January 29, 2010

Sarah's Favorite Game

Wanna know why I'm smiling? My big brothers and I are playing my favorite game!

It's called.......Laundry Basket Ride!

The boys get together pushing a laundry basket with me as the passenger around the house. The winner is the one who gets the farthest before I try to stand up!!

The best part of this game is that I get to sit down and do nothing. I just get a nice ride around the house and I feel like a princess in her carriage. I love that kind of royal treatment!

Game over Noah!!

Don't worry, I love this game so much we can do it again and again : )

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January 27, 2010

FIAR Milestone!!

This post is for the FIAR ladies....

I'm happy to share that we just finished all the volume 1 titles!!

Will try to post some updates on the last few books. All I can say is FIAR rocks! The boys look forward to our lessons every day and the stories are so good. I can't wait to row these titles again with Noah in a couple of years and Sarah will be able to join in the fun as well!

I love when the boys encounter a new book now the first question out of their mouth is: "Is this a Five in a Row book?". ;- )

Looking back at all the units we decided on our favorites....

Ely's: A Pair of Red Clogs
Grandfather's Journey

Caleb's: Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Night Of The Moonjellies

Noah's: The Story About Ping
Papa Piccolo

Thought it was interesting both of my favorites where stories from Japan. Caleb's favorites where very "busy" books with lots of actions (fits him perfect!). And Noah's both have main characters that are animals who get into trouble.

We will begin volume 2 and 3 combined next Monday with A New Coat for Anna followed by Owl Moon.

January 22, 2010

Grandfather's Journey

Our reading of Grandfather's Journey gave me me a chance to talk to the boys about their heritage.

The story traces the life of both the boy in the story and his grandfather's and the bond they share in common of living in two different countries at different points of their lives and their love for each of the countries.

Our family also has journeys to tell....

I was born in Puerto Rico and lived there till I was 19. Then I moved to Chicago for the next 9 years and now we are in Texas. Like the boy and his grandpa in the story I have that same nostalgic feeling of missing and loving each place I've lived in.

Brad also was born in the Philippines and lived there for about 10 years and from there moved to Chicago where he lived the rest of his life till now.

Our boys already knew "where mom and dad where from" but I never really took the time to share some stories of how our families got to where they are now. So we spent a lot of time this week just looking at old family pictures of when mom and dad where little back "home". We also shared with them stories of how Brad's family came to the United States.

We always tell our boys that ultimately our heritage now it's in the Lord. We are His people and even when I want them to know about their cultural background and be proud Americans as well, for me, the most important thing is that they know they belong to the family of Christ. This where we are united forever!

January 20, 2010

Peace Step #3: Be comforted...Jesus is our Peace

Sick kids, grieving over Haiti and grieving with a friend who lost her son in a car accident has left me with little time to think about blogging.

But I wanted to post these two verses that have comforted me this week.

In the middle of trials....what a beautiful thought that Jesus is our peace!!

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

John 16:33
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

I find it interesting that in both verses Jesus makes a reference to "the world" as a counterfeit for peace. He clearly tells us that there is no peace that can be found in the world. While the world brings trouble, fears and tribulations, the Lord Jesus Christ has granted us His peace.

Jesus, what a comfort to know that you don't give like the world. Instead you give us your peace. Help me remember that your promises are true. You promise peace to those who set their hearts on you. Thank you that your peace doesn't depend on the circumstances around us, but it is above all tribulations because it comes from YOU! And you have overcome the world. Forgive me when I choose to find peace in other things around me. Help me to keep my eyes on you, Lord.

January 18, 2010

Birthday Girl

Yesterday was my FIRST birthday! On Saturday, my family had a a table decorated with lots of colorful dots and a yummy cake. I was in a very good mood the whole time and didn't mind my daddy taking lots of pictures.
My mama said my dress reminded her of a kimono and since I'm half asian she thought this would be a good choice for the birthday dress. In fact, she likes it so much that she made me wear the dress two days in a row!
My Mama tried to put a birthday tiara on me since my name means "princess". But I was not happy about that so here's the only shot we got with the tiara on.

