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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Third Annual Advent Carnival

Welcome to the Third Annual Advent Carnival!

This little carnival began in 2007 as a way to connect with other liturgically-minded bloggers (and blog readers). You can enjoy those carnivals, too: 2007 and 2008.

We all hope you find some inspiration for starting or continuing your family's Advent tradition!

History of Advent
Advent is the first season of the Church Year, starting four Sundays before Christmas (the Sunday nearest November 30th) and ends on Dec. 24th, Christmas Eve. The Advent season was formally established by the church at the Council of Tours in 567 as a period of fasting and preparation for the 12-day feast of Christmas. Our Eastern Christian friends (Eastern Orthodox) begin their Advent or Nativity Fast much earlier, the middle of November (40 days before Christmas).

:-: Deb, a long-time blogging friend and convert to Eastern Orthodoxy, has some lovely and simple Advent ideas for Easter OR Western Christians at her blog Deb on the Run. Don't miss her lovely Jesse Tree!

Learning about Advent
The word Advent comes from the latin "adventus", which means "coming", which was a translation of the Greek "parousia" a term that is often used for the Second Coming. Thus Advent is a season of looking forward to the immediate coming (of Christmas) and the future return of Christ.

Learning about Advent . . .
:-: Papa Bear from Goldilocks and the Three Bears shares a series of posts describing their journey to discovering Advent: How a Simple Tradition Led from Commercialism to Christ.
Learning during Advent. . .
:-: Elizabeth
In the Heart of My Home has a load of Advent and Christmas links, including a few of her fantastic lesson plans for homeschoolers. BUT after you read those, don't miss her post about doing Advent "Right": Advent and the Generous Person

Preparation of the heart
Advent is a season of fasting, reflection, and preparation of hearts and homes, much like Lent, but with a decidedly festive undercurrent.

:-: Ann from Learning As We Go has written a series of devotions to use with your family during Advent all on the theme of PREPARATION. She has offered to email the full curriculum (with crafts and full children's church routines) to anyone interested.

Exploring symbols and meaning
Many families enjoy making and using an Advent wreath made of evergreens. You may use any type of greenery you like or have on hand. We have huge rosemary bushes which need cutting back, so we often use some rosemary mixed in with other greenery. Here are some of the types of evergreens and their symbolic meanings:
  • Pine , the most common evergreen, points to Everlasting Life,
  • Laurel (Bay), which was used to crown those who won in the games, signifies victory.
  • Cedar , because it is long lasting and aromatic, is symbolic of strength and healing.
  • Juniper , Holly, and Rosemary By legend these plants provided shelter and help for the Holy Family when they fled from Bethlehem to Egypt. The fragrance of rosemary, it has been said, began when the Virgin Mary laid out the Infant Jesus’ clothes to dry on this plant. The rosemary bush responded by perfuming the Christ Child’s clothing.
    Holly . Its prickly leaves remind us of the Crown of Thorns. Its red berries remind us of the Blood of Jesus shed for us upon the Cross.
  • Ivy , since it is frequently used as a decoration, has always been a symbol of joy and festivity.

:-: Amy from Splendor in the Ordinary challenges us to enjoy new and different traditions and ideas, but not to miss the depth and richness of the ones we might already enjoy. Don't miss her further links on Advent Wreaths and Christmas Traditions, The Jesse Tree, Favorite Christmas Books, and an Advent music playlist!

Each week's candle also has a symbolic meaning

First Week of Advent - Hope
Arise, shine; For you light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. Isaiah 60: 1-3

:-: My friend at Two Square Meals shares a winsome and touching post about last year's Advent when she not only awaited the birth of Christ, but the birth of her third child: God Made Flesh.

Second Week of Advent - Love
Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. Isaiah 40:4-5

:-: Amy, from Frankly Journaling, an "in-real-life" friend, shares how she came to appreciate and love the liturgical form of worship and how she is teaching her children to love it, too, in her family's Advent celebrations. If you are new to Advent or liturgy, don't miss her Journey to Advent!

Third Week of Advent - Joy
. . . and the ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. Isaiah 35: 10

:-: The Olive Grove tells us about her Advent as a "baptist with liturgical longings" and how simplifying in Advent has made Christmas more meaningful. She has discovered that by giving up some things (or really postponing them) she has gained much more. She also promises more posts about Advent in Keeping Advent: What's Missing?

