The Gift of a Childhood~

Monday, March 31, 2014

SO many children do not have the Gift of a Childhood for many reasons, some of which OUR children have endured.
When I first began seriously considering a home education for them, many friends encouraged me to read
For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay~
It is NOT just for home schooling families...
it is for ANY family raising children and want it to be joy filled.

"Shows parents and teachers how children's learning experiences can be extended to every aspect of life, giving them a new richness, stability, and joy for living."

I think this is my third time reading it and it is full of notes and underlining!
Today was such a beautiful day I took it out with me as we finished up school and lunch.
I set up a nature area for anyone wanting to read and write under the trees~
They took me up on it and I loved sitting nearby listening to their conversations.
And then there were these three~
Enjoying their playtime too!
The most beautiful message~ Let the Children PLAY!!!
Play is some of the Best Work a child will ever do!!

Miss Rumphius~ {cont.}

There is just too much goodness to Miss Rumphius to row only one week so we are continuing it this week as well~

Monday is usually social studies/geography so we talked about the state of Maine and used our NEW Wonder Maps curriculum to print a map to trace and glue into our journals~ 
We located on various maps and talked about all state symbols.
I printed each a map from Wonder Maps and they chose a sharpie to trace the map's outline.
We labeled state, capital, land, and ocean plus colored them.

Next we threw in just a smidge of science~
Each folded a wet paper towel and placed in a ziploc bag.
We added 3 lima bean seeds and taped to our window.
We will be observing them over the next few days for changes...
just since this morning the seed coat is splitting and a sprout is appearing!!!
SO excited!!!

Advocating for Lark~

Saturday, March 29, 2014

I want to introduce you to a precious little 3 year old girl
 on Lifeline's Waiting Child list that lives with HollyMei at Handan City SWI.
If you visit the Lifeline website and find her on the China Waiting Children list, 
you can view her 6 videos to watch in which she is quite the cute dancer...
password: lark2
THIS one having a sweet snapshot of HollyMei in the red jacket!!!

She is listed as special needs: anemia and lymphocyte.

I think she is just precious and pray she will be chosen soon!

It would be my greatest JOY to see Lark's family find her!
If you feel led, you can contact Lifeline @ 205.967.0811.

Psalm 68:6
God sets the lonely in families.

Fun Friday~ {Library and Bookstore}

Friday, March 28, 2014

One of Miss Rumphius' jobs was being a librarian 
so we went on a field trip to the library for storytime~
and the bookstore!
The perfect Fun Friday for all my book loving kids!

Happy EllaKate Day~ {8 years}

8 years ago a precious little girl from Chongqing, China became our dream come true!
How she has changed over the last 8 years~
How do you think EK wanted to celebrate???
The library and the bookstore~

We met Savannah and sweet Ben Curtis at the library {the beginning of many outings I hope}
then to the bookstore for a stuffed fox and animal encyclopedia~
Scott and Mimi met us for lunch @ PF Changs~
SO fun!
We ended the day with a little shopping spree for EK 
who has outgrown all her clothes and pretty much needed a full redo.
Hoping to do a little photo shoot tomorrow!

SO thankful we get to call her our daughter and be her Forever!!!

Miss Rumphius Connection~

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Today we read Miss Rumphius again and it's amazing what the kids discover new each time we read.
We focused on the science of seeds and seed travel by watching a cute video... Sid the Seed and matching seeds to the plant~
Another great skill we often discuss is a connection we might have with a book.
I think Miss Rumphius just might be one of my all time favorite stories.
I LOVE the general theme of making the world more beautiful.
We each took turns thinking of ways we could do just this and I decided to tell them a story to illustrate {connect}~

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Sharon Martin who lived on a dairy farm with her family.
She loved her life as a farm girl and had a family that encouraged her to chase her dreams.
She went to school, learned as much as she could, got married, and had three beautiful daughers, Savannah, Amelia, and Rosemary.

{THIS is when they realized I was telling a story about me. :)

My world was SO beautiful but I had two very sad days when two of my babies went to heaven to live with Jesus.
Sometimes in the sad times, God is able to bring us close enough to whisper His even more beautiful plan.
This is when HE put China in my heart and I started chasing the dream of each one of you!
He sent me to Chongqing for EK, to Fujian for SJ and WP, to Shanxi for PC, and Henan for EC.
And we aren't even done!

