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Harvest Weekend

We went to Harvest UMC's pumpkin patch yesterday to choose our pumpkin family.


I have pumpkin seeds roasting for Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds. I need to buy another pumpkin for cooking and baking. Read Mollie Katzen's tribute to this humble gourd, and add it to your autumn menu.

I had some free "me" time on Friday, so I went to the library. Two of the books I checked out are worth purchasing. I'm going to keep watching the used bookstores for now, but may break down and buy them on amazon. This first is Home Comforts, a book I first heard about from Carmon. Not only do I want to own this book, but there are several people I'd love to gift it to. *grin* The other is Valerie Worwood's The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, which presents EO ideas and recipes in a way that's accessible to urban earthy-crunchies like me.

Last weekend, we found an ancient copy of Risk at a secondhand store. Of course Hubby snatched it up. Yesterday we spent several hours teaching the boys the rudimentary strategies of taking over the world. Speaking of which, J9 recently finished reading a two inch thick, small print history of World War II. For his fun reading. That kid. . . I'm glad that he alternates betweent he heavy stuff and "Choose Your Own Adventure" books.

Since I've mentioned fluffy reading, I have a teensy-weensy gripe. It's really hard being a homeschool mom with kids in school. I'm disappointed at how ugly the phonics program is, since the boys and I are used to the Phonics Museum from Veritas Press. It bugs me that curlique style handwriting is taught, rather than the more direct italic handwriting. And I cannot imagine *why* the teacher chose a Frank Peretti kids' novel for a class reader / book report instead of one of the many, many children's classics. It seems the fourth graders are all at a reading level to appreciate the Chronicles of Narnia. Or Tom Sawyer. Or any number of books. Why a silly Peretti mystery?

That said, I really appreciate the school the boys are attending. The staff continues to go out of there way to help our boys with their transitions to school and the States. The teachers are attunded to the students. And the quality overall is excellent. Even if I would have done things differently.

R6's class had a "Farm Day" last Friday. They ate corn and did lots of cool farm animal crafts. R6 went to school dressed as a cowboy (the farmer's neighbor. *grin*) And he told his classmates that Florida cowboys are called Crackers.

One of our biggest family excitements is the anticipation of family visiting at Thanksgiving. My sister and her children and my parents are coming! I'm so excited!

When my sister when to pick up her plane tickets, the lady asked my neice, "Are you going to Florida to see Mickey Mouse?" She replied, "Oh, no! My cousins and alligators!"


October 30, 2005  |  Comments (11)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



What Wondrous Love Is This

What won-drous love is this, O my soul, O my soul,
What won-drous love is this, O my soul!
What won-drous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dread-ful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dread-ful curse for my soul!

To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing,
To God and to the Lamb, I will sing;
To God and to the Lamb, who is the great I AM,
While mil-lions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing,
While mil-lions join the theme, I will sing!

And when from death I'm free, I'll sing on, I'll sing on,
And when from death I'm free, I'll sing on;
And when from death I'm free, I'll sing and joy-ful be,
And through e-ter-ni-ty I'll sing on, I'll sing on,
And through e-ter-ni-ty I'll sing on!


October 30, 2005  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Do you see any flippin' Sasquatches around here?

Ask Napolean. Sweet

Lyrics here.

(Via Mollie.)


October 28, 2005  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



And Ode to Form and Beauty

Songs of Innocence, Introduction
You are 'regularly metric verse'. This can take
many forms, including heroic couplets, blank
verse, and other iambic pentameters, for
example. It has not been used much since the
nineteenth century; modern poets tend to prefer
rhyme without meter, or even poetry with
neither rhyme nor meter.

You appreciate the beautiful things in life--the
joy of music, the color of leaves falling, the
rhythm of a heartbeat. You see life itself as
a series of little poems. The result (or is it
the cause?) is that you are pensive and often
melancholy. You enjoy the company of other
people, but they find you unexcitable and
depressing. Your problem is that regularly
metric verse has been obsolete for a long time.

What obsolete skill are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

(Via BadgerMum)


October 28, 2005  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ephesians 3:14-21

"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom His whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being,so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

(Eph 3:14-21)


October 24, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Like Pumpkins?

Lookie here!

The Fat Triplets First Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest

Get out your knives and ingenuity, and join in. *Grin* If you don't want to carve a pumpkin, at least go over and look at the ones entered and vote.


October 24, 2005  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Any Takers?

My blog is worth $268,721.04.
How much is your blog worth?

All serious offers considered. I'd hate to give up blogging, but. . . At this price, I'd sacrifice it.

The analysis program was inspired by this research.

(Via Keer.)


October 24, 2005  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



The Dangers of Dungeons and Dragons

Viewers Beware.


