Friday, March 31, 2006

Friday Five

Dana was thoughtful enough to send me a great topic for the Friday Five. She was wondering how other women handle those daily bumps in the road. Things that go wrong to potentially mess up the day....and what nifty solutions have you come up with.

1. Do you have a particular meal-in-a-pinch? Something you always have on hand that can be whipped up at the last minute?

2. Do you have a Emergency Kit for when and if the electricity goes out?
What is in it? And where do you keep it?

3. Do you save water? Where and how do you store it? How much?

4. Do you know how to change a tire on your car?

5. OT: Do you remember your seventeenth birthday? Did you like being seventeen?

Happy Birthday, dear, Birthday Girl.
You have been a blessing and a gift to us, since the moment you arrived!

Love. You.

We all have a busy day today. Going in different directions. I don't like it one bit. Somehow, we will squeeze in a birthday song and a little gooey cake.

Better get clippin'!

Encourage one another,

Pay a visit to Dana's site! She is sharing some fantastic looking recipes!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Eating Well....and...Not Eating Well

Yesterday for lunch I made a nutritious updated Mac and Cheese that I spotted in Eating Well magazine. It was not difficult to make and it was pretty tasty.

Emma wanted more cheese flavor. Which I can adjust next time.

I loved adding the broccoli to the water along with the whole wheat noodles.
What a great time saver. (and used one less pan :o)

No-Bake Macaroni & Cheese

8 ounces whole wheat elbow noodles
(2 cups)
1 10 ounce package frozen chopped broccoli
1 3/4 cups low-fat milk, divided
3 T. flour
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
3/4 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 t. Dijon mustard

Cook pasta for 4 minutes. Add broccoli and continue cooking for about 4-5 more minutes.

Heat 1 1/2 cups milk in another pot. In another bowl whisk; 1/4 cup milk, flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Add this mixture to simmering milk.
Let it thicken (about 3 minutes)
Remove from heat and add cheeses and mustard.

Drain pasta and broccoli and add to the cheese sauce.
Warm through.

I'm not sure I used Extra Sharp cheese. But I will next time I make this.

The whole wheat noodles do not taste weird at all.

Not Eating Well

But making the girls happy....

Gooey Butter Cake

This cake has become a favorite for the high school girls around here.
Emma has yet to make it all alone. But I think she should make the next one, don't you?

One package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted

Preheat oven 350.
Combine the above ingredients and press into a 9x13 pan.

8 oz. cream cheese
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
16 oz powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, add eggs and vanilla. Add melted butter and and then add the powdered sugar.
Pour this over the cake mixture.

Bake 40-50 minutes.

The center will be gooey.

I bake ours for 40 minutes in a glass cake pan. It does not need to bake any longer than that. I hear glass pans cook faster...and this seems to be the case at our house.

So there you have it.

The good, the bad, and the yummy!

Now that I think of it...tomorrow is Emma's 17th birthday.
It looks like I will be baking the next Gooey Butter Cake!

What is your favorite nutritious meal to make...
And your favorite guilty pleasure to create?

Encourage one another,


A small t. = teaspoon
A capital T. = Tablespoon

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

If you're an American Idol fan, the place to visit for recaps on the web is Girls Talkin' Smack.
This funny chic is right on with her critiques and even has videos of the best performances!

It's a great page, if you love American Idol.

And if people call you during the show...and you miss the first three performances.

A hem.


What do you think of The Amazing Race this season?

Do you find any of the contestants at all like-able?

Do you know how to pronounce Palermo?

The racers had a hard time with it....

One gal said, "Where is Palimino?"

The ruins at the end of the show were gorgeous and Parthenon-esque.

What a sight.

I loved the men picking up that heavy bell and bearing that big load, solo. This was really the only time in the show that I cheered and really got behind some of the contestants.

Two things lacking are friendly locals and someone to cheer for....

And the fact that my husband keeps falling asleep, due to the later air time....well...that makes the show seem less interesting, sitting next to ole Sleepyhead.

But. It's just television!

What's your opinion?

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Dearest Cyber-friends,

You made my sister's day yesterday! We were on the phone three times yesterday laughing and marveling at her comment ticker full of lovely birthday wishes!
I even talked to Janice (it's been way too long) and she came out of hiding and hit the blogs!!! Janice was Janet's 40th comment! Isn't that perfect twin mojo?

