Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Wednesdays with Words: Break time

You have likely noticed that I've been inconsistent here despite the best of intentions.

I think I'll take a summer WwW break and pick back up after Labor Day.

Feel free to link posts here in the comments through the rest of the summer and continue sharing with one another. I am going to pin this to the top of ladydusk.

Love ya all.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Simple Woman's Daybook for June 26, 2017

For Today...

Looking out my **OPEN** windows ... green and blue and perfect weather. The sports stuff from yesterday's party is still in the yard.

I am thinking ... that there's a ton to do today. I really want to get the upstairs cleaned up like the main floor is.

I am thankful ... for an extended family who love my kids so much.

One of my favorite things ... being able to drink my coffee outside.

I am wearing ... AwesomeBots shirt (First Lego League team) and exercise clothes. I walked the dog 2 miles this morning. And my new matching Fitbit band.

I am creating ... sad kids because I want them to clean and they want to play. We'll get through it.

I am listening to ... a new podcast. Have any of you tried "Risen Motherhood"? Mostly they have littler kids than I have and I've only listened to the first two episodes, but I have high hopes.

I am hoping ... to receive and rest in Christ. Wonderful sermon last night explaining how receptivity and resting are practicing faith.

I am learning ... to stick to my guns.

In my kitchen ... I'm washing dishes because my dishwasher isn't. Feeling spoiled.

In the school room ... we're ready to start week 7 of AO Year 6.

In my garden ... my hanging basket is coming back to life ... thanks to the IG community who told me how!

Post Script ... It's Homeschool Planning time, and as Community Manager for, Plan Your Year is taking up a lot of my brain space, which is awesome. I'd not used a homeschool planner until I tried out Plan Your Year after Pam gave it to me. I love it - goal writing and thinking through things ahead of time rather than just trying different things on the fly has made a bit improvement in our homeschool. Having my children work with me in the goal-setting process has also made a difference.

Right now, if you buy Plan Your Year, you get a free student planner package, The Independent Student, that comes with four sets of planning pages and an audio companion with Pam, Ann Karako (who has graduated 4 of her 5 children), and me.

Full Disclosure: I am not an affilliate, however I do work for Pam as Community Manager. If you buy Plan Your Year, you might see more of me than you want in the Facebook groups or if you email Pam. Your purchase helps me pay for things like camp, soccer, piano, and organ lessons for my children. Thank you.

A moment from my day ... finally celebrating R-girl's 10th birthday!

Soccer & Baseball

Raggedy Andy to befriend her Raggedy Ann doll

The Fairy Garden cake was made better with Fairy Garden figures :)
Linking up with The Simple Woman.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Wednesdays with Words: Peace that Passes Understanding

My pastor has been preaching through Philippians and he preached on Phil 4:6-7 this past Sunday. In particular, he focused on the part of the passage "the peace that passes understanding." It was a fantastic sermon, exactly on some of the things I've been considering this year with }pacify{ and some needed correction to my thinking as well.

VBS week is an interesting time to preach peace ...

Linky is not working this morning ... can you leave your links in the comments?

Monday, June 05, 2017

The Simple Woman's Daybook for June 5, 2017

For Today...

Looking out my window ... it's dark and cool.

I am thinking ... about getting back into routine after a crazy May and vacation.  So many things need to be done.

I am thankful ... for the wonderful time we had in the Outer Banks. So thankful to spend that time with extended family.

Riding the trolley to the beach. For some reason, riding backwards is a big deal.
One of my favorite things ... driving into Columbus on our way home when there's a glorious sunset in the background.

I am wearing ... jeans shorts, a sleeveless top, and one of Jason's old dress shirts. At the softball field I had on a hoodie sweatshirt, too ... and wished I had had on jeans and a blanket. The wind was chilly especially in June.

I am creating ... not much of anything. It's VBS week, so busy. Maybe friendships for my kids because I drive the bus:

I am listening to ... The Homeschool Sisters podcast about screen time. I'm a little behind ...

I am hoping ... to walk the dog earlier tomorrow morning - and that it won't be raining when I do so.

I am learning ... more about }pacify{ ... Yesterday's sermon on Philippians 4:6-7 was exactly what I needed to hear. I hope it'll be online soon.

In my kitchen ...  I really need to go to the grocery store. And to clean out my fridge. And I'm glad I had some emergency coffee in the freezer ...

In the school room ... the children need to clean up. But it's VBS this week so the school room is quiet.

In my garden ... we planted some herbs in the garden boxes around my deck. I used thyme and rosemary in the frittata-like dinner I made tonight.

Post Script ... Did you see Mystie's Sweep and Smile course? If you, like me, need some hand holding for the housekeeping portion of homeschooling, I'm sure Mystie's boot camp will be the jump start you need!

A moment from my day

Linking up with The Simple Woman.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wednesdays With Words: Inactivity without Rest

We're traveling this week and had the opportunity to go to part of the Petersburg National Battlefield Park from the Civil War. I'm always impressed when I read quotes from regular people during that era, and this one was no exception.

No laptop, so the quote & image are on Instagram because the blogger app is terrible. You can view by following the link, you don't have to have IG or use it yourself, it's public.

No linkup (because no laptop!), please link in the comments.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wednesdays with Words: Erasure and Oblivion

I started Out of the Ashes yesterday. I'm all of 4 pages in and wishing I had taken a pen with me to mark it up.

Page 1:
I stand with Livy, who at the final hardening of Rome's republican arteries, wrote that the study of his land's history was the study of the rise and fall of moral strength, with duty and severity giving way to ambition, avarice, and license till his fellow Romans "sank lower and lower, and finally began the downward plunge which has brought us to the present time, when we can endure neither our vices nor the cure." (emphasis mine)
 Esolen makes his arguments cogently by weaving in quotations and ideas from out of time - from people and events and literature you may never have heard of but that resonate with the soul.

