28 December, 2007

Christmas season still in progress

I finally did get the lights all strung and the ornaments all placed.

I don't know about you all, but we still have one more family get-together before we move on to New Year's celebrations. Hubster's family's Christmas is tomorrow, since we traveled to Oklahoma for a family reunion, Christmas Eve meal & Christmas Day with my huge family this year. There are over fifty of us, now! I love seeing the great-nieces and nephews and their parents. We have so many fun memories of Christmases past.

In the meantime,
Queen Shenaynay asked some of her blogger friends what are the most popular family gifts received this year...those gifts that everyone wants to play or mess with. In our house this year it would be instruments, simple camera gear, two footballs and movies. Foreign movies, at that.

I already shared some photos of the two newest instruments in our home. Here is the moment of receiving the banjo. We gave J the strings, first. It was priceless. These will be going with oldest ds when he moves out soon, though.

This is Ky's new camera.

The funniest situation is that Hubster and I got each other the same thing, almost on the scale of "The Gift of The Magi." I didn't sell the DVD player to buy hubby's gift, but we did buy each other the full set of Jeeves and Wooster. "What o' what, what?" you ask? Quite funny, that!

Anyone like to buy our extra set from us? 'Tis brand new. We'd give you a deal! LOL.

Hubs and I are reading some of the Jeeves stories aloud to each other when we have some free time.

The next cool tool is this fancy tripod.

I broke my old, cheap one taking photos of the last lunar eclipse. I was maneuvering the poor, flimsy thing at different angles and the neck snapped right off. THIS particular tripod has multiple right angles which I can tighten down for a variety of close-ups and angles and for keeping everything still in low-light situations. I just love it. It does all the things I wished my other one could do. It is stronger and heavier, so not great for backpacking and traveling...but I can work around that, I think. Maybe I'll get a light-weight monopod someday for just such a trip.

Our youngest two boys, ages 12.5 and 14.5, love tossing the football, and they'd worn out their other footballs. One of our gifts to our Freshman son is the fee for Spring Training. He will be joining the homeschool football team soon, and he is so excited.

What kind of Christmas (or Christmases) did you all have?

Birthday and Christmas instruments

We celebrated the Nineteenth birthday of our eldest son on the day after Christmas. We completely surprised him with a banjo for Christmas, his first hint being banjo strings in a carefully wrapped Christmas package.

For J's birthday, the Hubster has been working long hours in the elf shop cutting and sanding, carving and gluing up this walnut mandolin. This is the sixth mandolin Hubby has made over the years. This one is made primarily of walnut, with a spruce top.

J was completely and utterly speechless. It was great, as he is never speechless!

Teaching the eldest how to restring his banjo, before he leaves for college.

We also played a fun game at our birthday dinner..."Aim for Omaha."
The theme of ds's party was "Cars" for various reasons.

Treasuring up many things before he is gone... Javamom

26 December, 2007


Happy Birthday to our eldest, who is about to move to Nebraska. He has grown up so much and we are very thankful for him.

19 December, 2007

Restoration Project

removing the old spine glue and mull

Working on the color match

creating a new spine

attaching the old covers with new lining

Almost finished! Just need to glue this up, tuck in the head and tail caps of the spine cloth and add the old spine to the back, then a final visit to the bookpress and this one will be finished. I plan to make a protective four-flap case for it, to slow down the aging process a bit.

turning in the endcap

burnishing down the covers

What was left of the original spine scraped (cleaned) and reattached.

Almost finished!

by Javamom

18 December, 2007

I guess I do have a wish list :-)

I don't give out a wish list to friends or loved ones for myself. I share lists of needs my kids have, and one or two "wishes" b/c we just don't really do the Commercialized Christmas thing. My extended family is too huge, now...we all just get together for a family reunion, and that is a blessing in and of itself. The family has grown so that my Mom and Dad have 21 grandkids and 15 great grandkids, now.

I won't list the kids' gifts for obvious reasons. They are practical, but they are very much wanted, and that's all I can say right now!

I've purchased the complete four seasons of Jeeves and Wooster for Dread Pirate Sparsebeard for Christmas. This is something that he can use for SAT prep vocab words...I am not kidding! I also have a guitar book on order titled, "A Scottish Christmas for Guitar" by Al Petteway.

But if I am to be totally honest, I will tell you that I actually do have a previously unwritten wish list of my own. Officially, now, here is what is on said list:

Laminate flooring to complete the hallway and the boys' room. A shower that doesn't leak into the wall (caulking that would actually work, too).

