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30 April 2008

Baseball Season Buzz



Little Miss Muffet

A bit that really amused us all, from our poetry readings this morning:

The Embarassing Episode of Little Miss Muffet
by Guy Wetmore Carryl

Little Miss Muffet discovered a tuffet,
(which never occurred to the rest of us)
And, as 'twas a June day, and just about noonday,
She wanted to eat- like the best of us:
Her diet was whey, and I hasten to say
It is wholesome and people grow fat on it.
The spot being lonely, the lady not only
Discovered the tuffet, but sat on it.

A rivulet gabbled beside her and babbled,
As rivulets always are thought to do,
And dragon flies sported around and cavorted,
As poets say dragon flies ought to do;
When, glancing aside for a moment, she spied
A horrible sight that brought fear to her,
A hideous spider was sitting beside her,
And most unavoidably near to her!

Albeit unsightly, this creature politely
Said: "Madam, I earnestly vow to you,
I'm penitent that I did not bring my hat. I
Should otherwise certainly bow to you."
Though anxious to please, he was so ill at ease
That he lost all his sense of propriety,
And grew so inept that he clumsily stept
In her plate- which is barred in Society.

This curious error completed her terror;
She shuddered, and growing much paler, not
Only left tuffet, but dealt him a buffet
Which doubled him up in a sailor knot.
It should be explained that at this he was pained:
He cried: "I have vexed you, no doubt of it!
Your fist's like a truncheon." "You're still in my luncheon!"
Was all that she answered. "Get out of it!"

And the Moral is this: Be it madam or miss
To whom you have something to say,
You are only absurd when you get in the curd
But you're rude when you get in the whey!


Coming in October to Regency Court...


(now, if only Trader Joe's could be convinced...)

28 April 2008


from Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges:

"Notice I said that the Holy Spirit strengthens us and enables us to meet in a godly fashion whatever circumstances cross our paths. God's grace is not given to make us feel better, but to glorify Him. Modern society's subtle, underlying agenda is good feelings. We want the pain to go away. We want to feel better in difficult situations, but God wants us to glorify Him in those circumstances. Good feelings may come, or they may not, but that is not the issue. The issue is whether or not we honor God by the way we respond to our circumstances. God's grace- that is, the enabling power of the Holy Spirit- is given to help us in such a way.

God's grace is sufficient..."

"John Blanchard said, 'So he (God) supplies perfectly measured grace to meet the needs of the godly. For daily needs there is daily grace; for sudden needs, sudden grace; for overwhelming need, overwhelming grace. God's grace is given wonderfully, but not wastefully; freely, but not foolishly; bountifully, but not blindly."

(ch. 10- The Sufficiency of Grace, pp. 144-145)

26 April 2008

Friday Five- Random thoughts...

This week's Friday Five comes to you from Orlando, Florida, thanks to my husband's company's semi-annual meeting.

Five random thoughts:
1. 84 degrees and a breeze is perfect.
2. Spray on sunscreen is a blessing to a girl sitting at the pool by herself.
3. When in Disney World, some people do things they would never, ever, do in real life, like wear ridiculous hats and clothing.
4. When a science and engineering conference and a model search are being held at the same location, it is pretty easy to distinguish who is there for which event...
5. Sometimes two books and two magazines complete is a good two days worth of activity.

25 April 2008

A Thank Offering

from 2 Samuel 22- David's Song of Deliverance:
The Lord is my rock
my fortress
my deliverer
my refuge
my shield
my salvation
my stronghold
my savior
my support
my lamp
my tower.

"Therefore, I will give thanks to Thee, O Lord, among the nations,
And I will sing praises to Thy name."

22 April 2008

"Happy Working Song"

Here's a scene so close to our household preparing for Grammy and Grandad's weekend stay...
(uh, well, or maybe not quite... :-) )

21 April 2008

the One-Word Meme

"Me-me"- a silly quiz about... me. :-)

This is the One-Word Meme. Actually, it should be titled a "One Phrase Meme" because I rarely use one word for anything! I pilfered it from Anne, who doesn't know me. I don't know how I found Anne's blog, but I enjoy it! Her husband is in the Navy, and so was mine, you know, and they live in Hawaii, so did we once, you know, and Anne enjoys books and homeschools her kids and trusts the Lord and... Anne is just a joy to read. (and of course, one can always think about Hawaii...) Thanks, Anne! Visit PTW anytime! :-)

