for the month of February--except for prayer requests or important announcements.
May you and your family have a blessed Feast of Candlemas today.
Our San Francisco adventure kept me away from the 4Real Conference, but The Family-Centered Learning Conference will be here before we know it, promising to be a memorable and faith-filled event. Michele Quigley was kind enough to ask me to speak, and, when you see the line-up, you will know what a joy it is to be in the company of some of my favorite home educating mothers.
My talk is called A Garden Well Tended: Living the Liturgical Year in the Catholic Home:
"Following the pattern set out for the year by our beautiful Mother Church, parents are like gardeners sowing seeds of faith in the fertile hearts of children. This talk will show how prayer, family tradition, and happy memories take root during childhood, blossoming into a deep and lifelong love for our Faith."
This will be my first time speaking at a conference, and I thank Michele for the opportunity.I hope to meet many of you there!
I am here on Long Island posting about the construction of cone-shaped baskets while Kimberlee's children are doing this!!! Truly amazing! I think Kimberlee has a few future Academy Award winners for best costume and stage design in her house!
BTW, Agnes was reading over my shoulder admiring the centaur and said, "That's one of the kids?! I thought it was a photo from the movie!"
I have been remiss in not writing an enormous thank you to those of you who participated in this year's Homeschool Blog Awards. You would have heard from me sooner, but I couldn't bring myself to take The Timeline of Mercy off the top spot. (Many thanks to those of you who wrote to Brigid. Beautiful friend that she is, Brigid is Cottage Blessings' most devoted reader and was deeply grateful for your prayerful comments. Hi B!]
Thanks to you mothers, not to mention the loving support of friends and family, Cottage Blessings received awards for "Best Live-What-You-Believe Blog," "Best Encourager," and "Best Crafts, Plans, and Projects Blog." While I know I fall far short of being the best in anything, least of all those wonderful categories, I am grateful for every vote and the kind hearts beating behind them.
Congratulations to the dear friends and fellow bloggers who won awards, and many thanks to Laura, Heather, and Sprittibee, and the other mothers who graciously give of their time to host the Homeschool Blog Awards each year. A special thank you and hearty congratulations to Mary Ellen Barrett, who allowed me to participate in "O Night Divine," winner of the award for "Best Family or Group Blog."
More important than anything else, please pray for Heather, a young mother and coordinator of the blog awards, diagnosed with a brain tumor this week. May God hold her and her family in the palm of His hand.
Congratulations to all the winners and nominees, particularly these friends:
Lissa, The Lilting House, Best Unschooling or Eclectic
Theresa, Lapaz Farm Home Learning, Best Unschooling or Eclectic, first runner up
Karen Edmisten, Best Cyber-Buddy
Dawn, By Sun and Candlelight, Best Super Homeschooler
Mary Ellen, O Night Divine, Best Group or Family Blog
Elizabeth, Real Learning, Best Mom Blog *and* Best Business and Curriculum
Love2Learn Blog, first runner up, Best Group or Family Blog
Suzanne, Blessed Among Men, Best New Blog
Cay, Cajun Cottage, Best Nitty Gritty Blog, first runner up
Danielle, Danielle Daily, Best Humorous
Jennifer, S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen, Best Geographical
Congratulations to all the nominees as well!
[Voting has ended! Thank you so very much!]
Today is the last day to vote in the Homeschool Blog Awards, and I would *very much appreciate* any last minute votes you might be willing to send my way. Here are the five direct links:
There is no way I could adequately express my appreciation for the support already received there. You have been kind and generous beyond my wildest dreams. Whatever the results at the end of the day, I feel loved!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
As those following the homeschool blog awards know, today is the last day to vote. There is one race that is so close at the moment, I cannot help but call it to your attention. Karen Edmisten is, as I type this, tied for second place in the category "Best Cyber-Buddy Blogger."
Now, normally, I would not bring this up, particularly when two women I am crazy about--Jennifer (As Cozy as Spring) and Cheryl (My Thoughtful Spot) are competing in the same category, but we are coming toward the end, and, it seems to me, at this point, it wouldn't take much to put Karen over the top.
