Friday, December 19, 2008

Bits and Pieces


I slept last night from about 10:00 - 12:45. Then, I was up until about 5 a.m. and slept until 10:00 a.m. As I fell asleep the snow was gently falling in the morning darkness. I woke up to a beautiful blanket and had to go and shoot pictures this day. The boys replenished their snowmen while I snapped.

I was behind. I still needed to get Jenna and Hayley's gifts to them, and I just hadn't gotten around to it. I think the loss of my mom has hit me harder this Christmas than last. Last Christmas was a blur since she died on December 7. So, I have struggled more, grieved more deeply, felt less confident. In fact, someone made a joking comment about me to a room full of people, and I was embarrassed, and it hit me hard today. I cried inside as the butt of his joke.

I called my aunt and uncle in Tucson. It was nice. It is a link to my mom. They are the only ones left of my parents' age. Passage of time. So strange. I could not think of a gift for them. I wanted to give to Linn-Benton County Food Share, and I told them I was thinking about doing that in lieu of their gift this year, and they were delighted. They thought this was much better. You know how many years I have wanted to suggest we do that instead of exchanging gifts every year? I have always been too afraid to approach the subject. Silly me.

After this, I got my Christmas cards ready for the family and pictures printed for the Christmas card to Rita in Malaysia. That has been burdening me since I left there in August and promised to send her pictures. George drove me to Starbuck's for Jenna and Hayley's gift, and we got these and the cards in the mail. I love closure.

Still crying in the car with him. I'm grieving. I did lose a brother too. Jean says I get a double pass, right? Hard but also a good year.

Then, we worked out and lifted weights, and I got a hit of FOXNews. I won't pay for it, but it is a nice plus to working out at Timberhill.

I did feel so much better after a workout. Endorphins were released.

Then, we went to Fred Meyer to stock up for our through Christmas food. I also have closure because I bought George's gift. George chatted with all sorts of people in the store, and I ran into Melissa; sweet SCC college gal.

George made me a plate of nachos, and I am going to wrap gifts tonight while the boys have Boys' Group if anyone shows up with this snow.

Book Club and Ginny and Lorraine were canceled for tomorrow because of snow. So, I have another day at home. I need to focus and trust that this grief will wash away someday.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The One Year Anniversary

Today is the one year anniversary of my mom's passage into heaven. I couldn't sleep last night and was up at the time she passed and prayed. Some people say I have been through a bunch this year, but it doesn't necessarily feel like it has been horrible. Many life changes and stresses, but He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is my rock, and it is to Him I cling.

On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Free Day

I decided to cancel school today. It is the day before Thanksgiving, and the kids are very "on track" school-wise. There are some things they could work on, but it is better to work on them closer to the due date so the material is fresh in their minds. Yes, they could have gotten one more lesson done in math and science, but we are not doing as many plays and field trips this year. So, I am sure they are going to finish their lessons in time. :) They were overjoyed, and I am glad to have a down day after a full fall.

I am amazed at the many answers to prayer these past few weeks. I have asked for confirmations lately, and He has answered and made some things so abundantly clear. I am so grateful.

I have taken a break from Rousseau the last few days. Somehow Rousseau and Thanksgiving just don't seem to go together.

There is so much more in my heart, but the things that I had on my heart when I started are best just left to a conversation with My king. Off I go.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Contemplating God Himself

"I should pause here for a brief while to contemplate God himself, to
consider his attributes and to contemplate and adore the beauty of this immense
light insofar as the eye of my darkened mind can tolerate it. Just as we believe
by faith that the greatest happiness of the next life consists simply in the
contemplation of this divine majesty, likewise we experience that we derive the
greatest joy of which we are capable in this life from the same contemplation,
even though it is much less perfect." --
Rene Descartes, Third Mediation on the Existence of God, p. 43

I read this tonight, and it touched me deeply.

Contemplating God himself tonight. If I am going to have insomina, I can't think of a better occupation!

Also thinking of all those friends who have reasoned away their God. That, too, still touches me deeply. I still grieve.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Learning American History

As I type, we are listening to From Colonies to Country in the excellent, award-winning Joy Hakim series, The History of US. Our library has every book of this ten book series on audio cassette except this one, and it must be between publications because used copies are selling on Amazon for $153! My library is so good that they got if for me through Interlibrary Loan from a library in Hennepin Country, MN!
I absolutely LOVE this Hakim series. It is supposedly geared toward 9-12 year olds, but this 49 year old is getting so much out of it! It augments my reading John Adams by McCullough and watching the HBO mini-series by the same name.
Hakim weaves biographical sketches of characters into the story of American history to make it engaging for readers from "9 - 99" (as the book jacket says).
My kids ask for it. We sit on our couches in the living room and follow along in the books that I checked out from the library. Then, we discuss.
I love homeschooling. I love that synergy that comes from learning together.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A Stroll Down Memory Lane

My sister-in-law sent this to me this morning, and it made me smile. Memories of days gone by. I have been thinking so much of those days lately as Halloween marks the day I went down to be with my mom for the month of November as she made her slide toward heaven. These pictures are wrapped up with warm memories of my mom and dad (My dad LOVED Dean Martin!).

God bless and smile today.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I just looked at my Library Thing Book tag on the side bar of my blog and realized that the last three books I read were all written by Johns!


Another trivial thing: the most common name for the signers of the Mayflower Compact were . . .

JOHNS! (11 - Paul just reminded me).

It does not take much to thrill me. Really pathetic, isn't it?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Romans 12 1-2

Romans 12 1-2, originally uploaded by carolfoasia.

Meditation into the early morning.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Peace

I have really enjoyed this week. I am no longer involved in a one time event but in the ongoing lives of women and the family I love! So, there is this peace that has flooded over me right now as I sit and compose my thoughts for yet another Bible Book Club post. I/We have had a lovely week of investment as we heard all about Josh's trip on Sunday, met with Laura on Monday, Manal and Kim T. on Tuesday, and Rebekah today. Add to that a great week of homeschooling and time as a family on walks and workouts.

I like what I have settled into these days. It is well with my soul.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Book Babes Books 2008-2009

The alchemist / Paulo Coelho ; translated by Alan R. Clarke.

Author: Coelho, Paulo

Published: [San Francisco] : HarperSanFrancisco, 1993.

A Bess Streeter Aldrich treasury / Bess Streeter Aldrich ; with an introduction by Robert Streeter Aldrich.

Author: Aldrich, Bess Streeter, 1881-1954

Published: Mattituck, N.Y. : Aeonian, 1978, c1959.

The last lecture / Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow.

Author: Pausch, Randy

Published: New York : Hyperion, c2008.

Papa's wife.

Author: Bjorn, Thyra Ferré

Published: New York, Holt, Rinehart and Winston [c1955]

River of doubt [CD/book] : [Theodore Roosevelt's darkest journey] / Candice Millard.

Author: Millard, Candice

Published: Santa Ana, CA : Books on Tape, p2005.

The river of doubt : Theodore Roosevelt's darkest journey / Candice Millard.

