Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A is for Abundant Life

I am joining in with Ben and Me's Blogging through the Alphabet. Each week we will blog about some representing that letter of the alphabet.

"I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." John 10:10 

Abundant life is something I have been pondering recently. The mental picture of abundant gives the idea of full, overflowing. I think of a fruit tree full of ripe fruit. That gives the mental picture of abundant life.

The beginning of the verse is "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy." So what robs us of the abundant life? How does the thief rob us?

We live in a world of tragedy caused by sin. Sin weighs us down. Sin can strip us of the abundant life.   

We live for ourselves and not for God causing us to have a narrow view of life. We don't live life to the fullness. We settle for less. 

So grab on to the grace that God gives. The grace that gives us eternal life but also the grace that we need each day as we face the world around us. 

Give God the centre place in your life. Be God-focused and not self-focused. Look for God opportunities instead of self limitations. 

God desires for us to live an abundant life. Live the abundant life that God wants for you. 

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Ben and Me


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Fish and Chips

When I think of traditional British food, one of the first things that comes to mind is Fish and Chips. It is commonly a take-away meal.  I think there is one in every neighborhood.

Today we walked to a Fish and Chips shop not far from where we are staying. Miss K kept saying she was going to Ivar's. I guess she spent too much time in the Northwest.

There was just one man working. It wasn't busy but there a lady there in front of us and as we were leaving a man came in. There was some fish in the case ready to be ordered.

We ordered cod which is a traditional fish for fish and chips. The pieces were big much bigger than we would get at Ivar's.

We got four pieces of cod and three orders of chips which was more than we could eat. We didn't order mushy peas which is a traditional side dish.

We put malt vinegar and salt on the chips as that is the traditional way to eat them. Bob had some ketchup and HP Sauce with this fish.

Miss K is smiling as she gets ready to eat her Fish and Chips. She decided that she likes the British Fish and Chips better than Ivar's.

We enjoyed our fish and chips and might have to go again.

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Week in Review 25 April 2014 In the Conservatory

It was Miss K in the Conservatory with the maths book.

It was Bob in the Kitchen with the Chemistry experiments. He is getting ready to observe what happens when you put sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) in vinegar. This is from week 2 of Kitchen Chemistry.

After taking last week off to pack, clean, and fly to England, we got back to the books on Tuesday. Monday was a bank holiday, get over jet lag, and spend a day with dad before he went to Asia. Bob did work in the garden on Monday and is eager to do more work there.

We are using our LL Bean bags to keep things organized and make it easy to carry them from one place to another.

We are continuing with Greek Myths. I enjoy having them on CD so we listen to them and discuss them.

We are finishing things up this year. I am hoping that we will have enough here to keep us going until we get our shipment. Then we will begin on our summer program. We school year round but do different things in the summer. The other year we began Winter Promise Sea and Sky and so we will finish that this summer.

My husband is traveling this week. We are staying in the Team Centre and will be looking for a house next week when he returns.

Miss K was helping to chop the turnip for beef stew that we had for tea.

We don't have plans for the weekend. If the weather is nice we will go to the park and something was said about going for fish and chips.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Getting started homeschooling a special needs child

Recently someone asked a question about what do I need to being homeschooling a special needs child. I pondered that for a bit between homeschooling, cleaning, cooking, and all those other things that happen in a day. I came up with a list of a few things that I think are needed.

Patience - Homeschooling a special needs child requires an extra dose of patience. Often the child is slower to understand the concept and so you need to go over it again and again. Extra practice is needed to master the skill. Today we were working on saying, "oil". We said it over and over. I am not sure we have it so we will review it again tomorrow and probably the day after that.

Determination - Homeschooling a special needs child requires determination on our part. Determination that the child can learn and the determination to stick with it. Miss K can be stubborn and guess what so am I. I am going to push and do everything to help her learn.

A sense of humor - You need to be able to laugh when you are told that the reason that math can't be done is because the pencil is pokey. She has told us the eraser is scared and a few other funny things. Sometimes it is just laughing to yourself.

