Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Assignment 2 completed!

Well, amidst more illnesses than I can count spread out between four children (they do like to share) and God blessing me with extra work, I've finally gotten my second assignment turned in for my writing course. I had to write a novel synopsis which entailed a 1500 word plot and main character synopsis, a market rationale, and a list of potential publishers to my instructor.
I can't believe I actually got it done. Now that I have I am so completely excited to actually get to do the writing. Of course, that still has to wait because my next assignment is a chapter by chapter outline. Not as much fun as the actual writing of course, but handy to have when your brain just can't remember what was supposed to come next.
We start school on Monday so I'm nervous about juggling it all. Somehow, though, God always enables us to manage, doesn't He? If you think about it, pray for Dillon. He leaves for his first youth group trip tomorrow. He's stoked, but mom's terrified!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I made it sound like I didn't want my Sarah sitting with me. I don't mind and cherish the fact that she wants to make me feel better.

On the Couch

I'm lying on the couch right now with a fever. While Sarah sits with/on me to "make me feel better", I have such intellectually stimulating entertainment as Fairytopia's Mariposa on the television. As a result, my mind keeps wandering to things I've been wondering about lately. There quite random, but if anyone has thoughts I'd love to hear them.

1. Why will their be priesthood sacrifices in the Millenial Kingdom?

2. Why do we still lay hands on people for ordination to ministry, but not for the gift of the Holy Spirit? To me it seems inconsistent to say one is normative for the church and the other not. What do we base that on?

I know that's just two, but I don't feel up to typing anymore.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Thank you to.....

  • Dan and Kathryn Samons- for always making sure I have enough groceries to feed my children. You truly live that verse, "When I was hungry you gave me something to eat."

  • Jennifer Rahman- for thinking I'm smart and funny, loving me even though I don't like pop music (although you do keep trying), and being an all around great encourager.

  • Christine Franklin- for letting me sing with Ladies Ensemble all these years and give voice to what is in my heart.

  • Neil Rutman- for his much treasured friendship, putting up with my never ending questions (even the ones I keep repeating-well, most of them anyway), teaching my children and helping my son live out his dream, always buying my girls dolls when he travels, taking us all on our first horseback ride, and the many pints of strawberries you've given us.

  • Vicki Lorimer- for fasting and praying with me.

  • Ken and Amber Singleton- for the nicest vehicle I've ever driven let alone owned, taking me out to dinner, and Joshua Bell tickets (I still can't believe I actually got to see him play).

  • Rex Bell, Billy Gaye Viner, and Jim McMurray- for enabling me to earn money and still be home to raise my children. I'll take as much work as you're willing to give me.

  • Jane Bell- for a birthday dinner, putting up with a very selfish mood, and making my girls those beautiful dresses.

  • Jennifer Manasco- for arranging for me to get my first violin and live out a life long dream. Have I ever told you how much I love your laugh? I haven't forgotten about all the beautiful clothes you've given me either.

  • Stacy Asher- for listening to me, letting me listen to you, and always thinking I'm better than I really am.

I know I've left someone out. Please forgive me. Looking at this list, I can't believe how blest I am.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I wish.....

Don't get too disappointed when most of these aren't spiritual.....I'm in a very human mood right now.

  • That I didn't have to vaccum three times a day
  • That I could lose this last ten pounds
  • That I could take my children to the dentist (that really should be number one)
  • That I wasn't completely exhausted all the time
  • That doctors didn't have to "practice" medicine so much
  • That I could be completely sure about a major life decision I'm making
  • That....well, this one's a secret

What I'm grateful for:

  • That I have four wonderful children to vaccum up after
  • That God has allowed me to lose some of my weight
  • That even though I can't take them to the dentist they seem to have healthy teeth
  • That I'm exhausted serving the ones I love
  • That I have doctors that care (that hasn't always been the case)
  • That I can trust the Holy Spirit to guide me
  • That....well, still a secret

Thursday, June 19, 2008

One of those days......

