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Friday, April 16, 2010

Fun writing day

Today is National Stress Awareness day, so says our daily devotion. It started out by talking about stress cracks in bridges. If they are not fixed the bridge may collapse. It’s the same things in our daily lives. What with work, school, relationships, etc. We have to deal with them or face the consequences. The bible says in 1 Peter 5:7, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you.” God cares more about our life situations more than we do, and he’s always there to help.

Today in Genesis we read chapter 15 in which God made a covenant with Abram about the number of descendants Abram would have and the land Abram would be given. Then, in chapter 16 Sarai and Abram took matters into their own hands and had a son from Sarai’s servant. (Not what God meant to happen.) But God blessed Hagar and her soon to be son Ishmael. In chapter 17 God renamed Abram to Abraham and Sarai to Sarah. God also confirmed his covenant with Abraham about having their own child, not just Ishmael. Oh yeah, there was also the small detail about all the names having been circumcised. Abraham was circumcised at age 99. Ouch!

The math lesson today was not that tough. It was about graphs. More specifically it was about bar graphs. It identified the labels and axis’s. JD got mad when he answered the first question incorrectly and was mad for most of the lesson. Later I asked him why he gets mad in the “learning” mode and he said, “Because I don’t like to be wrong.” (I wonder of perfectionist are born or developed. I tend to be a perfectionist but have never told JD being wrong is bad.) So we struggled through the bar graphs because the information was hard to decipher for him. If it wasn’t on the line JD had a hard time making out the number. I think there was glitch in the quiz because I thought for sure that two answers were correct and we did guess at one answer about percentages, but two others were also marked as incorrect. So we only scored a 50% on the quiz. Yoinks! That’s the worst score yet. I’ll have JD review the lesson with Jeff to see where we messed up. Mission accomplished. Jeff reviewed the lesson with JD and they both took the test together and got 90% but there was a glitch and it should have been 100%.

Today I combined keyboarding with the edit/rewrite lesson. I started out typing a story about a grasshopper who didn’t like where he lived. Then I tagged JD with “Tag you’re it” again. (I started this because it speeds up his typing skills and sentence writing.) He quickly finished his sentence and came towards me. I asked if there was an adjective in the sentence. He went back and put one in the sentence. Then came back after me to tag me. This went on and on. This time we stayed indoors and hid throughout the house. Let me tell you there are just certain places a grown woman should not hide. Places like the top of the freezer, in the washer and dry room on top of the washer, and possibly the most painful was the VERY SMALL coat closet in our front door hallway. I hid in there and left the door cracked for light. Okay, the truth is I didn’t fit in it correctly in the time allotted to hide. I could easily be one of those women who advertise the flexible sanitary napkins. I didn’t think I was THAT flexible. I contorted my body in ways that should be illegal. The worst was when I was in the closet and got a toe cramp. I thought I would scream out! But that would give away my position and there was no way I could do that. I guess the 21 years of military training came in handy. I had only a sliver of room to slowly grabbed my foot and bent it. JD finally found me. Thank goodness I thought I would freeze that way. JD got me real good by hiding in the towel closet and jumping out on me. I of course screamed.

The health lesson was about safety. We discussed bicycle, car, and swimming safety. He seemed a bit annoyed but with the repeat lesson but I think "You can't teach safety enough.

The spelling test wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I didn't remind him at all this week to study his words and he pulled off a 70% on the quiz. I asked him if he was happy with that grade and he not so reluctantly said, "Yes." I said ok and went with it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Un-cooperative day

Sorry about the delay in getting yesterday’s blog out. School was taxing, then we quickly ate dinner, went to church, and finally attended choir practice. So all I wanted when I got home was my bed.

Today before we got started in our school we visited a German friend down the street. She was a Vet technician but has since started a K-9 training facility out of her home. JD and I visited her and he 9 dogs and two cats. If the ones she’s fostering weren’t male dogs I would sure get the Miniature Doberman Pincher/Jack Russel off her hands. But he’s a boy dog and I don’t want any more males. Today was really no better than yesterday only the sun shined all day. It was a rollercoaster ride of emotions from JD. Because he was mad at the lessons, mad that they are too long, and too much writing, blah, blah. He was uncooperative for most of the day. I offered him the other option of going back to public school for middle school. (Wow attitude change…but only for a while.)

