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Showing posts from February, 2010

Cloud of Witnesses

The internet can be a curse or a blessing. Here is one way it is a blessing:



Issues, Etc. is a five-day-a-week, two-hour talk show focusing on current events, theology (specifically Lutheran, but many of the guests come from outside the Lutheran church), and worldview training. IE has shaped my theology and increased my appreciation for historic Christianity and has helped me to view the world more Christianly. Each program is available here for on-demand listening. One of their taglines is “Talk Radio for the Thinking Christian,” and if you count yourself among that number, give IE a try.

Weekly Hymn~~Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted

I teach music to seventh and eighth graders. Don’t pity me! I enjoy this age! One of my goals for my students is to introduce them to some of the great hymns of the faith. I’m saddened that I must introduce them because it indicates that the huge majority of of my students know no hymns at all. They mostly sing contemporary praise songs, and I’m distressed and concerned that the great hymns of the faith that have sustained God’s Church for so long are being neglected and forgotten. So for half an hour a week, the nine young ladies and gentlemen in my class are learning to appreciate their nearly forgotten heritage of great Christian hymns. As a Christian, teacher, and musician, this excites me.

Recently it occurred to me that I could share here our weekly hymn. That is, for as long as they last. The weekly hymn will take a hiatus during the summer and will likely wrap about about a year from now, but it’ll be good while it lasts! And what better day to do this than the Lord’s…

Bookstore Bliss

When we were in Indiana a couple weekends ago, we stopped briefly at Hyde Bros. Used Books. It is the perfect place to spend an afternoon (though we only had a measly forty-five minutes). There is room after room of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves all well-organized and with those sliding rail-guided ladders to reach the top shelves. Customers are actually expected to use them. (No “For Employee Use Only” signs at Hyde Bros.!) There are squashy armchairs, and there’s even a resident cat! Well, in our short time there, I found more books to buy than I had money to buy them, but I did settle on the gorgeously illustrated Psalms of David illustrated by James S. Freemantle. According to the bookflap, Freemantle was born in India in 1859 and traveled extensively throughout India and the Middle East. In 1906 he began illuminating the Book of Psalms as a gift for his wife, whom he must have loved dearly, and finally finished in 1943, just before he died. His son had it published posth…

Simple Woman's Daybook--Feb. 23, 2010

FOR TODAY Feb. 23, 2010...

Outside my window… are the tiniest beginnings of spring~slightly warmer temperatures, crocuses and daffodils just poking up, a little more sunshine

I am thinking... of my plans for my garden this year. They will be simplified because of the move to a new state we are hoping to make, but I have to have things growing!

I am thankful for... my husband! His birthday was yesterday!

From the learning rooms... Since we’ve finished our Viking study, Girl 2 and I began our Shakespeare study this week with Hamlet. I like to use the Oxford School editions because they provide background information, study aids, and explanatory notes in the side margins. We listen to a BBC version on CD, borrowed from the library, and read along. We also use Peter Leithart’s Brightest Heaven of Invention: A Guide to Six Shakespeare Plays.

From the kitchen... Pot roast~a family favorite!

I am wearing... a warm burgundy sweater and jeans.

I am creating... pillows and dishcloths still!

I am …

Two Articles and a Funny

I have two bang-on articles to share with you today.

The first article is from Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon. He writes regarding the important education children receive at the family table, and I wholeheartedly agree, though I hadn’t thought of all the points he makes here. My family has always made it a point to eat dinner together most evenings. I am continually surprised at how few families do! We limited activities that would interfere with dinnertime, but that’s not to say we outlawed every one of them. If it was a worthy endeavor, then we’d work mealtimes around it, but the overwhelming majority of our dinners are shared as a family. And now, after reading this, I’m gladder’n’ever that we do!

The second is from the American Enterprise Institute. I am especially interested in it because the subject of the article, Prof. Patrick Allitt of Emory University, is also one of the lecturers in the Teaching Co.’s US history course Girl 2 used in high school. He was very knowledgeabl…

Simple Woman's Daybook~~Feb. 16, 2010

The daybook has moved to Tuesday, so I didn’t miss it after all! Hurray!

FOR TODAY Feb. 16, 2010...

Outside my window...is snow, snow, and more snow!

I am thinking...how grateful I am that we got home safely from our three-day trip to Indiana where . . . guess what? . . . it was snowing most of the way home. Toward the end we could hardly see the road, and it was dark on top of that. But my husband and the Lord saw us safely home.

I am thankful for...my son-in-law, who is making my daughter very, very happy.

From the learning rooms...We are taking a much-needed break this week, though we will probably do some science experiments later in the week.

