I’d Rather Be Fishing

First catch: some nice slimy greens!

Grandmom caught two fish, including this beauty: a 16-inch big mouthed bass

and this little mouthed one (who was actually in the middle of a meal, once we got a look in there)

Worship Him who made the Heaven and the earth, the seas and the springs of water! Revelation 14:7

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Bird Watch

He shall cover you with His feathers and under His wings shalt thou trust… Psalm 91:4

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3 Weeks of Kindergarten

Things I’ve learned in the first 3 weeks of Kindergarten:

SCHEDULE FACTS:

* Circle Time is 10 minutes. Max. We sing, we do the calendar, we pray, we read a very short passage of Scripture, and review our memory verse. And that’s it. Otherwise, Lia is long gone (and, therefore, so is Vivienne). So for the time being, we will not be memorizing the weekly poems or discussing the depths of mankind like I had originally intended. But we’re establishing the habit, which will allow for all of that blooming and growing later on.

* We complete phonics and the arts in a jiffy! So we’re usually finished with our morning school work by 10 a.m. (not 11 a.m. as I had originally thought).

* Doing Vivienne’s math and reading-aloud during Lia’s naptime worked so well for us over the summer and continues to be our best bet. SO: that’s what we do.

FUN FACTS:

* God made a shark that has been dubbed “The Garbage-Can Shark” because it eats anything: cans of paint, lawn chairs, your arm, etc.

* Insect-eating plants only grow in very poor soil because, well, they don’t need it.

* Alice in Wonderland is far more delightful than I ever assumed it to be. Especially when read to me by someone else. Ah, audio books! (It helps when it is read with fantastic voices and accompanied by a 4-year old’s giggle from the back seat of the car…) The best part is the charming postlogue.

* Our particular kindergartner plans to hike Mount Everest with Daddy. She says she’ll need to get a nice, strong rope first, though.

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Little House in the Big Woods

If your four-year-old is ready, I highly recommend reading the first Little House book together. In it, Laura herself is four! We thoroughly enjoyed The Little House in the Big Woods. Some things that helped Vivienne to understand it as we read:

* Making this lapbook: These suggestions were so much fun – making butter, carving soap, and other hands-on projects. (Find all of the instructions and printouts at http://www.lapbooklessons.com)

YouTube Preview Image

* Pulling out the “My First Little House” series that we’ve been reading for the past two years. We first found this series at our local library and then decided that it was worth the investment of adding to our own library. Each story highlights a little snippet of the original books, maintaining the art work, historical details, and charm.

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Grass Heads, etc.

Highlights from this past week include but are not limited to:

Grass Heads!

Dare I ever think my degree in Biology is worthless, please remind me about the scientists God gave me…

Art Museum Tattoos… ‘can’t get better than that!

Matching Girls! I rarely do this, but when I do, I feel like a REALLY good mom. :)

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

This morning, we enjoyed a field trip to the Recycling Center to compliment our lessons about God’s creation and good stewardship.

We saw (and smelled) garbage being mashed by big, loud trucks; watched men, trucks, and conveyor belts sort tons and tons of cardboard boxes, plastics, and glass; saw huge blocks of crushed bottles, cans, and paper; danced to Jack Johnson’s “3Rs”; and weighed our whole group on the truck scale (1500 pounds of homeschool goodness + strollers and umbrellas).

Check it out:

the clothes on these maniquins and the cloth on Lia’s chair were made from recycled soda bottles!

‘Need some ideas to reuse recyclable material at your house?

Books we’ve enjoyed this week:

Work of His Fingers

Grover’s 10 Terrific Ways to Help Our Wonderful World

Where Does All the Garbage Go?

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Hurrah! The American People!

***WARNING: YET ANOTHER POST ABOUT PRESIDENT OBAMA’S EDUCATION SPEECH***

I’ve been watching carefully as the American people respond to and anticipate Obama’s September 8th education speech, which is now available for pre-reading. I read through most of the vibrant comments (90 and counting!) sparked by Sarah’s post concerning the topic. I’ve watched the “Pledge Commercial” that was apparently going to be shown to students across America to inspire the original homework assignment (it is as creepy as they say). And I’ve appreciated succinct thoughts on the matter from folks like John Piper. As with the health-care topic, just when I’ve *almost* had my fill of all the talk, I just can’t get away from thinking things like this:

How amazing that the government gets such passion from Americans on *any* topic – especially those concerning education and health. I say, “Wow. We are *not* the careless, complaisant, overly-busy Americans that we think we are!”

Just look at how such a reaction produced positive changes in the President’s plans this week! Just look at how it reminded the government that the parents are the heads of their homes, and are ultimately responsible for their children. Americans need to see this process of checks-and-balances happening constantly. This is healthy for the government as well as the general populace.

Even at the risk of over-reacting. At the risk of finding out that we did not know the whole story. It’s always worthwhile to ask for an explanation. And a pre-reading. And a revision, if necessary.

I’m grateful for the hard work of the parents who speak out so that the government remembers daily that WE STILL CARE about the lives within our homes. With each outburst, I am amazed by my fellow citizens who care so much about their families’ hearts, minds, and futures. Otherwise, the government can only assume that it must – and may – assume the role of teacher, mother, father.

May the government never get a moment of silence that would allow them to believe that we have surrendered love, investment, and protection of our families and country. This would surely be its – and our – worst day.

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Alphabet Quest at the Museum

Field Trip Day!

A great friend of Vivienne’s joined us at the Palmer Museum of Art this morning. The two girls had a blast playing the “Alphabet Quest” game from Vivienne’s Phonics program. I simply attached the alphabet to a clipboard and the girls found examples of words beginning with each letter: everything from ketchup to ribbons to queens caught their eyes and claimed a letter from the clipboard. I was relieved when a sculpture of a naked woman was immediately recorded for the letter “F”: Foot! Two seconds later, though, the girls realized the novelty of the sculpture and broke into giggles.

The initial giggles about the handful of other bare-naked sculptures provided an impromptu opportunity for me to briefly explain that the human body is beautifully created by God and artists have been painting and sculpting it throughout history. I reminded them that in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were both naked and knew no shame. (It reminded me of Donald Miller’s claim that one of the most convincing things to him about our sin nature is the fact that almost all people-groups throughout all of time have worn clothing. “Why would they?” he asks.) Then I quickly told them to run along! Find another letter! :)

We weren’t allowed to snap photos of the art itself, so we made some of our own artistic poses. The museum shop sold postcards of the artwork for 5 cents each, so each girl chose one piece to remember.

Ironically, the only Alphabet Quest letter left unclaimed was the “i”. We claimed it for “ice-cream” and enjoyed large, drippy cones at The Creamery, which, you will see, Vivienne was very happy about.

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Shuffle, shuffle, tap, tap

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It’s My Store

‘You know how a shop-owner is ultimately responsible for everything in the store – including the personnel? If the first-shift clerk doesn’t show up to open the shop, sweep the floor, and handle the first 8 hours of customers, the shop-owner rolls out of bed, cancels her plans for the day, and does it herself.

Why?

Because… it’s her store!

She’d be silly to complain about it or expect someone else to accept the extent of her responsibilities. Everyone knows that being the always-on-call, most-invested, go-to person is the privilege and responsibility of owning the store in the first place. And so, the shop-owner digs into the work so that the store will make it, do well, provide a return-of-investment.

I’ve discovered that motherhood is a store. And she’s the owner.

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