Monday, August 22, 2016

Week 2: Smooth Sailing

Our second week of school went really well.  I am figuring out more and more how to tag team the boys and keep them both busy and occupied.  We are learning our new routine and it is all starting to gel together nicely.  Here is a look at our second week of school-

This week our Bible lessons were on The Resurrection of Christ and How to Grow Spiritually.  We began learning a few new songs- He's Still Working on Me and Jesus Loves Even Me.  I love hearing my boys sing these songs!  Cruz is continuing to memorize John 3:14-19.   In our doctrinal drill time we talked a lot about sin.  Some of the things we discussed were: what is sin?, who sins?, does God like sin?, does God hate us when we sin?, and how can we have our sins forgiven?

In Math Cruz focused on counting and writing numbers 1-20.  Ben was also counting and learning to write the number two.  

Ben doing a math activity

In Language Cruz is still reviewing the alphabet.  This week we focused on letters F-J.   He began reading some BOB books.  He also started back with sight words.  We played several rounds of alphabet Go Fish and alphabet Bingo.  He loves to play games. 

putting the alphabet in order

handwriting practice

love that smirk!

Ben continued with colors.  This week he had purple, brown, black, pink, and grey.  His curriculum (Sing Spell Read and Write Preschool) has some cute songs that go along with what he is learning.  We really like the colors song and sing it each day before we begin our lesson. 

coloring things that are brown

doing an alphabet game

another matching alphabet game

He has daily name writing practice.  I printed another one of these sheets and laminated it to begin using next week with dry erase markers.  Have I mentioned just how much I love having a laminating machine?  Oh my I am just a little bit obsessed! 

my big boy Ben

In Health we began learning about good habits.  After reading through our lesson I gave Cruz some magazines and had him cut out pictures of things that show good habits to make a poster with.  Here he is with his poster-
His poster showed taking naps, brushing teeth, exercise, eating good food, making my bed, cleaning up my toys, practicing music, and what would that thing at the bottom be?  Some flowers?  Yes, he cut out flowers for his poster and said that "taking flowers to your mama" was a good habit.  I like that one most of all!

I had made this sign at the beginning of the school year as a morning checklist for the boys.  It went really well with this week's lesson.  Each morning when we begin school they tell me if they 1) got dressed 2)  brushed their hair  3)  brushed their teeth and 4)  made their bed.

Our Science lesson was on Solutions and Dilution.  We did two experiments this week.  Our first one was called Kool-Aid Chemistry.  We made really strong glasses of Kool-Aid.  We then kept adding water to dilute it and tasting it to see the difference.  The boys really enjoyed this.

Our second experiment was with paint.  They each chose a color of paint and painted a stripe across their paper.  We then kept mixing white paint to our original color to see the difference it made as we painted.  I love how pretty these turned out.  Cruz chose blue and Ben chose purple.

In History we learned about Christopher Columbus.

Cruz's handprint with an orange drawn on it. 

Cruz told me that he was glad that I did not name him Christopher Columbus because he would not want to have to write that name everyday. ha

To go along with our history theme I made us a fun lunch one day.  We made ships out of construction paper that held our sandwiches and chips. 

the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria

fun times!

I also made these jello cups to go along with the theme.

The boys painted paper towel rolls to make a telescope.

looking for land like Christopher Columbus

This week we learned about Pennsylvania.  Our favorite facts were:  1)  Hershey chocolate is made there 2)  Crayola crayons are made there 3)  Little League Baseball was founded there, and 4)  more mushrooms are produced there than any other State. 

We began a weekly art lesson using a fun book I picked up while in the States over the summer.  It is a step by step follow the instructions art guide to drawing baby animals.  They enjoyed it and have already asked what animal we will be drawing next week. 

our art book

The first week we drew a bear cub.  We go step by step and they follow my instructions as I draw on our dry erase board. 

My bear cub- yikes!  I could definitely use some art practice myself. ha

Cruz's bear cub

I think Ben did pretty well for a four year old. 
(but his name off to the side... oh my)

I'll leave you with this photo of my two wildcats on Friday.  We were all ready for the weekend to arrive.  School is a lot of fun but so is having a few days off. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ministry Update

We had missed several weeks of the Bible study in Tunuco Arriba due to our trip to the States.  We were very thankful that our ministry partner Miguel stepped up and agreed to drive Mrs. Diana each week to continue the study.  I think he really enjoyed getting to be a part of it.  This past Wednesday we all were there together to celebrate the end of the study for the school year.  The official end of the school year for Guatemala is not until October but due to the Lubeck's fall travel to the States we end our time there a little earlier.  Mrs. Diana put a lot of work into the closing program and did a wonderful job.  The kids, parents, and teachers all enjoyed it a lot.

The Lubecks use these puppets that are dressed in Chorti clothing in their ministry.  The kids love them!

Mrs. Diana presenting awards to some of the students

they presented each teacher with a Bible

Please continue to pray for the students in this village over the next few months.  Lord willing the Bible study will be back up and going for the 2017 school year that begins in January.

On Thursday afternoon we headed to our weekly Bible study.  This week we met in the village of Porto Suelo.   We were invited into a new home there to have a Bible study.  Some of the family in that home have been attending our study in the other areas and wanted to host us in their home.  There were several people we met for the first time.  David gave a great clear presentation of the gospel and we ask you to join us for new believers in that area.  We hope to get invited back again real soon.  

