Monday, January 31, 2011

Homeschool Co-op Space

We spent two Fridays over the past two months reviewing planets and space. Learning some new facts and having some great fun. One of the highlights was our trip on a Friday evening up to University of Florida to hear the professor share about space and to be able to look up at the Night Sky! We were able to see a number of constellations and even Jupiter! Some of us even saw all four of its moons. It was amazing. The bands were shown that night in a north south rotation, and usually we are accostumed to seeing them east to west.

This observation was done to show how meteor hit and land on the moon and how without gravity the dust moves and lands.
Phases of the moon was a big hit!
That darn revolution, rotation and moon and stars left some minds just swirling!
Gravity and the raw egg....everyone but me was successful at packing it in and the egg staying protected...mine... BUSTED!

Author Study: Tomie dePaola

If you had been a fly on the wall the past two times we have met to do an author study, you would have heard things like... "gratiz", "Mangia!", "Ciao Bella", "amore y abaci", and "Mama Mia!" and a few others. We had our Italian hats on and had a blast. Tomie dePaola wrote many books about his childhood and many others that had a setting of old Italy. We had fun! We made cookies at the end of today using inspiration from Paola.

Along with math we also spent some time using Ywam's collection on missionaries. I have mentioned it before, and it is worth repeating. These books tell the story of obedience and sacrifice in a way like none I have seen. We learned about Nate Saint and Jim Elliot who gave their lives down in Ecuador. We then watched End of the Spear, a film made of this poignant story.

Seeds. Just planting seeds. Some days I water, some days I prune. Some days I see growth, some days I wonder if birds have plucked away all the goodness. Good stuff people!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cleaning out

Today is one of those days when I think God allowed me to have two beautiful girls so I could learn to be loved by Him more. I have been so busy in the past months, I do all the right things to get by, to show love, to extend kindness, to teach responsibility, to administer jobs, to listen and to still find time to be so overwhelmed by my duties I become blind to obvious actions by my kids who are needing attended to.

I was cleaning out this weekend and found some school papers that had been hidden away and not completed. My first response was "That little stinker!" And then I was saddened by the awareness that I have been so "busy" I was unaware of what had been hidden from me. How holding onto secrets makes such distance between those who love each other. So, with much grace and forgiveness I patted myself on the back and started today with an agenda of restitution and new resolution, thinking I had gotten "it". URRRGH!

I guess the Lord thought I needed a bigger push to get the message across of hiding from our sin and how the burden of carrying the secret was worse than if we just confess it and then move along in the forgiveness offered. Yep. I found a whole bunch of more hidden papers. So, when truth finally came out into the light of day and not hidden in the darkness of a curtained corner, the shoulders sagged and the whole secret came out. She was so ashamed of her actions, she thought we would not love her if we knew the whole truth.

Oh, how common is this for all of us. How often do we try to hide our sins from the Father. How often do we keep the truth from Him, because we think He cannot love us if He only knew about ALL of what we had done.

So today I shared with my little one again, how there is nothing she can do to separate my love from her. And how her heavenly Father feels the same way. I was able to help her know the freedom that comes with confession. As I was gently leading her along this path, I sure felt my heavenly Father holding me close yet again, and reminding me of the same thing. He loves me. No matter what. And how I can walk in freedom when I am unburdened by those secret sins. I am so thankful grace abounds for us all.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The new rooms!

So this is how the old room was decorated. I painted it by looking at a sippie cup of Stephanie's when she was about three. Olivia and Stephanie have shared a room from the very beginning and it was first a land of frogs...then they progressed to princess land. Now, for about a year they have been asking to separate into their own rooms. So, the process began. We looked for bedding for a few months and then decided to do it and to have it a part of Christmas gifts. It has been nice to have everyone add a little here and there through the presents. The girls have not been so very gracious when it comes to be painting over the old castle, and seeing my two little ones become independent and have their own need for space. They actually told me "Mom, it is just a painting, get over it!" We all laughed, (my heart crushed), and we began the transformation.

They were right. It was just a painting. The new colors and "stuff" are just wonderful!

This was just some of the piles we took out of the playroom in order for it to become Steph's room. Oh my goodness!

This was Olivia using her own decorating skills on her Liv dolls!
And this is it! Olivia loves her new blue wall (not pictured). And she has told me thank you and that she loves it about a million and one times in just a week.

This was the hardest part of the whole project. Finding a lamp proved to be more than I could take, so I just painted and recovered an existing lamp. It is two sided dots and two sided stripes to match her bedding.
And this is Stephanie's redecorating project of the Liv dolls and the "band"area!

