29 December, 2006

Stormy, Rainy Day!

Youngest son Androcles and I are sipping peppermint mochas and watching the weather forcast, in between movies. The rest of our fine family are on their way home from a two-day hiking/camping trip they wanted to take. This made it possible for A. and me to visit old, best friends and for me to do a little cleaning out of my mug cabinet and my clothes wardrobe thingie. A little decluttering, as it were. I was working in about 15-20 minute increments, then moving on to something else. I still have more to do. I'm sure that I'm not alone in the need for after-Christmas decluttering!

It's almost New Year's Eve...What are you all doing to celebrate? Our whole family will be visiting with several sets of friends on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Alright, back to my son and the weather forecast!

27 December, 2006

part time work

Well, I've been hired by a homeschool mom friend of mine to stuff envelopes for metro pcs advertising. The nice thing about it is that 1) the kids get to help me out and earn money for their efforts, 2) we get to work at home in comfy clothes, 3) it will help us make ends meet each month, since insurance and other expenses have skyrocketed this past four months or so, 4) it will help us put money in an emergency fund again and if we can keep at it, a "fun" fund, as well.

At first, I was wondering how the driving would be, but the drive to pick up and drop off the materials is actually quite easy (though not real close), and our 13 yo ds is very motivated to come along and help out.Our 11 yo is a good helper when he wants to be, and our older two are pretty busy already. I think our dd will help when she runs out of babysitting money. She is without a consistent job now, as the family she sat for the most is trying to move closer to the Dad's workplace.

I'm still hopeful about having some consistent extra money coming in, and I'll let you all know how we do when co-op starts up again :-). I may want to pull my hair out then, but I hope we can juggle it all well and that the kids are motivated to keep at it. It is a good opportunity for them to learn some things about earning and saving money, keeping commitments, and being good stewards.

26 December, 2006

Christmas surprises

The Hubster read to us from Luke 2 in De Nyew Testament in Gullah language.

First of all, I have to mention that someone left us a nice Christmas card blessing over the weekend. Thank you, whoever you are!

Oh, my!! Thanks to my in-laws! This is what I REALLY wanted, but didn't ask for. Somehow, my fil just knew! He and my mil are professional photographers, btw.

Close-up of our new camera, (candid taken by our oldest son, on his Canon).

When it comes to college ball, we have a house divided (one decided Longhorns fan and two serious Sooners fans), but boy were these guys surprised with some college football gear they've been asking for :-). We got 'em beanies but later in the day, their Aunt and Uncle supplied them with caps and a hoodie or a vintage T-shirt of their favorite team. They were also happy to receive some Starbucks gift cards that Hubs and I and some friends gave them.

For family bonding through airsoft battles :-)

Happy 18th!

La Familia

Eighteen Candles

Gift cards and candles for presents

To our oldest son, who was four days early, way back all those years ago. He was supposed to be born in Boston, where we were living at that time. Alas, Hubster's mother was having serious health problems, so we made a last-minute decision to move to Texas...so he was born a Texan, instead of a cool, bohemian Bostonian. (He did keep the bohemian part, truth be told :-).

I bought lots of confetti poppers (I love confetti :-) and prepared the meal of his choice. J wanted homemade lasagna (with ground turkey) and Caesar salad. Dear daughter helped me mix up a yellow butter cake, complete with homemade chocolate butter-cream frosting for his birthday cake...and because we're never too old for sprinkles, there will be a lot of them all over the frosting. The drink of choice: tiny cups of espresso.

Happy Birthday!

Javamom of four, who always wanted to be a mom

24 December, 2006

Thanks and Merry Christmas!!

Thank you, ladies, for all your input. Hopefully the Booksncoffeehaus will function better, now! I wish you all a Blessed Christmas Day. If you are going to Christmas Eve services tonight, enjoy...and let God's Peace reign in your hearts and homes. Here are the lyrics from a song I sang in both worship services today. It fit in with the Advent theme of "Peace."


words and music by Darlene Zschech

He is here
The Saviour has been born
The One we've waited for
Surrounded by our praises

He is here
The promise of the King
To You our lives we bring
Let Your glory be revealed

Joy to the world
Peace to all who love Him
The Saviour has been born
And all of Heaven smiles

Glory to God
We bring an offering to You
Join with all the angels singing


Merry Christmas, y'all!!

23 December, 2006

Blog or browser troubles

Two or three of my visitors have let me know that they have trouble when visiting my blog. I'm wondering which browsers are the ones having trouble. One friend, who uses aol, used to have trouble, but her browser loads on my page just fine, now. I had messed with some of the html a month or two ago, and so I have removed those two small things. Maybe that will fix the problem. I really don't know much else about the template, but possibly swithcing to the new Blogger program will help alleviate any other possible troubles, as well.

