Sunday, January 31, 2010

Why We Homeschool~Reason #2

“Remember what education is for~~not the success of some institution, but the enriching of the homelife; to make our men more courageous and discerning, to make our women more gracious and insightfrul, our conversations better competition for the television, our storytelling more captivating, our young men less likely to be the clods that are incapable of husbanding their wives and our aesthetic tastes more akin to true beauty.”

~~Fritz Hinrichs

Friday, January 29, 2010

In Which I Tell You That You and Your Husband Don't Need "Date Nights"

Wish I had written this. The Man of the House and I have had maybe a dozen traditional dates since we got married in 1987, and our marriage is none the worse for it. In fact, it may be better because we have learned to live happily together in the everyday, to savor the ordinary moments together (which are usually pretty extraordinary if we think about it), and to build a very satisfying life together without the external bells and whistles of nights on the town, etc. We enjoy each other’s company and snatch time together whenever we can. Our favorite is our near daily walk, but there are other times: talking in bed in the hushed silence of the late-night house, early breakfasts together before anyone else is up, even conversations over IM when we need a little privacy but the house is full. I don’t think our ancestors planned regular dates, and we don’t need to either. If you can do it and want to, do, but don’t think your marriage is doomed because you can’t or you find that you don’t really enjoy it. Give yourself the freedom to spend time together as it fits you and don’t be bound by others’ expectations.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Why We Homeschool~Reason #1

"A general state education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another: and as the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, a priesthood, an aristocracy, or the majority of the existing generation; in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by natural tendency to one over the body."

~~John Stuart Mill

Monday, January 25, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Jan. 25, 2010

Outside my window... The sun is shining! Boy-oh-boy, was it cloudy earlier, though. Very murky.

I am thinking... of where my cat might have gotten to. He’s been AWOL for a couple hours.

I am thankful for... The sunshine. (Do you notice a theme?)

From the learning rooms... typical Monday~science, writing, math, music, spelling, etc.

From the kitchen... Poor Man’s Chicken Fried Steak for dinner

I am wearing... jeans, pink top, silver earrings

I am creating... except for working on the everlasting dishcloths, nothing at the moment. I hope to begin work on my daughter’s pillows soon.

I am going... grocery shopping.

I am reading... the Jan./Feb. issue of Touchstone magazine (a Christmas present from dh).

I am hoping... that dh goes a loooooong time without another migraine.

I am hearing... the scratch of my dd’s pencil as she does her schoolwork and the sound of dh’s voice drifting down the stairs as he teaches an on-line class.

Around the house... Nothing in particular. Everything’s under control today housework-wise.

One of my favorite things... hard boiled eggs!

A few plans for the rest of the week: the haircut I didn’t manage to fit in last week, schoolwork (as usual), spending more time reading

Here is picture for thought I am sharing... Evidence that spring will get here eventually:

Thanks, Peggy!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Man of the House and I are in the midst of watching Cranford based on books by 19th century author Elizabeth Gaskell. Why am I just now seeing this wonderful mini-series?! Released in 2007, it comprises five episodes of about an hour each. The first disc, which we got from Netflix, has the first three episodes, and now I’m dying to get disc 2 to see how everything ends! It is delightful and witty but also tragic. No, I did not watch the surgery scene. Man of the House tells me it wasn’t very graphic, but I took no chances! No, sirree! The cast if full of familiar faces (if BBC and such is your usual viewing fare). This is probably the best thing I’ve seen since a friend told me about Miss Potter a couple years ago.

And look! The sequel, Return to Cranford, is available to view online here until Feb. 16! So get thee to a video store to watch the original, and then take advantage of the online viewing before it’s too late.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook~Jan. 19, 2010

FOR TODAY Jan. 19,2010... (Somehow I missed doing this yesterday, so I’m doing it today.)

Outside my window... There are three stray cats holding a kitty convention on my neighbor’s awning: a black, a gray tabby, and the other sort of blonde. I wonder what they are convening about?

I am thinking... of tests I have to grade.

I am thankful for... my very own house.

From the learning rooms... Girl of the House and I are nearing the end of our Viking study. Just six more lectures to go from The Teaching Co.’s The Vikings:

From the kitchen... Poor Man’s Feast from Cooking with Clara. A simple, frugal meal that my family loves. You don’t know about Clara?? Check this out: I'll be using ham instead of hot dogs ($1.77/lb. at Sam's Club)

I am wearing... jeans and a purple sweater, gold hoop earrings, a watch

I am creating... more dishcloths!

I am going... nowhere!

I am reading… Still working on Thrift: A Cyclopedia by David Blankenhorn and The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis; also browsing American Farmhouses by Leah Rosch

I am hoping... my allergies won’t act up today

I am hearing... The sounds of my family walking around upstairs getting ready for the day

Around the house... It’s laundry day!

One of my favorite things... Warm food on a cold day.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Finish grading tests, take Girl 2 to the library, get a haircut. On Sunday we are attending the baptism of a young friend!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

It's at the top again. Why can't I get it to load here?? Anyway, it's a house we pass on the way to Fort Wayne, IN. Isn't it gorgeous? And yes, it is really purple, even brighter than it shows in the picture. I can't say that I love the *color*, but the house itself is beautiful! I guess this is what they mean by "painted lady Victorian."

