Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesdays with Words: The ACK! I forgot it was Wednesday Edition ...

One of the problems with being off school is being off schedule. Sorry this is so late, I hope you all post even through the weekend!

I've been thinking about Thanksgiving this week and I always consider Psalm 136:1-3 during this season:

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
The Psalmist goes on to ascribe thanksgiving to the Lord for all the wondrous works he has done. Well worth anyone's time to meditate upon, and just lovely.

I am thankful for all of you who have participated in Wednesdays with Words. The ideas and sharing have been a blessing to me.

I hope you and yours enjoy a wondrous day of Thanksgiving, not just tomorrow, but every day.  Recount and ascribe.

Wordless Wednesday: Turkeys making Turkeys

Thursday, November 20, 2014

School Disguised as Gifts: Arts and Crafts

I'm not talking about all crafty things today, maybe Fine Arts and Crafts would have been a better title.  Here are some ideas.

All three of my children take piano lessons, so fun repertoire books are always happily accepted.  My oldest daughter has particularly liked The Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music songbooks. I have enjoyed them vicariously ;)

Art and craft supplies are always welcome, but I do particularly love this Alexa My First Sewing Kit.  The projects are fun and doable and my girls are learning some basics of sewing.

This idea is for the grandparents: my children need no more toys and stuff, so several years ago my parents began to give them "tickets" to various local drama and concert presentations.  Sometimes these tickets go together (all the older girl grandchildren went to The Nutcracker last year with my mom). Often, they go by themselves with my parents to a local Children's Theater presentation.  They give other tickets too:  to an amusement park, to one of those bounce house places that have open play times, to the rec center pool, etc.  These are great opportunities for participating in the arts (which we may not be able to afford for a family of 5 on a single income) and building a relationship with their grandparents.  I appreciate this gift so very much!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday with Words: Unexpected Sources

A number of years ago, I devoured and adored Marilyn Chandler McEntyre's beautiful Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies.  When I saw she had published a short book, What's in a Phrase? Pausing Where Scripture Gives You Pause, it wasn't hard to add it to my cart. 

I haven't read a lot of it, but it isn't designed to be read straight through, rather dipped into when in need of Assurance, Invitation and Admonition, or Mystery and Surprise.  She writes short (1-2 page) meditations, journal entries on passages that "catch her mind" and cause her to consider. 

I recently read her passage on Deuteronomy 8:15-16, "He .. fed you in the wilderness with manna ..." (editing hers):

It takes time, I find, to recognize that what we need when our notion of what we need is confined by habit and expectation.  We may not have the money to replace an appliance, but we may have a neighbor who can fix it.  We may not have our closest friend nearby when sorrow strikes, but someone may surface from the margins of our lives with a big heart and a listening ear. Solutions may come from unexpected sources. The answer to many prayers, reinforced with every celebration of the Eucharist is simply this reminder: "You have what you need." Take it. Eat it. There will be more. (page 6)
What a lovely thought; the God of all Heaven and Earth will provide more ... Praise His name.

What are you reading this week and what has caught your mind?

Wordless Wednesday: Homeschool Choir Concert

Thursday, November 13, 2014

School Disguised as Gifts: Puzzles

I have always loved giving puzzles as gifts.  We have tubs of big wooden puzzles and boxes of puzzles.

When my kids were toddlers and preschoolers, Melissa and Doug puzzles like shapes, upper and lower case letters, numbers, hands and feet, vehicles, and animals were in huge rotation.  \

As they got older, geography puzzles became more the thing (alongside our games!). I love this United States puzzle. I, long ago, blogged about The Global Puzzle and how happy I was with it and the customer service I received when we found a missing piece.  We love our GeoPuzzles, too.

Finally, we have enjoyed the big two sided Melissa and Doug Human Body puzzle as well as the Solar System puzzle as supplements to our science studies.

What are your favorite puzzles?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday with Words: The Thing Itself

I've long enjoyed Mary Stewart's gothic romances.  I purchased and read a lot of them around the time I was in high school, and have occasionally revisited them.  Several of the Hive's 52 Books in 52 Weeks group recently picked up The Ivy Tree and some struggled with it.  Because it is one of the ones I liked and own, I thought I'd refresh my memory and dug it out of the box in the basement.

Stewart's style is to lushly describe places and events.  In this book, one of murder and mistaken identity, I find that even though I remember the outcome of the book, she's able to mess with my mind and make me question whether I remember correctly or not.  There is a lot of grim animosity in this book.

When the principle protagonist and antagonist in the book meet, they have a fencing argument about identity and image:
"Yes. I believe you. But you mustn't blame me too much for being rude, and staring. It's a queer experience, running into the double of someone you know." [Con said]

"Believe me, it's even queerer learning that one has a double," I said. "Funny enough, it's a thing one's inclined to resent."

"Do you know, I hadn't thought of that, but I believe you're right? I should hate like hell to think there were two of me."

I thought: and I believe you; though I didn't say it aloud. I smiled. "It's a violation of one's individuality, I suppose. A survival of a primitive feeling of -- what can one call it -- identity? Self-hood? You want to be you, and nobody else. And it's uncomfortably like magic. You feel like a savage with a looking glass, or Shelley seeing his Doppelganger one morning before breakfast."

"Did he?"

"He said so. It was supposed to be a presage of evil, probably death."

He grinned. "I'll risk it."

"Oh lord, not our death. The one that meets the image is the one who dies."

"Well, that is me. You're the image, aren't you?"

"There you are," I said, "that's just the core of the matter. That's just what one resents. We none of us want to be 'the image.' We're the thing itself." (pg 13, italics hers, bolding mine)
Isn't that just like a person and sin.  We don't want to be the image, but the thing itself.  I don't know that that is what Lady Stewart was getting at, but it is the thought I was thinking about when I read it.

What are you reading this week and what has caught your mind?