Sep 27, 2008

I LOVE BOOKS!!!


I was just so excited about a treasure of a blessing I received this morning. Books are in the top 3 of my passions in life! I absolutely love books. Tommy, being the book lover he is as well, has joined forces with me to instill a love and hopefully a passion in our kids for books. Just recently we have decided on a distinctive approach for teaching our children at home. It is called the Classical Education. In the early years, the main focus is literature (great children's literature....the classics) along with learning facts. Anyway we are excited about this approach. So my main focus during our school time has been to teach Wil to read because in the classical approach they need to be fluently reading by the first grade. I truly believe if you are a good reader then you will automatically be a good learner. Remember when Michael talked about the giant in our lives and what is it. My competition many times is them wanting to watch t.v. rather than read. I have tried my best to be diligent in weaning them from it..not completely. I like Handy Manny as much as my kids. Anyway it has been a rewarding experience to watch him on this learning to read journey. He is doing fabulous and feeling very grown up. The best thing I can do for Wil (and Mags and Trey) is to read to them of course. My quest lately has been to find books that are on the Children's literature list. Although I am grateful for our library, I want to build a library of my own which brings me to my treasure . Marinda, my sister in law, brought over about 4 boxes of books several weeks ago. I had forgotten about them because I had put them away. You know how that goes....out of sight, out of mind. This morning I was looking for something for us to do and those books popped to my mind. We got them down and my kids were giddy as they opened the books feeling as though it were Christmas [see above picture]. This led me to believe that maybe I should have waited till Christmas and just let them open these boxes of Sissy's [Sissy is what they call Marinda]. I opened the books and found several of the books I had in mind to buy the kids....ones that were actually on the Children's Literature list. God has done this countless times lately. He has dropped these sort of blessings in my lap unexpectedly. I just found it odd that I had not opened these boxes sooner but rather just when we needed them. I suppose that is why we call Him omniscient [all-knowing]. Oh and we also found the cutest artwork from when Micah and Maddie were little. It would have brought a tear to Marinda I'm sure. Time flies. Our kids grow up so fast and I pray that I will make the most of my time with them. Hopefully reading with them will be something they cherish as they grow up. I know it will be for me.

Sep 20, 2008

I Hate Germs. They Make Me Sick!

Well it has been quite a fierce week for us. Since Tuesday night, we here at the T. Archer household have been taking turns with the stomach bug. I'll spare you the details. First Maggie, then Wil and I had it together, and now as I type this Tommy is laying in bed not quite as dependent on the bathroom. He is on the downhill side of it. Oh and Trey even had a touch of it which threw me in a momentary panick, but his was light. My mom (who lives with us) is probably in the batter's box for it. I don't know what would become of us if my mom would not have taken care of Trey and Mags while Wil and I were pretty much oblivious to our surroundings. Thanks mom! It is odd how 12 hours of this type of sickness can mess with your body. The first time I attempted to get out of bed I had no balance, I could barely hold my eyes open, my back ached, my head throbbed. And yet...and yet I remind Tom that childbirth still reigns when it comes to the subject of pain (don't you love it when women play that card). Let this serve as a warning:) Its goin' around. Moms, keep your germX stocked (in purses, in car, in every room) and dads...please wash your hands and don't laugh at us moms when we germX the Wal-mart cart down before we use it. Sometimes I have been known to bring clorox wipes in a ziplock bag if I'm really on my game. Here is a handy tip:) replace all toothbrushes after contagious yuckiness and don't shortcut it by boiling them cuz the bristles will fall out. Now why would one need to bring that to someone's attention. I guess the same reason they put a warning on a rectal themomenter that says not to use orally. I am totally exposing myself as witless. Let me just say for the record that I do not need a warning when using a themometer but I am totally guilty of boiling my toothbrush. Offer up any tips you more refined ones might have on germ fighting to help us survive these upcoming flu months. Rachel, I expect a comment (or 2) from you sister. And don't forget to get your FLU SHOT!!!!

