Friday, September 23, 2011

Time Well Spent

I had this crazy notion that if I quit my job I would have time to do all the things I wanted to do.  Since being home for nearly ten years now, I have learned that what I want to do is always going to require more time than I have.  I used to think I would be a better housekeeper or cook when I had time to be home.  That is not entirely true.  I have found that the things I enjoy doing the most usually get accomplished, but that list does not cover all that I want to do.  You see, my wants also include things I know I should be doing, but don't really enjoy doing.  For example, I have "wanted" to clean out the fridge and mop the kitchen floor all week, but I don't really enjoy doing those things.  I would much rather sit for 5 hours planning next weeks kindergarten lessons for Lydia.  Not that it should take the five hours I spent, but because I enjoy it, I like to look at every possibility available from my shelf as well as online.  And if you have done any research into free online preschool, you know there is a ton, and lots of it is really cute. :)  So the point is that I put off what I want, but don't really like to do, and do much more than I should of what I like to do usually doing it for longer than really necessary or profitable. 

I have to say though, that sometimes I have NO regrets for overspending my time on the things I really do love to do and are good and profitable things.  I could never spend too much time reading about God in His Word and the stories of others who serve Him.  That is why it doesn't bother me that we spend much more time on the Bible during the week than any other subject.  I am reading two biographies of missionaries to the girls, as well as three chapters of the Bible per week, plus the family worship lessons from Daddy at least twice a week, in addition to the Sunday morning, Sunday night (this is new) and Wednesday night lessons.   I tease the girls that they love Bible lessons the most because there are not tests or grades, but I pray that they love it best because it is the best thing they could be learning!

Another way I could never spend too much time is in being with my family.  Somedays I may get tired of being asked the same questions at least four times, or saying the same reminders, but if I remember that these days are fleeting, and try to enjoy them, I am renewed in my love to serve my husband and our children.  And having Memaw live with us has made it even more possible for me to enjoy time with my husband and children.  DH was out of town this week working and so we all really wanted to have some family time.  After we finished school and Daddy finished his sermon, we spent the rest of our Friday doing things together that we enjoy.  Memaw, the girls and Minnie joined me on a mile walk around our neighborhood.  This was a fun time to talk about the sights and creation of God.  It was precious to see my two oldest girls holding hands and sharing the ear phones of an MP3 as they walked.  I love that they are close.  And little Lydia pushing Memaw up the hill (well, hopefully she was helping) was a cute memory.  I need to take a camera on our next walk!  Mary walked with me, learning how to train a dog to heel.  After a delicious dinner of hamburgers and home made fries (oh my, heavenly) we cleaned the kitchen together.  Now this is a normal part of life, but seemed especially sweet because we had DH back home serenading us with the guitar while we finished! :)  This was of course a prelude to the music of family worship.  I am teaching Mary how to sing alto and Hannah read the scripture for us tonight!  Next on the agenda for family night was teaching Memaw how to play Yahtzee!  There was much celebration as Memaw, Mary and Lydia rolled yahtzees.  We wrapped up our evening with specialty ice cream cones and watching "Where the Red Fern Grows" (part 2).  Other than Mary wanting to strangle me for making her cry again, it was a wonderful 7 hours spent enjoying each other.

And so, with many other blessings of the week, I feel this night has been time well spent.  I thank God for nights like these!

With All My Heart~

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lots of Time

Usually, I feel like I have no time.  Or at least little time to complete all that I need to do.  For the last several days I have been spending a great deal of time with my mom in the hospital.  Thankfully she is doing well.  We have had lots of time to talk.  It has been time uninterrupted by my four girls or schedules.  I am thankful for this time.  I hate that Mom has to be in the hospital but I am thankful for these moments to talk and to do things for her.  She has done so much for me all my life.  She spent 2 years of her life taking care of my first two girls while DH and I worked.  I could never repay her for all she has done for me.  So I am feeling very blessed to be with her.  I may only be turning off a pesky alarm, helping her to reach the things she needs, keeping her clean, or listening to her talk.  Or I type notes to friends on facebook and update my blog! (Did you notice the new title and look?)  It is all time well spent.

I am so thankful for Memaw and DH, as they do what I would normally do at home.  I really appreciate DH's understanding that I need to be here for my mom.  It has also given me time to think about my life and how blessed I really am.  I will be turning 40 this coming birthday and I have had a happy life.  I look back and see so many ways God has blessed me and I am amazed.  And then I remember that this life, that seems to be so much time, is only a vapor.  That really is mind boggling!  It is the next life, the eternal life, that will be lots of time.  No end to the time! And all eternal time will be spent in total joy and happiness.  What a time to look forward to for those who love God!

