Friday, December 30, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday–The Last of 2011

This is the last time I’ll do a “7 Quick Takes Friday” this year!  Can you believe that we’re already to December 30?  It seems like we were just welcoming in 2011 and now we’re telling it good-bye.  Well, here are 7 highlights of the last couple of weeks.

1. Christmas Eve was as busy as usual for PWM, Rosie Girl and Wild Man.  PWM did sound for the three church services, while Wild Man played percussion and Rosie Girl played keyboard.  I, on the other hand, had a migraine all day and didn’t make it to any of the church services.  Yippee.



2. Christmas Day, though, was wonderful!  I made scarves for both kids using a double knitting technique so that both sides have the same design, but in opposite colors.  Rosie Girl has a keyboard design while Wild Man has the silhouette of his bass guitar.




3. Wild Man was excited because he finally got his own ipod.  Rosie Girl got some money from Santa.  She added that to some of her own money and went with PWM on Monday to buy herself a guitar – it’s a classical, nylon string acoustic electric with a built-in tuner.  She’s a very happy young woman.




4. One of our Christmas traditions is to have tomato soup (actually a ham and tomato cream soup) during the week of Christmas.  We eat ham during the first or second week of December then during the week of Christmas, I use the ham bone to make the stock for the soup and make a huge pot of soup so we don’t have to worry about cooking.  Things were no different this year.  Easy and delicious!

5. We don’t have much of a tradition for Christmas dinner except that we don’t do it on Christmas Day.  We do our Christmas Dinner on the day after Christmas so we can enjoy Christmas day with each other and not stress about cooking.  We decide each year what we want to eat, and it’s rarely turkey since we have that on Thanksgiving.  We were going to do lamb until we realized how expensive it would be.  Instead, we decided on individual Beef Wellingtons.  Unfortunately, they were overcooked – the casualty of an oven that isn’t very consistent.  We had leftover roast and filling (the recipe called for a mushroom filling instead of a liver pate), so we tried again on the 27th and they were much better.

6. Rosie Girl has found some added benefits to working at a cheese factory, even if she is working just in the retail portion.  She got a cash Christmas bonus and a HUGE box of cheese and chocolates!  Very nice!!

7. We don’t usually watch football except for Packers and LSU, but we turned it on the other day and watched the Saints game (partly because we knew that PWM’s brother was at the game).  It turned out to be the game where Drew Brees broke Dan Marino’s record for single season passing yards!  Talk about good timing!

So, what’s up with you?  How have your holidays been going?  Check out Conversion Diary to see what others have been up to!


Saturday, December 10, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday–December 10, 2011


Yep, I missed Friday again.  I guess I didn’t completely miss it.  I mean, I was here.  I just forgot to do any blogging.  But, I’ve remembered now and I’ve got plenty to say!

1. Last Sunday, Wild Man played Congas (hand drums) to accompany two singers and a guitar player at our church’s Women’s Christmas Tea.  What a wonderful job they all did!  It’s hard to believe sometimes that he’s just 13.


2. On Thursday night, Wild Man played percussion with the rest of the 7th and 8th grade band at the Middle School.  It was a wonderful concert!!


3. Rosie Girl got her PSAT scores yesterday and they were quite good, particularly the reading and writing scores.


4. Wild Man was in the other room playing bass guitar when Rosie Girl got home yesterday.  She went in to show him her scores and he was very excited for her.  I love seeing my kids happy for each other!


5. Wild Man is playing drums today at a Christian camp Christmas event – I’m sure he’s having a blast.  He’s such a performer at heart.


6. Rosie Girl was sick last week and only got to work a couple of hours (and missed her piano recital, although she wasn’t too terribly upset since performance isn’t her favorite thing), but she’s working a full day today which will make her bank account happy!


7. I’m still slowly increasing my Topamax.  I think the migraines are marginally better, but the side effects are annoying (well, except for the loss of appetite).


So, how was your week?!  Anything exciting?!  Check out 7 Quick Takes Friday to see what others have been up to!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

An Epiphany

I’m reading Flunking Sainthood by Jana Reiss, a memoir of the author’s year of trying out different spiritual practices, including fasting, lectio divina, and more.  I’m about halfway through and have been quite interested in her insights.  She has finished each month so far not by not being successful at the spiritual practice, but at finding that the attempt at practicing it is bringing out deeper spiritual issues in her life.

The chapter I just read is about simplicity and the author’s task was to avoid any non-essential purchases for a month.  What she learned through the month was that shopping and consumerism aren’t real problems for her, but the underlying spirit of coveting is real and problematic.

I read that a little self-righteously because, after all, I’m not big on conspicuous consumerism.  Our furniture is old, our TV is dying, we wear socks till they have holes in them, etc.  You get the drift.  But, as I considered what she had written, I realized that I am not content with my life in many ways – and it’s not the “holy discontent” of wanting to walk more closely with Jesus or even having goals in life.  I’m not content because I look around my house and think “If we had less stuff and clutter and were more organized, I’d be happy.”  Really?  Will a clean house and organized meal plan make me happy?  They aren’t bad things, but they certainly aren’t top-of-the-list most important, either.

My epiphany this morning (which I don’t think was due to the two-day headache and Topamax) was that I’m once again waiting for contentment and happiness when they are  right here in front of me.  PWM and I try to impress upon the kids that relationships are more important than things – but I’m not doing such a great job living that out.

The Great Commandment says (paraphrased) to love God and love others.  The stuff is of secondary importance.  I’ll still declutter and give away a bunch of stuff in the next few weeks.  And I hope to have a decent system of meal planning in place by the first of the year so we can save some money.  But, I’m praying for the grace to remember to love God and love others and let the rest fall where it will.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday–11/26/2011


So, it’s Saturday, but let’s not quibble about details, especially when it’s Thanksgiving week!

1. The Topamax appears to be helping my headaches.  The chronic headaches are much less, so I’m getting a real break between the migraines.  I feel the cognitive slowing more than I’d like, but it’s not very noticeable to the rest of the world.  I’m not going to ask my doctor to increase my dose for a while to see if the side effects will decrease a bit.  In any case, I’m feeling better overall (although today is a pretty rough one).

2. I felt really well on Sunday and made it to church, which made for a successful day in and of itself.  But, it got even better.  PWM and I decided to go see Les Miserables on it’s last night playing at the Fox Cities PAC.  Sure, we had seats in the nosebleed section, but it was wonderful anyway!!  Such amazing music – and a wonderful story!!