NOW I sit right here on the floor with you and am in awe of
God has given me in each of you.
Is my world more beautiful because of my life with dad and all nine of my children?
SO Beautiful!
So you see... My world is more beautiful all because of God's great plan to bring our family together in such a perfect way.
I can't imagine life without any of you and look forward to watching what God has planned for your lives as well!

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Sweet Ben Curtis~

Just in case you had forgetten how SWEET he was!!!
Pure sweetness!!!

Spring Cleaning OR Nesting?~

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I have a confession...
My kids' rooms sometimes look like this and I just let it go~
 Because they are playing and they know where everything is 
and I just have way more to do than nag them about their stuff.

BUT then it's time to change out closets and drawers and yesterday I was just feeling plain out overwhelmed.
There was stuff everywhere and lots of bins to sort through before I even started the big switch~
 After praying and lamenting to Scott about my prediciment...
what else to do other than call my Mom!!!
The littles were SO excited that both she and I were going to be here at the same time!!!~
 And she showed up and just LOOK at the beauty that happened~
 As I put the girls to bed last night they both commented how wonderful it was to have everything organized again...
music to my ears!!!

The icing on the cake was getting our hard LOA~
The Letter of Acceptance from China that HollyMei is offically our new daughter!!!
Should be on our way to her by the middle of June!!!

Evie Baby~

Monday, March 24, 2014

Loving on her baby~
Just like Nana! Sweet!!

Miss Rumphius~ {FIAR}

I pulled a FIAR book this week to emphasize the spring like weather we are experiencing right now.
We read Miss Rumphius and discussed the geography of setting (Maine) and all the places she traveled (land forms).
I divided the girls' journal page into fourths and had them illustrate then tell me something they knew~

As I was cleaning out our school closet, I found a notebook of ABC playdough mats and decided to use it as a sound songbook.
I sang the letter sounds with little littles and they loved it.
I really feel singing this with them each day will help them learn the CODE for reading~
(tune: Shortin' Bread)
A makes the a sound a, a, a, a, (short)
A makes the aaaaa sound, (long)
that starts alligator.
{They especially loved all the photos were animals!}

The boys had a great center time yesterday!
I was amazed how many letters they are learning and lower case to boot~
A couple of videos to celebrate~

Yay boys!!! What good role models you are for Evie!!!

I took this photo this afternoon when school was all done~
I Love watching them choose things like making a menu from magazine that came in the mail or creating art together.
Childhood~ a terrible thing to waste and thankful they are living it to the very BEST!!!

Our Newest Fundraiser~

Sunday, March 23, 2014

How can you help HollyMei come home AND dress your child in gorgeous clothes???
Visit Swanky Baby Vintage through my store front @ this link...
Everything in the store is eligibe for purchase to help meet our goal. 
Just go to the bottom and click on the links to take you into the online store. 
We will be blessed with 20% of your purchase when you order and our family will be closer to raising funds for travel.
LOVE every single item and thankful for anyone choosing to order!!!

ALSO remember to order Beautiful Bead Bracelets in the sidebar just in time for Easter and baskets.

A BIG thankful from HollyMei~

A Sweet Saturday~

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Having our family together and loving on each other!!!

Off to UGA~

Friday, March 21, 2014

Rosie had a huge decision looming as she thought about college.
We took her for a visit today @ UGA and she fell in love with the campus, people, and Athens in general~
 She was sure as we walked back through town this was the place for her!!!
We decided to celebrate with a yummy dinner @ Last Resort Grill~
and even went by for a visit with Jessica!
SO thankful Rosie knows where she will spend the next 4+ years!!
3rd generation UGA student!!!
It was a beautiful day and Go Dawgs!!!!!

Poetry and Spring Wreaths~ {Fun Friday}

Today we read some Spring Poetry and enjoyed an art project for Fun Friday~ {Spring Wreath}
I saw a similar project online this week and threw my own spin on it.
Markers, paper plates with middle cut out, coffee filters, straws, water

I gave each one a coffee filter and they decorated each with markers any way they chose then I taught them how to collect water in a straw and drop onto filter causing a tie dye affect.
{Super fine motor work}
We punched holes in the paper plate and added each filter as flowers. 
Everyone worked on 5-6 and we hung them in the sunroom
Easy, cheap, and beautiful deco for Spring!

