The Beauty of Christ

The PRTS conference has just come to an end in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

We weren't there.

That was worth mentioning, because our hearts were there.

Anyway, here is the first lecture I'll link to. It's Dr Joel Beeke speaking on Thomas Goodwin on Christ's Beautiful Heart.

Have a listen. You will not regret it.

He ends his lecture, in which has spoken - obviously - on the loveliness of the heart of our Saviour, with this true story.

          When William Montague Dyke was ten years old, he was blinded in an accident. Despite his disability, William graduated from a university in England with high honors. While he was in school, he fell in love with the daughter of a high-ranking British naval officer, and they became engaged.
          Not long before the wedding, William had eye surgery in the hope that the operation would restore his sight. If it failed, he would remain blind for the rest of his life. William insisted on keeping the bandages on his face until his wedding day. If the surgery was successful, he wanted the first person he saw to be his new bride.
          The wedding day arrived. The many guests—including royalty, cabinet members, and distinguished men and women of society—assembled together to witness the exchange of vows. William's father, Sir William Hart Dyke, and the doctor who performed the surgery stood next to the groom, whose eyes were still covered with bandages. The organ trumpeted the wedding march, and the bride slowly walked down the aisle to the front of the church.
As soon as she arrived at the altar, the surgeon took a pair of scissors out of his pocket and cut the bandages from William's eyes.
          Tension filled the room. The congregation of witnesses held their breath as they waited to find out if William could see the woman standing before him. As he stood face-to-face with his bride-to-be, William’s words echoed throughout the cathedral, "You are more beautiful than I ever imagined!"
          One day the bandages that cover our eyes will be removed. When we stand face-to-face with Jesus Christ and see His face for the very first time, His glory will be far more splendid than anything we have ever imagined in this life. (Kent Crockett, Making Today Count for Eternity, Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2001, pp. 101-102)

If we are Christ's, we have been given glimpses of the unspeakable loveliness of our Saviour. But no matter how much of a revelation we have been blessed with here, one day, when we stand before Him in all His majesty, and we see Him 'face to face', we too will be able to sing out that He is more beautiful than ever, ever we imagined.

A First For Me

Catherine was looking for a new skirt last week.

We searched the extensive selection of shops and malls we have here on the island the one shop in which we may have found something.

She did try a skirt on, and may have bought it, but when she looked at the price tag, it was £26.00. It was a summery skirt. Unlined. Not really worth the price. We now give Catherine her money monthly. She is responsible for what she does with it, and for how much she is able to save each month. If we had been paying for the skirt, she'd probably have desperately wanted it. But, because it was her own money, she thought long and hard about it...... and decided she would leave it.

Well, we drove past a charity shop on our way home, and she saw a gorgeous dress in the window. This was a first for us. I've never bought from a charity shop. More fool me. We went in. The dress was brand new. Not only that, I'd admired the same dress last summer in the shop we'd just left, but couldn't justify buying it. We asked the price.

Three quid.


Three pounds.

Did you get that? 

She bought it. She loves it.

She already had the bolero.

Actually, wait a minute.
I had the bolero.
I have a feeling I wont see much more of it.

I reckon it might not be our last visit to a charity shop.


Today's Weather...

Today, we have blue skies.

And, because this is August, and without a breeze, we would have the dreaded midges, I must report that we also have wind.


You know, I had full washing lines the day Google took their photos for Google Street Maps.

They really should have warned me. 
I could have had anything hanging on there.

Three Ships...

When we were in Skye last week, this cruise ship was anchored just out of Portree. 

What a beauty!

Many of the onlookers at the wedding in Portree were from this ship, the Westerdam. The ship had sailed from Rotterdam, and most of the cruisers were from the Netherlands. An elderly man, who was watching the wedding along with his son, spoke to me, and he was originally from South America. He had lived in the Netherlands for many years. I would have loved to have asked him how he ended up in the Netherlands, all the way from South America, but he really struggled to communicate the simplest of questions of English.
Don't these kind of questions fascinate you? I'd have loved to have heard his story.

