Showing posts from August, 2009

Faith, Family, Friends

Last evening as we climbed into our small but comfy bed, my husband squeezed my hand and said "thanks for this weekend. It was great!" I laughed. "But I didn't DO anything." He thought it was a wonderful weekend. Here is what we did.
Friday evening we went to Delaware to exchange a wrong part for our ailing vacuum cleaner. Tim ordered the carpet attachment for our canister vac and when it arrived it was the wrong one. We found out you can return orders made online at any Sears service center. So we went and found out that we could buy a brand new one from there for the price that we had paid for the carpet attachment! It is exactly like our old one which we love and has worked so well all these years, except the carpet attachment had died. It was delightful to vacuum the rugs really well on Saturday morning!
We also went to Target to look at replacing some small appliances. The carafe to the coffee maker had a small crack in it, that we were unaware of…

Domestic Life

We have been very busy around our cottage the last several weeks. We have our daily mounds of laundry, our school work, keeping things tidy, cleaning bathrooms, doing dishes. This is daily life around here!
However, domestic life is not only about those kinds of chores. It encompasses all sorts of delightful things such as sewing, knitting, gardening, decorating.
Emily and I have been knitting alot lately working on winter hats and scarves for the family. I have been sewing - I made a skirt for me, an apron for a friends birthday - she is now 16 and while she doesn't cook much she loves to garden and that is what I had in mind when making her the apron. I also made Emily's apron! It is so cute but required much bias binding. I finished it today and will try to post a few photos soon. Now I have to make mine and Lindsay's.
Today the girls didn't have to work and so they were industrious here at home. I have been talking to them about the need for them to take…

The Government Can

Living In A Bubble World

So yesterday did not go so well....with school work that is. It seemed that everyone who struggled with something had a bit of a meltdown. Minor ones, but fussing none the less. Sigh...Thankfully, I have many years of home educating behind me and I know that there will be days like these.
It takes time and effort to teach your children, especially when the sun is shining and they would rather be outside. God never promised me that I would not have difficulty in my life, even though I would prefer that everything go well and easy.
I had a woman say to me once "well, we don't all live in your nice bubble world" - meaning that because I have a vision and a view about life that didn't match hers, mine must be a fairy tale or somehow without struggle.
Nothing could be further from the truth. As I have written here recently we have struggled this year, financially, physically and with relationships. But in all of it God has been at work, going before us on our behalf. …

School Starts In Earnest Today

Mother and Child Reading - Lila Cabot Perry -
With all of our craziness around here lately, we have only done a few days of school here at home. We usually start around the beginning of August so that through the year we have flexibility in our schedule.
This year I have a 10th grader, a 5th grader and a 2nd grader officially. The beauty of homeschool is that I have the freedom to do history with all my children together. We are continuing our studies of World History. This is our third year, but since there have been about 6,000 years of world history, we aren't doing too badly! Actually it is great to take our time and work from creation until now. We are at the reformation period.
We use a great chart called "Adams Syn-Chronological Chart or Map of History", which goes along very well with Ushers "History of the World." The Chart is a giant fold out in full color that shows you a time line of all the dynasties and kingdoms of the worl…

You Just Don't Never Know....

That is what my Grandma used to say, and I have come to see the truth of it!
Thursday night Tim covered our windowless back hatch on our van with a heavy duty length of clear plastic - you know the kind they use to cover fabric tablecloths. He is so smart! It worked fine. I took him to work yesterday morning and then after work we took the van to get an estimate for repair. More about that in a minute!
In the meantime, I went to our pharmacy to pick up Emily's prescription to deal with her poison ivy, which was contracted sometime Tuesday evening during the clean up of the trees that came down in the storm. She has been really suffering, poor girl. Anyway we had a doctors' appointment Thursday evening and they sent the script in electronically. When we stopped to pick it up the pharmacy hadn't received it. We figured that I would stop by and pick it up in the morning, since the doctor recommended she start it in the morning anyway.

It still wasn't there. The phar…

You Will Never Believe This...

