Saturday, August 13, 2016

Wendell Berry and A Sabbath Mood

The Angelus, by Jean-Francois Millet
Whatever is foreseen in joy
Must be lived out from day to day.
Vision held open in the dark
By our ten thousand days of work.
The hand must ache, the face must sweat.
And yet no leaf or grain is filled
By work of ours; the field is tilled
And left to grace. That we may reap,

Great work is done while we’re asleep.
When we work well, a Sabbath mood
Rests on our day, and finds it good.
-Wendell Berry, 1979, no. X

I read this poem a few years back on the blog that takes its title from this same poem. I was struck by the beauty and realism in this poem for us homeschooling families. We work hard and yet the growth is up to God. It is to Him we look. Yet we don't leave the fields unplowed. Indeed, "the hand must ache, the face must sweat." But it is God who gives the increase as the Apostle Paul says in his letter to the Corinthians. We are not in this alone and that should give us great comfort.


A few weeks ago, in the library, I came across a book of poetry by Wendell Berry. I was eager to read it because of my experience with the above poem. So I have been reading my way through it and then this week I came across an article, on The Gospel Coalition, about our need for Wendell Berry's perspective on nurturing as opposed to exploitation. Read it here:

Sunday, July 31, 2016


by Walter de la Mare
Wide are the meadows of night,
And daisies are shining there,
Tossing their lovely dews,
Lustrous and fair; 
And through these sweet fields go,
Wanderers amid the stars --
Venus, Mercury, Uranus, Neptune,
Saturn, Jupiter, Mars.

 'Tired in their silver, they move,
And circling, whisper and say,
Fair are the blossoming meads of delight
Through which we stray.

Saturday, June 18, 2016


We have such long winters here in the mountains that one almost forgets what summer is like. Yet, it has finally arrived and we are thoroughly enjoying it! Along with baseball games or practices every night here are a few signs that summer has indeed arrived.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Refreshing Read on Parenting

I have often heard people joke about babies being a "little bundle of depravity" and it has always bothered me. I understand that it is somewhat tongue-in-cheek and it is a joke intended to drive home the reality that we are all fallen, but I think it overlooks a great truth--namely that we are created in God's image. The personhood of every child coming into this world is something at which we should marvel! That is why I appreciate the following article by Jen Wilkin.  Your Child Is Your Neighbor

Monday, April 11, 2016

Poetry Study-Langston Hughes

Mother to Son

Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So, boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps.
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now—
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

"Never be within doors when you can rightly be without." -Charlotte Mason

Wednesday, April 06, 2016


For the past two mornings we have had some lovely visitors at our bird feeders. They arrive just a little after 6 a.m.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Signs of Spring

Signs of spring in the Rocky Mountains are definitely different than what I grew up with on the Great Plains. For one thing there is still plenty of snow when March 20th rolls around. The daffodils have not even sent up their green shoots, nor the tulips. This is our fourth spring to live in the mountains and we are growing more accustomed to this winter wonderland and what early signs of spring look like. For instance today I saw the first bluebird and a red winged blackbird. The ice on the river has begun to break up and the river is flowing nicely amid its snow banks. We are still skiing, but the snow is not so much powder as it is icy, and there is mud everywhere. One thing that we have not yet seen, but are looking forward to as a sure sign of spring are the white pelicans that nest just down the road from us. When they arrive we are told it is surely spring.

Vivaldi- It's Spring Time To Sing Vivaldi

Although, it does not yet look like this in the high Rocky Mountains, it won't be long!

Springtime in the Rockies

Written In March -
by William Wordsworth

The cock is crowing,
The stream is flowing,
The small birds twitter,
The lake doth glitter
The green field sleeps in the sun;
The oldest and youngest
Are at work with the strongest;
The cattle are grazing,
Their heads never raising;
There are forty feeding like one!

Like an army defeated
The snow hath retreated,
And now doth fare ill
On the top of the bare hill;
The plowboy is whooping- anon-anon:
There's joy in the mountains;
There's life in the fountains;
Small clouds are sailing,
Blue sky prevailing;
The rain is over and gone!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Georgia O'Keefe Reproductions

This year for Artist Study we studied the works of Georgia O'Keefe. We read two short biographies and attended an art exhibit where we were able to get an up close look at her original work.

Each week after reading from the biography we would do a picture study. In conclusion to our studies we have now started doing our own reproductions.  Here are our first reproductions.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Charlotte Mason Principles #11-13


"We, believing that the normal child has powers of mind which fit him to deal with all knowledge proper to him, give him a full and generous curriculum, taking care only that all knowledge offered to him is vital, that is, that facts are not presented without their informing ideas. Out of this conception comes our principle that:
'Education is the Science of Relations' ; that is, a child has natural relations with a vast number of things and thoughts: so we train him upon physical exercises, nature lore, handicrafts, science and art, and upon many living books, for we know that our business is not to teach him all about anything, but to help him to make valid as many as may be of -
'Those first-born affinities
That fit our new existence to existing things.'
In devising a syllabus for a normal child, of whatever social class, three points must be considered:
  1. He requires much knowledge, for the mind needs sufficient food as much as does the body.
  2. The knowledge should be various, for sameness in mental diet does not create appetite ( i.e.,      curiosity).
  3. The knowledge should be communicated in well-chosen language,  because his attention responds naturally to what is conveyed in literary form."