Monday, October 19, 2020

This Season

Every season of homeschooling is different.  

This is a common scene in this particular season. 

When the chores are all done and everyone is showered and settled down to work, the girls are usually all in the same room for a while, working quietly together. 

I am usually also at work in same room on something of my own.  

I quietly give thanks when I hear the rustling of bodies and the scribbling of pencils and the turning of pages.

This last time it happened I looked up and captured this picture. 

I've disciplined and nurtured them in the same daily routine and I've set expectations for years and years and years and years.

And years. 

So moments like these are the fruit of that. 

I'm grateful for this season. 

Right On Track

She was doing the advanced quid et quo for one of her Essentials sentences. 

"Jesus" was the subject noun.  

From across the room, she asks,"Mom, Is Jesus a concrete, abstract, or collective noun?"  

I looked up as my mouth dropped open, because Norah had asked the same question at the same age while doing the same thing. 

When she saw my face, she asked, "What?"  

I laughed and told her, "Great question. You're right on track. Norah asked the exact same question." 

"Really?" she asked.  

And then we discussed theology a bit. 

I have had several more years to think about it since Norah asked that question. 

The Trinity is all still quite a mystery.  

But I told her the answer "concrete" is safely substantiated, since Jesus was incarnate, He was raised bodily from the dead, and He is still human as He sits at God's right hand. 

The fact that she asked the same question shows me she's getting dialectic in much the same way her sister was at the same age.  

And it's just delightful to be on this journey with another daughter. 

May God give me the grace to do the whole thing again with the second and then again with the third. 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

We warmed some apple cider and drank it after dinner while we read a few chapters from The Wingfeather Saga.  We are almost done with the last book and this will be our second time reading the series.



Saturday, October 17, 2020

Advanced Quid Et Quo

It's year three of Essentials.

So we've started advanced quid et quo with every sentence.  

She'll be ready for the more advanced grammar that comes with Latin beginning next year in Challenge A.  

Note: I'm enjoying this journey through Essentials differently with my second daughter. 

I have much less anxiety and much more confidence. 

I've seen where all this is headed and it's good.  

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Blue Jay Orchards

 We visited Blue Jay's and picked some apples and purchased several types of jam to enjoy this winter. Avril and Adele helped me make an apple pie. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

 It's that time of year again, fires every night. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Grad School Update

In my EDUC class, we've read The Peacemaker by Sande, The Question by Leigh Bortins, The Lost Tools of Learning by Dorothy Sayers, and several other articles that range in topic from Classical method to international leadership. 

In my ENGL class, we have read Robinson Crusoe, Jane Eyre, and The Scarlet Letter, and many, many texts or excerpts or scholarly articles about literary criticism. 

I do a lot of thinking and writing, so much writing, as I try to comprehend the new material, study the texts, formulate a meaningful response to the prompts, respond to peers' posts, and basically, complete all my assignments each week. 

I'm managing it for now, but I probably won't take two classes at once again, not with everything else a wife, a homeschooling mom, a Challenge director, and a Circe Apprentice has to do at the same time.  

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Dante's Paradise

"'In his will is our peace, that is the sea whereto all creatures fare, fashioned by Nature or the hand of God.'

Then it was clear to me that everywhere in Heaven is Paradise."

Canto 3 Lines 85-89

My internal landscape is changing because of Dante.  

It's as if I can feel God's thumbs pressing into the clay of my being as I contemplate the ideas behind the words. 

And the ideas are also changing my external landscape.  

I don't need much scope to see beauty in the world around me anymore. 

Sometimes I'll stop just to watch light play off or through the leaves or windows. 

It's not that Scripture has lost its sacred place and that other books are taking an inordinate place. 

It's just that I am recognizing that God is at work in all the beauty, truth, and goodness that surrounds me. 

He uses books and nature and music, everything that's redemptive, to teach me, to point Himself out to me as we go along together through this world.  

I am transferring my favorite lines to a common place book. 

It's as if I'm being gifted gem after precious gem to store in a treasure chest for my soul. 

I've gone through the Inferno and Purgatory and I've made it to Paradise now. 

And the timing of that journey has been profound. 

My father died right before I started reading The Inferno. 

And then another person died.

And then another.  

And I had to go the long way down before I came back up. 

It was a season of death and grief and chaos and suffering and it's ending now. 

The Lord kindly timed it all, and gently lead me like a Father and a friend to these books and they have really helped.  

The imagery in many of the worship songs we sing at church brings images from the journey to mind as I sing and that has a dynamic effect on my worship experience.  

I wouldn't trade what's going on between my two ears or inside my chest for anything, except for the Christ who abides with me there.

We climb mountains together in my mind.  

We feast in temple of my heart.  

Christ, Himself, is the journey and the destination.  

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Leaf Peeping

We took a drive through Connecticut last Sunday to see the leaves. On impulse, we stopped at a farm not too far off our route. There, we completed a corn maze, petted a docile young cow and an affectionate old horse, and we ate the most delicious pumpkin cupcakes with butter cream frosting.  

Friday, October 9, 2020

Directing Challenge 3


We are about halfway through the first semester of Challenge 3 and I have to testify, it's going well.  God is faithful. My testimony is:  He can do anything He wants with anyone He chooses.  

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Bee Update

Our friend is a beekeeper and she keeps one of her hives at our house.  We are learning so much by watching and helping her care for the bees.  She has treated them for mites and we have started giving them a saturated sugar solution, so that they can make a load of honey before winter.  As it is now, they'll need less mites and more honey to go into the winter in the best condition.  You can see one of the their empty frames in the photo above.  I prop it on the windowsill to make a lovely light catcher.  

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Working It All Out

We've transformed the basement into an exercise room.  We removed all the furniture and we took the equipment out of the storage room and put it on hand.  This way, I won't have to spend ten-fifteen minutes picking up dirty socks and blankets and toys and craft supplies and game controllers and moving furniture before exercising. I won't have to drag my weights out of the closest and then put them back in the closet. I quit my job at the gym teaching exercise classes to start graduate school and finish The Circe Apprenticeship. I'm also directing Challenge 3 and homeschooling three kids. But now I am quickly losing my health to the books. I spend hours doing mental work, so I desperately need exercise for some balance.  I feel hopeful about this change, especially since we are going into winter when I'll need activity in leu of the oft absent sunshine.  

Friday, October 2, 2020

Directing Challenge 3

 I'm directing Challenge 3 this year.  My oldest daughter is in my class.  It's going on week six.  It's amazing, but challenging and exhausting.  But I wouldn't trade it for the world.  

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Quality Time

I am doing a lot of reading because of graduate school.  

So I am doing a lot of sitting. 

The girls will come and put their heads in my lap, even if my lap is not empty. 

And they want to rest with me and talk and they want me to run my fingers through their hair.  

I realize that even though I am here more, because I am not working at the gym and working on school instead, I'm actually here less, because I am so focused on school. 

So I try to give them some quality time in those moments before pushing their head off my lap and shewing them off so I can get back to work.

I'm learning something very profound in those moments. 

Kids really do need a roof over their heads and full bellies and new shoes and enriching activities and great role models, etc.  

But they also need a relationship with me and that simply takes time.