Saturday, July 04, 2015

A few more from this week!

This past week, we enjoyed an unexpected, extended visit with our friends, the Arendses. :) They had planned on staying here just 2 days before traveling on to see another family in TN but that family got sick, so the Arendse stayed. Yippee! (Not that we were happy the other family was sick.)

Mud, childhood, water, friends & summer = BLISS:

(It was not bliss for Elizabeth, who thought the whole thing was far too messy. She came in to read.)

LOTS of cooking went on. It's all a bit crazy at times, the amount of food prep but it works well, as the Arendses eat like we do & have the same food allergies. We enlist lots of help:

Some music, though not as much as we usually hear:

Sand angels (because the mud didn't produce enough laundry for the mamas):

Jeanelle & I were thrilled that our hubby took a day together to go shooting & have lunch by themselves. :) We had a wonderful visit & look forward to seeing them soon when Josiah arrives!

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Few iPhone Pics

Just a few iPhone pics today. Our friends, the Arendse family, are visiting from Texas so I do not have time for editing. :)

On Saturday, we celebrated Benjamin's 13th birthday with several friends. We asked each person to write him a letter encouraging him in godliness & maturity as he entered manhood. It was a wonderful time of fellowship, yummy food & exhortation to Benjamin. How great to have so many godly men, women & friends encourage him! (Even a few from afar sent letters- thank you!)

Late last night, Eric & I enjoyed a double date with the Arendse. The men found their dream car & were drooling over it.

This is, however, reality. :)

Friday, June 26, 2015

Sorry, ladies! He's taken!

Sorry, ladies! He's taken- he's all mine! And, oh, how I love him so!

Educational Report: Catching up on May & June

Well... its been another few months since my last educational report. :/ It all seems a blur. Several people have emailed or messaged me asking whats up since I've been so quiet. We've simply been busy living. I traveled to Ohio at the end of last month to do a 2-day documentary session for friends- LOVED it but it wore me out. We've been busy finishing the girl's bedrooms- yahoo! (The little girls need valances but I do not see that happening anytime soon.) I've got 7 weeks to go before my due date & I'm hoping to tackle my master room before then. Can't wait to meet this little boy!

But this is an educational report, so let me dig in...

Covenant Classes: classes finished up on May 21st, so we're on break till August. :) Eric and I are so thankful for the amazing teachers at our co-op and for all the children learned this past year! This was our first co-op experience & it went fantastic, aiding my teaching at home! :) Everyone is excited for a new year- I'll be teaching 2 art classes. :) Here are some pictures from the last day of co-op:

We took about 3 weeks off following co-op- didn't really plan that but it was wonderful! We hit the ground running this week & it's gone wonderfully. I think the break helped but more than anything, I wiped our calendar clean & we've been home for 5 days in a row. WOZZERS, does that help!

Memory Work: we did it, we did it all week long!!! :) I've been pleasantly pleased to see how much they remember. Hoping we keep up the momentum!

Abigail & Emily: I'm looping their time with mama first thing in the morning & it helps fill them up, making them happier to play or be with us the rest of the day. Now keeping them from destroying the house with Katherine is another matter! ;)

History: For Gileskirk American Culture studies, we've listened through lecture 38 which takes us up through the Uncivil War. They've read Nashville 1864 & American Poetry Anthology, as well as several other books independently. They are continuing to memorize the Bill of Rights- 5 down. We've been kind of light on doing Gileskirk & hope to dig in a bit more starting next week so we can finish up & start Modernity studies in the fall. :) This week, the younger crew worked on a diorama of George Washington & his troops at Valley Forge in the winter. We also read aloud from George Washington's World.

