Thursday, September 27, 2007

Camping with Muzzy and Pappy

While Brent was away in Mexico, the kids and I went camping with my parents. We just went for one night but we crammed lots of fun into that short time! We headed up to the Yogi Bear Jellystone Campground in Quarryville, PA. We set up their new camper and a tent for the boys, swam in the pool, took a hayride, ate ice cream, shopped at the general store, hiked to the pond, and of course grilled yummy food on the campfire.

Dad had a blast spoiling all of us with tons of yummy food (which he MADE us try! LOL!), toys from the general store, and just about anything else anyone wanted.
I had a lot of fun getting to hang out with Jordan. It seems like I never have a chance to get to know him and this provided a great "bonding" time! He's a really cool guy that knows a LOT and is pretty funny and has a great voice if he doesn't know you are listening!

Jake and Quinn are Abbie's shadows. Abby has such a quiet personality that my boys are very attracted to. She has always had a special place in her heart for Jake especially- and vice versa. She is always so willing to let them climb on her and do whatever they want. She's a great aunt!

The general store provided lots of fun and just a "little" bit of silliness!!! Aren't we cute!

The pool was a huge hit and really cooled us off.

Jordan, Grant and Jake got some manly bonding time when they decided to have a wrestle/pillow fight in the tent. Later Jordan admitted that they were surprisingly more tough than he gave thought they would be!
Don't ask me how, but Cait and Sammi both squished into the tiny bunk in the camper together. They stayed up late whispering and playing Uno!

These are my luvy-duby kids. I think Muzzy is eating it up! They had fun waking her up!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ocean City, MD

A few weeks ago we took a quick trip to the ocean. I had wanted to go since Quinn had never seen the ocean, and since we are studying marine life this year in science. We were planning on going to OC, New Jersey, but after hearing that biohazardous medical waste was washing up on several NJ beaches, we changed our mind! LOL!

I was having serious decision making issues over a hotel, (I was still on overload from Mexico, I think) so we just drove there and found a hotel once we arrived! It was great, too! Right on the beach, a room overlooking a beautiful atrium with tropical birds and the heated indoor pool! And a kitchenette which we didn't really use but the kids thought was awesome!

We parked our many bags of stuff on the beach and Quinns eyes were as big as saucers! The other kids ran right into the water, suprisingly! Quinn followed, but as soon as he felt the undertow of a wave he decided he was safer just playing with the sand toys! We did get him to finally "jump" over the waves by the second day, thankfully.

About 45 minutes after we got there I thought I saw a dolphin, but then decided it was just wishful thinking. I was wrong though! A few minutes later the man near us starts shouting "Dolphins! Dolphins!" Sure enough! What a show. For about 20 minutes they leaped, spun and did all sorts of awesome displays. I have never seen anything like it before. Brent had taken Grant out a ways and they were SO close to them! God is so good to bless us with such an incredible show!

Then later that day we had another incredible experience. I had walked back to the hotel to take the boys to the bathroom (another reason why a beachfront hotel is a necessity) and when we came back we saw a crowd of people about 20 feet away from where we had been sitting. The man over there had been fishing and had caught... A SHARK!!!!! It was about 3 feet long and was probably a sand shark- not a dangerous kind, thankfully! Unfortunately for him, he couldn't be 100% sure which kind it was even after getting on the phone with the OC DNR, so he had to throw it back. No shark dinner for him.

The evening was finished off with a sunset cruise. Well, kind of! Quinn has been obsessed with Brent's NEW Tactical Police Boat they have for work. So Brent was talking to one of the guys on his team and he offered to take all of us out on the boat that evening! Talk about fun! The boys had a blast and Ken even let them drive the boat.
The highlight for Cait was that he took us right up to Asseteaque Island and saw wild horses close to the beach! So, I guess it really was a sunset cruise! At least as nice of a one as we can afford to go on!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

More Mexico...

Andy Hughes is giving one of the children his first toy. This was down in the canyon.

A Tarahumaran woman in ethnic clothing. Brent paid her to take the picture. They are soooo poor.
Working! LOTS of concrete block was laid and concrete poured for the floor!

The Batallion leaders in Divisidero overlooking the canyon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Mexico Pictures

Ok, here are a few pictures from the Mexico Trip! I can only download a few at a time. More will come!

Here are a few children of the area being given some small gifts.

Pastor Manuel's ChurchA Tarahumaran home made directly into the canyon wall.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Follow up of Mexico Trip

Wow. There's so much to write. Brent and the men came back with so many stories and testimonies of GOD's sovereignty. Here are just a few.

