Friday, January 20, 2017

Weekly Wrap Up - Shakespeare, History and Art

Over the weekend, the girls youth group at church had their annual all night event.  We dropped them off at 5:30pm on Saturday and retrieved them after church on Sunday.   Between going to an indoor jump park, laser tag, pillow fights and a great speaker and praise band these kids were worn out, but in a great way.   While they were gone, Tom and I traveled out to the American Shakespeare Center and watched the opening night of the Merchant of Venice.     I LOVED the show!

Here are my little warriors during the laser tag...they got killed, a.lot.

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Last week, I mentioned that Olivia was gathering information to prepare to create an art project for a local festival poster contest.   This week she sat down with her pile of books and sketched a lovely rainbow trout, then used watercolors to add color.   She spend a great deal of time on the whole project, and we were all very pleased with how it turned out.  The colors in the finished product look more natural in person, I just could not get a good lighting situation no matter what I did.
Lindsey is working on a new history product for a review we're working on.   Let me say, my non history lover is really liking this program!  Here's a sneak peek!
The girls have been steadily chugging through their academic load.  I have to say that I'm really proud of the fact that I can be out of the house for meetings/appointments during the day and know that when I return they will have actually done their work (even if they do consume a great deal of snack food).

I spent the better part of Tuesday in various meetings.  The most time consuming being a planning meeting for next year's co-op.   It's going to be MUCH different than this year, but I won't share any spoilers yet since some of the members are readers, grins.

We've had some nice weather this week.   It's been warm and sunny for two days straight, which I know won't last long, but it's been lovely none the less.   I love to sit in the sunporch and see the sunshine streaming in through the windows while lessons are being worked on.

I know it's inauguration week and everyone is studying, watching, predicting... but really, we just didn't.   Not because I don't think it's important, but to the contrary I couldn't stand to see the disrespect being shown, and too because well, we don't have cable tv and our internet is slow.   I am super proud of our local military academy as they will be marching in the inauguration parade!

Olivia has her final JLS party at the museum tonight.  It's hard to believe her two year stretch has ended.   I know she'll miss it a great deal.   She's waiting to turn 16 so she can be a regular volunteer.  In the meanwhile, we'll prepare Lindsey to apply in the fall.

Have a great weekend!

Linking up with the Weekly Wrap Up.
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Monday, January 16, 2017

Parenting With Grace and Truth (Book Review)

As any parent can attest, children do not come with an instruction manual when they are born.  But, those who have been through various stages of parenting can often be a lifeline to those who are floundering in the murky new waters.   Parenting With Peace and Grace and Truth by Dan Seaborn is one of those lifelines.

In this book, Seaborn addresses topics including developing Godly character in your children, discovering your children's unique talents and abilities, parenting through a crisis and blended families, to name a few.   This is not a "do step one, then step two" type of book.   Rather, it gives you some framework for you to build upon in your journey through parenting.

One thing I truly admire about Seaborn in this book, is his transparency.   While he doesn't divulge unnecessary, personal information, he does share the story of his prodigal daughter, Anna, and how Seaborn and his wife practiced what they preach during, and after, Anna's rebellious period.   Truthfully, it's sometimes nice to see that others have struggles, you know what I mean? 

At the end of each of the eight chapters there is a "Questions to Consider" section. Here you'll find some suggestions for action, followed by a question on how to apply those suggestions to your life.   For example at the end of chapter 7, question 1 reads:

1. Get rid of the clutter in your life so you can make room for the real treasure - your family!

What junk in your life may be preventing you form making time for your family?
The layout of the book lends itself easily to individual study, study as a couple or as a group study for a parenting class.  Scripture references are scattered throughout the book, giving you a Biblical basis for what is being taught.  Whichever format you use, this book is sure to give you insight into your parenting, and your children's development.

About Dan Seaborn:

Dan encourages individuals and families to lead Christ-centered homes. As a featured speaker at various churches and large-scale events such as Promise Keepers weekends, American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) conferences, and university assemblies, Dan has earned recognition as a powerful and passionate communicator. In addition, he has authored twelve books, has established himself as a media personality on national radio and regional television, and holds a master’s degree in Christian ministries. Dan is the founder of Winning At Home, Inc., and serves as the Director for the Marriage & Family Division of the AACC.

