Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I am grateful that my children are healthy and able to run, even if it is with muddy shoes.
I am grateful that God has blessed me with three loving little boys.
I am grateful that He has allowed me to stay home and disciple my children, that I might deal biblically with their heart issues and guide them back to the ways of the Lord.
I am grateful that my children are generally quick to repent when I reprove them.
I am especially thankful that I am never alone in my struggles. My Heavenly Father is always with me, providing a way out, training my heart just like I'm training the hearts of my children.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Also, I thought I'd share another recipe. We've been working on getting healthier and slimming down a bit (a cruise looming on the horizon is great motivation!). I found a great recipe for Harvest Muffins which are very healthy and practically fat-free. Honestly, I was expecting them to be dry and disgusting, but they are surprisingly moist and delicious. Each muffin contains 171 calories, 1.5 grams fat, 5 grams protein, 1 gram fiber.
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
2 1/3 cups oats processed in blender until finely ground
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 jar (4 oz) carrot baby food puree
1 cup grated peeled carrots
1/3 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup water (use a bit less if using agave nectar)
1/2 cup raisins
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl, combine rolled oats with ground oats, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Mix well and set aside.
In medium bowl, mix together honey, vanilla, applesauce, carrot puree, grated carrots, juice concentrate and water; pour into oat mixture. Stir to blend. Stir in raisins. Gently mix in egg whites. Do not over mix.
Using nonstick muffin pan, fill each muffin cup with batter
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes and remove muffins from pan.
I am so thankful for the time to get away together and enjoy being a family. It was really a blessing and did us all a world of good!
Monday, September 15, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
I have enjoyed, over the last couple weeks, discussing with my dad our views on how salvation comes about. It is always a good thing to dig into God's word under the direction of the Holy Spirit and to challenge and sharpen one another to a greater understanding of Christ. We don't agree on everything, but it is a blessing to have open lines of communication and to study the Word of God together.
We are getting very excited for our trip to Myrtle Beach during our "off" week. We've been doing a study on oceans using Oceans for Every Kid by Janice Van Cleave and the Oceans Project Pack from Hands of a Child. It will be great to have time doing some "hands on" stuff while we are at the beach.
The other exciting news is that, on Sunday, our family will be joining the church that we have been visiting for the last several months and Nathan will be baptized. We love this church and the people that will be our new church family. I am so thankful that God has led us to this particular body of believers. Our small group is starting next Friday, so we're hoping that it will provide the opportunity to really get to know some families that we haven't had a chance to meet yet.Whew, I guess that about does it. I would say that I won't leave another huge gap like that, but I know myself well enough to know better. :) Just stay tuned!
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
I am pleased to announce that our first week of school went wonderfully! I can't say enough about how much I love my Homeschool Tracker Plus. It has helped tremendously in keeping us on track. Not only do I have our assignments all planned out and ready to go, I also have meals, chores, grocery list, etc. all planned out for the week. It has made our days run so much smoother.
We did tweak the scheduled assignments a bit. I'm realizing that History may be a little over-done. Also, we decided to hold off on starting astronomy in favor of completing a lapbook on oceans because my incredibly generous parents are taking us on a cruise in December! Plus we're going to Myrtle Beach in September so we'll have plenty of opportunities to study oceans first-hand. I love the flexibility that we have to change things up and study what is relevant to us right now!
I am also happy to report that Noah is finally making some noticeable progress in his reading ability. He has definitely grown over the summer. I am concerned about his lack of focus and short-term memory. I can't tell if it is simply immaturity or something else. I had him sit on the bouncy ball during Bible this morning to see if the kinesthetic activity would help him retain what he heard. It seemed to help a bit, but the novelty of the ball tended to be a distraction. I'm going to keep praying through this issue.
I'm noticing more spiritual growth and maturity with Alek this year. Academically, he's still a bit ahead of his peers, but his maturity in several areas is what I've noticed the most. He's becoming more patient and less prideful, more quick to repent and apologize.
I just love the start of the new school year! I'm encouraged that we have developed some better habits over the summer and I can't wait to see how much we can grow this year!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Rosetta Stone Spanish
Ebaru violin package
Membership to Atlanta History Center
Championship Chess Home Study Package
It was also nice to have the boys there and to get their opinion on different products. I think they really enjoyed themselves. It did make for a long day though, so I think it will be an early bedtime for me tonight!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
But in the end, I know that none of it matters. My God is sovereign. Not only is He perfectly holy, majestic and almighty, He is also my Abba, and He loves me with a fierceness and a tenderness that defies understanding. Nothing is more important, or more precious, than that.
Friday, July 11, 2008
The bottom line is, I don't have any desire to produce a product that my own children won't use. So if the "minimalist" approach is the one that this publisher intends to take then I may rework the books that I have done so that they will be the perfect supplement to any history curriculum and go out on my own.