No more tiara and I was back to the smiles. : )

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My dear brothers were also happy to celebrate with me this special day.

They also helped to blow the candle since I have not figure that out yet.

Thank you Daddy for taking all the pictures. I'm so happy to be your little girl.
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January 13, 2010

Another Celebrated Dancing Bear pt 3

We did two simple experiments for this unit to learn about boiling and freezing point temperature.
#1 We kept time to see how long it took for water to boil in a small pot.

#2 We poured different liquids and solids into ice cube trays. Then put them in the freezer waited 2 hours and pulled them out to observe what happened.

I let the boys look in the fridge and pantry and choose what they wanted to test (this was their favorite part).

We used water, orange juice, olive oil, chocolate/strawberry syrup, honey, mustard, peanut butter, stick butter and cheese.

Some like the syrup did not freeze.

Afterwards, I let the boys watch while the "stuff" melted and play with it.
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More FIAR Art

I love all the Five in a Row art lessons. Some weeks we do better at this than others but I love how they are exposed to different art mediums and learn to study the pictures in the books.

For Papa Piccolo we had fun learning primary colors, secondary colors and even complementary colors with finger paint. Noah was busy for over an hour with this simple activity.

For Night Of The Moonjellies, we used oil pastels to re-create an illustration from the story. Noah decided to draw one of the last pages where grandma and Mark return the jelly to the ocean...but towards the end he decided to "change" the story because he liked daytime better so he drew a sun, instead of starts.

The broomstick to the right comes from the page where Grandma and Mark are putting on their paper hats. After Caleb drew the broom, he decided to go creative as well and drew a viking ship. Thankfully they are not in school where they would have gotten in trouble for changing the assignment! : )
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January 12, 2010

Another Celebrated Dancing Bear pt 2

We spent a good amount of time studying the fascinating culture of Russia and their beautiful Moscow landmarks. Here's a page from Caleb's notebook for that week. The printouts are from Homeschool Share.

One lesson from the FIAR manual is to create your own russian skylines.

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Another Celebrated Dancing Bear pt 1

I'll be blogging this week about the rest of our November/December Five in a Row units.

Our week with Another Celebrated Dancing Bear was full of fun and giggles. The boys tried to create their own russian dance. I played russian ballet music for them and have them look over the page that shows Boris practicing different dance steps and let their imaginations flow. They did a great job and we laughed a lot creating silly dances.

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January 11, 2010

Back to blogging about school....

Back to blogging about our Five in a Row adventures and other school stuff tomorrow...

January 08, 2010

Scripture Memory Challenge

Let's see....we got books to read, lessons to prepare, husband to love, children to care for, house to maintain, meals to cook, blog to update, and much more.... I really need another challenge....and the answer is....YES!'s late and I'm still up taking a break from moping the floors.

Just wanted to post really quick to say I've decided to take a challenge on scripture memory. This is a discipline that I LOVE and it has taken me closer to the Lord. The Word of God has become a delight for my soul.

Usually I like to work with the kids on memorizing a longer passage at a time, instead of one isolated verse (unless is one that they really need to learn at the moment).

But I've always wanted to memorize an entire book of the Bible. I know it sounds crazy and difficult but it's a desire that is growing in my heart.

For now I'm only going to begin with one chapter at the time, following the scripture memory challenge of Revive our Hearts. It begins with 2 Peter 1.

This got me thinking....if YOU could memorize an entire book of the Bible, which one would you pick? Anyone??? : )

January 07, 2010

Peace Step #2: What the Bible says about it

Some things God has been teaching me about peace from His Word....

How do we obtain the peace of God?

  • It's a fruit of the Spirit! (I forget this often): "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace...." Galatians 4:22

When we choose to live in the Spirit and put away the things of the flesh, we can experience peace.

