Showing posts from 2007

2007 Reading List

It was 43 books this year. A little lower than average, but I think it is because Project365 (Picture a day for 365 days) took much away from my reading time this year!


1. Light from Heaven by Jan Karon

I have closure on the series after reading the first in the series in 1997. I have such fond memories of reading about snow storms in North Carolina while sweating in Malaysia. The series ended well. J

2. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult (Book Babes for February)

I really loved the story and the writing. I was a bit disappointed with the ending though!


3. Marley and Me by John Grogan (Book Babes for March)

It had some delightful parts in it. I am not a big Labrador Retriever fan. If I had a dog, it would be a German Shepherd or a Shetland Sheepdog because I love calm, obedient dogs. (and they were the two kinds we had growing up, and they were fabulous dogs to own). This dog would have driven me insane, but I wouldn’t have even gotten him in the first place. All that…

Mom's Memorial PIcs

My dad used to say, "When God made your mom, He broke the mold." It was hard to me as a young kid to imagine God, literally, up in heaven breaking her mold. I just couldn't conceptualize itSomehow, it seemed like a negative thing to break that mold. It wasn't until I was in high school that it dawned on me what my dad meant by that statement. He meant that my mom was unique and special and there would be no one else like her.

This is my opportunity to share with you about the unique and special person that God made, my mom, Florence Wardrop.

My mom was born on January 14, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois to my grandparents, Axel and Anna Walter, both immigrants from Sweden. They both immigrated as single people and found each other in the Swedish community there. They were married in 1926, and my mom was born shortly after that, followed by my aunt Annie, who died earlier this year, and her sister, Eleanor, who is with us here today. What you may not know about my mom is …

Karakoram Sunrise

Karakoram Sunrise, originally uploaded by dalecottam. From Dalecottam on Flickr.

I am reading a book called Three Cups of Tea, and this is the area where he builds the schools. Isn't this lovely?

My Mermorial To Mom

I thought it would be good to write out what I said at the memorial service.

My dad used to say, "When God made your mom, He broke the mold." It was hard to me as a young kid to imagine God literally up in heaven breaking someone's mold after He made them. Somehow, it seemed like a negative thing to break that mold. It wasn't until I was in high school that it dawned on me what my dad meant by that statement. He meant that my mom was unique and special and there would be no one else like her.

This is my opportunity to share with you about the unique and special person that God made, my mom, Florence Wardrop.

My mom was born on January 14, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois to my grandparents, Axel and Anna Walter, both immigrants from Sweden. They both immigrated as single people and found each other in the Swedish community there. They were married in 1926, and my mom was born shortly after that, followed by my aunt Annie, who died earlier this year, and her sister, Elea…

A Freed-Write

Yes, that is what it says: Freedwrite. I feel released from staying down her anymore. I have been here almost four weeks, and I would love to stay and see mom ushered into heaven, but I think I need to go back to Oregon and be with my family. I feel freed. I feel like she knows that I have been there, and I wish I could stay, but it is time to go. Debbie said that she stayed with her mom as long as she could and she died three days later. It seems inefficient, and this has been so stressful for me to make a decision, but George really thinks I need to go. I don't have a support system here, and I can't see George and the boys driving off back to Oregon without me. It would just be too hard. Too hard for me to see that.

So, we go either tomorrow or the day after. What a journey this November has been for me. I think it will take some time to recover from it all.

Bob Jones Biology to the Rescue!

Since we have said good bye to COOLSchool, we have said HELLO to Bob Jones Biology, and I couldn't be more pleased.

Michael is able to be more independent in his learning. We started in Chapter 5, and he will cover about a chapter a week. I had purchased this for $5 at a used book sale. I did order the Lab Manual, Teacher Edition (with answers to the review questions), and Tests and Answer keys for a total of about $40 more, but that is a small price to pay. (I could have bid for it all on eBay for about 16 dollar a month ago, but I didn't think I could drop the COOLSchool back then, OH WELL!).

He learned about genes and chromosomes today, and we went through the review questions. It is STRAIGHT biology and no POLITICALLY CORRECT articles about the evolutionary origin of life reaction papers. YEAH!

