Sunday, December 30, 2007

RAIN!

Today we got much needed, all-day soaking RAIN!




We've enjoyed a visit from my brother, Steve, sister-in-law, Lynn, and nephew, Isak, who drove down from MA on Thursday. The boys made their annual trek down to Raleigh to watch high school basketball at the Glaxo Smith Kline Tournament on Friday night, and Mark bought some of the tournament basketballs for the Lighthouse teams. The girls went out for lunch at the Olde English Tea Room. They head back north tomorrow, just in time to shovel their way in to their driveway after a big snowstorm hitting southern New England tonight! I do love North Carolina.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Do The Next Thing

Does anyone else get overwhelmed by a "to do" list that is miles long, and seemingly unconquerable? I find myself flitting from one unfinished task to another, highly distractable and generally irritable! I read somewhere that as women get older, they start to lose the ability to multi-task because they produce less estrogen and more testosterone, thereby becoming more like men in their thinking processes! Oh, that is BAD NEWS! Author and teacher Elisabeth Elliot has a favorite saying that has become one of my favorites as well!

"Just do the next thing!"

This helps whether you are trying to declutter a hopelessly messy room, deal with a house full of sick children, get through an emotionally trying week, face a daunting challenge, or just get supper on the table.


Here is the poem that was her inspiration:

From an old English parsonage down by the sea
There came in the twilight a message to me;
Its quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven,
Hath, it seems to me, teaching from Heaven.
And on through the doors the quiet words ring
Like a low inspiration: “DO THE NEXT THING.”

Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity, and guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrows, child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus, do the next thing.

Do it immediately, do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand
Who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe 'neath His wing,
Leave all results, do the next thing.

Looking for Jesus, ever serener,
Working or suffering, be thy demeanor;
In His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance be thy psalm,
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing.
Then, as He beckons thee, do the next thing.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Day

We enjoyed our Christmas Eve dinner, and even had some friends drop by to visit for a couple of hours. As usual, we were up VERY late, so even my youngest didn't rouse until about 8:30 AM on Christmas morning! The rule is that no children can go out to the living room to see the gifts under the tree until everyone is up, so Jason and Amanda and I proceeded to pounce upon all the big kids ( yes, 18-22 yr olds, and DAD are definitely BIG KIDS ) With some good-natured grumbling and complaining, we got everyone on their feet and out to the living room, where Amanda took the job of passing out gifts, one at a time, to be opened while everyone watched and ooohed and aaaahhed. There were a LOT of DVDs received this year ~ but some other coveted items were a REAL bow and arrow set for Jason, a camo CamelBak hydration backpack for Alex, soft and comfy robes for the girls, a tripod for my photographer daughter, a Dick's Sporting Goods gift card for Eric, a fire & water-proof file box for Mark... and an IPod for me! That was a surprise, because I was expecting a frypan! The rest of the day was spent relaxing, playing games, and watching movies. We ended the day by watching The Nativity Story, and being reminded of the real people living in a real place known as Palestine, over 2000 years ago, and the miracle that was the birth of God's own son, Jesus Christ.



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Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Christmas Eve ~
I've been baking up a storm today - 2 apple pies and 3 Cranberry Eggnog Braids so far - so I'll just pause a moment to wish you a joyful and blessed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! We are having our traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner tonight - crab-stuffed mushrooms, tuna spaghetti, shrimp fettuccine alfredo, meatballs, salad, garlic bread, with cream puffs and Christmas cookies for dessert. Tomorrow morning is a sausage-egg bake, orange wedges, and the Cranberry Eggnog braid. Then dinner tomorrow evening will be glazed ham w/ pineapple sauce, mashed potatoes, cauliflower & broccoli casserole, Holiday Ribbon Jello, and whole wheat rolls, followed by the apple pie. Yummmmeee! Does it seem like FOOD is a big part of my holiday celebrations? I really do like to cook, and my family likes to eat, so the combination works out great!

My husband and 2 of the kids are out braving the MALL, finishing up some last minute shopping. You know, one of these days I'll figure out how to get my Christmas shopping done ahead of time....yeah, right. I don't even like to THINK about Christmas ( although it is my favorite holiday and I LOVE Christmas!) until after Thanksgiving. I did start ordering gifts online the day after Thanksgiving ( I refuse to join the mobs in the stores on Black Friday), but when you are buying gifts for 7 people, plus grandparents, it takes a while! My kids are apparently a lot like me, because most of them were out doing their Christmas shopping yesterday!

I am very blessed to have all my family - plus my "adopted daughter"- home for Christmas. My prayers are with those families, like my friend, Lea's, who are missing their soldiers serving far away. And for those like Kate's, dealing with illness and hospitals and separation during the holidays.
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Thursday, December 20, 2007

College Graduation

Wow, this has been a really busy week. My oldest son, our first homeschool graduate, is now a college graduate! North Carolina State University held its Fall Commencement Ceremony at the RBC Center on Wednesday morning, December 19, 2007. My eyes were misty watching my boy enter the arena in black cap and gown along with the other members of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, to join the various other colleges, as well as masters and doctoral degree candidates. How can this be? Am I really that old? (rhetorical question ~ I obviously know the answer...)

Alex earned his B.A. with a major in political science. He also completed the Army ROTC program, so on Tuesday night, he received his gold bars as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army at the NC State Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony and Dinner. He looked really sharp in his dress greens, up on stage repeating the Army oath of office and afterwards receiving his first salute from a NCO.

The new officers all received a really nice gift in a presentation by the Officer Christian Fellowship Minister ~ a gear tree engraved with their last name on one side, and NCSU 2007 on the other side.

A second Joint Commissioning Ceremony was held on Wednesday afternoon, this time for all 4 branches ~ Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force. Both ceremonies were very impressive. I am so proud of my son, both for what he has accomplished over the last four years and for what he has committed to do over the next four years. My parents and niece were here from MA for the festivities as well. Alex is their first grandchild, so this was very special for them as well.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday

Sarah, Bekah, and Alex all came home for Christmas break yesterday ~ but then Alex turned around and went back to his apartment on campus for the weekend. He realized that there wasn't going to be a car available for him to use anyway, since Mark and I have pretty busy schedules this weekend, so he might as well spend a few more days with his college buddies before everyone leaves campus and he graduates!

