Friday, July 31, 2009

Overheard in My House

This evening I heard a squabble going on in the living room between my two younger girls.  One was playing the piano, and the other was "helping".  Child Number One asked child Number Two to please stop it, and of course, child Number Two did not.  So child Number One pushed child Number Two away from the piano.  And Number Two pushed her back.  And Number One pushed HER back.  I ignored this, hoping they would put one of our many lessons to work on how families are not to merely tolerate each other, but to love each other.

When I came out of my room, Number Two tattled, "Mommy, Elisabeth pushed me away from the piano!"  I said, "Wait, wait, wait.  You are not telling me the whole story.  What did you do to her before she pushed you?" 
Emily: "I was helping her play the piano."
Me: "Yes, and she asked you not to do that.  And you did anyway." 
Emily: "Yes, Mommy, but then Elisabeth pushed me, and I thought of that verse that says, 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!'"   

LOL! Well, she tried! I have to give her credit for thinking of a Bible verse that tells her how to respond, don't I?  Or is she becoming an Eddie Haskell? Hee hee!  Next topic for family Bible hour, the meaning of Matthew 7:12.

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you,
do ye even so to them:
for this is the law and the prophets.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Taking Another Lap Around Mt. Sinai

Maybe it's because we all stayed up too late last night and because we're tired of summer vacation and because the kids are worn out from two good swims in the river in 24 hours, and because I am finding that I can NOT lose weight while eating chocolate... sigh...

We got some of our school books today, and oh, boy, did it sound like the children of Israel around here.  A whole lot of complaining going on.  (Two complaining about the books they got, and one complaining that she didn't get any!)  I think I am beginning to understand why God hates complaining so much.  I mean, think about it.  God got so sick of hearing it he wanted to kill his own children.   Actually, he did kill some of them, and he was justified, but I wouldn't be.  I don't want to kill my kids, but I think I can relate to this just a teeny bit.  Granted, I am guilty of it myself.  So where did they learn it?  Yeah, yeah, I know.  ...Okay, not everyone here is guilty tonight.  We have two semi-spiritual people in this house who refuse to lower themselves to the common denominator, and they are not guilty.  But three were, and then four, because I was complaining about the complaining. 

And then I saw this.

(Disclaimer: I don't know what else is at that site, so enter with caution.)

All right.  I am done complaining about the complaining.  I am just going to bite the bullet and insist that education is for my children's good and they ARE going to do it, because I love them.  And I will remind myself daily that some day they are going to thank me for this.  The worst I could do here couldn't be that bad.  Could it??  Do any of those poor souls have a praying mother? 

And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD:
and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled;
and the fire of the LORD burnt among them,
and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts
of the camp.

Numbers 11:1

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It's Here! Emily's Violin

Just had to steal this image from my daughter's blog.  Does this little musician look happy, or what?  I say she looks happy.  This little violin is the answer to many weeks of Emily's prayers.  It is so neat when children realize God hears them.  In less than three days, Emily has already learned two scales and the Twinkle Twinkle variations.  For now I'll spare you a video, but there will be one forthcoming, for I know she will be begging me to post one.  

Alison now has two students. If you just happen to know anyone who lives in the area and wants beginning violin lessons, have them leave her a comment.  With only two students, it will take a Very Long Time to save up for a laptop.  Oh, and if you just happen to know anyone in the area who might be interested in starting up a kids' or adults' chamber orchestra, comment her about that, too.  It is her dream to belong to one.  ...Maybe she ought to do a Hard Thing and start one herself...

Delight thyself also in the LORD;
and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Psalm 37:4

Monday, July 20, 2009

Correction, and School Plans

I said I could be thankful that it was not 120°F yet.  Uh, change that to 125°FBecca and I had a conversation about this.  In response to my gratitude for not needing a snow shovel in these circumstances, she suggested that a snow shovel would make a great dust pan for the garage.  I agree.  It would.  But we don't even have a garage. And I am pretty sure none of our local stores carry snow shovels, even in the winter.  And I'm still thankful we don't need one.   By the way, I could not believe my ears last week, when I heard my desert-loving, snow-hating husband say, by accident I'm sure, "One below wouldn't be THAT bad..." LOL!  I don't know.  If one could make a choice,  it would be a tough one.  -1°F or +122°F.   ???

