Friday, April 29, 2011

The Oregon Trail

So on the fourth day of school, my boy had to strike out on the Oregon Trail. He was placed in a family and given a list of supplies to bring. Fortunately, we are pretty geared up for equipment and dress for various time periods, weapons included. The whole of the 5th grade was on the trail now. (parents were welcome to come, but could not help unless there was a true emergency)

Christopher Wales Lucas

Everyone started out eager with lots of energy and wagons full of supplies. It was a beautiful day and the travel was expected to be easy.

They had been told stories about terrible things that could happen along the trail. Even been told of hostile Indians....but who expected to really see them. Prisoners and hostages were taken, fortunately they were able to bribe the Indians with some food and weapons. This would make things harder with fewer supplies, but at least everyone was safe.

As the trail wore on, the terrain became more trecherous. Everyone had to lend a helping hand if they were all going to make it.

They had heard about the mighty river crossings, and had even survived the first one, but this river presented different dangers. It was slower moving, but the mud on the banks was cumbersome and some of the wagons tipped, and more supplies were lost. There was even the scare of losing one of the womenfolk. She fell in when the wagon tipped and she had to be treated before hypothermia set in. Thankfully, the doc was close at hand and extra clothes were donated.

Almost there, and yet, the biggest challenge is yet to come, getting over the mountain with all the wagons. It took all the effort they could muster to drag, push, and pull the wagons and all the folk up the mountain.
With a great amount of teamwork and a lot of elbow grease, it was a success. All safe and well at the top.

After such a long, hard trip until now, the travelers were weary and it was suggested that a short stop be made. Though do not be fooled, if they don't make it over the last set of mountains before winter, there will be much suffering and loss.

Every journey has it's sacrifices. This was the biggest one yet. Seven people were lost to cholera, and many more weakened though they would survive. If only, they had known the water was contaminated....

Just before pulling into town after the big crossing through the mountain pass, the travelers were set upon by bandits. They fought hard and only lost a few weapons, and thankfully no lives.

Fort Walla Walla, finally!! It is time for a hard earned drink of root beer, and then get started on settling in for the coming winter. No rest for the weary.

Cheers to all the travelers who survived this long and arduous journey.

The family- the ties that bind. It's hard being the lone man with a gaggle of girls to watch over. They did good, and the journey is done.

October 2009
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Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Second First Day of School

So it is that God brings to an end one season and ushers in another. This is one of those times. Christopher starts his first day of school today at Covenant Classical School. After much prayer and consideration, God has made it very clear that Christopher has need of what a more traditional school has to offer over homeschool. It is a very bitter sweet time. After many years of homeschool, it is hard to let him go, yet I know that for his best, it is necessary. God has great plans for my Christopher, and far be it from me to hold him back for my own selfish desires.
He is very excited about going, and a little nervous. But who isn't the first day of school.

(So since this is a late post, I can also give you the follow-up... He loved it!!! Praise God!! He really loves school. He loves the teacher and kids, the routine, the challenge, and of course lunch and recess. It is just what he needed.)

He is in a class of 11 kids with his teacher Mrs. Balbuena. The curriculum is classical with a focus on memorizing at this stage of development. The homework is somewhat formidable with the first major assignment being an 8+ page paper written about the Oregon Trail. WHAT???? And after much pain and agony and many late nights, my boy turned out an 18 page story about the Oregon Trail that will blow you away. Amazing what your kids can and will do when given the right stuff. Never underestimate your kids.
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A Biltmore Birthday

Once upon a time there was a girl...
Alas, this girl was turning 30, and at the request of her knight of what she desired for her celebration, she responded, "a day with my ladies-in-waiting at a place fit for a princess." And so, her knight took up the charge and sent her with her ladies to the Biltmore Estates.

What beauty awaited as they stepped from their coach. It was more beautiful than they imagined.

The gardens bedazzled with flowers galore, were but a mere shadow of the beauty surrounding them in the mountains they were hidden within.

There was no lack of fun or food or enjoyment, the princess and her ladies celebrated a birthday not to be forgotten. For this princess now joined her wise and good friends in the decade they call the 30s. Happy Birthday my dear, sweet Lindsay!!
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Simhat Torah Party

To complete the Sukkoth, the children have a Simhat Torah Party. This commemorates when the Jews would take the Torah out of the ark during the Festival of Booths and parade it around for all to see, celebrating God's word. In current times, the children invite all the neighbors/friends to make banners celebrating God and His Word to parade around the neighborhood with treats to share for all

Christopher and Samuel made their banners, then went through the neighborhood inviting all the kids to come make a banner and have a parade with them.

So they lead all the kids in a grand parade up and down the street with their banners. Afterward, they had candy to share and played games in the front yard. It seems so simple and yet we never stop to do these things. God set these times aside for his people for the purpose of remembering and glorifying Him, and in the glorifying of Him, His people are brought closer together and filled with joy. I think even as christians, though we are no longer required to live by the law, we should take the time to be purposeful to remember God and His provision, simply to glorify God.


As we continue our studies of the old testament and jewish tradition, we took time to celebrate Sukkoth, the Festival of Booths. This is where the people would build a small booth and share a meal in it as a reminder of how temporal material things are and celebrate God's provision for them during the flight out of Egypt, as well as today.

So the boys built the frame with dad's help and carried it to the spot they felt best.

Then you decorate it with greenery and fall decorations in preparation for your meal together. Different parts of the meal symbolize how God provides for his people. I have to say, besides just being fun family time, it is also humbling to take time just to celebrate God and to dwell on his provision for our every need.
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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Boy Scout Campout #1

Sunday morning the sun greets the campers as they tumble from their tents to meet together to worship God together, at least the ones who are not frozen in their sleeping bags. I think this must have been record lows this weekend. It did not get above 35* during the day and it was around 28* that night. Saturday afternoon, the boys were working on badges and that night they did a campfire with skits, marshmallows, and also a ceremony to retire some American flags. It was very fun. Samuel, our cub scout, had a great time. At around 9:00, when everyone was turning in, I turned toward home. Yes, I admit, I could not take it, so my dear husband sent me home with the blessings of both sons. So I came back in the morning to help wrap up and pack up. The boys had a great time. They are looking forward to the next one in the spring. Hopefully the weather will be a little more cooperative.
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Jewish Tradition

This year, we have been studying the Old Testament, and along with that Jewish customs and traditions. We started by celebrating the Sabbath as they do on a Friday night and finishing on Saturday. There is a lot of ceremony that accompanies this dinner. It is a celebration to honor the Lord and the day of rest. Ours had a focus on Jesus, as christians, that the Jews do not have. We were all struck with how much it affected us to be solely focused on honoring the Lord throughout this meal.

We also had the opportunity to tour a true to life replica of the temple that traveled with the Isrealites during their years of wandering. At each place within the temple, the group who does it, presents the information about what you are seeing. For instance, below is the alter and the water basin. This is where the sacrifices for the people were made. It is humbling to see how the Jewish people had to live by the law of sacrifice to be presentable before God, knowing that we are not bound by that because of Jesus's sacrifice on the cross. Amazing!

In the end, the group presenting shared the gospel, which I thought very appropriate and bringing it full circle to why we as gentiles can be called children of God. We have an amazing God who created us and redeemed us all according to His plan.
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