You’re feeling: ready to get going on this day.
To your left: my curio cabinet with little boxes and hearts and music boxes.
On your mind: getting my part of schoolwork finished early this week and preparing for the bible study I'm soon to teach and what the kids will have for breakfast since we are all out of milk...
Last meal included: cheese and green chile. (nachos! yum.)
You sometimes find it hard to: love well enough.
The weather: overcast and still.
Something you have a collection of: little boxes and hearts and music boxes.
A smell that cheers you up: coffee brewing.
A smell that can ruin your mood: poop in the living room! (naughty dog!)
How long since you last shaved: yesterday.
The current state of your hair: disshevled, combed with my fingers. (no video Skype right now...)
The largest item on your desk/workspace (not computer): stack of books from reading this morning.
Your skill with chopsticks: is good enough to survive in China.
Which section you head for first in a bookstore: Biographies or travel.
Something you’re craving: my morning latte- no milk today.
Your general thoughts on the presidential race: not yet really thinking about the presidential race... (check back in September...)
How many times have you been hospitalized this year: 0
Favorite place to go for a quiet moment: in warmer weather- a chair on our side porch.
You’ve always secretly thought you’d be a good: college mascot.
Something that freaks you out a little: people with more than two cats.
Something you’ve eaten too much of lately: Kettle Lightly Salted Krinkle Cut Chips.
You have never: broken a bone.
You never want to: lose a child-like faith.

Now, the Meme protocol is that I choose ("tag" in meme-speak) others with blogs to answer the same questions. I won't specifically do that, but some of you PTW readers who haven't updated your blogs in a while (you know who you are!), here's some inspiration! It's fun to read what others are thinking... If you do it, leave a comment so I can go look!
Blessings today!

18 April 2008

Friday Five- Things That Make Me Smile Today...

Today's Friday Five: Five things that are causing me to smile today, and pictures!

1. New shoes! I found these at the Dillard's Clearance store. They are sort of sandally-maryjanes. Comfy. And sturdy. I'm not really a shoe girl, except when I really like a pair...

2. Green! My old-fashioned lilac bushes and day lillies are growing! I am ever expectant for the lilacs this year. I had great hopes last spring, and we were this close to seeing blooms, when a late and very hard frost killed that notion. I am not a green thumb (I keep my family alive, not plants...), so any little measure of success is reason to rejoice.

3. Dinner is cooking! And it's starting to smell good, besides. BBQ pork sandwiches. mmmmmm......
Avoiding "what-should-we-have-for-dinner?" at 5 pm?

4. Clean laundry. I've lost count of how many loads. Maybe 8 complete, 2 in the washer/dryer, 2 to go. Light at the end of the very dark and very long laundry tunnel. For at least a day, anyway...

5. Saturday! Brunch with the ladies at church. Kid sports. A party for a favorite homeschool grad! Preparation for worship on Sunday. And, a weather forecast that says, "Warmer. Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 60's."

All reasons to smile this Friday...

15 April 2008

"A Permanent Attitude"

From our family Bible reading this morning, one we have many occasion to practice, Luke 17:3-4-

"Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' forgive him."

Forgiveness is not an occasional art, it is a permanent attitude.- Martin Luther

A Lesson- Three Cups of Tea

From Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin-

When the porceline bowls of scalding butter tea steamed in their hands, Haji Ali spoke. "If you want to thrive in Baltisan you must respect our ways," Haji Ali said, blowing on his bowl. "The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family, and for our family, we are prepared to do anything, even die," he said, laying his hand warmly on Mortenson's own. "Doctor Greg, you must make time to share three cups of tea. We may be uneducated. But we are not stupid. We have lived and survived here for a long time."

"That day, Haji Ali taught me the most important lesson I've ever learned in my life," Mortenson says. "We Americans think you have to accomplish everything quickly. We're the country of thirty-minute power lunches and two-minute football drills. Our leaders thought their 'shock and awe' campaign could end the war in Iraq before it even started. Haji Ali taught me to share three cups of tea, to slow down and make building relationships as important as building projects. He taught me that I had more to learn from the people I work with than I could ever hope to teach them."

("Image courtesy Greg Mortenson, Central Asia Institute.")

14 April 2008

More Colors... More Fun!

:::UPDATE::: Thanks to sleuthing friend Marcy, answers to your Crayola color questions here!:::

Surprise! When L & S were picking up the office today, they found a bag of school supplies I had stashed away; clearance bargains I had found back when school started in the fall.

Isn't opening up a new box of Crayolas one of the best of the trivial things in life?
Sharp, unbroken crayons.
Every color new.
And the scent.

Confession: when I was growing up and would get a new box of crayons, I'd organize each inner box by color groups. That will not surprise my husband. I still try to keep his shirts & ties in color order too...

