Monday, September 28, 2009

It's Great to be a Michigan Wolverine!!

Thanks to a family member, Zeke and daddy got to make it into the Big House this year. Zeke enjoyed seeing the game and learning the Michigan stadium cheers. Go Blue!

We had a good couple of weeks getting our school routine implemented and flowing. This year is a lot more work than my previous years homeschooling. I am pretty exhausted by 9pm!

Here are some highlights of our last couple of weeks.

Steve took the kids raspberry picking while mommy stayed home not feeling well.

I HAVE. A. DINOSAUR . STICKER. ON. MY. HEAD! (I wish I could relay Micah's voice and the way he talks. This boy is HILARIOUS!...and exhausting!)

Highlights from ECC, week2:

Zeke really enjoyed making this map of our home town. Abby helped draw some of the landmarks too.

And our end of week 2 world cake celebration; we even shared it with some friends that came over for dinner!

Our water cycle in a jar observation: I am fascinated by this and can't figure out why my 7 and 5 year olds aren't :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Week 1, Try 2

Yes, that's correct. I had to start our school year TWICE this year! I attempted last week with 2 half days because of labor day and a grandma visit...and just decided to scrap it and try again this week. MUCH BETTER. Aaaaahhhhh. I was worried all last week that it was going to be an awful school year. But alas, these last 3 full days of school have been mostly great :) Eli continues to love his school time, especially working on his math. Zeke, while he may complain a little too much for mom's liking, generally has a very good work ethic and dives into whatever subject we are working on. He has enjoyed getting back to math and starting geography this year. Abby is at such a nice age! She loves school, is working hard on learning place value this year in math, and will occasionally sit in on a science lesson. Zeke and Abby are both taking piano this year, and loving it! We are in for a fun year!

Did I mention Micah has had 2 whole accident free days?!?! The boy is almost potty-trained, hurray!!!!! I never thought I'd see the day when my house would be diaper free...we're almost there!

Here are some pics of the last few weeks:

Our trip to Greenfield Village with grandma Marilyn

Zeke's first club soccer game. We miss his friends on his rec team, but decided to try a new team this year...

Here's what I (younger brother) do at soccer games: (yes, that's his gum!)

And pics from our first week of school:

I think this library bus that comes to our neighborhood one night a week will become a regular stop for me this year! I can request my books online, and they will practically deliver them to my doorstep (well, I guess I have to walk a block to retrieve them...)

A sample of Abby's artwork :)

Our backyard habitat science project today that Abby really enjoyed:

Discussing our results:

Abby practicing place value using Math-U-See. She enjoyed doing this lesson on the living room floor!

We are using the Exploring Countries and Cultures curriculum from My Father's World this year and I am very excited about it. This project the "John 3:16 poster" was really powerful. Thanks to my mom for all the GREAT pics of people from so many countries! Stepping back and looking at all the people surrounding John 3:16 brought tears to my eyes. I know that God loves everyone in the world so much that he sent his one and only Son...but taking the time to look at the eyes of some of these pictures of people...very powerful. The whole time we were working on this project around the kitchen table, the kids were singing the lyrics to "Give Me Your Eyes" by Brandon Heath! How appropriate! We pointed out the people who looked sad and hopeless, and they picked the same ones I was thinking! I need to remember to look into the eyes of my children, husband, family, neighbors, grocery store clerk, friends in the same way. A surprisingly powerful project, and an example of why I love homeschooling and My Father's World material.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It takes Humility

I think God is trying to teach me more about humility:

Lesson #1
A few nights ago, as Zeke was stalling his bedtime by f-o-l-d-i-n-g a T-shirt to put away, I got a little grumpy. When he was finally in bed, he had a pouty look on his face. **sigh** "What's the matter, Zeke?" "Nothing." **sigh** "What is the matter, Zeke. You look really sad." "It's nothing." "It is something. Now tell me what's the matter." "Why do you always look so angry?" AAARRRRGGGHHHH!!!!!

Mature, desired response: "I'm sorry, buddy. I'm just tired and would like you to get to bed. I don't mean to be angry. Will you forgive me?" Kiss goodnight.

My response: "Because you pout about everything I ask you to do!" GGRRRR

Thank you, Jesus for your grace and the chance to try again tomorrow!

Lesson #2
Another bedtime story...this time Abby is bothering Eli while I'm trying to read his bedtime story, which she had been invited to sit in on. After some unkind remarks to her brother she steals his Webkinz horse, Whitefoot and begins to "kiss" the stuffed animal. Well, that just pushed me over the edge. "GET TO YOUR BED, ABBY!" I finish Eli's bedtime with one ear on the whimpering and crying from Abby's room.

I decide to lecture Abby about how she was behaving and, out of the kindness of my heart, offer to read her one of her bible devotionals instead of sending her to bed with no stories. She asked me to pick one, so I picked one entitled "Beautiful Lips". "Good, I think to myself. Abby could use a lesson on not kissing at the ripe age of 6." Let's just say, the lesson was not at all directed to Abby and her kissing, but to me and my SPEECH!!!!! Yes, I was having ugly lips and needed a reminder on what kind of words come out of beautiful lips. OK, Lord. Sorry again.

I am often humbled that the "issues" I think my kids are having may actually be MY issues. God is constantly pruning off the branches in me that are not bearing fruit. I'm so glad He is constantly at work in my life, and that He uses my children to keep me humble. I definitely think this is a year I need to work on my speech, tone, and patience. Pray for me if you have a moment!!!!

A Two-Year Old Moment

Micah is two. And he is a man who knows what he wants. Today, he wanted to eat his yogurt with a ladle. He walked over to the silverware drawer and asked for a "big spoon". After rejecting several of my selections of "big spoons", he stood on his tiptoes, saw the ladle, pointed and said "that scoopy one." I don't know why he wanted to eat his yogurt with a ladle. But I let him. I am not one to hinder anyone's creativity :) Sure it was messy, but worth it. I won't have a two year old very much longer...might as well cherish the moments!

In other news, Steve and I just watched the movie "Fireproof". Very powerful and incredibly real. I suggest it for anyone who is married! Remember Kirk Cameron? This is the first time I've seen him in anything since Growing Pains. Not a movie that is largely publicized, but a movie so many need to see.

Coming soon...Steve's practice is getting a new "identity" ...will try to post some of his new stuff soon! Pretty cool!