Welcome to the blog of Lighthouse Christian Homeschool!

This blog serves three purposes:

1. To have a place to 'jot down' the day to day happenings in our homeschool for our support teacher to see, in hopes that some of the things we do will fit nicely into the provincial learning outcomes.

2. To keep my family up to date on what we're 'up to'.

3. To glorify God.

So on that note, come on in!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bless and You Will be Blessed

We were outside after lunch today helping Grandpa (Tim's Dad) shovel the snow off of our driveway. While he went to shovel the snow for the neighbour on one side of us (they are away and we are watching their house), the kids and I decided to go to our other neighbour and shovel the snow in their driveway. We had such fun working together, at first taking turns with the two shovels, then Christine helping Caleb push the shovel and Joshua helping Rebecca. From time to time Mommy would take over a shovel and do a section and before we knew it, the job was done and we went off to our backyard to build a snow fort. We were almost done the snow fort when our neighbour arrived with a tray of hot chocolate and cookies for all. She knowingly asked if we knew anything about a driveway being shovelled, and we said that we might know something about that. While the kids enjoyed their treat, she told me what a blessing it had been that we did that for them, since her husband is sick right now and she is too busy dealing with their 2 year old and baby to do it. It was such a blessing to us to be a blessing to them, and so great to let the kids see how we can put our love into action.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Of Cold and Snow and Chocolate Chip Cookies

It's not that we haven't done much this past week, it's just that I haven't taken the time to stop and write.
This past weekend Tim and I went to the Family Life Weekend to Remember Marriage Conference in Whistler. Aside from -10 C weather, it was an excellent weekend. This is our third time at the Weekend to Remember and we find we always come away feeling strengthened. I definitely recommend it, whether you want to bring your marriage from a 1 to a 2 or from a 9 to a 10.
On the way to Whistler, we dropped Caleb off for a special weekend with Auntie Karen in Squamish. He had a great time, watching videos, going to Science World, playing computer games, and generally getting spoiled by an Auntie who loves him very much.
The other 3 kids stayed home with Grandma and Grandpa and figured out how to get all their snow gear on without Mommy there to help. From what I heard, they had a blast playing in the freshly fallen snow, all 16 cm (6 1/2") of it.
Yesterday we spent lunch and the afternoon at the Scheltens doing History and also lots of playing and visiting too.
Today was baking day and this week it's Caleb's turn, so we made Chocolate Chip Cookies with M&M Peanuts, Smarties, and Chocolate Chips. Yum!
Tonight was Living Jewels (Girls' Club) and Boys' Hockey. The fire alarm went off during club, so we lined up at the door and were told to be ready, but that we didn't need to go outside unless they came back and told us to. So we were spared the freezing coldness, whew! The firetruck came and the firefighters had to check the whole building. Needless to say, our evening didn't run in quite the order it usually does, but we still had a good time.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Change is Hard

Sometimes change is hard, and when you've been married for 59 years, and you suddenly can't do it on your own anymore, change becomes necessary. Such is the situation for my grandparents the last few days. Until Monday they had been getting along okay. My Grampy has Dementia/Alzheimers and also Parkinsons and he's been quite deaf for a long time. Grammy, despite also having Parkinsons and being legally blind and bit hard of hearing too, has been 'taking care' of him and herself for the last couple of years at Elim, a Christian seniors' complex in Fleetwood.
On Monday, that all changed. My sister Sherri-Lynn was in town for a last minute, and I believe divinely appointed, visit, and she stopped in to pick Grammy up to take her shopping. Just 5 minutes before she arrived (which was 10 minutes earlier than planned)Grammy fell and hit her head on the floor. Grampy was napping on the couch and had taken his hearing aids out, so he did not hear her calling for help. Sherri-Lynn arrived and knocked on the door which woke Grampy up and he opened the door for her and they discovered what had happened. The emergency buzzer was pushed and the ambulance called. Grammy now has 4 staples in the back of her head and a big goose egg. They are keeping her at Surrey Memorial for a few days while they run tests. She had fainted in the dining hall a few months back, so they wanted to be sure all was okay inside her head. Now we are waiting for test results. Now their lives are in the midst of a big change.
Tomorrow morning Grampy will be moved temporarily to the Kinsmen Place Lodge so that he can get the care he needs, which Grammy can no longer provide for him. The social worker at the hospital today said that they will do all they can to keep them together. Grammy was almost in tears at the thought of any possibility of being apart.
Change is hard. Time will tell what their living situation will look like after this. I pray that they will be able to stay together and both get the care they need.
As I visited with Grammy and my Mom this afternoon in that hospital room, I was able to read aloud Psalm 145 to her, at the close of which she uttered a clear "Amen". What a wonderful testament to trust in our Lord, her Lord, in the midst of difficult change. Change is hard, but change is good when it draws us closer our Lord.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Put it in your own words, Please!?