Favorite colors:
L- Metallic "Big Dip o' Ruby" (we used to call that pink)
S- Metallic "Sheen Green"
friend L-Inchworm (a yellow green)
friend M- Periwinkle
K- tie between Robin's Egg Blue and Mango Tango
me- Cerulean (always Cerulean)

Why does Sepia make a scratchy noise? And why no Burnt Umber or Indian Red?
Best new name: "Purple Mountains Majesty"

The crayons and the girls are moving to the porch...
More colors. More fun!

13 April 2008

Wedding Dancers

Macarena. Electric slide. YMCA. The Chicken Dance. And the photos you get when you hand the kids the camera. Fun night! Congratulations R & B!! We had a terrific time, and we rejoice with you!

12 April 2008

Chiara Masterclass

The quartet that J. plays with, consisting of piano, cello, viola, and violin, had an unique opportunity this morning, to play in a master class this with the Chiara String Quartet. The piece that J's group played was Pax, from "The Rose Quartet" by Catherine McMichael. The Chiara members were great with the student groups, very helpful and constructive in their critique. Here's some video of the performance today...

April 12?

Just a dusting, but... snow?
No soccer today.
Our hope is for the future forecast- 70 by Tuesday...

11 April 2008

Friday Five- Amy Carmichael quotes

Confession: I was not so inspired to do the Friday Five today. L. suggested, "what about 5 spring things?" but truthfully, it's just not all that spring-y around here. I thought of some sorts of nonsense, but today I found myself back paging through this jewel, and so, such is my inspiration for today's 5:

1. Reflecting on her childhood: "When told how exceedingly naughty she was, Amy used to think, 'If you only knew how much naughtier I could be, you wouldn't think I'm naughty at all."
(can't most of us relate to that!)

2. On seeking utter holiness: "If we are not clean when we bear the vessels of the Lord,' she wrote in May of 1894, 'we may profane His holy name in the things which we hallow. Our very service a defiling thing!..."

3. On prayer: "We have one crystal clear reason apart from the blessed happiness of this way of life. It is this: prayer is the core of our day. Take prayer out, and the day would collapse, would be pithless, a straw blown in the wind. But how can you pray- really pray, I mean- with one against whom you have a grudge or whom you have been discussing critically with another? Try it. You will find it cannot be done."

4. On mothering, from a card pasted inside the cover of Amy's Bible: "These children are dear to Me. Be a mother to them, and more than a mother. Watch over them tenderly, be just and kind. If thy heart is not large enough to embrace them, I will enlarge it after a pattern of my own. If these young children are docile and obedient, bless Me for it; if they are froward, call upon Me for help; if they weary thee, I will be Thy consolation; if thou sink under thy burden, I will be thy Reward."

5. On obedience to Call: "Remember our God did not say to me, 'I have something greater for you to do.' This life is not greater than the other, but it is different. That is all. For some our Father chooses one, for some He chooses the other, all that matters is that we should be obedient 'unto all meeting of His wishes.' "

08 April 2008

Disposition of pride

from Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges:

"Perhaps the larger reason why we do not experience more of God's grace is our misconception that, having been saved by grace, we must now, at least to some degree, "pay our own way" and earn God's blessings in our daily lives...

In fact this misconception that we must pay our own way is more than a mistaken theological notion. It actually springs from the perverse disposition of our hearts- the disposition of pride.

Noted theologian R.C. Sproul wrote,
Perhaps the most difficult task for us to perform is to rely on God's grace and God's grace alone for our salvation. It is difficult for our pride to rest on grace. Grace is for other people- for beggars. We don't want to live by a heavenly welfare system. We want to earn our own way and atone for our own sins. We like to think that we will go to heaven because we deserve to be there."

Which goes right to the heart of Psalm 71:1-
In Thee O Lord, I have taken refuge;
Let me never be ashamed.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk...

... or, perhaps, an alternative title would be "Girls Rule!"

Wandering Kudos go out to K.- winner of the H Family Tournament Challenge 2008. She correctly picked the Final Four, the Final Two, and the final score within 2 points! Her secret (and it makes her brother cringe...)? Primarily she goes by colors and mascots, with a little bit of seeding thrown in for good sense. Good thing she likes blue...

Second in the Challenge? Me! Picked the winner for the second year in a row- so I do believe that would be called a streak.

Don't forget the Shining Moment video. For you sports video saps, like me, it's a annual can't miss...

To the H Family men- better luck next year...

(photo credit to

05 April 2008

Same. Different.

Same birthday.
Same age. Same last name.
Same sport. Same club.

Different teams.

L & S are playing spring soccer, and were placed on different teams. Now that's an idea that took some getting used to.

