Musings from the Threshold

Category Archives: Blogging

Blog Layout Switchup

I realized this morning that I had not updated my “Friends’ Blogs” or “Worth Reading” lists in my sidebar for quite some time. Honestly, I have so many blogs on my google reader that it would be silly for me to put them all over there. Yet, I do want folks to have a chance to see what blogs I read, both of my friends and of folks who bless me (and/or make me think!) with their blogs regularly. So I was in a quandry.

When I went to add blogs to the link lists, I realized that you can choose how many blogs show up at a time, as well as how they’re sorted. So I chose to show the five most recent posts in each list. Makes the page a bit shorter and should have some variety that way.

If you mostly read my blog on a reader, it won’t affect you much. But I thought I’d explain the change, because I’m an explainer. Jonathan is laughing by this point; I’d bet money on that if I ever bet money…

The Revolutionary Paul Revere – A Review

The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel Miller was an informative and fascinating read. Miller quickly demonstrates how much there is to learn about this key figure in the American Revolution, and makes the process of expanding one’s knowledge quite enjoyable.

One of the highlights of the book are the chapter headings, which spotlight Miller’s ability to turn a phrase. An example: “In which our hero hones his business acumen along with his art, experimenting with novel metallurgic methods and embellishments, while still making time for compotation and conviviality at the Green Dragon – and joining an extraordinary society of immense secrecy.”

Miller has done his research and documented it well; there are more than 26 pages of footnotes. When historical documents have not provided the details, Miller uses language that clarifies the use of conjecture based on the circumstances of the times. I appreciate the clear line drawn between established facts and reasonable imagination.

As Miller takes us through Revere’s life, he covers Revere’s personal, religious, professional, social and military experiences. His account of Revere’s involvement with other patriots in the years leading up to and through the Revolution gives enough detail to whet the reader’s appetite for learning about this period in American history without detracting from telling the story of Paul Revere. My enjoyment of the book was obvious enough that my sons are eagerly looking forward to reading it.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

I review for BookSneeze


I review for BookSneeze

I’m going to be checking out the BookSneeze program. In short, they send you one book at a time (you choose), you review it and send them the link to the blog post, then you can pick another. Creative concept, and I’m looking forward to it.

This and That … and lots of it!

I haven’t been very good with blogging regularly about what’s going on around here, so it’s time for a This and That post…

Last month, Jonathan and I waited for a couple of hours in my backup OB’s office, then saw him for less than 10 minutes. We only got as much of his time as we did because I kept asking him questions. I couldn’t help but think, “and this is one of many reasons why we choose midwifery care.” On the bright side, we are in “the system” and don’t need to go back again. I will update my charts with the office by fax, and if there is a need for transport (which we don’t plan on, of course, but for which we want to be prepared), I should slide into things at the hospital without a bunch of hullabaloo about “not having prenatal care.”

Speaking of prenatal care, a couple days after the aforementioned 2 hour wait/<10 minute appt, my midwife's assistant arrived at our home for a prenatal visit. We spent a lovely and mutually respectful hour+ together. We talked about what I'm eating, how I'm feeling, my diastatis, how the baby is lying, and a myriad of other things related to baby and me. We walked around the house and talked about plans for birth, advantages/disadvantages of our house layout, etc. We drank tea together as we chatted. When she left, I felt thoroughly "cared for." THAT is what I call prenatal care. And yes, there are numbers and notes on my chart … probably in more categories than the Dr's office will know what to do with when I fax it to them.

In other news…

Stephen is definitely going through a stage where he is wanting to exert his will, so he’s keeping us on our toes. At the same time, he continues to be such a delight! His imagination is going full-steam, and while he adores playing with his siblings, he also plays happily by himself, totally engrossed in a world of his own making. He particularly enjoys playing with the tub of horses.

The Blessings received five seasons of Daniel Boone on DVD for Christmas. We’ve been watching it at lunchtime a few times a week and finished Season 1 yesterday. I had never seen it before, so it’s been an adventure for all of us.

Last night, Elanor mentioned that she had lost something and had looked all over for it. Stephen pipes up helpfully, “Did you look under the green couch?” “Yes.” “Did you look under the gray couch?” “Yes, Stephen.” 🙂

I’ve been looking across the table/room/yard/etc lately and realizing that Davey, our eldest Blessing, who will turn 14 in June, is looking more like a young man and less like a “boy.” This does funny things to my heart, but mostly makes me realize how much I like this young man.

Have I mentioned that we’ve finally figured out a laundry system that we can actually make work for us? It’s nothing fancy, just a three-bag laundry sorter in the laundry room where all the Blessings’ dirty clothes are deposited (two for darks, one for lights/whites), a white basket for light towels/sheets/blankets and a blue basket for dark towels/sheets/blankets. The four older Blessings have the responsibility of doing two loads of laundry from start to finish on “their” laundry day, picking whatever basket or bag is most in need of being done. Kate and Grace help fold and put away, and I need to start working with Kate on Fridays, working towards her having a laundry day as well. For some reason, this system seems to be one that we can make work, and the laundry room floor is no longer covered with dirty laundry 98% of the time.

Our guinea hens have started laying eggs! They actually lay them in the coop, which is wonderful for us. Hopefully as the weather warms they will continue to lay in the coop and not take to the fields as guineas are prone to do.

I finally finished getting our winter/Christmas decorations packed up and ready to go to the attic. They’ll go up and perhaps the baby tubs will come down…

The taping seems to be working well for keeping my abdominal separation from worsening. I finally started doing pilates again a couple night ago, and am thankful to be back to it. At the same time, I have to admit… it’s kickin’ my tail! But that’s a good thing.

