Friday Collective

Have I mentioned yet that I am trying to call our Morning Time routine something different now? Partly because “Morning Time” is a little inaccurate since sometimes we don’t do it in the morning… and the time of day is certainly not the spine of this family gathering. I know people who call it Gathering or Symposium… but the word that I recently stumbled on and decided to clasp is Collective. I feel like that word really captures the essence of what I want to accomplish and cultivate: collecting people together to collect & cultivate culture together. I mean, the simple definition in the dictionary is “a cooperative enterprise.” But in a homey way, I just love the idea of collecting my people and collecting truth, goodness, and beauty alongside them. THAT is the spine of what I want to do during this time.

So my Morning Time posts are now simply Collective. Our Morning Time Cart is now happily renamed the Collective Cart. And we are trying to remember to refer to this time as Collective in conversation, even though we do occasionally slip into the old phrasing of Morning Time. Old habits really do die hard. I have been so ingrained with Cindy Rollins, Sarah Mackenzie, & Pam Barnhill’s teachings over the years that I can’t exactly just move on without some serious retraining. 😉 I’m too connected to Schole Sisters to make the switch lightly or simply!

Without further distraction, then…

FRIDAY COLLECTIVE, 4.16.21

Poetry Readings:
selections from Sing a Song of Seasons
selections from Amy Carmichael’s Mountain Breezes

Scripture Readings:
Psalm 24:1-10
Proverbs 16:1-16
John 6:1-21

Copywork:
Nehemiah 8:10
Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Memory Work:
The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry
1 Peter 3:10
G: Epilogue from The Lay of Redemption by Joseph Carlson
A: Jesus is the Beautiful Gate by Jason Farley
E: Resurrection Sunday (1) by Joseph Carlson
S: David (1 & 2) by Joseph Carlson

Catechism:
G & A reviewing the New City Catechism (finished all 52 here, so this is their third completed catechism)
E continuing through the New City Catechism (on question 20, this is her third catechism)
S continuing through The Kid’s Catechism (on question 82, this is his second catechism)

Hymn of the month:
Christ the Lord is Risen Today (Charles Wesley)

Psalm of the month:
Psalm 35, Behold, the Love, the Generous Love (Isaac Watts & Seaborn Denson)

Additional singing:
Taizé Gloria
Psalm 117
Psalm 92
Psalm 128
The Apostles (Jamie Soles)
Follow the Line (Jamie Soles)
The Beatitudes (David Erb)

Ancient History reading:
Mystery of History, Vol 1, pages 378-384
Story of the World, Vol 1, pages 285-287
Child’s History of the World, pages 159-163

Church History reading:
selection from Radiant by Richard Hannula

Fiction reading:
Strays by Remy Wilkins
stack of picture books, including Home in the Woods by Eliza Wheeler, We Are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines, and Petunia by Roger Duvoisin

Lenten & Eastertide Poetry

Looking for some poetry to memorize with your children during this season? Let me share some pieces here that my family finds pertinent and lovely.

THAT EASTER DAY WITH JOY WAS BRIGHT
By J.M. Neale

That Easter day with joy was bright:
the sun shone out with fairer light
when to their longing eyes restored,
the apostles saw their risen Lord.

His risen flesh with radiance glowed,
his wounded hands and feet he showed;
those scars their solemn witness gave
that Christ was risen from the grave.

O Jesus, King of gentleness,
do thou thyself our hearts possess,
that we may give thee all our days
the willing tribute of our praise.

O Lord of all, with us abide
in this, our joyful Easter-tide;
from every weapon death can wield
thine own redeemed forever shield.

SEVEN STANZAS AT EASTER
By John Updike

Make no mistake: if he rose at all
It was as His body;
If the cell’s dissolution did not reverse, the molecule reknit,
The amino acids rekindle,
The Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
Each soft spring recurrent;
It was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled eyes of the
Eleven apostles;
It was as His flesh; ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes
The same valved heart
That—pierced—died, withered, paused, and then regathered
Out of enduring Might
New strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
Analogy, sidestepping, transcendence,
Making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the faded
Credulity of earlier ages:
Let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,
Not a stone in a story,
But the vast rock of materiality that in the slow grinding of
Time will eclipse for each of us
The wide light of day.

And if we have an angel at the tomb,
Make it a real angel,
Weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair, opaque in
The dawn light, robed in real linen
Spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
For our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
Lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are embarrassed
By the miracle,
And crushed by remonstrance.

THE DONKEY
By G.K. Chesterton

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

THE SCARS OF GOD’S HANDS
By Jason Farley

My soul clung to the dust,
now dust clings to my soul.
Your life-breath, once blown
up the nose of my father,
once exhaled in fruit-statutes,
once blown across the dry bones
until they could get up
and dance; breathe life
on me. Speak again the six
stanzas that climb up to rest.
Speak them into me. Tie
my ears to my dusty soul
and blow.

