Friday, September 26, 2008

Mercer Slough

ANOTHER incredible field trip! This time we headed down to Bellevue and had the opportunity to go on a hike to learn more about the Mercer Slough. The slough was created when the Chittendon Locks were built changing the amount of water coming in from Lake Washington, leaving a swampy wetland behind. This wetland is filled with creatures such as bats, owls, bunnies, coyotes and tons of bug and aquatic life. The kids were able to see a bat box that was not very well used as some genius decided to put it in the same neighborhood as the owls, um, hullo, predators...bad neighborhood, duh. That was during the hike portion of our trip, we then went down and collected samples of water from the slough, took them up to the lab and put them under a microscope to see all kinds of amazing creatures! This was a really fun trip as none of my family has ever been down to the slough before! I do plan to head back there someday though, it is well worth the drive.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Jordan and I have been taking Hebrew lessons for quite some time now. Sadly we are not as far as I would like, but at least we are working on a pretty regular basis. Recently I had the opportunity to hear an author come and speak about his research into the ancient Hebrew language, which has many differences from the modern Hebrew which is really of Aramaic origin. It was adopted by the Israelites during their captivity in Babylon. So, what predated this modern language? Pictures, much like Hieroglyphs. (from Jeff Benners book "Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible") "The Ancient Hebrew language is a concrete oriented language meaning that the meaning of Hebrew words are rooted in something that can be sensed by the five senses such as a tree which can be seen, sweet which can be tasted and noise which can be heard. Abstract concepts such as "praise" have no foundation in the concrete and are a product of ancient Greek philosophy." So, the word "praise" originates with a picture of a man with his hands raised looking at something spectacular and a shepherd staff that is used to move the flock toward a place. So, the original meaning of the man and a staff is the North Star, a bright light that is looked toward to guide one on the journey. So the word praise (the man with two staffs after it) in its original concrete meaning is a bright light that guides the journey and we praise God by looking at Him to guide us on our journey through life. Isn't that cool??? There is so much rich depth in the original pictures of the language and it opens up the bible in an incredible new way. So, what is my point you might be thinking? Nothing really. Other than I thought it was way cool and I wanted to add it to my blog. So, as I get time I will be swiping a teaching from Jeff Benners site Ancient Hebrew Research Center
and posting them on here for anyone who might enjoy these little amazing nuggets of truth. So I shared the one above today from Jeff's book, check back and I will try to post one a week.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

a moment at Padilla Bay

What a beautiful place! Padilla Bay is north of Mt Vernon heading west towards Anacortes. When you arrive there is a large building and inside is a classroom as well as several rooms with information about estuaries as well as very fun hands on room where the kids can really play and learn about estuaries. What is an estuary? (some of you I am sure know, but for those who don't here is your mini lesson) An estuary is the place where fresh water meets saltwater, so where a stream or river meets the salt water of the ocean. These are wonderful places that are just filled with life! So many creatures live in estuaries and it is the home to zillions of babies from plant babies to sealife babies! The kids went first through a class where we learned what is needed to make "estuary soup", watched a video about estuaries and their importance and learned a bit of the history of Padilla Bay. We then moved onto the beach! Armed with shovels, cups for water to hold creatures as well as a clipboard with photos of life we could find and a speciman tray, we were off and digging! The kids found lots of wonderful things from green sea slugs, to snail eggs, as well as eelgrass and even a skeleton shrimp! Our guide took all of our collections and placed them under microscopes for us to view all the wonderful life we had found. It was truly a fun and wonderful adventure!
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

homeschooling days have begun again!

Well, we are now into our second week of official back to homeschool! We did some schooling througout the summer, but mostly we spent time outdoors just having fun. As we start off our studies this year we are learning about Lewis and Clark and their expedition. Since we do use a unit study that would branch our area of study to rivers and streams for science, France because of the Louisiana purchase (bought from France when Napoleon needed money to go to war) and we are reading historical fiction books about Sacagewea. All very fun and interesting, especially since their expedition ended right here in our neck of the woods! So, this leads me to my pictures today! Did you know that in the part of France where the Seine River enterst he English Channel the hills along the river are made of chalk? You can find chalk caves in this area, so yesterday the kids wrote out their spelling words in chalk outside. The dogs thought it was great fun to lay on them as they worked, making things fun but not quite as easy. And of course our spelling words tie in as well, they are common words we us that are really french words such as camouflage and carousel and crouton, you get the idea. I just love our unit studies, I am so much smarter every day! And the kids seem to doing pretty good too!
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Sunday, September 14, 2008

A moment at the beach

What an incredibly fun and beautiful adventure we went on this past Friday! Our homeschool group had their first field trip and we went to Meadowdale Beach to hike the trail. It was a beautiful hike a little over 1 mile down to the beach. This route was closed off for 8 months due to the severe storms we had here last winter. I am so glad that it has been reopened! The trail follows a river downstream until it comes to a little tunnel that goes under the train tracks and opens up to the beach! Just as we arrived at the beach a train came right over head, so close to us it made you hold your breath for a moment. We had a park ranger with us for the hike so as we traveled he showed us different species of trees and plants. At the beach he had a small swimming pool filled with wonderful things to see as well, we saw a huge starfish, an eel, crab and a hermit crab. We then spent the afternoon eating lunch and then wondering the beach playing in the water and finding wonderful shells and rocks along the shore. I am so glad our program has started up again. We had a wonderful summer filled with lots of fun, but I love the opportunity to visit such fun places I never knew existed right in my own backyard!
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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Just got back from conference, again!

We just had a wonderful time in Portalnd, AGAIN! We went to our second conference of the year and this one was also a wonderful blessing to our whole family! My kids were in the childrens program. Jordan is now old enough to be a helper so that was his role and Atira had a wonderful reunion with lots of her friends she has made from past conferences. I came in to teach and help during one session along with Scott and we had a blast! Behind the curtain you see in the second picture is a HUGE and I mean HUGE maze that was built out of refrigerator boxes. It was absolutely incredible! On the last night of the conference the kitchen staff at the hotel asked if they could go and play in our maze!! When Scott saw it he handed me his glasses and said he had to go play now and off he went! It was so big you had to go in with a flashlight because it was pitch black inside and during the childrens program, the kids had maps and clues they had to find inside, it was definitely the highlight of the event! Scott and I had a wonderful time listening to speakers, learning so much about God and His Word and so much wonderful time in fellowship with old friends as well as many new! What a wonderfule weekend, it went by way to fast!
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Meet Kayli!

I can hardly believe it myself, but we adopted a yellow lab and her name is Kayli. She is 3 1/2 years old and a wonderful sweet girl. She fits in our family very nicely, she loves the kids, she is a bit shy, but a good girl. We need to do a little work to get her understanding our house rules, but once we get past that we are quite confident that she will make our home an even more fun place to be! Gunner, of course, was a bit jealous, but he is adjusting and we hope he will soon find how wonderful it is to have a companion around. Shaggy worked at scaring her for the first few days, which he was quite successful at to be honest. But now the dog has figured out that Shaggy is all show. So they have settled into a nice relationship too. Another nice thing is that Gunner likes to sleep with Jordan and we are working on training Kayli to sleep with Atira, and Atira thinks that is just the best thing ever! So, we are happy to announce the addition to our family!
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