Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Dad Does Great Things With Me
by Zachary Marinello (age 6)  © 2003

Once before he married mommy, he was bitten by a deer tick. Then it gave him his Lyme disease.  Then when he married mommy, after 9 weeks and I was a baby, He played with me.  And now he tries to do great stuff.

He walks with me, and we went to the secret garden.  When we were in the secret garden, we saw a statue, and me and Anna climbed on it.  It was a dragon with a man standing on top of it.  It was just a statue, and me and Anna knew that.  Dad wondered who could tell about it, and we saw a rock with words on it, so we read it.  Then we saw a bridge.  There was no river, but it was a bridge anyway.  I went on it, and then we left.  Before we went to the secret garden, we played pretend tennis and then baseball.  Then we went mini-golfing.

And when he does great stuff with me, I feel so good with him that I feel he is without his Lyme disease.  But he is still having a painful day today and I know that.  And Daddy talks to his friends when he meets them at lunch.  If he stays home and gets a rest, he’ll get better and better, and his prescription will help him get better. God will help Daddy and he preached so people would know more and more about Jesus.  I love Dad.

When Zach wrote this, he was in first grade and his favorite subjects (that week) were history and math.  This was his first composition, and he chose the subject.  He liked Rescue Heroes, wrestling with his sister, and being read to.

Mom's note--Zach was born 8 years after we were married, not nine weeks!  Zach is a wonderful reminder that the most important things we do are those we do together.

See other Stories of Hope

Friday, September 17, 2010

Needful Grace

I think the older I grow, the more I learn to rest in God's grace, to trust in His sovereignty and timing. Not to say that I don't still go into my tizzies, I do that quite well! But...slowly, year by year, I'm learning to depend on Him, and that He sustains us and walks with us and abides with us. I like that word, abide, and the depth of His presence it brings to my mind.

This "Grace Gem" is from a few days ago (catching up on my emails!) but ministered to my heart. If you are empty and weak--then seek His fullness and strength. So often we want change, but we only sometimes get change. Sometimes He wants to give a deeper gift of Himself, one we often don't understand in the moment, one we want to rail against and reject--and yet, He continues to offer more of Himself in our times of need. Merry


(John MacDuff, "The Faithful Promiser")

"As your days--so shall your strength be." Deuteronomy 33:25

God does not give grace--until the hour of trial comes. But when it does come--the amount of grace, and the nature of the special grace required--is granted. My soul! do not dwell with painful apprehension on the future. Do not anticipate coming sorrows, or perplexing yourself with the grace needed for future emergencies. Tomorrow will bring its promised grace--along with tomorrow's trials.

God, wishing to keep His people humble, and dependent on Himself--does not give a stock of grace. He metes it out for every day's exigencies, that they may be constantly traveling between . . .
their own emptiness--and Christ's fullness;
their own weakness--and Christ's strength.

But when the exigency comes, you may safely trust an Almighty arm to bear you through!

Is there now some "thorn in the flesh" sent to lacerate you? You may have been entreating the Lord for its removal. Your prayer has, doubtless, been heard and answered; but not in the way, perhaps, either expected or desired by you. The "thorn" may still be left to goad, the trial may still be left to buffet; but "more grace" has been given to endure them! Oh! how often have His people thus been led to glory in their infirmities, and triumph in their afflictions--seeing that the power of Christ rests more abundantly upon them! The strength which the hour of trial brings--often makes the Christian wonder to himself!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Back to School!

Well, we started back to school yesterday. We are not quite "year-round schoolers," but I find it's easier on us to start early and be able to take off time throughout the year when we need it. Plus I find that with a shorter summer break (6 weeks instead of 10 or more), the kids don't forget as much. This will be our 9th year homeschooling. (Wow! Hard to believe!)

I like to start back with just a few subjects and ease into things--so far we are doing:


Some years I've started with only one or two subjects, and slowly added on more to "ramp up" over the course of a month. This year I wanted to start with these 5, and in a few weeks we'll add on more LA and Science. I have to say though that I'm enjoying our current pace, and am not so sure I really WANT to change things!

One new idea I had while preparing for this year--when I pre-read my kids' readers (mostly Sonlight and a few others), I am using an index card for a bookmark and taking notes. Some books have tough vocabulary, so I'm going to put the definitions right on the card for the kids to use as a bookmark. Other books have lots of characters that can be hard to remember--so for those books I'm listing characters and their relationships to each other. I'm hoping this will help them get more out of their reading, and then eventually I can transition them to some of these habits.

For spelling, I started back reviewing some mastered cards from AAS on the first day. The kids retained almost everything! I was so excited for them. The notes they wrote me this summer were near perfect spelling, so I knew they were doing well--nice to see confirmation though! My son started Level 5 today. I'm hoping he can get through 5 and half of 6 this year, so that we can finish up spelling in his 9th grade year. We'll see how it goes! My daughter is just a few lessons into Level 4.

History had a rough spot this morning--my 11 yo daughter was in a talkative mood and my 13 yo son was...well...13: the age when it's interminably hard to have a little sister who knows anything...But when I said her points were legitimate and that I wanted to hear them--and that further I wanted ALL of us to participate in a lively discussion--he changed his tune and we had a great discussion! So encouraging. I'm really looking forward to history this year (we're using The Mystery of History) and the opportunity for them to do some independent projects. And it's fun to be back in Genesis for our Bible reading.

Math--my son is good at math but usually balks at it--however today he willingly did *3* lessons! We switched to Math-U-See for Pre-Algebra (Horizons doesn't go up that high), and he really likes Steve Demme. I wonder how long the honeymoon will last? LOL! I did tell him that it's good to whiz through the easy stuff now so he can spend more time on the harder concepts later on. My daughter is continuing with Horizons. Last year we didn't quite finish her book, so this year I'm having her take the tests at the beginning of the new level--to get past all of the review and leave more time at the end of the year for the new stuff (so we can finish!). I told her when she gets less than an A on a test, that's where we'll start in the book. She thinks that idea is the best thing since apple pie!

All in all, a good start back. I hope this trend continues! Anyone else start back yet or making plans?