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Online Science Articles by Margaret Helder

When I was growing up, our family regularly read science articles by Dr. Margaret Helder in Reformed Perspective, a Christian magazine we subscribed to (now online here).  I learned a lot then—facts and ideas as well as the basic concept that it was possible to be a Christian in science—and went on to become a scientist myself.  (Since then I’ve taken a 20+ year leave to raise and educate our five children, but that is a different story.)  Recently I started wondering if any of those articles I enjoyed so long ago are available online.

And, yes, some of them are!  I also found many others by Dr. Helder.

If you are looking for some interesting science reading, whether for homeschool or general interest, you are in for a treat.  Dr. Helder often writes about the latest scientific discoveries and some of the excitement of newness is still in the older articles, too.  Always there is awe and amazement at how God’s beautiful world functions.  Sometimes one senses a valiant knight, fighting for the glory of her King.  And, in each article, there is something real and valuable to learn about the world God has made.

Below I list the sources I could find of Margaret Helder’s online articles, in no particular order.  Most of these science articles are suitable for teens and adults, although some of them will interest even middle schoolers.  They would be perfect to accompany middle and high school science courses.

Reading about science while studying it, a concept I learned from Ambleside Online and recommend highly, is a required part of our homeschool and is listed as a science project in our high school records.  As I slowly make my way through all the articles listed below, I will be getting my girls to read some of them.

So, here they are.

Some of Dr. Helder’s articles from Reformed Perspective  are listed here and apparently more are being added, slowly, so eventually this link will lead to dozens of articles.

Dr. Helder has also written regularly for Creation Ministries International, and you can find more than 30 articles on the CMI website.  This link list also includes a mini-biography from 1994.

Answers in Genesis also has a handful of Dr. Helder’s articles on their AIG website.

The Creation Science Association of Alberta website features Dr. Helder’s writing, but it is more difficult to find her articles in their magazine, Dialogue which does not seem to be searchable.  Here’s an interesting one from Dialogue about the 2017 Nobel prize about biological clocks, “Celebrating Rhythm!”  Apparently many of the unsigned articles in Dialogue, as well as the ones for younger students written by ‘Moxie,’ are also by Dr. Helder.  Here are four examples:  Eye-Deal Example of Design, Monarch Butterflies, Cleaning Up in Ponds, and Cold Light, Cold Courtship.

And finally, this thoughtful article on the Institute for Creation Research website is an eye-opening look at how empirical data is viewed nowadays in theory-driven fields, something most non-scientists would never suspect.

Dr. Margaret Helder

Why suddenly such an unusual resource list on Tea Time with Annie Kate?  Well, I’ve had the unique privilege writing a review, published at The Curriculum Choice, of Dr. Helder’s latest book, No Christian Silence on Science. While I was pondering that review, it occurred to me that links to all of Dr. Helder’s online science articles should be available in one spot to bless Christians everywhere.  So, here they are.  Enjoy!

May God bless all who read them as well as the dedicated scientist who wrote them.

If I missed any article sources, please let me know and I will add them to this list.

Note:  I did notice some duplication of articles at different sources.

If you enjoyed this article, you might want to follow me on Google+, where I often mention helpful or interesting ideas, friend me on Facebook where I am just a newbie, or connect with me on GoodReads where I, eventually, share what I read. 

Disclosure:  I am not compensated for compiling this list or recommending Margaret Helder’s writing to you.

Worksheets Based on The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages

Sometimes a person gets involved in a project that just grows and grows.   While I was writing an article on Shaunti Feldhahn’s The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages and simultaneously trying to understand how to help a friend apply its wisdom to her marriage, it occurred to me that I needed to make a worksheet.   A worksheet could make it easier for people apply Shaunti’s research to their own marriages, I reasoned as a homeschooling mom whose main focus is making learning easier.

That one worksheet has grown into many, and now I’m thrilled to be able to share them with you, Worksheets Based on The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages

Who are these worksheets for?

