Sunday, September 30, 2012


How quickly the years pass!  Stanley was the only one of our six that was born early, and we believe it was because God decided to bless him with the sharing of a birthday with his Grandpa Stensaas.  Despite us living in the same country, it is still rare that they actually celebrate together.  However, Mom & Dad were on their way home from being up north, so we were privileged to have them join us for presents and homemade ice cream. 

Stanley is my picky man, so coming up with a cake design for him was difficult.  Actually, his choice was a satellite.  I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to make a glob of rice crispies resemble anything that is orbiting earth.  Then I remembered that he got his violin this year, so that seemed to be the perfect idea.  Happy Birthday, Stanley!  May you give God more of yourself this year in service to Him, and may you see His blessings upon your life.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


It almost seems strange starting school in September.  It has been easier for us to use the Ugandan school schedule all of these years.  However, because the time has come for our children to start graduating, this year we switched to the American system.

Shane - our senior
Shane will be returning to the States in May to graduate from our home church.  Wow - it doesn't seem possible.  I can still remembering the struggle of teaching him kindergarten!  Some of you can relate - first year homeschooling...first child...great expectations...nothing goes as planned.  But we both have survived 12 years, and now he is a senior!  I am proud of him that he has bravely endured my rough teaching, many days of interrupted school time, and years of classroom on the road or in hotels.  Thank you, Shane, for your patience with me.

Stanley - our sophomore
Give Stanley a book - nearly any book - and he is happy.  Thus said, he hasn't had to work hard at school.  In fact, a day seldom goes by that he doesn't offer an additional tidbit of information to go along with what we are studying.  His knowledge humbles me, and I am thankful that I can learn from him.

Shae-Lynn is in 7th
I'm not sure if it is third-child status or first-girl status, but Shae-Lynn would have been happy to be Amish and attend school for just 8 years.  She would much rather be making cookie dough for Grandpa, organizing my room, or fixing lunch than to be writing a report or drilling math facts.  However, she has the most initiative.  I assign them a whole week's work at once and leave the daily scheduling up to them.  Shae-Lynn is usually done in three days. 

Shiloh is in 5th
Although he gets good grades, Shiloh doesn't get excited about school.  Now if his Legos can attend class with him, then there is enthusiasm!  Since we have been back from the States, he has really become a reader, tackling teen-level books.  He is taking after his mom in staying up late at nights to read.

Skyler is in 3rd
If I could somehow bottle all of Skyler's energy and direct it toward school, I would have a genius in my house.  Yet despite his rambunctiousness, he is the one who enjoys working at his desk the most.  The rest of us would much rather lounge on the couch in casual study.  However, with six children in school this year, the desks are going to have to become mandatory.

Savannah is in kindergarten
And now Savannah has officially begun school.  In just two days, she completed the work I had scheduled for the whole week.  Shh!  We won't tell anyone and just let her sail as fast as her mind will work.  I see myself in her (scarey, I know!).  I loved school, so I hope at least one child will have that same love.

Probably one of the most popular questions I got asked on furlough was what curriculum we use.  We have used so many good things over the years, but this is our set-up for this year:
* Bible: Shane through Shiloh are using Plain Path Publishers; Skyler and Savannah are learning chapters from the Bible using booklets I made for S.S. years and years ago.
* English: Easy Grammar
* Spelling: Spelling Power
* History: Shane will be reading a lot of biographies and doing reports each week. The rest are using The Mystery of History Vol 1, while doing ancient city lapbooks from Live and Learn Press.
* Science: Apologia Physics, General Science and Botany with lapbooks from Live and Learn Press.
* Math: Math-U-See
* Savannah and Skyler are also using material from Sing, Spell, Read and Write.

Keith Stensaas Family - August 2012
May you all have a very wonderful and productive school year!

Monday, September 3, 2012


The month of August is our busy birthday month with 3 out of the 8 of us having birthdays.

Keith is now soaring to greater heights at age 41.  Since we were hit by lightening the week of his birthday, we thought a lightening bolt was appropriate for his cake.

Skyler is now 8!  Wow!  Where has time gone?  I'm not sure what inspired the choice of a snowman.  My policy is that I don't make the same thing twice, so my kids are getting creative...or desperate to come up with new cake ideas.  This snowman turned out so cute that I had a hard time cutting the little guy.

 And then there is me!  Hmmm!  Shae-Lynn made me a lovely heart-shaped cake.  Then Keith's family decided to re-celebrate on our family vacation.  Notice the little tombstone cake on the ground?  I guess they have had enough of me.

Thank you to all who sent birthday greetings.  We appreciate your thoughtfulness.  Poor Savannah has the last birthday of the year, so she is having to learn patience in waiting for the month of October.