Archive for January, 2008

Children’s Chores – Thursday Thirteen, Edition VIII

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

I am really a very spoiled mom. My children are my joy. They are helpful, responsible, and considerate of one another, and of my husband and me. They help willingly with the work of the household. Five of our children are grown and no longer living in the family home (though they are often here for a visit). That leaves only four still at home, ages 17, 16, 14 and 11. For this week’s Thursday Thirteen
I’ll list some of the work that the children do on a regular basis.

  • Vacuum the house
  • Clean the bathrooms (we have 3)
  • Fold the laundry
  • Bake the cookies (I don’t like waiting for all those batches to get done, and my husband REALLY enjoys homemade cookies.)
  • Mow the lawn (one acre)
  • Do the weeding
  • Sort through their own seasonal clothing, and decide what to pack away or give away
  • Wrap presents/make cards that we give out
  • Do deep cleaning of their own bedrooms
  • Do any heavy-duty dusting or organizing of rooms on an as-needed basis
  • Do all interior painting of the house
  • Help with large kitchen projects, such as making applesauce
  • Help one another with homework problems (I am only called in to assist if they can’t figure it out themselves.)

Thirteen Chores the Children Do

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

A New Favorite

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Dear Readers, I DO intend to do a Thursday 13 post today, but just now in the busy moments before driving the children to school, I was reading through some of the new posts on blogs that I follow using Google Reader. I came across Nancy J. Bond’s post on her blog, Soliloquy. If you love nature photography and uplifting words (much of which is Nancy’s original work), do check out this creative and calming place on the Internet. 🙂

Kayla’s watercolor of a kitty

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

This hardly counts as MY post, and I hope Kayla doesn’t mind, because she painted this quickly, three years ago and probably thinks it isn’t very good, but I like it very much (How’s that for a run-on sentence?):


Kayla is currently completing her college education, majoring in fine art (Am I correct, Kayla?). I know she would have preferred to major in illustration, but that major is difficult to come by.

The Morning Gift by Eva Ibbotson

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Today I wasn’t feeling well, so, since it was a Snow Day, I indulged in a rare treat: I retreated to bed with a good book after the morning chores were done. I spent much of the day reading The Morning Gift by Eva Ibbotson.


The book is set in Austria and in England, in the years just prior to WWII, is historical fiction/drama/romance, and is loosely autobiographical. I won’t tell you the story, but will tell you:

  • The book reminded me, in many ways of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Like Austen, Ibbotson doesn’t spell out everything for the reader. Rather, she paints a detailed picture of each character, and then allows the reader to form an opinion of them.
  • The author’s vocabulary, sentence structure, attention to detail, and historical detail are amazing. I used to fancy that I have a good vocabulary, but I am humbled. 🙂
  • I am sad the book is over. Having peeked into the many lives Ibbotson described, I long to know more about these people.

Because I enjoyed The Morning Gift so much, I then read an interview of the author posted at

To those of you bloggers who aspire to write a book, another interesting fact is that Eva Ibbotson was forty years old before she began her prolific, award-winning career as an author.

Snow Day!

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

We finally got our snow day, People!

It was touch-and-go this morning, since the school web site showed that school would be delayed for two hours (not closed) up until almost time to leave for school. It’s 17 or 18°F (has been since I got up at 5a.m.) here, and it’s supposed to keep snowing all day. We are inordinately happy about this, I because I won’t have to drive on the slippery roads and I’m feeling in need of extra rest, and the children because a SNOW DAY means cozy games and books to read by the wood stove all day long.

Here’s a picture taken yesterday of Debra standing on the frozen goldfish pond which Rick made out of a planter box. Don’t ask me how she can stand to be outside with bare feet (shiver!):



This is how the back porch area looked earlier this morning. The pond is off to the left. It’s difficult to see from this angle.


This is a view of the west side of the house. Guess some snow got on the camera as Rick was taking these pics.


Rick stood out in the back yard to take this shot. Do you see the skinny pole on top of the house? That’s where Rick mounted our Clearw’re receiver so we can have (relatively) fast internet connection way out here in the boonies. The Clearw’re rep said that, really, he’s surprised our reception is as good as it is, since we’re just outside the area they service. 😛


Monday, January 28th, 2008

An acrostic from Bob Hoekstra of Day by Day Grace:

G – glorious

R – realities

A – as

C – Christ

E – Empowers

Here is a brief quote from the post which contained the above acrostic:

The temptation is to rely upon the law of God in order to generate godliness. The demand of the law to be holy, loving, and perfect becomes a false security to our flesh. We think that by hearing, repeating, or depending upon this demand, we can thereby accomplish it. Let us not forget that “the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope” (Hebrews 7:18-19). God’s grace is the “better hope” that does not fail to bring forth what God desires.

The Lord has ordained for us a life-long involvement with His grace. He wants to work “grace for [upon] grace” (John 1:16) for the rest of our days. This is the “new and living way” (Hebrews 10:20).

