Thursday, February 25, 2010

Our Great Saviour

Our Great Saviour

Jesus! What a Friend for sinners!
Jesus! Lover of my soul;
Friends may fail me, foes assail me,
He, my Saviour, makes me whole.

Jesus! What a Strength in weakness!
Let me hid myself in Him;
Tempted, tried, and sometimes failing,
He, my Strength, my victory wins.

Jesus! What a Help in sorrow!
While the billows o'er me roll;
Even when my heart is breaking,
He, my Comfort, helps my soul.

Jesus! What a Guide and Keeper!
While the tempest still is high;
Storms about me, night o'er takes me,
He, my Pilot, hears my cry.

Jesus! I do now receive Him!
More than all in Him I find,
He hath granted me forgiveness,
I am His, and He is mine.

Hallelujah! What a Saviour!
Hallelujah! What a Friend!
Saving, helping, keeping, loving,
He is with me to the end.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Only Kid I Know

who eats with a fork in one hand and a camera in the other. 
Amy's spinach

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

January 2010 in Review

Oh where did January go?  I started this month in review post right at the start of February, but somehow all my hard work disappeared into cyberspace. How aggravating.  Just to show HSB, I went on strike.  But the more February days go by, the less I remember of January.  So I'd better go back to work on my  post.

What a fun, busy, packed month it was.  Here we go.

As you know, we have had lots of rain last month.  Did anyone in the whole country escape the moisture of mid-January?  Actually, out here in the dry land, rain is really not something to escape.  (Unless you were here in August of 1898, when eight inches of rain fell in 45 minutes.  Those neat  Weather-Guide calendars sure do come in handy for trivia.)  If that were to happen today I am afraid quite a few homes would be washed into the river!  Anyway, we had most of our annual rainfall within a week.  That never stops my kids from playing outside -- actually they are MORE likely to play in the rain on a rainy day than they are in the house!  Emily begged me to come help her put on her skating gear.  Thirty minutes later we had it all on: helmet, skates, wrist-guards, knee-pads, elbow-pads, all made for skinnier kids than she.  Emily skated for five minutes, got wet and cold, and came in.  I guess it's kind of like being a mom in snow country.  

Mom and Dad came for a January visit for Amy's birthday, yea!  We love visits with the grandparents!  Elisabeth opened her beauty shop just for Grampy. Grandparents are so accommodating.

Had to see Hoover Dam again, since my folks had not seen in in decades.  Those of you who love rules and control will appreciate my photos this time.  I thought I'd go for a different theme than your usual views of water, rocks, and a new bridge.

Emily got a big kick out of what we have called the International Gum Wall.  She was going to add hers but felt silly at the last minute.  There's probably gum from 120 different nations on this wall!

And what's a trip to Hoover without a group shot?  There is a cool website on the bridge construction here.  Sorry about the ads on that page.  They stink.  But the photos are just awesome.

While Monocogman was riding his 40-mile loop, we visited a museum and a library and a neat little quilt shop. (Amy was in her element.)

We finished up with a stop at the candy shop.  This was the first place I have found in YEARS where the proprietor has heard of my all-time favorite, but elusive, candy, Lakrits.  They are like black M&M's, only the candy coating tastes like black licorice.  Chocolate and licorice.  I know.  Sounds weird, but it's oh so good!  Bad news:  If I want to order some I will have to buy a five pound box of them.  And I'd probably put ON fifty pounds if I did that, so I will just keep looking for the little boxes!

Goodbyes are so hard, but since February in review will include a reciprocal visit to the grandparents, we didn't cry too hard.  (And NO, the motorhome in the background is NOT ours!)

Also in January was our church's annual missions conference.  That was the week of my slooping, but I survived.  And it was such a fun week!  We had great preaching and great fellowship, and we made some great new friends. The girls and their dad hosted our visiting family on a couple of big desert hikes.  Scroll over the photos to make them bigger.

The girls made more music:

We walked to the park,


captured bad guys,

and walked home again,

while one lovely teenage daughter voluntarily cleaned out the kids' shed.