I, clay-jar, am
cracked. Scratched. Divoted. Grand
Canyons that leak. But, Lord, if
my scars leak out,
might they leak in?
If I am not air tight,
might your breath
sneak in?

Can scars be glory?
Can glory leave scars?
I will run to my heart’s end.
Enlarge my heart.
Might your scarred love
love the scarred?
Let your scarred hands
leave scars.
Blow. Blow hard enough
to dislodge the dust.
Even if it takes a hurricane.
Even if it leaves scars.

NO SCAR
By Amy Carmichael

Hast thou no scar?
No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land,
I hear them hail thy bright ascendant star,
Hast thou no scar?

Hast thou no wound?
Yet I was wounded by the archers, spent,
Leaned Me against a tree to die, and rent
by ravening beasts that compassed Me, I swooned:
Hast thou no wound?

No wound, no scar?
Yet as the Master shall the servant be,
And, pierced are the feet that follow Me;
But thine are whole: can he have followed far
Who has no wound nor scar?

LEST WE FORGET
By Amy Carmichael

Home of our hearts, lest we forget
What our redemption meant to Thee,
Let our most reverent thoughts be set
Upon Thy Calvary.

We, when we suffer, turn and toss
And seek for ease, and seek again;
But Thou upon Thy bitter cross
Wast firmly fixed in pain.

And in our night star-clusters shine,
Flowers comfort us, and joy of song;
No star, no flower, no song was Thine,
But darkness three hours long.

We in our lesser mystery,
Of lingering ill, and winged death,
Would fain see clear; but could we see,
What need would be for faith?

O Lord beloved, Thy Calvary
Stills all our questions. Come, oh come,
Where children wandering wearily
Have not yet found their home.

EASTER LILY, A POEM
By Tinuviel

In unseen Saturday silence
Petals unfurl,
Mute trumpets crying out
With rolled-away stone: 

“Take hope! Take heart!
Why do you seek the living among the dead?
He is not here; He is risen! 

“Your trust, your toil,
His promise are not vain.
Death will be swallowed up in victory.
This body of death, This broken life,
This night of tears are not the end. 

“At last trumpet’s fanfare
Dead shall be raised,
Dustless, Deathless, Glorious.” 

White heralds soundless sound:
“Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.”
Hallelujah!

AMORETTI LXVII: MOST GLORIOUS LORD OF LIFE
By Edmund Spenser

Most glorious Lord of life, that on this day,
Didst make thy triumph over death and sin:
And having harrow’d hell, didst bring away
Captivity thence captive, us to win:
This joyous day, dear Lord, with joy begin,
And grant that we for whom thou diddest die,
Being with thy dear blood clean wash’d from sin,
May live for ever in felicity.

And that thy love we weighing worthily,
May likewise love thee for the same again:
And for thy sake, that all like dear didst buy,
With love may one another entertain.
So let us love, dear love, like as we ought,
Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.

LOVE’S AS WARM AS TEARS
By C.S. Lewis

Love’s as warm as tears,
Love is tears:
Pressure within the brain,
Tension at the throat,
Deluge, weeks of rain,
Haystacks afloat,
Featureless seas between
Hedges, where once was green.

Love’s as fierce as fire,
Love is fire:
All sorts – infernal heat
Clinkered with greed and pride,
Lyric desire, sharp-sweet,
Laughing, even when denied,
And that empyreal flame
Whence all loves came.

Love’s as fresh as spring,
Love is spring:
Bird-song hung in the air,
Cool smells in a wood,
Whispering, “Dare! Dare!”
To sap, to blood,
Telling “Ease, safety, rest,
Are good; not best.”

Love’s as hard as nails,
Love is nails:
Blunt, thick, hammered through
The medial nerves of One
Who, having made us, knew
The thing He had done,
Seeing (with all that is)
Our cross, and His.

~C.S. Lewis, Poems, (1964)

RESURRECTION SUNDAY, 1
By Joseph Carlson

The trumpet blast! The bells in Church tow’rs rings.
The cymbals crash! The hosts in Heaven sing.
Now let the nations all, their praises bring-
For Christ the risen Lord has conquered death!

The sun has risen from the darksome night;
He spreads his rays and on us casts his light.
A new day dawns on blind men, giving sight,
For Christ the risen Lord has conquered death!

Where is thy biting sting, O conquered death?
O grave, thy victory that stifles breath?
The sting and victory of death are gone-
Destroyed in that bright morning’s breaking dawn.

As all God’s children sing out loud and long,
Let Church bells ring out clear their ageless song.

RESURRECTION SUNDAY, 2
By Joseph Carlson

I hold an old gnarled seed in my gnarled hand.
Above the earth, it cannot hope to live.
Above the earth, it nothing has to give.
But plant that old gnarled seed, and watch the land.
One day my old gnarled hand will till no more;
Though much it gives, the best has not yet come;
Though much it sees, it has not seen its home,
But plant my gnarled hand, and watch as before.
Both seed and hand must die for them to grow;
Both must descend and find their homely grave.
For this world’s dirt has now been built to save
The dead, and raise the hands and seeds you sow.

