Thursday, May 31, 2007

Guilty Pleasures

I LOVE fiction! I also have incredible guilt about enjoying it as much as I do, and feel the need to justify every adventure I take in a good (or not so good) piece of fiction.

I also LOVE walking through the stacks at my library. I love running my fingers down the spines of the books, the smell, the variety of color, font, and design on the covers.

To combine my two loves, I am starting my 'Guilty Pleasures' list on my side bar. As I go through the summer, I am going to go through alphabetically through the fiction at the library.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

So that's what it's called

Caleb and I were reading more about the missionary translator to the Balangoa people in the Phillipines. (What an amazing book!) We came to the point in the story when the release date for the New Testament was pushed from 1980 to 1981.

Caleb: "Wait, wait Mom. Was the 19's, was that when Gladys Aylward lived, too?"

OOOOhh. I have honestly been wondering how to we refer to the two different centuries... and now I know. The 19's.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Heifer Project

May 23 was National Penny Day. May 27 is our 12th anniversary. So to celebrate both, we are having a party tonight. We are collecting Pennies to donate to Heifer Project. With the pennies we will purchase an animal (or a group of animals) for a family or community in need. For more information about Heifer Project click on the image. If you'd like to give to our anniversary celebration by sending your pennies, contact Marc or me for more information.


On January 1, 1999, Marc and I moved to Stony Brook, NY. We moved there to work at The Stony Brook School, in our quest to grow in understanding and practice of Christian community. While we were there, we certainly got that, and much more.

One thing that surprised me, however was the learning of a totally new culture every time I left campus -- Long Island, NY. It was a difficult time of learning for me. But at the end of our four years there, I found the culture amusing and endearing.

One of the ways that I grew and actually got some healing was in the way that women take care of themselves. Even for a quick run to the market to get milk, every woman was totally put together. Pedicures and manicures are not a luxury but a standard way of life! Even after my four years in Boston, I was totally baffled and unprepared. I grew up in Maine! Land of the baggy flannel shirt and sweatshirts - to dress up! Comfort first, and the 'natural' look.

By the time we moved from Long Island, not only had I tried the pedicure and manicure, but I love them. They are still a treat for me, but not an OUTRAGEOUS treat. I had spent enough time putting on makeup (to buy milk) to realized that not only did it look nice, but it made me feel nice, and was a way to love on Marc.

Upon moving back to Maine, I thought I would enjoy returning to my 'natural ways', but I have maybe gone to the grocery store 3times without makeup in the four years we've been here.

But today, I achieved all out liberation. Because we are having our party tonight, the kids and I spent the morning cleaning the patio. I REALLY needed to go grocery shopping. I looked at my hot, dirty, not showered since Wednesday self (who btw was not wearing a bra) and decided to join the masses of Maine women and go shopping as my 'natural self'.

AHHH. Liberation.

(Now I need to go shower and paint my toe-nails.)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Why I homeschool

When I used to imagine what homeschooling would be like for our family, it included long walks in the woods, enjoying finding bugs, flowers, and splashing in a cold stream. Today, on a picnic lunch with Izzie and her two youngest, I got the day I always imagined, including splashing around in the cold stream.

THIS is homeschool

Anna's Birthday

Anna's Bday Party
Here are pictures from Anna's 5th birthday party.

A Day in the Life of Caleb

Marc and Caleb rode in a four mile bike ride yesterday in Augusta. Here is a picture of Caleb visiting with Governor Baldacci. Just another day in the life of Caleb.
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Moving Again

I'm back to blogger. It's all about comfort and comfort zone. I'm sure that wordpress is GREAT, I just don't have time to learn something new. Actually, I have time to learn something new, but someone else's program is not on the list. I hope to learn CSS and then design my own blog. So I'm back to the comfort of blogger again.

My Daughter

We've all had a kind of rainy day. After Anna's nap (which Sofia not so gently woke her up), she came out to me in the kitchen.

"Mommy, we need chocolate. Chocolate will make us feel better."

