Thursday's Child - A Day Late Topic: Compassion International
The other day we had great surprise of getting not one but two letters from Marcelo. Here is one of them:
Dear Tim and Family,
Hello. I greet you with much love. I thank you for the letters that you send me, they are beautiful. I want to tell you that it has been raining these weeks and sunny at the same time. It was a fresh weather. Also here at the CDI student center there was a Bible contest and my class won the prize and we were very happy and we shared the prize. I wanted to ask you, do you have Bible contests in your country? Answering your questions, I do have many friends, they are called Raphael, Joel, Carlos and Beymar. They are very good friends because we are together in the good and bad times. I am doing well in school and at home. I will always pray for you. I say goodbye with many hugs and kisses. May the Lord bless you.
It is always a joy to get a letter from Marcelo. I am so glad that the $32 a month that we send helps him and his family. Even more so, I am glad for the love that we can give to him and the love that he gives back. Really, I think that he is more of a blessing to us than we are to him.
Our friend Kees, told us of a time where he was visiting La Paz, the same city that Marcelo lives in. As he was entering his hotel one night, he saw three of four boys begging for money. They looked bedraggled and hungry, so he invited them to the hotel restaurant for some food. They were so appreciative. Kees often wonders what happened to them afterward. There are so many kids to help, but Compassion can only take so many. Kees told me one time that Compassion only can take the worst of the worst of the applications.
The worst of the worst. Is that Marcelo? Would Marcelo have ended up on the street like those boys?
It makes me think of Mwende, our Christmas child. She still hasn't found a sponsor. If I cannot find one for her by the end of the month, then her profile will go back to Compassion so that they can find one for her. Would you continue praying for her? I would love to be the one to find a sponsor for her. If you would like more information on Mwende, please let me know. You can leave a comment below, or send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for praying.
Tuesday's Toolbox - This Week's Item - A Pet Mood:
incredulous Topic: Blog Carnivals!
Why am I incredulous? Well, if we didn't need something else in our lives, we decided to take over the care of a dog. Yes, we now have a pure breed Miniature Pinscher. He belonged to one of Sarah's ladies who just had a new baby. It is still a puppy, only five months old, so it is still trainable. He didn't come with papers, because the owner really didn't care about them, but he is at least as close to being pure breed as you can get. In fact he looks exactly like this dog found on a Miniature Pinscher (Min Pin) web site:
Except, the breeder bobbed the tail of "Jojo" before he gave it to our friend, so Jojo has a short tail, not a long one like the one in the picture.
What makes life even more interesting is Jojo's (I call him Joseph ~ Jojo just doesn't fit a male dog) temperament. Here is what the American Kennel Club website said about the behavior of this small breed:
The Miniature Pinscher can really spice up a person’s life. This dog is small, but he doesn’t know it! He’s quick and active, with a lively curiosity. They are good family companions and look out for their family, bravely challenging intruders with their bold, insistent bark. The "Min Pin" will be happiest with a family that treats him like a standard-sized dog. He may be stubborn, but he’s also smart.
Sound familiar? Quick, active, curious, bold...sounds like characteristics of a couple of my children. As a matter of fact, Joseph fits right in with our family, down to the name that begins with a J. Whatever would possess us to want an active addition to our family?
Well, anyway, a dog can be a great learning tool in the home. John Allen is learning how to train him. Already, within the week that we have had Joseph, he has taught him how to sit. Here is a list of things that I am hoping a pet will teach our boys.
Responsibility - We told the boys before we got the dog, that they were going to have to be responsible for him. We would buy the food for now, but they would have to feed him, take him out, clean up any messes he made, etc. They have really risen to the challenge. I am really pleased.
Training Skills - As I said, John Allen is learning how to train him and has done a good job at it.
Patience - As John Allen trains Joseph, he is learning patience. It is not an easy task to train any animal.
Reading Skills - We have done a little reading up on Min Pins, but I am hoping to check some books out of the library so that the boys can learn more about this unique breed of dog.
Journals - I am going to have the boys keep a journal and a record of how much time they spend training him and the progress that he makes.
Money Management - Eventually I would like to turn the food and supply purchasing over to the boys (or at least John Allen). We would give him an allowance to purchase things that he would need, and John Allen would have to keep track of the spending etc.
Math - The Money Management would also involve math skills.
Spelling, Report Writing, Lapbooking, etc. ~ the above items are just the beginning. Those are things that homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers can do. If you are a homeschooler, you could research the breed, write reports, use it as science, spelling, language...you name it! The sky is the limit.
Along with our mostly outdoor cats, including some strays that have adopted us, we have quite a menagerie, and some excellent learning material. We are really excited about getting Jojo. The boys have been asking for a dog for a long time, and we only decided to take him if the friend who gave him to us promised to dog-sit when we needed her to. But, it looks like Jojo~Joseph is here to stay. He has definitely become part of our family. We'll keep you posted on how he's doing and what we're learning about him.
