05 November 2015

Orange Candles

This time of year I am anticipating the long, dark winter so I'm searching out warmth in all its forms. Shorter days bring out the need for comfort.

The straight-haired girl made orange candles. We melted down two tapers that were past their prime and poured the wax into clove studded orange hemispheres. They have burned for quite a while now, giving off light and warmth and a wonderful holiday aroma.

11 February 2015

Love Letters

Every year the Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators hosts a convention for the entire state. The location rotates between Duluth, the Twin Cities, and Rochester. Rochester is six and a half hours away from where we live, and we don't always go on those years. When the convention was in Rochester several years back, I went to an alternative convention put on by the Duluth homeschool group. Although I missed the ginormous room full of used books at MACHE, the CORE convention was excellent.

Tracey Finck was one of the presenters that day, and what she had to say really lit a fire in my brain. I go back and read my notes every once in a while when I am discouraged, and I always come away feeling better about our school journey. She's the author of the little paperback book Love Letters to a Child. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to use the medium of journaling to enrich the relationship they share with their children.

09 February 2015

The Woman Inside My Head

Day after day, we're bombarded by images of the outside of others' lives. We see perfectly styled photos of other homes, perfectly airbrushed images of other women. We read stories about people who save the world by age 27 and then juggle two careers, a family of seven, and find time to sew their own wardrobe on the side. And then we turn around to look at our mess. And most of the time, it's not even hot. (Why doesn't it occur to me to just. turn. off. the computer?!? Why?)

When I get overwhelmed by all that perfect input, I revert to the perfectionist in me that says, "Well, then. If I can't do every single aspect of my life as perfectly as they are, then I might as well not even try." And then, because the sane part of me realizes that's not good to completely disengage from life, I start paying just enough attention to my life so no one notices the lack. Or so I tell myself.

Just enough that my kids and my husband don't completely feel ignored, but not enough to actually say I am investing in their lives. Just enough to maintain connections with my friends, but not enough to say I am living in true community. And please, let's not even talk about the house and the menu.

Quite honestly, there are times when giving up seems like a good plan. I stop swimming upstream toward the life I want - not the perfect life I see on my Pinterest boards - the life I am thoughtfully working toward (most of the time). The life where I'm living, not just marking time.

If I want that life, then giving up is not really an option. Eventually, I get my head out of the fog long enough to realize that comparing myself to anyone else is an exercise in futility. I don't live anyone else's life. And when I lose sight of the reason I am swimming upstream, I need to hunker down, get some rest, and start thinking about why I'm doing any of this in the first place.

“Love always perseveres.”  - The Bible

06 February 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook

February 6, 2015
Outside my window...it is snowing. Again. This time, it's light and fluffy and rather pretty. 

I am thankful... for a quiet hour or two to gather some thoughts and visit this spot again. I've been gone for quite a while.  

In the kitchen...we are trying to eat more healthily. Some days we make more progress than others. Today was not so great (pretty sure Hardees' Frisco Burger doesn't qualify as particularly healthy), but thankfully tomorrow is a fresh start.

I am wearing...flannel. Flannel is perfect for winter.

I am creating...several messes. Hopefully they will resolve themselves into something beautifully productive before too long!

I am wondering...why it is so impossibly difficult to be consistent. Energy levels, moods, actions, all of it. Grrr. It's an exercise in futility sometimes. I can go with the flow most days, but sometimes it just gets to me.

I am reading...Beneath the Sands of Egypt by David Ryan. I just finished it. It was a bit rambling in parts, but overall a good read for someone interested in fairly recent happenings in Egyptology. I am going to start Any Approaching Enemy by David Worrall. Rather eclectic, but there it is.

I am hoping...to walk regularly on the treadmill and generally get my rear in gear. I need to quit hibernating. Spring will come to our neck of the woods. Eventually. I hope.

I am looking forward to...spring! This could have something to do with the inconsistency mentioned above, now that I am thinking about it.

I am learning...that some things can't be rushed. They must be learned slowly as they are experienced. Sometimes in layers. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither are our lives.

Around the house...we have created a video of our borrowed pipsqueak lip-syncing "Let It Go." She's pretty cute, that littlest pipsqueak. And she has mad drama skills.

I am pondering...how little time I have before the pipsqueaks are launched. Time flies so quickly! I want to make the most of what time is left before they only visit this house. I am glad to see the young women they are becoming. I am also glad that I have enjoyed every stage so far, even this one. But time goes by a lot quicker than it seems to everyday during that last hour before supper.

A favorite quote for today..."Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Ps. 90:12

One of my favorite things...is Eighties Alternative Radio. Oh yes. Love it!! (Don't tell the resident Dad. He's not a fan of anything but terrestrial radio.)

A few plans for the rest of the week: "Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!"

No photo this time. My camera is elsewhere and I am a complete technological slacker at this point in my life.

I am taking part in The Simple Woman's Daybook.

31 January 2015

January Quote of the Month

"Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message."
~Malcolm Muggeridge

14 February 2012

Valentine's Tea

Please ignore the unironed tablecloth. (My mom is mortified already.) It was not the fanciest of set ups, to be sure, but we all had a great time!

The Straight-haired girl lovingly cut out peanut butter and jelly hearts for all her friends and arranged everything on fancy pink dishes. The Curly-headed girl made the cheese toasts and set the table with tea cups. Homemade Valentines were everywhere. (I think I even found one in my shoe.)

If it is all about the presentation, this may not have been five star dining. If it's all about the love, we're rich indeed.

24 December 2011

What is It Really About?

We do this when we open our presents...

...as a reminder that Christmas is not all about this.

It's easy to get caught up in the getting. Especially when you are a child and the whole house changes. The tree is so front and center. All the packages under it are so front and center. But there is another deeper reason we celebrate Christmas.
Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.
But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."     ~Luke 2


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