A World without walls
everyday life while homeschooling overseas
Yesterday was the pinewood derby. Wow! It was SO much fun! I know that sounds really funny coming from me--but it was fun. Maybe it's because I knew almost all of the people there (most of the people in scouts here are homeschoolers and we all do the co-op together--I loved having my cute recorder girls come running up to me and hugging me!!); maybe it was because Josh took the place by storm; maybe it was because we brought special visitors with us; maybe it was because the kids enjoyed themselves so much; maybe it was because we weren't at home trying to think of something to do... Either way, it was a great deal of fun. :)
Josh worked VERY hard on his car. He drew the design, painted it, carved out spots for his headlights and taillights--and even wired his headlights and taillights so they worked! Everyone oohed and aahed appropriately when his car was racing with its lights on! :)
He ended up taking 2nd place overall, plus he was unanimously voted as the leaders' choice award (the medal around his neck in the above picture). I was SO grateful to those leaders who saw how much work, effort and, yes, love he put into making that car.
This is a great cub scout troop. I'm happy that we're a part of it.
After the derby, our 'adopted' grandparents who came with us to the event took the kids out for ice cream to celebrate and stayed to play a few games with my obsessive game girl. It was a wonderful day!
We've been waiting and waiting and WAITING for our new church Center to be ready for us to meet in--and finally, we were there! It's not QUITE finished, but enough that we can go and have chairs to sit in and walls and lights. :) The whole place is lovely, peaceful and happy. I LOVED playing the 'organ' again! Yes, it's just an electric piano (a Kuwai, if anyone's interested) on the organ setting, but it made a HUGE difference! I had lots and lots of people tell me how wonderful it was to come into the sacrament room and hear the quiet organ playing--that it was so beautiful and made them feel like they were coming into the chapel of the temple! :) That was my intention! I feel it's so important for the music to really add to the meetings, so I work really hard at it.
The kids were SO happy to have primary again! They were all so well behaved! Nadine gave a great lesson and the kids all listened and participated and ALL of our primary kids were there! Every single one on the rolls! SO COOL!!! They're great kids and I love them all. (And it's SO nice to have a good electric piano in there instead of an electric keyboard!) We even had a fantastic performance of a super cool rendition of 'Popcorn Popping'--which was NOT made better by the poor pathetic accompanist... :/ I got the intro and the last measure right, though. So that's good.
We are so blessed!
Today was one of THOSE days. We started early and just kept going. We had snacks to make, backpacks to pack and clothes to find before leaving for co-op at 9:15am. Then the little kids had classes and I taught my recorder class. That ends at 11:30, so I gathered up the littles and ran home so we could eat some lunch. I left Andrew and Claire in the capable hands of Devika, and took Peter to a playdate and Josh to HIS co-op classes. After I dropped them off, I rushed home so I could talk to Devin, then my friend came to drop off her girls to play with Claire for the afternoon, and we ended up chatting about Very Important Things until it was time to go get Josh and Peter. So I got Josh, then we picked up the mail from the embassy, and headed over to get Peter from his playdate. On the way home, we tried to find a movie from the 'Jordanian Red Box', but they didn't have what we wanted. :( So we went home and I dropped off Peter. Then Josh and I went up to the circle to get some treats for the kiddos and a birthday present for one of the primary kids who just had a birthday. I got home and we ate a quick 'linner'--it was really our dinner even though it was at 4:30--then the kids packed up their swim stuff and we rushed over to the embassy for the Polar Bear Plunge...
Wait! What's the Polar Bear Plunge, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. Every year, just before they open the embassy pool for summer use, they open it up really early when it's still sort of cold and offer free ice cream (or beer) to anyone willing to jump in the freezing cold waters. Unluckily for the embassy people in charge, it was a GORGEOUS day and the water was WARM!!! HA! They lost out on a lot of ice cream and beer!
