Wednesday, January 31, 2007

"Wednesday Morning Papers Didn't Come"

Wednesday mornings are our only slow mornings. We allow ourselves to sleep in a little bit (except Rob who is out the door by 6:20 AM everyday, when he is working the day shift). We get a relaxing start and do not need to rush, rush, rush through school. We stop about noon for lunch and then head into the afternoon at the break-neck pace we've come to know and love. Wednesdays are swimming lessons for all 3 kids. They take them through an American instructor at a local pool. Sarah and Noah take lessons first while Micah plays and then they swap - so there's an hour long lesson and an hour to just PLAY, which is always a hit. After swimming lessons we shower and quickly dress to head to base for Noah's boy scout den meeting. Although because today was a 5th Wednesday in one month we did not have boy scouts. Whew!

Once swim lessons were over we did not have to rush to base for a den meeting! Whatever will we do with the extra time because of no scout meeting? Well, the answers are below: We all took a shower at home instead of the rushed showers at the pool, Mommy made a yummy schnitzel dinner (our favorite), Sarah found lots of free time on her hands to chat and goof around, Noah and Daddy caught up on some scout achievements, and Mommy finished 1st semester grades.

We all got to bed on time and are ready for THURSDAY!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

"Tuesday Morning, Please Be Gone - I'm Tired of You"

Tuesday is COOP day! Our whole day revolves around the 2 hours we spend at Sembach Bible Church for the home school coop. We make sure to get up nice and early, get right in our home school room and get our subjects and instrument practicing done. Then we have a quick lunch and head on out the door. The only one who gets a little reprieve is Micah. Because we're all so busy getting up and at 'em to make sure everything is done in time to leave, he gets a break on Tuesday mornings and watches his favorite cartoons, "Dora the explorer", and "Go, Diego, Go!"

At co-op this term Sarah is taking 2 art classes: Art History, where she is studying the masters, and Drawing, where she is learning different techniques. Noah is taking a science class that is studying the human body and then he is in my class. There are also fun pre-school classes for Micah. I am teaching an exciting class that is kind of like going to VBS every week. We sing songs, play games, do crafts, and have fun discussions all centered around a different Bible point. It is for Kindergartners - 5th grade. When all the classes are over the moms (and some dads too!) clean up all the class rooms and the kids (if it's nice enough) head on out to the playground.

After playing for an hour or so we head home to fix dinner and visit with Dad. After supper there is time for Sarah to help with dishes, Noah to show off all his work, and Micah to get a few stories in.

And that is what our Tuesday looks like!

Monday, January 29, 2007

"Just another Manic Monday"

Mondays set the tone for our whole week - BUSY!! In order to fit in all the activities outside the home it is important that we get school done first thing. On Mondays Micah goes to his pre-school at Mrs. Henrietta's house. He learns basic phonics sounds, letter formation and numbers. She reads stories, takes them to the park and they do lots of crafts with paint and play dough. He learns to share and interact with other 4 and 5 year old's under Henrietta's loving eye. He loves going and has a lot of fun. This year will be his last year before starting school at home with the big kids. Here is a picture of Sarah and Noah hard at work on their Math this morning.

After a morning filled with school Sarah, Noah and I have a quick lunch then it's off to base for Gymnastics class. They take lessons through the youth center on base, who have been GREAT at setting up classes during times specifically geared for the home school community here. The classes also focus more on multi-age levels so as to accommodate families who home school with many different age levels. It is a wonderful class and the kids get a great work out.

It was hard to get any shots of the kids in their class with my poor, failing digital camera - so I just took a video of them attempting to do cart-wheels.

Mondays also are Sarah's scouting time. We usually alternate between having either Girl Scouts or Keepers at Home (a Christian girls group where the focus is more on mother/daughter and earning badges that encourage things with Christian values) This week there was no Girl Scouts in the afternoon and Keepers meetings aren't until the evening. So, after running a few errands on base we picked up Micah from pre-school and headed home for a while. Sarah finished her school, and we did a little house work. Once Daddy came home from work we sat down to dinner before Sarah and I left for the meeting. This week we are learning about the art of scrap booking from Mrs. Carroll. In Keepers this year we have also earned badges in health and fitness, sign language, diligence, determination, thoughtfulness, just to mention a few.

By the time Sarah and I got home from the meeting, Daddy already had those boys fast asleep in bed. WOW! That's our Monday!!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

"Sunday Morning Rain is Falling"

"Sundays are filled with God's Love", a direct quote from Noah.
We are attending Trinity Reformed Presbyterian (PCA). We love the church, the people, and the pastor. We came to this church on the recommendation of friends after Rob returned from the desert last summer. We stayed because we already knew so many of the families from the home school group, and so we just fit right in with ready-made friends. Since then we have been voraciously reading, studying and learning much about the reformed theology. We have made so many good friends, who have been so patient with all our questions. We love our church, we love the thought provoking discussions that have been invoked and the quest for knowledge that it has encouraged. Micah and Noah in their Sunday school classes on Sunday morning. Noah really like Mrs. Olson.

