Saturday, April 27, 2013

Fun days!

Our school emphasizes public speaking, beginning in kindergarten. Lydie has had two major opportunities for it this year. She had nursery rhyme day when she had to memorize and recite a nursery rhyme. And then this past week she had to memorize and recite a book report. She is a fabulous public speaker. She gets excited, not a bit nervous this time. She read and wrote about Pinkalicious. I had a volunteer watch my class and saw her give her report.  Precious, I tell ya.

Our goal at school is to raise $45,000 for various needs. The student body gets a reward as each $5,000 goal is met. A few of our fun days have included Wild West day and Facial Hair day. Also, one of the teachers had to shave his beard to look like Seneca Crane from Hunger Games. Oh, good times. I will say, the teachers are a little overwhelmed, including myself, with all the extra excitement (and distraction) that all of these treats bring to our classroom. But really, we all need to lighten up and enjoy. The kids are having a blast.
Our own, Seneca Crane
So far, we have reached $40,000. Next week we will have Crazy Hat day, Cupcake day, and we get to vote on some type of task that the headmaster will have to do. So far I have heard rumors of shaving a mohawk, pies to the face, and dressing up like a lady. I am just relieved not to have to teach another day wearing a mustache.

To our family and friends who keep up with us here, THANK YOU for your donations to our school! It is the main place of ministry for me and for the kids. Also, many of our closest friends also reap the benefits of the atmosphere and love we all find here. We appreciate your support, and pray and trust that each dollar will be used for the glory of God! Our family alone has raised just under $1,000 for the school. What a blessing!

One of my students, testing one of our homemade anenometers in science class.
We are trying to keep our sights set on the finish line of this school year, and finish WELL! We have three academic weeks left. Then four additional days of school for awards day, parties, and special events. The children have reaped the benefits of being a part of such a vibrant, intentional, godly atmosphere. And there is not a week that goes by that one of the children's teachers does not stop me in the hall to report a kind word or effort on the part of our children. It is so encouraging to see them stand on their own two feet and excel and bless their friends and teachers. Praise the Lord for His grace in their lives. Although it has been a bit of culture shock for me (after 12 years out of the classroom...MUCH has changed) and a huge adjustment for us all, I know God is at work. And I am excited.

I thought this bartender costume for Wild West day was great.  Some teachers were not amused and thought it was inappropriate. 
I cannot believe I am already wrapping up our first year at this school and making plans for the summer and next year! The fast pace of life frightens me sometimes! Note to self: Be all every moment!

Pinkalicious, ready to go! 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Growing up

My babies are really growing up.  There are a few moments with them during the last week that I want to remember and treasure.

With Lydie...We bought our first Junie B. Jones books this week.  Lydie reads like a champ, following in her brothers' footsteps.  She reads about three or four pages each night and thinks Junie B. is hilarious.  (She falls asleep almost instantaneously when she goes to bed.)  I have waited for years to buy her this book series!
Curled up with Junie B
With Joshua...My most ferverent prayers were answered this week with my boy!  I have prayed for two years and one month that this darling boy would find a best friend in Alabama.  He and I were both beginning to think his best friend, James, from Georgia would be his one and only best friend.  He is quiet and SLOW to get to know.  But he and his friend Logan have been running up to me at school for weeks asking to spend the night or go somewhere fun together.  Yesterday, Joshua told me he has finally found his "second best friend in life" and it is Logan.  What thrills me so is that Logan is exactly what Joshua needs.  He is funny, outgoing, but also a godly boy.  Joshua needs someone to push him along, as he does not take initiative.  And this little boy is a precious, godly leader.  They have a big gaggle of buddies.  And I am glad.  But still, it thrills me to no end to know that Josh has a best buddy.

With Jack...We had a night alone.  We went out to eat, shopping, and to the book store.  Jackson does not like to shop, but he is THE MOST PATIENT MALE SHOPPER EVER.  We saved the trip to the bookstore (his favorite place on earth) for last.  And he didn't rush me.  Not once.  So when we got to the bookstore, I didn't rush him.  Therefore,
we were there until closing at 11 pm (and we had an hour drive back to the farm!).  Such a sweet night together.  Jackson is an open book, if only we take the time one-on-one with him to listen.  So thankful for that time!
California Pizza Kitchen.  I had salad.  He ate THE WHOLE PIZZA.