  • Anxiety and self sufficiency are peace-thieves. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds..." Philippians 4:6-7

This is such a common verse that often we forget verse 7; the Lord promises peace to those who lay all their burdens and worries at His feet. Peace becomes a protection for our hearts and minds. I love that!

  • We are called to turn from evil and pursue peace. "Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from deceit. Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it". Psalm 34:13-14

Often I think of "evil" as the big evil things of the world=the injustices, crimes, violence, etc. But these verses speak of evil in our tongues! Deceitfulness, harsh and unkind words, slandering, critical words...these are all forms of evil that we can easily be ignored and not acknowledge for what they are...SIN. I was very convicted of this in my life this week. I'm called to turn away from those things and replace it with the fruit of peace. To respond with calm, controlled, meek spirit. Which leads me to the next point....

  • We are called to live in peace with all. "As far as it depends on you, live peacefully with all" Romans 12:18 "Strive for peace with everyone" Hebrews 12:14

Most of us would say, we try to live in peace with all. But if I'm honest I know that in our home...let's say...with our children and spouses is where is most difficult to live peacefully, right? We are so often easily provoked or lacking in grace and mercy towards the other members in our family.

I'm guilty of this more than I like to admit. I'm the one, who often stirs up anger or a 'bad mood' around the house. These verses remind me that I am to live in peace with everyone not just who I choose to, or those who treat me nice or those I like the best.

Anxiety, harsh words, desires of the flesh, prone to anger...these are all areas where I need to surrender to the Lord and replace with His perfect peace.

January 06, 2010

My Book List-winter

I love to start the new year reading inspiring stories so I've chosen these 2 books for the winter months.

* He's Been Faithful by Carol Cymbala (her journey as the Director of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. The books comes with a CD with songs performed by some of the choir members whose stories are shared in the cool is that!!!)

*Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis ( his early years through conversion)

As well as...also on my nightstand...

*Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray (I first read this book last year and will repeat it again but taking it very slow)

* The Heart of Anger by Loui Prilio (this one will take me a long time to finish but looking forward to read a little every week and asking God to give me a biblical mindset on this issue)

Many other books in my list for this year that will share later on and will be adding them as well to my LibraryThing bar.

January 03, 2010

PEACE Step #1: Remembering God's Grace

As I move along in my focus on pursuing peace. I was reminded this week of how much this past year the Lord has extended His perfect peace to us. Sometimes, we are just so quick to forget or not see it at all.

Isaiah 26:3 says, "You will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You."

So my first step is to keep my mind/thoughts on the Lord and not in the circumstances around me. He will reward who choose to focus on Him with perfect peace.

This same truth is echoed in Philippians 4 when it talk about setting our mind on things that are pure, lovely, excellent, noble, etc. and as a result the God of peace will be with us (verse 9).

We had some trials come our way this year, but in the middle of it, the Lord extended abundant grace to us. I think that when I look back at 2009 I will always say this was a year of great trials but even greater grace.

One of the things I believe will all my heart that will help me experience the peace of Christ is to take time to remember his great works among us. This is the reason why I named our family blog "His Wonderful Works". Because I wanted to recall his goodness and grace towards us.

So, lest I forget, here's my top 10 list of...

God's Abundant Grace to our family in 2009

#1 Sarah's Birth: we thought we were done and happy with our two boys, but the Lord had other plans and he blessed us with the birth of Sarah in January and what a great blessing she already is to our lives!

#2 Health: My foot recovered 100%! And the rest of the family, aside from minor colds have enjoyed a year of good health. The Lord also provided enough money for us to pay all the medical bills and not be in debt.

#3 Caleb's profession of faith: In March, Caleb accepted Jesus as His Lord and Savior. Since, we have seen him grow little by little in His understanding of God and his life being changed by the power of the Holy Spirit. There's no greater joy!

