Monday, June 25, 2012


Sunday, June 24, 2012


My sweetie pie turned 29 a few days ago. 
He got a TOMTOM from his folks.  It certainly was the perfect gift for him, as he loves to spend hours upon hours planning trips and plotting routes.  My only concern is that we will get in a crash because he likes to watch the TOMTOM instead of the road ;)

Alathia wrote this for her Daddy

Instead of a typical birthday dessert this year, he requested "Josiah's Favorite Cookies" a recipe I came up with several years ago, but hadn't made in a while.  They have coconut, chocolate, peanut butter, nuts, and lots of oatmeal.  They are DELICIOUS!

This one was too funny to leave out!

On a recent weekend camp trip we hiked around on some neat rock formations.

One of our family traditions is to get to pick 3 favorite meals to eat on your birthday.  Josiah picked homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast, hashbrowns, bacon, and fresh-squeezed orange juice for lunch, and fried fish with Cajun seasoning, curly fries, salad, and lemonade for dinner.  My brother caught one mountain-fresh trout last weekend and sweetly decided to give it to Josiah as a birthday present since he had requested fish for his special day.  So, he got "real" fish and the rest of us ate fish sticks. =) 

We always put the Birthday Bear by the birthday person's plates for meals, and we fill out a page in our Birthday Blessings book, where I list one thing each person in the family loves about the birthday person.

My always-adventurous guy, leading our excited little explorers.

Happy, happy birthday to the man I would go to the ends of the earth for, if need be!


Now that you've heard about the highlight of my month, let me tell you about the low-light of my month.  Over a week ago I was googling this in desperation after playing a little bit of softball.  As much as I admire athletes and enjoy the outdoors and recreation, I'm not a "sports gal" and this incident was just more proof of that in a long line of ouchies involving this part of my face.

There were a lot of dark and hard moments with this.  Lots of white-hot physical pain, lots of emotional agony (going back to when I got a wound on this part of my face when I was a pre-teen that caused me years of low self-esteem/feeling unattractive), and indecisiveness once I saw a doctor and was faced with two difficult options: surgery (expensive, painful, inconvenient), or letting it heal on it's own and having a crooked nose for life.   Through this little trial God showed Himself faithful and very clearly communicated His love.  I would turn on the radio and the song would just speak to me with the exact words I needed to hear.  I was able to catch two doctor friends (a pediatrician and a retired Ear, Nose, and Throat doc) at church and get an informed opinion from them about whether or not my nose was broken (both said yes).  My kids blew me away with their love and support, moving me to tears on many occasions.  Alathia sobbed for over an hour the night it happened she felt so sad for Mommy and could see I was in so much pain.  Jeremiah assured me he loved me and Justus often prayed for me spontaneously.  One day, while I was still sporting some puffy eyes the boys piped up with, "Mom, you are too much pretty.  You are the prettiest girl we have ever seen in our entire life."  Justus told me he loved me even when I was injured and even when I yell at him. =)

I read this article online and couldn't stop crying.  God's Word was and is powerful and soothing.  My husband was loving and so, so supporting through this whole thing.  My best bud took time out of her extremely busy week to bring me some fresh brownies and lunches she had packed for our whole family to cheer me up.  My other friends offered lots of support and encouragement.  When I had finally made my difficult decision and decided to cancel the surgery that I was scheduled for (feeling it was unnecessary when everything had been weighed out), I discovered the ENT doctor I had seen had blessed me by refusing to charge me for the appointment.

So, 12 days after being knocked off my feet by a softball I never saw coming due to the sun being in my eyes, I can say that the pain and swelling are mostly gone, I am no longer getting strange looks when I go out in public looking like a battered wife, and this is yet another trial that has strengthened my faith and my marriage.  Will I let my hubby talk me into playing softball with his team again?  Only if a plexiglass face mask is involved!  =)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Father's World--The Letter Y (Yellow and colors)

I didn't realize 10 months ago how big of a challenge it would be to keep up with blogging our MFW lessons!  It seems that I procrastinate more and more as the year goes on.  I'm finally finishing up here...a month behind when we actually finished!  Alathia finished her MFW work a couple of weeks after the boys.  In a future post I'll talk about our summer learning schedule.

The kids and I put together our colors puzzle

Ali read the story "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" to the kids.  I love this book!

We colored a rainbow printable picture for our binder pages.  Our key words for this week were, "Thank you God for this beautiful world." 

Each of the kids made a "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" book using printables I found online that go with the book.

I love how in the original story it is a MOM and not a teacher at the end of the book that the kids see.
Ali drew a pic of me for one of the pages in the book.

What does the mom see?  Kids looking at her!  This is Ali's quick rendition of the kids in our family.

Katri's new book was perfect for color week.  We enjoyed reading it a few times and also read other books from the library and our own bookshelves on colors.

