Reviews

I've got the kettle on, ya got a minute to visit?

I'm so happy you dropped by! Stay and visit awhile and please leave me a comment- it's so encouraging to hear from you!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Time to start thinking curriculum for next year....

I LOVE homeschooling curriculum.  I am very passionate about helping homeschoolers (especially those new to homeschooling) sort through the piles and piles or resources out there to find the ones best matched to them and their children.  Thos is why I review for The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew.  But can I just say, it's much more fun to clean someone ELSE'S house than it is your own! 

Are ya feelin' me?

It's so much easier for me to sit down with a momma of a 5 year old and say "Tell me about your little one and what kind of a person you are and I'll tell you what's out there (that I know about!) that might be a good match or what DEFINITELY won't!" than it is for me to make a big transition with my own kiddos.

For the past six years------yep, homeschooling for 6 years now------- I have been piecing my curriculum together based on what I thought the kids would love and I would enjoy teaching them.  However, the time has come for Abby to shift up to middle school, and I feel the Lord telling me that we need a little more discipline and structure.  For the first time in our homeschooling journey, I am praying about starting an all inclusive curriculum.

To some of you, this may not seem like a big deal- but to me it feels like a seismic shift in the cosmos!  I have been researching and comparing and asking and reading and so far I have it down to 2 different programs.  Here's my requirements:
1) Must have complete lesson plans which require minimal prep work
2) Must be able to use our own math (Teaching Textbooks)
3) Must be able to choose our own science (so that I can continue teaching at co-op)
4) Our level must start with exploration/settlement of the USA
5) Must be biblically based, of course
6) Must be literature rich in a Charlotte Mason-ish form

So the 2 I am looking at would be My Father's World and Sonlight.  I wonder if you'd be so kind as to chime in on this one for me?  Thoughts?  Experiences?  I'd love to hear!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Getting ready......

It seems surreal for me to be at this point in my life.  Many times, in my 38 years, I have been part of something that I felt like I didn't deserve to be part of.  I had the great privilege of touring with 30 amazing people across the USA- putting on the most awesome allegory of the gospel- seeing people's lives changed for eternity- nightly!  Once I got to live in the middle of a horse field in California in an Airstream for a whole summer....just learning about what it means to be a missionary.  One time I got to go to the jungle in Mexico for 10 days, sleep on the floor of a barn, shower with iguanas, and sing and dance with the most beautiful children.  I had the honor of playing ring toss and bowling with refugees' children in a camp in Hungary.

And now it is time to go again- to be part of something huge that makes me feel so humble and undeserving.  There is something about stepping out of what you know to be lush and comfortable- to step into someone else's reality, someone else's hardship and pain.  I can't explain it well with my words, but my heart feels it so very deeply. 

I used to be so terrified of Africa.  So terrified that God would call me there and I would have no choice but to go. I never once thought that God would have me beg to go.....for seven years.  While I think it is totally Him that I get to make this trek with Operation Christmas Child, I think that it would have come one way or another.  Because this is what I believe.....

You cannot close your heart to any of God's children.  Not because you're scared, not because you don't want to get dirty, not because they're too far away.  You can't just say, "My heart isn't in Africa" or "I'm not called to Turkey" because the truth is, you ARE called, and whether your heart is in it or not, His is.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Out of Africa

Last night I sat down in my comfy chair with my electric throw and watched the best movie of all time......
 
Don't get me wrong, I understand entirely that men do not get this flick.  But if there was a Rambo for women- it's Karen Blixen. 
 
And ladies, we should all just go ahead and admit that Robert Redford has NEVER looked so good as he did in Out of Africa.
 
I sat there- enthralled instantly by the beautiful scenery and the words "I had a farm in Africa....".  I was overcome by the score and completely awestruck by the wardrobes.  Karen stirs in me some kind of pensive, fierce independence that I know is not of me.
 
Then the sobbing began.
 
 I'm currently reading Karen's book Out of Africa which she wrote under the nom de plume Isak Dinesen.
It is so beautiful and eloquent- and I feel like I am already in Africa when I pick it up to read. In fact, I find I'm reading it every spare moment I get- in the orthodontist office, in the car, before bed- I even sneak a page in here and there when I'm getting dressed in the morning or eating breakfast!
 
Can this really be?  Am I truly to go THERE?  Why has my most gracious God in Heaven allowed me to be a part of what He is doing there?  And not just there- but all over the world?!  I grapple with the thoughts of not being worthy, not being ready, and not wanting to leave once I get there.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Happy National Pound Cake Day!

Mmmmmm...... I love pound cake.  Well, if I were to be honest, I'd have to say that I love ALL cakes!  And I love making them too.  There is something so therapeutic about baking something that makes your whole house smell divine!  So, let's all use today as an excuse and celebrate this glorious holiday and bake a pound cake for dessert....or breakfast...or a mid-afternoon snack!

Here's the best pound cake recipe EVER- passed down to me by my mother who got it from a family friend and matriarch of Bluefield, WV- Mrs Sue Starling:

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

3 sticks butter
3c sugar
6 eggs
3c all-purpose flour
1tsp vanilla
8oz cream cheese

Cream butter and cream cheese together with sugar.  Add eggs and flour alternately- starting with and ending with flour.  Bake at 325 for 1 hour 25 minutes.  DO NOT OPEN OVEN UNTIL TIMER GOES OFF!