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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Camping at Sly Park

We had a great time camping at Jenkinson Lake this week. G-ma came too which was great. Our ratio of adults to kids was 3:3! The kids had a blast. They roasted marshmallows, made dirt castles, went on "hikes", and road down the hill on their bikes. Every time we turned around Keilani was brown with dirt again. She has a special talent for getting messy!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A visit from our good friends

The last 3 days we've had special visitors, our good friends the Backlunds. We sure had a great time with them. We love them so much! Jacob was crying when it was time for them to leave. I've never seem him so melancholy as he was this afternoon. It was heartbreaking!

The kids had a great time swimming and playing and going on a special trip to Fairytale Town (or as my kids call it, "Humpty Dumpty.") Trish and I had a nice mom's night out and went to Q'bole in Folsom for dinner and then to Color Me Mine for a bit of fun.

The Backlunds are such good friends of ours and we really look up to them as an example of a Godly family. They challenge us by living out their faith in their little daily happenings. (Like when they were at our house they modeled Jesus' servant heart by doing our dishes.) I hope that our family can be a witness to our friends too!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Why we are homeschooling.

In a few weeks we will begin a new adventure- homeschooling Jacob. Many people have asked us why we are choosing to homeschool. I don't think I've given a great answer to anyone and I think it's time I do. I wanted to be able to explain myself better, so I've been praying and thinking and reading. So here goes.
As I we started realizing that Jacob has unique academic talents (reading at 2), we we had to consider this question: What will be the best education for our son? And as I pondered this question, I was brought to a new question- What does God want for the education of our children?
I know that God has uniquely gifted each child and I believe he wants us to develop those talents. I know that the things that God's values are not the same things that the world values. I also know that God has made some specific commandments in raising children. One of those is Deuteronomy 11:18-19 which says, "You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."
I believe that the most important thing to teach our children is God's word and his values. As a former public school teacher I know absolutely that these are not taught in public school. And I am really not sure that we would have enough time in a day to make-up what is lacking in a public school classroom if they are there 6 hours a day (+ ?? hours of getting ready, transporting them back and forth, eating, bathing, and homework). I also know that there are values and influences in a public school that I don't want my kids taught. It's not about evolution and homosexuality. It's teaching them to let other's go first, forgiveness, loving our enemies, etc. etc...
One thing that really impacted me was Jacob's preschool at First Covenant Church. What I loved about it was that they didn't just have a Bible story time. They talked about God throughout the day. While the kids were outside fascinated with a butterfly, the teacher engaged them in a conversation about how God made it able to fly. When a boy was crying because he lost his teddy bear, the class stopped to pray for him. That was an "Aha!" moment for me. This is what the Deuteronomy passage is all about.
Will we homeschool them through high school? I don't know. We will take it one day at a time and continue praying about it. We will reevaluate every year. We do want to make sure the kids can get into a university if they want to. It will just depend on the schools and on each child. They are all different with different needs, talents, and feelings.
Please support us in our decision to homeschool by praying for us and encouraging us and keep the playdates coming!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy 4th of July! Hooray for Summer!

We had a great time for the 4th this year. Jeff worked 2 events and we attended both- the 20th annual Carmichael Parade in the morning and the Carnival/ Fireworks show at Sunrise Mall. Jeff spent a few hours at home with us in between which was nice. We did not get to visit with him at either event- he was too busy which is good! After the parade, the kids napped and then we had a little BBQ with Grandpa and Grandma Quayle as well as Granny Parkinson. The kids had fun playing in the sprinklers after dinner. Then I put the girls to bed and Granny and I took Jacob to the carnival and Fireworks show in Citrus Heights. It was perfect because you watch from the parking lot by your car. Jacob isn't a fan of the loudest booms, so he watched the finale from inside the car and was happy instead of scared. Today we swam in our NEW pool and did some fireworks in the street. Jacob really liked the "snakes" because they looked more like something out of a toilet. Silly boy.