October 24, 2005  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink




Who doesn't think of Fred Flinstone yelling for the wifey when Hurricane Wilma is mentioned?

We're within the maybe-possibly range for Wilma, but at this point most predictions indicate Wilma will be significantly south of us. This has spurred us to finish cleaning the garage and making sure our sentimental items are in plastic bins. Our home is on high ground (well, high by Florida standards. . .) The most damage I'm concerned about is the wind whipping out the lanai screens--happened during a couple of storms in the spring.

So, we're staying put for now. If my ILs evacuate, we'll go with them. (And I probably won't be able to post if we do. . . Hmmmm. . . Dad and Mom--I'll call B in Az--your phone wasn't working earlier today. . . )

Hubby's working tonight, but the boys are off school tomorrow. Right now I'm planning for a holiday. *grin*


October 23, 2005  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



He Loves Me, Take Two

Hubby's Gift

He loves me.

He loves our family.

Hubby went through hundreds and thousands of digital photos we have, and chose about twenty that captured our family and our experiences from the past several years. He picked the frames, matted the photos, and designed the display. It was a complete surprise to me. I get this giddy-joy feeling every time I see this.


October 19, 2005  |  Comments (22)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



The Future's Open Wide

Dream of better lives the kind which never hate
dropped in the state of imaginary grace
I made a pilgrimage to save this humans race
What I'm comprehending a race that long gone by

I'll stop the world
I'll stop the world and melt with you
I'll stop the world
You've seen the difference and it's getting better all the time
Let's stop the world
There's nothing you and I won't do
Let's stop the world
I'll stop the world and melt with you


October 19, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



My Husband Loves Me

He really, really loves me.

Photos to follow


October 18, 2005  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Semi-Pelagian Parenting 101

(And no, this is not another critique of the Pearls.)

Semi-Pelagian Parenting 101


October 10, 2005  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Children, Good and Grown

And lastly, and I say this gently, as the parent of grown kids, knowing *insert parenting guru* is also the parent of grown kids: we have wonderful children--he does, I'm sure--and so do I. But without even knowing his children I can know this about them: they are not perfect. They hurt. They make mistakes. They struggle. They are prideful and overly simplistic at times; and crippled by shame and hesitancy at others. Yes--they are beautiful examples of human beings, his children (I assume), and mine (I know.) But they are not perfect. If they were, they would not be human. If it were possible to raise children to perfection, then God would have sent a parenting method, not Jesus. Our marching orders are not to raise our children by a method to be like *insert parenting guru* children. Our marching orders are to be Christians to and with our children.



October 10, 2005  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Big Sister

Jhrme John Garrett
Held by Big Sister

October 09, 2005  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Tag! I'm it!

I've been tagged by happily homeschooling Joanne. My soon to be neighbor. *grin*

The rules are:

1. Search your blog archive.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Find the fifth sentence (this is meant to say something about you).
4. Post that sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five people to do the same.

My 23rd post was Google Fun. 5th Sentence: Type in a UPS/FedEx tracking number, and the package status comes up.

I'm tagging:

Knitted in the Womb (a jumpstart to blogging again?)
Scott's Simple World
Roughtcut Gems
Pink Dana
My One Long Day

You're it!


October 08, 2005  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Chunky Granola, Revisited

Just for Thicket Dweller. *grin* Also check out Lactating Mama's High-Calorie Granola Bars.

Originally posted March 2004:

It's been fun experimenting with granola here in Kyiv. I have an abundance of inexpensive kasha grains readily available--I can't identify them all and my Russian dictionary doesn't give much detail beyond "grain cereal." I think we've used oats, wheat, corn, buckwheat, millet, and I'm not sure what else.

My favorite recipe is Mollie Katzen's stove-top, dry roasted granola. (I believe is in her "Enchanted Broccoli Forest" cookbook.) It's best for small batches of granola.

For large batches, I like this recipe. It is low-fat and I can adjust it to be low-sugar. The technique that makes it "chunky granola" also helps the smaller, crushed grains, be part of the chunks instead of gathering at the bottom of the granola jar.


8 c Rolled oats
1 c Nuts (more if desired -- up to double this amount)
1/2 c Sunflower seeds
1/2 c Whole millet -OR- whole buckwheat groats
3 c Whole wheat flour (or more)
-OR- part cornmeal, rice flour,or other whole-grain flour
1 t Salt (or more, as desired)
1/2 c Honey (or more, -- up to double this amount)
1 c -Hot water, or up to:
2 c -Hot water *
1 t Vanilla

* Note: More water makes the granola chunkier, less makes it crumbly.

