Saturday, November 23, 2013

Saturday Commonplaces

Random notes from my week...

On Homeschooling:
I stumbled across Cindy Rollins' blog series "31 Days to Morning Time" this week. While I haven't finished reading it yet, it has been an affirmation of what we already do, and a vision of how we can continue to use our together times in the morning for more than just devotions, memory work, and enjoying poetry.

I am so thankful for the homeschooling community here on the Island. It is good to have not only the support, but also the skills of other homeschoolers. This week we learned some French together at our homeschool co-op. Jo taught the children several phrases using fun songs and games. They were all words and phrases I knew (Bonjour, Comment t'appelle-tu? Je m'appelle ..., Quelle age as tu? J'ai ... ans.), but I really felt she helped me move beyond overthinking methods of language learning, to just jumping in and doing it. I hope she does it again...every week. I took what she taught and reinforced it for a few minutes every day. I think it's a great start.

I also went and had a knitting lesson from another homeschool mom. I did learn to knit as a young child, but haven't done it since. I wanted another handicraft to enjoy and teach to my boys, and when Alice offered to teach it, I jumped at the chance. She refreshed me on my knitting and purling, and when I came home I found a scarf pattern and started one. Here it is so far:

Stephen teased me that I chose a lacey pattern so no one would notice all the holes. I truly didn't choose it for that reason, but it's working out fine so far. I've got to tell you, though, knitting is addictive. I'm going to have to limit myself so I can get my housework done!

On bringing up boys:
Sometimes I think about the pornography saturation of the society we're bringing up our boys in, and I am afraid. This week I was both further terrified and encouraged by an interview with Josh McDowell on Nancy Leigh DeMoss's "Revive Our Hearts" radio program. He makes the point that it is practically impossible to shelter our children from this issue in the technological age we live in. If we unplug our computers, there will be a smartphone somewhere. If we have neither, we can still not control our children's friends' devices. Chances are that some day they will stumble across pornography. But we do not have to live in fear. McDowell's advice:
1. Develop a strong, loving relationship with your children, one where they feel free to come to you with any issue.
2. Teach your children from the time they are babies a healthy, godly, positive view of their bodies and sexuality. The stakes are too high not to be open and frank even from a young age. They need to know that the real thing (sex between a husband and wife) is wonderfully designed by God and is worth waiting for.
3. Come up with a strategy with them to deal with the first time they stumble across pornography.
I felt this was very helpful and worth listening to.

On Food:
I grew up eating kale cooked and mashed with potatoes in "boerenkool stampot", a Dutch version of colcannon always enjoyed with smoked sausage on the side. Up till the time I married Stephen, I had never heard of eating kale raw. Stephen, on the other hand, grew up eating kale salad, and had never heard of eating it cooked. Every time I served him kale, he would tell me again about the delicious kale orange salad of his youth. He always enjoyed it cooked, but still it was strange to him. Now I've been on Pinterest for a couple of years, and kale salads pop up all the time. I've tried a few and loved them all, but they just didn't do it for Stephen. So now, after all these years, I have finally tried his "recipe." Here it is:
Chopped Dates
I used curly kale (it's all my little No Frills carries, and I rarely go to another store these doesn't tend to make many stops when one is hauling three little boys along), and it was a bit tough. I would love to know where I can find the lacinato variety, which is supposed to be more tender. I used three stalks (stems removed, leaves cut finely), and three oranges. I cut the oranges into eight wedges, then cut the peel off and cut the wedges in half. I put in a small handful of raisins, and skipped the dates because I didn't have them in the house. Then I moistened it all with mayonnaise.
It was delicious, but I felt it needed some crunch. If I dare to mess with Stephen's recipe, I may add celery, carrots, apples, even onions next time.

On Cuteness:
I was sweeping and mopping upstairs this week. JJ wanted to help, so he took over the mopping. And when I say "took over", I mean it. I tried to borrow the mop for a minute, and he said, "No, Mama! You're the sweepah-man, and I'm the moppah-man."


  1. Nelleke, I love how you share little tidbits. You are a great mom and it is showing in the kids. And I love the pattern you are knitting! Looks beautiful.

    1. Thank you for your encouragement. I've had to unravel and redo a few times because of mistakes, but I'm having fun with the knitting anyway. :)

  2. I listened to the interview, it was good to be forced to think about it. Though I don't have your fears, mainly because we have girls... who have a good dad...

    1. ...and a good mom. That doesn't guarantee anything, though.