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Collage Friday - Family, History, & More


This week was full of many happy times.

Happy times were spent with family we don't see often.  

Happy times were spent learning many new things.

We are abundantly blessed. 

After hearing news in the middle of the week that a friend from our former church had passed away, I really got to thinking about our blessings.   

Life is so very short, and I am glad I can live each day to the fullest with my children.   It isn't always a walk in the park, but I am so thankful I can get up each morning and spend the day learning alongside my children. 

Today's post is packed with links, ideas, and pictures.  Each week I tell myself I will shorten up the Collage Friday post, but I just CAN'T! 

Remember that Literature Fair I talked about last week?   Both kids did great!   It was such a spectacular experience... this was our fourth year participating and each year we appreciate it more and more.



Visiting With Family

Over the weekend we got to spend time with my big brother and his wife and five children.   I hadn't seen my brother in over a year, so it was good to see him.   {I think I've mentioned to you before he is a pastor and an author.  I think you would really like his book, No Atheists in Foxholes. It is a compliation of prayers and reflections from his time as the chaplain at Camp David and also as a Chaplain in Iraq.}

The lighting was bad in the restaurant, but I got some ok pictures.   

Family really is a GOOD thing, isn't it?  I am the baby in my family.  I have siblings that are 18, 12, and 11 years older than me.  My brother is the closest in age to me in our family.


It was good for all of the cousins to be together.   We were just missing one on my side of the family.

Note to self:   allow extra time for parking and getting around downtown Atlanta when there is a CHEERLEADING CONVENTION.   Yikes.

One of my nieces is a teacher, the other just got offered her first job (she's graduating from college in May), the other is currently in school.   It's good for my children to have these role models.  

I'm sad everyone grows up, but I'm very proud of them.


History Notebooking With Notebooking Pages

Once the fun of the weekend was over, it was back to business on Monday.

I had been itching to start Story of the World Volume 3 with the kids.    

I created a Pinboard for this volume, and also used the Notebooking Publisher App (from Notebooking Pages) to make some additional notebooking sheets for them.  We have notebooked our way through the previous two volumes of SOTW - I actually did a vlog about it last year.  

I LOVE Notebooking Pages!  The lifetime membership I have has paid for itself a million times over.   I never have a need to search for notebooking pages.  Anything I need is all in one place. (You can try out some of their free resources to get a feel for the site.)

I was able to create a map pointing out exactly where our read aloud came from this week.   I created a notebooking page about llamas, and also printed sheets for more advanced notetaking for Anna.   Of course, we had to use a LEGO Minifig Printable Conquistador to add to Grant's notebook.  

I feel another big post about The Story of The World coming on - something about how we notebook successfully through history.   This method of learning has worked for us for the past three years.  

Odds and Ends

1.  Grant wearing his nightvision goggles to play with his light sabers at night.   Don't ask.  One night I was making dinner and he was VERY full of energy.  He had on his night vision goggles so I banished him outside to play in the dark.  He loved it.  

2.  We went to a FABULOUS thrift store on Monday and purchased tons of great books. I only spent $8 and came out with a huge sack of books.   The best find was Tales From Shakespeare, by Charles & Mary Lamb. It was $.25!  I can't tell you how much the kids read this week.  My heart was full with all of the books laying next to beds, in the car, and on the coffee table.   

3.  Our mornings start with Lenten devotionals.  I also shared an easy Lenten cross craft on the blog this week.  

4.  Anna is enjoying her guitar lessons.  Her teacher is a guitar professor at a local college and is very good.  He is teaching her a mix of Classical guitar and straight chords.  I love this, and she does, too.   Now she has to practice two instruments each day, but she doesn't mind!

5.  I spent Sunday afternoon at Starbucks, catching up on some blog business and making a menu for the week.   My husband took the kids over to his dad's for the afternoon - it's a good chance for them to visit and my husband can help with some things around the house.

6.  Our Compassion child lives in Colombia.  We wrote her letters this week.   I pray that our sponsorship makes a difference in her life.

Healthy 2013

I haven't fallen off the wagon yet!    I do believe this healthy resolution has become just a way of life.

My favorite recipe this week was Chickpea and Tomato Salad with Fresh Basil.  Yum.

I have lost 12 lbs. since January 1.  I'd like to keep that slow weight loss going... this week I actually craved Girl Scout Cookies very badly and did have a couple of thin mints, but that's it.  What I'm realizing is that food used to be a hobby of mine, now my husband and I view it as FUEL and that has made all the difference.  

From the Blog

How to Start Homeschooling:  A Roundup of Ideas  

Simple Lenten Cross Craft

The Hobbit:  Resources for a Unit Study

This Week's Favorite

I used this resource every single day this week.   It takes a lot of the hassle out of searching for notebooking pages, and I love creating my OWN pages, too.  Next week I'm going to put Anna on the task of creating some pages, too.  

