25 December 2009

24 December 2009

Love Came Down

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us...

 


23 December 2009

21 Years!

21 years ago I stood before my parents, friends, and God and vowed to love this wonderful young man for the rest of our lives.

I love you, BP ~ even more today than I did that day.

Here's to another 21 years together.

And another 21 after that!

Lest we forget what is really all about:

 

21 December 2009

In the Advent Box this week

Here are our special activities for these last days of Advent:

  • Sunday ~ light the candle of LOVE

  • Monday ~ put up the tree

  • Tuesday ~ spend the day with Gram & Gramps

  • Wednesday ~ final day of baking

  • Thursday ~ Christmas Eve ~I am hoping for a peaceful meditative day; we'll see ~ We will have shepherds pie for supper then we will go to my oldest daughter's apartment for some sweet treats then to a midnight mass then home to light the CHRIST CANDLE and read the Christmas story from the Bible.

Bleak Midwinter

 It is the first day of winter (in the northern hemisphere). 
That makes today, the darkest day of the year.

 




Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying,

"I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."
~John 8:12

" I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness."
~John 12:46

20 December 2009

Come to my heart, LORD Jesus!






Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown,
  When Thou camest to earth for me;
But in Bethlehem's home was there found no room
  For Thy holy nativity:

    Oh, come to my heart, Lord Jesus!
    There is room in my heart for Thee;
    Oh, come to my heart, Lord Jesus, come,
      There is room in my heart for Thee.

Heaven's arches rang when the angels sang,
  Proclaiming Thy royal degree;
But of lowly birth cam'st Thou, Lord, on earth,
  And in great humility:

The foxes found rest, and the birds had their nest
  In the shade of the forest tree;
But Thy couch was the sod, O Thou Son of God,
  In the deserts of Galilee:

Thou camest, O Lord, with the living Word
  That should set Thy people free;
But with mocking scorn, and with crown of thorn,
  They bore Thee to Calvary:

    Oh, come to my heart, Lord Jesus!
    Thy cross is my only plea;
    Oh, come to my heart, Lord Jesus, come,
    Thy cross is my only plea.

When heaven's arches shall ring, and her choirsshall sing
  At Thy coming to victory,
Let Thy voice call me up, saying, "Yet there is room,
  There is room at My side for thee!"

    And my heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus!
    When Thou comest and callest for me;
    And my heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus!
      When Thou comest and callest for me.

Words: Emily Elliott, 1864.
Music: Timothy Matthews, 1876.

13 December 2009

Keeping Advent ~ Plans for Week 3

Since this is the week of JOY, we will be doing activities that will bring JOY to us and others:

06 December 2009

Keeping Advent ~ Plans for Week 2

Here is what my children will find in the Advent box each day this week:

  • Sunday ~ light the candle of PEACE

  • Monday ~ we'll begin reading Bartholomew's Passage

  • Tuesday ~ tonight we'll watch A Charlie Brown Christmas

  • Wednesday ~ let's make some paper snowflakes

  • Thursday ~ write notes to grandparents

  • Friday ~ let's hang our Advent lights

  • Saturday ~ we'll go to the Old Town Holiday Stroll (a street fair in our town)

04 December 2009

Saint Nicholas Day

We don't really do santa claus, and for my children that has never been a big deal.
Jesus is real; santa isn't.
Saint Nicholas was a real man who lived, loved and obeyed God, died and is in heaven.  You can read all about him here.  We honour him because he exemplifies the spirit of Christ-like giving that we focus on during this season, and we want to follow his example.


Like Annie at Learning As We Go we participate in Operation Christmas Child
We also give to The Salvation Army, and this year we will be taking part in Operation Blue Santa, because Frap's workplace is involved with that.
Like Amy at Splendor in the Ordinary we give chocolate coins and tangerines (and candy canes).
Like Kerry at A Ten O'Clock Scholar we have a special breakfast.
Ours is a mini preview of our Christmas brunch tradition.
We read  The Legend of the Christmas Stocking (which we own) and any other appropriate books I happen to find at the library.

We also have a family tradition of decorating and hanging new stockings every year on the 5th of December to open on St. Nicholas morning. 

I tell the story of how that began in a separate post.  If you are interested, you can read it here.