Thanks to Peggy for hosting the Simple Woman's Daybook at

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Fun with Frugality

Here's an interview with the original Frugal Zealot, Amy Dacyzyn:

From day one of our marriage and even before, we've had to be careful with our money. It's so ingrained into my psyche now that I don't think I could live any other way, but I don't care one bit. It's quite a fun challenge to live well on less. I look at it like a game, and I get a huge thrill when I snag a real bargain. Amy Dacyzyn helped me a lot in the early days to understand that it is possible to live well and be comfortable without breaking the bank. Thank you, Amy!

I'm sure I'll do a lot more talking about frugality on this blog. It's a way of life for us, so it's sure to turn up regularly.

via Meredith at Thanks, Meredith!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook~Jan. 13

FOR TODAY January 13, 2010

Outside my window... The snow is disappearing and the sun is just starting to peek out over the
tops of the other houses.

I am thinking... of our trip to Fort Wayne this weekend to house hunt.

I am thankful for... freedom to live my convictions.

From the learning rooms... We are doing science experiments this morning.

From the kitchen... Hamburgers for dinner. Nothing fancy, but we do all love a good hamburger!

I am wearing... a brown sweater (so soft!), jeans, slippers.

I am creating... more dishcloths. I’m experimenting with knitting and purling for different effects.

I am going... nowhere! :-) I do teach two of my on-line classes today, though, so in that sense I’ll be all over the country and even the world (England, Bangladesh, Russia, Canada).

I am reading... Thrift: A Cyclopedia by David Blankenhorn and The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis.

I am hoping... for warmer temperatures today!

I am hearing... nothing but the hum of our space heater.

Around the house... Trying to keep things especially tidy in case someone wants to come see it. Now that the weather is warming up a bit we should see more interest.

One of my favorite things... Seed catalogs in January

A few plans for the rest of the week: Normal cleaning routine, some schoolwork, mending Girl of the House’s pajama pants, leaving for Fort Wayne on Friday.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing . . .

Girl Out of the House took this picture when we visited Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home, in the spring of 2008. It’s one of my very favorite photographs of hers. (It's up at the top of the post. I couldn't get it to load here!)

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Sprig of Thyme

My mother gave me (at my request) this CD for Christmas: I absolutely adore the Cambridge Singers and have for many years, and this recording is not a disappointment. It's as wonderful as I thought it would be. Track 25, "She Moved through the Fair," is some of the most gorgeous choral singing and arranging I have ever heard. Track 10, "The Miller of Dee," and Track 16, "Dashing Away with the Smoothing Iron," are just plain fun. Track 5, "Sally Gardens," reminds me of Girl 1 who would play this on the piano at my request as often as I could get her to do it. This is the way vocal music should be. If you scroll down, you can hear samples.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

So Now I Have a Blog

So now I’ve got this blog, but I’m stumped as to what to write! So in lieu of a more enthralling topic, I’ll introduce you to my family.

I’m Woman of the House. Whence the name, you ask? It’s from The Quiet Man with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, one of my favorite movies of all time. John Wayne calls Maureen O’Hara that a couple times, and it was my husband’s idea a long, long time ago to use that as my online identity. We’ve lived in a tiny corner of Appalachia for fourteen years now but are looking to move to Fort Wayne, Indiana, as soon as someone will buy our house and we find one to buy in turn. Being from the Midwest originally, I am looking forward to returning. Our reason for moving has to do with . . .

The Man of the House, my wonderful husband of twenty-two years. He keeps me sane and happy. He’s a teacher in a private school but wants to go to seminary and fulfill a long-time wish to become a pastor. So we will be off to Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne as soon as they will have us. You see, to apply to the seminary one must have been a Lutheran for two years, and well, we’re not there yet. But why wait until the last minute to move, you know?
We have two children. The younger, the Girl of the House (aka Girl 2), will soon be thirteen years old. She loves to write . . and write . . . and write some more. Oh, and sometimes she takes breaks to read. And knit. And sing in a choir. She used to take ballet but just recently gave that up. It interfered with her writing. ;-) She is in 7th grade and is homeschooled.
The elder, the Girl Out of the House (aka Girl 1), is nineteen and recently married. Now she lives in the South. Boohoo! She graduated from our homeschool in June, turned nineteen in July, and got married in August! I think the thing I miss most about her not being around all the time is her piano playing. I got so used to hearing gorgeous sounds coming out of our piano on a daily basis. I blame it all on . . .

That Boy Who Took Her Out of the House (aka That Boy), but really, we are truly blessed to have such a wonderful, hardworking, thoughtful son-in-law. It’s a joy to see him care for our daughter and watch over her. He will graduate from college this May with a degree in chemistry and has plans for graduate school in the not-too-distant future. I look forward to seeing their life together unfold.

I mustn’t forget the Cat of the House. He’s a sweet, overgrown stray with a delicate temperament who’s afraid of loud noises~plastic bags rattling, packing tape being ripped off the roll, pots and pans clattering, that type of thing. But he’s an excellent hunter and keeps the cricket population in our house down.

So there you go. That’s my family. I’m going to write about anything and everything on this blog, and I hope you’ll join me!

Around My House

ing~ Listening~ How Christianity Changed the World by Alvin J. Schmidt    A good counterargument for the "religion ruins everything&...

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