I wanted to show my appreciation to you all...and since I can not knit FIFTY-FOUR pairs of lovely wool socks....I am going to draw a name and give away a pair of gorgeous, hand-dyed, hand knit socks.

(There were 54 unique visitors to Janet's comment box yesterday. I have taken Janice, Janet and myself out of the drawing)

Drum roll please.....

Julie D., you are the winner :o)


Thank you all for the kindness shown to my sister and to me.

The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention. ~Oscar Wilde

How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a weary world.
~William Shakespeare

All y'all earn an 'A' in encouragement!


Monday, March 27, 2006

40 years ago today.....

Our family was blessed with twins :o)

Janice and Janet, that is!

(I always say Janice and Janet because Janice is older. But Janet is on the left in the picture and Janice is on the right. Janet is our Dane and Janice is our Greek)

Many of you know Janet due to her blog comments...and her newish blog.
Janice is a wonderful mother of two and working hard to support her family.
She doesn't have time to blog.

They are both so adored by our whole family. (They happen to be our babies :o)

How about sending Janice good thoughts today on her birthday...

And for Janet, she has a special wish.

She would love a boat load of comments for her birthday!

So drop by Just Janet and say "Happy Birthday" to her!

That's all it will take to put a big smile on her face!

I would love for her to receive 40 comments and will work to that end. he he he

Children of the same family, the same blood, with the same first associations and habits, have some means of enjoyment in their power, which no subsequent connections can supply... ~Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, 1814

What's the good of news if you haven't a sister to share it? ~Jenny DeVries

To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time. ~Clara Ortega

An older sister helps one remain half child, half woman. ~Author Unknown

(man, is that true!)

Sibling relationships - and 80 percent of Americans have at least one - outlast marriages, survive the death of parents, resurface after quarrels that would sink any friendship. They flourish in a thousand incarnations of closeness and distance, warmth, loyalty and distrust. ~Erica E. Goode, "The Secret World of Siblings," U.S. News & World Report, 10 January 1994

(no distrust here, really)

Makes me all teary to think about how much I love my sisters.


Randi has a Monday assignment for the rest of us.

Show a high school picture of yourself.

That's me in the middle.

A few weeks away from 16.

It's been a long time since I had a tan like that! Or a skirt like that :o)

The twins were seven at the time of this picture.

And we were to lose our parents in a few weeks.

'Photographs and memories....'

Encourage one another,

And don't forget to wish Janet a Happy Day!!!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Janet is asking to hear about your favorite Easter candy!

Here, put this in your mouth.



I get to keep it?

Yes, dear.

Our favorite Easter Candy.

Brach's Fiesta Malted Milk Ball Eggs.

That's a mouth more ways than one :o)

Have a sweet weekend!


Friday, March 24, 2006

Friday Feast

How would you describe your personal comfort zone?

What is your favorite tree?

List 3 foods you'd like to include in your dinner plans for tonight.

Main Course
What is the best advice you've ever been given, but didn't heed?

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being highest), how much attention do you feel comfortable receiving from others?

Birch trees are my favorite trees for a number of reasons.

I love the white bark that you can use for paper and I love the way the leaves flutter.

When I was in 6th grade all of the students in our school(or was it just the 6th grade?) received a tiny Birch sapling on Arbor Day.

My father laughed as I came home with that weak little sapling...from what he said...they all died when planted.

Oh well. I wanted to try with my little birch. So I planted it in our backyard. And probably tended it with neglect. But that birch grew and grew and grew and grew....and it is still growing.

I have a few pictures of myself and my sisters sitting under that birch tree...only six years after it was planted! Such a fast growing tree!

It is beautiful and it is a survivor.
It is the Arbor Day tree that lived!

I'm off to Sign Language...

See ya in the comments...this afternoon :o)

Encourage one another,

Thursday, March 23, 2006

MamaGeph tagged me with this meme.

Thanks for the tag!
This one made me think a bit this morning.
(Always a good thing)

1. Who or what inspired you to start blogging? Was it a whim, or a carefully thought out leap?

It all started with The Well Trained Mind message board six years ago. Getting to know the women (fellow homeschoolers) at that site gave me a taste for internet communication. As it happens, I stumbled onto Carmon's website, Buried Treasure and soon after that found Samantha at The Home Realm.

