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Showing posts from December, 2009

Holiday Week: Winter Quotes : Day 7

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[IN WINTER IN THE WOODS...]
by Robert Frost

In winter in the woods alone
Against the trees I go.
I mark a maple for my own
And lay the maple low.

At four o'clock I shoulder ax,
And in the afterglow
I link a line of shadowy tracks
Across the tinted snow.

I see for Nature no defeat
In one tree's overthrow
Or for myself in my retreat
For yet another blow.

Holiday Week: Winter Quotes: Day 6

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Winter Landscape, with Rooks by Sylvia Plath
Water in the millrace, through a sluice of stone, plunges headlong into that black pond where, absurd and out-of-season, a single swan floats chaste as snow, taunting the clouded mind which hungers to haul the white reflection down.
The austere sun descends above the fen, and orange cyclops-eye, scorning to look
longer on this landscape of chagrin; feathered dark in thought, I stalk like a rook, brooding as the winter night comes on.
Last summer's reeds are all engraved in ice as is your image in my eye; dry frost glazes as the window of my hurt; what solace can be struck from rock to make heart's waste grow green again? Who'd walk in this bleak place?

Holiday Week: Winter Quotes: Day 5: Christmas Day

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The Gift of Gifts

O SOURCE OF ALL GOOD,
What shall I render to thee for the gift of gifts,
thine own dear Son, begotten, not created,
my redeemer, proxy, surety, substitute,
his self-emptying incomprehensible,
his infinity of love beyond the heart's grasp.
Herein is wonder of wonders:
he came below to raise me above,
was born like me that I might become like him.
Here is love;
when I cannot rise to him he draws near on wings of grace,
to raise me to himself.
Herein is power;
when Deity and humanity were infinitely apart
when he united them in indissoluble unity, the uncreate and the created.
Herein is wisdom;
when I was undone, with no will to return to him,
and no intellect to devise recovery,
he came, God-incarnate, to save me to the uttermost,
as man to die my death,
to shed satisfying blood on my behalf,
to work out a perfect righteouss for me.
O God, take me in spirit to the watchful shepherds, and
en…

Holiday Week: Winter Quotes: Day 4

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A Winter Morning by Ted Kooser
A farmhouse window far back from the highwayspeaks to the darkness in a small, sure voice.Against this stillness, only a kettle's whisper,and against teh starry cold, one small blue ring of flame.

Holiday Week: Winter Quotes: Day 3

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A Patch of Old Snow
by Robert Frost

There's a patch of old snow in a corner,
That I should have guessed
Was a blow-away paper the rain
Had brought to rest.

It is speckled with grime as if
Small print overspread it,
The news of a day I've forgotten--
If I ever read it.

Holiday Week: Winter Quotes: Day 2

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*** Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease, I shall possess, within the veil, A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun forbear to shine; But God, Who called me here below, Will be forever mine.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun.

Amazing Grace, John Newton (1779)

Holiday Week: Winter Quotes : Day 1

This week I am going to be sharing some of my favorite poetry, quotes, and writers for a quiet time of blogging as I settle in over the holidays with my family. All of what I'll be sharing is found in my own humble library I've collected over my English major years in college, and represent the stillness of winter and the aesthetic of the holidays in mastery of words. Enjoy!

photocreditScreech Owl
by Ted Kooser
All night each reedy whinny
from a bird no bigger than a heart
flies out of a tall black pine
and, in a breath, is taken away
by the stars. Yet, with small hope
from the center of darkness
it calls out again and again.


