Monday, April 29, 2013

Grace and Faith


36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

“Tell me, teacher,” he said.

41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[c] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

In the above passage from Luke 7, Jesus is having dinner with one of the Pharisees. The Pharisees were the most learned about the Jewish law and the most careful about keeping every last bit of the law. Unfortunately, some of them had become so focused on the letter of the law, that they had completely lost the spirit of the law (to love each other). Jesus had his harshest words for the Pharisees and other religious leaders of the day.

During (maybe after or even before – the text doesn’t say) the meal, a woman who was apparently known in the town for being a sinner came into the room and began to wash Jesus’ feet with her tears, dry them with her hair, and anoint them with a precious ointment.

Who was this woman? Well, Simon knew enough about her to know that she was a “sinner”. Was she a prostitute? Perhaps. Maybe she was known for dealing unfairly with people in the marketplace. Maybe she had a child without being married. There are all kinds of things that could mark her as being a sinner. And everyone apparently knew she was a sinner. She certainly did. When she came to Jesus, this great teacher, she didn’t come to him for teaching or to talk to him as any kind of social equal. She came in tears. I don’t know for sure, but I would guess that they stem from her knowing her place in that society and how she feels about it.

And then she washed Jesus’ feet. In our culture, this is pretty creepy. At least, it is if you aren’t paying someone for a pedicure. We wear shoes and don’t have perpetually dirty feet. But in that culture, it was the job of a servant to wash someone’s feet. And it must have been especially nice for Jesus to also have a nice smelling ointment on his feet since he walked around all day in the dust.

What really struck me in this passage, though, is that Jesus tells her “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Washing Jesus’ feet was a nice thing, but it’s main effect was to show her faith. She wasn’t forgiven of her sins because she washed Jesus’ feet. She was forgiven because of God’s grace. It was there no matter what. But, this “sinner” woman (like any of us are any better) took hold of that grace through faith. And Jesus knew of her faith. Faith doesn’t just sit inside of us. It comes out somehow. In this case, the woman washed Jesus’ feet – the evidence of her faith. This was her version of accepting that gift of grace.

Every day, we have the chance to act in faith. Grace has already purchased out eternal life, but grace is also making us more holy every minute of every day. Every time that I choose to act in a way that puts others first, I have acted in faith.

My word for this year is Walk. The woman who washed and anointed Jesus’ feet reminds me to walk every day in faith, knowing that God’s grace (unearned favor) is always there. Here is another reminder to get up every day and walk with my savior.

P.S. James 2 has a good discussion on the role of faith and works in the life of a Christian.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Upcoming Graduation!!


Rosie Girl has one more month of school left before she graduates. That is just about impossible for me to believe. It feels like yesterday that she was learning to read. And now, she’s accepted into the college and department that she was hoping for.

Homeschooling was an easy choice for us. Rosie Girl did the 3 year old preschool program just for something to do and to give PWM and Wild Man some time together. It was obvious, though, that she was already academically pretty well established and would be fine without anymore preschool.

I was working as a family doctor with a crazy schedule at the time. I would be on call about every 9th night and then have most of the next day off along with my usual half day off. Homeschooling made sense for us with that kind of schedule. We didn’t want to be bound to the public school schedules if we didn’t have to be.

PWM was the kids’ primary teacher until they were in 3rd and 6th grades – when I got severe headaches and had to quit working. By then, we enjoyed homeschooling. We liked being together as a family, but we also liked the field trips and other activities like dance, piano, and sports that the kids were part of.

When I quit working, we had a serious debate about whether home education was still the best thing for our kids. We never were “afraid” to put our kids in school. We always felt that we would be their primary influence. The question was “what is best for the family right now”. Every year, the answer was to home educate.

Wild Man was diagnosed with dyslexia during 4th grade, which wasn’t surprising. Homeschooling was great for him because we spent a couple of years focusing on him learning to read while I read his other subjects aloud to him. Now, in 9th grade, his only dyslexia symptoms are slow reading and poor spelling.

Both kids have taken classes at the Wegauwega-Fremont Middle School and High School in an attempt to help our family become part of the community. They have enjoyed the classes, but, in discussions, haven’t wanted to be in school full-time.