I have written these worksheets for three types of couples:

  • Those with happy marriages who want to get even better at loving their spouse.
  • Those with mostly happy marriages who are facing significant challenges that could drive a wedge between them (e.g. busyness, illness, fundamental disagreement, tragedy), because these Surprising Secrets make a huge difference even if things are otherwise hard.
  • Those who are struggling, desperate for practical help to transform their marriage from difficult to at least tolerable and maybe even happy.

Ideally both spouses would work on this project together but, let’s face it, that’s not the way things often work.  And that’s okay; as Chapter 7 of The Surprising Secrets points out, it is important to drop unrealistic expectations about our spouses.  Besides, Shaunti relates that marriages are improved even if only one spouse wants to work on the Surprising Secrets in this way.  With prayer, patience, determination, a sense of humor, and support, surprising change is possible.

Although these worksheets were written for Christians, non-Christian couples can benefit from them, too; after all, Shaunti’s research included both Christians and non-Christians and the principles she discovered apply to all.

What else will you need?

The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages by Shaunti Feldhahn.  For more information about this excellent book, see my review and notes.

What will these worksheets do for you?

In the worksheets I have combined the results of Shaunti’s research with current thought about developing habits and attaining goals. In other words, the worksheets for each habit incorporate important aspects of successful goal setting and habit building in order to help you develop the habits most effectively in your own life.  This makes the whole worksheet collection rather long, but the section for each habit is as self-contained as possible for ease of use.

I pray that these worksheets will be a blessing to you and help you improve your marriage for God’s honor, your family’s joy, and the strengthening of your communities.

“Watch in hope for big, happy changes

to come from these small, simple steps.

Trust God for the outcome.

And start.”

For more information about the excellent book on which these worksheets are based, see my review of The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages by Shaunti Feldhahn.

You might also enjoy my article The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages:  What research and the Bible say about the best marriages.

If you enjoyed this article, you might want to follow me on Google+, where I often mention helpful or interesting ideas, friend me on Facebook where I am just a newbie, or connect with me on GoodReads where I share what I read. 

Nature in January

We live in one of the most beautiful spots in the world, yet in the past I often forgot to notice what God was doing outside.  That was both ungrateful and foolish.

The tiny walks I now regularly take have been such a joy.  What a relief from the everyday busyness of algebra, cellular reproduction, Hammurabi, and endless loads of laundry to slip outside and see what’s up with the ice and who has been walking on it!  Or to find a tiny nest in a sumac bush.  And then to realize that my God, who makes and cares for all that, cares for my loved ones and for me, too.

This month was all about water in its many forms, from three-dimensional crystal forests at the edge of the river, winking in the sunshine, to wisps of steam curling up from hot tea and half-filled hot water bottles.  I marveled at snow falling from the sky, snow sculpted into fantastic patterns by the wind, and snow photographed almost a century ago by Bentley.  The sun dogs indicated ice crystals far, far up in the sky and, on the ground, the ice made even the dogs concentrate on their footing.  After the January thaw, ice slowly took back the river, surprising me again and again—forming patterns opposed to the current, making a small waterfall where there was none, and hosting the racoons’ moonlit promenades.

Many of these things could not be photographed using my phone camera, but here is ice forming at the edge of the river, with its jagged edges facing into the current.  Why?  I haven’t tried to understand that yet, but it seems counter-intuitive and yet there is such comfortable joy in knowing it does all make sense in some delightfully unanticipated way.

I now have a bird feeder! Chickadees enjoy it but blue jays and cardinals don’t visit much, yet.

We have seen foxes and heard coyotes, but there have been no signs of wolves or bears this year. Occasionally, however, something is wrong and the dogs whine, crashing against our front door in a panic.

And the house has been awash in flowers from dear friends and family.  This one takes my breath away.

I encourage you to really notice God’s beautiful world every day, no matter where you live.  For wintery inspiration, you could visit Barb’s Handbook of Nature Study website which has suggestions of what to focus on.  Or you could just go for a walk with your eyes, ears, and heart open.

