Wednesday, September 30, 2009

No Radishes this Week

Well, Monday was supposed to be Day 1 of a four-week science project. Unfortunately, the project is now at a standstill. Why? Well, it's hard to observe growing sprouts when the seeds never sprout in the first place! Apparently our radish seeds were not viable to begin with.

We ordered this year's school curriculum back in March. It came, we unpacked everything, and I began the process of spending the next few months previewing school a little bit at a time. Unfortunately, it was June or July before I got to science. When I began to preview science, I came across a page in one of the books that said the radish seeds needed to be refrigerated if they were not going to be used within a few weeks. Hmmm....well, it had been a few months! I went ahead and put them in the refrigerator, intended to try them out before the project start-date so I could buy new ones if need be. Well, I forgot about it.

Until this week...

Once we have viable seeds, I think this is going to be a lot of fun! Our first activity is to place twenty seeds into this box on wet paper towel. As the seeds sprout, we will make drawing of what we see, label the drawings, and record on a bar graph the growth progress of our seeds.
We also made awesome planters! To make these little planters, foil is wrapped around a battery with the excess on the bottom being pressed together. The result is a planter with a porous bottom through which water can filter up from the Styrofoam tray up into the soil! Once the planter is labeled and the battery is removed, the planter can be filled with moist soil and then a seed can be placed inside. Unfortunately, our seeds won't be growing. :-(
Right now we're praying about our timing. We had actually started the whole process a week early because of some scheduling conflicts with starting it next week. But, hopefully we'll be able to find viable radish seeds, work out our scheduling conflicts, and get started next week anyway! And, when we do, we'll be sure to include pictures of the actual progress!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Joys of Mundane

Some weeks are just busy, but tend to be mundane. And, to be honest, that can be such a nice thing! But, when you're not used to blogging about the mundane, it can make it difficult to record a day in the life! I have a lot of friends who blog using the Simple Woman's Daybook template for Mondays, and I think I just might have to join in with them to help me grow accustomed to writing about the every day.

But not today...(since it's not Monday!)

For today, I'll just share some pictures.

The kids go through dress-up phases. It's been a while since we've seen the dress-up stuff come out, but it did this week! One thing about having two girls followed by a boy is that there are a lot of things that we either were given or acquired in some other manner that are distinctly girlish that we have not replaced. Like sunglasses...I think maybe he needs a Lightning McQueen pair or something!!!! Strawberry Shortcake just doesn't quite do the trick! (Although he thought it was hilarious!)
Angie decided to put on Olivia's pioneer girls costume. Just a little big....but oh, so cute!
My girls love to match. You would think with hand-me-downs that it would never happen, but I can just imagine that God loves the relationship between my girls as much as I do because He always seems to provide things that reinforce this precious bond between then.

Last week my friend Mandy and I traded some clothes. In the bag of things that her daughter had outgrown was this polka-dot dress that, except for the addition of blue polka-dots to the green and pink, was almost identical to the Easter dress another friend bought for Olivia this year. Yes, they're spring dresses. Yes, it's after Labor Day. But, could you have even entertained the thought of telling these two sweethearts that a fashion guideline said they shouldn't wear these dresses to church on a Sunday in September? No, I didn't think so! :-) They were so excited to be matching!
Sunday morning Doug was putting the final touches on the announcement slideshow for church, and Steven crawled in his lap to help. I just love my handsome men - I am so blessed!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Psalm 8

Last year we did most of our Scripture memory work while Steven was napping, but this year we have started doing it as a family at lunch. We started the year with Psalm 8, so, to be honest, I really didn't expect Steven to pick it up. I should know better. As we listened to the girls practice their work each day, Steven wanted to practice his as well. And he is learning it so well!! I got him to let me video him yesterday. I'm not sure how well you can understand his three-year-old rendition of Psalm 8, but I just had to share it! (We are learning it in NIV.)
video

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Random

Oh, how we are sluggish this week. It isn't a bad week - just a sluggish one. Maybe it's related to the rainy weather. Maybe it's the humidity. Maybe it's just the way it goes sometimes. But, we seem to have hyperactive bursts (well, the kids do!) followed by lethargy and the inability to do the smallest task. But, at the same time, we seem to be happily getting along.

Would you like a few random tidbits?

This morning the kids have all of the Legos out - the Duplos and the regular ones. They are having such fun! I love watching the creations!

