Sunday, December 5, 2021

Christmas School~

December is such a beautiful shift for our learning life with Christmas school which just means we pull all the Christmas books, throw in some projects, eat lots of yummy treats, and add maths. We are choosing a few things from RAR's Christmas list paired with LTL's guide. Here are the things we read on Monday. In The Cat on the Dovrefell, the family ate rice pudding so we made some for the very first time and BOY was it delicious!!! We also read the sweet book by Patricia Pollacco, The Trees of the Dancing Goats because of our goat visit on Sunday~

We are enjoying several things for Advent; daily we are watercoloring a Christmas picture from Lily and thistle and copying a scripture in a little book. This is our language study for Dec... So simple and so meaningful~

These kids LOVE the kitchen and are fully IN when I mention something like making Rice Pudding plus it means I can read and read and read while they eat and eat and eat~

We hadn't seen little bit since Thanksgiving so we went over for a minute and she was already in bed but not asleep so Mimi got her up and she put on a silly show for us. We laughed and laughed. She knows when she's being funny~ 

Here are a few of the other Advent things we are using for December: The Wonder of the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp, Hallelujah by Cindy Rollins, and Waiting Here for You by Louie Gigglio~ 

For morning time we have a new hymn and poem and I had just the book to pair with the poem~
LOVE this book~ the illustrations are magical!!!

We took full advantage of Amazon Black Friday sale on electronics and bought Kindle Fires for everyone mostly so they could do their math on Teaching Textbooks app but also so they could game in a secure and safe place like Kids+. They are very diligent now for math because that transfers to gaming time for rest time. We finished The Singing Tree and LOVED it SO much, we ordered 5 other books by Kate Seredy~
We also read the balloon book because we watched the parade on Thanksgiving Day (a favorite of our's now) and a new book this year was Ming's Christmas Wishes which was so poignant sharing how it feels to be misunderstood both at home and out because of cultural difference; something the kids don't have to experience since they are home with each other most of the time so it's such a great way for them to experience feelings like this through characters in books!

Another favorite is The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree and we made angels by folding printed copies of our hymn of the month musical sheet. They were so surprised I actually hung them on the tree. I thought they were SO beautiful~

We got this idea from LTL's list of Christmas books/ideas~
Our new read-aloud is A Tree for Peter by Kate Seredy and we love it! It's going to be a fast read but is so sweet! I see a tree them here with all the tree books this week! We are also listening to Letters from Father Chrismas as so we get ready for St. Nicholas' Day on Monday!

Not much going on at our house this week other than HVAC, tubs installed, and sheetrock delivered. OH and we cleaned up out front. That feels much better~

We're also working on exterior paint colors too~

ALWAYS so wonderful to get midweek photos of the babies~

I don't share often what I'm read although I consider myself an avid reader plus everyone's reading style is so individual BUT I have to share this book... Patti Callahan's Once Upon a Wardrobe and I LOVE it. I'm not even done and I'm wanting everyone to know about it. It's a fictional story based on real events from CS Lewis' life and it's probably resinating with me because we just read Prince Caspian. At any rate, I think I am going to get the audible version and let the kids listen to it if it turns out okay. I'll let you know. I love knowing that he and Tolkien were good chaps and we're reading his book right now~

I really loved this quote from the book, 

"Every life should be guided and
enriched by one book or another,
don't you agree? Certainly, every
formative moment in my life has
been enriched or informed by a
book. You must be very careful
about what you choose to read
unless you want to stay stuck in
your opinions and hard-boiled
thoughts, you must be very careful."
Patti Callahan
Once Upon a Wardrobe

I think this is why I am super-careful in sharing what we read as a family. I want to only read and share the very best of literature because it is all forming us both inside and out. Reading and discussing together is one of our favorite things to do and I think it sets them up to be choosy all on their own. 

As we read The Singing Tree, we wondered the whole time why it was titled this and it wasn't until the last chapter that we learned the reason. The book was quite thought-provoking and gave us a lot to talk about and it left me wondering why Kate Seredy wrote the story. I couldn't believe it hadn't dawned on me to research the author and once I did, I was SO intrigued. I shared it with the kids with a couple of Youtube videos and guess what happened? We wanted to read more. THAT is what a wholesome literary life is about... wanting more of the good, lovely, and beautiful! So like I said earlier, we ordered more books by Seredy and plan to read until we've quenched the thirst. First up will be The Good Master.

