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Monday, September 29, 2008

Fall Has Come

Though I am still waiting for the weather to act like it is Autumn, I am excited to welcome such a fun time of year. It makes me feel like slowing down and being at peace even though this season leads into such a busy holiday time of year.

I am always looking for new things to do as a family that are close by and FREE! So, while up late one night I came across Huell Howser's PBS program highlighting Oak Glen, CA. It is only 30 or so minutes away and it looked like a way fun family adventure.

Saturday we packed a lunch and headed up to Los Rios Rancho. A Beautiful and quiet place amidst the Apple Orchards in Oak Glen. They have a group of apple farmers that have quite the following. We had our lunch and played around a bit, hiked the nature trails and bought some fresh apple cider. For me, it was very relaxing. I love creating these kinds of memories for my children and hope to make this one a yearly tradition. They have some Tree Farms up that way as well. We might have to go there to get our tree this year too.


I SEE you

Can't hold back the excitement!

Zoe is climbing trees,


and crawling (for reals). She just popped her bottom 2 teeth at 5 months!

The Girls tried some tree climbing, Eliza didn't like it.

Norah did a little better.

Then we did our little hikes and the camera DIED!

Eliza did a great job taking this photo!

We saw a catfish about 3 feet long and some great Trees! It reminded me of my home, the Northwest. The smells, the cool air, it was all making me a tad homesick.
Fun times if you want to check it out, they are open until Thanksgiving and hiking available only on weekends. See for more information.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Heading in a New Direction

I am grateful today for the new direction we have been given for Jeff's Career. For the last 4 months he has been unemployed. For about 3 of those 4 months, he has been interviewing with Target and a few weeks back they finally offered him a job! Jeff starts his first day tomorrow as an Executive Team Leader. He has 6 weeks of training and just in time for the Holiday Rush will move into his own store. His responsibilities will include all the hardlines(Definition: A store department or product line primarily consisting of merchandise such as hardware, housewares, automotive, electronics, sporting goods, health and beauty aids or toys.) of the store.

For the last 10 years Jeff has been working at FranklinCovey in the specialty retail field and Target is considered "BIG BOX" retail. So, this is a totally new retail experience, good for rounding out the resume! So, forget about Wal-Mart everyone! You all know Tar-get is the best in the business...come support Jeff's new company!

We are so excited at the possibility of him not having to travel far and getting to come home every night. Eliza's first comment after we told her Dad got a new job was "are you going to come home now?" Traveling has taken its toll on all of us.

With Jeff's first "summer vacation" in over 15 years, he is ready to get back to work. It has been so nice to spend time together as a family. Despite the stress of no job, we were provided for with a generous severance package and wonderful family and church support.

Since accepting the position 3 weeks ago, we have felt even more comfort and peace that the Lord's hand is evident in our family's life. I can tell you that the Lord does deliver us. A few months back I wrote a poem that my sister then put to music which explains only a part of this learning process for me.

Deliver Me

I trust in God to deliver me,
If I am still, then I will see.
His hands are ones that take my life,
As I am willing, there is no strife.

He makes of all my day to day
problems, that only melt away.

These challenges,
have become
what I need,
to become
who He is
and who
I want to be.

Thank you Lord, for delivering me.

Allison changed the lyrics a tad and here is our song: Click on the link below.


I trust in God to deliver me,
If I am still, then I will see.
His hands the ones that take my life,
As I am willing, there is no strife.

He makes of all my day to day,
a cleansing wind to brush away
the dross and burdens that I bear
Every moment says He’s there

have become,
what I need,
to become
who He is
and who
I want to be.

Thank you, Lord, for delivering me.

So, as life is meant to teach...we have been learning!
And we are happier, closer and the better for it all.

Thank you Lord, for teaching me.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Homeschooling - Writing

Some of you might know that I have decided to Homeschool Eliza. In my efforts to help encourage her natural curiosity for reading, writing, math and anything else she expresses interest in, I came across a post this morning and thought it might be of help to all you moms of 3-6 year olds. Definitely some great ideas and helps...gosh this homeschooling this isn't so difficult, I am seeing the biggest influence for her, is simply ME!


