Thursday, September 29, 2011

Do you have a friend?

Lamb 3 is going to his kindergarten screening at the school tomorrow. He is so excited, every day this week he has asked if it is the day yet. I'm glad he's also encouraged his brothers to go to sleep early so that he can have his rest because he is going to school on Friday!
One of the questions in all the paperwork that I had to fill out in preparation for Friday asked if the child could name a friend. Because we have so few children in our church and because the Lambs rarely play with other children besides their brothers, I thought I better ask Lamb 3. His answer, "my friend is Carol". The girl in Sunday School with Lamb 3 also starts with a C so I thought he wasn't talking clearly. Then I realized that his friend is the church member/neighbor lady. Yes, Lamb 3 it is ok to have friends of all ages, even retired ones.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday-My hunters

Shh! I know it is before opening season and that they have some illegal!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My microwave

A few years ago our family gave up microwave popcorn. I pulled out the air popper I took to college (boy did the RA give me a difficult time about that until I showed her popcorn makers were not on the list of unallowed appliances!) I don't think the boys ever remember making popcorn in the microwave. That air popper that I spent $3 on at the thrift shop 17 years ago is still working!
After hearing how evil microwaves are for the past few years, Ram and I talked about putting our microwave in the basement. I figured if I thought it was important enough to run downstairs to use it I would use it much less frequently than I do now. Today my microwave died and we are not going to replace it. I had planned to have a trial with the basement, but we are going cold turkey. (Pun intended!)
My parents bought this microwave when they thought theirs was dying, but it didn't die. It sat in the box until I took it to my first house in 1998. I have no idea what the normal life for a microwave is, but I would say my parents got their money worth.
Today we had to heat homemade fudge sauce for our ice cream on top of the stove. I had to melt butter for a recipe on top of the stove. It sure makes more dishes to not have a microwave, but it isn't that bad. If what the reports say, it will be much healthier for our family too. I have much more counter space too.
So do you use your microwave often?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Random updating post

1. Ram will announce his decision on the Call this Sunday. He will not visit the congregation before his decision.
2. I attended a presentation by MCCL tonight. Ram was nice enough to put the Lambs to bed for me to attend. Before the meeting I thought I was pretty up to date on what was happening. There were facts given at this meeting that are horrifying for the direction America is taking. We need to keep the unborn, disabled, and elderly in our prayers. I will probably be posting some of what I learned in future posts. In the meantime feel free to check out their website.
3. Since Lamb 1 was born I have always had an extra laundry basket sitting in my laundry room-when there was something with stains or something that needed to be washed separately I would throw it in there. I am happy to report that it took me 7 1/2 years, but I finally completed all the clothing in that basket. It was full last week and I tackled one piece at a time. The ones with stains I washed with normal soap and then hung them on the line outside for about 3 days in this beautiful sunshine we have had. I was amazed that without any stain remover almost all those stains were bleached by the sun. It feels good to have that completed. Hopefully the Lambs didn't outgrow them before I put them back in their drawers!
4. Our family worked outside together all afternoon on Saturday. The weather was beautiful and we got a lot of yardwork done. Ram borrowed a pick up truck and took several loads up to the dump. We also cut bushes and tore out the garden. All the Lambs helped and it feels so good to have our yard ready for winter.
5. Our calendar is full right now and it seems everyone I talk to has the same busy schedule. Ram has done weddings in the area, but this Saturday he will do his first wedding at one of our three churches. The bride is the first confirmand he had. Our family is so excited to go to her wedding and reception. That is where we live-in 8 1/2 years he did so many funerals that I lost count but only one wedding. The end of this week will be very busy getting ready for that, which reminds me I should give the Lambs and Ram haircuts soon too.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

If you pray for rain be prepared to deal with some mud!

I have a Mary Engelbright bookmark with this saying on it. For the last few years we have prayed for a Call for Ram. We went from the second largest city in IN to a town of 113 in MN. It took me a long time to get to this point, but I can honestly say that we like living here and I do not want to move. But we can tell that these small churches will soon no longer be able to afford a pastor with 8 years experience like Ram. We continued to pray and nothing seemed to be happening.

Yesterday Ram received the paperwork that he has a Call to ID near Boise. The church is in a growing area. Many things that were in our prayers and dreams for the future are right about this Call. We would be 3 hours from Ram's parents. We would live near my college friend, Joelle. We would live near Costco. We would live near the state capital. I could go on and on about the things that are "right" about this Call. I was shocked that he received this Call and I don't know why because it is what we've been asking for in our prayers.

We prayed for "rain" and we received "rain" which made "mud". It is a difficult decision for Ram to make for our family. Please keep Ram in your prayers while he is considering this Call. Please pray for me to be a good wife whatever his decision is. Our Lambs only know life in a very small town where they could play in the street, had to walk to the post office as mail wasn't delivered, and had to drive 3 hours to go to the dentist. Please pray for the Lambs to adjust if the decision is yes. Please pray for our three churches here in MN.

