Wednesday, February 23, 2011


A sampling of books we are currently enjoying...

Hannah has recently discovered Enid Blyton and devoured the first book off top of a pile given to us by a friend. I had never heard of her, but from what I have learned she is a sort of English Beverly Cleary.

Hannah just finished Anne of Green Gables and has declared it in her top five. Caddie Woodlawn has been on the top of that list for the past year. Now she is on to Five Children and It.

Will is growing in fluency and beginning to become a more independent reader. The Magic Tree House series books are his books of choice these days. I have recently enjoyed having him read the Billy and Blaze series aloud to me (and Peter).

Hannah, Will and I have been beginning our homeschool mornings in the Proverbs accompanied with Wise Words: Family Stories That Bring the Proverbs to Life by Peter Leithart. Hannah and Will give it rave reviews! Here is the publisher's description:
Following the tradition of Grimm’s fairy tales, these bedtime stories wander down stardusted paths, gallop to mountaintop castles, and tread through dragons’ lairs. At the same time, these eighteen adventures echo and illustrate the lessons of Proverbs in a manner sure to delight readers of all ages, especially those in their jammies.
I am almost finished with Ann's book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. Doesn't it seem most everyone is currently reading Ann's book? Also, I am enjoying Debra Bell's Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling. After hearing Debra Bell speak a few Saturdays ago (she was fantastic!), I decided to read her book which has been highly recommended to me by many. There was just always something about the title "Ultimate Guide" that turned me off... anyway, it is a pleasurable and inspiring read with chapters of practical advice. Now I highly recommend it!

Next on my list...

The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child's Heart for Eternity
This has been on my list for a long time, I finally bought a copy. Even the cover blesses me.

and then...
Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
This Wall Street Journal book review pricked my interest.

Then I should make some time for a little Spring Break fiction. My Hannah pointed out to me recently that it's been awhile since I have read fiction. I'm afraid she's right.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hope for the Weary : 1000 Gifts

Over the last week, I took one picture. Here it is...

Tired (and funny) Peter curled up in a wheelbarrow in our ugly muddy backyard. This picture is strangely descriptive of our week.

February weariness.

It's these days, through this gratitude habit of gift-counting, He helps me to find beauty in the gray. I turn another page and record the blessings...


Golden sky through bare trees.


The full moon that seems to move with us as we drive home.


The second verse of
I Cannot Tell.
I cannot tell how silently He suffered,
As with His peace He graced this place of tears,
Or how His heart upon the Cross was broken,
The crown of pain to three and thirty years.
But this I know, He heals the broken-hearted,
And stays our sin, and calms our lurking fear,
And lifts the burden from the heavy laden,
For yet the Savior, Savior of the world, is here.
Long Saturday afternoon walks all by myself.


Record highs and shorts and t-shirts in February.


The grime covered piles of snow now melted.


That His patience never wears thin.


Window-rattling wind.


Just from the dryer towels.


A Bible study reunion.


Before bed conversation and prayer with my girl.


Gray hair. Daily multiplying. Now where is that Proverb about it being a crown... : )


The encouragement of a mom years ahead.


A timely teaching on Isaiah 40.


Power to the faint. Strength to the weak.


Waiting on God.


"Confident expectation."
“This expression implies two things: complete dependence on God and a willingness to allow him to decide the terms. To wait on him is to admit that we have no other help, either in ourselves or in another. Therefore, we are helpless until he acts. By the same token, to wait on him is to declare our confidence in his eventual action on our behalf. Thus, waiting in Hebrew is not merely the killing of time but a life of confident expectation” ~ Oswalt on Isaiah 40:31

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love : 1000 Gifts

Above all, love each other deeply,
because love covers over
a multitude of sins.

{I Peter 4:8}

On a lovely, love-filled day, my list continues...

Sister and brother handmade valentines.

Tulips from my love.

Long hugs of comfort.

Thin Mints.

A Saturday retreat... full of encouragement.

Lip balm.

Preschool Valentine parties.

Musical chairs.

A bag full of notes from little friends.

His first basketball game.

Almost making the shot.

68 degrees on Valentine's Day!

Math outside.

Paper airplanes.

The gift of Maryland basketball tickets and night out for all three with dad.

The blessing of delivering sweets to those missing their Valentines this year. {James 1:27}

Fears overcome by faith and love.

How deep the Father's love for me, vast beyond all measure!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lollipop Valentines

I'm so thankful I had this valentine idea filed away. It fits Peter's personality so well.

There are many easy ways to adapt this. You could simply print the photos and write a valentine message on the back. I love the simplicity. Now getting Peter to write his name 14 times will be a challenge... : )

Valentine baking plans this weekend? Check out this cuteness from smitten kitchen...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Complementary Hearts

For a valentine-themed art lesson on complementary colors, we picked up some 11"x 14" canvases (on sale at Michael's) and used inexpensive, acrylic paints in the six colors of the color wheel.

Art Projects for Kids has a free color wheel download HERE.

I drew the grid (extending the lines over the edges) and the hearts lightly with pencil. Then I asked them to paint the background colors first - 2 squares for each color, careful to make sure that colors are evenly distributed over the canvas. They finished with the hearts in the complementary color.

Hannah and Will are so happy with these bright and beautiful paintings...
now to find a place to hang them.

Peter did his own thing - which turned out very well. So cute.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I love...

...this idea. Cute printable "I love... " from it is what it is.

I printed them out yesterday afternoon and the kids (and my husband and I) have had fun with it. The plan is to make a Valentine's Day paper chain. I will be needing to print more.

Make sure to check out it is what it is all valentine week for more adorable ideas.

"Guns" ... aah, life with boys.
Which may have lead to Hannah's "My Own Room."

While I made dinner last night, they sat perched at the bar laughing
and writing all the they things they love.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Full : 1000 Gifts

Continuing the list of His gifts...

Boots lined up by the door.

His hands full of flowers when he walks in from a day's work.

Remembering the day he asked me to be his wife.

My girl wandering the house with her nose in Anne of Green Gables.

The simple joy of getting his own library card.

A kid-made "Go Steelers" sign taped to our front door.

Their constant humming.

With my husband away for a night, dinner in and catch-up time with the girls.

Getting to wear your pajamas to preschool.

My three dancing to street music, eager to put a dollar in the cup.

Laughter during lessons.

Mixed-up schedules that mean math lessons at Starbucks.

Quiet Sunday afternoons as my pastor-husband prepares for evening worship.

Morning hymn "O Church, Arise"... the last verse...
So Spirit, come, put strength in ev'ry stride,
Give grace for ev'ry hurdle,
That we may run with faith to win the prize
Of a servant good and faithful.
As saints of old still line the way,
Retelling triumphs of His grace,
We hear their calls and hunger for the day
When, with Christ, we stand in glory.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


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