Fourth Week of Advent - Peace
For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given. And the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6-7

:-: Amy, a dear and gracious blogging friend, who has mercifully forgiven me for my oversight, is Escaping into Advent on her blog On a Joyful Journey. I adore that phrase. I'm going to meditate on that. ~~~ She also has posted a great list of meaningful and fun movies for Advent and Christmas. Anyone who loves White Christmas, A Christmas Carol (from 1951) and Elf definitely has my kind of movie taste!

:-: And finally, my post from last year: The Advent That Almost Wasn't. I was always (and still am) a fan of "The Year Without A Santa Claus", well last year was almost the year without an Advent, and just like that story, in the end I realized what I might be missing. And a link to a collection of my previous Advent posts, including a 5 part series on our family's many Advent traditions!

Just as I posted the carnival I got a sweet email with another post. Some how a late-comerseems appropriate for Advent, so I'm adding it in . . .

:-: Lindsey from Reading Red Letters has a few ideas for Advent, too!

We hope you enjoyed the carnival! Please tell your friends about, and feel free to borrow the image to do so. If you post about Advent, please leave a link in the comments, so we can come visit!

O Lord, stir up our hearts that we may prepare for Thy only begotten Son that through His coming we may be made worthy to serve Thee with pure minds through Christ our Lord.

Looking for Advent?

Are you looking for Advent ideas or resources: Advent wreath, Advent calendar, Jesse Tree, St. Nicholas, St. Lucy or others?

:-: Advent books for families and individuals

:-: Saints for Advent: Saint Nicholas and Saint Lucia

:-: The Advent That Almost Wasn't - be sure to scroll down for links to simple Advent ideas.

:-: Rethinking the Christmas Craze - my rant, or not.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Advent Carnival Tomorrow

Only 2 more days until Advent!
Are you:
  • new to celebrating Advent?
  • looking for some new ideas for Advent?
  • just love to read what other people are up to during Advent?
Then you don't want to miss the Advent Carnival!

On Saturday, November 28th, this blog, A Ten O'Clock Scholar, will host the Third Annual Anglican Advent Traditions Carnival. It will feature posts from Anglican and other liturgical-minded bloggers with ideas, links, resources, thoughts, and more for Advent. Want to see what we did in 2007 and 2008?

Like to contribute? Today is the last day for submissions! Here are the guidelines:
  1. Write a post (or posts, you may submit as many as you like) about how your family celebrates Advent, resources you use, link collections - anything you like, really, but stick to the topic of Advent. Remember it is not Christmas, yet! You do not have to be Anglican to contribute!

  2. Email a link to your post to me at kerrysblogs (at) gmail (dot) com TODAY, Friday, Nov. 27th. Please include the post title and your name (or the name you'd like me to use).

  3. Update your post with a link to the Advent Carnival's main page once the Carnival is published on the 28th.

  4. Help us get the word out! Email friends, announce it on your blog, twitter, facebook - whatever!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Daybook - Monday, November 23rd

outside my window . . . solid gray sky reflected in charcoal puddles. My front beds looking a bit bedraggled.

in the kitchen . . . making ahead lots of food today and tomorrow and the next day for our Thanksgiving celebration. Oh, and last night I made a REALLY easy pot of soup. Literally, open, pour, stir, serve: 2 boxes of Trader Joe's Creamy Corn and Roasted Pepper soup, 2 cans of corn, 2 cans of black beans (rinsed well), and a 7oz jar of pimentos. I added a little shredded cheese when I served it. You could make it a bit heartier by adding some browned ground or shredded chicken/turkey/beef. It is really SO delicious!

around the house . . . lots of cleaning and decluttering to get ready for Thanksgiving and the holiday season. The kids have all gotten their cleaning assignments. I'm polishing silver today - among other things.


on my iPod . . . adding some Advent music to my iPod this week.

from our studies . . . the next few days are all about "Home Ec"!

thinking about . . . the upcoming Advent Carnival. I can't wait to see the posts!

listening to. . . my dog, who sounds like she is trying to hack up a hairball. The kids discussing a Pink Panther movie my middle daughter is making up.

thankful for. . . our cash budget. It is such a relief to go spend money I have in my hand and not worry about "going over".

creating . . . I might start on that crochet Christmas star garland this week.