With all my heart~

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Week 6 update

Well, time has gone by so quickly.  We had a small break in the schedule but have had some really wonderful learning in the last several weeks.  The girls in 6th grade have been surprising me with their ability to do their work more independently.  I can remember a couple of years ago when I had to read everything with/to them and now they are reading most of their books on their own.  I still have them read aloud to me at times, or I read to them, just because I love to learn with them!  I have also seen an increase in their ability to focus on their written work.  Sarah used to be so distractable during any kind of writing.  Now she is learning to ignore some of the other noise around and get it done in a timely fashion.  On the other hand, Hannah has learned to slow down a bit and do it better instead of faster!  We have continued to find our study of WWII to be so interesting.  I am only able to give them a tenth of what I have been learning because they are still so young.  I look forward to a few years from now when we will revisit it with a more complete view. 

Mary is enjoying 3rd grade and also growing in her independence though we still read nearly everything together, but she is doing more reading as I do more listening.  We are fully immersed now in multiplication and division facts and I am anxiously awaiting the moment when it finally makes sense to her!  It seems that my girls each have a time of sort of knowing these math functions, but they struggle and confuse them.  We are working slowly and I know she will master them like her sisters when she is ready. 

We also went back to the pool for the first time since we went out of town in August.  The girls loved it especially when they met a homeschool family that was very friendly.  I was actually shopping while Memaw swam with the girls, but evidently the mom, Gwen, and her family used to live on the same street as our church.  She had one of our band's cds (she heard us play at Due South)  and was somewhat familiar with our family.  We are looking forward to a play date with them in a couple of weeks.  They are traveling for a week.  The oldest daughter is Hannah's age and she promised to send a postcard from there.

So here are some highlights of school.

Bible - We are loving this book!  My girls cry for more every time I stop reading.  My girls are used to the older English language since we have read books like this since they were little and use NKJ or NASU Bibles, but still, if the reader can understand the reading they can make it understandable for young children. 

History - Mary is enthralled with learning about the Kings and Queens of England.  I love this period because we get to study several who were protestant and how they helped the cause of reformation!  Mary kept repeating a rhyme we both just learned about King Henry VIII's wives: divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.  She loved looking at the portraits and learning a bit about each wife.  Needless to say there has been a revival in her appreciation for all things princess between the book for Bible and these history stories. 

Science - We finished our unit on the weather and are enjoying our new unit on animals.  Lots of the animals that we saw at the aquarium in Gaitlinburg are coming up in our discussions! :)

Math - The big girls just learned about negative numbers and plotting points on a four quadrant graph.  I love math!  They are nearly finished with Saxon 65 and next week will start Saxon 76. 

Art - we finished studying our artist for the term and will now be doing some drawing lessons again.

Music - we are listening to Aaron Copeland and are enjoying his compositions.  The girls are also practicing the piano regularly and asking for more help to read the notes in the hymnal.  Sarah is trying to learn to sing alto with me! :)

Foreign Language - Spanish continues to be a favorite! In the store today, Lydia was singing the hello song as she rode up and down the aisles!   Greek and Latin are also going along nicely!

Literature -  Hannah and Sarah (Mary listened in too) finished Where the Red Fern Grows and we all cried through the end.  I waited about a week and then offered to show them the movie on Netflix.  We all cried again!  Mary begged to skip the movie when she is in year 6.  She thinks she can handle reading the book again though.  Now the girls are reading Snow Treasure (set in Norway in WWII) and Sarah said it is one of the most exciting books we have read!  I think she will also like Number the Stars when she reads it!  Mary has been listening to Men of Iron by Howard Pyle and loves it.  This seems like such a boys book with all the talk of fighting and learning to be a knight, but Pyle does such a wonderful job of showing the relationships between the boys that all my girls have loved it!  Yes, more on the castles and princes theme! :)

Handicrafts - For the princess room the younger girls worked on making knots and placing beads on yarn.  The object was to make a bead curtain to dress up the doorway of their princess room.  In the next few weeks we hope to do some sewing to adorn the room.  The bigger girls have a rainforest/ tropical theme and continue to paint, cut and hang all sorts of decorations.  They are also working on some plastic canvas projects for Christmas.  Never to early to start on Christmas! ;)

It has been a blessed several weeks.  Looking foward to the next three!