Boxes, Schoolwork & Squirrels ~ Collage Friday


This week is National Collection Week! All of our boxes have been taken to a local relay center and (as I expected) we have already been blessed on our side of the box.

It's not unusual to hear stories of one person packing 50 boxes. We heard of a church in our area that packed 2,000 boxes! 

Another woman we met at the relay center was the coordinator for her church. She told us about their packing party, and how she set a timer and every time it went off she would say, "Stop and pray!" and all those packing would pray over their boxes.

God plopped this ministry in our laps at just the right time. It has been a tremendous blessing to get my family, church, and homeschool community further involved, too. 

It's just a little over 3 weeks until I travel to Ecuador! Our travel packets have started arriving, and I cannot wait to share God's love with children who are so in need.

I cry no less than 3 times a day, and for no apparent reason, other than I am overwhelmed, excited, and also a bit anxious. 

Please continue to pray as I prepare for this journey!

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 News From National Collection Week

The stories and blessings #behindthebox are amazing. We had a great week getting our boxes to the relay center.

When you drop off your boxes you receive a Christmas ornament and small booklet with Ralph's story. Grant and I watched the Youtube video with Ralph's story. I think you need to see it, too. 

Grant and I had tears flowing, knowing that this little boy is his same age. I know how much care Grant put into his box, which contained a lot of school supplies. One little box can make a HUGE difference.


My sweet Anna took all of the boxes we packed in our Classical Conversations community and inspected them each to be sure they had enough items. She put on tracking labels, included pictures, and made more rubber band bracelets for boxes that needed them.

Our dining room was her command center and she did EVERY SINGLE BOX by herself. I was so proud of her, because it meant a significant time commitment, and she didn't have a lot of time to spare this week.

At one point she looked at me and said, "I wish I could go with you to Ecuador."

At that, I broke into tears {again}. I wish she could go with me, too.

The sheer number of volunteers it takes just to receive boxes at the relay centers and then get those boxes to the bigger warehouses is amazing. They each have a special story about how OCC has blessed them, too. I enjoyed having time this week to meet volunteers and hear their stories. I am glad my kids heard them, too.

School Update

We are on Thanksgiving break, which means one week of no school.

Grant finished week 12 of Foundations, and he is done until mid January (we will do review and fun activities in December).

Anna still has two more week of Challenge in December, and then she gets a little break, too. 

Pictured Above:


  • Anna has learned so much Latin this semester. Henle First Year Latin is very challenging, but I like the way the Challenge A program moves them through it slowly. She has learned all 4 declensions and a ton of vocabulary and is able to translate and read quite a bit. I can see how studying Latin has a MYRIAD of benefits! 
  • Grant is loving playing piano and tin whistle. I printed some fun turkey music worksheets for him (from this great music site) and he enjoyed completing them.
  • We needed some Chocolate Pretzel Fudge this week ~ just because. It was VERY good.
  • Grant learned about symbolism in art (with a painting of Napoleon) and then was encouraged to do his own drawing of himself with symbolism. I love how he included piano, LEGOS, sports, and (sad to say) video games. I confess. He does love to play the Wii!
  • We read through a great little book on Kindle - The Illustrated Life of Napoleon. Grant built LEGOS while I read and we both learned a lot about Napoleon. 


*A side note - we read on my daughter's Kindle Paperwhite. This device gets used so much in our homeschool. It would make a great Christmas gift, especially if you have a voracious reader in your house! 


Yuck. We have squirrels in our attic. They are tunneling through the insulation and taunting us (seriously, they are!) each time we go outside.

Monday morning I heard nuts rolling around (not kidding) and just about lost it - to think that there are furry rodents living in my home freaks me out just a little. 

This week we got some estimates as how to deal with the problem.

It's amazing that a squirrel problem could be anywhere from $300-$4,200 depending on who you talk with. 

It was a good chance to teach the kids about economics, good business, and always getting more than one estimate. 

I realize some people might just trap the squirrels themselves and board up their entry points and be done with it. I'm not sure we are that brave. We will have a professional critter trapper coming to our house after Thanksgiving.

Going Quiet For a Bit 

We will be enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday in sunny Florida with my parents and sisters. 

I plan on totally relaxing and not thinking about my blog for the better part of the week. 

Please remember there is NO COLLAGE FRIDAY NEXT WEEK, but it will return on December 6.

I do have a great giveaway and review to share with you next Wednesday, though, so be sure to check back for that (that post is already scheduled and ready to go - so no work for me on vacation!).

This break is desperately needed. I am physically and mentally drained. It has been a wonderful, but academically challenging, semester. Both kids have worked so hard and they deserve a HUGE break. 

I've also been buring the candle at both ends with commitments at church, Operation Christmas Child, this blog, and a side social media consulting job I have. 

I can already hear the waves and feel the sunshine on my face ~ I do love the beach. 

I pray each of you has a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Please join me for Collage Friday!

If you'd like to link, you can do so in a couple of ways:

  • Enter your link below. Be sure to link to your post with photo collages and link back to this post (or include the Collage Friday button on your blog).
  • Share your photo collage(s) on Instagram, FB, G+, or Twitter - use the hashtag #collagefriday so I can find you!