Saturday, September 29, 2012

Albert's Weekly Update 28/9/2012

It's slowly starting to get cooler here. The leaves are starting to go yellow. Just about everywhere that you look you can see squirrels with nuts in their mouths. We have one that we seems to live up one of the trees on our property. Hanneke and I have called him Fatso, but the girls want to call him Nutty.

It has been a good productive week at Seminary. I have been able to make some progress on the Books and articles that I need to read for my various subjects. I have also been able to make some progress thinking about some of the papers that need to be written this Semester. There is always something that needs to be done!

I have had both a Greek and Hebrew test this week. The Languages continue to be a challenge, but I am relishing that challenge. I also received back my Greek Intensive Exam this week. I passed reasonably well, so I am very thankful for that!

This week I have been reading the following:
Always Ready, by Greg Bahnsen - a text on Apologetics - finally finished!
Systematic Theology by Louis Berkhof
Reformed Dogmatics by Herman Bavinck
Between Two Worlds by John Stott (A chapter on Sincerity and Earnestness in Preaching)
Redemptive History and the New Testament Scriptures by Herman Ridderbos (Very interesting with regard to the Canon of Scripture)
Some other Canon Material

I have also been doing some work flow planning. We went out to dinner to one of the senior students houses last Friday, and he gave me some good advice with regard to getting everything done. The recurring theme around here is that you can't do it all! The key is to know what needs my critical attention, and what is there as a background to the things that we are learning in class.

One of the things that I have noted across a couple of classes is that I am weak in the area of Philosophy. So I have downloaded an audio course from RTS on the History of Philosophy. It's interesting stuff! I have been listening to it when I am cleaning at Seminary, and also when I go out running.

The work-life balance is improving. Hanneke and the Girls have been understanding, but I have been working hard on getting all my priorities right.

I have started to do some more exercise, in the interest of keeping healthy (and sane!). I have run back from Seminary twice this week. It's a great way to recharge, and get rid of some physical energy. I am not used to all the sitting around that I am doing. I wouldn't want to get fat!

Prayer Requests:
Thanks for: A good week of Study and feeling more on top of my workload.
Requests: That I may continue to work diligently, and use the time given to me wisely. For Hanneke and the Girls as they continue homeschooling.

Have a great weekend and a Blessed Lord's Day!



Friday, September 28, 2012

Girls Hut

Girls Hut - It's even got a cleaning area, eating area and play area!

Front door, notice the bucket of water to clean your feet
and the brush to keep the hut clean. 
Zara showing me her trick
Grace with her trick
Kate with her trick
(Michaela's trick didn't turn out well on the photo.)
Having morning tea with serviettes,
paperplates and disposable american cups*
Girls in their second story hut!
*I didn't realise how much America is a throw away society! I don't think I have eating out on real plates and drank from real cups. We got given the 'throw-away' plates etc. The girls even went as far as writing their names on the plates and cups (which they do here as well). I have bought disposable cups for when we have a large crowd of people around as I haven't simply got enough glasses and it's not worth buying for the few years we are here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Box day and our first 'school' day!

Here are some photo's of our curriculum arriving and unpacking, plus some firsts :). I haven't got much time this week with all this homeschooling and ironing so just a couple of photo blogs!

Three boxes of Sonlight
(We had been looking out for the Fedex Truck)

It's like Christmas!

Albert is checking the books against the invoice, no small feat!
Books keep coming out of the box

That's it! An entire year of school for all four girls even
down to the pegs needed for the science experiments! 
While I sorted out the books Kate made a
'Clifford and friends' train with the wrapping paper. 
The Instructors Guide - Oh How I love Thee!
Making Castles out of the boxes
 (they come pre-printed on the inside of the box!)

I suppose this is Zara's first day of school!
(Miss you Maree L!)
Michaela doing her Maths (Teaching Textbooks on  CD)
Reading one of the many books
Reading aloud with Dad!
M & G's Core D on the top shelf
Kate's Core A on the bottom shelf
Answer keys and Instructors Guides (blue folders)
All the homeschool stuff together
 plus Albert's books on the top shelf!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Albert's Update 21/9

(Note: I've been very busy homeschooling this week, so haven't been able to post much, but we are all very well! Hanneke)
Albert's library so far :)
Hi there!

Something different this week.

It has been a very busy week, with lots of study for my final exam in Catechetics today. The exam was difficult, but I think that I have done okay. I am under instructions to take it a little easy, so no major post this week.

Tonight we are out for dinner to a Seminary family. Tomorrow night we are having a get together with the first year students and their families. Looking forward to it.

For those interested below is a link to a paper that I handed in. The Instructor was very generous, and I obtained a pretty good mark. If you have difficulty opening it, please let me know.



