{ School Can Be….Interesting. }



The first report drafted by one of my students included this summary:


Iceland is truly an interesting country with interesting people and interesting traditions of which I will leave you to read about on your own.


As I sigh and circle the word *interesting* three times in red, I make a mental note to shun this overused word.

Four years ago, my cheeky son (then 14) wrote this farce report on Iceland just to shock me:

Iseland is cold.

Amarica is worm.

Iseland is a plas explowding with culcher and tradichin.

Maybee U wil visit som day.


What is it about Iceland? Maybe it’s one of those places you must see rather than write about 🙂

On a better note, we have had some school success thus far:

Last week, everyone earned at least 90% on the final spelling test!

Words like crumb, subtle and acquire were even mastered by my 8-year-old.


Note to self~ The 2017-2018 school year: It’s a marathon, not a sprint.





{ Glorious }

niklas-tidbury-327468“I want to know God’s thoughts; the rest are mere details.” –Albert Einstein

There is always more to discover in this world, although people have been finding, inventing and exploring for thousands of years.

Here are some recent quotes from news headlines:

  • “The exact size of the universe is still unknown.”
  • “Scientists have discovered 1,451 new species in our oceans this past year.
  • “Until recently, no one knew that the smaller-than-microscopic pentaquark existed.”

Likewise, there is always more to discover about the God of the universe.

The riches, wisdom and knowledge of God are deeper than I can imagine. His ways are inscrutable, meaning impossible to understand or interpret. When I think have God’s ways figured out, Isaiah 55:8 reminds me: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.”

But the eternal, infinite, inscrutable God wants to be known.

James 4:8 says that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us.

Paul prays in Ephesians 1:17 “…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.”

I can pursue knowing the infinite God through His Word. There is so much yet to know, and it makes me praise our deep, rich, wise, and glorious God.

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?”
Or who has given a gift to Him that He might be repaid? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever.” Romans 11:33-36


Photo by: Niklas Tidbury

{ Recreation }

A recent soccer game, watching MN United in their inaugural year.  Go Loons!

Word Prompt of the Day:

Recreate ~ to refresh by means of relaxation and enjoyment, as restore physically or mentally.

Walking (me) & rolling (them) at Carver Park on a sunny September day.
Art fair in Edina / Centennial Lakes
Just sitting in the sun. Doing nothing but smiling. Amazing!



{ Before You I Kneel }

kristina-flour-185602 (1)
This is one of my favorite songs: a hope, a prayer, a daily mission:
Before You I kneel, my Master and Maker,
To offer the work of my hands.
For this is the day You’ve given Your servant;
I will rejoice and be glad
For the strength I have to live and breathe,
For each skill Your grace has given me,
For the needs and opportunities
That will glorify Your great name.
Before You I kneel and ask for Your goodness
To cover the work of my hands.
For patience and peace to shape all my labor,
Your grace for thorns in my path.
Flow within me like a living stream,
Wear away the stones of pride and greed
‘Til Your ways are dwelling deep in me
And a harvest of life is grown.
Before You we kneel, our Master and Maker;
Establish the work of our hands.
And order our steps to seek first Your kingdom
In every small and great task.
May we live the gospel of Your grace,
Serve Your purpose in our fleeting days,
Then our lives will bring eternal praise
And all glory to Your great name.



Daily Word Prompt: Thorny“>

Photo:Kristina Flour

{ My Penchant List }

door-2103035__480Penchant – the word of the day: a strong or habitual liking for something or tendency to do something.

Synonyms: liking, fondness, preference, taste, partiality, soft spot, fancy, weakness, bent
  • Coffee with cream
  • Chocolate
  • The color red
  • Whole fat plain (not Greek) yogurt
  • Stories about underdogs
  • Clean comedy
  • Books about introverts
  • Making treasures out of trash
  • Hearing about how God uses weak people to do something wonderful
  • Working alone in cozy, tucked away places with no interruptions
  • Audiobooks
  • Drying clothes on the line
  • Walking around lakes and on trails
  • Antiques and houses with character. (Especially if they have red painted doors)
  • Thrift shops
  • Crafting, selling and giving away things I have made
  • Getting rid of clutter
  • Zinnias
  • Gingham
  • Crock pots




{ Sympathy & Comfort }

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”—Psalm 34:18

Last fall, God gave me an opportunity to comfort a grieving friend.

