Friday, November 30, 2007

Quotation Friday

I love words....I see them as a gift. The fact that God chose to give us all we need for life and godliness through His son and a book, the bible, speaks loudly to me. I keep a little black quote book to record those words I come across that have an effect on me.
My heart is to start sharing from this little treasure book on Fridays. I also hope one day to find a better way to categorize them in a beautiful antique book. I love to write and at some point want to take a calligraphy class, then rewrite them all in this notebook I will create. I think it will actually happen once the gray hair starts to come; for now the little black book will have to do.

This is one of my favorites:

"Truth must enter into the soul, penetrate and saturate it, or else it is of no value. Doctrines held as a matter of creed are like bread in the hand, which ministers no nourishment to the frame; but doctrine accepted by the heart, is as food digested, which by assimilation sustains and builds up the body. In us truth must be a living force, an active energy, an indwelling reality, a apart of the woof and warp of our being."
Spurgeon

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I'm Alive!

Boy it's been along time. Never anticipated being AWOL this long, but life happens. I just came away from a 4 day personal retreat that was such a blessing. It was originally planned for two days but due to my husbands job and the location of the grandparents....it lasted two extra days. Though I missed them, it was a productive and relaxing time.
I finally feel like I am unpacked from my last move in May. I have reclaimed my walk-in closet....to be walked in again. I re-looked at our school schedule and family routine to suite my being away two days a week tutoring. I read a bit, watched some movies, exercised as long as I wanted...ummm and let's see.....I planned some Christmas family fun stuff, did some shopping, drank my first Gingerbread Latte from Starbucks (I thought of Stacy over at With Great Joy) and the list goes on. I also spent some time thinking about blogging, books I'd like to read and some spiritual and educational goals. I hope to post some of the details here and there.
Overall is was a wonderful long weekend. I am grateful to have a husband who thinks this is a good idea!

I hoped to get back on the blogging band wagon BUT we woke this morning to a crashed computer. No fear ...my dear computer husband is here! He can fix just about anything....that's why we probably have the oldest "looking" computer on the block. The guts of the computer are not old... he just keeps upgrading and fixing this ancient thing. All this to say, there may be a few hick-ups this week as we re-format and grab everything from the old hard drive.

P.S. Hope everyone had a great American Thanksgiving! Now I can start decorating for Christmas. Though I live in Canada I cannot decorate for Christmas till after American Thanksgiving...once an American always one!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Random Update

Is it Friday already? My last post was last Sunday! I am going to throw out a bit of whats been going on around here. Hopefully it will slow down next week.

* I have started to tutor a 5th grade boy within my church community 2x a week. We as a family are making the adjustments to mama being gone for 4-5 hours per week. It works great because my husband works from home. I am gone over lunch and regular quiet time in our house. So the kids do lunch with dad and have their QT in their rooms and then I am home. It's a great help to us, and this little guy is a great kid! It is really the best case scenario for me to earn a bit of money.

* I have been pricing and sorting all our baby stuff to sell at a swap in our local city. It has been a process getting organized. I will spend the day tomorrow with one of my best buddies making money. Can't beat that! I am considering making it a mini business to buy used items in good shape and resell then at these swaps. We also have a toy store locally that will trade good quality toys for others. So the kids have gone through their rooms before Christmas. I then take them to trade and then we buy their Christmas gifts. They will figure it our one day.... hehe! I am always looking for away to reuse stuff and save a buck.

* I have not gotten my household organized since our two moves this year. I have been working on a plan. My bi-annual personal planning weekend is coming up soon. I am trying to get some things thought through, so I can get them implemented over that weekend. I am re-looking at our schooling that weekend also. I am looking forward to that time....for many reasons. I am so grateful for my husband who makes this happen for me.

* I talked to my best-est dearest friend this week for over an hour. That was a real highlight. I have known her since I was 19 and she lives far away. One of these days I will wrap my arms around her neck and squeeze. We haven't seen each other since my oldest was 6 months. My daughter is now 7 years old.

* I have also been working very hard to cook from scratch and focus on good meals. This has always been struggle for me.

