Thursday, August 28, 2008

Olivia said....

Very tenderly, Olivia said, "Mommy, I really wish you woudn't be bad to me sometimes."

I asked, "How am I bad to you?"

"When you say, Mandi, you're not cleaning."

I asked, " because you want to play with Mandi and I make her clean instead ?"

"Yes, and I really want more toys."

Olivia has no problem with expressing herself.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Yesterday, I cleaned out our homeschool shelf. One of my favorite things that I found was some writing that Levi had done when he had just turned 6. His handwriting was so cute. I could just see him concentrating, sticking his tongue out as he wrote. It gave me a window into his world at that time and mirrors his life now. You can tell that what was important to him: his computer, moving fast, playing with his dog, spending time with his dad, caring for his sisters, reading books, categorizing, and nature.

Here's what he wrote.

My favorite computer game is Freddie Fish 5.

I like to ride my bike on the street.

Rosie is big. Rosie is fun. Rosie jumps on people.

Mandi screams at nap time.

Dad comes home at 8 or after.

I read 4 books today.

A brown cow is a clown.

Mandi got poked in the eye.

The bird is eating his food.

I like to play soccer.

We have a tire swing.

Lizards eat bugs.

The water hole was getting smaller.

The zoo keeper said good night.

I have a dog.

Grace wants a cat.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Our first day of school

I had not planned much of anything for my kids' school yet, but was determined that they would be productive. While I was getting dressed and ready for the day, I told them they had to either clean or do school work. It is amazing what they can come up with when you put it that way. Grace and Mandi worked on handwriting without tears and Levi satrted planing a story he wanted to write. Mandi even found one of her old handwritng books and worked with Olivia on making "F".
So after looking at book lists on line, we headed to the library, for each kids to pick out at least 2 books to read. I told them that they had to be a book that I agreed on and one that they were interested in. Then I told them to read while we went to the bank. It was so peaceful in the car. Then I told them to continue to read while I made lunch.

After lunch, we read Bible verses about "work". I think they got the point that God intended for us to work and that it is a good thing. Then I had a long conversation with them about hotels, disney world and our house. Levi made me giggle when he said, "I see where this conversation is going." But, I am thankful that they received what I said well. It doesn't always work like that.

We also prayed like they learned in Children's church last Sunday.

Jesus said to pray this WAY.

Worship--God you are________________

Ask--for forgiveness and provision
God please forgive me for__________
God please provide_____________

Yield--God I will____________________

After Bible time, I went to each child's clean room, ( made them clean them in the morning) and talked with them privately about what they had read and then picked out a portion of it to copy for copy work. While I was doing that, the other kids had to do any schoolwork they wanted. Mandi wanted to do math, so I had Levi print some work for her from Mandi said, " You always make it too easy for me." I said, "Talk to Levi about it."
At one point, Levi was correcting Mandi's work and circling all the letters she wrote backwards.

My time with Grace was typical. She chose to read The Witch of Blackbird Pond, which I was thrilled about. She loved it when I read it aloud to them, so she wanted to read it. It is not an easy book to read and Grace struggles with reading, but she was determined. When I walked into the room, she said, with an attitude, " I'll read it but I won't talk about it." I think she was responding to the fear she felt. She reacts like I am expecting her to repeat every single word she read. I don't think she understands the request, so she feels like there is no way she can do it so she will just give up before she starts. I gently asked her questions about the book, which she always knew the answers. She loosened up and by the end of our time, she was feeling much better. I also went over her cursive handwriting with her and she felt good about that. She had completed about 10 pages in HWT.

Mandi chose to read The Chalk Box Kid. She was excited about talking about it and eagerly did her copywork.

Levi chose to read an A to Z Mystery, not exactly my favorite choice, but I know he will read many more books this year. He read half of the book yesterday and had no problem telling me what happened. He quickly did his copy work and was on his way.

I am feeling hopeful. I now have three readers, so anytime I can't work with them, I can tell them to read and they will be quiet and busy. The girls also like handwriting, so they can do that, too. Mandi is begging to start cursive. I feel like I am giving them more ownership of their learning, if that makes sense, and I like that.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Lads live

A song we sang at Fun Faith!

Olivia records Mandi

Olivia records Mandi singing her ABC's. Mandi tries to stay in the camera's view as she sings.

My favorite room

We moved into a fixer-upper and most rooms do not have a finished look. I like this room because it feels finished, even though we still plan to redo the floors and cabinets.
I really like the contrast in colors and I like the fact that I found a picture to match the shower curtain. Most nights, I get to give my two little girls a bath in this room and that time is precious.

So what is your favorite room and why? I'd love to hear.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fun Faith!

For Dick and me, experiencing Fun Faith is like living our dream, a dream that God planted in our hearts many years ago. The fulfillment of the dream is still in the making.

Fun Faith is an outreach that our church does for the kids of the community. We are targeting the kids ages 9-12 that do not go to church, because right now that is what we feel equipped for and called to minister to. We know that if we invite them to church, most of them won't come.

When you are called to a minister to a certain people group, you must first learn to speak their language. If you don't speak their language, they won't understand you. Kids speak the language of " fun", so that is how we speak to them. When we speak the language of fun, we are saying to them, "Fun matters to you and you matter to us." Once the kids realize that we mean that, then they will listen to what we have to say. We speak a language that they understand.

Fun Faith is an event where kids ages 5-12 have FUN and learn about God. This year we had a 3 day event. Two days were at our town's civic center and had an Olympics theme. Our motto was "Go For God." The kids were divided into teams with different country names and competed in 4 different games to see which team would get the gold, silver, or bronze medal. The games involved big buckets of slime, crickets, a tricycle (Thanks Jake! The kids loved it!) whipped cream and a Wii. Also, each group also took a break from the games to hear an awesome Bible lesson.

We had an opening ceremony where we sang a crazy, fun song about Jesus and a closing ceremony where we song a slow, prayerful song about Jesus with a brief message about going for God.

And of course we had pizza and snacks at the beginning and end.

The last day was a water slide party at our house!!!

Here are some amazing facts about this year's Fun Faith.

-About 90% of our church adults were involved. This is part of our dream, to have the whole church catch the vision we have. It was so amazing to be able to walk around a place buzzing with excitement. We were able to focus on making sure people had what they needed and I even got to take video clips and pictures.

-We had about 30 kids participating. We have around 10 kids in our children's church so this was a lot more for us. But more than the numbers, was the fact that there were kids there that I have been inviting to church for a long time. Some of them came and 2 of them came to church on Sunday morning and loved it.

-Almost all of the people that were there, over 50 I think, joined in singing and dancing to the song " I Came to Party, With My Friend Jesus!" Just picture a sporting event for Jesus. I live for moments like that! Its part of my dream!

-All the kids raised thier hands saying they wanted to live for God and prayed with us.

-We were more organized than we were last year and Gidget helped us tremendously. She helped us with a lot of the leg work and planning and she did the Bible lesson. This was huge for us. The week before, I found myself not knowing what to do with myself sometimes, because things were already done. Thank you, Gidget!

There are many more details that I am excited about. I get excited by the details, because I know that they are part of the process of fulfilling the dream.

Monday, August 4, 2008

I am having fun?

Olivia was playing in the sand with our neigbor's little girl. I asked, "Can I play?"

She gave me a funny look and I said, "Do you think Mommies can't play?"

She said, " No, mommies don't play. They just clean up what we do."

So I asked, "You mean, mommies can't have fun?"

"No," she answered. "They have fun when they are cleaning. They turn on the ipod and they have fun."

If I could just convince all my kids that I am having fun, maybe they would rush to join me. That is my plan anyway.