Ram plans to announce at both the church there and the churches here what his decision is on October 2.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

He Remembers the Barren Book Tour

I know this is far in advance, but I thought I would post this here for any in the area. The author plans God willing to be these two places in November-

Friday, November 4, 2011, 7:00 p.m. 
Immanuel Lutheran Church
604 Bush Street, Lakefield, MN 56150

Saturday, November 5, 2011, 10:30 a.m.
Zion Lutheran Church
620 E 3rd Ave., Mitchell, South Dakota 57301

Monday, September 19, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my mom! The Lambs made cards and of course a flag with her birthday number to put on her dessert. When we called her today she wasn't sure if she was going to have dessert so she might need to put her flag on her main course. We started this new tradition this year of flags on our birthday cake. The Lambs are always excited to see what number will be on the cake.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

New MN Homeschool Law

This was the first year we were required to turn in paperwork to our school superintendent for homeschooling because Lamb 1 is now 7 years old. Last year I looked at the law and figured out in my mind what we needed to gather-copy of parent college diploma, calendar we would use, etc.
Our state government was shut down for about 20 days this summer and then one of the first orders of business after the shut down ended was to make the homeschooling law easier for homeschoolers.

I turned in the form for Lamb 1 on Friday. This is what was required under the new law-
Child's Name and birthdate
Immunization Information (we had to get a notary to sign ours because the Lambs do not have varicella vaccine plus the report from their doctor that they have all their other required vaccines)
What test (each student must take a norm-referenced standardized achievement exam) and where it will be administered-in our case we plan to give the CAT at home

That's it! I know that many states are even easier than that and even under the old system MN was not that bad for what we were required to report compared to some other states. I'm just glad that our system is easier for us now.

I'm glad to get one more thing checked off my to do list and turn in the form before the October 1 deadline. Lamb 2 has already had two sessions with his new speech teacher too. So actually 2 things are crossed off the list. I'm hoping that the superintendent understands the new law enough to approve our form as first time reporters. (I don't expect him to fully understand the new law because it is so new. The hope for homeschoolers is to turn in the form and be left alone until they turn in the form next year.)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Oh, Ewe of little faith...

I do the financial books in our family. September is always a rough month paying the for a propane fill for heat, paying ahead for all our propane for the winter (much cheaper to pay for it in September than as it is filled during the winter), and paying quarterly estimated taxes on top of the other regular bills. We took a few trips (Doxology, Betsy Tacy houses, DeSmet, SD) this summer and those credit card bills are now due. The electric bill was high after air conditioning from our warm days this summer. We try to save throughout the year to be prepared for this but that doesn't always work out. We do have money in savings and Ram reminded me that is what the money in savings is for, but I hate to tap into that savings to just pay bills-would rather save the savings for true emergencies. So I was thinking about this but not truly worried about it.
I try to usually pay bills immediately when we receive them but I had a couple sitting here waiting for money to pay them even though I knew I couldn't wait as long as pay day because they were due before that.
Ram did a funeral last Saturday and we've been so busy that I forgot that pastors often get a  check for funerals until he handed it to me. Then all 3 of the churches gave him his paychecks a few days before pay day. It is very rare that any of the churches pay him early, usually they are right on time for pay day. (So thankful for that, I know that isn't true for all churches!)

Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

I just love to see how God has provided for our needs after we pray about it and sometimes before we even ask Him!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sunday School 2011-2012

September 11 was the first day of Sunday School for us. There is one other family with 3 children besides our family. The teacher that is over 80 years old along with one other lady to help teaches the boys-Lamb 1 and 2 and another 7 year old boy. The dad of the other family with kids at our church teaches his 4th grade daughter. I am teaching Lamb 3 and their 2 year old girl. We have a SS opening and then the two older classes use CPH Growing in Christ materials.
Lamb 1 asked me if I ever taught Sunday School before. It got me thinking, I hadn't taught Sunday School since 1993! I helped with SS and VBS some years but I didn't teach. I taught kindergarten SS when I was in high school and also taught VBS at a neighboring town the summer of '93. Then I went back to college and lived there during the summer and didn't have another chance to teach SS. When I taught in the LCMS school the church did not like day school teachers to teach SS-they liked them to attend Bible class and have a day off of teaching once a week, which I appreciated. Since we moved here I wasn't needed to teach and with young children I didn't volunteer for anything extra.
We chose to not buy any extra materials for my class since it is 2 and 3 year olds. It was fun to go through my files and see what I could find plus we are using the CPH Bible story posters that I purchased a few years ago. They have a very short attention span as compared to the first graders in my classroom so I'm glad we chose to not buy more materials.
I was mildly concerned that the homeschooled Lambs would be behind the other boy (public school) in their class. Lamb 2 still has a difficult time writing his name without gentle reminders to check that all the letters in his name are facing the correct direction. I was so happy to see him write his name correctly as he was drawing during church today-that was a clue to me that he probably wrote it correctly during SS too. Lamb 1 is very shy and I know he can read but he doesn't read to me very often and talks to others even less than he does to Ram and me. On the way home from church he mentioned that the SS teacher asked him to read a prayer on the worksheet. He admitted that he did but she had to help him with ONE word. I started to praise him and he got embarrassed and acted like what is the big deal, I just read the prayer mom! I looked at the prayer and it wasn't the easiest vocabulary or short. Now if I could just motivate them to do that well during homeschool for me!

*The prayer Lamb 1 read-
Dear God, You have given me a family. Forgive me when I lie, deceive, or become jealous of others in my family. Thank You for making me Your child in Baptism, for forgiving my sin, and for blessing me with a place in Your family through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.
(CPH 2011)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Home Schooling Book Part 2

I will continue my reflections of Home Schooling A Family's Journey.