Amanda sings in the Raleigh Homeschool Girls Choir, and last night was their Christmas Concert! It was a quick 30 minutes, but they sounded wonderful! Afterwards, we met up with the rest of the family at Taco Bell, where they were eating after Eric's basketball game at Franklin Academy. It was one of those "divide and conquer" evenings ~ mom & dad couldn't be at both activities at the same time.

This morning was our TOG Co-op. We moved locations ~ we had been meeting at a small house on our church property which is used for Sunday School space. It was wonderful to have that place to meet, and we didn't have to worry about bothering anyone or making messes, so long as we cleaned up after ourselves. Well, the house's water and septic systems aren't doing so well, so we had to move into the main church building. We really appreciate that we were allowed to do that, since the church is very descriminating in allowing anyone to use the facility. We moms are a bit nervous about the new arrangement, but I think it went fine today. The first question the boys asked when we told them we were moving to the big church was "where are we going to play football?"!!! They have a weekly contest during our lunch hour, and had been playing on the house lawn. But all is well, because there is a small playing field adjacent to the church building as well. It is getting a bit difficult for all of us to get through the TOG reading and assignments at this time of year, with so many holiday preparations and activities going on. We will meet next week, and then take a 2 week break. We are expecting to get back into the groove after the holidays!

After Co-op, we headed to Creedmore for JV basketball games. Amanda's team played a tough game, doing much better against the Christian Faith Center team than during the previous two meetings. Amanda played great, although she is being bothered by a very sore foot ~ I think she might have a strained tendon or something like that on the side of her right foot. Mark wanted to stay and watch the JV boys play, but we had to get Amanda to our children's pastor's house where she was babysitting 9 children for the evening, while the parents enjoyed fellowship downstairs!

Sarah was planted in front of the TV tonight watching her college team, the Appalachian State University Mountaineers, win the NCAA Div. I Football Championship against the Delaware Blue Hens, 49-21!
CONGRATULATIONS, ASU!

Oh, and we finally got the ornaments on the Christmas tree tonight! We HAD to wait for Sarah to get home from school....I'll take a picture tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Helping Hand

This morning, after I dropped Amanda off at her Biology class, I went over to my friend Eileen's house for the morning. Eileen and Jerry just adopted 3 beautiful children, a 3 yr old and 9 mo. old twins, from Ethiopia, and they also have 4 yr old twins at home. Eileen has a bad cold; Ellie, her 14 yr old daughter, has a viral infection in her throat; the kids have coughs and assorted other minor ailments, so they needed an extra pair of hands! Since Mark was working from home today, I left Jason home ~ he wanted to come so badly, but I decided it wasn't wise this time with them all sick ~ and packed up a bag with the makings for Old Fashioned Chicken Soup, a baggie of Very Berry Tea, and 3 paint-with-water coloring books from WalMart. I got to feed the baby girls their breakfast, played with the boys, folded laundry, enjoyed a hot cup of tea with my friend, and made a big pot of chicken-rice soup for their lunch. This soup has fresh garlic, gingerroot, and cayenne pepper, so it is especially good when you are suffering with a stuffy head and cold. Opens things right up! And the garlic is a natural antibiotic! Amanda got dropped off after her biology class ( thanks, Eve!), so she helped for a while as well, until it was time to go home so she could get to her basketball game this afternoon. I hope it was a help for Eileen to have us there ~ I know we enjoyed ourselves immensely!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Do You Recognize These Christmas Carols?

Christmas Carol Quiz

1) Move hitherward the entire assembly of those who are loyal in their beliefs.

2) Nocturnal time span of unbroken quietness

3) An emotion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good given to the
terrestrial sphere.

4) Embellish the interior passageways.

5) Diminutive masculine master of skin-covered percussionistic cylinders.

6) Omnipotent Supreme Being who elicits respite to ecstatic distinguished males.

7) The first person nominative plural of a triumvirate of near eastern heads of state.

8) Tintinnabulation of vacillating pendulums in inverted, metallic, resonant cups.

9) In a distant location, the existence of an improvised unit of newborn
children's slumber furniture.

10) Proceed forth, declaring upon a specific geological alpine formation.

11) Obese personification fabricated of compressed mounds of minute crystals.

12) Jovial yuletide desired for the second person singular or plural, by us

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Another Alex update

I suppose I'll have to get used to sudden change when it comes to Alex and the Army - he found out yesterday that his training schedule has been bumped up, so he reports for training the first week of Feb. instead of April. Okay, I'm still grateful that he'll be around for a month and a half before he heads out. Graduation day is fast approaching - Dec. 19th!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Salute to Aprons!

APRONS have made a big comeback over the last several years. I suppose in some places they never were "out", but I definitely thought they were very... Ozzie & Harriet. I have been married for 25 years , and a full-time homemaker for most of that time, but I'm only now coming to appreciate the APRON! A cute or casual or sassy or sophisticated cover to keep my clothes neat and free from drips, splashes, and splatters ~ there are so many styles, and so many fabrics, to fit the mood of the day. My daughters also, appreciate an apron. I think because we are all somewhat nostalgic for simpler days, we all value the work of the home, and we all like craftsy, homemade things. So Grandma, hint, hint, hint.....
I just found this site with 50 free apron patterns found on the web:
http://tipnut.com/56-free-apron-patterns-you-can-make/
So run to Joann's and buy yourself a pretty print fabric, get the sewing machine out of the closet, and have a blast!

