Sunday, November 30, 2008

Oh Tannenbaum

The day after Thanksgiving marks the official start of the Christmas season in our household. Viking Man is all about Christmas and his mood is infectious. Again this year, we went to our local tree cutting outfit and spent time in the freezing cold contemplating, rejecting and finally deciding on the perfect tree. Once the important decision was made, the girls headed back to the car to thaw while the men cut down the tree. At the warming hut we were greeted by hot cider, candy canes, ponies to pet, turkeys to ruffle and a sleigh ride courtesy of 2 noble Percheron's. Just beautiful!

Back home, we drank hot chocolate, listened to Christmas music, decorated trees and put up garland. This old house was made for the season.

We had our first Advent reading tonight. We are going through a Jesse Tree Devotional this year and started, again, Tabitha's Travels. The littles are still on round 1 of the series, though the older kids have heard it before.

It usually gets down to serious winter here after Thanksgiving but the house is winterized and we have wood stacked. I would taunt, "bring it on" but winter is my least favorite season; I get cold in the fall and stay cold till bout' the end of planting season. I am all about mild winters and look forward to spring thaw, weather wimp that I am.
We still have a few weeks of co-op to go, we'll start play practice this week and we pick up College Woman from the airport in 8 days. I was going to try to fit in a lap-book on Christmas symbols but I think I'm running out of December. Are you getting ready for Christmas yet? What do your school plans look like?

Friday, November 28, 2008

7 Quick Takes Friday

Joining Jennifer over at Conversion Diary for Quick Takes again....head on over and check it out (link in blog roll).
1. Our Thanksgiving was relaxing and mellow. The big food hits were KB's orange and cranberry scones -oh yea- and homemade Baklava. The scones will be revisited this a.m. with tea at breakfast but the baklava was savored and polished off with relish last evening. I believe a new tradition has been birthed.
2. A disturbing day for India yesterday. Disturbing is such a clean word. It doesn't do the horror and damage justice. A grievous day for India. A day of death and mourning.
3. Read an awesome article this week on "genius," -I am going to figure out how to link things so that you can read it too- just probably not today : ) It distills world class excellence down to 10,000 hours, or roughly 10 years of investment of time, effort and passion. I've been reflecting on it a lot this week. What is it that I want to pour my time, energy into? How do I want to guide and direct the kids? What do I want to be really good at, focus on and excel at? What about you? What are you passionate about? What does the world need that you have to offer, that no one else can provide? What if we don't live 10 more years, what would be worth the investment even then?
4. We are getting a live tree this year and going out on Sunday to cut it down. Our annual Christmas decorating begins this week-end. Woohoo! The house is so clean it would sparkle if it could. Popcorn, hot chocolate, Charlie Brown's Xmas CD playing in the background (courtesy of our friends, Laura and Bruce-see what you started?) and decorating! Sorry you'll miss it Miss. R but we took a vote and we decided that we wanted Xmas "up" for the whole season. We are saving the Gingerbread house for when you get here - arntcha' happy? : )
5. CAIR, the Council on American Islamic RelationsMuslims wins lawsuit for 'fasting' and 'prayers' on the job. Chad Groening - OneNewsNow - 11/26/2008 5:00:00 AM
"An Arab-Christian woman and critic of Islam says it is unfortunate that Islamic intimidation is forcing American companies to give Muslims special privileges not afforded to other groups.
Under a settlement of a federal religious discrimination lawsuit, up to 100 Somali Muslims who are current or former workers of a St. Cloud, Minnesota, meatpacking plant will receive a total of $365,000. The U.S. Equal Employment Commission filed suit against Gold'n Plump, Inc., and the Work Connection, Inc., an employment agency which handled some hiring for the plant. Under the settlement, Goldn' Plump agreed to pay $215,000 to workers who were terminated for taking prayer breaks, and Work Connection will pay $150,000 to workers who were asked to sign a form acknowledging that they might be required to handle pork, which many Muslims consider unclean."
Lots of thoughts on that one but that would change the quick take format....
6. KB, Flower and I are venturing out into town for the U.S' busiest shopping day of the year. I am not a shopper, stores are not my thing. KB has a gift card and coupons -this love.
7. China buys up Citigroup's assets. A comic we enjoy has his marionette say about Asia, "We have all your money." Someone is laughing all the way to the bank.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Do not get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up,
for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.
- Galatians 6:9

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Scent of Celebration.

