January 31, 2017

The end of another beginning

FOR TODAY...

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Outside my window...

Beautiful Sunshine!

Also, an Akita that cannot decide whether to bite or play.
He is afraid of me but, aggressive towards the kids.

Who does he belong to, I wonder?

I am thankful...

for sure footings, solid foundations, clear paths.

I am wearing...

a heavy shawl.

Even with the sunshine, I'm COLD.

From the kitchen...

 Pots of tea and a warm apple crisp.

In our home school...

Our daily grind:
Math
Reading
Physics
History
Music
Art
Poetry

I am creating...

Preparations for a few gatherings in my home this month.

I am enjoying...


Thoughts of my future. Can you believe it?
Laugh with me, it's been a long time.

I am going... 

To make a good trade with Noah.

Cheers to a clean car!

I  remember...

a recurring dream in which I face an intense temptation.
I usually wake up disappointed in myself wondering about the purpose of the dream.
Last night, however, I faced the temptation head-on with strength and determination.

I woke up rejoicing!

What was the point?
An imaginary conflict, an imaginary victory...
but real adrenalin, real joy?
 Life is a mystery at times.

I am reading...

My usual friends.

Around the house...

Three teenagers engaged in their projects

I am hearing...

The crackling of the fire, the blowing of the fan, the mumblings of quiet conversations.

A quote to share...

"In every man there is a loneliness, a chamber into which only God can enter."

~ George MacDonald

I used to avoid that lonely place, but now I often run there for peace, or direction, even joy.

What I am thinking about...

People believe what they want to believe.
Truth doesn't matter...only desire.

If the Truth doesn't feel good, just get rid of it.

An uncomfortable rock is exchanged for soft sand...sinking sand.

Some of my favorite things...

Sunny days
Snow capped mountains
Singing birds

Spring waving hello from a distance.

Come closer, Spring!

A few plans for the month:

Visits with old and new friends,
Teaching at home and the prison,
Parties and classes.

And pansies...for my table, for my kitchen window, for my dresser.

 A Picture thought to share:



December 27, 2016

December daybook

FOR TODAY...

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Hello again. It's been a while

Outside my window...

A dwindling wood pile.

I am thankful...

For simple, quiet days at home.

I am wearing...

Coziness: my softest sweater(s) and warmest socks.

From the kitchen..

 Beef tips in gravy over mashed cauliflower and potatoes with
 Ceasar salad.

In our home school..

We're back in Kindergarten this week:
Playing games, working puzzles, coloring in books, eating lots of cookies.

I am creating...

Stories of unlikely friendships for my collection. The most recent, Miss Monotony.

I am enjoying...

My vacation, and
sleeping in every day.

I am going... 

Ice skating with my kids and their friends tomorrow.

(Read: watching from the sidelines while gabbing with the other moms)

I  remember...

Making a fool of myself singing karaoke at our neighborhood Christmas party.
It's my way of making everyone feel better about themselves.

I am reading...

The new Bible I got for Christmas.


It's lovely, black, hard cover, with my name inscribed in gold letters.
The old one was falling apart, past repair.

Around the house...

Evidence of much relaxation

I am hearing...

Squabbling, playing, laughing, running down the stairs too fast, stomping up the stairs too loud.

The fire crackling in the wood stove.

A quote to share...

"No man can be a Christian by knowingly and willingly taking Christ on the installment plan, as Savior now, and Lord later."

~ Vance Havner

(love that old preacher)

What I am thinking about...

2016 was a good year.

Lot of growing up: learning to do hard things, to not be afraid, to endure.

I wonder what next year holds?


Some of my favorite things...

New colored pencils for Christmas.
Sophia playing 'O Holy Night' on her violin.
Naomi giggling and squealing over any gift.
Noah with an armload of firewood. 

A few plans for the month:

Busy, busy days ahead.

Weekly Patch Kids meetings
Teach at ladies prison one Saturday
Dentist appointments
Homeschooling
Writing
Archery classes
Chauffeuring here and there
Driving my morning and afternoon routes

 Picture thoughts to share:


Home sweet Home


Sophia being artistic with her phone


Special heirlooms, valuable because of the loved ones who owned them before me.

August 13, 2016

My friend, Simplicity

Silence is a welcome guest this Saturday afternoon. I spent the morning changing sheets, cooking, cleaning then cooking and cleaning again. All my preparations for teaching Sunday school are completed.

Finally, I enjoy the silence of the afternoon, watching the warm breeze blow the lace curtains, the birds fly from here to there, the cottonwood tree wink at me. My thoughts come out from behind To-Do lists to play. Memories, stories and conversations past invite me to remember.

Money was always tight when my children were young. I sigh with a smile as I look back. Simplicity emerges crowned with gentle beauty and I recall mud pies in the back yard, hours spent painting rocks, a swing hung in the magnolia tree.

