Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

Thoughts race almost out of control for me at this time of year. So many things to think about, pray about, plan for... So I start thinking what I want the new year to hold for us. I have several ideas. I want this family to seek God's direction. I want us to keep living a life that is absorbed in scriptural living (Deuteronomy 6:5-9). To study the bible daily together and separately, to pray and sing and teach and learn of bible truths each day. To be more involved in Monday Night for the Master at our congregation. I hope to dig into some book studies on christian living with the 2 oldest kids and spend more intense time in bible learning with the younger ones. I want to continue our journey of christian homeschooling forever and help direct the kids to purity, courtship and godly adulthood, and away from a humanistic worldview. I want to help them develop their character and behavior to a more righteous level. I want us to exercise more and eat healthier and spend more time as a family playing games, camping, reading, walking, anything that makes family central over peer groups. I hope to delve into the world of handcrafts and gardening much more frequently with the kids, and spend more time with the tv and computers off. (I love having cable but mainly for the educational shows we watch. Prime time tv is so trashy just in the commercials, not to mention the shows. Give me a good episode of How It's Made anyday!) I want us to be diligent to keep informed about political issues that are of great concern to us (especially given that our new president stands against almost everything we stand for: pro-life, homeschooling freedom, religious freedom, biblical truth, parental rights, less governmental control, strict gun control) and to be ready to take action on these issues when necessary. I want to have a schedule that is challenging academically, yet relaxed enough to be enjoyable and lend itself to much flexibility. I want to consider the impact on family life before I say yes to outside activities, and be ready/willing to say no if the activity is going to take us farther apart as a family. I want to move closer to God and all that is for His glory. I want to grow and learn and live life with joy.
I hope your new year holds joy and blessing!

First Camping Trip

We decided to take the kids for their first tent camping trip. We chose Lake Cooper since it is beautiful, clean, and close. There was only one other group at the tent camping area. It was very quiet. But we were pretty noisy. The kids had lots of space to explore and run, and they really enjoyed roasting marshmallows. We all crowded into a 6 man tent for a cold night (35 degrees). It was very cold and windy by morning, but Clay made us a fire and 2 pots of coffee. We walked and played and had a fun time. But now we are seriously thinking that a pop up camper would be a useful thing! (Some of us aren't real big on the sleeping outside thing!) We made some good memories and plan to go more often.

Friday, December 26, 2008


Making cookies for Santa is a must. We all should roll dough, use cookie cutters and play with icing!
Now this is brunch on Christmas Eve at the Scoggins' house. Doesn't that make your mouth water?? Bacon, eggs, sausage, biscuits, cinnamon rolls, fruit, nuts, strudel, punch, juice, sausage bites. Delicioso!!

This picture is out of order and should be at the bottom with the Santa stuff, but this is the girls' shared gift and was a huge hit. They got Hannah Montana and the 4 main characters from High School Musical to play with, too. It took Clay most of the day to assemble it.

Kids with gifts at Clay's parents for Christmas brunch.
In our kitchen on Christmas Eve, having supper.

Adults in my family actually eating their meal.

Having a dinner, but really not eating much!

All the kids at our house opening a bag of little surprises from Dollar Tree!

Most of the Santa stash, except for Jacob's stuff. He is a bit out of the picture.

Jacob loves lightsabers!

Emily loves the Katelyn -Our Generation doll. Almost exactly like the American Girl dolls, but less than half the price.. Can be found at Target!

Kimberly takes her new baby walking with her stroller.

Elizabeth loves her big bike! It is still being ridden in the house...

Jordan is ready for action in his favorite stuff!

Nerf guns. The long one is Jordan's and it breaks into 2 guns. It is as long as he is! By the way, Dad is going to get one for himself today!

Here's the Clone Wars stash--republic gunship with several figures, clone blaster, droid tank, and clone voice changer helmet! There was also a DS game, a few titanium models, and a DVD.

What a busy and fun week! The youngest two kids had a Christmas party at church Sunday night, and got some little presents. But when Santa (aka Jim Bob) came out, every kid under age 4 cried, I think! Anyway, the next day we let the kids open a gift from us, and a week earlier they had opened from siblings. All gifts were a big hit. Dad bought some really nice stuff for them.
Then came Christmas Eve and Christmas Day shown in the above photos. We did a white elephant gift exchange with my family and that was the most fun to me, except for the hilarious gifts my brother in law Craig bought for his brothers about 12 hours before our get together! I never laughed so hard!
Anyway, all went well until Christmas Eve, in the night. Jordan had been so solemn all day, and that night he got a high fever. By midway through Christmas Day Kimberly had a high fever, too. Today they are both going for strep screens! Guess the illness wasn't over.
I cooked a small smoked turkey breast on Christmas, and no one was much interested after all the Christmas Eve food so we ate frozen pizza and mozzarella sticks! How's that for festive!! It was one of the best holidays ever!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Favorite Read-Alouds

We read aloud from chapter books almost every day. The library is a favorite place, and since we have 6 cards with each having a checkout capacity of 7 items, it is not unusual for us to come home with almost 42 books/videos every week or two. This is in addition to our own home library, which is fairly extensive. Suffice it to say, we a re a bunch of bookworms! Anyway, one of the neatest things is to read aloud as a family. Here are some of our favorites that you might like to try with your family:

Peter and the Starcatchers
Because of Winn-Dixie
The Toothpaste Millionaire
Caddie Woodlawn
Chronicles of Narnia
Understood Betsy
The Secret Garden
The 21 Balloons
The Wind in the Willows
My Father's Dragon
Holling C. Holling books
The Phantom Tollbooth
The Indian in the Cupboard
The Tale of Despereaux
Tuck Everlasting

And there are many others. But those are some real favorites!!! Happy reading aloud! Sure beats TV!!!
By the way, if you are lookking for things to read aloud, trot down to the local library and check out The New Read Aloud Handbook and Honey for a Child's Heart. You'll find awesome booklists!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

More Projects

Been embroidering, making a quilt top, and decorating with glitter....

