Sunday, September 18, 2016

52 lists - Autumn Bucket List

In some ways it doesn't feel like autumn but in other ways I am seeing signs of autumn. So what is on my autumn bucket list.

1. Get school going - We are starting a bit late this year because we were in the States and on holiday.

2. Go for a walk and kick the leaves.

3. Enjoy s'mores in the back garden.

4. Organise and decorate the entryway. I have maps to frame and hang. I want a rug. My goal is to have it feel nice and warm when you enter.

5. Have our annual Thanksgiving meal with our friends here.

6. Begin thinking and planning Christmas -- Christmas cards, projects, gifts, so that I am ready.

That should keep me busy the next few weeks.

I am joining Beauty Full Slow and the 52 lists.

52 lists with Chasing Slow

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Facing a Task Unfinished

Last week was spent away from my family. I think that was the first time that I have been away from them for a week. It was a bit different as often it is my husband traveling but this time it was me who was away. It was not a week alone but I was in Asia with 100 friends (I am using that word loosely). I will say that by the end of the week I did interact with quite a number of people and did make some friends. The theme of our week was The Unfinished Task.

Facing a Task Unfinished

"Facing a task unfinished
That drives us to our knees
A need that, undiminished
Rebukes our slothful ease
We, who rejoice to know Thee
Renew before They throne
The solemn pledge we owe Thee
To go and make Thee known

Where  other lords beside Thee
Hold their unhindered sway
Where forces that defied Thee
Defy Thee still today
With none to heed their crying
For life, and love, and light
Unnumbered souls are dying
And pass into the night

We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord

We bear the torch that flaming
Fell from the hands of those
Who gave their lives proclaiming
That Jesus died and rose
Ours is the same commission
The same glad message ours
Fired bye the same ambition
To Three we yield our powers

We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord

O Father who sustained them
O Spirit who inspired
Saviour, whose love contained them
To toil with zeal untired
From cowardice defend us
From lethargy awake!
Forth on Thing errands send us
To labour for Thy sake

We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled 
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord

We go to all the world
His kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord"

- Original words by Frank Houghton, Music by Samuel Wesley. New words and music by Keith Getty, Kristyn, Getty, Ed Cash, and Fionan De Barra  © 2015 OMF International, Getty Music Publishing (BMI), Allotrop Music (BMI), and Fionan De Barra (All Admin by

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Getting Started with French - TOS Review

The past few weeks we have been learning some basics of French using the book Getting Started with French: Beginning French for Homeschoolers and Self-Taught Students of Any Age published Armfield Academic Press.

This review came at a perfect time for us. My husband had begun talking about learning some French for future ministry and we were thinking about learning French before our holiday. Getting Started with French was just the book we needed.

Getting Started with French is written by William E. Linney and Brandon Simpson. William Linney has written other books in this series -- Getting Started with Latin and Getting Started with Spanish. The next book to be published is Getting Started with Russian.

Getting Started with French teaches French gradually with a systematic approach. The book is structured around the teaching concept of "Teach one concept at a time and let the student master that concept before introducing the next one."

The book has three pages of information about how to use the book. This is a list of tips to help you begin to learn French. This gives information about the structure of the lessons, reminders about pronunciation, information on how grammar is included in the lessons, and tips for conversational skills. There is also information about the exercises in each lesson, composition, and tests and quizzes. There are also some reminders that help you as you work through this book such as staying flexible, scheduling, how much time per day, and self-taught adults.

Getting Started with French has 172 lessons. The first few lessons are just some information about pronunciation, spelling and pronunciation, articles, and gender. All of this is important if you are learning a foreign language especially French. Each lesson teaches a new word. In the lesson is pronunciation tips and exercises. The lessons are short. A few lessons could be done in 15-30 minutes each day. The answers for the exercises are in the back of the book. There are pronunciation recordings for each lesson that can be downloaded.

Getting Started with French is a basic book to get started learning French. It gives you a head start before taking a course, a bit of French to decide if you want to continue studying, or maybe if you want to learn a bit of French before traveling to a French speaking location. This is not a complete French course. This is also designed for self-taught learners.

I have thoughts that this would be something that we could do together as a family. That did not quite go as I had planned. I did it a bit trying to find the French I studied for a semester in college but then my husband took the book and began working on it. My husband has studied foreign languages mainly German and Chinese but he has had not French. He has been working on this the past few weeks.

Here are some comments from my husband regarding this book.

"Unlike many other textbooks, everything you need comes with the purchase of the book. For example, the French audio recordings that accompany the lessons are available for free online. The authors have thought carefully about what independent, self-taught learners need, and the book is designed expressly to meet those needs. One aspect that I found especially helpful is the authors' anticipation of areas that are likely to be confusing or difficult for English speakers. It's so much better, in my opinion, to confront these difficulties head-on instead of waiting until the student develops bad habits or misunderstandings that have to be painfully corrected later! I have not finished the book, but am continuing to use it as I teach myself the language and look forward to making good progress with this excellent guide."

I knew he was enjoying this when I borrowed the book so I could write the review and he was asking me when I would be finished and he could have the book back.

You can read reviews from other members and see how they used this book.

Introducing Getting Started with French {Armfield Academic Press}

Crew Disclaimer

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

What I did this summer.

This is called a catch up post. I know it has been a few weeks since I blogged.

We were in the USA for a short home assignment that is the term used now for what used to be call furlough or deputation. It isn't really a vacation but a time to meet with churches, supporters, prayer partners. We did have some time for fun between meetings.

One of the things we did was decorate gingerbread houses. I know that is not normally a summer activity but my nephew who was visiting Grandma's house at the same time suggested this activity. It was fun for the kids.

