Friday, August 31, 2007

It's Friday, It's Friday!

I am just about out of coffee beans! I know, it is tragic. Knowing that Darrell wasn't going to get paid 'til this Friday, I have been shorting all my scoops by one or two beans in an effort to buy another day or two of glorious coffee. Today is Friday! Today is Friday! Costco, here I come. For those of you who don't know, Costco has very yummy Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee beans for $9.99 for a 2 lb bag. What a bargain! And for those who can't tell by all the exclamation points.......I didn't run out!

Now I am off for an overnight motorcycle trip to the mountains with the greatest couple of friends that good money can buy - on the motorcycle that should have sold, but hasn't yet. Last road trip, perhaps? My wonderful mom and step dad are keeping the girls. (the girls are so excited) Of course, Kasi says she is going to miss us. She also misses the dog that daddy used to have that died in the early 1990s (she is 5!), a pig we raised to eat that she named Snoopy, and a deaf, blind pig that wandered off named James. I'm sure she will be crying for us while she is snorkeling in Grandma and Grandpa's pool.

Friends, we could use some prayers for protection for us, and for the girls. They are calling for rain. Of course! I think it has rained every time we have taken off on the motorcycle. But opportunities are few and far between, so off we head (after Costco, of course).

Happy Trails!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Homeschool the Lazy Creative Way

In an effort to completely avoid being attached to a curriculum for a year, I have stumbled across some fun stuff for us to do in school this year. Yesterday we had a scavenger hunt. The girls were supposed to work as a team, while I got some household chores done. Here were their instructions:
Find something smaller than you
Find something alive
Find something no longer living
Find something older than you
Find something that feels soft
Find something that is rough
Find something smaller than your thumb
Find something that smells good
Find something green
Find something yellow
Find a piece of trash
Find something that is beautiful

So much fun! I had them do it twice to see what they would find the second time around. They really thought long and hard about some of their selections. Then we talked about what could be cross-categorized. I do have to say that I had to tell them ahead of time that whatever they selected had to fit in the bag they were carrying ( to avoid them selecting our dogs or catching toads that would have died in the bag).

We also read a great library book 'Wings' by Christopher Myers. It is all about a boy who is ridiculed and teased for his special gift, an ability to fly. Very cool story! And full of really great illustrations. The illustrations are created by using cut out pieces of magazines and other paper to show the different values and colors. We are going to try this today for an art project.

Responses from our girls? Alea, the 8 year old - great! dodged another day of school work!
Kasi, the 5 year old - when are we doing real school? you promised I could do some HARD worksheets!

But they both had fun. And really did learn a lot.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Proverbs 31 Ministries Daily Devotions

Ever heard of Proverbs 31 Ministries? I first heard of them last year when Lysa TerKeurst spoke at the Renewed Conference for Women in Lexington, NC. I recommend you check out their site at You can sign up to have a daily devotional delivered via email for free. They also have a blog Proverbs 31 Ministries Daily Devotions. This is just the tip of the iceberg. They have alot to offer. Check them out!

Search me, O God!

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24 KJV

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24 NIV

Look deep into my heart, God, and find out everything I am thinking. Don't let me follow evil ways, but lead me in the way that time has proven true. Psalm 139:23-24 CEV

Periodically, I find it important to ask God to give me a check up. If there are any men out there, my 30K mile service. I find I am horrible to fall into a routine, and neglect my growth in my walk with Christ. I am reading the Word of God, and I am studying. But am I really reading and studying what I need? So I ask God to search me, and see where I am ailing. I ask for his prescription, and most importantly, where to apply it.