Did I tell you that I went through the kids clothes for the fall? Once again, God has provided so beautifully! The one thing we are praying for is this - a slight foot growth spurt for Angie. I know, typically we don't want them to grow, but right now it would be wonderful! We have some of the most adorable fall/winter shoes for her in sizes 12 1/2 through 13 1/2. She is a size 12. Fortunately, living in the south gives us a little more warm weather into the fall, so her sandals and white dress shoes are acceptable for a little while longer. Maybe, just maybe those feet will grow just enough!

School is going well, although we've moved a little slower than usual through it over the past week or so. But, we're getting back to full steam. The girls are learning about mammals - they know about several groups of mammals now, including carnivores, pennipeds, ungulates, and primates. Yep, Mama's learning lots, too! :-) I don't think I ever learned the names of the orders of mammals! We are continuing to read about early Spanish explorers to the Americas and their impact on the Native Americans, and the girls are both expanding their vocabulary and writing skills. Meanwhile, they greatly enjoy their typing lessons and are progressing nicely! I never dreamed we would be learning typing this early, but they really love the program they are using and are very steadily establishing great accuracy!

But, they are also learning something else that is precious to me. Olivia, out of the blue, made this statement the other day: "We're just kind of intelligent. Not exactly wise yet." I don't know where the statement came from or what she was thinking when she said it. But, as we talked just a little bit after she made the statement, I realized that she was acknowledging that they were learning much in school but needed the wisdom of the Lord to back up any knowledge they were gaining. What a beautiful thing to hear from my eight-year-old!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Good and the Bad

I love to write about the good days. I love to write about my children being super-diligent and making me proud. I love to write about those days when everything falls into place. Days like one recent Thursday when my kids made such wonderful choices!

What I don’t like is writing about the days that aren’t so great. But, the truth is that they exist, too. Just because we’ve learned how to be diligent and how incredible the rewards of diligence are doesn’t mean we always practice it. Sometimes we have days like Tuesday.

On Tuesday nothing went right. The girls woke up making the choice to be lazy slackers, and I made the choice to be irritable. Steven made the choice to be whiney, and we all ended up with a very, very, very rough day. We didn't start off very differently from the aforementioned Thursday, but we made very different choices.

Tuesday I was ready to run away. I was ready to be able to send my kids off for someone else to deal with - I was ready for a break. Why? Because none of us did it God's way.

When we do it His way, we love where we are. We love our jobs, our interactions, our callings. When we don't, we have those terrible Tuesdays.

When I face a terrible Tuesday, I often have to stop and look at these beautiful faces...
When I do, I am reminded of the incredible task God has laid upon me - the task of raising these beautiful gifts to honor and glorify Him in all they do. I remember that they learn how to do that from me. It's hard to teach them when I don't live it myself. It's also hard to teach them when I rely on my own strength and not the Lord's.

I am happy to say that Tuesday was isolated and that we are back on track now. Not perfect diligence - not even the level of the terrific Thursday. But, we're back on track. And I am looking forward to great Hibbard family reports in the coming days!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Celebrating

Well, I'm a few days late on this - the weekend was a bit busy! But, we had a great time celebrating Angie's birthday!

Friday morning I decorated her cake.
Then we had ham and broccoli quiche per request of the birthday girl.Can't forget the birthday spanking, given with gusto by none other than Daddy!And, of course, the gifts that we always tell them they're not going to get. What are they going to do if we actually follow through on that threat one day? :-) Angie's prize gift was a doll that our friends the Nobles brought back from Poland this summer.On Saturday we loaded up and headed to Monroe for a little extra birthday celebration (and an essential Sam's trip). Angela wanted a few more pictures, and she had requested they be taken at Grandma and PopPop's house.

All in all, a good celebration of our sweet six-year-old!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, Angela!

Six years ago today we had said goodbye to two-year-old Olivia, letting her spend the night away from us for the first time ever. Her new baby brother or sister (we had no idea which it would be) was due in just a couple of days, but it could be another week for all we knew. Doug and I sat together in the strange childless silence, wondering how long the wait would be.

