Archive for September, 2010

As I wrote in an earlier entry, my Mom is helping my girls learn to do a little sewing for American Heritage Girls.  Today she came over again and showed them some basic hand sewing stitches, and the girls really took to it! In fact, this afternoon, they asked if they could practice some more, and they were both busy for several hours!

We did have a tearful moment, however. Cosette dropped her needle on the floor and couldn’t find it.  She fretted while she diligently searched.  I told her I could get her another needle, but she said, “This is the one GRANDMA gave me!  I have to find IT!”  Well, Luke came to the rescue.  He said, “I know!  I’ll get my metal detector!”

What a great idea!  What makes this really funny is that even though we’ve had that detector since Luke’s birthday in April, we didn’t get it out to try until this morning!

So, Luke went to work, searching the carpet, and it wasn’t very long until we heard “beep, beep, beep,” and Cosette shouted, “I found it!  There it is!”  So, Luke was a hero, and the metal detector is now the coolest item in this house!  🙂

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Wow, this has been a hectic week!  It seems like we’ve been running helter-skelter non-stop since last Friday!  By the time Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and American Heritage Girls all get going, our evenings are pretty full.

The girls are continuing to enjoy American Heritage Girls.  John and Brock went to a Boy Scout camp this weekend, while Luke went to a Cub Scout day camp on Saturday, so the girls and I had a special American Heritage Girls weekend too!  We spent some time working on a lapbook that we are assembling as we are learning the requirements for the Joining Badge.  For the 7 C’s of History badge, Cosette designed a costume for one of our VBS puppets to turn it into a Noah puppet that she will use for her news interview with Noah about the world-wide flood. Kara is working on making pictures for each of the 7 days of creation.  My Mom came over on Saturday morning to work with the girls on their sewing badge requirements.  She had samples of many different kinds of fabric for the girls to learn about. They mounted the different samples on cardstock and labeled them too.  Kara has been very fabric-conscious ever since.  She notices what clothes are made of and looks at them closely to see if they are woven or knit, printed, etc.

When Dan and the boys came home from their camping activities, the girls helped set up the tents in the backyard so they could sleep outside too.  This has actually gone on all week–different kids on different nights.  We’ve had perfect weather for it, except for last night when Dan and Brock got rained out!


So, we never lack for things to do! LOL! The kids’ school projects are getting in full gear as well. John is beginning his science project, which will be about antennas and how they affect Wi-Fi signals. Brock is starting on his 6th grade map project, and Luke is beginning the 3rd grade animal notebook. Hmm…..I wonder what I’m going to be doing????? 🙂

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This book is published by Lamplighter Publishing.  My son John read this book for one of his A Beka Academy 8th Grade book reports, and thoroughly enjoyed it.  This is his review:

W. E. Cule’s Sir Knight of the Splendid Way tells of the adventures of Sir Constant, a knight who is seeking the City of the Great King by following a path that is known as the Splendid Way.  This wonderful allegory is set in the times of knights and castles, providing an enthralling background for this tale of the Christian life.  The main character Sir Constant, repeatedly drawn away from the Splendid Way, faces many challenges as he fights with the villainous Black Knight and his subtle companions.   The lesson most clearly shown in this captivating book is that God’s everlasting grace can save one from many sinful traps sent by our personal enemy, the Devil.

Sir Constant, an eager knight for the Lord, finds himself caught by the Black Knight on multiple occasions in this book.  The Black Knight, always wanting to take Sir Constant as a personal slave, attacks him and almost wins several times.  However, the King proves faithful and delivers Sir Constant from every trap, often allowing Sir Constant to assist a fellow knight in escaping the Black Knight’s snares as well.

The many times Sir Constant was rescued prove how God can deliver people from any sin ranging from pride and resentment to mere laziness.  In an early chapter, Sir Constant is invited to stay in a luxurious mansion for the night; however, it is revealed that this house of pleasure does not tolerate the Carpenter and that even the copy of the King’s book is fake and omits the stories of the true heroes.  Donning his armor, Sir Constant tries to escape this disguised prison.  As he leaves, however, he notices the owner of the mansion, Sir Joyous, talking with a vile knight that he hears is the Black Knight himself.  Shortly afterward, the Black Knight and his helper notice Sir Constant and attack him.  Sir Constant, finding himself surrounded, is forced to fight and nearly loses when confronted with his enemy.  In desperation, he seeks the comfort and strength of his King’s Son’s Face.  The vision that he receives encourages him and helps him beat his foe.

Later in the story, a similar encounter with the Black Knight happens when Sir Constant is so envious of his fellow knights’ achievements that he cannot bear to stay in the same house with them.  As he walks alone, he meets the Knight of the Wolf, who invites him to go to his house.  Once they reach the house, the Knight of the Wolf and his squire give Sir Constant the Wine of Adulation, which dulls Sir Constant’s mind.  Soon afterward, Sir Constant and his two new companions follow a garden path that, instead of leading back to the Knight of the Wolf’s house, leads down into a dismal wood filled with all kinds of evil animals.  As they keep walking, Sir Constant notices a stronghold ahead.  Immediately the Black Knight greets him and informs Sir Constant that the Knight of the Wolf and a new knight, the Knight of the Prison Bars, are his accomplices.  Sir Constant quickly enters into a fierce battle with his enemies.  As the fight progresses, Sir Constant is quickly overwhelmed due to the number of his opponents.  At the very last minute, the knights of whom Sir Constant was envious showed up and quickly defeated their worn-out foes.

