Wednesday, November 30, 2005
A dear friend and I are going to be studying a book about contentment called, "Calm My Anxious Heart" by Linda Dillow. We're planning on meeting once a week to discuss what we've read, to prayer with each other, to encourage each other and to hold each other accountable in areas where we are struggling.
I thought before I would start the book that I would look up the word content to understanding the meaning. Here's what I found:
1. happy enough with what one has or is: not desiring something more or different; satisfied.
An interesting definition was this: willing--used in the British House of Lords as an affirmative vote.
I suppose we could vote "affirmative" to what we have as a sign that we are satisfied with it.
The above definitions are from the Webster's New World Dictionary (1951). Here's the definition from Webster's 1828:
CONTENT, a. [L., to be held; to hold.] Literally, held, contained within limits; hence, quiet; not disturbed; having a mind at peace; easy; satisfied, so as not to repine, object, or oppose.
Content with science in the vale of peace.
Having food and raiment, let us be therewith content. 1 Timothy 6.
1. To satisfy the mind; to make quiet, so as to stop complaint or opposition; to appease; to make easy in any situation; used chiefly with the reciprocal pronoun.
Do not content yourselves with obscure and confused ideas, where clearer are to be obtained.
Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas. Mark 15.
2. To please or gratify.
It doth much content me, to hear him so inclined.
1. Rest or quietness of the mind in the present condition; satisfaction which holds the mind in peace, restraining complaint, opposition, or further desire, and often implying a moderate degree of happiness.
A wise content his even soul securd; By want not shaken, nor by wealth allurd.
2. Acquiescence; satisfaction without examination.
The style is excellent; the sense they humbly take upon content.
3. The term used in the House of Lords in England, to express an assent to a bill or motion.
Rest or quietness of the mind in the present condition. Well, that really puts it into focus, doesn't it? Satisfaction which holds the mind in peace, restraining complaint. Can I say I am doing this?????
Last Sunday our teaching elder, Rich, spoke on 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18. When he got to verse 16, "Rejoice Always", he said:
there are no exceptions
it is a command
and it is always applicable
it's a continual state of joyful happiness (trust and confidence in God)
I think being joyful and content go hand in hand. Rich asked the question of how do we remain joyful. I think his answer would be the same to the question of how do we remain content: by not focusing on our circumstances but focusing on God and His savlation.
I pray that I will learn to be joyful and content in the midst of all the circumstances of my life!
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
JK started a new math book last week. It's different for her because it's now a textbook and she has to transfer her work onto a separate piece of paper. So far, so good!
Years ago a friend gave me some advice that really helped me and saved a lot of time. When starting a new math textbook, have your student take the chapter tests to see how much he remembers. Most textbooks have a few chapters of review and if they pass the test for that chapter, then go on to the next one. We are already on Lesson 18 today. That's over 3 weeks worth of work done in 3 days! Instead of taking the chapter 3 test today, I had JK go over some of the concepts on the test that I knew she would have trouble remembering. We'll do that again tomorrow and then take the test because the rest is just multiplication problems. I think she should be able to get through 6 or 7 chapters before we have actually do the entire thing. That means we'll be starting around Lesson 65 or so. What a great timesaver!!
Do you have any timesaving tips that have really helped you?
(graphic courtesy of Graphic Garden)
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Tonight at the Lord's table we talked about coming to Him with an unexamined heart and the risks of doing so. Some of the risks include focusing on temporal things (2 Cor. 4:16-18), a growing love for money or "stuff" (1 Tim. 6:8-12), being conformed to this world and having a wrong view of self (Romans 12:1-3) and having an evil, unbelieving heart (Heb. 3:10-13).
Charles, the elder who spoke tonight, encouraged us to be vigilant in examing our hearts by spending daily time in His word (Heb. 12:15) and in prayer, and humbly submitting to the Lord on a daily (I added hourly) basis.
Our prayer should be:
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there by any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
One of the songs we sang tonight was Cleanse Me by J. Edwin Orr, which is based on Psalm 139:23.
Search me, O God, and know my heart today;
Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray.
See if there by some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free.
I praise Thee, Lord, for cleansing me from sin;
Fulfill Thy Word, and make me pure within.
Fill me with fire, where once I burned with shame;
Grant my desire to magnify Thy name.
Lord, take my life, and make it wholly Thine;
Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine.
Take all my will, my passions, self and pride;
I now surrender, Lord--in me abide.
O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee;
Send a revival, start the work in me.
Thy Word declares Thou wilt supply our need;
For blessings now, O Lord, I humbly plead.
