Archive for February, 2008

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This report was written by my son John, who is a 5th Grade student of Abeka Academy DVD Program 1:

                                  Helen Keller

     Even though Helen Keller has been dead for many years, her example still helps deaf and blind people deal with life.  Helen was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, on June 27, 1880.  She was an average child until she was eighteen months old.  Then she got an illness that destroyed both her sight and her hearing.  Later both she and her father went to Alexander Graham Bell for advice.  He said that the Perkins Institute for the Deaf and Blind might be able to help.  When Mr. Keller did ask them, they replied by sending a teacher named Anne Sullivan.  That teacher taught her many things, such as how to spell and talk.  She even helped Helen when she went to college.

     Helen was always wanting to learn.  She was also loving.  Her two biggest influences were her teacher and her decision to help the deaf and blind.

     Later in her life she began the Helen Keller Endowment Fund and helped soldiers that were made blind.  She also wrote many books.  During the year 1968, she died.  We can learn to not give up even when we are in a sad situation from her.

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Last night was the Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet.  This is the time to give Cub Scouts their awards as well as to honor the Webelos Scouts who have completed the requirements for the Arrow of Light Award as they move up to Boy Scouts. 

John was one of the boys to move up.  This was no small feat because usually Webelos is a 2-year program, but John joined midway through and had only one year to complete the program.  He has been quite devoted, and we are very proud of him.

Now John is officially a member of Troop 140 Boy Scouts.  He is blessed to have a great scoutmaster who goes to our church and who has already shown special interest in helping John along the way.  We are looking forward to great things!  Tonight is his first Boy Scout Court of Honor, so that will be a big night for him as well.

Click to play 2008 Blue and Gold
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As Predicted in my Last Entry….

As I predicted in my last entry, Brock had a wonderful time with his scout group making his toolbox.  It came out pretty nice!  Now John should make one too–both boys are starting to accumulate tools, and we need a place to contain them and keep them separated.

I am so thankful that my boys are involved in scouts.  It has given them the opportunity to try a lot of new things.  Tomorrow is the Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet, and John will officially be bridging up from Webelos to Boy Scouts.  He is very excited!  John has been visiting the Scout troop that he is going to join for the last several weeks and has just really enjoyed it.  So, I think this will be a good change.

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We had Camp Fire USA this morning.  We usually have it on Tuesday evenings when Brock goes to Cub Scouts, but his leaders changed their meeting to today, so we changed ours too!

We completed the requirements for the marbles pin today.  I am so glad that we did this project because the kids really enjoy playing the game.  I told them that now that the weather is getting nicer, marbles is something that they can play outside using sidewalk chalk to draw the circle.  That made them happy!  We tried a new marbles game that allowed bombsies, and that was fun.  We have the book Marbles: 101 Ways to Play by Stephanie Calmenson and Michael Street, and I reminded the kids that they are always welcome to look at this book to find new games to play. 

We also began the Safe and Secure project in the Trail to Knowing Me by completing the lesson called Safety at Play.  We took a look around our house and found several things that were not that safe (some of them had been purposefully planted before the meeting), and then we talked about what we needed to do to improve the safety in our home.  These are always good reminders that one can never be too careful as far as safety is concerned.

Brock and Daddy are at the special meeting for Cub Scouts.  They are doing a simple woodworking project of building a toolbox.  I am sure that Brock will be all excited about that when he gets home!

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Every now and then, I remember just how grateful I am for Abeka Academy, the homeschool program that we use.  We are enrolled in their DVD Program 1 and have used it for six years.  

I know that no program is perfect, but our experience with Abeka Academy comes pretty close!  The kids have all done so well and are learning so much more than I ever learned.  The video teachers are all tremendous–my kids really feel like they are a part of the class and are sad when the last day of school comes.

Abeka gets criticized for being “too structured” and “too hard,” but the discipline, morals, and work ethic that my kids are learning is exactly what we want.  Yes, the kids have to work hard, but they love learning, and I give credit for that to Abeka Academy.

The program is well put-together for me as well.  Things are clearly laid out and organized, and that makes my job so easy!  I can rest knowing that my kids are getting the best possible education as long as we just follow the day-by-day routine as it is spelled out in the curriculum. 

