Technically this is half a wrap-up since we didn’t complete week 8 of our school work this week. The girls went to spend a few nights with grandparents…something they are always excited to do! But perhaps they did more work than I give them credit for. I found these pages in the toy room yesterday. Apparently my ten year old is making lesson plans and teaching her younger sisters. If I know C-Bear, they are in good hands!
I started the week off by trying something different – Monday morning grocery shopping. With Monday being PJ’s day off, I left him to oversee the girls’ lessons on that morning, and Little Mister and I headed to the grocery store. What a contrast to my usual Friday or Saturday grocery run! Apparently Monday morning the local seniors head out to shop, and they are a talkative bunch. It made for a very pleasant outing and lent a completely different feel to this errand. I think it might have to become part of my regular routine.
Monday afternoon we finally made it to a local pumpkin patch for our annual “school” photos.
After our picture taking and pumpkin picking, we spontaneously decided to head to a nearby trail. What we thought would be a quick walk in the woods turned into a two hour hike. It was wonderful! I think the woods are my favourite place to be this time of year.
Monday evening (still not done with Monday yet!) PJ and I had a homeschool related meeting about an hour away from our house. After our great conversation and lots of laughs we headed out to our van (which was parked in the farmyard) to drive home. In the dark I thought I spied some sort of large dog, a yellow lab or golden retriever or some such breed, when my eyes suddenly discerned what looked like horns on the top of its head. Then I realized I was looking at a huge sheep just standing nonchalantly in the middle of the driveway behind our van. Apparently he’s their “guard sheep”. I was tired. It was late. And it just cracked me up! We were thankful for our van’s backup camera…
It was a busy week with lots of later than usual nights. Tuesday was our homeschool moms bookclub discussion at Starbucks. It was our meeting to discuss C.S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces. I think this has been my favourite bookclub read so far. There are just so many biblical themes that grab you. It’s not an allegory because certain characters do not consistently represent certain persons or ideas; it’s more so general themes and insights into human nature, particularly our sinful, unrepentant human nature that are so well portrayed. The story itself is entertaining, a unique take on the myth of Cupid and Psyche. It’s the last novel Lewis wrote and is somewhat autobiographical, particularly regarding his reluctant conversion to Christianity. I found it fascinating and soul satisfying! Our next book is a comfort read as we head into the Christmas season soon – The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge.
Favourite one-on-one moments this week:
With the three girls away and Daddy not home for supper on Thursday evening, Little Mister and I enjoyed a candlelight dinner together of tuna casserole, spinach salad, and brownies and ice cream for dessert. He ate up every bite. He is not always happy at meal times, but that dinner will be remembered as an especially pleasant one, a sweet memory of me and my boy.
On Friday I enjoyed a spur of the moment visit with a good, longtime friend. It was one of those God ordained times of mutual encouragement and fellowship. She actually took the time to write me a thank you note before I left, and reading it on the way home while waiting at a traffic light brought tears to my eyes. I pray for my children to have the blessing of forming such enduring, God-honouring friendships from a young age. A friend that you share so many wonderfully silly (and serious) memories with and with whom you continue to live out your faith and walk with God as the years go by is a rare and beautiful treasure!
From my journal of thanks this week:
- a van that is now road trip worthy (even if it means us being $900 poorer)
- being stared down by a “guard sheep” – highlight of my day!
- taken by surprise by a pumpkin coloured sky at sunset
- so thankful for our CM group and a great first meeting of this “school” year
- the kids’ new costumes…sooooooo much fun! (Our three princesses have their very own Grenadier Guard. Little Mister thinks he’s dressing up as a prince. Either way, it is absolutely adorable. These costumes will be enjoyed for years to come!)
From my commonplace this week (from The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge):
The poets did at least put it into words for you and ease the pain of it.
Haven’t we all experienced those moments when a hymn, a psalm, a poem can capture the unutterable mix of emotions we are feeling? Thank God for poets who can bring our confusion into focus, who can sift and sort and precisely echo what our own hearts can’t seem to relay to our lips!
For only she would really remember this garden. The other two with their happy, objective minds would always be absorbed in the moment but she would look backward and remember, and look forward and be afraid, and the present would always confuse her because she would never entirely live in it.
We hear a lot about the virtue of learning to live in the moment, but I have to admit I am sometimes one of those people who too often look backward or forward. On the other hand, I think a vivid memory can be a blessing. Like today as we pulled into the driveway of my grandmother’s old house to pick up our girls who were visiting their grandparents there…my Gram passed away eleven years ago, and the memory that flashed as clear as crystal across my mind’s eye this afternoon happened probably thirty-three years ago…I was five years old again, down on my hands and knees with my grandmother in the grass on her front lawn searching for four leaf clovers. She had quite a collection, pressed under the plastic of those sticky old style photo albums. The warmth of the summer sun, the warmth of her smile, her childlike excitement as she pried back the grass with her large, wrinkled hands and meticulously shaped fingernails…it all flooded my mind. I consider those memories that I can almost taste a gift, and if I had to give that up in order to more fully “live in the moment”, I’m not sure I’d be willing to make that exchange.