November 29, 2006

I am so excited...

We put up our Christmas lights and tree the other day, and in the process, I uncovered one of of our many "missing" boxes of books! When we moved to this house (7 years ago), we downsized (left a 2000sq. ft. house for one with under 1000sqft.). We couldn't put all our books out so some of them were packed away. Our hope was to get some more bookshelves so that we could bring them back out after we got settled in. I have been missing a few special books and know they are put away "somewhere." Well, now that DS is 13 and very capable at climbing into the smallest spaces, I recruited him to pull out all the holiday boxes. As he did all the hard work, I was able to spy two boxes that look familiar. Yippee! There they were...tucked away behind some very heavy furniture and other "immovable" things (why do we have such things in storage -- ugh!) Among my treasure finds...The Cost of Discipleship, The Normal Christian Life, several Fritz Ridenour books, one Francis Schaeffer title (though not the one I really wanted) and an assortment of quality studies on old and new testament books. It was like a trip to the bookstore -- but one that was just inside my small but crammed storage area! Hooray! I now have about half-dozen good books to add to my updated Reading List!

November 27, 2006

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas...

Yes, it is true! Finally, we are getting "Christmas weather" here in sunny Arizona. The overnight low is expected to dip below freezing and tomorrow's high will only be in the 50's. We actually turned our heat on tonight! Last week, we ran the air conditioner to help cool off the late evening 90 degree weather. It is funny, huh? Somehow it just doesn't seem like Christmas unless it is chilly. Hooray!!

November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

May the Lord richly bless you and your family this day!

Proclamation of Thanksgiving
Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America's national day of Thanksgiving. During his administration, President Lincoln issued many orders like this. For example, on November 28, 1861, he ordered government departments closed for a local day of thanksgiving. The holiday we know today as Thanksgiving was recommended to Lincoln by Sarah Josepha Hale, a prominent magazine editor. Her letters to Lincoln urged him to have the "day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival." The document below sets apart the last Thursday of November "as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise." According to an April 1, 1864 letter from John Nicolay, one of President Lincoln's secretaries, this document was written by Secretary of State William Seward, and the original was in his handwriting. On October 3, 1863, fellow Cabinet member Gideon Welles recorded in his diary that he complimented Seward on his work. A year later the manuscript was sold to benefit Union troops.

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President:
Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward, Secretary of State

Source: Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler.

November 21, 2006

My Reading List

Well, now that we are settled on starting House of Education for high school, I need to get down to the business of reading books again. I just picked up a couple books to get a head start on next year's program.

On my HEO reading list:

*The Age of Revolution by Sir Winston Churchill
*The God Who Is There by Francis Schaeffer
*The English Constitution by William Bagehot
*Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington by Richard Brookhiser
*John Adams by David McCollough (Pulitzer Prize 2001)

I hope to have all read by the start of the new year (well, atleast a good way through them).

My Classical Studies List:

We are starting the Middle Ages over at Arete Classical Study Program and our first book is Virgil's The Aeneid. I haven't read this book since high school and am thoroughly enjoying it.

Other Good Books:

I just started John Piper's "Desiring God" and so far am enjoying it. I have to admit that I am partial to Pink, Tozer and Packer, but Piper's book is good. It is available online for free here: Desiring God e-Book

My wishlist for Christmas:

*Charles Hodges' 3-volume set of "Systematic Theology." I would also like a copy of Dr. Wayne Grudem's, "Systematic Theology," to use as a comparison. Dr. Grudem teaches at Phoenix Seminary and I have read reviews on his book (dispensationalist theology). I browsed through it at Borders yesterday and it looks very interesting but it is not as concrete as I want (or need) -- I think Hodges would be better to really give me a nuts and bolts understanding of the BIG PICTURE.
*English Standard Bible
*James Ussher's "Annals of the World" series
*John Calvin's "The Institutes" - in real book form so I don't have to print it off line.

Just some light reading under the Christmas tree!!

November 20, 2006

Some News

WOW! It has been over a month since my last post. I have really been neglecting my blog but I promise I will do better. I have had some changes at home and blogging has been the last thing on my mind.

Just some news:

*We are settled on using HEO for our high school home school curriculum. (11/15/2006)
*I am officially retiring from my website designer position come next spring (Amen!)
*I have taken a part-time position at my church: Grade School Director and am overjoyed by it. The Lord has richly blessed me with this opportunity! (11/1/2006)
*I am committed to losing 15lbs this year (and next).
*I promise to stick to my reading plan and get back to the business of learning!

This fall has just zoomed by and I am amazed that we are beginning to think about Christmas! Christmas is one of my most favorite seasons but I really don't want to rush into it. I love fall and I love Thanksgiving -- but all the march to get Christmas going is really getting to me. I am just not ready for Christmas music and holiday parties!!

November 16, 2006

The Big Shebang!

Yah, just another pic of my kid doing what he loves to do -- play games. This one was taking during an all-night Youth group event called "The Big Shebang!" The kids all arrive at church at 10:00 p.m. and spend the evening playing lasertag, broomball, and watching a movie. No sleeping occurs -- lots of eating and generally misbehaving.