Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Vacation with Friends

So, it's sort of an annual thing. Several families get together and go on vacation together. Tons of fun! Normally it's just three families but this year we added a fourth family. So much fun!! Here is the one from 2011 and the one from 2010. It's tons of fun and I am so glad that I have friends to go vacationing with. Is vacationing a word?

Day 1: We all arrived at different times and fended for ourselves for dinner.

Collin looked so grown up in the car with his crossed legs while he read a book.

Ryanne, not so quiet, and decided to fake sleep for a picture. :)
 We went to Fatz for dinner! Woot! :) And... my veggie loving son ordered tomato soup and salad. The rest of us ordered regular food. It just always surprises me what he orders and loves. LOL!
 We finally made it to the house!!
 Did I mention the house was on a lake with a dock?
Here is a view from the back of the house. Isn't it pretty? And, yes, that's a hot tub on the basement porch. ;)

Day 2: We started the day with a short hike to a waterfall. Okay, the hike was only half a mile one way. Easy Peasy! However, the drive to get back there was scary. I was sure we were lost and driving to our doom. The road was incredibly narrow and I could see the drop off on my side. I was sure that Paul was driving too close and we were going to crash. I wanted him to make our mini van hug that mountain. But, he thought it was funny that the drive scared me so he made the most out of it. LOL! =P Anyways, we arrived to the trail head safely.
Here is a shot of the whole group at the top of the waterfall!! :) Do you see all those preggo bellies up there? Not to mention the new born? Yeah, that's why we chose a short hike. ;) Then, my kids being the wild hoodlum children that they are decided they wanted to play in the water. But, another family joined us with her wild children as well. ;) They had so much fun playing in the icy cold mountain water. Here are some pictures of their fun!

And a video...
On the way back to the car, there was a hollowed out tree stump on the side of the path. Of course, being the incredibly cautious parents that we are, we stuck our kids inside. :)
Just so you can get an idea of this... Collin and Ryanne were both standing up.

The rest of the afternoon of day 2 was spent (after naptime and Collin and I finished school work) was spent playing in the lake. For obvious reasons I did not have a camera down there. My husband did push me in once so... yeah. Better not to have a camera or phone in the pocket when near a lake with him around. ;)

That night, as usual, after kids were in bed the parents were found gathered around tables playing games. So fun!!

Day 3: That morning, Collin, Ryanne, and I had breakfast and then hopped in the hot tub while it was still cool and before everyone else was up. It was fun sitting in the mountain air with just the three of us. We turned the heat down so the hot tub was only about 99. It was like bath water with lots of jets and chlorine. :) My dark blue shorts became much lighter with a slight green tint to them. Yeah, a lot of chlorine.

Later in the morning, all the moms took the kids to the park to play! Yay for free entertainment!! :)
 Collin sitting in a weird spinning tulip type of thing.

Here are the older 6 of the 8 kids we had with us. :)
We had Collin take a picture of us moms. It's a little fuzzy but I think he did pretty well considering he's 6 and it was the camera on my phone. :)

After this, we went horseback riding. Well, the dads, me and four of the oldest kids. Soooo much fun for the kids. We went on a trail on the mountains through a national forest. I didn't take a camera with me because I was afraid I'd drop it but one of the other moms took a picture of us on the horses.
 Collin was lucky and got a buddy saddle. Isn't it cool? I've never seen one before. It buckles onto the back of a regular saddle. Collin and I rode on Delilah. She was the shortest of all the horses so she walked a bit slower than Uncle Buck (you'll see him next) who rode in front of us. Unfortunately for the Monsons and Gipsy though b/c they were behind us. :) Delilah was a good girl though who went where ever I told her. She did not like mud though so she did whatever she could to avoid it. ;)
Ryanne did not get a buddy saddle. She rode on the front of Paul's saddle. Paul and Ryanne rode Uncle Buck who was not as well behaved as Delilah. He, apparently, did not like Paul. He tried to bite his leg once. I am glad that I had Delilah and not Uncle Buck.

