Child, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend

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I love the Lord as much as a broken person can; love and loved by my husband; blessed by 5 amazing little people who have helped me to learn much about me; grateful to serve even more as God gives them to me; blessed every day to be a home school teacher; college student; I hope to change the world by loving as many people as possible, because there is nothing greater than loving another.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Fantastic Science Moment!

November 14 has long been marked on the calendars of the Gilbert home -- the official inauguration of squirrel and dove hunting season! The boys got their first guns this past year (we have awesome grandparents!) and have been practicing their aim.

Using his birthday money, Johnny had already purchased the hunting ammunition necessary to begin their hunting adventure. Yesterday, they perched on a huge oak tree and surveyed the land. Jeremy came running in with east to west smiles because he had made the first kill.

Suddenly, the reality of my promise overtakes me. "If you kill it, I will cook it." Ugh. I have to cook a rodent. I really hate rodents. I have to bring a squirrel into my house on purpose!?!?

Jeremy loves his mother and maybe the enthusiasm helped a bit too, but he skinned, cleaned and cooked using his acquired knowledge. He has been hunting recipes for a couple of months. He took care of everything and served it up with peppers, onions and an omelet. Delicious! Yes. I ate it. Tastes gamy. And yes, it tastes like chicken!

Now, for the science portion. Today, Samantha was the successful predator and I bucked up a bit. We actually went outside and examined the innards. I was thrilled. I got to be teacher. We checked it out from every system, a great example as the elder boys are working through and anatomy unit study. Adding to the joy, the creature had a tapeworm. A great example as we just finished up a parasite week with the little brothers and both sisters. Incredible exercise in organs, digestion, skeletons, and bodily design as we explored the exterior too. What a great time. Talk about hands on science!

WOO HOO! Go Gilbert Gang!

The Unexpected Feelings of Loss

My tia (aunt) was taken earlier this year in a completely unexpected fashion. One of those stories you read about and can never really come to peace with. An out-of-character moment from someone else beloved that leads me to this post.

I remember her at the oddest times and the sorrow fills my heart. Walking out of the grocery. Driving down the road. Seeing someone who looks like her. Just thinking about my goals as teacher and mother.

I see her pictures on Facebook and I smile, but am still filled with sadness. I guess there is a place of disbelief. I can't believe I won't talk to her again, I won't see her again. It's unreal. I can't really break down and cry. It's more of a slow and crawling pain that makes its way from my mind to my heart and sometimes back to my eyes.

I miss you, Tia. Your beautiful laugh. Your amazing smile. And your desire to foster love in all you do. I miss you.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Memorization Just in Time for Turkey Day!

I Ate Too Much
I ate too much turkey,
I ate too much corn,
I ate too much pudding and pie,
I'm stuffed up with muffins
And much too much stuffin'
I'm probably going to die.

I piled up my plate
And I ate and I ate,
But I wish I had known when to stop.
For I'm so crammed with yams
Sauces, gravies, and jams
That my buttons are starting to pop.

I'm full of tomatoes
And French fried potatoes,
My stomach is swollen and sore.
But there's still some dessert,
So I guess it won't hurt
If I eat just a little bit more.

by Jack Prelutsky

Visit this site, Ambleside Online, for some great Thanksgiving Day poetry. I plan on having a nice recital on our special day with friends!

TOG update

Well...TOG. My 2nd favorite resource ever. It not only gives me what I need now, but reminds me of where we need to be later. We've revamped again. Sigh. Wish I could just leave those kiddies to get their work finished, but in truth, they're just not ready for that much independence. Boo hoo for me! A mom and teacher can dream. I need to spend a bit more time with 2 of the gang to get them closer to our destination.

On the bright side, on of them, the one I wouldn't guess, it doing well enough to keep on his own schedule. He is really excelling in TOG just the way we're moving! We have added some rhetoric reading for him, at his own request (insert proud momma smile)SO, to get to our change!

We will now take TWO TOG Weeks and create a Unit that will last 3-Calendar weeks. At this rate, we will finish Years 3 and 4 by the end of 2012 school year! Putting the Eldest in position to enter full-time college enrollment :)This gives them an extra 7 days, including weekends, to finish the same amount of work. I need the depth at this point for the older group, so cutting back reading is out of the questions. We're going to focus on evaluating what we read and then writing in depth our analysis. Whew!

It also means more time for activities with the little ones. Nothing major, just more narration. They need the practice.

