Friday, December 7, 2012

of Birthday celebrations, sweet Brethren, and peanut Butter Balls {Weekly Wrap-Up 12/7/2012}

a post by Jenni {aka Mom}

(I'm part of this week's Weekly Wrap-Up over at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers! Click over to check out all the other posts, full of tips and tidbits that work in real life.)

What a nice week! The weather has been beautiful, the family has been healthy, and the routine has gone relatively smoothly. I feel very, very blessed.

Birthday celebrations

Today is Rooster’s 12th birthday! Our family birthday tradition is to allow the birthday boy or girl to select what we’ll eat for dinner and to have a large amount of say in the sort of family activity or get together with friends he or she would like. Of course, in true American fashion, we also have cake and ice cream and a few gifts. :)

Rooster’s activity request this year was to go to the Civil War battlefields in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area. He would have loved to have gone to the reenactment of the Battle of Fredericksburg this weekend, but we couldn’t make it this time. However, we did take a day trip up to the Fredericksburg area on Monday - and it worked out beautifully! The weather was gorgeous, and it was one of those field trips in which the children light up with excitement and soak it all in (which seriously increases the enjoyment factor for all involved - including Mom & Dad!).  

The Fredericksburg area is a great field trip location for those studying the Civil War era or the era of American Independence. Its strategic port location made it an important hub for many years, and it proudly boasts of many famous residents including the Washington family.

At the Battle of Wilderness historic site (Gordon Flank Attack Trail) Rooster gave his brothers and I a guided tour (he’d been there earlier this year with Daddy). This site is especially interesting as the trenches and earthworks from the battle are still there, and the area is very much preserved. In about an hour you are able to walk up the Confederate line, cross over to and walk back down the Union line. This was one of the bloodiest battles in the war. A good portion of it was in thick, overgrown woods, which only added to the challenges these men already faced. The site is well worth a visit. 

Super cool bonus: as we emerged from the woods towards the end of the trail, a truck pulled up and the driver, a man who helps maintain the park, stopped to speak to us. He was checking to see if we’d noticed any blocked pathways or other problems in the woods. After chatting with us a bit, he asked if we’d like more information on the area. Thinking he meant the National Park brochures which we hadn’t picked up yet, we said yes. Well, he pulled out an entire packet in a report cover full of detailed map printouts of the whole region and explanations, and a CD full of pdf files! He said the Park Service had told him it was too detailed to hand out at the reenactment this weekend - but he disagreed and had prepared a bunch to hand out! What a great addition to our unit study and to Roosters growing files of Civil War information!

From Wilderness, we hopped on up to downtown Fredericksburg for lunch, and then stopped in the Civil War Visitor’s Center and toured the surrounding area. In this area is the Sunken Road, where battle was ongoing and cannons dominated the high hills of Marye's Heights above. Below, just near the road where the fighting persisted, was a small cottage whose lady occupant (Martha Stevens, I think?) refused to leave during the war. She even made dangerous trips out to her well during active battle, and heroic efforts to help the wounded! 

Loosely carrying on the theme for his birthday today, Rooster’s cake depicted The Monitor - one of the two ironclad ships that engaged in the famous ocean duel. The account of this battle and the construction of these ships is one of his favorite. (No cake pics yet - sorry! I'll post them as soon as I can!)

sweet Brethren

The innate connection between children of God is just delightful! Tuesday evening our family had sweet fellowship with a group of brothers and sisters, both young and old, and it was a nice time of refreshment. I was particularly touched by my chat with one of the women there - she’s in her eighties, and her love for Christ and her understanding of the truths of Scripture is so apparent. I’ve been saddened in the past to speak with older folks who’ve grown up in church but know very little beyond “Jesus saves”. Listening to her share about a lifetime of mortifying the flesh and clinging to Christ through all sorts of adversity was a real encouragement.

Last night I had the privilege of joining an interdenominational group of ladies for their monthly dinner. I had met a couple of the ladies before, though I don’t know them well, and the rest I was meeting for the first time. Again, it is so precious to have that immediate bond with other believers! When we speak of our Savior and worship him together, it’s as if we’re sisters bonded from long relationships together. This month they invited Shelley from His Image Ministries to speak to us. Shelley gave an encouraging and moving message and exhortation. I love her heart for directing women always back to Christ, the Word of God, and a mind set on eternity. Those truly are the key!

peanut Butter Balls

My mother hasn’t always been able to do the holiday baking she’d like to do. Her last several years, especially, have been filled with full time work or full time schooling. That in mind, I was surprised and ecstatic to receive a box of her peanut butter balls in the mail this week! She even went all out and dipped them in different coatings and rolled them in peanuts, coconut, dried banana, or candy toppings. This is exciting to me because:
a. It's not often that my Mom has the chance to do this type of thing
b. She made enough to mail out!
c. Peanut butter balls are one of my favorite treats ever!

Yes, I have been rationing them. And, yes, Mother, I am sharing with the kids :)

Hope you all are having a wonderful December thus far!


  1. Happy Birthdy Rooster, love and look forward to the tsga reports. Love the Civil War Excursions. The preservtion of a great many areas have deminished just in my lifetime.

    Godspeed to all, Andy

    1. Rooster says "Thanks Ms. Andy!"
      We love that you enjoy reading our updates. Makes it even more fun to post. :)
      Hope your December is going well! Blessings!

  2. Yummy looking peanut butter balls. My Christmas baking starts next week. Although seeing all of the goodies pop up all over the blogosphere is making me want to start right now. And actually, I have ingredients for peanut butter cookies in the pantry. hmm....Sounds like a really AWESOME birthday adventure! Great information also!

    1. Thanks, Steph! I haven't begun my own Christmas baking yet, either. We were happy to have some goodies passed our way! :) It was a fun outing. Our family really enjoys historical sites. I hope the info is helpful to those planning field trips & outings in the future. Have a happy Christmas season! :)

  3. Do you have the peanut butter ball recipe? Looks yummy!

  4. My mom FINALLY did share the recipe for the Peanut Butter filling with me this year - but I'm not sure what she did for the coatings. I'm investigating further, and will try to get the recipe up soon!