Monday, December 23, 2013

Daddies Occasionally Blow It


     We all blow it from time to time.  Unfortunately, I am not immune from this problem.  Pictured above is my elder son, Matthew.  He is generally a well behaved little boy, albeit a most enthusiastic and energetic one.  He has a motor that seems to run continuously from about seven in the morning until late evening.  Trying to keep him on a regular bedtime can be a chore.  We attempt to have him in bed along with his younger brother by 9:00 P.M. every evening; however, that is easier said than done.  The litany of excuses for getting out of bed sometimes seem endless.  The other night I became so perturbed by his refusal to go to sleep that I finally threatened to spank him.  Later, when I went into his room to check on him, I found a note on the door of his room, a real act of contrition.  In it he wrote, "Daddy, I am so sorry about this evening.  But I could not go to sleep without Junior."
     To really understand what he meant by this, one must know who Junior is.  Junior is his little teddy bear, a raggedy bear that he still has from his early childhood.  This teddy bear means so much to him; he has frequently rejected our suggestions that we buy a new bear to replace this worn out, dirty, old bear.  After a day filled with the excitement of numerous visiting children, when it came time for bed, he was unable to locate his Junior.  Knowing how much Junior means to him, I hunted all over for him to no avail.  I had to finally tell him that he had to go to bed without his Junior.  He did not fuss much, but he was up and out of his bed frequently until the threat of a spanking hung over him.  However, when I went into his room, I found him with my old flannel shirt wrapped around him in lieu of his Junior.  The next morning as he came out of his room, he said, "At least I had something to think of you with me last night, Daddy."  Perhaps I was a bit harsh upon him this time.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Excitement



     My two boys have really gotten into the mood for the season this last week.  Their excitement and energy has been boundless as they look forward to the Christmas holidays although my younger son became a little worried when he learned that we would have a whole week off and more from school.  He said, But Daddy, I want to go to school which was a nice change from some of his complaints lately.  However, both boys are excited about having a break and mostly about their Christmas gifts.  About a week ago, they both came to me with lists they had printed of everything they wanted for Christmas.  Needless to say, they will not get nearly all of what asked for, but they are still excited for whatever they get.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Autumn Sky




    With tonight's weather forecast of a winter storm and bitterly cold weather descending upon us for the next seven days, I could not help but hearken back to only a little over a month ago when we experienced beautiful blue skies with just a hint of chill in the air.  Just  a beautiful fall day with a sky that provided a special backdrop for some snapshots on a trip to Jamestown for our boys.  It was a beautiful day, cool but not cold, with a bright sun and a high blue sky streaked with a few cirrus clouds.  Today we had similar temperatures, maybe slightly warmer, albeit with leaden skies following a prolonged period of very chilly weather.  However, the winter weather is about to erase all that very rapidly.  For more beautiful autumn skies visit Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Special Day of Thanks

     Today was a special day for us.  We spent it together, alone as a family for the first time in years, but it turned out to be a very nice day.  We simply bought a chicken instead of a turkey since the boys do not eat much meat and then added several sides to accompany it.  For us, it was a veritable feast, and we enjoyed it greatly.  In the afternoon, I enjoyed watching some football and observing the boys.  More than all this, however, today was a day of reflection upon everything for which I have to be thankful.  I thank God for a godly wife who is kind, loving and industrious.  I am truly blessed once again with a wonderful wife who is a great complement to me and a wonderful mother to our boys.  I thank the Lord for our two fun-loving boys who keep life interesting.  Never a dull moment with them around!  I am so grateful for two little boys who love the Lord.  Then I think of the material provisions from the Lord and realize how greatly he has blessed us.  Finally, I am reminded of the fact that once again we have come through a year with almost no illness or injury whatsoever.  But I also have much to be grateful for in addition to God's protection and care for my immediate family.  My wife's family still lives in the Philippines, and God provided safety for them during the recent typhoon of unprecedented strength.  When my father-in-law's life was threatened by rebels, God protected him.  Finally, I have a daughter who is happily married with three young children and a son and daughter in law who are successfully employed by the University of Texas El Paso and are climbing the ladder of success there.  Most of all though, I thank God for my salvation by faith in his son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Little of This and a Little of That


     An old cardboard box, a few markers, an unused belt, a cloth strip and an old set of keys placed in the right hands and what do you have?  Why, a car, of course!  My eldest son has shown the distinct ability to turn almost anything into a plaything that can occupy many fun hours of the boys' free time.  In the photo above, he took an old box that I was going to burn and within a couple of hours had turned it into a car that he was driving in his imagination, replete with dashboard gauges, steering wheel, seatbelts, headlights, and ignition.  Of course, my younger could not be left out, so he found his own box and mimicked his older brother as closely as possible.  Now if only I can get that kind of creativity out of my older boy when he writes in school.

