Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A Very Good Day and a Visit From Patrick Henry

Three things are needed for a good life:

Good friends, good food, and good song.

-Jason Zebehazy

Today was a very good day. Although there were a few glitches at co-op, as in - we may be losing a teacher - aaargh - the rest of the day went pretty well.

We were graced with the presence of Mr. Patrick Henry - straight in from 1775. He gave a rousing rendition of his famous speech to the House of Burgesses, ending with the ever famous, ever inspiring "I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me LIBERTY or give me DEATH!"

I never cease to be tremendously moved upon hearing that speech. It amazes me of the timelessness of the things he said and how appropriate things he said are to the times in which we live. Truly - these are the times that try men's souls. Ever since Sept.11, I have been often reminded of the sacrifices that were made so that we can enjoy the liberty we now enjoy and so often take for granted. It is one thing to be willing to sacrifice yourself in the cause of liberty, but another thing all together to be willing to sacrifice your son, your child, to the cause of liberty, which so many of our founding fathers had to be willing to do - to sacrifice their prosperity, their posterity, their security and their very lives - in the cause of liberty.

So, on another momentous occasion, did our Father sacrifice his own Son, so that we may have true liberty, true freedom. Tonight, I am very concious of the debt I owe for my own freedom and that of my family.

Tonight, I have a friend in Afghanistan - working for the liberty of that people - true liberty. At the risk of her very life. May God protect her and give her grace. Amen.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The "Junque" Collector

My dad was infamous for collecting junk. He saw it as a way of ministering to other people, since he always wanted to be able to help out, and if he had something they needed, he could give it to them or loan it to them. He always saw the "useful" in things other people felt were only good for discarding. This habit of his was very aggravating to my mother, but I can totally understand his motivation, since I have some of the same tendencies. I know the happy feeling I get when I have something that someone needs and can provide it for them. I don't know what that says about my inner character, but that's the way it is, just the same. It is not necessarily the most rational feeling, but I really like to be able to help someone out, and I guess I get that from my dad. I can still remember when my brother and I were small, my dad gave away my bedroom set to a family whose house had burned down. My mother was furious with him, but the worst thing that happened was that I had to bunk in with my little brother for a while. And I learned a great lesson about meeting other peoples' needs.

This is a picture of my dad clowning around with a "Junque" sign I gave him one Christmas. The following quote by Benjamin Franklin really epitomizes the way my dad lived his life. He had a remarkable way of saying the right thing or nothing at all.

"Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment."
Author:Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Recovery Wednesday

Today is what is affectionately called "recovery Wednesday" around here. There is lots of sighing and breathing and trying to chill out after Tuesday. I've been distinctly feeling like I must do something creative, so I've noodled and doodled with my new altered book and with my new scrapbook pages about my son's music and his performances this summer at Coffee Chaos. I've enjoyed trying to put together a "rugged, masculine" page that won't embarrass him, but that will do justice to his music, so we'll see how it all turns out.

Sitting around with my feet propped up in front of the computer, browsing throught lots of scrapbooking pages for ideas, can be pretty relaxing. I've given up cooking for Lent - oh yeah, I'm not Catholic and I guess Lent's over , but my hiatus from cooking is not. Jess is sick with a cold and Kate has the day off from activity, it's dreary out and Ron is out of town, so today has been a rather atypical kick-back day. Wish I could have a bushel of these, all in a row.

I find myself thinking about my Dad a lot lately. Guess with the old home place up for sale, it keeps him in the forefront of my mind. I hope to do a tribute album to him someday - if I ever get time to focus on that. He was a truly great man - one of a kind - unique, you might say. And never again will another pass this way that is quite like him. He was my hero, my inspiration, and my biggest fan, and I truly miss him every day. I could really use a good dose of his wisdom about now. So many things I could ask him - I've made so many mistakes over the years, and I guess you can't undo them, just hope for grace to get you through.

One of my favorite sayings of his was "I only have two speeds, and if you don't like this one, you're sure not going to like the other one." He took life at a slower than usual pace. He always took time for people - time to stop and ask how they were - really. And then to even listen to their answers.

