31 May, 2006

Stolen Meme...

Found this out in cyberworld, and thought I'd play along.

20 Years Ago:
1. Had been married to my hubby for one year, had known him for two
2. began long-distance cycling to help overcome some fears
3. was about to move to Boston!

15 years ago:
1. content wife and a mother of two living in an apartment, where dd had just been born.
2. We had a wonderful midwife
3. Oldest son was a very precocious, smart 2 1/2 yo

10 Years Ago:
1. I turned 32
2. A mother to 4 children, baby turned one year old
3. joined a brand new, small hs support group which has now grown to @250 families

5 Years Ago
1. I turned 37
2. was the secretary, newsletter editor, e-mail list mom, website writer (we kept it simple then), and new homeschool director of said hs group (we had jumped from 60ish to 120+ families, then, if my memory serves me.)
3. We had been at our new church home for one year, after moving on from our old church home of 11.5 years. Also took a big break from singing, both professionally-had done some studio work & sang at a big party or two-and for ministry, for nine months. That means, five years ago, that I was back to singing regularly again.

3 Years Ago
1. Dear Daugther and I had just returned from visiting friends in Italy, where we enjoyed the many fruits of having studied the Renaissance so well the school term before going.
2. I began taking vintage book restoration / preservation classes (or was that four years ago? Time flies).
3. Life was about to hit the teen mood swing roller coaster with one of our dc

1 Year Ago
1. Preparing to help chaperone on our Junior High Back-country camping trip
2. Watched our oldest son take control of his fear of giving speeches. He came so far from that place of being severely nauseated about it to having a decent amount of confidence about it!
3. June: spent a lot of time helping mom, who busted her ankle badly. She is one who likes to stay active, so it was difficult for her having to keep still

So Far This Year
1. Things have smoothed out a lot for our oldest teen and he is blossoming (slowly but surely) into a gentler young man
2. Two of our teens have shown their capacity for using their gifts in front of big groups of people 3. I've been selling older, gently used curriculum and books from our 13 years of home schooling

1. Tree butchers trimmed back some of our large trees from the power lines, so I finished a restoration project for a friend, and shopped for teaching bookbinding classes this summer.
2. I got to use my new marble board (for gluing up the aforementioned project, pictured below), made by Juan, one of hubby's co-worker friends at school.
3. I began teaching my husband Spanish, then he worked on the family bicycles for summer riding.

1. was the last day that I drive my son to Worldviews class. He will drive himself next fall.
2. I have a painful crick in my neck
3. I need to reschedule a doctor's appointment and go grocery shopping

1. We'll buy supplies for our three teens' summer camp trip
2. I'll de-clutter in my room some more
3. start walking again

In the Next Year
1. Our first-born will graduate from our home school experience
2. I hope to go to the Yucatán again, or at least be able to send a boxful of Classic books in Spanish to the kids there.
3. I'll save money to travel; I'm hoping dh and I get to go back to Germany, this time for a Reformation tour, and to visit a few old friends.

In the Next Minute
1. I will go pour myself a cup of coffee
2. I will start a load of laundry
3. I will unload the clean dishes in the dishwasher

Who will be next? I tag Tootlestime and Mama Squirrel.

30 May, 2006

What I've been up to...

~ a little bit of spring cleaning
~ going to bed late and sleeping in late!
~ switching over the cool weather clothes to lighter weight summer clothes
~ rearranging of some furniture

~ cleaning, repairing where needed, and selling our 1989 World Book Encyclopedia set plus yearbooks to make space on some shelves
~planning to teach some book-making classes this summer

My meticulously detailed project of the holiday, though, was finishing this box repair job for Hubster's best buddy. This was his JB's grandfather's Domino box and it was literally falling apart at the seams, previously taped and retaped over the decades...dried out, and acid worn. I scraped, treated, lined, and recovered it in a nice, old-fashioned "crinkled paint" style acid-free paper. I'm very pleased with how it turned out. There's still a little dried tape residue that I am removing, on top of the Cardinal emblem.

29 May, 2006

Summer according to Androcles

Crafts ~ air soft pellet mosaics

23 May, 2006

A funny from the oldest son

My hubby was talking with AnselAdams, our 17 yo humanities and philosophically oriented son, in the kitchen a few nights ago. Hubby was telling him of a couple of possible opportunities for AA to travel to Africa (something he has wanted to do for a couple of years, now) and do some humanitarian and mission work. Hubby was beside himself at the chances for our son. After about ten minutes of discussion about this dream, AA said, "That's great, Dad, but what I REALLY want to talk about is the incredible sandwich I made today..."

Okay, so I guess you had to be there...but it's good to know that serious and intense people can lighten up and just want to talk about something as simple and uncomplicated as a really great sandwich sometimes :-).


