Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Own da Vinci

We are in the 1400s now in our studies.  That means we are reading about men like Gutenberg, John Hus, Christopher Columbus, Michelangelo, and, of course, Leonardo da Vinci.

Last week I picked up a really cool book about da Vinci from the library...
This book has several of Leonardo's inventions in there and how you can make them. When Bonnie went through the book she was immediately drawn to the section of making your own paint.

  To make your own paint you first need dirt and two flat rocks.  Instead of dirt, Bonnie gathered together pieces of broken brick and some charcoal.  She also had two perfect flat rocks in her room.  Once you have these supplies then you need to grind the dirt, brick, charcoal  into a fine powder using your rocks.
 This can get pretty messy and I didn't want the counter to get scratched so we found that on old plastic ice cream lid worked great to grind the brick on.  

 Once you get a nice powder then you need to add a bonding agent.  Da Vinci used egg yolks to bind it all together. 

It really makes a nice paint.  For yellow paint they recommend using the pistils and stamens of daylilies or even crumbled saffron.  Snail shells should give you a blue or purple powder (Remember the Phoenicians?)
Bonnie has had a lot of fun, although I've told her she has to start buying her own eggs.  She has already gone through a dozen of mine.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving

We have so many things to be thankful for.  

First and most importantly is my salvation.  I am a child of God, and praise the Lord that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins and I am eternally His.

Second is my family.  I am blessed to have a husband who is not only a child of God but desires to share the Gospel message to those around him.  As I sit in the pews each week and listen to him share the Word of God, I am so thankful at how God has worked in my husband's life and renewed the passion in him to serve as a minister of God.  My children are also pretty  awesome.  They are still a work in progress, but they all know and love God.  I continue to see them make wise choices when it comes to choosing right from wrong, God's ways verses the world's.

Third is my heritage.  I am grateful to have Godly parents who laid the foundation of choosing to follow God no matter what.  I know that their families could not comprehend why my parents left their hometown to go to a Bible school to study God's word in depth.  My parents demonstrated to us kids the importance of choosing God and living out His word in their daily lives.

Finally, I am thankful for my spiritual family here in Leavenworth.  I feel so blessed to be here in Leavenworth.  Our church family has loved on us in so many ways.  What a blessing it is to be serving with them.  

This day of Thanksgiving is just about over but the feeling of thanksgiving never ends.  Each day we are reminded of God's goodness to us and of the things we can be thankful for.


In case you are curious, our day today was pretty casual.  I had planned to go to the gym this morning -  you know, to get a good workout in before consuming mass quantities of food.  Todd, however, wanted me to take him up to Lake Wenatchee so that  he could go kayaking.  His need to get out on the water was more important than mine so I gave up my gym time to drop him off at the lake.  By the time I got home it was after 9am.  I made the kids breakfast, got the newspaper to look through all the ads and then made green bean casserole and sweet potato casserole for the Ells Thanksgiving feast.  At one we went over to Todd's parent's house for Thanksgiving.

The rest of the day was spent vegging in front of the tube, playing cards, and then a trip downtown to go sledding .

It was a nice relaxing day at home with the family.

The kids and Todd digging tunnels in the snow bank down by the gazebo.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

One more day til Thanksgiving Break!  Woo Hoo!!
I always felt guilty as a teacher when I looked forward to the days off of school instead of being excited about teaching.  Things haven't changed much. : )

Our studies have taken us to the Italian Renaissance.  Today we spent about an hour and a half watching a documentary on Leonardo Da Vinci.  What an amazing man!!  The kids have all been given an assignment to write about a Renaissance artist. I figure the boys will write about Leonardo. 

Here is a look at our day today:

