Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Oops. Good thing it was just in time for me to cancel the next day appointment.
Today. Same thing. Forgot another appointment.
Tonight....went to choir, only there was no choir practice! Ha!
But I did manage to get our school day completed before 2, make dinner, and go to Ella's soccer game. And, get this, her team is undefeated STILL, even after playing ANOTHER undefeated team. Final score, 2-1, us.
Tomorrow is a busy schoolwork morning, lunch, then off to my dad's so he can "tutor" the kids in math a bit, which is extremely helpful. He will work with challenging word problems...which I, at this time, don't feel very equipped to teach. After that, a short but sweet playmate and friend visit, back home, and I get to go out to eat with my fellow homeschooling friend, Deanna. Her daughter is Ella's age, and are wonderful friends. Deanna and I have never had a night out together so this is pretty cool. You could say we are both very attentive to our children's academics and that is our focus a lot of times when we talk, and when we get together, it's with the kids, too, so they can play. But not tomorrow!
Here are a few things on my mind....
Feeling a bit insecure about playing for first service worship time. Rich and I began this a couple weeks ago, right when a third service was added. Our music has helped create a very traditional flair, which was desired. However, there's a bit of pressure there, at least in my own feeble mind, that it can make or break some people's decisions on church and attending, getting upset because of the big change, etc. This past Sunday, several people expressed their opinions to me, and although I do not choose specific songs or the tempo of them, I am UP THERE leading worship and that can be intense. One hardly appreciated the traditional music, another was just okay, and another truly loved it. A young couple new to the church and our Sunday School class attends the 11 service but want to come hear Rich's mandolin and harmonica because they dig bluegrass instruments...so they are willing to come at 8:30 for that gathering too. And, although these endearing, encouraging comments are a blessing, I worry about how people are coping with the change of style in the one service. I feel that music in a church is a very strong dynamic for people and van be a touchy subject. So my prayers are as Rich and I have been asked to help lead worship, our music is used in whatever way for whatever people.....maybe a bit vague in my prayer, but I do care for each and every one of the congregation there. And pray that judgements can be withheld as well as a unity held up that I know exists there within it's people.
Next, my children. So, so close a few days, at least two a week it seems, it is an extremely tough day. I get disobedience and disrespect and I am up to here with it. And then add to that, the appearance at the end of the day that I am frazzled, have a messy house, and did nothing to help the aesthetic quality of anything or disciplined kids....which, honestly......I feed three kids three meals each plus snacks, kiss boo boos, help get dressed, teach (four to five hours), tell kids to put away dishes, fold towels, rid up toys....I am not sitting at home doing nothing. But, I am AT home and live at home during the day but have my hands absolutely tied to my family.
Well, as it stands, there is No tv for two weeks for the two oldest, and very limited number of sweets. No computer time either. I was ready to throw in the towel Monday..and Tuesday...all last week...and before that. Today was a breath of fresh air...I sure hope my parents' and my sweetie's prayers are working because it wears me down like a battery being overworked. I get dragged down, and my messy house gets messier. And then don't care how it looks but then don't want anyone over ever. It's just a bit too much effort for me to take five minutes even and do a quick tidy up in the living room, but I have pushed on occasion to do this. It's difficult because we have two boys...boys..boys....boys.....rough and messy. But sweet. And Ella is sweet. But, lately, something's in our water I think.
Hanging on, for in our weakness HE is made strong...MUST remember that and hold HIs loving promises close!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Will David was enthralled, of course.
He plays Baby Chick a lot.
Baby Birdie, too!
Today, the kids and I worked on cinquains. We read a couple, pertaining to exploring, ocean, sea, etc. Then, Philip wrote one called Trains, and Ella, Horses (go figure), which I would share, but I cannot look for those two particular papers tonight. So, here is one that I have written for the following photograph, just for fun, not that I call myself a poet, or anything! Just embracing my children's education as well....
a baking tool
carving, decorating, sweetly inviting
Maybe you'd want to try it too!
Monday, September 26, 2011
I received a copy of this book from Revell in order to provide a review. This is of my own words, and I was not required to write a positive review.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
I love Christmas. I love hardcover books. I enjoy reading about slower paced lives,
forgiveness, and grace. Usually, I do not enjoy too many Amish fiction works anymore,
but this was a rare occurrence when I felt this book was different. I was right! So glad I did not shy away from this book.
