Collage Friday - Feeling Renewed and Refreshed


I am abundantly thankful.

 ~ thankful for my two reasons to homeschool {pictured above}

 ~ thankful for nearly three weeks of no "school"

 ~ thankful for a day to myself where I parked it at Starbucks, played with my      Christmas present, organized my blog planner, and prepared for BEECH Retreat.

 ~ thankful to have have my husband home for almost all of that time

 ~ thankful for the time he spent with EACH of us individually and together as a family

 ~ thankful for cold, rainy weather that forced me to do some projects inside

 ~ thankful for a physical and mental renewal that I desperately needed

... and thankful for so many other blessings.



Our Christmas was peaceful and focused on the birth of Christ.   

Some years it hasn't been quite that way.   I think we're finally "doing it right".

Christmas Eve was spent at our church, and then eating a nice dinner out with friends (who double as family).   It has become a tradition to spend our Christmas Eve with another family we are close to, and this year we invited our retired pastor and his wife.  

Christmas morning dad finished reading Bartholomew's Passage.

Presents were opened.  Favorites were a basketball hoop, a guitar, and iTunes gift cards. 

We went to granddaddy's house in the afternoon for Christmas dinner and time with family.

I need to tell you a funny story:

My husband and I went out on a date shortly before Christmas.  We had a nice dinner and bought my daughter her guitar.  Next, we went to FOUR DIFFERENT STORES before we found a basketball goal.  We were getting nervous.   

A shout out to K-Mart!  We finally found it there, and had great customer service.   The box, however, was HUGE.   We weren't sure if we were going to be able to get it home.   (We had taken my husband's Honda Fit instead of my van.)  

 By some miracle we drove home with a guitar and a basketball goal crammed in his  little car.    

We managed to hide that box (and the fact that Uncle David and dad were assembling it in the garage on Christmas Eve day) from Grant.  

 New Year's Eve was fun.   We spent it with friends of ours that also homeschool.   I was happy that I had time to complete some Pinterest projects for the evening.  


New Year's Day my husband and I went on another little date.  

We got coffee and talked about plans for the New Year, synchronized our calendars, and just talked.

We also went grocery shopping.  Romantic, huh?    

We read labels, talked about healthier options, and planned meals.   My husband is quite fit and healthy.   I need to join him. 

My one word for 2013 is HEALTH. 


  • I am giving up Coke Zero.
  • I would like to lose some extra pounds.
  • I am participating in a Shakeology Challenge starting next Monday.   Thank you, Jen!
  • I am going to take my low back arthritis and treat it without medical intervention.
  • I am putting my health above all else this year, or else nothing else will get done well.



Anna has been reading books that have a quilting theme.  

Her aunts and a dear friend have been helping her with her first quilt.     

Wednesday we were blessed to spend an afternoon with my friend who is quite the quilter.  She also is an encourager, and she is farther along this homeschool journey than I am.   I left her home feeling renewed.

Friendship is a gift.   Always make time for it.

This week we have been getting back into the school routine.



  • I have a new subscription to Classical Composers Monthly.  Wow, is all I can say.   I can't wait to use this composer resource further with my children.   It's my Favorite Resource this week!  
  • We're getting up early again <yawn>.
  • Grant is taking frequent breaks to shoot hoops - and I'm joining him!


In case you've missed it, I have a couple of wonderful giveaways going on:


Finally, I want to tell each and every one of you who read this blog how encouraging you are to me.    A sweet reader emailed me last week thanking me for what I do.

Homegrown Learners started as a way for me to document our homeschool days.

It has turned into a place for collaboration, encouragement, and a variety of educational ideas.  

Blogging is something I love.   Thank you for being a part of that.


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Please join me for Collage Friday!    

Simply share your post about your homeschool week.  (Make sure it includes photo collages.)   Then, sign the linky and visit other bloggers on the list to gain ideas and offer encouragement.  Be sure to grab a button from my sidebar or text link back to this post so readers can see the wealth of information the Collage Friday bloggers provide each week!  


It's my favorite time of the week!  

How was your holiday season?  Are you ready for a fresh start in 2013?    I'm looking forward to catching up with you.