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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bentonville Reenactment

Once every five years, the Bentonville Battlefield in NC comes to life. So we went to that event today as the first official Faith Christan Academy field trip. Luckily, it was on a Saturday so Jeff went with us. This year, was the 145th anniversary of the Battle of Bentonville. The Bentonville Battlefield is the largest Civil War battlefield in North Carolina. There were more than 3,500 re-enactors and an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 people are expected to attend both today and tomorrow.

We walked through their camps where they slept overnight. Some camps were even cooking lunches and dinners over a real fire. We made a complete day of walking around the camps, shops, and battlefield. It was so fun. I loved seeing people dressed up in period costumes.

The Bentonville Battle was fought March 19 to 21, 1865, over 6,000 acres of North Carolina farmland. More than 80,000 troops engaged in combat, and roughly 4,100 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing during combat.

The cannons scared me so bad. JD and I kept our hands over our ears the whole time after the first shots. We were all on the Union side and really didn't get to see the Confederates up close at all. The place was packed but we managed to work our way to the very front when it started. There were boys in tree so they could get a better view. (Too funny.)

Friday, March 19, 2010

A beautiful day

I liked the devotion today. It was about the Guinness World Record held by the largest chocolate bar ever made. It was 5000 pounds and measured 124 inches long, 59 inches wide, and 17.7 inches thick. Then it transitioned by saying, “If we’re looking for the world’s best gift giver that we should not bother looking at the Guinness World records. We know where to look - God. He gave us: life, food, rain, and fruitful seasons, wisdom, and peace. He also gave us grace, love, forgiveness, compassion, kindness, rest strength, and power. But the best gift ever was His son Jesus: and that beats a candy bar any day (no matter how big it is.) So go ahead and nibble on the corner of a chocolate bar and remember what God gives us.

I did the Purpose Driven Life today while JD read his book “Hero’s Don’t Run." He’s almost done reading it. He’s really getting into it. Too bad that’s the last book of the series. I read the Purpose Driven Life today and it was titled “Becoming a World Class Christian.” It started out with “You will either be a world-class Christian or a worldly Christian.” (Rick finds a way to strike with the low blows huh?) I can’t wait until the day when the “Great Commission” will be the “Great Completion.” TIME TO GO HOME! Then Rick tells us how to think like a world-class Christian. Shift from self-centered thinking to other centered thing. I love how the book reminded me to have moment-by-moment dependence on God. This day’s reading got to me. I have been talking with family and friends about God and salvation but they keep shutting me down. In today’s reading it told me to ask God “to help understand what is keeping this person from knowing you.” Then as I was gardening today I thought, “Well it took me about 15 years to accept Christ so why am I expecting this to happen on my time clock?” The next step to becoming a world-class Christian is to shift from local thinking to global thinking. I would love to go on an overseas mission trip but it’s never been the right time. Maybe I really ought to be praying about this. The book says to pray about specific countries. Then it said people may refuse our love or reject our message, but they are defenseless against our prayers. The next step it to shift from the “here and now” thinking to eternal thinking. The last step is shift from thinking of excuses to thinking of creative ways to fulfill your commission.

The geometry lesson was all about triangles. There are four different types and they are: right, equilateral, isosceles, and scalene. All we had to do today was identify them amongst other triangles. Again, JD was all over this. I’m so proud of him.

JD completed Level 4, stage 12 in the Dance Mat typing site. Today he learned how to find the shift key. He did this independently while I caught up on some laundry.

We used the edit/rewrite time for a language arts lesson since somehow I managed not to have him write anything this week accept how to tie a shoe and that was types anyway. JD was getting mad at one of the passages. They were both fact and opinion readings. At the end of the reading passage they ask questions about facts and opinions. The story JD got mad at was taking dodge ball out of school. JD says that was a fun game and 20,000 other kids think so too. The other story was about a guy getting shocked by lightening seven times. (Ouch!)

Today’s health lesson was about “What causes disease?” JD learned it comes from many different sources to include but not limited to: bacteria from uncooked food, malnutrition from hunger, unwashed hands, not getting immunized. It also taught him the safe ways to cook and clean, that water may be contaminated, and to brush and floss teeth twice daily. Most of this he already knew but I made sure we covered all the bases.

I know JD's Grammy was worried about the spelling test. It was a nail biter but he scored a 100%. He had 14 homophones that were words like pole and poll. I counseled him about the amount of time he DIDN’T spend studying and that I had to make sure he studied them four times today just to feel confident enough to take the quiz. But he pulled another one off.

