My Complete Profile
Dreaming of the mountains...
Who is Granny?
I'm the incredibly blessed mother of 9, "Granny" to , and wife of "The Papa," the knight-in-shining-armor whose loving support has made it possible for me to stay home and give my life to mothering, homemaking, and 26 years of homeschooling. Life at Granny's House is full of laughter, friendship, books, music, lively debate, writing, and good things to eat. My days are made even more meaningful by coming alongside other moms, giving them the support and encouragement that I lacked as a young mother and helping them to network with each other in ways that strengthen homes and families. A few times a year I board a plane to visit my "away" kids, to attend the birth of a grandchild, or to enjoy some lazy days with my best friend, but I always love coming back to...Granny's House.
August 15 - SAC Day begins
August 16 - Sam is 7!
August 20 - Kristen's birthday
August 30 - THE WELTYS ARRIVE!
Sept 3 - FAMILY PICTURES
Sept 3 - Chris' birthday
Sept 5 - Henry is 9!
Sept 7 - Isaac is 10!
Sept 17 - The Papa's birthday
Sept 23-30 - Granny and Papa go to Hawaii
Sept 26 - PawPop is 88!
Sept 29 - Tim is 15!
Oct 2 - Cheyenne's birthday
Oct 4 - Liam is 5!
Oct 7 - John Caleb is 17!
Oct 18 - Tony's birthday
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Friends of Granny's House,
Today I am writing my last blog post. For over six years I've pasted my thoughts, big and small, here in this space. Many of you have known me personally during this time and you know that these have been the hardest years of my life, and this blog was one of the things that helped cheer me in some of the darkest hours.
But during the past year, I've begun to long for new directions, and there simply isn't time or stamina for everything. I've taken up some new interests, renewed some old ones, regained a love for cooking that had sort of withered while I was in varying degrees of mobility. And so it's time to close up shop here and move on. I will probably leave the blog up indefinitely, so if there's anything you want to copy or links you need, feel free to come back.
Of course, the real life Granny's House is going strong...not as many occupy our rooms as once did, but more and more join the family all the time and so it's pretty much the same raucous, invigorating place it's always been. I'm immensely proud of the children and grandchildren who pass in and out our doors and they're always welcome home.
And you--you're welcome, too. You can always email me using the link on the blog. Or let us know if you'd ever like to stop by and we'll give you a real life Welcome to Granny's House.
A fond farewell to each of you!
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Big doin's around Granny's House...by this time next week we'll have a really full house with the Slaughters, Weltys, and Longenbaughs pouring in for our Fun Family Week, complete with family portraits and the inevitable 9 siblings pics and games and good food and drink and
cool weather and lots of laughter and chaos. Bring it on!
This is also the week when we bring on the school year almost full-force. The boys have already started their co-op, and this week Caleb will start his classes at NWV (community college) and we'll start math here. We'll leave the start of history/church history/philosophy (Tapestry of Grace) until after the Labor Day weekend and reunion. We've got all our school supplies, backpacks, textbooks and a pretty empty checkbook :-)
Looking forward to seeing "The Debt". And "Sarah's Key". The latter was a book I very much loved.
Finished The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris. I always enjoy David McCullough's work, but I was afraid that this one might be a bit too narrow to keep me on board. Not so. I was very surprised at how he was able to take a sliver of history (Americans who visited, lived, and worked in Paris from the 1830s to the 1920s) and weave in enough other world events to keep it enthralling. This one probably does have a smaller audience, but I'm really glad I picked it up.
I've read lots of history this summer...think I'll look for a couple of good novels for the fall.
I've clearly caught the sewing bug again after many years of doing nothing but mending. Starting in the 7th grade, I spent every summer making my whole wardrobe for the coming school year, and then I made nearly all my girls' clothes until #4 came along. Still I managed to do Easter dresses and special things for a while, but as my homeschooling load increased and responsibilities as a pastor's wife and then a commander's wife were laid over all that, not to mention being a pregnant and/or nursing mom for so many years, the sewing melted away. But look out, I'm back.
Our yard is so sad. And about half of the money and work we put into landscaping last fall has been flushed away. No, bad metaphor...it's been burned up. Rain? Please, God?