I wanted to take the children to the pool today. We haven't really gotten to go this week, because they haven't been getting their work done. But, today I was determined. We pay for the pool, so by gosh we're going to use it. It took several hours of "pulling teeth" to get everyone to do their jobs. We finally got to the pool around two in the afternoon. Everyone was having a good time, except the baby who for some reason today decided he didn't want to be in the water. I've got to watch four children, so for part of the time I made him. Bad idea. Something happened that startled him and he let out quite a scream. I was so busy trying to figure out what happened to him that I didn't notice he'd pulled the top of my swimsuit down so far that my left breast had popped out. That is no easy feat. After nursing four young 'uns those things hang down so far I didn't think that was even possible. I covered myself up, while turning extremely red and tried to hide for a while.
We got home in time for me to make dinner, but everyone was exhausted and grumpy. The oldest took off to hide and read. Rachel disappeared into her room. So there went my helpers. The youngest two led a chorus of tears the entire way through dinner prep. Neil cried every time I tried to put him down. Do you know how hard it is to make chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes with one hand? I had to pry him off and let him cry while I cut the potatoes though. During that time the four year old kept crying, "I hate what your making. Why can't I have Pringles for dinner?" the whole time I was cooking. Even though she's never actually even had it before. I kept calling the older two to come help, which they would for about 15 seconds and then take off again. I'm actually still too annoyed to deal with that at the moment. I'll have to do that later when I'm more calm. At some point during the chaos, Brent came home, grabbed his golf clubs, and took off for the golf course. I'm not exactly sure when though. Not sure I know how to keep this dinner warm, so his will have to be a reheat.
I think I want to put everyone to bed early, curl up on the couch and watch and episode of MI-5 tonight. Hopefully typing this will be therapeutic.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Next year's curriculum

For my 11 year old:

  • History/Literature/theology: Omnibus II. I combine these because they are so interrelated in the curriculum. He'll read Beowulf, The Rule of St. Benedict, Eusebius- The Church History, Confessions, Ecclesiastical History of England, Song of Roland, On Incarnation of Our Lord, Bondage of the Will, Macbeth, Canterbury Tales, The Divine Comedy-Hell, History of the Kings of England, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. These titles are the primary reading. Omnibus has the student do a text analysis, cultural analysis (theirs and ours), and a Biblical analysis. It also contains a variety of writing assignments. I like the fact that the student really has to think. He doesn't just get to parrot out what he's read. He's forced to make conclusions and comparisons. This was hard for him at first, but by the second semester of this past school year he had adapted quite well. Omnibus also has Secondary books. I just let him read these for pleasure, no examinations by mom. He's a willing reader so this has never backfired on me. Most of them he's already read anyway. This years title for pleasure reading are Robin Hood, The Hobbit, The Nine Tailors, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Dragon and the Raven, Fellowship of the Ring, King Richard III, Henry the V, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, and Winning His Spurs.
  • Mathematics: Geometry by Harold Jacobs. I've already spoken to almost all of you about this curriculum, but let me repeat one thing. In Geometry proofs are essential. Yes, I know you can learn about circles, angles, and triangles without them. But, proofs do much in helping students become logical thinkers. I don't think your doing irreparable harm by using a curriculum that doesn't contain proofs, but in the long run I think the student benefits from them.
  • Grammar: Rod and Staff Grade 7
  • Vocabulary: Jensen's Vocabulary. It teaches the student how to use Latin and Greek suffixes and roots to discover what words mean.
  • Spelling: Spelling Power (all of you are already familiar with this)
  • Writing: Institute for Excellence in Writing DVD seminar's and workbooks
  • Science: Apologia's Physical Science. He wants to get to Biology so I'm going to let him start this over the summer. Hopefully he'll get to Biology by second semester.
  • Foreign Languages: Formally we do ABeka's Spanish 1 and 2. I know it's a high school course, but we take our time and spread it out over several years. We're also learning Mandarin together by CD Rom. I've tried squeezing in Latin, but am just plain out of time. So, this year I'm going to bite the bullet and get him the DVD's. So, someone else will teach him Latin.

