Classical Conversations

DeyArmin Academy took a different educational turn this year! We joined a Classical Conversations group. Some of you immediately know of what I’m referring to, while I’m guessing others have never heard of it.

The first time I heard of it, I was at a friend’s house, and she had these various timeline cards, and facts about science, history, math, grammar, and Latin hanging up. She explained to me the group that she was a part of and what it entailed. I had never heard of classical education, so I wasn’t sure what that meant.

I learned of a group that met “in town” where I do my shopping. It was going to cost us something to be a part of it. I was still not completely comfortable with my new surroundings, so I opted not to do it last fall.

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I observed a group in action on one of their open house days. I saw some of how it went, but even then, I didn’t necessarily understand how it all worked. It wasn’t until after I read the articles in their catalog, and later read books on classical education did I then feel like I understand how this process actually works.

I have to say I was happy with what I did before. This has added a new level to it all though. It has somewhat started the engine of education for us causing all of us to develop a love for learning. At this stage, we are all working on the same material together. I love that.

There was still the issue of cost, but I learned that they needed another tutor which would cover the cost for my boys to be in the group. I took it on! Deep breath!

I told myself last summer that we would do this for a year, and we would reevaluate at some point how this was fitting into our family’s vision. Since re-registration starts in a few weeks, we’ll do that official evaluation over Christmas time!

Public Presentation time of the morning-- 3rd week in a row  he brought his chess set!

Public Presentation time of the morning– 3rd week in a row he brought his chess set!

Here we are swimming along in the Classical Conversations stream. Some days, it feels more like a torrential down pour when I’m trying to get my teaching materials loaded up along with my kids and their supplies for the day.

If you see me posting pictures of what we are doing or you hear us singing the timeline song as we go around the house or you hear me use words like Abecedarians or rhetoric or pluperfect, know that is all part of the Classical Conversations DeyArmin Academy program!

Know God! Make Him Known!

Here is a post from a friend of mine who does the program in Colorado:

http://heavenisourhome.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/first-year-of-cc-my-view-as-parent-and-tutor/

Worrying about the sky

I am glad I picked this book up. I am glad I actually read the book I picked up. I have heard a lot about Martin Luther and his incredible influence on history. And, considering that Reformation Day was last month, I thought I’d post some words from him that I’ve actually been thinking about for a few months now (that’s how you know they are some powerful words).

But before I do, I wanted to comment on some of the other things I learned from reading this book. I love reading about the wives of men who changed history. Ever heard that quote, “Behind every good man is a good woman”? Oftentimes, that is followed by some sort of funny comment “pushing him along, giving him a swift kick, etc.”, but that’s not the point of this post.

I have the biographies of Susannah Wesley and Susannah Spurgeon along with Abigail Adams and Sarah Edwards. I love to read of their lives and their devotion to both their husbands and to God. Many times, they had husbands who were gone for months (or years) at a time. They had to find ways to stretch their dollar, bring in extra income, or complete parts of the work that needed to be done. It was no plush life at all! But one thing could be said of each of these women, “The heart of her husband doth trust safely in her. She will have no lack of gain.” These women were tough, and I’m challenged by it.

Katherine Von Luther was the wife of Martin. Reading this biography (written a bit like a story which made it more interesting), I learned more of their marriage and family life.  He referred to her as “my rib” which made me laugh. I learned of how they opened a bed and breakfast where he would stay up late into the night drinking beer with reporters and fellow political and theological figures of the day. Apparently, the reporters sat ready to write down whatever interesting things he would say during a time that ended up being called “Table Talk.” (now, the title for a great devotional book you can get.) When Martin would get incredibly passionate, he would jump on the table proclaiming loudly his latest thought. And behind the scenes, Katherine served the guests their food and beverages, cleaned up, took care of their children, and encouraged Martin who received many threats on his very life.  What a woman! And her husband changed the world!

I don’t know God’s plans for Carl. Maybe he’ll change the world on its head like Martin, maybe he’ll be faithful to a few and change the legacy of those people’s lives. I’m not called to know that. I’m called to be faithful. And while I’m being faithful, I’ll look to some of these incredible women of the past who didn’t have many of the luxuries I’m able to have (a car, washing machine, internet, Starbucks, etc.). I’ll strive to emulate their determined spirits to bring joy into their homes especially into the lives of their husbands.

Now, back to that awesome excerpt which surprisingly doesn’t have much to do with the wife aspect I just wrote about. I just thought I’d explain the book I got it from. These are words Martin Luther penned.

