Gianny:

Hello, my name is Daniel.  I am camping with my dad, next to a humongous waterfall.  Some people think camping on a Sunday is unsaintly.  I don’t think so because when I look at a waterfall, I can praise God for what He made. 

  • Ava, age 12 is a prolific writer and here is an excerpt of today’s work:

Thunder rumbled, lightning flashed, rain pounded on the rooftop.  Little Marie tossed and turned in her bed.  She could never go back to sleep in the middle of a thunderstorm, knowing that the creek just in back of her house could easily swamp their house as soon as it got too high.  Marie could finally take no more.  She pushed the warm, fluffy covers away from her and slid her feet into her white cotton slippers.  It was dark in the room, despite the angry flashes from outside…

  • 13-year-old Mo has the beginnings of a novel. Each day’s challenge builds on the story the day before.
  • 14-year-old Clara writes an excellent “how to” / step-by-step piece every day.  Her work is amusing and well-crafted.

This experiment has me surprised and happy.  They really like taking this time first thing to write.  They look eager, but relaxed. It’s a great way to start our school day.

I wish we would have started this in September.

© Lisa M. Luciano 😊

{ Almost-Empty-Pantry Cake }

It’s Monday, and it appears that we diminished our food stockpile over the weekend.

I need to buy groceries.

Though the pantry is bare, we can still eat cake.

It won’t be bursting with fruit or chocolate, but with a patina of flavorful glaze, this dessert is sweetly satisfying (and easy to make.)

cake
I made my cake with coconut oil (didn’t have butter- used it all up over Thanksgiving) & I used water (didn’t have milk.) This is a stock photo. Ours looked similar. But, everyone ate it up before I remembered to take a photo.

Almost-Empty-Pantry Cake

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 c sugar
  • ½ cup fat (butter, coconut oil, shortening)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • 1 ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup milk or water

 

Glaze:

  • ½ – 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • Enough lemon juice whisked into the confectioner’s sugar to create a pourable glaze
  • If you don’t have lemon juice, use milk or water with a few drops of flavoring.

 

  1. Combine dry ingredients.
  2. Beat sugar and fat together. Add eggs, milk and vanilla.
  3. Mix dry ingredients with wet mixture.
  4. Place in greased 9 x 9 pan and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes.
  5. When cake is cooled, pour glaze over.
  6. Eat and enjoy.
  7. Now go buy groceries.

 

© Lisa M. Luciano 😊

 

 

{ Humble & Brave }

David was a brave shepherd, an accomplished stone-slinger, and a victorious underdog champion.

IMG_20171018_151015

He was a beloved king and a stumbling sinner.
David was winsome, bold and good-looking.
He would have had his face pasted all over the internet if he had lived in this millennium.
But the most attracting and intriguing thing of all?

David was called “a man after God’s own heart.”

(I Samuel 13:14)

What does that even look like—when someone lives to do the things that God cares about?

When someone’s heart is patterned after the heart of a loving, holy God?

 

Besides all this, you would think that a brave, manly king and warrior would be too macho for poetry and a humble attitude toward God.

 

Not David.

 

Here is part of a song he wrote (and sang) after being pursued and saved from his enemies, including the extremely jealous King Saul.

(This is taken from the Bible, and re-written in casual everyday language—like a person’s unplanned, but heartfelt prayer) :

I love you, God—You make me strong.

God is bedrock under my feet, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight.

My God—the high crag where I run for dear life, hiding behind the boulders, safe in the granite hideout.

 

I call to God, I cry to God to help me.

From His palace he hears my call; my cry brings me right into his presence—a private audience!

They hit me when I was down, but God stuck by me.

He stood me up on a wide-open field;

I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!