I knew the devotion would be about taxes today. It Talked about what our tax dollars pay for and then moved to the people of Jesus’ day. One day some people asked Jesus if it was right to pay taxes. Jesus simply said, “Give to Caesar what belongs to him.” But then he added, “Everything that belongs to God must be given to Him.” That means they should honor God and be good citizens. But he also meant God is a higher authority than all rulers or governments.

I’m simply tongue twisted today from reading Genesis 13 and 14. Again with the names. This time they were names of Kings and lands. We read about where Abram and Lot separated because there flock and people were too great for one land and there were conflicts amongst the people. Then Lot was captured and a war broke out. Abram was able to get Lot out of captivity with many possessions. But he gave them all back to the King.

The last math lesson of “probability” was accomplished today. Yeah! JD is bored with those lessons. Today most of the questions were focused on predicting the outcome. They were questions like there were 100 votes cast but only fifty were counted. JD had 20 out of 50 so what can be a possible out come of the vote. Well the answer would be 40/100. We don’t want to reduce this fraction because they are the total number of votes.

The civics lesson made mention of the lemonade stand again. It talked about more efficient ways to run a lemonade stand. It brought in the term “Division of excel in the things they specialize in. So JD and I came up with how to split our imaginary stand. JD assigned the jobs of buyer of supplies to me and said, “because I can drive yet.” I also go the job of cleaning up the lemon slicing board, knife, and lemonade pitchers. He was assigned making the lemonade and serving the customers. Get this he has fully envisioned this stand. (I wonder if that’s what’s keeping him up late at night?) His suggestions … take out the three big bushes in from of our kitchen window. Throw away the bird feeder because we haven’t fed the birds this year. Build a small platform over our very small water pond. And finally, take orders out of our kitchen window. (Um, let me think about that for a minute…NO!) There’s no telling what we’ll be doing for spare change this summer.

The email/snail mail lesson got off to a real bad start. I quickly offered to cancel every class tomorrow except for spelling in order to get more practice writing or typing. I opened a blank word document to have him email a short letter to Jeff. That way I know it won’t get sent off without my looking at it first. I guess a short story to JD meant 10 words. I said, “The story of visiting Ms Manuela’s house is very short and leaves room for MANY questions. I got, “But, well, it says enough.” I said, “Ok fine. Move out of the driver’s seat and I’ll respond to this email.” I typed a few questions and reached out and tagged JD and said, “Tag you’re it!” This sparked a very curious boy awake. He quickly typed answers and found me in the backyard. I ran from him when he came to tag me. This went on another three or four times until I had the story I was looking for. The dogs must have thought we were off of our rockers. They (even Roxie) chased after us as we ran through the house and yard. It turned out to be a very fun lesson for both of us. I just need to really work at getting him to write in complete sentences.

I had JD do two language arts lessons today. They were both about making inferences. That means to read a part of the story or answer unanswered questions or unclear details and put them together to try to figure out what they’re talking about. There were four total passages and I helped him read them this time. But for the life of me I can’t remember what they were about. He did well on the quiz and scored an 80%.

The science lesson was about “control groups.” Those are the items not subjected to the experiment. Then there was a 7 question quiz about the experiment process. JD know this process well but was too bothered by the length of the lesson to give accurate answers. I was so tired by the end of this lesson and day that I offered another threat. I said, “If you don’t control your high and mighty attitude I will invent an experiment for you to conduct. I will also have you write about all six steps of the experiment.”

Whew, the day is over and it’s now 11:30 pm. That’s a little late for me to be blogging but I want all of you to know what were doing. Thank you again for all your support.

Question bag answer…There was only one sentence about the human hair and macaroni usage when Edison was experimenting for a good filament. I did further research tonight and found this combined information. Thomas Edison spent 18 months and $40,000 to conduct 1,200 experiments for the right filament. He experimented with thousands of materials for filament, including fishing line, onion skin, leather, macaroni, and a friend's beard! The first practical bulb used carbonized (heat-treated) thread as filament in an evacuated glass bulb and burned for about 48 hours. In 1911, the tungsten filament was introduced and can burn for over 1000 hours. Heat-treated bamboo (in real time!) lasted for about 600 hours, carbonized cardboard 16 hours, and platinum about 10 minutes. Thanks for the question.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tough talkative day

It was a cool and sunless day here today. I find it hard to get going on “blah” days like today. It must have affected JD as well. He was very talkative and distracted today.

