Saturday, February 27, 2010

Frogs and popcorn everywhere

Anyone else out there that may be using My Father's World Creation to the Greeks will now get to see just how behind schedule we are but anyway...we have just finished our study of the 10 plagues. It has really been fun to study Egyptian history right along with our Bible study. It has taught us who was (most likely) the Pharaoh's daughter that found Moses in the river and what Pharaoh would have been (most likely) in control when Moses asked him to release the Hebrew people. Of course the Bible does not give us specific dates for these events but does give a pretty good time line that can then be used in conjunction with other recorded history. When a pharaoh from that time period has a tomb that was never completed and that his body was never put into and when it is documented that this same pharaoh had a son but upon his abrupt disappearance in history his nephew became the new pharaoh with no further mention of the son it just makes sense that the reasons are because he is at the bottom of the red sea and his son died in the 10th plague! That is the reason I LOVE My Father's World curriculum! It really shows "the rest of the story" by using the Bible side by side with other recorded history. For the first time in my life I feel like things really are starting to make sense. Some of the huge gaps and things left unexplained are starting to fill in and have explanations-and we are only in Exodus! I can't wait to learn more and more and more and finally get an explanation to some of the other things that I had chopped up as "guess we will never know"....Oh wait...I am supposed to be the TEACHER not the STUDENT.?! I guess it works for us all just the same only my kids will not have the same gaps so when they are grown and homeschool their own children :) they can spend all of their time growing and getting an even deeper understanding of our Lord because they won't be learning on the same level as their children like I feel I am sometimes. Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE HOMESCHOOLING?! One thing that I really believe is important is that we all understand that the Bible is true. It is not a just book of stories but of actual events. Anytime I can try to make the Bible come to life so that the kids (and I ) can see what the people may have been through it is so awesome. When we were talking about the plagues I printed out a bunch of the little frog pictures and we cut them out and put them around the house. When Monty got home from work he found frogs in his supper, in the freezer, and on the computer. We got to talk about what it would have looked like and sounded like and smelled like it all of our paper frogs were real. We discussed what it would have been like if that were multiplied by thousands. I thought we had a pretty good visual until I read of another mom that went to Kinkos and printed out 5000 frogs and literally had them EVERYWHERE when her kids got out of bed and also played sounds of frogs on the stereo ALL DAY no matter how loud and annoying it all got. Now that is bringing the Bible to life! Since I read her story after we had already done our lesson Monty said no, I could not go print 5000 frogs. The way we did it was enough. I just stored that idea away and I did not remind him that the girls will be going through this same curriculum in a few years. :)
Once the Hebrew people were out of Egypt and in the wilderness, the Lord provided them with manna each day to eat.
My children woke up to a fresh layer of manna(popcorn) on the living room floor. They all love popcorn so this was just fine with them...until it was time for lunch. Lunch-what do you mean? You still have plenty of popcorn! Yep! They had to eat popcorn and nothing but popcorn for breakfast, snacks and lunch! Thirsty ya say....

Hit the rock and then pour you a good ol' cup of water out of it! Nope, sorry! Moses' rock did not flow with kool-aid-only water! When I explained that this was the meal they had every day for 40 years but we would only be doing it for 40 days, just like true little Israelites, the kids all started in with the murmuring and complaining! It was a great lesson in being thankful for what is provided! Of course because I am sure the manna God provided was a little more healthy than microwave popcorn, we only did it for 1 day. They all enjoyed a normal supper that evening. I totally ♥ homeschooling!! Where else can a discussion of Moses interceding for the children of Israel turn into a discussion about Barack Obama and then on to research about Charles Manson? Don't ask me how it happened, but it did!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Snow flakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes

Snow is definitely one of my favorite thing! Since Christmas eve, we have had more days with snow on the ground than days without. That is very unusual for our area (that darn global warming!). I personally LOVE the snow and of course the kids do to. We have had several days that you wake up to a fresh powdery layer of snow over everything only for it to be gone that afternoon. Snowy days are the most beautiful days and every picture you take of a snowy scenery seems to come out more beautiful than the last one. Just thought I would share some more of our snowy day pictures......

