Magnanimously homeschooling, worshiping, creating.......

Join us on a journey of faith, healing, learning to live with part of our hearts missing, and recovery, as our family rebuilds our lives, after our son's long battle with cancer....and his eventual rise on eagle's wings into Heaven...victory is his...he is serving the King!!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

march was sewing month

I have tried to devote the end of our days in March to making time after school to delve into hands on projects for all the kids. However, I devoted this blog to some of Damsel's fun.

I am encouraging her to keep working on her hand sewing
skills before we tackle the machine, so she is chipping away at a flower that I drew on this fabric for her. Isn't she determined? A great way to get your youngster started is to get one of these embroidery hoops and just let her/him go to town. I am thinking of investing in a needle threader. Do any of you know if these work as good as they seem like they will?

Although she has been very interested in all things sewing, hand sewing will not satisfy her appetite for using the machine! We have been working on many different, fun projects and I have naturally taught her what every good sewing mother teaches her daughter; how to have 3-5 projects going at once, of coarse! You girls all know what I mean. But, that's ok, completely normal, part of the territory.

Have I told you how much I love having a daughter that loves all this girl stuff too?

Needless to say, sewing by hand did not last long before the drive for machine power overwhelmed her. :) I couldn't deny her. She is tall enough, agile enough and I discovered, talented to boot. First we started on paper copies from a book I bought years ago when Dylan was little. Before long, she was working with cloth. The paper puzzle gives lots of good practice for turning and maneuvering the machine. I made a little movie memory. She was so deep in concentration, it was hard to just get her to look up and smile before I shut it off.

Here's an actual finished product. She made this pillow for her dolls. I think they will like it very much, don't you? I can't wait to show what else we've been doing. We just finished the edge with an overcast stitch.

Look at this sewing basket I found at the thrift store for damsel; isn't it adorable? It seems to be very vintage and yet like new. Love it!!

In addition, I was looking for some perky, long spring skirts for my girly girl and found a great selection of wonderful stuff in not only the girls section, but also the women's department!! One quick adjustment or adding elastic and viola...thrifty bliss!! Isn't that fun? I also found some brand new Land's End spring dresses to boot! Here are few examples.

Happy sewing and thrifting to you all and I pray your spring will be bursting with blessings of goodness from the Lord above!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Damsel took this picture of me reading this to them the other day. This is a very interesting supplemental reading. I love to find little treasures that tell little known stories in history. This tells the story of a man that took 'secret' photos of a camp that the Germans brought thousands of Jews to and fenced them in, like a holding camp until their next fates were decided. His photos were discovered after the war.

Friday, March 27, 2009

crazy hat night

It was crazy hat night at Awanas, so we decided to have fun with fleece! A helped and came up with all the design ideas.

Side view.

Pattycakes made one too.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

pine wood derby race

This is a big hit with the boy folk around here. Dad loves cars and really goes to town helping the boys build really cool cars.

Lots of sanding and prep work.

Working side by side.

Steady hands.

Just like we envisioned.
Just some of the creations.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

goodbye winter/ hello spring!

Well, I guess it's time to say good bye to GOOD BYE! I love all the seasons we experience here but boy is it good to get out in the fresh air. There is so much to do here. I feel like I want to get just a few more things done inside before I start on a very long list outdoors.
Damsel and I are in the middle of all these sewing projects and are having so much fun, so it's hard to interrupt them and yet I know that we will continue to have many opportunities plug away at it. I am trying to K.I.S.S, keep it simple sweety and do our best to get them done.
As a last farewell to winter, here is some lovely bird shots from this winter. I wasn't able to get a good one of the titmouse since she doesn't sit for long here or the flicker, but that's ok.

We always have Downy Woodpeckers, but this one is much larger than usual, at least for our yard.

Remember the ice on those trees?

If you get a chance to check out this CD of bird sounds, we recommend it, since it is quite good and the kids enjoy listening as they spot their favorite birds. Check out this great website too for looking up birds.

Check this great shot of a new bird in our neighborhood! Carolina Wren. I think my man took this shot. I don't think we get near as many birds as some country folk, but we do pretty well here. We've had titmouse, flickers, owls and hawks in addition to the usuals. It seems like each year God blesses us with a new bird to observe. We are grateful and love to admire them outside our window. The squirrels are another story for another blog. :)

So, all that being said, I got out to check on my spring flowers, don't get me started on all the work I have to do out there. I snapped some photos of spring on it's way.

