Monday, March 5, 2012

February happenings

I'm so behind...again! Oh well, at least I'm working on it now. We had a lot of stuff happen in February, I wish I would've taken more pictures.
 Asher did some color mixing for school.
 Aybrin had a birthday so we celebrated for a couple of weeks!

 We water colored some Japanese Wood carvings for our Japan week.
 The boys and Papa made zip lines all through the house. Aybrin and Asher had made robots out of soda cans so they wanted to test them out on the zip lines. It was a success!
 For Russia we talked about the Tundra and the Permafrost layer. This is our science experiment from that country.
 We were able to go to this awesome Christian concert with Third Day, Lacrae, Sidewalk Street Prophets and a lot more.
 We finally got to go to the Titanic's Ice Sculpting contest! The winners are going to be in the next Olympics so we chose a good year to visit this.
 On Valentine's the boys got 2 new Skylander pieces for their game. Pure excitement ;-)
Finally, for China we did a lot of things including playing Chinese checkers.

I think that's a quick summary of February. I know there's lots more but I only have so much time to get this stuff on here and as we speak the boys are getting WAY off track doing their school work!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Help continues in Joplin

Did you guys get to see the Extreme Makeover Joplin? I had already seen the houses because my friend Jay had taken pictures of them and posted on Facebook. I REALLY liked the beach house and we're thinking of how we can duplicate that look on our own house. I think it was the fencing that did it... I felt like I was walking down the boardwalk and the ocean was just over the next dune. Loved it!
 Joplin is still taking time to rebuild and our church still goes every other week to help. This week they had to take 2 van fulls. It gets expensive, but it's worth it. They've led many people to Christ.. 2 weeks ago 9 people gave their hearts to the Lord! We were able to go in the summer so I wanted to put this video on here of our testimony. Joplin holds a sad and special place in our hearts. It's close.. we've been there often and it's between our house and where our Grandparents used to live in Oklahoma. We were always glad to see that we were getting closer when we came across the Joplin turn offs!
 On the Sunday the tornado happened Ben and I had just started mowing our huge yard after church. I'm always the one saying that it HAS to get done. The sky started looking really weird... light and pink to the east and dark to the west. We knew a storm was setting in and we knew it would be a hard one. Then Ben got a call from the radio station in Springfield that he worked for at the time, KTTS. He stopped me on the mower and told me that Joplin was just hit by a tornado.. a big one.. and he was being sent there. I started praying. Praying for the people there and praying for my husband's safety.
 While Ben was driving there the storm was making it our way. I wasn't worried and I really wanted to keep mowing so before he left I told him to call if the weather got bad and Aybrin would come tell me to get off the mower. He called and said it was moving our way so I'd better go in. I tried to stay out but the sky gave me a clue and I went in. Then my brother-in -law (who lives in Forsyth, south of us) said they were already in a tornado shelter and I'd better get to safety. So I decided to run the kids over to Mom's basement. Almost stepped on a huge 6' snake getting out to the car but we made it. We stayed in the basement until it passed then headed home thankful for God's protection.
 I couldn't get in touch with Ben. We heard people couldn't get through because there was a leak at the hospital so I didn't even know if he made it or not. I stayed awake until about 4 AM waiting to hear from him.. waiting to see if he was OK. He finally made it home. I was so relieved but his face was so sad. The things he saw while he was there was devastating. He was driving over electrical power lines just to get through the town. It was horrid.
 We were back in Joplin the next weekend because we went to a family reunion in Joplin. We heard amazing stories of how God protected our families and friends. Then about a week after that Janiece and I headed up there with the kids to buy a copy machine. We had been talking to an office about getting it before the tornado and it was still intact. By this point Joplin was looking a little better but still speechless. It was so sad seeing all the homes leveled and blown out by the wind, to see huge 100+ year old trees with their roots stretched skyward instead of their branches. It was indescribable. 
 Our church immediately put forth relief efforts to help. We were excited and had wanted to go! We were finally able to in the summer. It was stressful with the kids in 100+ degree weather but it was awesome. We're so glad we were able to go and help. We restocked and organized shelves of toys, books, diapers, clothes, anything we could do to help. We're hoping to go back soon. It's a great experience for kids to think of how they can be a blessing to others instead of just being self centered.
 So that's our Joplin story. It's lengthy but I know in a couple of years when I look back on this blog I'll be so glad that I recorded it!

If you would like to help with the continued efforts of Joplin you can visit and then contact Helping Hands or call 417-335-8555 to speak with someone from Faith and Wisdom Church in charge of Helping Hands Ministry.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Australia's Outback

I'm behind again! But we've been so busy getting ready for the Kid's 1st Ever Christmas Cantata that I really haven't had any time to blog. Plus I get discouraged because I think I'm the only one who reads this blog and even though I want this as a virtual yearbook for us, it's not enough motivation to get me to slow down and do it!
 Anyways! We studied Australia before we took off for our Christmas Cantata/Thanksgiving break. I really enjoyed this country because we were able to look at a lot of things on the Great Barrier Reef. I've wanted to visit this reef for 10 years now so it's somewhere nice to study ;-) I wanted the kids to watch Crocodile Dundee but Netflix doesn't have it in their instant que..can you believe that?
 So for Australia we made their flag, made Aborignie Bark Paintings, watched videos online from National Geographic and then a video on Netflix from them. Read from our Living World Encyclopedia and Living World books. Listened to music from our Children Around The World CD and then we were able to go to the Outback Steakhouse in Branson! We actually went to the bar not the restaurant because the restaurant just didn't have much that appealed to us and their alligator tail was more expensive which was weird. We sat on the top floor at the bar and we were the only ones up there so we played some pool and enjoyed trying the food. Ben was the only one who liked the alligator... I had tried it in Florida and it was fine there but not so great here in Missouri. It must have been much fresher there ;-)

