Family


FOR TODAY, Friday, August 21st…
Outside My Window…Roses, fading in the summer heat, swinging garden gate, bird feeder needing  to be re-hung after a marauding squirrel knocked it down, apple tree heavily laden with fruit
I am thinking…that I want to bottle this lazy summer day feeling in order to revisit it when burnout from homeschooling threatens to overwhelm me
I am thankful for…this home, this cool morning, fresh coffee in the morning courtesy of Dear Knight, long, languid day stretching before me
From the kitchen…BLT’s with juicy, fresh from the garden tomatoes, on country french bread
I am wearing…blue t-shirt, denim skirt–worn-in and soft like butter
I am creating…lesson plans, daily schedules, and messes everywhere I go!
I am going…nowhere today…this is a lazy day
I am reading All Jane Austen’s novels: up next, Persuasion
I am hoping…My Dearest friend will enjoy the satisfaction of seeing  Jesus  grab hold of the hearts of her wayward son and daughter-in-law
I am hearing…The lulling hum of the dishwasher and the soothing sound of the fountain.
Around the house…quiet…a rare thing in this house
One of my favorite things…Sweet kisses from 3 year olds!!
Here is picture thought I am sharing…
late summer tomatoes

late summer tomatoes


If you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into my day and you’d like to join in, Please visit Peggy at The Simple Woman
Coram Deo, Lola

About a year ago my dear Mother-in-Love surprised me with  my family.  I mean it. She gave me the gift of my family…or more accurately my family tree…on my mom’s side…all the way back to the 1640’s.  Apparently, I’m related to half of Quebec (just joking).  But seriously, my great-great-great,etc…grandfather several generations back was one of the early  folks to settle in Quebec (exactly where escapes my mind right now…I’ll have to look it up for another post). But suffice it to say those early settlers were hardy stock.  They were pioneers.  A later grandfather (I believe my mom’s great-grandfather) fought in the Civil War, don’t know which side he was on, but that doesn’t really matter.  I have a connection to a turning  point in American history.

And the funny thing is it seems I’m not the only one looking for family…one of my mom’s cousin’s son has been gathering data about the family.  Through a very circuitous route we got in touch.  He e-mailed me some photos this afternoon.  I can’t explain what it was like to see pictures of my grandma, my mom’s mom, the  one and only grandparent I ever knew, as a young woman–fashionably dressed I might add.  I know when I show these pictures to my mom they will bring back many memories.  I can’t wait to see what else my mom can add to the story.  She’s looking through her old photos for anything that might be of interest.   And in the meantime I get to correspond with a 2nd cousin I didn’t even know I had until this past November.  I feel like I’m playing connect the dots.  Sure glad I like that  game.

Coram Deo,

Lola

Well, I completely forgot to take a single picture of our Thanksgiving feast and all my loved ones around the table (not that I would have posted a picture of their lovely faces…you’ll just have to take my word for it…all were happy, contented and salivating!) but,  I did remember, Friday afternoon, to take pictures of the table centerpiece.  dscn1809The cards in the foreground are Thanksgiving/Gratitude themed quotes that I printed on cream colored cardstock then mounted on autumn hued cardstock. The cards standing up in the back are Psalms 100 and 95.   I stamped an acorn flourish accent across the top of each card for decoration.   We all took turns reading the quotes during our meal.

The small parcels in the center front are little bundles of 5 corn kernels with an attached card stamped with the word “blessings”.  I read the story about the Pilgrims and 5 kernels of corn just to give us all  a proper perspective to how much food with which we’ve been blessed  for just  ONE meal.dscn1813And even Mimi got into the decorating spirit and made this little guy to grace the side board. dscn1812

He sure looked cute amid the stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, crescent rolls, butter and sweet potato muffins–did you notice the absence of any veggies?–well, I thought I’d be smart and cut up my broccoli on Wednesday to save time on Thursday.  Only one problem, I forgot to cook the broccoli (and the corn) Thursday afternoon–so no veggies!

And to really make our table shine I made placecards (actually, I made them 2 years ago and saved them…I just changed out the background paper from brown to green).dscn1814We had a delightful day…not much verbal thanks were given but I know our hearts…we are all thankful for ALL God has mercifully given us.  We deserve nothing and He gives everything.  We are so blessed.

Coram Deo,

Lola

We took a rare Sunday afternoon walk this past weekend.  Just the girls, Dear Knight and me–the Boy chose to stay home and get ready for his hockey game later that day.   We drove down to the river then slowly, purposefully, meandered along a trail for about an hour–well, us older folks were slow and meandering…three of the four girls chose to run most of the trail!  The air was warm but not too warm; the company was in high spirits and we were together.  We ended the all too short afternoon with ice cream cones from our favorite little ice cream shop just up the road from the trail head. Truly the Sweet Life.

