Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread - Proverbs 30:8

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Six Word Friday ~ FACE

FACE - it's how I learned the
 four names of the space notes 

line notes were a little trickier...
five notes instead of four, and
they didn't spell a cute word

instead, each letter...EGBDF stood for
every good boy deserves fudge OR
every good boy does fine OR
elvis goes boppin down (the) freeway

How did you learn your notes?

linking up with Six Word Fridays

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Black and White Wednesday - Ferns

I absolutely love to see plants coming to life in the spring, and I'm especially fond of ferns. I love how they slowly uncurl and develop into big, leafy plants. 

Linking up with  Black and White Wednesday 

Dog Mountain Hike

taking a moment to find joy in the little things

We did one of my favorite hikes this week - Dog Mountain. It's a popular hike and pretty difficult, but the views from the top are pretty amazing. We've done it several times now, but this was the first time we saw the wildflowers in full bloom. The rest of my family doesn't care much about wildflowers, but I was thrilled to finally see what people talk about.


We had glimpses of wildflowers through the lower part of the hike, but there is a point where you break through the trees and can see wildflowers for what seems like miles. It really is indescribable. In some ways, I felt like I was getting a glimpse of heaven. Even though we still had quite a ways to the summit, I could have stopped hiking and just sat here for the rest of the day. You'll see what I mean as you scroll through the pics below. 

Hmmm....which way? Longer and more difficult or shorter and less difficult? What would YOU choose?

There was poison oak EVERYWHERE on the lower parts of the trail. EVERYWHERE!!! I'm sure we were exposed. We are just praying we got it all washed off when we got home. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Good, Random, Fun ~ Week 19

the GOOD
poppies, foxgloves, hibiscus
tulips and sunbursts
honeysuckle, lupine and more poppies

frogs and sunbursts, roses in my yard, shoes and sunbursts
waiting for daddy in a guitar store, interesting steps at the library
my new baby - a mandolin!!

the FUN
layers of scrolls
macro - metal and flowers: 
the metal piece on my violin tailpiece, clematis, my violin fine tuner
chives from my herb garden, the tuning peg on my mandolin

I'm linking up with Good, Random, Fun

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Weekend Reads

Some linky love this weekend -

All of the above inspired me to think more about this journey of living with less. In particular, Jennifer inspired me to define my style and create a 10-item wardrobe. In watching her new video I realized a couple things about myself and my style preferences. I decided to keep a few items I had planned to get rid of, and returned some recently bought items. I was more excited about keeping (and wearing more frequently) the things I already had than I was about buying new things!

I absolutely loved Jennifer's book and am eagerly awaiting my turn at reading her most recent one (which I understand to be more about decluttering the home). I also love watching her you tube videos and am allowing myself one a day.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Six Word Friday ~ Lock

Along the east side of the 
Willamette River that runs through Portland,

there is an esplanade where many
come to walk, run and bike.

And in one section of this 
esplanade, there is a fence where 
many have come to attach their
locks and throw away their keys.

linking up with Six Word Fridays

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Building Family Culture Through Homeschooling

When I first decided to homeschool several years ago, I don't think I would have listed "creating family culture" as one of my primary reasons. And yet, that's exactly why I choose homeschooling today.

There are so many ways we are intentionally choosing to create and nurture the family culture in our home. I could probably write a separate post on each item, but for now I'll just jot down some quick thoughts.

Faith ~ I do not use "Christian" curriculum in our homeschool. In fact, I've intentionally chosen not to. Still, faith is a huge part of our lives, and we want it to permeate every part of our day, including our education.   We start our day with Bible reading, which is a great way to center ourselves around our Creator before we dig into the hard work of learning. Church also plays a big role in this category. We go every Sunday (unless we are out of town) and try to be actively involved in many different ways. Most of our socialization throughout the week is with members of our church family. It's so nice to get beyond Sunday morning church and find ways to incorporate church into our every day lives.

Reading ~ I'm not sure when reading became an important part of my life. I do remember reading as a child, but I don't think I was a bookworm by any means. Now, every single member in our family has at least one book going at any given time, and often we have a book going in each room of the house! We read alone, and we read together. We listen to audio books in the car while running errands and on long drives. We talk about stories around the dinner table and compare books to their movies. We also frequent the library (several times a week) and often have full carts in Amazon. I don't have to schedule quiet time for my girls to read, or assign a certain number of chapters for them to read. They simply love reading; we all do.

Music ~ Music has always been important to both my husband and I, and now our girls both play violin as well. Creating music is a daily thing in our house. We have a current family project to learn a set (12-15) of tunes we can play out in public this summer. In addition to practicing and working on our individual skills each day, we also love listening to music as a family. Like books and stories, it's fun to share favorite songs and albums.

Adventure ~ Whether it's hiking, rock climbing, camping, biking or traveling, we always seem to be up for an adventure. I cannot even begin to tell you all the ways adventure has shaped our family. We have games and stories that are specific to the trail, memories of trips, challenges given and met while rock climbing and so much more. These are my most cherished times because there always seems to be some sort of challenge that we must rise to and overcome in order to succeed. And even when we don't succeed, we still come out stronger. 

Service ~ Living out our faith by intentionally serving others is also important to our family. We have found a variety of ways to love our neighbors - both literal and figurative - as a family. I'll share some of what we've done - not as a way to brag and bring attention to ourselves, but rather to inspire you and encourage you to give some of these a try.
  • monthly concerts at local nursing home (don't play an instrument? - take children's picture books and read them aloud)
  • writing to sponsored children around the world
  • baking cookies and bread for neighbors
  • playing Christmas carols for neighbors
  • painting rocks and leaving them by the sidewalk for others to enjoy and pick up
  • delivering flower bouquets from our garden
  • serving meals to homeless women and children
  • shopping for homeless shelter
  • putting together shoeboxes at Christmas time

No other family is going to look exactly like ours. Some families build their family culture around sports or games or world wide travel or languages or movies or homesteading or anything else. Despite what your family culture looks like, I think it's important to step back and know what you are building and be intentional about nurturing it every day.