pinterest-dd591.htm Oak Creek Academy: 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

family and friends. Hard to believe the year is almost over and here we are preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Not a lot of news to add for a seasonal letter. Seems like if I'd been writing them over the years, I could probably just change the year, the font, and size of text and no one would be wiser. LOL!!

We've watched a lot of "sporting events" our kids have been in this year. The list includes swimming, t-ball, and soccer. There's also been many scouting events. Both boys are involved with Scouts this "school year" and seem to be enjoying.

Probably the biggest change to our schedule has been joining a co-op. We meet twice a month where the boys are taking art, science (Thing One) and a P.E. type class (Thing Two). Through co-op, the boys have meet a lot more homeschooled kids that attend our church and a few others, as well. We've gone on field trips, seen plays, joined a Lego Club (Thing One), and generally had a lot of fun.

Kevin has been playing a lot more with the church band and is thoroughly enjoying it. He's enjoyed getting to know the men at church through band, Base Camp (Tuesday Morning Men's Bible Study), and attending the Men's Offensive (because men don't retreat!!).

I am thankful for the health of our whole family. Think the worst, probably was my experiencing problems with my gall bladder. I ended up having it removed the beginning of September. Fortunately, by now in December, there aren't to many ill effects from that.

Hope all is well with each and everyone of you! May you be in awe of what Christmas brought us.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow, SNOW, sNoW

and it keeps on coming down. From what the weathermen are saying, we'll end up with a couple feet of it and set a record for the most in December. The record hasn't changed since 1932 when our area got 11.6". Sounds like a good baking day here.

Here are a couple shots from about 8:00 AM today:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fun school days . . . .

I think one of the greatest joys I've had this year, has been joining a co-op, this fall, for the boys (we joined Grace Homeschool Group). It's taken a bit of time getting used to a new routine, but has been well worth it. The boys are meeting more kids from our church (and a few others churches), they're taking classes that interest them, Simon's been able to join a Lego Club, there's been fun field trips, and probably the best day so far, has been seeing "The Christmas Carol" this morning and then the Christmas Party this afternoon. The boys thought it was a great day.

Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The smell of Christmas!

Yes, the smell of Christmas. I've got mint, Gherodelli brownies in the oven. When those come out, rolls go in so we can have pulled pork bbq for dinner. The house smells wonderful as the brownies will be out in a moment or two.

The starts of our mint brownies. We use Ghirardelli because they're
really good. Picked up mint-patties as well for the brownies.
Prepare the batter and pan as directed.

Poured about half the batter into a prepared pan.

25 mints, unwrapped and placed in the batter.
In case you are wondering, this is an 8" x 8" pan.
The remaining batter was poured in and spread out.
Bake as directed.

45 minutes later and the brownies are ready. Bet
you wish your computer was scratch and sniff now.

Today wasn't just baking. We also went to see a play at George Mason University; it was "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe". It was very nicely done. Tomorrow we go back to see "The Christmas Carol".

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

One date ~ Two different views

Today is December 15th. As an adult, to me, that means my husband got paid. This means I've got a stack of bills to be paid. It means we've got money for groceries. It's a reminder of how fortunate we are to have a house, electricity, working cars, a place to grocery shop, etc.

Thing two would say it means 10 more days till Christmas. It means "Merry 10 more days till Christmas". To see the world through the eyes of a child. Very cool!

Thing one said, when asked what December 15th means, "Ten more days till Christmas" with a huge smile on his face.

Enjoy the remaining season. Try seeing it through your kids eyes today!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Tour

Welcome to our house at Christmas time. On the Five in a Row Boards, some are posting photo's of their home at Christmas time and I'm finally getting to some of ours.

The front of our house. Not that you can see clearly, but
there is holly and lights around the front of our porch, wreaths in the
windows on the second level and one in the living room window.
There are also candle lights in each window. Also, not visible,
are red bows on the gates to our back yard.

Better shot of the snowman on our front porch. He's
made out of three grapevine wreaths, a hat, scarf, and boots.
Picked this idea up from Southern Living a few years ago.

Our Santa collection. Think we're up to about
eleven. Because there are so many sizes, it's hard
to take one photo and have them all fit.

Indoors, our one and only Christmas Tree. It is
Thing Two's year to put the star on top.

The NOEL letters I painted last year. They're gold and
sit on the dining room window.

When I was single, I'd hang stockings on this shelf.
Then after Kevin and I were married, we kept hanging our
stockings on this shelf. It's become "the place" that we hang them
even though we have a fireplace.

The second take of the Advent Calendar I made
this year. Yes, we start on one and will go until the 25th.

Made this card holder this year as well. It is Christmas
themed fabric cut into strips that are approximately
one inch wide by approximately six inches long. I then
tied them onto a ribbon. There are a few gold, wire trimmed,
ribbons in there that I made curly. When we receive a card, I
slip on a curtain clip to hold the card (the clip isn't a full circle,
so it slides on easily).

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Hey all - it's been 115 years since "Popeye" was created and so Google is celebrating!!

