Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy Birthday

Cake with a tea light because we didn't have any birthday candles.

This is a bit late. I should have posted it on Tuesday which was my actual birthday but I was jet lagged. We made it home that day after a delay departing and then another delay here at arrival while they tried to connect the jetway. We made it home with all our bags, all 200 pounds of stuff valuable things that we can't life without.

I turned 49, for the first time. 49 really is not as old as it used to be. Maybe it is the new 29, okay that is stretching it a bit -- how about the new 39. I am thankful for each day and so celebrating my birthday is part of thankful for each day that God has given me.

Now to plan something fun and exciting for 50.

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Wild West, Storming the Castle, and Conference Fun

One of the benefits of homeschooling is the flexibility. We had a field conference this week and so we decided to have fall break. Honestly it has been a three week break as we did some traveling before the conference.

We have had beautiful weather. We had been told that it might be cold but thankfully that has not been the case. It was hot during the day and then it did get cool when the sun went down.

Miss K did some rock climbing. That is about the size of the rock that she can handle.

The scenery was beautiful. The deep blue sky in contrast with the rock formations. I don't think the photos even show how beautiful it is.

There was a rare sighting of my husband and I together. He was busy meeting with people and sharing what God is doing and some of the exciting things happening.

When surrounded by such natural beauty it is difficult to capture it in photos. I kept tracking photos trying to do that. The blue sky, white clouds some trees in autumn colours and the rock formations were just some of the beauty that we enjoyed this week.

We went on an outing one day. To wander through the park and see the beauty and to know that this is all part of God's creation was a breath taking experience.

Here is J doing some rock climbing. Photos can be made to make it look more difficult than it was. He did have fun climbing some of the rocks.

We had our meetings and meals in the castle. We didn't sleep in the castle but in a guest lodge just up the hill. The other night J and his friend were heading the castle for to watch a movie. I couldn't resist telling them to "have fun storming the castle." I am thankful that J found a friend here. J & J were inseparable climbing and exploring.

A castle is not complete without a knight. Miss K found the knight.

It has been a fun week spending time with others working in the same ministry. Even more was the teaching time that we had. I have some pages of notes from our morning Bible teaching time. As I process I will write a bit more about that time.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Z is for Zoo Memories

Z is for Zoo Memories

I made it to the end of the alphabet. The letters at the end have been more of a challenge. I did look through a list of words that begin with z. I can't say that I got much inspiration from that list so I just went with one of the most used words for z -- Zoo but since it has been a long time since we have been to the zoo we will have to add memories to the title.

I think this photo was when I was in kindergarten and we went to the zoo. This was the petting Zoo within the large zoo near where I grew up. Notice the stroller in the background, I am sure that would not meet today's safety standards.  
Here is Miss K at the same Petting Zoo. The zoo had changed a bit since I was there as a kid.

Just to add a bit of variety to our zoo memories. This was from the zoo in Seattle. We enjoyed a visit there while we were staying there.

I think this is from one of our visit trips to the zoo in the USA. We had been to the zoo in Ukraine once.

Sometimes you see monkeys outside of the cage.

Miss K must have been about 5 years old in the photo. She was still in her stroller. I have to admit that not needing to take a stroller has been freeing. We used strollers until she was about 7 or 8 years old. I think we went through about a stroller or year or so.

I was looking for some other zoo photo memories. We have gone to the zoo in Singapore. When Miss K was about 2 I took her to zoo in Colorado Springs and we fed the giraffes. Some memories pre-date  my digital photos. We do enjoy visiting zoos.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Six Months Ago

The Six Month Report

Six months ago the kids and I loaded 7 suitcases, 3 carry-ons, and a carseat into the back of our van and a friend drove us to the airport. My husband was already in England.

What have we done in the past six months?