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Christmas Tea

Tonight was our homeschool group's annual Mom's Christmas Tea. This year it was held at the American Legion building. It is getting harder and harder to find rooms /buildings available in the area that 1) are big enough to hold 50-70 people for a meeting, and 2) don't charge an arm and a leg. Churches, which were once our primary meeting places, now tend to have grueling reservation processes in place, and are less welcoming than they once were. I guess liability issues have many of them scared to open their doors to outside groups that don't fall under their ministry umbrellas. But I digress.
The Tea was wonderful, and has become a much anticipated tradition for our support group. Each table is decorated by a volunteer "hostess" who brings her own table linens, candles, dishes, centerpieces, etc. We had 9 tables, with 6 people at each table. I wish I had a camera so I could have taken pictures. I rely on my daughter's camera, and she had it with her at a basketball game tonight. Oh well. One table at the back of the room had an urn of hot water with various teas and cocoa mixes, and a couple of crock pots of spiced cider. Then two long tables were filled with plates of goodies. I brought tea sandwiches - curried chicken salad with apples & cranberries ; ham & apricot-cream cheese; cucumber & mint-cream cheese. There were other trays of sandwiches as well as cookies, brownies, fruit, mini cream puffs, and other treats. Three ladies and I sang the holiday classic - 14 Days of Homeschooling (* sung to tune of 12 Days of Christmas ) Then Lynn G. led us in some Christmas Carols, while her husband accompanied us on guitar. Her 4 little children sang "Happy Birthday, Jesus", which was absolutely precious. Following that, Dianne Hart presented the Christmas story from the point of view of Mary. It was an enjoyable night, mostly because of the fellowship with the wonderful homeschool moms in our support group. I so enjoy spending time with them, as we talk and laugh and encourage one another. Eileen and I stood shivering and talking in the parking lot for about an hour afterwards, as we have done so many nights through the years. Her husband is a gem, as he shooed her out the door tonight so she could spend an evening relaxing with the ladies while he stayed home and put all FIVE under five to bed ( I'm sure with Ellie's help) Good job, Jerry. :-)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas Play and Christmas Books

This morning we enjoyed going to a play along with about 100 members of our support group. The play was "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever", at the Progress Energy Performing Arts Center in Raleigh. We have enjoyed reading this book for many Christmases, and the play was a nice, but abbreviated, version of the story.
It's time to unpack my trunk of Christmas books and videos. I have a nice collection of picture books that we try to read through during the month of December. I'm always on the lookout for another good Christmas book to add to the collection. Some of my favorites are:

How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
Jacob's Gift by Max Lucado
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell
Alabaster's Song by Max Lucado
The Gift of the Magi by O Henry
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsberg
A Cup of Christmas Tea by Tom Hegg
Saint Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend by Julie Stiegemeyer
The Very First Christmas by Paul Maier

I know there are some good ones that I'm forgetting. I'll have to update this list once I get the books out.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Basketball

Well, I've been trying to get my photos from Thanksgiving uploaded, but they keep disappearing. So I'm still working on that.

We've got a bunch of basketball games this week. Amanda's JV Girls team played yesterday afternoon against Vance Charter School, and won easily. Today, the MS Girls, MS Boys, V Girls, and V Boys all had games at Franklin Academy - and all lost. I only got to see Eric's game - the V Boys - and although we lost, I thought we played really well. Mark was happy, as the coach, but the boys were pretty disappointed. Franklin Academy is a rival, and they wanted to do better.
Friday, Amanda's team plays at Christian Faith Center in Creedmore, and then we'll hurry down to Cary to see Eric play at Cary Christian. The MS Girls, which Mark also coaches, will be playing Cary earlier that afternoon, so Mark won't be able to come see Amanda play. Then Saturday, Jason has tryouts for town league basketball, and his games will start after Christmas. This time of year, I cannot look at more than one day on my calendar at a time, or I start to hyperventilate!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Nest is Full

We had a very nice Thanksgiving at the home of our friends, the Dohertys, with 7 families and a total of 38 people! Karen roasted 2 turkeys, and everyone brought an assortment of sides, breads, and desserts to fill 4 buffet tables in her dining room. My contribution this year was Parker House Rolls, apple and chocolate silk pies, pizzelles, garlic-parmesan smashed potatoes, cornbread-sausage-apple stuffing in the crockpot, and an antipasto veggie salad. After giving thanks for God's provision and many blessings, everyone filled their plates and spread out over the house and yard. The adults talked... and talked... and talked... and the kids played front yard football and Catch Phrase and Guitar Hero... and everyone enjoyed the time of feasting and fellowship.

We have a full house this week, with Sarah and Alex both home from college, with an additional two friends who are staying with us. Mark borrowed a laptop projector for the week, to which they have hooked up Alex's X-Box 360 - so my living wall is a giant screen for playing video games and watching DVDs. There has been lots of late nights and laughter and music and dancing and munching and teasing ... I am in heaven. :-) It will be quiet when they go back to school on Sunday.

Sarah and friends Bekah and Jenna stayed up all night Thursday night and hit Kohls when they opened at 4 AM on Black Friday ( insane!!) , arriving home at 7:30 AM to fall into bed (and the LR couch) and sleep a few hours. Me on the other hand.... I avoid the stores like the plague on the day after Thanksgiving. I will have to go out today ( Sat. ), but still under duress ~ I just do not like to shop. I did go online yesterday and make a few holiday purchases. That is much more to my liking.

I'll have pictures up as soon as I get new batteries for the camera! Right now I am waiting for AAA to come and change the flat tire on my van. At least it is in my driveway and I am sitting in my warm house with a cup of tea and not on the side of the road somewhere. Yay for AAA!!
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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sinister Sunny Days

My thanks to Lea for finding this article and alerting us on her blog! Thankfully, I am OLD and was beyond interest in preschool television shows by 1969, but my youngest brother.... now he was totally immersed in this stuff!! Poor little tyke... Mom, it's not your fault. You didn't know any better. Hopefully, his therapy won't uncover too much other damaging information ( like the fact that we had to sneak behind your back to watch Speed Racer and that you kept a wooden paddle perched on the ledge in the stairwell - out of our reach but in plain sight every time we children walked down those steps - TERRIFYING! )

Tony, this explains a lot...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Little Bear Wheeler

Friday night and Saturday morning, Jason and I, along with our friends the Bartons, went to S. Raleigh to hear Little Bear Wheeler of Mantle Ministries talk about the Pilgrims and the providential hand of God in bringing them to North America. Little Bear Wheeler is an evangelist, historian, and masterful storyteller, who dresses in authentic period costumes as he delivers his presentations. Friday night he dressed in Reformation garb as he traced the development of the Bible and of the body of believers known as "the church" over thousands of years, from Moses through the rise of the Roman Church to the early Reformers who often gave their lives to bring Scripture back to the common people. Saturday he continued in Pilgrim dress, teaching about the creation of the Church of England by King Henry VIII, which set the stage for the Separatists, whom we know as Pilgrims, to flee persecution in England, and ultimately sail to the New World. There were many fascinating facts and stories woven into the talks, and the morning culminated with a demonstration of fire making, with flint & steel, a bow drill, and hand drill, and a pump drill. That kept the little boys interested!



