Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Father's Day Gift

Having taught the girls Latin for several years, David was delighted to receive this poem from Hannah for Father's Day.

Poem 'de Latina'

Why is poetry easier in Latin than
In the language I write in?
I thought about it long and hard
To find the secret Latin guards -
Writing in Latin's the easiest way
The words end in 'us's, in 'um's and in 'a'.

For every word you'l find a rhyme
And probably in shortest time.
For if there's one ther must be two
And all the Romans knew 'twas true.
That's why it's easier to write
In Latin than with English's might.

So it's my turn and here I go
Poetry in Latin is something "amo."
And if you really want the truth
Latin is the "maximus."
If you still try to ward off gloom
Remember "Latina est Gaudium."

If evil's tempting you to follow
Say "Malo malo malo malo."
It will surely bring you cheer
Especially if some dude's near
Who hears and laughs just like a hyena
Cause "Rident stolidi verba Latina!"

With Latin life will become play.
you will live "felicissime."
So take this time to learn it or
Your life will get "peior et peior"
"Si es sapien" than you will see
"Latinam est linguam cognosci."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Light at the End of the Dark Tunnel

When I was pregnant with my first child there were lots of unknowns. Starting with not even knowing that the constant feeling of "not quite right" meant I might be pregnant until the principal at the school I was teaching at suggested I might want to take a test, to wondering just what labor and delivery would really be like. Sure I had lots of women tell me things, some helpful, some scary but it didn't mean anything to me, I had no experience. After the first, though, that light at the end of the tunnel was shining more and with each successive pregnancy I knew what to expect even though each one was unique in its own trials.

Same thing with raising my children. Lots of moms who had gone before on the road of babies and toddlers shared with me suggestions for breastfeeding, keeping house - or not, baby food, potty training, watching tv - or not, how to handle another newborn while taking care of other children and many other aspects of mothering.

Same thing with starting to educate my children in my own home. How to do it, what to use, what not to use, not to worry (ha!), and a myriad of other things. I took all this advice, but the light of experience never went on for me until I was through the dark tunnel of life. At that point, I could see that all that advice was true to one extent or another in our life.

As I've moved along the road of parenting I try to keep the advice of others in mind. I try to remember that there is that light of experience that shines once through the daily grind of life. I've now had one more of those lights turn on this week, and fittingly it is once more with my oldest.

She has always been an extremely shy girl, afraid of storms, and always preferring to be near her family, not venturing out on her own. But that shell is changing and her father and I sit back and watch, amazed at the new, confident, young woman she is growing into.

First she willingly and eagerly wanted to work for a local campground this summer. Second, she willingly and eagerly wanted to play in the Dominion tournament last week. That meant she played with strangers, something she would not have been so eager to do six months to a year ago.

And this past week was the most impressive to me. She attended an orchestra camp. It was daily from 9am until 3 pm. She chose to do this even though she knew that the rest of her family would be gone three of the five days attending a Catechetical Conference in another state. We arranged to have her stay with friends in our congregation while we were gone. On one evening, she watched their two year old while the mother took her son to Taekwondo and the father was at meetings. This was the evening that major storms went through our state, with several tornadoes touching down in various places. She said the sirens went off and she stayed in the basement (finished and where most of the toys are located) with her and it was fine. Really? From my daughter who all these years had been so afraid of any storm, somewhat inconsolable, now in a different home by herself in charge of a two year old saying it was fine?

The light continued to glow brighter as we watched her play in the concert on Friday evening. It was a great concert and we taped it so we can enjoy it again and again. But to see her enjoying herself, interacting with other participants, telling us about her week brought tears to my eyes and her father's.

Our sweet little girl, so shy and wanting to stay right by her parent's side for all these years, is blossoming into a confident and beautiful young lady. Other parents have told me this would happen. I knew in my head that it must be true, but that light of experience had not yet burned bright as the dark tunnel of life had yet to be traversed.