We also did yard work.  This is the time of year for that in the desert!  See how many weeds the girls got?    Just kidding.  I think it was a few more than that.

Emily lost a tooth,

and Amy made her monkey a friend.

Is that it, finally?  I think so.  It's the end of the pics, anyway.  We did have one more huge blessing last month.  One of our visiting preachers needed to have some emergency dental work done while he was with us.  We referred him to our dentist, who really is a nice guy even if he is a dentist.    When we next saw our preacher friend, he told us that the dentist didn't charge him anything.  What a blessing!  We were really pleased about that.  And then, a couple of days later, we got a statement from the dentist's office.  It showed our HUGE balance paid in full!!!  That sneaky preacher friend!  Praise the Lord, what a load was lifted!  This is just one of many, many great things the Lord has done for us in the financial department, more evidence that Luke 6:38 is true: 

"Give, and it shall be given unto you;
good measure, pressed down,
and shaken together, and running over,
shall men give into your bosom
For with the same measure that ye mete withal
it shall be measured to you again.

God is good, yes he is! 


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

SpellQuizzer Giveaway!!

A few months ago(!) I was asked to review SpellQuizzer software.  SpellQuizzer is a nifty piece of programming that helps kids learn their spelling and vocabulary words.  We have used it several different ways, and my latest brainstorm is to use SpellQuizzer for drilling math facts.  But wait, first things first!

SpellQuizzer has no frills, no loud music, no dancing bunny rabbits (unlike some annoying kids' educational software).  Either make up a list of spelling words which complements your own spelling curriculum, or import a pre-made list from the SpellQuizzer website or forum.

Here's what you do:  Create a new list by giving it a title.

Emily's Spelling 1

Enter a word: Wednesday

The form asks if the word is case-sensitive.  In this case, yes.

At this point you can either give a written clue for the word to be spelled, or you can record the word to be played back when your child is practicing his spelling words.  I didn't have a working microphone, so for the word Wednesday I gave the written clue, "the day before Thursday". You can see how this program lends itself nicely to vocabulary words!  Later I started a list of spelling words for one of my older children, and easily recorded the words to be spelled.

When your child spells the word right, SpellQuizzer goes on to the next word without fanfare.  If he spells the word incorrectly, SpellQuizzer shows both the correct and incorrect spelling, so your student can see his error. After going through the entire list SpellQuizzer gives the missed words again. If the child spells every word in the list correctly he is rewarded with the sound of cheering!   You have the option to change the sound at the end of a 100% correct list.

I especially like the option of importing spelling lists.  We will be working on the books of the Bible, the fifty states, Dolch sight words, and frequently misspelled words according to grade level.

You can also improvise and use SpellQuizzer to drill math facts or to sharpen your kids' mental math skills.  Instead of entering a new spelling word, enter a number.  Give an audio clue or a written clue.  For example, let the "spelling word" be 39.  The clue is 3x13.  Or it could be 3x9+12.

Since my kids aren't accustomed to a lot of bells and whistles, they like using SpellQuizzer.  It's a lot more fun that drilling words orally or writing them over and over again!  Every kids likes to do school on the computer, and this is something even your youngest scholars can do. My own kids would enjoy a small reward for each word spelled correctly, rather than applause at the very end.   And I would find it helpful if SpellQuizzer would track my children's progress.  The community forum is a good place to make suggestions, borrow lists from other users, and share your own.

Visit this SpellQuizzer page to view video demos or to download a free 30-day trial.

OR, leave a comment here to register to win a license to download a free SpellQuizzer program for your own homeschool! 

I will conduct a random drawing for the winner at NOON, Arizona time (that's Mountain Standard Time, for now) on Wednesday, February 10th.  Be sure to leave me a way to contact you!

Happy spelling!

EDIT:  Dan at SpellQuizzer just told me how I can add a "hip hooray!" for each correctly spelled word!  He has also notified me that he plans to have reporting capability in the new SpellQuizzer 2.0 this fall!  I just love good customer service, don't you?

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