Monday, October 31, 2011

Reformation Day

Spend some time singing and learning the Reformation Day Polka today! 


Reformation Polka

When I was just ein junger Mann I studied canon law;
While Erfurt was a challenge, it was just to please my Pa.
Then came the storm, the lightning struck, I called upon Saint Anne,
I shaved my head, I took my vows, an Augustinian! Oh…

Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation
Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let’s start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

When Tetzel came near Wittenberg, St. Peter’s profits soared,
I wrote a little notice for the All Saints’ Bull’tin board:
“You cannot purchase merits, for we’re justified by grace_!
Here’s 95 more reasons, Brother Tetzel, in your face!” Oh…

Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation
Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let’s start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

They loved my tracts, adored my wit, all were exempleror;
The Pope, however, hauled me up before the Emperor.
“Are these your books? Do you recant?” King Charles did demand,
“I will not change my Diet, Sir, God help me here I stand!” Oh…

Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation -
Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let’s start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

Duke Frederick took the Wise approach, responding to my words,
By knighting “George” as hostage in the Kingdom of the Birds.
Use Brother Martin’s model if the languages you seek,
Stay locked inside a castle with your Hebrew and your Greek! Oh…

Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation -
Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let’s start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

Let’s raise our steins and Concord Books while gathered in this place,
And spread the word that ‘catholic’ is spelled with lower case;
The Word remains unfettered when the Spirit gets his chance,
So come on, Katy, drop your lute, and join us in our dance! Oh…

Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation -
Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let’s start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation! 

If you really want to celebrate the day, purchase your own Reformation Day hat and mug at   Because everyone needs a Soli cap and a John Knox mug...

Nicolas ends his soccer season

Nicolas played soccer with Grand Rapids city rec this fall.  He thoroughly enjoyed it and is already looking forward to spring soccer.  I did notice that he got a really small t-shirt.  When I asked him about it he told me they handed them out according to size.  So, I guess the big kids got the bigger shirts and the little guys got the smaller shirts that were left--even if they were too small:) 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weeks 8 and 9

Hard to believe we have completed another two weeks of school.  The older three continued with the biblical story covering Abraham , Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Esau, Jacob and Laban, the 12 sons of Jacob and the first part of Joseph (childhood to Potiphar's house).  We also continued with our world history moving into the Middle Kingdom time period of Egypt.  It will be exciting to see the biblical story and the history of Egypt intersect next week.

Some activities for the last two weeks included making lentil soup (Jacob and Esau), doing our own "tomb" painting, and making an Egyptian home.  We didn't make a complete villa, but it still gave us an idea of what Potiphar's house may have looked like when Joseph was put in charge.   The girls also completed mini-books about different aspects about homes and home life in Ancient Egypt.  The boys, Russ and I also started watching a DVD from the Bible Collection on Abraham.  It is about three hours in length, so we have just been doing a little each night.

We continued with our Vivaldi Four Seasons listening to the "Autumn" section.  The kids once again all completed water color paintings on an autumn scene or on what Vivaldi was portraying in each of the movements (peasants dancing, peasants sleeping, and a hunter walking through the fields).  Seth didn't quite finish his so I will post a picture of that later.  It is definitely worth posting and I will just give you a teaser to keep you in contains lots of pterydactyls.

In science we continued our study of air.  We did some neat experiments to show that the air is made of molecules, specifically oxygen and carbon dioxide.  We have one experiment pending, but it involves a helium balloon and I just haven't gotten around to getting that yet...

We also spent some time the last two weeks learning Psalm 121 and Psalters 110 and 317.  The homeschool group from the FRC sang and recited at a special program for one of their organists who had been playing for 60 years (she started when she was 11).  That program was this past Thursday night. 

Seth completed the letters "T" for turtle and "U" for Us.  In the turtle unit the words to learn were "I don't quit, I persevere."  We learned all about turtles and also looked at stories that showed perseverance.  I realized Seth does actually pay attention when he came upstairs from cleaning the toy room in the basement saying, "I did it the whole time, Mom!  I didn't quit--I persevered!"

In the "us" unit we took one day to study each of the five senses, marveling along the way that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  The other kids loved the senses activities too (guessing objects in a bag, being blindfolded and guessing sounds and smells, and drawing a picture with a blindfold and then without).  The words to learn in the "us" unit were "God made us wonderful!"

Seth's favorite books for these units:  Facts About Turtles by Carmen Bredeson; Lookout for Turtles by Melvin Berger;  The Tortoise and the Hare by Betty Miles; Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton; The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper; Keep Trying Travis by JoDee McConnaughhay; Senses by Anna Sandeman; The Sense of Sight by Mari Schuh; My Five Senses by Aliki; You Can't Smell a Flower with Your EAR! byJoanna Cole; My First Book About the Five Senses by Kama Einhorn; and The Luckiest One of All by Bill Peet.