Today we were having a Tornado Warning and I knew that Tim was on his way home and may not be aware. I called him on his cell and he said to me "I was just rear ended!"
Oh. My. Goodness.
I just couldn't believe it. We just got our van a week ago. We are still awaiting the truck that Tim is buying. We have been just a one car family since his van was hit in the city a few weeks ago.
The damage is likely repairable - the back window is shattered and there is a nice dent in the back door.
We need this fixed quickly! The other persons' insurance will reimburse us for a rental, but we have to pay out of pocket up front, if we choose to get a rental. Which we will likely need to...
The adventures continue.....

Ideas Galore!

We are still in clean up mode from our big storm. You can go to Emily's blog to see photos of the storm and damage!
Meanwhile I have been cleaning and sorting and planning. I had a great brainstorm for my basement. We have a great spot for a home office down there and I have a photo of a corner office space that includes desk space for a computer and also lots of file cabinets and shelves. It will be perfect for downstairs! I have been trying to find the photo online, I thought it was in Better Homes & Gardens magazine but I can't find it online.
I also have always wanted to put more bookshelves down there and make sort of a library feel.
We likely will go with a lighter version of the yellow in our living room. So it will be bright and cheerful, and hopefully we will use it!

We Had A Storm

and quite a storm it was!
It rolled in about dinner time last evening...rain pouring down, lightning, thunder, wind.... The wind picked up and then suddenly our trees were swirling around - they also looked like trees that have been through a hurricane. The rain was now coming from a different direction...we headed to our basement.
Within minutes I looked out the basement door and all was calm, wind wise. We went back upstairs and ate our dinner and then when the rain stopped we ventured out. We have no photos of the destruction right now but we lost many trees - several fell onto our pasture fence. Tim and the girls worked hard to clear the fence of the trees so that they could repair the fence.
We lost power during the storm as well. This rarely happens to us, so we kept thinking it would come on soon. When Tim and the girls were done outside it was dark - they finished by Coleman lantern light - and we decided to pack up and head to my parents house. I know we could have wait…

Off To Longwood

Today my littles, Becky, and I are off to Longwood Gardens!
We have a special reason to go - one that at least Becky and I are excited about! Becky's son Mikey has been doing an 8 week apprenticeship at Longwood this summer. He has been able to work in 4 different areas of the Gardens and to meet most of the employees. One person he met asked him about school and he explained he was homeschooled. Apparently none of them have ever really paid attention to homeschooling or known any homeschoolers as Mikey is their first ever homeschool apprentice! So this gal was interested in our co-op and asked if he thought our group would like to decorate a "wildlife tree" this year at Christmas! Were we ever!
The wildlife trees are a new thing for this year - at least having students decorate them! If you click here and go to the bottom of the page you can read all about it!
We are going to involve our 4th - 6th graders in this project. It has to be all natural and I believe we w…


I saw a sign the other day at a seed store for fall crops. This made me think that maybe we could still do a bit of gardening. Maybe lettuce...Do you do any fall crops? What kinds of things do you grow?
We are studying about Family Integrated Churches in our Sunday School class. Last night we were at Becky's hanging out with friends and we started to discuss this topic. The Lord encouraged me that we were on the right path for our family. We love the relationships that we have with our church family. We love to see our children growing in the Lord, hearing the word preached, hearing the church family sharing prayer requests and praises. What blessing there is for us all.
We are starting school this week. It is a late start for us! I am not involved with too much outside our home this year, but it has seemed like craziness around here. So I am praying that the Lord will give us the ability to slow down and to spend time really enjoy books, and music and art. …

Want To See My "New To Me" Ride?

Isn't it pretty?
God lead us to a friend who sells cars for Saturn. We bought it just about Blue Book value for excellent condition. It is a very nice vehicle. We always buy used for two basic reasons. One - we can't afford what they want for new cars and two - you get better value buying used. Did I mention that our little ones are delighted? There is a dvd player in the van. It's a whole new world for us!
It was such an answer to prayer. We are so thankful. It drives very nicely and gets great fuel mileage! Our Astro got about 12-14 mpg.
Thanks for your prayers on our behalf!


