Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hope's Songs

Here's what Hope's been up to: Hope's Music Myspace

My Eye of the Hurricane

It's been a mighty long time since I have written anything here, or written much of anything anywhere. Even my journals have been untouched. I don't know why. Family members and a few friends whined and complained and I still couldn't make myself blog. Then so much time went by, I wondered how I could catch up with all that has gone on. It all started when blogger was giving me trouble with my pictures. I became so disgusted I gave up. So tonight I came to give it another try. And it worked. So, I figured now was as good a time as any to jump back in.

Here's the first picture I was able to upload. It was taken just last week on the Big Island of Hawaii.
My sister, her husband, Ford and I were able to take a dream trip and get away all by ourselves. I took this picture when we were driving back to the resort one evening. The sun was shining on the water and it looked like liquid gold. Absolutely a stunning place!

I call it the eye of the hurricane trip because so much has gone on and is scheduled to go on, but that made this time all the more sweet. Kezzi got married November 20th, the next week was Thanksgiving, then Hope's dress rehersal for AMTC (a talent competition organization she is working with) then the trip to Hawaii. On this side of the eye there is Christmas, a trip to Orlando January third for the talent competition which lasts eight days and then home to plan Priscilla's wedding, which at first looked like it might be February 6th but now looks like I will get a little more breathing room as it is being planned for March 6th. Whew!

Soon I'll have three daughters married. Three son-in-laws. In just over two years so much has changed. I've decided I like it and I think I've finally learned to go with the flow.

So hopefully, if I can rouse myself from this long slumber, I'll start catching up on the recent events and some current ones too.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Get This Book!!

Wow! Am I happy about this book!!! For a couple of years now we have been enjoying the use of Wilderness Awareness School's Kamana program. We did Kamana I together and Hope is finishing up Kamana II. I have been telling others about it but those courses are expensive and not many people are willing to invest that kind of money in a nature study course. Now there is this book which sells for about $25 and it is perfect for a homeschooling family. It's one of those resources that I wish I could buy for everyone. I'm going to be using it extensively in our nature study class this year.

The first half of the book is the Mentor's Manual and you will find information about thirteen methods of connecting with nature. They call them the Core Routines of Nature Connection. And the Book of Nature chapter has information about the eight sections of study which are in the Kamana II program. The second half is an activity guide with all kinds of games and activities. I can't even believe they were able to put all of this great stuff in one book!!

Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, which I am also reading, writes the forward to this book. If you read Louv's book you will understand the importance of reclaiming the days when kids played outside and Coyote's Guide will be an invaluable resource to get kids interesting in the outdoors.

So check it out. Get the kids off the computer and away from the tv and video games! You may even be inspired to start your own little nature study club!
You can buy it here on amazon or here from Wilderness Awareness School, where you can see 14 pages from the book including the table of contents.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Going Through the Fire

Ok, so I'm giving up on pictures. Every time over the last month or so when I have tried to load a picture for a post, it won't work. So I will have to go picture-less for the time being and just use words. That might be hard work because my heart has been so full lately and I have not been able to form all of it into words very easily.

One major event in our lives has been the burning down of our business while we were on vacation last Friday. We were just finishing up a trip to Colorado, stopping in Springfield, MO to visit some friends when we got a call from the local sheriff telling us our building was on fire. We left and drove home immediately. The fire had started in the stovepipe of one of the woodstoves. It was 4:00 and two guys were at work, my brother-in-law and my son-in-law. They were using the stove to heat a room in order to dry some letters for a sign. By the time they realized there was a problem one whole room was on fire and it spread unbelieveably fast. Within minutes smoke was coming out of the far end of the building. They were able to save a large piece of equipment and the computers from the office. The shop was a total loss but thankfully the office was spared and only had smoke damage so all of our paperwork and records are safe. It was a metal building. We had no idea it could burn like that. We were told there were 14 fire trucks on the scene and that the firefighters were saying it was the hottest fire they had ever seen.

The good news is we had insurance and the check for the building is already on the way. Enough of the contents were covered so we should be able to replace enough to get up and running again. Even payroll is covered for a while. So hopefully it will all be taken care of. Ford has done amazingly well through it all. Almost immediately after the phone call he kept saying that God can turn it into a blessing. I was just glad that everyone was ok.

A couple of days into our vacation, I had received a call from a friend who found out her breast cancer is back, this time in her sternum. So with that weighing on my heart, loosing STUFF seemed to pale in comparison. They are going through a much greater fire than we are.