The television broke when Noah was a baby; we never replaced it. Every other Saturday we would drive to Port Townsend to go to the beach. The children would play in the sand or enjoy sometimes cold or windy walks on the trails.

Snacks were simple: chips and avocado slices or apples dipped in peanut butter. The long drive meeting the joy of the destination turned any food into a happy picnic. Occasionally, though, we would splurge on clam chowder and hot crab dip. Those were special times. The tea was savored and the children sat nicely knowing it was a privilege to enjoy such luxuries.

Birthdays tested our friendship because of my longing to celebrate full force. Tears blurred my vision of the few small bills and pile of coins spread before me. Just as Jealousy and Self-Pity were about to comfort, my beautiful friend, Simplicity, would blow in laughing joyfully at my riches.

A balloon tied to a chair and breakfast turned into a smiley face became tradition. Each member of the family took a quarter of the chalk board to create a personal message while the birthday child was loaded down with homemade cards rife with secret messages, riddles, mazes, or puzzles. Small presents wrapped and decorated with whatever could be found were oohed and aahed over.

I don’t know how she did it, but Simplicity had her way for years. With beaming smiles, a whole roll of lifesavers, a page of stickers, a simple toy became treasures to cherish.

Life is not so easy now. Simplicity is too quiet in these noisy days. Facebook, Pinterest, and “keeping up with the Jones's” clamor for attention and promise much more. Entertainment, Fashion, Camps, Classes, and Bucket-lists, so flashy and loud consume our time.

But, sometimes, twelve-year old Noah comes home content after a solitary walk in the morning air. Sometimes, the evening is spent in gentle hours reading aloud George MacDonald or Mark Twain. Sometimes, Grandpa visits and we sing southern gospel favorites or press Sophia to play hymns on her violin well into the night. The doors are locked, the lights turned off, and as we say, “Goodnight,” we add, “What a great time!”

I see Simplicity beaming with beauty, having gotten her way again. I’m glad for her friendship, a true gift from God.





August 8, 2016

Glimpses X


Target practice


backyard "glamping"



Windy beach days


River play


Elk Sightings


"There is a river that won't run dry, It flows from the Most High."


Ferry to the city



Museum of Flight



First attempt at homemade Pad Thai


Playing Horseshoes.


Visits from Grandpa Don


Don't Go!!


Beautiful artwork.


Blackberry picking


Top of Mt. Walker

July 11, 2016

No blue sky this July

FOR TODAY...

Seven eleven sixteen

Outside my window...

The bare bones of a tee pee

I am thankful...

For the freedom to home school.

My children are not force-fed ideas inconsistent with our family values.
Today, at least, we can still choose our own beliefs. We can still live by them.
Perhaps not for long...

I am wearing...

antique earrings

From the kitchen..

Cookies by Naomi

We just finished the "never-ending" tri-tip.
Meal one: thick slices served with garlic mashed potatoes
Meal two: carne asada tacos
Meal three: steak quesadillas.

and there is still leftovers!!

Next time we make a tri-tip, you better come. We'll need help eating it.

In our home school...

Too much math for anyone, but it can't be avoided.

Naomi is sketching portraits.
Sophia is composing a medley of our favorite "goodnight" songs on her violin.
Noah's penmanship is improving.

I am creating...

New exercise habits...again.

I'm in charge of this fat and these muscles...Right?
So, "C'mon body! We're going for a walk, a fast one with hills!
Quit your moaning and stop making all those creaking noises."

I am enjoying...

An open schedule.
Free to help, or go, work, or play.

I am going... 

to host our Third Penny Auction.
I hope the weather cooperates.


I am remembering...

Nothing in my life is a surprise to God.
He knew it all before me. He will, He does get me through and

MORE than that...

He will work it all out for my good.

I am reading...

"Ourselves" by Charlotte Mason.
This book requires a lot of digesting.
I've read bits of it before, but now I'm eating it up...slowly.


Around the house...

Lit candles...grey days even in July.

I am hearing...

Noah's pretend battle noises as he plays with his Lego creations.

A quote to share...

"A Dual Self--The whole question of self-management and self-perception implies a dual self. There is a self who reverences and a self who is reverenced, a self who knows and a self who is known, a self who controls and a self who is controlled. This, of a dual self, is perhaps our most intimate and our least-acknowledged consciousness." Charlotte Mason, Ourselves

Some of my favorite things...

Essential oils for pain
Bergamot scented candles
Imagination
Dreamless sleep
Hydrangeas

A few plans for the month:

Celebrate Noah's 12th birthday
A Penny Auction at my house
Boating, Yard Sales, Visits,
Curriculum planning for next year.

Some picture thoughts to share:







A final project from the girl's Script Class.

June 23, 2016

Another June Tune

FOR TODAY...

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Outside my window...

Grey and wet.
Last night it rained heavily. Today has been a constant mist.

I am thankful...

For the same old things.
Is that OK?
Boring?

