Presentation Night

Last Thursday was the final day of our fall co-op. The kids had great teachers and loved their classes. Bayley and Emlyn took "Gifts to Make" first hour and learned to make all kinds of neat things. They loved it! Peter took Medieval History first hour. They learned about knights and armor and all kinds of neat things :), and made their own set of armor. Peter was really motivated by this class! Ammah Grace stayed in Accounting with Mrs. Kathy and I first hour. She was not impressed. ;-) :-D Second hour the three big kids took P.E., and Ammah Grace took "Dr. Seuss Fun". It was her first *real* co-op class, and she had a wonderful time. She even ate green eggs and ham! :)

The on-stage photos aren't the best...someday I will have a better zoom! :)

Gifts to Make class...
Dr. Seuss Fun...

Medieval History Class...in full armor...
And without their helmets...Many thanks to all who made this such a great co-op!!


Simple Woman's Daybook

October 27, 2008

Outside My Window...
It's dark. I started this post early this morning, and never finished...now it's 10:38 p.m. :-)

I am thinking...
about school and home plans,
holiday ideas,
and lessons God is teaching me about parenting.

I am thankful for...
my home, old and worn out as it is :),
Kelli and Matt Cole, who put together another awesome co-op, and the great teachers/classes my kids had (and that it's over for another semester!),
the gifts of family, friends, music, and laughter.

From the kitchen...
This week...
Chicken and Dumplings (back by popular demand :)),
Zuppa Toscana and homemade bread,
Brisket and Twice-baked Potatoes,
Breakfast for Dinner (Biscuits and Gravy, Eggs, and Bacon),
Cheeseburger Buns and Salad

From the Learning Rooms...

Last week of Mega Memory Month,

Continuing our Holiness/Reverence study,

Getting ready for a *blitz* unit on Presidential Elections.

(And I have had the sudden desire this week to do Latin. Latin? Latin! Now...I have *always* wanted to learn Greek or Hebrew, and had actually planned to do some Greek later on in our homeschool years, but I have *never* wanted to do Latin. And now I do. Have I lost my mind? [I know what one person's answer to that is going to be!! Ha!] I'll keep you posted on that. :))

I am wearing...
Hunter Green Sweats (It's getting pretty cold in here!)

I am creating...
I really need to make a bunch of hairbows this week for the girls...
we'll see how that goes.

I am reading...
"Solving the Crisis in Homeschooling" by Reb Bradley.
(I'll be posting thoughts on it soon.)

I am hoping...
for a restful night's sleep and a productive day tomorrow,
that Billy will feel better soon...he's pulled some cartlidge in his ribs and it hurts. :-(
for encouragement for friends going through hard days.

I am hearing...
A quiet house. :-)

Around the house...
Need to do some serious work on the dining room this week...it's getting a bit out of hand. Ugh!

One of my favorite things...
A well-stocked kitchen and a well-planned menu.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Dinner with friends tomorrow night,
Christmas music rehearsals x2 Wednesday night,
field trip to Spiro Mounds Thursday night,
a calm, quiet weekend,
and school, church, chores (but no co-op! Until Spring...:))

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Ammah Grace in her Cat in the Hat hat at Co-op Presentation Night. She loved her Dr. Seuss class! More photos coming soon...:)

For more Daybook entries, please pop over to Peggy's.


Traveling VietNam Memorial Wall

Last week the traveling VietNam Memorial Wall exhibit was in town. Billy's dad served in VietNam when Billy was a baby, and had a friend from home who was killed in action in the conflict, so we were very interested in seeing the exhibit.

The kids and I had a "micro-mini" unit study on the Viet Nam conflict before we went. Although I was alive during the last part of the conflict, I knew very little about it. I had heard my dad talk about it occasionally when it came up in a political discussion, had read a bit here and there about it, and had a friend growing up whose dad was a VietNam vet. I had seen Billy's dad's photos from those days, but he has never talked much about them.

I was first surprised to learn how long the conflict lasted. I knew it was a long time, but had no idea it was 16 years...1959 to 1975. We also learned that 58,000 Americans died in the conflict. Seeing those names on the wall...even the smaller-scale, traveling version, was pretty incredible.

