Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Friday, October 29, 2010

Rejoicing in His Word!

Selected verses from Psalm 119~

How can a young [wo]man keep his [her] way

By living according to Your word.

I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from Your

I have hidden Your word in my heart
that I might not sin against You.
Praise be to You, O LORD;

teach me your decrees...

Open my eyes that I may see
wonderful things in Your law...

Your statutes are my delight;

they are my counselors...

I run in the path of your commands,
for You have set my heart free!

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle

By William Ross Wallace (1819-1881)

Blessings on the hand of women!
Angels guard its strength and grace,
In the palace, cottage, hovel,
Oh, no matter where the place;
Would that never storms assailed it,
Rainbows ever gently curled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Infancy's the tender fountain,
Power may with beauty flow,
Mother's first to guide the streamlets,
From them souls unresting grow--
Grow on for the good or evil,
Sunshine streamed or evil hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Woman, how divine your mission
Here upon our natal sod!
Keep, oh, keep the young heart open
Always to the breath of God!
All true trophies of the ages
Are from mother-love impearled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Blessings on the hand of women!
Fathers, sons, and daughters cry,
And the sacred song is mingled
With the worship in the sky--
Mingles where no tempest darkens,
Rainbows evermore are hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

"He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the LORD" ~~Psalm 113:9

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dept of Education Trying to Take Over Higher Education

Department of Education Seeks to Regulate Higher Education

William A. Estrada, Esq.
Director of Federal Relations

Melanie Palazzo
Congressional Action Program Director

October 25, 2010

A recently proposed regulation would give the federal Department of Education unprecedented authority over all colleges and universities—even private ones. The proposed regulation, entitled “Program Integrity Issues,” would create new accreditation rules for public and private colleges and universities. It would also allow the federal government to determine what constitutes a “credit hour,” and would require colleges and universities to submit to additional regulation and supervision by state and federal officials.

Before the proposal of this new 87-page regulation, colleges were accredited mostly by independent education councils. There has never been an attempt by the federal government to force states to regulate colleges and universities. Likewise, the federal government has never created a definition of a “credit hour.”

However, the proposed regulation will define terms for every college and university, and require individual states to create agencies that regulate colleges and universities. Every college or university will be required to have “a document issued by a state government agency or state entity that affirms and conveys the authority to the institution to operate educational programs beyond secondary education.”

HSLDA is very concerned that the U.S. Department of Education will use this regulation to control and regulate all higher education. Federal control over the very existence of colleges and universities has never been attempted before this regulation. Additionally, having a federal definition of “credit hour” could easily lead to future regulations that mandate what is taught in colleges and universities. Michael Farris, HSLDA chairman and founder of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia, stated, “The regulation that forces states to create new regulatory bureaucracies is blatantly unconstitutional.”

The final regulation will be issued on November 1, 2010.

Action Requested

We urge you to write or email your U.S. representative and senators and let them know your opinion on this rule. Since this proposed regulation will affect all students, not just homeschooled graduates, there is no need to identify yourself as a homeschooler.

You can include some or all of the following in your message. We encourage you to put this into your own words, and maybe share some of your personal experiences:

“I am very concerned about the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed rule that was published on Friday, June 18, 2010, regarding 34 CFR Parts 600, 602, et al., ‘Program Integrity Issues.’ This proposed rule will give the federal government the power to force the states to create new regulatory bureaucracies to regulate colleges and universities. Additionally, the federal government will be empowered to define what constitutes a ‘credit hour,’ and to force colleges and universities to comply with additional regulations. This proposed rule applies even to private and religious colleges and universities.

I urge you to conduct an investigation into this proposed regulation and use all possible means to stop it from being implemented.”

Find the contact information for your elected officials >>

Word-Filled Wednesday ~#12~ 10/27/10

PASSAGE: ~~selected verses from John 6:47-69~~

[Jesus speaking] "I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. I am the bread of life...I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world:

Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?"

Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man & drink His blood, you have no life in you...Just as the living Father sent Me & I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna & died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever"...

