Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I love Christmas specials!

I get all sorts of interesting emails from all sorts of places tempting me to shop *now* because there are some fabulous deals available. Well, every so often they are absolutely right and I do buy! I thought I would share with you some of the fun things I have found--some I purchased and some I did not. (I have to be careful here as some of my children read this blog! To my children - do not read any further!!) :+)


Knowledge Quest is having a Stocking Stuffer Sale and this means that some very neat geography games (as well as some other really wonderful items) are on sale. I really love this company and its owners.


The Old Schoolhouse Store is also having a tremendous Black Friday (through this Saturday) sale. Depending on how much you spend you receive a huge stash of other goodies so check it out! Remember--always free shipping!


Timberdoodle is one of my favorite stores on the net--always great service and high quality products. You will not find junk at Timberdoodle. They too are also having a sale on some of their games and curriculum items.  


I like this product! It is a KikaFlik and they are having a free shipping sale too!


Vision Forum has a bunch of items on clearance and if you order today you will receive free shipping. I do enjoy this store!


Books are often on the Christmas list as gifts and I find some amazing deals at BookCloseouts. I have also recently discovered the goldmine that can be found in the "New and Used" section on Amazon.com's individual item listings. I have found some amazing prices on books that normally are very expensive or they just cannot be found to buy from Amazon. I bought a beautiful full-color book for $.86 (plus $3.50 shipping). I was very pleased and have also found some curriculum needs that way.


Hearthsong always has creative Christmas gifts for children and they always have something on sale too. Some of their "Christmas Overstock" is 70% off. (I was able to get some fun stuff there too!)  


Contructive Playthings and Back to Basic Toys both have really nice quality items for underneath your tree. I just love wooden toys and both of these companies have them.


OK, that is my Christmas rundown! I hope you are enjoying the beginning of the Christmas season. We have already enjoyed listening to A Christmas Carol and the Classical Kids Christmas cassette as well as read our first Christmas book, The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree. We are ready to start our December devotional, Bartholomew's Passage: A Family Story for Advent. We read the first in the series last year, Jotham's Journey: A Storybook for Advent. The first is still available for those of you interested in a tremendously exciting Advent story! From what I understand the author is searching for a new publisher so it makes some of the books hard to find. It is worth the seach though and we will be starting Bartholomew's Passage this weekend.


What are your new plans for this year?

Friday, November 24, 2006

My Lady Sweets

I have really been enjoying the growing stages of our girls. They are like beautiful flowers just beginning to grow in the spring. It is wonderful to hear them talk about the newness of life and the world around them. I try to spend time with just my older girls on a semi-regular basis. We try to do it every Tuesday night, while Daddy is with John at Cub Scouts and the littles are in bed, but sometimes that does not work out. The times it does though, are precious and I am enjoying it so much! 


We read in one sitting (though it was quite a bit of reading) The Stranger at Home, by an unknown author. It was last published in 1871 and has been republished in a beautifully bound hardback by SAT Publications. They are particular in what they publish and have made some wonderful choices! This is a wonderful book! It is probably the author's childhood story though they do not know this for sure. It is written in a very personal way. From the website:


"The story centers on Elvira, a spoiled and rebellious girl, and how her godly parents and wise siblings deal with her disruptive behavior. (...) Of special note is the sweet, gracious, yet irresistible power of God in the last chapter."


We were very moved by the whole story. It was also really wondeful to have a quality  book backing up our authority as parents in story format. There certainly is no end to books that buck it. These same publishers gave us The Basket of Flowers. That made for many nights of meanful reading and deep conversation over tea and cookies.


This week past my eldest and I were able to have some rare alone time. We started a lovely book called Beautiful Girlhood. It has some of the most meaningful and precious words in it for this mother and daughter! It was hard to make it through some of the portions to be honest. My "little girl" is fast becoming a beautiful young woman. Sometimes I want time to stop and other times I just cannot believe how amazing she is. I am truly blessed with my children.


Here are some wonderful quotes:


"Childhood holds its promises, womanhood its fulfillments, and youth, those golden days of girlhood, the transition. This change is almost too great for us to comprehend. We marvel when we see the tiny, green bud develop into a mature rose of brilliant hue; how much more wonderful is the change from the crudeness and imperfections of childhood to the beauty and grace of young womanhood!"


