Monday, September 28, 2015

Mondays are for Grace

“Gratitude unleashes the freedom to live content in the moment, 
rather than being anxious about the future or regretting the past.” 

-- Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Recent Days

 These early autumn days have been lovely here in Indiana. The temperature has been warm during the day and cool at night, the sky has been gorgeous, and nature is taking on that golden hue.

Our school studies keep the days filled. At the end of August we drove up to Mounds State Park so we could get a look in person at the ancient Indian mounds. We began our visit with a tour around the historic Bronnenberg home which was built in the early days of Indiana's statehood.

We had a wonderful guide. It's always fun to see in person the kinds of things you are studying about in books.

I love the kids' faces in this photo!

And I also loved all the quilts on these beds!!

After the historic house we walked down the trail to the Indian mounds. It seems no one knows for sure what the mounds were used for -- burials possibly, or perhaps religious activities.

We continued on down to the White River.

The boys decided to wade across to an island and add a few stones to the stone pillars there.

We found a few huge trees -- Indiana used to be covered in forests with very large trees.

We kept passing squirrel cafeterias.

The kids found a dugout canoe to try out.

Another exciting family event in August was Andrew taking his vows of church membership!

In early September we had the joy of helping to host a pastor's family from Singapore! They too are a homeschooling family so we had a lot in common! We decided to take them to Conner Prairie to show them a little American history.

And it went right along with our current studies too, which was nice. 

 We took along some Asian food for lunch. Yum, yum! One of these days I need to share the recipe for the Asian chicken salad. It was SO good.

I loved this doll bed in the carpentry shop.

And the china in the general store!!!

Look at these two cute kids in the conestoga wagon! We'll be studying that history before too long.

It was a hot day and the sheep were all tucked up against the fans in the barn!

Hearing about the life of a fur trader:

Watching the carpenters at work:

James got a little bored at lunch and found a leaf to carve on. He can't resist raccoons.

Here are the two families together, minus the photographer!

We had another big picnic over Labor Day. Lots of fun and lots of kids running around.

August and September are golf season for Rachel. Laura enjoyed coming with me to watch the matches and put in a little time as flag tender.

The garden is looking very "Septemberish":

And some of the days we've had required a jacket and a switch over to my "new to me" fall purse.

One evening we joined my mom at her church for a night of praise and then viewing of artwork done by members of the congregation. Here's mom's painting that she did to capture the work of one of the church's local ministries.

Apple pie has been calling my name all month! I think I've managed to make at least 5 or 6 so far. They are so good!

Eagle Creek also calls to me constantly. I love to hike or walk here. James and I even managed to get out with Grandma one evening for another kayak trip (which ended with Grandma falling overboard and laughing so hard she could hardly get out).

The first nine weeks of school are nearly up! It's hard to believe! Two more weeks until fall break!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Mondays are for Grace

"Of all the seasons, autumn offers to the most to man and requires the least of him."

-- Hal Borland

Monday, September 14, 2015

Mondays are for Grace

"We must remember throughout our lives
 that in God's sight there are no little people and no little places. 
Only one thing is important: 
to be consecrated persons in God's place for us, 
at each moment."

-- Francis Schaeffer

Friday, September 11, 2015

Words and Wool

Since my last wool post I have managed to finish this crewelwork pillow! I just need to sew it up and plop it on my couch -- it will be the perfect addition for fall. I love the colors.

I've also managed to sew some blue roses for this tea cozy. I just need to fasten them on and upload this to Etsy!

And I did get this cozy finished and uploaded.

This one was made for a friend who chose the colors. The photo didn't capture the orange of the roses very well. It was a lovely color choice.

As for reading, that's what I've spent much more of my time on!

Through the Pages of My Life: And My Encounters with Beatrix Potter by Willow Taylor was a short little memoir of a woman who grew up at the Tower Bank Arms just around the corner from Beatrix Potter's Hilltop. It was interesting to get some firsthand "snapshots" of what Beatrix was like and what village life was like. Of course it makes me just want to go back to Far Sawrey in the Lake District.

Middlemarch (Penguin Classics) by George Eliot. This has been on my list for awhile and this summer I attempted it. I finally gave up half way through. It was just becoming too much of a chore and hard for me to plow through the tedious chapters. Perhaps part of my problem was that I was not putting hours at a time into the book which may have helped to tie it together more. Anyway, I think I'll just take a shortcut and watch the BBC production of it and move on to other things.

Walk the Worlds Rim by Betty Baker tells the fictionalized story of a young Indian brave, a African slave, and several Spanish explorers in the 16th century as they explore the American southwest. I wasn't overly impressed with the book but there are not that many children's books out there for this time period and this subject so I felt it did add something to our early American studies.

Emma: A Modern Retelling by Alexander McCall Smith. I'm actually not a fan of Jane Austen re-tellings but since Smith is a well-known author whose writings I have enjoyed I thought I would read this for a little light entertainment. There was nothing revolutionary about it -- we know the characters and the plot line. However, what I found most interesting and enjoyable was watching how Smith took a classic and brought it into the present. He kept the book fairly clean -- I think there was a small amount of language and he hinted at one or two things that he didn't need to but of course fit his modern interpretation.

I have a number of good books in process right now! Can't wait to share them.....

For more ideas on wool crafts and reading, please visit Ginny's Yarn Along.

Please note: this post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Long Live Queen Elizabeth II

What a fun and historic day this was! Queen Elizabeth is now the longest reigning monarch in British history (beating out Queen Victoria)!

I've always been a royal fan, not to mention an avid student of British history, so it was very exciting to think that we are living in this kind of historic moment. It called for clootie dumpling scones and real Assam tea for breakfast.

Michael had the exact days of Queen Elizabeth's reign taped up on the landing when the kids came down in the morning and he kept Classic FM playing in the background all day since they were playing royal music for 24 hours.

At the library one of my clerk friends and I struck up a conversation with another patron who came from London at one time. We were all so excited about the significance of today.

Oh I know some people laugh at all of this "nonsense" but you know, I have found my interest in royalty helpful to me. God chose to reveal Christ to us as our King and as I have observed imperfect royalty and the workings of the monarchy here on this earth it has aided me in understanding my perfect King Jesus. So let the celebrations roll on! And may Queen Elizabeth continue to have a long and prosperous reign.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Andrew Turns 13!

A week ago Andrew turned 13! Instead of a typical party, he opted to go paddle boarding with a few friends and have them over for lunch. 

Oh they sure had fun! Two hours of craziness in the water and eventually we made them head for the dock.

Here are the chaperones:

 After lunch they set up in my room for a Minecraft blitz.

Meanwhile we got the cupcakes iced so they could enjoy some cake together. What these pictures don't show are all the other miscellaneous siblings and random neighbor kids who somehow managed to join in at various points.

Middle school boys!

Sunday afternoon we had a cake while Grandma was over.

Yum, yum!!

Monday, Andrew's actual birthday, began with his requested cinnamon rolls. Andrew also requested only monetary gifts, hoping to combine with his savings to purchase an iPod.

 We grabbed Andrew off of online school and took him with us to the Eiteljorg for a school field trip.

The kids just love the stage coach.

And then, that afternoon he went to the Apple store with enough cash for his very own iPod! Yay!

And now I can't imagine my life without Andrew's iPod. It's so easy to find him, ask him to do chores, or invite him to family events on the calendar. Wow. I should have funded this purchase years ago (but of course I'm glad we didn't). Happy Birthday Andrew!