Saturday, March 31, 2012

Luke's Legos

Luke got a set of Lego's for Christmas.  Well, they're Indian made, so not technically Legos.  They don't quite stick together as well as Legos do.  But, he's really enjoying them all the same.  We bought him a small house construction set to see if he'd play with them or not.  Goodness, he spends hours re-creating the designs in the manual it came with.  He can re-create anything in there in just a few minutes now.  He's built them all dozens of times.  He loves doing it over and over. But if you ask him to build something NOT in the manual... well, let's just say he takes after his mom.  He can reproduce anything.  But to think of something new, that's really tough. : ) But he is precise!  Right down to the angle of the front door, and the man bending at the waist in the front yard, it's all spot on!

We Love You!

I took these pictures with the intention of sending them to someone to take to Addis and hang over Meryn's bed.  I never got that done, but thought they were too cute not to share! These days, we're all thinking of Meryn a lot and looking at her pictures every day.  Levi especially wants to see her all the time! : )

Tapestry of Grace: Week 27

This was a really fun week learning about Alexander the Great.  We learned that he was born in Macedonia and became king of Greece when he was in his early 20's.  He conquered almost all of the known world by the time he was 32, in only about 10 years.  He explored all the way into Punjab, India, before his army refused to go any further with him.  We learned all kinds of details about his journey, like that he had arranged for ships to meet his army along the Arabian Sea on the way home, to bring food and supplies. The ships were supposed to come from India.  But they never showed up.  So over 60,000 troops died on the way back through the desert across Iran and Saudia Arabia!  More than he had lost in all the fighting.  One cool thing we learned is that we can see how God used Alexander the Great to begin to unite the world, spread one language across the world, and this was paving the way, making preparations for Jesus' arrival and for his message to spread!

Here's some photo highlights from this week!

 Kids and Hannah made this awesome map of Alexander the Great's travels!

Kiryn has gotten bored with writing in her phonics book, but she loves writing on the chalk board!

Luke's writing assignment was to write a paragraph about what he wanted to be when he grows up. :)

String art! 

Tapestry of Grace: Week 26

This week, we took a look at Greek achievements!  We studied Plato, Hippocrates, and some of the other key thinkers in classical Greece.  We learned about the Greek alphabet, and how many of our English words have origins in Greek.  It was a really interesting week!

Also, we were so blessed this week to have Hannah join us for three months!  She has volunteered to come and help us with kids and school during this critical time in our family's life.  It is such a testimony to how loving and wonderful our God is. I never would have asked for help in this time.  But when it was offered, I knew I needed it.  Homeschooling is a lot, but doable.  Adopting a child is a lot, but doable.  Living in a third world country, is a lot, but doable.  But doing all three at once?  Might just put me over the edge.  Hannah arrived and is figuring out routine and is doing great!  As the oldest of 8 home schooled children, she is certainly qualified to lend a hand to us in this time.  She has already been SUCH a blessing to me, and I'm amazed at how capable and servant hearted she is.  Her third day here, she was making her own Indian curried okra and chapatis!  She's making bread, going all over town, and is so wonderful with the kids. They LOVE her! I'm afraid she's going to spoil me rotten. : )

We studied how artists see and use "form" in art this week.  Hannah helped the kids make a bird's nest with eggs.  Levi loved this activity.

Luke made some kind of monster, not sure what this is?! : )

Kiryn's (re: Hannah's) nest with eggs and a bird

Luke made some special monster cookies on a plate...

Kiryn has been enjoying writing her spelling words on the chalkboard instead of in her book...

Luke was determined to try cursive writing, even though I keep telling him it's way too early! 

Levi loves to write with chalk on the slate, and it keeps him occupied, as long as he doesn't eat the chalk...

We pretended we had clay tablets like students in a classical Greek school would have had...

Except ours were cookie dough. ;)

The kids practiced writing their names in Greek: "Luke"


And, meet Hannah!  Here she is teaching Kiryn math...

Good buddies already!  Such a blessing to us, and I'm so thankful for her!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

No Words for This Kind of PRAISE!

Today, Baby Yusuf was discharged from the hospital. We were able to visit him and his parents for the first time since his liver transplant almost one month ago.  I will let the pictures speak for themselves (mostly)!

I just have to say... Oh.My.Word.  Look at all that hair! This kid had no hair. His body is finally working and giving him the nourishment he needs! And he's BROWN!!! Not YELLOW!!! Praise God, Praise God....

Yusuf's father in the background, so happy!

How precious is he!!??

Yusuf with his beautiful mother..., and the first time I've ever seen him smile! LOVE! She kept telling him, "Yusuf, you need to get well fast! Meryn is coming to play with you!" Melt my heart... They're just about three months apart...

