Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Daniel Fast, Day 9

Papa and I have undertaken a 40-day Daniel fast to increase our dependence on YHWH, and to gain the health benefits. If you're unfamiliar with a Daniel fast, it involves eating only fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. No meat, dairy, refined sweeteners, yeast, etc. There is no hard and fast rule for what you eat or don't eat since it's not clearly spelled out in the Bible, but it is loosely based on the account of Daniel and his three friends asking to be excused from eating from the king of Babylon's table. They requested to be given only vegetables and water.

Daniel and his friends thrived on this diet and they were able to keep themselves from eating unclean foods that would violate YHWH's laws.

Papa is doing very well. He never feels hungry and he has already lost eight pounds. I, on the other hand, have been feeling hungry since day four. I did lose three pounds at first, but then I managed to gain two pounds back. (I must have been eating too many nuts or something.) Now I've lost another pound for a net loss of two pounds. I'm not particularly happy with the near constant feeling of hunger, but I know that feeling is a reminder for me to hunger after the things of YHWH instead of the world. And anyway, it's not like I'm genuinely starving...I did manage to gain weight eating this way.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Van-cation...All I ever wanted...

I finally have the time and energy to post our vacation pictures from Orlando. We went there in late April, but I've not had the time/strength to do much with my blog until now. I just had to title the post "Van-cation", because that's what Pippin always calls our vacations. It makes sense right? We always travel in our van, therefor, we take van-cations!

This is the longest and glitziest trip we've ever taken. Most of our trips are just short 1 or 2 day adventures within a couple hours drive. All of our longer trips have involved visiting our far flung families. We always manage to get in a little site seeing on these trips, but it's really not the same as being able to go out and about on our own schedule.

Anyway, we stayed in a lovely suite near Disney that was bigger than my first apartment...it was bigger than my first three or four apartments now that I think about it. We had a lovely view of a lake behind the resort from our 17th floor suite.

The height was dizzying, and I was perpetually afraid a good gust of wind would sweep by and take Pippin or Frodo with it. Needless to say, I strongly discouraged spending much time out on the patio.

While we were there we visited Sea World, Cocoa Beach and Aquatica. Sea World was a bit of a let down so none of us are all that interested in ever going there again. It was stupidly crowded the day we went. It was so crowded that we genuinely had trouble walking in most places, because we were shoulder to shoulder in a sea of humanity. We purposely booked the trip so we would not be there during spring break, or on a weekend. It was to no avail. We had to wait on hour for each show to start, otherwise we wouldn't have gotten any seats. This was particularly bad for the dolphin show since we had to stand in line outside of the stadium in the sun for the hour long wait. At least with the Shamu and sea lion shows we could sit in the stadiums while waiting for the shows to start. And those three shows were all we got to see of the place. Between the hour long waits, the actual show times and getting lunch, the day was done! It was just as well though, since my limited strength gave out right after the sea lion show. Then we just walked to Shamu stadium and sat down to await the show. It was neat to see all the shows. I mean, the day wasn't a total loss; we're just not willing to pay that much to go through it again.

Here are the sea lions and Shamu.

Here are Frodo and Pippin waiting for the whale show to start.

They were sitting in the splash zone with Papa, while Mama, Eowyn and Gramma sat further up. The show was so awesome! It's amazing that people have been able to train these beautiful, majectic sea creatures to perform this way. It makes me think of Genesis 1:28, "God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

They day after Sea World we went to Cocoa Beach for a lovely day. Here are Pippin and Frodo chasing waves. (Or, are the waves chasing them?)

And here's Pippin with a dead crab he found on the beach. I guess the only thing worse than your child holding a dead crab would be your child holding a live crab!

We also spent the day of Frodo's birthday at Downtown Disney where we had lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe and visited the Lego store to let Frodo pick out a Lego set of his choice for his birthday. Unfortunately we don't have any pictures of this. Nor do we have any pictures of our evening at the Arabian Night's dinner theatre. This was seriously cheesy and no one will ever go there for the food, but we loved it! You will also note an absence of pictures of Eowyn. She is notorious for not wanting her picture taken. I keep telling her that she needs to let me get pictures of her or when she's off on her own in the great, wide world I won't have anything to remind me of her. I managed to get one side view of her playing in the sand with Pippin at Cocoa Beach.