Author: Millard, CandicePublished: New York : Doubleday, 2005.

The road / Cormac McCarthy.

Author: McCarthy, Cormac, 1933-

Published: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2006.

The road [cass/book] / Cormac McCarthy.

Author: McCarthy, Cormac, 1933-

Published: Prince Frederick, Md. : Recorded Books, p2006.

Selkirk's Island : the true and strange adventures of the real Robinson Crusoe / Diana Souhami.

Author: Souhami, Diana.

The story of the other wise man / Henry Van Dyke ; [introduction by Leo Buscaglia].

Author: Van Dyke, Henry, 1852-1933.

Published: New York : Ballantine Books, 1984, c1923.

Wesley the owl : the remarkable love story of an owl and his girl / Stacey O'Brien.

Author: O'Brien, Stacey

Published: New York : Free Press, c2008.

The year of fog : a novel / Michelle Richmond.

Author: Richmond, Michelle, 1970-

Published: New York : Delacorte Press, c2007.
The year of fog [downloadable audiobook] / by Michelle Richmond.

Author: Richmond, Michelle, 1970-

Published: [Ashland, Or.] : Blackstone Audio, Inc., 2007.

The year of fog [large print] / Michelle Richmond.

Author: Richmond, Michelle, 1970-

Published: Waterville, Me. : Thorndike Press, 2007.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sometimes, you just have to have a good laugh . . .

With all the uncertainty in our economy and in the upcoming elections, it helps to have a good laugh . . .

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Breather

Seems like the fall is flying by. I had to squeeze in a day of prayer at the library (and other downtown locations), and I felt pretty frazzled going into it and not to rested coming out like I usually do. I am going to chalk that up to not getting a good night's sleep the day before and night sweats from the change of life that are usually no-existent when I am working out really hard, but I am only walking these days.

Once Jubilee is over, I will have a very reasonable schedule. We have made our adjustment to the "fall homeschool line-up" by dropping Biology lab. We are also through the two big Fun Runs: Fall Festival and Alzheimer's walk. My discipleship meetings are all planned on the schedule (that was a major undertaking) and Nourieh and I have our first Bible study on the 28th of October. Also, Paul's braces are on and teeth will all be finished being pulled tomorrow. Then, it will just be follow up appointments every five weeks.

Whew! I will be just right on Saturday. :) Not too busy and not too slow. I like that. Jubilee made me a bit busier than I like, and I am sorry to say that I will not be able to be a part of it next year. I really want to focus on other things, and it takes too much energy away from those things while I am trying to also get the fall off the ground and running.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mary Rowlandson

I am typing as my oldest is reading this out loud to all three of us. I love this American Literature class. I love that many of the books that I have been wanting to read because of The Well-Educated Mind are part of Thelma's Library American Literature class. I love discussing these books with my kids. I love everything about school this year now that I dropped the biology class. Don't get me wrong: I loved that class. I think Sheri is a dedicated teacher and wonderful person, but it was too much for us to have to coordinate our BJU Biology with the Apologia biology. It was apparent within a week of starting the class. Sadly, I had already paid $60 for it, but we will get some supplies even though we had already done two dissections last year and didn't really need to do anymore.

Back to Mary.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Reading Goals for the Next Four Months

I'm trying to meld my TWEM goals and my kids' American Literature Class. It is looking great!

2 Samuel and 1 Kings
True End of Civil Government by John Locke
Narrative and Capitity of Mary Rowlandson (with kids for Am. Lit)
The Translator: A Tribesman's Memoir of Dafur
Common Sense by Thomas Paine (with kids for Am. Lit.)
Paradise Lost by John Milton
Meditations by Descartes

2 Kings
Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (with kids for Am. Lit.)
Democracy in America by Toqueville

Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther
A Christmas Carol by Dickens (as family)
The New England Mind by Miller

Silas Marner by Eliot (for Book Dames)
Up from Slavery by Washington (for SCC Book Club)
Walden by Thoreau (with kids for Am. Lit.)
Life and Times of Frederick Douglas (with kids for Am. Lit.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Well-Educated Mind Homeschool Update: History

I am pretty excited about this school year of history. So, I am going to write about what I am doing. I'll do the other subjects on the other days. Someday. LOL!

We are studying

US HISTORY!!!!!!!!!

We are starting off by using this:

A Biography of America

This is a 26 lecture film series put out by the Annenberg Media. Each lecture lasts 30 minutes, and it is FREE Video on Demand. It gives a good visual for what we are studying.

Here is the web address for this:

We are also listening to Joy Hakim's delightful series A History of US. It is geared toward a younger audience, but we really like the interesting stories, and she isn't TOO politically correct for our sensibilities. She seems pretty fair and balanced compared to some other texts. We are just finishing up The Making of Thirteen Colonies.

We are supplementing this with two high school texts that are used in AP US History classes:

I like A People and a Nation too.

This is all being reinforced by our American Literature course that we are taking through:

She has a 400+ page syllabus where the kids are reading orginal documents like the "Arabella Covenant" and the "Mayflower Compact." It is great reinforcement.

This is all done with the goal of preparing for this:

The College-Level Examination Program

There is a great 150 page general overview of American History that we are using to review what we have learned in our studies of the above texts and American Literature.

Then, there are three computer-generated test to prepare the kids for taking the test at Linn-Benton Community College some time this year.

As we go, we are using the AP United States History Flash Cards.

We also use this website to help in our being ready to take the CLEP:

If we get ambitious, I might also have the kids take the CLEP American Literature exam, but I haven't checked into that yet.

We are continuing with our Timeline Figures from Home School In the Woods too. GREAT thing. In addition, I am using the timelines in The History of US and having the kids paste the wording in the timeline book.

True Forgiveness

Good thought,
Hurt you not.
Gossip never,
Friends forever.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Another Threshold

. . . the starting point for a new state or experience; "on the threshold of manhood"

When I wrote this definition over a month ago about our trip to Southeast Asia, I never thought it would be applicable for our trip home, but it is!

I didn't think about until today, but we are on the starting point of a new state or experience with this job situation. It is not a struggle, but there is much more energy being put into the realm of possibilities that abound for us.

I hit a wall on Monday, and I knew I was edging toward it when I went to the first co-op meeting of the year with a NEW co-op. I really wished that I had stayed home from the meeting. I needed some quiet time to reflect, and I haven't had much of that lately. When we came home from Southeast Asia, we had to do a TON of follow up that took hours and hours (still have one more piece to accomplish). We also needed to get things going with school and outside activities. I was still trying to get into a groove and also into a good sleep pattern.

I also made the MISTAKE of staying up late to watch the closing days of the Olympics. Then, I was watching both the Democratic and Republican Conventions. So, by this week, I was pretty fried.

