Friday, February 17, 2017

Valentine's Day 2017

We did a Valentine's Day countdown all month so by the time the holiday rolled around the boys were jumping with excitement.  The biggest disappointment came when Cruz realized that in spite of it being a holiday I still had plans to have school.  He was so upset that he had to do school on a holiday even though I assured him that kids all over the world were doing school as well.  I still don't think he believes me but oh well, he survived.

David took the boys to town on Valentine's Day eve to pick out some things for me.  I love that he did that.  I think they enjoyed getting to shop for me.  They came home with flowers, a balloon, and a gift to open the next morning. 

the boys coming home from town with roses and a balloon

my pretty roses sitting on our dining room table

I cooked a big supper that night and had an early celebration

Our dessert was David's gift from me- a pecan pie.  You can see he didn't wait for it to cool before trying it. 

After putting the boys to bed I decorated their bedroom door.  That is something I do on most all holidays.

the boys on Valentine's Day morning

some of their gifts

We enjoyed heart shaped pancakes for breakfast.

I started a new tradition this year for our family.  I took the Valentine's Day card exchange idea and turned it into something fun for us to do.  A few days earlier I sat out a bunch of our craft supplies and gave instructions for each of us to make a card for all family members.  They all surprised me at how much they put in to it especially David.  His cards were great!  We hid our cards from each other until Valentine's Day morning and exchanged them after breakfast.  The boys drove me crazy talking about their anticipation to give out their cards.  They were so hyped up about it!

making Valentine's cards for each other

our homemade family Valentine's Day cards

After breakfast we passed out our cards and then went around the table and one by one told the others something that we love about them.  I understand that it sounds like a corny idea but it was really a precious time.  Hearing such thoughtful things said to you from your family was so sweet.  I look forward to doing this again in the years to come. 

Me with my cards and gifts on Valentine's morning.  My guys made me feel very loved.

our family photo
 (a holiday tradition)

After school we drove into town to eat lunch at one of my favorite local spots- Vintage Cafe'. 

the boys enjoying bean tostadas for lunch on Valentine's Day

They spent the afternoon enjoying a playdate with a neighbor friend. 

That night we enjoyed pizza and chocolate cupcakes for supper.

We ended the day by watching our Charlie Brown Valentine's Day movie.  It is a tradition for us.

It was a simple day but a fun one.  I enjoyed celebrating with my little family and making new memories with them.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

This and That

Here is a little of life around here lately-

It's warm around here and the boys have been asking to swim. We recently blew up their inflatable pool and let them spend some time cooling off in it.  The heat gets old at times but we do love living in a year round warm climate. 

swimming on a recent afternoon

We enjoyed getting to watch the Super Bowl.  We try to watch it every year.  My boys might not grow up knowing much about football but I want them to know that it is a big part of American culture. 

As part of our Super Bowl celebration I try to make this football cake every year.  It just adds a little fun to our night.

We had some missionary friends come over and watch the game with us.  We enjoyed pizza and popcorn while watching the game outside in our backyard.  We set up the projector and watched it under the stars.  I love doing that!

our Super Bowl party

Most all of last week Cruz was sick.   He had fever and flu like symptoms similar to what Ben had a few weeks ago.  He seems to be doing better now but it is my turn.  I have felt terrible lately but like all moms you just keep on going, right?

We didn't get to teach our normal Thursday afternoon Bible study last week.  There were some protests taking place and the locals had all the major roads shut down. It had something to do with the cattle farmers not wanting their taxes increased.  

On Friday after school we drove to the town of Istanzuela to renew my Guatemalan driver's license.   It had been five years since my last one and it was going to expire later this month.   You start the process with an eye exam and then herd around through about five different counters getting stamps and signatures, pay your money, take a photo, and your done.  Thankfully it was not very busy that afternoon so the process was fairly quick.  My camera battery died so the next few photos were taken with my phone and are not very good quality.  

my new Guatemala driver's license

They only let the ones that are applying enter the building.  That meant David and the boys had to hang out elsewhere while I was inside.  When I came out I found them at a local ice cream shop enjoying an afternoon treat. 

That night when we got back into Chiquimula we met some friends at a local town park to let the kids play.  We all took bicycles so they could ride.  They had a lot of fun!  A church was having an evangelistic service in the park that night and had plans to show a movie.  While playing and visiting we enjoyed listening to their praise music and later on watching the movie on one of the screens they had set up.  It was a movie based on the story of the prodigal son.  

the kids watching a movie in the park

the boys on Saturday morning ready for a fun morning in town

we took them to the local theater to see Batman

On a side note- we are still learning tips on taking children to the theater. Passing a big bucket of popcorn back and forth is not easy with little ones.  One thing I have learned to do is take ziplock bags for the popcorn.  I put a few in my purse and then when we get seated I just fill them a bag full and they eat without much mess and fighting.  That's just a tip that works for us.


David taught in Nearar Sunday morning and then on Sunday evening we all went to worship at Bro. Fito's church in town.  