Well that is the gist of my week. And why I haven't been around. I have to find my blogging space again since I am gone two afternoons a week now. I have also found, since I began to use the reader on google I don't comment as much. I don't like that!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Homeschool Ramble

I tend to write when I have come to a conclusion. I do the process and thinking in my head and then the finished product is the writing. This post will be entirely different. I am writing to process.
Those of you who know me in real life may find this post disturbing (LOL!) because I am beginning to question my commitment to the Classical approach in educating my children. GASP! I am not sure I have been as faithful to the method as I thought all along. Remember as I write I am thinking with words :o)....no conclusions as of yet.

I have mostly followed "The Well Trained Mind" by S.W. Bauer starting in grade one. This is what I am referencing as classical. I taught my daughter to read at four, very naturally through books and everyday life. I used Ruth Beethchicks Three R's to get me started. My daughter is a veracious reader at seven years old. I thought it was just her, but my four year old son is on his way to learning to read with the same method. They are very different children and as far as I can tell, different learners too. I think being read too, and seeing others read often is a part of their success. But the process wasn't step by step but a natural flow of life and practice when it got to that stage.

So we have established I have a good reader. I spend much time "teaching" language to my seven year old who is an above grade level reader. Why? She is so young. She is in grade three spelling and rarely misses a word. Do I need to spent time on spelling when it is natural to her? What I am struggling with is educating the creativity and curiosity right out of my children. We have grammar at seven, with spelling, language review, cursive, creative writing and then all the language associated with history and science. Some body pull me off this train!
Where is my child learning through discovery, creativity and just plan interest? Does every thing need to be systematic? There isn't much time left over for fun and creativity. We have a workbook for spelling, for math, for language review, for creative writing and then narrations for history and science and....and....and....and .....you get the idea. My seven old is smart as a whip, no doubt she can do all that work........ but should she be doing all that work?

As I said before this is a processing post. I am not bashing the classical method at all...I rather like it. I am simply struggling with academics needing to be the main priority in young children, at the expense of creativity and how that encourages original thought and ideas. I am aware that young people need input, and lots of it, but I want my children to have space to create and be a child. Trust me, the academics are not going away and we will do them. I am battling with the timing. I want to just let her read and read and enjoy her desire to create.

The first books I read when I started homeschooling were Charlotte Mason's. I so identified with her method but yet I do the same with Classical. A balance is the best, I guess. I think I have lost a bit of that balance and begun to depend more on getting things done, then learning and living. I want our learning to be organic with direction. Does that make sense?

If you are still reading...I am surprised but grateful. These truly are ramblings of a mama who simply wants to give her kids the best learning experience she can......starting with the cross and grace, moving onto creative God glorifying learning.

I would love to hear about your own thoughts and conclusions on this .

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Take the Challenge

I want to introduce you to a fairly new blog and my friend at Keeper of the Home. I have been challenged and encouraged to serve and care for my family in very practical ways by reading her blog. She currently has a Savvy Spending Challenge. I have decided to take it and see what I can save in our grocery/ household budget.
This is an area where I am always thinking and trying to get the best bang for my buck. Lately though, I have become lazy about it. There have been circumstances to cause that, like loosing this last baby and moving twice in six months (don't recommend that). My only excuse now is sheer laziness and lack of being purposeful.
I have recently started tutoring another home school child in our church community which brings in more income. Our desire is to not include that extra income into our current budget and make it all savings. I am looking forward to seeing the fruit of making better choices and continuing to grow in living a contented life with what God has given us. Financially and family size :o)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Uhhhh??

I visited my friend Melanie today to discover this blog reading check. I was shocked at the reading level of my blog, considering I have never taken a college course in my life. The one exception being college level biology in high school a LONG time ago.

Maybe they made a mistake LOL!


cash advance

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Practice Makes Perfect

This statement has always bothered me. Because practice doesn't make things perfect. Practice makes improvements, changes or progress but perfection? Who are we trying to fool, yet my nature will try to attain it. There is only one kind of perfection; it was displayed on the cross and delivered with the utmost grace and mercy. We will never taste true satisfying perfection until that day when we see Him face to face. That perfection will be all about Him....Oh what a day! When I think on this, I cannot imagine thinking from a sinless point of view.