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl or pot, combine oats, nuts, seeds, millet, flour, and salt. Mix together honey, water, and vanilla, and stir into dry ingredients. Spread on a lightly oiled baking sheet and squeeze mixture together to form small chunks, but don't crowd; the chunks need to bake clear through. Roast until golden brown, about 10 to 20 minutes. (With the larger amount of water, reduce heat and bake longer.) As it bakes the granola may need stirring to brown evenly. Cool thoroughly before storing.

Variations: Replace part of the water with the freshly squeezed juice of 2 oranges (and add the grated rinds if the oranges were not sprayed with pesticides), or use 2 teaspoons orange oil.

For "gingerbread" granola, use half molasses (for half honey) and add 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ginger and 1/4 teaspoon cloves.

For a nice change, substitute maple syrup for honey.

Source: "Diet for Small Planet" by Frances Moore Lappe

Family Favorites:

* Pina Colada Granola: No nuts, dried coconut, dried pineapple bits, coconut sweetened condensed milk

* Carmel Apple Crunch: Dried apples, raisins, dinnamon, carmel sweetened condensed milk, walnuts


* I like to use sweetened condensed milk in place of the honey, because it is less expensive and I can get flavored milks here (peach, coconut, strawberry, lemon.) I usually use half a can for a big recipe--I find I need very little sweetner when adding dried fruits.

* I like to add a handful or two of store bought cereals--rice puffs, corn flakes, whatever--to give a little more variety to the texture.

* I use a cream-of-wheat type kasha in place of the flour in this recipe, and use a bit less than the recipe suggests.


October 08, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Firsts Meme

First Memory
The firsts are jumbled together. But my youngest memory in which I'm aware of my age (3ish) was in the St. Louis arch, the sensation of the sloping floor, and being fearful.

First Kiss
Thanksgiving Eve 1992, from Hubby (who wasn't yet!)

First Concert
First concert not as a kid, going with friends? The Choir w/ The Allies, Wheaton College, 1989 or 90.

First Love
My Mom.

First thing you think in the morning
"Do I have time to press snooze? Again?"

First book you remember loving
Tom Sawyer

First pet
1981. My "pet shrimp."

First place you think of when you hear the word vacation
Tie: Sarasota and Paris

First best friend
Ross Folkenroth. The son of one of my mom's close friends from college.

Last time you dressed up
This week. Suit, blouse, hose, heels, the works. . .

Last thing you ate
Chocolate milk. Okay, so it's a drink, but I had it as a snack.

Last CD bought
Why Should the Fire Die? Nickel Creek

Last time you cried
This afternoon. Upset/angry/frustrated tears.

Last time you told someone you loved them
Five minutes ago. Hubby. Ten minutes ago. My sis. Twenty minutes ago. My yellow haired monkeys.

Last really fun thing you did
Went swimming with Hubby and the kids and goofed off and played in the pool instead of simply sitting in the sun and watching.

Last thing you watched on TV

Angel, Season 2

Last Halloween Costume
A Pirate. First Grade.

Last concert attended
Speeding Lisa, Kyiv

(Via Joel Chadwick.)


October 07, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Arrived In The Mail. . .

. . .and playing on the computer speakers.

Why Should the Fire Die?


October 07, 2005  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Marriage: Keeping it Simple

Less is more. Read the Bible. Submit to your husband out of reverence to Christ. Know that you will fail. Ask forgiveness from God and your husband and start over again.

Marriage advice from Bonnie, shared over at Sparrow's.


October 05, 2005  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink




Welcome to this world, Baby!
October 4, 2005
About 3 am
7 lbs 14 oz

Much love to my sister and her newborn son!

SWEET and low, sweet and low,
Wind of the western sea,
Low, low, breathe and blow,
Wind of the western sea!
Over the rolling waters go,
Come from the dying moon, and blow,
Blow him again to me;
While my little one, while my pretty one, sleeps.

Sleep and rest, sleep and rest,
Father will come to thee soon;
Rest, rest, on mother’s breast,
Father will come to thee soon;
Father will come to his babe in the nest,
Silver sails all out of the west
Under the silver moon:
Sleep, my little one, sleep, my pretty one, sleep.

Sweet and Low by Tennyson


October 04, 2005  |  Comments (8)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Tension Tamers

I mentioned massaging C4's legs because he had growing pains, and my sis asked me for the essential oil recipe I use for my favorite massage oil. Besides for growing pains, I use this as a tool for helping my boys relax when they are out of sorts. I'll have them lie down on my bed, and I'll rub their backs with a little oil, sometimes praying silently and sometimes singing quietly.

Tension Tamer Massage Oil

7 drops Rosemary
7 drops Lemon
7 drops Lavendar

In a small, dark bottle combine the above essential oils. Fill bottle with olive oil. Gently roll bottle to mix oils.

Tension Tamer Spritzer

7 drops Rosemary
7 drops Lemon
7 drops Lavendar

In a small spritzer bottle combine the above essential oils. Fill bottle 3/4 full with bottled water and 1/4 full with vodka. Shake and spritz in the air.

