Sunday, June 5, 2011

It seems to me if Christians wholesale say a certain "form" of art is "wrong" or against God, what we effectively do is cut ourselves off from being at the table for many conversations. We simply won't be at the table of "Modern Art", "Abstract Art" "Rap Music" or what ever else is going around. I'm not saying that it is the duty of every Christian to participate in every art form, or art at all for that matter but it doesn't seem right to see some forms of art as more godly than others. I applaud the efforts of painting schools to teach the techniques of the master painters of the past, but there should also be the realization that these are techniques and nothing more. If painter wants to learn them, if the Romanticism era really makes their heart sing, then by all means! But there is nothing more "godly" about that sort of Romanticism except for the godliness of pursuing a discipline whole heartedly for the glory of God. 

I think I need to read "How Shall We Then Live" again. I think I simply disagree with Francis Schaeffer. But maybe I don't remember what he said like I should. As if I should be cheeky enough to disagree with Francis Schaeffer!

Friday, May 27, 2011

For awhile I've been feeling like I've wanted to start a new blog to just focus on art and culture and Christianity intersecting culture and all that sort of thing. Not that I claim to be an expert in the area but I just find it interesting. So if you are interesting in that sort of thing too, you can join me here:


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sale in the shop

A 10 day sale-through the 21st of May take 10% off your order total, with coupon code "SPRINGFLING"~celebrating the fact that we have had three days without rain!

Gotta love Oregon!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Honesty in Art

 I got to work in my local art guild's gallery for the first time. It was nice. QUIET. Much, much quieter than at home. :)

Anyway, while I was there a man came in to buy a metal sculpture of fish that he has seen earlier. He was so excited to buy this sculpture! His wife was walking behind him chuckling at how much he loves fish. I could tell he loves fish! As he was checking out he was looking it all over musing on how he would hang it, then he found a pine needle on it which delighted him because it seemed to give him some clue as to how the artist made the piece. Left it out in the sun perhaps? He was delightful. As he left he mused as to whether he should send the artist a picture of where he puts it, do you think he would like that? Of course he would like that!

It got me to thinking about people who buy art and the responsibility of us who make art. These two men, the artist and the buyer, both apparently love fish! And some how that love of fish connected them through this piece of art and the artist made this other man very happy by enabling the buying man to give voice to his love of fish!

I just thought that was kind of cool and reminds me of the calling of an artist. In a way you are aiding people to give voice to their loves and feelings by giving them form and color in a way that conveys more than what the actual thing just looks like in real life. That's why I'm not a fan of super realistic art. There should be something else there, something more. Something that not only says "fish" to the fish lover, but emphasizes what they love about fish.

I guess this was all the more striking to me because I am not into fish. All the while he was buying it, he was so delighted and I was just thinking "fish".... But that's a good thing. His new piece spoke his language to HIM. It wasn't for me anyway. He and this artist were having a conversation of sorts (though the artist was no where around) and all I was to do was to help him facilitate the conversation (Mainly by taking it off the wall and putting it in his hands and leading him to the cash register as he was just kind of gazing at his fish not knowing where to go..) and get out of his way!

Anyway, I found him delightful. I think God gave me that experience to show me something. I want to keep my art fresh and honest. So when somebody thinks enough of it to engage in conversation with it, it will be an honest heart felt chat. :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

{this moment}

 Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Do you have a {this moment} up? Leave me a link and I'll come say "hi"!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Jostie Flicks

Our family has ten kids. And nooooo dishwasher. So they found this video very, very funny.
Actually this family (I think they have 11 kids) has made a few vidoes that really rang true for my kids. I think there's kind of a "large family fraternity" of sorts. Whenever they meet kids from families with more than like 7 or 8 kids they have instant points of commonality. They also liked the one about being left home alone... eating chips for dinner, jumping on top of a car... and the boy by the piano who is apparently the sensitive one...

"It's fine if you give them small amounts and you help, help, Help them..."

Monday, May 2, 2011

New in the Shop

These two buildings stand side by side in downtown Portland. In the afternoon the sun reflecting off the building next to them causes reflections to dance all over them. They are like a canvas being painted on by the sun!

Friday, April 29, 2011

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kim @ Life in a Shoe is having a giveaway of these cute hair clips.

