Keeping our home, Together


Do not sigh while you are washing the dishes. Do not have a pity party, and do not teach your children to act this way, because they will learn from your example. If you work cheerfully and use the time well, you will teach them to enjoy their work too!
~Kim Brenneman, Large Family Logistics, pg215~


Some find the idea of working with children impossible. This is a wrong perspective to have. Children do not need constant entertainment and play. They need to be learning from you. Even on big project days, they can and should be learning from you. With the right attitude from you, they will learn that work is satisfying and fun. You just need to plan carefully to make the process conducive to learning and fun.
~Kim Brenneman, Large Family Logistics, pg291~


Managing the kitchen well makes everyone’s time in the kitchen more productive and enjoyable. When the kitchen is well-kept, creativity flourishes.
~Kim Brenneman, Large Family Logistics, pg282~


Lower your expectations and realize that as long as we all choose to walk around clothed, the laundry will never really be finished. If we live fully in a home, there will be messes. Why does that surprise us and make us feel guilty? As long as we eat, walk, and need places to sit down, the kitchen sink will have a few dirty dishes in it and the living room will never be clutter-free for long.
~Myquillyn Smith, The Nesting Place, p50~


More of this!

Can I ever be fed, and need no more food?
Can I ever sleep and need no more rest?
Can I ever feel my wife beside me as we watch
living, eternal, laughing things we were used to create,
and not want to see them again tomorrow?

~N.D. Wilson, Death by Living, p61~

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Creating “forever”

The future flies at us and from that dark blur we shape the past.
And the past is forever.
We are authors and we are writing every second of every day.
A child scissors a couch, and that action is forever and always.
It cannot be undone.
But now it is your turn.
What you say and what you do in response will be done forever,
never to be appealed, edited, or modified.
~N.D. Wilson, Death by Living, p164~

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Living means decisions.
Living means writing your every word
and action and thought and drool spot down in forever.
It means writing your story within The Story.
It means being terrible at it.
It means failing and knowing that, somehow,
all of our messes will still contribute,
that the creative God has merely given Himself a greater challenge—
drawing glory from our clumsy botching of the past.
~N.D. Wilson, Death by Living, p166~

Some Visuals

To give some perspective, here are a few visuals that show a couple of the many reasons we love homeschooling! 🙂
For instance: all ages gathered around together undergoing education simultaneously, and physical education involving mudpuddles and brotherly love!!

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We must have hard work. We must have discipline. We must have pedagogical order. But it must be anointed with imagination.
~Douglas Wilson, blog

Teaching my children

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
… lest you forget the Lord… It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by His name you shall swear.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9, 12, 13

As a homeschooling mama I particularly embrace teaching my children about… well… pretty much everything! But the main thing that God calls me to teach my children is Him ~ and of course, in the process of learning about Him, they will learn not only His Word but also about His people, His world, His creation, His desires. Our prayer is that our children would come to see all of life through the lens of Christianity, so that they know that nothing can be separated from God, and that they would not only know but also love that all things are connected to Him, and are for His glory and the furtherance of His Kingdom.

So as I continue in the journey of homeschooling these sweet children the Lord has entrusted to my care, I pray that Deuteronomy 6 would be a daily meditation and reality for me. It is written on the wall near our front door, and I pray that it would be inscribed upon my heart just as noticeably.

As I’ve recently been enjoying a little read by Elizabeth George, she reminds me of some easy highlights from Deuteronomy 6:7 ~

Who is to teach? Every believing parent.
Who are you to teach? Your children.
What are you to teach? God’s Word.
How are you to teach? Diligently.
When are you to teach? All day long, every day.
Where are you to teach? At home and everywhere.

It’s so basic and so complex all at the same time!
May the Lord equip me to accomplish this task set before me!

Psalm 34:11
2 Timothy 1:5
Proverbs 1:8
Proverbs 6:20

Epistolary Artistry

This morning I had a “first experience” ~ I was interviewed on camera for a spot in a video curriculum. I’ve known this was coming for a number of weeks, but once it came down to it, I really felt like I just didn’t know what to expect. A week ago the interviewer sent me a list of nine potential questions for the interview and I was able to take the time to write out my answers, just for a dry run at things. I’m so much better in writing than in spoken conversation! It’s really too bad that the interview itself could not have been conducted through letters. ;) That being said, my interviewer and my husband both congratulated me on accomplishing a job well done at the end of things, and it sounds like I was able to answer questions that would be pertinent to the study being covered in this particular video course. I am looking forward to seeing the final edited version of the interview myself! I would love to know what I said. :) It should be interesting, too, because it was held in my own home, with my own writing desk behind me. Perfect ambiance, I guess you could say… and at least I had a chance to dust a little before the film crew arrived at my home. Always a good thing.


