Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Day in the Life of our Co-op

Yesterday we had our co-op afternoon. Each time we meet, I am reminded how blessed we are to be able to meet with these wonderful families and have each of us contribute to our children's learning.

So this is what a typical co-op afternoon looks like:

First one of the moms calls out, "Bumps on a log!!" Everyone finds a seat and then we have a word of prayer and sometimes sing a folk song or silly song to get us going.

Then we begin our Circle Time. This consists of 4 components, each led by one of the moms. First up was Nancy, who has been teaching us all about composers. This was our last week learning about Edward Elgar. We talked about how he came about to write some of his pieces and then listened to 'Pomp and Circumstance" and 3 variations from "Enigma".

Next up was art so Kate showed us another painting by John Singer Sargent. This one was the 'Oyster Gatherers of Cancale'. We discussed his realism and how the sky and reflections in the water looked so life-like.

Dawn was next, with our memorization passage. We are just finishing Phil.4:4-8 so today we talked about the 8 things in verse 8 that we are to meditate on. Then 2 of the children recited the verses.

Then it was my turn. I introduce a hymn to the children every 8 weeks or so, and we talk about the meaning, define harder words and practice singing it. We did our last week on our current hymn; Rejoice, Ye Pure In Heart. (Sorry, no picture of me, tee-hee!)

Then we moved onto the body of our time together; geography and art. This month it has been Dawn's turn to teach and host (we trade every month) and she has been focusing on the compass and map keys. First the children watched a video about the compass rose you see on maps, and then another portion about how cartographers make maps. Then Dawn had visual aides and showed where SE, NW, etc. are on the rose. She also showed a map of Colorado and the children had to use the map key to find certain locations.

In art we have been learning about form and that it needs to be three dimensional, so the kids each got a fistful of clay to create an object with.




That's it! We usually have a snack; yesterday it was granola bars for the 'littles' and Dawn's yummy Vanilla Cake with a nice cup of tea for the moms. We fellowship for a little while and then head home.

This is the first year I have done a co-op; before this year I felt that we really didn't need one. The Lord brought these wonderful ladies into my life right at the point where we needed a 'hole' filled and I am thankful for each and every one of them!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Musings

What I'm thinking: That I still have to go upstairs and fold the laundry!
What I'm reading:
I read 'The Forgotten Daughter' and skimmed 'The Spartan', both books that I am going to read aloud for history to the children. That took up a lot of my reading time so I am still reading that book on Humility.
What I'm listening to:
Redemption Songs by Jars of Clay.
What we're learning:
We started Zoology this week from Apologia Science; Josiah, Nahum and Jeremiah in history, Shorter Catechism question #4 and the kids really need to get those 4-H presentations done.
What I'm watching: A friend let us borrow Bleak House so we are going to start watching those.
What's cooking:
White Cheese Sausage Pasta Bake, potato rolls and cut up veggies were on the menu tonight.
What I'm buying:
A gift for my love; we celebrate our 14th anniversary this week.
What I'm wearing:
Jeans, cream shirt, white socks and a maroon hoodie.
What I'm thankful for:
That I am not saved by checking things off a list, but by His grace.
What I'm creating:
In the evenings I am working on that braided rug; I'll post pictures when I am done.
What I'm praying:
For patience and wisdom as I parent and train my precious children.
What I'm planning:
Doing research and making plans to buy our second doe...the breeding date is set for February 21st.
What I'm looking forward to:
Co-op this Wednesday, our anniversary dinner and a quiet weekend.
A picture to share:


