Friday, August 28, 2009


First of all, my apologies for not being able to post pictures in correct order, I will take about 65% of the blame, the rest I leave for Blogger. Okay, so was our first co-op of the year. It is called ACE. Ancient Civilizations Explorers. That is who they are this year. One big group of home schoolers from pre-school up to sixth grade. We had our big kick-off day and from everything I heard from students and teachers, it was a blast.
Ms. Symonds read a prehistoric tale mostly for Trever who wanted something to do with dinosaurs! He wants to learn about animals more than ancient kings and land.
Ms. Schott was in charge of outside activities which included a grand archaeologist dig of treasures and decoding of hieroglyphics. They loved it.

Ms. McClung was left puzzled for a brief moment due to the riddles and the heat.

Alma lead her group looking snazzie in her hat. Multi-levels sure help the little ones see what is ahead for them as they grow and learn.

We started the day with the pledge, prayer and a discussion of expectations. These are a great bunch of kids. I am proud to be working with them.

Ms. Kornegay was the Tye-Dye guru for today. All the kids will love their ACE shirts because of her. The colors are perfect and they will look so perfect.
Ms. Light was in charge of showing the kids a timeline of history. It seemed like her station was always empty, but all the kids got it accomplished and she was NEVER alone.

Ms. Russ did what she does best and reinforced some vocabulary. These girls worked on their biography pages of their personal history. Ms. Moses kept things moving along and helped with their binder covers.
This is going to be a great year of learning. Egypt is next, here come the mummies and Pharaohs.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

When tears fall

This parenting thing is amazing. Some days I am better at it than others, and most days I love seeing those sleepy eyes and snuggling into that still warm neck in the early morning.

My oldest has always been a morning person. She wakes up happy. Long ago we kept a stack of books in her crib so when she woke up she could sit and there and spend some time just being. I loved to listen to her little sounds as she just loved being awake. There was no urgency to get the ball rolling, just being was enough for her. Things have not changed much. She is still passionate about the day. She can get lost in a book and sit for hours being amongst the characters. She likes to be first, not because of some deep-seeded sin of selfishness, but because of her zest for what is ahead. The excitement of it all. I love that about her. Whether it is something she found in the parking lot, or a trinket from a gumball machine, she is in - hook, line, and sinker.

She has always been sensitive too. When only ten days old, the bark of a dog startled her to guttural screams. Her uncles have been known to leave her in tears too, but all in the name of humor.

She has questioned love a number of times wondering about my loving her Dad, Jesus and even she and her sister. I think she was concerned there would be enough love to go around. Words hurt her like they do the rest of us, but a glare or a mean look can send her into despair.

She deeply feels things and last night just the idea of not being invited to a dear friend's birthday party made the eyes well with tears and then they fell. My heart broke when she shared her feelings about being misunderstood. She sees her weaknesses. She knows her faults. Like the rest of us, she desires to be better and counts on being forgiven. Yet, she just could not get past owing for a debt that was not hers. I could see the root of bitterness budding, because of a perception of guilt.

Whew, and then came the light bulb....then came the real tears. Both of ours.

That is what Jesus did for us. He paid for a debt He did not owe. He was held accountable for something he did not do. Just like a misunderstanding between two friends, yet one holds onto "justice" and the other seeks "mercy". There was not a great feeling of fluffy love, but there was an understanding of undeserved forgiveness.

I cherish these life lessons my child helps me learn and see.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Life in these parts

Our little fourth grader hittin the books....she is amazing. She has been into riddles lately, and is really getting her timing right in telling a joke. It is pretty funny. She has also finally memorized all the books of the bible, I must give a shout out to our Kid's Church...our Children's Pastors are worth their weight in rice! Ha! They still serve as missionaries to India. We love them!
Olivia loves first grade. She is becoming more confident in her reading and loves working with objects in math. Her favorite thing about school is taking cracks me up since we are here all day long.

Olivia has caught the bug of taking pictures. She is always using my camera, I guess she gets it honestly...both girls love their new room set up, the new comforters just make the room fun. The purple and pink match the castle mural so perfectly. I am so glad because I know the days of fairytale princess times are numbered, and I was not quite ready to paint over it.