Our favorite day was the day we spent at Aquatica, the new water park by Sea World. We lazed around on the beach, played in the wave pool, rode numerous water slides and had the funnest day ever! I think the all around favorite was a lazy river type thing called Roa's Rapids. Think lazy river only much faster.We spent hours being swept around the rapids. Again, no pictures. Bummer. I guess we were having too much fun to snap photos. We were also constantly in water with no waterproof camera. Alas, we'll always have our memories.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Preparing for the New School Year

For some time I have not been altogether satisfied with the history portion of Ambleside Online. Don't get me wrong, what the ladies of Ambleside have done is wonderful. My problem is not with what is there, but what is not there. My issue is that Ambleside begins ancient history with the Greeks which leaves out thousands of years of ancient history. Where is creation? The world-wide flood? Egypt? The Exodus? Whare are the Babylonians, Assyrians, Medes and Persians?

I had been ruminating on this for awhile and began to pray that God would lead me to the right path for our children's education. Then the latest issue of "Answers" magazine arrived and in it was an advertisement for the biblically based history curriculum by Diana Waring called "Ancient Civilizations and the Bible: From Creation to Jesus Christ". Eureka! My prayers have been answered! I ordered it and waited patiently for it to arrive. When the box finally arrived on my doorstep I was giddy with excitement while opening it. Now that I have looked it over, I am very pleased with the scope of topics covered and the biblical world-view from which they are covered. This book will make an excellent spine from which to build our curriculum for the coming years.

Mrs. Waring does an excellent job of writing in a conversational style which totally fits in with our Charlotte Mason school. My plan is to divide the book over two years. This coming year we will be cover the first six chapters, devoting six weeks to each. I will be using this as the starting point and adding other books to our readings that fall in line with our educational philosophy. Since Ambleside's coverage of this time period is nonexsitent, I will have to purchase a few books to go along with our study of ancient history. However, the following year, we will cover the last three chapters - Greece, Rome and the Life of Messiah. I will, at that time, be moving us back to many of the Ambleside books that we already own.

Be on the lookout for our schedules and progress in the coming months.

Monday, March 10, 2008

What personality type are you?

Your Personality is the Rarest (INFJ)

Your personality type is introspective, principled, self critical, and sensitive.

Only about 2% of all people have your personality - including 3% of all women and around 1% of all men.

You are Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging.

What I Read in 2007

I have decided to keep a list of the books I read each year. The list for 2007 is as follows:

• A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson
• A Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
• Abel's Island by William Steig
• Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution by Natalie S. Bober
• All the Way Home by Mary Pride
• Bambi by Felix Salten
• Benjamin Franklin by Ingri D'Aulaire
• Buffalo Bill by Ingri D'Aulaire
• Bully for You, Teddy Roosevelt by Jean Fritz
• Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
• Created to Be His Helpmeet by Debbie Pearl
• David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
• Fearfully and Wonderfully Made by Paul Brand
• How to Raise a Healthy Child Inspite of Your Doctor by Robert S. Mendelsohn
• Jack and Jill by Louisa May Alcott
• Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
• Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
• King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard
• Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl
• Lassie, Come Home by Eric Knight
• Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
• Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers by Ralph Moody
• Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
• Living More with Less by Doris Janzen Longacre
• Madam How and Lady Why by Charles Kingsley
• Mattimeo by Brian Jacques
• Morning Star of the Reformation by Andy Thomson
• Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne
• Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling
• Passionate Housewives Desperate for God by Jennie Chancey & Stacy McDonald
• Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
• Physics Lab in the Home by Robert Friedhoffer
• Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
• Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis
• Reclaiming Surrendered Ground by Jim Logan
• Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving
• Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
• Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges
• Shepherding A Child's Heart by Tedd Trip
• Teddy's Button by Amy LeFeuvre
• The 21 Balloons by Pene William du Bois
• The Adventures of Poor Mrs. Quack by Thornton Burgess
• The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
• The Hidden Hand by E.D.E.N. Southworth
• The King of the Golden River by John Ruskin
• The Power of Motherhood by Nancy Campbell
• The Railway Children by Edith Nesbitt
• The Relaxed Home School by Mary Hood
* The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
• The Tanglewood's Secret by Patricia St. John
* The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
• The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
• The Way Home by Mary Pride
• This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
• When We Were Very Young by A.A. Milne