Who writes this stuff?

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I am happily married to an amazing military man who spent 9 years enlisted and is now an Officer in the US Army. We have two amazing boys who are not so little any more! They still infuse every moment of every day with creativity and energy, and make my life an adventure.  I was educated at home, and am now teaching our children - second generation homeschoolers! I try every day to become more like Jesus Christ, and to love like HE does. If you want you can try and catch me at bethylovesandy@yahoo.com

My Blog Title Verse

"For the Lord gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6 NKJV 
The Message translation puts it this way "God gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding."

Verse of the day

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What's in a name?

We have been talking about names around here lately.

 Andy's class has some foreign students attending, and one of them, I think it is the Egyptian, has a very long, complicated name. You see, he has his own name, his father's, grandfather's and great-grandfather's - all in a row. That is a lot to keep up with!

 Canaan already carries his father's name in the middle. 

Zion carries a piece of my family history. 

 and that last name, the "family name", there is such a bond in that. 

 I will always, and forever, be one of the Binkley girls. Nothing can change my roots. My bond with my sisters and amazing parents. To belong to both my father and my mother's family tree, and the amazing history that has been followed back so far and has stories that are thrilling to recall- I am honored.


 Now I am also so very glad to be a Freeman. To be claimed, and accepted into the family of my true love. I eagerly listen to the stories of their history, and make sure they are passed to our children.

 The stories of the history of our names.

 But what about the names of the present?

 I know the legal names I carry; the one that was given to me, just for me (Bethany); the one to carry on the past (Ruth, for my grandmother); and the one I acquired when I promised my future to my best friend (Freeman).

 But there are other's out there too.

 Wife. Mom. Sister. Daughter. Friend. Teacher. Writer, when time allows.

 Am I remembering to leave a spot for my most important name?

 Child of the King! Redeemed, called to praise, and eager to shine His glory.

 So many names. It's almost overwhelming if I thinking about it too much. Which one needs my attention most right now? Which name am I responding to at this moment in time? But if I pause and remember for just a minute-

 The names fit together so well to become,

just one me. 


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Into the wilds

 Last week we decided to explore a little more of our backyard.
 Down at the bottom of the hill, just past where Canaan had his adventure on the bike, is a dry creek bed. Perfect for exploring.
Almost immediately we found interesting things.

  Paw prints. Dog, I am pretty sure.
 Raccoon perhaps?
An humongous bug.
 I thought Canaan had found something educational. A bug to study. A print to photograph. A leaf to ask about. 
He found man made trash, abandoned and covered in mud. 
However, it was "fascinating to an 8 year old" trash.
 In the meantime, Zion had meandered his way down the creek bed, exploring on his own. 

 Until he discovered our first roadblock. 

through every obstacle that comes our way! 
Onward we go...
Around a corner, and suddenly, gasp!
 What in the world? It is a dead... something. I never did figure out what it was. It was pretty much just fur. Very little else was left. Ewww, but kinda cool too.
 After that I was ready to take pictures of pretty things.

These little bits of color, trying to hold on to the last piece of summer. 

This is what Zion thought of the beautiful yellow flowers.

I took a ridiculous amount of pictures along the way.
 Canaan enjoying his new "toy",
 Zion trying to research what sort of tracks we were discovering,
 and the generous sharing of the rolypoly bug from one brother...
to another.
 I, literally, ran into this. Well, actually backed into it, but still...
 Not Cool!
 I haven't gotten around to researching it yet. 
Anyone want to tell me what it is, so I don't have to go to the trouble?
I think this moss and fungus covered log is my favorite picture of the day. It shows such a beautiful expression of life, growing even in death. It is a beautiful, colorful reminder that nothing is wasted in the purity of nature, the way God intended it. 
 On the way back the boys decided to have a picture taken with "their" animal. 
And we end at the beginning. Over, and under once again - where it leads to this time, who knows?