Should have stayed home. I cried through most of the meeting, and I felt like a fool. I know that they may think it is because George lost his job. People just assume things. They assume we are going to move. They assume we are probably worried and anxious and stressed about it, but we are not. We planned for a rainy day. We never thought this HP gig was forever. In fact, this is the longest George has ever had a job at any one place! We weren't HP lifers. We weren't cozy in the job. We aren't even cozy in Corvallis, but we need to stay here because of the dental issues with our kids. So, we aren't planning on moving.

I will say that we ARE processing the options, and this is taking time and emotional energy. The job has been on "auto-pilot" for years. Now that we are landing the "HP plane" and thinking about our future flight plan, there is MUCH more "pilot to copilot" communication. We are more on our toes, and THAT is exhausting me.

More recently, I stayed up late and poured my heart out and then listened to God. It was so good. I guess He was speaking to me about being open to self-employment. When I told George about this the next morning, he said he had been praying about this for a week and was "easing me" in to the idea. Interesting.

I have always thought we are not self-employment type of people, but George has had a self-employment component since he left HP. So, there is a possibility that he could draw from all his contacts and do contracts with all of them.

We are on the threshold. It is exciting . . . and exhausting.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A Bend in the Road

I told George today that I am excited about our future with his being let go at HP.

I love bends in the road!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bill Wardrop's Celebration of Life

Bill_VB_mag_cover, originally uploaded by carolfoasia.

Here is the magazine cover God allowed me to find for his memorial on August 23rd.

April 18, 1945 - July 7, 2008

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

On the Threshold of a Dream

Thresh-hold: the starting point for a new state or experience

We are going to Southeast Asia after seven long years of being away! I am excited. I can't contain it.

I gotta' go.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Ministered to Me Tonight

This really spoke to me after I heard an aching heart tonight.

Sunday Reflections

It has been almost two weeks since I blogged here. I started a new blog to document my fifty celebrations to fifty! (

Oh my, I hear the car with George and Paul. I have to go to church now. Really, I GET to go! I love going to church now. :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Oregon Shakespeare Festival And Porch Reflections

Oregon Shakespeare Festival, originally uploaded by carolfoasia.

I spent the weekend at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It was a celebration for Laura's (second row on the left) 40th birthday which will be in December. She invited ten friends from different eras of her life. I am the most recent "era" in that, while I have known her (and admired her from afar) for about three or four years, we just started really getting to know each other since last July when we started meeting for accountability. Laura is a deep and kind woman. So, of course, she has attracted deeply spiritual friends over the years. The weekend was overwhelming for me in that I would have loved to connect more deeply with each person, but there was no prior history other than with Laura and Cathi (standing at the top), and I probably won't see any of the rest of them again.

I was a bit lonely and depressed on Saturday night until I realized I could revel in the solitude of my own room even as I listened to the hushed murmurs of midnight conversations in all the rooms around the house. I realized that I have this healthy desire to connect deeply that always seems to be frustrated in large groups of women stuck in the same place for a limited amount of time (women's retreats, Trapdoor/Lamppost getaways, etc). That desire can easily become a demand if I am not careful.

I woke up very early Sunday morning really THANKFUL that I didn't have a roommate that I would disturb! I stole away to the deserted porch and had a long and wonderful time with God where I started out with this verse from Face to Face by Kenneth Boa:

"Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed,
Save me, and I will be saved,
For You are the One I praise" (Jeremiah 17:14).

So funny that this has been my healing verse since 2006, yet I never realized it is in the context of a teaching about a deceitful heart - something that God has been speaking to me about all summer!

"Cursed is the [woman] who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh her strength,
And whose heart turns away from the LORD" (17:5).

I wrote:

Oh Lord - my deceitful heart has turned away from you this
morning. Yesterday, I was making FLESH my strength. Deceitful heart - when will
you learn!?

What is my end if I am like that?

"For [s]he will be like a bush in the desert
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness
A land of salt without inhabitant"(17:6).

Lord, a heart set on people will always be a heart dry and
longing for water because people were never meant to be my
lifespring even though my deceitful heart longs for it to be

"Blessed is the [woman] who trusts in the LORD
And whose trust is the LORD" (17:7).

Lord, help me to trust in You. Become my trust. Wretched woman.
When will I learn to not make flesh my strength?

What is the biproduct of this blessed life?

"For she will be like a tree (then I drew a picture with my meditations)planted by the water,
that extends its roots by a stream.
And will not fear when the heat comes.
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought.
Nor cease to yield fruit"(17:8).

"The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desparately sick;
Who can understand it?" (17:9)

Lord, I am only beginning to really understand my deceitful heart.

"Lord, you search my heart
You test my mind" (17:10).

Lord, don't give to me according to my ways,
According to the results of my deeds
but remember mercy and Jesus,
and Holy Spirit, transform me.

LORD, our sanctuary is a glorious throne.
LORD, my hope.
LORD, help me not to forsake you, the fountain of living water.

Hope. Now the verse I started with:

"Heal me, O LORD, And I will be healed;
Save me and I will be saved
For, You are my praise."

Lord, you have commanded Your lovingkindness
this morning. THANK YOU. You ALONE do wonderful things. Fill today with your
glory, LORD.

It ended up being a very glorious end to a wonderful weekend. I ended up loving it. My perspective was right once again. Praise God for course corrections in midstream.

I am a little down today, but again, I am having to learn the longing I have to connect is not always met in some friendships, and that was quite clear to me as I went out with two friends last night. So, today I am a bit empty again, but it has been good to be rereminded of what God taught me one Sunday morning on a porch in Ashland. Another course correction for my deceitful heart.

There is more to say about the plays, but I will stop for now.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Double Pass

234 - Brother Bill, originally uploaded by carolfoasia.

This is the last picture of my brother Bill. He died last Monday at the age of 63. What a lovely time of sitting on the lawn outside of Balboa Park near San Diego last August. We talked of him moving to Oregon. I wanted to help him. Here is my post from last August 22.

Today, it all caught up with me, and I need to breath and grieve. I went for a walk/hike with Rosemary and enjoyed the view from up above toward Chip Ross hill. I need a higher view right now in everything.

I made a mistake in a rendezvous point for lunch with friends today. It meant Jean driving all the way to Corvallis only to to drive all the way back to Salem when she couldn't find LeAnne and me. I realized I had topped out in trying to prepare to go overseas, doing a writing class with my kids, meeting with friends, discipling women, having Bible study. Jean (who had two hours of driving) was so gracious when I told her I was an idiot. She said . . .

"Carol, you get a pass on this one. You have so much going on right now. In fact, you get a double pass. I enjoyed my drive down and trip to Jamocha Jo's (friend Nancy's coffee shop) and Bed, Bath, and Beyond. It was a great drive back up. Double pass, Carol."

So, I am NOT going berry picking tomorrow. I am slowing down in the writing class. I canceled something someone wanted me to do right after I get back from Southeast Asia. I canceled a time meeting with someone close to the time that I was leaving. I am going to give myself a double pass and grieve.

Carol out

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th of July

I am so happy this 4th.

The Cowdens cancelled their annual party, and the Stews had to back out of a get-together tonight because Jake has a game.