to foster rhythm and beauty . . . some fresh flowers for our Thanksgiving table. Reviewing previous year's Advent traditions and adding a new one: a Jesse Tree.

to live the liturgy . . . gathering for our family altar-space: a purple cloth, a new candle and making upcoming feast day icons for Advent.

to educate faithfully . . . gathering resources for an Advent lesson plan based mostly on Jan Brett's Christmas Treasury and our new Jesse Tree.


one of my favorite things . . . my little secretary desk in the corner of my dining room. It is a tiny little corner, but it is MY corner.

a few plans for the upcoming week . . . meetings for me tonight and tomorrow night, my mom arrives Tuesday, Thanksgiving dinner of course on Thursday, maybe shopping on Black Friday, maybe a trip downtown to see the sights on Saturday.

a picture thought I'm sharing . . .

This is my tiny corner.

Enjoy more Daybooks at Peggy's!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Advent Music on YouTube

Two of my blog friends, Juanita and Amy, have created YouTube playlists for Advent music. How wonderful is that? Check it out:

:: Amy at Splendor in the Ordinary - Advent Music Playlist

:: Juanita at The Olive Grove - Advent Music videos and Playlist

I might make one, too. If you make a playlist, leave a comment with the link!

Peter Piper's Picks: Nov 21st

::This is why knowing history is so important to our understanding of biblical truth (and studying the Greek). Of Belts and Breastplates from Mere Comments. This gave me a much better understand of the Belt of Truth!

::Brandy has compiled a phenomenal booklist based on a couple CiRCE conference talks. Some really great books!

::A winsomely worded reminder about our lives' priorities - blogging (and blog reading) in particular - from Mrs Anna T at Domestic Felicity.

::8 great family gift ideas from Heart of the Matter

::And a great holiday funny from Fail blog. (Do you know Fail blog? I enjoy it, but you do have to use some discretion here. At the top of the blog is a link to see only G-rate matieral.) Only this time it is a WIN: Holiday Lighting Win.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rethinking the Christmas Craze

Repost from Dec 2008. And, of course, don't forget the upcoming Advent Carnival!

Sometimes I get irritated with the mad push for Christmas.

This past summer I noticed a local craft store with their Holiday displays out in full array in JULY. Yes. July. The local Christian radio station started playing Christmas music two weeks ago. The city decorations have begun to appear. I've even seen a Christmas tree twinkling from behind a neighbor's curtains.

Why can’t we wait for the holiday to arrive before we celebrate it?

This is a bit of a cliché gripe, I know. Everyone loves complaining about how early the Christmas rush begins. I love complaining about it, too. It is an easy shot to take and does make me feel a bit "superior". But there is something truly symptomatic in it, isn't there?

All this craziness seems to me to reflect the spiritual state of our culture. Despite what we may hear and read, I believe the Christmas Craze is evidence of the desire for spiritual fulfillment for believer and non-believer alike: the coming of the Savior. We are anxious for the future: both near (Christmas) and distant (Second Coming). It is so tempting to begin the celebrations early! This is not an altogether bad desire – it reveals the Christian's hope. However, it does become a distraction when it overshadows the work that must be done before both those long-awaited days of the Savior's appearance. Both of these events require seasons of preparation – Advent. To skip these might leave us unready to fully welcome the Savior.

In the past, I’ve found myself trying so hard to avoid all Christmas celebrations until Christmas was really here. I was determined to observe a good Advent season. Our culture makes this almost impossible – and in fact it was for me. But, now I’m not sure this is really necessary or preferable. I still maintain that a thoughtful Advent observance heightens the celebration of Christmas; however, Advent can be enhanced by appreciating a taste of the joy awaiting us. It awakens our hearts a bit and makes them yearn even more for the end of Advent, both the seasonal and the eternal!

My family will continue our usual Advent traditions, maintaining our focus on this season of preparation. However, we’ll also enjoy those moments of festivity knowing that the full celebration is yet to come and allowing the yearning for that celebration to grow! And instead of griping about the premature and over-the-top Christmas celebrations, I’m going to focus on being thankful for this proof of the desires deep in the hearts of us all.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Christ the King Sunday and Stir-Up Sunday

The Feast of Christ the King,
Sunday Nov 22nd

A little history:

The Feast of Christ the King was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 as an antidote to secularism, a way of life which leaves God out of man's thinking and living and organizes his life as if God did not exist. The feast is intended to proclaim in a striking and effective manner Christ's royalty over individuals, families, society, governments, and nations.

