Sunday, February 7, 2021

{This and That} :: On to Term 3!

Hooray for some much-needed rain followed by a week of sunshine!

And better yet: our first week of Term 3 is complete! We went straight into the new term without a break after exams, which I know was the best choice for my kids but maybe not the best choice for me. ;) They got a "long weekend" after exam week, but I did not -- I was finishing up some planning for Term 3, reading through exams and updating records, and getting lots of work done for other projects. But the week went fine and I feel like I'm back in the groove of things after several days of sunshine here. 

A few peeks at Form 1 work last week:

The book in the photo above is Maps by Mizielinki. My Form 1A students have been using it a lot this year as they do their "world tour" using our geographical reader.

And I just love these little reciters! Clara always shows up for lessons in style.

(We finally took down our Christmas decorations on Monday in anticipation of Candlemas! It feels nice to have the open space again.)

And my preschooler has been busy too! He was so focused on drawing a collection of foods from Food of the World. (He really likes this whole series, which is on the CMEC list for Kinderleben.)

And we love our Kinderleben Collection set of artist prints from Riverbend Press!


Our exam week went great! One favorite task we have at the end of term is to collect each child's Weekly Paintings into our family binder. It is so neat to see all those little cards side by side! (If you want a quick explanation of what our Weekly Paintings are, click here. I also have more examples collected at #ourweeklypaintings.)

The Friday night after exam week, I sat and read through their answers and added to my Mother's Journal for each student. This is one of the essential elements of my reflection routine and I feel like I just can't end a term without it.


We got the two oldest girls a cookbook for Christmas, and they have had so much fun with it! They have always done a fair bit of cooking, and Gianna is quite compentent in the kitchen, but the cookbook has been nice for them to explore new recipes.

So far they have made salmon and risotto, roast chicken and braised green beans, polish sausage with lentils, and many (probably too many!) desserts. My husband even requested the cinnamon rolls they made on Epiphany for his birthday dessert last weekend.


We are still very much enjoying our clay work -- it is a highlight of our week. Perfect for all ages! We sometimes work from plates, sometimes from models, sometimes with design. This week we took carrots as our subject (I put a Form 1 sample above, and below is my high schooler's), and a couple weeks ago, we did birds.

My preschooler often joins us and works in playdoh alongside. Below: his carrot and bird! He is allowed to use the clay but is into the playdoh colors right now.


We have two birthday girls in January: Emilia turned ONE and Catherine turned TWELVE! 

Cate made her own German chocolate layer cake, and she and Gianna made a carrot cake to celebrate Emilia. I am working myself out of a job!

Really, though, these girls are a delight. What a gift to have a little girl in the house for all my big girls to love.

And Emilia was gifted all of these sweet handmade goodies. I love seeing the kids' creativity.


For an exam treat, I bought the kids a mini sticker maker. It is already going to good use!

We now have stickers on everything in the house and have used up the first roll of tape -- I'm ordering more and the kids can't wait to get it because apparently they have Big Plans. I like this little machine because it is a hand crank, so no plugging in or batteries and even my littles can use it easily. Definitely a win for all ages!


Last but not least: two quick announcements...

First, I chatted with my friend Mariana about foreign language for the Charlotte Mason for All podcast. This is a topic I have explored for years (and that I hope to discuss at an upcoming CMEC summer retreat as well). You can listen in on our conversation here. Thanks to Min, Erika, Simone, and Mariana for the invite!

Second, registration for the CMEC will be opening in just a couple weeks! We have a brand new Information Packet out that includes video tours of our curriculum, community, and resources, as well as samples of our program. To request a copy, head over to our website! And if you would like to receive notice when we open for the 2021-2022 School Year, be sure to join the mailing list.

That's it for today! I hope your February has gotten off to a smooth start.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

A Christmas Catch-Up

Happy New Year! We had a comfortably quiet Twelve Days of Christmas and are finally getting used to the idea that we are back to lessons tomorrow after three weeks off. I didn't get quite as much done as I was hoping to over our break (nothing new there!), but I did do a lot of pre-reading and a good amount of work for the CMEC, and I finished a first-round edit of Gianna's first novel! (Well, it was the first round for me, but probably the third or fourth round for her. ;) She finished it last spring and is determined to publish it this year.)

But we're still celebrating the Christmas season here, so I thought I'd do a little catch up this evening with some snaps from our festivities over the past few weeks.

One thing I never thought we would have to do is go to Christmas Mass in a car...but such is life in California right now (and since March).

A beautiful sunrise greeted us on the way home, though!

Since we weren't getting together with family at all this Chirstmas, the kids and I did a bit of extra special baking this year. These were our three favorite cookies! (My usual gingersnaps came in a close fourth.)

But we couldn't skip our usual Christmas brunch -- the kids want that meal to be the same every year.

After breakfast, we always do a procession around the house to add all the Baby Jesus figures to their respective mangers...

The kids did a secret santa swap this year. They were most excited about giving their sibling gifts! They all pitched in to get Emilia a gift...

That big smooch was just the reaction they were hoping for!

Each year I make each of the kids an ornament. I usually tie it to one of our handicraft projects from the year. This year we have been working with raffia, so I made these raffia circles using plastic canvas coasters:

I took the advice of a friend and kept my middle kids busy prepping some "fun" foods...

A little wonky, perhaps, but everything tasted great. ;) We did appetizers and pies for dinner and it was all so good. I have been working on my pie crust this year and the holidays are a good opportunity to practice! I should have made a couple more because these didn't last long. ;)

I'll be back soon to share some favorite gifts as well as what we have been reading -- LOTS and LOTS of reading by everyone (including me) over the break!

Wishing you a happy, healthy, HOLY New Year!