It was a breath of fresh air- and showed flaws and imperfections in everyone as well as moving
forth in faith through grace. The main characters, two sets of couples, go through
trying times, as they deal with heartache and sometimes, self inflicted emotions and
wounds. God proves faithful and just, as He always does, and although things aren't
perfect near the end, as it should be and is in life, God prevails and His light shows
through our cracks. And LITTLE things can show us the way we need to go- I loved how the author gave us those "little things" to show God's love, even with a wooden owl whistle. Loved that part, and also the little boy to whom it belonged. A precious, thoughtful story!
I was not paid to do this review. I was not required to write a postive review. Thank you, Revell, for the review copy!
Ten years ago, Emma Malloy fled Dublin for Boston as a battered woman, escaping the husband who scarred her beautiful face. The physical and emotional wounds have faded with time, and her life is finally full of purpose and free from the pain of her past. But when she falls for her friend Charity's handsome and charming brother, Sean O'Connor, fear and shame threaten to destroy her. Could Sean and Emma ever have a future together? Or is Emma doomed to live out the rest of her life denying the only true love she's ever known?
Filled with intense passion and longing, deception and revelation, A Heart Revealed will hold readers in its grip until the very last page.
A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman held my attention from start to finish. The
storyline was realistically constructed, with touches of emotions, thoughts, and action
Although the main character's, Emma, story is intended to be the "attention getting story," I loved
reading about the others. Lessman created a deeply intentional and fascinating array
of lives during this time period. I was relieved she took her time to develop each
character, each dialogue, and description and created a longer length novel her readers
I would recommend reading the first in this series as well, as I did posthaste. Looking
forward to the next chapters!
This review was written in my own words and opinions. I was not required to write a positive review. Thank you to Revell for the review copy!
Monday, September 19, 2011
this pic just makes me laugh and laugh....
as they were returning from a walk to the duck pond.
Ella had said how beautiful the sunset was. And Buddy said, "No.
Nothing is beautiful except Mommy!"
*sweet sweet sweet*
Friday, September 16, 2011
We just worked on one of the four problems today. The assignment was two parts: choose one of the three sentences that follow as the one that matches the original; then write a new sentence of your own to follow the pattern. Here is her little sentence (about a horse, well, called Horse). She didn't quite make it like the model so we will work on that next week. But she did good nonetheless. She's seeing the use of commas, adjectives, different placement of the subject, etc.
Horse rolled in the dirt, then got up, and shook the dirt, and ran to the pasture.
We had another Friday freewrite. Last week's went well, and this week, early on, we revised it and she rewrote her writing. We attempted it this Friday, and I saw an improvement in her creativity, and sentence structure. Spelling, not perfect, but her penmanship was. Ha. We will proofread, and revise, the next week. Here is her story. I omitted the errors because I can't think irregularly like that when I type...ha...
Once I heard something coming torward me. It had a beautiful long mane and tail. It was black with white spots and I peeked through the long grass and saw a horse. The horse was a Paso Fino, and then I saw more cantering around the field. There were Paso Finos, Pintos, Shires, and Appaloosas. They were very beautiful. I walked very slow. I got my rope and very quietly and gently threw the rope over the horse's neck, and then, the horse was furious. It tried to get free but I held the rope tight and I brought the horse home.
As her teacher- I would like to know WHY the horses were beautiful. What else did the horse do to act furious. How does she know about the horses. What exactly did she hear at the beginning? How long did it take her to bring her horse home. Did they meet any obstacles. About how many horses were there. Details.
As for other parts of the day, the sunshine helped my spirit. We finished by 2 and took a quick trip to Whitehouse Fruit Farm for some goodies: apples, cider, spring salad, donuts, soup mixes, candy corn, chocolate covered pretzels, three packages of homemade buns, several lunch meats and cheeses, loaf of homemade Italian bread, potatoes, apple butter, and apple sauce. YUM. A feast is in our future.
Each had a donut today, the rest being saved for Sunday morning when we have to be at church early to play. Speaking of playing for church, I'm quite excited because it's the start of Rich and I playing consistently for the first service, which is traditional. I was shocked, to say the least, to be asked to play the piano, but so thankful for the chance to play along with Rich's harmonica and mandolin, and banjo if he chooses.
