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Friday, February 19, 2010

Fun Day

The devotion today was about the “Surprise” in a box of Cracker Jack. Then it transitioned in Jesus saying things that were said to be unusual or unexpected. Like: “The first will be the last and the last the first” or “The least in this world will be the greatest in my kingdom.” Jesus also said, “My purpose is to give life in it fullness (or abundantly.) Getting Jesus is like getting a surprise in the Cracker Jack box. Christ offers life with a prize inside!

The Purpose Driven Life reading was “Transformed by truth.” Here’s where I felt humbled and disobedient. Rick Warren said, “The bible is more than a guidebook. It’s as essential as food.” It what feeds our spiritual growth. So basically all the bibles we have sitting on a shelf or a table are worthless. Are you starving to death from spiritual malnutrition? (I’ll be the first to admit it. I am.) So to remedy this I learned something not so new to me. I should make the bible my authoritative standard for which I live. That’s not always easy because culture, tradition, reason, and emotion can alter those standards. I should fill my mind with the bible (the truth). I can do this in five simple steps. RECEIVE the bible with a receptive attitude. Then READ it, not just carry it. Rick Warren said if you cut the TV off for 30 minutes a night and apply that time to bible reading you could read from cover to cover TWICE in one year. JD said we should start on 1 Jan. I said, “We’re already at 19 Feb.” So we never reached a conclusion as to when to start. Then I should RESEARCH the bible. That means to ask questions and write them down. Ask who, what when, where and why and how. REMEMBER what I read. (I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night.) The mind is a muscle, and I guess I need to start exercising it. Memorizing scripture helps us resist temptation, make wise decisions, reduce stress, build confidence, offer great advice, and help us share our faith. REFLECT on God’s word. That means to meditate on it. (No the yoga position and clearing my mind, rather it means to focus on it. (I want to be called a woman after God’s own heart. I guess now’s as good a time as any to get started.) It finished up the days reading by saying “Now that you know the five ways to feed your heart, APPLY IT! Become doers of the word.”

Algebra today was “Patterns” and the “function rule.” Here’s an example. Say there are two columns. One is “x” and one is “y.” The numbers under “x” are 9, 12, 33, 42. The numbers under “y” are 28, 37, 100, 127. The job was to find the function rule (or relationship between the values.) It might be easier to look at it this way: 9 is directly across from 28 and 12 is directly across from 37. What’s the relationship (answer) to what the difference is between the two sets. Well, 9 x 3 +1 = 27. And 12 x 3 +1 = 37. But the key is getting the right rule written down. So our final answer looked like y = 3x+1. (Crazy I know.) My question is when will I ever use algebra in my life. Did you know event planners use algebra? They know they need 20 tables and now they need to find out how many chairs to have brought in. Other than that I can’t imagine what I need algebra for.

The keyboarding today included the letters “B” and “N”. He’s now on Level 3, Stage 8. Today he spent a lot of time looking at the keyboard (like I am right now.) I told him to try his hardest not to look. That if he could master this skill it would make a lot easier for him. He heard and ignored. As soon as he though I wasn’t looking he looked straight down again. I made mention that those “Oops pick me voices were not talking so that‘s how I know your looking.” (BUSTED!)

JD did not do anything in his journal this week so there would have been nothing to edit and rewrite. So we received an invitation from our co-op to go to Ft. Bragg’s ice skating rink from 11:30 - 1:30 PM for a Christian ice skating time. So I made a command decision to scrap edit/rewrite and go ice skating instead. We skated for about an hour. I skated once before as a child. All I can say is I looked like Bambi on ice. All four legs going opposite directions. I never got the hang of it and gave up. So today was the first “real” time for both of us. I think we did great for our first time. Let’s just say I do not see pairs figure skating in our future. Instead of a triple Lutz we did a triple klutz. Jeff said we’ll “be combining figure skating with break dancing.” JD fell a few times and then practiced his falls. He fell one time kind of hard and was ready to give up. I talked him out of (ok directed him from) taking off his skates out of anger. I skated a couple more laps and talked him into coming back out. I wanted him to leave only after ending it on a good note and not a bad one. Sorry to report that we did not bring home the gold. I feel confident with those professionals.

On the way to the rink I had JD read his health notes on “making friends” and then tried to put that into action at the skating rink. Everyone was so busy trying to stay upright or zooming past us to really talk to anyone.

I’m proud to report that JD scored another 100% on his spelling test of words that end in “O.” That is a definite moral booster for JD to keep seeing 100% on spelling tests. I just asked him how he feels when he gets a 100% and he responded with, “Great!”

