First, thanks to Danielle and Sarah for your helpful and edifying comments to my question, 'How do you do it??"
Being blessed with a brief time away from everything here sure gave us some
insight ( away-sight? lol) into things, as did both of your kind shout-outs to
my wondering about how other, Christian families are doing things in similar situation's to mine.
I always wonder if somehow other peoples lives are less hectic than ours is as we try to home school in the midst of life, as it is; I will remind myself more often that all of us are in the midst of life, and draw encouragement from your words. Thanks for being sharpening iron, friends :)
Getting back into the full swing of things with homeschooling after this brief
( feels like weeks!) break, I was pleased to find this website on the kollers.com blog : old fashioned education.blog. It is put together by The Hillbilly Housewife and she seems to have been having a lot of fun with Charlotte Mason's Living Books, as we have this year. We have been doing the book My Side Of The Mountain and Ty just loves it! In fact, he has expressed his new desire- with much pleading and begging-to train a falcon himself, and we are telling him the line has to be drawn Lol!
We have 6 cats and 8 fish in this home currently, and we used to be able to add a rabbit to that. Don't even ask about when we took in a little family of rats
( caged, of course), 2 ferrets, and a snake!, and boy did we sigh a big sigh of relief when the day came to bring that experience to a close. Ty did, however, enjoy seeing the mommy rat become large and then eventually have 4 babies in the night, which we discovered, delighted, in the morning and got to see grow into furry little babies - which quickly became increasingly annoying trying everything and anything they could ( and they are very, very smart) to get out of their cages. But, yes, at one point I even came to have semi- warm, at times, feelings for rats. But never the ferrets. I do not understand the fascination with those stinky little things. My apologies if you love them! But, as I said, a line must be drawn.
Could you imagine a falcon living in/at our house? Oh! Goodness! No!
And notice how I try to blame the kids squarely for all the kitties... I had nothing to do with it, myself * ahem* ;)
We have instead agreed to take Ty to horse riding classes sponsored by RACC, and paid for by his very generous and loving Grandpa. Now we must find a good series of books on horses to satiate Ty's enormous appetite for reading... and I thought I was bad Lol ...someone recommended the MISTY series, but I have never had the pleasure to read one. I wonder if Ty would like them?
We are so ready for Summer around here. And it's not just me and Al, who had the great privilege of sinking our toes into actual white Bahama sand and into beautiful tranquil-turquoise blue sea water on not one, but two, beaches in the Bahama islands. God, I love how diverse your creation is! I never, ever thought that I would see the Bahamas, in real life. Summer time around here, we keep busy exploring God's creation and nursing a myriad of little creatures up in various aquariums in the boys room. I will admit that I, too, rather enjoy checking in on the little buggers. Unless, of course, it were a spider...which I would never allow in my home. So, sorry Charlotte, but in the barn you stay and I for one would love you from a distance;) Have any of you raised butterfly's? Joyce got me turned onto this and I for one have vowed , along with my kids, to never spend another Summer without watching one grow from a caterpillar into a butterfly again! We have had a Monarch, and one disappointing ( poor little guy) moth, that was rather glorious in sheer size alone, so far but we hope this year will be a good one too.
We do not purchase memberships at our local pool, for a myriad of reasons.But the local school does have indoor pool time, and believe it or not a little time indoors is welcome after a long day hunting bugs and things :) Plus, they have noodles and floats there that I don't have to tow along with the diaper bag and towels, and there is even a lifeguard that , from my experiences, seems to be able to actually see each child ( it could help that there are not 250 children packed into a postage stamp sized pool :). I welcome the extra eyeballs Lol
Ty is learning Life saving skills from the Red Cross this year, if you have a school aged child and do not know about these courses you should check them out-they are great and low in cost. The local public schools host them and they are open to homeschoolers as well. There are various levels up and through high school, and I believe they can culminate into doing lifeguard work once a student has completed all the levels and some lifegaurding training. Good stuff to know! And Ty is very proud to be learning these very useful things.
Julie, thank you so much for the book The Pioneer Story. We are just starting our unit study on it, and the first chapter has to do with Spring just getting ready to come. How timely! Plus, both Josh and Ty enjoy me reading it to them and even Grace seems to be listening contently at times ;) Josh and I are talking about farm chores and we are all going to make butter tomorrow. Ty is fascinated with the whole lifestyle of farming and tending to one's own animals. I am so glad that we know a dairy farmer at our church ;) because Ty will be full of questions for him as we go through this book, I am sure :)
I was so touched again by the song I Come By The Blood, as we listened to it along part of our Long drive home from Florida. For those of you that might not own it, the CD is Songs for the Cross Centered life by sovereign grace ministries. ( You could find it at sovereign grace.org.) As I listened to it again, it was like listening to it for the first time. It is as my readings in Hebrews ( He Brews ...tee hee ! (Anyone attending last Youth Group meet will probably remember that tired joke LOL) this morning: Hebrews 5:7-9," During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation!for all who obey him!" So, like the first verses of chapter 6 say, we go on to other teachings but Lord willing never leaving the precious basic truths of the gospel. CJ Mahaney said in his writings about this song, quoting George Orwell, "sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious." Well, thank you God for intelligent men ( and women) because I love this song! (According to the cd booklet, this song was written by Steve & Vikki Cook in 1994 for PDI Music.) Thanks Steve and Vikki! This song puts into words all the joy I have in my heart :)
You are the perfect and righteous God whose presence bears no sin. You bid me to come to Your holy place, but how can I enter in, when your presence bears no sin?
Through Him! He who puored out His life for me, the Atoning Lamb Of God!
Through Him, and Him! And His work alone! I boldly come!
I come by the blood
I come by the cross,
where your mercy flows from hands pierced for me.
For I dare not stand on my righteousness,
My every hope !
rests on what Christ has done!
And I come by the blood!" /em>
There is another part to this song, but I will leave you to hear it all for yourself ;)
I love the self-examination questions CJ adds into the song booklet following the lyrics to this song. I have found them most helpful. Here's what he says, and then I'll end this post :)
The symptoms that arise from Not being cross centered are easy to spot. Do any of these describe you?
~ you often lack joy
~ you're not consistently growing in spiritual maturity
~ your love for God lacks passion
~ your always looking for some new technique, "new truth", or "new experience" that will pull all the pieces of your faith together for you.
<3 Lord, bind my wandering heart all the more and help me be cross centered!<3