Building Blocks

A few weeks back my mind and heart were in a whirpool spin about my ‘worldview’ concerning education. The opinionated side of me came out with all my ideals and notions about the “theories of education” and “what should education look like,” and all of the questions that tie in with the actual practice of teaching and educating in the ‘real world.’ Ideals about homeschooling, private schooling, public schooling and everything in between started to mix altogether.

I got to the point where I thought to myself, “I have NO clue what I even think about this anymore.” If you’ve had that feeling before, it’s not fun.

Then it hit me. If I’m going to be a leader in a certain field, I should have a solid, well-balanced understanding of it.

I had already been exposed to all the different ‘public’ views of what education should be – and most of it is revolting. I graduated from a small private Christian school, so I have a pretty good anecdotal understanding of that sector and I’m very interested and supportive of the homeschooling movement that has been growing by leaps and bounds. But as for a long term, visionary GOD-CENTERED understanding of education – I found I was pretty lacking and confused.

In comes an internet search, and the reading of reviews (crucial to any informed purchase :) and I ended up buying a book called “Foundational Issues in Christian Education” by Robert W. Pazmino.

It is written for college and seminary level classes, so it is no light and easy reading, but oh so rich with clear, concise points.

As a disclaimer, I am still in “Chapter One: Biblical Foundations,” which means I am still forming an opinion on the book as well as just beginning to build a God-centered understanding of what education really is.

So to start off with a quote.

“God is the author and discloser of all truth, and both teachers and students alike stand under this truth.”- Pazmino

Because God is the Infinite, all-powerful, all-knowledgeable Creator and Giver of Life, He is very much the Ultimate teacher. This is not an excuse for standing aside in the matter of education, but rather to heed His wisdom and instruction.

So, based on direction from Pazmino’s book, below (in bold) are stipulations of good Christian education in which these Deuteronomy passages infer.

“Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me (Moses) to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.” (Deuteronomy 6:1-2)

Education is the teaching of God’s commandments for all generations
Education will encourage and point toward the fear of the Lord

“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deuteronomy 6:4)

Education should affect every area of life: heart, soul, might

“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:5-9)

Education should be an element of every part of the day: sit in your house, walk by the way, lying down, rising up
Education is the responsibility of the parent who is under God’s authority.

“Then Moses spoke in the hearing of all the assembly of Israel the words of this song, until they were complete:

Give ear, O heavens, and let me speak;
And let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
Let my teaching drop as the rain,
My speech distill as the dew,
As the droplets on the fresh grass
And as the showers on the herb.
For I proclaim the name of the LORD;
Ascribe greatness to our God!
The Rock! His work is perfect,
For all His ways are just;”
(Deuteronomy 31:30-32:4a)

Education should inspire glorification and refreshment in God.

So far, this book has been so beneficial in extrapolating and identifying characteristics of “Christian” education and I can’t wait as the author delves further into the Old Testament, New Testament, and then into other foundations to present thoughts toward a well-grounded understanding.

Do you agree with these characteristics?

What are your thoughts on the current educational system (whether it be homeschool, private, and/or public)?

Thanks for stopping by and contemplating with me today!

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Gone and Back Again

Sorry for being so out of it this week! I finished up my online class with a final over six chapters and also a dentist appointment with two shots and grinding and drilling.

I’ve also been reading a REALLY great book that I’m planning to share about on Monday  – at least what I’ve learned in the first half of the first chapter!

And technology-wise this week, I learned a cool trick from a cousin who is studying in graphic design.

Here is a creation of mine based on his how-to tips.

Normally, I don’t care for abstract art, but these are easy to make and challenging because you have to find the right balance and look.

Here’s how to do it.

I used Photoshop Elements 7.  (I’m sure Photoshop will work fine, or any program with the ability to customize the effects of  layers.)

The above picture is actually three separate shots I’ve taken. Two flowers and a picture of grass (duplicated 3xs across the bottom).

  • First, create a base layer. I chose a close-up of a pink rose.
  • Next, I layered the grass on top, and the red and orange flower on top of that.
  • Find the place to customize the settings on the layers. (In Photoshop Elements 7, it is directly above to the left of where you view and control the ‘Layers’  (which is on the bottom of the bar on the right side of the screen).

There are about 20 different options in Photoshop Elements 7 (though, I am excited to try it in PSE9!). I just fool around to see what I like best. (For me, the best way to learn something is through experimentation and practice – especially when concerning computer programs).

  • Customize each layer (except the bottom one – there will be no change in effect unless there is a layer beneath it).

Tip: I worked from the bottom up, and don’t be afraid to switch the layers around  – – there are an *infinite* amount of combinations!!

  • I saved it as a JPEG without saving the original Photoshop (.psd) file. (my computer is way overloaded as it is ;)

 

So, using the same technique, here are four more creations- all using different pictures.

