Monday, May 28, 2007

My favorite painting

"Le Gourmet" Pablo Picasso

Friday, May 25, 2007

Today's the big day! of them!

The wedding shower I'm hosting is today at 1:00. I'm excited and nervous, as usual, I left more things to be done today, than I ought to have. Oh well, I seem to be able to focus more under pressure.
This evening is game night, but that's no sweat! Three families have signed up to come, that's 30 people (including our 6)! We will have chips and brownies and be loud and silly. Sound like fun? A huge favorite of game night is Chronology (the older version) it is always popular with the older kids and adults. Younger kids like UNO and Hiss!

We have our guests for the Jamestown 400 confirmed and we are so excited. We invited these friends from Bristol to come for a visit a couple of years ago. When they called to ask if we had ideas for a place to stay we were like, "Well duh!" I'm excited!

Right after the Howards leave, we will have a day to get ready for company in for Gaelan's graduation on the 20th. He tells me that a party for him will have to wait as he starts on the job right away. He got the precinct that he requested - South, where all the action is! He is very happy about that. I am usually happy for him, but have my moments of trepidation.
I'm going to have to cross stitch Stonewall's quote for him:

"Captain, my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me." He added, after a pause, looking me full in the face: "That is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave"

Monday, May 21, 2007

Been so busy, haven't had time to post...


I have a list of topics to try to post about, but just can't seem to get myself organized enough to carve out the time to write about something of substance.
As usual, the summer is shaping up to be busy.
The kids and I have been getting ready for guests in June (painting and rearranging) and trying to keep school work going.
Church is very busy with goodbyes for people who are moving away and hellos and moving parties for people moving here.
Conrad and I have a parenting class in our home every other Sunday night, and that is going great! I'm teaching one of the ladies in the class to quilt, so after the class, she and I snuck up into Shayna's room to get some material and supplies. I can't wait to see the finished product!
This week is not as full as last week (there was something going on every night of the week!), but the weekend is full and we have lots to do for that.
I'm hosting a wedding shower luncheon on Friday for one of the young ladies at church and then we are hosting family game night here, that evening. Hey!-the house will already be clean, right? So might as well.
On Sunday afternoon one of the families at church is hosting a big picnic to celebrate his promotion in the Air Force.
Then, things get really busy, in the month of June, we have a wedding the first weekend, the HEAV convention the second weekend, Gaelan graduates the academy the following week (I hope to have some kind of party for that, but he tells me that he may already be working!), then the following week is the Jamestown Celebration as well as a conference that we usually go to, but I think we are opting out this year, since we are so busy.

Are you tired yet? And my head is full of next year's school planning...

This is one of those posts that nobody is really interested in...except perhaps family who wonder where in the world I am. It is, I'm afraid, a guilt post.

Did I mention that my sister and Mom are moving up here sometime this summer? I can't wait!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Preparing for the Lord's Day

“Consider the Lord’s Day an honour and delight. Let your heart be elevated in holy joy, and your lips be employed in the high praises of God. This day more resembles heaven, than any other portion of our time; and we should endeavour to imitate the worship of heaven, according to that petition of the Lord’s prayer — “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Never permit the idea to enter your mind, that the Sabbath is a burden. It is a sad case, when professing Christians are weary of this sacred rest, and say, like some of old, “When will the Sabbath be gone, that we may sell corn, and set forth wheat?” As you improve this day, so probably will you be prospered all the week.”
From Archibald Alexander on the Lord's Day.

I have been wanting to add my voice to some of the discussions going on lately about keeping the Lord’s Day. In keeping with the purpose of my blog, I want to talk about the practical aspects that apply to the homemaker. There is much to talk about!
I think that the first thing that must be talked about is premeditation.
It is very important, that if mother is to have a rest on the Lord’s Day as well, that she plan and work for it all the rest of the week.

Karen Mains in her book, “Making Sunday Special” talks about the rythym of the week with Sunday as the pinnacle. On Monday-Wednesday, we look back to Sunday, and Thursday through Saturday we look forward.