3. Rosie Girl got a Kindle in lieu of payment for babysitting this summer, but she hasn’t been using it nearly as much as she expected that she would, so PWM and I have bought it from her.  I never felt any interest in an e-reader, but I’m loving this Kindle!  I have Les Miserables on the Kindle, which was free.  It keeps track of where I’m reading, let’s me highlight things, and is easy to read.  It also weighs a fraction  of what the print version of Les Miserables must weigh!!  A couple of nights ago, I knitted a cover for the Kindle so that I don’t have to worry about just throwing it into my bag.

4. We put up our Christmas window display at The Knitting Nest yesterday along with Cathy from Premier Petals and Kasi from Focusing Life Photography.  Originally, we were just going to use our little 18 inch Christmas tree, but then decided to include our 4 foot tree as well.  Which means that we don’t have a Christmas tree for home right now.  I think we’ll have to take care of that tomorrow or Monday.

5. We had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, iced tea, apple pie, pecan pie, and vanilla ice cream.  We’re still eating leftovers, of course!  PWM cut most of the turkey off the bones, but he wasn’t too fussy about getting every last bit because the bones are in the freezer so I can take them out and make turkey and andouille gumbo tomorrow or Monday.  The week after that, we have a half ham to eat.  I’ll use the ham bone to make the stock for tomato soup.  It’s become a tradition that we do our Christmas dinner on December 26th and I have no idea what the family wants for that meal – but I’ve got a few days to sort it out!

6. I’m feeling the need to get rid of stuff and get organized.  PWM is feeling the same way.  Well, he’s not as fussed about the whole organizing thing.  But, when you don’t have as much stuff, you don’t need to worry about organizing.

7. Christmas is on the way, and I refer you again this year to Advent Conspiracy.  I don’t want anyone to ever feel guilty for being generous, but it’s important that we remember during the holidays, as during the rest of the year, that our lives should focus on Jesus. 

See what others are up to at Conversion Diary!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


For the record, I used to be really good at multitasking.  I started young, as all good control freaks do.  In high school, I could be doing homework while listening to music and talking to a friend on the phone.  By the time I got to med school, I would be walking down the hall while eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and looking over my notes before rounds.  And, in medical practice, I was often doing 2, 3, or more things at a time.

When I quit work because of my migraines, though, I didn’t really stop my multitasking ways.  You see, I was still under the impression (delusion?) that if I worked hard enough, I could keep all the balls in the air.  I thought I could certainly juggle educating the kids, keeping the house clean, doing laundry, and more along with having the migraines.  The problem with juggling, though, is that you never have one ball in your hand for any length of time.  Consequently, it’s easy to forget what that ball is, what it looks like, what it’s name is, etc.  But, when you don’t juggle, you can hold each ball in your hand and enjoy it and learn about it’s characteristics.

Over the years, I’ve gotten rid of some of my multitasking mostly by learning that the world won’t end if I don’t get everything done – and I might be happier and more relaxed if I don’t get it all done.  Now, I try to read without having any music on so I can concentrate on the words, the plot, the message.  I still often listen to books or watch TV while I knit, but I try to spend some time each day just enjoying knitting.  It’s a relaxing activity – when I don’t try to incorporate in other things to do. 

I’ve even been known to just sit in a quiet house and do nothing for a while.  That still takes a good bit of discipline, but it’s good for me.  Jesus gave us the example of practicing solitude.  I can pray during that time.  Or I can meditate on Scripture.  Or sometimes just let thoughts go through my head.

There are a few multitasking activities that I won’t give up (at least, anytime soon).  I like listening to (and singing with) music when I clean the kitchen.  When I’m knitting (particularly if it’s a repetitive stretch of knitting), I will still often listen to music or books.

I am only keeping one fiction and one non-fiction book around instead of always having 8-10 books going at a time.  I am trying to eat without feeling the need to read something at the same time. 

Mostly, I want to quit juggling.  It’s a tiring and inefficient way to live.  I want to spend time with my family just sitting and talking.  I want to be with my kids.  I want to be present in my own life, not a spectator.  The way to do that is to pay attention, to do only one thing at a time.  Unfortunately, this is a pretty counter-cultural way to live.

Jesus was counter-cultural, though.  And not just so that people would think he was weird.  (Sometimes, I think Christians adopt certain dress and mannerisms just to be “different”.  Jesus had a reason for everything He did.)  Jesus spent intimate, quality time with his 12 disciples.  He spent time every day in solitude and prayer.  He slept when He was tired (think about the miracle where the disciples had to wake Him so He could calm the storm!).  His big multitasking activity was to heal people as He walked from town to town.

This is the life I want.  I want to be intentional; to do one thing at a time; to have deep relationships.  And, while I know there’s a selfish component here, the real reason I want to live this way is because I won’t be too busy to follow Jesus.  I won’t have to pass by people in need because I have 14 other things on my to-do list.  Being busy should not be a badge of honor – despite the fact that I acted like it was for many years.

What are your thoughts on multitasking?  Is it always a bad thing or just sometimes?  How can we live more intentionally obedient lives to Jesus?  And on that note, I’m going to read a book for a few minutes and then go to bed!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Our Week In Review–November 4, 2011

(I wrote most of this on Friday, but didn’t finish till Saturday.  FYI.)


I really don’t feel like our week ends on Friday since the shop is open on Saturday and we often have a Saturday afternoon knitting class.  I offered to have the kids do their schoolwork on Tuesday through Saturday, but they prefer the Monday through Friday schedule.

Halloween was on Monday, but our town’s trick-or-treat hours and Main Street BooFest were held on Sunday from 4-7pm.  Unfortunately, I had a migraine, so I couldn’t go, but the kids and PWM dressed up and gave out candy at The Knitting Nest’s booth. 

The shop is closed on Mondays, so that’s the day we do our errands and appointments.  This week, I had a mammogram on Monday and then PWM and I both had eye appointments (and will both be getting new glasses).  Low on fun, high on utility.

The rest of the week is eventful only for the fact that I had a migraine from Monday afternoon through Thursday.  Yes, I was about to lose my mind!  Thankfully, I’m feeling much better today.

What have the kids been up to?

Rosie Girl

  • History – 1930s, Nazis, The Great Depression
  • Writing – She starts her Research Paper workshop with WriteAtHome this week.
  • Literature – She finished Brave New World.
  • Science – Reading Healing at the Speed of Sound as well as working on her research paper.
  • Music – Playing lots of piano and ocarina.

Wild Man

  • History – We’re listening to The Three Musketeers and he’s been looking up various things online.
  • Science – Watching a Teaching Company DVD set on Astronomy.  Pretty cool so far.
  • Literature – He’s been reading “fun books” since we’re listening to The Three Musketeers.
  • Writing – Adding “dress-ups” to the paragraphs in his story.
  • Music – Band, youth band

So, that’s it.  Excitement level has been pretty low (until Saturday night and the LSU game – but more on that another time!)

