Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Hebrews 12:1

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


 Well, it is that time of year again.  This year my baby sister is starting high school.  You have absolutely no idea how hard that is to comprehend! 

Mom has Jacqueline doing Algebra and Physical Science with Abeka online class.  After Jacqueline finishes whizzing through her New World history, Mom wants her to do Omnibus I from Veritas Press. (This means that Jacqueline will be studying long dead Greeks and Romans.  Anybody want to guess how she feels about that?).  She is doing Logic also from Veritas Press.  Bible is a study of the Westminster Catechism.  English is ' Windows to the World - An Introduction to Literary Analysis'  from the Institute for Excellence in Writing.  She will also be doing a Composition class later in the year from them.

Me?  I am clepping classes and doing some fun stuff.  Omnibus II ( Church Fathers through the Reformation),  Anatomy from Apologia, Logic and Literature are the same as Jacqueline, Bible is a doctrines class from R.C.Sproul.

And of course, no school day would be complete without the 45 mins. to 1hr. of piano practicing!  Right now, I am just reviewing last year's pieces and scales.  Jacqueline took piano lessons over the summer so she is actually practicing.  But that won't last for long.  Piano lessons officially start on Thursday.  So more on that later this week.   

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Happy-Go-Knitty Thursday!

Last weekend when we were in Michael's I saw this book.  Because I have been looking for a knee-high argyle patterns, it instantly caught my eye.  So I quickly scanned the book and got really excited.  There are argyles, checks, flowers and, hooray, five different patterns for guys socks!  Poor Dad is the only one that I haven't made a pair for so I am starting his right away. Anyway, I went home, found the book on Amazon, and it arrived yesterday afternoon.  I love Amazon!
The project I am most interested in is a pair of lacy knee-high socks.  I am wondering if I can make them thin enough that I could ditch my hose in the winter and wear lacy socks instead!  I know it would be A LOT more comfortable.   
It's going to be a happy-go-knitty Thursday.  I can feel it. Now all that needs to happen is it has to rain in sheets all afternoon.  Rain, yarn, needles, and a good murder mystery on tape! What more could a girl ask for? 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Universal Truth

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Venerable Bede Translating the Gospel of John, by JD Penrose

I'm starting a new book in my studies, The Ecclesiastical History of the English People by Bede.The following quote from his preface caught my eye.

     " For if history records good things of good men, the thoughtful hearer is encouraged to imitate
     what is good: or if it records evil of wicked men, the devout, religious listener or reader is
     encouraged to avoid all that is sinful and perverse and to follow what he knows to be good and
     pleasing to God. " 

It reminded me greatly of a quote from a book I read last year by Livy, The Early History of Rome.

     "The study of history is the best medicine for a sick mind; for in history you have a record of the
     infinite variety of human experience plainly set out for all to see; and in that record you can find for
     yourself and your country both examples and warnings; fine things to take as models, base things
     rotten through and through, to avoid." 

Isn't it amazing that two men separated by almost seven hundred years, thousands of miles and total different cultures and religions (one Christian and the other a pagan) can express the same thought?!  Isn't it amazing that God's Truth is so universal that even pagans can recognize it? 

Romans 1: 20,  " For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and the Godhead; so that they are with out excuse:".

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Clare Benediction

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by John Rutter

May the Lord show his mercy upon you;
May the light of his presence be your guide:
May he guard and uphold you:
May his spirit be ever by your side.
When you sleep, may his angels watch over you;
When you wake, may he fill you with his grace:
May you love him and serve him all your days,
Then in heaven may you see his face.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

10,000 ways that don't work.

Thomas Edison said, " I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won't work"

Life is not always about the successes.  Usually it is about the failures and how you learn from them.  So we haven't failed, we have just found 7  way how not to garden! 

1) A garden is another name for a rabbits salad bar.   A rabbit's favorite foods are peas, green beans, carrot heads, radish tops, and an occasional weed, which we really appreciate.

2) In an effort to go green or if you are just trying to save some money, you might use a brown paper bag for potatoes.  It doesn't work.  In fact, this is what you get......

3) The Enemies of a garden: Weeds, Bugs, Heat...

     3a) With the onset of warm weather, the garden will quickly become a weed hole.  You spend as much or more time weeding then harvesting ( in our case at least). 

      3b)  Did you know that worms " grow"  on corn?  I think we raised more worms then ears of corn.

     3c)  Heat: a synonym for sweat, and being covered in the dirt that attaches itself to that sweat.  And it doesn't matter if you go out early.  You are STILL going to sweat. 

4)  Keeping your garden on the same watering schedule as your front lawn doesn't work.  Gardens require much, much more water. 

5)  Plants lie.  Just because a plant blooms it doesn't mean that it will produce fruit.

On a positive note, the deer haven't bothered our garden this year.  Just that darn rabbit!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mac and Cheese

    We recently started buying our milk with a co-op from a local dairy. This means that it is fresh, whole,  has low pasteurization, and is a lot cheaper then the milk in the store. Unfortunately, this also means that we have to guess  how much we will need for the whole week. So since we have an extra galleon, we decided to make Mac-& Cheese.

This Mac & Cheese recipe is courtesy of Martha Stewart. It is so good that I  refuse to eat anything out of a box after having enjoyed this for most of my life!
     6 Tablespoons  unsalted butter plus more for dish
     5 & 1/2  cups   milk
     1/2 cup            all purpose flour
     2 teaspoons     salt
     1/4 teaspoon   freshly grated nutmeg
     1/4 teaspoon   freshly ground black pepper
     1/4 teaspoon   cayenne pepper, or to taste
     4 & 1/2 cups   grated sharp white cheddar cheese
     2 cups             grated Gruyere  OR
        1 & 1/4 cups  grated Pecorino Romano cheese
     1 pound          elbow macaroni

Please note that this recipe fills 2 casserole dishes.

First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 

Next cook and strain  the macaroni.  It is best to cook 2-3 minutes less then the package's directions so that the macaroni isn't over cooked in the oven. 

 Heat the 5 & 1/2 cups of milk over medium heat. 

When the milk is almost warm, melt 6 tablespoons of  butter in a high sided skillet. 

When the butter bubbles, add one cup of flour. cook stirring constantly for 1 minute. 

Then, still whisking, add warm milk.

When the milk begins to thicken and bubble, add the spices.  The recipe calls for fresh ingredients but we always use what is in the spice cabinet. 

Then add 3 cups cheddar and 1 & 1/2 cups Gruyere. ( Don't feel bound by what the recipe calls for. We have a lot of fun experimenting with different kinds of white cheeses.  Our favorite is Parmesan and Romano combination)

Add milk to the noodles and stir all of that creamy goodness together.

 Butter dish, then pour mac & cheese mixture into it, topping with remaining cheese. 

 Bake until brown on top, about 30 minutes. 

While you wait, you have time for, oh snap, the dishes...

a knitting/ smocking/ sewing project... 

 and definitely a cup of tea, at least if you are my Mom!

Success! A mac and cheese that everyone will beg you for more!