Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Take Great Care

Mike takes such good care of Mary Anne in Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel that she doesn't grow old.  Hannah and I talked about stewardship.  I broke it down to taking care of things.  We also did some work on her writing her name.  She often gets all the letters but not in the correct order.  She had a major attitude when she woke up and it reared its ugly head during class, so she was sent to "rest" for an hour in her room to help take care of it. 
When she got out, we had lunch and since we had talked about stewardship, I figured now is as good a time as any to add some chores to her day.  She chose to take over dusting, and she was given the responsibility of making her bed, tidying her room, and putting away her clean clothes.  And for anyone out there that thinks this is too much for five year old, I must tell you that in all it took less than one hour of her day.  And no, she will not get paid for them, because then it changes from stewardship and into a job. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Five in a Row of another kind

We have been sick since last Wednesday.  In the midst of that I don't remember if we did school work or not.  I do know that we had my lovely In-Loves come for a visit.  Hannah loved having her Grammy and Papa here for a visit.  We went to The Henry Ford Museum on Saturday and had a day full of church on Sunday, then they were on their way again by Monday.  It was a special trip for Joel's installation at St. Timothy, which for the non-presby's out there it's a special service by the church's governing body placing him as the pastor to a specific church. 
We are still recovering from being sick.  I have decided to scrap Who Owns the Sun?, mainly because it is terribly long to read to sick little girl and the concept of slavery is a little too difficult for me to explain right now. Instead we are going to move forward with Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. But I need to find my FIAR book first :D

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Blanket Stories

The language arts portion of The Rag Coat included talking about stories and encourages making a quilted pillow top.  We, however, have house guests coming and stuffy noses.  Instead I told Hannah some stories about her beautiful "Blankie."  Her Grammy, who is coming to visit, knit it for her when she was in the womb and none of us had any idea of her gender.  Joel and I were pretty crazy about the fact that neutral meant yellow and NOT green.  I know first time parents are allowed  to be whack, but we were fanatical.  Becky was so kind to make a yellow blanket in the pattern that she had made for Hannah's cousins (I think).  About the time Hannah could walk she started taking that blanket to bed with her and it has been a constant companion since.  I told her how that blanket has traveled to Texas, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Washington, Canada, even Hawaii.  She said Hawaii was her favorite.  It was quite wonderful to think about all the lovely adventures that blanket has been on.  And it's a topic of great sadness to realize that the blanket will not be able to stay with her forever.  She immediately breaks into to tears when the future of her blanket is discussed.  She has lovingly decided to keep it at the house or in the car to prolong its life.
I wonder though, what other adventures await Hannah.  I know that God is watching over her and protecting her.  He has been so kind and gracious to her these past five years.  It has been wonderful to see His love poured out upon her.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sew Sew lesson

One of the details I adore in The Rag Coat is the little rag doll that Minna makes.  This morning, we did an art lesson and instead of going with the suggestions in the FIAR we made a little puppet.  Hobby Lobby has these wonderful felt hand puppet kits, it comes with everything you need to make it except glue.  And it's wonderful for little beginning hand sewers because the holes are pre-punched.  Before reading the story, I told Hannah what we were going to do for the lesson and she pointed out the little doll in the illustration when reading about it.  She says she wants one just like it.  I'm proud of her ability to sew, she comes from a long line of seamstresses, so it's probably natural. 
It is wonderful to think about how much culture has changed with the invention of the sewing machine.  And amazingly how it is now more expensive to make your own clothes than to buy them out of a store.  With fewer and fewer women sewing their entire wardrobes, the cost of cloth has continued to go up.  I think it is still worth while, because the clothes that I have purchased are never as rewarding as the ones that I make for myself.
I may introduce to Hannah later today the verse about clothing the naked and help us remember that we are blessed to have so many outfits to choose from each day.

