Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas with Family in Massachusetts

This year we spent Christmas in Massachusetts, which is where Mark and I grew up. This was the first time in 19 years that we have travelled north in December, and we were rewarded with a blanket of fresh snow upon our arrival.

Grammy & Grampa's house

Jason couldn't wait to get outside to play in the snow... something we don't get a lot of in NC!

Alex flew from TX to MA, so the whole family was together... something that circumstances seemed to be working against for a little while. First, Alex's leave got messed up at the last minute, and he was scheduled to work over the holiday week! He was able to find someone to cover duty for him for a few days, so we had 5 days together instead of the 2 weeks we had been looking forward to. Then our van broke down 4 days before we were supposed to leave for the 700 mile trip up the East Coast! Of course, after being towed to the garage and sitting for the weekend, the van started right up for the mechanic on Monday morning, and he couldn't find anything wrong! Ummm, I don't think so, not when we are travelling 700 miles each way! So we scurried to rent a vehicle that would fit the 6 of us ~ and apparently rented the last mini van available in the whole city of Raleigh.The weather looked iffy for a bit, but everything worked out fine and we had clear weather all the way up, and back again today too. THANK YOU to those of you who prayed for us and this trip! We had a wonderful time visiting grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Grammy & Grampa - my parents

Christmas Eve was the annual family Christmas party, which this year was held at my sister and brother-in-law's cafe in Putnam, CT. The cafe closed at 3:00, and we had the entire facility to ourselves. It was perfect!

Victoria Station Cafe

fresh pastries are baked on the premises!

Isak and Eric during a quiet moment...obviously plotting something...

My dad is honorary "executive chef" at the cafe, and my cousin Bruce was his assistant for the party!

A hot mocha is even more special when it is made for family!

Everyone brought components of the menu, which is fairly constant from year to year, but with a few new twists from time to time. It is loosely based on the Italian Christmas Eve tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes :
  • shrimp cocktail
  • cheese & crackers
  • vegetables & dip
  • spaghetti w/ tuna sauce
  • 7-fish soup
  • baccala ( fried cod )
  • gnocchi
  • bread
  • salad
  • pastries
The younger children had drawn names for exchanging gifts, and the teens and adults enjoyed a Yankee Gift Swap. Everyone brought a $10 gift which was placed under the tree. Then we drew numbers. Number one got to select and open a gift from the pile. Then Number 2 selected a gift. After opening it, he could decide whether to keep it or trade with Number one. After Number three opened his gift, he had to decide whether to keep it or trade with either #1 OR #2. And so on. It was a lot of fun.

Jason loved his new Red Sox cap!

Afterwards, it was back to Grammy & Grampa's house, where the seven of us and the four members of my sister's family sprawled out in guest beds, pull-out couches, air mattresses, and recliners! Oh, the fun of family gatherings!

Christmas morning found the whole clan gathered around the Christmas tree, opening gifts.

my nieces, Sabrina and Adriana

Later that afternoon, it was off the visit the "other cousins" - Mark's sister and her family, who were getting ready to head off to warmer places for Christmas vacation!

"Rock Band Cousins"

We also got to spend one evening with Mark's mother
, who also lives nearby. It is nice when almost all the relatives live near each other!

On Saturday there was a party, again at the Cafe, with relatives from my mother's side of the family.
This was a smaller gathering, and it was disappointing that so many people couldn't make it, but we enjoyed getting reacquainted with those who did come.

cousins - Amanda and Sabrina

Auntie Susie, Auntie Ginger, and Mom

Monday, December 22, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY: December 22nd

Outside my window...
the sun is shining through the tall pine trees, the ground is covered with brown leaves - we never got around to raking this year - and it is a COLD 25 degrees this morning!

