Tuesday, September 27, 2016


My poor blog is sad these days. :) I just feel like have been two steps behind STILL from this year of change and so eventually, I will get back to writing more...because I enjoy this place to put my thoughts, photos, and keep record of God's blessings. I don't want to ever forget the FAITHFULNESS of my Lord Jesus! 

How are you all doing? I'm enjoying peeking at a few of your bloggy spots and I am so encouraged and inspired by them. We've been plugging away at school, enjoying the cooling weather, and taking in a few outside activities, including a professional baseball game and a Shakespeare play, both which we enjoyed so much. 

I've been plagued by headaches and insomnia for the past few weeks, maybe even going on a month...it seems to be getting better with a few adjustments, but wow. It made me much more sympathetic to those of you who live life with chronic pain, illness, and hardships. It has made it extremely challenging to just FUNCTION. Just to be a kind and present wife, mother, and keep the learning flowing and the house semi-running. 

I'm growing and learning that having 3 age groups of children in the home is different and difficult! It has so many good things, but it presents challenges. The two oldest wanting to talk and hang out and participate in outside activities, start businesses, or spend more time with friends, the two middle ones stretching their wings, needing help to learn bigger and harder responsibilities, and then the two little ones still wanting a lot of cuddling, help, and attention. It is stretching me so much. Stretching is good, though. HARD. But good. 

Our house remodeling is moving but about as slow as molasses. Another hard but good lesson for me, I suppose. ;) The next main big project is getting a roof put on, ceiling tiles for upstairs, and then finishing all the heating things for winter. 

What's cooking at your place? Meals are always front and center in my mind, because I'm feeding 7-8 people 3 times a day. What are some easy crock pot favorites? I'm so glad soup season is here! :)

Our learning schedule is my FAVORITE by far, we are wrapping up things by 2:00 at the latest and then might have a few things in the afternoon, like drawing and an audio book, or listening to our composer, or taking a nature walk etc. I'm so thankful I did some tweaking. I am always adjusting things a bit and I pulled out my CM style reading lessons that I put together a few years ago and am going to try these with my 7 yo. We were hitting a wall with 100 Easy Lessons, so I'm going to give these a go. Another idea, I heard my friends talking about at our last CM Bookstudy, is having an audio book going while a child follows along in the book. I hope to try that soon, to challenge one of my boy's especially. I'm still slowly working on dictation and written narrations with my oldest. I feel a little inadequate in this area, but just trying to trust the process and work slowly forward in it. I have seen progress and that is good. Forward, march.

One of the many blessings right now is the view here at our new place. Hearth Ridge is up on a hill of sorts, and we can see for miles...the sky feels like it is right in our laps, so immense. The stars are glorious and the harvest moon was so enchanting. The trees are just starting to turn and I hope I can capture even HALF of the splendor of them. 

I hope to come back later this week sometime with my notable September reads!


Friday, September 23, 2016

Monday Ponderings...Monet Style

{Our artist for this Term is Claude Monet - I was privileged to visit this room in Paris! I thought this video was fun to see.)

{This is our first selection from Monet for Picture Study via our Charlotte Mason Community...isn't it gorgeous! Water Lilies 1914-1917 by Claude Monet}

In small and large ways, when we create beauty - in our environment, relationships, music, cooking, poetry, and celebrations - we push back the effects of the Fall and express our hope for the new heaven and new earth that God promises. When we give artful attention to detail, we point people to a truer and better reality. When we offer beauty, we touch something in the human soul. We remind others of who they are and what they were made for. We bring hope and inspiration. This is a way of caring. 

- Real Love for Real Life: The Art and Work of Caring by Andi Ashworth pg 14


Monday, September 12, 2016

...one has to wait for it to speak...Monday ponderings...

To hear the unembodied call of a place, that numinous voice, one has to wait for it to speak through the harmony of its features - the soughing of the wind across it, its upward reach against a clear night sky, its fragrance after a rain. One must wait for the moment when the thing - the hill, the tarn, the lunette, the kiss tank, the caliche flat, the bajada - ceases to be a thing and becomes something that knows we are there. 

~Barry Lopez, quoted pg 46, Together, Alone by Susan Wittig Albert

Friday, September 9, 2016

Little Things

Little Things

Dear God, please give to me
A thankful heart for little things -
For sunshine on my kitchen floor,
For news the postman brings...