O grave, O death, where is thy biting sting?
Our Jesus rose and has become our king.

EASTER
By Jason Farley

If it’s true,
Why do we live like we do?

Excerpts from THE HEEL-STONE
By Jason Farley

Wars and seed and bruises.
Our God promised us
wars and seeds and bruises.

But we would win
in the end.
The dragon’s curse—our promise—
is a man with a heel.
A seed with a heel.
A dragon skull crushed.

The ground remembered all of the blood from Abel.
The ground remembered all of the blood to Zechariah.
The ground knew the dead’s taste.
The ground swallowed up our dragon-slayer.
Life’s an unfamiliar flavor.
The Son of God was manifested,
to destroy the devil’s works.
Took on mortal flesh:
That, through death, he might destroy
him that had death’s power.
That death might swallow Death.
Dragon skulls echo when they crack.
Wars and seed and bruises.
The God of peace went to war.
Children of the God of Peace
now playing in the asp den.
The God of peace may soon crush Satan.
May soon crush Satan
underneath your feet.

JESUS IS THE BEAUTIFUL GATE
(Acts 3)
By Jason Farley

Jesus is the Beautiful Gate
through whom we walk and laugh and leap
into the presence of God the choreographer.

We join the sphere-dance like kings.
Join the sun, leaping and dancing,
covered lightly in light.

As Christ’s Life-Word
bubbles and leaps—alive in the dance—
within us. Stopped springs suddenly re-dug.

De-roof my heart.
Let down this paralyzed soul
to wind up a bucket of living water

To pour it out in sermon-song.
To un-dry the desert dust
that this cactus might fruit, might flower.

That it might be poured to fill the trough
of young calves, freed from their stalls
to walk and laugh and leap.

I GOT ME FLOWERS
By George Herbert

I got me flowers to strew Thy way,
I got me boughs off many a tree;
But Thou wast up by break of day,
And brought’st Thy sweets along with Thee.

The sunne arising in the East,
Though he give light, and th’ East perfume,
If they should offer to contest
With Thy arising, they presume.

Can there be any day but this,
Though many sunnes to shine endeavour?
We count three hundred, but we misse:
There is but one, and that one ever.

EASTER HERALDS
by Amos Russel Wells

Who came from the tomb
When Jesus came,
To scatter our gloom
With his living name?
‘Twas the angel Hope,
Whose sunbeams go
To the farthest scope
Of our darkest woe.
Hope came from the tomb
When the Saviour came.

Who came from the tomb
When Jesus came,
In the bursting bloom
Of a world aflame?
It was Joy, the angel,
Who sang and sang
Till the glad evangel
Through the wide world rang.
Joy came from the tomb
When the Saviour came.

Who came from the tomb
When Jesus came
From the conquered doom
Of our sin and shame?
It was Love, supreme
Of the angel host,
And her graces gleam
Where we need them most.
Love came from the tomb
When the Saviour came.

Easter Hymn
by A. E. Housman

If in that Syrian garden, ages slain,
You sleep, and know not you are dead in vain,
Nor even in dreams behold how dark and bright
Ascends in smoke and fire by day and night
The hate you died to quench and could but fan,
Sleep well and see no morning, son of man.

But if, the grave rent and the stone rolled by,
At the right hand of majesty on high
You sit, and sitting so remember yet
Your tears, your agony and bloody sweat,
Your cross and passion and the life you gave,
Bow hither out of heaven and see and save.

EASTER DAY
by Oscar Wilde

The silver trumpets rang across the Dome:
The people knelt upon the ground with awe:
And borne upon the necks of men I saw,
Like some great God, the Holy Lord of Rome.

Priest-like, he wore a robe more white than foam,
And, king-like, swathed himself in royal red,
Three crowns of gold rose high upon his head:
In splendour and in light the Pope passed home.

My heart stole back across wide wastes of years
To One who wandered by a lonely sea,
And sought in vain for any place of rest:
‘Foxes have holes, and every bird its nest,
I, only I, must wander wearily,
And bruise my feet, and drink wine salt with tears.’

SEE WHAT A MORNING
By Keith Getty

See, what a morning, gloriously bright
With the dawning of hope in Jerusalem
Folded the grave-clothes, tomb filled with light
As the angels announce, “Christ is risen!”

See God’s salvation plan
Wrought in love, borne in pain, paid in sacrifice
Fulfilled in Christ, the Man
For He lives, Christ is risen from the dead!

See Mary weeping, “Where is He laid?”
As in sorrow, she turns from the empty tomb
Hears a voice speaking, calling her name
It’s the Master, the Lord raised to life again!

This voice that spans the years
Speaking life, stirring hope, bringing peace to us
Will sound ’til He appears
For He lives, Christ is risen from the dead!

