From the rising of the sun to its going down
the Lord's name is to be praised!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Some Quick Points:

-We had our family pics done. You can check them out here. Juliana is a very gifted photographer. Thanks so much Julianna!

-I am SO looking forward to a sister’s weekend in Michigan. We did this about a year and a half ago. Such a blessing to have sisters and oodles of them at that! :O)

-Homeschooling is going well. It feels SO good to be in the groove of it. KENA (activities we participate in with our home school group) started today. I am grateful that KENA does not start the same week that school does and that we have time to establish a bit of routine first. In case you are curious how the logistics of school go for our family it is something like this:

Get up (I am not disclosing the time!). We are still in the rhythm of summer sleeping so the time is not good! Eat breakfast and send big girls (i.e. Mia and Ksena) upstairs to the school room to start handwriting. Brie usually goes along with them and is placed in front of a bin of toys. I quickly finish up tidying the kitchen or eat breakfast while the handwriting is going on and then make my way to the schoolroom with Esmé. I then help the girls with their math lessons and get Esmé going on her workbook. Brie is generally content at this point. By the time math is finished we are all ready for a break and a snack. After our snack we get outside rain or shine (I kid you not!) and walk a minimum of half a block-on a good day we will do a longer stretch. Brie LOVES this part of our morning and is starting to catch on to the rhythm of our days. The mail lady usually sees us walking and we smile and wave-she is part of our routine and it makes me smile. After this quick walk and fresh air, Esmé watches her ‘Ted movie’ (Leapfrog Alphabet DVD) downstairs and the rest of us head back upstairs to the schoolroom. Brie is not usually impressed about occupying herself at this point. We discovered that putting an old crib mattress on the floor for her to play on keeps her busy/happy for a while. The big girls then have their phonics lesson which we have found is a pretty fast paced curriculum with a LOT of exercises for one day. I read on Carmen’s blog that it is not the amount you cover in a book that counts but how well you have learned something. I will have to remember this when we are learning new phonics rules and not getting all of the exercises finished in one lesson. It is better to have the rules learned well then to just get the work pages finished. After phonics we read the story that goes with the lesson and then we usually do a Spelling Lesson. (My plan is to introduce some Bible, Science, and Geography into the routine but this will happen once our basics are well established and these extra subjects will only have a ‘sprinkling’ in our routine.)

It is usually Lunch time when we are finished but if we start rising earlier we will have a lot more time in our mornings!

(I guess that was not a quick point!)

-we have been on one spur of the moment field trip together to Great Lakes Farms. The apples were fun to pick, the corn maze was adventurous and the play area was a treat! I hope to take the girls again! My favorite apples (Mutsu) were not ripe yet so we need to go back!

-We are looking forward to gymnastics stating in October

-October…that reminds me. I am turning 30, Lord willing on Oct 2! AHHH! REALLY! I still feel 20 but slowly my mind is catching up to the fact that I am not a young adult anymore. I realize I am not old but I am certainly no teenager! I can say things like ’15 years ago back in high school…’

-our house is for sale. If you would like to see our ad here is the link. Jen & Scott are helping us sell privately by doing all the paperwork/photos to get it on Kijiji and MLS. I would say they have made our house look pretty good! Thanks guys! (Our first showing was a 'no show'! Nice practice whipping things into shape I guess!)

-My Brie turned a year on Sep 2! The little love is growing up and I have some mixed feelings about this! She sure is a treat-always smiling and so cuddly (except in the church nursery!). She is downright spoiled with love from all of us and I would say has a very enviable position in the family with all of the attention she gets!

-Ksena turned 6!!!!!!

-Mia and Ksena have started Piano lessons!!!! :O) :O) :O)

-My hard working man is So busy with Talbot Electrical. I am proud of this VERY good MAN!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

 Soaking up Some Rhythm

Well, the first day of school has past. The second day of school is finished as well. And on we were to the third this morning. Some moments I feel overwhelmed by the starting process and some moments I feel relief that we are ‘back to the books’. We are in the in-between time of summer with all of its carefree days coming to an end, and the beginning of a new rhythm with order and books! There is excitement and trepidation, stress and relief, business and order etc. The in-between sort of sets a balance. It can tip one way or the other but eventually we will find the rhythm of new order.

Yesterday afternoon, I suggested the girls color for a while and they chose to color their vowel pages! Score!! I sat sipping my tea and soaking up the beginning of a new rhythm for the mundane…and I smiled. When I was overwhelmed earlier, I had prayed and now I am feeling gratitude that He will be near as we find our groove for this school year.

I was reminded that I cannot look at the whole year, and the whole messy house (which is rather upside down from summer slacking and dudes renovating). Instead I just have to take the next step (only one!) and get to work- the ‘whole’ will be taken care of and with a thankful heart it will be taken care of pleasantly! And when I sin in the process, there is Grace enough to clean me up and trusting that grace I will move along with joy.

Wishing you God’s blessing as you start the routine of school in your families, whether it is through home educating or through seeing them off to school once again. Don’t forget to pray for God’s strength in your rhythm and remember His grace for the mundane. We have a King who cares for His people even in the changing of the seasons!

Snapshots of our first day of School!
A One-Year-Old in the Classroom!!!  Oh Dear!

Grade 2!!
Grade 1!!
First Day of JK!  She is such a hoot to teach!