We turned off of the normal mountain road onto a lesser traveled trail to get there.  If you have been with us on this road to Nearar, Porto Suelo, and Muyurco then you can only imagine what a road off of that was like. 

my boys playing in Porto Suelo while David parked the car

This picture doesn't really show the steepness of this hill but it zigzagged straight up those rocks.  This was on the hike back to the car.  Most Thursdays we get a pretty good workout.

On Saturday morning we made a few home visits in the villages of Lagunetas and Churischan.  Our next study in Lagunetas will be on August 27.    Be praying for that day.  Pray also for Rigoberto and his family in Churischan to stay strong in their faith. Pray for his wife Luz Maria who has been battling bad headaches for some time now.  Pray for God's healing in this area of her life. 

Ben, Brooke, and Cruz hiking in Churischan on Saturday morning

Brooke is a student from the States that spent the week with us.  She is spending the summer with another missionary family but they could not host her last week so we took her in.  My boys really enjoyed having her around.  Pray for Brooke as she is seeking the Lord about her future plans. 

David led Bible study in Nearar on Sunday morning.  This week Miguel was able to go with him.  Continue to lift up that weekly study and for the construction project that the group is doing.  

This week we will be back in Muyurco on Thursday afternoon and in Nearar on Sunday morning.  Pray for these two times of study and that we would share the Bible with passion and power.  What a blessing it is to teach the Word of God and help make disciples of Christ.  Pray for us as we do both of those each week. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Our First Week of School 2016

Our first week back in school was a fun one but it was also filled with a lot of trial and error.  I am still trying to get back in the groove and find our routine.  Trying to balance two students this year instead of one has been a challenge.  I was pretty tired by the time Friday rolled around.  We'll get a system worked out soon enough and things should go more smoothly in the weeks ahead.

We did a lot though and here is a look at some of the fun we had-

We begin our days with Bible class.  We start by saying the Pledge of Allegiance and singing a patriotic song.  This week it was "My Country Tis of Thee".   We read a Bible story, do some doctrinal drills, sing some songs, and work on our memory verses.  This year in first grade Cruz will learn one long passage each month.  This month he is learning John 3: 14-19.  Ben will begin learning a verse each week when he starts the alphabet.  This year I added the Pledge to the Christian Flag to our morning routine.  I plan to add the Pledge to the Bible next school year.
Ben holding our Christian flag as we say the pledge to it. 

In language Cruz is reviewing the alphabet.  He has a letter each day and several worksheets that go with each letter.  This week we covered A-E.

 Cruz working an alphabet puzzle 

His math lesson was place value.  

ones, tens, and hundreds

This picture makes me smile.  He was working hard on his math that day.

Science was fun.  Our topic was solids and liquids.  Our experiment for the week was making cookie crayons.  I love doing hands on things with my boys!  We peeled the paper off of old crayons, broke them into small pieces, placed them in a muffin tin, and baked them.  The point was to see the crayons go from a solid to a liquid and back to a solid again.  Once completed the boys got to use their new crayons to draw pictures.  

peeling and breaking crayons 
What boy doesn't like to tear something up, ha.

all ready to bake

our beautiful crayon cookies

even David got in on the fun and colored with the new crayons

In Health we started a series on growth and habits. This week focused on growing tall.  We used some ruler tape and made a growth chart.  I measured the boys and we'll do it again regularly throughout the school year. 

Cruz is 46 inches tall.  Ben is 41 inches tall.

 Cruz did this drawing in his notebook for Health. 

History was my favorite part of the week.  We began learning about Native Americans.  We learned about their dress, what they ate, how they hunted, and how they made their housing.  We learned about Indian mounds and specifically studied about the Great Serpent Mound in Ohio.  It was very interesting for all of us. 

Our project for the week was making wampum beads.  We spread it out over three days.  The first day we made the beads.  The second day we painted them.  The third day we strung them on yarn and wore them.  It was a lot of fun!

I think their favorite part was making the dough and playing in it.  We used flour, salt, water, and oil to make the dough.  We then rolled it into small balls, used a toothpick to put a hole in the center, and then baked them in the oven.  

Our beads ready to be baked.  We made several different sizes.

painting their beads

 stringing their beads

Their Indian bead necklaces.  They were so proud!

In our read aloud time we began this book by Clyde Robert Bulla.  

The first State we learned about was Delaware.

Ben had a fun week studying colors.  The first two weeks we are doing a different color each day.  This week he had red, blue, green, yellow, and orange.  Here are a few of his papers.  He did a lot of coloring, cutting, and gluing.  Cruz was a little jealous because he said that Ben got to do all of the fun stuff.  

On this sheet he got to cut yarn and glue it on the nest.  Next he colored the bird blue and then put glitter paint on the bird and leaves.  He enjoyed all of it.

We made a new batch of noodles to use throughout the school year using rubbing alcohol, food coloring, and dried macaroni.  We made red, blue, green, yellow, orange, and purple. 

our pretty noodles

Ben using the noodles in math one day.  I gave him a number chart and he had to count out the correct amount of noodles for each number.

Here he is doing a math puzzle. In addition to counting his numbers he began writing the number 1.

It was a busy week especially when you add in household things and ministry.  My plate is full these days.  Pray for me to keep it all well balanced. 
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