Saturday, December 29, 2012

Restructuring Our School Year

After my first year on the Schoolhouse Review Crew (which was then called the TOS Crew) they changed the year they run from June-May to January-December.  This allows to us to have our down transitional time at the holidays and allows vendors to have their products reviewed in the summer right before the school year starts.  Well that got me thinking.  I actually have a lot of down time during the holidays season myself and we always do at least some school in the summer (particularly with math) to keep Gess practiced.  She also really gets bored if there isn't more structure to her day during the summer.  So I made a decision to restructure my school year too.  I may not always have the privilege of being on the crew but this just makes sense for us.

I ordered my new planner and so on January 7 we will begin our brand new school year!  As I typed that I just now realized I don't know what I will do about changing her grade.  After some thought I think I will still change that in the summer. That will make it easier for her when she participates in group activities that go by what grade you are in, etc. 

So while our summers will be lighter, maybe only a couple to three days a week (depending on how intense some of the review material we get is), we will be doing  school.  However, as the holiday season gets here we will be taking some serious time off.  At least when that happens I will know for certain that we have already had the amount of school days required by law.  As it stands now I always freak out if we miss some time during this busy season but in the end we do just fine. 

I'm pretty excited about the idea.  My project next week is to re-organize the school room and get ready for our first day of school...again! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Good Tidings of Great Joy

It has been an incredible year and I wanted to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas!

Here is a special greeting from Gesserine herself on the true meaning of Christmas. Gess began memorizing this portion of Scripture a few weeks ago.  It will be familiar to most of you I am sure.  She got a little confused at the end because she memorized it in the NIV but she wanted to end it like Linus says it using the KJV. Here is what Gess is trying to say at the end, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

Luke 2:8-14

Monday, December 17, 2012

Waiting for Christmas

Gess is getting really excited about Christmas and is constantly asking me how many days are left.  The other day we found that the local Wal-Mart was assisting young children in that answer.  Gess gets very excited when she sees the sign.  Oh the wonder of seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child.  Here she is standing next to the silly sign, though the flash made the number disappear this was 15 until days until Christmas.

It's been a hectic and somewhat sick holiday season around here, but we have done a few fun things to get ready for the holiday and make the waiting fun for Gess.  We actually started a new tradition this year thanks to a really cute gift she received from her brother and his future wife Chelsie.  They got Gess an Elf on a Shelf.  Here is Chelsie explaining it to her while Gess reads the book.

 The elf is supposed to be Santa's spy, but we don't really do Santa around here, but that didn't make this tradition any less fun.  We brought the elf (that Gess named Scout) out when we put up our tree.  Each night we move him to somewhere new.  Gess has had a blast finding him each day.  She doesn't always start off looking for him but she sure gets excited when she notices him!  "I found him, I found him!" she yells and it takes a minute before we figure out what all the commotion is about.  The other day I was really sick and so we forgot to move the elf.  Gess noticed that too so she went and hid him herself that time!  She really loves the elf game.

We have also made cards for all our friends at church.  We have mail boxes there that people can use and we encourage them to donate the money they save on stamps to the Lottie Moon Missions offering.  We did this craft a few years ago in my Christmas is about giving post, but it's an easy and fun way to not only make a card, but to recycle the old ones.

All you do is cut out the pictures and text of old Christmas cards.

Then you glue them on to new paper in any order you choose. 

After you add in a few stickers or stamps you are done.  The hardest part was finding envelopes for them all. Last time I didn't make envelopes.

We haven't done much baking at home yet but we had fun at the library playing with food.  Here is Gess making a Rice Krispy Treat House (in place of gingerbread), a Santa cracker and a Rudolph made out of little recee's cups.

We are also enjoying a book we got at the library, The Family Read-Aloud Christmas Treasury.  It has beautifully illustrated stories from all over the world as well as poems, many of which are based on familiar carols and songs we sing.  Gess loves reading this together.  We all take turns and are enjoying some new, as well as beloved Christmas stories.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

It's that time of year again

No, I am not talking about the holidays. I am talking about the time of year where each of us takes a turn being sick. My daughter was on antibiotics during the wedding due to a sinus infection and then a month later got a nasty viral cold that really had her coughing hard and feeling miserable. This weekend I had a terrible stomach bug. So far my husband has escaped but the month is not over yet!

 I had planned on being a part of a Sharing Christmas blog cruise with the crew but never got my post up Friday morning. I waited until Friday because I had some things we were doing on Thursday I wanted to include. Oh well, that's life here at Special Connection Homeschool. There is always one time during the year we all go through some gunk or other. I am praying Monday we will all be well and back in our normal routines. I will hopefully get up the posts about what we are doing to share Christmas then.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

My Flower Girl

A couple of weeks ago my niece got married and asked my daughter to be her flower girl.  I know that my daughter is a bit older than your average flower girl, but my niece didn't care.  She wanted Gess!  As it turns out the ring bearer, who also doubled as a groomsman, was my nephew (brother of the bride) who is an adult who has autism.  Having them both in the wedding made that occasion all the more special.  Robin, the bride, is an incredible statement to family who knows, cares and understands about the needs of others and the acceptance of all.

This experience was really great for Gess.  She asks lots of questions about getting married.  She was a flower girl before (when she was four) and has been to other weddings when she was younger, but this is the first one she has been to since she really understood what was going on.  Being a part of the wedding party made it all the more special for her and she did an amazing job.

I didn't actually take that any pictures during the wedding and unfortunately at the reception my batteries died after only taking the beginning of the event, and event those didn't turn out well.  I was at the wedding with many families I had not seen in way too many years and I just sort of wanted to experience this event.  However, thanks to some family members I have a few photos to share with you.

The morning of the wedding the entire bridal party had their hair done and that included the flower girl. She sat so still and took this very well.  This would not have gone over so well a few years ago!

She did a great job walking down the isle dropping fall leaves instead of flowers.  Here she is during the ceremony.   Look at her during prayer, so precious!

Then it was off the reception.  I believe this was her entrance in.

She really enjoyed this part and danced just about through the whole thing.  It got me thinking later, I wonder if she thought she had to dance because the music was playing.  She never stopped!

Doing the twist.


I don't remember which one this was but I love how she is looking at my sister and following her every move!

 She also danced with her cousin Chris.  What a joy to watch him go too!


Here is the lovely bride and groom with Gess. 

What a touching moment.

One of my two favorite moments of Gess and Chris together.  He let her hold his hand, that really made my day.  The moment I like more we were not able to capture on film.  He let her hug him!  There they are with my sister.  She did an amazing job putting this wedding together, I might add!  

I get so much joy experiencing these moments through eyes of my daughter, who is growing up herself.  Just look at this young lady.  I am so proud of her!


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