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November 2020 Free Desktop & iPhone Wallpaper

We spent the last several days at my parents farm in Kansas. Living in the middle of the prairie, a few years ago their farm was devastated by a huge grass fire. Although everything is coming back in the way nature does, my father has spent the last three years strategically planting hundreds of oak trees. He is living out that famous adage “plant trees in whose shade you will never sit under.” November feels like that to me – a quieter, less assuming month that is about honoring and sharing traditions that will give back for generations to come.

For the desktop, click on the image above to view the large size image

For the iphone wallpaper, navigate to this page on your phone and then click and hold on the image you want. Select ‘Save image to camera roll’. Then from your camera roll set your home screen/lock screen or both. I make a couple different versions so that you can use what works best for your device.

November’s Adventures in Homeschooling

This year we began homeschooling Lucy (7) and Hattie (5). We’re including this on our Giants & Pilgrims blog as all our family adventures seem to impact our art & music so much! Also, we just like sharing the stories. So we’ll be sharing posts on the themes we’ve been covering each month and calling the adventure “ABACUS”! Our hope is that these posts will help spark creative direction and inspiration for your family as well as giving us somewhere to be document and record our experiences.

November was such a beautiful and memorable month around here. Most importantly, we welcomed the newest addition to our family on November 18th – sweet Arthur Thaine. A Boy! Heavens!

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We are still adjusting to what it looks like to have one more around here, but mostly things are going well. Momma needs more sleep, all the girls are in need of a little extra snuggle time, and chaos is reigning just a little bit more in our house, but it is all so good and everything feels right. And we are all relishing the tiny ears, coos, and fluffy hair of  our tiny Arlo.

Here is where we have been during the month of homeschooling –

COOKING and MATH:

Since November is meant to be about all things feasting, we took a break from our normal Math rhythms and learned about fractions, addition, and measuring through the very practical handicraft of cooking. I found this highly reviewed kids cookbook on Amazon. (And these inexpensive but very practical aprons  – the kids each picked their own color). We also got these fraction sticks to help explain how fractions work – very helpful when measuring ingredients.

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The girls – with very little help from me – made ‘grab and go’ granola bars, popcorn balls, homemade orange juice, breakfast sandwiches, yogurt parfaits, perfect grilled cheese,  parmesan chicken bites with dipping sauce, and more. Lucy especially loved the independence of doing everything herself. And all the recipes were tasty! The cookbook also has lots of fun stickers and punch outs in the back.

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Our cooking month’s finale was of course a grand Thanksgiving feast.

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One other little note on Math –

We have LOVED the new BigNumbers Ap from Dragon Box. It sneakily teaches lots of cool long addition and subtraction.

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GAMES GALORE:

Our second theme for the month of November was Games!!

A couple of new favorites that we added to our collection:
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CURRENT EVENTS:

A day was spent on our political system, voting, and elections.

A thank you note written to the president for his service.

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Watching election results come in –

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A visit to our city hall

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And dropping off our ballot.

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READING AND LITERATURE:

Here were our reading books for the month:
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Plus ALL the Thanksgiving books (especially thanks to Read Aloud Revivals beautifully curated list):

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Tea time mostly had to move inside because it is starting to get CHILLY here! Not nearly enough snow yet though…
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Art and Handicrafts:

Especially while passing the time waiting for the newest addition to our family, Lucy, Harriet, and I all worked on our own little illustration projects.
Me on a whole series of Alphabet Letters (the first part of are available here).

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Lucy on a whole series of Christmas Reindeer to sell at Indie Arts Greeley (a wonderful local craft show that has become a family affair)

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And Harriet on a whole series of Christmas Trees that she also sold at Indie Arts Greeley’s Winter Market.

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Here is their practice set up for the market –
Note: I love this tradition. I feel like they are learning so much through the process – talking to customers, making change, money math, etc.
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We made concrete candle holders and poured soy candles (which Tim’s scented in various wonderful Christmas scents)

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The girls rolled beeswax candles

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And we got out our little loom and started work on a colorful scarf (alongside our Native American study)img_6790

History and Culture:

Instead of choosing a country to study this month, because of Thanksgiving, we decide to read about and explore Native American stories and culture.
Here is a sampling of the library books we found –
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Good old fashioned audio tape books are the greatest –

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An unseasonably warm November made for perfect teepee building weather – and the perfect location for tea and stories.img_6780
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Our history study of Jamestown lead us to creating a lego reenactment of Jamestown, John Smith, and Pocahontas.

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Nature Study:

This month’s nature outings weren’t anything grandiose. Just simple quiet times visiting and playing in some of our favorite spots and soaking up the last warm days.

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Swinging on willow branches

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Weaving willow branch baskets

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Colorado sunsets

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And a little moss collecting from beside our house made into a simple terrarium.

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Sketches of what moss looks like through a microscope.

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And leaf jumping of course.

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CHARACTER:

For November, we continued our family tradition of making a Thanksgiving tree table altar.

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And finally, to get into the spirit of Christmas/Advent, we put together a box for Operation Christmas Child together.

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It Seems Like Some Thanksgiving Goodness is Needed Today

Last night is still sitting heavy in my heart this morning, so we are taking pause to just be quiet and thankful for the goodness and beauty that is around us. As I am writing this, my three girls are sitting in the sunshine making a strand of beads for our Thanksgiving tree. I am listening to one of our old Thanksgiving mixes and watching the flurry of activity out on my window bird feeder. I’m feeling like we need to be a little extra gentle with each other today. Here are some little bits of re-centering Thanksgiving goodness that are bringing me joy today.

A New Thanksgiving Playlist we put together for 2016 –


These really wonderful Chocolate Chip Zucchini muffins. Warmed up with a little butter, they make everything feel like its going to be OK.
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A lovely stack of Thanksgiving books from our local library inspired by this reading list.

