Friday, August 20, 2010

Beautiful Days!

Little Bit took her FIRST STEPS today!!! This afternoon! To me and Sister. We held pretzels in our hands, just out of Little Bit's reach (if only she'd realized she had one in her hair). It was motivation and she took those first steps. Wooo hooo! It's bittersweet.

She has added two more words to her vocabulary: dada and mama. Oh, what's up with her hair? That's thanks to Sister.

Little Man met his 3-P teachers on Tuesday, along with several other classmates.

It was a big deal. We left his sisters at home with a sitter and spent an hour exploring his new classroom.

Here they are...ready for a day of firsts: Little Man's first day of 3-P (he'll go 2x a week), Little Bit's first day of Mother's Day Out (she'll go 1x a week this year!-nice.), Sister's first day of Homeschool, and my first day teaching her.

Sister picked her headband and shoes all by herself. She laid out the entire outfit the night before. She's not a morning person. When I woke her Thursday morning, she bolted from bed, quickly dressed, and over breakfast informed me she hadn't slept well at all.


"I was just so excited I couldn't get to sleep!"

We paused for a shot just before dropping the Littles off at school/MDO. Little Man went in without looking back. Like, I didn't even get that first day of school shot with his teacher. Oh well. When we got to Little Bit's room, she happily leaned into the arms reaching for her. What a blessing, I tell ya!

Hand in hand, Sister and I headed back to the car and made our way home. I just want to mention what a blessing it was to run into so many preschool staff who know we're homeschooling this year - some of them had heard through the grapevine - and to hear their words of affirmation and encouragement! To me, that is amazing.

So we headed home and tucked into our office/homeschool room.

Sister was delighted! We began with a phonics song, just to get in "school mode."

Yes, that is iced tea (decaf). It's hot around here and at 9am, iced tea is quite refreshing. Ahhh...the fun of homeschooling. She knows it's a treat! So is bringing Rex (her little animal) - and getting to take her shoes off!

After the phonics song, we move to Bible. We're going through the children's shorter catechism. Sister is practicing writing both the question and answer and then we search the Bible for the "proof texts." In other words, we turn to scripture to find out why the catechism answer is what it is. This has, so far, lead us into some good discussion and we close out the time with prayer.

Next we move along to handwriting (Zaner-Bloser). Which we follow with Language Arts (Sing, Spell, Read, & Write). I am LOVING this part! It's been a great combination of so many things and she enjoys it immensely. We sing songs, we play games, we trace letters, we sound things out. It's been wonderful!

After Language Arts we take a little break and enjoy a snack and then move on to math (Saxon K5). Sister is lovin' her some math! The first several lessons are big time review for her! We've quickly covered that ground and then made up some of our own math, take Rex for example. He had ten buttons. Sister had five buttons. Rex traded Sister two little buttons for one big button. How many buttons does Sister now have? How many does Rex have? We played with buttons and clothes pins. Sister looked at me and said, "What? This is math?"

After math we do a "fine art" project. Yesterday we made a concrete mosaic. Today we, um, colored a dollar store t-shirt with Sharpie markers. Sister drew the earth.

After our "fine art" project, we do a "domestic art" project. This week Sister learned how to make hard boiled eggs. If I could turn it into a math problem, I did. She learned about stove safety, how to turn the "eye" up or down or on, what it means to "bring it to a boil," as well as how to measure quantities with a measuring cup, etc. We enjoyed the fruits, er, eggs, of our labor!

We finish up the day with reading. She reads a short book to me and I read a chapter of Little House to her.

We have a deal that if she completes her assignment with a cheerful attitude and is careful to follow the directions, she gets a sticker. Once she has ten stickers she gets to pick something from the "treasure chest." This has proven to be incredibly motivating.

Yesterday went beautifully! As I sat there watching Sister practice writing her letters, my heart was full and I was satisfied and content and thought to myself, "there is nothing I would rather be doing, no way I'd rather have spent my time." It was a wonderful start!

Today, all three were home. I was anxious. It went great. Little Man joined us in much of what we did. He logged forty minutes in front of movies - not too bad. Little Bit napped from 10-12. It was good. It was very good.

I am still amazed at how just over a year ago, we were 100% "homeschooling is NOT FOR US." For this year, at least, God has totally turned our hearts 180 degrees. I am finding joy in something I said I would NEVER do.