"For we are to be the fragrance of Christ." ~2 Corinthians 2:15

God's fragrance has been a theme for me of late. I have been pondering how often I don't wear a lovely fragrance that beguiles, beckons, invites. It's the common that I wear, the dishwater soaked apron, full of worries and cares. My Gram used to have aprons that were just to wear for special times, to be lovely. They acknowledged the sacrifice and hard work that goes into living but added a touch of beauty and joy to the everyday. I get so caught up in the weary-work and the what-isn't that I often just soak in that. I fail to embrace the sweet smell of what is:

My husband, full of youth and vigor,
intelligence and wit and love for me.
My 5 blessings called children that I look at with wonder,
knowing that they will stand longer and stronger than I ever could.
My extended family, that has supported and loved us,
through thick, thin and disagreement.
Our little house on the Prarie that is full books and charm and living.
My friends from years past and present,
who have challenged me, loved me, encouraged me,
mentored me, disagreed with me, called me friend.
The present, the what's to come.
The Hope of Heaven.

Again, I look down and see that I have feet of clay knowing that I am a person of Destiny-as are you- called to soar with wings like eagles. When I wear the fragrance of Christ my feet become unstuck and I take flight.

The Word of the Lord to me today is beautiful fragrance;
the aroma of Thanksgiving,
the scent of Celebration.

Join me over at Seedlings in Stone and L.L.'s grand Thanksgiving Celebration --- you're invited too! She's got the cider on... care to join the feast of posts? See you over there....)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

WW: This N' That

Feche-boy has been our #1 fire keeper during the day. He brings the wood in, feeds the furnace diligently and keeps us all warm. Of course, I don't think that he minds the frequent visits outside to get wood. He truly is part Feche (get the books, they are awesome, The Wilderking series.) Cub pitched in this week to help clean out both refrigerators. Please disregard the mess around him and focus on the boy. Isn't he a cutie = )?
Miss. Flower lost her 2nd tooth this week. This time, all on her own (the 1rst tooth had a little help from a bro).
Honestly, I am going to duct tape KB to a chair to get a picture of her soon. She has been so busy taking them that I haven't gotten any of her lately.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Easy as Pie Homemade Yogurt

A cheap and easy recipe during a week of cooking expense (at least for those of us in America). Gather your ingredients, a heavy bottomed pan, clean jars, clean towel, whisk or spoon.
4 cups liquid milk. 3 Tablespoons powdered milk. 3 Tablespoons cornstarch. Sprinkle the powdered ingredients over the liquid milk in a heavy bottom pan. Whisk. Heat to scalding. Scald for 3 minutes. It's important not to let the milk boil.

From busy cooks
Scald means to heat a liquid, usually a dairy product, in a saucepan until it almost boils.
Remove from heat and let cool until you can stick your finger into the milk without burning your finger (not very scientific but it works when you don't have a thermometer). You want the mixture to be warm enough to incubate the live active cultures that you are about to add but not hot enough to kill them.
Add 2 Tablespoons of yogurt with live active cultures to your milk mixture and stir well. This can be from the supermarket or from your last batch of yogurt. If you shop for yogurt, make sure that it says on the label, "live active cultures."
Pour the yogurt mix into a jar. I use a canning jar. Wrap up like a baby and let it rest. I usually get at least a quart of yogurt from the recipe, but sometimes more, so I like to have a clean quart and pint jar handy, then put tin-foil over top, sit on a potholder and wrap up in a towel to incubate.
Check in a couple of hours. You should have a creamy, lovely yogurt that is as firm as store-bought. The longer you let the yogurt incubate, the tarter it will be.
We eat yogurt almost daily with granola, but it is also good as a sour cream substitute and I use it to make delicious wholewheat/oatmeal pancakes. Enjoy!