I started my own blog out of a desire to encourage other women; especially those with families. (a la Titus 2:3-5)

I had heard Elisabeth Elliot's message for older women to encourage younger women and I felt this might be a way for me to do this...

Jan. 1, 2004 was day one for this blog.

2. What bloggers inspire you now? Why?

I will just tell you why bloggers inspire me...
(my sidebar is just a small list of the bloggers I find inspiring. I could easily add 25 more blogs to that list)

I am inspired by personal stories, book lists and reviews, recipes, amazing quotes, prayer requests, pictures and humor.

3. What subjects do you enjoy writing about most? What subjects are the easiest?

I love if I have a funny story to tell...with an anecdote.
The easiest subject to write about is Miss Katie Gracie.

4. If you could pick only one post to print, frame, and say, "That's me," what would it be?

Thursday, January 08, 2004

"Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the candle, bathe and dress,"

Robert Louis Stevenson

Yes...that is how we feel in Wisconsin in the mornings in the Winter-Time.

I was going to start schooling today after our long Christmas break but Katie has just received a rare invitation to play with a little girl and boy. So I think school will start tomorrow. Katie has so few opportunities to play with children her age. She will be thrilled.
Emma won't mind the extra day to sleep in and I will be keeping one of my goals for this year...Helping Katie to make friends.

Perhaps Emma can do Algebra, read The Odyssey and Warriner's English this afternoon. Well, there you have it...journaling and daily school planning in one quick step!


A Lesson for Children.

Pray to God.
Love God.
Fear God.
Serve God.
Take not God's
Name in vain.
Do not Swear.
Do not Steal.
Cheat not in your play.
Play not with bad boys.
Call no ill names.
Use no ill words.
Tell no lies.
Hate Lies.
Speak the Truth.
Spend your Time well.
Love your School.
Mind your Book.
Strive to learn.
Be not a Dunce

The New England Primer of 1777


I think the order of the poem is important.
Isn't the last line a hoot! Be not a Dunce :o)

Encourage one another,

5. What is your favorite flavor of cheesecake?

I don't have a favorite. It's all good :o)


Elizabeth asks in the comments;

Did you homeschool your boys? And, what are some siignificant differences between when they were Katie's age and now, in terms of parenting?

Patrick Jr. was homeschooled for 7th and 8th grade.
Matthew was homeschooled 4th-6th.
Emma has been home since Kindergarten.

After homeschooling the boys went to a very small Christian school.

Homeschooling is different for me know because I am experienced and more confident.

My character has changed a lot since our three big kids were all young.
I think I was impatient and kind of a hot head in certain situations.

I lost my temper more easily than I do now.
I had some wrong views about God...and life...and marriage...

With the help of God, I have gotten through some difficult circumstances, and have a better idea of who I believe He is; learning this has given me peace and joy in my circumstances.

I am less rigid now.
If Katie stays up past 8:00 it does not bother much :o)

Yes, rigid is the right word.

Man. I was nutty.

I'm glad I've changed. I'm sure I'm easier to live with...a little.

I still get kooky and tense in the car. But, really, I'm working on it.

I even drive too slow sometimes and Emma tells me,

"Mom, drive faster!"

Perhaps not the answer you were looking for...but an honest one.

Encourage one another,

p.s. Katie would not have done well with the uptight momma I was....
she needs a calm momma to balance out her highs and lows.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

What a great day!

Doesn't it look like we were the only ones there? Don't be fooled, it was packed at the Field Museum. We liked the mummies and Pompeii exhibit and of course, Sue, the largest Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Here we are standing near the famous Art Institute lions.
Emma and I especially loved being here at the Art Institute. It was a joy for me to be with Emma as she 'met' many of her favorites for the first time.

I have seen this painting many times. The colors in person are glorious. The name of the painting gave me a little thrill :o)
Two Sisters by Renoir.
Notice the age difference in the girls :o)

This sculpture in Millennium Park (right next door to the Art Institute) is called The Cloud Gate. It was under construction so we could not get the true beauty and effect....but it was fun to see anyway :o)

The traveling went quite smoothly. Three hours down...two and a half back.
We had dinner at The Cheesecake factory and were able to relax and gawk at the huge portions of food they brought us. You have never seen such a huge pile of lettuce in your life. I ordered the Cobb Salad and it resembled Mt. Vesuvius with an avocado on top. I ate about 1/5 of my salad, Matthew ate 2/3 of his gigantic hamburger and Emma brought home 1/2 of her fettucini.

