Practicum

And so it begins our first official foray into Classical Conversations. Last week my children and I had the privilege of attending a Classical Conversations Practicum. It was an amazing time. So much encouragement and amazing fellowship and if you get an opportunity to go. Do it! I have never been more passionate about teaching my children in the classical method at home than I am now. It is just a wonderful encouragement and there is so much amazing information.

I could gush on and on and I apologize to everyone who I have run into the past couple of days because your ears are probably ringing. But I will discipline myself and I will share this one quote that has just really stuck with me. Especially since one of the biggest criticisms of classical education is the fact that it is repetitive. Anyway I love it and I hope it soaks into your soul. 

Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” 
― G.K. ChestertonOrthodoxy

Powerful. “for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” It is just a beautiful thought from start to finish. 

May I raise children who never loose that sense of wonderment and may I find the beauty in monotony this school year. 

Jamberry Application

Welcome! Here is a place where I have gathered some of my favorite Jamberry Nail application videos.

Here is the best place to start

Prepping your nails is so important to get the best results
The Black Tea Method https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPQbqGrMUvM
The black tea preparation method https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uQ7Ru316qk

The Standard Method http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPQbqGrMUvM

Application

This is the cold method.
It works with a blow dryer a Jamberry mini heater (the best tool ever) or a rice bag.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdAPUuyEF6s

The Official Application Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaykpuMe53w

Removal

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks and check out my fb page for the latest here

Want to Host a Jamberry Nails Party Online go here Host

Want to Join my team? I would love to have you! Join

 

A New Endeavor

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Last month I was introduced to Jamberry Nails. Nail art is such a fun trend right now and most of the time I’m so far removed from cool I don’t even try but there is something about looking down at my hands and seeing cool nails that makes me happy. But like most of you I’m a busy mom and going to get a manicure or pedicure is just not an option. So the claim that they would last a couple of weeks without chipping and that they were non toxic, vegan, gluten free and made in the USA drew me in. So I browsed at an online party and got some.

I was almost convinced that I would totally massacre the first time I tried to apply it. I mean between the constant interruptions from kids and my propensity to mess up delicate crafty things I wasn’t hopeful. But I applied them easily with just my hairdryer and simple tools that were already in my possession. I was even interrupted five times and it wasn’t a big deal because there is no drying time so you can do a few at a time. And I wore that first application for two weeks. They were beautiful. And I was hooked.

Here is a video that Super S and I made to show just how easy application is http://flipagram.com/f/4gyygzJ88r

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So on a whim I signed up to sell them and it has been amazing. It has given my family the opportunity to do things that just weren’t in our budget before. But even better than the money Jamberry nail wraps are amazing. I call them an affordable luxury. I love that I get to introduce them to people. And every time I look down I smile because my nails look great!

Want to learn more?
Email me to request a sample at malisjams@gmail.com or go browse the great selection at http://mali.jamberrynails.net.

Want to host a party? Even if you don’t live anywhere near me online parties are a blast.
http://mali.jamberrynails.net/host/

Want to join my team?
http://mali.jamberrynails.net/join/

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Hope to talk to you soon!

Rainbows and Sunshine

We’ve been talking about rainbows because I thought it would be a fun way to recognize St. Patrick’s Day. So we’ve been looking at the science and the color order and it has been a lot of fun. I saw this simple craft pinned on Pinterest and it was a lot of fun for us so I thought I would share.
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I’m also pulling out these simple writing pages for my middle son when he wants to be involved with school and he has been getting better with every sheet. This will be a part of next year’s curriculum but I’m just giving him a preview.

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Have a sunshiny rainbow filled day 🙂

Homeschool Update

So we are now halfway through the traditional school year. This is the time I start reflecting on the next year. But since I haven’t blogged about our year very much I will do a quick recap.

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We started with My Father’s World (MFW) and it became clear very quickly that Super S my five year old was too academically advanced for the curriculum. He started begging me to make my own units for him and he pleaded to not be forced to do a whole week of the themes that were in MFW. I didn’t want to give up so quickly so I tried to simply supplement the material but it became a drudgery very quickly. It all became clear to me when I introduced the concept of nests and he proceeded to tell me that he knew all about nests and how birds gather materials from their habitat (that is the environment where they live Mom) and they construct a place to lay their eggs then they care for their eggs until the eggs hatch and the parents care for their baby birds in the nests, and different size birds created different nests based on their size. After five minutes I was convinced that a week on nests would be a bit dull and I created a different unit for him. It made me question why we homeschool and it really sent me into a bit of a tail spin. In the end, my answer to why I homeschool is to customize learning for each individual child and utilize their unique learning styles in the lessons they complete. I really want to create a love of learning in my kids because that will serve them for their entire lives. And after much prayer we abandoned MFW in November and it was so freeing.

