No need to dress up

Room to mess up

Strength to fess up

Home is where grace lives.

More corny jokes

Laughter evokes

Fun, happy folks

Home is where joy lives.

No secrets to keep

Enjoying sweet sleep

Drink it in deep

Home is where peace lives.

Forgiving a wrong

Heart ties are strong

Where I belong

Home is where love lives.

©Anna-Marie Hawthorne


Rise and fall.

The tune is slow and regular.

Memory’s shadow


on a steady breath

of salty spray.

Mister moon

is the conductor

of this melody—

frothy tones mingled with starlight.

Briny echoes

of happier times—

ripples of love’s tender ease—

found lapping

at your mind’s shore

each time

you close your eyes

and hold its iridescent home

to your ear.

©Anna-Marie Hawthorne

Mother’s Day cinquain

For my mom’s Mother’s Day gift this year I went the handmade route. I made her a cute little hanging plaque with a poem I wrote just for her. Unfortunately I forgot to scan it before I gave it (sorry!). In case you don’t know, a cinquain is a 5 line poem that goes like this:

one word (noun)
two adjectives about the noun
three verbs about the noun
a four-word phrase about the noun
another word for the noun

Mine went like this:

artistic, kind
listening, accepting, loving
always there for me
I love cinquains because you can easily write a wonderful poem by following this simple “recipe.”
Hope you bless a mom in your life with something happily handmade.

When He cometh

And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Malachi 3:17

When He Cometh

When He cometh, when He cometh
To make up His jewels,
All His jewels, precious jewels,
His loved and His own.

    Like the stars of the morning,
    His bright crown adorning,
    They shall shine in their beauty,
    Bright gems for His crown.

He will gather, He will gather
The gems for His kingdom:
All the pure ones, all the bright ones,
His loved and His own.

    Like the stars of the morning,
    His bright crown adorning,
    They shall shine in their beauty,
    Bright gems for His crown.

Little children, little children,
Who love their Redeemer,
Are the jewels, precious jewels,
His loved and His own.

    Like the stars of the morning,
    His bright crown adorning,
    They shall shine in their beauty,
    Bright gems for His crown.

Words by William O. Cushing
Music by George F. Root

meeting Ms. Havergal

I have made so many “friends” along my homeschool journey–Charles Willson Peale, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Christopher Columbus, Louisa May Alcott, Benjamin West. Then yesterday a new friend came into my life– Frances Ridley Havergal. We met quite by chance, bumping into one another at a local thrift store. And I am sure I will ever be the same.

The little book I picked up for two dollars was a well-worn copy of Havergal’s Kept for the Master’s Use. (I have since discovered that she wrote several books for children, which I am now eagerly seeking!) The unassuming tome is thoughful application of Scripture in a personal way, using our lives and bodies to illustrate her points, using her hymn “Take My Life and Let it Be.” Chapters include: “Our Hands Kept for Jesus,” “Our Voices Kept for Jesus,” “Our Silver and Gold Kept for Jesus,” “Our Lips Kept For Jesus,” and so forth. Here is a sample from her chapter entitled “Our Feet Kept for Jesus:”

The figurative keeping of the feet of His saints, with the promise that when they run they shall not stumble, is a most beautiful and helpful subject. But it is quite distinct from the literal keeping for Jesus our literal feet.

There is a certain homeliness about the idea which helps to make it very real. These very feet of ours are purchased for Christ’s service  by the preciious drops which fell from His own torn and pierced feet upon the cross. They are to be His errand-runners. How can we let the world, the flesh and the devil have the use of what has been purchased with such a payment? (p. 60)

And she has this to say about Jesus’ hands in the final chapter entitled “Christ for Us:”

3. His Hands “for thee.” Literal hands, literally pierced, when the whole weight of His quivering frame hung from the torn muscles and bared nerves; literally uplifted in parting blessing. Consecrated, priestly hands; “filled” hands (Ex. xxviii. 41, xxix. 9, etc., margin)– filled once with His great offering, and now with His gifts and blessings “for thee.” Tender hands, touching and healing, lifting and leading with the gentlest of care. Strong hands, upholding and defending. Open hands, filling with good and satisfying desire (Ps. civ. 28 and cxlv. 16). Faithful hands, restraining and sustaining. “His left hand is under my head and His right hand doth embrace me.”