We wondered if anyone could consume that much food in one sitting.


If I lived in Chicago I would get a family pass to The Art Institute. We did not get to see everything and wouldn't it be wonderful just to drop in any ole' time you wanted? It is a first class museum!

Well...I have a meme to answer and a question from Elizabeth...but those will both have to wait until tomorrow. I'm sorry ladies. I promise to get to those, but I have used up most of my pre-school morning time blogging already!

Thank you for sharing your museum visits with me :o)
Lynn....the mustard museum! he he

I should ask, who has been to the most obscure museum?

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

We're going on a Field trip today!

Just like when I was a young girl.

We will visit the Pompeii exhibit at the Field Museum and the glorious artwork at The Art Institute.

If we have enough energy ( that means I) we will take a quick turn around Millennium Park too.

Off to the big City!

See you tomorrow!

What was the last museum you visited?

Encourage one another,

Monday, March 20, 2006

Kinda like Jerry Lewis

Carmon, over at Buried Treasure is having a blogathon today! She will be posting every half hour for twenty-four hours!

I have enjoyed her previous blogatons very much!

This year she will be raising money for The Persecution Project

I am encouraged by Carmon and her love for others and wise use of her blog!

Visit her today....often :o)



I have completed the socks for my secret pal.

The Trekking XXL yarn was very nice to work with...

I hope she likes them :o)

I am also to the toe of my Rock Creek, Sunshine Yarn I should be able to post those tomorrow. They are pretty special too :o)

I feel like a name dropper! But I know when I see socks...I really want to know all about the yarn! So there you go!


It's so good to have Matthew home!
And it was great to see Patrick for just a tiny bit on Saturday.

I am so thankful that I have a little caboose (Katie) who will be around for a long long time. I know I would adjust to having all of the kids being away from home...but I'm glad I don't have to just yet :o)

It seems God knew the desire of my heart when He gave us our little bundle of joy 10 years after Emma.

I also think He wasn't done molding my mommy character :o)

Wishing you a joyful day!

Encourage one another,

Friday, March 17, 2006

Look who's reading!

We are on lesson #50 in Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Lessons, but Katie was eager to read from a real book. And so she does :o)

I'm so proud of her.

No man can be called friendless who has God and the companionship of good books. ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I will be picking Matthew up today for his Spring break. Patrick Jr. is being kind enough to bring Matthew half-way. I am very grateful for that :o)

I look forward to seeing the boys.

Christmas seems so long ago.

Makes me wish we lived in the same town.

"Wishin' Ain't Gettin'"

Encourage one another,
Friday Feast

What job would you definitely not want to have?

Oprah calls and wants you to appear on her show. What would that day's show be about?

Name 3 vegetables that you eat on a regular basis.

Main Course
If you were commissioned to rename your hometown, what would you call it?

If you had a personal assistant, what kind of tasks would you have them to do?

*This week's Feast is an oldie but goodie.*

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Encourage one another,

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Life is just like that some times.

Oh, bother.


If you haven't noticed..the interesting stuff has been in the comments the last two days. I greatly appreciate the comments on dating rules. Dana, I am still waiting for you to come back and tell us your 'rules'.

This morning I woke to a very lovely comment from Island Sparrow about loving Christ.

I love Hannah W. Smith. I think that to be "one with Him" is a constantly growing journey - the more we go forward, the more we will be filled with His love - and if we are filled with His love - even overflowing - then it won't be so much effort to love others but rather an overflow because we are centered in Him. Thinking about it this way helps me - then my one aim becomes to seek Him first rather than think "how do I act like a Christian?" If I seek to love Him - focus on Him - pursue Him - love for others flows out of that relationship. Sort of like new lovers - no one can disturb their happiness because they are so filled with each other - and they want to be kind to everyone because they are so happy themselves. That's what I long for in my relationship with Christ.
~Island Sparrow

Islands Sparrow's comment says it all so well. Thank you, Island Sparrow.

I appreciate her comment so much.

It is truly a life long process and that the Holy Spirit is at work in me helping me change.

Elizabeth Prentiss' book Stepping Heavenward is about a young girl who changes and grows and becomes more like Christ.

It takes her whole life.

I highly recommend this book.


Question of the day

If you were a dog, what kind of dog would you be?

