Friday, August 17, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: My Mother and Learning to Ride a Bike


No, my mother did not learn to ride a bike this week, and neither did I.  :)  We already know how!

But my did mother come for a visit last week.  As always, we had a great time visiting with her although I wish I had taken some pictures while she was here.  She spent a lot of time playing games with and reading books to my children.  We all enjoyed her visit.

This week we started school, here at home and with our CC campus.  I must admit that my children did not have the best attitude about their schoolwork.  Probably they were still a little tired from my mother's visit and their trip to a water park with John on Wednesday.  Being tired will make anyone a little crabby, won't it?

Here are a few other things I enjoyed this week:
  • we saw the Incredibles 2 movie two weeks ago, and we all loved it.  Even Hannah sat spellbound on my lap through the whole movie.  What made it so memorable was that it was all of our children's first time to see a movie except for Sarah Beth whom I took to see Frozen several years ago.
  • I had my first parent meeting with our CC Essentials class last Monday.  It was nice spending time with the ladies whose children I will tutor.
  • after picking up my mother at the airport in Houston, we went to Half Price Books.  What a neat store!
  • on Saturday, I attended a workshop on The Lost Tools of Writing which is Sarah Beth's new writing curriculum.  I had no idea what it was all about until the workshop, so it was very helpful.  What was so impressive was that it was taught by a high school junior!  She's completed several years of CC, and I'm always impressed by these Challenge students.
  • John taught Rachel and Mary how to ride their bikes without training wheels last weekend.  They're so excited!  And I'm so proud of all of them!
  • soccer started this week.  Sarah Beth and Rachel are both playing, and it looks like they have excellent coaches this season.
  • Tuesday was our first day of CC, and we enjoyed that.  I especially enjoyed not being director! :)  There are several new families which is always fun.
  • as I mentioned before, John took our oldest four children to a waterpark on Wednesday.  They all had a great time!  They've been looking forward to it since last year.  School had started in our area, so there weren't many people there which made it that much more fun.
  • meanwhile, I was home with Hannah, and I enjoyed that!  We ran a few errands, then I got some things done at home.  It was fun only having one child for a day, and Hannah loved being an only child -- for a day.  :)
  • The Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine.  A few teenagers solve a robbery mystery that occurs in an early 1900's department store.  Although this book is written for children, I found the character development to be fairly good, and the twists and turns of the plot kept the book interesting.  I plan to read some more in this series.
  • Why My Name was Keoko by Linda Sue Park.  This book tells the story of a young girl and her older brother during the decade when Korea was occupied by Japan before it was liberated after World War II.  It was an informative yet sad book to read.
We have a quiet weekend planned, and we play to savor it since soccer games start soon and with them busy weekends.

What did you enjoy this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Book Review: I Am: The Names of God for Little Ones


I was thrilled when this book (I Am:  The Names of God for Little Ones by Diane Stortz, illustrated by Diane Le Feyer) arrived for me to review.  When I read it to  my toddler, she loved it and started calling it her "Jesus book."  You can probably tell from the title of this book that it tells a little about several names of God:  God the Father and God the Son.  It has a nice distribution of names from throughout the Bible.

However, I did find a few problems with this book:
  • Jehovah Jireh, the Lord will provide.  In the Bible, God reveals this name to Abraham when he almost sacrifices his son Isaac but does not because God provides a ram as a substitute.  However, in this book, the author implies that all this name means is that God will provide us with food and take care of us.  This name means so much more!  God doesn't just give us food, but He supplied us with a sacrifice to take our place so we will not be punished for our sin.  
  • Jehovah Rophe, the Lord Who heals.  The story with this one is when Naaman is healed in the Jordan River.  But the Lord revealed this name to the Israelites when He made bitter water sweet at Marah (Exodus 15).  Although the author used a different story to illustrate the name of God, I don't think it dilutes the meaning at all.
  • Rabbi, Teacher.  This pages tells about how Jesus taught about God, but Jesus is God!  It makes it seem like He isn't.  The author should have made a distinction that Jesus taught about God the Father.  
Don't get me wrong about this book, please!  I enjoyed this book, and I'm glad to have added it to our library.  The criticisms I found are fairly small, some may say nitpicky.  But I like and expect accuracy in my books about the Bible for me and for my children.  

