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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Quick Update

Life has, once again, gotten in the way of my updating you. We're still homeschooling, and it's going great! Christina has even started her "curriculum" which basically consists of pointing to letters for recognition, pointing to our body parts and trying to name them, scribbling, and singing and dancing. Samantha is doing great with her curriculum. She is now showing more interest in reading, which has been a long time coming in my world. She doesn't so much mind looking at a word to decipher what it says, but put a book in front of her and she just hasn't been interested in the story. It didn't matter if I was reading it, or having her try to read it. Not interested! But lately, I've been doing story time during meals rather than during class time. This has made such a difference. Listening to a story when she has nothing better to do than sit in silence and eat has perked her interest.

Two weeks ago, Josh and I unplugged the tv. We already didn't have cable or satellite, but we have a library of DVDs and a Play Station 3 that streams Netflix movies and television shows. Even then, we didn't spend a lot of time watching the tube. But we found that Samantha's attitude was laced with laziness after even one 30 minute television show. The final straw was when Josh asked Samantha to pause her show and set the table. Oh, the sluggish child that appeared before our eyes. She dragged her feet to the table to clear it, didn't put out enough plates for everybody, and sat back down in front of the tv to continue watching while I finished preparing dinner. She didn't understand why we were so annoyed. So that evening, we decided that we would unplug the television for a full week. We explained to our precious daughter that tv is entertainment. It is like a candy bar. It isn't a meal, it isn't a snack, it is a treat. We should treat tv the same way. She wasn't thrilled to know that the tv was going to be unplugged for a whole week, but it beat her daddy's desire: get rid of the tv. So we went a full week without any boob tube. Can you imagine what we got accomplished without that thing?! I think this was one of the main reasons for Sammy's interest in reading now. We didn't watch tv during meals often as it were, but there was no option for it during that week. Our house was kept cleaner than normal, and we spent more time outside.

The television has been plugged back in again, and we do still enjoy our Netflix account. But we completely rearranged the living room. The television is no longer the "focal point" of the room. There aren't plush chairs pointing to it any more. Instead, it is on a side wall with a rocking chair and a rocking horse for the kids to sit on if they choose to not sit on the floor. When Josh and I want to watch a movie after the girls go to bed at night, we can turn our plush chairs around and snuggle. The television isn't turned on until all school work and house work has been accomplished. The attitude of "I'll do it when this episode is over" isn't even an option. We love it! What could you accomplish without television?

As usual, here are some shots for you. These are from Christmas Day. Enjoy!
One of the presents Samantha was really hoping for this year was a snow globe. A friend of ours was happy to provide. Picture taken by Samantha.
Every year, we take a picture of the family beneath the Christmas tree. This year, we forgot. Oops.
The grandparents chipped in for their big gift this year: A John Deere Gator!
I found a way to roast a turkey from frozen. Josh was so interested in it the first year that he has kind of taken over the turkey duties ever since. He does a great job!
I, on the other hand, spend my day making the rest of the feast. I have perfected my pie crust recipe, and this was one of three pies we forgot to make after our feast. It was a crazy night. They were yummy, though!
Samantha has become one of my biggest helpers in the kitchen this year. She's taking a "snack break", enjoying her apple while dancing and posing for the camera here. Such a ham!
Even the pups had a great day.
Deviled eggs are yummy, but dyed deviled eggs are fun! We did red, green, and white for the day.
Josh thought it was weird, but couldn't keep from eating them. The dye didn't change the flavor at all.
We have now made Nerf Wars a regular occurrence in the house. Samantha got her daddy a Nerf gun for Christmas, and I got one for her so she could defend herself.  
She kept yelling, "YOU'LL SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT!" I guess we really like A Christmas Story in this house...
They're off to explore some more!

I hope you all had a great Christmas. I know this post is about a month too late, but Happy New Year as well!