Creativity - Having a dose of creativity will help. Not necessarily the creativity that does all kinds of cute crafts but the creativity that things of a new way to teach the concept. We have had frogs jumping to count by 5's. Some days you just need to try various ways to see if that is the one thing that will teach the concept.

Flexibility -  My children both work best when there is structure and routine. Yet in that structure and routine I need to allow for some flexibility. I need to be willing to drop a curriculum if it isn't working or add something new if I think it will meet a need we have. We often adjust as needed.

If you have these characteristics, the evaluating where the child is at academically and choosing the resources will be the easy part. Then again I love the researching and looking at what is available so if you want help finding something let me know.

I hope this helps you as you begin or continue homeschooling your special needs child or just homeschooling in general.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

The English Garden

Last summer a British friend recommended that I am slowly reading a book called, Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour by Kate Fox. There is a section on gardens including garden rules. I learned all kinds of interesting things about the garden.

Today was a bank holiday and as we are still recovering a bit of jet lag I decided not to do school. The children ended up working in the garden.

 Bob is working to dig up some roots.

"The English all want to live in their own private box with their own private green bit."

Miss K is helping to get the pansies ready to plant. 

"Tiny scraps of land, which almost anywhere else in the world would be regarded as too insignificant to bother with, are treated as though they were grand country estates."

Digging out the weeds.

"Each house will usually have a minuscule patch of garden at the front, and a larger green bit at the back."

Miss K watched how Mel was planting the pansies and then she carefully dug her hole,
added some mulch and put the pansy in and filled in the dirt around it. 

"This is one of the most important garden-rules: we never, ever sit in our front gardens."

Carefully patting the dirt down around the pansy. 

"And it must also be said that even the average, bog-standard English garden represents considerably more effort than most other nations typically invest in their green bits."

Watering the flowers, of course after they did that it did rain this evening.

It was hard work. I am thrilled they had the opportunity to work, get dirty, and serve others.

Miss K went right to sleep. Hopefully she will be over jet lag and not come to my room at 4:00 in the morning wanting me to teach her how to draw a snowflake (that was this morning's request).

Bob was dirty and tired but proud of all the work he had done. The people we are staying with are thrilled with the work that they got done and have a bit more for him to do.

All the quotes are from the book Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour by Kate Fox.

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Resurrection Sunday

Up from the grave he arose;
with a mighty triumph o'er his foes'
he arose a victor from the dark domain,
and he lives forever, with his saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

I love singing the Resurrection Sunday hymns. I love the reminder of the victory that was won over death.  Our Savior is risen. We serve a living Savior.

We went to visit a friend and her family. It was a bit unplanned but she was gracious and welcoming. It is wonderful to have friends like that especially when you move to a new country. 

The plan had been to have an egg hunt outside but the weather was rainy so we changed it to inside. I was surprised how many eggs they missed finding. We found a number of eggs as we were sitting and visiting. 

Miss K loves chocolate and so it was love at first sight when she found the bunny.

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A day at the park

Monday was a beautiful day with temperatures in the high 60's Fahrenheit or about 20 Celsius (I am going to have to switch my thinking to Celsius again.) I decided that it was perfect to go to the park for one more outing before we left.

I think the kids were wishing they had swimsuits or at least shorts. They played in the sand and then at the playground.

The found a big frog to climb on. It looked like a perfect place to take a photo.

We saw a bald eagle flying around.  It is amazing to just sit and watch him circle around and around.

This guy was just walking along the beach.

I am glad that I took the time to do something fun with the kids. As I was busy with all the last minute details needed to do before leaving, I also knew that it was important that I spend time with the kids.

Bob told me that we didn't have to worry because we can trust dad and God. It is encouraging to hear his insights and thoughts and it was a good reminder.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Kitchen Chemistry

One of the fun things about homeschooling is the community. A large part of the community is sharing. Someone shared a link to a Kitchen Chemistry course and I thought why not. We are studying chemistry so let's try it. This is from a university in England and is about six weeks long.

The first experiment was about density using hot and cold water. The hot water is colored. When we place the hot water on top of the cold water there is no movement. Here he is putting the cold water on top of the hot water and we found that the hot water rises into the cold water. It was very cool and a new experiment for him to do.

