October Wrap Up

Wrapping It Up:  October

I've only been able to get a few extra stolen moments downstairs in my "office" and while away on vacation to try to get out a few posts this month.  I  again would love to say this is my new habit but I have no idea what each day or week to come will hold for me so I'm just taking it one day at a time....and hoping for the best- whatever that may be.

My Writing World

Once again it has been sparse, but I've still managed to work on blogging a bit.  Have you seen this month's posts?

Peaceful Reflections - October

Cold & Flu Season

Reflections on Homeschooling

Vacation In Florida

I did manage to catch up on critiques for my writing group while on vacation, but I still have not touched a manuscript of my own - not even on vacation- but an idea for one certainly sparked in my mind just today as I sat reading to my five-year old. And since I haven't even thought about a single idea for at least a month or two,  that's really something!

I had ignored the reminders on Facebook that PiBoIdMo 2015 is coming up. I just don't see myself being able to commit to the time at all. But once that idea sparked in my mind this morning for a  picture book, I thought about it.  Maybe I can take part? Just not to the full extent I have tried in past years. I guess there's no harm trying...except for the possibility of getting my hopes up and then frustrated.  So I really need to reconsider my goals.

My Book World 

 While my list is still long, I didn't do as much reading this month other than while away in Florida. I am really enjoying The Way of A Pilgrim.  I'm still taking my time to read through this one in particular, just reading a few pages a day at most and taking time to contemplate the thoughts therein.

We haven't gotten very far with the Sunday School Class with Introducing The Orthodox Church- but I'm hopeful the teens are getting something out of it and are learning more about their faith.

         Unfortunately,  I haven't even touched  Volume I (Home Education) of Charlotte Mason's own book this month- but I did start two other books involving her philosophy of education and am so in love with the ideology!  I'm actually glad I chose to go ahead with these two books first as I think it will prepare me for the heavier reading in Volume I.  So what are they you ask?

I can not get enough of these books!  This week has killed me as I've barely managed to read 4 pages since we've been back home from our trip and I would just LOVE to find some time to curl up on the couch with my books, notebook, pens, highlighters and pencils and READ!!!  Sigh.... but life, you know?

Anyway- I'm taking lots of notes.  I'm applying what I've learned so far about a Common Place Book (and I'm not even sure if that's a compound word or not??) and starting to write things down on The Living Page in my first ever Prayer/Common Place Book.  I am really loving it!

       I have made minimal progress in my two fiction pieces.  They are good books, but my  main focus is on the two books I mentioned above...  still- these make for a nice 5 minute break during the day!

I started the Ishtar's Journey.  I'm not sure if I'm feeling as immediately pulled in as I was for the first three books in the series, but I'm only about 30 pages in.  I took it with me on the trip but I really got pulled into those Charlotte Mason books.  But I am excited to find out what happens and I'll be sure to post a book review in November! In case you missed my Wrap Up From September, it's a free copy given to me by the publisher ( Kregal Publications) in exchange for a book review here on the blog when I'm done.  Back in  December of 2014,  I did a review on  Jotham'sJourney, the first book in this series of advent stories which you can read here.  I have read all three books in the series and have loved them all -though Jotham's Journey was definitely my favorite!

Our Parenting/Homeschool World

We are still appreciating the curriculum guides on Ambleside Online for Year One.  We've actually completed  12 of the weeks so far.  I've slowed down a bit as I felt like I was skipping to much of the fun stuff to often (just playing games, reading magazines, the nature walks, etc.) and I totally redid the way I write down my plan for the week.  Now I have it so I can't see a set plan for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.  I just have things listed under the main subject (Literature, Mathematics, History, etc.) and when it gets done, it gets done.  Writing it down on a Mon-Friday plan was too stressful- whether I told myself it was okay to go onto another week or not.

With that said, we had a really good day today.  Since we were home all day, it was easier to take breaks when needed and complete the academic natured activities (phonics, handwriting, math, etc.) with other fun things (painting, letter stamps, playing a game, etc.).  I love when we're home all day like this rather than running errands, grocery shopping or running to co-op for my older son's A & P course!  But I think with my new plan, it won't be as stressful even with those kind of days.  I'll have to put it into action (next week) and then tell you more about it!