Some of the points I actually got to touch on during the interview were what I was expecting, and some weren’t (a lot more focusing on my courtship with Steven, and the role that written correspondence played in that ~ they even panned over to Steven a couple of times for his take on being the recipient of my letters). But here are a few things that I think I was able to say during the conversation, and I am hopeful that something here will be a blessing to the students in their studies.

I have been writing letters since before I remember. Officially, I know I was heavily penpalling by the time I was twelve years old, but I know I wrote letters in the form of pictures and simple notes to my grandmother and one of my cousins when I was very young, four or five years old. By the time I was twelve to fourteen years old, though, I had roughly fifty official penpals with whom I corresponded on a very regular basis, mostly in the United States but some internationally as well—I corresponded with girls as young as seven years old, and with women in their nineties, although the largest portion of my penpals were teenage girls like myself. These were all old-fashioned, handwritten letters at this point, and I think I wrote roughly three letters a day—some just a notecard perhaps, but most of them being rather lengthy as is simply my style—up to twenty sides of stationery pieces was not abnormal for me.

Letter writing is in my blood and also was simply part of the culture my parents instilled in me. My parents courted across the country before the age of cellphones and internet, so they wrote countless letters to one another, and my mom just loved writing letters and communicating with people through the written word, so I grew up watching her write letters, seeing her pour over stacks of mail, loved going through her stash of stationery and pretty return address labels. I grew up loving the artistic elements of letters: I collected stationery, postage stamps, stickers, different sizes or colors of pens.

I didn’t choose letter writing—it was put before me, ingrained in me, part of the culture around me, and it just organically expressed itself in myself as well.

My parents even considered my profuse letter writing part of our homeschooling routine. Sometimes they would read the letters to offer their suggestions on spelling, grammar, or even artistic and communicative flow.

I even loved the licking the envelope and tasting the different kinds of glue each one seemed to have—some were definitely better than others. Stamps used to have that same kind of tasty glory, but of course that’s been replaced by self-adhesive stamps these days. I think reading and journaling were two other ways that I developed some letter writing skills as well. It wasn’t something I was taught to do exactly, it was just instilled into me as part of our family culture.

I mean, really, there’s just nothing like opening your mailbox to find something other than catalogs, advertisements, and bills.

My parents specifically, cliché or not, have inspired me the most. As I’ve alluded to previously, their long-distance courtship through letters always inspired me. Someday I would love the pleasure of reading all those letters—for the most part, I’ve seen the envelopes and heard about the romance cultivated therein, but have never read the correspondence. I think the general feel of L.M. Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austen, and the short diary-based series of books called Dear America were somewhat forming in my style—but they were not generally themed on letters so much. And then both David and Paul in Scripture have also been inspiring to me in the way they poured out their souls in writing both for God’s glory and for the encouragement of others—perhaps not so much in forming my style for letter-writing but in the foundational aspects of why I write, why I love writing, and why I need to keep doing it—they continue to be authors who have deeply affected me personally.

I don’t utilize a lot of the modern forms of communication that are so popular these days—texting, facebook, twitter, etc. I don’t have them and I don’t want to. I do have email and a blog, and I do utilize those things to a large extent, but I use them in such a way that I am trying to pursue deep relationships, communicate on a deep level, and both maintain and pursue further connections with people. I don’t know a lot of the shorthand lingo that people use these days, which probably makes the chasm between my style and a typical modern style even larger and more obvious.

I came up with routines, stances, and rhythms that simply work for me. When my husband and I were courting long-distance we had the blessing of the internet to aid our communication, unlike my parents had had—so we largely emailed our letters to one another. I had spent many years typing (letters, a magazine for Christian young ladies, short works of fiction, etc) and had grown fast—very fast.

I have always felt that I am more myself in writing than in any other medium, and part of that IS simply due to speed. I can actually write faster and more accurately what is contained in my heart than I can speak, and I get less distracted while doing it.

In To The Letter by Simon Garfield, we’re told “the poet William Cowper was credited with a phrase equally attributed assigned to his contemporary Jane Austen—that letter-writing may be best described as the art of silent speech, the notion that the best letter to a friend was a ‘talking letter,’ something that read as if you were telling it to them over tea” (p281), and I think that is part of the inherent personality in my letters: they are read just as I write them, which is to say, directly from my heart and just about as quickly penned as they pop into my head.