The summer always has me looking for ways to feed my family delicious meals without cooking, or at least without turning on the oven.  If you have any ideas, do let me know.  Does anyone make a tasty cold rice salad? We often do salad and fresh bread (from the machine, not the oven), pasta salad made early in the day, or lately, already baked pizza from Little Caesar's!  (Okay, it's not the greatest pizza, but it's only two blocks away and only $5.  I'll take it.)

On to our school plans for the coming year.  I have felt like a goose flying backwards through the fog this spring, trying to plan for next school year. But I think it is finally coming together.  Many thanks to my dear friend, Plain Jane, for a copy of her educational designs for her daughters, a plan which I call "Plain Jane High School".  She got me started just making a list of all sorts of things that I'd like to see Alison (and etc) accomplish before we call it quits with official school-type stuff.  Some of it is academic, but most of it isn't, and it has really helped me to feel like we have some direction in this journey.  It's nice to finally figure out where we are going.  Here is Alie's list, definitely not in order of priority, and not complete. She has done some of this already, so she will begin with some thing checked off (pretend those little pieces of code are check boxes):

Alison's High School To-Do’s

Community Service
    Play music at nursing home monthly
    Participate in monthly nursing home church service
    Assist in church nursery

Physical Education
    Bicycle maintenance and safety
    o    Change tube
    o    Patch tube
    o    Clean and lube chain
    o    Adjust brakes

Travel and Car Maintenance
    Wash car
    Wax car
    Vacuum interior
    Windows
    Pump gas
    Check oil
    Use jumper cables
    Check tire pressure and fill
    Change wiper blades
    Add washer fluid
    Read a street map
    Give clear directions
    Plan a road trip

    Crochet
    o    Hot pad
    o    Dishcloth
    o    Afghan
    Arrange and cut out a pattern
    Sew a
    o    Bag
    o    Skirt
    o    Blouse
    o    Dress
    o    Nightie
    o    Quilt
Church Ministries
    Piano accompaniment
    Provide special music
    Learn to operate sound system and edit files
    Work in nursery
    Lead a Bible study
    Give a devotion
    Write devotional for newsletter
    Teach a Sunday School class
    Clean church building
 Personal Ministry and Spiritual Life
    Give your testimony
    Know how to lead a soul to Christ
    Read through the Bible five times before graduation
    Invite ten people to church
    Read missionary biographies
    o    John and Betty Stam
    o    CT Studd
    o    The Journal of John Wesley
    o    Jim Eliot/Nate Saint
    o    Susannah Wesley
    o    Peace Child or Lords of the Earth
    o    Bruchko
     Keep a prayer journal

    Yearly violin performance
    Yearly piano performance
    Read books on what is God-honoring music –
    o    SM Davis
    o    Alan Ives
    o    SMS
    Listen to 10 great composers
    Read a music pedagogy book – Talent to Treasure, by M. Washburn
    Give music instruction
    Attend a symphony rehearsal
    Attend a symphony or orchestra performance
Computer and Technical Skills
    Type 75 wpm
    Learn to use Word or other word processing software
    Learn to use Excel or other spreadsheet
    Make a video and edit it
    Learn to edit audio files
    Visit a sound studio
    Observe the production of an audio recording
Personal Development

    Write out your testimony
    Give your testimony orally if given the opportunity
    Keep an active blog for one year
    Get published
    Learn basic first aid
   Read Mom’s file on godly girls and ladies and home life (C:\Documents and Settings\Johnson Family\My Documents\To Read in Jr High-High School)
    Read Beautiful Girlhood
    Read Daughters of Destiny
    Read So Much More
    Read The Fallacy Detective
    Read ten classics
    o    Pride and Prejudice
    o    To Kill a Mockingbird
    o    Little Britches Series
    o    Tale of Two Cities
    o    Robinson Crusoe
    o    and choose from this adult/youth list:  
    Write an essay on how you plan to educate your children
    Read books on homeschooling whys
    o    John Gatto
    o    Mary Pride,  and others
    Learn to find anything in the library
    o    Encyclopedia
    o    Magazine article
    o    Author bio
    Learn to find anything on the internet
Kitchen Skills
    Cut up a whole chicken
    Cook beans
    Slow cook a roast
    Bake
   o    cookies
   o    cake from scratch
   o    cheesecake
   o    quick breads
   o    yeast bread
   o    biscuits
    Make a healthy salad
    Cook veggies in the microwave
    Follow a recipe
    Make soups
    o    Potato
    o    Beef barley
    o    Chicken and rice
    o    Chicken tortilla    
    Make a personal recipe book
    Plan a menu
    Do a weekly (or monthly) meal plan
    Learn food storage
    Clean up meal prep

