Thursday, July 18, 2013

Early Bird Gets the Worm

Or rather, the early riser sees the squirrel!

While having my devotions this morning, look what I saw out my bedroom window -

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“Hey! Pssst! You in there . . . can you throw me some seeds?

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I’ve seen squirrels in Fountain Valley before, but usually at the parks. Never in my back yard. Hmmm . . . first strange lizards, now squirrels. What next?!

(Those children still sleeping at 6:30 who missed our visitor, are hoping that “he” comes back. I, with my knowledge of their habits, am torn. I did shoo him away this morning and will not encourage him in any way. But our garden and food sources are seemingly attractive to him.)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

It’s a ‘Real Poser”!

 

This is my new phrase. I’ve been enjoying reading some Agatha Christy Mysteries this summer for the Adult Reading Program at the library. (Got to be a good example, right?) I came across it the other night and Earl and I got a chuckle out of the English expression. And I have found much use for it lately.

For instance, trying to fit all of our subjects into but a few hours a day . . . it’s a real poser! I can fit time for the kids to complete the assignments, but can’t seem to work in time needed to instruct and go over the assignments. See? It’s a real poser!

Here is just the first page of the schedule that I’ve been trying and trying to tweek this morning. And it still needs tweeking! It’s not even close to being ready.

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Part of the poser, is that the hours after lunch are sketchy at best. They often get interrupted with appointments, errands, or the most frustrating . . . my energy will just quit and I have no choice but to lie down to take the edge off of the extreme exhaustion. And there goes the day. That is our constant challenge. As hard as I try, those hours are the first to feel any sign of strain. And those subjects are the most FUN for us – history and science (with some writing snuck in)!

Earl asked me this morning, is there anything we can cut out? Hmmm . . .yes, that is a poser, isn’t it? It all looks good and beneficial. Thank goodness we have had a vision since Em started schooling: Major on the basics, teach them to be learners, and trust that they will fill in the gaps later on their own as they need to. So, after thinking through this recent poser, and praying for wisdom, we have decided to not pursue Latin this year with our 3 younger ones. It is much more beneficial that they grow in their math, grammar, and writing skills, then that they learn Latin (though they do enjoy it). We have found some space to sneak in some fun “logic puzzles” this year in place of a formal art curriculum. They will get art in their history and science lessons and they really enjoy the challenge of these fun logic puzzles, especially when we work as a group to solve them. It changes up the monotony of the schedule a little.

Perhaps, figuring out your schedule and fitting everything in is a poser for you as well. Maybe it’s a personal schedule. Maybe it’s a schooling schedule like ours. Whatever it is, may we all be diligent to work through this poser and seek to use our time wisely and to do all to the glory of God. He has given us all we need – including enough hours in the day to accomplish all He asks of us. May He also grant us much grace to think outside the box in maximizing our hours.

Take your posers to Him, dear gentle reader!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Wonders Never Cease

Wow.

Some days in our home and just “same old, same old”.

Then there are days like yesterday.

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I looked out my kitchen window and saw this lizard sunning on our patio. It did not look like the cute little lizards we see on our wall sometimes.

“What is THAT???!”

Everyone came running to the window to see where I was pointing. By the time I got back with my camera, it was gone. We figured it had just ducked under this big pot we had.

“Should we catch it?”

“Yes! I don’t want it running around loose in our back yard. We need to find out what it is and whether it is poisonous or not.”

“Well, who’s going to catch it?”

We all looked at David. (Who was more than game!)

I ordered everyone back inside since they had all gone outside to peer under the pot to see if they could see it. I had visions of this thing flying out and latching onto the throat of one of my babies. (I know, I know . . . a little dramatic. But I am definitely not one of the reptile-loving’ types.)

David asked if Molly could come and help him tilt the pot back. (This part cracks me up, because by the time Molly had run to the kitchen window, it had gone under the pot, and she had NO IDEA what it looked like or what she was getting herself into.)