Are your children alive and well? Is your home a safe and comfortable place?
A happy place? Do you have food to eat and nice clothes to wear? How about electricity and running water? Yes? Then, you are like me! Very Rich!

But what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet lose his soul?

I am thankful that if all of this was gone, It is well with my soul.

I am wearing...

A black skirt with an aqua colored tank and black cardigan.

Ladies, will you join me in putting away the hoodies and jeans?
When you wear a modest dress you make our environment lovely.

A dress seems to say, "Today is important." And it is isn't it? It's the only one we have.

From the kitchen..

Maybe you should tell me what's in YOUR kitchen. It would be more interesting.
I seem to be in a meal rut.

It's either fish tacos or eggs on toast with avocado.

In our home school...

We are discussing two things: Personality and Creation

Number 1:

What does it mean "He who loses his life shall save it and he who saves his life shall lose it?"
Does the Christian own his personality?

Number 2:

God gave us His creation in order to create.
God created words, math, science, nature, color, music.
We are created to create, so, what are we creating?

I am creating...

That is the question!

I don't know the answer. I limit my thoughts to something artistic, which would be NOTHING.
But, then, I think of the environment of my home,
the training of my children,
the investment into my relationships.

Perhaps daily living is creating, creating a life for myself and those around me.

WOW. If I go there, where living is creating, I become accountable for so much more than surviving.

I am enjoying...

A summer off.

No bus driving until September.

I am going... 

for a misty walk with the kids.

I am remembering...

I need to clean all the vents in my house. They should be removed and washed with soap and water.

I am reading...

Parables of Nature by Mrs. Alfred Gatty.

I enjoy children's books, do you?

Around the house...

Pens, ink pots, paper.

Monday is, sadly, our last calligraphy/lettering class.

I am hearing...

The kids discuss their joint money.

Foot ferry and ice cream cones? Save up for a kayak? Bowling?

Now I am hearing, "MmmOOOOOOmmm!"

Uh oh. I don't want to get involved.

A quote to share...

"Rejoice in the Lord, always, and again, I say, Rejoice!"

We rejoice in the Lord, not our circumstances.
We rejoice always, not when it is convenient.

Some of my favorite things...

Ocean breezes,
Red poppies,
Children,
Tea and cookies.

A few plans for the month:

Nothing, Nada, Zip, Zilch.

Yesterday, I had many plans, but things have changed.
Again, I find myself living in the moment, this day only, wondering, waiting,
yet living still, doing the next thing.

I plan on cleaning my vents. Come over and help me...I won't splash you, maybe.

Some picture thoughts to share:


The city of Westport.






Looking up to see...

This! Inside the lighthouse at Westport, WA

June 11, 2016

Say you, say me

Another driver was in need, this time a broken down bus. I could hear the concern in the dispatcher's voice as she tried to come up with a solution. Quickly one, two, three drivers piped in on the radio offering help to transport kids or to bring a new bus.

I smiled. My heart was warmed at the quick and kind responses. Don't you love to see people reach out to help? Even better, don't you love it when you are the helper or helped? Helping is such a reflection of LOVE, I thought, "Surely, there is help in heaven." But, how could it be? Helping assumes there is a need. Could there be need in heaven? We know there will be no pain, no tears, but I'm thinking there will always be need. It is part of God's great design. Everywhere we look in creation one thing needs another for its survival, even for its pleasure.

Look, especially, at how He created our bodies with so many parts, or members as they used to be called, making up one body.

The eye is not sad; it does not suffer because it cannot hear. Nor, does the ear cry or complain because it cannot see. What about the heart or the liver? We rarely think about them, in fact we don't even see them, yet the body is dead without them.

Oh, if only we saw our need for each other! If only we LIVED our need for each other! After all, that is what God says we are.

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 1 Cor 12:12

It won't be lived out without humility. We are too prideful. I am too prideful, but I don't want to be. It takes effort to walk humbly, pride is such a close and deceitful "friend."

Humility requires us to recognize our limitations. "What limitations?" We immediately cry out that there is nothing we can't do. We quote scripture about it, we make lists, we pat each other on the back and encourage one another to "Go for it!" Pride also manifests in hiding. We hide our need.

Imagine if the eye was determined to hear. Imagine him snubbing the ear as unnecessary pushing himself to hear as well as to see. How foolish! Yet, isn't that how we live? We deny ourselves pleasure and capability in our effort to do or be more than was intended.

We reject one another, missing out on relationships, adamant that we don't need each other. Sure, we survive for a while. We enjoy our independence. A blind man can get along fine, so does a deaf man. But what of the most necessary members? The unsightly ones? The difficult ones? You know, the one who is always telling the truth, filtering lies as if they were toxins, like some lumpy, ugly, hidden...liver.

Eventually, the body dies without its necessary members. Who decides necessity? God does. It is obedience to His will, His plan for the body that moves us to accept and help one another.

I need you. You need me.