Friday, September 23, 2011

Week 5

The girls have been doing preschool with Aiden. They are so cute with him! We made a trip to the library for them to pick out some books. They've been teaching him shapes, colors, and letters. This week they had turtle day. They read turtle books and Aiden got a close up look at our pet turtles.

Of course his favorite part of  school is recess!! He's been having fun driving his Jeep and collecting apples.

This week we continued our study of ancient Egypt.  The girls built a pyramid together out of sugar cubes. The large pyramid is the king's. The smaller ones are for his queens.  They added a temple and the Nile River.

This week we celebrated The Feast of Booths, which is a time to remember when the Israelites lived in booths while they were leaving Egypt during the Exodus. It's a time to remember God's protection and provision.  During the Feast of Booths, the family is to build their own booth to celebrate in. Due to time constraints and physical limitations we made a modified version of a booth. I made a trip to the Salvation Army store and bought a couple of bed sheets. We hung those on the back porch around our picnic table and wa la! Our booth!
 The girls did a great job of decorating the booth with pumpkins, apples, pinecones and flowers they found in the yard.


According to our book the traditional meal would be something similar to our traditional Thanksgiving dinner. We had a turkey breast roast, mashed potatoes, bread and pumpkin pie.

The girls took this pic of us just before dinner.

During dinner we talked about our home on this earth. Like the booths, it is temporary. But Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us, a place that will last forever. His kingdom will never be shaken! There is only one way to that place, and that is through Jesus Christ. How awesome that our God not only protects us and provides for us here on earth, but He has provided a way for us to be with Him forever!

Week 4

          This week the girls focused light with a magnifying glass to generate heat. They used the sun to burn a small hole in a chocolate bar. The book suggested burning paper or a leaf, but I stole the chocolate bar idea from a previous, similar project.  Someone with my family heritage uses chocolate to replace just about everything! It also makes clean up much more fun!

We also cleaned out the garden to get ready for a frost!!

There was a battle between 2 kings of Egypt. King Menes won (with help from her trusty light saber) and united the 2 Egyptian kingdoms into one. She proudly wore her new crown!

A few more highlights from the week:
The girls are memorizing the books of the Old Testament

They are listening to The Cat of Bubastes by G. A. Henty on CD

We have been reading TheTanglewoods' Secret by Patricia St. John as a read alound. This is such a wonderful book and has become one of my favorite read alouds! The girls love it too, and they always beg for one more chapter!

We ended our week with a feast for Yom Kippur. We made chili, which is not traditonal, but it used up some of the tomatoes from our garden!  A more traditional food is kreplach (?) which is meat and vegetables wrapped in a pastry. That sounded like a Michigan pastie to me, so I stopped at the local bakery and picked up 2 pasties to serve with our meal.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Weekend Update

  • We have an appt with the oral surgeon in Brighton! He was willing to consult with us over the phone to save us a trip down there. We have met with him once in his office back in May so he has seen Ryan and his jaw in person. We'll go down in mid-October and he will sedate Ryan in the office and try to open the jaw while he's asleep. There is a possibility that the doctor will be able to resolve the problem just with sedation in the office, and NO surgery! If you think of us, pray that surgery would not be needed and his jaw can be fixed with a good yank from the doctor! If this doesn't work, then this will also allow the Dr. to know exactly where the restrictions are since they don't show up in an xray/CT scan. That would be helpful information if he must to go in surgically to remove the scar tissue.
  • Today we spent a wonderful afternoon visiting with a family that we have never met before. Their precious family was in a serious auto accident about 10 months before ours. Although we had never met them we had heard of their accident. Since hearing about our accident they have prayed for us and encouraged us with their kind words and deeds. They have been able to relate to our situation in a way that not many others can. This family has been an encouragement to us and a beautiful example of praising our God while in the midst of a trial. It was wonderful to finally meet them face to face and spend time visiting with them. Our God is so good! Not only does He go with us through each trial this life may have, He has also given us our dear brothers and sisters in Christ to share in our joy and sorrow. I'm thankful we were able to get to know them and learn how we can better pray for them. What a blessing to be able to pray for this family as they have done for us.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Week 3

 Highlights from our week of school:

We had our first co-op meeting with our homeschooling friends. We meet together for Latin, drama, and Keepers at Home (which is similar to Home Ec.) This week we also had show and tell.  Emma brought a paint by number she recently finished:

Moriah chose a garden stone that she made recently thanks to our friends, J and K!

And of course, little brother had to get in on the action!
He sang his Cheetah song for us!

  •  This week Moriah had her 2nd math test and she got a 99%!! Way to go Moriah!!
  • The girls learned how to draw a map of the Bible land area freehand.  Later that night Emma called me into the bathroom. After her shower, while the mirror was foggy, she drew her map again. She then went on to point out the Tigris, Euphrates, Persian Gulf, Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea on her map. She may not have realized it, but she just gave herself a pop quiz....and passed with flying colors!
  • We celebrated another feast this week, Rosh Hashanah, or Feast of Trumpets. For our dinner we had fresh fish from Canada, thanks to the excellent fishermen in our family :) We also had a loaf of round bread, thanks to the day old rack at Meijer, along with green peas, grapes, and apples with honey. Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of a new year, a new beginning with the Lord. It is a time to honor God's kingship over the universe, His authority over creation. It's also a time for us to remember our place in this universe, our part in His plan. At Rosh Hashanah a ram's horn, or shofar is blown. The kids each made their own Shofar and they blew it just before I lit the candles at dinner.The shofar comes from the story of Isaac, when Abraham prepared to sacrifice him, and God provided a ram. The ram's horn is blown as call to repentance. A call to search your doings, repent, and to remember your Creator.

The Weekend Update

  • It has been a rough week for us here.  I think we were both feeling tired, frustrated, and we just want to be done with the whole accident thing, but of course we can't be.
  • We met with the oral surgeon on Tuesday and he told us that after discussing it with the other surgeon in the office they have decided they aren't comfortable performing the surgery on his jaw. Ryan's TMJ joint needs to be opened up and have scar tissue removed so that he can open his mouth more than 15mm. I am very happy that they were honest with us instead of taking on something they were not sure of. It just would be nice to have heard a "Yes, we can do this and we'll get ya in next week!" There still is another surgeon that is willing to do it, but he is just a 2hr drive from home.
  • On a positve note I have started back to physical therapy. My lower and middle back have really been bothering me as a result of not using my shoulder correctly. After just one PT appt Ryan said he thought I was standing straighter and walking taller. But that night he said  my back must have been hurting again. Apparently he can tell just by how I move around. Anyway, he was right! Hopefully, physical therapy will be helpful with the back pain while we wait for the nerves to heal.

September 11

10 years ago I decided to join a local MOPS group with a friend who also had a little girl. We called the church to register, and our first meeting was set for the 2nd Tuesday in September, the 11th, at 9:30.  My friend, we'll call her Mrs. G, was coming by to pick Emma and me up around 9 and we were going to ride in together. I had Emma ready to go; Mrs. G was running just a bit behind. The phone rang, and it was my mom. She told me about a plane hitting the World Trade Center in New York. I thought surely it surely had to be some sort of freak accident. She said it was possible that it was an attack and either way, we should be praying. I turned on the TV as I was talking to her and saw a picture of the tower with smoke coming from it. As I was talking to her I saw another plane come into the picture. Surely this plane was coming to help or assess the damage so it could help organize the rescue. But just moments later I gasped in the phone as I saw the 2nd plane fly right into the 2nd tower. My mom was still on the other end and she asked me what happened. I told her what I saw and she said, "This is an attack, Michelle. Whatever you do today, be careful, and pray."

Mrs. G soon arrived and I filled her in on what happened. We arrived at MOPS and many of the moms had already heard the news. The leaders there decided to have a time of prayer with us. As a fairly new mom, I felt vulnerable, and I was suddenly aware that there were some things I could not protect my little girl from.

My heart grieves when I think of the September 11th attacks on my country, this land that I love. My heart grieves for those who lost loved ones that day. I can't imagine what it must have been like to be anywhere near there on that day. My heart grieves for the families of those that have given their lives since that day in defending this great nation. My heart will be forever grateful for them and the sacrifice they have made.

God bless America, my home sweet home!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Weekend Update

  • The last 2 weeks we have been getting used to our back to school routine. It is a challenge to work around all the doctor/therapy appts we have! We have tried to keep up as best we can, and the girls have been great about taking school "on the road."
  • Late in August Ryan had a consultation appt. with a local oral surgeon concening the scar tissue in his jaw. Ryan has had limited ability to open his mouth since the wires came off and we found out at this visit that he can only open his mouth 15 mm.....that's not much at all! Go check a ruler! The doctor said that he believes with surgery Ryan should be able to open 25-30 mm. I think he said average was about 40mm. He was honest with us and said that this is not something he does everyday, and their are risks involved. He wanted to discuss the situation with another surgeon in his office, and consult a few others by phone. They will decide if this is a job they can do, and if they can they will come up with a plan of action. We meet back with the surgeon on Tues. Sept 6 to see what they say. We would greatly appreciate prayers for guidance for us and the doctors.
  • I recently saw my doctor for a re-check concerning the shoulder. We are still assuming I have nerve damage that is not showing up in an MRI and he believes that with time it will heal. Meanwhile the nerve damage has made my muscles tight, weak, and not stable. I have also started to have pain in my middle and lower back, probably as a result of compensating for the right shoulder/arm. Ughhh!! Next week I will be back in physical therapy to see if that will help while the nerves finish healing.
  • This week we had a tough decision to make. Ryan is not taking his chili to the Chili/Salsa Taste Off in Midland. For the past 2 yrs Ryan has entered and it's something he enjoys doing with the girls. They help him with everything from shopping, to cooking and serving! 2 yrs ago he won 2nd place People's Choice for Spicy Chili and last year he won 1st place Judge's Choice for Spicy Chili! We were planning on defending his title, but we decided it's too much for us right now. He has to make 5 gallons of chili and then serve it on the day of the taste off. He is just not up to a task like that yet. So, we'll let the other chefs have a chance this year. Next year, he'll be back, trying for first place in both divisions! Until then, here's last year's first place winner!

