Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

Posts tagged ‘Outings’

TGIF. Well, nearly.

Yesterday I said I’d share the girls’ Peaceable Kingdom drawings, and I forgot. Fail. Although in fairness, they did only finish them today, so I guess that’s as good a reason as any not to share. In fact, I’ve been feeling guilty about how little art we do generally, and now I come to see that: a) when we “do” Art, it can take up to a week to finish any project, so only having 20 pics to show for the year is actually about right; and b) when we “don’t” do Art, we actually end up with a lot more creative expression: paintings, collages, sewing projects, clay projects, 3D jungles … the list goes on and on.

So to sign off that particular waffle, here are the promised and long-awaited Peaceable Kingdom drawings. Enjoy.

Peaceable Kingdom 001 - DD#1 took a lot more care than she often does with this masterpiece.

Peaceable Kingdom 001 - DD#1 took a lot more care than she often does with this masterpiece.

Alright, I know I said I was done with the long bit, but I feel a bit of explanation is in order about what a Peaceable Kingdomactually is, in general, and what these images are about, in particular. Edward Hicks created a series of paintings illustrating the Peaceable Kingdom described in Revelation:

Peaceable Kingdom 002 - DD#2 created a masterpiece, although there's evidence that she didn't appreciate being asked to colour the border.

Peaceable Kingdom 002 - DD#2 created a masterpiece, although there's evidence that she didn't appreciate being asked to colour the border.

The wolf did with the lambkin dwell in peace
His grim carnivorous nature there did cease
The leopard with the harmless kid laid down
And not one savage beast was seen to frown.
The lion with the fatling on did move
A little child was leading them in love.

So here we have, on the left and archer and a canary, a lion ridden by a Wild Girl (I wonder who that could be?), a hawk and a fairy (mortal enemies, as well we know), a mermaid and a shark, and a dolphin and a fish. On the right we have a jaguar and a unicorn (ridden by the Princess), and a bird giving a lift to a worm (which would usually be its lunch, no?). I confess to being delighted in the extreme by these!

Tomorrow, which is actually Friday, we head up North to see my folks for a weekend. Looking forward to it SO much! We’ll probably do  most of our school on the way there and back, and I have no idea what that’ll be like. But I’ll be sure to let y’all know.

New day, new week … new distractions

Happy Easter, everyone! This year, more than ever before, I was filled with the joy of the Lord and the anticipation and excitement of being in His house, with His people, on the day when we remember and honour His greatest sacrifice, and greatest victory! We had a fantastic weekend. Starting with a Good Friday picnic and hike at Cumberland Nature Reserve, we spent Saturday relaxing (mostly), and then spent Sunday at Church, where we followed a great service with a delicious (and baptistically over-catered tea).

From there we headed to Granny’s House, where the Easter Bunny had outdone himself (well, herself), with this year’s map and treasures. The afternoon was spent relaxing together, and on Monday we had brunch with friends. It was a wonderful weekend, all in all. I didn’t do one stitch of actual work, including any kind of education for my girls.

Unfortunately, I did have a lot to do.

Last night I made a very reasonable and achievable weekly planner, which includes enough sleep (!). I was excited about it this morning and frustrated to have overslept by an hour and a half! (Stupid Chuck keeping me up all night :)). That meant that I started work a little late (only an hour; I’d managed to catch up). However, I’ve recently started an “educate myself into ministry” programme which basically involves reading 100 appropriate books on the subject until I am officially ready to serve. This has proven to be fascinating and very gripping, so a lot of other stuff has fallen by the wayside. It’s good, though. Today I started book 2, and almost immediately the theology sounded suspect. I don’t have time to waste on irrelevant stuff I won’t use (and I’m easily led so I could be led astray), so I decided to research the author. That led to research of the other authors and in the end I spent nearly three hours online, NOT earning any money (or meeting any deadlines, I might add).

In the end I have to turf out about 10 books but I got another 30-odd books for free – and they’re goooood. So that worked out okay. But now I have two hours of work time left, the planned art lesson is on the shelf, and all I want to do is bake stuff. Not the vaguest inclination to code a single line or create the faintest vector. *Sigh* – the trouble with days that start out well is that they continue that way … and it’s not always a good thing.

The pursuit of happiness.

Nothing makes me happier than teaching my kids. I’ll admit that leisurely chats over fresh, hot tea with my darling sister are a close second, but I really love the time I spend with my girls each day as we discover the miraculous world we share.

Mondays are, well, interesting. We start the day with a morning’s business training and on-site work. My planny-plan is to start the day early with 2 hours of school, spend 4 hours at training, then squeeze the remaining 2 hours of school into the early afternoon, just after lunch. After that I should have 3 hours of work available before supper, and at least 2 more after story time. A total of 7 if you factor in the fact that half the morning is me being trained, and the other half is me doing training. Not too shabby.

Needless to say, so far we only just manage to rush into training on time, having squeezed in no school whatsoever. Still, each day gets better and today DD#1 asked if I could tell her what needed to be done and she would make sure that she and her sister did it. To my great surprise, they pretty much did. Only a small amount of input was required from me, and even though the work done only amounts to about a third of what needed to be done today (and we went shopping then to lunch, so it’s all the work that was done today), I was pleased and satisfied with the results. The level of maturity demonstrated really is significant when compared to six months ago.

We’re studying attentiveness this term in Konos, and it’s a delight to see how concentration really is a learned behaviour and, by Jove, they’re learning it – eagerly!

