Monday, November 11, 2019

Scars of War

And we remember and humbly treasure every freedom we often take for granted.  The ones who lost their lives, the ones who lost a part of themselves on the battlefield, or in service. ...And yet, I grieve this year's lawmaking that is stripping freedoms away.

"We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude."
 -Cynthia Ozick-

We've taught our girls to approach every veteran they see year round, and say, "Thank you for your service."  They are now very good at spotting the Veteran - the hat, the shirt, or patch displaying the honor.

freedoms aren't guaranteed, but are scars of war

I'm trying to teach my children that freedoms aren't guaranteed, but are scars of war.  I don't want to take freedoms for granted.  I want to see the scars and remember.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

At the mercy of power

Grabbing a moment while I still have electricity . . . this has been our lives for the past week.   At any given moment - poof our power goes out and thus far without warning!   We are signed up for notifications, but we have not received any notifications to the power outages that have happened so far.

I'll be the frist to admist my love for candles, but I'm so happy to have power again.  It's been eye opening to learn how ill prepared we are in these events and how reliant we are on internet and power.  

Our little town was literally stripped of access to money,  gasoline, and other needs.  We were blessed in being somewhat prepared, but nonetheless, we would have been suffering if power had not been restored when it did.  We still lost 4 trash bags full of groceries that spoiled.  I haven't bought "packaged" foods in years, and thus our healthier choices left us with food that went bad quickly without proper refrigeration.  I immediately went out and shopped for just those items to fill the pantry.  

This is our new normal.  We live in a windy city and have been essentially warned to be prepared at any given moment to have power pulled.  It's a game changer and even changes our homeschooling as we use the internet, audio books, and printing.  Reading by candlelight is delightfully romantic in thought, but it's terribly straining on the eyes.  

Battery operated lighting is wonderful, but greatly lacks in comparison to regular lights.  Flushing toilets had to be done manually with a pitcher of water.  While we thought of getting a pellet stove at one time, we are now ever grateful for wood burning - it was a source of heat and kept us somewhat comfortable.  Although led to little sleep as we stayed up all night to keep adding wood during the hours where temperatures dropped below freezing.

I learned to heat up heat packs on the tops of boiled water pots - laid them on the lids after turning off the flame - they felt so good!  And again, just so grateful that I have a propane gas stove and could use matches to light the burners, but the oven would not work because the thermostat is digital and needs electricity.  

Scented candles are lovely, but mixing the scents when you light several throughout your home, will result in an overpowering smell and headaches.  We are still learning, and I'm in big preparation mode.  Every time, I hear the wind blow, I'm whispering prayers that lights stay on and that those medically fragile have their needs met.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Apple Nachos

Super fun and easy autumn snack!


  • apple slices  - we like Honey Crisp!
  • caramel
  • chocolate morsels
  • chopped almond slivers -optional
  • autumn sprinkles


Layer slices of apple and enjoy with caramel, chocolate morsels, and autumn sprinkles!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Around the Bend

"I don't know what lies around the bend, but I'm going to believe that the best does."

L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

I deeply miss blogging and truly have the best of intentions at heart, but it takes time to pull a post together, edit photos, and get my thoughts transcribed into words on the screen.  Fear sometimes has me choking on the words, and yet, I can't even articulate what I am even afraid of.  It's hard with a husband in law enforcement and the need to be cautious.  Other times, I just feel a little of that writer's block and get stuck on what to share.

With that said . . .

November is often known for it's NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month, and while writing a novel is no where in my agenda, I figured it would a good month for me to pull this blog writing stuff together and spill over the words that tell my story.

Right now, I can see the bend in the road ahead.   I don't quite know where it will lead, but as my kindred friend, Anne of Green Gables, shares so beautifully, "I'm going to believe that the best" lies just ahead. 

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Counting it All Joy! - September 19th

339  | end of summer heat
340  | autumn dreaming
341  | hope in new seasons
342  | a new son-in-law
343  | foggy mornings
344  | new mornings
345  | evening sunsets
346  | "just because he loves me" flower bouquet
347  | the ritual of school returning
348  | electric friendship candles flickering
350  | friends across the miles
351  | reading aloud books with my girls
352  | autumn decor
353  | vintage books with cloth covers and thick ivory pages
354  | a new store in town
355  | cloud formations
356  | baby announcements

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Slow - caught in the moments

decorating for fall moments

preparing breakfast moments

viewing nature moments

dating my husband moments

sharing sweet treats moments

simmering spaghetti sauce moments

messy after-school moments

always someone hungry moments

makeup moments by myself

roasting marshmallow around a campfire moments

gathering elderberries moments

Monday, September 16, 2019

Lessons Unfolded - the first week

...the first week

The night before school was to start, I was still feeling a bit uneasy.  I have a sick daughter that is pretty uncomfortable all the time as we wait to get in with a Specialist to shed some light.  I was feeling tired from the heat of summer still looming around and the thought of adding more to my plate seemed heavy. It already felt like a burden.  I whispered my prayers and shared with a few friends and just decided to make the best that with the energy levels I able to give.