The afternoon is spent resting and hanging out at home. On Sunday nights we travel to a nearby village for night church, hosted in the McQuade home. We sing hymns, pray, and study a lesson with the Pastor's leading. Last night we just finished up a study on Jonah. After church we share a meal and visit while the kids hang out together. If it's nice the kids will play outside, but lately they've just been playing together inside.

Visiting after Bible study with food and friends.Pastor Hudson holds "court" on the stairs after the study with some of the kids. The little girl Sydney (in the yellow) had a question for Pastor, "Why did God chose Jonah if He knew that Jonah wouldn't go?" By the end of this discussion there were about 5 young children and a cat listening to Pastor and Sydney discuss Jonah.

Sarah and Curran are watching videos taken on a recent ski trip; Cole and Ian look on.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

At Long, Long Last - WE HAVE SOME SNOW!!!

We woke up this morning to a dusting of powdery white. Before it was even 9:00 AM the kids were bundled up and out playing in the snow trying to build a snowman with the 1/4 inch that covered our yard. There is rain in the forecast later today and tomorrow. Temp's will be back up in the 40's next week; but for today it would seem as though the boys' prayers have been answered.

Be sure to check my blog EVERY day next week as the kids and I plan to do a week long "PARADE OF DAILY EVENTS" to take you through what we do each day of the week. Lots of photo's and maybe some video's too!!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Life in Europe

We just found out this past week that Rob's request for an extension to his tour was approved. He asked for a year extension; this means we will be stationed in Germany until spring of 2009. We are THRILLED to accept this assignment and that we will have more time (and funds) to be able to see more of Europe. If you think we're crazy for deciding to stay.... just take a look.....

3 sick kids, a 7 week old puppy and a dirty turtle cage!

I have to start this post by telling you what just happened while it is still fresh in my mind. I just said to Noah that since he was feeling so much better we might try a little weak, hot tea and see how that felt on his tummy. He replied, "So, I made it to the tea level?" I stated, "Explain." He said "Well first there was the nothing level, then the water level, then the cracker level, then the applesauce level and now the tea level." Oh Noah. You do make every day sun shiny and bright even if the house if full of uncleanliness and smelly things.
So this is our weekend so far....
Friday - We did a full day of school, with a sewing break for Sarah with her new instructor, Heather. After school and sewing, our friends stopped by to see our turtles and relax and play after our crazy busy week. After our friends left our boys started to act a little strangely. They didn't really want to eat supper, they seemed achy and Micah was complaining about being so cold. We put them to bed and thought that was it. No such luck. I spent the night sitting up with Micah who had a high fever and was throwing up.
Saturday morning
Micah is very sick. His fever ran very high all night and he looks AWFUL. The McQuades drop by about 9:00 AM with the 7 week old puppy we will be puppy sitting for them while they are skiing this week. They also bring a "blessing in disguise" to quote my Mom in the form of the news that this puppy IS spoken for, but the new owner will get it when they come back from their trip. So, sad news for us since Sarah and I were hoping to convince Rob to purchase the dog after he was smitten with it at the end of the week (an evil plan, I know). I fed Noah a little oatmeal and was just busy praising God that I only had one sick kid then Noah promptly threw up all the oatmeal and a temperature reading reveled that he, too, was running a fever (although not quite as high as Micah).
That afternoon when Rob wakes up (he is still on nights and so tried to keep his schedule on the weekends by sleeping until 2:00 or so in the afternoon) and Sarah and he go to the local pet store to see about getting a new turtle aquarium for our recent "free" acquirements. I am busy doing laundry, puppy sitting and watching after the sick boys.
MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT - early Sunday morning. Sarah wakes up and GUESS WHAT? She is throwing up and not feeling well at all.
The puppy is sleeping on the couch with Sarah, who is running a low-grade temp and feeling quite nauseous. The puppy has kept us quite busy and Rob is as smitten as can be. Several times he looked at me yesterday evening and said, "You people are mean." Noah slept about 15 hours last night and woke up this morning around 10:00 AM and said, "SO, what's for breakfast?" Micah is steadily improving by the hour, but he just stopped running a fever and moved up to the cracker level. The turtle cage is already cloudy even though we now have a HUGE aquarium, a filter, a heater and a sun lamp. All my research on the web shows me that the only way to avoid a dirty turtle cage is changing the water every day!! EVERYDAY! So, if you never hear from me on this blog again it is because I am probably changing the turtles water!!
Rob is still sleeping, he works tonight at midnight. I am off to do more laundry and play with that puppy!