Friday, February 25, 2011

Another Comic Psalm, this time 100

We have moved onto the New Testament recently in our Scripture Study but my kids decided we needed to learn another Psalm. We have Psalm 23 memorized now and hardly even need the pictures that the kids drew in order to remember it. They asked for another one and I honestly didn't know  another that we should study. I have not done a very intense study of the Old Testament and the Psalms haven't ever been a huge part of my scripture memorization or focus.

Since my kids asked me for another one I decided to turn to my scriptures and see if I had anything underlined. I figured if I had it marked with color it must have been a good one. Nothing was colored. A verse here and there but I couldn't find a Psalm, a whole Psalm, that we should learn until I got to 100. For some reason I had a few verses in this one marked and it was short so I thought it must be a good one. We read through it and liked it. So we decided to set it to memory. I think it would be a good Thanksgiving time Psalm perhaps but we are full of Thanksgiving every day so it is good for study and memorization for any day.

And of course they had to make a comic strip of it as well. Ian and Sophie decided to each do their own this time rather than try to both work on the same one. It ended up being a bit of a collaboration anyway. They gave each other ideas for the images to use for each phrase anyway. They just each wanted to draw their own pictures.

Here is Ian's.

I wrote the words quickly on the squares marked off on the page. He then filled in the pictures.
"Make a Joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with Gladness"
I think it is funny that he drew a missionary for serve. I guess we really have pushed serving a Mission.

"Come before his presence with singing"
He chose to draw a picture of Co-op singing time. There is an easel which the leader uses to teach new music to the kids.
"Know ye that the Lord is God"
He drew a picture of the first vision.  I love that he came up with that image to fit that phrase!

"It is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves".
A man with tools... very fitting.
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture

Enter into His gates with Thanksgiving and into His courts with praise.

Be thankful unto Him and bless His name.

For the Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting.
I can tell Ian is getting tired of trying to come up with things to draw. He is just throwing in stick figures now.  But goodness and mercy are difficult for anyone to have to draw especially for a 7 year old.

His truth endureth to all generations
He has a man standing at the pulpit preaching truth. That is how he explained it to me. I talked him into adding the extra stick figures representing different ages of people.

Here is Sophie's finished product. She did the whole thing herself.
Wait.... I must have wrote the words for the first square and then she took over from there. She came up with some great images. I certainly wouldn't have thought of them. They are full of detail. So here are the close up versions. Sorry to have so many pictures in this post but I couldn't leave out any of them and I need to preserve these for them.

So does anyone one have any ideas for other Psalms we could learn? My kids seem to really like this exercise. It doesn't work as well with other scriptures. The Psalms are so visual in their language. I think I am just going to have to study this book of scripture and see what stands out to me. I don't see too many more colored/marked verses in this part of my Bible so perhaps it is time to really dig in and enjoy these words of David.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I am usually a pretty healthy person. I don't have any chronic health issues and I am not taking any medications, prescribed or over the counter, on any regular basis. I will get the occasional cold and once in awhile get a stomach bug but most of the time I am "as I should be". The last two weeks have changed things. The cold/flu that we got two weeks ago and that lasted a long time just hasn't completely gone. I have had ear pain (I actually can't even hear out of that ear) and sinus pressure in one cheek accompanied by headaches and lots of nose blowing. I have been taking all sorts of over the counter stuff over the last two weeks and nothing seems to be helping me.

So I emailed my doctor with my symptoms and she prescribed me some antibiotics. (Hurray! I didn't have to actually go in and see the doctor) I went to pick them up today and took the first pill. Within hours my cold symptoms have changed into stomach virus type symptoms. Not actually changed because I still can't hear and my head still aches. I just have added on the lovely trips to the bathroom to relieve my bowl or my belly of anything and everything that is inside. (Sorry about the "overshare") I called the ask a nurse to see if I should continue with the antibiotic. The papers the pharmacy gave me say that v. and d. are side effects. The nurse says it is just a coinsidence, that the drug wouldn't have cause this kind of reaction so quickly. What luck! I seem to have two sicknesses at the same time!?

