Friday, August 28, 2009

Ideas, ideas, ideas! I love good ideas. I can't implement them all, but I love to hear about them! We have actually come upon some good ones over the last few yrs. And I am still looking for more. Let's re-cap some really great ones. Let's see, there's the Christmas morning scavenger hunt to find the presents, and recently, we are trying to refine the new idea of a simple gift given to the kids,( or a special baking project, or even a service to someone) on each of the 12 days of Christmas. And on each day..we speak of the supposed christian "sybolism" that day represents. This yr. I want to find gifts that actually correspond to each day's part of the song,( last yr. I found a partridge in a pear tree ornament). I also want to do more "for others" projects in place of some of the gift giving. Our extended families are gearing towards not exchanging gifts but instead everyone giving money to charities on Christmas. Lots of people are doing that. I have also really given thought to not putting up the tree, since it isn't really anything to do with the celebration of Christ but just a lot of work and noone but me does it. It doesn't seem important to anyone, so one day, it may not appear. I will just pack up the ornaments and leave them in the attic to give to the kids when they leave home. What I do like, is the collection of nativity scenes and nativity calendars that we have and I hope to keep adding to that.

Besides Christmas ideas, we have started a memory book. One person writes a memory, then hides the book under someone else's pillow. After that person discovers the book, and reads it, they add their own memory and it keeps going from person to person. It's cute,( but the kids don't add too it much).

Also, I now have "mailboxes" for the kids in the schoolroom. I try to write some encouragement or compliment to each kid every week or so, and then write on the dry erase board..." you've got mail". I think that's neat for them and it helps me to really think out my words to them.

The other day, Francis was talking about drawing a picture on paper and being able to print a message on top of the picture, and that gave me a great idea. It's not original, because somewhere in the past I've heard of it... homemade stationary,( for the grandma that likes to write). So I told him that he can draw 2-3 designs on paper with a light colored pencils or even stamped images, and then we can make several copies of each, fold them nicely, and wrap them in a silk ribbon. What a great gift!

Family Fun Magazine has been a great source of ideas. I've wanted to do a million of them, but my kids are older now and don't want to do as much of the crafty stuff anymore. Still, this yr. we carved watermelon instead of pumpkins, and that idea was from the magazine. That was cool. And speaking of pumpkins, that reminds me of the harvest time. I looove is my fav. holiday. However, Halloween is also in the time frame and I hate Halloween. It's such an evil day, both in it's origins and it's present day practices. I have tried to re-name it with the rest of the christian world as Hallelujah Night, but it just doesn't feel right still. I know the idea is to evangelize on that night, but mostly church people come to play and let their kids have fun. One yr. I felt God leading me to write a letter about Halloween and why we don't celebrate it and pass it out to my neighborhood,(this was in PR). This yr. my idea is to buy some Chick Publications tracts,( they are in the form of comics) and begin laying them around in stores way before the actual night of the 31st. My kids will of course want to go to church to have fun with their friends but I need more ideas on how to witness and be involved in educating people about this demonic night.

Hmm, that was kind of deep there. Let's move on. This summer, we all got way too lazy. So I made a booklet of poster board where each page has a theme,( diet, exercise, chores etc.) and pockets with strips of paper,(tickets). The pockets are at the bottom of the pages and at the top, there is an envelope glued on. Each time the kids finish another task or eat another serving of a food group, they move the corresponding ticket to the envelope. This has worked very well, and I don't have to do much checking or nagging to make sure everything is done.

