Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Just finished "The Memory Keeper's Daughter," by Kim Edwards. It's all about secrets and protecting ourselves and our loved ones from pain and trying to make amends with the past. It's a good read and really gets to the heart of shame and what a lack of grace in one's life can bring. The resolution rings true but isn't truly satisfying. I kept hoping that the right thing would get done by someone. Instead the characters just continued living in shame, confusing, rebellion and defiance.
I've been thinking a lot lately about what "doing the right thing" is. I'm frustrated with several situations but the solutions seem impotent, the characters uninvolved, satisfied and legalistic. Several times over the past years I've disappointed people and they've let me know it. Frankly, they frequently don't show much tact in doing so and it all comes down to my not fitting their expectations. I'm doing what I'm called to do and I'm imperfect and frequently bungle. I've found, however, that most folks would rather things get done right, (which is usually subjective) and if that's not an option, they just don't get done at all. Bungling is the true sin, not the lack of obedience. And that frustrates me. The church, and from where I sit, most of the conservative right sit on their butts and crucify anyone not measuring up, safely ensconced in their pews or in front of their screen of choice.
And true, Viking Man and I chew off too much, too often. We don't have the hatches always battened down, we aren't financed sufficiently, we frequently take flying leaps and hope, rather than know, in a safety net. It's been a wild ride, and FULL of adventure, danger and honestly, loss. But I'd rather hit the finish line having finished rather than barely started, still fussing with all the whatifs, making sure we've cya'd down to the last nitty-gritty detail so that all of the spark has been snuffed out. No wonder the church is dying on the vine. I feel this desperate plead inside my soul wanting to shout to the church, like the little girl at the end of "Iron Will," GET UP. Just GET UP and STAND. You might not win, but at least you've started, at least you gave it a shot. GET UP! Obey, bungle. But put your faith in to action, put it to the test, be refined, take risks, make mistakes, get messy.
Instead I see questions asked rhetorically, without real sacrifice thrown into the response. . Impotence and ease, comfort and satisfaction. Lack of hunger and lack of thirst for the things, the important, the holy, the real things, that demand more. That will be bungled because we are still residents in a world that is full of sin. That are worth a shot regardless.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
The consumer ethos is above all one of individual self-fulfillment and autonomy, of keeping choices open.This makes it irrational to bear a child, since children represent the commitment of a lifetime. In the wonderfully apt phrase of novelist Michael Dorris, children "hold us hostage to the future." They limit a parent’s mobility, their needs dictate how much of their parents' money is spent, and they create "agendas" a parent otherwise would never have imagined-let alone have chosen. Attempting to stay true to consumption as a way of life, we soberly build daycare centers that label children Precious Commodities, fixate on the monetary costs of rearing a child from diapers through college, and seriously wonder whether or not we should "force" our faith and morality on our children.
Friday, April 24, 2009
The great outdoors was so very tempting this week and I always feel, on these first weeks of real spring, that I'm coming up for air after three years underground. We traded floor heaters for fans yesterday! Iris, sedum, flax are all poking tentative tendrils above ground, along with lettuce and the trees and bushes are beginning to blush pink and green and yellow.
My big homestead success of food preservation for the year: pick tomatoes, put a bunch in a freezer safe baggie, press all of the air out. When needed, rinse tomatoes, the skin falls right off, pop in a pan for tomato sauce, etc. Summer perfection stored in the freezer.
We are winding down with our year's school work. I think that we'll do Famous Men of Modern Age for summer school, along with Sequential Spelling, an extensive reading list, some memory work and lots of gardening. The boys in particular don't love to help weed but I love being out in the garden together and the rambling, crazy conversations that take place. Last year I read The Epic of Gilgamesh to them while they weeded- howz that for multi-tasking?
Don't forget to hop on over to Conversion Diaries and check out more Quick Takes http://www.conversiondiary.com/
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Guess beauty is really only skin deep and Hilton doesn't realize that his strident definition of marriage is religious and his behavior is ugly, juvenile and vile. Lots of stories being related lately about left wing, liberal, Obamessiah protesters who are shutting out and shutting down anyone who doesn't agree with them. I heard today from someone who won't support the Parental Rights Amendment because we "can stand on our constitutional rights." Apparently, only if you politically liberal, foul mouthed and bigoted.
Monday, April 20, 2009
As if that didn't make the week-end good enough Bob Kilpatrick http://www.bobkilpatrick.com/kilpatrick.com/ was at our church preaching Sunday morning. It wasn't your typical preach-thang; he's from California, after all. It was entertainment, worship, exhortation, preaching and ministry. We laughed, we cried, we went to church. Bob rocks. Go listen to some of his songs- you'll probably know them anyway- and you'll agree.