Fun with pegs and rubberbands

We had a nice long day yesterday and the geometry/math lesson with The Rag Coat happened late in the day.  We looked at all the different shapes in the story, but the fun part came with I pulled out a peg board I have from jewelry making and we made shapes with the pegs and then using yarn and a rubber band.  We made rectangles and then cut them into triangles.
We also had CBS yesterday.  I was a helper in the 4 year old class, which shares story time, music time and closing time with Hannah's class.  It was really nice to see what they do with their time.  Yesterday the story was about Hannah and Samuel.  And their Bible verse continues to be "Do not be afraid...God has heard your prayers." Luke 1:13 

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sweater Weather

Tomorrow is the first day of fall!  YEAH!  Our science lesson today included some sweaters from the closet.  We are reading The Rag Coat this week.  I must admit, I cried!  But to help show the differences between the different natural fabrics, we took a trip to the closet.  We touched wool, cotton, linen, and mixtures.  Luckily, there was one cotton sweater in the bunch so when Hannah labeled it as wool by look alone, we were able to talk about the the feel of them and really see how cotton and wool feel different in the same context.
It is amazing to me how we can take  plants and turn them into clothing!  I think I'll try to find some movies on Netflix that have the cotton gin or cotton industry on them for this week.
UPDATE: I did find something on Netflix Instant Viewing it was Eco Trip Season 1 Cotton T-Shirt episode.  In the episode, the host goes to a cotton farm, and helps harvest some of the cotton and the journey to a T shirt.  Hannah isn't in a place to watch the entire episode, as it goes on to talk about the chemical pesticides.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

One and two and three

We did some counting today in our lesson on The Clown of God.  We also went to the Northville Farmer's Market so that we could see fruit stands like Senior and Senora Baptista's.  We had a great time there, looking in all the stalls.  I asked Hannah on the way back to the car if she could understand why someone juggling would bring people to the stand.
Our math lesson was counting.  Hannah easily counts to 12 and then after twelve jumps to 16 and is fine all the way through to twenty.
I've been praying about the entire reading ordeal, especially after the fight that ensued yesterday and got a great big old "WAIT" from the Lord.  So we are going to put it away for a few more weeks or months.
We also made it to the library today.  One of the books I requested through inter-library loan came in, Who Owns the Sun?.  I was also able to pick up The Rag Coat and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel .  Hopefully we will have a great month ahead of us.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mixing Things Up

The science lesson for today is mixtures!  So we mixed up some pudding and for lunch I think we'll mix up some soup maybe with noodles like Giovanni had in The Clown of God . We also souped up the science lesson by talking about how rainbows are formed.  The simplified version of sun plus rain equals rainbow.  I might throw in the story of Noah later today to round out the whole rainbow mixture theme.
We have Midweek Mania starting tonight.  I hope that Hannah really enjoys herself.  She really moved straight out of the nursery and into the fast lane!
I purchased Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons awhile back and it was packed away during our move.  I found it again the other day and we started it two days ago.  Hannah HATES it, but I'm making her do it anyway.  She does love drawing her letters on Joel's Ipod Touch Whiteboard (free app), so that's how I get her involved. 
I don't think I expected as much of the "I don't want to do school" as I have been getting the last couple of days.  It's our third week, and I imagined that she would be over that at this point, but instead I have to be the mom and tell her we're doing it anyway.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A long day

It's 2 and we haven't even come close to doing lessons yet today.  We went to Community Bible Study this morning and then enjoyed a bite to eat with our generous chauffeur.  I think Hannah enjoyed herself, she didn't come home in tears, so I guess that's pretty good.
We're studying Revelation and Hannah is doing year 3 in the preschool curriculum.  I love that they encourage picture reading.
Hannah and I got to see the Postal worker deliver our mail today.  He has this really neat key that he called an arrow key (I think) that opened that back of our mail boxes.  And there was a DVD from Netflix in our mail today.  Which means that we've been watching that sense we got home.  I guess we'll do the lesson some time later today. I think we'll do juggling today :D

Monday, September 14, 2009

A legend

How do you explain "legend" to a five year old? The Clown of God is the story of a legend by one of our favorite authors, Tomie dePaola.  We've read numerous stories by him and always enjoy them, especially the Strega Nona series.  To reinforce the idea of "legend" we are going to be watching some Mythbusters and Tales of Legends from Shelly Duval.
We're going to take things easy this week, as a LOT of stuff is happening.  The one I am most excited about is the start of our Community Bible Study class about Revelation!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rally Day!!

