Monday, April 25, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays: 58–86

Three weeks.  No posts.  But countless blessings.  Here are just a few.

0058.  For a 5-year-old remembering what to do in an emergency, even if the "emergency" really wasn't an emergency after all.  :)

0059.  For eating dinner with the windows up.  In an instant, I was 9 years old and visiting my MawMaw and PawPaw's house.

0060.  For an understanding friend and the way a great conversation with my oldest didn't have to come to a screeching halt in order to be there on time.

0061.  For playtime with friends when we did finally get there.  And a "maybe someday" picture.  :)

0062.  For libraries:  free buffets for the mind!

0063.  For beautiful days that draw you out of the comfort of your home to experience His creation.

0064.  For exceeding a goal, setting a new one, then exceeding it.  "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14).

0065.  For a sudden burst of energy and a sprint at the end.

0066.  For an abundance of food and a large table so our friends could just stay for dinner.

0067.  For Millie's excitement over being able to read.  Everyone who passes through our door gets to hear a story.

0068.  For a flexible schedule and being able to go help when the phone rang.

0069.  For a great time of dissecting Scripture with the ladies at church to try to determine what that passage really means.

0070.  For four little girls filled with excitement over their first camp experience.  (Millie went for drop-off, but she's too young to stay!)

0071.  That Hannah loved it so much she cried when I came to pick her up.  She is eager to return this summer!

0072.  For a visit to Grandma and Grandpa's without Mom and Dad.  These are some of my favorite childhood memories, and I want my kids to have a chance to make those memories for themselves.

0073.  For time.  Time for me to just be a wife and for him to just be a husband.  And time to tackle those projects that are simply too complicated to tackle with children underfoot.

0074.  For hard work and hours of training and an amazing friend, all of which helped me to actually be ready on race day this year!

Fawn (my running partner who refuses to let me get out of training, despite my various excuses), me, and my friend Cyndy (who is a real runner and has lost over 100 pounds in the past 4 years).  Don't you love that Greg had us stand in front of the ambulance—just in case!
 0075.  For making it to the finish line and knowing I ran the entire thing!!

0076.  That my friend chose to have a slower time so she could stay with me and encourage me the entire way. 

0077.  For a new way of organizing our school day that has helped us achieve more in less time.  Yes!!!

0078.  For new signs of growth!  We're not gardeners by any stretch of the imagination, but we're giving it an honest effort and learning a little more every year.

0079.  For a God so powerful that He defeated death!  And that by so doing, He defeated death for me!

0080.  For a tradition that we "accidentally" started.  The kids ask for them every Easter.  :)

0081.  For an honest conversation with a daughter last night, and for my amazing husband who handled it exactly the way I hope I would have if I had been there alone.  (Yet I know myself well enough to know I would never have managed to stay even half as calm and understanding and encouraging as he did.)  Soooo thankful he was there!!

0082.  That God loves us and draws us to Himself and is faithful to reveal Himself to us even when we aren't so faithful in exchange.

0083.  For a smile that now has an extra-wide gap!

0084.  For a new middle digit in my weight.  One number smaller than the old middle digit.  It's not a big enough loss for anyone else to notice, but I know it, and it makes me happy.

0085.  For my husband, who listens and is willing to work at marriage.  There aren't words to describe how I feel about this man.  I am blessed beyond measure to be his wife and thankful to be partnered with him for the rest of my life.

0086.  For God's provision for our family all the time.  I went to the dentist today to pay a $94 bill and was told not to worry about it, that they would just remove the charge from my account.  Who does that??! 

Head over to Ann's A Holy Experience to read about the blessings He has poured into others' lives this week.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Lighter Side of Life

Last time I didn't have a single "Hannah" story to share with you, but I'm making up for it this time!  :)

When we were visiting MeeMaw and Kimpaw over Spring Break a couple of weeks ago, Kimpaw asked Hannah what she was studying in school.  When she told him she was learning about California, he immediately grabbed an apple, a banana, and some walnuts, and held out his hand and said, "Hannah, this is California." 

"A bunch of fruits and nuts!"

(And if you're reading this and you're from California, he wasn't talking about you!  He was talking about the other people!)  ;)


One night we were getting ready to do our devotional.  Greg, Millie, and I were all in the living room already, so I asked Hannah to grab a Bible and bring it into the living room with her when she came in. 

She said, "Isn't the King James Bible on the table in there?"

