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Sorry I’ve been gone so much!

The Waterfall we hiked down to.

One thing I’ve learned is that a time comes when you have to decide what needs to come first and what has to take a back seat.  For instance with Jk’s foray into teenagehood, and the addition of facebook so she can talk to her friends from church and family across the country, I’ve found I need to be on there to watch out for her safety, and to keep her on task with schoolwork when she is on the computer and not chatting it up during school time.  We have also started using facebook chat to see if she can follow my directions and cook.   I often get calls from my older daughters when they want to cook something they like that I make.  They often get frustrated when it doesn’t turn out like moms because they forgot one of my instructions, so I thought teaching Jklyn how to follow my instructions on how to cook something without me standing over her was an important step.  This is important since my health issues are making it more and more impossible for me to deal with the stairs in our house, and keep me sick and in pain a great deal.  Tonight she made ham, hashbrown and eggs by herself just by following my instructions step by step over chat, and they were delicious.  Other days in the last few weeks she has baked cod, baked salmon, and made a delicious Shepherd’s Pie, all following my step by step instructions on Facebook chat.

Another thing that has kept me from here is that I’m still working on things for a Cross Stitch Business site.  I make a point of taking a couple hours a day designing cross stitch patterns to sell on it.  I am up to about 140 designs now, and I’m still waiting for my husband to take some time and help me get the site and set it up.  This is one of the most important things I’m doing since it will help our family finances when it takes off.  Until then I keep working on things so I can offer the best on the site.

Over all these I try to deal with my health and my relationship with Christ Jesus the most.  Making sure I’m daily in God’s Word, and reaping God’s wisdom and instruction from it is important to me, especially since it is through my relationship with the Lord that I’m helped to get through my health issues daily.  I also spend time reading a devotional, because it gives me another insight on what God teaches in the Bible.  I’ve tried to share the ones that speak to me the most here on my blog when I can’t be on here.  I hope they have encouraged and touched you as much as they do me.  With my health, my husband found a new medicine that is reported to have good results with patients who have fibromyalgia, severe arthritis, and bone spurs, all of which I have.  I’ve been taking it for about 3 weeks and I have seen an increase in my energy level and an improvement by 10 minutes on how long I can stand or walk before the pain is too much.  That allows me to fold a whole basket of laundry, or iron 2 or 3 things before I have to go back and rest my back with heat on it.  I did learn something about leaning back on a heating pad for too long, as I burnt my lower back to the point of blistering one day when the pain was severe.  Now I try to limit myself to 5 minutes at a time and then change positions to alleviate the pain until I can use the heating pad again.  The blisters have healed, but now it looks like I have a map of the world on my back in bright red.  Can’t wait to see the doctor and explain this one…lol!

Another thing that keeps me away is homeschooling Jklyn and trying to use good days to do things with her that I normally don’t get to do.  We already took a hike to a waterfall in a nearby state park.  I was excited about this new medicine making me feel better and decided to test myself.  I should have picked an easier test.  I made it down to the waterfall, and barely made it back up from it.  But it was worth it all to see my daughter, my granddaughter, and my husband enjoying the water and nature.  I hope to blog our adventure and share the great pictures I took of it soon.  As I’ve said before Jk is slightly dyslexic, and when she struggles with learning she tends to find distractions, so teaching her means keeping focused on her all through her school time.  We have moved a desk size table into my bedroom and a 4 drawer rolling cart that fits under the table, for her to do school at, so that I can rest my back and see her working at the same time.  Having only been into this school year for just under a month now, she is already testing her limits and feeling the struggle of her learning disablility.   She has started back to Homeschool Choir though and is volunteering to watch the Orchestra Director’s son while the Director is in teaching the Orchestra.  Jk also gets time to do P.E. in the Church Gym with all the other Homeschooled kids from the choir.  She loves this day more than any.  She is taking on Beginning Algebra this year, American History, More Grammar and Vocabulary, Reading, and we have started doing Creation Science for her Science time, but in a way that will allow her to cover many areas of Science from geology, to astronomy, animal husbandry, biology, and more.   We still have some English books to get for her, but I’m keeping her busy with reading, writing, spelling and vocabulary until we find the ones we need.   I have challenged her to use her new vocabulary/spelling words in conversations with her friends and family on facebook.   She really gets a kick out of this because it really challenges her friends, and gets funny responses from our family and friends.  She does have to use it in the context of what it really means, so sometimes her conversations take funny twists.  Imagine using the word “tyranny” in a conversation with your adult uncle or aunt or an older brother or sister.  Another thing she likes to do is use the Spanish she has learned to speak to those who have no clue what she is saying.  She tried it with me until I answered her in German.  I had 4 years of Spanish in elementary school, but what I remember is sparse.  I had 2 years of German in High School and I can remember a little more of it.  But I can read and pick out enough familiar words to translate what she is saying.  She tried it with her Uncle Bob, and thought she would stump him…that is, until he answered her in Spanish, and used words she hasn’t learned yet.  It was hilarious to see the look on her face.  I reminded her that the true test of her language abilities is to speak to someone who does know the language, not those who do not.  I think she met her match in her Uncle Bob.