I also find it interesting that our homeschool currently has all boys. It would be a very different environment if both sexes were represented like in the Millman family. Lamb 1 has a high need for me to approve and see that he has done his math work-he often won't start until I am done teaching Lamb 2 and 3 even though he could easily do it by himself. He just "needs" me to sit next to him and give him the attention that I see he is working. I can see that he is goal-oriented-he needs me to "see" he does his work. I don't believe if Lamb 1 was a girl that he would have this high of a need. Lamb 1 also only talks when necessary-I believe our homeschool would be very different if he was a girl. Lamb 1 knows how to read but he won't sit down and read a book to himself-he wants to read to his brothers or to Ram or Ewe. So far I see it as an advantage that we have an all boys school.
The book talks about one of their college daughters noticing a mushroom growing near her dorm. When she spoke to her friends about it none of them had noticed it. She couldn't believe this because it was right near the entrance to their dorm. I believe we are teaching our Lambs in a similar way-they are so observant of nature. Much of their play time outside is looking for toads and caterpillars and Lamb 1 often runs to get a book to try to identify them.
The book has a whole chapter about travel as part of a homeschool education. My family traveled much like the Millman family. We went to museums and historical sites on our vacations and with the exception of Disney World once not to amusement parks. I don't know if I would take my kids to Italy like they do, but I do hope to travel a lot as part of homeschool.
The next chapter talked about The Family Dinner as Homeschooling. We do eat a variety of foods and sit down and enjoy dinner together. We do devotions together as part of lunch or dinner. We often will make or buy a food that they have not heard about when we read about it.
Where we live there are not the options for field trips and enrichment classes that the Millman family has in NJ. But we have taken what was offered in this rural area and added to it when we visit family out of state. Our early childhood group does many field trips and learning activities that we participate in. The Lambs took swimming lessons and soccer this past summer. Lamb 1 is starting piano lessons now. We took the time to see the Betsy Tacy houses and DeSmet, SD. Some of our homeschool is every day activities in the area-running errands or taking time to walk around a park. The fact that last month was the first time that Ram and I left the Lambs shows that they are often going places with us.
The chapter about college admission would be helpful to reread when the Lambs are closer to college age.
So those are my thoughts after reading this book. I would highly recommend reading this book if you are new to homeschooling or considering homeschooling. If you've been homeschooling for awhile and you are happy with how it is going in your family then I don't see this book being as useful. But if you are stuck and not happy with how homeschooling is going but want to continue, this book is very motivating.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Home Schooling Book Part 1

Indiana Jane recommended Home Schooling A Family's Journey by Gregory and Martine Millman here. First let me say that I have never read a book about homeschooling before. That may surprise you, but Ram and I decided to homeschool and then I went straight to HOW we wanted to homeschool, never took the time to read a book about WHY to homeschool. I think I might own a few books about why to homeschool, but I haven't read them. A home schooling book is never going to be in the "new books" section of my small library. So if I want to read a homeschooling book from the library I have to take the time to inter-library loan it.
I thought this book was interesting of how and why one family homeschooled. I would highly recommend it for someone considering homeschooling. I agreed with much of how they did homeschooling. But there weren't a ton of new ideas for home schooling for me. Maybe Indiana Jane has tried reading other home schooling books before and this one was exceptional for her. I will write some of my thoughts after reading this book. They are more reflections of how we homeschool vs. how the Millmans homeschool.

Ram was homeschooled for some of his elementary school years. Both Ram and I had moms that stayed home with us for most if not all of our time at home. When I was a teacher in the classroom I saw students that needed more one on one time than a classroom teacher could give them. I didn't want to put my young boys on the school bus for 7 miles with the high school students. All that put together plus more influenced our decision to homeschool.
One idea I never thought of before but is true is that on an one income family it economically makes sense to homeschool. I do have a friend that started homeschooling and one of the reasons was they could not afford the LCMS school tuition for all their children and continue to let mom stay at home.
The Millman family does not school at home in a traditional sense of a strict schedule and using textbooks. We don't either although many homeschoolers would say we have a stricter schedule than they do. I personally need the structure of the day if I expect to get anything done (housework!) besides homeschooling. The Lambs need the boundaries of when school will be done and they can play. I keep it a secret that many of their toys (Legos included) are educational. I do expect the Lambs to sit at a student desk to do handwriting. Other than that the rest of our "school time" takes place at the kitchen table or on the sofa or outside of the house.
The Millman family lets their kids watch limited TV-we only let our Lambs watch approved movies-no TV.  So far Ram and I have approved all the books that come into this house-either library books or books for us to own. Some modern classics have gone straight to the give away pile at our house (Olivia). The Millmans also screen books coming into the house for style and substance.
To be continued tomorrow...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I know the Lambs are homeschooled because. . .

