g

Monday, January 31, 2011

Fragile

Life feels ever fragile to me. The loss of a friend from church and the loss of a dear friend's mother. The loss of a job. The loss of health for some of my children, and fears for my tiny nephew. Life is fragile, isn't it? We live with the false belief that we have it all together; that we are capable and in control. It is a myth that *I* believe more often than I should. It is a humbling thing to see that we are so little involved in our own affairs.

But.

We serve a living Savior. We serve a God capable of all things, all the time, in every place, at every moment. In this alone I can rest.

I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?" For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:19-34

In this alone, I will rest.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Shadow

"The land seemed full of creaking and cracking and sly noises, but there was no sound of voice or of foot. Far above the Ephel Duath in the West the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach."
Return of the King

"The shadow really is a small and passing thing."

Thanks, friend.



Saturday, January 15, 2011

Garden Itch

I know it is too early to begin gardening, but I am thinking about it! My order from Cherry Gal is on its way and this is what I bought:

Butternut Squash, Cabbage, Pickling Cucumber, English Cucumber, Radish, Zucchini, Rutabaga, Radicchio, Sweet Basil, Snow Peas, Lettuce Mix, Spearmint, and one flower just for fun, Bread Seed Poppy.

All are heirloom seeds so all should be able to be harvested for seeds at the end of the growing season. We will see how diligent I am on that! I will be buying some starter melon plants and heirloom tomato plants from a local nursery that has an astounding selection of veggies each year (Capital Nursery for you local friends). I always get the itch around this time and that is good for without it, I am not sure I would be so dedicated. :)

This is what I am hoping to recreate this year sans the corn:



I love my EarthBoxes! :)

I am going to try to use some of my ground this year too. This is very difficult because the ground is hard as a rock come summer and not much grows well there. If we do it, we will have to put some better soil in the places and weed like crazy since we have the worst Bermuda grass problem and there is no hope of removing it. We shall see how it all goes. The wishes I want in winter are not always realized in the spring and summer! :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Too deep for words.

There are days when my prayers feel like such fluff. Today is a day like that for me. I want so much to communicate all that is in my heart to the Lord and find the words are just not there. I don't think they are yet written in the language we call our own. Di has a quote like that up on her blog. It is a quote from C.S. Lewis.

"Take not, oh Lord, our literal sense. Lord, in Thy great,
Unbroken speech our limping metaphor translate."

It makes me think of the scripture in Romans 8:26 that tells us that "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." I am so grateful for that knowledge! I am so relieved that the Creator of all that we see and of all that is unseen to mere human eyes prays for us. That is such a powerful beautiful promise!

Thank you, Lord, for loving your children. Thank you for being ever faithful to me.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

A Good Day!

Every day is always different when you homeschool. Today was a good day. :)

My youngest learner, Emma, has had a tough time mastering the art of reading. We have been plodding through for some time and increasing in ability though it is slow going. I thought I would just try and see how she would do with my favorite first reader, Free and Treadwell: The Primer from Yesterday's Classics. (Sample of this book here.) This was the book that made all the difference to Elizabeth's reading success. Emma did spectacularly well! She was unafraid to keep reading once she started and even begged me to allow her to read the second story. She read nine pages today. That is just huge to us and I am praising God for such a blessing. :)

Science topics of varying interests have been playing a bigger role this week in our homeschool. Abigail bought Thames & Kosmos Technology and Electronics Electronics Workshop with a Christmas Amazon giftcard and John decided he wanted to spend part of his giftcard and try his hand with the ScienceWiz Inventions Experiment Kit. Both arrived this week. This is John and his telegraph.




The telegraph up close:



I love that they choose these things on their own. It makes the teacher in me happy. (Especially since science is not my biggest strength.) Hannah decided to buy a Kindle with her giftcard money and I have to say, I am a little envious of all the amazing free books she is downloading off of Amazon to have at the ready!



I also decided to break down and buy a few heirloom seeds from a site I found and really liked last year, Cherry Gal. The seeds worked well and we had the best English cucumbers ever. The prices are fantastic and the choices are wide. If you are interested in buying once and harvesting your seeds each year (something I completely forgot to do with the cucumbers, but remembered to do with the basil) I recommend you order early to plant indoors in early spring. I look forward to gardening again this year. What about you? Will you grow anything this year in your yard?


Monday, January 03, 2011

Non-Newtonian Science Evening

We recently watched a "science" type of show that featured a non-Newtonian goopy substance Dr. Seuss comically named "Oobleck." I knew what it was so I set out to make it again because everyone needs to have *that* kind of mess in the kitchen now and again. You know what kind of mess I am talking about. The ones where you fool yourself into thinking that it will all stay in the bowl. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Yeah. (It was worth all the mess though!)

The recipe varies from site to site, but the one we used was one cup cornstarch and 1/2 cup water. Pour the water slowly into the cornstarch and stir with a fork. It will start to harden immediately, but keep stirring. It will work itself into the strangest liquid/solid/mish-mash you have ever seen. It will feel wet, but won't be and when you apply pressure to it, it will harden until the pressure is removed. It kept their attention for hours because it is just so much fun to play with!

Here are some photos. This is what it looks like just at the end of the mixing process with a little food coloring. Your fingers are getting used to it. You can run your them across the top and it will harden and then immediately soften again once the pressure is off.



Then once you play with it for a while (and add other food coloring choices) it hardens more and can be picked up and played with.





I loved this one. This is her "hardened" blob pulled apart. It is already starting to soften again. I loved the color blending here. Click on the images to see them in larger format if you wish as the coloring is just so interesting to me. It doesn't take the color as fast as other kinds of doughs and it was really interesting to see the marbling.



This is what happens when you use food coloring. :)


Where's Waldo...er Kate?

Here I am...

The new Under the Sky (or rather... the old...) :)

Join me!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year

I have decided to return to Blogspot--so here I am. I hope to post more as time permits me.

The old year departed, how swiftly it flew,
'Tis gone, and with rapture we welcome the new.
We trust a bright morning will dawn on your eyes,
And sunbeams unclouded illumine the skies.
Then wake from your slumbers, our serenade hear,
We wish you a happy, a happy New Year!
(Author Unknown)

May Christ be light to your path each day
this coming year.