Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Homeschool Break?

Do home schoolers break for the Christmas holiday? We do and I would imagine most home school families do break for this time of year. But we are not the typical home school family. Unfortunately, I am bound by our public school calendar for the most part. It's hard to get AH to do anything when his public-schooled brother is still in bed or going out with his friends. When I step back from my worrying, I realize the learning doesn't stop. AH is fervently working on the new Lego sets he received for Christmas. Amazingly for him, he picked out a new chapter book to begin reading. AH is also making his way through the Planet Earth series (a birthday-Christmas present from big sis and her boyfriend). These chances to learn without Mom overseeing everything is what I try to re-create during our official "schooling" days, but there really isn't anything like the real thing! Besides, it's Christmas break and breaks are for kicking back and relaxing, too! This also gives me a break to organize my files and plans, to make sure we are on track, and do some rearranging or editing of some units. Of course, this gives me time to do some things I've been itching to do. I'm working on my crocheting much more. Doug and I have had some time to spend together. And the education room is looking much better since I de-cluttered it and put things back into their rightful places. Actually, the WHOLE HOUSE is looking better since we've been on break! We also can't dismiss the importance of mental breaks...for student and "teacher"!!! I know I am looking forward to returning to our regular schedule, but will cherish the breaks I'm provided by the school district as an opportunity to break out of our learning ruts and patterns and spark some self discovery!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Best Christmas Present...EVER!

My husband and I agreed that this year we were not going to exchange expensive gifts. But making things was okay. I once received a beautiful poem from him when we were young and poor and I mentioned to him this year that I would love another one. Doug loves to tease me about my fascination with the Twilight series of books. He often comments that he is my Edward and is always on the look out to save my life. Not much call for that here in central Minnesota. So when I opened up the card that came with my present and it said, "A love story Greater than Edward and Bella..." I expected a love poem about Doug and me, but what I received was much different. He wrote a love story about our youngest, AH, and me, his mother. By writing this poem, I get to see my relationship with our youngest through Doug's eyes. I debated whether I should show you a picture of the gift because it contains our son's name, but decided that it was worth it. It is entitled, Austen's Song, and Austen (or AH, as you have come to know him) decorated it.

Austen's Song

By Doug

She saved his soul

his self esteem

She made him whole

with eyes that gleam

a broken boy

now restored

Her rescue ship

to climb aboard

Her arms outreach

they search and find

She loves to teach

She sculpts his mind

A boy of length

his wondrous ball

He gains strength

She'll catch his fall

She gives every care

She ensures the fun

Journeys everywhere

She sees each run

Her gentle touch

His tender disposition

They love very much

their own tradition

from the very start

their love so pure

joined at the heart

the perfect cure

She loves his smile

and his frowns

Her love for him

knows no bounds

For him,

there is no other

no better friend

Only his mother

His song

sung for you

His love

forever true

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday, December 15th, 2008...

Outside my window... is a cold, frigid day but a blanket of snow was laid last night making everything clean and beautiful.

I am thinking...that I have a lot to do before Christmas!

I am thankful for...the time I spent with my family yesterday.

From the learning rooms...Just the basics this week (Math, Reading, Writing, Spelling) plus a fun Christmas story and craft each day.

From the kitchen...hopefully, cranberry cookies, since we will be reading Cranberry Christmas today.
I am wearing...jeans and a sweatshirt(gosh I'm boring!)

I am creating...memories!

I am going...to drop AH off at Scouts while I do some quick shopping!

I am reading...Twilight...again!!!

I am hoping...I can feel better soon, I was laid up in bed Friday and Saturday and I still feel drained!

I am hearing...my beeper go off! Time is up! Back to our studies!!!

Around the house...Christmas decorations make me happy.

One of my favorite things...is having a Christmas tree to look at.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Shopping, picking up our lamb at the butchers, baking, having fun!!!!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Maggies Favorite Cranberry Cookies!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Birthday Wrap Up

Well, the weekend of celebrating came to a quiet end last night. It all began on Thursday night when we celebrated AH's birthday with a family dinner. AN and MB joined us for the carbo-load that AH planned for us! They were brave souls!!

On Friday night, AH had his buddies over for the night.