Lilla Rose has a lot of cute stuff, so it's hard to chose, but if I won I think I would like this one:

Simple and sweet and not too hard to match. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

New in the Shop

I feel like I ought to say something about Easter, but since I spent the day sleeping while the family had dinner at church, it didn't feel like it happened. I'm still feeling a little under the weather-ish today. Hope nobody else in the family gets it. 

So I hope you had a happy Easter! 
Cheers! I'm going back to bed. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ah, Holy Jesus, How Hast Thou Offended

Ah, Holy Jesus, how hast Thou offended
That man to judge Thee hath in hate pretended?
By foes derided by Thine own rejected,
Oh, most afflicted

Who was the guilty? who brought this upon Thee?
Alas my treason, Jesus hath undone Thee.
Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied Thee,
I crucified Thee

Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered
The slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered
For man's atonement, while he nothing heeded
God intercedeth

For me, kind Jesus was Thine incarnation,
Thy mortal sorrow, and Thy life's oblation
Thy death of anguish and Thy bitter passion
For my salvation

Therefore kind Jesus, since I cannot pay Thee
I do adore Thee and will ever pray Thee
Think on Thy pity and Thy love unswerving,
Not my deserving

New in the Shop

I love the bleeding hearts that grow in my garden. They come back every year in the spring to greet me, they are amicable and get along with everybody. But they don't care to be picked much. So I painted some so they could be brought inside without harming their sensibilities.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Etsy is an amazing place really. It's an absolute maze of people, all different types doing all different kinds of things. From grandma types crocheting Barbie doll dresses to fine art going for thousands of dollars. It's easy to get lost in the sea. But after a while, you start to recognize people, know where they hang out and what they do. It's just a wild, vast community.

Anyway, I came across these gals who are on a treasury team I'm on. (Actually nonteam, to be technical, but that's an Etsy fine line thing.) Anyway, I thought their name was kind of eye catching and fun "Drapes of Wrath". Doesn't that kind of make you want to put on an apron and beat up on some eggs? Heheh.

 Aren't these adorable? But my favorite was this:

Hows that for barbecue with style?

If you want to make your own they have the instructions here: 

Too Fun! :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Artist Statement Revised

"All my life I have been blessed to live in the Pacific Northwest. Everywhere I go I am always inspired and exhilarated by the beauty that continually surrounds me. Desire to give voice and thanks for that beauty through art wells up inside me. 
I believe art is important. Through art we surround ourselves with images that contribute to influencing our hearts. I believe that surrounding oneself with pictures of beauty, strength abundance, grandeur and joy contribute to building those qualities in our own lives. I want to create art that assists us in focusing on what is real and good and true in this world. 
I am also a believer in the Living God of the Bible. I hope through my art to give thanks to Him and also to remind myself and others of His goodness, promises, and commands whether through image, symbol, or word. I believe art is an act of worship. I like to work with different mediums depending on the message or image I am attempting to portray. The vast array of materials to artists in these days are a constant inspiration and temptation to me.
"O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, fear before Him all the earth." Psalm 96:9"

I revised my artists statement on Etsy today. I don't want to come across as "preachy" But I do want to accurately portray who I am as an artist and why I chose to paint the things I do and where I am coming from.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Well, I did finally experience that Portland oddity otherwise known as VooDoo Doughnut. Everyone lately has been going to VooDoo Doughnut. I tried to go once before but the line was down the street and around the corner, so I had to wait for a more opportune time. So when we saw there was one right by the church where the kids were having the speech competition, we (Elisa and I) decided to give it a whirl. May I say? I don't get it.

Now, I don't think I'm all that thin skinned. I was fine with the whole horror flick sort of aura, the voodoo jelly doughnut, coffin maple bars, etc. All just for fun, and of course it's a pretty eye catching sales gimmick. But I'm not into upside down crosses and pentagrams and there was a lot of that there. But not only that, it stank. And it was scuzzy. And my apple fritter was doughy and undercooked. And for the rest of the day, no matter how many times I washed my hands, I could smell it. All in all, it was just plain gross. Yuck. So I can cross that one off my bucket list, and I will never do it again. I'm sure they are really sad and will miss me frightfully.

Anyway, on to the speech tournament. Are you down? Do you need a bit of encouragement for the generations to come? Go hang out at a NCFCA speech tournament.  Wowzers. You can hear the gospel presented from 50 different directions. You can listen to debate on whether or not we should change nuclear policies dealing with Russia. You can hear how to solve world hunger. (Plumpy Nut. It's the best thing since sliced bread.) You can hear Natural Law debated. Golly, it was fabulous. I love this sort of thing. I felt like my mental muscles were weight lifting all day long. And as that kid in the suit two sizes to big for him is calmly and rationally discusses the effect of Natural Law on the Nuremberg Trials you kind of have to pinch yourself and remember, he's maybe 15? 16?