Last Friday, we saw this ship anchored off Stornoway.

She's much smaller than the Westerdam (above), but she was lovely, nevertheless.

Here's a photo I took whilst in Stornoway on Friday

And as I write this post, this ship is passing us.

As it passes right now, the Sea Land Mercury is full of containers, and has no visible gaps like the photo above shows.
She's on her way to Newark, and once again she didn't stop to pick us up.


Back to School....kinda

Sooooo, we're back to school.

We've had a kind of part-time week this week, but all being well, come next week, we'll be totally 'back to school'.

For Calum who is the equivalent of Primary 3 in the UK (Grade 2 in the US), we are using:

For Language:
When we began homeschooling DR first of all, Abeka was practically the only homeschool materials we'd heard of. We are still using some of the materials we bought back then. I can't really justify total changes - especially for the Wee Guy, when he's .......he's.....you know......he's .....the last. 

There - I said it. Very quickly mind you, but I said it. 

He's. The. Last. 

Ooooh, that hurt.

Aaaaanyway. Where was I? Oh yes, curriculum.

I do like Abeka for Language and Maths. The pages are colourful and fun. And they're thorough. 

For Maths:
And here's his Maths book for this year.

Again, they are pleasant, colourful and cheerful.

And thorough.

Did I say they were thorough? I like to keep saying it to convince myself that nothing is being left out when it comes to these core subjects. I'm glad they are thorough, because 'thoroughness' is not a word that comes to mind when I think of myself.

So, at least the books are.

Last year, we did a lapbook on An Overview of the 17th Century, from A Journey Through Learning.

This year, we're gonna head West. 

In our travels - I mean our literal family holidays - we haven't been further West than the shores of Lake Michigan. I dream of heading west. So, because I dream of heading west, the Wee Guy will look at Heading West this year! 

Not really.

Well, yes, really. Except that it's not JUST because I long to head west. So, we're looking at the pioneers, reading the Little House books, and generally, in our thoughts....heading west.

We've found a number of resources to go with the Little House books online. And we're going to do the Westward Ho lapbook - again from A Journey Through Learning.

They also do a Little House in the Big Woods lapbook. 

I must look at this to decide whether to do it whilst we're reading this actual book.

Any ideas or comments will be gratefully received.

Another day, I'll post what the girls are doing.

When they're not baking and doing all my housework.

Oops, I wasn't supposed to tell that's why I keep them home, was I?!

My Baby Boy.

Sitting on the sofa. My baby is on my lap. (Okay, so he's 7, but he's still my baby!) 
His gorgeous neck is right in front of my mouth, allowing for plentiful kisses. 
He turns to me, beautiful blue eyes looking right into my face. 

CS: You remind me of someone, Mum.

Mum: Uhh...your Mum?

CS: No. Someone......famous

Mum: Really?

CS: Someone in a film. I think....

Mum (images of some beautiful actresses flashing through her mind): Who, my darling?

CS: Someone in Mr Bean's movie........ 

Mum: silence

CS: Oh, I know, it's Mr Bean himself.

End of idyllic scene.


A Poem

This was sent to me by e-mail recently. A friend thought of me when she read the poem, and I was glad she did. I love it! 

Dear Anne, I've been reading through a book of poetry lately. I'm really not much of a poetry lover, but I had to tackle this book. It has been lingering on my bookshelves for a decade since my grandmother passed it to me. Just noticed on the flyleaf is pasted a card...the book is from my great-grandparents to my grandparents for their second anniversary. No idea my great-grands were so interested in poetry.

I thought of a few of my friends when I read "Song of a Quiet Life" - one being you! This poem is "me," how about you.....

Song of a Quiet Life
If I can find a loveliness
   In diamonds in the snow,
If I can hear a symphony
   Wherever tree-tops blow,
And if I'm dressed in cloth of gold
   While standing in the sun,
Should that not be quite wealth enough
   For me, or anyone?
If I can find a palace here
   Within four little rooms,
If warm spice cake and apple pie
   Are rarest of perfumes,
And best of all my husband is
   A prince in dungarees,
Am I a fool to be content
   With simple things like these?
                                  Marion Kilroy

My friend said that when she read it, she thought, "that's me". She then asked me, "How about you?". I can definitely say, "It's me too"!