I am thinking...
that I have a LOT to do today to get ready for our trip up north

I am thankful for...
the fact that God, the King of kings who created the universe and knows the number of hairs on my head, willingly came to live among us, born as a helpless baby in a simple, dirty stable, so that he could grow up to be the Lamb of God, to offer himself as a sacrifice in my place and pay the penalty for my sins

From the learning rooms...
Cornerstone Academy is on "Christmas Break" :-)

From the kitchen...
chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast; and another batch of peanut butter balls to take to Grammy's with us

I am wearing...
my fuzzy pink robe over my PJs

I am creating...
finishing some felt coasters

I am going...
to Massachusetts to visit my extended family for Christmas! we haven't traveled at Christmas for a LONG time, but decided to make the 14 hour drive this year to celebrate with both my dad's side of the family on Christmas Eve and my mom's side of the family on the 27th; and see Mark's mom and sister in between; Alex will be flying in to meet us up there, so all 7 of us will be together for Christmas!

I am reading...
some favorite Christmas children's books :
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, by Susan Wojciechowski
The Legend of the Candy Cane, by Lori Walburg
Alabaster's Song, by Max Luxado
The Candle in the Window, by Grace Johnson
Jacob's Gift, by Max Lucado
Gift of the Magi, by O.Henry
A Cup of Christmas Tea, byTom Hegg

I am hoping...
for our van to be repaired quickly and easily today, so that we can travel as planned!

I am hearing...
"Breath of Heaven" being sung by Sara Groves

Around the house...
two of Sarah's friends, my "other daughters", spent the night on the couch last night ; gifts are mostly wrapped, but there are still a couple of stragglers to be done and the the kids are going out to buy one or two more things this afternoon; the duffel bags are down from the attic and ready to be packed; the house looks like two college students have recently come home with a bunch of their stuff which is s-p-r-e-a-d out everywhere! Mark is working from home today so is sitting at the kitchen table with his laptop and a cup of coffee

One of my favorite things...
hanging out with my family, watching Christmas movies, eating Christmas cookies and drinking hot chocolate

A few plans for the rest of the week:
driving to Massachusetts
Christmas Eve at Victoria Station Cafe with about 60 of my relatives
making a snowman!
hugging on my soldier son for a few days
laughing, playing, and relaxing with my family
hanging out with more relatives at the Cafe on Saturday
( my sister's beautiful cafe has become the favorite family gathering spot )

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

We went to the airport Saturday to meet our friends Carla & Morgan as they returned from Ethiopia, where they adopted these two precious, long-awaited children.

Join Peggy to read more Simple Women's Daybooks every Monday or add your own!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Bit of Christmas Carol History

As I sit here listening to a CD of Christmas music, I thought you might enjoy this little history of a few favorite carols that I put together for our homeschool group's Christmas Tea a few weeks back.

The word Carol actually means dance or a song of praise and joy! The tradition of Christmas carols hails back as far as the thirteenth century, although carols were originally communal songs sung during celebrations like harvesttide as well as Christmas. It was only later that Carols began to be sung in church, and to be specifically associated with Christmas. Some carols, like Angels from the Realms of Glory, can be traced directly back to the Middle Ages and are among the oldest musical compositions still regularly sung. Carols suffered a decline in popularity after the Reformation in the countries where Protestant churches gained prominence ( although well-known Reformers like Martin Luther wrote carols and encouraged their use in worship), but survived in rural communities until the revival of interest in carols in the 19th century. The idea of singing carols in church was instituted in the late 1800s, when the words hymn and carol were used almost interchangeably, however the traditional wassailing songs were omitted. In 1878, the Salvation Army, under Charles Fry, began playing carols at Christmas, using a brass band.

It was once commonly believed that the well-known carol O Come, All Ye Faithful dated back to the thirteenth century and was written in Latin by St. Bonaventure. However, it was discovered that the original manuscript was written by John Francis Wade, a Roman Catholic from England, who during the Jacobite Rebellion fled to France, where he taught music and worked as a music copyist.
In 1743, Wade introduced the world to a Latin Christmas carol that began Adeste Fideles, Laeti triumphante. Until the 1900s, historians believed that Wade had found an ancient hymn. But the fact that Wade's signature can be found on all seven original hand-made manuscripts suggests that he was indeed the author.
When the persecution of Catholics ended in England, English refugees returned home, bringing this song with them. Eventually, it was discovered by Rev. Frederick Oakeley, an Anglican minister, who attempted to translate the Latin into English. His first attempt read Ye Faithful, Approach Ye. Fortunately, Oakeley made a second try, and his new translation read O Come, All Ye Faithful, Joyful and Triumphant! Perhaps Oakeley's conversion to Catholicism gave him a better grasp of Latin. We don't know. But soon, Adeste Fideles became a favorite carol in both Protestant and Catholic religious circles, and it is still sung today in both Latin and English.