Today in the devotion book it said, “Today is International Moment of Laughter Day.” It said, “Laughing, being happy, and having fun can be great. But joy is even better. Proverbs 14:13 reminds us, “Laughter can conceal a heavy heart; when the laughter ends, the grief remains.” Laughter only lasts minutes but joy can last a lifetime. Joy like that comes from knowing God loves us and that our future is secure in him.

We read from Genesis again today. We read Genesis 10 (Noah’s three boy’s descendants’), Chapter 11 (The Tower of Babel and Shem’s son Arphaxad’s family tree. That specifically tells of Abram’s family line), and Chapter 12 (The call of Abram and Abram and Sarai in Egypt.) Boy the names in those chapters are HARD to pronounce. Jonathan laughed at me. Well it is Laughter Day. Most of you know I had the distinct privilege of going to Abram’s childhood home twice while in Iraq. It was very moving each time to walk where Abram would have walked as a child. It was a very big house for that time. There is a clear spiritual marker in my life. It was the day I was obedient to God when he told me to get up an leave my country, my relatives, and my family. It was the call we all dreaded. I was suppose to have a replacement fill my position in the dessert when I got word that Jeff had his heart attacks. But when my superiors found out Jeff’s prognosis was “good” I then had to go back to Iraq as my own replacement. I could have fought and kicked but one I was mentally taxed and I had a peace about their decision. I hated leaving but I did what I thought God wanted me to do, just like Abraham.

Math today continued with probability. This time it asked if we rolled a dice what are the chances we would roll a five. Well, there is only one way to roll a dice so the top number is one. And there are six possible numbers we would roll so six is the bottom number. So the chances of rolling a five is 1/6th. It was basically the same for the spinner question. It was a 5 piece multi-colored spinner with three blue pieces. The question was, “What are the chances you will spin a blue?” Answer: 3/5th. There are three blue pieces of the spinner with five total pieces. The lesson wasn’t terribly difficult but JD was. It started by him opening the web based site and NOT opening the “fun” style. I was so angry at one point I wanted to scream but I suppressed it. The question started out with, “Sam loaded SEVERAL CD’s in a carrier. He loaded 4 country, 6 pop, and 10 classical CD. What are the chances he will pull out a pop CD if he’s not looking?” The answer is in case you are wondering is 6/20th or reduced is 3/10th, but that’s not important. JD was stuck on saying, “This question makes no sense. Several means more than two, but not 20.” When I finally got him over the “error” in the question and figuring out the answer I was burdened with “What exactly is several?” I looked it up in the dictionary and JD was exactly right. More than two, but not by many. (Smarty pants!) We struggled through the lesson and quiz. He scored a 92% on the lesson and a 100% on the quiz.

The word bank words were: glib, heady, and kaput. I get all of these word bank words from a list of adjectives. The sentences are getting a lot shorter in this lesson. I see a lot more writing in his future. I planned to keep up a small school schedule in the summer just to keep him up on school work.

Tuesday I accidentally taught history instead of social studies so I corrected that today. Today we learned about the 12 Midwestern states which surround the great lakes area and the Great Plains region which stretches from Mexico to Canada. We learned about crops, weather, and the animals of these two regions.

We did not do journal or music today because I just wasn’t feeling a full day and besides we spend a considerable amount of time near lunch trying our best to learn basic German phrases and words. That's the great thing about home school we can detour anytime we want. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Happy Birthday to my brother Gene! (For those of you who don't know Gene and I stay the same age for approximately one month. Yep, he's only 11 months older than me. My mom had her hands full for a while. Love ya Gene!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Great and fun day

It was another beautiful day here. And a great and fun school day as well. All the weeding I have done in the past few weeks have paid off. My flower garden is coming into full bloom. Its nice to see that spring has awaken the flowers of all colors and scents. (Those pesky weeds were stealing all the water.)