I'm so glad Elisa is excited to do this. I wish I had gotten my older children into it. No matter what field of study they may want to pursue in the future, being able to present yourself, speak easily and think on your feet will be an asset, whether artist, teacher, scientist, lawyer....Hey,  even auto mechanics need to be able to talk to their customers clearly and inspire confidence!

It was so interesting to be able to judge at this event. If you live near a tournament they always really need judges. They let the parents judge, but if you come in as a community judge (with no kids competing) they give you first pick of the events you want to take. They feed you good food all day long and there was coffee with real cream (Not just the powdered creamer stuff.) and candies on the tables. And you get to watch future leaders in the making honing their skills. You will feel very appreciated. It was a really quality event put on by good people.

Well that's my sales pitch!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The last couple of days have been such a whirlwind of activity for us! I have been judging at the regional finals for the National Christian Forensic and Communications Association. (Mercifully, usually abbreviated to NCFCA) It was a wonderful time, really, with a lot of thinking involved. But of course with me gone for two days the house is an absolute disaster! So I will write more about the event later. For now, I will post a picture if my latest addition to the shop:

Hope you have a great weekend!

Friday, April 15, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

from soulemama's blog

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New in the Shop

Grape Hyacinths. They are such a lowly common flower, but they are so pretty when you really stop to look at them. I like to showcase less showy flowers and show them in a different light. Often they are like the people we meet in real life, they may seem common, but if you stop to look at them they are beautiful and sweet in their own way. These rewarded my efforts with a sweet fragrance to accompany me as I worked.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I was featured in this treasury today!  And I'm also figuring out Craft Cult.... :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

"Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition."                                                                     
                                                                           -Jeremiah Burroughs 
                                                    "The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment" 

Friday, April 8, 2011

New in the Shop


Every year my family tries to get out to a farm to pick peaches. The trees are so heavy with them that they seem relieved to be freed of their burden. Then we bring these juicy treasures home to store up and enjoy over the winter, so we can remember the abundance of summer.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What we're up to....

Not much swinging, but still a lot of puddles. The last picture is of a "creek" that flows by our house. In that picture it's pretty sedate, on rainy days it can be quite the babbling brook. The boys and one of the neighbor boys are always building dams and floating boats on it. Either that or scooping up the algea and throwing it at the girls that reward them with screams. What is it about the masculine psyche that finds such satisfaction in a blood curdling feminine scream?

It's also the time of year that I start talking about moving to Texas. Everybody knows that and so they say to themselves "Just hold on, summer will come and then she'll forget all about it."

Well it would be nice to be DRY for a while!

What's going on at your house?

Monday, April 4, 2011

New in the Shop

Modern Relief

I thought this was very cool and just wanted to pass on the link. Modern Relief, a group of modern style quilters is selling raffle tickets for a chance to win one of their beautiful quilts and then giving the proceeds to Mercy Corp for Japan aid. I just thought that was a neat way to raise funds.


Link via Sew Paint Create.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Friday, April 1, 2011

I was doing the classic science experiment of putting eggshells in vinegar to demonstrate what sugar does with a person's teeth with the boys. All day they were impatient to check it and see what would happen to the shells in the little cup on the counter but I made them wait until after dinner to give the vinegar time to work. Finally the dinner dishes were cleared away and it was time to view the results. I got the shells out, showed them how they were all dissolved and crumbly and Noah and Zeke were looking but Owen started getting restless and retreated to the background to pace and mumble as he does when he's feeling disgruntled. Finally I look up from my lecture on tooth brushing to ask what ever is the matter with him. "Oooooo," he puffs. "I thought they were going to explode or something."


Does he really think I would let him have sugar ever if there was a chance of his teeth exploding?  I can tell he's going to be a tough one to sell on science experiments.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I've been slowly adding a few things to the shop. This is todays addition: 
I've always found new fern sprouts rather fascinating. The way they unwind themselves into the air. :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Waking Up

Margaret posted a new blog link up thingy over at Two Kid Schoolhouse that looked interesting. It's called Five Minute Friday at The Gypsy Mama and the idea is she gives a topic and your write for five minutes about whatever comes to mind that day. Well, it isn't Friday anymore, my day was packed. But I liked the idea and thought I would give it a go anyway. 

