Friday, August 30, 2013

This week...

I got up by 7 a.m. every day, and several days was up before the alarm went off (this was totally God's doing, as my own wakingpower and willpower in the morning are nil).

We logged the required number of hours each school day with a comfortable accumulation of minutes to spare.

I had the boys take notes every day during history, and on Friday instead of reading another chapter, we had a review and remember day… and they remembered (and understood) what we had read!

And then to really drive things home, Friday's English writing assignment was tied to what we had read and reviewed in history.

I'm feeling pretty good about this week.  I like to hope they'll all be this successful, but I admit I'm definitely on a new school year high (organized, inspired and energized), and my gumption is not likely to maintain this kind of elevation clear through May. 

But we'll take it one week at a time, praying as we go.

And next week is a four-day school week, so it's off to a good start already.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


School starts this week.

I'm okay with that.

I've been praying quite a bit about it.

I want more than an education for my kids.

I want them to gain not just information, but understanding.

Not just facts, but truth.

Not just knowledge, but wisdom.

I want them to learn not just how to think, but to discern.

And those things go deeper than the brain.  They go to the heart.

And those things are more than I can teach.  But Jesus can.

And so I've been trying (struggling?) to give this school year to God.  To let Him direct it.  To let Him inspire it.  To give Him full control over it and trust Him to teach us what we need to both pass the standardized tests and live holy lives.

I know that learning truth, understanding, wisdom and discernment aren't just for "school" time.  They're life-long challenges.  But as long as we're really focusing on and dedicating time to learning, why not aspire to learn with our hearts as well as our heads?

School starts this week.

I'm okay with that.

I've been praying quite a bit about it.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Canning Confession

The late summer canning season is upon us.  Beans and cucumbers are growing with gusto and my pantry shelves are filling rapidly.  It's great.  But -- and here's where my nerdiness comes shining through -- as much as I enjoy seeing the shelves fill, what really excites me is adding another year to my canning jar lids.  It's almost as much fun as hearing the pop of a jar sealing.

I know, the instructions say not to reuse 'em, but my grandma did, my mom does, and I do too, and we all have great sealing success.  And every time I do I write the year on top in permanent marker.  The majority of my lids have at least three years penned on them.  My mom has one with ten years marked on it!

Today I was cleaning my canning jar lid drawer (yes, there is a designated drawer in the kitchen), tossing out rusty rings and weeding out lids with damaged edges or rust spots.  And I cringed every time I had to toss one with more than three years on it.  One even had five -- it was half way to fame!  "Man, there goes a fun one!" I thought.

Today I got to add "13" to ten more lids (it was beans today).  One lid graduated to its fifth year; several received their first markings.  But I'm optimistic that with careful opening, they'll be around to rack up many more pen marks.

Happy canning to all you garden-happy people out there!