I was glad that we went at night; I think the exhibit was more impressive in the dark than it would have been in the daylight. :) But...I wasn't able to get a good shot of the whole memorial due to the lighting...I kept trying, but to no avail.

There were flowers and other memorials at the wall, no doubt left in memory of loved ones who died in the war.
There were volunteers at the site who assisted in finding the location of names on the wall by looking them up on computers and then providing slips of paper with the location info and an area to do a rubbing of the name. Richard Blake was my FIL's friend.
Emlyn reading names on the wall.

Bayley looking at the rubbing Billy did for his dad.

While we were studying in preparation for our mini "field trip", we found some great photos of the actual memorial in Washington D.C. here. Definitely worth a look.


Simple Woman's Daybook

October 20, 2008

Outside My Window...

Crisp cool fall morning, birds chirping, promise of a beautiful day!

I am thinking...

lots of thoughts, about...
lessons God is teaching me,
remembrances of Octobers past,
plans for the week and weeks to come,
things I need and want to be teaching my children, and
working toward being the wife, mom, friend, and woman God wants me to be.

I am thankful for...
God's continuing the work He began in me, even when I falter and lose ground,
my husband and a few close friends who are always there loving and encouraging me, even when I am far from my best,
my children, on the good days *and* the bad.

From the kitchen...

"Breakfast for Dinner" tonight...Bacon/Cheese Bread and Eggs,
The rest of the week...
Chicken Fettucini Alfredo,
Pork Chops and Hash Brown Casserole,
Tacos and Rice,
Soup and Bread night
Chocolate Chip Cookies, Pumpkin Bread, and Cherry Cobbler.

(Btw, I finally tried the Chicken and Dumplings recipe from Southern Plate...Yummm! I have to say that I was a bit skeptical, but it tasted like my grandmother's and got rave reviews from the rest of my uber-picky family. ;-))

From the Learning Rooms...
Continuing with our Holiness/Reverence Study,
October Mega Memory Month Activities,
reading Genevieve Foster's The World of Columbus and Sons (which we are loving, btw!),
and *normal school*. :))

I am wearing...
Black knit dress and black jeweled flip flops.
I am creating...
Still working on our Holiness/Reverence study (it is a "work as you go" project! :)),
Still playing catch-up on creative projects,
and beginning to make plans for Christmas (which is why I *must* get caught up on past projects *quick*!!)

I am reading...
nothing new this week...still puttering my way through my *stack*.
(I really need to actually *finish* some of those books soon! :))

I am hoping...
to actually *finish* the blog post I started yesterday afternoon and never had a chance to complete...hopefully later today. :)

I am hearing...
Blessed, wonderful, beautiful SILENCE.
(Can you tell it has been a rather *noisy* weekend at our house??)

Around the house...
I need to finish the "great fall clothes swap" that I began this weekend.
I need to resume diligence in *inspecting* the children's chores,
and encourage *them* to resume diligence in completing them *thoroughly*!
I need to start filling black trash bags again!! Time to get back to purging and sorting.

One of my favorite things...
just *hanging out* with my husband and kids on the weekend...whatever we're doing. :)

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Homeschool co-op presentation night Thursday,
Fall Festival at church Saturday,
a productive week at home the rest of the week!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Last week we did a "micro-mini" unit on the VietNam war in preparation for our visit to the Travelling Wall Memorial exhibit at Chaffee. Hopefully I'll get the rest of the pictures/story posted later today. :)Emlyn looking at names on the wall.

For more Daybook entries, visit Peggy at The Simple Woman.


Mega Memory Month Update...

Maybe before the end of the month, I'll actually post one of these on Monday. :)

We jumped in on this challenge a bit late, so I didn't really have time to put together a *plan*. Once I decided what we were going to memorize (Psalm 1 and "My Shadow" by Robert Louis Stevenson), it was time to hit the ground running.

I printed out copies of the Psalm and the poem for each of us, and gave everyone a portfolio folder, which is serving double duty for Mega Memory Month and our study on Holiness and Reverence. Ordinarily we would have dressed them up a bit, but in our hurry to get started this time, we just left them "as is".

Also, as I mentioned last week, I recorded both the Psalm and the poem on our handy-dandy compact cassette recorder. The kids are still fascinated with it, and I find one or another of them listening to it at all manner of odd times. :) The combination of the cassette player and the printed copies has helped my struggling readers learn to read the bigger, more unfamiliar words.

We didn't have a lot of time last week to work on actual memorization. We read through both selections several times, worked on comprehension and vocabulary words, and then I had planned to really hit the *memory work* hard this week.

So...I was pleasantly surprised when we began to work on the Psalm on Monday morning to discover that they had a pretty good head start on memorization. Just through the work we had done on reading and meaning, and the "playing around" that they had done with their print-outs and the cassette player, they had already begun to memorize.

This week we have been learning signs to go along with the Psalm. We've learned that this not only helps us remember the words, but it also helps us focus better when we are working on it...especially for the more active, wiggly people among us. :)

Turns out that we have already been using a modified version of the "stacking method" to work on this as well. I really appreciated the links Ann K. posted this week in her MMM update...especially this one, by a man who is memorizing the book of James with his sons. They are using the "stacking method", and he posts several good links on the subject. This one in particular is excellent.

We haven't spent as much time with the poem so far. We are planning to start hitting it hard tomorrow. We probably won't get it learned completely by the end of October, but hopefully we'll have a good start. As Ann said in her post, we may not get completely finished with it all by month-end, but we have made *much* more progress than we would have otherwise with the accountability of this challenge prodding us on. Thanks to Ann and the other participants for the inspiration and encouragement!



We've waited. And waited. And WAITED. I'm not sure who was more excited about the new Target opening, my children or their mama! It's been almost like Christmas. "Mom, WHAT day does Target open? And what day is TODAY?" over and over and over again. :)

Then I discovered last Thursday from Kelli that our wait was over earlier than we had thought! There was a "soft opening" last week before their grand opening on Sunday. I decided I wouldn't tell the kids...I would surprise them if it worked out to go during what was already a busier than usual week.

Friday afternoon we made it. The kids were ecstatic. (I was a bit excited myself! ;-)) We met Mamoe there and ended up being there over twice as long as the hour that I had planned, but we survived and the kids loved it. For those who are interested, there is a *whole aisle* of Lego. :-D It has been elevated to *super-duper store* status by my 10 year old by virtue of that fact alone!

It will take a while to get used to being able to pop in to Target *any old time*, but we're ready to work on it. Now, if we just had a Costco and a Mardels.....

Simple Woman's Daybook...A Bit Belated :)

For Today...

October 14, 2008

Outside My Window...

the sun is just coming up.

I am Thinking...

about my BIL's trip to Atlanta tomorrow. He is attending an evangelism conference and then will be *hitting the streets* of downtown Atlanta for open-air preaching/evangelism. I know he would appreciate prayers for safety and for God to work mightily in his time there.
about the *long* To Do list that awaits for today and the rest of the week!
about fitting in lots of extra piano practice hours in the coming weeks in preparation for the children's choir Christmas musical. Eek!

From the Learning Rooms...

Working on Mega Memory Month projects,

Beginning our Holiness study,

Reading Genevieve Foster's The World of Columbus and Sons.

I am Thankful For...

The blessing of two vehicles again!

Cooler temps which make for a much more comfortable house. :)


From the Kitchen...

Hopefully I'll *actually* get the chicken and dumplings made that I've been planning for two weeks!

Peanut Butter Cornflake Bars

Thinking about making some pumpkin bread. :)

I am Wearing...

still in my PJs. :)

I am Reading...

Nothing new this week...trying to catch up on my stack of books I've *started but not finished*!

I am Hoping...

for a smooth, peaceful, productive week,

to catch up on some unfinished projects,

that it will begin to truly *look* and *feel* like fall soon...and that fall will hang around a while before cold weather hits!

I am Creating...

