A March Daybook- the 23rd.

TODAY:

Outside my window…

It is blackest night and dark. Today, it was beautiful and sunny and I couldn’t believe that a few remnants from Friday’s snowman were still standing in the yard.

I am thinking…

About high school and co- ops, and curriculum, and future plans, and biology, and community college, and Liberty University Online options, and… and… and…

I am thankful…

for Saturday and for so many things surrounding that day… but especially right now for the afternoon at my brother’s house and for the music, the conversation, the tea, the colors, the beauty.

In the kitchen…

It was Chili and Rice for dinner. And Asher made a Chocolate Wacky Cake. It has not been eaten yet.

I am wearing…

My favorite brown, cozy cardigan, brown headband, black skirt… all dressed up from an open house.

I am creating…

a photo book….little by little.

I am going…

to bed…very soon!

I am reading…

The Green Ember, Elijah of Buxton, Oliver Twist, Rise of the Fallen, The Gammage Cup, plus….others.

I am hoping…

to do better tomorrow…

Around the house…

a lot of chores…

I am pondering...

homeschooling philosophies, co-ops, life rhythms, and this beautiful article that captured my heart and has stayed with me:
https://www.circeinstitute.org/blog/eden-echoes

A favorite quote for today...

Sarah at Thoroughly Alive (quote is linked back to her): “Writing is hard. Sweat and tears hard. People always seem to have this image of writers as lounging in a high-backed chair sipping tea and being inspired. For me, it’s an almost painful exercise in wrangling the inchoate, intuitive things I know on the level of deepest soul into the cramped containers of words. It takes hours. It takes intense, ridiculous focus. It takes a vortex.”
Focusing here, on this:
The inchoate, intuitive things I know on the level of deepest soul.
Yeah- that. Like she just articulated a deep, true thing about me I have always known.

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Getting back into a strong, pulsing rhythm of school after a Spring Break- while still remembering to breathe, look in their eyes, discover Endless Gifts, remember that “relationships need time, spent lavishly” -Sarah Mackenzie. And they do. They truly do.

A peek into my day…

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My sweet girl, first thing this morning, heading off to practice violin. Time- about 7:30 a.m.

Family Learning Time- Saint Patrick’s Day

We had a very sweet family learning time this morning. I thought I would share the elements that lent themselves to that end. I know the children desire the same for next year- so I share it here for a memory – to remind me- and also in case it might benefit someone reading. We are currently on Spring Break and when we are on break- we have a Morning Meeting/Discipleship Meeting every day. (more on that later!)

1.) Prior to our gathering time- I prepared a hot cup of tea -steam rising, turned on some favorite music for the season-George Winston’s Winter into Spring, and began to assemble Irish Soda Bread. I put it in to bake.
2.) Our current hymn study is Be Thou My Vision. This is an Irish Hymn. I turn it on while we are gathering. So, I had it set up and after we all gathered, I turned off the music and we sang it together. We have been listening to version by Selah.
3.) Today, I began by reading aloud three special picture books I had chosen. One was a very simple non-fiction book about Saint Patrick’s Day that even the three year olds could understand- but yet, it had enough to intrigue and spark connections for us all. I also read a lovely Tasha Tudor book to the everyone that we have never enjoyed before. Finally, I shared a precious, favorite spring time book with all. The older children all exclaimed remembrances- from when they were little. I passed the books around so the children could study the illustrations.
4.) I took prayer requests and we prayed. We had a time of silent prayer where we can privately take requests to the Lord. Then I closed our prayer time.
5.) One of the older children dramatically recited our Scripture memory passage aloud to us all. Psalm 121.
6.) We focused on Saint Patrick’s Breastplate for our poetry selection.
7.) We listened to a bit of the hymn.
8.) I read several more details about Saint Patrick from some online resources.
9.)Oldest son removed the Soda Bread from the oven.
10.) We closed in prayer and I blessed the children with a Scripture passage. 2 Corinthians 13:14
11.) I turn on Robin Mark’s Revival in Belfast. We talk about him a little and enjoy the music.
12.) I served (with some help- it got a little hectic!)warm Irish Soda bread to everyone’s great delight and I was pleased they enjoyed it! They asked that we have it every year.

Note: Living Books Curriculum offers “Holiday Helpers” (to those on their mailing (email) list) for just about every holiday. They are free and they are beautiful. I did not use this resource but I do highly recommend it!

