Thursday, September 30, 2004

Real bits

Susan Schaeffer Macaulay speaks about being real on one of her homeschooling audio tapes. She believes it is important not to hide the difficult bits, the hard bits.

So today I will share a hard bit of my real life.
It is the anniversary of our parents death.
Our parents died in a horrible car accident just after midnight on Sept 30, 1973.

They left behind seven children, their parents, their siblings and many friends.

There isn't a good parts version to this story.

It is forever a sad story.

All we have left are memories, one another...and hope.

My hope is that we will be united in heaven some day.

That is how I was able to make it through such a trying circumstance at such a young age. Belief that they were in heaven with God and that I would one day see them again.

Simple as that.

The hard parts came later; the missing, the lack of direction, the loss of their love, the struggles with the 'why's'.

I am so thankful that they were wise enough to take us to church. That even as a child I really believed.

I am thankful to the pastor who sat with us in the living room and told us that our parents would not want us to give up...that they would want us to *live* and enjoy life. (Just as they had)

I am thankful we had one another.

I am thankful our oldest sister Nancy was willing to sacrifice, leave college, and take on her parent's home and younger sisters. As we see our own children reaching twenty years old we marvel that Nancy was so willing to raise her sisters.
(Nancy's story could get very long. I will save it for another day. She is very modest about what she did now...she really doesn't want us to make a big fuss over her...but we all love and respect her (and her husband) and if this were a book she would be the heroine.)

One of our favorite things to do is to reminisce. Janice and Janet were so young that they have few memories of our parents. So it has been our duty and joy to tell them what we remember.

You know, it is our living oral history.

We also treasure any picture we find! For my birthday, Nancy sent me a picture I do not ever remember seeing.
In the picture our mother is holding chubby me, chubby Sue is by her side and Nancy (wearing a pretty Dick, Jane and Sally dress) is next to Sue. Our mom is under 25 years old in this picture! She is very thin and her hair is a mop of curls.
It is a single, precious moment in time.
Priceless to me.

A few things I miss about our parents

1. Watching them dance together
2. Hearing our mother's laugh
3. The sound of tap shoes
4. Sandwiches with mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, and a pickle
on white bread :o)
5. Dark brown eyes and brown curly hair
6. Herb Albert, Frank Sinatra, Montivonni and Johnny Mathias
7. Smelling dinner cooking and coffee in the morning
8. Our Christmas Eve party
9. Dinnertime

September 30th is usually the day when I remember my parents death quietly, all alone.
Today I remember with all of you.

It is the difficult bit. But a bit that has shaped my outlook on life, my character, and most importantly my faith.

Today I remember and hope,

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Our dear Elisabeth

From the comment box,

"A beautiful quote by Ms. Elliott. Do you have a favorite book written by her?

I have two favorites. Keep a Quite Heart and Gateway to Joy; Reflections that Draw Us Nearer to God.
Keep a Quiet Heart is a book of short essays. My copy is on loan right now and the young woman who is reading it just loves it too!

Gateway to Joy is a collection of Elisabeth's favorite writings, and poems and hymns. This pretty little book is filled with wonderful wisdom, truth and beauty.

I started listening to Elisabeth about twelve years ago on the radio. Her no- nonsense, scriptural advise helped me grow obedience to the word of God, love of my husband, and acceptance of my circumstances. Her desire, always to line up her opinions with the 'straight-edge' of scripture is what kept me listening.

She also wrote a newsletter for many years.
Here is the link to the newsletters

Did you see it? I didn't...pesky pine trees!
The best view I ever had of the harvest moon was driving east along a county road in southern Wisconsin.
The moon was a dark yellow and was massive as it rose... I was awe-struck by the sight. I think I will start that '100 things to do list' that my sister recommended.
1. Watch the harvest moon rise, once again.

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Thank You!

I'm a little speechless this morning. (I'm sure I'll get over it in 'no time' :o)

Yesterday's birthday wishes were such a delight!