**Note: because of our long weekend, I wasn't able to fully type out my 4th post on the alternative education series. Look for it next week**

Man's Best Friend

Our little girl pup, Atreyu, died today around 1PM, comfortably at home with her first family surrounding her; Stefan, I, and Arjax cuddling next to her like always. We believe she died of an accidental intestinal complication.
She had eaten a pot full of garlic alfraedo-covered noodles in the middle of a table on her hind legs. She had never eaten food off the table before--that was the first time I had ever caught her. Since garlic is toxic to dogs, we believe [we aren't able to say 100% anything since the only option to know what exactly was wrong was exploratory surgery with a grim outlook. The most we could do was make her comfortable] that was a part of it along with the fact that she had a lot of pain from gas. I didn't know this but bloating is the second most common cause of death in dogs after cancer. Their digestive track just can't get rid of what it needs to, and it is toxic from there as well. We will miss her terribly and are so sad since it was such a fluke …

Update to "Unschooling" Post.

A friend of mine, Renee, photographer extraordinaire (go look, I'll wait!) recently talked to me about my Unschooling postand told me about an NPR program she listens to called "Speaking of Faith". I went to check it out after she told me there was a neuroscientist who was interviewed that I might find interesting and boy, oh boy was it!

Krista Tippett, the interviewer for NPR, was talking to Adele Diamond, who is also a professor at University of British Columbia, Vancouver talking about current scientific research regarding education of children. What we're doing in the US is not working as far as attention span, retention, and even mindfulness. Diamond has found that experiential learning, such as suggested in my Unschooling post, develops those ideas mentioned above.
If you didn't buy it or understand what unschooling is from my post, please Please PLEASE listen to this 50 minute segment on NPR. You can go to itunes to listen for free.
Search for APM: Speaking…

How To: Make a Holiday Banner With a Toddler

1) Get an adorable toddler to finger-paint all over large sheets of card stock or poster board. Get really messy.
2) Wait for paintings to dry (can take up to 12 hours, so do the painting much earlier than your actual assembly of the banner!)
***
3) Draw out holiday shapes onto dry painting like: bells, trees, stars, candy canes, etc. with permanent marker.
4) Cut out holiday shapes.
5) Paper-punch holes around edges of shapes (see below).
6) With ribbon, 'weave' or 'sew' around the shapes. Toddlers love to do lacing games, and these are big enough holes to do it!
7) Leave a bit of ribbon for a loop at the top so you can hang it either on your tree or a banner, like we made for our very bare white wall!
8) Write names of family members and friends who your toddler can give these to during the holidays! Enjoy!

Mama's Herbal Soaps

For whatever reason, I have a certain knack for winning online giveaways. I have won probably 10 in the past year of being a blogger, and these last two months were no exception! I am still waiting on one from Canada, but I have receieved the first of three I won recently: Soaps, Lip-balm and a cute tote bag from Mama's Herbal Soaps.(photo from the website)

These soaps smell so delicious now that Ihave them in my hands, and I can't wait to use them!


From the website, "Oils of olive & hemp seed (infused with organic calendula flowers and organic comfrey root), coconut, and raw virgin palm. Fairly traded unrefined African karite (shea) butter. Spring water (rain water when possible). Some soaps contain organic goat's milk, raw local honey or beeswax, organic oats, and/or organic botanicals."
The 5 soaps Mama's Herbal Soaps sent me were ones I was able to choose:Cocoa Bliss (yes, it really smells like chocolate!)Rosemary Mint (made with sea kelp)Sacred Ground (…

We Choose D: Alternative Educational Theory, This Week: Unschooling Method

The Unschooling method... is fascinating to learn about. I first heard of it through one of my daily reads, Soulemama, of The Creative Family& Handmade Homefame; two books I own and love. It sometimes seems silly to say you "get" someone you've never met, but the way she writes on her blog and in her book really inspires me. She has four children that she "unschools". I had to use google to find out what that even meant. Like always, I'll explain first a short summary of the theory as I understand it. Instead of a "Pro & Con" list, there will be a "What it IS" & "What it is NOT" list, to help define unschooling. Following that will be the Resources list.
The last installment of four-part series will be on Homeschooling (curriculum based) Co-Ops & and "Others" that will be posted sometime next week!

Where to start? I feel that is an appropriate question when answering 'what is unschooling'? It i…

Healthy Holiday Eats and Sweets Carnival:

A peek into Lu's little kitchen, which gets played with daily.