So, the kids and I ran over to dip in the pool. But here's the funny part: I told the kids we could only stay for one hour-from 5-6pm. The 'plunge' was officially supposed to happen at 5. The newsletter said it was from 5-9. I suppose I just assumed that it would be open from 5-9. Nope. It was open for about 20 minutes. They blew the whistle and made everyone get out. My kids thought it was break time so they sat shivering in their towels waiting to get back into the warm water. Finally Claire asked the lifeguard and he told her that, no, the pool is now closed again for another week! Ha! Oh well. At least they got their ice cream and I got them home with plenty of time for me to get ready for my NEXT appointment of the day!
Yes, there's more to this day. After we got home, I got dressed in my Sunday best and went over to the new Charities Center for the church for the leadership meeting. I was there as the organist. You know, one of the benefits of being (usually) the only music person around, is that no matter whether I'm in leadership or not, I still get to go to ALL the meetings...he he he... Just kidding. Anyway, it was a little 'fireside/tour' of the new Center for all of us without big crowds of people and little kids. It was very nice! SO Excited to meet there tomorrow!!
I got home around 8:30pm and the kids had just finished their movie (I let them stay up! Wow! I'm such a nice mom!) and were getting into bed (thanks to Devika). I got all the kids in bed and now it's late... I should practice the piano. I should go over something for lessons or something. I REALLY should just go to bed right now. I'm tired enough.
Nah. I'm going to watch cupcake wars and then go to bed. It was a BUSY day. I need to unwind with something mindless. Tomorrow is Jordan's time change. Not looking forward to that one. The spring forward time change always makes me SO tired...
This was the phrase that was repeated over and over by two tearful boys all the way home from tennis today. The kids are TIRED today. I don't blame them. I'm tired, too! There isn't much of a schedule with dad gone...or maybe there's TOO MUCH of a schedule with dad gone! :/ We've been keeping ourselves awfully busy and staying up way too late. I've had 'dates' with friends and mom nights with other friends; the kids have often stayed up until I got home (10pm is just too late for my kiddos)! Then they're all up at 6:30, I'm up at 5:30. We're tired.
This morning, the kids and I went to The Baptist School, where our Arabic tutor teaches. She has been asking us for almost a year to come and present a play we wrote to her kindergarten classes! We finally went today and it was so much fun! The place was easy to find, the people there were very nice, the kids were surprisingly respectful and quiet. Not sure if it was just the fact that they were trying so hard to understand our English, or if it was just the novelty of something very new and different or if it was our superb visual effects (like the giant fan for the blowing wind of a storm and Claire with a spray bottle of water to make the 'rain pour')... Regardless, it was a positive experience. :) However, at the end, the principal of the school thanked us and gave us all some chocolate. Claire conscientiously asked if it had nuts. The principal laughed a little--I think people think kids say they're allergic to stuff when they just don't like it. Well, the principal said there were no nuts in it...only to find out it was filled with cashews. Lovely. Luckily, I had lots of Benadryll in my backpack. *sigh* Oh well.
We all took the rest of the morning off to read quietly (hooray for reading days!!!!!), so I could work on some stuff for primary. We watched some of a Greek History dvd from the history channel (I didn't like this one so much), talked to Devin via Skype, then headed out for tennis.
Tennis is sometimes the bane of my existence. Last week, it was awesome! The kids were happy and helpful and concentrated... Today, it was a pain in the neck. The girls were bugging the boys and the boys were bugging the girls and my kids were SOOOOOOO tired and snappy and sobby (I made that word up. Deal with it.) that I wanted to pull my hair out. Coach kept telling me I was a saint for dealing with 4 kids with really strong personalities. He he he. Thanks coach. There are times when I think about quitting, but I don't for lots of reasons. If I quit, I'd have to think of some other outdoor activity to do and I don't want to. At least they're outside.