The books pictured above are the books we use based on the Ambleside Year One Reading List. As I've stated before, it looks like a lot but we don't read from each one every day. With the Charlotte Mason method, one reads just short segments at a time (never more than ten minutes a selection at this point and that includes narration time) and then moves on to the next subject or activity.  This is actually highly
effective. My son and I are also reading the classic Peter Pan by J.M Barrie!  This book has me completely convinced at how much better it is to read Living Books rather than twaddle.  My son adores it!  I have a feeling this one will be read again! And Soon!

My older son has been quite successful on and off the football field this year.  He's keeping up with his coursework much better than he was this time last year and I'm pleased with his progress.  I have enjoyed our almost daily read-aloud time and listening to his narrations of his other literature selections and books in other coursework.  Right now his current pick is a sequel to the Newberry Book he read last year:


I'm eager to find out if it's as good as the original - Dead End In Norvelt.

Our current read aloud is going to take awhile since I don't have time to read more than maybe 10-12 pages a day and there is 870 pages in the book!  Oh, but the fun!



Our Food and Health World

Hopefully you've had a chance to read my updated Cold & Flu Season post! I am busy restocking our shelves with our daily and seasonal supplements to be sure all is on hand  before we are exposed to the oncoming germs!

I'm still trying to get back into the habit of making chicken broth weekly. I was managing well at this but haven't restarted since vacation. Someone at the homeschool co-op was talking about chickens yesterday and how they stocked their freezer full but mentioned how the butcher had asked if she wanted the feet and she was shocked -  I told her I would have been glad to buy them from her and she looked at me like I was joking.  I was completely serious.  Having frozen feet in my freezer doesn't thrill me but I would love to have them for my homemade broth!  It really adds to the nutritional content!

I've also started making kombucha a regular part of my diet, as well as my younger son's.  If you have been a follower of my flu season posts, you'll see that I added in information this year on probiotics.  Probiotics do strengthen the immune system and are an asset to the digestive system.  I used to make water kefir.  In fact I made it myself for well over a year- and noticed a HUGE difference in my younger son's eczema.  I'm afraid I've gotten away from it and I'm not all thatsure I'm ready to start back up into it. It wasn't that much time a day but still, that's 10-20 minutes I could be reading or writing or just cuddling on the couch with my husband or child!  I haven't read much about the daily time it takes to make kombucha.  I know kombucha is a longer process (it ferments I think for about 30 days vs. water kefier ferments only a couple days) so maybe it doesn't take daily are? But right now, though a little pricy, I have found an excellent source for the kombucha and it's soooo delicious!  So while it is pricy, we only drink about 3-5 oz a day and I know that it's worth the cost to improve our health.  My husband drinks more than that, but doesn't do so on a daily basis, so I guess it evens out for the cost.


Our Faith World

We continue to try to keep Sundays low key.  We have certainly done better than years ago when we would actually do the grocery shopping after church! UGH!  That was AWFUL.... but we lived an hour away from the better grocery store at the time and since it was within a couple miles of church, that's what we did. Thank the Lord that our lives are not quite so complicated in that way any longer and that same store (and church) is much MUCH closer now.

It's nice to come home and relax with a book or play a game with my son now - focusing on rest and keeping our minds on God and appreciating His creation and all that He's given us.  When my husband doesn't work that night or the night before, he can  join in as well and that's always such a blessing! It's hard when he works the night before because he desperately wants to go to church but has to fight off sleep while he's there and then feels bad when he misses family time later in the day. But it is what it is. We have to make the best of it.  It's all about doing the best that we can with what we have and giving God the glory for all that we do have.

What is something you do on Sunday to keep it the Lord's Day?

Other Parts of My World

Well, this month's highlight was Florida with my husband.  It was so nice to get away and have a few days of total relaxation and not much responsibility!  The weather was wonderful and we had a really nice time.  One highlight of our trip was meeting the family of my son's girlfriend (She lives in Flordia- so it's a difficult challenge for them as they don't get to see each other often, but they make the best of it and I think it will strengthen their relationship).  They are a wonderful family - so much so that it felt like we've been friends for years.  Other highlights of the trip included Clearwater Beach - just in time to watch the sunset! We also hunted for alligators!  LOL....  just with our eyes.  We only saw one pop out of the water for about 3 seconds....and  eyes glowing in the reflection of our flashlights on another night (don't worry- we were on land quite a ways away and they were down in the river).  Of course, the biggest highlight was the time we had together.  Even with his conference, we still had quite a bit of that.12113298_10206563934808716_719210530543177644_o

What did you do during October?