Monday, February 23, 2009

The Bunnies are Born

I think this counts for Life Science credits for home school! We bred our Jersey Woolies and had success this time. They were born early the morning of Thursday, February 19. The gestation time until birth is approximately 28-31 days and ours were born on day 29, so this momma was on schedule. About 4-5 days prior to birth, the doe starts to build her nest--big clue the birth is imminent and exciting to watch. As you can see, the momma uses her own fur for lining the nest and this creates incredible warmth. The doe works so hard at this and exhausts herself. It truly is amazing to watch. Last time we bred, we had 4 bunnies, this time she produced 3, but we lost one, which is all part of the lesson. As you can see, they are like tiny little mice when they are born and without fur. The photos are early day one and already today which is day 5, we see a shade of tan/buff color appearing and they are beginning to jump up a bit and squeal for their momma's milk. They squirm together for warmth and are full of energy. No eyes open yet, so I will update with photos in a few days. There are changes every single day!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Old Friends

There are those who touch our lives and we are never quite the same. I’m busy thanking many people in my life now and those in the past that have helped make me what I am today. It’s a concern on my heart this month as so many have cared, given and prayed for me in my illness also. If you are one of those people, I thank you too. This is just a quick piece I jotted down for fun knowing that this person will not give me a grade as in English class so long ago.

Old Friends

Remembering you is to be carefree
and safe and
young again.
To just drive
and listen to music to see where
the road leads us.

It’s that long ago, far away friendship
that has never quite gone out
though the years are mostly
silent, but how do you do,
are you alright?
how are the kids, and oh!
what great weather.

Deep inside is a collage of memories,
quiet moments
Friday the thirteenth
and thirteen sets of deer eyes in the
headlights, endless conversations
late into the night.

Holding hands and helping
two young sisters by
listening and caring,
resembling the family
I think you know I needed.
You gave more than I
had to offer; I’ve not forgotten that.

There is a knowledge,
in this peaceful recollection
that the friendship
is still out there and
I am better for it.
May I say thank you again
after all these years?
Jan Lyn

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Real Juggling Act

I really hesitated to begin a blog, especially one that had a label of home school within it. The truth is, while all looks rosy in a blog , life is not always as it appears. I know I have read my share of blogs and compared our schooling, which really is not beneficial nor does it even has any correlation as each home school is unique as each family.

For starters, we don’t get out of the house nearly as much as it may seem in this blog and some days rather than schooling within our nice neat room, I school off the couch as it is more comfortable or cannot resist sitting there instead as it is just cozier with the sun streaming in. Also I have good intentions to uphold our starting time and realize the girls have gotten "stuck" doing their chores. They obey and do what they are told, but also get side tracked by letting the rabbits loose in the horse barn and other such maneuvers while feeding all the animals. Consequently, we have a few good habits to enforce and for me as well, as those few extra quiet moments are heavenly.

So, for entertainment purposes here is a further glimpse of some of the things that have occurred at our Home Life Academy this past month. For one, life and death seem to be an obsessive topic. That’s right, in the middle of a perfectly lovely lesson on a Thornton W Burgess book, the girls keep bringing up the topic of our dead horse, in detail I might add. Allowing a bit of time to process this, we finally move on and they interject how our next horse we attempted to purchase went blind! Yes, this is true. Youngest daughter begins to cry and laments how she still wants him and do I recall that last month we read a wonderful story on Louis Braille? I do, but back to Burgess, please!

Next, I announce math time and both daughters groan loudly and slip off to grab a snack. I go ahead and submit to their plans knowing they will be happier mathematicians if I allow tummies to be filled first. On their way out of the school room, the Math U See blocks are dumped leaving over 100 math bars of various colors and sizes scattered on the floor mingling with all the primacolor pencils that were tumbled about during read aloud time. From a distance, I hear the youngest asking the oldest what "viagra" and "libido" mean again as she did not quite understand the responses we gave her over dinner hour the previous evening. Obviously this is a result of viewing television commercials. No, being parent is not for cowards as the oldest has just said, "You better go ask mom."

I think to myself, if they were in public school there would be no need to come ask Mom. Though perhaps still best to get the facts from a parent rather than some child busily picking their nose. No offence meant toward the public school or the child with the nose issue as I am a happy product of the public school system. It was just a fleeting thought of a clean house, an ability to nap and a few more conversations with a real live adult from time to time. It’s a swift thought though, as I’ve done the public school stunt as well with my oldest and it is not as easy as it sounds or cost effective either in spite of our tax dollars at work.

So, glancing at my watch, I realize we are behind a few subjects when Grandparent #1 decides that Home Ec is going to occur in 45 minutes from now and rather than eating snack, lunch would have been more appropriate. Grandparent #2 has figured out that #1 is coming and they will not visit now due to this. I end up feeling guilty for just being me. This is all without mentioning the necessary vacuum job, a doctor’s phone call and the 2 loads of laundry thrown in between grammar and spelling lessons that are still not finished. Top that off with a phone call from my son whom has seemingly locked his keys in his van at a convenience store down town. This is not the first time to put it bluntly.