See what others have been doing at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Simplifying Life–November 2, 2011

I know, I know.  I’ve been talking about simplifying life for years, but I have been spectacularly unsuccessful at it.

Symptoms that I need to simplify life:

  • The house is never clean.
  • We have too much stuff – there’s no room to keep it all and we don’t use it all.
  • I generally feel overwhelmed.
  • I am almost always doing more than one thing at a time – knitting while watching TV or listening to a book, cleaning while listening to a book, etc.

I haven’t been successful with this previously because I’m still addicted to the idea that I have to be “productive” at all times.  I feel bad when I am reading a light novel or when I’m just watching TV.  Multitasking has been my life since I was in high school.  But, this needs to change.


I’ve been reading the Zen Habits blog and getting some good ideas.  I’ve also been going back to some of the ideas from Foster’s The Freedom of Simplicity and Willard’s The Spirit of the Disciplines.  Not only that, but my counselor and I have been talking about how to manage stress, particularly when I start to get busy on days when I don’t have a migraine.  Here are some of the steps that I’m taking, although I’m only changing one thing at a time (for the most part).

  • Have Grape-Nuts for breakfast every morning.  How is this simplifying life?  Well, I don’t have to think about what to eat and it’s healthy.
  • 20 minutes of stretching and yoga-type exercise without watching TV or listening to a book.
  • One fiction and one non-fiction book at a time.  I usually have 3 or 4 or more books going at a time – and then feel guilty that I haven’t read enough!
  • One fiction and one non-fiction audiobook at a time.  I enjoy listening to audiobooks when I knit, but I’m going to limit the number I have going at any one time.
  • Get rid of stuff!!  The rest of the family is helping tremendously with this.  PWM is highly motivated to get rid of things we don’t need, which is good.  He and the kids cleaned the school room on Monday so I have a place to block my large swirl jacket that I’ve knitted.  I really need to get rid of some clothes and go through the kids’ school stuff.
  • Only have one or two things on the to-do list for each day.  If I don’t have a headache and I get more done, great; that leaves more time to knit!  If I have a migraine, then there’s no guilt about not doing something.
  • Spend time every day just sitting and being mindful of where I am and how much God loves me.

That’s it so far.  I don’t think I’m going to leave behind my overachieving, multitasking ways completely overnight, but I’m starting.  And, now, I’m off to do some light reading.  And nothing else.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Our Week In Review–October 29, 2011


So, this homeschooling while trying to help PWM run a business while having lots of migraines is a real challenge.  But, there are lots of good things happening despite the “challenges” (including a messy kitchen and undone laundry). 

On Monday, PWM and I went on a date to Olive Garden, Home Depot, and Woodman’s.  The romance level may not have been so high, but it was nice to be together outside of the house and the shop.

I had significant migraines on Tuesday and Wednesday, so I spent very little time at the shop.  Bummer.

Wild Man was sick Thursday and today.  He’s seriously bummed about not being able to sleep over at a friend’s house tonight, but we’re hoping that he’s feeling better tomorrow and can go to Haunted Hollow.  We’ll see.

Rosie Girl wanted to have a friend sleep over tonight, so she actually turned in her weekly paper yesterday!  I’m impressed.  And she and her friend made cupcakes – Yummy!

Here’s what the academics over the last couple of weeks have looked like:

Wild Man

  • History/Science – He finished the Weapon and Warrior books as well as The Samurai’s Tale.  Right now, we’re listening to The Three Musketeers on audiobook and Wild Man has been reading about the Musketeers and French medieval history online.
  • Math – Wild Man is starting to feel held back by his not having his math facts memorized completely, so he’s been motivated to practice them in addition to doing his regular ALEKs work.
  • Music – Wild Man is playing percussion in the public school band and alternates between drum kit and bass guitar in the youth band at church.
  • Writing – I’ve had Wild Man dictate his story to me.  Then, I’ve had him take each paragraph (one per day) and do the dress-ups that he learned last year.  It’s actually working well.
  • Spelling – This is generally Wild Man’s nemesis, but  I think we’re starting to see some real improvement.  It certainly seems less frustrating to him.

Rosie Girl

  • Rosie Girl got a job!!  She’s working at a business here in town, so she won’t need to worry about gas money.
  • Social Science – She just finished the 1920s and wrote a nice paper summarizing the events of the decade and how they related to the 1910s and 1930s.  This isn’t her favorite subject, but she’s doing the work diligently.
  • Natural Science – This is her self-directed “Science of Music” course.  Rosie Girl is still not quite sure exactly what her research question is going to be.  We’re working on that.
  • Literature – The poor kid has had to read The Metamorphosis and Brave New World in the last few weeks.  She’s ready for something a little lighter, I think!
  • Writing – I’m generally happy with her weekly papers, although I’ve asked her to provide more concrete examples for her main points.  She’s also starting the research paper writing workshop through WriteAtHome.  This may require much prayer.
  • Japanese – She finished the first semester Japanese with an A-.  She started this semester’s course this week.
  • Music – Rosie Girl is not only taking piano lessons, but learning some basics of composition from her piano teacher.  She’s also been practicing her ocarina and acoustic guitar a good bit.  She has a method book for clarinet, but she hasn’t practiced in several days.


So, that’s where we are academically.  I’m very thankful that Rosie Girl works pretty independently.  Wild Man needs a little more direction from me, but that’s OK. 

How was your week?  Check out Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see what others have been up to!

7 Quick Takes Friday–October 28, 2011


1. So, the Cardinals won the World Series.  Of all my Facebook friends who follow baseball, I think there are a total of 4 who wanted the Cardinals to win.  I have at least 20 friends who were pulling for the Rangers.

2. Migraine update – I still have migraines.

3. In a new twist, Wild Man has been sick for the last two days with fever and intestinal upset.  He missed sleeping over at a friend’s house tonight, but he’s perking up so there’s a chance he’ll be able to go to the Haunted Hollow with them tomorrow evening.

4. I actually played some piano yesterday.  Naturally, it was Christmas music since that’s about the only thing I can still play.  Rosie Girl played along with her ocarina.  It was a pretty special moment.

5. Rosie Girl has a friend sleeping over tonight so they made chocolate cupcakes with white icing and then painted flags of different countries on the tops.  Why flags?  It has something to do with one of the animes that they watch.

6. PWM and I had a date on Monday.  We had lunch at Olive Garden, bought light bulbs for the shop at Home Depot, and then went grocery shopping at Woodman’s.  The grocery bill was staggering, but I think it’s the first time we’ve done a full shopping trip in the last couple of months.  Wow.

