Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What We Are Reading Together... Thanksgiving Week '08

We are about halfway through this book right now and we are all hooked! I started reading it Sunday, and so far I have read until my throat was dry and crackly every night.
I have to be honest, when I received this book from Crossway to review, I wasn't very enthusiastic. At first glance it didn't look like it was a read that was up our alley. But after I read the info about it, I decided to dig in and I am really glad I did!
There are soo many parallels in this book with the Christian faith that it's very easy to miss a few here and there. It's a very CS Lewis-Esq novel with plenty of "underlying symbolism" to meander through, which makes it a great family read aloud and really spurs some interesting discussions. Even children who are too young to appreciate the symbolism can appreciate the story, but be warned, there are some creepy parts in this plot! You may have to quell a few fears before you get through the book! We will likely wrap this book up in the next few days, so stay tuned for a complete review to come soon!
(Click on the book above to learn more)

I know I know.... It's Been Awhile

I know you are probably tired of all my excuses but I just can't help it. I was without internet for over a week. But have no fear, I am up and running again now!

I plan on posting more later, but I just wanted to tease you a bit....

A little piece of heaven..... sugar cream pie with a glass of milk. Yes, I had this for breakfast this morning ; )
Til later!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

FINALLY..... Chicago Trip pictures!!

So this pic was obviously taken as we were entering the tolls to get into Chi-town via the skyway...
And this was after we crossed the skyway.  A nice shot of the skyline as we entered the city at dawn.
Ok.  We didn't manage to do nearly all the things we wanted to.  But we DID end up spending 4+ hours in the Chicago Art Institute where we took lots of pics... the following are just a few. 
This was one of the miniature rooms we were amazed by at the museum.  They had a whole wing of these little, detailed dioramas.  Each one is modeled after a different room, in a different part of the world and in a different era of history.  Don't they look like real rooms?
We were amazed by the attention to detail in these exhibits.
This was one of my favorites.
This one I liked a lot also.  It was a "shaker" living area.
They had a great section of ancient Egyptian artifacts, which I snapped lots of pics of since we are studying that time period now!
Canopic jars........eeewwwww!
An ancient Egyptian sarcophagus..neat!
And then we stumbled upon this very unique sculpture of Jesus on the Cross made entirely from wood.
Well that's all the pictures I have to share with you.  I am sorry there's not more, but when you travel with an infant you don't have a lot of time to snap photos!  Next time we will be sure to plan ahead better and hopefully we will get to do more.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Homeschooler's Lunch with the Missionaries

We had a pretty good day today. Busy but good! Man I'm tired.

Today was our "Homeschooler's Lunch with the Missionaries". It was really neat and I am really glad we were able to attend. Pictures to be posted later this week, i hope!

So there were 2 missionaries who were present to speak at today's event, and both minister to closed countries (meaning they do not willingly allow missionaries to enter the country) which are predominantly Islamic. They referred to themselves as "undercover agents for Jesus" to the kids, which they all thought was pretty neat. We learned about the countries they minister to, Pakistan and Turkey, and about Islamic culture. After learning more about their way of life, it is easier for us to understand why it is so difficult for a Muslim person to convert to Christianity. It takes a Muslim an average of 7 years to actually convert! Talk about relationship evangelism! These people, when choosing Christ, make a decision to face many hardships in order to do so. Some of them are ostracized and threatened by their communities and families. Many are disowned and even go into hiding in order to avoid persecution. it is very sad but also very awesome to see that through the Holy Spirit these people can come to know a relationship with the one true God! I am making it a point from this moment forward to keep these countries and their people in my prayers, along with the missionaries that are risking their very lives in order to share the gospel with them.

I did get a photos of my boys with each of the missionaries, but will not be able to post them online as I don't want to put them at risk of being "found out" by their respective governments. They obtained their visas by other means. For example, many missionaries to closed countries go to school there in order to obtain their visas. Some others go there to teach to to establish some sort of social program. Thank the Lord for calling people who are trusting Him in order to go where He calls them.

On a lighter note, we enjoyed fellow-shipping with other HSing families and of course the boys made fast friends and hung out with old friends. We are hoping to make some new connections and continue to meet with other families for other events in the future! thank you to our church for supporting this event and making it possible! We will never forget it!

By the way, the new recipe I tried last night for "So Tender Swiss Steak" was a big hit! Never before have I prepared a round steak and been able to eat it with just a fork! It was very tasty. i know I promised to post the recipe, but i will get it up tomorrow, promise!

Til tomorrow -


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Empty Title

So I still have not managed to find my camera usb cable which means no pics yet.  I shopped online for replacements, but found a usb sd card reader at wal-mart for much cheaper than a replacement cable.  I hope to get it by the end of the week and get my pics uploaded to share.