Our devotion today was kind of unusual. It started out talking about blind men walking with an elephant. One guy had the tail and so he thought an elephant was like a rope. Another guy had a leg so he thought an elephant was like a tree trunk. Because the men were blind they couldn’t see the animal and were only limited to the part they encountered. That’s all too often like people and their encounter with Jesus. If they only see one part of Jesus they might form only one opinion of Jesus. Even today there are conflicting reports as to who or what Jesus was. They might say Jesus was a teacher, a prophet, a good man. This made me think when they asked the question “How would I answer to someone who Jesus was.” Well, I know he’s my savor and that he desires to be the Lord of my life, but unfortunately that’s all I’ve encountered. Sad right? It’s up to me to let go of the tail if you will, and encounter another aspect of Jesus. Because there’s so much more to Him. (I’m working on that trust me.)

How can I effectively witness to someone if I don’t know what the evidence of the bible says? Well, I can’t. So I have started ONCE again to read the Bible from Genesis to maps. Today JD and I read Genesis 5-9. It covered the descendants of Adam through the accounts of Noah. So many questions cropped up. I hit Jeff up with them when he came home. When I read the bible I start asking, “What? Why?” (And so on.) Today it was why did Enoch disappear? According to www.JEFF.com it is a symbolism of the rapture. Then the BIG question. Why did God destroy the entire earth and start over again if he knew we would just mess it up again? Noah was thought of by God to be righteous while the rest of the world was corrupt. So Noah’s bloodline was spared because it was not corrupt yet. And it was the only human strain left from which the Redeemer could come from. Then I asked why the raven first and then the dove twice? According to one internet source the raven represents the sinner who just wanders the world. The dove twice returned to the safety of the boat. Then I asked www.JEFF.com why God told about the covenant repeated times. Jeff explained that God gave one instruction about he Garden of Eden. “Do not eat of that tree.” Apparently once was not enough then, so God repeated his covenant clearly. So I leave today with multiple scratch spots on my head and eager to ask more questions.

Today in math it taught us about probability. More specifically it gave us problems like you buy two shorts and three shirts. How many possible outfits could you make from your shopping trip? (Shopping…I hate shopping) Now ladies, please don’t ask about colors and materials that information is not important. Let me tell you, on the first question I went with colors too. But the lesson didn’t care about embarrassing outfits, they just wanted to know how many sets could you make. I got the first question wrong because I would not wear a green shirt with turquoise pants. Back to school 2 (shorts) x 3 (shirts) = 6 possible outfits. JD got this lesson down quickly and scored 100% on both the lesson and the quiz.

It seems the Louisiana Purchase has been coming up a lot lately so I had JD do two short social studies lessons on it in one day and a chapter quiz. JD knows all the basic facts of the event like names of people involved, reasons behind the purchase, and the dates committed to memory. And he really likes to say “Napoleon Bonaparte” in his best French accent. He once again mastered this lesson and scored a 100% on the lessons and chapter quiz. (As I sit here typing this I just realized I went into the history lesson again today instead of geography. Bummer. They‘re both in the tab called “Social Studies.”)

Reuben called me at 9:30 am today to ask what we were doing for lunch. I told him “nothing.” So we made plans for him and his girl friend (?) to come for lunch at 11:20 am which was close to our normal lunch time. I had JD do two short language arts lessons while I showered and cleaned up the house a bit. So I don’t know the contents of the four passages he read. I do know he read passages about “cause and effect” as well as the “author’s purpose.” He scored a 100% and a 93% without my assistance. Go JD!

Unfortunately, Reuben didn’t make it here until 12:20 pm and they stayed until 2:15 pm so our school day was a bit turned upside down and long. It was a nice visit and I was kind of sad to see him go again.

I made a deal with JD after Reuben left that if he endured the long science lesson and short quiz that I would drop the email/snail mail lesson. (Amazing! I had the most positive and attentive child during that time. Smile) Today we learned about the men behind the unexpected scientific results. JD learned more about Thomas Edison and a gentleman named Nikola Tesla. JD learned the little light in the light bulb was called a filament. Did you know while experimenting with that little wire that Edison tried macaroni and human hair? Weird huh?

