"Mothers work wonders once they are convinced that wonders are demanded of them." ~Charlotte Mason

Friday, November 30, 2007

From Lil Yoda's Exam

Lil Yoda performed very well on her exams this term. Below is the poem by William Blake that she memorized.

The Little Lamb

Little lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life and bid thee feed
By the stream and o’er the mead?
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, wooly bright.
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice.
Little lamb, who made thee?
Does thou know who made thee?

Little lamb, I’ll tell thee.
Little lamb, I’ll tell thee.
He is called by thy name
For he calls himself a lamb.
He is meek and he is mild
For he became a little child.
I a child and thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little lamb, God bless thee.Little lamb, God bless thee.

And her narration on William Shakespeare:

William Shakespeare wrote lots of plays. He lived at the time of Queen Elizabeth. The old plays were boring but these plays had more talent, like A Midsummer Night’s Dream or The Taming of the Shrew or Romeo and Juliet. Not all of those have happy endings.

Like in Romeo and Juliet. Romeo died because he thought that Juliet had died but it was just poison, and the poison that Juliet had dranken only lasted for a little while, so that the other person that she was supposed to marry would think she died and then she could marry Romeo. But Romeo thought she died and he actually died. So Juliet killed herself.

Shakespeare performed his plays at the Globe Theater. There was a secret trap door on the stage so that the people could appear from nowhere. And there was a secret trap door up on top so that the people could be flying.

Shakespeare was born in the 15s [1500s], somewhere. He lived in Europe.

The people that were performing onstage at the Globe Theater sometimes said, “Hello,” three times. But the people that weren’t onstage didn’t know why. They said, “Hello,” three times because there were three places there. The people with cushions had to pay three pennies, the people with no cushions had to pay two pennies, and the people with no seat had to pay one penny to get in. But it’s not like that nowadays. Nowadays we like to sit around and listen to the plays, and laugh at an inside theater. The Globe Theater had no top, so therefore it was an outside theater. So they couldn’t perform when it was rainy or when it was snowing or when there was a thunderstorm.

From Padme's Term Exams

We completed our Term Exams Thanksgiving week. I thought I'd post a couple of excerpts here. The exam is several pages long, and Padme did a fantastic job! I am always amazed at how much detail the kids are able to retain, based on Charlotte Mason's education methods. We use the http://www.amblesideonline.org/ curriculum.

The poem Padme memorized, by William Blake:

Piping down the valleys wild
Piping songs of pleasant glee
On a cloud I saw a child
And he, laughing, said to me,

“Pipe a song about a lamb.”
So I piped with merry cheer.
“Piper, pipe that song again!”
So I piped. He wept to hear.

“Piper, sit thee down and write
In a book, that all may read,”So he vanished from my sight,
And I plucked a hollow reed.

And I made a rural pen
And I stained the water clear
And I wrote my happy songs,
Every child may joy to hear.

And her narration on Christopher Columbus:

There was once upon a time a boy named Christopher Columbus. He believed the world was round and not flat. To prove that he was right, he decided to go west into the water, around the world, and come to the eastern land of India.

So he went to Portugal because he knew they were fond of finding new places, but the king would not listen to him. The king sent, secretly, his own party of ships to go and try this out.

So Christopher Columbus went to Spain, right next to Portugal. But they were in a war and could not listen to him right now. So he just waited. And then he decided to go back to Spain. Hearing that their war was over, he went back. This time the king and queen loved the idea, and gave him three small ships that were easy to find. But the crew? Not so easy! Nobody wanted to go out into the so-called deathly waters! So his crew ended up being criminals, murderers, people who have been in prison! Their choice was either to go sailing with Columbus or to go to prison. And they chose sailing.

But instead of finding India, he found Haiti, which is an island off the coast of America. He thought this was India, because the people didn’t look like Chinese people. They looked different, so he thought they were Indians.

Then he went back home and everybody started going there, and nobody thought he was important anymore. So Columbus held a meeting and he told the servant to bring them some eggs. When the eggs were brought, Columbus said, “All of you try to make this egg stand up.” Everyone tried, but none of them could.

Finally, it was Columbus’ turn. He quickly took the bottom of the egg and smashed it gently on the table so that the bottom was flat and it stood up perfectly. Everyone thought how easy that was, and that they could have done that. And Columbus said, “Of course, now that I have shown you!”

And then everybody hung their heads, because they knew what this was attached to.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

End of Semester Projects

Below are some of our End of Semester projects for our co-op. We also had a program Friday night, and Baloo danced a swing number (throwing his aunt/dance partner all over the place!), Padme did a dance and cheer with her Cheers and Cartwheels class, and both girls performed in a rendition of A Midsummer Night's Dream. What a fun night!
This is Lil Yoda's project on California, and her project on Canine Heroes.

These are Padme's igloo and her painting of the Sego lily, the state flower of Utah.

Knowing the will of God

I much enjoyed our sermon on Sunday. Our pastor, Jack Graham, discussed the ever-present question: How do I know the will of God? His main point was that "the Holy Spirit leads us to know and do the will of God confidently, every day." I will attempt to summarize his message.

We know we are to follow Christ & listen for God's voice through the Holy Spirit, but how do we hear God's voice? Pastor Graham said we can hear God's voice through His Word, and by walking with the Spirit. Galatians 5:25 says, "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." Oh, how I do desire to keep in step with the Spirit! It's just that my feet are so clumsy and slow...

