{ School, Senior Citizens & Substitutions }

It’s MEA week.  It’s the week that Minnesota public schools get time off for teachers to attend meetings.

Ava, age 12, asks if we have to do homeschool today.


“Grandma gets to go to an apple orchard today,” Ava says.

“Senior citizens have all the fun, don’t they?” 

Instead of a trip to the apple orchard, we got a spelling test and the rest of the French and Indian War. And math.

Practicing spelling words. At least a little more fun when you use neon scratch paper and markers.

Instead of the apples,  Ava (a budding pie-maker) might make a mock apple pie with the green tomatoes we rescued from the garden.

It won’t be such a bad day.



Pie photo credit.




{ Humble & Brave }

David was a brave shepherd, an accomplished stone-slinger, and a victorious underdog champion.


He was a beloved king and a stumbling sinner.
David was winsome, bold and good-looking.
He would have had his face pasted all over the internet if he had lived in this millennium.
But the most attracting and intriguing thing of all?

David was called “a man after God’s own heart.”

(I Samuel 13:14)

What does that even look like—when someone lives to do the things that God cares about?

When someone’s heart is patterned after the heart of a loving, holy God?


Besides all this, you would think that a brave, manly king and warrior would be too macho for poetry and a humble attitude toward God.


Not David.


Here is part of a song he wrote (and sang) after being pursued and saved from his enemies, including the extremely jealous King Saul.

(This is taken from the Bible, and re-written in casual everyday language—like a person’s unplanned, but heartfelt prayer) :

I love you, God—You make me strong.

God is bedrock under my feet, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight.

My God—the high crag where I run for dear life, hiding behind the boulders, safe in the granite hideout.


I call to God, I cry to God to help me.

From His palace he hears my call; my cry brings me right into his presence—a private audience!

They hit me when I was down, but God stuck by me.

He stood me up on a wide-open field;

I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!

From Psalm 18, the Message Bible


Word of the Day: Brave


{ Warning: Snack Avoidance Can Lead to Snacking }

I left the house with a protein bar, bottles of water and a cup of coffee.  I was determined to eat light tonight.

I wasn’t even thinking of food while scurrying around GoodWill, trying on black boots. (I’m always trying to find black boots.)

The returns and the library stop kept me busy.

I even made it through every aisle at Aldi.  (I turned over a teeny package of almonds at the checkout, but resisted.)

I entered the doors of my favorite upscale grocery store.  This is a dream spot for anyone seeking to enjoy free wifi — a lovely area with tables and booths, virtually empty post-dinnertime.

You feel like you should buy at least a token item, if you’re going to sit there at a booth.

I pulled down a can of my favorite sugar-free sparkling water.


It went downhill from there.

Peeking around for a small high-protein snack, I discovered the bulk foods section.

Yes, there were high-protein choices….but there were various other offerings…

  • …such as these delicious little critters: chocolate covered cinnamon bears. I finished off a very small bag. bears
  • I can never resist licorice Allsorts.

    I tried to scoop just a few of each kind, but got several more than I bargained for.


  • I needed something savory, so I added Asian cracker mix to my basket.

    asian mix
    The kind I bought included peas…so I got my veggies at least.

Tomorrow we’re going to make a stop at Trader Joe’s.

Just to stay accountable, here are the things I will not even look at!

  1. Those amazing dark chocolate-covered peanut butter cups at the checkout.
  2. Equally amazing dark chocolate covered almonds.
  3. Frozen mango mochi.  But if my daughter buys a box, you know I have to help her.
  4. Ditto with frozen chocolate-covered banana slices.

Feeling slightly defeated as I finish off my sugar-free sparkling water,

Lisa 🙂


{ Fraud }


airytales, anyone?

eal Science: The Big Bang

rrogant Love

nderstanding God’s Ways

oing Good: The Way to Heaven



In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. —Genesis 1:1

For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world…—Romans 1:20

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful…—I Corinthians 13:4,5

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! —Romans 11:33

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. —Ephesians 2:8,9


Word prompt of the day: Fraud



{ Deism, Drones & Death: Musings of a Homeschooling Mom. }

What I am learning this week:

  • When you plan a big party, remember to double-check to see if your mother-in-law’s invitation got sent.  (I am in the process of making this right.)


  • Little people listen more than we realize. When I asked my children today during American History, “What do you remember about Deism?” I didn’t expect eight-year-old Gianny to be the one itching to answer: “It’s the belief that God set the world in order and then went away until judgment.”


  • Drones are cool and come in two main styles: quadracopter and hexacopter. People who get to review drones online are very cool.  People that blow things up using household materials are possibly even cooler. And, I was just informed that the King of Random just flew a drone online for the first time.  That’s cool colliding with awesome. (This information was generously handed to me by my 13-year-old, who offered me the pleasure of watching a 7 minute drone video. I am a blank slate when it comes to knowledge of drones, so I learned a lot.)