That is one of the beauties of typed words, though, especially when you are quick and accurate with your typing—speed CAN be a blessing, especially if you don’t have an excess amount of free time on your hands. But the sacrifice of taking the time to write by hand may be an even bigger blessing, especially in this modern world where we are all-consumed by techie communication forms.

There’s just nothing like handwriting. Each person’s handwriting is unique to themselves, their fingerprint. I can pull out a stack of mail, and when I see the handwriting on the envelope, I can tell you immediately if it’s from my grandma, my best friend, my husband, my mother, my father, a childhood penpal, or someone who has never handwritten me a letter before. You can’t do that with typing: we all look the same when we write in Times New Roman, or whatever font. It’s like hiding behind a veil. There is something precious about that fingerprint of handwriting, and I love to utilize that.

I love how letters take a journey between hands—a letter that I write and seal and pop in the mailbox then takes the rest of the journey without me—in a car, maybe in a truck or on a plane, sometimes just across land but occasionally across an ocean—and how many hands it touches before it reaches the hands for whom it was intended, I will never know. I love that little sense of romantic mystery about it.

I don’t start with a plan in general—but I think I do have an unofficial style, in thinking about it. I generally open with a greeting and close with a farewell, each at least a sentence long: and in the body of the letter, I think I tend to try focusing on the other person first and then focusing on myself second. I’ve always been taught that we always put the other person before us: in our heart attitudes and even in grammar, so I think that just naturally carries over into my letter writing. So I will first answer anything pertinent from the previous letter and respond accordingly, after which I would then add my own news and thoughts. Part of the purpose of a letter for me, at least very often, is to be a blessing and encouragement—I need to remember that’s not all about me. But at the same time, the person receiving my letter may well want to know my newest news, perhaps wants to pick my brain on a certain subject, wants to know how I am faring and what God is doing in me and through me. So I don’t want to overlook those aspects either—it’s a balance.

My word choices, especially in relational aspects, definitely differ from person to person. How I sign my name at the end of a letter definitely has implications depending upon the relationship. And also, my knowledge and understanding of the recipient’s place in life as well as spiritual depth have a real implication on the shape my letters will take. I may communicate the same ideas to six different people in six different ways, depending on my relationship with them; I may change my wording, my inclusion of details, even my handwriting.

A letter’s depth can also vary, however, not so much depending upon the depth of your relationship with the recipient, but also the purpose for which you are writing. I write a lot of notes of encouragement on a spiritual level, whether to people in the body of Christ just to be a blessing to them and let them know I’ve been praying for them, or to people I know who are suffering the loss of children because that is something I have suffered and have a heart for in particular ministry. Sometimes the purpose of a handwritten letter completely outweighs the fact that the person I’m writing to has never heard my name before, doesn’t actually know my story, and probably will never write back to me.

And when asked what tips I would specifically give to someone desiring to develop the skill of letter writing, my main points were easily summed up into five categories… with a little p.s. at the end. 🙂

Practice handwriting. In this modern day and age, handwriting is going by the wayside, so my first encouragement would be to write by hand. Write legibly and write often. Typing is great, and it certainly has its place and enormous blessings, but try writing by hand.

Keep a journal. Journaling is one way to write one-sided letters. It isn’t the same thing, but it can be good practice. I have a large box in the basement full of journals, which I have kept by hand since I was eleven or twelve years old. Outside of true correspondence, journaling is the best practice I have received—both for formation of carrying on a one-sided conversation on paper as well as for the physical practice of actual handwriting.

Find a penpal. I honestly don’t know how people find penpals as much these days, but when I was twelve years old, give or take, we had these things called “slams” or “friendship booklets” and they were really just little papers stapled together, and girls (because yes, it tended to mostly be girls—but maybe that’s just because I was a girl—I know my brother had at least three penpals through the years, so I know for a fact that penpalling does not necessarily have to be a female-only art) would write their name, address, age, and interests on it—then stick it in a letter and send it on to another penpal. It would get passed around to a dozen or so people before it was filled up, and then someone would send it back to the person who originated it—and anyone who received it along the way could take down the information of anyone on it, and strike up a penpal conversation by sending a letter to one of the people listed. I don’t know if there is a modern equivalent or not. I have had penpals who I wrote for years and eventually met in person—I have had penpals who were children of people my parents knew—I have had penpals of long-distance relatives—I have had penpals that I met via those little friendship booklets, one of whom I have corresponded with for fifteen years and have still never met in person, never spoken with on the phone. So there are lots of different ways to acquire a penpal. Be creative. Find a friend at church who would like to write, or see if there is an exchange student from another country who would like to practice English by writing letters (I’ve done that too), or see if there is a way to find someone utilizing modern technology (facebook maybe?) to put out a request for someone who would like to also try their hand at real, old-fashioned, handwritten letters. You could even correspond with a parent or grandparent—communicating through written words is an amazing way to speak to one another’s hearts, and to glean wisdom from someone who is older and wiser and who loves you unconditionally.

