Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Girly Conversation to Remember

As a teacher, I was always amazed at the conversations girls had as opposed to boys, who often played together without much conversation. Today, I witnessed just such a conversation between my own two young daughters.

DD 3: "Sowwy, Sisdah."

DD 5: "For what?"

DD 3: "For talkeen back to you."

DD5: "It's okay. I'm not the mom. She's the mom (pointing to me)."

DD3: "I won't be wude to you anymoe."

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Quote for Sunday

"The church or individual that is Bible taught without being Spirit taught (and there are many of them) has simply failed to see that truth lies deeper than the theological statement of it." --A.W. Tozer

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Latest Barnes and Noble Visit

Hubby and I went to Barnes and Noble for our date tonight. We also went to Hobby Lobby. How generous is hubby? I suppose he's adding all this up so that in the summer we will have lots of golf dates. ;)

Here's what's in the bag from tonight:

*The Archeological Study Bible (Told hubby I wanted this for my upcoming bday, but he said to get it tonight, as he was also interested. Again, isn't hubby generous?)

*In Britain magazine (Helps me with my English cravings and reminds me of all the things I love and miss.)

*Leadership magazine (always terrific!)

*Discipleship Journal magazine (Wanted this because the theme this month is looking at the Bible with fresh eyes.)

*Have a New Kid by Friday by Kevin Leman (Love my kiddos as they are, but I also love Leman's sage and tongue-in-cheek advice to parents.)

What didn't make it into the bag...(and is now in my amazon cart being saved for later or to be ordered from our fabulous bookstore at church)

*Knowing God by Name by David Wilkerson

*God's Joyful Surprise by Sue Monk Kidd

*What Women Want: The Life You Crave and How God Satisfies by Lisa T. Bergren and Rebecca Price

*The Faith by Charles Colson

*Creating Keepsakes magazine

*Today's Christian Woman magazine

*Midwest Living magazine

*The Unschooled Mind by Howard Gardner

So, as you can see, I spent far less than I put away. Or at least that is how I justify my book madness.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Green Hour Challenge - Week One - Ice!

*****We are participating the the Green Hour Challenges being posted by Harmony Art Mom here. These can be for homeschoolers or just folks who want to instill a love and knowledge of nature in their children. I encourage you to participate as well.*****

We ventured out into the snow on Wednesday this week for our Green Hour Challenge. I am not known around this house as being the adventurous snow-mom, so I was quite proud of myself, truth be told. Now, when it's fall, spring, or summer, I would rather be outside, but in the winter I tend to hibernate. But, snow it did and remembering Barb's words, "even if it is really cold and yucky", we put on our boots, buttoned up our coats, and headed out!

The children enjoyed walking in the snow and really noticed the ice and icicles that were covering things as we walked. My middle daughter in particular was enamored by the diamond-like qualities of the ice. Since I just have one officially school-aged person, we mostly spent time observing and chatting, and watching our breath vaporize. ;) I will note that the Water Forms chapter of the Handbook of Nature Study has a small bit about ice and a very simple experiment about placing a jar of water outside in the cold to observe what happens. Maybe we'll try this next week.

Here are some of the quotes that struck me (for future encouragement) in reading the Handbook of Nature Study for this week's assignment:

"Nature study gives the child practical and helpful knowledge."

"Nature study cultivates the child's imagination...cultivat(ing) in him a perception and regard for what is true and the power to express it."

"But more than all, nature study gives the child a sense of companionship with life out-of-doors and an abiding love of nature."

"Out in this, God's beautiful world, there is everything waiting to heal lacerated nerves, to strengthen tired muscles, to please and content the soul that is torn to shreds with duty and care."

"In nature study, any teacher can with honor say, "I do not know"; for perhaps the question is as yet unanswered by the great scientists. But she should not let the lack of knowledge be a wet blanket thrown over her pupils' interest. She should say frankly, "I do not know; let us see if we cannot together find out this mysterious thing."

"But they (the students) never lost confidence in me or in my knowledge; they simply gained respect for the vastness of the unknown."
"If nature study is made a drill, its pedagogic value is lost. When it is properly taught, the child is unconscious of the mental effort or that he is suffering the act of teaching. As soon as nature study becomes a task, it should be dropped. But how could it ever be a task to see that the sky is blue or the dandelion golden or to listen to the oriole in the elm!"

Thanks, Barb for the challenge. We're looking forward to Challenge #2!

Baby DD to Middle DD while trying to "Wook at Mommy and Daddy Buh-dees (Birdies) Out Da Window"

"I NEED THOSE RE-NOP-AH-LAHS (translation: binoculars) RIGHT NOW!!!!!"

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Downside of a Happy Heart

My middle dd who is known as the happy girl in our family, because she is always singing and smiling, recently shared with me the downside of her joy. "Mom," said she, "I have got to quit humming. I really need to. I really try to quit, but I never can. Even at night, mommy, I hum. But I really want to stop!" Of course, my response was, "Why?" To which she matter-of-factly replied, "Because it's hurting my throat!"

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Little Moments

"Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous glowing pearls. And strung together, built upon one another, lined up through the days and the years, they make a life, a person. It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than at the movies. But this is what I'm finding, in glimpses and flashes: This is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I'm waiting for, that adventure, that movie-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. this is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets --this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of us will ever experience." --Shanna Niequist

I've been collecting my own strand of pearls recently. My own necklace of little moments that when I look back on them, I can recall with each one the joy in the moment. Like a pearl necklace, with each finger rubbing over the sphere of each pearl, one single memory, making up the strand of my own pedestrian life. Here are some of the moments that I'm adding to my strand:

*The gleeful joy that my son exhibited last week as we practiced loving-kindness toward a "secret pal" in our own family.