19 May, 2006


This year, Hubster and I got to experience the music of Gustav Mahler, live. Earlier in the symphony season, at our city's symphony center, we heard Mahler's first symphony, also known as The Titan. More recently, we heard Mahler's Second, also known as The Resurrection Symphony. Both are *stunning*. Mahler uses the maximum number of instruments for maximum effect! Two sets of Timpani...two harps, and so much more. Although I GREATLY enjoyed the moments (beginning in the fourth movement, before the mezzo-soprano begins) that the contrabassoon (one of my favorite instruments :-) takes center stage in The Resurrection Symphony, DH and I both agreed that we probably like Symphony Number One the best, as it exhibited the versatilities of all of the instrument families so well. Each family was showcased throughout, as the major themes moved through the sections at different times, rather like a wave of music.

Highlight from Symphony #2 : the violas played sixteen or more measures on their instruments as if they were playing guitars. I forget the technical term for this.

Another major highlight of our symphony visits is any time the Symphony Chorus (somewhere around 200 voices strong?) join the symphony for a work, we are inspired and moved. It could be Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, Beethoven's Ode To Joy, Brahm's Requiem, Orff's Carmina Burana, or The Titan! We have enjoyed them all. I love how the voices just wash over the whole symphony hall. I just close my eyes and get caught up in the close chords and suspensions and resolutions of the altos, tenors, and baritones. One time, the chorus was singing not onstage, but from an upper room in the symphony hall. The voices echoed through windows high up in the hall. It was beautiful and a bit haunting. *sigh*

This is one of the ways Hubby and I schedule in a monthly date night. Sometimes we go out to eat, but I'd rather spend the time/money on beautiful music.

Our conductor is moving on to better things, conducting at famous symphony halls over Europe. We are sad to see him go, as he is so dynamic. He would often give a nice introduction to a work before beginning it, so we could have an insight to why HE likes a given piece. The handbills fill in all of the other details. I just enjoy hearing a conductor tell me what it means to him.

Here is the text of Mahler's Symphony Number Two (from Wikipedia) ~ Enjoy!!

Note: This text has been translated from the original German to English on a very literal and line-for-line basis, without regard for the preservation of meter or rhyming patterns.

Fourth Movement
Text from
Des Knaben Wunderhorn

Original German
O Röschen rot!
Der Mensch liegt in größter Not!
Der Mensch liegt in größter Pein!
Je lieber möcht ich im Himmel sein.
Da kam ich auf einen breiten Weg:
Da kam ein Engelein und wollt’ mich abweisen.
Ach nein! Ich ließ mich nicht abweisen!
Ich bin von Gott und will wieder zu Gott!
Der liebe Gott wird mir ein Lichtchen geben,
Wird leuchten mir bis in das ewig selig Leben!

In English
Primeval Light
O red rosebud!
Man lies in deepest need!
Man lies in deepest pain!
I would rather be in heaven.
I came upon a broad path;
A little angel came and wanted to send me away.
Ah no! I would not be sent away!
I am from God and will return to God!
The dear God will give me a little light,
Which will light my way to eternal blessed life!

Fifth Movement
Note: The first eight lines were taken from the
ode Aufersteh'n by Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock. Mahler omitted the final four lines of this ode and wrote the rest himself (beginning at "O glaube").

Original German
Aufersteh'n, ja aufersteh'n wirst du,
Mein Staub, nach kurzer Ruh'!
Unsterblich Leben!
wird, der dich rief, dir geben!
Wieder aufzublüh'n wirst du gesät!
Der Herr der Ernte geht
und sammelt Garben
uns ein, die starben!
O glaube, mein Herz, o glaube:
Es geht dir nichts verloren!
Dein ist, ja dein, was du gesehnt!
Dein, was du geliebt, was du gestritten!
O glaube: Du wardst nicht umsonst geboren!
Hast nicht umsonst gelebt, gelitten!
Was entstanden ist, das muß vergehen!
Was vergangen, auferstehen!
Hör auf zu beben!
Bereite dich zu leben!
O Schmerz! Du Alldurchdringer!
Dir bin ich entrungen!
O Tod! Du Allbezwinger!
Nun bist du bezwungen!
Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen,
In heißem Liebesstreben,
Werd’ ich entschweben
Zum Licht, zu dem kein Aug’ gedrungen!
Sterben werd’ ich, um zu leben!
Aufersteh'n, ja aufersteh'n wirst du,
mein Herz, in einem Nu!
Was du geschlagen,
zu Gott wird es dich tragen!

