Sunday, July 31, 2011

Year 21 Curriculum Picks

Curriculum Week.
I've been making lists and tweaking and checking the attic for what we still have (from our house fire; see the Tear Down to Build Up posts if you want to read the long version) and have finally made a shopping list!
We do participate in 2 different homeschool outsourcing opportunities. One is a co-op. This year I'm co-teaching Jr. and Sr. High school art. I'll be using a combo of Bruce McIntyre's Drawing Textbook and Drawing on the Right Side of Your Brain. Classes taken at co-op have an * beside them.

The other is a Tutoring Center. Ana hires and pays teachers. It is a terrific resource. This year I'll be teaching Creative Writing using Whitling's The Grammar of Poetry and Roddy's How to Write a Novel. 

 rising Jr.
English - R and S Grammar 9 and 10., Creative Writing (TC), Lightening Literature- lit around the world (TC), Shakespeare (ext. co-op),
Geography- a brief overview of whatever continent they are working on with the LL program.
Foreign Language- Rosetta Stone German I; Latin (maybe- and if so Wheelock)
History - VP cards, Kingfisher's Encyclopedia of History. World History Overview. Probably using Global History, The Growth of Civilizations.
Art * -Drawing and various crafts
Music *- chorale
Unit Study- tbd
Phys Ed- Ballroom Dancing, Karate w/ Dad. Jogging and regular workout w/Dad.
Religion and Apologetics- overview of World Religions using Usborne. Challenge Basic with our good friend Bruce.
Bible- personal devos and study of Hebraic Roots/ O.T. Festivals
Drama- Festival of One Act Plays, Shakespeare Camp
Shop Class- continue to help with house re-build, help me make several more items from Ana White's site.
Reading- whatever he can cram in

 Rising 6th Grader
Math- Life of Fred Decimals and Percents. Singapore Story Problems, Minute Math,
Science- Pre-Chem (TC)
English- R & S Grammar 5 & 6, Lightening Lit 7; IEW First Fun; IEW Poetry- level III
Foreign Language- Latina Christiana Latin II; RS German
History- World history overview (TC); VP Cards, Kingfisher History of the World, Mystery of History CD's (taking a break from SOTW which we L.O.V.E but which he has whole sections memorized from)
Art *-Drawing, crafts,
Music*- Chorale
Unit Study*- tbd
Phys. Ed* -karate w/Dad.
Bible - Veritas Press Cards, Study of Hebraic roots and O.T. Festivals
Memory Work - Still working on list- for sure poetry, science terms, latin vocab/declensions/conjugations/phrases
Reading - compiling a list to use in conjunction with History overview. Also, compiling a list of books on tape to make use of our bi-weekly trips to town.
Drama Camp

rising 3rd Grader
Math- Singapore Story Problems, Minute Math, Still deciding between Prentice Hall 4 and Singapore Math
English- R & S Grammar 3, WWE III,  IEW Poetry- level III
Foreign Language- Prima Latina and maybe Latina Christiana Latin I;
History- World history overview (TC); VP Cards, Kingfisher History of the World, Mystery of History CD's
Art *
Music*- Chorale
Unit Study*- tbd
Phys. Ed* -karate w/Dad.
Bible - Veritas Press Cards, Study of Hebraic roots and O.T. Festivals
Memory Work - Still working on list- for sure poetry, science terms, Latin vocab/declensions/conjugations/phrases
Reading - compiling a list to use in conjunction with History overview. Also, compiling a list of books on tape to make use of our bi-weekly trips to town.
Drama Camp
For those of you interested in updates about our older Girlies, both homeschool graduates, here's the skinny.

Miss. R and KB
Miss R will be a Senior in College this year 16 hours away, with a major in Missions (think world view and cultural anthropology). She's been to Europe several times and South America once on various missions trip. She has several options upon graduation, but hasn't landed on any yet. She is very happily dating a crime fighter, whom we hope to meet this fall.

KB is 1/2 way through a 13 month long Cosmetology program after lots of campaigning and political involvement. She plans to continue with a 4-year degree, focusing on poli-sci and art. While, on the surface, Cosmetology has nothing to do with politics, I think it is the perfect environment to learn more about them. She is in a cut-throat environemnt each and every day that is decidely antithetical to her world view. Furthermore, it is,literally, skin deep. It's the perfect training ground for politics!
What are you doing this year for school?