Monday, September 17, 2012

Bullet point update :)

Our house, we've got the basement and the ground floor,
a lovely newly wed couple is living upstairs.
Here is another summary post, there is just so much to share and so little time! I've managed to post photo's about most of the things we get up to. If there is something you would like to know about life over here or the way people do things, food etc just let me know and I'll try to write/take photo's about it. So here is the bulletin point summary in no particular order. 
  • Sonlight Curriculum - It's ordered and hopefully here this week! This is the one area that I'm scared about so please keep me and the girls in prayer with regard to this. The girls are excited and are looking forward to school. 
  • Kingdom Builders - This is a homeschooling co-op that I have joined. We went for the first time last week. It is very well organised and all the mums (expect me for now) do some teaching. It is good for the girls to see some other kids. Interestingly almost all of the moms/families are from the URC. 
  • Swimming Lessons - Both Kate and Zara have started this week, and are doing very well. It is really a necessity here as the only pools the girls have been swimming in are private pools. Public pools are rare and if there are some they are very expensive. A few of our friends have allowed us the use of their backyard pools. This is very nice but they have no shallow end, so it is a bit of a problem for Zara as she can't stand. I managed to pick-up a lifejacket at a second-hand store to keep her safe. 
  • Munster Masters Swimming Club - I've joined this club and have been swimming about 3 times a week with options to swim up to about 6 times a week. The pool is a private high school pool. It has a diving well and is an Olympic size pool (50 mtrs). As part of the club there is a coach who writes us a programme to do each session. I've gone from swimming 2000 yards three times a week to swimming 2600 yards three times a week. I've been able to finance this by doing some dogsitting and ironing for the neighbour! Sorry Trish and Brydie but swimming is a LOT better than running! :)
  • Sunday School and Gems - The girls have started Sunday School this week which they thoroughly enjoyed! I went to the adult Sunday School (biblestudy) while the girls went to theirs. For the Wanganui/Palmerston Church readers, guess what book we are studying? Joseph and Judah! The girls have joined Gems but it hasn't started yet. 
  • Church - I'm not sure if we have mentioned where we are going. We have joined Redeemer URC as a student members. Albert's mentor will be the pastor which is very nice. If you get the time to listen to some of Rev Roets sermons, you won't be disappointed. 
  • Weather - I'm not sure you would like to know ;), it's still warm and still grateful for aircon!
  • Seminary Wives - I went to my first meeting this week. A record number of wives turned up! WOW! There are 9 students in Albert's year with 8 married. I'm looking forward to getting to know the wives and their families a lot better over the years. Some of their stories are simply fascinating! I'm loving the contact and social side! 
  • Jobs - Albert has started this week by cleaning the seminary! (Mum you can be proud of your son!). I'm doing some ironing for my neigbour and I have done some dogsitting as well for them. I'm also looking at putting some flyers around the neighbourhood to do some dogwalking/dogsitting for people. 
  • Couponing - Well this almost deserves a post on it's own but a brief mention here :). I have got the paper delivered in order to get the coupons as this seems to be the way to shop especially for toiletries items and get some extras like chocolate. I have also subscribed to some blogs that are dedicated to finding the best deals with the coupons. We have been able to get A free donut, half price icecream sundae (for our anniversary dinner), some free toys, very cheap shampoo, milk etc. I could spend all day everyday on this and so have decided to buy everything that I can at Aldi's and the rest I'll get with coupons hopefully. I also sign up for as many free samples that come through to the blogs and so I've been able to get samples and more coupons in the mail. 
  • Seminary Registration and Retreat - Albert wrote about this here and said in that post that I would give some of my thoughts, well here they are briefly! First of all, I'm very guilty of throwing the waterbaloon at Albert when he wasn't looking! I was able to go with Albert without the girls for both days. One of the other seminary wives looked after my girls the first day (I made her a meal) and then the second day Flo at the seminary organised a babysitter. I thoroughly enjoyed the days, meeting the professors (and their humor, Albert needs to up his game I think!), meeting the other students and their wives and being encouraged in our journey for the next three years. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Albert's Weekly Update 14/9/12

Albert in his office

It's been a good week. I feel like I am now getting into the swing of things. Being organised certainly helps.

We have been experimenting getting up early in the morning, and it is working well. I can get in a good few hours before breakfast starts, and Hanneke has also been going swimming as well. So the alarm has been going off at 4:30 am. It's amazing how quickly you get used to it.

I now have a full complement of courses. New Testament History started this week, and the course material looks interesting. We had an introductory lecture, and next week we are beginning to look at the idea of the Canon of Scripture. Once we have done that, we are headed into the uncharted world (for me) of textual criticism.

We have begun Homiletics as well. For this subject we have 3 main books to read:
  1. Biblical Preaching by Haddon W. Robinson
  2. Preaching the Bible as Christian Scripture by Graeme Goldsworthy
  3. Between 2 worlds by John Stott.