I would be a stunning blonde :o)

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Hannah Whitall Smith
Christian's Secret to a Happy Life

If you are really one with Christ you will be sweet to those who are cross to you; you will bear everything and make no complaints; when you are reviled you will not revile again; you will consent to be trampled on, as Christ was, and feel nothing but love in return; you will seek the honor of others rather than your own; you will take the lowest place, and be the servant of all, as Christ was; you will literally and truly love your enemies and do good to them that despitefully use you; you will, in short, live a Christ-like life, and manifest outwardly as well as feel inwardly a Christ-like spirit, and will walk among men as He walked among them. This, dear friends, is what it is to be one with Christ. And if all this is not your life according to your measure, then you are not one with Him, no matter how ecstatic or exalted your feelings may be.

Are you thinking, that is just impossible?

It is, without Christ.

But, with Christ, all things are possible.

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I must have been hungry or had French things on my mind, because Sunday I purchased a copy of Bon Appetit.

The cover picture of Pasta with Panchetta and Broccoli Rabe looked amazing!
And inside I spotted a recipe for Strawberry Tiramisu.
I am usually not a daring cook...but I may just start hunting down the ingredients for this splendid looking concoction!

All I need to find is;
Cointreau (do you think they sell a really little bottle of this?)
Mascarpone Cheese (I know they don't have this at Millers)
Fresh Strawberries ( June...must I wait til June?)
52 crisp lady fingers (Boudoirs or Savoiardi)(Hum?)

Other than that...I'm good to go :o)

With a Christmas gift certificate a purchased a fantastic Wok sauce from Williams-
Sonoma. It is called Chinois Kung Pao Wok Sauce.

This sauce makes creating a delicious Chinese stir fry a snap!

I sauted (stir fried) onion, carrots, mushrooms and red, green and yellow peppers
until they were partially cooked. I pushed them all to the side of the pan and then added cut-up pieces of chicken. When the chicken was cooked, I mixed the veggies in with the chicken and added 3 Tablespoons of the Kung Pao sauce.

That's all it took. And it is restaurant good!

Actually better than Wisconsin Chinese food, restaurant good :o)

Check out your local Williams-Sonoma (I could not find this product on-line)


Dating advice from Elisabeth Elliot's mother.

1. Never chase them.
2. Keep them at arm's length.

My mother would have added;

A girl's best friend is the word, 'No'.
(Sisters, correct me if I have that wrong. Mom never said it to me, but I think Nancy told me that one)

Of course Elisabeth Elliot fleshed out those two simple rules.
But, I like that simple list.

Elisabeth's father told her brothers, "Never tell a girl you love her unless you are ready to follow that with an immediate proposal."

I never thought to advise on that.

Have you, set rules,for your children and dating?

Encourage one another,

Monday, March 13, 2006

Monday, Monday....

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Emma and I watched the new Pride and Prejudice yesterday afternoon.
We both quite like it.

It was not better on any account than the BBC production that we love so much, but on it's own, it was entertaining and interesting.

Mr. Wickham was very handsome to me, in an Orlando Bloom sort of way, and I can see his appeal more in the new movie. However, Mr. Wickham's part was cut so short, it was a wonder the story came together in the end.

The part that interested me the most was the family's station. This new version has the Bennett's living a much 'earthier' existence. Their class is much different than Mr. Bingley's and Mr. Darcy's. (Mr. Bingley's Netherfeld is very elegant and refined. He has many servants.)

The Bennet's are a bit ill-kept and 'relaxed' around the house.

Presented this way, it was easier to see the class difference. And perhaps understand Darcy's snobbery.

So, now I want to know which might be a more truthful presentation.

Emma and I are currently reading Pride and Prejudice and I will be looking for hints to the Bennet's home conditions.

Other than that, Emma felt Mr. Bennet was too daft but she liked the cinematography
very much.

I would give the movie a B.

I did, however, miss so many of my favorite lines!

It was quite vexing! (They never used the word 'vexed' once! Can you imagine! The writers must think people in this century would not know what it means)

What do you think of the depiction of the Bennet's 'earthy' portrayal in this version of Pride and Prejudice?

Encourage one another,

Thank you for your (hugs) for Matthew and Melinda.
I can't even think about how awful that accident could have been.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

I am so thankful tonight.

So thankful that today was not the day I received the worst kind of phone call.

