Saturday, September 25, 2010

Something to Miss

Thank you Lord for a safe and fun vacation this year!

Hurricane Igor greeted us at the Outer Banks of North Carolina! Though Igor was many miles west (I mean EAST) of us the wind, waves, and high surf reminded us of its presence. But that didn't stop two very anxious kids from sitting at the edge of the tide.

This is the view from our oceanfront beach house.

Here is Sweetness alongside Treasure Hunter! They're scouting the waters for sea shells! Look how tall she is!

Once Igor moved north we went from sipping hot tea to guzzling iced tea! I have never seen the sea so calm. Treasure Hunter took Cutie Pie on a trek far out into the ocean!

We visited the Albemarle Sound where the kids enjoyed swimming in knee deep water and pretended to be settlers making thatched roof homes.

We were estatic when we learned our friends would be vacationing the same time. We spent a day at their place and they spent a day at ours!

Here we are having lunch!

Here are the kids posing for me! Cutie Pie is exhibiting the whelk shell that he spied with his two little eyes, reached down and grabbed before the sea reclaimed it.

I prefer the beach in the late afternoon, when the house provides shade, the water reflects the sunset, and the moon is rising. The moon makes the water glisten like silver!

We decided to begin our journey home on Friday evening. We prefer traveling at night with less traffic and having all day Saturday at home. We were so thankful to be home this morning. We were reminiscing of our trip and also talking of next year's vacation. Sweetness and I discussed a mountain cabin in the cool mountains surrounded by trees with a lake where we could go boating, fishing, swimming. Geesh, we just described where we live! Sometimes you have to miss something before you realize how precious it is. There is something to miss no matter where you are!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Our first "official" volunteer visit to the nursing home went really well. We first met Mrs. Z who I will describe as a very dignified lady. She is crippled with arthritis, but has a very good mind. She told us about her family and we were so excited that we knew her family! She even remembers their birth months. Her eyesight is failing and welcomed us to read scripture to her. I asked if she'd like to hear a particular passage, and she said, "It is ALL good." So Sweetness began in Genesis 1. I asked Mrs. Z what did God do on day 7 and she said, "Rested." We prayed with her before leaving and said we'd be back, Lord willing for church service on Saturday.

Then we met with Mrs. E. She too was eager to meet us and asked us to take her to the activities room. There we read from the book of John and Mrs. E proclaimed she was born again! Sweetness sang Leaning on the Everlasting Arms! That child has a beautiful voice and is not the least bit shy! I asked Mrs. E if she was from Madison and she said, "No I'm from West Virginia!" You could imagine the wonderful good conversation that detail sparked.

We were on our way after this visit; looking forward to Saturday.

Saturday came quickly enough and although we camped out Friday night I set my cell phone alarm so we could get up early enough to attend the church service. Saturday mornings at the nursing home with our church is quite different than our Thursday visit. You take the initiative to go door to door asking residents if they'd like to go to church.

One precious lady was sitting in the hall. I had not seen her before. I asked if she'd like to come to church and she said, "No, honey I can't. I'm going home today. My sons are coming to pick me up if I can ever get ahold of them. See I have all my things packed, because they gave my room to somebody else."

Church service was delightful with good preaching and song. Our Pastor has an amazing voice that the hearing impaired residents appreciate! The children, my two and two other precious ones, sang a song. I was soooo surprised Cutie Pie sang with them! A number of residents joined in the songs! I was amazed at how many knew all the words when I had to look at the hymnal.

Lunchtime is next and we take some of the residents back to their rooms, while others stay in the dining room for lunch. It is always sooo hard to say goodbye. Mrs. Z was thankful to get back to her warm room. And the lady who was waiting for her sons to pick her up was still waiting in the hall. I talked with her a good bit and just can't understand why she's there. She appears to be in goood health. She can walk and doesn't look that old. She told me where she lived, told me her sons names... Sweetness sang for her and we were soon on our way with promises to return again soon.

Thursdays will be our visitation day. We will visit with Mrs. Z and Mrs. E, but also ask to visit with the dear ladies we remember from church. I began this visitation for Sweetness, and again, my daughter never ceases to lead me into the greatest blessings! For I am more thankful today for a home to clean, children to feed and a Savior that will return to set everything aright once more!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

School Begins

This school year began with a treasure hunt. The kids LOVED following the map to their bags of candy. They deserved it after listening attentively and doing their work with no complaining.

Heart of Dakota's Bigger Hearts for His Glory is just the tool I have been looking for. We are studying American History beginning with Columbus. This curriculum gives a lot of creative ideas to expound on the characters and events of our history readings. e.g., we made a paper boat of the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria! They really float! We made a watercolor painting of the sea with a hidden sea animal. We simulated a solar and lunar eclipse. We're learning more about the seashore and can hardly wait to examine One Small Square when we go to the beach in a few weeks.

Sweetness and Cutie Pie have notebooks with a picture of a puppy on the outside. This is their character notebook. Just like puppies need training in good behavior, so do children. (I'm not a humanist, however). So each week we copy a character trait, Bible verse, and list Bible characters who exemplify this character and talk of how we can portray this character in our daily walk. I asked Cutie Pie, "Do you believe the Lord will help you be good?" He shrugged hsi shoulders. "It's really easy to be bad, because we're born with a sinful nature, so we need God to help us be good."

"Yeah. It sure is easy to make a mess, but its hard to clean it up," he explained. Later he showed me a science experiment he learned in science camp this summer. He filled a small glass bottle with water and different food colorings until the water turned black. Then he asked me to place a drop of chlorine bleach in the bottle. We watched as the water turned clear again. Cutie pie said, "That's what Jesus does. He turns our dirty sins clean."

And the three r's. Cutie Pie really loves using dictation for spelling in lieu of those dreadful workbooks : / I hope he will remain enthusiastic as the text gets harder. Sweetness insists she reads better silently than aloud. I believe this to be true as she narrated a story with more detail after reading her assignmetn silently.

We are using Math U See as a spine to make sure I am covering most math concepts, but I do drift from the teaching methods at times. Sweetness catches on to math concepts much more quickly now as her brain has matured. Cutie Pie loves math, especially his time workbook.

Tomorrow we will take the day off from the "books" and spend time learning to serve others. I feel led to nurture Sweetness' God given gift of compassion. We attend our church's services at the local nursing home one Saturday per month. Sweetness is very fond of the residents there and begged to visit more often. We filled out an application, had a background check, and will begin visiting with a resident on a regular basis tomorrow. We are both nervous and excited about meeting this new person God has placed in our lives.

Then we will clean our church fellowship hall and decorate the Sunday School room I will be ass't teacher for.

Thanks for a wonderful good start to our school year Lord. Help me to teach my children what they need to know to further Your Kingdom.