I'm posting this to remind myself on bad days why we homeschool!
1. The Lambs called each other names last week when they were upset with each other-only they called each other names in Latin! I heard, "You're a Cancer!" and then "Well, you're a Capricorn!" and then to top it all off, "You're a Virgo!" They were soon laughing and not upset with each other. (I don't want to encourage the last one listed here though.)
2. When the Lambs have time to play they play things like-
-Lamb 1 reading a Bible story book to Lamb 2 and 3
-they build a "library" in the living room and pretend to check out books to each other
-they organize rocks on the sidewalk in shapes and I bet they counted them as they laid them out
-they go on a pretend nature hunt inside the house when it's too hot to play outside and stop several times to read
-they build a fort under the dining room table and have to bring books inside the fort
-when they find a caterpillar outside two are told to watch it while the other one runs inside to get a book to identify it
3. I began homeschool with a few subjects and waited until Labor Day to add all subjects. All the Lambs complained that we weren't doing enough school. No one complained when all subjects were added that it was taking too long.
4. Many days some or all of the Lambs only have on underwear until 11am.
5. The Lambs beg to be asked questions during Bible story and sometimes try to answer questions before I finish asking them or suggest a good question for me to ask!

Monday, September 12, 2011

15 minute warning

I received an e-mail last week describing a man and his wife (Dr. Lou and Martha Jander) that had retired to TX after many years of faithful service to the LCMS. On Sunday afternoon, September 4, he was watching TV when there was a loud knock at the door. He was told he had 15 minutes to evacuate his house. He talked about how fast those 15 minutes went trying to gather everything important. They gathered a few important things, their dogs, and each took one of their cars. Everything they now own from 45 years of marriage is now in one of their cars.
It got me to thinking, if I had 15 minutes, what would I try to save from my house? Some of the things that I would try to save are packed up and might not be possible to find in just 15 minutes.
1. photos-I have several boxes at different points ready to scrapbook-I would grab a few boxes and of course the scrapbooks, but probably wouldn't be able to sort through which boxes were the most important
2. quilts from my grandma and family linens like that-again, they are organized in different places in our house-not sure I could find the right ones
3. not all my china, but there are some pieces in the china cupboard that I would want to take-not realistic to pack those up so they wouldn't break
4. I know there are certain books that Ram would want-not realistic to choose the old books from my grandfather etc. in just 15 minutes
5. Important things for the Lambs-not realistic to go through a couple of tubs of baby clothes and pick out my favorites. I do have their blankets from baptism in small tubs in their closet. If there was room I could take those 3 tubs, but not a whole lot would be saved there.
6. I would try to take our computer as much information and photos since the Lambs were born is on there.
7. My great grandma's hymnal
8. Christmas ornaments-that is what I often get as a souvenir on vacations plus lots of homemade ornaments-again not time to choose which ones in 15 minutes
9. Practical sense says to take a change of clothes and my purse but know that wouldn't be as important as the other items listed above-not sure I could grab a change of clothes for all 5 of us while grabbing everything else.

Things that I would not take-
1. Anything that could be replaced.
2. My wedding gown-right now I only have boys and don't see a daughter wearing it some day. I have photos of our wedding day. (Negatives for our wedding photos are not stored in our house.)
3. We don't have any pets.
4. Family movies-Our parents have copies of our wedding and the Lambs baptisms-don't consider much more of that family camcorded stuff to be important
5. I would really like to take some toys for the Lambs so they wouldn't lose "everything". But I have no idea what to take for them-Legos etc. could be replaced. I think I would probably have them take their matchbox cars as a couple of boxes of those would be easy to take and they would have something to play with when we evacuated. But matchbox cars are not their favorite toys. None of the Lambs have a favorite stuffed animal or blanket etc. They wouldn't understand the seriousness of just 15 minutes to pick toys.

I have a friend that has a bag packed ready to go in case of evacuation-important papers, change of clothes for everyone in the family. I think that is a great idea but wonder if I would really keep up with "updating" that bag with clothes to fit the Lambs and continue to keep important papers in there.

I have a friend that had a house fire and while I don't mean to downplay the consequences of a house fire, she did joke that she never has those boxes in the basement that really should be gone through. Throughout the year I spend hours going through "stuff" and finding a new home for it.

I understand that emergencies like tornadoes or floods or house fires don't always give you the 15 minutes to gather any belongings. I understand that 15 minutes is not very long. But I do think thinking about this is important to see where your values are. Perhaps it will also be a little motivation to pack that emergency bag and get my scrapbook stuff organized a little better. Perhaps it will also be a conversation starter with the Lambs to get them thinking about what is important to them. Lamb 1 thinks EVERYTHING is important to keep-thinking about this would be good for him.

Dr. Jander said in his e-mail that his wife and himself were safe and everything else was just "stuff". He ended his e-mail "To God be the Glory". I pray that if we are ever in a similar situation I can have an attitude like that. I don't know the Janders, but they along with the others from TX are in my prayers. May God give them the strength to go through the long days they have ahead of them after this.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years

The blog world and e-mails recently for me have been full of 9/11 anniversary news. I suppose if I had TV or did Facebook I would have heard even more of it. When the e-mails first started coming in my first reaction was "It's ONLY been 10 years. Why isn't all this focus on a BIG anniversary like Pearl Harbor?"
Then as the 9/11 info kept coming in I changed my thinking a little. 10 years ago:

Ram and I were not married. We were engaged but there were still a lot of details for the wedding to work out. We had no children.
Ram was on vicarage and I was teaching.
I lived by myself in an 800 square foot house in Fort Wayne.
Ram's younger brother was still alive.
Both of my grandmas, all 4 of Ram's grandparents, and several of our great-aunts and great-uncles were still with us.
I owned a Saturn.
My computer had dial up AOL.
I owned a TV without cable (3 free stations) and a VCR.