Matthew and Melinda were in a car accident today.

They are both perfectly fine.

But the more I hear about the accident...the more thankful I am that today was not...their last day.

Oh. Thank. You. God.

On the way to church this morning, Matthew was driving about 60mph, on a highway in Omaha...the car started spinning, due to icy conditions.

The back side of the car hit a pole ( which broke away) and they ended up in a ditch.

The car is looking quite battered; The back end is crumpled, the back window shattered, two flattened tires and possibly a broken back axel.

But Matthew and Melinda do not have a scratch.

Did I tell you, I am thankful.

Thank you, God,
for our children.

I love you,

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Oh, if it will only stay like this all day!

All week the weatherman has said....

"It will be 65 on Saturday."

Last night he said...

"It will rain"


We want to go to the zoo!


But, first, Emma works at Old Navy until noon.
And Katie is participating the Awana games until about 1:30.

(Katie is very excited to play the Awana games. Run. Run. Run.
Fun. Fun. Fun. :o)


Guess what I spotted yesterday?



Wishing you a wonderful weekend with your loved ones!

"No day like today!"

Encourage one another,

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Friday Feast

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how intuitive do you think you are?

What is your favorite kind of gum?

Name a CD you own that you would never get rid of.

Main Course
When was the last time you said something you didn't mean?

Do you read comic strips?

When I first read, "What is your favorite gum?" I thought it was a dumb question...but then I thought of those tiny Chiclets..... And there is something special about those teenie pieces of gum. I like em.

I like them a lot. And they remind me of that striped gum from when I was little. So amazing to have stripes on gum. What a wonderful world.

The Cd I would never want to be without is the CD my sister Cindy made.

Cindy, who is not super computer savvy, found songs that our parents loved and burned them all on CD's for us. This CD is very precious to me!

Here are some of the songs on the CD;

Snowbird by Ann Murray
Something Stupid by Frank and Nancy Sinatra
That's Amore by Dean Martin
Tijuana Brass

and my favorite of all

I Remember You by Frank Ifield

When my life is through
And the angels ask me to recall
The thrill of it all
Then I will tell them I remember, tell them I remember
Tell them I remember you

Thanks Cindy, for such a great gift!

Better hurry, better scurry...I've got somewhere to be this morning :o)

Encourage one another,
A girl with a plan

When I grow up.
I want to be a missionary.
I will go to France and tell the people about Jesus.

Then I can go to Paris.

You can come with me!

~Katie, age 6


I'm teaching this girl French :o)
And I'm holding her to it!

Did you ever want to be a missionary?
Where did you want to go?

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Yesterday I learned of the deaths of two women.

One that you know and one that you don't know.

Dana Reeves (Christopher Reeve's wife) died at the age of 44 from lung cancer. She learned she had lung cancer at the end of the summer. She leaves behind a 13 year old son now parentless. She was not a smoker.

Arlene Homontowski (47) died in a car accident Sunday night while talking on the cell-phone to her daughter. Arlene was a spunky pre-school/kindergarten teacher at the Christian school both of our boys graduated from. She taught those little ones for many years and was always friendly and full of life. Our son Matthew graduated with Arlene's daughter and they were good friends. He, of course, was very saddened to hear this news.

Both women lived well. They loved their families and served them...well.
They both reached out to their communities with thoughts of others.

And I am reminded, once again, how very little time we have on this earth.

Emma and I watched the musical Rent last weekend and the songs are floating through my mind as I type. (Rent is a bittersweet, joyous, musical about living and loving and loving

How easy it is to postpone the living and the loving....and the serving.

Reese Witherspoon shared a simple sentiment in her Oscar acceptance speech (a quote from June Carter Cash)

"I'm just trying to matter."

"This is the day that the Lord has made,
Let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Bits and pieces from my notes

The panel discussion went well. I suppose. I am not the one to ask tho.
I was not as eloquent as I would have liked. But...ah well.

In preparing for the evening I was able to encourage myself about the choice I made seven years ago to pursue this method of education.

The Bluedorns reminded me that the Classical Trivium produces thinkers.

"By mastering these basic tools of learning, the classical method creates self-teaching students who are able to move forward and master any area of learning on their own."

They also say that Classical education follows a Biblical model.

The Grammar Stage , the Logic stage and the Rhetoric stages grew from a Biblical model of Knowledge, Understanding and Wisdom.

