Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Through the Woods

This is the trail to Grandpa and Grandma's house. Doesn't it look inviting? It is going to be used a lot this summer because they won't be going away for the summer like they have every other one since they moved here. Yipeee!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Congratulations to Two New Graduates!

PearlKeeper and Nathan graduated from their home schools this past Saturday. We are very proud of them!

My Teacher's Planning Fix

I've been getting my fix from this website, pouring over old Parent's National Education Union programs.
And this week I'm headed to a Charlotte Mason conference in North Carolina for three days. I'll be sure to blog about it when I get back.
I hope the ladies at our CM support group meeting will be ready for me this month!! :)

Our Memorial Day

We woke up without any big plans for the day, just some yard projects and a cookout in the evening. I had not even talked to my extended family about the cookout until that morning. Then our nephew and his wife, who recently moved here, called to find out what we were doing. I told them about our planned work and cookout and welcomed them to come. He said great, he'd love to come help work and play.
This nephew is great because he's young, strong and FULL of energy. Before long he and my daughter's fiancee had the trampoline net up and the kids were bouncing away. The little ones enjoyed the "baby" pool while the big pool was being drained and cleaned out. Our nephew went immediately from the trampoline net job to vacuuming the water and leaves out of the bottom of the pool, which involved lifting the wet-dry vac out of the pool and emptying it over the sides every couple of minutes. The kids got in and scrubbed the sides. Before long we were filling it up, telling the kids it would be at least tomorrow until they could swim. Boy, were we wrong! Whoever knew that two inches of water could provide hours of fun for so many children? They stayed in until dark, playing games and sliding around. I got to cuddle my niece on the hammock while the other children entertained themselves in the pool.
Other things that were accomplished were the planting of more green beans, mulching and watering the garden, mowing and weed-eating.
Later in the afternoon, my sister and her family came over and at around 6pm, Grandma and Grandpa and my daughter's boyfriend (who's got a better word for the young man who's courting your daughter?) came over just in time for the truckload of meat that I had grilled. We had steaks, chicken and a few burgers. When everyone put their food on the bar, we had a feast.
After dinner and visiting, we played the Poetry Game. This is where everyone starts a poem with the first line and then passes it to the next person. The next person adds their line and then folds the paper back so the next person will only see the last line written. Then they have to add a line, etc. This isn't always fun with just anyone, but with our family, it get's crazy. We played this game until 10:30 at night and then everyone started winding down.
The house is a disaster this morning, but it was worth every bit of mess!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I Have a Weird Family

I would have titled this post 'I Have Weird Kids' but I couldn't because my youngest sister was involved too, in fact she started it. They stayed up late into the night making "Creatures". Sometimes the creature is developed first and then given a name and other times the name is called out and then someone draws the creature. Amazingly, this provided hours of fun entertainment filled with laughter.
Here are some of the creatures, just so you can get an idea of how weird they sometimes are.

I hate to admit, I got involved once and did this one:

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Newly Discovered Language Arts Help

We have used a Charlotte Mason approach to language arts for many years now. Reading great books, copying prose and poetry, dictation selections, oral and written narration have all produced great results in our home. Choosing dictation selections and knowing which elements to highlight and discuss is one part I struggle with. So when I stumbled upon Brave Writer, after reading this post at Here in the Bonny Glen , I was very interested. After viewing the sample lesson here, I was excited to find out someone had done a lot of work that I could benefit from. Not only are there dictation passages from great books with literary and grammar elements highlighted, but there are other writing ideas in each lesson that may light a spark with young writers. There are also many free ideas on the website and blog. Check out the writing prompts found under Friday Freewrites.
Today when I shared one idea from the Brave Writer lessons, I almost fell off my chair when my 15yo sounded enthusiastic. Not only was she enthusiastic but she threatened that if I didn't require it of her, she would probably do it on her own! This is the child who never wants to write anything that comes from her own mind, though she will willingly do written narrations and loves to keep a commonplace book of quotes and favorite passages from her reading. So I have ordered and printed off many of the lessons and can't wait to try them out. We may just have to have special 'Summer Writing' notebooks just for fun!

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Way of a Man with a Maid

It's funny that days after writing this post on courtship issues, AdventureQueen entered into a relationship with a young man that she has been acquainted with for some years. It's also funny that you can spend so much time thinking about how you may or may not plan to do things and then have something totally unique unfold before your eyes and you find yourself not worried at all about your planned-out procedures.
We, especially Mr. Potts, had always planned to be the one "interviewing" the young man and getting to know him in order to protect our daughters. But there is one thing about AdventureQueen, you can depend on her for accurate, detailed accounts of almost everything in her life. Both she and this young man dive right into deep, probing conversations every time they see each other. She sits on our bed almost every night and joyfully recounts every conversation and reads us every text message. She does not do this out of dutiful drudgery. It is obvious she can't wait to capture our undivided attention and share her excitement with us.
Another factor is the character of this young man. We couldn't be more impressed with his honesty, integrity and the honor and respect he has shown us and our daughter. His family is rather well known in our community since his father is the pastor of one of our local churches, and their reputation proceeds them. (This protective mother began asking around as soon as their was an sign of interest between them.) All reports have been glowing recommendations.
Of course, we know he must have shortcomings. We all do. Even though we don't have any objections to the match, we are still encouraging them to be careful on an emotional level until there is a surety in place. We know they are both committed to physical purity and they understand the protection they need to have by not being alone or in any vulnerable situation. She's proven to us that she is capable of making wise decisions, even when it goes against what she really wants to do (and we've seen the same of him). We believe her relationship with God is strong enough to carry her through whatever may come her way so that is helping us to relax a little.
So, we are at peace. And we are excitedly watching one of the mysteries of life...
There are three things which are too wonderful for me,
Four of which I do not understand:
The way of an eagle in the sky,
The way of a serpent on a rock,
The way of a ship in the middle of the sea,
And the way of a man with a maid.
Proverbs 30:18-19

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

"A tranquil heart is life to the body, but passion is rotteness to the bones"

Proverbs 14:30
With so much going on in this stage of life, tranquility is not something that is easily attained. Not for me at least. My personality definitely weights in on the passionate side. I've always known this and made attempts to temper myself. Many, many prayers have gone up regarding this topic. After coming across this verse in Proverbs, I have been making it my motto/prayer.
Life at this point closely resembles a tornado and it would seem impossible to find any measure of tranquility. Seven children and all of their various activities and needs are enough to fill any plate not to mention extended family, our church fellowship and various homeschooling involvements. God has richly blessed us, there is no doubt.
I'm finding if I take opportunity, especially in the quiet moments, to let Him "lead me beside quiet waters" I find enough peace to carry me through.

Great Chance for An Excellent, Free Biology Set

Spunky is giving away a Benz Microscope and Apologia Biology Set this week. Click Here to get the details.