Goodbye November +Advent Calendar

November is over. And thank goodness. Somehow it turned out to be so much more stressful than I was hoping it would be. There were quite a few shocks close to heart and there were and are a lot of things to ponder and re-evaluate.

What have we been up to:

-Lots of field trips: We went to Denver Art Museum and saw Glory of Venice and Japanese Fashion Exhibits. We went to Denver Museum of Nature and Science and saw Extreme Mammals exhibit, as well as Mummies (D. loved it so much, C. on the other hand hated it, “too many dead bodies”, I must say it was interesting but I didn’t enjoy it as much for the same reason). We went and listened to an awesome Drums of the World performance by Colorado Symphony. Even got to do Mannequin Challenge with them. We took a tour around Denver Center for the Performance Arts. D. and I did it once when he was in the first grade, but we had an awesome guide this time around and, since I am so much more in touch with my artistic side now, I achieved new levels of appreciation for the backstage workers, designers and craftsmen.

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-The weather was fickle, with winds, first snow and some icy rain. But plenty of sunny days too.  We were busy with extracurriculars too- both kids had a dress rehearsal for the choir concert (C. can’t wait to debut, I unfortunately will have to chaperone and watch her from the backstage instead of the audience), both participated in karate tournament. C. did extremely well, was brave and endured long waits. D. did well too, but he also got hurt, not seriously but enough for me to consider taking him to the ER. He was ok in the end, very thankful for that.

-Also thankful for friends that we were finally able to have over for dinner, thankful for everyone being overall okay and even husbands medical concern isn’t serious and very treatable.

-We have two intense weeks ahead of us, two concerts for each of the kids, tournament training at karate, I will most likely cancel our mid-year testing, I don’t think kids will handle 4 hours and then a long rehearsal all in the same day. We all need rest.

-As usual I have made an advent calendar for kids, they ask for it and really look forward to simple activities we do. The list is pretty much the same as last year, the only thing I added is “grant each other’s wish” (with a reminder to keep it realistic and kind)

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Kids read a lot in November: D’s favorite was “Marvels” by Brian Selznick and C. loved Grace Lin’s “Starry River of the Sky”. I am hoping to do a little book advent as well as the one with the activities we’ll see how it goes.

Hopefully, December is kind to all of us

Goodbye January- Month’s Roundup

January truly flew by, but at the same time seemed so long and crazy…

Overall it was an ok month, we had a bit of rough start easing back into doing school routine, there was some friction between me and kids regarding progression of our days and expectations from both sides. But I honestly hope we worked it out.

First week was a mix of rough and quiet, some outings, some fun at home. I am glad kids got to play in a couple of different ways and they also let me join in. We made Marble universes and little walnut shells boats. Week 2 was busy and chaotic but we made it through.

The final two weeks of January were a little bit calmer. Still some medical things that we had to do (all is more or less well), C. got a little bit sick. We went to a wonderful Youth Concert with Colorado Symphony, children and I both enjoyed it immensely. Nothing beats the excitement of hearing your favorite pieces live!

The weather was so gorgeous just before the snow storm came in and we got to go for a lovely walk:

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The day was so clear…

 

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the delicate beauty of last year’s leaves..

 

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children enjoyed playing with the thinnest ice on the creek the most

 

Kids read some wonderful books in January  . I drew...and somebody bought what I drew, that was probably the highlight of my month, personally. I am not yet sure where this journey will take me, but I hope somewhere good. In the meantime we are ready to welcome February and then it won’t be long until SPRING.

THE BEST SEASON OF ALL 2015: Days 4-7

Our season of small celebrations continues.

Day 4: Family movie night! Kids watched Home Alone for the first time, I haven’t seen this movie in more than 20 years so it was nice to return to childhood for a little bit (but I do admit I cringed at injuries of unlucky thieves, ugh).

Day 5: We put a little bit of lights outside

TBSOA 2015- lights outside

 

Day 6: D. and his choir performed in Christmas Concert and it was absolutely amazing. Well done once again!

TBSOA 2015- CHoir

 

Day 7: It was our “Winter Art” day. We read one of our most beloved winter books – “Buying Mittens” by Nankichi Niimi, such a lovely, kind tale and Kurai Ken’s illustrations are gorgeous!

Kids then painted their own illustrations- splitting the task, D. painted background and made a tissue paper foxes applique on it and C. created mittens for the little fox.

TBSOA 2015- winter art

 

I did a little bit of winter art myself, comparing forest scenery and what it’s like in the city

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We listened to a lot of holiday tunes, kids also watched Russian movie “The Snow Queen”, beautiful fairy tale.

The song of the first week of holiday celebrations is Ukranian song Shchedryk (more known to English speaking friends as “Carol of the Bells”

 

Goodbye November- The Best Season of All 2015

November flew by even faster than October, who knew it was possible, yet here we are. We had some awesome outings, kids participated in our homeschool program’s annual science fair, we were very sick with nasty respiratory bug that is going around, welcomed first real snowfall of the season and a few after that, had a very quiet Thanksgiving…. And it’s December tomorrow, which means The Best Season of All 2015 is starting!

Every year we have a very special month of December, having some holiday fun every day. I usually make a calendar of activities and kids are excited to find out what will each day bring. Last Year’s calendar and list of fun things to do can be found here. Follow the tag to see what we actually managed to do.

This year’s calendar is all drawings of mine

advent fun calendar 2015

 

Activities are spread through the whole month (don’t ask what it takes to come up with them, every year I try to add something new to old faves). None of these are mandatory for us of course, life happens and most of the month will be very busy with various things, so we’ll do what we can.

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Week’s Roundup: Goodbye February 2015

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February is over and thank goodness it is. It was a good month, but it seemed long and heavy. Russians congratulated each other on the beginning of spring today. And even though here, in the US it doesn’t come for a couple of weeks at least, I think it is here already, lurking in the woods and soon will drive winter out completely.

Photo of the week:

nothing better than spending Sunday afternoon with my baby girl by my side, all nice and cozy

nothing better than spending Sunday afternoon with my baby girl by my side, all nice and cozy

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Week’s Roundup: February 16-February 22, 2015

Another busy week went by.

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Photo of the week:

I was surprised to find first tiny leaves right next to my doorstep, it was such a sweet sight, especially because and hour later...

I was surprised to find first tiny leaves right next to my doorstep, it was such a sweet sight, especially because and hour later…

the blizzard descended, almost a day late, but fierce enough.

the blizzard descended, almost a day late, but fierce enough.

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