In English
Rise again, yes, you shall rise again,
my dust, after brief rest!
Immortal life
will be given by Him who called you!
You are sown to bloom again.
The Lord of the harvest goes
and gathers sheaves of us,
who have died.
O believe, my heart, believe:
Nothing is lost to you!
All you have desired is yours, yes, yours!
Yours, what you have loved and fought for!
O believe, you were not born in vain!
You have not lived or suffered in vain!
All that is created must perish.
All that has perished rises again.
Cease trembling!
Prepare to live!
O Pain, all-pervading,
I have escaped from you!
O Death, all-conquering,
now you are conquered!
With wings which I have won
In love’s ardent striving,
I shall soar upwards
to the light which no eye has penetrated!
I shall die in order to live!
Rise again, yes, you shall rise again,
my heart, in an instant!
Your beating
shall lead you to God!

18 May, 2006

Book Shopping and Greek Food

Happy Anniversary to Hubby and me. We have made it 21 years, now, plus the year of friendship, then outright dating and engagement. We spent our day experiencing the traditional (for us) celebration with Greek food (it was pretty bad, this time!) and used book shopping. I came home with Christianity is Jewish by Edith Schaeffer, and Luther and Erasmus: Free Will and Salvation edited by E Gordon Rupp and Philip S. Watson. There was another I would have liked, about the topic of "Is Capitalism Christian?" by the Schaeffers, but it was over ten dollars. It will have to wait until I sell more used books/curriculum from our home library. Hubby purchased some sheet music and a book on collected works of the writers during the Harlem Renaissance (American Literature).

I also picked up some summer reading for our younger two boys:

The Twits, The Vicar of Nibbleswicke, and Revolting Rhymes all by Ronald Dahl
The Unofficial Autobiography of Lemony Snicket and book one of A Series of Unfortunate Events books.

UPDATE: I pre-read the Dahl books last night. I was disappointed in The Vicar of Nibbleswicke, especially. Their is some poor taste humor in it, so preview it at the library, before considering. It is a bout a dyslexic pastor, who became nervous over his new job, and some of his words come out backwards when he says them. This could have been really cute. Revolting Rhymes is a totally different take on traditional Fariy Tales. In Cinderella, she finds that the prince, disgusted by Cindy's two step-sisters, has cut off their heads after they tried on the glass slipper and made such a fuss. Cindy is horrified with him, and so marries a common man from town who sells marmelade. At least I only spent a dollar on these, each, but I wish I would have had time to check them out more thoroughly before buying them yesterday.

What are you picking up for summer reading?

15 May, 2006

Smith and Carlson

I finished reading A Song From L'Abri this weekend. The copy I found (for 33 cents) is such an old one, published in 1972, that the author's name did not ring a bell to me (though it should have!). Betty Carlson wrote this story down for her friend Jane Stuart Smith, and American opera singer from the 1950's, who was trained in Italy and Germany. It is Jane's journey toward Christ, and her becoming an important part of L'Abri in Switzerland.

After just a few minutes of research online, I realized that I already had one book in our home library by both of these ladies, titled The Gift of Music: Great Composers and Their Influence. I began reading it last night. I've decided to read it through instead of just leaving it on the music reference shelf.

They also co-wrote
Great Christian Hymn Writers, and Great Women Hymn Writers, Great Christian Men Hymn Writers and Great Women Authors: Their Lives and Their Literature. But Thoughts on art, literature, and Humor by Jane Stuart Smith is the one that piques my interest, now.

14 May, 2006

Francis Schaeffer

Today marks the 22nd anniversary of the death and home-going of Francis Schaeffer. I mentioned in my previous post about wanting to go to L'Abri back in 1984, as I was just introduced to the works of Schaeffer in '83 in college by both my philosophy prof. and by my German prof. (also head of our Germany missions team). I was given a newsletter from L'abri by my German prof. so that I could look into going while in Europe that summer...perhaps in August, after our weeks of teaching were finished. This began my journey on the path to considering all the big worldview questions. So, studying Schaeffer's writings is the reason we home school today, and have homeschooled since our oldest son (now 17) began learning how to read! It is also the reason that we use Charlotte Mason philosophies with our family, and as we teach our own and other children.

In the fall/winter of 1983, my German professor gave me a book by Susan Schaeffer Macauley called How To Be Your Own Selfish Pig (and other ways you've been brainwashed). This provided a simple explanation of basic worldview analysis, and what L'Abri Fellowship was all about; how people from all over the world would come for rest from the weariness of the struggle to understand the meaning of life, and to help with the work on the farm, but also to come and study the Word of God with this missionary family living in Switzerland. I have given copies of this book to some of my nieces and nephews as graduation presents, but I think students as young as 12 or 13 would enjoy this as a first step into worldviews studies. I've lent it to our youth pastor to read and recommend to any of the youth that may have a need or be asking some of the tough questions.