Our Family's Stocking Tradition

Here is the story of how our tradition of decorating new stockings every year came about.

I dreamed of knitting beautiful stockings for my husband and I and all of our children.

Our first child was born in August, 1990 in Seattle.  Her Grandma in Texas sent her a
pink Baby's 1st Christmas Stocking
that year.  We hung it up along with my childhood stocking and one I purchased for my husband two yeas before when we got married.  The following Christmas I was pregnant with baby #2; I had been given someone's old sewing machine, and I had bought some beautiful red pinwale corduroy.  I sewed new stockings for four.  Two years later I added another red corduroy stocking for our third daughter; although it was never quite finished.  Still, it served its purpose.  Two more years ~ one more daughter ~ third daughter's stocking still not quite finished ~ can't find any more red pinwale corduroy.  Not to worry; fourth daughter used pink Baby's 1st Christmas Stocking, and I had another year to work it out.  Then...

We move halfway across the country ~ without the sewing machine.  I have another baby on the last day of November ~ a boy!  My parents come from Seattle to meet their new grandson, but won't be staying all the way till Christmas.  We decide to celebrate with them on Saint Nicholas Day instead.  Now we need 9 stockings, so we buy those cheapy red felt ones from the dollar store and decorate them with glitter glue.  Of course, the next year all of the children are a year older and don't like their childish decorations from the previous year, so they beg to do new ones, and...

Voila'! A family tradition is born.

I still have dreams of knitting beautiful stockings for each of them.

02 December 2009

WeblinkWednesday ~ Advent Links


  • Our daily Advent practice includes a Scripture reading, a devotional reading, a seasonal read aloud (or two), a seasonal activity (craft, cooking, destination, etc.), and of course music.  Someone has put all of these things together in one place online at  A Christian Christmas Advent Calendar .



30 November 2009

Twelve Years Ago...

We welcomed our first son into our lives.  We had chosen his name when we were still engaged ~ a full decade and four daughters before that November night in 1997.  It was like finally meeting someone we had been waiting all those years to see.


Now...
He looks like his daddy ~ he always has ~ except his curls are blonde ~ for now ~ I always wanted a boy with blonde curls and big blue eyes.
He is almost as tall as me, and his feet are bigger than mine.
His voice is beginning to sound a little less like his sisters' and younger brother's.
He builds robots, and mows the lawn, and serves as an usher, and helps teach children's Bible class, and is the senior puppeteer on the team...
He is growing into a young man ~ right before my very eyes.
I couldn't be any more blessed...
or proud.

Happy Birthday, J~Man!

29 November 2009

Keeping Advent ~ Plans for week 1

Our Advent calendar this year is a small round papier mache' box I bought at stuff*mart for 67 cents and painted purple.  It will sit in the center of our Advent wreath for the next 26 days.  Each day during our morning time one of the children will open it to reveal that day's scripture passage and a special activity.

Here are this week's activities:


  • Sunday ~ Light the first Advent candle: HOPE

  • Monday ~ Celebrate J~Man's birthday

  • Tuesday ~ Watch A Charlie Brown Christmas oops! wrong Tuesday! & have a C.B. Thanksgiving feast (popcorn, toast, pretzels, and jelly beans)

  • Wednesday ~ Take a walk under the full moon & come home to hot chocolate

  • Thursday ~ still to be decided, probably a craft of some sort

  • Friday ~ Journey to Bethlehem (at a local church)

  • Saturday ~ Saint Nicholas Eve (I will post more later about this)


We will also be reading an Advent book which I found at Half Price Books last month:  Do You See What I See? A Devotional Seek-and-Find Book for Advent.

28 November 2009

Keeping Advent ~ What's Missing?

Thanksgiving is over and Christmas begins, right? 
Wait! What about Advent?  

What is Advent?

  •  from Latin Adventus which means "coming": a season of preparation and anticipation of Jesus' coming...to the manger at His nativity, in the clouds at His returning, and into our hearts at this time


Perhaps the most important thing for me (a baptist girl with liturgical longings) in trying to keep Advent is making a conscious effort to postpone Christmas.  I must admit that when I first began doing Advent it was more as a way to prolong Christmas.  This shift from "doing" to "keeping" and from "prolonging" to "postponing" has been slow but significant.  I started out adding things to our late November/December season: a St. Nicholas Day celebration, an Advent calendar, an Advent wreath, but over the past couple of years my focus has changed.  I have begun to remove things from this time of year.  What things?


