Sunday, December 02, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Super Sunday

It’s been a busy, productive, great day…..and I even have time to blog because the men all went running and are sweaty – so they MUST take showers.

The day began with RE (Religious Education). Mike and I teach the pre-school – 5th grade. We did have a few others besides our own, but they’ve all pcs’d (moved) so it’s just us and our bambinos. Here are a couple of shots from RE.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Then on to the Traditional Service. Mike teaches children church in this service. I try to train Stacia. I sort of created a stir in chapel when I took photos of Debbie and her boys lighting the Advent candle. Steve is still deployed and he loved the other photos I’ve been able to email. These will be dark – but they ARE photos.

Debbie and her boys joined us for lunch.

Mike and I then went to the Gospel Service. Great message, fun singing….time to pray through my school options.

My dryer has been giving me fits. It was purchased when we moved here….it takes 3 hours to dry a load. This means that the thing literally runs 15 – 18 hours a day. Mike disconnected the hose earlier in the week and it began to work. He suspected something amiss in the attic. When we moved in the inspector made the owner change the vent. They’d been venting to the attic and he told him to vent to the outside. Mike found THIS (and more) in the vent shaft…..
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Evidently he cut a hole in the roof, and stuffed the material in the venting shaft. Hmmm….disappointing. My dryer works great now.

Many were involved in fixing the dryer….
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
While Mike and Jared focused on the dryer, Josiah studied (dead week coming up), and Jamin and I took everyone else to finish putting in the candle lights on the other ½ of our yard…and to get our nativity back together. Poor Mike was called from the attic to help. We have been talking about the “babe in the shadow of the cross” for years and wanting to portray that somehow. I loved the photo on Linda’s blog. Jared asked if he could make us a cross in place of any other hands-on projects for the rest of this unit. I’m telling you it’s hard to be a “let’s play” mom with “nose to the grindstone students”. ::snort:: Here's a photo of our Nativity and I'll post a photo of the whole thing when Jared get's the cross done.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Mike installed two hooks on either side of our entryway for me to hang fripperies on. I didn't have any Christmas things to hang...but I love this sign. It's my favorite. I debated about putting it outside, but the boys think it will be safe with the message it bears.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Then we began our Advent traditions.

Mike marked our countdown candle.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Yeah, this was Arielle’s favorite and it’s nice – but I’m going to have to find something that will BURN down by the 24th. ::snort:: It is supposed to be a 40 hour candle. I thought with 2 hours a day we could do it – but it burns DOWN THE MIDDLE.

We discussed the first day of our Advent Study.

Josiah got to light the candle because we know he’ll be missing most of our family circles.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Mike read the first night of Jotham’s Journey aloud…. by the time we get to the end of this the GIRLS WILL BE HOME, as will Mom and Dad and Nicholas! I'm smiling big!
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Stacia is busy.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Here she systematically transferred the Little People Nativity to a new location…the antique seed planter.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
It appears that another hard drive is about to go...the computer I currently use. I seem to use up harddrives. Mike is discussing all sorts of options - which I don't really understand the pros and cons of....but it appears I'll soon have another bigger hard drive.....
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Jamin

Jamin is not often featured in blog photos…..but today he had Jared help him on a project. He’s working for a photo that will portray some scenes from his book and himself as an author. Here are a few shots they took.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I love how they got the light to shine on his pen in this photo....and the photo catches some of his intensity and shyness too.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

And here is Jamin after a night of work at Chick Fil A – he comes from a long line of messy cooks. ::snort::
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket DEBBIE,

Here's the link to my "Better than Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing". Enjoy. Stacia doesn't blow up when she eats this - and the others seem to like it too.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

First Sunday in Advent

The Prophecy Candle

The miracle of Christmas is...that the God of the universe became flesh and dwelt among us.

“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” which means, “God with us.” (Matt. 1:23)

Advent directs us to look back at the first coming of Christ and ahead to the second coming. The Prophecy candle focuses our attention even further back than Christ’s first coming. God spoke through the Prophets that He was sending His Son into the world. The theological term “transcendence” calls attention to the fact that God is beyond our comprehension. Isaiah 6:1-5 is an example of this “otherness.” The term “immanence” denotes God’s nearness and involvement in the affairs of mankind. We see that God is beyond human understanding, and, yet, He is near to us. He demonstrates this in the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14. The name of the one He is sending is Immanuel which means “God with us.” The miracle of Christmas is not that a child was born in a manger but that the God of the universe became flesh and dwelt among us.

As you spend time reading and meditating on the following scripture, consider the full breadth of the experience of the Prophecy candle. We rejoice at the celebration of His first coming; we are reminded of the reason that He came, and we are looking forward to His coming again.