So I guess a lot happens in just 10 years. I still didn't pay a lot of attention to the 9/11 anniversary news. Yesterday I received a link to this site from Cate. When I watched that it brought back these memories and tears-

I was finishing up getting ready for the students to come for another day of school. One of my students came in with her dad a few minutes before class. The headmaster came and got all of us (student, her dad, me) and said we had to watch what was on TV. The news kept replaying the damage to the first tower. My sheltered American view first reaction was that it was pilot error, not terrorism. The headmaster quickly broke my naive view. It was time for class to begin so I rushed to my classroom unsure of what to say to my students. I had to say something because the one student had watched the news with me. I tried to say a prayer with my students. It was so difficult to remain focused on teaching and calm around my students. I had very little information at that point nor did I know how to talk about this with 1st graders. I heard about it right before school started so the teachers did not have time to plan together what to say to our students.
We had daily chapel so it was good to have that first thing in the morning. On the way out of chapel the pastor stopped me to talk about our wedding that we had planned a few months later. Without going into all the details, after that conversation I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get married at the church I wanted to get married at. So I had two huge burdens that day while I taught. I didn't have recess duty that morning so I went over to the cafeteria and watched news for the whole recess and saw Bush speak from Florida.The end of the day we rushed to get a note to the students that there would be a prayer service that night at our church.
There was panic over gas rationing and I spent a couple of hours waiting in line to get gas. I tried to grade papers and use the time wisely but I just wanted to listen to the news.
The prayer service was wonderful that evening. We sang some patriotic hymns that I didn't even know were in our hymnal. It was amazing how word had spread through our congregation that there was a service and how many of our members and their friends came that evening. Everyone stopped what they were doing to come together in prayer that evening.
After the service I talked to my parents about the wedding problem and cried at the thought that we might have to change our wedding date or place that we get married.
I stopped at Walgreens and bought some newspapers to have a paper memory of that day.
After all that I finally was able to call Ram. We talked for hours about the wedding problem, about how his dad traveled for work often and how nervous our family was going to be when he was able to fly again, about Ram's younger brother was in the hospital and how was his mom going to get home after visiting him, about how Ram had plans to fly to a wedding a few weeks later, and what had happened to us during the day. We ended our phone calls with Compline and it was so good to finish our phone call that way after that terrible day.
It's a blur to me what happened the next few days. I remember the wedding problem being totally cleared up the next day and we were able to be married on the date we planned at the church we planned. I remember Bush speaking to America but not sure if I watched it live or when it was replayed the next day or if I taped it. I really did not watch very much news coverage as I was either at school teaching or on the phone with Ram most of the next few days. By the weekend when I had time to watch it I had had enough of seeing the same photos over and over.

One part that I don't know how to explain to children that were too young to remember or not born yet like the Lambs is this was not a one day event. This was on the minds of Americans for months. It was in the back of our mind when we were married 3 1/2 months later-it was a real fear that all of Ram's family, some of my family, and several of our friends were going to be flying to our wedding. I remember real relief meeting Ram's parents at the airport a few days before our wedding. Our best man almost didn't make it to our wedding because of new regulations and he was flying from Canada to our wedding. My dad ended up driving to Chicago to pick him up a few days before our wedding so that he could be there. I know that 10 years later this story is not over, but especially the whole next year everyone had a true fear in the back of their mind continuously.

We spoke to the Lambs about this a little bit this week. Lamb 1 is older than the students in my classroom but since it was 10 years ago I did not share as much with him as I did with my first grade students then. I have a new sympathy for the parents of my first graders then-how do you explain this without giving them a total panic? Those first graders have almost graduated from high school now.

I am thankful that the 10th anniversary is on a Sunday so we can spend some time together in prayer. Our church is not doing anything special besides having a special bulletin cover and prayers and singing some patriotic hymns. But that is enough as it is on all of our hearts and minds today any way. I'm sure today's church service will bring back memories for me of that prayer service in the evening 10 years ago.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Agnus Dei Lutheran Academy 2011-2012 Daily Schedule Part 3

2-3 Boys rest time (educational movie or nap
or play/read quietly)/ Mama nap?

3-3:30 Tea time/Music

3:30-4 Art T/R

4-5 Boys play/Mama declutter

5-6 Make and eat supper and clean up

6-6:30 Boys play/Mama housework

6:30-7 Boys clean up living room

7-7:30 Read aloud-fiction, science (see
side of blog for current study), history
(homemade list of Ancients, may post
more on our history schedule as we get
into this quarter)

7:30-8pm Get ready for bed/bath (some nights)/prayers (Kyrie, Lord's Prayer, 
Creed, Luther's Evening Prayer, hymn 
(one practiced in morning), I am Jesus 
Little LambNow the Light has Gone 

8-9pm Boys in bed listen to story on CD 
or classical music/Mama correspondence 

9-10 Mama computer time

10-11 Ram and Ewe Compline and 
Together Time

11PM-8AM Sleep

Weekly Activities-not sure of exact days 
or times yet
Lamb 3 ECFE-Tuesday afternoon
Lamb 1 (maybe Lamb 2 too) piano lessons-probably Tuesday afternoon
Lamb 2 speech class-Friday morning

