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Nathan’s Hero

Nathan’s Hero

One more “student work” post from Nathan…

Hero Project

My hero is my little sister, Katya. She is a charismatic person who loves acrobatics, art, and people. She is my hero because she proves that the best gifts come in small packages and she shows me an example of generosity. She is generous, creative, sweet, adorable, innocent and brilliant and she shows me how to have fun even when everything seems serious. She is very creative and adds new things to playtime every day. She is very responsible and she is similar to Aurelianus [a character in the book this pieces was an assignment for] because she loves dogs, she is a lover of harmony, and she loves magic. She also is very observant and knows lots of things. She is different than Aurelianus because she does not have a very conventional mind she has more of a creative one. (She also doesn’t have a fur coat that changes colors, wink, wink.) Katya helps so many people have love and joy in their lives. She gives gifts and smiles at what people say. She fills people’s lives with creative ideas. Katya and I are alike because we both love each other very much. We are different because she is very creative but I like orderly, conventional thinking.

Nathan’s Seasons

Nathan’s Seasons

Today’s “student work” is from Nathan.  Enjoy!

For the full effect, you should click on this PDF (SeasonsSm) so you can see the colors and photos that Nathan chose to go with his writing.

Winter

The field slept under the fresh blanket of snow. A cardinal twittered a few notes and then was silent. The church bells rang and the children shouted as snowballs were flung about. But the plants still slept on and on and on. This is winter.

Spring

The field sprung into spring as flowers burst into bloom and birds twittered among the trees. Church bells rang signaling the Easter service. Children romped in the spring sun. Easter eggs popped open and squeals came from the finders. This is spring.

Summer

Bright flowers twirled in the magenta sunset. People ran out with huge boxes of fireworks to light for the Fourth of July lighting. WHIZZ-POP there goes one rocket. PHEEE! a screaming one went! This is summer.

Autumn

A football landed in front of a tree. Mr. Squirrel ran to his stash of nuts. A cool breeze wafted through the trees. Some childish laughter rang in Mrs. Bear’s ears. The world was slowing down again. This is autumn. (fall)

God made the seasons to help us enjoy his creation.

 

A Modern Day Knight (Catching-Up)

A Modern Day Knight (Catching-Up)

I have a young man finishing sixth grade!  So many changes are on the horizon, and I am both nervous and excited about that.

One of the changes are are feeling right now is the shift from “elementary” to “junior high.”  It will happen this fall for school, but this spring it takes place at church.  This was Nathan’s final year to attend our Wednesday night clubs program, and he ended with the long-anticipated crest ceremony.  Each year the 6th grade boys select images and colors and create a wooden crest that represents things that are important to them.  They present their crest at the final night of clubs, talk about what they chose, and then hear words of blessing and a prayer from their parents.  It is really cool and really important!

Here is Nathan with his crest..

It is amazing to think that the boy who was a baby when this curriculum was designed is now graduating from the program.  I am so grateful for the men who worked with Than to put this together, and for all the godly leaders who have feed truth into my son during his years under their leadership.

Here is Nathan talking about his crest:

Never Too Old

Never Too Old

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This year marked the first year that my grandpa was unable to go with us to see Thomas the Tank Engine.  He was still anxious for us to go, however, so we made the annual visit for the 10th time in a row.  Here are my very big kids enjoying the adventure provided for them by the grandpa who still has a big kid inside of him too!

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We rode in a plush covered car this time, and had it nearly to ourselves!  Our train trip was enlivened by lots of stories from the conductor who rode with us.

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The garden railroad is always one of my favorite places to spend some time.  There is a timeless fascination in looking into a miniature world.

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Yep, that’s me–what’s with the enormous green hat?  I love that hat, but it sure looks weird!


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I’m not sure how many more memories we will make here, but we certainly have a big pile of ones from the past decade.  I am grateful.

He’s Another Year Older!

He’s Another Year Older!

Somehow, Nathan is turning 11 this year!!  Amazing!

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Thanks to some fun boxes in the mail, there were interesting packages to open up throughout the week.  That is always a highlight of birthdays around here!

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We like to stretch it out (Nathan’s even lasts until we go to Idaho for the 4th of July!)  Science themed books were a hit several times this year, including one that involved a flaming candle experiment.

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Our family birthday celebration included a morning of mini golf and an afternoon of Wii U.  (I’m better at one than the other–you can guess which).

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Salad bar was the dinner of choice, with raspberry mocha mousse instead of birthday cake for dessert.  Yum!

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I am amazed at how my son is growing, both in height and in character.  He is so interesting to talk to and is increasingly fun to play games with.  He can often be a very kind big brother and continues to be excited about his faith.  It is sad to see some of his childhood interests begin to fade, but there is still plenty of boy in my soon-to-be young man!