I have made a list of things that must get done for the Lord’s Day. Things such as a meal made (we have to eat!) and clothes cleaned. And then a list of things that ought to get done – it is certainly more restful if the living areas are nice and neat, and we love sitting down to a lovely table on this day of days.

Then I decided what needs to get done in the first part of the week, the looking back part.
On Monday we clean up any leftover mess from Sunday, and there’s plenty! The dishes might not have all gotten clean, only rinsed and stacked. The extra chairs are all out and about if we’ve had company. And dirt was probably tracked in from our ungrassy backyard.
On Tuesday, there are shoes to shine or clean, and perhaps suits to have cleaned. There is also lots of laundry to be done, because we probably have only done what was absolutely necessary on Saturday, leaving the day for other things.

Wednesday is a planning day and because it is often a company day in and of itself, I try to make some dishes that I can also use on Sunday or Saturday.

Thursday and Friday, we make sure that we know where our Sunday clothes are and get them ready if need be. We begin any cooking and preperation for special activities.
Saturday is the day that I always say has three days worth of work in it! Now it doesn’t have to be so, but I am an unorganized person…the things that I plan to do don’t always (should I even say usually?) get done. I might plan to start cooking on Wednesday, but whether I do or not is a question.

On Saturday, I have, in the past tried to get all of my work done by around 1:00 in the afternoon. That way, I had some time to prepare my own heart before our Lord’s Day eve dinner. And do you know what? Having a special dinner on Saturday after which the work stops and the enjoyment of Sunday begins forces me to be more diligent in preparing! We haven’t done a Lord’s Day eve dinner in several years, though we are beginning to think of it again.

Now –a –days, Saturday is filled with baking, cleaning and school planning, and the occasional contra-dance or party. My goal is to be done with everything in time to get a good night’s sleep and not have preparations on my mind as I rise on Sunday morning.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Checklist for Planning Each New School Year

I'm beginning to think about the end of the school year, and look forward to the next year. This is actually a dangerous time for me. In our family, we do school all year, so I'm not ready to stop doing what we've been doing all year. BUT, that's old & sometimes even boring, and what we are GOING to be doing sounds exciting and interesting!
Thankfully experience tells me that I do this every year and it is a chance to learn perserverance!

I know that this is the time that a lot of families are finishing up, though, so I wanted to put up my end of the year checklist. I wrote this a couple of years ago so that I would stop reinventing it every year. It takes me a while to catch on!

Procedure for Planning Each School Year:
Out with the old:
1. Gather all of the year's school work. Put in piles by child, in date order. Double check attendance records. (In Virginia, I'm not required to keep an attendance record, I do this for my own benefit. We, as a family do believe that everyday is a school day, but this is a record of my faithfulness to do "seat work".)
2. Choose a representative group of each subject and box up schoolwork. Throw out the remaining papers. (This year, I have done this throughout the year, so it should be easier.)
3. Put lesson plans and books read record in an envelope and put with schoolwork.
4. Evaluate the year - Goals achieved? What worked? What didn't?

In with the new:
1. Make a list of each subject for each child.
2. List materials/ texts for each child. Make a note of needed items.
3. Order curriculum needed, visit homeschool store, homeschool convention.
4. Decide how each subject will be organized. Does it (the text) need to be finished by years end? Can it be done "the next thing" (subjects that you just do until done and then start the next book (such as math).
5. Make up a lesson journal/attendance record. Will some child have his own?
6. Assign folders, spiral notebook or composition ledger to each subject per child. Each year I might do this differently. This year, we only used a 3 ring binder and a spelling folder. My kids are color coded, Green for Gael, Blue for Steven, Red for Isaac, Yellow for Shayna.
7. Look over the first week or two of each subject and plan/gather materials.
8. Order library books for first two weeks. (We are slowly trying to move away from being dependent on the public library system.)
9. Sign up for extra-curriculars - sports, art, music, languages.

A great place for homeschool forms is Donna Young . I have a wonderful "Child's Spiritual Evaluation" form but it is several pages of a Word document. I guess I could put it up as a post in itself... Hmmm. I think I will do that in the future. If you would like a copy, meanwhile, though, email me with your email address and I will send you the file.

Have a great day!