Bee – bim-Bop!

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Clarissa has been very literal with her books lately. If it’s in a book, we have to do it. One such book is Bee – bim- Bop! by Linda Sue Park.

We got this book from the library before our Hong Kong trip to learn a little bit about Korean culture. My favorite Korean dish is probably bibimbap so I thought it would be fun to read about it. In the book a little girl and her mom go to the grocery store to buy ingredients and then come home and make bibimbap together for the family dinner that evening. At the end of the book, the author lists her family’s recipe for bibimbap, with specific instructions for children and adults.

Clarissa asked if we could make it for dinner. I assured her that we would after we returned from vacation. She would not let me forget! The day after our return she demanded to go to the commissary to buy the ingredients. She fought with Daddy one night about dinner because Tim wanted pizza and Clarissa wanted to make bibimbap.

When it was time to make the bibimbap, Clarissa was excited to help. She helped measure the rice and the water. She measured the ingredients for the marinade and mixed it up. She even helped with the eggs.

At which point, we had been working for at least 20 minutes and she was tired of helping. She went to the couch to read some books while I sautéed the meat and vegetables.

I think they should charge more for bibimbap in restaurants! It is always less than $10 and it takes a while to make. We all enjoyed our meal and plan to put it in our meal rotation. Clarissa even ate eggs and carrots with her rice. I am hopeful that she will continue to try new things and enjoy the other vegetables as well.

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Ingredients:

1 cup white rice
1 pound sirloin or other beef steak
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup chopped spinach
1 cup mung bean sprouts (optional)
4 eggs
PAM cooking spray

Marinade:
2 teaspoons minced garlic
5 tablespoons gluten free tamari sauce
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar

Directions:
1. Pour one cup of rice and two cups of water into a saucepot. Cook on high until the water boils. Then switch to low heat until the water is absorbed into the rice.
2. Mix all marinade ingredients into a large bowl.
3. Slice beef into thin slices. Place sliced beef into marinade and mix thoroughly.
4. Whisk eggs in a bowl. Spray small frying pan. Pour egg in sections into . Cook like a pancake. Slice eggs into strips. Put into small bowl for serving.
5. Spray frying pan. Saute carrots until tender. Put into small bowl for serving.
6. Spray frying pan. Saute spinach until tender. Put into small bowl for serving.
7. Spray frying pan. Saute mung bean sprouts until tender. Put into small bowl for serving.
8. Spray frying pan. Saute beef and marinade until beef is cooked through. Put into small bowl for serving. Pour marinade into small container for serving as well.
9. Serve with rice in bowls. Each person adds the ingredients that they want to their bowl and mix it all up.

Windows to Our World 

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I started reading Windows to Our World Sarah’s Journal : Growing up,  crossing oceans,  finding love,  and giving life to 10 children by Sarah Janisse Brown on our trip to Suwon.  I haven’t made the time to read over the summer.  But I am glad I decided to load this book to my Kindle for this trip.

I enjoyed Sarah’s writing style.  I feel like if we had grown up together in youth group,  we would be great friends.

The book is written chronologically as her autobiography.  But the chapters are short,  more like journal entries.  I loved reading about growing up and finding her calling,  meeting her husband,  missionary adventures,  and mom life.

As I read her story,  God really spoke to me about mine and gave me some great things to think about.

Some of my favorite thoughts from the book :

God will call me to do things that I don’t think I can do.  I need to do them anyway.

I need to ask Clarissa what jobs SHE thinks she can do around the house.  The answer will probably surprise me and she will do chores more willingly if she chooses them herself.

If I feel tired and stressed out all the time,  I need to reevaluate my priorities.

I need to be content with what we have,  but also where we live.

One of my favorite things was this prayer in chapter 57

“I dedicate myself to teaching my children to follow after you.  I want to give them the tools they need to grow in many skills. Help me not to waste time on things that have no value.  Please give me your wisdom to know how to spend their time; childhood is precious and fleeting.  As I teach them help me to give each child a unique education that prepares them for Your calling on each of their lives. ”

This book also reminded me that I am on facebook way too much so I need to delete it from my phone.