Ms. Havergal’s poetic prose and call to consecration are inspiring. I know I will pore over her book for years to come, allowing my new friend to challenge and inspire me, beckoning me higher and higher in Him. So I’m off to put on a pot of tea and sit with my new friend and listen to her thoughts on the Saviour I so dearly love.



Links to her biography, music and writings:

My King: or Daily Thoughts for the King’s Children

Poetry Selections from The Ministry of Song

Hymns by Ms. Havergal

The Works of Miss Havergal (Online reading)

Morning Bells; Or, Waking Thoughts for Little Ones

The Havergal Trust

Last week’s lessons (and still more poetry) Nov. 21-25

I am surprised at the number of poems that have peppered my posts lately. Must be a “season” heehee. Well of course it was a short week in our celebration of Thanksgiving. Princess G asked to read Psalm 100 before dinner. I was very proud of her initiative and she read aloud beautifully. I wish she’d speak up more but she did a great job. While we are on the subject, I thought I’d share a poem she wrote last year (I was surprised at the result–she was only 6). It may inspire you to do something similar for Christmas.

Giving Thanks
Today I will go
Unto the house of the Lord,
Remembering what God has done:
Keeping me safe,
Everlasting love for me,
Years and years of life.

So her latest poem has a little different flavor:
God has great powers
So He gave us flowers.
Girls are so sweet
When they meet.
I love God;
He’s sure not odd.

This poem made us laugh. The last line was originally “He’s not a pod” but I couldn’t let that stay, so she changed it a little. She worked hard on that little poem, on her bed with a note pad and pencil. This was the big English work we did last week.

We read more of the Pilgrim story, and we read through “An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving,” by Louisa May Alcott. We laughed at the “bear” and the funny things that happened as they were cooking dinner. I think the story will become a tradition around here.

We also started our holiday notebooks and gathered materials for that. We had a good time listening to carols online and chatting and printing. I let her choose what she wanted in her notebook and we created pages for each topic. We printed pages for people to write what they were thankful for (she wanted it to read “Whatcha thankful for?”) and took around for the family to sign. We also printed some pages for recipes, journaling, traditions and the Advent study we are doing.

We reviewed some things we had discussed in JBC up to this point. That’s always good to do. We will break from that this month and do our Advent Bible study.

So I guess last week was mainly reading and writing and having a good time. She also worked on some math, including a multiplication table with half of the numbers missing, for her to fill in. She got them all right! YEA!!! We had a good time and I’m very happy with how last week came out. We spent time together around God’s word and some good writing–even if we aren’t quite up to Ms. Alcott’s caliber…just yet.

Thanksgiving poetry

I have posted a lot of poetry lately. Well, here are some more beautiful poems for the holiday. Enjoy!

At Thanksgiving
by Lucy Larcom

For the wealth of pathless forests,
Whereon no axe may fall;
For the winds that haunt the branches;
The young bird’s timid call;
For the red leaves dropped like rubies
Upon the dark green sod;
For the weaving of the forests,
I thank Thee, O my God!
For the sound of water gushingIn bubbling beads of light;For the fleets of snow white liliesFirm anchored out of sight;For the reeds among the eddies;The crystal on the clod;For the flowing of the rivers,I thank Thee, O my God!

For the rosebud’s break of beauty
Along the toiler’s way;
For the violet’s eye that opens
To bless the new born day;
For the bare twigs that in summer
Bloom like the prophet’s rod;
For the blossoming of flowers,
I thank Thee, O my God!

For the lifting up of mountains,
In brightness and in dread;
For the peaks where snow and sunshine
Alone have dared to tread;
For the dark of silent gorges,
Whence mighty ceders nod;
For the majesty of mountains,
I thank Thee, O my God!

