Tuesday, September 28, 2010


We went rollerskating last night. I was hoping to do so once each week in my efforts to get us up and moving more, but the price has almost doubled since we went last summer--what I thought was going to cost $15 ended up being almost $30. That won't work on a weekly basis, so I need to re- think this.

It's almost cool enough to spend more time outside (100 degrees is still too hot for much exertion), but soon. In the meantime, I'm just not sure what to do. Physical education has never been a strong area, but I want to do better, for both the kids' and my own health. I don't want it to be drudgery, but it doesn't necessarily have to be a blast.

Thinking ... thinking ... thinking ...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Prodigal Returns

Life got crazy last year, especially through the summer, but things seem to be calming down now and we're getting off to our new school year, so I thought this would be a good time to begin to post some updates. (To see how I spend my summer, see my personal blog.)

One new thing we're doing this year for school is to learn the Psalms. I ordered a metrical Psalter from Crown and Covenant and downloaded three of the CD's they have that go along with the Psalter (the fourth, with all of Psalm 119 is due out soon). Many thanks to my friend, John Hodges, for the recommendation - I wanted something that wasn't too pop-musicuish and trendy, but that wasn't childish, either, and John came up with just the right thing.

We've been singing through about ten Psalms each day during Morning Time and we're all beginning to learn them. The harmonies are beautiful and I love that some have familiar tunes. We also enjoy the more ethnic tunes that some have been set to. It'll be awhile before we're able to obtain recordings of all the Psalms (they haven't been relased, yet), but we're well on our way.

I love that my kids are learning Scripture as they learn these songs, that the tunes are appropriate to the words, and that the kids are beginning to learn to sight-read when they sing. Our church uses an overhead with just the words during worship, so I've had to figure out a way to expose them to sight-reading as they sing. Learning the Psalms in this way definitely contributes to this.

We've also been reading the Psalms from the Sidney Psalter and the kids are beginning to be able to recognize them when they hear them (even though the words are slightly different and there's no tune to rely on).

We're studying Christendom this year, so this focus on the Psalms is appropriate, given the rise of monasticism that we're learning about (I've read that Benedictine monks sing through all the Psalms each week as they go through their daily offices). I'd love to incorporate more of the daily offices (the opus dei) and the monastic hours into our days, but it's tough alone at home and I don't know that I'm up to diving into it. A little at a time is probably a better approach.