Friday, November 20, 2009

Creative Math Idea

Recently a friend gave me a plethora of school resources that she used when homeschooling her children...truly a priceless and meaningful gift!!! One thing I realize about my children is that they like to play games and they are quite competitive. However, it's just not practical for me to go out and buy a bunch of learning games. They are actually quite expensive.

While digging through this treasure chest of books, I found a book that caught my eye, "Math For Smarty Pants". One of the first exercises looked pretty interesting to me, so I tested it this morning on my 2nd grader.

It's called the $1 Word Search. Each letter of the alphabet is assigned a cent value: a=1cent, b=2 cents, c=3 cents, and so on up to z-26 cents. You take a word, any word, like "excellent" and add up the value of each letter to see if it is worth a dollar. Simple!!

Armed with a white board and a dry erase marker, we tried it out. And, yes we learned "excellent" is a one dollar word. Noah is not. Neither is Elijah. And, for that matter neither is Jesus. But, we did find that there is a Halloween word that is and it is NOT Halloween.

Well let me just say that Noah learned about ones and tens column. He learned about carrying. We talked about how to take shortcuts when adding up several numbers. We had fun learning about Math this morning. We even talked about which numbers added together equal 10. Because let's face is easier to add multiples of ten.

Bottom line...we had FUN!!

So here's my idea for the next month. I am going to challenge my children to find $1 words and for every $1 word they find, I will pay them a dollar. That should motivate them!!! I figure it never hurts to practice the basics. Truthfully....I still count with my fingers...maybe I should join in the competition so that I can learn how to add in my head!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Anniversary!!!

Well my 20th anniversary is a thing of the past. Milestones come and milestones go. Here are my random (seriously not organized thoughts)!!

This morning my husband took me to IHOP for breakfast. It was GREAT!! (For those of you newlyweds out there we are going out nice on Friday night). But it was quite thoughtful of him to roll me out of bed on our 20th anniversary and take me out for breakfast. Thoughtful because it made me feel like we were on vacation. We NEVER eat breakfast out. As we lingered over coffee we had some quiet time (hard to find with four children) and we reminisced about the past twenty years. I won't bore you with all that.

But I will say, we have much to be thankful for after 20 years. We started our marriage with God at the center. We wanted our marriage to bring honor to God. We have had our ups and downs...that's a fact of life. However, we have been able to weather the storms. This week we were reminded how we have been able to weather these storms. Reminded by our 7 year old son.

By the way let me say an aside to all out there. God uses His people to speak truth. You don't have to be a preacher. You don't have to be eloquent. You don't have to speak loudly. You just have to know the truth and speak the truth. And, you have to listen for the truth!!

This week in our home, he used a young boy; a skinny young boy at that, with beautiful blue eyes and and a tender heart for God (I'm sure a I butchered the grammar in that sentence!!). Let me explain.

On Monday night of this past week our family was sitting in our sitting room all together. It was about that time of night when we send the kids to bed. Our son Noah said, "I have an idea!!! I think we should all pray together tonight." Well, his heartfelt statement just made tears pop out in my eyes. It's one thing for the grown-ups to say we should pray, but a little boy...

Then, Tuesday night he was in his room finishing up his school for the day. Our system is that he has 12 numbered folders that are loaded for him every morning. He is responsible for completing the work in these folders. So, David and I are sitting together in our living room. Noah comes to the top of the stairs (we can both see and hear him) and says in a passionate voice, "MOM, I have an idea!!! Tomorrow, could you start putting my Bible in my number one folder."

Now as you read you may be thinking okay, that doesn't seem like a big deal. But, for me and my husband of twenty years it's like God was using a megaphone to scream at us (kindly of course). Our first year of marriage we attended Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia. We had dear Bible Study teachers and Edna Clark was a lady who we still talk about today in our home. It did not matter what Edna was teaching on, her message always came out to be..."You need to pray and read God's Word."

Here was our son communicating the same message that resounded through our first year of marriage. So as we head into our 21st year, we are committing to renew our passion to pray and read God's word. Our marriage is a gift that I am thankful for every day.

If you are married, your marriage is also a gift. For those of you who are unmarried...Wait upon the Lord!! Hold steadfast to him!!!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Foot Woes!!!

I just had to share these fabulous pictures of our daughter's foot. We thought she had an extra navicular bone (who even knows what in the world a navicular bone is) in her left foot. Off she went to the doctor this week. Turns out she does not have an extra navicular bone in her left foot. It is just extra large and maybe even fractured...hence the extra bump in her foot shown in the pics.

The irony is that she does have an extra navicular bone in her right foot, that is perfectly fine.

So, she's wearing a boot for 10 days and we are hoping this growth will heal very soon.

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Monday, November 02, 2009

Neighborhood Halloween!!

Thanks to my dear friend and neighbor Robin, I have some sweet shots of my children (and the neighborhood friends) on Halloween. We really do live in a FABULOUS neighborhood!!!

Enjoy the pics!!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Picture-less Halloween!!!

This morning I sit here the day after Halloween and look at all the cute pictures on Facebook of little kids dressed up in their costumes. I realize with dismay that I did not take one picture of my children yesterday. The thought crossed my mind, but the camera was with Clara who was with friends trick or treating in a different neighborhood. This has brought me to a place of pondering this picture-less Halloween.

Pondering why when the girls were younger I would NEVER have missed out on taking a picture of my children with their cute costumes. Maybe I had less on my plate. Maybe I was more enthusiastic. Maybe life was simpler. Maybe I had my own camera and was not borrowing my daughter's.

Pondering the reality of raising two middle school daughters. Yikes!! One who is ready to move out tomorrow. One who likes to talk and talk and talk....starting about 9:00 pm when I can no longer comprehend what she is saying because my brain has shut down for the day. Really, I need an extra measure of energy just thinking about the days ahead.

Pondering raising little boys while raising middle school daughters AND how different my boys growing up experience is from my girls. We live in a different state. The boys lives are not filled with play dates and play groups. The boys are surrounded by activity. Their friends are little brothers on Clara's soccer team and the boys in the neighborhood and from church. When the girls were younger I was intentional about helping them the develop friends. With the boys I simply say let's go....go play outside or let's go to the soccer field or to church or to work.

I suppose the picture-less Halloween is merely a foreshadowing of the future as the nest empties and the children pursue their own lives one by one. That might bring a tear to my eye except this nest will not be empty for like a hundred more years.

My life is full. It is abundant. I am trying to teach my kids "as we go" what it means to walk with Jesus, what it means to be a friend, how to get along with others, how to cook, how to clean up what you mess up, and a myriad of other things.

And yet, I hope when they look back on these days they remember a loving family. I hope that they have learned valuable lessons from time spent together. I hope we are preparing them to fly from the nest well. I hope as they go into their future and our family multiplies they will take cute pictures of their children and send them to me via whatever means of communication is available.

Okay, and I also hope that some of my neighbors captured at least one cute shot of my dressed up kids on this picture-less Halloween at the Smith House!!!