So what made the day the worst ever? I'm sure you're wondering by this point. It wasn't the cashew allergy or the sobbing messes during tennis... After tennis was over, Andrew and I were playing around with one of the big huge jumpropes, making 'snakes' and 'hills' for Peter to jump over. Once, we decided to swing it a little. Peter jumped over it, then it touched the back of his feet, and he completely fell apart. He screamed and yelled and beat the heck out of Andrew... then we left the embassy and he tried to pull Claire in to get him a treat from the gift shop and I said no, and he--wait for it--screamed LOUDER. Andrew joined in at this point because he felt he deserved a treat. Unfortunately, he didn't and I said no. I know, I know. MEAN mom. What can I say? Guilty.
So, that's why it's the worst day ever. We came home, ate dinner, and the kids are all currently in the shower/bath. They are soon going to tell me how this is the worst day ever again, though, because Peter and Andrew have been in the bathtub now for almost an hour. I told the kids that if they ate dinner and showered, I'd let them play on the iPads for a bit. However, they are all going to bed EARLY--so since they've spent that whole hour playing in the bathtub, their iPad time is going to be short indeed. That will call for more weeping and wailing. Does anyone have a tranquilizer gun that I can borrow?
Another funny thing: I just found out that we're changing our time on Thursday night. Oh goody. I was just getting really used to my 5:30 wake up time. :( Now i have to go back to being really tired again. *sigh* So, my question is this: Since my kids are going to bed early tonight, should I follow suit to get myself used to the new early time...or should I take advantage and watch a MOVIE!?? Hmmmm...
Yes, this will be another rambling sampler of a day. I suppose this is what I've always done, up until I started homeschooling when I felt like I just didn't seem to have the time to just sit around and 'ramble' anymore. Well, I think I should make more time to just ramble. It's pretty relieving to just put things down and look at things from another point of view. Besides, I don't have anyone sitting by me all evening listening to me ramble on and on and on and on and on and on and...well, you get it. Poor Devin. He's either REALLY enjoying his solitude and silence now, or he's going crazy with it. Ha!
This morning, the kids and I had the coolest discussion about things of the spirit. We're reading right now about Abraham and Isaac in the Bible. We had finished reading the account and were discussing things. Claire asked how Abraham heard God. The launched us into this fairly indepth discussion on how we hear the Voice of God--the Holy Ghost--and all the different ways He speaks to us! It was pretty cool and I saw quite a few 'lightbulbs' go off. I've been studying about hearing the Voice of the Spirit and personal revelation this week, so it was fun to share some of the things that I'd been studying. We talked about some of the things we have experienced and things we are experiencing and how we hear His voice every single day in so many different ways. Pretty cool.
Another thing we were talking about this morning was right after History. Right now, I'm reading 'Famous Men of Greece' out loud to the kids, and I have it on my Kindle. Well, funny thing: A few weeks ago, I was just goofing off on the computer and found this site that sends you a notice with some of the free books on Amazon. At first I thought it would be all classics (I already have most of them), but it's not. Not at ALL. Every day, it appears, Amazon (and others) put tons of books out for free! These guys surf around and list a few and you can go nab 'em! After finding the first site, I found 3-4 more. So every day I get emails from many different places showing me all sorts of books for free (or .99)!! I've had WAY too much fun. At one point last week, while I was still only on one mailing list, I found that I now had 118 books on my Kindle. Wow! Then, today as I was reading the history book, I noticed that I now had 163! Ha! So I made Claire do the 'word problem' to find out how many books I had downloaded in the past week since I had found the other 3-4 sites: 45! Ha! That's pretty funny. I think so, anyway.
In other news, some people know that I've suffered from some somewhat minor back issues for years now. It comes and goes, really. Ever since I had Josh. The past few weeks, it's bordered on the excruciating. Just thinking about bending over to pick up a paper would bring tears to my eyes. Sneezing would leave me in the fetal position, sobbing. I don't know why I have this problem. I'm active, I'm not overweight... Just my lot in life, I guess. It's been so bad that I've considered actually going to a chiropractor. That must mean it's pretty bad, because I don't go to doctors.
