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Head Games On and Off the Track

Running is such a mind game. The first mile last night was fun and not bad. (Music does a lot, I’ve decided!) The second mile yesterday was hard for me, tortuous. My thoughts of “Oh, just stop at the next lap” warred with my determination to keep going. I’m pretty sure my plodding, mournful jogging…

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Snow Dustings, Queen Nefertiti, and Sushi

A light dusting of snow swirls in each gust of wind outside. The heater has just clicked on inside and I smell warm metal. The house is quiet: my family is either napping or off at Operation Christmas Child or on a playdate. Sweeping the last crumbs off my lips, my chocolate chip cookie just…

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Retreat in a Rust-Colored Woods

Last week, we spent the weekend at a beautiful wooded camp for a youth retreat that we ran. The weather was amazing– 50s or 60 degrees warm, blue skies, rust and amber colored leaves– so special for November 6th-8th weather. The 45 teens and leaders connected in games indoor and out, worshiped together using drums…

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Coyotes, Cougars, and Pumpkin Families

Last Wednesday, we finished up school and set out on a nature hike. Our anticipated yearly tradition is to scour the woods for the most colorful and striking fall leaves. My kids and I sauntered down to “our woods” and “our river,” keeping a watchful eye out for the best leaves. At the river as…

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“Don’t Step on the Planets When You Come Home, Hun”

Hi, we have had some great weeks of homeschooling! This week, the kids and I (8th grade and 5th grade) did some fun astronomy projects. First, we got to represent the planets in size relative to each other. If my calculations were right, here is how the planets would look: If the sun was a…

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The Fun of Puzzling Out the Map of Africa

(older puzzle pics) We successfully finished the whole puzzle of Africa! It is so fun for us to work on learning all the countries of Africa. Today we tested ourselves on at least south and central Africa, seeing how many of them we could write in on a blank map by memory. John and Morgan…

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Christmas Trees and a Tattered Green Elf

Christmas trees hold so many memories for me. I used to stare for hours at the huge Christmas tree that resided gloriously in the front of the small hometown country church when I was a kid. The decorations on it were antique probably, brought over by early German, Swedish and Norwegian immigrants. Fluffy cottony angels.…

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Africa Maps and Glowing Saturday Mornings

Ghana, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Libya, Egypt, Nigeria, Benin, Togo… We have been studying Africa this month in geography. Taking a section of Africa at a time, we worked at learning the countries’ names, flags, location, and even the capitals, partly. West Africa, North Africa, East Africa have been worked on, now we are moving…

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A Family of Pumpkins Arrived Yesterday

All through school yesterday, we were excited for the afternoon break when we could carve our pumpkin faces. Finally, it was time. School was done, and my husband walked in the door with the pumpkins. What pumpkins! There were four good-sized pumpkins, with two of them being huge! My oldest son (the only son that…

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Smoky Woodfires and Latin Hips

Walking to the mailbox, my daughter and I breathed in the crisp fall air happily, taking in big gulps of it. “Doesn’t that smell great, Mom?” she said. I agreed, inhaling deeply, trying to distinguish the various scents in the air. Smoky wood fires, cold fallen leaves on the fresh cut green grass, and an…

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