~January 27, 1996~

Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday Musings

What I'm thinking: That we have run out of book shelf space and I need to get another one...Ikea, here I come!
What I'm reading:
I am really enjoying Humility, the Forgotten Virtue by Wayne Mack. I am hoping to finish it this week.
What I'm listening to:
The dryer doing its thing.
What we're learning:
Sparta and Athens in history, Shorter Catechism question #3, intermediate multiplication for the older kids and a new book in Total Language Plus, Caddie Woodlawn.
What I'm watching:
The rain coming down and the trees swaying in the wind.
What's cooking: An awesome crockpot dish from one of my friends called Chalupa. Eaten with warmed tortillas and salsa...yummy!
What I'm buying: I just found a hole in one of my favorite socks so a new pair is on my shopping list for Friday.
What I'm wearing:
It's rainy and cold today so I am wearing my jogging pants, striped shirt and an Old Navy sweatshirt.
What I'm thankful for: That God's mercies are new every morning!
What I'm creating:
I am still working on that braided rug...
What I'm praying:
For those in our church who are unemployed right now.
What I'm planning:
My monthly menu planning is this week so I am going through lists and recipes.
What I'm looking forward to:
Our 4-H rabbit meeting tomorrow and co-op this week.
A picture to share:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Someday, I will miss this

I was not planning to blog anymore this week, it being a little busier than normal, but I couldn't help myself when I read this. I have enjoyed reading MckMama for a few months now, praying along with thousands of others when her son was very sick; and now that he is better, her writings on life as it happens. When I read her latest post, I just felt like we were sisters. We totally feel the same way about our role as moms.

Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a mom. For me there was no other option, so much so that I had decided if God really did want me to be single, I would be a missionary to the far reaches of the jungle, where smiling white babies would not be reminding me of what I had missed out on. God was gracious, even through my selfishness, and blessed us with 4 precious children. For those of you who know me, those babies came at a price; I was on bedrest for months with all of them, and then each of them came prematurely and spend weeks and months in the NICU. Basically with each baby I lost a year to the sofa and the hospital. This was not what I had planned; I wanted a minimum of 6 little ones running around. ( I would have been happy with 8...10...12!) God has seen fit to only give us four, and at this point, it looks like this is all the arrows He has chosen to bless us with.

Some days my arms ache with emptiness; I have struggled in this area with being content. But God is good and I am usually not sad for long because there tends to be someone around that I can grab for a hug. Which brings me to the above linked post. It touched my heart, because from the beginning I have felt the same as she. In the midst of the hurt knees, piles of laundry, toys on the stairs and spilled milk I have one consistent thought...someday, I will miss this. I know it is easy to say that about the hugs, the sticky kisses and sweet moments, but I have that thought even in the rough times. I am not sure if it is from my harder birthing of them, but I often think someday, I will miss this. I have even told my husband that I will miss the diapers, (and I still do!) the fevers, the toys everywhere, the 5 loads of laundry...don't get me wrong....I do have bad days and struggles as a parent. But I do find myself thinking many times a day, someday, I will miss this.

So hug your child, be thankful for them and remember the blessing and joy they bring to your life. And remember too that God is sovereign and even though life might not go in the direction we want, His grace is sufficient.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Musings

What I'm thinking: That it seems my list of things to do is never ending...
What I'm reading:
Getting back into my 12 books...I am quite behind but I am reading The History of Redemption and Humility, the Forgotten Virtue.
What I'm listening to:
Chris Tomlin on Lala.
What we're learning:
We are studying Hosea, Hezekiah and early Native Americans in history, Shorter Catechism question #2 this week, and the older children are working on the visual aides they will need for their 4-H presentation.
What I'm watching:
The kids clean up the living room...they are getting a late start to their afternoon chores today.
What's cooking: Spaghetti, peas, garlic bread and green salad for dinner tonight.
What I'm buying:
Terry cloth towels at Goodwill for my new project. (see below)
What I'm wearing:
gray skirt, purple shirt, white socks.
What I'm thankful for:
That even though I let my Savior down, He is always faithful.
What I'm creating:
I am going to start working on a braided rug for the kids bathroom.
What I'm praying:
Traveling mercies for my Sweetie as he travels for work.
What I'm planning:
Tonight I am going to work on one of my responsibilities in our co-op; teaching and explaining the hymn Rejoice, Ye Pure In Heart.
What I'm looking forward to:
Co-op on Wednesday, a church dance practice this week, and getting together with friends next weekend.
A picture to share:

Bookworm and a friend at our church's dance practice last month.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Things we have been up to...

Over the Christmas holidays I took a break from the computer. Something I would recommend for any of us who check Facebook daily and keep up with a number of blogs. Only it did make for a heavy bit of back reading that I am still catching up with, but the break was worth it.We did keep busy, doing stuff as a family and also visiting relatives so I thought I would catch you up on what we did.