One with the Father, Ancient of Days
Through the Spirit who clothes faith with certainty
Honor and blessing, glory and praise
To the King crowned with pow’r and authority!

And we are raised with Him
Death is dead, love has won, Christ has conquered
And we shall reign with Him
For He lives, Christ is risen from the dead!

And we are raised with Him
Death is dead, love has won, Christ has conquered
And we shall reign with Him
For He lives, Christ is risen from the dead!

Joyful Domesticity’s Summer Reading Challenge, 2019 ~ Book Suggestion Links

Here are some ideas from our own family experiences (mostly thanks to our county library system… although our own personal home library has more of these titles than you might think… haha!) and reading lives to share with you, according to the categories in our Summer Reading Challenge. We have read almost every single title listed below ~ either all the kids (up to age 11), or just some of us. For instance, my big kids don’t love Eric Carle or Alice Schertle anymore, and my littles aren’t quite ready for John Hendrix or J.K. Rowling. Please feel free to share more ideas in the comments if you have favorites for any of these categories!
But most importantly: have fun cultivating a love of story in your home!

 

Goldfish on Vacation by Sally Lloyd-Jones

Books by Sally Lloyd-Jones:
The Jesus Storybook Bible
Found: Psalm 23
Baby Wren and the Great Gift
Bunny’s First Spring
The House That’s Your Home
Hats Off to Mr. Pockles

Up in the Garden, Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner

Books by Kate Messner:
Over and Under the Pond
Over and Under the Snow
How to Read a Story
The Brilliant Deep

Otis and Will Discover the Deep by Barb Rosenstock

Books by Barb Rosenstock:
Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library
The Noisy Paint Box
Through the Window
Dorothea’s Eyes
Ben Franklin’s Big Splash

The Gardener by Sarah Stewart and David Small

Books by Sarah Stewart and David Small:
The Library
The Journey
The Quiet Place
The Money Tree
This Book of Mine (coming out this summer!)

Apples to Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson

Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek by Deborah Hopkinson

Miracle Man by John Hendrix

Graphic novel by John Hendrix:
The Faithful Spy
Hook’s Revenge

Books illustrated by P.J. Lynch:
The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower
Melisande
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
The Gift of the Magi
When Jessie Came Across the Sea
No One But You
Mysterious Traveller

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A book that became a movie:
The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe
Harry Potter & the Sorceror’s Stone
Anne of Green Gables
The Princess Bride
Little Women
The Secret Garden
A Little Princess
The Hobbit
Tom Sawyer
Swallows and Amazons
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Paddington Bear
Where the Wild Things Are
The Cat in the Hat
Charlotte’s Web

A graphic novel:
Hazardous Tales
Calamity Jack
Anne of Green Gables
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl
Zita the Space Girl Trilogy
Mighty Jack
Mighty Jack and the Goblin King
Mighty Jack and Zita the Space Girl
The Drawing Lesson
The City of Ember

A biography:
Now & Ben
Neo Leo
Timeless Thomas
Balloons Over Broadway
Some Writer!
Nothing Stopped Sophie
Snowflake Bentley
Brave Girl
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Six Dots
The Remarkable Benjamin Franklin
A Picture Book of Benjamin Franklin
Papa is a Poet
Balderdash
Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen
Emily
The Right Word
The Boy Who Loved Math
A Boy, A Mouse, and a Spider
A Poem for Peter
Abe Lincoln: the Boy Who Loved Books
A Boy Called Dickens
A Picture Book of Louis Braille
A Picture Book of Christopher Columbus

A classic:
Charlotte’s Web
Little House in the Big Woods
Farmer Boy
Treasure Island
The Jungle Book
Peter Pan
The Wind in the Willows
The Wizard of Oz
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Pilgrim’s Progress
Little Pilgrim’s Progress
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
Illustrated Stories from Dickens
Classic Treasury of Aesop’s Fables
Winnie-the-Pooh
The Iliad and the Odyssey

A book with a dragon:
Henry and the Chalk Dragon
My Father’s Dragon trilogy
Saint George and the Dragon
Beowolf
Sir Gawain & the Green Knight
King Arthur & His Knights of the Round Table
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

A book with a lighthouse:
Hello Lighthouse
Our Castle by the Sea
The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge
The Lighthouse Kids
The Lighthouse Children

A wordless book:
Journey
Quest
Return
Unspoken
Museum Trip
Flora and the Flamingo
Flora and the Peacocks
Flora and the Penguin
Sam & Dave Dig a Hole
Spot, the Cat
Flashlight