Well, being true to myself, I did a little research. I found a bunch of exercise dvds expressly for low back pain, a few different sizes of those big exercise balls, and a book. I have been reading the book a little, and am super impressed thus far. He says that part of the low-back issues are from sitting in chairs a lot. It's better for people to sit cross-legged. Interesting. He gave some tips for better sleeping. Plus, he said when you sneeze, instead of bending forward (as EVERYONE does), you should lean back. Weird, eh? But I can tell you, today, I tried it and I LAUGHED!!! I CRIED! Why? Well, it was because it DIDN'T HURT!! I couldn't believe it! Who knew??? I've dreaded sneezing for years--I curl myself into a ball and hold tight to a counter or something solid when I sneeze so I don't have as much pain. But today? I just leaned back a little and Voila! Nothing!!!!!! The book is called Back RX, by the way. I forget the author--it's on my Kindle, of course. I'm only on chapter 4, but I like what he says so far. Yesterday, I sat cross-legged on the tennis court while the kids played tennis for 2 hours. I slept with pillows in various strategic places. This morning, I woke up with almost no pain in my back. I'm impressed. I did pilates this morning without cringing. I'm happy. Here's to hoping that it continues to improve.
In other news: Josh played his first concert yesterday. It was so fun to watch that boy play! Good kid. I got a video of it, but sadly missed his introduction of, "This is Joshua Hendriksen....From America." Ha! Hooray! Sadly, the concert was in true Jordanian style. They don't teach concert etiquette here. Everyone was talking to their neighbors and chatting on their phones and walking around all through the performances of the many students. You always knew who the parents were, because during their child's performance, they'd stand and video it on their iPhone or iPad, then when the kid was done, they'd talk to each other (still standing), and pick up all their coats and kids and belongings and chat with people as they made their way out...during the next 2-3 kids' performances. There was pretty much constant leaving throughout the concert. Disconcerting. (ha ha) By the time Josh played, the room was only 1/3 full. That was fine by me. To me, it was all beyond rude. To them, that's how they do things. Welcome to Jordan.
While we were there at the concert, Peter had to go to the bathroom. He managed to find them on his own (oh, it's so nice to have independent kids!!!), and ran back to me with the news: "Mom! I found the bathrooms! There's a boys' one and a girls' one, but there are no mommy ones." Guess I'll have to hold it.
Devin made it to D.C. safe and sound. Day 1 is now behind me. Day 2 started fairly auspiciously by my little boys waking up before my alarm (not nice, since my alarm goes off at 5:40am) because Andrew wanted his iPad under his pillow and Peter wet the bed. However, I got some really good scripture study/prayer/meditation time in this morning and even took time to exercise. As I sit here writing this, all my children are cooking breakfast! And just so you all don't think this is impossibly perfect, my kids are FIGHTING like cats and dogs while making breakfast. Not the most relaxing thing and I have a feeling I should probably intervene soon before the pancake batter ends up all over the floor and Claire cries harder and Josh eats one of his siblings and Peter beats Andrew up and Andrew cries like a roman candle... Oh. Too late.
Later: We had a nice day, really. It was pretty laid back. We did our normal math and spelling and stuff, but we added writing stories about Leprechauns (the kids REALLY loved that one--and I think I'll have to do more writing in the future!), eating green pancakes, drinking green milk (not me! Gross!!), drawing rainbow pictures that had Leprechaun gold and shamrocks attached to them...(Andrew was the most simplistic of all of us...even Peter really got into the spirit of it! I used the project to talk about the order of colors and had the kids use oil pastels and smear them all together. They had a good time.) Josh had another practice today with his accompanist for his first concert tomorrow. He's so excited--as he should be! :) We got to talk to Devin for a few minutes in the middle of the day.
