Back to school after over a month off

The day before Thanksgiving, we closed the books and enjoyed the end of November, plus the whole month of December (!!!) and then some, and started back to school today.

It was a wonderful month, and I'm so thankful for it.  Taking the month off allows us to intentionally rest and try to stay healthy.  We slept in every single day that we could, which was positively dreamy.


We played lots of games, worked on several puzzles, and sat by the cozy fire.  We baked.  We decorated the house, inside and out.  We watched Christmas movies (this year: Miracle on 34th Street, The Nativity Story (which is my personal favorite) and The Muppets Christmas Carol).  We read lots of books- especially our Christmas picture books (out only for this one month of the year).  We were able to spend time with family and friends.

We joined many members of our church at a nearby nursing home to sing carols to one of our dear saints who was ailing.  Just a special performance for he and his wife, and any other residents who snuck in as we sang.  It was such a delight, and one of my favorite happenings of this season.

We visited my sweet grandpa, who turned 95 in December.  Grandpa and grandma had 8 children, 25 grandchildren, and 66 grandchildren.   I get teary thinking of the fruit of my grandparents' lives-- their tremendous faithfulness.  Loving God, passing on their knowledge of God to their children, who in turn passed it on to their children, who are faithfully handing it down to their children.  How blessed I am to be one of those grandchildren; to know and be a part of such a wonderful extended family.   

We celebrated Ella's 14th birthday.  We squeezed in many of our traditions: (a pajama ride where we got treats from DQ and drove around looking at Christmas lights), sleeping in the living room (all of us, by the Christmas tree), and many others.  Our two oldest (Ella and Isaac) had their first piano recital, and played beautifully.


We gave gifts and opened them.  We celebrated in so many ways and it was such a gift, the whole month.  Thanks be to God, who gave us the greatest gift in His son.

And today, back to school.  I woke early to snow falling-- something we've been praying for but haven't yet seen.  But early this morning there was about half an inch on the ground and it was falling and I was so happy.  I went walking early with my mom, greeting her with, "Well, if this snow isn't pure delight, I don't know what is!

IMG_0920Then I came back home to sneak in some quiet journaling time before the kids woke.  Isaias (our early riser), came into my room shortly afterward, holding a bird he'd rescued from our cat.  So we tended to it; the poor little thing was in such shock at first, so we warmed it, gave it some water, and made a little spot for it in the living room.  I thought to myself: Well, here's Science for the day.  And art.  As the kids woke-- giddy about the snow and instantly thrilled about our little bird visitor, I encouraged them to get out their sketchbooks and draw, and they all did, and wrote descriptions of what had happened; how the bird looked and how it was behaving.  We looked it up in our bird books.  (We think it's a Pine Siskin?  Or a juvenile Chipping Sparrow.)  We mostly left it alone and it fell asleep.  We weren't quite sure what to do.  We could see that one of its legs was mangled but couldn't see any wing damage and we weren't sure if there was any internal damage, so we just watched it, kept feeding it water and made one attempt to take him (her?) outside to see if it would take off, but that was unsuccessful.  We prayed that God would give us wisdom in knowing how to care for it, and not long after that, we watched it take a final breath and go still.


 Our morning time over breakfast (cinnamon rolls and bacon) consisted of Bible time, prayer, a hymn (How Great Thou Art), new poem (Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening, by Robert Frost)  (!!!  So timely!  So tickled this morning that we could look out the window and see snow while we were reading this poem!), and some new memory work.  We're learning Psalm 105, and reviewing our Family Ways.  We listened to our new composer, Brahams, after a quick bio.  The kids played outside, burying our bird and making a tiny snowman.  And the rest of the morning was spent on individual work.  The older kids worked on math, copywork, piano practice, and history/literature reading.  I read with the littler girls (Aesop, Burgess) and did narrations with them.  I did a reading lesson with Audra and helped the girls with their other work (math, copywork), and generally moved from room to room, helping with math, drill work, and typing out narrations as the kids were ready to give them. 

It was a great first day back, and I'm so thankful to GET to do this! 

Coming up in the next blog post... our favorite books, movies and music from this past year.  :)

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  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, sweet Heather! Love to you and yours!

  2. A wonderful start! I like how you were able to tie in lessons with a bird. Cherished moments.

    If you are up for it, I would really love to have you join me in 52 lists (on my blog). I've already gleaned so much from your writings and would love to read more.

    Looking forward to your favorite book post coming!

    1. Thank you! I may do that (52 lists)... I have some catching up to do in blog posting and then we'll see :) Blessings to you!

  3. What a precious post, Stacy! It was a joy to read about your Christmas break and celebrations, and this sweet recap of your first day back was such an encouragement. Please give Ella bday hugs from M and me. Love to you and all of your crew ♥

    1. Aw, Quinne! Thank you. Love to you. (((Hugs))) to you and M, too! We love you guys!

  4. So happy to find your blog! It's lovely!

    1. Coralee!!! LOVE seeing this comment from you! You are so cute. I'm gonna check out your blog when I can grab a few minutes!


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