Monday, December 18, 2017

{This and That}

Hi friends!  We're in the home stretch of December, and I have a few posts I want to get up before taking a little Christmas hiatus.  This week I'll be sharing a bit about the Science of Relations inspired by my seven-year-old son, as well as some snaps from our most recent Moms' Hike following a lovely fall morning at the county park painting leaves and seeds.

We have one last (light) week of school to finish up before break, and then we'll be off for two weeks to enjoy the Twelve Days of Christmas through Epiphany. I have a list of projects I'd like to work on during my time off: facing my fear of writing in my new Book of Centuries (ha!), working on my talk for CM West, cleaning up some of our storage spaces, and prepping for Term 3. We're on Week 19, and with January busy with conference prep, I know we'll be on to our last term of the year before I expect it.


I hope you're having a fruitful Advent so far!  We are keeping our traditions simple this year, sticking with our tried and true.

I adjusted our Morning Basket to accommodate some Advent devotional practices.

We are reading a Christmas book each day, playing Advent hymns, lighting our wreath (most days ;)), praying our novena, preparing our hearts for His coming.

You can read more about how our family observes Advent here, in this post from many years ago. Every year I plan to add something new (Jesse Tree! Christkindl!), and every year I feel like doing so will disturb what little peace I have. :)  So for now, we stick with what we know and love.


Damien is five months old now and on the move: scooting around, rolling both ways.  He'll only be "worn" facing out in the carrier/wrap, and he adores attention.


There was a thread over on the AmblesideOnline forums about crafting gifts for siblings, and I took that opportunity to pull our annual Christmas crafting posts into one place in response.

I thought I'd share those here too in case you are looking for simple projects to do with your children this year: here's 20152014, and 2013!


We have about ten spots left for CM West :: Conference in Old San Juan, so if you're hoping to join us, head on over and get registered!

I'm over on Instagram asking what you'd like to hear about keeping, my conference topic for this year. Feel free to add your feedback in the comments section here too!


It has been quite chilly lately, which I am loving, but it has me thinking back to our last few warm-weather visits to the beach just last month.  Through fall, we always have an increase in shore birds here, and this year was no exception...

Whimbrels, godwits, gulls, and plovers (or are they sanderlings?). Always fun to watch!


We enjoyed a simple observance of St. Nicholas Day, with the obligatory sweets and treats and some special devotions in honor of this patron saint of children.

Each child got a book to add to our Christmas picture book shelves.  Most of these we have already read and loved...from the library. But this year I was blessed in finding used copies of some of our favorite out-of-print selections to have for our own:

The Story of the Three Kings (this one is totally new to us)
The Nutcracker, illustrated by Maurice Sendak
Ilse Plume's Twelve Days of Christmas (we enjoy her The Farmer in the Dell)
Cooper Edens' Twas the Night Before Christmas
Jan Pienkowski's Christmas
B is for Bethlehem, with illustrations by Elisa Kleven (illustrator of another of my favorite books, Snowsong Whistling)
Christmas in the Barn and The Little Fir Tree, both illustrated by Barbara Cooney

Besides the oranges, candy sticks, and chocolate coins, we had a few other goodies tucked inside: some more needle threaders, a little craft kit of snowflake ornaments to make for extended family, and such. We also received a family gift of The Lord of the Rings hardcover set, beautifully illustrated by Alan Lee. And Mommy got a spill-resistant mug since she's toting a baby around whenever she's drinking her morning coffee these days.  Wasn't that awfully thoughtful of good Saint Nick? ;)

(Want more Christmas reading suggestions? Years ago, I posted my Top Ten Christmas Picture Books for Littles here. Not exhaustive, but we still love all the books on that list!)

(And I love my mug and am planning to get another -- maybe this one? Anyone have it and love it?)

(One last random note: I was looking back through my archives of prior St. Nicholas Day celebrations and oohing and aahing over the chubby faces of my much-littler kids. Where does the time go?)


And as for our St. Lucy's Day observance, which we have kept faithfully for years...that didn't happen. I woke up sick and spent the day managing school and lying down whenever possible.  That's life -- there's always next year!


I'll be back soon -- have a great last week of Advent!


  1. Love these posts and added some of your titles to my want list. :) Have you ever heard of the story Candle in the Forest? I recently was recommended it and it is so sweet! I hope to read it soon to my children. I think it's typically in anthologies and I can't vouch for the other stories in the book, but it's in a Joe Wheeler collection. I read it online.

    1. No, I haven't -- thank you for the suggestion! <3