Monday, October 31, 2011

Don't Quit

Today from the moment I woke up I was reciting the "Don't Quit" poem I learned in 4th grade (I think that's the only thing I learned that year) over and over and over again in my head. Not only are Raymond, Caroline and I sick with strep throat...but the thought of having to teach without any help from the internet (printouts, games, videos, bible stories...the list goes on) was a bit overwhelming to me. I am a definite planner, I like everything to be ready for me so I don't really have to think about whats coming next. Here's the thing, I'm all about going with the flow, but there's gotta be some structure for me to function. So during our coffee time I bring up to Preston, "What am I even doing. Maybe we can find a cheap school. I don't even know if the kids are learning anything from me. We can't find the supplies we need and when we do they're way too expensive...I just don't know...are we hurting them or helping them?" Being the most awesome supportive husband ever, he reminds me how much I have enjoyed it up until this point. Letting me know how much he's seen the kids grow since having school at home. Giving me an "at-a-boy" and telling me how much better they're doing then they would in school because I'm able to give them the individual attention they need. He said a lot of things that helped. I thanked him and made a plan of some things we would be doing this week that wouldn't really need a computer. I came into the school room with my ideas of what school was going to look like...fingers crossed that our mini would work just long enough for Raymond to get his tests done online. NOTHING has worked on this thing and I worry about Raymonds grades, but again...why worry? There's really nothing that can be done at this point. Anyway, God was totally on our side today because the mini worked long enough for Raymond to take his tests, and then we even got a youtube Boca Beth video out of it. Really this computer doesn't play video, sound or anything that has any kind of movement so it's really hard to do anything on it. It was a Christmas miracle. Last night we had some friends say that they wanted to help us get a new computer so we've started trying to find something on the cheap side here...it just amazes me...no matter how much God takes care of us and gives us what we need, when we need it...every time...it amazes me. Here is the poem...Don't Quit
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, When the road you're trudging seems all uphill, When the funds are low and the debts are high, And you want to smile, but you have to sigh, When care is pressing you down a bit, Rest, if you must, but don't you quit. Life is queer with its twists and turns, As every one of us sometimes learns, And many a failure turns about, When he might have won had he stuck it out; Don't give up though the pace seems slow-- You may succeed with another blow. Often the goal is nearer than, It seems to a faint and faltering man, Often the struggler has given up, When he might have captured the victor's cup, And he learned too late when the night slipped down, How close he was to the golden crown. Success is failure turned inside out-- The silver tint of the clouds of doubt, And you never can tell how close you are, It may be near when it seems so far, So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit-- It's when things seem worst that you must not quit. - Author unknown

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Nicaraguan Christmas

This is the same post from our missionary blog at . If you've already read that, you don't have to also read this post. Thank you to all of you who keep up with us via our blogs. Okay, so here's what's been going on around our household for the past couple weeks...First of all the mother board went out on our computer so I'm not able to upload any pics at the moment. Our pastor let us borrow a computer, but it also hasn't worked since we brought it home :( Computers here seem to be very expensive and we can't really afford one right now, but trying to homeschool our children without internet, when all the programs we use are online, is really setting us back and frustrating me. Nevertheless, God has always provided for us so if we have to do school into the summer, then that's just what we're going to have to do. Right now in Nicaragua the Christmas season has officially started. It's quite weird to go into the mall in October and hear Christmas music playing and see the Christmas tree going up complete with an area for Santa. We've discovered that things are done a little different here when it comes to Christmas, so here's to a season of all sorts of new and exciting tradition! December 24th is really the day of celebration here. So, everybody gets new clothes for Christmas Eve and wears their new outfit all day. They spend time with family and have time together all day. At midnight the kids open their presents and dinner is served...yes I did say MIDNIGHT! Also at midnight fireworks/bombs go off...kinda' like New Years. We already let the kids know, to make it all the way around the world in one night, Santa brings presents a day early here in Nicaragua...they seem to be ok with that. Then at around 3 am we head off to the beach to spend Christmas day. We've been invited to go to the beach and join in this tradition, so Christmas is going to be much different this year, but we're excited about it. Christmas is more about family here, and a lot less about presents...from what we understand at this point, so we've been preparing the kiddos for the shock of Christmas morning having about 2 gifts each under the tree...plus we are working with sponsorships here, so I think that is sufficient. Also, they each brought 1 toy when we moved here, so anything other than a cardboard box, at this point, I think they would be happy with. Although we have gotten a lot of great use out of that cardboard box and suitcases...we've got three incredible imaginations here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

