Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me

For the last four months, we have had the joy of having Jessica live with us.  She has been helping us with our handicrafts center as it has been in it's infancy stages.  I don't know what we would have done without her, and I am so thankful that God led her to us in His perfect timing to help us with this work of providing jobs and income to ladies here in our area. 

A few days before my birthday, while I was out and she kept the kids for me, she interviewed them as a birthday gift for me.  I loved this so much!  Words of affirmation are definitely my strongest "love language", and so this was such a special gift for me.  I wanted to share their answers, because they brought me so much joy...

1.  What is something Mommy always says to you?
L- I'm a great picker upper.
K- To obey her. 

2. What makes Mommy happy?
L- When I obey her and she loves rabbits.
K- Giving her cards

3. What makes Mommy sad?
L-When I don't obey and when rabbits scratch her.
K- When we don't pick up our room. 

4. What does Mommy do that makes you laugh?
L- When she's kidding.
K- She makes funny faces at me, like when I got a haircut, her funny faces helped me not to be mad

5. How old is Mommy? 
L- 33
K- Maybe she's 30 or 32.

6. What is Mommy's favorite thing to do?
L-Marrying.  It's like she marries Daddy or something
K- To do school with us.

7. What is Mommy's favorite food?
L- Chicken and rice
K- Rice and beans.  My favorite, too.

8. What do you love most about Mommy?
L- When she cooks pizza.
K- I love to buy clothes for me with her.

9. If Mommy were a Disney Princess, who would she be?
L- Ariel.  Because she loves Ariel.
K- Jasmine because Jasmine has black hair and her hair's kind of black.

10.  How do you know that Mommy loves you?
L-She loves me when I do silly things.
K- When she plays paper dolls with me.

11. When is Mommy's favorite place to go?
L- Shopping
K- To the grocery store

12. How do you know Mommy and Daddy love each other?
L- Because they are nice to each other.
K- Because they keep giving each other hugs... and they keep giving each other kisses.

13. Why did God make Mommy's?
L- To take care of babies.  Yep.
K- Because He can make whatever He wants.  You know in Ethiopia, when a kid's mom and dad can't take care of too much kids, then they just take their kids to Ethiopia and leave them there. (We need to work on understanding this, clearly). 

14. What is one thing you want to say to Mommy on her birthday?
L- Surprise!
K- Surprise! I love you!

15.  What makes Mommy special?
L- I love her when she cooks.
K- God. God makes Mommy special.  

Is it possible to have put too much emphasis on obedience and picking up their room?  Ha!  And, sad that they think my favorite place to go is grocery shopping. : )

I will treasure this for years!  Thank you, Jess! 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tapestry: Week 8

We had a nice, slow, uneventful week last week.  Those seem few and far between anymore. : )  Well, at least until Friday, when we traveled two hours to go to a friend's wedding reception.  It was a great time to visit a place we used to live and see old friends.  We stayed with good friends and let the kids play together.  Busy, but good! : )

Here are the highlights!

We are studying ancient Israel still, this week focusing on the role of the priests and the festivals.  We made ephods, the breastplates the priests wore, and L also made a high priests hat.

K enjoys practicing math with the Math-U-See blocks. 

We made shofars.  They didn't work as well as I'd have liked.  But the kids enjoyed it anyway.

We colored a picture of a priest blowing a shofar, and learned all about when shofars are blown, and listened to three different calls on the internet. The kids were mimmicking them the rest of the day. 

We learned about two holidays, Rosh Hashannah (Jewish New Year), and Yom Kippur, ten days after Rosh Hashannah.  Rosh Hashannah is actually this week!

K practiced reading with her Sing, Spell, Read and Write readers.  She's doing great!

K also practiced writing lower case letters.  She has named this her "alphapuzzle."  She has not been a fan of writing lower case letters. I guess she feels like capital letters are all she needs to know. :)  This week, I discovered a little trick.  I wrote the whole alphabet in lower case, and then told her to pick a crayon and trace over my writing with any color crayon she wanted.  This was a hit, and she'll do it over and over again! : )  (I also love Chotu doing what he does all.day.long in the background of the photo, playing with cars.)  : ) 

This coming week is the end of our first unit, and the end of my planning ahead, so I've got some work cut out for me next weekend!  We're not taking a break the following week, as we have a bit of a vacation planned a couple of weeks from now.  So we'll keep on through Week 11 before taking a break.  So far so good!  I don't fee like we need a week's break just yet.  Maybe I will by then. : ) 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Depraved Indifference

This video brought me to tears.  It's focus is on African adoption.  Let the Lord search your heart as you watch it...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tapestry: Week 7

This week, we focused on Moses and God giving the law, including the ten commandments to the Israelites as they wandering in the wilderness.  We learned what their life would have been like, what kind of foods they ate, the set up of the camp, and the Tabernacle.  We learned about Shabbat, or Sabbath, God's instructions to keep one day of rest each week.  We also played a bit of catch up by finishing up the Patriarchs with the story of Joseph.  

L's notebook page on the story of Joseph.  

We tried weaving cloth like the Israelites would have done.  I would suggest you not do this activity in the first grade. : ) 

K is learning how to make her bed. 

Here's K doing a game of matching capital letters and lower case letters.

We made mock tablets like Moses would have written on, out of playdough. 

The kids decided to let Chotu participate in the playdough activity.

We also learned about the Jewish calendar and how it correlates with our current calendar.  We learned when the Israelites planted, harvested, when it was dry, and when it was rainy season.  