Language Arts: Patricia's enjoying a break from writing since co-op has ended. :) Her and Benjamin have been working on Our Mother Tongue- about one lesson per week, putting a focus on diagramming with them. They've also been working through Fix-It: the Nose Tree, which is proving to be favorite. (Matthias is also doing this.) Benjamin & Matthias have completed several lessons of IEW's SICC-A course- they did several stories from picture prompts & this week worked on writing a  sequel to a short story they read using questions. They love it! :) Spelling for several, copywork for all, cursive for one (Matthias) round out our studies. Benjamin & Patricia have completed Phonetic Zoo, which is our spelling program following 3 levels of All About Spelling, so they are continuing to work through Vocabulary from Classical Roots- about 1 chapter per week.

Latin: Patricia has completed 7 chapters of Latin Alive, book 2.  Yipee! :) The boys completed Primer B with co-op & we began Latin Alive, book 1 immediately TOGETHER with me. YAHOO!!! We've finished 2 chapters so far. :)

Logic: Patricia & Benjamin continue to work through Argument Builder with Eric. :)

Math: Jonathan & Elizabeth have enjoyed learning about division & a bit of fractions this week. They've also enjoyed learning a bit of multiplication. They're doing much better with addition & subtraction facts thanks to lots of flashcard review. :) Matthias finished his book & moved into the next one this week- always a fun moment. Benjamin & Patricia has both been working on fractions.

Science: Patricia & Benjamin completed the first 2 modules in Exploring Creation with Physical Science. I decided to scrap AiG's Planet Earth book for the younger children & instead, we've picked up Exploring Creation with Astronomy. The key here is we're back to doing it TOGETHER vs. Matthias doing it independently. (We alternate days of either history or science.) It makes us move slower but that's okay. :) We're still in the first chapter, which is an overview of astronomy.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Dawn & Heather Read Together: Own Your Life (Chapters 7-9)

Hm. I was pretty sure I wrote about chapter 7 last week. But reading Dawn's post reminded me I hadn't. We've decided to cover 2 chapters each week but I'll through in chat 7 too so this is going to be LONG! (Who am I kidding? My posts are always long!)

Chapter 7 is about owning the Holy Spirit's strength through your life. "I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." (Galatians 5:16) As Christians, we all desire to obey God more, to be more like His Son. But how do we do this? I know I often try to muster through on my own strength. Do more. Be more. It never works & only leaves me feeling exhausted and feeling guilty. I love how Sally ends the chapter by encouraging us to breathe in this truth: "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:1-2) NO GUILT!

But... how do we then walk in the Spirit? We study His Word, memorizing it so it shapes our thoughts, goals & actions. We pray constantly and ask God to strengthen us, change us, forgive us, to shape our hearts & minds after Him. We focus on praising God, living a life centered around worship. You see, I'm still doing things BUT it's not by my power- I'm submitting myself to God & relying on HIM to change me. Little by little, He is shaping us into His image. How good He is, how faithful He is! "Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6)

In chapter 8, Sally discusses the means of grace (she calls them spiritual disciplines). As she puts it, "It's impossible to be godly and mature without spending extensive time with God." (pg. 100) No excuses here. Yes, there are seasons of crazy busyness but if our whole life is characterized by that, I'd guess we (ME!) are not being truthful. Something should go & these should stay:

Reading & Memorizing Scripture: We spend time with people & things we love. In order to know & love God, we must be in His Word!

"In naming His Son the Word, our heavenly Father emphasized His desire to talk to us." (pg. 102)

Prayer: We talk to those we love so we should talk constantly to our Father! Sally encourages the reader to keep a prayer journal & "record the history of God's faithfulness in your life." (pg. 112) When I've done this in the past, it's been such a blessing! I think this is a habit I need to develop!

Worship & Rest: I like to go, go, go. But God has set a pattern since creation of one day of rest from normal activities & demands to rest in worshipping Him. It brings so much encouragement & helps me remember that He is God and I am His (not the other way around).

