Saturday, August 29, 2015

Still No Computer But Here's A Bit of an Update

The semester is off to a great start. We are moving towards a routine. Everyone is enjoying their classes and coursework so far.  They are having some good times with nice friends who are encouraging and positive influences. That is an answer to this mother's prayer. Virginia has faced a lot of changes the past few months--they are good but difficult changes.
Last night, she had a sleep-over with some friends at the dorm. Tonight, the boys are going for a movie night at the student center. Everyone is working on homework and I am doing laundry!
Heehee . . .

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Thursday Things on Sunday Morning--Food for Thought

I have a few minutes as the chicken for lunch is cooking. Michael is downstairs working on the message for this morning, and the kids are still asleep. I have made the tea for lunch and will soon have a bowl full of chicken salad thrown together for sandwiches after Church. Maybe it's a good time to throw out a few ideas . . . . "thinking out loud" as my hubby says . . .
Thursdays have long been my favorite day of the week--the week is winding down and the weekend is just around the corner. For many years, I have wanted to have Thursday nights be "soup nights." Many times, we go to the park with our supper on Thursdays, and I like that "tradition"  as well.
But I keep coming back to "soup night." Everyone in the family loves soup, and if I would just PLAN better, I could make this happen. I have all kinds of recipes for soups--I would like to move away from the wonderful canned soup base as you see in the vintage add above.  They are so high in sodium, and that's not good for the pastor.  Maybe we could alternate between soup and sandwich night and cook-out night on Thursdays.  Virginia and I could compile a collection of soup recipes that work well that she can use with her own family one day. Soup is a strange food in that it is satisfying in any season.
I want to say that more than ever I am grateful for the family life we share. Before too long, surely one of our children will venture out on his or her own. Now more than ever, we need to be thankful for the time we do have together, and we need to make the most of it.
We have a student who is a close friend of the children--she is a lovely young person who loves the Lord. She said to me the other day, "you mean you all sit down and eat meals around the table together?"
Unfortunately, I think this is far too typical in today's world.
I make a lot of jokes about how much the boys love eating at the cafeteria at the college--they really LOVE IT!  But, it's more than the unlimited hot dogs and chicken strips--what they really love is what they call "the melting pot of friendship"--this is a group of them that sit together when possible as they eat lunch.  The real star at the table is the FELLOWSHIP. Isn't that the family table as well?
The food provides a tasty (hopefully) excuse to be together and share whatever is going on in the lives of the family.
Better fun . . . my chicken is ready!

The Close of Summer is Upon Us

Summer is subtly coming to a close  . . .  activities at the college have kept us busy, and this week will see us all back at the books. My computer will be ready for me to pick up on Monday morning, so I will be able to get my syllabi completed . . . and back to some consistent blogging.
This has been a good summer, but not without some stress. I am looking forward to the routine of the school schedule, and I think everyone else is as well. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Are They Talking About US?

This summer was a busy teaching summer. My class sizes were smaller, but we worked very hard to get everything done. A student asked that I put the First Ladies course on the summer schedule, so we did, and we had a blast. The course was supposed to run for the A term, but we voluntarily extended it to the full-summer term, and we had a great time discussing these women, their husbands and their eras. We were able to have some meaningful debate about the role of a "successful" First Lady.
The class was also required to read Catherine Clinton's biography of Mary Lincoln. Her treatment of Mary is even-handed, even kind, and I think that Clinton is trying to find the best in her, which is always a refreshing change of pace in this era of "deconstruction." However, we still have a hard time in seeing Mary as anything but an hysterical and incredibly self-centered woman. One bit of trivia I'll share is very interesting--
we all refer to Mary as Mary Todd Lincoln. She would NEVER have used her maiden name.  Because her family didn't approve of Lincoln and his "station" in life, she turned her back on them for the most part. Mary TODD Lincoln is a modern affectation we have added. Her married name of Lincoln was her pride. She would want us to think of her as Mary Lincoln. That she loved her husband and her children is beyond question (maybe things were more than a bit strained with Robert there at the end!) Her life was not easy, burying three sons and her husband, suffering a terrible National reputation, and experiencing the terror and humiliation of being committed by the remaining son.
Anyway, the course and the students were a collective blessing to me this fall, and I am grateful to the administration for allowing me to add it to the summer schedule.
Hope you all had a great summer. I still don't have MY computer, but hubby is good as gold to let me use his at any time. I am going to go to IT tomorrow to check on my little silver box. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

National Parks Study and Other Homeschool Plans

We have always loved National Parks in our family. We used to live within the same county as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is beautiful. We still visit the North Carolina side of the park several times each year. The kids and I have done some Park studies over the years, and I want to do another but more-in-depth study with Virginia this year. The Creation Museum folks have put together a wonderful study, and I think I will look into that (I am a little behind as you can see). I think we could put together a fun afghan using the Lion's Brand Heartland yarn --each color is named for a National Park. We can combine science and crafts!
The boys have a very full schedule at the College, and we will all be going in about 10 different directions at once. Dear Daughter will be taking Latin with me for credit as well as English 101 at the College. Having said that, we want her to work through the A Beka American literature program as well. She will be doing A Beka math.  We haven't settled on a Bible study yet nor a history. She is leaning toward music history, and Memoria Press has a good program for that.
The year will be a full one, but lots of fun, I think. 
She hopes to sing with the TMC Choral and maybe participate in handbells, plus there is always piano. I am grateful that she feels a clear direction on her life--
more than anything, she wants to be a wife, mother and homemaker, but I am pleased that she takes seriously the idea of another vocation. She can help her family, her Church and her community with the skills she is working on now. 

The Fugitive

One of the many blessings of the new tv channel we are receiving is the broadcast of classic show, The Fugitive.  I found the entire series on Amazon for $40 and I splurged and bought it (not a good thing to do this time of year). It is just wonderful! The show ran from 1963-67, and for 120 episodes, the falsely accused- and convicted Dr. David Kimball is forced to flee from scenario to scenario to elude the obsessed Lt. Gerrard. David Kimball seeks the one man who can exonerate him--the killer himself--the "one-armed man" whom David saw fleeing the scene on the night of his wife's murder.
The show is sometimes hard to watch because every bad thing that can happen to someone happens to him--except his capture. Throughout all of his trials, he manages to do the right thing; even on the run, he helps everyone he can along the way. You can't help but fall in love with this character.
I think there are some episodes available on You Tube if you don't get the new TV Channel --the channel is "H and I"--Heroes and Icons. The shows they run are fabulous.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Thoughts of Autumn

I try not to think about the next season or to entertain thoughts beginning with " I can't wait 'til . . . ."
But I am starting to think about Autumn, our favorite time of year here in the Willows. There's something about the beautiful colors, inviting aromas and cooler temperatures that please all of your senses.
My computer is still at the doctor's, and I am hoping to get it back before too long. Thanks for checking back with the blog from time to time.
Love to you all--hope you are enjoying this season and happily anticipating the one to come. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Where Have I Been?!

Just some thoughts for today:
1. I have been out of the blogging world due to the fact that my computer has been in the "shop" for almost a month. I am very stressed, but did get through the summer classes, grades and all.
2. Although I have missed the blogging, not seeing the news these days has been a blessing. More than ever, we need the Lord.
3. If you need solace, comfort, help from discouragement or fatigue, open you Bible!
Back soon . . . hopefully.