"The awakening comes suddenly. Not that you will know the day or the week when the change comes, nor will you be conscious of the miracle in your nature, but the things of childhood will slip away. The little girl in you loses interest in her play-world.  (...)  Your mother looks on with dismay as she sees these changes, for she knows that her little girl is getting away from her and that she must make room in her heart and life for the young woman developing before her eyes.  She would put it off a little longer, for she will miss her little daughter, her baby girl; but even mother-love cannot stay the hand of time."


Oh, these words brought tears to my eyes because they are true! It is happening before my eyes and my lovely daughters are growing so fast. I am so very grateful for this time--this time to sit and listen, to share and discuss. I am so glad for a good relationship with my children. May it always be so! 


I desire to connect in a different way with my younger children and have this kind of special time too though it is very different as they flit like butterflies from one thing to another. The darling feverish manner of little ones! How they are all so funny! How do you connect with your children? What special things do you do to reach their little hearts? 


I hope you all had a very nice Thanksgiving. We sure did--and we have much to be thankful for! 

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thankful for Life

I am reflecting tonight after a lovely day with family and friends. The homeschool mom I wrote about a short while ago passed away today. It is hard to imagine that a husband and two children, as well as a host of other family members are mourning their lost loved one. Time flies so quickly and we never really know what kind of time we have left with our own loved ones. Remember those precious family members and invaluable friendships today.


We are very thankful.  

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

So many things

There are so many things to be thankful for and I am going to try to update this throughout the day with items that we are all truly grateful for.

I would like to start out with a powerful post by Michelle Malkin. Let's not take our freedoms for granted.

From California at 2:56 AM...

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Who are you?

I don't do these quizzes very often, but this one was lengthy enough that I thought it might give a more realistic answer. My children did this too and it was fun to see their answers. What is yours?


Which "Pride and Prejudice" character are you most like?


You scored as Elizabeth Bennet. 
You are independent, passionate and unconventional, with a sharp tongue and a quick mind. But you have a quick temper and sometimes forget who you're talking to...

Elizabeth Bennet - 75%
Charlotte Lucas - 70%
Jane Bennett - 60%
Lydia Bennett - 55%


Those of you who know me can tell me if this fits! LOL

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lifting Her Up

From another mother in the homeschooling trenches came this:


We have had several discussions with the doctor and have come to the conclusion to stop all treatments altogether.  It just was not working in my body.  Sadly this means I am now officially on hospice care.  I am comfortable and not in much pain.  My doctor said I would have one to six months; however, we agreed in reality it would be more like 1 to 2 months.


This takes my breath away. She is a mama just like you and I are, loving her young ones, loving her husband. She is preparing to leave them forever. It breaks my heart for her and, of course helps me to take stock in my own family life.


Please join me in prayer for Lorrie Gnos as she prepars to meet her Savior, and for those she will leave behind. May the hand of our great and mighty God bring them His precious comfort.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Belated but never forgotten

This past Sunday, as most of you are aware, it was Veterans' Day. I did not do a specific post for this day, and was glad I waited. That night I watched Fox News' Company of Heroes. It was a moving account of the first battle in Fallujah by the U.S. Marines of the India Company of the Third Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment. They were so dedicated! Their families were so brave! What they discovered in Fallujah would soften the most hardened anti-war protester--torture chambers, massive hoards of terrorist weaponry, and civilians killed because they were not fighting Americans. The images were hard to watch, frankly, and it is a wonder that any of our soldiers survived. The movie was an inside look into the preparation, execution, and recovery of a battle by an embedded news reporter. We also got to see the homefront--and what some of these brave families endured. Some of them gave the ultimate sacrifice of a son, a husband, a father. It was heartrending.


I know the war is controversial, and I know there are many questions that are unanswered. I also know that there are tremendous acts of bravery--courage beyond what is considered the measure of men. Men like Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith who alone, covered the withdrawal of his men from a suddenly vulnerable position, and gave his life in the process. And men like Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham who threw himself on top of a grenade to protect his patrol--he gave his life for his men. These two men will be receiving the Medal of Honor posthumously. It is these kinds of men and their bravery and sacrifice that we honor on Veterans' Day--that I honor today.


There are so many that have sacrificed, who continue to do so, and will continue, until there is an ending to the madness of terrorism. My heart physically hurts for those who have lost loved ones, but I will forever be grateful. Those who gave their lives will forever have my thanks. May God be with their families and may He be with those still in harm's way.


Thank you, Veterans!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Calling Him Lord...

Submission. That can be an inflammatory word when understood incorrectly. I have appreciated two recent posts, one from a favorite inflammable blog source here, and one from Kim at The Upward Call.