Now, do you know why the Pilgrims sailed to the New World? Most people would say it was to flee religious persecution in England, but that is only partly correct. The Pilgrims did flee England, but they went to Holland, and lived there for 10 years. The were not persecuted in Holland, but were welcomed, and settled into the community there. But the problem was that Dutch society was much more "liberal" than they were, and the Pilgrims saw that their children were being adversely affected by their peers and the surrounding culture in Holland. So the real reason that the Pilgrims came to North America was to rescue the hearts of their children from a culture that was pulling them away from God!

Recommended reading if you are interested in learning about the Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony from someone who was there: "Of Plymouth Plantation: Bradford's History of the Plymouth Settlement 1608-1650", published by Vision Forum. This is a reprint of a 1909 translation (into Modern English) of Governor William Bradford's original journal, which is considered the single most important source of information about the Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Adoption Testimony

My friend Eileen's testimony about God's provision of finances for their adoption of three children from Ethiopia was featured on Crown Financial Ministries "Money Matters" radio broadcast today! You can hear the program, and Eileen's testimony at the end, online here.
Listen to the whole broadcast or click on "listen to adoption testimonies".

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Alex Update

Alex found out yesterday that he will be joining the 1st Cavalry, 1st Brigade in Fort Hood , TX after he finishes his Ordnance Training, sometime next fall. Please keep praying for him and all our soldiers and their families, especially during the upcoming holiday season when separation is especially hard.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hospital Stay

Well, I've had an interesting week so far! Monday night I sat down to eat dinner with my two youngest children while Mark and Eric were at basketball practice, and with my first bite of chicken divan, I felt an intense pain and tightening in my chest. I was pretty sure this was related to my esophagus, not heart, because I periodically have episodes where my esophagus squeezes shut when I am eating; this usually happens in my lower throat, and I feel pressure, and am unable to swallow anything at all until the spasm relaxes. This has been going on for years, and I had an endoscopy done about a year ago that didn't show anything of concern. This episode was much more painful than anything I've experienced before and lower, hitting right under the sternum. When these spasms occur and I can't swallow anything, I end up coughing up a lot of mucous/saliva - since it cannot go down, it has to come up! Lovely, huh? Well, I was doing a similar thing Monday, but after about 30 minutes I started coughing up blood, so when Mark got home from practice, we got in the car and took a trip down to the Emergency Room at Wake Med North. The waiting room at the ER was pretty full, but funny thing - when you come in with chest pain and a baggy containing blood that you have spit up, you get seen RIGHT AWAY!! ( sorry if anyone is getting grossed out here )
So I spent 2 days in the hospital, and finally after an endoscopy yesterday, learned that I had an ulcer in the esophagus. They also removed a couple of polyps from my stomach, and have sent those to the lab. I was released last night, and have some meds to take to help the ulcer heal and also to suppress acid production in my stomach, so I have to eat a fairly bland, easy to digest diet for a little while. Good thing Thanksgiving turkey and mashed potatoes isn't spicy!

I'm feeling much, much better. I had pain in my back/chest for 2 days, but it is barely noticeable now. I appreciate your prayers for healing. And I appreciate sleeping through the night without being woken up to have blood drawn for the gazillionth time, and not being hooked up to wires and IVs and sensors that keep beeping because you bend your arm too much..! And nurses are wonderful. :-)


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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Top Ten Favorite Family Movies

There isn't a lot on TV that I consider worthwhile, but we do enjoy watching movies on video or DVD for entertainment. Here is a list of some of our family favorites. Now, my kids range in age from 9 up to 22, and I have both boys and girls, so the list reflects varied tastes!
Share your family's favorites by leaving a comment!

( in no particular order )

1. Newsies

2. Iron Will

3. Apollo 13

4. The Sound of Music

5. Hoosiers

6. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

7. Pirates of the Carribean

8. The Man From Snowy River

9. Rudy

10. Star Wars

Lord of the Rings would have been high on this list, but it isn't a "family movie" for us, because my younger ones haven't watched it yet ~ mainly because I require that they READ the book first on this one!
There are animated ones we like a lot, like Ice Age, Toy Story, The Incredibles.

But lets go with this list, and see what you all come up with!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Alex's Assignment

Alex found out today what his job assignment is with the Army. He will be an Ordnance Officer. He is to report for Basic Officer Training on April 6, 2008 (not sure where yet) and then to Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland for 18 weeks of Ordnance Training on May 20-something.

"The purpose of the Ordnance Corps is to support the development, production, acquisition and sustainment of weapons systems and munitions, and to provide Explosive Ordnance Disposal, during peace and war, to provide superior combat power to current and future forces of the United States Army.”
http://www.goordnance.apg.army.mil/

He doesn't know yet what unit he'll be attached to after he finishes his training ~ he should find that out in a couple of weeks.

Please keep him, and all our troops, in your prayers.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Raising Godly Children

Last night was our monthly homeschool support group meeting, and the topic was "Raising Godly Children". There was supposed to be a panel discussion, but due to illness/a death in the family/ travel, only one couple from the intended panel was able to come to the meeting. Cindy and Randy graciously shared their thoughts, even though feeling much "on the spot", since obviously being the only presenters meant that they KNEW how to raise Godly children!
Really though, their 13-y-o son is evidence that they do have some wisdom to share.

First of all, what is meant by "godly children"? One definition for "godly" is "religious, pious, or having reverence for God". That is a good starting point. But when we talk about having godly children, we are really talking about more than having "religious" children. I looked up "pious", and that can mean "dutiful, kind, devout, pure". "Reverent" means "showing great respect, especially for God". That is the direction we are going in when we talk about raising godly children. Godliness has everything to do with character. I want to raise children who have a deep respect for God and for the Bible, which is His gift to us. I want my children to be kind, morally pure, loyal, honest, responsible, diligent, considerate, courageous, and compassionate. I want them to model themselves after the character of God - to be "godly".

