Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Month in Review -- June 2010

Bear with me here -- template under construction again!  If I finish it tonight we'll call it another accomplishment for the month of June.  This is more me.  More anonymity, less blue.  Not that like don't like blue at all, but I love red accents, and this blog just needs some red.  So wish me success. UPDATE: I have just discovered that my media library is full, and since I can't get anything to permanently delete, there will be no new, lovely-with-red-accents header photo.  For now.  I also found out that none of my widgets were saved.  So, back to the drawing board.  Ah, it's good for the soul, this exercise in longsuffering.

Well.  So much for my great plans to do Bedell Curriculum and math every day this summer!  I think when we finished school last month we also disconnected our brains.  Well, no matter.  Our hearts are still connected, and that is more important to me.  :D

Working backwards:

In June, Alison finished crocheting a table-topper for my mom.  My grandmother had several of these in different colors, and there is a lot of nostalgia in this for me.  It is double-crocheted in the round and the finished product is 60" in diameter.   Does this look like a product for Etsy?  I didn't see any round crocheted table-toppers there. Hmmm.  Mom rewarded Alie with a webcam, which has brought many hours of silly entertainment.

The girls played music for our local nursing home again last week. Do you see something different?

If you guessed it is Amy on the violin rather than the flute, you guessed correctly!  It thrills my ♥  to have four little strings players.  Later that week I saw a local ad for a German-made violin, two bows, and hard case.  The owner did not know what he had, and we snatched it up!  Amy has now graduated from a VSO to a real violin.  BONUS: One of the bows is actually a viola bow, and a very nice one!  That bow alone is worth way more than I paid for the whole outfit.  God is good.  Now we just need a viola. :D

This is Amy with the VSO, not the real violin.  The four girls are working on a Handel aria and it is just lovely. (Okay, I know I am biased, being their mother.  Any music they make together is beautiful to me!)

Alison is now giving lessons to three sisters and six other students.  Hopefully she will write a post soon about how teaching has helped her grow in many areas.  It has made a huge difference in her teen-hood!

Elisabeth and I turned this:

into this:

Elisabeth did quite a bit of the sewing.  Good for her!  I love JoAnn Fabrics's $1 pattern sales.  I wouldn't pay$15 for a pattern, especially not for something to play in!!  Many thanks to PlainJane, BookwormMN, and ALadyBug for the bonnet(s)!  Elisabeth, oh excuse me, Prudence here, and her brother, Andy the Cowboy, played covered wagons.  Below, Andy the Cowboy, eating his peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich.  Did they have PB&M in the old days?

A friend's yard sale produced a practically new Lands' End backpack for Alie.  (I ran over her new one with the vacuum cleaner and ripped the straps right off -- two years ago!)  Only one problem, it was monogrammed Andy.  She didn't want anyone to think she has a boyfriend named Andy.  So I fixed that:

A request from Emily for coloring pages resulted in these cowboy templates from MadeByJoel.

That guy has some neat creations! I love his light drawings.  Amy tried some, too.

Legos are still the world's best toy.  Something is usually in the creation process here.

Too much TV this month.

Even Dad got it on it. These girls sure do love their daddy! Here they are watching the Time Changer DVD. (Again.)

Last but not definitely not least, we headed up to our local mountains for a refreshing hike.  Ahem.  Some hiked.  I spent the entire afternoon alone,  reading and relaxing, watching the birds and squirrels, and experiencing the breeze and 70°!   Everyone have enough water?  Check.  Energy food?  Check.

After nearly five miles of hiking (someone didn't know that they were almost back where they started, and if only they had not turned around, but had just kept going...) this little person was whupped.

A wonderful way to end the day, and a good way to end the Month in Review.  July promises a big picnic and the start of a big family trip for these Diamonds in the Rough.

It's time to get supper!  We're hungry!This is where I normally insert a fitting Bible verse, but I'll have to do that later!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

TV Is a Drug

There has been some discussion at Sharity's about the woes of having a TV.  We are TV free, or rather, we used to be before YouTube.  My kids are addicted to Leave It to Beaver and The Andy Griffith Show.   Could definitely be worse, I know, but I feel like we are brain dead.


Friday, June 25, 2010

How to Add a YouTube (or Vimeo) Video to Your Post

  • Go to Dashboard >>Plugins.

  • Activate the "Youtuber" plugin.

  • Now, from your Dashboard, go to New Post. On the "visual" tab, you should have a new button on your New Post task bar.  It's at the far right end of the upper row of buttons, and it has a vertical piece of film with a green musical note over it.  See it?

  • Now, go to your video (either YouTube or Vimeo) and copy the url from your browser, NOT the embed code.

  • Go back to your new post, and when you get to the point at which you want to embed your video, click on the Youtuber button.

  • Paste the video url in the form and click on "Insert".

