Collage Friday - A Weird Place I Found LEGOS and Other Observations


Looking back on our week, this picture of my sweet boy doing his math in the warm fall sunshine sums it up perfectly.  I feel like God has been lighting our path in all we do.   

It's been such an odd week.  I've felt uneasy because of the electon, the weather is changing, and we had a time change.  I also celebrated a birthday last Saturday!   My dear husband let me pick out new furniture for the family room (this was HUGE because we just don't go out and buy furniture often) and then he and I enjoyed a scrumptious dinner at a restaurant we had been wanting to try.  

Amidst the celebrations of birthdays and the changing of seasons, I also had feelings of disappointment and worry (mostly from the election, I think).   

I found myself feeling a bit melancholy and quiet this week.     

God sent me two signs this week that were truly gifts.  The first was a friend of mine in our co-op who came to me and thanked me for writing Don't Be A Drill Sergeant Mom.   She told me God had used me to speak to her through that post.  (Thank you, Shelley!)  The second was also at our co-op.  A woman I had never met introduced herself to me and thanked me for writing the blog.   (Thank you, Amy!)

Friends, this is what I love about blogging.  It is the friends I can make and the lives that can be touched through the REAL experiences in my life.   I am a homeschool mom in need of A LOT of grace, and I just want to share that with readers and hope they can relate in some way.  

My friend Jen is doing a lot of blogging for National Adoption Awareness Month.  A friend of mine saw her vlog about adoption and they have been corresponding about adoption.  THIS is what blogging is all about. We have the power to touch each other's lives through sharing our stories.  I'm so proud of Jen (and can't wait to meet her at BEECH Retreat!

Now, on to our collages for the week:  

1.  This was the last week of our LEGO Co-Op class.  I've had a fabulous middle school boy as my assistant.   He was kind enough to come to my house and help sort the buckets of LEGO bricks to be sure they were all organized for the final day.   He and Grant sorted 12 buckets and made sure every one had the EXACT SAME pieces.    Meanwhile, his mom and I enjoyed some time together while his sister and Anna spent time together.  It was a good afternoon!   I am telling you:  You have NEVER lived until you teach a class of 12 LEGO obsessed seven and eight year olds.   

2.  The Pick a Brick buckets are a great deal!   (Remember when my husband and I stopped at the LEGO store on the way home from our anniversary getaway?) We made these buckets for $8/each and it has absolutely been the favorite thing for our class.   Each class they spend 10 minutes doing a "speed build"... I will be writing a post about LEGO Class Plans in the next couple of weeks. 

3.  Cupcakes for our class - Of course I had to bake treats.   

4.  The Strangest Place I Ever Found a LEGO was down my shirt!  I was sitting waiting for my daughter during her chorus rehearsal and felt a lump in the back of my shirt.   As I investigated further, a LEGO creation fell out of my shirt.   How did I miss this?  One of my kids thought it was funny to put it down my shirt, but what's truly disturbing is that I didn't even realize it.   Oy.  Sometimes my days are long and I'm tired!  

5.  LEGO treat buckets - We actually took the bricks out of the buckets and put them in Zip Lock bags.  We then filled the buckets with LEGO stickers, memory games, and LEGO candy.    I think our class will love their last day goodies!


I've made a conscious effort to NOT let the election affect me.   Believe me, it wasn't easy, because I had some strong feelings about it this year.   

On election day we encountered a young lady working in a store.  I asked her if she had voted and she replied:

Oh no, I never vote.  I just don't want to feel guilty if I make the wrong decision.

I couldn't contain myself and politely began to lecture her on the importance of her vote and what an honor it is to be able to vote.   I think she just wanted me to leave her alone, but maybe it got her thinking.   I sure hope so.    The apathy is what got to me.   

We are dealing with an UNIFORMED and APATHETIC ELECTORATE.    Regardless of who the president is, this fact alone scares me to death.     

Yes, I'm well aware of who is ultimately in control and that God's will is being done.   {I read a million of those obligatory posts the day after the election. What's interesting is that a lot of those same people had some very UNChristian remarks in the days leading up to the electon.  Anyone else see this as odd?}    

Let me just say this:  Our country is broken and it worries me that as a nation we are so polarized; polarized to the point of NOT being able to repair that brokenness.  

One house on our street displayed a flagpole and an empty chair on election day.  I LOVE IT!  

Anna did several election day worksheets and learned quite a bit.  We had several excellent discussions about the process and what an amazing thing it is to be able to vote.    We also printed the map of the US and colored in states as they were called on election night.    

When it's all said and done I am still extremely worried about the future of our country.  I know, however, that we will still continue to work hard, homeschool our children, and be the best neighbors, friends, and family members we can be.  

I believe it is only the love of Jesus that can bring us together.  So, are we being Jesus' hands and feet in this world?   I need to work on that.  

I've heard enough vitriol and hate in the past few weeks and I have turned off the television and talk radio and chosen JOY.


I'm finding that our homeschool is rapidly changing.   A large part of this is because my daughter is growing and changing so rapidly.  She is no longer a "little" girl.   Her interests are changing and she is spreading her wings.  

I am proud of the young lady she is becoming, but I feel like we're losing some of the wonder in our homeschool.  My husband and I have been doing some serious thinking about the direction of our homeschool and the focus we need for Anna's education.   I'm thankful we have options and choices we can make.    

Some things, however, are remaining constant.   Anna is in LOVE with her dog.  He is by her side 24 hours a day!    She also LOVES to read.   She has been making her way through the Inkheart series the past two weeks.  She also LOVES her music.   Much time is spent at the piano!  

She takes a weekly piano lesson and practices each day.   She's also been printing music she loves (Taylor Swift) and learning that on her own.  She's becoming an independent player and I think she is playing now for her own enjoyment.   

Giving our sixth grader bits of freedom like an Instagram account or the responsibility of watching her brother for the afternoon while mom and dad have a coffee date has helped her feel more grown up.

I'm curious:  Those of you with pre-teens - what advice can you give me for this age?

Each Monday evening she and I make the trek to her children's chorus.  It's an hour from our house, but I value this time with her in the car.   She is learning some gorgeous choral music and making new friends. Rehearsals include theory homework and sight singing tests.   It's a QUALITY music education and I'm so pleased.  Her concert is coming up in December and we're all very excited!  

It's so important for kids to have ANCHORS - things that they love and are good at.  It appears music is Anna's anchor.  

 Additional Thoughts:

  • We've been reading aloud a lot - this week it was Shakespeare and also The Great Turkey Walk.  Our Favorite Resource This Week was the Animated Shakespeare Stories.   You can watch them for free on YouTube.  
  • We are nearly done with Writing With Ease Volume 4 (Anna) and Volume 1 (Grant) - we will be starting new levels in January.
  • A lot of Christmas music has been heard around here.  Anna is playing a beautiful arrangement of Carol of the Bells.  I'm thinking of using this as our SQUILT music next week.
  • We had friends over Wednesday afternoon.  I don't do this nearly enough - the kids had a blast and my friend and I enjoyed coffee and cookies!
  • Operation Christmas Child collection week is next week!   Have you packed your shoeboxes?
  • I'm giving away a soap box from Discovery Boulevard.  We are using their monthly Why Box and love it!
  • I'm very thankful for my homeschool friends.   I've had to pick a few of their brains recently about serious educational issues and I am so pleased to have them in my life!  


Grab a Collage Friday button or text link back to this post.  We are a blessing to each other.   Please take the time to visit the blogs of these dedicated souls that link each week.   You will learn so many new homeschool things, be inspired by their stories, and quite possibly make new friends.  It makes me so happy to read your blogs each week and see you all interacting with each other!