EC went to bed saying she wanted something good to eat the next morning and since CA was the first one up, we decided to make bacon and Christmas tree pancakes and it made everyone happy~

It just happened that NY had lit the Rockefeller Plaza tree so we read The Great Spruce and Legend of the Christmas Tree~

What I haven't shared is the kids have been dropping like flies this week with colds, coughing, and tiredness. Finally, I took WP to the dr and he was diagnosed with bronchitis and the beautiful thing... our dr sent me home with meds for everyone!!! I am SO hoping they are feeling better over the weekend~

Millstone Homes bought a tractor for various things on the job sites... you KNOW the boys are excited~

AND Santa dropped off an early Christmas gift to us today... a new golf cart for the WHOLE family to cart around in when we get to the new house. EVERYONE was excited about this~

Josh, Savannah, and the boys are having a fun weekend in Colorado Springs~

The main part of their trip was a Polar Express ride through the gorgeous Rockies. That smile says it all~

SO magical~

Love these little elves~

I loved looking into the sunroom to see CA reading her FAVORITE Christmas book to HER favorite dog~
She is working very hard on reading music and her new violin piece!

Our little Angel Scottie went to see Santa this weekend and she wasn't a fan UNTIL it was time to say BYE!~
Merry Christmas for sure!!!

And lastly... Once Upon a Wardrobe was wonderful and I immediately handed it to EK and she loves it too plus I read The Christmas Promise in one day so that proves it was a perfect Christmas read~
And that's just the first week of Christmas school... can't wait for next week!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving Week~

Last Sunday the flowers in my parents' church were placed in honor of my grandmother and the sunflowers in the arrangement were grown by my dad. What a beautiful tribute to his mom! EC woke up wanting to paint for school so we found a watercolor lesson with Lily & Thistle~

Our paintings really honored my dad (Pop) too!!!

In our read-aloud The Singing Tree, the dad has been called to war and we read Twenty-One Steps to go with it. What a wonderful book which sure piqued interest so we watched the changing of the guards~

Our niece Jessica flew to spend the week with Nan and her family and they had a CO grand time~

Miss Scottie came to spend the day with us Wednesday, and we were THRILLED to have her! What a precious Thanksgiving gift~

I was excited to take Christmas photos of my brother's family at their farm. What a beautiful family~

We made a chocolate pound cake for Thanksgiving so everyone got a cake batter spoon! I LOVED licking the spoon and bowl and beaters 😂 when my grandmother used to make cakes too~

Mimi sent this photo of sweet Scottie in her Christmas tutu which she brings to her so she can put it on~

Savannah and her family with Jessica took beautiful Thanksgiving photos on their way to spend the holiday with friends~

As soon as everyone began arriving we asked Rosie to take our family photo. EK had asked we take one in our house before we move in a couple of months. I think they turned out pretty special~

Two bigs were here and one in our hearts and we loved seeing all their smiling faces! I am SOOOO thankful for every single one of them~

Everyone came to our house and we ate and ate and ate and ate~

Gathered around tables was definitely NOT taken for granted this year... SO thankful for togetherness~

I was thankful to ALL the ones who brought their delicious dishes for us to enjoy. Many hands make light work and I sure agree with that~
It was one of the sweetest days we had had in a long time and loved every single minute!!!

Nan and her family were able to cut their own Christmas tree in the National Forest! I know the boys were proud of their lumberjack dad~

Now ALL the bigs have their trees up and decorated for the season. I ADORE each one~

My sister and her husband Chris came home for Thanksgiving and we were able to spend lots of time together! I will never stop telling my mom thank you for giving us each other. She's the sweetest, funniest, kindest, and most loving person you could know. I am SO thankful I get to call her sister and best friend~

Today we were SO excited to go out and help our new neighbors (that have a farm) place over a thousand bulbs into their Christmas lights along their fence line~
They have cows, chickens, turkeys, donkeys, and goats so Mr. Scott let them feed and pet all the animals. He is also going to let our horse, Buddy live there when we move so we are excited about that!

We went over to our house of course and took a LOOOOOOONG walk which was greatly needed after such a big few days. LOVE going there so much~

This is one update from the week: The foam insulation was sprayed and HVAC was completed so sheetrock is coming soon~

I sure hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving Week too! Blessings and love to you all!

Sunday, November 21, 2021

LOTS to be Thankful for~

 It's a very good week when it starts with photos of your big/grandchildren. They are quite the hikers these days. And they are getting pretty tall~

OH and the little pony Scottie wearing these days just makes me cry she's so cute~
SO very thankful for photos sent to me when I can't always be near!

Here is a photo EK sent to me of our sweet old Sadie who closed her eyes for good last Friday~ ❤️
Love and miss you Pretty Pup!