*If you are interested in purchasing a membership to Notebooking Pages, use the following discount codes: 

  • discount5 = saves $5 on a purchase of $10 or more
  • discount10 = saves $10 on a purchase of $20 or more


Please join me for Collage Friday!

The rules are simple.   Link your post (that incudes photo collages) about your homeschool week.   Be sure to grab a Collage Friday button or text link back to this post in some way.   Then, be sure to visit the other blogs on the list to offer support and gain ideas.    This is a wonderful community and I love reading through your blogs each weekend and seeing how you all encourage each other.  

*I will delete any links that don't comply with these guidelines.  {not trying to be crabby, just trying to respect the hard work of those who do follow the rules}



Visit Maestro Classics - our favorite way to easily incorporate the best musical masterpieces into our homeschool.    

Reader Comments (19)

I have never tried Notebooking pages, but it sounds like a great resource, I will have to check it out. I'm glad you were able to spend time with your brother and his family! I have a boy who would love a pair of night vision googles!! Very cool.

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJen @ Forever, For Always

Please do that post on Notebbooking SOTW. I am trying to do more of this and I often feel a bit lost. I am going to check out the site you recommend! Thanks!!

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJess

So proud with you for your children's results from the Literature fair. What a great experience! I keep telling myself that my collage Friday will be shorter too. But alas, there's just so much packed into a week. I'm with you. Love that you had Sunday afternoon at Starbucks to catch up while your husband and children got to visit. And I love all the visiting you enjoyed with family!

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTricia

You are quite right, family really is a good thing!! Thanks for hosting!

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterClaire

Great Post! I am glad you were able to see your family.
Blessings, Dawn

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

I'll be waiting for the big post about Story of the World, Mary! I think that will be our spine next year as we move into Ancient History after spending a couple years on American History. I'm anxious to hear more about how you use it and incorporate notebooking.
(ps. My collage will be late this week--heading out now for a date with my husband!)

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi @ Home Schoolroom

We love Notebooking Pages too! I'm glad you've had such an amazing week with your family and in your homeschool. Have a wonderful weekend!

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

We have had a Fabulous February and this week I am recapping our highlights. Funny how in high school there is just not so much to actually share or it would be pretty just keeps chugging along. Love reading about all the good things your family is doing and only slightly feeling that twinge to do it all over again today.

Thanks for the link-up.

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarb-Harmony Art Mom

Great week Mary. I love all the family time you got to have. Also love the thrift store find! Charles and Mary Lamb are the best. :) Keilee took guitar lessons when she was 6 but was really too young. I need to see if she is interested since WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH GOING ON NOW! ;) Notebook Pages has been on my wish list forever. I wish she would run a sale like she did before school started. I LOVE her stuff!! I always love seeing what you do with your kids Mary. It always makes me smile. :) I am going to add my link but Keilee is doing her 1st day of her internship and I am hoping she takes pictures. She said she would. :)

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

I have been really considering SOTW for my almost 9-year-old. We've dabbled all over the place through the years, but I am thinking it might be nice (and fun!) to go chronologically now. I'll have to revisit some of your older posts. How old was your Anna when you started volume 1?

And I definitely need to visit notebooking pages too!

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJocelyne

Please, Mary, you must share the thrift store name!! I'm a book junkie and always looking to build our home library!

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie

I love Notebooking pages too - right now my printer is messed up - you can imagine my distress! grrrrrr- love the pic of you with your brother - so cute

You really do amaze me with your homeschooling creativity and organization. I need to spend some time on your blog and read some past posts. Thanks for sharing

February 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGiGi

OK, you really NEVER need to make your posts any shorter, 'cause I am benefiting WAY to much from them! :0)

February 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWonder Mom

How lovely you were able to get together with so many loved ones, Mary. It looks like you had a fantastic week. My daughter plays the guitar, it's such a pleasant instrument to hear to someone practising.

Glad to read about your SOTW 3 Pinterest board - I'll be looking that one up when we get there.

Thanks for hosting Collage Friday.

February 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLula B

What a great week, Mary! I'm glad you've had such a good one :) Love the photo of the kids with their literature fair ribbons!

February 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

Another great post, Mary. It doesn't sound like you have to worry about the length of your posts from a reader's perspective! Of course, from the perspective of the one doing all the work ... I could certainly understand your point.

I also am glad you shared the recipe for the chickpeas and basil dinner. Hal RAVED about it that evening at church. Well done!

I am also glad you got to spend some time with family. It looks like all the cousins had fun together. Always nice to have family that gets along when they are together!

February 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Fraser

Congrats to you all around!

I am sorry to hear your friend passed away. I pray the Lord will comfort you and their family.

Many blessings to you!

February 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharra

What a great week!! Family really IS a blessing (I have to remind myself sometimes when they're acting very UNblessedly. =p)
Also, I do declare... I think my son needs some night vision goggles. =)

February 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

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