It's funny. We really do get quite a bit done during the day. However, I feel like we're hardly doing anything. I'm hoping that this sad little funk I'm in from having Devin gone goes away soon so I can get a grip and take control of my schedule again. I don't know why it has to affect my whole day. I usually only see him in the morning/evening anyway, so why is my whole entire day thrown off? Guess that means I love him. :) That's true, anyway. :)
Today Claire and I finally finished going through a box of a bunch of my old stuff from when I was younger. My mom sent it to me with a shipment because the shipment needed more weight. Thanks mom. But I had put off going through it for years! Sheesh! And I found at the bottom of this box a whole tone of sheet music! Sweet! Beethoven, Chopin, Shubert... Plus one song that was the one that made me decide to start playing the piano: Child of the Universe. I sang it in the 4th grade choir and thought the music was so pretty that I just had to learn to play the piano so I could play it! I couldn't believe I still had the music! I was actually thinking about it a few months ago and started looking around to see if I could find the sheet music (I couldn't). I'm pretty impressed that it was in there. It was missing the front page, but I know what the intro sounds like, so it wasn't too hard to pop it in. I played through it today and it brought back lots of memories. Thankfully, I play better now than I did in 4th grade when I started goofing around with it. :) Hooray for surprise music in the bottom of unpacked boxes! Thanks, mom! :)
I sat down 15 minutes ago thinking that the post dinner play time would give me about 1/2 hour to type up a nice blog post for the day. No such luck. Instead, I sat at the other laptop while it rebooted itself; whirring and whizzing and sputtering like the old computer it is. *sigh* Then I gave up and came to my other computer. I can also never escape the 'MOMMY!!' of someone who desperately needs me right at that moment. If I ever get to have another laptop, I will hide it away so no one else can use it so that it doesn't turn into the 'laptops' we have now. Both of our laptops are 'grounded'. One is grounded because it has no working battery, so it must always be plugged in. (That is the OLD one that turned itself off earlier today because it overheated.) The other is grounded because the cable connection is loose and Devin is afraid that if we continue to unplug and carry it around that it won't be usable anymore. So, our laptops have turned into old desktops. I'm not complaining (much), since they DO function (most of the time). I'm just saying that sometime it would be nice to hide in the bathroom and type a blogpost.
On to bigger and better things: It's the first day of a new week. Oh, hooray. Devin left this morning for his three week training. I'm oh so sad. I can't help being a little freaked out every time we're separated, but we were just reading and discussing the 'lost' airline and it makes it way worse. On top of the fact that I am just not a good 'single' mom. :/
The kids and I had a nice day, though. We did lots of school projects. We made a rocket and shot it off a few times (until the construction paper disintegrated from all the water and alkaseltzer). Claire went to activity day with her little friends. I couldn't help but sit and muse about what a blessing that is. This is the first time she's lived at a place with a group of girls about her own age that have really accepted her and loved her. I love watching it. I'm so grateful we get to bask in it for another year and a half!! As we've been researching all the different posts, I keep wondering about the most important aspect of a new place: friends. Will there be good friends for my kids? That's not something you can find out from Wikipedia or post reports (no matter how detailed those reports are)! It's all a matter of prayer, then following where the spirit leads, and hoping for the best. I guess it's always that way, whether you're moving to a new neighborhood across town or a new continent. It's all the same, really. People are people, and you just hope you find some kindred spirits along the way to make the way easy.