For the splendor of the sunsets,
Vast mirrored on the sea;
For the gold fringed clouds that curtain
Heaven’s inner mystery;
For the molten bars of twilight,
Where thought leans glad yet awed;
For the glory of the sunsets,
I thank Thee, O my God!

For the earth and all its beauty;
The sky and all its light;
For the dim and soothing shadows,
That rest the dazzled sight;
For unfading fields and prairies,
Where sebse in vain has trod;
For the world’s exhaustless beauty,
I thank Thee, O my God!

For an eye of inward seeing;
A soul to know and love;
For these common aspirations,
That our high heirship prove;
For the hearts that bless each other
Beneath Thy smile, Thy rod;
For the amaranth saved from Eden,
I thank Thee, O my God!

For the hidden scroll, o’erwritten
With one dear name adored;
For the Heavenly in the human,
The spirit in the Word;
For the tokens of Thy presence
Within, above, abroad;
For Thine own great gift of Being
I thank Thee, O my God!

Boys and girls Thanksgiving of 1892
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Never since the race was started,
Had a boy in any clime,
Cause to be so thankful-hearted,
As the boys of present time.

Not a girl in old times living–
Let the world talk as it may–
Found such reasons for Thanksgiving,
As the girls who live to-day!

Grandmas, in their corners sitting,
Toiling till the day grew late,
What knew they with endless knitting,
Of the jolly roller-skate?

Grandpas sitting by the fender,
Reading by the fagGots’ blaze,
What knew they of modern splendor
Found in incandescent rays?

Where they toiled in bitter weather,
Braving rain and snow and sleet,
Gathering sticks of wood together,
We have radiators’ heat.

But these fruits of modern science
They first planted seed by seed,
In their strength and self-reliance
We may find a noble creed.

With the dawn of great inventions,
Came the anti-warring days.
Men are sick of armed contentions,
God be thanked with heart-felt praise.

Once a boy was trained for fighting,
Now the world is better taught,
‘Tis an age when wrongs are righting
By the force of common thought.

Once a girl was trained for sewing,
Spinning, knitting, nothing more.
She must never think of knowing
Aught of things outside her door.

If she soared above her spinning,
If she sought a life more broad,
She was looked upon as sinning
‘Gainst the laws of man and God.

Now a girl is taught she’s human,
Brain and body, soul and heart–
All are needed by the woman
Who to-day would play her part.

Swift and sure the world advances,
Let the critic carp who may.
God be praised for all the chances
Boys and girls enjoy to-day.

The Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving
by Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)

It may be I am getting old and like too much to dwell
Upon the days of bygone years, the days I loved so well;
But thinking of them now I wish somehow that I could know
A simple old Thanksgiving Day, like those of long ago,
When all the family gathered round a table richly spread,
With little Jamie at the foot and grandpa at the head,
The youngest of us all to greet the oldest with a smile,
With mother running in and out and laughing all the while.

It may be I’m old-fashioned, but it seems to me to-day
We’re too much bent on having fun to take the time to pray;
Each little family grows up with fashions of its own;
It lives within a world itself and wants to be alone.
It has its special pleasures, its circle, too, of friends;
There are no get-together days; each one his journey wends,
Pursuing what he likes the best in his particular way,
Letting the others do the same upon Thanksgiving Day.

I like the olden way the best, when relatives were glad
To meet the way they used to do when I was but a lad;
The old home was a rendezvous for all our kith and kin,
And whether living far or near they all came trooping in
With shouts of “Hello, daddy!” as they fairly stormed the place
And made a rush for mother, who would stop to wipe her face
Upon her gingham apron before she kissed them all,
Hugging them proudly to her breast, the grownups and the small.

Then laughter rang throughout the home, and, Oh, the jokes they told;
From Boston, Frank brought new ones, but father sprang the old;
All afternoon we chatted, telling what we hoped to do,
The struggles we were making and the hardships we’d gone through;
We gathered round the fireside. How fast the hours would fly–
It seemed before we’d settled down ’twas time to say good-bye.
Those were the glad Thanksgivings, the old-time families knew
When relatives could still be friends and every heart was true.