Russ just finished up a reading week this week, getting quite a bit of work done on upcoming papers and book reviews.  Last weekend he spent most of Saturday doing yard work--mowing, raking up leaves, cleaning up the garden--and trying to box in the duct work and water pipes in the garage.  He still is not finished as he is waiting for insulation board.   Russ also ordered two cords of wood that were delivered last week.   As the guy who dumped the wood on the driveway was driving away, I looked at that huge pile turned to Russ and asked, "Did you happen to back one of the cars out of the garage first?"  Nope.  So we all worked really, really hard and were able to get it all stacked by 6:30 that night.   When Russ delivered some chicken soup across the street to our 90 year old neighbor lady she said, "I saw all that wood o. your driveway, and then sure enough a few nights later I saw smoke coming out of your chimney!"  I didn't realize we were watched that closely!

This coming week looks to be busy week.  We picked up another bushel and a half of apples today, so I will need to make applesauce sometime soon.  Also, we have three doctor appts scheduled: my physical, Nicolas is to have his hypergranulation area on his finger cauterized, and Lydia hopes to have her cast removed.  We have our usual BSF on Monday night and Caleb has an orchestra concert on Tuesday night.    I continue to appreciate a full schedule as it keeps me from thinking about being homesick.  We are so thankful for letters, email, phone calls, and skype!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Homeschool Field Trip to Lansing

On Friday we went to Lansing with the FRC homeschool group.  We first went to the Impression 5 Science Center, and then after a quick picnic lunch in the van (it was pretty cold!) we went to the Michigan Historical Museum.    The kids were able to take in a few science "workshops" at the science center.  The older kids attended the static electricity workshop while I took Seth to one on the five senses.  Since Seth will be learning the five senses this week in school, the workshop was a great introduction.  All the kids were able to go to the chemistry workshop and make slime.   I loved that Caleb was able to join us since NorthPointe did not have school last week Thursday or Friday.

Impression 5 Science Center:

The throwing/launching room...

The physics room...

Testing how fast you spin depending if weight is close to you or farther away.  

Testing the different pulleys

The bubble room (Seth's favorite)...

Trying to stand inside a bubble

It worked for Nicolas--completely surrounded by bubble!

The water room...

The five senses workshop...
Hearing and watching sound waves

Tasting sweet, sour, and salty.

Matching smells with their picture.


Chemistry workshop: making slime

The Historical Museum:

Feeling what it was like to ride a buggy on cobblestone streets.

Mining for copper.

In the old schoolhouse

My suffragette

Now it's not even $3.23!

Exploring the great Michigan outdoors...inside.

Some of our home school group (except Caleb, of course:)

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Stitches are Out

I took Nicolas to the hand Dr. yesterday to have his stitches removed in his finger.  He also cut out the piece of fingernail and flap of now dead skin over the sore.  We have instructions to spend 10 min 3-4x a day massaging the scar (what scar?  All I see is this jelly like mass of red tissue) and desensitizing the area.  The last thing he told us was to watch for "over- granulation" where the bright red granulation tissue will make a large bulbous knob.   Since this is kind of what Nicolas seems to have going on at the tip of his finger, I am not sure how big it has to be to be "large".  I mean the Dr. saw it looking like this, but this doesn't look like a normal healing sore to me.   Any ideas?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Apple Orchard

Today we went to the apple orchard with Renee and Andy.  Last year we just bought apples at this orchard because it is not a "u-pick".  This year we picked our own...sort of.   If you ask, they let you pick up windfalls for $2.00 a bushel.  We picked up some Honeycrisp and Jonagolds.  Renee also picked up some Cortlands.  The apples were actually very nice.   Bruises will probably show up on some of them if I don't make applesauce soon.  But 2 1/2 bushels for $5.00 is just a pretty good deal!

The Seasonal Branch

A few weeks ago the girls informed me that our crocheted flower/branch table centerpiece was no longer "in-season".  I asked them what they thought would look nice.  Pretty fall leaves?  Some small pumpkins and gourds?  No, they informed me, they thought it would be nice if I could crochet some colored leaves.   So, with a little internet investigation I found a leaf pattern.  I crocheted and the girls did the hot-gluing.  I wonder what they will have me crochet for next season...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Home School Weeks 6 and 7

The last two weeks we have been back in Genesis and read from Abraham's call through Isaac's birth and the sending away of Hagar and Ishmael.  We drew a map of Abraham's journey and considered  his historical context in Sumer and specifically the city of Ur. 

