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« Collage Friday - Christmas Preparations | Main | The Best Birthday Cake Recipe »

Collage Friday - How Did We DO All Of That?

This second week in December is ALWAYS a whirlwind.   

My son turned 8 this week... the lucky guy had two birthday celebrations.

In addition to this, Anna had her first Spivey Hall Children's Chorus concert and my sister and brother-in-law were visiting us from New York. 

I can honestly say at the end of the week that I am TIRED, but it's a very happy tired.   

Throw in the extra things we did and I'm wondering:   How Did We DO All of That?


  • a trip to the Governor's Mansion
  • a performance by the Air Force Reserve Band
  • TWO birthday dinners  (one with the best birthday cake ever!)
  • piano lessons and LOADS of piano practice
  • a trip to the LEGO Discovery Center
  • the kids volunteering as "Mystery Readers" at their former preschool


You can see we were BUSY this week! I'm amazed this post is even getting up on time.

This weekly post, however is a priority for me.  

I'm learning through homeschooling to just do what I can and not worry about the rest.  Somehow it will all get done and life is too short to let worry get in the way.  

I look forward to each Friday so I can read your posts and be thankful for the many wonderful bloggers I have come to know. 


We'll start with the very end of last week.  

I was such a proud mom as I sat listening to Anna's Spivey Hall Young Artists' Concert.    I have never heard such beautiful children's voices in my life.  Truly.  

The concert was recorded by NPR.  It was THAT GOOD.   (I know I'm bragging. Bear with me.)

I wrote about the importance of giving your child an anchor because I know just how much this activity means to my daughter.

My sister and her husband visited us from New York.   It was so nice to have them here.  We had a little birthday celebration for Grant and just got to spend meaningful time with them.

We went to the Southern Living Home in Senoia, GA, and later that evening went to dinner (just adults - yay!) in downtown Senoia.   If you are familiar with The Walking Dead tv show (I am not, personally), Senoia is the town where this series is filmed.  

They say you need to beward of Zombies there.  It's created a fun atmosphere in this small southern town.

Many other shows and movies have been made here.  It's quite a unique place and it was fun to take a day and just explore! 


We actually had a very productive week of school despite all of  the "extracurricular" activities.

The kids have been getting distracted from their work downstairs, so we once again set up tables in the "schoolroom" (which is also an upstairs family room/library/craft room) and this worked WONDERS for concentration.

I'm still adjusting to homeschooling a middle schooler, and I'm formulating a big post about this for after the New Year.  It's hard, friends - we've struggled this year, but it's all working itself out.   

Anna began a unit study about Galen, using the book Galen & The Gateway to Medicine.   I can tell from the outset this is going to be a great study, and she remarked to me several times this week how much she enjoyed it.  

The kids read quite a bit this week.  I think the favorite was a new book that arrived from Tommy Nelson,  Fire Prophet.   We continue to read The Shakespeare Stealer aloud and want to finish this because The Hobbit is next on our list.

Grant started working with maps in Saxon Math.    I.LOVE.SAXON.    That is all.

The kids played a lot of Pick-Up Sticks this week.  I made a printable scoring sheet and made it available for download on my blog.   I think Pick-Up Sticks would make a great stocking stuffer. 

I am so thankful a friend of mine mentioned taking the kids to the Georgia Governor's Mansion for their free Christmas tour.

We met the First Lady, Sandra Deal, and had our picture taken with her.  She was so gracious.  

The theme of all the trees in the house were different Christmas Carols and there was live music playing throughout.  What a treat!   

It was one of those mornings where I just thanked God for this opportunity to homeschool and my kids probably thought I was a little crazy telling them so often how lucky they are to live this lifestyle.

You just don't get these experiences inside the walls of a traditional school.  

We are officially on hiatus from school until 2013.   

Next week will consist of fun crafts, baking, and loads of reading aloud.    

Anna has her piano recital next week.   

Grant is in a musical at church.

I should think about Christmas shopping.  (Actually, we don't buy many gifts, just one large thing for each child and a package of books for each of them.)


I had sad news this week.  

My Godmother, who was suffering from Alzheimer's, passed away after a long battle with the disease.

She was a faithful woman who never missed a single birthday, Christmas, or special occasion in my life.   

When I heard the news about her passing I was happy she was relieved of her pain and had gone to her eternal home, but it also made me solemn for the day.   I was blessed to have her as my Godmother and have many good memories of that.


Next week I have a present for you! 

We are always learning a lot of Christmas Carols and this year Anna is playing four carols for her recital. 

We've been researching all of them, making copywork, finding interesting arrangements, and will share them with you next week.

I'm very excited because she is helping me with this project, and will even provide some of the music for the series!   I hope you'll join me next week.

Maybe it can provide you a little bit of light school for the week before Christmas.

I hope you will also join me for Collage Friday.  

The rules are simple:  Write a post using photo collages to document your homeschool week.  Grab the button from my sidebar and use it in your post or display it somewhere on your blog (or text link back to this post).   Then, sign the linky and visit other bloggers on the list.

The Collage Friday Community is a fun place to be on the weekends!  

(By the way - I love using inlinkz for this link-up.  If you host a linky, you might want to give them a try... just click on the graphic.)



