Thursday, September 25, 2014

Celebrating a Decade... in the Big Apple...

The Big 10 is looming large... next month Libby will be a whole decade. And to celebrate we are going by bus to New York City (Girls Only!) Libby is so thrilled. She's never been to the Big Apple before but has done lots of reading and research on the "N.-Y.-C." as she calls it.
Libby, almost 10...

Her desire is to visit the Natural History Museum and the Empire State building there as well as Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.  There are some other things I'd like for us to do as well time and money permitting: see a Broadway show, take a double decker tour bus, and enjoy lunch at the American Girl Store Cafe.

I thought a trip would be a more meaningful gift than a run of the mill present.

She has been working hard finding little odd jobs to do to help make money. Most recently Libby has been making necklaces and bracelets to sell. Part of her money goes to Camp Sunshine (the camp we attended this summer- for children with life threatening illnesses and their families) and part she is saving for the trip (short-term) as well as a long-term goal for a bike. (she pays half, we pay the other half). She hasn't had a functioning bike in a long time... long legs= need for a 24 inch bike!

So looking forward to taking this girl out for a night on the town!

(for those who have been asking about gift ideas... contributing towards her birthday with money for her trip would be a huge blessing to her!)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Last Day of Summer at the Beach...

Really, it's not quite fair to only have 2 pics that turned out okay on this amazing and fun day. Monday, we took a break and took the kids to the beach. The weather was glorious. Mike was home. We enjoyed just being together as a family. We even splashed in the waves. The weather felt like Fall but the sand felt warm and amazing the ocean was pretty comfortable once you got over the cold. So thankful for a last outing to wrap up the summer. 

Don't die of shock. A selfie...
I know...

Minor Discrepancy...

What I thought homeschooling would be like....

Actually reality of homeschooling....

Yes, you are welcome. It's sweet and crazy and I wouldn't have it any other way. I know I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing... and it's challenging. My dependence on the Lord has continued to grow... we have ups and downs on a given day in a given hour.. and sometimes in a given minute. Lots of laughs. Messes. Mistakes. We are all learning around here.... especially this Mama!
By the way this was when Ian had decided to cut his own hair.
Notice the gap in the front... new "bangs". Yeah, real nice....

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

An Unusual Game of Checkers.

I found this game board at a thrift store for $1.00. It's made out of wood. We didn't have the pieces to play checkers at the time so we used goldfish. Worked well except for Peter kept wanting to eat the game pieces... It's also really hard to "King" a goldfish...

More Than A Bullet...

"I would die for you." When it came down to it, we would be willing to put ourselves in harms way to protect and save our child, our spouse, our closest friends. How beautiful to make the greatest sacrifice!
But what about daily life? Are we willing to sacrifice ourselves in the midst of the daily drudgery – monotonous, mundane, and maddening?

Check out my article entitled, "Taking More than a Bullet: Life and Death for Others" at Ungrind. And read other refreshing articles that talk about faith, family, love, friendship and so much more.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Christopher Columbus & other uncomfortable realities...

Libby had to write about Christopher Columbus for school as well as do a presentation in front of her small group of classmates. So, it was as Libby and I sat reading and poring over information about Christopher Columbus that we discovered some harsh truths. *

I grew up in school praising the man as the discoverer of America (as in U.S.A.) And also believing He was a Christian according to his own writings.

Yet, this same man forced the natives into slavery and hard bondage. Even going so far as to have their hands chopped off if they didn't produce enough gold. Not to mention all the people that died from being exposed to small pox and other new diseases their bodies were unable to fight.

This leaves us with a very mixed legacy. He did find the Caribbean and later other islands part of Central and Southern America... But he also treated people badly. To the point that Queen Isabella of Spain had an official come and get him and arrest him and bring him back to Spain in Chains.

Awkward. The guy was stripped of his titles and lost his fortune. Before death he did get some money again but he died still believing he had found a way to the Indies. And probably was more than a little disillusioned.

This morning at our group meeting before school starts a devotion was read from Christopher Columbus' own writings.

My poor daughter. I think she was stunned to say the least. She had just told her brothers in the car yesterday,

"Let me tell you. If anyone says Christopher Columbus was a good man. They're not telling the truth. He was a bad man.... I will spare you the details."

So, was this man truly a Christian who went off and did some really horrible things? Was he just a sinful man? How did he justify his actions??? I don't know. By even the best accounts he sounds like a maniac. I don't have the answers. But it's interesting when you're faced with truths.... even very uncomfortable truths. I'd rather the truth prevail than be ignored or masked or dismissed. Even if this makes me very unpopular.

Trusting and knowing that the Lord is bigger than ALL of this is a comfort. He's not surprised. He's not  unaware. And He's redeeming even very horrible things that occurred in our history.

*Sources: Please keep in mind these accounts are not all appropriate for children to read. The misuse of women is discussed in detail, as well as other violent atrocities.

Best explanation I found is from the oatmeal. Even includes the story of someone who should be honored...
This is what Libby and I read:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Saturday, September 06, 2014

"Pet States"...

We are learning U.S. history and geography this year as well as states and capitals... Practicing the New England states and capitals today and this happened...

I said "Boston"

Kids said "Massachusetts"

I said "Augusta"

Kids said "Maine"

I said "Concord"

Samuel said "New HAMSTER!!!"
Sorry New Hampshire...

Friday, September 05, 2014

11 years...from Lib's View

My daughter just gave me my Anniversary Card. 11 years I've been married September 6th. Woohoo. This card just cracked me up. I hope you enjoy.

Front of the Card

Back of the Card

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Masquerading Musketeer

Libby is all dolled up for the Masquerade Ball... She might be wearing high heels
but she's carrying a sword- Look OUT!

Man of Iron... by my side...

Samuel as Iron Man

My favorite fireman

 Among the Finest...

Ninja Days...

My son is secretly a Ninja... Okay, maybe not secretly.

Superman's Bad Day...

After a long day of play Superman falls apart.