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Every year one of Brody’s favorite things about the Christmas season is building and decorating a gingerbread house for the Christmas at Old Fort Concho weekend. This year’s theme was Disney, and Brody decided to go with a Frozen creation! He recreated Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post and Sauna, and accompanied it with hand painted characters. That was a new technique he tried out this year, and we really loved how well they turned out. Here are a few pictures!

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And we had fun at the festival as well. Except for the cannons, Truett is absolutely not a fan of the cannons.

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We also managed to get our Christmas tree up, and the kids were very efficient at decorating it with every single ornament we own!

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(Yes, I do realize that I am a couple of weeks late…where does the time go?!?) Despite my tardiness, I sincerely hope you and your loved ones had a very happy Thanksgiving celebration, full of things to be thankful for. Ours was simple and sweet, just the six of us at home (which was especially nice since the hubs has been out on the road quite a bit lately).

We did a couple of simple crafts together to decorate the table. Handsome egg carton turkeys (some of which clearly fared better in the gene pool than others!) and leaves with things that we are thankful for written on them.

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And of course, the food…mmmmmmmm

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It has (embarrassingly) been a few years since my last post, but I’ve been bitten by the blogging bug again so here I am! Life has been very exciting and full of blessings since then, with some major changes including babies and moves. (Plus a million other less significant yet also exciting things along the way.)

2014 bday collage

We are a family of six now, settled into a new home, and still homeschooling strong! Many of my passions are still the same, but have evolved a bit. I still enjoy teaching/learning, sewing, knitting, cooking, and baking, and have also added in a few other things like paper crafting, the occasional jog, and learning to play the piano. Our homeschooling has also evolved, and we are freshly on a new track of exploring and learning together. We have stayed true to Core Knowledge as our primary curriculum, but are now experiencing it from an entirely new perspective through literature and unit studies. I look forward to sharing much more about that soon! It has actually been quite a while since I have even visited the blog myself. After re-reading my old posts today, I am inspired to regain some of my prior focus on what I used to hold dear!

I look forward to embarking on the newest chapter of this journey, and I would be happy for you to join us!

First of all, I’d like to apologize to my devoted readers for disappearing for a few months.  ;o)  We are doing well, and most definitely staying busy.  We found out that we are expecting baby #3, and he or she should be joining us around mid-October!  I’m about 20 weeks along right now and am very happy that my appetite and energy level are returning to more “normal” levels, hopefully it stays that way for the next 20 weeks.  :o)  Here’s a picture of our little one (we’re calling him or her Baby C, since we have an A and a B it seemed like the most logical choice!)

We’re going to wait until the birthday to find out if it’s a baby boy or baby girl, so we’ll have to have a fun guessing game for that as the date approaches.  I think the profile picture looks a little different that the other two kiddos, so I’m wondering if we’re going to have a little dark haired mini-daddy on our hands this time!

In other things; school is going well, we did have to take a little break at the beginning of the pregnancy when I wasn’t feeling well but we’re back on track now and plan on working through the summer so we can take our break to welcome the new baby this fall.  I do have some fun things to post about as I get caught up on the past few months, we took a field trip to the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center as well as discovered a few exciting new ways to learn and use what we’re learning.

Our greenhouse is complete, but the weather around here has been much hotter than normal (we hit 110° –which is just 1° shy of the all-time high for our city– a couple of weeks ago!) so unfortunately it’s too hot to grow anything in there even with a shade cover and the windows opened up.  :o(  We do have quite a few things battling the heat and doing relatively well out at the community garden, including tomatoes, sweet and bell peppers, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, scallions, onions, carrots, green beans, and a watermelon vine!

The kids are growing like weeds, and doing great.  Adelyn knows all of her ABC’s and numbers, can count to eleven, and recognizes all of the basic shapes!  We’re working on potty training and making a little progress here and there, hopefully we can get that figured out before the baby comes.  Brody is devouring chapter books as fast as he can get his hands on them, he just finished up the Chronicles of Narnia series and is starting on Harry Potter, as well as making great strides in math (which has been a little bit of a struggle for him so far), and even graduated up to the top bunk!  We’re all healthy, happy, and making the most of the summer so far.  :oD  I’m glad to be back online and can’t wait to share more of our adventures with y’all.

Since we started on our homeschool journey, one of the most common questions I’m asked is “How are you going to find the time for all of that??”.  Realistically I had no earthly idea since I can’t rely on past experience, so I just went with my gut and responded, “We’re just going to have to make time”.

Ironically, that statement has held true!  This past week has been a crazy mess of meetings, AJ starting a new semester, and then topped off with a trip out of town for the weekend…phew.  But through it all, we managed to stay on top of most things (dishes and laundry don’t really count anyway, right??).  It also helps that we’re getting into our groove, it feels like the kids know what’s expected and are ready to participate when it’s ‘school time’.

I’ve figured out a few tricks for keeping Brody’s attention, and involving Adelyn to keep her busy.  Brody likes to have something to fiddle with while he’s listening, at first I thought it would just be distracting but it seems like it keeps his little hands busy so his mind can focus.  Adelyn just likes to be involved…she likes to sit at the table and write when Brody’s writing, or pipe in with random words from our conversation while we’re discussing something (but you have to be sure to acknowledge her by responding!).  My main responsibility is to be prepared.  As long as I take the time to prepare my lesson plans and have our materials ready to go ahead of time, we can transition smoothly from subject to subject and move through things with few disturbances.

On that note, I have to follow my own advice and sign off…as much as I’d like to dream about vegging out on the couch for a while and then going to bed a little early, or maybe getting caught up on the clean laundry that’s overtaking the living room, I’ll be heading to the table to plan our week and familiarize myself with our new math curriculum.  Wish me luck!  ;o)

Well, I knew these days would come but I honestly didn’t expect to be introduced so soon!  We had a crummy morning and a ‘less than magical’ school day.  :oO  We have a head cold going around so I overslept, Adelyn wasn’t feeling well, and Brody was what we call ‘melty’ from the moment he got out of bed.  He wasn’t grumpy per se, just teetering on the edge of falling to pieces over most everything.  And for some reason, whenever he’s in one of those moods, he also tends to forget the house rules which leads to getting in trouble more often, which then results in more meltiness.  Don’t worry, I know that’s not a real word, but just go with me here…I’ve had a rough morning.  ;o)

Ok, are you ready for the silver lining part?  We survived!  We accomplished what I had set out in the lesson plan, albeit it was a little later in the morning and technically behind ‘schedule’, but we were still able to have some fun and learn a few things.  And it looks like the sun is trying to peek out from behind the clouds, so some afternoon bounce time on the trampoline should be enough to shake the rest of the funk.

So to you, Mr. Bad Day, I say “Hello, nice to meet you…now skedaddle and don’t come back around for a while!”

This blog is my attempt at journaling our experiences, and sharing with others.  Over the past couple of years our family has started finding ways to simplify our lives and rediscover what’s really important to us.  2011 is going to be a big year, we’re going to start homeschooling (Brody: 1st grade & Adelyn : tag-a-long/preschool) as well as building our house!  We also hope to gradually become more self-sustaining by growing our own produce, and eventually raising our own chickens and goats (but I doubt we can fit them in this year).  It’s going to be an exciting journey and I welcome anyone who is interested in tagging along!

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