Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday hodgepodge

I'm linking up with:                    

1. Do you send Christmas cards? If so about how many will you send this year? How do you display the cards you receive? Or don't you? (gasp!)   We do send Christmas cards.  I have about 75 ... it should be about that amount.  I haven't written them yet.  I always display the cards we receive on a tree that hangs on our basement door.  Then at the end of the year I put the picture cards in a Ziploc and label it to keep.  I just can't throw the picture cards out!

2. When do kids become adults?  Definitely depends on the kid.  Some earlier than others but I don't think that there is a set age.  It depends on their maturity.

3. Does your 'beauty regimen' change with the seasons?  The only thing that really changes is the moisturizer.  Much more moisturizer in the winter!

4. What's something you like to eat that might cause another person to turn up their nose?  Clams?  Ketchup on eggs - only if they are scrambled?  Other than that, I am not that odd with my food.

5. Gloves or mittens?  Gloves or fingerless mittens. 

6. What's the longest queue you've ever been in? Was it worth it? Queue=line but doesn't queue sound nicer?  I would have to say for a roller coaster.  No, not really worth it.  I never understood waiting for 2 hours for a 30 second ride.  I guess I am getting old!

7. Besides Christmas, what is one thing you are looking forward to in the month of December?  I always look forward to going to see the Nutcracker with  my daughter.  It is our annual tradition for the past 4 years.  We go out to lunch and then go to the theater to watch the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet perform the Nutcracker.  We both love it!

8. Insert your own random thought here.  We had such an exciting weekend!  The boys hockey team was in the International Silverstick Hockey Tournament and won the gold!  Now they go to Sarnia, Ontario, Canada at the end of January to compete in the finals against 16 other regional finalist!! They are thrilled and it was such an awesome time!!  Here is the team immediately after the win in the championship game.
My champions!  :-)  I am so proud of them!!  Pure happiness (and exhaustion after 6 games in 3 days) on their faces!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Book Review - Wait No More: One Family's Amazing Adoption Journey

I am so glad that I saw the request on Focus on the Family's Facebook page for bloggers to review this book.  I signed up and completely forgot about it.  What a great surprise it was to receive the book in the mail two weeks later! 

I started to read the book the next day and couldn't put it down.  It was finished in 3 days.  I probably would have finished in one day but my family would have been completely ignored and neglected.  This is the story of the Rosati family and their adoption journey.  What I love about this book is the honesty.  Kelly Rosati does not sugar coat the adoption process or make it sound easy.  She speaks of their struggles and heart-wrenching disappointments as much, if not more so, than the extraordinary triumphs.  The Rosati's story is an amazing view into the ups and downs of adoption from the foster care system.  The plight of the orphan is real.  God does not hold back on His instructions to care for the orphans of the world.  Adoption may not be for everyone but we should all be open to God's plan and purpose for our lives, whether it is adopting a child that desperately needs a family or helping in some other way.  Is adoption for you?   Have you prayed about it?  Are you open to the idea if God calls you to adopt? These are the questions that we should all be asking (myself included).  If one family from every church in this country chose to adopt a child in need of a home... there would be no orphans in this country.  Wow.

It is wonderful to read how God brought the Rosati family together.  A way that no one could expect.  A difficult road that was wrought with tears and sadness but God had a plan.  His plan is always good. 

My recommendation:  Read this book.  Whether the thought of adoption has crept into your mind, you have already adopted, or have never thought of adopting, it is an important story.  A story of one families struggle to stay focused on God's plan in troublesome times; and the beauty of growing closer to God and each other in the process.

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
James 1:27

Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.
Isaiah 1:17


** I received a free book for this review.  No other compensation was given and the opinions expressed here are my own.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Homemade Christmas Gifts

So, I have been searching Pinterest for good homemade Christmas present ideas and I came across this wonderful sight.  The happy housewife is doing 100 days of homemade Christmas gifts and there are some incredible ideas!  Check it out if you, like myself, try to gift homemade items whenever possible.
She has compiled ideas from all different blogs.  There is something for everyone on your list! 
Some of my favorites are the vanilla sugar, photo coasters and ice cream sundae set. 
The upcycled bracelets are fantastic too!
Upcycled Bracelets
I also really like this tutorial for making homemade ornaments.  I haven't tried it yet, but it doesn't look too difficult.

There is still time to make gifts!!   :-)


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Reproduction - When do You Teach It?

At the beginning of the year, we started with Sonlight Science (Health, Science and Human Anatomy).  After about two weeks, we realized that it wasn't right for us.  The books are excellent but we didn't like the worksheets.  There wasn't enough hands-on activities and B was having trouble retaining the material.

We tried Apologia's Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology starting in week three and love it.  It has interesting hands-on activities and the notebooking journal has everything from mini-books to crossword puzzles.  The only problem is that it does not teach Reproduction.  The last chapter talks about womb developement and genetics but they skip over reproduction.

I decided that we will take two weeks away from Apologia and learn reproduction from the Sonlight curriculum.  I have read all of the books that he will read and feel comfortable with the material.   It gives him ALL of the information but also stresses God's plan for reproduction.