God’s forgiveness and faithfulness to rescue us from the many snares set up by the Devil are clearly demonstrated in this book.  For me, this book was one of the best books I have ever read because of its value in teaching various pivotal doctrines that Christians ought to hold on to.  Also, every single one of this book’s many scenes are extremely vivid and enjoyable to read.  One of my favorite aspects of this book is that the action in chapters dealing with fights directly with the Black Knight and his minions is extremely addicting to read.  I recommend that any Christian read this book so that he can perhaps understand the threats and wiles that Satan uses against us.

I also found this video clip about this book:

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Four Years

Four years ago today this beautiful girl became part of the Prairie Family, and she has enriched our lives so much!  We are truly blessed to have her!  For those who may not know the amazing story of how God brought Kara to us, this clickable link tells of His Almighty Hand that brought her home.

I have been thinking today about how neat Kara is, and I want to share just a few key points about her.

1. When people meet Kara, the comment is “She is really adorable!”  I don’t know how many times we’ve heard this, but we agree:  she is really adorable!

2. Kara is a happy, loving girl.  The picture for this entry is just who she is–all smiles and joy. Compare that to the serious, sober faces in the baby pictures that she is holding.  Quite a transformation!  Praise be to Jesus!

3. Kara puts her whole heart into whatever she is doing.  That is an admirable trait.

4. Kara LOVES to be a helper.  Whenever there is a job to do, there she is, ready and willing to do whatever we will let her do!  And–she’ll stick with it until it’s done.  Even if that means all day!

5. Kara loves Jesus.  She gave her heart to Him when she was four, and always speaks of Him in such a loving and real way.

6. Kara loves American Heritage Girls.  We have just started this program, but like so many things, she is going at it whole-heartedly.

7. Kara loves her siblings, and her siblings all love her.  No doubt about it, she was meant to be part of the Prairie Family.

8. One thing Kara hates:  anesthesia masks.  😦  She has had way too many surgeries during her short little life.  Lord willing, we are getting close to the end of those!

From time to time, I have people ask me how her hands are doing.  My answer to that is that her hands are fine.  She can do everything she sets her mind to, and most people don’t even notice that she has special issues with her hands until they are around her awhile because she adapts and functions so well. This picture of her handwriting paper from school today says it all:


So, the last four years have been precious and amazing, and I look forward to seeing God’s plans for Kara unfold in the years to come. I am certainly blessed to be able to call this beautiful girl my daughter.

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Today has been a very neat day!  The writer of Life at Breezy Point and I have been blogging friends for quite some time.  We have found that our families have lots of things in common like homeschooling, adoption, and violins.  We have enjoyed getting to know each other in “blogland,” and today we had one of those rare opportunities to actually meet, and we had a wonderful time!

This family has been on an extended vacation touring around various spots in the United States, and since they planned to travel through our area, we have been planning a get-together for several weeks.  I didn’t know how much the kids were looking forward to it until this morning when Cosette began asking if today was the day!  We were not disappointed–I think the Mom and I could’ve visited all night! LOL!  The kids played and played at the park, and that was really neat to see.

So, Breezy Point Family, thanks for a nice visit.  It was a pleasure getting to meet your beautiful family!  It’s great to have blogging buddies transformed into real-life friends.

I just have to share one more picture–so cute!

Sweet Girls!

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And Now, There Are Four!

Just a little over a year ago, we got two “female” guinea pigs so John could work on the Boy Scout Pets merit badge.  As was predictable, one of our “females” ended up being a male, and we got a third, adorable little baby guinea pig a few months later.  Last week, we acquired another guinea pig that was looking for a new home, so now the Prairie Family house is turning into the Prairie Family “Pig” Farm!  🙂

Seriously, though, we love these little critters, and they do add some excitement to our home.  It also gives the kids a small taste of the responsibility of taking care of animals. Each of our guinea pigs have unique and special personalities, and we plan on keeping them all. (That being said, we are probably at our limit, and can’t take any more!  LOL!)

Our original pigs are Abilene and Snickers.  The kids have given Abilene the nickname of Abel because he is the one that ended up being our male and they didn’t think Abilene sounded very masculine.  He is quite the eater–a regular trash can!  🙂  Snickers is sweet, but very, very shy.  She generally hides in the corner when anyone new walks by, but she’ll come out for lettuce.

