Friday, November 29, 2013

Office days

Will has started going in to work at the Agape office off and on. It is so good to be finding our place here and getting to know people... even if that is vicariously for one of us. So far Will has been translating articles for the English web site, reports for sponsors, correspondence with teachers, and more. Sometimes it might actually be easier to work at home (even with all our noise and busyness!), but being in the office means that he can work right with the others and be there for morning prayer, too. We'll just have to find a good balance of home and office time, and of efficiency and teamwork.

We also definitely need to figure out a good plan for school mornings without our "preschool teacher"! I know most families work this way, but we haven't much. Also this year, for the first time, we have changed our daily schedule to do school in the mornings, instead of during quiet time after lunch. So far, Bogdan has had Papa time almost every morning while the rest of us work. He follows Will around, helping him with projects, looking at books with him, and staying happily busy. Of couse, that can continue for the days when Will is home, but for office days we are going to have to adjust.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

What are your plans for today? We weren't planning to do anything until Saturday, when we'll celebrate with three missionary families and an adopting mom, but then we looked at the train schedule and realized that Will won't be able to be there. So, we started pulling together plans for today, too. Today we'll celebrate with the Fedorchuk family. I have cranberry sauce and two pies ready to take, and turkey breast--with chicken drumsticks for the children--going into the oven soon.

(I am having a bit of a hard time concentrating here, since I'm sitting in the midst of a Thanksgiving craft whirlwind and listening to Asya singing "Onward Christian soldiers, marching in da wall!" full volume right in my ear.)

Will is going to another session of the Agape school, which starts on Monday. We had thought that he'd be able to leave on Sunday and get there in time, but Uzhgorod is far away, and the overnight train doesn't get in early, so he has to leave a day earlier. Again, though, we're glad that he can go. We'll miss him... but the rest of us get two Thanksgivings!

*I took this from Agape's Facebook page.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival

I feel like I write for two audiences: family/ministry/real life friends, and homeschool friends that I "know" through the internet. (Is that an accurate assessment? Comment and let me know!) And really, I usually only blog for the first group. However, the backstory of this post combines both categories. Amy is my real life and internet friend, and she coordinates the Charlotte Mason blog carnival. She's both a missionary mom and a homeschooler. She signed me up to host, so here I am.

Our assigned topic this time is "Knowledge of the Universe: Physical Development and Handicrafts," and you can find what Charlotte Mason herself had to say about that here. It's really just a tiny bit, so I'll quote it all:
"It is unnecessary, too, to say anything about games, dancing, physical exercises, needlework and other handicrafts as the methods employed in these are not exceptional. [For details see the Parents' Union School programmes.]"
And that's all. But physical development and handicrafts are both important parts of a Charlotte Mason education (she did write more about them elsewhere), and so let's see what bloggers have to say about those topics--and others!--today....

Dark, awkward photo of Amy 
and me in the same room
First, Nicole tells us how photography has been a favorite modern handicraft in her homeschool co-op. She also wrote about Christmas gift handicrafts last year, and she had some great ideas there!

(Since the assigned reading was so short this time, I'll add this quote from Vol. 1:
"The points to be borne in mind in children's handicrafts are: (a) that they should not be employed in making futilities such as pea and stick work, paper mats, and the like; (b) that they should be taught slowly and carefully what they are to do; (c) that slipshod work should not be allowed; (d) and that, therefore, the children's work should be kept well within their compass."
Nicole's blog posts are lovely examples of real, useful crafts--not "futilities"--presented in a very careful way.)

Nebby shares a wonderfully informative post about how they do "Extracurriculars: PE and Crafts." Again, I have another little quote to go with that:
"[PE and crafts] should form a regular part of a child's daily life. For physical training nothing is so good as Ling's Swedish Drill, and a few of the early exercises are the reach of children under nine. Dancing, and the various musical drills, lend themselves to grace of movement, and give more pleasure, if less scientific training, to the little people."
Nebby's "outsourcing" echoes that very nicely; Swedish drill might be a thing of the past, but gymnastics, dance, track, swimming and ice skating are all great options today!