Sally also recommends a time of daily rest when possible. (Different seasons of life vary the ability of this.) We almost always have a quiet time in our home for EVERYONE & when we do, it helps so much! Quiet time isn't always spent sleeping- we may read, do an art project, write, craft but the time alone & free of busyness helps refresh everyone's spirits! :)

Learning to take risks & owning your faith is the theme of chapter 9. Sally states:

"We cannot sit on the sidelines of the world and expect to please God. Either we engage in the battles of faith as His warriors, or we become Satan's prisoners of war. ensnared so that we are unable to do anything of eternal value, live as victims, and never enjoy the glory that comes from playing our part in God's story." (pg. 126)

What's holding you back from owning your life? Sally mentions these common faith stealers: pleasing men, fear, formulas (i.e., works), flesh (i.e., relying on ourselves). She then encourages the reader:

"If we are truly seeking God's will and ways in our lives, our focus must be on His Kingdom and the eternal soul work He wants to do in us. If we are willing to stay there, the difficult or desperate situation we are in might just be the place in which God wants to do a miracle." (pg. 119)

Sally's examples of taking risk in this chapter mostly focused around ministry outreaches & missionary work. God does call some to this task but I just want to encourage you all that if God has called you motherhood, it's just as valid, worthy and beautiful in His sight! (I know Sally believes this- it just doesn't come across well. Nor does the evangelical church preach this message.) It takes great faith to raise up a godly generation and be a helper to your husband. You'll have to take many risks along the way. You will battle those faith stealers and must combat them by resting in God & His Word, praying for strength. Maybe God will call you to something else also. But I won't say He will call you to more. Because it's enough if that's where you spend your life! :)

Be sure to check out Dawn's thoughts here on chapters 6-9! We would love to hear from any of you who are reading along with us. :)

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Project 365: May 2015

Well, I missed 4 days this month. :( (I edited or took extra pictures on other days- represented by the four pictures on top of the calendar.) I had 2 big sessions this month (one that took me out of state) & it wore me out. I've struggled a bit to find inspiration & motivation with my project 365 since then. But I'll keep plugging along! The huge yahoo moments were getting all of the children in front of the camera THREE times this month. Several iPhone pics this month (3). No selfie but that's okay. :)

You can follow my Project 365 by visiting the tab above (I share my settings also) + you can see other people's projects by clicking the button at the top of the page. I'd LOVE to hear of your projects! My other calendar spreads from this year's project 365 are here: January, February, March, & April.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Camping with Daddy

Last night, Eric took the girls (minus Katherine) on a father/daughter campout with our church. :) I'm so in love with this man!!! Camping isn't his thing (there's dirt & bugs) but he's learning to embrace it for his children. (He took the boys last year to the father/son campout.) They all had a blast & sent these fun pictures:

Sugar rush:

SO HUNGRY for food in the morning:

Missed my sidekick but I'm happy she got some time with her daddy. Eric said she was scared when it was time to sleep (the others clunked out immediately):

Methinks Patricia will be taller than Eric & I both very soon:

So thankful they can build these memories together! The boys can't wait for their turn later this year! (Oh, and let me tell ya- it was SO QUIET this morning without my girls running around. WOW! I never knew they were the source of noise.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wednesdays with Words: Music

From The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Christian Classical Education by Kevin Clave & Ravi Scott Jain:

"Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul, on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace." (pg. 25- from Plato's Republic)

"Musical education is soul-craft: carried out properly it turns the soul, and makes one receptive to truth and goodness." (pg. 26)

"Although musical education considers some of the same 'subjects' as the liberal arts, it does so from the perspective of forming the heart, the sense of wonder, and the affections." (pg. 29)

And THAT'S why we travel far to invest in quality lessons, invest large quantities of funds, spend hours practicing, memorize hymns & psalms and fill our days listening & singing to music. :)

Be sure to link up with Dawn's blog to see more words:

Dance Party!

How do you help little giggly, wound-up girls settle down for bed when it's still sunny outside? DANCE PARTY! You crank up the radio and ya dance like no one is watching (or like mama is watching with her camera):

Thank You, Lord, for the gift of sisters! And thank You for the gift of these girls- they make me smile & laugh!