He is the only one capable of seeing all of us. He is our creator. He knows all of our secret hiding places. He knows what we have hidden there. He knows our past, and has forgiven us. He knows our future, and wants to guide us. He can even show us things that we have hidden from ourselves. But, best of all, He can show us what is stunting our growth, and what we need to grow.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Today is the day

Woo hoo! Today is the day! I don't normally get attached to material things, but I have been completely lost while my camera has been away for repairs. I think it has become an extension of my arm. Today is the day it is supposed to be returned from the Sony camera doctor. Hip hip hooray! Look for more pics at Koinonia Community in the near future. :0))

Job Description of a Housewife and Home Educator

Vice President / Co-Manager - I assist the President / Manager of the 'company' in all decisions and am prepared to assume the position of President / Manager if necessary

Human Resources - No one becomes a part of this company without my approval

Accounts Payable and Receivable - I monitor income and expenses

Purchasing - I purchase supplies necessary for production and maintenance of facility and employees

Scheduling - I schedule all production, maintenance, and participation in outside activities

Quality Control - I make sure that everything coming out of this company is of the utmost quality

Continuing Education - I ensure that the employees are growing in their knowledge

Advertising / Marketing - I ensure that our company is well - represented

Maintenance Department - I maintain the facility

Janitorial Department - I clean the facility

Receptionist - I answer the phones

Chauffeur - I shuttle all employees to outside commitments


Monday, August 27, 2007

You can't eat just one!

We were talking in our ACTS class last night about how new Christians don't immediately recognize a desire for the Word of God. I explain it as the potato chip theory. Once you eat one, you develop an overwhelming desire for more. You can't eat just one. But, of course, you don't realize how great that desire for more chips will become until you eat your first.

I know it seems crazy to be comparing the Word of God with potato chips. But that is what is is. As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby; If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 1 Peter 2:2-3 KJV or Like newborn babies crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. NIV

The Word of God is our food by which we grow and mature in our walk. Deny ourselves nourishment and we will wither and weaken. Feed abundantly on the Word of God and we will thrive. And just like the natural life cycle, our bodies adjust what type of food it is able to digest. Just like a baby develops from being able to digest milk to solid food, as Christians we are able to digest more solid scripture. Our tools have developed. We have stronger teeth. But we also have developed a stronger desire or craving for more nourishment.

New Christians have not yet tasted all the food. They don't know what kind of food will leave them feeling the most fulfilled. So, what can we do? Allow them to Taste and see that the Lord is good. Psalm 34:8 Feed them chips!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Homeschool Moms, Help!

Help! I am 3 days into school and already at my wits end. I love teaching my girls. They are intelligent and fun. But my 8 year old retains nothing! She learned how to tell time 2 1/2 years ago and we have been reviewing off and on over the last couple of years. It seems like periodically she loses all of her memory. Here we are again. I ask her to turn the hands of the clock to 4:09 and the hour hand ends up on the four, and the minute hand ends up at the 9, or 4:45. And this is happening with everything. I am losing my mind! I have probably taught her to tell time from scratch 8 times in the last two years. Same thing goes for borrowing and carrying in math. We have had to start from scratch over and over. But she scored high on math on her CAT test. I feel like I'm caught in that movie. Wasn't it Groundhog Day where the day kept repeating itself? Any advise from you homeschool veterans out there?

We have had several indications that she has ADHD but have chosen not to have her tested. I used to work with special ed kids and saw over and over again kids (and their parents) use a 'label' as an excuse not to try, either with behavior or academics. Also, Alea is already on meds for migraines. I would prefer not to have her on a whole bunch of brain altering medication. But I would sure appreciate any advise on how to help her to learn and retain more effectively.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Laziness on the last day of summer

Yesterday was the last day of our summer vacation. And it was HOT! So we went to the library and checked out some more movies. It has been over 100 so much this summer we have watched ALOT of movies. We watched 'Searching for Bobby Fischer', the true story of a 7 year old chess prodigy named Josh Waitzkin. He was (and still is) an unbelievable at chess player and was also a gifted athlete.

I commented about how it would be feel to be that gifted at anything, let alone have so many gifts. My daughter, Alea said, 'you are at teaching'. I wish I was, but I know I am not. But the mere fact that she thought so almost made me cry.

I think of all the times that I try to teach my daughters something and have no idea how to present it so they will understand. I pray to God 'God, I know you are a better teacher than I. I have no idea what to do. Please use me as a vessel to teach my children. Let me be silent and speak through me. Teach them what you would have them know.' I will begin to explain in a way I had never considered before. Suddenly I am saying 'Cool! Where did that idea come from? I hadn't thought about it that way!' and everyone has understanding.

