18 November 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

 The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week...This was a tough week for me. I was anxious and short-tempered and generally difficult to be around. Thank Jesus for forgiveness and grace!

In our homeschool this week...

We finished a study of birds and began to study fish today. The kids created beautiful underwater scenes with watercolor paints. Science and art in one activity. Score!

We've been rowing through some Thanksgiving books instead of our regular Five in a Row studies. We honestly haven't done a ton of activities with it because it was a busy week, but we still have two days to wrap up our Thanksgiving study this coming week. We read An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott a couple times(highly recommend. I had no idea this adorable story existed!), and we read a story called Mary's First Thanksgiving today that truly resonated with my heart since we've been going through some tough financial times. We also read a little from If You Were at the First Thanksgiving each day and we will continue that into next week.

The Last Battle of Narnia took place this week. Sigh. We have two chapters to read, and it will be a bittersweet ending. We have loved this series and will continue to love it. What to read next is the question???

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share...I don't feel particularly wise lately (or ever), but what I have learned in 5+ years of homeschooling is to cut myself a break when I need it. I can't do it all, all the time, you know?

I am inspired by...beautiful photographs.

Places we're going and people we're seeing...Today we saw my mom for a little bit and then watched a Christmas parade in the freezing cold (okay, it was in the low 40s, but it felt like the freezing cold). And I know what you're thinking. "Christmas parade on November 18th??? I don't think it's the best way to do things, but it has been this way for years. 
Tomorrow, we'll be celebrating our church's 30 year anniversary and then more church on Sunday.
My favorite thing this week was...TURKEY BREADBASKET!!! LOVE!
What's working for us...The kids do about 30-45 minutes of independent school work while I have my quiet time. If they're done before me(they're always done before me because I usually spend an hour-ish), they head upstairs or to the basement and play quietly until I'm done, and then we dig into our read-aloud and Five in a Row. We just started doing things this way a few days ago, and it has made a world of difference in the amount of tasks we accomplish in a day because I'm not trying to squeeze it all into the end of the day.

Questions/thoughts I have...This week I've been thinking about judgement and what it means to judge others and whether or not we have the right to ever do so. As I have been studying this in my Bible and reading commentaries, I am struck by the fact that Jesus said we are supposed to leave all judgement up to Him. Just because you may have your ducks in a row in one area of your life, that doesn't mean you can judge that area in someone else's life. Those ducks that are all scattered in another area of your life testify against you, so leave all judgement up to Jesus. Most of the time, the sin you are judging in someone else just looks different than your own sin, but it's often the same thing. That's what I've been chewing on. I don't see any exceptions to this, do you? There may be a blog post on this topic soon.

Things I'm working on...I'm having a blast planning our Thanksgiving menu and table decorations. The kids are helping with crafts, and we're going to have so much fun. My parents and maybe one of my uncles are coming as well as some family friends (who happen to be Amish). We're all very excited about it!

I'm reading...The Sermon on the Mount...very slowly. I thought I would read it in one day, but the Lord said, "Woe, Kendra! Stop and listen to this passage for a while!" It may sound strange, but today I paused and just put my hands on the page, on the words of Jesus. Those words are so precious to me.

I'm cooking...Copycat Zuppa Toscana and Copycat Cheddar Bay Biscuits. I realize they are from different restaurants, but the biscuits were quick while the loaf of parmesan herb bread I would normally make is a little more time consuming. Anyway, this was a perfect meal at the end of this busy day. We were outside for a parade for an hour and a half. Brrr! It was nice to come home to a warm bowl of soup.

I'm grateful for...hard things. The Lord has been teaching me to say thank you for even the things that I don't like about myself, the things He uses to draw me closer to Him. Sometimes, the things that we see as a curse are the things that He uses the most to remind us that we need Him.

I'm praying for...my husband's business.

A quote to share..."The people who want to stay in your life will always find a way." I don't know who originally said this. I found it on Pinterest and thought it was so true. Although, on the other end of this idea, you can't force them to be a part of your life if they don't want to. Sometimes, that part of relationships stinks.
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