This year, in the public schools, the 5th graders learn about reproduction.  I know that if I don't teach B about reproduction now, he will hear about it from his friends.  I'm thinking that learning about it from his 10 year old friends ... not such a good idea.  I would much rather that he learned about the birds and the bees from his dad and me. 


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

When We Don't Do What Is Right ... Or Even Close To It

I assume that the scandal at Penn State has been in the news all over the country.  Here in central PA it has been all over the news, every hour.  In our area, Penn State football is not just looked up to ... it's almost worshipped.  Joe Paterno is highly respected and has had a reputation of having a high moral code and running a tight ship.  That has all changed.

For anyone who hasn't heard, Penn States Jerry Sandusky (former assistant football coach) has been accused of molesting 8 children from 1994-2004.  Two other Penn State officials have been arraigned for charges stemming from the cover up.  A graduate assistant saw Sandusky with a 10 year old boy in the showers in the football locker room.  The graduate assistant told Joe Paterno.  Joe Paterno then told the athletic director.  Joe Paterno did nothing more.  He told the Grand Jury that he was told of Sandusky "fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy." But he was not aware of the extent of the incident with the 10 year old boy.  Really??? 

Maybe he wasn't told the full extent.  Isn't the information that he was given enough????  I have a 10 year old boy.  This entire story disgusts me.  Nobody did enough!  There should be a sweeping investigation done by the school athletic department and anyone who was aware of the incident, even a little bit,  should be fired. How could 4 grown men (at least 4 that we are aware of) know about the abuse of a child and do nothing!!!  There is the famous quote that goes something like this ... All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.  I don't even think that it applies in this case.  They are clearly not good men.  No good man would know about these horrendous crimes and not make sure that the perpetrator was brought to justice.  Or at least notify the police?????? 
Sandusky had a charity called Second Mile for troubled young boys.  This is how he met many of his young victims.

I am also a little surprised that I haven't seen anything about this on Facebook.  Usually when something is in the news, people will be commenting about it on FB.  I checked this morning and there is nothing.  Maybe everyone is surprised and disturbed?

Sorry about the soapbox.  I think that having a 10 year old boy ... hearing this story ... hearing about nothing being done ... really makes you wonder about society.  Joe Paterno may not have legally done anything wrong but morally .... that is a different story.   I pray that the boys and their families get through this and that the evil is stopped.   


Monday, November 7, 2011

Singapore Math 5A

We just finished week 11 of Singapore Math 5A and only have about 5 weeks to go until we start 5B.  I think that B has a love-hate relationship with Singapore Math.  He loves it when he gets it and hates it when he doesn't.  Pretty much the way we all feel about things.  This is our first year with Singapore Math (first year homeschooling) and I think that we are going to use it again next year for B and my other kiddos who will be home. 

Pros:  I like the way that they illustrate problems.  It is very simply explained and it will sometimes give more than one way to figure out an answer.  I remember when B was in public school and he would come home with math homework.  I can't tell you how many times I tried to help, only to be told that I was doing it the wrong way.  In public school there is only one way to get to an answer and it usually is a longer and much more confusing way!  Singapore Math might give several ways to work out a problem and B can pick which way makes sense to him ... which makes much more sense to me!  The way that they break down word problems is also very easy to understand.  Word problems are B's nemesis.  But when he gets them, he can conquer the world.

Cons:  I have heard before that Singapore does not have much review and I would have to agree.  There are some review problems but not much.  The good thing is that this is homeschool.  I can see what he needs more review on and go over particular problems again.  Sometimes I will make up a worksheet with problems that I tweak just to make sure that he gets it.  If he gets something wrong on a test, you can bet that he will be doing those problems again next week.

Overall, I feel that Singapore Math is a very strong math program.  Although it may not be as engaging as Teaching Textbooks, it makes up for that by being very strong academically.   And as long as I put together some extra review questions here and there, we will be staying with Singapore Math for a while.  I feel confident that B is progressing and getting stronger in math every day.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Birthday Girl

My little baby girl turns 7 today.  I swear that it was just yesterday when I was rushing to the hospital in labor and they told me that she was coming too fast for me to get an epidural.  She was determined to do things her way since the beginning!  :-)  When we moved into the house where we live now, she was only 2 weeks old.  Could we have lived here that long?  Doesn't she still look like this???

It amazes me ever year how time flies by.  I think that it is getting exponentially faster, if that is possible.  My little baby girl (I still call her that ... just not in public .... that might embarrass her!)  has turned into a young girl who has her own opinions, is stubborn, and speaks her mind.  Just like her daddy.  OK, maybe just like me.  The apple definitely does not fall far from the tree!  Her strong-willedness is part of what I love about her.  I pray that when she is older it will help her to stay committed to her faith when those around her cave into peer pressure. 

I pray that the next 10 years or so go very slowly.  I want to cherish every minute.  Happy birthday "baby girl"!  You will always be my baby girl, no matter how old you are.