We made a good decision! I think he is going to get excited about biology again and not be dissolved in tears on a weekly basis and think he is dumb because he can't understand ar…

Biology Closure

Yesterday, Michael put together his final assignment for Biology 1.1, and George and I mailed it off in front of Little Caesar's Pizza and documented it as the men working inside watched and wondered what we were doing!

We celebrated with Pizza and Sparkling Cider.


The Well Update

Looking at my areas of growth, here is an update:

Well-watered Soul

It is well with my soul. I feel like I am a deeper season of prayer lately. I love that I pray with all the groups of people that I am involved with. I completed all the Bible studies that I am leading over the summer. So, I am having more time to go back over them in a prayerful, mediative way as I lead them this year.Relationships are good. I felt bad saying "no" to another relationship. I feel compassion for this woman, but "she who has too many friends comes to ruin." (Proverbs 18:4) I will never take for granted that I am blessed with many friends, but while I have room in my heart to love one more, I don't have room in my schedule. :(

The Well-Educated Mind

I feel like I have grown another one of my arms back! I took such a break from this. I read so many UNSATISFYING books last year, including some Christian self-help books and novels; but I am back on track in reading classics! I will proba…

Freewrite on a Sunny Sunday

I just installed this cool washer/dryer timer on my Google Toolbar. So, I will have a timer right here when I do my freewrites. :)

I have a sore throat. I feel great, but I am probably contagious, and I did not want to infect my fellow brothers and sisters at church and in the close quarters of the modular for mediation training today. George is there. The boys are home because NWH had a celebration service at 10 a.m., and we just couldn't drop them off and pick them up for that. So, they sit downstairs. It is just as well as Michael is still coughing, and Paul has a runny nose.

I sit upstairs enjoying the "sunshine on my shoulder" after much rain the last few days. It is supposed to be sunny the rest of the week. So, if my sore throat does not evolve into too heavy of a cold, I hope to go running a couple of days this week. Katrina, Cheryl, and maybe Rachel are going to be starting another FACED loop in the near future. Hopefully tomorrow. Katrina and I both hope to work …

A Malaysian Experience

For the last week, we have been using the 4 Squares book, and it was all about when I was little. So, here is Michael's final story from this week.
A Malaysia Experience

I remember all those years ago when I was only five and Paul was only three, we went to Malaysia, a country in Southeast Asia. We traveled by plane and when we finally arrived after a day of travel, got in a taxi and drove thru the city with the taxi driver jabbering something in Malay. The next thing I remember after that was waking up in a bedroom and it was still dark out. We lived in this one guest house for a while then moved to another guest house near the forest. While we were there we saw interesting Malay forest animals like bats, fireflies, and even monkey, and once I even saw a larg monitor lizard. I was fascinated by it and tried to sneek up on it, but it saw me coming and walked away (very . . .very . . .slowly).

Things got even more interesting when we moved to the big city. In our city house we s…

Poetry Post: Adults on My Side

Michael's Poem:

My mom
A computer, a bible, and a book
Reading, walking, teaching
Nice, outgoing, friendly
Can be silly as a goose
Like a tornado when in a hurry
She is the perfect mom

Paul's Poem:
HP, computer, bicycle
Hunt, fish, solve
Tall, smart, joker
Like a cat that brings home the bacon
Like a setting sun
He's nice, for a dad.

P.S. I have no idea what it means to be a setting sun.

(Mom says: LOL!)

Freewrite on a Wednesday

I have had some email exchanges with the new regional representative area director for our agency today, and I am so impressed with his humility and gentleness. We got dropped from the email loops that have been going around. We didn't know that until I just happened to come across his most recent prayer letter and prayed for he and his family. I dropped him an email to say that I have prayed for them today. This started a series of letters about our involvement. Somehow, he had gotten in his mind that we weren't interested in being involved anymore. He had no idea how much we have done over the last year, and then he felt really bad for maybe communicating that he didn't value what we were doing. , It is true that our involvement is very limited because of our schedules. Anyway, George's comment was, "This is what I love about that people in our mission agency, they are so very humble." I think this is so true. I really like them for this reason.