On hearing it, many of His disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?"...

Jesus said to them, "Does this offend you?..."

From this time many of His disciples turned back & no longer followed Him.

"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the twelve.

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? YOU HAVE THE WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE. WE BELIEVE & KNOW THAT YOU ARE THE HOLY ONE OF GOD."

LESSON LEARNED: Anyone who says that Jesus is a whimp & that His teachings are 'mamby-pamby' simply doesn't know Him. Yes, as God's Son & as part of the Trinity He is love & He is justice, but He is also the Lamb of God. He is our once-for-all sacrifice Who purchased our redemption w/His precious, sinless blood. And anyone who could even live long enough to make it to the cross, after being beaten by a troop of guards, whipped to nearly hamburger w/a cat-o-nine-tails, & still carry his heavy instrument of torture to the place of his death...all this after being denied food, drink & sleep...is no wimp!

At one time, Jesus had about 100 disciples following Him around, the core of them being the 12 especially chosen by Him. I think that after He started His ministry & began doing His miracles, He wanted to make sure that those closest to Him ~ who would be the ones to carry out His ministry & preach the Gospel after He went back to heaven ~ would understand that the miracles & the 'fun' of fellowship w/Him was NOT all there was to living the Christian life. It's not ALL hard, but it's not ALL easy, either. When he started teaching the hard things & the mysteries of the faith, many turned away..."This is a hard teaching, who can accept it?"

Frankly, I am disgusted by those who, although well meaning, sweetly tell unbelievers that "When you accept Jesus as your Savior, aaaaall your problems will be over!" Pah-lease! Tell me, is that what happened to you?

Jesus NEVER said that, why should we? This is a fallen, sinful, dying world. What God/Jesus DID say was, "Be strong & courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes w/you; He will never leave you nor forsake you." (Deut. 31:6) And again, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (Heb. 13:5b)

But I'll tell you what I HAVE noticed: the people w/the greatest faith seem to be the people who are hanging on by a mere spiritual string!

I've heard it said that "heroes aren't born heroic, they simply keep going when no one else will." Doesn't that sound like what happens to us in the tough times? So I say, "A Christian isn't one who is born 'holy', but one who endures to the end b/c Jesus says s/he can!"

"If God is for us, who can be against us?"
~~Romans 8:31

THIS is the God & the Savior I serve! THIS is the Holy Spirit Who lives w/in me & guides me! THIS is the God Who is my strength!
"This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
~~Nehemiah 8:10b

THIS is the God Who is my joy!
"...weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning."
~~Psalm 30:5b

And let's not forget that not only do the hard times of this life help us to enjoy the beauty & happy times here, but Oh what joys there are to come, if Jesus is your Savior & Lord!
"Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me, & I will give to everyone according to what he has done."
~~Rev. 22:12

Yes, I will do the hard things here! And I will endure through it all. I can do it because of the faith HE has given me! I can endure because ONLY JESUS has "the words of eternal life"!!


Enjoy other Word Filled Wednesdays at http://acountrymom.blogspot.com/ Please feel free to grab the WFW button for your blog while you're there!!

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~#95~ 10/26/10

For today...

Outside my window...
wind, swaying trees, beautiful leaves blowing all around...we're in a tornado watch right now & anticipating severe weather in the next couple of hours.

I am thinking...of the safety of my family as we're all scattered about, doing our jobs today; I hope we don't lose power during the storm.

I am thankful for...still having a home, that fixing up the clunker car wasn't as expensive as we had feared it would be, for our church home.

From the kitchen...
light lunch, I think I'll try to make some more laundry detergent before the storms hit, just in case we do lose power.

I'm wearing...jeans, pink shirt.

I am remembering...
a funny thing that happened at church on Sunday. :-)

I am going...to work later today.

I am reading...
Bible: Psalms; Of Plymouth Plantation: Bradford's History of the Plymouth Settlement 1608-1650. Timely for Thanksgiving; this is a great read to counter all the revisionist lies most have been taught in public schools about how the Pilgrims treated the Indians so badly...NOT true! It's always better to get your info from someone who was there.

