Archive | January 2013

The World of Rembrandt and Free Books

ImageTwo of my favorite words in the English language, free and books. I love books of all sorts but free books are really cool. If they are old and free they’re even better. Seriously, I have yet to meet a homeschooling mom who can just walk by a box of free books. Hence the hoards of books that we pile up all over. Just looking around at all the book cases in my house makes me feel inspired! Sometimes, I must say, I think just gazing at all our books, on the shelf, will make us at least half educated. OK…..I know.

I was so excited to find these Time-Life Library of Art books in a free box somewhere along the way. I grabbed them up quickly before my homeschooling mom friend who was a few steps behind me could get them. (Just kidding! Sort of. But I would gladly lend them out anytime!)

Like so often happens books prove to be the source of my inspiration. I wasn’t sure how these particular ones would play into our school day but I knew they belonged here. I am a huge fan of the lovely Charlotte Mason and I love her idea of “picture study”. We have spent many memorable afternoons admiring and talking about famous and lesser known pieces of art. 

Earlier this fall I was flipping through these “World of…….” art books and I finally became inspired as to what to do with them. First though what to do with the nudity? I mean I have two sons. Two of the pictures, one of Bathsheba and another of Danae, I really wondered about. The other, Nude Seated on a Mound, not so much…….I decided to ask blue eyes because he is a man and he is wise. Anyway, he thought we should definitely err on the side of caution and get rid of the nudes so as not to put a stumbling block in our dear sons pathway. I really hated to do it in a way, but I used a glue stick and glued those pages together. You can hardly even tell they are there now unless you happened to notice the missing page numbers.  

I put together these lessons for our oldest daughter and she has loved them! I love them too because it takes very little effort on my part and I can see that she enjoys it so much! In fact  last week when she was studying Rembrandt she even got her brothers to be her students and set up a class for them using her lesson plan. As with anything on this blog you are more than welcome to modify and use my ideas to your heart’s content! Perhaps at a later date I will post the other lessons that go with the other books.

Monday: Look up Rembrandt in the encyclopedia and read the entire article. Write a summary about what you have learned. Be sure to include dates and locations. Where is Amsterdam? Find it on the globe.

Tuesday: As you may have read, Rembrandt liked to draw and paint self portraits. Study the self portraits on pages 7-14 in The World of Rembrandt. In which does he look the happiest? The saddest? The most peaceful?

Wednesday: Study the etching entitled Giving of Alms. Write a narrative about the picture.

Thursday: Look through The World of Rembrandt. Do any of the pictures really stand out to you? Write a paragraph or two about a picture you like and another about a picture that you dislike. Be sure to include the title and page number of each. 

Friday: Make a pencil drawing of yourself. Imagine that you want to capture the essence of yourself for future generations to see. Can you do it? Here you are just embarking on your journey as a young women! What feeling and ideas blend to make up who you are today? Can you catch them in your drawing? Make sure to sign and date your portrait. 






In Honor of The Sanctity Of Human Life- Before I Formed Thee In the Womb

Image“Before I formed thee in the womb I knew thee; and before thou camest forth from the womb I sanctified thee, and ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jer 1:5

* This is a slightly edited note that I shared on facebook once. I thought about these things today because I am horrified at the violent, barbaric act of abortion. But abortion would not be legal now had the wide spread acceptance of birth control not preceded it!*

I was thinking tonight about when life begins, does it begin like so many in our culture believe when a baby has been delivered from the womb and is free and independent of it’s mother’s body? Does it begin at conception, when a sperm and egg have met and safely implanted into the uterus? Or does it begin in the heart and mind of the creator? If an artist were to create a master piece where would we say it originated? If we tore up his canvas and destroyed his brushes can you imagine his frustration at having this desire to create and seeing his lovely creation in his minds eye but being unable to ever form it and see it become a reality?

My husband and I spent a season of our lives thinking and praying about this very  thing. We didn’t want to feel trapped, having many children whom we didn’t appreciate or know how to care for properly. We also didn’t want to be deceived by the culture and an ungodly world view. We could not seem to get away from the verses that say that God knew us before we were even formed,(Psalm 139:16) or even while we were still in our father’s loins (Hebrews 7:9,10). That people are His creation, that it wasn’t about our physical bodies but rather our willingness to serve as a vessel for the Lord to create a living soul, a child that He would give us the wisdom and grace to care for if we were willing to trust Him. As far as providing for their physical needs we believed the promises that He cares even for the sparrows and that He has yet to see the righteous forsaken or his seed begging for bread. We had the testimony of our fathers as well, who are honest hard working men. They did not have college degrees or an earthly inheritance with which to raise us but they trusted in the Lord and although my husbands parents had 16 children and mine had 15 we never lacked anything we needed. In fact, my Dad just told me a while ago that he is happy to say that God has taken perfect, immaculate care of his family!

