Thursday, February 27, 2014

Catching a Few Zzzz's with Ginger

Ginger is everyone's favorite orange cat in the family--she is the only ORANGE cat in the family, but I think she is everyone's favorite. She knows how to relax. Whenever we are tired or stressed, Ginger seems to be able to help us all unwind. She loves to sleep on our bed, especially all by herself.

The weather here has turned cold again, and it has been really nice to be inside where it is warm. After schoolwork today, Virginia and I sat down with our needlework to watch an older mini-series about George Washington (it is great! Patty Duke does a great job as Martha Washington!).  Michael came in from school and sat down to "watch" it with us. Within about 30 seconds, we were all asleep--even Ginger came in the living room to sleep on my lap!  I woke up before anyone else and thought how wonderful it was to be able to sleep inside a warm home with a soft cat and a sweet family on a cold day!

The Secret Garden

Virginia and I have enjoyed reading through The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett.  We have two copies, and we take turns reading aloud. Sometimes, Virginia will knit as I read. She found a pair of mittens the other day with a pattern containing elements from the story. I think they are next on her project list. The author came to America from Manchester, England. Her mother settled the family in an area of East Tennessee near where Michael's family is from. We want to look into this a bit more to see if there are any historic sites nearby that we might visit. 
We have all had many discussions over the years (and quite a few in the last couple of weeks) about reading choices, tv and movie choices and music choices. In fact, I have been in some fairly passionate discussions with some of our students this semester about this topic. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Festival and Reflections on What the Lord Has Done

Time for Music Festival has arrived again.  We only have two from our family participating this time, but JT is ready for next year! Much of the year, the kids work on perfecting two challenging pieces for this competition. Our wonderful teacher is Mrs. Ann Hoots. For 10 years, she has taught them not only music theory and piano, but also character and deportment. Ann loves and serves the Lord in all she does, and her students learn their piano and music theory from this perspective. She has changed their lives in so many ways. I can't imagine not having her influence in our family. As this time of year rolls around again, I have thought quite a bit about the last few years here in Cleveland. 
We have been here in NE Georgia now for almost 11 years. When we left Tennessee, the move was difficult in many ways. We left a Church that we loved very much, and I loved my teaching job (even though I drove across 5 counties to get there every day).  I was afraid of the move, but it was the what the Lord told us to do.  Following Him here placed us within 3 minutes of our College, across the street from Mrs. Ann, and eventually into the loving Congregation of our Church at Glade Creek. Here, we were able to make the decision to homeschool the children--we wouldn't have been able to do that where we were. To be truthful, I had no idea I would ever homeschool. I remember when we were in Tennessee reading an article about homeschooling by Lisa Whelchel in a Homelife magazine. To be honest, I wondered how that could possibly work. Hubby and I had jumped through all kinds of hoops to keep the kids at home with  us rather than in daycare, and that was hard enough! How in the world could we teach them at home? When we arrived in Georgia, we enrolled them in the school system here. After a couple of years, it became clear to us that we could and should homeschool them. The Lord made it possible at every turn--I even believe He brought that original article to me years before. Lisa's book on homeschooling later helped to convince me that we could do this. 
I am so grateful for what He has done and continues to do in this life.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Movie Weekend, part 2


This great movie is based on a book, The Monuments Men:  Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M. Edsel.  This is a fabulous story about the "search and rescue" of great works of art that had been pillaged and stolen by Hitler's occupying forces in western Europe. After the movie, we went straight to the book store to buy the book! It is marvelous!
Again, there is some salty language and terrible use of the Lord's Name.  I guess that's almost expected these days. Other than that, you will enjoy this movie.  Hubby asked me this morning if I came away from the Lincoln movie feeling better about our country. The answer was of course, "no."  Bur were he to ask me the question about The Monuments Men, my answer would be very different.

A Movie Weekend, part 1

This weekend we were able to see two  movies--one at home and one at the Theater (Friday was payday!) The Lincoln movie was very interesting, and I was so impressed by Daniel Day-Lewis' portrayal of this greatest of Presidents.  There was a degree of political correctness thrown in by Spielberg, at least to my mind. I was really more interested in the characterization of Mary Lincoln. As I watched, I saw elements that seemed very familiar to me--then at the end of the movie, author Catherine Clinton was mentioned as a source.  We use her book, Mrs. Lincoln:  A Life  to explore the life and character of this controversial individual in our First Ladies course at the College.  The representation of Lincoln's relationship with the boys seems to come right out of the Clinton book--Lincoln had difficulty relating to their oldest, Robert.  The younger son, (they had lost two other boys already by this time) Tad, always had access to his father. The boys had a reputation for being a bit unruly! From what I have read, the marriage between the President and Mrs. Lincoln was strained by not only the times, but their very different personalities. But I come away from the various biographies believing they genuinely loved one another; that love was cemented by their indulgent and lavish love for their boys, particularly the three youngest sons. 
The movie was a bit kinder to Mary than history has been.  Clinton's book opens with a description of how Mary's hysterical wailing and screaming led to her removal from the President's bedside as he lay dying. This is not portrayed in the movie. I wonder why Spielberg departed from history here. 
Mary is hard to understand, but her love for Lincoln can't fairly be challenged, and I was glad to see that  aspect of the relationship dealt with well in the movie. 
Most of you reading this blog have probably seen the movie; if you haven't, I would recommend it, but beware of some really salty language, particularly using the Lord's name in vain. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Saturday Favorites-Ramblings from the Willows

When man finally begins to build on the moon and points beyond, I am certain that Dollar General will be the first business to open there. In our little community, they are EVERYWHERE. But I love this chain.  We go usually about once or twice a week. When you shop there, you will receive a receipt with a coupon on the bottom--usually for $5 off of a $25 purchase. We have lots of cats and dogs, so we buy almost all of the pet food at DG.  Cleaning supplies, snacks for Church, cereal, paper products and shampoo---all these things are here at great prices. (I have come to LOVE Arm and Hammer detergent, and the price is astoundingly low). When we go to Wal-Mart, we seem to spend most of our time walking around looking for something we forgot when we were on that aisle. And, things we shouldn't be spending money on always end up in the basket! Haha!  We can't get everything at DG--their markets or grocery stores haven't found their way into our county as yet, but we can get much of what we need.