"I'd like to thank each and every one of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou...."

Who can remember who did that 'bit' on his album?
Two big clues: his and album :o)

Asking for the Grace to Age Well

Lord, You know better than I know myself that I am getting older and will someday be old. Keep me from...the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody, helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it all, but you know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end. Keep my mind from the recital of endless details-give me wings to come to the point....Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken. Keep me reasonably sweet. I do not want to be a saint-some of them are so hard to live with-but a sour old woman is one of the crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people. And give me the grace to tell them so.

-Anonymous, 17th century
Courtesy of Elisabeth Elliot

Encourage one sure are good at it!

Monday, September 27, 2004

It's a National Holiday, don't cha know?

Today I reveal my little plot. *rubbing hands*
You see, the more people who know it's your birthday, the more birthday wishes you get! And the more birthday wishes you get....well...the more special you feel.

Hence, the true reason I started blogging.

It's all about ME. ~ tra la ~

Today is MY birthday :o)

I am 47 years old today.

And I celebrate for all of those who did not get to reach this age...and be with their family and friends and children....long enough.

Being Queen for the Day, I command you all to eat cake, smile at everybody, don't complain and dance, dance, dance.

I also have one birthday wish.

My great blog desire is to have as many comments as my age!

So don't be scared...just leave a little bit of a'll be fun!

The Birthday Girl,
Donna Elsie Booba

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Yeah! Tigers!

Game One: We lose...very slow start. Good second half. 3-1
Game Two: We win...Our opponent was very young and small. 11-0
Game Three: We win...Amazing comeback. We were behind by 3-1. Team gets determined and they win 5-3. Very exciting...jumping and cheering :o)
Game Four: Evenly matched. Hat trick for Sam. We win 3-1.

Final Standing: Third Place.

It was pretty much a perfect day :o) Except that Matthew forgot his directions and took two hours to find the soccer field...poor dear!

The guys threw a football in between games.

This picture is too fine...not to share :o)


"Whatever you do, do it heartily,
as to the Lord and not to men."
Colossians 3:23

"Thanksgiving requires the recognition of the Source.
It implies contentment with what is given,
not complaint about what is not given."
-Elisabeth Elliot

"Godliness with contentment is great gain."
1 Timothy 6:6

Encourage one another,

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Sun Prairie Tournament

It is not raining and for that I am very thankful. We will spend the entire day outside. Rain and soccer go together like snow and swimming, don't ya think?!

Thus, I leave you with a great, easy fall recipe this morning.

I will return with scores and photos. Deal.

Pumpkin Dip

4 c. powdered sugar, sifted
2 - 8 oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
1 can (30 oz) pumpkin pie filling mix
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 teas. ground ginger

Cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and mix well. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. Serve with apple slices and ginger snaps.

Go Tigers,

Friday, September 24, 2004

Not in a million years

Katie and I converse in the car.

Katie: Mommy, how many days is a million years?

Me: Three hundred, Sixty-Five million days. Why do you ask?

Katie: Lloyd in Space said, "Not in a million years."

Me: Well...if you asked me to go to the store and I said, 'Not in a million years.' That would mean, never. I would never go to the store with you.

Katie: Well that is a mean thing to say.

Me: Yes. It can be a mean thing to say. But how about..."Will you ever leave me?"
Not in a million years means, I will never leave you!
Isn't that nice?

Katie: (happy sounding) Ahhh.

Me: So it can be a nice thing to say and a mean thing to say....It just depends on how you say it!

Katie has a case of the Amelia Bedelia's! on my side

How do you spend your time...Friday Five.

1. What time do you wake up?

2. How much time do you spend driving?

3. How much time do you spend outside in the fresh air?

4. How long does your dinner 'hour' take?

5. What time do you go to bed?

Outta time...

More later :o)


Thursday, September 23, 2004

Match Game

I am getting the hang of this sock pattern. Hooray.
Little socks are quick off the needles. I have another pair going already...wait til you see the yarn. I think it is my favorite so far.