Monday – Gen 3:16 I will put enmity between…your seed and her seed…
Tuesday – Gen 22:1-19 God will surely provide Himself the lamb…
Wednesday - John 1:1-14...He was in the world...and ..the world did not recognize him...
Thursday – I John 4:7-10 …God sent His only begotten Son…
Friday – I Thess 4:13-18 …and the Lord Himself will come down…
Saturday - Rev 22:12-14 Behold I am coming soon…

Fourth Sunday in Advent - The Angel's Candle

"Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests." (Luke 2:13-14)

Peace on earth has been very elusive. We have either heard or read about "The War to End All Wars." This was followed by World War II, The Korean War, The Vietnam War, the Six Day War, the Gulf War, etc. We even had a war that was and was not a war - the Cold War. Yet, all of these conflicts pale in comparison to the war waged against the God of this universe, the Creator. From the beginning of time, a war of wills has raged. Since the Fall in the Garden of Eden mankind has rebelled against God, and yet, God has constantly desired to bring mankind back into relationship with Himself. When Isiah spoke of the coming of the Christ, he said, "...his name shall be called '...The Prince of Peace.'" (Isaiah 9:6) The supreme example of God's desire to reconcile man back to Himself is in the giving of His Son.

Monday - John 3:16 ...for God so loved...

Tuesday - Romans 5:1-2...we have peace...

Wednesday - Luke 1:77 give salvation..

Thursday - Matthew 11:28...come to me..

Friday - I Timothy God, one mediator...

Saturday Romans condemnation...

Christ's Candle

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him...The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome." (John 1:1-3,5)

©2008 M.E.G.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketTo School or to Christmas School

We are in the midst of dilemma. We used to take a break from our regular studies from Thanksgiving – New Year. During this time we would do a bit of math and phonics if any students were learning to read. This worked well for a Pastor/Chaplain family.

Christmas School is school centered around, well, CHRISTMAS. ::snort:: We have had time to read great books, do Advent studies and devotionals, make gifts to pass out to staff, service personnel, and friends, and enjoy the season. Our favorite writing assignment has been to take a photo a day of something Christmassy and write about that item. Last year we began a lap book on the symbols of Christmas (we would have finished if I’d figured out how to put the folder extension thingabobs together….so we have a lovely lap basket of Christmas booklets). We take lots of time to leisurely shop for gifts – we are a LARGE family and even though we only give one gift per person it takes a bit of juggling to get everyone out shopping when the others aren’t going to see what is being purchased.

Our older students decided five years back that they prefer staying with a “normal” schedule rather than schooling year round. I understand. The ministries, sports etc that they are involved in all revolve around the “normal” school schedule. There is also less of a tendency to get behind on academics if Mom can’t say “Ah, we’ll take this week off – we school year round”. ::blush::

BUT I really like homeschooling year round BETTER. We would school 9 weeks and take a week off. We would take a big chunk off during this season as I noted, and we would begin our new school years in January (which come to think of it was the biggest issue for the high school students). The youngers didn’t need so much review at the start of each year. We were able to explore areas of interest and still finish a “typical” course of study. I just don’t know how to do THAT with the youngers and still stay “normal” with the olders.

We use TOG and we LIKE being on the same week of study from k – 11th grade. I’m open to hear what some of you think or have done…..especially if you are a year round homeschooler, or a reformed year round homeschooler, who understands what this rambling post is about. ::snort::

The question to answer before tomorrow is “Will I throw out TOG and do Christmas school with the littles and let the two older get ahead of us by a few weeks?” I’m sure we could catch up with them fairly easily by the end of this unit. Could we do that with each unit? I find that *I* need a week off every 9 weeks to attend appointments, wrap up a unit, catch up portfolios, plan the new unit…. Maybe the youngers and I could take a week off and the older two could continue on. Surely, we could make up a week in 8 weeks…..

And what will I do for Christmas School? We could ditch math, LA, science and simply do TOG and Christmas School (which would include LA). Or we could ditch all but Christmas School and Math. We LOVE TOG and would rather do it and quit all else, but we’ve agreed that math is our focus this year. Ah….good grief. I think too much!
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket An Outlaw Confesses - sort of

Zander's had a rough couple of weeks. The meds, while needed, were not great for him. My friend, Debbie who works in the base pharmacy, has said that she's looking into children's antibiotics without dye, flavor, and sugar. Honestly, the kids are rarely sick enough that they needs meds. I, of course, attribute that to our crunchy lifestyle and the fact that their bodies don't have to stave off the invasion of fake elements all the time. ::snort::

All that to say that one of the first things we notice when Zander is "off" is that he can't sleep. Really, he can't. It's not a matter of "making him sleep" or "making him stay in bed". He's not naughty. He will stay in bed...but he'll stare at the bottom of the bed above (bunk beds) for hours. I checked on him last night and as I left he said, "Oh MOM - you forgot to make more frozen cookie dough!" ::snort:: I have a strong suspician that two young boys have been raiding my freezer....the mystery from below is solved.

Zander has his second root canal/crown Monday at 10:30. Thanks for prayers.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket