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Exploring Countries & Cultures {USA - Weeks 3 & 4}


Looking back on these pictures (since this is way back in early November), brings back sweet memories.  I love seeing these two learning together side-by-side.  They are learning so much and it isn't hard, it's simply because our learning moments are back to short, meaningful lessons with lots of literature and hands-on fun, but primarily because my girls are learning together.  Little moments involving big sister helping little sister are cherished.

We had a lot of fun learning about the United States.  It was a perfect moment to pull out our North America Continent Box!  I just watched and my heart remembered that these are the moments I want to treasure.  Often times, I found myself sitting down to join them.  I made a Bible bookmark with them, and even colored the map challenge of the United States.  Our "book suitcase" was packed full.  Their grandparents visited the Grand Canyon and mailed a special package with a puzzle of the National Parks.

We took a very long unexpected break from our travels.  We had a death in the family, sickness, an ambulance ride to the ER, recovery time, a bout with congestion and colds, the holidays, among other health battles of mine.  I am so grateful that we stayed on top of our Language Arts & Math during this time but we are more than ready to jump back into our journey around the world.  Because of our change in curriculum earlier in the year and these other battles, we will be working hard to still finish by summer.  I've made out a schedule to double up each country.  {For instance, the Schedule for Canada is two weeks, and instead we will be learning about Canada for only 1 week.}  The girls and I are up for the challenge and my main goal is to end this school year with a foundation of the countries and cultures from around the world.  In past years, I would have let this really bother me as I like to check off all the boxes.  Now, I am learning to use our curriculum as a tool and use it to meet our needs.

~ off to Mexico next!

This was just a peek into our some of our week.
We are still using our Morning Basket and have been enjoying a lot of other ongoing subjects!

http://www.weirdunsocializedhomeschoolers.com/weekly-wrap-up/ Homeschool Coffee Break

Rolled beeswax candles

This has been on a bucket list of mine for a while and we finally did it!  It was really easy and a handiwork project that will be used again and again in our home.  Beeswax smells so natural, burns clean, and I love how they turned out.  Our first use for them was during our Christmas quiet moments.  I now plan to use them during our morning basket time as part of our call to worship.

We used a kit and after making the first one, cut the sheets in half (long side) so that our candles are about 4 inches tall.   I felt they were a little more stable and we got twice as many this way.

Hello 2017

Hello 2017!  I am struggling to believe that it's already a new year.  We ended 2016 with snow falling and began 2017 with a beautiful white covering.    I wanted so badly to go outside and explore and I'd love to share that it is starting off as I had hoped, but instead I type from the couch where I've been pretty much stranded for a few days with my back out. 

I started off the new year with a good cry.  The pain has taken all my strength and I finally broke down.  Today, was a little better.  I just have to live with my limitations.  I can't say that my attitude has been positive.  It's been quite an internal struggle because "my" grand plans seem to always get thwarted by a road block.  On a positive note, my ear pressure remains stable despite its constant reminder and having to pop my ears to relieve the pressures.  I am grateful to be at home!

I am clinging to this verse.

In my downtime, I've tried to work on my planner.  For now, it must remain fairly empty, as each day is now dictated by my ability -or shall I say, "inability" - to move.  I've been praying over our homeschool road map for the years ahead to keep my girls learning together as long as possible.  Their age gap is making choices hard.  For now, we read and do school from the couch and I keep praying over the decision process and books for next year. 

I've taken the Read Aloud Revival Challenge to read aloud every day -- not just in January, but for the entire 2017 year.   This will be extra reading not assigned in our curriculum or scheduled homeschool time.  I'm logging the hours and can't wait to see the results!

I've enjoyed my blogging break and yes, I am quite behind in sharing, but this is at least a start!

52 lists - Goodbye 2016 & Goals for 2017

Week #52

List your goals for 2017

Our year has come to and end, and hosting the 52 lists was a fun way to inspire & encourage others to blog a few short lists.  Some lists were casual and fun, while others required some deeper soul searching.  I grew this year and loved getting to know some new friends.

As we say "Goodbye to 2016", I am also saying a sweet goodbye to the 52 lists and entering into an even slower season.  I hope that you all will look back on your lists and find them to be inspirational and a treasured memory.  I know that I do!

My goals for the new year are really being kept simple:

  •  Read through my Bible in 90 days again! 
  • choose a word for 2017 - actually it's chosen but won't be revealed quite yet :)
  • cut my blogging wayyyy down {updates only & eliminate obligations}
  • spend more time making & enjoying memories than trying to journal them
  • relax and accept that spur of the moment is part of my life now (health reasons)
  • keep my planner up-to-date
  • continue and complete our full home purge - before this post goes live, I've already got 5 boxes full to send off to Goodwill's new Give Back Box program!!!
  • embrace SLOW and always look for the beauty full = my new word of the year!
  • learn beside my girls & read aloud a lot more! - participate in January's Read Aloud Revival
  • give more & buy less
  • gather with my Slow Lane friends 

Thank you for a wonderful year of list making!

{December 25th} Christmas morning!

It's a white Christmas. Hot cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing and orange slices start the day. It's quiet and praises are given for 'The Gift'. The only gift we'll ever need. ~amen

My heart is full and heavy.  I see so much in the worldly Christmas missing the real GIFT.  The one where a miraculous birth was only given to save the undeserving, like me.  Even in our home, the busy season steals away the solemn moments that my heart yearns to spend in The Word, instead of rushing around, buying this or that, and trying to have that perfect holiday.  We were given the Light to guide the way along the dark path. With this, I close today with not just a slow, but a stop.  A complete halt in blogging and other time on the computer to honor this gift and share in it with my family. 

I'm happy that I was able to finish another December Photo Project.

.... only 1 more blog post this year (52 lists on Thursday - already scheduled to post)

May you all end the remainder of this year by unwrapping 'The Gift' and accepting it with a heart in the 


{December 24th} A slow snow day!

It's a beautiful snow day!

These days are my favorite types of days.  I love our views from every window.   Watching the snow falling to the ground, wrapped in blanket, and sipping hot tea while watching the fire warm up the house. 

{December 23rd} children are gifts!

...just blessed beyond words! These are gifts to my heart.