A few days before Christmas we participated in a canned food distribution. As a part of 4-H, the children are required to do 1 community service a year. We had already fulfilled that by helping with a spaghetti dinner in October. But when this sign up sheet went up at our last meeting, Mr Lego surprised me by really wanting our family to participate. We were there two mornings, handing out food to people who would otherwise have a sparse or non existent meal on Christmas. We had never done this before and it really showed the kids (and myself) how truly blessed we are.


Christmas Eve we had our traditional appetizer night...


It makes my mouth water just remembering that yummy stuff. Then we headed out to look at lights with about a million other people. There is this huge neighborhood near us where they all put out paper bags with candles in them so we headed over there. The older kids and dad were brave enough to walk a bit, but myself, being the icicle of the family, drove around with Nutsy.

Christmas day was low key - we don't make too big a deal about gifts in our family. A precious family from our church came over in the afternoon for dessert, games and sweet fellowship. The next day we headed to visit extended family. Our Obachan (Japanese grandma) had made some awesome Sukiyaki and Maki and the whole side of the family hung out all evening.

All the cousins had a blast playing together. There are 10 of them now, ages 6 weeks to 16.


They have a Wii or an X-Box-whatever there, so the guys played around with that. I have nothing against playing video games every now and then, but one of those things is not coming near my house. =) The rest of us played Speed Scrabble and got to know our newest little cousin.



After the weekend we headed to San Francisco. We have this love-hate thing with the city...it is really beautiful there, the food is incredible, but the traffic/driving stinks and you have to know what parts to avoid. We went to China Beach and let the kids run in the sand, watched the surfers and saw some dolphins.

Then we headed to Japan Town to nibble on Taiyaki and visit the Ichiban Kan, or Japanese dollar store. I found some ceramic dishes I was looking for and we picked up some salty rice cake treats. Then we went to Fisherman's Wharf for a bowl of clam chowder and a loaf of Boudin bread...there is something about eating sourdough bread in the city. We found a nice quiet spot to sit near the wharf that I thought was pretty.

New Years' Eve we headed up to our friends house for a day and night of games, food and great fellowship. One of the men had planned all these fun games which even the littlest ones could play. I won't go into details but some of the props included baby food, peppermint patties, a pink ladies hat and duct tape. Here is Bookworm taking her turn with the baby food game...


In other news, we named the buck! Big time breeders don't take the time to name their rabbits, but only give them numbers. Us small time people give the sweet things a name and I have noticed, sometimes a family picks a theme. So since we LOVE the Andy Griffith show, we named him Barney. The doe was already named Flo when we bought her, which I think goes nicely because Flo could be the name of a waitress in the diner or something.

We get back into school this week, co-op also begins and our first 4-H meeting of the new year is next week. I have enjoyed catching up with all of you on your blogs, or the Christmas letters that we have received. Have a blessed week!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Monday Musings

What I'm thinking: That when I just went through all the Christmas cards we received, I forgot to send a card to 3 families!
What I'm reading:
Blogs and more blogs. I took a computer break the last two weeks.
What I'm listening to:
Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack.
What we're learning:
Back to school this week...Early Roman history, doing an overview of grammar and we are starting to memorize the shorter catechism.
What I'm watching:
My sweet Nutsy trying to put on as many play necklaces as she can.
What's cooking:
We had clam chowder tonight for dinner.
What I'm buying: I was really trying this year to get some discounted Christmas lights, but they were all out. :(
What I'm wearing: Brown skirt, cream shirt and brown sweater.
What I'm thankful for: I'm remembering that last year at this time my Sweetie was without a job and being thankful that he is employed now.
What I'm creating:
I am planning to make some homemade granola tonight.
What I'm praying:
For a friends' job interview tomorrow, and a pregnant friend who is sick in the hospital.
What I'm planning:
At this moment, I cannot think of anything I am planning right now. I am not in charge of co-op this month, school is planned for the week and my meal planner is filled out on the fridge!
What I'm looking forward to: Getting back to co-op this week!
A picture to share: