Anna as a Mime
Gracie as a Scarecrow
Ryne as a Pirate
Anna as a Mime
Gracie as a Scarecrow
Ryne as a Pirate
Anna and I had a fun Saturday morning. Her swim team participated in a swim clinic led by Olympians Josh Davis (1996, 2000) and Larsen Jensen (2004, 2008). I was a bad mom and forgot the camera, but they had a photographer there so maybe later I can update this post with a picture of her wearing three Olympic gold medals, standing between Davis and Jensen. She learned a lot about technique, but even more impressive was listening to the two athletes talk. And something Josh Davis said really impacted me.
He told a neat story of getting to know a soldier badly injured in the Iraq war and how this soldier said he was not sad about all the things he couldn't do anymore, but rather was thankful to be alive and have a loving family. Josh challenged the group to live their lives in a manner that reflects that level of thankfulness. A few moments later he briefly shared his faith in Christ, so clearly there were some spiritual undertones to his whole talk.
"How loud are you saying 'thank you' with your life?"
This message is not new to me. We attend a church in which we are frequently reminded that our good deeds are how we show gratitude for what Christ did on the cross. But for some reason (maybe I was just star struck) today it really hit me. Am I displaying an attitude of gratitude in my daily life as a homeschool mom and wife, or am I just trying to survive another day? Just by posing the question I think you can guess the answer.
After the clinic Anna and I had lunch at my favorite place, Panera, and she said she had to fight back tears at that same point in Davis' talk. She was excited that he talked about his faith. I was excited that this is what I was getting to talk about with my daughter over lunch.
So maybe by putting this in print I will be reminded all week to let my actions shout THANK YOU!
We are approaching our first anniversary of doing RDI, and I think if I had to do it all over again I would pretty much do the same things, but in a different order. Instead of going into it blindly, I would try to learn more about the program first. The great thing is that you don't have to spend a fortune to do this. I hear the RDI workshops are a wonderful place to learn about the program, but they can be costly, especially if you have to travel far to get there. So how about starting right at home? If you want to learn more about RDI, I suggest the following resources:
If you follow these 4 steps you will have a good understanding of RDI with out having to pay a lot of money. While lots of families rely on these steps and various books (available on the RDI website) alone and still make good progress, I think most agree that it is best to eventually work with a certified RDI consultant. But tackling some of the parent education beforehand enables you to determine if RDI is right for your family and makes the early steps with your consultant all the more productive. I don't regret the way we did things, because the important thing is we got here and we're doing RDI. But the autism adventure is tough enough as it is, so hopefully these tips will make the road a little smoother for anyone considering RDI.
Our RDI consultant said we need to put a stop to this, so I received some grumbling this week when I made him erase connected periods and commas.
Anna: It felt almost like the end of a school year for Anna this week. She finished her MUS Epsilon book, Latin for Children Primer A, and Mind Benders A3. Here she is with her Epsilon certificate of completion:
At the end of the LFC A book is the Apostles Creed in Latin, and you can listen to it on the CD. She decided she wanted to memorize this as a surprise for our pastor who is leaving for a new church at the end of the month. She worked hard and on Wednesday night at her Catechism class she recited the entire creed for him and the class. Our pastor has an excellent background in Latin, Greek and other languages, so he was quite pleased with Anna's effort.
Speaking of Catechism, I've been pleasantly surprised at how much Anna is enjoying this. Fifth grade is the year children at our church start catechism education, so she has weekly Q&A's from the Heidelberg to memorize and a chapter to read from The Church in History and corresponding worksheet to complete (in addition to her weekly Sunday School verse and reading). Since starting Catechism she has completely taken the initiative in getting her work done, sometimes choosing to work on her memory work in bed instead of reading (she loves to read at night, so it's a pretty big deal for her to give up reading for something else). This is the first year I haven't had to sit down with her for memory work, which is nice since it frees me up to spend a little more time with her siblings.
Song School Latin: Ryne and Grace are doing this together and LOVE it! I love it too. The songs are very creative and helpful. Anna is jealous SSL wasn't available when she started Latin. I'm trying to take this book slow, because I don't plan for either of them to start LFC next year.
History: We've slowed down with SOTW 2 the last several weeks. It started with the Viking chapters (14 & 15) because we found so many great literature selections. So this week we worked on chapters 18 (Crusades) and 19 (King Richard, King John and Robin Hood), but we will complete our literature selections this coming week.
Other: Thursday night I had the honor of leading Ryne's Cub Scout den meeting. I volunteered for this particular week because they were supposed to learn how to play marbles. I inherited my grandmother's box of marbles, but never got around to learning how to play and thought this would be a good excuse to learn. What fun! We will definitely be doing this at home now.The kids have a new favorite CD to listen to in the car. Beethoven's Wig is fantastic. When Googling for a link I found out there is now a Beethoven's Wig collection -- I think I know what the kids are getting for Christmas.
Friday we had a great field trip to a nearby pumpkin farm with a group of homeschoolers. It almost didn't happen. I was up until 3am the night before finishing up the work on the blog once we went live with the new design, and then we had a round of storms come through in the morning. I assumed the trip would get canceled, so I was still in my PJs when an email came saying it was still on! Somehow we got there just in time. I'm not usually one to be late for things, but for some reason every time we go on a field trip with this group I'm either late or arrive just in the nick of time. By the time we got there the storms had passed and we had beautiful weather. Our family has gone to this particular farm every fall for years, so Marc decided to take off early from work and join us. I was glad he got to meet some of our fellow homeschoolers. Gracie was excited because she met a cow named Gracie. It was a fun end to the week.
Now we have a week off from school to recharge our batteries!
I can't stop staring at it! I'm so in love with my new blog! All week long I've been dying for you see what I've been watching unfold.
Darcy is a genius. I want to be her when I grow up. She oozes talent and creativity and can read my mind better than I can. I told her I wanted a place that would evoke images of the perfect homeschool day (a peaceful day of living, learning, and loving with my kids) and to inspire me on the days that are not so perfect. The result has exceeded my expectations. She even came up with the cute Touched By Autism picture in the sidebar, which I just love.
Plus, she's extremely patient (must be from mothering her 3 boybarians). I know so little about computers, blogging, and well, just about anything electronic, but Darcy just kept answering one dumb question after another. The first time she let me see the new look I thought it looked wonderful, but all I could see was the lighter blue background and not the blue siding behind it. She finally figured out that I wasn't seeing what she was seeing and kindly explained to me that my monitor settings needed to be at least 1200 pixels wide or I wouldn't be able to see any of the background. In her words, I was "missing a whole world of graphic design!"
By the way, for anyone who hasn't read my intro posts, you might not realize that the blue siding in the background and the gingerbread trim throughout the blog design are from the real life Blue House Academy, our home.
So if you're in the mood for a new look for your blog, please head over to Graphically Designing and check out all the other beautiful blogs she has designed. I am not her only happy client. Thank you, Darcy!
P.S. Thanks, Dad, for the birthday money -- it was well-spent!
Books on Christianity
Knowing Scripture by R.C. Sproul
This is a short book, but I think it will teach me volumes on how to really study my Bible.
Evangelicalism Divided by Iain Murray
I confess, I would never have picked this book out on my own. My pastor loaned it to me more than two years ago, so I could understand the events that have led to the decline in doctrinal education in the church. It is a dry read, but I have learned much from this book. I still have about 200 pages to go, and I don't have until December to finish it. My pastor has accepted a call at another church and will leave at the end of this month, so I need to return it to him before he leaves. We'll see if I actually get this one done!
A Call to Spiritual Reformation by Don Carson
Sharon at Equip Academy invited others to read this book with her. I was just telling my ladies Bible study at church this week how many prayer life has not been so great lately, so maybe this book will help me refocus.
Just Because Books
A Chance to Die by Elisabeth Elliot
I love biographies, and I love Elisabeth Elliot (if you have not read her books on her first husband, Jim Elliot, you must!). This book is the story of Amy Carmichael, a missionary to India and a poet. This book has been sitting in my basket for way too long.
Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
Anna has read all the Narnia books, a few of them twice, and this is her favorite. I, on the other hand, have only read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (as a read-a-loud with her several years ago). I feel so deprived, so I am committing to Prince Caspian for now, but hopefully I will keep going after that. (finished 11/22)
The biggest challenge facing me is not the list of books to read, but rather figuring out how to balance this with my new blog addiction. Based on all the wonderful books I see in the sidebars of homeschool moms' blogs, it must be possible to keep up with both. If you have any tips, let me know!