Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Homeschooling, What We Decided...

As you may remember from this post, my husband and I were once again back at the point of prayer over our homeschooling!  I won't bore you all by lamenting over our previous choices, but simply fill you in on what we decided through much prayer, consideration and advice from other Christian home educating friends. 

We knew from past experience that we simply could not rely on ourselves to review and remove the worldly content from the Irish State textbooks.  There is definitely too much of it to start with, I'd be there all day long with my faithful Sharpie!  Seriously though, we make mistakes, and may miss something that is not in our childrens best interests to read.  So we finally decided to make a full switch to a Christian curriculum.  What a relief that was!

I really dislike researching curriculum; it makes my head hurt!  As we were also importing it from overseas, there was the extra issue of not really being able to make an informed choice, due to the fact that we couldn't get a hands-on look at samples from each publisher.  We consulted with our Pastor who both recommended BJU and A Beka.  We decided to go with A Beka, as I felt that that would be the best choice for us, plus I felt the BJU website was somewhat confusing. 

The day our packages arrived (thankfully, the exorbitant postage ensured that they were delivered VERY quickly) we were all so excited!  Dylan also, as he had a couple of things coming from A Beka: a hymnal, CD, another math book (he is almost finished with the "senior infants/K5" one he started in September!!) and Bible memory cards.  Amy and I went through each book individually and I was very impressed with both the moral and academic content.  In all honesty I found the academic content to be superior compared with the Irish public school books.  Our Pastor's wife was such a blessing to us, when making decisions regarding our order.  She was the only person who advised us (using her own homeschooling experience) to buy the "teachers editions" also.  Based on her recommendation, my husband agreed we should get them one time, and then see whether it would be good to buy them subsequent years.  I don't know about you all, but I LOVE them!  I feel that they help me stay on track and be more efficient with our schooling, plus marking is so easy and fast having all the answers right there too!  So yes, we are LOVING our new school materials; I only wish that every child in our country had access to such high standard curriculum.

**Note**: Blogger has informed me that I have reached my maximum free photo storage and wants me to buy more.  I'm not sure if I'll do this yet, I'll have to talk it over with my husband.  So until then, there will sadly be no picture posts! :(

Friday, November 23, 2012

"The Gospel Of Bono"

My husband and I watched this sermon via the Internet just a couple of weeks ago; it was so good!  We both learned a lot!  This topic has been especially relevant in our home just recently, as it has been an issue that we have been aware of, as we have been reviewing our home school curriculum.  If you'll remember, a few weeks ago I blogged about an Irish State approved geography book that our family still owned.  This book, in addition to one or two others, was also littered with many untruths regarding the United Nations and their "philanthropic" ideologies.  You'll be glad to know those books are no longer in use...I know I am!  I will be blogging separately about our family's decisions regarding our school materials very if you're interested, stay tuned!   Until then, I hope you find this sermon as enjoyable, challenging and informative as we did! :)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Day We Made Sushi...

Okay, so these pictures are from about a month ago!  I'm terribly slow at blogging this year...but I'm hoping that you'll still enjoy this post anyway! ;)  As you'll remember Dylan is studying "Galloping the Globe" as part of his schooling and we are all enjoying learning about each continent/country as we go.  So last month we studied Japan!  Eventually the day came, that we were supposed to cook something from the Japanese cuisine!  Sushi was requested.  As I had never made sushi before, I was not looking forward to this part of our study, since I figured on it being very difficult!!!  

However I was totally wrong, making sushi was easy!  As Dylan was helping my husband with some outside chores, only Amy helped with this dinner, and she was a natural at rolling and cutting the sushi!  We only used one type of filling for our sushi, as that seemed to be the cheapest, nicest and easiest way to do it.  Normally we do not buy any type of salmon (unless we are fortunate enough to find freshly caught, non-farmed salmon), however we made an exception this one time, but made sure to buy organic at least. 

Being unaccustomed to making sushi for a family dinner, I was a little puzzled as to what would be a sufficient amount to make for our evening we made erred on the side of caution a lot!  This turned out to be such a blessing, as our adult nephew was visiting and decided to stay for dinner, for his first taste of sushi!    

