Sunday, April 5, 2009


I have been reading Heidi to my class and I never realised what wonderful lessons are in it! Heidi learns that sometimes God doesn't answer a prayer right away because he has a better plan for us. What a great lesson to learn!

Anyway, while we're reading Friday, my kindergartner asks me to read aloud the hymn about sunshine that Heidi read to the blind grandmother. It's not in the book, so I take a chance and google it: "swiss hymn sunshine". I get the Swiss national anthem, which is so beautiful and moving I thought I would share it with you. (Translation from Wikipedia)

National Anthem of Switzerland
1st verse
When the morning skies grow red
And o'er us their radiance shed,
Thou, O Lord, appearest in their light.
When the Alps glow bright with splendour
Pray to God, to Him surrender,
For you feel and understand
That He dwelleth in this land.

2nd verse
In the sunset Thou art night
And beyond the starry sky,
Thou, O loving Father, ever near.
When to Heaven we are departing,
Joy and bliss Thou'lt be imparting,
For we feel and understand
That Thou dwellest in this land.

3rd verse
When dark clouds enshroud the hills
And gray mist the valley fills,
Yet Thou art not hidden from Thy sons.
Pierce the gloom in which we cover;
With Thy sunshine's cleansing power.
Then we'll feel and understand
That God dwelleth in this land.

4th verse
Towards us in the wild storm coming,
You yourself give us resistance and stronghold,
You, almighty ruling, rescuing!
During horror and nights of thunderstorms,
Let us childlike trust Him!
Yes, we feel and understand;
Yes, we feel and understand
That God dwelleth in this land.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Liquid Walls

Liquid Walls

Poetry is hovering
Flitting in and out of my consciousness
Depth brushed against my elbow
As I reached for the sponge
The limits of my perception quivered

I took my pen instead
But the ink is black
Everything has darted out of reach
Except dimples
And a bit of green embroidery thread

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Commitment to Loveliness: March 29th...

It's time for another Commitment to Loveliness! This is a fun way to increase femininity and beauty in our lives each week without even trying! All you have to do is choose five things that you would like to work on or do during the week that will increase the loveliness in your life!

Here's mine :

1. Look at the rooms as I clean and think: In my dream world, how would this look? Then do one thing (or more!) towards that ideal. I did this the other day in the bathroom, and it meant mainly clearing a lot of clutter away and folding the towels carefully.
2. Be honest with myself and others--no commitments I don't intend to follow through on, etc. (To create peace!)
Try again to have dinner at the table at least three times this week!
5. Practice ballet 3 times and ride my bike to work twice this week.

Visit Charming the Birds from the Trees: March 29th...
to participate!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The shadow

Discouraged in the day. Nightmares at night.

I am going to try to:
1. Focus on living in the moment according to Mt 6:34
2. Focus on others rather than myself.
3. Trust in God's providence/Pray when I feel worried.
4. Think about "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable... anything [that] is excellent or praiseworthy."
Please feel free to share one thing you do that helps you in times like this.

Friday, March 27, 2009

School Days

My K-2nd class is finishing up Butterfly Week. A parent ordered painted lady caterpillars for us and they have just emerged from their chrysalises!

This is what we did: (From the Butterfly Thematic Unit by Mary Ellen Sterling from Teacher Created Materials
  • Read The Life of a Monarch Butterfly and Where Butterflies Grow.
  • Did a journal entry/drawing about the day the first butterflies emerged.
  • Learned about the parts of a caterpillar and butterfly.
  • Reviewed life cycle.
  • Designed flowers for bulletin board and decorated them with colored chalk.
  • Made butterfly life cycle books: a sentence and drawing about each stage per page. on butterfly-shaped paper.
  • And today at the end of the day we will release our butterflies into the 'wild.'

It was simple but very fun, left lots of room for questions and exploration!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Two nights ago I dreamed I was shot in the heart. I woke up and during the day I still had a pain in my chest that came when things were stressful. In the evening I saw a dying plant my dad gave me and felt like I was about to melt down completely. How I need the peace of Jesus! Today I'm ok, but still unduly stressed.