Giving Thanks
For the hay and the corn and the wheat that is reaped,For the labor well done, and the barns that are heaped,For the sun and the dew and the sweet honeycomb,For the rose and the song and the harvest brought home –Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!For the trade and the skill and the wealth in our land,For the cunning and strength of the workingman’s hand,For the good that our artists and poets have taught,For the friendship that hope and affection have brought –Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!For the homes that with purest affection are blest,For the season of plenty and well-deserved rest,For our country extending from sea unto sea;The land that is known as the “Land of the Free” –Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving- Anonymous
The year has turned its circle,The seasons come and go.The harvest all is gathered inAnd chilly north winds blow.Orchards have shared their treasures,The fields, their yellow grain,So open wide the doorway – Thanksgiving comes again!

An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving
a short story by Louisa May Alcott

The Word of God to Leyden Came

This poem is a must-read every Thanksgiving. It reveals the Providence of God in the lives of the Pilgrims and the preparation for America’s birth.

THE WORD of God to Leyden came,
Dutch town by Zuyder-Zee;
Rise up, my children of no name,
My kings and priests to be.
There is an empire in the West,
Which I will soon unfold;
A thousand harvests in her breast,
Rocks ribbed with iron and gold.

Rise up, my children, time is ripe!
Old things are passed away.
Bishops and kings from earth I wipe:
Too long they’ve had their day.
A little ship have I prepared
To bear you o’er the seas;
And in your souls, my will declared,
Shall grow by slow degrees.

Beneath my throne the martyrs cry:
I hear their voice, How long?
It mingles with their praises high,
And with their victor song.
The thing they longed and waited for,
But died without the sight;
So, this shall be! I wrong abhor,
The world I ’ll now set right.

Leave, then, the hammer and the loom,
You’ve other work to do;
For Freedom’s commonwealth there ’s room,
And you shall build it too.
I ’m tired of bishops and their pride,
I ’m tired of kings as well;
Henceforth I take the people’s side,
And with the people dwell.

Tear off the mitre from the priest,
And from the king, his crown;
Let all my captives be released;
Lift up, whom men cast down.
Their pastors let the people choose,
And choose their rulers too;
Whom they select, I ’ll not refuse,
But bless the work they do.

The Pilgrims rose, at this God’s word,
And sailed the wintry seas:
With their own flesh nor blood conferred,
Nor thought of wealth or ease.
They left the towers of Leyden town,
They left the Zuyder-Zee;
And where they cast their anchor down,
Rose Freedom’s realm to be.

By Jeremiah Eames Rankin

God the Artist

When I was working on my lessons for the week I was copying a poem by the poet Angela Morgan (which I will share here soon as well). This is another of her poems that is so wonderful I thought I would share it with you. I hope your children enjoy it as well. We try to read all the fine literature we can, especially when it so beautifully glorifies our Creator.

God the Artist by Angela Morgan

God, when you thought of a pine tree,
How did you think of a star?
How did you dream of the Milky Way
To guide us from afar.
How did you think of a clean brown pool
Where flecks of shadows are?

God, when you thought of a cobweb,
How did you think of dew?
How did you know a spider’s house
Had shingles bright and new?
How did you know the human folk
Would love them like they do?

God, when you patterned a bird song,
Flung on a silver string,
How did you know the ecstasy
That crystal call would bring?
How did you think of a bubbling throat
And a darling speckled wing?

God, when you chiseled a raindrop,
How did you think of a stem,
Bearing a lovely satin leaf
To hold the tiny gem?
How did you know a million drops
Would deck the morning’s hem?

Why did you mate the moonlit night
With the honeysuckle vines?
How did you know Madeira bloom
Distilled ecstatic wines?
How did you weave the velvet disk
Where tangled perfumes are?
God, when you thought of a pine tree,
How did you think of a star?