Playing *catch-up* on some creative projects this week.
(And Bayley wants me to make her a skirt this week...ack! We'll see how that goes. :))

I am Hearing...

The birds are all a-twitter outside this morning.

Around the House...

*LOTS* of laundry today...I skipped laundry yesterday...ack!

One of my Favorite Things...

Early morning quiet time.

A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week...

Mostly an "ordinary week" this week...school, chores, church, co-op.

Other plans:

Visit the traveling Vietnam memorial exhibit at Chaffee this weekend,

Bay and Em have a GA project Saturday,

and Billy will be gone Saturday to the Arkansas Baptist Disaster Relief Volunteer training...it will be weird having him gone most of the day on a weekend, but I'm really glad he is going.
A Picture Thought I am Sharing...
Peter and Bayley after their watercolor class at JHARV Nature Center last week...
(You can't see the details from this picture, but they learned some cool new techniques.)

Thanks to Peggy at the Simple Woman for hosting the Daybook each week!


"Little Pillows"

I love hymns. If you've read much of this blog at all, you already knew that...and you also already knew that I love hymn stories. I love to read about hymn writers. Many of my heroes are hymn writers.

I can't pinpoint the exact beginning of my love of hymns, hymn stories, and hymn writers, but I know who instilled it in me. From the time I was a very little girl, I remember my daddy telling me hymn stories. I remember the admiration in his voice as he told stories of the great hymn writers of the faith.

I mentioned in a previous post our involvement with Bible Memory Association. One of the many benefits of our participation in BMA were the "rewards" that were given for scripture memory. Many of these rewards were books...Biblically sound, truly *excellent* books...no twaddle or fluff to be found.

One of my favorite books from my very early BMA days, which was also a favorite of my dad's, is a tiny book called Little Pillows, or Good-night Thoughts for the Little Ones, by Frances Ridley Havergal. Miss Havergal was a poet and hymn writer who began composing at the age of 7. Though she died at the young age of 42, she wrote at least 80 hymns, including "Take My Life and Let It Be" and "Like a River Glorious". The heart behind her hymns can be seen in this biographical sketch.

Miss Havergal says of the writing of Little Pillows, "...just as we wanted a nice soft pillow to lay our heads down upon at night, our hearts wanted a pillow too, something to rest upon, some true, sweet word that we might go to sleep upon happily and peacefully. And that it was a good plan always to take a little text for our pillow every night."

I recently came across my tiny copy of this book, and the children and I have delighted in reading it at bedtime. I don't know how many times Daddy read the 31 little "pillows" to me during my childhood, but as I read, sometimes I can almost hear his voice reading certain passages.
Tonight's reading was about "God's Care", from Psalm 121:3..."He that keepeth thee will not slumber." I loved this part:
"He 'keepeth thee;' only think who is your Keeper! the mighty God, who can do everything, and can see everything. Why need you ever fear with such a Keeper? It is very nice to know that 'He shall give His angels charge over thee to keep thee;' but it is sweeter and grander still to think that God Himself keeps us."
What a sweet "pillow", not only for little ones, but for grown-ups, too, and not only for night-time, but for long and difficult days.

(I just came across another treasure. A companion book to Little Pillows, titled Morning Bells, or Waking Thoughts for Little Ones, is available online at Project Gutenberg. The link takes you to the first page of the online version; you can also download the book to print...and it is free! I'm looking forward to reading this and incorporating it into our morning Bible time. )


I haven't posted much about political issues here, which is actually a bit odd, considering poli sci was my minor and actually my first academic love. :) I haven't been quite as vocal on political issues in the past few years as I used to be, for a variety of reasons, but I am still as passionate about them *inside*, and as certain of their importance.

John McCain was nowhere near my top choice for the Republican nominee for president. However, when it became clear who the candidates were going to be, there was no doubt in my mind that despite my earlier misgivings about John McCain, I would be voting for him this November. Sarah Palin's nomination as McCain's running mate made me feel much better about the ticket, but despite what people say about not "voting for the lesser of two evils", the main reason I will vote for John McCain is Barack Obama.