7. Our family likes watching several of the reality/competition shows, particularly Top Chef, Next Food Network Star, Next Iron Chef, The Amazing Race, and Top Shot.  This week was the final episode of this season of Top Shot (on History Channel) and it was a great one.  The guy who won is a young guy who isn’t formally trained in marksmanship.  He and his family run a Christian camp in Texas, so he said the prize money would go a long way toward some expansion of the camp.  What is so cool, though, is that this guy seemed to just be having a blast the entire time!  On the very last challenge, he was almost perfect.  It was just fun to watch!

So how was your week?!  Anything exciting?!  Check out what others are up to at 7 Quick Takes Friday!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Extravagant Grace

Please pardon the “stream of consciousness” style of writing this am.  It’s 1:04am and I can’t sleep because my head is killing me.  I’m so not fond of migraines.  But, you probably knew that.

I’ve been thinking about purpose, my reason for existing, etc.  The Westminster Catechism says that “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”  [I need to insert a little explanation about the word glorify.  The words “glory” and “glorify” get tossed around a lot in Christian circles without anyone really knowing what they mean.  According to my dad who is way smarter than I am about these things, the word “glory” implies reputation.  When we are told to “glorify” God, it means to give HIm a good reputation.  If this is incorrect, Dad, please let me know.]  Back to purpose.  We are to glorify God and enjoy HIm forever.  You know, when I read that it sounds like our job as Christians is pretty easy.  We are to give honor and praise to God, our Creator.  We are to enjoy him forever.

Somehow we make it complicated.  Either we get so caught up in the little steps and looking for confirmation from God every five seconds or we look only at the big picture and completely ignore what is right in our path.  Either way, we end up living a very stressful life.

That’s not what God wants for us.  In Matthew, Jesus tells us to take his yoke upon us for his burden is light.  Of course, it’s light!  He’s GOD!!  But, when we give Jesus our burdens and cares, we can now walk beside Him and live in a more comfortable place.

God wants us to enjoy HIm.  He wants us to be content.  How do we wake up in the morning and feel content with life?

I think that the key is to see God’s extravagant grace.  Not only did Jesus die for our sins and then conquer death through His resurrection, He sent the Holy Spirit to live with us and show us God’s grace every day.  Whether I’m working as a family doctor, as a mom, or selling yarn, I can experience God’s love and grace.

Tonight (or this morning), as I’m writing this with an icepack on my head and a pounding against my skull.  Physically, I’m feeling pretty rotten.  Emotionally, I’m also kind of down.  But I’m starting to learn to be content with each day.  God gives me the grace (the love that I can’t even begin to earn) to get through each day.  Today, I didn’t do much “productive”, but God doesn’t need me to be productive to love me.  I hate having the headaches, but the headaches have given us the chance to open a yarn shop.

My purpose in life is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  And I pray that glorifying God and enjoying Him shows to my children, my husband, and our customers.  God loves me extravagantly.  Because  of that, I am free to love others without worrying about their response.  No matter what, God has said that He loves me.  Hopefully, tomorrow, I can really love the other people I see.  (And, hopefully, my migraine will go away so that I can get out of the house and see someone other than my kids!)

Shaun Groves’ new song “All Is Grace” expressed these ideas well.  Check out the lyrics here.

Monday, October 24, 2011


1. This would have been “7 Quick Takes Friday” except that it’s early Monday am instead of Friday.

2. I’m having a serious craving for Chick-Fil-A.

3. The nearest Chick-Fil-A is Racine or the Chicago area.

4. I’m not sure I can convince PWM of the need for a road trip just for Chick-Fil-A.

5. Rosie Girl has a job!!  And it’s right here in town, so it doesn’t involve driving and spending all the money she will make on gas!

6. Wild Man cleaned the bathroom this week – and it actually looked clean when it was done!

7. Somehow, we managed to run out of fuel oil yesterday.  The tank is getting refilled tomorrow.

8. It feels almost like the 1850s except that we have electricity and we don’t have the possibility of keeping warm by a fire since we don’t have a fireplace and I’m on a computer.  So, maybe not.

9. I’m pretty sure that I would not do well in the 19th century.

10. We’re also out of groceries.

11. I may go grocery shopping because the stores are heated and I won’t have to wear 5 layers of clothes.

12. I’ve discovered reruns of “Mad About You”, one of my most favorite sitcoms of all time!!

That’s it.  What’s going on in your life?  Is the temperature inside your house above 60 degrees?  If so, I’m jealous.

Monday, October 17, 2011


I woke up about an hour ago with a migraine.  I’m not having a good feeling about today.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some blog fun!  And by blog fun, I mean that I’ll write about my life and you, hopefully, will enjoy reading it.  So, let’s get started.

1. Yes, I still have chronic migraine and, no, we still haven’t found a cure.  It does provide me with plenty of surprises, though.  I’m never quite sure when the headache is going to get rip-roaring bad.  I’m having to pretend to be a Boy Scout – “be prepared”.


2. When I have a bad migraine but still need to interact with the world (which I try to avoid), I have taken a clue from the penguins from Madagascar – “Smile and wave, boys, just smile and wave”.  It kind of works.


3. Rosie Girl writes a paper every week, with the topic varying among Bible, History, or Literature.  She wrote a very nice essay explaining why she didn’t particularly like Murder on the Orient Express.  She spent all day yesterday writing a short story.  She said that it’s kind of like fan fiction with some Hetalia characters (don’t ask, I don’t keep up with all her anime and manga!) that takes place during the great fire of Peshtigo, WI.


4. Wild Man has been using voice recognition software (apparently, it’s part of Windows 7) to help him with spelling when he is doing his daily journals.  It’s great because it requires him to articulate which was hard enough before braces, but has become a real challenge with that palate expander in place.  It also means that he doesn’t have to ask me how to spell every other word.  Pretty cool.


5. Our family’s favorite football teams, the LSU Tigers and the Green Bay Packers, are having great seasons.  Apparently, the WI Badgers are also doing well, although we only pay attention to them tangentially.  Sadly, we decided last night that we should support the Brewers since they had a chance of going to the World Series and all of our other friends are huge Brewers fans.  It was a short relationship.  I’m sure the Brewers did their best, but it just  didn’t work.  We’ll have to see about whether we’ll try again next year.


6. In two weeks, we (as in, The Knitting Nest) will be participating in BooFest on Main Street.  We’ll give out candy, teach finger knitting, and wear costumes.  Actually, I think PWM will take care of that while I hide in the back room from all the children.  I need Xanax to handle large numbers of kids.  PWM loves it, though.  I’ll just keep an eye on that extra candy.  We wouldn’t want the kiddoes to eat too much chocolate, now, would we?  Of course not.  So, I’ll take care of that.


