Monday, October 27, 2008


Marissa and I have eagerly been awaiting the commencement of the Manzano High School swim team. Back at the beginning of October, I emailed one of my coaches asking for her to let me know when the parent meeting is and when practice started (the highschool assumes that we will get all the info we need from being at school, so communication really lacks when it comes to getting the word out to us!). Well, I had been thinking that it was getting awfully late in the October and swimming really should be starting by now. So, this morning I googled MHS and found the website. Guess what!? The first swim practice was this afternoon! We sped up school and got all our subjects finished so we could go. I swam 1850 meters, ah it feels so good to get out of the pool tired! Yes, Marissa and I are so excited to finaly be swiming again! Now, we just have to fill out all the paper work and we'll officially be on the team.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

a special night with the boys

Mom and Dad went out to dinner with some people from work, so Marissa and I watched the boys for the evening. We built a tent in their room using blankets, clothespins, furniture, and dictionaries. After we cleaned up dinner, ran the boys through the shower, and washed up the dishes, I decided to be fun. Earlier this morning Momma made us some vanilla pudding (YUMMY!). I took that and bowls and spoons back to the tent. Yes, we actually ate our pudding, very carefully, by flashlight, under a bunch of blankets. What fun! Marissa, wanting to have evidence we really did eat in the bedroom, grabbed my camera and made it back...right after we finished the last bite...

so much for a candid shot, ah well =D

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Friends all the way from Oregan

Yesterday evening we were blessed by a visit from the Walden family. Here are a few pictures of Marissa, Brianna, and Mrs. Walden jamming (Mr. Walden and Dylan were also playing the mandolin, recorders, and guitar).

extreme makeover- gown edition

Marissa and I were cleaning out, straightening up, and trying to make more room in our closet. I looked in a hard-to-get-to corner and found several dresses that we had made either just for fun, or we had really worn them but they are by this time too big or small. So I dragged out this dresses and fabric scraps (by "scrap" I don't mean small pieces trimmed off the sides of seams, they are truly large pieces of fabric- by not following lay-out directions, we have saved quite a bit of fabric- a pitty we can't guess how much we can save before we buy it all). Remembering that many of the dress-ups in my box were beginning to wear out; ideas and images started fashioning themselves in my mind. I have now cut up several lengths of "scraps" and one dress. The result: two dress-up dresses and so many more designs. =D I am now planning on renovating the other dresses in the dress-up box. For those ones I'll be sure to take before and after pictures.

this is what I started with

gown 1

gown 2

All I need now are some princesses...

Monday, October 20, 2008

This summer I read In My Father's House, selected and edited by Tamara S. and Naomi Joy Valine. I found it to be remarkably inspirational and encouraged me greatly. I definitely recommend that you ladies (it's a Godly Womanhood book) read it! Subsequently I have referred to many passages and quotes from the book. I want to share the "Rules to Becoming a Beautiful and Pleasant and Godly Young Woman."

1. Learn to govern yourselves and to be gentle and patient.

2. Guard your tempers, especially in seasons of ill-health, irritation, and trouble, and soften them by prayers and a sense of your own short comings and errors.

3. Never speak or act in anger until you have prayed over your words or acts and conclude that Christ would have done so in your place.

4. Remember that, valuable as is the gift of speech, silence is often more valuable.

5. Do not expect too much from others, but forbear and forgive as you desire forbearance and forgiveness yourself.

6. Never retort a sharp or angry word. It is the second word that makes the quarrel.

7. Beware of the first disagreement.

8. Learn to speak in a gentle tone of voice.

9. Learn to say kind and pleasant things whenever opportunity offers.

10. Study the characters of each and sympathize with all in their troubles, however small.

11. Do not neglect little things if they can affect the comfort of the others in the smallest degree.

12. Avoid moods and pets and fits of sulkiness.

13. Learn to deny yourself and prefer others.

14. Beware of meddlers and tale-bearers.

15. Never charge a bad motive if a good one is conceivable.

16. Be gentle and firm with children.

Ah, imagine if these rules were followed in our homes; what a delightful place to dwell. At least they are something to strive for. I hope these steps have been as encouraging to you as they are to me.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Work is play

On a cool fall day a few weeks ago the boys wanted a fire (don't all boys always want fires?).  Before we could have a fire we needed wood stacked.  Here are a few pictures of the happy workers.  Isn't it amazing how good we feel when we do a job that helps the family?