I really hope I return to my normal state of affairs soon. I am sure my husband and kids would like to have the non-cranky and more available me back. This version of me isn't as fun..... for anyone!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Good Things!

Today, when the kids were finishing up a few things so we could be ready to go to co-op this afternoon,  Ian said "This week went by quickly".  I thought that was a good assessment of the week. It was a quick week and things seemed to go quite smoothly.  Here is a short list of what I think went well and why.

One on one school time with each child - I don't know why I have tried to do it any other way. We do pledge, prayer, scripture, songs, memory work and then with Molly down for a nap each child gets my undivided attention for their Math and writing. Ian usually is first since he grabs his books quickly and sets to work. Sophie always has her nose in a book and Henry has to be prodded to get his work out. But instead of trying to get everyone on task at the same time. I sat down with Ian and just watched him do his Explode the Code and Math. It was only 20 min or so but he was thrilled to finally have me all to himself and not have me try to help him and Henry at the same time.
Henry then got my attention and Ian got to run off to play, read or whatever for a bit. Henry was able to stay on task a lot better if I was sitting there for him to read his work to me. Then when he was done it was Sophie's turn.

Sophie's new writing program - I finally broke down and bought Writing with Ease. I actually bought the first three workbooks to see where I thought Sophie should start and decided to start easy with the 2nd workbook and build up to the harder work. I don't want her to hate writing and since I haven't done anything formal with her I thought this best. This week has gone well. I like having the almost scripted assignment each day. They are short and easy for now.
I am going to start Ian on level 1 when he finishes this last book of Explode the Code. He is almost done with 4 1/2 and I think it has run it's course. Explode the code was great for teaching him how to read but I think a change to writing will be good for him.

Life of Fred - Sophie finished her Singapore 4B book a week ago and we are now doing Life of Fred Fractions every day.  Sophie loves it. I have the decimals book also so I think we may go through that one as well before going back to Singapore. It may be hard to go back to Singapore after the fun of Life of Fred. The assignments are short and so far are pretty easy. I like that Sophie is getting to review some of the things she has already learned but in a fun way. She has never been a fan of review but she doesn't complain about Fred.

Valentines Day gifts -  Each of the kids got a Webkinz bird and book for Valentines day. Sophie got a bright red cardinal and the new American girl book. Henry got his The Way We Work (He has been asking for this book ever since we borrowed it from the library and had to return it. He loves his Human Body books!) and a green Budgie bird.  Ian got a Robin and an easy piano book. He is learning to play the Star Wars and Indiana Jones themes now.
I didn't make any treats or have any candy for them. I thought gifts would be better. They spent the day reading their new books, or playing with their new birds. No candy was missed.

We also did make some nice Valentines to give to Grandmas. They went along with our study of the Victorian time period for History and they kept the kids busy cutting out flowers for a long time.

Nice long Naps - Molly has spent the week a little more cranky and a little more clingy due to a cold. But at least she also slept for 3 hours or so each day. That makes for lots of "school time". We did a lot of history reading and activities as well as read aloud the entire Ozma of Oz in just three days, during these Molly free afternoons.

Rain - We have been praying for rain. This week we have gotten a few good days of rain. It is nice to have Winter make an appearance again. I was starting to think Spring was going to come too early this year. There are so many of the spring flowers already popping out.

We are all finally starting to feel like the sickness is passing. The coughs are a lot less frequent and I think I am the only one who is still blowing my nose all the time. If I could just hear out of my left ear I would say I was doing quite well.  Hopefully it will resolve itself soon. I haven't been to the YMCA in 2 weeks due to sickness. I miss my exercise each day. But perhaps that also has something to do with the ease of doing our school work. Something to think about?! Maybe it is disruptive to our day?

Oh... well... At least we had a good week and are looking at a long weekend :). 

