Friday, April 30, 2010

Pondering...

www.allposters.com


I have an afternoon to myself today and will be spending time pondering somethings that are a part of my life.  

I want to use my e-sword program to do some word searches and to also spend time in the Word and seeking the Lord's wisdom and guidance.

Most of you know that we home educate and that I lead a co-op.  One of my joys is to speak with home educating moms and to encourage them in this great task that God has given them.  The last few years I am hearing more and more that they 'need' to have their kids take classes from an academic co-op because either they are afraid that somehow their student will 'miss' something if they try to teach them or that their teen argues and fights with them at home about their schoolwork so they want someone else to be giving them their assignments, etc...

This troubles me and breaks my heart.  These years that we have our children at home is prime discipleship time!  The teen years are so great!  I have loved having mine at home full time - has it been always easy? No!  Has it been worth it? YES!  

I see a lot of fear out there...at a time when the sky is the limit in what is available to home educators, more and more parents feel like they can't do it - they can't teach their children to read, or they can't teach their high schooler Government...the list goes on!

Home educating is a commitment and a long haul kind of thing.  You learn together and also by the time your kid gets to middle school age they pretty much can educate themselves!  They just need you to guide, answer questions, motivate, encourage!  After all we want them to not have to be spoon fed all their information in order to learn something.  We need to be teaching them from early on HOW to learn.  

So, I guess my real ponderings on this subject are "How can I encourage moms? and Can I encourage them?"  Do they really want to be encouraged in it?

Another area I am pondering is how to be more physically active daily.  I sit - alot.  My muscles sometimes are tight from sitting so much.  I sit to do school with the kids, I sit at the computer, I sit to read, I sit to knit, I sit to sew...well you get the idea.  I am trying to do more physical work in the gardens and around our property, I want to be able to move well when I am 'old', after all.

I am pondering the many great things the Lord is teaching us...not always easy...but it is good.  It just sometimes leaves you on the fringe at times.

So, what kinds of things are you pondering these days?  

Longwood Unexpectedly

LongwoodGardens.org

When my husband came home this morning, he asked if we wanted to do anything.  Now I always feel bad, because he has been awake all night working, but he wanted to take us to Longwood today, as it was beautiful weather, and the last chance in a while for him to go with us.

LongwoodGardens.org

My batteries of course were dead in my camera when we got there, so I got these from the Longwood Gardens website.  We strolled a garden path past a pond, to a lovely treehouse styled like a Norwegian stave church.  

LongwoodGardens.org

Onto my favorite - the Italian Water Garden.  Such a great spot.  We  took a new path and went through the Beech Grove and past the Pierce-duPont house, to two other tree houses, a woodland walk, a romp in the Topiary Garden and then past the Cow Lot and back to the visitors center.

There we ran into the Hospitality Lane family when we were leaving.  Such a great day.

Home to a relaxing afternoon, then when the little ones unexpectedly went off with Grandpa to spend the night with he and Grandma, Emily, Lindsay and I headed out to a rare time out for the three of us at Panera.

Back again to get Tim off to work, and to watch our Netflix movie "The Young Victoria."  We really liked it alot.

Now off to sleep...Sweet Dreams!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

This and That


Greetings!

I just got back from spending the afternoon visiting with my mom and a few friends while our children and my dad bowled. It was so fun! I missed them while I was on my vacation.

We have had quite a bit of rain, and the grass is really in need of a haircut, but that won't happen until tomorrow likely, as it is still too wet. We are having a windy day and that will actually help dry the ground out.

Woke up this morning to see that the horses had knocked an interior pasture fence down, and were happily grazing were we did not want them to! This is usually the work of Cheyenne who is a 'grass is greener' kind of horse! When Lindsay went out the feed them she also had to fix the fence...

Meanwhile I was busy in the house cooking some bacon and farm fresh eggs from our dear friends at Laurel Hill Farm. It was so good - Thanks Jeremiah and Brigette! Tim was welcomed home from work this morning with a hot, delicious breakfast.

We were so happy to be back from our vacation in time to go to church on Sunday. We like our church so much and love our church family! Afterward many of us went out together to Fuddrucker's for lunch to celebrate Kelly's birthday! Kelly's family came over after lunch and Tim and Duane (Kelly's husband) took the kids along with Jonathan and Chelsea from Hospitality Lane, hiking to House Rock.

We are getting back into the swing of regular schoolwork, and we only have 21 more days of school left in our year! We try to not to focus on 'how many days left' as we want the kids to be life long learners and not just 'school work' doers, however at this time of year we all get excited to see us get close to finishing the required number of days.

Speaking of homeschooling, our state convention is coming up Mother's Day weekend. The 24th annual CHAP Convention is a great place for home educator's to be encouraged through the many speaker's and through seeing thousands of home educating families most of whom you didn't even know existed! Also their are hundreds of vendors, a Teen Track, Kids Track, meetings for Co-op leaders...the chance to buy books without paying for shipping...it's all good! Tim and I have volunteered for the past 14 years or so, and this year Emily and Lindsay will be volunteering as well!

Rachel, Sarah and I planted some flowering plants that we will be adding to our gardens this year. First nasturtiums from Renee's Garden. These are going into the raised beds, as both a repellent for bugs and for edible flowers for salads.



We also planted Fernleaf Lavendar. I have never grown this kind before but we liked the look of it.


We have the West Ladies dvd "The Art of Herbs" and it is so interesting and full of information regarding how to grow herbs and use them. Emily decided after watching it that we need to also try parsley, oregano and maybe sage this year. I think we may need to add more raised beds.