Sandhill Cranes

Late last Saturday afternoon Chris heard the honking of Sandhill cranes.  He spotted them circling overhead.  Now we are on the east side of the mountains, far from the river and grain fields they normally search out.  We enjoyed watching them for a few minutes while they continued to circle around seemingly looking for something.  Soon they found what they were looking for in a few seconds were back on their way and over the mountains.  What a beautiful fall treat that was for us.

Friday, October 17, 2008

playin the part of a barista

Well, Curtis' week off from school is almost to an end; his eight days home flew by so fast! Tonight I made coffee drinks for all of us over the age of 15 ;)

Mom's Chai Latte

Curtis's Carmel Frappuccino

Rissie's Carmel Latte

Daddy's and My frappuccino

then just a random pic =)

"Davie Crockett" and Marissa

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Voting by God's Standards

This fall for my English class I have written several papers. Seeing as how the elections are fast approaching and this has been a topic in many homes, I decided to write down my ideas. I could have gone into more depth but my five paragraph-800 word limit didn't allow this. =D

As November fourth rolls around, discussions everywhere come to life on topics of voting, politics, campaigns, and political parties. Following on the heels of these debates, the ideas of voting the lesser of two evils and voting third party come to the top of the discussion board. Many people would rather vote for option b so candidate so-and-so does not get into office, while others vote third party and therefore, to some people’s way of thinking, throwing away votes. Americans have a responsibility when it comes to voting. Christians seldom vote for a person because he or she feels the candidate will lead this nation in a godly direction. We must vote not because one candidate has better standards than the other but because one candidate has proven himself worthy of the office by God’s standards laid out in the Bible. When the opportunity to have a say in elections arises we should not take it for granted but instead we ought to understand the Biblical qualifications of a civil magistrate and know how to act when such a candidate does not arise. Taking rights for granted can lead to bad decisions.

Beginning in 1789, with the election of George Washington, our Republic has thankfully given its people a chance to voice their opinion. Because of this freedom people think we “throw a vote away” by voting for a third party candidate whom they think has no chance of winning the election. Just because Americans have the privilege of participation in elections does not mean one must vote either democrat or republican at every opportunity. In fact if all the people who typically voted for choice b in fear, voted third party, only when the third party has a better candidate, the third party official would win. At times the choice of magistrate comes down to a decision between bad and worse at which time we must know what we should do. One does not have to wonder for long on this dilemma however because God has laid out His commands in the Bible for us.

Choosing a candidate does not require the candidate’s perfection but rather qualification. First and foremost God may raise up a wicked man for His glory, as He did many times in Israel, but for us to support the candidate they must recognize God as the dominate ruler. Also if we give our support to a civil magistrate, he must agree to fulfill the duty of the political office by first acknowledging his obligation to bare the sword in defense of the innocent. Exodus 18:21 lays down several guidelines for what a man holding or hoping to hold an office should portray. Verse 21 says to select “able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands.”   Whether consciously or not, every vote we cast for a man who does not fear God, we vote for a fool. Now that we understand some of the qualifications, we must look at what we should do when certain candidates appear on the ballot box.

Having set standards by which we can discern the best candidate can help in the decision process. But what do we do when none of the choices before us measure up? Can we settle for less than God requires merely because of a lack of options? No, it would prove better to vote for an alternate choice or worse case not to vote at all than to vote in opposition to God’s Word.  When two candidates run for office both of which meet the qualifications, the decision turns to a question of whom we agree with more, who believes in agreement with the Bible, and furthermore who holds God’s standards. On the opposite hand and more realistic side, however, if two candidates run for office neither of which match God’s requirements, we cannot support them. We have the privilege of voting but not at the cost of violating God’s standards.

