February 28, 2010

February 26, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things

Maybe this can be a new blog entry type...Favorites on Friday!

A few moments of peace in our homeschooling day...books, puzzles, and games. Ahhhh!

Smiles from my baby boy. Love him so much!!

Working in the kitchen with my girls (and Lucan, too, I guess--he does make more work, LOL!). Here we were making Ranger Cookies. Would you like the recipe? Of course you would! I love to give credit to people who give me fabulous recipes, but there's no one to link to on this post...this family favorite goes way back to the first year Ted and I were married and living on a shoestring. The recipe came from the box of generic corn flakes we bought from the local H.E.B. grocery store!

Hill Country Fare Corn Flakes box recipe

1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups corn flakes
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

Mix sugars, shortening, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in remaining ingredients; dough will be stiff. Drop by teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes at 375.

Operation Christmas Child--Month 2

A couple of Wednesdays ago I dashed into the Goodwill store on my way to growth group. I usually drop the older 3 kids off at AWANA, then meet Ted at the B's house for group, which starts at 6:30. Since AWANA starts at 6:00, I usually have 15-20 minutes to do quick errands. My purpose this particular Wednesday was to try to find some pants for Arden, who stubbornly refuses to stop growing.

No luck with pants, but on the way out, I found a display of brand new little trinkets for 29 cents each. Thanks to our family resolution to think "Operation Christmas Child" throughout the whole year, I immediately thought--those would make great shoebox stuffers! Woohoo! I got all this stuff for just over $6. Thank you, Lord!

February 25, 2010

Pasta with Bacon

It's been awhile since I shared a recipe here, so here ya go. This has been one of my favorites since my cousin Reema made it for us back in the ol' college days. I suppose there could be a fancier name for it...maybe we can have a contest to suggest a more Italian-sounding name!

The ingredients are pretty simple:

1 package of your favorite kind of bacon
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. dried parsley
2 small cans or one large can of diced tomatoes
1 package of Penne pasta

First: Cook bacon however you like to cook it--in the microwave or on the stovetop. (Side note: You can use turkey bacon if you're trying to cook healthy meals. I've used it before in this dish, long, long ago. I can't tell you how it was, because I blocked the experience from my mind, preferring my crisp fat-full bacon instead, but just sayin'...it's an option.)

Saute onion and garlic in oil.

Add tomatoes and parsley. Simmer 10-15 minutes while you start the water boiling for the pasta.

Crumble bacon and add to the sauce. Simmer another 10-15 minutes while the pasta boils.

Drain pasta and add to sauce. Mix well and serve with Parmesan cheese on top.

This is a FABULOUS meal! We usually serve it with salad and, often, a fresh batch of homemade bread.

February 22, 2010

The Value of Children

Last week I read a couple of historical fiction books that I had actually checked out of the library for Charis (who read them each at least 3 times--such is the free time of a 9-year-old, LOL). Since my memories of history lessons growing up are foggy, to say the least, I started thumbing through the "diaries" of these historical figures and got hooked.

In "Marie Antoinette's" diary, there comes a point at which she is mourning the loss of her young niece, who was close to her in age. She feels it is not fair that the child has died and voices her opinion to her strong-willed mother. The following passage comes straight from the book:

And Mama said, “Nonsense. She was but a child. If a child lives until twelve, it is a miracle. If she dies between twelve and marriage and having children, then it is unfair.” I realized then that Mama and I have entirely different views of childhood. Mama thinks that children are not precious because their deaths are so common. They are the disposable part of humanity. And I think just the reverse. Because children are rare, they must be and are the most precious things on earth, because they remind us of the incompleteness of life and are anything but disposable. We shall not even have a mourning period for Titi. It is not the Austrian custom, as Mama says, to “carry on” about children.

