Sunday, October 30, 2005

This is my furry baby. His name is Rusty. Rusty is about 14 years old, but still plays like a kitten at times.

Our Week . . .

This week has been a bit different for us. My 9 year old niece, Bella and my 7 year old nephew Patrick have been staying with us since Tuesday. Their mom and dad are on an anniversary/birthday trip and so the children get to stay with aunt, uncle and cousins. We have continued to do school, although in a bit of an altered fashion. Bella and Patrick are also homeschooled but in a little different way than we practice. They have quite a few workbook type items, which has been easy for me to give them. Patrick is learning to read - and I had forgotton how hard that was for little ones. It has been two years since Bouncy Boy was learning. We are all adjusting pretty well, although school is hard when the cousins want to play together all day. I am trying to allow plenty of playtime as they don't get to be together all that often. We will meet their big brother Tuesday evening and then they will go on to pick up mom and dad at the airport.

The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe

I was asked to preview this book for the HEO curriculum year 10. It turned out to be a little too risque to recommend for the curriculum, but it was such an interesting book that I couldn't take it back to the library before finishing it. Tom Wolfe is an excellent writer, although definately for an adult crowd. The Right Stuff is a book about the beginning of America's entry into the space race. It shares the lives of those involved in breaking the sound barrier and also the first Astronauts who participated in the Mercury space program. The book chronicles people such as Chuck Yeager, Al Sheppard, John Glen and the other of the first 7 astronauts and flight test pilots that broke speed records in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Mr. Wolfe does an excellent job of putting you in the place of the wives of the test pilots, experiencing the emotions of not knowing if your husband would come home from work that night or if some official would knock on your door to let you know that he would never come home again. The language in the book is very rough and the lifestyles of the guys are also rough. Mr. Wolfe is a very descriptive writer that helps you to visualize the story well, even the things you would rather not see, such as the sordid details of the pilots lives. The book also took a look at the competition involved in the flight test program and probably with military pilots in general. Overall, I am glad I read the book, it put the space program in human terms. We watched the movie years ago, when it first came out - now I will have to watch it again and see what I think.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Working Poor

Searching on the internet, you can find a great debate as to whether or not the working poor even exist. I find this all very interesting. Yes the statistics can be skewed to include part time workers and those who are younger than 18, but I do know that they exist and it has hit all to close to home for us. My mother, who is over 60, but not old enough to collect social security or medicare, falls into the working poor. Add to this that she has type 1 diabetes and no health insurance. Until recently, she has been very fortunate to have had little or no complications with her diabetes for the past 40 years. She is working full time in a low paying job and because of her age and lack of experience, doesn't have much hope of gaining a much higher paying job. There seems to be little or no help out there for her with her medical expenses - now if she didn't work at all, she might be able to get some help, but because she is trying to support herself - there is not much help. I also find the government's ideas of helping people interesting. On one hand they have supplied junkies with clean syringes, but the diabetic must pay high prices to get them. Ironic isn't it? It seems that our government "help" says that if you are motivated to help yourself, they are not motivated to help you succeed. We are in the process of figuring out what our options are and praying that her health can maintain some sense of stability for a little longer.

Glass, furniture, paintings etc.

What do you think of when you hear the name Tiffany? How about Louis Comfort Tiffany? I always pictured glass lamps when I heard his name and this weekend I found out that there was much more to his art. On Sunday we were able to attend a special exhibit of Mr. Tiffany's art at the Seattle Art Museum. We were able to view glass windows, mosaics, lamps, vases etc. etc. Those were beautiful and kind of what I expected to see. What I didn't know was that he also painted and that he designed wallpaper and furniture. The exhibit did a great job of showing how different cultures influenced his art and how versatile he was as an artist. There were pieces with a middle eastern influence and with an asian influence. It was one of my favorite art exhibits yet!

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Have you ever had your integrity questioned? I can tell you it can be extremely painful. Especially if the questioning comes from people who have known you and whom you have loved and served for many years. It makes you take a step back and wonder what your actions have said to others. Have they spoken division to people all along and no one said anything? Having the worst thought of you and your motives really hurts. You would hope that people who have known you would assume the best until they have talked to you and clarified things. The last thing you expect is to have the worst thought and no time taken to clarify things. I hope that I have learned not to assume the worst of people, not to judge their motives without discussion and to show love in the confrontation.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do no cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.

