Sunday, December 30, 2018

My Weekly Notebook: Christmas and Camping

Life this week...

One of my gifts for Christmas was a fitbit watch. It has been years since I've worn a watch, so it is taking some getting used to. This thing is kinda fun though! It tells me my heart rate, all day long. It counts my steps, alerts me when I get texts or calls on my phone, tells me how many calories I've burned, and much more that I haven't figured out yet. I think I will have fun keeping track of some of my health/exercise/weight loss goals with this thing.

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Homeschool this week...

Not a lot of formal learning is going on since we are on Christmas break. I have been encouraging the boys to color and draw when they are bored, so we've been doing some of that over the break. Here is a glimpse of our table in the yurt while we were camping. Aric discovered he likes drawing. The lack of internet/screen time helped with that.

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Aric is drawing on the left, my coloring book is in the middle, and April is drawing on the right.
This is a cute picture Alex did from Art for Kids Hub just before Christmas. I thought it turned out pretty cute.

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Reviews we are working on...

No reviews to report right now. Still on break from that!

Places we're going and people we're seeing...

We did something unusual this year. We were invited to go camping with Michele's family, so we decided to go. It was a great opportunity to get outdoors and be with family even though the weather here is not really great in December for camping. Besides it was in a yurt so we knew we would have a dry warm place to be for sleeping and down time. It turned out to be a great trip. Our yurt was so cozy and warm.

Aaron's cot was in the middle...

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Our bed, which was a futon...

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The bunk bed which had April on top, and the 2 little boys on bottom (Alex and Aric)...

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It rained pretty much all day on Wednesday. We were there from Tuesday to Thursday. So that was our only full day there. We managed to keep dry under the awnings, and in the yurt.

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The boys and Michele got to go on several rides in Uncle Marc's buggies. They had fun on the dunes. I never took any rides. I am more of a fair weather rider. It was too wet and cold for me. I kind of wish I had just gone once now though. It's pretty fun. The boys loved it.

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Aric and Dad

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Alex in back. In front, Cousin Caleb on the left and Uncle Marc on the right.

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Aric and Dad again in the other buggie.


My favorite thing this week was...

Our great Christmas pajama race of 2018. It is the 3rd year in a row we have done it, and I really love this tradition. A good friend told me about how their family does it every year, and we gave it a try and have loved it ever since. I don't have any pictures of the action because it's intense. I will have to video it next year. But, here's how it works: We acquire Christmas pajamas somehow. This year I let everyone pick from the Christmas sales. I had hoped for matching, but it wasn't going to work out for that this year. Whatever, no big deal. They all picked fun and cute ones. I wrap all the pajamas exactly the same way. I wash them, take the tags off, and make sure they are all equally wrapped and easily accessible so it is all fair. We put them in the middle of the living room. This year we laid them all flat so all names could be easily seen. It's fun to also hide all the names to make it more challenging. Before the race we designate boy and girl changing areas that are equal distance from the prize (which is set by the presents in the middle of the room). On the go everyone grabs their box with their name, unwraps the gift, runs to the designated changing area (this year was boys in the kitchen, and girls in the computer room), puts on their pajamas, and runs back to the prize to grab it (usually a candy cane filled with candy). It is so fun, and the laughter is heard throughout all the house. We've definitely discussed ways to up the challenge as the kids get older, like not naming the packages and each person has to figure out which pj's are theirs. But, we still have a young one who this is still a challenge for, so we have to keep it simple and fair, and give him a head start.

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All of us in our pj's after the excitement...

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My kids' favorite thing this week was...

I had each kid show me their favorite present on Christmas morning.

Alex's was his new Fire tablet...

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Aric's was his Hogwart's Express LEGO set...

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Aaron never did show me his, but he was pretty excited about his new tool set...

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April never showed me hers either, but I'm pretty sure her favorite this week was Christmas morning. She just loves Christmas.

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Things I'm working on...