On page 4:

The people of the ancient world came before the modern watershed: that which encourages us to believe that what is current must be superior to what is past. We apply what we see in the progress of technology to all other human endeavors, and fail to ask whether technological innovations thememselves are always unmixed blessings, let alone whether, for example, modern art with its inhuman abstraction or its deliberate ugliness is really an advancement over what the great tradition has bequeathed to us. Modernity is all too often a cult of erasure and oblivion. The ancients still had memory.
So beautifully, if painfully, truly written.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Maps, Recipes, Processes, Systems

As you know I was at the Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati almost two weeks ago. It was a wonderful time of learning, encouragement, and being surrounded by like-minded friends.

Perhaps you know that I don’t stay down at the Duke Energy Center all weekend; I don’t get a hotel room and stay downtown. Rather, my Mother-in-law (the best ever MIL, sorry for the rest of you) graciously hosts me and my friends and we all, along with my Sister-in-law, drive in each morning and back to their homes each evening of the event. I do the driving; what with the minivan and not minding being in control or driving in downtown traffic.

We’ve been doing this drive ever since GHC moved down to the Duke from the multi-building church it used to be held at. For a long time, I had printed maps from Google to point the way and a passenger was my navigator, then I got a smartphone and the Google navigator became my friend and freed my passengers to visit.

I mostly know the path to get there by now, the navigator is a nice backup convenience. The exit we take into downtown Cincinnati is an odd exit, as it exits on the left of I-71. I have a touch of a lead foot, so the left lane doesn’t bother me too much … until I noticed “Exit Closed” for my exit on the very last sign for the exit prior to the one where we get off. And I don’t know Cincinnati.

For some reason, my previously trusty backup didn't know that the exit is closed and I needed a new route. Since I really didn’t want to go to Kentucky, which is where Google will be leading me, I scrambled to the right and exit who knows where in Cincinnati. Happily, Google recalibrates.

The tool I was using is still a valid tool, still helpful to me and we made it to the convention center none the worse for wear. Well, maybe a little breathless because of the scrambling.


I love to cook. I love to follow a recipe once or twice and then just play with it and make it my own. I like to try new flavors (as long as they aren’t spicy. Or seafood.) and I like the process of bringing a meal together. I like to tie flavors between dishes. I like to make interesting combinations. Most of the time this works really well; sometimes it is a little more … um … adventurous.

But, I know the principles of cooking. I generally know how much heat and which ingredients to include. I know when to use the oven, the stovetop, the grill. I know how longish things should cook. While cooking is easy, I’m much more recipe and rule dependent when it comes to baking. I'm less free there.


In Cincinnati, Andrew Kern was on a roll. He was talking about processes versus knowledge. He gave the example, as he generally does of 3+2=6 minus 1. Then he talked about how the Liberal Arts allow us to have tools to create harmony in our minds. That if we stop at 3+2=6 we are uncomfortable and our minds in a state of discordance. That minus one relaxes us.

But if no one has taught us how to achieve harmony in, for instance, mathematics, we are left as under the control of the step-by-step process of math. Our understanding is enslaved rather than free.

“No one likes being a slave.” Andrew Kern


My husband is a software developer. He programs computers. They do what he tells them. The process inputs as he tells them. They only do what he tells them. If he tells them wrongly, if the input is incorrect the output is incorrect.

When I worked, I worked on the data entry side and then, later, on data retrieval and analysis. If the data was entered incorrectly, the output for analysis was just wrong.
But we, I, were working with computers not made in the image of God with bodies, emotions, and brains. They could only spit out and analyze what was put in. They couldn’t love.


Being a Charlotte Mason Educator is like driving. We learn the principles; we apply them; we learn more and recalculate. You can rely on your navigator, but a smart driver also reads the signs. Sometimes a slightly different route than the navigator’s might be better. The recalculated last minute Google route? Took us right to the parking garage rather than the convention center. I could look at the signs, see the problem, and work to solve it before it became major - ending up in Kentucky. My Google navigator was leading me astray in one instance, but it is a tool. I could use my own mind to override it and then take up again in order to arrive at my destination.

Most of the time Google Maps is a trustworthy tool. I can follow the directions and make it to my destination. When we choose excellent tools, we may not have to deviate very much from them. The alert driver - er educator - gets a choice. Sometimes the back roads are the most scenic.

Being a Charlotte Mason Educator is like cooking. We can try out the recipe and as we learn more change it up - still relying on the basic principles - to fit the needs and tastes of our family.

Being a Charlotte Mason Educator is like being a freeman - not a slave. We have the principles and knowledge of 3+2 and can create harmony in the education of our children by not being shackled to processes developed for a different time and setting: processes that are not principles.

Being a Charlotte Mason Educator is not like a computer. You cannot put in the input perfectly and expect perfect output. Following specified routines or a strict schedule will not a human make. Children (and mamas) are born persons. Children are not a formula that will become what “we” make them by our efforts. Children will make relationships with ideas presented them in astounding ways because they do the work in a CM education and God uses our faithful presentation of ideas to make the person of His will.

You can’t do education “right” so your children will be the image you have created for them. Education is not plug and play. You’re not a potter at a wheel. Cindy Rollins taught me that and I choose to learn from her shared experience rather than repeating the lesson myself. So thankful that she has shared it with us.

The principles wielded by a thinking mama who is making her own relationships with ideas and not trying to submit herself to processes designed for a different setting is what being a Charlotte Mason Educator is about.