Seven Quick Takes on Fire TV Stick, Tag Clouds, Handwriting Scripture, and More!

Seven Quick Takes


:: 1 ::

I’ve been watching Downton Abbey using the Amazon Fire TV Stick. Oh my heck. This thing is amazing! I bought it as a gift to my husband for Christmas because he likes to have something to watch while he’s working out and it was cheaper than cable.

I had no idea it’d be an awesome way to watch Downton! For a few years now I’ve either been watching on a computer or a laptop, and it’s never worked great. Sometimes, I had to stop in the middle because our WiFi would get a little too slow for it to be enjoyable. I tried hard not to complain because that is the only TV I watch, but deep inside I wanted to watch TV the “normal” way: actually on a television.

So hip hip for the PBS app! I feel like an old woman, marveling at all these newfangled gadgets people have come up with.


:: 2 ::

Thinking about scheduling? A number of you have contacted me lately about scheduling, especially with large families. While I don’t have a particularly large family, I do have four students, so there’s that. When it came time to add my fourth student, I thought that would be the straw that finally broke the camel’s back. It seemed like it’d be too much and I’d be overwhelmed and and and.

Enter Sabbath Mood Homeschool’s series on Charlotte Mason scheduling. It totally saved the day. What I ended up doing isn’t exactly what Nicole does, but it is oh so much inspired by it. She really helped me wrap my mind around where I could combine some or all of my students.

My theory has been: combine what can be combined. This is what I use Circle Time for. While I have each of my children in their own AmblesideOnline year, that doesn’t mean I don’t combine some things. We do church history together instead of individually. I’m combining the girls for geography. Etc.

Anyhow, watch Nicole’s introductory video. You’ll be glad you did!


:: 3 ::

Where’s the tag cloud? This is a question that came in my contact form last week, and since this person probably wasn’t the only person wondering, I thought I’d answer here. The short answer is that when I switched from Blogger to WordPress, the tags didn’t transfer over nicely. I mean, a number of them did. But then I started noticing problems, like when most of the cooking posts were tagged as theology.


So, behind the scenes, we’re working on it. Once everything is straightened out, tag and category navigation will be available once more. Sorry for the inconvenience!


:: 4 ::

First PeterIn The Living Page, Laurie Bestvater mentions handwriting Scripture passages. On a whim, I decided to try my hand at it. {Literally!}

Oh, my.

This is something I highly suggest.

It takes I only do two or three verses at a time. I started in print. I don’t know why. I think cursive would have been less fatiguing to my hand.

Anyhoo, after a few moments pretending to be a medieval scribe, I started paying attention to the words, and that was when the exercise got really valuable. Words were jumping out of the passage at me that I had never noticed or thought about before, even though I’d read the book numerous times over the years.

It’s definitely a different way to Bible read — devotional writing, we might call it?

The First Epistle of Peter: Sharpie pens on white index paper.


:: 5 ::

In Module 5 of the Simplified Organization self-paced course, Mystie encourages us to build the habit of doing a morning review. Building this habit has been huge for me. I need to do my review at night, though, because preparing for tomorrow unfortunately starts today. For example: what’s for dinner? Sometimes beans need to be soaked or meat needs to begin defrosting. If I wait until morning, I’ve already botched something. {And I’m expert at botching things…}

So the practice has been a good one for me. A few moments at night, and again in the morning to remind myself what exactly my day is supposed to be about, keep me from wasting a lot of time trying to get my bearings on each new day. This is why taking the course is so good for me!


:: 6 ::

This week’s link collection:


:: 7 ::

Some questions you’ve asked:

I’m swamped with questions, so I’m going to start answering a few of them here each week {well, when I remember…ha} because a lot of you are asking the same questions.

  • Question: How do we get outside in the winter in Minnesota {or some other cold state}
    • Answer: I don’t know. I think anything below 50 degrees is cold. Like seriously, I’m-staying-inside-and-waiting-it-out cold. I’m pretty sure if the rest of you knew what babies Californians are when it comes to weather, you’d be horrified. This is an example of the sort of question I am not qualified to talk to you about. Now heat I can discuss. Then the answer is: get wet.
  • Question: So my kid is six. Now what? How do I get her to narrate?
    • Answer: Subscribe to Newbie Tuesday! The answer to this is in the very first issue, to be delivered this coming Tuesday. :)
  • Question: If you could go back and start again, what would you do differently?
    • Answer: Well, that’s a loaded question. :) I wasn’t very CM in kindergarten with my oldest. I really regret that. I mean, I didn’t know what I didn’t know, but I still regret being way too academic. If I could go back, we’d spend way more hours outside and we’d be way more relaxed. We’d read more poetry. And I wouldn’t require a five-year-old to narrate. That was one of my biggest mistakes.