I think this will become my new daily prayer, not just for school, but for motherhood.

Oh, and the movie inspired me to try to learn chess. I have tried before but couldn't get past all the different pieces moving different directions, and gave up. I think now I understand. Don't get me wrong, I will probably never be a champion. But I am starting to understand how it works. And it is addictive.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

School Time!

Tomorrow is our first day of school. I am giddy with excitement. I have so missed our Nancy Drew reading time. And I have really missed our discussion time too. I always think that summer is going to provide extra time for us to hang out together as a family, but all we do is run around.

Kasi and Alea are looking forward to school as much as I am. I think they miss the direct attention from mommy.

God has given us such an incredible opportunity. Homeschooling has strengthened our relationship, both with God and with each other. Are our kids learning more than they would at school? I don't know. I don't care! God did not direct us to homeschool for the purpose of putting our girls at the top of their class. We don't need to prepare our children to be neurophysicists unless that is their area of giftedness.

Alea is creative and artistic. Since she could first write her alphabet, she has been writing and illustrating little books, stapling the pages together. And she loves art and reading. I have boxes of stories and artwork. She has an incredible imagination and artistic gift. That is our focus for her. She also has attention issues. So God has been directing me to teach her how to learn on her own - to plant a desire for learning so she will be able to teach herself. That is how we will get around the whole attention issue.

Kasi is a completely different story. She has always been a problem solver. When she was two, she was putting together complicated puzzles and organizing all her crayons by color and size. She loves working on puzzles, and math problems. She is really bad to answer the questions I ask Alea before Alea has a chance to even process it. And she loves worksheets. She doesn't like to just sit and listen during reading time, so I got in the habit of giving her a stack of worksheets to work on while I read. She usually completes about 12-15 sheets (without error) in the time it takes me to read a chapter or two of Nancy Drew. And she is a year ahead of her age group. She can answer multiplication and division word problems from hearing them, and she is 5! Hey, I'm not boasting. I am in awe. It is not my doing at all. She does it all on her own. She had better be a self-learner because she is going to pass me in no time! Maybe I can hand over the management of our budget to her when she gets to be in about the 3rd grade! Finally, no errors!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Prayer Request

Alea has been getting more migraines lately. For those of you who don't know her, she just turned 8. At her last appointment with the neurologist, she had had two in three months, and then only when she had forgotten to take her medicine the night before. She has had two in the last week, one occuring Saturday on her birthday.

She has what are called abdominal migraines. She gets all the same symptoms as regular migraine sufferers, but rarely gets a 'headache'. She has distorted vision, and light and sound sensitivity, and other symptoms. But mostly she suffers from nausea and vomiting. And she has become so anxious that she is going to get sick, I believe it is worsening her migraines.

Of course, the doctor has been pounding into me the need to treat it as a 'headache' even if she has no head pain. It was hard for me to grasp to give her Advil for nausea. Her doctor kept asking me if I gave her any Advil when she got a 'headache', and I would reply that her head didn't hurt. She finally gave me the 'poor, simple parent look' and explained to me that just because she was lacking one of twelve symptoms did not negate the fact that she had a headache. Ah, now I get it!

Please pray for her. If she continues to have problems, they want to put her on some strong antiseizure drugs (like Depakote or Topamax or Neurontin), and the thought of that scares us all. I know that God can heal her. She had asked to be taken to the elders and be annointed, and we did this a couple of months ago. We are waiting for God's timing. We still believe that God is going to heal her completely because we know that in Romans we are told that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him. And I know that one day we will look back and say 'Ah, now I see. I understand', but in the meantime it is so difficult to look at your child and see that fear and suffering.

Thanks for your prayers!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Daddy's Little Girls

We watched Tyler Perry's 'Daddy's Little Girls' with the girls Friday evening. I should first warn you that it is rated PG-13. But I would still highly recommend it for family viewing. It does contain some mild language that my children are not normally exposed to. And it does contain some thematic material that is questionable (mostly confrontations between a main character and a drug dealer and a changed ex-wife). So why will I allow my children (5 and 8) to watch it with us?