Did I mention they are pretty easy to make?? And I feel pretty productive in the sense of ACTUALLY using a few of my 20,000+ pictures… though I’m not sure what I will do with these… maybe just look at them from time to time :)

As for my favorite, ummmm, I can’t say for sure…

The first picture (the one with the flowers and the grass) reminds me of a sunset.

Of four pictures in the collage, here’s the run down on what ‘makes’ each of the pics (Can you see within the finished picture to see the individual pictures????)

A (top left): A mosaic I made as a present and Sharpies

B (top right): my sister’s eye and pool balls in motion (this pic has a special effect added to it to match the style)

C (bottom left): a pine cone and frosty leaves

D (bottom right): peeling paint, a yellow-leaved tree, and broken bungee cord (that’s where the color comes from)

Which one is your favorite – – or do you even like them at all??

If you make your own, I’d love to see it and hear with what pics you made to MUSH it altogether into one piece of art!!
(just link it in a comment)

Hope to you see you back when I’ll be writing NEXT week!!

 

 

 

Raw Chocolate Cupcakes

Check out My Blog in a Week page to see what will be coming up!!!

These “cupcakes” are delicious!!!!

Both recipes are from Jennifer Cornbleet’s book “Raw for Dessert” which full of recipes made from RAW (not cooked) ingredients. The batter for the ‘cupcakes’ is rich, chocolately, and perfect to satisfy ANY sweet tooth!

I hope you try this recipe some time. You will be amazed that you don’t have to eat the white sugar, white flour, or butter to have a yummy dessert!

Chocolate Cupcakes

Yield: 12 mini cupcakes (6 servings)

It’s easy to understand why cupcake shops are popping up all across the country. Who doesn’t want a personal cake? Now you can enjoy the cupcake craze—without the white sugar, white flour, and butter.

1 1/2 cups raw walnuts
Pinch salt
8 pitted medjool dates
1/3 cup cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon filtered water
1/3 cup Chocolate Ganache
Unsweetened shredded dried coconut (optional)

Place the walnuts and salt in a food processor fitted with the S blade and process until finely ground. Add the dates and process until the mixture begins to stick together. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla extract and process until the powder is incorporated. Add the water and process briefly.

Line a mini-muffin pan with 1 3/4 x 1-inch paper baking cups. (If you don’t have a mini-muffin pan, place the baking cups on a plate.) Fill each baking cup with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the chocolate mixture. Press down with your fingers to compact each cupcake. Frost with the Chocolate Ganache using a small offset spatula and/or sprinkle with dried coconut, if desired. Chill the frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Covered with plastic wrap, Chocolate Cupcakes will keep for 5 days stored in the refrigerator or for 2 weeks stored in the freezer.

Chocolate Ganache

Yield: 1 cup

“Ganache,” the French term for a smooth mixture of chocolate and cream, is the classic base for truffles and frosting. My version replaces the traditional butter, cream, and refined sugar with virgin coconut oil and agave syrup. Try this ganache as a hot fudge sauce with Brazil Nut–Vanilla Ice Cream.

3/4 cup dark agave syrup or maple syrup
3/4 cup cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
1/3 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
1/8 teaspoon plus a pinch salt

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of the blender jar with a rubber spatula. Stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator, Chocolate Ganache will keep for 2 weeks. Once refrigerated, the ganache will need to be warmed before serving in order to obtain the proper consistency (see note).

Note: To warm the freshly made or refrigerated ganache, place about 2 inches of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat. Place a small bowl of the Chocolate Ganache in the hot water and let sit for 10 minutes. The sides of the bowl should be high enough so that the water from the saucepan cannot flow into the bowl. Alternatively, place the bowl in a food dehydrator at 105 degrees F for 10 minutes.

To see more of her recipes go to her website http://learnrawfood.com/

Inspired…

I found this fun site awhile back and just rediscovered the creation I made on it among the thousands of pictures I have on my computer.

The site is called Tagxedo. Here’s one of my favorites that I saved a few months back.

Genesis 1 Tagxedo

The above “Tagxedo” was done with text from Genesis 1 – one of my favorite passages!

Simply put, Tagxedo randomizes whatever text you put into the engine.

To get started on your own, go to their site (http://www.tagxedo.com/) and go to “Create” to get an easy start.  Then, click on “Load” to insert your text. You can use a link from a website, or comments from Facebook or Twitter, or even a create a fun “letter” for a friend.

On the lower options, you can customize the shape, the color scheme, how close the words are together, font, if words like ‘the’ or ‘a’ are included in the final picture, and several other options… its a fun tool to play around and experiment with.

Lastly, be sure to “Save” your creation – there are multiple options!!

So, back to the “Inspired” part of this post :)

I made an oval in Photoshop Elements, and then took that into Picasa. I used Picasa rather than Elements for the project because creating individual text boxes for each word and moving and resizing them is much easier in Picasa.

For the text, I used three of my favorite verses from Psalm 111 – which also happens to be the inspiration for my blog name, Splendid Wonders.

Here is the finished creation….

What do you think of it?  Too many colors or too confusing to read?

Thanks for stopping by and reading this first post!!!!

Miss K