Oh, for the rest of the school day, we did some nature studies and sketches. Worked on labeling continents and oceans, as a review. Described a picture of Columbus's ships and the sea, from a book. Narrated a story. Spelling. Reading. English. Science facts, about water, read more in our Usborn Encyclopedia. Three Physics quizzes- as we were behind in that. They were short, and easy for the kids! Math for Ella was: computer lesson, two drill worksheets, and multiplication flashcards. Philip's math was several pages regarding subtraction, and sequencing of shapes and colors. Vocabulary review and comparing for Ella- we have about two dozen vocabulary words from Because of Winn Dixie already...at least 10 more to learn. That was a fun activity for Ella and I think she retained a lot from reviewing today. We have one more week of our BOWD book and study. I was proud of Buddy's nature drawings- they weren't the usual "scribbles" he does, but done with a more careful, steadier hand.
This weekend I will have kids to flashcards and spelling review with Rich, if time. If not, I'll just go ahead and do that. Also, I wanted to start working on our Spanish activity worksheets for the greetings and colors they learned. The Spanish we are using includes audio, and conversation, so it has been, so far, good for the kids. We just have to do our Spanish lessons more often, maybe 3 times a week so it sinks in.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
That's my real, true struggle. My beautiful little girl, the one who was an answered prayer. I love her dearly, so much, and it pains my heart to have to BE a parent sometimes. To direct. Discipline. So many MANY times, her sweetness is there. But other times, I have to deal with an attitude from her that wears me down, physically and emotionally. I am STRONG because of the Lord, and knowing I need to show her how to show love through her words and actions. We have different personalities, her and I, and I have a notion we will be always learning, or at least "I" will be always learning how to "deal" with that.
We are all imperfect. I have NO desire to rid up my house these days. I am TIRED, and well exhausted at the end of our homeschooling days. Think, NAPTIME, if possible. Think, dinner was late, at 8 pm last night. Think, having to REALLY try to plan girl time and it just won't happen.
But there are bright things. Brighter things than I ever imagined. Three children. Being able to homeschool. A chance to consistently minister together, my husband and I, with our music. Beautiful, loving family members, including our parents, sisters, and brothers. Ahhh..even more simpler, a new book to read, a song to cherish, tea to delight my senses.
And there are hopeful, dreaming things. Finishing the book I'm writing, as I'm at 10,000 words. Will I have the stamina and drive to finish? Wanting to redecorate and trying to come up with a plan for my boys' room. Someday....a trip out West. Either for adventure, love of nature and God's creation, or to see some dear friends in several states. Another thing I'm dreaming of, that will and must remain just between the Lord, my husband, and I. I've always been a dreamer. Of the big and little. Am I courageous because of that, or fighting feeling insignificant? Am I hopeful, or faithless? Am I loving, or selfish? Am I committed, or stop short? All in His time.....
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
English- time order words worksheet
Reading and Vocabulary- 4 new definitions to look up. 2 more chapters of Because of Winn Dixie (BOWD) read
History: next chapter read about Columbus. drawing cross section of a ship. labeling.
Memory work: zepheniah 3:17, if I recall correctly; discussed meaning of each phrase.
Art: apple printing (which totally, like, failed) and another project, but using one cut out shape within the context of an original drawing
math for buddy, almost forgot- several pages in various books, like usual. forgot to do flashcards for both!
English and reading for Buddy: he read the rest of Billy and Blaze and the Forest Fire to me and we worked on types of sentences; worked in Pathways workbook
We did not get to: science, individual devotion time, Spanish (again! agh!), spelling, writing. Hoping to do those things tomorrow, er, actually today, since it's past midnight.
Monday exhausted me. I took an early evening couple hour nap. Thus, why I can't sleep! I really tried, hard, to not sleep this evening, but the kids wiped me out totally. But, Loved the sun and warmth of the day nonetheless. And made pumpkin pie. Late bday gift for my sweetie.
Friday, September 9, 2011
About the book:
Nurse Natalie Fallon has brought her ailing mother to Denver for her health and starts a job at Denver's Mile High Hospital, where she meets fellow nurse Breanna Baylor Brockman. In Natalie's past is a relationship with Rex Rawlins, a young medical student. Two years prior she had ended the relationship when she learned Rex was planning a rural practice. She is determined not to marry a country doctor like her father, who died at age 43 from overwork. But she has never stopped loving Rex, and now, little does she know that Rex is a rural doctor in the surrounding mountains. A serious accident brings them together, but it will take a miracle to give them the promise of a life together.
This was HARD to get into, but I was very satisfied about halfway through to the end. I have enjoyed the Lacy's books previously, and as I love westerns, they are good to read. If you want to read a book that discusses the Lord quite a bit, this is it. If you prefer a read that does not talk about God on every page, it is not the book for you. I admit that fact throws me a bit, but the story, the faith, the lesson, the grace behind it always makes me feel as if I spent my time RIGHT. This is WHOLESOME, and you can tell this couple is committed to their God with their heart. This is their ministry, and I so deeply respect them for that. It was an honor to review this book! Very interesting storyline- I fell in love with the characters at the end, the doctor and nurse!