So what d' ya reckon? Is it 'you'?


Trip to Skye, part 2

Having driven around parts of Skye for some time, we decided to come back to Portree for lunch.

We saw this crowd, clearly waiting for something...

What were they waiting for?

This was it! Had you guessed?

A final check from Dad

And they kindly turned to the crowd, who obliged with a round of applause!

I don't know the bride, but I still managed to have a bubble.
It's not normal to be this emotional.
But then again....maybe 'normal' isn't the first word that comes to mind when people think of me.


Hi to New Followers

I just want to say Hi to those who have begun following me recently. If you want to introduce yourselves, and tell a bit about yourselves, that would be really nice. But if not, please don't feel you have to.

Whatever you decide, I'm loving having you on board. I hope you enjoy visiting with me, and please feel free to drop a line anytime.

A Trip to Skye

Last Friday, the girls, myself and my friend, Dawn, left early to head for Skye. To do this, we drove through our own island and into Harris. There we took a ferry across to Skye. We went for a service where a new minister was being inducted, but for now, I'll post some of the scenery en route. 

We took loads of photos, and it's not easy to decide what to post. Some of the scenery was stunning. I've tried to choose a selection so as not to bore you.

Red sky in the morning

...remember I said that
This is crossing the moor to the main town, where I was picking up Dawn.

The mist and the red sky together....lovely.

We're now heading south from Stornoway, and the terrain changes almost immediately.
We had flat....now we have rocks, lochs and hills.

Well, I just had to stop to say Hi to this guy.

And yes, even I could tell this was a guy.

And what a guy....
I would *not* like to mess with him.

See the 'feannagan' - lazybeds - the ones who worked this land certainly weren't lazy, but when the soil is shallow and it's difficult to grow crops, they made lazybeds to give the soil some depth.

A monument to the crofters who fought for land when they returned from World War I

We were driving, but couldn't resist taking some photos.

It was flat calm. Remember I said that too...

A Union Flag. This is so noteworthy it was worth a photo.
No kidding. It's rare. This was in Tarbert, Harris.

Approaching Uig, Skye.

And this photo is of the ferry we've just left - taken from the road above Uig.

It rained. Actually, it poured.
What can you say? It's Skye.

And then the sun battled through again

Here's the church we'd return to later that evening for the induction.

Some of the scenery in Skye is simply breathtaking.

Are you seeing the choppy sea? 
This is inland - a sea loch, and it's *this* choppy.
Can you imagine what the open sea is like by now?
Very, very different to the sea we crossed only four hours before this.
Boy, were we glad we crossed in the morning, when all was calm.

The winds at home reached 70 mph on Fri evening. 
And do you remember the calmness when we left? 
No wonder they say about Lewis, ''If you don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes'!
Although I think they say that about lots of places.
Colorado, for one....isn't that right, Pam?!

Looking across to Raasay

Just outside Portree, the main town in Skye

I hope you enjoyed The Tour, stage 1.

Later I'll post some from the rest of our trip.


School's Back....

....but not for us!

All the schools on the island go back today. And we don't!!

I love homeschooling. But there's something especially sweet about it the day all the schools go back. I feel like a child with a sweetie who's being very rude to a friend and saying, 'Hahahahahee. I've got a sweetie. And you don't'

Isn't that awful of me? I'm sorry, but I love it!


Half an hour on the Beach

The sun shone today. I mean really, really shone.

The temperature was well into the 60s. That's HOT.

So I decided to chuck my work, and the three younger ones and myself had half an hour on the beach.

We didn't go to the sea. We only had a short time, so we went to the sand dunes instead.

Here are some photos.

These clumps of flowers have appeared on the beach this year for the first time ever. Isn't that odd.

They're lovely, but where did they come from?

Lilac flower

And so back home
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