The Royal Diaries—Marie Antoinette, Princess of Versailles, by Kathryn Lasky

Truly, it's a sad picture of how children were viewed during that time period. But it made me wonder...is it really so different today? Last week I received a "State of the Family" update from the folks at Focus on the Family. One of the statistics indicated that fewer Americans today feel that having children is an important part of marriage. From this web site, I learned there are approximately 3,700 abortions every DAY, and 93% of those happen because of "social reasons" (the child is unwanted or is inconvenient). For the American culture in general, children are more often viewed as a burden rather than a blessing.

It's not limited to our nation, however--fertility rates in "developed" countries are lower than what is needed even to maintain current population figures. To put it bluntly, more people are more concerned about maintaining their current lifestyle than they are about raising the next generation.

Well...that's not entirely true. Secular people may feel that way, but followers of other religions are pretty serious about making sure there is an abundance of the next generation. Do a search of "fertility rates" on YouTube and you can find some interesting (and scary?) videos about how Europe will likely be completely Muslim in about 50 years.

One of my mentors in Maryland told me that she truly believes God wants to raise up a godly generation for His glory. She is a mother of 7, involved in a homeschooling group with many large families. I've thought a lot about what she said over the last few years, and I have to say I've come to think she's right. Look around--our culture is not exactly glorifying to God right now. We could use more men and women standing up and speaking truth, don't you think? And what better way to make sure there is a godly generation following us than to make sure we're involved in teaching and training the ones God has given us? Whether it's as parents or Sunday school teachers or simply investing in the children in your neighborhood, I think we can all help train those "reinforcements."

by Rebekah Pearl

There is a mighty army
Being trained to stand and fight,
A battlefield of soldiers
Learning what is right.
A company of warriors
That will boldly take the Word
To every tribe and nation
'Til every soul has heard.
There is a mighty army,
I've seen them everywhere;
Most are wearing diapers
And dragging teddy bears.
Infants in the training,
Drilled in right and wrong,
Mom and Dad are making
Soldiers brave and strong.
There is a mighty army
Trained in righteous war,
Cheer them on to victory,
Children of the Lord!

February 20, 2010

Six on Saturday

1. Ted and I got a date night on Thursday! It was the first time we had been out since the Tim Hawkins show on October 3. Yikes! Having a larger family makes it difficult to get away. So when the pastor announced on Sunday that the church was offering free child care on a first-come, first-served basis, Ted and I beat feet to the sign-ups in the back! We enjoyed a nice dinner at an Indian restaurant.

2. On said date night, we left home with a Restaurant.com gift certificate in hand for The Artisan, a Mediterranean restaurant. The apologetic server first told us that management was no longer accepting those certificates. OK...so we decided to order anyway since we were there. Then the server came back and apologized again--they had no lamb kabobs, which is what we both had ordered. What?! He told us the manager would be out shortly to speak to us. Five minutes later we were still sitting there, so we decided to just leave and go next door to the Indian restaurant, where we enjoyed a FABULOUS meal with a much nicer ambiance and wonderful service.

3. It's been a balmy 37 degrees. Slowly the ice chunks are melting off the driveway. Likely it will nearly melt and then we'll get another snowstorm.

4. Ted has been embracing his inner nerd lately as he has had to rebuild his computer after it died last week. He's been on the phone with his brother Joel a lot, since he is fixing it up as a Linux system, and Joel has a lot of experience with this. (Ted was just getting into it with our old computer and was very happy with it.) Presumably his new pet will be ready after a bit more effort, and then all will be well. As for me, I'm just happy that my husband knows what he's doing and actually enjoys it! He set up my laptop last fall, and I am very grateful for his help with tech stuff.

5. Try as I might, I just haven't gotten into the Olympic spirit as much this year. We normally stop life when the Olympics roll around so we can follow the stories, but this year we haven't watched nearly as much. I find it preferable to read the recaps in the next day's paper. I wonder if this is because I'm too tired to stay up and watch the coverage that doesn't begin until 8 pm...

6. Charis is probably on her way home right now from her first ever church camp experience, a weekend retreat for 2nd through 6th grades. My baby is growing up! I can't wait to hear all about her adventures.