What I thought was going to be the first day of Sunday School, turned out to be a huge eating fest with music :D Hannah was able to make it to the second service's children's church where she learned about Jericho.  They had play blocks that they walked around.  When I asked her if they fell down when they blew their horns she said "No, we had to kick them down."  Now that's worth the price of admission alone!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Don't Get Sick

The science lesson today was about "healthy habits."  I wasn't feeling it, so instead we identified the seasons in the various drawings in Madeline.  We talked about winter, spring, summer, and fall.  We guessed that Madeline must have got sick either in spring or summer. 
Overall, I would say that the lesson plans forMadeline were a little lacking!  But then again, I may know a little too much about Paris to be satisfied. 
I would let you know what we are studying next week, but I don't know yet.  My plan was to run by the library today, but it's closed this weekend for a festival downtown.  We'll have to go by the library on Monday, which will have to be in the evening as we are a one car family. 
It's an exciting week coming up though!  Sunday School starts tomorrow and for the first time in Hannah's life she will be able to have her very own class.  She has visited at other churches, but this is the first time at her own church.  We also start Community Bible Study this week AND Wednesday night programming starts up again.  I think it will be a wonderful week!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


The little girls in Madeline are always in two straight rows.  Our math lesson was about grouping.  Groups with specific numbers were no problem but groups with concept are a little tough.  Hannah can easily count out three for each group and tell me how many groups she has, but when asked to give me two equal groups, there was a definite learning curve.
We were able to have breakfast with some ladies from the church this morning.  It is always so wonderful to be able to enjoy a meal with them.  And Hannah fits right in.  They have all entered into the realm of Grandma, so they have children in their lives.  Many of them were teachers, so it's a nice time for me to go and be encouraged and to remember that God is good, and that it will all work out. 
It was much needed as Hannah is being very resistant to phonics.  I think we are going to continue to use Writing the Visual, Kinesthetic, Auditory Alphabet to help Hannah with printing.  Even if she doesn't want to read, she will at least be able to print.  I'm also going to look into a cursive program.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Artistic License

We had Art lessons today with Madeline.  I pulled out an old photo of Luxembourg Garden and we talked about the difference between a photo and a drawing.  It's kind of fun to take a photo and try and turn it into a work of art.  It's even more fun that Bemelman's drawing was recognizable from a photo taken from a completely different angle.  Now we are watching "My Father's Glory" on Netflix streaming, to get some French language exposure.  Sometimes I wish we could study France every week :D 
In other news, I was ready to stay in bed all day. And then it got worse when I attempted to make breakfast, I went to get a single egg and the carton crashed to the floor .  In addition to the expected pancakes, we had a mess of scrambled eggs as well.  God is good, all the time

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First Day of (Public) School

Oh man, I was sitting here, enjoying the weather and looking at my daughter as she chewed on some random piece of plastic toy and realized that TODAY is the first day of public school in our area!  And I thought about how if she were going to public school, I would have dressed her and sent her out the door at 8:10 this morning for a school that doesn't start until 9:00.  And she would be gone all day today, meeting new friends and getting settled into yet another new in her life.  But instead, here we are discussing France, watching a French movie on Netflix streaming, and enjoying life.  Homeschooling, today, is a blessing far beyond what I could have imagined.  Maybe that's because today is the first day that I am truly not sending Hannah to school to be with her classmates in the public school.  Today, our homeschooling becomes a true alternative to something else that she could be doing, not just some words that I use when people ask about if Hannah is going to be in school this year.  She is home schooled, she doesn't attend any of those schools that opened their doors today and welcomed all the new students. 
I think this will be something that I will be realizing more and more as the school year progresses, but today, is the first time that homeschooling is something more than a pipedream.

Where does my food go?

Vocabulary was on our agenda today.  The words in Madeline are appendix, solemn, and disaster.  We had a little body geographyin order to find Hannah's appendix and talked about the digestive system along the way.  And the other two vocabulary words gave a perfect oppurtunity for context guessing of a meaning.  And given the context and illustrations, Hannah guessed correctly the meaning of the words!
I had a magazine about France out on the table this morning and as we talked about what is for breakfast in France, she started to flip through it.  She noticed the statue of liberty, which was gifted to us from the French.  In the end, we had not only vocabulary lessons, but history and geography and health lessons as well!
After the lesson, Hannah wanted to dance, and Michael W. Smith's A New Hallelujah was in the player.  We got to rock out to some Jesus songs! 

