Winter Weather

This is some of what I'm reading right now. 

DH heard the call of a cardinal last week, a subtle sign of the coming spring.  We still have a long way to go, but the cardinal lets us know that the days are slowly lengthening around here.

Have you ever thought of winter as a time when  God might whisper to us or our children?  Here is a lovely passage where Ms. Mason suggests just that:
There are several ways by which the knowledge of God first comes to us; we may be struck by the words, acts, and looks of those who know––a very convincing lesson. A little plant of moss, the bareness of a tree in winter, may, as we have seen, awake us to the knowledge; or, dealings of strange intimacy with our own hearts, visitings of repentance and love, sweet answers to poor and selfish prayers, tokens of friendship that we can never tell, but most surely perceive, are all steps in this chief knowledge. (Vol. 4.184)
A winterish prayer by George MacDonald from an old commonplace entry:
O Father, help us to know that the hiding of thy face is wise love.  They love is not fond, doting and reasonless.  Thy bairns must often have the frosty cold side of the hill, and set down both their bare feet amongst the thorns:  Thy love hath eyes, and in the meantime is looking on.  Our pride must have winter weather.
Take a peek at the 2014 Living Education Retreat flyer.  Incredibly, it filled up in 6 days. Some year, Lord willing, I would love to meet you at our relationship-driven retreat.


From Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady


  1. Lovely. The Lord uses His Creation to turn my thoughts to Him continually! "The Heavens DECLARE the glory of God!" I just might have to add that G. MacDonald quote to MY journal. So, I noticed The Lake District book...have you ever been to England? I would *LOVE* to go one day...have dreams of visiting all sorts of places...especially literary haunts! :) And romantic notions of sipping tea and munching on scones with clotted cream & lemon crud. :P

  2. curd not crud...HEEHEE!! Now that is funny.

  3. Hello Nancy,
    Perspective holds great clout by me, yet in simple truths I am silent and ponder their application for my life. I loved your winter quotes and I took a moment to apply it to my soul, so true. And the perspective on winter birds for me is that the cardinal is our winter bird, but our first robin appeared last week, and that is our first sighting of spring!

    Loved your reading shelf. I have just finished reading A FIne Romance, fun reading!

  4. I just have to look at people's bookshelves, so thanks for posting of picture of your winter reading shelf. I love "How the Heather Looks", don't you? I'll be using it in a discussion topic in a few weeks.

  5. Hello there. I just came across your blog for the very first time. I only wish I had a long time ago, it's so lovely! Although I had attempted Charlotte Mason styled learning when our children were younger, it was difficult to keep up with the teacher-intensive requirements due to health issues. I desire to try again even though my children are older. I am finding, though, that it's harder to find living science books for jr. high and high school. I read a post here about your son's experience with a textbook and how living books were still superior. May I ask if there are library book lists recommended? I have looked for these in the past but couldn't find any.

    1. Dear Michelle,

      Thanks for visiting and commenting here! There are now many, many wonderful living science books available. I have shelves of them and we are always adding to them as a carefully chosen living book can spark more interest in another area, as I'm sure you have found out.

      Ambleside Online has many living science books and I think will be adding more in the future. Kelli has listed her choices for living biology books and chemistry books at her blog - http://gracefulthought.blogspot.com/.

      Macbeth's Opinion has a bunch, too. - http://charlottemason.tripod.com/hisci.html

      It is how you use them that can make all the difference, as CM knew so very well.

      I hope you enjoy these high school years CM style. They can be the BEST!

      With affection and regard,


    2. Thank you so much, Nancy! I look forward to visiting those links. The science narration journals you have posted are just beautiful! Did you do a formal drawing curriculum with them, or did those skills come about by simply observing and drawing all the time?

    3. Most of the drawing skills are based on practice and observation. This is years and years of practice and observation and as in all things Mason, that adds up! The only formal drawing program they have done is a little booklet by Bruce McIntyre called Drawing Textbook. I set it up in such a way that we did one lesson per week all together and everyone enjoyed it.