Visiting with and helping missionaries overseas and reading the works of Schaeffer and C. S. Lewis, put within me the deep desire to ask God to provide a husband whose wish it was to have a "L'Abri" home of our own someday, where our own children, any of their friends, and others could come and linger and just talk, ask questions, and study the Bible, Art, History, Literature and the difficult questions of life. He provided, and we are living that dream in forms and fashions of God's own design.

God's blessings on you, my friends and readers, who are planning a new homeschool year but at the same time are seeking to follow God's leading in your homes/schools as families who can bless others in the communities in which you live.

12 May, 2006

A Song From L'Abri

One of my favorite things to do is stop at thrift stores and peruse their book sections. I don't do this as often as I used to, but I was in a different part of the city yesterday meeting rides for two of our dc to go to the theme park with other friends.

The books were 33 cents each, with a couple of larger 99 cent books. So for just over five dollars, I came home with a bagful of goodies. They are all paperbacks.

Two of them are books that are on my modern American Lit. list to read. I intend to post on them after I read them.

The story that I'm most excited about is called A Song From L'Abri: The adventure that gave a distinguished singer a new song by Betty Carlson with and introduction by Edith Schaeffer. The back of the book has a photo of a lush view of one chalet nestled in the massive, breathtaking Alps. It reads: "Travel with singer Jane Stuart Smith from the theaters of Europe and the U. S. --through her truggles, fulfillments, emptiness--to a new life that began in a tiny chalet in an Alpine village. You will be captivated by the enthusiasm with which Jane attacks life--from her rise to fame as an acclaimed (opera) singer to selling eggs to buy and organ for the L'Abri Chapel. More than this, you can recognize something of your own search for a real way of living...a new song." (Amen, indeed!)

I had to begin the book right away, and am one third of the way through it. It is a peak into Jane's experiences, including daily rigorous daily lessons with her Maestro in Italy. The first chapter is titled "A Night in Venice."

The book captivated me for several reasons. First, I almost went to L'Abri in 1984 in Switzerland, but that was when Francis Schaeffer's health was going down hill, and he was in the hospital. I still went to The Alps, as a solitary and peaceful retreat, after spending a second summer in Germany with a small group working with several congregations in the country on summer missions. Second, the book is about the budding career of a singer. It sounds romantic, in many ways...but it brings back many fond, and of some difficult memories; some of choices that needed to be made in my life, one of many moments when I sought God's will and direction fervently.

This time of year always brings to mind the memories of my adventures with friends, then with my husband, then the last trip over to Europe with my only daughter. This time of year is when I was blessed to venture abroad. This is one reason that I think Spring as representing more of the changes of life, the ending of school schedules, the beginning of new adventures, and also time to plan for the next season. Moreso than New Year's, this time of year reflects renewal and of goal setting for me, not January.

Back to my retreat in Switzerland: It was a time in my life when I was a wanderer; I ambled along mountain and forested paths (physically and mentally), where the only sounds were birds singing and bells of Alpine cows clinking away in the distance, to consider whether I would stay in Germany for possibly another year or more, or should I return back to the states to finish my senior year of college and to get to know this nice college fellow who'd been sending letters to me all summer long from his youth ministry internship in Oklahoma?

I think it not a coincidence that I found this book yesterday for 33 cents. I am looking forward to where it begins to tell of her story of how she came to L'Abri.

What are some of your memories and experiences of wandering (or just wondering!) and listening for the Lord's guidance in your life? Your turning points, so to speak?

09 May, 2006


As Jewel, you are slightly stubborn and a tad head-strong, but you are valiant brave and daring. Admired for your free spirit and adventurism, you are the subject of much respect.


I was directed to a neat web site today. Within it are links to Nursery Rhymes from around the world, Poetry for kids, but best of all, kid songs from around the world.
I'm always on the lookout for things that I can use in my Spanish classes. Check them out!

03 May, 2006

Time Flies!

I am finally almost completely free of congestion from my bout with respiratory influenza. Time has indeed gotten ahead of me!
Since my last update, Dd has been to the Christian Homeschool Prom and had a wonderful time. She went with a group of her friends who all reserved a table together. It was also her birthday. What a fun day for her!

I also accomplished hostessesing a sleepover birthday party for our youngest, Androcles, who turned 11 recently. After his party, I ran four boxes of used curriculum and books up to our local homeschool used booksale and made over $200! I have more inquiries coming in for other things that people want to buy but didn't purchase that day. I may reach $250 pretty soon! This is going to be so helpful toward the purchase of more materials, especially for our older dc and the books they are needing for next term.

where free reading is concerned, I just finished Northanger Abbey. I though it wrapped up rather abruptly, for all the interesting character development and dialogue all through 9/10's of the book. I still enjoyed it immensely!
One final commitment in the past weekend was singing for worship team, practice on Thursdays, early to church on Sunday for full run-through, then lead two services.