When I first heard the title "best cyber-buddy," I didn't really get it, wondering what it even meant. Then I read the description:
"A blogger that you haven’t met, but you think you would enjoy meeting and hanging out with. She/he is a person that you would love to co-op with or live next door to. Who knows, maybe one day we will get together somewhere at one of these bloggy meetings I hear about. I’m so jealous!"
Oh, how I would love to have Karen next door!
Of course, I would also love Jennifer and Cheryl--in my dreams, we would have a regular cul-de-sac of cyber-buddies!
But with Karen so close--so painfully close--to the top of that category, couldn't we please just give her one nice last push today? If you haven't yet voted in the Cyber-Buddy category, please take a moment to put Karen Edmisten over the top:
And, because they are such dear women, I am confident Jennifer and Cheryl will agree with me!
If you haven't yet voted in the Best Mom Blog category, here is a voter's guide:
1. Lissa, being talented and wonderful in every way, has been nominated for both of her blogs--Here in the Bonny Glen and The Lilting House. Essentially, she is competing against herself. If you are hoping to vote for Lissa, please cast your vote for The Lilting House (her homeschooling blog) to keep the Lissa votes in one place.
2. If you were surprised not to find Elizabeth Foss on the Best Mom blog category, that is because there's been a bit of a glitch. At the moment, "Van Goal," her teenage son's blog remains on the Mom blog list instead of Real Learning. If you are an Elizabeth Foss fan (and, come on now, who isn't?), please wait until later on in the week to vote. I am sure it will all be sorted out eventually. Or, perhaps you should vote for Van Goal. After all, having a wonderful, faithful teenage son says more about being the "Best Mom" than anything else!
3. And, if you are the person who nominated Cottage Blessings in the Best Mom category (or in any category), know that a Memorare is going up for you right now! : ) : ) : ) If you vote[d] for Cottage Blessings in this or any other category, many, many thanks!
10 pm: Edited to say that the Van Goal/Real Learning Glitch has been fixed! Elizabeth fans, the wait is over!
I wish I could express my appreciation, joy, and *surprise* over having Cottage Blessings nominated for a number of Homeschool Blog Awards. It is no exaggeration to say that seeing the name of this blog included on those lists gave me goosebumps and put a smile on my face that has lasted a week already. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to those of you who nominated me and the readers kind enough to visit here.
Thanks to your generosity, Cottage Blessings appears in the following categories: Best Homeschool Mom Blog, Best Crafts, Plans and Projects Blog, Best Encourager, "Live-What-You-Believe" Homeschool Blog, and--amazingly considering how old this blog feels to me--Best NEW Homeschool Blog. (It was begun in 2006, after all!)
Many of my dearest friends and cyber neighbors are also on those lists including last year's Best Mom blog winner, Lissa (Here in the Bonny Glen), Lissa (The Lilting House), Karen (Karen Edmisten), Margaret (Minnesota Mom), Elizabeth (Real Learning), Mary Ellen (O Night Divine), Dawn (By Sun and Candlelight), Jennifer (As Cozy and Spring), Suzanne (Blessed Among Men), Jennifer (s/v Mari Hal-o-Jen), Ann (Mozart & Mud Pies), Leonie (Living Without School), Diane (The Journey of a Mother's Heart), Theresa (Lapaz Farm Home Learning), Danielle (Danielle Daily), Cheryl (My Thoughtful Spot), Love2Learn Blog, Maureen Wittmann, Amy (Among Women), Cay (Cajun Cottage Under the Oaks), Nina (Painted Rainbows and Chamomile Tea), Lindsey (Enjoy the Journey), Elena (My Domestic Church), Higher Up and Further In, Semicolon, ChesterTeens, and Michael Foss (Van Goal). [Forgive me for not including links to these wonderful blogs, but I'm running out of computer time! If you are unfamiliar with any of these, you may find the links on the nominations page: Who Has Been Nominated? Final List! Now, I am petrified that I might have missed someone!]
Please vote here.
Our brand new globe was a gift from my beautiful cousin Therese!!! (Not too surprising, is it Aunt Robertine?) Thank you, thank you, thank you dearest Therese!
Leave it to the Dunns!
: ) : ) : )