Sunday, May 31, 2015

Day Thirty-One: Closing Up Shop... Or Not!

Who would like to join our group for a trip to the lavender fields?, the email read. Although, I warn new homeschoolers about taking on too many subjects and adding too many trips in their year, I tend to jump at every opportunity that educates my children about God's creation. And so this week, we will attend and, I'm sure be surprised by, God's design in nature once again. 

Because the traditional school year ends in the late spring, the world affords much scope for the imagination and it leaves us unable to close up shop on our school work. My goal at this time of the year is to complete math, writing, spelling and phonics before the end of June, but we will continue short unit studies and summer reading. Last year, my kiddos used "Summer Notebooks", in which they copied a Scripture verse, wrote out ten spelling words, worked out some quick math and researched one cool fact. This took less than a page and no more than twenty minutes to half an hour per day. Of course, there were many days it was set aside for important interruptions and vacation, but it was a valuable tool for keeping their brains exercised. 

Perhaps I should have blogged this set of thirty-one days earlier in the year, to share more school-ish things because spring truly inspires us to be outdoors more than in. However, I'm a firm believer that (if possible) being there is a far greater teacher than merely reading about being there :)  
White-crowned Sparrow
Eastern Towhee
Towhee's wife
Eastern Kingbird
Can you guess whose tracks these are?
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
waterfall at my in-laws'
Field Sparrow
Field Sparrow singing an adorable song (grab the free Merlin Bird I.D. app to hear many bird's songs!)
Dunlin-first sighting!
 Are you closing up shop on your schooling adventures for the year? 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Day Thirty: Releasing Love

We bite into our meals but Julie's talking a blue streak and forgets she has a gourmet burger in front of her. She wonders why her heart loves her little girl but she's not so emotional that it's wrecking her. She asks, shouldn't I be wrecked?  My husband and I remind Julie that she's experiencing an answer to prayer. She let go of Alexandria so that a beautiful couple could raise her daughter in a godly home and give Ali everything she would need for life. That resonated with this young birth-mother. 

We got to look after her in my home today because adoptive momma, Alicia is amazing like that. Alexandria turned two and I took photos of the one I'd caught at birth and cut her cord and sang "Jesus Loves Me" to in those first minutes. I'm so thankful to be a part of this unfolding story of  this releasing kind of  love.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Day Twenty-Nine: Is There Anyone Out There?

Is there anyone out there whose laundry is over-flowing
Is there marker on the walls that got there 
without you knowing?

Do you make dinners that your children push away
Do you shove stuff in closets 
When company comes to stay?

Is there anyone out there who can't find her keys
Who reminds her child a thousand times 
You must say, "thank you" and "please"?

If anyone is out there who can relate to these few woes
Rest assured you're among many
Moms who aren't always on their toes.

But it doesn't matter, dear Momma, because
Under chaos and frustration
Abides deep love.

Kissing knees and late night talks are worth the moment taken
Because little ones grow up and please
Don't ever be mistaken.

If there is anyone out there who feels overwhelmed today
Let two important goals be her guide:
Hug your babies and pray!

                                                             by: Heather Vanderkruk

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Day Twenty-Eight: School Slows Down, Soccer Speeds Up

They can't wait until next week and that's all I need to hear. Sweaty, dirty little bodies slide into the truck and it's non-stop incessant chatter all the way home about this play and that pass, this goal and that kick. When school slows down and we are already closing a few of our books, out come the cleats and shin guards. It's time for this soccer momma to set up her chair and cheer on her kiddos. (Daddy will be there soon too, but praise God, business is bustling for him!)
This year, Oliver is one of the oldest on his team, which helped him score three goals in this first game :)
Oh dear, Emily, that boy is big.. watch out!
What's going to happen?
Yeah, she got it!
A few moments later, she's ready for more.
Cousin Caleigh races to get the ball.
Post-game fun with the team.
Meg's third year of coaching. She has ten little soccer stars.
She coaches with confidence and grace. She was also scheduled to prepare
 and give the first devotions of the year to her division. 
And... dealt with shenanigans like this :)
Mid-game wrestle with second-cousin, Cole.
Taking a break.
The coach :)
A celebratory moment for the hard working players... and Molly, who prefers to cheer with Mommy.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Day Twenty-Seven: Down By The Riverside

We like to keep it real, so when my sister and I began our unit study on rivers, of course, down by the riverside is where we took our books and pencils. If you don't mind a little crayfish swallowing and clam catching, you can peruse our photos for a wee tour of the Grand River, where we feel right at home. 
Learning about the hydrocycle's reciprocal effect on rivers.
dock balancing
This kid will eat anything ;)
Relaxing by the river.
Searching for turtles and crayfish.
Not sure who the boy is with Oliver, but somehow, wherever we go, extra kids attach themselves to us. Maybe he's homeschooled too?
delicious finds

It's a sweet thing that the "River Of God" worship song has played in my mind each morning for the past two weeks. I simply wake up with it there. Besides its life-giving flow, I think the river is a beautiful and important symbol to the Lord, wouldn't you say? 

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. Psalm 46:4