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About mamajudy

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    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee
  1. Our kids exchanged names for Christmas gifts after Thanksgiving dinner. We usually put up the tree the next day, the Christmas CDs would come out, and that evening we would go shopping for ornaments. Every year, each child got to choose an ornament, the idea being that when they grew up and moved away, they would take their ornaments for the start of their own collection. These weren't Hallmark ornaments with dates or frames for their photos. They were whatever the child chose. Sometimes it reflected their current interests, and sometimes they were just pretty ornaments. Usually the evening of the last day of school before Christmas (Daddy is a teacher, so we followed the public school calendar), we would drive around and look at Christmas lights. Then we would come home and the kids would make "gingerbread" houses out of graham crackers. And that would also be the night they would sleep around the Christmas tree. Mom and Dad joined them when they were little, but as they got older, we opted for our cozy bed while they goofed off in the living room. When the girls were taking ballet, they performed in the Nutcracker every year. My two artists made Christmas cards every year for each member of the family. As they got older, the designs became very elaborate -- real works of art. Of course, there was cookie making, too. One year, for some reason, I just didn't get much baking done, so I was fired from that job. After that, the kids each had their specialties that they would make, from decorated sugar cookies to mint fudge and everything in between. One year, we had a party for the neighborhood children with games, crafts, the Christmas story with Betty Lukens felts, and snacks. Several years, we went caroling. These traditions and activities are the things they remember, rather than the gifts they received.
  2. I have absolutely no regrets about homeschooling. I wish that we could have done a million more things in our home school, but we did what we were able to do. All five kids have gotten accepted to numerous colleges with scholarships. They have all been successful in college and beyond. The youngest now has to decide which college to attend next year. The things we did as a family, because we homeschooled, were priceless. The kids' relationships with each other are great. Homeschooling these 23 years has been a wonderful blessing, and I will really miss it when my youngest graduates in May.
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