Harder Family

Harder Family

Friday, August 25, 2017

New Adventures

Philippians 2:10-11 "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

After bringing the boys home, I quickly discovered that I needed some help in teaching them English. Although I have taught my kids grammar, spelling and basic English, there were some skills I did not have when teaching children who spoke another language. Two weeks ago, I started taking online classes to get my certificate in teaching ESL. The course is 120 hours and I have been cramming reading, taking notes, and completing homework into every "spare" hour I can find. I am almost finished with my 2nd module. I was told the first two modules are the most time intensive. I have been trying to get most of the work out of the way before our school year starts in 3 days!! The classes have been so interesting and I have learned so much! I am already utilizing what I learned in the classes with the boys every day. I'm excited to finish making some real lesson plans to help the boys progress in their language skills. 

Yesterday, Wayne and I got to take our first real date since the boys returned home. Wayne had a work function, an architectural boat tour on the Chicago River. I was able to drive downtown and meet him for the event. Afterward, we used gift cards from his birthday to have a special dinner alone (thank you Suzy and Linda for the Cooper's Hawk gift cards and to Eileen for watching the kids until Abigail got home!) I love spending time with this man!

This morning, I had to drive downtown again. Shan Chen had an appointment at the Shirley Ability Lab to get measurements done for his new leg. He did great and within the next one to two months, we will have a new leg for him. The new building for what used to be known as RIC, is amazing! I will forever be grateful to this rehab center. They not only helped Wayne recuperate from his brain surgery, they are now helping my son get the best leg he can so he can continue to make great improvement!

We recently finally took some time and did a few projects around the house. One project was our front door. We moved here 12 years ago and the first thing we did was get a new door. After 12 winters, our door was not looking too good. We decided to paint the front door to try to salvage it. I'm super excited how it turned out. 

Monday we start school. I'll be posting our "first day of school" pictures next week. Pray for us as we begin another school year. I am excited, but I also feel like I'm going to be a juggler trying to juggle so many different grades and levels. We are always so thankful for each of you that continue to pray for our family. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Total Eclipse - Hands On Homeschool Adventures

Jeremiah 31:35 "Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—the Lord of hosts is His name:"

When I watched a video about the amazing things that happen during a solar eclipse. Chicago was supposed to experience a 90% eclipse, but about 5 hours south, they would experience the solar eclipse in totality. Wayne decided to take the day off so that we could travel to see the eclipse. I have to find creative ways to explain and show science to the boys, since they didn't learn much science in China. We discovered this when we went to the planetarium this summer. They had no clue what planets were or about the universe. Seeing the eclipse would make learning science fun and something that they could understand.

We left at 4am on Sunday morning to beat the crowd that we heard would flock south to see the eclipse. The drive took us under six hours and the kids did great traveling. It was the first road trip for Shan Chen and DJ's first road trip with us. He traveled with his host family last summer to Atlanta to the airport and to go camping. They did so great!

The kids had a blast hanging out in the country for 24 hours. We decided to modify our eclipse glasses since we had so many little ones and the glasses were big. We didn't want to chance anyone hurting their eyes.

Once the eclipse started, it was great to see the kids enjoying God's creation and playing great together. It was fascinating to see all the events that happened surrounding the eclipse. As the total eclipse got closer, the colors and shadows changed around us. The temperature dropped and the shadows in the trees looked like small crescents. We loved seeing the diamond ring and all the other changes to the sun as we progressed closer to the eclipse. Once the total eclipse occurred, it was one of the most amazing things I have seen. After the totality ended, we hopped in the car to try to beat the crowd leaving southern Illinois. Everyone else must have had the same idea because once we reached the freeway, it was a parking lot. It took us under 6 hours to get there and over 8 hours to get home. But everyone said it was worth all the hours driving. Here are the pictures I captured. They are not the best and it didn't capture all the amazing colors, but enjoy.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Summer Catchup

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Our summer has been crazy between doctor appointments for surgery and broken bones, birthdays (Abigail's 14, Joella's 5, Wayne, and upcoming Grace and Sophia), farmers market, swimming, the beach to meet friends from Africa, preparing to homeschool 8 kids this year, the list goes on. So, since I failed to be consistent in posting, here are some highlights from the past few weeks.

Joel's birthday date (checkout that ice cream!)

My baby is 5!!

DJ's cast was removed after only 3 weeks. This was a great way to show him that God answered his prayers!

Finding creative ways to get Shan Chen around since he can't use his leg for 8 weeks. *prayer request: we just discovered today that his old leg will not fit him at all after surgery. So now he has to wait for his new leg to be made...which could be another 8 weeks from now!! Please pray that we get it quickly or he continues to remain patient through this process.

 Dodger game at Sox Field. We have a friend who works there and she was able to arrange to have our names up on the board!

Swimming with friends.

We readopted the boys in IL. It was great to have everyone there.

Siblings bonding...sleeping together on the way home from our re-adoption.

Shirley Ability Lab, Chicago. Getting information about his new leg!

Playing at the beach and park with friends. We skipped missionaries a few years ago from Zambia. We got to finally meet them in person while they were in town. What a blessing they are and it was great to hear about how God was using them.