Monday, August 29, 2011

Tapestry of Grace Y1 Week 4

This week, we had to play a little bit of catch up with our history from the previous two weeks of travel.  So L studied the last three plagues that God sent to Egypt to convince Pharaoh to let the Israelites leave.  We talked about how each plague definitively showed God's power over one of the gods worshipped by the Egyptians.  We talked about Pharaoh's arrogance and defiance toward God, and the consequences he suffered because of it. L and K both drew pictures of each plague in their lapbooks as we studied them.  This really helped them visualize it and remember the order in which they came.

After we finished learning about how God rescued the Israelites from their slavery in Egypt, we learned of their wandering in the desert, and how they grumbled against God.  This set up us to learn why and when Moses wrote the story of creation.  Going back and looking at it as an encouragement to the Israelites in the wanderings was really neat.  We saw how Moses reminded them through the book of Genesis that God had a plan from the beginning, and they were in the middle of the plan, how he encouraged them to trust in the goodness of God and his masterful plan.  Again, we learned the order of creation by what God did on each day, and drew it out to commit it to memory.

We went further into Genesis, learning about Adam and Eve and how they disobeyed God and the consequences.  We read the story of their sons, Cain and Abel, and on to the story of Noah.  We had some really great books this week to look through to bring these stories to life.

We also got started (finally) with our Artistic Pursuits art program.  This week we learned how artists compose a picture.  Here is L composing a scene from Noah's journey on the ark.

We also played with some manipulatives and matching things to help us remember the order of the creation of the earth and all that it is in it.  I think I'll pull these out fairly often so we don't forget. : )

It was a great week, cram packed with stuff.  This week looks like it will be a little slower paced, not covering so much and so many activities.  That's good, because my parents are arriving bright and early Saturday morning, and we've got a bit to do to prepare for their visit!  We're all SO excited!  

Thursday, August 25, 2011


We got word this morning that we received a very large grant from the JSC Foundation!!!

When we started our adoption process, we had no idea how we were going to pay for everything.  We had some savings that we were committed to exhausting, and thought we could raise a bit of money from friends and family, and apply for grants.

We did not know about this JSC Foundation grant until a few weeks ago when a fellow adoptive family that we met two years ago while they were adopting from India told us about it. (That is a run-on sentence if I ever saw one).  They received a lot of money from it, and I thought maybe we'd get $3-4,000, if anything.

They wrote last week asking for clarification on our application, and I thought, "Oh, they're not going to give us anything!"

And then today, we got an email saying "Congratulations!  We've sent the money to your agency on your behalf, and you can be reimbursed for your travel expenses."  WHAT?!?  We were floored!  This is more than half of our adoption expenses... way more.

We are still reeling and cannot believe the generosity of the church, the body of Christ, to support each other in this way. This is also just such a confirmation that we are walking the right road.  To be blessed like this is beyond description.  Just, thank you Jesus, for providing for our need.  Thank you Lord, for leading us to the right people and places to learn of this grant.  Thank you for giving them a heart to support adoptions.  Thank you, God, for blessing us in this way! Completely humbled and grateful today. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tapestry of Grace Year 1: Week 3- Hotel School

So this week, we experimented with taking school on the road.  We had friends visiting and wanted to meet them in another state, so we packed up the kids, toys, and lots of books and headed to the airport. I planned ahead and thought I was well prepared for school in a hotel.  : ) I also decided it would be best to stretch the third week of school over two, considering we were going to be busy with our friends, in a hotel, and the following week we had to travel to Nepal to renew our visa.  Overall, we got done *most* of what we needed to get done. But it was really difficult!  It's not something I'm going to want to do very often.  : ) We're looking forward to getting back into a normal routine this week.

But here are some photo highlights of the last two weeks!

Headed to the airport! This is the first trip where Chotu pulled his own little carry on.  So adorable! 
K tried making Egyptian jewelry.  But I should have brought a needle.  We couldn't get the thread through the beads.  
Chotu hung out and watched some Wiggles and Letter Factory.  
Dad and L made a hieroglyphic using stamps and papyrus paper.  
K labeled a map of Egypt with stickers. 
Me and my little buddy... 
L's finished papyrus. 

