Monday, June 1, 2009

Professional Development

We've been way too busy to blog! It has been so nice to be outside enjoying the beautiful New England spring. We've also been working hard to finish out our school year. Just 3 weeks to go! This past month flew by. Jason has gone back to work and is on "light duty." He finally had an MRI and found out that his cartilage is torn and he is having a consultation with a surgeon on Wednesday. He's been limping around for almost 2 months now and I'm hoping that surgery will be quick and successful so he can be his active self again. Fortunately, he's still able to go fishing which is, of course, a favorite past time of our family. If we don't go every few days, the boys just pester us until we do. On this particular fishing trip they did more exploring and munching snacks than fishing but it was a delightful day!

We started a bunch of seedlings. The kids each won their own pack of tomato seeds from their entries in the Reading Rainbow story contest so we planted those and some other tomatoes, cukes, peas, lettuce, basil, and a few flowers. I also have some sunflowers, squash, pumpkins and beans that I have to get in the ground this week. We have very limited sun in most of our yard so we have to be creative about where we plant our veggies. Most people have shrubs and flowers in their front yard, I will have veggies. It may not look "landscaped" but it will be productive. I am looking forward to preserving, canning and freezing as much fresh produce as I can this summer to keep us stocked for the winter. We already harvested some of our rhubarb and I was going to make jam but we used it all in rhubarb strawberry bars and a rhubarb apple crisp recipe that Bella created entirely herself. It was quite delicious! I was impressed with her ability to understand measurements of each different ingredient. She has learned a lot from baking with her mommy for 7 years!

We have been working diligently on our states, we have done a brief overview of most of the US now, 3 more regions to go. They all know the 50 states by name now and can sing them very well. They also have a pretty good grasp of where each state is. I have been looking for a puzzle of the US where each state is a piece but I haven't come across what I am looking for. If anyone knows where I can get one like that, let me know.
One beautiful day last week we took our learning outside. I was amazed at how much we learned with a sprinkler and some sidewalk chalk. It was a perfect 85 degree art lesson. We saw the effect water had on our dry chalk drawings, then experimented with drawing on wet pavement with dry chalk, then we experimented with wet chalk on dry pavement. Then we found that we could make a paste and use it for body paint. The kids painted themselves as Native American Warriors. I gave them each a warrior name and after they solemnly passed through the sprinkler in our warrior ceremony, they were ready for battle and went to reclaim teepee city from the enemy. It was a terrific day!

I was blessed to be able to take a little retreat away from everything last week. I usually go away to Maryland in the spring to a church retreat for pastor's wives but it didn't work out this year. Instead, I got to go to Cape Cod with Amira!! It was the most amazing time. Knowing New England, we had resigned ourselves to some chilly days on the coast but had decided that cold beach was better than no beach. God, however, in His amazing grace, saw it fit to bless us with a beautiful hot sunny day on the beach on Memorial Day despite what the forecast was calling for. It was so hot we went swimming in the ocean! I can't tell you what a gift that was to us both. The whole vacation was unbelievably peaceful and rejuvenating. Walks on the beach, exploring tide pools, wonderful company, lots of yummy seafood and best of all uninterrupted time to study God's Word, pray and work on the Bible curriculum I am writing. It was all of the teacher's professional development days I had neglected to take during the year rolled into one week and very very profitable for everyone. I am so grateful to God for the time that He provided, I can't even put it into words.

Don't I look so happy to be on the beach :)

A panoramic view of Seagull Beach.

One of my beach creations...not much to take pictures of w/o the kids around :)

Me and Amira, she got a tan, I did not, but I didn't get burnt either though so I was happy about that.
Back to reality now, but it's a better reality because the fire within me to seek God deeply is burning bright and strong, fanned by the time I had away with Him. It is my daily prayer now, that I won't allow it to be slowly extinguished by the mundane again. After having some time to reflect while I was on my little sabbatical I am living in awe of the depth of God's Word and how applicable it is to my life, from minor details to huge life decisions, how God has used it to guide me and my family, to comfort, to exhort, to rebuke. I can truly attest that Jesus is the Bread of Life, He certainly nourishes my soul and the more I consume, the more I am fulfilled. It was great to have a little "time out" to reflect on all that He has done in my life and to know that the work that He started in me, He will see through to completion.


Mama Teaching 2 said...

I love your beach art! :) Enjoy the last three weeks with lessons. :) It looks like your all enjoying life to the fullest.

Anonymous said...

Looks like ya'll are having a great time. I tried to find a 50 states puzzle online but the ones I saw had Michigan turned the wrong way! (I only noticed because my family is from there!) I did find 2 cool products on Barnes & Noble's site but I can't tell if each state is an individual piece... just type in United States puzzle on the site. I tried to copy the links but apparently I'm not so good at it :)

I hope you find what you're looking for!!!