We started today, as we do every day, with prayer.  Then as a group we reviewed what the Renaissance period was about.  After our review we watched the History Channel's documentary on Leonardo da Vinci.  Good ole YouTube comes through again.  I am so glad the kids had me set up the tv/wii so we can now watch these documentaries on the tv screen.  Once we had watched the documentary everyone got out their math.  Bonnie likes to sit at the counter, Bryce settled in at the table, and Brian likes to sneak off to his cubbie in his room.  I stay busy in the kitchen ready to answer questions and to see who needs help.  Once math is done I let the kids pick their next subject to work on.  Today since the documentary went long, the kids took their lunch break after finishing their math.  Once lunch and some outside time, the kids came in to work on the rest of their work.  Bonnie and Brian went to their language while Bryce picked out his favorite subject - science.  Today Bryce was learning about minerals.  After science, Bryce worked on his language - capitlization.  Bonnie wrote a paper on John Wycliffe and Brian read his literature book Men of Iron..  Then it was time for Bryce to take a little break, while I quizzed Bonnie and Brian on their science.  They have completed Module 3 in their Physical Science and I needed to make sure they understood the content of the module and are ready for a test.  Once they had been thoroughly drilled on the atmosphere and CFCs they were dismissed and Bryce read to me out of an ABEKA 3rd Grade reader.  Boy, has Bryce's reading improved.  It was after four when we officially closed school today.  Bonnie will read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight  on her own time.  We didn't get to spelling this week but we will pick back up with it next week.  We were hoping to go sledding, but the snow has turned to rain so it looks like we will stay inside.  Fortunately, the snow has all been shoveled, the wood has been brought in, and there is a batch of cookies in the oven.

I think I will serve some leftover rice and chicken for dinner.

Another day down.  One more before the break.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I don't know about you, but Todd and I are exhausted.  If he hadn't gotten sick a week ago and taken a day off I would insist that he call in sick tomorrow.  What a long week, month...it has been.  That is one thing about being in the pastorate, there are not any days off.  I know most pastors take Monday or Friday as their day off, but since Todd is teaching school he can't do that.  There is so much work to be done for school and church that he works seven days a week with many night time activities thrown in there.

This week was especially tough because a member of our church suddenly and unexpectedly died.  Don was 78 years old and still work in the logging business running the skidder.  He had just gotten off his lunch break and went back to the machinery when his coworkers found him.  He died on the job from a massive heart attack.  When I go, that is how I want it to happen.  I want to be plugging away at my normal day and the next second being in Heaven.  Yesterday was the funeral at church and now we just need to take a breath and rest, at least for a few hours.

I still can't comprehend that this is Thanksgiving Week.  I am missing my family and their traditions.  Of course, even they aren't having a normal Thanksgiving.  My parents, along with my brother and his family, are heading to Indiana to have Thanksgiving with my aunts and uncles.  They are mainly going to Indiana so that my brother can purchase a house.  He is moving to Indiana in January to start a church in West Carmel.  You can check out his new blog at  www.jimwright.me.  Jim is now officially a North American Missionary.  Indianapolis, Indiana has been declared an area that needs Christ.  Over 82% of the population do not attend church.  Folks....We need to be sharing the Gospel with our neighbors or our own towns are going to become godless as well.  

So here we begin our Thanksgiving Week.  Just three days of school, then a four day weekend.  I plan on sleeping in as much as possible.  I may not even work out much this week.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Remember that ridiculously low offer that we didn't even give the time of day to??  Well, they came back and offered to purchase our house at list price!!!  They still want us to paying closing costs, but it is the best offer we have had.  We signed the contract and faxed it back last night.  Closing is set for December 19th. 
I am not planning the celebration party yet.  Still crossing my fingers, my arms, and my legs that everything will work out and be officially sold in December.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Leaves, Swap, and Snow

How's that for a title?

Yesterday was the day to pick up the leaves - 20 bags of leaves - all from one tree!  Todd told the kids they had to get picked up by noon, but I changed it to 9am.  Why?  The Big Ski Swap!!

Yesterday, was the big ski swap in town.  Whenever I have asked about ski equipment, everyone has told me to wait for the ski swap.  Now that it was here, I was not going to miss it.  So shortly after nine we heading over to the high school gym.  Talk about crowded.  The bleachers were lined with ski and snowboard boots, the floor was covered with skis, and the walls were lined with snowboards.  The ski swap was worse than Black Friday shopping at Walmart.  I got the job of climbing up and down the bleachers looking for the right size boots.  We finally found a pair for Brian, Bonnie, and me.  Bryce is a tough one to find boots for.  His calves are so thick (Thanks Todd!) that we can't latch the top of the boot.  Fortunately, my brother in law works for Sports Outlet (The majority of the stuff there was from his warehouse.), and he told us that he has boots that will fit Bryce back at the shop.  He also helped us find the right skis for our boots.  We managed to get three sets of skis and three sets of boots for the cost of one new pair of boots.  Todd was given a set last season and our neighbor has told us we can have his wife's set.  So we are ready!!  Now I just need to sign the kids up to go with Todd's school this winter up to Mission Ridge.    I am excited!

