January 2014 — Fresh Start — in Whatever State I Am

Back in the day, way back when I was a good little blogger (not the ubber-distracted working-homeschooling mom I am today) I used to chat with my cyber friends once a month here with an update on family and homeschool. It was fun for me to look back at what has gone on in our lives over the last few weeks, and those of you who have been my long-time cyber buddies [virtual friends! hee-hee!] often shared with me what is going on in your life, too.

I miss that camaraderie, so I’m going to attempt to get back to that for a bit and see how it goes. Indulge me.

If this bores you, move on to Pinterest and I’ll be back with the heavy, boring stuff I usually pontificate on next time. :P

Family

David and I at the Chinese Festival at Fair Park

David and I at the Chinese Festival at Fair Park

January is my favorite month. I don’t like the cold, but I love the fact that I have eleven entire months until the holiday season. The holidays stress me out no matter how much I try to relax.

Anyway, this January started off abnormally icky. David had a bad case of the flu and pneumonia which ruined the end of his holiday vacation time and time with his relatives. Pooh.

We had a tragedy at work when a coworker, the sister of my wonderful boss, passed away unexpectedly. Even though I had only known her a few months, the brevity of her life (she was my age!) and reality I wouldn’t see her smiling face on my skype any more hit me harder than I expected. I cried for days.

The van is on the fritz, too. It’s like playing Russian Roulette when you go to start it. Will it, or won’t it? It has become a joke around the house.

But a lot of fun has happened the last couple weeks, too.

David and I had so much fun at the Dallas Chinese Lantern Festival.  Fair Park is one of my favorite Dallas destinations, anyway, with the beautiful gardens and interesting architecture. The festival displays of artistry and lights were breath-taking, and we just enjoyed marveling over them as we strolled hand-in-hand around the grounds.

Now that I think about it, we have done a lot for a January. We went to the zoo as a family, David and I walked through the Arboretum, we tried a couple new restaurants, and we saw a some interesting movies. It has been fun.

Leandro is taking his soccer more seriously lately. A long-time goalie, he came “out of the box” as they say to begin playing as a stopper (mid-field defense). His first game in his new position, he scared me he was so aggressive and his skills so dramatic! By the second half of the game, the other team had learned that they would have to literally kick the ball up over his head to get past him because Leandro is like a lion on that field! I was so proud of him and cannot wait to see more games.

Xzavian is not so skilled with the soccer. He has a harder time concentrating on the game and if you watch carefully, you may catch him “mounting his stead” and galloping toward the goal. He is better than he was a year ago, but he still lacks the coordination and mental skill at the game his team mates possess. Like his mother, he does not have strong abilities in team sports, I am afraid. The experience has been very good for him, though.

Learning

We are using Tapestry of Grace year four to coordinate most of the humanities lessons. I have learned so much about World War 1, the Korean War, and the Civil Rights movement that, quite frankly, were never covered in my text books when I was a student. The twentieth century is fascinating.

Gian, a sophmore,  is working on Algebra 2 in Saxon’s new edition. I inadvertantly skipped the year of Geography he was to have taken between Algebra 1 and 2, but the Saxon advisor I spoke with assured me it won’t hurt him. It just means that this year is the most strenuous of his high school math credits. Next year’s geometry should be easier for him, and his senior year he only needs to complete half of the Advanced Math textbook to earn a full credit in PreCalculus. That makes both of us happy to know the worst is nearly behind us.

Gian is also taking two online courses. He is taking Honors Biology from Red Wagon Tutorials and a literature course through Lampstand Learning (associated with Tapestry of Grace). It was a great decision to have him take online classes. He is learning how to satisfy the demands of teachers not directly related to him (har-har!) and how to prepare for tests and projects independently. It was a steep learning curve for him, since he has never been institutionalized, as they say, but a very good experience and I highly recommend it. He has been blessed with great teachers, and that is a blessing.

The other children are working hard, too. I’ll talk about them more next time. :)

We are reading aloud most days at lunch, still. I’m reading two books to them. One of them is The Civil Rights Movement for Kids from our local library. It is sobering the difficulties these good men and women faced when they challenged the wrongdoing in their communities. But by the same token, I’m finding it inspiring how the Lord used their meek, quiet actions to effect such change.

We are also reading Through Gates of Splendor. I still remember crying over the pages of this book on my bed as a tween. It is even more real to us now, since we have visited Peru and have experienced South American culture to a certain extent. My husband’s grandfather was also a missionary to the natives in Peruvian jungles. I am inspired by these great men and women who truly attempted great things for God.

Work and Writing

I’m working on several exciting projects at HEDUA (can’t share yet, but … wow!). We have been happy to welcome some very talented women to the team recently, too. I love my job every day of the week and am so humbled by the tremendous opportunity.

If you want to help inspire homeschoolers, there are several ways you can get involved. Nearly everyone working for HEDUA now started off writing reviews. You can get your foot in the door, too, by submitting a few right here. Be sure to tell me if you do, and I’ll keep a lookout for it!

If you would like to be considered for a future blog article, you can send in a writing sample here.

I had a few articles here on the blog that were very popular. How to Ruin Your Child’s Worldview in 7 Easy Steps was controversial for those who don’t read me regularly. I am surprised how popular my Foodie Friday recipes have been. I guess you guys like to eat as much as I do.

And now I am hungry. So, tell me …

How was your January?

Leave me a comment below or let me know on facebook or twitter.

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2 Responses to January 2014 — Fresh Start — in Whatever State I Am

  1. MG says:

    Oh, that’ right, it’s February! For as busy as you sound you sure were able to remember what has been going on. I enjoyed hearing about you and your family. Makes me feel like I am getting to know you a little better.

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