Just LOOk at those eyelashes!

All the medicines for Yusuf.  His parents are troopers to be keeping track of all this!

The happy family (minus the four proud sisters... a new family photo coming soon when they return to Jaipur!)

Please take a moment to just thank God for this boy's life. Pray for the family. Praise God and Bless His Name for rescuing and saving this little boy, and bringing Glory to Himself in the process.  We are so humbled and in awe to have witnessed it...

Thursday, March 22, 2012


I'm an IKEA-a-holic.  Which is not a good thing, because we live no where near one.  There's not one for several countries around. But, I have a running wish list of items from IKEA that I WILL get, somehow, someway. : ) I'm not ashamed to beg people I know who are traveling to Thailand or Dubai to bring me even just one thing back to mark off my list.

This week, a friend's parents were coming to visit Jaipur.  They live in Atlanta, where there is an IKEA.  I asked her if I could pay for an extra bag if she'd go shopping at IKEA for me.  She agreed, wonderful woman that she is!  So I sent her my whole wish list (all four pictorial pages, ha!), and sent her shopping for me.

When they arrived and brought the suitcase, she told me it was a gift from some friends of hers!  They had asked her what she had to do before going to India, and she told them about my ridiculous request!  They decided they wanted to bless our family by paying for it and the extra bag! I was totally floored! WHAT a BLESSING indeed! : )  I was so excited to get to work putting to use all the wonderful things she brought!

These green bins are perfect for storing toys with lots of little pieces, like Legos, but also keeping them from getting dusty.  The lid doesn't attach, just nestles in, so there's no small parts to break off or snap, rendering it useless.  And they stack! So neat and tidy...

Wall bins, collapsible tunnel, box bins, wall pockets... everything has a place!I love that this enables Luke to have his art supplies all handy, but keeps them off his desk.  And Levi LOVES that tunnel.  I love these box bins.  We've had some for over two years, and they are still holding up strong and look great.  Not a single one has broken.  This is one of the many reasons I love IKEA.  Their stuff is durable.  And believe me, I have destructive children...

Luke has been reading at night in his bed, but we haven't been able to find a light that would work.  This wall light is perfect... it has a shade over the bulb to dim and soften the light, and to prevent little hands from touching a hot bulb, and a glow in the dark button to turn it on! 

Kiryn loves this hanging duck with pockets, and decided it was the new home for her underwear and socks.  Not what I would have put in it, but it's her room.  : )  Also, her stuffed animals finally all have a home in the collapsible mesh bin.  

More bins and boxes for making things look tidy!  I love an organized space...

Denise, Thank you SO much for bringing us these treasured things that make my heart so happy.  And tell your friends thank you from the bottom of my heart for their generosity! 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Tapestry of Grace: Week 25

This second week in our 3-week mini-unit on Greece, we focused mainly on daily life, foods, homes, roles of men, women, and children, and the different classes of people in classical Greece.  It was pretty interesting for me, because as I was reading the descriptions, it could have easily been written about India in the present day in a lot of ways!

We also read about the beginning of the Olympic games, how they were run, and what types of games they actually played back then.  The kids enjoyed beginning to read "The Hour of the Olympics," a Magic Tree House book that really brings to life a lot of what we've been learning!

Sorry, no pictures this week!  We did school on the road!  We came on a short holiday to Ahmedabad and were able to visit our sweet friends Himadri and Mishu.  I DID get some great pictures of a wonderful place they took us called Kid City. Wow, we had a great time there!  Enjoy!

 Please disregard how shaggy Luke's hair is. : )
This is the boys hanging on the back of a REAL (mini) fire Engine that sped around the building to put out a fire!

Firing real water at flames leaping in windows!!

The victorious and brave firemen!

 This picture just makes me smile...

Learning all about our bodies!

Learning about surgery!

All of these faces are just awesome.

That battura is about four times the size of Mishu's head! It made me laugh! : ) 

 Luke and Mishhu both taking their job in the Indian army very seriously...

 Learning about being a prisoner.
Here we are dressed as policemen, who catch the bad guys and make them prisoners....

Here's a couple of those bad guys right now! See, Paul stole that backpack! It still has the security tag on it! : )  Put those two in jail, Lukey!

Such a fun day with great friends.  I wish we could do it more often.  I really miss Himadri's daily friendship and being just a short walk away.  I miss our regular heart felt conversations about things that matter so much to both of us.  I miss having someone here who needs me as much as I need her! I miss a friendly ear who really understands homeschooling and why I do it, instead of just chocking it up to me being a foreigner and we do things differently. Himadri! Please come back to Jaipur!! : ) Love you, sweet friend!