Friday, November 30, 2007

Thought for the Day

"Real trust yields utterly to the one trusted. All desire is turned over to that one, believing his ability to manage, control, and finally accomplish what is best. When we pray, we should beware lest we line ourselves up with the mockers of Jesus -- "If You do such and such, then I will trust You!" We need to learn rather to let God rescue us in His own way. Lord, teach me this trust." --Elisabeth Elliot, The Music of His Promises, p. 9

I see this trust in the heart of my own little girl (whose middle name is Elisabeth, after my hero in the faith.) Though she will have chronic medical issues her whole life, she knows that God is good no matter what He does. May we all have faith like a child!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Bing Crosby had it right! Honestly, I love a little chill in the air this time of year. And what better way to take the chill off than a steaming bowl of hearty soup? This particular recipe is a family favorite and one that I often take to new mommies. (In fact, it will be on its way to one in a couple of days! Guess that's why it's on my mind today.) Get your spoons ready for a yummy soup to warm you inside and out! **Note: this soup is especially delicious when you add the secret ingredient... good fellowship!
Corn and Sausage Chowder
1 pkg. smoked sausage, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried basil
2 cups water
1 17oz can cream style corn
1 16 oz can whole kernel corn, drained
1 12 oz can evap. milk

Saute onion and sausage just until onions are clear. Into a large pot, put the sausage, onions, potatoes, spices, and water. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer for 15 min. Stir in corn and evaporated milk. Cover and heat thoroughly.

Pop over to Multi-Tasking Moms for more warm & tasty soup ideas!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thankful


Thanksgiving

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
-I Thessalonians 5:18

I'm a little late with a "Thanksgiving" post, but I wanted to pause before Advent begins and reflect on the Lord's bountiful goodness to us. The poem above sums it up - we had each of those things in abundance: days the Lord made for us to enjoy and glorify Him; shelter in the form of my Mom's house in Tennessee; good health and good food (yum!); the love of over 20 family members gathered into one big noisy, joyful bunch - "blessings all mine with ten thousand beside. Great is Thy Faithfulness!"

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Overheard

Here are some quotes flying around here these days:

"I gotta get me some of these!" 13yo S, discovering Dad's cool sunglasses on the drive to Target yesterday. Where did my baby boy go?

M (8yo) recently had dental work done. Now the family game is "play dentist." M.(in the role of receptionist) says, "Who is next to see the dentist?" A (3) replies, wearing plastic Halloween teeth, "Me... I have purple teeth!" yep - that can be a problem.

(Before A. turned the corner on potty training) After nap one day, Mom asks, "A, do you have poopie in your pants?" A replies, "Yes, but I rolled over so it wouldn't get smooshed!" Gee...thanks?

A. is also working on a new memory verse, Genesis 1:1. "In the beginning God created Genesis One" Well, yes, I guess He did! ;)

Sweet little KL (18months) recently discovered her sister's dress-up beads. They're her favorite new toy, bringing on a new word: "itt-teee!" (tr. "pretty"-You really have to hear it to appreciate the cute factor.)

Last, but definitely not least, my little man whose joyeux de vive always puts a smile on my face: "I can imagine this is how the Boxcar Children must have felt!" 11yo C., after thinking he was "lost" in our little 3/4 acre of woods! Love that imagination!

Now head over to Mary's place for some more Tiny Talk!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Paper Chase

Perhaps it's my own fault...a self-fulfilling prophecy. I knew before I ever became a mother that I would hate potty training! Somehow I managed to survive the first three. It wasn't easy and they each had their own particular issues - but I survived. I thought I might despair while training #4, but recently - magically - we achieved success.

