Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Traditions

I thought it would be fun to talk about are Christmas traditions.

I think that every child loves to have family traditions. This is true of our children.

When my husband and I were saved in 1992 Christmas took on a whole new meaning to us.

It wasn't just the presents any more that mattered it was a time to remember what our Lord had done for us. So my husband and I have tried to make the birth of Christ be the most
important thing in our Christmas celebration.

There have been many things through the years that have become part of our family traditions.
Every year we visit a local park where there are thousands of lights strung through the park.
Many are in shapes of animals and stars and other things. My children Love going to this every year. It is beautiful.

Every year we have our annual Church Christmas program. This year several of our children are taking part. Our son Collin is going to be a shepherd and our younger children will be singing with the Kids Choir.

We also love to watch the Polar Express together. We do not teach the children that Santa is real but that it is just a nice fairy tale.

On Christmas eve the children have decided that they love to have a table full of finger foods so they can just snack and enjoy something special. We attend our Christmas eve candle light service which we always end with the song Silent Night.

On Christmas morning we wait until everyone is up and we start our day with the Christmas story in Luke 2.

We then turn on some Christmas music and then take turns opening our presents that the Lord has blessed us with.

For lunch we all loaded into our full size van and off to Grandpa and Grandma's house and of course more gifts!

Does Christmas end there? No!

We still have to get together with the other side of the family :) So we have them over and you guessed it more food and more gifts!

It is no wonder our children love Christmas time!

My four year old Caleb has been asking every day for the past month is it Christmas yet? :)
I gently reply not yet Caleb. His response ooooh. :(

How do you spend your Christmas? We would love to hear from you. God Bless, Kathy

More Math Fun!

Well it is Thursday again wow does the week fly by!

This week I am going to talk about another math program that we used for our High School Algebra. It is a program called Video Text.

I used this at the same time for my three older children. My oldest daughter has always struggled with Algebra and as I mentioned before I had tried the Math U See Algebra with her but it did not work for us at all.

This program worked much better. It is a DVD based program that has a teacher teach you the lesson for the day and then you have the assigned work to complete.

This was helpful by telling us more in detail the new concept.

The down side that we found was that it is very expensive. I found that I had to sit every day with my children to listen to the new material or it was very hard for me to be able to help them if they did have a question.

The upside with this program is that they do have a phone number that you can call for help which is why we had decided to purchase this program.

I do believe that it can be a great help to a student if they are good independent learners. This has not be our experience though so I do not know if I will use this program again with my younger children.

You can check their website for more information here at Video Text Algebra

On my next homeschooling post I will tell you about a wonderful math program that the Lord lead us too.

Have a wonderful day! God Bless, Kathy

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Books, Christmas, and More!

Hi to all!

I am so sorry that I have not had a chance to post this week. It has been so busy this past week!
I am sure that you all know what I mean. With Christmas coming things never seem to slow down. :) We have been quite busy. We have enjoyed two Christmas parties. One last Saturday and one this past Thursday night.
The party that we attended last week was wonderful. It was a community party and there was a young lady there who had collected a lot of books from people in the community. She allowed all of the children to pick out some books. God was so good! We took home two boxes full of books!
Our children were so excited! I love it.

We love to go to our local public library so this was like having a library right in our home.
We have been trying to find better things for our younger children to do during the day. I love when they read books, build puzzles, and play games.

In the winter we tend to be in the house more so I want to find things that they can do instead of sitting in front of the TV.

With that said we are still trying to do a little Christmas shopping too.

I hope that all of you are doing really well! I am sorry that I missed my Thursday post I will try to catch up for next week.

God Bless, Kathy

Friday, December 5, 2008

Yummy Chocolate Syrup!

Our Frugal idea for this week is homemade chocolate syrup!

We found this recipe over at Hillbilly Housewife some time ago and we just love it!

My daughter Rebecca made this just the other night.

It only takes a few ingredients and it comes out really good!

My children love this in their milk and it is great on icecream as well.

Give it a try I am sure that your children will love it!

God Bless, Kathy

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I'm no Einstein

As I have mentioned in some previous posts we have been homeschooling now for over 13 years.

We have tried numerous curriculum's through the years and have tried many different styles of learning so I thought that I would write about one style or curriculum each week.

I will try to make this special posting on Thursday. I asked my daughter what to call this special day? They have Menu Monday, Frugal Friday, Wordless Wednesday. Hmmm. Any ideas?

Well any way today I thought I would talk about a math program that I have used.

This program is Math U See.