7. Have you heard the new Shaun Groves album, Third World Symphony?  What are you waiting for?  This is a wonderful album that I’m sure you’re going to love!  Check out Shaun’s website!


Since 7 is the number of completion and perfection, I’ll be done now.  Besides, my brain is a little fuzzy from this migraine.  I’m off to knit.  I hope you have a wonderful day without migraine, but with lots of fun and love.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Days Go So Slowly . . . The Years Go So Quickly


A few days ago, I called Wild Man’s phone and got his voice mail.  It was the voice of a child, recorded not six months ago.


Today, Wild Man said something from the other room and I heard a young man’s voice.  Where did that time go?


Just a few months ago, PWM and I were ferrying Rosie Girl to her activities.


Now, she drives herself not only where she wants to go, but also to run errands for me and PWM.


Two months ago, I was taller than Wild Man.  He’s now two inches taller than me.


Rosie Girl has a job interview on Wednesday.  When did she get old enough to work?


Some days are so long . . .  I almost look forward to not having to supervise their education, to not making sure that they have adequate winter clothes, etc.  I wonder if my house will ever be clean.

But then a catch of glimpse of my babies and want to hold them to me forever.

Just a normal mom, I guess.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I love to thank and praise God when life is going well – we’re making money at the shop (The Knitting Nest), the kids are behaving and I’m feeling well without a migraine.  When things aren’t working out like that, though, it’s harder to be thankful.  I mean, how do I thank God for something as miserable as migraines?

In the first part of the book of Philippians, Paul thanks God that he is in chains for the Gospel.  Paul’s life was on the line for Jesus, and he was OK with that.  He said that living would be good, but dying even better.

Can I just admit right here and now that I don’t have the faith that Paul has.  I’m not sure how I’d react in a life-threatening situation.  (Although, I’m listening to The Hiding Place and Corrie Ten Boom often comments on how God gives us the faith that we need just at the right time!)

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.   Phil 4:4-7

We are told that we are to rejoice in the Lord always.  Always.  Migraine? Rejoice  Fussy kids? Rejoice  Uncertainty? Rejoice.  But, Paul understands this.  In Hebrews 13:15, we are told to offer up to God a “sacrifice of praise”.  I am to praise and thank God even when I don’t feel like it.

I also notice in this section of Philippians that the emphasis on what we get from prayer is not the answered prayer (although God certainly does that), but the peace of God that  transcends all understanding. 

Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to give thanks in all circumstances.  I’ve got insomnia right now – I’m praying for it to go away, but also thanking God that these few hours by myself give me some time to read that I might have otherwise missed.

Honestly, there are a lot of times that I don’t feel too grateful for my circumstances.  But, somehow, God will give the grace and faith to  give thanks.  Don’t be too surprised if you see me write about thanking God for migraines on my next Facebook post!  I thank God for the migraines even though I don’t see the whole plan.  God is still good even though I don’t understand.

God is God and I am not.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Our Week In Review–September 17, 2011


We just finished the fourth week of owning The Knitting Nest and third week of the school year.  Unfortunately, I had terrible migraines on Tuesday and Thursday, so I wasn’t very useful most of the week.  Nonetheless, some education did happen.

Rosie Girl

History – She finished the first decade of the 20th century this week and wrote a paper on inventions.

Literature – She’s reading Murder on the Orient Express and finished Heart of Darkness.

Bible – Still in the book of Matthew.

Math – Making progress in Algebra 2.

Japanese – She needs to take her final exam for 1st semester and then she can start 2nd semester.

Writing – The paper on inventions.

Science – She’s still reading about music and the mind.

Music – Her piano teacher is also teaching her some principles of arranging and composing music.



Wild Man

History – This week he read about the Samurai.

Literature – He’s reading Theras and his Town which is about a boy in Sparta.

Bible – Read some of the major events in the book of Genesis.

Math – Working on math facts and otherwise progressing well in ALEKS.

Writing – He read Katy and the Big Snow in preparation for story-writing.  Unfortunately, that’s as far as we got.  Hopefully, this week, he’ll make a story outline and then rewrite the story.

Spelling – I had a great idea to use the All About Spelling curriculum, but have him practice words using the Spelling Power 10 step list.  We did it on Monday, but not the rest of the week.  However, I hope he is learning some spelling by being on Facebook because he keeps asking me and PWM how to spell common words.

Grammar – Easy Grammar.

Typing – Yep. 

Music – After band class on Thursday, he stayed and taught one of the other middle school percussionists how to play the drum kit (with the director’s permission).


Not a very exciting week, but the kids are moving forward in all their subjects.  How are things at your house?  Check out Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see what others have been up to!


I am a selfish person.  I know this.  And I pray regularly for God to forgive me of that particular day’s version of selfishness – being irritable because someone interrupted my listening to a good book, my frustration at my less-than-perfect children, my wish to be left alone or to be with people (but by my choice – not anyone else’s).

One of the signs of spiritual growth is becoming other-focused.  I know people like this.  One of my dearest friends made time to come see me at home on Thursday despite my headache since we had missed our last couple of get-togethers.  My husband took care of me on Tuesday when I had a splitting migraine and was throwing up.  (That’s how you know someone loves you – they stay with you even when it involves bodily fluids!)

One of my frustrations is that I feel like my migraines make me very inward-focused when I should be focusing on God and other people.  I feel like I’m always self-monitoring to see how bad the headache is, whether I need to take meds, whether I should put an ice pack on, whether I’ll be able to go to the shop.  It’s a little difficult to focus on other people’s needs when I’m constantly checking on my own.

The Great Commandment says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. . . . and . . . love your neighbor as yourself.”  I don’t have any trouble with the loving myself part.  I don’t do so well with loving God and loving others.

It’s hard to find the line, though, between being selfish and legitimately meeting my own needs.  When I have a migraine, I know that I need to treat it and not try to pretend it isn’t there or it gets worse and I end up in the ER.  When I’m not in the throes of a migraine, I need God’s grace to help me look beyond myself and do what I can for others.  Right now, that appears to involve working (or knitting) at our yarn shop.  Not only do I get to be around yarn, but I get to help people with their knitting, and build relationships that benefit us both.  But I know that I can’t do this myself.

How am I supposed to solve this problem without doing something active, setting up a “program” (of Bible reading, prayer, etc.)?  It seems to me that it’s not the activities of spiritual formation that are helpful here, but the walking day by day with Jesus.  He tells us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30).  Jesus tells us to take His yoke upon ourselves.  A yoke is meant for two animals, so Jesus is saying to walk with Him.  While prayer and Bible study are important for this walk, I think that meditation and solitude and silence may be just as useful.  As I walk with Jesus, I hope to become more like Him, seeing people through His eyes, instead of through my lens of selfishness.

