Saturday, December 21, 2013

Last Day of School (Before Christmas Break)

We did it!
We managed to keep to our home school schedule this week and get all our work done.
We are all ready for a much needed rest!
Our older boys finished up their last semester exams today.  They will have new classes when they return to school in January.

Our littlest student, what a trooper he is!
 When we began in August, I definitely had a vision in my head of what our school day would look like.   I made spreadsheet schedule of our day.  We would begin at 8:00 am and finish at 2:30.  The kids would have plenty of center type activities to keep them engaged while I was working one on one with their siblings.  Today, four months into our first year of homeschooling, our day looks much different than my original vision. However, I am learning along the way what is important and what to let go.  This isn't a public school classroom.  My kids don't have to maintain a regimented schedule.  There is room for grace for all of us!
We will definitely be learning, but it won't all be reading, writing, and math.
We will be learning something that is more important, love for each other, finding joy in our day, extending kindness and being gentle with our words and actions, having self-control, seeing the goodness in what God does each and everyday, and building our faith through a relationship with Christ.
So, when we have days like this.....

I try to remember, and if I can't, I call my sister who sweetly and gently reminds me that we are doing exactly what God has called us to do. 
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress.  And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us."
Hebrews 12:1

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Gingerbread Houses

Carl showed up the morning with the treats we needed to make gingerbread houses today!

Houses Built-check
smiles on-check
treats ready to decorate-check
Let the decorating begin.
Each child had a different vision in their head.
Emily-Our planner, had made a scaled drawing of what her finished house would look like.
Matt-Our free spirit just set to work.
Andrew's main goal was to get as much candy as he could on his house.
Kate and Caroline were just content to frost and stick candy anywhere.

 The first casualty!  Between her and Matt, they each had several!

 Luke managed to make his way to the table and join in!
Here he is sampling his first candy cane.  Within a few minutes, he was a sticky mess and needed a fresh change of clothes. 

Our finished masterpieces.

"And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shown around them, and they were filled with great fear.  An the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign for you:  you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manager."  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"
Luke 2:8-14

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Happy Birthday to our December Boys

We have three December birthdays in our house.  Two of our boys are actually the same age for three days! 
Our Andrew turned 7 this year.  He has loved garbage trucks for a long time, so this year I decided his party would be a garbage truck theme.
Our crew celebrating Andrew.  Nick was off retrieving something and missed the pictures.
Happy Birthday to our newest 7 year old!
May this be the year that you take hold in your heart of God's great love for you.  We pray that you will know and fully understand the amazing gift God has for you and that you will easily and readily accept it.
You had a great birthday!
Three days later, we celebrated Matt our newest 8 year old with a Clemson party.
This time our older brothers were next door retrieving Matt's birthday present that we had stored there and Luke was already in bed for the night, but the rest of our family was ready to celebrate!
Matt, we pray that you will continue to grow and recognize God's love for you this year.  That you will always be kind and sensitive to the needs of others.  We pray that God will shine through you to others and you will be bold to tell others about him.
God surely blessed our family with these two boys.  They are often like twins being so close in age and do almost everything together.  Yet, God gave each such a unique personality!  I pray they will always be close, treasure their relationship, protect the feelings of the other, and know the blessings of having a brother.
Happy Birthday Andrew and Matt
We love you!

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I was doing so well keeping the blog updated this December, and then I got busy and it all went out the window.  So, here is a weeks worth of posts all wrapped up in one!

Mr. Trouble!
Just 3 months ago, his Dr. had him evaluated by a physical therapist because he wasn't meeting gross motor milestones...Today we stand fearless on the back of the couch to open and close the blinds!
This sweet one has been giving us a run for our money.  Almost all our children have a stubborn streak in them.  With her, I thought I had a chance, but then we started potty training.  She is completely trained, completely dry all night, but every couple of months she will decide that she is just going to have accident after accident all day long.  This week, I was about to pull my hair out, so we tried appealing to her through our beloved elf, Carl.
Here are some other great Carl moments this week.  Our kids just love Carl and find so much joy in searching for him every morning!

"Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts the Spirit who calls out "Abba, Father."  So you are no longer a slave, but God's child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir."
Galatians 4:6-7

Monday, December 9, 2013

Our Busy Weekend

We woke up on Friday morning to find Carl dressed in the snowman making kit attire.  We have been having a ton of rain here in Georgia, so I guess he was hoping it would get just a bit colder and we would see some snow!
Andrew lost another tooth, so he can officially ask for his two front teeth for Christmas this year.
Caroline kept herself occupied all morning while we had school playing with the nativity set. She has loved it this year!
Saturday morning, we found Carl pretending he was at the Watkinsville Christmas parade.  Since he couldn't come along, he asked the kids to bring him some candy and tell him all about it when they got home.

After the Christmas parade, our family attended Brett's company Christmas party. The kids had a great time running around, playing hide and seek, and football.  They enjoyed the snacks and playing with the other kids who attended.  Luke spent the night wandering around and exploring Dean's front porch and the yard.
On Sunday, we found that Carl had enjoyed rolling down the basement stairs in the roll of toilet paper.
After church we had a busy afternoon preparing our snacks for the small group Christmas party and watching football.  Luke spent the afternoon climbing onto the rocking chair, rocking, getting down, and starting the process again.

It was a very busy weekend for us and I was feeling stressed last night, but Brett put it into perspective and I immediately felt better about it.  This morning, I opened my devotional to another timely reminder from God's word.
"But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness"
Proverbs 14:22
Everything this weekend was good. Each activity was important and significant to someone in our family.  While I may be way behind of household chores today, we made memories this weekend as a family and that is what will be remembered in the years to come, not the piles of laundry.