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Time for a wedding

My girls love High School Musical. They also love playing barbies. They were both very happy to learn that the High School Musical characters have been made into Barbie dolls. Keslee got the Troy and the Gabriella doll for Christmas and Kalysa has Sharpe and Kelsey. They are not really the same as the characters you will see in the movies because our Troy is a preacher and these Barbies go to church almost every day in the play room. Just in case you wonder what ever became of GI Joe, he has also become a preacher ever since the girls discovered that their brother had 2 GI Joe dolls that he never really played with much and they are really short on boy Barbie dolls. Well today Troy and Gabriella are getting married. Bet you did not realize that Gabriella had always planned on being a preacher's wife, did ya? Only problem is....we do not have any Barbie size wedding dresses........

so a box of Kleenex and several safety pins will have to work!
The entire wedding party is decked out in their white paper gowns for the wedding of the year. And I know the perfect wedding singers to hire for the occasion....
Kalysa got a High School Musical karaoke microphone for her birthday, It plugs right into the TV and shows scenes from the movie behind the words to 10 different songs as it plays the music. You can sing along with the song and hear your voice through the television's speakers. It has been a constant concert here for the past few weeks.

Did I mention that daddy LOVES all three High School Musical movies at least(if not more) than the girls do??!! Oh, yea! You know he had to take his turn on the mic!! Some people may make fun of a grown man that enjoys High School Musical movies and knows and sings along with all the songs but I tell you what, I am so thankful to have a husband that can be rolling around on the floor wrestling with his son one minute and then sitting in the living room floor with two girls on his lap singing "You are the music in me" the next minute!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Kenyon the builder

I have wanted to get Kenyon a K-NEX set for the last several years but they are just so expensive if you want to get a set large enough to do any serious projects. This fall I found a huge set in the large plastic carry case about the size of a suitcase being sold second hand for just $10. It was a deal I could NOT pass up! We gave it to him for Christmas and he has been building ever since. So far he has built a motorcycle, a robot complete with moving arms and head, a helicopter with motorized propeller and tail ( I am so mad I did not get a photo of that one!! It was awesome and was at least 2 foot long and about a foot tall!).
His most recent project was this formula 1 car with a working steering wheel.

He will spend hours working on each project and he has been so proud to see what he has been able to accomplish. He has a large instruction booklet with tons of different designs and he will sit for hours working on each one. After a few days, he takes it all apart and starts something new. Now I know what a great investment it would have been if we would have buckled down and spent the money years ago to start a collection that we could have built up slowly. We may just have to continue building on his collection now because he wants to build bigger and better things each time. He would also love not to have to take each one apart in order to have enough parts to build the next one. Although Kenyon has had a total blast with his K-NEX, I don't think he ever intended this to happen....

No regular Barbie car can hold that many people!! Fun for the whole family! :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Photographic evidence

Babies are born everyday. Mom's get pregnant and nine months later a perfect beautiful baby is born. We have all heard stories of perfect and healthy babies being born to mothers that did not do anything we all hear we should do to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Babies come in hospitals, in taxi cabs, in an aisle at the local walmart, at home, in tubs of water, in public restrooms, in 3rd world countries with no medical care, in sterilized delivery rooms and in the most unclean places imaginable. Birth is an everyday occurrence and one that we all see and hear about so often that we often forget about the MIRACLE that is a baby. A miracle straight from God that no man can ever recreate. A miracle that no man can fully explain. A miracle that man has taken for granted so horribly that it has become to mean nothing to so many people. A miracle that is often looked at as a mistake or a problem that we can choose to destroy if we so desire. Oh, the tears that God must shed each time one of his precious miracles is looked upon in such a way. As if the pricelessness of a newborn baby is not miracle enough to prove the existence of an Almighty Creator, he sends an even more evident miracle as further proof for us fool hearted humans to again show us His love, mercy, protection and power. For our family, that evidence arrived 7 years ago-January 25, 2003-14 weeks earlier than expected in the form of our perfect and beautiful 2 pound 4 ounce Kalysa Glori. Every time Kalysa has another birthday, I can not help but spend the day marveling at the wonderful Lord that we serve that (for some unknown reason) thought me worthy enough for Him to hand deliver my own personal package of perfection as a way to prove to me even further of the love He has for me and to remind me of the faith that He so longs for me to have in Him.
I thought I would share with you some of the photographic evidence I have collected that is proof positive that I serve an Awesome God!!

At 20 days old on her very first Valentine's day. The nurse had put heart sheets on her tiny incubator mattress and a precious little bow in her hair before we arrived for our daily visit. Not long before I got to the hospital, Kalysa ripped her ventilator tube out and was breathing well on her own so they did not put it back in(one of 3 times she ripped it out before it stayed out for good). This was the first time I got to see her entire perfect face unobstructed. I could not have held back the tears with the Hoover Dam when I saw her laying there. Unfortunately, after several hours on her own, she was getting really tuckered out working so hard to breath that the ventilator had to go back on later that day so she could get some rest.