Just my thoughts on a Friday night.


Friday, September 16, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday–September 16, 2011


1. Wild Man has shingles.  Seriously?  Shingles?  He showed me this rash on his back and chest early in the week and I thought it might be a herald patch from pytiriasis rosea which is completely benign.  I briefly thought about shingles, but I’ve never seen them in a kid, although I have seen them in a young adult.  Anyway, the rash wasn’t getting better, so PWM took Wild Man to see a “real” doctor (as opposed to his mother who still has my MD, but no valid license).  Well, the “real” doctor said Wild Man has shingles.  Huh.  The poor kid has to take “horse pills” for a few days, but overall appears not to be terribly ill.  Now, I’m still not going to be an anti-vaccination person (because there is lots of good evidence that the vast majority of vaccination programs have been very helpful to the population), but I do wonder about the whole chickenpox issue.  The kids were both vaccinated, but the vaccine uses a live virus, which could be the cause of the shingles.  Or, Wild Man could still have picked up a low-level chicken pox infection.  And, one article suggested that since people are no longer frequently exposed to small amounts of the varicella-zoster virus, we are seeing more shingles in kids and young adults.  Food for thought.

2. So, the idea of opening a yarn shop was that I could go in and work when I was feeling decent, which would be several days each week.  That would not be this week, though.  I had a wicked migraine on Tuesday, bordering on requiring a visit to the ER.  Then I woke up Thursday with another one – and PWM was waiting at the pharmacy when they opened because I was out of Imitrex.  Not good.  Anyway, I was at the shop a little on Wednesday afternoon and then today.  Here’s praying that next week is better.

3. I think I have found something that works for our school days.  Each kid fills out a journal page each day telling me what they did for each subject and giving me their thoughts about any reading they’ve done (hopefully).  This has been a real challenge for Wild Man since he doesn’t spell very well and is often asking me and PWM to spell words for him.  However, they do the journal pages on the computer and email me when they’re done.  We’re still working out a few kinks, but overall, I’m pretty happy with it.

4. Tomorrow is Weyauwega’s Horse and Buggy Days!!  This year, they’re just doing a parade down Main Street, but Main Street businesses are encouraged to have a presence.  We are going to be teaching finger knitting and giving away little bags with enough yarn to make a finger-knit bracelet.  We’re really excited about this – more people to see what our shop is all about!

5. The library sure knows how to get my attention.  One of my books is significantly overdue, so I can’t put any more on hold until I turn in the book and pay my fine.  Unfortunately, I’m not exactly sure where the book is.  Hmmmmm.

6. We were very bummed that Lawrence Academy of Music was not able to offer the composing and arranging class that Rosie Girl wanted to take.  The good news is that her piano teacher is taking a few minutes of her regular lesson time to help her learn some skills for composing and arranging.

7. My mother is on Facebook.  Thankfully, we managed to get her to change the account name to hers and Dads because she was the only one talking, but it had Dad’s name.  That was kind of freaky.  It’s still a little strange to see both their names as one, but it is a reminder of who does the typing in that house!!

How was your week?  Check out 7 Quick Takes Friday to see what others have been up to!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lagniappe–September 11, 2011


Highlights of our week:

  • I had a migraine Wednesday night through early Friday morning.  It did calm down enough to let me go to Open Stitch Night at The Knitting Nest.
  • Wild Man doesn’t have to turn his palate expander each night.  Now he has a rubber band that he puts in for 14 hours a day.
  • Rosie Girl had her first piano lesson on Thursday night.  Unfortunately, they didn’t have enough kids to run the music composition and arranging class.
  • This was our third week that The Knitting Nest has been open, so PWM made chocolate milkshakes for us all last night.  Yummmmmm!
  • LSU and the Packers both won this week!! 
  • It has been nice enough weather here that I walked about 1/2 a mile to a friend’s house to knit with her on Friday and walked to and from the shop yesterday.
  • The nice thing about opening a yarn shop with the hubby as the main “business person” is that I get lots of time for knitting!  Lots of yarn shop owners on Ravelry say that they don’t have time for knitting or crochet because of the shop responsibilities.  PWM does most of the business stuff (although I help when I can), giving me the luxury of knitting.  Mostly, I’m working on shop models, but I try to choose things that I’d like to have or give away eventually.
  • I’m reading The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis again.  Excellent book!
  • We watched the first half of The Return of the King (from the Lord of the Rings trilogy) with cast commentary this afternoon.
  • This evening, we watched a Lifetime Movie Network movie about JK Rowling which was quite good and very interesting.  I think this has to be one of the very few times that we’ve watched anything on LMN.

Make sure to check out The Knitting Nest blog for details about how the shop is going.  Anything exciting going on in your neck of the woods?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Our Week In Review–September 11, 2011



Week 2 of the 2011-2012 school year is done.  Overall, I’m pleased with how things are going.  I’m sure we’ll be making some changes over the next few weeks. though.


Rosie Girl

  • I’m really missing being with Rosie Girl most of each day.  PWM, Wild Man and I spend most of each day at the shop but Rosie Girl spends most of her day at home.  She says that it’s working fine for her.  She does her schoolwork early in the day and emails me her journaling page when she’s done.  I’m very proud that she’s being diligent about getting her work done before doing her “fun stuff”.
  • History/Social Sciences – She got her new copy of A Visual History of the Twentieth Century on Friday so she had to do her full week’s reading in one day.
  • Bible – She’s reading the book of Matthew.
  • Literature – She’s read The Great Brain and Heart of Darkness.
  • Writing – She chose to write a compare and contrast essay about The Great Brain and Tom Sawyer.
  • Math – ALEKS Algebra 2.  She’s spending more time on math this year so that she doesn’t have to finish it during the summer.
  • Science – Can I just say how pleased I am that Rosie Girl is engaging the idea of learning the science of music.  This semester she’s learning about how music affects the brain.
  • Music – In addition to her piano lessons, she’s documenting her practice of guitar, clarinet, and ocarina.
  • Art – The public school art class seems to be going pretty well.


Wild Man

  • Wild Man still needs a fair amount of direction, so he does most of his work at the shop.  I wasn’t there much on Thursday or Friday because of a migraine, so he didn’t get as much work done.  We need to work on that.
  • History/Social Sciences/Natural Sciences – Wild Man is reading through his Warrior and Weapon books.  After he reads some in the beginning of the books, he usually reads some in the back of Weapon about modern weapons.
  • Bible – He’s doing a read-through of “highlights” of the Bible.
  • Reading – He’s enjoyed The Roman Ransom.
  • Writing – We watched the IEW section on story outlining and writing.  This week I’ll have him do a story outline and rewrite the story.
  • Math – more ALEKS
  • Music – Between Band class, private drum lessons, and playing with the youth band, he’s got lots of music in his life!!
  • Spelling – This is probably Wild Man’s most difficult subject, but we keep pressing on.