*The look of shock, surprise, and pleasure while watching the eyes and countenance of my youngest as she attempted, and for the first time succeeded, in completing a summersault. And then the pride of her older sister, as she turned to me and said, "I taught her that!"

*Watching my daughter with her daddy and realizing that he is truly her hero. To put it simply, answers to prayer --that my own daughters might have a father who is worthy of hero-worship.

*Listening to my middle daughter and her own little vocabulary of communication. Her latest word is mistaked, as in, "I mistaked." Oh, I want to remember that one. And I want to live like her, not hanging on to my mistakes, simply stating that I mistaked and then moving back to my joy.

My pearls are not the same as yours. But you have them, too. What are they? Are you collecting? I want to be savoring the pearls in the every day that is my life, not overlooking one single treasure. My glorious, ordinary, one life.

By the way, the quote is from Niequist's new book, "Cold Tangerines", a glorious book of anecdotes about the discipline of celebration. Highly recommended. Delicious writing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Don't Miss...

Shannon, Boomama and Shaun Grove's Uganda posts today. Click the Compassion International button in the sidebar where it says "read". Sorry, I'm having trouble linking them here. But, really, read them. Be changed.

Career Talk With the Boy in Our Family

Tonight, the kiddos discovered a new book from the "my-mommy-used-to-be-a-teacher-library" that is now in our home. It comes in quite handy at this homeschool! Anyway, the discovered and asked to read at bedtime, "Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse" by Leo Lionni. My son immediately noticed that the book had been a Caldecott Honor winner. He loves to look for gold and silver medals! And then announced that he had chosen his future career. "When I grow up, I'm going to be an illustrator like Tomie De-Poe-la!" He's always loved Tomie and even as a tiny boy has been drawn to and easily recognized his illustrations. We love the Strega Nona books, his illustrated Bible stories, and now my son is reading "26 Fairmount Avenue" which is the first in a series of memoirs that Tomie has written about his life. I just thought that was a sweet story about the connections he is making in his reading. And that he is realizing that writing and illustrating are careers. And that one day he'll be a grown up needing one (a career, that is!).

On the career note, we've recently been talking with the children about the fact that daddy will be needing a new job soon. And that might mean that we have to move. I asked the children if they would ever want to move back to London. "No!" both the big kids answered adamantly. Interesting! Anyway, my son had a new career path for Daddy and some good logic to go with it. His suggestion? Goodwill. Now, this made me ask why! He said, "Well, it's very close," which I suppose it is since daddy now works 30 minutes away, and the Goodwill is about 8 minutes from our house. And since we had been discussing London! I also began to think that all the decluttering that I've been doing lately had really impacted the way my son had been viewing life. From his perspective, we are always dropping something off at the Goodwill, so why shouldn't Daddy work there. During the week days we'd certainly get to see him more often! ;)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Can't Stop Thinking About...

***Updated to add...Check out the new Compassion Uganda button on my sidebar to track these bloggers on this important journey. And don't forget to pray!***

Today as I was cleaning out my freezer and throwing away old, forgotten meat, etc.

Last night as I was looking at those new valentine's day placemats from Target that I just "had to have".

When I was wrapping the many things that I had gotten my baby girl for her birthday this weekend.

As I was making a list of the new books that I "needed".

I was thinking about, remembering, and being convincted by the truth of these words.

Forgive me, Jesus. Forgive me.

I have so far to go to give up my stuff-ism. I hope this post and the truth shared in it will never, ever, ever leave my mind. Or yours.

Please pray for the blogging team on the trip with Compassion International. And please pray for us rich Americans to release all that we think we need to embrace real life.

Brrrrr! and Birds

I see on my computer screen this morning that it is a whopping 10 degrees outside this morning. It was 50 degrees on Saturday and very sunny and nice, which got me all excited about spring. But, alas, this is Indiana and so spring is not right around the corner as it sometimes can appear to be.

We've been enjoying watching the birds in our feeders this past month. Our best day was when a whole flock of male and female cardinals descended. We plan to add cardinals to our nature journals this week and discuss the fact that they are the state bird of Indiana. We've also had lots of sparrows. We put out a suet feeder in hopes of attracting other birds that won't come to seed feeders, but have so far had little luck. We did see a beautiful blue jay, though.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A Proper Focus

"Whatever keeps me from the Bible is my enemy, however harmless it may appear to be. Whatever engages my attention when I should be meditating on God and things eternal does injury to my soul. Let the cares of life crowd out the Scriptures from my mind and I have suffered loss where I can least afford it. Let me accept anything else instead of the Scriptures and I have been cheated and robbed to my eternal confusion. The secret of life is theological and the key to heaven as well. We learn with difficulty, forget easily and suffer many distractions. Therefore we should set our hearts to study theology. We should preach it from our pulpits, sing it in our hymns, teach it to our children and make it the subject of conversation when we meet with Christian friends." --A. W. Tozer

Friday, February 1, 2008

Wonder-Full Mothering

"Mothers work wonders once they are convinced that wonders are demanded of them." --Charlotte Mason