Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Kayleigh Milestone

Kayleigh has made SO much progress lately!  I know that I really need to sit down and write a post bringing the blog up-to-date with all that has happened with her over the last year, but thinking about writing it all down is kind of over-whelming.  So for now I guess I'll just try to post about current happenings.
My apologies that the picture quality isn't great (in my defense I was trying to snap pictures with 1 hand while I tried to minimise the mess-making), but I thought that you might like to see what Little Miss K and I have been working on this week:
Don't let that annoyed look fool you!  She was having a good time until I got the camera out. 
 Success!  With only Mommy's finger under her arm for guidance she managed to get a scoop of Cream of Wheat and got it in her mouth.

And then, on to a bite managed all by herself.   Can you see the the smile behind the spoon and the cereal?  Success tastes great, and so does Cream of Wheat with butter and brown sugar!
She fed herself her whole breakfast with only medium support from Mommy.  By the time we were done I was wearing as much cereal as she was, but we sure had fun.  And the pride she took in her accomplishment was so obvious!  So proud of my girl!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Answered Prayer

Noah has never enjoyed writing.  Creative writing, essays, letters, you name it.  He hated it all.  From kindergarten on, it has been a daily struggle and a source of much frustration and many tears from both of us.  He is such a good student in every other aspect, but writing assignments have never failed to produce wailing and gnashing of teeth.  I knew he could do it, but have really struggled with how to help him become the excellent writer I was sure he could become.  

One of the (many) reasons we chose to home-educate our children was the freedom that it would give us to individualise each child's education, using their natural learning style as a guide, challenging them where they excelled, and providing extra support if they struggled. 

English and writing are definitely where Noah struggled.  In every other subject, Noah did great regardless of curriculum-choice or teaching style.  But over the past 5 years, I have gone through 7 different curriculums/writing programs, hours of brain-storming, and lots of prayer as I tried to find a solution to the nightmare that writing had become.

At the beginning of 2012, we made a complete change of curriculum for Noah and ordered Bob Jones Univeristy's Distance Learning program.  It was a huge change of pace for both of us and felt a bit risky as 50% of their Language Arts curriculum is dedicated to the writing process.

As part of his spelling curriculum, Noah writes a journal to me each Thursday.  The topic is assigned, a few questions to get him thinking are provided, and the rest is left up to him.  When we made the switch, he really disliked journal days and his entries were perfunctory at best.  This year, he has begun to enjoy writing in his journal and really looks forward to receiving my replies.  I enjoy the chance to read about what he thinks and feels about all sorts of topics.  And this week's journal made my heart so happy!  It read:

Dear Mommy Dearest,

My favorite subject is English.  I enjoy it, because we have writing chapters.  I like to learn new things.  I have learned how to plan a persuasive essay.  I think my least favorite subject is art.  I am not good at art.
Your big boy Noah
What?  English is his favorite subject?  And he enjoys it because of the "writing chapters"?   This is progress I never expected.  I was just praying that God would help him to learn to write without hating it!  Thank you God for answering above and beyond what I asked.  And, thank you BJU press for providing the perfect curriculum for my boy.
P.S.  Yes, he calls me "Mommy Dearest" most of the time.  No, I don't bribe him to do so :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Cort Gester

Part of Nathaniel's handwriting assignment for today was to write a letter to Gareth and I.  He was looking especially pleased with himself when he finished and couldn't wait for me to grade his work.  It didn't take me long to see why:

It's good to be queen!  It's even better to have my own personal "cort gester"!    

Resurrecting the Blog

Wow, it's been a long time!  After I closed the blog last Spring, I didn't intend to blog again.   Time has become a rare and precious commodity, and I had grown tired of dealing with the unsolicited opinions that can sometimes come from choosing to share your life and personal choices openly.

But, I have missed blogging.  I have missed having one central location to record all of the happy little moments and precious memories that we are making.

So much has happened in the last 18 months.  It hasn't always been a smooth journey, but it has been an incredible time of seeing God turn us into a family of 6, work to grow our faith and trust, and to provide for our needs. 

In Luke 19:40 Jesus said, “If we keep quiet (and don’t praise God), the stones will cry out.”

Samuel used stones as a memorial when he wanted God’s people to remember His goodness and faithfulness. First Samuel 7:12 says that when God enabled the Israelites to defeat the Philistines, the Prophet Samuel “took a stone and … named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far has the Lord helped us.’”

Joshua also used stones to help God’s people remember His goodness. After wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, the Israelites experienced the power of God to roll back the waters of the Jordan River, enabling them to cross over and take possession of the Promised Land. Joshua then commanded them to build a memorial of stones as a public testimony of what God had done for them.

In a way, this blog is my stone of remembrance: a place to record all of the sweet, small everyday family moments that I cherish and to record all that has happened and all that God has done, a memorial to record for my familyour story of God's goodness and provision.  
If you happen to read this, then welcome (or welcome back).  I can't promise to blog every day, and it is going to take a while to catch up on all that has happened, but it's good to be back and I can't wait to get started.