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Time for Lessons

Time for Lessons

Well, the Baylor Music Studio has been busy since September with a record-breaking 19 lessons each week!  I’m glad for students new and old, and also am enjoying some cool new teaching supplies…

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If you haven’t already, you should follow Baylor Music Studio on Facebook for the occasional music quote, cool video, or bit of musical humor.  Mr. Whooooodle, my new owl timer, might even make the occasional surprise appearance!

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The best musical event this fall, however, has been the beginning of Nathan’s new music endeavors!  He is part of a choir at school, and also every week he walks around the corner for his private clarinet lessons.  My dad always said the clarinet was the one instrument we were not allowed to play, and now here I am with a son who is doing it instead.  I can see why dad wasn’t thrilled with the idea of a just-figuring-it-out woodwind player, but it isn’t any worse than the beginning violinists that fill my house!  Nathan is really doing quite well, and I am so thankful for his teacher who patiently helps, directs, and gives him this new experience of music.  It is a rich addition to the oh-so-very-familiar piano teacher that he lives with and practices with every day!!

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Benny Goodman didn’t pick up his instrument until age 11, so who knows what could happen!

Another Day Out With Thomas

Another Day Out With Thomas

Somewhere along the line, I blinked.  This day…

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suddenly turned into THIS day!

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The kettle corn is the same, the train ride is the same, the garden railroad is the same, the gift shop is the same, but boy how the kids change!

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As long as I have a Grandpa and a son who love trains, I think September will find us out at the Railroad Museum, riding behind a cheeky blue engine and adding one more memory to the treasured pile.

Summer Play

Summer Play

After a few recent posts, you might be tempted to think that I spent the entire summer devotedly cooking and crafting creatively with my children.  Hah!  Just remember two things…

1) My blog is a highlight reel of the things I happened to remember to take pictures of.  NOT real life, only an edited glimpse of life.  Always keep that in mind.

2) I spend LOTS of time on the computer–having fun, writing this blog, wasting hours on Pinterest, and working for Get HOPE Global.  I also cook and clean and do laundry and whatever else.  That means lots of time when my kids are off doing their own thing.

And what, you may ask, do they do when they are doing their own thing?

There are the usual suspects: slogging through piano practice, doing household chores, fighting as siblings do, and hanging out in the corner with a pile of books.  I have been surprised, however, that the older they get the more fun they seem to have with each other.  It is neat to see their personalities interact, and to watch how the unique combination that is them turns into a variety of interesting activities.  Here are a few of my favorites from this summer:

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Creating a miniature world with lots of little objects, plastic animals, and random other things from their rooms.

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Turning the IKEA umbrellas into the base of a fort/ship.  Blankets, games, books, stuffed animals–all kinds of stuff ended up out there.

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Crazy backyard water play.  We’ve sure gotten our mileage out of that kiddie swimming pool and the little toddler slide!

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Garden experiments–mixing, stirring, lots of picking leaves and making mud.  This particular time they added some almost-dried-out paints and glitter glues that were headed for the trash.

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Time alone–the scene above is a fairly typical one.  Katya keeps going with a project long after Nathan has left to go back to his book.  Sometimes they do really well at drifting in and out of interacting together.

Can you tell I love summer with my kids together?  Yep, I do!

A DECADE!!

A DECADE!!

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Has this boy really been in our lives for a whole decade?  How did the time go by so fast?  Nathan celebrated his 10th birthday in the middle of VBS last week.

As he has for the last few years, Nathan requested a salad bar as his dinner of choice.  This year we went with an Italian theme, featuring fresh mozzarella cubes, sliced pepperoni, and crisp fried salami along with lots of veggie choices and homemade rosemary foccacia.  We had rocky road sundaes for dessert, so we used an extra piece of bread to hold up the birthday candles!

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Board games were definitely the theme of the birthday, with Super Mario Chess, Clue, Monopoly Empire, Rockin’ Math, and Rubix Cube making grand appearances.

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There were also plenty of other kindly chosen gifts and cards arriving in person or via the mailman.  Thanks, everyone!  A special treat was having Grandma as well as Gran B and Poppy as birthday dinner guests.

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Plenty of change has happened since Nathan came in 2005, and I am confident that the next decade will see even more change.  We are forging on to the new adventures ahead!

Past Birthday Posts…

Nathan Turns 3

Nathan Turns 4

Nathan Turns 5

Nathan Turns 7

Nathan Turns 8 (this one has a baby pic with it, so it is my favorite!)

Nathan Turns 9

Guest Post: Nathan Poem

Guest Post: Nathan Poem

one last poem from guest poster Nathan Baylor…  (Written as part of his poetry unit at school)

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Nathan


Nathan

it means gift of god

it is the number 987,654,321

it is the memory of Katya

who taught me gift giving

my name is Nathan