Driving in the rain today. Not the beautiful day for a drive that I was hoping for, but enjoying being off-island for 24 hours. We’re on our way to our annual associational church family camp and looking forward to reconnecting with our extended church family here on the east coast.
We wrapped up the fourth week of our homeschool year yesterday. It was a great week. We have settled into a routine of taking turns entertaining Little Mister so I can do the necessary one on one work with the girls. I think we’re going to survive this year of homeschooling with a two (almost three) year old! I’m also thankful for the entertaining properties of running water with a sink full of bowls and cups (affectionately called “water stool” in our house, a game that has not lost its appeal over the past year) and homemade play dough. Little Mister can spend a good half hour at least on either of these activities. He’s also a fan of blowing bubbles on the deck. And his newest pastime is “cleaning” the kitchen stools (ie. squirting copious amounts of water from a spray bottle on the base of the stools and wiping with a rag). It might make for a few puddles on the tile floor, but, believe me, we’ve got clean stools (and a happy boy)!
This was a good week to be homeschooling in our neck of the woods. Wednesday I noticed a Facebook post announcing the girls’ gymnastics class was cancelled. They were so disappointed, but our disappointment soon changed to grave concern for the thousands of children being evacuated that day from schools due to province wide bomb threats. Turned out to not be credible but it sure made for one tense day for families around here! In the midst of my flurry of trying to find out exactly what was going on, my ten year old daughter, sitting at the table working on her math, says to me, “We should pray right now!” Yes, C-Bear. I am so thankful for how quickly your thoughts turn to God in moments of panic and stress. Sometimes our kids can be role models for us, can’t they?
Tuesday evening C-Bear and Boo had their first evening of GEMS for the year. It was Boo’s first experience ever at this all girls club, and her excitement when she got home was priceless. I wish I could bottle that exuberance! She came running into our room where I was reading and jumped on the bed with the biggest, most genuine Boo-ie grin. (This girl has always worn her heart on her sleeve, and when she is happy it makes me smile and fills my heart with joy too.) She could hardly speak in her excitement to tell me about how much fun she had.
Yesterday while working on her math problems, Belle whips her bunny eraser off the top of her pencil. She was working on addition and subtraction and needed a little friend to share her jewels with. It cracked me up listening to her say, “Bunny, you have 5 jewels…” Absolutely precious! Usually we use cusenaire rods, but I’m trying to be mindful of using a variety of manipulatives. I guess the jewels worked better for sharing with a friend.
- First taste of Banky’s pumpkin pie this fall! (My step-dad makes the best pumpkin pie ever!)
- Thankful to have reached our emergency fund goal…now on to the next step! (Can you tell we read a Dave Ramsey book last spring?)
- Thank You, Lord, for a clean house and uncluttered mind…for the moment anyway! (Boy, it felt good to sanitize this place after two weeks of neglect, not to mention vomit.)
- The lowing of cows morning and evening and all day long…we’ll sure miss them when they go home for the winter. (There is a field by our subdivision where a farmer boards his cows for the summer. It is always so fun to see them appear every spring. We love having our cow neighbours for a few months!)
- Late night talks that give me a glimpse into the passion God is giving C-Bear for missions.
- Thankful to cross the bridge today and get off-island for 24 hours of family camp fellowship!
From my commonplace this week…
God rewards a man for being good by making him better still. And sometimes he can only do that by sorrow and pain and disappointment. And so God let this come to him that in his disappointment from men he might cling more to God who never disappoints.
from Moses and the Exodus by J. Paterson Smyth
I cannot express just how much I am enjoying J. Paterson Smyth’s commentaries! Ambleside Online‘s weekly Bible readings are divided up to match the lessons in these commentaries. I don’t read them word for word to the kids, but I read the appropriate sections each week myself and highlight a few ideas to share with the kids conversationally after they narrate their Bible readings. I just love how these commentaries bring the stories to life, helping you to imagine what the characters are feeling, smelling, tasting, touching, seeing. He really has a way of helping you experience the words on the page.
But I think what really kept him cheerful was his inquisitiveness. I never knew such a man for questions.
from Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis
Questions really do have a way of cheering us. I remember reading something along those lines in Catherine Parr Traill’s book The Backwoods of Canada. She found such diversion from the hardships of pioneer life in her study of nature, and she encouraged the women coming as settlers to Canada to take an interest in the plants and wildlife of their new home. She was sure this pastime would spare them much gloom and depression in their new and difficult circumstances.
It also reminds me of Charlotte Mason’s admonition that more importantly than what our children know when they finish school is how much they care. I know since starting this CM educational journey with my children, I myself have found so much to care about…so many new loves and interests and observations. It’s like my eyes have been opened to the world around me in a way they never have been before. These new interests and curiosities certainly do have a way of drawing you out of yourself and eclipsing the troubles and cares of a self-centred heart. I pray my children will preserve their inquisitiveness and learn to care about a whole host of things in their lives.
The girls have spent hours this week using the drawing tutorials on Art Hub’s YouTube channel. Check out this bluejay that Boo drew…