Christmas Baking

So far we have made Peanut Butter Kiss cookies (and they are ALL gone) and M&M cookies (Toll House recipe, but with Christmas M&M instead of chips). Oreo Truffles are in the fridge cooling and then possibly Mint brownies. Here's how we make them:

  • make your favorite brownie mix (Ghirardelli mix is really good)
  • prepare pan as directed
  • pour about half the batter into pan
  • use enough mint patties to cover batter
  • pour remaining batter over patties
  • bake as directed
They come out really yummy!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Great week in review

We've been looking into a number of Christmas related things this week. So far, we've looked into:

  • Advent Wreath and Wreaths ~ these are generally round and the circle reminds us of God's eternal love for us.
  • Bells ~ traditionally had been used to call people to church. There have been times, even today, that churches are forbidden to do this. The jingle is still a pleasant sound and makes me think of horses pulling sleds through the snow.
  • Cards & Gifts ~ both are wonderful things to receive during this season. Cards allow us to reconnect with friends who send "A Year in Review" type letter also. The greatest Gift is God sending his Son, as a child, to atone for our sins. We also went over the Magi bringing gifts. Did your realize that most people believe there were only three Magi because there were three gifts given to Jesus? Traditionally, Magi traveled in larger groups and it's unlikely there were only three.
  • St. Nicholas ~ he was not Santa Claus, but a Bishop in Myra, Turkey, know for his generosity toward others.
  • Ornaments & Christmas Trees ~ We discussed how the tree can be seen as God's eternal love as the tree is always green (it looses pine needles regularly and is always growing new ones) and ornaments can be seen as God's provision.
It's been a very enjoyable week and a lot slower. We'll be looking into a lot more traditions and symbols over the next couple weeks. Have a great weekend! See the sidebar if you are interested in what we're reading.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Almost Wordless Wednesday

It's not to uncommon that the boys dress totally in their favorite color.

Monday, November 30, 2009

First day of . . . .

our Christmas Unit Study. We'll be spending the next three weeks looking into various things that have become tradition in our culture. Everything will be tied back to scripture as it's our desire that our boys learn to appreciate December for more than just Christmas Break or the things that they'll get. It's a time to reflect on the birth of Jesus, Emmanuel ~ God with us. It's a time to learn to keep God with us at all times.

Here's the boys (& Gremlin) with the tree:

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Blustery Black Friday

The weather today sure is wild. It's been rather windy all day, which brought in a quick hail storm. It left, just as quickly as it came and now we have blue skies.

With these winds we have been having today, a squirrel's nest came down from our Oak Tree out front. The boys and I were rather curious and they wanted a few pictures taken of it as well. Have to admit, I did too. Here's what it looks like:

Up close of what might have been the "front door".

The front of the whole nest.

The back of the nest.

The boys with the nest.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This is what happens . . .

when you take the week "off" from school ~ you forget to change the sidebar with the current book. We're reading "Thanksgiving on Thursday" by Mary Pope Osborne. We've already read, close to all the Magic Tree House books, however this seemed appropriate for the week. The boys enjoy it to, so we're keeping their brains a bit active during our Thanksgiving holiday. The boys did some math at Breakaway yesterday (need to keep doing math so that they don't forget - it doesn't take much to help them remember though, just a few problems). Otherwise the days are filled with goofing off and a some cleaning. No birds here, but need to get ready for Christmas.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A weeks worth of pictures

Actually, about eight days worth. This covers things from last Sunday, which I never got around to posting, through this weekend. Enjoy the photo's.

Christmas Child Box
Thing Two's donation

Christmas Child Box
Thing One's Donation

Our church had a goal of 200 boxes.
We collected over 330. Way to go
Burke Community Church.

Going away party for a friend. She's moving to
Hawaii to be with her husband. Our lose,
his gain.

Don't you hate it when someone
snaps a photo and you aren't ready.

The guys chatting. Probably about
basses, guitars, and the latest music
software. They did end up in Al's office
playing something or looking at something

Wish you could see how blue Thing One's
teeth were. They were almost day glow blue.

Starting of my long awaited Craft Room. That is Kevin's
marriage proposal from 13 1/2 years ago. The room may still take a
bit of tweaking, but it's mostly there.

The rest of the craft area. Things have been hung!!

Yes, I'm posting the laundry area. I was pleased
with how it looks with the pots on a shelf.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Not a school post

nor a Science Friday post (more directed at the title of my blog than anything else). I was struck, earlier, at the beauty of the sun rise. It seemed so bright this morning, probably for two reasons. First, it had been raining yesterday, so it was dark, drab, gray, blah, blah, blah!! Secondly, being toward the end of November, most of the leaves in our neighbor have dropped, giving a better view of the sun through our living room window. Through the glory of the the light, short comings are often seen however. The shortcomings here ~ dust everywhere. On each entertainment component, the tv screen, the screens to our windows (screens are inside as the windows crank outward), on EVERY surface of EVERY nic nac that I have. It was still a great sun rise and I know I can be kept busy with what has been set before me. Makes me think of Proverbs 31 and feel blessed that I have things to do for our family. Here's the portion I was dwelling on and desiring to be like:

10 [c] A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.

11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.

14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.

15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.

19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

So, with that in mind, I'll sign off to check on school progress, grab a dust cloth, and get to work.

Have a great Friday readers!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009