The original recipe was posted by Camy over at TWTM boards. Her blog is full of great homemaking tips and ideas. (

Friday, November 21, 2008

7 Quick Takes Friday

I have been enjoying Jennifer's posts over at Conversion Diary. Friday's are 7 Quick Takes, and it's a great wrap-up for the week. Pop over and check it out!
Have had a long-time dear friend on my mind and dashed off a quick email. She has a lumpectomy scheduled soon with a fam hx of cancer. Please pray for Laura and her fam. We love them.
Had a great time with KB this week planning, decorating, looking at recipes. Why do we always end up with the same menu? I look for new recipes and new dishes but they seem either weird or cost a fortune. I think we'll make Baklava this year for desert-yet another revision to the posted Menu.
Went on a field trip today to a Fire Engine Factory. So very, very cool. The kids had a blast, the parents had a blast. The tour guide was funny and informative and let the kids climb all over the engines in the display room for 1/2 hour with lights flashing.
Scored at the thrift store this week. Boys jeans in great shape for dirt cheap, books by 2 of my fav authors and 3 videos- Galaxy Quest, One Night with a King & Schindler's List. We are doing a high school One Act at the end of January and our play is on a WWII Czech Concentration Camp along with a unit study. This will fit in so very well. Cool thing is that the Morgan's lead a "Holocaust to Hope" tour and take communion at the selection point, redeeming the holocaust. It was a powerful to hear Janet tell of their adventures at the camps and what God
is doing last Friday during our visit with them. (
Howie Morgan's teaching tapes continue to bless and challenge us. Good stuff. Really good stuff. The teaching exposes my immaturity and convicts me. Not a combo I go looking for on my own but I do appreciate growing up and the freedom that affords.
A friend owns the "How Shall We Then Live" DVD by Francis Shaeffer and she is loaning it to me! Woohoo. I had wanted KB and Feche-Boy to see this. I'm thrilled.
Discovered a "Jesus Stocking" - went back to link the blog and "lost it" -if it is your idea, lmk and I'll link-ya! "A Jesus stocking is…just that. A Christmas stocking made for Jesus. It hangs in a place of prominence throughout Advent, and each day the family writes on pieces of paper things they are grateful for. Into the stocking they go, along with good deeds, and corporal or spiritual works of mercy performed during Advent as gifts for Jesus. What a great idea, and a very simple way to remember the reason for our joy!"

WR: Quarterly Review

Memory Work We've been working hard on VP cards, the Foundations review and poetry. Christian Studies I is about complete and the kids and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. All of the kids have done an awesome job memorizing, understanding, map work and drawing (the temple, etc). It has been this quarters big winner.

Latin, however, I have gotten too lax on. This is going to be an area that we work on next week because it will be light in other areas, and then make a priority as the next quarter gets under way. Flower is bored with Prima Latina, it is way over her head. My only requirement for her is that she sit and listen to it, but even that is a stretch for her.

U.S. Geography has been on the upswing because everyone has an individual map and I quiz them as they i.d a state or capital. We did get the U.S. "sound-off" from Logos and have started working through that. I wish that we had done the capitals/states in state alpha order as a more systematic way to memorize them. Another minor detail gripe about Foundations. The Geography puzzles from Timberdoodle continue to be a big hit with the littles. Flower loves them.

Science & Math, KB began reading with Cub, which they are both enjoying. He is on the second book in the "Exploring Earth" series by Tiner, which are all good. He finished RightStart B and I had a coupon for the Xian bookstore so he transitioned right into Horizons 2, book 2. I realized that we need to do more math drill in adding and subtracting with double digits and multiplication. He knows skip counting through 15's but hasn't figured out that this can help him with multiplying. This is his slight hold-up and he gets frustrated having to stop and figure it out.
ScheduleFeche-boy needs a daily work chart in order to stay on-task. I am going to put one together this week-end so that he can check items off on his own. We've gotten bogged down on Confessions and he is bored. I need to focus with him and get him into the next book. He has been reading like a mad-man from our history section and just picked up Eragon. He and KB continue to plow through Logic & Math- Dad continues to Tutor a couple of days a week, and everyone is doing some great drawing. I quite being diligent about using my lesson plan book and I am feeling much more scattered. There are a lot of details this year. I work much better having just a few big projects to tackle.