Let me know if things seem to be working better on your own end, now! I'll also post a message to Blogger's help desk.

Our computer crashed about two weeks ago, and I noticed that made my photos here on the blog a little blurry. Thanks to my handy hubby and some upgrades in the hardware of my computer, we got that all worked out, now.

Thank you for stopping by and keeping up with us!


16 December, 2006


Isn't he adorable?

14 December, 2006

Nap time

We're watching one of my great nephews today. The boys wore him out and he fell asleep watching Veggie Tales.

13 December, 2006


I am currently putting together a syllabus for a class that I will be teaching next semester called "Word Feud." So on this relaxing day, when I should be decluttering my bedroom, I am instead researching word roots and games for said class. I found several interesting websites. Here is one with a giant list of Words, short phrases, and their explanations. Fun-with-words dot com is another fun one!

I would welcome any tips or references, if you have any to share! I also plan to use SAT prep word lists and word roots from various curriculae that I have in my home library from our 14 years (come January) of homeschooling.



"If knowledge means so much to us, 'What is knowledge?' the reader asks. We can give only a negative answer. Knowledge is not instruction, information, scholarship, a well-stored memory. It is passed, like the light of a torch, from mind to mind, and the flame can be kindled at original minds only. Thought, we know, breeds thought; it is as vital thought touches our minds that our ideas are vitalized, and out of our ideas comes our conduct of life."

~Charlotte Mason (vol. 6 page 303)

12 December, 2006

My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is

Charlotte Mason says toward the end of her volume Towards a Philosophy of Education'
(on the bottom of page 321):

"Only as he has been and is nourished upon books is a man able to "live his life." A great deal of mechanical labour is necessarily performed in solitude; the miner, the farm-labourer, cannot think all the time of the block he is hewing, the furrow he is ploughing; how good that he should be figuring to himself the trial scene in the Heart of Midlothian, the "high-jinks" in Guy Mannering, that his imagination should be playing with 'Ann Page' or 'Mrs. Quickly,' or that his labour goes the better "because his secret soul a holy strain repeats." People, working people, do these things. Many a one can say out of a rich experience, "My mind to me a kingdom is"; many a one cries with (Robert) Browning's 'Paracelsus,' "God! Thou art mind! Unto the master-mind, Mind should be precious. Spare my mind alone!" We know how "Have mynde" appears on the tiles paving the choir of St. Cross; but "mynde," like body, must have its meat."

I thought at first that she was referencing Shakespeare, but alas, my first guess wrong! It is just about the same time period, however. I think she references these as examples of being alone, BUT not that that is always a good thing. Handling things alone and being completely self sufficient is not a good thing, hence the references, I believe. she goes on to stress that "The mind must have its meat," then when one is alone working, the mind will be thinking of literary things, stories, even Holy things. Her main beef, pardon the pun, is that (as she says on page 330):

"...our fault, our exceeding great fault, is that we keep our own minds and the minds of our children shamefully underfed."

So here I include the whole poem by Sir Edward Dyer, d 1607
My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is

Sir Edward Dyer (d. 1607)

MY mind to me a kingdom is;
Such present joys therein I find,
That it excels all other bliss
That earth affords or grows by kind:
Though much I want that most would have, (5)
Yet still my mind forbids to crave.

No princely pomp, no wealthy store,
No force to win the victory,
No wily wit to salve a sore,
No shape to feed a loving eye; (10)
To none of these I yield as thrall;
For why? my mind doth serve for all.

I see how plenty surfeits oft,
And hasty climbers soon do fall;
I see that those which are aloft (15)
Mishap doth threaten most of all:
They get with toil, they keep with fear:
Such cares my mind could never bear.

Content I live, this is my stay;
I seek no more than may suffice; (20)
I press to bear no haughty sway;
Look, what I lack my mind supplies.
Lo, thus I triumph like a king,
Content with that my mind doth bring.

Some have too much, yet still do crave; (25)
I little have, and seek no more.
They are but poor, though much they have,
And I am rich with little store;
They poor, I rich; they beg, I give;
They lack, I leave; they pine, I live. (30)

I laugh not at another’s loss,
I grudge not at another’s gain;
No worldly waves my mind can toss;
My state at one doth still remain:
I fear no foe, I fawn no friend; (35)
I loathe not life, nor dread my end.

