Open House: Saturday, January 4

At the Christmas tree farm this year

Outside my window...  It is gray and raining.  Isaias is doing some football drills.  Isaac just took the dog for a walk. 

Around the house... The boys and I just wrapped up a game of Settlers.  The girls are in the living room, discussing the Bates family (I know this because I just walked past and overheard "Carlin.... Tori and Bobby....")  and coloring as they discuss. ;)

In the school room....  We are on our December break, planning to start slowly back this week, but I'm waiting until Ella returns to community college to fully begin again.  I want to revel in the time she's here with us at home, without the stresses of school upon her.

In the kitchen... I just made some chex mix, sliced up some cheese and summer sausage, and called it lunch.  I have no idea what we're doing for dinner tonight.  (Leftovers?)  I did meal-plan this week, but I forget right now what meals I have planned that I haven't yet made. 

Decorating the tree together
I am thankful... for Mark's hard work for our family... for the opportunity to take Isaac out to practice driving today... for Ella home on break.... for this wonderful break (Mark had two whole weeks off), which ended up being really restful.  We played lots of games, completed a couple of puzzles, watched movies together, ate a lot of good food, caught up on sleep, and celebrated well.

I am wearing... jeans, a long-sleeved green t-shirt that says GRATEFUL on it, my hair up in a messy bun.

I am creating...  I have been memorizing 1 Peter- and am just through chapter one, but before I head into chapter two I've decided to do a verse per page in my journal, so I've been handlettering out each verse in my journal with watercolors and markers.  That's been a fun and creative pursuit for me.  I've also just finished doing a verse on a chalkboard for the kids at our church.

I am reading... (This is ALWAYS my favorite prompt!)  I did a lot of reading over break.  I finished Francine Rivers' A Voice in the Wind this morning.  I read it years ago and loved it and though I don't generally love re-reading books, it's been long enough that I had forgotten a lot of it and enjoyed it all over again.  Prior to that I read a Lawana Blackwell book (another of my favorite authors), and some novels by Laura Frantz and Lori Benton.  Next up: Something Needs to Change (David Platt). I'll list here what everyone else is reading, too, since we just had this conversation at the dinner table last night:
Mark: just finished Deep River (Karl Marlantes), now reading D-Day (Stephen Ambrose)
Ella: just finished An Echo in the Darkness (Francine Rivers)
Isaac: What IS he reading?  I currently forget.
Isaias: Sherlock Holmes
Adelia: Hardy Boy books.  She prefers the Hardy Boys to Nancy Drew. 
Audra: The Moody Family book series (Sarah Maxwell)

I am watching... Mark and I just finished Little Dorrit on BBC (from 2008).  Prior to that we watched The Mill (2013).  As a family we watch Bringing Up Bates.  The boys enjoy watching Dude Perfect.

I am thinking... about starting school again next week, and am thinking how- so many years into homeschooling- I am not as inventive and motivated as I used to be.  I am tired.  I love it and value it (and mostly I value these relationships with my kids), and it's important to us, but it is hard.  And it's a lot.  But we keep plugging away and I'm still thankful to get to do it. 

I am listening to... In the evenings Mark is reading aloud The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (second time through the Narnia series).  The podcast I listen to most often is Relatable with Allie Beth Stuckey (Love her.)  I also love Christy Nockels' Glorious in the Mundane podcasts, but she doesn't post often.  Mark got me two cds for Christmas (yes, we still buy cds): Christy Nockels (Into the Glorious) and Ben Rector (Magic), so I am listening to those.  I would love to find a good audiobook that we could listen to when we start back to school.  I love long winter afternoons with the kids by the fire listening to a good hearty audiobook.  Any recommendations? 

Okay.  That's an awful lot.  I'd love to hear back from you.... any good books you've read?  Or that your kids have read?  Movies or shows you're watching?  Songs/podcasts you love?  Meals you're making?

Blessings to you and yours,