All of the negatives about this book, which aren't many, are completely taken care of by the pages about Jesus as Savior and King of Kings.  This book clearly relates that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead.  And my favorite page of all was the last one when Jesus will return and make Heaven and Earth new.  What hope this page gives to us and our children!

I will continue to read my daughter her "Jesus book" because it is just that good.

I want to thank BookLook Bloggers for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Friday, August 3, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: A Quiet Week and a Finished Blanket

Another finished blanket for our local pregnancy center.

We had a quiet week at home, almost too quiet, as we didn't always know what to do with our time.  But my mother is coming next week, and the week after that we start school again.  So I decided to appreciate our downtime this week.  :)

Here are a few specific things I enjoyed this week:
  • We met some friends at the pool and had a great time with them.  I really appreciated having someone to talk to.  :)
  • Both Sarah Beth and Rachel won their prizes for summer reading!  In our county, it's done like a raffle, and you get more tickets by reading more.  My oldest three children earned the maximum amount of tickets for their reading.
  • I always love it when I finish a blanket because I get to start something new!
  • I really appreciate our new CC director.  She is doing a great job getting things together this summer, and I have to admit that I have been enjoying not being director this year!  ;)
This morning, we have orientation for our Classical Conversations campus, and we look forward to meeting new families as our campus has grown over the summer!

We plan to see the new Incredibles movie tomorrow, but other than that, we hope to have a quiet weekend.

What did you enjoy this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Friday, July 27, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: A New Refrigerator

The deliverymen were barely out of the driveway when my children started decorating the new fridge!

While I do love our new refrigerator, I do not like the reason we had to get it.  John discovered water leaking from the freezer Tuesday morning, water from the ice melting.  So we quickly moved everything worth saving into either a cooler (for the refrigerated stuff) and our deep freeze (for the frozen stuff).  Then, of course, we had to buy a new one.  Ugh!  We are fortunate to have a local appliance shop which will deliver the next day, so we were only without a fridge for a little over twenty-four hours.  I'm so thankful for that!

Here are a few other things I enjoyed this week:
  • going to a Honeybee Expo on Saturday with Mary and Sarah Beth.  We had so much fun tasting different kinds of honey and doing some crafts about bees.  Sweet Mary knew I wanted to go, so she volunteered to go with me.  Then Sarah Beth decided to go, too.
  • meeting friends at a museum Monday.  It is set up like a children's museum, so our children had a great time playing with the different exhibits.
  • having a slow week.
I'm hosting an Usborne Books Party tonight as a fundraiser to purchase insurance for our CC group.  Then we have a busy day tomorrow!  In the morning, the kids and I are running a race:  mine is a 5K, and theirs is shorter, for children.  Then we're going to a friends' house to swim and have supper.  

What did you enjoy this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Why I Decided that Being (Five Minutes) Late Isn't Such a Bad Thing


I am one of those people who like to be on time, even a little bit early.  I don't like to be late, and I want to make sure that I get where I am going with plenty of time to spare in case something happens on the way. Too often, however, my children are casualties of my wanting to be on time.  I end up yelling and screaming at them to hurry up so that we can get where we are going on time.

One day I read something by Gary Thomas where he said that it makes no sense to throw my husband under the busy, so speak, in order to look good to a stranger.  On another day, I read something about not harming my children's spirits.  And God used these two different thoughts to start my contemplation of something:  what if it's more important to protect my children's hearts than it is to get somewhere on time?

I first came to this realization one day as we were eating lunch, preparing to leave for piano lessons.  What would really happen if I let my children finish their lunch in peace and get ready without my yelling at them to hurry?  We might be five minutes late.  Would five minutes be worth the damage done to my children's spirits?

I thought about this again when planning for Practicum.  What would the results be if we were five minutes late to Practicum because I didn't yell and scream at my children to hurry?  Well, my children would be a little late to their camps, but that's not a big deal.  And I would be a little late to my session, again not a big deal.

In other words, I decided that being five minutes late would not be worth damaging my children.

Do you know the peace that I had when I made that decision?  It was wonderful!

Now don't get me wrong:  I am talking about being five minutes late, not half an hour.  I still think it's rude to be late, rude to whomever is waiting.  And you have to do a good bit of planning sometimes to be on time.