A make-shift shop has been set up in my sister's carport, which was quickly closed in by the guys. The office is in one of her bedrooms. Even Grandma and Grandpa have been working their tails off helping with painting, pressure washing and whatever needed to be done. Tonight was the first night since Saturday that we didn't all eat dinner together. It's a good thing we all like to be together! That was one thing I kept thinking on the drive home: we are all in this together. I'm just glad we still have each other to be in it with.

The funny thing is, the friend who I just mentioned, her husband runs a construction company and they build the metal buildings like ours. And they have been slow on work. So hopefully we can get him to rebuild our shop and bless them too.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Kids In Church

Shadybrook Acres readers and most who know me will not be surprised as I step onto this soap box once again. Today I received this book from Paperback Swap. I ordered it hoping it would be something I could hand to parents instead of subjecting them to another one of my usual rants. I read it today at lunch and posted a recommendation in my facebook status. Then as I checked my blogline account, I saw a great blogpost by Granny on the same topic. You can read it here.

The book arrived after just yesterday when Annalise looked around church and then whispered to me, "Mom, there is only one other kid in church today besides us." Of course, she has grown up hearing us talk about this issue, but she seems genuinely amazed that other children don't enjoy the adult service. As we walked into the bathroom after the meeting, she said, "Wow! Has it been an hour already? I can't believe it's over!" I told her it had been more than an hour and that if it went fast for her it must mean she enjoyed and understood it. After all, our pastor is working his way through Genesis, which I think is one of the best books to start kids on experiencing the Bible for themselves.

Something I hope others will consider....

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Enjoying the Little Girl Years Again

Annalise's main pastime is still books. Every night we still have to clean off loads of books and little stuffed animals off her bed so she can go to sleep. Having had four girls who great enjoyed books and then two boys who would rather be playing outside and now even working than reading books, it is nice to have the comfort of having one last little girl who loves books.

This week I turned her on to the Your Story Hour tape series that the girls loved so much. I can't tell you how many times over the years as I have read aloud some history book or biography the girls have said, "Oh, I know about him/her/that from the Story Hour tapes!" We've had a pretty rainy week and Annalise has been glued to her tape player listening to these. She likes to come find me and tell me all about each one.

Then we remembered we also had this book on audio tape. I was in the middle of reading it to her at bedtime, but she quickly grabbed up our copy along with the tapes and was happily listening and following along in the book.

This is the book she is currently reading to herself. She loves this series which she calls The Bonnie Books. Priscilla has already read the four books in this series to her but now she is working through them on her own. She has a cute little framed picture of Bonnie on her nightstand that Priscilla drew for her when she first read them to her a couple of years ago.

This is the series that Priscilla is currently working through with her now. She saves this for times when Priscilla comes home. She has even taken it with her when we have gone up to see Priscilla at school. Pris will find a quiet corner at the college and the two of them with cozy up together for one chapter. Last night Pris came home and Annalise was downstairs. I had Pris sneak into Annalise's bedroom and get settled in Annalise's bed with a book. Then I called Annalise up and told her that she needed to leave the boys alone and go spend some time in her own room. She moaned that there was nothing to do in there. I said, "I'm sure you'll find something." Then she opened the door and saw Pris in there! It was so cute!
She knows how to cash in on the big sisters. This book is the one Hope is currently reading to her though not nearly as diligently as Priscilla read to her when she was home. Annalise usually is sure to rope one of us into bedtime reading no matter how late it is.
All these do not include the books she is reading for 'school', which currently include a Childhood of Famous Americans biography, James Baldwin's 50 Famous Stories and Among the Night People. Nor do they include the books I am reading aloud to everyone for Morning Read Alouds and History. You would imagine that having so many books/stories going on at once would be confusing, but she doesn't have any trouble with that. In fact, she probably has more going than even listed here. These are just the ones I know about.
Isn't life with books grand!

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Wrinkle In Time

The kids just watched A Wrinkle in Time and now I'm reading the book to Luke, Abel and Annalise. When Mrs. Whatsit is flying the children over a group of creatures singing a song that the children can not understand, Charles and Mrs. Whatsit work at translating for them. In the movie Charles replies, "It's about joy." That is it. Joy.

In chapter four in the book, the song is extensively quoted. "Throughout her entire body Meg felt a pulse of joy such as she had never known before." Disney fails to mention the source of the joy. The song's words? Isaiah 42:10-12.