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Write a note to someone today to tell them you are thankful for them. Here is a thank-you-note-printable I designed to get you started. Print as many as you like 🙂
(Click the link to open a printable pdf that is already sized and ready to print. I think it works best on cardstock paper, but whatever you have on hand will work.)

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November Free Calendar Desktop and iPhone Wallpaper

Happy November 1st! Hope you all had a grand time last night.  Here are our three little spooks –

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And here is some new artwork for your screens!

For the desktop, click on the image below to view the large size image.

For the iphone wallpaper, navigate to this page on your phone and then click and hold on the iphone images. Select ‘Save image to camera roll’. Then from your camera roll set your home screen/lock screen.

High Resolution Desktop Wallpaper:

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iPhone Wallpaper:

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Around the Table

Instagram

#aroundthetable

Have you ever snapped a shot of your dinner or dessert? This month focus not just on your good food, but capturing the wonderful people you’re eating with as well. Use the hashtag #aroundthetable.

Printable Placemat

 

Someone actually gave us some artfully done paper-placemats that we’ve used on occasion (with the way our kids can destroy a table, a paper-placemat isn’t a bad idea once in a great while…)

So Betony Coons designed a printable placemat for this season’s holiday meals.  Enjoy this “one-last-thing” to worry about!

 

Click here to view as an 11X17 printable pdf –>
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Thank You Notes

My mother has always taken me to task when it
comes to writing thank you notes. I asked her to share her heart on this here in our November almanac.
Betony has also designed a thank you card you can print from home, if you want to let my mom take you to task in her thank you note challenge too.

On Thank You Notes

by Dianne Coons

“When I was a little girl, I have fond memories of my mother writing thank you notes at the kitchen table while drinking coffee with LOTS of cream.  I got to draw pictures for my grandparents, aunts and uncles, or family friends that were included in her letters.  I thought at the time it was much fun.

However, as I got older and had to write my own notes…it became a drag.  Mother was insistent!!  Today, I know why.

Yes, there is the email and a text, and for practical reasons (like letting them know you received their gift), it works great, but nothing takes the place of a handwritten note.

During this Thanksgiving month when we sit at the table and remember all the things for which we are thankful, take a minute to send a personal note to others and share why you are thankful for them.”
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Thanksgiving Music Playlist

          When I choose music for a Thanksgiving playlist a couple of things are at play- theme and feel. I search for songs that deal with the theme of “thanks” for sure, but I also try to choose some of the classic American music of the past, like The Platters or Elvis’ gospel music or Bing Crosby. The result is a warm sounding, roots kind of playlist with lots of gratitude in the lyrics.

Now Thank We All Our God • Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Amazing Grace  • Elvis Presley
Give Thanks  • The Platters
A Mighty Fortress is Our God  • Chris Rice
Shenandoah  • Chanticleer
Homeward Bound  • Simon & Garfunkel
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving  • Vince Guaraldi Trio

I’ve Got Plenty to Be Thankful For • Bing Crosby

One Voice  • The Wailin’ Jennys
We Gather Together  • Quicny Choral Society

Table Altar for Thanks: The Tree of Life

Artist and “space creator” Gregg Nordin was commissioned for our Almanac this month to provide directions on making a “Thanksgiving altar”!

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Thankfulness is a tricky one. Often we wait for moments of joy in order to have something to be thankful for. When things work in our favor, or when we get something we have been longing for. Some promotion, some purchase. We experience a momentary spike in joy and we are grateful. But all to soon the feeling can fade.

The truth is, gratitude and the practice of thanksgiving is what produces joy. Not the other way around. Thankfulness acts like new glasses that allow us to see the joy that is currently in our lives. Especially gratitude in the small things, the details; “Golden light of the morning sun,” “The feel of new socks.” “Warm Cookies”, “Harmony of birdsong outside my window.’

Thanksgiving slows us down and enables us to see. And when we can see… we no longer try to hustle for what we already have.

Purpose

The purpose of this interactive centerpiece is to provide a single gathering place for all the amazing things that bring our life to life. This exercise will not only remind us of the best parts of our existence but also allow us to share them with those around us.

Items needed

  • Colored Paper (preferably heavier weight like card stock)
  • Sticks / Branches 
  • Markers
  • Box or vase for base (fill with rocks or gravel for stability)
  • Small paper clips or clothes pins   

(You may want to assemble this interactive centerpiece early on in the month so you can daily add to it in preparation for Thanksgiving.)

The first part of assembly will require a short walk amongst some trees. Search for some fell branches that will work well with your table size and bring them home. Next you will need a base for the branches to rest in. Fill with rocks or sand to provide stability. Next take the your colored paper and with scissors cut out pieces shaped like leaves. Cut enough that everyone participating can use at least 2-3 per day. 

Every day take a moment or two to pause and think of the things you are grateful for. Everything from the big things like family and health. To the small things like the pools of melted butter on hot pancakes. Take those things and write them on a leaf. Give the leaf a small fold down the middle and then attach it to the tree. 

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Watch over the coming days as the centerpiece of dead branches comes to life. You may just notice a similar change in yourself as you become aware of all the things that fill you with joy.  Gratitude brings things to life.

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Gregg Nordin

Life_Spaces@icloud.com

November Theme: Table

November is a set table

Harvest is here
and the fruits of our labor,
the results of our efforts,
the long months of digging in the dirt,
all produces great fruit

worth celebrating

Friends, families, and neighbors
gather around with smiles
while words like thankfulness and gratitude
are kept present on our tongues

We break bread and pour the cup
We taste, we eat

And our bodies and hearts together
are full