My children and I were talking tonight about the Israelites in the land of Egypt and how God multiplied them so greatly that Pharaoh was afraid and ordered the midwives to kill the boy babies. But the midwives would not obey and despite what the Egyptians did to them God blessed the Israelites with health and children. Then I was thinking of all the blessings of the Lord through out the old testament and how many times when He talked to His children He promised them that if they would obey Him He would bless them with fruitful wombs. (Deut. 7:12-16, Isaiah 49:19,20, Jer. 31:27 and 33:21, Ezekiel 36:10 and 36:37-38, Zach 2:4) Just to name a few. Also if you look up barrenness you will see that it was a curse on the people.

I think it is sad that so many believers have taken a curse upon themselves and turned away God’s blessing. What if the Israelites had thought, ” This life is too horrible. I mean we are slaves! We better figure out a way to prevent pregnancy.” Then God would not have had His large, healthy, victorious people to lead out of Egypt! I’m going to be like the Egyptian midwives. I am going to disobey the wisdom of this world that tells me that God’s blessing is a curse and that says that I should destroy the seed of my husband. That I should prevent future generations from even existing! Instead I’m going to ask God to bless me and my children and, if the world stands, my children’s children with fruitful wombs and hearts that would see God’s gifts as good!

A while ago I heard one of our ministers read from Psalm 127 and he said that he had done a word study on verse three. He said that the word heritage in this verse means an heirloom, something precious and valuable that we would pass on from generation to generation. Isn’t that beautiful? “Except the Lord build a house, they labor in vain that build it: Except the Lord keep a city, the watchmen waketh but in vain…….Lo, children are an HERITAGE of the Lord and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows in the hand of the mighty man, so are the children of the youth. Happy is the man that has his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemy in the gate.”

If you have never considered birth control from a spiritual stand point I ask you as a sister in Christ to prayerfully and earnestly search the Word for your answers. I would also recommend that you read Nancy Campbell’s book ‘Be Fruitful and Multiply’. It is full of scripture and it is so freeing to know that you are in the will of the Father.  All of my love and good will, Emmy

I’m sitting here, coffee in hand. The cup is pretty, tulips. A child’s thoughtful gift from The Salvation Army. The coffee is perfect and makes me happy. Unlike my computer skills…..AHHHHH…..which are giving me a head ache with their un-savvy ways. But I’ve made it this far so I’ll forge ahead. Baby Lucy is nursing in my lap so I’m typing with one hand, which I’m pretty good at. Anything you can master one handed is good, in case, God forbid, you loose a hand, or you’re lucky enough to have received an abundance of goodness from the Lord. In the form of nice, suckling babies. Which I have. Seven in fact. Seven lovely babies, each coming at their perfect appointed time, marking the pathway of my adult life with goodness and grace.

From my oldest who came with her long curly eye lashes and looked innocently at her traumatized young mother as if to say,”Well, how DID you think I was going to come out of there?”  I don’t know, not quite in that way but I loved her so very, very much! Her Daddy and I beheld each other in awe, scarcely believing  that such a perfect, beautiful creature had come from our sweet, young love. To baby Lucy who seemed to just dive out of my womb into her Daddy’s arms. In our bedroom, a week after her due date. A tiny lady with a mind of her own. Each of them so unique. Each of them being used by the Lord to help me become a better Mom, a more selfless person, more like Jesus.

I wanted to create this blog for a couple different reasons. First of all because writing what is in my heart is therapeutic for me. It always has been. I come from a long line of writers and even when I was a little girl I wrote stories and kept diaries to help me sort out what was what. Back then I would write “Dear Diary…” and it felt so delicious to write my secrets down and lock up the little lock and no one would ever know what was in there! Ever! Except of course if I let my BFFs read it. Or if my pesky brothers found it. Then I’d be heart broken and seriously wish that brothers did not exist. But after a while I’d get over it and start a new Dear Diary. I still love to write it all down except now I don’t really have any secrets because everyone already knows that Emmy+Burdette=true love forever! Besides I walk in the light, where there is no darkness at all. A few babies ago I used to look at some of the women that I know, ones with big families which they homeschooled. I would wish that I could be a fly on the wall for a few days and see how they actually did it everyday. I’m sure I don’t even come close to appearing to have it half as much together as those ladies did but I hope this blog might be useful to someone. An inside view of the life of an ordinary woman doing some extraordinary things. I call raising and educating seven children for the Lord extraordinary. I call motherhood at it’s finest extraordinary. I know that my life would be a disaster if it were not for the fact that The Good Shepherd is the one who leads me each day. And he is always, always faithful to his promises and listen to this one:” Behold, the Lord God will come with a strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” Isn’t that priceless? He will carry our lambs and gently lead us. His good triumphs over all our grumpiness, craziness, ugliness……if we will let Him He will lead us in the way that is called perfect peace.