Friday, December 29, 2006

Kindergarten For All!
Here is Halle in late October, during a field trip to a local pumkin patch and petting zoo. Looking at this photo I am amazed that she is my little girl, she looks so grown up... wasn't she just learning to walk, talk and sing the ABC's? We are about to head into the second trimester of our first year of homeschooling, I thought I should reflect here about what the fall has looked like for us.
Undoubtedly, we are challenged as parents and teachers, growing ourselves as we live life along side our children. It is an amazing process for us, a 'kindergarten' year for us as well as for Halle as we lay a foundation for education in our home, discovering what works within our family culture and what we can do without. The basic ingredient of the fall has truly been joy. We are loving what it means to connect with our kids, to create a life that is rich and full in our home and where we can simply enjoy eachother as we pursue God's word and knowledge with purpose. The blessings of this choice and this life as home educators has surpassed our understanding thus far. There is a perfect peace in what we are doing and as parents, Josh and I have never felt more fulfilled. Honestly, we were so scared to begin this endevor... were we qualified enough? Did we have what it takes to teach? Was our home the best place for Halle to experience lessons and education in specific subjects rather than just discipleship and fun and yummy food? How would Maia and Jones react and come along to Kindergarten? Would I burn out? Would we all have braids and be wearing plaid jumpers by May? Our minds were reeling... but we stepped out in faith, believing that God had called us to this work and He has met us and drawn close to our hearts and to our children's hearts. We are on this journey now and loving it!
So, after studying lots of art, music, poetry, literature, trees, American history, reading, math, handwriting and character traits this fall, we are off and running. Our first trimester lasted 12 weeks and concluded the last week of November. We will begin school again on January 3rd after having spent the month of December baking, making gifts, visiting friends and celebrating Jesus's birth. I am antzy to begin, the kind of squirmy, ready to run a marathon feeling I get in late August when my spirit is longing for routine and order and a bit of 'normal.' Thank you for reading and supporting us on this journey. Now that I am becoming more technically savvy, I will hopefully be able to document more of our life together on this blog each week, instead of in three month stretches! I'll end this post by encouraging you to receive the promise of being 'heirs together in the grace of life' with your family. Spend sometime asking Jesus what that looks like for you... it is certainly likely to look very different from our family. Maybe discovering what that is is a little scary, it was for us... but such beauty comes from a life lived by faith and where our unique gifts and abilities are being used. Be blessed in how the Lord has created you, fulfilling the work he created in advance for you to do. We'd love to hear your story. Posted by Picasa

Here'sour cutie Christmas card! Merry Christmas! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Josh and KristenPosted by Picasa

Halle Judea
Halle is our helper, our child blessed to be a blessing to others through organizing, arranging and creating. She loves art and singing and ballet and has a flair for storytelling. She is extrememley sensitive and observant and we say she's our 'deep waters' girl.

Maia NeciaPosted by Picasa
Maia is our passionate extrovert. She is so full of life and cuddles and loves. We often find her changing her baby doll's diapers or 'nursing.' She keeps us all on our toes with her big personality and breakdancing.

Jones Young

Jones is the new man about the house. He is incredibly sweet and easy as far as babies go. He is never lacking a smile or giggle for his big sisters and is obsessed with his Johnny Jumper. We are exciting to have another man to balance things out around here and are learning all about the life of a young warrior by watching him.

Why Skylark?

Lately, I've been learning about how important it is to pursue the beauty of dreaming and flying and using my imagination, while at the same time seeing the worth and loveliness of the sometimes mundane domesticalities of homelife. How can I soar beyond what I know, how can I grow and at the same time encounter joy in the duties I am requried to perform each day? Are these things mutually exclusive? In the midst of this tension and tugging, I came across the writings of Charlotte Mason. I met her passion and desire for ideals to be made a reality in the lives of families. I was comforted by her gentle spirit and encouragment. Nestled between her words was a poem by Wordsworth that has given me a picture of what this life can appear to be:
To a Skylark
Ethereal minstrel! pilgrim of the sky!
Dost thou despise the earth where cares abound?
Or, while the wings aspire, are heart and eye
Both with thy nest upon the dewy ground?
Thy nest which thou canst drop into at will,
Those quivering wings composed, that music still!
Leave to the nightingale her shady wood;
A privacy of glorious light is thine,
Whence thou dost pour upon the world a flood
Of harmony, with instinct more divine;
Type of the wise who soar,
but never roam;
True to the kindred points of Heaven and Home!

And so like this songbird, I will aspire, high above my little nest, but never at a width where I can not keep it it my view, never without its presence primary in my heart and mind; never without a will determined to serve the life of my family first. And in rising high, perspective will prevail; adventure, nourishment and joy will infuse my being and nurture my heart. I hope that the encounters in this place will enrich my flight.