“Great peace is found in little busy-ness.”
~Geoffrey Chaucer

I have been reading Jane Austen of late…and I mean reading…Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, and Pride and Prejudice all in the last three weeks.  Currently I am reading Emma…this is the first time I’ve read these books and oh! what I’ve missed!  My mind has been filled with thoughts of gentility, etiquette, reserve, propriety (or lack thereof).  I have made the time to read this much..I’ve made myself less-busy and am the better for it.  I used to read often and for long periods at one sitting.  Then with the arrival of children my time became occupied with other pursuits…but now as the older three find their own interests and the two littles begin to play more and more with each other I find that if I am diligent with guarding our time at home and diligent with using that time well,  I can afford myself time to sit and read…of course the laundry still calls–is it ever really done?  And meals need to be fixed…stomachs always need to be filled. As such, I don’t get long stretches of time to  read but even 30 minutes of reading  feeds my mind with thoughts enough to mull over as I go about my more mundane activities.  I think this is what Charlotte Mason desired for children to experience as they read many books for small periods of time…just enough reading to give one food for thought and a desire and eagerness to pick up the book at a later time to feast some more.

Coram Deo,

Lola

Today was the day for the chicks and I to get serious about our annual holiday baking frenzy. This little tradition started with my grandmother who always delivered homemade treats to her neighbors. It was (and still is) continued by my mom and me and my chicks. So, after baking 3 batches of almond-choclate-cranberry biscotti, one pan of creamy mint brownies, one batch of HOMEMADE peppermint marshmallows (OH MY! TO DIE FOR!!!) to go with the peppermint hot chocolate mix we whipped up last week along with the numerous batches of white and dark chocolate peppermint bark the Boy has been making over the last week, 3 loaves of pumpkin orange marmalade bread, and a final batch of gingerbread cookies (yesterday we made and decorated two additional batches and about 7 dozen butter cookies and the chicks built 2 gingerbread houses–from kits) and the last of the butter cookies. I finally called it quits for the day and sat down…Whew! It’s been a long while since we/I have baked like this…and I’m tired–but it’s a good tired.

But really this is about the peppermint marshmallows. This is our first attempt at making them from scratch and am I glad we did. Who would have thunk that a simple solution of corn syrup, sugar, peppermint and vanilla extracts, water and gelatin could make such a light and fluffy treat! Absolute marshmallow perfection…just enough mint to let you know it’s there but not too much to be overwhelming. These babies are going to be perfect with that hot cocoa!! Or even better—peppermint s’mores! Hey-Daddy-man fire up the ol’ bar-b!!

Many thanks go to Elizabeth at Real Learning for steering me in the right direction and feeding my peppermint addiction!

originally posted 12/19/07

I have a habit of walking out my front door and down my driveway and gazing up at the night skies pondering what wonders the Lord has wrought. I am fascinated by the skies and the constellations. I try to discern from amidst the light pollution that floods my community as many celestial bodies as I can. I know Mars when I see it and Venus, too. I can point out the Pleiades and Orion and Cassiopeia. And I can easily spot the Big Dipper, although I have NEVER been able to find the Little Dipper.
I am not sure when this habit of mine formed. Most likely during those many nights of walking and cradling restless wee chicks in my arms; “Look…can you see the moon? When the moon is out it is night time. Do you want to go night, night? Say ‘night, night, Mr. Moon’.” And even now as those restless nights are getting fewer and farther between I sometimes find myself alone, gazing at the moon and the stars. Tonight was different though…I had company. Not the wakeful babe-in-arms kind of company. No, tonight my two eldest daughters joined me…and we searched the heavens together, my arms encircling their shoulders as I pointed out to them Saggitarius and Scorpius–two constellations I only just “found” this evening. My excitement apparently rubbed off on them for they ran inside to consult “Find the Constellations” and “The Stars” (both by H.A. Rey of Curious George fame) to see what else they could find.
It was one of those moments that makes my heart sing…surely if they attended school elsewhere this would not have happened–what reason would I have for owning the books I do on constellations and the night skies–they were all purchased our first year of home-schooling when the Boy was just a 1st grader and we decided to followthe recommendations from “The Well Trained Mind”. We’ve only briefly looked through them on occasion all these years…but tonight there was a connection made between my daughters and those books; they will be “friends” for life. And a connection was made between my daughters and me; something a bit different from mom the teacher and daughters the students. Something special and full of wonderment…and for that I am eternally grateful.

originally posted 9/1/07

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