  • Christmas decorations ~ we wait to trim the tree until the 23rd (our wedding anniversary) or Christmas Eve (I would actually like to do it Christmas morning, but that is too weird for the rest of my family)

  • Christmas music ~ I have loved discovering the difference between Advent and Christmas music

  • Christmas Activities ~ not all of them, of course, but I have become much more deliberate and selective with how we spend our time both outside and inside of home

  • Christmas Shopping ~ nothing like crowds and commercialism to steal my peace; I am not a Scrooge, but I do try to give small, handmade or thrifted, and thoughtful


So, what have we gained in our giving up?  Much as during a fast from food, I find that I am able to direct my time and my energy toward God, meditating on His word and His love.  This putting-off rather than dragging-out of Christmas means that we are less likely to become weary of it all and thereby lose the meaning in the mania.

There is much more I would like to say, and I hope to do several additional Advent posts.  This is probably my favourite time of year!
  I will end with a new-to-me-this-year link: Rediscovering Advent.


Of Course, don't miss the rest of the Carnival!

Thank you, Kerry!

Thankful Saturday


"Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over all.
Wealth and honor come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.
Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name."

~1 Chronicles 29:11-13~

27 November 2009

Thankful Friday ~ little(ish) things

I am thankful for:


  • my kitchen table

  • my dishwasher

  • Longhorn victories

  • children who will talk to me

  • children's friends who like to hang out at my house

  • a couch for a friend to sleep on

  • the blogworld

  • pumpkin pie

  • apple pie

  • pillows

  • stretching


26 November 2009

Thankful Thursday ~ Happy Thanksgiving!

  Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
Serve the LORD with gladness:
come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the LORD he is God:
it is he that hath made us,
and not we ourselves;
we are his people,
and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
and into his courts with praise:
be thankful unto him,
and bless his name.
For the LORD is good;
his mercy is everlasting;
and his truth endureth to all generations.

~Psalm 100~








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Enjoy your feast and your family!

25 November 2009

Thankful Wednesday ~

This isn't the post that I thought I would be writing.  Something traumatic happened tonight that truly has me thanking God with almost every breath.  One of my daughters was attacked.  She is okay, but it could have been so much worse.

Thank you, God, for being with my children and watching over them and protecting them all of the time.  I know that you created them and that you love them even more than I do.  I am so grateful that you spared ____ tonight from any further harm.  Thank You!  Thank You!  Thank You!

24 November 2009

Thankful Tuesday ~ 10 years with Lulapalooza

LORD, thank you for this wonderful boy you blessed me with 10 years ago!  I Thank you for his easy-going personality and his Snoopy-like laugh.  I thank you for his desire to play games with me or cuddle with me on the couch.  I thank You for his quiet, calm, contemplative side as well as his exuberant, jumping-up-and-down, living-every-moment-to-its-fullest side. 

I pray that he will grow in wisdom and stature and in favour with You and with men.  I pray that he will hunger and thirst for righteousness, and that he will be a man after Your own heart.  Bless him and keep him and cause Your face to shine upon him and be gracious unto him, O LORD.

And please help me to be the mama that he needs each and every day and never to forget what a blessing he is.


 

23 November 2009

Thankful Monday ~ Counting My Blessings

I thought that counting my blessings would be a most appropriate way to start this Thanksgiving week.






I truly am blessed with a wonderful husband and seven beautiful children.






And I have so very much
in my life to be grateful for; we are all healthy; my husband has a job, and we have a comfortable home and enough food to eat.






Most importantly, I have a God who forgives all my iniquities...redeems my life from destruction and crowns me with lovingkindness and mercies...{Psalm 103}

21 November 2009

Project Christmas ~ final week before Advent



I got the candles for our Advent wreath ~ and at 50% off!


Plans for the upcoming week:

  • Sunday: The Operation Christmas Child boxes are filled and will be collected at church.
  • Monday: grocery shopping & clean, clean, clean
  • Tuesday: Lulapalooza's 10th Birthday!
  • Wednesday: birthday party with his friends
  • Thursday: Thanksgiving Day: cook, watch the parade, eat, watch the Longhorns beat the Aggies
  • Friday & Saturday: final Advent preparations


20 November 2009

This Week in the Olive Grove

Well, our formal academic studies are over for the year.