February 17, 2010

Special Delivery

While I was taking a half-hour nap today, Sidra, my neighbor, friend, and sister in Christ, delivered a white sack with the following written on it:

CVS Pharmacy
(Calm Violent Surges)
Home Delivery

Patient: Beverly J
Prescription by: Dr. Hershey Drk
Dosage: Take 10 chocolate pills daily or as needed.

Note: An emergency (high dose) has been included. Keep with you at ALL TIMES!

Inside the sack was my "medicine," 10 dark chocolate chips per day. You can see I dutifully took my Wednesday dose. I have awesome friends. :-)

February 16, 2010

Homeschool Update

It's another snowy day here in Ohio, so snowy, in fact, that the base is actually closed and Ted had another day off work. Of course, they called us at 4:30 a.m. to tell us there was a two-hour delay (the original plan), so it wasn't as relaxing as it could have been. Still, with all the snow of late, plus Monday holidays, I wanted us to do schoolwork regardless so that we wouldn't fall "behind." I guess that seems a little silly, since I'm the one who controls our schedule, and we don't need to compare our progress with anyone else's!

We're in Week 21 of Sonlight's Core 2 and are thoroughly enjoying it as usual. Recent history readings have brought us through the Renaissance (with a deeper study of Michelangelo and Queen Elizabeth's lives) and into the Reformation. The Age of Exploration has been exciting as well and has captured the imaginations of the kids. Even Kenna seems to enjoy sitting in on our readings nowadays, and while I don't harbor any illusions about her capacity for historical understanding, I am impressed that she has the attention span to sit fairly quietly and not get into trouble!

We've been starting our mornings with a song from a worship DVD, followed by prayer time. Then, at the breakfast table, we go over our verse(s) for the week and do our Bible reading, which sometimes includes a reading from The Awesome Book of Bible Facts, which the kids enjoy very much.

History is definitely the favorite around here, but our science readings about weather have been interesting as well, especially with all the snow we've been getting! We're on a bit of a break with Geography Songs, having learned South America, the West Indies, and Oceania recently. Arden is our geography guru. That kid soaks up the country names and locations like you wouldn't believe! At 6 years old, he knows his way around the globe better than I do! That CD is a GREAT addition to this world history core, and I've learned a lot by listening to it in the mornings with the kids. (Now, if I would sit down and color the maps along with them, maybe I'd do better on those geography games, ha!)

We LOVED The School Story, the read-aloud we just finished this past weekend. Our new one promises to be just as exciting, The White Stallion of Lipizza. Aesop's fables continue to be popular with the crew, though Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses is merely tolerated by the boys, while Charis truly enjoys it.

As for math...Charis is about halfway through her Delta book and doing quite well, though she seems to think math is "hard" for her because she "needs help" when she begins a new lesson. [Insert Mom's eye roll here.] I've tried to explain that EVERYONE needs help when learning new things--that's what parents and teachers are for, for cryin' out loud! I'm thankful that she seems to be getting a solid grasp of the concepts, even if now and then she does make silly little mistakes. Tobin is about halfway through the Gamma book and is also doing very well. In fact, he's breezing through these lessons, having already learned his multiplication facts a long time ago through a computer game. Likewise, Arden is doing his work in a token fashion, as his skills are way beyond his writing abilities right now. I'm sure I could skip over a lot of lessons, but I hesitate to get him too far ahead...

In Language Arts, I feel we have finally hit a groove with our schedule. Our morning checklists usually allow me enough time with each child individually, and their writing skills are growing by leaps and bounds. I've been SO pleased with their progress! I think back to a couple of years ago, when it was like pulling teeth to get Charis to write 5-6 sentences in one paragraph. We would have major attitude and tears on her part and mucho loss of patience on my part. Now, she's writing not only for school, but often on her own! A simple assignment calling for a paragraph may result in a story two typed pages long, and single-spaced at that! She has put some of her work on her blog. She has some other writings from recent days that I should help her post soon. Right now she's working on her spelling list for the Spelling Bee on March 1. I realize, now that I have actually printed the list, that we should have started working on this a LONG time ago, but I'm proud of her for the effort she's putting forward so far. Additionally, she is learning what "to cram" means, LOL. Lesson learned for Mom--open emails and print attachments earlier!!