Now we face a new challenge - paper control! Let's just say he's not worried about saving trees. Episode #1 of The Paper Chase: Wipes. I noticed A. was in the bathroom - "Don't flush until Mommy comes to help you," I said as I went to deal with another issue. I returned and peeked in on him a couple of minutes later. He was standing by the potty, with his hand on the "flusher." I looked in the bowl and to my horror saw two huge stacks of flushable wipes - basically the whole box - floating around! "Don't flush yet!!" I yelled as I ran for a pair of rubber gloves and a plastic bag. I rounded the corner - armed - when I heard it ... the distinct sound of ... Flushing! "NOOOOOO!!!!!" I screamed as I dashed in (can't you just see it in slo-mo?), put the gloves on, thrust my hand in the swirling water, and yanked the chunks of soggy paper from the bowl just before they caused an expensive visit from the plumber. Whew! That was close. The good news - now we were out of wipes. I gave another lecture on waiting for Mommy's help and not using too many wipes. Then I tried to recover what was left of our morning.

"Just be thankful he's using the potty at all..." I kept telling myself, "Just 'do the next thing...'"

Last night we experienced Episode 2 of The Paper Chase: Qulted Northern. A. was in the upstairs potty this time (the cute fishy kids' bathroom.) I didn't even know he was in there. I was walking up the stairs when I heard the handle of the toilet begin to jiggle. "Wait, A.!" I shouted (taking the steps two at a time now.) Once again I found him standing over the toilet, sans pants. He had a blue medical glove on one hand (souvenier from the last trip to the doctor) and a wad of dripping toilet paper in his hand. Piles of soaking toilet paper were in (and mostly out) of the trash can. I can just see the wheels turning in that little brain: "Ok, Mom is nuts, but I guess this is the way we do it now!" I let out a shriek, told him to "freeze!" and ran downstairs for my cell phone. No WAY was I dealing with this on my own again - it was Daddy's turn. (My only real phobia -- wet paper! Crazy, I know. Makes the whole situation just so.much.more.funny, huh? Laugh it up!)

So I get Daddy on the phone. He's on his way home, but too far away. (Or maybe not. This can wait, right? A. can just stand there, frozen, no pants, dripping TP in hand - for 3o minutes or so? No? Really? Ok, I can handle this.) I take a deep breath and go get my gloves, a plastic bag, some paper towels, and windex. Little K., who had witnessed my earlier shriek, keeps coming to the door and giving her own little mock shriek. I put A. in the shower (mostly to play and keep him out of my hair) and dive in. Once I get all the wet, nasty, slimy TP in the bag, I proceed to clean the bathroom - floor to ceiling. Check that off the old To Do List. (gotta find the silver lining, folks!) I finish up my work, get the little stinker (pun intended) out of the shower, and wrestle the yucky glove out of K's hand (we all washed our hands - and the gloves - I promise.) Who do you think should walk in the door at that very moment? That's right - Daddy! Laughing his head off, to boot! This guy has impeccable timing, let me tell ya.

Don't worry though, I fear our journey on the Paper Chase is not done. He'll get his turn! Stay tuned for the next episode...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Random Thoughts



Our church had the privilege last night of hosting Matthew Smith in concert. Matthew is part of a community of musicians in Nashville, TN called "Indelible Grace." They take the lyrics to old, solid hymns and put them to new music. I have all four of their CDs and love them! This song is one of Matthew's originals, on his solo album. Good stuff.

One of the reasons I love homeschooling is that we can follow rabbit trails and depart from our curriculum for a spell to study something that interests us. At the moment, that is sailing! No, we didn't just purchase a new boat (not much water left to sail on here in Georgia!) We're reading Swallows and Amazons for our read-aloud right now. It has nothing to do with our cur current history or science topics, but that's ok. The story has a lot of sailing jargon we didn't know, so we spent Friday defining sailing terms and sketching diagrams of catboats. Here are the results:(the pics are kind of washed out - click to enlarge and you can see them better.)



Tomorrow we're going to study England's Lake District, where the book takes place. We're going to look it up in our Atlas, mark it on our wall map, and talk about old-fashioned customs of taking a "holiday" in this pretty region. I may even be able to tie in some Jane Austen - broaden their horizons! (A field trip would be a nice touch, but you can't have everything, eh?)