Movie night with a friend is always a hit. This past weekend we had a total of over a hundred toes occupying this house at any given time. That meant lots of Popsicles, pizza, popcorn, games, wet towels from the pool, soda and toys.

Last night a group of us "foodies" who like good company as much as an adventure to our pallet spent the evening together. This was one of the dishes. It is Indian butter chicken. There are a ton of spices, and I was told it would be better if I ate it like an Indian, with my right hand, not a fork, but I opted for the fork, and it was incredible.

Another dish we had on our table was Panang. It is a peanut coconut vegetable stew type sauce served over rice. We had a long grain rice called basmati rice which was really good too. Pepper Steak, Greek salad and a lemon chicken rice soup was the line up. But the final contestant was a winner. Ladies and Gentlemen, I ate the most fabulous brownie I have ever had in my life. It was a brownie with a peanut butter cream dollop made from a new baker friend of mine, Andrea.
On Saturday we went down to Bradenton to visit our favorite nephew, Conrad. His summer is winding up, and we needed some curly headed love. There is a hidden hole in the wall restaurant off the Braden river, called Linger Lodge, that is filled with numerous dead stuffed animals. It is all about the decor. The food is good too. I ate my first ever frog legs. It was a little intimidating to eat them when they were still connected at the pelvis, but it was like dark meat chicken. I can't say I will order it again, but it was a nice complement to the gator tail.

The guys wrapped up the evening at a Ray's game, thanks Brenda. It was great fun, and Conrad even caught a homeroom ball. They won, so it was a even better.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Great Mystery...solved

There has been a great mystery in our family for some time...not quite six years but close. Olivia is our child who causes us to shake our head and wonder and at times feel exasperated beyond measure. Some of you have felt another way perhaps, but nonetheless, you have been left in complete awe because of your own kid.

The Holy Spirit did what He does and imparted to me, like a sought after gold nugget, the answer to "Why does my sweet little girl find herself in complete and utter drama at some of the strangest occurrences?" Now, I am sure if I had a mother still here with me helping me raise these two darlings, she could clue me in to some of the inherited traits, but Steve and I are out here trying to figure them out. So, tonight after I reviewed our week, I was able to see a pattern emerge. This is what I put together. Olivia feels such comfort and peace when everything is in order and neat.

Many times when visiting her Aunt Rhonda, there is a deep sigh that is released because her house is so "clean." She believes it is cause the "teenagers" help. I know better.

We have been doing some rearranging and organizing around here, and today she beamed. Her school area was just so...her bedroom was perfect, with everything where it needed to be, the back porch hosed off, and the front room vacuumed and pillows where they needed to be. She just sparkled. Now, I am sure there will be some skeptics, sometimes I read into things a little too deep, but when I understand the anxiety and frustration at my age of the "mess", it is my job to help my little one feel at peace. If she was allergic to dust, don't you think we would do all we could to keep it under control? Well, I guess I have a new incentive for keeping the house more than picked up... and what can it hurt, they are such good helpers anyway.

Boy, I thought this parenting thing was going to get easier, I remember the days when I had to figure out what a certain cry meant, now I am trying to survive the jungle of female emotions. You'd think I'd have the answers. Stephanie, Jennifer and Lesli, you live in a boy-world unknown to the likes of me.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

and we are off....

And we are off to the new school year. Yesterday we began our adventure of fourth grade and first grade. We were well prepared and with day 2 under our belt I have a silver lining in this cloud.

For those of you that love me and know the highs and lows of home schooling, please remind me of this time in the future. I loved seeing their bright faces and eager minds to get down to business. We will be studying ancient civilizations along with the norms of reading, math, writing and language skills.

Last night we felt so "high-tech" in our planning for the year, we had a teacher meeting using the web cams and included Amy who is in North Carolina. It was like having her here with us minus her additions of good cooking. It was amazing. I do love skype. And it was free.

For those of you that do not have girls in your home, let me fill you on an activity that has been a daily event in our house...Dancing in the living room as if "So you think you can dance is filming"...and I have seen moves that would make experts proud. It leaves us embarrassed at times and laughing hysterical at other times. If we have to, I guess the girls could give lessons to get in a few extra bucks....child labor laws though, they scare me...dishes and daily chores are all I can get away with for now.