The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Justin and I often sing this song sarcastically as we fill the calendar with activities and fight the crowds while shopping ūüôā every December, but all joking aside, it really is a wonderful time of the year.

We had a great Christmas and hope that you did too.

I can’t wait to share 2017 together!

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Home Educators Association of Virginia

Guess what? 

The 2017 HEAV¬†convention is only SIX months away and…..¬†¬†¬†

Registration Opens for Members January 9!

Next year’s convention is June 8-10, 2017!

Three days.

The whole family.

It will change your life.

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Why should you attend?

Watch this to find out:

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Christmas Cousin Camp:

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Ryan had a blast last night spending the night at Grammy and Pappy’s house with his cousins.¬† They spent time outside, watched Christmas movies, played games, and decorated cookies.¬†I went over this morning to help and the kids all decorated their “ugly sweater” cookies.

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Brendan had to work today so he stayed home to rest (plus the fact that at 15 1/2 years old, he’s not too interested anymore ūüė¶ ).¬† But don’t worry, I have some extra sweaters to decorate so Brendan can still participate in the next few days – LOL!

I hope everybody is having fun getting ready for Christmas…in all the craziness, don’t forget the true reason for the season!

Merry Christmas!

What a WONDERFUL Christmas!!!¬† This¬†has been one of the best that I can remember in a long time, and I know it’s because we spent time truly focusing on the birth of Christ and doing things for others.¬† We are soooo blessed and it was fun sharing¬†just a tiny bit of that joy with “strangers.”

Our favorite activity this year was sharing “Random Acts of Kindness” with people in our community.¬† I can’t take any credit for the idea…I totally copied the ideas and printables from Pinterest ūüôā¬†. ¬†Justin declared that this would definitely be a new yearly tradition and the kids loved it too!

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Another FUN activity was our “tacky sugar cookie sweater” contest (this may be a new tradition too) ūüôā :

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Nice “photo bomb” Ryan ūüôā !!!

 

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On Christmas Eve we attended¬†a Christmas service at church and¬† spent the evening at my¬†Mom and Dad’s house:

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Christmas Day:

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 THANK YOU to our family and friends for the cards, goodies, hugs, joy, and laughter that you shared with us! 

We love you all very much!

 

‘Tis the Season!

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Does this time of year have you feeling frazzled?

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Do you sometimes feel like hiding?

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There is so much to do and so little time!

Shopping, decorating, baking, wrapping, taking pictures for the annual Christmas cards (and then addressing and mailing them), checking and rechecking the gift list, church activities, school programs and parties, ….the list goes on and on.

How can we possibly keep Christ in Christmas?

He is the reason that we celebrate this special holiday, so why do we so often put Him last?

It is so easy to get “sucked” into the commercialism of the “holiday season”.¬† We are bombarded daily with pictures of beautifully decorated homes and commercials showing every “must have” gift and gadget imaginable.

Over the years our family has adopted various activities that have helped us keep our focus on the true reason for the season. I want to share some of those with you tonight.

Each year we try to incorporate some sort of Advent activity.¬† Some of the things we’ve¬†used include the traditional wreath and candles, “What¬†God Wants for Christmas” kit, calendars, and various devotional books.¬† This year we are reading a short verse each day from a printable that I found:

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And then we are reading Bartholomew’s Passage¬†which is part of a wonderful Advent series¬†by Arnold Ytreeide.¬† I love that Justin is willing to read aloud to us every night at dinner…he is a good sport and I enjoy just being able to listen¬†to somebody else read¬†ūüôā .


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We also try to¬†be intentional about serving others and enjoy¬†activities like packing shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child, caroling at a local nursing home, packing food for our local food bank, collecting toys and making cards for St. Jude’s Hospital, etc. I think it really helps¬†the kids (and¬†mom and dad ūüôā )¬†to remember¬†how blessed we are and how we are called to be a blessing to others.

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Other traditions that our family likes to participate in include live Christmas pageants, going to church on Christmas Eve, having a birthday cake for Jesus, and watching Christian movies (like The Nativity).

These are just a few ideas¬†that help our family stay focused on Christ.¬† There are many, many other¬†ideas out there!¬† I hope that you have fun finding special ways to keep Christ in your family’s Christmas!

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Ok, so the worm experiments were FUN this morning ūüôā !¬†¬†Ryan and I went to a bait and tackle shop yesterday to buy¬†red worms because he was having a¬†hard time finding any earthworms¬†in our yard.

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We put them on a wet paper towel and tested their sense of touch and smell.  We tried four different substances:  vanilla extract, lemon juice, nail polish remover, and white vinegar.  The worms reacted to each one, but seemed to dislike the nail polish remover the most.

I promised a picture of¬†Brendan, so here ya’ go:

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…and here is a picture of him throwing a worm¬†into his brother’s lap ūüė¶ :

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Thankfully,¬†Ryan “saved” the day ūüôā :

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