I would love to hear the opinions of those who have used different types of lapbooks. What are your preferences and what would you like to see? What kind of a product would work best in your situation?
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Saturday was spent repairing the damage inside the house that occured while I was outside all day Friday. It pretty much looked like a tornado hit it. We had a bunch of other little projects that needed to be done around the house as well, so Saturday was a busy work day.
Ah, then the Lord's Day. What a relief to just relax and focus on worship. We just ordered some new books from Reformation Heritage that were delivered on Saturday, so Sunday afternoon was spent reading and napping before returning to church for evening worship. It doesn't get much better than that!
Now the weekend is over and it's time to get "back to business". I'm still waiting to hear from "the publisher" about an offer to do their lapbooks, but in the meantime I've started writing the next "habits training" lapbook. This one is going to be on obedience. Hopefully it will go together quickly so I can get it done before I've got to continue with the history books. Whew, the fun never ends!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
You can find the lapbook here. I hope that it will be a blessing and I would love to hear how you have used it in your family.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Also, if you feel so moved, please be in prayer for Andrew and me as we are expecting an offer from "the publisher" to do the American History lapbook. This is all new to us and we really have no idea what to expect. I don't know if they will have a deadline in mind or how much control they will have over content, etc. We're just praying for wisdom and discernment, that we will clearly hear God's voice in the matter and that Andrew and I will be of one accord in our decision.
It has certainly been an exciting couple of months and I'm really looking forward to seeing what comes next.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Finished installing edgers in front flower bed
Weeded under trees in front yard
Edged front lawn
Stained back deck
I have to admit that I found myself mentally cursing the Georgia heat on more than one occasion. It was well over 80 degrees at 9:00 in the morning. However, I then reminded myself that it could be worse. I could be in Oregon where I would be inside huddled under a blanket trying to stay warm and dry. (Sorry guys). I'll take sweat running down my back any day!
It was hard, sweaty work but it was worth it all to be able to sit out on our porch, sipping our drinks and enjoying the fruit of our labor!
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Recording is so much fun! If you like to read, you should consider volunteering to read a chapter or twenty. If you aren't comfortable having your voice broadcast all over the world, you can volunteer to be a proof listener. Each chapter has to be proof-listened before it can be posted as complete.
Go check out Librivox.org today!
Monday, June 2, 2008
- Write on/wipe off math cards (1 addition, 1 multiplication, purchased at WalMart)
- Kleen-slate Kwik-check paddle
- Ziplock bag with baby wipes
- Homemade game in a tin (explanation to follow in future post)
- Game cards in a 3x5 card binder
- CD's downloaded from Librivox.org (Some of our favorites: Wildlife in Woods & Fields, Burgess Bird Book, Just David, Our Island Story, Awakening of Europe, This Country of Ours)
- Workbooks (Explode the Code, math, etc.)
- Rush Hour Jr.
We've already had opportunities to use our new bag and it has been a hit with me and the boys. Not to mention the positive response we have received from the places we have visited, whose employees have commented on how nice it is to see children who will sit quietly and work or play a game together.
I carried the same concept over to our nature study days. We have been terribly inconsistent lately and I realized that it is simply due to lack of organization on my part. So I found an old backpack and filled it with everything we would need for an impromptu nature study. I was also inspired by Karen Andreola's chapter on picnics in A Charlotte Mason Companion, so I prepared a picnic basket that would be ready to go when we are. All it needs is some food and drink! Here's our list of items in our backpack:
- Our field journals (see here for downloads and instructions to make your own)
- Pocket field guides
- Pencils (colored & regular) and sharpener
- Plastic tweezers (for picking up bugs and other creepies)
- Collection jar
- Bug spray
- Band-aids & antiseptic wipes
- Baby wipes for cleaning dirty hands
Our picnic basket contains:
- Paper plates
- Fabric napkins
- Plastic utensils
- Plastic tumblers
- Blanket (or table cloth)
I usually put the plastic utensils in a napkin, roll it up and tie with a ribbon. After the picnic, I bring them home, wash them and retie them for the next outing. We tested out our new "system" last Friday with smashing success! I just put together a few turkey sandwiches, a quick Italian pasta salad and cut up pieces of banana snack cake that I had made the day before. Water and tea was poured into mason jars and we were ready to roll.
I feel such a sense of satisfaction and peace knowing that two of our biggest school challenges have been dealt with. I hope that these ideas can be a blessing to someone and afford that same sense of peace. I would love to hear how others have implemented this type of system and what you might put in your bag!
