We are entering July in a way none of us have ever experienced before. Independence Day celebrations such as fireworks, parades, gatherings and celebrations have been postponed or cancelled altogether. This is not the way we are accustomed to celebrating a very important day for our nation. Are you confused? Like me, do you wonder how to approach this appropriately? If so, you are not alone.
The July bundle is geared toward citizenship, but perhaps not in the way you would expect. We will definitely be celebrating the United States, but we will also be placing a great deal of emphasis on our citizenship in Heaven.
As Christians, we have a home that is being prepared for us. That home is nothing like this one. All of the things we are experiencing now (sickness, disease, hate, conflict etc.) we will NEVER experience in our forever home. Yet, for some reason we insist on clinging to this one and the one we should be desiring takes the back seat. We set our desires on earthly things. Not only that, we place our hope in earthly things, too.
The events of the past few months have proven that this world has nothing for us. No matter what this year has brought your way, I hope that the focus this month refreshes your spirit. We have a lot to be thankful for, but we must remember to keep our eyes focused on the eternal….everything else pales in comparison.
This month’s we are enjoying the work of a modern composer named Mark O’Connor. The piece we will be listening to is titled Americana Symphony Movement I: Wide Open Spaces and is inspired by music born from America’s great westward expansion.
NPR did an interview with Mr. O’Connor and this is what he shared about the growth of this piece.
I was starting to uncover this idea that in the music of the West — in motion, in journey, looking for wide-open spaces — was this theme that I kept returning to, and I realized that’s why American music sounds so optimistic; it’s because this country is unique in that regard, that people actually do believe that tomorrow could be better here. – Mark O’Connor
That kind of attitude helped fuel America’s great westward expansion, and the idea of that journey informs Americana Symphony.
Abide with me! fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens: Lord, with me abide
When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see:
O Thou who changest not, abide with me!
With the heaviness of our world lately, I thought it would be beneficial to remind ourselves of these beautiful words written by Henry Francis Lyte.
Happy Hymnody used this poem in its hymn form in October 2018 and it was my first exposure to this hymn. I remember distinctly the impression it made on our family as we learned to sing and memorize these words. It is very clear that these words speak of death and suffering. It is also clear that these words are a prayer asking the Lord to carry him through. The sweet ladies at Happy Hymnody addressed the solemn words of this poem and the importance of addressing these things with our children so perfectly.
You might be asking, is this really a suitable hymn for my children to spend the month memorizing? I would suggest, absolutely yes. Scripture is very clear about suffering. Those who love and follow Jesus will suffer. Giving our children tools and language to utilize in the midst of pain and difficulty is invaluable and will be a blessing to have stored in their hearts. – Happy Hymnody
If you would like to use the hymn to help you memorize the words to this poem this one is lovely.
- Public Domain Review – Abide With Me
- Hymnology Archive – Biography of Henry Francis Lyte
- Happy Hymnody
This months art piece has a fascinating story behind it. The Fourth of July, 1916 (officially titled The Greatest Display of the American Flag Ever Seen in New York, Climax of the Preparedness Parade in May) depicts Fifth Avenue bedecked with dozens of American flags in celebration of Independence Day over 100 years ago. On this day New York was full of citizens rallying together, with patriotic fervor, to support the “Preparedness Movement” (a movement to strengthen the United States Military in anticipation of the nation’s entry into World War I). The presence of skyscrapers and a double-decker bus place the scene on Fifth Avenue; the exact location is left unknown, however, perhaps implying that the entire boulevard had been transformed into a glorious display of pageantry.
- FredrickHassam.org – this site has a biography of our artist as well as his complete works. Browse through it to find your favorite!
Recent events have shaken us: the frailty of our world has been exposed and shattered what we once thought was unbreakable. Perhaps you feel it too. Maybe, like us, you have realized that unknowingly you have placed this world in a position it should not have been. This month’s scripture prompts us to keep things in their proper place.
