11 August 2017

Start With Amen

You always start any project at the beginning with the end in mind.  When we began homeschooling, we began with the idea that we wanted our children to graduate from high school and move on to college or otherwise be prepared to begin their adult lives.  So we did things a certain way in order to (hopefully) meet those goals.

In Start With Amen, Beth Guckenberger reminds us that the end is already a certainty.  You can rest in knowing that God already has the end planned out in accordance with His gracious character.

The book is an easy read but it often presents difficult situations that are still unresolved.  This is not a happy "throw a Bible verse out and say it will all be okie doke" sort of book.  In fact, Guckenberger's take on the "Amen" of God is not a specific answer to prayer or direction for a believer to follow: 

"He cares more about our relationship than my life plan.  He is working to root out that which is not sacred in me and create space for his deposit of good gifts.  He has the long play in mind - transformation of a life from carnal to supernatural - and I have the short plan pressing on my soul: 'What will this blood test reveal?'  The competing agendas crash together and leave me weary."

It's a casual read full of personal anecdotes I'd recommend to my Christian friends.  In fact, I have a friend in mind who needs to get this little book in the mail now that I'm done reading it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

10 August 2017

Roller Dancing!

Woodjie and Rose are working hard with a roller dance coach on their routine as there is an invitational competition in a few months. When they actually compete for real, they will have matching sparkly outfits just as you would expect with ice skaters.

06 August 2017

Dwarf Macintosh Apple Harvest!

Many of the apples made it through the Japanese beetle season relatively intact!  They don't all seem to ripen on the same day, so we wander out every now and then and browse the tree and pick a few here or there.  This tree is about nine years old and this is the first real harvest we've had from it.  Oddly, all the apples are on the north side of our tree.

Our apples seem to be more tart than the ones you'd buy in the store.  They're also smaller and more prone to bugs, although that last bit may be because we don't use pesticides and so on.  I used a bit of diatomaceous earth on the Japanese beetles this season and it worked like a charm.

I spent a little time looking through my old pictures dating back from our planting the tree and Emperor and Elf's adventure of picking the first apples.  Perhaps apple trees yield more as they grow older - here's hoping!  I am starting to doubt that this is a "dwarf" tree as we were told just based on the size of the thing and the fact that it took so long to get a good crop in.  Dwarf trees are supposed to yield a bit earlier.  Hmm.  Any gardeners out there have an opinion?  I popped a photo here so you can see how tall the tree is - the cars are parked on the north side of the tree.

01 August 2017

Woodjie Writes a Story

SO proud of Woodjie. He wanted to write a story about Julius Caesar and he has been working for hours on this. He even did a little fact-finding with me about the character before writing. All you autism friends especially know what a huge thing this is.  Can you tell he is writing in an old Christmas memories sort of journal?  It is one of those huge things with a hard cover and I think I got it at the thrift store for a quarter.  Fun place to doodle and pop thoughts down on paper.

27 July 2017

Hello From the Top of the Hill!

We live way up on a hill, so when there is flooding, sometimes we can see little rivulets far beneath us in the neighbours' yards.  We're pretty safe.  I think about a half cup of water got into the basement right where the main water line meets the ground - not even enough to worry about, thankfully.  Other people in the area are not so fortunate!

In other news, we've had our old deck torn off and we're replacing it with an Azek stairway.  It's pretty much a wooden frame and then over that we'll have this plastic-y wood.  Which I think is pretty nifty.  If you live in the US, they will send you a few samples and that's how we picked our colour.  (Deck-builders don't always have samples in the full range!) I'll show you a picture later when it's all finished and the ground dries up enough to wander into the back yard.  Presently the contractors are out there getting rained on and working with power tools (really).

Unfortunately we had a little damage when they were putting in whatever they attach to the house to keep the stairway/ deck in place.  Not a big deal - it's not structural, but it's not going to match once it's repaired.  Look how close they got to the electric lines contained in that metal pipe, though!! Oh well.  Always something when you own a house, eh?  I'm grateful they didn't zap right through that and kill themselves/ knock out our power indefinitely.

And the tree guys come soon, too.  And then that will be it for projects and big outlays of cash for a good while (knock wood/ plastic simulated wood).

23 July 2017

Roller Skating Outfits

Thought I'd share photos of Rose and Woodjie in their "roller dance" practice outfits. It's really a sport and you do it with quad skates. They will be a dancing pair in an invitational event this October. The "stuff" you buy is really pretty much identical to the stuff you get for ice skating in terms of little skirt outfits, etc. Woodjie is basically wearing a jogging shirt/ compression pants outfit I bought him for practice.

19 July 2017

Orgy at My House

Getting it onnnn... I never thought I would feature "bug sex" on my blog, but here we are.
Yep, I'm hosting an orgy for Japanese beetles.  It's been going on for WEEKS and there is no sign of it letting up.  I've done the expensive sprays and yes, they WORK, but if you live on a little suburban lot as I do, what happens is the bugs just fly in from up the street and you start over again.

 I mean, there are thousands of them.  If I had a brave and willing partner, I could film whilst someone shakes my apple tree and hundreds will fly out with an angry "bzzzt!"

 They seem to not only destroy every luscious apple on my property, but they've also eaten up every green leaf on my apple tree.  Do they want to nibble on the oak trees in my yard?  You know, the ones I wanna get rid of anyway?  NO. They're just like spoilt kids who chuck dinner in the trash and eat ice cream right out of the freezer.  And they double-dip with their drooly spoons.  They get me so mad.

What a mess.  But I'm  not alone!  Apparently just about everyone else who is growing vegetables or roses is dealing with this.  People with useless ornamental plants don't seem to be affected at all.  Stupid bugs.