Wednesday, July 28, 2010

To My Local Schoolboard...

Dear school board, or state, or whatever,

Every August you send us a flier advertising your virtual school. Actually, you send 2 to 3 mailings advertising virtual school per school year. This year was no exception.

(pardon the image scanner isn't top-notch)

I think you just sort of miss the point of why we homeschool. Why would I take them out of Godless school and then feed them a Godless curriculum? It just doesn't make good sense. So, please take us off your mailing list. You're just wasting my money. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Time is Ticking!

Our target date to begin school is, I think, a little earlier than what's typical. We try to start the first week of August. It's far to hot here to be outdoors much in August anyway. Furthermore, once we're done (mid-April, thereabout) with school it's about time for the spring garden to be needing a lot of attention. That means that in exactly 1 week we'll be back to this crazy journey called homeschool.

I'm very much excited, as I am every year. I'm excited because it's always exciting to start a new year. Also because I'm pretty sure that next year won't be as hectic as last year. I thought last year was never going to end! We started in July since we were expecting a new baby in August. We took 4 weeks off as we were adjusting to another addition to the family. Then when Josiah was about 7 weeks old he was hospitalized for a week. We had to take another month off because he was still so terribly sick. We didn't finish school until about mid-May...and truth be told, we didn't complete the last 15 lessons. The kids had been in school so long, they were just so tired of it! Hopefully, this year coming up won't be so nutty!

I've been working out school schedules, home schedules, chore charts and general organizing as the first day of school approaches. I hope to be able to spend some time with Lydia, who is 3, actually doing worksheets and one-on-one instruction time. I think she's going to enjoy it. Ethan seems to be excited about first grade and of course John groans at the very thought of school. Second grade isn't enticing to him at all. Got to try to motivate the unmotivated!

I think that John is broken out in poison sumac. It doesn't seem to be bothering him too much though, just sort of unsightly. It grows in the woods by the church and he was spotted over that way Sunday afternoon between children's choir and worship service.

I thank everyone for praying for my knee. I think I mentioned it before that a month ago tomorrow, at camp, I sprained my knee. Since we don't have insurance, I didn't want to go to the doctor. From what I read it is most likely a grade 2 MCL tear. I'd say that it's about 70% back to normal. I have good days with it and bad. I just think now of arthritis getting in it later in life. But then, let's take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself, right?

Here are some photos I'm sharing from a very late evening game of croquet. The quality is poor since they were taken well after sunset.

Josiah had a blast chasing the balls all over the backyard.

Lydia had a most difficult time trying to actually make contact between the mallet and the ball.

Ethan makes good contact.

John studying his next move.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Wrapping Up Summer

Has it really been 15 days since my last post? Wow! Trust me, it's not been idle time! I mentioned the fever in my last post. The miserable mess drug on for 5 days, ranging from 100 to a whopping 104. It finally broke, I think on Thursday (the 8th). Friday I was still weak and shaky, but had to get out because Vacation Bible School was the next week (the 12th-16th). I got to teach the 7 and 8 year olds and had done NOTHING to prepare. All the other teachers had lovely decorated rooms which matched the theme of Bible school. But not me, noooooo... I didn't even have anything. And my luck would have it that I couldn't even find much. It took me a few days of scouring a few local towns. Well, I say local, nothing here is really too local. When I say local, I mean within 20 to 30 miles. I finally collected enough materials to decorate room by Monday (the day of Bible school) and was pretty much out of time to do the decorating. Well, blessings would have it that a missionary family was staying with us through Bible school. The three oldest children of the family offered to help me decorate. They had great ideas and we pretty much had it finished within a few hours! It wouldn't have gotten done without their help!

Vacation Bible School was a blast, as it always is. I had anywhere from 13-16 seven and eight year olds with me. I didn't have any major catastrophes. I guess I sort of did. I guess I'd just been so worn down from going wide open for the past month (pre-camp organization, youth camp, horrible fever, pre-VBS organization, VBS) that I started with yet another fever on Wednesday of VBS. So, thank the good Lord that my friend Holly taught my class Wednesday and Thursday. I was there Thursday, but I didn't know if I'd be well or not, so my husband asked her to be prepared. Friday I was back in gear to wrap it up.

I know I'm partial, thinking our church is the best at everything, but we really went all out for VBS, as we do every year. We prepare supper for all VBS students and workers each night. The activities were really fun! The crafts were so cute. And honestly, nothing is better than just spending time labouring for the Lord together with fellow believers. For Friday night the church rents 2 "bounce houses", a dunking booth, a cotton candy machine, and a snow cone machine. After Bible lesson, they have a blast out there. Seems like they always come home sticky, wet, exhausted, coming down off a sugar rush, and HAPPY!!

