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

Monday, April 27, 2015

Good, Random, Fun ~ Week 16

the GOOD
this grid is all about the goodness of nature...the goodness of spring
dogwood blooms, tulip blooms, lily of the valley blooms, and wisteria blooms
and big, tall trees to look up at

flower fun with my girl, treasures in the forest, a gorgeous sunset
a beautiful sunrise, interesting architecture and frogs in our yard

the FUN
hearts in our watermelon, macro fun with my Grandma's rings and coffee
The ring in the top right corner was my Grandma's wedding ring. I never saw her without this ring on and now it's mine to wear and enjoy. A really fun Grandma and Grandpa got married April 27, 1940 - 75 years ago today!

I'm linking up with Good, Random, Fun

Friday, April 24, 2015

Six Word Fridays ~ Limit

When it comes to pursuing minimalism, 
there are many ways to limit 
the total number of your possessions.

try dressing with only thirty-three
pieces of clothing for three months

buy something new, discard something old

only keep items that bring joy

keep what is lovely and useful

limit personal possessions to 100 items

Do these limits seem unreasonable or 
too confining? I've found so much 
freedom in paring down our possessions.

Having healthy limits and boundaries when 
it comes to what we own
and what we do brings peace,
joy and order to our lives.

linking up with Six Word Fridays

Thursday, April 23, 2015

An Interview With Myself

I listen to the pod-cast "Homeschool Snapshots" and on each episode, the hostess (Pam Barnhill), asks the guests a series of questions. I love hearing other people's answers as it gives insight to their homeschooling, and thought it would be fun to answer the questions myself.

How did you start homeschooling?
We have homeschooled from the start. My girls have never been to any formal school setting. I really don't remember our first conversations about homeschooling, but my husband knew I wanted to give it a try and has always been supportive. Before we had kids of our own, I taught violin in the public school and got a glimpse of what that really looks like (plus my own memory of attending public school). Also, as a private violin teacher, my working hours have always occuppied the afternoon and evening. I knew that if my own kids went to school all day, I would likely begin working when they got out of school leaving very little time for us to share as a family.

Your homeschool days look most like which literary classic: The Odyssey, Little Women, Swiss Family Robinson or Lord of the Flies?
Well, I do have two little women and often our days at home include reading and music and baking. But we are also a pretty adventurous family so there is a little bit of Swiss Family Robinson mixed in. Of course, when it's time for math it might look a little bit like Lord of the Flies....

If you ran into a younger version of yourself in a vendor hall (at a homeschool convention), what advice would you give?
Just read a lot. Read good books and use the teaching opportunities that every day life poses. Then read more good books.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you want for homeschooling?
1) Bible (read aloud, theology, grammar, spelling, writing, geography, history and more!)
2) a violin (music, skill mastery, improvisation, entertainment)
3) something to write on - a chalkboard (with chalk) or an unlimited supply of paper (and pencils/pens) - for drawing, writing, math, games and more

What is your biggest challenge in homeschooling?
Giving each child enough individual attention (and I only have two children!). I tend to teach them together at the same level and it's not always fair to them.

What is the most influential homeschool book you've read?
The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. I've read quite a few good books on homeschooling, but this one gave me a direction in terms of choosing a homeschooling style. After reading this book, I knew I wanted to mostly follow in the classical method. I go back to it year after year and use The Well Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer to guide me in my own reading.

What is your favorite read-aloud ever?
I loved A Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop. I had never heard of it and loved reading it with my girls.

What is your pet-peeve about homeschooling?
The high expectations others have of homeschoolers- good grades, perfect behavior, etc. I often embrace these expectations myself - thinking that because I homeschool my children, they should act and perform above average. But the reality is that they are still kids - sinful human beings, just like everyone else.

Fill in the blank: If my grown child __________I will have suceeded as a homeschooling mom.
If my grown children know how to find information, solve problems and live responsibly...

(I always cringe a little when moms answer this along the lines of "if my grown children love God and follow Him and serve Him..." This is my biggest hope for my children - that they would have a personal relationship with their Creator - that they would love Him and joyfully and obediently follow Him in all they do. But that decision is up to them, and the outcome of their decision does not determine my success as a parent. If I am teaching them and modeling to them what abundant life in Christ looks like, then I am living in obedience. I am not, however, responsible for how they respond.)

What is 1 thing in your Amazon cart right now?
Song School Latin - just trying to decide if we want to add Latin to our studies.

When do you start planning for the next year?
Right about this time of year...when we can see the end in sight for the current year, I start thinking about whether or not we will continue with our current curriculum choices.

....and now a quick pop quiz

coffee or tea?  coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon

a little bit country or a little bit rock-n-roll?  a little bit rock-n-roll 

Well-trained mind or unschoolers anonymous?  well-trained mind

early bird or night owl?  early bird

craft or read aloud?  read aloud

lapbook or workbook?  workbook

co-op or stay home?  stay home

bed made or unmade?  bed made

bookmark or dog ear?  book mark

sonnet or haiku?  sonnet

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Black and White Wednesday ~ Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley has been a favorite of mine for many years. I think I'm drawn to the simplicity of it. The fragrance is pretty nice, too. I don't have any in my own garden, but I love to stop and enjoy this little flower whenever I run across it.

Linking up with  Black and White Wednesday 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Spring Hike

taking a moment to find joy in the little things

One of my favorite things to do is go for walks or hikes with my camera - I love to look for beauty to collect. This past week/weekend, we've had the most beautiful weather - perfect for walking around the neighborhood and going on hikes. I've stopped caring what my neighbors think if they catch me photographing their flowers. I figure as long as I stay out of their yard, they can't really complain. Besides, if someone stopped to photograph my flowers, I'd take it as a compliment.

the gorgeous and dramatic Falls Creek falls

It was perfect hiking weather and we made the most of it. We found so many treasures on our walk to Falls Creek falls. The forest was full of surprises. 

My oldest daughter wanted to make cookies all by herself for our all church potluck. I agreed, fairly certain they wouldn't turn out right. It's not that I don't trust her, I just know from experience that one small mistake can lead to cookie disaster. Sure's what her first tray looked like.

After going over the ingredients in the recipe again, she realized she'd only put in 1 cup of flour instead of 3. 

It's here...the week I've been training for since the beginning of the year is here. Sunday I will run my first (and last?!?!) 1/2 marathon. I'm so thankful I've been injury free and able to train well. Now I'm praying the training pays off and I finish strong. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Good, Random, Fun ~ Week 15

sharing snaps from my instagram feed
(I love instagram! You can find me there at fiddlejill)

the GOOD
I had my fill of nature this week and it was good for my soul
walking in parks and hiking in forests
fiddle heads

raindrops and cool little insects on purple flowers

a night away and wine tasting with my husband, sunshine and blue skies
wishes and rainbows

the FUN
One of my favorite things about instagram are the hubs that provide prompts
This week the hub @itsmyweek had the theme #myweekofcurrentlyreading
a rainbow of children's classics, my current, personal pile
lots of eighth notes

I'm linking up with Good, Random, Fun

Friday, April 17, 2015


to collect or not to collect
that is the question for minimalists

most would say collect memories not
 things, but I would say collect 
and keep what brings you joy

mostly I use my camera to collect
memories, stories and moments of beauty

linking up with Six Word Fridays