Be practical with your choices—use a writing implement that will serve you well (a pen that doesn’t smear or skip, or a pencil that is just sharp enough), sit in an environment that will aid you rather than hinder you (trying to write notes while my children are playing pirates nearby is not highly conducive, for instance), and choose paper that will fit your purpose (for example, if you expect to keep your note short and to the point, choose a small card or sheet of paper rather than something that you will leave largely blank—that just feels awkward; but, on the flipside, be prepared to add additional sheets of paper if you have the feeling you may extend past your original card because being cut off at the end can be disturbing or disruptive to both the author and the recipient).

Practice, don’t give up, writing the kind of letter you would want to receive. Remember what Jane Austen favored, amongst numerable others, that one should write as one speaks. Even if you start with thank you notes, you can build from there. Remember that this is not only an art, but it is a gift. Think of the joy you will give to someone—and think of the joy that you may receive by receiving a letter in return. Don’t let a hand cramp or needing white-out or spending half a dollar on stamps keep you from sending notes. Bless people—you’ll be blessed too.

 p.s. (that means post script…) sign & date your letters! Never assume that if the envelope says the recipient’s name, the card inside doesn’t also need their name. It may get separated. Always include the to & from and the date.

The Fleeting Moments

Sometimes it is the fleeting moments that are the hardest for me to enter into with my children (aren’t they ALL fleeting though?) ~ specifically things like reading books or imaginative play. Somehow I have always found it easier to incorporate my children into my world than it is for me to enter into their world. It’s difficult to remember that reading The Bobbsey Twins may be even more important than cooking dinner; playing “hide & tickle” may have more eternal effects than having freshly ironed shirts & folded socks; going on hikes in the woods may teach more important lessons than accomplishing page after page in certain textbooks. These fleeting moments of wide-eyed wonder and full-on joy are not always easy for me to grasp, they slip right through my fingers while I sit here saying “just one more minute” ~ especially as I look up and see that suddenly an hour has passed. An hour of my children’s lives that I will never get back.

I don’t want to miss out on reading those books, feeding those imaginations, tickling those round bellies, chasing those rippling strong legs, holding those tightly gripping hands, answering those never-ending questions.

My mom and my grandma are constantly reminding me of this quintessential poem (which applies to every child, not just the fifth, of course).

Song for a Fifth Child

    by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

So what are some of the ways that I have learned (and am continuing to learn…) to better embrace these fleeting moments with my children??

Going to the library.
It really helps to have new materials to keep minds engaged (especially Mommy’s…), to spur new conversations and new questions, so I try to keep our library bag constantly filled but also continually changing. Storytime at the library (I go to the preschool geared storytime, as it is sort of a happy medium for the age range of my kids currently) gives me an hour each week to simply sit with my kids and let someone else do the reading, and it inspires me in my own reading with my kids too.
After being at the library, we often have a good excuse to stop for french fries or milkshakes, errands at a grocery store where they have fun little cars attached to the carts, or a romp at a park. It is good to be faced with out-and-about things once a week. 🙂

Getting chores done consistently.
When I am consistently staying on top of dishes, laundry, cleaning, and other such piddly things that are basic necessities of being a housewife and homemaker, it is easier to be willingly interrupted. Doing the dishes takes less than ten minutes after each meal, but if I don’t stay on top of it, it can wind up being an hour if the sink is piled-high (same principle applies to other areas of my home work). Staying on top of my chores, and involving the children in it whenever I can, is a wonderful way to stay more consistently available to embrace fleeting moments with the little ones.

Being a homebody.
Being at home the majority of the time, not always on the run, gives me many more opportunities to slow down and embrace the kids and their lives.

