27 April 2007

Game Day

Today was Game Day in our house. Due to my lack of oomph in the homeschool department these last few weeks, I decided to bag our traditional learning schedule (which some might say is not so traditional to begin with) in favor of a more fun, more relational learning day. Game Day.

Simple plan: There are four of us in our school, we'll choose four games from four different learning categories. Each person gets to pick one. We'll choose one math game, one puzzle, one word game, and one action game.
Each kid had a favorite category and knew right away which game they were going to "host" for us.

Math-brain Rebekah chose a Gardening game from the Math Mouse set. (It's an almost-12 year old set my mother gave me. She used it when she homeschooled my youngest brother and sister. Written by Cathy Duffy. I couldn't find a link to it.) We each had an imaginary garden which we were tending in order to earn a little spending $. Lots of outflow to get that garden plot tilled in the beginning, but once you harvest and market your imaginary radishes and watermelons, you're rolling in the dough! We learned dollar values, place value notation, adding and subtraction with regrouping and borrowing, and all sorts of other math-ish things.

Ellie the actress chose Charades for Kids as our action game. Acting the part of going to the dentist was a highlight. Anna, my partner, nearly scraped all the skin off the roof of my mouth. Remind me to steer her clear of dental school. Lots of laughter, lots of imagination, lots of physical activity on this rainy day.

Anna chose to play a Moms and Babies puzzle. To make it more interesting for my oldest two, I tossed out the challenge to find the baby that changed the most as it grew into an adult. The hands-down winner was the tadpole and the frog. In the process, the big girls were learning to be gentle teachers to their younger sister. She was learning to take instruction from someone a little more seasoned at puzzle-putting-togethering. And we also got to talk a little bit about what is a genetic difference between a parent and a child (ie. I have light brown hair and my kids have blonde) vs. a maturity difference between children and parents (ie. all fawns are born with white spots but as they mature, all deer lose their spots). I'm sure there is some scientific word to differentiate between the two. Tell me if you know what it is.

The game I chose for the word game was, Apples to Apples Junior. I love that game. My husband says it's a girl game. "Because you like to talk so much, you're interested in what words mean so you can add them to your arsenal." I think he just says that because he never wins at it.
So anyway, the highly intelligent and wordy women in my household enjoyed learning about nouns and adjectives, and using our creativity to come up with the best word match available. And we laughed a lot. I've done enough shouting and struggling lately. It's not getting us very far. I enjoyed laughing today.

Believe it or not, I haven't even gotten to my main point. (Ok, you believe it, I know.) I thought of this word game a few weeks ago, but just haven't had a spare moment to post it.
You know I love word games. (Because I'm a female who talks so much and therefore I'm interested in what words mean so I can add them to my arsenal.)

In honor of Game Day in our house, here's the game.
I write out ONE WORD. Whoever happens upon this post next will choose ONE LETTER from my ONE WORD and will write ONE MORE WORD that starts with that ONE LETTER and is somehow RELATED to the previous ONE WORD. Like this...

I write, " W I N T E R"
And my mom comes along, chooses the letter "E" from "winter", and writes "E S K I M O"
Then my not-so-wordy husband sees that and chooses "S" from "Eskimo" and types "S A L M O N"
And so on.

Play as many times as you want. I'm interested to see your brains at work. ;)

Here's my word...


26 April 2007

Turning Melody into Harmony

I spent the first weekend of the month in North Carolina visiting with these ladies. Meet two of my good buds, Rhonda (center) and Sandi (right).

A more unlikely threesome, you may never find. Which always makes us smile, shake our heads and give each other a hug when we think about it. These unlikeliest of friendships often give the most joy because you're simply in awe of how God orchestrates things.

Rhonda holds 2 degrees in 2 very technical and challenging fields. She is a professional. She is organized. She is on time. She is prepared. She has a plan. She's done her research. She runs the show.
The. Girl. Gets. Things. Done.

I'm a little more, shall we say, flighty.
On first glance, ten years ago, I would never have put the two of us together.