I am hoping...
that the storms won't be as bad as the weather men think. And, of course, for an awesome job for my DH.

On my mind...
waiting expectantly on sweet answers to prayers.

I am creating...a peaceful, Christ-centered home.

I am hearing...the radio, leaves being carried by the wind & swooshing past my window. Powerful & wonderful.

Noticing that...the last of our beautiful maple trees seemed to have exploded in fall color almost over-night.

Pondering these words...Do I read the Bible for 'head knowledge' or 'heart knowledge'? Do I treat the Bible like it's a game of Bible Trivia or allow it to transform me? ~~Paraphrased from Sunday's sermon.

Around the house...looking forward to painting a couple of rooms.

One of my favorite things...
that my girls were privileged to have known one of their great-grandmothers. My grandparents, on both sides, were so much older & their parents were long gone by the time I came along.

Scripture thought...Matt 7:24-25
~ [Jesus speaking] "Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine & puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, & the winds blew & beat
against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock." ~~If my faith is built on the foundation of God's Word, then I CAN face tomorrow!!! And so can you!

Plans for the week...
family time, work, helping to lead worship at a women's retreat this weekend! I'm SO excited...it's at my favorite retreat center. Lots of great fellowship, fun activities & a hayride & bonfire!

Here is a picture thought I'm sharing with you...

Ahhh...one of my happy places. :-) Wouldn't you just love to go there? Sometimes I use this as a screen saver on my PC.

Enjoy other Daybooks at: http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><

Monday, October 25, 2010

Homestead Blessings DVD Give-a-Way!!!

The wonderful West ladies are having agive-a-way!!!

They're giving away their BRAND NEW DVD on "Crafting"!

Go to their blog & read the directions & leave a comment.

Their DVDs are ALWAYS awesome.

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Kitchen Necessities

"...to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up..." ~ Eph. 4:12

Our oldest daughter has been out of the house for nearly a year ~ at 1st, living w/my mom, but when her dementia issues became a little too much for DD#1 to deal w/on top of the demands that came when she was promoted to management at her work-place, she moved in w/a co-worker/friend. Now, this past weekend, DD#1 took the big, exciting step of moving into her very own apartment!

One of the items she came home to take on the move was her copy of the Life Skills workbook that she (we) had worked on during her homeschool high school years. One of the topics we covered was how to 'appoint' your home ~ essentials that one needs to 'set-up house keeping', as our grandmothers used to say. :-) When we were looking into setting-up the kitchen, we went through our own wares & looked into several suggested lists from other sources & came up with this one...

  • 2-3 different sizes of skillets/frying pans; try to have at least 1 cast iron
  • Spatter screen (to set on top of your skillet while frying)
  • 3 sizes of sauce pots
  • Dutch-oven or large pot for pastas/noodles/soups
  • Tea pot
  • 2 muffin tins ~ 6 & 12 count
  • 2 round cake pans
  • 13"x9" cake/lasagna pan
  • 1-2 cookie sheets
  • 1-2 casserole dishes w/lids
  • Loaf pan
  • 8"x8" square baking pan
  • Mixing bowls
  • Silverware serving sets for 4-8 people
  • 4pc place-settings for 4-8 people
  • Selection of 16/12/10 oz glasses/mugs/cups
  • Juice glasses
  • Coffee mugs/cups
  • Serving Spoons
  • Spoon-rests for the stove top
  • Several different types of knives: butcher, paring, vegetable cutting, serrated, bread
  • Rolling pin
  • Biscuit cutter
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Can opener ~ electric stand-up or hand-held
  • Can opener ~ punch-through style
  • Mixing spoons (prefer wooden)
  • Potato peeler
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Grater
  • Colander
  • Hand juicer
  • Apple corer
  • Electric mixer
  • Crockpot
  • Coffee maker
  • Toaster
  • Kitchen Timer
  • Cutting boards ~ 1 for meat & 1 for veggies
  • Oven mitts/pot holders
  • Dish cloths/towels
  • Paper towel holder
  • Napkin holder
  • Salt n pepper shakers
  • Sugar bowl & creamer
  • Canister set ~ or attractive old canning jars of various sizes
  • Cookbooks/favorite family recipes
  • Cookie jar
  • Oil/Vinegar carafes
  • Serving trays