Quoted directly from the book:

"Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof. Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift their voice; let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto the Lord!"

Interesting that Madeleine L'Engle used those words, which express giving glory to the Lord, as the source of unspeakable joy. I think I'm going to really enjoy this series.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

My Last Words

If I was on my death bed and was able to speak one last thing to my children, it would be this. I pray that it resounds in their heads forever. Take an hour to listen.

Shocking Message from Paul Washer

It's really sad when the gospel is considered shocking.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


One of my friends sent me a button on facebook that said this:

Sarcasm - the body's natural defense against stupid.

I thought of this button while reading Wendell Berry this week. He was writing about political packages "that are almost irresistible-expensive, of course, but rare." Package #2 is Preservation of Human Resources.

"Despite world-record advances in automation, robotification, and other 'labor saving' technologies, it is assumed that almost every human being may, at least in the Future, turn out to be useful for something, just like the members of other endangered species. Sometimes, after all, the Economy still requires a 'human component'. At such times, human resources are called 'human components' and are highly esteemed in that capacity as long as their usefulness lasts. Therefore, don't quit taking care of human resources yet. See that the schools are run as ideal orphanages or as ideal jails. Provide preschool and pre-preschool. Also postschool. Keep the children in institutions and away from home as much as possible (my note - and when they must be at home keep them loaded with "homework") - remember that their parents wanted children only because other people have them, and are much too busy to raise them. Only the government cares. Move the children around a lot while they're young, for this provides many opportunities for socialization. Show them a lot of TV, for TV is educational. Teach them about computers, for computers still require a 'human component.' Teach them the three S's: Sex can be Scientific and Safe. When the children grow up, try to keep them busy. Try to see that they become addicted only to legal substances. That's about it."

You see my friend sent me that button because she knows me. And anyone who knows me and knows Wendell Berry's writings would know to recommend them to me because we are kindred spirits.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Quilt for Annalise

From this:

To this:

To this:

And finally, this:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Copywork from Great Art

This week we tried the Sketch Tuesday assignment at Harmony Art Mom blog, which was to copy a portion of a painting by Henri Rousseau. Everyone chose to copy the blue flowers, except Hope. Hope didn't quite have time to finish hers but I am posting a copy of it here anyway. I liked this idea of copying part of a painting and we look forward to using this idea more in the future. If you haven't checked out her blog, you are missing out! There are lots of great ideas there.

Winter Weeds

Today our little co-op met at our house for some winter nature study. Our focus today was winter weeds. I read the chapter from Discover Nature in Winter before everyone arrived and briefly shared a few interesting points with the children. Next we headed out to the field to gather specimens. I was amazed at the variety! Even though we did not identify each find, it was fun gathering and drawing them.

The biggest hit was this mullein stalk!

I love to see the moms participating!

And even the littlest ones getting in on the action.

I never knew a vase of winter weeds could provide so much interest and pleasure.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Shrinking Again

Well, just like the years when the babies kept coming in fairly rapid sucession, now they are leaving at about the same rate.

Kezzi moved out this week so now we only have four at home! It's hard to believe. After trying and trying to get a job in our small town, Kezzi decided to move to the city where she has lots of contacts and potential to start working somewhere else besides her dad's shop. She has been in and out so much over the last few months that I am hoping it won't really feel that different. I'm trying to look on the bright side as much as possible. I figure I should give denial a chance. :)

The good news is that Michael and Candace have moved to a little rental house three miles from us. They were three hours away so we really excited about this move. They came at a time when a lot was going on. With the death of my brother and trying to make decisions about what Kezzi needed to do, we have been very involved with other things. As everything settles down we should get to spend quite a bit of time doing fun things together. Candace and I were just making plans today to enjoy even the simple pleasures, like cooking and grocery shopping, together. If she gets lonely during the day, she may even buzz over to help with some homeschooling projects.

In less than three months Priscilla will be home for the summer.

So they come and go. It's just the way the new lifestyle goes now. I'm learning to adjust more quickly than I did at first and I'm even learning to enjoy the adventure.


This is a thought provoking article. Please go read it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Year I Learned to Love Winter

This time of year is full of people longing for spring. This is the first February in my life that does not find me anxious for spring. In fact, I am a little sad to see winter go.

A funny thing happened to me this year, I have learned to love winter.

There is no other season when a book, a hot cup of coffee and a blanket are so inviting. It is much easier to hold my kids' attention when the warm, sunny outdoors is not calling to them. They tend to ask for one more chapter more often in the winter. This is something I have always loved about the season, but it has never been enough to outweigh spring fever.