O Come, All Ye Faithful

Adeste fideles,
Laeti triumphantes;
Venite, venite in Bethlehem;
Natum videte
Regum angelorum
Venite adoremus,
Venite adoremus,
Venite adoremus, Dominum

O come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him,
Born the king of angels;
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

The song Hark! the Herald Angels Sing is a compilation of the efforts of Charles Wesley, George Whitfield, Felix Mendelssohn, and W.H. Cummings.
Charles Wesley, a founder of the Methodist movement, is well known for the many hymns he wrote in his lifetime. It is said that he was very temperamental about his work, and insisted that people not change what he had written. We can be glad that Wesley's friend, George Whitfield, ignored his friend's wishes. When Wesley wrote the hymn, the first two lines began Hark, how the welkin rings, Glory to the King of kings. Welkin was an Old English word meaning -the vault of heaven-. Whitfield changed the lines to the now familiar Hark! the herald angels sing glory to the newborn king.
The melody as we know it today is an adaptation of music written by Mendelssohn to commemorate Johann Gutenbergs's invention of the printing press! An organist named W.H. Cummings made the inspired adaptation of Mendelssohn's music to the words of Wesley's hymn. It was common practice for hymn writers to adapt a popular tune or classical piece to suit the words of their song. He organized the song into the ten-line stanzas that are sung today.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. ( Luke 2: 13-14)

Hark! the Herald Angels Sing

Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!
Joyful all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th' angelic host proclaim
Christ is born in Bethlehem!
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King!

Joseph Mohr, a village priest in the Austrian village of Oberndorf, wrote the words for the hymn Silent Night in 1816, and it was first sung on Christmas Eve two years later, when the church organ broke down, disrupting plans for the traditional Christmas Eve service. Mohr's friend, musician Franz Gruber, composed a guitar accompaniment for Mohr's lyrics. The song was spread through the efforts of traveling folk singers, and became popular as the Tyrolean Folk Song. Silent Night was elevated above the ranks of folk tune in 1838 when it was published in a German hymnbook to be used for congregational singing. Soon, German-speaking congregations in the United States began to use the hymnal. In 1863, it was translated into English and included in a collection of Sunday School songs.

Silent Night

Silent night, holy night,
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child.
Holy infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Sleep in heavenly peace.

In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, Mystery Plays - dramatizations of biblical stories - were quite popular. A favorite subject was Jesus's birth. These events were often orchestrated by singer, writer, and musicians. The First Noel portrays in vivid narrative style the story of the birth of Christ. All six stanzas are needed to compete the entire event when the hymn in sung. The sixth stanza urges us to join together to sing praises to God for the marvels of His creation and for the salvation provided through Christ's shed blood. Noel is a French word meaning birthday. The repetition of the joyous Noel in the refrain is the equivalent of our singing out Happy Birthday to someone.
The song is thought to have been brought across the channel from France to England before 1823 by wandering troubadours. The carol under the English form, Nowell, became a great favorite for Christmas Eve, often sung as the entire village gathered for singing and celebrating the bringing in of the the Yule log. At this time, carols were thought of as popular religious songs meant to be sung outside of church.

The First Noel

The first Noel the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields as they lay keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter's night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the east beyong them far,
And to the earth it gave great light,
And so it continued both day and night.

And by the light of that same star
Three wise men came from country far;
To seek for a king was their intent,
And to follow the star wherever it went.

This star drew nigh to the northwest,
O'er Bethlehem it took its rest,
And there it did both stop and stay
Right over the place wehre Jesus lay.

Then entered in those wise men three
Full reverently upon their knee,
And offered there in his presence
Their gold, and myrrh, and frankincense.

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord;
That hath made heaven and earth of naught,
And with his blood mankind hath bought.

