Friday, December 30, 2016

He Gave Everything 2016

Last December, I had lunch with our church's Music Minister to discuss
the dramas our church was going to present during the upcoming year.
We discussed the major holidays and we laid out some
general plans for Christmas 2016.
I handed him a script I had directed many years ago in a former church 
which had been warmly received
that I felt still had a very relevant message for today!!
He was very receptive to it, and in September we began casting and rehearsals.

Garrett had been begging me to not make him 
be a part of the junior choir anymore,
and I needed a young boy for our story, 
so he was happy for a way out of singing!!
Aryn got to sing in the children's choir during the performance,
and Ashlyn also worked all through the fall season on her part too!!
It was a collaborative labor of love for our family, 
and what a blessing it was to present!!!

He Gave Everything 2016


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Family Service Project: Christmas 2016

One of the things I like to do over our Christmas break is to 
participate in a project as a family that gives and helps those
in our community who are less fortunate than most.
There really is no better way to teach your children to think
outside the little bubble of themselves
and to see that they really have so very much to be grateful for.
Children learn compassion when they see what it is.
When they are taught how to find those in need.
To look for those they can show their appreciation to as well.

I don't know why we've never gotten involved with this
community project before, but it's one we'll definitely do again!!

My children so enjoyed getting to wrap presents for children
who most likely would receive nothing for Christmas.
We wrapped all the gifts for a family who have NINE children with
another baby on the way!
Then, once that was done, we moved on to another family with FIVE children!

Later in the week, we were able to participate in delivering all these gifts, 
along with staple and pantry items, to many of these families!

For more ideas on service projects you can get involved
in as a family, click here.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merriest of Christmases!!

"Christ, who called all things into being, gives you sun and moon and stars, the earth under you and sky over you, and this ocean of air for every breath that fills every lung of every living thing--to you, to you, to you!! We live in an ocean of grace. 
And when we sinned and weren't satisfied with what God gives, as if we refused to breath air and died, when we longed for something different, something more, something, better, He came and GAVE US HIMSELF.......'Take Me? Let Me be your enough? 
Always now, no matter what--let ME be your enough.'
You can have this as the best Christmas ever as much 
as you gaze into your Father's face and receive His gift.....
Christ, the always Gift for all our days." ~The Greatest Gift

"For God so loved that He gave...."
May you and yours bask in the joy and peace and grace of His lavish love today....for you!! As witnessed through the unspeakable gift of Jesus. 
Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Textiles and Clothing Construction Class: Project #1 Jammie Pants

This fall I've had the charming privilege
of, once again, teaching Family and Consumer Science classes
to the high school girls at our homeschool program.
Last year I taught Beginning Foods and
Beginning Sewing and Crafts.
This year, the girls wanted to continue to learn
and expand on the skills we explored, so I'm teaching
Textiles and Clothing Construction this fall semester.
Next semester, we delve into Advanced Foods.

We spent the first few weeks of the new school year learning
about fabrics and textiles and how to care for synthetic and natural
fibers.  We also discussed how to choose fabrics that are the most
appropriate for the garment or project you are making.
In this class, we are constructing three garments from a pattern.
The first garment we made was pajama pants.
The girls did such a good job,
and they loved how this project turned out!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Glimpses of Christmas 2016

Busy times these days in December.
Rehearsals, parties, Christmas programs, sweet treats, gifting, and athletics.
All while we wait.
Anticipate a coming.
Look for an arrival!
Be present.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Simple. Sane. Sacred: Homeschooling around the holidays

Thinking on this this year:  How to have a simple, sane....sacred Christmas.
I just love that thought.
I makes me heave a huge sigh of relief.
Things can get so crazy in December.
And just as we kick of this season of celebrating, it's hard not to get caught up in the frenzy that fills the air the day after we are being so thankful for all we have.
I want our home to be a place of peace....and fun!!
We love Christmas.....but I want us to keep our perspective and remember the reason we are celebrating anyway.
That always strips away the need to overdo, overspend.....all the overkill!!
Keeping it simple this year, and here are some thoughts about keeping the homeschooling meaningful but not overwhelming in December!!

When my children were younger, this didn't seem to be as overwhelming to me as it has become now that we have more students in our homeschool with a broader range of ages and needs.
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, my to-do list gets longer and longer every day.
Not only are there the regular daily activities of washing and folding laundry, meal planning, meal preparation, care of sick children, lesson planning, and homeschooling, but throw in making gift lists, making gifts, trekking to the post office and mailing said gifts, extra choir/music rehearsals, wrapping gifts, planning Advent themed activities, and a plethora of extra Christmas dinners/gatherings to prepare for!
It can make one Mama lose the "joy of Christmas" and her mind real quick!!

But over time, I've learned that slowing down and simplifying make this time of year much more enjoyable for our entire family.
This December, I'm just keeping the children up with bare bones schooling......think "readin', writin' and 'rithmetic."
They are all involved with their individual choirs at church and have solos to memorize and speaking parts to learn for their Christmas programs.  Don't forget those extra rehearsals I mentioned earlier.
I count that as "Fine Arts."

In the next week or so, we'll be busy making all the goodies we usually make every year for gifts for all their friends and teachers {at church}.
You can click here to get a glimpse of crafts we have done in the past.
I count that as "Arts and Crafts," "Math," {figuring out how many of each we need to make}and "Family and Consumer Sciences."

This year, I want to get each of my children involved in creating and writing a Christmas letter complete with pictures.
I count that as "Creative Writing."

I love to read stories from "A Little House Christmas" while the children are working on seat work.
I count that as "History."

One of our favorite family traditions is going here!!
It just really brings to life for the children what was going on during the time Christ was born.
I count that as "Bible History."

There are so many other ways you can be creative in incorporating homeschool into what is already available in your community at Christmas time.  It's what makes memories!!

The article below addresses this topic even further, and was so encouraging to me!!