As most who know me are aware, I have had issues with Hillary Clinton since I met her as a junior high student when she was first lady of Arkansas. I cried the night her husband was elected to the presidency the first time, and couldn't even watch the election returns the night he was elected to his second term. I have said ever since the first rumors began to circulate years ago about her trying for the presidency in 2008 that I was much more frightened of the consequences of a "Hillary" presidency than I was of a "Bill" one. And yet, having said all that, I would *much* have preferred to be facing the thought of Hillary Clinton as president than Barack Obama.

Our friend Susan Baker, wife of former Arkansas Republican party chairman and state senator Gilbert Baker, posted a link to this article from the Washington Times. Read it carefully. It should be read by anyone who is planning to vote in November...and anyone who is tempted not to. There is much more at stake in this election than many of us realize.


Reporting in on the Chocolate Cobbler...:-)

Several have asked for a report on the Chocolate Cobbler. I can sum it up in one word...Yumm! My in-laws are in town and came over for dessert Tuesday night, and I made the Chocolate Cobbler and Paula Deen's Symphony Brownies. It was quite a chocolate feast, served with lots of vanilla ice cream. (You *must* have vanilla ice cream for the Chocolate Cobbler! And preferably a glass of milk as well. :))

Jody had posted a link to Southern Plate a while back, and I've found several great recipes there, and have a stack of others I can't wait to try. The pizza rolls especially were a big hit here, and Billy is impatiently waiting for me to make the chicken and dumplings. (They're in the works for this weekend.) My friend Jodie first told me about the Symphony Brownies...they had received rave reviews at her house, and I couldn't wait to try them. The only problem was that I only ate a very small one, thinking I would have more later...and then Billy sent the *leftovers* home with his sister! So I will have to make them again soon...:-D)

I am *not* a food photographer. I have a *terrible* time getting food pictures to turn out the least bit *recognizable*, much less *appetizing*. So don't let this photo scare you off! :-) (I didn't get a photo of the brownies before they left...sorry. :))

By the way...the other great thing about both of these recipes is that they are *easy* to make, and require pretty simple ingredients. We did school all day Tuesday, cleaned house a bit, and threw these together pretty much "at the last minute". Can't beat that! :-D


Mega Memory Month...Signing In

I think I was actually supposed to do this *yesterday*, but somehow the whole "first day back after vacation" thing knocked us for a loop. I was off-schedule all day until I found myself nodding off at my desk last night while working on last-minute prep for today's school and decided to give up and go to bed.

Anyway...we kicked off our Mega Memory Month challenge yesterday, a bit slowly, but with great enthusiasm. Basically I announced what our plan is (Psalm 1 and "My Shadow", by Robert Louis Stevenson), we read through both selections, and talked about *why* we are doing this. We had already begun working on vocabulary and comprehension on Psalm 1 before vacation.

This morning I printed copies of the Psalm and the poem for all three *big kids*. Each child will get a new portfolio this morning--one side will be for MMM materials, the other will be for papers from the study on *Holiness and Reverence* that we are starting. They will be able to keep their portfolios nearby to work on memorization at various points throughout the day.

To aid in our auditory learning, I pulled out this little gadget this morning. A friend recently passed on a brand new, still in the package compact cassette recorder and some blank cassettes. (Shhhh...my children have no idea that this piece of equipment is considered decidedly obsolete by many these days...they think it is the coolest thing since sliced bread!) I had decided the other night that we would make use of it in learning our memory work. This morning I got up and recorded our Psalm and our poem on it. Peter came in while I was testing the playback and said, "Ooo...we get to use that in school?? Cool!!" ;-)

I have a few other memory helps planned for this week...hopefully I'll have time to post a bit more soon.