A few things to pray about are:  
1)  Our Nearar group has plans to start construction on the new building the last weekend of the month.  Pray that it gets off to a smooth start.  
2)  There are a few people wanting to be baptized from the village of Porto Suelo (praise the Lord!).  Pray for the details of that to be worked out.  
3)  Pray for the health of Nicolas in the village of La Libertad. 
4)  Pray for the father of one of our former agricultural students in the village of Lagunetas.  She recently called to tell us about an accident he had that involved him getting 20 stitches.  Usually when this happens we always get asked for money or help.  David listened to her share and then when he asked if they needed anything she simply said "I just called to ask you to pray for him".  That blew us away.  It is good to know that in time of need she thought to call us for prayer.  So, join us in praying for his recovery.  We tried to visit with them on Saturday afternoon but they were not home.  We hope to return soon.
6)  Continue to lift up Bro. Jose Maria and his congregation in El Palmar.  They have begun meeting in their new building even though it is not completely finished.  Pray that they would grow in numbers and be a lighthouse for the locals in that community.  We plan to join them again for worship soon.
5)  Lastly, Bro. Fito mentioned two churches that he knows of that are struggling and without pastors.  Both are in neighboring departments and not very close to where we are.  Pray for those believers to stay encouraged and for God to send someone to lead them.

 Happy hump day!  Hold on, the weekend is coming.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Homeschool Week 24: Testing The Waters

This week in Bible we covered the stories of Nicodemus and The Woman at the Well.  We learned a new song "Jesus, the Wonderful Friend".  Cruz began learning his new memory work for the month Matthew 18: 1-6.  He has Bible worksheets that go with most of our lessons.  One that we did this week had him write ten things he is thankful for. Here is what Cruz wrote:

family, toys, piano, Bible, church, house, food, me, bed, clothes  

Ben's Math lessons focused on counting 0-60 and writing numbers 0-15.

filling in the missing numbers

Cruz's math lesson focused on subtraction -9.  We begin our weeks by watching a math video that introduces the new lesson and then spend the next few days practicing it.  He takes a test every Friday to see if he has mastered that topic before we move on.

In Language Cruz focused on vocabulary words that end in ed, er, ing.  He also spent two days on "or" words (born, for, orbit, etc)    He took his next assessment test and did well.  He then began Storybook Reader #9. 

He learned about the Table of Contents page and how to use it.

reviewing A-B-C order

suffix review

Ben learned letter N.  His memory verse for the week was Matthew 6: 24- No man can serve two masters.

reviewing the letters and sounds that he has learned so far

picking up the letters in order

Every day he practices tying a shoe.  He is getting better and better at it.

In History we learned about Sacagawea.  She helped Lewis and Clark on their expedition by translating the Indian languages for them.  My boys definitely understand language barriers so learning about the Indians and their languages was something they could relate to.

I love to see how he illustrates his work each week.  I think he does a pretty good job for a first grader.

Our activity for the week was making a buffalo hide map.   We learned that after a successful hunt the Shoshone Indians would draw a map or picture of what had taken place.   This was a way to memorialize the men's bravery and their gratitude for the meat provided.  We used a crumbled up brown paper bag for our "hide" and the boys drew pictures depicting a buffalo hunt on them.

We learned about two States- Minnesota and Oregon.

Science was a lot of fun this week.  Our topic was thermometers.   They learned all about them and how they work.  They especially enjoyed our experiments as we tested to see if things were hot or cold.  Our first experiment had us testing water.  I sat out three mugs filled with hot, warm, and cold water.  The boys took turns moving the thermometer back and forth from the mugs.  Watching it move up and down just fascinated them. 

We put the thermometer outside for several minutes to see how hot it would get and then put it in the freezer for several minutes to see the difference.  They learned about hot air balloons and how they rise.  They also learned about body heat by using their hands to warm a cold thermometer.   We watched a few videos and also did an online activity using an infrared photo album to see the heat in several different objects.  That was very interesting to them.

We ended  the week by doing an experiment that has probably been their most favorite of all for the school year.  It was on expansion and contraction.  We used a bowl, a balloon, and a bottle to show how air expands when it is heated and contracts when it cools down.  We put the balloon over the bottle top and put it in hot water and cold water.  When we placed it in the cold water the balloon would suck down into the bottle.  We then moved it to the hot water and it would pop back out.  I even enjoyed doing this experiment.  It was really fun!

Cruz all ready to test our balloon

down it goes...

out it comes...

I LOVE Ben's face here.  They really enjoyed this week in Science.  Oh how I love these fun moments with my boys!

A video of our experiment.

In Art they drew a baby lamb.

Cruz's journal entries for the week were about "The funniest zoo animal is..." and "My dad's hobby is...".  Here is what he wrote and how he illustrated them-

"The funniest zoo animal is the baboon. It shows it's bottom.  They are very funny."

"My Dad's hobby is watching the news all day and drinking coffee.  He likes to drive the car."

We made a heart tree to add to our school room door. 

The boys cut strips of paper and then we stapled them to form hearts.  I traced their handprints and they cut them out for the tree trunk.  They glued the hearts on the tree.  We did this one night before bedtime.  In the middle of it Cruz looks over at me and asked "Mama, do you ever get tired?".   Oh, if he only knew!

Their finished trees.  I love them!

So, that sums up our week.  It sure was a fun one!  Thanks for following along on our homeschool journey.  We appreciate the prayers and encouragement that you offer us along the way.    
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