St. Valentine and the Greeks

Working our way down the ancient timeline, we are finally in Greece! One of my favorites! For that reason (and because I think classical studies are good for the little ones) we'll linger here awhile. Our library haul/reading list was a bit puny this week though. Mostly that's because we're reading The Iliad and The Odyssey together and I have a feeling that's going to take awhile. Also, we picked up a few books from the used book store that related to our studies and the older gal has already breezed thru them and filed them away on the shelf (she sometimes reads at night while the rest of us sleep - she's quite the night owl, that one) - so they didn't make it into the picture stack.

We took a road trip thru the hill country this weekend and popped in a couple of Jim Weiss' stories about the Greeks and Galileo for the car ride. He's quite the storyteller. Even the man enjoyed listening in! (pictured on the top of the stack)

I also picked up a book for myself called Shanghai Girls, by Lisa See. It's our bookclub pick of the month.

We're also working on our first history pocket! I thought we might try a lapbook, but in my googling I came across the history pockets and thought maybe we'd try that instead. I found this one a bit lacking in the literature section, but otherwise I think it covers just about all the major topics, as well as offers up craft projects and games.  

We'll be adding to it over the next six weeks so I doubt it will look like this when we're done, but so far here's how it's looking. There are 9 pockets that will be added to it - and we might even have a little Greek Festival at the end! That is, if we survive Homer. Stay tuned.


Something else on my mind lately, with calling this next year our year of healing, is gratitude. It's occurred to me that we have become complacent lately in our expression of gratitude. And it's showing up in the girls, as well. We are taking too much for granted and not truly appreciating the people and luxuries in our lives (yes, luxuries, just look around, I bet you're surrounded by them, too - and yes, the dishwasher counts).

I came across a book recently called 365 Thank Yous and found myself inspired. John Kralik was a bit on the down and out and turned his life around by writing one thank you note a day in order to learn the lesson of gratitude. This is a lesson I want need to learn, and one I want to pass along to the kids. And there's no time like the present.
So we are writing Thank You notes. Together. Once a week we'll be picking someone to write a thank you  note to, whether it's my friends, or theirs, or family, or maybe to our troop leaders, or a friendly waitress - just anyone who we come across who makes us feel special, is doing something selfless for us or for others, or who is paying it forward with a friendly smile or positive attitude. Heck, maybe we'll even write them to each other.

And during our Thank-You note-writing time, we also managed to squeak out a few Valentines. First we made little card-holding baskets, ya know, to hold all those Valentines .

Then we water-color painted a few sheets in happy heart colors, which were then cut into happy heart shapes. We got the idea from Garden Mama - you'll find her pics and tutorial here.

And for our friends we made a slew of these cute little heart trees. We found this idea over at Scrumdilly-do!

Happy Heart Day, Gypsy Friends!

Now go out and tell someone THANK YOU! I promise you'll feel better.

And while I'm thinking about it, THANK YOU to all my wonderful Gypsy friends and family! It makes me so happy to know others are out there reading and enjoying our little blog - thank you so much for supporting us and being a part of our journey! We heart you!

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