 On a closing note: Today I asked Canaan to write 5 sentences about our expedition into the woods. He decided to write a multiple choice questionnaire for my blog. Here it is, in it's original spelling. (which is atrocious)

I found a hammer. Win we got home i? 1) i found it 2) i ate it, 3) i clingd it
 (The answer is 3, cleaned it)

We had green thigs on us. Wat woor the green thigs? A: Leefs, B: grubas, C ants
(the answer is A, and they were those little green sticker things that feel like velcro)

We found a hous. Wat culre was it? A: Broun and Green B: Green C: cat
(According to him the answer is A. I don't remember. After about 1/4 mile we left "the wilds" and reached a subdivision. We could see the back of a house up the hill and he says it was green and brown)

I love his attempt at humor. Every question has a comedic choice. Mostly I love that this was his idea. A simple writing assignment turned into a desire to be "published".
 My little ham! 
I hope you are having some adventures in the wild, even if it is just the wild of your backyard. 


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Words of explanation- two generations in a row

 My Mom has been cleaning out closets, emptying out drawers and trying to make room in the "wedding room". My youngest sister "said yes",

Yet another redhead in the family! 
Aren't they adorable?

 so there will be several months worth of prepping and planning (and bringing things into the house). Therefore, some of the things already taking up space had to be sorted through. Mom got lost one afternoon looking through old pictures. She called me up laughing about memories, not just of my sisters and I, but also of Zion and Canaan when they were "little". I know it is an overused saying, but gee whiz, "time flies"!

 One of the things Mom found as she sorted through old memories was our school, our homeschool, mission statement. We called ourselves J.O.Y. Academy. J for Jesus, O for others, Y for yourself. If you put them in order, you have Joy.

 Andy says it is a little "wordy", but I would like to share with you the heart of the way I was raised, the way I was educated, and thus, the way I think, feel, and deep in my soul, believe.

JOY Academy began as a way to fulfill the biblical admonition to "train up a child in the way he should go" We believe it is the responsibility of the parent to see that their child has a good foundation in all of the values which will rule the rest of their lives. When the values are based on the biblical precepts of righteousness and truth, the foundation will be able to withstand the things thrown at them through the years.

This training has included but is not limited to three primary area:
1. Mental Abilities.
  To develop a child mentally is primarily helping a child to develop their critical thinking. It begins with the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. We then build upon these with an understanding of the social and physical sciences from a uniquely Christian perspective.

2. Social Development.
  If a child is only given food and not taught how to eat, they will surely make a mess of it. So it is with learning to relate to one another. A child must be taught the proper way to relate to family, friends, and even those who mistreat them. This is a second primary area of learning at JOY Academy. We have included in this course of study not only the society in which we live, but an introduction to other societies and the differences between the way they relate.

3. Spiritual Awakening.
  Just as reading opens up a child's mind to a new world of ideas, so prayer opens up a child's heart to a universe much larger than anything we can imagine. At JOY Academy we teach a child to have a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father through prayer and Bible study. As a child learns to understand the purposes of God they learn the purpose for their own life. Understanding purpose is one of the foundational stones that will help a child stand in the midst of trying times.

This is a brief look at the "what" and the "way" of our home school.

 Since my own husband laughed at the formality of it, then said it was overwhelming and slightly boring, I will understand, and forgive you, if you only skimmed it. But it brought tears to my eyes. An amazing amount of thought and prayer went into my education. I am so very grateful.

 Andy and I have reached a point now in the education of our boys where people start to ask "do you really know what you are doing?" With my freestyle teaching attitude I seem to especially inspire questions. I suppose anything that challenges the status quo frightens, so questions are necessary for comfort. 

 I don't know that I would have conformed myself enough to write something like the statement above. I have been fighting the "establishment" entirely too much! But, I love having it already written. Some questions are easily answered by big words. Some people simply want to hear what they think are educated thoughts spouted off- and those are definitely well thought out and educated words.  