God used the above Scripture and this song to encourage me tonight to be viligant in guarding my heart and to make sure that I am wholly His! I hope it will be an encouragement to you also.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Tonight my kindred spirit, Pam, and I, along with a lot of friends, went to see Pride & Prejudice, which finally opened here in town. Pam and three of her daughters were dressed in period costume and looked wonderful. Pam just finished her dress this afternoon. (They are all going to the Netherfield Ball on Saturday.) One girl came over and asked Stephanie (Pam's daughter) if she was going to see Harry Potter! Ummm.....no.
I was anxious to see how well the movie compared to the A&E Pride & Prejudice. I mean, can anything compare with that? The P&P with Laurence Olivier is not very good. They wear Civil War-era dresses, for goodness sake! Anyway, this movie was very, very good. I wasn't sure Kiera Knightley could pull it off but she did. I thought she was very charming. And Mr. Matthew MacFayden was a fine Mr. Darcy. He grows on you!
I especially liked that the Bennets' were portrayed as country people and it showed in their house, their yard and their community. I absolutely love the country dance where Lizzie and Darcy first meet.
And, as it seems with so many period pieces, the photography was stunning. I want to go to England!!
Check out the website and then go see the movie. You won't regret it and if you're a big fan of the A&E version, you will not be disappointed.
Monday, November 21, 2005
It's been raining all day here with more expected tonight. We didn't get a chance to get the leaves up this weekend so they are everywhere! Hopefully it will dry out by this weekend so we can vacuum them up.
We enjoyed another day at home. Laundry was started, chores worked on and school was finished! JK started the new math and language arts and enjoyed both. She liked the idea of having a math textbook and we made up a math notebook in which to keep all her work.
We also started some other new things. The first is English From the Roots Up, which teaches about Greek and Latin roots. We're not doing anything too formal for this. I'm just giving her a card a day and having her look up some words in the dictionary. On Friday, I'll give an oral quiz on the ones she's learned. I think it will help in her vocabulary.
The second thing we started is Christian Liberty Press' Studying God's Word. I wanted to introduce her to Bible study and I really like this series. The lessons are short and I think it will make a good introduction to more indepth Bible study.
I'm not cooking tonight because we're going out to dinner. We tried to go to this restaurant on Saturday night but when we got there, we were told it was a three-hour wait!! Needless to say, we went back home and ate leftovers. I don't expect it to be busy tonight but I made reservations just in case!!
How was your day?
Saturday, November 19, 2005
My week at home was very productive! I did go out Monday night to do grocery shopping and Wednesday afternoon JK and I went out to buy items for our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Other than that, we were home all week.
JK finished her math and language arts books so she is officially (?) in 5th grade. She'll be starting the purple book in Learning Language Arts Through Literature and Math 5 from Bob Jones University. LLATL follows the same format as the last book but math will be different since she will now be using a textbook instead of a workbook. She's going to have to be diligent when she transfers her work from the book to paper!
I had hoped to finish our Astronomy book by the end of the month but I don't know if that's going to happen. We'll really have to make a concerted effort to get that done. I'd like to start the Biology book in December but maybe I need to be realistic and just start in January after the holidays.
I managed to do a thorough cleaning of the downstairs--I vacuumed and dusted everywhere (not just the areas that show) and the house looks great. I even washed the windows and curtains!! I also did a lot of baking, mostly with apples. Some of the other projects I got done were filing away all the new Mailbox Club lessons that came in and sending out new ones. I also ordered a lot of materials that needed to be filed. I know have two file drawers just for Mailbox Club items. Yeah! When I took over the club, I was given about seven or eight large cardboard boxes full of papers and not organized. Now everything is organized and much more manageable.
I also organized my recipes. I like to clip recipes and I have a notebook full of them but they weren't in any order. I took them all out, organized them into categories and put each into a separate binder pocket. I also made a list of ones that I would like to try first. If I like them--well, if my family likes them--then I put that recipe into my own personal recipe book.
The one thing I didn't get to do was start my sewing projects for Christmas but next week we'll be home again most days so I hope to start on Monday. We're going to a friend's house for Thanksgiving so I don't have to shop or anything!
How about you? How was your week?
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Dear God, I come before You now
To open up Your Word.
My mind is full of scattered thoughts;
My view of You is blurred.
Please help me read with open eyes
Enlightened by Thy grace.
Help me to see on every page
My lovely Savior’s face.
Dear God, Your Word has searched my heart;
It made me look within.
For when I saw my Savior’s face,
I also saw my sin.
I saw the thorns upon His brow;
I saw Him crucified.
And then I saw my careless life,
My selfishness and pride.