Saying YES to my children.
When someone asks me to come play, to please read books, to sing songs, to go outside, to pull out board games or dance around being silly… saying yes is the best thing I can do. I don’t always do it… in fact, only about half as often as I would like to… but God is giving me grace and helping me grow this skill. With each year that flies by, I feel like I improve on saying yes to my children. May God grant me continued and deepened grace so that YES is my most frequent answer when these fleeting moments show up on my lap!

Embracing the day, or even rather, the hour.
Looking at the big picture is often overwhelming, even saddening. Embracing little moments as they come is not only more joyful for me but more profitable in the big scheme of things. It’s sunny? Okay, let’s go plant flowers and go on a walk right now ~ sweeping and ironing and changing bedsheets can wait for another hour. It’s rainy? Okay, let’s build blanket forts and eat snacks by dim flashlights while listening to books on tape ~ we can always have leftovers or nachos for dinner if I don’t get around to making a well-balanced freshly cooked meal because I’m took busy embracing little moments with my children!

Remembering Ecclesiastes.
It’s all fleeting. The housework, the yardwork, the correspondence, the educations, the playtime, the bellies that need fed, the diapers that need changed, the lives that are being lived. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t supposed to embrace it all and do it with gracious, God-given gusto. That’s exactly what Solomon in his wisdom suggests. Life IS fleeting. But LIFE is exactly what we are supposed to do. I need to remember this as I work, live, and play with my children. It may be fleeting, but it is wise to blow with the wind when I know I can not embrace it and keep it as it is.

Looking back.
Nothing gives me perspective on the rate of my babies’ lives than looking back at photo albums. How quickly they change! How fast I forget! How little a time I get to have them with me in the daily grind! Remembering and reminiscing is a huge reminder to me that embracing the moment is key in my calling.

Looking forward.
Hope for the future, confidence for what lies ahead, joy for what God is working out & working in ~ this takes faith in Him and His sovereignty. What really matters? Yes, they need clean undies and beds with sheets tucked in; they need to learn how to read and how to perform arithmetic; they need nourishing meals and bubbly baths; they need naps and bedtimes… but the way these necessary things are communicated to them is even more important. The children need hugged, tickled, read to, played with, laughed over, tousled. My children need to know that I love what matters to them, what goes on in their heads; that what bothers them, bothers me; that I’m in their corner; that my life is for theirs; that being their mommy is more than simply having given them life and sustaining that physical life ~ that being their mommy is in the big things, the little things, the necessary things, the icing-on-the-cake things, the physical and spiritual and emotional things.

So this is my prayer, my hope, my desire.
That I would be the kind of mommy God wants me to be, so that He is molding me into the kind of Grandmommy He wants me to be, so that I can best be a honed tool for the Kingdom work that He wants me to do. Life is fleeting ~ my life and their lives ~ and I want to be diligent, obedient, joyful, and embracing in the midst of the mist that is the gift of life.

Home Education Encouragement

Who knew that one of the biggest pieces of encouragement regarding our homeschooling would come from my 80-something year old grandma? This woman, who has seen multiple generations both before her and after her, is a faithful woman and beautiful example of joy. I have taken to calling her once a week or so, because I know that before I know it, she will be beyond the reach of a phone call… and I want to take advantage of these conversations while I can. She prays for us, she loves us, she wants to know about us, she wants to be a listening ear, she wants to offer wisdom. And as she has come alongside me in my efforts to educate my children in a diligent, loving, Christian environment, she empathizes, prays, listens, and blesses.

Included in a beautiful card she recently sent me was a hard copy of this article. And while it contains many things my parents have repeatedly already told me, there was something so beautiful about receiving this in a written form from my precious grandma that brought me to tears.

What a joy it is to have faithful generations who have gone before me, and who love to encourage me in my trenches! And what a joy to be raising another generation myself, who I get to love and encourage from the trenches. Thanks be to God!

I love educating these precious little saints, with the challenges and joys that each day brings. May the Lord give me the eyes to see His new mercies each day as we seek to educate and encourage these wee redheads for the glory of God and the furtherance of His Kingdom on earth.

The most essential educational product

According to G. K. Chesterton,

“The most essential educational product is Imagination.”

Thanks be to God, we’ve got that educational product in spades around here! 🙂

As I recently unpacked a 40+ pound box of homeschool supplies, and my hubby will be arriving home shortly bringing two ceiling-high bookcases and a desk… I’m anticipating a great time ahead of real preparation. And I am once again reminded how thankful I am that our family has the opportunity to homeschool, to educate our children in our home. May the Lord grant us grace, wisdom, strength, joy, and imagination as we continue onward!