Clear sign that you've done a good job of educating your kids: you have to struggle to beat them at Words With Friends. And sometimes you don't.
I hate buying a new iron. Not as much as I hate buying a new computer or a new vacuum cleaner, but still...
Nathan and Cheyenne have set their wedding date: January 21st! We are rejoicing with them and enjoying seeing the plans take shape...can't believe we'll soon have five married kids, and our first daughter-in-law!
Time to start thinking about all the Christmas shopping ahead...
And I'll end this week's post by sharing the lyrics to a favorite hymn.
As pants the hart for cooling streams
When heated in the chase,
So longs my soul, O God, for Thee,
And Thy refreshing grace.
Why restless, why cast down, my soul?
Trust God, who will employ
His aid for thee, and change these sighs
To thankful hymns of joy.
For Thee, my God, the living God,
My thirsty soul doth pine;
Oh, when shall I behold Thy face,
Thou Majesty Divine?
God of my strength, how long shall I,
Like one forgotten, mourn,
Forlorn, forsaken, and exposed
To my oppressor's scorn?
Why restless, why cast down, my soul?
Hope still, and thou shalt sing
The praise of Him who is thy God,
Thy health's eternal spring.
Amen. Have a great week!
Labels: Books, Family, Homemaking, Homeschooling, Kids, Language, Movies, Music, Sundays
Friday, August 19, 2011
I'm anxious for the hottest, driest summer in half a century to be over. I can't wait until the first crisp breeze.
And yet, where did the time go? There's so much summer stuff I didn't get done! Ah, but I got to spend lots of days and nights with a sweet little granddaughter, so I won't complain about what didn't get done.
I wouldn't mind, though, if someone were to sneak in and insert two more weeks on my August calendar.
Labels: Grandkids, Summer, Weather
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Tomorrow begins the 27th straight school year at Granny's House. As I've mentioned before, we have only two high school students left, our two youngest boys. Since we're using a co-op and community college for several courses, my role will be limited to math (geometry, this year) and history. Well, and driving! It's a far cry from the years when I was preparing all summer long to teach five or six subjects to five or six kids at a time. Occasionally I'm nostalgic for those years, but I'm also relishing the extra time these days to sew, read, decorate, and travel. Twenty years ago, I remember moms telling me, "I just don't think I could give up all the things I love to homeschool." And I responded, "I don't look at it as giving anything up. No, I can't do it all, but I prefer to think of it as doing the important things now and 'setting aside' some things for later." Well, later is here :-)
So now there's a "top tier" of GOP candidates. With the entrance of our governor, the exit of the Minnesota former governor, and the "just barely" win of the congresswoman from Minnesota, we are now looking at Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Michele Bachmann as the trio of front-runners. And for the record, I am not excited. Well, I'm excited that we're putting an end to the current administration, and ANYONE currently in the race would be better...but not so much better that I'm getting a thrill down my leg or anything.
Yes, you need to try this recipe for cauliflower. Some people at my house tonight, and there were hordes, said it was as good as candy. So make it, and tell me what you think...
Can't tell you how distressed I am when people with graduate degrees don't know the difference between "then" and "than". Few errors make me madder THAN this.
I thoroughly enjoyed seeing The Help this week. What a movie! I completely expect it to win at least Best Actress and Best Picture and hopefully a handful of other Oscars. I will stop short of recommending it here, only because there's some profanity which might prevent some of my readers from appreciating it. But the tender, and sometimes horrifying, insights into the racial segregation of our country makes it worth an honest look. I don't remember the last time I laughed AND cried so much at a film. And for those of you who've read the book, the movie will disappoint you only in that it is too short...
Is there a fast forward button on summer? Really, I'd be much more ready to start school if it weren't so hot. And yes, you can put that in the category of complaining.
First person to bring me some genuine, authentic mochi gets...gets...gets to share it with me :-)
Random thought: At some point in the past decade I came to the realization that I will never get to see the Mayan ruins in person. It was a lifelong desire. But even though I can still travel, I'm not good on my feet, and I'm sure I wouldn't get to enjoy them like I wanted to without trudging through the rough terrain that surrounds these wonders. I'm looking for a good virtual tour.
Is it time for Season 2 of Downton Abbey yet?