Sr. High KB continues to work through IEW's Rhetoric program. Can't say enough good things about it. We haven't even started Artistic Pursuits, though she has been doing some amazing drawings, paper crafting and photography of late.
Extra Curricular We also worked on the campaign this fall, visited the One Room Schoolhouse, did several read-alouds, watched Stein's Expelled and Lou Giglio's Indescribable and today we will go to a Fire Engine cool is that?

Overall, it's been a good quarter. I need to get back to my lesson plan book, create a check-off chart for each student, get deliberate about Latin.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thanksgiving Blessings- Decor

Thanks to Kelli for the holiday inspiration and encouragement to be deliberate about Thanksgiving. It's been fun to think about how we are going to celebrate this year!

Our Holiday Centerpiece. The lighting doesn't do it justice- it looks too 70's here but it is really quite lovely = )
Door Decor. We are going to take time to write our blessings on the leaves together this Sunday.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thanksgiving Blessings- Food & Thanks

Our Thanksgiving Day Menu

Jalapeno Pepper Jelly* with Cream Cheese on Crackers

Main Course
Turkey with Cornbread dressing
Corndogs : ) **
Cranberry salad
Sweet Potato Souffle
Smashed Red Potatoes
Pumpkin Bread
Ice Box Rolls
Spinach Salad with craisins,walnuts and oranges

Chocolate Fondue with Fruit
Pumpkin Pie with whipped cream
Frozen Fruit Fluff

Apple Cider
Chocolate Mint Tea*
Iced Water with Lemon

** Flower added Corndogs to the menu and I figured might as well. We were all talking about our T'Day Menu last night with everybody piled on our bed ('cept Cub who was on the couch with a book- his big vote was for Turkey and after that he didn't care) and Flower started crying. Really, really crying. Miss. R won't be here this holiday- she's taking intensives at college during break and can only afford to fly home once. She is having T'day with the grandparents and not with us. Flower said it was too sad to even think about Thanksgiving without her big sis. Daddy reminded her that R will be home for a couple of weeks at Christmas but that just made her more sad becasue she won't stay here for forever at Christmas. So, corndogs don't truly replace our oldest dd (betchyer glad to hear that, aren't ya Miss. R?) but they compensate just a wee little bit.
Holiday Literature

After 18 years of homeschooling we have a few books to choose from in our home. We made a basket for the holiday and have been reading through them. My favorite is "Eating Plates" because it talks about the culture of the New World. We also love Samuel Eaton and Sarah Morton's Day, put out by the Plymouth Plantation. We were there when Miss R. was less than 1 year old. It was a freezing New England Day but full of adventure, nonetheless.
What are you doing to prepare for the holiday?

WW: Playmobile Rocks.

Photos by the talented Miss Elizabeth (KB)
Can you guess which historical event is being re-inacted here?

Thanksgiving Blessings-Laughter

For all of those who participate in the annual turkey wrestle- this is for you- Enjoy!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thanksgiving Blessings

Kelli at There is no place like home is having a fun and fabulous contest this week- sharing our Thanksgiving plans, decorations, menus, cleaning schedules (well that part might not be so fun), and plans to celebrate a day of Thankfulness.

We've been studying poetry this past summer and fall and memorizing a poem a week. This week we are memorizing a poem/prayer by William Bradford.
"Thus out of small beginnings greater things have grown by His hand Who made all things out of nothing, and gives being to all things that are: and as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light enkindled here has shone to many, yea, in a sense, to our whole nation; let the glorious name of Jehovah have all the praise. ~Wm. Bradford, circa 1630
KB has been creating pockets of decor around the house. Here is the front porch welcome that resulted from Sunday's burst of creativity. Wouldn't you agree that she is talented?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Silver Friends

Have you ever been parched and not known it? Not even realized it until a soft and melodious shower comes and gives you a gentle soak? Yesterday, despite cold winds and driving snow a gentle rain came and quenched our thirst.