I was reminded today about a challenge that Joshua is having in his schoolwork. He just can't seem to put things into his own words. Here's an example from today's work. He was supposed to put Colossians 3:2 into his own words. The verse says "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things". First Joshua thought 'above' meant upstairs, and then Caleb piped up that it means heaven, and then Joshua got so caught up with insisting that "How do we know that heaven is above?" that he couldn't move beyond it. I then thought, okay lets see if I can get him to put the second half in his own words, and we then got into a debate on what constitutes "earthly things" and "what if someone who is not following God, does something good to someone else, then is it still an earthly thing?" Ahh, by this time he is getting frustrated because he thinks he'll never get this page finished, and I'm frustrated because I can't seem to help him 'get it.' In the end, his answer read "think about things above not earthly thing" which is almost the word for word what the verse said in the first place. Anyone have any suggestions?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Full Day

It's been a busy day but a good one.

This morning started bright and early (well maybe not bright, but definitely early), with our homeschool support group breakfast. It was such an encouraging time as homeschooling moms joined together to talk, share a devotional, talk, eat, talk, pray, talk, well you get the picture. It is such a blessing to have that feeling of belonging and of knowing that we are all in this together.
Once I got home, we headed straight out the door and went as a family to the Train Expo in the community centre near Lougheed Mall. There were some pretty amazing layouts and we all got some great ideas for our own train set that is taking shape. The boys' favourite layout was the one that was all done in Lego. They just LOVE Lego! They were thrilled to learn that there are Lego stores in the states (one in Bellevue and one in Tigard) where you can buy a bucket for $10 and then fill it with any Lego pieces you want to from the bulk bins.
We got home from that in time for a late lunch and then the kids and I headed back out the door with Grandma to buy toys to put in the Samaritan's Purse shoe boxes. This is a project that we've done for many years. Each of the kids gives a box for a child their same age and gender. Grandma buys the essentials like socks, a t-shirt, toothbrush, soap, pencil, eraser, pencil sharpener, and a bag of candy and the kids pick out the toys to go with those items. It's a lot of fun as they each get their own basket to fill as we go in the door at the Dollar Plus Store, and they keep a running tally of how much they've spent, which is a bit hard when each price ends in a 9 and you have to estimate how much tax there will be. When we got home, each of the kids wrote a letter to the child that would be receiving the box and put it in an envelope along with a photo of themselves. Now the boxes are ready to drop off a church tomorrow.
After supper, we had a movie night and we watched the movie Sounder. It's been a very long time since I've seen that movie myself, so it was good to see it again.

It's been a busy day, but a good one.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Read Aloud

One of the reasons I am loving our new schedule is that we have scheduled time for "Mommy Read-Aloud". This is 1/2 hour 3 days a week that I read a novel to the kids. Right now we are about half way through The Last Battle and we're excited to find out what happens next.
Would you be frustrated when the chapter ends like this "Then all six of them saw; and over all their faces there came an expression of uttermost dismay." Now we have to wait until Monday to find out what they saw, and I have to keep myself from reading ahead!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Poppy is to Remember

Today we sat down with the kids and Tim read them a book called "A Poppy is to Remember" http://www.scholastic.ca/titles/apoppyistoremember/. Then I read them an excerpt from my Grammy's life story that tells all about World War II from her perspective as a 13 year old. They had to evacuate twice because they lived near a bridge and they were going to blow up the bridges. There were also three Jewish families in her town that were all killed except for a girl her age and a man who managed to hide. This is just a brief sample of events from her story, which really gave the kids a real life feeling for what life in wartime is like.
Christine's prayer at bedtime tonight was quite long, as she thanked God for those who gave their lives and then asked Jesus to be with those who are fighting in wars right now. It was so good to see how she 'gets it'.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Baking Day

Every Tuesday in the Millard home is Baking day with Mommy. Christine has the 1st Tuesday, Joshua the 2nd and so on. When it's their turn, they get to choose what we are baking, as long as it has a reasonable ingredient list. This week it was Joshua's turn. We made brownies and he decided that we should put cut up bits of O'Henry's in the brownies and then cut mini Twix bars in half and put half a Twix on each brownie. They were so sweet and so yummy. In fact they are all gone already! Yum!

November 2010 (almost caught up)

...and here we are at November, and then I'm going to turn around and it will suddenly be Christmas. I was taking prayer requests from some of the girls at Living Jewels last night and one of the girls' prayer request was that her family would have a good time putting up the Christmas tree THIS WEEKEND! Wow!

Here's some of the things we've been doing so far this month.

1. We went to a puppet making workshop at the White Rock Library. Each of the kids made their own creation using all kinds of odds and ends.
2. We had our Taekwondo testing. The kids moved up to purple belt and I moved up to green belt.
3. Christine helped Tim do some more work on the Train Set. They painted the base coat on the landscape.

