A World without walls
everyday life while homeschooling overseas
A few weeks ago, I found that the head of the herbal school I 'attend' was planning to do a webinar for free about the medicinal qualities of every day herbs and spices. I was so excited and went and signed up immediately! There is, however, always a catch to these things: It started at 5pm PST. Ugh. Forward that 10 hours and you get my time. So this morning, I did the unthinkable. I got up at 3am so I could listen to a 2 hour long webinar all about herbs and spices! I must be crazy! It was really good, though, and I learned a lot! It was easy to concentrate since I knew no one was going to be asking me for anything at all, and I wasn't ignoring anyone by doing 'my own thing'. So I honestly enjoyed that aspect of it! Problem was, though, that by the time he was winding down, so was I! It ended at 5am, and I was nodding off. I went back to bed and slept until 7! Ha! I'm still tired, but I'm happy I learned some new and useful things. I want to go and retype the notes I took and look over his presentations from the recordings so I can pop all of this in my herbal notebook for later reference. I plan to start using a lot of it now. Did you know that turmeric is an ingredient in Tylenol?? (it's listed by its Latin name.) If I could find an herbal alternative to help my headaches, do you realize how BIG that would be??!? Wow. I learned not only WHAT they do, but dosages and how best to administer the herbs--quantities, with what 'carriers', what works best together, etc. Very handy information. I am absolutely loving all of these courses, classes, readings, etc. It's amazing to feel more well informed about the plants around me. :)
And now, it's on to the rest of my day. The kids and I actually wrote up our schedule on our whiteboard in the kitchen, and for some reason that was VERY motivational to a few young people! They finished their school work in record time and are happily playing with Legos or barbies or whatever it is they're involved with. I don't think I've ever seen Josh and Claire get through with their math that fast--and Peter did ALL of his schoolwork in 10 minutes. Good grief. If only they'd realize that if you just sit down and DO IT, it gets done and you're 'free'! Some days, they get it. Other days, it actually can take up to 3-4 HOURS for some of my older kids to finish their math...with a lot of dawdling, tears, and sighs of exasperation (on all sides). Here's to good mornings! *Cheers*
Sometimes it snows here in Jordan. I didn't get a whole lot of pics of the snow. Last year's snowstorm seemed to dump a LOT more snow that this year. Maybe they were close to the same. I'm not sure. All I know is that this year's snow was WAY heavier! Last year's snow fall put a huge dent in our BBQ. This year, I kept hearing the plopping of the snow, and it sounded pretty freaky! We ended up locking the back gate and wouldn't allow the kids back there. The roof above is slightly tilted, so all the snow up there would fall right down on our back patio. I'm glad the kids didn't go out there. This is what that falling snow did to my plant pots. I'd rather it were planters splattered all over than kids. :/ Kind of freaky.
My favorite benefit to homeschooling--I call the shots when we do and don't have school. I love being able to give my kids their birthdays as special school holidays. They all love being in charge of the day--writing up schedules and following them... :)
Peter's birthday was no different. They all got up just before 6am (earlier than Christmas--good grief!!) and started watching Garfield cartoons. Then they wrote up the schedule which looked something like this:
I laughed a lot. They followed it almost to the 't', too! (Except for going to bed at 7--that never happens, but it sure was thoughtful of them to at least write it...) Wow. That's a lot of iPad time. I was interested to see, though, that he didn't ask to play on the Wii. Hmmmmm...
He was so happy to be able to choose what he did that day that I hardly heard a peep out of him! I wish he would choose to do school on school days. That would sure make our mornings quieter and smoother. :/
Regardless, we just love this kid! He's SO funny, happy, and full of life, determination and enthusiasm! He is stubborn as all get out, and if he supports you, you can expect him to stand by you 110%!
Happy 6th Birthday, Mr. Peter! We're so happy you're part of our family!
This whole past week has been rather hilarious. The forecast had SNOW in it! *GASP* Now, I was here last year for the BIG snowstorm, and I admit--that was pretty crippling! The whole city was out of order for almost 2 weeks! This year, everyone was much more prepared. Perhaps there was a little big of an overkill. A friend saw a whole row of brand new snow plows all ready for the BIG SNOW. The big bulldozer tractors were all sitting out and ready to plow the streets. By the day before the predicted storm, ALL the bread, yogurt, and meat was sold out of the stores. School and governments were canceled in anticipation. It was predicted that THIS would be the WORST STORM in 50 years!
Yesterday was the appointed day. The morning began, I'll admit, rather disappointingly. It was sunny. It was terribly windy, but there wasn't much in store. Then the clouds started to blow in. Still, it seemed fine to me!
We have a scripture study class scheduled for Wednesdays, and I wasn't going to miss it! So I went! Funnily enough, on my way, I found Devin walking home from the embassy, because they had closed early, so I took him with me (and all of the kids). There was no snow. Just rain sometimes and some hail. We got to our class and it was so nice! We chatted and discussed and shared our thoughts and feelings. Oh, how I love these ladies! However, as we were sitting there, all the kids (there were 11 of them there that day) came running and screaming, "IT'S SNOWING!!! IT'S SNOWING!!! IT'S SNOWING!!!" They all jumped into their coats and caps and put socks on their hands and ran outside to play in it! After a few minutes, we all noticed it was starting to stick. Quite a bit.