Last night we watched Saving Sarah Cain, a Micheal Landon Jr. film, based on a book by Jeanette Oake. This is a lovely little film about the hurts of the past, trying to find our own way, loyalty and getting whole- kinda like the Cleansing Streams Retreat. We were all choked up at the end of the film during a particularly poignant scene as Sarah is remembering good times, being exhorted by her sister to embrace coming challenges and to finding redemption through forgiveness.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Flower finished AlphaPhonics by reading words like syllable and gymnasium. Not bad for a little squirt who turned 6 at the end of January. She has also been adding and subtracting like mad, putting numbers in order and learning place value.
Cub has been working through the Figural/Visual Book #3 from Critical Thinking Press. We haven't used Critical Thinking workbooks for awhile- they are every bit as excellent as I remembered.
I've been reading Little House in the Big Woods to the notsolittles. I read the entire series out loud just a couple of years ago and lo and behold both Flower and Cub remembered sections from it. They are still enjoying every word. I'm a little sad in a way that Flower is not bringing Berenstain Bears and Curious George to me to read every night. We've turned a corner in her development and we are fresh out of pre-schoolers around here. Of course, it's easier in a way- though older kids demand just as much time and probably more effort (just different) on the part of parents.
FB and KB worked through Latin, Logic and Math, along with IEW. Fahrenheit 451 consumed a day of KB's world and we've spent lots of time discussing the significance and relevance of it.
We went to the local Tea Party on Wednesday and Bible Study on Tuesday.
The weather has been lovely- few bugs, high 50's or 60's. The kids are hungry for the outside world and have been spending every spare minute in it, reveling in frogs and bugs and birds found. Feche boy found a killdeer nest, wild turkeys and we are on the look-out for the old craggy snapping turtle that meanders through our yard each spring.
Have a great week-end! Hope your week was successful and all that you hoped!!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
~ Job 37: 1-5
Friday, April 10, 2009
Feche-boy finished the Omni II intro to Beowulf. Cub keeps insisting that this is THE story to do for drama camp.
KB read aloud the Shakespeare selection for the week, complete with voices.
Math- introduced subtraction on Monday. Flower freaked, cried and claimed that she couldn't do it. At bedtime we went over simple subtraction using my fingers and she's been whizzing through subtraction ever since. Math memory has included square, cubes, primes to 100, common measurements, months of the year. It's coming along. Cub is working on memorizing multiplication facts. He has skip counting down, but I want it memorized. It's getting easier for him. Viking Man worked with FB & KB this week on Saxon math. They are both feeling like they are mastering it, even if they don't like it. Of course, Viking Man takes every opportunity to show the kids the astronomy picture of the Day, relate that to math, which inevitably leads to a discussion on apologetics or what is happening on the front page of the Jerusalem Post or any manner of other things. The kids come down from our upstairs office full of happy-being-mentored-I-love-my-geek-Dad smiles. It's so good.
Grammar- Introduced Verbs from the Grammar Catechism, from Living Memory a couple of weeks ago. We've done nouns, adjectives, pronouns and now the verb sections- about 10 pages in all. It's so daunting to start a huge memory work like this- for me anyway, but we are getting through it. We are understanding grammar in a new and deeper way. We are owning it, and it's made all the difference in Latina Christiana II for Feche-boy. Cub continues to do Shurley grammar worksheets. FB & KB worked on their IEW theme book assignments, which are, of course, excellent.
Logic- Traditional Logic II. It was an easier week. The kids watch a lesson at the beginning of the week and then have 4-5 lessons to complete. Another lesson down. It's been going slower because the lessons are getting harder. Thank-you Memoria Press and Martin Cothran and Leigh Lowe for their vision and hard work. We are so blessed to have their materials available.
LCII- watch the video, get the work done, practice vocab, and grammar. KB and FB spent a lot of time during vocab memory work insulting each other in Latin. Viking Man was working at home and came down to tell me how impressed he was that they knew enough to throw around insults! Of course Latin sayings- this week- Fronits nulla fides: Place no trust in appearances. Amen to that.
Christian Studies II- read 3 lessons this week. The Bible reading is longer, we're slowing down.
History Sentences- we have all 24 CC sentences memorized. We take great joy in singing them LOUDLY and as goofily as possible. And believe me, we can do goofy.
