Wednesday, June 29, 2005
We've taken two pregnancy tests a couple of days apart just to be sure. I've also been taking it easy and trying not to overdo things, because even though the doctor said I didn't cause the miscarriage, I still feel like it was a mistake doing such an incredible amount of physical activity the week that I found out I was pregnant last time. So this time Daniel telling me to avoid picking up the kids. Do you know how impossible that is when you have a 3 and 5 year old? The kids seem worried, too. They understand that we had a baby in my tummy a couple of months ago, and then it went away. Gloria has been asking me every morning now if I still have a baby in there. We are praying for their health and protection constantly. I'm hoping that at my first appointment at the end of this month (July), the doctor will be able to either see how many I have with an ultrasound or hear how many heart beats there are. I really want twins, always have, but I will still be thanking God like crazy no matter what! Now I'm even MORE glad that we decided to get an early start on homeschooling. If I have twins next March I sure would like to be done with the required number of school days by then.
Friday, June 24, 2005
When we picked the girls up on Tuesday afternoon we found out that their Grandma had been doing quite a bit of homeschooling while she had them. She played math board games with them, read them stories, taught them to play dominoes with their great-grandparents, and took them swimming. They even stopped on the Keystone Dam and watched the water being let out! I was happy as a clam to realize that I could count those days towards my homeschooling total! They certainly showed me that grandparents can take an active hand in their grandkids education.
Wednesday night Daniel and I taught Danya's 4 yr old class at church. They are having a summer of missions. This week we taught them about missionaries our church supports in Hawaii, Bobby and June Duffer. Near the end of class, while waiting for parents to pick up their kids, I played London Bridge with them. It got a little wild and I managed to strain the muscles in my back. I also realized the next day that I had picked up poison ivy on my foot at Daniel's parents house. So I've been laid up, hardly able to move for two days. Daniel really amazed me. He jumped right in and took care of everything. He even followed my lesson plan and taught the kids before and after his sleep time. I can't thank God enough for giving me Daniel!
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Then we went out to Braum's for breakfast! After church, Daniel's mom and dad met us and we went to McAlister's for lunch. Tonight the guys will get to play video games at Daniel's friend, Mike's, house. The women will take the kids outside to play. Daniel is so excited about tonight! THEN, his parents have offered the best Father's Day gift ever! Daniel's mom and dad are taking our girls to stay at their house tonight through Tuesday! I think I officially have the best in-laws in the world! This has been a great Father's Day and it's not even over yet!
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Danya and I assembled the new bike while Gloria was sleeping at naptime. When she woke up she immediately rushed outside with it. Gloria was racing up and down the street! She and Danya took a ride around the block with me walking beside them to help if needed. But about 2 feet after we took this picture, the pedals fell off of Gloria's bike. I hadn't tightened them enough. Also, the training wheels were loose. So after a pit stop back at our house to tighten the bolts we were off racing around the neighborhood! I can't wait for our first family bike ride when Daniel can go with us!!
I really appreciated the opportunity to ask the mom's who've been homeschooling for a long time all my "newbie" questions. One woman there had a 20 year old daughter that she had homeschooled all the way through highschool graduation! Her daughter will graduate college with a bachelor's degree next year! Another woman was pregnant with her 7th child and was homeschooling them all! They told me about the homeschooling group in our area that 15 families in our church are a part of. I think I bombarded them with questions. I'm really glad we went!
Thursday, June 16, 2005
We also read about our community and community helpers. They each got to draw a picture of their favorite community helper. Gloria drew Aunt Jennie and Danya drew Tanti Glenda (both nurses). Then we learned about graphs. We made a graph of 3 different kinds of canned food in our cupboard. Then we made a "Good Job" graph that they can mark each time they help around the house. Finally we practiced identifying the numbers 1-5 in English and Spanish.
There were a few other little things, but those were the highlights. It's still hard to believe how much we get accomplished in just 2 hours. We're going swimming this afternoon for Danya's friend, Lillian's birthday party. It's great how much time we get to spend as a family and STILL get our school time done. And the girls keep showing me how much they are really remembering! They remembered learning two days ago that sailors in Columbus' time called the unknown part of the ocean the "sea of darkness". Gloria remembered that they thought it was full of sea monsters and Danya remembered they thought it had "boiling spots". So far, I am loving the homeschool experience!