Homeschooling has given our kids the opportunity to pursue their musical goals in ways that they might not have had time to if they were operating on a school schedule. Rosie Girl is going to study music composition at UWSP starting next year. Wild Man plays percussion in the high school band, but loves playing percussion and various guitars in the church worship band.

Looking back, I can see about a million things that we could have done differently with homeschooling. But, I don’t regret that we continued to homeschool. The kids are both happy and outgoing children. We aren’t caught up in one of the seriously fundamentalist versions of homeschooling that over-shelters children. Our kids have jobs in the community along with friends from the schools.

Rosie Girl has an academically strong record and I think she’ll do OK next year. She has some challenges ahead (deadlines, I’m looking at you). I’m optimistic that she’s up to them. Wild Man has three more years here at home. His needs are quite different than Rosie Girl’s needs were at this time in school, so a lot of things will be different. I’ve also learned a lot. (Rosie Girl, I’m sorry that you were our guinea pig. That’s what happens when you’re the firstborn.)

I’m looking forward to Rosie Girl’s graduation. It’s a big milestone for her, but also for me and PWM. Our first child graduated from our little home school. And she’s going on to bigger and better things!!

And I couldn’t be more proud of her!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday–This Old House Edition


This week’s 7 Quick Takes is dedicated to our “new” house – which is a good 80+ years old!

1. PWM discovered why the bathroom is right beside the front door. It was added after the house was built. Apparently, they originally “made other arrangements” (I assume they used an outhouse). The lower half of the stairway is more narrow than the upper half because they had to take some stair space in order to make the bathroom. So it wasn’t just a design choice.

2. ‘Tis the time of year to change from storm windows to screens. In our last house, this just meant raising the window. In this house, we have to take out the storm windows and put in the screens – at least in the old part of the house. After we figure out which screens go with which windows!

3. Then there is the fact that the windows have been painted shut. PWM spent a good bit of yesterday evening cutting through the paint and then trying to actually open the windows. Some of the windows actually opened.

4. The old part of the house still has knob and tube electrical wiring. So, we’ve had three electricians come in to 004give us estimates on the cost for redoing all the electrical. Yay.

5. I’m about ready for a dishwasher, but we discovered that we need a plumber to come in first and modernize some plumbing behind the current (broken) dishwasher.

6. There’s a basketball hoop and blacktop area in the back yard for Wild Man to shoot hoops.

7. PWM and I have started thinking about what we’re going to do in the cottage to make it a shop. We found out that the building used to be a blacksmith shop! It’s most recent incarnation was a chiropractic office that included a kitchen, so our main goals are to take out the appliances, update the bathroom, and repaint. But it won’t happen overnight.

This house is proving to be a source of adventure and challenge!!

What’s up with you? Check out 7 Quick Takes Friday to see what others are up to!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lagniappe April 23, 2013


For the last 2 weeks, I’ve gone to church on Sunday morning and had terrible migraines on Monday. Related? I really hope not!!

Now that we own our house, I’m ready to put up our pictures!! Yippee!! I was going to do that today except for the previously noted migraine. (By today, I mean “Monday” even though I’m writing at 2am, so it’s really Tuesday. Yeah. Confusing.)

I’m reading a book about Scientology. Wow. Talk about a weird religion.

We have snow in the forecast again this week. I hope there’s no snow on my birthday. In July.

I’ve suddenly become obsessed with the color peacock blue. Why? I have no idea.

Why am I awake at 2am? Because I took 4 long naps today because of the migraine. I usually try not to let me sleep get so off kilter because of headaches, but I was just soooooooo tired with this migraine. Yikes.

I’m currently working on the Traveling Woman shawl using Paton’s Silk Bamboo yarn. I do love silk! I’m also making a baby sweater using some Debbie Macomber Morning Glory Cotton. My job is so hard.

What’s up in your life?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Gospel is Jesus

What is the gospel?

The gospel is not our denomination. It isn’t Evangelicalism. It isn’t Catholicism. It isn’t “do it your self-ism”. The gospel isn’t being Baptist, Methodist, or Lutheran. The gospel isn’t even being part of The Evangelical Free Church in America.

The gospel is not what we do. It is not reading the Bible every day. It is not praying The Daily Office. It is not memorizing scripture. It is not doing church activities. It is not even helping the poor and fighting for justice.