These moments with our children are precious and the days are flying by.  Praying every single day for God to captivate their hearts, give them good health and a long life, and prepare them and their future spouses and children for godly service for His glory.  Love being their Mom!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Summer fever

This week was extremely challenging for me emotionally.  Oh, the weariness!  Fifteen little personalities to encourage and disciple.  We dealt with cheating in the classroom this week.  The tears and conviction from this precious little girl made me cry, too.  And then there is the ever present communication with parents, some more than others.  We are all sensitive about our little ones, and a teacher walks a fine line between being too passive and being too verbal.  It can be tricky, especially when your entire heart is invested in your students!  Then there is work relationships with other teachers, which for the most part is pure joy and encouragement.  But there can be a bump or too, naturally.  And all of these things do not even include family relationships, or other relationships outside of work.  It's just been a bumpy ride this week.  Hard things to say and do.  And I am tired.  Lots of prayer needed, little time alone (when I can stay awake).  This teaching ministry is hard, the good kind of hard, like parenting and marriage.  And it wipes me out!

Picture of Jasmine Hill gardens...filled with ancient Greek and Roman replicas and gorgeous flowers.  We had a marvelous field trip there last week.
There are temptations to run, far away.  I have this temptation in all things that God calls me to that are difficult and exhausting.  The year that I had an infant and a toddler, along with a husband who was gone 60+ hours a week, I might have priced plane tickets to California.  And the first year that we were here on our farm, I might have priced plane tickets to Paris.  Seriously.  Not one-way tickets, but a long, quiet month away was always a temptation.  Funny.  Silly.  So far, by God's grace, I have stayed the course, by the way.  No skipping town...yet! Ha!

I think both students and teachers all get weary this time of year.  And summer is ALMOST here.  We all need a break!  The idea of a trip to the beach, weekends at the lake, swimming at the local pool and getting a scoop of ice cream afterwards, and sleeping in...oh, we are so ready.  Summer fever is in full effect!  MUST PRESS ON!!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Jack as John in Peter Pan

As I mentioned in the fall, Jack took a brave risk as a new-to-the-school-sixth-grader and tried out for the logic (middle) school's drama club.  Instead of the part of a pirate in Peter Pan, which he tried out for and would have been glad to get, he was given the role of John.  The children have practiced several hours or more each week since school began.  And last weekend all of their hard work paid off!

It is hard to describe how it feels when you see your child using his gifts and talents to bless others.  He really did a marvelous job.  So many scenes, so many lines and stage directions, and did I mention he is new to this school (and previously homeschooled!)?  I looked at Andy during the curtain call, and we shared a slightly tearful, knowing, glance.  This kid is talented.  And brave.  And most impressive of all, he is so comfortable in his own skin.  Not that he doesn't recognize his flaws.  But his confidence is in Christ.  And he is comfortable and vulnerable, and it translates on stage.  We are so amazed with this boy of ours.  He brings so many laughs and so much joy to our family.  Here are a few pictures.  (Jack is the one with the top hat.)
Jackson had18 friends and family, along with the four of us, who came to support him.  We were so thankful!  Here he is pictured with a few of us.
Mother, Wendy, John, and Michael discussing Never Land
Peter, Wendy, Michael, and John eavesdropping on the mermaids, pirates, and Indian
The children in the nursery

Peter and Wendy
The cast doing "the chicken dance" at curtain call :)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Fourth grade Medieval Feast

 Joshua's class had their big event of the year! They spend the year in history studying the the early church through the Medieval Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation.  We celebrated the culmination of their Medieval Ages study with the Medieval Feast. It is amazing!
The programs
Here are the fourth graders who attended.
Josh is third from the left, back row (ofcourse)
Here are some of the decorated areas
The first wall
The dessert table
The stage
Each student made a shield which was displayed on the walls.
The queen (Rhetoric school history teacher playing up the part of the snobby queen) and her daughters (fourth grade teachers)

The students serving the parents

For entertainment, the rhetoric school drama club performed a play

And the fourth graders did a wonderful, medieval dance!

The girls were given crowns and a little encouraging speech about being daughters of King Jesus. The boys were "knighted" and given an encouraging talk by our headmaster to pursue Christ with the strength and honor of a knight. This was a highlight of the night!
Joshua getting "knighted"
Sweet princesses
Here we are, along with another parent at our table,

Andy in a borrowed tunic
Even the parents were asked to dress up!  A friend let me borrow this fun costume.
This dad sat across from us.  His costume was my favorite!
 The food

Each table had a platter of "finger foods"
It was truly a marvelous night, especially for the children who were able to see history come alive!!

One of my sweet friends and her daughter