By the way, I do not change the colors as I knit...the yarn changes colors and all I have to do it keep knitting. It is a great invention.

Joyful in drudgery

Speaking of invention, I finished the book Better Off yesterday.
The most interesting thing to me is how one can live on so much less without the use of technology. Just think, Eric Brende and his family of five can live (in St. Louis) on an income from rickshaw driving and soap making.

This is because their expenses are so low; No car payment, not car insurance, no phone bills, no heating bills, no cable, internet or satellite dish.

Mary(the author's wife) even does the wash with a hand crank wash machine.

I wish Mary would write a book too. I'd love to hear her perspective and struggles and joys!

What do you think they do about medical and dental? The author did not mention this. I do know that the children were born at home with a midwife.

I'm still fascinated by the whole idea...yes indeedy.

I only wish they had taken pictures :o)

What was he thinking?
I suppose a camera is technology...but so is a printing press.

Ah well...I can always use my imagination.

"Soap and rub, sing and scrub,
Sing at the washing-tub,
Joyful in drudgery, queen of your toil!"
(Walkley, 1978:66-67)

Queen of my toil,

At least I am the Queen of something :o)

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Summer breeze...makes me feel fine :o)

So-long, Summer

So long to the light filled days,
to the warm breezes,
to the twitter of the birds.

So-long to flip-flops,
to playing in the pool and
to bomb pops.

So-long until June...

It is so long, until June.

Encourage one another,

Silly computers! Even tho it says (o) zero...there are a few comments.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Got Prayer?

There is a little boy named Luke who needs your do his parents.

How's Luke?

Luke drowned on Aug 30th. He was revived and is now in the process of healing.

Katie and I will be praying for Luke.

I do not know them personally...but God does :o)

The good parts

Being the photo editor of my own little blog magazine I get to show you the best of what I see. The photos of Paoli are an example of this. Paoli does have beautiful buildings. But, oh my goodness, there are some real dogs too :o) It is not like Colonial Williamsburg, where the whole town is lovely and restored.
Paoli is a real town. There is a junky bar, a few metal buildings, an art studio which is very nice on the inside but atrocious on the outside, and a lazy river crossed by a plain ole bridge. The river does not even photograph well.

It's sort of an analogy for life and how I see things in general. I have beautiful parts and ugly 'tin-building' parts. But I choose to focus on the good parts.

You know when you make a New Years resolution not to complain, it forces you to look on the bright side.

Do I choose the rose colored glasses? You betcha.

Do I have times of loneliness and grief? Yes.

At those times I try to look at the life...take a drive down to Paoli, read a favorite verse, talk with a sister...sing a song...

The Cockeyed Optimist

When the skies are brighter canary yellow
I forget ev'ry cloud I've ever seen,
So they called me a cockeyed optimist...

I could say life is just a bowl of Jello
And appear more intelligent and smart,
But I'm stuck like a dope
With a thing called hope,
And I can't get it out of my heart!
Not this heart...

-from South Pacific

For myself I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use being anything else.
Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)

I sure like Winston Churchill quotes :o)

Encourage one another,

Monday, September 20, 2004

Smart and Funny

File this under "Parents who need to get a flippin' clue".
-Ambra Nykola from her article "But he has a good heart."

Ambra writes a funny and smart blog! She is, oh so young....but I think she is very cool :o) She turns a phrase like no other.


Kelly is Badgermum. She doesn't realize it...but she took my name :o) Not really, but we *are* the Wisconsin Badgers, ya know :o)

Kelly stopped blogging for about two months and it drove us all crazy. She came back with a wonderful list of "Fifty Things I Love."

I could probably write a Fifty things I eat...HA-without any trouble...yes, sad, I know...but true.

