Sunday, March 27, 2011


Last night Bonnie, Brian and I went to our local high school to watch them perform the musical Godspell.

I wasn't sure what to expect.  Godspell is a product of the 70s so it has that seventies vibe - you know, hippie feel.  In all reality it is the Gospel of Matthew.  The story starts with a dark and dying world.  Everyone is full of hate and discontent when John the Baptist comes on the scene baptizing everyone and telling them that someone greater than he is coming to save the world.  Jesus comes and begins his ministry.  The entire script is the Bible.  They go through the Sermon on the Mount, parables such as: the Sower and the Seed, the Prodigal Son, the Unmerciful Servant, and more.  It ends with the crucifixion and resurrection. 

What I didn't like about the musical was that it presented the wrong message. As an unbeliever I would be left with the impression that as long as I showed love and kindness to others than I would be able to enter the kingdom of heaven. 

This was just another reminder that we need to be out there sharing the Gospel because we live in a lost and dying world who think they are saved with their false beliefs.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Becky Kelley - Where's the Line to See Jesus - OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO


Woo Hoo!!! I have made it to 100 posts!! Do I get a prize or something?  No....ahhh...that's too bad.

Well, it is Friday.  -Hallelujah chorus is playing in the background-

Inside our home:
The  house is warm and cozy with a fire going in the wood stove.
School is packed away for the weekend.
Bonnie is practicing on the piano.
Bryce and Brian are practicing defeating Sonic on theWii.

Tonight is:
Family movie night.  We are going to try to get some neighbors to join us.  The movies for tonight are (drumroll)   The Original Karate Kid and the New Karate Kid.  I am pretty excited.  I think we will have a good time watching them.

On the stove is:
Homemade potato soup with ham.  Yum.  I combined two potato soup recipes to get the one everyone likes.

Outside it is:
Raining.  Earlier it was beautiful.  We all walked into town to get our videos.  We could see the black clouds over the mountains and knew it would be coming down on us soon if we didn't hurry up.  The video store was late in opening up so we walked over to Laks to get a waffle cone for all us and then back to the video store to get our movies.  Then a stop at the Chamber to invite our neighbors over for movie night and well....we talked too long.  Down came the rain mixed with sleet/hail.  We made it home drenched but in good spirits.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Looking for Some Normalcy

Looking back over the last month and I can't find one normal week in it.

There were the two weeks when I was working with the film crew.  Last week we lost two days due to the dentist and a church work day and this week was thrown out of whack with the pastor's conference and a funeral today. 

It is 2:30 in the afternoon and I just don't have it in me to sit everyone down to do school.  I tried to get the boys to do their math before I left for church but everyone was a bit high strung and neither boy completed their assignment. 

I am not sure what to do.  I keep thinking about the Washington Virtual Acadamy that is offered here.  How convenient that would be for the kids to have their school work via a virtual teacher on the computer.  I found some net books for a very affordable price.  The kids could do their school work where ever there is wi-fi.  (There is wi-fi here at the house already.)

I don't know but something has got to give.  I don't see any thing in our schedules for the next few weeks that should get in our way except for spring break.  

Does anyone else struggle with this?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Check this out!

It is a short clip of the Ira Finkelstein movie.  If you watch closely and look behind the counter of the store you will see Bonnie (she is wearing a light blue coat and white hat) talking to Bryce (Unfortunately you can't see him).

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pastor's Conference

I am sitting all alone in a log cabin on the Wenatchee River.

Today and tomorrow pastor's from Oregon to Idaho are gathered here in Plain,WA to minister to and encourage each other. I was asked to help make and serve food for the pastors so here I am, my duties are over with for the evening and I am sitting in a beautiful rustic cabin enjoying the peace and solitude.  There wasn't a bed for me in the pastor's cabin so I get one all by myself.  Well...Todd will be sharing it with me.  Here is the cool thing.  Sixteen years ago, Todd and I stayed here for some R & R.  Just last weekend I found that I kept the welcome card we received when we stayed here in one of the Natapoc Lodges.  The card was signed by Dirk and Karen Anderson.  Who would have thought that sixteen years later we would be back and Dirk and Karen Anderson attend our church.  In fact, Karen and I made and served the food tonight together. 

