Monday, February 28, 2011

Ambitious Book List for 2011

Now that 2010 is over and considering the fact that during the last year I read at least half of all the adoption literature available, (I'm sure that is not an accurate statement but it is accurate to say that essentially, I read only literature from that genre for the entire year) I am broadening my spectrum. 
Was that all in one sentence?

Here is the list of books that in a perfect world would all get read by me, in my green recliner, that doesn't recline, in 2011:
  • The Well-Trained Mind: A guide to classical education at home, Susan Wise Bauer
  • The Dawn Treader, C.S. Lews (A re-read before I watch the new movie)
  • Sacred Influence: How God Uses Wives to Shape the Souls of Their Husbands, Gary Thomas
  • Bringing up Boys, James Dobson
  • It's Not Ok with Me, Janine Maxwell
  • The Endurance: Shackleton's Antartic Expedition, Caroline Alexander
  • The Connected Child, Dr. Karyn Purvis
  • One Million Arrows: Raising Your Children to Change the World, Julie Ferwerda
  • Father to the Fatherless, Paul H. Boge
  • The Simple-Living Guide, Janet Luhrs (A re-read to re-focus)
  • Am I Messing Up My Kids?, Lysa TerKeirst
  • Shepherding a Child's Heart, Tedd Tripp
  • Organized Simplicity, Tsh Oxenreider
  • Voyage of Dr. Dolittle, Hugh Lofting (I read this in elementary school and I wonder if it evokes the same wonderful feelings now as it did then)
  • The Great Cholesterol Con, Malcolm Kendrick
  • Lucky: How the Kingdom Comes to Unlikely People, Glenn Packiam
  • A Kingdom of Desire: Confronted by the Love of a Risen King, Rick McKinley
  • Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Anne Dillard (A favorite of all time I want to re-visit)
  • Midnight in the City: A reporter's journey to America's dark places rocks his view of religion, Hal Donaldson
  • Forgotten God: Reversing our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit, Frances Chan

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Hour and a Half

Yes, my 4 and 5 year olds still take daily naps!

(even in Ethiopia)


WHY NOT? It's awesome!

Case in Points:
1.  They are not emotional messes when their Dad comes home in the evenings.
2.  A scheduled quiet time is a good routine to have your entire life
(even if Julianna doesn't end up falling asleep it is still a mandatory quiet time on her bed).
3. It gives me an hour and a half to be renewed so that I can be a better mom to them when they are awake.
4.  I get a lot done in an uninterupted 90 minutes!

When we were in the middle of the adoption process I used a lot of this time to fill out grant applications or to work on the endless paperwork that is your Dossier.  Nowadays I like to spend 30-45 minutes doing chores and the rest of the time catching up on emails, radio programs I enjoy, and/or reading. 

Oh, I still have at least 25 minutes left! 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

This is NOT a Monday routine...

Eek!  The attic insulation above our fireplace created some excitement here last night. We are not quite sure exactly how the fire started, but we are thankful that it happened while we were awake!  Everyone is ok, the only damage was a chainsaw-cut hole in our roof, sheet rock damage in the living room, and, of course, the dismantling of the mantle.  
When I came home about 8:00 last night from Julianna's dance class, our garage was full of smoke. I came in to the house and told Micah who quickly got on the roof, assessed the situation, yelled to call the fire department, and started dampening out the fire's glow with snow.  He had quite a bit of of it taken care of when the Correctionville volunteer fire fighters showed up (amazingly quick btw).  They then proceeded to find some MORE  fire in the attic after cutting the roof open. They extinguished it, and then did some dirty  REALLYdirty work getting all of the smoldering insulation out.

Now we have some decisions to make and some carpet to clean! 

Friday, February 4, 2011


Every 1st and 3rd Friday morning we do our chores (maybe?) and rush out the door to head to our homeschool co-op where the kids learn some science,
do an art project,

have story time,

and just generally have a good time...

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Thursdays are for pancakes!  These are the absolutely most healthy pancakes you can eat (soaked whole oats) and really hit the spot.  The batter is made in the blender the night before, leaving the blended oats to break down for better digestion.  My children eat these like the rapture is about to happen. 

Thursdays are great for another reason...clean sheet day. LOVE crisp, fresh sheets.

If we have Homeschool Co-op on Friday, like we do tomorrow, we have our Memory Verse Jelly Bean Challenge! on Thursday.  The kids receive one jelly bean for each verse they can say w/out help.

Julianna is a whiz at this and I may pay for this idea later in trips to the dentist.
Today we prepared for our Valentine party tomorrow at Co-op. Here they are making their special Valentines for the class.

We are now just over half way through with our school year and so tonight we invited the grandparents over for the kids to show them some of the things they have learned since September.  They each recited their memory verses, shared some other knowledge they have tucked away and then taught everyone how to make a bird feeder.  Julianna was very proud to read a short story to her loving audience.  I think Josiah may have consumed an unhealthy amount of the bird seed. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Everyday generally starts with quiet time
(or not so quiet if I am late to rise...) 
Today was especially good for my heart.

Isaiah 28:12-13: 
God's people could have rest in their own land if they would only obey him, but they will not listen. So the lord will spell out his message for them again, repeating it over and over, a line at a time, in very simple words. Yet they will stumble over this simple, straightforward message. They will be injured, trapped, and captured.

Oh how God wants to bless us, to give us rest in our own land! How patient he is to teach us the same lessons time and time again.  We live lives that are injured and held captive because we will not surrender to His perfect way.  When we obey God we WILL have the BEST life possible.  As I have read time and time again in parenting books:  rules without relationship = rebellion.  I want a deeper relationship with You God so that I can understand what you are teaching me, spelling out for me over and over again, so that I will not rebel against you.  My life can be a one that is HEALED and SET FREE, resting in the land you have given me!

Ahhh...finally cold cereal day.
We eat cereal only a couple times per week. It saves money and besides variety IS the spice of life.

I enjoy this day because it gives me a few extra minutes in the morning to do other things... like ice climb the drifts of biblical proportions to collect these from the barn:

Wednesday is also VERY exciting for the children for 2 reasons:
box juice day in school

and going to church in the evening.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Tuesdays start with baths,

eggs and toast,

and a good amount of cleaning.

Then it's time to make learning happen. Any idea what this experiment was?