As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this nearly six-acre tract of land, this farmhouse, this domain—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.


Friday, September 30, 2011

Hide and Seek

Do you see him?
~awwww~


Thursday, September 29, 2011

What?! Thirty-one Days?!

I'll do it. 

No, I can't.

Maybe I will.

Yes, I'll do it.

I'm letting you eavesdrop on some of my conversation with myself over the past weeks.  But I have decided to accept the invitation and blog for 31 days in October.  My topic?  31 Days to Make a House a Home. 




Two years ago, I followed The Nester as she blogged her series 31 Days to a Better Dressed Nest.  I coldn't wait to check in with her every day for some new ideas to dress my nest.  I loved that they were simple and do-able.  For example, this day, I got inspired to "Paint Something" and took my medicine cabinet off the wall and did just that.  (Not every day required me to roll up my sleeves...some days just gave me new ways to think about my house.)

Then  last year, The Nester 's series was 31 Days to a Less Messy Nest, and she invited seven other bloggers to join her with their own series!  Lots to read.  I chose a few to read every day (The Reluctant Entertainer was one), and checked in on the others now and then.  But it is such a fun way to get fresh ideas about a topic that inspires you. 

And then this year.  Anyone is invited to blog for 31 days.  And so I am in.  And enthused about my topic!

I hope I'm up to the challenge.  I also hope that I am still able to homeschool and get meals on the table and clean clothes in the drawers and all that.  If not, it may be whittled down to a 20-day series.  Or a 4-day series.  :-D 

What about you?  Are you blogging for 31 days? 


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

In Which Geography = Dessert

All of the ingredients were there:

So...make an apple pie we did! 








And that's how dessert...


became a geography lesson. 


(Or was it the other way around?)
.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sunday Snapshots: A Charming Wedding

This Sunday was a wedding...full of love, and full of vintage charm. 

The ceremony was in a historic chapel...


where we sat in pew boxes. 




Then on to the bride's home to celebrate!







Congratulations, Kate and Alex!

 
*** All photos of the reception were taken by Kati (with her new Nikon d3000).  Thanks, Kati!

  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  :: 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Isabel

This week, a new baby was added to our family.  Around here we think that there is no such thing as "just another baby"!  We are beyond excited about this new creation, this sweet bundle, this unique person whom her parents have named Isabel. 

Isabel is the first child of my niece Amy and her husband Rick, the first grandchild of my sister Linda.  (Did you get all that?)  And she is a beauty, don't you think? 





Of course, we couldn't wait to meet her, so on her second day of life, Kati, Bekah, Mom, and I drove over to visit. 







My favorite picture is this one of the beautiful new mom and her precious girl...


"A mother's arms are made of tenderness
and children sleep soundly in them."
~ Victor Hugo

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Story to Live By

I read this story last night via a daily e-mail update to which I subscribe.  Oh my. 

Some 250 years ago William Law* portrayed a "very prosperous and busy young tradesman" who was "about to die in his thirty-fifth year." The young man had this to say to the friends who came to express their sympathy:

You look upon me with pity, not that I am going unprepared to meet the Judge of quick and dead, but that I am to leave a prosperous trade in the flower of my life.... And yet what folly of the silliest children is so great as this?

Our poor friend Lepidus died...as he was dressing himself for a feast. Do you think it is now part of his trouble that he did not live till that entertainment was over? Feast and business and pleasures and enjoyments seem great things to us-but as soon as we add death to them they all sink into an equal littleness....

If I am now going into the joys of God, could there be any reason to grieve that this happened to me before I was forty years of age? Could it be a sad thing to go to heaven before I had made a few more bargains or stood a little longer behind a counter?

And if I am to go amongst lost spirits, could there be any reason to be content that this did not happen to me till I was old, and full of riches...? Now that judgment is the next thing that I look for, and everlasting happiness or misery is come so near to me, all the enjoyments and prosperities of life seem vain and insignificant....

But my friends, how I am surprised that I have not always had these thoughts...! What a strange thing it is that a little health or the poor business of a shop should keep us so senseless of these great things that are coming so fast upon us!

Does this impact you as it does me?  Oh, to live with this eternal perspective! 
 
(Entire article found ~here~.)

*This William Law (1686-1761), British cleric, professor, and writer...not to be confused with the William Law who was a President of the Latter Day Saints.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Snapshots: Matching

This afternoon, the aunt-niece-friends sported matching jumpers.  Don't they look happy to be dressed alike? 

You can't see me in the picture, but I'm smiling too.  Maddie is wearing the jumper that Bekah wore last year, and Bekah is wearing the jumper that I bought this summer.  At Walmart.  From the clearance rack.  For ONE DOLLAR!  

Yes, bargain hunters, I paid one dollar.  I think those smiles were worth it.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall Lures Me Out of Doors

It is no secret that I don't like summer's heat.  As a bear hibernates in the winter, I hibernate in the summertime, escaping the blazing temps in my cave in my air conditioned home.   (I know.  It's pathetic.)

But when autumn comes, I am ready to leave the cave and enjoy the autumn splendor out of doors, and I enjoy decorating outside the farmhouse almost as much as I enjoy decorating inside! 









Then in our autumn setting, we can enjoy a cup of hot tea on the back porch...


or a Sunday afternoon parade...


 or a birthday picnic...


or a hot dog roasted over the fire pit. 


Does fall call you outside too? 


~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

I am linking up with The Fall Nesting Party over at The Inspired Room
You'll find LOTS of fall inspiration over there today! 



Monday, September 12, 2011

Sunday Snapshots: Home Learning

What do you think of this deal? 

I cook lunch on Sundays; Kristin and Kati teach. 

Doesn't that sound like a great idea to you? 