The gospel is not Young-Earth Creationism. The gospel is not Theistic Evolutionism.

The gospel is not complementarianism. The gospel is not patriarchy. The gospel is not even egalitarianism.

The gospel is Jesus.

The gospel is the good, old-fashioned, soterian gospel of “asking Jesus into your heart” that I grew up with in the Southern Baptist churches of my childhood. It’s going to heaven after death.

The gospel is more than that, though. The gospel is Jesus, all the time. The gospel is the kingdom of God, ushered in by Jesus. We are living out the gospel every day that we walk with Jesus.

The gospel isn’t our denomination, but our denomination gives us a place to live out the gospel with other believers.

The gospel isn’t what we do, but we act the way we do because we walk with Jesus.

The gospel isn’t what we believe about origins, but our faith in Jesus allows us to discuss our theology with others without rancor.

The gospel isn’t what we believe about hierarchical or egalitarian relationships, but it informs all of our relationships.

The gospel is Jesus. Jesus is the gospel.

Friday, April 19, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday–April 19, 2013



1. First up today, we sold one house and bought another today!! The closing on the house we were selling was at 9am and the closing for the one we were buying was at 10am. There was a little last minute flurry of paperwork because some of the paperwork we signed yesterday had The Knitting Nest instead of our personal names on it, but it all got straightened out and we now own the house in which we live, along with the garage and cottage!!

2. We went out to eat at a local bar and grill and got to watch the news of the capture of the second suspect of the Boston Marathon bombing. Way to go, law enforcement. So sad that it ever happened at all.

3. Before we moved up to Wisconsin, probably 19 or 20 years ago, there was a train derailment here in Weyauwega that required the evacuation of the entire town because of the hazardous material on the train cars. Because of the similarity to the situation in West, TX and that town being evacuated, there was a TV reporter here in town yesterday looking for people who had lived here in town during that time and had to evacuate. He asked PWM if he lived here that long ago, but we still lived in KY at the time. No brush with fame this time . . .

4. Now that we own our house, we get to have the electrical system almost completely redone! The kitchen electrical is relatively modern, but everything else is positively ancient. An electrician came in yesterday and took a look, so we should be getting a quote soon.

5. I finished watching all 100 episodes of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries!! Yes, this was an excellent use of my time. And when I figure out how, I’ll let you know.

6. I’m not doing so well on the audiobook front. I just downloaded Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince because I can’t find any new books that look interesting. I’ve had two that I stopped halfway through. Any ideas?

7. I’m having a craving for chocolate and salted caramel. I think I may make some brownies with a salted caramel topping or stripe. That requires cleaning the kitchen first, though, so it will have to wait till tomorrow.

What’s up with you? Check out 7 Quick Takes Friday  (hosted at Camp Patton again) to see what others are up to!!

Sassy Hijacks My Blog

003So, Sophie let me into Mama’s blog tonight. Cool, huh?

What do I want to talk about? Ummmm. Food. food. food. food. And cuddles, cuddles, and more cuddles.

My favorite two people are Daddy and Wild Man. I like how they smell. And sometimes they give me cuddles. Wild Man brushes me, too.

I like Silver, but not so much Sophie. Sophie doesn’t groom me or Silver. And when she plays, she plays to hurt us! Silver and I just play because we’re bored.

Sometimes, when the whole family is gone, a really nice lady comes over and gives us cuddles, but mostly gives us wet, gushy food. I really like her!!!

Food and cuddles, food and cuddles, food and cuddles.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

So It Was Good That I Planned

I woke up yesterday morning with a rip-roaring migraine. I sat down at the table with my Imitrex and PWM read to me a Facebook message that a dear friend of mine had tried to commit suicide the night before (Sunday night). After a nice, long cry, I took my Imitrex. Which didn’t seem to help much.

1402975075The good thing about the day was that I had planned out Wild Man’s schoolwork, so he could just do what he needed without much input from me. It was also good that I had planned out meals and made a grocery list, so PWM went grocery shopping. I wasn’t up to making the meatloaf like I planned, so Rosie Girl ended up making some delicious Chicken-Asparagus Soup. Yum!! But, I now have the ingredients for the rest of the week.

