Monday, April 17, 2017

Katrina turns 15

This is Katrina as a baby.  I am so young!

Katrina is now 15, and I can't believe how much she looks like me.  Oh, by the way-- she is now 5'4"... she is officially an inch taller than me. WHAT?!  :)  
Happy Birthday, Katrina!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Healthy Sadness

               Because of the status of our work permit, I feel myself rather unsettled.  This causes me to be emotional, sad, tired and irritable.

   No-one likes to admit when they are feeling this way.  When those feelings come to you, it seems natural to retreat into yourself and your own world, to "allow" yourself "treats", and to wallow in self pity.  In the moment, these things appear to make you feel better but it's actually making it worse.  What does help is counterintuitive-- do what you DON'T feel like doing: spend time with friends and talk about their problems and issues not yours, pray for other people and do something to help someone else, take care of yourself physically and spiritually even if you don't "feel" like it.

 You will find that sadness and defeat love to feed on an inactive and unhealthy mind.  I'm not saying that doing these things will suddenly make you feel happy.  But, there is some law in place that it is harder to stay down when you are taking care of yourself.  Somehow, we unconsciously
know that, and maybe we don't want to feel better just now.  That is fine too-- there is a healthy grieving process... healthy.... meaning- stay healthy while you grieve.

Be blessed.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

My published article

I have written an article that was published in Old Schoolhouse magazine, about homeschooling in Tanzania.  Please click on the link to read my article!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Salvaging a Homeschool Day

  Have you ever had a day when school just WAS NOT HAPPENING?!

The baby got sick, the phone won't stop ringing, there was a family crisis or maybe you are sick?

               Can this day be saved or should it be written off?

This day can be salvaged!!

               First, think about what are your bare minimums to call this a "school day".   Think about it. Even in public school they have many days that have assemblies or class parties most of the day but it is considered a school day.  What are your bare minimums?

    For me- it is Spelling and Math.  If those two subjects are done, it's a school day- what I like to call a "half-day".   What subjects do you have to get done to feel that school was accomplished?  Some days those are all that will get done.

      What if you are at your wit's end and no formal school is going to get done today.  Maybe you are sick yourself and the kids are on their own.

               Older kids may be able to do some of the work on their own, or bake cookies.  Younger kids may like to cuddle and look at books with you, or do art projects.  Let them watch a nature show or educational video.  It's not the end of the world.

    -----   It's the end of the day and literally nothing got done.  ------> Read a bedtime story together.  Have them read a book and you read a book or take turns reading together.  Talk about the day and how to have a better day tomorrow.  And pray.  Sometimes all we can do for our family is pray and put them into God's hands.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Goalie Katrina

     I'm so proud of Katrina!  She is the goalie for the Girls' JV field hockey team!  She even subbed for the Varsity team and her team won 4-0, and she blocked 2 shots.  I am amazed. The most sports I did in high school was bowling and tae kwon do.  She is so strong and determined!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Homeschooling Girls vs Boys

This is Katrina in 2nd grade, and Heather preschool learning about liquid measures.

And.... Jonathan learning about liquid measures (also 2nd grade)....

I believe that about sums up the differences between homeschooling girls vs. boys!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Christmas break

We have been enjoying having Katrina at home for the last month, from Nov. 26. She returns to school in a few days on January 3rd.  December has been a great time to reconnect as a family.  We have gone shopping (grocery shopping mostly!), baking, cooking, reading together, watching movies, swimming, taking a weekend trip to Dar, celebrating the advent of Christmas, and just talking.

Katrina hadn't been home since March 1 off this year, when we left for the US for home assignment.  When we returned to the field, she went straight to RVA, her boarding school.  She had a great first term, and her favorite part was helping with costumes for the school play.  This term, January-March, she will be a goalie for the JV Girls' field hockey team.  That will keep her busy, along with her studies!  We have loved having her home, but know that she is where she needs to be at RVA for high school.
She usually calls us once a week, on the weekend, but we usually text back and forth every few days. I write her a letter every week to keep her informed of what is happening at home.  We are able to follow her grades online, can see her sports and class schedule and even what they are serving in the cafeteria.
RVA is a year-round school, which means they have three "terms" that are three months long, with a one month break in between.  So, she was home for all of December. She will be off for the month of April for Easter and off for the month of August for "summer".  She will have a new roommate when she gets back to school. She shares a room with one girl, and her dorm has a dorm mom that lives in an apartment attached to the dorm.  Her dorm mom, Aunt Candace, has been great.

Now, as she prepares to leave again, it is bittersweet.  I will cry when she goes, but I am happy for her.  She is making friends, involved in sports and doing well in school.  So, good-bye again, Katrina for now.