Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
After two long weeks of snow and festivities, everyone was ready to jump back into school. That is somewhat remarkable considering the groaning that often pours forth from my off-springs' mouths when the word "school" is mentioned. Since a lot of you have asked me about homeschool, I thought I would take this chance to give you a little snapshot of our day. Keep in mind this is a good day - the kids and I were all excited to get back into the swing of things.
While Erik busied himself with patterning, Djeryd did copy work (he has terrible handwriting), read a book about weather (he then "showered" me with interesting facts for the rest of the day), wrote about Christmas in his journal, and perused a book on ancient Egypt.
Friday, December 26, 2008
After a full 25 days in December, each of which should be honoring the memory of the birth of our dear Savior, we managed to arrive at Christmas day almost completely oblivious to the true celebration that is Christmas. It hit me like a slap in the face this year as the constant chorus from my children was: "Aren't there anymore presents?" Now mind you, my kids have three Christmases; one with my family, one with our family, and one with Sean's family. They get tons of presents, too many, if you ask me. It broke my heart to hear them say: "Is that it?" in disgust after each party. Like Scrooge talking to the Ghost of Christmas Past, I do not want to dwell on that scene any longer.
So, I have been thinking. How can I ensure that we do not have a repeat of this year? I think my deepest concern is not only that my children do not realize how lucky they are (think of all of the children without food and heat this Christmas), but that Christ was not at the core of our celebrations. In that vane, here are the resolutions I am considering for Christmas 2009:
:: A completely homemade Christmas - all gifts will be created by hand - starting in January so as to be finished by November, causing my children to actually think about what they are giving.
:: A deep and serious research project of sacred Christmas traditions to be enjoyed throughout the entire month of December.
:: Create an advent calendar with a scripture/story related to the Nativity to be read each day leading up to Christmas.
:: Having my older child/ren (Djeryd and maybe Erik) participate in serving the needy - face-to-face, hands-on.
:: Concentrating on some REALLY good lessons for Family Night (ours are usually thrown together 5 minutes before we need to start) for the month of December (the whole year, actually, but this is not my New year's Resolution List - but I digress).
We will give that a try and see what comes of it. As a closing thought, I have an Easter to share. A couple of years ago, we spent the week preceding Easter discussing the events of Christ's life for the week leading up to His crucifixion and resurrection. It was simple with a new picture hung on the wall each day. We did this at dinner time every day. The spirit in our home that week was incredible. I don't think we have experienced anything like that since. I was lazy last Easter and neglected our new tradition. Easter felt empty. That was the word that kept going through my head yesterday: Christmas feels empty. We missed it - the whole point of the whole season was lost on me and my family because we did not take the time to celebrate and embrace and remember the reason we have Christmas - our Savior, Jesus Christ. I hope we don't miss it again.
If any of you have ideas or suggestions I would love to hear them.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
I am sure you are all sick of hearing about the snow, but it is so incredible. A friend told me today that the last time it snowed like this in Portland was 1968!! It is crazy! The kids made a snow fort today that is actually quite large and completely covered in snow (it snowed almost all day, again). There is a layer of ice about 10 inches down. The kids broke off pieces of ice and walked around eating them. Djeryd insisted it was his food storage supply of pizza. He stashed the chunks in the "freezer" in his snow fort.
Sean said he was "popping a major wheelie" in this picture. The level of the yard is so high that I am getting views of my culdesac I have never seen.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Our snow-drowned vegetable garden.
The backyard is beautiful with all of the light reflecting off the snow.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Today brought the fortune of snow, and Daddy having time to play outside, together into one great snowman-building morning. Hope you enjoy the shots.
Friday, December 19, 2008
In the midst of more continuous snow than I have seen since my college days in Idaho, I thought I would bring you all (and myself) a little taste of summer. Here is the much anticipated Disneyland blog. Sean took most of these pictures (as you will be able to tell, since I am actually in the pictures and not him). I hope you will be able to feel the aching feet and sweaty shirts. Smell the churros sold on every corner. Taste the frozen lemonades. Hear the ubiquitous Disney movie music. And here are the sights to go along with all of those wonderful sensations.
The biggest disappointment I have in looking back through all of these pictures is how much we missed capturing on film (digital film, that is). Not only places, like New Orleans Square, but people. No matter how many times I comb through these photos I can't seem to find any more pictures of my kids smiling faces. We don't even have a single group shot of our entire entourage. I wish we had a picture of the train of parents and empty strollers and slow-poke little kids we made as we wound our way around the park.