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Love those half days

Today was deemed a half day. JD had a doctor’s appointment at 8:10 AM, for a medication refill, and we didn’t get home until around 9:30 AM. Then, I noticed the internet was down as well as the cable. I called Jeff to let him know Faith Christian Academy was experiencing some technical difficulties. They are doing some underground work at the start of our subdivision and I think they cut the stink cable AGAIN! (Last night the internet and cable were both down for a period of time.) Then I was kind of stuffy in my head and took a Sudifed to try to clear it up. This only made me sleepy. So I laid down for a nap.

But before, during, and after all of that we did manage to do a couple of things. We did his devotion. Today’s devotion was about, Ollie, the first flying cow, back in 1930. It talked about how the cow would explain to the herd what it saw from THAT perspective. Then it transitioned to God seeing all of us at once too. So when he tells us about life, the future, how to live, or anything else, we ought to listen carefully.

We did not do the Purpose Driven Life reading today because of my stuffy head. Whenever I speak it muffles really loud in my left ear. And since I’m the one that reads that book, I opted not to today.

The internet finally came back up at about 10:45 AM and we were able to do more algebra. Today was more of what I know. If n=3 then what’s 3n-1. The “3” and the “n” right beside it means multiple 3 x 3 = 9. So 9-1 =8. We only did one math lesson today since we were already behind schedule. He took a quiz and scored well.

Next, we did civics. We’re still working on Economic issues and the lemonade stand. Today they talked about finding ways to make more of a profit. That would be things like sell more or find cost cutting measures. They also taught him variable costs and fixed costs. (That should come in handy when he buys a house or gets a credit card.) So today's lesson was fun for him and he scored well on the quiz too.

Email/snail mail and language arts were both ignored today. That’s about he time I was getting really sleepy. ** Side note, I did a rough count over a couple of days on how much coffee I drink a day. DON’T FREAK OUT! It’s a startling number. (20) I know! I didn’t think I was THAT bad of a junkie. It must be all those years from the military and working those crazy hours. Ok, I know some of you are whispering, she needs to cut back now! I’m working on it.

With all the party preparations I’ve had to turn my kitchen into a chemistry lab. After all it all about the explosions right? No, actually we’ve been doing lots of experiments. We’ve made silly putty, elephant’s toothpaste, a six layer liquid density thingy and added red water to a rose. The flowers are looking cool. Yes, I’ve been taking pictures.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ask and yea shall receive

Yesterday’s blog was entitled “I want more days like today.” Well I got another one. Last night I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning doing research for a “Mad Scientist Birthday Party” and various science experiments. This made me extremely tired today and I had to remember I’m tired don’t get mad a JD for anything. But how could I? He was awake before me and even hit my snooze button for me. (Oh how nice of him.) Anything to delay school right?

Today was “Random acts of kindness day.“ We all tend to get caught up in the “What will make me happy” mode and today we were asked to do random acts of kindness for someone else. It added a verse from Luke 6:31...do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Today in the Purpose Driven Life reading we learned “How to grow.” Rick Warren starts this out by saying, “Sadly, millions of Christians grow older but never grow up.” They remain spiritual infants; forgetting it takes an intentional commitment. Yes the Holy Spirit changes us, but we have to make choices that Jesus would have. We have to act in new ways and let go of old routines. We have to change the way we think. That is to do the mental shift of repentance. Stop thinking self-center self seeking thoughts. Some of us are like babies. Babies are only worried about their own needs and unable to give anything back. Christianity isn't a religion it is a relationship and a lifestyle. The core of the lifestyle is thinking of others. Think about it...when did Jesus try to please himself?

So far algebra is not that hard. Once I know the math terms I think I'll get it better. Today in algebra we learned integers. Those are the positive and negative numbers. Example: A plane descended 50 feet. You would write that -50. Another example is a business earned $100 profit. You would write +100. Then we had to figure out algebra patterns. Example: 3, 6, 9, 12, (What's the next number and how did you get that?) Answer: 15, add 3 to each number. So far not bad. JD really picked up on the rule for finding each pattern. He's always been great at patterns though.

I was impressed with JD's ability to think up sentences for these word bank words. Today they were: nebulous, oafish, and recondite. He always does real good with doing these independently.

We're finally done with the Manifest Destiny history lesson. I just didn't like history and the information for these two lessons was basically the same. He took a chapter quiz and scored a 100%. I wonder what we'll tackle next?

I scraped the journal writing in cursive and music today to get started on some much needed birthday party shopping trips. I can never go to just one source for my party goods. So today we went by our veterinarians office, two florists, Everything’s a dollar, beauty supply store, the “red” dollar store, Walgreens, CVS, and finally back home. It was a disappointing shopping day and I see myself having to order some of the needed items off the Internet. Bummer. Shipping costs and time stress me. Then after dinner we went back out to Hobby Lobby and Party City. I’m getting closer to ending this shopping extravaganza.

