New Button On The Side Bar

I just added a ‘follow’ button to have posts come directly to email. I mainly did this for my husband… so now I don’t have to email him my links anymore. 😉 But it is there for all convenience now… and hopefully for a dear southern friend who wanted to get emails but couldn’t figure it out. Now, I know why. The button wasn’t there like I thought it was.

Thanks for reading here.

I was floundering
… in my thoughts…
when I realized-

I write for myself.

I write…
for myself.

I write…
hopefully,
for my posterity

whom I treasure.

For my heritage.

To tell our story. To capture it. To remember. To re-center. To be quiet and be filled.

To count grace gifts.

To call to mind….

Lamentations 3:
21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.

and

Psalm 77

11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
12 I will ponder all your work,
and meditate on your mighty deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is great like our God?
14 You are the God who works wonders;
you have made known your might among the peoples.
15 You with your arm redeemed your people,
the children of Jacob and Joseph.

And I see, I seek, I find.

Because, surely, the Lord is at work today, in this home, in this heart, in this family, and His redemption is nigh.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me.

All is grace,

-Rebecca

The Things They Say- Girl Edition

Todd defrosted a big turkey we had saved in our freezer. On Sunday, he was preparing it for our dinner. One twin took note of the massive bird and declared she could see its ‘eye’…she talked about its size with great excitement. The other, well.

She appeared at my side in all pensive seriousness. And then she said, “Mommy, why do we eat animals?” She is 4. And I, I think to myself… is she really talking about what I think she is talking about… so I test it. And probe a little… and sure enough, “Mommy, the turkey, why are we going to eat the turkey? I don’t want to eat animals.” The shock and appall is evident. She is an animal lover. She spends so much of her day coloring beloved pictures of animals we print for her. I try to quell this train of thought because, truly, we are not in a position to support vegetarianism at this time- not to mention we do not consume any dairy products(life threatening allergy) in our family and it would seriously hurt her nutrition. (and she doesn’t like to eat vegetables!) However… that thought process was in motion. Sweet, tenderhearted girl. This I know. This is also the girl who put her hand on her heart and took a step back in dismay when she learned that I (unwittingly, unknowingly) threw away paper strips that were her “rainbow” she was saving just for me. With sincere apology on my behalf, she took to the rainbow making with due diligence once more. 🙂

The Things They Say!

I am driving home with just three little girls in my car. Three girls who are, seemingly daily, asserting their feminine uniqueness, preferences, and emotional intelligence. New to our home- we have, “She’s not my friend!” when upset or hurt over something. It makes Todd and I raise our eyebrows, we can’t help chuckle, and we also furrow brows and wonder… this girl thing. It is new for us.

So–
these little girls are riding side by side in their matching pink and gray carseats. Three in a row. And one little girl- just spontaneously says, “I love Salome. She’s my friend.” Then. The little girl next to her says- with confidence and authority. “I love Johanna.” (Dear ones, you made quite an impression- you have no idea!) And then. Littlest one, not to be outdone or left out. Lisps confidently- “I love Elsie!” O, I laughed. (I hope you do, too.)

The Things They Say!

Truth: I am trying to get in my groove and flow with my girls. My precious girls. Sometimes, I stare at them and then I grab them close and hug or rub their little backs. Remembering the sweet nurslings I can still see in those still rounded cheeks and sweet lips. They are still so much the same in heart and soul. We come from the womb, who we are, inherently, and what a privilege to discover the gift of personality, uniqueness, love in each precious one and be a part of its growth to maturity and in strength and beauty. My baby has hardly felt like a baby at all. She has been so alert and interested in everything and active from the get- go.
So, I take a few minutes to catch my breath and re-center. To better love and attend. To better know- my people.

Teaching Preschool

I have been greatly enjoying my year thus far teaching preschool. And just tonight, I realized this is probably my last go round. I shocked myself and determined to try to enjoy it truly much more than I am.

Preschool is such a wonderful time in our family. It is a time when I seek to lay a strong foundation in beautiful books. The books that are the heritage of our family. It is a time when I gently teach about Jesus who we love and His love for us.  Simple Bible stories, sweet character books, nurturing devotionals. Hymn Singing and Bible Songs. Nursery Rhymes and Mother Goose. Memorizing precious prayers.

Some resources that have been treasures for me recently:

Memoria Press Preschool and literature I have been homeschooling for over ten years and I have always taught preschool. This is the first curriculum that I have ever recommended on this blog and can truly say I love. It suits me perfectly and I am so so pleased with how they are learning. I do not have experience teaching boys with it, though. My girls, they adore it and especially love the workbook component in the Jr. K program. I do not think my boys would have been so very enthused in that way. 😉 Other curriculums I have used and loved (but not so perfectly as this) have been Before Five in A Row and Little Hands to Heaven. Little Hands to Heaven suited my boys but I struggled with a great longing for much more beauty and literature. I was constantly adding to it. I supplemented every letter with literature and fine art. In fact, I even wrote a little preschool program that featured it at the heart with all my supplements organized and scheduled in. We are making beautiful memories using the Memoria Press program and my heart is full of peace.

