Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thoughts to Chew On

I've been studying Proverbs 31 and the book of Ecclesiastes.

I noticed something very interesting.

The relationships depicted in the life of the P31 woman are
• her husband • servants/maidens
• poor, needy • community/merchants
•those in her household
• her children

No where (that I could see) does it speak of her relationship with "friends."


Then I looked at Ecc 1:16-2:17 and all the things that Solomon pursued.
Wisdom, madness, folly, mirth, pleasure, servants, building, making, riches, works, etc...

I made a list of how I pursue those things.
(For acquiring servants, I wrote buying appliances and things I think I need to help me around the house)

But then, I made a list of the things I pursue which are deeply satisfying to me.

I feel like I should know this already.
But instead I was very surprised that the things I find deeply satisfying are:

•my relationship and knowledge with God
•the relationships with my husband and children
•having my home in order
•and serving other people
• making things only if I then give them away

I realized that a lot of my other "pursuits" cause me to be more discontent and restless
than added to deep contentment.

No neat and tidy finish today-- just some observations.

Definitely, things to chew on...

edited to add:

Not seeing any evidence of the priority of female friendships in Proverbs 31
I did have this thought... about us wanting/craving relationships
and being draw to things like Twitter and Facebook.

I don't know about you but I find that the more time I spend on Facebook
the more dissatisfied I feel and the "hungrier" I am to make a connection with people.

If true satisfaction was found in those relationships, wouldn't a little go a long way and be deeply gratifying??

So many things feed discontentment and make something akin to a hungry monster that needs to be fed continually.  It seems to feed on  contact, generally light and superficial contact, with people. But because those are usually not with primary relationship and are generally superficial, 
they leave us with an emptiness and gnawing for something we can't place.

Maybe it's just me... I don't know...

Definitely things to think about and pray about and seek the Lord about...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Update on the High School Room

Part 2

Well, the room was emptied out, holes spackled, and walls cleaned.

My hubs diligently taped off the trim.

Don't be scared!

Wet paint always looks more intense!

While he rolled on the paint, I waited with anticipation to tackle this 
pile o' books we simply dumped into the living room...
after the hallway was too full. :/

Yes, we thinned out the books and the library will be receiving 
a nice big box of donations this week.

Painting is finished and the new curtains (thank you TJ Maxx) are up.

We have three Expedit bookcases (from IKEA) upstairs.
We decided to purchase two desks which attach to the bookcase
 since they are ample sized,
while being priced very reasonably at $50.

(This is the same trick I used on the girls bedroom
but I don't think I ever blogged it.  I'll have to take some pics and do that.)

The trick is to use that space right by the door which is usually wasted.

In our house, space is a premium and we need every square inch.

So right inside the door, there is a bookcase which juts out into the room.
It creates a little hallway...

The room isn't completely done.
I have details to fill in, but I had to share since the hallway idea might help someone else :)

Coming through the "hallway" is Charlotte's desk.

Here is a close-up.

Before we thinned out the books, every single shelf was full!

Because there are shelfs under her desk, I double-stacked
a lot of my books that I don't pull out very often but want to keep.

Double-stacking helped with opening up all four cubby spaces on the top.

Here is a fun chair I found also at TJ Maxx.

This is Abby's desk and the view of the doorway/hallway.

The genius thing about using the Expedit bookcase this way...

We now have room to double-stack books
BUT with the titles facing out on both sides!

Love. it.

Hopefully, I can get pictures of all the other places school happens.
Until then, happy organizing and/or schooling for those that have started already.

Random find:

These lamps are $3.99 at IKEA so the girls each have one on their desk.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Meet and Greet

Not Back to School Blog Hop

It is "Student Photo" week over at the Blog Hop.

This summer we had our family pictures taken so at least these are current.

If you are local, Mindy Strauss did a great job on our portraits!

And if you're not local, still go visit her because she sells lovely art prints, too.
(She has also participated in several of Pioneer Woman's contests and has done very well.)


Here we are...

The High Schooler

The Middle Schooler

The Grader Schooler

Our home education is made much richer by the efforts of Nana and Papa

(That's me with my mommy and daddy!)

The "Big Guy"/The Principal/ Head over this bunch
 and that would be me-- wife, mommy, teacher, and 
certified kisser of all boo-boos.


If you're here from HOTM, welcome and enjoy your visit!



Saturday, August 13, 2011

Char-toons: Waterloo- Napoleon's Last Battle

While flipping through Charlotte's notebook from last year
I came across one of her comic-style written narrations.