Psalms 51:10-13

92 years young

My grandmother, Eva Lee was born in 1913 in Mulberry, Arkansas. She turned 92 today and we got to spend the afternoon and evening celebrating with her. She is a short, spunky lady who has had an amazing life. She still lives on her own and gets around very well for someone of her age. She tells stories of how mischievous she was growing up and how much fun she had as a young girl. She grew up on a farm with many siblings and they picked cotton, along with beans and berries. She met my grandfather while picking cotton. They shared over 50 years together before he went to be with the Lord. She misses him greatly, but enjoys spending time with her son, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She loves the Lord and says she is ready to go be with him. So far, it appears that the Lord needs her here for some reason and she is fine with that too. She laughs easily and tells everyone whatever is on her mind, that keeps us on our toes. I feel very fortunate to have had so many years with her in my life.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Drifter by Robert Service

This Poem was one that I needed to hear. I sometimes get to whining about my circumstances. This is bad, especially since I have pretty good circumstances. This poem reminded me to buck up and press on.


God gave you guts: don't let Him down;
Brace up, be worthy of His giving.
The road's a rut, the sky's a frown;
I know you're plumb fed up with living.
Fate birches you, and wry the rod . . .
Snap out, you fool! Don't let down God.

Oh, yes, you're on misfortune's shift,
And weary is the row you're hoeing;
You have no home, you drift and drift,
Seems folks don't care the way you're going . . .
Well, make them care - you're not afraid:
Step on the gas - you'll make the grade.

Believe that God has faith in you,
In you His loving light is shining;
All of you that is fine and true
Is part of Him, so quit your whining . . .
Buck up, son, for your Maker's sake:
Don't let Him down - give God a break.

Skinny Skater is 15

Skinny skater turned 15 at 10 am on October 10th. It is amazing to watch him grow and change. He still is my goofy boy, but then again I see glimpses of deeper thought. He still likes to play with his brothers and he has many friends that are much younger than himself - but then he doesn't want to "play". He can carry on a grown up conversation on one hand and act like a total goof on the other. It is so much fun to watch him change, hard to watch him struggle, challenging to let him make decisions. The teen years are years of change - the desire to be thought of as "grown up" and yet the pull of childhood is still strong. Being at home has allowed him to take his time growing up (in the world's sense of things) and has also allowed him to enjoy his family more. It is truly rewarding watching him grow. Happy Birthday Skinny Skater!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The 23rd Post

Hello - my friend JavaMom just tagged me with the latest tag floating around blogosphere. You have to find your 23rd post to your blog and then find the 5th line in that post and it is supposed to say something about you.
Well my 23rd post was on August 30th and was entitled One Last Hurrah. The post was about our last camping trip of the season and here is the 5th line:
"We all went over to the Olympic National Park and camped in the Heart O' the Hill's campground at the foot of Hurricane Ridge."

I am not sure what this post says about me - maybe that my heart is in the hills and I can be like a Hurricane????

Anyway . . . As far as tagging five other people - all of my blogging friends have already been tagged, so the game stops here.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Reevaluating things

Here we are nearing the end of our fourth week of school. I am fighting a head cold and not as on top of things as I wish and my children seem to be very aware of that. I need a substitute teacher on days like these (smiles). I have had to remind them that I am the one that is sick, not them. We are already behind on the plan that I made, not that that's anything new. It is frustrating, just the same. It is this point in our school year that I start questioning all the things I have planned - is it the right plan for us? Is it someone elses idea of what is right? I don't have the answers to these questions yet. I want to challenge my children, but not frustrate them. I want them to graduate from our homeschool with a love for learning. Most of all, I want them to be spiritually minded. I am not sure our current schedule and plan will accomplish any of those things. Don't get me wrong, not everything we are doing is not working - I think most of it is - but I must continually check and recheck. I think it is a sickness that I have, always second guessing things. It is time for some serious prayer. Prayer for guidance and for peace of mind.

tootles . . .

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Not on my Booklist - but finished . .

Today I finished two books that I have been reading. They weren't on my booklist, but slipped into my schedule. The first is a book that I was asked to review for House of Education. It is Nikolenka's Childhood by Leo Tolstoy. This book was the first of his published and is a delightful childs story about a boy growing up during pre-revolution Russia. The story deals with the changes in a young boy's life - from spending early years in the country to living in the city of Moscow and also the tragedies of his early life. I would recommend this book for children in about 4-6th grades or later if the student wants to get a flavor of Tolstoy's writing without tackling major works like War and Peace or Anna Karenina.

The second book that I finished was Fearfully and Wonderfully Made by Dr. Paul Brand & Philip Yancey. This book is on House of Education's Year 7 booklist for health. The authors did a wonderful job of explaining how different parts of the body work and then drawing analogies to the body of Christ. This book is a great resource for those wanting to learn more about how our physical bodies work and how the spiritual body of Christ should work. I truly enjoyed this book.

Although these books were not on my original reading list, I feel that they were both well worth the side trip.

I am still working on my reading list and some of those books, such as How to Read a Book, I am reading slowly over time.