Dear Lord, forgive…..remold…..renew
As on Thy face I gaze.
Create in me Thy beauty now
In tender girlhood days.
Remove the stains that smudge and blur,
So all may clearly see
The image of Your loveliness
Reflected now in me!
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
I was able to get quite a lot accomplished today. Yeah! I spent most of the day at my desk working on correspondence, paying bills, organizing school work, and general de-cluttering of papers. That took quite a bit of time. I also did a thorough cleaning of the kitchen and finished most of the laundry.
We didn't do school today because JK got her spacers yesterday and she was in quite a bit of pain today so I just let her read and play. She did do some copywork and handwriting but no math.
Tonight I'll be finishing up the laundry and then working on the lessons for the Mailbox Club. I also received some rubber stamps that I ordered off of e-Bay that I'd like to cut out so I can start using them!
Tomorrow I'll be posting more from the Vessels Unto Honor conference. Have a good night!
At the conference I went to this weekend one of the sessions was entitled, "The Sunshine Girls" and it was about equipping our daughters for loving service to others. The conference was full of girls, young and old, with their mothers and Mrs. Hendry encouraged the girls live for others by being a "sunshine girl" and by serving. She gave many practical examples of what a girl could do. Some of these girls of all ages could do; some would be more appropriate for the teen years and beyond:
~read encouraging poetry to shut-ins or those who are sick; this could even be done over the phone
~have a ready word of encouragement
~memory verse assistant; help a mom at home by offering to help her children memorize Scripture
~secretary to mothers including writing thank you notes
~write notes of encouragement to the elders of your church (and their wives)
~start a birthday card ministry
~party planning and helping
~making different baskets to give away; these could include new mothers' basket, get well basket, new bride, new church member, birthday, new neighbor, teatime basket. I'm sure you can think of lots of others!
~prayer warrior; send notes to tell the person you are praying for them
~conference and meeting helpers; what mom would like some help at a homeschool convention especially if she has many children to take?
~trip and travel assistant
~story reader and teller (using felts, puppets, etc.)
~crisis, care and condolence card writer
~tea party hostess and helper
~visitor of shut-ins
~mending and ironing maiden
~teacher and tutor assistant
~gift wrapper (go over to help a mom wrap Christmas or birthday presents)
~new mothers' helper
She encouraged the girls to think of others older and younger who they can minister to by acts of service. She also encouraged us as mothers to train our daughters for service and to get a vision of Biblical girlhood for our daughters. A vision where our lives and theirs are poured out to God in service to others.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
1. The Gift of Listening......But you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.
2. The Gift of Affection......Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let these small action demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.
3. The Gift of Laughter......Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, "I love to laugh with you."
4. The Gift of a Written Note......It can a simple "Thanks for your help" note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.
5. The Gift of a Compliment......A simple and sincere, "You look great in red", "You did a super job", or "That was a wonderful meal" can make someone's day.
6. The Gift of a Favor......Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.
7. The Gift of Solitude......There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.
8. The Gift of a Cheerful Disposition......The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone, really it's not that hard to say, Hello or Thank You.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Menus4Mom is a nice website that has lots of articles on home organization, frugal meal planning, time management, bulk cooking and more. They also have a very large section on homeschooling.
One of the nice services they offer is a week of menus and recipes that are sent via e-mail. Each week is something different. I don't follow the schedule strictly but pick and choose what I want. So far everything I've made has been good--and easy.
If this is something you think you would like to try, go over to their website and sign up. It's free and I think you'll enjoy receiving the recipes!
(photo courtesy of graphicgarden)
Monday, November 07, 2005
Needless to say, JM was very shaken up by this. He seems to be doing a lot better today. Thankfully, school is out for the next two days so he has some time to relax. Please pray that he doesn't have any lasting effects from this and that the Lord would use this in his life to draw my son closer to Him. Pray also that these two teenagers will be caught quickly and punished accordingly. JM and J knew the boys so there was no problem with the identification. I spoke with JM's boss today and he will be pressing the maximum charges against them since it was an armed robbery. The locks have been changed at all the stores.
Pray also for J as his house and car keys were taken and all that will have to be changed now and for A, who was hurt during the robbery (they pulled her hair and dragged her into the freezer) and she is very badly shaken by this. As far as I know, J and A are not believers.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
The library book sale on Friday was wonderful. The children's selection was very good this time. Sometimes when I go it's not so great but this year ws pretty good. One year my friend and I found 60 COFA's. We took them all and split them up later!
Here's some of my finds:
~The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth
~The Gift of Music (Great Composers and Their Influence)
~The Silimarillion; in hardback!! My pb is falling apart. This is a first edition.