Yum!  What a delicious dinner we enjoyed!  We ate tonnes of sushi, as well as fried leeks with sesame on the side, there was also plenty left over for lunch the next day!  My husband played a nasty trick on our nephew however and advised him to "lash on" the green (wasabi) sauce, "as it really brings out the flavour"!!  Poor guy nearly choked!!  Until the next time, on our culinary adventures around the globe...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I Will Sing Unto The Lord...

These are just a couple of pictures that I took of Dylan singing from the hymnal last month!  I love how his fingers were going along the pages, as if he were reading along whilst singing, even though he cannot read independently yet!  So cute!  I love to hear my children singing praises unto the Lord!!! :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Dylan's 5th Birthday!

Early Morning Birthday Boy

Last week on the 31st of October, we celebrated Dylan's 5th birthday!!!  We started out our morning watching Dylan happily opening his birthday cards and gifts.  Whilst I got myself dressed and ready for the day, the other guys opened up Dylan's electronics set, and made up some of the experiments!

Amy Helping Dylan By Reading Out The Birthday Cards

Happy Kids And A Sleepy Dad

Tractor Ted!


The First Experiment

Now The Bigger People Want To Play Help!

Then whilst I got breakfast ready, Dad, Dylan and Meg watched the "Tractor Ted - Big Machines" DVD in the sitting room.  Meg quickly got bored watching and came to help me in the kitchen; she is such a good helper!  Dylan asked to have pancakes for his birthday breakfast; in addition to that, we also had chocolate dipped strawberries (made by Amy), and a very refreshing elderflower cordial.


Watching The Big Machines On Tractor Ted

My Little Helper Girl

After breakfast the guys went out to do some farm chores and Amy, Meg and I cleaned the kitchen and did some housework.  Daddy said that we would take Dylan and the rest of the family to a very nice cafe in town for Dylan's birthday lunch. What a treat that was...this particular cafe has AMAZING food!  It also doubles a health food store as it is one of my favourite places to visit! :)  After we had eaten that delicious lunch we drove home and Meg went promptly to bed, as it was waaaaaaaaaay past nap time! 

Nanny, Grandad, Amy, Daddy and Uncle Tom!

After Meg had gone to sleep, I offered to help Dylan put together the John Deere jigsaw he had received.  We had just gotten all the outlines done, when my parents and brother came around to wish Dylan a "Happy Birthday" and give their cards and gift!  Dylan was VERY HAPPY with the Lego set from them, as you can tell from the photos! :)

I LOVE This Picture!

Later that evening we had an older couple come to look at a boiler my husband was selling, so we brought them in for tea and we were pleased to find out that they were Christians! I was so busy chatting with the wife that I forgot all about our dinner...which subsequently became "caramelized"!!!!  After they had driven away (with the boiler) we sat down to an interesting dinner.  We were just finishing up when an old work friend of mine called by to see Dylan on his birthday!  He brought Dylan a wonderful and very generous gift of a wooden play tractor/cattle shed, which we set up the following day.  After visiting for a while, I redeemed my reputation as a good cook, by bringing out Dylan's birthday cake! 

Two days before, our family (actually Brian was delayed and didn't make it) had attended a fellowship lunch at our Pastor's home.  There a lovely friend gifted me with a can of Libby's pumpkin, which she had found in a shop in the city!  I was so thankful, as I had wanted to make Dylan a pumpkin cake...but had ran out weeks earlier and I had forgotten to order more in time for his birthday!  So thankfully my friends kindness saved the day, and Dylan was able to have pumpkin cake after all!  It was SO GOOD! 

The John Deere Tractor And Slurry Spreader Jigsaw Is Finished!

Happy 5th Birthday To Our Sweet Boy!  You Are Such A Joy And A Blessing! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

New Chooks!

Last week my husband and Dylan brought home new "chooks"!!

We each got to pick a name: Bluey, Rusty, Nugget and Tokyo!

This chicken is my all-time favourite...she is so pretty!

A very happy little farmer brought this home the very next afternoon!