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Long and Hard Week

 Try not to notice the mess in the background. With a household full of sick people and the cook/maid/teacher/mom out of commission too it doesn't leave the home looking too spic and span.  But just take a look at that face. That is the face of the only member of our family to not have gotten this sickness. How did he do it? The rest of us (His Dad too excaped so far with only minor symptoms) have spent days on end feeling rather miserable.  Molly was the last to get it and is still suffering the rest of us are finally starting to feel normal again. But Henry somehow made it, lived right along side us for a week of coughing and sneezing without seeming to catch even a sniffle. Of course this has been a little difficult to deal with since all the rest of us wanted to do was climb back under the covers and sleep or huddle on the couch and listen to our audio books while Henry was busy as ever. He had cabin fever so bad by the end of the third day. But he tried to keep himself entertained by playing games with Molly, like Pretty Pretty Princess.

My kids also have decided Popcorn is the best food for the sick. We had a large bowl full just about everyday. It was something they could make themselves and all enjoyed.  Molly especially enjoys watching the new air popper quickly turn a little bit of corn kernels into a fluffy snack.

After our marathon long day of audio books on Monday, Henry wouldn't allow us to have yet another day like that. He insisted on doing something. So we watched a few of the school videos that have seemed to sit on the shelf. We finally watched the shows on light and color. We also watched a few biography type shows about Alexander Gram Bell and Thomas Edison. Bill Nye the Science guy was their favorite.
We needed to keep our boy busy. So we did a few projects.  We tried to build the suspension bridge. I can't say it worked completely. I think I mangled the milk cartons a little too much when cutting them because they weren't as strong as they really needed to be in order for the strings to really hold up the roadway. But it worked enough for them to get the idea.

Mostly we listened to audiobooks and just relaxed. We have now listened to almost all the Ramona Quimby and the Henry Huggins stories by Bevery Cleary. We also added in Chocolate Fever. Which was sort of fun to listen to while we were all feeling sick.  And we fit in a few Classical Kids CD's just for a change of pace. The Magic Flute was a welcome change after hours of listening to the same voice read book after book to us.

Molly too wasn't really sick until Friday. She and Henry kept the rest of us from wallowing too much in our ailments I guess.

This is Molly's new favorite position. She grabs a book of the shelf and flops down on the floor and lays on her tummy looking at the pictures.  If I am in the chair she will throw the book at me to look at with her. But if I am not available then she takes this position on the floor and goes through book after book.
It is very cute to watch her look at books and point at different things and jabber in her sweet little voice. She loves to find all the birds in books. But really it doesn't matter what kind of book it is she loves to just turn to pages and look at what ever happens to show up.
If anyone sits still for any length of time they usually get a book thrown at them and they too have to look at books with Molly. Here a patient, sick Ian is looking at the book with Molly. What a nice brother! He was even trying to read the words of the Magic School bus book to her. She usually doesn't let us still on any one page too long so reading a book to her doesn't happen too often. Mostly she just likes to look and have us tell her what she is pointing at.
What is really amazing about all of this is the Molly actually puts her books back on the shelf. Not always but almost always picks the book up when she is done looking at it and shoves it back in the shelf, not always gently or to the books benefit but at least it is back on the shelf. This is something she needs to teach her siblings to do. There always seems to be an assortment of books strewn about the front room.

So after almost a week straight of staying home and going nowhere. I decided we needed to go to co-op. It was Art class and Valentine Party day. This is not the day to miss. So while we were showing signs of finally overcoming our sickness we made Valentines and mailboxes so we would be ready for the party.
The kids were so excited to finally have a project but also they were thrilled to be finally getting out of the house. A week, with only a few short walks outside for sunshine, is a very LONG time to be sick.
I am glad we finally are able to reenter the world of the healthy. If only Molly would recover now. She was miserable today, but even so, she didn't stop us from dragging her to co-op. We all really needed that party and that interaction with human kind.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hit Hard with Sickness

We are under the weather today, literally! It is a beautiful, sunny, almost 70 degree weather outside but my kids and I are all stuck inside lounging around on the couch.  We caught a nasty little bug and we are all suffering with headaches and sore throats and lots of drippy noses.

