Tuesday, May 31, 2011

at home

This is my retreat, my study area, my private cafe where the desserts are inexpensive and the tea is steaming hot.
Growing up, I slept surrounded by my bookcases so married life hasn't changed that. Although it is more library than bedroom at this point, as there are three more bookcases along the left wall supporting what would be considered our theological library.
I have always read in bed with several pillows propped up behind me but I do dream of a little sitting room someday with a comfy chair, a side table nearby for all the essentials and a fireplace to read and write by. Someday.

The shelves are loosely organized, with education(Classical and Charlotte Mason), parenting and commentary(J.C. Ryle and Nancy Ganz) titles on the top and my most read fiction books (Hello Jan Karon and Miss Read) below that. The middle shelf level currently holds classic children's literature and children's novels that I am reading my through. I rotate those from the basement shelves as I read them. The fourth shelf holds a mixture of historical fiction, my Bible and notepad, church history tomes and other Christian titles. The bottom shelf is for my heavier, over-sized books as well as current library loans and unread fiction books, mostly from L.M. Montgomery's (of Anne of Green Gables fame) titles, which I found recently together in a large amount secondhand.
This is where you'll find me after the girls are in bed, the kitchen is cleaned up and the toys are put away as the daylight fades into moonlight. I read until my eyes grow drowsy and the book feels heavy. This is my quiet place to be after the hustle and bustle of a busy day. This is my home and I'm so thankful for it.


The garden is mostly planted with the exception of the peas, but it's not much to look at yet as the beans and carrots haven't sprouted yet. But here are a few glimpses of what is green.
There are six tomato plants in, two are mine from seed, one is an Early Girl slicing and the other three are a sweet orangey cherry-size, called Sunsugar. I had some from a friend's garden last year and was so glad to find them at our local nursery. I've already prepped the dirt with lime and bone meal to encourage better growth and discourage tomato rot. I'm praying the blight will not be so hard hitting this year.

The romaine was bought as plants and seems to be taking off quite well, although it looks like early on, one the plants was dug up and partially eaten by some creature. My bronze leaf is down to one small seedling which is very disappointing but I may just plant the seed directly to see if I can't add to the number. It's my favorite garden lettuce so I hope to get more plants going.

My one strawberry plant from last year has produced many runners and is now flowering. My mom's plant in Pennsylvania is ahead of mine and she has red ripe berries already but she said they don't have a lot of flavor. We'll see how ours taste, if we get them to ripen.

Found a few garden workers today, hopefully they don't set up an aphid farm, otherwise they're history.

On a final note, I'm farming moss this year. Hoping to cover up our dated patio stones a bit with some nice green moss which I am transplanting from outside the fence and other places. Keeping it watered is the trick apparently, so I'm faithfully dousing those mossy mounds.

*Updated to say a special thank you to my mom for tilling the whole patch during her visit last week, with very little help from me. Love you! ♥

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Taking note- the food edition

Healthy Homemade Ketchup - This is worth a try once I get through my pantry stock of ketchup. It was developed by someone partial to Heinz so I'm sure it must be good.

Strawberry Shortcake Muffins - These look so yummy and she uses the same baking stuff I do, whole wheat flour and organic cane sugar. Good stuff.

Pudding Cups - Who thinks of these ideas? Chocolate cups filled with pudding and whipped cream...ahhh, you wouldn't like it. :)

Spring Dreams and Carrot Cake - I have a carrot cake recipe from a friend and her cake is delicious, my attempt was appreciated by my guests, but I found it oily. I'm trying this one next time.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls - At the top of my list of things to bake next!

Nothing Bundt Cakes - Buy a bundt cake and have it shipped anywhere. They do look yummy.

American Spoon - The blog caught my eye, but the jams and jellies look delicious too.

My soul shall still in God rejoice...

My tongue shall bless you while I live.

I'm not the music buff in our home, that title goes to my husband who brought close to 250 cds into our marriage nine years ago and I probably brought ten. The music library has since grown but mostly due to Shane's musical interests, not mine. And he continues to hold out against the digital download era for the most part and actually still purchases the physical compact disc. I do too, as my Christmas list for Shane was three Ginny Owens cds. Shane was remarking that I really must like her to ask for three of her albums. I do and when the house is empty, except for me, I like to play her music.
The other musician that I have been enjoying recently is Nathan Clark George. I first heard about him from an album put together by Greg Wilbur, the Chief Musician at George Grant's Parish Presbyterian Church in TN. The amount of Scripture incorporated into these songs and hymns is refreshingly different than most pseudo-Christian music. I encourage you to listen to some of the more recent tracks posted on Nathan's site like O God, Thou Art My God Alone, my current favorite which based on Psalm 63.
I do wish we could sing these at our church, but in the meantime I enjoy them as I sing and praise our God and Savior.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

the stuff we eat

Back in the day, when homeschooling and toddlers did not consume so much of my waking hours, I spent more time on food planning and reading. I had forgotten all the great sites I used to follow and enjoy. In the interest of eating well and spending our grocery money wisely, I have listed some of these sites that still inspire me when I go back for a re-visit.

101 Cookbooks

Simply Recipes

King Arthur Flour

The Fresh Loaf

The Nourishing Gourmet

Mennonite Girls Can Cook

Nourished Kitchen

The Pioneer Woman Cooks and her related site Tasty Kitchen

Smitten Kitchen


Baking Bites

soft pretzel recipe from As Cozy As Spring

Friday, May 27, 2011

little girl snack

I saw her bend down and pick something up, but it wasn't until she came closer that I saw what it was. Yum! Nobody asked her to share and she finally flung it away without ever tasting it. Some greens should never be eaten! :)

a new creation

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

--Romans 8:18-25 (NIV)

Making All Things New by Tullian Tchividjian

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ancient Greece

A very brief look at our recent study of Ancient Greece.

Trojan Horse design found here

Books we used for this study were previously posted here.

Timeline images are from Homeschool in the Woods

Seth really enjoyed listening to these stories retold by Jim Weiss while coloring these coloring pages.

We used these Greek alphabet cards to get familiar with the Greek letters. And this link will take you to the Greek alphabet chart.

A few other things links:
Statue of Zeus maze

Greek and Roman gods chart

Friday, May 20, 2011

playful home

When you commit to teaching your children at home, you may find like me, that the pressure to keep them educationally busy during school hours can be intense. For me, the pressure comes from our immediate neighborhood that watches our coming-and-going like we watch theirs. We live in a condominium community consisting of twenty homes all facing each other with a large grassy courtyard in the middle.
Over the last two years, at least three neighbors have directly asked me about the virtues of homeschooling, our daily schedule, long-term plans and other curious questions. Others have hinted and vaguely referred to it in passing conversations. Our family's choices are a neighborhood anomaly and the desire to conform is quite strong at times.
However, I am constantly reminding myself to allow plenty of free, unstructured time throughout the day for Seth to play, build and implement ideas. As the weeks have turned into months, I see areas of play that have honed ingenuity and developed skills without any input or planning from me.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

living and learning

I would like more time to write about our days of learning together at home, but it seems that I'm too busy living them to have the energy to write. So just imagine our days are probably much like yours; some pass with gleeful, robust activity and others eke out sparingly, as the minutes march on until bedtime.
Keeping it simple, here are some outdoor moments captured recently and some links to read about learning and teaching that I have found helpful.

Susan Wise Bauer on Charlotte Mason Education

Heidi at Mt. Hope Academy

CIRCE Institute

Sunday, May 08, 2011

For my Mom

Can you guess what comes next?

Some things never change.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! Love you!