Thursday, May 31, 2012

Reading Log for May, 2012

I can't believe how on-the-ball I am this month!

Knowing God - J. I. Packer - 4 (out of 5) - this is highly recommended reading for Christians wanting to know more about the character of God.  Everything is strictly scriptural, no fanciful imaginings of  "my God" or "God as I understand Him".  This book took me months to finish, even though it was not a difficult book to read or understand.  It simply needed to be read slowly, with lots and lots of time given to highlighting.

The House at Pooh Corner - A.A. Milne -3- sad to leave behind the 100 Acre Forest. Read this at bedtime to my two younger sons (7 and 9), just like I did with the older boys a few years back.

The Land Beyond the Mountains - Janice Holt Giles - 4- during the time immediately following the Revolution, when the frontier of Kentucky was just being settled.  Another great piece of historical fiction.

Fairytale Interrupted: What JFK, Jr. Taught Me About Life, Love and Loss - Rosemarie Terenzio - 3 - easy, fast-paced.  It was interesting to learn more about JFK Jr. and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy (I was always fascinated with Carolyn).  But, that's all it was.

Johnny Osage - Janice Holt Giles -3 - Early 1820s in the Western Arkansas Indian Territory.

Voyage to Santa Fe - Janice Holt Giles -4- 1823, Johnny (Osage) Fowler and his wife Judith caravan to start a new life in Santa Fe.

Savanna - Janice Holt Giles - 3 - 1829, Western Arkansas Indian Territory.  Savanna is the granddaughter of Hannah Fowler and Tattie Drake Cartwright (from The Land Beyond the Mountains).  She sort of reminds me of Scarlet O'Hara, all headstrong and self-will run riot.  I did not care for her, and liked this book the least of the JHG books so far.

Monday, May 28, 2012

It's Monday - What Are You Reading?

I had forgotten all about this, so today's post is another shameless steal from my friend Bookbelle.

I am in the middle of several books right now, from read-alouds with the boys (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with the bigs, The Mouse and the Motorcycle with the littles) and ongoing Bible reading and study, to my ever-present "one for fun, one for edification" books.

One for fun, first - Savanna,by Janice Holt Giles.  What can I say?  If you love stories of the pioneers and American historical fiction, you will love Janice.  Lots of historical detail, great characters who seem to truly come alive.  I have read several over the last couple months.  Savanna takes place in the edge of Indian territory in 1829.  I hesitate to call these books a series, because they are all stand-alone, and I (gasp) haven't read them in order (though I am trying).  The main characters are all descendants of some of the earliest settlers in Kentucky, during the time of the American Revolution. It makes it more interesting to know who their grandparents are, but it is not necessary for the stories.  I suggest starting with Hannah Fowler.

I am also reading Spiritual Disciplines Within The Church: Participating Fully in the Body of Christ by Donald S. Whitney. I picked this up at our church's Grace Camp Meeting in April.  So far it is interesting.

Can I admit that I am allowing a lot of my "reading time" to get sucked up by Words With Friends on my phone?  Now that I am off Facebook  (over 5 months already!) I need some addiction.  If you want to play Words, shoot me a message with your username!

Probably not much reading today - a couple projects, then we are heading to a Memorial Day party that most of our church is attending - looking forward to bbq and volleyball in the hot summer sun.

Okay, looking forward to sitting in the shade in my chair, sippin' a Diet Coke.  Whatever!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Saturday Morning on the Homestead

Before I do anything else, let me share our new family portraits with you!  Nevin traded work with a friend of ours, who does incredible photography.  The top picture is now framed and ready for our living room wall.  When we held the beautiful new portrait against the wall.....we knew it was time to paint again!  So, the living room is getting painted, then the picture can go up.  The two others are the "also-rans".

It is very hard to get six people to all look the same way at one time.

Now, on to the rest of life.  Well, it has been busy.  This time of year the garden is going in, lots of new plants are in the ground, and the lawn it getting some care.  We completely re-did our front yard.  Nevin scraped a couple inches off the top, the boys and I picked up a good ton of rocks, then we put down new soil and seed.  I will get some pictures this weekend, with all the new plantings, it is really a sight to behold!  I don't much care for yard work, but I do love living in the country.

Last weekend we went camping with a few friends....actually, we ended up with 23 people, counting the baby and two toddlers.  It was wonderful, I ate my weight in s'mores.

Tony outlining the rules of engagement for our camp-out airsoft war.  We were so blessed - our campsite backed up to a wooded area and a creek, so we had that pretty much to ourselves, plus a big open area for capture the flag.  Not counting the babies and toddlers (and some young-at-heart adults), we had twelve kids there.

The kids spent a lot of time hanging out around the fire.

I don't know why Joe does "peace" at everyone.

Tired little man

All the weaponry, being prepared on our picnic table

Nevin just chillin' at the campfire

Coming back from the war.  That is my Ben in the striped jacket.

Check out these two lady ninjas!
After recuperating from the camping trip, we are just wrapping up the end-of-the-schoolyear stuff; Family Night in our homeschool group, Ben's guitar concert, that sort of thing.  Lots of fellowship planned for this weekend, then soon we are camping again...I know it sounds busy, but I am actually in the process of eliminating "busy" from our lives (more on that later) and cutting back on activities.  I want to have lots of time for family fun, so we are having to re-arrange some of our individual activities.