The topic today is "Waking Up"

And I think that is appropriate because lately I feel like I have been waking up. Waking up to how my own thinking has hindered me and actually held the things I've truly wanted over the years from me. I've always been in the "If you don't expect things to be too good you'll never be disappointed but occasionally you might be pleasantly surprised" camp. Eeyore-ish. I thought I was being realistic or something. But this last year I think God has really been working on me about this. 

I've been struck in the Bible how often God prints in very matter of fact ways impossible things and expects us to believe it. The sun retreating a couple degrees because a king asks for a sign of reassurance. Sampson carrying off the gates of a city. Not to mention a sea that parts, a virgin who gives birth, a boy who kills giants, an ax head that floats, a man swallowed by fish and lives to tell about it, on and on it goes. I've been reading the Old Testament in chronological order to my boys (we are now in Daniel) and sometimes I am just struck at how on the surface it stretches my credulity almost to absurdity! But yet I believe it all to be true and I read it to my boys and I want them to believe it is true. Why has God filled His book with all these stories? Why not just tell of our sin, tell us how to live, you know, leave it at Proverbs and the Epistles and stuff like that? Why all these wild stories? 

Well, maybe because He wants us to live as though we expect Him to do the same for us. Maybe "Realistic Pessimism" is not just "kind of a downer but all too often true" sort of thinking but actually antithetical to the Christian calling of faith and hope? What king is honored by little, tiny requests offered in a "Well, I know this is an inconvenience but if you get a little chance..." sort of attitude. Maybe He wants us to ask for bigger things. Maybe He wants us to look at our difficulty and obstacles and see them as opportunities for us to see just how loving, forgiving, generous and joyful that our God really is. 

So, for me, that is "Waking Up". And I pray to continue to Wake Up!

Just Wake Up Already!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

More Painting

Lately I've been experimenting with using acrylics as a water medium and then adding pastels over the top. I like spontaneous looking paintings, like Stephen Quiller, who is one of my all time favorite artists. I feel like my painting voice is coming back and that makes me happy. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

When Renoir was an older man he was afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis. During the last years of his life the pain was so bad he was confined to his home and he painted on in great pain. Matisse was much younger than he was but they were good friends and Matisse often visited him. Once when he was watching Renoir paint on in pain he asked him how why he continues when it was obviously so painful to him. Renoir replied "The pain passes, but the beauty remains."

Isn't that how we should be when difficult times come to us? To be patient as the Lord refines and shapes us, but ever with the hope that when the pain passes, the beauty will remain. I find that very hopeful to think on.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Kansas - Carry On My Wayward Son

Alright! It's time to get up and clean up the house!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Lately I've been playing around with water color landscape abstractions, combined with colored pencil. 



They are calming to do. After getting the boys' schoolwork done and dinner going the older kids and I have been clearing off the dining room table and watching The Cosby Show on instant on Netflix and working on various pieces. Am I the only one who feels very nostalgic about the Cosby Show? They were so nice and normal when my own family life was so crazy. I watched it every Thursday night as a kid. I get such a kick out of looking at the clothes and stuff. My daughter commented on how we were so into crazy , bulky sweaters. To True! To aquire a new cozy sweater was pure bliss in the 80's. And we did like things bulky, at least on top. And the colors are so bright and primary and solid looking. Maybe that's why I went for tie-dye-too many clearly defined edges! Anyway, it's funny to watch them again. I think we are on like season 6. In I think 4 days. Kind of bad, huh. 


Monday, February 28, 2011

One of my favorite things in the whole world to do is to poke around Portland with no real agenda. And some of my favorite company to do that with are my girls.

Last week my girls got invited to do some voice recognition recordings for a doll thats being developed. The ones doing the developing needed samples of girl's voices from the targeted age groups and my girls were invited to come do some samples. Always up for an easy $20 (well, mostly always) and an excuse to head into Portland we grabbed the chance.

This is a new sandwich stand in NW. Grilled P&J. Sound wierd? They were so good! Fiona got the Oregonian. Hazelnut butter, blue cheese and I think strawberry jelly. Me, the Thai, orange marmalade, hot pepper sauce, hmmm... can't remember the rest.. But it was really good. And Irene got one with peanut butter, bacon, and I can't remember what else. Hers was sooo messy. But they were all really good. I thought the whole idea of the stand was really fun and creative though. We'll definitely go back when out that a way.

