Other Gardens in America

I’m just starting seeds on my bench to put in the garden in a handful of weeks.  While it’s highly unlikely that my garden will ever make it into print, it’s beautiful.  Even now, in it’s hidden state, it’s a glory to behold.  I love knowing that just around the corner, it will be glamorous for a time and will go back into hiding toward the end of the year.  I’m learning the rhythm of it and that begins with starting seeds.

My seeds this year are from Johnny’s Selected Seeds and Wildseed Farms with some handed over starts from others.  This year, I’m planning to added crushed limestone to the wider paths (similar to the research garden at Lady Bird Johnson’s Wildflower Center) and I hope to add a little whimsy for Baby Sugar to enjoy when she comes to visit.  She’s not Monty Don, but she’s a sweet pea of a gardener already.  Her Daddy has exposed her to gardening for months now and she’s just now able to walk in it with him instead of being carried.  She’ll get to pull weeds and pick veg and flowers here in Lolly’s garden soon, too.

Though my garden isn’t pictured in magazines, or on YouTube, I draw on suggestions from those that have made their debut in a variety of media.  Many of the gardens I’ve studied have been those that Monty Don has shared in print and on screen.  Recently, I found out that he has a new series on American Gardens.  Just lovely!  I just happen to like mine better.

Enjoy some other gardens in America.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Hymnology as Encouragement and Prayer

“Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever.  Amen.”

Hebrews 13:6

“We all have need to be trained to see, and to have our eyes opened before we can take in the joy that is meant for us in this beautiful life.”

-Charlotte Mason

“For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”  II Corinthians 4:17-18

Sometimes we can’t see what it right in front of us, especially in winter.  Everything seems “dead” in the yard and garden.  The official time changes bringing darkness earlier to our clocks.  Our bodies feel tired.  We just can’t put a name to the face of what we’re feeling, but it looks like we’re behind and out of time.  It seems as if not enough progress has been made during the time we’ve spent studying with our children over the past semester.  We just want things to get better, or easier, or just not have to seem like it’s all up to us to cram this stuff into our kids before some deadline that appears to be fast approaching.

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”  -Angela Schwindt

Isn’t that the truth?!?  We try to cover it all, but they just keep making us cry out to God for help.  We think we are teaching them about all of these subjects, as best we can, and they either just don’t get it, just don’t pay attention, or just don’t care.  Meanwhile, these same kids are STILL teaching us what life is all about…

It’s an age old story.  Lost, in need of help; in need of a Savior!  But, we just can’t see what we’ve already seen…

LISTEN TO “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” – Matt Maher.

What did Matt Maher sing?  Rejoice!  Again, I say, Rejoice!  For unto us is born, the Savior of the world.  Take heart, oh weary soul, take heart!  For help is on His way, and Holy is His Name!

In “Winter”, we forget what we’ve seen.  What we already know.  But, hymns help us realize what we tend to forget.

“It is incontestable that music induces in us a sense of the infinite and the contemplation of the invisible.”  -Victor de Laprade

If we want to remember to see the invisible, we need to concentrate on what God sees, no what men see.  We need to concentrate on the eternal, not the temporal.

SING “Be Thou My Vision” 144

We get depleted in “Winter” if we don’t depend on God.  Maybe that’s one of the many reasons He gives us these children to teach, so they can teach us.  They remind us, without any words that we need to depend on Him.

“To the Teacher:  But for you, if you are ambitious and alive with interest for your work, there is a promising art-soil throughout the length and breadth of this big land of ours, from which a rich harvest may be reaped, provided a healthy seed be planted with care and the young shoot thence watched and nurtured with intelligence, faith and enthusiasm.”

-Maud Powell, “The American Girl and Her Violin”

Sounds wonderful, but some days you have to act like Mary Kay and smile while you talk just so you can believe you’re happy and hope everyone else believes it, too.  So, smile and pray!

“There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is.”

-William P. Merrill

Let’s think of hymns as prayers for a minute.

SING “Lord Speak to Us” 403

Sometimes this homeschool thing feels like just a bunch of hard work.

“Music is a friend of labor for it lightens the task by refreshing the nerves and spirit of the worker.”

-William Green

SING “O Master, Let Me Walk with You” 492

“All deep things are song.  It seems somehow the very central essence of us, song; as if all the rest were but wrappings and hulls!”

-Thomas Carlyle

Those wrappings and hulls are like seed coats.

SING “When Seed Falls on Good Soil” 236

But, it’s still dark out from time to time.

