My children feed off of music, and when they know the hymns we sing in church they enjoy being able to participate. Even my little Pete recognizes and perks up when he hears some of his favorite hymns. We especially enjoy the CDs Adelae gets each quarter in Sunday School. Our church uses Concordia's Growing in Christ curriculum. Each CD has hymns, memory verses set to music and catechism songs, all in children's voices, so it's great for singing along. Of course, this quarter Luther's hymn, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" is included on the CD. To prepare for Reformation Day, we've been working on learning the words to this song.
Today we decided to build our own fortress using chairs, ottomans, blankets and pillows! What is it about kids loving small spaces? Adelae hasn't started building blanket forts yet, but I knew this was a great opportunity to introduce her to the idea, as well as the concept of a fortress as a safe hiding place. Amidst tumbling pillows and falling blankets, God is our true, unshakable safety.
At first I had to do most of the building labor, but she caught on pretty quickly! She wanted it small and positioned right in front of the TV so that she could watch "mosies" (that's Adelae for "movies")from her fortress.
Now, if you haven't already gathered this, I'm pretty much a big Lutheran nerd. I also have no problem talking to my children about things that are suppose to be way over their head by breaking the concepts down as simply as I can and answering their questions. It will be no surprise to you that from within our fortress we watched the first half of the 2003 movie, Luther. Watching such a movie with her basically means that I run an on-going commentary and answer her questions as we look at the screen together. It is great because I can repeat some of the themes over and over again, "money can't buy heaven. Who gives us salvation and heaven? yes, Jesus. Jesus earned our forgiveness by dieing on the cross for our sins..." throughout the viewing. This movie is pretty scary, but Adelae can handle it when I watch it with her.
We also enjoy reading the Paul Maier's Book, Martin Luther: A Man Who Change the World. Instead of reading every word of the book, we really just look at the pictures and have some pretty great conversations. She asks a lot of questions, and I love answering them. In a few years she'll be ready for the entire text.
After his nap, Pete enjoyed being the fortress invader! Man-made fortresses are never so strong anyway!