Monday, December 31, 2012

November School Highlights

Leaf Unit
Of course we had to start off by playing in the leaves!

I combined two different ideas here: 1st she made finger painted leaves. Then she put them together to make a leaf wreath.

She also labeled the parts of a leaf & did leaf rubbings  

Apple Unit
Apple taste test with a handwriting sheet to write her favorite one and the reason why.

Hand print Apple Tree in progress.

The Finished Piece!  
Since it was the week before Thanksgiving, we made it a "Thankful Tree". She wrote something that she's thankful for on each apple.  

My big girl is becoming such an artist!  
She drew this picture to illustrate the story, "A New House", in the book Grasshopper on the Road. 

She also labeled the parts of an apple & did apple printing

She ended the month with her Bible & Ballet Recital.  

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Where did those 6 months go???

I cannot believe that my baby is already 6 months old today!  Those months flew by!  Our little sweetie is such a delightful baby.  I have several pet names for him.  At any given moment, he's either my chubby bunny, snuggle bear, chunky monkey, or baby bear.  I'm not sure if he even knows that his name is CalebJ.  Anyway, my sweet baby boy is growing up so fast.

His Top 6 favorite things to do
1) push up on his hands
2) roll in both directions
3) giggle at his sisters
4) sit in his ExerSaucer  
5) smile & look for mama around the room
6) blow raspberries

My Top 6 Favorite Pics of Caleb

 Excuse the pink & yellow flower sunglasses...his sisters set him up!J

Dear Caleb, may the Numbers 6:24-26 Blessing cover you all of your days:
May the Lord...
1) bless you
2)keep you,
3)make his face to shine upon you, 
4)be gracious to you,
5)lift up his countenance upon you,
6)give you peace.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Story of Ian and Larissa

Here's another must see video that was shown at the Desiring God Disability Conference.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

October School Highlights

We had so much fun doing the Sun & Moon units.  My big girl asked some great questions (e.g."If the moon only reflects the light of the sun, does it make shadows of things?") & we took the time to search for the answers together.  One of the joys of home up close, personal, & first hand account of your child's learning experiences.
Another great thing about home educating; I'm not "stuck" with doing only what's in a given curriculum.  As you'll see from the pictures, I get my ideas from all over!  I find most of the activities on pinterest to accompany what we're doing in the MFW Curriculum.
It was so interesting studying the moon phases. One night on the way home, Carysse exclaimed, "It's not a waxing gibbous tonight, it's a whole moon!" Our God is so brilliant to create such wonders...the big white satellite in the sky & the human brain!  Gotta love His creation!

My Little Sunshine

 Kalia doing her sun/moon craft.  For her "toddler school", I try to modify whatever I'm doing for big sister.
 Dot paints - a toddler's treasure!

Carysse using her Moon Phase Viewer to observe the moon for her recording sheet.
Btw, this is a waxing gibbous moon even though it looks like a Lima bean. :-)

Working hard on her textured moon craft.

My Sweet Moon-viewer 

While enjoying the nice fall weather, we found what we call the "Candy Corn Rock". Isn't that cool!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Must See Video!

I first saw this video at The Works of God.  I just had to post it as well.  Watch the whole thing; it's definitely worth your time!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Sweet Visit

My bro, sis-in-love, & adorable nephew came to visit us at the end of last month.  The wives held down the fort while our husbands attended the DG conference.  You would think that 2 moms can easily care for 5 kids; but they wore us out!  We were so blessed that our hubbies gave us a Girls Day Away after the conference was over.  Our time out ended with a delicious dessert from one of my favorite bakeries which made our crazy 3 days worth it!

I ♥ my Auntie!

Carysse couldn't stop lovin' on Caden.

Cute cousin pic

"What are you laughing at?"

Like Uncle, like nephew -- see the resemblance! 

The daddies & kiddos

Me & my creme brulee...yummeeJ

Sunday, October 21, 2012

September Highlight: School is in session!

Oh how I ♥ fall!  The crisp air. The cool breeze. The colorful leaves.  
However, I started this fall with much hesitation because my big girl is in kindergarten & I'm her teacher!  You would think with an Elementary Education Degree & teaching background that I would be totally confident.  But, teaching your own child, while managing a home, keeping an active 2 yr old occupied, & caring for a nursing newborn, is certainly a cause for uncertainties!  Like many, many moms in my shoes, I stay super busy trying to juggle it all.  I'm so grateful for my homeschooling mentors who remind me that, "She's only in kindergarten; our state doesn't even require a child to be "schooled" until age 7."  They basically are telling me to chill out, read to her, have fun with'll have plenty of time later to prepare her for the SATJ! My hubby has been so supportive and encouraging.  He daily reminds me that I'm modeling & teaching her the most important things she'll ever need to know--JESUS...His authority...His sovereignty...His love.  
We really like our kindergarten curriculum!  What can be better than a curriculum that has Jesus as the foundation & a biblical worldview! 
Our 1st unit of study was "Creation: The Foundation".  We had so much fun reading scripture about each day, doing activities, and eating special snacks.  I found this cute idea for an art activity for each day of creation.