Lastly, I woke up Saturday morning to the mountains covered in snow.  It's almost here.  It has been raining all weekend so snow is covering the mountains.  It hasn't made it to the valley, but it will be here soon.

That about sums up our Saturday.  Oh...we had another showing and they liked our house.  We haven't heard back from guy who renewed his offer on our house, so if someone jumps in with a better offer, we're taking it.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Well, I don't know about you, but nothing amazing has happened today.  Predictions from the internet shutting down, to natural disasters, to it being a very lucky day have abounded, but for me it was a standard day.

Of course, there is the bad news that it is raining outside and the boys have left all the leaves to bag up until tomorrow.  Now they have wet, soggy leaves to deal with, and they are getting bagged up tomorrow - rain or shine. 

We also got a final offer on our house.  Remember the couple that won the bidding war for our house, but got into an argument, split and dropped the offer?  Well, the gentleman involved came back and reinstated his offer.  We accepted his offer, but he has been out of town so we couldn't sign any paperwork yet.  We got word today, that he lowered his price on his offer this time around.  So we are back to negotiating trying to get him to come back up to his original offer price.  The other couple who made an offer want us to pay the closing costs and that is not going to happen.  Why not stick the knife in deeper while you are at it!


Did you have school today?  We didn't.  We don't always follow the public school schedule, but I needed a break today and since the schools were shut down, I don't feel guilty closing our school down today.  I still went into work, and we still had co-op today with our friends, but I didn't have to worry about monitoring school work.

I did today purchase the rest of my Tapestry of Grace curriculum.  I had decided this year to purchase my curric.  one unit at a time, but I saw that TOG was selling all of their discontinued material at a discount with an extra discount for being 11-11-11.  So I was able to purchase the rest of my curric.  Better yet, TOG has gone all digital which is ok but I really like to have the papers in front of me to go over, The computer is not always convenient and, of course, I don't have my curric. on the church computer.  The materials I bought today are discontinued because it is the printed curric, not the digital, and therefore, has not been updated to the latest books as of this year.  (It was current last year.) This will work perfect for me.

So here the day is coming to a close, and nothing strange or catastrophic has happened.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Multiple Offers

So we got word tonight that there are two new offers to purchase our house.  Our agent is working with the other agents to see who will bring in the best offer.  Please be in prayer.  I saw that one offer wants to close by December 19. 

Quote of the week - "I wish I could like this so that I could eat it all and not starve." - Bryce

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Numbers Game

Here go again!

Playing the numbers game.

As you know, we had two offers on our house.  We let them dicker it out, and the first offer outbid the second offer.  We thought we had the house sold, but it wasn't.  The couple who made the first offer had a fight and separated.  There went that offer.  We contacted the second potential buyers, who stated they were still interested; but, wouldn't you know, while we were waiting for the details to get worked out with them, they went and put an offer on another house.  Argghhh!!!

So we are back to showing our house.  Fortunately, there continues to be a lot of activity with it.  We got another offer in over the weekend, but it was again very low.  Don't you love it when they say, "Don't get offended by our offer; it's just a starting point."  Get Real!  I admit I was offended, angry, disgusted, and hurt.  Todd and I went to counter back but our agent, who was also disgusted, told us to hold our ground and not lower our price.  Evidently, he is showing it more than we realized, about once a day.  He feels confident that there is a decent offer around the corner. 

I haven't heard back from those with the latest offer.  I don't know if they really want this house or just really want a steal of a deal.   Times like this make it hard for me to trust that God's plan is better than mine.  But since He knows more than I do, I will trust in Him.

Proverbs 3:5,6  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


 It is that time of year again.  
Time to dress up and gather as much candy as you can.
Bonnie made her costume this year.  She gathered together material she found in the house and sewed together a medieval style dress and cape.  Some was hand sown, some machine.  She was pretty proud of her creation.  
This year Bonnie went around town with her friend, Alyssa, and some other girls.  
GULP!...it is hard to let those apron strings go, thank goodness for cell phones to keep taps of our kids.
Bryce decided to be a scarecrow.  
At one point he told our friend, Lisa, that he was a scarecrow/ghost/bandit. lol
He ended up loosing the face covering and stuck with the scarecrow/bandit concept.  

I didn't get a picture of Brian.  He decided to be a robber.  He dressed all in black and wore his ski mask.  Interesting side note,  the young gal he has a crush on showed up at the church carnival down the road in the exact same costume.  I think they planned it out.  I gotta keep my eye on those two.