We have our garden mostly planned out for this year and are eagerly awaiting the warming of the soil so that we can get started! We’re going to be using principles from the book Weedless Gardening by Lee Reich. No tilling, established beds/paths, and lots of mulch, for which we’ve found a good and cheap source. I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about it.

Speaking of the soil warming, I feel like I am blossoming as Spring moves in. I’ve enjoyed several days this week of sitting in the sunshine reading or working on a project. The warmer weather and the smell of spring is such a reminder of our Heavenly Father’s faithfulness! Last night, I fell asleep to the rumble of thunder, the patter of rain on the roof, the occasional distant flash of lightening… and woke to the sound of birds chirping while the sunshine streamed in my window. Spring Bliss!

See Yesterday, my photo blog, for some recent pictures. I’ll be updating it later today.

Sometimes It Causes Me to Tremble

I was thoroughly enjoying listening to my Randy Travis Glory Train CD while I puttered around in the kitchen this afternoon. It’s full of wonderful songs, and there’s just something about Randy Travis’s voice (for those of us who love country music, that is).

I posted lyrics to one of my favorites in my Facebook status this afternoon. So rich and true:
He never promised that the cross would not get heavy
and the hill would not be hard to climb
He never offered victory without fighting
but He said help would always come in time.
Just remember when you’re standing
in the valley of decision and the adversary says give in
Just hold on, our Lord will show up and He will take you through the fire again

Another one that has become a favorite is “Where You There (when they crucified my Lord)?” I’ve heard this song many times throughout my life, and I have to admit, I never “got” it. Just seemed a bit non sequitur to me… of course I wasn’t there!

But this past August (August 11th, while I was out for a walk/run, to be precise), the beauty and message of this song finally touched my heart. It became not about whether or not I was there, but caused me to ponder all of these events, and somehow they became more real to me:
when they crucified my Lord
when they nailed Him to the tree
when they pierced Him in the side
when they laid Him in the tomb
And glory hallelujah – when He rose up from the grave!

It truly caused me to tremble. And to literally hit my knees with my face to the ground, again surrendering, as I was shaken to the core with the magnitude of my Savior’s sacrifice and love for me. It still causes me to tremble, and I can rarely hear the song without tears.

I couldn’t find the Randy Travis version to share with you, but here is a great rendition from Johnny Cash (with the Tennessee Three, the Statler Brothers, Carl Perkins and the Carter Family).

I pray it causes you to tremble.


Blog Reading Tools

This morning, the Nester posed the question How Do You Read Blogs? I found it interesting that by the time I got around to commenting (#30-something), no one had mentioned my favorite blog-reading tool. So I did my best to explain it in my comment. Then I realized I should also share this niftiness with you!

I love Google Reader and have used it for a long while now. It saves me much time by letting me know when one of the blogs that I read has a new post, so I don’t have to go clicking through bookmarks to check blogs that may or may not have updates. Plus, if one of my bloggy friends disappears for a few months, I automatically know when they come back!

My one frustration with it was that if I wanted to see the actual blog, or if someone didn’t have their whole post go to the feed, I would have to open the link in a new tab.

But google has added a new wonderful feature that solves this frustration! Shawna told me about it and I’ll try to explain … the NEXT button!

The “Next” button is a link that you can drag to your favorites bar. When you click it, whatever tab you are in will automatically go to the page of the next post in your reader. It’s the handiness of google reader without having to miss out on the beauty of the actual blogs – nifty!

Here’s how you can get it: Go to your Google Reader and hit the Settings link. There will be several tabs across the top… go to Goodies. Under “Put Reader in a Bookmark,” there is a link that you can simply drag to your favorites bar to add the Next button.

One other note: those of you who have been with me for a while know that screen “real estate” is valuable to this claustrophic woman. I hadn’t had a favorites bar at the top of my browser since I found out I could make it go away! But I put it back to give the Next button a trial run, and yes, this tool is handy enough that I’m willing to give up that precious piece of screen real estate to have it.

Give the Next button a try and let me know if you like it!


I mentioned to a friend the other day that I have so many things floating around in my head about which to post, that I end up not posting because I don’t have time for everything. Silliness!

So here are some miscellaneous thoughts, mostly Advent focused (thanks, Tracy, for prompting me to get some of these thoughts down… there’ll be some familiarity for you here):

I’ve gotten almost no Christmas decorating done yet, which is unusual for me by this time. But, my Christmas boxes are in the attic (where I don’t venture) and my man has been very busy with work (thankfully!). I’m hoping he’ll bring them down tonight. I’ve been working on getting the house cleaner. Some people are motivated to clean by Spring… I’m motivated by Christmas! Can’t stand the thought of decorating dirt and clutter. 🙂 I have a spot all cleared out for the tree and hope we can get one this weekend.

Being still in anticipation… something I think He’s working on teaching me. The calm and overflowing joy instead of the frantic doing. I want my heart and mind to be more aware of Him and less focused on the going, the glitter, and the getting.

The Christmas season brings so many memories to me, not only of family (precious!), but also of dear friends that, in my school years, I would often only see during school breaks. Sweet memories.

I’m hoping to start our Jesse tree tomorrow; that’s something I can start without the Christmas boxes, so I’ve no excuse. 🙂 And I’m so looking forward to our quiet times of worship aided by the reminder of the advent wreath.

We had a neat time over Thanksgiving with the families with which we usually celebrated Thanksgiving when Eric and I were growing up. Our “fake family,” as Beka lovingly refers to them, are dear to us, and we enjoyed celebrating with them again (with many more than there used to be!).

I have lots of Gifts for which I’ve noted my Gratitude mentally that I need to get written down or posted.

Sometimes when I’ve been away from blogging, I need a misc. post like this to get me back in the saddle without feeling like I have to catch up chronologically. Thanks for bearing with me. 🙂