Child Care
    Babysit, given opportunity
    Change a diaper
    Bottle feed a baby
    Spoon feed a baby
    Entertain toddlers

History and Geography
    Find major countries and cities on a globe
    Read missionary bios (see personal development section)
    Know states and capitals
    Read ten U.S. Landmark books
    Read ten World Landmark books
    Read Ruth Beechick’s World History Made Easy
(Sorry about the formatting problems.  Computers and I never have been very good friends.) This is all in addition to the usual assortment of stuff from Teaching Textbooks, Easy Grammar,  the Bluedorns, Landmark, and something for science. Anyway, this should take care of the boredom blues, don't you think? For one kid, at least.  Now I'm off to figure out what we'll be using for children #2,#3 and #4!

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge:
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 1:7

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom:
and with all thy getting get understanding.
Exalt her, and she shall promote thee:
she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.
She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace:
a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.
Proverbs 4:7-9

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Summer School, Sneaked (Snuck?) In

This has been an amazingly educational summer for us.  Without even planning on it, we have had art lessons and sewing lessons, classic literature, the (fictional) American West, and spelling/vocab.  Let me explain -- when you are on the verge of unschooling, you count everything.   Art in the Park  (which was mercifully moved indoors) has been a great experience for us. (See a few previous posts.)  Painting with acrylics presents all sorts of problem solving objectives, such as how to mix any color, beginning only with black, white, and the primaries; how to figure out what part of the scene to paint first; how to add perspective and shadow; how to fix painting problems (with acrylics you just paint over your mistakes); and how much paint one paintbrush will hold. (*rolls eyes*)  Here are our art adventures from the past couple of weeks:

an African hut a hippo in the river
a sailboat on the shore mountains on the river
girl standing in the sea a brooding impressionist landscape

Alison tried her hand at drawing the cover of Elijah of Buxton.  Pretty good job!

Elisabeth sewed her first garment, a nightie, from an improvised pattern.  She insisted, without ever having tried it, that she HATES sewing.  With a bit of gentle coercion she agreed to try, only because there was nothing else to do anyway.  Hee hee, she says she hates sewing, but every time she sat at the machine, there was a little smile on her face.  We'll make a seamstress out of her yet.


Earlier this month I found a cheapo DVD at the Salvation Army store, and we introduced our kids to "The Lone Ranger".  Alison, especially, is particulary captivated by the how's of film and audio.   So here we got our lessons on the fictional American West (come on, the Lone Ranger and Tonto don't even hear a group of horsemen coming, or see their dust, until they are almost run over by them, ha ha!)  plus an analysis of film production.  And bad acting, lol!  It was interesting to me to see how old TV shows were set up like plays, with everyone facing the audience (camera).  Things sure have changed!

As for classic literature, Alison picked up a copy of Pride and Prejudice at the library.  We have been watching the old BBC version via YouTube, and I have to say, it is extremely tame, considering it is a British production.  I expected they would take much more liberty with ribald scenes.  My kids have been instructed to only listen to the audio part in the one objectionable scene.  It is always interesting to compare a book with the film version, and watching the film has helped my 10th grader to understand the book more clearly.  Emily said, "Mommy, watching Pride and Prejudice makes me feel so ...polite!" hee hee.  Indeed. One thing that has NOT changed though the years is women's insistence on practically popping out of their bodices...

My, this is getting to be a long post.  Okay, I'll hurry it up.  One last thing.  A dear friend gave me a box of curriculum and other educational stuff, and way in the bottom was a travel Scrabble game.  So you know what has been the rage here for several days.  Such a desire to know spelling I have never seen here.   Amy and I beat Daddy the first game, but he made a brilliant comeback and is maintaining his championship. 

