Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Not around much!

Now honestly, I don't know that too many folks read my blog, but those of you who do - sorry I have not been here very much! This week has been especially taxing as I have been readying the family for a four day trip to Clear Lake, CA. That means lots of laundry, meal planning, animal care, car care, making sure we have sunblock, decent towels, and late-night runs to satisfy the cravings for chocolate shakes to stave off the stress. :+) We are almost ready and we leave tomorrow. Prayers for safe travel are always appreciated!


We had a lovely Father's Day. Yes, I know, that *was* a while ago, but he was very much appreciated here. I just didn't blog about it! :+)



Here we are enjoying our first outside BBQ of the year with his new tabletop BBQ (not pictured). The little girls decorated the tables and the bigs brought out the chairs. It was a gorgeous night and we had such an enjoyable time together! We ate marinated London Broil! I mix a combo of canola oil, fresh garlic, soy sauce, and ginger together and let it soak it up all day. It was SO good!! By the end of the night we all felt like this:



Yep, that pretty much sums it up.


Enjoy your weekend!


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Good for her!

I think this girl is awesome. What a testimony! May God move in the hearts of the judges and in the youth of her nation.


Teen Girl Banned From School for Chastity Ring Heads to Court
Saturday , June 23, 2007

A teenage girl who was banned by her school from wearing a "purity ring" is taking her case to the High Court.

Lydia Playfoot, 16, is a member of a Christian group called the Silver Ring Thing and one of a number of students at the Millais School in Horsham, West Sussex, who wears a silver ring engraved with a Biblical reference — "1 Thes 434," a reference to St. Paul's Letter to the Thessalonians — as a sign of their belief in abstinence from sex until marriage.

She claims that her secondary school is breaching her human rights by preventing her from wearing the ring, while allowing Muslim and Sikh students to wear headscarfs and religious bangles.

The school denies her claims, arguing that the purity ring is not an integral part of the Christian faith, and contravenes its uniform policy.

Playfoot will argue that her right to express her religious beliefs under Article Nine of the Human Rights Act has been breached by the ban.

"At my school Muslims are allowed to wear headscarves and other faiths can wear bangles and other types of jewellery and it feels like Christians are being discriminated against," Playfoot told BBC Radio 4’s Today program.
The rest of the story.)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Book Ramblage

I went to a used curriculum sale today with two of the coolest ladies I know. They don't blog or I would be linking for you. They are wonderful friends and I hope that someday I can provide a link. Are you reading this, my non-linkable friends?? LOL 

Anyway, I think this is only the second curriculum sale I have ever been to in all my eight years of homeschooling. I just never made a point of going, but I was really happy I did today. I came home with some fun books, but no curriculum. Which is exactly what I expected to happen! I don't really need any major curriculum as I am pretty set for next year. I can *always* take home more books though! My addiction, you know, my addiction. :+)


Here is my list of treasures:


The Hedge of Thorns ($3 - hardback!)

The Children's Homer ($3)

Rip Van Winkle and Other Stories ($1) (Mine was the beautiful older hardback version from the 50's in gorgeous new condition!!)

Cotton in My Sack (Lois Lenski) ($.50) A wonderful older hardback version. Lovely!

Floss ($.75)

Richard Scarry's Best Read-It-Yourself Book Ever ($.25 - hardback!!)  (And of course I had to buy it if it was THE best, right?) :+)

The Sign of the Four (A Sherlock Holmes Mystery) ($.25!)

Story tape of Snow White and Hansel and Gretel ($.25!)


And I made a fab order with Kris' BookCloseouts coupon last night too. If you have not signed up for her BCO Yahoo group, it is a really good idea to do it. She hunts out all the best deals and finds the neatest books! (And then of course, you add to the list in your basket!) At least that is what I do. :+)


I am SO excited about my purchases and I just have to share a few of them too. :+)


In Search of Knossos: The Quest for the Minotaur's Labyrinth is probably one of the coolest books for a woman like me who wishes she could be an archeologist *with* her family at times. :+)


From the Book Description at Amazon:

The legend of the Monitaur - the bull-headed monster slain by the Athenian hero Theseus - has captivated people since ancient times. Archaeologist Arthur Evans was determined to find out if there was any truth behind the myth. Digging on the island of Crete, he unearthed the magnificant palace of the ancient Minoans. In Search of Knossos tells the story of Evans's discoveries. Superb illustrations invite the reader to share his excitement at unearthing an ancient civilization, and through this to learn about the everyday life of the Minoan people.

Does that not sound *totally* interesting?? I am thrilled to get it and
BookCloseouts still has a ton of them! I also bought the unabridged version of The Horse and His Boy on tape for only $5.99! Pinch me! :+) There was also a rather lengthy list of other items I bought, but nothing near as exciting as these two steals. :+) Don't you just love a good deal? I do.

I was logging in to BookCloseouts the other night to take a look at what I had put in my basket and my husband said, "Is there any book site that you don't already have a login for?" He was smiling when he said it as he knows what books are to our family of addicts! :+)

What is on your list of "must buys" for this next year?

I just finished reading Ishmael with the HSB Literary Club and we are set to start our new book, the sequel to Ishmael, Self Raised. Ishmael was a really wonderful Victorian read. You know me and my Victorians! :+) Come and join us for the next book!