Jeff came home from his last day of work in Raleigh and asked if I had seen the comment on the blog. I said, “No.” He said, “You have ten followers today.” Yeah 10 followers! Jeff starts a new job in Fayetteville on Monday. We’re excited about the move, lack of jammed traffic, and of course the commute.

I have submitted my writing samples to Lifeway. It’s all in God’s hands now. I received this email about 1 hour after submission. “Thank you for submitting additional sample writing materials for Children's (School Age) Curriculum Materials. A Childhood Ministry Publishing editor will review your samples. At a later date, we will inform you of the status of your application.” (Ok, now I must wait… Are we there yet? Are we there yet? I’m not good at waiting.)

I have always liked warm days when I can get outside and garden a bit. Today was a beautiful day and I went gardening while JD was on a break. Sometimes we take long breaks. Today was one of those days. I tried to uncover my iris’ from all the weeds and extra sand that had piled up on them over the fall and winter. The ants played a huge role in that. I hate those little buggers. Anyway, I stayed God focused most of the day but I felt closest to him while gardening. They only distraction I had was Tater looking at me asking if she could come out and play with her boy. She mentioned there might be lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my. And she needed to be out there to protect her boy. Her real motive… (she’s half beagle) to runoff into the neighborhood. Well, until Monday…

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

The devotion today was called “Mission Impossible.” It was about the space walks in 1965 and the moon walk in 1969 and how they are now talking about going to Mars. With out technology today it seems nothing is impossible. Then it transitioned into the One who can do the impossible. After all he spoke, and the world came into being. He has control over life and death.

JD reads his own book daily, but mostly at the end of our school day. We still read the Purpose Driven Life together right after the devotion. Today’s lesson was called “Sharing Your Life Message.” Once we became a believer we became God’s messenger. There were a few steps to writing your Life Message: 1. Your testimony - of how you began a relationship with Jesus. This is easier for nonbelievers to understand than a sermon. 2. Your life lessons - the important lessons God has taught you, because there simply isn’t enough time in our lives to learn everything by trial and error we should be learning lessons from the bible and not making the same mistakes. 3. Your Godly passions - the issues God shaped you to care about most. 4. The Good News - the Message of salvation. I personally don’t have a problem telling people the Good News, it’s when I get shut down I seem to be at a loss for words and I get angry that the person has a hardened heart. Imagine the joy we will experience meeting someone in heaven that we had a hand in leading to Christ.

With protractor in hand we tackled the geometry lesson. Amazing how easy it was to answer the questions with the right tools. It was measuring what degree the ramps were. We did the rest of the short lesson that we had to stop yesterday and onto the quiz. He scored a 100%. He’s all over geometry. He has mastered all the terms. (I wonder what he will be when he grows up.)

Oh my where do I start on the civics lesson? It was called “Your Personal Health and Safety Net.” Otherwise called TAXES! Remember I said JD was livid about the whole taxes issue? Well he was just the same way today. It was like trying to teach Glenn Beck (from Fox News channel) that tax was a good thing. Sure some of our tax dollars are going to good programs like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), but we all know those dollars are not being spent wisely. JD’s biggest problem with taxes is the amount of money we get taxed on. That would include: Federal, State, Social Security, Medicare, Sales, and all those unseen taxes. He totally understands helping those people that need the help, but despises the people who “won’t get off their lazy butts” to help themselves. There were two questions that cracked me up when he answered them. 1. Taxes take ALL of the earnings of every working person or business in the USA. True or false. His response. They take MOST of our money. 2. What best describes the work of the Federal Government? His response, “leaving us broke.” (JD for President!)

We used the email/snail mail lesson time to catch up on some school work started earlier in the week. We tackled the Lindbergh questions from a biography and we completed the research on Washington, D.C.

The language arts lesson was accomplished side by side so we could get through it quickly. I read the two different passages and he answered all the question. (What’s sad about my mind is I can’t recall those stories one day later. Maybe that’s why I write everything down and blog about our days. Smile) The lesson was called Theme and Main Idea on fiction stories.” He scored another 100%

We were rushing to get through our lessons today so all we did for science was check on out bread experiment and record the observations. No mold to behold.

I dedicated my "evening blog time" today to complete the second phase of the Lifeway writing assignments. The writers block was finally gone (whew) and I have researched "forgiveness" until I was blue in the face. (Breathing)

Jeff asked to review and edit them both if necessary. I wrote one 500 word article about Understanding and Relating to Children and a 3-4th grade Sunday School lesson on Forgiveness. That was the toughest one. It's four pages long and includes the bible story and TEN activities.