Read the encyclical.

Some ideas for celebrating the feast:
  • Ideas for readings and discussion for a range of children's ages from Proclaiming Faith: Christ the King

  • has a nice coloring page with some activity ideas (some rather Catholic based, but I really like the idea to make a banner and have the kids decorate it with images and words about the ways Christ is our King: powerful, wise, caring, etc.). And tons of ideas on the Lesson Plan page.

  • We've enjoyed getting cardboard crowns (or making them ourselves) and decorating them with whatever we have one hand. Wear them to dinner or use them to decorate.

  • And get some recipes and other ideas from Catholic

  • Other posts you might enjoy:
    Splendor in the Ordinary

    The image of Christ Pantocrator was taken by Guillaume Piolle and is from the central dome of the cathedral Agios Andreas (Saint Andrew) in Patras, Achaea, Greece.

This Sunday is also "Stir-Up Sunday", a traditionally Anglican term for the last Sunday before Advent, and is a reference to the collect for this day:

Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be
plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Here's a bit more about the day with a variety of recipes for traditional Plum Pudding. I'm not sure I want to make Plum Pudding, but we might use this Sunday to make a batch of our traditional Swedish mulled wine, Glogg, to sit and meld a bit until Christmas.

One source I read said that this is a traditional day for families to begin their Christmas planning and preparations, so it might be fun to sit down as a family and make lists of crafts, gifts, cards, movies, events etc for the upcoming Advent and Christmas season. Perhaps you might want to make a family calendar with all your Advent plans? We will use this Sunday to pull out our Advent boxes and look through them, freshening up any decorations or supplies.

Do you have any suggestions for recipes that need to be made well-ahead of Christmas and (or) take a good deal of stirring?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Crochet Decoration for Christmas

Don't forget about the Carnival! If you are planning on submitting, would you drop me an email or leave a comment?

Would you like a simple project to work on during Advent? How about a crochet project that won't take any time to whip out? How about a crochet star chain for your Christmas tree? I'm reprinting the directions here because they are buried in a long post, but that post is filled with great Advent ideas, so do go check out the original post - and photos, don't miss those - at O Night Divine.

Make a loop for the hook. Chain 6 loops and form a ring with a slip stitch. Make 2 single crochets in the ring. Chain 5 loops. Repeat the "2 single crochets--chain 5 loops" steps four more times. This makes 5 parts of the star around the center ring. Join the last chain loop to the first single crochet with a slip stitch.

Then make a chain 7 inches long. Count back 6 loops from the hook and push the hook through the loop. Form a ring. Work another 5 part star around the ring.

Continue making chains and stars until the chain is at least several feetlong. Drape it on the branches of your tree. The spiders will be envious. But your friends needn't be--you can give them some as presents.

How delicate and old-fashioned would these pretty little things look? Doesn't that look easy? I'll let you know how mine goes!

Welcome to the facelifted Ten O'Clock Scholar!

If you are subscribed in a reader or by email, come on over to the blog and check out the new look!

Here's what I did:
  1. Added a custom background and tweaked the whole layout (adjusted fonts, moved date to center, removed excess space between sidebar items, switched back to a two-column layout, tweaked margins between posts and between columns to give extra "white" space).

  2. Created and added a new custom header

  3. Reorganized sidebar items

  4. Removed a few unused sidebar items

  5. Created and added custom buttons in sidebar

  6. Created a Google Calendar for blog events and Liturgical observances with a link in the sidebar.

  7. Created and added custom title images for sidebar items

  8. Reorganized post labels (added: Adoption, Unlabeled, Home Making, and Great Thoughts) - I still have a little to do here, I want to rename some of the labels, ex: "Reading" to "Good Books".

  9. Changed my Archives to a drop down menu (to save sidebar space)

  10. Added text with my email addy in the footer.
I did all this myself and for free (ie. I didn't buy any backgrounds, images, etc)! So, if I can do (Art History major, remember) you certainly can, too!

If you have a blog and are interested in some of the resources I used:

Microsoft Publisher (blank website document to create background, button images, and header), but you could use any package for creating/editing images you have - PhotoShop is probably better for this than Publisher, but it is all I have!

