Friday, January 17, 2014

Fun with Glass

While we were doing our family holiday rompings, we came across an opportunity that most kids never get. We found a place where our youngest could make his own glass icicle. Take a look!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Skiing with the Family

A family first for us ... skiing together. For me, it had been 9 years since I had been on skis. For our youngest ... never. He was amazing, and we loved having all of us together to share the moment.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Walking in Surrender

All to Jesus, I surrender;
All to him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust him,
In his presence daily live.

I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to Thee, my Blessed Savior,
I surrender all.*

I grew up knowing the words by heart, singing them with the passion only a child-like heart can possess.

Do you remember the first day of true surrender to Jesus? I do. Having known him and, in a simple and shallow way, loved him since before I could remember, my first day of real surrender happened when I was 30.  I had lived a lot of life under my own direction, but that day, very clear in my memory, I began the journey into walking in surrender.

I remember thinking of that moment as a marker for many years after. Yes, I HAVE surrendered my life to my Savior. It is done. But, no. It isn't done. Surrender happens in layers, with every moment of decision, with the worries of day-to-day life, with the devastating and the small. Surrender happens when I choose not to obsess, when I make decisions that are counter-cultural, focused on God's economy. And just when I think I've surrendered one or another area in my life, the next layer becomes clear. There is always more that I must surrender.

To yield. Just to yield. That is my heart's desire. All the while my heart fights back, along with my body and my mind and all my humanness. Paul's battle is my own.

"For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out." Romans 7:18b (NIV)

As it turns our, everyday is another opportunity just to walk in surrender.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at his feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.*

I Surrender All - hymn written by Judson W. Van DeVenter

Monday, December 30, 2013

Summer Depression

Note: While this post is not exactly timely, it has been on my mind to share with the hopes that others who experience the same thing will take heart.

We live in a place that lives for summer.

Saturday, December 28, 2013


I hate goodbyes. From the daily "have a nice day, honey" to the lifetime goodbyes. All are painful, and make my heart a little heavy. I've moved a lot since graduating from college ... 11 times, the last 3 in the past two and a bit years. I've lost many people in the process. Last week, I was reminded of the loss that hurts the most, the loss that lasts for the rest of your life.

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Story of a Christmas Tree

One of the holiday traditions that I've carried throughout my life is the tradition of the tree. Yes, I know that its origins are pagan, and adaptations to the celebration of Jesus' birth have weathered many controversies. Regardless, for me, it is a tradition that brings family together to share memories of joyful times spent celebrating the birth of my Savior. In my opinion, enough said.

In years past, our family has been through many different tree phases ... the artificial tree of my childhood, finally replaced with real green in my teen years. Cut trees purchased from a lot, from Home Depot, from the Boy Scouts, or the local nursery. We even had one year where we used a live potted tree ... a story of mishap and magic that ends with, the last time I saw it, a 30 foot monstrosity in some unfortunate someone's back yard in Colorado. I guess the Colorado Blue Spruce isn't so named without reason. They grow very well in their native state.

The last few years, we have ventured as a family to the mountains of Colorado to help the Forest Service thin out their evergreen tree population. For a mere $10, you can go into the National Forest (designated areas only), and cut down the tree of your choice, within some size limitations. We've enjoyed each unique "Charlie Brown" tree as the years have passed.

This year, we found ourselves in Canada, and as with everything, tried to figure out how things work here, and what opportunities were available.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The PLAN (Home Learning - Grade 5)

A note before we begin. I've been working on this blog post for a couple of weeks. Not because it is so hard to get the information together, I have it in our planning journal. Not because I'm uninspired, I am. But because it seems so overwhelming to put it all out there. I feel like a pushy overachiever. The thing is, we're moving through somewhat according to the plan, and finding new things to add along the way. Nathan LOVES to learn. I asked him yesterday if he was having fun with our school year. Yes. I asked him if there was anything he just really didn't like. No. I asked if we work too long, too hard, not hard enough, etc. He said he is happy. He acts like he is challenged. He still prefers his home learning life to the idea of going to school. He said he likes the quiet and peacefulness. With that in mind ...

Wordle: The Plan  


Each year, I try to re-evaluate the prior year and outline a plan for the new year that not only addresses the basic academic goals of the year, but keeps in mind one of my favorite sayings:

You're not raising a boy, you're raising a man.

Homeschool isn't just about academics, but also about life. Living life. Learning in life. Becoming in life.