Friday, May 30, 2008
We have also gone through a job change for Andrew in the last month. What an amazing blessing from God that has been! His previous employer has been trying to get him to come back to work at United. Andrew was really very happy where he was, but he had enjoyed working at United as well. He kept putting the guy off but he was persistent and finally Andrew agreed to meet with him and hear his proposal. We really didn't think it was the right career choice, but we were joking around and said "What if he comes back with such-and-such ridiculous amount of money, bonus on my accounts, a truck and gas paid for, and medical for our whole family?" We figured we would have to give it some serious thought if this unlikely offer came to the table. Well, the offer was exactly what we had been joking about. Plus, the position was not strictly sales as it had been when he worked there previously. Ron now wanted him to manage the sales staff and the whole construction side of the business. Management is what Andrew is really good at and loves to do. Still, he was hesistant to leave his Project Mangager position. When faced with Andrew's hesitation, Ron upped the weekly salary. After much prayer and consideration, Andrew decided to take the new job and he just started this last Tuesday. He's already got orders rolling in and has signed one new account. We have been so humbled by God's hand in our life this past month!
We have also been looking into putting our house on the market and moving. Although we've decided that now is not the time, we're still working on preparing our house to be ready for sale when the time comes, which has taken up quite a bit of our time as well.
I think that about brings us up to date. I'm currently working on a Gratitude lapbook to emphasise our habits training, so stay tuned...
(P.S. Any suggestions would be warmly welcomed!)
Thursday, May 29, 2008
The boys were completely enamoured with him from the moment we picked him up. I'll admit, he is awfully cute. We've just got him in a plastic bucket right now but we're going to get him a real tank with a heater and a filter. I'm tired of cleaning out his habitat every day!
If anyone knows for sure what kind of turtle he is, or how to tell if it is male or female, please let us know!
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
The habit we are currently working on is an attitude of gratefulness. Frankly, I decided to work on this one because I was tired of hearing my children grumbling and complaining about this or that. I figured they really needed this training! As is so often the case, God made it abundantly clear that I needed this training at least as much, if not more so, than they do. Instead of dragging my feet when it comes time to make a meal, I should be praising God that I have food to cook. I should be giving thanks that I have such a wonderful home to clean and am blessed with three amazing young boys.
I often wish that we were farther along in our mastery of these habits. I have in my head this wonderful picture of where I'd like us to be, but unfortunately, we fall quite short most of the time. But I am truly grateful for the progress we've made, by God's grace. And I know that He who has begun a good work in me will carry it on to completion.
"Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus." 1Thessalonians 5:16-18
What are you grateful for today?
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
We study Language Arts so that we can read the love letter that our Lord has given us. How can we know God well if we cannot read His Word? Language Arts also helps us to fulfill the Great Commission. We become much better communicators of God's Word and of His grace when we learn how to write and to speak in front of others.
Geography helps us to understand our place in God's creation and brings an appreciation of the diversity in that creation. The Bible tells us that God has chosen people from every nation, tribe and tongue to be His own. Our brothers and sisters will come from every walk of life, every culture in the world. What a joy to learn about their countries and their culture.
Studying the fine arts gives us an appreciation for the creativity and beauty of our God. We know that every good and perfect gift comes from Him and that sometimes He even gives amazing talent to those that don't believe in Him, for the praise of His glory.
Science reflects both His perfect order and His boundless complexity and creativity. Anyone who has spent any time out of doors really looking at His creation cannot help but be amazed at all that He has given us.
When we look at education in this light, we realize that learning is an act of worship. It is sitting at the Master's feet and drinking in all that He is and all that He has given us. We then do our best, by His grace, to take what we've learned and reflect it to the world around us so that they too might have the boundless pleasure of knowing Him as we do.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
It's been a pretty laid-back week around here. The public school kids were on Spring Break this week and the weather was gorgeous, so we took a couple days off and the boys were able to spend their days outside with the neighbor kids.
Here's what we did accomplish:
Bible: Greenleaf Guide lesson 15, Tell Me the Truth Chapter 1, God's Devotional Book for Boys, daily
Math: Math-U-See lesson 17 (not finished yet)
Science: Nature Study at park 2x, Burgess Bird Book-3 chapters, Wildlife in Woods and Fields-6 chapters
History: Read 3 articles in Learning Through History-Medieval Japan. Alek wrote and illustrated haiku.
Grammar: English for the Thoughtful Child Lessons 26-27, Explode the Code pages 28-29
Spelling: Spell to Write and Read-Started A list, started numbers page, made spelling word flashcards, continued to review 31 phonograms learned thus far.
Other Read Aloud: The King Without a Shadow by R.C. Sproul, Who Lives Here by Dot & Sy Barlowe
Outings: Park day with the Chi Alpha homeschool group
I think that's about it. Doing this weekly report has really made me realize how far I have to go in my organizational skills. While the kids were out playing this week, I used the time to start organizing for next year. I'm pretty confident that next year will be much smoother and easier.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
At the park, we threw some rocks in the creek (which is mandatory when you have three boys) and picked up some "nature finds" to take home and study. Alek picked up a rock with some interesting red markings on one side and a bud of some kind (covered with pollen, of course). I found some Star of Bethlehem in the grass. Noah picked a Dandelion and a Dogwood blossom and gave them to me. Alek and I both did some sketching and journalling when we got home. I love our new field journals. The size is perfect and for the back I used the cardboard from the back of a sketch pad, so it is very strong and easy to write on.