Friday, September 9, 2011

Agnus Dei Lutheran Academy 2011-2012 Daily Schedule Part 2

I left a comment for Melrose on my first post about our schedule (two days ago) to answer her question about if we do these daily or a rotation during the week.
In case she has the same question for this post-We do work on all this for the whole hour of 10-11. We don't always get a whole lot of all of this in for 3 Lambs in just one hour. We do try to get to all of it (writing, phonics, reading, spelling) because I believe it is the most important academic work for the early grades. Working on each part daily even if some is for a short time is more important to me than working for a long time on one part. They work hard until 11am and then they are rewarded with some time outside. I do try to get the "academic work" done by 11am. We aren't done with school yet but the afternoon/evening is fun activities or my reading aloud to them.
Also Lamb 1 is in second grade this year and does everything in our homeschool schedule-sometimes Lamb 2 and 3 play and don't get to everything and I don't worry because they are just 5 and 3. We did not do this much when Lamb 1 was just 5-we have worked our way to this.

10-11am Writing Road to Reading (mainly phonograms and spelling) /Handwriting (homemade worksheets)/Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading (especially for Lamb 2, but also Lamb 1 review) /Lamb 1 read (one time in the day that I will listen to him read to me, I don't always make the time to listen to him read until bedtime and then he's tired so it is on the schedule here)
During this time I also plan to spend a little time working with Lamb 3-nothing serious for a 3 year old but practice holding a pencil correctly, basic workbooks for coloring, etc. Lamb 3 is very anxious for this time. Before this year he's always been told to play while he watches his brothers each get their own time with Mama.

11-11:30 Outside time/walk to post office

11:30-12:30 Make lunch/ Devotions (rotate Matins and Vespers etc., prayer time as a family, read a Psalm together daily for a month)/ Eat lunch/ vitamins and cod liver oil/ clean up

12:30-1:30 Chores/Mama housework/boys get ready for rest time/boys play if extra time

1:30-2 Board Game/Card Game/Do puzzles (trying to get the Lambs to use some of these educational games we have by putting it on the schedule!)

To be continued next time. . .

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Man in the Middle

Timothy Goeglein was a member of my former church in Fort Wayne. He worked in the White House for President George W. Bush. We were so sad to hear about his plagiarism and resignation. We trusted in God, but were worried for him and his family when he resigned his job.  He has written a book that gives an insider's view of Bush's time in the White House. The book is called The Man in the Middle. Here's a video by Mr. Goeglein. He is now the vice president of External Relations for Focus on the Family.
I preordered my copy today. When are you going to order yours?

HT: Rev. Joel Brondos

Postings about our homeschool schedule should continue tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Agnus Dei Lutheran Academy 2011-2012 Daily Schedule Part 1

The Mama asked me to list what we are doing for school and I thought I would do list it by our schedule. Feel free to leave a comment with questions if you want more explanation. It will take me a few days to post our entire day.

Ram and I spent some time planning "religion" for this year. We wanted the entire day organized of prayer and devotion time in our house. We decided to make the morning time where we work on "teaching" Bible story and memory work. Lunch time will be our family time to pray together and for the Lambs to begin learning Liturgy (Matins/Vespers/etc.). We shortened some of what we used to do at bedtime and put it at lunch time where no one is too tired to participate. I'll be honest that it is taking several days for the Lambs to adjust to this new schedule and they complain about it basically because it is not what we've done before. I'm hopeful that our new system will work after we get used to it. I'm also hopeful that this new way will work when we add in all school subjects again too. Part of the reason for this new schedule is if we get busy and miss one of the times (morning, lunch, or bedtime), they will still get two times of devotions in daily.

Lamb 1- 7.5 years old, second grade
Lamb 2- 5 years old, kindergarten
Lamb 3- 3 years old, preschool

8-8:30am Ewe read (personal time)/Lambs play

8:30-9 Invocation/Luther's Morning Prayer/Bible Verse (verse of the week from Sunday School)/Poem (Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization by Andrew Pudewa)/Calendar (Lambs write down weather daily and holidays-family birthdays etc.)/Breakfast/Get Dressed

9-9:30 Bible Story (CPH posters)/ Hymn (practice hymn that we will be singing in church each week)/ Catechism (CPH Sing the Faith CD)/ Latin (Prima Latina and Song School Latin)/ Geography Song (Geography Songs by Larry Troxel)/ Math Song (Math U See CD, also Scholastic Tunes that Teach Multiplication Facts CD)

9:30-10 Math- Lamb 1 has about 20 lessons left to finish in Saxon Math 2, then I want him to work on his math facts for about a month, then (I'm hoping about Thanksgiving time, but we'll see) he will begin Saxon Math 3. After he finishes Saxon Math 3 we are switching but I don't know what to. I don't expect him to finish Saxon Math 3 this school year, but we will see.
Lamb 2 will continue in Math U See Alpha, hopefully finish this school year.

Lamb 3 will listen/sing with us from 8:30-9:30 and be allowed to play while Lamb 1 and 2 do math.