We have dubbed them, "Char-toons," and we all
get a huge kick out of them.

I am posting the one on Waterloo.


(To see more detail, click on the picture to view larger)

The very last word ended up in the binding.
It should read,
"He really would have made a great botanist."

For those that have already studied this time period or
 are familiar with the events know 
that her comic is very accurate.  I love when my kids operate
"outside the box" and express the information in a fun, easy to share, way.

I found these templates that we may use this upcoming school year:
Comic Strip Template


Do your kids use a comic book format for narration work?

Any fun "narration" suggestions?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Notebook Pages: Now What Do I Do With Them?

Hey there, Hi there, Ho there!

I'm a little behind the clean-up of last year's schooling and prepping for this year.

Good news-- we are painting the "high school room" this weekend!  

After that is finished, I will be able to participate in the
"Where Do You Do School" Not Back to School meme at HOTM.

Until then I thought I would show you what we do with our booking pages.

Since we are spending more for the nice binders,
I remove the pages from the sheet protectors 
(we re-use those too), bundle them up in order, add the cover sheet MFW provides for that year,
zip down to Kinkos and...


Notebooking pages, president sheets...

state sheets, state report, and loose science and art sheets are all coil bound.

Almost an inch and half!

(Random note: we are switching our rulers this year and yes, I will be posting about that!)

So there you have it.

Each child, each year has an organized assemblage (love that word) of their work.

It's amazing to see how much they've accomplished in a year.


What about you?  What do you do with your student's notebooking sheets at the end of the year?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Divisibility Math Tricks

Miss Charlotte has started math for this year since this is her first year of working independently with the Saxon DIVE cd.

It is going very well!

One of the things we talked about today, after correcting her work, are the little tricks to determine if a large number is divisible by 3 or 7 or 9.

About (dot) com has a great review of the rules:

Dividing by 2

All even numbers are divisible by 2. E.g., all numbers ending in 0,2,4,6 or 8.

Dividing by 3

Add up all the digits in the number.
Find out what the sum is. If the sum is divisible by 3, so is the number
For example: 12123 (1+2+1+2+3=9) 9 is divisible by 3, therefore 12123 is too!

Dividing by 4

Are the last two digits in your number divisible by 4?
If so, the number is too!
For example: 358912 ends in 12 which is divisible by 4, thus so is 358912.

Dividing by 5

Numbers ending in a 5 or a 0 are always divisible by 5.

Dividing by 6

If the Number is divisible by 2 and 3 it is divisible by 6 also.

Dividing by 7

Take the last digit in a number.
Double and subtract the last digit in your number from the rest of the digits.
Repeat the process for larger numbers.
Example: 357 (Double the 7 to get 14. Subtract 14 from 35 to get 21 which is divisible by 7 and we can now say that 357 is divisible by 7.

(There is another test for 7 that is even more complicated. You can check out the original entry here.)

Dividing by 8

This one's not as easy, if the last 3 digits are divisible by 8, so is the entire number.
Example: 6008 - The last 3 digits are divisible by 8, therefore, so is 6008.

Dividing by 9

Almost the same rule and dividing by 3. Add up all the digits in the number.
Find out what the sum is. If the sum is divisible by 9, so is the number.
For example: 43785 (4+3+7+8+5=27) 27 is divisible by 9, therefore 43785 is too!

Dividing by 10

If the number ends in a 0, it is divisible by 10.

Happy calculating!

All information taken from and are not my original thoughts or work.

Monday, August 8, 2011

It's Okay To Cry...

I'm having a little moment over here today.

While preparing for the start of school, we determined the best thing to do for our high schooler is to give her a study space that is not in her room.

The reason? So each morning she can have a place "to go to school" while her room remains a place of rest.

We have this weird little room.  I think it was supposed to be an office.

It is long and narrow with no closet.


Back in the day, it made a sweet little nursery for Elijah.

He was even in it for years after the crib left.

There is vinyl lettering on the walls that I had custom made back when nobody put words on walls!

There were four panels.
#1- See, Elijah, grow.
Grow, Elijah, grow!
Grow in the Lord your God.

#2 Watch Elijah sleep.
Sleep Elijah, sleep.
He will give you rest.

#3 Hear Elijah sing.
Sing Elijah, sing!
Sing praises to your King.

and #4 See Elijah walk.
Walk Elijah, walk!
Walk the narrow path.

Today, we peeled the letters off.

I guess I was ready... y'know considering he is ten years old.