"Instead of giving us justice like we deserve, He's paid our fine. Jesus spilled His blood for us and adopted us into His family..." ~ Kirk Cameron
The world is dying for something , Someone, greater than what it has to offer.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Dancing, Drama, Faith

We continue to work on our front porch. We've made enough progress to actually sit on it. It's been wonderful. I will post pictures but there are still a bunch of details to finish up and complete so it might be some days yet. The contractors ripped off the siding and the vapor lock where the new built in lockers go. Undoubtedly to make a smooth surface on which to attach the lockers. Viking Man, Feeche and I have been cutting new trim and stapling plastic to cover the 80+ year old tar paper because, while the locker attaches just right to the wall, the tar paper look is a bit dated.

Nightly thunderstorms necessitating moving everything we are working on in the yard (yes, we look like a flea market) to the porch each evening. This has caused some issues with the newly painted wood floor on the porch.
I dance. Really. It's a 2:1 or a 1:2 step. Two steps forward, 1 back. Or vice-versa, depending on the day, week, situation.

Finished Little House in the Big Woods and started Little House on the Prarie (Thanks, Marsh. Flower has LOVED them!). Took the kids to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant in DeSmet. It was very mediocre. I hate to say it but there it is. The evening weather on the plains was delightful and DeSmet has a very western feel to it...more so even than where we live. But the show was so poorly acted, the reading so cut that the kids wanted to leave early. Sad to say, but we did.

KB has been into nail art this week.  My nails have never, literally, never, looked this good. In addition my hair is woven, my brows waxed, my hands dipped (ohlala!), my nails manicured, my feet buffed. Love, love, love the hair. I hate sitting in a beautician's chair. But went on a Sat and KB and only 4 other gals were there for the afternoon so we basically had the place to ourselves. I actually took a nap, we laughed and drank very bad coffee and had a grand time.

Finally getting around to ordering curriculum for fall. I am compiling a list of books on tape for our twice a week drive to and from town. I would LOVE to hear your favs. Not only the books, but who the are read by.
Still can't decide on history for Feeche. I want to the do 20th century in books and movies or a grand tour of world history. Feeche just wants to do lit and read. Hmph.
Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in CommunityFeeche and I are listening to Bonhoeffer's Life Together. Miss. R left a CD here a couple of weeks ago. It is terrific. The intro alone is a very fascinating look at Bonhoeffer's extraordinary life, his deliberate decision to go back to Germany to encourage the persecuted church under the Nazi reign.
Viking Man recently did some research in the Ten Boom family and there were 10 Ten Booms that were quite active in hiding Jews during the occupation of Holland. The entire Ten Boom family had a clear mandate to live their faith with conviction and fervor. I think of the power of family when we read about how Jesus calls brothers and nephews to be disciples. I want to meet the parents of the Sons of Thunder and the grandparents of some of these men. The power of legacy.

Speaking of drama and faith, my friend Nancy forwarded this fantastic piece of chuch history.
The Heavenly Comedian
Saint Genesius (feast day: August 25)
Church history shows again and again how God can touch the hearts of men in the most unexpected ways, and the story of Saint Genesius the Comedian demonstrates this well. Genesius was the leader of a theatrical troupe at the time of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who instigated the most severe persecutions of Christians at the beginning of the 4th century. Hearing that the emperor was coming to town, Genesius prepared a comic satire against the Christians for his entertainment.
At the start of the play Genesius lay down on the stage as if sick. Two other actors asked what ailed him. Genesius said he felt a great weight that he wanted removed. Hence, two other actors, dressed as a priest and exorcist, were called in. They asked what the protagonist wanted. He replied, "A baptism."At this point, Genesius actually saw the holy angels, and moved by this vision answered the questions for his mock baptism in earnest. The other actors continued the jest and baptized him. Then Genesius openly described the angelic vision and declared his faith in the very Christ whom he had previously mocked. Enraged, Diocletian had him turned over to the prefect of the 
praetorium, who tortured him in an effort to force him to sacrifice to the pagan gods. When Saint Genesius persisted in his new-found faith, he was beheaded.