I believe that true biblical submission is a gift to a marriage and does not subvert the wife. I am grateful for both of the perspectives in the above-linked posts. It is a beautiful concept that I am afraid we often miss. I hope you don't miss these posts!

Friday, November 10, 2006

God is still on the throne!

The elections were a huge disappointment to me, but with the current spiritual state of our nation it should not surprise me so much. It does though. It is hard to comprehend that a parental *notification* (mind you, not even *permission*) proposition did not pass. How can this nation be so so apathetic to its babies? The whole election left me feeling this deep sense of loss. What will become of our nation with the way it is heading? Only God knows, but I am SO glad He does.


I take great solace in the fact that God is sovereign and rules over the affairs of men. By His providence, the day after the election, we read all about God's providential moving hand:


Proverbs 16:9
The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.


Proverbs 16:33
The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.


Proverbs 21:1
The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.


and then of course there is the biggest verse of comfort found in


Romans 8:28:

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.


So it was no providential accident that we read that the next day either, was it. I grieve for our land because I love this country. I love what this nation originally stood for. I want our land to be one that glorifies God is all it does. But right now, it does not. May God providentially move the hands of our leadership--for he can you know. Just ask King Nebuchadnezzar.


"Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles' feathers and his nails like birds' claws.


"But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever;


For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,

And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.

All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,

But He does according to His will in the host of heaven

And among the inhabitants of earth;

And no one can ward off His hand

Or say to Him, 'What have You done?'

(Daniel 4)


Soli Deo Gloria

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Voting Day!

As always I am last-minute in both voting and reading about all the various propositions and some of the candidates are new to me. Most of the propositions, in this state of non-accountability, should have been decided by our elected officials. For whatever reason they have not been and so that responsiblity falls to the voters. Well, there are some very important ones on our ballot and we are getting out to vote to have our conservative say in this very liberal state of California.


I like this guy. Paul Green Jr. is running for State Senator in our district and he just sounds like the nicest man with the right ideas about government and, more importantly, the right ideas about the moral issues that are important to me. May God give him victory.


Surprisingly on our ballot this election is Proposition 85, Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor's Pregnancy-Initiative Constitutional Amendment. It is appalling that a minor--as young as 12!!--can get an abortion in our state at all, or that any woman can, but even more so that parents are not even notified. You cannot give a child an asprin in a public school, but yet they can covertly escort them to an abortion mill and "take care of" the living baby inside. It is sickening to me. You should have seen the garbage commercials that came out against this proposition. May God allow it to pass!


There is also another interesting proposition on Imminent Domain. If you have been following this at all in the national news you will know about the much-discussed unconstitutional grabbing of private land. I am happy to see this on our ballot and really hope it passes. Let the developers develop on honestly purchased land, not land stollen from those whose families have had it for decades or centuries--or land stollen from churches!


It is rare that I blog anything political, but that does not mean I don't feel strongly about these issues. I really pray that God will bring victory to the godly who are running and move in the hearts of the men and women already serving. May His will be done in this misfit state!



Get out and vote!


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Company Revisted

What a lovely day with an even more lovely woman. I have wanted to meet Amelia for many years and what a treasure she is in person. Those of you in her church--you are blessed people! I would love to have her as a local friend. There are few people in my life who understand Tolkien in the way that she does, and understand my love of his work too. She gave me one of the nicest gifts in the book, The Silmarillion. I don't even know why she gave me such a gift, but I am really thankful for it. :+) It is so lovely with full-color paintings by Ted Nasmith.


We hobbits had much second breakfasting and lunching and dinnering from morning until late in the evening. It is wonderful to meet a kindred spirit in person and I really very much enjoyed our time. She showed me all her pictures from her TOS UK trip and so, DeeDee, I got to see who you are! :+) She says hello to you! Thanks for letting me ramble about a dear sweet person. :+)

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I am very excited today. There is a special person I have never met, but have worked with for years, chatted theology, great literature, and, of course, J.R.R. Tolkien with, and she will be in my very home tomorrow at 8:00 am! That person would be the brilliant mind behind the Literary Lessons of the Lord of the Rings, Mrs. Amelia Harper. I have long desired to spend some time chatting fantasy literature, LOTR, and life with her in my home (while enjoying second breakfast) and I just can't believe it will happen tomorrow!


So what does that mean for today? It means I had better get off this computer, get going on school, and get this house in shape! What would a fellow Hobbit think if she came to my uncleaned hole in the ground? :+)


Enjoy your week!