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Giving Heart


     Sometimes our children surprise us by taking initiative to do something we would not consider.  A week ago in our home school sessions, we finished an online series of videos entitled Lost in India.  My sons donated some money to assist in spreading the gospel to India and received a cardboard backpack bank and a poster with a large map of India.  This week after bringing my boys home from a field trip to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., I was inside resting before going outside to split wood.   While I was inside the house, the boys had carried an old card table out front, taped the poster to it and placed their cardboard bank on the table with a handwritten sign saying "for the poor people in India." Suddenly, my elder son rushed into the house, exclaiming, "Daddy, I earned a lot of money to send to the poor people in India.!"  Curious, I queried how he had come up with this money.  Proudly, he told me he had put up a table out front with a sign for the poor people in India and that people came and put money in their bank. Had they asked my permission, I am sure I would have denied  it; however, there was not much I could do at that point except to assist them in their plan to add more to their total to give to the effort in India. I realized later that this is exactly what the Lord would have them do.  Their heart for the less fortunate was an excellent example.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

United We Stand!

     I fear what the future will hold for my boys.  Pondering over the events of the past few weeks, I struggled last evening with the incontrovertible fact that we are rapidly approaching a disaster of cataclysmic proportions for our country if a major course correction does not take place.  Using words from scripture, Abraham Lincoln astutely observed "A house divided against itself cannot stand."  With a President who cannot tell the truth and who is growing increasingly ineffective, congressional leaders who are more interested in political gain than the interests of our country, and a citizenry increasingly disillusioned, angry and polarized; what the communists during the Cold War and the terrorists of Cold War could not accomplish has suddenly become a very real and frightening possibility.  Events orchestrated during those years failed to split and weaken the American people; rather, they drew us together and made us even stronger.  While not entirely wise in all their decisions all the time, our leaders during those events helped draw us together to meet the challenges of the enemy without.  Today we are threatened by a more insidious danger which could destroy this great nation by splitting us asunder.  Already there are signs of this.
     As I read a large number of comments about news items on the internet concerning Obamacare, I was struck by the way our country has become polarized and frightened by some of the nastiness of many of the comments.  What really bothered me the most, however, was some of the racist comments.  I am as upset as anyone by what has transpired at the highest levels of government.  I think most Americans including the press, perhaps especially the press, feel betrayed by those to whom we entrusted the leadership of our nation; however, now more than ever we need unity. The political games must stop. Now is the time we need our leadership to step up and lead by example, bringing our people together rather than dividing us further for political gain.  The blame game must end.  Hearing one side blame another for the mess we are in does nothing to solve our problems.  Blaming the previous administration for the failure of Obamacare makes no sense nor does blaming the more conservative press.  I have heard both of those proposals advanced, and they are not conducive either to bringing us together or to solving the problems.  While Obamacare has been an unmitigated disaster, perhaps the most dangerous issue is the byproduct of it that everyone seems to ignore, the atmosphere of hostility and divisiveness it has created.  Now more than ever we need our government officials to step up along with the insurance companies to find a solution that will ease tensions and bring our people together.  All of us Americans must link arms and stand together lest our nation be brought to its knees by the enemy within.  What kind of future do we want for the generations t come?  "United we stand; divided we fall!"