Today we don't need to look far to find those who mock Christian faith in any of its forms. By the prayers of Saint Genesius may they too be touched by God's grace and have a godward change of heart!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

What Befell Us

Last night my husband and I sat in the front yard. He mentioned I looked tired. And I am. It’s been a long and painful 20 months of loss and hurt, disappointment, hard physical labor, grief, illness and relinquishing stuff, people and appropriate claims to relationship. My husband is a wise man and talked with me, comforted me, exhorted me, gave me space and time to cry and be angry, prayed for me. And today he showed me this song, by John Michael Talbot. After each line he filled in names and events and places where we have been crushed, where the shadow of death has covered us, where we have been led to slaughter, scattered, mocked and ridiculed, rejected, disgraced and taunted. He didn’t do this in a pitying, bitter way; he’s just not that kind of man. He did it to exhort. It is a Psalm, after all, and hard things have befallen us, in the manner of those who lived thousands of years ago and those who live today. Our hearts lament. And when they do we keep the company of a multitude.

 One of my big faith crises of the past 2 years is that I have not been faithful,, that my witness was weak, that I deserve to be the laughingstock. It has rocked my foundation in a way that nothing, in 28 years of doing everything I knew to do to live as disciple of Yahweh, has done.

But the reality is that I have not been false to God's word. The longing of my heart has been for Him, for his justice, his mercy, his saving grace to manifest itself. I have been faithful to what I know of His living word. I have obeyed to the best of my ability. I have borne witness to His name and prayed diligently. I have given up what’s He has asked of me and gone where He has directed. I have stumbled as I’ve sacrificed and fallen as I’ve traveled. I am, God knows, imperfect and prone to immaturity. But I must continue to trust that He is bigger than my imperfection, wiser than my immaturity and that He is a banner over me.

And so I lament. I am grieved. I cry. I fall down.
And the time, the day, the season comes and the tears are less; the lament lessens, the heart hurt not so deep.

John Michael Talbot
This befell us though we had not forgotten
Though we never had been false to your Word
Though our hearts had not withdrawn their longing
Though our minds had not strayed from your Word

You have crushed us to the place of sorrow
Covered us with the shadow of death
You make us like the sheep for the slaughter
And scattered us among the nations of the earth

You continue to reject and disgrace us
No longer seem to dwell with us
You make us now the taunt of our neighbors
The laughingstock of all who draw near

All day long my disgrace is before me
My face is now covered with shame
This befell us though we had not forsaken
We had not been false to your name.

Wake oh Lord why do you sleep and slumber?
Rise oh Lord do not reject us again

from Psalm 44

Shabbot Shalom link-up at Peeble Crossing.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Antique Buffet Reveal!!

This is a photo montage of my Great Aunt Carrie's buffet before I re-finished it. The white color is from 50,000 tons of water hitting it when the fireman axed through the window in the dining room that it was resting under. The red color is the wood stain that it was before the fire. It's beautiful cherry wood, Duncan Phyfe style. I love it. Partly 'cause I loved Aunt Carrie. She was my Grandpa's little sister and she was kind and good and a lovely person.  I remember this buffet sitting in her bright pink stucco (think flamingo birds!) northern Indiana home, heralding the entrance to the Blueberry Farm she and Uncle Gay ran for years. My sisters and I picked what seemed like gallons of blueberries there every summer. Good memories I'm not in a hurry to let go of.

The buffet was still in pretty good shape after 1 1/2 years of drying out. There wasn't a lot of warping from the water damage, though it did still smell. I sanded, primed, painted, sanded, re-thought the paint color, painted, sanded, painted. Then I sanded and added a coat of polyurethane. I sprayed the hardware a silver nickel color and added the 2 remaining pulls from our kitchen cabinetry.

And here she is:
I also primed the inside of the cupboards. They still smelled like thick, black, nauseating smoke.
No more! Kilz to the rescue yet again.
They are bright and white and smell just fine!

 The black does a great job of hiding the few pieces of missing trim.

What do you think?

Check out Sisters of the Wild West for more inspiration

Friday, July 22, 2011

Thoroughly Fun Homeschooling

are my latest articles over at The Heart of the Matter on-line.