We wrap up this week by finishing Y3Wk2 before the Thanksgiving break. We'll return, ready to begin our new rotation. I'm hoping this will bring back some joy in our schooling for the 2 who need it!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Buffetting

For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man,but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.Wretched (wo)man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. Romans 7

Thank you, Paul for articulating my very state of mind. If there is a place in the Bible that I deeply understand, indeed, this is it: the constant buffeting between my two natures. Currently, my battle is against laziness (lol, only currently, tee hee). My mind and spirit wage war constantly volleying doing what is best and just making it work. Sigh. The battle carries on and currently I have been forced back around the mountain. I will stand tall and fight back, taking the stronghold of higher ground. (Deep breath)God's speed to me.

My time is short with my children. We have so much to accomplish, so much room room for growth regarding their two natures. It's only by grace I can both walk and teach the road. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day 2009

A humbling day to be a person who benefits so greatly from so many who sacrifice daily what I often take for granted. Thank you, veterans and your families, for that which you give offers others such lives as blessed as mine. May we never forget.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Pondering the Green Grass and Paved Streets

The bliss of green grass and beautifully curbed streets
Reminds me of friends past and what could have been.
He does this, she does that:
Banking, accounting, engineering, healing,
Marriage, divorce, children, games.
I think of where I could be.
Would I love it just the same;
Or does this life without the frills suit me best of all?
Have I grown into what I could be,
Or should be?
Or neither of those at all.
In the end, I sigh in relief and smile,
As the man I love lies beside me
And our children sleep sound and tight.
My life is enough.
I survived.

What's going on in our TOGland?

Seems like I should not sign up for a blog roll since I'm terrible about posting, but I'll give last week, well, the last 2-3 weeks a shot! We have wrapped up Year 2 and started Year 3. We ended by finishing up our poetry project. The unbound project will end as a book with proper tables of contents, glossary, etc. and include works from the older 3. To their shock, they have enjoyed this project.

Diva has written all the articles for her Colonial Newspaper. I still need to help her organize it in Word (a lengthy learning process), but she did a great job of designing her paper with some fun, ads and interesting writing. This is her first major project of this kind. The other will be contributors, even the little guys!

The Littles have focused on a few famous persons from that period of time. I am hoping they will simply grasp the purpose of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

Everyone has memorized some of the Declaration. We will continue to do so until the older four have memorized until the list of complaints against King George begin. The younger boys have memorized the famous, "We hold these truths....pursuit of happiness." They presented their orations during our family night and unit wrap up. We did not sew costumes this time, instead dressed in red, white, and blue and enjoyed some modern American cuisine. It was a nice evening. They did a super job in presentation. I may have them present their work in its entirety to a local veterans community. We love our vets. Thank you for your service!

Geography is rolling along. We're pretty solid there. I added a new drill time by using www.purposegames.com . The website has some neat games we can use for geography practice. Just perform an on site search and find what you need for drilling. Works great!

Speaking of online drill places, we have added two websites to our daily studies: Spelling City and Quizlet We use Spelling City for our spelling list and we use Quizlet for a variety of vocabulary words. The wonderful thing for the teacher, many lists are already available from other users! AWESOME! Time saving and easy practice. The dc love being on the computer, so why not! This, of course, heightens my need for another computer. The current "Children's Computer" is, well...ancient. Running on Windows '98 and s u p e r s looooooow! It's not the greatest for videos of any kind! AND, I hate when they use my computer! Selfish, yes. And?

So, I think that's really about it. American history is alive in our home. Something amazing to see are the parallels, and often lack thereof, of modern America and the founding of our nation. Although there is much secular history to our nation, there is also a great deal of Christian heritage. On a modern front, both "sides" try to deny the other, but in truth, there was much representation of both. The truth, as I see it, we are about Religious Freedom, more than religion or not. Worship how you choose. Some things notably different, though narrowly include: using bibles in public schools; many of our founding fathers and signers of the first four legal documents of our nation were either ordained ministers, seminary graduates, or religious leaders in their time. Along the same lines, I have learned there was great divide then too! Not everyone signed the Declaration immediately. Not everyone voted for the constitution happily. And most shocking, delegates actually spoke these words paraphrased, "We need to hear what our people think!" Can you imagine? Politicians actually voting for their constituents. Wow. If only that were the case today. Then again, apathy was probably just as high then as now. I enjoy history. I should have been a political science major and ended up on tv as some talking head. Hey, I like to talk!

That about sums up history. I AM getting a camera for Christmas, so I'll be able to have lots of pictures again! TTFN!

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