Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ramblings from the Two Track

We made it into the wilds, but barely.
She struggled some, but still offered us smiles.
Waiting with an attitude of gold for medicine to arrive so we can depart Bend.
   It's breezy here. The cottonwoods clatter, and ripple in the wind. Ratcheting sprinklers run all day as the lush grass attests. I hear the doves. Their presence is a never ending source of comfort. Like a familiar cloak on a cold starry night, holding me close, they remind me of the vastness of Your love.

   Her stomach is off again this morning. What can we do, but wait and trust? The baby calves suckle at their mama's teats. How I wish I could feed her and food would just fix it. You alone can nourish her right now Lord. Will we make it out on the trail this year?
In Rome, Oregon.  A little sagebrush and Singapore math. (She's a bit math obsessed.)
   Nothing has changed: we are still packed to the rafters, but the gear doesn't tumble out quite so often. Kid list of essentials: survival pack, water bottles, books.
Oh yeah, & a snorkel mask and soccer clothes, for every day of the week.
   What will the desert demand of us, and why are we always so thirsty? Do wild springs fill men more deeply than rural ones? We embark into the desert with some who are yet strangers to us, like a caravan, headed off to trade in foreign lands. Will we be bound by the land or return with a bounty of inner treasure? 
Headed down there!
   In a chaotic, noisy, loud, and fanatic world the rover affords us trails where we find rest. The noise of a cracked culture gives way to the cricket. 
    Clustered on the bank of the river, they surely looked like children's toys to the fighter jets screaming overhead. 
A pristine spring. Not unvisited, but undamaged by mankind. Unusual.
  Riverside, the breeze was just enough to keep the mosquitoes at bay. Overhead, rock formations loomed large. At sunset, young antelope averse to our curiosity, crested up and over canyon walls.
Three Forks cascading into the Owyhee River.
Rovers down low. Three Forks to the right. Stretching our legs.
There is just you Lord, in the sunshine and the heat, and the drum of a child's feet. 
Up and out. I prayed the whole way!
Willow Hot Springs, near Fields, Oregon
    We crawled into our tent as dusk settled on the land. I couldn't sleep, my mind buzzing with the days activities. Alive with the day's heat, the crickets kept up their chirping, to match my chattering mind. The rustle of the tent flaps broke my concentration, or was it a coon in the garbage bag hanging outside? The abnormal chatter, all the noise, portended the 2 a.m. party that would arrive at Willow. What a racket of a night!
Sunset at Willow Hot Springs, Whitehorse Ranch
Breakfast in Fields, Oregon. A sweet treat. We licked our plates clean.
4 days without a shower, not to shabby, but we ain't gonna zoom in!
 Home again, a little worse for the wear, but it was worth it!
 Rovering Responsibly

   We take safety seriously, for us and God's creation. We pack, plan, prepare, and pray when we go into the outback, especially with our kids in tow. We go with others. We don't go it alone. We go with great people who also prepare. We prepare for fire, injury, and vehicle issues, because stuff happens while you are busy living life! This year, we were blessed to have a Search and Rescue Coordinator in attendance, a state highway patrolman, a variety of engineers, experienced explorers, and even an experienced Mazama, along for the ride. (The trip coordinator also took time to appropriate and rent a satellite phone. Just in case.) 

   As for our interactions with nature, the primary objective is to leave no trace. The Pacific Coast Rover Club is focused on enjoying nature safely in a way that nurtures nature for future generations to enjoy.  
Rover Girl aka no make up girl.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sounds of Summer Ending

Meditation empties me, but prayer makes me full. 
    Noticing life is slowing, slowing, slowing in preparation for school. Fall soon upon us. The leaves on the trees will die and drop. Energy will amass in the trunk, the very core, of the vine, tree, perennial. Plants seeking to add strength and growth in inward most parts.

    Our family is quieting now in preparation for school, even as the busyness of another season nears. School backpacks are not yet ready. A desk awaits paint. Chairs have yet to be found. A bedroom paint job begs to be finished. I haven't ordered books quite yet. When I do, I will not hit rush. I will not be rushed.
    It the past, a new school year has always felt like a new year. All the preparation, planning, and idea pondering marking a major shift of time, but not this year.
   Much of this year has been focused on health issues, and what we've gained from these circumstances. I refuse to say lost. I refuse. We have gained much, and we are hard at work healing. A story for another day? Because I dream of writing how we navigated in and through an ulcerative colitis diagnosis. God. How we walked through strong. Came out well. But, that's not today's story. Seeking stillness is my story.

    Slowing down time. Learning to let some things die and some things drop, in order to work on our core as a family. Our inner core as a child of God, with a soul that needs to breathe, think, ponder, learn, love, and listen. This requires stillness. We work hard at intentionally living slow. Sometimes that slowness looks busy: friends, play dates, sword fights, but is not real face time with others slowing down life? Let us slow, soften, be a silhoutte for true beauty in the world. 
Circadian rhythms call and change. Me.
Star gaze under black opalescent sky. 
Slow. Time.
  Something to Ponder?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Willamette Shakespeare's: Twelfth Night

  I want to shine the light on Willamette Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. There's still a few performances to be had this weekend. Don't miss it! J and I headed to Montinore last Sunday night and thoroughly enjoyed the performance, company, and quiet date night. Just in from the Owyhee Canyonlands, I didn't want to drive for over an hour for Shakespeare (or anything), but it was well worth the time as this company always does a great job.
   I've had How To Teach Your Children Shakespeare on the coffee table for a few weeks, but I've only cracked it open for a cursory glance or two, because Shakespeare can be intimidating. No? Today, I found Sarah's interview with Ken Ludwig and he makes Shakespeare accessible for the likes of me. I rowed, listened, and learned a lot. I will definitely be returning my library copy and buying this book.  I won't bother to list other Shakespearean resources, as her blog lists the really good ones for you.
   Having honeymooned in Ashland, Oregon, home to the Oregon Shakespearean Festival, I'm slowly growing more acquainted with the Bard as we add years to our marriage. J has a much greater appreciation and comprehension of Shakespeare than I, but I'm working on it. We try to return every year or two to enjoy a play, a nice dinner, and the lovely parks. Last year, the kids took in their first play at OSF. We all had a blast.

