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Showing posts from November, 2016

Control and chaos

I love holidays, but they are a bit of work to pull off. I often wonder if I like the aftermath of holidays better. Things are still relatively neat, everyone is still feeling the happy after effects of a nice holiday, and the to do list is shorter. It feels as though I can slow down a bit and take a breath.

Usually after that breath, though, I look around to discover all the things that got pushed to the sidelines while I focused on holiday preparations. Monday was spent writing a story that was ridiculously late and while my editor likes me, I'm pretty sure I shouldn't be that late again for a good long time. Oh, and there was that neurosurgeon appointment, too. Yesterday was laundry. Well, actually, every day is laundry usually, but I gave myself a holiday from it, so when I went downstairs yesterday to finally deal with it, it was a pile of magnificent proportions. It's all sorted now, and should be back to manageable proportions in a couple of days.

Today? Well, besid…

Teaching the disregulated child

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The longer I homeschool and the longer I homeschool children who come from less-than-ideal backgrounds, I realize that learning is so much more than just understanding the next concept in the book. There is so much more that plays into how our children process information. Hunger, fatigue, worry, and fear all play a huge role into how information about the world around them is processed. Academic learning takes a brain that is calm, fed, attentive, and primed for learning. Even at home with me as the teacher, it is all too easy for one of these things to fall by the wayside, at which point, trying to get through an academic lesson is an exercise in futility.

So what are some ways to help a child whose brain has gone off-line? I'll use some examples from the past couple of days to explain some of the things we do around here.

Calm

A brain that is suddenly fearful about something... in school work it is often a fear of failure... can divert all energy to worrying and fretting and be …

I could have missed this

I'm squeaking in under the wire for getting a National Adoption Month post written, since November is very nearly over.

As we finished dinner tonight, I looked around and realized that if we had never adopted, there was a good chance that it would have been just D. and P. at the table with me and J. tonight. That's seven people whom I love that would either have not existed or been part of our family. It felt a little shocking and a little scary all at the same time.

We didn't set out to have 12 children. We thought four sounded great.. and normal... and enough. But sometimes there is that little voice that says otherwise. I'm so glad we listened. While the bottom half of the line-up (to borrow J.'s phrase) is not always easy, and sometimes downright hard, we also cannot imagine them not being around. The blessings certainly outweigh the hard. I shiver to think what we would have missed.

We would have missed the sheer joy that these precious blessings bring to us. …

In search of a tree

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We decided to do something new and different this year, so yesterday we loaded everyone up and went to find a Christmas tree to cut down. 
K. (That's a roll in his mouth. We did a lot of snacking so as not to have to buy everyone lunch.)
There was a miniature donkey which P. wished we could tie to the roof of the van and take home instead of the tree.

And two cute fat and woolly goats. There might have also been some discussion about how to secretly take the smaller goat with us, followed by more discussion over whether or not the city would notice a goat living in our yard. Someone helpfully (?) pointed out that everyone already thought we were a bit odd, so what would one goat matter?
Kenzie got to come along, too. His last car trip was to the vet and I think he kept wondering when the shot was going to happen.

Off in search of a tree.



After doing some vague wandering, M. and TM really wanted us to come and see the "tree" they found.


We did not choose this one.


We cho…

Thanksgiving 2016

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We had turkey.

I held dinner hostage until we took a family picture.


There was a lot of food. I know people are curious about amounts for a family of 14. Here they are (and our menu as well.)

Turkey (21.6 pounds)
Stuffing (2 loaves of bread, 2 heads of celery, 2 onions)
Creamed onions (4 jars of pickled onions)
Mashed potatoes (7 pounds)
Carrots (2 pounds)
Salad (1 lg. head of romaine, 1 jar of pickled beets, 1/2 a bag of pecans... we were also going to add goat cheese, but it was forgotten)
6 dozen homemade rolls
Gravy (4 cups)
Pie (2 pumpkin, 2 pecan, 1 apple and whipped cream)


Waiting to eat.



After dinner entertainment was provided by Nefertiti, the cat, followed by our annual viewing of A Child's Christmas in Wales. It was a lovely day, a delicious dinner, and wonderful to have everyone all together.


No, she never reached the turkey, but we did give her a little treat.

Now Thank We All Our God

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Now thank we all our God, With heart and hands a voices,

Who wondrous things hath done, In whom his world rejoices; Who from our mother's arms Hath blessed us on our way With countless gifts of love, And still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God Through all our life be near us, With ever-joyful hearts And blessed peace to cheer us;

And keep us in his grace, And guide us when perplexed, And free us from all ills In this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God

the Father now be given,

The Son, and Holy Ghost,

Supreme in highest heaven,

The one eternal God,

Whom heaven and earth adore;








For thus it was, is now, And shall be evermore.
A very blessed Thanksgiving to you from the Curry family.

Preparations

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Turkey thawed. Check.

Six dozen rolls made. Check.

Five pies (2 pecan, 2 pumpkin, 1 apple) made. Check.

Eight cups of cranberry-orange relish made. Check.

New 10 1/2 foot tablecloth made. Check.


Games to be played tomorrow under negotiation. Check.

Table full. Check.


Yep, I think we're ready for a holiday.