Melissa at The Inspired Room posted today about Inspiration. She talked about remembering who you were as a girl to discover the things you love.
It made me think about myself as a girl, and how it might apply to my life as an adult.
As a girl I loved to rearrange furniture! I did really. Being the only girl, I had my own room. Usually once a month I was rearranging the furniture in that small 10x10 room! Sometimes the inspiration to rearrange came in the evening and my Mom would come to the door and say "what are you doing in here?" I think she was surprised the first few times that a kid would be doing that, then it became normal.
Today I still love to rearrange furniture to get a new look or feel for a room, better functionality or just change! I figure it satisfies my desire for change and it is FREE!
Another thing I did as a girl was to go to a local department store with my friend Lisa and walk through the furniture department. We would talk about what we liked in …

Sweet Dreams


We have been so busy here...but a good busy. We had a great day at church yesterday and then we came home along with some dear friends from church, Denny, Nigel, and Mindy. We spent the afternoon with good food, we played dominoes, watch some youtube video of Tim Hawkins. He is a family favorite, a great comedian who is also a believer. If you want a great laugh, Tim's your man.
Today I spent preparing for our Parent's meeting with our homeschool co-op. I have been preparing more than just today of course. I usually spend the summer taking memberships and getting to know the new families and staying connected with our current members as well. We have 60 families this year, that means hundreds of kids who will get gym, music and art or science or French or history or leadership for young men. It is so amazing what our parents teach every year!
This year I am not teaching. It is weird for me - but I will teach next year again. We as leaders of…

Chicken And Pasta

Last night I made one of our favorite dishes. I do not have the camera that my daughter has so these photos are not fantastic, but I wanted to show you the process for making this easy, but delicious meal.
First you cut up chicken, I used breast tenderloins, and cook in some butter. I am sure you could use margarine but I can't guarantee what it would taste like! When the chicken is almost done, I put sliced up zucchini and summer squash in the pan and season it with salt and pepper.
Oh, look at that butter in the corner of the pan! Yum! When the veggies are nice and sauteed, add a 16 ounce carton of sour cream ( you can use light or fat free however I don't know whether the taste would be the same!) and 8 oz or so of grated parmesan cheese. Let the sour cream blend in with the butter in the pan and the cheese melt.
While this is cooking, boil about a pound of pasta of your choice. I usually use spaghetti but you can use ziti or linguine. When the pasta is cooked, drain a…

Unexpected Things - Remembering To Be Thankful

Why is it that somethings seem to come in bunches?
Over the last month or so we have had many items break or need some sort of repair. The carpet attachment on our canister vacuum is dead, the motor on my kitchen aide is going south, the pump, that sends the wash water from the laundry to the septic, is not working properly. Tim's van is van needs transmission work and a switch needs to be replaced for the a/c which works fine but now won't blow out the vents.....
Our oldest son has broken his leg - a spiral fracture of both the Tibia and Fibula in his right leg. He had surgery on Sunday and now sports a metal rod down the bone and several lovely screws as accessories!
Are these things insurmountable? No. Are they difficulties? Yes, and inconvenient. It makes it harder for me to get my work done. But certainly nothing like this dear family whose 5 year old daughter Kate, is battling a malignant brain tumor.
All of these things are unexpected - but we need to…

My Baby Is Four

I wish I had words to explain to you what this boy does to my heart. He melts it. He is such a fun...all boy even with having 4 older sisters who adore him! He could be spoiled but isn't, he is just loved. He is secure in his little world. He loves to have adventures.
He is learning what it means to be a man...a gentleman at that. He loves to help and be by his Daddy's side. He loves to hold the doors for us - everywhere we go.
He helps us by emptying the bathroom trash and replacing the bags in the trash cans.
He likes animals and the outdoors. He loves to throw rocks, fly paper airplanes, jump off stuff...
He climbs everything he can, loves trucks, can tell you parts of vehicles by name...
He loves sticks...he loves his family. He has a great memory - he has the whole of Psalm 23 memorized! Plus John 1:1, John 3:16-18...
Have I ever told you about his sweet freckles across his nose?
We are so thankful for this sturdy little boy that the Lord has entrusted us with…