Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What are you talking about?

Just read Kim's post and this jumped out at me:
"Spirit-led understanding of God's Word is the standard for how we are to live. We are to rejoice in His commandments (Psalm 119:111). How can we rejoice in what we never think about?"

Kim's post talks most about teenagers and their need to be spending more time thinking about God's word and allowing it to shape their lives. Another statement she makes is "I have a hard time understanding why a young Christian person would rather sit around and talk about Britney Spears' latest idiocy." The sad thing is that we adults are often just as guilty as the teens about having our talk filled with the unimportant. Kim addresses this in her statement "It is a process to direct our thinking from those things to our God. Even for us older folks."

I am challenged by this today. I want to make a more conscious effort to think on God's word and allow it to permeate my conversations and actions today...and everyday.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Finished reading...

...Northanger Abbey this afternoon. I read most of it online but we finally got a copy of it from the library on Thursday so I finished it with the actual book in hand. I have to say, though, that I am kind of enjoying reading online and being able to quickly make notes in a notepad document while doing so. I didn't bother to do notes for the last chapters that I read with book in hand.

DD once again only got about half way through the book. I'm disappointed by that. She started out so well, but she fizzled. I was not pleased, though part of me could sort of understand.

I have mixed feeling about this book. I had trouble getting into it and there was something about it that took away from the story, at least for me. Throughout the book at different times Austen actually talks to the reader as an author. I found these interruptions in the story frustrating.

I am looking forward to watching the movie tonight on Masterpeice Theatre. Once again I wish DD had read the whole thing so we could better discuss the differences between the book and the movie.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is my Dad's birthday. Yesterday he left to go very far away from me for a few months. Mom and Dad are part of the group of people often referred to as Snowbirds. They leave the cold of winter in our home province to bask in the warmth of the sun in Florida. I understand them doing it, but boy do I miss them! For some reason or another I had a really hard time with them leaving this time.

Tonight the people that love him in Florida are throwing a big surprise birthday party for him. He's probably in the middle of it right now. I wish I could be there too. My dad is not one that especially likes crowds so I wonder how he's making out.

Dad always has been, and always will be, my hero. Years ago I wrote him a note telling him how much I appreciated the fact that he was such a great father because I believe his example helped me to have a better relationship with my Heavenly Father.

I love you, Dad, and I hope you had a super day!

Recent Starred Items

I like Kim's post today on questions to ask ourselves while reading scriptures. It was inspired by her reading of the book Let the Reader Understand by McCartney and Clayton. I'm thinking I would like to read this book. I find I want to read many of the books that Kim reviews. Her post yesterday about the ladies' Bible Study she's leading, which I really wish I could attend. They are using the book The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace, another one I want to read. Reading Kim's post yesterday I was convicted that I am guilty of rotting my husbands bones.

I really enjoyed Laura's post today on the Christian Women Online blog. It's all about being honest and open with God, because He knows it all already anyway. There's something very freeing about that.

I also liked this blog post which started with the quote "A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow." So often I, like the author of the post, am guilty of wasting too much time trying to get together the perfect plan.

I think I may try to implement something like Cindy's walking goals that she talks about in the beginning of this post. She talks about two ideas that I like - going for consecutive days or numbering her days. I'm not going to make walking goals right now as we are in to winter and snow storms that make walking outdoors quite hazardeous to your health, but I may implement something like it for some kind of fitness activity. We got a wii for Christmas and I have been making it a point of doing the fitness test on that everyday. It's not all that great of a fitness test but it is better than nothing, but maybe I'll have to work on adding something else to that.

I really, really, really like Karen's Real Resolutions for Real Mom's on the Proverbs31 Ministries Blog today. There's a number there that I need to think on.

And here's something that I think is just pain old silly. Even though I don't use the feature, because I hate all the extra doodads available on Facebook, it bothers me that they are being asked by the makers of Scrabble to remove the Scrabulous feature. Why can't they just let people enjoy the game and thereby probably grow to enjoy scrabble more? Why must they have control of it all? Stuff like that drives me crazy!

Neat Geography Quiz!

Just found this thanks to a friend. I didn't do so hot on my first try but I shall be trying it again. YOu can check it out on the bottom of my page or by checking here: TravelPod: Traveler IQ Challenge

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Economics in One Lesson - Week Two

I'm still keeping up with the reading of Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt, but it was more of a struggle this week. Following the reading schedule I read chapters 7-12 this week. I found myself having to reread more and still not quite getting some. I am so enjoying the discussion, though. I had almost decided not to bother to post on it myself because I really have nothing to add to the discussion because I know so little about this stuff, but I decided to continue to post just so that I will have a reference to the great discusion on my blog so that others can check out it if they like and so that I can come back to it if I want. Because I add nothing more to the discussion, however, I will not put a link to my post in Mr Linky.

The discussion on this week's readings can be found by following the links in Mr Linky here. I am learning just as much, actually think I'm learning more, from everyone's posts than I am from the book, though having read the book makes everyone's comments make more sense.