I like this quote from Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise;

"Classical education has to do with setting up solid foundations, with learning how to learn, with mental discipline and intellectual curiosity, and a willingness to grapple with lessons of the past."

And Why Latin?

In a nutshell...

1. "Latin trains the mind to think in a n orderly fashion"

"the Latin trained mind becomes accustomed to paying attention to detail...(this pays off in Math and Science.)"

2. Latin improves English skills.

3. Latin prepares the student for the study of other languages

I actually think my experiment on Emma is working.

I really do think her Latin has helped her think well in Science and Math.
She does very well in her Science class. They must keep a journal and write questions and observations and she has been doing a great job with this task. Also she is successfully teaching herself Algebra II.

That amazes me.

Would Emma have learned to think well without the Classical method. It's very possible.

But I think I will approach Katie's schoolwork with the same Classical model.
I have been reminded of the virtues of Classical Education.

BUT, can you believe I will start all over again???

Katie will be in 1st grade and Emma will be in 12th.


Really...the first four years are a breeze...

Encourage one another,

Monday, March 06, 2006

And the Winner is.....

Jennifer Lopez in this gorgeous gown.

She knows what she is doing!

And this young lady is a model from Germany named Diane Kruger. I think her dress is demur and beautiful!

One more think about this that I look at it reminds me of 'fancy pants'.
Fancy pants are the little diaper covers with ruffles.

(You have to be over 35 to know what fancy pants are :o)

And if I was talking to Diane about her dress....I would not have told her that. Cause I have some sense.

The red carpet coverage was terrible. I tell ya...why O why don't I have that job. Isaac Mizrahi was an idiot who didn't ask the right questions....and Joan and Melissa were mean and unfunny as usual.

Neither of my winners were interviewed on any of the shows I I do not know the designers of their gowns nor did I see a close up of Miss Fruger. Too bad. She was lovely from a distance.

If you know who designed either of my winners, let me know :o)

Many of the dresses were pretty and few were hideous.
Dolly Parton's pink dress was like cotton candy on steroids.

Mom: Don't you think by this age (Dolly is 60) she would replace those breasts with smaller ones?
Emma: She likes them, Mom. She says she likes the way she looks.

I watch the awards for fashion, humor and tender moments. I liked Jon Stewart just fine and the fashions were very nice...but the tender moments were few.

Both, Best Actor and Best Actress, Phillip Seymore Hoffman and Reese Witherspoon, thanked their families and were very gracious.

And that is my quick update on the Academy Awards.


This evening I will be on a panel discussing different methods of homeschooling. I will be sharing what I know about The Classical Method.

I better refresh my memory on why I chose this method seven years ago.

I am certainly not an expert...just the only person they could find who Classically Educates and is willing to sit on the panel.

I've got some homework to do today.

Wish me well on this :o)

(Too bad it is not a panel on Oscar dresses. That would be a snap!)

Encourage one another,

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Tagged by dear Linda.

Her answer to question number One is worth a trip to her blog :o)

1. Who is your favorite Biblical personage, other than Jesus?

The story of Joseph helped me through some very difficult times.
Thru all of his adversity and terrible circumstances he was faithful and good.
He always did the right thing.

"And as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive."
~Genesis 50:20

2. What is your favorite book of the Old Testament?

The Psalms are a great source of beauty and I choose them.

3. What is your least favorite book of the Old Testament?

To be honest I have not read all of the books of the Old I can not choose a least favorite.

4. What is your favorite non-gospel book of the New Testament?

I love many of Paul's letters. But, I have to pick one, so I will pick Ephesians.

"walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,
with humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love,
being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
Ephesians 4:1-3

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right."
Ephesians 6:1

5. What is your life verse?

"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;
and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us,..."
Ephesians 5:1

p.s. I just chose that life verse this morning.
p.p.s. Please feel free to take this meme and complete it on your blog...or even in my comments if you'd like to do that. It sure made me think this morning.


Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

We are off to a sunny start!

I actually could have used my Ray-Bans in bed this morning!

Will you be watching the Oscars tomorrow? I will watch for the fashions...and that is about all this year. I have not seen one movie yet!

Stay tuned for my most excellent opinion on Monday.

Who will be the best and worst dressed???
And for my Sis' Cindy...who will be wearing the most gorgeous jewels :o)

Encourage one another,

Friday, March 03, 2006

Friday Feast

How many pillows and blankets do you sleep with?

