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Monday, November 18, 2013

Teaching, Talking, Walking

So happy to have daddy building with him.

I have forgotten to take my camera along to all kinds of happenings big and small! We have been enjoying field trips, birthday parties, hikes, and just being here, but for some reason, the camera has not been on my mind. I'm hoping this means that I am actually enjoying the moments so much that the camera's lonely instead of my not recognizing how special each moment is. Maybe it's just that I need a new camera....Christmas is a-comin'...dream big, right?

I did snap some pics of our little 10-31 celebration. We don't trick-or-treat, but we do carve a pumpkin, enjoy some (very old sticky) lollipops (I seriously think it could still be left over from Rhianwen's 5th birthday), and discuss church history (also very old and sticky) a bit .

Ah, the joys of slimy pumpkin innards. I have to say, Alden was the master of cleaning it out.

The face says it all.

This is literally all Corwin got out of the pumpkin. He really did not like the feel.

This little light of mine, I'm gonna' let it shine...

A couple of days later came Thankful Tom Turkey.

Ta da!

Corwin has found many ways to entertain himself while the rest of us are preoccupied with homeschool. If he is not participating, he is either getting in trouble (think stickers in library books), making an enormous mess (think tiddlywinks or pony beads everywhere or all of our kids games or puzzles spread across the floor...granted, he does love putting puzzles together but often needs help), or lining up things neatly in rows/filling spaces like in the picture above. Alden went through a stage like this too, where he really enjoyed organizing shoes into straight lines or lining all of his magnets in a row on the refrigerator. I wonder why they grow out of it. I'd love for my older 2 to still organize for fun!

An example conversation after I noticed how wonderfully quiet Corwin was being:

Me: Were you behaving?
Corwin: No...I not get cookies...
Me: What were you doing?
Corwin: Watching fishy. I feed him.

Our 2 students toiling to learn about Mayan culture...eating corn products, sipping hot chocolate, and coloring. Neither the football nor the matchbox car has anything to do with the Mayans; I have no idea how these things creep up onto their desks, but this is typical.

Homeschooling is going well. I always feel like I haven't covered enough or made it enjoyable enough or read enough or been patient enough etc.  Alden's reading is to the point that I feel like he ought to be able to do it on his own, but instead I keep having to remind him of the rules for long vowel sounds, which drives me bonkers. I know this is natural, and it is on the verge of clicking for him. It seems like he has a warm-up period where he has to get that side of his brain up and running...like 5 minutes of banging my head against the wall with him (figuratively), and then he's off and reading more smoothly and with less effort for the rest of reading time.

It is so interesting to see how their brains work...why oh why did I not do something like education or child psychology? I just sit there thinking, "Huh, that's an interesting take on it." For example, we were discussing in science how wind is made of moving gas particles and how they can push things like clouds in the sky. Well, Rhianwen said, "I never knew that! I thought clouds looked like they were moving because the earth spun."

As a part of history/geography/Bible, I've been reading missionary stories to the kids. Rhianwen finds them inspiring, and told me one day, "Reading all these missionary stories makes me want to be a missionary." Of course, that makes me happy and nervous at the same time. I don't want to never see her again b/c she is halfway around the world. Proverbs 3:5-6, Proverbs 3: 5-6....breathe, breathe...(Of course, I tell her she can be and is a missionary right here, right now to all of the people we know.) Please remember to pray for us. The Lord has been opening many ways for us to serve refugees by bringing them to youth group and worship and helping them with life. We are serving more than the one family with whom we connected through World Relief. As an introvert, it all seems so overwhelming...how much should I do, what should I do, when should I do it etc. But I am so thankful for these opportunities and for our many church friends with whom we are serving.

Operation Christmas Child...Rhianwen told me it was one of her favorite things to do in the whole year. I always overestimate how much stuff will fit in the shoebox, but we usually manage to cram it all in. I often pray the box will hold at least until it gets to its recipient. I used to not be so excited about getting school supplies to put in the box, but after reading Kisses from Katie, every purchase makes me excited!

Puttin' on his mommy shoes and making me a special treat. He LOVES helping me in the real kitchen especially if I am baking. I can tell he's coming when I hear stomping feet, an old chair being dragged across the floor, and a little voice saying, "Mommy, I help you! I help you!". He's going to know more about baking than my other kids if he keeps it up!

One of Wally's contributions to the kids' education is the introduction of "Cowboy Dance". When I leave for choir rehearsal on W nights, the kids get SO excited b/c they can do "Cowboy Dance". I think it's kind of like square dancing to Gospel music, but since I typically don't like listening to Gospel music, I let Wally have all the fun ;0) I'm beginning to feel unappreciated though, because Corwin will ask for days on end if I am going to choir. But then I hear Corwin in bed talking to Jesus about when He is coming back, and I don't mind so much that we are in so many ways trying to live out Deuteronomy 11:18-19. 

"You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up." 

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