All 3 books look really interesting, hopefully I'll get the opportunity to share some of my thoughts after reading these over the next couple of weeks.

Had my first Hebrew test this week. I managed a good pass, which is an answer to prayer. I'm enjoying the challenge of getting to grips with a subject that is quite foreign to me (no pun intended!). The Lord blessed my preparation, and I am beginning to learn how to balance my time between the various subjects, so I was pleased that my preparations had gone well. Our Professor also provided us with a Study Sheet, that greatly assisted my preparations.

I have handed in my first paper this afternoon. Three book reviews on Catechetics. When I get them back I'll post them here on the Blog, if they pass muster.

New Testament Greek is a step up from first year Greek. I have spent the afternoon struggling through Syntax Diagramming. Thankfully I have the use of Bible Works 9, which has Diagramming Software built in.  If I can get my head around the technology, and once I get the hang of things, I will try and post  some copies here as well, for those interested of course!

On the subject of Bible Works, a huge thank you to the wonderful people who donated a copy to me. It will be an invaluable tool that used wisely and prudently, will greatly assist me in my language study. You know who you are, thank you, you are a huge blessing!

Theological Foundations included a discussion on Theological Encyclopedias, and the differing views of Abraham Kuyper and B.B. Warfield on Apologetics. There is an exam question in there for sure!

In Apologetics we are continuing to go through some foundational material. I am enjoying taking part in Rev Strange's lectures.

In Ancient Church History this week we had an interesting discussion on the use of Allegory. I'll save that for another time.

Well, that's it from me, time for bed. Thank you for your prayers, they are most appreciated. We continue to keep you all in our prayers also.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cheeseburger Family Night

Another photo Post. I'm not sure these photo's don't need an explanation but I will give you some pointers. 
  • Disclaimer - I did NOT buy the burgers or the muffins!!
  • In fact it was donated
  • The burgers actually tasted pretty good and so did the muffins BUT it won't be something that I will buy regularly, I rather spend that money on bananas (I wonder how many bananas I could buy for that price considering bananas are 29c a pound?) or watermelon! 

Box with the burgers in
The burgers (which I heated up in the microwave)
Girls ready with their burger
Dessert - Blueberry muffins (HUGE ONES ofcourse!)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Intensive Greek Celebration!

Albert had 3 weeks of intensive Greek everyday before seminary started. Once this was finished we decided to celebrate with going to Beggars Pizza. This was the last night of 'freedom' before seminary started. On Tuesday and Friday night they have a organist playing their organ. The girls had vouchers from the egg drop that they won. Albert and I bought something small. The girls were actually more interested in the big TV screens on the walls than the organ itself, ah well you get that ;). 

At our table waiting for our order
Winning vouchers
Notice all the lights? The organist controlled it all depending on the music. 
Again proof that I'm here :)
I tried curly fries with cheese, fries were excellent, cheese sauce very salty 
Albert's burger

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Albert's Weekly Update 7/9/12

Another week has flown by. It has been a busy one, but productive. I am learning to balance the different subjects, and my reading speed is increasing. An encouragement and an answer to prayer.

This past two weeks we have been doing an intensive in Catechetics, the branch of Theology that deals with catechization, and the Catechisms. This has meant limited time during the day to study, as we have been lectures in both the morning and the afternoon. Thankfully, our Professors have cancelled a few of our lectures this week, to allow us to concentrate on this intensive.

This week I have been reading a number of books on Christian teaching, and I am currently reading Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Comfort and Joy, a study of the Heidelberg Catechism. At the end of next week I have due a paper which is a Book Review on 3 of the books were part of the required reading for our Catechetics course.

Hebrew marches on, and I am working at learning my vocab. We are starting second year Greek on Monday, and have been promised a vocabulary test on what we learnt in our Greek Intensive, so I have been continuing to work on revising my Greek vocab.

I have 3 new courses starting next week: New Testament History, Homiletics, and New Testament Greek.

In Church History we have been look at the early Church, in particular considering the make up of the early church, and what models from society during that time can give us an idea as to how the Church was structured. Fascinating Stuff! As part of this I have been reading some of the writings of Clement and Ignatius.

For Apologetics I have been continuing to read "Always Ready" by Greg Bahnsen.

So I have been busy! I am enjoying my courses, but I can see that it is going to be a real juggling act. Sounds like good training for the Ministry! I have appreciated the advice of some of the Senior students, with regard to study methods and habits. Lots to learn!

On Wednesday night Hanneke and I went out to celebrate 14 years of marriage. God is indeed good!

Have a blessed week.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Random August Pics

Here are some random August Photos

Got all this worth $20 for about $1.05 using coupons!
Zara having fun at a friends pool.
Zara holding the front screen door open
Kate's photography - Baking bread!
At Centennial Park - Taking turns with the camera
I wonder who took this photo?
All these bikes were donated! WOW!