After we got home from riding horses (it was only a 1 hour trail ride) we played in the lake again! YAY!! That night the parents stayed up and.... ready for it.... played games!! :)

Day 4: This was Sunday so.... Paul took the kids out to the lake and taught them to skip rocks while I packed up the kitchen stuff. He took a video of it. Maybe he'll post it later but Collin was having trouble getting the throw right. Paul finally told him that it was like a double block in TaeKwonDo... Collin got it right then. ;)

ETA video: 

We all loaded up the van together and we listened to Scripture Scouts and EFY CDs all the way home. hehe! We were worried b/c we forgot to get gas on Saturday but we made it all the way home on half a tank. Woot! No breaking the Sabbath for this family. Hooray!

And... that was our third annual group vacation.

Monday, August 20, 2012

First Field Trip of the 2012-2013 year!!! :)

Ryanne in Eddie's brain.

Ryanne shopping in the children's grocery store.

Collin building in the block room.

Construction zone!!

Collin built the arch and learned about keystones.


African drums on TV!!

Sahara Dessert


With Eddie (the giant boy the kids play inside of), Paul and I had to position ourselves strategically to prevent them from getting lost. So, from where I stood, I could see a hottie at the bottom with a white shirt and jeans and just had to take a picture of him. Yeap! That's my hubbie! Such a cutie. ;)

So, if you can't tell, we were at the Children's Museum for our first field trip. It was pretty cool b/c only members of our Virtual school were there. How fun!! It was still incredibly crowded though!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Organizing for 1st grade

As a learning coach to a virtual school student, my responsibilities include helping my first grader with everything he does for SIX hours!! I have to read the instructions, give him his assignments, do projects with him, oversee him in his class connects (virtual classrooms), grade his tests, make sure that he meets all of his assessments, go to the mandatory learning coach courses, makes sure he completes all of his assignments, have work samples ready to be sent in for the school, make sure he takes his DIBELS when he is required to...etc. You get the idea. On top of that, my son has an IEP so I have IEP meetings to attend and therapists my son and I must meet with. I am also a full time college student so I must do my own assignments and take my own tests. I am also a mother to a preschooler so I need to take care of her and make sure she feels loved and not neglected while I'm working with Collin. I am also a homemaker so I must clean our home and keep it a home.

I have tried to figure out how in the world I am supposed to accomplish all of these things. Everything that I read says that I must figure out my priorities first and then fill in the gaps with everything else. Well, all of these are priorities so... what to do? Here is something I am giving a try. We'll see if it works and if I can keep it up. In the mornings I will spend an hour before school starts at 8am doing my morning chores. Then we aren't finished with school until about 4:30. So, I need to get some chores done during school -- snack and lunch!! So, here is how I'm trying to save time.

On Saturdays I get the lunches and snacks ready for the rest of the week. Here is what I did yesterday in preparation for this coming week.

First, I filled a box with individual servings of snacks... trail mix, granola bars, fruit leather (the real kind with only dehydrated fruit and no sugar), popcorn...etc. During snack break I will send the kids to pick one baggie from the box for their snacks. Then I will have 30 minutes to get some chores done and they can get their own snacks. Notice in the back of the box is a little box -- that is the dessert box.

This is a close up of the dessert box mentioned above. There are a couple of chocolate chip cookies and fig newtons in each little snack baggie. At the end of their lunch they may each pick one baggie for dessert.
I found these awesome little Glad containers. See, there is a little cup inside that you are able to store dressings and dips in that attaches to the underside of the lid. Isn't that awesome? So, here is the veggie container for snacking with Ranch dressing.

Peanut Butter!!!!

Fruit container with peanut butter for the apples. Yummy!! See, fresh produce snacks too. Who doesn't need that?
Oh!! We also need lunch. We've already seen snacks and dessert. hehe! :)

I made our own little lunchables! :) Yay!! If I can find one of those little decrusting (is that a word?) things that seal the sides of the sandwich then I'll make those and freeze them so they're like Decrustables only cheaper. ;)
Finally, for a side I made these...
Vanilla yogurt with fruit (blueberries and strawberries pictured above) and applesauce. I could also do my own jellos or pudding if I want.
I think these will work well. I'm just worried that I won't be able to keep it up every weekend. We'll see though. Hopefully it'll go so well that I'll never go back to preparing lunches at lunch time again. LOL!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

School Schedule

I was trying to come up with a way to make a schedule to work with our new organization method. Most of them figure out every 15 minutes and the students have to do this subject during this time. Fortunately, I don't have to do that. As virtual schoolers, we have a little more freedom with our schedule. Plus, my son works better having a little bit of power, that's why we give him a choice. So, how can I have a flexible schedule so Collin is still able to choose his subjects without giving him complete power? Well, here's what I came up with....

