Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Our First Weekend in Town

We began last Friday with our first day of school at our new house.  I decided to start on Friday to ease us back into the routine so they would be ready to go on Monday.  We love our new homeschool space!  I will try to share more of it in another post. 

back to school

That afternoon we met a team from Flat Creek Baptist Church in Fayetteville, GA for a late lunch at McDonald's.  If you have ever been to the McDonald's in Antigua you will know that it is a beautiful place.  The team was arriving in town for the night before flying home the next morning.   They were finishing up a week of ministry.  After lunch we walked with them to the market and visited while they shopped.

That evening we joined them for supper at Restaurante Fonda De La Calle Real.  We had a great meal together and continued our fellowship time.  The team was led by Gary and Joyce Pearson which are two of our favorite people.  We were so thrilled to get to visit with them while they were here.  It has rarely worked out in the past for us to visit because we lived so far away.  Now that we are in Antigua that should happen more often.  One of the things we are going to love about living here is getting to visit with teams and people as they pass through town.  Everyone loves coming to Antigua so that should give us a lot of fellowship opportunities in the future.

On Saturday morning we made a stop by Dunkin Donuts for breakfast.  I am going to love having a donut shop close by especially on holidays when they make the seasonal ones. 

Afterwards we spent a few hours out exploring the town.  That weekend Antigua was having it's annual Festival de las Flores (flower festival).  Flowers were everywhere and it was so beautiful!  Donuts and flowers are two of my favorite things.  What a great way to spend a Saturday morning.

Here are some photos I took-

people watching in the central park

by lunchtime the crowd had started to increase

We spent a lot of time watching the bands perform.  It was the boys favorite part of the day.


The festival took place Saturday and Sunday.  They had a long schedule of activities planned for both days.  I have already added it to my calendar for next year.  I will be excited to see it again.

On Sunday we attended worship at Iglesia Jesus es el Camino in neighboring Jocotenango.  We chose it because it was close but soon realized that it was right where we needed to be.  While there we learned that the following Sunday they would be hosting the regional pastor's conference.  There are 15 churches in this region and they are expecting around 100 guests to come to next Sunday's service.  It will be a great opportunity for us to meet the other pastors and church leaders and introduce ourselves to them.  Great timing, huh.   

What a fun-filled weekend we had.  I look forward to many more like it in the future. 

Monday, November 19, 2018

Getting Settled In

It has been just over a week now since we moved and things are going really well.  We still do not have home internet service so I have not been able to blog and give an update yet.  Here is a look at our lives lately.

We used a moving company from Guatemala City.  They arrived at our house in Chiquimula around 4:00 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9.  We were expecting them mid-day.  They came in two trucks.  You can imagine the boys excitement watching them drive in.

They enjoyed playing inside the trucks while they were still empty.

The beautiful sunset on our last night there.  Isn't God good for providing smiles in the midst of a little sadness. 

They quickly got busy packing our things.  We had a lot of it already done but still had plenty for them to do.  They finished packing around 6:00.  They had planned to stay the night in Chiquimula and we would all leave out early Saturday morning driving to Antigua.  Well, the heat was taking a toll on them (I was glad they didn't arrive mid-day!!!).  They did not want to sleep in Chiquimula and instead they wanted to return to the Capital that night.  They said they could have everything loaded in an hour and we could all leave.  We didn't believe them but we let them try.  

They worked fast and were done by 7:30ish.  We called in McDonald's delivery for everyone and after eating we got on the road.  It was about 8:15 when we left Chiquimula. Here is David with the moving crew eating supper in our kitchen.
It was midnight before we arrived at our mission house in Guatemala City.   We showered and fell into bed.  I was so tired!  We were up at 5:30 the next morning and left out by 6:00.  The movers wanted to start unloading at 7:00.  We ran through a drive through in San Lucas for breakfast and arrived right on time at our new house in Antigua.  Then the fun part of unloading and unpacking began.

On one of many trips in and out to the moving truck I snapped this photo looking out our front door. What a beautiful view we are going to have!  I was already thinking I was going to love it here. 

As soon as boxes were unloaded into the boys room they began tearing them open and looking through all of their toys.  It was like Christmas day for them.  They immediately put on costumes and built a fort with the boxes and foam mats.  They got out their Nerf guns and had a Nerf war.  They had a lot of new areas to explore and thankfully they entertained themselves well the whole day.

Once everything was unloaded and the movers were gone we got busy cleaning and unpacking.  Here I am wiping down the kitchen cabinets so I could unpack all of the dishes.

Here is David in the back yard.  He was climbing the ladder to get cell service.  

The Thomas family arrived at lunchtime and brought us something to eat.  What a blessing that was!!!  They stayed for most of the afternoon and helped us unpack.  They came back on Monday with lunch and helped us again.  I cannot even put into words what a blessing they were to us.  We look forward to getting to visit with them more often in the days ahead. 

