"to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faithin me." Acts 26:18

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

AP exams

This spring Timothy took two AP exams: Calculus and Physics.  As a homeschooling mom, whose strengths do not lie in upper-level maths and sciences, this was a bit nerve-racking for me.  But Timothy was motivated and up for the challenge.  He used Saxon's Calculus, Apologia's Physics and a few other resources on Kindle and the internet and taught himself.  (All I did was help to craft a study schedule to make sure he finished everything in time!)  About a month before the tests, we realized that the AP physics exam was calculus based and not algebra-based, like apologia's physics textbook that he had been learning from all year.  A huge oversight on my part!  He ordered more books on kindle and really buckled down for the remaining days...determined not to be thrown off course by this realization.

We just got his results back yesterday and we were so happy for him!  He did very well!  A 5 in calculus and a 4 in physics!  Wow!  All his hard work paid off!

I hope that this will be an encouragement to all the homeschooling moms who are still in the grade school years and still have little ones toddling around dumping out juice cups and throwing toothbrushes in the toilet while you're trying to homeschool your older kids.  The moms who are sick with morning sickness or chronic illnesses.  The moms that are trying to move and in the middle of packing or unpacking boxes.  The moms that are learning what it means for their family to live in a new culture.

This is my oldest child...the one who had his education interrupted by 5 pregnancies (that's like 5 years of morning sickness and sleepless nights and newborn struggles! ha!), two adoptions, one cross-country move and one international move (and everything that was involved in pre-field training and settling down in a new culture).  That adds up to a lot of days of missed textbook time!

During those days, I never believed older moms when they told me that my kids would be okay.  hmm...I fretted a lot over everything that I wasn't getting done.  I think they were right though.  God's grace covers a multitude of gaps in our children's education.    I've done a lot wrong in our homeschool journey but there are three things that were brought to mind last night as I was in bed thinking and thanking God for Timothy's exams.  Three ways that God led us that I'm thankful for:

#1-- an absolute and utter dependence on the Lord for all that I need and all that my kids need.  By his grace, my kids' hearts are being shaped by the Holy Spirit and this is so important.  Even on the best days, with no other interruptions, it is very difficult for academic education to happen if hearts are not submissive to the Lord.  I am thankful that was convicted early on that my first job in homeschooling is to discipline their hearts and lead them continually to the Lord.

#2-- When life throws interruptions to school we shouldn't fret so much.  But when there aren't major interruptions, we have got to run and work hard and get that school done.  Kids do learn a lot by experiences and life, but it actually won't get them to college.  haha!  Sometimes homeschooling goes at a limp, sometimes it halts all together, and that's okay! But during the seasons that it can go--it should fly!

#3--I think it was drilled into me in my early days of Classical Conversations to give our kids the tools of learning.  When Timothy got to pre-algebra and algebra 1, I was still able to dig into the depths of my brain, remember my college algebra and figure out his math with him.  But I knew that wouldn't last long.  I knew nothing of upper-level math and with lots of other kids and my chronic illness, I knew I wouldn't be able to continue to learn with him... there just wasn't time or strength.  So during those two years, I spent hours relearning myself, then teaching him and modeling to him how to take his textbooks and make them his own, how to use google and youtube to figure out concepts, and how to use the answer key to work a problem backwards.  I taught him how it was never enough to see where he made his mistakes, but that he had to get to the point where he could teach someone else...then he'd know that he had learned it.  I have found the CC idea that our children will always have gaps in their education, but if we can turn them into lifelong learners by giving them the tools of learning, they will be just fine to be so true!

So there it is...three thoughts whirling about in my brain as I rejoice with my son who did really well and my Lord who is so gracious to our little school at home.  God has been so good to us!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Village Church...Mazimasa

This morning we worshipped in Mazimasa.  It was a blessing to join the group of believers there.

Pastor Herbert:

Eric preaching:

Talitha and Pastor Herbert's children, Eric and Diana. ;-)

A small crowd of neighborhood kids peeping in:

Eric has this effect on some! haha!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

A Smattering of Pictures

Easter morning started bright and early with our traditional big Easter breakfast.  My big girls were so amazing this year.  I was pretty sick the day before and I didn't see how I could do it this year.  But the girls didn't give up so easily and did the whole thing themselves... breakfast casserole, cinnamon rolls and fruit smoothies.  So yum!

We had several baptisms on Easter morning.  Such a delight!

After church we had sodas and mandazis together.

Later in the day we still had all the kids over.  It was rainy, but fun!

Timothy helping to shelter his little friends from the rain:

School is carrying on.  We're having a lot of fun and getting a lot of work done.

The little kids and I are studying Apologia's Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day for science.  We started the year studying birds and are finishing the year studying flying insects.  We have quite a collection now.

Williams hen, "Chewbacca" had two little chicks...CP3O and R2D2.

Just an average morning run...

And speaking of runs, CURE hospital in Mbale hosted a 5 (ish) K race recently.  Most of our family plus a few friends from church participated in the fun.

We also enjoyed a visit from men from the OPC head office, as well as a URC representative.

While they were here we drove up to Karamoja for a day to meet with the rest of our team there.  It's always a beautiful drive.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Breakfast Club

I took some pictures at Breakfast Club yesterday.  

The kids come and line up outside our gate.  Our night guard always helps to keep them orderly and quiet.

Eric and Timothy listen to their memory work and give them a stamp on their hand when they pass.

At 6:30, they file in, wash their hands and get food from our kids...a mandazi (a donut like thing), a boiled egg and a banana.

Then they go get a cup of tea from a mama in our church who comes very early to make the tea.

Then Eric does a Bible story and lesson with them.

The other guy pictured here is our translator.

As they leave, they wash their cups on the way out.

We love our Breakfast Club time.  It reaches a wide variety of kids, many of whom are unchurched.  Please praise God with us for this time and continue to pray for this important  ministry.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

March so far...

March has brought us the end of dry season.  So thankful for the returning rains.  While the dry season brings out beautiful flowering trees, it also includes lots of heat and dust!

 We spent a recent Sunday at the church that meets at KTC. (Actually, come to think of it, I think this was in February, but oh well...)

There were quite a lot of baptisms since their own pastor is not yet ordained.  Thankful for concrete floors...haha!

This is little Talitha being baptized...named after our own little Talitha.

We had a 24 hour visit with this little guy that flew into the other house on our compound...a little Red Cheeked Cordon Bleu.  We all enjoyed watching him so much.

Lots of rest to be found!

And we celebrated Timothy's 17th birthday!  (How is it that I have a 17 year old?  wow!)

As per African birthday tradition, Timothy got a water dumping... several times over!  Once on his actual birthday, then again during our youth night and then again the night we actually celebrated his birthday.  Ahh!!  I caught a couple on video.  :-)

Thankful that March has brought some time to settle back into real life and start school again.