Here is some day lilies pushing through.

Here are some tulips that seemingly appeared overnight. They like the warmth of the house.

The phlox is trying to turn green.

Lovely buds on my baby lilac bush...I can smell the lilacs already!

Friday, March 20, 2009

the dolls have patio furniture

The dolls all are very excited about spring and have been saving all winter for outdoor furniture for their porch! With the recent weather they proudly set up their new stuff and basked in the sun! They even found a lovely potted plant to brighten it up.

Even daddy stayed near the baby so mother could have some girl time.

Damsel has been planning for the top of her doll house to be the 'outdoor porch area' since day one and what a thrill when she happened upon these treasures while we were out shopping recently.

sewing fun bags

Didn't I tell you that I was itching to sew? We've been spending some of our extra time working on some sewing projects around here. I didn't really want to start a long project yet so when the need arose for bags this week, I went to town making these quick easy bags. I see future Christmas gifts here. What fun. On top of that, I was being frugal as well. I picked up some large pieces of fleece at the thrift store, maybe 3-4 yards, for under $5!!
We have some great things that I can't wait to show you that we've been up to. I did get some of the sewing out of my system, but I am still raring to go. My dear damsel has the bug as well. I will let you know how that is going.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

countdown to a cure

Today was a special day full of blessings and grace. After last month's medication mishaps (nothing major) and the usual long visits and delays, God simply gave GRACE. A wonderful day. We were so thankful. Bryce's labs are good, at least for his expected low and the doctor's commented on how good he looked too. They said he may continue to feel better yet by this summer! I am praying for that one. He gained some more weight, which is very good. His meds were ready and waiting, with no line to stand in, I might add. I know this won't be a usual occurrence, but may I just bask in this one for a moment?
My dear friend Patty went with us this month and we went to lunch and then headed back home, enjoying some uplifting fellowship. Dylan stayed home and went to book group with his friends, while Abby and Toby accompanied us and they were both very well behaved. I may get them a friend date for the next month's visit though.

Thank you all for your prayers, they are so appreciated and are giving us strength and encouragement. Blessings to you all this month.

Psa 7:17 I will give thanks unto Jehovah according to his righteousness, And will sing praise to the name of Jehovah Most High.

I need to take a very recent photo for this one.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Here was such a cute little find I picked up at a library discard earlier this year. I knew when I found it that it would go well with our WWII study. It is based on a true story about a boy who has to ice skate some friends to safety right under the noses of the German Army. Our family really loves the ice skating Olympics in addition to our history of speed skating, so it caught my eye. I thought the illustrations were nice and it isn't often you can read a story set in the less known war events of the Netherlands. We learned all about their water way canals and many Dutch words. Our favorite that we later discovered the children repeating was ELFSTEDENTOCHT (elf-STAY-den-tocht). It is so much fun to say...try it! Say it with a strong fun distinct voice. Wasn't that fun? It refers to a special 11 town race held in the Netherlands to this day. That was such a blessed find to add to our study.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

sewing gift

Look what my sweet friend pattycakes made me! Isn't she a blessing?? She is quite the artist. Check out her other fun crafties.

Isn't this an adorable little mini pin cushion? Now I have a little sewing kit for my chair side table to repair all those little mishaps!

Thanks Pattycakes, love ya!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

art hanging around

Do you remember when damsel made those lovely fashion dolls? Well, we decorated some clothes pins and she hung them on her light line in her room. The lights are quite lovely to look at in the evening. Here's a peek.

wordless wednesday

Monday, March 9, 2009

science anyone?

We cannot say enough good things about Jeannie Fulbright's elementary science series! She even has all the pages online to print for notebooking right at your fingertips. The books are hard back and beautiful with great photos and self contained with no need for a teacher book to go with it. They allow you to use all those favorite methods for teaching our kids about the subject. This means not only that they will be learning tons of science but retaining it while hands on and really fun! There are numerous other books as well all based on the days of creation. We are starting this one on botany this month. We will keep you posted on our activities with that.

a new coat for anna

This is our new Five In a Row book. We do these as extra supplemental fun things. This goes along with our study of WWII very well. It is set in the time of WWII in Europe as those left behind struggle to meet their basic needs, such as a coat. This is Anna's journey to get hers. We will actually be weaving in a couple of weeks with our Keeper's group as part of this. FIAR offers a nice selection of quality books to read and learn from.

