Monday, January 22, 2018


The Simple Woman's Daybook for January 22, 2018

For Today...

Looking out my window ... it's still dark, although the navy sky is starting to overtake the darkness. The shining lights on the deck are dispelling gloom.

I am thinking ... about Mansfield Park which I read over the weekend. It is a re-read for me - my favorite Austen novel - and always makes me think.

I am thankful ... for good books that cause one to contemplate.

One of my favorite things ... I'm very much enjoying Amazon Music and it's stations. In the past week we've listened to Classical music, opera, broadway musicals, hymnody, and folk songs from the ease of my laptop. I can Chromecast it to our TV and audio system which is a nice bonus.

I am wearing ... sweatpants and a tshirt. I may be healthier but I still long for comfort; and I'm doing laundry besides.

I am creating ... pumpkin gingerbread baked oatmeal for breakfast. Because #uppingmybreakfastgame

I am reading ... Andrew Murray's The New Life as a part of my Humble Habits assignment. I intend to read a section after making my bed each morning. Perhaps the trigger of reading and making my bed together will encourage both.  I started this morning and it's so good.

I am hoping ... that this recent wave of sickness is now behind us and we can return to our regularly scheduled programming.

I am learning ... to trust in the Lord and his intentions. It's an ever-learning, to be sure, but it is certainly necessary in order to [conform] to Christ.

In my kitchen ... pumpkin gingerbread baked oatmeal. Yum.

In the school room ... is a place I'm excited to return this morning. May we work hard, as though for the Lord.

Post Script ... So many people dislike Mansfield Park and I just don't understand. It is so involved with the thought life of the characters and right thinking that we would be wise to take its warnings and excellencies to heart.

Shared Quote
The elegance, propriety, regularity, harmony--and perhaps, above all, the peace and tranquillity of Mansfield, were brought to her remembrance every hour of the day, by the prevalence of everything opposite to them here. ... At Mansfield, no sounds of contention, no raised voice, no abrupt bursts, no tread of violence was ever heard; all proceeded in a regular course of cheerful orderliness; every body had their due importance; every body's feelings were consulted. If tenderness could ever be supposed wanting, good sense and good breeding supplied its place. (372-3, italic hers, bold mine)

A moment from my day ... my recent days have had coffee in my favorite mug and a good book. Not too bad for feeling so icky. And I tell my kids every time it doesn't matter "if you didn't mean to, you need to mean not to."

Linking up with The Simple Woman.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Our Weekly Amble for January 15-19, 2018

This was not the second week of school I had in mind.

I was still pretty sick Monday and Tuesday - and not feeling grand Wednesday through Friday, in fact today was the first morning I woke feeling mostly well. But still with the cough.

However, the children all managed to get sick up and down all week, so we took it easy: lots of music from Amazon music played, plenty of reading - including our Ambleside Online selections for the week, movies from Netflix - we watched the Gene Wilder Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and the recent Disney version of The BFG, both of which we all enjoyed. No music lessons or activity lessons. I left the house twice - to go the clinic at Kroger once and the bank a second time. I don't think the children left the house at all. We even missed our Art with Friends group.

M-girl played the piano a lot. She's been working on pieces from Phantom of the Opera, The Lord of the Rings, and The Lion King. She had a Latin tutoring session with Greta on Friday and as she's at the beginning of Latin Alive! and finding it less than challenging, Greta gave her a paragraph from Wheelock's to translate - she's very excited about that.

N-boy has been working on the Peanuts theme, The Pink Panther Theme, and Pachelbel's Canon in D. I love to hear him play.

We watched CNN10 every morning, which is a nice way to keep some of our habits in practice.

I've read a good deal of Mansfield Park this week and reminded myself why it is my favorite Austen.

So, while it isn't the week I had anticipated, and we didn't accomplish a ton, I'm pleased with the children's ethic in keeping up some of their work and general demeanor during a time of sickness.

Here's to next week.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

[Conform] Idea posts

{This year as I run across quotes, verses, ideas, etc that fit with [conform] I plan to just put them here with the graphic above and little to no commentary}

From Wednesday'sCloud of Witness:

He who reigns within himself, and rules
Passions, desires, and fears, is more a king;
Which ev'ry wise and virtuous man attains:
And who attains not, ill aspires to rule --
Subject himself to anarchy within.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Wednesdays with Words: Subtly Alters

I'm reading Beauty in the Word with a group of Reformed friends on Voxer. It's an interesting dynamic as Caldecott, Beauty's author, is stridently Roman Catholic and we find places of both profound agreement and disagreement (and, let's be honest, confusion).