When the ventilator tubes were removed for good (at about 5 weeks) we were able to spend our visitation times actually holding our tiny baby. This was the first time I got to hold her whole little body in my arms, and yet another day that the Hoover Dam would have been no use! We finally were able to participate in all diaper changes and dressing her up and getting her ready to learn to suck and breath at the same time so that she could go home.

Home from the hospital at 69 days and up to 4 pounds and 9 ounces. This was still about 3 1/2 weeks before she was even due to be born. Here she is all dressed up in her first Easter dress. You can see the wires from the apnea monitor she was sent home with. She stayed strapped to the monitor(meaning I was also strapped to carrying that stupid thing around) for about 5 months as a precautionary measure. She did not need it at all. It did not go off one single time for any medical reason but as she got a little bigger she was able to move around enough and twist the connectors that were detecting her breaths out of line just enough to send that awful siren blaring through our house. I tell ya-no one would have been able to sleep through that if there ever had been a real emergency!

With Keslee being only about a week from her 1st birthday when we finally brought Kalysa home, she kinda thought she got a new baby doll. She was the same little mothering soul then that she is today. Kalysa always wanted to be moving and Keslee was more than happy to be sure the baby's swing did not stop moving or to set and lightly bounce the bouncy seat every time the batteries died on the vibration function. She was always so gentle with her new baby but I still was not confident in her ability enough to actually let her push her around in the little shopping cart. Although she REALLY wanted to, we just used it as a photo op! Kalysa would have been about 3 months old in this picture.

As a comparison, we used the same little shopping cart when Kalysa turned one year old. She still fit just not as comfortably!

As soon as Kalysa came home from the hospital, she had an occupational therapist that came to the house twice a month to work with her and help us to make sure she was meeting each of the normal milestones. At birth they told us it was possible that she may be blind or deaf or have any number of mental delays that would last a life time. Her therapist came until she turned 3 years old and then we sent her to a special ed 3 year old pre-k class for about 3 hours a few times a week. At 3 years old, she was the only kid in the class that did not have to have speech therapy(which is a very common need-the ventilator tube pressed up on the roof of her mouth for the first 5 weeks of her life and basically reshaped it. It is very high!). Her teachers agreed that she really had no special needs but they loved her so much that they did not want to disqualify her from the class. She worked on ABCs and writing her name while the others did various therapy sessions.
At 4 years old it was so evident that there were no mental delays that the special ed teachers were forced to give her up and let her go to a regular pre-k class.
She loved going to school and was sad when she did not have homework like her brother did. She was the only one of the 3 kids that was not so sure about our decision to pull them out and begin our homeschool adventures. Of course when UPS delivered our first big box of curriculum and she saw all the fun "homework" that was just for her, she lost that apprehension and got excited! She was our first homeschool graduate when she finished her first homeschool year and got Kindergarten graduation pictures made.
Now here she sits, on our bathroom counter seven years after we first met her, awaiting a birthday present that she has been longing for for months......
BANGS! I think I got them a little short because she was to excited to sit still but they will grow out a little and be perfect. She loved them....especially after I pulled the rest of her hair back into a pony tale and her sister looked at her with awe and love and said "Oh Kalysa! You look just like a cheerleader!" Now what 7 year old wouldn't want to hear a compliment like that?!?
SEVEN YEARS! I just can't believe it has been seven years since we were given the miracle that completed our family. I can't believe that after seven years and as many pictures as I like to take, Kalysa has still not learned the art of the fake smile for the camera! This goofy scrunched up grin(or a super wide, all teeth showing, eyes bulging out smile) is what we have always gotten when we try to make her smile for a picture. With her smiles it is either real or nothing even close to looking real. :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

What to do???

What to do.....

...when you have been away from your blog so long that you are afraid everything you planned on posting is now old news.
...when you really doubt anyone even reads anything you write anyway-based on the lack of comments :(
...when you think you have something so insightful to say only to read someone else's blog and realize that your own thoughts seem so monotonous and mundane now.

What I am going to do....

...just pick up where I left off like nothing ever happened :)
...continue to write for myself-I love my blog and the outlet it gives me for my thoughts. Whether anyone else reads them or not, each post I write has served that purpose. :)
...Remember that the other blogger's incisive revelations are a picture of where that person is in their life and is a reflection of the growth they are experiencing in their life/homeshool/Christian walk/marriage/parenting, AND so are my own experiences!! Just because we are not all at the same place at the same time does not take away from the worth of what I have encountered. Somewhere out there is someone that may be able to learn or grow from reading my posts just the way I often feel when I read other's and maybe the people it is meant to encourage is my own daughters someday far down the road.
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