Monday, June 22, 2009

Yep, me again!

So I just got back from a wonderful trip to the WHO Conference in beautiful Washington State. I have never been there save for a layover one late night almost 20 years ago. It is really lush and gorgeous. You who live there, enjoy it! The weather was just amazing. As my travelling companion, Nancy, said, "It's weather!" As you might be able to tell, we don't have much of that here in CA. :D

We met some of the nicest folks with some neat products. I keep hearing about WriteShop and it is everything it says it is. I want to buy it for my Abigail because it will not only teach her how to write well, but it will enable me to know how to evaluate her writing. That is the thing I get stuck on and find myself saying, "Hey, that sounds good to me!" I would like some help determining what I might be missing in my grading. I like that. 

There were some new companies I met that I found to have worthwhile products. Some were art companies with interesting products that were perfect for the homeschooler and some had really good inexpensive math games.  This math game is aptly named; Wonder Number. I mean we kept saying, "Wow!" It is worth watching the video on their site. The Home Scholar is expanding their product line for high school/college prep and I think they have a real niche market worth exploring if you find yourself with high schoolers! :D

We were so blessed to be able to hear Mr. Steve Demme. He is Mr. Math U See, but he was not speaking on math. He is a former pastor and has a real heart for the family. What a blessing it was to hear him encourage moms and dads to love and good deeds towards one another to build their marriages. He offers his talks for free on his site here in the resources section.

I don't know why I never knew this, but I didn't so I thought you might not know it either and I found it really neat. I met the nicest man from Soundforth, BJU's music division. They have all sorts of sheet music for sale of the simple variety for the beginner to the advanced musician. Now my little can play "How Firm a Foundation" because it is in an easier format. It was one of the few things I purchased.

My flights were unexceptional and for that I lift up great praise!! We were blessed with minor turbulence, no dropping 800 feet in the air. (!!!!!!) It was difficult for me to leave and I even wrote a goodbye letter to my children. Can you tell I don't fly much? :D It was good for me to examine all of that though, and in some ways it was an act of faith to get on the plane. It made me realize too, that I find it very easy to pretend that life will go on as-is forever. It may not do that and I should always be taking stock of my life and always treat my children as if it was the last day we had together. I know that some of that will inevitably wear off, but not this week and I am grateful.

My older children were so helpful while I was gone and our backyard pergola over our patio is going up nicely under Mark's direction. John is helping all he can. It is a precious thing to see. Ours will look something like this, but not exactly as it butts up to the house and will throw more shade on the patio. We are planning to have grapes grow over it. Our amazing EarthBoxes are doing spectacularly. I mean WOW! Here are some shots:

We are harvesting a ton of zucchini and a bunch of cucumbers and we have seven cantaloupe on the vine ripening as well as watermelon, bush beans, honeydew, and tomatoes. It is *such* a rewarding way to garden!!

Reading lessons are going well! God is good. This is a hard job some days, this homeschooling thing, but it is so very worth it!

So what is new in your lives? 



PreschoolersandPeace said...

Kate, your garden is amazing!

Deborah said...

Thanks for sharing links to the new products and Mr. Demme's talks. That Wonder Number looks very cool! My husband's upset I've found something else interesting to want to spend $$ on :)

About flying -- I had an interesting story to share with you. When I was flying to East Africa, I was SCARED to death. On my last flight there, I sat next to the most amazing Kenyan man. He was actually put on the wrong flight and experiencing great difficulty trying to get to his father's funeral -- later I would wonder if God orchestrated his mixed up flights just so I could have a few hours of learning from him. Mr. Kimweli was absolutely shining Jesus -- we had several hours of the neatest sharing of the glory of God! He mentioned that he was never more ready to go be with God then when on a flight -- the realization of death being so near caused him to confess sins and praise the Lord. We laughed about this, though there was definitely truth to it!

The crazy thing is, he ended up dying in a car crash only days later in Kenya. I didn't find out until 6 months later when I woke up in the middle of the night with an urge to pray for him and his family (that NEVER happens to me).

The next day I googled him, and saw that he had died. One of the things that creeped me out about him dying so soon after I spent that flight with him was, while sitting next to this man of God I actually had the thought "Well, now I feel safe! God wouldn't let this incredible man die in a plane crash." To realize he died only days later was a wake up call that my life and my death are truly in God's hands and that life is SHORT!

Mr. Kimweli did a good job at not "wasting his life" and his life was an inspiration for me to do so as well.

I was able to contact his family and testify to how he shared the Lord with me on that final flight of his. Here's the letter I wrote his family:


UndertheSky said...

Thanks so much for sharing that! What a story! I wonder how his family received the letter. That would have been such a balm to my heart had I been in their place.

My flights went well, but I am happy not to have to fly again any time in the near future. :D


hugabunchmom said...

What a wonderful story in that comment, wow! I was beginning to wonder if anyone was blogging any more now that everyone seems to have found facebook. I guess you are still here! Although I have failed miserably to keep up and only just now posted for the first time since May, so sad. I am hoping to get back to it more regularly. Anyway, hug yourself for me!!