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Friday, March 21, 2008

Donkeys and Jam Sessions

Had alot going on this week, so I didn't get to do the Easter Unit I had hoped to. Here it is Good Friday, and I only got as far as the Last Supper. There is no catching up unless I do it Saturday. I'll be reading The Tale of The Three Trees to the kids. It's a story about 3 trees and their hopes of greatness. The first tree gets cut down to make the manger Jesus is born into, the 2nd is made into the boat that carried Jesus and his disciples during the storm, and the 3rd was made into the cross Jesus died on. Very moving story. There are several different versions of the story, all good. I love Easter, as far as the biblical significance of it. In alot of ways, Easter seems more special to me than Christmas. It was important that Jesus was born into the world, but the fact that he rose again from death means a bit more as it has secured my place in heaven some day and given me victory over death as well. When we talked about the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, I had the kids make a cute donkey craft. It was very messy, which was fine by me. It would have been alot prettier if the kids were older, but they had fun. I printed out a donkey coloring page and the kids glued a swatch of decorative paper on the back to mimic a rug thrown over the donkey's back. Then, we painted the picture with watered down Elmers glue. Next, we busted open some tea bags and scattered them over the paper. Then shook off the excess. The idea was that the donkey would look like it had fur. However, because the kids painted outside the lines and missed big spots inside, the donkey looked more like somebody, well, dumped tea all over a picture of a donkey. So, maybe not a complete loss...

Jody snapped a pic of our family jam session the other night. I belive we were all trying to play Near the least that was what I was trying to play. Lillie is on guitar, Jack is on the mandolin, and Chloe was singing.

Rebecca Cook!

Click here to see the 3D pic of Earnie and my sister Leila's newest addition. Congrats!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Homeschool A Go-Go

I've said before that one of the many things I love about homeschooling is the freedom. By freedom I don't mean the liberty to do or not do schoolwork. I am a firm believer that if you choose to homeschool, you need to be very dilligent, very professional and school with integrity. The freedom I'm talking about is the kind that on a beautiful day, when the school work is done (or at least where you can pickup on it later) I can head outside or to town with my kids. I don't have to wait until 2:50 in the afternoon in a school pick-up line to spend time with my children. I can invest every waking moment I have in them if I so choose. Tuesday, I went to my dad's house to meet up with my sister and her kids. We had a great time. The older three did schoolwork, while the younger 4 hung out and played. Then we all went outside for a nature walk. The kids found a monsterous mountain of dirt and they had a blast getting as dirty as possible. Here is a slide show of some pictures from our day. A few on the end of the slide show are from a trip Jody and I took with the kids to our neighborhood playground Thursday.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Our First Nature Study

Well, all our snow is melted. This weather sure is kooky! I guess it was Thursday that it was so nice outside. Sunny, not real cold, a little breezy...just a real beautiful day. Those days around here are scattered, so we take advantage when we can. Friday it turned really cold and by Saturday morning their was snow everywhere. I have resolved myself to another sandal-less Easter Sunday this year...
Anywho, Thursday was very nice, as I mentioned, so we strapped Chloe into her stroller and took a walk around our yard, dinner spoons in hand, to see what we could dig up. I noticed alot of our irises and tulips have started peeking up from the dirt, so we dug up one of each and I let Lillie Anna tell me how their bulbs differed. I explained about roots and the importance they have on plants. Well, imagine to my delight when I rounded the corner of the house and the tiny patch of daffodils that we had last year have spread like wildfire and were in full bloom. Oh joy of joys! We picked one so we could study it further. I took my Handbook of Nature Study and we looked at all the parts of the daffodil and then cut open the seed case to look at all the tiny seeds inside. Lillie Anna really soaked up the knowledge and soon the tables were turned and she was quizzing me about the parts of the flower. Jackson was mowing the front porch with his toy plastic lawnmower, oblivious to any learning that might be going on. But Chloe got into the whole thing. Here is a video I shot of her "studying" our flower subjects along with some pictures I took. All in all, though brief (because of my children's knat sized attention spans)our first official nature study was a success. I only hope they all can be this way! I think nature study is so crucial. The majority of our science this year will come from these times spent in God's creation, admiring his handiwork and praising Him for all his goodness.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Happy Birthday, Olivia !

Congrats to Jason and Cassie on surviving their first year of parenting and doing a fine job!