I received a free copy of this book for review purposes.  All thoughts and opinions expressed are strictly my own.  I was not required to write a positive review, nor did I receive any compensation for my review.
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Friday, January 13, 2017

Weekly Wrap Up - Our First Snow Day

We started off our week (well, weekend) with single digit temps and several inches of snow that the weather forecaster insisted wouldn't happen.   SURPRISE.  The girls had gone to a sleep over in the next town over, so we had to make the trip over on Saturday to pick them up.   Other than completely sliding through one intersection and almost hitting another car head on, the trip was uneventful (she says with a tone).  Please note, I wasn't the driver.  Unfortunately, the girls were too tired from the sleep over to play in the snow when we got home, and with the single digits, it turned to a solid sheet of ice by mid afternoon.

We had our co-op class this week.   My cultures and art classes focused on Sweden.   I made some delicious Swedish butter cookies to share and we worked on drawings of the Swedish Dala horse. As usual, I was too busy teaching to take photos, but I did steal this one from a friend.
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If you want a really easy, not too sweet cookie for an afternoon snack, you must try the Swedish butter cookies.   The cookies are similar to a biscotti texture, very tasty.  Here's the recipe:
  • 1 cup butter softened
    1 cup granulated sugar
    2 tsp. maple syrup
    2 cups all purpose flour
    1 tsp. baking soda

    Preheat over to 300. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add syrup. Combine flour and baking soda, then add to the creamed mixture and mix well.

    Divide dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a 9-inch log. Place 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. While warm, cut into 1 inch slices. Allow to cook completely. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Lindsey finished up her Science Shepherd Intro to Science curriculum.   Now she'll focus fully on the Apologia Astronomy.   She's already about halfway through Apologia, so she'll probably finish that up early as well.

Olivia is working on an art project to submit for a local festival poster contest.   The "spirit animal" this year is the rainbow trout, so Olivia has spent time at the library collecting books to learn more about the shape, coloring and mannerisms of the rainbow trout before she starts to draw.   It's amazing how much effort she puts into the things that catch her interest.

We've finished a lot of school work this week, and I'm researching curriculum for next year.   I borrowed one of my top picks from a friend to look at before I made my final decision...boy I'm glad I did.   Olivia HATED it, and honestly I wasn't at all thrilled with it either.  Now the search continues.

That's about it for this week, nothing overly exciting to share.   How was your week?

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Friday, January 6, 2017

Weekly Wrap Up - Hello 2017

The holiday's are behind us and we're well into the first full week of 2017!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas season with your families and friends.   We had a good Christmas.  We got to spend time with both sides of the family, have some "just the four of us" family time and enjoyed each others company.

Christmas morning started out with our traditional eggnog french toast and bacon.   Doesn't this just look YUMMY?   I wish I'd thought ahead and bought some extra eggnog to freeze for later in the winter.
We then opened gifts before heading off to church.    My history lover was downright giddy over her collection of audio dramas and my super active kid was thrilled with her new bike.  The irony being that the audio dramas cost more than the bike.
We celebrated New Year's Eve with my brother, and had fun with some photo props I picked up.  My brother's little dog has become quite the little party animal, snicker.


January 2 was my husband's birthday, and our last official "celebration".  Can I just say I'm really just over food for a while!   Between holiday meals and sweets and birthday cake, I'm just done!
Tuesday morning was back to the gym and back to our normal homeschool routine.   We've hit the gym every morning, and again in the evenings on Tuesday and Thursday.   Basketball practice resumed on Wednesday evening, along with the class I teach at our church.   The girls I.E.W. class also started back today.   It's been a smooth week for the most part, with the exception of the dreaded 11 day break sounded like a good idea before Christmas, ahem.

In case you missed it, last week I shared our 2016 Academic Year in Review to get a handle on where we are and where we are heading.    I also shared (just this morning) about my theme word for 2017.

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2017-The Year of the Do-Over

The girls received several cool games for Christmas, the type of game where you have to have skill, patience and a little bit of luck to win. The youngest had been working on one of her games for quite a while, when she made a mistake that cost her all the work she'd been doing. I heard her call out "REDO!" as she started the whole process over.

It was right about here that my adult mind grasped a child like truth, we can get a "redo". Now granted there are some things you just can't redo (death and taxes come to mind). However, every morning when we wake up, we get a opportunity to make today better than yesterday. As you have probably guessed by now, my word for 2017 is REDO!!
I want to redo a few areas of my life.  I'm already working towards a thinner, healthier me.   I want to redo one more room here in the house that I haven't made over, and touch up a few that I have already worked on.   I want to get a redo on relationships and spend more time with actual people and less time reading about people online.

I want to take advantage of every day, as an opportunity to improve on the day before, and take advantage of every REDO I'm afforded.

Linking up with Word for the Year 2017!
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