Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Musings

What I'm thinking: How blessed I am. God is always faithful to us even when we don't deserve it. I am constantly amazed at His goodness and mercy to me.

What I'm reading: Well...truth be told I have not read anything for a while (which is bothersome) but I in the midst of two books, one for me for the Crew that is utterly fascinating and really worth reading, King Alfred's English: A History of the Language We Speak and Why We Should Be Glad We Do, and still plugging away at reading The Lord of the Rings out loud to the children. We are finally into Return of the King and Pippin is in the White City with Gandalf. So much yet to come! I really love this part of the book. I am thinking that despite the busyness of the rest of the week, it is time for another installment!

What I'm listening to: Foster the People at the moment. My daughter is DJing the house for us this morning and that is what we are listening to.

What we're learning: From the Crew, we are using Reading Kingdom for my youngest to get some extra reading practice in. She seems to really enjoy it and I like that it is systematic in its teaching. It is exciting to get to try these products I have never used before. What a blessing! My son is still plugging away at www.IXL.com and I am very impressed with this company. We are getting set to finish learning about World War I. That is what we will finish up in the coming weeks in our co-op. So many fascinating twists and turns in that messy war.

What I'm watching: The Olympics of course! I really love watching them and the first week gets ton of my attention. By the end of the second week, I get to the point where I am glad I don't have to watch it for another two years! (Such a fickle gal I am.) We are also watching the much ballyhooed TV show from the UK, Doctor Who. We are watching the third season I think (maybe the second - not entirely sure) and it is interesting. I can't say I get why it is so wildly popular, but we do like it and look forward to the next episode. I like the second doctor so far, David Tennant. Have any of you watched this show?

What's cooking: Oh my. Do I have to do that today? (haha) We have leftover chalupa from the weekend so yippie, I don't have to cook today!

What I'm buying: All sorts of camping trip food, batteries, s'mores fixings, and any other random needs we might encounter for this trip!

What I'm thankful for: My amazing friends. I am a richly blessed woman that cannot believe the bounty with which God has gifted her in her friendships.

What I'm creating: Lesson plans for our World War I study. I love studying history!!

What I'm praying: That God's will be done. He knows what is best for all of us.

What I'm planning: Again, camping trip! I cannot think of anything else I can get to this week!

What we did this last weekend: We dog/house sat for my aunt and uncle at their house on the Delta. It was beautiful weather and we ate the best fresh blackberries. Sun and fun!

What I'm looking forward to: The camping trip!!

A picture to share:

This is a painting my mother-in-law created. I really like it. It is a mixture of classical art and whimsy to me and I love the colors and the look of it. :) She has some of her artwork in a gallery near us and I think it is just so neat that she is pursuing her dream of painting and showing her art. I think she has this up there now. I wish I could paint like that!

Have a beautiful week!

Friday, July 27, 2012

It's Almost 4:00...

It's almost 4:00 pm and I have yet to take care of anything I have needed to take care of today. It is hard to imagine just how busy a person I am with working, homeschooling, and living! I would not trade it for the world, but wow, is it a busy time for me. 

I used to think that summers were for slowing down, relaxing, and hanging out with friends in the sun. Nope! I always think summer will be slow, but it always ends up just jammed with stuff going on. Do you have that happen to you too?

We will get some sun time this weekend and I am excited to have it. What are you planning for the rest of the summer? It seems as though the summer months have flown by and I am already thinking about next school year. How can it go by so quickly?

My oldest is going to be a senior this year. When did that happen? All you mamas of little ones that might read this blog, trust me when I say that 18 years is a very short period of time. It is a stunning honor to think I have been the mama to this amazing soon-to-be-senior--in addition to my four other favorite children in the world!

What was that commercial? Life comes at you fast...

It sure does. Enjoy your weekend with your family!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Breath of Beauty

If you hop around the web at all, you have probably seen the art of William-Adolphe Bouguereau. It is utterly lovely to me and I wanted to share it with you. He was born in 1825 and died in 1905 and was a French academic painter. He was "...a traditionalist; in his realistic genre paintings he used mythological themes, making modern interpretations of Classical subjects, with an emphasis on the female human body." (Wiki.) He did a lot of nudes, so do be aware of that when searching for his artwork on the net. I am not featuring any of those as I have a particular appreciation for his work with children and mothers. I hope you enjoy the art. 

