Sunday, August 29, 2010

He Cares


Tonight it seems like all the worries and cares of the week are piled on top of me. I was burdened with someone else's situation today and it's not one that I want to carry. My aunt's bone marrow transplant seems to be taking but I worry if it will really work and then what, I worry as my dad recovers from donating to his sister. I worry about Nathan in Afghanistan and the world situation. I worry about Grandma who is 90 and can't live forever. Because I am a fixer by nature its hard for me to not try to solve these problems even though I know they are all bigger than I am. I have to remind myself that God is in control and He is bigger than all of these.

I cast all my cares upon You
I lay all of my burdens down at your feet
and any time I don't know what to do
I cast all my cares upon You

I review His promises to me...

1) Hebrews 13:5 God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

He is there even if we aren’t looking for Him

2) Isaiah 55:8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
I may not understand what is happening but I am assured that He does and I can refer to Promise #1

3) 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
He will never give us more than we can handle and He will provide a way of escape for us. Job was tested beyond my imagining- he lost all his children at one time. Mother Teresa said once that she knows that God will never give her more than she can handle, she just wishes he didn’t trust her quite so much.

4) John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
He loves me so much He sent His Son to die for me.

5) John 14:1-3 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."
This world is not my home. He has gone to prepare a place for me and He is coming back to get me. I don’t know when but I’m ready

6) Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
ALL things! Not some things, not only in certain circumstances, ALL things. Check your Bible, its there.

These are promises we can rely on- Jesus told us that trials will come, trouble will seem to prevail, we may lose life, liberty, and happiness but God is still standing there saying, “I won’t leave you, I know what’s going on, I know you can handle this, I love you so very much, your home is almost ready and I’ll come for you, it’ll all work out for good, trust me in this.”

So before I go to sleep tonight I'll hand each and every worry over to him and trust him to take care of them. And tomorrow I'll do my best not to take them back and fix them....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A weekend without the children...


Last week Ryan took me to Leavenworth for my birthday. We had been there 17 years ago with Nathan and Taryn but it was winter and cold and long time ago. We made a serious road trip of it- we took Stevens Pass up to Leavenworth then came home over Blewett Pass through Ellensburg and Yakima and over White Pass. It was a very long roller coaster ride that took 2 days. There were fires burning in Cashmere and Stehekin so the air was very hazy.

Leavenworth is quaint, kitschy, touristy but pretty cool. It was converted to a Bavarianesque village in the 60s when the logging first started drying up. They did a pretty good job of the buildings on main street and now its all covenanted so everything has to be built to specs.  I think there are 2 officials fonts for signs- I got a kick out of how they got National chains to comply. I didn't get a picture but McDonalds did not change their Golden Arches M but the building looks like a chalet. The main attraction is shopping and I think my shopping gene has withered and died. There is hiking and water sports but since we were there without the kids we were "relaxing." We might try and go back next year and rent kayaks for the Wenatchee River.

Thursday afternoon we had a terrific rain storm, I heard some thunder but didn't see any lightning and didn't hear that any more fires had started. It cleaned the air a bit however the humidity went up. We went to the Brau Haus for dinner and ate bratwurst. They had a German sauce (that's what they called it) that was red and slightly sweet with some curry. It was great and I would have brought home a big bottle if we had found it in the stores. The air seemed brighter so we took a few more pictures and got to go to the Farmers Market that is open in the evenings.

Friday we went into Cashmere and did the Aplets & Cotlets tour. The only thing we bought was some Aplets & Cotlets to bring home to share with the kids.
Downtown Cashmere
We had lunch in Yakima before coming over White Pass.
We saw the helicopter filling up from the lake at the top of White Pass, I'm not sure where it was taking the water as there weren't any reported fires in our area of the state.

I tried taking this picture of Mt. Rainier as we drove down the pass. It was the first time we'd seen it all weekend- the sky was so hazy in Eastern Washington that we couldn't see past the foothills. I just about got carsick trying to look through the viewfinder as we drove.

In Morton we stopped at Spiffy's for ice cream- the kids like to stop there on Boy Scout outings so we thought we'd give it a try. We went to the new Centralia Deli for dinner (Ryan wanted BBQ). I was ready to go home but Ryan said we couldn't go home for another hour....

We got home to a house full of guests who came for cake

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Music Campout


My folks have been camping with friends at the Old Timey Music Campout all week. I have a hard time camping when its hot and my bed is 10 miles away, so we went a couple of times so the kids could swim and to celebrate my mom's birthday. I forgot my camera the first day but yesterday I went down to the water so I could take a few pictures before I went back up and fixed dinner (chicken stir fry- I only get to use my wok when we are camping since that's the only time my gas burner is out).

My folks have been to a lot of music campouts and there is always music being played, people sit in their campsite or find a bit of shade and start jamming. So you hear voices, dogs, kids, water running, and always music. As we went down the path to the river the music was getting louder- there was a trio playing music right on the riverbank. I told my mom that if the kids had ever seen Deliverance there was no way we would get them in the water. She said if she had ever seen it then there would be no way she'd take them. Note: I've never actually seen Deliverance- just the Dueling Banjos and what Jeff Foxworthy has to say about it.

Isaac and my mom sat in the middle of the water and the others floated down to them and then went upstream to do it again. Grandma was a little worried that the boys wouldn't wear life jackets but I think the deepest water Arin could find was mid-chest on him and it is a very slow-moving river. (This is the same mom who had no worries about what Matthew and I were doing in the river when we were kids).

Played Bocce after dinner then home for baths and an early bedtime since they were all hot and cranky. I had let them stay up til 11:30 the night before to try and watch the meteor showers.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Have A Schoolroom!