  • Now you will have code on your new post page.

  • Preview your post.

Did it work? :D  If not, leave a comment.  You are not supposed to use all that code, but it works for me, and it's simpler than following the  instructions on the plugin site.

This method does not give you the option to exclude the related video links that show up when your video is finished playing.  There is another YouTube embedder in the Plugins; if you figure out how to use it and it has that option, please let me know!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nobody Fills My Heart Like Jesus

Thank you to my friend, Sheryl Shaffer at Beautiful For Thee, for this wonderful song.  I love the lyrics!


Sunday, June 20, 2010

In the Sweet By and By

The girls did a little bit of special music for church tonight, at their dad's request.  Since it is Father's Day, they could hardly refuse. :)  Amy is just learning the violin now -- hooray, now we have a quartet!  But she would really rather play the viola.  Anyone want to give away a full sized viola? :D


Friday, June 18, 2010

Project #5 -- Finished!

Projects 1-3 were clothing items for children No.'s 3 and 4.  I'll show picks of them in due time, but right now I am more excited about this one.  My old, cheapo ironing board cover was rust stained, chocolate stained, ripped, and even CUT, plus it was not made big enough to hang on to the ironing board in the first place.  A good, deep dig in the scrap box revealed a wild tropical print which my modest children could not fathom WEARING in ANY way, ever, not even when they are in their sixties and 60 lbs overweight and in desperate need of a colorful muumuu.  I can't understand this lack of prudence on their part.  The wild stuff was cut up for a new ironing board cover.  I also cut an old mattress pad to add in there for more padding.  That stuff is great for emergency batting!



See how well it camouflages my scissors?  Great.  I will be spending even more time looking for them. And the pins, and etc. :) Wild as it is, this is a huge improvement, don't you think?

And hey, look how effective that reflective tape is on Alie's backpack.  The "a" is another project.  More about that later!

She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
Proverbs 31:13

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What Motivates Your Children?

For that matter, what motivates you?  This is an interesting video.  (Hat tip to Why Homeschool.)  Although the model is from the business world, it certainly could apply to education.  True to the research findings, my own kids are not motivated by rewards when there is even a rudimentary cognitive process involved in the work.  This research actually gives unschooling (done right) a lot of support.


Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom,
seeing he hath no heart to it?

Proverbs 17:16

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Busy Here

Busy here with a trip to the mountains for a glorious yesterday, plus laundry (you know), and a huge sewing project that was supposed to be a cheap little thing for Elisabeth.  This is so ambitious.  She has sewn a few straight lines, but now she has taken on an "old days dress" a lot like Felicity Merriman's. Lots of pieces and seams and miles and miles of gathering! :(  I sure am glad she has determination, because she will need it.

Now I'm off to Kings Kids, last meeting before our summer break, and then tomorrow, if I am overcome with motivation, I will be absent from the computer, either sewing or cleaning. ROFL.  Okay, not cleaning.  Probably sewing....  And oh yes, writing my ladies' newsletter to be on the table this Sunday.

I need to get back to my commenters on my last post, and I really feel like I am out of the loop lately... but that's okay.    I miss you, but real life is calling me. :D

But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy,
because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

Psalm 8:11

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What's a Godly Girl to Do?

"Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think."

Thomas Edison, 1847-1931

What about those that are not encouraged or allowed to think??  Or what about those whose thinking (quality and quantity) is purposely controlled by outside forces?

I recently saw two videos that have me thinking...  After watching this and this (on this second one, only the first 10 minutes plus the last 5 minutes, thank you Cates), I decided to ask my girls what their passions are. In addition to giving them the academic school work that we think is important for them to know, wouldn't it be nice if we also provided a way for them to learn one or two things that they are really excited about?  Granted, it's hard to discover your passion if you have had little or no exposure to lots of places and things and activities in the world, and we do keep pretty close to home. There just isn't a lot of opportunity living in a relatively small town in the wilderness, far away from fun things like science museums, art classes, and the like (and no TV), to even see what the choices are for "passions".

So, I asked each of my girls, "If your could learn how to do anything at all in the whole world, and choose your own method of learning it," (knowing how one of my kids feels about school books, hee hee), "WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO LEARN?" The girls looked at me as if I were crazy, but after a few minutes they began to come up with some ideas.  The longer I waited, the bigger and grander their ideas were, and the more excited they got! Their answers were enlightening to me.

Why have I never asked them this question before??  Maybe because I am afraid of their answers!  You see, I believe that we all ought to develop our minds and bodies to our fullest God-given potential, as long as our pursuit of that fulfillment is truly for God's glory, and not our own.  But I also believe that as Christian ladies, our bodies AND our hearts belong at home with our families, and that the most privileged and fulfilling and noble thing a woman can do with her life is to love and serve the Lord and her family full time.  Does this leave room for an avid interest in microbiology, electronics, or travel??  Do I want to take a chance on steering my girls' hearts away from the home?!  No, I don't.  But did God not give us these other interests? How can they be used for His glory?