Listened to Andrew Pudewa's CD this week on Redeeming our Educational Paradigm. Led to many interesting discussions about leadership and education. Also read a couple of profound articles on education in the latest Memoria Press Classical Educator.
Spent 2 afternoons with Anne's this week, booth of whom I cherish as friends, both who have as wacky a sense of humor as me, or at least laugh at my jokes. The kids had a blast playing and it was good to get out of the house. We love you guys!!
Went to Maundy Thursday service last night, which was very touching and enriching. There were different stations set up- communion, giving, to pray for family, to pray for one's own sins and lay them at the cross. The notsolittles were very invested in going to each station and participating. The music was powerful. It was good to be in the house of the Lord with fellow believers.
We also had a simple discussion and nice meal together over Peasch, watched Joseph, King of Dreams and everyone tried to one-up each other on memory work regarding the plagues, Moses, etc.
Cub and Flower are watching 300 Titans, which ties in to the Pudewa discussion on the training of Spartans - they truly believed in getting the kids young to be trained in a compound. This was the way to insure a powerful society. Conformity, commitment, etc. Great discussion on TWTM boards about a move the Secretary of Ed is proposing, which of course, brought more discussion into the home about education. I've decided that we are not non-traditionalists, but neo-traditionalist, any way I define it I think my kids are ruined on "normal."
Tomorrow school will consist of gardening, seeds, starts and dirt. My kinda day. Hope your week was productive and full of JOY.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
"the cheating ratio of married' gay males, given enough time, approaches 100%...Many gay lovers, bowing to the inevitable, agree to an 'open relationship,' for which there are as many sets of ground rules as there are couples" (p330 After the Ball, Kirk and Madsen).
According to a 1991 study of 900 homosexuals by Dr. Martin Dannecker, German "sexologist" who is a homosexual himself, 83% of the males living in "steady relationships" had numerous sexual encounters outside the partnership over a one-year period.
In his book, Virtually Normal (New York: Vintage Books, 1996), conservative gay writer Andrew Sullivan contrasts male-female marriages with same sex relationships and explains, "there is more likely to be a greater understanding of the need for extramarital outlets between two men than between a man and a woman"
Monday, April 6, 2009
Excuse me? As if it's a choice between being educated and a love of learning? Irl the most educated people I know are also the ones who truly love learning. And apparently we've come so far that we no longer realize that character is built through discipline and hard work, much of which historically has been academic. Frankly, I hope my kids master Latin, can diagram any sentence and by some miracle make it through Calculus. I want them to leave our home and our homeschool with a tool box full. I expect my kids to have great character. I expect that they will have good citizenship (whatever that means), and I expect my kids to have a passion (if not love) for learning. I also expect that family relationships are a high priority. As I've said before, I have a great many hopes and dreams for my kids...
So, yeah, I agree- Remember your goal(s) as you curriculum shop this spring. Latin, diagramming and calculus. Passion, enthusiasm, citizenship, familial responsiblity. You don't have to sacrifice or juxtapose one set of priorites over another. You do have to be intentional or something is bound to get lost in the shuffle. Here's how I manage it. Make a sheet with the following:
Sunday, April 5, 2009
"Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven time sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever.
Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never."
I have often, since becoming a believer, prayed for those persecuted for the faith, prayed that they would endure beyond what is possible, prayed that the Holy Spirit would comfort and defend and protect them from their own physical and mental limits in the face of torment.
Viking Man spent an hour at BooksMart and read excerpts from "Dawn" and "Day," subsequent novels written by Wiesel....we were burdened for this man who had endured beyond what is humanly possible. But, his back remained turned, his soul and his God remained murdered. I hurt for Elie Wiesel.
Today we sang Hosanna Hillsong United - Hosanna lyrics LyricsMode.com , friends and children waving palm branches throughout the church as they sang. We entered the Holy of Holies and were washed clean. We drank and were refreshed. Hope was restored to those of us who had sinned, fallen short, lacked faith.
I pray that you had a peaceful Sabbath, that you encounter the One True Living God, and that no horror, or greed or grief destroyed or will destroy your faith in Him Who Reigns. That if you or I should encounter grievous hurt and disillusionment that we, like Stephen, would be filled with the Holy Spirit, watch the heavens open up and see the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God and know His Justice, His mercy, His love. (Acts 7: 56).
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
As always, don't forget to stop by Conversion Diaries for more Quick Takes: http://www.conversiondiary.com/2009/04/7-quick-takes-friday-vol-28.html