Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hands Free Moment: Journaling with my girls

The girls received journals for Christmas.  They've been drawing and writing and using up their stamp pads.  Then one night after reading a little in my book, I decided to take the author's lead, and I wrote to them.  I wrote words they could read.  I chose a stamp and stamped a picture next to the note I'd written.

Bright eyes and beaming smiles.

It was such a simple connection, and they were touched.  Their little hearts were happy.  They wrote me back, and I knew we had a tradition, a mother-daughter bonding outlet.  We pass their journals back and forth with notes and drawings.  Who would've thought something so simple could be such a blessing to all of us!?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Project Life

A new kind of journal...  The girls love to help me look through photos and caption them.  They usually only jot down a few words or draw in a picture.   Hannah will have me write her words and she copies them onto journaling cards.  You can see a little of what the layout looks like in this photo. It's sort of like scrapbook meets photo album meets journal.

I'm working on 2013, as well as 2014. I'm planning to go backwards and continue in the present. So when 2013 is done, I'll work on 2012, and all the while working on the present month. Most of my photos have been in boxes (2001-2005) and on the computer from (2006-present), so I'm printing photos with the photo deals that pop up regularly. But the kids (mainly the girls) have loved looking through pictures, helping me organize them, choosing cards and colors.  The album isn't even filled in all the way, but it's beautiful, and we're loving it as a group project.

Friday, February 21, 2014

75 Degrees

After the frigid weather over the last few weeks, we had some 70 something degree days.  Here are the contrasting situations...



If you look closely, you can see the thick layer of ice beneath that snow he's piling up.

Lego Challenge: The French and Indian War

Here is the boys' rendition of various elements of the French and Indian War.  Depicted is the British march toward Fort Duquesne, I think.  Fighting in the colonies was much different than fighting in Europe.  Do you see the French and Indians hiding behind trees? And do you see Darth Vader as one of the Indians?

And did you know that one of the reasons George Washington resigned from the British army was that he didn't receive the same pay the British officers received because he was a colonist?  He was also not allowed to advance in rank the same way as British officers, either... Interesting, huh?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Glance: February 16 - 22, 2014

Good grief at the sickness over the last couple of months...

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Hands Free

I never, ever write book reviews...especially on something I haven't even finished.  My blog is not something I want to profit from, obviously.  It's a journal for myself.  For my future self. For my grown children. For the grandparents who don't live nearby.  However, I've found quite a jewel of a book, and I want to remember my responses to my daily reading of The Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford.  I'm supposed to read this book slowly, as in weekly chapter reading, and savor the challenges, but I'm so inspired, so deeply touched that I simply cannot do it.  I'm slowing down for daily reading of each chapter, but I'm dying to pick it up again and continue reading.

I can see myself in her pages.  I can see an epidemic of distracted living all around me.  There are a massive amount of people who are unable to see things directly in front of their faces, and they are missing their lives.  They are missing moments they cannot get back.  They are missing what is important.  They're unable to connect with other human beings.  It is unreal.  Do you see it?

So beginning today, I am going back to chapter one and will be documenting my experiences.

Hands Free Weekly Intention:  Go Hands Free for a Specific Time Period Each Day-

This is not just talking about going without your devices, your laptop, your Kindle, etc.  This is talking about the ways you are distracted from your people.  I have more trouble connecting with my kids and family when I have a task that needs to be done at home, when my productivity in the home is interrupted.  I put value in myself over how well things run.  I know I have a problem with this.  Even when I have company come stay at the house, I always must tidy up the kitchen before I can relax. But by the time those jobs are completed, I have missed a lot.  If you've ever stayed at my house, you know this is true.  I struggle in this area. So do I leave the kitchen untended, indefinitely? No.  However, I am trying to put the people and our time together ahead of the stuff and unending jobs.  Not just when company is over but for the people who matter most to me.  Does that make sense?  I am trying very hard to demote these distractions along with the obvious things like, "Don't scan facebook, twitter, or email when a person is talking to you."  I'm trying hard to look at my child when they speak to me.  I'm trying not to let the words, "in a minute..." or "maybe later" take over my vocabulary.

This book is addressing all distractions. It's saying be careful not to let your devices, duties, or to-do list distract you from what's most important.  I think facebook can be fine and good, and I enjoy it and love to catch up with friends and family, near and far.  But it cannot replace real life and daily living.  I still have endless, normal, work to do around the house with four children. My husband still has a job and must complete his tasks with integrity and work ethic. But those things are a part of life.  We all have work to do, tasks to complete.  What we need a Biblical perspective. We need to put first things, first.  We need to prioritize.  We need to be less distracted.

So my goal is to go Hands Free as much as possible.  I plan to document moments along the way.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Help me slower...

"Mommy, please help me slower.  I think I can figure it out all by myself."
Profound words from my littlest.

Spring and Summer 2009

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Glance at our week

My poor kids asked if the public school kids were out of school today.  I told them that school had been cancelled for public school kids but that they had to make up days and all of that kinda stuff.  However, we can continue through this weather, finish our year before June, and enjoy summer break a little early...  That sentiment was met with understanding.  The thought of summer break was enough to inspire them not give me grief over not getting another snow day.  It was ice yesterday...not fun or safe to play in.  I let them out for a little while, but it made me nervous to let them out for long.  Co-op was cancelled again.  Our roads are completely iced over, and I'm  not sure when they will thaw.  The ice packed down and is incredibly solid.  This morning there's a fresh layer of snow on top of the ice, and the ground is beautiful.  It's completely grass or red clay showing through.
Missy prissy has grown.  You can see the back of her neck where Grace cut her fur... I have no idea what possessed her to do that.

Daniel and Grace working on the Ben Franklin display board.  This will take several weeks to complete.  Ethan and Daniel had a really great idea to include several silly pictures since Franklin was such a funny guy to be around.

Ethan working on grammar.  

Grace is very attached to this cat.  I didn't realize she was such a cat person.  She loves our dogs too, but the cat is just her size.  Last night, Deron had the kids name two things they liked about one another, and the general consensus was that this girl is an animal lover.  To those remarks, she gave two thumbs up and beautifully, bright smile!

Hannah, my generally studious, little learner, is doing her handwriting here. She's wearing her jacket in anticipation of being allowed to go out to the fort they built on Tuesday. The sheet they used as a wall was completely frozen.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


The news said it would happen.  The Ice Storm of 2014.  Historic. Catastrophic.  I am so thankful to still have power.  When I woke up, it looked like it had snowed.  No, it was ice. Every bit of this is ICE.  

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Football fan

Daniel has become quite the football fan.  We've spent several afternoons looking up the history of the Super Bowl.  He scans the scores to see which games were awesome...not boring. Not like this year.  Then, we look up highlights from those games and check to see if there are any clips on You Tube.  

He wants to know the UGA stats.  When is the first game?  Who will be playing?  Are they any good?  Will this be a good year for GA?  He asks me questions I have no idea how to answer.  I love to watch a good game which is surprising because I used to be completely indifferent to football, but even now, I couldn't explain the game.  I'm learning, but he is learning faster than me.  He's a smart little cookie, that one.

"When does football season start?  Like when is the first GA game?"