Baking on a Snow Day

We're having a snow day here today. I absolutely love how Jessica described it on their Nature Blog. Jessica's mom, Carla, started a new Cooking With Carla blog where she is sharing some of her recipes and pictures of cakes she's decorated. Carla is a great cook and cake decorator, as well as being a great scrapper and a great mom.

I was in the mood to bake today so I decided to try out some of Carla's recipes. Thanks to her we now have some yummy homemade brownies with chocolate icing and some delicious peanut butter cookies. You can be assured they won't last long in our house.

Monday, January 14, 2008

It worked! It worked!

Though she did some complaining before the movie started, and even while it was happening, by the end of it she was totally involved in it and asked right away what book we were reading next. Earlier in the day I had printed off the first few chapters of the book so she took them happily to bed with her and asked for more today.

Throughout the movie I kept telling DD that I wish she had actually read the whole book so that we could properly discuss the differences between the movie and the book, because there were many. When the movie was over she asked me to tell her some of the differences so we did have some discussion about it but it would have been so much better if she had read the whole thing.

This week we are busy reading Northanger Abbey in preparation for watching the movie this coming Sunday night. We need to read approximately 5 chapters a day in order to complete the book in time. So far today we've both read up to and including chapter 4 so that's not too bad. DD just about always spends some time reading before bed so must likely she will get even further before the day is through.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Jane Austen's Persuasion

Thanks to the HeadGirl's post at The Common Room a while back, I learned about PBS's Masterpeice Theatre's Series based on Jane Austen's books. It caught my attention because I've seen some of her books on lists of books to read and I have some online friends that have mentioned their love of some of Jane Austen's books in the past. I can't quite recall if I have ever read one of her books or not, though I think I may have read one for a university course at some point.

One thing I have enjoyed doing with my children over the years is finding a book that has been made into a movie and reading it before watching the movie. When I heard about this series I decided to mention it to DD#1, who is 15, and ask her if she would be interested in us attempting to read the books and then watch the movies as they are aired. She agreed to give it a try so I went off in search of a schedule and the books. I found the schedule easy enough but getting my hands on actual copies of the books wasn't so easy. I do have some ordered from our library through interlibrary loan but until we can get our hands on them we are having to take advantage of online copies of the books, and I am so thankful that they are available.

This week we attempted to read Persuasion in preparation for watching the movie tonight. I managed to read the whole book and quite enjoyed it. DD only managed to struggle her way through about half of the book, but we did have a great discussion on the part that she has read. She's not really enjoying reading it online and thinks she would have done better with it if she had had an actual book to read. I'm hoping that watching the movie tonight will help her be more interested in putting more effort into reading the next book.

I'm really looking forward to watching the movie tonight. It will be interesting to see how it compares with the book. If you decide to read the book or watch the movie I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Today's thoughts

The title of the post at Homeschool Blog Awards today is The Right Perspective. When I read the post earlier today the first question stood out to me - "What is your perspective on “school” time with your children?" It sent my mind wandering in a whole different direction than what the post was about. Every since I started homeschooling I've been trying to get us all out of the idea of there actually being a "school" time so that we would realize, and utilize, the learning potential in every single minute of every single day. I'm afraid I haven't succeed, but I'm still trying. Because my mind went there, I missed what the post was really about and would have missed a message I needed to hear if I hadn't gone back to reread the post just now. The post is actually about viewing our homeschooling time as a calling from God and seeing things from His perspective. This is the sentence that stood out to me in this reading - "That calling is of much greater eternal value than anything I can come up with to fill my time." I really needed to hear that. I've been having some struggles with one of my almost adult children and I was questioning whether I had wasted my time by devoting my life to raising my children. I even asked my dad that over the Christmas holidays. I would have loved for him to have answered me with the statement above. That was what I needed to hear. I'm so glad I didn't miss it this time. I've made plenty of mistakes and I haven't always fulfilled this important calling as I should, but it is a very important calling, and I'm thankful for it.

When I saved Ann's post, Seven Daily Rungs, this morning I had no idea how well it went with the post above. The post above reminded me of how important what I'm attempting to do is and this post gives me some suggestions on how to make the most of the time to better fulfill the calling. Ann has such a way with words! She draws you in with this sentence "The way in which we live our moments, our choices for the gift of the next 24 hours, are rungs on a ladder." and then goes on to beautifully describe 7 things that are important to include in each day - Listening (to God), Loving one another, Laboring together, seeing the Loveliness around us, broadening our minds with Literature, using Language to share what we learn, and using Logic to draw it all together and grow and learn more. She's given me lots to think about.

Another Reading Challenge

This one is a year long challenge. I heard about it from Juanita. It is a challenge from Timmy Brister to read a Puritan book each month. I don't think I've ever read any Puritan books and I was fairly certain that I didn't have any Puritan books but I couldn't resist checking out the list and seeing what might be available on line. I found a few available to read on line in different places and decided to give it a try and maybe even see if I can get some through our library system. My DH already complains about all the books I have so I dare not buy more. :) I'm not sure that I'll actually fulfill the whole challenge or reading a Puritan book a month but I'm going to do what I can. Today I started reading The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes.

