Sunday, March 23, 2014



I have good, good news. Spring is here. Not only is spring here, but we’ve had SUNSHINE in our neck of the woods. It does wonders for the mind and spirit. We have another day of lovely weather before it turns liquid gray around here.


We’ve spent time outside this week, working on yard clean-up and such. It has felt good to breathe fresh air and feel the rays of the sun—even if it hasn’t been super warm (50s and 60s, but tomorrow should reach 70 degrees).

The boys got new bikes, and they’ve seen a lot of action in just a few days—even when it’s hard to put down a good book.


The boys and Russ are also in the middle of a two week break from swim practices. Hallelujah. Russ desperately needed some breathing room in his schedule—even if the break has been full of other odd jobs.


We attended a wedding yesterday (Saturday) and a big joint sister-birthday party this afternoon. No pictures. Tragic. I also intended to complete this post days ago, and I’m just getting around to finishing it…


I turn 40 in one week. I had grand visions of a drumroll of some sort, but it may turn out to be anticlimactic after all is said and done.

About that energy thing… You may be very proud of me. I’ve been outside some, but I’ve also worked out with the Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred DVD FIVE TIMES since my “energy begets energy” post last week. Considering I could hardly move after the first two workouts, I’m very proud of myself. I tell myself that it is only 20 minutes. I have absolutely no excuse, and it is a great workout in 20 minutes. It felt rather terrific last night (for a lazy person who hates to exercise, anyway), and I’m not sore today. Progress.

Have you read those little poster things that mentions a bunch of things women should be able to accomplish (home-cooked meals, a clean house, homeschooling kids, quality time with husband, whatever) and then the punch-line: pick two. Well, my poster would read: pick one. This week—working out, yes; eating well, no; up early, no. Sigh.

Maybe I can manage TWO things this coming week. That would be fantastic.

In reviewing the past month or so of posts, I wondered whether my readers feel like they get whiplash bouncing from subject to subject. (Do you?) I sure am all over the place, aren’t I? Like a box of chocolates…

Are you on spring break this week? We don’t have Classical Conversations tomorrow, but the boys still have choir and we’ve had enough breaks in the past two months to last until June. Besides, it’s time for some serious Memory Master business! I’ve got all my memory work down, but the boys have a little way to go before mastery.

And some food for thought while I’m busy being productive this week:

On Reading

::  Hope from an Unlikely Place @ Story Warren

Perhaps the days we feel least like reading stories of knights and dragons, of giant wooden horses and sea serpents, and of mythical gilded boxes filled with the problems of the world – are the very days that we need to catch a glimpse of the shadow of Hope. In the beginning, Hope spoke while hovering over darkness. In the end, it will sound like rushing waters and blaring trumpets. But while we’re waiting, Hope’s whisper can be heard in the most unexpected of places – like the funerals of saints and the flutter of fairy wings.

::  Threads @ Story Warren

When our children emerge from home and set out on their own adventures, they will encounter many foreign lands, each with its own set of myths, customs, and adventures. Yet they will not be venturing on their own. Deeply embedded in their souls, they will carry the adventures of Pooh on a blustery day, Sir Lancelot as he fights for all that is good, and Bilbo Baggins, although conflicted, as he sets off for his Tookish adventures…

On Fear, Sorrow, and Joy

::  Love Begets @ The Rabbit Room (This post was about the death of a pet, to which I cannot relate, but this passage jumped out at me)

So here is what I want to remember and never forget: Anxiety is the devil. Fear is a taste of hell because it cuts us off from the ever-offered rest of God’s love. And fear cannot do one damn thing to avert the thing feared. Sorrow, on the other hand, is a kind friend, and when it comes, grace comes, too, and all the tender mercies of God. All fear is the fear of loss and death; all love comes with a price tag of pain; all true sorrow has its counterpoint of joy. And it’s real. We’re living it in the most vivid way. And if we’re running along the beach laughing at one moment and weeping over the grief that is coming the next, well then, this is life abundant, the full package. And the joy is more real than the grief because the joy is forever and the pain is for but the passing shadow of this life.

On Music and Repetition

::  One more time: Why we love repetition in music @ Aeon Magazine

In fact, part of what it means to listen to something musically is to participate imaginatively.

Repetition serves as a handprint of human intent. A phrase that might have sounded arbitrary the first time might come to sound purposefully shaped and communicative the second.

Repeated exposure makes one sound seem to connect almost inevitably to the next, so that when we hear ‘What is love?’, ‘Baby, don’t hurt me’ immediately plays through our minds. Few spoken utterances contain this irresistible connection between one part and the next. And when we do want bits of speech to be tightly bound in this way – if we’re memorising a list of the presidents of the United States, for example – we might set it to music, and we might repeat it. Listening seems musical when the current bit of sound feels like it’s inextricably pulled to the next bit of sound. Repetition intensifies this effect.


Kellie said...

Ha! Yes, I can never seem to accomplish exercising and eating well in the same week! Same thing with special projects -- we were on spring break last week, so I spent the entire week trying to organize our basement (it was really, really bad), but in the meantime the rest of the house looks like it exploded.

Your spring pictures are gorgeous and inspiring! We had some tastes of spring last week, but today it's snowing!

Oh, and I personally love the "box of chocolate" subject material you cover. It's how my brain works too. :)

KellyinPA said...

Don't change your style, Heidi, your blog is a pleasure to view and read:) Curious, what book has your son so interested that he can't put it down even to ride his bike?:)

Jessica Stock said...

I really appreciate you giving us some of the whole picture- as homeschooling involves all of our selves, home, spirit, family, health . .. AND school! It helps me so much to know how other women try to manage it all.