Now, Devin grew up in Utah. I spent my teenage plus years in Idaho. We lived in Finland for 2 1/2 years. We are no strangers to snow! So we sort of shrugged it off. No biggie, right? The other ladies were getting a bit anxious, so we decided to cut our class short a bit and leave.
The first auspicious step was when Devin slipped and fell on the way out to the car. Oh dear. That's right--it was freezing rain just before the snow started to stick. We started going and watched all the other cars on the road slip and slide. We dropped off our friends at their house, then started home the 'normal' way, which started us off going up a REALLY steep hill. Funnily enough, ALL of Jordan is a REALLY STEEP HILL.
Halfway up the hill, we weren't going up anymore. At all. In fact, we were going a little backward. Devin managed to turn us back around, but we were now white-knuckling it and super worried because, seriously, all of Jordan is a steep hill.
Thankfully, we made it back down, and were able to VERY slowly make our way through some back streets and alternate routes so we avoided almost all hills. That was a pretty impressive feat! We made it home a little shaky, and knowing that we were NOT going to go out again for awhile. Yes, for the past few years I've sort of scoffed at the closing of the city for snow. This is NOTHING compared to Rexburg, or Finland! However, the hills here are killer, and honestly, you CAN'T get around on these hills if they are remotely slippery. I understand now, and I'm just happy to be home and watching the rain, slush, snow and THUNDER!
I do enjoy snow days where we can all sort of hibernate for a few days and enjoy the warmth of the house and play together. However, as I sit here, safe, secure, and warm, my thoughts and prayers go to those refugees who are not only in a strange country, but living in tents with almost nothing, and definitely nothing to protect them from the winds, rains, sleet, hail and snow. I pray for some sort of relief to come to each of them in their hearts, minds, and lives as they weather the mental, physical, and spiritual storms at this time of turmoil.
Our Medieval studies have been such a blast this year with all our learning, activities, and especially our FEASTS!!
We just had our Twelfth Night feast. I learned SO MUCH from this one! I had no idea that the twelve days of Christmas were actually AFTER Christmas! Who knew? (Probably lots of people...) So we celebrated the Twelve Days of Christmas this year by taking a break from our regular schoolwork. We did a service jar that had everyone's name in it, and each morning we chose someone's name, and we had to do a secret act of service for that person. We also had to work on special handmade presents for everyone.
We read all about Twelfth Night from our favorite book, and learned about some super fun activities! So our feast ended up being a LOT of fun--the best one we've had, actually--and the kids have decided this should be something that becomes a tradition for us! So neat!
The feast went something like this:
Welcome to the Feast!
First course (we made a fruit salad)
Wassail the Trees (during medieval times, they would make some wassail, give everyone a mug of it, then walk out to an orchard and sing songs and stamp around a tree, take a sip of wassail, then sing and stomp again, then pour the wassail down onto the 'roots' of the tree. The point of this is to nourish the tree so it will give lots of apples for the next year [for more wassail], and the stomping and loud singing is to awaken the tree's spirit so it wont forget to come alive come spring. We don't have any apple trees, so sang around our fake Christmas tree.)
Second course (regular green salad)
Oxenhorn Dance (Basically, it's a dance competition or 'follow the leader'. The head of the party, or 'king', was the judge, and called out the best 'Oxen dancer'--lots of stamping involved--and then the best dancer took the next turn to be the judge.)
Third Course (wild rice)
Mummers play of the Twelfth Night (I printed off a copy of this short play from our 'Holidays and festivals' book and we read it together and psuedo-acted it out. Lots of laughs! The parts were the King, Prince George (the dragon slayer), a Turkish Knight, the Royal Doctor, and a Clown. Everyone standing in the reading circle is the picture at the top of this post.)
Fourth Course (lasagna and french bread)
Oranges and Lemons (This is sort of like London Bridges, where the head of team Orange and the head of team Lemon stand like 'London Bridges' and say a poem to catch the members of their team. Everyone passes through until they're caught and then they're put on teams. After everyone's on teams, it's Oranges vs Lemons in a game of tug o' war. The winner is named Spring and the loser is now named Winter. Good times.)
Fifth Course (cookies)
The Wise Men Follow the Star (We turn out all the lights. One candle is lit, and the 'king' holds it. Everyone gathers up the gifts they've made through the past 12 days, and we follow the king with the 'star' through the house in search of the Baby Jesus. We end up together as a family and talk about finding the Baby Jesus, and traveling through life and following Him, about giving gifts from the heart, then we pass out our gifts. The kids were VERY thoughtful with their gifts--it was so impressive and wonderful!)
The feast foods weren't totally 'authentic', but that's what we had on the menu that day. :) I really enjoyed this night! It's a great tradition to keep and definitely makes magnificent memories!
Who Am I?
As a Stay At Home Mom of 4 wonderful children, I have the amazing opportunity not only to home school them, but to do so in many different places! I am married to the most amazingly wonderful (and handsome) man in the whole world! Together, we seek out, every day, that Joy in the Journey that makes life exciting!
by Dan Brown
I like that the plot twists and turns a lot...and it makes you think. However, I don't appreciate Dan Brown's endings in his books. I find the endings incongruent with the rest of his stories--why make it a romance for the last chapter...
I loved this book. I'm a sucker for fairy tales/fantasy. This was so well written! I can't wait to read all the rest of her books!
I'm reading this one again. I liked it the first time I read it. I'm still liking it for the second time around. I like all of Shannon Hales' books. **Still lots of fun the second time around! I do like this book for a comfortable...