Six energetic 10 and 11 year olds, pizza, cake, snacks and pop! I'm sure you get the picture!! They claim they were up until 4 am, but when I woke up around 3 am, there was no sound coming from downstairs. They say they were just being quiet! Anyway you look at it, AH had a fabulous time with his friends. What a great bunch they are! Saturday was a quiet day at home for all of us. I think we needed some time to decompress. AH spent the day putting his new Lego sets together and having a nerf tag war with his older brother! On Sunday, I took my mother to an Icelandic language Christmas service. The liturgy and most prayers were in Icelandic, but the sermon and 2 songs were in English. It was a nice quiet late afternoon service. Afterwards she and I stopped in to our favorite coffee shope (the Dunn Bros. Coffee shop on Fairview Avenue) for a cup of coffee and a treat! Their roaster is great!!! I've never had a bad cup of coffee there! When we got home, I pulled out our Christmas decorations and put up our tree while listening to Christmas music. AH and I decorated while AD did homework nearby, Doug made dinner, and my mom watched, supervised, chatted, and ate with us.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Happy 11th Birthday, AH!!

Today my baby turns 11 so he gets to plan our dinner:

Tortellinni with Pesto
Crescent Rolls
DQ ice cream cake

Big Sis is coming to dinner for the celebration too! Our family will truly be together tonight!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs #16: Candy

This week it’s seriously going to be just fun. This week share your favourite candies. I know from being on the HSBA Post team that Sprittibee and Dawn love gummy-bears, and maybe Bunny too. Have fun with this… and you’re welcome to post a photo of YOU eating your favourite candy. Haha!
God’s Word is also like sweetness to our souls. His sweet love, forgiveness, comfort, peace, and more is what makes our lives seem a little more bearable when things get rough. Whenever you eat your sweet piece of goodness remember that God loves you and will always be there when life seems sour.
Share a scripture for this week as well. One that lifts you up when you’re feeling discouraged.

Candy, huh?!
Unfortunately, I have a wicked sweet tooth, so I can enjoy many different candies. But there are two I cannot live without! I believe, like so many women, that life without chocolate would hardly be worth living! I enjoy dark chocolate with a cup of coffee. Mmmmm...(Is it too early at 9 am for chocolate?! I've got my coffee right here!) Sometimes, though, I like a little fun in my chocolate and the only thing that helps that craving is M&M's! I like to buy several kinds and mix them all up.
The second candy I cannot live without is Icelandic licorice. And, yes, it HAS to be Icelandic! It is black, a little sharp and absolutely delicious! Unfortunately, I don't live in Iceland, so I depend upon the goodness of my visiting relatives (have I mentioned that I'm 1/2 Icelandic?) and friends from Iceland to fill my larder with licorice. The absolute best way to enjoy Icelandic licorice is to use it as a straw in real Coca-Cola. Mmmmmm...my inner 10 year old is calling to me! Alas, I'm out of licorice right now. If any of you readers are in Iceland right now...hint, hint, hint....
My scripture today has nothing to do with sweets, but really keeps me going at all times (much like chocolate!):
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
- Philippians 4:4 - 9

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, December 1st, 2008...

Outside my window...A beautiful blanket of white covers our lawn.
I am thinking...about making a quilt for AD using his old sports jerseys and t-shirts
I am thankful for...My new dryer!!! (see picture below!)
From the learning rooms...Vikings, Vikings, and more Vikings!!!
From the kitchen...will come one of our favorite dinners: Stir Fry!
I am wearing...a dark gray hooded sweatshirt and jeans
I am creating...a plan for AH's birthday dinner on Thursday and for his sleep-over on Friday night.
I am going...shopping this afternoon to get art supplies for the party and for school, then to the grocery store for vegetables for dinner
I am reading...Nothing! I've finished everything in the house!
I am hoping...to find something interesting to read
I am hearing...AH working on some handwriting (lots of muttering!)
Around the house...not much is happening. We usually wait until after AH's birthday to decorate for Christmas
One of my favorite things...is my new dryer!!!
A few plans for the rest of the week:Cub Scouts, ball room dancing for Doug and me, a visit to my sister-in-law, batting and throwing practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays starts this week for AH and me! AH's 11th birthday is Thursday and we have his sleep over party on Friday night!
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Heaven on Earth!
Thank you, Peggy, for this wonderful idea!