Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Light the Night and Other Cancer-related News

Last Friday night our whole family went to walk in the Light the Night Walk in the downtown historic district of Savannah.  We had Team Carpenter put together, and Bobby was the Honored Hero for this year's walk.  Our team had set a goal of raising $1,000, and we actually raised more than $1,500.  Praise the Lord!  Eric's mom, Charlotte, walked with us, and so did our friends Bobby and Jessica Auner, with their three kids, Jessica's sister Julie with her baby, and our friend Heather Upton with her son Robert and his friend Jake.  It was really beautiful looking out over Forsyth Park filled with lighted balloons.  The red balloons were carried by people who are supporters, family members, and fundraisers of cancer patients.  The white balloons were carried by cancer patients and survivors.  The gold balloons were the ones that really got me.  They were carried by people walking in memory of a loved one or friend who has lost the fight with cancer.

After a brief program at the park, we headed north out of the park and walked a two-mile route through the historic district of Savannah, lighting the night and raising awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  More than 2,000 people walked!  We are already planning Team Carpenter for next year.....

Another cancer-related story:  We have some dear friends here, the Peavy family, whom we know through the homeschool co-op.  I have taught (and am currently teaching) their son, Joshua at co-op and taught him piano, and I currently teach their daughter Lydia piano. (She and Mary are friends, too.)   I have met their church's assistant pastor, Matt Fray, a few times, and was part of a Boy Scout Eagle Board of Review for Josh along with him.  Matt's wife Erin gave birth to their third child last Tuesday, on then on Friday she found out she has breast cancer.  Their two older children are only 3 1/2 and 2.  They are recording their experiences at a blog called Joy in the Journey.  Please pray for them.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wii and Peaches-and-Cream

First, I said I would write more about the Wii game system we bought.  I have been using it (Wii Fit Plus) to exercise, and the whole family has enjoyed the Wii Fit and the Wii Sports.  The Wii Sports has baseball, tennis, bowling, golf, and boxing.  The Wii Fit has TONS of fitness activities:  hula-hoop, rhythm kung-fu, step aerobics, running, cycling, and so forth.  It also has fun games like Snowball Fight, Segway Circuite, and many more.  Eric and Bobby like to play doubles tennis, and last night I bowled a 277!  Woohoo, I'm a pro.  But perhaps the most fun part of the Wii is the little Mii characters that we can make.  Each of us in our family has made one, and we've made several others just for fun.
Here I am as a Mii:

And here are some we made for fun.  Do you recognize them?

Second, Mary's sweet little dwarf hamster, Lizzie, died yesterday.  I wrote about her when we first got her a year and a half ago.  She was a great little pet and we loved her, even though she bit me a few times.  God showed Mary yesterday that He even cares about her desire for a pet.  Before we even knew that Lizzie had died, (in fact, she was running on her little wheel in the morning,) we got an e-mail from some friends letting people know that they wanted to give away their guinea pig, Peaches-and-Cream, to a good home.  She is a 3-year-old guinea pig, very sweet and really beautiful.  I immediately called to talk to the mom of their family, my friend Cindy.  I discussed guinea pig care with her, and why they wanted to give her away (Cindy's boys have had guinea pigs for years and are just tired of taking care of them) and I mentioned to Cindy that I was afraid Lizzie was going to die any day because she was getting old for a dwarf hamster.  I arranged to adopt Peaches, which made Cindy and her boys happy.  A few minutes later I went to check on Lizzie.....and she was dead in her little cage.  How sad!  Mary was upset, but at the same time she was excited to be getting Peaches as a new pet.  We buried Lizzie in the back yard and thanked God for providing a new pet for Mary at just the right time.

Peaches is a lot smarter than Lizzie was.  She's also big enough to hold and pet---did you know guinea pigs purr?  I also learned that guinea pigs can get scurvy if they don't eat enough Vitamin C, so we have to feed her lots of leafy greens and broccoli in addition to her regular food.  While we are sad that Lizzie is gone, we are happy to have Peaches.  She's so cute!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

On How Our School Year is Going...

It has been an eventful August and September, and October is already shaping up to be busy as well.  I love the new planner I bought.  It has helped Mary and Bobby be a lot more self-directed in their work.  We've (I've) also done a lot better staying organized this year, and keeping up with all the corrections and grading I need to do.  Here is our each of us are doing:

I am still teaching all three kids at home.  I also teach piano two afternoons a week, and have more people interested, so that may increase to three afternoons a week.  In addition, I'm teaching two classes on Fridays at our home school co-operative, Kingdom Builders.  The two classes are Expository Writing and Biology; I have a dozen students in each class.   I challenge anyone who thinks home schooling isn't a full-time job to come spend a week with us!

Caroline is working about 15 hours a week now (Chick-Fil-A) in addition to doing her Senior year. At home she's taking Pre-Calculus, Advanced Chemistry, Health, and Literature/Language Arts/Grammar.  Through the co-op she's taking my writing class to supplement her language arts at home, Art, and Yearbook/Advanced Photography.  She is a very busy girl!  She will graduate from high school next May, and is already in the process of college applications.

Mary is an 8th grader this year.  At home she's studying Algebra I, Sonlight Core 7 World History and Literature, Human Anatomy, BJU Grammar & Writing;  through the co-op she's taking Geography, Cooking, and Art.  She's also teaching herself to write left-handed this year by using an elementary-level handwriting book to make herself write left-handed every day.  She draws ALL the time, too.  She has also just joined a local American Heritage Girls troop, and will begin to work on badges for that.

Bobby is in the 6th grade, and he's realizing that school doesn't get any easier as you get older.  He's taking Geography, American History, and Art through the co-op; at home he's doing Math 7, Zoology (Land Animals,) Handwriting, BJU Grammar & Writing, and for Literature (the pièce de résistance) he is doing Literary Lessons from Lord of the Rings.  It's a great curriculum that incorporates Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Shakespeare as well as the LOTR trilogy.  Right up his alley.  He is also a Tenderfoot rank scout in Troop 47 and is working on merit badges for scouts.

Obviously, we are all pretty busy.  Our other current events:

#1    My sweet husband will be stepping down as pastor of our current church at the end of October.  He has explained this over at his blog, in the post I linked and in another called "Reasons for Resigning."  We love the people at Chevis Oaks!  We will continue to be friends with them and I hope we'll continue to sharpen and edify one another as Christians.

#2   We were able to buy a nice four-year-old van a couple of weeks ago, thanks to the incredible generosity of my in-laws as well as the dogged efforts of our friend Rickey Tyre, who found the van for us at an auction.  It's such a relief to have an newer vehicle and not be worried about breakdowns, A/C not cooling well, etc. The van is a Dodge Grand Caravan SXT.  Nice.

#3    Bobby is the Honored Hero for the Savannah Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Light the Night Walk on October 15th.  Our family has a team, creatively named Team Carpenter, and we'll be walking that night along with hundreds of other Savannahians who are trying to raise money for people with various blood cancers.  Our team page is here.

#4    A month ago we bought a Wii, with Wii Fit Plus.  I'll write a longer post about it later, but we are all loving getting off the couch and playing sports as well as other fitness games together.  I have started to lose weight and tone up, and I feel so much better.  More soon on that.