From Psalm 18, the Message Bible

Brave

Word of the Day: Brave

 

{ Fraud }

      bookshelf

airytales, anyone? Here are a few:

eal Science: The Big Bang

rrogant Love

nderstanding God’s Ways

oing Good: The Way to Heaven

 

Truth:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. —Genesis 1:1

For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world…—Romans 1:20

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful…—I Corinthians 13:4,5

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! —Romans 11:33

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. —Ephesians 2:8,9

 

Word prompt of the day: Fraud

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/fraud/

Fraud“>

{ Glorious }

niklas-tidbury-327468“I want to know God’s thoughts; the rest are mere details.” –Albert Einstein

There is always more to discover in this world, although people have been finding, inventing and exploring for thousands of years.

Here are some recent quotes from news headlines:

  • “The exact size of the universe is still unknown.”
  • “Scientists have discovered 1,451 new species in our oceans this past year.
  • “Until recently, no one knew that the smaller-than-microscopic pentaquark existed.”

Likewise, there is always more to discover about the God of the universe.

The riches, wisdom and knowledge of God are deeper than I can imagine. His ways are inscrutable, meaning impossible to understand or interpret. When I think have God’s ways figured out, Isaiah 55:8 reminds me: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.”

But the eternal, infinite, inscrutable God wants to be known.

James 4:8 says that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us.

Paul prays in Ephesians 1:17 “…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.”

I can pursue knowing the infinite God through His Word. There is so much yet to know, and it makes me praise our deep, rich, wise, and glorious God.

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?”
Or who has given a gift to Him that He might be repaid? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever.” Romans 11:33-36

Glorious“>

Photo by: Niklas Tidbury

{Root Canal & Cucumbers}

GetResizedImage
These are called gutta-percha points.  They are approximately 28 mm long & used as root filling material in dental treatments.

I recline in the chair, hazy and apprehensive.

“So…what will happen today?” I ask on this third visit to tackle my wayward tooth.

“So, Dr. Mike will check the tooth, and if it looks good, he will insert one of these — obviously without the handle.”

It looks like a toothpick with a small bulb at the end.  Surely the bulb goes IN and the toothpick part is the handle?

Nope.  The toothpick-like structure is the part that gets slipped into the tube-like canal behind the tooth.

I am sitting in a dentist chair, mouth gaping, praying that the numbing agent doesn’t wear off.

It’s a solitary moment in one’s life.

Bantering dental jargon flies over my head.

My thoughts swing like a pendulum between those prayers and the plans I have to process buckets of cucumbers from the garden later today.

I’ll be chopping and slicing cukes and filling the refrigerator with pickle jars.

For lunch we will eat cukes and dip, and other finger foods. Without toothpicks.

 

cucumbers-849269__340

Solitary“>

{ Qualm } & Other Words

QUALM: The word prompt of the day. My first thoughts:

  • A quiet misgiving.
  • A calm fear.
  • A nagging doubt.
  • An ebbing lack of peace.

Last night at the local Caribou Coffee shop.  I look up with that “caribou in the headlights” stare that the baristas see all day.  Glazing over the menu, I know I will choose the same-old-same-old anyway:

A large Americano with room for cream – boring, low calorie, coffee rich, and satisfying.

Caribou Coffee offers a “question of the day” in exchange for a whopping, debt-reducing dime off your order. For my standard Americano purchase, that is 3.5% off the total (if I answer correctly.)

They also offer a chalkboard question. Today’s query is intriguing. (I gleaned those italicized words from reading every one of the Nancy Drew books in my formative years.)

The chalkboard asks: What is your favorite unusual word?

I like this question.

I know right away what I will scrawl on the chalkboard: UBIQUITOUS.

I see “argent” and “preternatural.” Gotta look those up.

My daughter digs ERSATZ out of her brain and writes it far from UBIQUITOUS in yellow chalk.

I feel encouraged as a homeschooling mom.

Why do I take the time to scroll perfect pink chalk letters and then back away—looking — like I’m examining a work of art?  It’s just a word on a chalkboard. No one is looking. Or are they? Are they impressed with my word? Are they planning to look it up? Are they inwardly nodding in agreement?

What is wrong with me?

It’s just a word.