Consequently, I am giving you this little bird’s eye view of our life and times so that no one in the home schooling world gets the impression that all is perfect here. It is not, and it is often a real juggling act, but we always seem to get the job done some how and most days are much more in orderly and academic than this. The one thing we can always count on is that every day is different and most days our fumbles fill us with memories of smiles and giggles along with the groans so I count my blessings we are still continuing on here. There is rarely a dull moment.....

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wednesday Photos for My Valentine

Hardly wordless after 23 years. "Still believing in the one thing that has gotten us this far..... that's what love is for." -A. Grant
Lots of Love,

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Love Quotes and Poems

I’m not big on supporting the Hallmark card industry and bearing gifts in February, though I find it irresistible not to celebrate some thing that pertains to hearts in small ways. Being that I’m not too creative right I offer no originals, but will share a few from my ever- growing list of favorites. The girls like to choose their own copy work for penmanship practice and have used a few of these so far this month. They have an ever growing aversion to workbooks and like to make their own. I totally agree.

Love.....bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things
endures all things.
1Corinthians 13:7

Love is the great beautifier.--Louisa May Alcott

Never a lip is curved with pain
That can’t be kissed into a smile again.--Brete Hart us the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)–ee cummings

All children are beautiful when they’re loved.--Bertha Holt

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength.
While loving someone deeply gives you courage.–Lao Tzu

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret;
it is only with the heart that one can see rightly,
what is essential is invisible to the eye.–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The first duty of love-is to listen.–Paul Tillich

In our life there is a single
color, as on an artist’s
which provides the
meaning of life and art.
It is the color of love.–Marc Chagall

No disguise can long conceal love where it exists, or long feign it where it is lacking." ~ Francois La Rochefoucauld

Love is an energy which exists of itself. It is its own value.
-Thornton Wilder

Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.
-Erich Fromm

If music be the food of love, play on.
-- William Shakespeare

Sunday, February 1, 2009

All Those Names

"The real problem of the Christian life comes where people do not usually look for it. It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back, in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind."--CS Lewis

Amazing. So I am not the only one that awakes each morning and wrestles with the day and longs for that other voice. I struggle with all those names from the past the most. Names that a child would take in, names that an adult would wrap their clenched fists around for decades. Shame that surfaces as evidence that I have held on to blame that should have been stripped down to the naked truth long ago.

We all grow up with other names like skinny, four eyes, various nicknames, it’s only natural. Probing deeper the knife cuts and twists with a list that repeats through the day in a persistent dripping manner like a faucet that cannot seem to be fixed. I hear the names: unacceptable, hypochondriac, paranoid, ungrateful, marginal Christian, and perhaps the lie from the Enemy I disdain the most, anorexic. That one cuts to the core but I understand that not all people are knowledgeable of the fact that weight is not a mathematical equation when one lives daily with disease.

Then names bob up from my own pity pool of tears as well, without warning. They sputter off stupid, looser, forgetful, and my latest is damaged goods, now that I have topped off the pile of physical quirks with autoimmune disease. This is wasted time this self-taunting, adding to the already toxic pile. Why have I answered to these names for so long? Why would I allow them to even be heard as a child of God?

I have no excuse as an adult for recording these names, but I do think chronic illness sufferers are more at risk to be branded with some needless titles, as often misunderstood as so much can be invisible to the eye and so completely foreign to what other people experience. If for anything, so far it has made me cling to that which is spiritual and go deeper during this season than relying on people. Glancing back from where I am now, I see a God who longed to be more intimate with me, to love me more than anyone else could. God wanted my attention and more of it. At any rate, this name calling all comes at a high price. It can cause us to love and seek to please inappropriately for approval sake or may rob one of never truly loving fully or allow one to accept love freely back if one doesn’t love themselves first. It steals the freedom that is truly offered in Christ.

My best solution lately besides washing names and shame away down the drain each night, is allowing the unnecessary baggage fade. It’s in just dropping one name at a time quietly at the feet of the One with nail-scarred hands and remembering where worth is found and where it is not. It’s a total shift of focal point, a retraining of a stubborn child to walk an entirely different path and I have not achieved it but am more aware of it. I am separating truth from falsehood daily. I’ve tossed the blame a while back, but kept the names like an obligatory gift that cannot be returned. Stupid I know. There I go again....

So this waking to the light of a new day, feeling my heartbeat, regardless of pain and imperfection, I lay still and aware of each day being full and pregnant with life. It is my life and spirit connected to the Spirit in that this new practice occurs and fills the spaces that all these names took up. I refocus my human blurry sight and focus on the Light and that bit of Light within me and greet the Living Water, Spirit, Bread of Life, Abba Father, Lover of my soul each morning and throughout my day. It helps to get the focus off me and where it should be. That is familiar territory, but this quiet whisper back that I must strain to hear is ever new, and calls me: Joyful, Hopeful, Beloved Child, Over-Coming One, Friend of God, Acceptable, and Beautiful in His sight. I startle at this reality of love, that I’ve once again pushed down too long and I seek His face. My heart sings and spills "I have found the One whom my soul loves" and He has a name and has named me.