Monday, November 22, 2010

MFW Thanksgiving Week in Review

 We decided to take the entire week off from everything this week, so last week, we completed the Thanksgiving Unit in Adventures in My Father's World. The kiddos had a lot of fun. As you saw in my previous post, we went on a virtual field trip to Plimoth Plantation and visited a Wampanoag and some Pilgrims. The kiddos thought the wigwams they made earlier in the year looked similar to the wetu's the Wampanoag's lived in, so they brought those out.

The kids liked making the woven placemats, but it was quite a job for me cutting all those lines. Aleeya made an extra placemat for me and Jase made one for dad. We have been using them all week at the dinner table.

We did not make the Indian vest or the hand and shoe turkey, but we did make the hand turkey. Instead of using crayons, we used paint. We made them at Granny's house, so I did not have my camera to take any pictures, but they were really cute and if you would like to see them they are hanging on the fridge at Granny's house :) 

We saved the games for last and that turned out to be the best part for the kids. We did the twig toss...

and the almond pistachio toss (you guessed it - we were out of almonds)...

The only bowl I had large enough to catch them in was a glass bowl and I was definitely not using that. I could just picture the pistachios and the bowl flying through the air. The pisrachios would have made a fine landing...the bowl...not so much.

We found just rolling the pistachios worked the best and the kids had just as much fun seeing who rolled the highest number of pistachios paint side up.

The last game the kids played was the spearing game. Don't know that they ever actually speared the cardboard, but they sure had fun trying :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Story of Jonah by Lil' Miss Douglas

This has nothing to do with our adventures in home school, but someone sent this to me. We watched it during our lunch break and my kids loved it! This little girl has such a talent for retelling the story of Jonah. Definitely worth watching...your kids will love it too :)

The story of Jonah from Corinth Baptist Church on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pilgrims and Wampanoags

Today, the kids and I took a virtual field trip to Plimoth (yes, that is how they spelled it) Plantation. We learned there were no spelling rules back then, so the majority of the people at that time spelled it 'Plimoth', but today it is known as 'Plymouth'.

One thing that was really neat and unexpected was how the people playing the characters in the virtual field trip were the same people we were reading about in The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dagliesh as part of our Adventures in My Father's World Thanksgiving week study. And the kids were the ones to make this discovery! They said "A lot of the Pilgrims travelling on the sea must have named their babies Oceanus because the baby in our story had the name Oceanus too." Sure enough, the girl in the virtual field trip was also named Constance just like the girl in the story, so they must have been the same. Anyway, it was just interesting how it all tied together so perfectly and really made The Thanksgiving Story we were reading about really come to life.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Well, you're probably ok...

I like to stay home and get school done in the mornings and use the afternoons for cleaning, errands, and other things, but sometimes, we have things that come up which require us to get out during the day...during school hours *gasp*

Today was one of those days. We had to drop our cat off at the vet for surgery and the drop off time for surgery is between 8:30 and 9am.. So, while we were waiting, an older couple came in, looked the kids over and proceeded to ask the age old question, "Do you go to school?"  My daughter politely replied, "yes, we do homeschool." I'll save you all the breath-taking details, but I'm sure you get the gist of where the line of questioning went from there...and wait for it...wait for it...yes, the weird, unsocialized sterotypical comment did make an appearance.

You know, I really don't mind answering all their questions and debunking all of their homeshool myths, but the fact some of them are so rude and speak with such ignorance right in front of my children really gets me angry.  

As the conversation rolled on, I enlightened the lady to the fact that I was once a public school teacher. I have been on both sides and it is possible for people (yes, even those without a teaching degree) to successfully teach their children at home and produce normal, intelligent, socialized human beings. At one point after having told her I had a teaching degree and had been a teacher, she told me, "well, you're probably ok." Really? Probably? Inside my head I'm screaming, "Oh no you didn't!!!"