Sandi holds post-graduate degrees and several book titles with her name under them. She is a ministry leader and public speaker and a visionary. Sandi is a literary thinker. She can run with the big dogs of philosophy and culture.

The. Girl. Knows. How. To. Think.

I'm a little more, shall we say, simple.
On first glance, eight years ago, I would never have put the two of us together.

Now, I look at this photo taken 4 weeks ago, smile, and shake my head. This 2X3 inch photo represents Christ's ability to take three melodies from three very different lives and blend them together into a charming three-part harmony. The very things about these two women that once made me think, "It's just not possible," "Never in a million years," and sometimes even, "Run for the hills!" are the very things that make our friendship work so well.

Low, middle and high notes swirl around the three of us when we're together. These two add organization, motivation, creativity, insight, sensitivity, critical thinking, and compassion to areas where I simply do not possess it.

I have always enjoyed listening to a well-toned harmony. A well-toned, supernatural harmony is icing on the cake.

animated music notes

P.S. These are the faces of SoulPerSuit.

P.P.S. Sandi almost missed her flight for this get-together weekend. My car broke down on the way there. Rhonda nearly had a collision on the way to pick Sandi up at the airport. Leatherwing said that since we'd all defied death to be together that weekend, that something of COSMIC significance was going to happen while we were together. He just knew it.

Well, something of cosmic significance did happen that weekend.

This is the first picture we've taken of all three of us together.

(And my computer wouldn't give it up either! We almost had one less computer in this house.)

19 April 2007

Maroon, Orange and Hokie Hope

I graduated from Virginia Tech in 1994.
As a student there, I was heavily involved in Campus Crusade for Christ.
While I do not presently know anyone who is a student at VT, I know several of the CCC staff members at VT who are not only reeling from Monday's tragedy, but are being called upon to bear witness to the sovereignty of God. There are many tears, many questions, much fear, and many hugs. And more questions. And more tears.

Aerial looking up the Alumni Mall, across the Drillfield, and to the mountains

Friday, April 20th is a VT alumni-organized "Hokie Hope Day." If you own any item of clothing that's maroon or orange, consider wearing it tomorrow to remind you to pray for healing and open doors for the Gospel in Blacksburg.


These prayer items came to me by way of the Campus Crusade Director at VT. Use them to direct your prayers, if needed.
  • Pray for the families and friends of students who were killed—that they would turn to God for His comfort and strength. Four of the students were involved with Campus Crusade at Virginia Tech.
  • Pray for the survivors of the shootings who witnessed the horrors of that day. Pray for God's grace and comfort.
  • Pray for wisdom for the Campus Crusade staff and other campus ministers and pastors as they seek to counsel and love the hurting students.

Here is an excerpt of an E-mail sent out by one of the CCC staff at VT. It helps to put reality to the situation. These were real people. They were students, friends, roommates, boyfriends, girlfriends, sister and brothers, sons and daughters. They are mourned and missed.

Thanks again for all of you who continue to pray for us and comfort us with your kind e-mails and phone calls. Today hasn't really been much better than yesterday, if any better. While yesterday shocked us immensely, today we have come to find that the people we were praying for yesterday have, in fact, gone to be with the Lord. Mary Read and Lauren McCain have been confirmed dead today. They were both freshmen women who were heavily involved in the movement. Mary was signed up to lead a Bible study next year. Lauren has faithfully served the Bridges International ministry that I lead all this year. I knew her pretty well and recall her passion for the Lord through prayer. She had such joy when she would praise the Lord in prayer times. She had a heart to see people from around the world come to know Christ. While we mourn the losses, we're comforted that both of these women are worshiping the Lord in His presence at this very moment.

We also learned today that another student involved in our ministry, Jarrett Lane , was also murdered yesterday. We had not met Jarrett, but he regularly attended our meetings and even went on our Fall Retreat conference in October.

