Saturday, May 05, 2007


All year I look forward to the lilacs and the crab apples blooming. That week, I go out of my way to find things to do outside. Sometimes I prepare my lectures for the state homeschool convention, sitting out by the lilacs. Sometimes I go outside with mending or editing, and just sit on a blanket in the sun, enjoying the perfumed air.

The flowers are about ready to blossom. We're leaving for a week. I knew this would happen when we were considering planning the trip. I hope the flowers where we go will be ready next week so I don't miss it altogether.

Friday, May 04, 2007


The top headline in yesterday's newspaper was Your Jail Is Awful. And the quote from the consultant hired to analyze the situation was, "You folks, as citizens of this community, need to be embarrassed by your jail."

Ya gotta wonder what "jail" means anymore.

Wedding Dresses

Two girls who both intended to wear my wedding dress. When Katie and Rachel were looking for Rachel's bridesmaid dress last summer, Katie found a white prom dress that begged her, "Please, please, buy me and wear me for your wedding." So she acquiesced to the dress's demands, plunked down $30, and brought home a very nice dress.

We could claim last night was deja vu ... except for the physical proof of yet another wedding dress appearing in the house. Looking for Katie's bridesmaid dress last night, a dress whispered in Rachel's ear, insisting that it be tried on. So she did. And she too brought home a very pretty dress.

Good thing those girls made both their ventures on their own, without Mom. If I'd been along, my frugality would've definitely been the wet blanket: why spend money on a wedding dress (even if it's only $50 or $30) when there's one at home that fits and looks nice on you? But they have gorgeous dresses, and they had fun doing the shopping.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Children at Funerals

Emily wrote a great piece last week about taking her children to a funeral.

I remember getting taken to plenty of funerals when I was little. The funerals weren't usually people I knew, although they were probably friends of my mom or grandma. Somehow, that worked its way into my brain as the idea that people from church belong at funerals. After all, if we're the church family, then we belong at the church funeral every bit as much as the blood family. Although one pastor suggested that it's a pitiful sight to see people at a funeral who aren't family/friends, I know a lot more pastors who want to see the rest of the congregation at a funeral.

And like Emily mentioned, it makes it easier to teach children about funerals and death when the heartache isn't overwhelming and the busyness (of funeral preparations) isn't taking up all the parents attention.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Maggie outgrew an elastic-waist skirt she loved. She was wanting another skirt. We looked in stores and found absolutely nothing that was okay. So we hit up Goodwill, thinking that the styles there are often more acceptable. But we found nothing on several trips. So I convinced myself that I was going to have to sew. I used to love sewing, but now it's one more thing that I can't fit into my schedule.

I picked a really simple pattern. It only took 2-3 hours to put the skirt together. But the nicest part was having something DONE. Y'know, DONE done. Not like weeding or washing dishes or mowing grass or vacuuming. A project that got done and stayed done!

I remember back when Gary was in school, and to earn a little money I started typing term papers for guys. When the first paper was done, I didn't want to give it to the guy. I'd finished typing that term paper, and 15 hours later it was still nice and neat, with white margins, and the pages still in order. What excitement!

A friend of mine who's a schoolteacher took a break for a couple of years. He apprenticed as a cabinet-maker. Having a project stay DONE was an enjoyable part of that job. He could work on a project for a limited time, get nice results that SHOWED, and the job would stay done. That's not like the work a teacher does or a housewife does.

Maybe that's the attraction of knitting or sewing or refinishing. When your days are consumed picking away at a 30-year project, it is awfully nice to have tangible results from your efforts now and then.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Oh, by the way, as long as we're on a "housekeeping" tag, I want to point out an article that Drudge linked to today. They say that an average housewife's work is worth $138,000/yr and that she puts in a 92-hour work-week. I think I'm under-insured....

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


What do you call it when you do two things at the same time? Most people would answer, "Multi-tasking." But a stay-at-home mom would answer, "A vacation."

Monday, April 30, 2007

But I Had Plans!

It's nice when children take initiative. It's nice when somebody (who's not me!) decides to clean. It's nice to declutter.

But I had other plans today.

A very helpful and industrious child decided to do some closet cleaning. That would've been great, except he doesn't have the authority to start pitching items into the dumpster, so he had to consult with me about it. Argh -- that takes brain cells! And he wanted to move some things around. That also required consulting with the mother-person, seeing as how she would go looking for items that had been hidden moved and get frustrated later. (HA! Who's she fooling? Just because she knows at this moment THAT those things have been moved and WHERE they've been moved to, has NOTHING to do with the reality that she will not remember this stuff three days from now!)

So a lot of schoolwork got put on hold today, and so did a lot of other projects. My brain can only handle so much decision-making and thinking in one day. And I wasn't even prepped up and geared for dumpster-decisions. Those questions caught me totally off-guard, so they required twice the depth of thought. My thinker is pooped, and we haven't even picked up the physics book yet today.

But two closets are cleaned and organized, and the dumpster was fed a feast of junk.

Psalm 119:176

"I have gone astray like a lost sheep;
seek Your servant,
for I do not forget Your commandments."

Here's another place where it shows us that we are simultaneously saint and sinner. Think about it: if we do not forget His commandments, then how have we gone astray? Why do we need to be sought for?

And a couple of verses earlier -- "I long for Your salvation, O Lord, and Your law is my delight." If this psalm is about knowing the rules, and conforming our behavior to the rules, then why do we need salvation? Just for our oopsies? Or could it be that Christianity isn't really about behavior? Could it be that the delight is in the law/Torah and the gracious promises of God found there?

Grading Papers?

You know you're a homeschool mommy when you're taking your shower, and the bathroom door opens and a child yells "18 x 6 = 108??" "Yes, it is." Then, 20 or 30 seconds later, the bathroom door opens and the child yells "17 x 7 = 119??" "Yes, it is." And then, 20 or 30 seconds later, it happens again: "13 x 8 = 104??" "Yes, it is." And so forth.

Y'know, I hear tell that some teachers actually "grade papers" while sitting at a desk, dry and clothed, with an actual piece of paper in front of them, and a red pen in hand.

Well, I suppose my way saves time, if not privacy and solitude in the bathroom.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Psalm 119:resh

All that reviving. "Revive me according to Your word." "Revive me according to Your judgments." "Revive me, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness."

The old King James says quicken. Revive is like "vivify again." Wow -- this is about making alive, not about just pumping up or re-energizing or encouraging. I think it's interesting how even as I claim to be a faithful Christian (verses 153b, 157b, 159a) there is -- at one and the same time -- the admission that I am dead, an unbeliever, one who needs to be made alive.

It Figures

About ten years ago, Gary convinced me to try to do some writing and make some money off of it. I researched some possibilities and sent in some things. They liked what I sent, but the rules had changed and they were no longer paying for such things.

About eight years ago, I sent in a tiny little story (a joke) to a big, well-known secular magazine that many of you subscribe(d) to. They printed it. I never received the check.

The next time I was urged to try to make some money writing, I sent in a story to a magazine. The editor responded that she loved it, but the rules had changed and they no longer printed short articles.

The next time the bug bit, my article was accepted. The going rate was about $50-100 per article. The payment never arrived. When I looked up the information on whom to contact about it, I saw that (beginning with the issue in which my article was printed) they no longer pay the authors of the articles.

I think God wants me to work at Burger King. He doesn't seem keen on the idea that anyone would hand me money for writing, regardless of what my husband thinks.