30 September 2009

Thanks Mom…

I woke at three AM this morning to words that make every parent want to hide their head under their pillow.

"Mommy, I got sick on my bed."

I got up, changed the sheets and got her settled back in bed with a bucket close by. She was sick again a few more times before morning, and each time I got up with her. I wondered how many times that Mom had gotten up with me in the middle of the night when I was sick. I can't even begin to count.

I never thanked her for that. It didn't occur to me. I know that I thanked her for many of the things that she had done for me, but not that. There are so many little sacrifices that a Mom makes, and we don't fully realize that until we have children of our own. I am just beginning to grasp what it meant for Mom to homeschool us. Did I ever thank her specifically for that? For making that choice and putting in all of the time and effort that it required? I honestly don't remember.

There are so many things now that I wish I could thank her for. So many sacrifices made for me. Did she know how grateful I was?

I said a lot of things to Mom. A lot of really important things. I thanked her for the big things. I told her that she was the most wonderful Mom that anyone could have. I said the most important things. Things like, "I love you." I don't have any big regrets, just little ones. Because I never thought to thank her for so many of the little things.

She knew that I love her, and I really hope that she also knew how truly grateful that I am, for everything…

29 September 2009

Pumpkins, Peace and Praise

Is there anything that says autumn like a pumpkin? Aaron's parents brought out some pumpkins for the kiddos yesterday. Munchkin LOVES pumpkins! She agreed to let me cook one of them so that we could make a pie. I found a recipe for a Pumpkin Maple Pie that just looked too good to pass up! I baked the pumpkin and pureed it last night, but didn't mix up the pie until this morning. I used my grandmother's secret pie crust recipe. (Pillsbury ready-made pie crusts!) It's in the oven right now, and smells wonderful! I'll try to wait until Aaron gets home tonight before I have a piece, I'll try anyway…

Mr. Q has been glued to the window in the living room this morning. They are replacing culverts in the road across the street from our house. A dump truck and excavator are just too much for any little boy to resist! They were so alluring that when I set Camo in his high chair and doled out his cereal, I heard a little voice calling to me from the next room, "I'm not hungry Mommy." This is utterly unheard of. That boy is ALWAYS hungry. I took in a cup of dry cereal and asked if he would like something to snack on while he watched the tractor. He readily agreed! He stayed there for nearly two hours, content to watch the construction. It was really an adorable picture.

It was the type of thing that would make me call Mom and say, "You will never guess what your grandson is doing!" I'd have related the story to her and we would have both laughed because no one loves trucks and tractors more than our little Mr. Q. Then I'd have told her about the pumpkin maple pie in the oven, and she would tell me that she'd be down for a piece later. I'd tell her that I still had some of her coffee in the cupboard to go with it. I still do have her coffee in my kitchen cupboard. I've not had the heart to move it yet. I like having the reminders, little pieces of her life around me. It still seems like a dream at times. Nearly seven months and there are still days when I can't believe that she's really gone. The ache in my heart reminds me that it's true.

Oddly enough, I've been humming the hymn "Nothing but the Blood of Jesus" this morning. I looked up the lyrics, and found hope…


What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

This is all my hope and peace, Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

This is all my righteousness, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Now by this I'll overcome – Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

Now by this I'll reach my home – Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Glory! Glory! This I sing – Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

All my praise for this I bring – Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

28 September 2009

Daybook for September 28, 2009

Outside my window... the German Shepherd is enjoying a nice fall day.

I am thinking... about what to munch while I wait for lunch to finish.

I am thankful for... a nice bookshelf for all of my cookbooks.

From the learning rooms... I love the days that we have music class!

From the kitchen... Baked Potato Soup inspired by Sara's facebook post.

I am wearing... jeans and Aaron's black turtleneck.

I am creating... a shawl for Aunt Lois for Christmas.

I am going... to stay home today.

I am reading... The Scarlet Pimpernel yet again!

I am hoping... to catch up on dishes at some point.

I am hearing... Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

Around the house... Kiddos playing and coloring, and a load of dishes going in the dishwasher!

One of my favorite things... A cup of hot tea. Earl Grey of course!

For more information on the daybook go to http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

16 September 2009


I am obsessed with knitting. I'm sure that my friends and family would tell you that. I can't really disagree. I do love to knit, and if I'm sitting down, you will usually find needles and yarn in my hands. In an ideal world my yarn budget would be a little more… robust. Since I have to make the most of every dollar that I spend on yarn, I frequent the clearance racks whenever I have the chance to shop at a store that sells decent yarn. (I'm also a bit of a fiber snob, which makes yarn even pricier…) Imagine my delight when I found the most gorgeous teal blue wool in 284 yard skeins for only $2.50 a skein. I snapped up all four of the remaining skeins. At home I sealed them carefully in a Ziploc bag to await the perfect project for my 1,136 yards of beautiful blue.