I really appreciate the morals that are taught in all areas.  The kids are taught to be respectful, to appreciate history, and to love God.  I thought it was neat today when John was supposed to write about who he would consider to be his hero and what characteristics that person had.  He picked our current interim pastor, who is a humble, older retired preacher.  John said that he admires Pastor Colley because of his love for the Bible and his kind heart.  What a testimony!  My kids are growing up valuing the the truly important things, and I am so grateful for that.

Anyway, it’s Scripture memory grading time for this grading period, and the kids have enjoyed being able to have videos of them saying their verses put on this blog.  I pray that their verses will be a blessing.

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.godtube.com posted with vodpod

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.godtube.com posted with vodpod

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.godtube.com posted with vodpod

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February 17, 1996

Twelve years ago on this day I married my best friend.  He has been a faithful, loving husband and a committed daddy to our kids.  God knew just who I needed to be my life’s partner, and He graciously provided. 

I am posting a Smilebox that has some pictures from our wedding.  The song that plays with the pictures is a song that we had sung on that day.  The words have always been special and precious to me.  It is called “The Blessing Song,” and it was written by Dennis Jernigan.

Dan, I love you.  You have greatly enriched my life, and I am truly blessed beyond measure!

Click to play February 17, 1996
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Valentine’s Day 2008

I have always enjoyed Valentine’s Day.  It is a simple, fun holiday with no purpose other than sharing love with people.  Now that I have kids, I really have fun with this day!

I have always had my kids make Valentine sacks.  They quickly fill them up with homemade Valentines for each other.  We also use the little cards from the store, and we put in a few little surprise gifts just for fun. 

This year we got the kids balloons.  We used to do that a lot, but for some reason we have just not thought of doing it for quite awhile.  In fact, I don’t think we have gotten helium balloons since we brought Kara home!  So, these were a big hit.  Ah, the simple pleasures in life!

We also got the kids some Webkinz accessories and trading cards.  These are fun on their own, but having the prize codes to enter on the internet is an added bonus!  The kids all enjoy the trading cards the best because their prizes are kind of a “grab bag.” (i.e. you don’t know what you might get!)  They also enjoy collecting the cards in a binder that we have.

 My life is so rich and so full of Valentines!

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Tonight everyone was feeling well enough to have Camp Fire USA!  YEA!!  Although no one is yet operating at 100%, hopefully we are all improving.

We completed the Creative Arts project of the Trail to Creativity by doing the lesson called “Pull the String.”  We did a strange art project for this lesson that used paint on a string to make a design on a folded piece of paper.  It worked all right, and the kids enjoyed it.

We continued with our marbles project, and the kids (even Kara) were able to explain the rules and vocabulary for the game.  We played a fun game of marbles, and John won.  This has been a good project.  This week the kids asked to play marbles a couple of times on their own, and that’s what it’s all about.  Next week, we will try a new marbles game, and that will complete the requirements for the pin that they will receive.

We also made simple Valentine projects that we decorated with stickers.  I like to have seasonal decorations hanging in our school room, so these worked well. 

I am so relieved that the kids are feeling better.  I’m slowly getting there too, but having them somewhat “back to normal” helps me feel even better!

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Wow, it as been a LLOONNGG few days!  We are still struggling with the flu in our house.  I thought we were all on the mend until yesterday when those who had seemingly gotten over it started feeling worse again.  So, I guess we’re on round 2 of the yucks!

I really thought that Kara, Cosette, and Brock were pretty well over it, but yesterday they all started feeling nasty again.  In fact, Brock is back to just laying around–which is very unusual for him.  Kara started coughing during the night and was obviously running a fever.  The rest of us are still not doing very well either.

So, we decided to do something that we rarely do:  stay home from church today.  This was more for the benefit of others than for ourselves.  Kara was really sad to miss Sunday School, but we tried to explain to her that our coughing would spread germs to the other people and that there are several elderly people that go to our church that could get very, very sick if we gave them our germs.  Not to mention Kara’s Sunday School teacher who is supposed to have surgery this week–definitely not a good time to get sick with whatever it is that we have!

One cute story:  when Kara woke up all feverish, I got her out of bed and gave her medicine and then layed down with her.  She chattered about this and that until the medicine started working, and then she relaxed and I thought she had gone to sleep.  But then I heard her whisper, “Dear Jesus, please help Kara to feel better.  Amen.”  That was good to hear her do.

Hopefully we’ll be on the mend and will be feeling better soon.

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