How was your week?  Check out Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see what others have been up to!


Friday, September 09, 2011


Entropy: The tendency of a closed system toward disorder.


My college roommate and I put a sign on our door one year that read “Entropy at work: Enter at your own risk!”  Yes, we were geeks.  The idea of entropy is that a system will become disordered over time without the input of energy.  In the case of our dorm room, the room became a disaster (disordered) unless we put in some energy (in the form of cleaning up).

I’m feeling entropy in my life right now.  I have too many things to maintain for the amount of energy I have to put into them.  I just cleared a bunch of blogs from my blog reader, realizing that there are quite a few that I never actually read, and some that I shouldn’t expend the time or energy to read.  I spend too much time doing things that are not important to me that leave me with less time to do what is important.  I’m again asking God, “What do you want me to do?  Where is my ministry?  How do I serve you – and others – between headaches?  And, by the way, you are welcome to take the headaches away at any time!”

In the next few days, I will probably post some more of my thoughts on how to deal with entropy in various parts of my life and where to spend my limited resources.

Any thoughts?? 

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

A Good Day

Today was a really, really good day at The Knitting Nest.  I try to spend as much of each day up there as I can, but I’ve had so many headaches in the last few weeks that it’s been difficult.  PWM is completely capable of doing everything that needs to be done, but I like being there.  Yes, I LOVE being around all that wonderful yarn!  But, I also enjoy hanging out with PWM.  Wild Man is usually up at the shop when I’m there because he needs some supervision with his schoolwork.  I’m a little bummed out that Rosie Girl spends most of her day by herself here at home.  I do hope that she’ll come to the shop after school sometimes – she takes an 8th hour Art class, so she could walk to the shop from school.

Why was today such a good day?  Well, it helped that we had three customers who made purchases as well as a couple of people who just came in to check out the shop.  What really made my day, though, was that I got to help a customer on a project.  She came in with her pattern and the 5 rows that she’d already done, but was having trouble with having too many or too few stitches at the end of each round.  The problem itself wasn’t difficult (although unknitting angora can get a bit tricky), but I enjoyed figuring out the best solution to her problem.  When I was done, I showed her the changes I had made and did a couple of pattern repeats to show her.  She then did a couple of pattern repeats.  And then she hugged me!  What was a somewhat tricky problem to sort out for me really made her day.  I think we have a loyal customer now!

When I was working as a family doctor, hugs were not uncommon.  I hugged little kids who were coming in for physicals.  I hugged elderly people who just didn’t get out much.  I hugged and cried with women who had a pregnancy loss.  I hugged families, whether it was a good occasion or a bad one.  I guess I’m just a “huggy” kind of person!  (We hug a lot in our house.  It’s not unusual for the 13 year old or the 16 year old to walk up to me or PWM and say, “I need a hug.”  And we’re happy to oblige.)

Not everyone wants hugs or to be touched.  People have different personal space needs.  But, today I realized that I’ve been missing these kinds of encounters.  I like being able to help people – whether it’s getting their cholesterol under control when I was working as a family doc or teaching them a new knitting technique.  And I’m finding that these interactions with people in a yarn shop can be (are) as important as when I was working as a family doctor.  Yes, I hope we can meet people’s crafting needs, but I also want to help meet their emotional and spiritual needs.

And these contacts with people are also helping meet my own emotional needs.  I have become so isolated because of the headaches, that I didn’t really notice how much I missed being with people.  Nowadays, I prefer smaller groups of people and tend to avoid places with lots of noise.  However, I’m still an extrovert and being with people is generally uplifting for me.

I’m learning how to balance my need for interaction and physical touch (being a natural extrovert) with my need for solitude and quiet (which helps me relax and keeps me grounded).  Even more than meeting my own need to be around people, the yarn shop provides me and PWM a way to minister to our community in a very practical way.

It was a really good day today.  Here’s praying for many more to come!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Our Week In Review–September 3, 2011


It’s “Back To School” week here at the Martin School of Joy!!  We started on Monday, while the public schools started on Thursday.  Overall it was a good week, and we only have a few kinks left to work out.

Rosie Girl

  • Bible – She is reading through the New Testament and journaling as she goes.  Right now she’s in Matthew.
  • History/Social Sciences – Core 300 is looking to be pretty interesting.  The one issue that we had is that one of her books (A Visual History of the Modern World) had some pages missing and others duplicated.  Sonlight is sending us a new copy.  We’ve never had any issues with Sonlight, but this year, both of Rosie Girl’s primary history books had problems, one of which might have been an Sonlight issue, while the other was definitely a publishing issue.  In any case, they made the return process very simple and Rosie Girl should have her new book next week.  Rosie Girl is enjoying this Core so far.
  • Literature – Rosie Girl questioned why they had The Great Brain in Core 300 because she thought it was a little “easy”.  I reminded her, though, that she’s going to be reading a lot of “heavy” stuff this year in history and literature.  The 20th century was the most brutal and bloody in history.  Books like The Great Brain are scattered through the Core, not just because they’re good books, but also to provide a little break from all the bad stuff of the 20th century.
  • Writing – In the second quarter, Rosie Girl will take a research paper writing workshop through WriteAtHome in conjunction with her self-directed science course.  Otherwise, I’ve scheduled an essay per week from her, rotating through History, Literature, and Bible.  Next week, she starts with a paper about The Great Brain.  She will also choose which paper she wants to also present as a speech.
  • Science – Honestly, I’ve been a little concerned in the last month how a self-directed science course might work with Rosie Girl, but I’m pleasantly surprised so far.  She is reading a book about how music affects the brain and watched a PBS show about the same topic.  She is thinking that she will do her research paper on something to do with music’s effect on the brain.  Then she wants to do a second semester project using her computer, keyboard, clarinet, guitar, and ocarina in some combination that explores the physics of music.  She’s also excited because I agreed that we would get her the microphone that she needs for second semester if her research paper effort was up to par.
  • Math – Rosie Girl is starting Algebra 2 in ALEKS.  She was very bummed out that her assessment score was very low, but she’s never had Algebra 2, so it’s supposed to be low!!  After this  year, she’s not going to be taking trigonometry as originally planned, but will do a semester of personal finance and a semester of statistics (not AP). 
  • Piano – Lessons start next week, but she is still doing some work from her summer lessons.
  • Community Service – She hasn’t worked at church in the last two weeks, but now that she knows her schedule, she’ll set up times with our Worship Arts Director.
  • Art – This course is taken at the public school.  There is a new teacher this year and Rosie Girl thinks she’ll like him.
  • Japanese – Rosie Girl turned in her last assignment of Semester 1, so she needs to take the final.  This year, she needs to get her semester’s work done in a semester, not a year.
  • Other Music – Rosie Girl has been singing and playing guitar lately – and she’s really good!  She continues to play ocarina.  She’s also practicing clarinet so that she can perhaps have clarinet as her second instrument in college.