L doing some phonics and grammar work. 

We also chowed down on some great Mexican food in Nepal! : )

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Marital Priorities

Earlier this week I was blessed to visit an old friend in Delhi.  She worked for us when we lived there, helping me around the house.  She's got four daughters and a son and we love their family so dearly.  They are very poor Christians with such servant hearts and are some of the most genuine, loving people I know.

The last few times we've visited their house, there's been a guy there who is a distant cousin or something.  This time when we arrived, the first thing that went through my mind when I saw him was that he must want to marry the oldest girl, who is now about 21.  : )  Sure enough, they really like each other and want to get married!  We were so excited to hear it!  They are both strong Christians with a deep faith and are just wonderful people.  But things are not looking good for them.

It confused my happy heart to hear how his parents don't want him to marry Soma because first and foremost, she is too short for him.  He is taller than the average guy, and she is shorter than the average girl here.  There is a pretty good height disparity between the two of them.  Apparently here, bride and groom should be the same height.  His parents have been encouraging him to marry another girl who is the same height as him.  Their other objection is that he is about 9 years older than Soma. They were all really confused, because they really love each other.  He told us even their pastors are encouraging them not to marry because everyone in the church will have bad thoughts (apparently related to the disparity in their heights and ages).  He said he asked the pastors to show where in the Bible it said you had to be the same height as your spouse.  Awesome. : )

They aren't sure what to do because they don't want to go against the wishes of everyone in such a communal society.  But they don't feel right about marrying other people either.  Soma's mother, my dear friend, told us she was really against it at first, mainly because of their ages, but after praying about it for a long time, she felt God tell her that this man was theirs, their son, and to love him and allow him into their family.  She was in tears because she wants to obey God, but doesn't want to have any opposition in her church or his family in doing so.  They've wisely taken some time to just pray over the whole situation in hopes that in time, God will unite the hearts of everyone involved.

It's hard to understand why height and age are more of a priority than the fact that these two young people have a shared faith and purpose for their lives, love each other, and desire to be married.  I left with a heavy heart, encouraging them to keep praying, believing that God CAN change the hearts of his parents.  Soma is so sweet and such a precious person, I have no doubt that in time, they will come to love her and see her incredible worthiness of character.

Praying for these two...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tapestry of Grace Year 1: Week 2

This was another great week with Tapestry.  And, I'd like to add, that we are loving our writing and grammar programs: Writing With Ease and First Language Lessons, both by Peace Hill Press.

Here are the photo highlights of the week!

 We finished up with the salt maps, labeling all the landforms with their proper geographic terms.

 We took a field trip to our handicraft center to help pack up the products for the first shipment back to the US!!  So excited!

 We made the double crown of Egypt and listened to our history lesson while pretending to be Pharaoh.

We posed as if we were in a hieroglyph or tomb painting.

In addition, we did copywork and narration out of Pinocchio, L studied capital letters and periods, added proper nouns to his word bank, and we started a "People of the Ancient World" book, where he'll draw pictures of historical figures and events in their life, and then caption the drawing.  These week, he drew Moses and Aaron returning to Egypt to free the Israelites.  We also had a great time continuing our Music for little Mozarts for piano lessons.

It was a great week!  One of the (many) reasons we chose homeschooling is that if we get the travel bug or Paul's work takes him on the road, we figured we could just pack up the school books and go with him.  This coming week, we're going to put that theory to the test.  We'll be spending the week in another city visiting with friends, and so next week's post will be interesting... it will be hotelschool instead of homeschool. : )

See you then!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

L's Narration Work Today

I'm so proud of my little first grader.  He is such a great writer and loves to write! I'm so thankful that teaching him is (usually) not like pulling teeth.  He did this today and I was so proud of him!!

I only helped him spell "person" when he asked me to.  Everything else was all him!