Friday, November 21, 2014

The other side

Recently I read these verses in Psalm 30……

You turned my wailing into dancing;
    you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
    Lord my God, I will praise you forever.”

And it dawned on my for the first time that the Lord brought this verse into fruition.  I remember praying this verse when my heart was so very heavy grieving the loss of Seth.  That he would turn my wailing into dancing and cloth me with joy.  At the time I didn’t really have much of a timeline or expectation as to when that would happen, I was just hoping that one day it wouldn’t be as overwhelming. 

It’s been over 2 years since I last held our sweet third child.  But I can honestly say that when you experience a loss and the Lord sees you through it verse 12 is THE result.  Because the only way you made it through that desert was with the Lord leading the way and that is something to proclaim.  Silence is not optional.

There are days when I look at my sweet boys and my heart still hurts that their brother isn’t here to join in their wrestling and Lego play.  But I am thankful that he is their brother and I’m thankful each time I hear them speak his name.  He’s made an impression on them from heaven, and I pray for their salvation that one day they too can share in what Seth is already experiencing.

So yes this grief thing is never ending, but reading this verse this week was such a blessing to see how far the Lord has taken my heart.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Dual Schooling

Calvin has been a rock star in my book this year, as he’s taken on local school.  He is doing really well, especially given the fact that he is relearning the language.  Thankfully all the math concepts are not new, so he’s just focusing on learning vocabulary and language. 

He’s such a social kid, is a big reason why he loves it so much.  His class is huge, 35 kids.  But he has a teacher who can handle that number well.

I had a parent meeting at his school this week and his teacher passed out his dictation books.  They really stress penmanship here and they learn cursive right from the start.  I was so proud to see solid 4’s in his book.  5 is the best you can do, so it would be like a B.  For a mom of a child who has never written a lick of this before and is still learning words and often has no idea that things are names and should be capitalized I was pretty proud.  Especially since I noticed quite a few others had the same marks, so he’s hanging in there with his peers.

So far his favorite class is National Language class, he’s not only learning the trade language, he has class 3 days a week studying a 3rd language.  All kids must take this class and they are split into groups, those who know the language as their native tongue and those who are of a different ethnicity.  It’s funny that this would be his favorite class, but he’s excelling and has a hefty collection of stickers from his teacher to prove it.

So every day he goes to school at 8:15- 12:00, Thursday he stays an hour later since they have art class, and he has been spending 3 hours in the afternoon with a tutor to catch him up on his language skills and help him with his homework.  It’s working.  We’re about to drop that down to 2 hours so she can work with Micah too.  So I’ve felt very bad adding in extra homeschool on top of his studies.

Until November.  Then we started adding in some extra work, and so far no complaints.

Each day he has a folder and I insert something into it.

So far we’re keeping it light and on breaks we’ll do some extra projects.  He’s finishing up his GoPhonics program, so some days he has worksheets, other days it’s a story he must read, and some days it’s a game.  He only has a few lessons left.  After this we’re going to use explode the code online this year.  He’s very eager to get to play games for school.  Honestly I think it’s what’s motivating him to want to do more school.

He has a journal that I give him some writing prompts.  Since handwriting is something he struggles with in some days I give him a page out of draw write now, where he must draw something, then do some copy work, usually 2 sentences about that animal.

We're slowly working our way through First Language lessons for the well trained mind.  I figured since he's learning poems in local school he might as well add a few in English.  Hopefully this program gives him some framework for grammar, something I felt Go Phonics didn't emphasize enough.  Well I should say I didn't emphasize it.

We do All about Spelling at breakfast when we’re not rushed to get out the door.  I am hoping it helps his spelling skills improve this year, we started on level one and we'll work our way through level 2 as well.

And whenever he feels up to it in the evening we’ve been doing Singapore Math.  He loves it and the concepts are still reviewing what he learned last year.  I didn’t plan on doing much with math but he’s only adding by 2 and 3 in school and he needs to be practicing double digit addition/subtraction, problem solving, etc.  We started at Singapore Math 1B, and it’s mostly review but once we get to 2A he’ll have to start picking up new concepts like multiplication.

So that sums up our schooling for 1st grade.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Monster Quilt

Well I started this quilt in May and finally finished it, actually I started it in December and the stripes were already done, thanks to my sister’s help while we were in the states, but I was uncertain about what I wanted to add to it. 

Originally I wanted to add an alligator but thought that might be a bit to babyish.  So when I spotted a monster quilt on pinterest I knew this was the way to go.

Like all projects I was very excited at the start and quickly drew and cut out all the monsters and ironed them on.  But it’s the finishing work that gets me every time.  I knew if I wanted it to last I had to stitch around each of those pieces of the monster.  That’s a lot of stitching.  I did most of it by machine but embroidered the mouths and a few of the eyes.

It wasn’t hard I have just been so tired and have had little energy to tackle it in my rare spare time.  I decided I was tired of seeing it collecting dust, and fishing batting out of Judah's mouth, so during Calvin’s fall break I spend Judah’s morning nap and his afternoon finishing it up.

Micah was pretty excited his monster quilt was finally finished.  He was pretty concerned as I added pins to put the binding on.  He told me that he couldn’t sleep on it with pins in it.  He was happy to know I planned to take them out as soon as the thread sewed it together.

It was a fun project and I have a happy little 4 year old who loves snuggling under his monster blanket each night.

Now all that is left in their room is to sew some bed skirts to hide the suitcases under their beds.  I think it will clean the space up a bit, and hopefully help their room look a little less chaotic.  Maybe wishful thinking…..we shall see.