Another Saturday favorite in our family is the television show, Emergency! We were all scattered in different directions this  weekend until Saturday night. I know as the kids get older, they will have more exciting things to do than to sit at home with Mom and Dad, but I cherish the times we do have together, especially at home.
Anyway, once everyone was "rounded up" (and after our trip to Mr. Adams' IGA and DG), we all gathered around our hamburgers and hotdogs and watched Gage, DeSoto and Dr. Early save lives. The Pastor is enjoying his turkey burgers and baked potato alternative.  

I think next Saturday night, we are going to try to go see Monuments Men (I say "night" but we will try to hit that last matinee show to avoid the higher ticket price--yike s!). There aren't many movies out worth seeing these days, but I think we will all enjoy the historical context of this one. I haven't looked at the reviews in Focus on the Family's "Plugged In" yet.  Should be pretty good.
But between you and me, I would rather be home with hamburgers, hot dogs and the Engine 51 crew!
What are your favorite things to do on Saturdays?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Now That's Really Cold!

My husband is a coffee drinker, and that's the first thing he reaches for in the mornings when we get up and going.  He knows that I like to have a really cold Diet Mountain Dew. I try not to drink much caffeine later in the day, but I enjoy that little boost in the mornings.  Last night, taking advantage of the lingering snow, he put my green blessings outside to get really, really frosty!  Wow! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

This World is Not My Home . . . I'm Just Passing Through

Isn't this a lovely picture? Someone has superimposed an image of Jesus on a Thomas Kinkade painting. The Subjects, a garden and our Savior,  are beautiful to look at and comforting.  

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A New Look

I'd like to thank our beautiful daughter for changing the blog template and background for me. I wanted something different--a little more colorful, and she put all the pieces together for me.
We have had an unusual week here in our state.  The College where DH and I work (and the boys attend) has been out because of the snow and ice. They have even canceled for tomorrow.  The slushy roads today will be frozen over again tonight.  We have all done some reading we needed to do for school, and I have had time to do some cooking. The best part is that we have been together at home, and I am so grateful to the Lord for that.

I have been rereading a wonderful book by Elisabeth Elliot, Discipline:  the Glad Surrender. Her books are amazing, but unfortunately not as readily available as they once were. This young generation of daughters could learn much from her gentle but firm teaching from her life experiences and Scripture.

Hope you enjoy the new blog look and that you are safe and warm in the midst of the Lord's love.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Notebooking 101

Brrrrr . . .

These pictures are from outside our back door. The top was was taken this morning, and the bottom one was taken yesterday. They don't really capture how much snow we have; in fact, I am watching the snow outside the front door now. It is falling like rain (probably is more of a "wintry mix" as they say), and the wind is blowing it--a very dramatic picture for this Florida girl.  When we lived in the northeast corner of Missouri, I saw real snow for the first time--all winter long.  Here in Georgia, snow is much more rare, and it is a real treat to see. Having said that, I have friends who work for HEMC and Georgia Power, the electricity providers. They are dreading the ice accumulations that are building up now.  This weather is supposed to continue all day and through the night, perhaps into tomorrow. Pray for their safety and for the safety of those who have to travel to their jobs in this weather. We had a much less serious brush with this type of weather a couple of weeks ago near Atlanta, and the difficulties made the National news. Perhaps those experiences helped the Peach State better prepare for this event.

Monday, February 10, 2014


I think we are due for some more inclement weather. Here's hoping for some time together.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Laundry, Latin and Love.

Today will be a day at home--I teach at the College just three days a week, but the days at home are often filled with grading, writing and reading in preparation for the next school day. Not a naturally organized person, I have had to develop a system of my own to try to keep the preps together in some fashion. Each class I teach has at least one notebook full of lectures--usually two, and occasionally three. 90% of my lectures are handwritten, and every time I teach a course, I add to it. I have had fun over the years "decorating" the notebooks with some of the beautiful scrapbooking materials available, and I love to add "clippings" or print outs that would be helpful for my students. Each notebook also contains study guides, reading guides for the texts, tests (no keys, mind you). Oh, and since I am rambling, who even knows what I mean by "clippings" anymore? I have to do a post on these wonderful 'artifacts"  one day. I would write that down in my planner to remind myself . . . if I could find it! Ha! Anyway, all of that is to say that I have lost my Latin notebook. This is not nearly as serious as it would be if I had lost one of my History notebooks, but it is disturbing enough. I had some nice articles squirreled away in it. It has to be in the house somewhere, and if it has been kidnapped by space aliens, it can be recreated with a reasonable amount of effort. In fact, I love getting notebooks and getting them "organized' for class. But this one contains a lot of notes and completed exercises that I must do over. Working through them again will actually be good for me and ultimately, good for my students.

Please don't see this as a whiny post--I know that once I redo the notebook, the old one will show up, and I will have two sets of notes and outlines to use! What's more, I will have fun getting the replacement together. There's much to do today, but looks like it's all good:  I should be able to knock out a lot of laundry today. The most important element on the list of "it's all good" is spending the day at home with DD.  She will be gone this afternoon with her Homeschool group, but we will have much of the morning together. It is an overcast day, but sometimes we are more productive with inside work when it is like that. The robins are out to remind us that Spring is not far away.