Up until that point, I had been very calm and polite. The ladies behind the vet counter had been listening intently and at that point, I thought their eyes were going to pop out of their heads. The conversation went on just a little more (and yes, although irritated, I refrained from saying what I really wanted to say). Then, thankfully, another lady came out and called me back to the room quickly disrupting all the thoughts swarming around in my head of the things that were about to come spewing out of my mouth). So, I just smiled (or maybe it was a smirk), headed back to the room, and pictured the both of them stepping in a massive mound of dog poop on their way out the door :) (Well, I'm not perfect you know)

While waiting in the room, I thanked God that my kids were on their best behavior EVER and acting "normal" that morning.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Beautiful Smile

I often see an old man walking up and down Main Street in our town... mainly in the mornings, bundled up in his coat, head down, umbrella in hand ....just walking....sometimes with a small grocery bag in hand, sometimes without.  All sorts of questions flood my mind: Does he have enough food to get him through the day? Does he have any family? Why is he alone? Is he alone by his own choosing? Is he alone due to circumstance and hardships in his life? Is he outcast from society due to something horrible he had done in his past?

Then another thought pops into my head: he reminds me of my grandfather.

My grandfather was a loner of sorts...mostly by his own choosing, the rest from circumstance and hardships in life. He was also a proud man...never wanting to take anything from anyone...even family. Still...we went to visit him often and brought groceries over even though we had to force him to take them. He lived in a very bad part of of the worst you could live in. I remember as a child and teenager, being very nervous (and sometimes even scared) of the area he lived in and never strayed too far from the front porch. Even though he acted as if he didn't really want us to come visit or bring over groceries, I know he enjoyed it. I always saw tears in his eyes when it was time for us to go no matter how hard he tried to hide them... His face and hands weathered from life, but beautiful eyes of blue that glistened with held back tears and a mostly toothless smile that would light up the room, and goofy non-sense jokes that would make his grandkids laugh.

Was this man like my grandfather?

We got a chance to meet that old man today. He was setting outside of the grocery store...resting from his walking I guess. The kids and I passed by, smiled, and asked him how he was doing. Perfect, he said...perfect. Then he smiled, a big, mostly toothless smile that shone from ear to ear brightening the dreary outdoors.  He was like my granfather...worn and old clothing, weathered face and hands, a mostly toothless smile, and eyes that cried out silently for someone to notice him. 

I got the impression that he had a lot of trouble hearing and past the 'how are you part', I don't think he really undertstood what I was saying. So before leaving the grocery store, the kids and I picked up a Thanksgiving card titled 'To Someone Special'. On the way out, we all signed it and I wrote him a little note about his beautiful smile and of how he reminded me of my grandfather. On the outside of the envelope, I wrote 'To Someone Special'.

 The kids walked up to him, gave him the card, and his smile grew even larger. He  read the front of the envelope then looked at me as if he wanted to say something, but refrained. We each smiled and I waved and told him to have a great day. He tucked the card into his pocket and we all went our separate ways.

I hope he reads the card and knows how much his smile has brightened my day and how much it reminded me of my grandfather.

My Grandpa R and J

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Week 12 Video Review

My little bro, S, will be doing home school with us again until our mom's treatments are through and she feels better.  We spent the past week mainly trying to get into a good school routine and I think we have a plan of action figured if we can only stick to it. With all the kiddos doing 3 different things in school, it can get a bit hectic at times :-/

S joined J and A this week in a few of their history adventures. As you can tell from the video, we have been learning about the 50 states. We focused on the first four states: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Georgia. We also learned about the Liberty Bell. And yes, I realize the colors used in the paintings and in the paper craft were not true to the original. We were already dangerously low on paint and what little we did have left dried up. So we salvaged what we could and worked with what we had.

On Friday, we also had 4-H. The kids love it when the rabbits come to visit. They are such cute little puff balls. The kiddos keep asking for one, but that's just not gonna happen. Most of our fish have all died and we are down from 4 to just 1 hermit crab. On a good note, the cats and dogs are still alive, but, yeah, pet rabbits are just not in the picture.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Be Still and Know...

My mom had a really bad night Sunday night. It scared all of us. Needless to say, noone got much sleep. The quiet drive back to my house (at 2am in the morning), with no other cars on the road-no other noises, gave me some time alone just to be quiet and listen to the Lord. Amidst all the sadness, fear, and hurt, there was still an overwhelming sense of comfort and peace. It's hard to understand and it's hard to describe, but as believers in Christ, I know you know what I'm talking about.

Over and over, God kept reminding me to just be still and know...know that He is God, know that He is in control, know that He has a plan, know that everything will be ok.

Jeremiah 29:11 is a verse that God is constantly putting in my mind. "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "Plans to help you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future."

Some days are harder that others, but God knows what is going on, I just need to remember that and to 'be still and know'...