Where are the kids??  The kids are staying with fellow home school friends and probably won't want to come home tomorrow afternoon. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Not Ready Yet

Well, the boys were not ready for Alien.  It's funny how you don't remember all the details of a movie.  We got just part way in but the suspense was too much.  We will wait a few more years before trying it again.  So our movie night is watching a tv movie for tonight.


It's Friday!!!

This week in the James household, we did our best to get back on track with our studies.  Despite our best efforts, life kept getting in the way.

We struggled to get  up and get going in the morning.  By Wednesday when we started to get on track, we had dentist appointments for all three kids.

PROMO for Wenatchee Pediatric Dentistry---If you live in my neck of the woods this is the place to go.  My kids didn't want to leave.  First, the waiting room was complete with flat screen tvs playing movies, a train table, a wii station, a XBox, a Playstation2, and a slide.  Second, they worked on all three kids at the same time in the same room.  One room with three chairs/beds with flat screen tvs on the ceiling playing movies for the kids to watch while their teeth were being worked on.  After cleaning the kids teeth, they asked if we could stay and they would seal and fix any cavities right then.  I was pretty impressed.  We managed to squeek in our math and language when we got home but that was all we had time for.

Thursday was a work day at church.  We were asked to come out and help cut and sew tablecloths for the church tables.  Bonnie and I helped the ladies while the boys worked on their school work in a back room.

Today, well, we played hooky in the morning.  Here is the deal.  I have been wanting to watch The Princess Bride with the kids for some time, but the video store in town has it checked out for the month.  I found out that it was going to be playing on tv this morning so guess what we did?  Yep, we watched The Princess Bride.

  Ok, THEN we worked on school work until about 4pm.

Now the day is coming to a close.  Bonnie is spending the night at a friend's house and Todd has decided to watch movies with the boys.  THEME - SCARY.  Guess what we got???

I can't wait to see if the boys have it in them. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

The song "Kiss the Day Goodbye" keeps running through my head.  Probably because that is how I feel right now.

No one wanted to get up this morning.  I don't know what is in the air.  Maybe it is that pre-spring break syndrome - that long drag between Christmas break and spring break.  Whatever it is, no one was eager to do work.  Once I got Todd fed and out the door, the kids started to slowly emerge and I began to get ready for the day.

My first task was to talk to our mortgage lender in North Carolina to see if it was worth refinancing our house since we didn't sell it.  He advised me not to since we still hope to sell it within two years.  Then I showered and headed downstairs for some serious learning.  Book learning, however, was not apparently on God's agenda. 

No sooner did I call the kids down to school than a fight broke out between the boys a learning opportunity presented itself.  The next hour was spent learning how to work out our differences and how to communicate effectively with one another.  Finally, we could pray and begin our school day.  Forget the fact that it is now ten o'clock. 

I decided to read the God King to the kids this morning.  I hope to be able to make time every day to read a chapter or two.  Then it was off to our math books.  By the time math was done , it was lunch time and I was fried from all the emotions and counseling I had to do this morning. 

The second half of the day was not very profitable either.  Outside situations came up that required my husband's and my attention.  People and things that require our attention started piling up.  To top it all off, our
car is in need of repair and not drivable. Todd took it apart yesterday, but it appears he won't have anytime in the next few weeks to fix it so we decided to bite the bullet and take it to a mechanic. More precious time lost.  Argghhh!  

When I look back on our day, we accomplished math, language, reading, and some history/Bible.  It wasn't a total loss.  Now time to bake cookies and get ready for Bible study.  How long til spring break again?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It seems like forever since I had a lazy Sunday.  After lunch today, I snuck upstairs to soak in the tub and read a new book that just arrived from the library.

