Wednesday, August 25, 2010

School Daze

Well, we started back to homeschooling this week. Dodi and I had decided that Little Critter and I both needed a break so we took the month of July off from formal teaching (not that informal teaching didn't still occur...but no books and such) and then took the first couple weeks of this month off while I was gathering up and finding all the things I'd need for this year. Little Critter will be doing mostly 5/6th grade work. Whew! Where did the time go?????Seems only two years ago we were learning letters and numbers!

He got to make his first salt map this week....we made a salt map of our state showing the different regions, rivers and escarpments. Oh, and mountains. He made the coolest looking mountains!!! Of course the local pizza place thought I was nuts when I called asking if I could have a large empty pizza box. But, lots of folks think I'm nuts around here. Grin. He drew our state in the bottom of the box, then we mixed the salt dough, colored different parts of it, and then he put it in the box following the drawing he'd made. He did a great job!!! (Ok, the state is a little wonky looking....but we don't live in a state that easy to draw! It's not square or rectangular but bounded on three sides by rivers/mountains/oceans) I'm proud of him!

We also started a study of rocks and minerals. He LOVES rocks...we have tons of them in the house and even more he's brought back from every and any where we've gone. He started collecting rocks at the tender age of 2 and I haven't been able to interest him in anything else....I reckon that means he'll be a rock hound most his life. Not sure yet if this is his bent, but wouldn't be surprised to see him become a geologist, archeologist or rock scientist of some kind. Could be interesting as we learn about other occupations......Grin.

Our Torah study today had the most wonderful phrases in it....I'd like to share. We were reading Isaiah 60:1-22. But the first verse there just grabbed me. It says "Arise! Shine! For your light has come, the glory of YHVH has risen over you!" Isn't that wonderful!?!?! Now, I realize Isaiah was speaking to Yerushalayim,, but those words today just pumped me up so wonderfully! We were sitting here under a cloudy sky (which did not last long nor did it drop one drop of rain on us....pooo)which rather quickly gave way to bright blue sunny skies. (with temps of 108 again!!!!) And as I hung laundry later and fed chickens I couldn't help but think that oh so bright (and hot) sun was His gaze on me. And the warmth of the sun didn't seem so incredibly hot although the thermometer said it was. It was more like the loving gaze of my Papa watching me work. It was comforting. Sometimes it feels like I'm alone. There's no homeschool group near us, most of my friends are not nearby, Dodi knows everyone in town but I'm more in the shadows. You know what I mean? I'm the (now ex)coach's wife....and Little Critter's mom......and my father's daughter....but there's not really anyone nearby I can confide in. Or talk to....or share things with. So that's where you come in...dear readers! I get to share with you the treasures Papa shows me. And it blesses my heart when you comment. I know we're all busy with our lives, but it brightens my day just like the sun today when you comment. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my scribbles here. I pray Papa will speak to you as He did to me this morning. Read His Love Letter to you....It's full of amazing things! Well, have a great week.. I'll try to post something less mundane next week. Shalom.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Month of Elul

Hi dear friends. Sorry to have been gone so's been hectic. What can I say??? Well, today we began the month of Elul on the Hebrew Calendar. So you ask, what does that mean??? Let me explain...if I can. Elul is the end of the Hebrew Civil calendar. It is the 30 days before we greet Rosh Hashana (the Hebrew New Year for the Civil year)and typically is spent as a time of reflection. So, what do we reflect on, you might ask. We reflect on  our thoughts and our actions this past year. Were there things we aren't so proud of in the way we treated others? Were there ways we didn't shine the Father's love into other's world? Did we show any signs of growth in our attempts to be more like Him who created us? And on and get the idea.

I suppose in a way it's like the Catholic tradition of Lent....only instead of giving up things we reflect, repent for things not done according to Torah (that's called Tashuva)and make sure we're changing those things as best we can. Will we still mess up? Of course. But we try our best to become more and more like our Father by imitating His Son....Yeshua. See Yeshua came to show us that Torah COULD be followed. It really wasn't too hard for us, if we learned to fully rely on and listen to Abba. But in our hard headed, stiff necked ways, we don't like to listen to others or rely on someone else for the things we need/want. So each year, we spend these 30 days and the 10 days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur (total 40 Lent) to reflect, to do tashuva (which means more than just repent....we must also change our ways and make restitution if possible for our errors) and prepare our hearts for Father to join with us in celebrating Sukkot. (but more on that next month....grin)

So as I reflect this month, I will find many things I need to change,  and then look for His wisdom on how to do that. I have already realized that I will need to tashuva for my neglect of this blog! And of my sweet friends that visit and have their own blogs. I have been remiss about keeping up with my blog writing and reading. Please accept my apologies. I will attempt to do a better job this next year...I can see where this next year is going to  be quite full already, but I will do my best to do a better job and be a better friend to you. I see it as a form of respect for you, dear friends. How can I say I'm a friend if you seldom hear from me????Or if I seldom visit you in your places? I can't. I delight in reading your responses to my posts. I enjoy reading the things going on in your spots of the world. And am delighted to correspond with several of you outside the blogs. So I will rearrange my computer time so I can spend more time with you...

Well, we blow the shofar each morning (not too early!!! don't want to irritate the neighbors...)so I need to get a few things finished before I go to bed tonight. I pray each of you will have a blessed and wonderful week, that Papa will speak to your hearts as you reflect on what I've written here....and that your reflections will bring you closer to the One who loves you the most. Shalom

PS. To my Oriental friends, please translate your comments before leaving them.....I haven't figured out how to translate them and post them together yet. I'll keep working on that. And thank you for your comments.