You can see my list of things to do is long, and doesn’t include cleaning and such around the house.  We are looking forward to the next 3 months and visits from various family members each month, including a surprise visit for Jk at Christmas if all works out.  Just this cleaning is a real challenge since I have now been limited to 10 to 20 minute spurts before my pain is unbearable.  But it has to be done, and I know to get it done right I’m going to have to buck up and deal with it.  This week I’ve been focusing on laundry first, then getting the ironing done.  My husband was a sweetheart and did the kitchen and diningroom floors for me last Saturday.  I appreciate his help.  Jklyn has taken on the dishes, and really helps with the cooking she does.  Dyslexia causes problems with her organizational skills and other things so cleaning is one thing she struggles with.  That is normal for those with dyslexia, and so we have to have her make a list of steps to take just for cleaning her room and bathroom.  She has been trying to keep the livingroom vacumned and picked up on her own though.  Because of my health, our dream house has become a challenge in more ways than I can say.

Well, that is what is going on with my life right now.  I’m sorry I haven’t been here as much and I hope you all understand.  Please keep me in your prayers, because it is those prayers that keep me from the common pitfalls that happen to those with fibro, like depression.  It is those prayers that the Lord  has heard that have helped him know that I need him.  I really appreciate them so very much!

Two happy girls looking for frogs in the stream close to the waterfall.

 

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Jk’s Homeschool Choir End-of-the-Year Concert

 

The Beginning of the Concert, Presentation of flags, and Christian Patriotic Music portion.

Last night we attended my daughter Jk’s Homeschool Choir End-of-the-Year Concert.  Their focus this year has been on Missions, and spreading the Gospel.  Every Monday this year she and many homeschooled children meet with the Homeschool Choir Director at our church to learn about music, work on singing and learning to play instruments, and they also have P.E. in our church gym.  They perform many concerts during the year, perform for mission conferences, pastoral conferences, and perform at nursing homes and other churches as well.   They have different groups that they are broken down into such as the elementary age choir, preschool choir, youth choir, mens ensemble, and womens ensemble, along with special groups such as quartets, trios, duets, bell choir, and instrumentals.  Jk has been part of the youth choir which is made up of 5th through 12th graders, womens ensemble, and bell choir.

Jk has a beautiful voice, but is often shy when singing by herself, even though when I led the Children’s Choir at our old church, she would sing solos and duets if I needed her to.  Her Homeschool Director has been working on getting Jk to come out of her shell and have confidence in her abilities, and tonight I saw some of that confidence shine through. Jk loves to sing for Jesus, and I hear her all the time singing in her room, or in the shower, but I think that knowing that mom has a degree in music makes her feel that she won’t measure up, even though I often tell her that I think she has a beautiful voice but that her heart for Jesus makes it an amazing gift that she could use for the glory of God.  She has often seen me sing in church and other things and I think she is afraid that she isn’t good enough.  But she is, and so I have hoped being with another encouraging music teacher would let her see that she is good enough to share her gift with others and use it for God.

Well, tonight was their last concert of the year, and Jk was excited and nervous about it.  I reminded her to look up and smile when she sang, that people want to see her heart for Jesus in her singing, and shining from her beautiful little face.  I was so proud of her, because she worked on her music for a couple of hours today to make sure she had all the words memorized, including the Spanish translation for Via Dolorosa.  Tonight she was focused, smiled, and kept her focus on the director, and the audience, and not only did her growing confidence show, but her love of the Lord Jesus.  I think this year she has taken giant steps to overcome her shyness.  It’s funny because if you give her a script for a play or sketch, she has no lack of confidence.  She loves to act, and is so silly, much like JoAnne Worley, who is a distant cousin of mine (my 5th cousin to be exact.)  Jk does slapstick, loves to do funny voices, and when she is acting on stage she shines, but when it comes to singing…she’s shy.

