Olivia recently studied Japanese shoguns and samurai in history. One of her assignments was to create a samurai family crest. She began exploring crests found on this website and then brain-stormed with simple designs and shapes that she felt represented our family such as: a cross, fish, heart, and hands. Next she drew many possibilities using her shapes to create a symbol for our family. After viewing the drafts, she made a decision and I guided her in drawing her final version. Half-way into drawing we discovered we had not accounted for space at the top between her cross and circle for her desired fish. At that point she started rethinking the design and came up with a different, even more creative one. The crest above is her final (re-worked) design and below is the explanation.
This type of experience is what I love about homeschooling my children. I am with them when the "light bulb" goes on and I am able to be a part of their learning and revelations. I am grateful I have the opportunity to homeschool and be with my children as often as I am.
As a homeschooler, Olivia doesn't have the opportunity to share with others the "name" of the school she attends. I know of some families who have created names for their homeschool. Although I have tried for several years to come up with that perfect name, it still hasn't happened. But now Olivia has created our crest/logo all on her own. Isn't that what homeschooling is all about? Letting the children be involved in the whole process.
A new year oftentimes brings resolutions for many. Instead, I like to set goals for myself. Goals. If I don't succeed in fulfilling them it's not the end of the world. But I am a goal setter and I do like to set myself up for success each new year.
My goals for 2010
1. Spend more time in Bible study
2. Organize art supplies and make readily available to kids for creativity on their time
3. Eat healthier
4. Eat at home more often, eat out less
5. Eat all leftovers, don't be wasteful
6. Be more resurceful, repurpose items more often
7. Simplify, get rid of more stuff
8. Enjoy the moment, stop rushing to do the next thing
In my mom's family we have an annual "Weenie Roast" tradition during our Christmas get-together. It started in 1982 when four cousins had a desire to do something new...and we needed to occupy our time. We organized a weenie roast for some 30+ family members that year and 27 years later we are still carrying out this beloved tradition.
Cousin Sarah and Olivia, 2009
Isaac, Cousin Nick, and Cousin Jordan, 2008
Olivia and her hot dog, 2008
Some years we have a big fire to cook over,
Big fire and roasting hot dogs, 2008
some years we roast over a fire pit,
Dad, Cousin Anthony, Michael, and Uncle Robert, 2009
and others we use the grill (when it rains). That's right, not even rain or snow stops our Weenie Roast. J
The menu has basically remained the same over the years - hot dogs, homemade salsa, bean dip, chips, maybe a salad, soft drinks, and of course the s'mores finale.
Joshua, Cousin Abbey, and soon to be Cousin Paul, (and Winston), 2009
Traditions are said to be the building blocks for happy families. Having our annual weenie roast definitely makes our family happy. And that's a lot of people to make happy for we always have 30 or more participating. I love my family and our weenie roast tradition. Here's to many more happy years of making memories.