Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Where November went

Obviously I've been lazy on the blog the last few weeks, so I'm catching up. My brain was otherwise-occupied this month, it seems. First with my Dad's birthday party, and then with the possibility that I might be pregnant. (I'm not, but it certainly gave us something to think about!)

In the meantime, life went on...

First hot chocolate of the season...

Tea and sweater knitting (I'm making Scott a pullover with the yarn Farmer's Market yarn I bought during our road trip)...

 Neighborhood walks in our beautiful November weather...


A Thanksgiving potluck with new homeschooling friends...

 First snow of the season (forty minutes uphill), and a play day with favorite old homeschooling friends...

And the first half of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" in the theater! We finished listening to books five and six on CD before we went, but we'll save book seven for after Christmas. In the meantime, the big boys have been reading off their own shelves...

Today we're off to the library to turn in our fall books and gather new books for Advent. I'll let you know what we find!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Lucky Number 13

See this handsome man? Thirteen years ago today, he left behind the possibility of moving to Tahiti to spend his days sipping margaritas and flirting with babes in bikinis...

...to marry me. (He's a very smart man, so I really can't tell you why he would do such a thing.)

Twenty-seven months of pregnancy, three children, 126 cycles through PMS, 18 weeks of postpartum abstinence...

Five bedroom swaps, three flooring projects, one chicken coop, one 4,950-mile road trip (plus countless stresses having nothing to do with me) later...

We are still married.

This, my friends, is not just a miracle, but a testament to the commitment, endurance, and sheer determination of the man I married. That, and he seems to actually love me.

And I absolutely adore him.

Happy 13th Anniversary, my Love! I am so very lucky to be your wife! And marriage is so not obsolete.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Leftover cranberry sauce?

Peanut butter and cranberry sandwiches... Yum!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


This Thanksgiving, I was thankful... that I was the only one who was sick (and that it's not any worse than a cold).


...for all the help my hubby and boys gave with the food prep -- peeling apples, snapping green beans, baking cornbread for the stuffing, peeling potatoes.

...that my mother always sets such a beautiful table (and I didn't have to clean my house).

...that my recipe for herbed-butter turkey worked out deliciously.

...that my dad's always willing to do the carving.

...that my sister Lindsay surprised us by showing up Thanksgiving morning -- again!

...that no one minded when I completely forgot about the cranberry sauce.

 ...that we could have a sense of humor about Littlest begging for apple pie all afternoon, and then walking away from it after two bites. ;)

...that it's not just about the food, but the blessing of sharing it with each other...

Monday, November 15, 2010

A random act of evangelism...

Did you hear about Handel's Hallelujah Chorus being performed as a Random Act of Culture by the Opera Company of Philadelphia in Macy's two weeks ago?

If you need a kick in the pants (like I did) to start thinking about Christmas, this should do it! A choir of 650 voices performed alongside the largest pipe organ in the world...

And He shall reign forever and ever!!! Amen!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Celebrating Dad's 60th

We celebrated my dad's 60th birthday on Saturday. At 60, he is in the throes of starting his own business, turning his passion for rock-crawling and 4x4s into a livelihood with the help of his partner, Eric. They've been working long hours for months to get the shop going, and the business is taking off, so we had lots to celebrate!

My sisters came from San Francisco and Boston, my aunt and uncle from Portland, another aunt from Florida, friends from Washington and Colorado, and more from all over California. He wanted to celebrate big with all his family and friends, and that's exactly what we did!

My parents hosted the party in their backyard, filling the lawn with tables to seat over 100, which my mother decorated with pumpkins and photos of my dad.

We had live music all afternoon, thanks to the abundant talent of my dad's friends and brothers. My dad's business partner has a country rock band, and his brothers and other long-time friends joined in, too. They got us all dancing...

My cousin Morgan made this incredible cake with my dad standing on top of his Jeep on a mountaintop...


Eldest and Middlest spent two weeks practicing "Happy Birthday" on their cello and violin to play for their Papa...

My sister Brook wrote and sang a very personal, original song for our dad, then recorded it so my sister Lindsay could include it in a 30-minute film she made. Lindsay's film told the story of my dad's life through interviews with family members, photos and video clips. (I served cake while the film was playing so I wouldn't embarrass myself by bawling through the whole thing!!)

It was a wonderful party, with lots of catching up with old friends, seeing how kids and grandkids have grown, sharing memories, and celebrating the continued pursuit of an adventurous life!

I love you, Dad! I'm so glad we live so close and can be involved in each other's daily lives! Happy 60th birthday -- that was one rockin' party for our Rock'nXJ!!

Monday, November 01, 2010

The Roman Legion and the Armor of the Lord

We finished reading the Narnia series a few weeks ago, and I wondered how I was going to continue that boy-inspiring literary and Bible-themed path -- or, rather, I wondered where the Spirit was going to lead us next.

Last week in our Lively Latin history, we studied the Roman legion -- how the army was organized, what the soldiers wore, etc. And it all came together...

We read, discussed, and began memorizing Ephesians 6:1-18, specifically the references to our spiritual armor:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

We sang...
I may never march with the infantry,
Ride with the cavalry,
Shoot the artillery,
I may never fly o'er the enemy,
But I'm in the Lord's army,
Yes, Sir!

I'm in the Lord's army,
Yes, Sir!
I'm in the Lord's army,
Yes, Sir!

I may never march with the infantry,
Ride with the cavalry,
Shoot the artillery,
I may never fly o'er the enemy,
But I'm in the Lord's army,
Yes, Sir!

And we discussed the possibility of dressing up as Roman soldiers for Halloween... but decided against it.

This site had helpful discussion questions and more activity ideas if you're interested.

Addendum:  I forgot to mention where the inspiration for this lesson came from... We got to see Go Fish perform at a local church the weekend before last, and discovered that an updated version of "Army of the Lord" was on their newest album. The boys latched onto it, and I decided to teach them the old-fashioned version with hand movements!

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