What are you currently "addicted" to?

If you could make a small change to your current routine or schedule that would make you just a little bit happier, what would it be?

Main Course
Which adjective do you find yourself using often?

Have you ever picked up a hitchhiker?


While I am not addicted to my pillow...I sure love it. I take it with me when I travel and when I have had a rough night sometimes I bring it downstairs to hold across my stomach while I sit on the couch.

I don't think I have told you this...but...

When I was a little girl about 6 or 7 or 8, I slept on my back with my pillow across my chest.

I slept with the pillow across my chest because I thought my pillow would stop bullets.

No, I did not live in the projects.
I was safe and sound in the Suburbs.

I don't know why I thought I was going to be shot!

But I do remember seriously considering whether a pillow would be thick enough to stop a bullet.

You never know what is going on inside those little children's heads, do you?

Looking forward to your comments and stories :o)

Encourage one another,

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Yeah, yeah, you had 70's in your town yesterday...

it's snowing here this morning!

My son actually called from Omaha yesterday on his lunch break to brag about the weather.

Can you believe that? Smarty pants :o)

I hoped it might be headed this way...but no.

Really....I'm still okay with it being wintery. If it were May and we were still looking at snow...then I would be getting a little crazy. But in Wisconsin, March is still winter.

Did you know teenage girls could be funny and rowdy and silly and loud?

Maybe it was the apple crisp I just fed them...but man, they were silly.

And I just love it. For some reason it makes me feel so good inside to see these big girls play like little girls.

And you know how I feel about hearing my children laugh :o)


On Keeping a Holy Lent

If you would like to read an excellent article on Lent. The above link will take you to a very thoughtful piece.

I especially liked the questions Rev. Higgins asked;

Lent is a time for focusing on the heart, a time for asking questions about our spiritual health:

What are my characteristic sins, and how can I work and pray for change?

What idols have captured my imagination so that my love for the living God has grown cold?

In what ways is my devotion to Christ and his church less than wholehearted?

I spotted this article at at a hen's place

Thank you, Miz Hen, for passing it on.

Wishing for you all...time to reflect....and time to laugh.

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A Yummy Recipe for a Winter Day

Nancy's Cheese Broccoli Soup

1/2 c. celery, chopped
1/3 c. onion, chopped
1 1/3 c. broccoli, chopped
2 T. butter
1 c. cooked noodles
3/4 c. water
4+ slices American cheese
2 t. chicken bouillon
3 1/2 c. milk
salt and pepper to taste

Boil in the water; celery, onion, butter. (until soft)
Add bouillon and slice the broccoli right into the pan. (I use mostly the florettes)
Cook until tender.
Add cheese.
Add cooked noodles.
Add milk.

Be very careful not to curdle the soup.
I used six pieces of cheese and forgot the butter the last time I made the soup; it was still perfectly delicious!

Thanks for this delicious recipe, big sis Nancy!


O Lord, renew our spirits and draw our hearts unto Yourself, that our work may not be to us a burden but a delight; and give us such a mighty love to You as may sweeten our obedience. O let us not serve You with the spirit of bondage as slaves, but with cheerfulness and gladness, delighting in You and rejoicing in Your work.

Benjamin Jenks


And, hey, if you would like to dish about the Amazing Race or American Idol...feel free to leave your comments :o)

I did not care for the song choices last night on Idol...and did not get to watch all of it. My hubby was watching The Amazing Race (which overlapped with Idol) with me...which I loved :o)

Those two lazy dudes are going to be fun to watch and will probably win, don't you think ;o)

The Southern gentleman is a head case, I'm afraid. Slightly intense. I hope he doesn't end up like Jonathan!

The geeks in love started to get on my nerves....and the older couple gave me flashbacks of "Meredith!!!"...

The challenge was....challenging! Patrick and I would not have chosen the motorcycle...but the helicopter leg confused me. But hey, any time you get to fly around in a helicopter...I it!

Wasn't it interesting how unhelpful the people were in Sao Paulo??? The people in other countries would have helped those girls....or even the men looking for directions. That was very interesting to me.

Ah well...the race in on :o)

Enjoy the soup! You really must try it!

Katie is better today! She will get to resume activities and she is very happy about that! Thanks for your care and concern :o)

Encourage one another,