The girls have been learning about light in science this week. They've done a couple experiments and Aiden was thrilled to "help" Moriah with one of them.

Moriah had a friend over and as we were taking her home I heard this conversation in the backseat. It began with Oreos and how much they love all Oreos, especially the mint ones.
Moriah--"My mom bought hot cocoa with a hint of mint." 
Friend--"Oh, that sounds delicious! But, how can you have hot cocoa in the summer?"
Moriah--"We're stocking up for winter!"
Yep, Moriah doesn't need to stock up on bread and the milk for a winter storm, as long as we're  well stocked on the hot cocoa...with a hint of mint!

Other quotes recently overheard in our house:

"Do you ever get the feeling that you've stopped a truck with your face?"--Ryan, as he was getting ready for bed last night.

"I'm going to get that booger! I'm going to eat that booger!"--Aiden, rather loudly, with his finger up his nose,  in the hospital parking lot. Very proud parent moment.

"We're going to get a baby mouse!"--Moriah, excitedly running into the house in search of some sort of container. Thankfully Dad put an end to that idea!!

"This hip hurts so much I'm almost looking forward to having surgery."--Can you guess?

"Dad, please, please, pleeeaaasssee can we get a turtle?" --Emma, on the phone with Grandma and Moriah at the flea market.

"Yep, you sure can."--Ryan's reply to the above question!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sabbath Celebration

To finish up our first week of school we celebrated with our version of a traditional Jewish Sabbath.
As we study Old Testament history this year we will learn about several biblical feasts and celebrate them(at least in part) in our home.
 To be honest, I am excited to learn about these feasts myself! Last year while studying Revelation I developed an even deeper love and appreciation of the Jewish nation. We touched on the feasts and I remember thinking then that I wanted to learn more.

 Sabbath begins Friday at sundown and ends at sundown on Saturday.
We spent Friday preparing for our Sabbath celebration which begins with a special dinner on Friday evening. Typically a braided bread is served, and the mother prepares the bread on Friday. As she kneads her bread throughout the day she prays for her children. Isn't that beautiful? I couldn't help but think of all the Jewish mothers praying for their precious children. I thought of Mary, praying for her son Jesus.

I will admit I did not knead my dough as I bought frozen bread dough. And praying for your children while steering a shopping cart through a busy store with a 3 yr old in tow is just not the same!
Later that day when the girls saw me attempting to braid the bread, Emma said, "Don't forget to pray for us!"
Again, praying isn't what comes to my mind while working with bread dough. Pretty sure that runs in my family :)

But later, as my bread was baking, I looked out my kitchen window and saw my children in the yard, one running around like a wild, crazy kid, one throwing a ball and the other playing quietly. Finally, at that moment, I said a prayer of thankfulness for those little blessings that God has given us to raise, and for the lessons He has taught us through them. I prayed that each one would know Christ as their Saviour and live a live fully devoted to Him.

We each had a special job to do in order to prepare for the Sabbath. Emma made the centerpiece for our table. She went to see an old friend for some flowers that she made into an arrangement.

As mentioned earlier, I made the braided bread and it came out pretty well for my first time!

Moriah made the special covering for the bread. She colored on a flour sack dish towel that we picked up at the dollar store.

 For dinner we had spaghetti, which isn't traditional, but it's a family favorite here.
For dessert we had frozen yogurt with fresh peaches!! The girls enjoyed our Sabbath, and they have asked if we will do it again. There was something special about that night. Aiden was still a bit loud and boisterous at dinner, but the girls were more quiet and peaceful.

To begin the Sabbath, the mother recites a prayer and lights candles on the table. This is the preparation prayer:

Blessed are you, O Lord our God,
King of the Universe,
You are the Author of peace.
You made the Sabbath holy,
You called us to honor this Sabbath,
enter our home this night.
Almighty God,
Grant us and all our loved ones rest
on this Sabbath day.
May the light of the candles drive out from among us
the spirit of anger,
frustration and fear.
Send your blessing that we may walk
in the ways of Your Word
and Your light.
Enter our hearts this night.
Heavenly Father,
we rejoice in your creation!
It is fromYou we receive every good and perfect gift.
Giver of life and love,
grant us Your peace,
through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.