   We haven't visited on one of their Family Days, but you don't have to visit OSF on a Family Day to get decent play pricing. Section C tickets are reasonable all season round, but must be purchased early in the season. They sell out quickly. 

   As for Shakespeare and kids, we've learned to call ahead and find out more about the play and the company before taking the kids along for the ride. We took them to Comedy of Errors last summer at Oregon State University and that didn't go well. The production was Comedy of Errors meets Jersey Shore. Literally. It was too bawdy for us! It was of little comfort, that it was flying over brother's head, because sister didn't miss a line. We ended up leaving early. Something about the balloon boobs and bums was a bit too much for this forty year old. Checking ahead is good. Very good. Don't say, I didn't tell ya!

  Want to see Twelfth Night? Head over to Ponzi this weekend. Shakespeare is a lot of fun, and free is fabulous. More resources are available on Ken's website. I can't wait to listen with the kids and discuss this book, and yes, maybe even memorize!

Staring Ahead: A Classical School Year for 6th Grade

   I will post pictures of rover excursions. But first, I must wrap my mind around the vast expanse of pictures from our trip. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.  That's its own mountain to climb!

   Meanwhile, planning for school seems much easier! Below is the school year plan for sister and I. The year ahead is finally starting to gel. There will be some give and take, and we won't get it all done, but we'll work hard and have fun. The goal is for rest. Yep, rest. Lively and engaged rest. 

6th Grade Curricula

To Do
Notify State.
Buy Saxon Math book.
Determine Grammar.
Buy Philosophy books.
Buy Singapore Practice Books 6.
Buy bigger white board.

2 hours a week at art class (Someone else teaches.)*
Work on Beautiful to Me graphic design
More sewing / quilting classes?
Fall theatre camp - one week


History Lives fiction series on church history
Daily devotions

Field Trips

The Hult for ballet and music
OBT education shows
Oregon Symphony education shows
Corban Theatre/Plays
Oregon History Museum
Teen Pact
See Science Classes


Saxon Math 8/7*
Singapore 6 Practice Books*
Khan Academy Online 

IEW Continuation  (someone else teaches), one paper every 3 weeks.*
Submissions to Pockets and/or Stone Soup, Readers Digest, Letters for Literature
One essay a week from 642 Things to Write About.*
One book report a month.*
One piece at the end of the year on a subject from history. Three pages?
One written piece on Jane Austen. Two pages?
Classical Composition, Writing Fables from Memoria Press (Just for fun, when we have time or need a break from other writing. Keep in mind this kid likes to write!)

Rod and Staff 5 or 6*


First Lego League Robotics 2 hours each week*
Outdoor School
OSU science classes
Evergreen Aviation classes
Immune system, cells, neurons
Diagram and outline pond life with microscope.
GF Science classes
OMSI classes
She'd like to do 3-D design
Maker Faire
Life of Fred Physics*
Life of Fred Biology*
Visit Energy Lab
Volcanoes study
Hatfield Marine Biology Classes


First Form Latin (someone else teaches)*
Mango Languages or Rosetta Stone at home or library?
Meet and Greet Spanish Group (once or twice a month)?


10 words a week. She teaches us. Material: English 1 Vocabulary Cards*

History Readings and Discussion
A Little History of the World by Grombrich*
Hillyer's History of the World for Children*
Middle Ages review (We've previously done Story of the World Middle Ages)
Begin Story of the World Early Modern Times, will listen to the CD's.*


Begin with review of states, continents, oceans, latitude, longitude
Mapping and tracing of Europe and locations of books we are reading onto smaller maps, then putting on a large world map that hangs in the school room.*


Philosophy for Kids*
The Art of the Argument*

Phys. Education
Irish dance drop-ins
Swim lessons continued
Rock climbing class
One hike a week, when weather good.

Student Reading Lists
Veritas School*
SonLight Core F Books*
Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Books

   We will aim for 1-3 chapter books a week, family reading time in history, and 3-5 picture books a week, all from the various lists. Some we'll discuss such as history or philosophy, but many books will simply be for focused pleasure reading. They know I'm intentional about keeping good books in the house for them, and that I've a bit of an agenda for their reading. They don't care. They just like access to good books! Sometimes they will not pick up a book I want them to read. We let it go at that.

   You might be tempted to believe I'm type A and just a tad detail oriented. No kidding! For us, I've found it's better to aim high rather than low in education. It creates more stress for me not to plan, than to plan and have goals that we intentionally work to achieve. We won't get through it all, but the goal is to complete the main curricula packages and then everything else is a perk! Because life is for learning, and learning is for life.

* Main Curricula to be completed

   Brother will be pulled from school for various excursions, but the plan is for him to be in a chair elsewhere this year. We are excited for him. He's going to have a great teacher and he will be working hard and playing hard. Soccer has begun and school is just around the corner!

"Now Lord, we ask that you bless this year. Because the plans of man amount to nothing without your grace and goodness blessing it all. Your world is intricate and beautiful and we desire to learn more about you and your children through our studies this year. We desire to think about, what it is we think about. We seek to honor you with our studies. Please bless this year. We can do nothing apart from you, but through you we can do all things."

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Rovering Home

    Rover adventure stories and pics soon. We're busy washing the dirt off!