Friday, August 31, 2012

Our Little School at Home: Rev to Rev Unit 4

This week was a struggle. We had ATTITUDE issues...unfortunately, they were mama attitude issues, so...if you think to pray for me, that would be GREAT!! Won't go in to all the struggles, just need more of Jesus and less of me. And, no migraines would help, too.

Joshua completed Unit 4 this week of Revival to Revolution and had a great time. He painted a Chinese vase and it is beautiful. One of many things HOD has fostered in my child is an enjoyment of art. (No pictures of his vase...I haven't figured out how to get them to this blog yet.) That was probably his favorite activity.

I still read to Joshua. I know that he is thirteen and could be doing it himself, but it is sooo hard for me to let completely go. And, he enjoys me reading to him. Paired with the Biblical Worldview study, reading aloud helps us maintain a close relationship. Anyway, for the read aloud, we finished reading Songbird and started The Secret Wish of Nannerl Mozart. Joshua liked Songbird because of all he learned about the King's law. Joshua compared the court system now versus then.

Whenever we start a new book, we begin by identifying the genre it is. Joshua always wants to know if it is a true story and is disappointed when it is not. :) The Secret Wish of Nannerl Mozart was no different. The relationships between the children and their father made for an interesting discussion as Nannerl dealt with jealousy.

Joshua did one day of the unit at his grandparents' so that I could take a road trip with my husband for work. I am so thankful for the diligence he demonstrated in completing everything according to the directions. He is showing so much growth in this area.

There were yummy looking brownies in Who is God? but we did not make them. I have all the ingredients, but we ran out of time. Joshua and I ended up discussing the reading far longer than I have scheduled. But, because he has discovered a love for baking and he loves brownies, I am expecting that our house will be filled with the aroma of baking brownies at some point this weekend.

We are working on memorizing the book of Matthew for Bible quizzing as well as the assigned chapter of Hebrews this year, but are falling short. If anyone has any ideas how to help with Bible memory, please, please, please, would you share??

For history, we studied China's Quinong to Britain's Lieutenant-Colonel Washington. It is always an "oh, yeah" moment when we are reminded that George Washington was trained as a soldier in the British military.

As a mom, I love that the guide reminds my son to pray according to ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication) and includes prayer starters. I am blessed to have found this curriculum!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Because it is never too early...

to give thanks!

It was far too early to crawl out of bed when the thought hit me that I still had a cake pan that belonged to Mama. In fear that I would forget to return it, I stumbled out of bed around 3 a.m., pulled it from my cupboard and added it to the "Return" pile. Now sitting on the bottom of several other dishes that belong to her, it was quickly emptied by my guys of its brownies.

And, so that is how I come in the wee hours to give thanks to the One who is the Giver of all good things, whose grace is poured out on me every moment I am permitted breath.

Praise and thanks to God for:

the pan of brownies Mama brought to the kids.

the sleep my youngest is finally getting. It is 5 a.m. and he still sleeps after a chain of sleepless nights.

the warm sunshine and cool breeze yesterday as we worked and played in the yard.

the gardening, almost finished now, only to be weeded again.

the sunshine yellow flowers that are blooming in the flower beds around the house.

the strength and health to throw the frisbee & football with the kids.

the rocket, stuck in the tree after only 10 minutes. It was fun while it lasted!:)

this house that You gave us so long ago, Your provision through the many storms You knew we would have to face.

Todd's job - even though only part-time is your sufficient provision for our family.

Your wisdom, poured out on us. Oh, Father, we need that wisdom now as we try to follow your voice - show us what way is right to go and we will go.

the warm bed that is calling me back.

the husband who will reach out his arms and embrace me when I crawl back in bed.

Mama, who is caring for the kids today so that I can take a day trip with my love.

the One who cares for my kids and our family in ways that I can only begin to imagine.

the broken womb that made me choose whom I would serve, even in the midst of deep sorrow...thankful that even when I could hold on no longer, His hand firmly held me.

the cat, sitting elegantly on the floor, paws tucked under him.

the chair and ottoman that nestle me in my sleepless hours.

Dr. Sue and the excellent medical care our children receive.

the medication for my migraines that enables me to sleep through the night & function through the day.

the oldest boy growing in wisdom and love, as he matures into a man.

Todd's sister and her children coming to visit from Florida.

peaceful school day yesterday.

repentant heart of Joshua after he disobeyed.

for pouring love and patience out on this Mama when she desperately needed it in the midst of her child's rebellion yesterday.

Your Word is true and You are trustworthy.

the privilege and the joy of homeschooling.

guitar lessons for Josh.

God's amazing grace and provisions never cease to amaze me!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Our Little School at Home: Rev to Rev Unit 3

I must confess, when the Lord brought us to Heart of Dakota curriculum, there were a couple of things I refused to try. Then, this year, apart from science (using Apologia with the HOD Inventor's Study), I decided to completely follow the plan.