Today I am participating in an online recipe 'carnival', something I rarely do, but being as I made the best sweet potatoes I've ever had last night, I thought it was fitting! If you like what you see here, head on over to Keeper of the Hometo read all the delicious , healthy holiday sweets & eats recipes from blog land.

We rarely eat sweet potatoes unless they are pureed into something like a sweet bread, but my mom had me taste test hers, and I knew I had to have more. There is practically no work involved in these either, and we at them as our main course, along with a side salad.

Need:
4 medium sweet potatoes
aluminum foil
Cinnamon
butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut off the ends of each sweet potato and wrap in aluminum foil. Place evenly on oven rack. Bake for 1 hour-75 minutes. When you can feel they are "squishy" they are done! Serves 4.

These are done so well you could just eat them pla…

Fun Post--Monday

Saw this over on Smile & Waveand it looked fun:

Sounds like:
* Diana Krall's Christmas Songs
* Frank Sinatra's Christmas Album
*Quiet. Kids & dogs are napping.
* Honking from the round-about.

Smells like:
* Fresh-Our Christmas tree a few feet away.
* New fabric.
* Mint Hot Chocolate
* An old hooded sweatshirt (in the nicest way?)

Looks like:
* The sun might come out and melt the sidewalks.
*Those dishes aren't gettin' done without me.
*A messy house.
* Pretty frosted window panes.

Feels like:
*I have fresh ideas for Grace's art sale this weekend!
*Cuddling puppies.
*A slow-paced day. I like.
* Holiday spirit is finally catching up to me.

~S.M.~

Virtual Book Club: Shattered Dreams by Irene Spencer

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Shattered Dreams by Irene Spenceris a memoir from the author's first marriage--to a polygamous husband who had 10 wives. It is a heartbreaking book, as one can imagine, and not the first I've read about this subject. At just under 400 pages, it is a big book, but a very quick read, and once I actually had the time to sit down and really get into it, I quickly finished 250 pages in 2 days!
Young Irene is only 16 years old when she runs off to marry a man named Verlan LeBaron (from the LeBaron clan of Time Magazine polygamy 'fame') and become his second wife. Throughout the 28 years married to him, she endured extreme poverty, utter physical and mental exhaustion as a wife & mother caring for 13 kids (and often times, other wives' kids), and severe loneliness and isolation.
Her husband only lived to his early fifties, but in his 30+ years of being married to 10 different women, he sired 59 children and moved his family(ies) all over Mexico, Central America, …

Second Baby Shower

Well the shower season is over for me...at least for awhile. I had a lot of fun throwing my SIL a baby shower, a friend a bridal shower (coming soon) and a family friend a baby shower at our church, Grace Chapel.
I reused most of the decorations from before, which is great since they are really gender neutral and our friends aren't finding out if they are having a boy or a girl. Brown and greens are my favorite "gender neutral" colors. I did a few more at-home crafting before her shower and I think it turned out well and everyone enjoyed themselves.

My favorite decoration was twine set up with home-made baby onesies(an owl and a leaf) with some pants "hanging on the line" above the food table. Around the room were those funky trees & owls made from my online art class. In the middle of the room was a craft -table set up. I really don't like baby shower/ bridal games because they are usually all the same and when I was looking for a different activity, I st…

New Comfort for Winter Cold

It's been a long time since I've knit myself something, and even longer since I've been able to find a pair of mittens that I own! I also wanted to knit a cowl of some sort, since all myknittyfriends have them and they look so cute on. Enter my obsession with bulky yarn. I knit two bulky skeins of Brown Sheep together for a mixture of pink & gray, and knit the two wrist warmers and sewed up the sides after putting on the buttons. Too easy! I am also planning on making a matching (to the mitts) a hat, with cute buttons of course!

The only thing I don't like is the yarn I used faded in its dye! The really gray one was knit first, and as my ball got smaller, the dye practically faded! Won't be buying that type of yarn again!