Tuesday, January 31, 2006


I just finished the book __Reading Between the Lines__ by Gene Edward Veith and it got me to pondering about reading and especially Christians reading or lack of reading.

He had this to say:

"Christians to one extent or another have to read. They are "people of the Book," whose spirituality and conceptual framework is centered upon the linguistic revelation of the Word of God. As the culture moves farther and farther away from the printed word, Christians will still read. As their neighbors plug themselves in to their video images, Christians may find themselves making up a greater proportion of the reading public. Their tastes and values may matter again. Beacause readers exert the most influence in a society, however the masses amuse themselves, Christians may find themselves once again the thinkers and the leaders of society."

He used as an example the Dark Ages when the Vandals trashed a a civilization based on law and learning. During which time the church preserved the printed word, Bibles, Ancient works, books of science and medicine carefully copied and stored behind the walls of monestaries.

I hope that he is right and that Christians will continue to read or start to read, if they don't. How can they know God and the greatness of His glory if they don't at least read His word.

For more thoughts on reading you can go over to a couple of my favorite blogs, Common Room and Dominion Family. Headmistress at the Common Room has done a couple of articles recently about reading and the lack of it in our culture, even among homeschoolers. You can read them here and here. Over at Dominion Family, Cindy also had this to say.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Rejoicing Again!

Our second son has also put on Christ in baptism. He studied with his dad this week and Friday morning was baptized.
For all of you who have been baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Galatians 3:27

We are truly rejoicing! Two sons in one week have made a commitment to Christ! My daughter over at Garden of Thought has posted pictures. Visit her blog to see the wonderful sight!

Finally Finished! Gulliver's Travels

Much to many people's shagrin, I am sure. I found this book not very enjoyable. Though I see how the author was using satire to poke fun at the society and governments of his time, I had a hard time with his choice of vulgar images. I did find the last voyage, to the Houyhnhnms interesting in the virtues that they displayed and it did cause me to reflect on the lack of virtue displayed in our society. As a whole, I feel this book was made for adult eyes and I found that Swift's satire is not my cup of tea.

Boys Curriculum

Here is the bulk of our curriculum for this term. We will be done with Washington State History at the end of February and then boy 1 will focus his attention on early American History. We will use Ambleside Online's year 9 as a guide.

Saxon Algebra II - boy 1
Saxon 87 - boy 2
Saxon 54 - boy 3

Language Arts
Copywork & Dicatation
Megawords - boy 2
Understanding Writing & IEW
First Language Lessons - boy 2 & 3
Easy Grammar - boy 1

Boy 3
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Fifty Famous Stories
Boy 2
Robinson Crusoe
Boy 1
God Came Near
With Wolfe in Canada
English Literature for Boys and Girls
Reading Between the Lines

History & Geography
Boys 2 & 3
An Island Story
Child's History of the World
America is Born
Child's Geography of the World
The Book of Indians - boy 3
The Real Book of Indians - boy 2
It Happened in Washington - boy 1 & 2
Boy 1
Washington State (textbook)
Washington State a Literary Chronicle
Child's History of England
Story of Liberty
Story of Mankind

Science and Nature
Christian Liberty Nature Reader #2 - Boy 3
Life During the Great Ice Age - boy 3
Christian Liberty Nature Reader #4 - boy 2
It Couldn't Just Happen - boy -2
The Glad Scientist (experiments) - boy 2 & 3
Abeka Physical Science - boy 1

Current Events - Gods World News - All
Health - Boy 1
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Total Health

Art/Music Appreciation

Rudyard Kipling

Henry V


Mindbenders from Critical Thinking Press

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Reading List

I don't get to read as much as I would like and am hoping to work in a book a month this year. We shall see. Here is my reading list for the past couple of years:

Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott
Sword and the Stone and Queen of Air and Darkness (from the Once and Future King), by T.H. White
Watership Down, by Richard Adams
After you Marco Polo, by Jean Bowie Shor
Parenting Isn't for Cowards, by Dr. James Dobson
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, by Tolkien
More Than a Carpenter, by Josh McDowell
A Man for all Season, by Robert Bolton
Dvorak in America, by Joseph Horowitz
Undaunted Courage, by Stephen Ambrose
In His Steps, Charles Sheldon
Tips and Tricks for Homeschooling Survival, by Ann Lloyd
I Kissed Dating Goodbye, by Josh Harris
God Came Near by Max Lucado
Six Hours One Friday, by Max Lucado
With Wolfe in Canada, by G. A. Henty
Started in 2005 but not finished
Reading Between the Lines, Gene Veith
How to Read a Book, by Mortimer Adler
Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift
When God Writes Your Love Story, by Eric and Leslie Ludy
More Hours in My Day, by Emilie Barnes
**I am still working on these and some will be finished soon.
Started in 2005 and finished in 2006
A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens (my first time ever)

Rejoice with Us!

Romans 6:3-7 says:

Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? There fore, we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in Newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.

Please rejoice with us as our oldest son was buried with Christ in baptism on Sunday, January 22nd at approximately 11:45 pm.

Parenting 101 part 2

As I shared before, Hubby and I are in a parenting class at the church we are visiting. The second lesson was entitled Building Relationships that Bond. I liked the scriptures that the teacher used as a base for this lesson, they were 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8 and 2:11-12.

But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of god but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.


just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the god who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

This lesson was about building an environment that your hearts get glued together. I appreciated that he stated the following:

"We don't have the power to be perfect parents that create perfect children - you CAN create a loving environment with a clear target."

So often parents are looking for that perfect formula to raise their children to be Godly adults and while we need to constantly check how and why we are doing things and making sure that we are line with God's will, we have to remember that our children also have a free will given by God to choose to or not to follow his ways.

The stronger the relationship between parent and child, the stronger the bridge to carry over values and beliefs. Some ways to bond the parent child relationship are to show unconditional love, schedule time and focused attention on the child, have ongoing communication, share meaningful touching, have fun together and pray together often.

More things to remember:
-Positive parenting requires constant repair and ongoing maintenance.
-Confess sins and request forgiveness

This class was challenging for me in that I had to check myself - am I gentle with my children? Do I truly set aside time for them, other than homeschooling, but just to talk and find out what is on their heart? Sometimes I can answer yes, but there are many times that the answer is no. This class is helping me to re-evaluate and that is always a good thing.

This class is in DVD format and is entitled Effective Parenting in a Defective World by Chip Ingram. In our class, we watch the DVD one week and then have a week to do the homework, we each have a workbook. The next Sunday we come to class prepared to discuss what we have learned from the DVD and about ourselves.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Children's Song

Land of our Birth, we pledge to thee
Our love and toil in the years to be;
When we are grown and take our place
As men and women with our race.

Father in Heaven who lovest all,
Oh, help Thy children when they call;
That they may build from age to age
An undefiled heritage.

Teach us to bear the yoke in youth,
With steadfastness and careful truth;
That, in our time, Thy Grace may give
The Truth whereby the Nations live.

Teach us to rule ourselves alway
Controlled and cleanly night and day;
That we may bring, if need arise,
No maimed or worthless sacrifice.

Teach us to look in all our ends
On Thee for judge, and not our friends;
That we, with Thee, may walk uncowed
By fear or favour of the crowd.

Teach us the Strength that cannot seek,
By deed or thought, to hurt the weak;
That, under Thee, we may possess
Man's strength to comfort man's distress.

Teach us Delight in simple things,
And Mirth that has no bitter springs;
Forgiveness free of evil done,
And Love to all men 'neath the sun!

Land of our Birth, our faith, our pride,
For whose dear sake our fathers died;
Oh, Motherland, we pledge to thee
Head, heart, and hand through the years to be!

By: Rudyard Kipling (from Puck of Pooks Hill)

Homeschooling - What's Important?