So. Even though my plans to do math through our break never materialized, we did learn something.  Or, some of us did.  Now.  What ever will I post for my month-in-review?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Morning at the Lake

It's amazing that after we get all our lake stuff into the van there is still room for us, but we did fit. Barely. Somewhere out of view we have three chairs, numerous noodles and rings, a cooler, several bags, and three more people.  We're good at this packing business (see this post for evidence).

The lake was gorgeous today.  We got there early enough that my internal thermometer was not quite threatening to burst through the top of my head.   The water was oh so clear...

And the beach was almost empty.

Everyone found something to do.

As it got later in the day, the beach began to fill up.  Scads of people parked their stuff under the one tree on the beach, creating a scene reminiscent of Go, Dog, Go!  The only thing missing from the book was all the activity taking place IN the tree and ON the tree!  We saw two people wearing shirts in the water.  I could hear the man's southern accent from many yards away, and then I knew for sure they weren't from around here.

I attempted to take a panorama of the landscape, and if I can figure out how to stitch the photos all together I'll share that later. 

It was a beautiful day!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Brag Post for the Grandparents

She sure didn't get it from me (I wish she had), but Emily has more determination than I've ever seen in a member of my family.  When she was two she wanted to learn to read.  I taught her the letter sounds, but almost daily she'd ask me for a reading lesson.  At three she was reading three-letter words and consonant-vowel-consonant-silent-e words, like "cane".  Now, at five, she is reading at about a third grade level.  All this simply because SHE WANTED TO.

Emily also wants to play the piano. And the violin.  Or ANYTHING that makes music.  She has begged for a flute, a clarinet, a harp, a violin, a harmonica, an ocarina, a recorder.  She has begged everyone in the house who plays the piano to give her lessons.  I showed her how to play a scale and two-finger left hand chords, considering her short little hands.  Now she can sound out any melody on the piano, including hymns and gospel tunes and Vivaldi and Mozart and Beethoven.  Her persistence has paid off, and this week we have a little violin on order for her from SharMusic (she is buying it).  In a year I am sure I will be able to report that she is still playing it. (Photos of happy little violinist soon to come.)

All summer she has been begging me to teach her how to crochet.  "Emily," I would say, "your hands are too little to do crochet.  Let's wait until you are nine or ten."  "Nooo!" she would say, "Pleeeease teach me now, please, please, please?"  I put her off with the excuse that we needed a large crochet hook and some fat yarn.  This week I took her into the local hobby store without thinking.  "Mom!  While we're here, let's get some fat yarn so you can teach me how to crochet!"  Groan.  Okay, we got some.  Before I could put my purse down and get my car keys put away, she was ready to start.  In one hour she had a nice chain going.  Look at that concentration!

Emily is supposed to be starting kindergarten this fall, but I think I have already done this year's work, don't you?  Can't I put her off for another year?  ...She is not going to let me get by with that.   She also wants to have her own blog.  Don't anyone tell her about stuff like wearing make-up, driving a car, or getting married!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Still Alive in the Desert

The official temperature reading here on Sunday last week (this was in my drafts too long) was 117°, and 113° the day after.  Dad and the kids went to the lake to "cool off", but they almost overheated before they got to the beach.  No one complained of such a thing, but I know they must have -- it's the reason why I did not go with them!  It does help to walk that half mile with one's toes in the water, but honestly, that kind of heat makes me feel like my head is the top of a thermometer, and the mercury is about to burst the glass.

But there are some advantages to the heat, at least one.  I'll try to think of two. 

This week my girls changed roommates, and in the process we washed all the sheets and mattress pads.  It's such a quick job.  Throw 'em in the wash, then throw 'em over the line.  The sheets are dry before the next set comes out of the washer. 

And, earlier I had to pour the last of the honey into a smaller jar, but it had crystallized and thickened at the bottom of a plastic gallon container.  The answer -- put it out in the sun for a few minutes!

The hot evenings keep everyone inside.  At this moment my girls are in the living room harmonizing through the hymn book.  Now that, I like!

Okay, that was three.  Now, reasons to be thankful for (or in spite of) 113°:
1. No snow to shovel.
2. The AC is working.
3. Since I don't want to leave the AC, I can't spend any money. (That's a good one.)
4. I don't need an electric blanket.
5. It's not 120°!  (Yet.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...