His Mercy

"His Mercies Are New Every Morning"

A Thought

In this life we can not always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.." :) Mother Teresa

Prayer Quote

“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis

Faith

I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Geography





We made them from this:


 
 They enjoyed making our GLOBES too. :)

We will work some more on them soon and I'll take pictures of our progress. :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Rod And Staff And Alli

One of the reasons I truly LOVE, yes LOVE Rod and Staff curriculum has to do with the seriousness that they take education.  They are no nonsense and straight forward, but NOT boring!

Today, it was such poetic timing for Miss Alli.  She was stretched a bit a LOT working on a summary of our field trip.   She didn't spell things well and then when she needed to correct for a final draft, she was not a happy camper.  This wound up being her THIRD draft!

BUT..... the next lesson was Language Arts.  She opened her book and the ENTIRE lesson was on doing one's best!  It explained the REASON for studying hard and doing your best. And then, when she turned the page there was a scripture of encouragement!  She was so encouraged.  Her handwriting changed from a sloppy mess: to something really nice! :)
 
 And then tonight, she decided it was time to stop picking her fingers! :)  Way to go girl!

I DON'T EVER....


Anna's Chore Song

video
Such a cutie! :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

TWO WEEKS of SCHOOL COMPLETED.....

AND....... I am going to tweak a few things and make some changes.
One of the benefits of home education is that you can tweak your studies and tailor them to the specific needs of your children.  I have been fighting change because I really DO NOT like to waste money..... 
Translated:  I purchased a curriculum that I thought would be great and it ISN'T! :/ 
It might be great for some and it is working for one of my children, but not for the other three!
Soooo, we are returning to old faithful "Rod and Staff".    I don't know what I was thinking, making a change..... I have been using it since 1994!  It has ALWAYS been "right".  I just thought a change would be good!  WRONG! 
I'm glad it is the beginning of the school year and that we are making this change now.  There is no sense trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.  So, I faced the music and it is done.  If anybody is interested in Saxon Hakes Grammar and Writing book 7 and book 5, with Writing assignments and correction books, let me know. I have it for sale.
Until I made my decision, I felt like pulling my hair out. I was struggling with change.... and the drama of something that does not work!  So I feel like a HUGE weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

EVERYTHING ELSE is going GREAT!   We are REALLY enjoying History and Geography.  In our history, we are learning about specific people, one being Michelangelo.  One of the assignments was to tape paper under a table, and lay on the floor and paint the painting up under the table......My guess is to see just how hard it is to paint a ceiling!  LOL  
Over the last couple of days I have walked through the kitchen to find our girls in a most interesting painting posture! :)
Sarah was smart and used pillows! LOL

We are all enjoying learning about finances too!  Our studies today about savings being savings accounts and not "spending accounts" led to some questions about how to save for short term vs. long term and how long it will take to save for some things.  This opened a dialogue about how to "buy money" when you are too young to be employed.   There were some really great ideas floating around.
I think I have a few pedicures and foot rubs in my future. :)
OVERALL, I think we have had a really great 2 weeks.   There is MUCH to learn and we are ready to learn it!


I have a question:
Do you give your children an allowance?  We do, but it is not based upon chores. It is a gift. We do chores because that is what families do....  I am wondering, if you DO give allowance, how much do you give and how often?  Right now, we give 5 dollars a week. Please feel free to comment. :)







Monday, August 27, 2012

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

 Yes, we are in our PJs. :)

 Sarah made us a wonderful card and we enjoyed a quiet breakfast together.
After that we all headed to worship.  When we returned, we took a leisurely drive and went out to Lunch together, leaving the girls at home. :)
Erika took a picture of us driving away. :)
It is so rare to get out alone, so we really enjoyed our precious time. :) 
We did talk about our marriage and where we started from and where we are today.... We were both surprised about where life has taken us.  We have NO IDEA where we will be in 23 more years!  We didn't dare guess. LOL
We went to a furniture store after lunch and browsed around for awhile.
When we arrived home we were greeted with giggling girls asking if we had a "Romantic Time".... The boys never asked that question...they preferred to NOT know about such things! :)
Anna made us a lovely card telling us we were the "coolest parents ever"! :)
Alli was so proud of herself today. She had a WONDERFUL day.  She just kissed me goodnight and said she was praying for another wonderful day tomorrow.

Honestly 23 years ago, with 4 little boys to raise, I would have never pictured my life today with 4 grown sons, 4 daughter's in law, 10 grand children and 4 delightful daughters!
We have met some wonderful life long friends along the way and we are thankful for each person we know that is in our lives today.
These 23 years have been hard, and good, and painful and wonderful and rich and full, eventful and mysterious, sad and humorous.... and the LORD has walked with us each step of the way. 
 I think it is called "LIFE". :)






Saturday, August 25, 2012

Working On Life Books And Life....

 Alli's album


 Sarah in the orphanage

Some of Anna's pictures


Life books tell a history and double as a photo album. :)

Anna acutally has 3 life books.  This is the beginning of her new one that she is doing by herself.
Her first one came with her and then we ran out of room and started another one.
Erika is working on hers too.