Amy also apparently has a post almost ready to go, so here's a place holder for that. Check back later to read it.

I'll go way back into my own archives, and pull up this old post about a spring handicraft that my daughter really enjoyed. A more recent post is just pictures, but if you want to look, here is a Ukrainian craft class that we just took recently, something that is making us all want to paint more. And the current favorite handicraft in our home is cutting up fabric samples to make doll clothes, with minimum sewing and more tying together; I don't have photos of that yet, but maybe you can imagine it?

Bogdan on the day I met Amy (June 2012)
And then for other lovely posts, that still fit the Charlotte Mason theme, but not this carnival's topic....
Thank you for reading! As you follow the links above, please leave comments and let the writers know that you visited.

Amy will be hosting the next carnival. Click on the link for more info on how to send in your entries and follow the carnival path.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Bumpy video

Will's parents left this morning, in order to start their long trek home. Sad. But we had a wonderful visit with them!

Here is some video from Jaan's concert yesterday. The performance was at a local school, for the first graders, to encourage them to enroll at the music school. The choir had some cute hand motions, but I must warn you not to watch if you're prone to motion sickness; it was not easy to film!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The craft class

This is the Senior Hunsuckers' last day here; they fly out tomorrow. Jaan also has a choir concert today. But now I have photos from our time at the big mall last week.

A while ago Will had noticed an area where they teach and display traditional handicrafts way back in the back of the huge Fabrika Mall. He had been planning to take all of us there when there was a good occasion for it, and so, last Wednesday we went. First we ate lunch at the food court, and then we got to work.

Just a funny mall photo
The ladies who run the craft area were very kind and accommodating. Raia, Asya, and Baba Julie all chose wooden items to paint. Bogdan got a little clay star ornament, and Jaan picked out a stuffed bear project.

We painted a fish on it.
Drying and lacquering
Jaan made a bear for Baba Julie

Raia's finished masterpiece
Also, you can see an album of where Will's parents stayed (and our street), if you're interested. We have room for a guest, but without quiet or privacy, and it would be crowded for two. So, this place was a huge answer to prayer. Our neighbors usually rent out their apartment long-term, but their renters left unexpectedly just before Will's parents came.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Some pictures from the visit

We are already more than halfway through our visit with Will's parents. Our time with them has been great, and it's rushing by. I started choosing a few highlight photos, and I ended up with way too many for one post. Will has also been posting some on Facebook, so I'll link to those below. I'm trying to choose different ones to share here. Some are from their camera, some from ours.

We've spent a lot of fun time just playing and being together at home, and we've taken some great outings too. All the late nights added up for me, though. Will had planned to go into the office today, but he let me sleep in first. By the time I woke up, it was really too late for him to go in, so he took everyone on some kind of adventure instead. I stayed home for a little more quiet.

Most of the photos in this post are from days that we have stayed home, but on their first morning here Bernie and Julie got to visit the Agape office and hear about the mission.

With Alex Fedorchuk of Agape
A favorite pastime
Frisbee in our road
Lots of reading
And card games
More reading
One night we had a bonfire and roasted hotdogs.Will posted some of those photos already, but I just love this one, so I had to share it again:

Tea by the fire
We have also eaten lunch and taken folk art classes at the big mall, gone on our own walking tour of Kherson, and visited an Agape adaptation center out in a village nearby. Pictures of those events will have to come later.

Here are photos that have already been put on Facebook, in case you're not on there, or aren't connected with Will's mom:
More later....

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Random recent photos

While we wait for Will's parents to get here, I have a few random recent photos to share. And maybe a video, if it loads.

Our neighbors have a dog with puppies.
Princesses and prince
We've made a lot of grape juice lately.
Pink and purple fruit of our labors
Playing outside

I let them go wild with markers one evening not too long ago. There are a few more of these crazy photos here, and here, and here.

And... yes! The video loaded. Today Raia and Asya sang in the choir for the first time. Raia is right in the middle, and Asya is below her, in a kind of hard-to-see spot.