Dr. Howard & Janet Morgan

We drove a total of over 9 hours to meet some (for me) new friends. Viking Man has been corresponding with Howie by phone and email for over a year and since they were "in the neighborhood" (when you live in the boonies, the neighborhood gets larger) we had a serendipitous meeting! We spent the day with a truly delightful couple, the Morgan's, first at a deli which featured excellent food and attentive service, and then at the home of thier friend. Their friend's home was wonder in itself, a room-sized aviary, rugs on top of rugs, awards from their world class stables, glitter on the carpets -glitz & glamour, which delighted Flower to no end. They travel the globe, building up the church, discipling, healing, reconciling, befriending and laughing. And, honestly, while Howie is talented and dynamic and Janet is gifted and sharp you watch them and know that their's is a case where 2 are better than one. We've been blessed in life with a couple of couples that have exemplified what we want and hope to be as followers of Christ and as a couple- Gloria & Don, Brian & Annie, Howie & Janet.

If you'd like to gain a deeper understanding of the "Hebraic" mind-set check out thier web-site-I know that you'll be challenged and blessed.

Friday, November 14, 2008

WR: Memory Work

I thought I'd share a really bad picture of our large white-board which hangs in our dining room, which is not only my favorite room in the house (it has 6 walls due to an "eyebrow") but also serves as our main school room.

Our memory work is listed each week- on the left- English grammar. On the right, our Bible verse. We have it down in English but we are still going over it in Latin almost daily. Next is our history sentence, then science, geography, Bible and math. I don't put our weekly poetry on the board. This week we opted for a poem by Wm Bradford and, while only a paragraph long, it has proved tricky due to middle english and unusual punctuation. It is beautiful though! I also don't list VP cards. We add a certain number each week and when we are done with them we'll do the presidents. This is the second year we've done the VP cards and all but Flower can recite them to where we are at without looking. This summer I plan to introduce the Bible TimeLine cards (160 as well). Some of them overlap so I don't want to practice them at the same time.

On Mondays I generally employ a smaller lap size white board to write a subjects memory work on. Then I erase a portion at a time as we say it over and over and over...

Frankly, memory work is hard work. But is so enriching to hear the kids recite poems that we worked on in July, or to hear them talk about Old Testament people in the context of Persia and what was going on when because they have memorized a history timeline as well as Biblical characters and maps. Another bonus is that they are memorizing info more and more quickly. It is hard work, yes, but time well invested.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Coffee Break.

KB and I have been inspired lately by some talented ladies- particulary Kelli, over at There's no place like home (see my blog roll for the link to her site). Below is a card KB made, complete with leaf rubbings, chalking, and actual leaf. The picture doesn't do the richness of the colors justice. Here is the accordian-style envelope card she is sending to her long-time pen-pal at college in TX. There are 5 pockets which she has filled with tea, candy, a thin beeeswax potpourri and a letter...

and "Smarties"! HaHa.

I just had to throw in a picture of our adorable pooch, Diamond. Isn't she wonderful? My dad bought her for the three of us with August b'days the year I was pregnant with Cub- she is my "hormone puppy" -an Akita by breed and THE best dog (if ya have to have a dog).

KB, Flower and I spent yesterday evening making paper crafts and then creating a Thanksgiving corner. Below is one of the lovely built-ins that we immediately fell in love with when we looked at our house. Sorry the pictures are so blurry- I can't seem to figure out how to keep the camera stead enough! The cross stitch heart on the left is one of several that I made years and years ago in CT when Miss R was a baby.

What are you doing to cozy up your corner of the world?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Oven Dried Apples

Last year was the year of corn. We were gifted with about 200 lbs., which Viking Man cheerfully hauled home and the kids & I shucked, blanched and froze. This year was the year of the apple. There were apples everywhere in our part of the world! We picked and picked and then picked some more. We canned applesauce, apple butter, froze some for winter baking and ate many fresh. And finally, we began drying them. We don't own a dehydrator, so I tried the oven- it worked beautifully.