Monday, September 7, 2009

Laboring on Labor day

Joel is off to the office for a half day. I will admit that he rarely takes national holidays, except maybe the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving. And he's always working Easter and Christmas. He hasn't had one off in the eight years we've been married, but that is part of the blessing of being married to pastor.
Hannah and I didn't take off today either. So I can't really complain too much about him going in to work :D
We started Madeline today.  We were still lounging in bed when I told Hannah that we were starting Madeline today, and she rushed to get the library book and asked to have school right then and there.  We had a Social Study lesson today.  Looked at the world map, saw where we live and then where Paris is.  Hannah wanted to go there TODAY!  I told her about how long the plane ride would be and that we can get a direct flight from our local airport.  Then we looked at a map of Paris and talked about where some of the different pictures from Madeline are within the city.  She really wants to go, which is a blessing, because one day Joel and I would love to take her. 
I pray that God blesses your day and gives you the rest that you need and labor that delights you!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Paris photos

I'd like to share my Snapfish photos with you. These are from a quick trip into Paris in 2006. Feel free to use them for your Madeline lessons!


Today, we had a social studies lesson with The Story about Ping . There is a family that lives on a houseboat on the Yangtze river. Luckily, Joel grew up in Seattle and they have lots of houseboats there. He was able to tell Hannah some neat things about the houses that are in Seattle. We also have a friend who grew up on a boat in the Caribbean, so I was able to share with her the stories that I heard about growing up on a boat. Later today, we'll continue the study with a bowl of rice for lunch!

We made it through our first week! One thing that we figured out is that Friday, our Sabbath, is not going to be a school day. Which means that Hannah will have "class" six days a week when including Sunday School.
Next week, we are reading Madeline, so I better start finding my pictures of Paris!

Friday, September 4, 2009

A fabric Giveaway!

If you love fabric, you should check out Needle Little Inspiration, and if you leave a comment on her Gobble Gobble post, we'll both be entered to win some yummy looking fabric! Hurry it ends September 11th at midnight!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sink or Float

I hear this question all the time from Hannah at the pool. She always wants to know if she is going to sink or float when she jumps into the deep end. She wears a little float that reminds me of the barrel the boat boy wears in The Story about Ping. For science today, we did "sink or float" in the kitchen sink.
I asked Hannah to gather up all sorts of things she would like to find out if they sink or float. She brought her piggy bank, a bracelet, a wood figure, some plastic toys, a wallet, a pencil and a pen. Here's the amazing part...The piggy bank didn't have its stopper in, so it sank, but when we put the stopper in, it floated, which let me talk to her about the air in things. The pencil didn't float because of the eraser end, so we snapped it off and saw that it could then float and the other end sank. We even pulled out some bottles with tops so that we could sink them.
We've been singing the Jars of Clay song "40 days" I'm reminded that when I'm down, He can lift me up.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Counting Cousins

This morning in The Story about Ping , we counted. I took our little jar of coins and counted out two fifty cent pieces for his parents, pennies for his siblings and cousins, nickels and dimes for aunts and uncles. There was even a special little foreign coin for Ping himself. After counting Ping's family, we counted Hannah's relatives, too. Our family looks tiny in comparison. We only have three pennies in the entire family! And the other two are all the way across the country. But we are fortunate, because we are about to gain a new family member, my brother is getting married in October. it's fun to hear the tales of the two of them working out their kinks as they move towards celebrating their new life together. Simple things seem so monumental when we are starting off with one another. After being married for eight years, those little skirmishes seem a life time away. So today, I thank God for our ten little coins that make up Hannah's family of aunts, uncles, cousins, and of course her Papi and me.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Five and counting

My itty bitty baby girl turned five on Sunday. She has always been a real sweetheart, which I guess is to temper that stubborn streak that runs a mile wide.
This past Monday, she and I started kindergarten. I had gone to the library and checked out The Story about Ping We read it yesterday and tried to realize how long ago 1933 really is. In fact, it is old enough that my grandparents probably read the book as children and one of my grandparents was probably 33 the year it was written. Hannah hated. She thought I talked far too much, and just wanted me to stop.
Today, I pulled the book out again and sharpened a few pencils and dusted off some plain paper from the play room and set at it again. She did much better, and for that matter so did I. We talked about drawing water, she loves to draw. And since she was so interested, I snuck in the letter W on her. She makes a beautiful W.
And now, she is off with some friends having a lunch. And here I am, writing to you. I love being a mommy and I am ever so grateful that God is not through with me yet. He continues to mold me and teach me, instruct and encourage me. He helps me and shines a light on paths that will lead to his mercy.