I was feeling better today, so I took the laundry to the laundromat and got it all started, but then my headache came back just as bad as yesterday. PWM, Wild Man, and Rosie Girl all worked to get the clothes done while keeping the shop open, so I could come home and take my Imitrex and sleep the rest of the day. ACK!

As far as I know, Wild Man kept up with his schoolwork today since he had his list. And the three of them worked together to get the kitchen cleaned.

My friend is in the hospital and doing better. I got to chat with her on the computer a little bit tonight and am feeling more optimistic about her situation.

And I have no fixed engagements for tomorrow. I’m just praying that I get through with minimal headache. It’s seriously time for the Botox to kick in.

How have things been in your part of the world?

Monday, April 15, 2013



2383229392Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

I Peter 4:8



That’s all I have to say today.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Preach It, Brother!

30 or 31 years ago, I went on a summer mission trip to the Bronx, New York, New York with our church’s youth choir. Our activities for the week included teaching Vacation Bible School at a couple of locations throughout the Bronx, performing our musical in a number of venues, and doing a little sightseeing.

On our first full day, a Sunday, we worshiped at Bronx Baptist Church. We had stayed Saturday night at the YMCA in Manhattan and had pastries from street vendors for breakfast. The church building wasn’t very large and was unair-conditioned. There were open windows, but there was only about a foot between the church building and the next door building on one side. Otherwise, it was a rather pretty and traditional church.

Our choir sang a couple of songs. We did a toned-down version of our choreography because, of course, it was Sunday morning. We needn’t have worried about the choreography. There were a couple of groups that sang after us that danced with far more energy than we were at all used to on a Sunday morning in our very suburban, very “white” church at home!

Our youth pastor, Richard, preached the message that Sunday morning. By the time he started, it was already getting late because of all the music that we’d had. Not only that, but we were quite warm and getting hungry. Richard started preaching and about the time he hit his stride, the congregation started “helping”. The men tended to say things like “Preach it, Brother!” and “Go on!”, while the ladies said, “Yes”, and “Oh, Lord!”

Unfortunately, we choir members weren’t feeling so spiritual. At least, I wasn’t. I was hot and hungry. And the congregation members kept yelling, “Preach it!” And Richard kept preaching! They said, “Go on”, and he went on! I wanted to stand up and yell, “Stop preaching – we’re hungry!”

Of course, being the well-behaved church girl that I was, I did no such thing. But, I was incredibly relieved when we were allowed to go downstairs to the fellowship hall for a delicious homemade spaghetti lunch!! And we went on to have a great week.


P.S. This is the only time I remember wanting Richard to quit preaching! He really is a very good speaker and I enjoyed my years being in youth group.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Our Week In Review–April 13, 2013


This was one of those weeks when we didn’t stick to much of a schedule, but lots of learning got done anyway.

Wild Man

History/Social Science – Early 20th century, unions, settlement houses, Woodrow Wilson, beginning of WWI.

Science – We watched a NOVA episode on the elements which was surprisingly comprehensive as well as entertaining.

Literature – He is reading To Kill A Mockingbird.

Math – Probability, fractions, percentages, decimals

Test Preparation – This was the interesting part of the week. PWM and I have been concerned that Wild Man isn’t a great test taker, so I had him take practice ACT English, Reading, and Science tests. His scores on all of them were in the mid to high 20s!! I didn’t have him take a Math test since he’s only in Algebra 1. Overall, I’m quite pleased. He may have some time issues, so we’ll practice that over the next year, but he is a pretty good test-taker. Yippee!!

Music – The high school music department went to see The Lion King at the PAC on Tuesday night. PWM and Rosie Girl had tickets for the same night, so everyone except me got to go (which was OK since I had a headache). Wild Man also played for the opening worship service of the Forest Lakes District Conference Meeting which was held at our church this weekend. The high school band was supposed to play that night at the Timber Rattlers baseball game, but the game was canceled due to snow.

Rosie Girl

Life Skills – This week was exciting for Rosie Girl because she bought her car! She and PWM found the car on Monday and brought it to a mechanic on Wednesday to be checked out. They went back Friday to pay for it (after it had the window tinting removed) and do all the paperwork. And it is now hers!! And she is thrilled!!