Pray...I'll be sending it to Lifeway in the next couple of days. Thanks for your prayers.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It was a Happy St Patrick’s Day!

The devotion today was about the real St Patrick. His name is Maewyn and he was uneducated. At age 16 he was sold into slavery by a group of Irish bandits. During his captivity he became closer to God. He escaped after six years of captivity and studied in a monastery. He returned to Ireland to convert pagans there. Patrick devoted his life to serving Christians and building schools and churches. Be sure to thank God for devoted missionaries like Patrick. God used him and a multitude of others (maybe even you) to spread the “good news.”

The Purpose Driven Life reading today was the start to purpose five. You were made for a mission was today’s theme. Our ministry is our service to believers, but our mission is service to unbelievers. Our mission is to continue doing what Jesus was doing as his mission on earth. That is the great commission. I laughed out loud when I read what Rick Warren wrote, “It’s the Great Commission, not he Great Suggestion.” Our mission should be looked at like a wonderful privilege. Telling others about eternal life in heaven is the greatest thing we can do for them. Our mission had eternal significance. Our mission gives our lives meaning. God’s timetable for history’s conclusion is connected to the completion of our commission. So many people want to know when Jesus is coming back. Well, it should be when every person has heard the good news. For anyone who has read this book day 36 has the story of Rick’s dad on his death bed. He’s having nightmares and calling out, “Got to save one more for Jesus.” We should all be so faithful and obedient as Rick’s dad.

Today’s geometry lesson was not nearly as painful as yesterday. Today it reviewed the different types of lines and they are: intersecting (lines that cross or meet at a point), perpendicular lines (form a 90 degree angle or a right angle), parallel lines (never intersect or they are side by side.) Then it quickly moved to geometry angles. I emailed Jeff the list of geometry angles and made a comment that it was like a foreign exercise routine. (I just picture some big Swedish lady yelling out the commands…Acute! Hold it…hold it…and breathe. Obtuse! Holding…and breath!…AGAIN!) The angles are: Acute, Right, Obtuse, Straight, and Reflex. They did teach us a great way to remember the different angles degrees or points. The sentence is…Alligators Rest On Sunny Rocks. That’s the order if you will. Then if you combine that with a clock it’s really fairly simple. So if "0" is noon, then "180" is 6:00. An acute angle (F or E) is anytime between noon and 2:59. A right angle (D) is exactly 3:00. An obtuse angle (C or B) is between 3:01 and 5:59. A straight angle is 6:00. And last but not least a reflex angle is anytime past 6:01. (Got it? OK test time!) We started another lesson but stopped it because we needed to purchase a protractor. (We went out and got one. We’re now armed and ready for combat with geometry.) I told Jeff how quickly JD absorbed all that information and what a good teacher he is to explain math to me. (Yeah, this home school thing is really working out well.)

JD did another word bank lesson independently again. Today’s words were eminent, brash, and bawdy.

We opted not to do the journal lesson today because we were having such a good day and we had errands to run. I made a deal with JD that if I cancelled the journal lesson would he work doubly hard for me tomorrow. Before he answered he asked, “Wait! Does that mean I have to do journal tomorrow?” I said, “No you just have to give me a great attitude and do all your lessons as well as you can.” (We signed the deal.)

The history lesson was based off of the History Channel. They did a documentary on Charles Lindbergh. He's the first guy that ever did a non-stop flight from New York to Paris. He earned $25,000 for that. We learned a lot of interesting facts about Mr. Lindbergh. I typed up a document with some questions from the documentary and a biography on-line. He'll do that tomorrow.

Today during music I asked that JD just write me a song. We he didn’t write it or make one up. He just started playing “Joyful, joyful, we adore thee” by ear! And not just the chorus. Here take a listen for yourself. We had to film this a couple of times to "get it right" and bleep out the anger when he got it wrong. But look at him. What you can’t see is the tongue sticking out to concentrate. The movies before he was rocking back and forth on the organ bench. This time I think he was showing off by not even looking at the stink'n keyboard. Did I mention he plays by ear? So he practiced this today during music and ta da we have a beautiful song played by an 11 year old child with absolutely no piano lessons.

We checked the four slices of bread from yesterday's experiment and I'm happy to report we are not yet producing penicillin in my house. In other words, there's no mold to behold.

The homemade paper art project from Monday is finally dry. It is very sturdy paper. It took the help of a blow dryer last night and staying out over night to completely dry. I think I'll get a good picture of JD and I together and use the homemade paper as a mat.
I've been spending a considerable amount of time preparing the Sunday School sample for Lifeway because the clock is counting down for the deadline. So pray that I turn in a great sample and on-time.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fun and easy going day

The devotion was about today being “Freedom of Information Day.” It is celebrated on the anniversary of the birth of James Madison. Madison noted that knowing the truth and having knowledge were important elements in a free society. Jesus also taught that knowing the truth was essential to being free. Jesus is after all “…the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 4:16) Jesus’ perfect truth gives us the freedom to be all that God intends for us to be.

