Yesterday, we got a Christmas tree. A real one. The first real Christmas tree that our little family has ever had. We went to a tree farm, picked it out in the field and cut it down ourselves.
It’s beautiful. And it smells amazing.
We also baked a cake yesterday. This wasn’t so beautiful. The springform pans leaked, filling the kitchen with smoke and setting off the alarms. I iced the cake too soon so the icing melted and one of the layers slid off in the fridge and made a mess. The sink was piled high with dishes. And my head was pounding.
This is real life.
Mary gave birth in a stable. Our Saviour’s bed was a feeding trough. There was nothing glamorous about His coming, and yet, there was beauty in the mess. Jesus is not afraid of mess. He wasn’t then and He isn’t now. Instead, He meets us there and brings beauty.
This week on The Grace-Filled Life, I talked about why we’re having a quiet Christmas. You can read about it by clicking the link below. In this weekend edition of TGFL, you’ll also find homeschool inspiration, great books and other goodies.
Have a wonderful weekend!
This Week on TGFL
Here’s what’s been happening on The Grace-Filled Life this week:
- Why We’re Slowing Down this Christmas – Every year, I head into Christmas at breakneck speed. This year, we’re making space for quiet reflection with a new advent guide.
- Charlotte Mason and Habit Training (Thoughts on “Home Education” – Part 2) – I’ve been blogging my way through Charlotte Mason’s first volume, Home Education. This week’s article is the “hows” and “whys” of habit training.
This Week in the Outdoors
I had the privilege of teaching our science co-op about animal tracks and signs this week. Although the forest floor is covered in leaf litter, the kids climbed a ridge and found deer prints and what they thought were possibly fox prints. We’ve been fighting colds this week and haven’t ventured out much other than for science class. Here’s hoping that we’ll be able to explore the woods more fully next week.
This Week in Books
So many good books! Between the five of us, here’s what we’ve been reading:
Picture Books and Readers
This week, the girls started unwrapping our advent books. I’ve wrapped up 24 Christmas and winter-themed picture books from our collection and placed them under the upstairs tree. Each morning, the girls take one and open it for storytime. It adds a fun element to our Morning Time routine. This week, we read:
- Snowball Soup by Mercer Mayer
- The Perfect Christmas Pageant by Joyce Meyer
- The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston
- The Money We’ll Save by Brock Cole
- Snow by Walter de la Mere
You can also find these books listed in 100+ Winter and Holiday Themed Storybooks to Read to Your Child.
- The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder – One of our favourite books!
- The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis – My daughter read through the series again this week.
- North or be Eaten by Andrew Peterson – This is the second book in the Wingfeather Saga.
Ember Rising by S.D. Smith – This is the second book in the Green Ember series. I don’t say this lightly: This series is right up there with the Chronicles of Narnia. It is incredibly engaging and well-written.
- Church History in Plain Language by Bruce L. Shelley – I’m still working on it.
- Home Education by Charlotte Mason – I’m continuing to read this volume on home education for a book club that I attend.
This week, we started Jennifer Naraki’s Slow + Sacred Advent. It is breath-takingly beautiful. We planted seeds, made garlands and baked an orange cake to celebrate Jesus, the seed of hope. The seed who bears the fruits of the Spirit in our lives.
Since we’re beginning a study of the Victorian era, we decided to make some scrap lace and tinsel angel ornaments, as well as some paper cones to hang on the tree. They turned out beautifully! I also have a few little gifts to hang on the tree, just like they did during the mid- to late-19th century.
Recently, I decided to take the plunge and purchase Mobi Math tiles. It has been absolutely worth the investment. I love finding ways to make math fun, so I made up a game with these tiles to help the girls practice their math facts. As a bonus, for every correct answer, they earn a chocolate chip.
To help practice French at home, I purchased the Scholastic Early Learners French-English First Words flashcards. The girls are learning many of these words in their French lessons, so we’ve been having fun playing games with these cards.
A couple of us have been under the weather, so we took two days off to rest. Some weeks are like that. Next week, we’ll be back on track.
Snippets from Around the Web
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