Whew, well, I guess I need to finish this up, for it's extremely long already. However, I am sure that I forgot to mention maybe an Ideas II will appear one day.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I love Mondays...I don't think anyone else feels the same though. It's a new week, a fresh start, and the beginning of another week that we can mark off of our calendar. This yr. has special potential and that adds to the good feeling of each week. Although, we are def. having some "issues" with attitude, we have also accomplished the unthinkable,(at least when regarding our family). We are now getting up at 7 a.m. as opposed to 9 or so. We are also starting the day by walking the dog which helps with the waking up of our bodies and minds. Then we come home and while the kids eat I read some devotional books. Then, we start our work. I am still not doing as well with keeping up on household chores and that's mostly because I simply don't like cleaning. I would rather be on the computer communicating with ppl. But, I still need to do it. I am lately in the mood to get rid of stuff though, so as to make life a bit simpler and to make sure we are actually using what we have. I love seeing shelves emptying. It's such a good feeling. Some things I can't part with though,(sentimental things from the kids' childhood). Those things go to the attic, where at least they are out of sight. And to think, in just a few short yrs. I will be sending some of it off with my daughter. Wow, how beautiful it is to think about my daughter beginning her own family one day and pulling out of that "special place" the keepsakes of her childhood. What sweet memories she will have to pass on. As each school yr. comes, I am always looking at new ideas to implement...and sometimes I am able to work those ideas into the schedule and sometimes not. Some of these ideas are merely educational ideas but some help me to focus on memory making. Of course, the kids aren't always pleased with these new things because to them it's just more things to comsume their free time. But once in awhile I get the feeling that there's a bit of enjoyment in it, even if just for a moment. Those moments give me the encouragement to go on. And occasionally, I have to let something go, seeing that I am the only one who likes the new habit or tradition and that it's not worth making everyone else miserable in carrying it on. It's strange that I didn't start this post to talk about these things, but that's the neat thing about blogging, sometimes your thoughts just spill out and at the end you've discovered that something has emerged that wasn't anticipated.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Well, this has been a good Sat. I organized, cleaned a bit, watched several old movies and Moody Bible Institute videos to see if we keep them or get rid of them. I have decided that since I have tried to sell off a bunch of homeschool stuff to no avail, that I will keep it in the attack until next yr.'s homeschool book sale. I am sure I will have much more to add to the growing pile with one more yr. under our belts. Then, I can try to make some money that will go towards the next yr.'s materials. So, that's my plan. The kids did a bunch of nothing today,(that's what Sat. is for yes?). I did have Francis mow the back yard and now I owe him money. I tried again to go out to enjoy the gorgeous weather..but no...I had to dive back inside because of the moquitoes and take Benadryl. How I am missing the summer fun! Looking forward though, to a pool party next Tues. That will be a highlight. Today I began feeling the disappointment of being let down by people who I thought would prove to be new friends that we would hang with. Is God trying to remove my deep emotional attachment issues and only have Him to lean on and trust in? I am so very glad that He is my Rock. Without him I would not want to linger long on this earth. I am looking forward to maybe starting up some volunteer work with Meals on Wheels. It sounds like a great way to incorporate service to our community and meet people into whose lives we can share. I hope these kinds of things work out for us this yr. I really think that we will gain a richness in our lives through these opportunities. So, with hope for our lives to hopefully become full with meaningful activity again, I go to bed and look forward to a few minutes to ponder and talk with my Jesus.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hmm, what should I say. This is the first blog so where do I start. Well, I guess Monday is as good a place as any. It was the beginning of another homeschool yr. I have been ordered from my precious homeschool catalogs..all the goodies that I've looked over time and time again..sifting through the wanted list until there is an affordable list of things that seem the most likely to be used. Excitement is the the air, ( but only the air of my personal aura) and I have decided,( as I always do) to make some changes that will hopefully bring this school yr. to a climax of success and enjoyment. We are not early risers but I promise you that we have been awake everyday this week at 7 a.m.,( except today and it was 7:30) and doing well with the new and improved schedule. Sounds awesome right? It was..until I realized that I have a party pooper on board and there are some issues that are going to rear their ugly heads much earlier in the yr. than I thought. We all seem to be grouchy this yr. and each of us blames the others. I blame Victoria for being so grouchy and Francis for always making so much disturbing noise. And Victoria blames me for being grouchy and Francis for annoying her. Francis blames me for being grouchy,( two strikes against me) and Victoria for being too touchy. Just now Victoria came to me saying how much school,( the hard stuff-i.e. geometry and chemistry) that she has, and how many chores she still needs to do etc. I had to send her away disappointed that I didn't lighten her's just going to get harder from here, so why should I baby her. Oh the joys. So, how is this school yr. going to go? Day 4 and we are already on each other's nerves. I guess I will need to be more involved in prayer and find more ways for the kids to get out of here and spend time with others. That is the only way I think we will all keep some sanity. So, I end this first blog with a bit of ho-hum and discouragement. But so be it...afterall, that is part of the journey, isn't it?