1.The few days before the trip I spent hours and hours calling consulates and embassies trying to find out how they could bring in a Dingo (mini back hoe) so they could dig the foundation which was full of boulders the size of small cars. Basically the final word was that they couldn't bring it without paying exhorbitant duty fees. And, if they did attempt it, they could face imprisonment! They had felt like God had assembled them to do all the blockwork since they had skills that the other groups didn't have. Yet, it seemed like all they would be spending their time doing is digging out boulders with shovels and picks since they couldn't get any heavy equipment down there.
Well, the NIGHT BEFORE they left, Chad left a message on our answering machine that God had provided a back hoe! The Presidente of San Rafael decided he liked Chad and wanted to support the work he was doing and sent a back hoe to him! When the men all arrived in Mexico, the foundation had been dug! God is so Awesome!

2. The last of the Passports finally arrived the DAY BEFORE they left! God's timing is not ours!!!

3. Going through the border was very intimidating and uncertain. God provided a way to allay their fears, though. There were 2 missionaries in El Paso that met them and helped them cross the border. They actually rode in the vehicles and helped them fill out their paperwork. That was such a huge blessing since none of the men knew how to speak a lick of Spanish!

4. When the trailer with all the tools did get searched, the border guard seemed bothered by the tools. He was saying something in Spanish but Luke just shrugged and said "I don't know. No. No." And he let them go through!

5. While they were doing all the concrete work, God provided them with energy and strength to dig the sand and gravel out of the river to make the mortar. They only had one hand mixer so one of the evenings when they had walked up to Divisidero they saw a mixer in the parking lot of the big hotel. They asked the owner if they could borrow it and he said "yes"! That made the work go so much faster.

6. Each day it rained in the afternoon causing them to have to stop their work. By Wednesday they had run out of concrete bags and were expecting the last truckload of concrete. It didn't come. Still later in the day it had not come! They stopped and prayed that God would provide the concrete in time so the rain would not cause them to stop. They weren't going to be able to finish before they had to leave for home. Brent said he fully expected to see the truck pull up shortly after they finished praying to build their faith. But God didn't see fit to allow that on Wednesday. The rain came, and the truckload didn't come until the end of the day. They weren't able to do as much as they had hoped but they were able to take a trip down into the canyon and visit a small village of Tarahumara children. This, it seems, was the highlight of many of them! But, the most amazing thing happened on Thursday (their last day)! God provided them with tons of supernatural energy and they poured more concrete than the other days combined! AND, as Blake pointed out, IF they HAD received the concrete on Wednesday they would have poured it and it wouldn't have had time to dry before the rain came in the evening and it would have been ruined! Amazingly, God in His ultimate sovereignty didn't allow it to rain Thursday- at all! They only day it DIDN'T rain! They were able to finish the whole floor and completed so much more than Chad had hoped!

7. The trip out of Mexico was a lot longer than they had planned. This was because Chad's truck broke down part of the way (he was heading home to Colorado for a few weeks) and they had to pull it behind one of their vehicles. If the men hadn't been there, Chad would have been stuck trying to get his vehicle fixed on his own!

8. Since they lost about 8 hours dealing with Chad's vehicle, they decided they didn't have time to stop at a hotel as they had planned. So, they chose to drive the 52 hours straight home! But, God provided them with energy and alertness to do it! And, they were able to arrive back to church shortly after the Sunday service was over instead of at midnight! There was a huge group of friends and family to greet them!

These are just a few of the many stories they told of seeing God's hand in the trip. Brent said it was an incredibly spiritually growing time. The men's hearts seemed to really go out to the Tarahumara people and they are hoping that God will provide a way to return next year to serve Him there.

2006-2007 School Plans

  1. Vos Story Bible
  2. NT chapter
  3. Child's Book of Character Building Vol 1
  1. Mystery of History and Story of the World- Rome to Reformation
  1. Apologia Elementary Astronomy
  1. Prima Latina
  1. Typing Instructor
BJU Math 3
Writing Strands 3 and a little Classical Writing Aesop
Spell to Write and Read
Rod and Staff English 3
Reading- Literature Rotation

BJU Math 2
Pathway Readers

BJU Math 1
Pathway Readers

Jake's Book List

Working on Days Go By (Pathway Reader)

Grant's 2007-2008 Book List

  1. Billy Finds the Trail
  2. Tadpoles and Frogs
  3. Under the Sea
  4. The Story of Pocahontas
  5. Whales and Dolphins

Caitlin's 2007-2008 Book List

  1. Olive
  2. Viking Adventure
  3. Jessica's First Prayer
  4. The Shakespeare Stealer
  5. Teddy's Button
  6. Little Women- abridged
  7. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle
  8. In Grandma's Attic
  9. The Whipping Boy
  10. Adoniram Judson
  11. Ricky and the Hammond Cousins
  12. Mario a Belizean Boy
  13. Shiloh
  14. A Question of Yams
  15. More Little Missionaries
  16. The Secret Garden- abridged
  17. I sailed with Columbus
  18. Heidi- Abridged
  1. The Mystery of History

Jake's Book List

  • First Steps- FINALLY! 6/07 approx 150 pages
  • The Foot Book 3/19/07
  • Cat Traps
  • Fun with Pets