“Music is moonlight in the gloomy night of life.”

-Jean Paul Richter

“Music when soft voices die, vibrates in the memory.”

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Have you ever gone to a nursing home or to visit shut-ins to sing songs, or carols?  Have you noticed how the residents perk up?  They even sing along.  They don’t have the words in front of them; they have the words inside of them.

“Music is the medicine of the breaking heart.”

-Sir Aubrey Hunt

We learn.

We enjoy.

We teach.

We share.

We remember.

Who knows how many others sing with us along our way?

SING “Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing” 559

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:6

The whole process comes full circle.  Teach them with a smile to your children.  Learn what life is all about from your children by depending on God while you do this work He’s given you to do.  Then, when it’s your turn, remember the words and be blessed with a cheery smile.  Go back to the beginning.

READ “How Firm a Foundation” 28

LISTEN “I Wanna Go Back to Jesus Loves Me This I Know”

“Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever.  Amen.”

Hebrews 13:6

Books that might be helpful in your study of hymnology:

Singing the Great Hymns, Compiled by Jordan Smith

A Touch of the Infinite:  Studies in Music Appreciation with Charlotte Mason, by Megan Elizabeth Hoyt

The Living Page:  Keeping Notebooks with Charlotte Mason, by Laurie Bestvater

Co-op Week 17

Co-op Week 17:  Summarizing Multiple References

You will need paper for Monday.

Work on your writing assignment by following along in your student book each day until you complete it.

Read:  If you are reading the literature assignment, continue reading Rifles for Watie, by Harold Keith.

Study your vocabulary words!  Your next quiz next will be during Week 18!  Vocabulary words from weeks 1-17 will be quizzed.

Timeline:  If you haven’t added these events to your timeline, do it this week.

January 1, 1863 Emancipation Proclamation

Commonplace Notebook:  Add an entry into your Commonplace Notebook that stands out from your history, or literature studies this week.

Keep examples throughout the year to inspire your own writing.

Jot down a quote from Rifles for Watie that seems very important to you.  Find a quote by Thomas Edison, too.

Find out more about the following:

Just for fun:

Think about what it would be like to homeschool without the electric light bulb.  Make a list of all the things you could learn without lights.

Monday:

Tuesday:

Enjoy some study music this week.  It was written during Thomas Edison’s lifetime.

Wednesday: Think of a word that describes the above music you listened to yesterday.

Thursday:  Think of something you can be thankful for from this week’s studies.

Friday:  Finish anything you still have to do for this week’s co-op assignment and take tomorrow off.

Co-op Week 16

Co-op Week 16 Summarizing Multiple References

You will need paper for Monday.

Work on your writing assignment by following along in your student book each day until you complete it.

Read:  If you are reading the literature assignment, begin reading Rifles for Watie, by Harold Keith.

Study your vocabulary words!  Your next quiz next will be at the beginning of class, Week 18!  Vocabulary words from weeks 1-17 will be quizzed.

Timeline:  If you haven’t added these events to your timeline, do it this week.

April 12, 1861  Battle at Fort Sumter

Commonplace Notebook:  Add an entry into your Commonplace Notebook that stands out from your history, or literature studies this week.

Keep examples throughout the year to inspire your own writing.

“Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable.”

-Daniel Webster

Find out more about the following:

Just for fun:

If it’s warm enough, try writing your paper while sitting outside in the sunshine this week.  You need the Vitamin D to stay healthy during the winter months…even if it’s not cold outside.

Monday:

Don’t forget!  Go outside when you get home from co-op and start thinking about this week’s paper.

Tuesday:

Listen to the classical music that was being composed and performed during the 1800’s.  It’s different from the music we listened to for our last lesson.  Enjoy!

Wednesday: Think of a word that describes the above music you listened to yesterday.

Thursday:  Think of something you can be thankful for from this week’s studies.

Friday:  Finish anything you still have to do for this week’s co-op assignment and take tomorrow off.

…and a Little Flower

A stormy evening turned into a crisp, sunny morning.  A day, or so after Christmas, I picked up two tiny pine trees for a dollar each.  They were in miniature plastic pots with “ugly sweaters” on picks stuck in place to make them look like little last minute gifts.  These looked like they had been left off the ride to the “Island of Misfit Toys,” hence the clearance tag.  I put them in larger pots this morning and divided a large pot of Aloe Vera into three smaller pots to place around the house.  Being out of doors in the sunshine!  It was glorious!  What a peaceful way to spend Sabbath.

“Just living is not enough…one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”

-Hans Christian Anderson