Grant me appreciation
Of small joys that are mine -
The children's birthday parties,
My honeysuckle vine;
The clean, fresh smell
Of clothes just washed;
The ivy on my wall
The children's thrilled delight
To wake and find the first snowfall.
For robins in the springtime,
And autumn's crispy weather -
For leaves that crunch;
Friends in for lunch
And laughter shared together.

...I do not ask contentment
That would ambition stay -
But let me love the little things
I find along the way.

~Helen Lowrie Marshall
pg 38
The Beauty of Motherhood: Selected Writings 
about the Joys of Being a Mother 
Edited by Bette Bishop

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Recap of our Week 4

We are well into our 5th week of learning, albeit it's a light one due to life circumstances, but I thought I'd recap last week!

So I don't forget:

Two children tried to tell me that Nobody made a certain mess! ;) This is reference to a poem we learned a few years ago...we had a pretty good laugh about it!

I had some music on while we were drawing, and one of the children said, "Mom. This is so intense. Beethoven!" Yes, it is, isn't it? :)

Overheard during free play time, "You vile thief!" and "I'm drawing him in Lincoln green!" Another time, I heard "choose the weapon of your choice"...love the rich language we are all learning. 

One of my children is quoting and asking me about many different poems from Ogden Nash. This child is really loving his humor! 

During one child's listening of Pilgrim's Progress, we were so sadden by what happens to Faithful...a quote jumped out to us and this child and I discussed many things and it was so interesting. The martyrs - "You cannot destroy us, our blood is seed." 

Two of my children and I are learning so much and are really enjoying The Clover and the Bee, a Book about Pollination. 

The Silent Storm about Annie Sullivan is a huge favorite around her and begged for! :)

One child received The Book of Centuries this past week and loves it! Now the next child down is wishing for his very own soon! So exciting to see him enjoying thinking of history and how everything connects. 

Some things to work on:

We are still doing cooking and regular chores as our Handicrafts. Written narrations are a bit of a struggle...probably because I'm not as confidant in how to go about them. Something for me to research and study up on a bit! I always can work on just the habit of consistency to our formal learning...we need to always be moving forward. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Monday Ponderings...

"...bring us to the place where our happiness does not depend on the work we are doing, the place we are in, our friends, our health, whether people notice us or not, praise us or not, understand us or not. No single one of the circumstances has any power in itself to upset the joy of God, but it can instantly and utterly quench it if we look at the circumstances instead of up into the Face of Light and love that is looking down upon us - the Face of our own God. This is the shining path, stretching away from the place where we stand to-day to the very heart of God. This is the shining path that shineth more and more as we walk in it." Amy Carmichael

Friday, September 2, 2016

...a grain of wheat...

Look at that little hand. Those lips. Those eyelashes. Those cheeks. Sigh. So precious in His sight. I've been struggling lately with just the weight of all these beautiful relationships I've been given. I've been meditating on these verses...

John 12
23 But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor. (full chapter here) (bold emphasis mine)

In context, I believe Jesus was talking about His death, but I have been thinking and applying this to my life. If I don't die to myself, how do I expect to see fruit? I am constantly battling the tension between all that love and relationship demands as a wife and mother, with my "need" for quiet, alone time, or dreams of things I would like to do. Jesus said we should "hate this life" to keep it. He was the perfect model of servant hood. I'm realizing that this tension is bigger and worser ;) in my mind when I'm tired, hormonal, or extra stressed. There can be a legitimate need in these areas. However, tension always under the surface isn't good. And I'm sick of it. I don't have the answer, and maybe there really isn't one answer for this tension, but I'm going to continue mulling over it, meditating on God's Word, and trying to still myself and listen to Him. I am probably overthinking it and striving in my own strength to FORCE myself into servant hood, which works so well, right?! 

A couple of recent quotes that I'm thinking on:

Life works better when we know how to glance at things but gaze at God. Seeing Him clearly will enable us to see all other things clearly.
~Selwyn Hughes

A SOUL redeemed demands a life of praise. ~Cowper

Martyrs: You cannot destroy us, our blood is seed. ~ Pilgrim's Progress