Gingerbread Fiasco

All decorations are ready to go....
But alas, the house didn't stand.............

So we decorated our own walls!!

And had some big messy fun!

We decided to make our annual gingerbread house, but all didn't go as planned. all supplies were ready and the dough was baked. It was far too cake-like, though, and the roof
was way too high pitched. Not a good combo! But still tasty!!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What's it all about????

As a kid I loved Christmas. It was all about getting gifts and being out of school for 2 weeks. And about wishing for snow. Nowadays I have different thoughts and feelings. I know people who are Christian who don't celebrate Christmas as Jesus' birth because it isn't a biblical holiday, but one created later to coincide with pagan rituals so Christians would have a winter festival. I know that our true joyful celebration should be the first day of each week as we remember Christ's death, burial and resurrection as we take the Lord's Supper. I know the history of why Christmas began and I used to be in the group that didn't celebrate it as Jesus' birth. But now my thoughts are changing. I am a Christian and I don't want to have a holiday devoted to selfishness and materialism, but rather I want to"do all for the glory of God". So I think that this is a wonderful holiday to celebrate as Jesus' birth. Even though I enjoy Santa and surprises (and Santa is part of our Christmases), I don't want Santa to be held as a god of sorts in my kids' eyes. I want them to think not of what they want, but of what Jesus wants from us-to love the Lord your God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. I know all the decorations and trees and gifts and cards are in no way connected with what the original holiday was meant to be-a day of praise, prayer and devotion. But I love all the festive decor and sparkly things and the pretty paper and the tasty dishes, and I don't think there is anything wrong with having all this, as long as we don't let it rule our holiday, and as long as we truly remember to use this time to serve others, praise our God, and give to those around us. The best part of Chrismas to me is seeing joy and surprise on people's faces when good is done for them. I love that! What do I hate about Christmas? Seeing ungratefulness when good is done and gifts are given, and seeing people be selfish and greedy about getting gifts. This should be a time of love for others and love for God and His Son Jesus. I am going to start making Christmas about pleasing my Savior and doing for others, and hopefully my kids will love doing this, too! I think they will. May the Lord be our first priority always!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Even dad was crafty...

Clay took leftover sculpey and made bird eggs. Then he baked and painted them, and made a bird nest withm some native grasses from the backyard. We bought a clip on bird at an ornament shop for $2 and attached it for a new tree decoration. Adorable!!!

Feeling Creative

Here are some eager workers, I mean crafters.....
Some more craftiness going on.....

Work in progress...

Acorns with glitter glaze that have been hot glued

Sweetgum seed with glitter glaze

When you have sick kids at holiday time, what do you do? How about a nature walk to collect ornament materials? That is just what we did. We collected acorns, pinecones and sweetgum things?
And then we added glitter glue, acrylic glitter glaze, cotton, felt, yarn and jewels to make ornaments to take caroling. They turned out so cute that we are going again later in the week! Unfortunately it is about 28 degrees today and we have feverish kids again! So i plan to try making cardstock houses with snow glitter!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My Ambitions

I have these wonderful books and kits for learning. I hope to learn right along with my oldest daughter and eventually teach the other kids. Currently though, Emily and Elizabeth are doing some crosstitch and needlepoint kits and I am working on a new christmasy quilt.
There is a wonderful quilt shop nearby that some of my friends own and run. I try to avoid it most of the time because I can become a fabric impulse shopper. It is much like being a kid in a candy store for me. But at Thanksgiving I shopped there and came away with a collection of Moda fabrics called "merry and bright". They were all 10in. squares. I cut them into fourths, and Emily helped me match up fabrics to make 4 patch squares. Now that they are pieced, Clay and I spent considerable time last night laying them out on the bed to form a good flow. I need to sew them together this week and buy some batting and backing and binding. That is, if I don't end up spending all my money on the treatment of strep throat! I will post a picture when the top is completed. I plan to quilt this one myself.

My Finished Projects

This picture and the one below are the kids stockings.

This quilt was made for Kimberly.
This is a scrap quilt I made a few years ago. I love it.

This one is Elizabeth's bedspread. I drafted my own pattern from a picture in a catlog and chose 1940's reproduction prints for the fabric.

This is a wall hanging, technically, but it is over the back of our green couch at the moment.

This is a quilt that Clay requested I make for the living room. He chose the fabrics for Christmas. I was happy to oblige!
This was just for fun! And it was fun!

I am a creative person at heart. Not as creative as people I consider truly artistic, but still, I think I have some creativity in me. I love to sew and quilt and make crafty things when I make time to do them. Inspiration comes in creative bursts and often happens in the winter. I am in one of my "moments" right now! Currently I have a list of all the things I want to make, and a gingerbread house in at the top of the list!!!


Our annual family trek to the downtown parade was on a very frigid night.
We bundled up as much as possible, but 28 degrees is cold! Still, we stayed until the end and went home for hot cocoa and popcorn and holiday movies! Aaahhhh, good memories!