Because at the center of all Tyler Perry's films is a scriptural message that overcomes all the other little situations. In this film it was Galations 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. We were shown images of a preacher delivering this message, and we were shown images of the characters believing the message, and grabbing ahold of it, and claiming it as their own. We were shown that faith in the Word of God, not what you hear or see in the world, controls your situation. We were shown community unity. And we were shown real people encounter trials, and make mistakes, but still cling to faith in Jesus Christ, and not grow weary, and witness a miracle.

I do understand that the message can come across without the need for a PG-13 rating. Normally I prefer a cleaner movie. But I also understand Tyler Perry's motive. He is not writing these movies for entertainment for the 'saved'. He is trying to reach the 'unsaved'. By writing a story that will attract your average non-Christian viewer, and putting a biblical message at the center of the story, he becomes a much more powerful evangelist. He reaches people that would avoid a movie that they believe is 'churchy', but he still plants a scriptural seed. I have recommended Tyler Perry's 'Diary of a Mad Black Woman' to several non-believers, and they all watched it and loved it. And, most of all, they got the biblical message it portrayed.

So, I will share all the Tyler Perry PG-13 movies with my children, and just be prepared with some explanations for some of the situations. And we will, as a family, talk about the message it portrays. And I will continue to strive to set a positive example for them to follow, never a 'do as I say, not as I do'. After all, it has been proven that children learn more from the example we, as parents set, then from outside exposures.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Love is......

Do your kids start getting restless in the summer? Do they argue more amongst themselves? This summer the negativity was really bringing me down. I thought I had the solution to this.

I pulled out my Bible and started reading I Corinthians 13 to my girls. I broke it down verse by verse and explained every line. I reread it using their names in place of the word love (Kasi is patient. Kasi is kind). They have been through all this before. This was our unit study last February. I asked them if they were going to start showing more patience toward each other, more kindness, etc. I then asked them what would happen if they were caught acting negatively toward each other again.

Alea had it all figured out and said, "We will have to sit and listen to this all over again"!

Gotta love'em!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Bye bye, old friend!

Today is a sad day for me. The last of our original clan went out in the yard with a for sale sign on it. Our last motorcycle. We started with 4. Number 1 and 2 were sold over the years when funds were low. (2 riders don't need 4 bikes anyways) Number 3, my 1970 Triumph was sold when we made the choice for me to quit work and homeschool.

Our last one to sell (number 4) was also the first one we owned. I remember dropping it on the dirt driveway at the farm when I was learning to ride. My boyfriend's bike. He told me not to worry if I dropped it. "There is nothing you can do to it that can't be fixed". By the way, I married him!

We sold it once, and bought it back, but not before the new owner replaced the beautiful purple paint with some flames. (Yuck!) When everyone else's bike would break down, number four would keep running. When someone's back was hurting, we would switch bikes, because it was the smoothest ride. It would fly in a drag race. (but not quick enough for the Triumph) It would hold it's own in a slow race. It has been loaned to just about everyone we know who rides.

Now my hubby says he believes it is time to part with it. He has rode 3 times in the last year, me, none. But still I'm sad.

Bye bye, old friend! I hope to see you in passing. In the wind!

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Most people treat children like children,

but expect them to behave like adults.

I treat my children like adults - that is where they learn how to treat others,

and allow them to behave like children - that is what they are, and will be adults before I know it.

Think about it!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

King James, NIV, and Telephone, Oh My!

Ever played the game telephone? One person will whisper a statement in another person's ear, and that person into another person's ear, and so on, and so on. When you get to the last person, they speak out loud what they heard the message to be. Then everyone laughs hysterically about how the message morphed into something that doesn't even resemble the original message. The more people you have, the more fun it becomes.

So, what happens to the message as it travels down the "telephone line"? Well, one person is speaking, one person is hearing. The person who hears then translates what they hear and speaks it to the next person. Did you know that you use a different part of your brain for hearing and speaking? That means that the information you hear has to travel and be translated by your brain before you can repeat it. Add more people to the mix, and it is no wonder that "Mary went to the beach with Susan" can turn into "Mommy wet her britches when swimming"!