Monday felt like an Art day so we dusted off our chalk pastels and painted scenes from Cranberry Thanksgiving which is by FAR my favorite thankful book~

We loved doing a lesson with Nana @ChalkPastel and reading our Thanksgiving books~ 

We ALWAYS trace silhouettes each year which is also another favorite holiday thing ~

SO simple: Sit them in front of a window and fill the frame to snap a photo then print. Place copy with black construction paper and cut carefully around the profile then rubber cement to white cardstock~
I always laminate them and use them for the cover of their art portfolios for the year!

We couldn't leave out the pets either~

A few sweet moments I took with my phone: 
HM and CA are really into making books these days and love reading them too. 
Coco loves sleeping right beside anyone who will pet her.
CA SO proud of a little box she found for her crayons~

I ordered a few things from the store to have a cranberry tasting party~
And how surprised I was to find this mix for muffins so we went with it and OH SO delish!!!

CA and EC were up first and made them for breakfast plus sausage spirals~

We painted Autumn Wreaths with Lily and thistle while we ate~

We copied a poem by Irene Latham and learned about Odes~

This is the book we found the poem in plus we read this beautiful book about Squanto... wow, what a story~
We enjoyed the author event for A Place to Hang the Moon. Kate Albus was absolutely delightful and we are SO hoping she has a sequel one of these days!

LOOK what the grandboys got this week... A Snowy Day! SO magical~
They also decorated for Christmas too~

Wednesday we took the kids to Atlanta for our traditional Christmas Day to see Santa. On the way, we ran an errand to pick out of our Quartz and we rode by the first little house Scott and I lived in 35 years ago when we got married~
We also took the kids to see the furniture we ordered and the view from the 6th-floor veranda was amazing! 

We went to a few of my favorite stores and then it was time for...

SANTA! It is so sweet to see the big kids love on the younger ones in pure Christmas Spirit~ 🎄
We also ate dinner at our fav, Maggiano's which was DELISH!!!

Nature day was all about Legumes which was cool so we ate peanuts since we live in Georgia~

On the way to Atlanta, we listened to Prince Caspian. I don't know why but this time of year has me yearning for CS Lewis and this story was wonderful! We also read a 'food' Thanksgiving books too~
Do you know about these devotional books for children by Louie Giglio? We have all three and the kids love them. We like to read one each night as we finish dinner. Another great family tradition!

Little Scottie came to hang out Friday morning and we couldn't have been happier!!! She loved the trees and playing with the toys she had probably forgotten she had here~

We all wrote stories of our Christmas Day in Atlanta and used that $50 pack of photos they make you buy just to walk up and see Santa. It's worth it for the sweet, sweet stories they wrote. I love making an Idea Board when we get ready to write something because it gets the ideas flowing and helps with spelling too~
We had fresh berries in the fridge so we made some sugar cookie dough, stuck a few on top, and ate while we wrote!

Our last thing for the week was reading more of The Singing Tree which was about a Hungarian wedding and Learning through Literature gave us links to watch some of the dances. It reminded me again why I love these studies so much because I don't really have to worry whether I am covering certain things... eventually, they will roll around and music just was the thing~
I also pulled all the Christmas books because, after Thanksgiving, we start Christmas school!!!

HAD to share a new game my friend Stephanie told us about AND the yummy treats EC made this week and we called them EC's 

Saturday we enjoyed going to Slate's play, Annie~
He was so adorable and remembered his lines and songs with great excitement!!!

House New this Week~

The rebar was installed in the pool. SO amazing to watch those men work~

A couple of days later, they poured the Shotcrete AND some of the windows came in~

It is amazing to enjoy the view through real windows... THAT VIEW~❤️❤️❤️

The other big thing was beams on the porches~

These men were definitely THE bravest ever... hoisting the beams into place then climbing 22ft above the ground to brace them into place. Totally changed the view from the screened porch... gorgeous~

Lots of siding and shake went on where windows were in~

It won't be long until the community dock is in place so we now have a pavilion for picnics and hanging out as a neighborhood~

The kids approved~

On Saturdays, we go out to pick up around the house inside and out and it was quite amazing to see the progress in just one week~
Even as we dream of our new house, I am surely going to miss all the things I LOVE about our old house... like this view from my kitchen when the fall tree has just turned. Thank you Jesus for all the memories of the past AND for the best that is yet to come. 

Christmas School~

December is such a beautiful shift for our learning life with Christmas school which just means we pull all the Christmas books, throw in so...