If you looked at my time stamp, you may be wondering why I'm not at church. Lydia has contracted some sort of stomach illness and spent all last night vomiting, poor dear. As I look back I haven't been completely MIA from church activities, but I have missed 5 Sunday/Wednesday services in the past 3 1/2 weeks. I told my husband as he was leaving this morning, "I feel like I haven't been to church in forever!" He raises an eyebrow and says, "You've been at church all week." And yes, I've been at church, but not being there for a worship service just feels unsettling.

I also have to mention that I know that I've really slacked on the pictures as of late. I've really not had the camera out. I didn't take it to camp. I don't have a cheap camera and wasn't even considering taking our nice one. Here is the only picture I took at camp, which I took with my iPhone. Here are the girls waiting for evening chapel to start. The girls are on the front row and the boys (who were more camera shy) on the back.

We had 3 other girls and 1 boy register for camp who weren't able to attend. The boy couldn't get out of work. One girl had wrist surgery, one enrolled in college for the summer and PCC wouldn't let her leave the camp to go to class, which is understandable. The third had a previous obligation the week of camp. I always am bragging on these girls, but they deserve it! Two of them volunteered to do dorm devotion, which was a blessing to me. They are hard workers too! Most of them had a hand in teaching VBS this week as a helper. It's been great watching the older ones grow and mature, learn to take initiative and to be responsible in the things of the church.

Oh, I posted last that I injured my knee at camp. It's been almost 3 weeks and I still have a lot of pain, although the sharp, stabbing pain happens only on seldom occasion. I've been taking an enzyme product by Enzymedica called Repair, which has helped a lot!! It has been said that I sprain is harder to recover from than a break. I still have a very long way to go before I even have half of my strength and mobility in it. Even walking is a struggle. I sincerely ask for lots of prayer. I really, really need it!

Our garden is all finished too. We didn't get much out of it after June. It gets so hot that the plants can't take the heat. We really were abundantly blessed this year with the garden. The deep freezer is filled to the top!

Our target date to start school is always the first Tuesday of August. Our school week runs from Tuesday to Saturday, which is my husband's work week. I am about 70% prepared for the first day of school. Isn't it hard to believe that summer activities are wrapping up? Summer heat won't be finished here until mid-October!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Welcome Back!

Well, here I am back from camp and hoping to get back to the Blogosphere. There is so much to tell. I'm lying comfortably ready for bed.

First, I want to thank the good Lord for His gracious mercy, for answered prayer, and for His protection as we traveled. I know that may sound silly since we didn't travel far, but tragedy can strike in a flash. Everyone came home in one piece and, I believe refreshed in the Lord and closer knit together.

So we left home and headed to the Pensacola Christian College campus about lunchtime Monday. This is the second time we've been able to attend PCC's "Teen Extreme" youth camp. Last year Bro. Kenny Baldwin said it best: "Putting the words 'teen' and 'extreme' in the same sentence sounds like you're just asking for trouble. Teens are extreme enough without you having to tell them they are." It's so true. :-) Every year when we go to camp I get recharged in the ministry the Lord has given us. I'm so thankful for our group. No matter what we do I never have to worry about one sneaking off or breaking rules or blatant disrespect. They are a class act and I feel like I have a good relationship with each one.

The preaching by Dr. Johnny Pope was right on target. He sort of preached a series on battles fought by David. Thursday night the message was out of 2 Samuel 21:15 and his battle with Goliath's son, Ishbi-benob. Amazing, wonderful message. Wish I had it in mp3.

Friday morning he preached a clear cut message dealing with fornication. In all these (8?) years of youth ministry I do not recall an entire message devoted to the sin of fornication. Dr. Pope, during altar call, asked each teen to make a vow to their youth pastors to remain pure. I was openly weeping when all 13 of our teens spoke the words "I will wait" at the altar. He told them, yes you can make that vow in your heart, but when you make yourself accountable you're so much more likely to remember that vow when you have to flee sin. Wonderful week with the Lord!!

Then there were activities. It was great, but it was not pretty. I came away with a knee I sprained on Tuesday, which I'm still babying. It's bad when high dives and 31 birthdays makes you realize you're not 16 anymore!

The food was more like camp food than last year. I ate a lot of salad, which was great since they had baby spinach and grape tomatoes. Banana for breakfast, salad for lunch and dinner. Walking 5 miles (estimating. It's a big campus especially for Christian college) a day. Roller blading, swimming. I thought I would have lost a pile of weight. But no, I gained 5. LOL

I hope to add more, but we'll see when. Jeremy and I both have about a 102 fever and I need to get to bed.