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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Pause

Not only was the weather turbulent around here this past weekend, but our lives have proven to be as well.  It has become necessary for me to find an additional job; therefore, I will need to place a "pause" on blogging.  My attention must be acutely focused on job searching, interviewing, etc. in addition to maintaining my responsibilities to my current work and family. 

Although this blog is still in the infancy stage, I have so enjoyed getting to share here.  I have a notebook pad filled with ideas of topics for writing and a list of Iowan architecture that I was hoping to highlight. 

I did not begin writing on here to make a profit, but simply for personal enjoyment and growth.  Part of "growth" is having to put aside desires and face that which is imperative.  I will miss the little moments of quiet that I carved out for myself in order to post here.

Once I have a better idea of what my new schedule will look like, I hope to be able to squeeze in time to continue blogging.  However, until I have a better gauge of what the future might look like, I do not feel it is responsible for me to continue posting.  Each minute here is a minute away from job searching, working, or maintaining a family. 

Thank you so very much for allowing me to share a little slice of my life with you.  I hope to reconnect very, very soon. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015


I relish the opportunity to cuddle up under a worn afghan and read.  This year I am inspired to keep a running list of the books I read (or re-read), as I do already for my son's schooling.  I normally "stumble" across the books that I read; however, this year I aim to be intentional about creating a book-choosing-routine for myself.  I will seek out books that I would normally not even consider reading, and give them a chance.  I will include fiction in my reading sources.  I have not read fiction in years (excluding The Story of God, The Story of Us).   I normally procure books that are biographical, educational, historical, or spiritual.  I want to stretch myself into trying different types of writing styles...different authors...different topics.  I intend to at least begin reading these; I will stop if I find them a waste of time!  So, here is the start of my reading list for 2015:

*No Compromise: The Life of Keith Green- Melody Green
*The Happiness Project- Gretchen Rubin
*So Long, See You Tomorrow- Maxwell
*Eat, Pray, Love- Elizabeth Gilbert
*Thinking- Kirby, Goodmaster
*Charlotte Mason Companion (re-read)- Karen Andreola
*ten ways to destroy the imagination of your child (re-read)- Esolen
*How Much is Enough?- Simon
*The Consequences of Ideas- Sproul
*How Should We Then Live? (re-read)- Schaeffer
*Lies My Teacher Told Me- James Loewen

I did "stumble" across several of these at our used book store.  However, I would not normally consider purchasing them, so I felt they qualified under the category of "give it a try".  I have discovered that I normally do not enjoy books that have come "highly recommended" by friends.  Perhaps we simply prefer different styles.  However, this year I will try books that others have recommended- and try them with an open mind. 

With that being said, which books do you most often recommend to your friends?

Thursday, January 1, 2015


This week has been filled with activity.  Our son has been busy forming thank you notes.  I have been writing  "New Year's Letters" (instead of Christmas cards), and compiling lesson plans for the upcoming semester.  We are also "de-trimming" the tree (and household).

In addition, I have been preparing an outline for my blogging schedule.  I want to incorporate specific "daily routines" into the plan:
*Mondays will be my opportunity to share any weekly frugal accomplishments and/or conservation progress.
*Thursdays will be "Artsy Goodness" updates. This is the time when I share crafts, art, and architecture that we have created or explored during the week.
* I will participate in  "Photo Friday".  Fridays' posts will be a compilation of photos from the previous week without any words.
*I will also have a "Back to the Ode Days" routine.  This is my quirky take on poetry.  I will have "Odes to..." such things as laundry, hardware stores, spiders, etc. 
*In addition,  I will consistently write about my vintage finds, life in Iowa, perusing through books, and simple living. 
                                                            I hope you will join me!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Last year our family moved from Texas to Iowa.  Relocating provided an exciting opportunity for us to be near  my husband's family and plant "roots" in this wonderful Iowa soil.  This past year has proven to be a continuation of "transitioning" mode for our family.  We have continued to work diligently on creating a home out of our "foreclosure" house (it had sat empty for four years prior to us purchasing it).  We have continued to plod through unusual and trying work circumstances.  We have continued to transition into new friendships, new community,  and a new sense of "belonging".  Each of these areas has been an exercise in fortitude.  And yet, many precious lessons are learned by stretching out of our comfort zone.  I have had to learn "waiting", finding contentment in the midst of chaos, and the necessity of gratitude regardless of my circumstances.  I do not state this with boastful confidence, but with a heart humbled. 
The year 2014 is quickly fading; I look back with joy, and ahead with anticipation.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


I removed the floating gunk off the top of our apple mixture, strained the remaining product through an old pillowcase, and now...
We have vinegar!  Now, I do not claim to be scientifically "sound" in my concocting.  I basically threw a few things in a pot and waited.  However, I am glad that I was able to utilize left over apple remnants that would have otherwise been wasted.  We will not consume this product, but I will use it to clean and disinfect. 
I welcome any advice concerning how to "formally" make vinegar. 


As a new year is quickly upon us, I wanted to utilize one, simple word that can become a "focus" for me in 2015.  The word I chose is "intent".  I want my actions, my thoughts, my choices to be propelled by "intent", not reaction.  My desire is to be intent about forging new friendships, intent about caring for my marriage, intent about raising up a young man...This being said, I do not mean that I want to "over-plan" life, never leaving room for surprises or spontaneity.  There is balance between intention and allowance.  

Friday, December 26, 2014

Candlewick Schoolhouse

I have decided to dedicate a space for blogging just about our homeschooling journey.  I will soon begin posting over at Candlewick Schoolhouse.  This space will contain information about homeschooling in general, the path that led us toward schooling at home, and our on-going adventures in "self-learning".

This will NOT be a blog about how well-manicured, perfectly planned, and idealistic our homeschooling lives are.   I want to share a realistic, honest view of what educating at home looks and feels like.  It is a natural extension of our lives, not the "perfect"/ photo-cropped  version of learning that some blog writers try to portray.  This is not a place where I will boast endlessly of how
"super-intelligent" my child is or how "evil" other forms of education are.  Instead, my aim is to offer a glimpse into our daily lives.  I hope to encourage, inform, and offer a place of communicative sharing.  For those who might be starting to consider homeschooling, I aim to offer direction.  For those who are quite content with other types of education, my desire is to offer a greater understanding of what this fast-growing movement is about. 

                                              Thank you for joining me, Sojourners!