  • Moved to a new country. This is the fifth country that I have lived in.
  • Found a house and moved in. This is our fifth house in 11 years.
  • Received our shipment from the USA. It has been in storage for 16 months. It was amazing the things we forgot we had. 
  • Purchased a car. We sold two cars in the States and bought one there. We are loving our diesel. I think we fill it up once a month or so. Driving on the left side is not as much of a challenge as the narrow windy roads.
  • Learned our way around town. I feel like it is an accomplishment when I can drive some place without the SatNav though I still need the SatNav for some places.
  • We found a church and are getting involved there. Miss K goes to kids club, J goes to youth group, I have been going to a ladies Bible study. We have been so blessed by the church in so many ways. 
  • Began homeschooling. We are finding activities for the kids. Miss K has ballet twice a week. J plays football with some other home educating kids. They have began piano and J has flute lessons.
  • We are learning where to shop. I think one thing that I have been doing is learning the brands we like. 
  • We have discovered some foods that we enjoy -- bangers and mash, fish and chips, ice cream, candy, and a few other things. 
  • We have begun to explore and we are learning history along the way. 
  • We are learning new words and terms. I think I have heard posh more times in the past six months. I learned what a rota is. We put our trainers on when we go outside. We wear trousers. 

It has been a fun six months and we look forward to more fun and adventures.

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Y is for You and Me

I think the subtitle for this post is Finding Me. Did you know that you and I are different?

This morning I read a blog post about the best laundry system. On one level this mom was sharing what she has discovered. If you are not careful and do not know yourself you might be swayed by her laundry system and decide that you need to do that. Then next week you read another blog with yet another laundry system and you will be tempted to try that one.

Know yourself. Know your house. Know your husband. Know your children. Know your schedules. Know your limits. Know your strengths. Know your frustrations. Know what works.

Don't feel guilty that someone's best system wether it is for laundry, house cleaning, home school curriculum, is not the best you or your family. Find the best that works for you.

Consider the ideas or tweak the idea to work for you. I love Pinterest and have lots of ideas that I have found there but I also have to know my limits.

For myself and my family I am glad I have found me.
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Praying for the Heart - A Humble Heart

A Humble Heart 

Someone who is humble is not proud or haughty; not arrogant or assertive, but in submission. 

“In humility count others more significant than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)  Humility is displayed in how we view ourselves and how we think of others. A humble heart puts others first, but a proud heart looks down on others. A humble person values other people.

A humble person has a teachable spirit. (Psalm 25:9) That person is looking to learn from others and views every situation as an opportunity to learn.

A humble person has a listening heart. (Psalm 34:2) This demonstrates that each person is important and valued.

Paul, when writing to the Philippians, gives a list of his credentials. All the things that he could boast in but he did not boast rather he considered it rubbish, worth nothing. (Philippians 3:4-8) Paul calls himself the foremost sinner. (I Timothy 1:15)  In this way Paul displays his humility.

Christ is the ultimate example of humility in leaving heaven and coming to earth, taking on the form of a man. His death was a humble and obedient death. (Philippians 2:5-8)

A humble heart views others as God views them. A humble heart understands God’s grace.

Do you walk humbly before the Lord? Do you value what you can learn from others? You can practice humility by listening and learning from others, and from serving others.

Other posts in this series include:

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Sunday, October 12, 2014


I think Moses is one of my favourite Biblical characters. It might be his various interactions with God beginning with the burning bush and then the Ten Commandments. It could be his excuses -- "I can't speak." He leads the people of Israel out of slavery and yet he get frustrated with them. Even in all of that he wants to know more of God.

I was excited when my parents told me that this year Sight & Sound is doing Moses and even more excited that we were able to get tickets during the few days that we were in the area. We were there for an afternoon performance and we some of the younger people in the audience.

I enjoyed the portrayal of his life on the stage -- beginning with being placed in the bulrushes through the burning bush and the plagues and ending with the Ten Commandments. (I know there is more to the story.) This part of the program wrapped up some of the thoughts, "As we took on the challenge of telling this story and studied these historic events, we began to see more than 'Moses the Biblical icon' -- we saw the man. A man who was flawed, who struggled, who often felt alone and unsure of who he was. A man very much like his people -- and perhaps very much like us: in need of deliverance and finding our identity with God."

If you look at Moses past, you see his mother giving him up, then the chance to care for him but again having to give him up. You see a man raised in luxury and royalty and then giving that up. Moses had so much in his past but God wanted to use that. His past was not to define him but God, the I AM wanted him to move beyond that.

I have seen Noah years ago and Ruth. A few years ago we took the kids to see Joseph. Sight & Sound strives to make the Bible come to life and they really do that with their quality productions which includes animals.

J had an aisle seat and so he was next to the sheep and the camels as they came down the aisle. Miss K seems to like the comfort of my lap and she does get a bit heavy.

I am so glad that we were able to see this while we were here. It does make me want to go and again read Exodus learning new aspects of who Moses was and how God used him.