Timmy Brister gives an overview of who Richard Sibbes is. He promises to give an overview of the books' authors at the beginning of each month.

At the end of each month Brister is offering a give away. To have a chance at this give away you merely have to post how the book has impacted you.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Blog Posts of Interest so far today

To stop from having an overloaded starred items list in my google reader, and to also help me become a more consistent blogger, I've decided that I will grab a few minutes when I can and attempt to make at least one post a day highlighting blog posts of interest that I have discovered each day. Some days it will mean more than one post a day as I grab time at different times of the day. Anyway, I have a few minutes right now so I'm going to share my thoughts on some posts I saved to my starred items list earlier today.

Over at Birdy's Blog today she posted about her Theme for the Year, which was also her theme for last year - "“I choose to live Small in a Big, Big World.”". She says "By this I mean that I will focus on my neighbourhood, I will focus on my home, and on my church. I will try to grow relationships here. I will try to serve my neighbours, my family and my church with my time, money and efforts." I really like that. I just might have to join her.

Ann, at Holy Experience, posted photos of January's Nature Calendar pages from Natural Science Through the Seasons: 100 Teaching Units, by J.A. (James Arthur) Partridge. Mamma Squirrel shares about this book in her post, from August of last year, Natural History Treasure. It looks and sounds like a truly wonderful book.

Speaking of Ann, she is featured at the Winner Wednesday post at Homeschool Blog Awards. If you have never checked out her blog you have no idea what you are missing. She is an amazing writer and her blog often features wonderful pictures. I'm not sure if she's the photographer for the pictures or not. Her blog really is a pleasure and inspiration to visit.

The Importance of Having Fun

Julie, at A Brave Writer's Life In Brief, had a very interesting, challenging post this morning. Here's a quote from it:
What life are you leading that is the exciting, expanded, enticing life of an adult that your children will look forward to attaining sheerly based on observing your varied and stimulating experiences? When your kids see you, do they see someone who has found her groove, who has outlets and hobbies, interests of her own?
In other words, are you having any fun?

I really need to think on this one. I have to admit that I need to work on this, and it's kind of freeing to realize how important it is to my children. I've often put my own enjoyment aside thinking that was what I had to do, and there are times when it is important, but it is just as important to culitivate an enjoyable, contented life, and I'm afraid I haven't been so good at that.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Economics in One Lesson - Week One

I stole the title for my post from Cindy. I discovered Cindy's blog a while ago and enjoyed reading as her and her friends read and discussed books together. When they mentioned that they were reading Economics in One Lesson in January and that the book was available to be read on-line for anyone that might not have the book, I had to check it out.

I have to say that the topic - Economics - almost kept me from giving it a second thought. Economics was the one course in High School that I failed tests in. Aside from that course I was mostly an A or B student, but I just could not get economics at all, and that one course in High school turned me off from all things economic related for the rest of my life. I'm glad, however, that I decided to push that aside for now and check it out, because so far I am pleasantly surprised at how much I am enjoying it.

Cindy has posted a schedule for the readings and discussions over the next 4 weeks. Today we are to discuss the first 6 chapters. I have been recording notes and quotes as I'm reading and will share some of that here.

From the Preface to the First Edition:

"I have tried to write this book as simply and with as much freedom from
technicalities as is consistent with reasonable accuracy, so that it can be
fully understood by a reader with no previous acquaintance with economics."

I was so pleased to read this and I am doubly pleased to have discovered that he accomplished what he set out to do.

This sentence sums up the most important point of the whole book:
"The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the
longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups."

Unfortunately my blogging time has been interrupted by my little one awaking from her nap. I'm not sure if I'll get back to sharing more about this portion of the book or not. We shall see. Suffice it to say that I am learning much, and actually finding it enjoyable.

Monday, January 07, 2008

"write these things down"

Jeannie Fulbright's post Keep the Testimony resonated in my heart. The title for this post is taken from her post. Here are a couple of my favorite paragraphs from her post:
Our own children are in danger of having misconceptions about God if we don't oft repeat the testimonies of His work in our lives. Those stories are the testimony which gives our children something to stand on, something to ground their beliefs and faith on, something tangible - their family history, their own personal knowledge of God's ways and stories they can hand down to their own children.

Not only does keeping the testimony give our children a heritage, it also gives them weapons against the enemy and keeps them free from spiritual bondage...

So much of our children's heritage, especially their spiritual heritage, is lost because it's not recorded, and/or passed down intentionally. We run the risk of repeating the mistake of the Israelites in Judges 2:10 when a new generation grew up "who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done". I don't want that for my children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc. so I must get serious about intentionally passing on to them the knowledge of God and what He has done and continues to do in our family. I have had a plan for years to interview the generation before me about their spiritual journey and create a written account. It's time for me to put that plan into action.

Have you done anything to intentionally record your families spiritual heritage?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Wonderful Tags!

Just discovered this brand new site and the wonderful tags they have available for people to use on their blogs and sites. I nabbed one for my blog. I had a hard time picking just one and may end up added more yet. If you are interested in topics to blog about check out their meme.