I've been preparing for CTG off and on throughout the summer (more off than on), and I was extremely intimidated by the feasts, too.
Then, I sat down and read the Introduction and the chapter about the Sabbath in Celebrating Biblical Feasts
and that made me so excited to do the feasts. I love what I've read on this board about doing things to make the feasts easier, if necessary, and that has helped to put my mind at ease. I know that I can go out and buy some bread dough or bread for the Challah if I need to, but after reading some messages in the archives, I am excited to try baking the bread myself using the recipe in the book. I love the pattern for the embroidered Challah cover in the book, and I love to cross stitch, but I know that I won't have time to make one myself. So, when visiting my mom a few weeks ago, I asked her if she had any linens belonging to either of my grandmothers that they had embroidered, and I found a doily and a table runner that my grandma had embroidered years ago. I think that will make a lovely Challah cover, as it is special to me because my grandma made it. I'm excited to recreate the Biblical feasts in our home but also make them ours. I don't set the table with a tablecloth, special dishes, and candles very often, so I think it will be fun to do that when we celebrate the feasts. I also know already that I will probably just make a meal that is special to our family and that everyone likes to eat for our special meal for the feasts. Now, rather then dreading the feasts, I am looking forward to them.
I was a bit uncertain about using Genesis for Kids, too, but after looking through the book numerous times, I think the experiments will be simple to do and fun for my kids. After not doing many science experiments during ECC, it will be fun for my kids to do a bunch of experiments this year, because they love science experiments! I also think that GFK will be perfect for combining my 5th grader and my 1st grader for science this year. It seems like it will be a good fit for both of them.
To help you prepare, is there a friend you could get together with to have a "teacher inservice" day? This year, for the first time, a homeschooling friend and I are going to do that. We do not use the same curriculum at all, but she and I are going to take a bunch of our books, go out to our mall food court, and spend a few hours just planning for our school year together. We aren't planning activities to do together, as we will each be planning using our own curricula, but sometimes it is nice to have someone to talk to and bounce ideas off of as you plan. I'm excited to have a "teacher planning" day with my friend.
I'm also turning much more over to God this year as I plan. I tend to take things into my own hands and follow my own plans, but I read an article that reminded me I really need to pray about my school year as I am planning and seek God's guidance and direction as I plan so that I am following His plans for us and not mine.
Why do I keep forgetting that crucial aspect of my planning?
I'll be starting CTG on Aug. 22nd. I'll be thinking of and praying for those of you who are starting on Aug. 8th. Be sure you post to the board to let us all know how it goes as you get started.