~ Each Sunday this summer, Kristin taught First Aid to all of the children.  They learned about choking and dog bites, heat stroke and poison ivy.  (And they passed a quiz with flying colors at summer's end!)



Health requirement: R



~ On most Sunday afternoons year round, Kati teaches geography by helping the children to locate a different country on the globe.



 
Sometimes home education is as easy as grilled burgers and corn-on-the-cob!  ~wink~

(Psssst.  Don't tell the kids that this is "school"!)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Morning Time: Autumn 2011

This year, we have a fresh new start with our Morning Time.  Since Kati graduated in June, and Bekah is my only student, I can tailor-make our course of study with Bekah in mind!  We are going to have a grand time together! 

(If you're not sure what I mean by "Morning Time," scroll down to the bottom of this post and follow some of the links.)


Our fresh-and-new Morning Time looks something like this...


BIBLE READING
This year, we are reading through the passages listed in the Daily Bible Reading Plan for Children, found ~here~ , which features Bible stories and truths that every child should know.  I did this plan with Kati years ago, and I think that Bekah will profit from this walk through the Bible. 

BIBLE MEMORY
We will learn more verses in Romans 8.  (I'd love to think that we could commit this entire chapter to memory this year; it seems a worthy goal.)   
Bekah will continue to learn the books of the Old Testament.  That was part of last year's plan too, but we got waylaid, so we plan to get back on the path this fall.  We will also review the books of the New Testament. 

SING A HYMN
We are learning “O, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing”, by Charles Wesley.  I would love for Bekah to learn to play this hymn on the piano too. 

POETRY RECITATION

Bekah: “The Kitten at Play” by William Wordsworth
Mom: “Who Shall Deliver Me?” by Christina Rosetti

POETRY EXPOSURE
We're reading Poetry for Young People: William Wordsworth.  Each book in this series introduces children to a poet, beginning with a few pages of biography, and quickly proceeding to a plethora of that poet's  works. 

LISTEN TO A PIECE OF CLASSICAL MUSIC
I will be going back to some of the artists and composers that we studied when Bekah was still very young.  (There is a 7.5 year age difference in Bekah and our recent graduate.)
This term we will be listening to the music of Johannes Sebastian Bach, and we will read Opal Wheeler's Sebastian Bach: Boy of Thuringia

ART APPRECIATION
We are delighting in the art of Impressionist Claude Monet.  We'll read Linnea in Monet's Garden, and Charlotte in Giverny.  This is right up Bekah's alley...she loves art, she loves beauty, she loves anything French! 



Monet's Bridge Over a Pond of Water Lilies, 1899
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

For more reading about "Morning Time":

An introduction to our own "Morning Time"
What Is Morning Time? by Cindy Rollins
Cindy's Inspiration for Morning Time
Kathy's "Morning Stack"

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sunday Snapshots: The Sun Wins

No matter what the scientists say about the autumnal equinox and all that, Labor Day weekend is the end of summer on my calendar.  The time to put away the white skirts and the flowery sundresses, time to get out the school books...and time to enjoy the last homemade ice cream of the summer.  Yesterday, the flavor was butter pecan.    

As usual, the kiddos ate their ice cream on the trampoline...




But take a look at the adults' party.

What began as a circle, everyone eating ice cream and chatting away...



...gradually became a "Da Vinci's Last Supper" kind of a party, with everyone lined up on one side of the patio seeking the remaining bits of shade as the sun made its journey across the late afternoon sky. 





It did look a bit odd, but the sun is following its own calendar and it is determined that it is still summer (whether I like it or not). 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Her Very First Time

In a few days, we will be starting our "formal" (using that term very loosely, as there is not a lot of "formal" in our school) homeschool year.  This is my twenty-first year of homeschooling...and my school now has one student. 

But it's her very first time in the fifth grade. 

And just because we've cycled through ancient history three times before, and just because the other three children have challenged me to remember those algebra concepts I learned so long ago, and just because the others know geography and sewing and Monet, doesn't mean that Bekah doesn't need to learn all of those things and have a mom/teacher who is enthused to do all those things with her. 

I have often said that "A baby is never 'old hat.'"  Each baby is a new person, a new creation, a new delight.  Each milestone is his/her first time.    When child #3 took her first step, or lost her first tooth, or learned to read, or graduated from high school, it was her very first time, and it was worthy of all the excitement that was garnered by the first or second child's same milestones. 

So it is with my schoolgirl, Bekah, my last child.  And when we delve into our studies, it will be with a sense of wonder and delight at all there is to know and learn, a sense of curiosity about this world and Bekah's purpose in it, and a sense of awe as we see His hand in the midst of it all.  



~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~


Last year, Cindy from Ordo Amoris (one of my favorite homeschool blogs) wrote an inspiring post, The Long Haul. I took so much away from that article, not the least of which are these two excerpts...



"Their fresh, eager, little faces keep me motivated to finish the race faithful and strong."

"But homeschooling and child training are not hobbies for me. They are my calling. If I was purposeful and eager 25 years ago, I want to be ever so much more so today. It is going to take a lot more prayer and way more caffeine. I have lost a whole boatload of naiveté."

If you're in it for the long haul, you might want to hop over and read this post for yourself.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Scattered Thoughts On a Thursday Morning

  • Summer colds are annoying.
  • Fall is coming.  Autumn is my fav-o-rite season of all.  The start of a new school year, fall foods, the teapot back on the stove, pumpkins and mums, cooler temps, warm colors, pumpkin spice candles, and a new season of Jeopardy.
  • Remember this post?  Well today she is ONE!  Oh, that Alaine is such a delightful baby!  (And being a Gran is a wonderful thing!)
  • "It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him." Lamentations 3:22-24 




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