We needed CD's to use to flip the water glasses. I dug a few CD's out of the bags ready for the thrift store so he could do the experiment.

The next thing that he did was make a hot air balloon using a plastic bag and the toaster.

He put the bag on and then we sat and watched. "Is it moving. I think it might be." And then look at it go.

There was one more experiment which involved burning an empty tea bag. When it burned we were able to see the heat cause the ash to rise.

I have to say that these were easy to do, worked, taught something, and don't talk all morning . My son thinks I don't like science because in his mind science is about experiments. I don't like experiments that take forever, don't work, and make a big mess.

This was fun, we learned something and we are looking forward to next week's lesson.

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Treats and Fun Times

When we lived on the East Coast,  some of our favorite treats were soft pretzels, Rita's, and Sonic Happy Hour. There were two soft pretzels shops in our town. Rita's water ice was a regional favorite with flavors changing all the time. A Limeade from Sonic during Happy Hour would make me happy.

Well, here in the northwest we have to find new treats.

Krispy Kreme is in the area. We will sometimes go for donuts. Bob likes the chocolate eclair.

This time Miss K spied the chocolate and that smile tells you how she loved it. Actually, I should have taken a photo of her after she ate it.

When we lived in Asia, there was a Krispy Kreme there. Of course, since it was Asia they had some interesting flavors.

Aunt Bea introduced us to Yogurtland during one of her visits. For us I have limited the kids to just a small amount and one topping. Yogurtland is a self-serve frozen yogurt with a topping bar. You pay by the weight. I actually got some once just around $1.

Bob likes to add a gummy worm or two to the top of his yogurt. I think he got cheesecake and strawberry.

Miss K usually gets chocolate but this time it was chocolate with birthday cake. You might have noticed that Miss K likes chocolate, no I should say loves chocolate.

I really like the strawberry lemonade sorbet. When we were there last week, they also had an orange citrus sorbet. Yum!

I think Miss K needs a haircut, it is so thin. Her bangs are long. She wants long hair but that means that it needs to be pulled back and it is not thick.

Another fun place to go here is Ivar's. Miss K has been asking to go there. She loves baby shrimp. I love clam chowder.

I wonder what fun treats we will discover in the UK.

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Week in Review - April 11, 2014 - Our visas came

He was a bit scared when he saw the package as the package he sent was thick. The only thing they returned were our passports and original birth certificates and marriage certificate.

Last Friday we ended the week with a phone call to the visa expediter who stated our visa was not finished and the consulate doesn't issue visas on Monday. Okay, that meant my husband couldn't fly on Tuesday so he changed his flight to Thursday so he would arrive for his meetings on Sunday. Since the airline we are flying only flies on Tuesday and Thursday he needed to be able to go on Thursday. Monday afternoon my husband sat down to check email and called me to look at four emails he received. We received emails from the Consulate stating our visas had been issued. The expediter picked up the visas on Tuesday and then my stalking tracking the envelope across the country began. I am very thankful for overnight delivery even when we are on the other side of the country.  We received our visas just in time for my husband's flight. God is faithful and we trust that after all the waiting that this is his timing for us to go.

Bob won 1st Place at the Dr. Seuss inspired art. This was a project that he had done in the art classes. The store where the classes was held had their 1st Youth Art Contest and asked the customers to vote.

His artwork is the upper left corner. He received a box with art supplies as well as $15 gift certificate. I love buying good art supplies for the kids.

Schooling - well that happened in bits and pieces this week between a few meetings we had, tracking Fedex, and trying to pack. Our books are in the suitcase so we are pulling out what we need.

I posted my review of Star Chronicles. We have enjoyed that study and still have a few more constellations to study.

We are reading through the library books. I will miss the library as we have used that quite a bit here.

We had our last piano lesson here. Praying that we will find a new teacher as well as a new flute teacher.

We did a bit of our Greek Myths. We did a bit of math. Maybe we will just call this spring break.

Not sure how much school will be done next week. We are doing our lasts and packing.

Next week we will be in the UK.

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