See.... Collin is still able to choose what to do. I love this! :) YAY!! So, each time slot he gets to choose. Okay, some of them he doesn't get to choose... like 10-11:30... some days he has speech and class connects assigned so we'll do them then. Of course, I don't know when the Class Connects are going to be scheduled this year but normally the 1st graders are at 10am. Even if they aren't, we will be able to watch the recorded classes at that time.

You should be able to click on the picture to get to the downloadable version that you can download and change it however you want. If it doesn't work then click here

Friday, August 3, 2012

Deborah "Bee"

"A famous woman who judged Israel and encouraged Barak against Sisera [in battle]. The well-known song of Deborah and Barak commemoated the Israelitish victory." --- Bible Dictionary

Scriptures to read:
Judges 4-5
LDS Bible Dictionary, 655

I have never actually heard the story of Deborah before. I have no idea why. But, it is such an awesome story. Let me share it with you. ;)

The Israelites were captives... again... of the Canaanites. Their "jailer" was Sisera, captain of Hazor.
Deborah was a judge in Israel at this time. Deborah approached Barak and said, "Hath not the Lord God of Israel commanded saying, 'Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee 10,000 men of the children of Naphtali and of Zebulun? And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army and with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand'."
Barak replied, "If though wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me then I will not go."
"I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honor for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman." Deborah said.
So they went to battle with 10,000 men. Sisera fled when he saw this and went towards his friend's home, Hever. But, instead of going to Heber's tent, he chose to go to Heber's wife's tent. Her name was Jael. She covered him and gave him curdled milk to drink and then hammered a 3' long stake through his temple.
Barak arrived and Jael showed him to the dead body of Sisera.
Meanwhile, back in Hazor, Sisera's mother was waiting for her son to come back and bring her gifts from the spoils of war. She especially coveted the brightly covered items because of the high price of dyes.
Deborah sang a song recounting the tale and giving credit to the Lord the the victory and their freedom.

Isn't that one of the coolest stories? I thought it was awesome!

The pride cycle seems to be repeating over and over again in the book of Judges. Here is the one which led to Deborah being a prophetess.
Israelite Pride Cycle
  1. The children of Israel did evil in God's sight. (Judges 4:1)
  2. The Lord sold them to an enemy nation. (Judges 4:2)
  3. The children of Israel cried unto the Lord. (Judges 4:3)
  4. God raised up a deliverer -- Deborah. (Judges 4:4)
  5. Victory was won and peace restored. (Judges 5:31)
Deborah was the only judge in the Book of Judges who was also declared a prophet(ess). An Israel judge was to serve the people by defending, avenging, delivering, and pronouncing punishment on the Israelites independent of economic status or race.

"Mother in Israel", this term originates from Deborah when she calls herself one in Judges 5:7. There is no evidence of her having biological children. Instead, she was a mother figure to her people. "She lvoed the people she served as a mother loves her own children. Deborah nurtured, protected, taught, and inspired the people of Israel to trust in God, act in faith, and work with Him to restore freedom, peace and opportunity within the land. She led her charge to the source of salvation... A mother sees beyond daily survival to eternal and spiritual progression. She recognizes that she can never save her children but He can. Armed with this knowledge and conviction, she selflessly seeks to bring others to the same truth." (Camille Fronk Olsen, Women of the Old Testament, pg 114)

What do you think it means to be a Mother in Israel?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

1st grade classroom

Ryanne has had the little red desk and used it last year. But, Collin worked at the table all the time. The table came up to his armpits and his feet couldn't reach the floor. This often caused him to sit on his knees and lean all the way on the table (which annoyed me), his legs kicked the table legs constantly and then we had to move everything around for meal times. It was so frustrating. So... Paul and I decided to get him a desk. He has a chair too but part of it was damaged in shipping so a replacement part is on it's way to our house! :)

