Teaching How To Serve - Collage Friday



While it's been a relaxing and fun summer in our house, there are so many friends and family around us that are having a VERY difficult summer.  

Life isn't always about what you can get or what fun activity you can do for yourself.   Sometimes we just stay put and serve.  In that serving comes great joy.  Even at a young age our children can learn this.


This past week my aunt (86) passed away.   She was an example of a hard working midwestern woman that lived for her family and others.  She leaves behind several children and grandchildren who will miss her.

I have also been praying for a church member's small son who was in the hopsital with a ruptured appendix - quite serious.   I have a sibling that needs support right now because of a tough family situation.  Another friend from co op is going through an adoption and really needs our prayers.  And still another friend will be going to the doctor Monday because of a lump on her thyroid.

I am so thankful to be in a position to keep someone's child while they go for a biopsy, have my son's friend for the day while his parents work through the details of an adoption of a baby brother, spend an hour on the phone with a family member who feels a bit alone, and just the ability to help and SERVE others.    The other night I thanked my husband for putting me in this position and allowing me to be home.   I explained to my children that this is what we are CALLED to do.   

God is amazing, because after a couple of weeks of difficulties swirling around us, we were all rewarded with a wonderful weekend and so many precious moments this week.

The first collage needs just a bit of background:

Seventeen years ago my good friend from high school and my husband's friend from high school were married.   At the wedding I played the organ for the service and my now husband (who I just remember as the tall, quiet guy!) was a groomsman.   After an exchange of email addresses in a bar (and email was CUTTING EDGE back then!), Hal went home to Atlanta and I went home to Dallas.

Long story short:  after several visits and emails and phone calls back and forth, Hal helped me pack my small apartment into a Ryder truck and I moved to Atlanta.  We will celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary in two weeks.   How blessed have I been?

Now, this collage will make sense: 

1.  My friend Melissa and I - she and her family were here in ATL for an anniversary party.  It was so good to see her and her three beautiful girls.

2.  A rare famiy photo - taken by Melissa's husband, Rob.   Look at what came out of them introducing us all those years ago!

3.  My husband and Rob - these guys were the mischievious little boys playing baseball and football in your neighborhood.   They have a friendship that runs deep.  There is something amazing about being friends with someone since your childhood and watching their children grow.  I didn't exactly feel old... just fortunate and wise.   


The next collage needs a shout-out:  Thank you Georgia Aquarium and Thompson Technologies!   We spent Sunday eating lunch with the fish and then touring the aquarium.   

1.  The view from the ballroom where we ate lunch - neat to see the divers in the aquarium, too.   Did you know my friend Denise had her daughter's homeschool high school graduation at the bottom of this large tank last year?  She had her diploma rolled up in a waterproof container and everything... amazing!  

2.  Lunch, which included lots of yummy food, raffles, and watching the whale sharks while we ate.

3.  The kids loved the touch pools with the rays and sharks.  We did a lot of this during our trip to California  last November and I had forgotten how much they enjoyed it.

4.  Can you see my two children with the penguins?  The aquarium has little viewing tubes so you can see the penguins up close.

5.  Another shot from the touch pool.  I love the relationship my children have with each other.  While they can get on each other's nerves, when it comes down to it they are very close and I KNOW this is because they are together all day every day.

6.  Look at the silly otter.  The trainer was feeing the otters and got them to perform for us a bit.  I had no idea otters were trainable.  

Since I didn't grow up in or near a big city I always tell my children how FORTUNATE they are to have all of these resources right at their fingertips.   We live 30 minutes from Atlanta in a semi-rural area...  last Friday we were out in the "country" visiting friends and just a couple days later we were walking in downtown Atlanta.


More goings-on from the week:

1.  A puzzle postcard from Germany.   A couple from our church is traveling in Europe and is sending the kids postcards along the way.   We have gotten three so far - dealing with Martin Luther and Bach.  I told this couple that we are approaching the Reformation in history and they have taken an interest.   This is what I LOVE about homeschooling!

2.  We've discovered What's In The Bible? DVDs!   They have been playing A LOT here the past couple of weeks.  I will be giving away next week, so please stay tuned.   This is going to be a big part of our homeschool next year!

*Have you entered the giveaways at the blogs that are participating in the What's In The Bible review and giveaway blitz?    

3.  GMan and a friend of his who we kept for the day.  While Miss B was in her piano lesson I took the boys to the park.  I have learned to always keep a frisbee, ball, books, and Legos in my van!   We were toodling around town a lot that day and it was like a playroom in the back of the van.  

4.  The Harry Potter obsession continues.   My daughter has recently had her room redone.  She hung some Harry Potter posters this week.  I've been learning a lot of the piano music from the film score, too. We are working on a HUGE Harry Potter surprise for you that will be coming at the end of July.  I can't say more! 

5.  A ribbon for Miss B memorizing 25 piano pieces.  I'm so proud of her.

6.  Hanging out with friends at a homeschool pool party.   It was wonderful for the kids to see some friends they hadn't seen since co op ended in April, and it was also very nice for me to be able to have good conversation with several of MY friends, too.   It was a GOOD day.  

We also read A LOT this week.  I am reading Jane Eyre. The kids are each diving into their own chapter books, and we're almost done reading Harry Potter aloud.   My husband is working through A  Thomas Jefferson Education (which I finished last week).   We also started The Hobbit on audio (which, by the way, was our Favorite Resource this week!) - nothing is better than hearing your seven year old singing in the bathroom "Bilbo Baaaaagins.... Bilbo Baaaagins!".  

Blog happenings:

  • Need Help With Grumbling and Misbehaving?   Enter to win this DVD from Tommy Nelson!  
  • Did you see the video my children made about the 10 Questions People Always Ask Them?  I thought it was pretty cute!
  • My friend Amy did a great guest post with Tips for Reading Aloud to Your Children.   Are you reading aloud this summer?
  • I went to a fun Twitter party for The BEECH Retreat - I'm almost 100% certain I'll be going to this retreat - can't wait!!
  • I encourage you to read and link up with The Homeschool Mother's Journal, hosted by the iHomeschool Network.  I have learned so much about blogging and homeschooling through being a part of this great network of bloggers!    If you click over to the journal today, you'll see someone you know  {wink}.



WHEW!  I'm glad I take the time for this Collage Friday post each week.  It is not only my virutal record for the week, but also a way for me to be intentionally thankful.     

I hope you can join me!  Create a post with photo collages (I use Picmonkey to make mine.) Grab the Collage Friday button and use it in your post or sidebar.  Sign the linky, and be sure to visit someone else on the list, too.