Following a Winding Path, Finding a Treasure

Monday, January 28th, 2008

This morning I was awakened by my husband bringing me a cup of coffee. Umm! Very sweet, I say.

We are the only ones up, since this is a day off from school in our district, and the young folk are sleeping in a bit. So . . . I’m allowing myself the leisure to read some new blogs. I’m a regular reader of by Tim Challies. Today he recommended a post in Radical Womanhood, a blog authored by Carolyn McCulley, which I read and appreciated so much that I added the blog to my Google Reader feed.

I was still feeling relaxed, timewise, in our quiet, warm, sleepy home, so I decided to scroll down and read some of Carolyn McCulley’s earlier posts. I came across her book recommendation for A.W. Tozer’s The Pursuit of God, The Pursuit of Man. She posted an excerpt entitled “The Rules for Self-Discovery”. Take a look at this list:

Rules for Self-Discovery

1. What we want most

2. What we think about most

3. How we use our money

4. What we do with our leisure time

5. The company we enjoy

6. Who and what we admire

7. What we laugh at

I’m reminded of Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” There’s A LOT to think about here; I like it. I really like it. I want to live life thoughtfully and wisely, not bump around ignorantly and lazily in the dark. It is so easy to SAY something complimentary about oneself (I am speaking for myself, here, not criticizing anyone.), but the things we ENJOY speak more accurately about us.

I’ll just let this simmer on the back burners of my heart and mind now, and hopefully something beneficial will percolate for later postings.


Sunday, January 27th, 2008

This has been a lovely Sunday. We enjoyed a time of good food and good conversation with a couple of families from church this afternoon. Judging from the quietness in the house now, I think most of the family is napping for a bit prior to leaving again for church this evening.

I haven’t posted any photos in a while so here is one of our lovable, affectionate, bossy Gigi:


Here is another photo of Gigi, this time with Reb. They are reclining on the rug that Kayla made for Rebecca recently for her birthday:


Saturday highlights

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

This was one of those busy, productive days where a LOT got done, but not everything on the old “to do” list. Because of that, I don’t really feel that I’m done with the day’s work. However, I’m running out of steam, so I’m sneaking in this little post at the end of the day. I did promise after all that I would do at least one blog post per day in 2008.

Today Rebecca and I spent a lot of time at the Department of Licensing so she could take the written portion of the driver’s test. I am happy to report that she passed with flying colors, and the driving portion of the test is scheduled for two weeks from today. (We needed to schedule the drive for a Saturday so that she can use Kayla’s Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera (automatic transmission) rather than the little Suzuki Grand Vitara (5 on the floor). Most of her practice driving has been in the automatic. That’s why the eager licensed-driver-to-be has to wait another two weeks yet.)

Since we were already in town we stayed for a while to run a few more errands, and then met up with Sarah to fetch her home for the weekend.

In our absence, Debra and Lydia and Seth did a lot of cleaning and vacuuming and neatening of the house. Thank you very much, young’ns. There was nothing left for Mommy to clean.

We also found that Rick had been busy with the chain saw, and had even recorded a video of himself taking down a large, damaged, wrong-leaning tree. (He doesn’t just take down trees for fun.) I don’t know how to upload videos to YouTube yet. If someone shows me how, you would enjoy that noisy video.

Tomorrow is Sarah’s turn to help with serving coffee and refreshments after the morning worship service, so she spent some time in the kitchen baking ginger cookies and orange sour cream cookies. We were out of homemade bread, so I also did some baking (six loaves of honey whole wheat bread).

As I was busily going about the duties of the day, I was also thinking in the back of my mind about the possibility of trying to write some other type of poetry (in addition to the Friday Haiku). How about a Saturday Sonnet? I’ve never written a sonnet, but I think it would be fun to try. If I come up with anything decent, I’ll let you know.

I’m thankful that the weather forecast for ice rain keeps getting pushed further and further into the future, so it looks like we’ll be able to drive safely to church tomorrow. I’m looking forward to that, and I hope you have a blessed Lord’s Day as well.

Haiku Friday: Words, words, words!

Friday, January 25th, 2008

Haiku Friday

James 3:2 For in many things we all offend. If any man offendeth not in word, the same [is] a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Noah Webster Version, 1833.

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

I’m really not trying to moralize, Dear Readers, but have been thinking how much better it is to be careful what I say, rather than to apologize later for some thoughtless or hurtful thing I said. Sure, the other person might be gracious and forgive me, BUT . . . Words have consequences. They actually DO something. And, sometimes they can leave a wound that takes a long time to heal. With these thoughts in mind, I present you with my Friday Haikus:

Splash! In the water

I tossed the stone, but don’t know

Where its ripples end.

Disagreement comes

May civility remain?

Beware wounding words.

I CHOOSE what to say

Remembering thoughtfulness,

I speak to you, Friend.

For more Haiku, visit Jennifer over at Playgroups are No Place for Children and Christina at A Mommy Story.