Now, back to why I didn't think it was a good idea to work on these now.  Alli is working on so many memories right now. I felt it abit unstabling to go back into the past. But we moms can be wrong. Sometimes going through the unstable past can solidfy the present. :)
However, going through pictures for THREE families is just hard. It is hard for me.  It hurts.
I know it hurts her too.  Sometimes I think our life is soooo different than most people we know.
It is hard to relate to normal.  But that is ok. :)

Right after taking these pictures.  Alli  demanded requested that Erika help her do casting for a knitting project.  Erika was very kind and tried to show Alli how to cast. 
Alli said, "I want YOU to do it!" "I just want to knit."  Erika explained to her, "Alli, it is better for you to learn it yourself so you can knit on your own."
Oh this made her so mad!  Was it reasonable? NO it was not.

 I asked Alli to come to my room with me for 5 minutes.  I told her I would start the timer when she complied.  TWENTY minutes later, she FINALLY complied.  I videotaped our time as it help ME to see what I can do better, and sometimes to show HER what she is actually sounding like.
I didn't want to talk with her out in the living room because I prefer to correct behaviors privately.
Sadly, she missed the first 25 minutes of the afternoon movie.  But that was her choice.

She also learned about the statement, "Don't give a poor man a fish to eat, teach him how to fish."
We translated it to: "Don't cast a scarf for Alli, teach her how to cast ."

I reviewed the video and found it rather refreshing compared to a year ago. :)  We had a conversation that was REAL and even though she was upset, she was able to tell me how she felt. 
She was angry that Erika was "acting like mama and telling her what to do."  "I don't mind if YOU tell me what to do, but I don't want HER telling me what to do!"  (ever heard that before?) :)
I told her, that is a compliment.... Erika was being very kind and patient; and she is a VERY good big sister. She must be learning well from mama on how to tell you what to do, because I didn't see her being bossy at all! :)

Once the timer went off, she wanted to talk some more, and she came to the conclusion that she indeed was over reacting and needed to tell Erika she was sorry.  We prayed together that the Lord will help her get through this time of memories and to relax in Him.   Erika is a FANTASTIC big sister. She is very understanding of Alli. :)
So, here they are an hour later and Erika is teaching her baby sister how to cast off so she can knit for herself. :)


Alli and I reviewed the video and she was surprised at how she was sounding.    That is one of the benefits of video. We can use it as a teaching tool for ourselves AND for our kids. :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Almost 18 months home!

Alli and Daddy went out tonight for a special time.  She wanted to go to the art store and then they went to get dinner. 

Today was a perplexing day with everything going well, a mini meltdown and then everything going well again! :)
I feel better now. :)  J/K 

When I talked to our social worker about 4 few months ago she said that Alli has so many past anniversaries for Trauma related incidents, she is just one big anniversary!  There are a few things that stand out however and rewriting over those events with other major events has helped her.

Today was a bit of an off day for her.  Could it be hormones?  Could it be past trauma?  Honestly, it could be anything so we covered it all. :)  Feeling angst inside can happen to all of us; how we handle it, is what is very important!
When I look back on the last nearly 18 months, the event of today was rather trivial in comparison.... But that does not mean we settle for  second best; We strive for the BEST with the help of the Lord. 

We are on a new playing field of security and love.  We are not having to really work with her in this area anymore. She has gone with lightening speed into our arms of love and she LIKES it. She likes the security she feels and she knows she is here to stay.
We are turning our focus to issues of  neglect in her upbringing.  She was dependent upon HERSELF and not parents for her safety.  Habits form with this kind of lifestyle and she is learning that she is still very much a little girl.  She LIKES being young, and then at the same time, doesn't.  12 is a confusing age even for the most secure of children.  I can't imagine what it is like for a child of trauma. 
She actually figured out that it will be 4 years before she was 16 and she was celebrating how long that is, because Erika is only  2 years from 16. gulp!

I am comforted in how well Miss Alli is doing, and that we DO have a lot of years ahead of us before she goes into adulthood.

In the mean time.... There will lots of times for building memories and strong relationships  like tonight.  It just so happened that this Thursday was her turn for a Daddy Daughter Date. :)
 It couldn't have come at a better time. :)
 Daddy said they spent a long10 minutes in the jewelry section. :) After Michael's, they went to a restaurant called "Love and War in Texas".
 Honey Corn bread..... shaped like Texas.
 This was a plate for ONE!  They shared it.
And there was a BAND!  She said it was the best band she had ever heard.  :)

New Legs

 Yesterday Sarah finished her appointments for a new leg.  She brought it home and likes it very much.  Erika's legs are still a work in progress.  We have had double appointments for the last few months trying to solve problems with fitting....
Staying in a small room for what seems like an eternity can make one rather.... well.... SILLY. :)















 The Great Leg Mix up. :)


 Trying it out!
 I think she likes it!


And into the elevator to go home!
Erika will have 2 more appointments before delivery. They sent her home with unfinished legs so she can take notes on problem areas .We go back September  6 and turn them in, and then..... this LONG ordeal will be over. Until next time. :)

You Are Still Holy

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