Pray for a couple students who witnessed the events yesterday. Molly is a freshman girl who is involved in our ministry who was the first person to discover the bodies in the residence hall yesterday morning. She obviously knew both people well since they were both on her hall. I'm sure her dorm will never feel like home again. Clay is a Senior who has been involved in our ministry for several years. He was in one of the classrooms that the gunman came into and he was the only person in his class of about 20 people who left the classroom unharmed. While he wasn't physically harmed, he is in severe shock. Please pray that the Lord will be giving both of them comfort as they deal with this tragedy. I can't even begin to imagine what they are going through.

We continue to ask you to pray for us as we cope with the loss in our own lives and pray that the Lord would give us supernatural wisdom in how to best minister to students as they mourn the loss of friends. Also be praying for the students who have lost friends as well as parents and family members who have lost loved ones in this tragedy. Many people are dealing with the shock and loss of friends, classmates, and family members. Jesus said, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Please pray that the Lord would truly bless and comfort those who are mourning tonight. Lauren has a brother who was involved in our ministry a few years ago, Joel. He has been teaching English in Japan for the past year and I'm sure is on his way home now. Thanks for all your prayers!

In Christ, we have a hope that does not disappoint. We will see Mary, Lauren and Jarrett again someday.


Finally, the blog address to read Virginia Tech's Campus Crusade updates.

Tragedy at Virginia Tech

16 April 2007

Pray for the Hokies

I'm a graduate of Virginia Tech.

Please pray for the students, their parents, the staff and faculty, and the population of Blacksburg today. No one ever expects stuff like this to happen.

15 April 2007

Love in a Hurricane

The gale-force winds blow.
Your arms and legs are wrapped around a tree.
The will to live.
Praying for salvation.
Praying you can ride out the storm.
And just make it to the end so you can continue to occupy the same location on the planet.

Sometimes you have to take a look at the tree you're hanging onto as though your life depended on it.

Can this tree you're hanging onto even withstand the force of the wind?
Is life beneath this tree worth clinging to? So desperately?
Perhaps this gale is romance.
Perhaps it's time to let go of the tree and let the wind carry you where it will.
From the wilderness
To the Land of Milk and Honey.

"The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."
John 3:8

Terminate My Resume 1 and 2, Erin, SoulPerSuit

10 April 2007

Updated Archive List

I've been meaning, for quite a while now, to set up an archive of my previous posts about homeschooling.

Whoot! Theyit is! Whoot! Theyit is!
(I feel like I just sunk a three-pointer)

If you find yourself here in search of something homeschool-ish, my past philosophy-of-education related posts and lots of pictures of our KONOS activities are now slightly organized and accessable. In the side bar to the right, you'll see the best directory a girl who doesn't speak html could come up with.

If you happen to be here for some other reason and don't care a whit about homeschooling, I'm so glad you're here, but I can't direct you to much of anything. What should we talk about?


Lost's title card.
My husband and I have been watching the TV series, LOST for the last year or so. I tried to avoid it, but our relatives kept on and on about what a great show it was so eventually, I got sucked in too. Let me tell you, it's a head trip, that show.

Last week, two characters from opposing "sides" (Kate and Juliet) woke up in the middle of the jungle, handcuffed together.
They both happen to have an affection for the same guy. They both happen to not really like or trust each other. And they both happen to know martial arts. Makes for an interesting scene, don't ya think?

Hiking through the jungle together, Juliet, nursing a dislocated shoulder c/o Kate, launches into the Other's (the weirdly omniscient cult society to which she belongs) main war tactic. Psychology.

"Do you really think you know Jack, Kate? You don't know anything about him. I know where he was born. Where he went to college. His GPA. Where he did his doctor's residency. How is parents met. I know how he met his wife. I know why they got divorced. What do you know about him, Kate?"

