Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Proper Frame for Prayer

From Robinson Crusoe:

... I rather prayed to God as under great affliction and pressure of mind, surrounded with danger and in expectation every night of being murthered and devoured before morning; and I must testify from my experience, that a temper of peace, thankfulness, love, and affection is much more the proper frame for prayer than that of terror and discomposure; and that under the dread of mischief impending a an is no more fit for a comforting performance of the duty of praying to God, than he is for repentance on a sick bed: for these discomposures affect the mind as the others do the body; and the discomposure of the mind must necessarily be as great  a disability as that of the body, and much greater, praying to God being properly an act of the mind, not of the body.

Prayer is something I would like to work on in the next year, so this just jumped out at me.

Next week I won't be able to host Wednesday with Words, so my friend Anna is going to host at her new blog Little Drops of Water ... go check out her new site, it's gorgeous! I'll post a link here on Wednesday to lead you there.

Wordless Wednesday: Jungle Gym

Friday, July 24, 2015

Our Weekly Amble for July 20-24, 2015

We did our first full week of school in months this week.  All spring and summer so far it seems like a child has got some sort of vomiting sick, I got shingles, or the week was just crazy and we'd get one or two days of school in.  One of the big negatives of trying to keep everyone together is sickness, what do you do when one child is sick and you aren't sure if the others will get it next week?

Generally, we were able to do some Circle Time and we relied on Netflix documentaries a lot.

Anyway, this week.  This week we had five full days of lessons and while there was a good deal of pain from returning to routine and Mommy expecting work to actually be done when assigned.  You don't struggle with that, right?  For about the first time in our homeschool lives, we've had schoolwork to complete after Quiet Time or at the park.  Ugh. What a pain.  Maybe this will improve future weeks.

The children and I have decided to rename our homeschool.  I had defaulted to The Garrett Academy.  Very select.  We learned that "academy" has its etymological roots in Plato's grove where he and his pupils walked and talked, so we decided to call our school "The Garrett's Grove" instead.  They then thought we should rename Circle Time, too.  So we're calling it "Gathering for Grovetime"

In Grovetime for July:

Sneak Peek! Yay, it's all coming together!
  • We've been reading about the early Judges in Israel, Ehud and Deborah.  We've also been reading about Jesus' final Passover Feast in the Upper Room. We're fast approaching the Garden and Crucifiction and Resurrection! 
  • I decided to not learn 'Just As I Am,' Ambleside Online's suggested hymn for July, and have been learning 'Let Us Love and Sing and Wonder' instead.  We sing it at church and it fits better with the themes of life around here recently.  Today, I determined the hymns we'll do for the next year.  I put them on my hymn listing page.
  • I think we have Psalm 24 about down and are ready to select the next passage - always a challenge.
  • I think the children all know the catechism, so we're just reviewing for perfection at this point.  Hope to recite before session soon so we can begin the Westminster Shorter Catechism.
  • We've been working through my upcoming eBook: I Am, I Can, I Ought, I Will: Charlotte Mason's Motto Explained for Upper Elementary Students. We're almost through the 10 meditations on the "I oughts." Look for this somewhere around August 10. (I think! Lord willing.)
  • We have been learning about winds and weather and weather charts and how forecasting was made easier with the telegraph in Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study. I casted a YouTube video about more modern meterological techniques.
  • We're learning 'Sea Fever' by John Masefield.  The fun thing about this poem is that M-girl heard it at CoSI and said, "We should learn this poem, Mommy!"  It was the next poem in the book :)
  • Still loving the Memoria Press "English Grammar Manual" which is a grammar catechism.  It drills deep.
  • We must learn our multiplication tables, so are rolling a 12-sided die to practice.  This week we did 4s all the way to 15s.
  • For Latin, we're reciting our current lesson's (LFC-A #15) chants and one other chapter's chants.  I think this will be a good balance of review for us.
  • We finished reading about Jonathan Edwards and began reading about George Whitefield in Trial and Triumph.  We read 1-2 profiles a day in George Washington's World because we're very far behind in that book.
  • We added the Index Card A Day and it has been a huge hit. Below are some of the finished cards ... and only one side of them! 

Every child did math every day.  M-girl is finally working in Year 4.  The beginning of the year is a lot of review, but that is going well and she is feeling more confident because of it. N-boy is working on 3 and 4 digit subtraction.  R-girl is learning about multiplication times 6.

Baucis and Philemon Narration
We're working on Lesson 15 in Latin and the children spent some time making flash cards, in the Activity Books, and on Headventure Land.

We read a lot this week about Lightning and Thunder and early experimenters with them, the founding of Georgia, European social spheres from nobility to bourgeois, and the story of Baucis and Philemon. The children continued to follow Minn on his trip down the Mississippi and into Lake Pepin. We watched a cartoon version of A Midsummer Night's Dream. We looked at some art from Diego Velazquez.  We listened to Rachmaninov play 'Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18' on YouTube. I thought that was very cool seeing as the recording was made in the 1920s, the children thought the recording wasn't very good and didn't see the cool factor in the piece.