I will leave out the two most obvious things I love, God and family, just like Kelly did. You know they would be one and two :o)

Fifty Things I Love

Are You My Mother?
bagels with cream cheese
a breeze
the Blue Angels
Brett Favre's guts
Christmas Eve
crawling into bed
dancing the jitterbug
Diet Dr. Pepper
dryer sheets-their smell
Elisabeth Elliot
filet mignon with bearnaise sauce
Frank Sinatra's voice
gently falling snow
Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass
How Great Thou Art
Jeremiah 29:11
kissing my toddlers
large, long haired cats
lobster with melted butter
a marching band
Mr. Darcy
muscle cars
a newly sharpened pencil with a good eraser
ocean waves
obedient dogs
old buildings
poetry, esp. Dorothy Aldis and Robert Louis Stevenson
pretty handwriting
Pride and Prejudice
Regis and Kelly
spring flowers
The Princess Bride-the book
Titus 2:3-5
To Kill a Mockingbird-the movie
Trust and Obey
a view
white teeth
woolen clogs
You've Got Mail

So for this week...that is the list of the things I love.
There are so many is is beautiful...
'Love actually is all around'


A muscle car is a car from the 60's and 70's with a big engine. But I just love the way they look!

I am the one who drags the kids and husband to the car shows...just to look the very cool cars.


Sunday, September 19, 2004

A Saturday Afternoon in Paoli

There is beauty all around. I love beautiful old buildings.
Yesterday day afternoon, I took the short drive down Highway M to the very quiet, town of Paoli, Wisconsin.

As I walked in the door of the Schoolhouse I remarked to the shopgirl,
"I have never noticed the bell rope before."
She said, "Do you want to ring it?"
"That's o.k." I said.
"Here, I'll ring it for you. I like the way it sounds."

Clang, Clang....

What a beautiful sound.

This is the Mill and it is tucked behind some other buildings.
It's camera shy.

Cheese curds anyone? Right from the farm!

Wish you were here.


p.s. Go Pack Go

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Musical theater I've seen and loved.

My list is short. My experiences are few.
My enthusiasm is great.

5. Oliver
4. Camelot
3. Oklahoma
2. Fiddler on the Roof
1. Into the Woods

Into the Woods is probably the least well known of the musicals I've listed.
But it is my all time favorite!

Here is a great page to tell you all about it.

Funny lines from Into the Woods;

Cinderella : Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.

Cinderella's Prince : I was raised to be charming. Not sincere.

There is a moral to this fairy tale. Actions have consequences!
A musical with a message. A funny, clever, touching musical with a message.

Rent it!

(I know my list is ever so dated...but I live in Wisconsin, you see...)

Soccer Season

Emma plays soccer with the Madison Area Homeshcool soccer team. She has been playing soccer since she was three. She loves it! I can not imagine a nicer group of kids! This team is a real blessing.

It is a lot of work to have your children involved in team sports...but sometimes it all comes together in a wonderful way, and this is one of those times.

Physical Activity + Friendship + Competition + Fun = Wonderful

Oh, and by the way... they are winning too!

Thank you for your comments.
They are the highlight to my bloggy day.

Encourage one another,

Friday, September 17, 2004

Friday Five: Squeezing water from a stone.

Did you know there was a woman who wrote Friday Fives every week for a few years?
How she did it for years...I will never know.

Why she stopped? I can surely understand.

Here is what I've come up with on my lonesome today.

Who would you like to meet for dinner? And why?

1. Musician?

2. Biblical Figure?

3. Theologian?

4. Actor/Actress/Athlete?

5. Author?

There is something about Dolly :o)
I think I have two of her tapes...that's all, but everytime I hear her speak on television, I just think she is funny and sweet and a bit outrageous. All things that make for a good time in my book :o)

A Coat of Many Colors

My coat of many colors
That my momma made for me
Made only from rags
But I wore it so proudly
Although we had no money
I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me


Encourage one another,

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Good Morning

Funniest Ebay auction since the guy selling his ex-wife's wedding dress;

Typewriter for Sale.

Warm up America

My sister Sue sent the names of two, great, how-to knitting books to the comments yesterday. In case you missed it, they are called Kids Knitting by Melanie Falick and Knitting by Judy Ann Sadler.

