Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Serving Jesus...

Once a month we traipse into the local town and serve lunch at the Homeless Shelter. 

The view driving up to the shelter.. 

This street is mostly apartments where people who have a need for stable housing while they transition from homelessness can stay. 

This month we took food once a week but did not serve every time, since I can not take the littles along and it is hard to find regular sitters. 

the view from the parking lot

It always amazes me that less then 20 minutes from my house, there are people who live in such hopeless poverty. 

We see many mentally ill people, old people, young people, families, women, and men from all walks of life. Most people are incredibly grateful and thank us repeatedly.  My kids are most impacted by the tearfilled thanks and comments like "that is just like my mom or grandma used to make" when we make things like homemade mac and cheese or warm cookies.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Fresh Air Fun

This summer our family decided to try a new adventure. We are working on serving Jesus in our home. We want to make a difference in the world. We can not travel over seas, we can not adopt more children, we choose not to do childcare in this season... but I wanted to do some sort of short term outreach this summer. I want my kids to learn to be uncomfortable in the gospel. To reach beyond their little bubbles, to help even when it means sacrifice. I also want them to learn how to share Jesus. 

So we opened up our home for 10 days to a little Lady from the Bronx N.Y. 

It was with much prayer and discussion and a little bit of apprehension that we signed up for Fresh Air Fun.

Miss M came to us on a Friday night. She was quiet and respectful. Totally in awe of this new world. She had never been out of the city. 

She thought it was the grandest thing when we built a little fire and roasted marshmallows. 

We had incredibly high temps so we had to stay home and make our own fun the first couple days.

Once it cooled off the end of the week, we did some jobs like cleaning out our garage and making homemade sourdough pizza.

We invited our friends and had a fun day at the local lake. 

We introduced her to all our animals. She was a brave little soul until one day Daddy Rabbit accidently splashed some stinky stuff on her when she was petting him. 

My lil country girl had so much fun teaching Miss M how to milk goats. 

We tried to make as many fun, simple, free memories as posssible. 

There were some tough moments in the week. Some of my children struggled to share their home with a stranger, who became like a sister. Some struggled to sleep and some got up to early. There was a need for a high level of supervision and that took a lot of my energy.
But in the end we got to talk to her about Jesus, we got to share our every day boring live with her. It was quite interesting to my kids that a child who has TWO smart phones would want to spend 10 days at their house for her summer vacation!!

We miss her and hope to see her again next year. It was def an experience worth repeating. 

School Prep update

We completed our first full week of school!!
This year promises to be a good year. I am in my 7th year of homeschooling. 

This year Lee is in 7th grade. He is doing bible, history, science, geography, language arts and civics online with Alpha Omegas Monarch. He is doing his 6th year of Teaching Textbooks Math. He is also going to be doing some "woodshop" classes as I teach him to build goat milking stands and hay feeders. This will be his little business, so he will be learning accounting and business management too.

David is going into 6th grade.  He is going to be doing KONOS this year. I am excited to try this for him. This will cover language arts, science, history and geography. We struggle fiercely with math for him. So as usual I am tossing around several things. He will be doing some "Keys To:" workbooks along with CLE. He has a strong foundation in the basics but just struggles with math.  He is also running his own little calf business so he is learning to be responsible, how to manage his money etc.. He will be helping teach bubbie too. He helps me out with babysitting and is my excellent helper. 

Elizabeth is also in 6th grade and is  doing Alpha Omega's Monarch. She is doing history, science, geography, bible, language arts and Career Exploration. She is in her 6th year of Teaching Textbooks. Yes, I have 2 6th graders working two completely different curricullium. Matia also has her own goat and hopes to start her own goat herd. The girl is ambitious and dreams big! She will be helping teach Bubbie and Nesiah. She does 1/3 of Nesiah's program for me.

Fayth is in 5th grade. She is doing KONOS with David. We are hoping with the hands on learning she will be able to catch up. She is doing CLE math, finishing up from last year. We don't break up her math into school years. We work steadily (with some major battles) year round because she is so far behind. Fayth loves to help with Nesiah. She is not an animal person and does not enjoy going to the barn, so she has been enlisted to help with Nesiah. She hopes to grow up and be a missionary who works with special needs kids. 

We attempted circle time.. lol

Nesiah is in 3rd grade. She is doing NACD this year. Yes, I am homeschooling her. My goal is to try some alternatives and see how they work for her. So far she loves being home and we love having her home. She has made some great strides and we are happy with her progress. She does NACD which covers all her therapies, plus she does equine therapy. We also include her in when we do preschool circle time with Bubbie. She does her PT outside and is learning to enjoy being out and about in the community with us. 

Signing Time videos while standing... 

(notice the shoes? He wore them until they were falling off his feet and then he still insisted on wearing them until I hid them!!)

Bubbie, my baby.. He is doing preschool this year. We had fun making a homemade curricilum for him. He is learning a new letter, sound, shape, color and bible verse every week. We are very informal and make it fun for him. He loves having school like the big kids. The big kids take turns doing circle time with the little ones and we all work to point out things as we go through daily life. 

Nesiah loves her horseback riding! She gets all excited when we pull into the farm! Penny is her favorite horse!

I am looking forward to this school year. The kids are on the brink of middle and high school. They are moving into the teen stage. I want to savor these moments. Enjoy the schooling, the parenting and the relationships with my kids in this stage.