The Nut Gatherers

The Haymaker


Portrait of a Young Girl

Parure des Champs

Close up of Parure des Champs:

A Childhood Idyll


The Shepherdess

Le Crabe

I love the realistic beauty of these paintings. This is the kind of artwork that just blows my mind. How could he reproduce such works of loveliness? This kind of talent always humbles me. I hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Outdoor Update

I have not updated my garden in a while so I thought I would share. We are getting some amazing produce! This is from yesterday:. One of our two tomato EarthBoxes. (aff)

This is our banana pepper EarthBox. They are almost ready to pick!

This is our pepper variety box. I used three of those Anaheim peppers on the left in my fresh salsa made with home-grown tomatoes! 

This is my favorite part of the garden because it is so pretty and green. (Even with all the weeds!) All that craziness in the middle is naturalized mint. It draws the bees which in turn help my garden grow quite nicely! The Blue Dawn Vine on the fence on the right is a one of my favorite plants not actually planted in my yard! It comes over from my neighbor and I just love it. It happens every year. :)

This is what it looks like up close:

They only last one day and then shrivel up. It is hard to show you the beauty of this color in only a photo so come on over! :D

This cucumber box is on its last legs, but wow, we have probably gotten 30 cucumbers from it. It is hard to believe looking at it at the moment, but it has been a powerhouse for us!

This is one of our friendly bees on the mint flower. They are just all over the place! I wonder if their honey tastes like mint?

Every year I look forward to the explosion of color that comes with this gorgeous plant. This is our pink mallow and it huge. 

To give it scope, here it is with a bee in the center.

This is our very own Runaway Bunny. He likes to escape and run around the yard. :) His name is Cottontail.

And this is one of my besties, Charlotte, at our house on the 4th of July. I adore her.

Have a lovely week!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

20 Years of Gratefulness

I just finished posting this on Facebook...

The happiest of anniversaries to my dear and precious husband of 20 years. I am so very very grateful to our Savior for the laughter, love, patience, forgiveness, tears, and crazy wonderful mixed up life we have together. I would not trade it for the world. I love you, Mark Kessler!

It is hard to believe that it has been twenty years since we said our vows to each other. We, like many we knew at the time, wrote our own vows. These were mine...

Mark, I will always love you. I promise to make Jesus Christ the head of our lives, giving my heart to Him first, and then to you. I promise to make our home a warm place. A place of comfort, peace, and happiness. I pledge to respect you, honor you, encourage you and rejoice with you, through our sorrows and our joys, praising the Lord for all things. Though adversity will surely come, our love will never fail. I will hope with you, pray with you, worship with you, and above all will be one with you in the Lord Jesus Christ. I commit my life to you eternally, to cherish you from deep within me, and to be your best friend. Mark, in front of our Sovereign Lord, our loving families and friends, I pledge myself to your forever. I love you.

Reading this after so much time reveals to me how very much we have walked through, and how much the Lord has shown us in these 20 years--and how I have not always been the person I pledged to be! I am so very very grateful for mercy and forgiveness, for patience and love--and for laughter together. I cannot imagine walking this life without my best friend. I am so grateful for the time we have had, for the friend He gave me in my husband. I am so grateful for the gift of marriage and the incredible, beautiful, amazingly wonderful children He gave us through it. Wow--I am just so terribly grateful!

God is so gracious and I am humbled. Thank you Lord Jesus, for always being faithful, for never leaving or forsaking us. Thank you for being our Mighty God!

Happy Anniversary to my very best friend. I love you more than words will ever be able to express.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

July Encouragement!

I always get excited when The Old Schoolhouse Magazine releases a new issue! There is SO MUCH good stuff in it! Here is their little custom widget (which I change on the side of my site each month because it is so darn cute...)

Look inside >
Cover BC
July 2012

Some of my favorite articles in this issue are:

The Charlotte Mason Homeschooler: The Gentle Art of Learning
By Karen Andreola

The Literary Homeschooler: Adoption in Literature and Life
By Rea Berg

The Struggling Homeschooler: Dyslexia: How Do I Teach This Child?
By Dianne Craft

By Leigh Bortins

And how could I post without my own favorite article of reviews? This month I really showcase my beautiful Schoolhouse Review Crew people and their excellent reviews! 

The Old Schoolhouse Lab: Product Reviews
Compiled and Edited by little old me. :D

There is SO MUCH MORE in this amazing free monthly homeschool magazine. You will not want to miss the 160 pages of brilliant content. There is something for everyone. :) I will share more as the month goes on, but I just had to let you know about it tonight!

Have a blessed weekend!