We are not doing school this week.  I am working on some character training issues with the boys and trying to get this house in order.  There is so much that I have slacked on around here in the past few weeks there's no way I can get it all done with our regular schedule by myself.  So I am also working on getting a chore routine made up to help prevent things form getting this out of hand in the future.  It is just way too hard to get caught up!

Tomorrow we are attending our first homeschool event at our church!  This week is missions week, so we are going to a homeschool student's "Lunch with the Missionaries".  I am very excited for the boys to get a chance to really interact with kids who are homeschooled also.  And I always enjoy getting a chance to talk to and fellowship with like-minded families.  I know there are many families in our church who have chosen to home-educate, and we are friends with some of them.  But our church is so big and we have 2 services, so this will be a great opportunity to network and make some new connections!  I'll be sure to blog tomorrow after the event to share how it went.

Tonight hubby is out on a in-state run so he is not home for dinner.  But I will make sure he has a plate waiting on him when he gets home tonight.  I am trying a new recipe for "So-Tender Swiss Steak".  We will have mashed potatoes with gravy and green beans with it.  I would have liked to make homemade bread/rolls with it, but alas, I have no time!  If the recipe is a success, I will post it here later tonight for you to try with your family!

That's really all I have to share for now.  I thought I would take the opportunity to post a bit while my meat is roasting and Joey is napping.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

I apologize for my absence.....

Yes I am FINALLY posting a new blog entry!

A million apologies for my lapse in recent posts. My pc had a hard drive crash about a month ago and I have been using my husbands pc periodically for necessities only. His system is hooked up to our living room tv and it is not convenient for me at all to use. In order to see the screen well, i have to sit on the floor in front of the screen and can't do it for very long as it hurts my back. So that is the main reason I have not blogged for a while.

Now I have a new laptop (yay)! It is an Acer Aspire 5135 and so far I love it. It is nice to be completely wireless so I can sit comfortably in my trusty recliner and surf away! And here I sit now blogging! There will not be many pics or vids for a bit though as I am searching high and low for the usb that goes to my Kodak camera. As soon as I find it though look out! We took a field trip to Chicago this past week and we went to the Chicago Museum of Art and took lots of pics and also a few of the Chicago skyline. I am not going to post much about this right now, however, as I want to wait until I can post a separate entry with pics and things, so keep an eye out for that soon.

Joey was weighed last week at 17lbs. 4oz. and was 26 3/8 in. long! I can't believe how big he is getting (though my back had a pretty good idea he was getting so heavy)! He will be 6 months on Thursday. He is a very busy boy and is always moving or babbling, especially when he is trying to fight sleep. He is making progress during belly time, scooting and pushing himself in circles. I think he will be rolling over soon as I have been working with him a lot lately. I will set him up about a third of the way and he manages to get himself moved the rest of the way over. He has been intermittently fussy this week with his bottom two middle teeth almost ready to break through the surface. Poor little guy, he's so tough!

Isaiah and I started Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, which I will from here on refer to as 100 EZ Lessons. We have completed the first 10 lessons and he did excellently following my instruction and completing the oral tasks properly. I am very hopeful that this program will be the key to get him reading independently. His inability to read means a lot more one on one work which means less work completed by everyone daily. I am not at all happy with the quantity of work we are getting to daily lately and I am currently working on several things to get us on the right track.

One thing I am working on is getting a schedule made up for the entire family (excluding Daddy of course as he has an unpredictable work schedule) with the help of Managers of Their Homes by Steve and Terri Maxwell. I am starting with Joey. I have been keeping track of his natural routine for 4 days now and I have a pretty good idea of how to make up his schedule. I need to try and keep him awake an extra hour before bed, but I don't know if it's possible until I get his naps straightened out. Yesterday and today he slept 10-11 hours at night and about 3-4 hours a day. This was with half hour naps sprinkled throughout the day with 1-2 hours of alert time in between each. Except for the evening, which is his most alert time. He usually stays up 2-3.5 hours from between his last nap and bedtime, depending on how tired he is. I am thinking if I either keep him up an extra hour before bed (maybe with another small nap to help) or keep him up longer when he first waked in the morning that I can get him to take less frequent, longer naps through the day so that I actually have enough time while he is sleeping to accomplish something. I will keep you updated on how it's going and will get a google docs link up as soon as I have a schedule made up in word.

We have also started using First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind. We are really liking it so far. The boys started memorizing their first poems last week and they are really impressing me with how quickly they are learning them. The lessons are short and sweet and I like that the level one lessons (Isaiah) are mostly oral.

Well, it is 11pm here and I am getting sleepy, so I will be getting myself to bed very soon. I will be making more posts in the coming days to drop in periodically!

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