Monday, August 10, 2009

Everything That Comes to Mind Post

I am currently avoiding the dinner dishes. I really should have the kids do them, but they are watching Mansfield Park.

Right before we said grace at dinner, Mariel asked if we would all squish her. We sometimes put one person in the middle of the circle of family and then do a group hug. The person in the middle gets squished.

So we did. It wasn't enough, so she got bear hugs from each of us afterward, and then Cornflower needed a little squishing.


I have been reading the Mitford books this summer. I read the first and second ones this past spring, and then gave all the moms in my life the first Mitford book for Mother's Day. My mom got so hooked that she purchased the next several in the series, and is now lending them to me as she finishes reading them. Hee hee.


I am laying out the work for the first term of school. Mr. Honey and I went through the first term's books and curriculums last night and decided which things have priority and which can fall off if necessary to keep the girls and I sane. I appreciated that so much. It will be good to have a "time and schoolwork budget" to refer to when difficult decisions have to be made.


Cornflower made us lunch this afternoon. She made a lovely sign and hung it on the counter. It said:

The Buzzing Bee


Mac'n Cheese
and more

Feastraunt, I love it. Her older sister asked if that was a misspelling, but Cornflower said no, it was a FEASTraunt, not a restaurant.

There were ice pops for dessert.


I am still reading Seeking the Face of God and am a little over halfway through it. I keep rereading chapters so it is slow going. I have been astounded by the truth contained in this book. For instance:

"We do not keep ourselves virtuous by our own power, but by the counterbalance of two opposing vices, just as we stay upright between two contrary winds. Take one of these vices away and we fall into the other."

That was Blaise Pascal. It seems we have nothing to do then, but to despair of ever being good, right? But the ancient Christians recommend that we run and bury our faces in the robes of our Father when confronted with temptation, begging the Lord to help us, and refuse to give in to temptation:

"...Let us use temptation to remind us to think of Him, our soul's true delight."

I have often wondered why I feel more Stoic than Christian when trying to be good. I think it must be because I attempt to use my own strength to keep myself from sinning rather than running to the Rock when tempted.


I also just finished previewing The Problem of Pain. Triss and I are going to read it together this first term. I thought it was pretty interesting-- I certainly found some ideas I hadn't considered before, like Lewis' idea of what powers man's nature might have included before the Fall. I'm still not sure I can go where he went on that one. But it is interesting to ponder, and does emphasize the immensity of what was lost.

Someone else who has read the book said that Lewis had a whiny tone. I think it must be difficult to write a book entitled The Problem of Pain without coming across as whiny, at least at times.


Cornflower and I are finishing up Robin Hood by Howard Pyle. Today we read about Robin's attempt to trick Midge the Miller, and how it backfired on him. Triss was doing dishes and listening while we read, and after we were done, she said, "Those people in Robin Hood are such... boys."

It would be unusual to find a girl who, after hearing a ruckus in the woods, would say, 'Sounds like some heads are being cracked in another part of the forest! What fun-- let's go watch!'" They fight fellow travelers (who are more than willing to give them a run for their money), then laugh, share their victuals and invite them to be part of the band. And the travellers consent! That is such a boy way to act. I used to wonder what was the value of reading Robin Hood, but I think we must need it at least in part to remind ourselves what boyhood used to look like, and, hopefully, still does in some circles.

Robin and his men sang some merry songs in today's chapter, and Cornflower read one aloud, the ballad of Sir Keith, which is very gallant. I would love to hear it set to music. Cornflower, who is just learning to read poetry aloud, recited it with heavy emphasis on rhythm. I think she was making sure it scanned properly.


I keep thinking about this World Magazine article Triss told me about, regarding how to think about millions, billions and trillions: a million seconds ago was twelve days ago; a billion seconds ago was thirty years ago; and a trillion seconds ago was 30,000 B.C.-- over 32,000 years ago. Each new little word increases the number of whatever-it-is exponentially.


Well, I need to kiss the girls good-night, do my dishes and read my Mitford book. Have a great evening, or day, or whatever it is in your part of the world.

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