Friday, January 14, 2011

School Day 82

We enjoyed another full week here in Grand Rapids.  We started our study of Germany, the last country we will cover in Europe before moving to Africa.  Caleb continues to plug along in algebra, his study of weather in science, study of synonyms, antonyms, etc in grammar, and descriptive writing for his Writing Strands.  Nicolas also continues to make progress in his studies--dividing, multiplying, adding fractions in math, descriptive writing in his Writing Strands book also, and most recently adjectives in his English book.  Anna just finished learning the cursive alphabet so we are working on reviewing the letters each day and then writing in cursive for certain school assignments.  She is working on borrowing with subtraction and most recently had to memorize a cute poem for English.  Lydia continues to work through several phonics rules expanding the number of words she can read daily.  She is making progress in her Bible reader and has the cutest Bible notebook with illustrations of all the Bible stories she has read.  She just finished a unit on fractions which finishes up all the math units she has this year.  Now we can go back and start over, reviewing and reinforcing and also expanding on concepts that she has mastered.  We are still reading Hans Brinker as a read aloud and mom is trying to come up with a fun activity to do after we finish reading the book.  I have a few ideas, but am open to suggestions...

We were all happy to be back in BSF Monday night.  What a contrast in chapters between Isaiah 34 and 35!  The major gist of my teaching leader's lecture was that we are all born on the Highway to Hell (chap 34).  How to we get to the Highway to Heaven (chap 35), she asks?  You have to meet Jesus.  He meets you as you are travelling down the road and tells you that you need to change highways because at the end of this highway you have to pay a toll for all the sins you have committed during this drive.   Now on His highway there is also a toll, but He already paid it for us.  The only catch?  He is the only one who knows the way, so we have to move over and let Him take the wheel.   I know--makes you want to break out in song, "Jesus, Take the Wheel," doesn't it?  

Tuesday night I had the seminary wives meeting.  We continued our chapter discussion on finances, this time focusing on unity with our spouse, stewardship and integrity with finances.   I volunteered to bring goodies, so came a little early to set up a table, etc.  We start at 7:30, and when 7:20 rolled around and no one was there, I started getting a little nervous.  Mary Beeke (leader) never showed up, and then Shonna Murray came in late to tell us that Mary was ill and asked another seminary wife to lead the discussion.  Shonna left to do something for Mary so we had no current pastor wife there which was unusual.  But the discussion and fellowship was good.  I am always so blessed by spending time with those from other cultures.  I realize how much I take for granted and how spoiled I am in my American lifestyle. 

Thursday night we made a trek to the YMCA to swim.  Caleb and I ran/walked a couple of miles on the track first.  The kids (and mom and dad) are a little frustrated with all the pool rules.  We have been there several times and are still getting called out for violating silly rules.  The kids are almost afraid to go or do anything in the pool!  I am sure we can learn something from the frustration, however. 

Today we were able to spend most of the afternoon outside.  We started out sledding and then came home to skate on the neighbor's ice rink.  I went in and whipped up a batch of cookies and hot chocolate and brought those out to the kids.  We were able to talk more with our neighbor Brian today.  We asked if there was anything we could do to help with the rink, and he responded, "Just don't call the police tonight.   I am having my Winterfest party and it could get pretty loud."   Okay...  So, he stops by in August right after we move in to bring us a jar of salsa and warn us of his Labor Day party.  Now, he is bending over backward to make sure the kids use his rink, skates, hockey equip etc., and is having a Winterfest party.  I definitely think he is trying to get on our good side!  His son, who is probably in his 20s and sometimes lives there said that they were pretty nervous when a "family" moved in next door.  First the house sat empty for a long time.  Then it was bought as a rental and became a party house for Calvin College boys (as indicated by the number of cans and bottles emptied out from under the porch, the decoration of the rec room downstairs, and empty beer cans in the water tank behind the toilet), then it was empty for quite awhile again.  So, imagine their dismay when it is bought by a family who moved because the dad is attending seminary!   I don't think calling the police would do much for witnessing to him,  so we will surprise him at how cooperative we can be.   I am pretty sure that does not include attending his party although we were invited "after your kids are in bed."  I noticed he had frozen sled forms with funnels attached hanging from his tree--for some interesting drinking fun?  I am so ignorant.

We also had a new refrigerator delivered this afternoon.  When we arrived home from Iowa after Christmas, we found out that the fridge freezer had stopped working effectively.  We had noticed before we left that things were soft and we thought we had fixed the problem, but evidently did not.  We did need to throw several things away.  Thankfully, we kept our meat, applesauce, and other stuff in the deep freeze downstairs.  This fridge had trouble keeping things cold in the summer as well,  so I don't think it is too much of a loss.  Nothing special about this fridge, just newer, more efficient and working!   Although I did linger a little at the side by sides with water in the door...sigh...maybe at a different time in our life.  See, there I go with my American "wants" again.  

Better go put the kids to bed.  They are quite tired from their outdoor fun (so are mom and dad)!

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