In Science we are studying the systems in the human body. So far we've done the skeletal system and we are in the middle of doing the digestive system. For the skeletal system we did an extension activity that involved each of the kids putting a splint and sling on someone elses arm. Fun!

In History our focus moved to North America where England, France and Spain were fighting for control of the colonies and where the colonists, becoming increasingly discontent with lack of representation and more and more taxes, decided to revolt. This is the time of George Washington, The Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre (did you know that only 5 people died in the Boston Massacre? That's a pretty small massacre).

Okay, so now that I'm caught up, my posts should become much shorter from here on. We'll see...

October 2010

I am so thankful for photos to refer to, so that I can remind myself of what we've done. So, here is October in a nutshell. The month started with Christine and I going away for two nights together to Birch Bay. We went through the Passport to Purity which is put out by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. For those who haven't got to this stage yet, it's a 'growing up' type book, that focusses on making godly choices even in the midst of peer pressure, and making the choice to stay sexually pure until marriage. It was excellent and we had a really special time, just the two of us.
After much planning, Tim has started his much anticipated project of building a model railway with the kids. They have been helping him measure and cut plywood, paint the bases and the styrofoam scenery, and make some of the first houses and a bridge. It's beginning to take shape!
Rebecca and I have been working on her Ruby doll kit and are now sewing the clothes for Ruby's husband Victor. It's neat to watch her thread a needle and knot the thread, and then learn different stitching. She is really enjoying it.
In History we've picked back up in Story of the World and started in the year 1683 with the Ottoman's last attempt to take Europe. We learned about the fall of the Indian empire and the role of England's 'East India Company'. We learned about China and how Emperor Chi'en Lung collected all the important writings in China and put them all together into one big collection and then had seven copies made of the whole set. There were 36,275 volumes in the collection!
October was also the time for our annual trip to the Hazelmere Pumpkin Patch, which was a fun trip, but a little wet and very muddy!
The last event for October was the Taekwondo Tournament in Cloverdale. We all competed and Caleb came away with a participant medal, Rebecca got 3rd place in Sparring (despite being kicked in the head!), Joshua got 3rd in Sparring as well, Christine got 2nd in Forms, and 2nd in Sparring, and I got 2nd in Forms and 1st in Sparring. Tim was a judge and also did alot of the organizational aspect of the day. All in all, it was a fun and challenging experience for all of us.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

September overview

Okay, so here's a not so quick overview of what we did/accomplished/enjoyed in September. We started out by going on vacation to Alberta. We drove to Sicamous, BC to visit my sister and her family and then continued on along the Columbia Icefields Parkway to Jasper, AB. What an incredible view! God's majesty and grandeur all around! After Jasper we drove on to Edmonton where we stayed at the Fantasyland Hotel right in the mall. We spent a day at the huge indoor waterpark there. After two nights in Edmonton we drove to Big Valley, AB where we visited the Big Valley Creation Science Museum. There we learned about all kinds of ways that science agrees with the Biblical creation account. It was fascinating! Then back in the vehicles and on to Drumheller! Joshua has been asking to go to Drumheller for YEARS! and he brings in up in conversation several times every single day. To him, this was the 'trip of a lifetime'. He was building it up in his mind so much that we did not dare tell him that that was where we were going, so we kept it a secret up until we saw the sign on the side of the road that said "Drumheller 58km". In Drumheller we saw the Hoodoo's, the Rosedale Suspension Bridge, the World's Tallest Dinosaur (we got to climb up inside it's mouth and view the whole area from way up high), the Royal Tyrell Museum, Horsethief Canyon, the Bleriot Ferry and many other stops and sights along the way. After Drumheller, we made our way to Canmore, which would be our homebase for the week. From Canmore we took several daytrips to Banff, Lake Louise, and the Calgary Zoo. What beautiful country! Then it was back to Sicamous for a night and on to home.
Once back at home, our school year began, with a new schedule on the wall and an excitement about the year ahead (at least I was excited, and I think at least some of the kids were too). I am just loving our new schedule! We are getting so much more accomplished than ever before! Things like reading aloud to the kids (we are currently reading The Last Battle from the Narnia series), baking, spending one-on-one time with each child, and lots of other things too.
My cousin Dan visited from Nova Scotia, so we spent some time with him, mostly playing games (we are definitely a game playing family), but we also spent a day at the GV Zoo. Even though it rained, we had a great time!
September closed out with Christine getting her haircut. She raised over $800 for the Canadian Cancer Society and cut off 14" of hair to be donated to make a wig for someone with cancer.

My First Post

And here I sit trying to decide exactly what I want my first post to say. I type a few words and then hit the backspace button. This blog thing is harder than I thought, lol. Do I start with what we did today? Do I give a bit of background on our week, our month, our year, our homeschool? Hmm. Well, so far I haven't said much, ugh. Okay, here goes...maybe not...