My Son

Today, for school, Caleb read 1 Timothy 2... one of the famous chapters about women being quiet and not teaching men. As he read it, he looked up at me, sighed, sort of rolled his eyes, and kept reading.

After reading Bible, we read a chapter from "And the Word came in Power" by Joanne Shetler. We happened to read Chapter 12 which tells of one of the Balangoa men reading 1 Timothy 2 with Joanne Shetler, and suddenly taking ownership of the village teaching (something she had been praying for).

Caleb looked up. We connected the two ... the Bible reading, and the account in the book. Then he got very mad. "Mom, that is JUST NOT FAIR." End of conversation. Back to reading.

What I do is REAL


On Saturday, Marc and I culminated months of concern and frustration and discussion with the purchase of a new computer for me. When I brought it up, I sort of thought it was in passing, and sort of felt more serious about it than I had felt before. When Marc received my suggestion with not only open-ness but also enthusiasm, I found myself in a strange conundrum.

I wanted to receive the gift, but also wanted to talk him out of it. Surely there are a million ways to spend money that a computer requires that are more important than what I use a co mputer for.

And then I realized that that was exactly what Marc was saying. That what I do is important enough to make the investment in a reliable and up-to-date computer. That my day to day work is important and real, and worthy of the best tools. I'm still trying to get my head around it. But now everytime I put my new computer on my lap, I have a firm reminder that my work is Real.

Thank you, Marc.


annagarden.jpg calebgarden.jpg sofiagarden.jpg

Here are the kids in each of their gardens. Anna wants vegetables (we planted peas and peppers today). Caleb wants sunflowers. Sofia helped me with my morning glory seeds. All are very happy to have a great excuse to get dirty with Mommy. (And don't tell anyone, but I'm actually beginning to enjoy this gardening thing.)

Tests Done and VACATION

Caleb and I finished the IOWA tests this morning. After spending some time running errands (including mailing the said tests for scoring) we went to Gifford's for mini-golf and ice-cream to celebrate. It is 86 degrees on the bank clock, and the rest of the week has vacation written all over it. We pick the girls up tomorrow and the games will begin.

IOWA tests

In Maine, you have several accountability options for homeschooling. This year is the first year that we are accountable to the state, Caleb having turned 7 in October. We've chosen to have Caleb take standard tests as our method of accountability. We do not see it as a necessarily accurate assessment of his work and growth (BY NO MEANS!), but do see it as an important skill to learn - test-taking.

So yesterday and today have been our first days of IOWA tests. (I was able to become certified to test him through Bob Jones Press.) My biggest concern for the test was that he's NEVER taken a real test before. Well, I shouldn't have been so worried. When we got done yesterday, he was bummed out and asked why we couldn't do more. And this morning he woke up asking when we were going to start.

Caleb's Degrees of Sin

One of the common Christian misconceptions is that some sin is worse than others... but Paul is pretty clear as he lumps adultery and drunkenness with gossip that sin is sin.

This morning the kids came into our room. Caleb was all excited about a lego creation and was explaining all the details. Anna, wanting comparable air time, jumped in when he took a breath. Caleb looked at her, and said "Anna, stop it. I am trying to tell them about my creation. Can you please wait?" She looked disappointed, but did wait. He finished the description, then said to Anna, "What did you want to say?"

She finished what she had started, happily even.

I was quick on the draw. I told them how proud I was that each of them had handled that.... that Anna didn't fall apart, and Caleb didn't use physical force to communicate. In trying to bless them quickly before I lost their attention, I said "punch" instead of "physical force" with Caleb.

Caleb looked at me. "Mom, I don't punch. I pinch, bonk, and slap, but don't ever punch."

Marc and I cracked up. "I'm not a puncher mom. I'm not like THEM! I only pinch, bonk, and slap."

And this is where it all begins.

Rain, Rain....

grass.jpgHaving all this rain has me remembering all the little poems that I learned about rain. The one I most think of it 'April Showers bring May flowers'. Is that so true, or what? Our lawn is such a lush green now. It's almost cool enough for me to make peace with all the rain.