Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Leading Little Ones to God by Marian M. Schoolland

I just finished reading this book of Bible teachings to my two youngest girls.  Some times the older children would listen in.  We have a short devotion time at 10:00AM at the start of our lessons.  Overall I enjoyed the book, though, I did have to edit a bit (in some parts quite a bit) as I went along.  I don't expect any book but the Bible to be infallible, so I try to read Bible teaching books very carefully, doing the best I can to weigh them against Scripture.  The children enjoyed it for the most part.  There were some interesting Bible illustrations, but it was not as well loved as their favorite Bible story book, The Child's Story Bible by Catherine F. Vos.

We have now picked this one back up for another read through.  The children love this book.  Whenever I finish a chapter, they always beg, "Just one more.  Oh, please, please, please!"  The stories are well-written and capture their imagination.  I have to edit a little bit, but as I said before, that is just part of responsible reading aloud.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Good Reads: The Glitter & the Gold

I thoroughly enjoyed this book that a friend lent to me.  This is the autobiography of Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan, American heiress and Duchess of Marlborough.  Peaked by my interest in Edwardian times, I was eager to hear the personal account of someone who lived in the period.  The social history was, of course, very interesting, and I took a measure of pride in how an American could hold her own among the stately women of Europe, but what I was most impressed with was the generous and charitable spirit of the authress.  Born to wealth and privilege, she had a gilded but not empty headed upbringing.  To her parents' credit, she was well educated and taught to value wisdom over beauty.  She had a keen sense of responsibility and lived within the confines of her life, for her wealth certainly did not mean freedom.  At age 19 she was forced into marriage with the ninth Duke of Marlborough, by her mother, who later apologized for pursuing the union, as she only thought it would be for her daughter's good.  Consuelo makes the best of her new life in England.  She gives herself over to the joys and responsibilities of motherhood and diligently fulfills the tasks required of an English Duchess.  Throughout her years of wearing the coronet, later in her single years and then during her second marriage to Colonel Jacques Balsan, a French aristocrat, Consuelo is active in good works, whether it is reading to an old, blind English woman or in her daily hospital work with ailing French children.  I am thankful for her example.  She used her creativity within the confines of her life to better the lives of others, and in so doing, she found her own joy.  Her life struck me as an answer to the questions, such as "what should I do with my life?" put forth by some of the scions of today's ultra rich American families, like Jamie Johnson who produced the documentary Born Rich.
This was truly an inspirational read, for anyone, whether rich or poor, privileged or hard pressed, can take something from her example and strive to do as the old saying says, "bloom where we are planted."

Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013...It's Been a Great Year!

At Hannah Ford's Wedding 2014

Father Daughter Dance

A Dapper Young Gentleman

Skiing Winter 2013

Playing at the Cowboy Show

New Magic Set

Rebekah is 11!

A winter view from our porch

New kid on the block

Time for a magic show

Cherry tree and children in bloom

Making a comic strip

The Milanese Nightingale

Sitting on the dock of the bay

Creation study amongst the forsythias

Ready for a swim

Spring Smile

Would you trust this dog?

The newest little lady

Target practice

Playing in the sand

Riding bareback

Sand castle time

Riding western around the ring

Noah's Stash Bash

Happy times on the slopes

On the hot dog

Ski bunny


Birthday girl

Grapes at Granddaddy's


Having fun in the pool

Enjoying pancake faces at Cafe Sea Biscuit

The philosopher

Enjoying a bite at Mr. Miller's birthday party

The sweet Millers

Playing for Mr. Miller at his birthday celebration

Kayak time

Mrs. White in the conservatory with a candlestick.


Walking like Egyptians at Tapestry

Life is wonderful!

Bad Bob

Billy and Pee Wee

Banana Splits

Bile Dem Cabbage

Shall we dance?

Egyptian beauties


Taking a break at Moses Cone


Ruthie Boothie lost a toothy

Hanging out with the Smiths

With the caddish

Let's dance!

The Orange Blossom Special - amazing.

Staying warm on a carriage ride at the Greenbrier

Refute the Pope

With Dear Granddaddy

Patch Manor (where John's mother grew up)

Cousin Caroline's Baptism.  This is a special photo to me because in addition to my husband and children it contains my parents, siblings, spouses and their children.  God has been very good to me!

Bekah and Bullet

Medieval Times

Little Princess

Homeschooled Roosters.  They are at peace with one another and take turns crowing.

A Ru with a view

The top six at the top o Beech

Hannah roasting chestnuts over an open fire.

Play acting with the Edmistens

Happy Birthday, Elizabeth and Greta!

Elizabeth is 14!

Who is that masked girl?

A winter day

Banjo lesson

Pickin' and Grinnin'

The Rambling Rosehips at Union Grove

What's the trouble, cowgirl?

Our chick

Rebekah is 11!

On a nature walk


Looking out for one another

At Grandfather Mountain

Black Bear

The Swinging Bridge

Monkey See Monkey Do

Apple Faces

Sarah is 4!

The Rambling Rosehips at Murray's Mill

Happy times in Oberammagau!

Uncle Frank is safely home!

The White Family 2013