For the 8 Year Old:

  • History: We're doing Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation this year. I combine Veritas Press, which tends to focus on events, with Greenleaf Press, which tends to focus on people. Together I think they're pretty complete. I forgot to mention Geography with my older child. I wrote my own curriculum for that. The two oldest do it together, but the older one is accountable for more information.
  • Mathematics: ABeka 3 and part of 4
  • Grammar: Rod and Staff Level 3
  • Vocabulary: Vocabulary from Classical Roots Book A
  • Spelling: Spelling Power
  • Writing: Institute for Excellence in Writing DVD Seminar's and workbooks
  • Science: Apologia's Exploring Creation with Botany
  • Foreign Language: Spanish Abeka book I
  • Cursive: I have a CD Rom called Start Write. I type out whatever I want her to write and it prints out the dots for me so she can make correct formation.
  • Literature: McGuffy Readers Plus Adam of the Road, Beorn the Proud, The Bible Smuggler, The Door in the Wall, Ink on His Fingers, River of Grace, King Arthur, Macbeth (together with Dillon), Robin Hood, and Homer Price.

The Four Year Old:

  • Reading: At Last A Reading Method for Every Child combined with McGuffy Readers. This has worked for all my children, each of which has completely different learning abilities. My first two, who are complete opposites academically, were both at a third grade reading level in Kindergarten. I attribute that to this phonics program.
  • Math One: By Saxon She's already a third of the way through this and loves it! The all have, even my math hater.

For the Baby:

  • Lot's of crackers, blocks, board books, and Baby Mozart videos. I just try to keep him and alive and feeling loved during school hours. That's not as easy as it sounds. ; )

I hope this helps.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Course work and Homeschooling

  • Course Work: Well, my instructor agreed to let me work on the book that Dillon was most excited about. I'll keep you posted as to how it's going. I have to have the complete book and chapter synopsis turned in by mid-July. It's a good thing we're on our summer schedule for school.
  • Homeschooling: I've had so many calls in the last couple of weeks from people with curriculum questions that I'm going to list out my curriculum on my blog. That way I can send everyone there and save myself the hours I've spent on the phone. Look for it in the coming week.....If any of you have questions about a specific subject or curriculum let me know and I'll be sure to include it.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Recommended Reading

I want to recommend two historical books. The first, The Church History by Eusebius (translated by Paul L. Maier) gives one man's picture of the early days of the Christian church. Eusebius lived from A.D. 260-339. I found it interesting to see them grapple with which books should be in the canon. At the time of his writing they still weren't too sure about James or 2 Peter as well as some others. The most touching parts are the accounts of the martyrs, especially the elderly Polycarp.
The second book is also by Maier, The Flames of Rome. Paul Maier tried to create a new genre called Documentary Fiction by using only real people and actual events in his novel. It reads like historical fiction normally would, but is more accurate. Set during the time of Claudius and Nero you get a unique picture of how the Romans reacted as they were exposed to the early Christians. One word of warning-Nero is a vile man. You probably already knew that, but his vileness is shown in the novel. If your considering having your child read it, I would preview it first to see if your comfortable with their exposure to the se*xual content. He does it as tastefully as possible. Personally I was impressed with his ability to give you the real picture without being too explicit.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I got accepted!

Some of you know I recently graduated a writing course through a Connecticut writing school. They also have an advanced course, that enables you to finish a book length manuscript. Your instructor is an established writer that they pair you with based on previous work. You cannot apply to the advanced program. It is by instructor recommendation only, then you go through a committe review before acceptance. I just found out that I've been admitted into the advanced program. I am very excited. Dillon has already decided what I should do for my manuscript. It's a story I had recently started for him, but then "left him hanging" (his words) when I was busy with my other course work.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Gearing up for next year

O.K., I've listened to another Andrew Pudewa lecture (one of my favorite educational speakers). Now, I'm inspired to really follow through on having the children memorize more poetry. We always do some, but I'm not consistent with it. Plus, I'm really bad at having them review. So now I've added one more thing to my growing to do list. Anyone willing to give me suggestions on silly poems (for Rachel and Sarah) and warlike, manly poems (for Dillon)?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Joshua Bell

I went to Joshua Bell's concert tonight. He played Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor. It was amazing. There were so many complexities with the double stops. Not a piece I'll be able to play any time soon. He played two encores. One by a Mexican composer. I think the piece was My Little Star. That one I'm going to learn. The final encore was an excerpt from a movie he did the music for "The Red Violin". I have never made such smooth string crossings-ever. Not even by accident. It really made me wish I had more time to practice.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Thanks Jennifer

My friend Jennifer inspired me to try this. I'm technologically challenged, so it will take me a while to get things the way I like them. But first I have to thank Jennifer for the generous things she said about me on her blog "Reflections by Jennifer". I think they're undeserved. You are a treasured friend.