I did not start this math program until I was home schooling a for a few years.

I taught this program to our three older children starting in level 4. We went through until Algebra.

I really like this program.

Here are the positive things I found about the program:

The programs main premise is using blocks to help you see the Math problem. It makes the problem concrete to the child.

I love this approach. I am a visual person so this made a lot of sense to me.

They also teach skip counting early on in the program starting right in the Kindergarten level.

The skip counting has enabled our children to go right into multiplication with out a problem.

They see that skip counting is an easy way of multiplying fast.

This program also has fraction overlays which makes fractions make sense.

When our younger children began school I continued with this program and began with the first level.

I also like the fact that this program starts Algebra concepts in the very early stages. Finding what x is for 5x + 3= 13. Or telling them to find the area of a rectangle to just multiply base times height.

I have learned so much from this program and have often said why did I not learn this way?

Here is the down side that I found for our family.

We used this program through to Pre Algebra.

When I tried it with Algebra we did not do so well. It has been a long time since I did Algebra in school and I feel that the Algebra is not taught comprehensive enough for someone who does not know Algebra.

I feel that the Author assumes that all parents have a full hold on the subject but I am sure that this is not so true.

So I would highly recommend this program at least up to Pre Algebra. Unless you are an Algebra wiz!

You can check out their web site here.

I will talk next week of a curriculum I used for Algebra and how it worked for us.

If you have any questions feel free to email me rkmothersgarden (at) gmail (dot) com.

God Bless, Kathy

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Enjoying the Little Things!

Psalm 127:
3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

Have you ever gotten so wrapped up in the day to day tasks that you stopped enjoying the little things that God brought into your life?

This can be said about me.

I have been a mom for almost 20 years and I love being a mom. All I used to dream about when I was a young girl was about getting married and having a large family.

I have always desired to have a lot of children. I think that God placed that desire in my heart all those years ago. I was not saved then but God was working in my life.

After having our first two children my husband was quite content with two. I still felt this strong desire to have more children though. My heart ached for them.

In the fall of 1992 the Lord saved my soul and shortly after my husband received him as well!

With in two months I was pregnant again with our third child!

Through the years the Lord worked in my heart and my husbands and we came to a place of trusting him for our family size. He then blessed us with 5 more children ( I was already in my mid thirties by this time)
The Lord was also working in our hearts about homeschooling. Which we have been doing for 13 years now.

With the added laundry, dirty dishes, homeschooling I forgot to enjoy my children. I let all of these things take that joy away from me and I forgot to enjoy the little things.

The Lord has been working in my heart a lot lately about this. Today I was looking at our little 2 year old daughter and she was singing and talking away and I looked at my husband and said isn't she so adorable! My husband and I never would have thought that we would have a two year old child at 45 years old. We often joke that when she is getting married we will need to retire Amen! :)

Time goes by so fast. My oldest daughter will be 20 next February. I remember bringing her home from the hospital like it was just yesterday. Okay I know that you have heard that saying before but it is so true.

So should I keep my house clean? Should I do all those piles of laundry? Yes, but I also need to remember to stop and to just enjoy the little things!

May God bless you as you enjoy your little ones (and bigger ones :) ) As you continue to serve him.

God Bless, Kathy

(Photo is courtesy of J's Magic)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Busy Day!

Today I decided to get some baking done. There is a cold going through our home so I decided to let the younger children take a day off from school to recover.

I needed to make some bread. We mill our own grain and my wonderful husband bought me a Bosh mixer several years ago to mix and knead the dough.

So I ended up making three loaves of bread. Next I moved onto some hard rolls. Tonight we are having Barbecue beef. My family loves this. We shred the beef after it is nice and tender and then we serve it on hard rolls with cheese.

After making our own rolls one day my family fell in love with them and the store rolls just are not the same any more.

I made 24 rolls so we could freeze some for future meals. I am trying to learn to make extra's if they freeze well since I already have the mess to clean any way! :)

Next I moved onto making 2 apple pies! I love apple pies! I have a recipe that you can check out here if you are interested! I had some extra apples so I did not want them to go to waste.

We are also going to visit a family tonight so my husband requested apple pie to bring along.

I do enjoy baking but it can be a lot of work :) I am so thankful for my children who help especially my oldest daughter who helped with the cooking and the dishes !

With ten people in our home to feed this food will not last long. For lunch we used almost 2 loaves of bread! Well it does help heat up the house!

I hope that you are all having a great day!

I hope you do not mind my old pictures. I just love them! :)

God Bless, Kathy