Wild Man

  • Wild Man does his schoolwork up at the shop.  He needs reminders to stay focused, etc.
  • Bible – Wild Man is doing a “tour” of the whole Bible.  So far, so good.
  • History/Social Science – He is reading through Weapon and Warrior.  Not only does he tell me about what he is learning, but he journals a few sentences each day.  He’s not fond of journaling, but he needs to get used to writing.  And I usually am around to spell things for him, but when I’m not going to be available, I tell him to guess at the spelling and we’ll check it later.
  • Science – Wild Man is learning a good bit of science from his Weapon and Warrior books, but  I also will have him reading some about the human body.  That will provide a nice basis for understanding how bullets affect the body, etc.
  • Math – He’s working in ALEKS Middle School Year 3.  He’s realizing that he needs to know his math facts better, so he’s been asking me to help him.  He conceptually understands math very well, but still needs to practice his multiplication tables. 
  • Writing – Wild Man’s main source of writing at the moment is his journaling.  Mondays are our days at home since the shop is closed, so I plan to do some work from Institute for Excellence in Writing with him once a week.  We’re going to start this year with outlining.
  • Spelling – I’m still using SpellingCity as a resource this year, but I noticed that Wild Man does better when I drill him than when the computer does.  I’m trying hard not to give feedback until we’ve done the  entire list, but he still spells better working with me.  Hmmmm.  We are still in Book 3 of All About Spelling.  In addition to learning the spelling rules and how to spell the words, I’m also dictating lots of sentences to get him used to writing.
  • Typing – This  is new for Wild Man.  I think we’ll be using TypingMaster.  In any case, he definitely needs some typing practice.
  • Grammar – He is continuing in Easy Grammar 5.  He’s able to be more independent these days, which makes me very happy.
  • Community Service – Still helping at the Senior Nutrition Site.
  • Drums/Percussion – He takes Band at the middle school and plays  percussion.  They have a new band director, and Wild Man likes her.  He will be starting back with his drum lessons (with our Minister to Students) in the next week or two.  He’s also playing drum kit and percussion in our church’s youth band.  They also split into middle school and high school groups every week; when they do that, Wild Man plays bass guitar.
  • Literature – I’m pulling books from previous Cores for him to read this year along with some library books.  Our read alouds are going to be alternating apologetics with novels.

Both kids are also helping out at the shop when we need it, although we haven’t needed much help since we opened now that the yarns are priced and  put out on display.  But, I’m sure there will be more opportunities for them in the future!

Whew!  It looks like more than it is.  Really.  Now  I need to get the books off the dining room floor and find them homes on the school bookshelf (which is already full, even after  I weeded out the books a few months ago).  But, I have a migraine today, so I’ll  just  knit.

How did your week go? See what others have been up to at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers!

Friday, September 02, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday–September 2, 2011


It’s Friday again!  Funny how it keeps happening every seven days. . .

1.  Wild Man has had his palate expander in for a couple of weeks now and there’s a big gap between his two front teeth – almost like when he was a toddler!

2.  The kids have been doing a good job of picking up the slack in the housework with PWM at the shop so much and me either at the shop or having a migraine.  I don’t have chore charts for them anymore, but they have been doing what I ask (usually one big task per day) without complaining (much).

3. Public schools started this week.  Both kids have eighth hour classes.  Rosie Girl is in Art 3 which meets every day.  Wild Man is in 7th and 8th grade band which meets on Tuesday, Thursday, and every other Friday.

4. I’m loving that Rosie Girl can drive.  She can run up to the store to pick something up when we need it.  I had a terrible migraine on Wednesday, so she went to pick up our CSA veggies so PWM could stay in the shop.

5. Rosie Girl has been spending a lot more time practicing guitar these days and she’s glad that I'll give her school credit if she documents it.  My favorite is when she plays and sings “Into The West” from The Lord Of The Rings.  So beautiful.

6. Wild Man has been playing bass guitar lately.  He plays drums or percussion in the church combined youth band, but he plays bass guitar when he plays in the middle school church youth band (which really needs a name).  He and Rosie Girl have even started doing some playing together with her on acoustic guitar and him on bass guitar.

7. A huge storm came through this morning and I didn’t even wake up.  A lot of areas around here lost power, but ours only flickered a couple of times.  Since I use a CPAP machine, the kids called and asked PWM if they should wake me up if the power goes out.  He agreed that they should.  Really, though, I’m betting that I would wake up if my machine quit working.  But, I’m glad they thought of it.

How has your week been?  Anything exciting?  Check out 7 Quick Takes Friday to see what others have been up to!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ministry With Yarn

“What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God…We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow”  Martin Luther

From the first two chapters of Genesis, we see that people are made for work.  In the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam the job of naming the animals and then caring for the garden.  We are not intended to sit around and be lazy.

But, neither can we go to the other extreme and base our identity in our work.  We are saved by faith through grace.  We cannot do anything to merit salvation.  And, while spiritual disciplines are useful as we grow more like Jesus, these works don’t make God love us more.  That’s the problem with the “Protestant Work Ethic” – we think that the harder we work, the more God loves us.  Although I’ve known my whole life that this isn’t true, I’ve certainly acted like it was.  Not only did I try to “work” myself into being loved by God and other people, but I judged other people by what I saw them do.

God’s intention for us is a balance between these two extremes.  We are to work, but also take time to rest.  We are to work, but not become consumed by our work or believe that our efforts make us more acceptable to God.

Another type of wrong thinking that we sometimes find among Christians is the idea that “church” or “Christian” work has more value than “secular” work.  The quote above from Luther supports this.  Everything that we do every day should be in service to the Lord Jesus.  Whether we work for an employer, in our home, or for a church or ministry, we are working for God.  There should be no difference between our work and our church personalities.

Last Tuesday, our family opened The Knitting Nest in our small town.  We are excited by the prospect of selling yarn and helping people become better at knitting and crochet, but we also recognize that any interactions we have with the community are a ministry – it should be a natural outgrowth of our faith.  Because of that, the pastors and elders of our church came by last week to pray over our little shop.  We prayed that it would be financially successful, but mostly that we can be a positive influence in our community.  And we’ll be doing it with yarn!