Snow!!! And a Mario Party Homeschool Review

Saturday, October 30th, we had a snowfall of about 6 inches. What a surprise when we looked out the window that morning.

Here is our holly bush covered with snow.

This is William. Anna built him and lost him in one day.

You can tell these are Douglas snowmen by their blue eyes. 😛

We did our annual candy event that we’ve called by various names. Last year we called it Freedom of Religion Day. This year we called it Candy and Homeschool Review Day with a Mario Party theme. And we all dressed up in our Mario T-shirts (the ones who had them)! So it’s a hodgepodge, thrown-together kind of occasion. But it was fun! And we reviewed lots of stuff we’ve been learning since last Oct. 30 or thereabouts.

Every year around Oct. 31st, we do a review of what we’ve learned in our homeschool, and the kids get the opportunity to earn their big bag of candy instead of begging for it.

This year, I let the little kids go first. Anna worked with Abby, and Morgan worked with Emma, asking them to identify shapes, colors, numbers, etc.

I asked the twins questions like a few addition and subtraction problems, counting by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s, all about the life cycle of butterflies, atmosphere, leaves changing colors, dolphins, ocean, nutrition, favorite Bible story and person, overview of Jesus’ life, other Bible people like Noah and Moses, and for Geography they had to locate where we live on the map of the USA and the world map.

They were allowed to take a piece of candy every time they answered a question correctly or talked about what they knew about a topic.

For the older kids I asked them multiplication facts, states and capitals, questions about the Bible like “what have you been reading lately”, “Who’s your favorite person in the Bible”, “What’s your favorite Bible story”, favorite Bible verse.

Then we covered Science by having each one narrate what they’ve been learning in Science.

Then we covered a lot of History.

Medieval History – Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard the Lion Heart, Archbishop of Canterbury – Thomas Becket.

Jamestown – Captain John Smith, Pocahontas, John Rolfe, Powhatan

Thanksgiving – Chief Massasoit, Pilgrim leaders, Governor Bradford, Brewster (spiritual leader).

American Revolutionary War – major events of the war, George Washington, the founding fathers and mothers (Abigail Adams), important dates.

Civil War – major generals, battles, Gettysburg (of course), weapons, the Revival – the Third Great Awakening that happened right around that time and Finney’s revivals.

Then Shawn gave us a summary of Dante’s life.

Everybody got candy when they answered questions. They didn’t get as much as kids get when they go begging, but how much candy do kids really need? Ha! Besides, we have leftover candy they can get when their bags are empty!

We then went to the computer and watched “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and ate popcorn, then some of us listened to the first half of the Adventures in Odyssey series “The Green Ring Conspiracy”.

And now for the ultimate irony:

This is what we did the day before the big snowfall!

An agility course wearing light jackets and sweat shirts!

Changed By Love and Still Changing

York, Pennsylvania 2011

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Katy, Texas 2012

Mary Jo Peckham Park

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Katy, TX 2013 Mary Jo Peckham Park

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Katy, TX Honey Farm, 2014

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Katy, TX Honey Farm, 2015

Hi, I’m Penney Douglas. I have been married to my precious husband for 28 years. We have been exceedingly and abundantly blessed with 10 children. They all belong to me and my husband. And to think that I was afraid I would never get married! I got a late start, but I guess late bloomers can blossom profusely once they get started.

I blog for several reasons. I like to keep a record of what we’re doing in our homeschooling and share ideas for other homeschoolers or moms who like to work and play with their kids. I try to encourage families to keep Christ first in their homes so they can be all that they were made to be. I want to help others to draw closer to God. I hope to glorify God and give Him praise for all that He does for us.

I am constantly learning, changing and growing. Sometimes I feel like a beginner even though I’ve been a Christian since I was 4 years old and I’ve been homeschooling for about 19 years. And I’ve been living for __ years (long enough!).

But the Lord has been faithful to keep me and my family on an upward climb drawing nearer to Him in spite of our weaknesses and mistakes.

He has led us on a crooked path across the United States and back and then some. (From Ohio to Kansas City to Arizona to Colorado, back to Kansas City to Illinois to Pennsylvania and now to Texas!) We are still looking for that place to call home. We hope to find it before the oldest chicks are ready to fly from the nest! But our desire is that they land somewhere near us even when that time comes.

We are believing God for miracles of provision. We have already seen many. We suffered the loss of our home almost 10 years ago. Now we live in a different state, and my husband is making more money than ever before. But the money is beside the point. What God did in each of our hearts, convincing us of His reality and His love for us, is worth more than all of the houses or money in the world. But now He has enabled us to help others in need, and we are grateful for the opportunity to bless others.

Our children are truly gifts from God. They learn from us and teach us so much. I would never have known even a fraction of how much God loves me if I had never had the opportunity to be a mother to my precious children. They are teaching me even more as they grow in wisdom and understanding and we share together what the Lord is teaching us.

Family was God’s idea. Marriage was His idea. God has good ideas. His ideas work.

He wants our families to be training grounds for children (and adults) to learn His ways and right ways of relating to God and to people. We learn how to die to ourselves when others are dependent on us, and when we have to learn to get along with the people around us in order to experience peace and harmony. The rough edges are rubbed off as we care enough to be honest with each other and humble ourselves to receive correction even from those younger than ourselves.

God created us because He wanted a family. That’s more than a trite saying. He created us in His image so that He could have sons and daughters that would look like Him, act like Him and love Him. He wanted to be a father.

He created you so He could love you. Receive His love for you. Let Him be your Daddy.

The Gift of Being Together

Gary got to come home for his birthday. We were so glad to see him again after a month of his being gone working in South Carolina.

Abby was happy to see her daddy.

The boys were glad to see their dad.

Anna even let him play her guitar.

Nine candles on his cake. Each candle represented 5 years.

Tee hee!

We enjoyed cake and candles after Gary took us all to Cici’s Pizza, where he was embarrassed by the manager, who told everybody in the place that Gary was celebrating his 45th birthday that night. After the pizza, Daddy took the littles to Dollar Tree and bought them treats. Whose birthday is it?

He said the best present for him was being with us. I’m glad he feels that way. What a wonderful husband and father he is.

Happy Autumn!

Yes, watermelon on a bright flowered plate was part of our celebration of Autumn. I keep telling you we’re unorthodox!

Fall Nature Walk with Daddy

Orange berries???

Great Fall colors!

But when I looked at them this morning, the berries had popped open and little red berries were showing!

Amazing!

I collected these orange berries on a walk with my honey yesterday. Today they were all red with orange petals around them.

I found out that these berries are from the American Bittersweet. If you find these berries, don’t eat them! They will cause diarrhea, nausea and stomach cramps.

I wanted to see what else we might find today.

We took a walk to the trail around our development. The little girls went with me and Gary right before I had to take him to the airport so he could return to South Carolina for work.

We enjoyed nature together.

First we found this guy praying.

Then we found this guy, probably dying. A Buckeye butterfly. Buckeye as in Ohio. Hmmm. I never saw them in Ohio, but I saw them in Illinois and now in Pennsylvania. Hmmm.

Fiona was trying to decide whether to try to save him or bury him.

Abby kept walking off the wrong way.

Daddy needed to get back so he could get ready to leave for the airport, so Abby got a free ride.

When Daddy put her down she walked on her tippy toes so she could go faster.

We loved our Fall Nature Walk with Daddy. We’re so glad we got to spend time in nature with him before he had to go south again.

Bye, Daddy, we’ll see you at Thanksgiving!