Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November 2010 in Review

(As my turkey is making us all wait with growling tummies, and I can do nothing to hurry it along, this is as good a time as any to get to work on my month in review post.  We are having our Thanksgiving dinner late, not only late in the month, but also late in the day.  Late, late, late.  I'd skip it altogether if it wasn't for the shining eyes of anxious little children  :) and for the fact that my husband loves a turkey dinner!  Me, well, I don't look forward to spending the entire day in the kitchen only to see the results gobbled down (no pun intended) in less than ten minutes -- that would be us girls -- and fifteen for my husband.

(This was drafted before I had the joy of sitting down at a full and pretty table and seeing the happy faces of my family.  It was worth it.)  :D
(insert photo collage from Amy's post)

We have tried to make Thanksgiving a big deal in the Rough Diamonds house.  Each year it is preempted by a visit to my folks' for what is becoming a traditional Thanksgiving picnic with my two brothers and their families, and even some of my cousins.  That is wonderful fun, but it does not include the big turkey dinner.  So... we do our own Thanksgiving whenever the turkey is thawed.  This year it was Monday.

We had a great picnic, even if the temp was in the high 50's.  At least the sun was shining.  The teriyaki and orange chicken were delicious.  Emily was disappointed that we didn't have Thanksgiving lasagna again, after all, we had lasagna the last three years, and in the eyes of a seven year old that constitutes an immutable tradition.  Get used to it, kid.  Life changes.

Here's our bunch.  I do love them, every one!

This is my nephew,  Nate.  Nate is eight years old. Up until Wednesday, the poor boy had lost only two teeth, and those were helped out.  It bothered him to see Emily, only seven, with her two front teeth missing.  So Nate fixed that.

Elisabeth is my one child who feels a deep need to do those things that all children should have the opportunity to do.  It pleased her to be able to rake up a few of Grampy's leaves. :D  Jumping into the pile remains to be crossed off.  We'll have to spend a fall at Jane's sometime!

Alison had the privilege (and thrill!) of running through a few pieces with the world-renowned Musique Sur la Mer Youth Symphony Orchestra.  Director Marcy Sudok started this group in 2002 with just a handful of homeschooled beginning violin students who had nowhere to perform.  They are amazing!  Thanks, Marcy!!!

Alie also partially satisfied her longing for a grand piano, playing in the choir loft at my parent's church while no one was listening.  Well, no one but us.

Some people just relaxed.   Emily loves togetherness.  She is the cuddler, the hugger, the kisser, the one who needs  (And gives) company.  Daddy gives the gift of time and does it well.  Sometimes it's nice just to be in the same room with someone you love. :)

As for the rest of November:

We played more soccer,

and Emily thought she needed an official jersey.  I fixed that.  There's nothing a little bit of duct tape can't do (except for come out of your clothes once it's been there a while).  She was proud to wear her new "jersey" shopping.

Photographer Amy had a blast taking thirty photos of the same item, one each day for a month.  This is one of my favorites.  You can see the rest at her photo blog.

I got a new laundry helper, or rather, Alison did.  Mother in training:

Elisabeth played along with the church "orchestra" this month.  She has had a love-hate relationship with music and musical instruments, but I think love is starting to pull ahead.  Yay!   Amy is also doing quite well with the violin now, and has become bored with flute.  The violin might last until she finds a viola... or some other instrument.  She is the jack of all musical trades, master of none.  Unless you can somehow call the camera a musical instrument... It does make a nice little "bleep" when you turn it on, but no, I don't think it qualifies.

If it weren't for the two dozen feral cats in our neighborhood, I'd say we need a sandbox.  It is just way too much fun to play in the food!  I discovered five gallon paint buckets are WAAAAY cheaper for storing food than food grade containers are.  I'm sure there's a reason for that...

And last, I burned my hubby's lunch.  This is only worth mentioning because I am not a burnt-toast kind of wife.  I can't remember the last time I burned his food.  This was supposed to be a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, but I added one too many tasks to my multitasking that noon.  (Amy artistically embellished the photo.)  :) In the aerial view, this really looks like asphalt... I say if you are going to burn the toast, do it right!

This Thanksgiving season I am again reminded that giving thanks to the Lord, from whom all my blessings come, is for every day, and not just for once a year.  He is good.  All the time.  The USA may appear to be going to hell (Psalm 9:17, The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.) but God is my Saviour and my help.  I am thankful that no matter what happens around me, there is peace IN me.  Jesus Christ is the source of that peace.  I am thankful to know him, but even more, I am thankful that he knows ME!

Psalm 12

Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; 
for the faithful fail from among the children of men.
They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: 
with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.
The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips,
and the tongue that speaketh proud things:
Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; 
our lips are our own: who is lord over us?
For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, 
now will I arise, saith the LORD;
I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.
The words of the LORD are pure words: 
as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, 
thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
The wicked walk on every side, 
when the vilest men are exalted.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

From My Past

Last night as I was procrastinating going to bed, I thought I'd try to look up some old friends.  Google is as good a place to start as any, and I entered the name of a friend I knew in elementary school and high school.  Her name was mentioned in a blog, so I went to take a peek.  What a surprise!  I did not find my friend, but I did find the slide show that was shown at my Senior Brunch!  And look what was on it:

That's me with another long lost friend.  I have not been able to find her, either.   I don't think I was really lifeguarding, lol, and no, I did not normally dress that way for school... who knows.   I do recognize those tortuous shoes.   I did not recognize many of the people in the slide show, and one thing's for sure, we all looked a lot younger back then!  (And thinner, too, I might add.)  :(


Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this. Ecclesiastes 7:10

Monday, November 15, 2010

Goings On and Ponderings

Time for a new post.  But if I tell you what's new, then what will I say for my month in review??  Hmm... resolved.  I will tell now and show later.