Online Image Editor (free web-based image editor - that is where I got the cool "Argos" font in the header and sidebar)

Photobucket (hosting my background image, and it helped me tweak the pixel size on some images)

And these blogs for free html/css advice:

So, come on over and check it out. . . and let me know if you see any major mistakes! :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Daybook - Monday, November 16th

Feast of St. Margaret of Scotland

outside my window . . .
orange leaves set against a really blue, Carolina blue, sky

in the kitchen . . .
oatmeal with brown sugar for breakfast and making a batch of broth today for soup later this week.

around the house . . .
it's laundry day again! Also, time for some deep cleaning before Thanksgiving.

from our studies . . .
learning about the Byzantine Empire this week in history and the parts of a flower in science.

thinking about . . .
the changes to the blog I've made so far (contemplating returning to a two-column spread and putting the background image on one side only (just the scholar). If you have an opinion, leave a comment!


listening to. . .
a bird chirping away outside and the baby playing quietly in her crib.

thankful for. . .
our friend Susan who sent Saturday night's leftovers home with us. We had a delicious soup and bread meal last night and custard apple pie for a few days!

pondering the words . . .

"Orthodoxy has maintained the New Testament tradition, whereas Rome has often added to it and Protestantism subtracted from it." from an Orthodox church leaflet.

reading . . .
Just started a children's version of Canterbury Tales. The kids are really enjoying it! I picked this up on a whim at one of the homeschool book sales this summer (from one of those "old book" vendors).

creating . . .
about to pick up my crochet needle (hook?) and whip out another couple hats. (I need to post the photos of the girls' hats!)


to foster rhythm, reverence, and time...
I hope to get the whole family inspired for preparing the house for Thanksgiving.
Some new fall smelling candles, polishing some silver, freshening the table linens, preparing guest rooms (and children's rooms to be used as guest rooms), preparing meal plans and make some food ahead of time, pulling out a family puzzle to work on, and perhaps a book to read as a family over Thanksgiving week.

one of my favorite things . . .
a new memory work "bulletin board" I made this week. I'll post about this later this week!

milestones in the past week . . .
Baby L has been using a few new signs lately: eat, milk and she's started saying "Kitty". (She's said it once before, but then hasn't for a couple of months. )

a few plans for the upcoming week . . .
Art today,
our last Classical Conversations meeting for the year on Wed,
the last Drama class (and skits presented to family) on Thurs,
boys going to the Car Show on Fri,
and the last "regular season" Farmer's Market on Saturday.

a picture thought I'm sharing . . .

Middle Daughter exploring St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church
during their Open House.
Enjoy more Daybooks at Peggy's!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Put on your hard hats. . .

I'm making some changes to the Ol' Ten O'Clock Scholar blog space, so things may be a bit messy around here for a few days. Hang with me until I get it all spiffed up!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Peter Piper's Picks: Nov 14th

Liturgical Nuts and Bolts - from iMonk: a great explanation of the liturgy by an Anglican priest.

From, a commercial website, a fascinating look at what was being read during World War I, especially what was being read by soldiers.

Have you ever been unfriended, literally or via Facebook? Read to the end for a link to a Garrison Keillor take on unfriending, too.

Third Annual Advent Carnival!

Only 14 more days until Advent!

Are you:
  • new to celebrating Advent?
  • looking for some new ideas for Advent?
  • just love to read what other people are up to during Advent?
Then you don't want to miss the Advent Carnival!

Here's the skinny:

On Saturday, November 28th, this blog, A Ten O'Clock Scholar, will host the Third Annual Anglican Advent Traditions Carnival. It will feature posts from Anglican and other liturgical-minded bloggers with ideas, links, resources, thoughts, and more for Advent. Want to see what we did in 2007 and 2008?

Like to contribute? I'm accepting submissions from now until noon Friday, November 27th. Here are the guidelines:
  1. Write a post (or posts, you may submit as many as you like) about how your family celebrates Advent, resources you use, link collections - anything you like, really, but stick to the topic of Advent. Remember it is not Christmas, yet! You do not have to be Anglican to contribute!

  2. Email a link to your post to me at kerrysblogs (at) gmail (dot) com by noon Friday, Nov. 27th. Please include the post title and your name (or the name you'd like me to use).

