We had the opportunity to attend a “Symphony through the Ages” intended for kids last week. It started with Pachelbel’s Canon from the Baroque period and moved all the way through the modern era with Star Wars. I learned something new – when Beethoven was composing, people listening would be eating, talking, singing along, etc. The symphony wasn’t always a quiet and respectful event! Interesting. =) We even got to pretend we were watching his 5th Symphony during those days and talk while it was playing. Such a strange experience!
We went with other friends of our from CC/church and had a school-related playdate during the day with them that day, too. It was lots of fun to have 4 kids working on school together at various levels over different subjects. They did really well together!
Here’s a little glimpse into our CC community day:
And a little glimpse into our daily life at home:
Micah has been making some serious progress with reading these days. My friend, Amy, recommended the Preschool Prep Company videos and has lent them to us and they have helped build Micah’s confidence so very much. He set a goal to read 15 books (mostly the Bob books you see here) this month. He’s at 14 right now, so if he reads one more…he will be getting the Pizza Hut pizza he wants!
Ethan finished the first semester math book and officially started his second semester book today. He was very excited about this and has been making some serious improvements in sticking with problems (especially word problems) that are hard! He’s also doing a great job learning John 1 in Latin and in English (we’re all working on it, but Ethan’s got it done a little more confidently than the rest of us). Hopefully we’ll have a video someday soon. =)
Micah requested that we have another Packers picnic, “like we had when we lived in Georgia with the mac and cheese and sitting on the football blanket”. Thankfully the Packers were playing that Monday night, so we made it happen. The boys had a great time celebrating a win *finally* and eating all green and gold food. In other exciting news, Micah is now a fan of the Packers again, “even if they play the Bears”. (Sorry, Jason!) They took the decorating VERY seriously and even shed some tears over disagreements about the appropriateness of using one of my shirts as a pillow cover or just draping it over the couch. Such little sweeties.
Ethan is learning how to divide. We used our NFL helmets to explain divisions. It was classic! Feeling thankful for Classical Conversations and learning all those skip-counting songs! Phew.
Boys got their hair cut. I treated them to hot chocolate while we waited for their turn.
Meagen came over for dinner. Micah took the liberty of photographing the occasion.
Micah has started to love doing puzzles now. This used to be Ethan’s favorite pastime and I couldn’t convince Micah to spend any amount of time doing them. But now he is often found doing puzzles! He also loves practicing his letters and drawing pictures.
E and I went to our old eye doctor for check ups. He apparently has 5 rows of lashes. I don’t know how many the average person has, but that seems a bit excessive! No wonder they are so stunning!
And here is a video of Micah’s recent Bible memory verse:
Micah is loving preschool. He always gets in the car and announces that he doesn’t remember anything that he did that day, but then later throughout the day he will tell us random things he did or sing songs or tell us his Bible verse. I was playing legos with him the other day when he did it and I decided to make a quick video of him (which he absolutely LOVES doing).
Here he is practicing cutting paper and playing his tin whistle. We had pajama day at Classical Conversations, so that’s why he is wearing pjs still.
This week Micah had his school Halloween parade. He chose to dress up as a knight. E and I were in attendance and loved it. It was rainy, so they moved the parade inside.
Well, we are gearing up for our second big family race. I plan to push our HUGE 3-year old in a stroller while Mike chases after Ethan on his scooter. We are running 2.7 miles on May 3 with our whole church family.
Our church intentionally picked 2.7 miles to represent the 27 million people that are enslaved today. They are exploited, controlled, abused, and robbed of their freedoms and a whole lot of it is happening right here in Georgia. Sadly, Atlanta is ranked one of the top 20 cities in the US human trafficking jurisdictions. The cool thing is that Atlanta is also among the front-runners of cities trying to stop it. Out of Darkness leads the pack. The mission of Out of Darkness is to REACH, RESCUE, and RESTORE all victims of commercial sexual exploitation, that the glory of God may be known.
I am jazzed about this race for a lot of reasons:
#1: I love that our church is BEING the church and caring about the things that God thinks are important. Chapter 58 of Isaiah has been challenging and convicting me this past year and really fits into this whole freedom theme that has been screaming at me all year:
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?”
#2: I love that it’s 2.7 miles – a very meaningful distance representing the 27 million individuals who are enslaved today.
#3: I love that we are trying to raise $7000 which would give one girl all the care she needs for an entire year.
#4: I love that the boys can participate with us! Yay! It’s hard at this stage in life to find meaningful things to do, so this is a seldom-found opportunity.
Anyway, no pressure to support the cause, but we wanted to give you the opportunity to join us in the fight against injustice. All donations will go directly to Out of Darkness with the goal of providing care for one soul rescued from the streets for one year. Follow this link to give.
