Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Renaissance Festival

Today we took a field trip to Scarborough Faire. We went last year for the first time and really liked it.  I love how people dress up, even though we don't, and all the old non-electric rides. Today was student day so the tickets were quite a bit cheaper, $10 for adults instead of $24! A friend in one of our homeschool groups organized getting tickets. My husband took the day off and we had a wonderful time! Blue Rock loved watching the fencing match where they try and pop balloons. I wish I would have gotten a picture. He actually remembered that from last year and when we arrived asked to go see it. I didn't know what he was talking about until we saw them. We also watched a silly clown show, ate the "royal lunch," enjoyed a few rides, including taking a ride on an elephant and camel, and enjoyed walking around. Which by the way, we were not very impressed with the royal lunch. I know you save money by purchasing a meal in advance but the options were pretty limited. We all agreed that in the future it would be better to just buy what we want once we're there. Or eat before of after you go and buy some snacks while there. Other than that, we had a great time!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Week 21: My Father's World K - Unit 17: Kangaroo

We just finished our 21st week of Pre-K. We finished Unit 17: Kangaroo of My Father's World Kindergarten. This was a fun unit and Blue Rock enjoyed learning about Kangaroos. In addition to using this curriculum we started doing some Explode the Code Primer 3 and some work from Developing the Early Learner 2. It had been a while since we've done work in Developing the Early Learner but Blue Rock loves it. I wanted to start Explode the Code 1 but thought I'd do a review of it and start with Primer 3, which is easy but I'm someone who wants to lay a solid foundation when it comes to reading.

I think next year we're going to do Heart of Dakota and I bought most of the books. I went with most of their suggestions and will do a post of next year later on. Sadly, I think he's past the kindergarten handwriting book that I bought as well as the math and a few other ones. He's been copying sentences and does basic addition in his head. In fact, I sent a card to my in-laws and he wrote at the top of it "Life is too short to live in Dallas" that he saw a cup. I thought it was funny. I just don't want to move him to first grade next year since he's not even 5 yet. Although I'm fine moving him up in various subjects after we cover the basis. Okay, now back to this previous week.

Memory verse: I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8 NIV

Main theme: I am safe in God.

Just like a joey kangaroo is safe in his mother's pouch, we are safe in God's arms. I told Blue Rock how kangaroo babies (joey's) are kept close to their mothers just like newborns are mostly kept close to their mothers. I showed him a picture of us in Germany after he was born. The German midwife put him in my shirt like a kangaroo so we could practice skin-to-skin, also called kangaroo care. I carry his sister around most of the time as well. There is lots of research proving that babies speak more and learn more when they are kept close to a primary care giver, usually their mom or dad.

Blue Rock when he was 1 day old in the hospital in Germany
Kangaroo Care

This week we reviewed fractions, pretended to be a kangaroo, talked about Australia, and animals that hop. I also watched him hop very, very far. He actually can jump very far! He enjoyed playing outside and enjoying this great weather. We've met up with some friends. We colored Easter eggs, he colored stain glass, and we did some other fun activities. Overall we had a lot of fun!

I'm also starting to rotate Gracie through different activities while she's awake. For the first time I let her sit in her bumbo, she practices baby push-ups (tummy time), and hitting at and grabbing different things on her exercise mat. As she continues to grow I'll have different stations set-up and activities to do with her. She also gets lots of snuggles and loves watching her big brother.

Layering shapes to make a house, tree, person, cloud, and sun

Blue Rock made these shoes out of the Easter Bunny's tracks!
I was so impressed! Here is what one front and one back looks like.
Showing me where Australia is

Sunday, April 20, 2014

He has RISEN! Happy Easter!

I love Easter. I love the spring weather, I love how so much of the world takes extra time to remember Jesus raising from the dead. I love the hope we have through Christ. I love playing Easter Bunny and leaving some fun things for the kids. Kids, did I just say kids?! Oh, I love having 2 kids!
This was Princess's first Easter. She is such a sweet and cute baby. My husband and I both participated in our church service. Our service included cardboard testimonies and we were asked to help out. Since our family does not attend church with us, anything we volunteer for becomes a family event. My cardboard testimony included my kids so both were able to come up on stage with me. They both did great, overall. Princess started fussing a little right after she came on stage. We didn't take any pictures at church but we did at home to share with you.

If you've never seen cardboard testimonies done, look up a YouTube video. They are neat. I went first and when I turned my testimony over, My husband walked up with our kids. Then he went. It was really special. I love that I have this testimony to share. I don't like the 4 miscarriages but I believe my relationship with God is stronger because of it. A year ago I was angry and fearful. I couldn't understand why God would let me get pregnant only to keep losing my babies. When I got pregnant with Princess, I was excited but absolutely terrified! I didn't want to lose her! God was faithful and he blessed us with her and Blue Rock. I grew a lot between my 4th miscarriage and my pregnancy with Princess. My husband and I both had a testimony that dealt with fear. Thankfully we are set free to live through Christ! It was neat seeing everyone's testimony who shared. It's nice to know that we are NOT alone and that there is freedom through Christ.
Easter morning was nice. Blue Rock enjoyed seeing the Easter Bunny's tracks around our house and finding out what he left. He got some chalk, a book, a coloring book, bubbles, a puzzle, and some pretend eggs, including a giant blue egg. Princess got a bunny and chalk for when she's older.

