Monday, December 22, 2014

{This and That}

Well, friends, it's Christmas week!  I think this is the first year that I actually feel a bit ahead of the game.  (As in, I do not anticipate staying up until the wee hours of Christmas morning sewing last-minute gifts.  Not that I've done that before.  Or every other year besides this one.  Ahem.)  Shopping is done, Christmas read-alouds are chosen, goodies have been delivered to neighbors and friends.  There's still lots to do, though--we don't decorate here until Christmas Eve, so there's tree-trimming to come, and I'll be spending the next couple days baking and wrapping too.

And then there's the super-delayed Snapfish prints that are keeping me from getting my Christmas cards in the mail...

Aren't they lovely?  For the past two weeks, they've been sitting in a stack on the counter, greetings written, envelopes addressed, waiting for their family photo insert.  Soon, I hope!

(By the way, in case you're wondering: we used the same printing process for our handmade cards as we have for the past couple years.  My kids love this annual project!)


More news: we finished up Term 2 of Year 3 on Friday!  We'll have exams after Epiphany and then move on to Term 3 the following week.  I am looking forward to spending some time over the break writing exams and pulling together our checklists for the next few months.

Just for fun, the kids' favorite Year 3 books so far (excluding free reads):

Vincent - The Children of the New Forest, Heroes, and Secrets of the Woods
Gianna - The Children of the New ForestTales from Shakespeare and First Communion

We also all agree that we have hit our stride with This Country of Ours this year.  Now that we're on to colonial times and reading the book more regularly (in past years, it was scheduled just a couple chapters per term, but now it's scheduled almost weekly), it is fast becoming a favorite alongside Our Island Story, which we have enjoyed from the beginning.


Every morning, 4yo Xavier gets out his paper and colored pencils and starts drawing house after house after house.  As he puts it, "I just love drawing houses, Mommy."

All of his houses have pretty much the same features: steps up to a front door, windows with heads peeping out, chimney, tree along the side.

I noticed last week that his houses had taken on an interesting additional feature...

...and I knew immediately what they were:

I think someone has been paying attention during Picture Study!


Some of my favorite reads this week:

I have never read a piece by Anthony Esolen that I haven't wanted to give a standing ovation.  This essay is no exception: Another Masterpiece Slated for Destruction.  Hint: it's about far more than one parish church on the East Coast. 

A friend shared this lovely chanted Christmas Novena on YouTube.  It's not too late to listen!  I have been playing this in the background while the children play in the mornings.

A little handicraft for your Christmas table: Christmas Tree Napkin Fold.  Very festive.

These Amazing Classic Books Are So Short You Have No Excuse Not To Read Them.  How's that for clickbait?  Jeanne shared this fun booklist just as I was pondering my reading list for next year.  A compilation of super-short classics?  Sounds like just the challenge for me! ;)  Really, though--even though I have already read about half of them, I really liked the variety of this list and am using it as I consider my TBR list for 2015.  There's also this companion list of short story suggestions that looks very interesting.  I really enjoy short stories.


So are you ready for Christmas?  I know what's most important is our spiritual preparation, of course, but we moms are also responsible for preparing our homes and children for the holy-day.   Do you still have a list a mile long?  Or will you be spending this week reading with a cup of hot tea and a good book?


  1. We're all ready for Christmas! Yay! I'm spending this week before Christmas doing some reading and I've been working on school plans for next term today. I enjoy planning. :) And of course, there will be a good bit of cooking going on this week, too, in preparation for our big family Christmas dinner. I tried out a new recipe just now and if it turns out well, I'll probably be making it for the dinner. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

    1. Thank you, Karen! I get off a bit easy in the cooking department over the holidays because we have a big Christmas Eve meal at my parents' and one at my in-laws' after Christmas, so on Christas Day here at home, we do a big brunch and then just finger foods for lunch/dinner. :) And I can definitely relate--I enjoy planning too. ;)