things we love…

Ok, I am using the word quite loosely. I am not talking about the real deep stuff that makes us stay up all night. Or the kind of love that sacrifices and receives undying devotion. No, today I am talking about the stuff that makes us tick; our earthly joys and likes. The things that make us say, “oh wow, I just love that!” Here’s a brief list of the things I just “love”. Please feel free to add on…

I just “love”:

Red Cup

fuzzy socks
NPR
silver nail polish
rainy Saturdays
snow
books with language so rich and touching that it becomes a part of your family’s vocabulary

sitting on my back porch
holding hands
a great conversation

laughing
art books

cookbooks
cool atmospheres

funky places
tea shops
coffee

all things earthy and granola (and I don’t mean the food)
homeschooling
buying clothes in smaller sizes
picnics

creating
directing

bookstores
over night dates
and
friends that feel like family

more to come, now it’s your turn. What are the things you just “love”?

go back to your vision…

I am sitting in a Leadership Summit listening to Mark Rutland, the President of Oral Roberts University. He is talking about how a leader can revitalize a stagnant church, I heard him say this phrase and I couldn’t help but apply it to my life.

go back to your vision

This is something I have been feeling for several month now and yet I hadn’t quite been able to put it into words. Life has caused me to experience vision drift. I know we must be willing to change and evolve as situations and circumstances change, but I feel like I had lost sight of my original God given vision. When I became a mom 16 years ago, I had a clear vision of what I wanted life to look like for our children. There are things I wanted them to know, things I wanted them to experience, skills I wanted them to obtain, feelings I wanted them to associate with home. I have seen some of these things come to pass, but there is an underlying uneasiness in me. That phrase, “go back to your vision” is the source of my anxiety. I have allowed the tyranny of the urgent to unseat my vision.

I have a fresh inspiration to see my vision come to pass. Thank you God for giving me this simple phrase to set me back on track. Planning is underway even now to bring back the principles that guide our family life and homeschool journey:

Charlotte Mason

ATMOSPHERE DISCIPLINE LIFE

AH, it feels good and healing just to type those three blessed words. I’ll be writing more about these later. For now I’ll just give a brief explanation of what they mean to me.

Atmosphere: make sure the surrounding or pervading mood of our home is one that inspires. Let our family character and distinctive qualities be something that is attractive to our kids.

Discipline: work on bringing a state of organization; train myself and my family in habits of self control and productivity.

Life: supply curriculum and learning experiences that are varied and allow for growth in spiritual life, intellectual development, and physical health.

The little blue box that made all the difference…

I love to teach. I really enjoy doing research and gathering curriculum for my kids. I buy books with abandon. I haul my kids to lessons and sports and co-op class. I even drive to other cities as to take full advantage of the perfect field trip opportunity. But, there is one area in which I fall short, science experiments. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy them, or see their value; it’s just that I never seemed to have all the right stuff in the house at the right time. I would look at the list of supplies and groan… not anymore. I ordered a little blue box and my life is changed. Sonlight, a homeschool curriculum company, sells science kits that contain all of the non perishable supplies for their different Science programs. It is fantastic. You need putty, it’s there; you need a cork, it’s there too. How about a battery, a rubberband, a wad of cotton, curcuits…I could go on and on, they are all there nice and neat in the little blue box! I know a big part of why Sonlight sells these supplies is to help military and missionary families abroad who don’t have 24 hour access to Wally World like I do. However, this experiment challenged homeschool mom thanks you and chooses to believe you did this just for me!

Below are some pictures from our wonderful lesson today. We are using Apologia General Science and needed to do the experiment related to atoms and density. Thanks to my blue box, we had the cork that needed to float on top.


I Love Live Music

When people want to have a special night out, one of the things they look for is Live Music -

-ooh let’s go there, that band is supposed to be great

-it was so romantic, there was this guitar player…

-how fun, we could dance all night to that combo

live music is really special

my home is filled with live music on a daily basis – that makes my home very special to me

I grew up in a house filled with music.  My dad turned his radio on first thing in the morning and started singing in that deep bass voice way before my eyes ever opened.  Most of my growing up years my headboard was against the shared wall of my folks bathroom – guess what served as my alarm clock?  You got it, my dad singing and tapping out a rhythm on the wall.  If I didn’t tap back, he repeated it with a little more fervor until I answered.  We continued this ritual until my sister left for college and I moved down the hall to the “big” room.  I kind of took this for granted until I had kids of my own.  I wanted them to have great memories of a home filled with music. Our kids often wake up to the sound of me singing silly “good morning” songs – rise and shine and give God the glory… etc. On more fortunate occasions they wake to the sound of Greg playing the piano.  They find their way into the living room and either grab an instrument and join in or sing along – sometimes they lay down and fall back to sleep.  I hope these musical moments turn into sweet memories for them.

A real joy for me is hearing music through out the day.  I have music to cook by, music to clean by, music to do laundry by, music to do math by…wait a minute, “focus on math, stop writing that song!”  Yes, those words are not that uncommon.  Parenting musically gifted kids is a unique blessing and challenge.  I never dreamed my home would be filled with so much music…live music.  I am  thankful for the joy and sounds I grew up with and that the passion is being passed on to the next generation with even a greater intensity.