I am constantly coming back to this quesion as we continue to homeschool our children. Are we reaching for the goals? Do we even know what those goals are?

The first and foremost goal in my mind is that my children will grow up to be godly and desire to serve the Lord. Then along with that is the goal that our daughter will learn the skills and develop the character necessary to be a godly helpmeet to her future husband or to support herself, should God call her to singleness. We want our boys to develop a strong work ethic and the skills necessary to support a family. We also want them to be spiritually grounded so that they may lead their family in the ways of the Lord.

Homeschooling is so much more than academics. It is character training and spiritual training, both of which come greatly by example. This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where focused parenting comes in. Habit training needs to start with me, my habits. It is important that I have good habits in order to model them.

Even though homeschooling is much more than academics, they will play a strong role in meeting the goals of our homeschool. By working at their academic studies, the children will learn diligence in study, and they will be exposed to a broad and rich curriculum. This will help them to develop into a well rounded person. Carefully chosen courses will help them to pursue their life and career goals. This in turn will help them to develop the ability to support themselves and eventually a family.

In my mind all of the above mentioned are important, but the spiritual is of the most consequence. After all, what good is it for them to gain the whole world but lose their souls?

These questions are pondered often in our home. Evaluating and re-evaluating what we are doing, how we are doing it and why. I don't know if we will ever be totally at peace with where we are but maybe that is good and will keep us from getting out of balance.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Encamped Along the Hills of Light

This Hymn is our family devotion hymn for the week. It was written by: John H. Yates. You can listen to a midi file at cyberhymnal. In my searching online I found that our hymnal is missing the third verse, but I added it here so you could see all of the words:

Encamped along the hills of light
Ye Christian soldiers, rise,
And press the battle ere the night
Shall veil the glowing skies.
Against the foe in vales below
Let all our strength be hurled;
Faith is the victory, we know,
That overcomes the world.


Faith is the victory!
Faith is the victory!
O glorious victory
That overcomes the world.

His banner over us is love,
Our sword the Word of God;
We tread the road the saints above
With shouts of triumph trod.
By faith they, like a whirlwind's breath,
Swept on o'er ev'ry field;
The faith by which they conquered death
Is still our shining shield.


On every hand the foe we find
Drawn up in dread array.
Let tents of ease be left behind,
And onward to the fray.
Salvation’s helmet on each head,
With truth all girt about,
The earth shall tremble ’neath our tread,
And echo with our shout.


To him that overcomes the foe
White raiment shall be giv'n;
Before the angels he shall know
His name confessed in heav'n;
Then onward from the hills of light,
Our hearts with love aflame;
We'll vanquish all the hosts of night,
In Jesus' conqu'ring name.

Our Family Devotions

One thing that we have tried to do, not always consistently, is have family devotions. We have tried many ways of doing this, from weekly studies, object lessons etc. to daily studies or share times. Over the past couple of years, we have been fairly consistent in having daily devotions. Hubby works swing shift and is, therefore, home during the morning hours. He has us each take a 30 minute Quiet Time at 10 am during which we read our bibles first and then other books if we so choose. We come together at 10:30 am to sing, share our bible reading and pray together. Hubby picks a different song each week and we sing that each day that we have devotions. In addition, two other family members get to pick a song for us to sing (so we sing three songs each day). We sing hubby's song choice and then someone might share what they read and then we sing another song etc. until everyone has shared their bible reading. We end with discussing prayer concerns and a prayer. This time is a special time for me. I love hearing what the children are learning from their bible reading as well as the fact that it makes me more consistent in my bible reading and prayer time. It isn't always easy to make time in the day for this but it is well worth it.