While I don’t like to think about my weaknesses the Purpose Driven Life spoke all about it. Today’s topic was “God’s Power in Your Weakness.” God uses our weaknesses for His glory. The first step for God using us is: 1. Admitting our weaknesses. (For me this means stop acting like I’ve got it all together.) 2. Be content with our weaknesses. (This will force us to depend on God.) 3. Honestly share our weaknesses. (Strengths create competition, but our weaknesses create community.) 4. Glory in your weaknesses. (Think of Jacob who wrestled with God and God dislocated Jacob’s hip. Jacob will forever walk with a limp, but he will never run away again.) *Moral from Rick Warren…If you want God to bless you and use you and use you greatly, you must be willing to walk with a limp for the rest of your life, because God uses weak people. On a great note I asked JD what he thought his biggest weakness was. I halfway expected him to say, "Having ADHD." But to my surprise it was, "Being afraid of the dark." Maybe he FINALLY sees it as a gift.

The internet was messing up so we did the social studies lesson next. It gave JD a choice to pick a place that he would like to visit. He picked Holly wood. So we figured out that it was 2,643 miles driving and it would take 1 day and 18 hours to drive straight through (without any sleep.) We decided taking a plane ride would be better than driving. He will be researching Hollywood and give facts, landmarks, and different information about it. He will also pick five cities and compare information about them like: biggest population, hottest/coldest weather, and oldest/newest city. He will award each city in each category. He’ll work on this for his next social studies lesson next week too. He did that lesson and then he took a test. He scored an 80% on the chapter quiz.

Just when I was feeling confident about measurements we closed that math chapter and moved onto geometry. I feel like a “cage fighter.” For those of you that don’t know what that are. It is where two people are put in a 32’ x 32’ octagon type ring and it’s an ALL OUT BRAWL! Pretty much anything goes in cage fighting. I researched the rules and there are 33 “fouls” like: biting, eye gouging, butting heads, hair pulling, and the list goes on. I like watching cage fighting but never fantasized about “being in the ring.” Well today my worst nightmare came true. My opponent...Geometry! First the right hook…learning the terms of geometry. They were terms like parallel (lines that never intersect), perpendicular (these intersect to form a right angle), collinear (these are on the same lines), and coincident (these occupy the same space or point.) (You think I’m doing drugs don’t you? I can’t make this stuff up.) Ducking, bobbing, weaving, now comes the dreaded uppercut…practice identifying these lines on a graph. (Leave me in the fight coach…I can take him.) The knock out punch I never saw coming…the quiz! Together we scored a 70%. Not the lowest score ever received, but its right beside math “reasoning.” Speaking of reasoning…someone please tell me the reason I need to know geometry? Because in my 40 some years of blissful life without math I have NEVER done this line mess!

Language arts was fun. The 2010 Census paperwork showed up in our mailbox. So JD and I read it and filled it out together. It only took about 10 minutes to fill out. Could you imagine if “The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe” received one of these forms? She would need a continuation sheet for all her young’ns. Have you received your form yet? Don’t freak out, but there’s space in that form packet for a dozen people! (Suppose what Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are going to THIS year? That’s that family with 19 kids! The last census they only had 11 kids.)

Last week in science it taught JD how to record the desserts observation using charts. It expanded on this lesson today with an experiment called “Behold mold.” We took four pieces of bread and put one teaspoon of water on each one. Then we put two in sandwich bags. The other two piece of bread went on a plate. Then we labeled them. 1. Refrigerate/no air (sandwich bag) 2. Refrigerate (on a plate) 3. Room temperature/no air (sandwich bag) 4. Room temperature (on a plate.) Then we put two in the refrigerator and two on the counter. We will be observing them everyday for two weeks and charting the presence of mold on each piece. (Yum!)