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Giving Thanks 2013



         Approaching the Thanksgiving holidays, once again I am reminded of all that I have for which to be grateful.  It is so easy sometimes to become so focused on what I don't have that it is easy to overlook my blessings and take them for granted.  Seeing the devastation in the Philippines, reading news headlines of those who have suffered terribly this year, I can only thank the Lord for my many blessings including safety and health.  God has given me a strong, healthy body and mind, and for that I thank him.  I am so blessed to have a loving wife and two young sons who provide me with many great and unforgettable moments each year.   I am frequently reminded of this blessing when they come over to me and  curl up with me when I am reading or watching a football game. The quote from Dickens' A Christmas Carol where the Spirit of Christmas Present remarks to Scrooge that Bob Cratchit receives five times the amount of love each day of the week. The distinct meaning is conveyed that this is something that money cannot buy.  How true!  When they are playing with each other, I thank God for their closeness and love for one another as well as their fantastic creativity.  Having one of them come out to share a snack while I am splitting wood for the fireplace is always a treat.  My wife provides me with another reason to be grateful, a loving and supportive presence through whatever storms we pass.   Then I am reminded of the plenty on the table each day and the warmth and comfort of our home, and I have more reason to give thanks.  But perhaps the greatest blessing for which I am thankful is the gift of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.  That the almighty God of the universe would come down to this earth and live as a man and then give his own life up so I could live is truly mind boggling.  This Thanksgiving will be a special day of gratitude for me and my family.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sitting by the Fire





          Sitting by the fire warming myself on the coldest evening of the fall of 2013, I reminisce on  the enjoyment of what was probably the hottest week this last summer.  Summer of 2013 was a time of growth and fun for my two boys.  During probably the hottest week of the summer, they were fortunate enough to be able to attend a soccer camp, which they thoroughly enjoyed.  I was a little concerned about whether my younger son would have the stamina to get through full day sessions for a week, but he really handled it well.  Every day they awoke looking forward to going to soccer camp.  By the end of the day, they were truly exhausted, but both boys took great satisfaction from their time in camp and learned a lot in addition to forming close friendships.  I observed them making great strides in the development of their skills which I hope to see applied next season when they play in a league.  This was a small beginning of what was to be a fantastic summer adventure for them.  Though the warm days of summer were nice, I am enjoying the cool, brisk days of fall, especially when I can get warm by the fireplace at home while reflecting back upon the warm days of summer.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Halloween Fun


     My boys always look forward to Halloween even though they do not get to go out trick or treating.  They do get their share of candy from our church which holds a special activity for children to keep them off the streets that night.  They also dress up as in this photo which they always enjoy.  They love their cowboy outfits, and this year they had the added appeal of having a toy musket and a toy carbine, souvenirs from Jamestown, to make them a little more authentic.  We try to remove the  emphasis on witches and ghosts and the occult from Halloween without taking away the fun for them.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Field Trip to Jamestown




         This fall we have been studying the settlement of Jamestown in our home-school curriculum.  My son has been entranced by the stories of Pocahontas, Captain John Smith and John Rolfe among others.  We were approaching our tenth wedding anniversary, and not having any real support system or reliable sitters available, we decided to do something that included our boys.  What better way than to incorporate an educational field trip with a time of relaxation and celebration.  Everything worked out to perfection with my wife having a holiday from her schooling and finishing up her Monday class the week previously.  We were able to take a trip down to Jamestown and Williamsburg that we all really enjoyed.
     The boys found the tour of Jamestown instructive as well as entertaining and the trip to Williamsburg was really enjoyable too. Boarding the ships at Jamestown fascinated them immensely.  They also enjoyed the Indian village.  Of course, for the boys the most entertaining part of our time in Williamsburg was the review of the colonial troops featuring the firing of both the muskets and the cannon.  Going to the swimming pool and spa at our motel in the evening was a great climax to an exhausting day.  For Mom and Dad, this was a great time of rest and relaxation away from the everyday cares and routines.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Great Mid Night Meal

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Jack in the Box for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Exploding Cheesy Chicken Munchie Meal

     Being the parent of two young boys, I sometimes find it easier to travel at night when the traffic is lighter and the boys can sleep while I drive.  That way I do not have to answer the question, "Are we there yet?" every fifteen to twenty minutes.  There is a downside however to traveling at night.  It can sometimes be extremely difficult to find good food along the way.  Even if one is a MacDonalds fan---and I am not---it is sometimes impossible to find an eating establishment open after one o'clock at night.  I remember one such trip when I traveled for three and one half hours before finding a place to eat and then was dissatisfied with the food that was served.  Now there is a fantastic alternative available for late night dining, whether one is traveling or just hankering for a late night meal.Jack in the Box provides its customers with delicious late night meals at an affordable cost.