Here are some of the thoughts shared at the meeting last night, by our "panel" and by others:
  • What goes in through the eyes and ears has a definite effect on our children's character, and eventually comes out in their actions and attitudes; be very careful of TV, movies, books, magazines, music, video games... what are the values and attitudes being presented? what are the images that are being seared into our children's minds?

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

  • Be selective about the people your child spends time with.

1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."

  • Be deliberate in teaching the doctrines of the Christian faith to your children. Do not rely on Sunday School or church children's ministries to do that job for you, because often they are not teaching these things either. The Bible is clear in Deuteronomy 6 that parents are to teach their children.

Deuteronomy 4:9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.

Psalm 34:11 Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

  • We must not separate our schools, our weeks, our lives into "secular" and "sacred"; in other words, biblical teaching must happen beyond just "Bible class" or "family devotions" or "Sunday morning". Everything we do either points our children to God or away from Him. The Hebrew method of education is to walk beside our children (our students) and let them learn by example - this is discipleship! It is not lecturing our children and telling them what to think, regardless of what they see in our lives.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

  • Raising godly children takes time - and effort - and might mean we parents have to give up some of our own desires and activities and interests for a time... but the end result is so worth it

Some suggested resources:

A Biblical Home Education: Building Your Homeschool on the Foundation of God's Word by Ruth Beechick

The Seven C's of History and other materials from Answers in Genesis

Passport2Purity by Dennis and Barbara Rainey (a workbook/book/CD set meant to be used in a special parent-child weekend with your child as he/she approaches adolescence)

Heart of Wisdom by Robin Sampson (how to use the Hebrew method of instruction in your homeschool)

www.aboundingjoy.com/children-fs.htm

GREAT ARTICLE!!!! "Christian Kids Are Too Gentle to Live Amongst the Wolves"

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Family Sports

Jason had a soccer game this morning, the first since having his cast removed on Thursday. He played halfback today ~ the coach puts the kids at different positions each time they go in ~ and did really well, scoring one goal and assisting on another, and hustling between defense and offense. It was a perfect day for sitting at the soccer field ~ sunny but cool and breezy. Next week is the last game of the season.


This weekend was also a Homeschool Pre-season Basketball Tournament in Greensboro, and the Lighthouse Boys Varsity team competed. We had 2 games yesterday, at 4:15 and again at 9:30 ( which didn't actually start until 10 PM) . We left home with a carload of players at 1:30 PM for the hour and a half trip, and didn't return home until 1:30 AM! Mark and the boys returned to Greensboro today for a game at 2:00. We won both games yesterday, against Davidson Co., and Cabarrus Co., but lost today to a sharp and disciplined Upstate Carolina team from SC. I had to keep the scorebook since Amanda was at a church retreat this weekend, so no pictures!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Stick Family

This is a really cool site.


I created this stick family for us ~ I haven't actually ordered them because they are a bit out of budget right now. But wouldn't that be cute on the back window of the van?




Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pumpkins

We carved pumpkins this morning. This is an annual tradition that the kids look forward to! We have never done the "triangle eyes and toothy smile" jack-o-lanterns. Rather, we carve designs that we either print off the internet or that I draw myself. We use the little saws that come in the pumpkin carving kits you can buy at just about any store this time of year. We transfer the designs to the pumpkins by following the outline with a pushpin. Its really easy, and the results are wonderful!









Simba the Lion and Musical Notes

Monday, October 29, 2007

What we do for Halloween

Last year I hosted a "Fear Not Party" on Halloween night for my youngest and a bunch of his friends. It was a great success, and we would have had another this year, except that Halloween falls on Wednesday. Here in the Bible Belt, that is church night, and most of the kids who would have come for the party have church activities that night. Our own church is having a carnival this year, instead of the usual week-long dramatic presentation called "AnchorSoul" that has been our church's tradition for about 8 years. So we are going to the carnival, and will maybe have another Fear Not Party next year. We will carve our pumpkins tomorrow, and work on putting together a fun costume to wear on Wednesday. There are no other children living in our neighborhood, except for one girl next door who we rarely see, so I don't normally get anyone coming to my door on Halloween. I do have a bag or two of candy in reserve, just in case. I'll turn on the lights and string some white lights on the front porch and put out the friendly pumpkins and mums. No scary spooky creepy things here.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9

Sunday, October 28, 2007

On Prayer

Go read this insightful post on prayer by Jeff Estes on Our Quiverfull. Jeff and his wife, Kate, are the homeschool parents of 7 children and owners of Hands and Hearts, a company that sells history kits, notebooking supplies, books, toys, and other hands-on materials for Charlotte Mason, classical, and notebooking homeschoolers. They also have a 1-year-old little boy, Noah, who is seriously ill.

Here is part of Jeff's post:

I believe it was C.S. Lewis who once said, “I do not pray to change the mind of God. I pray because prayer changes me.” Does a God who knows everything, is all powerful, and already knows the future need me to pray for the same thing over and over in order to help Him figure out what is the best thing for my life and the life of Noah (or any of my children, for that matter)? I don’t think so. No, what God has shown Kate and I is that we need to pray because it keeps us in a closer relationship to Him than if we didn’t pray at all. We need to pray because it is important to remember who it is that provides all our needs. We need to pray because prayer - the very act of talking to God - the effort it takes to consciously think about Him – thinking about who He is and how He wants to relate to us – CHANGES US!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Papier Mache Mummy Case

I mentioned several weeks ago that we were making a papier mache mummy case as a project for our Ancient Egyptian studies ~ but I never posted a picture. Jason was very proud of this one. It turned out great, and wasn't hard to do. We used a balloon and bunched up newspapers, secured with masking tape, to make the basic form of the body, then wrapped it all with strips of newspaper dipped into a flour & water paste. We did 2 layers, for strength. When it was dry, we drew the basic features with a black Sharpie, then painted with acrylic paints. We went back over some of the outlines with Sharpie again later. We used pictures in our Ancient Egyptian books for inspiration for design and colors, etc.








Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Volleyball Finale

It has been a busy few days... Saturday was the NCHE State Homeschool Volleyball Tournament, which was held at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem this year. There were were 4 teams in the JV division this year, and Amanda's team ended up with the 1st place trophy!! They played the best they have all season, and it was so exciting to see them do well, especially since we didn't come into the tournament with high expectations. ( well, Amanda was convinced they were going to win, but the rest of us were skeptical ). This is the 3rd year in a row that our JV team has won 1st place in the tournament.

CONGRATULATIONS, JV EAGLES!


Then last night was Awards Night, held at Coach Kollar's church fellowship hall. Everyone brought dessert and drinks to share. I spent the last couple of days printing out certificates for all the girls and coaches, and getting frames for team pictures for the coach and assistant coaches. Coach TJ spoke, applauding the JV and Varsity girls for their hard work and perseverance, and mostly for their character and their love for their teammates and even for opponents. A neighboring county started a homeschool team this year, and even though those girls had never played volleyball before, they had to compete at the varsity level because of their ages. Our varsity team embraced them and gave them lots of encouragement, staying after a game to practice with them and give them tips, and ended up playing against them in the consolation game at the tournament. That team was our biggest cheering section throughout the whole day ( aside from our own girls/ families), because our girls had been so nice to them. Anyway, I just had to brag on them a little.







Katie, Amanda, Leigh Ann, Melanie, and Wilson


















Emily, Kara, Sierra, Katie, Amanda, Cheri, Makenzie, and Wilson

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Why did we have a Seder?

I was thinking that it might be good to explain a little more about the Jewish Seder ceremony which was part of our Unit Celebration on Friday night ( see previous post ), and why we as Christians would see importance in it! First of all, the very fact that Jesus Christ was a Jew and celebrated these festivals during his life on earth is reason to explore them more deeply. But beyond that, 1 Corinthians 5:7 says " For Christ our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed." What does that mean? To understand how Christ is the Passover lamb, we must understand the Jewish Passover celebration.

Passover is the oldest and most important religious festival in Judaism, and celebrates the deliverance of the Israelites, the descendants of Abraham, from slavery in Egypt, and their establishment as a nation of people. The festival of Passover is a 7-day celebration that begins at sunset of the 14th day of the Jewish month of Nisan (read about the Jewish calendar here) - which falls in March or April.

Unlike the most Holy days of Christianity that are observed in Church, since the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in AD 70 Passover has been celebrated in the home with family and friends as they eat a meal together. It is customary to invite guests to share the Seder meal, especially newcomers to the community. The actual Seder meal in most Jewish homes is an elaborate feast, with food, games for the children, and plenty of time to tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt. It is not unusual for a Seder to last three to four hours.
The Seder involves everyone present since they all have a Haggadah (Heb: "telling," the printed order of service, reading, and songs) and are called to share in reading and singing the story. While the father or grandfather is usually the leader of the service, others have roles as well. The mother of the home lights the festival candles that signal the beginning of Passover, the youngest child asks the four questions, the children help eliminate all
Chametz, leaven, from the house, search for the hidden Afikomen (a symbolic piece of Matzah, unleavened bread) and open the door for Elijah, the parents or the grandparents tell the story of the exodus, and various others are designated to read or lead certain portions of the service.
Passover is really more than a festival. It is an elaborate teaching experience, especially for the children, intended to call people to their identity as the People of God. By using all of the senses, the Passover Seder tells the story of God’s grace in history and calls the participants to experience and share in the story as their own story. Passover becomes more than simply a service or a time; it becomes a way to confess faith in the One who has acted in history, and for Jews expresses the hope that He will continue to act in bringing deliverance to all people everywhere.

(from Introduction to a Christian Seder )


This teaching aspect is very significant, and I'm afraid it is something we Christians do not take seriously enough. Every year, in the context of family togetherness and celebration, the essence of the Jewish faith and identity is repeated over and over to the next generation.
THIS is who we are. THIS is what God did. THIS is why we celebrate - to remember!

How often do our families gather together, and the grandparents and parents take the time to diligently teach our children what it means to be a Christian, why we celebrate Christmas and Easter and Pentecost and the Fourth of July and
Thanksgiving ( the GOD reasons!), the reasons why we DON'T celebrate Halloween in the same way as others in our community, what amazing things God has done for His people and through His people? It is so important to be deliberate in teaching and passing on our faith and values to our children, and not just hope that they "catch it" from living in our homes.

Up until the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD, the central focus of the Passover was a perfect and unblemished lamb which each family sacrificed and ate as part of a sacred meal. In the book of Exodus, we read the Lord's commandment to the Israelites to mark the lintel and doorframes of their homes with the blood of this sacrificed lamb, to protect them from the 10th plague against Egypt, the death of the firstborn sons. Death would "pass over" the homes of the Israelites, which were marked by the blood of the lamb. Jesus Christ is God's first born son, perfect and without blemish. In God's perfect timing, Jesus became the sacrificial lamb, arrested and put to death during Passover.

John in his gospel noted that Jesus died at the same time that the Passover lambs were being slaughtered in the Temple (see John 19:14) and that like the Passover lambs, none of his bones were broken (the others being crucified had their leg bones broken by the Romans—John 19:32, 33, 36). The idea behind all this was that just as the Israelites were redeemed from Egyptian slavery by an unblemished lamb, now men could be freed from slavery to sin by the Messiah, the Lamb of God.

(from Passover - Why is this night different since Y'shua observed it? )

Death (eternal separation from God) passes over those who are marked by the blood of Jesus, meaning those who in their hearts have accepted him as their Saviour. The Israelites were not "automatically" spared from the judgement on the first born. They had to actively obey God by slaughtering that lamb and putting the blood on the doorframes of their homes. Likewise, Jesus's death doesn't "automatically" provide salvation for all people. We must do our part - actively proclaim him as our Lord and Saviour, and submit our lives to the authority of God. An interesting fact ~ if you act out the putting of blood on the lintel ( top ) of the door, and then the 2 sides of the doorframe as the Israelites did, you create a picture of the Cross.