Sep 15, 2008

Co-op Day

OMG. Those are the first three words/letters that come to mind as I reflect on our first day of Co-op (aka Monday school). Every Monday my kids along with countless other homeschoolers get together at Walnut Street Baptist Church and have Monday school. This does not take the place of curriculum that we do at home. It only enhances it. Wil goes to three classes and Mags has one class. It last from 12:30-3:30 and everyone kept remarking that it would be a crazy first day for me. My thoughts were....well I can't tell you my thoughts because I have none. My thoughts have taken off for the night. Hopefully they will return after a good nights sleep.
I taught p.e. for 4 and 5 year olds. That is where the OMG comes in. There were 2 other classes of third and fourth graders in the same gym. I had socks for bean bags and absolutely no idea how to capture the attention of all these precious pre-k(ers). Tommy was suppose to come help me when he finished his mail route. Supposedly he had more mail to put away when he returned to the office. That was his story anyway. All I know is that he walked in just as I was sending my second and last group back to their original classrooms.
It was very exhausting and as I left I wondered how important Monday school was that I would need to come every week. Thankfully I had the ride home to clear my mind. I thought about the new people that I met and how neat it was to have such a support group in CHE. Already being a part of this group has given me much encouragement.
This call the LORD has given both Tom and myself to home school has been very clear. God called us to home school before Wilson was even a twinkle in our eyes. It was Tommy that shared it with me 8 years ago and up until about 2 years ago I was resistant, but now I too know it is the direction to go for now. I love it, but there have been countless times I have asked God "are you sure because I feel so very inadequate?" but every time I get the same answer- "My grace is sufficient and My power is made perfect in your (and Tom's) weakness"
This summer the LORD gave me a verse which was Psalm 90:12 Number your days aright so that you may gain a heart of wisdom. This verse allowed me to be very productive. Otherwise left to my own agenda I would have been here, there, and everywhere. A few weeks ago I started to pray that He would give me a verse that I could carry with me this fall. And how awesome He was to provide one that already has lifted my head on several occasions. It is Galatians 6:4-5 Each one should test his own actions then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load. My God knows how hard I am on myself (why can't I be smarter, funnier, more creative, more eloquent, have more common sense, wink with both eyes, sew a button on a shirt...obviously I could go on and on) and how easily I can second guess my direction whether it is parenting or homeschooling techniques or even sometimes my worldview. People are opinionated and sometimes are so eager to tell you all the reasons why their way is the right way. Don't get me wrong when I am passionate about something I have to be careful that I too don't come across in an evasive way. So many verses come to mind that remind us how God and His Word has got to be our sole guide in this life. Remember it is living and active, sharper than a double edge sword and useful for teaching and leading us in all areas of life. We cannot get caught up in what society tells us about how to live life. NO MA'AM. NO SIR!! Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all (not some but all) your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths Proverbs 3:5-6
My husband has been a great mentor to me. He is a passionate guy and has strong views but you would be hard pressed to find one of his views that he could not back up with the Word of God. He has taught me to seek the LORD and His Word so that no man would be able sway me from the Word of God! My daily prayer is that God's glory be my main focus. Oh how I miss the mark but glory to God His mercies are new every morning.

Hurricane Tykes

Doesn't this look like fun!!! Fun may be a stretch but certainly was funny and interesting to stay in a hotel with 1 3 yr old, 1 4 yr old, 1 5 yr old, and 1 6 yr old. If you are wondering what led us to this venture, let me just say parents go to great lengths to reward their children.
I believe reading is key to a great education so I challenged Wil and Maggie to read 100 books during the summer months. Of course I read the books to them. I chose 75% of the books we read because I don't believe Handy Manny & Sleeping Beauty books will cut it, but 25% of the books we read were just that. Our reward was staying in a hotel with a pool. My kids love to stay in a hotel!! My friend Rachel agreed that would be a good reward for her kids too and since my kids will follow Abbie and Mia off a cliff....this only added to their excitement.
Frankly our precious blessings were wild!!! I kept expecting a hotel employee to knock on our door and give us a good scolding. I know my kids felt rewarded!
video

Sep 11, 2008

Precious Laughter

This post is most importantly for our family and friends that don't see Trey much or have never seen him (and not because he sleeps 20 hrs a day for all of you who call me the sleep nazi). This is just one of those moments where we were just chillin in the living room. Trey thinks Wil is a hoot. He laughs at most anything his big brother does. Maggie, well, she smothers him and that makes Trey m-a-d. I know he wants to say to her "personal space please". In this video, Wilson is throwing puzzle pieces in the air and letting them fall on his own head. It totally cracked Trey up obviously. By the time I got my camera, he wasn't laughing as hard but we still thought it was cute. Of course, to us, anything our baby boy does is cute!!
video

Sep 5, 2008

The Petting Zoo

This morning we visited the petting zoo. I laugh as I say petting zoo because it was nothing more than what we see on a weekly basis at Tommy's parents but nonetheless it was a break in our day and a zoology lesson. The thing I am picking up on is that homeschooling doesn't just mean school at home. It means school home and abroad...the zoo, the fair, the grocery store, the gas station, the doctor, outdoors, etc. Everyday is a field trip-ha. The LORD is gently showing me how He is a part of every school subject we take on from math to handwriting. One of the Archer's home school philosophies is "get a life and let your kids in on it". Actually the two brothers of Joshua Harris (I Kissed Dating Goodbye) introduced this concept to us as they were on Family Life recently. They and their brother Joshua were home schooled. Neat boys. They have written a book called Do Hard Things. And after Jake Moix finishes reading it (Rachel has made it required reading for him--Go Rach) I can't wait to read it. I love learning right along with Wil. I know you say "he is in kindergarten so what possibly could you be learning that you don't already know". It is sad isn't it but you'd be surprised how little I do know. Raise your hand if you know about my geographical learning disability. Yes I can't get out on the bypass in my own hometown without a map. But the first week Wil had to memorize the continents and I'm proud to say I know all 7....impressive huh? Up until 2 weeks ago I would have said China was a continent.


The petting zoo wasn't much to write home about. My kids were actually scared to hold the baby duckling and Mags got spooked the first 5 minutes after I come unglued when she stuck her fingers in her mouth (you know her lovely habit) after holding the baby duck. They did get to feed the baby calf and hear the pigs oink. Their favorite part was that grandma Betty joined us and they got to spend time with her.