In God's economy, maybe the idea of "fulfilling our potential", at least intellectually, really has no value at all in the eternal scheme of things. (Do I hear cries of "BLASPHEMY!" from the education wing?  Hold your rotten tomatoes.)  Perhaps that is a humanistic philosophy.  Is it really right to teach our girls to be ladies for the Lord ("keepers at home"), and, at the same time, allow them to pursue the field of law or engineering or communications??  I am looking for your input on this, particularly from those of you believe the Book and who are committed to training up your girls God's way. Can a girl follow her passion for astrophysics, and still be a devoted, committed, wife and mother with a servant's heart?  Wouldn't the logical end of an interest in microbiology be research or medicine, and not a desire to be a SAHM?  How do I reconcile this?  Do we discourage them from pursuing things they can't do from home? Did God intend for a girl's passions to be limited to cooking and sewing and loving children, only those things which would create a warm and lovely home? Can her mind only be trained in those lofty philosophical areas which won't take her away from home?  Certainly a man wants a wife with some smarts, but what if he doesn't care about philosophy?

I am just not sure what to think about all this. Do we pursue our interests until we know they are conflicting with God's revealed will? How COULD a woman astronaut glorify God with her career, since God has already told us a woman's heart and body should be in her home?  If we ladies are supposed to "just" be cooks and house-cleaners and loving mothers, why did God give us brains?  I am apparently not the first to think of that, after all, girls in Western civilization were not even allowed to pursue an education until recent history.  I am not criticizing God's design, just wondering how to reconcile intelligence with womanhood.

Based on my girls' current "passions", I don't think I am at the crossroads yet.  Their passions mostly include cooking, sewing, pretending, making music, Legos, roller skating, and Swagbucks.  :D

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Training Myself

(no, that is not me)

Someone has aptly said, and I can't quote it exactly, The key to child training is parent trainingHeavy sigh.  I need so much training, I am still not ready to have children, and here I am with one or two ready to move out in just a few years.

I feel a grumbly funk today.  Whether it's hormonal (meaning I have something to blame) or not  really doesn't matter, because if we don't control the behavior that our feelings cause, we are just enslaved by our emotions.  And what a pathetic life that one is.  In this world I am surrounded by people whose lives are completely run by how they feel.  I don't want to be one of them. So today, in a self-training exercise, I am going to list all some of the things I am grateful for.  Maybe the funk will go away.  Oh, but I hate self-training.  It's so much easier to grumble.  I can think of a zillion things to grumble about, but some days, like today,  it very shamefully takes work to think of more than five things to be grateful for.   But I am going to do it anyway. (Hear those two arguing in my ear?)

Today, whether I feel grateful or not, I am grateful  for:

  • God's wonderful salvation, so rich and so free  -- without that I'd have no hope at all

  • God's words that I can read each day and know that they are right from his mouth

  • God's promises of forgiveness, provision, comfort, help, blessing, heaven, guidance, correction, and strength

  • that God KEEPS his promises

  • that Jesus Christ gave my life a purpose

  • for the wonderful husband that he gave me

  • my daughter, Alison, who is so helpful and is growing into a beautiful adult woman

  • my daughter, Amy, whose energy and creativity are a blessing to this family

  • my sensitive and soft-spoken daughter, Elisabeth, whose spirit is an exploration place for me

  • my daughter, Emily, who loves to please others and who will still be with me in ten years

  • for the family that God put me in

  • God gave my husband a ministry

  • God enables my husband to do something he loves to do

  • a scriptural church

  • we have what we need

  • the privilege to stay home with my family

  • uplifting, God-glorifying music

  • my Sunday School kids

  • for gospel-preaching families who go to dirty, dangerous, or inconvenient places for Jesus' sake

  • liberty to worship, to own a Bible, to come and go

  • for a home that meets our needs and then some

  • homeschooling

  • the school year is done

  • air conditioning!!!!!!!

  • it's not 120ยบ yet (but it's getting closer)

  • chocolate (okay, this is losing its spiritual tone and quickly going for the carnal, but I'm serious)

  • faithful friends

  • being able to see, hear, feel, think, walk, feed and bathe myself, read, write, and many other things

  • for good health in spite of being diabetic for decades

  • a van that runs faithfully and has good AC

  • cold water/running water/hot water

  • washer and dryer

  • soap, shampoo, and conditioner

  • people who love me when I feel this way

  • and lots of other things.  I should be able to come up with 1000 more things right now, right off the top of my head.

There are some more things that I am thankful for but realize they are mixed blessings:

  • a computer or three

  • three closets full of clothes and shoes

  • more closets full of STUFF

  • books, books, and more books

  • a full kitchen → full bellies → full hips (they make a good lap?)