At the time, I realized three things:

  • I wanted to say the right thing.
  • I hoped not to say the wrong thing.
  • I wondered how best to help grieving people.

Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”

Grieving is part of life. Watching others grieve their losses is part of life. We aren’t really taught how to comfort others. It’s something we learn by watching and doing. 

One of my favorite recent books on this subject is called What Grieving People Wish You Knewabout what really helps (and what really hurts) by Nancy Guthrie.

Pure, uninterrupted listening is sometimes the best balm for the grieving.

In the Bible book of Job, we read about a suffering soul who endured incredible hardship. He was surrounded by so-called friends who excelled at saying the wrong thing.

If only Job’s friends would have just listened– without lecturing Job on what they guessed God was doing.

Job sums up how he felt:

“I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are you all.” Job 16:2

Since death and grief are part of life, the art of comfort & sympathy will never go unnoticed or unused.

“Grieving people are not expecting you to make the pain go away. They’re really just hoping that you will be willing to hurt with them.” – Nancy Guthrie




{ Education Anticipation }

IMG_20170906_191416768.jpgEvery August, I wait for a spark of inspiration to help me dive in to September’s back-to-school.

It’s amazing what tiny little event or conversation can give birth to the mysterious *muse* — brightening my dull outlook on the year ahead.

A conversation with my friend Pam recently put that spark into motion. The inspiration is there – finally.

ISLANDS: a unit study.

Unit study learning is a way to compel students to read and write about interesting topics while hiding the fact that they are actually learning.

I usually begin my year with an engaging unit study, and if we need a boost mid-year, sometimes I sneak one in around January.

So this fall we will plan to study islands, in addition to the other reading, writing, arithmetic, and history that we always do.

  1. Reading (aloud and independently) appropriate grade-level books about islands. (I have a growing book list: The Cay, Treasure Island, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Baby Island, Island of Dr. Libris, Surprise Island, Shipwreck and Nim’s Island are some of the titles)
  2. Making analogies and comparisons about islands.
  3. Learning to spell words that have silent letters.
  4. Writing reports about island nations.
  5. Studying general geographic terms. I like the picture book: Geography from A to Z: a picture glossary by Jack Knowlton.
  6. Anyone have any other ideas?

Though not every student will eagerly anticipate the writing-of-reports, a happy and enthusiastic teacher is contagious and helps classroom morale!

I think 2017-2018 will be a good year.


Word Prompt of the Day: Anticipate


Photo credit: Sergio Jara

{ Love, Learning & Lunes }

I just saw Jesus
love people
with no pasted smile


Those church buildings?

Just shells.

Feeding action souls.


Lord, prompt me to love

I just can’t

Please do it for me.


Lunes inspired by what I’m chewing on — reading up to page 48 of the book I mentioned in a previous post: “Why Nobody Wants to be Around Christians Anymore: and how 4 acts of love will make your faith magnetic,” by Thom and Joani Schultz.

Info on types of Japanese poetry, like the lune, haiku, senryu.

{ Do the Next Thing }

mathew-waters-38053.jpgFrom an old English parsonage,
 Down by the sea,
 There came in the twilight,
 A message to me;
 Its quaint Saxon legend,
 Deeply engraven,
 Hath, as it seems to me,
 Teaching from Heaven.
 And on through the hours
 The quiet words ring
 Like a low inspiration-

Many a questioning, many a fear,
 Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.
 Moment by moment,
 Let down from Heaven,
 Time, opportunity,
 Guidance, are given.
 Fear not tomorrows,
 Child of the King,
 Trust them with Jesus,

Do it immediately;
 Do it with prayer;
 Do it reliantly, casting all care;
 Do it with reverence,
 Tracing His Hand,
 Who placed it before thee with
 Earnest command.
 Stayed on Omnipotence,
 Safe 'neath His wing,
 Leave all resultings,

Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
 (Working or suffering)
 Be thy demeanor,
 In His dear presence,
 The rest of His calm,
 The light of His countenance
 Be thy psalm,
 Strong in His faithfulness,
 Praise and sing,
 Then, as He beckons thee,

-author unknown
Word Prompt: continue