Here are some sweet pictures of our kiddos. Happy Easter from our family to yours!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Handling Anger

At my ladies' Bible class yesterday, our teacher did a lesson on anger. When I first heard that was the topic, I thought to myself, that's not really something I need to hear, but I'll try and go anyway. How silly I was to think that! This lesson was exactly what I needed to hear!

I've been working with my four year old about handling his anger. I found a wonderful book called When I Feel Angry by Cornelia Spelman, that talks about different ways of handling anger. Going for a walk, talking to someone, taking deep breaths, things like this. Ironically, while attending my Bible study, I realized I needed a lesson on anger as much or more than my son does!

Our teacher broke down the causes of anger beautifully. Anger starts with expectations. When our expectations are not met, we become frustrated! If we don't handle our frustration well, we become angry and if we don't learn how to handle our anger then our anger can turn to rage.

The cycle looks like this:  
Expectations --> Frustration --> Anger --> Rage

I can't tell you how many times I've become frustrated or angry because my expectations were not met. This is especially true with my husband and children. One thing I struggle with is comparison. This is an area I really have to work on and pray about. I don't know what it is but for some reason other people always seem to have "greener grass." Their children seem to be better behaved than mine. They have a bigger house or are more organized. They take better vacations. Their husband buys them better gifts. The list can go on and on.

Lately I have been getting frustrated and sometimes angry with my son. Since my daughter was born he's been seeking out attention. Therefore, he'll act out more or make a mess to get my attention. Rather than embracing him and finding out the root of his frustration, I would get mad at him. When really, as a parent, it is my job to better address my expectations and get a handle on my own frustrations before I get angry. I'm not saying we can't ever be angry but controlling it is key.This doesn't just happen with my son but with my husband too. If he has to work late, for example, and I've had an exhausting day with the kids, my expectation tends to be that he would be home on time to help me out. When he's not I get frustrated, and then sometimes become angry with him. 

Another great point the teacher said was how our children see us, their parents, directly reflects on how they see God! If we are quick to become angry, they will see God as an angry God. If we show lots of love and compassion, they will see God as love and compassionate.

After talking with my husband about this last night, I've been seeking out verses to help me with my anger and learn more about how God handles anger. Here are some verses to consider.

Psalm 145: 8-9
The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.

Since we are to be like Jesus, this is a great example of how we are to try and be. Slow to anger and rich in love! We are to be gracious and compassionate. 

Proverbs 22:24
Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered.

This is why it's so important to surround ourselves with people who can control their anger. I mean who really likes being around someone who is hot-tempered? Or seems to be always angry? I know I don't!

Proverbs 21:19
Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.

Ouch! Another reason to control my anger and temper.

Colossians 3:21
Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

If we struggle with this, let's get help! Anger seems to beget anger and our children will follow in our footsteps!

Psalm 4:4
In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.

This is another reminder that it's okay to be angry. It's how we handle our anger that's important. We are not to sin. 

How do you handle your anger?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Week 20: My Father's World K - Unit 16: Penguin

We just finished our 20th week of My Father's World Kindergarten. These past few weeks we've been going through Unit 16: Penguin. This has been a very fun unit. Blue Rock LOVES eggs. I mean he truly loves them! Most animals that sit on eggs are females, except for the Emperor penguin. The Emperor penguin is around Blue Rock's height, Blue Rock is 3 inches taller than an average Emperor male penguin, which is 45 inches. The males sit on the eggs and guard them for two months before they hatch! Blue Rock loved hearing about this.  He had fun pretending to be a penguin and walk with eggs on his feet. He tried sitting on them for a little while but got tired of sitting there after a minute or two. We did a lot of fun activities including measuring and weighing ourselves, making icebergs for the bath tub, to ending our week by making a yummy whole wheat dark chocolate chip cookie cake. I drew a penguin with icing on top of it and Blue Rock loved it!
Our verse of the week: Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. - 1 John 4:7 NIV
Theme: I show love to everyone, especially my family.
We've stayed busy these past few weeks. In addition to doing school work and him going to his twice a week preschool, we've had fun with our friends and doing other activities as well. Our church had a neighborhood block party with a climbing wall and some bounce houses. Blue Rock loved playing with his church friends and enjoying climbing the huge wall. He's made some impressive obstacle courses in our living room when it's been too cold to play outside. He's enjoyed playing with his sister. He made a kite on his own and we made a car wash out of a shoebox together. He's helped me cook by chopping different things for me and is getting really good and helping me in the kitchen. He's played with ducks and has held a lamb. He colored eggs and we've played at the park. We even found out that a beaver lives near us!

Working on school work

Climbing the wall

My sweet kids!

Playing with the car wash

Coloring eggs

Flying his homemade kite


Collin McCormick's photo.
Beaver that lives near us. It's so sad to see so much trash!

Keeping the eggs on his feet was impossible!

Pretending to be a daddy penguin

At the park with a few friends

Playing his new game Thin Ice

He drew things that started with "p"
1. Pineapple, 2. Pool with a boy swimming, 3. someone paying,
and 4. Pumpkin

Playing with sister

Our penguin cake
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