All Things New~ {Spring}

Thursday, March 20, 2014

We took a Nature Walk today and found lots newness around our yard~
There was also running, checking the pool temp (brrrrr!), picnic lunch, and another photo of sweet Ben Curtis~
All Things New
Happy First Day of Spring!!

And a couple of videos to remember the day with...
Evie learning to peddle the boys' bike~
and Payne remembering his days spent in China~

Spring Has Sprung~ {A Charlotte Mason Kind of Day}

Today we did about 2 hours of school then pulled our fav book about Spring~
We discussed and made a list of Spring signs then headed out for a Nature Walk~
We have some pretty beautiful signs all around our yard.

China said Yes!~

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Today we received word that we were match reviewed and soft LOA~
We hope to have hard copy soon and travel will most likely be sometime in June!
She's our precious daughter! 
Beautiful and truly loved!!
Thank You Jesus for Your gift of this sweet one!!! 

Language and Writing~

Some mornings I need the kids to get started on morning work while I finish up something and LOOK what WP did ALL by himself~
 Wrote his own name and drew a fire truck then narrated a story!!!
I wrote what he said and he traced.

I am using Language Lessons for both EK and SJ.
This is the book for SJ and today we read a poem The Robin, then pulled our field guide and read all about American Robins~
 She drew a tree with robins then dictated the facts she remembered and read it back to me.

The boys are doing SO awesome with a short circle a word book we have~
They really blow me away every single day!

More Caps for Sale~

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Not sure the little littles are going to let me move onto another book anytime soon.
They LOVE Caps for Sale~
Especially Evie~
This is what schooling is all about!!!

Sad to Happy to JOY~

SO the day started with another dentist visit for SJ to have her appliance adjusted 
and you can see how Sad she looked...
it had to be taken out and another made 
and the only way to bring on the Happy was...
I'm SURE you know when the JOY kicked in???
We picked up lunch and headed straight to Savannah's to spend the afternoon!!!
Little buddy had just had his bath and just LOOK at that precious hair!!!
He konked out in my arms and how about the Polo boys?
A beautiful day all in all!

Sweetness~ {Marriage}

Monday, March 17, 2014

Yesterday Jeff Henderson of Gwinnett Church preached at NewSpring about marriage.
His main message was not striving for
{Happily Ever After}
Holy Ever After.
H~ How to pray for your spouse...
'Dear Lord, I want you to give Scott a better wife.'
O~ Observe then Serve
L~ Love & Respect
Y~ You go first
Jeff challenged wives to show our husbands respect and tell them.
Husbands were challenged to send their wives flowers just because.
I clearly told him he did NOT have to do that since we are trying to raise funds for China.
Ummm, he didn't listen but I respect his committment to our marriage and just look~
Totally admitting it made me feel very special and so loved!
Working hard for Holy Ever After!!!

Also just a few of the photos Savannah has sent me over the last couple of days~
And today~
Sweetest St. Patrick's Day baby ever!!!
Preciousness wouldn't you agree?

Happy St Patrick's Day~

Today we took a new path for St. Patrick's Day.
I received a great link to the story of St. Patrick's life
and it was so cool to read what an amazing missionary he was~
~watched a video about Ireland
~ observed and studied map of Ireland
~read and wrote about St. Patrick
~painted shamrocks all over our work

Patrick is no leprechaun. He stands in history as the apostle to Ireland, just as Paul was 
an apostle. This March 17th, let's not forget the real Patrick. Kidnapped from his home 
and sold as a slave. He was called by God to take the name of Jesus and a hearty dose 
of forgiveness to his former captors. Used of God to start hundreds of churches and 
lead thousands of people to Christ. "Is it my own doing that I have holy mercy on the 
people who once took me captive?" said Patrick. "What I am I have received from God. 
And so I live among barbarians a stranger and exile for the love of God." 

A wonderful St. Patrick's Day!!!

Newborn Heaven~

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Savannah has posted the newborn photos on her Blog and now it's my turn. 
I LOVE every single one and hope you will enjoy as well~

YES! That last one is THE SWEETEST PHOTO ever! 
And guess what? I haven't even shown you THE BEST one!
 Savannah is using it for her announcement and I can't wait to post it soon!!!