....I should be doin' laundry, or dishes, or cleaning, or cooking, or sewing, or teaching the children or reading the Bible, or any number of other things. I always have these grand ideas and plans, yet somehow, someway, I always end up doing what I shouldn't.
Our tradition for when to put up the Christmas tree and decorations is "whenever works."
In keeping with tradition, this year it won't be till the weekend before Christmas.
This week is the last week of college classes for Hannah and Ellie. They have papers and projects to finish. I will continue to do lessons with Nathan, Abby, and Sam for the first three days of this week. Plus, we have two families arriving on Thursday who will stay for the weekend. We will once again attend the midnight premier of The Desolation of Smaug and enjoy a fun-filled weekend together with lots of food and games.
Next week Hannah and Ellie have finals Monday through Wednesday, therefore I will do school work with Nathan, Abby, and Sam those days. Starting Thursday, December 19th, we will spend our days baking and decorating, shopping for and wrapping gifts, not to mention lots of time to listen to Christmas music, watch movies, and read books while snuggled under blankets and drinking coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.
We cannot wait. But we must. We have work to do before hand. Until then, we will enjoy the new tradition we started this year.
It is done. Last night I clicked the "buy" button on the digital scrapbook of our Europe trip. I have completed many scrapbook albums over the years, but never a digital one. I am nervous, anxious, excited, and hopeful.
When we planned the trip we were all these things as well. With no experience in such a trip we did not know what to expect but we had ideas and hopes. That is how I feel now too. Never having done a digital scrapbook. it was hard to figure out which pictures to use, what to write, and should I do it this way or that way, with this company or that one. There were so many choices, just like in planning our trip. None of these questions had a right or wrong answer. All were simply a choice to make.
When David clicked buy to purchase the plane tickets, we knew we were going. Whatever might happen on that trip, good or bad, we were going with the family to Europe. That one purchase set it in motion. When I clicked buy last night to purchase the digital scrapbook, it brought back those memories. Whatever mistakes in pictures or words I made are there forever. The scrapbook is done. This will be the book that keeps the memories of our fantastic trip alive in our minds. I cannot wait to hold it in my hands. Yes, nervous, anxious, excited and hopeful emotions are swirling through me and will be till the postman delivers it to my door.
My husband remembered that I have been wanting a hand-held mirror. While shopping yesterday he bought one for me. It makes me smile that he thought of me and purchased something for me that appears to be so small and insignificant. When in reality, those little things are just great big expressions of love.
We are in our twelfth week of school. I cannot believe it either. Our schedule and routine has become natural and Nathan, Abby, and Sam have become adept at moving through their daily list.
We aren't as far in some subjects as I had expected. History in particular. That is one I always have trouble gauging what I should expect, what I should plan, and what actually happens. We will finish Ancient Egypt before Thanksgiving and move on to Ancient Greece and Rome.
Other subjects have gone better than I expected. The Geography book I bought has been well-received and they read on average a chapter per week. I could do more, but I will try to remain positive and remember we are learning just by reading.
Another that has gone extremely well is Sam's science. He is reading through Exploring Creation Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day. We haven't done many of the experiments, but he is always telling me about what he reads. He also writes down what he learns either on paper or in a lapbooking form I might have found. He will finish this book before Christmas. I have on the shelf Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day and I found this site. I think I will get it for him and have him work through that book and complete the lap book in the winter and spring.
David has been using Lingua Latina with Nathan and Abby this year. Switching to this curriculum has been good. Both kids are picking up Latin better and enjoying it. They love the story aspect of this and don't mind that some work is done on the computer. Sam and I are working through First Form Latin. I will finally advance beyond "pre-school" Latin as I plan to continue through the books as Sam does. I even bought a workbook for me to fill out and Sam enjoys quizzing me on our vocabulary. Currently we are learning the Perfect System.
We found a new piano teacher and she has been well-received. All three are showing continued improvement. We also found a new oboe teacher for Nathan. So far we have only had one lesson, but based on it, I think she will be good for him; re-inspiring him to practice and play. Abby continues with violin and Sam is not-so-patiently waiting for us to find the means for him to learn a second instrument. Currently that wish is to learn cello.
Hannah and Ellie have adjusted to their college schedules. Hannah still hates her required PE class and Ellie is constantly telling us about her theater class. Both are working about three or four nights per week at Pizza Ranch as well. We have grudgingly adjusted to not having them home for lunch and often supper. We all, though, love when everyone is around the dinner table, like it used (and ought) to be.
Overall this year has been a success. Twelve weeks is twelve weeks. Our daily and weekly rhythm is more natural. As we come upon the busy Advent and Lent season, I think it will serve us well in keeping up with some of our bookwork. Or did I just jinx us?
I have had to do dishes by hand the last couple of days as there is a problem with the dishwasher. While doing this I've had these thoughts:
1. Remembering doing Laura's dishes while staying at her house a couple of weeks ago.
2. How lazy modern appliances make us. "I hate dishes" or "I hate laundry" is often uttered from our lips, yet we have dishwashers and washing machines and dryers that make that task less burdensome. Those I hate statements reflect most on our selfish, slothful desire to want to do what we want when we want.
3. I think that if one did dishes by hand after every meal, owning fewer dishes is a possibility. The same ones would be put to service each meal.
4. I don't mind doing dishes but I really hate putting them away.
5. How come it seems like the dish work has taken less time doing them by hand than when the dishwasher is also put into use? Is it because I just wash till they're done instead of juggling who is supposed to load and what will fit and what still needs to be washed?
6. Do I really save time or water or energy with a dishwasher?
7. Would I want to give it up if mine is broken?
I know the answer to the last one - no. I do like the dishwasher. Such life-shattering thoughts while soaping the dirty dishes, aren't you glad I shared them?
Whether or not I decide to do the same thing I do not know. But I wanted them to know that it makes me happy every time I read one of their posts. That makes for a lot of happy days and reminders to me of what I have that is similar surrounding me in my own life and home.