Blog Game: Four of Things

I was tagged by Mamma Squirrel over at Dewey's Treehouse and so here goes:

Four Jobs I have had in the past:
1. Clerk/hamburger flipper at Arctic Circle
2. Janitor
3. Receptionist
4. Personnel Assistant

Four Movies I would watch over and over:
1. Twelfth Night
2. Pirates of the Caribbean
3. Pride and Prejudice
4. Princess Bride

Four Places I have lived:
1. Seattle, WA
2. Lynnwood, WA
3. Arlington, WA
4. Marysville, WA

Four (actually 3) TV Shows I watch:
1. CSI Miami
2. Without a Trace
3. Numbers

Four Places I have been on vacation:
1. Los Angeles, CA
2. Yellowstone National Park
3. South Dakota
4. Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Four Websites I visit Daily:
1. Everett Herald
2. Common Room Blog
3, 4, 5, 6 & too many more to name blogs mostly from our blogring.

Four Favorite Foods:
1. Lasagna (actually anything Italian)
2. Chinese ( egg rolls etc.)
3. Chocolate
4. Did I mention Chocolate?

Four Places I'd rather be:
1. Heaven

(not rather be, but like to visit)
2. England
3. Washington DC
4. The Great Lakes

I invite anyone who would like to give it a go to play the game.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Today was our first day back at school after almost a month break with illnesses and the holidays. We are trying to get a new morning routine down - up a bit earlier and getting started a bit earlier and hopefully finishing a bit earlier. So far we are doing pretty well. We did get our earlier start and we started up our family devo times again (yeah!). We are starting out our week with exams as we didn't get to them before Christmas with everyone being sick. As always, I am going through things, re-evaluating our schedule and trying to find the best fit for our family.

Parenting 101 part 1

We started attending a class on parenting at the congregation we are visiting. I must admit that I was skeptical about the class when I heard the subject, after all I have read just about every book there is on parenting and need to implement what I have already learned. Well, I must say that the class turned out to be very encouraging and challenging and I am very glad that I attended. Some main points covered: 1) Positive parenting begins with positive clear-cut objectives. Have your target in mind! Parent with focus and not with fear. The world's dream for your child is that they be "happy" and God's dream is that they be "holy". Holiness is the only way to achieve true happiness. 2) Positive parenting demands we practice what we preach (ouch!) Modeling: BE what you want them to BECOME. I look forward to the upcoming weeks in this class.

Out with the Old, In with the NEW

The old year has gone, the new year has begun and with it come thoughts of what has transpired and what is yet to come. Cindy at Dominion Family has written a great post on New Years Resolutions that has gotten me thinking about my goals for the new year. I especially like her thoughts about Seeking First His Kingdom and His Righteousness (from Matthew 6:33). I also appreciated the post at Two Talent Living entitled Thinking of the New Year in which she talks about not wasting time lamenting over the past year's failings. Look at the past, learn from it and move on! We have heard two sermons recently that have also helped me to check my priorities and challenged me to focus on the important things in life. One of those sermons asked, "what is needed to put Jesus at the center of your household? Your heart? The other sermon focused on running the race to WIN the prize. (1 Cor 9:24). There are no spectators in the race - only runners and the early saints WORKED HARD. (Romans 16). Paul could boast in what the Lord had accomplished through him, what do I have that I can boast in? Hmmm.

This year looks to be a year of transition for our family as we are still seeking a new church family. I also hope it will be a year of spiritual renewal for our family. I plan to borrow Cindy's first goal for the new year of Seeking First God's Kingdom and also try to filter every other goal through that first one.

Also, as Sallie at Two Talent Living suggested, I will look back on the past year and try to focus on the good that has been accomplished or partaken of, such as camping trips with good friends, evangelism training camp and in depth bible study. I also want to see what needs improvement such as meal planning and personal time management.

Making improvements to my personal time management will be a big help in the functioning of our days in our family. Over the last year, I have failed mightily in consistency in many areas. The area that has hurt me most, of course, is my lack of consistency in bible study and prayer. I have also let my health slip considerably, resulting in extra poundage and lack of energy. I know that I need to focus on taking care of myself spiritually and physically in order to have the energy to take care of my family. So I am putting that as a top priority in my goals for the new year.

May the Lord be with you in the New Year and May 2006 be a year of LABOR for the LORD!