Silly Willy Moves Through the ABC’s

Jesus Loves Me

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star ( Twinkle, Twinkle has a long history in our family…with one beloved Ama singing it at certain bedtimes she presided over… and then our String players all starting with the “Twinkles” and now, one precious little two year old- who seems to be born to Violin, playing and singing it all day long. It, along with Jesus Loves Me, are her two requested songs at every bed and naptime. This imaginative telling captivates us.)

Its Time To Sleep, My Love

Its Time for Bed (so much a part of our family culture that Todd and I spontaneously began quoting it at bedtime to two young boys… who, I then discovered,  were completely oblivious to what we were sharing. I remedied that immediately.)

We’re Going On A Bear Hunt (Read very dramatically)

The Alphabet Room (still a favorite for so many years)

The Picture Bible for Little People

Blessings on your days,

Rebecca

Better Late…. 2015/16 group school photo

So, we took these photos in September… on a whirlwind, hectic day… when I just tried to fit it in… with grand hopes (well, with Todd reassuring actually but deep in my heart- I knew. I knew that this would probably be the best I would manage this year…) that we would recreate the photo at a better time. I even saved all the grade level papers carefully in grand hopes…we had to be somewhere, I forget where now… and Todd was home and I was bound and determined to take this photo. I usually take it in August. It was already toward the end of September.  Different  new commitments this year disrupted and have changed our rhythms and have led to the difficulty in taking and re-taking. And soon, it will be Thanksgiving and I will be taking those dear to me photos- so, well, here I am.

This is the best group I managed, complete with the sun in face salute. 🙂 My, I love these precious ones.  So, so dear to me. My heart, walking around outside my body. These are my people. I love them.

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2015-16

10th, 9th, 7th, 6th, 4th, 2nd, Jr. K, Jr. K, preschool (2 1/2)

Hope…with Feathers (Emily Dickinson)

BY EMILY DICKINSON

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,

It asked a crumb – of me.

I read this poem aloud today to all my children. And O!, it spoke to me.

And a lovely blog to encourage all you Mamas with big visions and dreams for your precious ones: Hope With Feathers

A New Take On Notebooks

Notebooks Revised At Our House For 2015/16

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(from my vantage point on the couch during a school day , an actual notebook, left open in mid-use 🙂 )

Last year, (in June actually)- I shared about how we were using notebooks to help guide our homeschool days.

This year, I very quickly fell underwater trying to keep up with handwriting six students’ personal notebooks each night. It just wasn’t happening and the results were sorrowful.

I didn’t want to lose the notebook.

The notebook is so concrete. It is hard to lose. Each child has his/her own unique color. It is tangible. We had tried clipboards in the past. We had utilized index cards. I love the notebook!

And… I can’t help but mention…one of my children- creatively “built” a paper pocket on the front of his notebook for his pencil. He stores it there in the most handy way. 🙂

Todd suggested I type a master sheet out and print it each Sunday night. He was quite firm that there was no way I was able to hand write each book each night or even for a whole week. Not enough time. I talk about master sheets in that prior post (and why I didn’t want to use them!) He even mentioned the dread clipboard.  I pondered a bit on how I could generate a typed chart for the kids yet still maintain the simplicity and power of the notebook in our school days.

Then, I remembered!

When I was in 7th grade (in public school), I had a very interesting Science teacher ( I think it was 7th grade… anyone who shared those classes with me who remembers- feel free to correct me!) This science teacher asked us to tape our worksheets- I think maybe they were lab sheets- into our  spiral notebooks. Folding them in half, and taping them with scotch tape , so that they could flip open inside the book.

Voila! This is what I decided to do to transform our notebooks.

My second concern was how to overcome the stagnancy (and redundancy) or the master chart. Seeing the same thing each week, and then starting to ignore those same things!

I quickly overcame the stagnancy of the master chart by editing it each week with my calendar in hand. I update each one day by day with what the week holds. I also feel free to write on the plans throughout the week as needed- updating as we go along.

I just (tonight) finished entering assignments for our third week using this plan. The first week, it took me so much time to create a sheet for everyone, I became exhausted and ended up accidentally deleting a whole student’s plans. 😦 Ugh. I pressed on, recreated it, and away we went.  I don’t recommend that approach! The moral of that little story- is that perhaps I shouldn’t have tried to attempt so much in one night! Spacing it over a weekend, two at a time, might have been better. But I have my scheduled planning/school time on Sunday evenings, and that is when I had the time and focus to work on it. So that is what I did.

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Some links for your pondering:

(The original post on spiral notebooks!)

http://amongstlovelythings.com/spiral-notebooks/

(I found the notecard post!)

http://livinglearningandlovingsimply.blogspot.com/2013/01/on-guiding-children-with-notecards.html

(my first post on how we use notebooks!)

https://rlfb.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/notebooks-post-3-homeschool-planning-mini-series/