Email/snail was fun today too. It kind of branched off of the social studies lesson when we were looking at Google maps and zoomed in on 10019 Isaac Drive, Midwest City, Oklahoma (the house we lived in when JD was born) and 2118-4th Street Greeley Colorado (my childhood home.) Google maps allows you to view in satellite and it actually looks like you're driving right to the location. So we printed a real picture of each house and wrote down facts about each one. We "drove" around each neighborhood in Colorado and I showed him places I went on my bike. I showed him how far I walked to school and friend's houses. For the house we lived in when JD was born we "drove" around the road I walked nightly with him in his stroller. I showed him the fence extension Jeff and I built (that's falling down in the picture) and right where he received his first bee sting. It was cool to reminisce about childhood places and JD's first home. We had a great time sharing memories and disbelief (especially about how far I walked to school.)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Beautiful day

We did two devotions today because the one for Saturday was about genealogy. It listed the two places you can find Jesus’ family tree. One is in Matthew 1:1-17 showing Jesus was related to the Jews. The other one was in Luke 3:23-28 showing Jesus was related to all humankind. The next devotion was “The Ides of March. “ That is the 15th day of March on a Roman calendar. Most famous for the assassination of Julius Caesar by his “friends and followers.” Years later Jesus was betrayed by his so-called friend named Judas Iscariot. It reminded JD to take an inventory of his true friends.

We read the Purpose Driven Life together today. Then just before I called school done for the day I had him read independently for 15 minutes. He’s about halfway through “Hero’s Don’t Run.” The Purpose Driven Life was called Thinking Like a Servant. It listed five attitudes to have while serving. 1. Servants think more about others than about themselves. 2. Servants think like stewards, not like an owner. 3. Servants think about their work, not what others are doing. (This one is hard for me.) 4. Servants base their identity in Christ. 5. Servants think of ministry as an opportunity, not an obligation. The last couple of weeks I have been burdened with my relationship to God. I’m lacking in the constant prayer area and working on the die to myself and pick up my cross daily part. I definitely believe in God but without constant visual reminders I forget he’s with us during our school days. It’s easier to think about God at home rather than a work environment but I’m still disappointed that I fail to “feel, hear, or sense” that God is with me. I know there are times when he’s testing me. This is when I visualize think he’s busy with someone else who needs him more. I’ll just keep being burdened and doing what I sense he wants for Faith Christian Academy.

Today in math we learned “Volumes of solids.” More specifically, we learned the volume of cubes and rectangles. Cube formula: A cube is 3 inches high, tall, and wide. So the formula is 3 x 3 x 3 = 27. Rectangle formula: A rectangle is 3 inches high, 2 inches tall, 2 inch wide. So that formula is 3 x 2 x 2 = 12. We have now graduated out of “measurements and tomorrow we will move onto “geometry.” (Um, help!)

The keyboarding lesson today was Level 4, stage 11. It taught JD about “/” and “.” He did this independently while I mowed the dog yard. Therefore, I don’t know how many times he looked at his fingers. If I had to guess…probably the whole time.)

I took Jeff’s suggestion for JD’s journal time. If you remember he suggested having JD write instructions or a recipe or something that didn’t require “creative” thinking. The anger started outside when I told him, “It’s time for journal.” He started whacking away at the weeds in the yard. (Note to self…when the mower breaks down, tell JD to write in his journal.) I asked if he preferred typing it or writing it. His response, “I prefer not to do journal.” (Oh I didn’t see that one coming…wink, wink.) After I calmed him down he came in and I offered the topic “How to tie your shoe.” I didn’t think it would include all the drama that was attached to the assignment. He still required a lot of assistance getting the visual motions into words. He was freely able to demonstrate the movements but hit a wall when he had to form words for those actions. We even had a shoe on the table for demonstration purposes. (I’m not giving up yet…)

The on-line art lesson was acting funny so I had him stop that and we created our own paper. First, we made a drying rack from a coat hanger and old panty hose. Next, we took two pieces of paper and cut them into thin strips. We added some crumbed leaves and some water. Then, came the “fun” part for JD. We liquefied the concoction in the blender. Next, we gave that messy concoction a glue bath. The last step was to pour in onto the rack and set it out to dry. It’s kind of thick but steadily drying. I’ll let you know how it “turned out” tomorrow.

The spelling words this week all homophones. That is the pairs sound the same but are spelled differently. There are words like: horse/hoarse and poll/pole. Once I had his list in hand I moved the lesson outside. We sat in the sun making up partial sentences for each word to distinguish the differences. When Jeff asked JD how his day was and how he liked each topic he said, “Spelling was fun.” I guess it’s all about the location, location, location.

That relaxation thing I discovered is REALLY NICE. I like cuddling up in my bed with all the pillows fluffed up. I get most of my reading done when everyone else is asleep. I finished the book “The Shack” last night. It kind of makes me take a second look at my relationship to the Trinity. For a fiction book I liked it. But as for me, its only fiction. Jeff suggested I start reading Max Lucado next. He might have a point there. It will teach me some more theology.