Right now, the kids are reading Victory on the Wall which is a historical novel about Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the Jerusalem wall.

  The next book on their list to read is God King which is another historical novel centered around the reign of King Hezekiah and the attempt of the Assyrians to take over Judah.

Generally I like to read the books before the kids do just so that I can discuss them with them, so I started reading God King today.  I am debating on reading it out loud to everyone. Bonnie is a voracious reader but Brian and Bryce are not.  Bryce still struggles and Brian has no desire to spend his time reading.  So far the book is pretty interesting.  My one concern is making the time each day to read out loud. Maybe lunch time would work best.  hmmm

I like these historical novels because they bring history to life in an enjoyable way.   

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Back to the Normal Grind

Check out where I have been working this past week.  I lived in the "basement" which is a house all of its own. 

Last night the kids worked til midnight.  I was allowed to go home with Shaye (age 11) and Jack (age 9) after midnight, but Elijah (age 11) still had to keep working a little while longer which in hollywood terms would come out to another hour.

Oh... and I finally found the website for the movie.  It is

I told all the kids goodbye last night but they were so tired that it really didn't sink in.  Today they called me up to say goodbye again.  They are all such good kids.  I really am looking forward to seeing this movie.  It is supposed to be out around Thanksgiving. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

They Can Do It!

What a joy it was today to see how my kids were doing with school on their own.
  Everyone had completed their assignments.  They were reading their history books on their own.  Even my struggling reader was proud to say he had read his assignments.  When I asked him about his reading he was able to share  with me all that he had learned.  Hope Springs Anew!!!  They can do it!  I like reading aloud to my kids and having group discussions on historical events and people.  I like knowing that they are getting it all but the time is here that they need to be able to read the material for themselves and prove it that they know it by their conversations, their written work, and their tests. 

I am ready to cut the apron strings and send them off to to do their work independent of me.  I will, of course, continue to read the same books they are reading so that I can talk with them about the same subjects, but we all need some independence from each other.  

On the other hand, I am back at work. Currently, I am proctoring one of the actors as she takes her Chemistry test.  The filming lately has been so busy that the kids can't seem to get more than 20 minutes done at a time.  Jenna has had three exams to take each needing 90 minutes to take so I have had to either stay after filming to administer the test or come in early.  Few people are here on set right now, just the behind the scene guys who are setting up the scene.  Everyone else will be showing up in about an hour to start filming.  They said we might be here to past midnight.  Bring on the coffee!!

So might little adventure is almost done.  One more day of work and then back to normal.  Then again...what is normal.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Craziness....that is how I would sum up this past week. I haven't worked in years and to be working 10 to 12 hour days is like jumping in to the deep end of the pool.  I only have three more days to work besides today so I will make it.  It has put a kink in our regular routine however.

Today, the cast is filming at Snow Grass Lodge in Leavenworth.  It is a beautiful log home with lots of rooms, fireplaces, and....well...I think I will just stay here.  I understand yesterday they did school out at the fish hatchery.  School was in a drafty tent with heaters and port-a-potties took care of their needs.  Yep, I will take this warm, cozy lodge over a drafty tent any day.

The kids have done twenty minutes of school for every two hours of filming.  Not a lot of school getting done right now.  One of the girls has to take some tests so that is going to be our challenge.

My kids are at home doing their own school.  A friend of ours has volunteered to sit with them and watch over their school work while I am on the set.  I am really thankful for this opportunity  because it is also pushing my kids to be more independent in their schooling.

Over the weekend I was able to be with my family.  Bonnie tried out for summer theatre.  There were about twenty girls trying out for the part of Louisa and Brigetta Von Trap.  Bonnie did not get the part, but she did learn what it is going to take to be apart of summer theater.  One thing we need to look into is voice lessons.