I think the key this year has been learning to love the outdoors in winter. I have learned to love going for walks in the crisp air. I found out that with a hat, gloves and maybe layers, I can be very comfortable outdoors so I am not deprived of fresh air. The leaves are all gone and it is easier to see things that are normally hidden. There is not so much going on in nature that is vying for my attention out there on my walks but there is still plenty to notice. It is quieter outside with most people holed up indoors. The garden does not need to be weeded. The lawn does not need to be mowed. Even though many things may look dead, they are not. They are simply resting. I've learned to enjoy that restful look.

This view of our field is one of my favorite winter scenes.
Update: I meant to give credit to the Handbook of Nature Study blog for being a big part of inspiring me to notice the great outdoors this winter. Thanks Barb!

An Outrage Against Children

I've been trying to gather information on the new CPSIA law and its effects on us all. Most people have no idea that books printed before 1985 are now illegal to sell unless they have undergone expensive lead testing. It doesn't matter that there is no record of any child having lead poisoning from a book. Not to mention the law includes many other children's products including clothing items and handmade toys. Many small cottage industry business are having to close their doors. Reports of Goodwill stores and other thrift stores throwing away all of their children's books and other children's items make me feel sick to my stomach.

I do not understand why the media has not been covering this. It's all over the internet. So, since so many people have already written about it who are much more knowledgable than I am, I will provide some links to get you a start in understanding it all.

A good introduction to the problem

Apparently only 1 child has died from lead poisoning from a children's item and that was because he swallowed a piece of children's jewelry and was not diagnosed properly. Read more here. The Book Room has many more blog posts about this.

Melissa Wiley has a good round up of helpful links.

PLEASE, PLEASE make some calls about this. Here is the information you need to do something about it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"We measure time by its death and , yes, its births. For time is told also by life. As some depart, others come. The hand opened in farewell remains open in welcome. I who once had grandparents and parents now have children and grandchildren. Like the flowing river that is yet always present, time that is always going is always coming. And time that is told by death and birth is held and redeemed by love, which is always present. Time, then, is told by loves losses, and by love continuing in gratitude for what is lost. It is folded and enfolded and unfolded forever and ever, the love by which the dead are alive and the unborn welcomed into the womb. The great question for the old and the dying, I think, is not if they have loved and been loved enough, but if they have been grateful enough for love received and given, however much. No one who has gratitude is the onliest one. Let us pray to be grateful to the last."

From Wendell Berry's Andy Catlett

Monday, February 02, 2009

God called One of His Beloved home

Yesterday we buried my thirty-two year old brother, Levi.

In the very early morning hours of Thursday morning he stopped by my dad's house, which is just about 25 minutes from me. He built a little campfire and was standing around talking to my dad. They were enjoy a sweet time together when Levi suddenly fell down backwards. At first my dad thought it was one of Levi's silly pranks but he quickly realized it was not. Levi had died instantly. My dad ran in to get my brother and they started CPR but he was already gone and they could not get any response from him. The ambulances came and they could not bring him back either.

We have since found out it was a ruptured blood vessel near his heart.

He leaves behind his parents and the rest of his siblings, which include three sisters and four brothers. I am the oldest of the siblings. He also leaves a wife and 2yo son. My brother Ben was commenting that with such a big family your chances are higher for sorrows but you also have the blessings of more people to comfort each other.

Through amazing friends and my amazing sister who organized it all, we gave him a beautiful funeral and he is buried just around the block from me at a little country church. We can almost see it from our property. I have passed by this cemetery every time I have walked around the block for exercise. I can't believe he is buried there.

Here is a video of Levi's favorite song. It's Jason Upton's Come Up Here. This is just amazing to me. How could this be his favorite?? God sure does know how to send us comfort.

Thanks to all of you who have called, emailed or posted your condolences through facebook. I haven't had the time to respond to each one but know that each thought and prayer for us is treasured.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'm continuing on my Wendell Berry stint with Andy Catlett: Early Travels and a book of essays called Sex, Economy, Freedom and Community. I have nine or so books from two different libraries. I'm really having trouble with reading library books. I am going to have to make a choice: either buy my own books so I can mark in them freely or make liberal use of a commonplace book. I'm torn because I really like the idea of copying all the quotes I like and having them conveniently in one place, but I like the ease and speed of underlining and notes in the margin.