 Let me explain my new organization method. I got the idea from another virtual schooling mom... Here's a link. I thought it was such a good idea so I'm doing it too. I do like the folders she used but I didn't have one. However, I had this hanging file box sitting around taking up space so I thought I'd actually put it to use. I have six folders just like the example. At the beginning of the week I get all the assignments put in the appropriate folders so an entire week's worth of work will be filed.
The first three folders are Math, Phonics/Spelling, and Language Arts. He must take one lesson from each of those daily.
The fourth folder is the "Pick One" folder. This is where I have the history and science assignments. He can pick one each day and it can be whichever one he wants.
The fifth folder is the "Pick Two" folder.

 I have a label on the front of each file folder, covered with packaging tape so we can use a dry erase marker to cross off the work done. Collin will be able to pick out two subjects to work on each day and by the end of the week all of these will be accomplished.

Folder six is the "Pick Three" folder.
TKD is TaeKwonDo. Also, my hubby and I want Collin to practice sitting/standing still. He has trouble focusing so we are going to do focusing activities. My hubby is in charge of the TKD and focusing things. He'll slip the assignments into the folders for us. :) So, here he can pick three assignments each day to do.

By the end of the week Collin will have completed all of his assignments and he will have lots of control over his assignments. The more control he has, the more willing he is to do his work so I'm excited and he's excited. We'll see how this school year goes. We may switch back to workboxes but this one gives him more choice so, we'll see how this goes. =o)

Miriam "Exalted"

Sister of Moses; watches the ark of bulrushes; leads the women with tabrets (musical instruments); murmurs against Moses and is smitten with leprosy; dies in Kadesh.

Scriptures to study:
Exodus 2:4-8; 15:20-21
Numbers 12:1-16; 20:1; 26:59
Deuteronomy 24:9
1 Chronicles 6:3
Micah 6:4
LDS Bible Dictionary, pg 733

Time Line:
18th Century BC: Jacob's family moves to Egypt
17th-14th Century BC: Hebrews enslaved in Egypt
1370(ish) BC: Birth of Miriam
1363 BC: Birth of Aaron
1360 BC: Birth of Moses
              : Miriam orchestrates the wet-nurse agreement with the daughter of Pharoah. (Moses 3 mos old)
1357 BC: Moses (3yo) moves to palace
1320 BC: Moses (40 yo) flees from Egypt and resides in Midian, marries Zipporah
1280 BC: Moses (80) returns to Egypt as the prophet of Jehovah and deliverer of the Israelites
              : 1st Passover/Miraculous Crossing of Red Sea/Miriam's hymn of praise/Law given from Mt. Sinai
1279 BC: 2nd Passover/Miriam and Aaron criticize Moses (81); Miriam's leprosy
1242 BC: Miriam dies in Kadesh
1241 BC: Aaron dies
1240 BC: Moses (120) is translated
              : Joshua leads the children of Israel into the promised land
(Dates are based on the 'late date theory')

"Like Jochebed, we raise our families in a wicked and hostile world -- a world as dangerous as the courts of Egypt ruled by Pharaoh. But, like Jochebed, we also weave around our children a protective basket - a vessel called 'the family' -- and guide them to safe places where our teachings can be reinforced in the home and at church.... Along the way, at times when our children are away from us, the Lord provides inspired 'Miriams' to watch over them  special third party helpers such as priesthood and auxiliary leaders, teachers, extended family, and worthy friends." (Hales, Ensign, May 2004, 89-90)

Exodus 15:20  Miriam is referred to as a prophetess... but why?  This comment comes into play because of the song. In this time, women were the musicians and dancers. She led the women with timbrels.

Okay, another question, "What are timbrels?"
"Hand-held, hoop-shaped drums whose diameter was wider than the depth of the instrument. They were played by striking them with the flat of the hand. More accurately described as drums than tambourines." (Camille Fronk Olson, Women of the Old Testament, pg 99)

Back to the original question. When Miriam led the Israelite women in song and dance to honor the Lord and Moses, testifying of God's divinity and a few prophetic lines as well.