Here’s the Crew before our first family 5k. Last year we also ran to benefit Out of Darkness. I wonder how much weight Micah has gained since then… EEK!
The boys and I were busy this month with a few Valentine’s projects. We made a poster for our door – a way to acknowledge and reward kind things we are caught doing. The boys have really gotten a kick out of it. Ethan is super motivated by these hearts and is regularly asking, “can I get a heart for that?” Hmm…we might have missed some of the lesson about just doing kind things for the sake of doing the kind things…we’ll get there. We’re still pretty young. =D
We also spent some time making a new canvas to go along with our picture frames with each of our names in them on special paper. The boys picked out their paper, with a few parameters given by me (examples include, “no, we are not going to have brown cheetah spots…nope, not pink cheetah spots either. Let’s stick with silver colors.”). They were pretty proud of their paper. =)
The idea is that we can write encouraging notes on the frames for each person in our family. Ethan is especially excited about this and has been anxiously waiting the moment when I finally hung them on the wall. He has written each of us quite a few very sweet notes.
Since we were leaving early morning on Christmas Day, we celebrated as our immediate family the night before. We opened a couple presents, had another green and red meal (mostly because we had to eat our remaining fruit and veggies before our trip), and went to our Christmas Eve service. Our friends joined us there and we said goodbyes to them…until next time…in Switzerland, hopefully! =)
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.” (Isaiah 9:6-7a)
“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.” (Galatians 4:4-5)
Advent Activity: Sing Christmas carols at a nursing home.
I vividly remember this one woman who used to belt out “Amazing Grace” at the top of her lungs each time my Sunday School class visited the nursing home to sing along with the residents growing up. It still brings tears to my eyes to picture her singing out to the Lord without a concern for anyone around her. It was beautiful to me even as a little girl. My hope is that this experience (and many more to come) will stay with them long after they are under our roof. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for those memories from my sweet childhood.
The boys and I got together with some people from our church to sing Christmas carols at a nursing home last night. We went last year, too, but this year the boys were much more prepared for it. They really did a wonderful job, sitting still and singing songs when they knew them. Ethan even walked around and shook people’s hands, wishing them a Merry Christmas. He brought his song book with him to show people and to use for the words of some of the songs (thanks, Auntie Lauren and Uncle Ger, for that gift last year…they still LOVE it). Both boys went to the front and sang “Jingle Bells” for everyone!! Brave boys! I couldn’t help but snap a really quick picture because I never want to forget that night. It was beautiful.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Advent Activity: Make something special for our pastor
It is probably for good reason that people say that unhappy people tend to be the loudest. I know I don’t go out of my way to applaud someone (a waiter, a customer service person, our pastors, etc. etc.) when they are doing a good job, but most people are plenty quick to give criticism or a bad review if they are not pleased with something/someone. We have loved our church and have grown a lot over this past year+ so we wanted to spend some time acknowledging our pastor for all that he has taught us! Here’s a picture of Ethan working on his card:
“And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11b)
Micah learned that Jesus was given 3 gifts at church this week. I had the pleasure of being in his class, so it was fun to be able to remind him of the truth he had already learned. And Ethan learned what each of those gifts were and even had the opportunity to smell frankincense and myrrh when he was at school. Cool!
Advent Activity: Go out for a meal at a NEW restaurant
We needed to specify “new” because right after this video, as expected, the boys yelled, “Chipotle!!!!” I don’t think they were disappointed, however, when we went to a hibachi place instead. Micah will tell you that his favorite thing it was the rice and Ethan would tell you that they cooked right in front of us and “even tried to throw food into our mouths.”
“And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him.” (Matthew 2:11a)
Advent Activity: Write a letter to Jesus, thanking Him for blessings from the past year.
You may know this about me…I love to journal. I started journaling my prayers my freshman year of college as an assignment and it has changed my life. I have a prayer journal for every year since then and it’s wonderful to be able to look back at ways my faith has matured and changed over the years. Anyway, this is something very important to me and I want to teach our children, while they are still young, the beautiful value in journaling. The boys seemed to enjoy writing/drawing/putting on stickers about things for which they are thankful. I tried to journal at the same time as I helped them…not the most peaceful time I’ve spent thanking the Lord, but I wanted them to see me “practicing what I preach.” I could still be writing my list today…there are so many things for which I am thankful.
E and I had a great conversation afterwards about how much he wants to go to Heaven because he “really wants to meet Jesus and see what we are going to do when we get there.” He’s heard it before, but I shared the Gospel message with him and told him that Jesus was busy preparing a home for him in Heaven. I am humbled every time I get to talk to my boys about how much Jesus loves them and to try to give them a taste of His goodness and mercy. It’s a hard task, but I am SO thankful that it’s been given to me.
“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem,saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.'” (Matthew 2:1-2)