Another library book I'm reading is Hold On To Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers. Tim's Mom mentioned this on her blog starting here with this post. I just got it last night and already I've been struggling with the miles of underlining I want to do! While Ford was getting ready for bed last night I was reading excerpts out loud to him because this book was full of things that he always says. So far, I can't see that this book was written from a Christian perspective. I think that makes it more interesting because it looks at the historical shift that has taken place in the last fifty years and its consequences. I'm just starting with this so you may hear more from me on it later.

Isn't it funny that your reading material can affect what you notice? Ford and I want away last weekend for our anniversary. One morning we were traveling around looking for arts & crafts stores in the mountains when I saw a group of guys standing around a tractor. It looked like they were working on a fence. Formerly, this scene would not have received a second thought. But this time I noticed the age range of the men and there were young and old working together. I noticed their smiles. It made me think of my readings from Wendell Berry, how the agrarian lifestyle kept the community working together. Suddenly a scruffy group of farmers looked beautiful to me. Instead of everyone segregated into their own activities, they were all working together, probably talking and joking. I could imagine they enjoyed a sense of belonging to something greater than a small peer group.

Add my readings in Hold On To Your Kids and I can not help but mourn the current state of our society. Even our churches. Recently our church moved all of our highschool kids across the street to a college building for their own church service. Up until this point the kids eighth grade and under were in their own programs but the highschoolers had no other alternative to the Sunday morning meetings. This change really grieved our family. Thankfully, children are not forbidden from being in the service so our children are not affected. But that still doesn't quell our grief over the system as a whole.

I'm sure I will have a lot more quotes and comments in the future but Annalise has set up the Settlers of Catan game so I must go now. To be continued....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

School Takes A Bit of a New Direction

In an attempt to help my boys, especially Luke, enjoy learning I have been looking towards a more hands-on approach. I'm not giving up on books, but looking to supplement with more things to DO. I still read to them and require reading but Luke is really good with his hands and I want to capture some of that before his school days are over. I am looking for ways to fulfill his high school credits without heavily relying on lots of reading.

I can't remember where I found this series recommended for high school but I am looking at these for Luke's biology credit. We have all of these titles: Prairies, Fields and Meadows, Woods and Forests, Rivers and Streams, Lakes, Ponds and Temporary Pools, and Wetlands. It amazes me that we have all five of these habitats on our 26 acres! There is lots of real field work in these little books. There is also quite a bit of equipment to put together, which will require some gathering on my part, but if it is something he enjoys and learns from then it will be worth it.

Timberdoodle is a great supplier of hands-on types of things. This past week we pulled out our
Some Body game and started playing with it.

Recently I purchased My Senses kit & Genetics & DNA kit and we just got them in the mail yesterday. I'm really looking forward to having fun together with these.
The My Senses kit includes fifty experiments including making a stink bomb, a model of the mouth and tongue, a simple telephone, a hearing aid, a telescope and also experiments that test taste buds, confuse your sense of touch, see how sound vibrates and much more. Along with reading some books on the human body, I am hoping to make notebook pages with illustrations and photos of our projects.
With the genetics kit:
"Your child will isolate the tomato DNA in a test tube, discover dominant and recessive genes, learn how chromosomes are combined, and much more. The kit assumes some basic understanding of reproduction. The children will build a model to see the double-stranded helical structure of DNA and investigate DNA evidence to identify suspects and solve a crime. They will even breed bacteria to experiment with genetic engineering."
Doesn't that sound like fun?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

All the People to Love

I would say we probably have a pretty unique situation in our lives as far as church and community goes. It's been almost two and a half years since we left the very small church fellowship that we had been a part of here in our own community for about eleven years. And wow, are things different for us now.

We go to a church about an hour away that is fairly good sized. Not like the mega churches I've only heard about, but around 1,000 people, I think. We hear great teaching and worship which are both led by some very gifted people. We ALL love going to church. When we told our kids we were going to help for a while with a church plant, Abel protested. "You mean I'm not going to get to hear Chad's teaching on Genesis????" I was pretty impressed that my twelve year old cared to hear what the pastor was teaching. And I do not just credit that to the maturity of my son. I give the majority of the credit to our pastor for doing such a great job of making the Scriptures easy to understand while not dumbing it down or stripping them of any depth either.