This scientist birthday party planning is a bit more extensive than I thought. I have to try each experiment to see if they work. Some have not worked and I have to go back to do more research. Some are working. We started one today that colors the tips if carnations when you add food coloring to the water. We have red, green, and blue going. This is a lesson on polluted water.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I want more days like today

It was such a nice, calm, loving day. I so want more of these days.

The devotion today was entitled “Do a grouch a favor day.” We can chose to be grouchy or not and we can help a grouchy person by being a positive person. Then it asked us to list all the good things in our life and to thank God for those blessings.

Today for reading JD read his “Boy No More” book independently. I reread the Purpose Driven Life from yesterday and took notes. Looks like two different days when you look at yesterday’s interpretation and today’s. We were created in the image of God. We are intellectual, relational, and have moral conscious. To assist us in developing our Christ-like characteristics we should follow four readings from the bible.
1. The beatitudes of Jesus (Matthew 5:1-12),
2. The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23),
3. Paul’s great chapter on love (1 Corinthians 13),
4. Peter’s list of characteristics of an effective and productive life (2 Peter 1:5-8).
The thing about being sanctified is the second we hear to do something from God we should do it. Don’t wait until we are brave enough or powerful enough. God knows what’s best. Our responsibilities to becoming more like Christ are letting go of old ways, change the way we think, and develop new Godly habits. Some people think that by isolating themselves they will become more Godly. This is not the case. Only in dealing with people, circumstances, and environments can we grow and mature. I know before I home schooled JD I would ask myself and half heartedly God “What career path should I take?” The truth is God can use me anywhere doing anything. What’s important is that whatever I do I need to do it with a Christ-like manner. After all I will only be taking my characteristics not my career into eternity. (With all my “supply” background, I still think I will be in charge of the manna distribution for the AM shift - smile)

Today was the final day of fractions, decimals, and percentages! The lesson took different recipes and increase one ingredient and asked up to increase another so the ratio of flour to sugar was brought up by the same amount. **Pray for me, Algebra tomorrow.**

We finished identifying the individual states last week. So we started a new study. We’re now placing the state capitals in those states. During the flashcard “game” we did not do good. But by the end of the month we’ll have them down. I also had him pick three more states to find facts on. Today JD picked: Colorado, Oregon, and West Virginia.

Language arts and email/snail mail were sort of combined today. First we did a lesson on writing a “convincing letter.” Jonathan’s letter was somewhat convincing. First, the lesson re-taught him webbing. That is to take the main idea “new video game” and write it in the center of the paper. Then , draw three lines off of the main idea. These will be the main reasons. He came up with: happy, loving, and obedient. Lastly, he gave three more supporting reasons for the main reasons. We followed what the example said on the lesson and this is what he came up with.

Dear Mommy and Daddy 16 Feb 2010
I would really like a new video game and I have three really good reasons why. First, it would make me very happy to have a new video game. Second, I would be more loving. Lastly, I would be more obedient. If I got a new video game I would be so happy. It would be a lot of fun for me. I probably wouldn’t get bored. It would occupy my time. I would be the most loving kid ever. I would give you so many hugs. I would do more things with both of you. I think I would be less grouchy. I would be more obedient. I would wake up on time. I would try to stay positive. I would go to bed on time. And I would brush my teeth when told. So you see having a new video game would make me very happy. I would be more loving. And I would be more obedient.
Love, Jonathan

I dictated the letter for him from his web drawing and printed it out. I then changed the font to white for key words and sentences and printed that. I cut out those key words and sentences from the first print and had him paste them in the letter that I had whited out to practice sequencing without all the writing. He performed this independently until completion.

GREAT NEWS! I received a “teachers bonus” today! (Because as you know this job only pays in hugs and kisses.) I think this particular lesson made him think that if this well thought out letter wasn’t convincing enough that he could make up some points by…get this…washing our lunch dishes…WITHOUT BEING TOLD! (Those aliens snuck in again! Ok, where’s my son? What have you done with him?) As I was busy cutting words I could hear the dishes moving from the dishwasher to the cabinets and the silverware into the drawer. (Did you ever read the fable about the Shoemaker and the Elves? I thought the “dishes elves” were in my kitchen. I didn’t dare get up to look at them or even speak to them for fear that I would scare them off. I mean after all I can use all the help I can get around here. **Jeff helps, thanks babe) Ok, get off the floor and back into your chair because it gets 100% better. He came over while I was still cutting words and said, “I washed the dishes for you.” I said, “Yeah I heard you over there. So you did our lunch dishes?” He said, “Yep and I put the away the dishes in the dishwasher.” I said, “Well thank you very much. I appreciate that.” (Get your tissue.) Then he said, “I didn’t want to wait until Mother’s Day to give you your present.” (Seriously! How did he say that without even cracking a smile? It’s what February? Mom’s day is in May. That’s 1, 2, 3, 4 months away!) Days like yesterday get completely erased from my growing mind by day’s like today.