The Will Of God sometimes seems so elusive, the unicorn that we chase after but can never catch. We wonder, daily, a million things...

Should I buy that new car? Take that job in Atlanta? Marry that man? Let my kids see that movie? Stay home sick today? Vaccinate my children? Buy a dog?

And on and on, ad infinitum. Dr. Graham gave 3 tips that he uses every day:

1. Offer your life to Christ each day. Even if you did it years ago, you should daily surrender and yield your life to Christ. Recognize the Lord's presence & reign in you. (Romans 12:1, Matthew 6:33)

2. Open your heart each day to new possibilities. God's will may not be what you expected. (Proverbs 4:18)

3. Obey the will of God that you know, and wait on the rest. Sometimes you must obey, and perfect, the step you are on, before you can move to the next one. He gave an illustration that apparently there is always much discussion in golf over which shot is the most important - the long drive or the putt. When reporters asked Jack Nicklaus what was the most important shot in golf, his reply was, "The next one!" This certainly applies to our lives. We may not know what God wants us to do next week, but we do know what we are to do in the next five minutes. Sometimes we must just do what we know for now, and wait for the rest to be revealed.

Here he reminded us that, if you fail, you should repent and move on!

Pastor Graham also gave us 10 ways to test every decision. I think these are golden!

1. Is it in accord with the moral will of God? (1 Thess. 4:3)
2. Is it in harmony with the commands, the truths and the principles of God's Word?
3. Have I sought Godly advice? (Proverbs 15:22, Romans 12:2)
4. Does it help me fulfill the Great Commandment (Matthew 22: 37-40) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) in my life?
5. How will it affect my immediate relationships?
6. Will the ultimate outcome of my decision bring glory to God?
7. Will the result of my decision be in keeping with my priorities?
8. What is my motivation?
9. Am I totally committed to whatever, whenever, however God leads me?
10. Do I have true peace in this decision? (Note: Sometimes faith is required & we may not have total peace, yet we still have true peace.)

I love my church!! And I thank God that his mercies are new every morning...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Words of the Day

It seems I really do learn something new every day. Below are two words I learned today while listening to my children playing outside:

1) Acornia - n. An acorn anomaly in which two acorn tops are stuck together end to end. Commonly used as an instrument by Webkinz.

2) Yorkie Strider - n. A breed of horse known to be very fast. Breed standards include blondish-brown hair, brown eyes, a yellow torso and black rump that suspiciously resembles a Bumblebees soccer uniform.

This is what Charlotte Mason meant by masterly inactivity.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Lil Yoda's Special Day

Praise be to God!!! Lil Yoda was baptized today, as a testimony to her acceptance of Christ as her savior over a year ago. She has wanted to be baptized for quite some time, so we are glad she was able to do so today.

Thank you to all of our friends and family who came to make this day special for Lil Yoda. Having you all there meant a great deal to her.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for offering salvation as a free gift to all who would turn from their sins and follow you. I pray your blessings upon this, our youngest child, as she makes this first public profession of her faith in you. I pray it would be the first step in a life of obedience to you. Thank you for sharing her with us.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Back from Colorado!

I haven't posted in a couple of weeks because we took a vacation to Colorado. My parents went with us, and we had a fabulous time! Here are a few pictures.

We enjoyed our outings - horseback riding through the mountains, a visit to the local wildlife park and a trip to Durango, including a store with a huge teepee out front and an elk ranch (elk jerky - yum!!) & Mesa Verde, the ruins of ancient Indian cliff dwellings - but we actually never had to leave the condos! There was plenty to do right there at "home" - from just enjoying the beauty of the mountains and the lake to feeding (& chasing) the geese and ducks. (Canadian geese, Padme informed me. And mallards.) And more!

We played golf and miniature golf at the condos, took several craft classes and yoga at the condos, the guys worked out and we went swimming in the local rec center. We never made it to the hot springs right there in Pagosa Springs. Maybe next time. But we had our own personal gynormous (Lil Yoda's word) jacuzzi on the first floor of our 3 bedroom condo! We love our timeshare!!!

The "cliff dwellings" seen above are villages actually built into the sides of cliffs by the Indians of Mesa Verde 1,000 years ago. They have been deserted for hundreds of years, no one knows why. The architecture was truly amazing! I highly recommend a visit if you are ever near the Durango area.

We are back on schedule now, and in the swing of regular life again! We have a pretty busy couple of weeks coming up with co-0p coming to a close for the semester.

We rushed back from CO, arriving home at 3:30 am last Thursday night/Friday morning, so Padme could cheer in our co-op's homecoming football game Friday afternoon. She did a fantastic job!

Then we had a homecoming dance that night, for which King Louie was the deejay (the teenagers love him) and Jubilee chaperoned. The girls were at a birthday party so we all had a busy day and were exhausted all weekend! In fact, we are still recovering and are excited about the extra hour of sleep tomorrow night! We had a wonderful vacation and are so thankful for the opportunity to rest and enjoy the beauty of God's creation.

...and I think to myself...what a wonderful world!

Why don't I live in Colorado? There's just something relaxing about waking up to see mountains every morning. A reminder that there is something bigger than you, I suppose. If you live there, I hope you enjoy it!