The only picture we took today.

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My Little Foodie

He’s not much for books – unless it’s a recipe book.

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Bring Back the Blog

I’ve been saying this for awhile: it’s time for blogging to make a come back. Not “buy my stuff” blogging (the internet is too full of that mess) – I’m talking personal blogging. Like we did way back in the early 2000s.  Now Cal Newport is saying it.  He uses more technical terms, but he is suggesting that people post to their own sites instead of to social media.

I’m on a year plan to extricate myself from Facebook. Every day I go in to the “on this day” feature and review all my previous posts from that date. Any memories worth saving (mostly funny stuff my kids said) I write down in an actual notebook. Then I delete all the posts from that date. I am trying not to post anything new there, either. The idea is that in a year my account will be empty. If I delete my account now, memories will be lost – things I posted there, but recorded no where else. I’m realizing that I basically gave my parenting memories to Facebook. But I’m taking them back.  Continue reading

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What I Read – January/February 2018

Here’s what I read in January and February (I started writing this thinking we were at the beginning of March. Sort of shocked to realize that March is almost over.):

1776 (David McCullough) – More about George Washington than I expected. And better than the biography of G.W. I’d finished at the end of last year.

Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child (Esolen) – I love everything I’ve read by Esolen.

On Writing Well (Zinsser) – I loved the beginning, when he was all nerdy about word choices and grammar. It got less interesting when he began talking about specific genres. Then he insulted Ben Hur and I quit.

Little Town on the Prairie (Wilder) – I like these later books better than the earlier ones.

These Happy Golden Years (Wilder)

The Power of Prayer in a Believer’s Life (Spurgeon) – A series of sermons on prayer.

The Moonstone (Collins) – On John Senior’s list of Good Books. Considered the first detective novel. I started listening to the audio, then switched to a Kindle version for speed.

Terms of Service and the Price of Constant Connection (Silverman) – Made me think, and provoked some interesting conversation with my husband. But the author’s suggestions at the end were goofy.

Who Killed Homer: The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom (Hanson) – More about reforming university classics departments than I expected. I skipped around and read parts, not all.

The Phantom Tollbooth (Juster) – We’ve had this on our shelves for awhile and I thought I’d give it a try. Some funny word play.

The Intellectual Life (Sertillanges) – LOVED. LOVED. Will re-read, probably this year.

The War Against Grammar (Mulroy) – Preaching to the choir, here.

Hamlet (Shakespeare) – Read for a webinar. I miss Shakespeare, after all the time we spent together last year.

Life Under Compulsion (Esolen) – It’s Esolen. It’s good.

Howard’s End (Forster) – Read with the Close Reads podcast. I didn’t like it. It didn’t hold together, weird stuff happened at the end, the characters didn’t come alive.

Read to Ben:

Sarah, Plain and Tall (MacLachlan)

The Bears on Hemlock Mountain (Dalgliesh)

Benjamin Franklin (D’Aulaire)

Mary Poppins (Travers)

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Enduring Discord

Last Wednesday I went to a classical education event held on the campus of St. John’s College in Annapolis. I enjoyed a day away from my regular responsibilities, a day thinking about the classical tradition, a day amongst adults. Some parts of the presentation were better than others (the two-hour long teaching on mimetic teaching was not my favorite), but one thought has stuck with me and was brought into particular focus during the symphony concert I attended last night.

Wednesday, in a talk about the 7 Liberal Arts, Andrew Kern observed that these arts bring harmony when they’re mastered.  Arithmetic teaches us to endure discord. We have to live in that tension of not knowing for a time. Eventually we understand, and then there’s harmony. He mentioned that we see this principle at work in other places in our lives as well. We have to endure discord to get to harmony. Pop music, he said, makes us lazy because the tension is resolved so quickly. We don’t have to live with it, struggle with it, try to understand it. The harmony is immediate. Instant resolution.  Continue reading

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Calling All Grammarians

How would you diagram this sentence?

His prayer of submission to the Father is a powerful example for us.

(Our grammar textbook is from a Mennonite publisher. The sample sentences are full of Christian and farming references.)

Here’s the given answer:

Abby and I are confused by the placement of the words “for us” on the diagram. Shouldn’t that go under “example”? What kind of example? An example “for us.” I see it as an adjective. I don’t understand how “for us” could be an adverb modifying “is.”

The lesson is about verbals used as adjectives. One small section discusses prepositional phrases used as adjectives or adverbs: “a prepositional phrase used as an adjective always comes immediately after the substantive it modifies.” Wouldn’t that fit here?

I don’t remember doing anything this detailed in my public school grammar studies. I’d really like to understand it better.


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Bible Reading Plan for 2018

As often as I blogged at the end of last year, I never got around to writing about my Bible reading plan. Every year I choose a plan to help me read through the entire Bible. Last year I used the M’Cheyne plan, which has you read in four different places every day. I thought that was a little jarring – changing genres or stories so quickly in a morning’s reading. I also read For the Love of God, daily readings which are based on the M’Cheyne plan.

This year I decided to read straight through the Bible, only one book at a time. Instead of reading four passages quickly, I plan to read 2-3 chapters a day and take time to read the many notes that my study Bible includes. I’m also re-reading How to Read the Bible Book by Book, which has commentary on smaller sections. At times, I may steal an idea from the Bible Eater’s Plan (a plan that made my short list) and read one book in one sitting.

I’d also like to focus more on prayer this year. I am currently reading The Power of Prayer in a Believer’s Life, a collection of sermons on prayer by Charles Spurgeon. I read a section of that each morning. And I finally bought a copy of The Valley of Vision, a book of Puritan prayers, and read/pray through one of those each morning.

I’d like to do more memorizing, but I haven’t been successful there yet. I’ve tried to memorize Philippians a few times, but only made it (wobbly-like) through one chapter. No current memory goals, but don’t worry, I feel guilty about it. 😉

What are your Bible reading goals and plans for 2018? If you haven’t chosen one yet, it’s not too late! Here are some options to consider.

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