Many thanks to Ann Kroeker for her encouragement in this challenge. Her blog is a delight...I'm letting myself have a few minutes a day to go back through her archives. I have gotten some great ideas from her Quiet Time Round-up post. (And I was very tickled to find a name for what my two middle children have been doing since before they could read in her "Scribing" posts.) Not to mention the fact that I feel a definite kinship for someone who has an entire blog category labeled "Nutella"! Yum!! :-D


Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today
October 6, 2008
Outside my Window...
Wet streets from the early morning rain, birds twittering, an occasional car driving by.
I am thinking...
Wondering why, as I've been researching the subject of "teaching Holiness and Reverence to children", so *much* of what I am finding is from false religions. It is disturbing and sad that there seems to be so much more emphasis on teaching holiness and reverence to children by those who are worshipping false gods than by those of us who worship the One True God. Have we become so busy trying to "entertain" our children at home and at church that we have lost sight of teaching them these crucial concepts?
(By the way, if anyone has come across good resources on teaching the concepts of "holiness" and "reverence" to children...please respond in the comments! I plan to post a list of links on this topic soon. )
From the learning rooms...
Back to "real school" this week after our vacation while Dad was off last week!
(We didn't "do lessons" last week, but much learning went on anyway. :))
I am thankful for...
Billy's vacation last week...time to spend working and relaxing together as a family,
the *chunk* of work he was able to get done on the house,
opportunities for unhurried (and free :)) fun as a family,
getting caught up on some much-needed rest.
From the kitchen...
Roast with potatoes and carrots, already cooked and ready to be warmed for supper...yay!
(We were supposed to have this for lunch yesterday, but the two children who love roast the most weren't here for lunch, so we saved it. :))
Thanks to a *certain friend who shall remain nameless* bringing it to my attention yesterday, I simply *must* make this Chocolate Cobbler asap!! ;-)
Billy has also requested the Symphony Bar Brownies (that this same friend made recently) when his parents come for dessert tomorrow night.
I'm so glad for friends who share yummy chocolate dessert recipes with me!! :-D
I am wearing...
Ack...Don't tell anybody, but I'm still in my PJ's. :)
(We're still easing back into our morning routine after a week of having Billy off!)
I am reading...
As Unto the Lord... A Tool for Wives Who Want to Glorify God, by Pam Forster (Doorposts)
Treasures of Heaven in the Stuff of Earth, by Babbie Mason
The Pursuit of Holiness, by Jerry Bridges
and various others I've been working on for a while...:)
(If that list looks familiar, it is because it is the same list I was working on in my last Daybook post. I didn't get as much reading done while Billy was on vacation as I had planned to!)
I am hoping...
for a really good week back at work this week for Billy,
for a productive week of school for us,
for a phone call to come this week for which we've waited a while,
for a good visit with Billy's parents while they are in town.
I am creating...
a unit study for our Bible time on "Holiness and Reverence",
and gifts for my sisters-in-law (they are twins :)) and my niece for their birthdays.
I am hearing...
My children beginning to stir,
birds singing outside,
an occasional *drip, drip* of rain.
Around the house...
Mostly getting back into the "chores, dishes, laundry" routine after vacation (we did all of those things last week, just not on our usual schedule ;-))
some re-vamping plans I hope to post about soon.
One of my favorite things...
Family outings that are fun, free, unhurried, and educational.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
Spending time with Billy's parents as they are in town on vacation this week,
participating in the "Owl Prowl" Friday night at the JHARV Nature Center,
a field trip Friday? (I think...I need to check my dates!),
and our normal *home, school, church, and co-op* routine. :)
A picture thought I am sharing...

Hopefully I'll get the rest of the pictures posted soon from our day at the JHARV Nature Center last week, but until I do, here are a few of my favorites of the flowers we saw...

(Facebook friends...the rest of the pictures from the day are posted on FB already if you want to peek there. :))

To participate or see more Daybook entries, visit Peggy at The Simple Woman.


Mega Memory Month, a bit late...:)

My mom started me memorizing Scripture from a very young age...somewhere around 4. I remember learning verses from strips of construction paper backed in felt and stuck to a feltboard. A few years later, through the work of Heber and Steve McKissack, we became involved in the Bible Memory Association program in our church. BMA was the single-most important organizational influence in my life, other than our churches themselves. We were challenged and held accountable to learn books of Scripture verses each year, and then spent time each summer at the BMA camp in Ringgold, LA. Not only were those weeks packed with solid Biblical teaching (plus tons of fun and superb food :)), we built relationships with some incredible Christians who impacted my life in huge ways.