  • Gardens eventually die. Looking out the window this morning, I saw the bittersweet view of a frosty garden.  I mourned my basil and zinnias for about five seconds and then was grateful I wouldn’t have to battle the tomato slugs anymore. I gathered what I could. Photos attached.


  • The last peach in the bowl is always the most precious and sought after.  I could divide it into 12 tiny slices….or just eat it myself after everyone is in bed. 🙂
I will miss the bright beauty of the zinnias.


Green tomato recipes, here I come.
Isaiah 40:8~ "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever."


{ Introvert Hangover }

introvert hangover rooster magazine
Last night’s alcohol-free party was memorable, wonderful, and intensely draining.

When the last guests left, I was upright — but zombie-like.


This morning, I rolled out of bed with a dull headache.


My groggy brain started reviewing every conversation from the night before.

Our dear friend had washed the dishes, but pieces of the party peeked out from every corner.

I walked around dazed…but happy that there were 2 boxes of Pumpkin Spiced Cheerios to serve for a fast breakfast.
The phrase “Introvert Hangover” popped into my mind and I was amazed that there is such a thing.
…Now it’s mid-afternoon and the sun is shining. Everyone is helping.
Party baubles are getting packed away and the review tapes in my head are winding down.
Coffee serving #2 is nourishing my nerves.
I feel a sense of accomplishment and a waning headache.
I think, by the end of the day, I will spring back to normal.
Photo credit: The Rooster.com 



{ Haha…Mmm }

My darling daughter made cookies today.  What was the occasion?

To celebrate her successful driver’s license test yesterday?


She has been waiting to try this new recipe: Trader Joe’s Jo-Jo cookies encased in chocolate chip cookie dough, then baked to delicious perfection.

In her venture, she filled the whole house with the invigorating scent of melting Jo-Jo’s and chocolate chips.

She left her masterpieces on the kitchen table.

She even sliced one open, revealing the exquisite beauty of the inner Jo-Jo.

Does she think that anyone can resist such temptation?

How comical.  How very droll.

Excuse me as I fetch a glass of milk.


Word Prompt of the Day — [witty: showing or characterized by quick and inventive humor.]

Synonyms: humorous, amusing, droll funny, comic, comical…



{ Just Listen. }

listen“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” —Bryant H. McGill

I knew I needed help with my listening skills, so I picked up a book by Michael P. Nichols, PhD. It’s called The Lost Art of Listening.

He says, “Listening is so basic that we take it for granted. Unfortunately, most of us think of ourselves as better listeners than we really are.”

Listening is key to connecting, understanding, and knowing another person.

Why is so hard to listen to others; to be totally engaged while another person speaks?

This is especially true:

–If we don’t agree with what they are saying.
–If their words make us angry.
–If they are taking lots of time to say it.

Listening requires true patience and unselfishness, which can be lacking in the best of us 🙂

Experts agree that good listening makes all the difference between poor communication and healthy conversations.

With that in mind, here are some things I want to work on to be a better listener:

  • Watch body language. When I focus on the talker and look at someone’s eyes, it shows I want to listen.
  • Cut out distractions. And don’t squirm, roll my eyes, tap my fingers or look at my phone while someone is talking to me. Don’t act like I have something better to do, even though I might….

[Okay, what about if your little boy wants to tell you the (lengthy) dream that he had last night? It’s okay to say, “Can you wait a few minutes? There’s a fire starting on the stove…” or…”Why don’t we sit down and write this out later? Then you can read it back to me and you’ll have it forever!”]

  • Listen the talker have his say. Resist the strong temptation to interrupt with a similar story or disagreement. There will (hopefully?) be time for your side later.
  • Ask thoughtful questions.  Before taking your turn, make sure you have understood her point of view. 

Finally, here are some inspiring quotes about listening:

There is a difference between listening and waiting for your turn to speak.~ Simon Sinek

Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery. ~ Joyce Brothers

Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk.~ Doug Larson

You can’t fake listening. It shows. ~ Raquel Welch

It’s not a coincidence that God gave us two ears and only one mouth. ~Epictetus

Word Prompt of the Day: Coincidence“>

{ Focused }


Hebrews 12:2 urges us to “fix our eyes” on Jesus while journeying through the Christian life.

The Greek word for this phrase is apharao: to consider attentively; to turn the eyes away from other things and fix them on something.  Picture an infant fixing her eyes on her mother. She is absorbed with mom and completely delighted with her presence.

Temptation, sin and even ordinary things coax us to turn our eyes away from Jesus. Jesus looked beyond the pain and shame of the cross and stared at the joy ahead of Him. As we fix our gaze upon Jesus, we can endure the distractions and trials that come our way. Someday we will share Heaven with Him, where He is victoriously seated at the right hand of the Father.

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face.  And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” – Helen Lemmel

“…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2



Planet“> /Focused“>