  3. Update your post with a link to the Advent Carnival's main page once the Carnival is published on the 28th.

  4. Help us get the word out! Email friends, announce it on your blog, twitter, facebook - whatever!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Blessed Martilmasse, to Ye!

It is the day of Martilmasse
Cuppes of ale should freelie pass;
What though Wynter has begunne
To push downe the Summer sunne,
To our fire we can betake,
And enjoye the crackling brake,
Never heeding Wynter’s face
On the day of Martilmasse.
~~From an Old English Ballad

Today is the feast day of St. Martin of Tours. This is not a feast day I'd planned on celebrating (most feast days we just read about the saint's life, some we enjoy some special foods or crafts), but there are lots of fun traditions surrounding his feast day! It is also Veteran's Day and St. Martin is an excellent saint for Veteran's Day.

Here's a brief biography from Catholic Culture:

St. Martin was born (c. 316) at Sabaria, a town in Pannonia near the famous Benedictine monastery dedicated to his name. Against the wishes of his parents he associated with Christians and became a catechumen at the age of ten. At fifteen he entered the army and served under the Emperors Constantius and Julian. While in the service he met a poor, naked beggar at the gates of Amiens who asked alms in Christ's Name. Martin had nothing with him except his weapons and soldier's mantle; but he took his sword, cut the latter in two, and gave half to the poor man. During the following night Christ appeared to him clothed with half a mantle and said, "Martin, the catechumen, has clothed Me with this mantle!"

Martin was eighteen years old when he received the sacrament of holy baptism. At the pleading of his superior officer, he remained two years longer in the army. Then, upon requesting dismissal, Julian accused him of cowardice. "With the sign of the Cross," Martin answered, "I shall more certainly break through the ranks of the enemy than if armed with shield and sword."

Want a bit more? Here is a nice biography of St. Martin and a history of traditions from Fisheaters. I thought this was particularly interesting:

St. Martin's remaining piece of cloak became a very revered relic. In fact, the building where his cloak -- "cappa" in Latin -- was preserved was known as the "cappella," the root of our words "chapel" and "chaplain."

Some ideas for celebrating:

St Martin's tomb

A blessing at table:
Lord God, source of all that is good, we praise your holy name on this day in which we celebrate the memory of your faithful servant, Martin of Tours. By the example of his life, renew in us the desire to follow daily in the footsteps of Christ, your Son. Bless this nourishment, which we receive from your bounty. May it strengthen us for your service. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

~~From the book Table Blessings: Mealtime Prayers Throughout the Year by Brother Victor-Antoine d'Avila-Latourrette

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

One Year Ago Today. . .

One year ago today, we received and accepted, the referral of our fourth child and second daughter, Baby L. Here is the first photo we saw of her. . .

And here she is a year later. . .

We are celebrating today with a homemade cake and Jollof Rice - my first attempt at some good Ghanaian cooking. Updated to add - I decided instead to use this recipe for Jollof - a little simpler.

Blessed Feast of St. Leo to you!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Daybook - Monday, November 9th

Daybook for November 9th, 2009

outside my window . . .
low early morning light, crisp air, a slightly veiled blue sky. Rain today, maybe?

in the kitchen . . .
Roasting a chicken today with a good pot of soup to follow tomorrow. Hopefully a batch of freshly baked bread (don't be overly impressed any homemade bread is from my bread maker and you know how easy that is).

around the house . . .
with my dear husband's help we managed to tame a snarling pile of laundry last week. But now comes the hard part: putting it away. It is my weakness.

on my iPod . . .
Four more CiRCE talks:
Leah Lutz - Integration, Imitation, Contemplation: The Natural Order of the Curriculum

Debbie Harris - Nature's Five Great Truths: God's Revelation Through Nature as a Tool in the Classroom

Andrew Kern - The Canons of Rhetoric: The Deep Logic of the Language Arts

and the first of the colloquies- John Hodges, on a CS Lewis quote: "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probably explanation is that I was made for another world.

don't miss the chance to hear some other great CiRCE Conference talks yourself!

from our studies . . .
Reading about Japanese history the next couple days. From the Baldwin Project: Child's Life in Japan and Japan: Peeps at History (selections from this). Also some Japanese fairy and folk tales.