We've had rain here in Jordan for like 3 days! It's been glorious! I am looking forward to how green everything will be next week. Hooray for spring! :)
Today we had co-op with all our home school friends. It's so great! I love having a full day of classes for my kids that I'm involved with...and yet not the teacher. I do teach a class, but none of my kids are in it. I teach recorder to the 10 year old girls. It's really fun and they're doing really well. A couple of the girls are stressing out, a couple of girls are somewhat bored because it's 'too easy', but most of them are right on target. Sounds like a good class. :D
This morning, though, I realized that I had signed up for the Preschool snack and that today was my day! GAH! I didn't realize that until about 8:45, and we had to leave in 15 minutes. Darn it. So, Josh cut a block of cheese into tiny little cheese cubes while I sliced up 8 big red apples and threw them in a bag with a little lemon juice, some sugar and some cinnamon. We arrived a little late, but it was ok. Apparently the little preschool kids liked my snack. There was nothing left when I got my bag back! 10 little kids sure eat a lot! Usually the kids get crackers or pretzels. I admit that I never give that to my kids, so I didn't have any on hand. It was sort of fun to bring a different snack.
Josh and Claire now have assignments to keep up their own little blogs. This is just as much for them to record their activities as it is an active typing practice. Hopefully it'll help them in many different respects. I always found that typing/writing about my daily activities made me think a little more about what I did. Feel free to check out their little blog rolls and see what they're posting.
And now you've enjoyed the first 'lame' blog post I've written in quite a long time. This is what happens when I try to update more often. You get the mundane. Oh well. It was interesting to me.
I have a few minutes before rushing off, and decided that I really need to get myself back in the habit of blogging. Both for myself, for my kids, for my family (parents and in-laws), and for times when Devin is taken away for training trips. So, I'm going to do a 'back post' without back-posting it! Whew. I don't think that made sense.
All last month, I really struggled. I was very angry, very snappy...pretty much a horrible person that no one wanted to be around. It was a tough inner struggle for me, as I kept thinking in my mind, "I love this person, I'm going to be nice to them!", and then I'd turn around and make snide remarks and bite their heads off. *sigh* I was frustrated and feeling in a rut. Devin and I had long discussions about this but nothing was really helping.
Finally, last weekend, Devin did the impossible: He took the day off. Yes, he has every Saturday off--figuratively speaking--but lately it's been spent catching up on work things, or doing church things, etc., and so EVERY SINGLE DAY is EXACTLY the same for me. I don't mind home schooling my kids. I love it, actually. But I NEED at least one day a week to be different. And I think that's what was bothering me!
Last Saturday, Devin dropped all his other projects, and just hung out with us. He made food for us. After Josh's violin lesson (I go with Josh to his lesson and I practice/play my clarinet while he has his lesson--it's LOVELY), Devin surprised me by piling us all in the car, taking us to Burger Shack, and then to a big outdoor park. The kids played and played and we were all outside together! It was wonderful! Ever since that day, I've felt calm and at peace with the world (I know that it's more than just THAT day that's been helping, but that was the turning point).
I'm so grateful for a husband who is so thoughtful and cares for my needs and that of my family. I'm so blessed.
On to today's news: I had a lovely lunch with some friends--specifically with one friend I've been trying to get to come to 'social' gatherings for some time. I know it isn't because she doesn't WANT to, but that's exactly why I felt like it was necessary to get her out! She works HARD and has an 8 month old baby. I love this lady. I hope she had a nice day out.