Chip was the offspring of Abilene and Snickers.  He is one feisty little dude!  He jumps around like crazy, and can be rather “porcupinish.”  He doesn’t always appreciate being petted, and definitely has those he will allow to pet him and others that he won’t.  He is funny to watch, though, because he gets so excited over such silly things!  He loves hay and will make the person who gives it to him feel very appreciated by jumping around for joy when it is brought to his cage.  He loves tunneling around in hay, and has even been known to hide snacks in his hay to save for later.  Definitely a cute little guy!

Sophie is our new addition.  We have pig-sat for her a couple of times, so we were already pretty well acquainted with her before she came to live with us permanently.  She is the sweetest thing–and very smart too.  She loves attention and will gladly accept petting from anyone who will offer it to her!  She has this pet-purse carrier thing that she loves to be carried in.  She’ll just jump into that bag and be perfectly content to be carried around.

So, now we have four guinea pigs.  They are certainly a lot of fun, and the kids really enjoy them.

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Several weeks ago, I mentioned that the Prairie Family had some exciting news about American Heritage Girls.  At that time I didn’t have all of the information to make an informed blog post, but now I do, so I am officially announcing that our family is one of the newest Trailblazer families with American Heritage Girls!

I have tried different programs over the years with the girls, but I was drawn to American Heritage Girls from the very beginning because of their solid, Biblical values.  When I first looked at the group, however, they only worked through chartered troops, and there were none anywhere near where we live.  I was excited to learn through one of my scouting Yahoo groups during the early summer months that AHG had started a Trailblazer program, which is similar to the Boy Scout’s Lone Scout program.  Families who live in isolated areas can now apply to be considered for this program.  We filled out the necessary forms and were accepted, and the girls were THRILLED!

AHG has already been so helpful as we are getting started, and their program is top-notch.  We feel blessed to be able to participate in this group, and plan on being involved for the long-term.

Right now, the girls and I are working through the membership badge requirements, and we are starting a couple of merit badges too. My plan is to work on one “academic-type” badge and one “activity-type” badge at the same time, so we will have variety in our activities.  We aren’t going to hurry through the requirements, but plan on spending time to do a quality and thorough job on each step.  The girls helped me pick out which badges they wanted to work on first.  We are going to do the 7 C’s of History badge from the Heritage Frontier and the Sewing badge from the Family Living Frontier.  Cosette has wanted to learn how to sew for a long, long time, and my Mom has graciously agreed to help us with the requirements for that badge.

So, we are pretty excited about this whole thing.  We’re just in the beginning stages of getting started, but we are having fun already. If anyone is interested in learning more about the American Heritage Girls Trailblazer program, please don’t hesitate to ask, and I’ll point you in the right direction!  In the mean time, I plan on making regular entries to share what the girls are doing.

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This weekend, Brock completed his first major project for 6th grade:  the Adopt-A-Tree poster for science class.  He was to pick a tree to study by observation and research.  We are fortunate that Dan works at a research facility that has specimens of many varieties of trees that really are not grown here except with special care, and they all have signs posted by them identifying what kind of trees they are. That makes this project much easier than just finding a tree somewhere and then trying to figure out what it is!  🙂

The tree that Brock chose is a beautiful White Birch tree.  There aren’t many of these trees in our area, and this one is particularly nice because it is one of the babied research trees!  We got pictures, measurements, and online information to complete the poster, and then Brock wrote the brief report to include on the final project.  He will also give an oral presentation.

I think the poster came out pretty nice.  We’re learning tricks as we progress through our homeschooling experience that make these kind of projects easier and more attractive.  By the time all of the kids are finished, we should have a lot of tricks up our sleeves!  🙂

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Back on August 25, I wrote this entry telling about Kara’s pending dental work.  Basically, she has very poor quality teeth that appear to be related to poor pre-natal conditions while her teeth were developing.  She is at the point of needing several teeth worked on extensively, and today was her first appointment.  The dentist wasn’t sure how this would go because of her age combined with her very sensitive gag reflex, but he wanted to try it as an office procedure before deciding on general anesthesia in the hospital.

He got three of her teeth done today using a combination of a prescription to make her sleepy and nitrous oxide, and she really did very well.  He really wanted to get a fourth tooth done, but by the time she had sat there for an hour and a half, she was really getting fidgety even with the nitrous oxide, and the dentist decided to hold off.   So, he is not yet half-way finished.  Our options were to have probably two more of these appointments (that are pretty stressful, to tell you the truth!) or to finish it under general anesthesia and be done with it.

We were all in agreement right away that the best thing for Kara is to have it done in the hospital and get it over with all in one shot.  I know that going under anesthesia for Kara is stressful because of her long history of surgeries. She absolutely HATES the mask, and that will cause quite a bit of apprehension in her.  But this should be the last procedure like this that she’ll have to deal with for the forseeable future, and I think ultimately it’ll be better than going back multiple times to face difficult treatments.

We haven’t got the hospital schedule yet, so we don’t know when this will be, but I’m sure it will be soon.  Kara’s teeth are literally getting worse by the day, so the sooner we can get them taken care of, the better.  In the mean time, I will be praying that Kara will have peace about going back to the hospital, and that she’ll have no fear when being put under the anesthesia.

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