Friday, May 29, 2009

A prime year to be a mathematician

First, a confession.  I love math.  My special love is teaching calculus.  Although, as with children, there is plenty of love to go around.  Topology (especially negatively curved spaces) and analysis (calculus on steroids) get plenty.  Not algebra, but that is a different story.  Some day I hope to make peace with algebra.  

Next, a coincidence.  Number theory, another area of math, uses prime numbers a lot.  These are the numbers that you cannot get by multiplying two other numbers together (excluding itself and 1).  The first few primes are: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13...  Well, it just so happens that soon our children will be 2, 3, 5, and 7.  What an excellent year to love math.  (And, no, this was not planned.)

Finally, a choice.  The Professor would like me to give number theory a try.  Since my only class in the subject was the summer we were engaged, he has a point.  And so I have decided to humor him (and inject a bit of intellectual exercise into my currently mind-numbing life.)  I have begun to work through a fascinating book on number theory.  (It uses the Moore method, for those who care.)  I find that math hasn't changed during the years I've neglected it.  Whenever I don't understand a concept, I don't enjoy what I'm doing and get quite frustrated.  But the minute the pieces fall into place, the beauty is breathtaking.  And the pride of discovering the proper places in the puzzle leaves me both satisfied and hungry for more.  I suspect this endeavor will be an on-again, off-again one that may take a long time.  Yet, I hope to continue.  For I've been reminded, mathematics brings me joy.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


The Professor grew up with a lemon tree in his yard.  When we visit and the lemons are ripe, his mother often makes fresh lemonade.  This weekend, when he was gone and she was here, my children and I decided to make some fresh lemonade for the Memorial Day picnic.  (Did I mention lemons were on sale?)  It turned out quite nicely.

1 part freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 part sugar (slightly less for more pucker)
7 parts water
Optional: a pinch of salt.  Courtesy of Miss M who is convinced it is the secret ingredient.
(Note: One lemon gives about 1/4 cup of juice.)

(1 cup juice makes 2 quarts lemonade)

Here is what we did.
We used 1/2 gallon apple juice bottles.  Put one cup juice, one cup sugar, a bit of salt, and a couple cups of warm/hot water in each bottle. Screw the lids on tight and let the kids shake until the sugar is dissolved.  Add some ice to cool it down.  Top off with water.  Shake again to mix. 

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Parched and dry I come to Thee,
Longing for relief,
Looking for the water clear
To wash away my grief.

Father, I am tired and worn,
Yet my path goes on.
It stretches to eternity,
Never to be done.

I gather with the other Saints,
Heavy, full of sin.
Through Thy children's words and deeds
Thy love trickles in.

As I drink, the calm begins.
My heart fills with peace.
Hope returns, I walk once more,
For now my fears have ceased.

Aches and pains replaced with joy,
Straight and tall I stand;
I can go another mile
With Thee, hand in hand.

Gratitude o'erflows my heart.
Savior, Thou art kind.
Thy grace leads me ever on
'Til one day I am thine.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Home from church

Some days, they don't make it very far into the house before they are stuck.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My heart

Scrolling through pictures recently, I realized how much of my heart goes with me from home to home.  While the pain created by goodbyes are real, the joy that travels with me continues to grow, slowly healing many of the holes left in my heart.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Great Lake

 My children like water, especially lots of it where it doesn't belong.  A few weeks ago, on the first day that was warm enough, they created a lake.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Today, I am focusing on two ideas...

1~ A reminder:  "What excuses do I cling to that keep me from being the kind of wife, mother, daughter, sister, and woman that I know I should and want to be?"  Adapted from here.

2~ A new goal:  To keep my house clean enough to bring myself and those around me joy.  (Note:  This implies neither the chaotic extreme nor the pristine extreme.  Neither brings me joy.)  (Note2: The answer to what this means changes daily.) 

...and enjoying the beauty blooming in my yard.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dinner Entertainment

Yesterday, I had one of those entertaining mom moments.  We seldom have jello, but decided to have some yesterday.  Watching Young M and Miss E try to figure out how to eat this stuff was delightful.  Forks didn't work.  Neither did knives.  Fingers seemed promising only to have victory slip straight through them.  Here was a pile of tastiness right in front of them, but how to eat it?  Finally, we suggested spoons.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Simple Reminders

First, a reminder that I can do hard things with help from the Lord.

"Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall;
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."  Isaiah 40:28-31

Today, for me, this wasn't talking about physically weary, although that is often apt enough.  It was talking about emotionally weary.

Next, a reminder of the gentle understanding the Lord has of some of my current limitations.

"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young."  Isaiah 40:11

I suppose it is time to trust the Lord enough to keep moving forward.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I've moved my fair share of times in my life, most of them after I got married.  While there was a nice four year stint in one place, in the seven and a half years we've been married, we've lived in five different homes.  In the last year, we've been in three.  And soon we will add one more to those counts.  

I've loved getting to know different cultures and areas of our country.  I've learned to be more compassionate and understanding of those whose lives have been different than mine.  I've learned to appreciate the unique beauty of both the land and the people I've found in each place.  And today I am sick of it.  

I'm tired of feeling like I'm either saying goodbye or just getting to know the people and conventions around me.  I miss the friendships that develop over years, of having someone that will come over just because I call.  I've left a bit of my heart behind in each place I've been.  Today, I feel the holes that have been left.  

In a year I will be more settled.  I will know the names and faces of those around me.  My children will be excited to return to the same school for more than one grade.  We've never tried that.  I won't see every thing in my home as more work that must be packed, moved, unpacked, and decided about.  In a year we will have put down roots.  Hopefully, I will have friends that are closer than email and oftener than the phone.  But today, I am lonely and mourning the pulling up of my family and the new hole we are about to create in my heart.