Check out this great website! Craft Yarn Council and Warm Up America

All of your practice swatches can be put to good use :o)

Thanks, Sue.

What's for Dinner?

This delicious recipe is on the Quaker Barley box.
All of us like it...except husband Patrick. He will have cod nuggets while we dine on...

Mexican Chicken & Barley Chili

1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon veg. oil
2 cups water
3/4 cup Quick Quaker Barley
One 16-ounce can tomatoes, undrained, chopped
One 16-ounce can tomato sauce
One 14 1/2 ounce can chicken broth
One 4-ounce can chopped greed chilies, drained
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cups, cooked chicken

Cook onion and garlic.
Add remaining ingredients except chicken.
Bring to a boil, lower heat, simmer 10 minutes.
Add chicken, simmer 10 more minutes or until chicken is warm and barley is tender.

The recipe calls for corn...but...ick...I skip it. They also call for sodium-free this and sodium-free that. Use those if you prefer. Don't use jalapenos...oh momma!

Enjoy! Eat!


Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Quiet Life; On the road.

Well, we made it. Tuesdays are going to be a very busy day for us this fall.
But we managed it all without any tears or blowups and even ate a home cooked dinner!

Matthew: Didn't we just have meatloaf?
Me: Well, I had ground beef. Do you know what I wanted to make?
Matthew: Hot dish?
Me: Yes. But I thought of you and know how much you hate it. So I made meat loaf.
Katie: What is in this?
Me: Those are crackers.
Husband: I like it.

How's that for sophisticated dinnertime banter?

The men in this house don't really like to discuss things, like I do.

Except the Packers. The Green Bay Packers are a source of constant fascination to the men in this house. Everything about them!

Thank goodness The Pack won on Monday night. We would have had long faces and grumbling all week long had they lost.

Brett: grunt
Ball: zoom
Receiver: ouch

That one's for my guys :o)

Knitting Bit

I was trying to knit socks with two free patterns. It was causing me a lot of grief. So I asked the woman at a yarn store to direct me to a good, basic sock pattern. This is the pattern she recommended.Sock Pattern


As I type this, I can hear Katie singing in the other room.

"I'm gonna take God's promises and hide 'em in my heart.
So I won't forget 'em...gonna hide 'em in my heart"


Encourage one another,

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


I have been knitting a long time. Since I was a little girl.
I do not know how old I was when my grandma Hansen taught me to knit. She would come and stay with our family every year while our parents would take a vacation. I know she would bring her knitting along, so that is probably when I plopped myself down and asked her to teach me.

She came to the States from Denmark as a teen. Since she learned to knit in Danish (read the patterns) she told me she never figured out how to read a pattern in English. So all she made was swatches.

When I went away to college I met a girl who was a knitter. She taught me to read a pattern.
I made a lot of scarves and mittens :o)

Mittens are still my favorite thing to knit.

I know one woman (Laura in longer in Korea) who taught herself to knit using a book. But I can not recommend one.

*Please leave the names of great how-to knit books in the comments if you have used and learned from one.

I recommend taking a class at a local yarn shop or asking a friend to teach you.
If you are isolated ( on a farm in New Zealand :o) there is a website that has little videos to show you 'how-to'.

Here is a link to the Video of learning to knit.

Bonnie Marie wrote a great article to encourage you to join or start a knitting group.

Sister Sue teaches knitting at the school where she works. People love it and flock to her class. They knit squares which are made into blankets. These are given to charity. *Sue...if you read this, send us the address of the charity you knit for, thanks *

The nice thing about knitting is...all you need are needles ( Sevens are a nice starter size) a ball of yarn and the desire to learn.

It feels awkward at first and you may feel 'all thumbs' but with learning just one stitch....the can make many things.

Those 'eyelash' scarves which are all the rage are mostly knit with big needles and fancy yarn. Not hard at all. So...if you learn your 'knit' stitch this can be making scarves all winter :o)

So get knitting.