saying goodbye to basketball

Basketball was a nice little season. Braveheart missed most of it since his recovery took longer than we originally thought, but he was able to play the last three games. He didn't do too bad! He had the greatest group of boys on his team. Dylan actually was the assistant coach for his team as well. He then got wrangled into the helping his other brother's team and God used him for a nice little ministry for this season. We are very thankful for his help and all that he did. It was especially nice enjoying his ability to drive himself, kids and his friend Casey was able to get involved with him so that was a nice opportunity to hang with him more often.
All the kids gave their best efforts and really improved by the end.
Goodbye was fun...we're glad your over for now.

countdown to a cure


February was a busy month for us. It's not looking to slow yet either but we have a break from organized sports so that is nice. Braveheart had his monthly appt. in Feb. and all is looking well so far. I asked about what the chances are for relapse after his treatment is done and they said there is no rhyme or reason as to how soon it would happen or if it will at all. The only sure thing is that the longer he goes without it showing up, the lesser the risk. Well, I am not sure but I guess that is reassuring...but we are holding out for all things positive and beating this beast. Studies have shown that real people that were healthy and were told they were going to die, actually died within 6 months!! The power of the mind and prayer (which are deeply connected) is unbelievable! God made our brains so that they have an amazing potential. Isn't He awesome?!!

It is also a big month for Dance Marathon which is a big event each year at the Hospital. We have a representative from the school that dances for us and these are always students. They dance all night and each makes a special pillow case for the event, representing their family, to be hung on the wall for all to see. It's really neat, but sadly,we couldn't make it this year, but our girl Mallory, HI MALLORY, was there and she met us the same month at his appt. Yes, I did take my camera but just plain forgot to pull it out and so did she. :) We'll try again. Here is the pillow she made for him. Isn't it cute?
We'll be back for our next appt. in March. We are excited that our boy is holding his own on this schedule very well so far
Thank you Lord!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

zoo trip

Braveheart was invited to a very special behind the scenes tour of our nearby zoo back in Feb. Thanks to Brad of Trudy's Tribe. That is an organization that provides events for kids with cancer in this area. The director of the zoo was there and we got to watch them feed the elephants and look, he even got touch the elephant!! Isn't that cool??

We went into the giraffe house and were able to feed them as well. They are so huge, it is hard to fathom until you are there and they are still growing!

We walked through the bird house and saw the area where they prepare the food for the animals.

Yes, they pulled out a bag with frozen rats in it! Ugh.
It was a fun morning, just short enough not to wear us out.

Friday, March 6, 2009

we saw robins today!!

today we woke up with a glee,

peeping out the warm weathered window to see,

and what do you think should appear?

but a red breasted Robin...we're glad you are here!

Well, I guess I didn't get a photo, yet.

Happy Soon to be Spring!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

still here/ getting older

I am still here in case you were wondering! We have been so busy that my head is spinning in addition to a virus running through, taking it's time with us, but most especially with me. I am having prolonged fatigue. Now it is in my chest. It makes it hard to get any fun extras in like this blogging. Don't worry, we are making all the appropriate soups and smoothies and our usual round of home remedies. I am trying to rest where I can. I hoped some of you are missing me just a little! We have some exciting things coming up for us this year and I can't wait to show you what we've been up to. Meanwhile, pray that I will spring out of it and get back in the swing! By the way, I just had my birthday yesterday, Monday...yes, 39! Actually it was yesterday officially. Glenn is going to be 40 this year! See the nice flowers he brought me for my birthday? I think we're going out to dinner when we feel better. Please remember I am not feeling well in this picture. :) Also, please pray for Bryce, that he continues fever free. I am not sure if this is the same thing dragging out or a new one.
Blessings to you all!


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Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary of the American Language defines Magnanimity as such:
MAGNANIM'ITY, n. [L. magnanimitas; magnus, great, and animus, mind.] Greatness of mind; that elevation or dignity of soul, which encounters danger and trouble with tranquillity and firmness, which raises the possessor above revenge, and makes him delight in acts of benevolence, which makes him disdain injustice and meanness, and prompts him to sacrifice personal ease, interest and safety for the accomplishment of useful and noble objects.