Literature – She is reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.

Psychology – Enjoying her reading about cognition.

Japanese – Still working on Rosetta Stone

Math – More ALEKS.

Music – Practicing for her recital

Dance – She missed her tap class and assisting with tap and ballet because of bad weather this week. Ick.

Maybe we didn’t get all the boxes checked like I’d normally like, but there was definitely some educating going on!

Check out Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see what others have been doing.

And let me know what you’ve been up to!

Friday, April 12, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday–April 12, 2013


1. Rosie Girl has a car!! She and PWM went to the used car dealership this morning and signed  the papers and wrote the check. Talk about one happy girl!

2. I have discovered The Lizzie Bennet Diaries on YouTube. I’m on episode 30 of 100. If you don’t hear from me for a while, you know why . . .

3. I’m on to my next knitting project – a baby cardigan out of Debbie Macomber Morning Glory cotton. Don’t get any ideas – it’s a model for the shop.

4. We actually have all of our furniture in the house! The living room is all put together except for pictures on the walls. And PWM and I actually have a bedroom with real furniture – only because Wild Man doesn’t want his dresser because his room is so small, but I’ll take what I can get!

5. It’s April 12th and we got an inch of snow today. And snow forecast for Monday. The robins walking through the snow did NOT look happy.

6. Did you see last night’s Project Runway? I’m excited that Patricia is going to the finale – I can’t wait to see what she comes up with! (And the others, too, but I really like Patricia’s work.)

7. Another advantage to having all of our furniture in the living room is that we have our lamps! The room is nice and bright with all the lights turned on!! Which is so important since we haven’t seen the sun in over a week!

Remember to pray for the Fulwiler family with their new baby in the NICU. Which reminds me of the fact that 7 Quick Takes is hosted this week at Camp Patton, so go check out what others are up to over there!

Finding the Homeschooling Balance

A few days ago, I came across a site called Homeschoolers Anonymous that is devoted to sharing the stories of homeschooled students (and some pare7893434578nts) who were involved in abusive or strictly fundamentalist homeschooling and the negative effects that this homeschooling environment had on them. It is truly appalling to read. Some of the stories were about abusive home environments – that might have been abusive with or without home education. Other former students wrote about a life that was very restricted and constrained where they had a limited social environment and little exposure to competing ideas about religion, history, science, or worldview. In all cases, these former students regret being homeschooled.

Obviously, this gives me, as a homeschooling parent, pause. Will my children have the same feelings when they are young adults? Will they look back at their education and feel like they were exposed to a limited set of ideas? Will they feel like they were not allowed to explore their own feelings or have their own interests?

Over the years, I’ve seen the fundamentalist homeschool movement grow in prominence. This is the movement associated with ATI, Bill Gothard, Vision Forum, the Quiverfull movement, Bob Jones, Answers in Genesis, David Barton, and more. And it has concerned me. I actually know very few people who are immersed in this kind of overall fundamentalist lifestyle, although some of my friends do use some of the curricula noted above. I’ve seen, though, that a number of Christian state homeschool conventions have become very influenced by this fundamentalist strain of Christianity. Several years ago, in Colorado, Sonlight was disinvited to be a vendor at the Christian homeschooling convention because it was considered too “liberal” or “not Christian enough” by the Christian homeschooling group that put on the convention.

I’m particularly concerned about young women in some of these groups. Some groups teach that women don’t need higher education. Some teach that young women must live in their parents’ home until they are married, when they move into their husbands’ home. Not only are these young women taught that they have only one role in life, but it is then enforced upon them, even when they are old enough that they should be able to leave the family home and be independent.

While we have this excessive sheltering going on in one part of society, we have the opposite in other parts of society.  Melissa Harris-Perry commented on MSNBC that we need to get away from the notion that kids belong to their parents so that society will have the idea that the kids belong to the community and then the community will make better investments. This isn’t a new idea. There are people who think that children should be in public school because parents can’t be trusted to teach them and because the needs of the state rank higher than those of the individual.

The thing is that kids don’t “belong” to anyone. They are placed in families by God to be raised until adulthood. But, the families are part of larger families and communities that need to work together to raise educated young adults of character.

