Saturday, February 20, 2010

Manners Unit Study and Lapbook

I'm working on a Manners unit study for Bethany and Trenton. I may work it all into a lapbook but I'll have to see how the resources come together.

Here's what I have so far:
A list of ideas, activities and some poems from a classroom teacher
ChildFun's list of manners activities, crafts, poems
Teacher Planet: Manners and Etiquette--a nice list of links
HomeschoolHelperOnline has a list of ideas and books

On my bookshelf I have A Little Book of Manners by Emilie Barnes and The Keepers at Home. I will be using them with our study.

I am looking forward to this study!

Colorful Things

I enjoy color. Especially after the gray and white days of winter, I enjoy color. We've added some color to our home through the beauty of flowers. Oh, thank You God for colorful flowers! I've enjoyed these roses for nearly two weeks now...they were a gift from a dear friend. They have brightened up our home and my countenance!

The yellow flowers were purchased at W*lmart (clearance, no less!). They have stayed extremely hydrated and beautiful for weeks now.

Color has also entered our home by way of art. Bethany and Trenton finished their India art projects. We loved the way the rice looked in their piles of different colors. (I wish I would have taken a picture of them before the kids started using them.) The picture below is Trenton's.

It was a fun project and you can read here where we got our ideas from for our India study.
Thanks for stopping by today. I enjoyed your company. Still have tea left in your cup?? scoot on over the Home Sanctuary's Company Girls and visit some others!

Monday, February 15, 2010

More Linkage Likes

I just found a website that I think I'm really going to like!! It is called "Freely Educate."
I've only just begun to browse this site and so far it looks great.
If you have time to check it out, let me know what you think.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Winter Olympics

We are enjoying watching the Winter Olympics. This week, I trust we are going to enjoy learning about Canada and the Winter Olympics.

Here's where I'm finding some of our resources:
I liked this for Trenton: a scissor skill activity from DLTK
HomeschoolShare has a wonderful free lapbook
I'm thinking about purchasing this lapbook from A Journey Through Learning ($4)
This link looks like fun...learning about the mascots.

One of the projects I'm going to have Marissa do is to create a brochure that would give a tourists places to stay, visit and be sure to see while in Vancouver.
Vancouver2010 may be a help to her.
She will also read this to find out more about the Vancouver2010 logo.
And this site will help her keep up to date on the medals and what's coming up next.

I'm sure I'll add to this list as the week goes on and we hear or see other things and aspects of the Olympics that we want to learn more about. If you are studying the Olympics, be sure to leave a comment and let us know!

On a semi-related note, I'm thinking of getting Bethany involved in a postcard swap. As we study other countries, it would be so neat to get postcards from places we are studying. So if you are a reader of this blog and live somewhere other than the US, let me know! I'd love to hear from you. (Also, next year, we are going to be studying the United States using Cantering the Country. So, all you readers from other states, get ready! :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Winter Marches On

I've been enjoying doing school with Trenton (4 1/2 years old) and Bethany (7 1/2). That's not to say that every day goes smoothly, mind you. Here's what I try to follow:

Prepare--work on lesson plans, make sure I have things I need, etc.
the Holy Spirit intercede--I don't want to hold SO tightly to the schedule that I don't allow God to use us in the lives of each other and other people. For example, I may have a full day of school planned, but a friend may call and need a sitter while she goes to the doctor with another sick child. I want to flexible enough--but not so flexible that we get nothing done.
--this is key for me. I use 'google documents' with another friend to keep track of our school plans. This way my friend can access the document and encourage me!
Never give up--the day, or week, or month, may not go as you thought, but keep pressing on.

This week we did some fun things:
A friend on Facebook said she had brought in some snow and her girls were playing with it on the table. I thought it was a great idea! So, my kids (the little ones) put on their hats and gloves and sat at the kitchen table! :) I brought in a small tub of snow and let them go at it. They created snowmen, they chopped, diced, smushed and in all ways manipulated that snow! They also saw first hand what happened when the snow melted--it got more compact and harder to work with. They had so much fun!

The kids also made homemade birthday cards for their daddy (his birthday was yesterday) and homemade valentines for friends.

We also have been playing lots of games, like I mentioned in this post and reading a lot.

I'm off to PLAN for next week! Head over the Homeschool Creations to read more from the Preschool Corner.


I enjoy having company, truly I do. Last Thursday, I hosted a delightful afternoon of tea and poetry. My dear friend, Lora came over with her linens, china and loose leaf tea. She graced our home with beauty and laughter. The Junior High literature club (8 girls) plus a teen girl that I'm getting to know came with their own doses of healthy laughter and copies of poems old and new. Lora showed the girls how to serve loose leaf tea and we all tasted the herbal goodness. (Okay, to be fair, some opted for hot cocoa, but only after they all had a taste of tea!) Our fellowship was grand as we shared poems, drank tea and nibbled on yummy treats.