The first reaction of the twins?
S- "I can't take the ball away from L!" (yes, actually, she can, and she did...)
L- ::: puzzled look that said, "different teams?" :::

My main concern abated: they play on the same field at the same time.

The parents sitting around us must have been confused. They must have thought we were schizophrenic, cheering for green, cheering for white, cheering for the kid "L," cheering for the kid "S."

How'd they do? L scored one goal, S had a great assist. One bruised shin (even with shin guards- the victim claimed the other twin kicked THAT hard!), one pulled hamstring, two girls ready to do it again next week.

Go team(s)!

04 April 2008

Thoughts on laundry...

if washing 11 pairs of jeans in a front-loading machine...
maybe think twice before putting your 96 load bottle of liquid laundry detergent on top of the washer.
But, if it happens to shake and dance itself off during the spin cycle,
and fall on the floor,
and create a very large and very slimy blue puddle (puddle? pond?),
one that oozes into the very corners of your laundry room,
the good news is that it will help to make your mop look very clean,
and the basement smell laundry day fresh.

I'm just saying...

Extreme Dog Makeover



Clean puppy kisses to A. and R. :-)

Friday five- Kid Lit

This week's Friday Five- Kid Lit Books I Adore...

Here are five books that I would go back to over and over and over again as a child. I knew them back and forth. I visited them like old family members, and they are part of the fabric of how I remember learning to love reading, getting lost in the other worlds and situations far far from my own.

What a contrast to a Protestant girl growing up in the high desert of New Mexico- All of a Kind Family by Sidney Tayor, and the five Jewish sisters growing up in pre World War I New York City. I searched for pennies with the girls as they would dust. I commisserated with naughty girl who would stubbornly not eat her dinner. I held my breath as they had their ears pierced with a needle and a wax string. I savored their religious traditions as they worshiped together as a family.

In My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George, young runaway Sam writes, "I am on my mountain in a tree home that people have passed not ever knowing that I am here." My dream! No hemlock trees, 6 feet in diameter, in my neighborhood, but I did entertain dreams of moving into the craigs of some of the boulders at the base of my nearby mountain. Logical, brave, and independent, that Sam. My kind of guy.

Confession- to this day, I make quick comparisons to life in Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House. Road trips? Mary and Laura didn't own a portable DVD player... Laundry piled up? At least I don't have to boil the water first. Long winter? Humph! Never as long as THE Long Winter! Pa, the most beloved of all children's lit fathers. Nellie Olson, the most despicable of all childhood nemeses. I could never be as good or as kind as sweet Mary. I am much more close to Laura, always climbing, always saying one too many things.

"Mercy Maud!" Is there a more funny book than Cheaper by the Dozen, the true story of the Gilbreth family? "Doncha know that (insert any ethnic group here) come cheaper by the dozen?" father Frank would tell onlookers? He was continually trying his time motion efficiency studies on the children, and I too tried to wash starting with the soap up the left side and then down the right. Few families enjoyed themselves as heartily as the Gilbreths, and that was an inspiration to me.

John D. Fitzgerald, J.D, tells the story of his scheming older brother, Tom, T.D., in The Great Brain . Tom could solved problems town leaders were stumped by. His parents were fair in discipline and generous in love. The boys' worst punishment to one another was the silent treatment. It was fun to imagine the adventures in the rapidly growing Old West town of Alden, Utah. And it was fun to see what scheme Tom would come up with next.

Confession- it's awfully hard to limit this to the Friday FIVE. I'd love to hear what childhood books stand out for Wanderer readers!

02 April 2008


"Sometimes, between the twilights,
I unwrap my bundle from home
and bury my face in the fabric of my old skirt.

I inhale deeply,
drinking in the scent of mountain sunshine,
a warmth that smells of freshly turned soil and clean laundry
baking in the sun.
I breathe in a cool Himalayan breeze,
and the woodsy tang of a cooking fire,
a smell that crackles with the promise of warm tea
and fresh roti.

Then I can get by.
Until the next twilight."
from Sold by Patricia McCormick

Sold is a hard book, a story that you cannot put down, a story that does not easily leave you. It is told by 13 year old Lakshmi from Nepal, as she is sold into the Indian sex trade and survives. It is raw and it is real. It is a fiction book, but the story is not. This is a story that is taking place today, around the world. According to the US Department of State, "human trafficking is the world's third largest criminal enterprise, after drugs and weapons." According to UNICEF, "worldwide, there are nearly two million children in the commercial sex trade." Two million children.

I think of Isaiah 1:17, "Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless; Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow."
There is much to do...