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December 17, 2014 Edition 

Christmas Traditions    

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Gena Suarez

Hey Mama,


Our family is spending Christmas on the other side of the country this year-and making new memories and creating new traditions! Here are some articles from the magazine to help you if you're looking for different ways to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior:


Having a Holiday Heart: Seven Reasons to Celebrate (Even if you don't feel like it) - Deborah Wuehler

Christmas Legacies - Bonnie Rose Hudson

A Truly Wonderful Time - Beth Foster

And here's something to remember during all the holiday hustle and bustle ...


Rest. Don't worry. Lay everything at the foot of the Cross. And once you do, don't snatch it back again.


Night night. Sleep well, knowing that His hand is on your head. He's not going anywhere.


Have a Merry Christmas!


~ gena


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Relational Homeschooling    
Diana Waring
Dear Friends,


When I was a wide-eyed college student, without a clue of how to raise healthy, happy children, I heard a Christian professor speak passionately on the value of creating traditions in a home. He shared the Christmas rituals of his own family, and then described that these yearly activities function like glue--they help bond individuals into a family unit. This insightful man explained that it did not matter what the rituals were, like wearing certain clothes or eating at a certain time. What mattered was that they were done year after year. That is, of course, what makes them a tradition.


So, as my husband and I began our family, I was constantly on the alert, looking for the kinds of activities to implement that would hold our family together. And, honestly, some of the things I tried fell flat ... as flat as last week's balloon. My kids often looked at me with puzzled faces as I enthusiastically described the newest "tradition" we were going to institute. I had no idea how to find the "right" rituals to glue my family together, but I was determined to keep trying until we found them!


Fast forward two decades. My "littles" were now bigger than me, and there were far more things on my plate than trying to find the right tradition. The issues of the day were things like cars, colleges, and careers. It was then that I discovered that we DID have traditions. Somehow, as we had discovered what we loved individually and as a group, we had stumbled into the distinctiveness of our family. And in our distinctiveness, we had developed traditions that fit us like a glove.


Before I tell you what they were, let me tell you what they weren't. We did not eat the exact same meals from Christmas to Christmas. We did not have the same people over, nor go to the same places. We did not always build snow sculptures or ice sculptures or cake sculptures. We were not able to keep up with the Joneses, and we eventually quit trying. However, we DID go caroling as a family, singing in four-part harmony. We built miniature gingerbread houses and delivered them to the folks we caroled. We made by hand nearly all of our gifts. We chose and cut down our own tree. And we laughingly argued every year about whether to open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.


What I have learned since the day that I heard the professor speak is how important it is to find the traditions that fit your family. Those are the ones that will bind you together in joy, laughter, and rich memories.


Remember, stay relational.





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The Familyman 
I know I say this every year, but this time I really mean it. "How did we get here so fast?!" I mean we're a week away from Christmas! If you're still in need of a killer gift for your husband, you can still get the You 'da Dad Daily Calendar in time if you order TODAY! I'm telling you, he will be glad you got it for him ... and so will you.

Now, on to traditions. I can't imagine there being anyone who loves Christmas traditions more than me. I love it all: the old classic TV shows, sleeping under the Christmas tree, advent nights, and a half dozen other traditions. Family traditions become cherished and convey what matters to the members of the family.

That said, sometimes I think I let the tail wag the dog in the tradition realm which is wrong. Sometimes the traditions become burdens to carry and endure. In fact, maybe a tradition each year should be to toss out one of the traditions.

Maybe collectively you decide to NOT send Christmas cards, get gifts for ALL the aunts and uncles, watch those three Christmas classics, or do that one tradition that stresses Mom out.

The kids might kick and scream at first, but I'm betting they'll never even miss the tradition. In fact, maybe it's just what you need to see what's most important.

Enjoy the last week before Christmas and ...

Be real,

PS. If you haven't already done so, get off the computer, bring school to an end, and just enjoy the days leading up to Christmas. That's an order!!


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Christmas is a special time for stories. Books, poems, carols, and movies all seek to share the wonder and awe inspired by the greatest story ever told--the story of the Savior's birth 2,000 years ago.

The best stories have layers of meaning, visible only to the attentive reader. Adam Andrews' Literature class helps us dive deeper into well-loved stories like The Chronicles of Narnia, as well as classics and even picture books. His course includes literary analysis and thought-provoking discussion questions. There are more than thirty titles to choose from, and a new title is added monthly. We're spotlighting his class with a course preview video. Take a look at what you'll discover! 


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One membership to serves your entire family, regardless of how many children you are homeschooling or their ages. There are no per-child fees, and courses range from preschool to high school. Take advantage of our Christmas super sale until December 25, 2014 and get more than half off the membership price! Try it today.


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Contest Corner 
For the month of December, 2014


Book 1 and 2 from Wizzy Gizmo



Recently, the Schoolhouse Review Crew had an opportunity to review a group of products that are all about providing resources to parents and teachers to help them "Equip children for life by exploring God's Word."


So "what" is a Wizzy Gizmo? You should be asking "who" is Wizzy Gizmo. He is a brilliant inventor who creates all manner of extraordinary gadgets. These inventions are used to help kids explore the Bible. Wizzy Gizmo is also a series of Bible books for kids, Bible audio dramas, Bible flashcards, and more. These Bible resources for kids are intended to appeal to kids and open up the truths of the Bible in an exciting way.

Here are the products you can expect to read about as you browse through the Crew Reviews:


Book One: Who Created Everything?

This paperback book is simply the written telling of Wizzy Gizmo adventure in Genesis 1. The book contains highlighted vocabulary words. There is also a glossary and a set of review questions in the back. Ideal for ages 4-12.


Book Two: In His Image

This is the story of Adam & Eve. Readers will learn how God made man different from the rest of His creation. We are reminded how we were created in the image of a creative and almighty God. This paperback book also contains vocabulary words, in addition to the glossary and review questions located in the back. Ideal for ages 4-12.


Click on the banner below to read the Crew Reviews!


Wizzy Gizmo Review  

YOU can WIN Wizzy Gizmo books!


TO ENTER: Email Heather with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "Wizzy Gizmo" for a chance to win* the these two books for your family!  



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