“….I have recently seen two miracles. The first was that as I looked out my window, I saw the stars and the whole vault of heaven, with no pillars to support it; and the sky did not fall and the vault remained fast. But there are some who want to see the pillars and would like to clasp them and feel them. And when they are unable to do so they fidget and tremble as if the sky would certainly fall in, simply because they cannot feel and see the pillars under it….

Again, I saw great, thick clouds roll above us, so heavy they looked like great seas, and I saw no ground on which they could rest nor any barrels to hold them and yet they fell not on us, but threatened us and floated on. When they passed by, the rainbow shone forth, the rainbow which was the floor that held them up….But some people look at the thickness of the clouds and the thinness of the ray, and they fear and worry. They would like to feel how strong the rainbow is, and when they cannot do so they think the clouds will bring another deluge.”

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He’s not worried one bit! Just enjoying it….

Oh, I loved this!!!

What an encouragement as you look at the night sky to let go of your worry and fear!

And, somehow, this ties into the beginning of the post about being a wife too, but I won’t try to make that connection right now.

Just think on that excerpt!

The shirt off his back

Here’s just a glimpse into one of our DeyArmin evenings. One that I happened to use a camera at so I guess I can make a blogpost out of it!

A few weeks ago, we had to go into town for a potluck event. Including the various foods I brought, I also packed our stroller so we could enjoy a walk after since the weather was just beautiful! And, it is always nice to be out and about with Carl whenever we can 🙂 Image

We walked near a lake and it wasn’t too long before Carl started skipping rocks. The kids were then interested in doing it themselves. Esther was no longer content to sit in the stroller. I let her out and watched her ever so very carefully as she stepped out into the water.

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She spent a long time just playing with the water around her knees.

ImageAnd then she wanted to go farther. But her feet couldn’t handle walking on rocks. And she slipped. Carl was right there and scooped her up. She gasped and spit water. No picture taken at that point as I wanted to make sure she was okay. After we all saw she was fine, we waited for the reaction to come– would she cry? would she be scared? So, we cheered! She smiled and loved the attention. She opted not to cry.

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And then there was a tug on my arm. And a green Sounders jersey in my face. “Mom, she can wear my shirt back to the van.” I took her out of her wet dress and she drove home in her brothers shirt which worked as a dress for her.

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It’s the little things I guess…..

On a side note, I’m always amazed at how big a diaper gets when it is full of water. I really don’t think I’m using them as fully as I can on a regular basis. Those things can absorb a whole lot of lake!

Paparazzi

I felt like a celebrity in 2012! I had 5 photoshoots- yup, FIVE!!

Actually, one took place at the end of 2011 so I’m stretching that a bit, but still, at the end of 2012, I felt like a royal family for sure!

Here is a picture from each photo shoot, along with a shout out to each of the photographers and a link to their sites. I am blessed to consider each of these people my friends! All this talent and creativity– won’t just a little rub off on me, please?

Kristine Adam is a fellow mother who is striving to love the Lord and raise her children to do the same. And, currently, that’s keeping her so busy that there is no site to refer you to. I called her and said, “I need pictures for our support raising, and I need them in two days!” What a wonderful friend! She was on it, AND we captured a picture of the kids with their to-be-born sibling and used the picture as an announcement.

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Becca Rich is wonderful! I told my sister Becca Rich is wonderful! My sister used Becca Rich to photograph her wedding. Becca Rich told me I get a free photoshoot, because I referred Becca Rich to my sister. Becca Rich and I couldn’t coordinate pregnancy pictures as we wanted, but we still got them- two days AFTER my due date. Thanks for being late, Esther! And, thank you, Becca Rich! https://www.facebook.com/ladyandgentphotography

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Leah Kennington wanted to start photographing babies. She was patiently (well, to us, it was patiently. She says impatiently) waiting to have her own babies to photograph. She practiced on Esther. Didn’t she do awesome? AND, NOW she’s got TWO of her own to photograph! http://leahkenningtonphotography.blogspot.com/

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Kamirin Couch is a new friend. And a talented friend. And an encouraging friend. We had her take our end of the year, Christmas and family pictures. She had such great ideas. I kept telling her, “Boss us around!” And everytime, she did, I loved the results! http://crookedstreamphotography.blogspot.com/

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Christina Klas is so much fun to chat ideas with. Put the two of us in a room with an event to plan and the ideas start flowing. Her photography is an amazing outlet for all the creativity that she’s got inside. My parents hired her for our extended family vacation, and so we got some more family pictures! I sometimes just go to her site in my free time and look through her pictures! http://christinaklas.blogspot.com/

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So, as you can see, I was famous for a year! What a blessing it was! THANK YOU, friends!!