You can read about more symbols of Christ in the Passover Seder here in "A Jewish Believer's Passover"

More info:

http://www.jewsforjesus.org/judaica/passover

http://www.egrc.net/articles/other/passover_resources.html

http://www.cresourcei.org/seder.html

http://biblicalholidays.com/Passover/messiah_in_passover.htm

I LOVE homeschooling. I would never have learned these things except for the opportunity to delve deeply into history and into God's Word with my children. Homeschooling is as much an education for parents as it is for children!

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Friday, October 19, 2007

TOG Unit Celebration

Tonight was our TOG Unit 1 Celebration, which was a Seder meal It was led by our new friend, Mr. Mel Walters, who came to talk about the Jewish Sabbath with our Co-op a couple of weeks ago. He and his wife, Joanne, are missionaries with the International Board of Jewish Missions. A few families in our Co-op couldn't be there tonight, but we still had about 65 people squeezed around 6 tables ~ with very little wiggle room! Most tables had 2 families assigned to them, and those families decided among themselves who would bring the Seder elements - hard-boiled eggs, celery, matzah, charoset, horseradish, parsley, grape juice. They also brought dinner for their own table. Pot roast was a popular choice tonight, but K.S. made a matzah pizza for her boys. I brought pot roast (cooked all day in my crock pot), oven roasted potatoes and carrots with fresh rosemary, salad, and Jewish Apple Cake for dessert. Mr. Walters led the Seder, describing the various parts of the ceremony and pointing out the Christian symbols present in this ancient Jewish festival. The kids dressed in costumes, representing the different cultures we studied in Unit 1 - Ancient Egyptians, Sumerians, and Hebrews. They also displayed their crafts and projects, so the dads and grandparents present could enjoy their work.




Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fun at the NC State Fair
















The aliens have landed!

































Jason had to pitch right-handed this year



Jim the potter is in the Village of Yesteryear every year, and discusses the importance of community involvement with the arts with everyone who stops to watch him throw his pots!





Monday, October 15, 2007

Slim Goodbody

Jason and I went on a field trip this morning with our friends, the Donahues, to see the Slim Goodbody "Bodyology" show at Fletcher Auditorium in downtown Raleigh. It was really well done - "Slim Goodbody" sang, danced, narrated, and otherwise exhorted the audience to take care of our amazing bodies. The show highlighted the various sytems of the body and how they work, using snappy tunes and hand motions and audience participation to grab the attention of the room full of elementary school children.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Full House

Alex and Sarah are both home for a long weekend, as their respective colleges are out for fall break. Bekah, my "adopted" daughter ( Sarah's good friend, whose parents live overseas ) is also here, so we have a full house! The washing machine has been going non-stop since last night, and we've gone through a bag of tortilla chips, 2 gallons of milk, 1 gallon of chocolate ice cream, and a bag of peanut butter chips. I love it!

Fortunately, Lowes Foods ran triple coupons from Wednesday thru today, and I've made 3 trips to the store, with 20 coupons each time ( the limit ). That enabled me to stock up on a few things, although the store was already low or out of several items by the time I got there at 8:00 AM Wednesday morning. I'm trying to be more consistent with my couponing. Some weeks I just don't have time to clip and sort, and then I get behind ~ but it is a great way to save on the grocery bill. The secret is to save your coupons for when an item is on sale ~ then you maximize your savings. Also, if you are blessed like we are to have grocery stores that regularly offer double coupons ( take off double the value of each coupon ) then you can really do well with coupons. When I started using coupons about a year and a half ago, I signed up for The Grocery Game, an online service that tells you which coupons to use at your local store(s) each week for the best buys. Now I am on a yahoogroup for NC called Smartspending, where people share info about deals at the various grocery stores each week. If you don't live in NC, there is also a national Smartspending group.

Jason had another x-ray of his broken arm on Monday. The doctor said it looked fine, but he re-cast the arm because he felt the first cast was too loose. So now Jason is working on filling the new one with signatures. He has to go back in 3 weeks for the next x-ray, and the doctors will decide then whether he can have the cast taken off. It really hasn't slowed him down at all. Yesterday when I went to pick him up from Nathan's house, I arrived just in time to see him getting tackled in a backyard football game with his 2 friends.

The weekend is pretty full. Mark is coaching boys varsity and girls middle school practices tomorrow morning. Then Jason has a soccer game. Sarah and her friends are trying to persuade Alex to go with them to the NC State Fair tomorrow afternoon. The Fair starts today, and we generally take a day off and go every year as a family. But the college kids have to squeeze in their day at the Fair while they can ~ I refuse to battle the weekend crowds!
Tomorrow night we are going to Ken's Korny Corn Maze, in Garner, with several other Lighthouse families. Then Sunday is a day of rest - I HOPE!

We have been studying the books of Exodus and Leviticus these past couple of weeks in our ancient history studies. God was pretty serious about the Sabbath, and I'm getting convicted that we are not honoring that commandment very well, just by going to church and taking a nap. Sunday ( or the Sabbath ) is supposed to be a day set aside, a day to recover and reconnect and rejuvenate, a day to set aside the normal hustle and bustle of our busy lives, a day to focus on family and relationships and fellowship with God and with one another. I don't think I am doing that very well.




Wednesday, October 10, 2007

GoodSearch

How many times a day do you search for something on the internet, using a search engine such as Google or Yahoo? Wouldn't it be great if you could help support a good cause at the same time? Well, you can, by using GoodSearch!
GoodSearch donates 50% of their earnings to participating charities and non-profit organizations designated by their users! When you go to the main search page, you type in the name of the group you want to support ( or use their search feature ). You can support the same group every time you use GoodSearch, or choose a different group every time. It is up to you!
Groups receive approximately 1 cent for every search. Our homeschool association is now signed up, so you can help support Lighthouse, including Lighthouse Sports, by choosing Lighthouse Christian Homeschool Association - Youngsville, when you do a GoodSearch!
www.goodsearch.com

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Transcript Workshop

This morning my friend Tammy and I facilitated a Transcript Boot Camp workshop at Homelight Books, our local homeschool book store. Transcript Boot Camp is a 4-hour seminar on DVD which covers things such as creating a transcript, keeping records, assigning grades, computing grade point averages, etc. Today we only watched the first 2 hours, and we'll watch the rest in a couple of months! We originally planned to do the whole seminar in one day, but several people asked that we break it up so that they weren't gone from their families the whole day and also because it is a LOT of information to absorb! I think it worked out well. Tammy and I had brought several sample transcripts, from our kids and a couple of our friends, so everyone had a chance to see a "real" final transcript, all done.