Greg said, "No, we're not using the King James.  It's too hard to understand."

So she walked in with a Bible in her arms and said, "Here's my easy reader Bible, Dad.  You should be able to understand it."


A couple of weeks ago, I took Hannah to Books-a-Million because she wanted a Sudoku book of her very own.  While we were there, I found a copy of Digital Photography for Dummies and started looking through it.  Hannah asked what it was about, so I explained the premise behind the Dummies series, that they have books about any topic you can imagine, and they explain everything to you as if you're a dummy who doesn't know anything about the topic to begin with.  I told her they probably even have a Sudoku for Dummies book.

Her response?  "Well, I ain't no dummy."

I said, "Well, you sure sound like one when you talk like that!"

She said, "No I don't.  I sound like Grandpa."

I said, "Yeah, you do sound like Grandpa."

Everything was quiet for a minute, then Hannah said, "So ... you think Grandpa's a dummy, huh?"


Later that day, we were at Wal-Mart picking up some groceries.  The girls were tired, so both of them were riding in the cart.  Needless to say, there wasn't a whole lot of room for the groceries!

I handed Hannah a carton of eggs and said, "You be careful with these.  You know what happens if they get squished!"

Without missing a beat, she grinned and said, "Yep!  We get to have scrambled eggs!"


Hannah went to church camp for Kids' Weekend a couple of weeks ago, and I took advantage of the opportunity to take Millie out to eat since it's rarely just the two of us.  We ended up at McDonald's because I am not only a health nut but also a big spender.  ;)

I was getting our food when Millie pointed to her mouth and said, "Mom, I still have my gum!"

I said, "Look, there's a trash can right there.  Go spit it out."

I picked up our tray off the counter, thanked the server, and turned my attention back to Millie—sweet, literal Millie—just in time to see her with her entire head in the trash can so she could literally spit the gum into it.


And on the same trip, not 20 minutes later, we had another Millie moment.  We were about to go pick up Hannah from camp, which was about an hour and a half away, so I told Millie she needed to go potty before we left.  She took care of business, pulled her pants up, and said, "Mom, want to see what Mrs. Carrie taught me at the restaurant last night?"

I said, "What did Mrs. Carrie teach you?"

She said, "This."  Then she began to raise one leg while she said, "Sometimes the handle is dirty and Mrs. Carrie doesn't want to touch it, so she uses her foot to flush."  Then she started to lose her balance, so to brace herself, she put her hands on the seat of the potty!!  ('Cause that's not dirty at all!)

She might be germy, but she makes me laugh!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Show & Tell: Adventures Weeks 28 & 29

All right, sweet bloggy friends ... if this post actually gets published, it'll be a miracle indeed because not only am I putting two weekly wrap-ups in one post (which for some odd reason is amazingly difficult for me) but also I'm planning to publish it with today's date rather than changing the date to "put it where it's supposed to be chronologically," thereby satisfying my OCD.  It's all about baby steps.  (And who knew when I started blogging three years ago that it would end up being therapy?!)  ;)

In history, we learned about Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, and slavery in Week 28.  Our text primarily focused on the life of Abraham Lincoln, and Hannah and Millie both really enjoyed learning about him.  Millie has been telling everyone about the log cabin he lived in as a child (it only had three walls), while Hannah has been recounting a story about a town bully who thought he would pick a fight with Abe but found that Abe was a little more competition than he had bargained for!

Slavery and the Civil War are pretty dark times in our nation's history and are pretty tough for children to understand, so they were only mentioned briefly in our text.  But in our book basket we had several books that gave a little bit more information about those topics.

(There's a chance I just might have become the oldest American Girl fan in America this year.  I love, love, love these books!!!)

Here's the Abraham Lincoln notebook page Hannah made for her U.S. notebook.

And in Week 29, we learned about America's 34th through 37th states:  Kansas, West Virginia, Nevada, and Nebraska.

I asked Hannah if she remembered doing a presentation on Kansas at co-op back in kindergarten, but she couldn't remember many details about it besides the Dust Bowl.  I pulled up the blog post so she could read about it, and it was entertaining to watch little light bulbs turn on as she remembered various details.