I realiz…

Schooling Update

Here is a quick update of what is working and what is not for the 2007-2008 school year:


I love her activities that synthesize the material. For example, he has had to create a web page of a "New Zoo" with all five kingdoms and a paper with a cell metaphor (He used a car as the metaphor and got 60/60). I love that! It utilizes his tremendous creative talent with art through computers and challenges him to write, but she requires him to have a knowledge base of the subject where she gives very little material to give him that knowledge base! So, I have a Bob Jone book that we use to look up things. So, why don't I just use the Bob Jones book and grab her activities for synthesis? There is a balance, and I think she tends too much toward the activities having had about fifteen "activities" in only five lessons of work. In addition, the time spent in navigating the out-of-date software and website links is time better spent in learning Biology!

Michael has ab…

Glimpses of God

Before going to see Rebekah on Tuesday, I had this notion to ask her to join me in a practical exercise in "practicing the presence of God." She was all for it, and she termed it "Glimpses of God." I like that!

I saw a glimpse of God in Rebekah's lovely daughter's smile and giggle. We played peek-a-boo, and she warmed up to me. It was fun.

I saw a glimpse of God as I saw Rebekah respond so openly regarding making peace.

I saw a glimpse of God when the very thing that Rebekah and I talked about on Tuesday afternoon was discussed in a Peacemaker email the next morning!

I saw a glimpse of God in the turning of the leaves on the trees and the way the sun hit them just right.

I saw a glimpse of God as I got a "groove" in homeschool and was able to feel the peace and joy of His presence in the midst of the hours of investment in my children's lives.

I saw a glimpse of God in watching The War. I know one see much of man's inhumanity in a war, but one c…

Monday Morning

I woke up with a hot flash at about 5 a.m. this morning. So, I rolled out of bed and went to my first Group Power Class since I fainted and sprained my ankle. It was good. I worked out next to Lisa, and I enjoyed it immensely. I got snubbed by someone there, but I am chosing to "overlook the offense" according to Proverbs 19:11 and just let it go. :)

This is our third full week of schooling, and I think I am finally relaxing! This COOLSchool is not what we expected. I think I will go ahead and evaluate all the things that I wrote about for school when we first started. Let me find that post . . . .

Biology 1.1 -

This is an online COOLSchool class in which the school district pays.

Michael completed the first module, and I just don't like the clunky software that makes you have to reenter your password everytime you enter things. He completed a table and submitted it only to find out that the software made you enter it all again. THANK THE LOR…

Fifteen Months Out

I visited with Michelle today, and I really and truly believe that I am out, out, out of the vortex. I think July and my days of prayer were such a turning point.

It is nice to really believe that I have moved on. :)

Reflections at 5:20 a.m. on a Sunday

Well, I came home from teaching the SHAPE class Spiritual Gifts and Personality Type sections up for the Suburban College Leader's Retreat, and I went to watch the introductory lecture for The Iliad with Vandiver, and I fell FAST asleep. George just came in and said, "Why don't you just go to bed?" I planned on waking up again. So, I attempted to watch it again. Well, I don't know what happened but I ended up in bed with the comforter over me. I slept from 7 p.m. on. and woke up bright-eyed and bushy tailed at about 3 a.m. I slept eight hours and felt ready to get up. (Not to mention I had terrible night sweats). So, here I sit.

It think it went well yesterday. It was hard to do two sections in one day. I like doing them one day at a time and let people stew on it for a while, but I guess it worked OK.

Well, we start another week of school. The Biology class is going well. I like the coursework, but we are at her mercy as far as being able to continue, and s…

Poetry Post: When I Was Little

This is the poetry the kids wrote today from Four Squares: The Personal Writing Coach for Grades 7-9 (ISBN:1573104485)


How happy I must have been
Swinging, pretending, and talking
My stuffed animals by my side
In California or Malaysia
Or safe in my big room
Those were the days


How happy I must have been
Drawing quietly, playing, and pretending
My sketchbook by my side
At Grandma Weaver's house or in Malaysia
Or safe in my cozy, bright room
Those were the days

Week 2

It is going well at The Well. Hey, maybe that should be our school's name! "The Well" Homeschool.