The Scripture-based words of Joy to the World were written by renowned Methodist minister and hymn writer Isaac Watts in 1719. The original music score is attributed to Georg Fredric Handel, but the music familiar to us now was adapted from various songs and composers ( including Handel) by Lowell Mason in 1836.
Lowell Mason was at the forefront of radical changes to music practices of his day. He is considered largely responsible for introducing music into the American public school system. As music director of a large Presbyterian church, he boldly changed tha accepted program format from that of professional choirs and orchestras to congregational singing accompanied by organ music.

"Behold, I bring good tidings of great joy, which will be to all people."
(Luke 1:10)

Joy to the World

Joy to the World! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

To the men and women held in the bondage of slavery (or the memory of it), ideals of liberation are held high. Therefore, Jesus promise of liberation for all people, combined with the imagery of the Sermon on the Mount, was cherished by African Americans.
Chances are, this became the inspiration for the rousing spiritual Go, Tell It On the Mountain. Though its author is unknown, the hymn is assumed to have been written in the early 1800s. Go, Tell It On the Mountain was made popular in 1879 when it was performed by the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University, a school that once specialized in the education of freed slaves.

Go, Tell It On the Mountain

While shepherds kept their watching
Over silent flocks by night,
Behold throughout the heavens
There shone a holy light;
Go tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills, and everywhere;
Go tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born!

The shepherds feared and trembled
When lo! above the earth
Rang out the angel chorus
That hailed the Savior's birth;
Go tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born!

Down in a lowly manger
Our humble Christ was born,
And God sent us salvation
That blessed Christmas morn;
Go tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born!

*I got this information from different places on the internet, but much came from

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Subdued Christmas

I love Christmas and all the traditions and festivities of this season. I adore driving around at night looking at houses decked out in Christmas lights. I am a baking fiend who delights in churning out dozens of our favorite Christmas cookies and breads, and packaging some of them up for friends and neighbors. A big, beautiful Christmas tree covered with the same ornaments year after year gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling, and an evergreen wreath tied with a big red bow hanging on the door says "welcome". Christmas music playing on the stereo - whether the Mormon Tabernacle Choir or Andy Williams or Amy Grant or Manheim Steamroller - is simply heavenly. We have lived in Massachusetts, Georgia, south Florida, Minnesota, and North Carolina - so we have had deep snow, warm sunshine and just about everything in between on Christmas, and it is all good. The presents actually take a back seat to my other favorite parts of the Christmas season - I do not like shopping and it is a bit stressful to try to squeeze extra dollars out of an already strained budget. But it IS nice when people think to get something special just for you, and likewise I love to choose special gifts for the people I love.

For some reason Christmas feels strange this year. I have had a hard time getting excited, and I don't really know why. We have no tree this year, no Christmas lights on the house, no wreath on the door, and I've only made 2 batches of cookies.
There are several reasons... money, my husband's sore back, a lot of basketball games, not as many helpers... I guess it's not a terrible thing to simplify.I do have a pretty red tablecloth on the dining room table, and a beautiful Poinsettia plant and nativity set on my coffee table, and holiday pillows on the sofa. I have a small pile of wrapped packages in my bedroom. This has been an emotional year for me, and there have been a lot of changes... and there are surely many more to come! Disappointment has been a frequent companion.

I need to find my joy, which I KNOW does not lie in the decorations or the traditions of the holiday. Nor does it lie in the external circumstances of my life, nor in the actions or attitudes of people around me, nor in my successes or failures. I have six days ... six days to fall to my knees and adore the Christ child in the manger, and let the wonder and eternal impact of that simple event flood my heart and rock my world. And then it truly will be a blessed Christmas.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

For Grammy - Jason's First Piano Recital

Jason started taking piano lessons this fall, so he has been playing for 3 months now. His teacher had a Christmas recital with about 8 students in her living room last night.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

African Children's Choir

Yesterday we went to a concert by the African Children's Choir at Kings Park International Church, in Durham. What a group of kids! The concert was full of joy and energy - entertaining, exciting, inspiring. But the story behind the African Children's Choir is a true God-story! The first choir was formed from orphaned and vulnerable children in Uganda in 1984, in the midst of a bloody civil war.