Now that we have laid this thought against the cross......what are we practicing? Do we practice what we already know or are we waiting for that magical moment to appear that wipes away the need to move and do? Prior to my recent post about Discontent, I had been waiting for some moment in time where I would find relief from the feelings of discontent, simply by waiting and giving myself time. Though there is wisdom in giving ones self time for a season, I have been challenged to see contentment as a pursuit. I am to be content in all things....am I practicing that? Practice and pursuit are action words. How am I taking action to be content on a daily basis? If I am feeding myself God's truth am I then practicing it in the moments of my day? Am I chasing it down and applying it to my words, responsibilities and relationships? Am I making financial choices that back up the circumstance I am to pursue contentment within? Is my thought life aligned with where I am heading.......toward contentment in what God has allowed or living in the place I wish I were?

No one is perfect in their practice but by God's grace I want to be available and joy filled for His purposes. One of the biggest hindrances I have found to this is immobility.......a lack of purposefulness in pursuing. Not just making a mental decision to follow truth but putting one foot in front of the other toward that truth.


One way I am pursuing my contentment is by letting go of the baby stuff. This isn't the answer for everyone but it is for me. Holding onto it feeds the "what if" world that can be so bad for my heart. What if my husband changes his mind? What if we some how get pregnant again? What if we adopt? All of these things are a pursuit of what "I want" not God's perfect plan and goodness to me right now....which is being done with having children. That stuff I hold onto is a comfort issue. It's just stuff and can be replaced "if" God allows us in what ever form to be blessed with another child. Letting go of this has brought hope. A knowing that God will provide the ability to let it go, and all that is needed if our circumstance changes. This is one of those places where I have experienced a peace that passed my mental ability to understand.

It could easily be thought that emotions are wrong in this "practicing"....which wouldn't be the case. They are so much apart of the process and growing. They are a gift from God. When they become the base camp from which I make my decisions and choices...that's when they cease to be a blessing. When I neglect others due to how I feel I am in big trouble!


What a good and faithful savior! Not only to provide all I need for life and godliness, but mostly because even if I fall short in my pursuit of contentment (which I will), He will never leave nor forsake me. This mercy swallows me at times!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Pictorial Portfolio 1

I submit a Homeschool portfolio three times a year where I live. Instead of mailing photos it's more fun to post them here and send a link. Here are some of the pictures from the first few months of our school year.

This is the location we did our Community Profile this summer. We learned about the industry and characteristics of Kamloops. It was cool to actually visit for real and see good friends too:o)

A little fall art.

The making of a flower bouquet from pipe cleaners.

This was an activity on learning linking verbs. We took the words to made proper sentences and linked them together.

Another activity building sentences and identifying the parts.

What we caught at the pumpkin patch.

This was a fun experiment on making a raindrop fall. This is the second picture. She is putting the drops of water together to see how long it takes for it to get heavy enough to rain and drop.

This is the first step (I uploaded backward). You put little drops of water on the plastic lid and flip it quickly and go on to step two above.

This is our learning about erosion. We poured water over the flour (dirt) to see how the water would change the surface of the earth. We added the rocks secondly to see if they helped slow down the process. We discovered it does!

This is the effect of wind on the earths surface. Always use a straw when using flour in this activity....trust me!

This was our first attempt at whole wheat homemade perogies. It was my daughter's idea. She wanted to make them for dinner. They were good! We used potatoes, light cottage cheese, light cheddar cheese, garlic and onions. We surprised ourselves. Now that she is getting older we are cooking more together.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Day After

I am big on tradition. One of our favorite traditions is the day after Halloween. We don't do the normal Halloween celebrations. We have decided to see it as just another day. Not right or wrong, just how we've decided to do it.
In our family the biggest thing about October 31st is really the day after. We get up and get dressed. Grab breakfast and go out the door. We swing by Timmy's (Tim Horton's is a coffee shop in Canada) for a coffee and a donut. We then proceed to the stores to find treasured dress up clothes for the year. Most costumes are 50-75% off the day after Halloween.
Here are the finds from our treasure hunt.
Makes for very happy kiddos!