This morning, the kids and I had a long heart-to-heart about our math studies. I really don't like the curriculum we're using right now (and no, I'm not going to mention what it is). I think it's vague, doesn't give any explanations or helps... It would probably be an ok supplement, but not a core curriculum. So I've been pondering about what to do about it. I want something that will help them get to where they need to be in math without them feeling overwhelmed or frustrated...and without ME feeling overwhelmed and frustrated! I LOVE math, but I really don't have the time to sit down with each one and give them an hour long math lesson every day. I'd love to, but I can't. I've been thinking about getting some sort of curriculum that was DVD based so they could watch the dvds, but I haven't had a lot of success with DVD based curriculums thus far. Today, though, as I was browsing, I remembered someone mentioning the Khan Academy, so I decided to look it up. It's AWESOME! I have an account as a parent with my kids signed up under me and I can see exactly what they've done and how they're doing, which can help me see what to do to help them better understand a concept, PLUS he has these little teaching example videos that are 2-2 1/2 minutes long that explain the concept to the kids (or whomever). Josh and Claire took to it immediately! They get special points for completing a class and get badges to show their accomplishments. Josh spent an hour on it this morning. Both of them asked if they could use this as their math now. Cool. I'll try it. It will teach them what they need to know, and I can supplement what they don't understand, or give practice as they need using these other math websites with worksheets and stuff. The kids like that during math time now, they get to use their iPads with earphones on so they can watch the videos and take the quizzes. I'm just happy they're excited about math again. I hope this works. I feel like the older ones are way behind where they should be because of the nature of the math book we were try
I realized that I give my kids computer and iPad app time every day. Yes, it's for school apps, typing, and critical thinking games, but still. Why don't I get computer time? I suppose it's because normally during that time I'm prepping for dinner, reading a book, running someone to somewhere, or doing something inane. Why can't I take a minute during their computer time and do my computer time, too? Huh. This could be the start of something good.
Today, it's raining in Jordan. Hooray! My only concern is that when it rains in Jordan, we usually have really iffy power. If we have more than a few lights on, our breaker tends to trip regularly. Hopefully that doesn't happen. On a normal laptop, it wouldn't be a problem, since it has a backup battery. However, this laptop is SO OLD that the battery doesn't function anymore, so if it's unplugged, or if the power bumps out, the computer just shuts off...then it takes FOREVER to boot up.
Devin and I have been having this conversation quite a bit lately. Our computers are old. Very old. Isn't it a shame to have old computers (and not even computers--they're laptops) when you're an IT guy? We're hopefully going to have that remedied here in the near future. Devin was discussing it with a co-worker the other day. He asked the co-worker what brand/type of computer he (the co-worker) would buy if he were in the market. "I'd build my own!" was the reply. Well, that but the flea in Devin's ear, so he's now researching parts, and hopefully within the next month or so, we will have an actual desktop computer that is, in Devin's own words, "Wicked Fast!" Hooray for wicked fast computers! :) Love that man!
In other news, Josh is growing like the proverbial weed. He literally grows about a centimeter every 2 weeks. He is now just about 1 cm shorter than I am. I took him to get shoes the other day, since his shoes were falling apart, and he tried on some men's size 7, only to tell me they felt too small. What??!? He thought size 8 was perfect. I did the 'toe test', and his toes go all the way to the tip top of the size 8s...so they won't last too long, either. When did his feet grow to be more than an inch bigger than mine? Where have I been?
We're enjoying our country studies and learning all sorts of things about all sorts of countries. We are slowly (oh so slowly) whittling down a long list to just a few choice countries that we plan to bid on. And no, I'm not going to list them here. When our bids are in (circa August), I'll list the top 10-15, and then everyone can guess all they want to. Until then, it's our little secret. It's been fascinating, though, as the kids and I have studied these places, to see their preferences and ideas. They're being very mature about it and looking at things with not only a critical eye, but with an eye to the future. I'm very impressed with their thoroughness and their impartial look at all of these countries. It's a neat experience.
I'm sure everyone is wondering about the picture up at the top... We had a church activity for Valentine's day. It was originally an adult only social. We had a dinner and played some games and planned to have a dance at the end. There was a little wedge placed in our evening's plans, though, when the most WONDERFUL lady in the world, who was watching ALL of the kids in the branch, let us know that our 2 hours were up and the kids knew it! Ha! So, after our dinner and game time, Devin went and picked up all the kids, and they joined us for the dance portion of our evening. :) It turned out to be the BEST ACTIVITY EVER!! We all had SO much fun! The dads danced with their daughters and it was SO funny! Honestly, I really think it was the best activity I've ever attended. I'm sad that more people didn't come--it was so fantastic and fun for everyone. I love this branch here SO much. We are so very blessed to have a branch full of the most amazingly wonderful people! I'm grateful for that.
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...