A book written by a female author:
Alice Schertle
Sally Lloyd-Jones
Laura Ingalls Wilder
L.M. Montgomery
Shannon Hale
J.K. Rowling
Kate DiCamillo
Gail Gibbons
Deborah Hopkinson
Tasha Tudor
Beatrix Potter
Sandra Boynton
Grace Lin
Edith Nesbit
Frances Hodgson Burnett
Louisa May Alcott
Margaret Wise Brown
Jennifer Trafton
Maryrose Wood
Barbara Cooney
Jane Yolen
Beverly Cleary
Laura Numeroff
Astrid Lindgren
Madeleine l’Engle
Patricia Polacco
Helen Oxenbury
Rosemary Wells
Trina Schart Hyman
Jean Fritz
Patricia MacLachlan
Cynthia Rylant
Barb Rosenstock
Virginia Lee Burton
Peggy Parish
Ruth Stiles Gannett
Helen Oxenbury
Kate Messner
Melissa Sweet
Linda Sue Park
Janet Stevens
Mary Pope Osborne
Caroline Starr Rose
Candace Fleming

A book written by a male author:
Eric Carle
Ezra Jack Keats
P.D. Eastman
Bill Martin Jr
Aaron Becker
Jonathan Bean
Richard Scarry
Gene Zion
S.D. Smith
Jason Farley
N.D. Wilson
Andrew Peterson
C.S. Lewis
A.A. Milne
John Bunyan
Roald Dahl
Gary Paulsen
E.B. White
Dr. Seuss
Arnold Lobel
Maurice Sendak
Chris Van Allsburg
Rudyard Kipling
Robert McCloskey
Tomie dePaola
Lewis Carroll
Shel Silverstein
J.M. Barrie
David Macaulay
Lloyd Alexander
Michael Bond
Jonathan Auxier

A book based a true story:
Finding Winnie
Winnie
Winnie’s Great War
Rescue & Jessica
One Hen
Beatrice’s Goat
Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt
The Faithful Spy

Historical fiction:
Phoebe the Spy
The Cabin Faced West
Birchbark House
Winnie’s Great War
Listening for Lions
Homer Price
Billy and Blaze
Betsy Tacy
Anne of Green Gables
Kilmeny of the Orchard
Emily of New Moon
Dear America Series
Henry Huggins
Jasper and the Riddle of Riley’s Mine
Hatchet
Summer of the Monkeys
Leepike Ridge
A Long Way from Chicago
The Matchlock Gun
The Sign of the Beaver
The Railway Children
The Orphan Band of Springdale
The Bobbsey Twins
The Boxcar Children

A book in a series:
The Green Ember
The Mistmantle Chronicles
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Anne of Green Gables
The Chronicles of Narnia
The 100 Cupboards
Betsy Tacy
The Penderwicks
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place
The Wilderking Trilogy
Edward Eager’s Tales of Magic
The Wingfeather Saga
Edge of Extinction
The Mysterious Benedict Society
What You Do Matters
Mercy Watson
The Princess in Black
Tumtum and Nutmeg
Prince Martin
Cilla Lee-Jenkins
A to Z Mysteries
Magic Treehouse
I Survived

A book with a one-word title
A book with a dust jacket
A book without a dust jacket

Re-read something you loved:
Jasper and the Riddle of Riley’s Mine
The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic
Henry and the Chalk Dragon
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes
Sophie Quire
Sweep
Gone Away Lake
The Family Under the Bridge
Flora and Ulysses
The Bears on Hemlock Mountain
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Miracles on Maple Hill
Building Our House
This is My Home, This is My School
The Remember Balloons
The Book of Mistakes

Read poetry:
Papa is a Poet
100 Great Poems for Boys
100 Great Poems for Girls
Where the Sidewalk Ends
A Child’s Garden of Verses
Sing a Song of Seasons
Poems Every Child Should Know
A Treasury of Poems for Young People
A Child’s Introduction to Poetry

Read Shakespeare:
Pop-Up Shakespeare
Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare
Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare for Children
The Shakespeare Stories
Poetry for Kids: William Shakespeare
Poetry for Young People

Read about science:
Outside Your Window
A Rock is Lively
A Beetle is Shy
An Egg is Quiet
A Nest is Noisy
A Butterfly is Patient
The Girl Who Drew Butterflies
Leonardo and the Flying Boy
Indescribable
The Doctor with an Eye for Eyes
The Girl With a Mind for Math
Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code
Margaret and the Moon
Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine
Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science
The Girl Who Thought in Pictures
In the Bag
Great Inventors and their Inventions
Marvelous Mattie
The Inventor’s Secret
Mr. Ferris and His Wheel
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
A Picture Book of Thomas Alva Edison
Young Thomas Edison
Toys! Amazing Stories Behind Some Great Inventions
The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book
Klutz Lego Chain Reactions Science & Building Kit
STEAM Kids

Read about art:
The Girl Who Drew Butterflies
The Boy Who Drew Birds
A Child’s Introduction to Art
The Story of Paintings
Discovering Great Artists
Seek & Find: Art through the Ages
The Children’s Book of Art
The Magical Garden of Claude Monet
Linnea in Monet’s Garden
Monet Paints a Day
Picasso and the Girl with the Ponytail
Degas and the Little Dancer
Van Gogh and the Sunflowers
Camille and the Sunflowers
Joining the Dots
Cezanne and the Apple Boy
Matisse the King of Color
Through Georgia’s Eyes
My Name is Georgia
A Book of Postcards
The Artist in the Desert
Rembrandt and the Boy Who Drew Dogs
The Noisy Paint Box
Katie and the Impressionists
Katie and the Mona Lisa
Katie and the British Artists
Katie and the Waterlily Pond
Small Stories of Great Artists