I'm sure your family can think of your own favorite necessities. My favorites are the hand-me-down kitchen utensils...well-worn & used by my mother & grandmother. <3

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Friday, October 22, 2010

Campfire Skillet Breakfast

This is a GREAT 1-skillet breakfast for anytime, but especially yummy & convenient over a campfire!

  • 4 - 6 large potatoes, diced
  • 6 - 8 large eggs
  • 1 lb ground sausage (I like sage or maple)
  • 1/2 or 1 whole sweet onion, chopped
  • Kim's (my) seasoned salt
  • Black pepper
  1. Brown sausage (either kind).
  2. Add potatoes & onion, cook until they begin to get soft but not fall apart.
  3. Season to taste w/seasoned salt & pepper.
  4. Break eggs over the mixture; you may want to season again w/the salt & pepper.
  5. Stir & heat until eggs are cooked through; they will be like scrambled eggs through-out the mixture.
  6. Spoon out onto plates; also good served over biscuits!!


Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Thursday, October 21, 2010

REVIEW: Of Plymouth Plantation ~ Bradford's History of the Plymouth Settlement 1608-1650

Timely reading for Thanksgiving!!!

(Original review written in May 2004 for The Old Schoolhouse magazine)

I have to tell
you that I had to re-write this review after I saw the PBS "reality show" Colonial House. While watching nearly every show (out of 6 parts) with my daughters, after the narrator would make her comments I would have to say to them, "Of course, you realize that that's not what they believed...how that happened...why they did that..." Having read Of Plymouth Plantation, I was sorely disappointed in their revisionist history...even while trying to re-live it!!

One of the myths that was supported by the show is that the Pilgrims really didn't come here for freedom of religion, but for money making ventures. Apparently, the producers/"historians" hadn't gotten hands on this real, honest-to-goodness diary of
someone who was there! A truly original source! Not only did the Pilgrims come to America for their religious freedom, but after having left England and spending 12 years in Holland and Leyden
they wanted to protect their children from the negative peer pressure and the effects that they saw the culture having on them. Sound familiar?

This diary not only covers the reasons they came here, but what happened to them
for over 40 years afterwards. These entries include such things as the trip over on the Mayflower, the settlement at New Plymouth, marriages, births, deaths, their friendships with the Indians, hardships, victories, new arrivals, disappointments, trials and triumphs...all the while giving God the glory for having provided and led.

This is an outstanding way to teach our children the truth of God's providence in the settling of our great country.


Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Word-Filled Wednesday ~#11~ 10/20/10

PASSAGE: Psalm 47 ~

Clap your hands, all you nations;
shout to God with cries of joy.
How awesome is the LORD Most High,
the great King over all the earth!
He subdued nations under us,
peoples under our feet.
He chose our inheritance for us,
the pride of Jacob, whom he loved.

God has ascended amid shouts of joy,
the LORD amid the sounding of
Sing praises to God, sing praises;
sing praises to our King, sing praises.

For God is the King of all the earth;
sing to Him a psalm of praise.
God reigns over the nations;
God is seated on His holy throne.
The nobles of the nations assemble
as the people of the God of
for the kings of the earth belong to
He is greatly exalted.


I am a worshipper.

One of the biggest blessings of my life is that one of the ministries the Lord has allowed me to be involved in is leading His people to His throne through praise & worship. What an honor, what a joy. And, having led worship in 4 different churches in the 28 yrs that I've been a Christian, I've seen a lot of different reactions to worship. I've seen people stand staunchly still, I've seen people raise their hands in a holy hug of longing & love & worship; I've seen people clap their hands & I've seen people shout for joy. I've heard people sing w/the voices of angels & I've been blessed & humbled beyond measure at the heart-felt worship of people singing w/love & joy who couldn't carry a tune in a bucket!