That night and the next two nights the boys shot fireworks outside our gate.  Their friend Mateo had given them some as a gift when we left Chiquimula.   It was a fun way to welcome ourselves to town.  
Here is a photo of the boys last Sunday night while eating supper at Dona Luisa.  We made our first trip to the local grocery store afterwards to pick up some supplies.

Those moving boxes have been a life saver.  The boys have played every day with them so far.  They have built towers and forts in the front yard, back yard, living room, hall way, and their bedroom.  Listening to them use their imaginations as they have played has made me smile.  I am thankful for simple things like boxes that has kept them well entertained so that we could get so much done around the house.  

Here is a fort they built one evening in the backyard.  They were so excited to get to eat supper in there.  

supper in their fort

My favorite memory of the week was building our first fire.  I am going to love getting to build fires here!  It gets cool at night (or at least it is cool to us coming from a hot climate).  On this particular night we cooked supper on the grill, built a fire, and watched Elf.  It was such a fun night.

We also roasted a few marshmallows (another gift from their friend Mateo).  As you can see Cruz was in safety mode as he roasted his.  LOL  That boy is a mess!

We spent most all of last week getting unpacked and settled in.  We have come a long way in a short time.   Most everything is unpacked and put away.  We just lack a few boxes to be stowed away.  We have worked hard day and night and are glad to be almost done.  We still lack things like hanging curtains and decorations on the walls but other than that we are settled in.  We started back to school last Friday and had a really fun weekend exploring our town.  I will update about that in my next post.

Thanks for praying for our move.  We have felt your prayers and they have definitely helped make this transition go much smoother than we could have imagined.  Thank you!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Homeschool Highlights Weeks 14-15 (2018-19)

In our Bible class the boys have memorized Proverbs 15:1 and have begun to memorize Psalm 23.  They will learn a verse a week for the next several weeks.  We have spent time reading about who Jesus was.  We learned that Jesus controlled the wind and the sea, that he had power over sickness and death, and that He forgave sins.  It has been a good study and has given us a lot of great conversation starters.

We have read about and prayed for two people groups.  They are the Ik of Uganda and the deaf in Japan.  We prayed for a group of people working on making videos of Bible stories in Japanese Sign Language to help the deaf in Japan learn about Jesus.

In History we have been reading about life in the Assyrian empire.  One of the things I love about our Sonlight curriculum is the Timeline book that comes with it.  It begins in 5000 BC and goes all the way through 2050 AD.   Each week as we study history, Bible, and other literature we have timeline figures to add to our book.  Both boys have their own books.  They love putting the new figures in and then looking to see what other events were taking place around the same time.  I look forward to filling their books in over the years and seeing history being played out through the pages.

Cruz coloring a recent timeline figure

One of Cruz's recent grammar lessons introduced him to a thesaurus.  He was fascinated and loved reading through the word lists.  

In addition to reading about the States of Colorado and Utah, he is also reading through this book.

I also have him reading a chapter a day in this book.  I read it as a read-aloud to them two years ago.  It is hard to believe he is now old enough to read it himself.  When I showed it to him he hugged it and squealed.  I wondered why he was so excited and when I asked him he replied, "It's Clyde Robert Bulla!"  He is a fan and has loved every book of his that he has read so far.  I love seeing him get excited about reading.

In addition to Ben's Sing Spell Read and Write readers we are also using the Sonlight readers for 1st grade.  So far this year he is reading though the  I Can Read It! series. We will soon finish book 2.  We are also working our way through the word list book. 

Both boys also do a few online lessons each day using The Free Reading Program.  In addition to reading it also helps review phonics and spelling.

more phonics review using our Smart Tray

playing memory using our phonics sounds cards

playing "go fish" using our phonics sounds cards

reviewing word families


a,b,c order

circling the subjects

In Science we studied Arctic animals and also ocean life. In our experiment time we began a new unit called Science With Magnets.  Our first topic was "What can magnets do?"  We did a sticking test by gathering several items and testing them to see whether or not they would "stick" to the magnets.  Here are some of the items we tested.

Before we started we made a chart.  We listed the things they would test.  We first made a guess for each item and then checked "yes" or "no" after we tested it. 

Next we learned that cans are usually made of aluminum or steel.  We gathered a few to test.  The ones that did not stick were aluminum.  We learned that old cans are melted so their metal may be used again.  Magnets are used to sort the cans so aluminum ones can be melted separately.

For our art lesson we used our science topic on ocean life to make a craft.  The boys chose to make a jellyfish.

the boys with their jellyfish

This was our latest read aloud book.  It is a great story about a lady, Miss Agnes, who spent a year teaching school in a rural Alaskan village back in 1948.

When we finished our classes we packed up our school room at our house in Chiquimula.  That room held a lot of great memories for the boys and I.  I will miss it but I look forward to getting our new school room set up and making memories in it as well.  
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