Saturday, October 26, 2013

Home Front Update 26/10

Feeling Blessed with Sonlight curriculum
(This is 2 years worth, look at all
those wonderful books)
It's been awhile since I updated you all :). Life has been going on with nothing special to report from this side of the world. On a good note the homeschooling is going well with Zara finishing Kindergarten (year 1 in NZ) and she is now doing Grade 1. She know the alphabet with the sounds and is learning how to read. This is a learning curve for the both of us and it is really only by the grace of God (and Sonlight) that we are both doing well (in our learning!!). As any mother knows who teaches a little one to read that it is time consuming. So at the moment I'm happy if I do school with all the girls and we eat and have clean clothes on. A lot of the other chores haven taken a back seat, like my junk draw (it now lives up to it's name!!), changing over the summer to winter clothes, shop for extra winter gear and sadly my account reconciliation (I'm blaming the junkdraw as I'm sure it has eaten some of my receipts!!)

I have however added extra exercise for me, PE time for the girls and catching up with Seminary Wives all in one morning! The ladies and I run/walk, girls bike/run and we catch up at the same time. The girls get to play on the playground, surely that is part of homeschooling somehow. 

Another change that has happened is that our homeschool co-op has switched to the afternoon and so that makes it easier for me (it's all about me ;) ) to finish homeschooling in the morning, instead of being out all morning and then having to get into the swing of things in the afternoon, not one of my strong points. 

We've also been pretty busy with hospitality and have really enjoyed having some of the new Seminary students over and getting to know their families! Also it's been wonderful to have another NZ couple in our midst and we are enjoying them very much. The girls in particular are awed by Hannah's art talent and Hannah to her credit has been kind enough to help them draw their favourite characters! 

Our church has started a woman's biblestudy that runs at night which I'm attending and really enjoying getting to know the other  ladies as well as having to be disciplined to do my 'homework'. We are studying "The Lamb of God" by Nancy Guthrie. I'm enjoying it so far. One thing I find very helpful is that the author has recorded her book on video, so instead of reading the chapter, I've been watching it. 

I've also purchased a few other books with Amazon gifts cards that I earned through Swagbucks as I didn't think it was fair (I know life is not fair but just leave me in my little world!) that Albert has a whole book case full and I have none. Also I figure that you can never read/or prepare enough for life ahead (ie ministry). Currently on my bookshelf to be read are: 

  • "The Pastor's Family" by Brian & Cara Croft. I follow Brian's blog "Practical Shepherding" which I enjoy. 
  • Also on my list is a book written to the Pastor's Wives called "Letters to Pastors' Wives edited by Catherine Stewart. This book has about 18 letters from well known Pastor's Wives, Mary Beeke, Betty Jane Adams, "Sissy" Floyd Pippa, Margy Tripp to name a few. It covers a wide range of topics that those ladies think new Pastor's Wives need to know. 
  • The Church Planter's Wife by Christine Hoover. I have this book both on my kindle and in hard cover and haven't finished it yet. I do however love her blog very much. 
Weather. I've got to talk at least a little about this change in our lives. It didn't feel that long ago when our air conditioner was working over time, struggling to keep our house to about 74f (23.3C) to dropping to 55F (12.7C) and having to put on our heat. I was hoping from a frugal perspective to have at least a month (like we had last year) of no air or heat to save on costs but it was not to be. We tried not switching the heat on for a couple of days but the house finally lost it's heat and so we were getting cold. Thankfully though, compared to NZ the heating/cooling costs are very reasonable and are only a small part of our overall costs :). I read in the paper the other day that this kind of weather is normally expected at the end of November not the end of October, oh well, more chance of snow, lots of it I hope! I think only the Flinns and us are looking forward to snow ;). 

To sign off I thought I would share a few of the books that I've been reading with Kate and Zara that we thoroughly enjoyed. That is what I LOVE about Sonlight, their reading material undergoes pretty tough criteria and so I'm almost guaranteed an excellent book! I love reading 'true life' life stories in particular. 
  • Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat. I especially enjoyed the part that the pet owl brought home a dead skunk into the dining room! 
  • The books by Clyde Robert Bulla (more boyish books but the girls enjoyed them too), the ones we have read are "The Sword in the Tree", "The Secret Valley" (about the California gold rush) and "Riding the Pony Express" (about the Pony mail delivery across the States)
  • "See how it's made" a DK book. Kate is doing this for science, what a cool book! Do you know how pencils are made? I didn't!! (This is the same girl that didn't know that cream rose to the top of milk or that cows need to have babies in order to give milk until I visited my good friends farm and she enlighten me!!)
  • "Missionary Stories with the Millers" by Mildred A Martin. True stories about missionaries. We haven't finished it yet but my favourite 'Providence' story so far is about a Jack McGuckin a pilot with the Wycliffe Bible Translator's Jungle Aviation Service. The chapter is entitled "The Tiger is Loose" (in a plane). God works in mysterious ways! 
  • "Leading Little Ones to God" by Marian M Schoolland. This is a devotion I have just started this school year with Kate and Zara. I had heard of this book before but never read it. It's been good so far. The girls are enjoying this. 
  • Songs by the Harrow Family. OK it's not a book but one HUGE bonus of homeschooling is that Sonlight has introduced us to the Harrow Family Music. All of the girls memory verses are put to song straight from the NASB bible. An excellent resource of helping us to 'hide God's word in our heart'! The girls favourite 'song' is Prov 28: 18-19! Even after reading Proverbs daily for years, I didn't realise this proverb was in there! The song is catchy though and true to the text! 
What are your favourite books? and what are you reading that your think others could benefit from?

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