Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Reformation Day 2012

On October the 31st when it seems that all of America celebrates Halloween we went off to a local URC church to celebrate Reformation Day! 

The celebration was held at Lynwood URC. I went with the girls as Albert had to study and clean. I also offered to help out and was one of the co-leaders of the 4 year old group. (Michaela was too old to attend and so helped me out as a co-helper). Each family that attended brought a bag of 'candy', we brought our big pumpkin full of goodies (photo in random pics post). The event was VERY well organised and about 10+ games were organised with the kids 'winning' candy for each game. The kids each had their own 'candy' bag with their name written on it, the bags also came in several different colours which suited our girls to a tee! (Purple for Grace, Red for Kate and Green for Zara!)

After the games were finished we were all summoned into the auditorium for the story of Reformation day and a small 'play' by a local christian school. After that we went into the church hall where we were treated to a hotdog dinner! A very well organised event with the focus on Christ instead of tombstones, ghosts and other horrible creatures!

Of course the kids didn't miss out on the 'candy' and went home with hearing the REAL story of the reformation as well as a HUGE bag of 'candy'! Albert warned me very strongly that under no circumstance was I to eat the girls chocolate bars! I resisted but when I allowed them to have one or two out of their bag, mum would have to have one too! That's fair enough isn't it?

Zara having a go at ring toss
Kate waiting her turn
Grace playing the bean bag game 
Zara and me 'collecting' her 'winnings'
Cute isn't she?
Grace at the lolly pop tree
(or suckers as they call them here????)
Zara choosing a duck our of the pond
Michaela, Zara and Kate having dinner.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Good Mum

I'm such a good mom sometimes (makes up for those MANY times I'm not as good a mom). We finally after 8 weeks of homeschooling did some science experiments. Both of these experiments were from Kate's curriculum. She has been learning about freezing and melting in science. In history she has been learning about the medieval times. As part of that I made medieval fishpies as the recipe was in her history book. 

The science experiment - Making an Iceberg and then seeing how it melts in the bath. 

We froze toys in several different layers.
The girls had fun picking out which toys to freeze.
The "Iceberg" in the bath. The girls had fun melting it
with cold and then hopping in the bath with hot water!
Medieval Fish Pasties

I made mine with canned salmon.
All ready to be baked
Finished product, they tasted pretty good I thought

Monday, November 26, 2012


In Kate's sonlight schedule there is a recipe to make fossils as that was what she was studying in science. It takes a lot of baking soda and corn starch! Here is the science experiment in photos. 

Cooking the 'fossil' mixture
Cooling down
Using leaves as our 'fossils'
I made a second batch as the first batch
 didn't yield enough for four girls
Final result, pretty impressive if I say so myself

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Kingdom Builders

As I said in my last post, we attend a homeschooling co-op called Kingdom Builders. We attend this every Thursday for art, music and PE. They are about 6 families with about 20+ kids ranging from 0 to 10. Albert came with us on his reading recess break to Kingdom Builders. Every week a family does a devotion and opening of the morning. I volunteered to this week as I had not been scheduled on (aren't those moms thoughtful!) but one of the families was unable to do their turn that week. It was a good opportunity to tell the group what we had done over the summer holidays! (HINT think plane!)

Providentially it was also the week that Albert had reading recess and so was able to come and have a look to see what we get up to every Thursday. Albert also volunteered to do the devotions, ofcourse I gladly took up his kind offer ;). He talked about a subject that I wanted to talk about, namely the ant and the pig in proverbs! (Think Judy Rogers songs of proverbs). Albert did an AWESOME job (I'm very biased) and took part with all the activities including saying the pledge to the USA flag!

Albert doing showing a picture of an ant
Shock horror, who is the leader?
Far out, me again this time going over the catechism
(Mama notice the t-shirt?)
Daniel you will be proud of us,
saying the pledge to the USA flag!
Girls telling about their summer holiday, spot our kiwi?
I had printed off some photo's of our trip
More photos
Michaela tell her story
Zara and Kate in art class
Zara and Kate in PE learning softball
Singing to top of the morning!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Homeschooling update and pics

Here is some proof that we do indeed provide some schooling to our lovely girls! :).

In the first photo you can see my master folder with all the schedules for the week in it. It even has questions to ask the girls about what they are reading (and the answers of course!). Kate is learning about early world history and Michaela and Grace are learning about early American history. Early American history is very fascinating and they are reading a lot of real life story books relating to the early history including the story of Thanksgiving! 

The curriculum is quite full on with lots and lots and lots of books to read which is just perfect for our readaholics! If your kids don't like reading this curriculum is not for you. I try to school Mon-Wed in which I also do enough for Thursday as we go to a co-op homeschool meeting on Thursday and then Friday is an easy day. I'm enjoying the flexible schedule but it is also a curse as I rarely start 'on time' (what ever that means ;) ). We get all our work done each week as per schedule and so no complaints from me. 

Homeschooling suits our season in life at the moment but I have still a soft spot in particular for Faith Academy School. Our co-op (thanks to Jenny Waldron's friend who made the suggestion that I join one!) has been VERY helpful. I don't contribute much as far as teaching goes (The mothers there are so much more talented than I!) but help out when necessary and do some babysitting. We're very blessed as a family by those Reformed ladies!