#4 New friends and church family: moving from Chicago was very hard for us because we had such an amazing support group around us from family to church family to other friends. But the Lord has provided for us a new family here and we are growing in relationships and fellowship here in Texas as well.

#5 Service: the Lord gave us so many great opportunities to serve others in our church and community. I was able to start singing again at church after a long maternity-motherhood break.

#6 Safe travels: Brad has a far drive to work every day and I watch almost daily on the news horrible car accidents here. So I'm definitely thankful for safety over his life. We were also able to return to Chicago on a road trip this past summer and had a blessed time there.

#7 Snow: this one is for my two boys who longed and even prayed that it would snow here and it did! : )

#8 Blessed marriage: Only by God's grace Brad and I have been able to persevere in our marriage and be committed and strong and growing together for 10 years now.

#9 Steady Job/providence: Brad's job has been more consistent this year with hours and we are so thankful that he has a steady income and the Lord has provided for all our needs. He's been faithful!

#10 Supernatural strength: being a homeschooling family can be very tiring and overwhelming at times. But the Lord has given me incredible strength to get through the school year, with many interruptions and unexpected breaks along the way. It's still a great joy in my heart that my kids get to be together and learn at home.

God can be trusted...He is faithful and caring and good. Knowing....believing...remembering this truth will bring peace to our lives.

Beautiful Eyes

I had fun yesterday taking pictures of Sarah's cutest looks. : )

The "don't make me laugh" look

The "If you knew what I'm thinking" look

The "You caught me!" look
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Holiday Pics

Boys together by our fire after Christmas Eve service at church.
Boys and dad enjoying a night of fun fireworks in our cul-de-sac. Brad (a.k.a. "city boy") can't get over the fact that this is legal in our town. hehe!

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January 01, 2010

2010 Word of the Year: PEACE

Seek peace and pursue it.
Psalm 34:14

Thanks to the FIAR message board ladies, I will be embarking on a journey this year with the word PEACE.

As I prayed for what would be something that I want to focus on this year, this word just kept coming to mind. I confess that I kept putting it off because the word "peace" is so overused here in America.

But then I concluded that this word belongs to the Lord! Our government, the pageants and civil organizations borrowed it from us!

Just think about it...

Where does true peace come from? Jesus Christ the Lord! He Himself is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). I love how Pastor James (our pastor in Chicago) defines peace.

Peace= the calm assurance that what God doing is best.

Just recently in his blog, he was reminding the readers how there are different types of peace, but ultimately ALL peace comes from God.

  • Peace with God: that's the peace He gives us, through the sacrifice of Christ for us. When we embrace the Lord at conversion, we have peace with God. Ephesians 2:14, says that "He Himself is our peace". Romans 5:1 says that, "we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ".
  • Peace of God: this is the peace we have as believers, because now His Spirit is at work in us and so no matter what trials or temptations or burdens come our way, we can rest in our Lord. We can trust Him, we can remain steadfast in Him. It's the peace that Philippians 4:4-9 speaks of. The peace that surpasses ALL understanding!

This year I want to pursue this kind of peace in my life, the peace of God. This is the peace I experienced earlier last year during my post-partum days with a newborn at home and a paralized foot. The peace that comes from knowing that you can lay all your burdens on Him who cares for you.

I'm reminded of how often in scripture we read of passages calling us to pursue peace. I admit this is not something that I have searched for diligently in my life.

The Lord convicted me this past year that there are a lot of things in my life right now that are not allowing me to pursue peace. It's always painful to admit your wrongs and see your sin the way God looks at it but I know there is no greater reward than to surrender a part of your life you struggle with to the Lord and let Him do the work.

So there you have it! I lack peace! I need more of God's peace in my life. And I know it's not going to come by doing a 30 minute yoga session a day. Or listening to Fernando Ortega all night. Though I like to do those things very much.

I'll try to update at least monthly on what the Lord is teaching me through this journey of seeking peace.

More this weekend on what the Bible has to say about pursuing peace and what I need to get rid in my life to experience it.