Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday Tidbits - the Gettysburg Address, Encouragement for Moms, and more!

A few tidbits for your Tuesday...

Tidbit No. 1

Today is the 150th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, the minute and a half long speech that says more than many other much, much longer speeches.  Also it's the only speech I can think of off the top of my head that can make me teary eyed every. single. time. 
The first photo found of Lincoln at Gettysburg
(from The National Archives)
Anyway, in honor of this momentous anniversary, movie producer Ken Burns will air his new documentary on the Address in April. In the meantime, he's launched the "Learn the Address" initiative, collecting videos of well-known and not-so-well-known Americans reciting Lincoln's famous words.  

The kids had learned the Gettysburg Address last year, but we tried to spend some time brushing up on it this past week.  Two videos are here... and hopefully will go to Burns' site eventually.  Aaron got pretty discouraged while working on it, so we don't have a full recitation from him yet.  Ruth's recitation features a lot of Clare-related camera turbulence, but she got through it... uh, sort of.  And Dominic got through his pretty well.  Both of the videos here are proof that tri-pods were a good invention. In the future, I probably should record stuff like this with the camera resting on some books or something.  I felt a little sea-sick after watching both of them :) 

Tidbit No. 2

Here are two blog posts that I particularly enjoyed and wanted to pass on.  Both can be categorized as words of hope and encouragement for mothers...

Meeting Jesus at the Water Fountain  from Anne at ourlittlenuthouse  (thoughts on taking children to Mass)

If I Could Go Back  Mary Ostyn at Owlhaven (cutting yourself some grace-filled slack!)

Tidbit No. 3

Homeschool update: I think we've finally snapped out of the Fall Break fog we were stuck in for a while.  For the past couple weeks lessons seemed to be such a chore and many went by the wayside.  On the plus side - since we weren't doing too much reading-writing-'rithmatic, we had time to do some artist and composer study, which everyone really enjoyed and I'm so glad we finally started for the year!  But many days I was just cozzied up on the couch reading to the girls while the boys made a muddy mess in the backyard.  I guess we're still reading and mess-making, but it felt really good this morning to have both boys crack open the math books, do spelling, handwriting, and reading.  I have to admit that after seeing how difficult it was to pull ourselves up out of the laziness of that surprise Fall Break, I'm feeling a little less confident about keeping it all together with the holidays approaching followed by a new baby...  

Tidbit No. 4

The colder weather is stirring creativity in me.  Every fall I go through a phase where wish I knew how to knit - you know, warm woolen mittens and all that - but I eventually settle for my mediocre crochet skills and I've recently started a new project that I'd love to finish for Clare for Christmas. It's these cute nesting bowls...  If I ever finish it I'll post pictures here.

from seriouslydaisies.com
I just want to spend every evening in front of the fireplace in peace and quiet sewing and crocheting things.  Peace and quiet are kind of elusive around here these days though, and previously immaculately rolled balls of yarn are undone by curious little fingers.  So, it's yet to be determined how productive my fireside creativity will actually be...  

5th and Final Tidbit

I've been enjoying the recent posts that Erin at Seven Little Australians has written regarding the Challenges of Blogging.  I have yet to comment over there, but she's been discussing motives behind blogging and how to improve one's writing (and content?) This is always on my mind, because my blog is young and I'm still feeling around for what it's all about.  I've never expected that I would have a "niche" blog, or a hyper-focused blog (you know, all recipes all the time, or all homeschool all the time, etc...) I'm fairly happy with what I have going here - writing about whatever I want :)  It's pretty reflective of real life - a little about me, a little about the kids, school, food, thoughts on parenting, marriage, Catholicism, books, etc..., fairly non-confrontational and un-inflammatory. And it doesn't seem to settle into any one category.  I like reading similar blogs - a sampling of life, a little of this and a little of that, here's how we do ___, here's a list of my favorite ____, today I was struck by/noticed ____.   I like the concept of a blog being a conversation starter - variety and tangents are ok!  I'm pretty sure this is the concept that I'm going to stick with, though I admit "conversations" are sparse with few readers.  While I don't want to "hit the big time" in the blogging world, I don't fancy boring the lovely readers that I do have.  Is this conversational, variety, non-specific blog the type of blog that holds a reader's interest over time???  Just wondering.  

Happy Tuesday! 

* * * * * *

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.  

- from the Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863


  1. It makes me cry too. I had the boys watch this video of it today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMMzY1KJVeo
    I love the recitation of it. My boys kept watching me to see if I would cry . . . I did.

    Last year Joshua had to memorize this and a part of MKL's "I have a dream" speech. When I read, both, a loud to him, I could not even finish because I was crying! So, right after we watched this video of teh Gettysburg address, Joshua quickly said, "Mom, let's watch the 'I have a dream' speech." Yep, he just wanted to make me cry.

    1. Katie, thank you for that link! What a moving presentation. I hope they never did open a casino there. Ugh. Have you ever taken your boys to Gettysburg? Russ has gone - after he read "Killer Angels", but I never have. I need to start a list of historical places to study and go - Gettysburg and Williamsburg Homeschool Days are at the top!
      My kids think it's a big deal too when I cry! They especially don't get "happy crying" yet :)

  2. Your blog's what I call a 'slice of life' blog (and my personal fav type of blogs), a bit of this and that, life. And yes I do think variety blogs hold interest over time. Obviously you're holding my interest;) And a big thank you for the shout out, I was delighted and honoured. just wrote another post on blogging that may interest you too,

    1. Thanks Erin! I had read the follow-up post the other day, and just went back now to check in on the comments.
      (I'm hoping to leave a few of my own when I'm done here!) I'm unfamiliar with how blogging "used to be' but I definitely agree with y you said our thoughts on the explosion of social media and being stretched thin if you're on it all! One of the nice things about having a small following is that there is less pressure to publish / perform - I can write as frequently or infrequently as family life allows or prohibits! Can't have my family falling apart just to get a post done :)

    2. Theresa,
      Precisely, that's how it's meant to be:)

  3. WOW!!!! Those recitations just knocked my socks off!! Way to go, Ruth and Dominic!! I think we are going to start working on memorizing that! They inspire me! xoxox

  4. Oh - just another comment re: is this the kind of blog that holds people's attention over time? (paraphrasing) Answer: YES!
    I like the label "slice of life" - because it really hits the nail on the head - a little sampling of what goes on in daily life. This medium (slice of life blogging) really allows you and your readers to reflect more on the little lovely (or not so lovely) things that go along with the mundane parts of day to day life - it is a great tool to help create a refreshing pause in the midst of the whirlwind. So....keep doing what you're doing! :)

    1. Thanks, Janelle! I always value your feedback and your friendship :)


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