Since I've been buuusssy this week reclaiming my porch, building the library cart from Ana White's site, putting the finishing touches on my be.a.u.tiful restored newly ebony buffet and redeeming my latest Craig's List score I thought I'd be my own guest blogger.

 I'd love to hear your feedback!

(and yes, pictures will follow...)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blogging Distractions

Sand, prime, paint buffet & hardware
Sand, prime and  paint, decorate (Americana theme) enclosed front porch.
level drain field dighaul rocks from field where the mongo-pile was
leveledburn brush pile in south pasture, even and seed
burn chicken shed
seed fields and lawn
corner round, mud, tape master bedroom walls and closet
 paintmud, tape, small bedroom and closet, cut closet door to accommodate folding doors.
mud, tape closet in H's bedroom
sand, paint, stain main stairs, guard rail and baseboards (paint the risers, clear stain on the treads)
sand, paint, stain attic stairs (chalkboard paint on the risers, color on the treads)
finish sanding drywall and paint laundry room area
paint saying in laundry room area
garden- weed, harvest, put food by: strawberry jam, grape juice, pesto, tom. sauce, sauerkraut (?), herbs, etc.
Small bathroom-- touch up paint, add saying to the wall
Craig's list- pedestal sink and toilet, antique light fixtures (groan)
Sell gently used curriculum (groan again- I so don't want to go there, but I so want these 2 boxes turned in to cash).
paint light fixture for downstairs bathroom dk. brown
plan school for  fall/ includ. creative writing class if that makes
buy curriculum for fall
book a week - kinda, sorta
School- lite with kids.
Build from Ana's site: 2 leaning bookshelves, library cart, craft table (see my plan for a school room here), 2-4 cubby shelves.
Celebrate holidays and summer birthdays
Write several articles

Add to that reading out-loud, regular camp-fires, hanging out by the notoosmall/nottoobig pool, family visits and the regular needs of living. I need more summer!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Chicken Redemption

Serving Up the Harvest: Celebrating the Goodness of Fresh VegetablesI think I've mentioned before that I've about filled my life-time quote of chicken. Last week I found 2 recipes that are making me re-think my stance:

Small World at homes inspired me with Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken. I modified it by just stuffing the chicken with cheese, 2 basil leaves, and topping it with pesto. Served with fresh picked, roasted green beans.  A perfect Sunday dinner.

We also made the fresh broccoli/ chicken dish from my new fav cookbook: Serving Up the Harvest. This recipe alone is worth the price of the book!

Friday, July 15, 2011

I was going to do 7 before and after’s for today's post.  While I definitely have for more than 7 before’s,  the "after's" are poking along.

1. Buffet re-do. Sanded the confederate blue and re-painted it black, re-sanded, re-painted, sprayed the hardware  a silver nickel color (to match our kitchen pulls) , and got it inside. LOVE it. BUT, I decided to go ahead and paint the inside of the 2 doors black and Viking Man and I decided it really, really needed a coat of clear stain over top. We need to haul it back out to the front porch but I've been knee deep in windows (see # 6)
2. Laundry room. It's still an old farmhouse basement laundry room. But it does have a chute now (nice for a 4 story house!). That being said,  don'tcha love the color? It's sour apple green, not orange like I was thinking. I went paint shopping with my mil, who has a penchant for green. It's perfect. And the chimney turned brown. We switched around the folding table and put the antique drying rack in the side-yard for summer. It will go against the chimney when it comes back in. We we-organized the tools, took the hanging rack (i.e.KB's closet) to the large basement dorm room and reveled in something else completely.finished.

3. Dining room lighting and usable outlet on the front porch.  Thanks Grandpa Bob!!
4. Powder room off the kitchen, re-painted the area next to the ceiling and added saying. Those small swipes of not-mixed white paint near the top of the walls were driving my compulsive side nuts.

5. Fresh, organic garden produce handcrafted into delicious, healthy meals. I felt like I was the star actress in "The Victory Garden Cooks."
Cole-slaw, green beans and onions, cukes and beet green quiche -which was surprisingly good. Not pictured was the beet/potato salad and broccoli and chicken with cheese (both delish!). I am loving my new cookbook: Serving Up the Harvest
  6. Front porch. HAHAHA. It's so totally in the "before" stage it's not even worth mentioning but I'm going to because we've spent hours on it already. The ceiling is painted, the floor is scraped, the windows are removed, some of them scraped and some of them cleaned, waiting for a coat of fresh paint. 12 windows, count 'em, 12 on the porch alone. Not counting the other 25 throughout the rest of the house. It's one of the reasons we fell in love with the place. We'll have stained or painted all of them before our little house re-build project is done. I still love the windows, yes I really, really do.

