Morning Routine

Cindy calls it Morning Time.  She has 20 Morning Time posts: you will be inspired to read them all.  We call it Morning Routine.  This is the time we begin together at the table.  I am remodeling our Morning Routine this week.  Exercise, brekkers and shower come first on both plans.


Read chapter of Bible   from what we were studying at the time
Sing Psalm     mix learning new ones with reviewing familiar ones
Pray   don’t ask me why, but this has always followed the singing
Read Psalm from the Vulgate    One verse in English, one in Latin
Read Catechism question    Currently WLC
Read a poem   reading through different anthologies


Pray   We will begin with the daily prayer from the Lutheran Book of Prayer.  It has four weeks of daily prayers.  I would like our prayer life to grow in maturity; I like the tone and posture of these prayers.  On a tired Friday morning I want us to pray, “Send me, O Lord, into the tasks of this day rejoicing.”  

Read chapter of Proverbs   This is how we began school back in 1994, our first year of home schooling.  I’m returning to my roots, at least for autumn.  I even like the idea of picking one verse and copying it in a journal.  I remember one of my former lit students told me he was working on handwriting, and he was a high school junior at the time.

Sing Psalm    Continue on our course with more emphasis on memorization.  My husband puts me to shame with the hymns and psalms he has stored in his head.  He works on them on his lunch half hour.  Many psalms we sing are challenging musically; I have a fond hope that my son is improving in musical sight reading.

Catechism   Continue through WLC; re-evaluate when we are completed.  This makes me laugh, though.  When I was growing up catechism is what the poor kids in the Catholic church did.

Poetry    Continue through The Top 500 Poems for three weeks of the month. [Oh – Oh – and when we complete that the next anthology is The Oxford Book of English Verse.  Yippee!! ] One week during the month we will focus on one poet (Frost, Service, Cowper, Bradstreet, Kipling, etc.).  My greatest aid in sustaining any interest in poetry in my son has been Jeeves and Wooster.  More than once, Collin has read or listened to a story that referenced a poem the same week that we had read it.  The glow of recognition keeps us going.

Art   This is an addition which requires more thought and planning on my part.  We have several books to work from.  I like the drip, drip of daily exposure with a concentrated focus on one artist, one week a month.  I plan to watch Sister Wendy’s art films to educate myself.  

When I get to this point, I always want to add more.  One year we read through Grant & Wilbur’s Christian Almanac.  I’d love to do that again.  I’d love to read the Proverbs in the Vulgate.  I’d love to work through our set of People and Places and pray for the nations, learning a microbit about them each day.  I’d love to incorporate prayer for those being martyred, to raise our awareness of our brothers and sisters in chains. 

This is where my husband shines.  He has such a skill at estimating the time it takes and making priorities.  He’s always subscribed to the philosophy of Do A Few Things Well. 


File this one under Lessons I Keep Re-Learning

Hydration is a key factor in maintaining energy.

Drinking lots of water is also a universal component
of every weight loss program I’ve seen.

The problem for me is when I’m just living…not, cough-cough, on a program.

I forget to drink water.

I get sluggish.

I sit.

Here’s a TBOI (tasty bit of information).
 Take your weight in pounds,
switch it to ounces,
divide by two.

That’s how much water your body requires.

So, if you weigh 150 pounds,
drink 75 ounces a day.

“Says who?” you ask.  I forget says who.
My best method (so far) to get it down:
Fill a gallon container almost full with water.
Add a block of ice (I use a 2 lb yogurt container).
Keep it in front of my eyes.

How do you get your quota of water each day?

Hitting the Jackpit

Kenny, our nice neighbor and friendly mail carrier,
walked up to our door with letters in his right hand;
then, in a dramatic gesture, he pulled out of bundled pile of packages from his bag.
“Wow!” I exclaimed, “I’ve hit the jackpit!”
I was so excited for ten seconds that I couldn’t think of the correct word.

Only one of these is an assignment for school.
I’m excited about each title.

Hat Tip to Deb for turning me on to Gervase Phinn,
‘The James Herriot of schools…’

PaperBackSwap:  it’s a beautiful thing.

Why Blog?

From my Inbox:

I know I’ve asked you this already, but why do you blog? What is your purpose?  I’m just curious.  While I enjoy reading people’s blogs, I can’t help but think that it is also leading us away from being personal in our relationships.  What are your thoughts on this?”

Oh, how badly I want to give the quick Sunday School answer: “To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”  That answer is not entirely untrue; however, if I am honest the answer is more complex, more self-gratifying.

Indulge me in a bit of personal history. My brother Danny introduced me to reading blogs. On one of his annual visits he brought a file of his favorite online links and installed them on my computer. He’s hot into reformed theological controversies, cooking, techno-gadgets and blogs. He knew I’ve been reading, drooling over, and collecting George Grant’s writing for years (I have a huge binder full of his book reviews from World Magazine) and showed me how to read his stuff online. It was a quick transition from reading » commenting » writing my own posts. 

So why do I blog? 