In social studies we read about the Second Sumerian State and the people of the Indus Valley.  We also reviewed more aspects of Ancient Egypt: the Rosetta Stone and hieroglyphics.   The kids made their own Rosetta Stone with hieroglyphics, a cartouche with their name in hieroglyphics, and the girls also completed various lapbook pages on these topics

We finished up our pyramid unit in science and picked up Genesis for Kids again (based on days of creation). We had completed Day 1 (all about light) and now started Day 2 (air and water).  We had fun with a few experiments, learning that air takes up space and has mass.   In case you are wondering about our mummy preparation experiment results:

This shows that drying out the body with salt (toast) and rubbing the body with oils and spices that have antiseptic properties (antiseptic cream) help preserve the body.

For fine arts this week we listened to"Summer" in Vivaldi's Four Seasons a few times.  One of those times the kids all completed a watercolor painting of a summer scene.  They also had a few art lessons from God and the History of Art.


How are we doing with our Biblical feast celebrations?  Well, we did do our Yom Kippur celebration last week Friday night.  We were then to build our on sukkah for Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles.  We thought we could just use Nicolas' fort from outside?  Not sure about the celebration in it this weekend as Renee and Andy will be here.  We may have to postpone for another week. 

Books that helped us learn the last two weeks:  Seeker of Knowledge:  The Man Who Deciphered Egyptian Hieroglyphics by James Rumford and The Mystery of the Hieroglyphs by Carol Donoughue.  Tikvah Means Hope by Patricia Polacco and On Sukkat and Simchat Torah by Cathy Goldberg Fishman

Seth continued his letter units with the letter "A" for apple and "N" for nest.  For apple week we made applesauce one day when Wendy VB (seminary wife) came over.  She had picked up seconds of Honeycrisp apples for only $2.00 a bushel!  We also wanted to visit an orchard, but since Russ' sister Renee and family are coming for apples this weekend we thought we could wait and go then.  I just found out that many orchards offer tours for a small fee for school and home school groups.  I am not sure I will take advantage of that at this point, but it would have been fun.   The words for last week were "If I stay in Jesus I will have much fruit."

This week was "nest" week.  We learned a lot about different animals and their homes, especially baby birds and how they are protected and kept safe in the nest.  Seth matched animals to their homes and made his own house book by drawing pictures of animals in their homes.  The words for this week were "God takes good care of me."

Library books Seth enjoyed for his two units:

The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons; Golden Delicious: A Cinderella Apple Story by Anna Smucker; Apples by Jacqueline Farmer; Apples Here! by Will Hubbell; Apple Cider Making Days by Ann Purmell; and The Story of Johnny Appleseed by Aliki.

A House is a House for Me by Mary Ann Hoberman; Castles, Caves and Honeycombs by Linda Ashman; Annie and Snowball and the Cozy Nest by Cynthia Rylant; and The Best Nest and Are You My Mother? both by P. D. Eastman.

We had no home school orchestra or cello lessons this week because of the tender finger.   We did have BSF and piano lessons on Monday, I went to a Ministry Wives talk on "The Emotional and Physical Demands of the Ministry," on Tuesday night,  and Nicolas, the girls, and I went to the Boys and Girls Club kickoff on Wednesday night at the FRC.  The Plymouth Christian School did not have school yesterday so Wendy VB and kids came over in the afternoon for awhile.   Now we are preparing for a visit from Renee and Andy and family who will come later this afternoon and stay through Sunday.

I am horribly homesick so it is a good thing we are keeping busy.  We can't wait to see and hold Finn David!  Also, when I read that Abe S. needed to go in this week to have surgery on his arm I just wanted to be back in Iowa to help my dear friend, Amy.  I feel so helpless here in Michigan.  After having a pity party for myself one night this week, I read the Haiti blog on "Sacrifice" and it put my homesickness into perspective.  Not going home until Christmas is still a pretty good deal!

Russ is also quite busy with seminary work.   This is mid-term of the semester so that means exam time; Greek was last week, NT Intro is tomorrow, and Dr. Beeke's class is a week from next Tuesday.  I still try to bake once a week for the seminary guys.  The pans always come back empty:)  Russ is limited in what baked goods he can eat because of the egg issue, but I would like to look into the chia seed alternative for eggs in baking.  I just haven't gotten to a health food store to purchase this, but would like to experiment if it isn't too expensive.

I guess that is all that is new for us this week.  Thankfully, no one was injured--no ER trips were made this week!