To be continued next time...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

When we talked to our family on the phone they were surprised that we had no plans for Labor Day Weekend. Here's what happened.
Last Monday Ewe had to have a toenail removed. Disgusting story, but doctor was very glad to see the problem was just the toenail, not my toe. I figured I would have to be off my feet for a few days so I prepared for that the week before. The week before I did a ton of yardwork, gardening, cleaning (both garages, clean out cars, clean up basement, etc. in addition to regular cleaning), and canning (pickled beets and pickle relish). This last week I did things I could do sitting down-made photo books, sent photos to Snapfish, worked on going through some boxes of papers etc., paid bills, and got birthday and other cards ready to send. I got the Lambs started going through some of their things (papers and other treasures) and keeping some important to them and pitched the rest. I was doing work this week, but it wasn't the heavy work of the week before. I wasn't bored, but it was definitely a different kind of work. I felt lazy even though I was still working.
The toenail is healing and every day I tried to do a little more. The doctor said I didn't ever need to be off my feet, just to do what my body told me to do. So by this weekend I was ready to do work again. Our garden did half well and I needed to take care of those veggies. I did dishes, laundry, put tomatoes in the freezer, made applesauce and we ate a bunch right away and I froze the rest, put beets in the freezer, and shredded zucchini and put it in the freezer.
Over the long weekend we talked to all of our family on the phone or Skype-my sister, her fiance, Ram's grandma, and both sets of our parents. We grilled out on Labor Day.
I did some planning and made copies to teach Sunday School this fall for Lamb 3 and a little girl his age. I did some planning and made some copies for homeschool. We begin all school subjects today.
Lamb 1 turned 7 1/2 on Labor Day so he picked a dessert for me to make. He chose blueberry pie so I got a couple of bags of the blueberries he helped pick in July out of the freezer. Everyone except Lamb 3 was glad he picked that dessert!
So no, we didn't go anywhere or get together with friends or do any big projects over Labor Day weekend. It was a regular weekend with church, lots of times for the Lambs to play outside in this nice weather, and Ewe to get some work done around the house.

Monday, September 5, 2011

DeSmet, SD Part 3

It was after 6pm and we were getting hot and tired, but we fit in a few more sightseeing sites in DeSmet. On the corner of the Ingalls Homestead there is the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Site. This corner was donated to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society in 1957. This is where the 5 cottonwood trees remain from Pa's homestead claim. Laura said during her 1937 visit to DeSmet, "Yes, these are trees my Pa planted".

This is the original Loftus Store. It was closed by the time we got there. It is interesting that it is still there.

Then we went to the DeSmet Cemetery and saw the graves for Carrie Ingalls Swanzey, Mary Ingalls, Infant son of Laura and Almanzo Wilder, Caroline Ingalls (Ma), and Charles Ingalls (Pa). We walked a few more steps to see the graves of Nathan and Grace Ingalls Dow. There are many other people mentioned in the Little House books in the cemetery but we didn't take the time to look for those graves. It is a huge cemetery with some headstones dating back to 1881.

I already blogged about the rest of our day. We drove to Watertown, SD and ended up eating at Culver's and then hurrying to get some shopping done and getting home around 11pm. It was a very full day. We were all glad that we went to the Society museum sites first and the Homestead second and then ended with a little more sightseeing at the end. There was more that we could have done in DeSmet but I think we hit the highlights of the town. I would love to go back again. I am thankful that we did take a day and do as much as possible.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Interruption in DeSmet postings

Sorry to interrupt the DeSmet postings, but I have to announce that my sister is ENGAGED! He's visiting her now so she hasn't posted it on her blog so I have to announce for her.
He surprised her and immediately when he arrived in he town he tried to propose but she said "yes" before he asked. Welcome to life with Hannah, Eric! They hadn't seen each other since January so I expect they will have lots of late nights talking this week. Ram and I had our first chance to talk to Eric on the phone on Friday night. It reminded me of talking to Ram's brother, Tim, after we got engaged. You know a lot about your future brother-in-law, but what do you say when you are on the phone for the first time?
She will finish out her contract teaching English in South Korea in October and if everything goes as planned they will get married in Hawaii, possibly as early as November. There are a lot of details to work out yet.
Our Lambs are thrilled that they will now have an uncle to say "uncle" to.
Hannah, you thought I was so OLD when I got married, but I was still younger than you will be when you get married! We are so happy for you and Eric that you connected after all these years. May the Lord bless your wedding planning and especially your life together as husband and wife.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Desmet, SD Part 2

After we were done with the tour in town, then we headed to The Ingalls Homestead. The sites in town were part of a tour led by the Laura Ingalls Wilder Society. They were a tour where you could look and listen, not touch or try. I am so glad that we went there first and Ewe took the tour by herself. 
The Ingalls Homestead is called Laura's Living Prairie and it was the complete opposite of the sites in town. Our Lambs were a great age to go to this. We had only read the first book (Little House in the Big Woods) so the Lambs were a little confused asking to see sites that were in WI in that book, not sites that were in DeSmet. The tour didn't make much sense to them. Ingalls Homestead encouraged the children to touch everything. We stayed until 6pm and had a great afternoon. We all agreed we were glad we went there second. 
Ingalls Homestead was expensive, our family was $36 with AAA discount and Lamb 3 was free. We all agreed it was worth it.

First we all climbed this tower.

Climbing the tower gave me the first chance in my life to really visualize 160 acres. This photo doesn't show it well, but you can see some of the 160 acres. Yes they had to work hard. Yes they had to pay filing fees. But after 5 years if they met all the requirements they got 160 acres for about $16 of fees. Pa far exceeded the requirements and easily got his land.

