Monday, December 31, 2018

Merry Christmas!

I took very few pictures of our Christmas celebrations.  I did get this one of my parents and Mamaw with the grandkids.  Of course, two days later, my sister-in-law gave birth to the latest addition, so he is not pictured here.

It was a busy week, with Christmas, moving my parents to a new house, and the sweet new baby.  Right now, we are thankful to have a few days where everyone is home and off work and school.  

The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.
Luke 2:10-11

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Book Review - Made for the Journey by Elisabeth Elliot

Made for the Journey: One Missionary's First Year in the Jungles of Ecuador by Elisabeth Elliot gives a fascinating glimpse into life in the mountains of Ecuador in the 1950s.  I was not familiar with Elliot at all - in fact, I had never heard of her - so I didn't have expectations into what I was to read.  She did a good job of painting a picture of the unfamiliar world she was immersed into as a young missionary.  Since I was not familiar with her, some of the elements of backstory were missing for me, and I did wonder exactly how this young woman ended up in the jungle trying to create a written form of a language that few people understood.  Also, as I am a Catholic, my religious world view is certainly different from that of the author, but it was easy to like her and sympathize with her efforts.  Elliot's account of that year near the Colorado people is full of vibrant descriptions, but the overall goals of the missionaries seemed a bit obscure to me.  Naturally, they wanted to share the word of God, but their methods and desires were largely unaddressed.  It did seem that several of the women in the mission field, Elliot included, were just spending some time here while waiting for marriage.  Still, this is a valuable first-person account of the early interactions between foreign missionaries and the indigenous people of Ecuador.  Her descriptions of the environment made it easy to imagine being there, although her descriptions of the native people themselves left something more to desire.  Overall, I enjoyed this book, but I don't know how much a casual reader would. 

I received this book from the publisher, Revell, for the purpose of writing a review, but all opinions are my own.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Gingerbread Houses

Every year, our library has a make-your-own gingerbread house session.  Lydia and Gyunay really enjoyed it!
The librarian "glues" two graham crackers together at a right angle with melted sugar, and each child gets 3 of these to create the house.  Also, 2 kids share one tub of icing, and there are lots of candies and things to decorate with.  You can see why the kids love this.  

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Gaudete Sunday

Today is Gaudete Sunday (which means rejoice in Latin), so I was glad I finished up the younger kids' outfits.  They wore them today.  (They will wear them again on Christmas.)

They look very serious here.

This is the fabric on Gyunay's vest.

And this is the bottom of Lydia's dress.  

And lastly, I got a picture of Elijah.  I took some photos for his ACT registration.  It turns out that this one doesn't meet their requirements, but it was the best of the bunch, so I'm sharing it here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Lydia's Nativity Play

Lydia decided today that her dolls would act out the nativity.  She made costumes for them, primarily out of old socks.  Joseph's pants (the doll standing in the back) are one example of her ingenuity.  Some of the dolls in the front have little shifts on that were also made from socks.

Baby Jesus in His manger

And, of course, pipe cleaner halo and wings on an angel.  Even her toy dog was dressed as a sheep for his part.  She had her dolls perform a nativity play for me and Gyunay.  She did a really nice job.  I love to see her use her creativity.  

Also today, Gyunay has been working hard on letters and numbers.  He's starting to write more, although it is still a struggle for him on each individual letter/number.  We have to talk through how to form the letter, then we have to trace or do hand-over-hand so he can know the right motions.  He can make several letters independently now, though, and with help he can do a fairly recognizable job on most.

And thankfully, last week my man did a lot of this:

We have been enjoying the fires in the basement fireplace.  They really warm the whole house in a way the heater just does not.  (And of course, since we had so many dead trees, it is free heat!)

Sunday, December 9, 2018

More Wreath-Making and Blackberry Fool

I was happy to finally make a wreath with real greenery.  I've wanted to attend the wreath making at our local history center for the past 2 or 3 years, but it never worked out.  I finally was able to attend this year, and I am really happy with my new wreath.  It looks very festive on the front door.

Also this week, the kids enjoyed friends Friday.  On Fridays, we get together with our friends and do homeschool together.  Lydia and her friend are now studying nutrition, and we added some cooking to it.  It all began with a history picture book, actually, that showed how people made blackberry fool around 1700, 1800, 1900, and today.  I had never heard of blackberry fool, but it is very easy today.  (Not so much in 1700, when a bundle of twigs was used to beat the cream.)  

Here are the girls making blackberry fool.  Basically, they whipped heavy cream with some powdered sugar, and then they folded in smashed blackberries.  The result was delicious, and I don't even like blackberries.  It was such a hit that Lydia has already made it again.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Advent and Harvest Totals

On Friday, our church held a potluck/advent wreath making activity.  We really enjoyed making this wreath as a family.

I've always liked the wreaths with fresh greenery, and this was fun.  The kids got into it, and Nathaniel and I tried to supervise/help with the most prickly parts.

They were excited to light it for the first time yesterday evening.  Lighting the advent candles each night is a tradition that all of my kids really love.

Also, the November Harvest totals:
arugula - 2c
carrots -4
eggs - 160
peppers (Bulgarian) - 6

Needless to say, I won't be able to feed us entirely off of our harvest totals this month. :)