Crissy...this one's for you :o)

Encourage one another,

Monday, September 13, 2004

Lists Galore

Have I got a book list for you :o)

I found this website while wandering around Joyce's sidebar.

Thank you, School of Abraham, whoever you are, for compiling this great Reading List

Finished Socks...what a good feeling.
They match too! I tried to match this pair and there is a slight pattern problem at the top...but guess what? It wasn't me! There was a little knot where the manufacturer tied the yarn together. Thus the pattern was off a bit.

Aren't they purdy?

Katie's socks are already on the needles. I would like to make enough socks that I don't have to fumble around and be bewildered with the pattern every time I try to knit. I must do them over and over to make it stick.

I am more Little Engine That Could than Brilliant Mind.

In Acceptance Lieth Peace :o)

Sunday, September 12, 2004

A funny thing happened...

Yesterday afternoon I had a Fish Resource Center meeting. The resource center is the homeschool library attached to our local homeschool group. It was just started last year! The woman who got the whole thing off the ground, Drenna, has just moved far, far, away. (Hi Drenna!) It took seven people to fill her shoes. I'm not kidding!

The resource center has lots of books and periodicals and equipment and videos...
Drenna did a great job collecting and purchasing materials that homeschoolers are drooling for :o)

After a how-to presentation (given by our new director, Dawn) We gathered around to practice some of our newly learned skills. I was standing next to a pretty gal who I didn't know at all...and we started to chat a bit. Then out of the blue she looks at me an says. "Are you Donna Boucher?"
"Yes", say I
"I know you from the boards." says she.

She is know as LMS at the Well Trained Mind board. And she was sweet and smart and gave me a great tip for a book to use with Emma. (I was able to give her a book tip too :o)

So, I am famous...ha ha...this is the second time a 'stranger' has come up to me and
introduced themselves. It is odd, but I have to say, I feel fortunate to meet these very lovely women.

There is a song in the musical Into the Woods called Children will Listen.

The song warns parents to be careful of their words and actions.

Careful the things you say,
Children will listen.
Careful the things you do,
Children will see and learn.
Children may not obey,
But children will listen.
Children will look to you
For which way to turn,
To learn how to be.
Careful before you say,
"Listen to me."
Children will listen.

-Steven Sondheim

So today, I realize I have one more reason to be careful of the words I say. My words are not floating out there into a big void when I type them. People do listen.

O Lord...give me wisdom.


Saturday, September 11, 2004

I bought some pretty yarn to make the girls socks yesterday.

Our kitty really likes it. She took it out of the bag and tossed it around the living room while we slept.

Sassy Cat.

Wasn't it nice of our neighbor to plant these pretty flowers very near our house?

For the beauty of the earth

For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

-Fol­li­ot Pier­point


Friday, September 10, 2004

Friday Five: Questions in Song

I'll ask ten questions and you may answer five.
If you have a lot of time on your hands you can guess the performer/composer of each tune :o)

1. Shall We Dance?

2. What are you doing the rest of your life?

3. Who will save your soul?

4. Do you wanna know a secret?

5. Do you know the way to San Jose?

6. Who Are You?

7. How to handle a woman?

8. Wouldn't it be nice?

9. Are you lonesome tonight?

10. Is there anybody out there?

Can you read that list without singing along? I can't.


Katie and I picked up this little board book at the library yesterday.
We were pleasantly surprised when we got to the last page.

Eric Carle's delightful website.

Encourage one another,

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Big Holes

I was just thinking...'Gee, I am not very motivated. I am the middle child and I like being told what to do.'

But that statement about myself is not entirely true. I am very motivated about certain things.

I am very organized and diligent when it comes to homeschooling, and blogging, and watching Jeopardy :o)...

But then I forget to make dinner...and we eat grilled cheese.

Are there some people who are more 'even' than I?

I am Swiss Cheese.

I am hard working and lazy at the same time.

Yesterday, I purchased a chore chart from Motivated Moms.