So what are we doing instead? We have settled on Singapore Math for core math instruction and I have to say that Super S absolutely adores it. It has captured his interest and sparked a real love of learning for Math that is so much fun to watch. For phonics and reading we are using Explode the Code and Bob Books and I have been so pleased with the way they gently build his reading skills. In addition I just introduced sight words which I have mixed feelings about but they have made a world of difference with fluency. We don’t rely on them very heavily but I do feel they round out reading instruction really well. Our extras this year rotate between Spanish, geography (Super S is a geography nut just like I am) and Science.

Which leads us to Bible. This is the subject that I have struggled with the absolute most this year. Which is ironic because it is the most important. I had an issue with MFW K because I felt like themes were over simplified and as a result the truth was compromised to a degree. It also felt really disjointed to me almost like popcorn Bible instruction. I really think that far more effective is learning the stories of the Old and New Testament and focus on the way that God wrote his story through history. Looking at the way that God has made a way for his people time and time again allows faith to grow. God’s character doesn’t change, it is a constant, that is the foundation of faith. And it isn’t complicated or theologically complex, it doesn’t need to be simplified for little people. So that is my goal for the rest of the year. To create meaningful learning experiences that center around stories from the Old Testament.

Where are we going from here? Next year I-man starts a pre-k year and I really think that we are going to use MFW K for his pre-k year substituting Bible instruction for my own. I think that it will be a beautiful gentle introduction to school for him. And he is at a point in his learning that MFW K will work really well. For Super S we are looking into Classical Conversations. The more I look into it, the more I think it will be a great fit for him and I get really excited.

I am always amazed to see how God has been guiding us and I cannot wait to see what he has in store for us!

Happy New Year

The whole New Year celebration is always kind of neutral for me. Am I alone? It seems to be one of those holidays that celebrates with noise, and drinking and in the end it all kind of feels hollow to me. It always has. 

However, being an introspective person, there is one part of New Year that I like and that is that collectively the world stops and at least for a moment evaluates their lives. For some people it is a very quick moment, and a half-hearted loosing weight resolution is dispatched and then they move on, but it is a shared moment none the less.

It is always a bit bittersweet for me, maybe more so this year than ever before. This year I found myself looking at my life and it feels so full right now. Little feet running through the house, needing drinks, meals, their clothing picked out, bed time kisses, books read to them, hugs, snuggles and love and almost everything. But I look at my oldest, and those days are numbered for him. He is making that transition from little kid to just plain kid so quickly and my other two are so close behind him and there is part of my that is a little sad just because it is on its way to being over. 

But then there is another perspective that I have because I have two little girls who will forever be babies (at least on this earth). Time will never pass quickly for them because time has left them behind. And what I do have are three incredible little people who God has loaned me for just a brief moment because in the end they are and always have been His, I am just blessed to be able to hold them for a little while. 

And beyond that I am too quick to be completely focused on what is happening here on earth. The truth is, eternity waits. An eternity that doesn’t have goodbyes, or the sadness of passing moments but instead wholeness and joy and the fulfillment of doing what we were created to do. 

So if I could wish anything for the next year it would be that we would hear His voice, that we would be quick to obey His leading, and that we would keep eternity always in our vision. 

And I leave you with 2013 in a little over 2 minutes. God has given me so much and the best is yet to come!
http://fgr.am/f/ewxoSgEFiL

It’s Always The Sleepers

I have a confession. Hark the Herald Angels Sing gets me every year. I mean you expect The Messiah to be incredibly moving, even O Come O Come Emanuel but Hark the Herald seems kind of innocuous. And the first verse is but then that hard hitting second verse comes along and it’s all over. 

Christ, by highest Heav’n adored;
Christ the everlasting Lord;
Late in time, behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.

 

I think the four lines 

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.

sum up the power of the incarnation better than any other. And every year they hit me when I am least expecting it. Like an unexpectedly snowy afternoon when my babies are napping and I am seizing a few quiet moments to knit and listen to Pandora,  then bam! that happy angel carol comes on and the weight of eternity is in that moment. And God’s presence just bursts into the day unexpectedly but in a way that cannot be ignored. I am so thankful that every Christmas in those quiet moments God shows up and transforms the ordinary into the divine. It is my favorite part of Christmas.