In an essay, G. K. Chesterton says that “very young children… require to be taught not so much anything as everything.” What a responsibility! What a joy and privilege that I get to be up to my elbows eyebrows in this teaching of everything. Additionally, he says, “the business done in the home is nothing less than the shaping of the bodies and souls of humanity. The family is the factory that manufactures mankind.” What a weighty thing it is to have a family to begin with, much less to carry this shaping and manufacturing on through the schooling and bookwork.

While I do work on educating little Evangeline about infant-level things (like rolling over, grabbing, sipping from a water bottle, shhh!, and other gross/fine motor skills), it is the boys who currently take the most curious outlook on life, who embrace education and imagination with such vigor that it cannot be contained to bookwork (nor would I want it to be)! Which brings me back to the reality of what education is, especially Christian education.

Education is not bound up solely within the spines of books, accomplished at desks and filed away only as dates, names, facts, and methods within the grey matter contained in the large copper-topped noggins of my little clan. I actually really like Wikipedia’s definition of education here, including “any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational.” Pretty spot-on, in my book. As we go through our days (which occasionally do and sometimes don’t turn out according to plan…) educating our children, I frequently think about these words of G. K. Chesterton: “The little boy does not, by any means, always turn out according to plan. The little boy will present a series of problems in the course of twenty-four hours which could correspond to a Ford car bursting like a bomb or flying out of the window like an aeroplane. The little boy is individual; he cannot be mended with spare parts from another little boy… The most epoch-making scientific feats have been performed in a space no larger than a parlour or a nursery. A baby is bigger than a bacillus; and even the little boy is larger and more lively than a germ under the microscope. And the science studied in the home is the greatest and most glorious of all sciences, very inadequately indicated by the word education, and nothing less, at least, than the mystery of the making of men.”

In reading through Chesterton’s essay, The Library of the Nursery again this afternoon, I chuckle to myself at the idea that many people are thinking I am embarking currently on my first bout of homeschooling. On the contrary, I have been homeschooling for over five years already, and have three precious ginger students at this juncture. What a blessing. He says, “there are a fair number of modern places of residence in which the nursery is the best room in the house. It represents a very genuine and self-sacrificing ideal of the aesthetic education of children.” That’s something I want in every room of my home ~education even in the aesthetic~ because my children are integral in every room, as they are integral in our home and life. Each room is for them, and I want everything to encourage and nurture their education so that they are well-rounded children on their way to becoming well-rounded adults.

Now as we continue to educate our children with a Christian worldview in wild abandon, emphasizing God’s glory and the magical sparkle of His creation and ways, we are bringing in new books, screwing bigger bookcases to the walls, adding desks, sharpening pencils, dirtying the kitchen, frequenting the county library, reading, googling, talking, experimenting, experiencing, singing, catechizing, laughing, and living together… with hope and joy and trembling knees. Because this is big business, people. These little redheads under our roof? They are eternal beings. They are baptized members of Christ’s covenant. They belong to Him! They were created to learn about His world, and to glorify Him in it and through it. Forever.

So excuse me, please: my children are here, fit with incredibly active imaginations, and we’ve got books & projects (Veritas Press and Rainbow Resource are new “friends” of ours!) spread everywhere… because we’re in the business of educating here, and we’re asking for wisdom in the long haul. Thanks be to God, He is faithful. Amen.

Psalm 34:11
Come, O children, listen to me;
    I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

The Next Step

I just took the next step in our parenting… buying “official” curriculum for Gabriel’s next step in homeschooling! It will be on its way soon!

What a sense of accomplishment, and a huge sense of wow-what-a-responsibility, to have clicked “purchase” at both VeritasPress and RainbowResource. I’m really looking forward to digging my nails into these books, and seeing how we like each thing once they arrive. Hopefully, as time goes on, I will be able to share some of our thoughts and experiences with the various curriculum, activities, projects, etc. for your benefit as well as my own.

It’s such a wonderful blessing to have others come alongside us to encourage and exhort us, especially those who are just one or two steps ahead of us. We don’t, in all honesty, have very many people nearby us who fit that bill, so it makes me especially thankful for the gift of online community, where we have access to others no matter the physical distance between us.

Thanks be to God for His incredible gifts! Not the least of which are education, the freedom to homeschool, children to educate, grace to cover a multitude of sins, and books to bury our noses in.

“The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder.”
~G.K. Chesterton~