Prophet: anyone who has a testimony of Jesus Christ by the Holy Ghost. (Revelations 19:10; Numbers 11:25-29)

So, after ready Exodus 15:1-21, do you think she fits that definition? I would have to say, "YES!"

From her experiences, we learn to always shave faith in the Lord and the leaders he chooses, Never doubt or murmur but choose to believe!

Zipporah "Sparrow"

Wife of Moses and daughter of Jethro/Reuel, priest of Midian.

Scriptures to read:
Exodus 2:16-22; 4:20, 25-26; 18:2
LDS Bible Dictionary pg 793

Jethro was a priesthood holder (D&C 84:6) and had 7 daughters. One of the seven was Zipporah who married Moses. They had two sons -- Gershom and Eliezar.

Exodus 4:24-26 JST - The Lord is prepared to kill Moses for disobeying and not circumcising his son. Zipporah picks up a sharp piece of flint and circumcises their son.
Exodus 18:2 - After Moses succeeds by freeing the Israelites, Jethro arrives in the wilderness with Zipporah and their two sons, Gershom and Eliezar.

Questions I asked myself:

1- What is unique about this woman and her story?
2- What Christlike qualities does she exemplify?
3- What can women today learn from her experience?
1- Zipporah's story is unique because of the fact that she was raised by a priesthood holder is pretty significant in this time period.

2- I think some of her Christlike qualities that she exemplifies are patience and understanding... probably faith, too. Faith and understanding are probably working together in my mind. Her husband returns from caring for the sheep and tells her he saw God in a bush. My first response would have been, "Honey, you've been in the sun too long." Maybe that was her first response, but, eventually she had the faith and understanding to believe him and the patience to let him go while she cared for their two little boys.

3- Women today can learn from the circumcision incident in Exodus 4. It teaches us to obey God the first time and to always support our husbands and/or encourage them to also choose the right.

Rahab -- "Spacious"

Rahab was the harlot who hid the Israelite spies at Jericho. :)

Scriptures to Read:
Joshua 2:1-21; 6:17-25
Matthew 1:5 (spelled Rachab)
Hebrews 11:31
James 2:25
LDS Bible Dictionary pg 759

The Hebrew spies entered Rahab's home asking for help. She agreed. In return, she and her family was allowed to live.

Paul mentions her faith in the Hebrews scripture. I imagine it took great faith in these strangers to allow them access to her home. If she did not have faith then she would have perished with "those who were unbelieving and disobedient".
James brings up Rahab's example as well. He said she was "justified by works". So, through her faith and good works she was saved from the fall of Jericho.
Now, when I think of Rahab I will instantly think of the famous scripture mastery James 2:17-18 ----
Faith - Works = Death

Another amazing lesson taught to us by Rahab - she was a harlot. Therefore, we know she made some mistakes in her life. When the Lord needed her, she was there and did what needed to be done. So, even if we've made mistakes, the Lord will forgive us and through our faith and works we, to, can be extraordinary.

Questions to ask ourselves about Rahab.
1- What is unique about this woman and her story?
2- How does she fit into the time period in which she lived?
3- What Christlike qualities does she exemplify?
4- What would I ask her if I met her?
5 How can I relate to her and learn from her?
1- This woman and her story are unique because she was a harlot, a sinner, and overcame those mistakes to save the Israelites.

2- She fit into that time period she lived as a woman. A woman with very few rights and making a living the only way she knows.

3- She exemplifies a few Christ-like qualities. The first obvious one is her faith, Paul even discusses this one. It was talked about on the previous page as well. The other is humility. TO be truly forgiven then one must humble themselves before the Lord. She must have truly been humble to be forgiven and to admit that her people were wrong and worshiping idols was wrong ad that these Israelites knew what they were talking about so she chose to help them instead of the people she grew up with.

4- If I met her, I would ask her how she knew so quickly that God was the one true God. I wonder if they bore testimony to her and the spirit was just that incredible.

5- I can relate to her and learn from her because I have made mistakes and so has every other person out there. But, we also know of the Atonement and our opportunity to be forgiven. That is what this amazing woman teaches us. Repent - have faith - do good works and we too may be favored of the Lord.