Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas Time

 We had a peaceful Christmas. I love when Jacob goes down for a nap, he looks so angelic.
 The girls watched A Muppet Christmas Carol, and when we opened gifts for one another we sang Christmas hymns between each one. We also read Luke 2 and Monta was Mary, Jacob was Joseph, the big girls were shepherds and sheep, and Ryan’s grandma on Skype was the angel because as Amy said "It’s perfect, because she has white hair." We had a German Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. Rouladen, Rotkohl, Potatoes and mustard, Yum!

Big Horses

We got to see some really big horses the other day. They were beautiful!

Friday, December 22, 2017

We are doing alright

Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing enough with homeschooling, but here are two recent quotes that make me feel like maybe we’re doing alright:

Lena, 5 yrs old, at breakfast "Eww, Mom. Lily is masticating her eggs and spitting them out."

There’s a cabbage butterfly in our house that we’ve enjoyed being here. It’s so cold outside, we’ve kept it as a pet. Esther, 7, asked me "Mom, why is it (the butterfly) touching my skin with its proboscis?"

If you can use those two big words correctly, then maybe we are doing well. ;)

Cute Kiddos

 This little guy is started sitting up. He is growing up so fast.
 Esther loves to do creative things with LEGO blocks, and making messes tuckers Monta out. It’s exhausting making messes.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Henry W. Longfellow

 We read Longfellow's "Paul Revere's Ride" and these are the pictures the girls drew to go with the poem.
 I thought Esther’s details were great.
 Lena drew the Sommerset man of war, complete with bearded captain looking out.
 Monta's picture came from Longfellow's "A Psalm of Life" where he says "Lives of great men all remind us We can make our lives sublime, And, departing, leave behind us footprints in the sands of time."

I have been very impressed with Longfellow’s life story, having recently read a book about him. His tragic experience of losing his dear wife Fanny in a fire, and being very burned himself (forever after sporting the bushy beard he was known for because he couldn’t shave over the scars), and his ability to still look to God with gratitude for the time they had together rather than be bitter, make his poem "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" so much more poignant. He showed amazing faith when he writes "Then peeled the bells more loud and deep, God is not dead nor doth he sleep, the wrong shall fail, the right prevail with peace on earth good will to men."

Thursday, December 14, 2017

10 Reasons I am grateful to be a homeschooling mom

People often tell me they think it would be overwhelming to be homeschooling. Several reasons I love it:
1- I don’t have to wake up babies prematurely from naps to drive the kids to school.
2- I don’t have to wait till 4pm for the kids to get off the bus. (Because we live in the country, it takes a long time for the neighborhood kids to get dropped off)
3- I get to watch my older kids teaching their younger siblings, and playing with them.
4- We get to go at my children's pace, taking more time where necessary, and going faster when they understand a concept.
5- We can take vacations during off season times.
6- I can include things into the curriculum that interest my family.
7- They get to learn a foreign language (German), bake, do lots of art, and play with play dough.
8- I don’t have to worry as much about picking up nasty colds from the school to pass around the family, and we can still learn on sick days. We also get to avoid bullying and the silliness that sometimes gets in the way of learning.
9- They get time to learn about running a home, cleaning and cooking. They also learn about taking care of the animals.
10- I can answer my children’s questions when they have them, for example, just the other week after watching a nature film Amy asked "How do humans mate?" I was glad I was the one to answer that then some 5th grader. I could address it at her level.

Now revel in this cute fella!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

This weeks happenings

 We had a "class party" Thursday morning because the girls had been so stellar about doing their homework. We made gingerbread cookies and watched Tangled.
 I sometimes think my girls would love to walk into a Laura Ingels Wilder book, they love the bonnets Oma got for them. They are getting pretty reliable about taking care of the chickens and cat. I am adjusting to having a cat. Everyone says you need one out here, and considering the mouse Ryan saw in the garage last week I believe it. I just wish she wouldn’t do her business on my porch.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Christmas Season

I love the Christmas season. I love my Savior and the love He has shown us all. I hope that we can raise the kids so that they remember Him, and treat others as He would. I love this song by Hilary Weeks. She sings of how Christ loves us wherever we are at. I know this is true. He understands us, our hopes, fears, doubts, and his love is infinite. What a wonderful thing to remember this season, and always.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