Foreign films for our small home movie collection:

Il Postino
The Girl From Paris


Amazing Grace

We are already blessed beyond measure.

I really have enough clothes. I do need a new belt. I downsized our family's plethora of outgrown and good condition clothes these past couple of weeks.

I have three pairs of shoes that don't hurt my feet and plenty of pretty ones that do. I don't need more. One of my favorite set of dressy, black linen style pumps needs a new heel.

See, this year...

We fellowshipped with and visited lots of our very good, close friends.

Our grown and almost grown kids are healthy.

We got our van back after an uninsured motorist hit us. It is repaired and whole once again, and we were only hurt minimally. No broken bones.

Hubby and I got to sit in on poetry readings and got to meet our favorite living poet (Billy Collins) and we bought a book for him to sign for us, he gave hubster a funny and hard time re: teaching high school students. Collins teaches college level.

We got to see and meet some favorite musicians (Flutist James Galway, pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet (recognized from the music of the most recent Pride and Prejudice) and a famous principal Bassoonist this year.

I have plenty of books. I have downsized our inventory of those recently.

I have plenty of purses. Too many.

My greatest wish is that all would find Peace, Love and Grace in Christ, and let Him be Saviour and Lord of their lives for He is the only true peace. Then in turn, that all would live peacefully with others, not expecting more of others than they do of themselves.

Perhaps then we can truly be the love and peace of Christ to others.


14 December, 2007

Advent & Christmas productions

Behind the scenes...

Our choral director, who is a band director at his real job!

Praise team and choir. We will have risers on Sunday. I'm taking the photos, but I'll be standing where the gap/mic is on the left (between tenor and soprano), just under the screen. We're told the screen will have a lovely scene behind the words on Sunday, not just bright blue!

This sunday's praise team, and my mic. Here, we are fine-tuning and marking music.

The uber-cool band - Hubby was in the band with the children's choir last week, so he has a break this time.

Our drummer...kept in the cage :-). I like our reflection off of the Plexiglas. Do you see my camera on the left? These were all taken without flash. It just makes richer photos. Of course a tripod would help me out, but it was too cumbersome for these candids and a full stage.

I know quite a few of you have programs going on in your churches. If you have photos, stories and links, please share them!


12 December, 2007


While the rest of central US has had ice, we've had fog and now rain. These look like something out of a sci-fi novel or movie.

11 December, 2007

CM book club party - Mothers work wonders :-)

My local Charlotte Mason friends have joined me to read CM's volumes 1 and 6 together, among other books written about CM and her methods over the past five or more years. We finished Volume One last month so we had a "CM quote bookmark exchange" and Christmas party for our December meeting. We even got a little spontaneous and called our missing CM mom friend, the Queen Bee, to serenade her for her birthday! We are not too wild, but we do know how to have a good time discussing Charlotte and encouraging each other along the way. Most of us in the group use Ambleside Online or HEO in our homes, some are new to CM. It's a neat mix of moms!

Not all my pictures came out so well, so a few moms are missing from the photos. We average about 10 moms per meeting, but have been known to have twenty attend some months! These ladies have become a really good support system, more micro-focused than just our regular hs support group. It has been really incredible to study with and even share in some homeschooling with some of these moms! I know that I am blessed! These moms literally drive from four corners of suburbs or cities in our metro area to join in the study and fellowship each month.

"Mothers work wonders once they are convinced that wonders are demanded of them."
~ C. Mason

"All beautiful and noble possibilities are present in everyone."

"I am, I can, I ought, I will." (framed above and on the bookmark below)

I don't remember what this one says, but isn't this creative? This one wins my vote for the clever award...it doubles as an ornament!

"And the only vital method of education appears to be that children should read worthy books, many worthy books."

The mom who made the above bookmark is expecting another child soon, so is very busy these days! She was not supposed to make one of these, but look how beautiful and detailed this is! You can't tell from the angle, but it has glitter on some sections, and it just sparkles when the light hits it.

"We are educated by our intimacies."

"The teacher who allows his scholars the freedom of the city of books is at liberty to be their guide, philosopher and friend; and is no longer the mere instrument of forcible intellectual feeding." (this is the one I made)

Mother Auma took this one. I had not opened my present, yet at this point. Mine was made by SeƱora Smith and is in the second photo at the top of this post.

Merry Christmas, friends and fellow CM families! Enjoy this special season with family and friends.