Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Return of ...


The Month in Review!!!

The Month in Review died in 2010 with the November post.  It was about that time we suspected we would be moving away from the desert and our beloved church family, and after that, things just weren't the same with blogging.  I'm sure we have had all sorts of things to report on each month since then, but when resident photographer Amy's camera bit the dust I lost my crutch.  Amy still doesn't have a camera, which means I am dependent on my own brain to remember to not only keep the camera handy, but also to USE it.

Had it not been for a very few bloggers who said they missed the Month in Review posts, as well as guilt from my own family, I might be content to let the Month in Review go the way of the dinosaur.  It was fun; actually it made the months fly by; somehow it was often past the first of the next month before I got them published.  This year God has given us an extra day to catch up, and the Review is back.  

So let's get on with it.  In February 2012:

School continues.  This year we tried Saxon algebra.  It has been a lifesaver!  It's not flashy or creative, just boring ol' algebra, but for some reason it makes more sense to my kids than what we have used in the past.  Funny thing is, I was reading recently at a popular math blog (wish I could find it now) where the general consensus is that Saxon is about the absolute worst thing you could do to your kid.  I'd like to find out why, but it seems to be working.  Maybe I'd better not explore that question.

Music continues, as well.  Alison is still bartering violin lessons for piano lessons, and Emily is taking piano also, and going lickety-split through her lesson books. Alie begins teaching her second student next week, yay!  The violinist and pianist got some new music.  A practice session:
Sorry about those "related" videos at the end.  Does anyone know how to delete them????

Reading is one of those wonderful activities that can be done anywhere, anytime.  "Would you like it in a box?  Would you like it with a fox?"

The temporary demise of our internet provider allowed for a rousing family game of Fast Scrabble.  The standing joke is that if Alison plays, I don't have to come in last.  The word brains are Dad, Amy, and Betz, with Emily coming close behind.  In our defense, the reason Alison and I can't play this game well is that we have a bigger vocabulary than just three-letter words, and big words don't score as well in this game. :)

A 3" snow fall provided enough snow for some very large snowmen, as well as a few snow boulders.  The girls gathered up ALL the snow and went to work designing.  Dad was there for muscles.  The sad thing about not having your own yard is that the neighbors feel duty-bound to edit/decorate/damage community snowpeople.  It's a lesson in life.  Whose snow is it?  It's God's snow!  We don't own it, even after we reshape it.

A quick trip to North Dakota provided Amy an opportunity for some artistic expression on the frosty van window.

Alison cherished this much longed-for grand piano fix.

Dad preached for the Friends Banquet at New Testament Baptist Church in Larimore, and the girls provided music. What a fun evening it was!  Thank you to our friends at NTBC!

And there's more... the girls also enjoyed ice skating with the PlainJanes and other friends, filling the freezer with pizzas, and serving coffee and delivering mail at the nursing home.  Someone finished high school (its own post) and we got a 9" snowfall.  Winter is finally here!

On the 27th my dear husband and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary.  In six months we will have been married for half of our lives, and that is just unreal!  I am so thankful to the Lord for giving me this man.  He is a man of integrity and of good conscience, leading our family in God's way.  He has been a much better husband to me than I have been a wife to him; I'm praying the Lord will make me worthy of him before the next twenty-five years are up!  I love you, Monocogman.  Thank you for all that you are and do. ♥ ♥ ♥

Saturday, February 25, 2012

What Does a Mother's Helper Do?

Alison and Amy have been working as mother's helpers to two moms.  Here is a partial list of their job description so far.  It's a wonderful education!

read out loud
wipe noses
change diapers
paint walls
make supper
developmental therapy
mop floors
teach homeschool 
crowd control
fold diapers
wipe vomit up in the car
wash bedding
do the shopping
memorize Bible verses
hold the baby
fabric shopping
make lunch
give piggy back rides
make smoothies
sooth savage creatures
make curtains
make breakfast
teach music

And they LOVE IT!  Amy is a bit jealous that her sister has somehow landed all the fun shopping jobs with the cartload of children.  I'm sure it will even out.  This is one of their happy bunches of kids, at Sam's Club:

Did you count six?  There are six.  In about three weeks, make that seven. :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

Randomly Selected Goings On

Yes, we are still homeschooling.  I don't say much about it, because it just happens. Sort of.  I appreciated Lady of Virtue's recent post on how to reduce homeschooling stress, in which she shared these pieces of wise advice:
No parent, it doesn't matter how affluent or dedicated, will ever be able to give a child "everything"--God doesn't even promise His children that! Give them what they need--this is what you need to concentrate on.  
[...]Concentrate on teaching them to speak, read and write legibly and well. Then be sure they can cipher well enough so that they can make change and eventually manage their own finances. Instruct them to make honest and wise decisions. This is as far as some children will be able to go and still retain what they've learned. There are others you will want to take further, but don't stress on these points; unless they are planning on entering a profession with stringent math requirements, you just may find it a waste of your time and energy.
I read this last statement just as I was praying and having a personal internal battle about whether or not to insist one of my children continue to struggle with the algorithms of a falling rock and its velocity at the point of impact.  Is there any point on insisting we do chemistry or higher algebra, when the resident teacher, who has a chemistry minor, doesn't remember it and never uses it?  We aren't raising our girls to be scientists or engineers, and they are already much more ready to function in the real world than I was at their age... 

On the other hand, Emily's proverb does have some merit:

When all else fails,
Do not gasp at the check marks. They merely indicate the math question was answered orally. :)

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I am happy to announce that I conquered my chocolate selfishness (previous post), realizing that seeing the delight on my girls' faces as I generously shared my M&M's would be as much fun as, or more fun than (I can't believe I said that), eating them myself.  Besides, I was convicted by a recollection of a Wisdom With the Millers story of a girl who was stingy with her chocolate, and it was eaten by ants.  It is a lesson I should have learned when I was about six years old.

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Although I still can't remember to get the coupons, I am hard at work being the frugal and prudent wife.  The other day I rescued one of my DH's favorite wool sweaters by picking up a pair of matching corduroy pants for $.75 and making patches for the elbows. Hand sewn patches!  Does that say "love" or what? Now Betsy needs a black skirt, so I also picked up a nice women's skirt (I do believe long girls' skirts are non-existent) which could easily be cut down to size for Betz.  It is awaiting my attention at the sewing machine.  Also among my thrift store treasures were a denim skirt for her and one for Emily.  Emily's also happens to fit Alison, who loves it, so little sister generously announced that she would share. 

*   *   *

Desert girl in Minnesota:

We'll be traveling to tropical North Dakota this weekend.  I think I'll remind her to take some real shoes.

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The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.
Proverbs 9:10

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