thinking about . . .
Thanksgiving just around the corner, then Advent and Christmas, but wondering WHY in the WORLD my local Christian radio station is already playing Christmas music. Don't they understand that they are just playing into the commercialization? Why not choose to stand counter to the culture? Oh, yea, they don't want to loose those listeners to the secular stations that are starting their holiday push. *sigh*


listening to. . .
Baby peeping. Cat's bell tinkling as she sneaks up the stairs. Middle daughter busily, and almost silently, crafting some new creation of paper and tape.

thankful for. . .
my kids starting to get better after a sick week...and my inner ear clearing up a bit. Unfortunately, poor hubby is now coming down with the funk.

pondering the words . . .
"What Aristotle meant, at least in part, was that, since our nature desires knowledge, we derive pleasure simply from knowing. We do not need to apply it, make it “relevant,” or derive some practical application from our knowledge."

reading . . .
Nothing new, same books as last week.

creating . . .
Just finished the girls' hats - so cute! I might have to make one for myself. I love having a crochet project going . . . gives me something to do with my hands when I'm relaxing.


one of my favorite things . . .
my big white robe. It is just the right weight for winter or summer. I think it needs a soak in some bleach, however, because it is looking a little less than "bright".

a few plans for the upcoming week . . .
The usual: Art, Classical Conversations, and Drama. A special anniversary for our family on Wedneday. Hubby has an annual board meeting with his ministry partners this weekend. Family friend, Uncle Peter, will be coming to stay for a night or two. Maybe a special playdate/sleepover for middle daughter.

a picture thought I'm sharing . . .

Mushrooms recently discovered on a nature walk.

Enjoy more Daybooks at Peggy's!

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Saturday Evening Blog Post for October

Swing by to read and/or submit your own!

I chose to submit two posts: Holy Poverty and Embracing All Hallows Eve because they're about something I love: the Church Year!

Have a lovely Saturday!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Finding Excellence in Home Education Resources

My family began our home education journey nearly 7 years ago. If you are a home educator, you probably remember all the resources you devoured as you tried to wrap your head around this crazy idea called Home Education. I was blessed to have access to a great local church's library that stocked quite a number of home education resources which I quickly worked my way through.

There were so many resources that had a great influence on our home education journey, but the one that has had the best and most enduring influence is the CiRCE Institute.

The CiRCE Institute is committed to promoting and supporting classical education in the school and in the home. CiRCE's president, Andrew Kern, is a man with a great sense of humor and humility. He's written books, articles, blogs, and each year presents a knock-out conference that features speakers like:
Dr James Taylor
Martin Cothran
Ken Myers
Cheryl Lowe
John Hodges
Tracy Lee Simmons
James Daniels
Evan Wilson
Wes Callihan
Cathy Duffy
Bryan Smith
Vigen Guroian
Laura Berquist
Andrew Pudewa

I've had the privilege of attending one of the conferences and have purchased 3 of the conference CD sets, which I listen to regularly for inspiration and encouragement. I cannot recommend CiRCE as a source of inspiration and information for home educators highly enough!

So, how would you like the opportunity to enjoy some free resources from the CiRCE Institute? Read ON!

CiRCE has just recently launched their 2009 Fundraising Campaign called "Further Up, Further In". If you make a donation of ANY amount, you will be able to download SEVEN conference talks. The conference talks usually are priced for download at $6 a piece, so this is an excellent opportunity!

The talks available are listed on CiRCE's Fundraiser page. There are some excellent speakers! (Harris, Kern, Pudewa, Taylor, Berquist, Myers, and Daniels)

I hope you'll take a moment to follow those links to CiRCE's home page and Fundraiser page and consider supporting this organization that does so much to support classical educators.

I'm not getting any payment or freebies for this promotion . . . just the joy of sharing CiRCE with you and the pleasure of helping them keep doing the work they do.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Daybook - Tuesday, November 3rd

Daybook, or perhaps Nightbook, for November 3rd, 2009

outside my window . . .
The night has fallen suddenly. It will take a few days for me to get used to the earlier sunsets.

in the kitchen . . .
Cooked a whole chicken in the crockpot yesterday, broth made in said crockpot overnight, and chicken and rice soup tonight. Super easy and delicious!

around the house . . .
My laundry is seriously starting to pile up.