M-girl and N-boy both wrote narrations this week.  M-girl's was on the founding of Georgia; N-boy wrote about George Whitefield (and misunderstood some of the reading).

We were able to meet some friends at the pool on Tuesday and then, as a family we went to a Columbus Clipper's (Minor League Baseball) game that night.  

It feels wonderful to have had such a great week (despite its struggles) and to write about it.  I hope to return to this practice.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wednesdays with Words: Willingly Take Away

We heard two very powerful sermons on Sunday.  Our pastors take great care with their preparations and the words they choose to select.  In the morning our Associate Pastor has been preaching through The Lord's Prayer. This week he was preaching on the fifth petition: "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."

Pastor Kirklin talked about forgiveness, taking John Calvin's definition from the Institutes (Of Prayer, Where the Prayer of Our Lord is Explained, The Fifth petition) and showing how not forgiving dehumanizes.  Calvin's exhortation is to use our wills to choose forgiveness by putting away those thoughts and feelings which are dangerous to ourselves and the one we must forgive:

I couldn't quite get the quote down during the sermon, but loved it immediately. I love the balance of willingly putting away those thoughts and ruinous emotions and then releasing "ill will." The working together of the reason, conscience, and affections is a beautiful picture of what Jesus has done for us.

I appreciate that forgiving here is letting go of the thoughts that ensnare our minds, that we don't go down mental spirals of hatred, fear, and malice.  We recognize that vengeance is the Lord's, He will repay. We are freed from the effects of storing up anger and resentment.

One last note, and I loved this and put it as my quote in my Daybook on Monday, is "God gives us what he requires from us." Forgiving is hard, Jesus - of all people - knows this.  He forgave even in the midst of his excrutiating time on the cross, the least forgivable act in all of eternity.  God requires us to forgive, but he gives us what we need, even when it is seemingly impossible. For nothing is impossible with God.

Wordless Wednesday: Columbus Clippers, Ring Your Bell!

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Simple Woman's Daybook for July 20, 2015

For Today... Monday, July 20

Outside my's sunny behind the clouds.  And comfortably pleasant.

I am thinking... about yesterday's powerful sermons.  In the morning we learned about forgiveness and forgivingness.  In the evening we were encouraged to understand God's judgement, mercy, compassion and that he reigns over our lives from on High - higher even than our government.

I am thankful... for pastors who preach truth and challenge.

I am wearing... pajamas still.  The children came home from camp on Saturday and yesterday was long, too, so I encouraged them to sleep in.  N-boy just got up, the girls are still asleep.

I am creating... 

I am going... to do some lessons with my children today.  Yay!

I am wondering... about wondering. Did you know that the idea of wonder can be a noun, a verb, an adjective (wounderful, wonderous), and an adjective (wonderfully!)? I'm still enamored with the idea of wonder.

I am reading... If you're wondering (ha!) why Wednesdays with Words has been so off and on recently, it is because I'm not reading things worth quoting. I am going to get back to it!

I am hoping... to have a solid week of school *and* blog about it!  That's a big goal for the week ... 

I am learning... about Periscope which is a great deal of fun.

In my kitchen... Saturday night we made one of my favorite easy dinners.  I threw some leftover bacon (highly guarded, leftover on purpose) in a pot, two cans of cannellini beans, a can of roasted tomatoes, and wilt a box of spinach on top of it.  Jason grilled some chicken with salt and pepper.  Serve with parmesean.  Delicious and easy and filling.  Every last bit got eaten, next time I think we'll need three cans of beans ... 

In my garden... Jason trimmed back the dead forsythia on Saturday.  The tomato plants a friend gave me don't seem to be growing, but they were almost dead when planted and they were free.  So ...

In the homeschool... we're going to make some changes to circle time, adding Index Card a Day and using a die to select the number we're going to practice our multiplication tables. 

A favorite quote for today... "God gives to us what He requires from us." Pastor Jason Kirklin from yesterday's sermon.

A peek into one of my days... R-girl went to Art Camp last week while the older two went to Church Camp.  I got a chance to go to the local coffee shop by myself on two different days.  It was a wonderful break for all of us!  R-girl had so much fun and learned so much.

One of my favorite things... having all of my children back home. It was a lovely, quieter week, but I am glad to be all back together as a family.

From the board room... 

Post Script... I'm so very excited that Cindy Rollins has begun a podcast with David Kern at the CiRCE Institute about Charlotte Mason education, The Mason Jar. Only one episode so far, but sure to be long-term amazing.  Plus, it's Cindy, and I miss her.

Linking up with The Simple Woman.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

New Pictures for the Blog

My awesome friend Heather came to visit me over Memorial Day weekend.

OK, so I was a collateral visit. She is starting a photography business and a friend of hers paid her (and for her) to fly to Ohio and stay with me in order to take some photographs.


And I got free pictures out of the deal.  Over the coming days, I'll be updating the family and headshot pictures here and the places you can find me around the internet (including, newly, Periscope - I'm @ladydusk which is all kinds of fun!)

If you're in the Atlanta area, you should get in touch with Heather for photos ... sometime after her new baby comes.  I just love what she did :)