     Jacks Munchie Meals include four different hearty meal selections: Stacked Grilled Cheese Burger, Exploding Cheesy Chicken, Loaded Nuggets or Brunch Burger.  All of these selections provide one with a filling meal.  The Stacked Grilled Cheese Burger meal includes a sourdough grilled cheese on top, cheeseburger on bottom.  Loaded Nuggets consists of chicken nuggets drowning in two types of cheese with ranch and bacon.  Exploding Cheesy Chicken is a chicken sandwich exploding with mozzarella, cheesy sticks, and gooey white cheese sauce, and the Brunch Burger gives you a burger with a fried egg and a crispy hash brown.  All of these wonderful meals come with two tacos, halfies (half French fries and half curly fries) along with a 20 oz. soft drink.  Although these are the main meal selections, there are many other selections available including burgers, breakfasts, tacos and great salads.  I am excited to try the Loaded Nuggets myself.  Visit your local Jack in the Box to enjoy a great midnight meal!

 photo jacks_munchie_meal-closed_box450pi_zps2aa10f38.jpg

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Dangerous Ground


 http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/10/17/with-budget-deal-national-debt-free-to-soar-again/

     First I want to post a little disclaimer.  No, I do not intend to turn this blog into some kind of political forum; however, as I have observed the events of the last year transpire, I have become increasingly concerned with the direction our country is taking.  When one examines carefully the overall picture, he must conclude that our leaders are fast moving us away from the foundations of democracy upon which our nation was built.  The blame is far reaching and encompasses both the Democrats and Republicans.  We the people are also guilty of buying into a philosophy that our founding fathers fought to avoid as they constructed our government.  The one thing they feared above all was a powerful and intrusive centralized government.  Today, we are guilty of not only allowing the government to intrude more and more into our private lives, but we are also begging for more governmental control.  Never before in our history have the American people so willingly and readily allowed the government to have complete control over their lives.What the terrorists started on 9/11, the demolition of a free and democratic nation, is now being accomplished at the hands of our own people.
     Our president is guilty as he has run roughshod over the constraints of the U S Constitution time and time again, the latest being when he absolutely refused to negotiate with the House of Representatives on matters related to spending and the budget.  Our forefathers gave the "power of the purse" to the House of Representatives for a purpose.  That purpose was to prevent too much power from residing in the hands of one man, namely the president.  The reason this power resides in the House is because the members of the House are most closely accountable to its constituents as they are elected for only a two year term as opposed to six years for a senator and four years for the president.  By delegating this power to the House, the writers of our Constitution gave them the power to act as a check on the power of the presidency.  Yet our president has circumvented this balance that our forefathers determined would prevent any leader from acting as a king.  This is only the latest of a series of actions by our president that have shown a disdain for the Constitution.
     In Congress, both Republicans and Democrats have abdicated their responsibility to lead our country away from the brink of disaster.  Both parties have made their decisions based upon politics and power, ignoring the good of the country.  On the one hand, there are those who cozy up to the wealthy, the privileged, and the powerful (both parties), and on the other hand, there are those follow and ideology which has no basis in reason.  With a debt that is likely to reach 1.7 trillion dollars by the end of the year at a cost to the individual taxpayer of $148,000, our government leaders still refuse  to sit down and negotiate a rational budget that will lower the debt rather than raise it.  As a family man, I understand that if I make $40,000 a year, I cannot spend $60,000 a year.  Yet this is exactly what our government persists in doing.  Shamefully, Congress approved billions of dollars in unnecessary spending in their latest compromise.  When will it stop?
     We the people cannot be absolved of blame either.  The American people have shown a desire to have our government doing more and more for us all the time.  This will ultimately result in a loss of our independence.  By electing officials based on promises of more government assistance, we are also inviting more government oversight and irresponsibility in financial dealings leading to an economic catastrophe.  Unfortunately, by the time the danger is realized, it may be too late.  One of the greatest freedoms in our nation has been the freedom of speech.  As a people, we need to make our voice heard now and demand greater accountability and responsibility from our elected officials.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Football and Buffalo Wild Wings-the Perfect Combo!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Buffalo Wild Wings for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