Don't forget to click here to visit the rest of this week's Tuesday's Toolbox entries!
I'm Still Working on it - New Thru 30 Challenge! Mood:
rushed Topic: Bible Reading & Devotions
No, I haven't forgotten. I plan on posting more notes tonight. I am a little behind on my reading, but my main thing is that I'm behind on my note posts. I'm still working on it, and I'm still praying for all of you who have taken the challenge as well.
Bertie's War - This Might Become Tim's War Mood:
irritated Topic: Homeschool Product Review
Recently, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I was sent a free copy of Bertie's War published by Kregel Publications in order for me to read and write a review to put on this blog.
Ok, before I go into my review of this fine book, here's my beaf. I very rarely am upset with any of the rest of my TOS Homeschool Crew mates, but this one takes the cake. We have a forum to discuss different ways of reviewing an item, or how we work in review items with our regular curriculum etc. We don't usually discuss the fine details of anything, or what we think, because we don't want other peoples views to distort our own reviews. We might, however, make little comments about items. Recently a comment was made about Bertie's War that they were "so glad that finally a historical novel has been written about the 1960's".
I wanted to scream at the computer! "Historical! What do you mean historical? I was alive in the early 1960's and I'm not historical!" I was quite irate. It made me feel like an antique! Historical indeed ! Ah, well...enough about me and on with the review.
Bertie's War, a wonderful novel written by Barbara Tifft Blakey, is about a 12 year old girl growing up in 1962. Poor 12 year old Bertie's world is falling apart. As if she doesn't have enough to worry about with an annoying older sister, younger brother and stern father, now she's at that awkward age of being between childhood and adulthood, she's beginning seventh grade, and, to top it all off, the United States is in the midst of major crisis with Cuba.
Her life seems to be in a state of confusion and she doesn't know what to do. She worries about everything. Join Bertie as she has to deal with fires, hurricanes, family death, school bomb drills, her own emotions and her relationship with God during a very tumultuous year.
Bertie's War is an entertaining book written on a mature preteen to teenage level. It is...as upsetting as this word is to say ..."historically" accurate and the author does an excellent job of telling what life was really like for people (especially kids) during those very uneasy days of the early sixties. It is written in a very easy style with enough action to keep you turning the pages. More than once I found myself not wanting to put it down.
I usually preview books, especially by unknown authors, before allowing my children to read them. Because the subject was a 12 year old girl, and I have three sons, this was one that I wanted to especially read ahead of time. Now that I have reviewed it, I have no hesitation giving it to my 13 year old son to read. In fact, I see many similarities between Bertie and John Allen. So many, in fact, that I am hoping he learns something from the way Bertie's emotions are dealt with in the end. "How is that?" you may ask. You'll have to find out by reading the book.
Bertie's War is available in paperback for $7.99 from Kregel Publications. Kregel has many other books, Bible studies and academic products for all ages. Just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above to find out more about this company. You can also click here to read what the other TOS Homeschool Crew members had to say about this book. Again, this is one of those items that can be enjoyed by those who homeschool and those who don't. So, I won't say "Happy Homeschooling" on this one, but, as usual, I'll say "Happy Home Educating"!
This is one of those "Pull Your Hair Out" days! Mood:
don't ask Topic: Family
Now, don't get me wrong, I love my boys. Sometimes, however, they drive me up the wall! Today has been one of those days.
We have been doing some homeschool these past few weeks, but we have basically taken about a month off because of all of the activities that go on here at the mission over the holidays, and because of our trip to New Jersey. That is the convenience and advantage of being homeschoolers. We can take a day off here and there if we need to and make it up at another time. We frequently will work over the schools fall and spring breaks. We usually start earlier than public school and almost always go a little later ~ including doing some homeschool over the summer. We can even have homeschool on snow days ~ The Tinkel Acedemy never closes.
The downfall of taking a month off, though, is the day that we have to get back into the whole routine. You can tell where I'm going here, can't you? Yep! Today was the first day back and it was a doozy! John Allen's sleep habits are a mess. He absolutely didn't want to get up in this morning. He struggled all morning and didn't end up getting a lot done. Part of the reason was that Tuesday's is also Bible Club days, so my time is divided between getting ready for Bible Club and homeschooling. Joshua was a little better and got done with three-fourths of his assignments.
I really should have pushed the issue more, but today was just too busy of a day. And, I had already done enough fussing, etc. It isn't working, and I know it. That's why we are getting a little extra advice - I think I mentioned that the other day, but, I'm not going to divulge what it is yet. In the meantime, tomorrow is another day.