Sunday, December 14, 2008

Lookout Broadway...Here We Come!

Our church's Children's Christmas Play was last night. It was titled 'Meet Me At the Manger' and here are me and my four great kids!

Handsome was 'Emerald' the chef, Reece Cup was a shepherd, I was 'Ms. Ellie', Baby Girl played 'Miss O'Riley', and Princess was a caroler (I call her my little Cindy Lu-Who with those candy cane antlers on!). This is Baby Girl's last year since she is 12 and she wanted to do the play with me again (I also had a role in last year's play) so she volunteered me when I wasn't around and then told me about the part!

We had so much fun, and are so glad it's over!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I Love Living Here!

The Bible says that whatever state we're in, we should be content. Well, I'm going to take that literally and tell you that I absolutely LOVE living where I do. Who wouldn't love this...

It's Amazing What a Little Elbow Grease and Paint Will Do

It's so easy to get caught up with the business of life and let our homes go, not realizing that if we just take a little time and put a little effort into it, we can drastically change the look and feel of our home.

Just look what a little elbow grease did (ok, for this it was quite a bit but oh, so worth it!) ...

A quick roll of the paint roller...

And a quick use of .98 spray paint (for now I simply placed cushions on the seats, in the spring I plan to recover them)...

I hope this encourages you to look around your home and see what things you can easily clean up and change the appearance of with just a little bit of work and time. It's so worth it, and your family will thank you.

Our First Experience with Lapbooks

(One of the cool things about homeschooling...
you can wear your sunglasses to class!)

Since I'm playing catch-up with my blog posts, I wanted to share our very first lapbooks. Wait a minute... no. First we did a Christopher Columbus one, then this one. I must have forgotten to take pictures of those! Shock! I'll have to do that and share them later.

Anyway, these are our Presidential Election lapbooks I bought from Five in a Row. This was my first time purchasing anything from the FIAR digital store, and when I first looked it over after downloading it I was a bit surprised. It didn't seem like there was a lot there. But I was quickly proven wrong. Just like the FIAR lessons, you can either add to it or leave some out to make it just perfect for your children!

With this study we learned SO MUCH... the Primaries and how they work, the electoral college and why each state has a certain number of electors, how the election is won by winning states with the most electoral votes, we learned about each of the two candidates, what Republicans and Democrats typically stand for, the job of the president, we colored maps to see how each candidate became their respective party's representative (which states each of those running won in the primaries), and so much more. We then colored maps the night of the election as each state was called.

If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend purchasing some of Jane's Fold & Learn studies. They are well worth it!

Better Late Than Never

The fall and into the holiday season is always a busy time for our family. With football, school, my birthday, family visiting, our annual fall cleaning (the inside AND outside of the house) to get ready for fall and then Christmas decorating, and everything else, I missed blogging about some things I wanted to share. So I thought, since I have a few minutes tonight, I would try to do some catching up.

Here are some pictures from this fall...

Picking apples with Papaw.

Beautiful fall colors.

Enjoying the leaves at the park.

And this is how I found Princess one day. See that bit of pink on her cheek? She was trying to hide that she had been into the icing! Silly girl.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

How We Will Be Spending December, Thanks to Missey

I've been doing some reflecting lately, and my thoughts have continuously turned to Missey Gray, just as they have for the past two Christmases.

2006 was a hard year for our close-knit Five In A Row family. We lost two young mothers that year, Missey in March and Lorrie on Thanksgiving Day.

Neither of these women knew that 2006 would be their last Christmas with their children and husband. But it was. I've been thinking, what if this was MY last Christmas? What things would I do differently than every other year in the past? Would I rush around and overbook our family until the holidays had passed us right by or would I keep us home just as much as possible and savor every moment of every day with my children? Would I continue to stay behind on my housework because I was too lazy to get up in the mornings before my children got up or would I make sure it was done and stayed done so we could spend our days cuddling under a blanket reading, or maybe watching a good Christmas movie and baking cookies and drinking hot chocolate?

Thank goodness Missey also had this revelation that final Christmas season. Listen to a little bit of her wisdom...

"For now, I'm enjoying making memories with my family and letting all the worries and stresses roll right off my back. They'll be there for another day. But for today I'm going to get my Love Bank filled back up with kisses and hugs and quiet conversations (while making those same kinds of deposits into each of my loved one's Love Banks) and regain the strength to face all those worries and stresses that will still be waiting for me come January. I think that by then they won't seem so big anymore anyway."

(Read the rest of what she had to say here). How thankful I am that her children now have those wonderful memories of their mommy and their time with her during their last Christmas together.

In honor and memory of Missey and Lorrie, I hereby declare that in our home the whole month of December will be spent making wonderful, warm memories with my family and taking the time to do what THEY want. We'll sing and dance and laugh, we'll play board games and barbies and cars. We'll do each other's make-up and hair and we'll get down on the floor and wrestle. We'll put puzzles together and color together and write letters to Santa together... yep, even mom!

We'll bake cookies for our neighbors and deliver them. We'll make and decorate a gingerbread house and then eat it! We'll cuddle under warm blankets and read lots and lots of good books. We'll make homemade hot chocolate and sip it while we read Jotham's Journey: A Storybook for Advent.

We'll drive around and look at all the Christmas lights. We'll go see the live nativity and the Orchestra and Choir's annual Christmas presentation while wearing our Santa hats and trying to get the TV cameras to turn to us! We'll shop and giggle at secrets and wrap presents for our loved ones.

We'll pray and read all about Jesus's birth and we'll bake Him a birthday cake. We'll take lots of pictures and perform in our church's annual Christmas play. We'll pray and love and laugh and make the most wonderful memories all while savoring each and every day.

Hmmm... maybe we should do this every day.