    Traditional Wing Image photo BWW_GenBrandV2_Black_Retargeting_300x250_zps1e81f6aa.jpg

     Football season is upon us again, and there is no better way to enjoy the game with the entire family than to enjoy it at Buffalo Wild Wings.  My sons and I all love football, and  the whole family loves buffalo wings, especially my wife.  Knowing this, it made sense for me to take my family to B-Dubs to enjoy the game while also enjoying a delicious offering of buffalo wings.  We all enjoyed watching an exciting game of football while devouring our wings.  Not only were we able to enjoy our meal, but we also were able to spend some good quality time together as a family, relaxing and enjoying one another's company. With a great array of sauces and seasonings to flavor our wings,  we were able to enjoy wings created to our own unique taste.  Personally, I love their offering of Mango Habanero which combines a sweet taste with a real burn to it.  The boys enjoyed the milder honey barbeque sauce while my wife loved the Asian Zing.    If you enjoy a mild sauce, B-Dubs has it, but if you like it really, really hot, they can also accommodate you.  This month B-Dubs is promoting the, a beer made by Redhook and offered at Buffalo Wild Wings, Follow Buffalo Wild Wings on Twitter and Like Buffalo Wild Wings on Facebook

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wrapping It Up!

     
     It has been a really good school year, and we are now finishing it off with a flourish.  My boys really enjoyed their first year of home school and did very well.  We have already received our curriculum from Sonlight for next year, and my older son is really excited about that. Knowing how much my son will enjoy that curriculum, I too am excited about next year.  Having started my son on an independent reading program towards the end of the year, I have structured a continuation of that program for the summer.  I have him read for half an hour every day, and he is really enjoying it.
     At the end of the year, I spent some time  weighing the positives and negatives of our home school experience.  The first observation I made was that it actually drew us closer together.  The boys and I had a great time both in and out of the classroom.  Additionally, I received a greater insight into my little boys, their passions and their abilities.  Another benefit of homeschooling was the benefit of one on one instruction.  Certainly this could not be minimized.  Being able to spend that much time with my sons, I was able to really emphasize the areas of education that would most benefit them.  Then there was the tremendous allowing us to maximize the learning experience for them.  However, there were drawbacks along the way.  One of the drawbacks I observed was that I am not strong in the area of the fine arts.  Another weakness is the lack of social interaction.  We did plan for outside social interaction, but it still was somewhat limited; however, the benefits far outweighed the disadvantages.  It has been a great year.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Answered Prayer!


     For the past eighteen months, we have been living with bated breath as a huge old maple tree that dominated back lawn slowly split down the middle of the trunk.  With one half of the tree hanging over our home, held our breath every time we had storms with high winds. After I had checked with friends and neighbors on the cost of removing a similar size tree, I determined that I did not have the resources to have the tree cut down.  Every time a storm with high winds approached, we prayed for the Lord's protection; then finally I got smart and prayed that the Lord would provide someone to take down the tree for the resources I had available.  About a week later, I saw a couple of men doing some tree trimming on a property behind mine.  I was finally able to have the tree removed for a very reasonable price.  Our home is safe!
     However, while my wife and I are happy to see the tree gone because of the danger it represented, my elder son has on numerous occasions indicated his sadness at not having the tree there anymore.  I must admit I really liked the shade the tree provided and the beauty of the tree itself, but I am grateful we were able to take the tree down before it caused major damage to the house.  One plus is that we now have a huge woodpile to burn in our fireplace during the winter months.  It will also provide some great exercise splitting firewood this summer.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

More Than Just a Parking Lot

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Parking Spot for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