I admit it's really odd that a psychological society on an uncharted tropical island maintains updated FILE FOLDERS on all the survivors of a recent plane crash. But what really got me was that Kate apparently thought she'd been bested by Juliet in that moment. She had no response. I could have just yelled at that TV screen.
"What?! YOU know Jack! You know him better than she does! Who cares what college he went to and where he did his residency? Knowing that stuff and carrying it around in a file folder doesn't mean she KNOWS Jack at all. She knows a little bit about him, but she can't say she knows him. That's plain ludicrous." Oh yeah. I was getting riled. ;)

So what do we do with this?
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' "

Matthew 7:21- 23

How much of my God-experience is me carrying around a "file folder" full of updated information? Am I trusting that file folder to be the stand-in for a relationship?

06 April 2007

You Thneed My Super Sucking Blog Power

It's official.
I think.
See, I got a shiny award because I think.

(If you all knew the goofy collection of certificates, awards, plaques and trophies I displayed for so many years as a kid... And the pride I took in those things! Most of them were purple and said "Participant" in gold foil. But they were MINE. And they were shiny.)

Truthfully though, I suck. Your ideas. From your blogs. I feel like The Black Hole of All Thought, because the many Thinking Bloggers out there have way higher and way deeper thoughts than I ever could. I spend most of my blogtime reading, reading and reading other blogs and saying, "Hmmmm." "Yeaaaaaaah!" and "Eureka!"

Well folks, the Thinking Blog train stops here. Please open up your minds and let me suck out every last consciousness. (This won't hurt a bit.)
Heather, I don't have any music with vacuuming sounds. You'll have to provide your own sucking noises.

Ok, here's the situation.
The blogging universe requires punctuation. (Did you bust a rap right there?)
I'm not a writer. I can barely rub two commas together to make a fire.
Then why do I blog? To empty my brain of all lucidity, of course. Silly people. I'm THE BLACK HOLE OF ALL THOUGHT, dontcha know.

So, of course, that being said, I'm ecstatic that anyone ventures over here to read something I write. Just plain fit to be tied. In a big, loopy red bow.

Thank you, to the Blogging Community at large, for letting this non-writer come to your party. I truly am in over my head, most days. But just you wait, when someone invents blogging for visual artists, well... Then my nefarious plan to take over the blogdom will reach fruition. Mwahahaha!
Until then, I'll admire my purple "Participant" ribbon and enjoy sucking your thoughts from your skulls. Um, I mean reading your talented musings and jotting down a few of my own.

Thank you, to Lance, Heather, and Robin-through-the-back-door, for nominating me as a Thinking Blogger. I hope you don't regret it now.

Rest assured, your thoughts that I'm sucking from the nether reaches of the blogosphere will be put to good use for all humankind. I might be The Black Hole of All Thought, but I'm a BENEVOLENT Black Hole of All Thought. Your memories, thoughts, and critiques will serve the greater common good.

I also use them to make Thneeds. Just $12.97 eaches.

P.S. Blogs I suck from frequently (that you may not have known about): Credo ut Intelligam, LifeSpace Art, Lilies Have Dreams, Wide Open Spaces, Thinkin' Out Loud

04 April 2007

African Trade

I know, I know. You thought I was done with Africa pictures. Think again, my friend, think again. ;) How could you possibly conclude your African tour without going to market?

The women strap their babies to their backs in a fabric sling, balance their containers on top of their heads and begin the journey to market to purchase what they can't grow or make in their own camp.

And, apparently, this makes them VERY happy!

Once they get to the market village, they begin to barter and trade for goods. Food stuffs, fabric, cooking utensils, weapons, jewelry, etc. Looks like waffles and pizza are on the menu today.

Once a deal is struck, the women compare their new treasures and share the village gossip.

Pleased with her purchases, this native carries her goods and her child back to camp. But watch out! She has to cross the river and there's a mean tempered hippo waiting! Think it'll eat waffles?

Back at camp, the natives weave kente cloth.

In actuality, kente cloth is woven by the men of the tribe, and each strip is only 4 inches wide. Once there's enough kente to create a piece of clothing, the strips are sewn together.

These natives are "weaving" placemats because they sell better to the tourists. You want to buy one, don't you?

Or do you want to trade for it?