There is some crochet going on here, another table topper for my dear mom, thanks to Alison redeeming her free time.  She hauls that thing along in the car and hooks away on it at the table when we are done eating, having devotions or just having a nice family chat.  It's almost finished!  Photo to come.

Amy is photographing, and that's all. No, wait, make that photographing and blogging and reading books about photography.  She has started a new blog for her photography only, MimiBeth Photography.  Check it out.  For now it only contains postings of her 30 Days / 1 Thing pictures, the subject of which is a red HotWheels Corvette.  My dad has no idea what a HUGE gift that "old" camera was to her.  It's about the closest thing you can get to a DSLR and still have a point-and-shoot.  She LOVES it! (Thanks again, Dad!)

Elisabeth is tinkering with leathercrafting, learning how to use some basic tools.  There are some nice tutorials on YouTube.  Of course!  You can learn how to adjust your bike gears, fix a washing machine, do calculus, use Sibelius, make a bomb, or do anything else on YouTube!

With much determination, Emily is learning the clarinet.  Well, she was the other day.  You never know what she is going to get into next, or how long it is going to last.  All I know is that whatever she begins, there will be a mess left over when she tires of it.  Paper doll scraps, Monopoly pieces, wooden blocks, Legos, sheet music, flour.

Monocogman keeps a calculator handy, as he is constantly juggling numbers (mathematizing, we call it).  He loves numbers.  Numbers tell the monthly temperature average, the price of a round-trip train ticket to Wichita, the percent of people in the USA who work for the government, and our gas mileage.  This is important information!  :)

As for me... there's not much to say about me.  Here I am.  I pitted four sorry, two gallons of dates the other day, (it seemed like four!) and we are now enjoying the "fruits" of my labors.  It doesn't take long for a family of six to devour a loaf of date nut bread.  Even with Amy abstaining!  Amy says she doesn't like dates (she's never tasted them), and that they look like cockroaches (it's true, they do).  That's fine with me.  Normally I make my kids try new things, but if Amy finds out she likes date bread, there won't be enough for the rest of us.  My concession makes her suspicious.  I predict her resolve is weakening, and that she will try a bite of bread soon.  But maybe not.  It is loaded with walnuts, too.  Oh! Aha!  A light bulb moment!  If I put walnuts in the brownies... :D

We are almost finished memorizing Hebrews chapter 11, which is the great chapter on faith.  In almost every case, the person's faith was proven by his obedience to God.  Even where their obedience isn't obvious, it's not hard to figure out where it occurred.  Where do we get this idea that as long as we don't drink, smoke, or dance, we are obeying God?  (Of course, some people think they are obeying God even when they do these things.)  I'm sure there is something more that God wants me to do.  I think that in the days to come, our obedience to God (our FAITH in him) is going to be tested.  Have you ever had to decide whether to give your tithe or not, because you knew you couldn't afford to?  (I wonder how people think they can afford NOT to, but that is for another time!) I am grateful for my husband's resolve.  As long as we are blessed with increase, we will be giving the Lord his tithe.  But right now I am thinking about what I can do to either keep money from flying out the door so fast, or else to get some to fly in.    Anyone know a great job I can do at home, with little work?  You know, like, I just hit a button on the computer, and the money rolls in?  :D   (No, Jane, not the slot machine, hee hee! You wouldn't do it, either!)

Back to the kitchen.  I have ten pounds of skinless, boneless chicken thighs (obtained really cheap!) marinading in Italian dressing, taco, or teryaki marinade.  If you have any tips about how to use them, I'd love to hear your ideas!  Tonight's supper, teryaki chicken and French fries.  Let's eat.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I am thankful today that when I murmur, "Oh, what ever shall we have for supper?" it is not because the larder is bare.

Rather, it is because I have so much to choose from.

God is good.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Posts to Share

Here are some blogposts which you might be interested in taking a peek at.  Wait, let me rephrase that with correct grammar, as a good homeschooler should.  Ahem.  Here are some blogposts in which you might be interested in taking a peek.  :)

From Guilt-Free Homeschooling, The Bottom 10 Worst Parts of Homeschooling, and some coping strategies.

From Ladies Against Feminism, Child-Rearing is Soul-Winning, Or Not.

Also from LAF, A Great Opportunity.  What I like about this little promo is that we are given some great reasons why girls ought to be taught to communicate well.

From Harmony Art Mom, Our Children Haven't Changed - Math Standards Have, and a follow-up post that answers some of the subsequent comments.

An insightful post written by a teen at Throwing Pebbles, Life in a Freefall.

And here's one by Cary Schmidt that is near to my heart, since I am married to my pastor, Before You Criticize Your Pastor.
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