Weekly Wrap-up: Snow Day

Sparkles and Daddy time

Sparkles and Daddy time

Over the weekend we mostly hung out at home. My husband took Sparkles out for some Daddy and daughter time. They ended up at a jewelry store gazing at all of the lovely sparkling adornments. The only other incident of passing interest was that I dropped about fifteen or so pounds of flour in the kitchen…all over my husband! The crew was totally stunned to see what a huge mess their mother is capable of making on occasion. I cleaned it up but every time I open a cabinet more flour falls out of the hinges. Fun!

Sister Gemma is in the front row on the right

Sister Gemma is in the front row on the right

Saturday I received a small package from Mother at the monastery. She sent a letter about the unexpected death of Sister Gemma. I was devastated and could not even read the letter at first. I knew what the letter would say as soon as I saw the last rights Mass reading and prayer cards. I loved listening to Sister Gemma’s ghost stories about England. She had a gift for telling stories…you could feel the sunrise on the mist and smell the freshness of the spring grass when she spoke. The best part of her journey is now begun. I’ve cried a few times this week. On Monday I called Mother to ask how all the sisters are coping. I also made arrangements to visit in the spring.

snow day fun

snow day fun

Monday morning we woke to snow! I promised the kids the day off from school for the first snow of the school year…I just didn’t expect it quite so early. They played outside, watched a movie, ate popcorn and drank lots of hot chocolate. Tuesday was bitterly cold!!! November is just too early in the season for thirteen degrees. The kids were very excited to see temperatures above freezing later in the week. I questioned my sanity somewhat on Tuesday morning for signing Littlest up for preschool…too cold to be out of the house. I’m seriously reconsidering preschool for next year…and I’ll change my mind a dozen times between now and then. Maybe Yoga Mom will lend me her Sonlight Kindergarten…

the flour explosion

the flour explosion

In school we finished up a few exams but I didn’t want to start any new units with Thanksgiving break right around the corner. We’ve spent the week working on art projects, the Notgrass Thanksgiving unit study, wrapping up the Beautiful Feet Books geography study, and finishing the insanely complicated Mozart lapbook from Zeezok. The previous composer lapbooks have been fine but this one about Mozart is about to do us in. Next week we will finish up a few art projects and get completely caught up with our science labs…even if we have to do science labs on Thanksgiving!!!!

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

 

Becoming a New Creation

Ellie's book!!!

Ellie’s book!!!

Welcome to the start of my new blogging series on adjusting to a healthier lifestyle. In June I embarked on a journey with some fellow bloggers to lose weight and learn about making healthier choices in food and exercise. Since then I have lost 11 pounds and gone from a size eighteen to a fourteen. I hope to continue to gradually lose more weight and learn to take better care of myself and my family. I’ll be using the book “Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese…Nutritional and Life Lessons God Teaches Us” by Ellie Marrandette. Ellie writes over at New Creation Ministries and I encourage you to click on over and get to know her a little. (She is one of my very favorite bloggers and I am blessed to call her friend.)

At this point in my weight-loss journey I need help keeping focused on my goal. The newness of the endeavor has completely worn off. I believe committing myself to a weekly post and working through Ellie’s book will not only help me stay focused but also motivated. I’ll work and pray through a chapter each week and then come back here to share my thoughts. I also plan to share any helpful recipes, goals, weight, progress and even when I fail.

The book suggested I choose a verse from Scripture to motivate me. A verse I could turn to when I feel discouraged, tempted or worthless. I grew up feeling like garbage…as disposable…worthless. Every rejected desire for love and security from my parents drove those feelings deeper until they became a part of me. I think these feeling will always be somewhat permanent. This rejection is the root of my emotional eating. A void I have tried to fill with many things over the years including food. I’ve referred to it as the black hole in my soul. So, I wanted to choose a verse to confront this worthlessness. Ellie says that “God doesn’t make JUNK!”

My verse…well four verses actually is Psalm 139:13-16

For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.

I will meditate on these verses this week. While my kids practice their penmanship I will write these words. I will write them until they are seared on my heart.