School Days

Well the past 3 days have been pretty exciting as a teacher. I think I'm falling into the roll. I have to say, "I think", because my boys are constantly remining me how their "real" teachers did things...or "Mrs. Hiracheta says that" or "Mrs. Witt has that"...conversations often go like this, "Mom you know what my teacher said?" I say, "Yes, because I'm your teacher". "No, my real teacher at Sam Houston Elementary." I love that my children had such great teachers...I wonder if they will EVER think of me as one. My saving grace is Caroline...when she asks, "Mommy, have I ever been to school?" I answer, "Of coarse, you're in it right now." She gets all happy and excited about me being her teacher, and I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Speaking of teaching I want to give a great big huge "Thank You" to Carisa from 1+1+1=1 and to my bestie Shayla (it helps that she's a teacher and is willing to talk with Raymond over the computer to help him if he's just not getting it). So, we started school a while ago, but officially started in the new room this week. The first day we had no table, thus, everything was done on the floor... Caroline practiced cutting paper
while Joe and Raymond worked on the "monsters" greater than and less than. Raymond did a great job at helping Joe with this...and even got Joe adding to see which was the bigger number
The next day we had a table...yay...and we continued learning about "monster" greater than and less than (the boys loved this). I went with a calendar binder since we couldn't find half the stuff for the board...this is actually good for us because the kids love writing everything...then I write some of the basics from it on the white board.
Caroline throws a fit while the boys enjoy math
It's pretty convienent that our sliding door to the outside is magnetic...this makes a great spot to hang our projects!
While Caroline gets ready for A...
Joe writes the memory verse...did I mention how great 1+1+1=1 is yet?
More of the board...
I started at "Aa" this week because I wasn't sure where to start, but next week I'm going in the order Carisa did them in...I think that will be easier. That along with our Time4Learning (thank you Shayla) and our Kirwood Homeschooling Program (this is mainly for Raymond)...and we've got enough to keep us busy for some time :) Which is important because I'm quickly realizing variety is key! Caroline and the Apple Puzzle
Raymond copying the bible verses since we ran out of ink and it was too light to see
Caroline with her lacy apple
the board is progressing
Joe with his sight word puzzle
Caroline trying out the sight word puzzle...she did a great job
I hope I wasn't over zealous with the pictures...but it's just so much fun!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pitty Party and the Holiday debate

I'm so completely overwhelmed right now. There are some great sites that I use for this homeschooling fun but I don't even know where to begin. It's not only that though. Lately I have really been missing friends and family. When I asked a friend what they do here for Halloween and the response was, "Nada", I was a little sad for the kiddos. Look...I know Halloween is this big huge Christian debate, along with Christmas (Santa Clause and trees) and Easter (the Easter bunny) but I think children using their imaginations is fun and wise. I like the fact that they get to dress up and get excited for Christmas presents and can't wait for the Easter bunny to bring candy. I think it's my job to make sure that they also know Jesus was born and died for our sins, but why make them suffer while explaining this point? So they what...associate not getting to do fun stuff with Jesus (especially his birth and resurrection). Children are just that...children! When I was a kid I loved these times of the year and I want my kids to have experiences like that too. Imagination is just that...IMAGINATION...why cut it short? Our children are growing up fast enough...I like it when they act like children and I can see how easy life can be for them. One day they will be adults and hopefully they will be telling their children how much fun it was for them. The truth is I love Halloween...I love the fall fun festival at church...and I love that everybody dresses up and comes together to have fun and eat candy. My dentist may not love this, but I do. Fall is a wonderful time of year, one of my favorites. It's a time of family and fun, just writing this post brings tears to my eyes knowing that I won't be around family for Thanksgiving. Not only that, people here don't do anything for Thanksgiving...why would they? And then there's Christmas every Christmas eve my mother makes us breakfast for the morning...all I have to do is wake up and put it in the oven. Then my in-laws come over while we unwrap presents and that's followed up by Christmas lunch/dinner at my parents house. One things for sure...since fall has come my spirits have dropped. This will be the hardest season for me. I know we are doing what we are called to do, but these are some of the thoughts that go through my head...this is one of the not so easy days of being a missionary. Here are some pics from the past... The Scooby Doo gang...minus Scooby (year 2009)
Shayla and I spent quite some time getting all these costumes done...I made Carolines princess skirt
Little Spongebob
Bumblebee Transformer
Raggedy Ann
Spongebob and Patrick
Church camping trip 2009
2010
Thanksgiving...last year we did over 300 pies
Black Friday at it's finest
Christmas 2009
2010
setting up the Christmas tree
Please notice all the beautiful snowmen...they're my favorite!
New Years Eve/Prestons birthday 2009
2010
New Years Day
and I miss this...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Yay for fall fun!

After school and lunch yesterday one of our good friends in Nicaragua stopped by the house with his son...I love when that happens. His son played with Raymond, Joe and Caroline while we sat on the porch and had a nice conversation with him. I had planned a time to go out and play in the neighborhood park because the children become wild maniacs in this house sometimes. I recently had been checking out blogs for a craft and found a great fall one for the kids...The kids were going to make a tree...so when our friends left we got a little basket and headed out to find our fall leaves.
Caroline found a fake red flower (I know this isn't a fall leaf but she loved it)
Looking for the leaves was a group effort
Even Preston got a break during his busy day of taking people to Clinics, giving English lessons and going to meetings
When we were done collecting the leaves we went home to start our first school craft...EVERYBODY was excited. First we traced and cut out our arm and hand...
Caroline was bored while waiting for the scissors...she kept saying,"Huwee up Waymond it's my turn"
When our tree and branches were done...
we painted them
Then it was time to glue on the leaves...I had to help the kiddos with this so photos were not able to be taken. Here was our finished products...
Now all I have to do is find some string so we can hang them!