Saturday, February 25, 2012

Service in Schooling

Since reading "The Moore Formula" (a balance of study, work, and service) in The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook, I've been praying and looking for service/ministry opportunities for my kids.  Almost immediately, things began popping up.  Emma's youth group was doing a bake sale fundraiser for a young family in our town whose house burned down.  They have a baby girl, and while everyone was okay--nobody was home at the time of the fire--they've lost pretty much all of their stuff.  So, we baked some cookies and muffins on a Friday and delivered them to church.  Saturday we helped at the bake sale itself.  (The kind people at True Value set up a table for us right inside the front doors.  Nobody could miss us.  Thanks, True Value!)

Emma & Friends

Karyn, Emma's devoted youth leader and nurse extraordinaire (she was my nurse when Samuel was born), was hoping we'd raise about a hundred bucks.  Because of the generosity of our loving community, almost $500 was given to the young family!  Emma was deeply moved by people who gave extra--especially when they didn't even know the family.  Yeah...we live in a pretty sweet town.

About a week later, our homeschooling group went to a nursing home to chat with the residents, help them make Valentine's Day crafts, and provide some entertainment (a song, poetry recitation, etc.).  This was the first time the children and I did something like this together, and after you watch the video, you'll agree we've got no place to go but up.  (Jeffrey did a splendid job, I must say.  The rest of it is a little...comical.)

The best part is at the end, when Samuel knocks over the huge plywood heart behind us.  Or, when Lydia steps right up to the microphone and you can only hear her voice.  Or, when Samuel says, "Don't spank my bottom!"  (I was trying to clap while I was holding him, that's all.)  I don't your favorite.

Do you ever feel like you're that family?  The one other people sort of shake their heads at with a mixture of compassion and pity?  *SIGH*

Thankfully, this video was a re-staging (because I'd forgotten to ask anyone to record the real thing).  The event was over, and most of the residents had gone back to their rooms.  I am SO hoping the first rendition went better than this one.  At any rate, I know the plywood heart was in the right place.  And so were our hearts.  We wanted to brighten up the residents' day, and I'm sure we did at least that!  I know this kid charmed a few of the ladies:

P.S.  I gave both boys haircuts the next day.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Oh Lydia...

The setting for Kilroy Was Here (our homeschool musical) is a New York USO club in 1942.  Naturally, there's dancing.  For one of the songs, several of the older kids waltz in boy-girl couples, while the younger girls simply dance with each other.  However, we have an odd number of younger girls.  Our director, Char, knowing Lydia's sparkling personality and adventurous spirit, decided she'd have Lydia dance with one of the younger boys.  So, this is a quick shot I got when Peter first pulled her out onto the dance floor.  Well, it looks like Lydia is pulling Peter, but he does ask her to dance.  (The pic is a bit blurry, but I just LOVE it.)

They handled it quite well--especially with everyone watching.

BTW, Peter is such a nice boy.  Our families have been friends for years.  He's got two older sisters, who,  I'm sure, lovingly teased him as much as Emma teased Lydia (which I think she enjoyed very much).  That's what big sisters are for.

Lydia's been talking about this pairing up non-stop since yesterday afternoon.  (Yes, it makes me a little nervous.)  

Here we go.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Oh for the love of...books!

One of the homeschooling books I'm currently reading (or re-reading, rather) is Educating the WholeHearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson (2006 printing).  It's one of my faves.

(You can't look inside.  I'm borrowing this image from Amazon.)

I read this little section on page 81 yesterday, and wanted to share it with you.

"Whole Book Fever ~ This affliction is spreading rapidly throughout the home schooling community.  It is contracted through frequent contact with whole books.  There is no known cure.  Symptoms include the following:

  • You lose the motor function needed to close a good book and put it down.
  • You have an insatiable desire to browse in other people's libraries.
  • You hyperventilate with a rapid heartbeat upon finding a whole set of mint condition Landmarks with dust jackets at a garage sale.
  • You are physically not able to pass by a stack of old looking books without stopping to look at them.
  • You schedule your vacation around the annual community used book sale.
  • You begin stacking books horizontally in your bookshelves to make room for more books.
  • You fail to tell a friend about the library sale for fear of missing a rare find.
  • You buy a fourth copy of Johnny Tremain at a library sale (or Goodwill) because you forgot you had three others.
  • You actually worry about which child will get which books from your home library when you die.
  • You start a booktable business just so you can buy more books at dealer's cost."

It's funny 'cause it's true!