We began Rod and Staff 7 for grammar. Joshua loves it! The only complaint he has had was the day he had to write a character sketch - not surprising, since writing is his least favorite subject. I feel like I am more on top of grammar this year than in years past because I have to do the lessons with him daily. Not only are we both amazed at how quickly Joshua is growing in grammatical proficiency, but we also enjoy the Biblical references and connections. One day he said to me, "Mom, this has to be a Christian book. It is so obvious." I, of course, chuckled my agreement

Our favorite time has been Biblical Worldview. This week when we read and discussed the book Who is God? Joshua asked such thoughtful questions that he shocked me. His thirteen year old brain is finally making connections that I have been praying he would make for Y.E.A.R.S. I praise God for this wonderful study, as well as the Hebrews Bible study he is currently completing. I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit is working in his heart.

We finished reading Amos Fortune, Freeman this week. Joshua and I had such an interesting discussion about this book and what it means to live free. So many good lessons are contained in this book.

Joshua learned about Johann Sebastian Bach, assembled a Composers Timeline for Music Appreciation and made coins for his history project.

Overall, this was a great week. To think, we have painlessly completed three units and are ready to go on Monday!! School is such a joy this year.

Bowed before His Throne

I sit and I watch....these two amazing ones who somehow came from my womb. Tiny bits of breath, once lay gently in my arms, grown into running, jumping, learning boys - the first now reaching to be a man. Time sprouted wings and flew from us; thirteen years have passed. Now the one who fought and cried, struggling to learn he was not the center has become a strapping boy-man who gives to everyone he can. His greatest gift, I'm glad he grasped this young, is the one of time. Mowing Grandma and Papa's or trimming at Great Grandma's, helping Grandma complete some gardening or Papa in the shop, using skilled hands to form balloon animals for an outreach, volunteering at VBS...a summer well spent, a life well-lived. He did not get a vacation or go to summer camp. He asked for little entertainment and gave of himself rather than took. I am humbled to be his mama and awed at what God does with a boy-man bowed before His Throne.

And, here I am again...repeating the same lessons with the littlest one, now four. He holds his head back and cries whenever he hears the answer "No." When will his tender heart understand to be loved is to give love, to find grace is to give grace and that this life he lives is given to give away? How will his life look when he becomes a man bowed before the Throne? There are lessons no man can teach, but must be heard from the Spirit in the soul. I am praying he hears and heeds these lessons, growing into a godly man.

Oh, that my heart would be bowed before His throne...that this Mama will continue to lay these two growing children constantly in the arms of the One who holds them faithfully. Trusting, thankful for the One who breathes life into my very bones.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Music In the Wind

The wind sang for me today,
the trees joined the melody.
Leaves rustled to the beat
and flowers danced along.

The water, not to be outdone,
lifted voice to sing.
I in silence sat to hear
the river splash the tune,
listened to gull's call,
geese honking happily.

This music in the wind
was written just for me.
No need for piano accompaniment
or written notes to know
the Composer of this piece
walks on Heaven's shore.

My turn quickly came to lift
voice in praise to the One
who created wind, water, tree
thanksgiving to the Living One
whose breath lives inside of me.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Being in Covenant

He looked at me, those blue eyes teasing, mouth twisted to hide the grin....and my stomach fluttered...just like it always has. How could this incredible man love me, even now? The once thick crown of dark brown hair, thinning gray. The thin firm body now sagged with neglect and years. The creases from laughter and tears growing around my eyes. He, who knew me little on that day we entered covenant...that day we whispered, "..until death do us part", did he regret that day? Now that he knows that I came with a broken womb and white hot temper, that our life together would be more marked by tears than by laughter, more by struggle than by ease? Now that he knows that I sometimes snort when I laugh and snore when I sleep - would he change his mind? Nineteen years married, and nothing is hidden. If he could, would he change that day?

Would he marry me NOW?? His answer a confident "YES." His love for me is not determined by who I have become or who I once was, whether the womb would bear children (it did) or remain barren, whether I would grow in width (I did) or remain thin. His love and commitment are determined by this incredible covenant he made with me before God on that life-altering day. And, he has never questioned it. His only question is to me: why do I doubt? What has he ever done to make me wonder if he had changed his mind? He asks the questions with hurt. He should. His love has been beyond my understanding. His strength has upheld me through many sorrows, and his arms have been my refuge through the loss of two children. If a human can love unconditionally, he has done it. Never have I doubted that he loves me.

My insecurity has nothing to do with him. He has been a husband far beyond anything I could ask or imagine! Isn't that so like God - give me more than I could even think to ask for? That blue-eyed man who stirs me just by glancing my way is a gift I don't deserve. He demonstrates God to me everyday. He loves selflessly, giving beyond what he has and providing for me before himself.

Oh, how I love that man and thank my God for the gift of him in my life. Thank You, Father, for the gift of this amazing man!