Tobin is also doing well with writing. It may not be his favorite thing to do, but at least I rarely get attitude from him. Silliness, yes, but attitude, no, thank goodness. (And anyone who knows Ted and Tobin will NOT be surprised by the silliness, ha!) He's getting the hang of connecting sentences into a fairly cohesive paragraph, and for a 7-year-old, I think he is doing just fine in this area.

Arden's writing assignments are mostly dictated to me. I'm doing a lot more of this with him than I did with Tobin or Charis, mostly because I'm actually thinking through our schedule and am not afraid to ask him to do something that I'm not certain he's capable of. Once I explain what the task is, Arden jumps right in, dictating his thoughts, and I type them out for him. His handwriting has come a LONG way since the beginning of the year, so I've let myself off that guilt trip, LOL. He's still not as coordinated in those motor skills, but such vast improvement is easily seen that I'm no longer concerned. Really, in the scheme of things, who cares if he writes a capital K instead of a lowercase k? Yes, I point it out, and we do work on it, but one thing I've learned about educating my children--perfect handwriting just doesn't make it to the top of my priority list. Legible handwriting, yes; perfect, no, LOL.

All three kids LOVE their readers--no problems there, getting them to read. I ask them questions from the IG after they're finished with a few chapters--very helpful when I don't have time to read the book myself, as is getting to be the case with Charis's longer books. I still have Arden read his daily assignment out loud to me, and it's a good time to cuddle on the couch with him. He's a good little reader, not quite as fluent as Charis or Tobin was at this age, but his understanding and pronunciation are very good. He doesn't read to himself quite as much as his older siblings do, but he does enjoy reading outside of school time.

As for extracurriculars, Charis continues to do well with her piano lessons. I rarely have to help her with anything, and she is completely self-motivated. Hooray! I hope she holds on to this passion and enthusiasm for a long time. We try to make it to P.E. at the rec center on Thursday afternoons, but with snow and grumpy babies, it isn't every week. But it's a great thing when we do go--all of us, kids and myself, have made new friends there, and giving wiggly children a chance to run off some energy is always a good thing. Other than that, we don't have any other organized activities, and it's actually been a long time since we went on an organized field trip, unless you count their trip to the Boonshoft Museum February 7 when Ted took a day off work so I could get my business paperwork together for filing our taxes.

So, that's where we are in a nutshell!

February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day

To see some pictures of our day, go here!

Valentine's Day was a nice but low-key event around here. As much as I had wanted to create some handmade decorations like we did for Christmas, I just ran out of time. We enjoyed a wonderful service at church (first Sunday for the "Love Affair" theme, celebrating God's gift of marriage) together, and then I brought the kids home while Ted stayed to play guitar for the second service. I managed to get Lucan fed and down for a nap and make our V-Day dinner: Chicken Cacciatore with egg noodles, homemade sourdough bread, and vegetables. Ted brought home roses for Kenna and Charis (and new massage oils for me, yay!). The kids put out the Valentines they had made for each other (I supervised that activity on Friday during school time) and for Ted and me. They were very cute! Red-stamped hearts and sweet hand-written messages--what better Valentine can you get?! We got the older kids Extreme Dot-to-Dot books, drawn by our talented friend Adam T. from Las Vegas, who works with Mindware to create very cool coloring and activity books. Kenna got a new Play Dough toy since she has been a Play Dough fiend since Christmas, and Lucan got lots of hugs and kisses.

