Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tidbits and Snippets for October 27th

Hello, dear readers!

I apologize for not blogging more often! My life right now is fuller than full, and there is just no time for serious blogging. These little "Tidbits and Snippets" posts are written a line at a time over several weeks, so I can handle these - but that's about it. I do have some longer blog posts going (slowly!), but they are of the type that takes forever to refine, so again - blogging is slow going around here.

In the meantime, enjoy!

Finding Beauty in Homeschooling Through the Seasons - (TAN Homeschooling, guest post by Jen of Wildflowers and Marbles)

"As a wife, mother, and homeschooler I’ve been through my share of seasonal changes. Some years bring seasons that have been overwhelming, other seasons were painful and full of pruning, and there have been seasons full of great joy. Homeschooling through these seasons can be daunting, especially if we don’t gently adjust our homeschool plans with due consideration for the season God has gifted us. Because, while these seasons may seem to be an interruption of our normal life, and we may angst and seek to get back to whatever we consider “normal,” I suggest that there is far more value in the season God has gifted us in the supernatural sense than any spelling lesson, math quiz, or syllabus checklist we may have to let go. These seasons, many of which are painful and full of God’s tender pruning in our lives, bring growth in virtue and allow our children the opportunity to walk with us as we carry the cross. Seasons build saints."

"My Kids Don't Listen to Me" - Oh, my goodness. So many awesome parenting resources and links here! I am just starting to wade through this wonderful material. (Jess Connell)

Green Juice and Morning Sickness - More great material on health links to severe nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. (Vital Health Journey)

Laity Should Act When Clergy Won't - Judging from the vehemence of the comment section, many conservative Catholics join the author in her criticism of the current papacy. (Crisis Magazine)

"Let’s face it: The 2015 Synod on the Family is a mess. I was one who gave Pope Francis the benefit of the doubt. I now have my doubts about him. And I have no doubt at all that some of the men surrounding him are either heretics or lunatics or both."

Oral Contraceptives, Epigenetics, and Autism - Just in case you needed another reason not to take birth control pills. (Hormones Matter, hat tip to Contentment Acres)

Do You Feel Sorry for Children Helping Their Siblings? - "We gravely handicap our children when we insinuate they 'shouldn’t have to' help take care of their younger siblings in need. And when you hear an older child whining about such service, stop yourself from feeling pity until you have weighed the complaint against Scripture’s standard of love."  (Generation Cedar)

The Predator Next Door and How to Protect Your Children - Excellent and pertinent information for all parents. (The Long Way to Go)

Upcoming "Created to Be His Helpmeet" Study - I'm really excited about this! Join us! (Always Learning)

Recipe Corner

I very much enjoyed this low-carb Basic Coconut Flour Crust. Not only is it much easier to make than regular pie crust (it is patted out rather than rolled out), but it's also delicious raw. Yum, yum. And some of it actually made it into the pan, and it made a lovely pie crust. (A bit dryer than regular wheat crust, but completely workable.)

From the same website, Ultra-Low-Carb Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream. YUM. This is next on my to-do list.

I made my favorite No-Fail Applesauce Spice Cake recently, splitting it into two 8x8 pans (one for church, one for a picnic). Love this cake. I reduced the sugar slightly, and for simplicity's sake used a regular buttercream frosting. (I usually do a cream cheese frosting, but used buttercream in order to be able to freeze the cake.)

From the Bookshelf

Daughter of Empire: My Life as a Mountbatten

I have no idea how I ended up with this book (sometimes I request the most random things!), but I am very much enjoying this autobiography of one of the lesser known British royals. It's a wonderful portrait of English aristocracy of the 20th century, as well as a terrific behind-the-scenes tour of World War II, the work toward Indian Independence, the insight into the life of my favorite British royal, Elizabeth II - and more.

I found it helpful to have read Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch before tackling this book, so that I had at least a hazy knowledge of the characters and events of 1900s British royalty. Also helpful was one of my favorite books, Agatha Christie's An Autobiography. Though Christie and Lady Pamela were born 35 years apart, a great deal of British culture was in common.

I'm enjoying this book very much.

Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things

I picked this book up a bit randomly, probably when I was searching "decluttering" in our library system. While I wasn't too interested in the topic, I expected that it would be a good introduction to the topic of hoarding. (I have never watched any of the "hoarders" shows.)

This book has, so far, greatly exceeded my expectations, and I'm really enjoying it.

Besides providing a thorough overview of the traits and patterns inherit in the development of the hoarding vice, the authors provide an enlightening look into the different ways that people view "stuff." This has allowed me to admit that my way is not the only way to look at stuff (*sob*).

For example, my mother and I look at stuff in completely different way. Her way is "Don't get rid of it; you might need it some day." My approach is more along the lines of "Priceless family heirloom? Great, the trash can is over there."

You can probably guess that this brings us into frequent conflict! But this book taught me to give some grace and allow others to have different viewpoints on material goods.

This book also hit close to home in another way.

I have found the portraits of the hoarders described in this book to be rather repulsive. Over time, their impulses (toward keeping things, or toward compulsive shopping) have gained more and more power over these individuals until the people themselves were unable to escape their impulses - even those that wanted to. I found it to be very animalistic, and very saddening. Why couldn't they just pull themselves together and control themselves? Do they like living like this?

But then I had to pull myself together and admit that I have some areas of my life in which my impulses are often in control of my actions, rather than my own will. Prime example is in eating carbohydrates, which are verboten in my current diet. Do I want to eat them? No! But do I give in to my impulses, and thus let my impulses control me? Yes, I do - and more frequently than I'd like to admit.

It's a good example to me to examine myself and ask if there is any place in my life that is controlled by vice or by my fleshly desires, rather than being self-disciplined and under the control of the Holy Spirit. Any sin left uncorrected will grow and flourish until the sin itself is in control (pornography, eating, hoarding), and the person is then at the mercy of his own sin. Not a good place to be.

I'm enjoying this book very much.

Journal of the Plague Year

Having just finished At the Sign of the Sugared Plum (a fictionalized account of the London plague), I am now diving into a primary historical source on the infamous Plague Year of London (1665 A.D.). Though I've just begun reading, I find this a fascinating book and can't wait to read more. I can only imagine the horrors of living in London during the plague.

Own Your Life: Living with Deep Intention, Bold Faith, and Generous Love

I was so thrilled to find this at the library! (Typically, the public library does not carry good quality Christian books, which is very unfortunate.) This is my first Clarkson, and I'm enjoying this to the max (I've wanted to read her books for years).

This book perfectly fits my needs at the moment, and I'm looking forward to reading more.

Yes! Buy It Now!

I'm so excited about Albert Mohler's new book, We Cannot Be Silent. It's being released today, so snag a copy! Trust Mohler to tell hard truths in a way like no other.

"We are now witnesses to a revolution that is sweeping away a sexual morality and a definition of marriage that has existed for thousands of years. This is the morality and understanding of marriage that has been central to societies shaped by biblical witness and the influence of both Judaism and Christianity. But, it is important to note that marriage has been understood throughout human history – in virtually all civilizations – as the union of a man and a woman. 
"We Cannot Be Silent is a book about that revolution, how it happened and what it means for us, for our churches, and for our children. It is important to trace the revolution, and understand that the most heated controversies of our day did not emerge from a vacuum onto the daily headlines. Every revolution has a story, and the story of this revolution is one that we can now trace. To put the truth plainly, this revolution did not start with same-sex marriage, and it will not end there.
"The revolution that is centered on transforming sexual morality and redefining marriage has succeeded faster than its most eager advocates had even imagined, as they themselves now admit. But this revolution could not have achieved such a velocity if the ground had not been cleared by developments that came long before same-sex marriage. We will look at what came before same-sex marriage, and we will look into the future to what will come after."
Read the rest of the release announcement here! 

Dear readers, have a wonderful week!


  1. Ooooh, I'm interested in those books about the plague. I'm going to check them out! Thanks for the recommendations!

    1. Yes, they're both good! I do not recommend "At the Sign of the Sugared Plum" for younger or more sensitive children, though - it is quite gruesome.

      Also, it seems (that is, my impression is) that "At the Sign" is more of a secular rendition, while the Defoe is deeply (and refreshingly) religious in tone. An interesting comparison between the two.

      I hope you enjoy these! :)


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