This morning as we searched for those "proof texts," we read this:
" are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." I Cor. 6:19-20
Little Man argued that he was his own and was NOT bought. I explained that Christians have been bought. He interrupted me and insisted he was going to pray for us right then. I was a little confused, but said "okay."

"Dear God, peas come into my heart. Pease. I just want you to come into my heart."

I was blown away and asked why he'd prayed that.

"She told me to" and he pointed to Sister.

Turns out these nights of sleeping together (since we came home from Texas) have been largely spent with Sister explaining to Little Man that he is a sinner and needs God's forgiveness. She's been begging him to ask Jesus into his heart.

Upon further discussion, I learned that Little Man doesn't think he's a sinner. As I explained that all of us are sinners and are therefore separated from God, and that that is why a perfect man had to die, Little Man BURST into tears.

"I don't want a man to die for me! I don't want him to have to die!"

We talked more. We read about Jesus' death and resurrection. Towards the end of our discussion, he settled down, but argued that Jesus and God are the same and God isn't dead. True. I explained that Jesus isn't dead either. He conquered death. He rose from the grave and now sits at the right hand of God.

At that, Little Man lost interest.

While it's clear to me that he doesn't completely understand why we need to ask Jesus to come into our hearts, to forgive us from our sins, and to save us, it is clear that the Holy Spirit is working in our little boy's heart. And for that, I am rejoicing and continuing to pray for Little Man's salvation. I mean, who knew that would take place this morning during "homeschool?"

How amazing that the God of the universe sent His only Son to die on our behalf and that God offers us forgiveness from our sins through the blood shed, the life given, by His Son, Jesus. How incredible that He chooses us. That He redeems us. That He washes us clean from all our sins and allows us to be in relationship with the living God. That is life changing. Heart altering. Amazing. It gives us hope.

Happy weekend to all of you!

PS Is it vain to tell you that my stick chandelier made it in the top ten picks?



  1. How wonderful to hear about your two days of homeschooling! Your conversation with T3 was so funny and sweet! I always worry that they don't really understand, but you remind me that the Holy Spirit is working in them. Oh, and I love your long hair, you look so pretty!

  2. And that is WHY a Christian parent "homeschools" be involved in the REAL things!! ALL the time!!! SOOOOOO precious! We will add your children and their Salvation to our "prayer basket" are right...the LORD appears to be working. "Precept upon precept...and line upon a little and there a little" ~ misquoted, but generally that's it.

    I *loved* seeing that catechism question written out so neat and WONDERFUL!!!

    With Love to you my friend!

  3. Oh, that post took my breath away. How precious to see Sister's faith in action, and for her to want the same for her brother. If we could only all have that child like faith!

  4. Love this entire post! I can't wait to follow your homeschooling adventures this year! I also loved your twig chandelier... congrats on making the top 10... I'm about to go check out the other 9!!!

  5. J - Your children are precious. I'm so glad homeschooling is going so well. I love how the Lord is stirring T3's heart. What special times with your kids!

  6. It all sounds just wonderful! I can't wait to hear more. What a good job you are doing!

    Just wanted you to know...if I see you've updated, I always click to read your blog first before any others. You inspire me!

  7. Oh jen, how precious!! I am so glad that the himeschooling is working out so far!! Thoughts and prayers coming your way for the family!! ;)

  8. Sigh... what a lovely, lovely post! Praise God for a great start to homeschooling. I love seeing Sister's excitement and reading about yours as you two dive in together. May God continue to pour out His blessing upon you in this.

    And no, you're not vain! Congratulations for a recognition well-deserved.

  9. I'm so happy for you! I was one of those people that said I would never homeschool. Now look at me! Six years later, I'm going strong, thanks be to God!

  10. J, you're such a good mama! I'm torn between trying to emulate you and giving up because it just ain't gonna happen :) You do it all, and your blog makes me so happy that I [sometimes] feel like I can too! I'm glad homeschooling is going so well! Yay for Little Man in his new discoveries and for Little Bit on those steps!! What a special treat for Sister to be old enough to share in so many moments with Little Bit that she'll actually remember! What a sweet, sweet family!!

  11. Precious precious precious conversations b/t Sister & Little Man & you and Little Man. How great to see answered prayers in the form of the Holy Spirit working in you children's lives.

    I'm so intrigued to hear about homeschooling. Glad it is going well!

  12. WHATEVER! That is not vain at all! And congratulations! Super cute chandelier!

  13. I think pretzels in the hair is a brilliant concept. I may try it myself ...