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Down Syndrome Awareness Month

October is Down Syndrome month.

Here are the facts:

"Down syndrome is a genetic condition that causes delays in physical and intellectual development. It occurs in one in every 691 live births. Individuals with Down syndrome have 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46. It is the most frequently occurring chromosomal disorder. Down syndrome is not related to race, nationality, religion or socioeconomic status. The most important fact to know about individuals with Down syndrome is that they are more like others than they are different." From NADS. 

Now that you know the facts, what does it mean to know and love someone with Down Syndrome.

Down Syndrome does cause some physical challenges -- low muscle tone which I need to remember at times when we are hiking and walking that sometimes her muscles have to work harder. Her fingers are short and stubby but she is learning to play the piano.

Down Syndrome does cause learning delays. She will talk non-stop and at times I forget that there was a time when she was delayed in speaking. For Miss K the biggest learning delay at this time is math. She just does not get math facts.

In many ways those with Down Syndrome are just like everyone else.

They have favourite things that they enjoy eating though with Miss K I think everything is her favourite but at the top of the list is mushrooms and shrimp.

They have a sense of humour thought Miss K was serious the other day when she asked, "may I drop school?" And the response was, "no."

Down Syndrome requires those around to have patience and a deep love knowing that this is what God has allowed into our lives to bless us.

Miss K you are a blessing.

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X is for X Marks the Spot

I admit that the end of the alphabet is a bit more difficult. I have made it this far through the alphabet so I am not quitting yet just getting a bit more creative.

X marks the spot on the map. We are traveling and it seems like our designations are just x's on the map.

We are excited to be able to spend some time visiting family and friends and then we have some meetings and a conference.

We left our school books at home as we decided that the books were just too heavy to bring with us. We are doing some fun things. I have done some shopping hopefully it will all fit in our suitcases.

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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Week in Review - 3 October

I am going to combine a bit from last week and a bit from this week into one review. It was just that kind of week for the past two weeks.

Last week we reached Da Vinci in our MOH. I thought we should pause and do some activities. We wrote in a journal like Da Vinci.

It was just some kraft coloured paper with white paper in between.

Then J used popsicle sticks to try to make the bridge. I think the sticks were a bit short as it was difficult. We had done this once at a Da Vinci display when we were in Hong Kong so he was a bit familiar with the concept. That was about as much of a bridge as we could build.

I think I learned that I am not a project based learning mom. That just doesn't work for me and my child. I continue to admire others project based learning. We can do one or two hands on activities but that is about all.

I did make a Jeopardy game for science review. It was a fun way to review. I have stepped up the requirements this year and one of the things that I need to work with him on is learning to study. I remember in high school taking my first test in history. I thought I knew the material but learned that I didn't. Any tips on how to teach him to study?

Following Da Vinci we read about Michelangelo. I did tape paper under the table and allow the kids to paint the ceiling. J remembered doing that years ago. It is still there. If you look under our table, you will see the artwork.

This week we had planned an outing for Monday but rain moved it to a trip to the big mall that we had not been to yet. It was a nice break.  The rest of the week was spent just wrapping up some of our learning as we will take a few weeks off.

That wraps up the last two weeks.

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Friday, October 3, 2014

W is for Walk

We live in the city and we do quite a bit of walking. We walk down the hill to the store or to the post office to mail a letter. We walk up the hill to the park. We walk down the hill and up a hill to church. We walk. Certain family members that shall remain nameless but are of the small variety don't like to walk and will ask to drive but unless it is raining we will often walk.

Thinking about all the walking we do caused me to think about walk in the Bible. Paul writes to the Ephesians urging them to walk in a manner worthy of the calling.  Walk is the everyday thing that we do. It is not the fast race that wears us out nor is it sitting. Walking is moving us in a direction we need to go.

Paul gives specifics of how we are to walk with humility, gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love and to maintain unity of the Spirit. When we are humble we are thinking of others, we put others before ourselves. Gentleness is now we are relating to others. With patience, I think I would like to skip that one. I am not always patient with my children. I like things done when I want it done. I want to start school and get it done not look out at the road work. Patience I need more of that as I walk along the way. Our bearing with one another is not just to put up with one another but it is to be done in love. If we are doing each of these then to have unity will be easy. I think I need to do some spiritual exercise.

So as I walk around the city going up and down I need to also remember that I am to be walking spiritually in a manner that is pleasing to God.



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