from our studies . . .
We finished House of the Sixty Fathers today. Such a sad, sweet story. The last word: The heart understands without words. Proud of eldest son (DS 13) who made a great effort with his Logic this week . . . my brain hurts, though. Middle son (DS 10) loves perimeter - I'm thinking I can sneak in some addition practice with perimeter problems. Middle daughter (DD7) is making great strides in reading!

thinking about . . .
introverts and the church - how modern evangelicalism's extroversion tends to look on introverts as less spiritual.


listening to. . .
my kids experimenting with a tin can "phone" - although I think they've given up on the phone part and are just knocking it around the house.

thankful for. . .
that crockpot chicken - I was under the weather today and not having to cook was a lifesaver.

pondering the words . . .
You do not realize the value of the good you are doing. Think of how the farmer sows without seeing his crop in front of him. He trusts in the land to deliver his harvest. So why don't you put your trust in God? The day of the harvest will surely come.Imagine yourself in the middle of the planting season. The more we sow today, the more we can reap tomorrow. Remember those words of Holy scripture: "He that goes forth weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him" (Ps 125:6).
St Augustine, Sermon 102,5 - HT The Happy Catholic

reading . . .
Flannery O'Connor: The Complete Stories, Lost to the West, and still the Divine Comedy

kids are reading: Wind in the Willows, Children's Homer, Pocahontas and the Strangers, The Dawn Treader, The Lord of the Rings, and just finished H
ouse of the Sixty Fathers.

creating . . .
trying to finish up some hats . . . just haven't found the time, yet! But at least now I have a wonderful yarn tote from my friend, Julie, to carry my project around with me.


one of my favorite things . . .
My mini rolling oil heater. It takes the chill off our bathroom on these early fall and winter is so toasty warm!

milestones in the past week . . .
Baby L has 4 teeth coming in, that is a total of 6 teeth!

a few plans for the upcoming week . . .
Going to see a show at our Children's Theatre on Thursday, and African music and dance show!

a picture thought. . .

Youngest daughter (DD1), aka Baby L, and I enjoying a giggle and a box of dots.

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Saints and Seasons - November 2009

Upcoming Saints' days and seasons for November.

November 1
All Saints

November 2
All Souls

November 3

November 10
Leo the Great

November 11
Martin of Tours

A Trio of royal women Saints:

November 16
Margaret of Scotland

November 17
Elizabeth of Hungary (Anglican churches traditionally celebrate her on the 19th, but I'm sticking with the Roman church's date since it works so nicely to celebrate all three back to back)

November 18
Hilda of Whitby

November 22
Christ the King Sunday

November 23
Clement of Rome

November 29
First Sunday of Advent

November 30
St. Andrew

This is not a complete list, but reflects important Anglican and traditional Western church observances. If you have some you'd like to add, please leave a comment. And if you post about how you celebrate a feast day or season, please feel free to leave a link in the comments, too!

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All Saints' Day

Too tired to blog, so here are some links . . .

Updated to add a HT to my bloggy friend Jessica at Homemaking Through the Church Year for the first link below.

Susanne Dietze at Tea and a Good Book has a lovely post on All Saints. I hope you'll stop by and enjoy the whole thing. Here is a snippet:

"But these capital “S” folks aren’t the only ones invited to the All Saint’s party. We are too, and it’s an interesting perspective to realize that we live among saints, present and future (as we do future non-saints). As C.S. Lewis put it, each person we encounter is immortal and heading toward one of two eternal destinations. If that statement doesn't shake you into trying to woo others heavenward, I don't know what does."

John Mark Reynolds blogs at The Scriptorium: "Never Alone: All Saints Day":

There is hope, because someone, some hundreds of thousands probably, have faced worse and gone one to victory. God’s grace is sufficient and the ever growing band of victorious Christians is to His glory and honor. We never are alone in our struggle, because millions of brothers and sisters are done with their labor and wait for us to join them.

What are we doing for All Saints'? Well, the girls and I stayed home (Baby L was wiped out and so was DD7) while boys are off at church. I'm roasting the pumpkin seeds right now. We will meet hubby and boys at Trader Joe's after church and then we are headed to Costco to stock up on supplies. Home for naps and the football game. I might get adventurous and make pumpkin puree today (to later turn into pumpkin pies). I have 4 mini pumpkins that did not get cut or painted, so they are just perfect for pie-making!

Welcome to November!

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