Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Week Update

The weather today was quite a change from the last two days here in Michigan.  Sunday and Monday the temps were in the 50s and 60s, and today in the 30s and quite windy.  Yesterday just seemed strange--60 degrees, rainy with thunderstorms...in Nov?  Well, today felt a little more "normal" for this time of year.

Russ is looking forward to a Thanksgiving break.  I am afraid he will be up most of the night finishing a 15-20 page paper that is due tomorrow.  He spent the last two Saturdays at the Calvin library, so we are looking forward to spending time with him!  He has a week of regular class the week after Thanksgiving and then a week of finals.  (I think I have that right.)  I think I will be doing a fair amount of driving on this trip so Russ can study and catch up on sleep!

We continue to plug away in homeschooling, now starting our unit on Europe.  Lydia is not technically on the same unit curriculum as the older three, although we all enjoy the read-alouds and activities of each other's units.  Lydia's curriculum spends quite a bit of time exploring the Jewish culture--looking at their calendar, religious holidays, customs, foods, etc.  On Saturday night we had our own Jewish "Sabbath" at supper time.  We decided to have it on Saturday night instead of Friday night so we could use it to prepare for our Lord's Day.  I think it is fascinating that everything that is said and done has special meaning:  why two candles are lit, why the woman lights the candles, why there are two loaves of  challah, and why the goblet of wine (or grape juice) is overflowing or filled to the brim just to name a few.  Of course, the blessings also have significant meaning.   We had trouble finding challah, so we just had small french bread loaves.  Today at the food pantry they had boxes and boxes of bread from a fairly expensive bakery and wouldn't you know they had a loaf of challah.   Nicolas grabbed it because he just had to show the other kids that they really do make this bread!   Anyway, the activities can be quite a bit of work, but so much fun and so worth the extra time when you know they have learned something because you hear them talking about it later.

Tonight we had an "extra" seminary wives meeting at the HNRC church.  Mrs. Vander Zwaag  showed us how to make 5 minute artisan bread in the church kitchen, and then we were able to ask the pastor's wives questions regarding hospitality.  I found it to be extremely informative, practical and helpful--I even took notes!   Sometimes I think I have so much to learn about being a pastor's wife and I know the Lord is giving these women and these four years to me as part of my "training" as well. 

Tomorrow we take off for Thanksgiving, going as far as Dekalb, IL to Renee and Andy's.  Then we head to Dayton, IA until Sat AM.  After that we will be in Sioux Center until Monday AM when we will head back to Grand Rapids.  Please pray for safe travel and good traveling weather.

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