Read something patriotic:
The 4th of July Story
Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution
The Declaration of Independence
George vs. George
John, Paul, George & Ben
Red Coats & Petticoats
Aaron & Alexander
Paul Revere’s Ride
The Journey of the One and Only Declaration of Independence
America: a Patriotic Primer
A More Perfect Union

Read something about ice cream:
Ice Cream: the Full Scoop
Curious George and the Ice Cream Surprise
Curious About Ice Cream
And Then Comes Summer
Ice Cream
Isaac’s Ice Cream Tree
Ice Cream Summer
The Scoop on Ice Cream
Ice Cream for Breakfast
Ice Cream Sunday

Read something about food:
Food Anatomy
Blueberries for Sal
A Medieval Feast
The Kitchen Knight
Fannie in the Kitchen
Julia, Child
The Seven Silly Eaters
Bon Appetit
Minette’s Feast
Bee-Bim Bop
Each Peach Pear Plum
Everybody Cooks Rice
Pancakes, Pancakes
Walter the Baker
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World
How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the USA

Read something about gardening:
Nature Anatomy
A Packet of Seeds
Miss Rumphius
We Are the Gardeners
The Secret Garden
The Tiny Seed
Tops and Bottoms
From Seed to Plant
The Vegetables We Eat
The Fruits We Eat
Flowers
Up in the Garden, Down in the Dirt
A Seed is Sleepy
Miss Maple’s Seeds
Oh Say Can You Seed

Read something about water:
The Little Island
Over and Under the Pond
Burt Dow, Deep-Water Man
Island Boy
Hello Lighthouse
Time of Wonder
One Morning in Maine
Harry By The Sea
The Circus Ship
Flotsam
Water Can Be…
The Brilliant Deep
Papa and the Mechanical Fish
Shark Lady
Otis and Will
Water is Water
Coral Reefs
Paddle-to-the-Sea
Seabird
Coral Reefs
Marshes & Swamps
Surrounded By Sea
Exploring the Deep, Dark Sea

Read something about outer space:
A Child’s Introduction to the Night Sky
Lost in the Solar System
Star Stuff
On the Launch Pad
A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars
There’s No Place Like Space
Go For the Moon
Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars
Hidden Figures
Papa Put a Man on the Moon
Eight Days Gone
If You Decide to Go to the Moon
When We Walked on the Moon
A Computer Called Catherine
Look to the Stars
I am Neil Armstrong
Moon
The Moon Book
The Planets
Planet Earth
Galaxies, Galaxies!
Stargazers

Read a Psalm
Read a Proverb
Read an Epistle
Read a Gospel
Read from the Pentateuch
Read from the Prophets
Read in bed
Read while eating
Read standing up
Read in the car
Read aloud to someone else
Listen to someone read aloud to you

Listen to an audiobook:
Trumpet of the Swan
Echo
Listening for Lions
The Wingfeather Saga
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place
The Little House Series
The Princess and the Goblin
The Wizard of Oz

Read in the morning
Read by flashlight
Read outside
Read upside down
Read to a sibling
Read to a parent
Read to a friend
Tell a friend about a book
Read for 20 minutes
Read for 40 minutes
Read for 60 minutes
Read & lose track of time

 

Beautiful crying forth

As I contemplate my thirteen precious children today, on PAIL (pregnancy and infant loss) Remembrance Day, I am praising God for His beautiful crying forth of ideas which created each one of them.

I still daily get to set my eyes on four of them, and I am daily blown away by His imagination in how He formed each one. They are absolutely spoken magic, woven into flesh.

But there are nine other ideas of His which were spoken into creation by His Words. Although my eyes do not see them, nor my hands get to hold theirs, and my days are not filled with teaching & instructing them; and although their beautifully cried forth souls have flown from their woven bodies of flesh; they are still spoken magic. Fully alive. Glorifying God.

How stunning.

God, thank You for giving me so many children.
Thank You for lending some to me for such a long time.
Thank You for balming my heart when You took so many of them to Your heavenly places.
Thank You for crying forth such beauty even through my broken womb.
Thank You for showing Yourself faithful to me in grief.
Thank You for hearing my prayers.
Help me to show my children how beautifully & imaginatively spoken they are by You.
I believe Lord, help Thou my unbelief.

Walking in the Way

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Come, sweetheart… come for a walk with your mama. It was not long ago that I carried you every time I went walking, but then you grew a bit and began to stretch your legs. Another little one came along then, and I carried him in my arms while holding your hand tightly in my grasp. Keep you from tripping, stumbling, sidling into the ditch or losing your boot in a puddle.

