25 February 2009

Get out of the Rat Race!

I got caught up in the rat race again!!

My observation is that this is the easiest way for the Enemy to distract me and steal my peace. Between finishing home school projects, extra murals, sick children (all seven of them had a tummy bug in two days), cleaning up and a special birthday (me turning 40), I was so busy with all the many, many ‘good things’ and missed out on ‘best’. I got caught up in planning, preparing, organizing and delegating. I’ve realized that these take away your focus from today. All this planning, preparing, organizing and delegating are for the future.

But what about today?

Today I want to stop when my baby smiles at me with clear, innocent eyes.
Today I want to hold my toddler when he asks me to, give him a kiss and I don’t want to be in a hurry.
Today I want to stop to appreciate my little girl’s newly drawn picture.
Today I want to push my boys on their swings and enjoy the fresh morning breeze.
Today I want to stop when my boys want to tell me a story, look them in the eyes and listen.
Today I want to stop and acknowledge and appreciate my older ones’ efforts helping with the younger ones.
Today I want to serve my big boy lying sick on the couch, pretending he is my little boy again. Today I want to look at my children and remember they are the reason I’m a Mother.
Today I want to stand a little longer in my husband’s embrace and remember the way he smells.
Today I want to take a minute and write my husband an encouraging-thank you letter.
Today I want to look at my husband and remember he is the reason I’m a wife.

But most of all I NEED to stop and remember I’m God’s child. I want to sit at His feet and let Him fill me with His Spirit. I want to be in His presence, be myself and know it’s good. I want to remember I’m God’s precious daughter and I want to remember He is the reason I live!

I want to stop pretending.
I want to stop being like the other Mothers.
I want to stop comparing my children with other children. It is when I try to be a mother and wife the way I THINK I should be, or in my own strength, that I fail.

I can only be a loving Mother when I make peace with the unique person God created me to be.
I can only be a peaceful Mother when I am drinking out of His well of living water.
I can only be a caring Mother when I mother through His strength.

Only He can make me serve with a serving heart.
Only He can give me patience and longsuffering to handle the frustrations and chaos of little children.
Only He can give me the wisdom and attentiveness to know my older children.
Only He can make me a submissive wife who loves her husband unconditionally.
Only through His peace can I manage my house.

But I don’t want to have this only for today; I want to have it every day, for the rest of my life!

This morning God gave me the answer – like so many times before!
I can only get out of the rat race, when I come to Jesus and learn from His example. When I take His yoke upon me; when I have His gentle and lowly heart, then I’ll have rest for my soul.

I am going to take the challenge again to know Jesus more, to give Him all my burdens and ask Him to reveal Himself to me.

I got out of the rat race and I can already see the difference in myself and in my home.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Matt 11:28-30

PS. I’ve just received the newest Above Rubies magazine, #75. Inside is an article by Nancy Campbell (Editor and Founder of Above Rubies) and guess what one of the main articles is? ‘Help! How can I have PEACE in my Home?’

Wow, what an amazing article! Just the right timing - just for me!!
Maybe it is also intended for you….?

To receive this copy of Above Rubies, subscribe HERE.

The Children, Christo and I with my birthday cake! Four candles, one for every decade!!

My goal for the next 40 years? To live a simple, quiet life.

18 February 2009

Our Colour Lapbooks Finished!

Here are the final products of Josua, Danika, Andrew and David's Colour Lapbooks:

At the back of the file we made a pocket file for extra art.

Why Make Books?

  1. Book-making is good for children's brains;

  2. Book-making turns words from foes into friends;

  3. Book-making helps children "own" the information you are presenting;

  4. Book-making develops creative skills;

  5. Book-making provides a positive tool for sharing your homeschool experience;

  6. Book-making is a way to preserve precious work for years to come;

  7. Book-making helps parents evaluate mastery;

  8. Book-making communicates to the child that "your art is worth all this 'fuss".

(Quote from The Ultimate Lap Book Handbook)

15 February 2009


God loves feasts! As a family, we love feasts too! On Saturday night we celebrated the love in our family and God's love for us, that He sent His Son to redeem us from sin and gave us eternal life with Him.

Heidi-Mari and Danika made all the decorations for our table and got CJ to help them decorate the room.

Christo led us in Communion, to remind the children of the greatest sacrifice of love Christ made for us.

We had a stir-fry evening and every one enjoyed preparing his own meal.

After our meal, the little ones were very sleepy and they went to watch a video. Christo, the three older children and I laughed and chatted for another hour.

What a blessed evening!

13 February 2009

Our Home School Journey

Colour Lapbook

Danika, Andrew and David are almost finished with their first Lapbooks. What fun we had! We did a Lapbook on Colours. We started with Noah and the first rainbow. They made an ark, with Noah and animals peeping through the ‘windows’ and the rainbow that covered the sky.

Noah made a big impression on Andrew. He is my operator and the one who can’t wait to be in control of his own life. Answering dad's question of who Noah was, he answered, “He is the Boss of this boat!”

To illustrate the animals going into the Ark two-by-two, we made a male and female lions with different sizes circles. We counted the circles and played games by arranging the circles in different sizes.
They also made monkey faces on sticks and played monkey-monkey the whole day!

The focus of our lapbook was to learn the primary and secondary colours. We did a lot of activities to reinforce this concept.
We illustrated primary and secondary colours with paint. They mixed the primary colours to make secondary colours and painted rainbows.