  • We finished reading aloud The Struggle for Sea Power, Dr. Dolittle, and Just So Stories.

  • The boys finished their assigned silent readings for literature, history, science, and nature.

  • We got our last spelling words for the year into our notebooks.



After I finished reading the last history chapter I asked each of the younger three to share some things that they remembered learning this year.  I gave them each three spelling words bee-style, and three mental math problems.  Then I said, "Congratulations, you have just been promoted!"  This was followed by many high-fives until I made them stop, because they were hurting my hand!

J~Man has his first LEGO-Robotics competition tomorrow.

Now it is on to the boys' birthdays, Thanksgiving, Advent, our wedding anniversary, and Christmas.

Of course, the learning doesn't stop: there will be plenty of reading ~ aloud and silent, poetry, music, art and handicrafts that go with the season.

Keeping Advent


Advent begins on 29 November this year.  That is in only nine days. 
Here are a few links to help prepare for this season of preparation:



at O Night Divine


at A Ten O'Clock Scholar

and check this out...





at Advent Conspiracy

15 November 2009

For the Beauty of the Earth

I absolutely love this poem/hymn!

I love the traditional tune by Conrad Cocher;






but John Rutter's choral composition is wonderful as well.






We will be learning this this week.

13 November 2009

Project Christmas: Week 10


Wow, only two weeks before Advent begins and 40 days until Christmas Eve!

Here is what yet needs to be done:
fill Operation Christmas Child boxes
turn in CBD order
make Advent calendar

buy Advent candles (yes, I forgot! again)
get rosemary tree
sign, address, and mail cards
buy stockings
(we get new felt ones every year and decorate them for St. Nicholas Day)
get supplies for ornaments
make a decision about a tree
plan for family picture
continue decluttering and organizing in preparation for decorating

This Week in the Olive Grove

This Week:

  • We finished memorizing our verses from Psalm 139.

  • We finished reading Now We Are Six.

  • Lulapalooza finished his Bible Reader.

  • Toodles finished her Bible Reader and Flower Fairies of the Autumn.


  Next Week:

  • We have 2 stories left in Just So Stories.

  • We have 1 chapter to go in The Story of Dr. Dolittle.

  • We have 8 more readings in The Struggle for Sea Power.

  • J~Man has one more chapter to read in Men of Science; Men of God

  • Lulapalooza will finish reading A Picnic on the Island for literature and Snakes and Stars for nature.

  • They will each have one more spelling list.


Then we are finished with formal academics for the year.

The Extras:


  • J~Man and his partner completed their robot for the upcoming LEGO-Robotics competition.

  • Sgt. Elf bought a bunny.

  • Toodles helped me prepare 20 boxes for Operation Christmas Child.

  • Lulapalooza finalized plans for his birthday next week.


17 October 2009

This Week in the Olive Grove

I am always amazed when God works things out ~ even though I shouldn't be!  October 5-9 was a planned academic break week, which worked out very well since we spent most of it in the hospital.  So this week we were back in the swing of things without having to play catch-up, and we had a great week.


  • we started reading The Story of Dr. Dolittle and Just So Stories for literature

  • Now We Are Six for poetry

  • and The Struggle for Sea Power in our world history series

  • we memorized the first four verses of Psalm 139

  • I got my supplies organized enough that the kids could draw and play with modeling clay while I did our history and literature read alouds; they were quite excited about that.

  • on Friday we did a little geography block with a story from Africa out of Folktales from Ecosystems Around the World, some songs from Africa from Wee Sing Around the World, and an African-inspired craft from Global Art.  The kids really enjoyed this ~ even the too cool 11yo boy!


I like the rhythm we have found to our autumn days, and the kids seem to as well.  They are playing together outside a lot, working on lots of creative projects inside, and even the 13yo manages to show up when we do read alouds (something from which she could not wait to be excused a year ago).

08 October 2009

Thankful Thursday ~ the flu/pneumonia edition

Last Thursday Sgt. Elf was healthy.  Her younger siblings had "chest colds", and I was starting to feel one coming on.  Friday it was her turn, and by Saturday night she was in ICU at Children's Hospital with a partially collapsed lung.  Yesterday she got to come home.