We jumped in excited, although, not in ways that my heart wanted to - there was no welcoming pretty table setting, books were not neatly laid out, no school pictures, and I didn't have a fun breakfast ready.  It was what it was.  It probably resembled the chaos similar to the first days of public school.

We got through attendance and introduced each subject, and we started unfolding morning time, math, language arts, history and then we started sharing with each other that it seemed different and not as fun as past years.  I had really tried to plan in advance to make our days run smoothly, but right away we all felt disjointed.  Our internet was too slow for some of the links.  We were all over the place in historical time periods, and some of the lessons seemed difficult for me teach effectively, and I could tell that my girls were going through the motions and not delightfully engaged.   We ended our first day with a much deserved visit to the ice cream shoppe and I was determined to try again the next day.

But, the first day was pretty much indicative of our entire first week.  We plugged away and checked off most of the boxes as assigned.  And the moments of delight came during our read-aloud time, and we nearly finished our 1st book because this was where a lot of attention seemed familiar, comfortable, and cozy.


We loved our read aloud All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor. 


  • Completed a week of math, language arts, history, science & morning time with Bible & art.
  • Current Events - we watched protests at our State Capitol and had many discussions of the law making process and sadly saw that what our founding fathers worked so hard to create was being destroyed.
  • Weather - Followed news Hurricane Dorian - such difficult news to watch.
  • We prayed for Eva Love, a 7 year old with a brain injury.

think about

I know that things will have to change.   Thoughts are a curriculum change with more of the focus on Ancient History and still use Morning Time as we had planned.  My target will be teaching to the younger and beefing up for the older - I find it easier to teach this way without losing interest of my younger child and still able to expect more and expand on for my older child.  Find creative ways to keep to our educational philosophy and goals.  If nothing else, always keep a good read-aloud ready to enjoy.  I need confidence to do what my heart wants to do.  Progress is progress even if it begins slow.  Remember to start with Morning Candlelight.  Create a rhythm that brings joy and a love of learning! 

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Summer thoughts

Summer nature moments

 Summer table bouquets

Summer baking

Summer farm fresh eggs

Summer doctor visits - too many

Summer crepes

Summer Emergency Room

Summer pauses

Summer fruits

Summer cousins

Summer crafting

Summer Church gatherings

Summer homemade treats

Summer decorations

Summer sleeping beauties

Summer spaghetti sauce

Summer bride

Summer wedding

Summer views

Summer - missing the little ones who traveled away

 Summer was much too busy for me, and I had a hard time to feel the slow moments that my soul was deeply craving.  I'm going to date myself here, but the song from high school days is playing in my head - in some ways it was a "Cruel Summer" (caution here as I don't give promotion to  the music or video, but share only for those who may have it now nagging them trying to remember this reference). Today, I finally had a brief moment to look through summer photos and it blessed me to see some of the beauty that unfolded over the long, hot days, even among some really hard times.  

An emergency room trip gave me slow as I sat and waited hours and hours with my mom and my daughter.  It's not the slow I prefer, but the busy of life was paused and focused on my little girl.  Waiting in a doctor's office, several times, in great misery, gave me quiet and surrender to prayer.  Not the desired way I would choose, but this was my life.  The hour long drives down the mountain gave beauty in the view of grassy hillsides and wildflowers.  Summer unfolded messy and all over the place, but beauty of the Father's presence was always among us.  

As I gear up to enter my favorite season of autumn, I already see the messy, complicated struggles that will be challenging.  We face freedoms being stripped away, a possible move out of state, my husband leaving his career, and more health issues.  I'm broken in ways that words don't come to adequately express the shattered pieces. I see a broken world.   But, I do see glimmers of hope.  A new marriage and son-in-law added to the family, a new grandbaby announcement after great grief, the moon sharing light among the darkness.  I hold onto that very hope and faithfully trust that my God has this all planned out for me.  I need to rest in that.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Commonplace Journal - to be unfolded

"Children are not things to be molded, 

but are people to be unfolded." 

~Jess Lair

I saw this quote on an Instagram account and it stood out as something to ponder.  In general we hear that children are to be taught and molded, but this was thought provoking.  It had me deeply thinking about what the Bible says,

"...unless you change and
 become like little children,
you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Matthew 18:3

...we need to become like little children to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  I wonder if our perspective of these precious little ones changes and we are blessed see them teaching us as we unfold the depths of child-like innocence, giggles of joyful laughter, embracing moments of beautiful rest, and so much more.

It's an beautiful concept.  May I unfold that child-like faith, wholeheartedly - that blind faith and trust, and hold tightly onto this wisdom.


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