I enjoyed a loooong nap in the afternoon. We fixed dinner for the kids and finished our Sonlight read-aloud from last week (The School Story--very good book), and then the older kids watched a couple of Peanuts Valentine's cartoons while I ran out to get Chinese take-out for Ted and me. Our preferred restaurant is closed on Sundays (kind of like Chik-Fil-A, sigh), so we tried a different one that was decent, but not quite as good. Ah, well. It was a nice dinner for us! We watched the premier of the new Amazing Race season while the kids settled down (which took awhile) and finally enjoyed a quiet evening together despite Lucan's best efforts. :-)

Snowy Day Update

Well, since the weather outside is "frightful," and being a couch potato is so delightful, and since I have no place to go...I might as well update our blog!

I've been wanting to do a general homeschool update, but I will do that in a separate post. So...family happenings:

* We've been hosting a once-a-month family community at our home and most recently met on Friday evening. This small group grew out of our Visionary Parenting Class that we attended at church in the fall. As a group, we decided it would be fun to meet together once a month for a potluck dinner and time of fellowship, along with a devotional that includes the children. There are 5 couples plus a single mom and I think about 20 kids all together. The meetings have been enormously popular with both adults and kids! This month we did a baked potato bar, complete with chili and all the toppings. Also once a month the moms meet on our own and the dads meet together as well. We're studying through the book Visionary Parenting, so we read a chapter a month and discuss when we're together without the kids, LOL. It's been a great way to foster good friendships that include accountability and prayer.

* We also enjoy our weekly growth group that meets on Wednesday evenings. This is another opportunity for fellowship and accountability with a completely different group of people! Most of the couples are older than we are, and several are empty-nesters or close to it, so we enjoy the opportunity to glean all we can from their wisdom.

* A new neighbor asked around to see who was interested in a ladies' neighborhood Bible study. Since I had briefly wondered about that possibility last fall, I was definitely interested, but a little cautious--it seems we already have a number of commitments. Right now our group is 4 women, all of us attending different churches, but I already love it. We haven't yet decided what study we'll do long-term. Our first meeting we shared our testimonies and prayed, and last week we discussed Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 and our roles as wives and mothers. Tonight we will discuss prayer and what we want to do as we go forward. The small group allows for maximum flexibility--last week we met on Wednesday night because of all the snow that canceled church activities. I'm enjoying the opportunity to build deeper relationships with other godly women, and we're praying for opportunities to influence our neighborhood for Christ.

* The kids have thoroughly enjoyed the snowy weather we've been having. Our friends in the D.C. area are definitely getting more than we've had, but after living in Las Vegas for 4 years, what we're getting is plenty for me, LOL! We've almost finished a Sam's Club-sized container of hot chocolate mix, and I've learned to deal with tons of snow gear in the laundry room. An upside-down table cloth works wonders for placing just inside the door for kids to get de-snowified. (Thanks, Claire and friend, for the idea!)

* The weather puts us in the mood to watch the Winter Olympics Games! Well, all of us but Tobin, who couldn't care less about any kind of sporting activity. It's definitely more fun to sit on the couch and watch the games than to shovel snow and exert our own bodies, LOL.

February 11, 2010

February 10, 2010

Whining on Wednesday

1. The trash pick-up has been happening earlier and earlier. We've taken to setting things out Tuesday night so they would be sure to be picked up. With the big snow yesterday, we didn't set the trashcan and recycling bin out last night, and the truck was pulling out of our neighborhood when Ted went out to shovel at 6:30 a.m. Grrrr.

2. I thought I was on top of things with doing a load of laundry early this morning, but when I went to transfer some clothes to the dryer, I discovered that someone had put a wet pull-up in the washing machine. Dis-GUST-ing. Had to run the load again, and there are still gel thingies clinging to all the clothes. They had BETTER disappear during the drying phase.

3. Lucan had a poop that went up his back when I went to get him out of play time in his crib. Sigh. It's not as easy to clean these poops as it used to be, what with the texture (ew, TMI, I know) and his tendency to flop like a fish.

