"Thought breeds thought; children familiar with great thoughts take as naturally to thinking for themselves as the well-nourished body takes to growing; and we must bear in mind that growth, physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, is the sole end of education." ~ Charlotte Mason

Friday, November 4, 2011

Home School Weekly Wrap Up : Week 10

This week started out rather oddly. Graham had an allergic reaction to something in his environment. We believe it is the mold from outside. It's been a very wet and mild November and he starts to get allergies in the fall and winter but this was quite bad! A rash covered his body from head to toe and his face swelled. We were off to the Doctor and he was put on some cortisone and an antihistamine to help clear it up. He's doing much better now but we've kept in doors and did some deep cleaning of his bedroom along with two hepa filters to keep his room dust free.

The result is that we had a lazy relaxing week. We did seat work but we did more reading then usual. I pulled out the Usborne books and scattered them about the house in strategic areas. The kids have been pouring over them, absorbed in them! I read a lot quite a bit and Heather did a ton of reading on her own. They did quite a bit of drawing/art this week. I love weeks like this where books are absorbed and the TV isn't turned on once, nor the computer or any other gadget. We don't utulize them often anyway but when our week is free and clear of them completely I feel GOOD about it!

Next week will be back to the 'normal' schedule but it was nice to take things easier when our little man wasn't feeling so well. And it was nice to be able to spend time together as a family, not having to go anywhere or do anything!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Memories Held by God

For the last few years, God has been calling me to a place where I can gain freedom from the past. It's been a slow, then accelerated process. I remember when I took my daughter in for surgery a while ago, the nurse was explaining what it was like in the hospital and she said it was best described as: "Hurry up and wait". I remember thinking at the time that it sort of feels like that sometimes with God's process but not exactly like that more like this: "Accelerate and rest". This past week I was cleaning through a box of older items but was not expecting some items from my childhood I found to be laying at the bottom. In the space of a few moments memories and emotions slammed into me with a great deal of force. Growth in my relationship with the Lord is much like this. He digs deep, asking me to trust, then brings something out so I can take a look at it, acknowledging what happened and then asking me to give it back to Him because He's redeemed me from it. Sometimes this takes a while and it feels terrible in the moment. I didn't have the greatest childhood, some have had worse happen, others not as much I realise but all the same it is painful to look back on it. I don't care to think of it at all. But it's apart of me and so deal with it I must at different times in my life. That afternoon was no exception. I stood looking at the items while my children played around me, oblivious to the emotions and memories that created turmoil in me, but I realised one very important thing: God was WITH me. I prayed, I put on Praise and Worship music and opened my Bible. When the memories or emotions come, I decided a while ago I would have a game plan so I set about it immediately. Pray, praise, read. That's my game plan, it works. :) Sometimes it takes a while to fight the battle and other times it's over in moments but always God is WITH me. I feel like the time of accelerating is the time of deep growth as I'm handing it all over to the Lord, learning to trust as I seek Him out. It's such an involved and present task. Then, after I have learned to trust more fully, to lean unto His understanding, then and only then comes the rest. Isaiah 40:31 "but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint" and my life verse: Isaiah 41:10 "Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed. I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." This time around it took a while to work through it out but God is ever faithful and He knows me. He has plans for me even now, who I minister to (whether that is my children, husband, friends, a neighbour), where I go, what I do. He knows all my past, the sin I struggle with and yet He still hears me. I'm learning to trust, more deeply, more fully, with every memory, every emotion. I'm learning to walk more in obedience and find the freedom this brings. I am reading through Ann Voskamp's book 1000 gifts for a second time and I am amazed at what I read again and how it struck a cord with me this time around. It's amazing how the Lord fits all things together, how He reveals Himself in all the moments of our lives, past and present right into the next moment. Ann said "Trauma's storm can mask the Christ, and feelings can lie. I draw all the hurting voices close and I touch their scars with a whisper: sometimes we don't fully see that in Christ, because of Christ, through Christ, He does give us all things good----until we have the perspective of years. In time, years, dust settles. In memory, ages, God emerges. Then when we look back, we see God's back." (when she says back she is referring to the time when Moses saw God's back and God safely tucked Him in the cleft with His hand). It is safe to trust the Lord with all that we were and all that were are. Learning to trust is a process: "Accelerate and rest/wait". When we let Him in to fulfill the good work we experience Him in the deepest parts of our soul.

Life since May

Lots has happened over the past few months. The most memorable has been our annual holiday up to the beach for the first three weeks in September. Our family looks forward to the hustle and bustle of life being over for three glorious weeks as we settle in to the enjoyment of being together! We make so many precious memories together: lazy days by the water, brilliant sunsets that light up the sky, cozy fires inside, brisk campfires outside with roasted hotdogs and marsh mellows, walk out in the forest and best of all - all of us enjoying each others company! This holiday was no exception. We visited the family homestead, gathered firewood from it's forest, and toured the old farm house. At the farm house we discovered relatives who wrote their signatures and the dates of they wrote them on the bricks in the old covered porch. There was one dated from 1938. It was incredibly interesting. A few months ago I read through one of my relatives diary, who lived in that house once upon a time. It was neat to read about how day to day life unfolded for the people who lived in that house. The house was occupied by tenants for the past few years but this year it stood open and we were able to take a peek inside. I walked through each room and down to the cellar to see where my relatives white washed their walls, where the wood was taken and stored, and food preserves kept. I walked through the kitchen were life teemed throughout the day, the old wood stove kept busy with breads and meals. I was struck by how huge the kitchen was and how small the bedrooms were. Life was so different back then, people didn't spend time in their rooms holed away they experienced a sense of community, working in the kitchen together, in the fields. My Grandma entered into the world in the main bedroom upstairs and there she lived and breathed, working along side her siblings. A school teacher stayed with them and taught them, my Grandma ran through the rooms, played and worked, she had a life, she had thoughts, she LIVED. I've had some opportunity to do research about that side of the family in the past few months. They came from London, England and settled that land together as a family. They went through hardships, death, loss, they saw the work of their hands come together as the land grew and teemed with the work of their labour. They are not just names on the paper of my family tree, these were some amazing people who came to an unknown country, knew not what lay ahead but pushed forward to settle a land and make a life for themselves. It was neat to tell my children about this, to have them walk the land, play in it's fields, brush their fingers across the signatures of the generations that came before them. That was one of the best parts of my holiday this year. :)

We also had friends join us the second week of our holiday. It was an amazing time of togetherness and memories made. We toured some falls, played in the sand with little care for time, ate meals together and sat around a campfire at night laughing and joking.

This is one of the best years we have had up there and I am thankful for the moments that were found inside of each of those days!

Problems with my blog account

I've had some problems with my blog account for the last several months and this is the first time I've been able to get on it. My husband was able to help me fix it. There was something about having two conflicting accounts but anyway, it's all ironed out now!