Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Quest Notes

A warm cup of cyber tea, just for you.
✒ This week I've made a shift to drinking more green tea and less coffee. I love to sip on a hot drink all day long, but too much coffee makes me edgy!

Delicious with a little honey and cream. Also I've discovered peppermint tea is soothing for my children if they have an upset tummies.

✒ Made turkey stew, multi-grain baguettes, salad, and "Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies" to take to a friend last night. I was reminded of this helpful post, "How to Take Dinner to a Friend":
A delivered meal is a token of your friendship–a visual, tangible, edible one!  Never mind that it frees your friend to divert her attention away from the daily demands of life and on to the more pressing concerns of the moment.
After giving birth to five babies, I've certainly been on the receiving end of meals more than a few times! It's really nice to have some practical go-to meal plans when a need arises.

✒ Our "Advent Literary Countdown" is underway! My children are excited. (I've even heard them brag about this new tradition to some of their friends.) I've been amazed at how delighted they are to open a pretty package, even though they know it most likely contains a book which has resided on our shelf for years!

✒ Book # 1 -- The Nativity. This is a book of images from the movie of the same name. (I couldn't find the link to the book, so I linked to the movie.) It is filled with Biblical passages related to the birth of Jesus. I helped design costumes for our church nativity play several years ago with a friend. The costumes from the movie were our inspiration. We combed through this book many times as we worked out details. I coaxed my kids to open this book first because I thought it would be nice to read a few short passages from it each night of Advent. So far we've read verses of prophecy from Isaiah and Jeremiah.

✒ Book # 2 -- The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. I read the first chapter to my kids and they begged for more! Even my husband chuckled here and there. Unfortunately, we got started a bit too late last night for a second chapter. Maybe tonight we will be able to read more. My 5 yr. old son slept with this book last night.
"The Herdmans were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world."

✒ Anna Karenina Inquiry news: There is no news! My goal is to finish the list of questions by the end of 2012. I've done a quick glance over the questions and typed in my initial gut responses, but that is as far as I've managed to get. I don't plan to read any of my friends' wrap-up posts or to watch the new film until I answer those questions! The third and final "Blush" post should be up Wednesday (or maybe Thursday -- I seem to be running a day behind this week).
✒ My Christmas shopping is done! (Hip,hip,hooray!) I took advantage of a few Cyber Monday deals. Also, my husband and I were able to go out together twice! One day my aunt and uncle watched our children, and another evening our church offered free baby-sitting for three hours. It's not easy for us to square away time to shop together, but this year it happened and it was very nice! I'm grateful!
✒ I followed the "Four Gift Rule" this year for each of my children:


This plan really helped simplify things! I thought long and hard about what each of those four gifts should be. I feel very good about what we're giving each of  them. (We also added a family gift, stocking stuffers, and a few other small things.)

On top of our mantle, the prophet Isaiah lifts his hands.
✒ I'm enjoying "The Return of the Native Synchro-Read" on Facebook very much!

Here's part of the conversation yesterday:
Sandy: Good morning! I had planned to check in yesterday, but didn't finish chapter 4 till I was in bed. Having this accountability really helps -- I would not have finished the reading if it weren't for this synchro-reading plan. I think I need to have synchro-chores, too, heehee. : ) Have a great day! 
Me: I'm with you there Sandy! I had a hard time falling asleep last night b/c I was so excited about getting up to read with you all! I found myself chuckling about jumping out of bed before dawn to read a 135yr old book as if it's hot off the press! Love it!
Normally, I try to start reading at 5am EST, but I have to go with the flow of my family, so occasionally the start time will be different. Many of us dwell in different time zones anyway so  just join in when you can and stop by to leave a comment on the Classical Quest Facebook page at some point during each day to let us know you're still with us!

✒ Working on memorizing John 17 -- a prayer of Jesus. It has been years since I've attempted to memorize a whole chapter! I realize this is not a passage you would normally match with the Advent season, but it's a passage I feel strongly drawn to. So far, I've learned the first three verses:

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 
As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

✒ I've hand copied these verses twice and placed them over my kitchen sink and on the wall in my laundry area. I've found memorizing verses while doing routine chores is much less challenging!

✒ A word about the new badge in the sidebar: I went to a Christmas concert with my daughter this past week and there I learned about "Show Hope". I was able to speak to a few children (young teens, actually) who were adopted into loving homes through the aid of this organization. I must say, I'm intrigued. A few months ago, my oldest son asked me why it is so expensive to adopt a child.

"Every child should have a family, Mom!"

These words came to mind when the speaker at the concert exhorted us, "Not everyone is called to adopt, but everyone is called to do something for orphans." I'm eager to learn more about this ministry and ponder what I can do.

Oh friends! I still have so many thoughts to share with you! But this post is already too long! One more thing -- here's a little video that made me smile this week:

Sometimes security cameras catch people doing good!

How's your holiday plans coming along? I'd love to know what you're up to!




  1. I like the list of four things to keep in mind when deciding on gifts for the kids. That quote you got from the conference speaker on everyone being able to do something for orphans is great too. Your son's wisdom is the best, though!


    P.S. Isn't John 17 still upper room and pre-garden? That's the impression I get from 18:1, anyway.

    1. Yes, what my son said really affected me. I've been praying about what we can do as a family.

      And you're right about the location of the John 17 prayer. I fixed that. Thank you!

  2. Enjoyed catching up with you via blog! :) My brain is to clogged to list what's going on. Hope you can enjoy this advent season.

    1. We busy moms find ways to catch up one way or another! Take care, friend!

  3. I like your long posts.

    I read the "Christmas" chapter from the Little House series, and when I finished, my four-year old begged to have a Christmas like "them." She wouldn't stop asking for candy canes in her stockings.

    Now we are reading through A Christmas Carol.

    I can't wait to get through those other titles, too.

    1. I'm really glad your family is enjoying the Christmas readings! Last night we read two chapters of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever because no one wanted to stop!

  4. It's lovely that you and your husband managed to find time to shop. Me and mine are still working out a schedule with my parents. I've done most of my shopping online this year, but there are still a few things we need to get. Also, there's the The Hobbit movie coming out, and I SOOOO want to watch it in the theatre.

    And that tid-bit on how you memorise your verses is helpful. Whenever I DO get around to memorising my verses I do so early in the morning and write them down at least once so that it sort imprints itself on my mind. I then find myself repeating at random times during the day. Very helpful! :)

    Also, I just checked out your Facebook discussions on return of the native. I went and dragged my copy out of the books-to-give-away-box and decided to give it a second chance...though not right now. Also, you guys have inspired me to get my FB page working. It seems a great way to work on a read along. :D

    1. Oh! I do hope you will be able to square away babysitting so that you can shop with your husband. For several years we had to do it separately. This is only the second year that we have made use of the free sitting from church. It was SUCH a blessing! Hiring someone to watch five kids for a few hours would seriously dent our Christmas budget. And the special time of picking out gifts with my husband made us both as giddy as little children! I pray this will work out for you, Risa!

      About the Scripture memory: It's much more difficult for me to memorize a long passage now than before I had kids. I seem to have thousands of thoughts running through my mind constantly. But one thing I've learned about myself -- If there are words in front of me, I will read them. Since I stand at the sink and the laundry folding table for long periods of time every day, it just makes sense to post the Word in those places. The memorization is falling into place!

      And about Facebook: I just joined a few months ago and it's been wonderful. I've heard of people misusing it, but for me it's been good. Please let me know if you join! I'd be honored to be your friend!


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