This was a “holiday” morning meeting time. We do different things when not on holiday.

-Rebecca

Dairy-Free Irish Soda Bread

Dairy Free Irish Soda Bread.

This is a slightly moist bread best served warm with Jam. We served it with Jam and also with Jam and Earth Balance Spread.

4 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
Dash of Sea Salt
3 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon White Vinegar or 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
(I used vinegar. It was perfect.)
1 1/2 cups Milk Alternative
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
1 Cup Raisins
2 TB Brown Sugar or Honey
(I used Brown Sugar)
1/4 Cup Oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1.)Soak the raisins in 1/2 hot water. Set aside and let soak while assembling the dry ingredients. Drain before using.
2.)Mix flour, salt, brown sugar, and baking soda together in large bowl.
3.)Add lemon juice to milk alternative (I used Rice Milk today). Then add drained raisins, vinegar, and oil to the liquid mix. Combine thoroughly.
4.)Pour liquid mix over dry ingredients. Stir until all the ingredients are moistened and sticky.
5.)Generously flour a cutting board and turn dough out onto it. Knead a few minutes until the dough forms into a very soft, nice ball.
6.)Place ball on a baking sheet and gently flatten until it is about 2 inches high.
7.)Make deep cross cuts over the top of the bread- about half-way down through the dough.
8.)Place in the 400 degree oven and bake for about 40 minutes- until the crust is brown and the bread has a hollow sound when tapped.

Enjoy warm with spread- delicious with jam!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Some Thoughts for St. Patrick’s Day:

1.)I love St. Patrick’s Breastplate and I have been reflecting on it and thinking of it a lot over the last few weeks. I have been praying for a sweet family here and words from this poem/hymn have often come to mind. I share my two favorite parts:

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward,
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

and

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I shared Saint Patrick’s Breastplate with the children today- which I traditionally try to do around this time every year, and this year I was reminded of a praise song we used to sing all the time many years ago. I just tried to look it up to make sure I had all the lyrics correct. I can’t find it. So, I share here what I best remember:

He Goes Before Me
And He’s Behind Me
He’s Round About Me
He is My Lord (Repeat)

Jesus is the Mighty Lord, Jesus is the King of Kings, Jesus is the Mighty Rock, Jesus is my Lord!

Repeat Chorus

2.) I made Irish Soda Bread for the first time today and all the children loved it and declared it a new tradition. I haven’t made this before because it is traditionally made with dairy(buttermilk) items. So, now I have a recipe to share!

3.) I read this blog tonight (and shared it with some loved ones) and I share it here. I loved it.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

A Poem for March- Emily Dickinson

Dear March – Come in – (1320)

Emily Dickinson, 18301886
Dear March - Come in -	
How glad I am -
I hoped for you before -
Put down your Hat -	
You must have walked -
How out of Breath you are -	
Dear March, how are you, and the Rest -
Did you leave Nature well -	
Oh March, Come right upstairs with me -
I have so much to tell -

I got your Letter, and the Birds -	
The Maples never knew that you were coming -
I declare - how Red their Faces grew -	        
But March, forgive me -	
And all those Hills you left for me to Hue -	
There was no Purple suitable -	
You took it all with you -	        
  
Who knocks? That April -
Lock the Door -
I will not be pursued -
He stayed away a Year to call	
When I am occupied -	        
But trifles look so trivial	
As soon as you have come
	
That blame is just as dear as Praise	
And Praise as mere as Blame -

Someone’s Two!

Our little one turned two! We had a wonderful day celebrating and enjoying her!

She is a precious gift. She is getting so big and O! the feminine ways she has! along with her sisters. And today, she said sisters. 🙂 There is a definite, delicate femininity brought to our household through our little girls that I treasure. Also strong emotions!

It is such a joy to watch them grow.

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She enjoyed her birthday dinner comprised of:

steamed broccoli (her favorite), french fries, fish sticks, and ketchup. We also had popcorn and soft pretzels for bigger kids.

Banana Cake with Chocolate Icing. Yum!

We had an interesting experience with her candles. They would not blow out and they were not special “tricksy” candles. Every time they were blown down, they would relight. Finally, I doused them in a little cup of water. They were like mini, non-extinguishable sparklers!

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Enjoying and examining her special posters!

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So big! Two!

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At two, she loves flashlights and one of her favorite things is the pink toddler safe flashlight she was given for her birthday. 🙂