Some weigh their pleasure by their lust,
Their wisdom by their rage of will;
Their treasure is their only trust,
A cloak├Ęd craft their store of skill; (40)
But all the pleasure that I find
Is to maintain a quiet mind.

My wealth is health and perfect ease,
My conscience clear my chief defence;
I neither seek by bribes to please, (45)
Nor by deceit to breed offence:
Thus do I live; thus will I die;
Would all did so as well as I!

I believe her (brief) references to these in her writing are negative references of how NOT to be. She does that a lot in her writing.

Now for the
Paracelsus reference.
(from the linked website above)

"Paracelsus is a study of intellectual pride and its humbling. The philosopher, conscious of his mission to arouse society with 'new revealings,' places entire confidence in his individual powers, and thereby repudiates both the guidance of tradition and the support of love, as personified by Festus and Michal. Festus repeatedly warns him of the danger of trying to do without human sympathy: 'How can that course be safe which from the first/ Produces carelessness to human love?'; and again: 'But do not cut yourself from human weal!' Paracelsus, however, sets off alone on his wanderings, strong in the conviction that he is sufficient unto himself and that ultimate truth has its seat in the depths of his inner consciousness.

Paracelsus is divided into five sections to suggest the stages in the hero's tragic progress. In the second part there begins for Paracelsus the betrayal by the intellect, although he continues to insist that this is the supreme faculy:

"God! Thou art mind! Unto the master-mind
"Mind should be precious.
Spare my mind alone!
All else I will endure. . . ""

Yet another stanza says:

"My nature cannot lose her first imprint;
I still must hoard and heap and class all truths
With one ulterior purpose: I must know!"

and then the realization that his failure may be attributable to pride of intellect:

"... were man all mind-he gains A station little enviable. From God[75/76]
Down to the lowest spirit ministrant,
Intelligence exists which casts our mind
Into immeasurable shade. No, no:
Love, hope, fear, faith-these make humanity;
These are its sign and note and character,
And these I have lost!"

This is one I need to explore more deeply. Makes my brain hurt sometimes :-)


08 December, 2006

OC Bookworm? Who, me?

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

You're probably in the final stages of a Ph.D. or otherwise finding a way to make your living out of reading. You are one of the literati. Other people's grammatical mistakes make you insane.

Dedicated Reader

Literate Good Citizen

Book Snob


Fad Reader

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Hat tip ~ Dawn ;)

05 December, 2006

Great Thoughts Anticipate Great Works

My book club will finish reading Towards a Philosophy of Education by Charlotte M. Mason this month. It has taken twenty one months, reading a chapter per month but this has allowed us the time to let it settle deeply within; to be able to chew on it slowly and savor it. I have enjoyed digging deeper into the literary references and in the meaning of her words and oft-times her paragraph-long sentences. She was a Victorian/Edwardian-era Brit, afterall!

She writes:

"The Greeks believed that a training in the use and power of words was the chief part of education, recognising that if the thought fathers the word so does the word in turn father the thought. They concerned themselves with no language, ancient or modern, save their own, but of that they acquired a consummate appreciation.
With their words came great thoughts, expressed in whatever way the emergencies of the state called for--in wise laws, victorious battles, glorious
temples, sculpture, drama. For great thoughts anticipate great works; and these come only to a people conversant with the great thoughts that have been written and said."

Then she goes on to say, "In what strength did the youngest and greatest of our Premiers bring about the "revival of England"? He was fortified by illimitable reading, by a present sense of a thousand impossibilities that had been brought to pass––of a thousand things so wisely said that wise action was a necessary outcome. To say that we as a nation are suffering from our contemptuous depreciation of knowledge is to say that we scorn Letters, the proper vehicle of all knowledge."

~Charlotte Mason (1842-1923), Towards a Philosophy of Education, (Volume 6 page 316)

02 December, 2006

OU Wins!

Oklahoma Sooners 21, Nebraska 7

What a fantastic game for quarterback Paul Thompson and the OU defensive line--
Now it's on to the Fiesta Bowl! This is a nice reward for a hard-played, tough year for OU, including and most especially because of the Oregon game that the Refs took from OU. It will be good to see Adrienne Peterson back in the game again, although it seems that his injury may have enabled a lot of other young players to step up and play better. Maybe it was just good coaching. Who knows? I'm just a mom...who grew up in a household of OU fans, who married a Texan, who has three growing sons and at least ONE of them is an OU fan. I now have someone in my own home to watch the games with again! Yes!!

Sooner Javamom, who is a Genuine Okie from Muskogee

P.S. Go Cowboys...who beat the Giants 23-20 with one second left in the game!