Many people think  if they do not vote for the lesser of the two evils at hand then the more corrupt candidate will take power in the office. We must however, understand the sovereignty of God. By definition, sovereignty means supreme authority. After we realize His power, we can understand that no matter how we cast our ballots, God has full control over the election and will bring into office the man whom He so chooses. As we can see in the Old Testament, God raised up many evil kings to rule Israel all of which fulfilled God’s purpose and plan, whether to bless or to curse the nation.  Try as we might to make a decision according to God’s Word and cast our vote for a qualified candidate, God has supreme rule to chose who He will as ruler over our vastly rebellious nation.

 I'd love comments and hear ya'lls thoughts. :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

fall weather photos

I was out on the patio this evening, writing a letter, and I looked up and there was a beautiful reflection of the sun set (these are mountains to the east of us).

I resumed writing, but in just a few short minutes Curtis stepped outside saying I should grab my camera and get a picture of the moon rise. I did and have post the result, though it doesn't do it justice (the moon was a dark orange).

Monday was morning was dreary and overcast, but it made for several really cool looking pictures! ;)

Monday, October 13, 2008

And the raspberries...

Curtis is home on a (much too short) break from school.  The timing is perfect for "his" raspberries.  He picked a bucket and a half today.  The portion that wasn't eaten out of hand is waiting in the fridge to be served with Caity's home made granola scones for breakfast tomorrow. 

Since another freeze is expected and the raspberry canes still have lots of unripe berries on them Curtis painstakingly covered them with plastic until the cold weather is past.  It should warm up in a day or two and hopefully we will be able to allow the rest of the berries to ripen. 

One last harvest...then the freeze

Last night we got a frost.  Enough of a frost to kill the tomato and pepper plants.  Tonight it should freeze again and maybe even snow.  We decided to harvest what was left of the produce. Here are a few pictures of the results.  


A few weeks ago when the boys and I were having our read aloud time, we were learning about the life cycle of the butterfly.  I had noticed there were lots of butterflies on the purple coneflower outside the front window a few days before so we took a minute to look and sure enough there were lots of butterflies.  Since we knew that winter was just around the corner we took advantage of the opportunity and took a few pictures (maybe more than a few) and drew and wrote about them in our nature journals.  These are painted lady butterflies.  

Several years ago the older children and I watched as some painted lady larvae became butterflies.  Through that experience I had learned that painted ladies lay their eggs on hollyhocks as their larvae eat the holly hock leaves.  Much to Curtis' dismay we still have a few hollyhocks around so we went to check it out.  Yep, there they were the larvae chewing away turning the leaves to lace.  What a fun experience.  I think Charlotte Mason would be pleased.

5 minutes in our day

A week or two ago I pulled out my camera and spent five minutes getting a quick shot of what each of the children were doing.  I just thought you might enjoy a peek into our morning.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

power outtage and a celebration = a full house

This morning we get a call and find out that the electricity in Edgewood had been out since the last night. So, amid breakfast preparations, we scrambled to pick up school books that were out, dishes that we had not put away the night before, move chairs and tables around to make room to host church in our home, eat breakfast, and make baked beans for lunch. Since Curtis is home this week (YAY!!!!!) we were already planning to cook burgers for everyone, so it worked out great. After the service and lunch the six little girls and I headed back to my room. I pulled down the dress-up box and each of the little girls picked out a gown, had it pinned up, and then stood in line to get their hair done. Unfortunatly I brought my camera out too late and Rue and Judith Allison were already on the way home and some of the curls were starting to fall out. Here are some pictures of the fair maidens:

enjoying a hot cup of tea and an m&m cookie

Emma Radigan

Emma Poff

Charlotte Radigan

Ella Poff

and of course the boys, who love tea as much as any of us, could not be left out:

Luke Poff and our favorite Russell

Thursday, October 9, 2008


We met Dad in town around 4:30 this evening and headed to the Balloon Fiesta. As we got arrived, there weren't any balloons up in the air, or even laid out ready to inflate, but after we stood up from dinner they were all out and being blown up. Here are the best of the pics that I took tonight.

Marissa's the photag for this one

and the fireworks at the end:

my first futile attempts at sharp pictures

then I decided to just mess around and have fun