Philippians 3:7- 24
8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
A couple of days ago, the children and I had a time of assessing how we felt 2014 went, and whether it was well spent. On the outset, we felt it was spent rather haphazardly, with too much time wasted. (Especially when mommy is taking her afternoon nap and all hell breaks loose.)
Then we started counting our blessings and re-counting all the things that each child learned "new" in the year. The list was quite startling and encouraging. And this list is only the highlights! The Lord has blessed the children even more than just these few I mention.
(btw, Dd is dear daughter and Ds is... you guessed, dear son. :) )
Dd6 (2 years and a half): she probably developed the greatest among all the six children. She started talking with a large vocabulary and singing many songs. Hymns even, the ones that she hears us sing, like Sunlight, Sunlight in my Soul Today. :)
She also started scolding people, thinking she has the authority to. (something we correct.) When she is mad at her older brother, she will tell him to go hang the laundry, even when there's no laundry to hang. haha.
She is also pretty good with her balance too! She was recently practicing her skate scooting up and down the living room (thank God we have a long living room) and we were pleasantly surprised that she could actually balance with two feet on the board.
Dd5 (5 and a half years): she started reading in 2014, thanks to the help of big brother Ds1 who taught her how to read in the early part of the year. She is a happy and confident reader now! She also started playing the piano under my instruction. She has been enjoying playing the songs in her piano book even when I am too busy to sit with her.
Here's a comment (my 2 cents) about waiting for the right time to teach a skill: When the child is developmentally ready to learn, the learning is fast and enjoyable. Too many parents are eager to start their children early but the learning is slow and tedious.
And she recently started balancing on a bike after just one lesson with papa! I remember how it was my father who taught me to ride a bike. It is a precious memory I cherish even now. I am glad my children have a dad who spends time with them too!
Ds 4 (just turned 9 years 3 days ago): He has been horse crazy for quite a while now. He loves drawing horses and his ambition is to own a horse one day. (uh huh.)
I gave him the joy of piping his horse picture on the cheesecake (mocha cheesecake that Dd2 made for him from scratch, heavenly...). He did a marvellous job! (The ugly words was me. :p)
2014, he also started cello lessons because for the longest time he wanted to learn but I only managed to get a teacher for him last year. She's a wonderful teacher (from Argentina, wow!) and though he and DS1 have only been learning for around 5 months he has been able to play and, more importantly, enjoy the instrument.
His 1/2 sized cello was special because another homeschooler had outgrown it and had moved on to the next larger size. The dad (also Christian) let us have this cello at a very discounted price because he knew that we have a large family and that we are training our children to love God and serve Him. We have become friends with this family, what a blessing the homeschooling community has been to us.
Another thing that surprised me was the boldness of this son to speak the Word of God! He was so eager to do this presentation that he asked his chapel teacher to please teach them and he encouraged his friends to join in. A lot of hard work but what a blessing it turned out to be!
To plant the Word of God in young hearts... what a blessing! :)
only half way through counting our blessings! See, when we have large families, so the blessings are also many times multiplied! :D Praise God.
Ds3 (11 years): Of course, this guy has been our family clown and has been entertaining us with his antics almost daily, but in 2014, because DS1 learned imovie and videography, we have been able to develop his acting talent that much more. :)
Do check out our YouTube channel and subscribe!!! :D
Exciting for me was that Ds3 decided to learn flute and he has shown a talent for the instrument. His instrument is borrowed from a sister in church, he was instructed by another dear sister in church but mostly he has been learning by himself on Youtube and he has been practicing on a book given with love from our Shepherd group, but mostly he has been learning by himself on Youtube. It is humbling to borrow everything but it keeps us extra thankful to God for providing!
It helps when he has friends in church also learning the flute together with him. He enjoys playing together with them.
What a joy to be able to play with him and Dd 2 in our church orchestra!
I would mention this boy loves to sew and knit too. I appreciate these learning journeys that my children take, because they really learn so so much when they take on these tasks. Many times, it is so much more than what academic learning can offer.
Ds 3's hand sewn stuffies, he made for our pastor friend's little boys in the phillipines. :) He also learned to use the sewing machine!
Dd2 (12 years): besides taking a national exam for the first time, our oldest girl shot up (physically) this year. Her feet are bigger than mommy's and catching up with papa's. She has yet to catch up in height, though, but that is just a matter of time. :)
Now that she is taller, she has been able to cook and bake. In 2014, I was pleasantly happy that she could take on my cupcake recipe from scratch all by herself with absolutely no help from me. I am so proud of her! This is 12 years in the training and the fruits are SWEET!
She has been avidly learning hairstyles and braiding on YouTube too.
Ds1 (14 years): He has continued to be a self directed learner. 2014 was the year we got a DSLR camera and he started researching and learning how to use it on manual settings. The high school learner has surpassed his parent teacher in more and more subjects and this is one of our homeschooling goals: to grow a passionate learner.
He has also taken on, besides photography, videography and has learned video editing by himself on Youtube. He has become quite fluent with iMovie and makes the narrative of our silly homeschool videos seemingly flow effortlessly.... but there was quite a lot of editing magic behind it.
I am also really glad that DS1 had the opportunity to pick up cello as well. He expressed the desire to learn and we are glad to be able to help him have lessons too. He has been diligent to practice and glean as much as he can from lessons as he understands that it is a sacrifice on the part of others in order for him to have lessons. I am glad for a good son who's heart is in the right place, aligned with God and our family.
DS1 finds joy in showing God's creation (ants) to his younger siblings. He cares for their spiritual condition too and prays and teaches and encourages them in spiritual (bible) things. He has been faithfully reading his bible daily and is an example for me to follow!
2014, DS1 also got the chance to act in a live production of the biblical book of Esther. He was Mordecai. We are thankful for opportunities like these for our children to try new things!
Another thing to highlight for 2014.....
2014, we had to adjust to travelling by public transport because we decided not to renew the COE of our 10 year old vehicle. It took quite some adjusting to but I think, overall, it has been a good exercise for growing the children's character. They have had to look out for each other more when we are on the bus... we have not lost a single person or thing yet! ;) And even when they are tired, they still have to walk. And sometimes, the older ones will take turns to carry, or piggyback the younger ones all the way home. <3
As I look back on 2014, I am once again encouraged that even though I am weak, lazy and often fail in the flesh, this job of parenting is not mine or my husband's alone. GOD Himself has an active hand in shaping and growing each of our children in ways we cannot. He loves them even more than we do! We are only to be co-operating with Him and nurturing them in His ways, and basically, live out His commands in our lives. He can use our little efforts and multiply them in miraculous ways, beyond what we could ever do with our petty little.
I love this verse and it speaks of God's constant watch care over His children:
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
Ok, I have been hogging the com for too long. I just want to record some resolutions for 2015 here (for accountablity's sake. :p)
For 2015, the key operative word shall be DISCIPLINE. We are sorely lacking in this and hope to improve in this area. We hope to have a working schedule and STICK TO IT!!!