We are going to keep our study of Old Testament History and Egypt tabled for the time being and turn to Thanksgiving. It is one of my favorite holidays because of all the rich history - both of our country and our faith. We're going to read Stories of the Pilgrims, as well as several of our favorite picture books on pilgrims and Plymouth: Three Young Pilgrims, Sara Morton's Day, and Samuel Eaton's Day. I can't wait to get started!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A Mellow Monday and a Good Book

I made a personal "rule" several years ago to stay home on Mondays. It simply gets our week off on the right foot if we can regroup after the weekend and be busy at home. This Monday we had the added issue of sick little ones to nurse. While I comforted them and tried to get some housework accomplished, the "Big 3" did their morning chores and some independent schoolwork.
By the time the little ones went down for their naps, I was exhausted. When we finally got our late lunch cleaned up, I decided to spend some time chilling out and reading Leepike Ridge to the kids. We started the book weeks ago, but had only read a few chapters. We kept putting it aside to read our science or history books. We picked it back up over the weekend and were quickly hooked. On Monday, we ended up reading together the entire nap time and finished the book! We just couldn't stop until we found out how it ended.

I was originally inspired to buy the book after reading what Laurie Detweiler (of Veritas Press) had to say about it. She said, "Be prepared to leave the laundry in a pile, the dirty dishes in the sink, because once you start reading this you will not stop until you hit the last page. And please don’t punish your children if they stay up past their bed time." Well, that sold me.

The story takes a few chapters to warm up. (That's why we were able to set it aside for a few weeks.) But by the middle of the book, the suspense builds and it becomes a serious page-turner. It is the story of Tom Hammond, an eleven-year-old boy who floats down a creek on a piece of packing foam from a refrigerator box. He gets swept into a cave and that's when the real adventure begins. N.D. Wilson includes all the essentials for an adventure story: treasure, survival, intrigue, courage, and a good dog! It is has elements from works like The Odyssey, Tom Sawyer, King Solomon's Mines, and Robinson Crusoe. (Fair warning: it is a bit scary at times. Even the big boys admitted to being a little shaken up when we read at bedtime on Sunday night.)

Once we were finished with the book, the kids used the remaining daylight on that crisp fall day to go on their own adventure in our woods. They, too, had the essentials: flashlight, metal detector, sharp stick for digging. They ended up finding a turtle which we kept in a box for 24 hrs to observe. Not bad for a homeschool day with sick little ones. In addition to the math they did in the a.m., we covered history (an element from the story,) science (lots of neat cave info, plus the turtle experience,) and literature (Wilson has a good writing style and we talked about how he paints vivid pictures with the words he chooses.) Though Monday was not a typical homeschool day, I think it fits in with my overall philosophy of inspiring a love of learning rather than just filling their heads with information.






Thursday, November 1, 2007

For All the Saints

Inspired by Janice's comment yesterday, I decided to also commemorate All Saints Day, when we remember those believers who have entered their Heavenly Rest - especially those who died for their faith. So we praise Jesus for His faithfulness to them, and look forward to the time when our Pilgrim Days are finished and we, too cross over Jordan into our Rest.

For All the Saints
For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
who thee by faith before the world confessed,
thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest. Alleluia, Alleluia!
Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might;
thou Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight;
thou in the darkness drear, their one true light. Alleluia, Alleluia!
O may thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold,
fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
and win with them the victor's crown of gold. Alleluia, Alleluia!
O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
yet all are one in thee, for all are thine. Alleluia, Alleluia!
And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
and hearts are brave again, and arms are strong. Alleluia, Alleluia!
From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast,
through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: Alleluia, Alleluia!

And as a bonus... here are a couple of pics from last night. We had a peasant from Wittenburg, ca 1517, the Pharaoh Menes (unifier of Upper and Lower Egypt), American Girl Kaya, Robin Hood, and Piglet.