Okay.  Now I am going to paste a genuine smile on my face, sing a song of praise to God, and go brush my teeth. :D

♫  ♪  ♫    I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.    ♫ ♪ ♫
My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.

Psalm 34:1-3

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Music Room

This is not how we normally practice... :D


Friday, June 4, 2010


From the library, I am reading I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, by Norm Geisler and Frank Turek.  I'm not sure what prompted me to pick it up, because I don't need to have God Almighty/the Lord Jesus Christ/the Creator/the Saviour/the one true God proven to me.  He just is.  The evidence is all around me.  Besides that, I am not familiar with either Geisler or Turek.  I'm not sure what I expected of this book, but it's not what I expected.  I am actually enjoying it.

One major point that the authors make right up front is that people want the TRUTH about all sorts of things and in all sorts of situations and relationships (marriage, medical, legal, business), but when it comes to religion/faith, most everyone is content to believe that there is no real absolute truth, which is why we who claim to be Christians can often agree to disagree on religious matters.  I haven't gotten far enough in the book to find out why the authors think this is true,  this thing about  most of us not demanding truth in religion, and it's possible that they don't even address this question.  They do draw the conclusion that whether or not a person believes there is a God has a lot more to do with an act of the WILL than of the intellect.  That is true.  Some people will choose NOT to believe in God even when all of their intellectual arguments are satisfied.

Anyway, I have my own answer to that problem, the one about "truth" being relative even among Christians.  In the past 100 years we have had nearly 200 different versions of the Bible published.   Each one differs just enough from the others to have its own copyright, which translates into marketing and profits.  If you've ever looked at the inside cover of a book that quotes scripture, you will see it says something like this: "Verses from the New International Version used by permission of Zondervan Corp."  It will never say the King James Bible verses are used by permission of any publisher, because in the USA there is no copyright on the KJB.

But I digress.  While it is true that the early churches had some minor doctrinal differences between them, we now have hundreds, maybe even thousands of brands of Christianity, some of which are truly the Lord's churches, and some which are not; even within denominations there are dozens of divisions.  Back then they had mostly the preached words of God by which to believe and live (Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, Romans 10); now we have the printed "words of God" (that's in quotes because it's not all God's words) in nearly 200 different "translations" from which to form our doctrinal beliefs and pattern our behavior -- that is, if you even read the Bible, which many Christians do not.  With so many bibles, it's no wonder we have so many flavors of Christians.  And no wonder people don't believe in absolute truth where God is concerned.  The scholarship that produces all these different takes on God's word has convinced us that we can not know God's absolute truth.  But we can.  I think there's a buck involved.

If you value TRUTH, here are some questions to which you will want to know the answers:
  • Was Mary, the mother of the Lord Jesus, a virgin or not? That depends which Bible you believe. No, wait, let me rephrase that.  The truth is the truth, no matter what you believe.  Mary was a virgin.  But some Bibles change that.
  • Is water baptism a "means of grace" through which the soul is saved? What you believe depends on which Bible you believe, because they differ.  But the truth is the truth.
  • Who is the Morning Star -- Jesus Christ, or Satan? Some Bibles say it is Jesus.  Some say it is Satan.  But the truth is the truth.
  • Was Jesus God from eternity, or was he a created or begotten God? Some Bibles tell us  Jesus Christ is a begotten God.  Some say he was eternal.  What do you believe?  The truth is the truth.
  • Do lost souls go to a real, eternal, fiery place called hell, or do they just go to the grave? Bibles differ.  But the truth is the truth.
  • What is the requirement for baptism? The truth is the truth, but what you believe about that will depend on which Bible you believe.  Some give a requirement.  Some give no requirement.  The truth is the truth.
  • Is God really a trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all equally God? Not according to some of the translations.  But the truth is the truth.

Do the answers to these questions matter?  They do if there is truth in religion. Do we just believe what we want to because it suits us, same as the atheist?  Believing the truth is a matter of the will.  The Bible says of some that they would not believe, and of others, that they "willingly are ignorant" of the truth.  We can KNOW the truth. Thanks be to God for revealing his Truth to me and for giving me the grace to believe it.

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him,  
If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 
John 8:31,32

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

More Excitement

PlainJane was right.  I wrote my month-end post too soon.  Hours after I posted, my husband finished maintenance on our second evaporative cooler, one we have not turned on for a couple of years.  For some reason we had big red, winged ants -- yes, ants, not termites -- all over the roof (what -- did someone drop an ice cream cone out of a helicopter or something?), so husband took first the bug-icide, then the garden hose to the roof of the house.  When he turned on the cooler, black water began pouring through the ceiling cooler vent into the living room... :D   and that concludes the excitement for the month of May!
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