by Cristina Grau
Homeschool411.com partner blogger
What’s in a name? A name is more than just something by which we are called; in a sense, it is our reputation. Did you know there are a multitude of names for God? Each name unique and powerful; the list is endless.
Join us on this exciting adventure through Scripture, where we will learn some amazing verses, talk about how those verses should affect our lives, and discuss some practical ways to make these names “real”.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
I think shepherds must be some of the most patient and kind people. They spend all day long with large groups of sheep who tend to wander, stroll at their own pace, and, frankly, don’t know what’s good for them half the time.
When we think about it though, aren’t we a little like those sheep? How often have we found ourselves in places we ought not to be? It’s amazing how the Lord never loses His patience with us, yelling and bringing us pain. Like those tender shepherds, the Lord guides us and cares for us all our days. He loved us so much, He laid down His life on our behalf; paying for the sin we so righteously earned.
If there is one “icon” most commonly associate with shepherds, I think it must be the shepherd’s staff; a tall stick, approximately the height of the shepherd, often with a crook at the top. The shepherd’s staff is extremely important. It is an extension of the shepherd himself, demonstrating his strength to all would be attackers. His staff is used for guarding both himself and his sheep, warning the sheep not to stray, and for counting his herd.
During the Christmas season, we have been taught to associate the candy cane with a shepherd’s staff. It is similar in shape, its colors have particular meaning, and, if you turn it upside down, it looks like a J, which stands for Jesus.
We are very blessed to have a candy store near us, which makes candy canes fresh every day during the Christmas season. A lovely, Christian couple from a local church owns the store. You can attend a candy cane demonstration on a field trip or attend an open demo any day during the month of December. While making the candy canes, the owner will go through the candy cane Christmas story and let you try a freshly made, warm piece of cane. (If you have never had fresh candy cane, you have no idea what you are missing. Oh, my!) Should you have the opportunity, I highly recommend finding a candy store near you that does this.
Aside from attending a candy cane demonstration, the kiddos and I decided to tackle something fun to help remind us of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
Candy Cane Lollipops
candy melts (milk & white chocolate)
Grab a box of mini-candy canes, a cookie sheet, and some parchment paper. Lay the parchment paper on the cookie sheet, lay several lollipop sticks onto the parchment, and border each lollipop with two mini-candy canes. (The candy canes should face the stick with their “backs” facing outward, so the shape resembles an oddly shaped heart.) Place in an oven warmed to 325 degrees for three minutes.
Remove the lollipops; while the candy canes are still warm, press them against the lollipop stick, and reshape them to better form a heart. Allow the canes to cool and then ‘fill’ the center with the candy melts of your choice. Place sprinkles on the candy melt while wet and then cool the lollipops in the fridge. Once the melts have hardened, enjoy.
This recipe is super simple. The kiddos have been thoroughly enjoying them and they were tons of fun to make.
Have you ever had fresh candy cane? Share your experience.
Copyright 2103. Used by permission of the author. Originally published at A Homeschool Mom, December 2, 2013.
Cristina Grau is a homeschooling mom of four. She began homeschooling in 2003, and is now serving as Yearbook Editor of her private school satellite program (PSP). She currently writes a blog, A Homeschool Mom.