When I was a kid and I got sick and stayed home from school I would spend the day on the couch and watch t.v.  I remember watching reruns of I Love Lucy and the Price is Right and things like that. My kids on the other hand have decided they just want to listen to stories. They haven't even asked about t.v. or movies. I guess they are programmed to think of screen time as only on Saturday so didn't even think that it was an option today. I was happy not to have to tell them no. They are spending the day listening to audio books. I am glad I stocked up on a bunch last week at the library. We have almost the entire Ramona series on Audio CDs and have spent our sick day listening to Ramona as she grows up and goes from 1st and 2nd grade and on to third. (We had listened to the Kindergarden year before) We are now on our third book today (they are kinda short, only 2 disks each)
What could be better than a day off of school and getting to listen to some fun stories. My kids are all laying together with blankets and pillows on the now laid out futon. They are wimpering and whining about feeling sick but are enjoying the stories.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Psalms 23 - Comic Version

We have been reading the Old Testament Stories together for school recently. We read the story of David and Goliath on Friday and then started this week with David as the King of Israel. We read about how David wrote songs or Psalms and of course had to read some of them. I also thought it would be good for us to put one to memory. One of the most well known is Psalms 23 so we started with that one.
We have been trying to memorize these 6 verses all week, with little success. Sophie and I had about half of it down and Ian sort of could recite some of it but got frustrated. I thought we needed a new approach. I knew we needed some visuals. Pictures were very helpful as we memorized The Living Christ so I suggested we make pictures to go along with each phrase of the Psalm.  It turned out to be a very cute comic strip.

I was thrilled with the way they worked together each taking turns drawing and telling the other what sort of picture it should be. O.k... so maybe Sophie did most of the drawing and more of the telling but Ian was there and did get to put his two cents in a little bit.  I like to think it really helped them put these ideas and phrases into their heads.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.  He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for thou art with me;
Thy rod and they staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.
Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

My kids really loved this "exercise". They thought it was fun. Don't let them know it was actually work.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Can a girl have too many shoes?

With four kids and two adults in the house there seems to be a whole lot of shoes floating around. Each child has a pair of dress/church shoes, a pair of crocks, and tennis shoes. Then there are a few extra pairs of shoes that each has that leaves us with a lot of shoes to sift through to find the right ones when it is time to head out the door.

I try really hard to not spend more than 10-12$ on a pair of shoes but I also hate to buy cheep ones so I hit ebay when my kids suddenly jump to a new size. I am always amazed that I can find brand new of almost brand new shoes there for 10$ or less. I have just moved both Ian and Sophie up a size and a half so each needed 3 new pairs of shoes. And Ebay was where I shopped and found some great shoes. Luckly Henry can wear Ian's outgrown shoes for awhile. But my kids are hard on their clothes and shoes so not everything can be passed down. Plus he is feeling a bit deprived because the others get packages in the mail with stuff for them. Henry wants a package too.

I have yet to buy any shoes for Molly. No that isn't quite true. I did buy her a pair of pink soft soled shoes. Every other pair she has worn has either been given to us from friends or saved from the other kids.  Yesterday I finally went through the box of shoes I have saved from all the other kids. I couldn't believe how many pairs of shoes we have in baby size 5. These are all the shoes from the boys and Sophie and some from a friend who just recently gave me a few pairs that her little girl had outgrown.

Molly has so many choices now. Boots, sandels, athletic shoes, water shoes, slippers, mary janes. I don't think I even have this many shoes.

Molly is a bit of a shoe diva. She loves shoes and is somewhat particular about the shoes that she wears I think most of these will be making their way to Goodwill or maybe the DI truck.
I just hope she doesn't grow out of this size shoe for at least a few months. I haven't looked at what I have saved for the next size. I guess it is good to have a bunch of older siblings.