The differences in my girls personalities was very marked when walking past the windows of this shop. Fiona (The youngest of the three middle girls) saw all the pink and bling and about had a heart attack. "Oh, mama can we go in there ohpleaseohpleaseohPLEEEEEAAASE!!!!!!"

But walking in Elisa says "PINK. Why? Why? Why?!"

This is what a telephone pole looks like after 50 years of concert posters are stuck to it. Kind of gross, really.

Red door on the Episcopal Church. 
William Temple House.

Portland provides metal rings along the sidewalk for folks to tie up their horses.

Elisa had to go into the Jaguar Dealership on Burnside. Here she shamelessly covets. :)

I'd rather something a little more sedate. 

It was a fun day. Elisa took the pictures, my camera being out of batteries. If I'd have taken them there would be ones of them reading the manga books at Powells. I love that I can go shopping with my girls and have a great day together. :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fooling around with odosketch. Pretty fun little art site. Found via  How About Orange.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Etsy treasury

It's always fun to be featured in a treasury on Etsy. Treasuries are the way Etsy folks share what they like with others, give compliments or create a visual shopping wishlist. They are fun to make and people form whole groups around making treasuries. Shayleen is in one, because she loves making them so much.

Anyway, today I woke up to snow on the ground and the message that this item

Was featured in this treasury.

Looks like a pretty good day. :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Portland Weather Incident Alert

A friend of mine posted this on facebook and I thought it was pretty funny, mainly because it is all too true. :)
At the end of the video you may think he is exaggerating about the enormity of the danger, but the following video confirms that Oregonians driving in snow are indeed about the most dangerous creatures on earth.
(Yeah, I know, I can talk, I take Tri-Met everywhere.)

Truly terrifying, isn't it? We think the Portlandia show is making us look like idiots, but we do a pretty good job without their help.

Well, a little snow was falling as I walked up for milk but it has all gone away so I guess we are safe....for now....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Schooling Subjects

Margaret brought up a couple points in her comments that I thought I would comment on in a post. I think mainly there is this tension that all home school moms have of if we are doing enough, doing the right thing, focusing on the right things etc. There are a lot of voices clamoring for attention in the home school world and many of them have their own agendas too. From curriculum they want to sell, to just having the desire to want to be the "advice givers" to the homeschooling community. Or just really enthusiastic about what they are doing and want to share the enthusiasm. Sometimes even that can send one home examining what they are doing at home and whether or not they should change things around and do what so-and-so is doing.

Are there some core things all home schooling kids should cover?

Well, I have a short list of things I really want all my kids to know, so I will put them forward here and they can be taken or left as one sees fit.

Bible. Backward, forward, inside out, upside down. Grand scope of sweeping through the history of Israel to the little details of symbols and (in our church this comes naturally) chiastic structures.

Church History. Have you ever pondered why history is read through political eyes? The rise and fall of governments and kingdoms? But our children have citizenship in a kingdom that has been since the beginning of time and has a future that will never end. Thus I would put forth that church history is the most important history they can study. I feel it's more important that they know the stories of the saints, martyrs, theologians, reformers and missionaries than it is to know kings and presidents. We do all history, of course, but I do try to cover this one as a priority.

Work. Not my strongest because it is usually painful for both me and them, but I'm trying to do better.

Math facts. Math was miserable for me simply because I didn't know my facts by heart. I really try to make sure these are drilled in.

Now the next two are ones that I wish I had done better when my older ones were younger but I want to make sure it gets into my younger ones. One is a positive attitude. I have been known to be a bit of an Eeyore. But when I started hearing it echoed by my children I decided that wasn't such a good thing. I am seeing how limiting the negative attitude and negative self image are and I'm really working on how I self talk and how I talk to them.  After all, it really doesn't matter what a wonder kid you may have if they don't believe they can do anything they won't try. I want to work on instilling in my kids that they can do anything God is calling them to do and they can learn anything they need to learn. I wish I had done better at this for my older ones.

The other is Speech. Elisa has been attending a speech group connected with this national group. I can't tell you how impressive these kids are. They know what they believe, but not only that, they know how to say it. This is where tomorrows leaders are being made.We put Forrest off graduating for another year just so he can at least take one year of it, and I plan to make all my kids go through it. We are using the Jeff Meyers book "Secrets of Great Communicators" as our home study and Elisa is working on a speech for a competition on Sadhu Sundar Singh. Next year Irene will start.