Today in science we completed the coins experiment. Remember we had a dime and a penny in water, vinegar, and salt water? Today we looked at them, recorded observations, dried them off and looked closely at them to see which one looked cleaner. That’s when we noticed the coins in vinegar underwent some significant changes. The dime looked like a “play coin” and the penny had a hole right in front of Lincoln’s face. So this prompted JD to say, “We should put it back in the vinegar and put another penny in it too to see if it erodes too.” (My little scientist.) He does well with these thought processes. Now if I can just continue to keep his attention he might just be a famous scientist.

We had a “Fractions, decimals, and percentages are finally over” party! I bought 6 cupcakes and had the lady at Food Lion write two fractions, two percentages, and two decimals on them. (I think she thought I was crazy.) She said, “You want me to spell “fraction” and “percent” on a cupcake. It won’t fit.” I said, “No, just write ¼, %, and 0.99.” (Dah!) Jeff was able to participate in our party. We had soda, chips, and cupcakes to celebrate our long hard journey with Fractions! Then we promptly went outside and had a small bonfire and burned out “no fractions” sign.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Uphill from there…

**Side note** We got more snow Friday night. But it quickly disappeared Saturday by lunch. JD went out and played but I stayed indoors working on the kitchen wall.

(I know most of my readers are from the Appalachian Mts but I love my Colorado Rockies.)

Today was supposed to be a day off from school for public school, but Harnett County turned it into a snow/ice make-up day. I was also thinking since Friday will be a travel day that we should not get too far behind public school. This news did not settle well with JD. It started out good but once his bottom hit the chair for math the attitude button was engaged. There was no real reason JD could tell me for this negative attitude, but I strongly suggested he change the attitude for the second math lesson. It was all uphill from there. (As if trudging through four foot of snow with a VERY strong headwind.)

The devotion today was about Susan B. Anthony. She faced much opposition in her life but courage pulled her through every detail of it. Then it asked us to be a person of courage. We can do this by speaking up for friends and telling people about our faith even though it’s unpopular.

We are now on purpose three of the Purpose Driven Life book. Purpose one if you’ll recall was “Planned for God’s pleasure.” (Okay, that’s easy enough; make God smile.) Purpose two was “Formed for God’s Family.” (Okay, got it.) Purpose three is called “Created to Become Like Christ.” (Whoa! This is out of my comfort zone.) I instantly want to regress and say, “That’s too hard. Can’t we try something else?” The bad news is “No.” The good news is the Holy Spirit is there all the way with us. But, (there’s always a ‘but’ right?) but, we need to be willing to cooperate with him and his work in us. God uses multiple ways to mold this Christ-like character; they are: His Word, other people, and circumstances. I’m such an impatient person. It’s like I expect God to do a superwoman change on me. One second I’m “pre-Christian Cheryl” and the next “Christian Conquer the World Cheryl.” Forget the whole transition time from baby Christian to mature Christian. Just change me already! LET’S SAVE THE WORLD! Reality check…becoming like Christ is a long, slow process of growth. (Bummerrrr…) Truth be told, today’s study was so in depth I’ll need to take some “me” time to study it. JD actively participated in this discussion. It was like speaking to a young adult. (I love these moments together.)

There are only two days of fractions left in math. Today we managed to tackle one of those days. While it was a difficult first lesson it seemed to level out on lesson two. We learned converting fractions into decimals and back again. Then we learned fractions to percentages and back. Then we compared fraction, decimals, and percents to see which one was bigger. (Head spinning…stop the room please.) Lesson one and JD’s frustration level delayed the lesson BIG time. It delayed us so much I had to drop keyboarding and art. It was just that kind of day. I kindly asked JD to come back to the second lesson without the attitude. After going through ALL those fraction’s lessons I’ve forgotten most of them and had to write a cheat sheet for myself. I’m only a ¼ of the way through writing it.

Since JD was frustrated, discourage, and angry during math I used this opportunity to take a “feelings” check. I pulled 34 “feelings” words and picture faces off the internet and asked him was he feeling any of these at home, school, church, and with friends. It didn’t reveal anything I didn’t already know. He thinks people blame him even when he knows he’s trying to help or be nice. The lack of friends climbed into many of the pessimistic words from the list. And finally, he gets frustrated with school work. When asked about the word “disgusted” he answered “meatloaf.” To try to change the negative mood I had him write about what makes him happy, feel loved, and what makes him smile.

New spelling words were handed out. They all end in “O.” (Raise your hand if you have a hard time spelling “potato.”) Ok, I’ll be the first to admit it. (I‘m stuck on the VP Dan Quail “OE?” train.) Tomorrow is a new day, and I’m so looking forward to it.