Well, by now you can tell that I am proud of her, not only for her talents, but because she really has a heart for God, and has since she was born, even more since she gave her heart to Jesus at the age of 5 right in our livingroom, kneeling at our sofa.  She tries always to live following the example Jesus sat, and of all my daughters Jk has a joyful heart, rarely ever looks sad except when she doesn’t feel good.  For the most part, Jklyn is my little angel child, with a few of the normal kid quirks like a messy room, or forgetting to do her chores when I tell her to.  But even then she doesn’t have the normal tween attitudes that are so prevalent in kids in the public schools today.  She is helpful, and basically I’ve been blessed by God to be her mom.  So, yes I am a proud mom of a little angel of God, named Jk.

Here are some of the pics that I wanted to share of her End-of-the-Year Homeschool Choir Concert.  I only wish I could download the video shorts of some of the concert, so you could be blessed by their singing.  Those will go up on my facebook page for the rest of my family to see.

The Homeschool Choir Director welcomes everyone to the Program.

 

 

 

The program began with all the choirs carrying flags from different countries in, following the U.S. flag, the Christian flag, and the flags of all the military branches, while two students in the Homeschool Orchestra played their instruments with the director on piano.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were given a surprise when a video link from Afghanistan was projected on the wall. This active reservist is a member of our church, whose children are also in the Homeschool Choir. Before he left for Afghanistan he sang in the Adult Church Choir, usually standing right next to me...yep, we are both tenors...lol. It was wonderful, because although we could not hear him, he was able to enjoy the whole program...at 3.a.m Afghanistan time. He looked tired, but seemed thrilled to get to see his children sing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a couple of songs by the combined choirs, our elementary age choir took the platform to perform a short musical program. The included a couple of quartet numbers, a duet, and a song with sign language, and did a beautiful job. They were joined by our preschool choir for their last 2 songs. Those preschoolers were adorable!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right after the Elementary choir, the Mens Ensemble took the stage with a surprise, one of the young ladies from the elementary choir joined them to sing a solo along with one of their own soloist. I'm telling you this young lady has a beautiful soprano voice, and she is one of Jk's friends. I had never heard her sing a solo, and I was blown away by the gift God has given her. The mens ensemble followed this song with a few more numbers, including "A Few Good Men" which I love to hear them sing. Imagine if all young men were like these young men of God. What a future this country would have!

 

To transition from the Mens Ensemble to the Womens Ensemble, we were treated to a trombone solo and vocal solo from this young man. He did a wonderful job, and the music was beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jklyn took the platform with the Womens Ensemble. Unfortunately they left the music stand on the stage and Jklyn was standing right behind it, so you can't really see her face in this picture. This choir of young Christian ladies really share their love of God through music. The great thing is the Choir Director assigns older teens as mentors to the younger girls in this choir, to help them learn the music, and to make them feel welcome in the group. Jklyn looks at some of the older girls as if they were her big sisters, which in Christ they are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the end of the concert the whole youth choir took the stage, along with a guest director, while the main director played the piano. Jk is the second girl to the right of the director with the black hair. They did a wonderful program with a mixture of southern gospel and contemporary Christian numbers and some hymns. There were solos, accapella numbers, and a whole lot of musical talent and love of God shown.

 

One of the acapella numbers with the full youth choir.

I didn’t get a picture of the orchestra because it was too dark where they were sitting to the side of the platform, and since the battery on my camara died at the beginning of the program and I was  limited to my cell phone, it was too dark to really get a decent picture.  But they did a wonderful set of Christian instrumental numbers under the direction of our Homeschool Orchestra Director.  At the end of this program they called the parents and grandparents up to join their homeschool child in singing a chorus of “Thank You For Giving to the Lord” and we were all told that they were making a video of this whole concert to send to all the missionaries our church sponsors, to say “Thank You” for giving their lives to the Lord and to Missions.  It was a wonderful program and a great way to close out this year’s mission theme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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