Saturday, January 26, 2013

Indelible Grace, Compassion International, & Sherri

Tonight we went to a sweet, intimate concert at a local church to hear Matthew Smith and Indelible Grace.  What a worshipful, lovely night we had with our boys and a few neighbors, along with families from our church and the community.  There is no musical genre that I love more than old hymns set to modern guitar music.  It feeds my soul and draws me close to Christ.

Matthew Smith shared his passion for the children who are sponsored by Compassion International.  We decided to sponsor this little precious girl named Sherri.
She is a beautiful little girl living in Guatemala who needs to hear and experience the love of God.  We are thrilled to be instruments of His grace in her life.  What a privilege!  Joshua really wants to meet her someday.  You never know what the Lord will do!  Until then, this sweet child is in our hearts and prayers!
It was a real treat to have a family night away from the farm.  The pace of our life right now doesn't lend itself to these nights as often as I would like.  But when they come, they are a treasure!

Out for ice cream afterwards...a rare treat these days!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Spelling Bee

At our school, there are two spelling bees in January.  One is for the 2nd-5th grade classes and the award is the title of "Grammar School Spelling Bee Champion", along with a trophy.  Then the Logic school (6th-8th grades) also have a Spelling Bee, and the winner goes on to compete in the county Spelling Bee.

Each grade has 3 representatives (there are about 30 students in each grade), which are chosen through a series of class spelling bees.  Both of our boys earned the honor of being one of the three representatives from his class!  We were so proud!

The Logic spelling bee was first.  The children drew random numbers, and Jackson was the first one up!  The entire school was watching, along with three judges.  I think he let his nerves get the best of him.  His word was "cloudy" and he spelled it "c-l-o-u-d-l-y".  We were so afraid that he would be mortified.  But he was a good sport and said it was no big deal.  He seemed to shake if off way quicker than I would have.  Any way, the logic spelling bee was very exciting and it got to a point where the words were much too difficult for me!  (The winner went on to the county spelling bee and got first runner up!)

Then it was time for the grammar spelling bee.  Andy and I were NERVOUS.  Josh doesn't shake off embarassment so easily.  And he is shy and quiet.  We were afraid the judges, audience, and microphone would really embarrass him.  Well, this kid is ALWAYS surprising us!  He got up there and acted like a professional.  He took his time, asked for the judges to repeat the word, give alternate definitions, etc.  He spelled words that I would not be able to spell correctly.

After a long battle, HE WON!  And the sweetest moment was the celebration from his class.  After awards and pictures, they erupted with hugs and cheers.  They kept saying, "We won!  We won!", claiming his win as their own, too.  Andy and I were just so excited for him.  He is a brilliant boy, and he doesn't even realize all the gifts and talents that the Lord has blessed him with.  He is always so shocked when he wins something, or gets another 100 on a test, etc.  This day was really special for all of us!  Way to go, Joshua!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Little House on the Prairie day for Lydie

This little sweetie had her special Little House day today.  Her class read Laura and the Big Woods and today is the big celebration.  Another parent loaned me this darling dress and we were just barely able to make two brades with her hair.  We have been watching Little House episodes at Nana and Poppy's house on Tuesday nights when we spend the night.  This show has made her even more excited and interested.  I know she will have a wonderful day!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Back to school: Winter decor

"God makes all things new" winter bulletin board.  Tried using opened cupcake liners instead of border.
Winter wreath for the door with glittery snowflakes and penguins.
White stars and...
and snowflakes hanging from the ceiling.
In the hall..."How will I honor God in 2013?"
The kids went crazy over the party blowers.  Winter decorations were fun!

Friday, January 04, 2013

Looking back on 2012, part 2

June brought heat and lots of work on the farm!

Lots of  work on the farm=lots of work in the kitchen.  Good, dirty work!

Joshua's birthday celebration at the Lego Discovery Center...

Lydie's art birthday party...

and Jack's party at the lake!  Birthdays, birthdays, birthdays!!!
The boys went to camp for the first time and had a blast!
The boys discovered the high dive at the pool!
Our precious Ms. Charissa spent an entire month with us!  She was a life saver for us as I was getting my classroom ready and having in-service classes and Andy was running the farm!
We are LOVING the lake house!
We took a wonderful trip to the beach.  Lots of fun time with the kids, my brother's family, and just Andy and I!
Our first day at school!!
Jack's first dance!  Wow, he's growing up.  Love the way the school teaches them all the basic partner dances and helps them along.  So sweet!
And a whole faculty of precious friends for me!

And days of fun with my third grade class like this day on spirit day!
And lots of projects for all three kids, like Josh's viking ship!
And lots of dress up days for Lydie in kindergarten!
Fall meant lots of field trips!
And, as always, sweet time with family, like this Thanksgiving dinner!
Fall brought a new smile!
And a new spine!
And the memorization of loads of verses, poetry, and beautiful songs.  Seeds planted.
And a quiet Christmas with cousins...
and good time together!
And then quiet, sick days at home.  But still, good times!

2012 has been amazing!  Decisions made this year have changed our course completely.  And I love where we are headed.  The children have friends, new mentors (teachers and other adults), and receive an extremely challenging classical curriculum within the context of a community.  We are so happy!  I love the ministry I continue to have with my own family, as well as the fifteen families of my students.  Andy is healing and ready for a new year with little back pain!  And our children are all involved in many areas where they can expand and build on their gifts and talents.  Praying that this year we continue to become who God has designed us to be, always looking to bring him glory!  I am looking forward to 2013 with excitement and hope!!

Looking back on 2012, part 1

January-March Highlights

The year started with us in Steamboat Springs, Colorado with our family!  The kids and I learned to ski and we rode snow mobiles for the first time!  It was an AMAZING trip!
My niece became a Christian and got baptized!  Precious!

We went on a lot of nature walks during the winter!
And we did a lot of winter crafts together!

We visited our best friends in Atlanta!

Mama had her last chemo treatment and we threw her a party at the hospital called the "No Mo Chemo" day!!  She is cancer free and all of her surgeries are behind her!
Andy had a great birthday.  We went to a beautiful restaurant- an old, restored house with simple, home-made food.  Then to our house for warm, chocolate cake.
Lydie really loved gymnastics this spring.  She learned so much and went to her first ribbon meet in May.
Spring brought HUNDREDS of hours on the trampoline!
Lydie at her ballet recital!
We also enjoyed a few field trips like this one to the Vulcan.

Easter with family was a beautiful day!
 Sometime at the end of the long winter, God gave me the answer I had been looking for.  I accepted a position as a third grade teacher for the fall and the children were enrolled into the same school.  We began to really savor our last year of homeschooling and look forward to big changes!  With that one decision our life changed drastically from a homeschooling family to a family with an employed Mommy and children in school.  We finished our homeschool year well and the children were excellently prepared for the classical school that they began in the fall.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

New Years Eve road trip!

Some sweet friends and their daughters at Lizzie's party!

My best friend and me at Flip Burger together!

Visiting our good friends and having hot chocolate and cookies!

We decided to have an adventure and go to Atlanta for New Year's Eve.  We didn't tell the kids until we were on the way.  My best friend has a party every year with a few families.  So we secretly asked her husband if we could crash it!  He didn't tell her or her kids (who are my kids' best buddies).  It all worked out so perfectly because Andy had hotel points to use for a free stay that would have expired that day if they were not used!  So we went to the party and stayed in a nearby hotel.  The next day we met for breakfast.  Then Liz and I went to IKEA for the day, a BIG treat for me!  And the kids played at her house while the men watched football.  A perfect day!