It also reaffirmed my desire to homeschool Clarissa and also see the world.

Discover Your Kid’s Spiritual Gifts

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If you’ve known me in person for any length of time you have heard me say, “There is no such thing as a junior Holy Spirit.” I’ve been saying this for at least thirteen years. It goes back to my children’s ministry days. But I truly believe with all of my heart that the same Holy Spirit that was in the apostle Paul, that is in me, is in children.

A month or two before the anatomy scan to confirm that we were in fact having a girl, God told me that our child would be “a little girl with great faith.” Thus we named her Clarissa Faith, which means brilliant faith.

I have a friend whose nephew was born last month with some serious heart conditions. He has been in NICU his whole life thus far and they are crying out to God for a miracle. Yesterday as we got the latest report, I really felt like it was time for the children to pray. So I posted his picture on facebook and asked for my friends to have their children to pray for baby Donovan. I showed Clarissa baby Donovan’s picture on my phone and tried to explain to her toddler self how sick he was and asked her to pray for him. I really don’t know what she was saying, but she kept touching the picture of Donovan and saying something for a couple of minutes and we just prayed together. I really do believe that we will hear of a breakthrough because of the prayers of children for this little boy.

When I was the children’s ministry coordinator at my church, I spent a summer teaching kids about the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts. In my quest to help equip parents I stumbled upon the book Discover Your Kid’s Spiritual Gifts by Adam Stadtmiller. The book contains a spiritual gifts test for parents to take for their children. The book talks about each gift, how to notice and test which gifts your child has, and how to nurture your child in his or her spiritual giftings in practical ways. I thought the book was great and decided to reread it recently now that I am a parent myself.

The author asks you to take the spiritual gifts test twice, before and after reading the book. I got similar results each time. I will probably want to do this every couple of years. Some of the questions in the test are hard to answer at this point. For example, it is hard to know if Clarissa is able to communicate the Bible clearly since she is only twenty-three months old and does not communicate many things clearly (in English) yet. The test did confirm what we thought about discernment and administration gifts and also some things to look for to see if she does have a missions, giving, or mercy gift.

Some of my favorite thoughts from the book:

“Children can rip God’s kingdom from the sky and release it with a vibrant infusion into this dull and sullen world. That is, if we as adults do not hinder them with our unbelief.”

“If we disregard our children’s sensitivity to what God is saying to them in the quiet of their hearts, they will begin to doubt if they can hear from God.”

“Believing kids are called not only to understand the faith but also, like us, to find their unique ministry and purpose, and live it out the fullest. Navigating this journey with them is part of our divine commission as parents.”

“If we listen to and seek God for our children’s life purpose and direction, especially in the area of their spiritual gifts, God will make them known to us.”

In the book Adam Stadtmiller tells a story about a little girl and then says not to get lost in thinking it is just a cute story. It reminded me of Lenny LaGuardia. I went to a signs and wonders camp the summer I was teaching this (I plan to bring Clarissa to one of those once she is old enough) and he emphasized that “Kids aren’t cute. They are dangerous!” Kids can do big things for the kingdom of God.

I was also convicted from reading this book that as she grows I need to be as worried about Clarissa’s spiritual education as I am her academic education. I need to find practical ways to incorporate scripture memorization into her life.

 

 

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode

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Crystal Paine is one of my favorite bloggers. Her blog helps thousands of families save money on everything from groceries to toylettries to going out to eat. That part of her blog isn’t as helpful to me now that I live in South Korea. But I still read her blog every day because she is just a really encouraging Christian mom.

She has written a few books. Last week I read Say Goodbye to Survival Mode. It was really encouraging and practical. I don’t generally feel overwhelmed by housework and things like that, but this book gave me some ideas to streamline and make life easier. I think this book is helpful if you need ideas for goal setting, self care, budgeting, or finding a routine or schedule that works for you and your family. I was actually convicted about how I spend my time and have tried a few new things this week that have helped me to be more productive during naptime.

I read another of her books in December, 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life. That book is set up for about five minutes of reading per day. It helps you to start a new habit or routine and also tackle a big project.