4873961061I’m a big fan of homeschooling when it is done well. Home education is great because kids can be exposed to MORE people and MORE ideas, not fewer! Homeschooled kids should be part of the larger community, not kept away from it. And there’s certainly no need for kids to be in a public school to get a good education and exposure to people and ideas.

How have we found a balance? Here are some of the things that we’ve done (besides all the church stuff – ‘cause we’ve done LOTS of that).

Community sports – mostly when the kids were young because they’re not very sports minded now.


Tae Kwon Do

Volunteer at senior lunches and at nursing home

Classes at the high school

Discussing other ideas than what the curriculum presents, watching TV shows that present other views

Courses like World Religions

Making friends with families that have nothing to do with church or homeschooling. Not living in a little box (I hope).

Encouraging the kids to be more independent as they get older – get jobs, do their own laundry, start to buy their own clothes, get bank accounts, etc.

Does it work? I don’t know. My kids say they like being homeschooled, but they haven’t gone off to college yet. PWM and I do the best that we can. We see the problems with the fundamentalist homeschooling lifestyle and try to avoid it. We also see the problems with the idea that our kids belong to the state and encourage our political leaders to maintain our homeschooling freedoms. Thankfully, the majority of home educators are reasonable parents and not part of the fundamentalist stream. The evidence suggests that our kids will be just fine.

How do you find a balance in homeschooling? How do you keep the family primary but still be part of the larger community? And, how do you become part of the community that’s not the church?


Tuesday, April 09, 2013

The Crazy Time Ahead

In the last few years, I’ve become adamant about the importance of rest and downtime for our whole family. The kids are involved in a number of activities, but it doesn’t often get overwhelming because they’re homeschooled.

BUT, the last two months have been pretty psycho with getting moved into our new house (and we still have some stuff to get out of the old house by next weekend) AND the next three months look to be even more busy for all four of us! I’m trying to figure how to “schedule” in some free time. Even our Mondays, when the shop is closed, have become busy!


We have to finish moving out of the East Main house and into the West Main house. We close on both houses on April 19th – an hour apart at the same title company!

Rosie Girl is in the process of buying a car with money mostly from her grandparents. She’s found a car she likes and is having a mechanic look at it. If it is THE one, it stays at the used car dealer for a few days to have the window tinting removed, but then it’s hers!!

Wild Man has a band concert sometime during the month.

Schoolwork. ‘Nuff said.


Wild Man turns 15 at the beginning of the month!! Thankfully, all he wants for a celebration is to go out to eat and to a movie with friends. I think I can handle that.

Rosie Girl has her senior piano recital in the middle of the month. She and one other girl will be performing. They will each do four or five piano pieces. As a special treat, they will be performing the piece that Rosie Girl composed last summer at music camp – Rosie Girl on ocarina and the other girl on piano!

Rosie Girl and PWM will drive to Georgia to pick up a car from my brother sometime during the month (I think). Hopefully, they can do a quick Saturday – Monday trip.

During this month, PWM and I get to start looking at the cottage behind the house and deciding what needs to be done to turn it into a yarn shop.

The last week of May is the week before dance recital which means that Rosie Girl will have lots of rehearsals – stage and dress rehearsals.

Finish schoolwork.


The first weekend of June is the dance recital. This year, there are four shows divided over two days. Rosie Girl is a helper with a ballet class and a tap class and will be performing with her tap class, with the instructors for their dance, in the daddy-daughter dance, and do her senior piece (a tap piece to Dr. Who theme music). She’s looking forward to it, though – it’s her last dance recital of high school.

The next weekend will be Rosie Girl’s high school graduation/birthday party! And the grandparents are coming! Rosie Girl doesn’t want a “graduation ceremony”, although she does want a mortar board graduation hat to wear during the party.

And a week later, Grandma and the kids leave on their trip to Ireland! The day that they leave is the start of Fiber Rain, a community fiber/yarn project in downtown Appleton in which The Knitting Nest is participating!

And, we’ll still be working on the yarn shop!


The first week of July is when we go to Family Camp – and we are going to need it! I may very well sit on a swing out by the lake for the entire week. And perhaps even refuse to come home.