John 6:16-27. But he said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid."

A major antidote of fear is to acknowledge the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ with you at all times. Jesus still says to you, "It is I; do not be afraid." In this passage, the disciples had a problem rowing their boat. They saw Jesus walking on the sea. As soon as Jesus came into their company, the story changed. There was calm. They miraculously reached the shore in safety. The presence of Jesus with us today will drive away all fear-and he has assured us of his presence to the end of the world.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bread and Yogurt

I'm not sure what happened to my bread. I used random grain ratios. It still tastes good though!

The yogurt turned out great! This is the recipe: (Sterilize all the equipment that you can)

  • 1-L or 1-qt canning jar
  • stock pot
  • 2-qt pot
  • ice
  • candy thermometer
  • washcloth or hand towel
  • 1 qt of milk (you can add 1/3c dry milk for added protein/thickness if you want) &
    1/4 cup plain yogurt (should say contains live cultures and not be more than a week old, although mine was 3 weeks old and it still worked!)

1. Fill your large stock pot with water. (Enough to submerge pieces of equipment.) Boil water, sterilize equipment. I set everything on a clean towel on the counter.

2. Pour milk into 2-qt pot and heat without scalding to 185-195 degrees F. Stir, stir, stir! Mine still turned out even though I burned the bottom.

3. Meanwhile cool stock-pot water to 115 degrees F if you are going to incubate your yogurt on the stovetop. Fill your sink with ice water.

4. When milk has reached 185-195 range, remove from heat and place in sink of ice water. cool to 115.

5. Remove from ice water and whisk (without creating lots of bubbles) in 1/4c plain yogurt.
Pour into canning jar.

6. At this point, there are many ways to continue. What I did was place my washcloth in the bottom of the stockpot full of water, set the canning jar(sealed) in on top of the cloth, and leave the stove on low. I put the candy thermometer in to float in the water so I could keep looking in and checking the temp.

7. Others have done many things to incubate yogurt. You can leave it in the oven if you have gas, and just let the pilot light keep it warm. Anything that keeps your yogurt at a temerature of 108-115 should work! My stock pot water ranged from 104 to 125 while I was stumbling through the process, and it still turned out fine. But they say temps over 118 kill the culture, so try not to do what I did!

8. Incubate yogurt for at least 4 hours. I have read of people incubating it for between 4 and 12 hours. So it doesn't hert to just wait longer if it looks like your yogurt isn't setting up/ Or if you think it got too hot, cooling it back to 115 or 110 and adding some more yogurt with live cultures.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A bit of everything...

A bit of heaven is blooming outside our house.

I rode my bike to work twice this week. It feels so real to be out in the air.

Today I am going to make yogurt for the first time. I didn't know that a quart of milk =a quart of yogurt. I always thought it involved reduction! :) I am also making bread from flour I grind myself. I love homemade things.

This was last weekend's project. It must have been blessed because there were no frustrating mistakes. I have used the pattern twice in the past, but the third time is indeed a charm!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Your Style Statement

I didn't read the book (Style Statement: Live by Your Own Design), but reading reviews about it made me think it would be fun to come up with my own style statement. From what I've heard, the book helps you come up with your own two-word style-statement, among other things. It may be a very silly, good, or useless book. But I liked the idea of defining your stlye. So after leaving it in the back of my mind for a month or so, I came up with Nostalgic Utilitarian. (Although some might argue I have no style!)
For me this means I like things that have meaning and a purpose. Like the little jars that make me think of a 30's kitchen. And I fill with spices to use every day. I don't like to have too many things just sitting around being decorative. I love depression-style antiques that are in good shape for everyday use! Like my sweet measuring spoons. (Thanks, Mom!

What's your style statement? Try to think of two words that best describe your style and leave your answer with a little explanation in the comments box.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Prayer request

My husband's father is going in for surgery, and is not in the greatest health to begin with. If you would like to, please join our family in prayer. We want to keep him around for a long time yet. Thank you!