"Inspired by the singing of one small boy, we formed the first African Children’s Choir - to show the world that Africa’s most vulnerable children have beauty, dignity and unlimited ability."

Proceeds from the tours and from donations and sponsors have funded the building of orphanages and schools back in Africa, as well as providing for the continuing care, education, and development of the choir children themselves - some 700 children have now been through the choir program since 1984.

Kings Park International Church bought a house and 6 acres of land to provide the choir with a home, called Mirembe House, as a familiar place for rest, play, and study between tours. The Friends of Mirembe is an organization of volunteers who provide meals, clothing, recreational and educational materials, and special events for the choir children, who are between ages 8 -12.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Scripture for Today

In church we are working through the book of Galatians. Today Pastor Ryan was preaching from Galatians 3.
"You foolish Galatians! ( Paul speaking to the believers in Galatia ) Who has bewitched you?Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit [become filled with God's Holy Spirit as believers] by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit [faith], are you now trying to attain your goal [heaven] by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing - if it really was for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law [do all the right things] , or because you believe what you heard [that Jesus Christ was God incarnate and paid the penalty for our sins - once and for all] ?"

There is still a tension in the Christian church today between faith and good works - how much do we ourselves have to add to Christ's sacrifice on the cross in order to attain heaven? Does the cross just get us started in the right direction, and then it is up to us to close the gap the rest of the way with "being good" and doing the "right things"? If so, how much is enough? Can we ever KNOW that we have done enough to enter heaven?

In the book of Galatians, Paul was writing a letter to address some heretical teaching that had crept into the Galatian church - that it was necessary to follow the practices of the Jewish religion as well as believe in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross to be saved from ones' sins. Circumcision, dietary restrictions, Sabbath rituals, etc. were still required, even if you were a non-Jew, according to this teaching. Paul jumped on this with some very strong language. "You FOOLISH Galatians! Who has BEWITCHED you?"

The Jewish law was a protection and guide for God's people, living in the midst of paganism. But it was also meant to show us our weakness. It demonstrates that NO ONE can meet God's standard completely, without ever making an error. And therefore no one can be righteous by their own merit or strength! Only when we realize that our efforts can NEVER be enough to satisfy God can we recognize our need for a Saviour. The Jewish law had no power to remove sin. Even before Christ came to live on earth, salvation came by FAITH.

Galatians 3:6
Consider Abraham:'He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.' "
Galatians 3:24
"So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ, that we might by justified [to be made righteous or acceptable to God ]
by faith."

Ephesians 2:8-9
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast."
Because salvation comes by faith, I CAN know that I will be with my Father in heaven one day. Christ paid the penalty that was required ( because God is holy and just ) for my sins. I don't have to add anything to what Christ has done on the cross. It is finished. It is COMPLETE.

Now, because of what Christ has done for me, I WANT to live in a way that pleases God. Because I understand the sinful state I was in, and the incredible sacrifice that he made on my behalf, I am GRATEFUL. Therefore, I do "good works" because of the overflow of Christ in my life, not in the hopes that I can tip the balance of the scales in my favor.

If you have not ever thought of things this way, I urge you to consider these verses.
Romans 3:23 "
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this, that while we were still sinners Christ died for us."Romans 10:9 "That if you confess with your mouth "Jesus is Lord", and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."Romans 5:1 "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Gingerbread House

Jason and his friend Nathan made another gingerbread house this year. We got together 3 times this week - once to look at pictures and come up with a plan for what they wanted their house to look like; once to take the pieces that I had cut out and baked and assemble them into a house using royal icing; and a third time to decorate with cookies, candy, and icing - about a 2 hour job.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Lighthouse Christmas Tea

Tuesday night was our homeschool group's annual Mom's Christmas Tea. This is always a sweet evening of fellowship and a chance to get to know each other better as we sit at festively decorated tables, sipping hot tea or cider and nibbling cookies and finger sandwiches.

We enjoyed a time of singing and learning the history of some of our most beloved Christmas carols.

Then we all benefited from hearing our speaker, Allison, talk about keeping Christ as the focus of our Christmas preparations and celebrations. She challenged us to keep things simple, to keep our priorities in line ( first God, then our husbands, then our children, and then everything else!) , to be deliberate in teaching our children the meaning behind our Christmas celebrations, and to actively look for ways to share Christ with others.