~Egyptians Designs; A Dover Electronic Clip Art book with the CD still sealed. We're studying ~Ancient Egypt next year and this will be great.
~Grocery Cart Math--no writing
~The Land of Fair Play (CLP)--American Civics from a Christian Perspective
~The Weather Book (USA Today)
~.......If You Lived at Time of the Great San Francisco Earthquake
~Rulers of Britian (from Roman Times to Elizabeth II)
~Life Science/100 Reproducible Activities--no writing
~LLATL Gray/Student Activity Book--again no writing!
~My Dear Cassandra (Letters Jane Austen wrote to her sister)
~Johnny Tremain--a nice hardback to replace the pb I have. This appears to be a first edition.
~The Narnia Cookbook; beautiful hardback with dust jacket--looks new
~Martin Luther by May McNeer and Lynd Ward; I enjoy this husband/wife team
~Blaze and The Gypsies
~Knight (Eyewitness Book)
~Mr. Gumpy's Motor Car (FIAR title)
~Confessions of An Organized Homemaker; looks new
~The Penguin Book of Carols; new
~The Summer Book by Susan Branch; brand new!
~The Carving on the Tree (story of Roanoke Island); autographed!!
~Life in the Ancient Word; a Giant Landmark!
~Peter Rabbit's Cookery Book; don't these recipes sound good? Patty-Pan Pie, Appley Dapply's Jam Tarts, Jeremy Fisher's Butterfly Sandwiches and Mrs. Rabbit's Currant Buns
~The Wind in the Willows; a beautiful copy illustrated by Ernest Shepard (Winnie-the-Pooh); I already own a copy illustrated by Tasha Tutor. Which do I keep? They are both beautiful!
~Alexander the Great (Horizon Caravel)
~Kings of the Crusades (Horizon Caravel)
The Renaissance (Eyewitnes Art); this is used but in like-new condition
~Don't Count Your Chicks by Ingri & Edgar Parin d'Aulaire; I was so excited to pick up this book as I have never seen any of their other books besides the famous biographies. It appears to be a first edition.
~The Yearling; beautiful hardback to replace a library discard
~The last two were my "finds of the day"! Both are considered rare and valuable.
~A Child's History of Art by Hillyer and Huey
~Norse Gods and Giants by the d'Aulaires
I only came home with two boxes and that's good for me! I left a lot of wonderful books there such as some Landmarks and We Were Theres because I just don't have the room for them and I'm not selling books anymore. My friend, who also homeschools and sells books, picked up a lot of what I didn't want. She sells at our local regional homeschool group and our state convention so I know they'll be in good hands!
By the way, the library decided not to put out the rare children's book with the higher prices so I paid 50 cents each for these wonderful books!! God is so good to bless my little home library in this way.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
I finished up the laundry and did 3 loads of towels. My children go through lots of towels during the week. I have a basket in the hall closet where they can put their used towels for me to wash but next week I'm changing it so they have to keep their own towels and do them when they wash their clothes. That should save me some work!
The downstairs is straightened up (for now), dusted and vacuumed. I even managed to spend some time at my desk. I did some paperwork and the rest is in nice little piles to be tackled later tonight!
School went well. Math is a breeze this week as JK is learning about graphs, charts and statistics. JK did most of the schoolwork herself--something I encourage with all my children. She did her whole math worksheet without any help then went on to her handwriting, language arts and history. Yeah!
I'm off to take a shower and then I have to take JK to pre-bowling. She cannot make it to her regular bowling on Saturday since we're going to a wedding shower but she can bowl today and have it count toward her average. After bowling, we'll stop to buy the shower gift and pick up some milk, oj, etc.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Tonight was the finals in JM's cheering competition and they were the first to compete. They did really well except JM dropped his flyer. I felt so bad for him. He didn't actually drop her but his knee touched the mat so that's an automatic 5 points deducted. After the competition he was sitting in the stands and he looked so dejected. I wanted to go over there and hug him. When they announced the winners, I almost cried. Not because they lost but because I know JM is feeling that he let the team down. He didn't! They might have lost some points but the other teams tonight were spot on. They didn't mess anything up and looked so clean. Saturday they went to a competition in Virginia Beach and they got 1st place over 30 teams! Tonight was just not their night.
Please pray for my son if you think of it! He did a good job tonight and we're so proud of him. JK came home and made him a card to cheer him up. She told him how well she thought he did and that she loves him very much. That really cheered me up and I hope it helps him feel a little better.