4. My body hurts from hours of shoveling snow yesterday. I'm thankful Ted had a delayed start for work, which allowed him to shovel before he left. It's snowing gently now, and I'm sure I'll have to get out again and shovel before Ted comes home this evening. I didn't bother to get up and work out this morning, though, so it's all good.

5. The kids and I all started the day grumpy and rude. It's just no fun when siblings are sniping at one another and I feel like a mean mama. But on the plus side, it made us remember how much we need a Savior when we did our Bible reading this morning and reflected on Jesus' death on the cross in the Awesome Book of Bible Facts.

6. Kenna pooped in her underwear. Sigh.

7. It's 12:30 p.m. and I still haven't showered for the day. (Thankfully this doesn't happen frequently anymore...not like the days of having a newborn in the house!)

OK, so in the scheme of things...none of this is earth shattering. We have plenty of food, a warm house, a healthy family, and a host of other blessings. Sometimes it's just the little irritations of life that steal what should be deep, abiding joy. I'm over it now. Bottoms are clean, school is finished, and the older kids are all out playing in the snow. Lucan and I will hang out for awhile together, and then I'll enjoy mopping the kitchen floor (seriously! I love clean floors!) and work on shoveling the driveway for my hubby.

And just maybe I can get a shower during afternoon naps.

February 07, 2010

A Sobering Situation

Perhaps you've been following the saga of the American missionaries who are being held in prison in Haiti, charged with child trafficking in the midst of the chaos surrounding the aftermath of the earthquake. Most of our Facebook friends know that Ted and I have connections with Paul Thompson and his son, Silas, two of the ten who are imprisoned. Paul was the camp pastor at the Commission youth camp during 2000 and 2001, the first two years of the camp. He remained involved in the camp for a time and later became a senior pastor. Though we haven't seen him in person for years, we keep up with him via Facebook. His status updates, often Scripture verses or quotes from godly people, have inspired, encouraged, and challenged me. Paul is a godly man whom we respect and honor as a wise Christian leader.

So my world was rocked last weekend when we heard the news of his arrest. Of all the people to be charged with the horrendous crime of child trafficking! The media blast that followed was outrageous and maddening. Would our own newspeople crucify Americans who hadn't even been on trial yet? Yes, they would. Never mind the fact that Haiti had an extremely corrupt government BEFORE the earthquake; this was too good to pass up. Baptists from Idaho, storming in to scoop up orphans-who-weren't-really orphans. Self-righteous comments followed video clips online, harsh criticism streaming from people who assumed they knew the whole story and were eager to pass judgment on those [insert expletive here] Christians who obviously were evil white people trying to harm innocent children.

Thankfully, God was not taken by surprise at any of this. And thankfully, some folks are starting to dig a little deeper to find out what's really going on. I'm not posting here to try to present another news article--I myself am confused about what exactly occurred and what exactly will happen to those involved.

So why write about it? I guess to help process some of my own emotions from the past week. I was literally so sick about the situation on Monday I could barely eat. I've gone from weepy to angry to passionately defensive on the missionaries' behalf. I've had a hard time getting into "frivolous" activities, feeling somewhat guilty for eating Super Bowl junk food or playing in my stamp room, knowing that Paul and his group--who were on a mission of mercy--are sleeping on cement floors, awaiting judgment in a country where devastation and corruption are running rampant.

It makes me think. What am I willing to suffer for the cause of Christ? Would I be willing to be unjustly accused? Would I accept the tarnishing of my own reputation if it meant that ultimately God would receive glory? (For I don't believe He allows tragedy and trials to come if He weren't able to make beauty out of the ashes.) Would I endure physical, emotional, and mental stress with God-honoring grace? Or would I be so busy defending myself and drawing attention to MY actions that I would miss out on the opportunity to share God's love with those around me?