Speaking of growing things, we purchased the seeds to grow this wonderful melon! It is a French melon called "Charentais". We are excited to try it! We bought it from Baker Creek Seed Company.

Well, have I rambled on enough or what? It is just so much fun to be working toward learning new things and learning to be more self sustaining. God is so good to give us such richness.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

We're Home...

What joy it is to be home! Thanks to my dear parents for staying at our home and taking such good care of our horses and doggies! Thanks to Dad, for mowing! With this rain, rain, rain, the grass would be knee high before it would dry out!

We had a really special vacation...we never take a trip just to go to a beach or to just play...we usually make it a trip to visit family and/or friends. I said to Tim last night that I feel as if we do the same things on vacation as we do at home. Spending time with others, listening, encouraging as we can, laughing, sharing our family....

The kids had such a great time at Uncle Tom and Aunt Ginna's house! They have a trampoline!

There was lots of jumping....

endless jumping...

and bouncing....

and cuteness...

Probably my favorite thing was the day we spent in Mansfield...

We did the tour of the house with a group of 8 ladies who were all sisters! They were in their 50's - 60's, perhaps a bit older...they have 3 brothers and 2 sisters who are already in heaven! A family of 13 children...our tour guide said he was one of 13, and his mother and father both were from families of 13 children! I said that they all made me feel as if I have a small family with only 6 children! They laughed and said "That's a big family these days!" They were all sweet and delightful! They loved the house and made comments like "Isn't that precious?" They talked to my children and one fell in love with Sarah...The lady later said to me "You homeschool, don't you." When I said "yes." She said, "I knew it." She told me she had 6 children as well.

My little guy is such a helper...he loved pushing his cousin, Anna, in her stroller!

Laura and Almanzo's beloved house...

Sara Anne, our niece...

One sweet boy...

and his sweet sister...

cousins....

This beautiful Rock House was built by Rose for a retirement home for her mother and dad...they lived their for 9 years and then when Rose moved away, they moved back to the farm.

When asked why, they said that they never wanted to move, they only did to please Rose!

Later we went to Baker Creek Seed Company - the folks we bought our heirloom seeds from! They are located right outside of Mansfield.

Look at all the great seeds! This lovely place has a Pioneer Village on site as well. They do special Pioneer Days events...

They have a Bakery in this building...

The owner Jere Gettle and his family collect rare poultry and fowl from all over the world!

Isn't this guy a beauty? Stunning color!

There was so much that we did and fun that we were able to have. I am so thankful to the Lord and to my dear husband for giving us this special time! This is a trip we will talk about for years to come!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Headed Home

www.allposters.com


Well, we are on our way home...

It has been wonderful to see really great places, and to visit with family. Oh, and we had the opportunity to visit with dear friends who I used to babysit for...haven't seen them in probably 18 years....they are just as encouraging and easy to talk to as ever!

We visited the Arch and the Museum of Westward Expansion today! Tim, Kyle, Rachel, Sarah and Emily all went up in the arch. They said it was cool...Lindsay and I took in the IMAX film about Lewis and Clark. It was really good. They show the hard work and the danger all the Corp of Discovery went through, including a 16 year old woman named Sacagawea. She and her wee baby boy, Jean Baptiste, endured the hardships and the cold along with all the men. Sacagawea and Captain Clark's lifelong companion and slave, York, were the first woman and slave to ever have a vote in the United States. They voted as full members of the expedition.

I am thankful for the time that we have had to take this special trip, but now, my heart is fixed on home. I can't wait to get back to running my household and finishing school with the girls.

God is so good to us and has given us so many special memories as a family. I will try to get photos posted soon, but now the girls are looking for a chance to use the laptop tonight.

Sweet Dreams....

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Creation Museum...


is an awesome place!

It is not only gives a Biblically correct view of creation, the earth, the flood, the Garden of Eden, man's sin, Salvation, the results of leaving God out of our lives on the culture around us...It is so beautifully done!

There are bronze sculptures all around the property - their is a huge giraffe sculpture over at the petting zoo - the museum is designed well, and uses all the latest technology.

Here the kids are standing by a huge bronze dinosaur...

This is a mastodon that is in the lobby...

Dinosaurs for your enjoyment!

One of the real fossils that we got to touch today!

Doesn't he look like fun?

Here are some of the multimedia presentations...oops! I think the photo is sideways!

The eye is such an amazingly complex part of our bodies....

Some of the many species of animals in the Garden...

This cute girl was there too!

Interesting creature!


God created such variety...

A pregnant Eve...

Cain kills his brother Abel...

This is from part of the presentation about the ark...this is how wide they think the walls were!

Scaffolding around the outside of the ark...

Ladies making baskets for the journey on the ark...

Nice dinosaur...nice, boy...

I am glad I am not his dentist!

Seriously it is an amazing place...we had a wonderful time - it is a great place to bring your friends and family who are not familiar with the truth of creation....

Someone Familiar At The Creation Museum


It was uncanny really - we were walking along in a crowd of people enjoying the displays at the Creation Museum, and there he was! We didn't even know they were going to be there today!

Now, I don't think we have ever seen our friend bare chested before - tank top, yes. Shirtless, no.

We realized it wasn't him, when we saw him hanging out in the garden with Eve. Our friend would never be without his beautiful curly blond wife!

It was really amazing though! I guess since we are all descendants of Adam and Eve, it stands to reason that some of us would look alot like them....