I just received an e-mail from a friend asking if I was going to the book sale at the local city library. I had forgotten all about it because I let my Friends membership lapse. This library holds a sale twice a year and it's very good. I usually come home with several boxes of books.
One of the reasons I like going to this sale is because of my friend. We are both passionate about books and we have the same tastes--and we look out for each other. A lot of book dealers go to this sale and they can be very, very rude. They come in and just sweep a shelf clean without even looking what they have. They fill their boxes up and then sort through them later. How frustrating! They also have a smug attitude toward anyone that isn't a dealer but I notice that most of the books they keep are twaddle .
Both of our daughters go to the sale also and they have a great time. We pay them to guard our boxes (from the book dealers who will just go through them if there sitting out--even if you have a "sold" sign on them). We usually bring a drink and snack for them and they guard, talk, and play video games. They each have an older Nintendo game and they link up those to play.
This sale promises to be better than usual as they are putting some of their books on sale from the collection of rare children's books. I'm sure they will be priced higher but it will be interesting to see what they have.
The sale starts Friday at 10:00 for Friends (I'll renew my membership there) but we'll be there when the library opens at 9:00 .
(graphic courtesy of Graphic Garden)
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
JK and I served at the homeless ministry this morning. Another friend and two of her children were there also. I'm so glad to see the children come to serve. It's a wonderful experience for them and I think it helps them to appreciate what they have. I hope it also instills in them an attitude of servanthood.
We almost didn't make it to the church where we serve. I know only of one way to go and when I went to turn down the street, it was blocked by a road construction crew. I figured I would just go down a block and then back around and come to the street on the other end but that was not to be. Every road I turned down was blocked by either a gate or a building. The blocks were not square! Since I don't really know the neighborhood, I wasn't sure where to go. Finally I figured I would try the block before I had to turn. It wasn't exactly square either and we ran into a fire truck blocking the road but I did manage to get to the church. We had to really work fast to get everything ready by 12:00 but we got everything accomplished and had a large number of men and women today--ninety-three!
When we were finished, we headed back to our church to drop off some supplies and to pick up the teaching notebook for the 5/6's class. I'll be teaching the second hour during this month. We're studying the life of Christ which I think will be some exciting lessons for the children.
We came home and I made chicken salad for a late lunch and then we melted some caramels for apple dipping. Our lunch game was UNO and I lost twice. A lunch game is something I started when my children were small. We always play some kind of game at lunch like UNO, Sorry, Trouble, etc. When my son went to public school, one of the things I was concerned about was that he wouldn't have enough time to eat lunch. They only get about 18 minutes! We usually take an hour from start to finish; sometimes longer. I make my son's lunch everyday so he gets the full time to eat. If they have to buy their lunch, they have even less time.
Tonight we're going to a friend's house for our monthly stamping night. I love going to this because I get such good ideas. I do well at following directions but not at creating!
Have a blessed evening!!
"No person who has ever walked this earth even comes close to comparison when placed up against Jesus Christ. He is unique. He is incomparable. He is our Lord. Here is what one unknown person wrote about Him years ago.
More than 1900 years ago there was a Man born contrary to the laws of life. This Man lived in poverty and was reared in obscurity. He did not travel extensively. Only once did He cross the boundary of the country in which He lived; that was during His exile in childhood. He possessed neither wealth nor influence. His relatives were inconspicuous and had neither training nor formal education.
In infancy He startled a king; in childhood He puzzled doctors; in manhood He ruled the course of nature, walked upon the billows as if pavements, and hushed the sea to sleep. He healed the multitudes without medicine and made no charge for His service.
He never wrote a book, yet all the libraries of the country could not hold the books that have been written about Him. He never wrote a song, and yet He has furnished the theme for more songs than all the songwriters combined. He never founded a college, but all the schools put together cannot boast of having as many students. He never marshaled an army, nor drafted a soldier, nor fired a gun; and yet no leader ever had more volunteers who have, under his orders, made more rebels stack arms and surrender without a shot fired. He never practiced medicine, and yet He has healed more broken hearts than all the doctors far and near.
Every seventh day the wheels of commerce cease their turning as multitudes wind their way to worshiping assemblies to pay homage and respect to Him. The names of the past proud statesmen of Greece and Rome have come and gone, but the name of this Man abounds more and more. Though time has spread 1900 years between the people of this generation and the scene of His crucifixion, yet He still lives. Herod could not destroy Him and the grave could not hold Him.
He stands forth upon the highest pinnacle of heavenly glory, proclaimed of God, acknowledged by angels, adored by saints, and feared by devils as the living, personal Christ, our Lord and Savior." -Anonymous