Homeschool Mother's Journal: December 7th, 2013

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In my life this week…

It was a bitter cold week with lots of snow and temps well below zero.  I have a hard time staying warm - my toes get so cold.

I am so lazy in this winter cold! I don't want to do anything, but curl up in a blanket!

In other news, I have been blogging for 5 years this week!  I'll be honest and say that  my heart has been to make my blog a reflection of what a good a homeschooler I am and not a reflection of what a good of a blogger I am. I've had a hard time keeping up with blogging technology and social media, in particular.  I don't care much for promoting myself, feel overwhelmed with all the changes to blogging, and often feel behind the times.

This week I learned about PicMonkey and have been playing around with making "Pinnable images." Before this week, I was seeing them all over the place, but had no idea they had a name (or that I should be using them!).

It's still hard to believe that I've had almost two and a half million page views. Big shout out to Erica @ Confessions of a Homeschooler (all time #1 referring site!), with Google in second place (with #1 search entry of "delightful learning" :), followed by Pinterest and Discus.

My all time most read post is Calender and Morning Board {Routine!} with almost 35,000 page views.

My 2nd most read post is Tot Tools ~ Musical Instruments and this annoys me. (lol) This was from my early days of blogging and I was using my first digital (cheapo) camera.

3rd to 9th most read are all Five in a Row posts:
Some of my personal favorites are on this list. :)

My readers come from all over the world, with most readers from the U.S., Canada, Australia, U.K., Sweden, France, Singapore, Russia, Germany, and Iceland.

Just some fun facts. Thank you for a fun 5 years!

In our homeschool this week…

We made it to Week 15 in Core G, Chapter 41 in Story of the World, and Lesson 102 in Mystery of History. (I need to order Volume 2!)

We finished Core B! And I am already missing our reading time.  I ordered Core C and can't wait to get started - so I have a good excuse to do nothing but cuddle on the couch, and stay warm! But, by the end of the week, I am grateful for the break.

We did some projects to tie in with Core B History - a writing prompt for Malachi, an art lesson for Eliana, and we had a Roman lunch. I really want to spend another week doing projects, as I have several book-marked in the Story of the World Activity book, but I am not sure I have the energy.

(I haven't checked Nathan out yet, so I don't know where he is at.)

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

I have this on the top of my blog, and this is my heart. However, this week I am not feeling very productive. My hands have spent a lot of time on the computer and this type of work, while productive in its own way, does not make me feel productive.

And the house is not as clean.

When this happens, I try not to get down on myself. I know "this too shall pass." I will be reenergized. The house will be clean by the Sabbath, I will rest, and I will start over with a fresh new week. And be thankful that it's mostly just "days" like this, rather than "weeks."

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

I hated to leave the house this week. I took Bo to one speech therapy appointment, forgot the second one,  had Jordan drive him to the rescheduled appointment and had Dylan sit with him.

Bo and Elli have bundled up to brave the cold a few times. It is a winter wonderland outside, but deceptively cold.  Basically, this means spending 10-20 minutes bundling up for less than 5 minutes outside.

Malachi had two basketball games. I braved the cold for the 1st one and Dylan went to watch his 2nd game, while I closed myself up indoors to keep warm.

My favorite thing this week was…

Watching Elli and Bo look through our 2012 Project Life Album. I took a video, and in the middle, he leans over and gives her a kiss. At one point Elli remarks: "Do you miss the TV? It looks much cleaner with the TV."  haha!

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. I had to keep deleting data on my phone to get this all in, but it is a good record of Bo's speech, and I'll share my thoughts on that in his next post.

The best part is that Elli brought the album out on her own and Bo climbed up to look with her without prompting from me. This is her favorite album because it has her beloved stuffed rabbit in several pictures and she misses it. (I don't know what happened to it).

And we played Dreidel for the first time. Our study of the Maccabean Revolt coincided with Hanukkah, so this tied in perfectly!

I found the bag of chocolate coins at Costco and we had fun playing. So much so that when we used up the coins, we played with Hershey Kisses. :)

The dreidel is a four-sided top marked with four Hebrew letters: Nun, Gimel, Hey, and Shin. In Hebrew this becomes "Nes gadol haya sham," which translates into "A great miracle happened there." (In Israel, dreidels use the letter PEH, instead of a SHIN, so the sentence becomes "A great miracle happened here."

If the dreidel lands on:

  • Nun (Nothing) The player takes nothing from the pot. 
  • Gimel (All) The player takes everything in the pot. After that, everyone puts back two tokens to refill the pot. 
  • Hey (Half) The player takes half the pot. 
  • Shin (Put in) The player has to put two tokens in the pot. 
  • Each person takes a turn and you keep playing until someone has all the tokens. 

I've been reading a lot about Hanukkah, and the one thing that stands out the most to me, is this:
"If it had not been for the Maccabee revolt that kicked the Greek pagans out of the holy land, it is quite possible that Yeshua, the true Light of the world, would not have been born. Therefore, one should properly view this revolt as Elohim-ordained in order to rid the holy land of Greek control resulting in that region remaining in Jewish hands, so that the Messiah could be born into a proper Jewish environment thus fulfilling the Bible prophecies about him." - Natan Lawrence

My kiddos favorite thing this week was…

Early in the week, Luke took Mali and Elli to lunch and visited with them about all things related to their life - school, birthdays coming up, etc. And when I asked mid-week what their favorite thing was they said, "Lunch with Pop." When I asked them at the end of the week, they said, "I don't know." So, I asked about lunch with Pop and they both said, "That was last week!" ha! This did feel like a long week.

Elli then said, "Snuggling with Mommy and watching The Sound of Music Live."
And Malachi said "our Roman lunch."

Things I’m working on…

Work for the TOS Crew. It was a busy 1st week! We are reviewing SchoolhouseTeacher' for a dry run review - they want to see how we use the site... so I am putting it to good use! My focus has been using the site to HELP me in what we are already doing and I am finding lots of good stuff.

I’m cooking…

We had leftovers and open faced hot turkey sandwiches with homemade gravy almost every day this week.  Then it was back to one of our staple foods: beans and tilla's and tacos.

I’m grateful for…

HEAT!  We lost our power for 72 hours during our first snow storm of the year (in October), and it was cold. We used a kerosene heater and ran an extension cord from the Y to plug in a small electric heater. But, with temps well below zero (up to -24), I can't imagine not having heat right now.

I’m praying for…

the hearts of my children.

I rewarded my kids this week by…

Since, I have been feeling lazy this week, and life must go on (house still needs picked up, meals cooked, etc.), the kids have been helping out more than usual (at my request) and I have given them extra privileges - movies on Amazon Prime, Netflix, computer and iPhone time.

And a dollar more than once to for an older boy to go get a coffee at the Holiday. And Luke took the littles to get a hot cocoa from Starbucks.

Something I am ogling or have my eye on…

I had my eye on a new pair of boots for Jordan. I ordered him Muck Boots (thankfully, on sale) and a pair of Quilt Lined Overall Carhartts (he paid for the latter himself).

A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…

I thought this was fitting considering our week.