The Scripture we will be memorizing is I John 2:15-17
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Some other verses that echo this command:
- Romans 12:2 – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
- Galatians 1:10 – For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
- Colossians 3:1-2 – If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
- Matthew 6:24 -No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
This month the lightening bug and the moth will be the focus of our nature study. As usual, we will use The Handbook of Nature Study to help direct our learning.
Here are some additional resources you may enjoy:
- Firefly Facts – great educational video on the firefly.
- What’s the Difference Between Moths and Butterflies
We are going to put together some Kool-Aid Dip Dyed Tassels this month. This is an easy craft; I believe it will be one your family will enjoy doing together. The fun thing about this craft is that you can make these tassels as large as you want, you can dye them any color you want, and you can display them any way you want….it’s incredibly flexible.
We opted to make blue dip dyed tassels using 1 part Pink Lemonade Kool-Aid and 3 parts Berry Blue. If you want to have fun with your dye colors and create some of your own there are some really fun dye charts online. A quick google search of Kool Aid Dye Charts will give you a ton of options.
The supplies for this months craft are simple:
- Yarn Bee in Ivory
- Kool Aid
This months study brings us to our nations 11th president, James K. Polk.
Polk won the 1844 election as the dark horse candidate. In horse racing, a “dark horse” is a horse that wins a race when no one expects it to. As the surprise Democratic nominee, Polk was the first “dark horse” candidate for the presidency. When news of his nomination spread to Washington many people couldn’t believe it. As president, he reduced tariffs, reformed the national banking system and settled a boundary dispute with the British that secured the Oregon Territory for the United States. Polk also led the nation into the Mexican-American War (1846-48), in which the United States acquired California and much of the present-day Southwest. During his tenure, America’s territory grew by more than one-third and extended across the continent for the first time. Polk kept his campaign promise to be a one-term president and did not seek reelection. Soon after leaving the White House, he died at age 53.
- James K. Polk | The White House
- The Big Book of Presidents: From George Washington to Barack Obama by Nancy Hajeski
- The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents video series. We will watch only the portion for James K. Polk this month.
- President James K. Polk Home and Museum – Columbia, TN
If you are new here and would like to catch up with printables from past presidents we have studied I am slowly working to make small packets available of the ones we have already studied. The first mini packet is available and is called The Founding Presidents Resource Pack. It includes:
- The President cards of our founding fathers: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe. These cards were originally offered in the following Morning time Bundles: A Simple Guide to Morning Time | September 2019, A Simple Guide to Morning Time | October 2019, A Simple Guide to Morning Time | November 2019, A Simple Guide to Morning Time | December 2019, and A Simple Guide to Morning Time | January 2020.
- Two pages of resources including picture books, chapter books, reference books, DVD’s, links, etc.
I will slowly be releasing more president packages as we work our way through them in the Morning Time Bundles. The next bundle will be titled Presidents of an Expanding Nation and will be released August 2020.
Honestly, I can not convey how excited I am about this months recipe. A slab pie has been on my wish-list of morning time recipes for the month I just hadn’t found the perfect time to use it yet. The wait is over!! July is a good month to create a slab pie as it feeds many, and the addition of summer berries makes it absolutely perfect. I hope you enjoy!
Some special tools I used for ours:
- Wilton 10″ X 15″ Baking Sheet
- Williams Sonoma Olivewood Fluted Pastry Cutter
- Williams Sonoma Olivewood Pastry Blender
- Wooden Rolling Pin
SOME BOOKS AND GOODIES FOR YOUR MORNING BASKET
Farm Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of Country Life by Julia Rothman
Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World by Julia Rothman
SPECIAL NOTES AND RESOURCES
Poetry: Henry Francis Lyte – Abide With Me – Public Domain
Art: Childe Hassam – The Fourth of July, 1916
Happy July friends! We are nearly half way through 2020. I pray God’s continued protection, guidance, and grace over your home. I know that so many of us are experiencing tough times: job loss, sickness, sadness, etc. If you are experiencing an especially tough time I would love to pray for you. Please reach out via email, instagram, facebook, etc.
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