I have spent most of this weekend taking Christmas down and packing it away. I found myself getting a little emotional as I took it down. Both happy and sad. On the one hand I was happy to be done, and getting stuff put away. On the other hand this was a rough Christmas for me. There was so much we didn't get to do. Either things didn't work out, or we just didn't have the time or energy to do them. We didn't even really look at Christmas lights except for the ones in the local neighborhoods that we drove by. I was a bit disappointed and discouraged many times during the month of December. 

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More Christmas fun...

We managed to get one Grinch Amazon box...

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We made and delivered some Christmas cards to local friends and neighbors.

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A local homeschool friend made some Petit Fours for Christmas. She has her own little bakery business, and always makes such great treats, so I ordered some from her. They were just as delicious as they look. Amazing!

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What we're reading...

We are currently reading aloud The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson.

I'm cooking...

Thankfully we didn't have to do a lot of cooking while camping. Most of the cooking took place at one of the other campsites, and we just came over and joined, and brought our share to add to the grill or whatever.

At home we are enjoying things like chicken wings, hamburgers, and lots of unhealthy foods because we are on a staycation right now (Michele is home all week between Christmas and new years). So, we will have to get back on the healthy eating train again after new years.

I'm grateful for...

All the things we did get to do this Christmas season. All the many gifts  that were given and received, and for the time that we had together.

That about wraps up our week! Linking this up to Schoolhouse review crew Celebrate 2019 all year long weekly homeschool linkup.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Wordless Wednesday: after the storm

We had a big rain/windy storm on Monday night. By mid-Tuesday morning the sun was peeking out, and we could even see some blue skies. We swung into the park for just a few minutes to enjoy the break in weather.

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

My Weekly Notebook: odds and ends

Life this week...

I was feeling on top of the world on Monday when I baked 2 kinds of cookies for an activity that I thought was happening on Tuesday. I even had my friend over to help (which was part of the assignment). Only I didn't realize I had the wrong week. That activity was scheduled for next week. It pays to double check the calendar! I really don't know why I had it in my head that it was this week. Sheesh! Good news is that I didn't show up at the church with all those cookies only to find no one there. Luckily, I realized that on Monday evening.

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Homeschool this week...

I am still really loving Superteacherworksheets. This was originally a review we did, but I ended up buying a new subscription when our free one from the review was up. I printed up these worksheets for the boys to do on our way to Summit this week. We go every Thursday, so I am trying to be more proactive in getting them things to work on during the drive.

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Aric did some graphing.
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Alex did a color by number with addition problems.
Reviews we are working on...

Technically right now we are on break from the review crew. It will start back up in January with a whole new year of reviews, and I do plan to continue, but this review of Practice Monkeys will carry over to the new year as well. This one is going a little longer so that we can really get a feel of how the program works. It takes time to learn an instrument. Also, to have the chance to do an assessment. Which we finally did this week. Alex moved from Level 1 to Level 2. It all worked so smoothly, and from the comfort of our own home!

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Places we're going and people we're seeing...

A sweet little baby girl's one-year old birthday party. I just love this wrapping paper, and the pretty pink bow.

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Something I accomplished...

I have been working on this puzzle since about the time we left for our Disney trip, so about a month and a half. I finally finished it this week! 

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Just for fun...

We played a game of SkipBo outside when it was mid 50's and somewhat sunny. It was a little bit chilly, but it was just nice to be outside.

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Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for:

  1. My copy of Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock
  2. A sickness that had a short duration.
  3. For birthday celebrations young and old. 
I am needing to be more intentional about blogging and being thankful.
To be continued next Thursday...

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Wordless Wednesday: Ice circle

We had a week of freezing overnight temps last week so my kiddos love to see what kind of ice chunks they can find outside. This guy scored!

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Friday, December 7, 2018

Zondervan: Devotions for Young Women (A REVIEW)

Zondervan

I had the opportunity to read and share Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women from Zondervan with my daughter. This book, filled with daily devotions, is especially written with the young woman in mind. It's for a girl who is trying to figure out her place in the world, and this book does a great job in tying modern womanhood into biblical stories about women and how they found their way.

Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women

This book is beautiful on the front with a flowery hard cover. It's pretty thick with a devotion for each day of the year. The pages are thicker with a devotion on each side, and just one page long. There are just a few lines at the bottom of each devotion to record thoughts or answer any of the questions that might have been asked in the daily devotion. My daughter pointed out that she likes that it is labeled by day (such as day 118) so that you can start it at anytime of the year. There is also a ribbon bookmark attached. Such a nice elegant addition, and so convenient.

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My original plan with taking on this review was that I would read the book myself and give my thoughts as a mother of a daughter. I wasn't sure if my 17 year-old daughter would read it, but I showed it to her one day and asked her if she'd read it a little bit and give me some of her thoughts. To my surprise she said yes, and she even marked a few passages, and had some great thoughts. She said it definitely felt like it was written to girls her age (in their teens and early adulthood), and that she liked how it used women from the bible rather than someone's personal life stories like other devotionals can do. She also likes the layout, the bookmark, and the lines to write thoughts down. One things she said she wished it had was more scriptures that weren't necessarily about women, but that could be relevant to women, like some more inspirational scriptures. But, overall, she had a lot of great things to say about this book.

Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women

For myself, I really enjoyed this book! Even though it is written for Young Women, I really found a lot of passages helpful and inspiring. I want to keep reading even for myself. I think if my daughter was open to it, I'd love to read it with her each day. Now that I know she was open to even reading it, I might pose that idea to her. This can be a great way for a mother and daughter to share some meaningful time together. But either way, together or separate, this is a very good faith building book for young girls to appreciate their place as a woman in this world, and see themselves through God's eyes.

Also, one last thought. The scriptures used in this book are from the NIV. While that is not the version of scriptures I prefer, I still found it to be a very great and relevant book with many great thoughts and stories about women from the scriptures.

If you'd like to see what others had to say about Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women you can click on the banner below.

Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women {Zondervan Review}
Crew Disclaimer

Friday, November 23, 2018

Disneyland Day 2

Day 2 at Disneyland was the very next day, Tuesday November 6. This was our magic morning (which means we got to go in 1 hour early before the park opened), so we were there by 8 am. We headed to the castle and Fantasyland first thing since those lines were pretty short, and we hadn't seen most of that area yet.

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First up, the teacups! Such a cute ride...

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Different smiles at different times

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Then the Alice in Wonderland ride...

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Next the carousel...

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We decided that we would spend a good portion of the afternoon in Cars Land this day so that we could catch a fast pass to the popular ride over there, and eat lunch at Flo's V8 cafe. All the pictures from Cars Land have their own post already, so I won't repost all of them here.

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After Cars Land we explored some more of the California Adventure park. We rode The Little Mermaid ride...

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 We spotted some Toy Soldiers...

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Alex finally got his Mickey ears. He decided he wanted that particular hat on Day 1, but we made him wait until we looked at all options, and finally took him to the store in the afternoon on Day 2.

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This was our special reserved dinner night at the PCH grill. We were supposed to have a Character meal, but we couldn't find reservations available for those, so we used our meal cards for a nice dinner. They had a special make your own pizza thing for kids...

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He loved making his own pizza. All the servers were just so nice, and the meal was delicious.

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After dinner we headed back to the park for the last few hours of Day 2. Night time is so fun. There are so many lights all over.

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The teacups at night are really cool, and April made sure to take me on those again so I could experience them at night. She was right, it is pretty neat.

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Alex rode on the Casey Jr. Circus Train.

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Finally it was time to start making our way out of the park to head back. We stayed until it was close to closing time. The lights on Main Street are so fun...

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Lots of fun stores...

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The tree wasn't fully lit yet. This night they just had the candles. You'll see on Day 3 (when I post it) the tree is lit up brighter. 

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That wraps up Day 2! I am slowly working my way through our trip, so up next will be our 3rd day at Disney. Then it'll be onto LEGOland for 2 days.You can read about Day 1 Here.
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