Thursday, December 29, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016!

A friend asked me what one thing she could pray for me during the Christmas holiday season, and my answer was "peace."  God answered so abundantly on Christmas Eve.  Our family celebration was peaceful and loving and everyone had good attitudes.  I am so very thankful! It was exactly what my mama's heart longed for.

Reading the Christmas story from my Grandpa's Bible.

The siblings drew names this year and only purchased a present for one sibling.  We called it "secret sibling" and all of them really liked it.  Daughter G loved her sweater and socks from son L!

Little Man had son G.

Daughter G had daughter H!

Daughter H had son L.

Son G had son C (wearing his two new hats).

And son C had Little Man.

A new scarf and CD from my oldest.

Yes, those are storm troopers with santa hats on.

I love this series of's this reaction that lets parents know they got the perfect gift!

My hubby and I wanted to be very intentional with giving daughter H a memory this year.  Something that communicated both love and truth.  So we gave her her own set of board books, and then read them to her while daughter G videotaped it.  We did not have the opportunity to read books to her when she was little, so now, Lord willing, when she looks at those books in her room she will remember the love she felt from us when we read them to her.

Christmas morning....stockings on mom and dad's bed!  (daughter H was already gone to her bio mom's house)

 Holidays are still somewhat treacherous for us, because they are for daughter H, but I am so thankful that God gave us a wonderful, peaceful, love-filled family celebration of Jesus' birth.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Our Week In Review

 I so love our history curriculum, Tapestry of Grace!   It is designed to be a four year cycle, and each year covers a specified amount of time beginning at creation and going all the way up to modern times.  In the fall of 2015 we began Year 2, which is the most packed year plan of the four.  It covers history from the fall of the Roman Empire (around 400 A.D.) to the presidency of John Adams (around 1800).  A LOT happened in the world during those 1400 years!  We got bogged down about halfway through the year last year and never finished.  So, as I have previously mentioned, we just picked up this fall where we had left off and kept going.

My high school boys have a very full plate of other classes this year, and we have done history as the "spine" of our school for many years, so my husband and I felt that they just did not need to do history as "full" as Tapestry is designed to do.  It is an amazing curriculum, but we moms need to be careful to control it, and not let it control us.  So this year I have essentially been cutting and changing each week's reading to make it a big lighter and more manageable for my kids.  I have been looking at the week's scheduled reading and accompanying questions, and separating out the various threads or themes and giving one to each of the boys.  They each have less work to do, but when we have our history discussion all together, each of them ends up learning from the others and I usually add a few comments to help them see how it all fits together.

This past week two of our boys worked on this:

(I changed the title, the reading, and the questions, so I am not sharing proprietary information from Tapestry of Grace by posting this photo!)  :)

Another of our boys read about the colonies that were chartered after the monarchy was re-established in England (hence they are called the "Restoration Colonies"), while Little Man worked on a comparison chart of four different Indian tribes.

I have found our discussions to be richer this year because each boy has in depth information on a single topic to share with the rest of us, rather than coming to discussion with several questions not answered because the workload was overwhelming.

This flexibility is one of the many things I love about Tapestry!

We did our usual math, grammar, science, and homework for various co-op classes (logic, economics, Latin).  I am so blessed to have our three high school boys in the English class I teach at our co-op. We are currently reading and annotating the novel My Name is Asher Lev, about an Orthodox Jewish boy who has an extraordinary artistic talent, and how his exercise of that talent creates conflict within his family and within his Jewish community.  It is fascinating and I am really enjoying the discussions we are having in class.

The highlight of my week was the fun date my husband and I went on to his new company's Christmas dinner/party.  It was super classy, at a beautiful venue, with amazingly delicious food.  SO THANKFUL he has a job!!

Christmas Tree!

When daughter G was home for Thanksgiving last weekend we took that opportunity to get and decorate our tree.  I always love this!

Each of the children now have quite a collection of their own personal ornaments to put on the tree.

Daughter H...

Daughter G...

Son G...

Son L....

Son C....

And Little Man.

One of my treasured ornaments from a dear friend!

This picture freaks me out a little bit....look how tall Little Man is getting!

I didn't want ALL the lights to be in the family room, so put some in our dining room, too.

The finished tree!