Sunday, November 24, 2013

Family Traditions, holidays...

Right now, we are doing a lot of holiday planning. We want to simplify down to the basics. We want our children to remember these things when they are grown. We want simple goodness. I do wish we had skipped Santa, and some of the "magic" items..as I am sure there are ways to make the holidays special and magical without those things. What is done...is done...so Santa stays-but we are making this simpler! This will start with a real tree, decorated with our memory ornaments...some lights, and not much else. I am going to skip a lot of the "clutter" décor as it is just tacky and not very fun. We do intend to make it feel "Christmassy" but without crap everywhere. (Man do I hate window clings...)

Today is Sunday, which is a "school" day for us. It is a relaxed, 2-3 hour, math, reading and writing school day---kind of like the other 5 days in our school week! We do school almost every day. Even yesterday, our "off day" we had a tumbling meet. Zarina got 2nd, Zariah got 7th (they are in different levels, Zariah got a 9.4? but still got 7th place...she did great!) we had a lesson on losing, winning, scores...being happy for people who placed higher...and lots of other touchy topics. We then headed to Joanns to get more felt (CANNOT HAVE ENOUGH FELT!!) and then over to Kohls, where I spent way too much on sheets, but I NEED SHEETS. I only wish I could afford organic cotton...I washed and dried these, put them on my bed and the "No wrinkle" sheets WRINKLED. I might take them back and foot the bill for organic cotton!

Back on topic...

Today, being a "school day", we are going to touch on the subject of traditions. We are planning on figuring out what we NEED/WANT out of each holiday as a family, and what kinds of things make us so happy we want to repeat them every year. So far, we know we want to go see the lights in town on Thanksgiving night after we eat our yummy turkey...maybe pop some popcorn on the stove, fix everyone a mug of tea, pop a Christmas cd in the car and head out!! We have every intention of skipping the black Friday madness, as we NEED nothing other than the precious memories we make by spending time together. (this is easier said than done, as we are human, and there is always something to "want" BUT  we hope to scale things back by ignoring more of the holiday flyers!! That said, it is a good time to make big purchases --the car we just bought--saved a LOT by buying this time of year...also the financing on new appliances when you are in the market for them-the deals are way better this time of year...) BACK ON TOPIC!!!

As a yearly tradition, I am also thinking of gifting new a new p.j. set to each child on Christmas Eve, we would then sit and read some holiday stories and maybe watch a movie...we need to figure out what movies we want to watch each year and when, as well as what books we want to be a tradition.

A couple of years ago, I bought Prancer (DVD) for my mother, I remember her loving the movie and us watching it every year...I hope to do the same with my children!!  I do know that watching a movie is not the best use of "family time", but I also know my children enjoy watching movies, and they appreciate them more now that they are not allowed to just watch tv for the hell of it! Having 3-4 holiday movies to look forward to will be something they treasure! 

The girls are more into games now, so I would love to set up game nights that we do all year long, not just in December...I really think I need a big family calendar that we pencil EVERYTHING onto-including washing bedding as I know it has been at least 2 weeks since I washed the girls bedding-it is in the washer now!

Nathan's Christmas movie choices
Home Alone 2
Christmas Story

Mom's is "Prancer" so I am thinking we watch Prancer at moms house every thanksgiving...we normally do this anyway-but I am thinking we stick with it for sure!!

I am thinking we pick 1 or 2 movies for each weekend and watch them as a family!

While Zariah finishes up her school work, and Zarina picks up their bedroom, Torrin is taking a nap and I am on Amazon trying to finish up Christmas shopping! This year, I think I am putting aside the Santa gifts I had bought already (dino dig-Zarina, duct tape party-Zariah) and save them for their Easter Baskets. In honor of simplifying things, I am looking at buying them a telescope! I know they would love the gifts, (and I would hate them...) but a telescope seems like something they would truly enjoy and it is educational. Now, I know it could be argued that the digging for dinos is educational, and so is designing handbags out of tape...or that I already purchased them so might as well...WELL, I want to stick with LESS IS MORE and have them appreciate what they get. I feel they will appreciate their gifts more if there is LESS. Also, the dino digging is messy from what I hear and April would be a more appropriate time to gift it!

I had hoped to keep the telescope in the $150 range, but it seems the ones in that range are junk...I have reached out to both homeschool communities and am walking away with one that is a bit more than I had intended to spend, BUT seems to be a great tool the whole family will enjoy!

I am including the star finder in the gift, and need to find a couple of fun books to go with it. As I have mentioned before (I think)...we do not teach Science. Science just HAPPENS. We have a mini farm (26 chickens and a rooster count as a mini farm right?) and my kids love to play outside with the chickens, they inspect dead animals when they find them, they capture bugs and torture observe them. The learning just sort of HAPPENS. We also purchased a science book of experiments that we are hoping to enjoy eventually. This is more Nathan's speed than mine... our next big investment after the telescope will HOPEFULLY be a microscope and slides.

I am off to link a lot of what I just said on HERE to my homeschool page. I am horrible at keeping it current...Happy Holidays!!

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