Our family is in the throes of one of the year's most momentous decisions: what to wear in the family portrait. No sooner has the group agreed on a color scheme or a theme than four people want exceptions, two think we should have picked something else, one person wants to know if prints are acceptable, one wants to be allowed a vest, and three or more are conspiring to put Granny into shock by wearing orange, the hue of her nightmares. This year we're hashing it out on a private Facebook group. Picture day is September 3. Stay tuned.
Whether this is your first week of school, just another work week, or whether you're still enjoying a long, lazy summer, make it a good one. And don't forget to give thanks to the Giver of all good things...
Labels: Family, Food, Language, Movies, Political Observation, Sundays, TV, Weather
Tuesday, August 09, 2011
Coming soon to a country near you...
Making (a) room...
Like many of you, I'm frantically putting the last touches on school plans for the year. Well, okay, this year I'm not exactly frantic since I'm down to two students this year and they'll be taking quite a few courses by co-op and community college. But still, this is the time of year that my academic juices are flowing and I'm trying to formulate the best plan for the coming school year.
This also happens to be the time of year when, from all over the 'net, I'm seeing idyllic photos of newly created school rooms and spaces, lovingly assembled, decorated, and equipped for the family scholars to achieve their maximum potential and enjoyment. Most of the time, these photos come from the homes of newby homeschoolers, or at least families who've been schooling for, say, less than five years. I have to smile, because that was once this homeschooler.
During the 26 years we've been teaching our kids at home, we've lived in eight different houses. (The past ten were all in THIS house, so you can get a feel for how often we moved in the first 16 years.) In the first five or so of those houses, I agonized over which room to make "the schoolroom" and how to outfit it perfectly, with desks for everyone, maps on the walls, cursive writing charts, a globe in easy reach, a cupboard stuffed with art and science supplies, cases and cases of books, the latest Lang school calendar, even an old-fashioned school bell. It was right up my alley, and I loved it.
It was also basically useless. These fairy-tale arrangements usually lasted about two weeks. And that was under duress. It took me a lot longer than it should have to realize that in our home, schooling was life, and life doesn't get confined to a room. At least for us, school days were much happier in recliners, at dining room tables, on the floor, on the deck, even in the kids' beds at times. All the planning and decorating in the world couldn't confine our learning to the desks and bookcases I'd so carefully prepared.
If I could write a letter to the me of 1985, one of the things I'd stress is that I shouldn't waste my time and money, no matter how much fun it was and no matter how many people I could impress. All that energy could have been so much better used in hours of reading aloud and other homeschooling pursuits. The trouble is, even if the me of 1985 got that letter, she'd probably pay about as much attention to it as all the moms starting now do when I try to persuade them.
So...instead of throwing cold water on your colorful bulletin boards and Pottery Barn desks and meticulously crafted study carrels, I will congratulate you and then count off the semesters until all your kids are on bean bag chairs or under the back yard trees doing their math and reading Shakespeare.
For most of you, it'll happen ;-)
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Just in case this might make an impact on your speaking or writing:
Mr. Rewrite never, ever aims to be impactful
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Oklahoma, my friends, is hotter 'n Texas.
Had a wonderful three hour visit with my Mom on Sunday. I loved seeing the surprise on her face when I walked in...I realize it might not be too long before nothing will register when she sees me, but I hope that can be a long time from now. She was calmer and more coherent than she's been in months (at least when I've been around) and it was a joy to show her my needlework and look through hundreds of Facebook photos with her.
One of my projects while in OK was to make some simple curtains for Ava's windows from a fabric collection that was used in two separate gifts she was given, from two people who don't even know each other. (Tiffany L. and Cindy H.) CJ decided that was a sign we were supposed to use that fabric as an inspiration for the nursery, which all of us working on the room have done. Curtains are now up :-)
I've just ordered and received my copy of The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, on the recommendation of Ann Voskamp from A Holy Experience. When I get home I'm going to work my way through it in 13 weeks per her suggestion.
Rick Perry looks closer to running every day, and it appears that Mitt Romney will be the loser. Ah well...
I believe I've mentioned YNAB budget software before, but if you're not familiar with it, here's a nice review by Tim Challies. If I swore, I'd swear by it.