Stephanie is not one for change, so we did hers second. She still on the day of work and painting was hesitant. She loves the final result and is so happy with her pink and brown color scheme.
She loves her area to showcase her work, drawings, and pictures. Being the collector, I had to find and make room for all those goodies too!
It has been so fun watching come into their own space... I know with the future that independence will broaden, and I hope they find just as much fun and contentment with it then as well.
Thanks everyone who bought things for their rooms, we could not have done it without you!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stephanie's 10th

On one of our most coldest mornings, we woke up to a birthday! Stephanie's 10th came on December 28, 2010. It was due to be a busy day, even though her party was not until the following evening. It is difficult to see, but our roof and yard looked like it had a sprinkling of snow, but it was ice, and it melted within minutes of the sun shining on it.
This beautiful young lady did not want a cake, so we had warm blueberry muffins for breakfast...and a girl has to have candles! How quickly these ten years have been, and how exciting the ones in the future seem. Stephanie still melts me at times when she comes up and just needs a hug. She is not one to show physical affection frequently, so I cherish it. She is still one of the most creative kids I know. Whether it is mud or beads, playdoh or sticks, she is making something out of it. She is an avid reader and can still win at any game that requires memory. Her heart is tender towards little children and she is still trying to find her way when it comes to "school yard" conflict. I love how she wrestles with conviction and chooses her own path. It makes me know she will find her own way.
We started a new tradition in our family this year. Double digits (10) allowed some changes in the way we celebrate. We are very blessed, and so from now on, instead of so much being spent on gifts for the birthday girl, she will choose a ministry or charity of her choice to receive a gift.
This year Stephanie chose to be a part of the missions trip her Kids Church Pastor was going on to India. With his help they came up with the idea of pencil bags full of pencils, pens and goodies. All together we collected 17! It was eye-opening to hear how grateful and excited the kids would be over a few pencils. Perspective. That is the key!
For the party, we thought it would be fun to go to the Drive-In Theater. Yes there are a few still around. The crowd gathered at our house for hotdogs and chips. They made there own candy bags at the Porvaznik Concession Stand.

Another webkinz!
More Liv doll stuff!
It was a chilly evening to bundle up in the back of the van and watch a movie....and so much fun!

And enough popcorn for everyone!

Yogi Bear was the first movie of the night, and it was a good one for this party! Lots of laughs!

Good inexpensive family fun!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Family time

This holiday season has left us with so many great celebrations and times with family. We are so blessed to be loved and cared for by so many. Our girls are not short on being given love and we hope their hearts overflow because of it.

It starts at home. Dad's love is an ever constant.
Christmas at Mee-Maws was extra special this year because of Finn. He will be one in Feb. and even with feeling a little sick, he grinned and shared his love.
Mee-Maw found some great treasures this year!
A new connection for all of us this year was our time with Gary and Peg aka Poppy and Nan! We snuck in two visits...cause one was not enough. The vast amounts of art supplies now fills our home and the girls are putting it all to use!
We had an early Christmas dinner with Grandpa. He requested his favorite, turkey wings and the fixins. So we did. We had some good laughs, Olivia really cracked him up!
Our church brunch was so much fun. The girls were dressed so pretty and there was delightful entertainment. Olivia played "Jolly Old St. Nick" for her first in public piano playing and Stephanie sang " Deck the Halls" and stayed on pitch!
Gray-day, had a few in house visits this colder than normal December. She would come in for some warm milk and then go and lay under the tree. We thought it was very cute, but within minutes, she was ready to go back outside.
Our annual Christmas time with the Gideons and crew was great again. The kids had their own table outside to be loud and it seems all the presents were the best ones for each kid!
We ended up our weeks-long holiday celebrations with a New Year's lunch at Grandma-ma's. The girls love visiting their great aunts, the cousins and their Great-Grandmother. The pets always are the entertainment and my girls love all the art around the house too!
There is something to say about Family. Some come from the gene-pool and some are just gifts to make life more enjoyable. We are thankful for both. Many of our other times were not included in this post, but were just as important. Our Christmas eve was spent with Steve's parents and his siblings. The squeals from the girls and the dancing from Theresa made it a very special time, I was so busy enjoying myself I did not take photos. We were able to spend some time with special friends, Mr. and Mrs. reminds me every time we are around them how God's plans for our future are His alone. We are thankful for Mr. Russ and the quick healing of 2010.
And so we begin this year with nothing certain except for Christ. He is ever faithful. His love endures all. His mercies are new every day. He is my hope.