We worship the One Who is able...Who is worthy...Who is the great King over all the earth! I've also played instruments in worship & been involved in some great praise & worship teams w/every type of instrumentalist...from the classically trained to the ones who simply love to play their instruments for the Lord (like me!). And when we come together we sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises!

I hope you enjoy the gift of worship. And I hope that you remember that not only do we sing our love to the Lord, but HE loves you so much that HE sings HIS love to us...

"The LORD your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with
~~Zephaniah 3:17

Enjoy other Word Filled Wednesdays at http://acountrymom.blogspot.com/ Please feel free to grab the WFW button for your blog while you're there!!

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Newspaper Response Letter...

We recently had our PC refurbished. I've been rummaging through some of the files to make sure that as much was transferred as possible. In the process, I came upon a response to a local newspaper article about homeschooling that I wrote & had forgotten about...the same ol' misunderstandings about cyber/charter schools being the same as real homeschooling & 'socialization.' This was from January 1, 2007.

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><


Dayton Daily News response letter – Jan. 1, 2007

Dear DDN,

I was just reading the article by James Cummings regarding homeschooling in the area. Over-all, Mr. Cummings did a nice piece; however, one thing he mistakenly led your readers to believe is that on-line cyber/charter schools, such as Ohio Virtual Academy, are homeschools. It is Ohio Administrative Code fact that cyber/charter schools are actually PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN THE HOME. They are covered under an entirely different section of OAC than homeschooling. Just because the students are “doing” school IN their homes doesn’t mean that they are homeschooling; they are two different things. Cyber/charter schools do not have the freedom to customize their lesson plans to their student’s needs or interests; they are restricted by public school regulations.

When reporters interview public school “officials” regarding homeschooling – which they know virtually nothing about – homeschoolers often feel a mix of aggravation and humor. Aggravation because the supers so often repeat falsehoods that homeschoolers have confronted them about time and time again; humor because…well...for the same reason. If you want information about homeschooling, just go to a homeschooler. Gladly, Mr. Cummings did that, except for his misunderstanding about cyber/charter schools.

When these public school “officials” say that homeschoolers need the socialization that only public schools offer, do they REALLY think that that is a selling point? Why do they think that exposing our kids to bullies, nearly constant cursing, negative peer pressure, drugs, theories being taught as fact as reasons to send our kids to public schools or that this type of behavior is what the “real world” is all about? Do you curse profusely, bully and threaten co-workers, take their lunch money, do drugs at work, socially punish others who do not dress or act like you at your workplace without getting fired? Or what “real world” situation do you know of where everyone is in the same age-group, doing the same work at the same time? I don’t know of any in our real world.

In our real world, we learn around different age-ranges, occupations, settings; using hands-on, books, clubs, mentors, apprenticing, church and real life. God and Jesus are not curse words in our school, They are our Master Teacher.

The socialization argument is such old hat. Homeschoolers are faced with SO MANY opportunities to socialize, do community work and volunteer that one of the biggest problems new homeschoolers have is to decide what NOT to do – to learn to say “no” to too many outside activities! We graduated our oldest daughter this past June (homeschooled her entire life) and one of the things I did was to read off a two-page, single-spaced list of things that she did during her homeschool career; such things as: working on election campaigns – both local and Presidential – logging in over 75 hours of community service activities in 2 years, writing for a national newsletter, plus dance and sports, to name just a few.

With all due respect to Huber Heights superintendent, William Kirby – what “resources and environment” can he possibly offer better than homeschooling? Why would a homeschool parent want to ruin what we have already worked so hard to accomplish in academics, spiritual and character development by sending our children into a dumbed-down situation like what our public schools offer? And cost? Public schools are constantly crying for more and more money – several thousand dollars per year, per student! We have very successfully homeschooled for the past 14 years on around $500 a year – TOTAL! Oh, what I could do with several thousand dollars a year for each of my kids – but it hasn’t been necessary. Parents and other tax payers should be asking the public schools what they’re doing wrong.