I am also finishing up
The Odyssey and am in the midst of reading Susan Wise Bauer's book, The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome. This is one fascinating book that is going to be hard to review and will take me a while to finish. It is a wonderful read though, and does *not* help me fall asleep when I need to! I just keep hearing Susan's delightful voice and seeing her funny facial expressions as I read it. It is like having her sitting across from me at dinner chatting about those wacky Sumerian kings. :+) She is witty and sometimes even sarcastic and it is just brilliant. Who knew ancient history could be so much fun? :+)

Ahh, what would life have been like without the printing press?? So glad we don't have to know!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Far Above Jewels

There are a few people in my life who never cease to amaze me. They are people who continue to listen for God's "still small voice" that we hear about so much. I am talking about the continual work of sanctification that is evident in their lives. I see the work of the Holy Spirit in their inner self all the time. I am continually humbled by the kind of people they are and they inspire me. My friend Jen is one of those people.

She blogged yesterday, something that took courage and humility to share. She is a shining example to me of what a humble and open heart really is. This is her post. I encourage you to read it. It is challenging and heartbreaking and humbling and beautiful--all at the same time.

There are few women in the world that I really see honestly fulfilling the calling of the Proverbs 31 woman, but Jen is one of them. I know her family, and I know her husband and they reflect the kind of household that I endeavor to create. It is very difficult to have a well-run home, kind and thoughtful children, and a happy husband when the wife lives to please herself. Jen lives to please her Savior and serve her family. Proverbs 31:28-30 tell us:

Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
"Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

So I am doing that today. Thank you, Lord, for my dear and precious friend, Jen. You continue to teach me through her example, through her friendship, and through her life. You have given a gift to me in Jen and I praise You for her.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Show in Film

We have been very busy as of late doing and going and I thought I would share a brief bit with you via pictures. I hope you enjoy.

We went to the gorgeous Horton Iris Garden in May and boy was it beautiful. You see the iris you want in bloom, then you order the rootstock and when the plants go dormant they mail the very roots to you. Or you can do what we did and buy a one gallon nursery bucket and take your favorite home. Here are just a few pictures from that lovely place.



Here John was jumping from the rock in front of a wonderful field planted with peas and fava beans. They could pick and eat at will and run wild through the meadow. It was wonderful.

We spent some time visiting my family in Isleton in late May and this is what happens when you go boating:



Just so you know, it took four conditioner treatments and almost an entire bottom of apple cider vinegar to get the tangles out of the little one's hair. NIGHTmare - more for her really. We will ponytail/braid that hair for future boat rides!! Here is a sweet picture of four of my favorite humans:



This is one of the butterflies we "grew" from tiny caterpillars:



Here are some beautiful pictures of flowers from our garden and the one next door. These hydrangeas are spectacular. The picture does not do them justice!



There is nothing like a beautiful rose:



But there is really nothing like moving up from Wolves to Bears:



Or losing your front tooth:



And there is nothing like fresh-from-the-bath with clean and shiny hair precious littles:



And joy...



Thursday, June 07, 2007

Nan and her Apron Contests!

This funny blogger is really going to TOWN on the apron scene. :+) Nan is having a ton of contests and all the prizes are gorgously creative aprons. Check them out and enter the contests! You never know - you could be a winner! :+)

Monday, June 04, 2007

Life as we know it. :+)

Here I sit listening to one of the nicest gifts my husband has ever given me, a soundtrack of Pride & Prejudice (older version). This was several years ago now, but the gift keeps giving. Music is like that. It has a great power to affect one's mood and move the heart. This music does that for me.

We have had a busy few weeks around here! In the span of ten days we received caterpillars that proceeded to gorge themselves enough to change to chrysalises in half the time the literature said they would. We now have five lovely
Painted Lady butterflies flitting about their netting. It really is something watching God work his creative ways here in our own kitchen. :+) From ugly brownish caterpillars to gorgeous full-grown butterflies--almost overnight--it is something!!

We had an asthma scare here and no one here has it. My eldest had her cold settle in her chest last week and it proceeded to cause her undue trouble with breathing. I am truly thankful for 24-hour Kaiser phone help. They asked me a slew of health questions like "Is she turning blue?" Thankfully, she wasn't. We brought her in on *Sunday* morning and they treated her like they would for an asthma attack. It was a scary experience for her and for me. I am just very grateful for modern medicine. No matter how much I prefer natural methods (and I do) there *is* a time and place for modern meds! I was very grateful to God that He allowed us to be in a place where we had it.

We are heading toward the end of modern history!! That is just a shocker of shockers. I can feel the end of time coming! LOL (Just kidding, of course, I am referring, of course, to the end of our modern history study!) :+) We are reading about the Cultural Revolution in China via
Red Scarf Girl out loud and it is an eye-opener. Now we all know that China is a communist country, but what was the Cultural Revolution? I really didn't know since I grew up before it happened and my world history study was sadly lacking growing up. I highly recommend reading this when you hit this time period! The story is a true one and the brainwashing of the youth is a timely subject for all of us. After we finish this book we will be reading about the Cold War and life behind the Iron Curtain with Children of the Storm: The Autobiography of Natasha Vins and Gods Smuggler.

Will you be studying through the summer or do you take summers off? We school year-round so that we can take the time when we want or need to. How do you work your school year?