7. Hard Work & Relaxing. Went to see the city summer light show last week before Miss. R returned to L'ville. Interesting area history. And of course a great time clambering over the rocks at the falls and checking out area wildlife.

I did read this week: Escape ; a fascinating look at sociopathy and debilitating dependence. What a contrast to In the Land of the Believers . Thoughts on a post about both are percolating but between the house, cooking, gardening and Viking Man's class he is teaching on-line it's been a slow perk.
What did you do this week?

Thursday, July 14, 2011


We are coming down off a week of company (I am tiiirrred). During that time we got lots of rebuild projects done, but barely stepped foot in the garden. More's the pity because we could have been eating green beans the whole time. The kids and I spent a couple hours weeding and harvesting this morning. Look what we came up with! New potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, beans, cukes, basil, parsley, beets, hot pepper, curly parsley, lettuce (it's been cool for summer time, our lettuce is still bumper cropping), a few onions pulled accidentally,  and cutting flowers (actually, that sweet little bouquet was created by Miss. R. I put cutting flowers in one of our beds this year and I think it's going to be a permanent addition.
On the menu for tonight: steamed green beans, cucumber salad, beet and new potato salad, cole-slaw and fish with pesto. (I'm only throwing the fish in 'cause Viking Man eats meat. Seriously.)

How does your garden grow?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer Break

House Work  - got boatloads of housework done with the crew from Ohio. The front door opens (PTL!), all of the wood trim is hauled upstairs and stacked neatly, outlets are drilled with plate covers over them, the kitchen is organized, fans are installed in the bathrooms, the laundry room is almost finished and much more that I am not remembering right now. Tons of little jobs that take forever. WOOHOO. Thanks you Builder Bob and Wendy, and Dan too!

More house work - we have ceiling and ceiling/wall mudding to do in the bedroom that goes to the attic. Everything is covered and ready for mudding. And we can get to the front porch now that it is mostly cleared. I hope to get it painted and finished soon because that is a whole 'nuther room to live in. Plus it's enclosed and the perfect 3 season room; perfect. Need to borrow or buy a paint sprayer and texturizing machine soon. Anybody out there have one they want to loan or sell?

Shakespeare Camp was a fantastic experience. The kids did an awesome, stupendous, fantastic job.

For this amazing recipe go to Janell's blog here.
Fireworks at our house was double the fun because, as usual, there were folks at the river (which borders our south pasture). The cool thing was that they were shooting off fireworks intermittently with ours. The 4th found us at our friends house, surrounded by friends, food, and lots more fireworks.

Harvested our first cabbage. It is lovely. Beets are up soon and I still need to can the strawberry jam.

Feeche harvests hay with our Green Acres neighbor. He loves working with Stan and loves working outdoors.

Book list: Escape, The Housing Boom and Bust, The Islamic Tsunami, Crash of the Titans. Over the Edge of the World, Devil in the Details, The War of Art.The boys are still deep in to Lawhead. They finish one and start another. No complaints here. He is a master story teller.

Pinterest. 'Nuff said.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Relatives Came   [RELATIVES CAME] [Paperback]
The Relatives Came is a delightful book that we've read for years and I am reminded of every time we get a visit from family. This week Grandma, Grandpa, Cousin Dan and Miss R came on their way to and from other family get-togethers. They were happy to pitch in and help with the house.

It's amazing what gets done with a larger work-force. Today we got the decrepit front fence down, finished mudding the laundry room and got that 1/2 painted, got the light fixture in the dining room installed, sanded a bedroom, drywalled and mudded 2 large holes in the upstairs landing, switched the refrigerator door handle, addressed the frig leak, hauled the dead freezer up from the basement and re-organized the kitchen.

We lurve our power tools!
Refrigerator doors are surprisingly cumbersome! This was a 2-boy, 1 Grandma job!

Builder Bob