Today was awesome. The boys did some poetry in their 4 Squares Book today, and the frame that 4 Square used didn't rhyme. They said, "How can it be poetry if it doesn't rhyme"? I assured them that much of modern poetry does not rhyme, but they were not convinced. So, I pulled out my secret weapon . . . .


I knew they would listen to an expert. So, we had a very nice email exchange back and forth with her about poetry, and she sent us some very nice poetry that she just happened to be copying for her class that she will be teaching! So, we read them during school. It was awesome to have an EXPERT to send an SOS to in the middle of the homeschool day. Thanks Susanne!

Today was more DELIGHTFUL. I think I was just a bit stressed out about all the extra work because of the classes that Michael is taking, but we made it delight-directed, and we even stopped a…

The New Academic Year

WHEW! Last week was a whirlwind of academics and getting off the ground for the new school year.

I found my previous blog:

I had lost it when there was a big glitch with blospot in 2004. So, I started this one, but somehow, I accidently found it in August; and as I have been reading it, I realize how I miss those days when the kids were younger and the exploration was so fun.

This week it has been as fun, but I want to regain that even though the academics are a bit more rigorous. I still want to have that "delight-directed" heart of a homeschooler while also challenging and pressing forward in things that will prepare my kids for the real world.

Lord, I don't want them to lose that love of learning! Please give me that balance!

With all that said, I am sure loving learning these days. :) Michael hit high school, and we are ALL involved with a Classical Literature class directed by

Here is what we are …

Vacation Time

I have had great vacation seeing many fun people. I have been able to connect with my cousin Arlene, Liz Boggs, and Betty. I brought them all over to Sterling to spend time with mom, and I think it has raised her spirits considerably to have so many visitors in one week.

We have also seen Susanne for Shakespeare and the zoo (with her kids). We had lunch with Jerome and Terri and a Becoming Jane with Terri and her daughter, Bethany. We also went to the lake for skiing, wake boarding and intertubing with Chris, Holly, and Mitchell.

The highlight was getting to see Bill while George and the boys were at the Science Center. I am sorry that Bill didn't get to see them though, but I liked the one-on-one time.

Today we see Debbie and Jenna and maybe Hayley after she comes home from school. So, we have seen a ton of people, and it has all been very good.

We leave tomorrow morning for my high school reunion. I will see many old friends and faces. It should be really nice to see them all.


Tomorrow is my last day of my summer projects

I got through my reading list with no problem! YEAH! I will read The Hound of the Baskervilles on the way down to Southern California.

I also got through the whole pantry today and will finish the dishes/miscellaneous cupboards tomorrow. I might have a couple drawers too. That is it for project!


I am also doing really well with my physical goals! I am in good shape. The addition of Pilates to my Group Power and Cardio has really helped my shoulder.

I have also about finished Genesis. I just have 3 1/2 lessons of Isaac/Jacob/Esau. I hope to do this while I am on vacation. Meditation and prayer has been sweet.

It has been a great summer. I have really liked most everything about it. :)

2006 Book List

2006 Book List


1. Dinner with a Perfect Stranger by David Gregory

This is the novella written by my neighbor. It took me 88 minutes to read (only 102 pages), but it is an interesting book about a man who has a dinner with Jesus. Novel (get it?) idea. It is fun to know him and hope to dialogue with him about the book.


2. Eleanor, written and illustrated by Barbara Cooney (Kids)

I am just going to include my kids’ lists on my list too. I used to keep a separate list, but it is too much of a hassle. This book is so sweet. I loved the illustrations and tells a poignant story about Eleanor Roosevelt’s early life. Made me cry, but does that surprise

3. Eleanor Everywhere: the Life of Eleanor Roosevelt by Monica Kulling illustrated by Cliff Spohn (Kids)

This was much more detailed and filled in many of the holes from the first book we read. I didn’t realize that Teddy Roosevelt was her uncle, and that she (not her distant cousin and husband FDR) was the one more directly rela…