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Weekly Wrap Up: Christmas Break

In our life these weeks

The break seems like a blur of happy times, get-togethers, gifts, good food (including chocolate), arctic weather, snow, movies, and reading—and, for my husband, lots of work.

Miss 16 sewed me a beautiful apron, and Miss 11 sewed matching aprons for herself and a cousin.

We had so much snow that we’re shoveling out walking paths so the dog can get around the yard!  Mr. 18 trampled down a path for us in the woods, too, but with a wind chill of -32 C we were a bit too cold to really enjoy it.  Today will be warmer, so we may go for a walk in the woods if the weekly housework and errands don’t take up too much time.

Miss 11 gets new glasses, the van gets a new tire (pumping up a tire when the wind chill is -36 C is not fun), and it looks like our country water system may need a significant overhaul.  We are thankful all these things are possible, though.

Our full freezers and pantry will bring us significant grocery savings this winter.  Although I’m not officially participating in a pantry challenge this year, the only groceries I’m buying are fresh produce (whatever’s on sale), dairy products, staples like rice flour, loss-leaders from the flyers, and fun food for Sundays.  For the rest, we eat what we have.

I’ve been trying to organize my goals for the New Year, but my mind has been too full of many other things.  Probably I’ll end up with two lists, one of goals and one of projects.

In our homeschool

We took Christmas week off, but spent four days doing schoolwork this past week.  We did not work strenuously, but a fair bit of learning happened:  math, French, Canadian History, grammar, Greek, writing, and more. We watched a few episodes of Human Planet, and my teen girls now regularly run a mile every day on the treadmill.

With Mr. 18’s help, we got the Math Score game working for Miss 13 and Miss 11.

In our gluten free kitchen… Turkey (in many different ways), cranberries, apple pancakes, poutine, salads, mocha Nanaimo bars, chocolate, mandarins, kiwis, sausages, buckwheat porridge, spaghetti, bisque, soups, and so much more that exercise needs to become a priority.

Some of my favorite things were

  • Spending time with friends and family
  • Chocolate and other good food
  • A roaring fireplace
  • Watching movies with the kids
  • Sleeping lots and lots and lots

Questions/thoughts I have… I really want to get back into a more Charlotte Mason way of homeschooling but don’t have the time to plan it formally.  So, we’ll just do the best we can.


I’ve been very sleepy and have had funny headaches for a while.  Even so, most days I manage to walk well over 10,000 steps and do my physio exercises.  Although we’ve enjoyed a lot of special treats, most of the time I ate only moderate amounts of the unhealthy foods.

When the weather is terribly cold, we don’t air out the house—even if we wanted to, we couldn’t because the windows are frozen shut—so our air quality is deteriorating.  Today I hoped it would be warm enough for the windows to thaw and open, but they were still frozen shut.

Some of the things I’ve been working on

  • Getting rid of the old school papers we no longer need or want to keep; it’s been years since we did this, and we’re recycling a full banana box of old papers.  “All that work,” my son sighed, looking at a pile of his old scribblers.
  • Organizing our Canadian history studies
  • Enjoying a break with my kids
  • Updating my GoodReads account with all the books I read in the past year.  It was a lot:  110 in total, plus three Dutch books, not on GoodReads, that I read with the kids (for my own records, they are In de Zoete Suikerbol #2,   Pioneers in het Wilde Westen by K. Norel, and Gertje).  I’m hoping to make list of my favorite books, but that is so difficult to do.
  • Reading about the history of science
  • Planning 2014 projects and goals
  • Finishing the projects on my desk

We’re watching…  We watched some Human Planet episodes:  Rivers, Oceans (a fair bit of evolution and mysticism), Jungles (a minimum of clothing), and Mountains.  We also watched Newton and Leonardo, but Galileo was just too much to stomach. These Inventor’s Series movies from Devine Entertainment are beautifully produced but are really not as accurate as one might wish.  We enjoyed Roman Holiday together, and the kids re-watched some old favorites, including Lord of the Rings, War Time Farm and all the Jackie Evanko YouTube videos.

I’m reading… Ezekiel. I finished Pilgrimage, The Soul of Science (review coming up), Word of Honour: Camp 30, Switch on Your Brain, and The Church Preserved Through Fires: A History of the Presbyterian Church in Korea.  Currently I’m reading Total Truth (with Mr. 18), Thirty Years that Shook Physics, Evangellyfish, More Things in Heaven and Earth, and Quantum Physics and Theology.  I am still reading Inside Camp X and Awakening Faith, a daily devotional.

Reading Aloud… We’re reading Proverbs and just finished Volume 3 of In de Zoete Suikerbol.  Other than that, we did very little reading aloud.

When my husband is home for meals we read Galatians.

I’m grateful for …. Sleep, warm fires, and the telephone.

Quote or link to share….   Just like me, Amy Lynn Andrews was not ready to set her New Year’s goals.   But I hope to ponder them tomorrow again.

This post is linked to Kris’s Weekly Wrap Up .


  1. JoAnn says:

    Sounds like some great times. That is a lot of books to read. I set a goal on Goodreads to try and read 42 books this year. I think that is doable. We are warmer right now, but I’m sure we’ll get socked with snow and cold weather soon too. It’s been a very odd winter for us so far.

  2. Jenn says:

    Full, wonderful days you are having!

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