Thursday, January 31, 2013

Weekly Wrap Up 1/31/13

Welcome Friday!
In My Life This Week... Our learning and activities seem to be changing as fast as the weather!  In Indiana this past week we have seen rain, sleet, freezing rain, snow, fog, as well as a record high of 60 degrees! AND WIND! Boy have we had wind!  A shutter tore off the house and woke me up at 2:30 a.m. a few nights ago! 

The kids were scattered to the four winds over the weekend so their daddy and I could attend a church board conference.  The kids had a blast visiting with friends and grandparents while we thouroughly enjoyed hanging out with some of our best friends and having adult conversations!  

We decided it had been far too long since we had Great Grandma Carolyn over for lunch, so we squeezed that in on Tuesday.  We were asked to help clean a building to help out a ministry on Wednesday.  (More on that AWESOME ministry later.) Today, (Thursday) I am meeting a mom at our local library to talk about our sons.  She was looking for a mom who knew what it was like to raise a child on the autism spectrum and found me on Facebook! Turns out we were in MOPS together almost 9 years ago!  Tomorrow, as far as I know, will be a "normal" day of uninterrupted school.  Ya, we'll see about that! :O)
In Our Homeschool This Week... We made fudge!  Josh told me that he loves it when his science book asks him to make something yummy!  He is currently studying earthquakes and volcanoes.  His book had us make fudge to compare "extrusive igneous rock" and "intrusive igneous rock."  The cooking fudge was our  molten lava!

 This is the intrusive igneous rock forming on the counter; the extrusive rock was forming in the fridge.  :O)
I am Inspired By... Forgotten Children Worldwide.  This is the organization that I am going to Africa with this coming summer.  A friend of ours is the founder of the organization.  I am not only inspired by what the organization does but by this man's obedience to follow God's leading to actually start it.  Forgotten Children does many things.  They build and support orphanages in Africa and India.  They send used clothing to both of these places.  They train and teach leaders within their own countries to care for these orphans.  They have created a sponsorship program.  We support a little girl named Shammim that I hope to meet this summer!  I'm sure they do much more as well!  And all of this has been able to happen because one man obeyed!  Check out the link to get to know this awesome organization by clicking on the pic below!
Helpful Tips or Advice to Share...Take time out of your studies to serve with your kids.  My kids learned how to mop with a very large janitorial mop in a VERY large room yesterday as well as vaccuming roooms larger than our entire house! They realized that the men and women who do that for a living WORK HARD! 
Places We're Going and People We're seeing... Other than all the people and places mentioned above, I get to have to date nights this weekend for my birthday!  Friday night we will eat out with grandparents and maybe some uncles and Saturday night I get to have a date night with just the hubby! 
My Favorite Thing This Week Was... The people in my week.  Having lunch with my grandma Carolyn is always a treat.  Meeting another mom for hot chocolate to talk about our sons is very theraputic for a mom of a special needs kiddo!  Getting a letter of encouragement in the mail from a super friend made my day on Tuesday! 
PLUS... at this very moment (Thursday at 5:30 p.m.) when I neglected to plan ahead for dinner, my 14 year old is making home made pizzas.  I don't even have to cook tonight!  (I bet I may have to clean up though!)
I'm Reading... I'm finishing the required reading of our Africa team.  I love to read and the suggested books are fantastic!  I'm about half way through with "The Hole in our Gospel" by Richard Stearns.  And, I just finished Kisses From Katie," by Katie Davis.  I'm sure this trip to Africa will change me more than I will make any big change on Africa! 
For our read aloud, we are working on "The Hiding Place."   I love the age my kids are; they are loving this book!
I'm Cooking... Well nothing at the moment thanks to my 14 year old!
I'm Praying for... My friend Holly who is raising a kiddo like mine in a blended family.  I really feel for all the parents who have to raise a special needs kiddo on their own or with a spouse who didn't birth the child and does not intuitively "get" him or her. 

What we are working on in School these days... 
  Caleb is studying the laws of thermodynamics!  Sounds so technical!  His a very visual kiddo.  He draws each new science concept then writes about it in his notebook.  I am also learning LOTS from 8th grade science!  Who knew that the second law of thermodynamics points to our Creator!  
Carolyn's bird unit is coming to an end, but the birds of our backyard  birds will enjoy the benefits of the feeders she made for a long time!
I know this doesn't look like school, but it may soon!  Josh got a stop motion camera and software for Christmas.  We have been reading the book that came with it for reading. (He LOVES reading right now!) Now that he has figured the basics of the software out he has been making movies like crazy!  **Soon I will just have to assign him some history projects!  He just started the Revolutionary War period!  Can't you just see Paul revere and the Minutemen made of LEGO minifigs!?** 

A Photo to Share! I'm taking a moment to remind those of us in the north that summer really does exist and will be back again someday!

Be sure to check out all the other Blogs linked up today!
 (I know its not summer, but I can wish!)


Monday, January 28, 2013

One Reason Why I LOVE Mondays

...Well, every other Monday, Anyway!

Every other Monday, our oldest kiddo goes to work for one of the neighbor farmers helping to move hogs.  He LOVES it, is getting some very valuable life skills, and comes home exhausted and smelling like hogs!

Other than getting up earlier than usual to send him on his way and having an extra load of smelly laundry, this day is one of my favorites.  While Caleb is off loading and transporing the not so little piggies, the other two kids and I have "Unit Study Day!" 

We put our regular texts away for the day and focus on a full day of a particular topic of interest.  Today, Josh is continuing his study of the 50 states.  He is putting all of the facts he uncovers into a book.

Carolyn is finishing her study of the Presidents of the United States.  She is adding J.F.K. through Richard Nixon to her Power Point today. (Actually it was last week...we had some internet speed issues all week so I am uploading pics a week later.) We are also studying Washington DC for her reading unit so we took time out from her powerpoint to read some picture books about our Capital City.  

We really look forward to these more relaxed days.  The pace is less hectic and the kids just love it when they come across interesting facts.  We had to giggle when he read that the state song of Maine is simply called, "The State Song of Maine."  Who knew?!  Carolyn just mentioned that some of the first ladies were really pretty.  Hmmmm? Maybe that will be the next topic for her to investigate!

Another blessing that this day affords us is the flexibility to finish school earlier than usual.  Last Monday, my mom called and needed someone to run her to the eye doctor immediately. She ended up in surgery later that day!  We were out of town on a field trip so I was unavailable.  Today, for her post op check up we can make ourselves free to take her and spend the afternoon with grandma!

Happy Monday, Everyone! We hope this week is filled with blessings for you and your family as well!