Sunday, July 29, 2012

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ July 29, 2012

I didn't even know what the date was today.  That's how fast and how crazy this month has been!  I've lost complete track of time.  I know it's Sunday because we had church this morning, but can July really be almost over??


Man of the House and I attended the CiRCE conference in Louisville, KY, last week.  It was fabulous as expected!  If you want your children to be educated for more than making money and living as a faceless, soulless cog in a vast economic machine~ in other words, you want them steeped in the Good, the True, and the Beautiful~ in other words, you want them educated for liberty~ then you need to be friends of the CiRCE Institute.  More on that later.  After the conference Girl Out of the House and That Boy met us in Louisville to make me back to Appalachia for a visit with them and the Most Adorable Baby Ever.  When we visited when said baby was born and at the request of Girl 1, I fixed up embroidery hoops with fabric so they could be arranged on the nursery wall in attractive fashion.  Except that what with a new baby and all, the busy and exhausted parents hadn't had time to get them hung up.  So Girl 1 and I did it while I was there.  We used the same Classic Pooh fabric that Girl 2 used in her quilt and I used in the wreath.  Didn't it turn out swell?

And here's the new mommy and baby.  Aren't they both lovely?


Here's the Most Adorable Baby Ever happily intrigued by some black and white shapes Girl 1 posted in her playpen.  (Sorry about the blurry pictures.  That's the only kind my camera would take that day.)


When Man of the House and I went to the CiRCE conference, we met about 30 women from a classical homeschooling email group I have belonged to for eleven years and he has belonged to off and on for twelve.  It was fun to meet so many people in person who I had previously known only online.  This picture is of all of us at the Paideia Prize banquet.  And who is that grey-haired man sitting in the front row?  Why, it's Wendell Berry!  He was awarded the 2012 Paideia Prize and after his acceptance speech he agreed to come over and meet all these crazy women who had come from all over the country to hear him.  So, here we are are, a bunch of supposedly serious, respectable homeschool moms, going ga-ga over a 77-year-old author like we were teeny boppers waiting backstage for David Cassidy.  You should have seen us.  We were quite a sight.


While we were at the aforementioned conference, the roof blew off the hotel, or one wing of it anyway.  Lots of people had to be moved to a different hotel and our festivities were over for the night.  Man of the House and I were thankfully mostly unaffected since we were staying somewhere else.  (The link is much better than my picture.)

More {phfr} at Leila's!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ July 14, 2012

It's time again for {phfr}! 


Girl Out of the House asked me to make one of these wreaths for the baby's room, so I happily obliged.  I used the same Classic Pooh fabrics that Girl of the House used for her fabulous baby quilt plus a couple others Girl 1 bought for the purpose.  I also used three different ribbons of varying widths to give it some added dimension.   I started with a 12" straw wreath (leave the plastic wrapper on to reduce the mess), cut the fabric into strips about 18" long and 1.5" wide (or was it 2"? I can't remember!) and tied them on.  Then I tied on 18" pieces of ribbon.  I glued a flower I found in the scrapbooking section of Michael's onto a piece of leftover rickrack to hang in the middle.  Voila!  It was finished!  I think it will make a cute addition to the nursery.


Our gardens are full to bursting (I'll share pictures later), but our friend Farmer John is growing sweet corn for us.  He advised us not to try it on our own for various reasons, so we took him up on his offer to do it for us.  We picked some tonight, so now it's time to get busy husking, blanching, cooling, cutting, and freezing it.  I know what I'm doing tomorrow . . .

While we were at Farmer John's, we took away a few of the rocks from his rock pile to use for borders around Girl 2's flower garden and my roses.  The pile was huge!  All those rocks came out of his field, and he has no use for them, so we are welcome to take as many as we want.  I saw a few big ones that would look great decoratively placed in the landscaping.  We'll need to make another trip for those, though.  But won't these be lovely?  And best of all, they were free!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Book Review: 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family by Rebecca Hagelin

In 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family, author Rebecca Hagelin teaches her readers to fight the good fight against what she calls (again and again to the point of cliche) our "toxic culture."  She is correct~ our culture is indeed toxic and many (most?) parents don't seem to realize it or care or have the foggiest idea how to protect their families.  In short chapters, each one addressing one particular area, Mrs. Hagelin advises parents on how to deal with marketing to children, sex education in the schools, monitoring internet usage, upholding standards of dress, and limiting television, to name a few. I thought she had a good understanding of the problems facing our youth and helpful ideas about addressing them.  The book is heavy on teens and light on younger children, but some of her suggestions could be implemented with very young children ("Understand How Marketers Target Your Children," for instance); some, such as "Follow Ten Simple Steps With Your Teens To Foster Ongoing Support For Their Purity," are obviously for older kids.  I thought her ideas were doable and sensible . . . so sensible that I find it hard to believe there are parents who don't already do them, but judging by what I see in so many of our young people, I really should know better. 

The book is set up so that parents can easily read one short chapter a day.  There is a pledge at the end of each for parents to commit themselves to taking steps toward implementing the ideas, and there is a list of resources for further research into each problem area.  Mrs. Hagelin, a Christian, is not shy about promoting Christian morality, but some of her suggested websites, books, etc. are too broadly evangelical for me and my family.  I'm sure many other parents would disagree with me.  While the book is written by a Christian and is supportive of biblical moral standards, it is a how-to book and does not lay out the Gospel.  A family which faithfully implements all thirty suggestions may get children who have avoided the most egregious pitfalls of our society but will know nothing about Jesus and His forgiveness.  As Lutherans put it, it's all Law and no Gospel.  That is fine; that's not the purpose of the book, but parents should be aware that accomplishing all thirty goals in this book will not make their children Christians.  They will be more protected and their childhoods preserved, but they will still need baptism and catechesis in the Christian faith.  30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family is a practical, commonsensical book for help in maintaining a wholesome family life, but don't count on it to show your children Jesus.  Despite the book's title, it's Jesus who will save your family in the most important sense.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ July 8, 2012

Whew!  June blew by in a whirlwind!  First, our grandbaby was born.  I think I mentioned that once or twice.  Second, there was a death in the family which necessitated an unplanned trip to another state.  This person's passing was not unexpected, but his absence will leave a big hole.  After that, we attended The American Association of Lutheran Churches national convention in St. Louis.  The convention was sandwiched between visits to familial units from both sides.  And now we are blessedly home.


The garden is growing great guns and promises much bounty, but so far, the only thing we've actually eaten is peas.  (Which, by the way, are far, far yummier than frozen or canned!)  But lookee!  Our first pepper!  It was about four or five inches long and has since departed this life for the next, having been sacrificed on the altar of the salad god.  Nil desperandum~ there are plenty more coming!


Girl of the House spent a happy two days reorganizing and reshelving her books along the lines of the Dewey Decimal System.  She even culled a few to be listed on Paperback Swap.  It's rare for Girl of the House to give up a book, but shelf space is not unlimited.  To Girl of the House, happiness is an orderly personal library!


I had determined not to post any pictures of our totally adorable and engrossing grandchild this week, but Girl Out of the House sent us a new batch of photos, and one of them was too funny not to share.  Even the cutest babies can take less-than-flattering pictures once in awhile!

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Around My House

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