So - here's to my Dad!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Welcome to My Mondays

Today is a typical Monday for me. I will spend most of the day frantically getting ready for co-op tomorrow. As usual, I have lots of stress and no where to put it :) Anyway, today is a little unique in that it is a public school holiday - Columbus Day - so the gym has graciously decided to have the session from 10-2, which totally interrupts our homeschooling day. So the girls will lose the best part of their day to do schoolwork :( Why do we need to follow the public school schedule! That is one of the great benefits of homeschooling - so we shouldn't be locked into someone else's schedule. It always annoys me when people "presume" with my schedule.

But on a lighter note, we are planning to go to the dress rehearsal of REDWALL at the Center for the Arts tonight to see Master Alex perform as the "Abbot". It should be really great and I am greatly looking forward to it.

After getting the girls to gym, I will then procede to write out my lesson plan and assignment sheets for Latin and finish the timeline stuff for the TT American History class. If I have time, I will then start working on my lesson plans for American Lit, which I start teaching in 2 weeks. It is like juggling 5 balls at once to try to actually get the girls' schoolwork accomplished on Monday while I am frantically planning for co-op for Tuesdays. I always feel behind.

Yesterday, I took Jessica to her first meet of the season in Shelby Township at Olympia Gymnastics. She did very well. She got her first 9 score! She had a 9.1 on bars and that was her first event. She did very well all around and placed second on her team and 9th overall at the meet. She had a 34.775 all around score - WOW! I was very proud of her, especially since she broke her leg at her first meet last year and I expected her to be nervous. She is also recovering from a sprained ankle, and I wasn't sure how that would affect her. She also just came down with a cold, so I am sure she was feeling tired. Today she gets to add her name to the 9.0 club at the gym.

I am having problems with my computer, so I don't know if I can keep this up. I need to download updates on my virus scan and I keep getting an error message and it won't download. So I will possibly have problems in the future. Any suggestions?

Well, enough for now. I must get on with my hectic day.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Why "Altered Schoolmarm"

No, it is not an "altered" state of mind, as in doing mind altering drugs, as some have guessed. The name refers to "altering" art in such a way as to make it your own. Lots of people alter books, boxes, journals, even small suitcases or lunchboxes, to make them reflect their own creations. People tend to use collage, add on 3 dimensional stuff, like keys, charms, match books, anything they like.

So....I am a schoolmarm (teacher) of sorts - but do it my own, and hopefully creative - way. The title combines two of my favorite things - altering art and teaching my kids at home. There is nothing quite like getting to be around your kids and to really get to know them. That is one of the great joys of my life.

The two scans are of a journal that I "altered" for my daughter, Kate, a couple of years ago for her birthday. It was a cheap journal that I bought at the dollar store and "improved", although I did like the fact that it had scripture quotes all through it.

I think the thing I like the most about "altering" art is that there are no right or wrong ways to do it, so there are no mistakes and therefore no stress. I have enough stress in my life without adding to it with my creative endeavors.
Stop every now and then. Just stop and enjoy. Take a deep breath. Relax and take in the abundance of life. - Anonymous

Mackinac Island

This was taken when Ron and I celebrated our 20th anniversary in June of last year. We had an awesome time. The weather was gorgeous and we spent the day on the island. We rode around the island on bikes. It was a great time of being together and remembering why we got married in the first place. Mackinac Island is one of my most favorite locations on the planet -especially off the beaten track and away from the "fudgies".

The scenery was breathtaking. We got to see lots of wildflowers. The entire weekend was really fun and revitalizing and I highly recommend a weekend getaway for married couples. There is nothing else quite like it to rekindle the romance.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The First Day of My Blog Life

Today, I bit the bullet and set up my own blog. Always wanted a way to journal, and the plus is I can communicate with others about things I'm interested in.

10 things about me:

1. I'm a homeschooling mom.
2. Have 3 wonderful kids - son - age 20, daughter - age 16, daugher - age 11
3. Have wonderful husband Ron
4. Love to teach
5. Love to scrapbook.
6. Love to rubber stamp.
7. Love anything "altered"
8. Love my friends.
9. Love my son's music.
10. Love homeschooling!