 In the end Asher really like the Kangaroos and Alligators from Australia and Aybrin liked the Great Corral Reef and the Alligators. I think they both thought it was cool that some kids did their school by communicating with a teacher over a radio! It's a neat and diverse country.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fun School Week 8

We started off this week by preparing our barn for our Christmas Cantata. We were going to do it all outside and have big bonfires going, until we practiced outside and realized how noisy the highway is and how small the kids voices are. The inside of the barn needed a lot of work. We had to move the storage stuff, get rid of the groundhogs (which were never trapped but hopefully they're gone), fill up the groundhog holes, level the floor, spread the hay and put up old tin. You would fall through the floor because of the groundhog holes so we HAD to have it fixed. I love family though. After church we all got together and got it done! Now we're going to work on getting chairs, heaters, decorations and plastic for the windows and we should be good. So much to do, so little time! It's only a month away! If you don't know about it and want to know, just email me and I'll give you the details. We're hoping for a big crowd and would love to have all the friends and family possible.
Then we studied Christopher Columbus for Columbus Day. The kids made these cool books and we went over the story, did mazes, puzzles, that sort of thing. 
 We've slowed down on Asher's letters and I've been trying to review what we've learned instead. I just don't think he's completely ready yet. Maybe in a few months. We're still trying but doing lots of review. So here's the ABC puzzle he worked on one day.
 More Christopher Columbus work!

 This is our science experiment. We were studying Canada and how cold it gets there. We cut out feathers and put oil on one of them to show how the birds make oil naturally and it helps water run off of them instead of soaking in and making the bird really cold. It was neat.
 Then we were blessed to see this amazing rainbow. It's the biggest one I've ever seen. We could actually see both ends of it which was SOOOO awesome! It was raining and Ben said "You want to go look for rainbows?" So we trouped outside, turned around and found this awesome one! There is a faint double rainbow beside it which was really hard to see, but I've heard that means a harsh winter. We saw one like that last year and as you know, our winter was really harsh last year. I hope it's wrong!
Alrighty I'm almost caught up! Whohoo! It's only taken me 5 hours (literally)! Then tonight I'll have to post week 9 and I'll be good to go!

Fun School Week 7

 When we finish up a country we are eating a meal from that country. A Mexican Fiesta it is! This was an easy country for us. First off, we just visited Mexico this past summer and secondly we eat tacos all the time! We really like Mexican food! We didn't want tacos though so we did quesadillas, chicken taquitos and churros! YUMO!
 We made a quick pinata from a grocery sack. I wish I would've gotten a picture of it so you could have seen it but here are part of the kids breaking the pinata.
We've been really enjoying the outdoors. Here's a picture of Asher checking out our tomatillos. They really took off this year! We made roasted tomatillo salsa which was superb!
The boys also have been picking up walnuts. We had two big totes full and got $5.20 whohoo! LOL! There's a ton more to pick up so I'm hoping they do it soon. 
 Ben has been working on our silly hot tub for 2 weeks now. UGH. Hopefully it'll be fixed soon!
 The boys grew carrots for the first time this year. They're both heirloom seeds, Asher's is suppose to be round and fat while Aybrin's is long.
 I also downloaded this Spanish color game to help with our Spanish.
 Mapping Canada! So we went from the US, punched our passport in Mexico and then headed north to Canada.

Fun School Week 6

I hardly have any pictures from this week. Jonna had my camera! We made elephant shapes from the letter "e" and did lots of fun things. Oh well. Here is what I do have. The boys made a "rocket ship" out of linking logs for their gerbils:
 We were blessed to see this hot air balloon outside of our house! We even watched it landing. The boys were outside jumping on the trampoline and started yelling for us to come outside. I'm so glad they were out there. We watched it until it was landed on the other side of the hill, 10 minutes tops. We would have missed it if they weren't outside.
We also did an egg experiment to go with the letter "e". We wanted to see if the egg would float in water. We recorded our results. Then we hypothesised about whether it would float if we added salt. It did!

OK, now for something that's not school!

Although we did learn a ton on this excursion, I'm not putting it as part of our school. I'm getting bored with only posting school stuff (grins). 
When we were first looking at buying this house the word "alpacas" sprang to mind. I have no idea why. Maybe I'm being led? Let me tell you, I've never seen alpacas in person, in my life. I had never read a book on alpacas. So why would this interest me out of the blue? Maybe it's God? I don't have a clue! So I went to the library and could only find one book and it was on Llamas not Alpacas. I read it anyway. Then through the SHEM home school group, I found out about Alpaca Days. So we took off to find alpacas a year after the thought of alpacas was planted in my head. I didn't know what we would think about them. I thought maybe we'd get there and they'd be ugly and messy so the thought would be smashed. The opposite happened. We drove up and I said "Oh my goodness. They're SOOOO cute!" They're also a lot smaller than I thought, Aybrin's about as tall as them, so they're not scary. They're very gentle and not messy. They're awesome, as are the people who own the farm. Now we want two!

After we drove out to see the alpacas, we went ahead to the Fair Grove craft fair. We go to this and the Ozark craft fair every year because they are the best ;-) It was a great day. What beats sunshine and family?