In Bible, we learned about Jesus as our Shepherd.  We've really enjoyed the way My Father's World has done the names of Jesus study this year, but because of our read-aloud, this one was the best by far!
Oh, my goodness gracious!  It was all I could do not to stop the flow of the story after every paragraph to comment on how I saw us as lambs, Jesus as a Shepherd, Jesus as a Lamb ... it was the perfect read-aloud to go along with our Bible lessons!  And every day, Marie Hazell (author of My Father's World) chose Bible passages that related perfectly to the assigned chapters for the day. 

I won't tell you how the story ends, but I will tell you that the last chapter of the book was a beautiful picture of Christ, and it was also a real tear-jerker.  I learned that day that it's not easy to read aloud when you're crying.  I was trying my very hardest to stay composed and not let some children's book get the best of me, but I finally got to the point where my voice kept failing me, so I handed the book to Hannah (cuddled quietly on the couch next to me) so she could finish reading it for us.  She didn't take it from me, so I turned to look at her and saw that she had a quiet river of tears streaming from red, puffy eyes down her cheeks as well.  So I kept reading, and one word at a time (word, sniff, another word, gulp, another word, heavy breath, another word, sigh) we somehow managed to make it to the end of the story.

In Science, we've been focusing on physics for the past two weeks.  In Week 28, we learned about energy, forces, hot and cold (expansion and contraction), and gravity.

To demonstrate how heat makes things expand and cold makes them contract, we ran hot water over a soda bottle for a few minutes, then put a balloon over the neck of the bottle.  Then we put the balloon-capped bottle into a pot filled with ice water.  The ice water caused the air inside the bottle to cool down and contract, sucking the balloon into the bottle.  (Well, kind of sucking the balloon into the bottle.  The results weren't as impressive as the picture in our book, but there was enough of a change for us to get the idea, anyway.)

There was definitely evidence that the air inside the bottle was contracting ...

... but the balloon didn't pull all the way inside the bottle the way it did in the picture in our book.
Then we basically did the same thing in reverse.  We took the bottle that now had cooled-down air and a totally deflated balloon and put it into a sink full of hot water.

As the air in the bottle heated back up and expanded, it began to push the sides of the bottle back out and inflate the balloon.
And we also did an activity that demonstrated gravity.  Yes, gravity.  The main point of the lesson was not air resistance (like Mama someone tried to make it), but gravity.  Just like the boldface title at the top of the page said.  (And my mom was a reading teacher!!  My reading teacher!!)  Fortunately, I posted my question on the My Father's World message board and the ladies there helped me make sense of it all when my original explanation even left me with questions.  :)

First I had Hannah climb on top of the kitchen table ('cause we just do really safe things like that around here) so she could drop a quarter and a quarter-sized piece of tissue paper at the same time.  Obviously, the quarter landed first.

The point of this I now know was to show that gravity pulls everything down with equal force, despite its weight.  So then why was there a huge difference between the time it took the tissue paper to fall and the time it took the quarter to fall?  Because the tissue paper had air pushing back against it (air resistance), which slowed its fall.  But gravity still pulled it down with the same force as it did the quarter.  This was really important to know for the rest of our experiment to make sense.  :)

Our next step was to remove the air resistance factor.  To do this, we put the tissue paper and the quarter in identical boxes and dropped them once again.  This time, despite Hannah's hypothesis, they landed at the same time.

Now it all makes sense.  They landed at the same time because gravity pulls everything down with equal force, despite its weight, and we were able to see that when we removed the air resistance factor.  We even did it one more time with eight quarters in the box and got the same result.

So thank you, thank you, thank you to my sisters on the MFW board for helping me salvage this lesson!

In Week 29, we did the first four activities that came with our magnet kit.  (Yes!!  I can handle magnets!)

Hannah gathered several items that she thought might be attracted to a magnet and tested them all.  When she was done ... voila!  Her first piece of modern art!

We learned that the earth has lines of magnetic force that run through it from one pole to the other, and that a compass is actually a special kind of magnet.  Then we made a homemade compass and placed it in a bowl of water.  Sure enough, the north pole of our magnet pointed toward the north!

We learned that lines of force in magnets run between the two poles, and magnets attract more strongly at their poles than anywhere else because the lines of force are so concentrated there. 

You can see that the metal shavings were most attracted to the poles (ends) of the bar magnet.

The shavings were very attracted to the poles of the U magnet ...

... but not so much to the other parts!
We learned the oh-so-important life lesson that opposites attract!  (This will be beneficial to them when they look for husbands in 15 30 years!) 