 This is why I am who I am. 

 Thank you Mom and Dad. 


Monday, September 12, 2011

Milestone moments

We had a momentous occasion here this week. 

Any guesses? 
A little prep work
...here we go!!!!
I can't decide if that is excitement or terror on his face! 
These pictures were actually taken the middle of last week. He almost had it, going 15-20 feet at a time then getting scared and stopping. As soon as Andy's hand would leave his shoulder he would panic (even though Daddy wasn't really even helping him!)
 This weekend I took the boys to the track again while Andy studied for a test and after a few practice runs he had it down pat. He was still a little shaky starting out by himself (preferring a push to get going) but he made it all the way around the track by himself!
 There are no pictures from this weekend because rather then running the camera I was running the track - holding up a bike, then cheering my "little big man" on.
 One more milestone down.

Canaan had a slightly visible milestone recently.
The losing of the first front tooth. 
All the little ones are the bottom are cool, but that big one right up front - well, no one can miss that.  
The tooth on the other side is wiggly too. We'll have to wait and see if both end up missing at the same time! 
Just a day or two later Zion declared his tooth hurt. I thought he just wanted attention, because of brother, but sure enough, he has his first loose tooth. It has quite a wiggle to it, but he is protecting it with all the power his little mouth possesses. It might be awhile before that tooth goes anywhere! 

I saw someone with two week old twins at the post office this morning. 
Where did the time go? 


Friday, September 02, 2011

Rock and Roll (and sugar too)

 We started school really early, mostly because there was very little else to keep us entertained. Why not? Our original science theme for the beginning of the year was to study ways that humans have potentially hurt the earth, and ways that we can help repair her also.
 I miss my clothes line, compost pile and attempt at a garden. The least I can do is teach my children a little about taking care of the earth. So we talked about recycling, pollution, erosion, the thoughts behind the potential for global warming. Since we were still slotted for Alaska at the time, we did a special project on oil and water, and how they don't mix very well.

 It was fun to work with water, first adding dirt and watching it sink and separate,
  then adding oil and watching it float on the top.
Canaan separated it into smaller sections...
 tried to strain it out, and poured it into another container through a paper towel, 
all to no avail. It was an interesting experiment. 

He wrote a small report on his findings to show daddy. 

Even Zion was involved. He drew pictures of his impressions. 
 It was hot, (the front deck in July usually is) but a blast.

In August the Freeman grandparent's came to visit. 
We decided to visit Meramac Caverns, a large system of caves about an hour from our house.
 It was full of beautiful formations, like these reflecting in the water. 
  The boys were fascinated.

Happy Cave explorers! 
On the way out Grammy bought a science project to get us started on our next theme for the school year. 
Rock Candy!
 Growing and beginning to form it's fascinating shapes.
 Drained and beginning to dry.
 Beautiful crystalized sugar!

 Some intense studying.

 How can any child not want to eat that? 
(Don't worry, mine didn't get too! I did let them eat some of the scraps from the sides of the jar. I just couldn't imagine them eating an entire stick of sugar though!)

We have studied all forms and fashions of rocks, minerals and gems. 

We attempted to grow stalagmites and stalactites:

 Get a kid to taste Epsom salt. That is hilarious! 
 It is supposed to travel up the string, then as the water evaporates the salt will build up leaving a stalactite, and possibly even leave a stalagmite on the ground below also. 
 However, since we are living without many supplies right now, we had no string. Seriously. Andy found some parachute cord and we gave it a try. I think it needed to be cotton because we had no luck whatsoever. Sad times. 

We even created our own "rocks".

 Sedimentary rock is formed in layers. 
Delicious layers in this experiment!

 When pressure, 
 enthusiastic pressure,
 and heat (from the sun in our case)
 are applied, it becomes metamorphic rock.

 very delicious metamorphic rock!

Science has been a blast lately. It is September now. Time for a new theme. What sounds interesting?