My conversion to Apple gets more complete all the time. I'm now running a MacBook Pro, an iPhone4, and an iPad2. As soon as life slows down, I'll finish the conversion by getting a Windows platform on the Mac so that I can run all the programs I use that aren't compatible with Mac or that Mac just hasn't mastered yet. Like Office 2010.
For you natural history and biology buffs, this is simply astounding.
And despite the references to evolution, here's another fascinating study:
Researchers from Oxford University studied the eye sockets and brain capacity of 55 human skulls from 12 different populations across the world and found that the further human populations live from the equator, the bigger their brains.
It's not because they are smarter, however, but because they need bigger vision areas in the brain to cope with the low light levels at high latitudes, the scientists said in a report of their findings in the journal Biology Letters.My summer is flying by, and it's time to start getting serious about the school year. With just two students left, my workload is not what it used to be, but I am determined to finish well. This year I will be teaching geometry to my boys and assisting in their history (still Tapestry of Grace). The rest they'll be taking at co-op or, in the case of John Caleb, the community college. I think I'll be driving more than teaching. 26 years ago I could hardly have imagined where this journey would lead!
And now, it's time for me to cool off with (another) Diet Coke. Have a great weekend, y'all!
Labels: Decorating, Devotional, Homeschooling, Money, Political Observation, Science, Technology, Texas, Weather
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Okay, it looks like I haven't been "here" since July 1. You'd think summer would give me the free time to blog, huh? But not in 2011. This summer has held surprises, trips, changes in plans, and a lot of driving involved with all of those. So my blog has languished...
In fact, I've considered giving it a quiet expiration party, but I'll wait until fall to decide that :-)
I am back in Shawnee, Oklahoma, with CJ and Tony and Ava, enjoying some more snuggle time with my granddaughter. She's made such tremendous progress that it's hard to imagine her at 3lbs 4.5oz just a few weeks ago! She's now looking much more healthy at 5lbs 9oz and beginning to do some of the things that term babies do. As she should, since yesterday was the day she was scheduled to be born!
It's also been a big blessing to see how tenderly and patiently these two newlyweds have learned to parent Ava already. I know from experience what a shock it is to have a preemie after seven months of marriage. Though our little one did not survive the first month, I still get flashbacks of caring for him when I watch them. And in many ways, what they are experiencing is even harder than what we went through, since they are now responsible for the total care of this tiny one. It can be scary, and it's exhausting! I'm delighted to see that God has equipped Tony and CJ, so early in their marriage, to be all that Ava needs...
And today, I've been married to The Papa for 38 years. Never could I have dreamed of a man so perfect for me, so perfect for the nine children he gave us, so perfect for the 16 grandchildren that now come in and out our doors. I don't know what he saw in this 18 year old girl when he asked me to marry him, but I'm so glad he didn't decide to look any further. I'd have been lost all these years...
Labels: Family, Grandkids, Summer, The Papa
Friday, July 01, 2011
She said YES!
Nathan J. Warren and Cheyenne Sabo
"...Tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done....that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children."
"The vanity of being known to be trusted with a secret is generally one of the chief motives to disclose it."
[Oxymoronica, n., A compilation of self-contradictory terms, phrases, or quotations; examples of oxymoronica appear illogical or nonsensical at first, but upon reflection, make a good deal of sense and are often profoundly true.]
Oxymoronica, Mardy Grothe
Some Sing, Some Cry, Ntozake Shange, Ifa Bayeza
English Society in the Eighteenth Century, Roy Porter
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, Ann Voskamp
His Word in My Heart, Janet Pope
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi
Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God, John Piper
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, Joshua Foer
Blue Shoes and Happiness, Alexander McCall Smith
The Red Queen, Philippa Gregory
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, Eric Metaxas
The Confessions of Saint Augustine, St. Augustine
Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats, John Keats
Unfamiliar Fishes, Sarah Vowell
Words That Work, Frank Luntz
NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
Poke the Box, Seth Godin
Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It, Gary Taubes
A Patriot's History of the United States, Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen
Song of Saigon: One Woman's Journey to Freedom, Anh Vu Sawyer
The Artistic Mother: A Practical Guide for Fitting Creativity into Your Life, Shona Cole
The Politically Incorrect Guide to English and American Literature, Elizabeth Kantor
The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, David McCullough
"Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were a present far too small...
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life,