However, children are children, and they don't always realize what time it is or what they should be doing so you can leave on time.  And, let's be honest, if/when we're late, it's usually my fault for not warning them adequately about when we need to leave.  When I come storming out of my room running late, it's not fair to my children to start yelling at them to hurry when they had no idea that we needed to leave any time soon.

So I decided to try to warn them better about when we needed to leave and to relax a little if they weren't quite ready when it was time to leave.

If you have a problem getting places on time, this post is not meant to make you feel better about habitually being late.  Rather, you need to figure out why you're always late and work on that.  Here and here are two posts that might help.

However, if you're always on time, but it involves yelling and screaming on your part, this post is for you.

Are you usually on time?  Does it take yelling and screaming on your part, or have you figured out how to be punctual without that?  :)

Friday, July 20, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: Camp and Puzzles


Since Daniel had camp this week, we were a little busy, but not really.  We just had to load up the van to take him and then pick him back up.  Other than that, we were home the rest of the day which I enjoyed after our busy week last week.

The local college offers a children's camp every summer which has several different offerings at different times kind of like college classes.  So Daniel is taking a chess class, Math Magic, and Flying High, and he's having so much fun especially in the chess class.  Finally, he has people to play chess against, people he can't beat easily.  :)

Meanwhile, the girls and I worked on puzzles.  Several puzzles.  Five hundred piece puzzles.  One thousand piece puzzles.  Hard puzzles.  Easier puzzles.  I really enjoyed working with them solving these puzzles, but mostly I appreciated us all working together for a common goal.  Sarah Beth even picked out a 300 piece puzzle to do with Mary while Rachel and I finished up our hard puzzle.  Wasn't that sweet?

Here are a few other things I enjoyed this week:
  • getting back to my Summer Learning Plan.  I have taken a few weeks off for various reasons, and it was good to get back to it!
  • staying on top of the laundry.  :)  Since Daniel had to wear the same shirt every day for camp, I had to wash it along with a load of other clothes.
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  This book is one that Sarah Beth has to read for her Challenge class this year.  I'm trying to read all of her required books so I know what's going on in her class.
We don't have much planned this weekend, and I'm enjoying every slow weekend we can get before soccer season starts back up.  

What did you enjoy this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A Few Things I Learned at Practicum

Last week at Practicum, I received my training to tutor the Essentials class in the afternoon sessions.  There was great information shared there.  But in the morning sessions, we had a wonderful speaker Sandy James who imparted much wisdom.  She told many stories about her own children and other children whom she knows, and it was encouraging to hear that we haven't failed as parents if our children drift when they leave our houses.  My favorite analogy was that children are like baking a cake:  if you check them in the middle before they're "done," they are raw and gooey on the inside.  You have to wait to assess them after they are completely "baked."

Here are a few quotes I wrote down that spoke to me; I thought you might appreciate them as well:
  1. Isaiah 54:13.  "All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children."  Our speaker repeatedly brought us back to this verse, emphasizing how God will meet us and our children as we sit at the kitchen table doing school.  She also told us that the Hebrew word for "peace" is "shalom" which means nothing broken, nothing missing.  We can trust God that, when we teach our children, at the end of it all, there will be nothing missing, nothing broken; their education will be complete.  
  2. Discipline is an automatic reaction to vision.  If you have a vision for where you want to end up with your children as you homeschool, you will be disciplined to get there.  For example, when I'm training for a race, I don't mind as much getting up in the morning and running hard.  I have a vision.  When I'm just running for exercise, it's so much harder.  
  3. If you begin with the end in mind, the middle won't trip you up.  Again, if you have a clear vision of your goal, you won't get sidetracked when things get difficult before you get there.
  4. I have nothing better to do with my time than disciple my children.  This quote was my favorite, and the one I most needed to hear because I tend to forget it.  Speaking with them, discipling them, listening to them is so much more important than the book or blog I'm reading or the task I'm trying to complete.
  5. People (my children) need me when they need me, not when I am ready to be needed.  Isn't that the truth?  It seems that my children only need me when I'm busy doing something relatively important.  It's inconvenient; they're inconvenient.  But that's the way God designed things and how He can use our children to make us more like His Son.
Do any of these quotes speak to you?  Have you heard anything interesting lately?