Homeschool Group Meeting #3, Amie’s 11th Birthday, and Moving Stuff

On Wednesday, we had our third Grassroots homeschool group meeting. We meet on the first and third Wednesdays of the month and in September, the first Wednesday wasn’t really a meeting, just a meet and greet picnic, so that is why this is #3. They did a Citizenship/Red, White, and Blue theme. A guy came and did a presentation on the United States and the privileges of being a citizen and some other history things. Then, the kids voted on favorite color, favorite food, and whether or not we should start a book club as part of our homeschool group. They also did a mock election Presidential vote. McCain won the vote there. I think two of mine were influenced by my views and voted for neither McCain or Obama. I think they were the only ones who didn’t vote for one of those. Noelle didn’t vote at all, she was too interested in building with the big lego blocks that one of our members brings for the little kids to occupy themselves while we have our meeting going. After that, the children did some presentations on America and Citizenship and Historical Citizens that made a difference. Amie did a presentation on Harriet Tubman and James and Christine got together and did a presentation on John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed.) Did you know that not only did Harriet Tubman help rescue a lot of slaves on the underground railroad, but that Abraham Lincoln made her a Captain in his army and she led a troop of freed slaves in spy missions? They would go out and find where the southern army was and disengage cannons and stuff, then go back and tell the main north army about positions of people and ammunition and so on. Also, did you know that John Chapman didn’t just sow seeds just wherever he walked. He went around in Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois and ask a farmer who was just starting a farm on new land if he could plant an apple nursery on his land. He would stay and tend the plants and teach the farmer how to tend the plants until the farmer was able to do it before moving along. The farmer could then sell the plants once they were big enough for transplanting. This helped a lot of these new farmers get on their feet and be able to purchase seed and other farming stuff for the rest of their farm. The only thing John asked in return was housing and food when he was in town helping to tend the plants. Most of his seeds, he got for free from cider mills so he wasn’t paying for the seeds. Many apple orchards in Ohio were started from trees that John planted. Guess what? I learn so much more while teaching my kids than I EVER learned in school. This is some cool stuff.

Thursday was Amie’s birthday. I can’t believe she is already 11. She’s growing up so fast. She made her own Chocolate Cheesecake Mousse stuff and modified the recipe I came up with to her tastes. She put more cream cheese in and a little more whip cream and used a chocolate crumb crust instead of a graham cracker crust. It came out really yummy, though I prefer less cream cheese. I think I’ll use that crust for mine from now on though because it really does taste yummy like that. We didn’t really do anything other than a special dinner for her that day since we’d taken the trip up to Wisconsin on the previous Saturday and given her the camera. On Friday, I took her out for a little while, for some one-on-one time. We went to JoAnn’s Fabric to find t-shirts and iron-ons for the Children’s Choir Praise Dance team and then to Border’s Books because she was wanting a journal to write in and I knew they were having a sale on some. She picked out a pink one with a stretchy band to keep it closed and rainbow colored pages.

On Saturday, we headed down to where we used to live and picked up some bunk beds that a friend has been saving for us and then got all of our stuff out of the storage area where we’d been having them stored until now. We now have a U-Haul truck in our parking area waiting to be unloaded. At least this last move, I had time to put things in good boxes and label them. Almost all moves before now have been really quick and so lots of stuff was put in unlabeled boxes or stuffed in trash bags, so we didn’t know what was what. I’ll be able to know what we would use now and what can just go straight down to our basement storage area for now. Amie is happy to get all the books up here since she knows there are some books that I bought for her, but which she just wasn’t ready to read yet before and now she is devouring books left and right, so she’s probably ready to read those. She can’t wait to get her hands on “Ballet Shoes” and “The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew” now that she has the patience to read through the longer books and understands what she reads better. There are a few others that I have, like “Eight Cousins” that I think she will enjoy as well that are part of my collection of books that I enjoy reading over and over.

Anyway, it’s been a long week, but mostly a good one… other than my breakdown halfway through the week, but I’m okay now. I think I was just overwhelmed by everything going on.

Fall Leaves and Long Drives

The kids and I had a fall leaf hike on Friday. We went to one of the Forest Preserves that actually has trails and hiked around a bit taking lots of pictures. Christine used her little video camera which also takes pics, Amie had my digital camera for most of the time, and James used my manual focus film camera (auto focus doesn’t work anymore, but manual focus is so fun). I also used my film camera and after running out of film, I used my digi. I need to get my film into Wolf Camera to be processed and put on a CD. It was a lot of fun and the kids seemed to enjoy it.

Yesterday, after James had his cub scout meeting in the morning, we took off for a drive up to Wisconsin. Now the kids have another state to add to all they’ve been to. The leaves are turning even better up there. It’s so pretty. We stopped at Target on the way up to get some box drinks for the kids and went ahead and bought Amie her birthday present early. (Her birthday is Thursday.) She got her own digital camera. She’s doing well with it. Anyway, we enjoyed our drive. We told stories and just had a nice time. We stopped up in Wisconsin for a little while and then headed back. If gas prices weren’t high (yes, $3.00 is still high), we would probably do more drives or go places that are a slight bit further away than we normally do right now.

Next Saturday, we are heading down to central IL to pick up some of our stuff in storage and see Jeremy’s parents and some of our friends.

Prayer Request for Homeschool Mother

One of the mom’s in our homeschool group has brain cancer and they have tried all kinds of things short of invasive surgery to take care of it, but so far nothing has helped. She is having surgery this week, so please pray for her. I can’t promise you an update since I don’t know if anyone will update us anytime soon. Just keep her, her children, her husband, and any other family and friends in your prayers.

This Answered Prayer was such Joyful News

Those who have been reading my blog for a while know that I was a youth leader at our church before we moved up here near Chicago. Here is a link to one of the posts I asked for prayer for that group. Anyway, to share with you this answered prayer… one of the youth boys was saved last night. The youth director got in touch with me this morning. He couldn’t wait to share with me because he knew how awesome this news would be for me. I am crying tears of joy still. I continue to keep that group in my prayers. They are always in my mind. I put so much of myself into my work down there and I really miss it. I ask that you keep them in your prayers. There is a lot going on down there that is rough stuff to handle. Also, rejoice with me over this one whom I know I will see again in Heaven.

Here is my salvation testimony for those who haven’t read it.

Homeschool Group, Meeting #2

Wow! I really enjoyed the first one. It was a guy who taught science by using illusion. He also showed the kids how some of his tricks were done. It was really cool.

BUT I totally loved this second meeting. An animal rescue lady came and brought some of the animals they have rescued here. These were pets who either got confiscated or hurt or were no longer wanted. There was an anaconda, a kinkajou, an alligator, a hedgehog, a pure white opossum, a tortoise, a bearded dragon, and a lynx. My two favorites were the hedgehog and the linx. I totally love animals… well, most animals. I can do without big spiders or any size of cockroaches and after our incident with the opossums in our house a few years ago, I don’t care for them much either. My favorite animals are big cats, so the lynx was an awesome thing to be able to see, but to also pet it… I was so excited, or wiggly as Jennifer says. It really made my day. The hedgehog was just an added plus. I never realized just how cute they are.

Anyway, if these meetings continue like this, I’m going to enjoy going and feel like my membership money is very well spent.