Tuesday, December 24, 2013

December 2013

I need this just about now. So I think I will.

We made these little guys yet again.


The cardinals are bringing in the season.

Advent & Jesse Tree ornaments hung about the tree.

What it looked like some time ago.
We've been reading 'SNOW'.


Hoping for this.... Remember? It was beautiful!

About to pot up some paper whites.

And still working on a Christmas Card.
So for now, an oldie but a goodie.

Merry Christmas!

November - Gold and Grey 2013

Sewing is such a therapeutic effort, a collecting of frayed edges, within a yarn, a thread that can make it well. November is a healing, thankful time. Earth is collecting all the worn and spent blooms, gathering fodder to renew the soil again. My soul is gathering. Gold and grey, seldom red. Quiet joy by a fire's warmth, a small fire, steady, never over-heating the box, but steadily. A flicker of red, too robust will spend the strength.
October rushes through, scattering wrappers all about the house.
The gardens bring about relief from the buzz of sugar
Every good and perfect gift, really is from above.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Common Core Standards ~ The Crashing Scaffolding 2013

I refer to a curriculum in a recent post about children's literature and C.S. Lewis. And I am regularly reminded that a government school, which is systematic in its efforts to provide for a collective population that is incredibly diverse, a one-size fits all education, will ultimately fail. Proponents of this set of standards may disagree that one-size fits all is not accurate. I disagree. Based on personal experience of our family. And that it is detrimental to the love of learning far beyond any other effort in public education in America.
But I knew this. Going in. So it is for me to deliberate when I can muster the energy. But as professors of law are often at their desks, with time to write, I will defer to this letter written by Law Professor from Notre Dame, to Catholic Bishops in opposition to Common Core.
An article about the letter and Common Core can be found here.
I reject it unequivocally, and felt this was one of the best shared synopsis of reasons in which I share belief.

C.S. Lewis on Children's Literature

'I am almost inclined to set it up as a canon that a children's story which is enjoyed only by children is a bad children's story. The good ones last. A waltz which you can like only when you are waltzing is a bad waltz.'
The passing of C.S. Lewis was marked 50 years just this week. I am currently carrying a copy of 'The Abolition of Man' in my purse. Perhaps as a talisman against current curriculum. I was so pleased to see National Review on-line quote this precious book. But it is not for children, but about how the education system of his time was failing children, and in turn, society. A culture crashing down on its flimsy 'scaffolding.'
But this reading shared at this link, is one worth considering. It inspires me all over again to consider that book for children, young and old alike, that stands the test of time. Perhaps the woods will inspire, or the cold of this November Day.
God is in it all, Creator of the Universe, Creator of all mankind. God be glorified.
Marshall, California, on the road to the Coast ~ 2006

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October Already 2013

Celebrating our Anniversary with kids at Jittery Joes Coffee

My stinky big brother is 50 years old. I'm still 29.

BUGS! at the Georgia State Botanical Gardens.

Lunch at school with 4 monkeys.

Free demonstration.

And Crash.
Boys, life, love, joy.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What we are doing to our boys....

A typical Saturday night at our house.
While I am working on details regarding DAR, I hear from the backyard, an after-school eulogy for a chip monk the cats have caught. The boys 'finished it off' with the b-b gun. Then with a true 'Star Spangled Banner' send-off, they  buried it. Yes, in deed.
Sometimes I feel like I'm in the middle of an extremely patriotic version of 'Lord of the Flies.' We consistently are mending the cuts and wounds of warriors who cross our yard, bearing swords & shield, often wearing their pajama bottoms, wrapped in duct tape. No tribe distinction, just 'warrior'.
This article comes to mind, makes me feel like at least we get this 'wild-thing' right. Or at least we encourage it.
This pod-cast from Circe was excellent.  James Daniels is from Westminster Classical School in Memphis. He so 'the normal guy', but has less than the normal to present. Scroll to 'What we are doing to our boys'.
Some time ago, Henry over heard someone talk about genes, and wondered what that was all about. While we casually sat in our living room, I indicated it is what made him have blue eyes, and daddy have black hair, and he said 'and that's why you have silver hair?' to which I replied, 'no child, YOU are why I have silver hair!'
Love my boys!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Wallace Stegman's 'Angle of Repose'

No book review here. Just an update that tells where I've been. I've finally finished the Pulitzer Prize winner, 'Angle of Repose', by Wallace Stegman. Written about a biographer tracing his family's roots in the west. I find this fascinating as my mother-in-law grew up in much of this region of the country. I am priviledged to have visited her stomping grounds, the only of her children (spouses included) to have seen Spanish Dry Diggins' and driving through Cool, California. This with newborn Henry in tow. Eric had to fly back earlier, and Jack, Henry & I toured with 'the Sisters' the Sierra Nevada's.
No words. So I read them, digest them, and keep on swimming, as Dory (the fish) says.

I am dying to write an essay or letter to the editor regarding media in the children's section. I'm sick of computers in the kids section for parents to check their facebook, while their kids tear apart the library. The writer pictured by her most recent offering 'Flight Behavior' Barbara Kingsolver, writes about his in her recent book of essays. in  round about way, as does another more conservative write I plan to compare and contrast. As well as include my own simple experience with the public library.
My blood pressure goes up tho as I even think about it.

This is what childhood should look like.
Trying to decide which bite to take after a long swim.
Not stuck behind a video game. Or missing the forest (stacks) for the trees (computers).
Tennis for the compulsive sports kid, Tennis for Life at the rec center. Thank you County Sports!
While I debate the worth of waiting for the book at the library.... instead of buying at Target.