I am very thankful for:


  • my wonderful husband who insisted on taking her in (I didn't realize how sick she was, since I was spending most of my time in bed myself.)

  • countless prayer warriors ~ many of whom did not even know us

  • emergency rooms

  • ambulance drivers

  • Children's Hospital

  • ICU

  • doctors

  • nurses

  • respiratory therapists

  • physical therapists

  • medical technology

  • insurance to pay for it

  • friends who brought the rest of my family food

  • 13-year-old lungs that are working again


For I know the thoughts that I think toward you says the LORD. 
Thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

~Jeremiah 29:11

30 September 2009

What my daughter did on her summer vacation!


While Frap was in Colorado she went four-wheeling with her Gramps who has built his own four-wheeler.

This video is him.  She was not in the car, just watching from the sidelines:






He was fine, by the way.

Wednesday Word Art: Autumn

I had fun making this!


Wordle: Autumn
click the image to see it larger and visit the site where I made it

28 September 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook


FOR TODAY
28 September, 2009...

Outside my window...
a bright, sunny start to another hot day

I am thinking...
how much I enjoyed the cool days last week and how I look forward to the lower temperatures returning and how I am hoping for a nice cool fall after a long, extremely hot Texas summer

I am thankful...
that Frap is coming home tonight ~ she has been in Colorado for two weeks and I miss her

From the learning rooms...
a light load this week as we are winding down our year ~ Morning Time, some spelling, and a few silent readings

From the kitchen...
the smell cinnamon toast

I am wearing...
denim shorts and a navy blue tee

I am creating...
lists and plans for Autumn, Advent, and Christmas

I am going...
nowhere until I leave for the airport tonight

I am reading...
Hind's Feet on High Places
The Magician's Nephew
Elizabeth Barrett Browning


I am hoping...
to smile and hug more than I grumble and yell

I am hearing...
Lulapalooza and Toodles singing made-up nonsense songs

Around the house...
we are having a lazy morning, but all but O Special One are up and at 'em now ~ the main part of the house is fairly tidy (for us) ~ the younger ones are finishing up their morning things, and then we will gather for our Morning Time readings


One of my favorite things...
days at home

A few plans for the rest of the week:
a 50c. movie for dad and kids at the discount theatre tonight
coffee with a friend on Tuesday
go with O Special One to check out a riding stable for jumping lessons Tuesday evening
introduce Eugene Field & Grandma Moses
finish decluttering & organizing the downstairs kitchen~living spaces
a special autumn craft and treat on Friday
a special TeaTime with Frap

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
I found this photo at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
we do not get much autumn colour around here



27 September 2009

Project Christmas: Week 3








Continued from last week:

  • Make list of activities & enter those that are date-specific on calendar.  DONE!



  • Decide on Advent devotional focus and calendar design


~ almost done


  • Make card list 

  • Choose ornament design 


New for this week:

  • Make gift list

  • Get Advent Candles


~ I tend to wait too late to do this and have a difficult time finding  any
Ongoing:  A major fall cleaning/decluttering!





24 September 2009

Project Christmas ~ Update








Weeks One & Two:




  • Make calendar template (this week through Epiphany week)


DONE!

  • Make list of activities & enter those that are date-specific on calendar


~ still working on this one

  • Decide on Advent devotional focus and calendar design


~ still working on this one

  • Make card list 


~ haven't started this yet


  • Choose ornament design 


~ haven't started this yet

  • Sort through last year’s Advent & Christmas things 


DONE!



14 September 2009

Project Christmas








WEEK ONE:




  • Make calendar template (this week through Epiphany week)

  • Make list of activities ~ enter those that are date-specific on calendar

  • Decide on Advent devotional focus and calendar design

  • Make card list

  • Choose ornament design

  • Sort through last year’s Advent & Christmas things





I'm here!

I don't think that anybody actually reads my blog, but just in case...

My summer of nannying has come to an end.  I will miss taking care of L. and visiting with K., but I am so glad to be a (mostly) stay-at-home-mama again!

We have another nine or ten weeks of studies left, and then we are finished with this year's school!