There is truly NOTHING that public schools have to offer that we cannot do BETTER ourselves.


Mrs. Kim Wolf
Miami County, Ohio Homeschool Coordinator

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~#94~ 10/19/10

For Today...

Outside my window...
lovely fall sunshine. The leaves are still colorful, but are falling quickly.

I am thinking...
of how life can turn on a dime. One minute all is well, the next - b/c of a phone call, an accident, a good OR a bad decision, etc - all can change forever.

I am thankful for...
the brakes that worked on the dump truck that nearly rear-ended me last week while I was stopped at a red light!

From the kitchen...
a simple lunch for me, everyone else is at work during the day & I will be working tonight. :-/

I am wearing...
jeans, purple long-sleeved shirt.

I am remembering...
my Daddy's wonderful sense of humor & his shining blue eyes.

I am going...
to straighten up the house, read some of my favorite blogs, go to work this afternoon.

I am reading...
Bible: Psalms.

I am hoping...
for a great job, SOON, for my sweet DH. This temp job is depressing for him.

On my mind...
we will probably be turning in 1 of our cars this week. Trying to stay positive for my family.

I am creating...
a peaceful, Christ-centered home.

I am hearing...
radio, typing fingers, Maggie the dog's tags jingling as she trots by me.

Noticing that...
attitude effects so much in life.

Pondering these words...
"Do we realize how important the Word of God, the Bible, is OR do we take it for granted?" ~from Sunday's Sermon, "Is the Bible Reliable?"

Around the house...
projects waiting for the $$ to do them.

One of my favorite things...
discovering homemade cleaners...or health care...or body care...or face care...that really works.

Scripture thought...
Isaiah 57:15 ~ "this is what the high and lofty One says - He Who lives forever, Whose name is holy: 'I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.'"

Plans for the rest of the week...
family time, work, fall baking.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...
I'm considering changing my header photo...hmmm...do you like either of these pictures or should I keep it the same?...

This isn't my kitchen...but WOW!...I wish it were! '-)

This is the picture that is on the icon when I comment on your blog & is under the "About Me" above.

Enjoy other Daybooks at: http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><

Monday, October 18, 2010

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory & grace.

Keep your eyes upon Jesus
And no man will e'er take his place
And through ev'ry hour He will give you power
'Till at last you have run your great race.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy 25th Birthday, Jessica!

To my dearest Jessica,

I just can't believe that this is your 25th birthday! My, where has the time gone? The last time I saw you & held you in my arms, you were a beautiful, auburn-haired 3 months old. But, the LORD had much better plans for you than this ol' broken down world of ours & you have been w/Him ever since then.

But, I'm only human & I miss you...I think about you everyday, even if it's simply a fleeting thought, & I can't wait to give you an eternity's-worth of hugs & kisses! I can still remember how you smelled, how you felt...I know exactly how your little body felt when I held you, when I lifted you to kiss you & when your little fingers wrapped around mine.

25 years ~ can that be true?

I hope you don't mind that we don't visit your grave very often. I feel guilty about it, but once I get there I realize that YOU aren't there at all.

We've kept our promise to you...Jasper & Jenna have always known about you, your picture is always out & we have always spoken freely about you as a family. You would be so proud of those sisters of yours & I know you would have been a fun-loving part of all those teenaged giggles that went on upstairs late at night!

I can't wait to see you, Honey. Tell your other 2 brothers or sisters (we know not which) who were conceived but never born & held, that Mommy & Daddy loves them, too. We'll try to bring a pretty fall bouquet out to you soon.

I love you, Mommy<><

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lesson Planner: Everything Old is New Again (Using the Tried & True)

By Kim Wolf<><

{Originally printed in the Fall 2007 issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine}

When I was around the age of 10, my sweet grandmother gave me one of my most treasured possessions: her McGuffey’s Second Reader. Having grown up in the public/government school system, I was always amazed that my grandparents had to actually buy their school books. Wouldn’t they laugh if they knew that I now homeschooled and we, too, have to buy all of our children’s books?

