Friday, January 18, 2013

My kids are curious just like everyone else's. I'm constantly being hammered with questions that test my knowledge of science, history, and random facts. Sometimes I can answer with confidence, and other times the poor kids get the "Let's look it up" line. Sadly, life gets busy, and most of the time, we don't end up researching those tabled topics.  

Tonight on the way home from dance, Noah had another question outside my expertise (of course, it's already forgotten), and together, we brainstormed our way to the idea of Google Fridays.  The theory is that we'll collect all the questions that get the "Let's look it up" answer.  Every Friday, we will research and find the answers for them.  

To help ensure that this idea takes root, I whipped up our Google Friday Box after bedtime as a way to keep track of our questions between Fridays.

I love any opportunity to reuse one of my Cascade containers!  The container, along with a printed card stock label cut to 4"x5", a 3.5"x4" card stock, and a little tape created what I hope will be a great learning tool.

I've packed a pocket size notebook in my purse so the kids can write questions on the go, but I added a pocket and slips of paper to give them an easy way to document questions at home as well. 

My hope is that this Google Friday experiment will 

encourage CURIOSITY 
build an understanding of RESEARCH
increase KNOWLEDGE of subjects that interest them
strengthen our FAMILY UNIT

Happy Google Friday!

Monday, January 14, 2013

January 14th Daybook

FOR TODAY, January14th. 

Outside my window...  The temperatures are in the 20's and the heat has been working nonstop in spite of the fire I've kept roaring all day.  It's sunny, though, and I'd rather have cold temperatures and sunshine than clouds.  It makes for a much more productive day.

I am thinking...  There are so many decisions to be made and possible transitions on the horizon.  I've been trying to keep the house under control and stay organized in general.  If every day life is tidy then the extra stresses seem more manageable to me. 

I am thankful...  That God gave me the grace to let go of secular Christmas traditions a bit this year.  our house decor was minimal, gifts were scaled back compared to years passed, and I didn't bake a single gingerbread man or candy cane cookie. We didn't even manage to take our family Christmas card pictures.  And our Christmas season was AMAZING.  This year more than ever before, our family prepared and celebrated with an awareness and amazement of Jesus, and I watched the kids grow in their faith as the weeks of Advent and Christmas came and went.  We opted to celebrate the feast of Saint Nicholas on December 6th as our sole acknowledgement of "Santa." As a family, we sponsored a local tween's gift wish list.  On Christmas eve, Amos and I brought out the nativity and displayed it under a golden star.  Christmas morning started with scripture, prayer and gifts offered to Jesus.  Afterward, we exchanged gifts among ourselves, and then it was off to mass to celebrate our Savior's birth!  It was honestly the best Christmas we've had.  I'm so blessed to be walking, with my family, a little closer to God as a result of it!  

In the kitchen...  The little ones have been cooking!  Miriam has browned hamburger meat and made hamburger helper, and she now makes her own lunch most days.  Today it was chicken noodle soup and applesauce with cinnamon.  I'm thrilled that she's using the stove bravely and with care and confidence.  Not bad for a 5 year old! Noah made the best broccoli ever the other night, and he made everyone french toast for breakfast Saturday morning.  I have to admit, I'm truly impressed by their abilities.  It makes me regret not starting J off at an earlier age.  At 12, she's just now comfortable boiling her own pasta. And the oven?  She'd rather go hungry than put a pan inside it!  She does wash dishes like a pro, though, so it all balances.

I am creating...  My parents gave us two bookshelves for Noah's study/play room that span one whole wall. He now calls the room his library, and of course the rest of our bookworm kids think it's awesome.  He sorted through all his chapter books and alphabetized them by author's last name (or course!), separated fiction from nonfiction, and I sorted storybooks according to AR levels. Miriam got a ton of hand-me-down books that her big brother has outgrown, and Big Sister, currently an aspiring librarian, is more than happy to help keep everything sorted!  It may only last a week, but it's been fun to see all three kids excited about a project.

I am going... There are absolutely no travel plans in place, and I have to say, it's tempting to keep it this way all year.  Last year I traveled SO much.  New Orleans in January, several trips to Kansas City, our family vacation to the Sand Dunes/Santa Fe/Fort Worth, Denver in August, Arkansas in October, and New York City in December. Typing that list makes me remember that I am one spoiled housewife!  

I am reading...  It's sad that I can't come up with an answer!  I'm previewing Marissa Burt's Storybound for Noah (pretty good so far), have read a few chapters of some random novels, but the only literature that I've opened regularly is my daily devotional.  

I am looking forward to... 2013!  I'm slightly terrified of the possibilities that this year holds, but we're offering our lives to God's glory more than ever.  I know the walk will be a great one!  

Around the house...  I've been doing what I like to call After School Home School.  This school year has been interesting with all three of the kiddos, and I've been trying to fill in the gaps that I feel are present in the public school system's curriculum. We do a TON of science with the Mister as well as building on his reading and math skills.  Miss Miriam, in her typical fashion, is moving at her own pace. While she LOVES math and science, she's resisted prereading skills, so we're in literary mode when big brother and sister are at school. J has been working on ACT prep and finally expanding her reading to classic literature.   

I am pondering... "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." ~Maya Angelou 

One of my favorite things...  The Motivated Moms Planner.  I LOVE this organization tool.  It's a daily checklist of chores and includes a daily scripture readings that will cover most of the bible in a year.  The list usually takes me about an hour and a half to complete (I'm sure this depends on the size of your house), and my house looks awesome!

A few plans for the rest of the week... A city run with my mom and grandma! Otherwise, it's just the normal run around.

A peek into my life...

Love this kid SO much!!