The boys had their first wresting competition.  Both boys were the first to score points in their match, but both boys ended up getting pinned.  They learned a lot and now know what skills they need to work on as well.
So many fun opportunities here.  So thankful to be here. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011


My Classroom

Nothing fancy, just the upstairs of the Festhalle.  It is really just an unfinished, open attic.

Today was the filming of the parade.
The kids and the rest of Leavenworth gathered downtown bright and early at 7am.  True to form it was a couple of hours until filming began.

I was able to watch the parade while all the actors were in it and snagged a few pictures.  My kids were able to be front and center in the crowd.  Hopefully the scene will make it in the picture.
Todd was able to be there as well as the Christian school showed up with all their kids.
It was another fun day.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Half Day

Today I only had to work a half day and I am not complaining.  Not that working with the kids is hard, just long.  What makes it even longer is that some of the children do not have work to do.  I don't have many resources but I brought in today an interactive book on the California Gold Rush for Jack, the nine year old.  I also had Jack and Shaye, who is eleven, read a story out of my unit study book on Slavery in the United States.  What can I say?  That is all I had.  I still had the laptop for them to play some ed. games with, but no one was interested.

Yesterday I said I would have a new student today.  Let me correct that.  Today I had four new students.  Three teenage boys that play the bullies in the movie - Jack the Jerk and his two cronies joined our class.  Also joining us was Jenna who is sixteen.  There is one more student but his mom is his legal teacher (What does that say about home school moms?  Just asking.) and so he is working with her in a different area.  There wasn't a minute of peace today except for the few moments when the kids and I would walk through the snow to the Kraft house or otherwise known as the snack shop.  The Krafty ladies keep a constant supply of food and drink for all those in the movie.

Tomorrow is the big day with a big parade going down front street.  Extras are called to be there at 7am to line the street.  Todd's school will be there as well as my kids.  I don't have to report to work until 8:30 so I plan to hang out on the street with them as long as I can.

I might get a few pictures for you.  I have hesitated about taking them because I wasn't sure how professional that would be.  The moms, however, of the kids are always taking snapshots to capture this moment, so maybe I can too. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

We're In the Movies

7AM we reported to work. 
The kids signed in as extras for the Ira Finklestein movie. 
I settled in to a full day of monitoring child actors do their school work.

One thing we learned today is that being in a movie is a lot of being ready to work and then waiting...and waiting...and waiting.  Did I mention that there is a lot of waiting involved?  The kids ended up sitting at their table for over five hours.  Brian finally got picked to go out with a group of people to walk down the street.  Bonnie and Bryce got their chance after lunch.  They were used as background shoppers in the Christmas store (Kris Kringle) while the main characters acted out their scene.  I got the privilege of watching the scene being filmed and was pretty impressed with everyone, my kids included.

We learned a lot today.  For one, bring more snacks.  Second, bring more to do - such as, school work, books to read, activity puzzles, or electronics.  You never know how long you will have to wait. 

They all report back on Thursday to appear in the Christmas parade and then back on Friday night.  Bonnie is hoping that on Friday they will have a sledding scene. 

Today I had two more young actors to monitor.  They were eight and nine and very pleasant to work with.  My challenge was that neither one had school work to do.  Fortunately, I took the advice of one of the moms to bring some educational games.  I brought with me a States and Capitals game and the kids loved it.  We must have played it four or five times.  The moms were excited too that their kids were practicing their states and capitals because they haven't learned them yet in school. 

Todd saved the day when he showed up with some laptop computers and hooked us up with some educational games for the kids to play.  They did some math and some language games for a while.

Hopefully tomorrow they will have some work to do.  I get a new actor tomorrow as well.  This young actor is thirteen and plays one of the bullies.  Don't worry.  I met him today, and he is a perfect gentleman.

I also learned that the set teacher is also a guardian or child advocate for the young actors.  It is my job to make sure they are treated well and I don't leave until they are all done acting even though school is over.

What an experience.  I can't wait to see what will happen tomorrow.