I was not paid for this review, and all thoughts are of my own.
About the book:
Rose Red trusts no one with her secret. She hides in the forest, her face veiled in rags, shunning the company of all save her old father and her nanny goat. Her life is bleak and lonely.
Until she meets a privileged young man sent to spend his summer in the mountains. Leo, a lonely lad, befriends Rose Red, and together they begin hunting for the Mountain Monster which, rumor says, stalks these lands.
But the hunt which began as a game holds greater risk than Leo supposes. Rose Red can scarcely guess at the consequences should he insist on continuing his search. Dare she trust him with her secret? Or tell him what dwells at the top of the mountain in the cave only she can find?
Above all, when Leo asks Rose Red to leave the mountain and follow him to the low country, dare she agree and risk the wrath of a Monster that is all too real?
I admit, I was lost and confused a few times. I enjoyed ALL the detail, and ALL the imagery, but then I discovered it was the SECOND book in a series, and thought maybe if I had read the first book I would understand a bit better. Other than that, however...
I really ENJOYED this book because it had great balance in it. Not too much dialogue. Adventure. Emotional times. Powerful characters, especially the name sake of the title- Rose Red. Learning times for the characters AND as a reader. It was fascinating to wonder of Rose Red's face behind the veil. And how long her beloved friend denied ever seeing it.
I am trying to write my own fantasy novel, or at least one with made up names and an allegory attached to it, Ha, so this book was on my list of to-reads. I look forward to reading the others in this series!
This review is of my own opinion and I was not paid to write it.
Now, time for another review. This one is for a book that had me at the cover and the title: Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P. Freeman. Because I AM one of those good girls. A good girl who never wanted to disobey, be thought negatively of, always do the right thing.
A Good Girl. Yep, that's me. I didn't grow up in a "bootstrap religion" kind of family. It was a God-fearing, but loving family. My parents were people I wanted to love and please. I respected them and knew I wanted to have respect, too. Although this book points out the negatives to being a good girl, or at least, mistakes good girls sometimes make, I could not completely relate to ALL the author's points.
This book brings up some things that a "good girl" could get worked up about. Her "mistakes," if you will. To be forthright- there were many that I did not see in my own life, however, there were glimpses of emotions and attitudes I may have had or am experiencing as one of the good girls, that she has written about.
I feel that my past experiences as one who has suffered from Post Partum Depression has already made me let go of any perfection persona I have had. I have no qualms about stating my weaknesses- there's lots. What you see is what you get. I do NOT have a mask on. Maybe I should though at times and not be so transparent! HA! I have not, for the most part, felt guilted by being a good girl. On occasion I have thought well, I SHOULD be doing such and such for so and so because I CAN and am able, and have felt badly about that, but I do not think I'm such a people pleaser as this is just who I am- someone who honestly wants to DO good and BE good but wants to accomplish those things THROUGH Christ. I admit to failing. To falling short. I really appreciated the chapters that were so thought out and emotional- I think this book will truly help women who are battling their "good girl" woes understand themselves better and live freer in Christ!!!!!
Here are a few specifics of things I noticed most:
The chapter on chasing expectations shared a sentiment I concur with personally- "Growing up a good girl was natural for me."
It was for me- I did not "work" at it. It was my heart.
Another thing commented on was a good girl's desire to be NEEDED, not NEEDY. Another thing I personally take to heart.
This book travels other paths of good girl intricacies, and I didn't grasp all of them as part of my own life history. However, I HAVE struggled with feeling invisible. I DON'T like to say "I'm fine" when I'm not- that's silly. I DON'T wish to be thought of in a negative light. These things are a few that need to be given over to God, who can make them right in the perfect time. NOT ME, a good girl, who strives to do all things GOOD and RIGHT.
I love how in one chapter it is recognized that David in his book of Psalms, talked in anger and fear, all emotion, to and at God. It wasn't just the good he spoke of and expressed.
I get stuck in feeling ordinary from doing good sometimes. Here in the mundane. But I am fulfilling HIS purpose of being HIS child, and this book can remind you of that in a gentle yet inspiring way.
This is one, yet again, to stay on my bookshelf for frequent "go-to" inspirational reading!