Later, that same day …

After dropping off the groceries (and DH) at home, it was time to go to the library, pay my inordinate late fee, and get the books I need for school this week. (The size of the fee is entirely my fault, I might add). DD#2 elected to stay home and have some “Daddy time” (code for “Computer Games”), while DD#1 was lured by the call of the jungly gym outside the library, and came with me.

You probably already know this, but just in case you don’t, or you’ve forgotten, I’m paranoid. I would NEVER let my kids play outside on the jungle gym without me being right there with them. I practically had a panic attack when DD#1 went to the loo by herself, even though she assured me, palms raised in earnest of truth, “It’s ok, Mom. I can handle it.” So she had to wait with me while I tried to fathom the workings of the juvenile shelves at the library in an attempt to find the books I needed, before she could play outside for a few precious moments.

Then, books in hand, we headed outdoors. Since there was just her and me, I played on the apparatus with her. We see-sawed. We raced the swings to see who could reach the highest height first. We climbed the jungle gym all the way to the top to see what we could see. What struck me forcibly was the complete sense of timelessness. All of a sudden, I was in my element. Carefree, and 10 years old, with wind in my hair and nowhere to be. While part of my brain knew I was responsible for the golden elf at my side, most of me felt utterly equal to her: a friend I made at the playground, chatting about interesting things and imaginary places; speculating about the grown ups at home and wondering if we could dance in the rain (if it showed its face at all). It was wonderfully liberating, and I was happier for that quarter of an hour than I remember being in a very long time.

I might just do it again tomorrow.

Out and about and likemindedness

It looks like this week is really all about getting out there: museum | library | zoo | clients – and on Thursday a hike at our local nature reserve. Can I just take another minute to comment on how lucky we are to live where we do. It was stunning and totally safe, even though it was just us 3 girls.

We only spent about 45 minutes there, and in that time we had a grand adventure. We climbed a “mountain” and plunged (carefully) into a valley, then hiked back, scaled a “mountainside”, and forded a river. Three times. Needless to say I won’t be wearing those shoes again for a few days.

Next up: Christmas Tea preparation. We’re making our gifts this year (see, school can be profitable!), and I’ll try to load pics if I can get my hands on a camera.

Friday was a daddy-school day, and he spent the day talking about the different types and techniqes of construction, taking the DDs on a tour of his workshop, and teaching them how to make support pillars in paper (rather than the slightly-harder-to-come-by steel). After that he showed them how to make a battery cell from a naartjie and some tin foil, and everyone had an incredible day.

I love watching my DH and DDs together, and seeing the joy each of them has as they learn something new. The light in the girls’ eyes as a concept sinks in, and his pleasure in sharing his wisdom, is just wonderful to watch.

I think one of the things that drew us together in the very beginning is a shared love of learning, and home school has turned out to be the very best way to express that.

Serendipity.

ser·en·dip·i·ty

http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/d/g/speaker.swf [ser-uhn-dip-i-tee]  Show IPA

noun

1. an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.
2. good fortune; luck: the serendipity of getting the first job she applied for.
Today we started our Konos curriculum properly. I may have mentioned that we’re starting with the character trait Orderliness because, frankly, we need to.  We’re all still getting the hang of how this curriculum works so it’s a bit like feeling our way through, but I think it went pretty well.
The study unit starts with a bit of (age appropriate) research into Zerubbabel building the temple (in Ezra), then contrasts building styles through the ages. Since the girls are young, it was done at a pretty high level with not a massive amount of depth. Even so, I was interested to see how their questions and DH’s input resulted in a nearly-two-hour lesson.
After that we had an unexpected jaunt to the Museum of Natural Science, which was open this time :). This is where the serendipity comes in: we managed to get up close to a whole range of building styles spanning at least ten decades. We saw domed roofs and peaked roofs and flat roofs. And we watched the window washers rapelling off the sides of a glass-sided building – just like I’d described in the lesson. It was really fantastic.
This week I’ll get them to do a report on the Museum, and post that here. Keep watching!

Me time.

It’s a beautiful, sunny Saturday and I have accomplished a lot. For one thing, I’ve updated this blog, at long long last. For another thing, I have placed my first Oikos order: excited!!

Actually, that’s not so much.

This week hasn’t been great for school. It’s that week of the month when I’m full of deadlines, so the girls have been left to their own devices a little bit. Mostly colouring in, reading, drawing, painting and cutting out stuff. Also, lots of computer games. I’m sure Moshi Monsters and Littlest Pet Shop are educational.

DH took the DDs out for the morning, to uShaka, which can only have been totally awesome. It was wonderful to have some space for ME (although the house is a tip and I really should have cleaned up!). Now it’s my turn: they’ve just come home and I will take the girls out so he can prep for his sermon tomorrow. I think this arrangement will work really well.

But I’ll have to work my derriere off tonight to catch up. Still it’s been worth it.

My beloved family has just come home, and they’re telling me all about it. I’ll have to get the DDs to do another project all about it.

Sierra Ranch and Home School update

This week has been pretty good on the home school front. We’ve pretty much only done MEP Maths and Fun Fonix English, but it’s good. The girls are making great progress and we’re not rushing anything. For DD#2 we still have a little bit of school work but she really races through that stuff.

Every day we have a devotion from a little book called Glow, and they’re learning memory verses beautifully.

So school is good, and this weekend we were treated to the most awesome weekend away, at a stunning place called Sierra Ranch in Howick. I highly recommend it.What I liked best is that the kids could just go wild. We were in conference most of Saturday, but the girls were well cared for and played up a storm. There’s a jungle gym, playground, putt-putt course and pool (they even swam! – I supervised, do’t worry). And they had pony rides too. Best of all, they bonded with their little cousin and really enjoyed her company, too.

Thanks GNLD for the great family outing.

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