Since this was a morning event, we decided to bring some muffins, juice, and coffee. When I was at the grocery store yesterday, I picked up a box of blueberry muffin mix off the shelf and looked at it ~ it would be quick to whip up and would probably taste okay. But I couldn't do it! Muffins are so darn easy to make, and homemade muffins wouldn't have ingredients in them that I can't pronounce! So I bought a bag of frozen wild blueberries instead, and came home and pulled out my favorite blueberry muffin recipe.

BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup canola oil
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

GLAZE
1 cup sifted confectioners sugar
1-2 Tbl orange juice

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 12 muffin cups, or line with paper or silicone liners. In lg. bowl, combine rolled oats and orange juice; stir well. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, oil, and egg to rolled oat mixture. Mix well. Stir in blueberries. Fill prepared muffin cups about 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-22 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on rack. When still slightly warm, sift confectioners sugar into a small bowl; add juice until it makes a thin glaze that will pour off a spoon. Drizzle glaze over the tops of the slightly warm muffins.

The Voice of Truth

I love this song! I read the words to this song as part of my devotion at our homeschool support group meeting the other night. As homeschoolers, it is easy to start listening to the negative "voices" that surround us, telling us that we are weird, that we are not qualified to teach our own children, that we will ruin these kids and they'll never be able to get along in the "real world", and on and on and on. Sometimes these voices come from family members, sometimes from the media, sometimes from friends or neighbors or church members, sometimes from our own feelings. Homeschooling takes place in the middle of life, which tends to be messy. Cars and appliances break down, kids get sick, roofs leak, siblings don't always get along, babies fuss, meals need to be made, nerves get frazzled. The local school, with that smiling teacher and her well-planned lessons in her sun-shiny classroom filled with every imaginable teaching tool and bright, eager students, starts calling our name. In our weakness, we let doubt and anxiety and fear and frustration creep in, but these things do not come from the Lord. They are from the Deceiver, who would like nothing better than for us to abandon our plans to instill godliness and character and moral values in our children along with academic excellence. And the reason they creep in is that we take our eyes off of Jesus, as Peter did when he stepped out of the boat onto the water, walking toward Jesus' outstretched hand. As soon as he looked around him at the wind and the waves, he lost heart and started to sink. ( Matthew 14 ) If the Lord calls us, won't He give us what we need to do whatever it is? I have seen God provide for us many times over the years, and I am watching in awe now, as God is demonstrating His power and provision in my friend Eileen's life in miraculous ways! It isn't because we have things all together or have any special abilities. It is because God chooses to work through weak, imperfect human beings, for His Glory!!

"My grace is sufficient for you , for my power is made perfect in weakness..." 2 Corinthians 12:9

Friday, October 5, 2007

Learning About Shabbat

Today in TOG Co-op we had two delightful guest speakers. Mel & Joanne Walters are missionaries with the International Board of Jewish Missions ( and homeschool grandparents ). The came to share with us the significance of the Jewish Sabbath, or Shabbat, as part of our Tapestry of Grace week 7 study of the Mosaic Covenant and the Ten Commandments. The kids got to taste challah ( bread ) and drink grape juice, learned a phrase or two in Hebrew ( Shalom aleichem ~ peace be to you ), smelled the sweet spices in the spice box, and each received a widows mite ( coin ). The Walters did a wonderful job of conveying the lasting traditions and the strength of family that are part of this Jewish celebration.









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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Like Mother Hubbard, my Cupboards are Bare!

You may have noticed that I added a weekly menu to my sidebar. I need to get back to planning my meals ahead of time. Well, that will have to be NEXT week's menu, because here it is Wednesday, and I have yet to go grocery shopping this week ~ so I haven't made anything on that menu!! agh

Between volleyball games, basketball tryouts, baby shower, graduation meeting, Lighthouse meeting, car trouble, ..... I just haven't been able to fit in more than a quick dash to the store to get a few items each day. Good thing there is a grocery store 1 mile from my house. As soon as I can catch my breath, I AM going to go through my coupons, make a decent list, and go for a real shopping trip. I'm ready for some GOOD meals; not just thrown together quick ones, eaten on the fly.

Okay, time to regroup.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Graduation Planning Meeting

Tonight was the first planning meeting for the Lighthouse Christian Homeschool Association 2008 graduation ceremony! I coordinated tonight's meeting, which drew 17 families. I think there might be another 1 or 2 people who didn't make it tonight. That's a good size group for a support group graduation ceremony! I went over the basics of the Lighthouse graduation ceremony, and we watched parts of the 2006 Graduation DVD, so everyone could see what the ceremony is like.
In essence, this is what we covered:
  1. Graduation is the 1st Saturday of June ( June 7, 2008) at 2:00 PM
  2. Ceremony length is 1 1/2 - 2 hours long
  3. Graduate attire is black caps and gowns, with tassles and stoles of different colors, as chosen by each grad
  4. Processional and recessional are played by the Lighthouse Homeschool Band
  5. Diplomas are the responsibility of the parent, and they may create their own, or order from one of several different sources
  6. Parents present the diploma to their own son or daughter, and have 2-3 minutes for remarks
  7. Each graduate presents his/her mother with a single rose
  8. Power Point slide show features 6-8 pictures of each grad - a "slice of life"
  9. Simple reception follows the ceremony in the church fellowship hall

Other things we touched on were the Senior Picture Day at Winn Portrait Studio, to be scheduled for this fall; Group photo day, usually held in the spring; additional social events throughout the year for the graduating seniors; yearbook senior pages; programs, and invitations. A suggestion was made that perhaps we could videotape the seniors, one at a time, giving a short message to their families, moms, etc., and play it at the beginning of the ceremony.