“Each day, though it bring its trouble, shall bring its help; and though you should live to outnumber the years of Methuselah, and though your needs should be as many as the sands of the seashore, yet shall God’s grace and mercy last through all your necessities, and you shall never know a real lack”
“Feed the sparrows and neglect the offspring of his loins—give crumbs to birds, and not feed his sons and daughters? You feel instinctively that the kind heart which remembers the fowls of heaven must yet more remember his own offspring.”
“Christian, remember the all-sufficiency of thy God! Let that ancient name, ‘El Shaddai’—God all sufficient, sound like music in thine ear—as some translate it, “The many-breasted God,” yielding from himself the sustenance of all his creatures.” ~ Charles H. Spurgeon
These quotes from Charles Spurgeon cut right to the heart of this months morning time bundle: a reminder that our creator cares for all of creation.
If you follow me on Instagram then you know that December turned out to be a difficult month for us. It began with the passing of my grandmother early in the month and was followed that weekend with my husband and I running for shelter as a horrible crime took place in our community. Those two instances, and the grief that followed, tried to overtake what has always been a joyous season. Yet, even though their shadow loomed they never overtook us and I can truly say that it was only by the all-sufficient grace of God that Spurgeon made mention of in the last quote. His grace and mercy were truly sufficient for our every need during those difficult times.
The January Morning Time bundle hopes to emphasize his sufficiency in our lives. The emphasis is on forest creatures, specifically the deer. I hope that as you read this blog post that the elements begin to come together for you, as they did for me, and that they provide a strong foundation for you to explore God’s providence more deeply with your family. I pray this bundle reminds you of His constant care.
Here is the breakdown for the individual elements of the bundle! Enjoy
As I was looking for the music selection for January I ran across this beautiful composition from Engelburt Humperdinck’s opera Hansel and Gretel. The Overture is the portion we will be listening to this month. When listened to from the perspective of a winter woodland, I loved it. The frequent changes in instruments seemed to me to be a change from one forest animal to another. For my children sometimes it helps to set the scene when we listen to the music selections, this one is fun to do that with.
If you would like more information and a technical breakdown on the Overture this link is a great source of information on this particular piece and a brief history of Humperdinck.
Our poem this month, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost, is no stranger to most of us. Though it can be interpreted many ways, Susan Jeffers in her book by the same name has illustrated it in such a way that the man who has stopped in the woods has done so to spread straw and seed for the forest animals during a winter storm. I love the picture she creates of this mans provision for the wildlife. It is very sweet and tender, a beautiful interpretation of the poem.
The book contains only the verses to the poem, making it a wonderful resource for memorization.
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Here are some additional resources you may wish to use for the poetry section:
Robert Frost Biography
Artist Susan Jeffers Biography
Oh goodness! Beatrix Potter! This is going to be an exciting month.
Looking through what seemed to be an unending amount of art; searching for deer art, winter forest, forest animals, etc. I just couldn’t seem to land on any one piece of art in particular. I didn’t want a piece to feel too much like we were entering a Bass Pro Shop getting ready for an expedition and I didn’t really want just a forest scene. I landed on a couple that I liked, but when I ran across a few pieces of art from Beatrix Potter I decided that this was the one.
Not only does Ms. Potter do a fantastic job giving human characteristics to animals she also does a wonderful job telling a story with her pictures. Some of the elements I loved in this picture included the snow shovel, sled, the door to their ‘home’, and of course their jackets.
Ms. Potter had a successful career giving silly characteristics to animals. She portrayed them having parties, writing letters, baking, cooking, having stomach aches, and so much more. Other than for their sweet simplicity, why are we so drawn to her art? Could it be because we identify with those sweet little characters? We love seeing the squirrels float away on their rafts to Owl Island, we love it when Peter is safe from Mr. McGregor, and in this one we hope that this little pair of happy Rabbits get to enjoy a day of fun in the snow.