So, we didn't know what we would do. Felt sort of lonely, but NOT for long.

I took a walk and told George that I needed a hammock! So, we went to five different stores and found one at RiteAid. We set it up. I read Plato. George watched Wimbledon and baked an apple pie. I took a nap. We went to Applebees. We took a bike ride to the river and watched the band. We came back, invited Eva for a apple pie and fireworks. We also asked Marg who said, "Do you like cherries?"

Do I like cherries!?

We picked a whole bag! Now, we are starting the fireworks in our driveway and will bring pie to Eva and Marg.

Life is grand. I love my life more than anyone will ever know.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Peaceful Middle of the Night Reflections

I just finished Thucydides, and I am too excited to sleep. This was a huge hurdle, but "little by little gets the job done." What a bear! I liked Herodotus much better because he had more observations about the peoples throughout Persia and their social customs; some things were even hilariously funny! But Herodutus was just called Histories while Thucydides was called The History of the Peloponnesian War. So, there was very little commentary and 21 years worth of battles! UGH! Susan Wise-Bauer suggested we just skim the battle scenes, and I took her up on her advice.

I did like his observations of human nature; that we are basically bent toward our own gain, that human nature is always rebelling against the law, that the Athenians didn't respond to initiations of peace because they were always grasping for MORE. That was interesting.
It got me thinking about peace. As I was reading that the Athenians refused Sparta's offer of peace and alliance, and instead "grasped for something more," I had an epiphany. I realized that I love peace! It made me grateful for a culture of peace at my church, in my immediate and extended family, in all relationships. It is cultivated everywhere I go, and I LOVE the peace that I now enjoy in every area of my life. Why wouldn't Athens want that? Well, Thucydides answered that by explaining the essence of human nature: we are bent toward always "grasping for more."
James 4:1 says:
"What causes fights and quarrels among you? Aren't they caused by the selfish desires that fight to control you?" GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Selfish desires always get in the way of true peace.
It grieves me. Once, I was in a culture that didn't allow for that. The culture said, "We will make you the bad guy." That is how that culture has always dealt with conflict. I saw employee after employee be forced to resign, and it was always the employees problem, never the cultures. After about the sixth "forced resignation," you start to wonder if it isn't always the employees fault.
There were no fair negotations of a peace treaty where both parties came to the table and discussed terms of peace because the culture doesn't really want to have peace: they want to be right. They hold out until, years later, the other party says they are sorry. Then, they graciously "forgive" and never admit their part in the conflict. In the middle of the apology is character assasination, gossip, slander. (All attack responses even though they aren't directly to the person's face). I saw it over and over again throughout the 28 years of being in that culture until one day I woke up and smelled the coffee (and I don't even like coffee). Before that, I heard the rumors and chose to keep my head in the sand because I didn't want to gossip. Others tried to convince me in hushed whispers of the "just cause" for the "war" with that person who had now become the "enemy." Of course, the former employees weren't called the "enemy" because we are all Christians, right?
It is also interesting to note the same person was the person trying to convince me of the "just cause." In fact, they were behind almost every forced resignation when they "shared their concerns" with those who "needed to know." This person never had an official role either, but they had the leaders' ears. My experience with that person was that they look at situations through their own lens, and it is often a very distorted picture of what really has happened, but the culture doesn't allow for the other person to come and tell their story. That distortion become reality, and the employees goose is cooked.
It still grieves me to know how many wonderful people have been hurt by that culture. They are wonderful because they go on to other places and do great and wonderful things! It grieves me that my former culture is so arrogant that they can't take a long, hard, objective look at their culture and change it. People who have tried become labeled "the problem." Most people in the culture don't stand up and say "That is wrong!" for fear of judgment and character assasination being directed at them because of what has happened in the past.
Some of the Athenian people did not stand up to the murderous oligarchy when they started murdering those who oppossed them:
"The People remained motionless, being so thoroughly cowed that men thought themselves lucky to escape violence, even when they held their tongues" (p. 518)
No, there is no physical murder in the culture; but there ARE attack responses in their gossip and slander. Yet, the people in the culture all breath a sigh of relief and say, "I'm glad it is not me." It made me think of a friend who sat on my couch and told me she was forbidden from talking to another friend who had expertise in a certain ministry because that friend had "left." That person regrets not speaking up and defending. She was afraid. What right do the leaders of that culture have to stand in the way of a friendship and helping make a ministry better by picking the former members brain? It seems like a no brainer to me, but that is where the whole jelousy and selfish ambition thing comes in.
I had the same thing happen to me when I was there. I had a friend whom I knew to be an expert in team-building exercises who used to be an employee there. I was going to do some of those with a group I was leading, and I want her to come and run the games. That was very much FROWNED upon. Fraternizing with the enemy, you know?
It really makes me sad. It grieves my heart. So sad to think that people would control other people in such a way, but I was controlled by it at one time too.
But I am free now! Just people "always grasping for more" for a multitude of unhealthy reasons. It honestly doesn't make me mad, but it makes me very sad. I grieve because the war still rages in muffled tones, and I feel guilty that I am free, and they are not.
I am grateful for the culture of peace in which I reside now that has mechanisms to negotiate "terms of peace" in case of hostilities (that are normal and natural when you have selfish people trying to work together). There is no fear of standing up when people need to be accountable for their actions there either. There is no fear to stand up and disagree. Everyone has a story - no one is the "enemy" there. We all know we have that basic human natural bent of selfishness that causes fights and quarrels, but there is a mechanism of grace in place. I love it. The only thing that is not allowed is to not forgive. I love that too.
It make me glad that my 28 year (got you beat by 7 years, Athens and Sparta!) war is over. AWWWWWW

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Summer Reading Goals Update


H=History, D=Drama, P=Poetry, A=Autobiography

H - Peloponnesian War by Thucydides (Done 7/2 - I will shout this from the rooftops!)
H - Plato's Republic (Done 7/22)

H - Plutarch's Lives (2 Volumes: Roman and Greek )
H - City of God by Augustine
H - Ecclesiastical History of the English People by Bede
D - Everyman (Done 6/19 - contrast with Dr. Faustus - loved this play!)
H - Prince by Machiavelli (Done 6/24 - Richard III blew it)
H - Utopia by Sir Thomas More
P - Sonnets of Shakespeare (Done 6/26)
A - Essays of Montaigne
A - Life of Teresa of Avila
D - Doctor Faustus by Marlowe (Done 6/21 - Heavy and great for discussion!)
D - Richard III by Shakespeare (Done 6/21 - Shakespeare ROCKS!)
D - Midsummer Nights Dream by Shakespeare (Done 6/24)
D- Hamlet by Shakespeare (Done 6/28)

Beyond Goals:

D - Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Done June 29)
D - Tartuffe by Moliere (Done July 2)
D - A Doll's House (Done July 14)
D - The Cherry Orchard (Done July 14)

Amazing Grace: Stories of Newton, Wilberforce, and Equiano (audio)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Saturday, Sunday Shakespeare

Any way you slice it, Shakespeare rocks in my book. I really enjoyed this Saturday flight through the 108 pages of this classic English play, Richard III.