But when my grandma gave me her old, worn book; when she could still recite stories and poems that she had memorized from them as a child, I just knew that there had to be something special about them. That simple gift began a life-long love for books. Especially the collection of old books.

Once I began homeschooling I would find old books at antique shops, garage sales or on the web. But I had little idea that some old books were being re-published…even whole sets…and I have since used these books time and time again. The two sets we will discuss here will be McGuffey’s Eclectic Readers and Ray’s Arithmetic.

The first set I happened upon were the McGuffey’s Readers. I couldn’t believe my eyes! There, in the gift shop of an historic park, was a whole set of seven readers! And what they contained didn’t disappoint me; the stories and the art work are exactly as the antique volumes were. Little did I realize, until I owned the whole set, that those seven volumes do not actually follow grade years; the seventh reader could actually be considered college-level reading by many. But let’s start from the beginning…

McGuffey’s Eclectic Primer begins with display pages of the upper and lower case alphabet and continues on as a wonderful reader for beginners. If your child has already begun by using other reading programs (such as last month’s Teach Your Children to Read in 100 Easy Lessons or Hooked on Phonics) this will be a great treat. The lessons start with up to six new words being introduced; each showing the common diacritical markings as in long vowel/short vowel/hard consonant markings. Lesson One begins with simple, one-syllable words such as: A cat and a rat. A rat and a cat. Lesson Five is a review and introduces the student to “slate work.” This is a writing lesson that, of course, you are free to use or ignore. These writing exercises are written in 1800’s-style cursive, so even if your little one has begun to use cursive writing, they still may need a little help deciphering some of the older script, like the open lower-case “p” or “f.” By the end of this little book your children will be reading lovely poems such as:

When the stars, at set of sun,

Watch you from on high;

When the light of morn has come,

Think the Lord is nigh…

The First Reader is more of the same with the addition of two-syllable words and a little more emphasis on cursive (“script”) penmanship. The Second Reader is a more progressive reading plan; it has a more detailed “Table of Vocals,” which is a more detailed phonics table and punctuation mark definitions. This volume not only introduces three- and four-syllable words, but is the first reader to actually present each lesson in the form of actual stories. Each story not only uses the newly introduced words, but also teaches lessons in poetry, family values, sibling relationships, forgiveness, animal stories and over-coming fears in priceless prose such as “Afraid in the Dark,” “The Broken Window” and “Kitty and Mousie.” I can still hear my grandma reciting:

Two black eyes had little kitty,

Black as a crow;

And they spied the little mousie,

Long time ago…”

Moving into the Third Reader, we broaden our range of phonics sounds by adding Diphthongs and Subvocals, along with Exercises in Articulation which includes double vowel sounds and blends. This reader also introduces emphasis by using italics and CAPITALS. Punctuation is expanded by including marks and pauses such as hyphens (-), commas (,), Semicolons (;) and colons (:), among others. Stories are more detailed and expansive as this reader could carry children into sixth or seventh grade. Once again, these stories not only teach but they are a joy to read.

McGuffey’s Fourth Reader, ideal for Junior High level readers, draws readers deeper into phonics and develops the learner’s articulation. This is re-enforced through practice with inflection: the American way of raising one's voice at the end of a question or lowering one's voice at the end of a sentence.

In this reader you will begin to find familiar stories and poems like Robinson Crusoe’s House by Daniel DeFoe and Hugh Idle and Mr. Toil by Hawthorne. And just as the reading matures, you will find that the drawings do as well. Beautiful old engravings with fine detail.

The Fifth Reader not only brings a reader into upper Jr. high but into Sr. high school level reading. With more complex phonics development, the reader will also learn more about inflections: circumflex, monotone, accent, emphasis, pitch and poetic pauses. The Sixth Reader, high school and college level, jumps right in with articulation and dives further in with more on inflection, accent, emphasis and reading verse. The Fifth and Sixth Readers are books that I simply enjoy “just reading.” Here you will find many treasured old stories and poetry: The Village Blacksmith by Longfellow, The Snowstorm by Thomson; Death of Little Nell by Charles Dickens, Patrick Henry’s Speech Before the Virginia Convention…sections of Shakespeare, the Bible, Washington Irving, Daniel Webster. These are lessons that will be well learned.