But today my arms are swinging, my palms holding nothing but the breeze. You are walking on your own, but not too far away. The little brother is having his first ride in the stroller. Big sister pushing. Mama’s eyes constantly on you both, giving direction and correction, gently guiding without grasping.

Parts of the path are smoother than others. When you walk along the smooth parts without the dips, the bumps, the stray gravel, things feel more carefree. The burden of the stroller is easier to push. Isn’t it fun to run and laugh and feel that sunshine all around?

Other parts of the path are muddy… watch out, don’t get stuck there… dig your heels in, really use those muscles, push through. If you go helterskelter through the muck, it is going to splash onto you, stick to your boots, cling to the hem of your dress… better to have diligence and self control and constancy as you work through the muddy puddly parts. Keep the little one protected from the muck. If you get too messy, it’s likely that it will slosh onto him too. Get that burden through the puddle and onto the other side.

Yes, I will help you… take it? okay, this time I will… I can see you are weary. I’ve done this before, I know this walk and I recognize the muddy puddle to. Take my hand, I’ve got you. Let me push the stroller for a little while as you catch your breath. It’s good to know you don’t walk alone, isn’t it? I love to feel your hand in mine, see you smile up at me, little image of who I once was, the one urging me on toward who I am becoming. We go together along this path, at the same time, hand in hand, yet in different places. I started along it sooner, I will stop before you do. Until then, let’s keep walking.

Oh yes, sure, you may have the stroller back. I’ll let your hand go again and keep my eyes on you as you continue pushing that burden ahead.
I love to see you delighting in the world around you, my girl. I love watching you take it all in, observe, indulge, taste and discern.

Why do you keep looking backward, glancing behind you with a look of fear? No, there is no car coming on our little path. No, there are no mountain lions here. How do I know?… oh… um… I just do.
Things are getting a bit wobbly now, sweetie, keep going forward and watch where you are walking. I know it’s fun to make zigzags and loopy lines along the way, but you must be careful not to stray. Mommy is not holding your hand… oh sweetheart, can I take the stroller now? Can I hold your hand? Will you stay closer and walk more carefully with me? I worry you may trip… don’t stumble… what if I can’t catch you?

You are running forward while looking behind… you are forgetting to care well over the burden you are pushing… look out! a ditch!
Silly little girl I love, look at the wheels, stuck in the stones, baby nearly toppled over, you slightly scraped your knee.
Do not run from Mommy, do not fear what is behind you, you do not have to fret so.

There we are, let me help you back onto the path. Let me settle the stroller wheels for you in the right direction. Hold firmly to the burden while you are moving forward, and keep your eyes focused mostly on where you are going. There, that’s it. Good job… much better! Doesn’t it feel good to keep set on the right way?

Oh, do you see those puddles up ahead? How will you prepare to meet them? Is there a wise way around them? Is the only way through them, with steady step and a firm grip on the burden you are pushing along? What did you say? Oh, yes of course I can help you push it through this set of puddles. That was a wise way to work through them. You saw the trouble coming and knew to ask for someone with a firmer grip and more experience with the puddles and the path and the burden. Well done. Keep your hands on it and your gaze fixed where you need to go… I will simply add my hands to yours and give you the confidence that you don’t have to do it alone. Together, we have more strength, more solidity, more stalwart tenacity. Companionship does ease the burden. I would rather laugh with you and cry with you than do either one alone.

You did well, my sweet. Look at you, smiling in the sun and making your own breeze with your speed. Yes, your eyes are facing where you should be going, I see the skip in your step, your face to the sun, your hair blowing like a veil. Yes, I see those beautiful little flowers growing there beside the path. You’re right, they are lovely. Would you like to stop for a moment to enjoy this expression of beauty? Shall we pick one to tuck behind your ear, carrying with you a token of delight? You are bringing some mud along the way, it would be a nice counterpart to have a sweet violet also.

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What’s that you say? Why yes, I do see that patch of bumpy gravel. Yes, you may try to push through it on your own. Remember, I am here if you need me. I will encourage you with my words unless and until you need me to give you a boost with my hands. I think you’re prepared for this. Your eyes are focused on what is coming, your hands are gripping the burden. You have traces of both past difficulty and past ease… on your hem, tucked behind your ear… determination in your eyes, fire in your soul.

Don’t forget the little one you are caring for! It’s not just about you anymore. Be watchful and take care over that which has been entrusted to you.
Yes, you came across the bumps without falling to the side nor losing a handle on the burden you carry. You were watchful, careful, alert. Continue steadily on, yes, you are doing fine. I’m watching you, the same path beneath our feet… I am slowing down, you are moving on ahead…

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Oh my sweet little girl, yes… yes, I am proud of you… we made it to the end of our walk for today. You did well. You proved true. You did faithfully.