From the kitchen...oven fried chicken, biscuits, gravy, mashed potatoes, and peas.

I am wearing...my jeans that are too old to wear outside of the house (lol), purple sweater, my tried and true gold hoop earrings, and slippers.

I am creating...pillows for my daughter’s (Girl 1’s) couch. I haven’t made much headway on them, but at least they ar…

Valentine's Day 2010

We don’t make much fuss over Valentine’s Day at our house, but I wanted to show you what Man of the House got me for Valentine’s Day. Just the touch of spring I needed! He’s the best!

More Commonplaces

Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.~~Martin Luther

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Some things are worth knowing on their own account; but others, although apparently offering no return for our trouble, should not be neglected, because without them the former cannot be thoroughly mastered. Learn everything; you will afterwards discover that nothing is superfluous; limited knowledge affords no enjoyment.~~Hugh of St. Victor

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Were earthly comforts permanent, who would look for heavenly?~~Anne Bradstreet

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Cleanliness and order are not matters of instinct; they are matters of education, and like most great things, you must cultivate a taste for them.~~Benjamin Disraeli

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Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by govern…

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY February 8, 2010

Outside my window... The sun is shining and the snow is melting.

I am thinking...Of the guest lecture I am giving tomorrow (twice!) condensing the last 1500 years of music history into 90 minutes!

I am thankful for...So much, but especially for my wonderful, hard-working husband.

From the learning rooms...Trying to fit in dd’s piano lesson today~~I’ve put it off a bit and it’s time to catch up!

From the kitchen...An early dinner of tacos. On Mondays, we leave the house at 5:00 to get my daughter to her confirmation class at our church a half hour away, so dinner must be simple.

I am wearing...a burgundy sweater and a new denim skirt I bought this weekend. It was definitely time for a new one! The old one was becoming embarrassing. lol

I am creating...pillows for my married daughter’s couch . . . at last! I haven’t made much progress yet, but at least I’ve started.

I am going...To take my daughter to the aforesaid confirmation class and grocery shop while she’s…

My Commonplace Book

As people have done for centuries, I keep a commonplace book. I got the idea few years ago as a place to record interesting quotations I’ve read and wanted to remember but had nowhere to go with. So I hied myself to the bookstore and bought an elegant blank book and have been filling it ever since. Though not exactly like this one, it looks very similar. From time to time I’ll share some of the gems I have stored there. Here are a few for today:



Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.~~Thomas Edison

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Thou has commanded that an ill-regulated mind should be its own punishment.~~St. Augustine

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Perhaps the greatest gift any father can bestow upon his children, apart from the covenant blessings of parish life and a comprehension of the doctrines of grace, is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives a knowledge of the world, and it of…

How Our State’s Required Annual Evaluation Undermines Our Homeschooling

The great state of _________ requires every homeschooled student between the ages of six and sixteen to undergo either yearly standardized testing or a portfolio evaluation. For many reasons (which I may go into at some other time), we’ve chosen the portfolio option for Girl 2. Some years we’ve done both. After six years, I can tell you that the yearly evaluation undermines rather than enhances my teaching of our younger daughter. Here’s how: I believe that Girl 2 is one of those non-mathematically inclined children who would have greatly benefitted from waiting for formal mathematics until age ten or so, but because we are required by the state to submit either a standardized test score or a portfolio evaluation of her math studies and abilities, we could not wait until age ten. So we’ve plunged ahead, working slowly and painstakingly through many a math lesson, sometimes with tears (on both our parts!) and with Girl 2’s growing dread and dislike of math. She declares at lea…

Simple Woman's Daybook--Feb. 1, 2010

FOR TODAY~~Feb. 1, 2010



Outside my window... The sun is shining even though it was a chilly 14 degrees when I woke up this morning!

I am thinking... about my daughter’s upcoming 13th birthday and how 13 years ago today was her due date.

I am thankful for... Any and all sunshine we see at this time of year!

From the learning rooms... We are four lectures away from finishing our Viking study using The Teaching Co.’s The Vikings.

From the kitchen... Spaghetti

I am wearing... Jeans and a brown sweater, slippers (just like a couple Mondays ago! lol)

I am creating... Dare I say it? More dishcloths. lol It takes me a long time to finish one because I only have a few minutes to knit each day (if that).

I am going... On Mondays we take my daughter to confirmation class, and then my dh and I hit Wal-Mart or the grocery stores. Today is a Wal-mart day. I also need to make a quick stop at the post office.

I am reading... The Jan./Feb. issue of Touchstone magazine. I’m almost finished. (Not much…