God used this time of refreshment and encouragement to sustain me through the next few hours and days as I walked through some difficult circumstances. He is so faithful.

Recently I joined a blog called Home Sanctuary (I mentioned it here.) Who doesn't want to visit a place called "Home Sanctuary"...what am I saying, not just visit but I want my home to be a sanctuary. A sanctuary to learn about and worship the Lord, to love and grow with my hunny and children and to welcome all those who come through the door.

I desire those same things for my blog. So, thank you so much for coming to visit, I have some water in the kettle for tea, please sit a while and talk.

(I love this picture my daughter took of herself. I just had to include it!)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Games with my Kids

I was going to write a blog know, just to keep up the momentum. However my oldest girl wants to play a game with me. I've been praying that God would help me be more 'present' with my kids. I don't want to always be distracted and doing other things. So this is an answer to prayer. As well, I'm honored that she enjoys my company and now I must go beat her at Scrabble. hee, hee, hee.

While I'm playing, you may want to peruse another game we played this morning. It is called The Really Amazing Animal Game. Very fun and all of us played...Trenton (age 4) 'wowed' us with all of his right answers!

Playing games with my kids works for me on this snowy afternoon! Be sure to head over the "We are That Family" for more ideas.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Parting Scenes

I am reading and studying through The Friendships of Women by Dee Brestin. [You may remember I was going to study Romancing Your Child's Heart next, however the book could not be found on my shelf. I've since gotten a copy (thanks to a good friend), but for now I'm studying this book.]
Chapter one of Brestin's book talks about greeting scenes and parting scenes as well as how girls are gifted for friendships. She uses the Biblical examples of Jonathan and David (I Samuel 20:41-42) and Naomi and her daughter-in-laws (Ruth 1:9-10).

I've had many painful partings in my life, however I wrote about two this morning and thought I'd share them with you. I've just copied and pasted from my journal.

I remember a parting scene in my own life when a dear friend and her family moved to Michigan. I remember it because it was so sad that they were leaving. Our children had played together since almost birth, she and I had become close in sharing prayer requests and keeping accountable and even more than that our husbands had 'clicked' and were good friends. They were 'iron sharpening iron' with each other. Knowing that they would be 8 hours away was heart wrenching. That was 9 1/2 years ago and the Lord has allowed us to remain friends and we still keep in touch pretty regularly.

The other parting scene in my own life that remains etched forever is when my friend Julie died. Her husband called and said that by all indications her time on this earth was very short. He said he wanted me to come and be with her. A friend watched my children and I drove to Columbus with tears aching in my throat. I arrived just as dinner was being served and her husband said it was great timing as I could sit with Julie as they all ate together. God allowed me to witness her last hours, I believe, so that I would rejoice as she was ushered into heaven, seeing the pain she was in here on earth. I read Scripture, I sang, I stroked her beautiful face that had wasted away by the cancer. I talked to her as though she could hear every word, even though I wasn't sure if she could or not. I told her how much she meant to me and to her family. I told her to go to Jesus--that she had fought the good fight and I knew she would hear those sweet words from our Savior---"Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord." A single tear slipped from the corner of her eye as mine poured unchecked down my cheeks. Not even one hour later, she breathed her last labored breath and she was with Jesus. Appropriately her devoted husband was by her side. I was snuggling her babies on my lap reading book after book and choking back my raw emotions. Even nearly 3 years later the memory of her brings tears to my eyes. My heart aches with the pain of parting...not only for me, of course, but for her husband, three growing children and her extended family and friends.

Despite the pain that parting brings it is important to go hug goodbye to the traveling family, sit by the bedside of a dying friend, even kiss my hunny at the door before he leaves for work. Friendship and love are not only for the good times and fun times, but also for the hard times, the growing times, the painful times. The latter dig a well of growth and depth to my life that otherwise would not be there. This reminds me of a quote that roughly says that it's in the valleys that we grow. Life is not all mountain top experiences, in fact in my life those have been far and few between. However God is growing me into the person He wants me to be. A deep, passionate, loving person who treasures the people He has put on the path with me.

Tomorrow--greeting scenes. :)
I think it's so precious that I'm answering these questions today. Julie's birthday is on Friday, Feb.12. I've been thinking about her for weeks now, anticipating her birthday and what that means to those who miss her deeply. God is faithful. Through this study today He has reminded me that it is important to be present with my loved ones, whether that means in the fun times or the sorrowful times. He has given us today to be present with the ones He has in our lives. May I take the time to love and to growth with the family and friends I come into contact with today.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Linkage Likes

I found two new blogs I really :) How's that for a happy winter day.

The first is Little Birdie Secrets. I really like the blog header and of course the crafty content is right up my alley. I've only just begun to look around this site.

The second is called Home Sanctuary. I'm going to have to come back here tomorrow and look more...but again...right up my alley.

So, even though my own blogging has been sparse (eegads!! I could hardly believe my last post was 8 days ago!) I hope you enjoy checking out these two new-to-me finds.

Stay warm!