We took a break from school except for biology lab. It was easy to buy the kit while we were in the USA and do it there. I didn't want to try to bring this through customs. 

We went blueberry picking and then made some blueberry pies. The pie was delicious.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016


We are on a short home assignment. We are staying with family and so between visits with churches and supporters we are able to enjoy some time with family. 

Today our outing was to Uncle Henry's Handmade Pretzels for a factory tour. The average American eats about two pounds of pretzels a year and the average Pennsylvanian eats 12 pounds a year. Some of that is the German roots and then combined with that is the fact that there are numerous companies here making pretzels. 

My mom asked me what I was expecting and I told her that I thought it would be in the back of a barn. My guess was close. 

We walked in and were at the packaging department. There was no fancy facilities or reception area. The girl came over and began the tour. The first thing we saw was the dough machine. One hundred pounds of flour, yeast, sourdough, water, salt, and soda. One batch makes 2000 pretzels. The day shift makes 16 batches. The evening shift makes 11 batches.

I think one of the most interesting things in the factory was this machine. The lady would knead the dough to get the air out and then put a tube through and turn it and it was cut the tube to the size of piece for each pretzel. The factory was not that high tech.

Uncle Henry's pretzels are twisted by hand. There are about 10 ladies there twisting the pretzels. I asked if there were other pretzels companies that twist the pretzels by hand. She told me that there are two other companies that she knows. The training is three months. That surprised me a bit. They need to be doing about 11 pretzels per minute.

Each tray holds about 90 pretzels. These are formed and then they get a soda bath which gives them the colour.

The salt is put on the peel and then the pretzels are placed on that to put them in the oven. I had made soft pretzels at home. Soft pretzels bake at 400F as that is about as hot as my oven goes. The oven is 600F so that is probably how they can make hard pretzels. The pretzels are only in there for about seven minutes.

After baking the pretzels are cooled for about an hour.

Then they are packed in bags and they cool in front of a fan.

The factory is small with maybe 15 people working there.

I thought this was an interesting sign. There is one

It was a fun outing and factory tour. Uncle Henry's has been make pretzels since 1983. I was told that they ship worldwide.

We got a free pretzels. It was hot, just out of the oven.

We bought a bag to eat. We need to eat our 12 pounds for the year in a month which I don't think we will really do but we are enjoying pretzels.

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Thursday, August 4, 2016

June & July in Review

I actually began this post in June because I wanted to write about one of the books that I had read before I returned it to the library. Then I never got around to finishing this. So now I will combine June and July.

Books read.

Aprons and Silver Spoons by Mollie Moran - The heartwarming memories of a 1930s kitchen maid. I saw this book in the library and thought it was interesting so I added it to my library bag. The first that impressed me was that she wrote this book when she was 96 year old. I loved her humour and love of life. She began as a scullery maid at 14. A scullery maid is basically the lowest maid, the one that scrubs the steps and kitchen, peels the vegetables, and washes the pots. She worked her way up to being a cook in her 20s. I love seeing the relationship change between Mrs Jones, the cook. She tells of her friendship with Flo who was the kitchen maid at the first place she worked. They became friends and at the time that she was writing the book they still kept in touch on the phone and with visits. Flo has also written a book and that is on my reserved list at the library. "The 10 years I spent in domestic service were some of the happiest times of my life and made me the woman I am today. Starting as a scullery mad and working up to cook instilled in me confidence, a good work ethic, self-esteem and pride in my work."

I also read two books on trafficking. That is my book about a current topic. It was interesting to read these two books. One was based in the US and the other was a girl from England. One might have found Christ and healing, while the other girl did not seem to have that hope.

Gilled - This was an interesting read. I borrowed it from the library. A friend had recommended it.

Miss Buncle's Book - I absolutely loved this book. It was funny and light reading. Now I am reading another Miss Buncle book.

In July I read

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

Queuing for Beginners - this was a book on life in UK. It gave me bits of information. I still think Britty Britty Bang Bang was a favourite.

The Boys in the Boat - I borrowed this from the library. I enjoyed the references to Seattle and also the history. It was an excellent story of the hard work and all that was done to overcome the challenges and to go for the gold.

I still have a few books that I am working through a Commentary on Ephesians, Seabiscuit, a biography of George Muller.

In June we had some outings and in July our outing was an adventure as we had 1/4 tank of diesel and we got lost. We did finally find our destination.

It was a hot day and we were headed to Slippery Stones one of the wild swimming places.

We drove and drove partly because we got lost. Then we walked a bit. It was in a beautiful area. I think it would be a great place to go for a walk.

I love the blue sky.

One of the books that I recently read or skimmed through was called, 8 out of 10 Brits. It was just full of interesting stats.

77% of adults say that they walk for pleasure at least once a month (8 out of 10 Brits)

I have not worked on any unfinished projects. I have not started any new projects so it is okay at this time.

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Monday, August 1, 2016


One of the things that Miss K has been doing this past year is Brownies. She began it in November and is one of the highlights of her week.

Brownies has been a great activity for her. She group meets at the church and the leaders are from church.

Miss K decided that she wanted to work on the toymaker badge. I looked at the requirements and we began working on it. Since it was almost the end of the year we had to quickly work on this. Miss K made a teddy bear from a kit. Then we made a game.

I was tying to come up with another toy that she could make. One of the suggestions was puppets. As I looked in the craft cabinet I found the wooden clothespins and so we turned them into puppets and created the Three Little Pigs. Miss K drew the houses and each pig had some materials to show what kind of house he made.

Miss K needed to take the things she made to her Brownies and show her leader. She was excited to get her badge. Now we will begin working on badges. I wonder how many badges she can earn this next year.


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