Susan Wise-Bauer gave a good visual for me of the family tree of Richard III in her excellent book, The Well-Educated Mind. I transferred it to the inside cover of my book sot that I could refer to it throughout the reading.
Richard was a villain who killed his brother, George Clarence, and the two sons of Edward IV (his other brother), Edward and Richard, so that he could become king of England. It is character study in evil.
Famous lines like "Now is the winter of our discontent" and "My horse, my horse, my kingdom for a horse" come from this famous historical drama. I highly recommend it. I do hear that the Folger Shakespeare Library Edition will make Shakespeare more accessible to neophytes because it has facing pages with explanations. I did just fine with this one, but Shakespeare doesn't scare me like it might scare some people.

In order to add to my enjoyment and understanding, I watched the 1956 Lawrence Olivier movie version while I was reading. I would read a few scenes. Then, I would watch those scenes in the movie. This is the Criterion Collection version with amazing commentary by playright and stage director, Russell Lees, which opened my world to understand Shakespeare and Olivier. He also inserts a commentary done by John Wilders who was the former governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company. I am someone who loves movie commentaries, and this is the absolute BEST commentary I have ever heard. If you want to understand more of Shakespeare, check this out from your local library and watch the movie with Russell. You will be the better for it!

After Richard III (finished the play last night and the movie this morning), I went on to read The Complete Sonnets of Shakespeare. Now, this was a bit tougher for me. I downloaded them from the Oregon Digital Library Consortium Library2Go and read along as I listened. It was tough until I found the "No Fear Shakespeare" section of SparkNotes with original text and modern text in parallel form! So, if I don't get it, I can read this. I am through about 35 of them.

I anticipate tackling A Midsummer Night's Dream next. I have seen two different movie versions of this, and I will see the play this summer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland in July for Laura's 40th birthday extravaganza with nine other women (along with Othello and A Comedy of Errors). AMND is also being performed in the OSU Quad this summer! I may wait to read it in mid-July. Then, I can read The Prince by Machiavelli because apparently Shakespeare's Richard III is a Machiavellian character!
It was a good and restful weekend for me with Shakespeare!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Blood Clots and School Year Next Year

It appears I have a blood clot in my right leg above my right knee. So, I am going in for an angiogram/angioplasty on Friday. Stay tuned. :(

So, to totally keep my mind off of this, I am writing out the plan for next school year:

2008-2009 School Year


A People and a Nation
The American Pageant
The Story of US by Hakim
CLEP Exam Study Site with links to the
Annenburg Foundation A Biography of America with Video on Demand
Critical Thinking in US History: From Colonies to Constitution (Led by Linda H. in Thurs. Coop)
American History Timelines Figures from: Homeschool in the Woods


Led by Linda H. in Thursday coop - presentations and group projects around the election in the fall.


Here is our list of books and ones that I will read with them because they are on my Well-Educated Mind List (TWEM):

Anna Bradstreet - To My Husband and Other Poems
Thomas Paine- Common Sense (TWEM)
Benjamin Franklin – Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (TWEM)
Ralph Waldo Emerson- Self-Reliance and Other Essays
Henry David Thoreau – Civil Disobedience and Other Essays
Henry David Thoreau – Walden; or, Life in the Woods (TWEM)
Frederick Douglas – Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas (TWEM)
Louisa May Alcott- Short Stories
Mark Twain- (Samuel Clemens) Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (TWEM - Read already)
Mark Twain- Humorous Stories and Sketches
Great American Short Stories (Poe, Melville, Harte, London, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Hawthorne, others)
101 Great American Poems (Poe, Whitman, Robinson, Melville, Holmes, Frost, Dickinson, Pound, Eliot, Stevens, others) (TWEM - Dickinson, Frost)
O’Henry- (W.S.Porter) The Gift of the Magi
Harriet Beecher Stowe- Uncle Tom’s Cabin (TWEM - Read already)

Other authors in syllabus reading include William Bradford, Cotton Mather, Michael Wigglesworth, Mary Rowlandson (TWEM), Jonathon Edwards, Phyllis Wheatley, various Founding documents, letters, and covenants.

It should compliment our American History studies nicely. We hope to have this class with about eight other kids from 8th-12th grade in our home on Thursday afternoons after coop.


I have all the textbooks for next year, but I am seriously considering purchasing Teaching Textbooks Geometry or Algebra II for Michael. I will stick with BJU Pre-Algebra for Paul.


I had every intention of moving Michael on to Chemistry next year, but I am going to wait until Paul can do it with him, and that will require Paul being through Algebra I. So, I will wait until Paul's sophomore year and Michael's senior year in high school. So, Paul will start a two year study through the BJU Biology Text, and Michael will review his biology and study for the CLEP Biology Exam.

In addition, they will be doing Biology Lab with Sheri P. at the Thursday homes chool coop.

Once Michael reviews his biology and takes the CLEP (hopefully by Christmas). I will have him start the Cornell Bird Biology Course or physics or earth science or marine biology. This will be his choice, but I bet he chooses the bird biology! He can continue this into his junior year in high school since this course is like a college course.


I am setting up a writing class with a friend this summer, and we will continue the things we learn from there. Nikki also mentioned an excellent writing course that she has had Alita take that I want to look into.

I am hoping to go through Nitty Gritty Grammar with Michael and pick Katrina's brain for how she has used it. Paul will continue with Daily Grams.


We haven't gotten the new schedule, but I want to do less of these this year, maybe only once or twice a quarter for a total of 3-6. This years we did about seven plays and five field trips. That was a ton! In addition, we are going to be involved in a play through our coop this year. I think Michael will act. I don't think that Paul will though.


The Timberhill Athletic Club has been a sound investment for keeping the boys physically active. They are also playing badminton and hiking with dad now that the sun is out. Good movement around this household


Paul is reducing to six lessons for the summer term. I may continue this through the school year too since we will be busier with coop and American Literature.


Paul finished the New Testament this year, and Michael did many Old Testament books and Acts in connection with Classical Literature. Michael has already started in Genesis, and I think I will have Paul do the same.

They are also continuing with their prayer and Bible lessons with the Boys' Group every other Friday night.


Michael needs to take that test! We need to get him driving with us. I don't think he needs to take the course, but it depends on what our insurance wants us to do. He is in no hurry though.

H=History, D=Drama, P=Poetry, A=Autobiography

H - Peloponnesian War by Thucydides (Done July)
H - Plato's Republic (Done July 22)

H - Plutarch's Lives (2 Volumes: Roman and Greek )
H - City of God by Augustine
H - Ecclesiastical History of the English People by Bede
D - Everyman (Done 6/19 - contrast with Dr. Faustus - loved this play!)
H - Prince by Machiavelli (Done 6/24 - Richard III blew it)

H - Utopia by Sir Thomas More
P - Sonnets of Shakespeare (Done in June)
P - Poems of Donne
A - Essays of Montaigne
A - Life of Teresa of Avila
D - Doctor Faustus by Marlowe (Done 6/21 - Heavy and great for discussion!)
D - Richard III by Shakespeare (Done 6/21 - Shakespeare ROCKS!)

