Monday, March 29, 2010

First born vs. Fourth born

7:30 am...a bedroom door opens and out strolls Micah. One thing is on his mind...the fruit snacks he received at the birthday party yesterday and did not eat on the car ride home.

"Mom?"( from the top of the stairs)

"Yes?"(from the living room rocker trying to have a quiet time)

"Can I eat my fruit snacks?"

"Sure, why not!"

And there you have it! The difference between a first born and fourth born. I think this is hilarious!

Times a flying'

Wow! March is just about over?! I hope I finish all my curricula by June! I always panic at this time, but the Lord always works it out just right for me and the kids. We had a pleasant but quick study of the middle east, focusing on Saudi Arabia this week. I am really finding this curriculum fascinating and love just sitting and staring at the world map and thinking about all the people that god created in the world and how very different our lives are from those around the globe from us...yet we have the same creator who loves us and knows us and wants to be with us's overwhelming, really....anyways....

Again, we are just plugging away in math and language arts. I'm taking it easy on Eli for the remainder of the year and decided to just find random readers for him and work on his handwriting of letters. That is enough for him, really. Let's we are writing the Arabic alphabet and our names in Arabic. That was tons of fun!

And we had a birthday boy in the house this week! My little grouch turned 3. (He really is grouchy and I HAD to get him this shirt! I think he is growing out of it, though--the grouchiness, that is, not the shirt. He is eating much better now and dropping all but one or two naps a week has helped his sleeping. He's turning the corner to being a big boy!)

We also got to go to a friends' school play, which was great fun for the kids. We stuck around late and played in the cafeteria and roamed the halls of a real school. Something very foreign to homeschoolers! Here are Abby and Zeke with their buddy Nate, who was a squirrel in the Willy Wonka school play. Good job, Nate!

Micah and Amelia:

And these two. Don't be fooled by their cute smiles. They are TROUBLE, and double when together! They need their own post someday...

Then we had a FUN weekend with a big party for Grouch and then church and a wedding shower and another birthday party for a friend. Here's Micah with his "wormy" cake at his party.

And here, it is almost 10pm and the kids are overdosed on gummy worms and Mario Cart. They had a blast!

PHEW! What a way to end a month! I wouldn't have it any other way :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

More Funny Conversations

Eli: "I wonder how many kids I will have when I'm a daddy."

Abby; "One. I will have one. And I will name her Alexa."


Eli: "But mom, how will I know how to get to your house when I'm older?"

Mom: "Don't worry. You'll probably have a GPS."

Ha! He was very satisfied with this response!


Mapping out the rest of our year in our MFW curriculum had us in school until the end of June. Yikes. I can't do that! So, I saw the need to cram a few of the countries we are studying into a one week crash course instead of a two week tour. We finished up our study of Africa in a hurry this week, and we are going to spend only a week on Saudi Arabia. We will probably have to skip some of the science, since we have a few other extras going on this week too.

But here are some shots of our week! Now, this first photo has nothing to do with school, but it was a highlight of the week! We rescued a poor bird from our chimney. Every spring, we get one stuck down our chimney...maybe this year we'll install a screen up there?!?! Unfortunately, we usually let it die...sorry! But this year, we decided to rescue the bird. We were surprised at how big it was! It missed the box we were trying to capture it in, and instead ended up flying around our house, and eventually ended up in the upstairs bathroom, where we closed the door on it and daddy and opened up the found its way out easily! The kids were just shrieking and laughing and bouncing up and down the entire time!

Oops...I guess I don't really have many shots of "school time" this week. We tried the galimoto structures for our art project, but it did not go over so well. Everyone got really frustrated and just gave up. We loved the story though! So, we ended up trying out the dough animals from A Trip Around the World instead. We did enjoy reading about Samuel Morris in our Hero Tales book. And we are just plugging away at Language Arts and math all around!

Here is Eli showing off his new gymnastics skills! Eli and Abby are enjoying a gymnastics class this spring.

We will start soccer craze at the end of next month; or perhaps this one should take up track and field instead and become a hurdler?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Random School Thoughts

We had a great time in school this week. We got to do our art project and some science outside since it was gorgeous spring-like weather here! Here we are after identifying some grasses at a nearby park for our grassland study. And then we had to have recess on the play structures, of course! Yeah!

We are studying Africa in geography for the next couple of weeks. We tried out plaster of paris and made some royalty hangings of our own. Someone else had suggested that we remember we are royalty because we are part of God's family. We are a holy nation!

Zeke began some division this week in math and it was a bit intense....spent a long time on math each day. I'm sure it is because it is a new concept, but I hope he gets the hang of it and can get a little quicker and more independent with it in the next week or so! Abby will be finishing up her math book in good time.

I finished our read-aloud for Abby and Eli this week, Jerry Muskrat, which in fit incredibly well with all our river and pond studies a couple weeks ago. I really enjoyed reading many of these Thornton Burgess Animal stories (we started these last year when I used Little Hearts for His Glory for Abby's curriculum...the read alouds were the only part of the book I ended up using! This year I am following this book for Eli's math, but I skip a lot of the activities). We are starting Lions at Lunchtime with Abby and Eli since it will fit in really well with our Africa theme. And we finally finished George Muller tonight and will start David Livingstone tomorrow!

