"We are all handmade people created by a God who is not safe or small." Rend Collective Experiment

Friday, October 09, 2009

Galatians 5:13~

Thank you all for the prayers and thoughts.  Our Little Guy did wonderfully through his surgery.  He had a long morning /afternoon and was so very brave.  He wants everyone to know..." He never even cried once." (A direct quote).  He is feeling pretty "ouchy" and is getting a lot of rest.

 We had our Friday Night Pizza night tonight as is our usual tradition.  Each Friday Night we make six homemade pizzas.   The older children all pitch in and it is great fun.  Tonight Sweet Pea wanted a turn to make some pizza.  We had had a a full school day (and with a trip to the hospital) I was busy playing catch up with laundry and tidying.  I really did not want to make more dough and suggested she play play-doh instead.  The older children quickly offered some of their dough and she happily made a pizza and for her Wee Boy.

My children teach me so much with their generous hearts.  It blessed me so much to see them want to include their sister and in turn how she she wanted to bless her brother.

It's so easy for me to forget that the laundry will always be there.  Even before we had children there was always some laundry to do and always some housekeeping to be done.  When all of our children are grown there will still be laundry beckoning me.  However, I only have a few precious years to live and laugh and love my children.    I am so thankful the Lord used my little ones to prompt me to stop and enjoy them this evening.  I could have easily missed these moments..

Sweet Pea showing Wee Boy her pizza surprise!

His heartfelt reaction..

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. Galatians 5:13~

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Today after our book work was done we headed to the Beach for a Field Trip.  We have been studying oceans and we needed to gather some seashells, seaweed, and salt water for observation and a few experiments.

We had recently studied waves and the students were eager to throw themselves into their work.

It was a beautiful day.  We had studied dolphins yesterday and we were so blessed that a pod of dolphins decided to feed right in front of us.  God's creations are so amazing! We were so blessed that He gave us an up close view of His amazing dolphins.

Collecting ocean water.  (It's an old pitcher we used to make Homemade Clorox Wipes in).

In other news.... first thing tomorrow my Sweet Little Cowboy is going in for a hernia repair.  Bless his heart,  he is *so* excited.

It reminds me of when I had tubes put into my ears when I was his age.  I thought it was going to be so fun.  I wore my best dress.  I'll never forget the nurse who drew my blood.  She assured me it wasn't going to hurt a bit and then she stuck the needle in my arm.  I was more hurt that she lied than anything.  I wasn't so excited after that!

 Tonight our little guy layed out his favorite Gator football jersey , his blue jeans, and his Superman Crocs. He  is eager to go and "get his belly button."    The rest of us are praying for a quick and painless procedure for our funny little man, so he can come home to us......right where he belongs.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

John 13:34

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." John 13:34~

Monday, October 05, 2009

Isaiah 28:10~

For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: Isaiah 28:10~

Lisa over at A Bushel and a Peck has "Educating your Newly Adopted Older Child" as her Tuesday Topic this week. Each week Lisa takes a topic and opens it for discussion among her readers. It's always fascinating to read the replies.

I have been asked by a few about our experiences in homeschooling our older adopted children. I don't believe there is any right or wrong way to school your child. I believe each family should follow God's plan for their family. We are so blessed to have so many choices!

We brought our sons home from Ghana in January of 2008.

We have homeschooled them since their homecoming. All of our children have been homeschooled and our main reason for homeschooling is discipleship and relationships. Of course, a quality education which is suited to that child's needs is also of great concern and an integral part of homeschooling.

In many ways hsing our boys has been the easiest thing ever. They are truly wonderful children and it has enabled us to get to know each other and bond with each other. They were eager to "do school" along with their siblings. Initially, we did a combination of learning worksheets, educational computer games (like Starfall.com and Funbrain.com), and some hands on science experiments ( an all time favorite). We spent many hours baking and preparing meals together (This was so enjoyable for them and a wonderful reinforcement that food was plentiful. Children who have experienced true hunger need to know this in their hearts as well as their heads.). We also spent hours outdoors riding bikes, learning to rollerblade, sccoter, etc. Things that are good for boys' minds and energetic bodies!

I can not even describe the amount of new information our children were taking in and learning during this time. Talk about the ultimate field trip! I thought I understood this before but coming up on our 2 year anniversary I am still continually stunned by the changes in their lives from when they lived in Ghana until now. They are always sharing things that make me realize they have been through an incredible adjustment.

One of the things they had to learn was to live in a family...in our family. Being older they remembered their birth mother, but the way they were parented there and here are vastly different. I am not saying our way is good or their way is better. It is what it is... but it *is* different. They had to learn what is what to have a Dad, to have an older brother, and older sister. Even their relationship with each other had changed. They were no longer in a care taker older brother with younger brother relying on him. It was all so different.

They learned what it was to live in a home with running water, electricity, a million gadgets that were new to them. They had to get used to a host of new foods and activities. They had rules that were different than they had known and freedoms that were different. Every aspect of their lives encompassed new and learning experiences.

Our boys are so bright came home with some wonderful skills. They knew how to butcher and prepare chickens. They could hunt small animals for food. They could cook over fire and were basically self sufficient. They knew how to sell goods and were very savvy in caring for themselves without much adult supervision.

These things were wonderful and served them so well in Ghana. They don't translate very well in American Suburbia however..

Our older son had spent several years in school while in Ghana. The good from this is he has beautiful handwriting, he knew how to read some words, he knew how to do copy work, and he knew some math facts.

There were down sides to his education in Ghana too. In his school in Ghana they "Caned/Beat" the children. The Cane was not reserved for only those who misbehaved but also for missing math problems, missing spelling words, not having a neat uniform, and sometimes they would cane the whole class if they did poorly on an exam.

As you can imagine this affects one's view of learning. Our son has struggled with getting answers wrong. He freezes when being introduced to a new concept. There is a fear in him of not being perfect in his schoolwork even today...almost 2 years later.

A favorite quote of mine is

“Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire.”

Well, we had a son whose wood was wet. It has taken me sometime and fine tuning to figure out how to light his fire and encourage him that learning can be a good and sometimes even fun thing. I am thankful he is home and we are working through this together.

This year we are doing Unit Studies and are loving school. We still have math to do and reading and dictation, grammar, and narration, Spanish, typing and so on (which are not quite as fun) but we have made great strides. I am so amazed and challenged by our sons' spirits. It has been a blessing to be both Mama and Teacher to them.