Every Wed. morning we head over to the park a couple of blocks away for Pray and Play, my mom's group.  Ali and Jer are old enough to ride there by themselves (and also to Grammy's, which is 4 blocks away) and I push the little kids, and the drinks, snacks, blanket, etc. etc.)  Truth be told, we are probably at this park 5 times a week for various playdates, church picnics, softball practices, family bike rides, etc.

We saw a beautiful rainbow in the sky, rare indeed in these dry parts!

Just as my friend Kristin did, I had the kids gather toys into color piles.  Since we have very few toys in the house (due to de-cluttering rampages and Toy Jail and rotating toys from the shed) I had them do it with the outside toys.  Above is their pink and orange pile.

The red pile

The green pile

The blue pile (Arrggghh!  What is Jer's blanket doing outside????  Sigh....)

The white pile

The brown pile

Grammy had given us a bag of jelly beans and a jelly bean chart around Easter (leftovers from her class) and I saved them for color week.  I told the kids the jelly beans were dirty, and were not to be eaten, as the kids at Grammy's school had handled them and used them for math counting, charting, etc.  Nevertheless I decided to conduct an experiment of my own and count them as I threw them away afterward and 5 were mysteriously missing.....

I had the boys sort these colored sticks into color groups and practice making the letters of their name with them

Using colored ice cubes and yellow water I demonstrated how we make purple, green, and orange with the primary colors.

I apologize for the blurry pic.  I hate blurry pics, but for some reason none of my pics of our rainbow crayons turned out well.  The lens I had on the camera didn't want to focus on the paper plate for some reason.  We made 10 rainbow crayons using old crayon stubs from the crayon box.  I lined my muffin tin with foil and heated them in the oven.  The kids enjoyed coloring pictures with them when they were cool and we wrapped up a few in a pretty baggie for a friend of theirs who had a birthday party the following weekend.  My kids are something else!  You'd think that I starve them, the way they continually kept asking if they could eat these crayons!!!  I was so frustrated I almost gave in and told them to eat them after the 7th time!!!

To celebrate completing a year of school, I ordered each of the kids a new book from Grammy's scholastic catalog.  They came in time for the last day of school. 

 While I was at my Friday cleaning job, Daddy snapped this pic on his camera of the kids enjoying their new books.

The Gospel Fuzzies--one of my favorite CEF props, was a hit with the kids. 
Each color has a verse of the song and I use different verses for each one.  Each color stands for a page of the Wordless Book and tells part of the Gospel message.  You can easily make this Gospel tool by hot-gluing pom-poms onto a glove and then gluing eyes onto the pom-poms.  Check out this video on youtube to hear the song:

This week, we attended a Barn Dance with a bunch of folks from church.  A few times a year, some country folks with a large garage open it up to everyone for a good, clean night of fun.  It was precious to see Josiah dancing with his little girls.

Uncle Colter and Auntie Anna, and their baby Jed, attended with us, which was nice!

Katri just wouldn't stop dancing with Sis and was so dizzy she fell down when she tried to walk.
Several of the teens in our church go to The Ball in Billings, MT twice a year.  The Ball is a huge, formal dance put on by the Presbyterian church up there for homeschoolers.  Many fathers and daughters attend and it is so much fun!  Josiah and I attended it once 6 years ago.  You spend Saturday afternoon learning several dances, such as Posties, Waltzes, The Virginia Reel, etc. and then on Saturday night everyone gets dressed up in regal, beautiful dresses and fancy suits and has a wonderful time dancing as a group.  Because of The Ball, the teens in our church taught some of these dances at the Barn Dance and so everyone who wanted to dance was included.  I love that the teens in our church are not exclusive, and every girl, no matter how shy, gets asked to dance by the young gentlemen.  I hope that our church folk are still having Barn Dances when my kids are teens.  It's a wonderful way to have fun together as a family, and with friends in a supervised environment.
I have enjoyed dancing with my reluctant-to-dance husband at the Barn Dances, as well as my dad and my brother too!  And also my little sons are some of my favorite partners!

On the last day of school we went to the park for a homeschool curriculum swap.  It was raining buckets so instead of eating our picnic lunch there we brought it home and had a picnic in the living room.  Then I let the kids watch Charlotte's Web, as we had just finished the book as a read-aloud the day before.

What a wonderful year it was and how I enjoyed the My Father's World Kindergarten curriculum.  I did the "lite" version of it this year, with less Math and few worksheets because I was using it for a Pre-K program for Jer and preschool for Justus.  This next year we have the student sheets, and the re-vamped, new edition of the MFW K curriculum and I'm greatly looking forward to doing it again!  This is definitely the perfect curriculum fit for my nature-loving Jeremiah!  And Justus loves doing all of the activities with him!

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