I do struggle having them with me 24hrs a day and so I'm very grateful for the lovely playground out the back where the girls can go and play. I'm grateful for the basement also for the same reason. I'm also grateful for the swimming that I'm able to do in a state of the art facility about 10 minutes from my home for a reasonable cost. 

Zara, Grace and Kate
Playing with the shapes blocks, never thought of this
but it came with the homeschooling package.
I'm VERY impressed by it my girls love it!
Audience, they are eager for the next biblestory! 
mmm I wonder what letter Zara is learning about?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Random pics October

Here are some more random pics that don't fit in a post of their own. 

Girls watching a movie while parents attend a parenting conference.
A gift (confession, Snicker bars tasted VERY good)
Cheap milk in my freezer, $.99c a gallon
 (they were reduced OFCOURSE!)
Doll House furniture
Other half of my freezer, a full freezer makes me happy :)
Girls and some friends.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Albert's Update 20 November 2012

(Note: we're away for the weekend but I've scheduled some photo posts and hopefully once we're back I'll share with you our first thanksgiving! Hanneke)

It is amazing how the Lord's Providence works! As you can see from the photo above I was blessed to run into an old friend from NZ, now of the US. (By old I mean has been a friend for a long time, of course!) While we only had the opportunity for a brief chat it was great to be able to see Rev Sawyer. I also had the privilege of meeting Rev Tom Tyson, who is due to spend some time in the North Shore congregation early next year.

I also was introduced to a group of men from the OPC Interchurch relations committee, including Rev Curto of Greenville Presbyterian Seminary. At the time I didn't realize that he was there, otherwise I would have made a point of saying hello, as he was a mentor of my Brother-in-Law and Sister while they were at Greenville.

The reason these men where here was for a meeting of NAPARC, which is an association of both Reformed and Presbyterian Denominations. I understand that there were 12 different denominations meeting. Makes NZ seem small! But great to see that the Reformed and Presbyterian churches are working at their ties together. I did not have the opportunity to observe, as I had other commitments, but maybe next time.

It is Thanksgiving Season here in the US. We are learning that it is a big deal!

It also means a break from Seminary for a couple of days. But not from study! With only a few weeks left of the Semester there is much to be done.

I am working on my Apologetics Paper, which is the last big hurdle, apart from my Sermon, which is just about done. Also some readings to finish off for my various subjects.

I also received my first official subject mark back this week. I received a B+ for my Summer Greek Intensive. That is a mark of between 85 and 90%. I was pretty thankful, and pleased with that one. Thank you Rev Vaatstra for helping me lay the groundwork while I was still back home in NZ.

We are having our first trip away this long weekend. We have received an invite from one of my fellow students to spend it with their family near Grand Rapids in Michigan State. Apparently there are going to be around 20+ people there. We are looking forward to experiencing some US culture, and we are going to add our own touch with a good old kiwi Pavlova!

I'll be taking the books along with me, and I think the 3 of us seminary students who will be there will be sneaking off to the library on occasions. But it will be nice for all of us to have a look at a different part of the States. We also get to experience a new time zone, losing an hour going there, but gaining one on the way back.

In the spirit of thanksgiving I'd like to finish with some of the things that I am thankful for:
  • The privilege of being able to learn more about our Amazing God and His Word.
  • The support, in prayer and finances, from all those people who are helping us out in this stage of our lives.
  • My wonderful wife, who is putting up with her studious husband!
  • My beautiful ladies in training.

What are you thankful for?



Friday, November 16, 2012

Pumpkin Pie

Follow up on yesterdays post, Jeni asked me to make a fall dessert. So hence I had a go in making pumpkin pie, aren't you all impressed? You should be!! I first had pumpkin pie years ago, Veronica made it for us. I have to admit that sweet and pumpkin takes some getting used to. The girls weren't very keen on my pumpkin pie (they have since eating other people's pumpkin pie and loved it!). I'm still undecided. I suppose I will just have to keep trying! :). (Sorry Izaak you might have no choice but to eat some!)

Pumpkin out of a can? I know it's strange
Adding the pumpkin
All mixed
End result, it required a long cooking time.
It tasted pretty good

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Autumn Festival

(I've got quite a few photo posts to come, sorry to those on dial up or those people who aren't family. I'm going to try and post one every couple of days, so that I can 'catch' up on the photo posts)

Our upstairs neighbors  James (who is a student at MARS as well) and Jeni invited the girls for a Autumn Festival. We are so blessed to have such wonderful neighbors  I feel sorry for James and Jeni sometimes as our girls 'bombard' them regularly with all sorts of questions and small talk!  Thanks so much James and Jeni, the girls had an AWESOME time and we are soo privileged to have you as neighbors!

pumpkins ready and waiting
Having apple cider and candy corn
Pumpkin carving was on the 'menu' and so here are some of the tools used.
(see the lollies in the back, those are candy corn)
Jeni and the girls
James getting the pumpkins ready for carving!
Jeni even made all of us dinner!
Grace and Kate with their carved pumkin
Michaela and Zara with their pumpkin
James and Jeni and girls on the front porch