I hope you are no longer weak. It has been more than a week, but this one is for you! (our good friends, Chuck and Judy, but really just Chuck, has been gently reminding me that a week without my blog makes one weak. -- Gotta love readers like them!)
Things have been REALLY busy here....and it isn't even busy season yet! Tony and I went to Mache and had a very good...but overwhelming time. There is SOOOOO much information out there, and we just have to pray we find what works best for our family. We heard some great speakers and I, for one, (not sure, but I think Tony, too) really got fired up and encouraged in our home school endeavors, which is what this whole Mache conference is all about. Michael Ferris, the head of HSLDA (home school legal defence alliance) was the keynote speaker and had some great talks about the start of home school, about how our country was founded, religious freedoms and some of what early Christians, different denominations, went through when they settled in America. It was very eye-opening! There are also changes that may be occuring, resulting in more parental rights losses, in this current administration. We need more than ever to make sure we keep our faith in God, pray for our country, and DO SOMETHING ABOUT KEEPING OUR FREEDOMS!
Tony and I went down early on Thursday for the introduction to home schooling -- one of the speakers, another lawyer for HSLDA, was amazed at how many people (probably about 200 or more) people were there that are just starting to home school their children. He just kept saying "wow. WOW!" It's kinda how I felt, too! This year was, however, a lot less overwhelming than last year. I knew a bit more about what to expect; I knew many of the vendor booths I wanted to stop and and get more information from; we have our teaching plan kinda in order (although we're flexible if something else comes along that seems better for our family); and doing some simple teaching this past year, I knew a bit more about what we're really getting in to!
Good thing we're flexible. The curriculum we choose last year isn't going to be a good fit for our family, at least for awhile. During the early years, it really focuses on age-appropriate math and reading skills. However, not to brag or anything (yeah, right!), Luke is above his age in reading and math already. This kid is reading Dick and Jane books, sounding out all the words he sees -- traveling in the car, around the house, in stores, you name it. And he gets them right! (although he really doesn't like that tricky silent "e" and has decided he doesn't want it in his name, either) He is graphing already in math, doing 2nd grade logic problems, and does pretty well at figuring things out. We're still working on some of the early basics, but no way is he at a kindergarden level for math and numbers....I don't want the poor kid stuck for two years until we get into what he's ready for "age-wise." So...we switched curriculum and after making the decision, I remembered (it's that forgetting thing that comes with getting older) that a friend of mine who home schools told me she already had the full curriculum (KONOS) if we decided to go with it....it wasn't a fit for her family. The cost? The entire curriculum (three books that cover 2-4 years each) was less than the cost of one book new. Thank you, God! And thank you, Sam! The only problem.... when we came home and I told the kids what we were going to start learning, they wanted to start doing school RIGHT NOW!!! Luke even started crying when I told him we couldn't start yet....I still had to pick up the books from Sam. There are lots of library books involved with this curriculum, and I also had to order the books from our library...who in turn had to get many of the books from other libraries in their chain. They're starting to come in, so we'll start doing school next week.
What, exactly, are we going to be learning that has the kids so enthused? OBEDIENCE! Well, they don't really know that yet, they just know they're going to be learning about lighthouses (one week study), horses (one week study), and vassels, damsels, knights, kings, and queens (four week study). I'm going to drag the studies out for about twice as long as the lesson plans, simply because of their age...and because we're all newbies in this together! Oh....and because we're starting into a very busy time of life!
The kids did pretty well without us, although Grandpa/Grandma, and Aunt Beth all mentioned that Luke was much more subdued than usual, not talking very much. I asked him Thursday night on the phone what was wrong and he told me his tummy hurt, like a sword was stabbing him. Since he was eating pretty well, sleeping very well (we won't talk about the accident in Clinton's bed...), and not throwing up, and since he bounced back pretty quick when we got home, I think it was probably just nerves and stress. He's very much a "mama's boy," always wanting to be near me, hanging on to me, telling me how much he loves me. (stop laughing, I'm serious!) Of course, he's fine when he's with Tony or somewhere just for a few hours, but I think it really threw him with both of us gone so long. Of course, after we hung up, I cried. But then I was fine :)
I did come back with a slight headache that really got very bad on Sunday afternoon to the point where it hurt even to move. I could tell my neck was out of alignment, and after several hours with pain steadily getting worse, I called our chiropractor, who also goes to our church, to see if there was any way he could adjust me that afternoon, rather than waiting until Monday....which I would have if I'd have had to, but I thought...it doesn't hurt to ask and it does hurt to move, blink, think, etc. God bless Dr. Mike. He was going in to the office anyway and told me to come on in. Tony drove me in, Dr. Mike spent a good amount of time adjusting my neck, shoulders, and head, and I felt better immediately. I did go back in the next day just for a readjustment which improved things even more.
Monday I also had another dental appointment....more metal taken out of my mouth and replaced with porcelain, a bad crack filled, etc. My mouth was numb for most of the day, but it's wonderful how much better my mouth feels! One quarter left to do -- but that'll be after the market closes in November!
It seems like every day this week we've been running around....and we have. I'm trying to get organized for school things, get our house cleaned up (and the kids have really been great helps! It helps that I don't mind them using the Watkins cleaning products...since they're chemical free -- Sus loves climbing into the tub to squirt and wipe while Luke loves cleaning the counters and mirrors -- today we tackled the upstairs living room, we have yet to do their room, the entry way, and the downstairs....and I shudder at our upper room which is piled high with things we'll be hopefully getting rid of at a yard sale in July!).
We went down to the farm yesterday, walking in this BEAUTIFUL weather, and started some seeds for a small garden we'll be doing at our house...I told Tony I want the kids to practice on things here before going to "help" him more at the farm. We seeded some plum tomatoes, sweet red peppers, lots of basil, and several kinds of flowers. We'll also plant potatoes, peas, lettuce, and radishes outside once the frost danger is past (which may not be until June or July!) -- and hopefully the deer won't eat them all!
I'll write more another time about some more kid funnies. They've been cracking us up this week!
Before I close, though, we had a wonderful Good Friday service today. The kids and I went (Tony was busy working at the farm) -- and I had to drop off some hay to the feed store first. Lost a bale before we went even a quarter mile, but my strong hubby came and hauled it down the road and tossed it back up for me (otherwise, it would still be sitting roadside!).
There are about four or five churches in our community that combine Good Friday services. The pastors from each church have different parts of the service. This year, instead of having a formal sermon, after reading through the passage of the last supper, Christ's betrayal and arrest as well as his crucifixion, seven men from our church portrayed seven of the disciples who spoke about how they came to follow Christ and what must have been going through their minds after Jesus was crucified. The service is always very moving, but this year it was even more touching to me as "Peter," "James," "John," "Andrew," "Nathanael," "Matthew," and "Thomas" spoke, each with the attributes written about each of them in the gospels. It was wonderful....and I wished I had my video camera to record it for others to see. Those attending who profess Christ as their Savior then partook in a shared communion, and we ended with the doxology.
It has been great going thru the Resurrection eggs with my kids this week, talking more about Christ's sacrifice for us, and realizing how much they really do understand it all. Well, as much as we humanly can. I mean, I can understand it, but to fully understand it...can we really? At least, on this side of heaven? All I can say is, "Thank You, Jesus!"
Have a very blessed Easter....and I'll try and write more soon.
Bye, Chuck! Big hugs to you and Judy!!!
(feeling strong again?)