(Oh, and I bet you're not suprised that one of my favorite drinks is Tension Tamer iced tea!)


October 03, 2005  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing

O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer's praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of his grace.

My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad,
The honors of thy Name.

Jesus, the Name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
'Tis music in the sinner's ears,
'Tis life, and health, and peace.

He breaks the power of reigning sin,
He sets the pris'ner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.

He speaks and, listening to his voice,
New life the dead receive;
The mournful, broken hearts rejoice;
The humble poor believe.



October 02, 2005  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Pearls Po-Russki


Michael and Debi Pearl are not new on the Christian home-centered, homeschooling scene. I first read one of their books almost 15 years ago. Yet, their popularity (notoriety?) seems to have grown in recent years.

The blogosphere has been a-buzz since Debi Pearl's recent release, Created to Be His Helpmeet. Initially a great many women gushed about Mrs. Pearl's folksy common sense approach.

In time, however, Christian women began to look more closely at Mrs. Pearl's teachings and theology. If you haven't yet read them, check out these reviews by three homeschooling, conservative Christian women.


Just this week, Catez has added some thoughts and insights related to the Pearls and their theology. Also, check out this similar thread on the Pearls and Semi-Pelagianism.

These doctrine-related concerns about the Pearls are not new. I know several people in real life and online who have voiced their reservations. And even Douglas Wilson wrote several years ago in a review of "To Train Up a Child":

"The innate sinfulness of the child is denied, which leads the Pearls to sharply distinguish training from discipline. Training is what the innocent infants and toddlers get, and is identical to what puppies get when they don't go on the newspapers. Discipline supposedly comes later when sin enters the picture. While this is not a book of theology, a Finney-like Pelagianism runs near the surface. And while there are some similarities between animal training and child-discipline, the distinctions between the two are not adequately maintained in this book. The result of this confusion is not only heretical, but also offensive to any parents who value the dignity of their children."

The Pearls' theology is questionable, at best. Which is why I was so alarmed when I friend brought me a copy of "To Train Up a Child" in Russian. She was given it by her church in Kyiv, and she knew I was involved with planning a Family Conference. She was trying to provide a helpful "Christian" resource available in Kyiv (knowing the challenge it is to find such things.)

It saddens me that American Christians have funded the translation and printing of a book that is so harmful to the growing Ukrainian church. Exporting American sub-cultural imperialism is the least of my concerns. What about failing to convey the amazing grace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? What about advocating disfunctional family relationships in a culture that is often struggling to find healthy family models? What about advocating an activity that is illegal in Ukraine as a key part child training?

I hold no personal animosity towards the Pearls. I oppose their teaching because we have very different foundations theologically. I oppose their teachings because it leaves little room for the Holy Spirit to work in the lives of the parents and children, husbands and wives. I oppose their teachings because they cause more harm to families they claim to want to help.

For further reading:
Authoritarianism and Isolationism Among Us
Parenting Decisions: Discipline
On the Pearls and Parenting
CTBHHM: A True Story
TTUAC: A True Story
Avoiding Millstones


October 01, 2005  |  Comments (15)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



I Miss My Blog

I miss writing down the cute and funny and sentimental stories about my kids. I miss journalling our daily lives. Life has become more busy and I'm writing less. And I miss it.

Today I'm making Chunky Granola, with almonds and cranberries. I have white beans simmering to make bean dip for tonight and freeze for future recipes.

Two boys are swimming. One is writing a book. Another is not getting in the pool, but playing with the water.

Yesterday I went on a field trip with T7's class to Mote Marine Laboratory. C4 came along. We got to see manatees, sharks, dolphins and other really cool marine animals. T7 held a crab and a sea urchin, and petted a ray.

T7 loves whales and knows a lot about them. He can identify dozens of them from pictures and tell me facts about them. He's loved whales for a long time, and it has really helped his transition to school that his teacher chose an Ocean theme for their first unit study. With T7's math and science bent and love of whales, I really could see him becoming a marine biologist.

Each morning on the way to school, I drill J9 on his multiplication facts. T7 and R6 know them as well as he does, now.

Hubby just finished a history course on China. I wish he'd post his papers online. Yes, his academic writing reflect the same fear and whimsy that you well know from his blog.

I haven't read much lately. I've skimmed through a few books, but have had trouble making the time/finding the time to sit and read.

Or sit and blog.


October 01, 2005  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Clever Boy.

It's 4:12 am. C4 woke up about a half hour ago with a growing pain in his left leg. I began massaging it with some of my essential oils/massage oils. He was still hurting and said, "It's now in this leg." I began massaging both legs.

A few minutes later, "My feet hurt, too."


October 01, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



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