Don’t you just love this time of year?
The weather is getting colder (well, for some of us) and thoughts are turning to warm sweaters, cozy fireplaces and family traditions.
Here at the Yankee Homestead, we love to celebrate each new season and holiday with a collection of our favorite stories, poems and songs*. Below are some of our favorite picks for Thanksgiving.
*Find the poems and songs here: Favorite Thanksgiving Poems, Hymns & Scriptures
These are our favorite on-the-go nature guides for kids. They’re perfect for stashing in a small backpack or an inner coat pocket, and they’re durable enough to stand up to abuse from little hands. Plus, they’re just the right size for those little hands!
While I am not an “animal person” (something I recently came to terms with, after growing up on a small farm), I have always been a “nature person.”
As an adult, I’ve come to value the many opportunities my childhood afforded me to become personally acquainted with God’s creation.
As a parent, I greatly desire my children to know and experience the awesomeness of our Creator by regularly exposing them to the intricacies of His handiwork.
According to Richard Louv in his most excellent book Last Child in the Woods,
[A] growing body of research links our mental, physical, and spiritual health directly to our association with nature—in positive ways. Several of these studies suggest that thoughtful exposure of youngsters to nature can even be a powerful form of therapy for attention-deficit disorders and other maladies. As one scientist puts it, we can now assume that just as children need good nutrition and adequate sleep, they may very well need contact with nature.
This is a topic that gets me all fired up, but I’ll save some of those thoughts for future posts. (“Last Child in the Woods” book review coming soon)! [Update: Check out my book review-–Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder.] For now, I’d like to share one easy way to encourage your children to enjoy nature:
Some people start listening to Christmas music in October. Personally, I prefer to wait until the day after Thanksgiving. One holiday at a time, please.
But there is one Christmas activity that begins early here at the Yankee Homestead.
Every year around mid-October, we begin packing our Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes for Samaritan’s Purse.
Frankly, I often feel overwhelmed by the staggering injustices and hardships suffered by millions of people around the globe, while we rest easy here in the U-S-of-A. There are so many things I could do, but I can’t do them all and I probably don’t do nearly as much as I should.
But I can do something, and this is one of those things.Read More
We don’t make a big deal out of Halloween here at the Yankee Homestead, but we do let the boys dress up and do something fun that night. This year, a business trip will prevent Mr. Native Texan from joining the festivities on the 31st. I know my limitations, and will not attempt to feed the munchkins, dress them in costumes, take them out into the night and then return home to do baths and bedtime routines all on my own.
So, we decided to find a fun Halloweenish activity we all could do together on a day other than the 31st. Our search led me to a few resources I thought I’d share, in case anyone else is in a similar situation, or is just looking for something fun to do over the next week or so (including Halloween night).
Fall is my favorite season. Well, at least until spring arrives. I never can decide!
One of the ways my family celebrates the changing seasons is with our ever-growing collection of seasonal and holiday-themed books. I love to search for books with beautiful illustrations and meaningful stories, both fiction and nonfiction.
The book rack pictured above hangs in our dining room, providing easy access to our favorite titles of the season.