Saturday, December 17, 2011

Five on Friday: A Change of Plans

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, 
neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. 
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, 
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:8-9

Based on some ideas I got from a few other websites and very creative teacher-moms, I had this amazing picture in my mind of how our month of December would be spent. I had created our "Countdown to Christmas" fun family activities for each day, along with a prepared Jesse Tree daily devotional. Christmas decorations were up and ready to be enjoyed. Abbie had dug out the Christmas music and we had already begun enjoying those carols. As far as I was concerned, Christmastime was here!

And then A walked into my room on the 4th day of December early in the morning and told me, "My tummy hurts, Mommy." And so began the start of our last two weeks of appendicitis followed by an infection in the incision wound. Almost two weeks later, she's still recovering from the infection and the surgery, but we have much to be thankful for in that the worst is behind us. The prayer and support we've received during these weeks have been so appreciated and have carried us through.

Someday we'll look back on these two weeks of A's appendectomy and recovery with a sweet memory of how our kids learned compassion for one another. One of the sweetest moments for me as a mother was when E walked into A's hospital room and stood next to her bed for a few minutes having a conversation with her. It went something like, "Hi Abbie. How are you feeling? Does it hurt? I missed you."  As if this isn't enough to send me into a crying fit, here is what Ellie did next ... 

Though my plans for a lovely Christmas celebration for the entire month of December were slightly altered, God was with us ... Immanuel! I'm learning how to be flexible and bendy in the midst of daily, family life ... and to acknowledge that my plans are not His plans, and my ways not His ways. Aron often says, "This is just a normal day, Babe." And he's right ... "normal" around here is usually loud and chaotic, full of spontaneous interruptions, but always with its share of fun and laughter. For this I am thankful (most days!), AND am usually ready to go lock myself in a closet for some quiet space at 5pm when Hubs comes home!

So what did Great Plains Elementary do during Abbie's appendicitis? We took most of last week off while Abbie was sick and then in the hospital. But we eased back into our school work this week. Below are some highlights from the past 2 weeks.  

  • Ellie was able to keep up with her phonics and math each day.

  • Abbie joined us for a little art & crafts

  • We did a little US geography with Abbie's history book focusing on 3 states: New York with a little emphasis on the Statue of Liberty, New Hampshire, and Virginia. We're mostly reading about the state's capitol, state bird, with some interesting history and fun-facts about each state. More of an overview, and a great way to introduce the states. We also read a couple books that illustrated life in these states...
Based on a true story, When the Whippoorwill Calls is set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia in 1924. It's such a beautifully illustrated and written book based on the events of Shenandoah National Park being built, and how some 465 families were evacuated from this area. We all decided we should vacation there someday!

Lucy's Summer was a supplemental read for our discussion about the state of New Hampshire this week. Set in 1910, Lucy spends her summer learning her mother's hat-making trade, visiting the big city of Boston for the first time, and enjoying being a kid in rural New Hampshire. 

  • Lots of reading together! We read some wonderful books which is our absolute favorite thing to do together. Here are just a few we enjoyed: 

 This is one of the supplemental books in Abbie's science curriculum. We have used this book to learn more about birds, where they live, how they nest, and about their eggs. Very interesting and easy-to-read book!

 Ellie's focus in her Kindergarten curriculum this week was "G is for Goats" (and other farm animals). Click, Clack, Moo is hilarious! We love this author's animal humor!
Another farm-animal book we love ... Cock-A-Doodle Moooo! 
Abbie loves this book from 1st grade, so we thought we'd throw it into the mix of our "animal" books this week. 
Hattie the Bad was a book donated to Abbie at the hospital by a Literacy Council in Bismarck. Although she couldn't giggle much after surgery, we've had our share of giggling after reading it 789 times this past week! Oh Hattie ... you ARE delightfully naughty!

Some of our favorite Christmas books include: 

  • On Christmas Eve by Margaret Wise Brown

  • The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg

  • The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett 

  •  Welcome Comfort by Patricia Polacco

Thanks again for all the support and prayer you all have encouraged us with these past two weeks! We truly have felt it and appreciate it deeply.

Blessings ~ Jenn

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