I know there are many dark tunnels yet ahead. I know from others that there are lights at the end of those as well. I know I'll worry and fret through some if not most all of them, but for now I'm basking in the light at the end of this one.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Float

Every year our church holds it's VBS the week before Bullhead Days. This is the name given to the weekend when a carnival is on main street, lots of little booths with different food - the main attraction being fried bullheads, street dances, queen contest, fishing contests, medallion hunt, fireworks, and other fun things fill the town and deplete the pocket book.

On Sunday afternoon is always the parade. The 4th-6th graders in VBS make a float for the parade as their craft project for the week under the guidance of Pastor and another adult. I think it turned out very well. The kids took the idea and really made it look very nice.

Monday, June 14, 2010


On Saturday, David, Hannah, and I joined friends Andrew and Mindy, and went were I've never been before, to a game tournament at a game store in the local mall.

Andrew and Mindy love to play games and we have enjoyed getting together with them periodically to play Settlers of Catan, Colosseum, Small World, Arkham Horror, Dominion, or whatever. Often some other people will join us and it is a fun time, visiting and playing the game for an evening. Sure we all want to win, but we all love playing and have fun even if someone else pulls out the win in the end.

On Saturday we all headed to the mall to join in a Dominion tournament Andrew had heard about while in the store. I wasn't so sure about this. I love to play the game and find it quite fun. But a tournament? With strangers? Were they going to be cut-throat? Un-kind? Look down on my not-so-cut-throat-amateur play? I was hesitant, but now I'm glad I went. It was quite fun!

We arrived and the leader, Zack, said, "Welcome large group of new friends." And everyone else there (another 7 people) greeted us kindly. We played 5 rounds of the game, each time randomly put into groups of three by the computer. All four tables played the same cards and we kept points and what place one finished in each game.

At each game I met some nice players and enjoyed friendly banter as we played. I also learned a bit about the game and these gamers. Some of them (well, most really) have strategies and keep score as they're playing and anticipate what their opponent will do. Not me and as you might guess then, I placed third or tied for second with each of the five games! But I had fun, lots of fun, and I'm the only one of the "large group of new friends" that won a prize! For last place overall, but hey, it was still a prize! Guess what it was?

Yep, a game! Guillotine, a card game I've never played. I'm looking forward to trying to out, it looks like fun from the directions.

So I left my comfort zone and played in a tournament with gamers and had lots of fun. All of us who participated received a 10% coupon for future store purchases - for more games of course. I'm glad I went and who knows, we might even take the gamers up on their offer to come some Tuesday evening when they have their weekly game night.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Your VBS Offerings

Tonight is the last night of our Vacation Bible School. Two things you can consider suggesting for your VBS.

1. We collect coins for the offering, a different one each night. The kids seem to really like this and bring in lots of coins they scavenge from their homes, pockets, and parent's purses and change holders.
  • 1st night - pennies
  • 2nd night - nickels
  • 3rd night - dimes
  • 4th night - quarters
  • 5th night - golden dollars (or bills)
For our children we figure out how much money they would have given as offering if there would be summer Sunday School and turn all of that (3 months) into the proper coins for each night.

2. This year all that offering is going to Lutheran Heritage Foundation in order to buy hymnals for Kenya. Each hymnal is only $5! I'll let you know what the total amount the children of our church donated once the final count is in.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Winding Down

Major school subjects are finishing for the year. The three youngest have finished their respective Math Books, have two or three topics left in History, but still need to read more in Science. The older two are quite close to finishing their current Math books (did you know that it is only homeschoolers who actually finish the textbooks before moving on to the next?!), and are also close in finishing Science and History, but will continue work in Latin through the summer.

We'll still work on other things this summer, mainly mornings. I want to delve deeper into spelling and phonics with the three youngest, do some Mind Benders, study art (with another family in the church) and composers, plus work on German. That sounds like a lot, and I do hope to accomplish a lot this summer, but I don't intend on it taking up our time for play outside or at the lake or pool. Most of those things will be one day a week, so we'll be doing something every day, just not everything every day.