     If you are seeking more than just another parking lot when planning to fly out from your local airport, then the Parking Spot is just for you.  With thirty-four locations at twenty-two airports around the country, the Parking Spot offers convenience along with extra amenities at very reasonable costs that will make your travel both hassle and worry free.  The Parking Spot provides convenient airport parking for as little as $5.95 a day.  There is available covered, open air and valet parking at certain select locations that is open twenty-four hours seven days a week.   Check in and check out are both fast and convenient.   Friendly shuttles operating every seven minutes provide quick and reliable transportation from the Parking Spot to the airport. These shuttles will stop immediately behind your car and the driver will give assistance with luggage when needed.  On your ride to the airport terminal, you can relax with a bottle of cold complimentary water while perusing a complimentary copy of USA Today until 9:00 A.M. Monday through Friday..   With well lit and fully fenced lots, the Parking Spot also provides both safety and security for its customers.  In some locations car care services such as car washes and service changes are available  at the lot.  Be sure to join the Spot Club to take full of all of the benefits of using advantage the Parking Spot.  Members may earn free days for every seven days paid, use an online account and gain access and egress using your card rather than picking up a ticket.  While the Parking Spot has no location here in Washington, D.C., the Philadelphia airport located off I95 North does have one.  To choose the most convenient lot, choose your parking space and any other services, make your airport parking reservations online.  Enjoy peace of mind knowing that on your next vaction you can find convenient parking and much more at the Parking Spot.  Follow @ TheParkingSpot on Twitter and like the Parking Spot on Facebook.

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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Home School Creativity

       


      Recently, my boys came to me at the beginning of our school day and said that they wanted to say the pledges to the American and Christian flags and to the Bible.  I thought this would be a great idea and agreed to do this; however, we did not have either flag.  I told them that since we had no flags, we would have to use our imagination when we said the pledges.  An couple of days later, I found that my boys had been creative and made their own flags using wooden dowels  paper flags to pencils with paper flags which they had made.  We have been using these, and my boys are quite happy with them.  Homeschooling these two little guys has been quite an experience.

Cherry Blossom Time


          Today we took the Metro Washington, D.C. to view the cherry blossoms which really were not quite at their peak yet because of the cool spring.  On our way into the city, my elder son asked if we could visit the National Cathedral.  He has had quite an interest in cathedrals ever since we studied the medieval cathedrals in history in school.  Unfortunately, I had to tell him no because there is no Metro station near the National Cathedral.  I did promise him that I would drive us to the National Cathedral sometime this summer, so that seemed to satisfy him.  As a consolation, I allowed him to select the museum that he wanted to visit.  Temperatures were cool especially down around the Tidal Basin.  Still, we enjoyed a brisk walk from the Smithsonian station to the Tidal Basin and then around to the Jefferson Memorial and back.  After that, we walked to the Museum of Natural History where the boys were able to see some exhibits on sea life and on mammals.  Leaving the museum, we toured the gardens immediately behind the old Smithsonian castle.  The dogwoods were absolutely spectacular as were the gardens.  All in all, it turned out to be a fantastic day for the family.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

End of Third Quarter Homeschooling

The year is three-fourths finished, we are now in the homestretch, and I took a quick peek back at where we came from to were we now stand.  My kindergarten student started by reviewing his counting skills and comparing sizes.  In reading he worked at identifying sounds of letters.  My second grader started very basic addition in math and with reading some simple books such as the Frog and Toad series.  Since then we have covered early Greece, Rome, Israel, Egypt, China, and India.  Along the way, my sons have encountered Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar, William the Conqueror,  Alfred the Great and Charlemagne among others.  I have no illusions that they will remember all of this material, but they have been exposed so when they meet it again, it should make it easier to piece together.  Geography has included nations from all over the world and exposure to the oceans and the continents of the world.  In science we have studied animals from all over the world, the human body, magnetism and water.   We have read wide array of books including a biography of George Mueller, Red Sails of Calypso, Detectives in Togas, Robin Hood, A Roman Diary, A Castle Diary and a story of a Chinese boy. 
Today my kindergartener is working on simple addition and subtraction  and is reading some of the SRA reading books for first grade.  Both boys write very legibly.  My older son has mastered addition, subtraction and most of his multiplication facts and has mastered time problems.  He has done well with interpreting simple graphs and charts and solving simple probability problems.  He has done very well with his spelling lists.  His writing is still a work in progress, but he does some nice work at times.  I have been extremely pleased with the curriculum we purchased for this year. It has been colorful, interesting, challenging and diversified.  I have already purchased the third grade curriculum for next year.  My boys are interested and motivated and looking ahead to next year.  Homeschooling has been a great decision for our family.
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