Another happy find was the whole set of Ray’s Arithmetic. This eight-volume set not only covers Primary to “Higher” math, but also contains a Parent-Teacher Guide, Test Examples and two Key books.

The Parent-Teacher Guide, a new addition to the re-produced set, has great ideas and teaching schedules, of sorts. Even if the publisher had stopped at the Introduction, it would be worth having. You know, right off the bat, that you have a stellar teaching/learning aid when the intro says: “While learning arithmetic, children develop their God-given, natural, Biblical mode of thinking. Biblical thinking begins with the premises that God created everything and that basic truths of the creation are self-evident to us…With this mode of thinking and study, it is natural to view God’s creation as orderly. Stars keep time more perfectly than clocks can ever manage, crystals teach solid geometry, musical tones…vibrate in the mathematical patterns that man discovers rather than creates. The heavens declare to us the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork.” Isn’t that wonderful?

Also in the introduction you will find a chart that shows the suggested grade levels for each book: Primary = first and second grades; Intellectual = third and fourth grades; Practical = fifth and sixth grades; Higher = seventh & eighth grades. Another nice find is a suggested Scope and Sequence and Teaching Tips. My recommendation? “Suggestions” are always fine and appreciated, but remember…these are YOUR children and your school is YOUR school, do what works best for you and yours.

As you may suspect, Ray’s New Practical Arithmetic starts right out with Numbers and Figures…every student must connect one object with the numeral 1 and the name “one.” I was never a “sentence problem” kind of student, but the beginner “Oral Exercises” can be so much fun with the little ones. There is NOTHING like watching those little light-bulbs click on! It has been my experience with other math programs that, in my humble opinion, they start the children on multiplication and division far too early. Even though this Primary book introduces multiplication and division, it’s done in one of the simplest ways I have seen. But, once again, you know your children best, use your own judgment as to when to dig deeper with your children.

Ray’s New Intellectual Arithmetic begins with a review of addition and subtraction including sentence problems, tables and written problems. Since the recommended grades for this book are third and fourth grades, it is a more appropriate time to work into multiplication and division. The tables are laid out perfectly and this would be a good time to memorize them. You will NOT want for exercises; this book is replete with material. From there we move on to Fractions, Tables, Ratios, and Percentages. The detail covered in this volume is something to be admired and you will certainly understand how such a little book can easily be used for two years.

For grades 5 and 6 we move on to Ray’s New Practical Arithmetic. This book takes students into the differences between the Arabic and Roman Systems of Notation and place value. After a review of addition and subtraction, we move into contractions of multiplication and division. From there we move into what my children always considered the “fun” side of math: money, measuring, time, miscellaneous tables, compound numbers, Longitude and time; then on into factors. This point would be a good stopping point for fifth grade so that in sixth grade we can move on to decimals, the Metric System, percentages, interest, exchange of monies from different countries, insurance, taxes, ratio, and beginning geometry. These are very full years!

The last volume is Ray’s New Higher Arithmetic suggested for seventh and eighth grades. Here, you will have the option of reviewing addition and subtraction or moving on to higher multiplication and division. Upon first glance at the Table of Contents it would seem that there will be a lot of review; true on one hand, but not on the other. Once again there will be work on properties, fractions, decimals, ratio and percentage; but we will work at a much deeper level to include what is essentially introductions into accounting principles, taxes, stocks, profit and loss, commission and Algebra.

If you want to teach your children using the tried and true methods that worked so well for our fore-fathers and our grandparents, you will thoroughly enjoy using these wonderful reproduction books. There’s truly nothing like them.


You will find both sets available through Christian Book Distributors (CBD) at www.Christianbook.com or 1-800-247-4784. Books can be purchased in completed sets or separately.

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