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Then our friends, the Millers, arrived and our girls helped their girls find the best bushes that were heavy with dark blackberries. They ate quite a few until they decided that they didn't like the seeds. It was so sweet watching Gloria help little Meagan! Gloria is only a year older, but she looked like a GIANT towering over petite little 2 year old Meagan. Danya was constantly tripping over the long limbs that had extended over the pathway here and there. She was afraid of the tiny little thorns that scratched her at first, but she quickly got more courageous. A nice stranger offered to take our picture as we were heading out, so here is all of us:
By a little after 10am it was just too hot, so we went home, made Blackberry Zingers in our ancient blender, and then got started with our homeschool lessons. But first we washed off all the red juice on our girls' hands and faces!
The girls really enjoyed sitting in a circle, hiding our hands behind our back, then yelling GO! and showing everyone how many fingers we were holding up. Then we counted to see who had more and who had less and who had the same. We substituted berry picking for our morning walk. We learned how blackberries grow and then did a little "Home Ec." by making a recipe from the list we got at the farm. Before heading out this morning, Daniel led us in a bible study time. We talked about how everyone has someone in authority over them. Then we read 1 Timothy 2:1 to learn how we should treat those in authority. "Pray for all people!", and even kings, it says. On the way to the berry farm we made up songs about berry picking! This was a great first day! I did learn that I need to make the history & geography lessons a bit more exciting, but otherwise it went really well.
Monday, June 13, 2005
Sunday, June 12, 2005
From: Daniel (age 28)
Jessica is the best wife I could hope for and a great mom to our Girls. Jessica is very capable at managing just about anything. I have crazy hours and work most weekends. She helps manage our time and activities. Jessica is an amazing Woman. She takes care of all of us. She helps to make sure we see family and friends. I would be lost with out her. She has done a great job on the scrapbooks for our family and won some prizes on some of the layouts. I do not seem to tell her enough how much she means to me. I have great confidence that she can do any thing she sets her mind to. She has taught her self a few hobbies and is great with languages. Jessica loves to read and always seems to be learning, even when it is just reading a book for fun. I wish I could read as well as she can.
From: Danya (5 years old)
She is the best mom ever. She likes to help us tie are shoes and play with us while getting us ready. We love our mom and love to play with her. She loves doing our hair. She loves how we play together. She likes to sing our lullabies. She likes to see us when she has not seen us in a long time. She likes to help us with making stuff and with writing and stuff. Whenever we need help she will help us. Whenever I am sick she takes care of me and does not leave me alone and she helps me. She loves to play... she loves our dances. She loves the color purple. She love the way we are good to each other and can be nice to her, and love each other. We are just so happy when she is with us. She helps us learn.
From: Gloria (3.5 years old)
She is the best mom ever, and we love her so much and she likes to play with us. We like to love her. We like to play games with Her. We love you Mom. She loves us and likes to sing songs with us. She loves are shoes. She likes our songs; we like to sing with her. She likes the cards we make. We like to bonk heads together. We like to play games on the computer. She likes to hug us.
SCHOOL- Never settle for less than your best. But also avoid the pride and, frankly, delusion that you are the best. I went between two extremes in school. I started out believing that I was super smart and always at the head of my class. That’s okay as long as it doesn’t lead to the idea that you are somehow better than others. Remember that intelligence is like a beautiful plant given to you by God. You didn’t make it. It is a gift. Yours is not necessarily better than someone else’s, just different. And if you do not nourish it, be certain that it will wither. As I grew up, through a series of uncaring people in my life, I began to believe that I was not as smart as I thought I was and that no one really cared if I had excellent grades. I felt like I only needed to be mediocre to pass and no one would notice. This was one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made. Do not let people or the enemy or your own negative thoughts and feelings cause you to falter. Good grades and good learning/study habits will help you in every area of your life. Set a goal for yourself as young as you can. You don’t absolutely have to be certain of what you want do for a living, but it helps. If nothing else, decide where your interests lay, then study hard and take extra classes that will give you a strong foundation toward that future. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are not “college material” and don’t wait for someone else to hand you applications for grants, special classes, or colleges. Never let someone else do your work for you. I don’t mean not to ask for help. I mean don’t cheat. Don’t expect someone else to take the lion’s share of a joint project. Don’t wait for the school councilor to hold your hand and show you what you should do with your life. Don’t say I can’t do something because no one will teach me how. Teach yourself. Or go find a teacher and convince them to teach you. Your future will not be handed to you. You will either go out and boldly reach for the one you want, or live with whatever you stumble into later. Finally, remember that you are not alone. Your Dad and I and many other family and friends are all here for you. We want to help you in any way possible. So if you have questions, come to us. No matter what you are or do, you will always have the love and support of your family. But if you feel lost and directionless your best source for guidance is always your heavenly Father. God has the absolute best plan for you. Feel free to ask Him and expect an answer. Trust me, He’s just waiting for you to ask. But don’t be surprised by the answer you get. You may find that it’s not
what you expected. But you can be certain that His plan is the one that will make you the happiest and the most fulfilled. -March 24, 2004
So the pages I submitted are some of my personal best, in my opinion. It's funny, a few years ago I submitted to the Creating Keepsakes hall of fame http://www.creatingkeepsakes.com/ and had a very difficult time with one of their requirements. They wanted my pages to be unified by having a common style. I had to figure out what my personal scrapbooking style is. This may sound simple, but to me that's like asking me to define my reading style. Yes, I have a preference of science fiction and fantasy, but I also enjoy a very wide range of other reading material. How can I possibly narrow it down?? But when I submitted for this contest last week, I looked at my pages and realized that, yes, I do finally see clearly what my scrapbooking style is. Clean, symetrical, elegant pages.