Did I mention that my mom won a COW in a raffle, and split it with us?  Yesterday I got to drive to a meat processors' and pick up half a cow, all neatly cut and wrapped and in boxes.  Huge, huge, HUGE blessing for our family!  We are down to the last few packages of venison from last fall, and the freezer was getting bare.  Next I plan to order half a pig from a local butcher and this some there will be some bbq pork steaks and grilled t-bones, yum,yum, yum!  Sorry, just couldn't help it!

Oh well, it will all work out.

Anyway, today I am enjoying being at home, getting ready to do some housework, spend some time being quiet, reflecting on the goodness of the Lord.  

You have a wonderful Saturday, too!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Shameless Borrowing - My "Life's Too Short Top Ten" List

A blog post by Susan in the Boonies got me thinking this week.  What is MY "Life's Too Short- Top Ten" list??

And as I make this list, I have to ask myself - are the things that are really important being reflected in my life?  I used to hear the expression that you can tell what someone loves by their calendar and their checkbook - by how they spend their time and money.  I know that the main thing that gets crowded for me is the calendar, the endless to-do list.  Most of my list does not require much by way of money, but it is my time that needs to be considered. Life is too short:
  1. To not spend time with the LORD.  To know Him, worship Him, study His Word, rejoice in my salvation, and tell others about the LORD.
  2. To not make sure my husband knows how very much I love him.  I want to give him the best of me, not the drudges at the end of the day (or sometimes drudges in the morning or at lunchtime!).  I want to love him and have him know how much he is loved by my actions.
  3. To not spend the time to know and love my children. Not just to be a disciplinarian or to keep the household running for them, but to seriously know them, be involved in their interests and love on them.  To watch NASCAR and basketball, to discuss LEGOS, to kiss away tears and belly-laugh at jokes.
  4. To not pray for my children and husband.  My greatest desire is to see my children saved, walking with the LORD.  My desire for my husband is that I can be a helpmeet to him as he leads our family, teaches us and supports us.  
  5. To not spend time in fellowship with the saints. Why would I miss opportunities to be blessed and to bless others?  To gather for corporate worship, for times of prayer and study, for times where we can have fellowship as our lives and our walks are entwined, our hearts knit together.
  6. To not learn and grow.  I want to always read and learn and study, for my mind to never grow dull, to stop wondering.
  7. To not throw a party when it is obvious one needs to be thrown.
  8. To take on projects that I don't want to do, and suck up time that could be spent on things I do want to do.
  9. To not take the time to create - be it food, jewellery, cards, whatever.
  10. To not say, "Thank you" - every day - to the LORD, to those around me.  I want to appreciate and show appreciation.

So, there you have it.  What are your Top Ten?  I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Science Comes To An End

Our science co-op has ended for the year.  Sniff.  We had a great year, and I am going to miss those guys.  But so far, it looks like I will have a bunch of them back next year!  Hooray!

So, for those who care (and those who just stumbled onto this site) here are some picks from our last class, and end-of-the-year party.  This is not just the students, but moms and some younger siblings as well.  I think we ended up with around 30 people.

We finished up the year with the human nervous system, and the last class was on the five senses.  To study the connection between taste and smell, my#3 son Joe was our subject. He is blindfolded, and holding his nose.

First I fed him pieces of apple and raw onion, to see if he could tell the difference.  Out of 8 bites, he go 2 correct while holding his nose.  Then, I fed him apple and raw onion while he was not holding his nose.

I guess he could taste the onion, since he is spitting it back out into my hand.  He is a good sport!  For this experiment, we let some of his friends who are too young for the class observe. Usually the "10 and under" crowd is downstairs.  Note the two girls on the left, I think they are getting a particular enjoyment out of this!

Showing him what we fed him.  

A giant cookie from one of the families.  I was really blessed by the appreciation shown in so many ways by the families.

Line up for food!  I grilled dogs that morning, and we had an assortment of salads, chips, veggies and dips.

Do those dogs up right.

There's always one.

Graci guarding the dessert table.  Oh yeah, we had a lot of desserts!

Enjoying the perfect weather on the front porch.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Just a Little Creativity

I needed to keep the littles occupied for a while the other day, so we made this Spring poster. The paper is recycled from packing around some china.  The letters, flowers and grass are recycled from the pages of Missouri Conservationist magazine. The butterflies are new coffee filters, no need to get gross.

Well, I don't know how to rotate a picture once it is in, but these are cards they made for their grandmothers.

One of my very few artistic outlets is making jewelry.  I am not a real creator, more just a bead stringer.
 But I thought this turned out pretty.  The black are hemalkyke, whick is a man-made stone,
and the blue are just pretty Czech glass. This is a gift for a dear friend.

These are red coral and some sort of obsidian, and the silver beads are pewter.

These are actually shells, with Czech glass in between.

There is some detail for you!

A necklace and bracelet, made of glass, pewter and (gasp!) plastic beads.

Some detail.  Can you tell which are plastic?

I love the green and orange/red in the unakite.  The orange beads in the necklace are.....well, now I can't recall.
Starts with a "C".  I work with a lot of gemstones.