D - Midsummer Nights Dream by Shakespeare (Done in June)
D- Hamlet by Shakespeare (Done in June)

I may just skip the history/autobiographies and just do the drama and poetry books and come back around to the ones I skipped in the future. They are LONG books. I want to be up to the 1600's so I can read along with the American Literature books. :)


Tidy up all closets (done with Master and Office)

Tidy up all drawers (done with Master)

Tidy up kitchen cupboards and drawers

Digital Scrapbooking for 365, Michael and Paul's books

Friday, June 06, 2008

Out of the Mouth of My Babe

Paul has been saying such neat things lately. I know that I will forget them if I don't write it down, and I used to type these sorts of things on my word processor. Then, I change computer a few years later, and I can't find it on my old one.

We came back from a delightful dinner in Jefferson, Oregon with the family of a young man who is going to SEA this summer. Paul's comment on the way home in the car. I wish I could remember it just right.

"I am realizing that people are not just 'things.' They are not strangers either. They are people with a story. They all have unique backgrounds that make them who they are. There is a reason why they do what they do because of that background. I am just seeing that I see people on the street and they may seem like strangers, but they have a story." (Paul - 13 years 6 1/2 months)

I may edit this after I talk more with him this morning about he said. We had such a nice discussion in the car as a result of it which ended in insane and hysterical laughter about something or other.

I love our family time. Car time is always so precious.

Monday, June 02, 2008


The Lord bless you and keep you
The Lord make His face shine upon you
And give you peace
And give you peace
And give you peace, forever . . .

We closed our Bible Book Club tonight with this song and prayer. Anna shared how her mother would pray this over her every night when she was growing up. How absolutely precious.

I sensed God's presence there tonight. I was so blessed.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Cranford on Masterpiece

I just LOVE every single Elizabeth Gaskell story I see on PBS! Cranford was such an endearing story. There was love, loss, tragedy, kindness. Oh, this mini-series has it all! It just warms my heart just thinking about it.

It is a story about a town called Cranford and the stories of the lives of the people in it.

Perfect for a Sunday evening

On to another subject: why am I so darn happy? I never knew that so much of my highs and lows were connected with the orb I used to be in.

I guess this is what flying really feels like?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Finished Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

It was much easier than I thought it would be! Sir Gawain was a hero! I loved the principles of integrity that are brought out in this story. This is a piece of medieval poetry that is accessible to anybody. It is short enough to not bore and meaty enough for discussion. Loved it.

Monday, May 12, 2008

It has been a while

I have started a few posts, but I never got back to them.

I looked for the words to the song Welcome to Love the other day, and I coudn't find them. I found the song on Rhapsody here:

Welcome to Love (the song is listed in the list of songs on the right of the page)

This song was given to me over and over again by the LORD when I was going through the horrific experience two years ago. I kept praying it over and over again for another person, but now I know that God had it for me to hear. He has welcomed me into a loving and kind place that shows His love like I have never experienced before. Before, I felt all the paranoia that this song talks about. I don't feel that in my new situation. The difference is as different as day and night.

Thank you for welcoming me to love, Lord. I am in such a good place.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bodybugg is a hit!

I love this thing! I am loving being able to know how many calories I am burning each day. It has helped me to be more efficient with my workouts.

For instance, I found that Group Power only burns 200 calories per hour as opposed to The FIRM which burns 285 per hour and Circuit Training which is the most efficient at about 350 per hour. So, I have been Circuit Weight Training. I can do it in half the time of Group Power and still burn about the same amount of calories or go and do the Elliptical which is a great calorie burner.

I am also learning that I can just move more each day and reach my calorie burn goal. Just been standing up more when I talk on the phone, walk around the block more, especially in the morning in order to heat up my "engine" and get my calories burning more when I do more sedentary things.

Anyway. I have lost 4. 2 lbs in two weeks, but the cool thing is that I have lost 7.45 lbs of FAT and gained 3.25 lbs of muscle! I went from 28.1% to 24.9%. Also, my food log was MORE than my actual measurement. I was wihin 43 calories of my actual measurement amount of food intake.

I love this bodybugg. It has taken all the guesswork out of my calorie balancing! SO FUN!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Yesterday's Food

From my new BodyBugg Software. So fun! I won't post here because I have to edit so much, but I have it online again, and I am SUPER motivated with my new BodyBugg that read the calories I burn every day on the back of my right tricep.


0.5 Cup Blueberries
0.5 Cup Non Fat Plain Yogurt (13 grams protein per 8 ounces)
16.0 Fl Ozs Water
2.0 Tsps White Granulated Sugar

AM Snack
1.0 Item Banana

8.0 Fl Ozs Nonfat, Skim or Fat Free Milk
2.0 Ounces Turkey or Chicken Breast, Prepackaged or Deli
2.0 Tbsps Whipped Cream Topping, Pressurized

PM Snack
1.0 Item Egg

1.0 Serving Steak and Portobello Mushrooms with potatoes and brocolli Applebee's WW
8.0 Cups Water
Late Snack
1.0 Serving Dairy Queen Orange Vanilla Bar
15.0 Items WRIGLEY'S EXTRA Sugar Free Gum, All Flavors

Total for all meals
60.1 g
179.6 g
20.1 g
1014.7 Cal (Low, but I was really busy yesterday and didn't get around to it!)

Calories burned yesterday: 2766
Deficit: 1750

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Keeping track of eating:

Breakfast - Yogurt, Fiber One, Blueberries (1/2 cup each), 16 oz water, iron, multivitamin, green tea

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Wrapping Up the Year

I just had my last face-to-face Precept study of the year! The Romans study ended during Spring Break, and this one was to end on April 30th, but we moved the date of the last study up by two weeks.

I loved the women, but meeting every other week and alternating it between prayer and Bible study made for a long and drawn out study. I think once a month is too long to have a good Bible discussion!

Now, Bible Book Club is getting most of my attention. So, I will continue the Romans study, but I won't continue this Abraham study into Jacob for next year.

I had a fabulous time in Tucson with Nancy Casady and at Hannah's wedding. It was a spendy weekend, but it was worth the investment! I will post some pictures on my picture blog very soon!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Been Too Long

I can't believe that I have not posted here since March 19th! I think I started one, but I never finished it.

Quick Rundown of "Life"

The Well-Educated Mind

One thing I did finish was HERODOTUS! Huge accomplishment for me. I am going to take a breather from history and jump to some poetry: Odes of Horace and Gawain and the Green Knight. I can't face Thucydides just yet.

The boys and I just finished studying WWII. They will go to the Evergreen Aviation museum on Saturday with Dee while Geo and I are in Tucson for Hannah's wedding. We are on track for everything in school except Michael's biology. He is behind in that.