If I seem a bit frazzled over the next few months, this is why. But, with some planning, I hope we can have some rest and relaxation so we get maximal enjoyment out of these activities! And I’ll make sure to get in some extra time for reading, prayer, and meditation. And pray that the Botox helps the headaches.

How do you stay sane when life gets busy?

Planning–And the Lack Thereof

Yesterday was confirmation of my need to plan ahead. Or maybe it was a demonstration of the importance of being flexible.

I woke up with a bad headache yesterday but still went to the neurologist office and got my Botox treatment. Unfortunately, Botox is more painful when my head already hurts! Ack!

I came home and went back to bed for a couple of hours while Wild Man went to band and Rosie Girl and PWM went car shopping.

Since I still felt rotten and not like organizing Wild Man’s schoolwork after my nap, he and I watched a NOVA program on the elements. Actually, this was probably one of the best science activities we’ve done. It required no effort on my part, and Wild Man enjoyed it and learned a good bit. It didn’t hurt that there were lots of explosions.

I did manage to make some dinner and straighten the living room because some friends came over last night to watch Les Miserables with us. And, yes, on the third watching, it is still one of my favorite movies.

And I woke up today with the headache still going strong. Wild Man gets to do lots of math with PWM and read To Kill a Mockingbird. Maybe I’ll sort out the rest of his work later today. Or maybe not.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Looking At The Week Ahead–April 7, 2013


I’m not very good these days at planning for the next week. I haven’t quite gotten the hang of planning flexibly so that I’m not completely thrown off course by the inevitable migraine or two. Tonight, though, I’m having to plan at least a bit because I have a Botox appointment bright and early in the morning.

So, tomorrow morning is my Botox appointment. Since I haven’t been proactive enough to get a school schedule ready for Wild Man, I guess I’ll do that when I get home from the neurologist. The weather isn’t supposed to be too bad, so PWM and Rosie Girl will probably go car shopping (more on that in another post) after I get home in the van.

PWM got a bunch of strong guys to help move the rest of our big stuff out of the old house. Yay, we have a sofa!! Boo, the school room is full of stuff again!! I’ll spend some time this week putting things away and probably get the pictures up on the wall.

I’m have Wild Man take his first practice ACT tests this week! I’ve been very glad that the state doesn’t require that we test our kids. Standardized tests are a very poor indicator of anything except subsequent school performance (i.e. more tests). Rosie Girl is naturally a good test taker. I’m not sure about Wild Man. I’m concerned he may need more practice because of his dyslexia. He can read and understand things and do math problems, but I’ve seen him switch digits in his head before he writes them down. I wonder if he will have trouble getting the correct answer from his head onto the bubble sheet. Well, we’ll start to find out this week.

I should finish the pair of socks I’m working on within a day or two. Then, Rosie Girl and I need to choose a pattern for the messenger bag I’ve promised to make for her to take to college.

Having all the big stuff moved over here means that the piano is here!! I cleaned a ton of dust and pollen off the keys. Not only has it been in the empty house for several weeks, but Rosie Girl generally practices on her keyboard. Now I need to get it tuned. Not only does it sound out of tune, but I know that it doesn’t like to be moved.

But, first, time to watch “Chopped” and then get a good night’s rest.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Our Week In Review–April 6, 2013


These blog posts are helpful because they remind me that my kids are learning things even when it didn’t feel like it so much during the week.

Wild Man

History – Late 19th century, Gilded Age, Unions. I forgot to give him comprehension questions this week, but we had a nice discussion that made it clear that he has been reading and understanding the significance of the events.

Literature – Out of the Dust.

Bible – BibleMesh. He’s learning about the early years of the church and the book of Acts. Good stuff.

Science – Oceans, currents, reefs.

Grammar – nouns, plural nouns

Writing – Wrote a book review on Artemis Fowl

Math – Assessment this week.

Music – Band (going to see The Lion King at the PAC next week), playing electric guitar in Sunday morning church, leading youth band.

Rosie Girl

Social Science – Reading her Psychology books. She wasn’t thrilled with the sections about research and the scientific method, but is happier with the section on cognition.

Literature – Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass

Japanese – More Rosetta Stone

Math – Lots and lots of functions, parabolas

Music – Practicing piano for her recital.

Dance – Taught a tap class this week!! Otherwise, continuing to take tap and assist in ballet. She’s planning to start choreographing her senior piece next week.