She figured out that she could attach several small magnets to her large one if she put opposite poles together.
And here's what happens when you put like poles together.  The top magnet looks like it's floating because like poles are together so they're repelling each other.

We learned that magnetic force can travel through objects.  Here we put a piece of thin cardboard (part of a mac 'n cheese box) between the magnet and the marble, and the force was still strong.

We didn't find that too surprising, but what we tried next sure was!

The magnetic force was strong enough to pull through the cover of a hardback book ...

... plus several of the pages ...

... and even the entire thing!  That surprised us!!
And then they used their magnets to make funny faces.  (I wish I had a nickel for every car trip I took as a kid where this was my source of entertainment!)

As far as the three R's go ... much to Hannah's delight, we finished our unit on paragraphs.  (This kid can write, but I have learned that she likes to write when it's her idea to write and only when it's her idea to write.)  We took a very brief look at poetry and rhyming words, and Hannah came up with this poem:

Spring is here and summer's coming.
I won't have to do math or its summing.
I can play
All through the day,
And play in the sun
With everyone.

I laughed out loud when I read the first two lines!  Now we're beginning a unit on dictionary skills, focusing specifically on alphabetical order for the time being. 

And in math, we began a unit on multiplication.  We downloaded a free game called Timez Attack, which has been an excellent resource for memorizing multiplication math facts!

Oh, and how about a quick nature picture?  We've seen a couple of these lately.  The first one we saw was at our local putt-putt golf course, and as we were going around the block we noticed that a neighbor has one growing in her yard, as well.  I have no idea what it is (we'll have to ask our neighbor), but it's really beautiful!

So there you have it:  a two-week "weekly" report with an authentic publication date assigned to it.  Time to click the Publish Post button.  I think I can ... I think I can ... I think I can ...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays: 27–57

I'm sure I've only noticed a small drop in an ocean of gifts He has poured into my life this week.  Even so, my list continues to grow, and I am thankful.

0027. For being pushed beyond what I think my body can handle.

0028. For the friend who gently pushes.

0029. For the same friend who in some ways anchors me, reminding me that a heart full of wisdom is far better than a head full of knowledge.

0030. For the other friend who I can so fully trust. Who I know prays without ceasing. Whose daily walk points me to Him without fail. "Less of me, more of Him."

0031. For his peace for those times when I abide in the Spirit.

0032. For his grace for those times when my flesh overcomes.

0033. For the honesty of one little girl after a poor decision was made.

0034. For the opportunity to train the heart of the other, who tried to conceal it with a lie.

0035.  For purchasing a book on my wish list at a price that seemed too good to be true!

0036.  For authors like Hillyer who can take a geography book and turn it into a story book of far-away lands, with just the right touch of science and history added to the mix.

0037.  And for this gem, also on my wish list, found on the bookshelf at MeeMaw and Kimpaw's.

0038.  For their generosity in giving it to me ... even before I asked.  :)

0039.  For a daughter who asked if she could "add one" to my list.

0040.  For the fact that the one she wanted to add was the love between our family.

0041.  For little girls' hearts being so receptive that they put His words into action.

0042.  For the desk getting cleaned off and the bills getting paid.  :)

0043.  For his provision in faithfully stretching our meager income.  Truly, the numbers don't make sense.  He is our Jehovah-Jireh.

0044.  For hearing Greg share a new thought with me from a book he read on his  flight last week:  Our "messy house" is okay because we have a "pretty neat home."

0045.  For waking up to find that he had cleaned the kitchen after I went to bed.

0046. For three extra bodies for a few hours one evening, and the laughter and joy and memories they added to our home.

0047.  For the warmer days and the new life that is springing up everywhere I look.

0048.  For children who love to play outside.

0049.  For a husband who took the initiative to get our project going while my thoughts were consumed with next year's school.

0050.  For a place right here in our small town for the girls to share some afternoon fun with their AWANA friends.

0051.  For learning that there is an appropriate time to hit your sister.  ;)

0052.  For rejoicing in that knowledge!

0053.  That "Coach Daddy" got to go with us and teach the girls a new game.

0054.  That we have been blessed with good health and sharp minds and bodies that move, although we rarely give it a moment's thought.

0055.  For this child, full of new ideas and boundless energy, who has been entrusted to my care.

0056.  And for this one, tender and affectionate and full of compassion.

0057.  For creative minds and never knowing what they'll come up with next, but always being amazed at whatever it is.

How about you?  What gifts are you most thankful for this week?