While reviewing the days with the girls, Kempton said, "Kalia, what did God create on Day 5?" Kalia looked  up & saw the picture of flying birds & eagerly said, "Angels!" J

On another occasion, I said to Carysse, "Did you know that some people don't believe that God created man.  They think that men came from monkeys.  Isn't that silly!?!"  She immediately giggled & said, "They must think that fish came from elephants!"  

I shared our conversation with Kempton and he happily said, "There's more God in my daughter's Creation Unit than there is in 20+ years of secular formal education.  We're not here to make valedictorians, but to make disciples!  We're striving to implant truth in them in order to prepare them for the Day of Judgment."  Amen, amen!  That is why it is worth our sacrifice of home education.  

1st day of school pics

Monday, October 8, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Silencing all Monitors but His

One of my dear friends recently had a baby with special needs.  I wanted to share an excerpt from one of her blog posts.  It really ministered to me...So true. So real. So encouraging.  

"The Lord has put so much on my heart since the last time that I posted that I want to share with you, but I'm just going to share with you what He put on my heart this morning during my quiet time (in the car by myself on the way to the hospital :-).  So, Grace being off of all of her monitors is a very exciting step because it means that she's that much closer to coming home, but I have to admit that it has also been a mortifying experience for me!  For the first 4 and a half weeks of her life I became use to being able to look at all of the numbers on her monitor in order to see how she is doing. I knew instantly what every number and beep meant and it gave me a huge sense of comfort.  Now that she is monitor free, I feel uneasy because I can't see what's going on inside of her.  I'm learning that I'm going to have to trust God to be my "monitor."  I pray that if there is something to worry about that He will make that clear to me, but if my worry is not warranted that He would give me His peace about it.  This analogy reminded me of how we all have "monitors" on...  The things we use as our "monitors" to measure how well we are doing in life could be friends, media, work, ministry, our social calendar, success of our kids, etc...  When one of those "monitors" begins to beep because something isn't right by the world's standards or our own vision/desire we have the tendency to sort of freak out.  I know that before Grace was born, my "monitor" was beeping so loud that it broke my heart when we found out that our babies heart was broken and that she would not be perfect in the world's eyes.  The beeping of my "monitors" meant that our lives would never be the same, we would be "different" than all of our family and friends, etc.  The lesson that God has taught me through all of this is that He is the one who created me, sent His son to die for me (and you :-) and loves me more than anyone else, so I need to take off all of my other "monitors" and let God be my one and only "monitor."

You can read precious Baby Grace's story here. Please say a prayer for the Ross Family.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

August Highlight: Our 4th Year at Family Retreat!

Once again, the Lord blessed us with a WONDERFUL time at the Joni and Friends Family Retreat!  We previously went in '08'09, & '11.  However, I was not planning to go this year.  The plan was for me to keep the youngest 2 at home and Kempton would take the oldest 2 to the retreat since he was the Retreat Pastor & Speaker again this year.  I thought that only a crazy woman would take a 2 month old to camp.  But after our sweet month together, I desired to go.  I wasn't sure if the retreat facilitators could accommodate our desire for having a 2 room suite-like lodging in order to keep the baby separate from the other 3 kids.  I didn't want him to disturb them with his middle of the night feedings.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7

Well, we received much more than we asked for!!!  Our room was the perfect set up for our family of 6. God was sooo gracious to us in so many ways those 5 days.  I'm so glad that I decided to be the crazy woman & bring the youngest camper.  I would have missed out on so many blessings & precious memories with my family. Here are some highlights -

We walked in and found lots of goodies on each of the beds.

Here is the adults' room & of course Baby Caleb.
The kids each had a twin bed in the adjacent room.  

Kempton taught through Ephesians 2:1-10 during the 3 sessions which were all focused on the Gospel.  One of the key points was, "We don't grow up out of the Gospel, we grow into it!"    

Sister Lovin'

Christian's helper, Jonathan, serves us on a regular basis in our home as Christian's Personal Care Attendant (PCA) & gladly served again this year at the retreat.  We praise God for His love toward our Christian.  

Caryn with our friend, Joe, who we met last year.  Sadly, Joe's father died of cancer a couple of months before the retreat.  We were so happy to see Joe, his mother, & brother there.  

My little Kalia loves to swing.  You can often hear her chanting,
"Really high, really high!"  

Sweet Daddy-Son Dance

The girls posing with their new shirts from Grandpa & Grandma G.  

Christian's other favorite PCA, Luke, Jonathan's brother.  

Carysse's 1st time on a kayak with "Uncle" Bob & "Aunt" Mary.

Our Date Night photo before our delicious steak dinner.

Joe on Kempton's back.  He enjoys Kempton so much.  
He wanted to be around him the entire time.  

S'more makin' time!

S'more eatin' time!

Remember Christian's favorite friend, Elisa, from 3 years ago?
Well, she's still his favorite! 

We did flying/sky lanterns one evening on the beach.

Those things were cool!!!
They were so beautiful as they lit up the sky.

Kempton wrapping up the final morning session.

Precious Daddy-Son Moment

The youngest camper was a cute little trooper the whole time!