I was talking to our neighbor today and I shared with her that this year we have:

One high schooler
One middle schooler
and One grade schooler

But that this is our last year of grade school.

Say what??

Yes, next year we will have one high schooler and two middle schoolers.

Dude, where did that go???
And I was here for all of it.

I can't imagine how fast time would be zipping past if I had to work outside our home.

(Stares wistfully off in space... remembering baby chub, baby smells and slobbery kisses...)


This is what the room looked like today as we started to take it apart...

I was doing fine while I peeled the letters off.

And writing this post has helped me through my little bump of emotions.

Thank you for listening (ahem, reading) and being there.

I'll keep you posted on the progress of the room.  I think it is going to work out very well for both the girls.

Thankfully, I have two more years before Elijah starts to move into independent subjects.

I think a big part of my focus this year will be to simply enjoy my children...

"He will bless those who fear the LORD,Both small and great.
May the LORD give you increase more and more,
You and your children." Psalm 115:13 & 14

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Heart of My Father's World

Last Friday was my last evening in Rolla, Missouri.

I had been there for two weeks working in the home office of My Father's World.

I was able to see (and get to know better) sweet friends that are knit together by the Lord and our common threads of a love of Jesus and gratefulness for MFW.

This trip was extra special because I really felt like I got to know the heart of MFW better.

And for me, the heart of MFW is Marie Hazell.

You rarely see Marie's picture or hear her speak at conferences, but if you look at the cover of your teacher's manuals, with simplicity and humility, you will see her name.

As you use the curriculum and understand the long term vision, you will invariably see her heart.

I received a first glimpse when she shared what was in her heart and mind as she wrote "Exploring Countries and Cultures," or ECC as we all call it.

Marie said, "When I wrote ECC, what I wanted the children to learn most of all was that God loves all people."

ECC was our first experience with MFW and I can testify that this indeed is the heart of the curriculum.

ECC very thoroughly teaches physical geography, but Marie masterfully guides you and your children through each country and shows you all the wonderful people that God made and loves dearly.

It's more than learning country names and coloring flag sheets.

It's about really seeing all the people that God loves and calls His people, believers in Jesus, to love.

Her heart for missionaries, her compassion for the lost and her passion to see all people with the Word of God in their heart language is at the foundation of all she does.

The work that God has called her to has inspired others to come along side and help.

With MFW profits, God's Word for the Nations is able fund translation work.

Every morning before starting work, the MFW staff prays for one another.

But first, always first, they pray for a specific people group or team working on a translation.
Everything at MFW is viewed within the larger context of how they can spread the Word of God to people who are hungry for it.

The My Father's World curriculum is simply a tool.

It's a tool for parents to help them achieve their God-given goals for their children.

It's a tool to provide a great, solid, biblical foundation for our students while freeing up our time to focus on other areas of ministry the Lord has for us.

And, it's a tool for funding translation work so the Word of God can be read.

It's also been the passion, focus, and labor of love of Marie Hazell for nearly a decade.

I am grateful for the opportunity to see the depth of her love for the children in all our homes.

For those of us committed to using MFW, please know that the heart behind it is genuine and real.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Lame, Lazy or Complete Genius??

You'll have to decide for yourself...

Historically, I blog like crazy/consistently in the beginning of the school year, 
but by about the ominous Week 12 (The month of dun,dun,dun... No.vem.ber) 
the posts drop off and I go into survival mode.

We are doing school.  
We are learning.
We are having fun.
But, there is no documentation except our student sheets/notebooks.

I wanted this year to be different.
Especially after the epic fail of the blogless Exploration to 1850.

But what to do, what to do???

I'm certainly not going to be less busy with a high schooler, a middle schooler and my, gulp, last year of grade schooler.

**excuse me while I freak out-- Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!

Wah, wah, wahhhhhhhhh**

I'm back*sniff*... I'm okay now *deep breath*

When I post about school there is always a similar format, plus
I know what we'll be studying because I have my teacher's manual.

So today... guess what I did??

I borrowed an idea from my dear daughter and I made post "frames" or "skeletons" that I can easily pop pictures and details into and I saved them as drafts!!!

Yes, one post for every week of school just waiting for funny stories, crazy pictures, or deep thoughts.

All 34 weeks are ready to roll and now I have an even greater idea of what we'll be studying 
and it makes me so excited for school!!!

Whew, pardon me.  That is too much excitement for these old bones :)

So you can now decide for yourself if I am a lame & lazy blogger

If I am like Wile E. Coyote...


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