027 (464x640)I promised to share my smoothie recipe with you. I specifically chose anti inflammatory foods for my smoothie to combat arthritis in my hands and other effects of inflammation in my body. First I soak a teaspoon of chia seeds in water for about five minutes in the bottom of my blender’s one serving cup. Once those have gelled I add two apple juice and ginger ice cubes. (My smoothie machine is terrible and cannot blend the ginger root well. It left ginger threads in my smoothie…yuck. I borrowed my friends juicer and juiced the entire ginger root with just enough apples to fill two ice cube trays.) I then add half a frozen banana, handful of frozen blueberries, handful of pineapple chunks, and stuff the top with as much spinach as I can get into the cup. I then fill the it about half way with almond, soy, coconut or cashew milk…which ever one happened to be on sale. Once blended it is a very dark purple-black color. My kids call it the “Black Death” which I think is really funny…in a warped sort of way. This smoothie is usually my breakfast and I noticed after drinking it for about two weeks the swelling in my knuckles decreased and I do not take ibuprofen nearly as much for pain. It’s not just food it’s medicine.

Weekly Wrap-up:

Middle Boy trying his hand at composing

Middle Boy trying his hand at composing

Thanks to Mrs. Melody my husband and I escaped the crew for a few hours and enjoyed an afternoon out by ourselves. We ate dinner and browsed a few shops. I also talked to my mother over the weekend and she told me to finish her Christmas shopping this week (I haven’t). I don’t mind selecting gifts for my husband and the kids from her but I find it a bit disheartening to pick out my own gift ( I usually just get curriculum). She also asked me to choose her gift for my brother. I’m having a real hard time with her request. Not only does he despise Christians (call me old fashioned but Christmas is a Christian holy day) but we haven’t even spoke in

school day

school day

over a year…he doesn’t want what I would pick out. I just cannot reconcile this and have decided to tell her she will have to take care of this one by herself.

We had a couple of half days of school this week. The weather was really nice the first part of the week so I sent them outside to play. Nice warm days are going to be hard to find as winter gets closer. I read on someone’s blog that they take the first day it snows off from school and have hot chocolate and

Are they done with school yet?

Are they done with school yet?

watch a holiday movie. Doesn’t that sound fun? I’m going to surprise the kids and do the same. According to the forecasters we could possibly enjoy that next week!!!

The crew is zipping along nicely in school. They are already at the half-way point in most of their studies. Since we still have more than half of the school year left we can slow some subjects down…maybe hop along a rabbit trail or two. Over the weekend the kids built a spectroscope from their science kit. They’ve had quite a bit of fun with it all week. I had a hard time focusing with it but bifocals would likely help. This week in science we started a book about Benjamin Franklin and electricity. I was so happy to see they had remembered so much about him and his many inventions from our American history studies.

Oldest needs a haircut

Oldest needs a haircut

My favorite moments from homeschooling this week were from Oldest. He really does not like writing. This week he finished all of his writing assignments without being prompted. He also wrote on a couple of his papers “this writing made possible by Writing With Skill”. I used to make him rewrite the papers after editing but a couple of weeks ago I just went over the spelling mistakes and editing issues orally. I told him we would pick out a few of his papers when we completed the book and work on editing skills since we would have about nine weeks to fill. He actually does a better job on his papers now that he knows he will not have to rewrite it after discussing it with me! I think he is slowly starting to like writing…but I’m not going to mention it to him.

Ellie's book!!!

Ellie’s book!!!

If anyone is interested I will be starting a new weekly blog series on making healthier lifestyle choices and weight loss. I’ll be sharing my ups and downs and a monthly weigh in. These posts will be on Tuesdays. I had tried to do them on the weekends in the past but my weekends are just too busy and I’ve let it slide (sorry for letting you down Claire). I also have a book that I will be going through written by one of my dear friends in the blogging world…Ellie at New Creations Ministries. Her book is called Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese..:Nutritional and Life Lessons God Teaches Us” . I think this weekly commitment will help me to stay focused. I’ve lost two sizes (from size 18 to a 14) since starting this journey and I am afraid I am starting to loose my momentum. On Tuesday I will share with you my anti-inflammatory smoothie that I drink most mornings and has made a big difference in how I feel.

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

 

Review: Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas and Giveaway

giveaway items

giveaway items

This past weekend my family enjoyed the privilege of viewing Saving Christmas in the comfort of our home! My kids loved the movie and have reminded me several times they want me to buy it on DVD as soon as it is available. I think that is a pretty good endorsement right there! My husband and I really admire Mr. Cameron for taking the commercialism of Christmas and turning it on its head…bringing it back to Christ. Bravo!