The controversy surrounding the translations of the Bible remind me of the game Telephone. Ever had anyone tell you that if you read anything other than their preferred version of the Bible, that you are just wasting your time? Or even worse, corrupting your mind with inaccuracies and filth? I have! But I am a skeptic. So I checked things out! One thing that I know without question is if you listen to what one person tells you, without checking things out for yourself, you will corrupt your mind with inaccuracies. Just like telephone!

I was watching a program on PBS the other night "Walking the Bible" I learned about how an early error in translation has affected all modern Bible translations. In Exodus, when Moses is leading the Israelites toward freedom, all of my Bible translations say that God led the people toward the RED SEA. And, sure enough, in my Hebrew-Greek Keyword Study Bible there is a little footnote to tell me that the original Hebrew is Yam Suph, or Sea of Reeds, not Sea of Red. And this type of reed in the Hebrew is papyrus, a freshwater reed. So, according to the original language, it was not the Red Sea that was parted, but a large, freshwater lake. The man on the program speculated about the actual body of water, but I don't recall the name. It is, however, just speculation, so the name is not important to include.

The history of the Bible is full of interpretations and translations designed to guide the reader/listener in a direction other that enlightenment. Here are a few highlights. The first hand-written English manuscripts of the Bible were produced in the 1380s by John Wycliffe from the Latin Vulgate translation, which was the only source available to him. In the 1490's, Oxford professor, Thomas Linacre, decided to learn Greek. He found that the Latin had become so corrupt that it did not represent the original intent of the Gospel. But still the Church threatened with death anyone who read the scriptures in any version than Latin. Foxe's Book of Martyrs shows a record of seven people who were burned at the stake by the Roman Catholic church in 1517. Their crime against the church was teaching their children to recite the Lord's Prayer in English instead of Latin.

In 1517, Erasmus published the first Greek-Latin parallel New Testament. This was an eye-opener to the people, and a great threat to the Church. He intended to make the Bible available to common people, no matter what their native tongue, in the most accurate form available. William Tyndale, in 1525-1526, using Erasmus' parallel, printed the first English language New Testament. The church burned every copy they could find, claiming it contained thousands of errors, when in fact, they could find none. They feared that people would begin to question the authority of the Church, and that the Church's power and income would falter. They were making quite an income off the selling of indulgences. They did not want salvation through faith in place of works or donations to be understood.

The Matthew-Tyndale Bible was printed in 1537 and was the first English Bible translated from the original Hebrew and Greek. Soon after, in 1539, King Henry VIII, to spite the Roman Catholic Church for refusing his request to divorce his wife and marry his mistress, ordered the publishing of the "Great Bible", and created the Church of England, with himself acting as its "Pope".

In 1560 the complete Geneva Bible was published, which is considered the first "study Bible". It was the first Bible to add numbered verses to the chapters. The translators of the 1611 edition of the King James Bible were more influenced by the Geneva Bible than any other source. In the 1580's the Roman Catholic Church gave up the battle to suppress an English Bible and produced their own, the Rheims New Testament (later adding the Douay Old Testament). But it was also translated from the already refuted Latin Vulgate translations.

In 1604, King James I was approached by the Protestant clergy about creating a new Bible. They wanted a Bible along the lines of the Geneva version, but without all the controversial marginal notes. About 50 scholars combined effort brought about the creation of the 1611 King James Bible. In creating this Bible, the scholars considered the Tyndale New Testament, Coverdale Bible, Matthews Bible, Great Bible, Geneva Bible, and the Rheims New Testament.
As an interesting fact to note, for the last two centuries, all King James Bibles published in America have been the 1769 Baskerville revision, and not the original 1611 translation.

Noah Webster produced his own modern translation of the English Bible in 1833, but it was not widely accepted. In the 1880's England produced the first accepted replacement for the King James Bible, the English Revised Version. Interestingly, the English Revised Version was the first translation to exclude the 14 Apocryphal books. Prior to the ERV, all Bibles, Catholic or Protestant, contained 80 books. The 1611 King James Bible contained the Apocrypha, and only for a little more than a century has the Protestant Church rejected these books and omitted them from their Bibles.

