What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, October 13, 2017

Field Trip #2: Up, Up in the Air in a Beautiful Balloon

Some friends of ours have started a ballooning business and being homeschoolers themselves, have a soft spot for learning opportunities.  They are also very generous people.  They gifted many homeschooling families one evening with their time, skills and resources so that we could all share in such an exciting learning experience.

It was thrilling, to say the least.  My favorite part was watching the balloon as it inflated kind of float up.  It was magic.

Adele' was the first person to ride- which I think was incredibly brave of her.  

(I *may* have pushed her into it.)

It's all fun and games until you get to the 'top' and you are VERY high.  Then, it can be a bit nauseating and worrisome.  I can see that it hits her... right about now.

Judah's turn...

Whoop- there it is!  That 'JEEPERS!' moment.

Andrew's next... I didn't see any moments of fear for him.

 And as Corynn heads up, I about die of cuteness.

Because those legs slay me.

Corynn didn't seem too frightened- though she told me later she was so tense holding the little guy that her arms hurt afterward.

She hides it very well.

I, on the other hand, am petrified of heights and can't hide it worth beans.  

But I went up- I DID it- and had to stare at the floor for most of the peak because I felt like I was going to hyperventilate and poor Ineke was squeezed like a lemon - but that's besides the point.

I totally did it.

What an amazing opportunity we had.  We have some pretty amazing friends.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Field Trip #1: A Little Zoo

I decided we should celebrate the first day of school this year by taking a field trip to the local zoo.

 Field trips happen very infrequently for us.  It can be pricey to take the whole family to places that require admission.  Last Christmas we received a year-long pass to local museums and zoos (best gift ever) that is due to expire this December.  So I thought it would be a perfect time to get in a field trip to the zoo (for free) and celebrate the new school year by starting it off with a bang.  I waited until the first week of school because homeschoolers get to do all the fun stuff when all the other kids are in school- no crowds!  Woohoo!  (Turns out, the zoo did not participate in the membership pass and so, didn't accept it for admission.  Whaaaaaaaaaa.  Thank goodness I had cash on me or the day would have gone very differently!  So much for the 'free' trip.)

We rarely go on field trips but little did I know how true the proverbial "when it rains, it pours" can be.  We were blessed with several opportunities for (actually) free field trips all within the first two weeks of school...which was fabulous and fun- but VERY busy and made getting the gears of homeschooling to turn well  quite a bit more difficult.

The next few posts will be devoted to these field trips.  And then maybe I can finally post pictures of Corynn and Judah's birthday (way back in September- like two days ago.  Or not.)  And maybe our anniversary trip.  (We took one!  In August.)  And maybe then, I'll be caught up enough to blog regularly again?  Ha. 

First Up: a trip to a very small, local zoo.    The whole zoo is only a mile from start to finish and the largest animal was the leopard.  Mostly smaller, more native animals in this zoo.  The free carousel was out of commission (BUMMER!) but we had a great time despite it.  My sister-in-law and her kiddos joined us, making it all the more fun.

The highlight of the day was when Andrew spontaneously jumped into a pile of ferns and caught a wild chipmunk.  What a surprise!  It was too late to warn against biting- it was already tucked safely in his hands- so everyone gave a little pet to the back of the not-very-enthusiastic chipmunks head before he was let go and scampered off. 

It made me happy that my grown-up thoughts of "Don't do that!  He'll bite you!" didn't have time enough to surface and prevent such a neat experience.  Grown up worries can be such downers! 

I love these kiddos and all the YES! moments they throw at me.  They keep things FUN.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

October 10th




A lot of things. 

A lot of things to think about. 

I grapple with the fact that it is nearing MID-OCTOBER.  How did this happen?  Where does the time go?  Grappling too with the feeling a failure in a good many goals I had set for myself this year.  I seem to have back peddled after such a fine start to the year, in so many ways.  Always behind.  Never arrived.

A child, mine, who was a too near-miss for that car.  The voice that cries for me in the night... "Mama!  Mama!" and the smile that dreams of the kiss I just gave.  A beautiful friend, glowing and graceful and gloriously 40++ weeks pregnant who labors in love with every breath that she takes for her family.  Quiet Strength.  Another who has been given a likely death-sentence with a single, solitary word.  CANCER.  He travails in trust.  Dares to hope.  Leans heavily upon Him who knows his every breath.  Married couples bristle in anger, in pain...in isolation.  And others who have such joy and happiness and hope.   First babies to new Mama's being born a few days before 11th babies are born to silver crowned Mama's and more good is given.  More opportunities to change the world.  People who I love- who need Jesus.  But a person can't force others to cast off themselves and cling to Him.  The incredible beauty written everywhere.  In the patterns of sunflower seeds and the etching of wings, in the lines of squash and the colors of cosmos. Children scream in just that way that is so familiar to my own ears and I hear my own voice in their screams.  They lose their temper and I know where it comes from.  Why can they be not blind to our failings?  Why can't they replicate only the good?  Why must they see the ugly?  How totally are Matt and I screwing this whole parenting thing up?  The flaming orange and reds painting trees in flames of color, then dropping, dead and burned to the ground.

Magnificent pain.  And appalling beauty.  How can a mind fit all of these Big Things?

I don't know the answer.  So I press apples into cider.  I hang laundry.  We squeeze learning into every nook and cranny and go on field trips.  I make food and read stories and crochet innocence in yarn and I kiss goodnight.  I do...on the outside and inwardly... I think.

And sometimes, without any warning at all, I am overcome.

* Pictures of:  my much loved brother and sister in law in their amazing house/gardens, baby hats for new little people, and cider making, mostly.  The leftover apple bits in the jar are making apple cider vinegar.  And the book is wonderful.  Truly.