Friday, September 30, 2011


I find it interesting that when this is a theme I pick out to develop a little in my children it speaks most to me. We have been reading A Hive of Busy Bees by Effie Williams for several weeks (read online for free).


Each story is centered around a character trait. We recently read Bee Careful. It was about being careful with your words. This has been an area in which I greatly struggle. Sad as it is to say I struggle the most in my words towards the kids’.

In the story the father was trying to get his daughter to have a better feel for the impact of her words so she wouldn’t use them so carelessly. I tend to be a visual person so this example struck a cord with me. He had her pick up a white dandelion and blow as hard as she could. Then he told her he would wait patiently while she went forth and picked up each of the pieces of the dandelion that had blown away. The daughter thought for sure he was kidding for that was an impossible task. He then told her that is how she needs to think of the words that leave her mouth…they carry further then you mean them to and there is no getting them back. Indeed.

The other part of this story had to do with a knot that was put in a baby tree. Once the knot was discovered it was a year later and too late to undo it. The family then called it their learning tree because they were reminded by looking at it that once some things are done there is no undoing them. The impact of that action lasts, regardless of apologies made and forgiveness received.

I should have known better, because isn’t it always the way when you pick something out as a weakness in someone else the mirror comes out and low and behold the weakness is really yours?

(For whatever reason on the free online download versions there are some stories missing and Bee Careful is one of them. Another is Bee Accepted…all about the cross. I’ll write more about that another day because it is a beautiful story.)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Rare Gem

I find when I do searches I am overwhelmed with all there is to choose from. I tried to find a decent typing program for the kids at the end of last year (for free, of course). I did find something but it was along the lines of I-don’t-have-time-to-look-too-long-or-hard-right-now-so-this-will-just-have-to-do. Nothing against this program, it did just fine. The only issue was it didn’t spark an interest in typing, made it more chore than fun.

Knowing how important it can be to make something fun and how they’ll run after it all the more if they like it I searched again. I am thankful I did for this time I stumbled upon this site.

It also seemed even more than appropriate since a couple of dear friends of ours are from that land across the Atlantic. Who knew?

Since we bookmarked this site I get asked if they can type and believe it or not I have to put the timer on to make them get off! This is what I call a gem of a find. : )

Now if I could just channel the enthusiasm they now for have for typing to a few other areas of school time I would be set!

{photo credit}

Friday, September 16, 2011


We were full of wonder when we hit the special exhibit at the zoo this year. It was an exhibit filled with different kinds of butterflies.


The exhibit itself wasn’t all that large but it touched a special spot in the hearts and minds of my children. Ever since we found that caterpillar on the swing set a year or so ago and watched it form its chrysalis and hatch they have been hooked.


This exhibit had all these gloriously beautiful butterflies flitting to and fro landing on us and on the surrounding foliage. Isaiah was more than a little tickled when I had him take off his hat and he discovered this beauty had landed on him. From that moment on he kept trying to get butterflies to land on his hand or arm.


It is just amazing the amount of detail God puts on these creatures. And the colors! All creation does indeed testify of the glory of God, no? : )


We were on the hunt this summer for a caterpillar to bring home. We found a few small, and I mean teeny tiny, monarch caterpillars up at the cabin. They were so very small we weren’t sure if we would lose them on the drive home so we left them. I must say I regret that decision a bit, but oh well.


Even with eyes peeled and some intentional stops along areas full of milkweed, we didn’t score another caterpillar find the whole summer long. Thankfully we were blessed to be able to enjoy this beautiful display in a season of no caterpillars to call our own.


Indeed, we were wonder-filled at all we saw and touched and that was just as it should be!

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Boy Thing?

This sleeping in crazy positions…is it a boy thing?


I’ve seen the girls’ sleep in dramatic positions (arm flung over the head as if in distress) but nothing fancy like these boys’! Aren’t they sweet when they sleep?

Friday, September 9, 2011

He Comes By It Honestly


If I could count all the number of times I saw my Grandpa, my mom’s dad, in this very position through the years you wouldn’t believe me.

My Grandma tells the story about the time my Grandpa declared he was going to take a nap and one of my younger cousins piped up, “We’ll go get your book for you, Grandpa!”

All of us, my cousins and I, have seen him snooze in this position. You see their room in the cabin up north is a ranch. It is on the end, the corner. It isn’t large but it is lined with windows. The front windows have you looking right at their bed not 3 feet away. It is a bird’s eye view of Grandpa when he naps. : ) He doesn’t get away with much!

Not only would he fall asleep with a book in his hands, where it would stay in perfect position the whole nap through, but he would always tell us, “I was just checking my eyelids for pinholes.” (I am quoting word for word here.) It is a running family joke now since we’re all older and we all know better. But that Grandpa, he can sure spin a yarn when he wants to!

Time will tell if how much more Isaiah comes by honestly, but this sleeping with the book propped open? Priceless.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Another year gone by, another year older. Kiersten celebrated her ninth birthday a few weeks ago. It seemed it bit spread out, the celebrating that is. We had a family birthday party shared between her and my nephew the weekend after her birthday and then a week after that we let her invite some friends over for a party.


The afternoon of the friends party did not turn out at all as I had envisioned it would, but that ended up being okay. Thankfully the girls’ had fun and Kiersten was extremely gracious about what we talked about doing and what actually got done. I lack so much in the organizational, planning areas.


The party consisted of 3 sisters, who also homeschool and one of which danced with Kiersten this year, and then another girl who also danced with Kiersten. There weren’t any awkward moments but rather lots of laughter. I won’t repeat any of the nine year old jokes I heard that evening so as to spare you and keep us as friends.  : ) (Let’s just say bowel movements figured in heavily and leave it at that shall we? They are young, what can I say?)


I did manage to put together a scavenger hunt for them. I had to slow down Isaiah (Yes, he joined the festivities although he wasn’t entirely welcome.) because he knew where things were once the clue was solved. The kids were also racing ahead and leaving some behind. (Drat that child gate before the stairs!) The scavenger hunt was such a hit with my two that they have been begging me to put another one together for them to do with instructions to make finding the clues a little more difficult! Who knew?


We fed them all some dinner and capped off the night with a visit to a local ice cream parlor. One of the girls ordered and ate almost an entire banana split! Amazing. After that the family mobile taxied all the girls’ to their respective homes.

This doing a party for non-family members was a first for all of us and from what Kiersten says a success. For that I am very thankful and she was very happy. A win-win.