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I have so much to write about!  But sadly, it must wait until later in the week – or possibly next week.  The hinges on my beloved MacBook Air are broken, and DH is going to take it to the Apple store tomorrow but he thinks it will not be a quick fix; they’ll likely have to order parts or possibly ship it off for repairs.  We do have a desktop too, but it’s in our bedroom and therefore not as easily accessible throughout the day, so I’m not likely to be doing much blogging til I get it back.

However, I did want to make a note of a few things I want to remember to write about in more detail when I have the time:

  • Beginning tomorrow, I will be homeschooling not one but two preschoolers; I’ve withdrawn little T from our parish’s preschool program.  It’s a bit of a long story, suffice to say after much thought and prayer I feel this is the best decision for our family at this time.
  • We started our Jesse Tree today, and it was met with much enthusiasm!  I hope the kids continue to be excited about it.
  • I’m also doing Elf on a Shelf with them this year – which reminds me, I need to move our elf before I go to bed tonight.
  • I still want to record for posterity the titles of several great Thanksgiving picture books I found, even if we didn’t get to read them all last week due to my laryngitis.

And now it’s late, and I really must get some sleep…

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Happy Thanksgiving!

(subtitled: Better Late Than Never)

I knew I was going to fail at blogging, but I really didn’t intend for so much time to pass without me posting anything at all.  Oh well.

Many of my plans for this past week went awry.  I had picked out six good Thanksgiving books to read with Mr. S and little T, and assembled a bunch of craft ideas as well – and then on Monday I came down with a bit of a cold and lost my voice.  So much for reading aloud!  We did manage to do two of the crafts I’d planned, but instead of reading books we watched the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special multiple times.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving, though.  I took the kids to see Tangled at noon yesterday, and embarked on my cooking journey when we got home.  (The movie was cute, incidentally – nothing special, but we had fun.)  My darling husband decided to try something new with the turkey this year, so he bought an infrared turkey fryer – and although I was skeptical about the idea, the bird was delicious!  I made green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, corn pudding, and stuffing to go with it, and one of our guests brought some delicious apple cider made with spiced rum.  A good time was had by all!

Today my wonderful husband let me sleep in, and sleep I did – for almost 13 hours.  I very rarely do that, but I’ve not been sleeping well recently and I guess I had a bit of a sleep deficit built up!  I feel like a new woman now, I just hope it doesn’t mess up my sleep pattern for the next few days.  I don’t think it will, it’s currently 10:30pm and I’m ready to go to bed any minute now.

Tomorrow I’ll write about little T’s preschool drama – it’s something I’ve given a lot of thought to this week, and I think I need to write it all out before I make a final decision.

Getting ready for Thanksgiving

I’m probably going to fail at blogging during the holidays; I already feel like I’ve fallen behind, and Thanksgiving is still ten days away!  We only did two days of school last week because my mom and her husband came to visit on Thursday and stayed through the weekend, but fortunately I’d planned ahead and so was organized for school today.

We’re starting to talk about Thanksgiving this week.  Little T will be home with us all next week, so I’m doing some “heavier” reading with Mr. S this week.  The three books we’re reading are:

By “serious”, I simply mean picture books with an emphasis on history.  Next week we’ll be reading more “fun” books, which are Thanksgiving-related but a bit more on the silly side.

We’re doing some fun crafts this week too – today we made a turkey from leaves and a pine cone from our yard (fortunately I had the foresight to pick these up on Saturday when we were playing in the back yard, because it’s rainy today and we wouldn’t have been able to do it if we’d waited); Wednesday we’ll make a pilgrim mouse using a toilet paper roll, and on Thursday we’ll make a teepee to go along with our reading of Squanto’s Journey.

Tomorrow is the last day of the homeschool art/music/drama co-op before the holidays; on Friday night, the families are getting together for dinner and to watch the kids’ presentations – it should be really cute, I’m looking forward to it!

Wordless Wednesday – Bat Craft!

Author at the library

I went to the library today to drop off some books and noticed a flier posted that said Brian Lies will be speaking at one our local library branches tomorrow.  Completely by coincidence, the books I selected to read with Mr. S this week were Bats at the Library and Bats at the Beach.  I love these books, can’t wait to read Bats at the Ballgame to the kids when the library gets a copy of it.

We’re going to have a pretty hectic week this week.  Tomorrow afternoon we’re having our family Christmas picture taken (note to self: remember to print out that Olan Mills coupon I saw online…), and then Wednesday I’ll be in a cleaning frenzy because Thursday at noon we’re picking up my mom and her husband at the airport.  She wants to go see my niece, who’s in her freshman year at the University of Alabama, so we’ll grab a quick lunch and then head over to Tuscaloosa to spend some time with her.  I think we’re planning to spend the night in a hotel and then drive to Birmingham in the morning to see Mom’s college roommate, and then back home to Atlanta where we’ll hang out for the weekend.  They’re flying home Sunday afternoon, so it will be a bit of a whirlwind visit, but the kids are very excited to see them.  I am too, even though my mom does tend to stress me out a bit 🙂

Classical Conversations

I’ve recently heard about a program called Classical Conversations, and I am intrigued.  The basic concept is that a group of classical home educated families meets once a week and has tutors work with parents and kids, and then parents review the required memory work at home and supplement with a math and phonics/reading program of their choice.  I like the idea of my children having some exposure to teachers other than me, but within a classical framework; and I already have experience with Math U See, and my sister-in-law sent me her copy of The Writing Road to Reading, which is a comprehensive phonics/reading program for K-6 students.

My only concern is that I’ve heard that the Veritas cards can have a bit of an anti-Catholic bias.  Then again, I seem to have a different perspective on this than many Catholic families, probably because I wasn’t raised Catholic.  I came into the Church about five years ago, so I am not really afraid of broaching sensitive topics such as the Reformation with my kids – yes, the Church made mistakes, and I think the Reformation served as a wake-up call and led to reform inside the Church as well as the development of Protestantism.

Anyhow, I’ve contacted a local group and they’ve invited me to attend an upcoming session and get a feel for the group.  I’m not sure if we’ll enroll this year (I was thinking of doing it next year, when Mr. S is 5 and little T is 4, since the Foundations program is K4-6th grade) – but I’m certainly looking forward to finding out more about it!

All Souls’ Day

“No one’s death comes to pass without making some impression, and those close to the deceased inherit part of the liberated soul and become richer in their humanness.” – Hermann Broch

Today is All Souls’ Day – a day set aside to honor the memory of our beloved dead.  For me, it is especially poignant because it is the anniversary of my father’s death – seven years ago today, just five short weeks after he walked me down the aisle at my wedding, my father passed away unexpectedly.  He had suffered from heart disease for many years, but we didn’t expect him to be gone so soon.  I still feel his absence so deeply, and it saddens me tremendously that my children will never get to know him.

Of course, his is not the only death I remember today.  I recall with fondness memories of my grandparents; I mourn with my sister for the loss of her husband, who passed away last October from cancer; and of course, I hold dear the memory of my friend who died just a few weeks ago.  It was incredibly difficult to write her name on our parish’s Scroll of Remembrance, and to realize she is truly gone.

I try to remember the happy times and not just dwell on the sadness of not having these people here with me anymore.  I can keep their memories alive by showing my children pictures and telling them stories of things that were done and said during their time on earth.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.  May they rest in peace.

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