Monday, December 14, 2015

Thanksgiving, School, and Activity Update

I wasn't sure what to label this post since it is just a mix of what has been going on since I last updated.  I thought about separating it into separate posts, but decided to just put it all in one.  

First, Thanksgiving...

We did not have homeschool the entire week of Thanksgiving since Nicolas also had the whole week off.   The kids played lots of games, fixed puzzles, and read books.  Lydia and Seth loved spending more time outside, and Nicolas spent some time doing homework and working through ACT/SAT workbooks.  One afternoon Nicolas' friend came over to watch me make pies as he wanted to learn how to make a pie crust...too funny.  

Can't have a holiday break without homemade doughnuts!

Nicolas' friend joined in the game playing

Mostly Anna's handiwork:)

The week was pretty cold and the kids enjoyed their first snow of the season the day before Thanksgiving.

On Thanksgiving Day itself we began our day in church with a teaching on Lamentations 3, learning that often sorrow precedes true joy and thanksgiving.  After church we brought our pumpkin pies to the VanderStelt gathering and enjoyed fellowship with their family. 

No Thanksgiving is complete without a little clay pigeon shooting!

Next, school...

In homeschool we visited Canada, Brazil, Norway, and hope to finish up in France before Christmas.  We still try to do at least one project or meal that corresponds to the country we are studying. 

 The maple leaf painting project and the igloo were both Canadian projects.

Our yummy Brazilian meal
Other than keeping up with papers, projects, and problems (pre-calc and physics--note all the "p's":), Nicolas has enjoyed Business Professionals of America (BPA).  He is part a group that is marketing a professional hockey team.   Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that he would have enjoyed this project, but am glad he is!  He will finish up his semester this coming week with final exams.

Except for two finals next week, I think Caleb also survived his first semester at Dordt!  We are looking forward to having him back home for several weeks and know he is eager to join us, as well.

Last, activities...

Caleb began track practice at Dordt last week.  We were not sure if he was going to participate or not, but he decided to try it out this year, both indoor and outdoor.  That should make his spring semester pretty busy.

Nicolas and Anna both took part in a youth group service project early in November.  The group assisted an elderly widow in the church with various clean-up projects around her home.  

Nicolas had his first BPYO concert in November.  This time of year he is more than willing to play his cello in church as accompaniment to the choir, or in a string quartet for prelude/offertory.  The kids' piano teacher is also great about having her piano students assist in playing the prelude before the evening service.  I think all three of the younger kids will be playing in church the next few weeks.  Lydia is doing well on the viola and enjoys her 1/2 hour lesson each week.  

Anna is now just over 6 weeks into her ferrous sulfate treatment for anemia and is doing great.  She had her first blood work check-up and almost everything had normalized.  She will continue to take the meds for another two months and then will have another check-up.  I think she would agree that overall she is less fatigued and has more energy.

The cadets had their annual derby car race and chili feed a few weeks ago.  Seth was happy to finish 3rd in his age group and also to win a medal for his good-looking patriotic car.   

Nothing too exciting to report for Russ and I.  We have enjoyed attending the Boise Philharmonic (the adult version, not the youth one) for three concerts this fall/winter.  The latest one was the Holiday Pops concert this past Saturday with the Master Chorale.  They sang/played a beautiful rendition of "O Holy Night/Silent Night".  When the chorale crescendoed to "Christ is Lord" it gave me goosebumps.  It made me wonder how many in the sold out crowd at the Morrison Center really believed those words and for how many it was just the words to a beautiful Christmas carol.   

I also attended two continuing education seminars in November.  One was on low back pain and the other on cognitive brain function.  They both stretched me professionally, and it was good to use that part of my brain again. 

Crocheting projects have definitely taken a back seat since school and church activities started up this fall.  I did finally get an afghan designed and even completed the first 26 rows!  I am hoping to make lots of headway over Christmas break so stay tuned (I think it has 300ish rows of 200 stitches each).  I have been watching sessions on sanctification from the Magnify Conference while I crochet and highly recommend to anyone!

At a recent church baby shower the ladies in charge decorated so beautifully I just had to share a few pictures.  Four generations of the baby's family was present so the theme for decorating and devotions centered around God's faithfulness throughout the generations.