The Well-Watered Soul

I have loved Bible Book Club. I love being in the Word like this. I am posting. So, I am absorbing more. I felt out of balance though with personal prayer, but I think this is much better. I have been prioritizing prayer FIRST in my discipleship times with others too. This has helped.

We wrapped up Romans 6-8 in March, and I will wrap up the Abraham study on April 15. Then, I will just have Bible Book Club, and that is what Kim and I will do for our meeting time now.

Wellness in Body

I was going well. My back went out in February. I had to nurse it for a while. I was back to working out again. Then, I got sick. I am better now. I am weight-lifting, walking, riding the bike, doing elliptical, and ballroom dancing. I still have ten more pounds of all the weight I put on while helping my mom in November, but I feel like I am on the right track and eating well and in control. So, I am encouraged in this area and hope to see that ten go away soon!

Wellness in Spirit

I love everything about my life right now. I feel such a love balance of the input of support and encouragement and the output and investment God has called me toward. It is lovely to be in a safe and supportive environment now. All the years of waiting on the LORD for the right fit, church-wise, make me so appreciative of what I now have. SCC is a precious and wonderful place. I am so very grateful!

Yet those who wait (hope in) the LORD
Will gain new strength
They will mount up with wings like eagles
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary (Isaiah 40:31)

Thank you dear LORD for giving me strength and helping me soar.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pieces of My Life on a Wednesday Afternoon

Yes, this sickness has not left me. It is a nasty flu. While the worst days for the men in the family were Sunday through Saturday last week, I think my worst days were Monday and Tuesday of this week. To think that I thought I had it beat by sleeping all day last Wednesday. I pushed myself too hard Thursday - Saturday. So, I had to suffer on Sunday - Tuesday. About an hour ago, the drag on my body seemed somewhat lighter. So, I think I am on the upswing. I will continue to rest, rehydrate, and read (The Three "R"s!) to make doubly sure. Lorraine tells me that some people she knows have had it up to a whole month. So glad we can all take care of each other in the family though because our worst days seemed to have been staggered with our order of sickness being Michael (Sun - Thurs), George (Mon - Fri), Paul (Thur - Sunday), and me (Sunday - Wed). As our pattern though, Michael and George always seem to get it longest and worst, and Paul next. Most of time I avoid the sicknesses altogether, but I didn't this time.

Sickness does have its advantages though. As a result of it, finished A Tale of Two Cities (a review is forthcoming), and I have made a big dent in Herodotus. I love the LANDMARK version that I stumbled across at the library. It has so many interesting maps and helpful footnotes. The pictures also make it so much more interesting. Two thumbs up from this classical history nerd.
Love it so much that I found a used LANDMARK Thucydides (History of the Pelopnnesian War) for $8.44 and ordered it from Amazon today since the library does not yet own a copy. My guess is that they haven't ordered due to the new hardback edition coming out.
I love it when a sickness doesn't have me so flat on my back that I can't revel in God. It has been fun to just have a few days to bask in the Word and His presence. Perfect for our Bible Book Club study of the tabernacle. I think I would have liked being a priest - except all the blood. I think that constant focus on the LORD and being in His tabernacle would have been great. I am glad as a New Testament believer I can be a priest because I am part of the priesthood of believers, and guess what? NO BLOOD! YIPEEE! Already been taken care of by Jesus.
All that said, I feel like I am tracking and enjoying. Been pondering too, and just feeling blue for some people. I feel so blessed right now. I want to share that with others. Seeing my need to intercede more and more these days, and I think I will do just that right now!
P.S. I ordered an Easter Bunny from Harry and Davids, and it came today. SO CUTE! It has all sorts of fun treats like gummy bunnies, moose munch, chocolate eggs, truffle, three pears, easter cookies. Fun treat for the family!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday Morning

I got up before my sick family and enjoyed time with God by candlelight on this dark morning.

The first family member to arrive in my sanctuary was Paul at 9:25 a.m. So, nice to have 2 1/2 uninterrupted hours.

I also composed a detailed post for the Passover Sedar we will have on Good Friday. I am so glad that I had an equipment and food list stored in my "Celebrate the Feasts" file from fifteen years ago. We had the same number of people then when we did it with with the "Feasts Group." That was a hodgepodge of singles and career people. Funny thing was, NO ONE HELPED in the kitchen before the meal, and I did try to ask for it. "A" freaked out about boiling noodles and walked away from the boiling pot asking me to please do it (Geo ended up taking over). "S" had a "crisis" and was praying and crying in a downstairs bedroom. Many people with many issues back then. It is funny to look back at it now.

I was feeding a toddler (the only one with a child but a very happy and content child, YEAH Michael!) and working in the kitchen while everyone visited and chatted away in the living room. It was so strange. I just could not understand it. The good part: I was in the "zone" with the LORD that day and just prayed for the people and enjoyed myself. Hoping those people have learned to be servants being that many have children of their own now.

Made me not want to be in charge of another Passover with a big group of people again though! It was so much work!

Fast forward ten years, and I did it with the Wafers, Iszlers, Kings, etc, and EVERYONE pitched in and helped. Mary Ann hosted and was phenomenal! It sure makes for a very enjoyable meal when everyone carries the load!

I have no doubts that this new group, despite having small children will also be very helpful.

I am also very excited that Phil will be leading it! They have done this so many times, I am sure they will tell me if I missed something along the way.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Feeling the Music of Out of Africa

I made Challah bread to go along with the White Chicken Chili I am making in the crock-pot. As I knead, I usually pray for my children like Jewish moms through the centuries have always done. I love this, and I had this lovely soundtrack playing in the background. It was an unexpected thing that I inherited from my mom. It has given me great pleasure to listen to it and know she is listening to even better music right now.
Now, the dough is rising, the candles are lit next to the fireplace, and I just finished listening to "Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra in A" by Mozart. Now, I am listening to "Safari." It was dark and rainy while I kneaded my dough, but the sun is bursting out over my back as light rain still falls.
I love today and its peacefulness.

Monday, March 10, 2008

10K Saturday

We did a 10K Saturday. Here are some links to some pics of us doing it:

Lovely time for us as a family. We were in a "walkers only" category this time. So, I didn't feel compelled to make anybody in the family run. It was a lovely walk along the Willamette River at Champoeg Park near St. Paul. The weather was overcast but not too cold and no wind. Perfect for running or fast walking.

This was one of the beautiful sights we saw during the 10K.

We also saw some bluebirds. It was a very special time for our family.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A Good Kind of Tired

Had my first really good workout since my back spasm three weeks ago. It felt so good to do interval training on the elliptical and lift heavier weights in Group Power. I am not up to my full weight yet, but I was able to increase it, and I have a bit of soreness, and I feel that good sort of physical exhaustion that comes from expanding your lungs beyond what they have been used to doing. Feeling good today.

We taught our first digital photograhy class at 4-H today. There are more kids who will be joining next month because the movie making class overlapped with this class. So, we just took the two girls in the class out to a park and took a ton of pictures. Their assignment was to just SHOOT, SHOOT, SHOOT and take a mass quantity of pictures versus trying to get a perfect shot. It was a nice day for it too. Very nice girls too. I love this homeschool crowd. I wish we would have joined them a long time ago, but I didn't know we were invited.

