Monday, April 18, 2011

The Wilds

I had the opportunity to attend a Ladie's Retreat at the Wilds last weekend with ladies from my church. This was only my second time being able to go, and I had so much fun just laughing and sharing with friends. It was a nice reminder of how blessed I am to be able to have such encouraging, supportive friends in the women from my church. I hope I was just as much of an encouragement to them as they were to me.

My pastor's wife, Gretchen, was the speaker for the weekend. She taught about having "intentional faith." My favorite quote from her for the weekend was personally very challenging to me. She asked us, "Are you a practical atheist (meaning we say we have faith in God that He will work in our best interest, even in difficult times, but our actions don't match what we say) or are you practicing intentional faith?" I know for me and some of the circumstances I've experienced, I have (wrongly!) doubted God and His goodness towards me. It was really eye-opening when Gretchen put it in those terms. It has caused me to really take captive my every thought and fully trust God. So thankful for the Lord's conviction in that area, and for Gretchen's willingness to teach us women how to live a life more pleasing to Christ!

Here are some pictures from my trip.

The women in the "Party Van"

The women in the "Quiet Van"

Suited up to go on the Giant Swing


TJ, my boys, and TJ's dad attended the Wilds for a Father/Son campout. They had a BLAST!! Here are some pictures from their trip.

Outside their cabin

They hiked to the waterfalls (seen in the backdrop)

Ta going on the zipline

Th going on the zipline

Shooting rifles

Lookout!! ;)

Their cabin

Friday, April 15, 2011

Frogs, Lizzards, & Snakes

We took a mini- field trip this week to get some hands-on experience with some amphibians and reptiles, which Th just learned about in science.

Although I do not really like those type of animals, they are a reflection of God's handiwork and part of His creation.


The kids LOVED it!!!


Inside a baby alligator's mouth- plenty of SHARP teeth!!

T.G. was in love with all the animals- not scared one bit!

Teagan, on the other hand, was content to just sit, eat her candy, and watch from a distance (much like her mother!) =)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Homeschooling: A Reflection

We are almost at the end of the school year and our first year of homeschooling. I can honestly say this school year has passed very quickly!

Here are just a few things I have learned along the way:

  • School is to be taken seriously, but I don't need to stress myself about it
    • If Th gets a concept, I don't need to keep going over it just because the Teacher's manual says I do. At the same time, if Th needs a little more time with a concept, I don't have to move on until he has reached mastery.

  • Flexibility is the name of the game
    • Some days we get started at 8am and work straight until he's finished with all of his subjects, other days we start and he works for a bit, then we take a break and bake muffins or run errands or go to the park and simply finish later on in the day. I LOVE that about homeschooling!
    • Along with flexibility, if Th shows an interest in something that I might not have planned to study in-depth (i.e. the Gold Rush), I can go ahead and allow him to pursue that interest anyway. That has happened on more than one occasion and honestly, we both learn more about whatever the topic is that way.

  • We take awesome field trips, and lots of them! Here are some of the fun places we've gone this year:
    • behind-the-scenes at the Post Office
    • panning for gold at a gold mine (and actually struck gold!!)
    • Th spent a day as a school boy back in the 1840s, attending school in a one-room schoolhouse and did chores in the way they were done back then
    • visited our State Senator and Representative for Homeschool Day at the Capitol. We also toured the Governor's Mansion and State House grounds, listened to the legislators while they were in session, and visited the Confederate Museum to learn more about the Civil War.
    • toured Carolina's Aviation Museum in Charlotte, NC
    • toured the RH/YC Airport and got to see all that happens in aircraft maintenance (my favorite!!)

  • Although I liked the curriculum I used, I think there are some that are better suited for Th as a learner and myself as his teacher. I am especially excited about the science curriculum I plan to use for next year as it is very much "hands on/bottoms up" and will entail Th keeping a science journal to record all his observations/findings. My science professor would definitely give her approval for my choice, and I honestly can't wait to start using it! I would have done it this year if it wasn't already so late in the school year.

  • I love having Th home with me. He is a great kid, and he is growing up so fast! Homeschooling allows me to spend time with him, but more than that, foster our relationship as mother and child. I love to hear about his ideas and views on the world, and I love to watch him interact with his younger sisters.
In case you haven't figured it out, I LOVE HOMESCHOOLING!!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A bad storm hit...

and a beautful tree was knocked down in our yard.

I am thankful it wasn't one of the enormous Oak or Pine trees in the yard as one of those would have surely killed or severely injured someone. Storms like the one last night remind me how weak we are in the sight of God. I need a reminder every now and again! =)

*The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. ~Psalm 19:1