Her art compels us to want what is best for the little animals. We want to see them thrive and to see their every need met. She lovingly tugged at our heartstrings with her art and this months piece is no different.
This month we will be studying a print called Two Rabbits with a Sledge in the Snow. It is believed to have been completed by her in 1890 at the encouragement of her uncle to sell some of her art work. These were believed to be purchased by Hildesheimer & Faulkner who published a number of cards with designs by her and also published her first book, A Happy Pair seen here, too.
Beatrix Potter’s biography and other information can be found here.
This month we will be learning Psalm 5:11-12
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
Some other verses we will be studying along with this one are: Habakkuk 3:19, Psalm 18:33, and II Samuel 22:34. All of these verses compare the life of one who walks with God to that of a deer whose feet are steady, secure, and able to scale the highest mountains. Psalm 23 will also be a wonderful resource for this theme, as well.
The Handbook of Nature Study has a very small portion dedicated to the study of deer on page 290 so we will also be using The Field Book of North American Mammals by H.E. Anthony. The White Tailed Deer section is found on pages 519-520. If you would like to continue and study the Black Tailed Deer as well, it continues to page 524. The Science card in the download will give more information on how to study this section.
This month we will be creating a “No-Sew Appliquéd Deer” and Deer Headbands.
Here is what you need to create the Applique craft:
- This Template
- 4″ Wooden Embroidery Hoop
- Self Adhesive Felt Sheets 1 of each: Brown, Tan or White, and Black
- Snip of Greenery
- Background fabric
For the Deer Headband:
- Self Adhesive Felt Sheets (Brown and Tan or White)
- Plastic Headband
- Hot glue gun
- Small sticks (optional)
Cut out 6 deer shaped ears (4 in darker Brown, 2 just a bit smaller in Tan). Adhere two of the larger ears together (front and back) 2X
Then place the lighter portion of the ear toward the bottom of the large ear on each one.
Hot glue the ears to a plastic headband.
Optional: if you would like to add antlers to your deer (for the boys), gather 2 small sticks from the yard. They should be small enough to be able to be held up with their head but large enough to make them feel like a big Buck! Hot glue them onto the headband in between the ears.
If you would like to skip the felt projects altogether you could also make bird suet for the winter. Here is what you will need:
- 1/2 cup bacon fat, lard, or shortening
- 1/2 cup peanut butter, chunky
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup birdseed (black sunflower seeds)
- 2 small paper cups
- Melt peanut butter and fat, mix well.
- Mix in the remaining ingredients, stirring well.
- Spoon into paper cups and place in the freezer or refrigerator.
- Once it is cooled completely, tear the cup away from the suet and wrap in a single layer of cheesecloth. Secure with twine or rope.
- Hang outside in a secure place.
We are finishing up the first round of our president study with this months focus on James Monroe, the 5th President and the last Founding Father.
Some of the resources we are using for our study of this president include:
Finally, the recipe this month is a decadent chocolate cake with a vanilla buttercream icing. This recipe is simple and should be one you can enjoy putting together with your children. I split mine up into 3 8″ circular cake pans and had planned to layer them 3 high. As you saw in my pictures, we ended up with a 2 tier cake because we ate the 3rd before I could get the cake iced and put together.
This was a great reminder for me that the reason we do these bundles are to gather and nurture those we love. Not to make perfect, instagram worthy pictures. The cake brought my family to the kitchen to be together and enjoy spending time together. That was the goal and ultimately it was achieved.
Was it perfect? No
Was it finished? No
Was it edible? Absolutely
Please don’t forget the Hymn Study with Happy Hymnody. I purposely don’t add a hymn to the bundles because I love April and her crew and their heart to lead us in worship together. You will be so glad you included their hymn study in your day!
Thank you so much for your continued support of these Morning Time Bundles. I hope you enjoy this month’s selections and that they draw you continuously closer to the heart of our Savior. May he fill you will all hope, joy, and peace as you cling to him this coming year.
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