This made me think. Is this the only subject I've become more focused in? Now I'm looking over the last few years of my life and seeing it in a whole new light. I think that maybe I've finally figured out a few more things; my parenting style, my "style" if you will, of Christianity, my style of dress, and even my style of friends. I'll be 28 this year. I guess I'm finally hitting that point of no return on maturity and have become comfortable with who I am.
What do you know? Scrapbooking as a guide to understanding life!
Saturday, June 11, 2005
So we decided to shop around and pick and choose whatever looked good. So I went to my State Department of Education web site http://www.sde.state.ok.us/home/defaultie.html and found out what exactly they expect a child to learn in Kindergarten. Then I went shopping! I found some good workbooks appropriate for each of my girls' ages at my local grocery store! The workbooks are the "Ultimate Skill Builder" books from Learning Horizons http://learninghorizons.com/ and they are very easy to use. Then I hunted garage sales. We found beginning reader books, a world book encyclopedia, and an entire "Growing Up with Science" encyclopedia set for about $3 each! We also got some amazing kids' books on all kinds of other topics and some neat National Geographic videos. Then we looked online and found out about a used book fair for homeschoolers in our area. We attended that and found some second hand history and geography books published by "A Beka" which is a Christian curriculum publisher. We also found a store for teachers in the city near us. They were happy to see homeschoolers! They gave us free stuff and discount coupons! We purchased a book about the human body for young kids. I'd say all told we probably spent $100 to $150 on all of this school stuff. But you have to consider that some of those items will be for more than just this year.
That's it except for some paper and pens!
Then there is Gloria. Our 3 and a half year old tornado. She will listen to a story only if she can bounce on your lap at the same time. She learned her phone number last week by yelling it out as she stomped her feet down one beat at a time onto the sidewalk. She likes to take things apart and figure out how to put them back together again. We call her our "little engineer". I've read that she is what is called a "kinesthetic" learner. This means that she is very hands on and, as we've seen for ourselves, she dislikes sitting down and doing book work. A kid like her would be labeled ADD or ADHD and permanently tracked in the slower group in public school. That would be an awful mistake since she is so obviously intelligent and quick to grasp ideas. Public school is designed to promote only one type of learner, and the rest get labeled and shuffled aside.
We definitely think that homeschooling is the only way to provide the best education possible for each of our girls. So, we're starting our first day of homeschool next Tuesday. Wish us luck!
So I plan to talk about my daily and/or weekly foray into the world of homeschooling and maybe a little bit about my scrapbooking addiction as well in this blog. I've been researching homeschooling by reading everything my public library has on the subject, which is actually quite alot. One of the best books I read was by Mary Pride. Here's a link to it on her website: http://www.home-school.com/catalog/pages/mpguide.php3
After reading her book I felt like an expert on the subject! What I really wanted though, was to read someone's personal story of how homeschooling went in the beginning for them. For example: their first decisions on curriculum, how they made a lesson plan, where they found materials, what the costs and difficulties were, and more along those lines. So since I didn't find anything like that, I might as well create one for other folks considering the idea!
Feel free to follow along with me as I plunge into this new chapter of our family's life!