Belinda is looking toward Christmas, and so am I.  I am hoping to post my own project list later today or tomorrow.

I am also doing a major de-clutter at home.

We have had grey skies and even some rain here, so it is finally beginning to look like fall; although, with temperatures in the 70s and 80s it still doesn't quite feel like it to me.  The 100+degree days seem to have come to an end, and for that I am grateful.  Autumn is my favourite time of the year, and I am feeling energized.

And, on that note, my three younger children are finishing their morning things, so I had better go and get myself ready for our morning time readings.

04 June 2009

25 Things

I shamelessly stole this idea from the Dominion Family Blog.

Here are 25 things that I have been doing of late:


  1. reading more about unschooling (and arguing with myself)

  2. re-arranging the furniture

  3. walking in the mornings

  4. watching L. four days a week

  5. daydream-gardening

  6. praying

  7. trying to love my husband better

  8. driving Frap to work

  9. driving Frap home from work

  10. feeling frustrated with myself that I still haven't finished reading aloud The Silver Chair

  11. enjoying reading Edward Lear's Nonsense with the younger kids

  12. feeling pleased with myself for keeping up with the reading aloud of Beatrix Potter, A. A. Milne, Howard Pyle, and M. B. Synge

  13. neglecting Brahms

  14. completely ignoring Cassatt

  15. watching a pair of Barn Swallows

  16. memorizing Psalm 8 with the kids

  17. wondering if we might just be able to take some sort of actual family vacation this year

  18. and if we can afford to

  19. and if so ~ where?

  20. watching So You Think You Can Dance

  21. trying not to kill my ferns

  22. head-blogging

  23. tweaking our schedule/routine now that we are watching L.

  24. enjoying the summer break from classes: the kids' gymnastics, dance, and robotics, and my Children's Bible Classes at church

  25. trying to save as much of the money I am making watching L. as I can


So, what have you been up to?

28 May 2009

In which I make the sound of a contented sigh...


  • the checkbook is balanced

  • the bills are paid

  • the groceries are purchased and put away

  • a load of dishes is drying

  • a load of towels is washing

  • the tea is steeping in my favourite mug

  • I am home for the next four days



23 May 2009

Busy...busy...busy...

and just when I thought things were going to settle down and I could start being a real home-body again life got even busier!

A friend at church, K, is pregnant with baby #2.  Baby #1, L, (who is now a toddler) was born prematurely at 28 weeks .  K. is on complete bed-rest in hopes that little brother/sister will wait until due-date in late September.  Her mother-in-law is able to come over one day during the week to help, and some of the other ladies at church will be helping out occasionally.  For the most part, three or four days a week now, I load up my youngers with their books and other tid-bits at eight o'clock in the morning and go take care of L. and fix lunch for K. and maybe do a bit of (very) light housekeeping until about 6 p.m. when her husband finishes work.  Then we fight traffic (ugh!) home, eat supper, and try to get some of our own housework done. 

I really am glad that I am able to be a help to them at this time, and they are paying me which is a real blessing for us at a time when we truly need some additional income (I have been dreading the idea of having to get a part-time job!)

L. takes nice long naps, so we are able to get a good amount of our reading done then, and that is pretty much our formal academics.  Today's Latin Proverb of the Day was "Optimus magister bonus liber."  In English: The best teacher is a good book.  I guess that will be our motto this summer.

Some of this week's favourite teachers were:


  • The Complete Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear

  • The Discovery of New Worlds by M. B. Synge

  • The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis

  • The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-pan by Beatrix Potter

  • Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne

  • The Wonderclock by Howard Pyle

  • Flower Fairies of the Garden by Cicely Mary Barker

  • The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald

  • Young Edgar Allan Poe by Laura Benet

  • Red by Ted Dekker


We had fairly cool mornings this week, so we took L. for walks.  We explored a marshy area in their neighbourhood and were treated to seeing four herons (we think) take flight.  We also saw a pair of red-winged blackbirds and a few different butterflies.  We saw cat-tails, mexican hat, texas thistle, indian blanket, and sunflowers.

So, yes, it has been a busy but enjoyable week.

13 April 2009

Well Worth Reading

One of my very first blog-friends was Tonia; her blog continues to be a favourite read for me.