This does make me feel a little better. They are learning things. Deep sigh.

What has your school week looked like? See what others are up to at Weird, Unsocialized Homschoolers!


7 Quick Takes Friday–um, Saturday April 6, 2013


I’m writing with a migraine today which means I’ll be either really depressing or really silly. Let’s see what comes out.

1. My parents were beyond apologetic that they forgot to send the chocolate Easter bunnies this year. We were actually OK with it – we didn’t have any Easter candy. But, my parents, being who they are, sent the bunnies this week. Wild Man’s became decapitated when he dropped it, but he said that just made eating it more humane instead of slowly munching off the ears like I did. Ick.

2. We weren’t completely without sweets this week. I made a chocolate pound cake on Monday. That stuck to the bottom of the pan. I should have taken a picture because that poor cake looked so sad. But it tasted good.

3. And I made a caramel sauce to go with it. But, the caramel seized up halfway through and I had to strain out the hard candied bits. Again, though, it tasted good.

4. I did clothes at the laundromat this week because it would be faster than trying to get them all done at the old house one. load. at. a. time. Indeed, the laundromat was faster – 2 triple load washers and 2 extra large load washers full of clothes. And, it was sociable. I talked with the owner, who also uses Sonlight for homeschooling, as well as a couple of other customers. It was . . . dare I say it? . . . fun! (But tiring. All. those. clothes.)

5. The state of Florida was discovered by Europeans 500 years ago as of April 2nd. This is interesting to me because I lived in South Florida till I was 18.

6. I woke up today to see an inch of snow on the ground (which may help explain the migraine). Talk about depressing. But, it’s 2pm and it’s already melted. Maybe spring will get here after all.

7. The Knitting Nest is on Pinterest! So, check out our boards. Mostly, though, this is a reason for me to spend more time on Pinterest!!

So, what’s up with you!

Check out Conversion Diary to see what others are doing these days!

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

What I’m Into–April 2013



Shadow of the Titanic – I recently finished The Dressmaker, which is about some of the survivors of the Titanic. Now I’m fascinated by the story of the Titanic and have been reading about it online as well as picking up this book at the library.

Bonhoeffer – This is a huge book that I read a bit and then get side-tracked and come back to a few months later, etc. I’ve actually been reading it a bit more regularly over the last few weeks.

The Painted Girls – on my ipod and I just started listening to it.

I’ll be posting book reviews soon.


Since we don’t have Rhapsody, I listen to music that we own or to Pandora. But, I bought the Les Miserables movie soundtrack and have been listening to that over the last week. I just LOVE that music.

Movies and TV

We’ve watched several movies lately – Despicable Me, Wreck-It Ralph, Les Miserables, and The Life of Pi. Some friends are coming over to watch Les Mis with us again. (Am I a bit obsessed, or what?!)

Rosie Girl is really into Dr. Who. I’m the only one in the family who doesn’t really enjoy it, but I’m trying to watch the current season with them. The season opener was quite good. And I like the current Doctor.

I watched tonight’s episode of Spies of Warsaw and I think I might really enjoy this series. And for more than just having David Tennant in it. It took a good 30-45 minutes for me to figure out the characters (especially since so many of the French have British accents – what?) but now it’s really interesting.


I’m working on my Fellowship socks (a pattern based on Fellowship of the Ring from Lord of the Rings) most of the time.

I started a cotton sweater last spring and I’m still less than halfway up the back.

One of the things I need to start soon is a messenger bag for Rosie Girl for when she goes to college. I have found a couple of possible patterns. She wants it done in wool and felted.

What are you up to these days??

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Falling from Grace


I got the Les Miserables soundtrack for my ipod last week, so I’ve been obsessively listening to it. What wonderful music!

In the song “Stars”, Javert uses the phrase “falling from grace”. For some reason, when I heard it a few days ago, it struck me how wrong that phrase is. I know it’s an idiom and I know what it means in the song, but the words literally just don’t make sense.

You CAN’T fall from grace. That’s the whole point of grace!! We got what we don’t deserve. Specifically, in the case of God’s grace, you can’t do anything to negate grace. It’s always there. That’s why it’s grace and not works.

Just my random thought for the day.