I am so thankful for all of the wonderful things that God has created for us to enjoy!
Saturday, April 5, 2008
I found this wonderful idea on my new favorite blog, Trivium Academy. She does a weekly report of what they have accomplished each week. Sort of like a virtual open house. Since we have so many family members spread out over the U.S., I thought it might be nice to do this each week so you all can keep up with what's going on here.
We're wrapping up the school year so things have been a bit lighter than normal. Here's what we've been working on:
Bible: We sing a song or hymn each morning. This week it's been "This is the Day". Daddy started singing it the other day and the boys love it. We will usually recite the Nicene Creed two or three times a week, pray, read the Scripture that goes with our Greenleaf Guide to Old Testament History, then the boys will narrate. If they miss anything, I'll ask the questions from the Guide and we'll discuss. Then we usually look at the corresponding page in Victor Journey Through the Bible. Then we pray again and move on to...
Spelling: We are using Spell to Write and Read. We usually do about 5 minutes of phonogram review each day. The rest of the week we will learn new words (usually 10 at a time), do spelling enrichments, create sentences, quiz, etc. This week we started our Multi-letter Phonogram page and began spelling list A. Noah is doing much better with his reading and is starting to read some of the Bob books on his own.
History: We've finished up Famous Men of the Middle Ages and I have been using The Mystery of History Volume II to fill in the gaps. I like Famous Men but it only covers Europe during the Middle Ages. MOH covers other areas of the world. We are currently studying Japan and the samurai. This week we did the MOH lesson and have been reading through Learning Through History Magazine: Medieval Japan. Alek did a very nice notebook page with a written narration and a picture from the magazine which he colored. We also discussed the difference between Bushido and Christianity.
Math: Alek usually works on his math during quiet time. He's currently working through lesson 16 in Math-U-See Gamma.
Grammar: We are working through English for the Thoughtful Child. This week we did lessons 23-26
Read-Aloud: We finished up Little Pilgrim's Progress and should be starting King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table next week.
Alek's Reading: Alek finished up book 7 in the Redwall series: The Bellmaker. He also read War Horse by Michael Morpurgo, The Adventures of Buster Bear by Thornton W. Burgess, Sounder by William H. Armstrong
Poetry: Nathan brought me Poems and Prayer for the Very Young and he and Noah listened to me read several poems. I would call out something to find and Nathan would point to it in the picture. Then Noah brought me A Child's Garden of Verses and we read a few from there.
That about sums it up. I love homeschooling!
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Does anyone have any stories they would like to share about how they deal with spring fever? Please leave me a comment and share your suggestions. I need all the encouragement I can get!
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
This was the view from the cabin we rented in the Smokies when my parents were here last. It was so gorgeous!
The picture below is of a cricket that we caught in our yard. We learned that they like to eat fruit so we gave him a peeled grape for a snack. Although, seeing as how the grape is about twice the size of the cricket, it would probably be more than a snack!
Well, there's a little taste of some of the nature experiences we've enjoyed during our homeschool days. Hopefully we'll have more to post soon!
Monday, March 3, 2008
Last week we were on the way home from a nature walk and we met some neighbors that we hadn't talked to before. They live on one of the farm properties just up the street. They are a homeschooling family just like us, only they have four girls instead of three boys. We stayed and talked with them for a while and made plans to have a nature day together soon. Their property is over 30 acres which includes a pond and several horses that they board. No end to nature exploration!
The best part is, the park across from the church is just about ready to open. We'll have miles of hiking trails, two ponds, picnic shelters and the amphitheater just up the street from our house. We are truly blessed!
Saturday, February 23, 2008
If you look at the homeschooling links to the right, you will see a link to some coloring pages to go along with the reading of Pilgrim's Progress. They are beautifully done and are a great supplement. They are especially helpful for keeping little hands busy during the reading.
It always brings me joy to hear my boys begging to snuggle up on the couch to read together. I wonder what we will read next....?
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of this system or how it's working in your home.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Things are going quite well. We're just finishing up our study of the Middle Ages. Putting the lapbook together is our final project and we should have pictures of it up here soon. I have really enjoyed studying this time period. As usual, I've learned so much more than I ever did in school. The boys have enjoyed it too, of course. What boy could resist studying knights and castles, battles and crusades? We'll be moving into the Renaissance and Reformation which is another exciting time in history. I'm looking forward to studying all of the beautiful works of art that go along with this period.
I'll be posting about some of our recent nature studies very soon, so check back with us!