Thursday, September 8, 2011
We've "read aloud" one book (Tippy Lemmey), and are in the process of two more- Stone Fox and Misty of Chincoteague.
Reading two Columbus books for history/geography
completed several writing assignments along with poster about trips, and more
Done two art projects.
began a little timeline
Learned about one artist.
Processed ideas about explorers
A little bit of nature sketchbook-ing
Completed at least 5 experiments
Discussed such things as: matter, air pressure, gas
Begun analyzing and solving "sentence grammar" and patterns- this is fun, and I think something very interesting to do with her
Daily vocabulary- at least 2 words, looked up via dictionary, with picture, definition, synonym and antonym added, and sentence used in book
still reading Because of Winn Dixie
discussed several literary elements of BOWD
begun challenge word problems in math
one "Friday free-write" under her belt, worth 10 minutes. (she did good- not too many spelling mistakes at all, and nice full sentences)
completed a good number of grammar review worksheets, and covering the new topic of predicates
begun to spell/write out sentences on his own, for definitions in science, for example
will write nicely when he knows it counts! ha!
is doing great learning "grammar"
reads aloud very well, and confident
smart with our science projects, and diligent
has put forth good effort in his art, i.e. marker line drawings, and sketches, and painting.
listens as I read aloud, and pays attention (most of the time!)
can work on challenge math problems on his own, depending on how hard they are
can be creative with our geography/history writing and responses
understands we HAVE to school and this is the way it is without too much whining- yay!
What I hope to accomplish the next week?
another Friday free-write after revising her first
getting 3/4 done through BOWD
work on more challenge math problems with Grandpa :)
ART project, for sure. I think this is his least favorite subject for some reason.
continuing our progress in writing a definition, maybe start writing a simple narration of history, or what he reads
perhaps work on a poetry project together
my personal goals:
Reread my "Bravewriter" handbook
Print out some travel/boat poetry for next week, and ship diagrams
Cut down the next 2 weeks worth of Columbus Unit to maybe 1.5 weeks. Then the next 2 weeks down to 1.5 weeks. Like to start "Jamestown" beginning of October! And then "Pilgrims" beginning of November!
Set up a few more activities for Will David to do while we homeschool, and be more diligent to keep the little guy occupied with educational and fun things several times a day before I get wrapped up in the other two children and their work
I rate our first 2.5 weeks an 8.5- working kinks out, positive for the most part- minus a couple days where I wanted to throw in the towel, kids are learning!
Monday, September 5, 2011
Sunday, September 4, 2011
my parents attend a little church called Williamsport Chapel.
we love to visit. its a beautiful church, both inside and outside. inside meaning- the people are precious. kind. joyful. open armed.
one thing the kids love about visiting is taking their turn ringing the church bell!
one thing i love is the countryside. its beautiful and simple. on a hill. looking out.
shadows. breeze. children playing. large shade tree. a climbing tree. tender fields.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Author Renee Swope has written about how to overcome our doubts and fears as Christians in this book, A Confident Heart. She has taken a topic dear to my heart as I personally battle feelings of self doubt and anxiety. In this book, she has taken care to diligently line her thoughts up with the Bible, including several examples of our "Bible Heroes," such as Gideon.
I really liked this book, and it will remain on my "go to reads" shelf permanently. There are many things I would like to mention, but I will concentrate on just a few points that were exceptionally striking.
First, Swope suggested to make a timeline. Now, I usually ignore things in books that make me do more work than just reading, but this was more than only a timeline. It has a certain purpose. She suggests you write down key events and alongside those events, your emotions and memories. After that, to ask the Holy Spirit to show you "where you have been, what those events cause, and how far from God those things took you." Also, if they caused pain for yourself and others.
The next part of this timeline focuses on an invitation to the Lord to enter into those memories with you and asking him to heal those wounds. Letting Him consume you, not the flames of doubt and pain.
A simple phrase that I have heard before but one that I think rings true was also used in this book- "pray His promises." She also reflects on those times that find ourselves disappointed in what we've become or done, and reminds us that God can take that "failure" and turn it into somethings positive, such as growth in our walk with the Lord.
As you read the chapter concerning Gideon, she brought up something I had forgotten of in his story and walk with God: there had been a sort of "banter" between Gideon and God, and God humored him, which showed His grace and patience. It is an amazing story of how God allowed Gideon to learn more about Himself and trust in Him.
I think this book would also be wonderful for a group study- there are questions at the end of each chapter, and many verses and points to discuss, which would work nicely in a group setting.
This review is of my own opinion and I was not paid for it.