Step #1 -Wash your apples. Ours weren't sprayed, but there were fields nearby that were. Peel and core. I have a nifty corer, slicer thingy but you can use a paring knife, too. We did a whole bunch at once and then stored them in lemon juice in the frig. You wouldn't have to use the lemon if you didn't want to- it keeps the apples from discoloring and they'll be brown in the end anyway = ).

Step #2 - lay your sliced apples on a cookie sheet. Don't overlap or they won't dry as quickly. Set your oven to it's lowest temp -say 175 degrees. It will take several hours to dry the apples and they will shrink considerably.
Step #3 - I turn the apples mid-drying, so they look a little "rumpled" upon completion. If you don't turn them, they might be difficult to remove from the sheet at the end of drying. You can very lightly oil your cookie sheet to keep the apples from sticking too.

Step #4.
When completly dry, store in an airtight container. They should keep for several months (if they last that long).

As easy as 1, 2, 3. I wondered if it was worth the time and energy to make these until I went to the health food store and saw them for sale at $11.95 a pound! I am now convinced! Everyone loves them and they are 100% good stuff.
We also had great success this year oven drying tomatoes (if you haven't tried them- they are delish!), parsley and basil.. How 'bout you?

Time for a Change. So soon.
"Re-tooling." When I was in 8th grade we learned that this was called "Bait & Switch" and it was actually a dishonest business practice.

Monday, November 10, 2008


The fog comes on little cat feet.
It sits looking over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then
moves on.
~Carl Sandburg

Fog is one of the shorter poems that we've memorized in the past several months and I love it for its simplicity and clear picture. It strikes me that it captures perfectly the growing sense of disatisfaction and dis-ease that I have with the pillars of our society- government, education, religion. Fog infiltrates and makes it difficult to clearly see what is right in front of us- carnality, socialism, narcissism, greed, a lust for the hip at the expense of the just, entitlement, compromise.
I find it interesting that the media, enamored lover of the Obamas,’ has been actually commenting on the size and shape of campaign promises now that the election is over and their favorite won. Did the pre-election fog clear off? Will the love affair wan and grow bitter? I wonder at those who choose to make their lives public, are they strong enough to withstand both the adulation and the disparagement that will come with their public lives? Will they have the fortitude, friendships and faith required to withstand the ficklenss of a restless media that is always looking for the next conquest?
I received a non-complimentary Michelle O’ email, accompanied by bitter words regarding her quote, “The truth is, in order to get things like Universal Health Care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of the pie so that someone else can have more;” this in light of a $447 lunch receipt paid for by the future Mrs. Prez, enjoyed at the Waldorf Astoria.
Fog, looking over city and harbor, obscures the view.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

All in a Day's Work

Chopped, hauled, stacked. Warmth for the days ahead.

Election Week Report

Individual Studies - Flower continues to cruise through phonics, Cub finished his ALAbacus B book, Feche-Boy continues to slog through the discussion questions related to Confessions, and KB completed 2 more IEW Rhetoric assignments; another excellent IEW choice even for those who've used IEW for years like we have- there is still more to learn!

Memory Work - we continued memory work in general and added another poem to the repertoire. Tuesday eve as we were driving to town we took turns reciting poems - we have 22 under our belts ytd. The difficult part of poetry memorization, from my pov, is the sequence and pattern of the words. The word picture is readily accessible for all of us global learner types but it's the specific order and detail of the words and phrases- the difficulty, and also the beauty, of poetry. I have love, love, loved teaching The Grammar of Poetry by Logos at co-op. The kids are rocking out on writing, memorizing and defining. Truth be told they are far better at coming up with examples for the tropes than I am. If we are done by the end of this semester, which it looks like we will be, I'm hoping to do the Logos Shakespeare study with a play at the end of the semester.

We are gearing up for Tantara, The Festival of One Act Plays. It's a tragedy year and we have a pick that is sure to make people cry- WWII Czech concentration camp. We're going to have to build some props this year and the kids are so excited they are busting at the seams. We'll do a mini-unit study along with. Start date: December.