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I wish you could have seen Molly’s face right about now. Afterwards, she said, “O Wow! I saw it’s paw (yes, she said paw) and was like, that is like no lizard I have EVER seen before. What IS that??” (David and I and Earl were amazed that she didn’t drop the pot!)

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David said later he was afraid it’s tail was going to come off in its effort to escape, and he thought how cool to have a lizard tail as a memento of this adventure.

But he was able to get him into a container we had (left over from our pet frog who just expired).

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We then made a quick trip over to Prehistoric Pets to ask them about this little dinosaur we had just found.

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We learned that this was a “cool lizard” and would make a very good pet. (swallow) They said it was someone’s pet which somehow made it into our backyard. It belongs to the genus Uromastyx and is an herbivore (yay! no crickets!!).

After getting home, we learned it is native to northern Africa and India.

The plan? Well we put a “found” ad on Craig’s List and we put up flyers in our neighborhood. I would be very surprised if someone came to claim it. But at the same time I am very curious to know how long this little guy has been gone and how far he traveled. We “just happened” to pick up a 20 gallon glass aquarium at a garage sale for $5 a couple of Saturdays ago. We just need to buy a lid ($20) and a heat lamp ($30). Anyone local have one lying around?! I told the boys that if no one claims it, they could keep it. (The people at the pet store were super impressed that we happened to find him. Jealous? They didn’t offer to buy him though. Hmmmm . . . )

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Not sure what is more amazing . . .

The fact that we found this in our backyard, or

that I’m willing to have a reptile living in my home, with my children, and I can sleep at night.

Truly, wonders never cease!

Monday, July 01, 2013

WorldView Academy Camp

Well, the day finally came!

Emily has just spent her first night at the camp that she saved so hard to get to. We drove her up to Master’s College in Santa Clarita and got her all settled in. The “welcome” we all received was very friendly, quite exuberant, and – to be honest - a little over-whelming for us “newbies”. We are all very excited to hear how Emily’s time is going there. Earl and I will drive back up Friday morning (early!) and sit through the morning sessions with her and then bring her home after the closing program. It’s about a hour and a half drive – with no traffic.

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Emily was paired up with a roommate who is about her same age and who is also attending her first camp. She seemed very sweet. The rooms were small, but cute. I think Em is going to have a blast!

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We left Em to get settled in and acquainted with Kayla more and on our way out they had a mailbox set up for writing letters to the campers. All of us wrote a short note for Em. Mine said:  Roses are red, violets are blue, we’re expecting God to do big things through you! (I had already written her a long letter and tucked it into her bag before she left.)

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If you’d like, you can send her an email. Just email me and I’ll give you the address. They will print and deliver the emails daily.

Also, if you’d like to see some photos from the camp, here is the link:  Camp Photos. They are updating them daily.

Also, if you want to see there promotional video, you can go HERE.

This was something that Emily heard about a few years ago, and said she really wanted to do. When we heard how much it was, we were a little skeptical, knowing that there was “no way” we as her parents could afford to send her. But she quietly kept her determination, kept mentioning she was saving for it, etc. until about 4 months ago when she came and said she needed to send in her application. So, we sat down and talked seriously. She had saved about $500 from Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, allowance, selling jewlery she makes, gifts from relatives . . . anything that came in, she saved as much as she could! We applied for a scholarship and she was awarded $150! So, we gave our blessing, sent in the application, and she is now hopefully having “The best week of her life!” (That was the motto written all over the dorm hallways.)

Our Em has grown up a lot in the last 2 years. I’m not sure I’m ready just yet to let go in the ways that I will need to physically, but I see it coming up fast and the LORD is being so gentle in helping me prepare for that time, by giving me little increments of “letting go” with which to “practice”. I know I will blunder my way through, but I’m so grateful for the fathomless depths of wisdom and grace that I find in walking with Jesus.

And you  know what? I see Him preparing her too. And that is of great comfort!

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