Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas crafts

Since we basically took off the entire month of December (with the exception of a few days) we had time to do some crafts. The first thing we tried is paper plate angels. It made a huge mess so I assume it was fun!

 I got the idea from here:

Later, we made hearts out of homemade modeling clay. I baked it in the oven and after it cooled we painted it with kid's washable paint. When that dried I painted over it with Elmer's glue to seal it and give it a shine. All it did was mess up our paint. I wish I had skipped the last step. On Christmas Day we gave our "hearts" to Jesus. I'm saving them in a box so we can look at them against next year. I'd love to make this a tradition every year.

I've enjoyed the time off but I'm ready to get started back schooling in January. I have a new math program coming in so I'm looking forward to trying (and hopefully loving and sticking with) something new.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What did I do today?

The plan is to take the week off and get this house in order. We'll do some light schooling next week and take the week after Christmas off. I'm revamping my curriculum right now since A Beka is just not working for us like I 'd hoped.
My goal for the day was to organize the baby's room. Well, I started on it. Does that count? I put the school desk in the living room. I put up a load of diaper laundry. I cooked 3 meals. The rest of the day was spent on the computer reading about Shiller Math and Montessori style of teaching.
So, I wasn't as productive as I'd hoped but there's always tomorrow.....

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Being a mother is significant

This morning I sat in church with two out of three girls. Normally child care is provided but it wasn't for this particular service. I thought I'd brave it anyway. I could tell the music was great but I was too busy keeping the baby happy. The preaching started and I caught bits and pieces of it in between hushing the baby, shoveling snacks down her throat as fast as I could, and making the other kid JUST BE STILL. I could feel the frustration level rising. And I thought, "I can't even listen to ONE service without having to fight with kids!"

There must have been enough lull in the activity for me to catch some of the preaching. Of course, it was out of Luke. Appropriate for the time of the year at Christmas. A good portion of the service was on Mary. Who was she? What was she called to? How did she feel about it? Then that still small voice spoke to my heart. Mary's calling was to be a mother.
Mary was an unwed teenage virgin from an insignificant family in an insignificant town. There was no way to make light of her pregnancy. She said yes to God and gave up her life. In her peers eyes she was an adulteress worthy of death.
She became the mother of Jesus. Because of that, few supported her. Few appreciated her. Many devalued her. But it didn't matter because she was called by God.
Mary had no idea what she was facing. Being a mother is challenge enough. Being a mother to God? Read the rest of the story and you know that she didn't have it easy.
She said yes to being a mother. That was her greatest calling. It was very significant.

I may not be the mother of God but, I think, any mother faces challenges. I know that it's very common for a mother to feel under appreciated and under valued. But being a mother is never insignificant.

Here's the link to the message about Mary.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

We made Play doh

We didn't officially school yesterday. I'm taking it real easy for the month of December. I think we're all feeling a need for a break. I don't want to be completely rid of that structure that school provides so I still try to do an activity of some sort. Today we made play doh. I could have just bought it but I'm leery of the ingredients. Plus, it's sort of a math lesson to get in the kitchen and make it yourself.
The first recipes I tried was this one:
1 1/4 cup flour
4 Tablespoons salt
1/2 c water
food coloring
It turned out alright. It was a little gritty from the salt, I think.

The second recipe I tried was this one:
1/2 cup salt
2 1/2 cups flour
3 Tablespoons oil
2 cups boiling water.
What a disaster! It was terribly sticky so I just kept adding flour. It never did reach the right consistency. I gave up on it.

I looked at a few other recipes online and decided to modify the first recipe that I used. I like it best.
1 1/4 cup flour
4 Tablespoon salt
1/2 Tablespoon cream of tartar
1/2 c warm water
food coloring
I add the food color to the water and then add the salt. Using warm water helps to dissolve the salt so it doesn't feel gritty. Adding the cream of tartar helps with consistency too. It makes it more stretchy. This recipe can easily be doubled.

The girls loved it. They were able to see how play doh is made and the reward was playing with it!
We made some colored play doh. One batch was left without color so we can shape it into Christmas ornaments, bake it, and then paint it.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Rare and Beautiful Treasures

Proverbs 24:3-4 By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.

I named our home school Rare Treasures. I would have named it Rare and Beautiful Treasures but that seemed such a mouthful.
Home school is indeed rare. There's alot of focus on that part. Because of it's rarity, it's also very misunderstood. I misunderstood it myself at one time. Home school children are socially challenged (in other words, weird). Home school parents are overprotective. You have to be super smart to be a home school parent. Right? Home school. Not for me. No mam!
Then God told me to home school my children. Come again? I think you have the wrong mama. I'm not incapable of learning but I'm not what you would consider the sharpest tool in the shed nor the brightest crayon in the box. Neither have I won any awards for the World's Most Patient Mother. What will my family and friends say? No, I'm SURE you have the wrong mama.
Peace. I remember the moment that He said "This is my answer for you." Despite my fear and doubt, I had peace. If He told me to do it, then it would work. So far, it has.
We've been at this for a little over four months now. Oh, the beauty! Rare, yes. Beautiful, indeed. This is one of the hardest things I've ever done. I started experiencing a fatigue that I usually only feel during pregnancy. Not cool! My house fell apart. It was the dirtiest it's ever been. My emotions were a wreck at times. I was tired, so tired. And sometimes I felt so ...... alone. How is that beautiful? It just is. I came through it. I'm learning and growing.
I've started this blog to record those rare and beautiful moments. I realize that one day this part of my life will be over. I love to express myself with words. Anyone who knows me would testify to the validity of that statement! Journaling is soothing to me. I also love to go back and see where I've come from. How I've grown. How I could be better. And to be able to relive the rare and beautiful moments captured in words (however un-eloquent they may be).
Here's to many more rare and beautiful moments and the treasures they will bring.