The Americans followed with the nearly identical American Standard Version in 1901, which was again revised into the New American Standard Bible in 1971. The New American Standard Bible is considered by scholars to this day to be the most accurate word for word translation of the original Greek and Hebrew, although some believe it is so focused on accuracy that it is hard to follow. For this reason, in 1973, the New International Version was created. It was intended not to be a word for word translation, but to include more conversational English in phrases that common people could understand.

The last few decades have brought a revision to the King James Bible, the English Standard Bible, the Message Bible, and several others. The difference between these Bible translations and the many translations created through early history, primarily the 1500's, is that the translations are being created with the intent of clarity. The Bibles of the 1500's were loaded with inaccuracies, being translated from tainted translations - just like telephone.

The truth is that the more people you have along your telephone line, the more apt you are to have inaccuracies. The same goes for translations of the Bible. Don't rely on one person's translation. Yes, they have all been translated by mere men. Personally, I use several versions of the Bible when I want to clarify something. My favorite is a Hebrew-Greek Key Word study Bible. That way, no matter what version I am reading, and how it is worded, I can refer back to the original language, and figure out for myself the intended meaning. And, thus, remove several people from my telephone line.

The truth is that you need to rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit, not the translations of men. And He will lead and guide you toward the truth.

Bye for now. I think the girls and I are going to play some telephone.

Monday, August 13, 2007

What is koinonia community?

Koinonia community. Wonder what it means? Good, I knew you wanted to know!
Koinonia is Greek and it is found (I believe) 19 times in the Bible. It is translated as participation, social intercourse, benefaction, fellowship, communion, communication, distribution, and sharing. Most biblical translations leave it at fellowship, but apparently God had alot more in mind for us to do that just meet together when he told us to fellowship. He wants us to particiapate. He wants us to share and distribute. He wants us to communion.
The best example of true koinonia can be found in Acts 2:42-47. And we are told that when people participated in this type of koinonia, that many miracles were performed and that God added daily to the number of those being saved.
I don't know about you, but I like miracles!!! I would like to see more. I believe that if we were to participate in true koinonia today we would see some incredible miracles, and see more people added to the number of those saved.
Since I don't believe anyone is anti-miracles, what could possibly be holding them back? Why are Christians all over the world not foming koinonia communities. (for the record, a few are forming them around the world - Google it) FEAR!!!! Fear of the unknown. Fear of the unfamiliar. Fear of giving up stuff! It is easy to sell people on the idea of miracles. It's not too hard to sell the idea of participating, or communicating.It is the SHARING, and DISTRIBUTION that frightens them.
But we are promised that if we do this, we will not be living sacrificially, but abundantly. Check out the following verses.
Jeremiah 33:9 Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.
2Corinthians 9:10-15 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
We need to act on what God has instructed us to do
James 2:17 faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
So, there you go. A little info about koinonia community. More about it in the future. God has placed on our hearts to plant a koinonia community. Do you agree with it? Disagree? Intrigued? Interested? Wanna be a part of it? Think I'm crazy? I would love to know your input and answers to all the questions but the last one. I have already received plenty of input on that one ;0)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

New School Year Countdown

We are going to be starting school August 22. We are now starting the back to school countdown. There are 10 days until the first day of school. Homeschool moms across the country are starting the curriculum chatter, the organizing, the planning. about me?

I don't have a curriculum. I don't have any new, shiny workbooks. I do have several old workbooks with some scattered blank pages. And I have several shiny new folders for creating "work books". And we have library cards.

This is our third year of homeschooling. And last year God impressed on me that we needed to be developing more than academics in our house. Don't get me wrong, my girls are learning alot. I have a 5 year old who can add, subtract, and multiply, and is on the cusp of reading. My "almost 8 year old" is writing books, and illustrating them, and has several movies and games "in various stages of development" ~SSShhhh..she likes planning more than actually doing, so they will probably remain in the development stage!~

Around June of last year I caught Alea telling someone that we were still on "Spring Break". And when Darrell came home one day, she told him "We've been lazy all day! We didn't do any school work at all!!!" So Darrell said "What DID you do?" And Alea replied, "Oh, we just sat around and talked about the layers of our air, and recycling, and we talked about our food groups, and how much we are supposed to eat of each. And we planned all our meals for the next couple of days, so we got all our food groups in. And mom read Nancy Drew to us." Ah, lazy days! And they never realized they were learning.

