Archive for the 'books' Category


Home School History – Civil War

I’ve known for years that at least one of my great-greats fought in the Civil War.  His name was Oliver Norton, and he wasn’t a general or anything.  He did, however, achieve relative fame because he was a writer.  He wrote many letters back to his family, and later wrote an account of the battle at Gettysburg that is still in publication today, The Attack and Defense of Little Round Top.

Doesn’t he look all young and rosy-cheeked in this portrait, like a kid dressing up in his father’s clothes?  He grew up to have Burnsides-style facial hair, which I can only hope never comes back into style.  He also became a banker, which I also hope never comes back into style.  Before the war, he had started out as a teacher and a farmer, two occupations of much better use.

I didn’t know the stuff about Oliver being an author until this morning.  Now I’m all excited to read his letters and other eyewitness accounts!  Here are some links, in case you want to dive into the War Between the States with the help of some primary sources.

Note: Oliver Norton, being a bugler, is sometimes said to have been the first person to officially play Taps, and to have collaborated on its writing with Brig. Gen. Daniel Butterfield.  This is up for some debate, although he himself made this claim.


Luna Lovegood and Violet Heaslip: Separated at Birth?

Harry Potter and Word Girl don’t have too much in common. But you have to admit, these two characters bear a resemblance to each other.



More Thoughtful [Worship]

Brian says my last post was rambly. This is true. I felt it emphasized my need for organization, as provided by such resources as the book I mentioned. But I can be thoughtful too. Maybe. Especially when it involves posting lengthy quotes by other authors who have spent way more time than I have thinking about things.

Here is one on the nature of worship that we read in Cries of the Heart, by Ravi Zacharias (p. 186):

So much corruption of worship is seen in our time that if one were to write out a biblical or systematic theology on the basis of what we observe in worship, God would be seen as one great mindless bundle of contradictions whose sole reason for existence is to to bring some sort of physical bounce into our lives.  Unless worship regains integrity, both in our personal lives and then in a community of believers, the cries of the heart will never find their rest, and God’s outstretched hand will not meet ours.

I would disagree with, or perhaps more finely tone, one point here, that at times such integrity must be practiced/modeled in the congregation before individuals within the community will regain it.  As church leaders, it’s our responsibility to teach deep, true worship.  (Intimidated yet, song leader?)

I want my worship to have deep roots, so that when the winds of the storms of this world blow hard against my life, I will remain as “a tree planted by streams of water, which bears its fruit in its season and whose leaf does not wither.” (Psalm 1)


Summer’s Almost Over!

hohIt’s August; do you know where your homeschool plans are?

I just got the book Managers of Their Homes, by Steve and Teri Maxwell.  I hope it changes how I do school, keep house, blog, scrapbook, fix dinner, exercise, eat, and sleep.  As you can see, I have some issues I am working on.

I know what I want to do for school this year.  Mostly.  I plan on getting some tips and ideas from some of the moms at The Homeschool Lounge.  I like the setup over there.  Friendly and organized.  Which is, ironically, also how I would describe my homeschooling friend Jill, who knows nothing of The Homeschool Lounge because she only got a computer like a year ago, and all the information there would send her into a fit.  But I love her anyway.  I can say all sorts of things about her because she doesn’t read blogs or facebook. She barely reads email more than once a month, probably. See, watch this:

The reason Jill can live on her husband’s salary is because he is so cheap he makes her cut up paper plates so they only have to use two for the whole family.

This isn’t true, technically.  But I digress.  What was I talking about?  Oh yeah.

I need some structure, some direction.  My hubby, the former project manager, has offered many times to help me get organized.  I told him I needed to see proof that he could do this, like samples of his work.  How do I know if he’s any good at it? Just because an Ivy League college pays him for it, I’m supposed to accept his bid, sight unseen?  No proof was offered, and so I turned to the Maxwells.  Now hopefully this year will be different.

By posting this, I am making myself eligible for MANY FABULOUS PRIZES, such as a Rainbow Resource Center $50 gift card, a Doorposts chart, and trendy items from HomeschoolBoutique!!


Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

These things are so good.  I can’t even say.  Words fail.  The recipe comes from a book that I think you should get.  It’s called One Bite Won’t Kill You and it’s by Ann Hodgman.  It’s hysterical, and practical too.  But this isn’t supposed to be a book review, so I’ll be quiet now.

2 cups creamy peanut butter

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons baking soda

a pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease two cookie sheets or cover them with parchment paper.

Beat the peanut butter and sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and then the baking soda, salt, and vanilla.

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. With the tines of a fork, press crosshatches into the balls to flatten them.

Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, in the middle of the oven, for 10 minutes, or until they’re puffy and golden brown. Let them sit on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes; then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies.


My blog. Herein read entries related to who and what is important to me. Feel free to leave comments. I feel free to delete them if I don't like them. So there. By reading about my life, readers should expect to begin to see their own lives as increasingly more organized and sophisticated, their homes cleaner and neater.

Why This Blog?

Well, mostly this is for my family to see pictures and read anecdotes about the kids. It's also a venue for telling the story of my struggles and victories in my life as a Christian, a wife, a mother, and a teacher. Occasionally I toss in some weird or touching item that I've found.

What’s Christianity All About?

The Gospel is the news that Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, died for our sins and rose again, eternally triumphant over all his enemies, so that there is now no condemnation for those who believe, but only everlasting joy. [as said by John Piper]

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