This photo was also taken from the tower. The white building was a  museum showing all the places the Ingalls family lived. The only place they lived that was not mentioned in the books was Burr Oak, IA. That was not a happy time in their life when her parents ran a hotel and lived next to a saloon. She only wanted to write books about happy memories for children.
In the back of the photo are 5 cottonwood trees that are what remains of the thousands that Pa planted on the homestead claim. 

I took this photo of the places Laura Ingalls Wilder lived. The numbers are in order where they lived-yes they lived some places twice.

Lamb 1 standing in a hayloft barn like Pa built.

Lamb 2 working hard to pump water-can you see it in the photo coming out of the pipe?

Lamb 1 and 2 in a sleigh-I pictured my Grandma riding to church in this.

We took many photos of the Lambs riding and driving the stagecoach.

We rode a covered wagon that was built for rides at the Ingalls Homestead, much larger than a real covered wagon. 

Each Lamb had a turn to take hold of the reins and drive the horses.
Lamb 3

Lamb 1

Lamb 2 left his hat in the car and was sunburned the next day.

In the driving seat of the wagon

Then there was an old car repair garage with activities for the children. The Lambs each used this machine to make a jump rope and see how they made rope.

The Lambs each used a corn sheller to get the corn off the cob and make a corn cob doll. They were so happy to each have their own doll to name and hold on the way home. Shh... don't tell them only girls are supposed to have dolls. They made a little bed for them the next day out of a shoebox and bandanas for blankets.

They each took a turn to practice grinding wheat.

Lamb 1 practiced playing a pump organ. I couldn't help but contrast that with the pump organ behind a rope that we couldn't touch at the site in town.

Lamb 2 practiced sewing with a machine like Ma was so happy to receive.

The Lambs all helped to wash clothes on a washboard and hang them on the clothesline.

When we first got there the Lambs were timid, but before we left they all took a pony ride.
Lamb 3 had a miniature pony

Lamb 1 has come so far from his fear of animals

Lamb 2

We sat in the pony cart but didn't take a real ride. It reminded me of Winona's Pony Cart (Betsy Tacy).

It was 6pm but we still weren't done in DeSmet. More next time...

Friday, September 2, 2011

DeSmet, SD Part 1

Last Friday we took a one day trip to DeSmet, SD. We ate a fast lunch in Brookings at 10:30am and then headed to DeSmet. Our first stop was the Laura Ingalls Wilder tour. The tour was almost full and we didn't want to wait for the next tour so only Ewe took the tour. That ended up being very wise as the Lambs would not have been able to listen for that long of a tour before wanting to play outside after the long car ride.
Surveyor's House 1879-1880
No photos were allowed inside. Laura felt like they were moving into a mansion when Pa was asked to live here so the railroad workers could go home to their families. They were very fortunate to live here through a long hard winter. This is where the tour guide talked the longest. Did you know only 5% of the Little House on the Prairie TV show is accurate according to the books? The Walnut Grove tour stressed the TV show so I enjoyed the DeSmet tour because it stressed the books. Our tour group had a group of Hutterites (or some Christian group like that by the way they were dressed) so it was very interesting to hear their questions. The women asked questions about baking bread and homemaking and the men asked questions about the tools. I'm not sure the tour guide could answer all their questions, but it was interesting to hear their point of view and they knew the answers to many of the questions by the tour guide because they had read all the books (children too). And the children were very well behaved and interested in the tour.
Lamb 3 is standing in a replica of the Brewster school that Laura taught in first.

The school was very small and Laura was just 16. No wonder why she was anxious for Almanzo to pick her up and take her home for the weekends! It was important for her to "survive" teaching here and help get money to send Mary to Braille school.

DeSmet's First School that Laura and Carrie attended. It was only a school for about 5 years before they built another school. Then it became a house and they recently moved the house here.

Renovation is still in progress and will take a long time. But it was easy to visualize the whole town coming to this school house for school presentations.

Then we drove a few blocks to see the Ingalls home from 1887-1928. No photos were allowed inside. Here the tour guide talked of what happened to Laura's sisters and family. I had read all the Little House books but I didn't know the history of what happened after that. The tour guide also pointed out other sites of interest near this house but we did not go see them. 
It was getting warm and the tour took about an hour and a half, maybe longer as I was listening and not paying attention to time. The Lambs ran around this garden, played on the playground across the street, and went to the Discover Laura Learning Center while I took the tour. Ram was so nice to allow me to go on the tour without the Lambs!

The rest of these photos were in the Learning Center.  They had a little play stove.

Lamb 1 and 2 were the students.

I think Lamb 3 would have a difficult time with discipline as a teacher with a smile like this!

Sorry for the glare on this photo, but the play train set helped visualize the placement of the homestead. The Lincoln Log house was not really in the lake!

Lamb 1 made some papers with split peas that were like Braille. Lamb 2 and 3 didn't have enough patience for this.

Not everything in the Learning Center was historically accurate, but it was a good chance for the Lambs to be allowed to touch and play with things unlike if they would have gone on the tour. I was glad we spent some time there.

Then we went to make a contribution to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Society aka gift shop. The Lambs played with some John Deere tractors and were shocked when we didn't buy that for them. Ewe bought some treats for herself and her goddaughter, sorry Lambs.

Next time I will post activities for what we did after we were at this site. There is so much to do in DeSmet that a day isn't really long enough!