And tomorrow, let’s walk along the way again, shall we? I’ll stay near to you again. We will face the same walk with possibly different terrain. Perhaps there will be rain, with more mud and deeper puddles and sticky ruts. Perhaps the sun will burn our necks, and the path will be so dusty we can’t help but cough. The violets? Hmm, I don’t know… keep your eyes open for whatever beauty pops up along the way, because often there are different beautiful flowers at different times in different places… simply watch for them, and when you find them, recognize them and delight in them… and yes of course, do remember to carry some of that fresh beauty with you.

We will continue walking together as the days go on. I will enjoy it while we have it. Each other. And the way to walk. Together.
I no longer carry you, but I walk beside you. I’ll still be near.
The day is coming all too soon when you will be making the walk on your own.

Christ Died

While we were yet sinners.
Christ suffered for us.
Died for me.

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He was stricken. Smitted. Afflicted. Forsaken. Dead in a completely gory trauma.

 

And there was darkness.
Despair.
Agony.
Unknowns.
Hell.

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Many Questions

What about that tree–
the one that would be
sawn asunder,
its limbs
lashed to a T
to brace his
bruised body?
Did he plant it?
Give it water?
Did he bless
or curse it
like the fig?
As a sapling
did it foresee
a day when nails
would join
its marrow,
its meat,
to the hands
and feet
of the Lord?

One Answer

They made my sturdy limbs
a party to their mutiny.

Forgive Man, Lord,
and me.

~Nikki Grimes,
“The cross is often referred to as a tree – a poetic reference perhaps,
but a tree did provide the material
from which the cross was made.
According to John’s Gospel,
Jesus was the Lord of Creation.
Among other things, that means the tree on which he hung
owed its life to him.
I was intrigued by the idea of relationship
between Christ and the tree.
The first poem led to the second.”

Arise, Shine! Our Light has Come!

Christ was born! He fulfilled the prophecies!
The Incarnate King! God with us!

This last Sunday we celebrated the naming and circumcision of Jesus,
His presentation in the temple where Simeon (my son’s namesake) sang,


And today we celebrate the Magi coming to worship Him.
It’s Epiphany!

This day is our day. My day.
This day reminds me that Christ came for me.
May His grace, His light, reflect through me and over me
so that He is glorified and His Kingdom expanded!
May I arise! May I shine! May I praise Him with joy! May I offer gifts of highest value!

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He is the Light of the world.
He is the King.
He is my Lord.

Lord Jesus
may your light shine our way,
as once it guided the steps of the magi:
that we too may be led into your presence
and worship you,
the Child of Mary,
the Word of the Father,
the King of nations,
the Saviour of mankind;
to whom be glory for ever.
–Frank Colquhoun

Pregnant with a Rainbow, Part VII

To give you a smaller, easier-to-get-through glimpse into my second PAL ultrasound with Sweet Teen last spring, here is a lens I call Second Glance.

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~…~…~…~

Second Glance

I am just as nervous as last time,
my bladder isn’t quite as filled.
Walking into the hospital now
makes me anxious rather than thrilled.

I hold my husband’s hand so tight
and bounce my knees as I sit,
waiting to hear the nurse call my name,
praying we’ll soon know everything’s all right.

The same sonographer is ready for me,
we recognize one another from before—
I breathe deeply, follow her steps,
lie down on the table, squeeze hubby’s hand some more.

The questions are asked, the gel squirts out,
I scrunch my eyes, too afraid to see—
But, there it is! I hear my hubby say,
So I glance up: there you are, bouncing & wiggly!

My eyes fill with tears, my breaths quicker now,
trying to grasp with my brain, things look good!
My fears and anxieties give ‘way to relief
as I look at my baby, as thankful as I should.

How can this be? that our dreams might come true?
Suddenly I wonder, as I look up at you,
so small on that screen, but with fingers, even toes!
How did this miracle ever happen? Oh, God only knows!

We’re sent away with pictures
to take home to other kids,
we leave with happy goosebumps,
ear-to-ear smiles, tears in eyes, and one more kiss.

I dream of you, my tiny baby,
whether my eyes are open or shut,
you are with me every moment,
and in my prayers unceasingly yet.

What a comfort to see you today,
in the secret places our Creator only knows,
to know your heart beats steadily,
your body’s form and functions grow.

With joy we update family and friends,
and toast your precious life,
we praise our God for giving us
this glimpse of hope and light!

~…~…~…~

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Generally, I err on the side of verbosity.
Today, I think less is more.

This journey, this roller coaster, continues ~ and my hands are up in the air. My heart still races, my hair still flies, my flesh still gets covered in goosebumps…

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.

Smoke, Sky, and Sea

A filmy western sky of smoky red,
Blossoming into stars above a sea
Of soft mysterious dim silver spread
Beyond the long gray dunes’ serenity;
Where the salt grasses and sea poppies press
Together in a wild sweet loneliness.

~from “Twilight in Abegweit” by L.M. Montgomery~