I hope this tool can help me fill in the holes.

Day one. *check*

When I was a young mother, I cross-stitched this poem and took it to heart.

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,
For babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

Finally picking up her feather duster,

Wednesday, September 08, 2004 has finally happened to me...
I have been writing for 1 1/2 hours and blogger lost my post.


Check back later today...


Feel free to write something amazing in the comments that we can all talk about today.


Tuesday, September 07, 2004

One room school house

Homeschooling seems very much like the old one room school house to me.
One teacher to teach all of those different grades.
I feel it especially this year, as I get ready to start our first day of school.

Emma is starting 10th grade and Katie is starting Pre/K.

Emma's coursework:

Apologia Chemistry taught by a tutor in Madison.
Geometry using Math U See.
Great Books (400 A.D. to 1600 A.d.)
History (400A.D. to 1600 A.D.)
English on the internet at the Potter's School.
Latin using Henle with a teaching syllabus.

Soccer team, FLAME choir, cooking lessons (provided by mom) and guitar lessons fill out the extras.

For Katie:

Laura Berquist Kindergarten syllabus
Child Size Masterpieces
Bible Stories
Teach your child to read in 100 lessons
Rod and Staff Workbooks
Kumon Workbooks
Ready Writer
Handwriting without tears
chalk, jump rope, paint, markers.
The Harp and Laurel Wreath (for poems)
Books, books, books.

Katie will participate in gymnastics again this year.

While I have been typing this entry, Katie has asked me twice if we can start school.
That's fun to have such a willing little student, isn't it!
My other student is still sound asleep.

Here is the prayer I learned eleven years ago from Calvert School.

As we come to school today
Let us not forget to pray
To God who kept us
Through the night
And woke us with the morning light.

Help us Lord, to love thee more,
Than we ever loved before.
In all we do,
In all we say,
To grow more loving


We will say this every morning!

Encourage one another,

Monday, September 06, 2004

Physical Labor

Physical labor:The good parts version;

"While the whole nation around them was going to incredible extremes to avoid such work, they (the Amish) had gone to conscious lengths to preserve it.

Why? There was a phrase they kept repeating: "Many hands make work light." The statement was true, though hard to explain. Gradually, as you applied yourself to your task, the threads of friendship and conversation would grow and connect you to laborers around you. Then everything suddenly became inverted. You'd forget you were working and get caught up in the camaraderie, the sense of lightened effort. This surely must rank among the greatest labor-saving secrets. Work folded into fun and disappeared. Friendship, conversation, exercise, fresh air, all melded together into a single act of mutual self-forgetting."


"Physical work, then, served more than one function. Besides putting bread on the table and vigor into the physique, it also provided a special social elixir."

From Better Off by Eric Brende

So that is why it is so much more fun to do the dishes at your friends house. ( I always felt this way when I was a teen) The labor disappears and friendship appears.

The first two things that come to mind are;

This is precisely what occurred with the quilting group I was a part of for many years up north. *Hi Martha...Hi Karen*

I think I will have the kids work in groups more often. For instance,I usually assign one child at a time to do the might be nicer for them to work together. They might bicker and fight too...we shall see. I will do my own little experiment. (Don't tell them.) *wink*

I am enjoying Eric Bende's book so far. You know, I have the dream of a farm...this fellow and his new bride are living that dream, Amish-style. The author's positive outlook makes for enjoyable and interesting reading.

Happy Labor Day!


Sunday, September 05, 2004


Isn't this pretty?

"That is an ant house...a hospital for dead ants."
-Katie Gracie

That explaines everything.


Janie, from the Well Trained Mind board, shared this Hymn yesterday;

A Student's Prayer

But we need Thy hand to guide us, in the studies we pursue.
And the presence of Thy Spirit, to illumine all we do.

May the things we learn, so meager, never lift our hearts in pride.
Till in foolish self-reliance, we would wander from Thy side.
Let them only bind us close, Lord, to Thee, in whom we find very foundtain-head of
wisdom, light and life of all mankind.