Reader Comments (22) did have a super busy week! Busy but lots of fun and learning which makes being busy okay. :)

We had a stay at home week except this afternoon we will be going rock climbing with our little homeschool group. Thanks for hosting the link-up.

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarb-Harmony Art Mom

Look at all the memories you made this week! Wow! We toured the governor's mansion several years ago. Such a treat. And you and I have the same sort of week planned next week - making cookies and piano recital :) Thoroughly enjoyed this. Thank you Mary!

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTricia

I'm looking forward to your series on Christmas Carols! It sounds wonderful!

A great week of memories made, again! How fun to see the Governor's mansion. Is it really a mansion? Or just a regular house? Just asking.

Have a great next week baking and enjoying your hiatus.

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachel E.

So sorry to hear about your godmother. It sounds like she did a wonderful job in fulfilling the promises she made at your baptism. What a blessing! Prayers as you look forward to the promised resurrection.

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

I am sorry to hear about your godmother. It is so hard to see someone we love suffer, but also difficult to not have them physically with us anymore.

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTheresa

Wow, how DID you do all of that? It looks like a week full of memories. Looking forward to the 5 Days of Carols series.

I am sorry about your godmother Mary! God bless - thanks for hosting -

I love the week. What a wonderful chorus to be in and what a great amount of activities. I bet you are tired.
Blessings, Dawn

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

I'm very sorry to hear of your loss, Mary.

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSylvia

I am so sorry to hear about your Godmother's passing. I hope you and your parents are o.k.

We would've loved to have been at A's concert. I hope we can next time. I'm sure it was simply magical.

I am amazed at everything you all accomplished this week - including a field trip to the Governor's Mansion (and meeting his wife!). I'll have to remember this for next year! I had no idea they opened up their doors for a free tour. Sounds beautiful.

I'm looking forward to your post about having a middle schooler we will be there soon. I'm so thankful I have "others that have gone before me" to look to for advice. Thank you!

Looking forward to your Christmas Carol study, too! That will be so fun!

And Happy Birthday, Grant!!

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHope

You DID have a busy week!
Must know where you got those Lego candles! So fun.
And, maps in Saxon? What grade are you using? I'm not loving Saxon (seems too easy), but after bumping my kinder to Saxon Math 1, I'm wondering if I need to just move up a level for my 2nd grader as well? And he's obsessed with maps.

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPam @ Keeping Life Creative

Also sorry to hear about your godmother's death. But as you said, released from the pain that comes with that disease. If I can do anything for you, all you have to do is ask!

I've also never heard of Tommy Nelson. Now I am going to have to look him up. The cover of the book looks interesting!

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Fraser

Mary, I don't know how I've missed your Collage Friday link up for so long...but I'm so glad I came across it tonight. I was looking for a link up I could join where I might be able to start putting together an end of the homeschool week wrap-up sort of post along with all the pictures I took as well. And here you are!!! So happy to have found your post!

I am so sorry to read about your loss. Praying for you as you walk through this time and miss your godmother. Blessings to you and I hope it's a RELAXING and PEACEFUL weekend!


December 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMegan Spires

Thanks for hosting this every week, Mary! Have a wonderful Christmas break with your sweet family!

What a wonderful week you had! The cake sounds awesome, my family would love it - we are big peppermint & chocolate fans. It looks easy to make too. A trip to the Governor's mansion sounds wonderful, I'll have to check and see if they do that around the holidays in MI. We head to LegoLand at the end of the month, are you guys planning to do that when you go to FL in Jan? I'm looking forward to your 5 Days of Music!

December 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen @ Forever, For Always

It sounds like a wonderful and fun week! Thanks again for hosting this fun link-up.

December 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNikki

Happy 8th birthday! I have one turning 8 in February. ::sniff:: ::sniff::

So sorry to hear about your godmother. :(

Wow though! Busy, productive, field trips, reading, this, that, the other thing! You all had a productive week in more than just homeschooling. But I am learning...learning about doing what you can and letting the rest go and knowing/trusting that it will get down eventually. It's hard for me! LOL Maybe I'm uptight? ::wink:: We had a light week though as too many other things were going on to really focus every day on "formal" school work.

We're on break until 2013 too! 2013?! Yikes! LOL

That was a pretty amazing week. Sounds like it was a great way to end before Christmas break. Have a wonderful time during your break.

December 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristy

I often look back on our weeks, too, and wonder the same thing!

P.S. I am sad you lost such a special person in your life. I am bettin', though, you are the kind of woman who will find a special way to celebrate such a special life...

December 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWonder Mom

These December days are flying by, aren't they?! Must be why my collage Friday is posting on Sunday!

I'm always reminding my kids how lucky they are to live the homeschool lifestyle, too, when we're having an interesting experience I know they would be missing.

I am very excited for your posts on Christmas Carols since we're already focusing a bit on them! And I can't wait for your advice on homeschooling middle school. It's coming up fast and I am thinking you and I and our daughters are similar. Glad you're walking ahead of me and willing to share your experience.

Have a great vacation!

December 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi @ Home Schoolroom

So sorry to hear of your godmother's passing. Prayers for peace and comfort!

December 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

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