Fourteen years ago, we were starting to get ready for Christmas…and then six of my children got the chicken pox.
We have photos of everyone reclining on sofas, trying not to scratch.
We didn’t go shopping, didn’t play outside and didn’t visit friends.
Instead, we listened to audiobooks, like The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Pilgrim’s Progress, and Treasures of the Snow.
That was a quiet and special December. I was present with my children, listening to the stories, offering liquids and resting while they napped.
Maybe that’s the quiet, restful spirit I was yearning for when I broke out The Best Christmas Pageant Ever on Monday. I listened with my two youngest — and of course, cried at the end of this hilarious, touching story.
use one of your spelling or geography words in your paragraph
include a few hyphenated compound words
Use “island” or the specific name of an island (we are studying islands this year.)
Someone even asked for the new word prompt today before breakfast!
They are allowed to bring up their laptops and start in. This gives them something to do while everybody migrates to the work table…and it gives me time to make that second cup of coffee.
They are allowed around 15 – 20 minutes at the beginning of our school day for these writing exercises.
Today’s word: saintly. They can use the negative “unsaintly” also.
(Most everyone liked using “unsaintly” instead of “saintly.” Hmmm….)
Today’s extra challenge: use at least one of this week’s geography vocabulary words.
Marco, age 10 wrote this:
The unsaintly, unshaven robber stole some money from the Commerce Creek Bank. He hid it inside the hollow tree. An alarm went off. The police came. They found no evidence or fingerprints.
Here is another, by 9-year-old Gianny:
Hello, my name is Daniel. I am camping with my dad, next to a humongous waterfall. Some people think camping on a Sunday is unsaintly. I don’t think so because when I look at a waterfall, I can praise God for what He made.
Ava, age 12 is a prolific writer and here is an excerpt of today’s work:
Thunder rumbled, lightning flashed, rain pounded on the rooftop. Little Marie tossed and turned in her bed. She could never go back to sleep in the middle of a thunderstorm, knowing that the creek just in back of her house could easily swamp their house as soon as it got too high. Marie could finally take no more. She pushed the warm, fluffy covers away from her and slid her feet into her white cotton slippers. It was dark in the room, despite the angry flashes from outside…
13-year-old Mo has the beginnings of a novel. Each day’s challenge builds on the story the day before.
14-year-old Clara writes an excellent “how to” / step-by-step piece every day. Her work is amusing and well-crafted.
This experiment has me surprised and happy. They really like taking this time first thing to write. They look eager, but relaxed. It’s a great way to start our school day.
What Grieving People Wish You Knew…About What Really Helps and What Really Hurts By Nancy Guthrie
When do we ever take a class on how to help the grieving? We don’t. Yet, we can be pretty sure we will encounter grieving friends and family members throughout life.
My husband and I listened to the audio and we were both very inspired. It’s a touching, gentle primer on the art of friendship to the grieving. We now consider it an important book for every family member to digest and practice.
Love Does by Bob Goff
This will make you laugh, cry and rejoice that you got your hands on it. Listen to the audio version, read by the author.
It’s funny and moving and spiritual in a fresh, exciting way. Get ready to become “secretly incredible!”
The Lost Art of Listening by Michael P. Nichols, Phd.
This is one of the most helpful books I have read this past year. I have opportunities every day to succeed (and fail) using the ideas I’ve found here. Listening is an unselfish gift you give to your friends and family. Listening can be hard work. When you listen with all you’ve got, you will often be rewarded and not bored, even if people drone on. If you think you’re already a good listener, this book will encourage you; if you know your listening skills need work, this book is a great place to start.
What Would Judas Do? By John Perritt
I am still finishing this one. Simple but profound, the book explores how each of us, deep down, can relate to the ultimate traitor. Examine yourself with this book: am I a true believer, or just along for the ride? It’s humbling, insightful, and suitable for a family devotional read.
Why Nobody Wants to be Around Christians Anymore: And How 4 Acts of Love Will Make Your Faith Magnetic by Thom and Joani Schultz
I found myself in this book. I mean, it was like looking in the mirror when they mentioned unloving Christians. Ugh.
But it didn’t stop at that, and the book wasn’t condemning. It prompted me as a follower of the ultimate King of love to want to truly love others. Not just as a project, or in a surface way.
If you know me, please be patient with me as I seek, powered by God, to see people and treat people the way Jesus would.
Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark
As you see on this blog I am trying to write regularly to learn to write well. It’s slow going.
This book helped by giving me some unique things to try. Unlike a dry textbook, the expert author made his tips easy and fun to read.
I read it a few months ago, though, and I feel like I am forgetting already – maybe I should review a chapter every now and then!
This is what I read the most — the living, breathing, inspired Word of God. Its prophecies have been fulfilled, though the gap between the giving and the fulfillment took hundreds of years, and were written by authors who never knew each other.
This book will never be boring and I will never outgrow it.
I see myself in its pages and Jesus is there from start to finish.