The timing ended up being perfect, for Angela Elizabeth took her first breath a little before 1:00 the next afternoon.
I will confess, the first year was not fun. Angie was not a happy baby. She seemed to prefer eating and screaming over anything else, including sleeping! But, somehow even in the midst of those crazy months of exhaustion, Angie was already developing her magnetic personality.
Total strangers would ooh and aah over our baby. They would remark on her beauty and her sweetness. Sometimes I wondered when I would see more than occasional glimpses of the child everyone loved - in my exhaustion I frequently missed it. But, as she grew and became more independent, I began to see more of what others noticed immediately.
Somewhere in the midst of it all, this little sweetheart stole our hearts. We knew early on that she was a princess. Despite those chunky baby legs and the lack of hair, she pranced around as if she were born for the position. She thrills to dress up in beautiful dresses - in fact, she could care less if she never owned a pair of pants or shorts!
As she learned to talk, she would shock us to no end with the funny things she would say. I wonder sometimes if she spent those months before she began speaking (in complete sentences - no starting with a few words for her!) coming up with smart comebacks and witty one-liners. It never has taken her much to have us rolling in the floor! One of her favorite things to do while pretending is to speak in the best British accent she can muster, pretending to be a fancy ballerina or the most proper of princesses.
Despite the magnetism of her smile and personality, Angie would much prefer to not be in the limelight. She performs best for no audience - in fact, seeing the best of her must be done without her knowing she's being watched. The one who naturally draws people in would just as soon be alone!
But, she is beginning to sprout those social butterfly wings. She is beginning to enjoy the company of others more and more. She still loves to go away by herself and have some quiet time, but friends are becoming more important to her.
A brand new first grader, Angela loves school and excels in all she attempts. Learning comes naturally to this little princess.
Sweet Angela is our emotional one with a huge heart and passionate desires. Some days she melts easily, others she is all smiles. But, over the years we have definitely seen what our exhaustion in those first months caused us to frequently miss - she is an amazingly precious princess, special to all she meets.
Happy sixth birthday, my sweet princess! I love you!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Clay & Science Fun

Clay just seems to go well with science. The girls learned about cells this week, and to try to reinforce what they've learned, I asked them to make a couple of cells. The assignment was to make a plant cell and an animal cell and tell me the differences. They did them completely on their own, and I was very proud! This will hopefully give them a good foundation on which to build an understanding of the more complex parts of a cell in later years. Ah, multi-sensory learning is a wonderful thing.
Meanwhile, science was quite fun for another reason yesterday. We were reading about marsupials, and the discussion included the wombat and the possum.

First of all, Doug and I are The Princess Bride fans, and any of you who are familiar with the story know about the ROUS's. (The kids have not yet seen The Princess Bride, but we have told them about it.) We have decided that ROUS's really exist, and they are wombats!

Meanwhile, if possums are at all indigenous to your geographical location, you know that they aren't the smartest critters in the world. Well, according to our science book, they are actually scientifically proven to be the least intelligent critters! The girls were rolling in the floor laughing at the ways in which their lack of intelligence was being described. I had mentioned to the girls that we in the South joke that possums must be born dead on the side of the road because that is how they are typically seen. The girls looked at me skeptically. I told them that it is actually very rare to see a possum alive around here because they are not smart enough to stay out of the road. Olivia said it has to be that they are just playing dead. The girls just flat out did not believe me when I reiterated that the most common sighting of a possum is dead on the side of the road. Then, the science book made a comment about their propensity to be in the middle of the road at the wrong time. The girls' jaws dropped, and they had to acknowledge that I was right!!! It was a great moment.

Okay, so those might have been "gotta be there" moments, but I can definitely say that science has truly been fun this week. We're looking forward to learning about monotremes (egg-laying mammals) today - and who knows what other fun might crop up!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New Skills

While the girls and I were inside doing a little bit of school (with the schoolroom door standing wide open to let in the beautiful breeze!), Steven was outside doing a bit of learning of his own!
video

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Reflections

Have you ever noticed how much kids are a reflection of their parents? It's a bit scary. When I'm diligent, my kids follow suit. When I'm a slacker, they are too! When I keep stuff clean, they tend to do the same. When I am irritable, they are too. When I am focused on the task at hand in school, they usually are. When I'm not, maintaining order during our school day is a royal pain!

It's amazing how much sway we have over our kids behavior! And, our words only go so far if our actions don't back them up. It can be rather frightening sometimes!

Lately, we have seen an increase in diligence in our home. We've had a cleaner home and a calmer home. We have been getting more accomplished. I want that to stay, but it means that I have to stick to diligence even as I grow tired. I have to do even when I don't feel motivated. And I have to let my kids know that I do things whether I feel like it or not - it doesn't do much good if they think I always work because I feel like doing it.

I know this may seem more like a "thought" than a family update, but those two blur so often. As I sit here and listen to my kids happily playing with Legos on the living room floor, I realize what a sweet sound it is. I realize that they are playing there happily because their chores were done (mostly) diligently this morning. I realize that the fighting is minimal because our home has been a more peaceful place lately. I realize that school has gotten off to a good start because of all of the above factors combined.

That's the Hibbard family this week, and I like that!