IRL - Every campaign that we worked on lost. The kids and adults had invested time canvassing, praying,talking, researching, writing and listening about issues and candidates. The mood was sober on Tuesday evening as we joined others who had worked on Initiative 11. We left just as McCain was giving his concession speech. Hats off to a man willing to sacrifice for others, hats off to a hero. The big lesson of the week was that effort is not in vain even if you don't win.

Frankly, I had a few moments of doubt this week. What is the point of teaching our kids logic and rhetoric when the world is run by ideologies that are in conflict with both; definitions and promises are moment-by-moment rather than meaningful and binding. The audacity of narcissism; " What I want is what I'll get even if I have to cheat and swindle and lie and make promises I don't intend and so can't keep to get there." Oh, and if you ask for accountablity we'll thrown in "you misunderstood" or just plain old name calling. I'm not being party specific here- I think that who threw away their vote on an independent 'cause the candidates weren't pro-life enough for them were throwing as much of a hissy fit as those who called us "stupid, just stupid" because we didn't just acquiesce to thier pov. This doesn't boil down to vote my way or I discount you. My frustration has to do with the lack of reasoned arguments. Name calling and condescension were more common than not and those who were shouting the loudest about what a "Christian" campaign Obama was running were the ones who were just plain rude. Funny, that. Post-modernism as it's finest- which isn't very fine.

I've been thinking a lot about the 9.9.9 reading challenge (using dots instead of dashes just cause I like the look of it better - how is that for a bit of Republican snobbery?) and considering categories and books. As I cruised the education section of a large retailer I see titles such as "From Crayons to Condoms" and "Educations End -Why Our Colleges and Us Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life." These are secularist educators simply commenting on the demise of education. Is the government educational system in decline or just being what it was intended to be all along? I see a lot of what went on with this election, the behavior during it, the Black Panthers showing up at polls to "ensure a black man gets in office" and the outcome on Tuesday to be tied awfully close to the material in the education section. I think the Durants were on to truth when they said, "education is the transmission of culture." If that's the case, fasten your seatbelts, cause the ride is about to get a lot bumpier.

It's winter here where the cold wind blows. Tuesday was a fine 70 degrees and today is windy with snow on the ground- the remains of the blizzard that hit the western part of the state on Wednesday. Viking Man's persona for the day is Buzz Saw Louie, out cutting wood into furnace-feeding sized chunks. I am starting to make dishes for the holidays to freeze; sweet potato souffle (and even though I am most certainly a Yank, it is divine) to work on my 9.9.9 and get ready for the holiday's list and to torture my littles with a leetle more schoolwork today. The sun still shines (albeit hidden by clouds) and life goes on.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Talent & humor all rolled into one.
Please take four minutes of your time to watch this absolutely hilarious YouTube video

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Today I am grateful:

71.For the privilage of casting my vote.
72. For the dreams and ideals that America was founded on.
73. For a Republic.
74. For a place where a man of color or a woman can hold high office.
75. For the children and adults that we have raised. Deep calls to deep and it is a joy to share the deep things of the heart with them, even when it means sharing a loss.
76. For Feche-boy's prayer last night. The depth of his theological and Biblical understanding, coupled with a faith that permeates his being blesses me to the core.
77. For KB's willingness to spend many hours campainging and praying for many different races in this election.
78. For a young pastor in E.Europe who shared a good word today.
79. For the beautiful thoughts my Catholic friend, Ann, shared today.
80. That my citizenship is not earth-bound.

WW: Ballooning

Sunday, November 2, 2008


“But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish, you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore choose life, that both you and your descendents may live, that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days. (Deut 30: 18-19)

Watched Expelled last night. It was disturbing. Athiesm is alive and well in the world and it is ugly; you are born, you die and life is determined; nothing beyond ourselves. Egad, that would be enough to cause me to want to off myself right there. A willing return to void, darkness, nothing.

Yessiree bob, God saved me from nihilism, that I know full-well. Thank God for Life, new life, this Life, Eternal Life. I choose LIFE.

photo from
There's a vote on Tuesday. The personal is political. If you're not privilaged to vote Yes on Initiative 11, pray for the state of South Dakota, which will be. Pray that eyes will see a personal choice in light of a political vote and Choose LIFE.