I am also somewhat obsessed with the Interweave Press magazines. I really should subscribe to Knits, Knitscene and Crochet since I buy all of the magazines as soon as they come out anyway. The Fall/Winter issue of Knitscene contained a sweater named Carnaby Street Pullover. I HAD to knit it! It called for 1,160 yards of yarn. I figured that 24 yards would not make too much difference as long as I was careful, right?

NEVER knit a sweater from clearance yarn when you think that you have JUST enough to complete the sweater. I have a bit less than two skeins left after knitting the back and one sleeve. I have the awful feeling that I won't have even close to enough yarn to complete the project. I should just frog the whole thing and knit something else with this lovely yarn. I really should… I know that if I keep knitting I'll run out, be frustrated beyond belief, and have to rip it all out anyway. If I was smart, I'd just frog the back and sleeve right now…

I'll post a blog rant in a few weeks lamenting the fact that I really don't have enough of this perfect yarn to knit myself the perfect sweater. No one ever accused an obsessed knitter of doing the smart thing.

08 September 2009

First Day

Today was our first day of lessons. The kids did really well, and due to their young ages, we kept the lessons short. We started reading a chapter a day of the book Little Pilgrim's Progress. It's a truly wonderful story, and this adaptation of John Bunyan's classic is quite readable for young children. I remember reading it myself, and have fond memories of my first introduction to Christian and Christina. I hope that my children will have such memories of our time spend reading it together!

As with all milestones lately, it was bittersweet. Mom would have been thrilled to see the legacy she began with my sister and I, continued in her grandchildren. I will forever be thankful to her for investing the tremendous amount of time, energy and money that she did to teach us herself. It was truly a labor of love for her. I pray that I will be able to accomplish half so much as she did!

Throughout the last six months, God has sent many things my way. Scripture, poems, books, songs and even blog posts! So much has been a comfort and encouragement to me. A recent song that is not new, but was new to me, is by Matthew Ward, "I Will Worship You."

The line, "And when my life's complete, I'll place my crown at Your feet," reminded me of her from the first time that I heard it. I can see her now doing just that. I don't know if she ever heard the song, but it's one that she would have liked. A beautiful reminder of who our God is, and why we worship Him.

So, I will continue my journey through grief, and continue Mom's legacy. I'll keep teaching my children, and telling them every day just how much I love them.

Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

07 September 2009

I Pledge.

There is a four minute video that will be shown in schools across America tomorrow. Take a moment to watch it here. Some of it sounds rather nice, some rather dubious, and some downright evil. At the end we are all encouraged to make a pledge of some sort. I reflected on this, and decided to adopt the slogan from Michael Peroutka's 2004 Presidential Campaign as my pledge.

"I pledge to honor God, defend the family and restore the republic."

Sounds like a simple little pledge, but let us stop to ponder for a moment all that is contained in those twelve words. That is the essence of what it means to be an American and a patriot.

Our nation was built upon a foundation of honoring God, and giving thanks to Him for our innumerable blessings. We thrived and prospered, because we honored Him as a nation. What should we expect now? Now that we no longer honor God. We should certainly expect His judgment, and like Thomas Jefferson, I fear for my country when I realize that God's justice will not sleep forever.

How does one go about defending the family? That is a tall order in today's society. Political activism is not enough. We must not only look to the defense of the family in general, but also to ours in particular. One way that I choose to go about protecting my family, is by teaching my children myself. It is my God-given responsibility to teach my children according to the Scriptures. I trust no one else with this sacred duty.

Restoring the republic is partially becoming politically active. We must elect only men who above all, fear God and seek to do His will. We must also ensure that they are statesmen, rather than politicians, and that they truly understand where our rights come from, and the proper role of government in protecting those rights from infringement. But that is only part of the picture, for the republic will never be restored until the hearts and minds of the people are changed.

William Wilberforce sought to make the slave trade illegal, but he realized that his work must be twofold. The laws must be changed, and the hearts of the people must be changed. They are synonymous.

I challenge the American people to read. Read the Bible, study it, and search it. You will be changed. Also, read the great classics that the early Americans read, and the ones that many of them wrote. Read the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution. Read your state Constitution. Read The Law by Frederic Bastiat. It is a short pamphlet and the text can be read freely here. I'll quote Jefferson one more time, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."

I was rather appalled by the people in the video pledging to serve the de facto president of the United States as if he were a great king. In response to that, I'll borrow another slogan, this one from Rev. Jonas Clarke from during the time of the American Revolution, "We recognize no Sovereign but God and no King but Jesus."