God has been leading us to a particular church in our area. First it was a mention of a homeschool group there. A couple weeks later I found they had a MOPS group (after I resigned from my current one). When we attended, I found two long lost friends from childhood are attending there and one of them is in charge of the MOPS group. The church family was warm and friendly and though it's a bit farther than I wanted to drive, I really feel that we are where God wants us. There are several ministries I'm interested in, including a (get this) *newsletter* ministry. That was the biggest thing I was going to miss from my old MOPS duties...and God provided it in a different way. It's been amazing to see all of this occur so fast because so many times, answers/direction from God seems to take forty years of wandering in the wilderness sometimes. I haven't attended any of the new events because I contacted the church just after they'd had their monthly meetings/events so they're upcoming and I'm sure I'll keep you updated.
We had a very busy weekend! Hubby had Friday off and we decided to go to the Science Center, where are hosting Sue on limited display. Sue is the biggest, most complete T-rex skeleton they've ever found. (Did you know we've only found 22 near complete T-rex skeletons? I just assumed is was MANY more than that from the focus on them.) She was really neat to see and the kids had a great time learning about dinosaurs. Last week, Matthew told me that he wanted to be an archaeologist some day. So when he saw that they had a station set up for 'excavations' at the exhibit, he was gung-ho to try it out. They had taken pieces of small bones and covered them in plaster, just like they do before they move recovered bones from the ground so they can transport them. The station had tooth brushes and hard plastic knife-type instruments. After digging on his clump for about 30 minutes, Matthew declared, "I don't want to be an archaeologist anymore. I just don't have the patience." It gave me a chuckle, of course, but this is key for unschoolers. Unschoolers explore the world, try things on and decided if they like them. In school, you sit and hear about things and you can guess if you'd like it but you don't really know if you like being an archaeologist until you get your hands dirty. For this reason, many unschoolers try to get involved in apprenticeships as they reach that age. I know Matthew's patience will grow as he matures but it's nice for him to actually discover that it's not Indiana Jones using his whip to escape with the beautifully clean and shiny treasure...it's painstakingly slow digging and precision. Not that it can't be rewarding but that he finds out for himself what it really is.
"Blegck! My lips touched dinosaur lips!"
"They've got the whole world in their hands!"
To further illustrate my point...did you watch Blast From The Past? Brendan Frasier is raised in a bomb shelter until he's 30. His father tries, numerous times, to explain the game of baseball (and the ocean) but until Brendan actually sees a it, he doesn't ever really understand it. Likewise, how many of your friends pursued a course of study in college and ended up on something totally different as a career? Or aren't happy with their career choices? I wonder how different their lives would be if they'd had a chance to really try it on, as in an apprenticeship.
Rose says she'd love to be a zookeeper. There is a program for junior zookeepers at our zoo that I'm looking forward to sending her to when she's older, just to see exactly what their jobs entail (no pun intended).
On Saturday, we did something else unique. There was an ice sculpting contest not too far away. Living in Missouri all my life, I've never seen this before except on the movie, Groundhog Day (Happy, Happy, btw!). It was so interesting to watch! I wish I could have caught the more intricate portions, like the rounded columns and such, but it was a sight to behold nonetheless.
"Don't worry, no one got hurt"
"Raise the Draw Bridge"
"Lighthouse and rocky outing with sailboat at the end" (hard to see the details in this picture I had to downsize for blogger but this was my favorite)
Centaur...well, maybe *this* was my favorite. All the curves *and* the need to carve muscles and such - perhaps this was the hardest to do??
The Dark Knight
And on Sunday, we went to see sled dogs. Our library system is sponsoring a program called The Big Read this month and the book is The Call of the Wild. There will be children's story times about sled dogs and arts and crafts and they're bringing in speakers for the adults. It's a whole hoopla that we've gotten caught up in. Yesterday they brought out the St. Louis Dog Sled group to kick off The Big Read. Rose was in her element, being such an animal lover, but they were quite big dogs and she was more cautious than usual. Matthew (my germ-a-phobe), however, amazed me by petting and standing next to the bear-sized dogs.