Besides trying to continue to invite people from our church to our home for dinner and fellowship, I am involved in a small women's Bible study group that meets on Wednesday night. And let me tell you, I LOVE these women. They have become very dear to me. As if that wasn't enough, as I've written before, I became involved in MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) as a mentor this year. And now I LOVE those women too! It's been such a precious honor to spend time with the MOPS ladies. So besides these groups we have many others that we love. I feel like I have grown so much by learning to love such a diverse group of believers!

Our church service ends at around 12:30, from which we rush on to a home fellowship group about 15 minutes back towards home. We've been doing this for almost a year now. I guess you could say this is our "small group" even though they are completely separate from our main church. This is a group of people with whom we share many of the same ideals and convictions. They meet at 12:30 eat and fellowship until another member family arrives at around 3:00 (the husband has to work until that time). During this fellowship time you can usually take your pick of activities. When the weather permits there is usually a game of volleyball going on and sometimes ultimate frisbee. If it's cold there may be games being played by the young people. My favorite part is the spirited discussions that are taking place spontaneously around the house.

When the last family arrives the home church the families are gathered up for a meeting in the living room of the host house, which changes between two different houses from week to week. The worship at is accompanied by a guitar and everyone calls out numbers of the songs they want to sing from the songbooks. Prayer requests are made known and prayed over by all. Several of the men take turns teaching. And the teaching is almost always full of discussion. It is so wonderful to see the kids and young people participate. Many of them sing with gusto, boldly pray and enter in the discussions. After the meeting there is more hang out time and the food is all pulled out again. My kids, well, actually all of us, feel this is a place they comfortably hang out and be themselves. We don't have to be on guard and the kids don't have to be ready to deal with a bunch of junk that is so rampant with other youth groups. It's a place to refuel.

Lastly I will mention our local community, which includes many close and dear family members. It's wonderful when the biggest complaint you have is that you don't see each other enough, even when you just live next door!

When you open your eyes to all of the people to love, you can't help but realize It's a Wonderful Life!

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Bird for the Bird List

I didn't take this picture but I saw this bird today for the first time. Quite a few of them actually. It's not often that I get a chance to see a bird I have never seen before so I was quite excited! And I even had my binoculars thanks to a couple of young men who ran back to the car to get them for me. From the Handbook of Nature Study blog and the book Discover Nature in Winter, I found the idea of looking for colors on a winter nature walk. Well this cedar waxwing sure included quite a few colors!

On Monday afternoons we meet with several other families for nature study and other activities. We meet here at our house or the park or in the gym of a local church. This week we met at the home of one of the families. After playing games and eating crackers and hummus that our hostess graciously served us, we headed out for our nature walk.

So many people shy away from winter time nature study but it's my favorite time to do it. Without all of the green growth of the trees and bushes in the way, it's so much easier to see things. Plus I just get so overloaded in the spring and summer with all there is to see.

I'm really thankful tonight for such a nice afternoon! Thanks especially to our hostess!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Ok, I may actually have a favorite author after all of these years. I don't even remember where I purchased this but it had a little round $3 sticker on the front. I finished this book last night and could not hardly even read a few pages without my pen in hand. I underlined, starred and otherwise marked many passages. And I want to read it again. This is a sign that I really like a book. And this essay confirms that it is not madness for all of you doubters out there.

I'm excited to find that he has written many other books (fiction, essays and poetry) and that the library has many of them but I'm wondering how I could handle reading them without marking them? I have a few of them on hold already at the library as a test for myself. But I may find that I will be forced into purchasing them for myself. If I like them as much as I liked Hannah Coulter, I will try to show restraint and only get a couple at a time. Unless, of course, I score big at the used book store. In which case, I can't make any promises. At least it has the potential of giving my family sure fire ideas for gifts for me over the next couple of years.

I read this little gem of a book over the holidays. I was already doing quite a bit of thinking about giving so this book really put me over the edge with excitement. I have a fresh joy over giving money but also other things. It has set me to pondering where my treasure is... where do I want my treasure stored....and consequently where will my heart be.
Most of my giving has been to my immediate family over the years, and I am glad of it. I have also given some to the homeschool community. But now as my family grows up I find myself with more time on my hands so I am considering how to spend it. I am still needed here at home very much but I do have some time for small opportunites to bless others and I am praying God will open my eyes to the work He would have me do.

The Latest Game Obsession

A few years ago it was Scrabble. Then Nertz. Now this is the new rave around here. We have the habit of playing a game to death until eventually we won't be able to stand it. Even Candace and Michael are in on it since they've been staying with us. We just recently learned how to play Settlers of Catan so maybe that will be next up. We'll see.