Sunday, December 5, 2010

A quick catch up! Well, as quick as I can get!!!

How do you catch up with what's happening in your life when you haven't been around for a while? So much has happened. You know me, I can't do the short version! Well, I suppose I could if I tried....

volcano science experiments: bicarb and vinegar eruptions

the science of sound:it moves!

Here goes: Why have I not been around? A few reasons...

1) Ray's month or so of illness went from flu, to glandular fever to food poisoning to gall an operating table to remove a gall bladder and bigger than hazelnut sized gall stones. {He didn't really have food poisoning, it was the toxins from the infection} Through the whole operation experience we knew that the Lord was right by our side and it was a peace-filled time. Afterwards though, things fell apart a bit. So I've been learning a lot about the need for calm after the storms! It's so easy for me to rush in and try to take control of things again instead of resting in and waiting on the Lord for the next step. I feel like He's been saying: wait, let's do things slowly, just take it one step at a time, everything will get back into order again. Unfortunately I didn't seek Him first after Ray was finally back home, well again, and I tried to make things feel *normal* by following a set routine. Routine is important, but it isn't what should rule me, it isn't what should make me feel secure. I do find this tough though, seeking Him first. Although, in the past, I have learnt that routines don't need to rule us, I'm still learning that seeking Him first is most important! I'm hoping that this is starting to sink in to the deepest parts of me.

beauty on our mountain walks

he just loves creatures especially the small ones

learning about water currents and force is child's play!

2) In the midst of all this I used the computer as an escape pod and a research tool. Using it as a research tool isn't bad in itself. I learnt a lot more about healthy living styles and eating habits. But using it to escape from life, or more specifically, to escape from spending time with the Lord, ends up in me being like a dry well with very little life to share with my children when they most need me. So when Jenna stood next to me at the computer and said: "Mommy, you're spending too much time on the computer, you should be doing something with us, like teaching us!" I took that as my cue to shut down for a while and limit my computer time.

life is full of adventures on dad's new motorbike

3) After a recent home schooler's park day which had a few older children at it, Jenna asked me: Mom what does it mean to be home schooled? What?! Haven't we be doing this your whole life? What am I doing wrong that you don't get what we've been up to all this time? (I've always told her we can learn from our life experiences, books etc. and the interests we have. And believe me she's definitely done that!) And that's when I realised: she's wondering about all those older kids we saw at the park! Was she thinking home schooling was just for little kids like her? (Our usual park group has mainly under six year olds.) Or was she actually thinking-like most of our population-that school is just something you have to do when you're older? So that night I decided we needed to chat a little about it at bed time. And we came to the conclusion that she wanted to do school like activities again. So I told her I didn't think it was important for me to teach her to read-she'd done that herself already and ultimately I really want her to understand that she has the ability to teach herself many things using various resources. And I said I had been thinking about doing some number work with her and writing to help her to write some of her letters correctly which I had noticed she was forming incorrectly. And that's what we've agreed to do. On alternate days we spend ± 30 min doing Writing/Copy work (which actually means writing the words for a story she drew) or 30 min doing Maths (estimation, counting and number concept development). And if I'm really organised we may just do some Science experiments, crafts or play games! It's been going well. Some mornings Michael even gets involved. And some mornings she just says I'd like to play first mom and then we do school later! Or not :-)

Frank, our cat, is our hunter! A little mole who we rescued and relocated later to a nearby field.

we've eaten broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, strawberries, carrots and tomatoes from our garden

4) While Ray was sick (and the kids too at times) we sort of fell off the socialisation circuit. Now, while I believe that it is not important to run around to every activity to ensure that my children are getting socialised, I also realise that isolation is not healthy too! This was emphasised for me when we started to try to get out into the world again to socialise. My children, who are mostly very happy to go off to play on their own at a social event, became unusually clingy! Realising I needed to be patient with them, I remained near enough for them to see me and feel safe. After two or three social events I could see their usual exploring, assertive selves coming back and since then we've been trying to catch up with all those we didn't see while going through this "sick time". Admittedly though, too much socialising is draining for me so next week we'll be staying at home, well mostly ;-)

A Nature Walk around our area turned into a litter hunt upon my little nature lover's requests.

5) As Christmas is here we've also taken the time to make our first Jesse Tree Advent calendar. I'm really enjoying how it helps me to focus on the real Gift of Christmas! Of course this all took time and was a good way of keeping me away from the computer-that is after I had done all the research again!

Jen just loves bringing beauty into the home and often makes her own flower arrangements-setting an example for me to follow!

Ok, so this post hasn't been a short one-promise, I tried-I haven't even caught you up on our co-op nature walks we started or the home school picnic we had with the dads or our family mountain walk which we're trying to do more regularly.... oh well, I guess that's what happens when your life is full of learning, there's just so little time for recording it while you're living it ;-) Chat soon!