Return to Me and Fall Fun

"God is the One who makes promises to His children and keeps them.  He keeps His promises even when His children sin and are unfaithful to Him."  Every chapter in my kids' Bible curriculum has one of these "God is..." statements.  (As a side note, we memorize these statements, along with a Bible verse, every week.)  My most recent free-for-review read from Bethany Publishers beautifully illustrates this truth.  Return to Me, by Lynn Austin, is the story of the Israelites who were permitted to return to Jerusalem from their exile in Babylon in order to rebuild the temple.  (You can read the actual story in Ezra, Haggai, and Zechariah.)  Austin brings to life several main characters and their struggles with faith, or a lack thereof; the difficulties faced in Babylon as well as those experienced back at home in Jerusalem; and the faithfulness of God to His people, unfaithful and uncommitted as they were.  While this was not the most exciting book I've ever read, with its jumping back and forth between multiple main characters it seemed to drag at times, it certainly brought a lesser-known Old Testament story to life, along with the prophet Zechariah.  And although I would never want the responsibility or pressure of having to speak for the Lord, reading this book did make me desire a closer relationship with the Lord, where He speaks to me personally and clearly.  In my opinion, that's a successful and satisfying read!

Now, for the update of our fall thus far...  Homeschooling is going very well.  Both kids are getting all A's.  Or at least they would be, if I was keeping a grade book!  As I mentioned above, our Bible curriculum, God's Great Covenant, has a "God is" statement for each lesson, which we memorize.  So far we have learned 5 of these truths, along with a corresponding Bible verse.  We alternate that with the Bible Writer, which gives a verse about God for each letter of the alphabet.  God is awesome, blessing, Creator, etc.  We are up to the letter F in that one.  They have to write the verse on Friday as part of their spelling test, although I don't count the spelling yet.
We have studied the 5 senses, the water cycle and thunderstorms, the seven continents and four oceans, and fire safety; we've written a psalm, a poem about pumpkins, and assorted other things.  Both kids wrote photo essays; they even took their own pictures!  We've read dozens of books and learned about nouns - common, proper, and pronouns.  We will be starting a unit on verbs this week.  Thrilling, I know!  Liana just finished a Magic Treehouse book about gorillas and will be making a poster about them this week.  Aedan has a sudden interest in the Vikings (the real ones, not the football team!), so he will be doing a report on them.
During our school time James has his own "work" to do.  He works on sorting, matching, and naming colors, puzzles, stringing beads and lacing cards, and tracing patterns to help with his writing and drawing.  He has his own desk, notebook, and pencil box.  But he doesn't always cooperate, especially when I make him duplicate a pattern of colored blocks.  He's not very good at it, and he puts up quite a fuss!  He still has a hard time identifying colors consistently, and his therapists aren't too sure why.  We've talked about color blindness or deficiency as a possibility, but we've pretty much ruled that out.  One-to-one counting is still difficult too, and we've only just begun number recognition.
Overall he is doing really well, though!  We had our follow up with the cardiologist who specializes in heart rhythm.  Basically he had no answers for why James's heart stopped during surgery, but he wasn't overly concerned either.  He said all the doctors and anesthesiologists have been and will continue to discuss his case, which is reassuring.  He did make him wear a heart monitor for 24 hours, just to be sure.  We won't get those results for a week or two.
This week is a big week for James, too.  We go on Wednesday to get his processor, and he will hear for the first time in over 3 years!  He knows he's getting it, but he really has no clue what's about to happen when he does.  But I do, and I am SO excited.  I have no idea what his reaction will be, but as animated as he is, I think it will be big.  It might be negative at first, as it can be scary to suddenly hear noise you can't understand.  But everyone is very optimistic that he is going to do very well in the long run.

Here are some pictures of our trip to see the duck, and to the pumpkin patch!  I'll post a video of his reaction on Wednesday later this week!


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