Since I'm pretty sure that Paul and those with him are probably struggling with some of those issues, I am not only praying for a quick release (and vindication for their righteousness, that the justice of their cause would shine like the noonday sun, Psalm 37:6), but I am also praying that they will remain strong in their faith, standing as witnesses for Christ no matter their circumstances. I know if I were in that situation, I'd find it mighty tough to emulate the Apostle Paul, who overflowed with grace from persecution to prison cell, and I would need all the prayers I could get...not simply to make it through the physical trial, but also to have the same attitude as Christ and be able to give glory to God the Father.

I don't know how this situation will end. I would like to think that those who have been kept silent will be allowed to speak and share their whole story with the world. And I would like to think that God has bigger plans for His story to be shared with the world. But in the meantime, as I watch, wait, and pray, I hope that I will be a little more sober about my walk with the Lord. I hope that I can be His hands and feet, bringing hope and love to those who need it. And I hope that my motivation will never be earthly accolades but instead a pure desire to bring glory to the Only One who is worthy of it.

7 on Sunday

1. We got lots o' snow over the weekend that resulted in a postponed stamp club meeting and AWANA quiz team. Shovels, snow gear, hot chocolate, and snow forts filled the day for the kids, who helped Ted clear the sidewalks, while I enjoyed a couple of quiet hours in my stamp room.

2. We're in a groove with our Wednesday night growth group. Ted and I take turns dropping off the older kids at AWANA, then going to the B's house for potluck dinner, fellowship, prayer/accountability time, and Bible discussion. Steve and Heather, one of the couples, have a daughter who is a senior who watches Kenna and Lucan as a ministry for us. It's been a huge blessing to be part of a couples' community again, and we've already seen our group grow to over a dozen people.

3. I've been waking early to work out with some borrowed DVDs from my friend and neighbor, Chris. It's been exhilarating to burn calories again! Now, someone needs to tell my waistline that we're not in couch potato mode anymore, because so far it doesn't seem to be getting the memo.

4. Lucan got his first haircut last weekend. He has a very cute, fuzzy, nearly bald head. I saved a lock of hair, and Charis decided she wanted one, too. So of course Kenna went and got a Ziplock bag and put her own lock of Lucan's hair in it. I'm sure Lucan would prefer to forget the whole experience.

5. We are over halfway through Sonlight's Core 2. I'll have to do a more thorough school update in a later post, but for now I'll say we are still enjoying all of the books, and the kids seem to be retaining quite a bit of historical information. We've reached the Renaissance/Reformation era in this second year of World History.

6. I used my bread machine to make pizza crust for the first time on Friday. Special thanks to my friend Erin for the idea and the recipe! It was a nice change to not have to do a double batch of dough by hand.

7. Ted and I rented a movie, the first in a LONG time, Amelia. I was a bit surprised at the PG rating...I don't think it's a movie that would be appropriate for my kids. It's decent, but I agree with the user review found in the link above. It did make me more curious about her life, so Ted and I did a bit more reading online. It's too bad the movie didn't do a better job of giving us a more holistic view of Amelia Earhart as a person.

February 06, 2010


Kenna decided to talk on her phone while eating lunch the other day. Not sure where she got the idea...heaven knows I don't talk on the phone while I eat! I'm lucky to be able to do one or the other in any given afternoon, LOL!

February 04, 2010

Little Joys of Homeschooling

Starting the day by watching/listening to/singing along with an iWorship DVD.

Praying as a family anytime we want. (Extra special joy listening to Kenna's sweet prayers: "Dear Jesus, Thank you for my family. I love you. Amen.")

Dancing in the kitchen with Lucan to the Geography Songs CD as the older kids sing along loudly.

Listening to Arden narrate (re-tell) a Bible story. (He chose Samson and Delilah.)

Reading a paragraph Tobin wrote all by himself.

Listening to the song Charis wrote for Kenna as she plays it on the piano and sings.

Watching the school kids give the little ones hugs and kisses on their way to the next activity.

Realizing the house is quiet...and finding all the kids reading books in various cozy spots.