And, lest you think that I got publicity-obsessed, 2013 has had zero photo shoots thus far.

Next, I need friends who are stylists and make-up artists to really complete my life 😉

Mowing their heads down

Hair is really dead skin cells! Isn’t that gross? Yet, there are all sorts of thoughts about how hair should be cut, whether males should have facial hair or not, and how much you should focus on what your hair looks like

I just LOVE it when my one son has his head full of curls and the other has his thick mane framing his face. However, the men in my house (all 3 of them) want their hair short. REALLY short! One year, I put it off so long that when my oldest son was asked what he wanted for his birthday, he said, “I want my hair cut.” But as much as my emotions (yes, I’ve cried about it) get to me, the practical, frugal side always wins out and the threat of having to pay money to have my boys’ hair cut causes me to pull out the razor.

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Boy #1- Before

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Boy #2- Before. Yes, the sister brought snacks to watch the hair cutting show!

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During

Do you know at one point when we were tossing around the idea of homeschooling, someone said to us, “Don’t homeschool! Your kids will have weird haircuts!” THAT was their impression of homeschooling. I held onto that fear then for a long time. Oh no! Then I shared that fear with a friend who laughed so hard she almost cried. Then she said, “Lord, realize her from this fear!” Wow! See fear for the foolishness that it is (so much so, you can laugh about it) and then pray over it! Why didn’t I think of that? Instead, I let that thought stew for such a long time that I didn’t even know it was there.

God answered that prayer! While I still love it when my second child has his wonderful curls, I no longer hold onto the fear of bad haircuts. Really? Who EVER has looked at their elementary aged pictures and rejoiced at just HOW good they looked? It doesn’t matter if it is private, public, or home schooled children- we’ve all had horrible haircuts and styles change! Turns out it doesn’t matter whether the most expensive stylist does your hair or your mother does it in the bathroom.

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Apparently short hair inspires some forest conquering!

And so, I’ve resolved that my kids may have bad haircuts. I may not like their hair cut so short. But it turns out, that doesn’t matter in the long run. There are more important things. Like saving that money and using it towards other necessary things. And laughing and appreciating the gifts that there are in this life. And conquering forests!

Birthday Twins

I have such wonderful memories of my birthdays as a little girl. And, I am so happy that I got to relive it.

I have a birthday twin! My niece and I share the same birthday. Carl and I got to take a vacation (many thanks to those who helped make it happen), and we spent a week with my sister’s family in BEAUTIFUL southern California! I see why so many live there.

I would ask my niece every day, a few times a day, “How many days until our birthday?” We both got VERY excited for our upcoming birthday!

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On our day, we went out to pick out our cake, had Jamba Juice smoothies with my sister/her mom, came home to a decorated house, enjoyed a tea party with all the little ladies, and then finished the evening with spaghetti (the wee little gal’s favorite dinner & I have to agree that it was wonderful choice), opened our presents (lots of balloon popping required) and blew noisy birthday horns to endear all the neighbors to us.

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It was a wonderful day! What a beautiful birthday twin I have!

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Looking forward to many more special birthdays with her.

My husband did point out that this is my “Jesus year,” and while I will not be able to take away the sins of the world this year, I can do something big. Any ideas?

a day of (somewhat) rest

Sundays are FULL, FULL, FULL for our family! With my husband being the preacher and all, he leaves the house pretty early to get his thoughts together and the final set up at the church completed. I am usually running around trying to get my kids ready (alright, today, you all NEED to smell un-animal-like), get myself presentable (or at least, try to), and get potluck food together. I’ve come a long way in having my potluck food planned ahead of time so it is not such a rush. Then the morning turns into afternoon as we enjoy the fellowship of the beautiful people who come to our church.

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The littest Miss trying to take credit for the huge batch of freezer meals I put together with the oldest boy.

Sometimes, we top it all off with a nap when we return home. That somewhat depends on what the children decide to do. They usually determine whether both adults enjoy a nice deep nap or one is somewhat awake while the other is deeply sleeping.

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After that, we end the day with either hot dog dinner or popcorn dinner. I pretty much declare that the kitchen is closed on Sunday nights! Popcorn is simple enough though.

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Seems to be another creature who wants in on popcorn dinner too!

This has been our habit for this past year of 2013, and it has been quite fun!

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The kids usually choose Catan, but often it is Clue or Rummikub. Either way, we enjoy the laughter and discussion that food, family, and fun bring! Many Sunday nights, there are even friends included too (as long as they don’t mind popcorn or hot dogs).

It is a FULL day, but my spirit is rested after hearing God’s word and being with God’s people.