We came back to a light school day. I realized we have 61 lessons of World History and only 51 days of school left if we want to be done by Memorial Day weekend, but this is because they started the online class later than we started. I don't see it as a problem though. While the first half of this class had at least one quiz, one online response writing project, and one discussion board answer a week, the second half of the class only has one online response and two discussion boards for the remaining 12 weeks! I also only has the weekly quiz for the next seven weeks. There is also no final exam, but there is a final paper. We will double up our days on the days there is just online reading. So, I don't see any problem catching up those two weeks and even getting ahead by a week so that they have much of May to write their final paper. Michael will be done with his classical literature class and may even be done with his math class by then too. So, he will be able to devote more time to the final paper. With Paul, I will walk him through that final paper process since he is younger. I know Michael will have no problem doing it on his own.

Speaking of Michael, I am amazed at how he has grown in the area of getting things done on his own. I was shocked when he came up on Monday night during Bible Book Club and got his classical lit books so he could do Agamemnon. He was doing that because we had gone to the beach on Monday and skipped school. He knew he needed to do it to stay on track.

I am also amazed that he seems to actually enjoy this classical literature course. He is also writing everything without complaint and just asks me to come along and proofread it until he submits it. He is also writing out all his study questions for biology. This makes it so easy to review the sections of biology with him.

So, it has been a great year. I am pleased.

I am rambling. I am a good kind of tired, but I am going to go to the club RIGHT NOW and work out again. Just a light cardio day today. I will bring A Tale of Two Cities to read. It is nice because Becky is doing Proverbs 3 for tomorrow. So, I have had five out of the last seven days off from Bible Book Club. This has given me some extra time. I am so grateful to Katrina and Becky for taking Thursdays and Mondays for me too!

Off I go. Hard to get off the couch, but I need to do it!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

On Death and Dying

I haven't posted here for a while. So, I thought I would. Learned some tough things this morning: A homeschool mom died last night, another homeschool mom's liver is failing, and their family is, in their own words, "circling the wagons," my friend's dad is dying of lung cancer, our friend Bruce is dying and has weeks to live, and another friend from my old church is suffering from cancer and dying. On top of all of this, the three month anniversary of my mom's death is on Friday.

I am not one to question God's sovereignty. I don't feel any need to do so. It isn't because I am pollyanna about it. It isn't because I am super spiritual either. It is part of my genetics to look at life with a "What is, is" attitude (For your Myers-Briggs people, I am a very STRONG "S"). Suffering happens. Poo-Poo Occurs. People die. The reality is that none of us get out of here alive. I am just in a position this morning of asking God what He is teaching me through all of this when it seems like it is all coming in a big wave of a morning. I don't say this "What is, is" with any bit of coldness or callousness either. I feel these people and their pain. I want to DO something to help them! But what?

Interesting that the message I heard from the LORD this morning was to let everything that I do be done in LOVE today. This is a message for every day, but this is what I was reminded of as my life's calling and direction: a life of love.

So, how can I love today those people who are in such pain? That is what I am pondering and will continue to ponder throughout the rest of the day.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Vision and Attainable Goals

Got this from Dale Carnegie Tips today:

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a vision.”

- Anonymous

Creating goals that will lead you to realize your vision is an important step in professional development. Here are some tips on creating goals for yourself and your team:

* Determine your vision and document it
* Outline steps that will help you realize your vision
* Make each of those steps goals that are measurable and attainable
* Evaluate your vision as you reach each goal

I thought immediately of Bible Book Club! I have a vision for going through the Bible with a group, and we are doing it one day at a time. It has been great!

I also thought about the classical literature goal. Here is how it is going:



Greek Lyrics - Lattimore Trans
Agamemnon* - Aeschylus (I added Libation Bearers and Eumedides too)
Oedipus Rex - Sophocles
Medea - Euripedes
Birds - Aristophanes WILL FINISH TONIGHT!


Histories - Herodutus NEXT!
Peloponnesian War - Thucydides
Republic - Plato
Poetics - Aristotle
Odes - Horace
Lives - Plutarch

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Peace Like A River

Nope, I am not reviewing a book today. I am just expressing the peace that I feel in my heart. The day has been so good. I have been only walking or riding a bike at the club lately while my back gets back to 100%, and I have to admit that I like the slower workout pace for me. I have more time in the day to do other things. So, I must find the balance there because my back will go out again if I am not really strong! Right now, I am not worrying about it and enjoying the extra time.

I am also just loving homeschooling the kids. They are just so darn disciplined! They don't complain and get right down to their work, and do it pretty independently these days. So, I am there with them available to answer questions, but I am able to read and write while they work. I'm doing my "school work" which includes my Well-Educated Mind reading (which overlaps with much of Michaels Classical Lit reading) and writing for Bible Book Club.

Michael is doing really well with Bob Jones Biology. Even though he got A's on both modules in the COOLSchool class, I feel like he is learning so much more with this BJU Biology in a much more relaxed and non-pressure-filled way! Classical Lit has turned out to be a delight. He is listening ot Iphigenia Among the Tauris right now on my iPod, and he loves it. It is fun for me to understand what he is reading too. THANK YOU THELMA (

Paul is WAY ahead in his science. He just finished the big book, and he just has a smaller health book to do. I will try to do more "lab" stuff with the health as he can chart his nutrition intake and health vitals. That will be good. He also realized he is cruising in his grammar book and only has eleven more days of lessons! He will probably be finished by the first part of March!

For both the boys, I am tickled at their writing. THANK YOU JULIE ( for telling me to be relaxed in the writing. I will be eternal grateful as I see they are doing great with grammar and punctuation and writing without me having to ask them to do it. For example, I told Paul that he needed to do some 4 Square Writing, and he said, "Well, I did just finish a free-write for the last 30 minutes on the French Revolution. Do you want to see it?" He had written two pages on everything he was learning in history, and it was GREAT! Yes, there were spelling and punctuation errors, but the fact that he just "freewrote" on his own made me beam! Michael is doing the same. He had an assignment in World History to write a 200 word essay on Bismarck, and he wrote 450 because he wanted to. YIPPEEE! What is great for him is that he is doing almost all typing now, and he can use the spell check. He only had a few punctuation errors in the essay. For him, the physical mechanics were always the thing that made it difficult for him to write more than the actual writing. Typing takes care of that.

Well, I am off to pick up George. We are buying a flash for our D80 today. The top of the little flash fell off, and we don't really like that wimpy flash anyway. So, we want an external one.

I have more I could say, but I don't have time!!!!! Wish the spellchecker worked on blogger. It quite working on me with this new computer, and I dn't know why! So, no proofreading just sending in a hurry!


Here I go for fifteen minutes. I did not do the fifteen-minute freewrite Friday as I thought. And I totally missed this last Friday. So, I a...