We also used play dough to demonstrate the mixing of the primary colours to make the secondary colours. At the end they could mix the colours as much as they wanted, without mommy complaining, she even encouraged them! See the joy on David’s face!

We also used Oil Pastels to mixed the secondary colours.

For Friday baking we made rainbows with jelly tots, tennis biscuits and icing. We practised sorting colours and counting, without them even knowing they were learning.

This was great fun and a huge spoil, since my children only get sweets at birthday parties.

We illustrated the rainbow with different layers of jelly. We cheated a little with the blue, and mixed in some food colouring! For ‘clouds’ we whipped some Orley Whip. Even the older children could join us for this activity. See the anticipation on Heidi-Mari’s face!

We cut and pasted coloured ice cream scoops on cones. For Danika we put numbers on the ice cream scoops and she had to put the scoops in the right sequence.

Josua had to learn to write the names of the colours. I put the names of the colours on the ice cream scoops and he had to match it to the correct colour.
We coloured umbrella’s and rain drops, cut them out and matched them again.
We coloured in two by two pictures and they had to connect them with lines. At first it was a new concept to Andrew to connect the same pictures, but by the end he could do it with great confidence.

David did not know any of his colours before we started. Today as we did the lay-out of the lapbook, I could asked him to show me a picture of the colour red and he could immediately show me a red picture. He couldn’t say the name of the colour, but he did know what red looked like. Andrew knew his colours from a very young age, fso for him it was only reinforcement to learn the colours, as well as for Danika and Josua. Danika and Josua enjoyed the mixing of the colours.

I got all my ideas and activities from: kidsparkz; first-school; dltk-kids and lapbooklessons

As we finished one activity after the other, we put it in a plastic file. Today we start to put it all together on our lapbook-file. (Read more on lapbooking on our website)
We are now in the final stage of putting this together. I will post pictures as soon as it is finished.
Have a fun activity day!

05 February 2009

Our Home School Journey

January 2009 – CJ

The New Year has brought a completely new routine to CJ ‘s Home School Journey. CJ is now 14 years old and we now need to gather credits and build his portfolio over the next four years in order for him to be able to study at tertiary level if he so chooses, when he turns 18 years of age.

Up to now we followed the Konos Learning Lifestyle, Maths-U-See and LLATL. He will continue his Maths through Maths-U-See and his English through LLATL. His new learning areas will be History, Geography and Arts through Konos HOW, Science and Physics through Apologia and Dad introducing him to IT-work.

Since my day is fully packed with Heidi-Mari and Josua’s Konos, Maths, LLATL and Afrikaans (our first language); the three toddlers Danika, Andrew and David’s drawing, colouring, painting and counting (we do that through lapbooking) and Baby Daniel who needs a lot of attention, I couldn’t figure out where to fit CJ’s extra work into the day. Miraculously God intervened and gave us the idea of Daddy taking an hour every morning between 07h00 and 08h00 while breakfast is prepared (we believe in starting the day with the main meal – a full English breakfast – read more) and an hour at night after the little ones have gone to bed.

So, we began this new routine….

I was amazed at how quickly everyone adapted to the new routine. But why am I amazed? It was God who gave us the idea, and His ideas always work. The little ones had to learn that this time was exclusively for CJ and they had to wait their turn. The Lord went before us and they handled it quite well.

CJ and Dad’s first project was to get our home school website going. CJ had to gather information about the curriculums we use, helpful web-links and introduce some of our home school methods. Even I was interviewed by ‘The Webmaster’ and a lot of photographs were taken. Throughout January he worked many hours building this website. CJ has a special gift for bringing a message to life through pictures and graphics and enjoyed every moment of it. Finally on Friday the 23rd of January they published the HomeschoolSA website. http://www.homeschoolsa.co.za/

CJ also started his Science curriculum through Apologia’s ‘Exploring Creation through Physical Science.’ This is a full years course and during January he studied the Human body. During this module he did an experiment with a chicken bone to study the elements of bones.

Apologia also has a ‘question of the week’ competition, and he has already answered 3 out of 12 questions correctly. In order to answer the question he REALLY has to do a lot of research. This is such a wonderful opportunity for CJ to learn how to research in this knowledge exploding era –where to look for information, what to look for, how to distinguish between all the bits of information and condensing the information into a presentable answer. That is one of the main reasons we home school our children - to teach them how to handle information. In this era of knowledge explosion, filling in the blanks and memorising facts, will get you nowhere. You need to know how to search for information and present it. Then you will be able to do anything.

Another New he started this month was to manage his own time. He needs to learn how to divide his available time between his different learning areas and in order to qualify for credits over the next four years, he needs to keep account of every hour he works in each of those learning areas. He learned to create an excel sheet that keeps record of all the hours.

In LLATL he had to draw up a selection of Poems, illustrate them himself and put them together in book form with a content and index page. My big boy was by no means enthusiastic about this assignment. I used it as an opportunity to teach him that not everything we do will always be fun. Sometimes there is a call for things we have to do, which we don’t want to do; but if done properly, will take you to a higher level. I allowed him to do some of the poems on the computer and some he had to write and draw by hand. I was amazed at his change of attitude by the end of this assignment. I wouldn’t say he got all excited about it, but he definitely wasn’t so anti-poetry by the end. And he was quite proud of his Home Illustrated Poems collection.

“School” for CJ has started on a positive note and, as a bonus, he and Dad are having very special times together. I praise the Lord for the opportunity to make learning a part of life!

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