-This is just a portion of the hymn by John W. Peterson

Bind us close, O Lord, to Thee,

Saturday, September 04, 2004


There was a time when I struggled with jealousy and discontent.
Growing older, growing in my faith and becoming thankful has helped me overcome those characteristics.

I used to read romance novels and pour over home building magazines.

They were terrible for me. Everyone in a Danielle Steele book is pretty and thin and rich and desirable to the most lovely. Those homes building magazines had me wishing for something other than what I had. "If I lived on the coast, this is the house I would build....If I was really rich, this is the house I would build and this is the cottage..."


I was a mess.

Fortunately I grew and changed and put away those seemingly innocent diversions (the books and magazines).

Now I read the tragedies. hehehehe

Now I can househunt and admire beautiful homes without the old lustful feelings.

I still lust after 'things' more than I should...but I feel much less green than I did 10 years ago.

Our envy of others devours us most of all.
-Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
-Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC), 'Pro Plancio,' 54 B.C.

Please, understand, I am not bragging here. I will probably be hit with a big old jealous fit sometime this weekend...I am not entirely cured.

Just more aware of the things that encouraged my envy.

Encourage one another,

Friday, September 03, 2004

The Friday Five;Decorator's Edition

Last week's Friday Five was a blast! Thank you so much!

And since you all seem to like the Friday fives I will attempt to make one up......"awaaaaay,we go."

Added bonus quiz: Who originated that wacky phrase?

Friday Five

1. What is your decorating style
2. Do you prefer paint or wallpaper?
3. White woodwork or natural wood?
4. Favorite color of walls?
5. What is your favorite piece of furniture in your house?

Here is the kitchen of one of our illustrious leaver of comments. If you struggle with jealousy, I recommend you skip the link. Seriously.

My favorite couch...with my favorite four year old upon it.

Bloom where you are planted,

Thursday, September 02, 2004


We rest from the day to day rigors of homeschool during the summer.
It is good for us. Once rested I can tackle academia much harder. So can Emma.

Katie has continued to learn in a very natural way everyday this summer. While it is not formal school she learned to write her letters on the sidewalk and on her leg. She traced in workbooks and practiced forming her numbers. Everyday is filled with discussions with her about ideas and concepts (i.e. time and God).

This morning I drove Emma to her cousin's house to babysit. On the way home, Katie and I discussed how important it is to be careful what we watch on television and to mind the words we say. I told her Jesus is always listening to us. I sang the Fruit of the Spirit song to her...she remarked how much she likes peaches and will buy them when she sees them at the store. :o) But at Katie's age, the teaching is an 'along the way' sort of teaching. I find the narrative way of teaching quite natural...since I like to talk. Katie likes to talk too.

Now that our summer rest is almost over I am excited to dive back into the planning and books and gymnastics and geometry. Emma has some big, new things coming up this year; an online English class and a local Chemistry class.

Katie will be learning many poems, psalms and stories this year.

Here is the poem she learned yesterday, with delight.

I'd like to be a lighthouse

I'd like to be a lighthouse
All scrubbed and painted white.
I'd like to be a lighthouse
And stay awake all night.
To keep my eye on everything
That sails my patch of sea;
I'd like to be a lighthouse
With the ships all watching me.

-Rachel Field

I will be learning to listen well, among many other things (probably things I can not even fathom on this bright, sunny, September, morning)

But learn, I will...I am rested, you see :o)

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Knee High

Kathryn Wedge, another fine artist from Wisconsin.

Don't you admire the gutsiness of artists?
I think, I have too many fears holding me back from being truly artistic.
Following the pattern, using the suggested yarn, coloring in the lines...that is more my nature. And that is ok...but it doesn't require a lot of nerve.

What does it take to be an artist?

Perhaps the raw talent is in ones genes and nurture produces the artistic personality.

"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."

Pretty poetic for an ancient dude.

Encourage one another,