Today she is the featured mama over at The Flourishing Mother's Mama Monday post

Here is a taste of the wisdom she shares in her interview:

"you should be asking yourself what kind of life do you want to have in five years, ten years, twenty years?
...then live that life now. don't wait for someday when the house is clean or you are less tired or you quit working or your husband gets a raise. search out the ways you can live the life you want right now."

Do go read it; won't you?

10 April 2009

Amazing Love

How can it be~

that You, my King, would die for me?



He is despised and rejected of men;
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief:
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.
Surely He hath borne our griefs,
and carried our sorrows:
Yet we did esteem Him stricken,
smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities:
The chastisement of our peace was upon Him;
And with His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned every one to his own way;
And the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and He was afflicted,
yet He opened not His mouth:
He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb,
so He openeth not His mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment:
And who shall declare His generation?
For He was cut off out of the land of the living:
For the transgression of My people was He stricken.
And He made His grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in His death;
Because He had no violence,
neither was any deceit in His mouth.
Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;
He hath put Him to grief.


but [He]made Himself of no reputation,
taking the form of a bond-servant,
and coming in the likeness of men.
And being found in appearance as a man,
He humbled Himself
and become obedient to the point of death,
even the death of the cross.

09 April 2009

Nature Notes

April is the height of wildflower season  here in central Texas. 
Here is what we have noticed blooming this week:

27 March 2009

Five Senses Friday


  • sight





    • pink: sugar cookies, lemonade and potted mums on Toodles' birthday tea table

    • a clean house: a surprise from Tibby, her beau ~ Mr.Matt, and the four youngest!

    • a beautiful young mourning dove in a shrub in our front garden; it's wings were almost golden coloured




  • smell




    • cinnamon bread: it was supposed to be pancake batter but it turned itself into a ball of dough, so i kneaded it, patted it out, and baked it on my pizza stone

    • rain




  • sound





    • the song of a young mourning dove in our front garden

    • Bach

    • hail




  • taste




  • touch




    • my husband: holding my hand at the movies on our date

    • cooler temperatures



read more at abby try again

23 March 2009

Happy Birthday, Toodles!

I hope you had a good day.  I am so glad that you were born seven years ago today, and I am thrilled that I get to be your mama.  You truly are my spring baby.  You are butterflies and flowers and fairies.  I like it that you still don't mind being my "little girl."  So, enjoy your Polly Pocket and your paints; tomorrow we will read one of the Flower Fairy stories together.

I love you!

21 March 2009

Nature Notes


After last week's rain (thank You!) and this week's sun spring has most certainly sprung here in Central Texas.




In the yard:




  • The red-tipped photinia are ablaze



  • The lantana, crape myrtles, lavender, and plum tree are covered with bright green new growth



  • The shrub roses are full and green, too, and even display a few pale pink flowers



  • The peach tree has buds



  • We have some tiny white wildflowers which I think may be redroot



 


In the windowsill:



 


At the feeders:




  • Mostly finches and sparrows



 


Along the roadside:


20 March 2009

Five Senses Friday


This idea originated here


The idea is to record sensory highlights of the week.  I thought that I would give it a go. 




Sight:




  • Bluebonnets



  • Funky art/decor in the garden/ patio of a downtown coffee shop/bar with Frap & friends on her birthday



  • Kids herding dogs through the house and back into the yard after the gate was left open ~ twice, three, four times (apparently, they have actually figured out how to open the gate themselves) five, six times! [apparently, there was a loose board in the fence ~ now repaired.]



 


Smell:




  • Books



  • Huckleberry tea



  • Chuy’s food when I pick up Frap from work



 


Sound:




  • A houseful of teenagers



  • Sgt. Elf teaching herself to play the guitar



  • My kids in the car singing along with Dean Martin on “That’s Amore”



 


Taste:




  • The latte my husband makes especially for me on Sunday after worship



  • Chocolate raspberry cheesecake which my daughter made for her birthday



  • Vegan pita pizza



 


Touch:




  • The nuzzle of the dogs in the morning when I go out to feed them



  • Washing dishes



  • Cold, crisp air in the rink while ice-skating with Lulapalooza


18 March 2009

Bluebonnets



photo from Stock.XCHNG

Learn more about bluebonnets (and Texas history) here.

good wildflower info & photo sites:
here & here