So our school day ended at 3:00 pm. That was a long day. Whew…prepare for tomorrow.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Back to the books

It was difficult to get started today after our relaxing spring break vacation (below.) It was a slow paced and relaxing day. We of course started today as we do any other school day, with our daily devotion. Today was about the start of National Mathematics Month. (Oh joy!) It started out with 2+2=4. That makes sense and it’s a lesson none of us has ever forgotten. And it’s actually adds up to four. Then it transitioned into other things that make sense. We look around for clues and evidence in our everyday lives that make sense and to see if they add up too. If people ever wonder about God they only need look for the clues and check out the evidence. The bible is FILLED with evidence of the truth about God. And when you read the bible the evidence adds up!

We have not had a chance yet to make a trip to the library so JD and I started reading The Boys Life Application Study Bible together. It’s the New Living Translation. I don’t particularly like that version but it works for this purpose I guess. We started with Genesis 1 (the account of creation) and read through Genesis 4 (the birth of Seth.) JD and I talked about the first sin and what it must have been like for God to fuss at them. (I can’t say I would have made a better choice than Eve.) I fuss at the youth group on Sunday mornings about making good choices. I say WE have lots of examples from the bible about people making poor choices but WE still continue to do the same things wrong. I of course include myself in the WE parts. Even though times have certainly changed from B.C. times, Satan still uses the same deception in our lives today. I feel fortunate in knowing JD and I are in our “Christian bubble” here at the house. So I am confident that God has set this time aside for both JD and I to absorb His word. Basically I feel like these are the “formative” years for JD and I to learn about God’s love and provisions. I guess my biggest fear is the day JD leaves the safety of this bubble in order to “do life.” I can only hope and pray he lives what he’s been taught. I fear for the current trend of young people graduating high school and turning away from the church in their rebellion.

Ok that was deep so let‘s quickly move onto geometry. Today was the last day of geometry. Yeah! Today we learned about similarities of objects. We had to identify the difference between similar angles (same shape but different angles) and congruent angles (same shape and same angles.) JD scored a 100% on both the lesson and the quiz. He’s also glad geometry is officially over!

Today in keyboarding JD did Dance Mat typing level 2 stage 4. He did well with minimal peeking.

For journal today I suggested JD’s write about our vacation to Tennessee, but he thought that was too much writing. So I said, “Ok then write 20 times ‘I do not want to write today.’” He went straight to the computer and I quickly halted him. I said, “I know what you’re going to do. You’re going to type ‘I do not want to write today’ and then you’ll copy and past it 19 times. No my friend you’ll be writing it out.” He happily agreed to write it out. (Amazing) He did great accept he wrote “right” instead of “write.”

We spent a lot of time outside today on breaks so we dropped art today.

JD has 10 new spelling words. They all have something to do with our vacation. I did a pretest today and he got 4 out of 10 correct. But the other words were only off by a letter or two.

Spring Break (5-9 Apr)
JD and I drove to Tennessee for our Spring Break vacation time. I was anxious about driving without Jeff because I’ve only driven that drive once before without Jeff. But JD and I arrived safely on Monday, 5 April at 3:30 pm. From there it was relaxation time. On Tuesday JD and I walked in downtown Elizabethton where there are lots of antique shops and the veterans walls. We found JD’s genealogy line right next to each other on the veterans’ wall. We took in some lunch and bought some bread for the ducks. I love relaxing by the covered bridge. We went to Doe River and fed the hungry ducks. JD only wanted to dip his feet in the river so I agreed. By the time we got home he had to completely change for a play date with his cousin Benjamin. They played for hours until Benjamin’s mom picked him up. Thus ends Tuesday. Wednesday JD, me, Grammy, and Papaw went to the lake for a relaxing day of fishing. We took a Subway lunch and fully enjoyed the day. Although JD “did not catch even one fish.” Thursday JD, me, Grammy, and Papaw went to the Natural History Museum that was in Gray TN. It was really nice for it’s small size. Amazing that we’re still finding prehistoric creatures today. The museum was almost all entirely hands on so JD was occupied the whole time. After our visit to the museum JD, me, and Grammy went to Erwin to visit our grand babies. The girls look great and happy. (As do their parents) You know when there are babies around we tend to overlook the parents. It was a joy to hold Isabella and play with Suri. Friday was go home day. JD and I left at lunch time to head back to North Carolina. We completely enjoyed ourselves at Grammy and Papaw’s house. It was the brain break I needed. I just wish Jeff could have come, but unfortunately he just started a new job and did not have any vacation days yet. Thanks again for having us. We loved every minute and memory of it. (Smile)