Writing in Kindergarten and First Grade

This same safe and encouraging environment should be carried over into kindergarten and the first grade. It is important to remember that children develop at different rates. For some beginning school-age children, “writing” may be conveying their ideas through pictures. Pictures actually serve as a rehearsal for writing. They provide a framework for putting thoughts and ideas into words.

Later, children will begin to experiment with letters to represent words or sounds. Our job as teaching parents is to encourage this experimentation and to convey to our children the idea that their marks on paper do represent meaning. Ask them to read you what they have written. Read it back to them, being careful not to interject your own interpretation or to be in a hurry to suggest how they might improve their story.

If you are like I am, you find it easier to write when you have all of your tools at hand and conditions are just right. Children also need a writing environment: chair, table, selection of paper, envelopes, pencils, crayons, ruler, etc. The alphabet, in upper and lower case letters, should be posted nearby at the child’s eye level.

Sometimes writing involves making a grocery list; at others, a letter to grandma or perhaps a story. Often the writing session begins with children drawing a picture, then writing something about it, or having you write down what they dictate. Perhaps they can finish the story by writing their name.
Teach by Example

It is important that your children see you writing and get the idea that writing is an important means of communication. When you write a letter, encourage them to write one; when you make a list, have them make their own list; when you address an envelope, let them address one of their own. Demonstrate how to write a story by writing about something that happened or will happen today.

As you write, tell what you are thinking. In a classroom setting, this demonstration is usually done on a large chart for all the children to see. With your individual child or small group of children, you can do this on ordinary paper, but write large enough so that they can differentiate between letters, words, and sentences.

Make a habit of writing messages to your children. For example, you might post a message on the refrigerator door: “John, I liked the way you made your bed and cleaned your room today! Love, Mom” or “Betty, remind me to buy apples at the market today. Mom.”
Remember it's a Process

At this stage of writing, children will begin to “ear spell,” or invent spelling. Sometimes we as parents have trouble accepting incorrect spelling or poorly formed letters, fearing that our children will learn the words incorrectly and develop poor penmanship habits. Remember some of the principles we discussed in the first article of this series. Children approach writing as they learn to talk. Perfection comes later. If your children are hesitant to begin to write letters or words to convey a story, ask what sounds they hear. Usually they will isolate the sound of a beginning consonant, and if necessary you can help them find this letter on the alphabet chart.

Later on, children will begin to experiment with other conventions: spacing between words, capitalization, and punctuation. They may go through a stage where exclamation points end every sentence. As they are exposed to more and more books and other forms of writing, they will begin to follow those models and to try new things in their own writing.

The important thing for parents to do is to focus on the content more than on the form. Now is the time to help your children put their thoughts into words and feel the sense of empowerment that comes from being able to do so.

With this approach, most children by the end of first grade will be making books of their own writing — a few pages of drawings, captions or even complete sentences about the pictures, and all stapled together into a volume like a real book. Remember that fine motor skills, like other stages of development, are quite variable among children. Some first graders, especially boys, are still having difficulty copying and forming letters, writing on a line, and translating what they think and speak into written form. But all those skills will come with time, support, and encouragement.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Disneyland 5K

SO, I did it! I have trained my mind in the last 12 weeks to allow my body to run 3.1 miles and I did it all in 34.14 min. To you all that might not seem like very fast, but my theme has been that slow and steady finishes the race.

Our Gold Plastic Medal

Thanks to Jill, Holly and Haley for going through with it! We amazed ourselves and are looking forward to maybe having this be a yearly tradition. Even though the 1/2 marathoners got cooler t-shirts, we will be back for ours next year! Who's in for the next 5k???? or maybe even a Sprint at Perris Lake next spring?

I can't yet say that I LOVE running/jogging, but it is a great feeling to do something that for all my life seemed so impossible to me in my mind.

Thanks to my Honey especially, for watching the girls every day I ran and never doubting me. Your running skills have rubbed off on me, at least a tiny bit.

Even Eliza and Norah participated in their own 200m and 100m dash. They even got 2 Medals each! We had a great time at the hotel the night before and learned that Eliza is a great swimmer. She was swimming by herself and doing double somersaults in the water with no pause for air. What a fish!