They think they are part of the family

Our hens definitely think they are part of our family. This is not an uncommon sight at our home. If we’d let them, they’d come in and make themselves at home. I don’t know if any girls loved their chickens as much as these girls.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

🇬🇪 Khachapuri 🇬🇪 Georgian food and R.I.P. Carla

 We made Khachapuri for dinner. It was quite yummy actually.
 Sadly, the girls chicken, Carla, died today. Amy, and Lena, were especially distraught. These chickens really are pets. They are sweet, easy to handle, and even come peck at the back door window if their food is low. She just has been off her feed and acting strange, lethargic... she died in the late afternoon, after having many hugs, and tears shed over her.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

God is at the helm

Sometimes life is challenging, and the world seems too full of hatred, racism, greed, and selfishness. But when the news gets me down, it’s a comfort to know that God is at the helm. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

An 8 year old baking bread by herself

Monta helped with shredding carrots for stew yesterday, and Amy made the bread ALL by herself. I told her what to put in, but usually even when I let the girls help, I kind of hover. I told myself yesterday that the best way for Amy to learn was to really do it start to finish herself.

🇦🇲 Armenia 🇦🇲

Monday we went to Armenia for dinner with our friends Dan and Emberdy. It is great to have people come over and share their experiences in that country, and speak some of the language for us.
Something kind of cool about Armenia: it has A mountain called Ararat, just like the one Noah parked his boat on.

How does being grateful make us happy?

I remember reading about the Tenbooms and how after smuggling Jews through their home, Connie and her sister were sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp. One day as they were having a small Bible study in their bunk, her sister prayed and thanked God for the lice. Connie said, incredulously "How can you thank him for the lice?" Her sister calmly replied that it was thanks to the lice that made the soldiers stay out of their quarters and they were then enabled to read from this small Bible that they had.

God asks us often in scripture to be thankful. "Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things." Why? Not just so we can realize He is the one who blesses us, but so we can be happy. The book Pollyanna gives a great example of how happy Pollyanna is when she plays "the glad game". I have this picture hanging up near the kitchen sink. I wrote it up in the first few months after Monta was born. I read through it sometimes and it really does put me in a better mood.

So, be thankful and happy.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

🇬🇭 Ghana 🇬🇭

We made Peanut Butter Chicken Soup for lunch Saturday. It was a soup I got the recipe for on my mission from an investigator from Ghana. We ate it over rice. Most of the girls liked it, but Amy liked it the most.

This investigator was the one I named Amy after. Her name was Amy Fynn. She was regal, with polished manners and totally prepared to receive the truth of the restored gospel. She was reading the Bible for an hour every morning, and when we introduced her to the Book of Mormon, she immediately recognized its truthfulness and that it bore a strong witness of Jesus Christ.

Her baptism was wonderful. She was so prepared. She had been in an abusive marriage, and was staying with her niece when we taught her. She wanted to be prepared for baptism, and forgive her ex husband, but didn’t know how to do it. She told us how she said a prayer, and then called him. "I forgive you," she said. "Do you forgive me?" She was such a Christlike example to me, and I knew I wanted to name my first daughter after her.

I hope eating these foods from around the world can help our girls appreciate other cultures and people, and know that we are all God’s children and have wonderful things to share with each other.

Thursday, November 16, 2017


This week we learned about Louis Braille, the man who invented the raised bump writing for the blind, and Gothic Cathedrals like Chartes, Norte Dame, and the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Then we made a lego cathedral of our own, complete with flying buttresses, open windows, and gargoyle spots.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Mossy Cave and Feeding Deer

 Mom and Dad took us on a hike to Mossy Cave in Bryce. The rocks were beautiful, and Lena loved the pinks in it.
 Afterwards we took the kids to one of the best Natural History museums I’ve ever seen, just outside Bryce. The owner has spent a lifetime collecting Butterflies and insects from all over the world, and had wonderful displays of animals in their habitats. The girls also were able to feed the Fallow deer and thought that was a great experience.

Cedar Breaks and Bryce

Cedar City Field Trip

 I’m glad we don’t have to learn the Deseret Alphabet...
 Amy thought the dunce cap was very funny. When she placed it on my head she crumpled over laughing. We also took the girls to the Petroglyphs at the Parawon gap.