Another tradition at our Tea is singing "The 14 Days of Homeschool".

14 Days of Homeschooling
(To the tune of "Twelve Days of Christmas.")

On the first day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "Can you homeschool legally?"

On the second day of homeschool my neighbor said to me,

"Are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?"

On the third day of homeschool my neighbor said to me,

"Do you give them tests, are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?"

On the fourth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me,

"What about P.E., do you give them tests,

are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?"

On the fifth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me,


What about P.E., do you give them tests,

are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?"

On the sixth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me,

"How long will you homeschool,


what about P.E. , do you give them tests,

are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?"

On the seventh day of homeschool my neighbor said to me,

"Look at what they're missing, how long will you homeschool,


what about P.E., do you give them tests,

are they socialized, do you homeschool legally?"

On the eighth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me,

"Why do you do this, look at what they're missing,

how long will you homeschool,


what about P.E. do you give them tests,

are they socialized, do you homeschool legally?"

On the ninth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me,

"They'll miss the prom, why do you do this,

look at what they're missing, how long will you homeschool,


what about P.E. do you give them tests,

are they socialized, do you homeschool legally?"

On the tenth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me,

"What about graduation, they'll miss the prom,

why do you do this, look at what they're missing,

how long will you homeschool,


what about P.E., do you give them tests,

are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?"

On the eleventh day of homeschool my neighbor said to me,

"I could never do that, what about graduation,

they'll miss the prom, why do you do this,

look at what they're missing, how long will you homeschool,


what about P.E., do you give them tests,

are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?"

On the twelfth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me,

"Can they go to college, I could never do that,

what about graduation, they'll miss the prom,

why do you do this, look at what they're missing,

how long will you homeschool,


What about P.E., do you give them tests,

are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?"

On the thirteenth day of homeschool I thoughtfully replied:

"They can go to college, yes you can do this,

they can have graduation, we don't like the prom,

we do it cuz we like it, they are missing nothing,

we'll homeschool forever,


We give them P.E., and we give them tests,

they are socialized, AND WE HOMESCHOOL LEGALLY!"

On the fourteenth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me,

"How can I get started, why didn't you tell me,

where do I buy curriculum, when is the next conference,


I think we can do this, if you will help us,

we'll join a sports team, and we'll homeschool legally."

Monday, December 1, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY: December 1st

Outside my window...
it is dark; today was an overcast, windy & chilly day

I am thinking...
that the house is very quiet with the oldest three gone again after having a full house for the holiday weekend

I am thankful for...
for my bright, affectionate, headstrong daughter, who is 21 years old today

From the learning rooms...
stories of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation (TOG Year 2, Week 16 );
started the Names of Jesus advent study from "Celebrate With Joy"

From the kitc
hamburgers, french fries, and salad for dinner tonight;
I need to make another pot of turkey soup with the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers

I am wearing...
beige slacks, brown t- shirt, and cozy brown plaid flannel shirt

I am creating...
embroidered felt purses and coasters for Christmas presents; gingerbread house with J later this week

I am going...
to the annual Moms Christmas Tea tomorrow night

I am reading...
"The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien to J at bedtime every night;
"The Spontaneous Spread of Home-Discipleship Christianity" by Henry Reyenga Jr.

I am hoping...
to lose 10 pounds by Christmas

I am hearing...
singing coming from the girls' bedroom

Around the house...
I've taken down the fall decorations, but haven't put up anything for Christmas yet - I am behind, I know! There is laundry that needs to be folded, dishes that need to be washed, floors that need to be vacuumed, books and papers that need to be organized.. I'm not feeling very festive

One of my favorite things...
a mug of hot spiced cider on a cold and blustery day

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Amanda's basketball game;
making cookies for the Chr
istmas Tea;
making a gingerbread house
with J
for the Lighthouse Christmas Fair and Gingerbread House Contest on Saturday;

decorating the house for Christmas;
nursing those with bad colds and trying not to get sick myself!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Happy Birthday, Princess

Join Peggy to read more Simple Women's Daybooks every Monday or add your own!