In our art program this week, we went outside to study nature and try to draw what we observed.  K chose a butterfly and a flower. 

L drew a grove of bamboo trees that were in our garden/park area. He also said he saw a cloud shaped like a sheep. : )

We learned all about the Tabernacle that God instructed Moses to build for God to dwell in among the people.  We learned about how it was constructed, the pieces of furniture and their significance, and how the whole community came together to donate the materials for building it.  

It was good and full week! I wish I had planned ahead a bit more and we had built a model of the Tabernacle, but I think it will be more meaningful to do that next time around when Luke is in fourth grade.  

Hope you've had a great week too!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Paperwork vs. Waiting

I just went back and read through some of my writing during the paperwork phase of our adoption.  I thought this waiting was getting a bit tough, but reading through the manic mess that the paperwork and home study process was, I think I can safely say, I'd rather be waiting now than doing that still! : )  Two and a half months into the wait... how much longer will it be???

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tapestry Year 1: Week 6

This has been a crazy week! My parents came for a visit, for the first time in three years.  Life here is pretty different than it was three years ago.  We are much more settled here and are really enjoying life.  We had a great time with them, and they certainly didn't stay long enough. : )  Because they were here this week, we didn't get as much school done as we normally do, we spent a lot of time showing them around our city.  We also were really busy this week because L turned six years old!!!  So, I only have pictures from the first day of school this week.  And some of our sight seeing at one of our favorite place, Amber Fort.

Here we are (with Grammy) making a traveling table, like Abram and Sarah might have had.

Here's K demonstrating how it works. :)

The kids had fun playing with this all week...

Great picture capturing L's personality!

Likewise, capturing a lot of K's sass.

Whispering a secret in brother's ear.

Such a great one full of smiles!

Sibling love... lasts for about five seconds.

Kids getting to pet a cobra!

I think I will always treasure these pictures and be so thankful I saw that staircase and took time to make them sit down and take some photos.  Love them all.   Love my kids.  Love my parents and so thankful they were willing to make the long, expensive, difficult journey to visit us where we are.  Hoping we can get back into a good school routine this coming week!  : )

Friday, September 2, 2011

Tapestry of Grace Year 1: Week 5

I had to photograph this.  Maybe e-mail should be one of
L's spelling words.
This week was quite a bit slower than last week.  We continued on with our skills work, L is doing really well with his writing and getting better and better at listening and reading comprehension.  It's so amazing to watch them learn and pick up on things! I love it!

L doing his math work.  In a week or two we're trying out
a new program, Horizons.  Hoping it challenges L more.
Our history study this week took a look at ancient Mesopotamia and the Sumer civilization. We read about walled cities and what kinds of things kids would learn in school, like writing in cuneiform on clay tablets.  We learned about how cities in Sumer each had a ziggurat in the center of the city which served as a religious center.  They were  high towers built to reach up to the heavens.  This is probably
what the Tower of Babel was.  We read the story of the Tower of Babel from Genesis and a couple of other story books about it.  And at the end of the week, we built our very own ziggurat.  Since the paint bottles you can buy here hold about two ounces of paint, and all I had was a big bottle of purple tempera paint, we made ourselves a purple ziggurat. : )

L and K also had a great time with their art lesson this week.  It was about how artists imagine and we worked with watercolor crayons. I've never seen these before, and they loved it.  I love their drawings!

L drew a picture of what he imagined it will be like to pick
Grammy and Papa up at the airport tomorrow morning.
K says, "This is Rapunzel sitting on the tree looking
at the lanterns and stars like on her wall in the movie.  I'm imagining
Grammy and Papa watching Tangled with me." So sweet!

We had a blast this week, having a bit of a slower pace and doing a fun big project.  Now we're all geared up for my parents to arrive for a week long visit tomorrow morning bright and early!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pinterest Love

When I first heard about Pinterest(.com), I wrote it off as another thing to distract me from my family, husband, responsibilities, and keep me glued to the computer.  I resisted joining for months.  But last week, I asked a good friend to show it to me, and realized, this could be really useful.  So I joined, promising myself to carefully monitor if it was becoming addicting and time consuming for me, and quit if it did.

So far, I am loving Pinterest.  I don't spend very much time on there at all.  (Not even every day, just a couple times this week for less than 10-15 minutes each).  I do feel the time I spend is incredibly helpful.  I would so love to do creative things with my kids, but I'm not creative enough to think of fun activities and crafts to do.  I rarely have the time to sit and search blogs for ideas of things I can do with resources I have available where we live.  Pinterest has really helped!  It consolidates a lot of great ideas and presents them with one quick picture and scroll of a page.  Anything I like, I quickly pin to my boards, and come back to later when we want to do a craft, or I need a quick idea for how to fix K's hair, or I remember a recipe that I saw and want to try.  Instead of wasting time, I really see it as saving me time, and giving me more fun things to do with my kids.  I really, really love it.  Here are some things we incorporated into our life this week from ideas I got from Pinterest. : )

I saw this idea of taking a picture of each student the first day of school every year with their name written on a chalkboard.  Love it!  So quick and easy, but will make a great keepsake!

I also got the idea for K's hair-do on Pinterest.  So quick, and cute! A nice change from a pony tail or pigtails...

This might be my favorite of her, but a bit too blurry.

Found this idea of melting crayon shavings between wax paper and making cutouts to catch the sunshine.  The original had them strung on a string dangling in front of the window, so pretty. I couldn't find my sewing kit, so just resorted to sticking them to the window.  I was so proud of K and myself for doing this! I'm NOT a crafty mom! :)