I've really backed off on our bible times in the morning and am still trying to figure out the best routine for us. I am convinced that we need to be learning more scripture, but I'm having a hard time knowing what to focus on! I'm really going to do some research for next year and try to do a better job in this area.

I'm looking forward to plugging along the next couple months...we are a bit behind in some areas, so I need to find a way to combine some weeks of ECC and get through English a little quicker! I don't want to be in school till the middle of June!

My Superheroes

Micah: "Mom, I am amazing! I am a superhero!"

Good thing superheroes don't need their shoes on the right feet :)

Eli: "I'm so glad it is spring. That is the season when Mrs. ------- (our next door neighbor) comes out again. "

We are blessed with awesome neighbors, and Mrs. -------- has beautiful gardens that she lets the kids come over and walk through/help weed when she is out working in them. Apparantly Eli has missed her :) See our signs of spring:

Here is Eli, commenting on his new ability to read and his new habit of reading his little NIrV bible in the morning: "You can really learn anything from the Bible!"

He doesn't even know how right he is!

And the following picture just cracks me up! Eli hates his Wednesday morning chore of dusting. (That was always my least favorite chore too!) This week, he happened to spot a headlamp lying around somewhere on his way to dust and thought it would make his job more fun and help him see in those dark, dusty spots. :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Beautiful Feet: El Salvador Highlights

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"
Isaiah 52:7

Here are some of my favorite stories from Steve's trip to El Salvador:

The team's first stop was La Libertad, where they visited a community and rounded up people to come and hit a pinata and then gave a gospel presentation.

The team visited an orphanage one day, where Steve found beautiful gardens!!! A thirteen year old boy had the job of watering the plants, and Steve spent a lot of time with him talking about gardening and touring the grounds.

This is Nester, who Steve met up in the gardens and convinced to share his powerful testimony with the team before they departed from the orphanage.

Papusa night!

The team also served a mountainside community by carrying mattresses down the very steep mountainside for the people here. While some of the team made the trek down, others stayed up at the school and cooked a meal for the kids.

One of the households receiving mattresses and hearing the gospel.

The school at the top of the mountain.
This woman has 7 of her own children, plus cares for her 4 nieces/nephews since their mother passed away several years ago.

Here is "Ninja Grandma" with her machete, which she needs and uses down the mountain paths!

Some of the children playing a game with one of our students:

Cleaning up from lunch:
On Friday, the team helped put on a concert at the university. They invited students they had met throughout the week at their English classes and around the campus. This is a student Steve and Lisandro shared the gospel with and seemed very moved by it.

Our team put on Lifehouse's Everything drama during the concert:

The Great Commission
Multiplication before your eyes! This is Richard sharing the gospel with someone the night of the concert. Steve shared with Richard a few years ago! My husband lives by the great commission, and here is a picture of its fruit! How beautiful!

Matthew 28:18, 19 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Before having to re-enter American culture :) the team always has a day of rest at contemplation at a beach resort. They worked hard! There are so many great stories of God breaking through in people's lives, even people on the team who were not believers! There are a few people from the trip still deciding what to do about this whole "God thing"...please pray that they would take that step of faith and place their trust in Jesus Christ! Praise God for all He did on this trip. I am so proud that Steve is a part of something amazing like this. It really refreshes him! His heart will be yearning for El Salvador until next year, I know! (btw--that is not Steve in the guitar pic)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Six "F's"

Well, our week without daddy is wrapping up! We had a wonderful time with my mom this week. It helped having her here while Steve was gone. I wasn't so lonely :) Unfortunately, my camera also traveled to El Salvador, so I have absolutely NO pictures of all the great happenings of this week! We did not do any school, and even my great plan of catching up on some things failed! All we did was finish our Olympic lapbook and play MathBlaster.

I have many ideas milling around my mind, but I am going to go and sit down for a few quiet moments before everyone's "quiet rest time" ends abruptly. We have had some beautiful spring-like weather here and the other day, my mother-in-law came to give me a reprieve for 3 hours! I ended my (much needed) time ALONE at a park with the windows rolled down and bible and journal in hand. It was so refreshing, although I was still too cold to brave a walk :) Anyway, I was left with 6 "F's"...Words to describe what each member of our family is going through right now. Fruit, Failure, Fears, Frustration, Following, and Fury. Steve is seeing a lot of FRUIT on his trip! I am struggling with my constant FAILURES to obey the word of God. Zeke has developed some FEARS that come out in different ways. Abby is trying to find a good and helpful way to handle FRUSTRATION. Eli is learning how to FOLLOW Jesus in practical ways. And Micah is a ball of FURY at times :) and we are working really hard at training him. The older the kids get, I see that my ability to control things in their lives diminishes (as it should!). It is scary, yet really good to see them struggling with things and being here to (hopefully) turn them to the Lord.

Feel free to prayer for us in these areas :) I look forward to having my camera back (I think I missed it almost as much as Steve :P), and sharing some of the great work that God did in El Salvador!