"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every 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 Lord’s holy people, 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." -- Ephesians 3:14-21 (ESV)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Reading Room & Bube Tube

Two more books completed:

1. Death of a Gossip by MC Beaton. It was OK. The audio book was narrated by Davina Porter, whom I adore. I give it 3 stars. It doesn't suck, but it wasn't as good as other stuff that I've read recently.

2. An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd. This is the 4th Bess Crawford mystery and it's pretty good. I listened to the audio book narrated by Rosalyn Landor, who is also a favorite. She amazes me with her men's voices - I sometimes forget that there isn't a male narrator doing those parts. Her voice for the American man was so good in this one. I enjoyed this book very much, even with the weak ending. 3.5 stars.

One more miniseries completed courtesy of Netflix streaming and my Roku. I watched Bleak House this week. Man, is that a long, dreary, depressing story. So Dickensian. Can I consider the book read after watching this? I feel that the producers of this miniseries followed the entire book exactly, but I don't really know since I have not read the book (and do not plan to now).3 stars - it was long and depressing, but it was well done with good acting.

I started listening to Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank and narrated by Will Patton. It's still early into the story, but I'm pretty much hooked. Good writing and pretty good narration.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

15 Days

We're 15 days away from closing on our first house. I'm getting excited. And impatient to just be moved in already. There's so much I want to do to make it our home. There are so many ideas swirling in my head (and my Pinterest boards). There are rugs picked out, sofas picked out, linens identified to be looked at in person, walls to paint, a back yard to make kid friendly, a living room to be turned into a school room, offices to set up, pictures to hang, meals to cook, lives to live.

God had blessed us immensely in our nearly 7 years as a family. We are excited to embark on this leg of our journey. My prayer for this house is that the Lord will be central, this will be the home that the kids always come to (ours and their friends), our guests will enjoy warm and welcoming hospitality, and where grace and love are abundant.

Thank you, Lord, for this gift.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Before Beau and I were even married, we discussed the blessing of children and what to do with any children with whom God chose to bless us. Interestingly, we both expressed an interest in home schooling. Also interestingly, while concerned with the potential for propaganda being taught (climate change, evolution, self-esteem focus, etc.) and increasingly anti-Christian climate in public schools, our greater concern was the actual stuff our kids would or would not learn from the government run schools. Being a single income household private school was not going to be an option. And we both were interested in a more classical education, so home school has been our plan from before the birth of our little blessings.

Before I go further, let me acknowledge that there are excellent public schools. Our region boasts some of the top school systems in the country, high test scores, and loads of Ivy League-bound graduates. And there are many excellent, caring teachers (I am friends with a few and grateful for their hard work and dedication to their students) who work hard to educate the students who come through their classrooms. Beau and I merely want to have a little more control and flexibility with the education of our kids. We want to teach from a Biblical worldview. We want to give them more than what they may receive in a public school - more focused lessons in their learning style and level, more well-rounded subjects (life is school!), more autonomy in the learning environment (self-teaching is good), less homework (school is work), more field trips, more time to play (kids need play time and lots of it).

Beau has been "teaching" the kids since they were infants. For him every moment is a teachable moment. In the past couple of years he worked on teaching Jesse how to write his letters and now he has him doing some basic math (simple addition and subtraction) most days. He's reading well and increasing his vocabulary pretty much daily. And Molly is learning, too. She counts well and has known her alphabet and numbers for a long time. She has a pretty large vocabulary, too. Having an older brother helps spur her to learn more in order to keep up.

So now that Jesse is 5, it's time to make things official. He's supposed to start kindergarten in the fall. We're making the move to notify the county that we're going to be home schooling. We've been reading up on curricula and methods and it's all very overwhelming. I put out the call for curricula recommendations on Facebook and I got a lot of great recommendations and advice. Based on that I have a long list of curricula that have been tested and approved and some basic advice for the early years. With that, the plan for this year is to keep doing what we've been doing (I say we, but it's mostly Beau) - math and grammar (vocab/reading/writing). To make things easier for Beau, because he is still teaching online courses with Liberty University, we bought a basic math workbook and a grammar book for first grade (we believe that Jesse is mostly at that skill level, but where he's behind we can supplement) and Beau takes the kids to the library regularly where they can stock up on new reading material for Jesse to read or for us to read to both of them.

As to the socialization of the kids, I refer you to this post, which pretty much sums up where we are already. That said, we plan to get Jesse signed up for soccer again in the fall and maybe get Molly into a dancing class (Irish step since she already has the hopping thing going when she dances around the house). Our new neighborhood has a lot of littles for them to play with and there are the kids they meet in their classes at church. And we hope to get involved with a home school co-op or group in our new neighborhood, too. I'm not worried about their social skills.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Reading Room and Moovies Reviews

There are two books and one movie to review.

The first book is Death Comes to Pemberley by PD James. I didn't finish it. It was that bad. The end. I gave it 2 stars at the Audible.com site because while the story sucks, the narrator was good. She deserves a star of her own for managing to read that crap so well.

The second book is actually a collection of short stories, Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey. This one defies description without giving away huge spoilers. I'll give you the Amazon brief:
This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.
From the first chapter I was hooked. I love this book. It's different from what I normally read, well written, compelling and interesting characters, a good mystery that builds, solid pacing. I think this is my favorite book of 2012 so far. 5 stars. And the bonus is it's only $5.99 for the Kindle.

Currently listening to Death of a Gossip by MC Beaton.

[Edited, June 8]:  Finished First Shift: Legacy by Hugh Howey on the Kindle. This is Wool #6. 4 stars. A good prequel to Wool, but it should be read as #6.

Currently reading Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue by Hugh Howey on the Kindle.

The one movie to review is Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. I felt confused for maybe the first 45 minutes of this one, but then all the threads started to come together so that by the end I was totally tracking with it. I loved all of the cast - such a great collection of good actors. Gary Oldman as George Smiley was so good. He's a chameleon, man. So talented.

I liked that it had a late 1970s feel to it to match the actual story. I told Beau that I sort of reminded me of The French Connection only without the car chases. 4 stars out of 5. It lost one for the confusion factor.