Saving Christmas was not the movie I was expecting. I guess I thought it would be some sort of Evangelical rant against the commercialism of Christmas. I was so very wrong and happily so. In the movie the protagonist named Christian (which brought to mind Pilgrim’s Progress) hates the commercialism of Christmas. Kirk Cameron plays his brother-in-law in the movie (I cannot remember his character’s name in the movie…sorry). He comes up beside Christian and shows him how to find Christ in all the craziness of the Christmas season. I’m not going to ruin the movie by sharing all of them with you. But I will share my favorite and how it made a moment at church with my kids this past Sunday…really cool.

Santa Clause is a great defender of the faith. Just let that sink in a moment.

Santa Claus is a legend based on St. Nicholas of Myra. He was a bishop and attended the Council of Nicaea from which we received the Nicene Creed…the first uniform Christian creed.  St. Nicholas defended the Christian faith against the Arian heresy which denies the divinity of Jesus. St. Nicholas became so angry with Arias (the bishop teaching the heresy) that he punched him at the council. When my kids learned about that incident from watching the movie Santa Claus/St. Nicholas became “The Man”. Santa Claus is a bonafied Hero of the Faith!

This past Sunday while we were reciting The Creed during church my kids were excited. In their little hearts they were standing with Santa Claus, fists up, defending their faith. They were smiling and reciting the Creed with joy! This mama’s heart just melted and I would have hugged Kirk Cameron if he had been there…I wept tears of joy.

The movie also addresses the Christmas Tree, nutcrackers, the Nativity Scene, presents under the tree and other over commercialized parts of Christmas. Mr. Cameron shows us that Christ is in Christmas…he is Saving Christmas. Go see the movie. You will walk out saying, “I love Christmas!” You will have your Christmas joy!!

Watch the trailer!

Don’t leave when the movie credits start rolling. The impromptu rap at the end had us rolling in the floor!

Leave a comment here or on my Facebook page to win the cool swag pictured above: movie soundtrack, signed poster, and car ornament that smells like a Christmas tree. You have until November 14 to enter the giveaway. The movie opens November 14 in select theaters.

Local theatre link

Rules:

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.” Open to US and Canadian residents only.

Weekly Wrap-up: Blessings

telescope

telescope

I blinked and this week was over! Last week we were invited to lunch over at a dear friend’s home. My crew just loves her kids. She encourages me so much even when we talk over the hard things in life and faith. And we both had hurts and concerns on our hearts and still do. I am greatly comforted knowing my prayer concerns are in her heart and cherish the friendship we have that I can carry her concerns in prayer as well.

lens experiments

lens experiments

Over the weekend we went skating. Littlest decided just before closing he would like to start skating. He wasn’t happy but had to accept that we would let him skate on our next visit. The crew also worked on several optical science experiments after church on Sunday. My husband helped them build a simple telescope and a camera obscura. They also experimented with lenses and set a few leaves on fire. I love watching my husband with the kids. He started working with the kids for music practice too. I can make the crew put in the practice time but I cannot tell anymore about the quality of their practice time. My hearing is getting dull and I cannot tell by listening how

Sparkles and Littlest at skating rink

Sparkles and Littlest at skating rink

well they are practicing. He is now practicing on the piano with their primer books in the evenings so he can better help them learn. He always amazes me when he does things like this…someday the kids will know how blessed they are to call him “Daddy”.

Our school week was a bit slow. We just didn’t get into the rhythm this week and it really didn’t faze me this time. A year ago I would have been completely stressed. I think we all need a break. I had not planned to take off much for Thanksgiving but maybe we will take a few extra days to just relax…

This weekend I will be watching Kirk Cameron’s new movie Saving Christmas. I can hardly believe I was selected to participate in a conference call with him (I just listened) and that I get to watch his new movie before it is released on the 14th. I’ll also be posting a review very soon with some cool giveaway items.

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized homeschoolers

Mid-week Moment: Lighting the Fire

image

This week we explored the wonderful world of microscopes. Ours has a loose wire that needs soldering but for now the flashlight works. Daddy will fix it later this week and I’m sure the crew will be fascinated with the electronics lesson. Littlest is viewing a honey bee leg which he decided was “really creepy”. Everyone spent the morning sketching and exploring the amazing tiny world in their microscope. Science ended up lasting several hours…grammar can wait because…I witnessed the fire of education ignite. Best homeschool day in a long while. I’m still learning that it isn’t how much we accomplish in a day but the manner in which we make our accomplishments.