1.    I have a show-and-tell personality. Whenever I’ve read an excellent book or listened to incredible music, my joy is not complete until someone has read it or heard it and agrees that it is excellent. If you came to my house today, I’d ask if you’d like to see my _______ (silverware drawer, garden, guest room, whatever). I’m trying to get beyond foisting a book on some unsuspecting victim/friend and promising them they will Absolutely Love It; but that impulse will never be eradicated. 

2.   To improve my writing. Thoughts and phrases float across my brain, but getting them onto the screen in a readable form is good exercise. I need an editor, big time, but people are not standing in line to offer their services.

3.  To encourage other people. We all have our little sphere of influence; I try to use mine to share quotes, books, prayers, pictures, recipes and music. Truth, beauty and goodness surround us and I like to point them out. 

4.  It’s good intellectual stimulation. This refers to reading other blogs and following their links to other stories. My world has expanded in  fabulous ways. Even if it’s just exposure knowledge, I’ve learned much that is useful in the last three years.

5.  To develop friendships. It’s very odd, especially to the analog personality, but I’ve made some dear friends online. It’s really amazing to read someone else’s journal and recognize yourself. My husband tends to scratch his head as I quote one of y’all. Which one is this? he asks with a note of confusion. 

What’s wrong with blogging?

1.   Time, Where Did You Go? My clock ticks away like nobody’s business when I’m online. Dana suggested a using timer and I’m becoming more convicted that I need to. Time spent blogging is time not spent fulfilling the responsibilities which we have been given. Could you argue against that last sentence? I’d sure like to hear your argument so I could use it for myself. 

2.    Incomplete disclosure. When I blog, I filter what I want you to know about me. You do the same thing, don’t you? Of course, discretion is always called for, but, all the same, I’m putting my best face forward. I am thankful that real people that I really know read my blog. It helps me to combat hypocrisy.

3.    Isolation. I am more convinced each day that life needs to be lived within the context of covenant community. It is too easy to plug into the computer and zone out the people who are in the physical now. I try, emphasis on try, not to blog when my husband is home so I can be present with him. 

4.   Misplaced priorities. Since I really do enjoy blogging, thinking about how and what to write is often at the forefront of my mind. “My public needs me” has been a joke in our family for decades. My toilets need me too, but I don’t view them like I view you, my dear reader. 

5.   Unlimited scope. When my oldest son began to read, I devised a plan to check out each and every picture book in our public library. After a few months I asked myself, Why? I had assumed every book the library offered was worth reading.  I used to be impressed with four pages of blog links, until I realized that it was the same fallacy. I’m content to limit myself to a small group of daily reads, a larger group of weekly reads and another folder of occasional glances. There are many extraordinary blogs which I miss and that’s Okay.

Why do you blog? Or, why do you read blogs?

(P.S. Thanks, Mel, for holding my feet to the fire. I appreciate it…and you.)

A Wee Bit of Merriment

While my bread is baking, I jumped online to see how some big happenings went with my online friends.  Oh my!  Between Cindy’s son’s wedding, Donna’s daughter’s graduation and Janie’s 30th anniversary, I’m limp from emotion.

My older daughter-in-law and I had a funny phone conversation about weird stuff people eat.  She hadn’t known about my not-so-secret weirdness: I eat non-instant dry milk powder.  Put some in a mug, get a spoon and lick away while I read.   When I was a child that was all we could find to nosh on one day and it just stuck.  Weird, huh?

We talked about people who eat butter: take a stick from the fridge and start taking bites.  Ewwwwh!

But my DIL had the best story:  a friend of hers used to eat bananas dipped in mayonaisse

What’s the weirdest thing you eat?

Vegetable Stir Fry

This is for you, Dana.  I can never repay you for the most delicious black bean salad ever, but here’s a down payment.

Put one glug (~ 1 T) of olive oil to a heated pan. Add chopped onions.
Red onions give a lovely color, but sweet Walla Wallas or Vidalias work just as well.


While the onions cook are cooking, chop up a pepper or two.
Any color is great: I love red.

These two jars are staples at my house.  I get them from Costco.
They are on the splurgy side of life, but my husband just loves both.
It’s quite an easy way to make my man happy. 
And since he keeps me warm (in many ways) I love to keep him happy.

This isn’t looking real purty right now,
 but those sun dried tomatoes are bursting with flavor.
At this point last night I went to get the ingredient that makes a difference:
frozen sugar snap peas.
What I thought was peas was lima beans!! 
Do I substitute limas and hope no one notices?  Yikes!
What’s this?  Oh, frozen cubes of pesto  from the garden: let’s try them.


At this point I added some cooked morel mushrooms, which are very dark.
While it tasted divine, I refused to take a picture.
Fortunately I had taken a picture last week so let’s substitute it:

Isn’t that a beauty?

I only add salt for seasoning.
If it’s a special day you could add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

I vary this according to what veggies are in the house.

You could add:

Cubed potatoes (add them first and cook them well)
Broccoli or Cauliflower
Fresh tomatoes in place of the sun-dried tomatoes
Thinly sliced carrots
Green beans