So...Scripture memory has always been a priority in my mind and heart, even if we haven't been terribly consistent in making it happen lately. It *usually* has a prominent spot in our school day, but I have realized recently that we aren't nearly where I want to be with it.

I had decided a week or so ago that I personally was going to learn Psalm 91. About that same time, I decided that the kids and I were going to begin working on a longer Scripture passage, rather than individual verses, during our Scripture memory time in school. I finally settled on Psalm 1, and the kids and I did some study on it week before last, in preparation to get serious about memorizing it next week, after Billy's vacation.

Then the other day, I happened across a couple of pertinent articles. One was a post by Ann Voskamp about their participation in Ann Kroeker's Mega Memory Month. I loved the Mega Memory Month idea immediately, so even though we are a bit past the October 1 start date, we are going to jump in and participate anyway!

The Ann Voskamp post is, as usual, truly excellent and so perfectly expresses the main reason I want to participate in this project. Love, love, love the last line of her post..."We thoroughly intend to blaze with your glory..."

The other article I ran across brings up a secondary reason I want to participate in this project. Andrew Pudewa, director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing, discusses the importance of poetry memorization in building good writers here. I found his article fascinating and challenging. This is another area in which I have good *intentions*, but we've been pretty hit and miss in reality. My children *love* to memorize poetry, and I need to take advantage of that!

So...here's the plan.

We are going to start with the Scripture passage we had already planned to memorize in the next few weeks...Psalm 1...

We are also going to memorize a poem. Another thought I had a week or so ago is that my children aren't nearly as familiar with my favorite children's poetry as I would like for them to be, and that I would like to remedy that. Andrew Pudewa gave me the perfect excuse to pull out some of my favorite poetry books from my childhood. We are starting with my all-time favorite, Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses. This copy was a gift from my Granny and Papa Marks on my first birthday. :) It is inscribed by my grandmother, and is one of my most treasured books....

My very favorite poem in the book is "The Land of Counterpane", but for some reason, I didn't feel it was a good choice for our first memory project from the book. So, I chose another favorite, "My Shadow"....

The plan is that I will post on our progress each week, including any memorization tools that we find helpful along the way (Ann Kroeker has some great suggestions at her blog, linked above), and then link to it at Ann Kroeker's blog. Hopefully the accountability will keep us on our toes! (Feel free to comment with questions about our progress if we go too long between MMM posts! :))

Happy Birthday Great-Papa!

Last Saturday we celebrated Great-Papa's 97th birthday. Mamoe and Aunt Marlena brought some of his favorite snacks and we had a small party. With four children and three dogs (Mamoe's Prissy and two of Aunt Marlena's), there was not a dull moment. :) It's hard to believe Great-Papa is only three years away from having lived a century!

Emlyn with a dog whose name I can't remember ;-)
This seemed like a small dog until Ammah Grace picked her up...

Bayley, Aunt Marlena, and Scarlett...
Aunt Marlena with the girls and dogs...
Uncle Ken and Ammah Grace...
Emlyn and Prissy...
Peter and Ammah Grace were crab crawling...

Contemplative Emlyn...

More Mercy Week...

More fun at Mercy Week activities...

We had a great time again last Saturday at St. Ed's Mercy Week Family Fun Day. In the midst of a busy day, we managed to squeeze in an hour or so of fun and a great (free! :)) lunch. Hopefully if they do this again next year, we'll be able to hang around for more of the fun.

They had some very cool slides and bounce-arounds...
I think the highlight of the morning was a quick tour of the AirEvac helicopter.
Em trying out a flight helmet...isn't she adorable??
Pete in the pilot's seat...
I'm pretty sure this is the helicopter on which I would have gone to LR had there not been a snowstorm when I was in labor with Ammah Grace. I've always been a bit sad that I missed the chance for that adventure, but after seeing the close quarters, I think I'm quite thankful for the wild ambulance ride I had instead!
Ammah Grace...