When we remodelled I didn't get a schoolroom but we moved school upstairs from the kitchen table to the family room. The kids work on the couch, their beds, the kitchen table, or wherever. We had 3 rooms that were public spaces- the family room, the TV room, and the office. The TV room was cute and cozy (with a Mariners theme) when we had 5 little kids but has slowly been shrinking and when the kids started asking for a Wii or a Kinect for our XBox we knew that it just wouldn't work. Ryan wanted to have both computers in the same room (of course the laptop doesn't stay there- I'm in the bedroom writing this). We discussed moving the TV & couch out into the family room, moving the computer desk and a 2nd desk into the TV room and moving my table into the office.

Before: Family Room, TV room with XBox drumset, and office. I love my bookcases but I need more!
I don't like change. I had tentatively proposed moving furniture and the rooms but I was still getting used to the idea. Ryan wanted it done, so Monday we did it. The big stuff is all moved but I still need to work on some details- like where all the little junk goes and clearing out 2 laundry baskets of clutter.

The kids were pretty good about moving everything. They put orphan socks on the their arms to dust things as we moved them to their new home. We had to do it in stages to get everything to fit- it was like a slotted puzzle game. Ryan had to take a propane heater off the wall of the family room- we found it was cheaper to heat with electricity. Now we have a hole to patch, but that is for another day.

As soon as we got the computer moved to the other room we discovered that its too far from the wireless hub to go online so we had to move it back to the office. It took 3 of us to carry that desk.

The TV's new home. The cradle has swim suits and towels and is looking for a new home

Now there are 2 couches for TV viewing plus plenty of floor space. Those old cushions are going to the dump tomorrow and I'm bringing some new ones upstairs

2 desks for 2 computers in the office. Plus a new printer that works on the wireless network so I can print from my laptop!
And now for the best part! I have a schoolroom. It needs a lot of finishing touches to make it look good but its functional and even has some storage.

A table and a reading chair. I have a chalkboard I think I'll hang above the table and 2 big maps that will go on the wall above the dresser.

Rush is wiped out! He did most of the moving.

This post is linked up the Heart of the Matter's Not Back to School Blog Hop School Room Week
Not Back to School Blog Hop

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

2010-2011 Curriculum plan


I've been meaning to do this for my own planning and the Not Back to School blog hop at Heart of the Matter has just given me the added motivation to get it done.

One thing I’ve found in the past 13 years of homeschooling is that every year looks different and no matter how you plan things happen to change the plan so I need to be flexible and allow the change to happen. This year both Ryan and I will be going to school- his classes are distance learning however I’m taking 2-3 classes each quarter on campus. My plan is to take early classes and be home before the kids are even up and going or better yet, they get up and get their day started so they have most of their lists done before I get home, in my dreams…

Rush is a 10th grader this year, he will be working at home and online through the private school we use to carry his transcripts. Because he’s in high school he counts credits rather than doing the 11 required subjects (watch for a post about these soon). His core texts will be A Beka Language C, Number Power 3 & 4, A Beka Biology, and Spanish 1 (online). For Bible he will be continuing the youth group challenge to read the Bible through in a year and he will be participating in a small group Bible Study. He has a lot of Scouts to finish up in order to complete his Eagle this year (by Dec. 2010) he has several merit badges; Family Life, Camping, Personal Fitness, Personal Management, and an Eagle project to plan and carry out. He’ll play baseball in the spring for a PE credit.

Arin will be in 8th Grade, again. We are calling this 8 Part B. He’s not quite ready to jump into high school courses and I’m not sure I’m ready for him to be done in 4 years. He can start some of the 9th grade texts and take 2 years to complete them (several Rush had a hard time completing in a year). He will be doing A Beka Language B, Math-U-See Delta, Total Health, and WA State History, I'm not starting the actual text until next year but he can start working on his notebook. He will also be reading the Bible through this year. For Scouts he needs to focus on merit badges starting with Family Life and Personal Fitness. He’ll run Middle School Track in the spring.

Isaac is in 7th Grade. He will be focusing on math and Scouts. He needs to complete the work for his 2nd and 1st Class Scout badges and also work on Family Life and Personal Fitness merit badges. He will be doing the Pathways text and work book Seeking True Values, Number Power 2, reading through the Bible in the year, and WA State History, Isaac has 2 years to work on his notebook before doing the textbook in 9th grade. He participates in Chess Club and wants to compete in a couple of tournaments this winter.

Jonah is in 5th grade and Tovah is in 2nd grade. They do a lot of the same work, they will be doing Pathways readers, Math-U-See, and Breakout Bible Study which is our Wednesday night curriculum at church. Jonah will be doing Apples Daily Spelling Drills and Webelos. Tovah is reading the Bible like the big boys (and Grandma will buy her ticket to Wild Waves next summer). She and I will be reading the Little House books and doing some activities from Prairie Primer. We will get together with friends to do God's Design for Life: The World of Animals from Answers in Genesis.

I've used Math-U-See for many years and really like it but have found that it moves too slowly at the upper levels; a year on fractions and then a year on decimals puts the kids behind for starting high school level math. Arin will probably stay with MUS since he struggles with math and is a VERY visual learner. Rush moved to Number Power last year and liked the pace, however, we may move him to an online math course that is offered through the private school we use for his transcript.

The Washington homeschool law allows us to teach subjects without using a formal curriculum or book so we do lots of activities that count as PE, art & music appreciation, language, spelling, reading, and science. I keep copies of their weekly schedules, a book and video log, and our calendar and at the end of the year go through and categorize everything we've done. I'm always very surprised by how much we've done without really trying.

Not Back to School Blog Hop