Friday, January 13, 2012

Our birthday girl!

Our Gracie has turned 7. I cannot believe it! She is such a delight and it is fun to see her starting to experience more and more as she grows!

We love you, sweetheart!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

the Incarnation and the splendor of the ordinary

Throughout the New Testament we notice this sort of homeliness surrounding the Incarnation. In Jesus, God is completely present to the rest of us. Young men gather around him. A woman wants to touch the hem of his garment and be healed. And Jesus wants them to come. He says, "Come and see." Being close to Jesus, experiencing intimate friendship with him--that's the seed of our transformation. That's why the Father sent the Son to us: to cross the unbridgeable distance, to show us splendor in the ordinary, to be that close."

-Emilie Griffin. January 4 reading in God with Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Christmas

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Term; A Fresh Start

I've been busy spending the weekend getting ready for our new term to begin. I spent time completing Grace's portfolio and it felt good to see all we've accomplished as a family, even with a new baby in tow. The highlights are many, but here are my top three:

  • Starting a Nature Study Club that met weekly--some gatherings we had close to 50 moms, children and babies attend. We all loved being outdoors with friends. In the past an afternoon in nature often fell to the bottom of my priority list, especially if the weather was iffy, so the club helped us to be consistent in our nature study. And we finally bought rain pants!!
  • Our Charlotte Mason fine arts group, The Truth, Beauty, Goodness Symposium (modeled after this one) also was a delight. We had tea and treats while working on our manners, then read and recited poetry, sang hymns, listened to our term's composer and Opal Wheeler biography, then did a picture study together. We had two culminating events: a family celebratory dessert and a trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art with sketchbooks in hand.
My hopes for improvements for next term are many as well, but that is always to be expected, isn't it?

My top three would be:
  • Getting more one-on-one learning time with all my children each day.
  • Spending more time in Scripture each morning as a family.
  • Being more disciplined with the no-frills, every-day-type subjects: Latin, Spelling, Handwriting, Math, Memory Work.
and a close fourth would be the ability to extend grace to my children in those crazy moments when one child starts crying over their math, right when the other has completely forgotten all the letters in the alphabet, the toddler has wet her pants, the baby is ready for her next feeding, and I realize that the cup of coffee I never even started is now ice cold!

Oh, to a fresh start and the chance to ring true

...Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be. 

Saturday, December 31, 2011

On The Eve of the New Year

May we "Ring in the Christ that is to be."

Ring Out, Wild Bells by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.


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