I wondered last year if this "freestyle" natural learning would really be effective. Well, after the summer of no school structure whatsoever, I can see academic growth in my girls. We did NO school work. But we spent family time playing games like Yahtzee, Dominoes, Uno, Checkers, reading and writing, answering questions. And we have already reviewed last years work, so in 10 days we can jump right into learning new things.

Hey, before long they are going to be older. They will be taking algebra , and all kinds of subjects that will need to be taught from a curriculum. I am going to enjoy the freestyle learning while I can.

*Natalie's helpful hint of the day ~ When playing games with your kids, start changing the way you have them count the dots on dominoes and dice. I used to have them add them. Now, if they have doubles, I say "ah, you have two fours. What is four two times, or four times two?" Yahtzee if fun because you can go multiply up to x5. And it helps them learn to think conceptually about math, instead of memorizing math facts. It gives math meaning!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Alea was baptized!

For those that don't know, my 'almost 8 year old', Alea was baptized last Sunday. She has been looking forward to this for months and was sick the day of baptism, and it was VERY hot! She would not admit she didn't feel well and have to stay home and miss baptism. It was a wonderful day and she made some very mature decisions. My baby is growing up!

Born Again Christians and Free Ice Cream

As a highschooler, I spent almost all of my out of school time at San Dimas Equestrian Center. I would have the foreman, Ed, pick me up many afternoons when I got home from school. And most weekends I would camp on the living room floor. There was this woman who boarded her horse, Dawn, who was a born-again Christian. Everyone knew. She told anyone who would listen. She would offer to take us kids to McDonalds for ice cream. BUT.....there was always a price. We would have to listen to her tell one of her "Bible stories". Rarely could I be bought. The other kids would go, and I would stay back, saying "I don't want free ice cream that bad!"

I wondered why she found it necessary to "push" her beliefs onto all of us. Couldn't she see we were all sooooo happy? She had made a mess of her life prior to being born-again, and we would all chuckle about how after she was finished "having her fun" and "sowing her oats" she gave it all up for Jesus. Of course, we said this with a huge eye roll.

I wish I could talk to her now. I realize now that she wasn't "pushing" but was "sharing". And I feel the same compulsion to share with others the difference Christ has made in my life. True, the Bible does command us to go out and share the gospel, to go and make disciples. But that is not what is propelling me. I think it is the fact that I have seen both sides, and I know that this side is soooooo much better. I feel more contentment and peace. I am full of joy. And I am not seeking something to fill a void in my life. And I want to share that feeling. Because before Christ, I just didn't know. I couldn't fathom that my life could really be that different, just by changing my belief system. But it is.

At this point, I know that "joy" is a much greater thing than "fun". People talk about how miserable they were before they came to know Jesus. I was pretty miserable. But I also had some fun. But here is what I found. I didn't give up "fun". Those things just kind of lost their "funness". Anyways, you feel empty after the fun fades. Joy keeps you full all day!

Here is what I have found. People know their life is not all it is capable of being. But they just expect it to get better - without changing anything. If they are miserable at work, they think they can close their eyes and push forward, and they will come out on the other end, and everything will be hunky dorey! If they have a relationship problem, they sit and wait for things to get better. Folks! IF YOU ALWAYS DO WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS DONE, YOU WILL ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU ALWAYS GOT!!!!! Or..... No change = No change!

If you start living your life for Jesus Christ your life will change. At first it will get hard, as you learn, and as God starts changing the way you see things. It will get hard as He rearranges your situation. The bigger the mess, the harder the clean up. But it will happen. And you will experience contentment. You will experience the fullness that only joy can bring. And you will feel peace from knowing that you are never alone, because the Holy Spirit now lives in you.
AND THAT IS WHAT THE BORN-AGAIN CHRISTIANS WERE TRYING TO TELL US! And free ice cream to boot. What a fool I was!