Grant's Book List

  • Billy and Blaze and the Gray Spotted Pony 7/17/07
  • Billy and Blaze and the Lost Quarry 7/10/07
  • Planes- Usborne 7/5/07
  • The Statue of Liberty 6/15/07
  • Henry and Mudge and the Sleepover
  • Penguins
  • A Nut Pie For Jud
  • When Eagles Fly Free 5/21/07
  • Barkley 5/21/07
  • I wish I had duck feet 3/30/07
  • Animal Hospital 3/27/07
  • Thunderhoof 3/23
  • One Fisth Two Fish... 3/21
  • Green Eggs and Ham 3/19/07
  • Henry and Mudge and the Green Time 2/07
  • More Days Go By
  • Days Go By
  • First Steps

Cailin's Book list for 2006-2007 School Year

  • The Tinker's Daughter 6/25/07
  • The Whipping Boy 7/10/07
  • Jessica's First Prayer 7/16/07
  • The Three Weavers 7/16/07
  • Teddy's Button 7/16/07
  • Olive 5/16/07
  • A Hive of Busy Bees 4/30/07
  • Gueniviere
  • More Story Times with Grandma 4/23/07
  • How God Used a Thunderstorm 4/12/07
  • Tom Sawyer (abridged) 3/30/07
  • One day in the Desert 3/24/07
  • One Day in the Tropical Rain Forest 3/20/07
  • Horse Stories 3/19/07
  • Hannah 2005
  • Old Yeller 2006
  • Spunky's Diary
  • On the Banks of Plum Creek
  • Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
  • Friska My Friend
  • The Boxcar Children
  • The Secret at the Peasant Cottage
  • The Best Christmas Pagent Ever
  • Hitty's Travels
  • Millers Book Series
  • In Grandma's Attic
  • Mr. Popper's Penguins
  • The Mysterious Message
  • Weighty Matters
  • Midnight Sky
  • Who Me?
  • Footprints in the Barn
  • Door in the Wall 2/20/07
  • Hero Tales Vol 1
  • Caddie Woodlawn1/24/07
  • Understood Besty 1/2/07
  • Minstrel in the Tower 11/28
  • Amy Carmichael 11/17/06
  • Charlotte's Web 11/3/06
  • These Are My People 9/8/06
  • Nature Reader
  • New Friends 8/16/06
  • Peanut Butter Friends in a Chop Suey World 6/30/06

2007-2008 School Plans

Well, our new school year is upon us!
I thought I'd jot down the curriculum we are planning on using this year. We've just started so I'm still adjusting some things but here's where we stand right now!

All Together
Bible (during Breakfast)-
1. Read from the Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos
2. Read NT chapter (Starting in Matthew) and discuss
3. Finish A Child's Book of Character Building Vol 2
4. Caitlin only- James- Kay Arthur Kids study
5. Personal Devotion, prayer, thankful journal time

Oratory Time
1. Hymn of the month
2. Memorize James 1
3. Review our box of old verses
4. Start memorizing States and Capitals

American History
1. Read aloud literature from Truthquest American History for Young Students Vol 1 (possibly will get to Vol 2 by spring)
2. Do craft kits from Hearts and Hands and Corps of Rediscovery
3. Do History Pocket activities

1. Read portion from Apologia Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day
2. Orally Narrate
3. Make lapbook

1. Elementary Spanish lesson and worksheet
2. Rosetta Stone- occasionally

Individual Subjects
1. Math- BJU Math 4
Quarter Mile Math Drills

2. Spelling- Write 5-8 sentences from dictation 2x/wk
Phongram Drill daily

3. Reading-
Books from Truthquest guide
Literature Rotation (fiction, biography, mystery, fantasy, poetry, science related, history related)
Book summary when finished

4. English- BJU English (includes grammar and composition)
illustrated journal
Wordly Wise

5. Music- Piano Practice

6. Typing- Typing Instructor for Kids

1. Math- BJU Math 3
Quarter Mile Math Drills

2. Spelling- write from dictation 5-8 new words 2x/wk
dictation- 2 sentences
phonogram drill

3. Reading-
Literature Rotation (fiction, history, science, poetry, biography, Pathway readers)
Book Summary when finished

4.English- Finish First Language Lessons
Illustrated Journal
Handwriting- Copywork of Psalm 139, American History Quotes, James 1, Spanish phrases

5. Music- Guitar practice

6. Typing- Typing Instructor for Kids

1. Math- BJU Math 2
Quarter Mile Math Drills

2.Spelling- Write from dictation 5 words per day
Write from dictation 1 sentence
Phonogram drill

3. Reading- Pathway readers, other Early Readers

4.English- Finish First Language Lessons
Illustrated Journal
Handwriting- Copywork of Psalm 139, American History Quotes, James 1, Spanish phrases

5. Typing- Typing Instructor for Kids