If you enjoyed this article, you might want to follow me on Google+ where I often mention helpful or interesting ideas, or connect with me on GoodReads where I share what I read. 

Review: The Kids Book of Canadian Prime Ministers by Pat Hancock

Over the years, our favorite introduction to Canadian prime ministers has been Pat Hancock’s colorful overview, The Kids Book of Canadian Prime Ministers.  It is geared toward middle schoolers but is also useful as a quick review of Canadian history facts for high school students.

The book covers Canada’s first 21 prime ministers, from Sir John A. Macdonald to Paul Martin.  The author begins with his (or her) youthful adventures and dreams, outlines the entry into politics, and discusses main events during each prime minister’s time in office.  She summarizes exciting and important aspects of Canadian history, from the building of the trans-Canada railway (and the associated scandal) to Quebec’s turmoil about independence (and the associated terrorist crisis) and shows how the prime minister at the time dealt with these and other issues.  Each section includes detailed biographical information, and the book is full of interesting and relevant illustrations.

The Kids Book of Canadian Prime Ministers is also full of interesting tidbits:

  • Whose main advisor was his wife?
  • Who won a Nobel Prize?
  • Who died while at lunch with the Queen?
  • Who built a secret staircase to be able to slip out of his office unnoticed?

I love the quotations as well:

  • “I know nothing of politics and never had anything to do with politicians.” St Laurent, 1941
  • “Trust Canadians.  They are wise.  They are generous.  They care.”  Chretien, 2003
  • “A nation, like an individual, to find itself must lose itself in the service of others.”  King, 1927
  • “I am here very much because I am not particularly obnoxious to anyone.”  Abbott, 1891
  • and this one for my American friends, “Living next to you [the US] is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant.  No matter how friendly or even-tempered is the beast…one is affected by every twitch and grunt.” Trudeau, 1969

Although this appealing, information-packed book is already over ten years old, it is still a very good guide to Canada’s first 21 prime ministers.  If your tweens and teens study the contents of this book, they will have gone a long ways to knowing some of the main people and issues in Canadian history and will be ready for more in-depth study.  What’s more, they will not have been bored and may even have gained an appreciation for Canadian history.

Note:  After reading this book, high schoolers would enjoy watching The Prime Ministers, an interesting, informative, and well-done set of mini-biographies produced by Holly Doan; we have watched a few of these.  Our teens have also used Prime Ministers of Canada by Jim Lotz.

These books form part of our multi-year, literature-based Canadian History course . This review may be linked to Finishing Strong , Trivium TuesdaysSaturday Reviews, Booknificent Thursdays, Literacy Musings Monday, and The Book Nook.

Disclosure: We borrowed the books from the library and I am not compensated for this review.

Banana Peach ‘Mushrooms’

Banana Peach ‘Mushrooms’

For a celebration this month, one of my children requested a special treat from the past, these simple Banana Peach ‘Mushrooms’.  I used to make them occasionally when the children were small, so long ago that Miss 15 cannot even recall them, and they always brought joy then.  They did the same now.

I hope that your loved ones will be delighted by them as well.

What you need:

  • One banana for every 3 or 4 ‘mushrooms’ (depending on the size)
  • Canned peach halves
  • Whipped cream, fairly stiff
  • Toothpicks

How to assemble:

  1. Spoon a few tablespoons of whipped cream onto each plate.
  2. Peel the banana, cut into 2-3 inch (~5-7 cm) sections, and remove the pointed ends.
  3. Stand banana sections up in the whipping cream.
  4. Partially insert a toothpick into the top of the banana.
  5. Carefully place a peach half onto the toothpick.

Serve this to your family or friends, young or old, and see the sparkle in their eyes!

(Unfortunately, I cannot recall where I first learned about these.)

If you enjoyed this article, you might want to follow me on Google+ where I often mention helpful or interesting ideas, or connect with me on GoodReads where I share what I read. 

This article may be linked to Raising Homemakers.

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