Thursday, March 27, 2008

Florida Fun!

Well, as a few of you know, Steve is off on the annual Marine Biology Trip to the Florida Keys with Fort Wilderness!

While the rest of us are getting tired of winter and snow, they are all getting a dose of summer and sun and a bit of nature!

Here is the group enjoying a beautiful sunset:

Florida Sunset

Here is the boat that was rented to transport the kids to and from the habitats they were studying. It has twin 150hp engines and is 27 feet long. Steve is REALLY wishing he could bring it home!

Boat Rented

One of the rooms reserved was given up to an older couple so they were given this houseboat to house some of the kids. According to Steve, some of they guys are staying there because they'd probably shower less! He-he!


The mangroves were one of the habitats studied - here is a view of them - beautiful!!!


The grassflats are another habitat studied:

Exploring the Grass Flats

All is not fun and games - the kids so some serious work and studying:

Studying in the Houseboat

Along with studying items in the ocean, they also catch some items and put in holding tanks to study or to bring back to the Nature Center at camp. Here are the new stingrays and a baby nurse shark!

New Nurse Shark

Well, there are still a couple days left of Florida sun so we'll be posting some more pictures for Steve before the bus heads back to the cold northwoods!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A great family activity...

After a few weeks of running around in an insane manner between camp, work, EMT refresher courses for both of us and a million and one other things...hopefully, we can settle back into a slower pace. In light of that, I thought I'd share a great family activity for Saturday night:

Resurrection Story Cookies

Ingredients & Supplies:

3 egg whites
1 cup whole pecans
1 tsp vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
zip-lock plastic bag
wooden spoon
a Bible

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place pecans in the plastic bag and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Discuss how after Jesus was arrested. He was beaten by the Roman soldiers.

Read John 19:1-3
Put the vinegar into a mixing bowl and let each child smell the strong aroma. Talk about when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, that He was given vinegar to drink.

Read John 19:28-30
Add egg whites to the vinegar (egg represents life). Discuss how Jesus gave His life to give us life.

Read John 10:10
Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sins.

Read Luke 23:27
So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him.

Read Psalms 34:8 and John 3:16
Beat the ingredients together with a mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.

Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3
Fold in the broken pecans. Drop cookies by a rounded teaspoon onto cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was lain.

Read Matthew 27:57-60

Put the cookies in the oven, close the door. TURN THE OVEN OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door together. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed.

Read Matthew 27:65-66
Now it's time to go to sleep. Explain to your children that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.

Read John 16:20 & 22

On Resurrection (Easter) morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice that the surface of the cookie is cracked. Take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Resurrection, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb empty.

Read Matthew 28:1-9 - He has risen!!!!