Jeff Meyers makes the point that if you will over come your fear of public speaking and will learn to do it well, you are already ahead of 90% of the people because most people won't speak. It's exciting that there is one subject that can put your kid that far ahead in the game.

Of course we do do science, math, literature, art, but all my kids have varied experiences in these areas. For example my son hates to read fiction so the only lit he's really had is what I've read aloud. Shayleen on the other hand reads everything. Forrest does a lot of music. Elisa won't touch an instrument, but she does more science... I just figure we all have our place in God's world....

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

College, languages....

Kerri, I have a couple quick questions on which I hope to get your input (and your readers' input, too!).
1) How important is college education for you for your kids? What part do you see college playing in their education?
2) When and how do you introduce foreign languages in your home-school program? I'm interested in both ancient and modern languages.
              Thanks, Tim


There's two ways of looking at college. There's the "It isn't about training for vocation, it's about getting my child the best, biggest education possible" view, and in that case I see college more as a luxury than necessity. Not that it's a bad one, it's a really good one, but I would have to weigh the cost of sending a kid to say a school like New Saint Andrews against what sacrifices would have to be made to send them there. Right now, as our finances are, the things we would have to give up at home are just far to great to even think about it. But if I had a more liberal income and the child was a motivated scholar and looked to me with imploring eyes "Oh, PLEASE I just really want to study under Peter Leithart," I would really do my best to try to give them the opportunity to go. After all, *I* would love to go too, so maybe they could pass me their books when they were done...

But I also really want my kids to realize that learning is something we ALWAYS do. I love to learn new things. Learning makes life interesting. It makes you more interesting (unless you start getting a big head about it, then it makes you a colossal bore.) My kids accuse me of not being able to have fun because I don't like fiction, and if they let me pick out a movie solely based on what I'm interested in it will probably be a documentary (which is why I almost never get to pick out the movies. :) I think college can be a great, GREAT asset to an education, but I don't want them to get that helpless mindset that it seems like most Americans have that says if you want to learn something you have to take a class. 

Also, just because I think some colleges are worthwhile, it doesn't mean they all are. Unless you have a real clear vocational reason to go to something like a state school it could be a big waste of time and money. 

Which comes to the other reason for college-vocational training. In which case it would depend on what the kid wants to do. My son is training in landscaping with his uncle and general contracting with his father. Either one of those vocations could give him a living that he could support a family with if he chooses to do so. But he is also very interested in art and he is going to a small, private art school for that. I think it will be better for him to do that and build a portfolio and experience because in the art world people judge you more on what you can do than where you went to school. I think getting his education done and getting an early start on gaining experience will be better for him than poking around for four years in a proper art college and spending a whole lot more money. 

But then, that same kid also entertained ideas about becoming an economist and really wanted to go to Hillsdale for while. It that case I would get praying and really drive him to get the best transcript possible because college would be an absolute necessity. 

So, in short, it depends on the kid, what they want to do, how studious they've shown themselves to be, what they need to equip themselves for their calling, etc. 

Foreign languages....

Mostly, I just have to prioritize my time and money. We've dabbled in languages but I think the modern languages are really hard to learn on your own at home. My son tried to teach himself Japanese and got a little ways with it, but that is one thing that I think it's easier just to go ahead and take the class. I haven't had time to try Latin. I have a lot just trying to teach my older girls algebra and speech (and learn it along with them) and drag my boys through their school work. But if I had a bright kid and started with it young I think it would be fun to do the "Cat in the Hat" in Latin books with them. 

Our church has a private school and they teach the kids Greek and Hebrew. I have had one daughter express interest in going, so we'll see.

I guess that isn't much help. But I did think the ideas for teaching the Classical Languages in the Bluedorns book Teaching the Trivium seemed really workable though. That might be worth reading for you. 

So, I guess my all around answer is.... It just depends....

Friday, January 28, 2011

I've been reading "Meet You at the Top" by Zig Ziglar to my kids, and I decided to put his goal setting into practice. This is a set of stairs that go up a bluff in my town.
 Actually they start here.....
 I am running up them every day. That is my goal. I have done it almost every day for two weeks. Of course I am gasping about half way up. I have to stop, catch my breath and carry on.

This is my reward at the top...

When I took these pictures a woman asked me about it and I told her I was documenting my goals. She said she knows people who run up and down them ten times a day. Crushed...