There is much to love about the book, I find I'm marking every page heavily - most with firm stars and YES! and some with ummm?? and No! Very little between.

But the Yeses are outweighing the Nos and I can see why it's so beloved by so many- and I'm not quite through Chapter 1 yet.

The introduction "The Heart of the Book" lays out the main ideas carefully before he builds on it. In many places, I'm mentally changing "Catholicsim" or "Catholic" to "Christian" because I find firm agreement with what Caldecott posits, as here:
The 'Catholicism' in a Catholic school cannot simply be added on to an existing curriculum or atmosphere. Precisely because a religious faith affects everything, even changing the way we view the cosmos, it cannot be compartmentalized. (This is why faith seems so dangerous to some non-believers.) Revelation subtly alters the way every subject is taught as well as the relationships between them. What is revealed connects them severally and together to our own destiny, to the desire of our hearts for union with infinite truth. At that point, everything becomes interesting. There are no 'boring' subjects--nothing can be ugly or pointless unless we make it so, turning our backs on the Giver of Being. (pg 14-15, italics his, bold mine)

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Simple Woman's Daybook for January 15,2018

For Today...

Looking out my window ... the world is washed out as the snow falls steadily.

I am thinking ... about how much school we can accomplish.

I am thankful ... for Jason and his dedication to our family.

One of my favorite things ... buttered toast.

I am wearing ... pajamas, but I think I'll shower and dress in a bit.

I am creating ... new habits - prayer and movement.

I am listening to ... Leah Boden on Facebook Live talking about habits and CM. Good stuff.

I am hoping ... to feel all the way better soon.

I am learning ... how capable the kids are. They've been so great over this last week or so and I want to be sure to tell them how I appreciate it.

In my kitchen ... I really don't know.

In the school room ... I'm so glad I sorted out books so the kids can move on on their own.

Post Script ... have you seen these Morning Time Methods videos Pam has been doing? There's one about poetry, another about geography drill, and a third about using the memory palace technique. They're so helpful to see how to do these during Morning Time.

Linking up with The Simple Woman.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Our Weekly Amble for January 8-12, 2018

It was our first week of a new year! 

Our first day we traditionally get something sweet for breakfast, but the weather was such that I didn't want to go out, so Cinnamon Rolls and scrambled eggs it was:

I realized this morning that we didn't do our traditional self-portraits or interview pages. I'll need to get those taken care of next week. 

We had two great days of Whatchamacallit. We start the year with just reviewing hymns and poetry and Bible memory and catechism and getting back into the groove. I love how that helps us ease into Morning Time after a long break. By going over old work, we exercise our minds but it's just a warm-up. It also helps us to go through Whatchamacallit quickly, which leaves extra room for our readaloud at the end, which everyone enjoys.

We also began to institute a "Keeping Hour" which I learned about on Instagram from my friend Mariah. She was finding it a struggle to get her kids to do keeping, too, so she instituted a time of day where everyone went back and did keeping together. I loved the idea, and as N-boy and R-girl are adding Books of Centuries this year, I though we'd try it out. There was some moaning about 3:30 being "after school" but our first two days were great!

Sadly, though, I got rather sick Tuesday night and was mostly out of commission the rest of the week. I was able to listen to narrations, though, and the kiddos are big enough to keep working on their own which is great. The only way they could've done that, though, was if there was a plan. I'm so thankful that I had a plan put together, they had a list of the work for the week, and on Monday we had worked together to divvie up that work. Because of that, they knew what needed to be done and could do it.

We each have a daily schedule, and a set of daily and weekly assignments. I use Pam Barnhill's The Independent Student bundle* for part of our assignments and weekly meetings. I still need to do this week's meetings with my kiddos.

So, while it wasn't the idyllic first week back to school I had in my head (when is it ever?), it was a very good week as I think about seeing my children succeed at doing the work they were assigned without a lot of interaction on my part. I would've preferred to not be sick, though.

*{not an affiliate link, but I do work for her and received the bundle free}