Wednesday, May 8, 2019


Our maples are making many seed "helicopters." 

Are you new here?   Welcome.

The assortment of articles you will find here are a compliment to my books: Mother Culture® - for a Happy Homeschool, and A Charlotte Mason Companion.   

I am keeping this blog online (with updates here and there) but I am saying farewell to blogging.
Here's the good news. You can visit with me anytime on my active and ongoing Facebook and Instagram posts.
For various reasons I am closing a chapter of my life as I did years ago with Parents' Review 1991-96.

Karen and Dean Andreola, Maine 2005
One wall of the kitchen.
You are welcome to post a comment anytime - and - to reach me anytime through my personal email (typing it) karenjandreola(at)gmail(dot)com.

I’ve enjoyed preparing these blog posts for you these 9 years. Thank you for doing me the honor of reading them.

What a pleasure it has been getting to know those of you that have been in touch with me in the blog neighborhood. I hope to pop by your place now and again.

Parting Message 
Hold onto your ideals - - - even if by a string. An ideal is like a helium balloon. It hovers above your head quietly. As it hovers, it inspires you to effort. By contemplating and reaching for an ideal we are guided and grow.

Like a balloon attached by a string to a child’s wrist, we can be attached to an ideal and look up to it. It is high. But it doesn’t matter that it is hanging by a thread, it is nearby. Because it is high what we actually accomplish is somewhere below it, usually. Faced with our limitations and inadequacies we live with the realistic, and yet, meanwhile, we seek to be content with what we can accomplish at present, so that our eyes are open to the blessings those hovering ideals bestow.

Let us value small daily accomplishments. Many small steps bring large return.

Keep faithfully plodding, my friends.

Climbing the stairs to the second floor.
Yes, we live with the realistic. But on our good days we recognize moments of the idealistic. We say, “Ah! Isn’t that nice? I like to see my children playing together in harmony.”
“Wow. It's wonderful to hear that beautiful spiritual insight brought forth in my student’s Bible narration.”
“The reading-seeds I’ve sown are sprouting. Hey Honey, your son is in the middle of his first chapter book. He's immersed. Yeah.”
“What a delight to finally open that novel I picked out for myself six years ago for my Mother Culture. I love the characters and am glad I blew the dust off my shelf of Mother-Culture-Books.”
“Weren’t we hearing our daughter practice Charlie-Brown-and-Snoopy on violin not long ago (four years)? How is it that today she’s playing hymns for Sunday worship?”

Although faced with our limitations and life's interruptions, we can be humbly grateful amid the realistic. When we are greeted with the idealistic, these sparkling moments surprise and warm a parent’s heart, like little else can.

Sophia &Yolanda at a wedding, 2006. Both are married and mothers today.
Isn't this a wonderful truth spoken by the apostle Paul? “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil 1:6) Oh, that one day we may hear our Lord Christ say, “Well done, thy good and faithful servant.”(Matt 25:21) when we meet Him face-to-face.

Our lilacs once bloomed but are now nibbled by a growing populations of deer.

I found this poem about ideals by Adelaide A. Procter (1825-1864)

Have we not all, amid life’s petty strife,
Some pure ideal of a noble life
That once seemed possible? Did we not ear
The flutter of its wings and feel it near,
And just within our reach? It was. And yet
We lost it in this daily jar and fret.
But still our place is kept and it will wait,
Ready for us to fill it, soon or late.
No star is ever lost we once have seen:
We always may be what we might have been.

Sophia's Nature Notebook from days gone by. 
Charlotte Mason says, “The parent who would educate his children, in any large sense of the word, must lay himself out for high thinking and lowly living; the highest thinking indeed possible to the human mind, and the simplest, directest living.” (Parents & Children p.170)

Illustration by Nigel Andreola for Blackberry Inn
There are no higher ideals than are found in the Word of God. There is no greater help than by His Holy Spirit.

Afternoon cross stitching is a relaxing hobby.
Post Script
Jenny, on Inconvenient Family, wrote a review of my book Mother Culture ®. I was honored by it and found it touching. Thank you, Jenny.  I worked hard on my book so that it might be the ministering-kind that would be shared friend-to-friend.

Turning 60 this year. 
Amazon Reviews
Dean noticed a brand new book on Amazon - with hundreds of reviews posted the same day.  Astonished he said, "How can this be?" Evidently, big publishers have big-funded launch programs. Many bloggers receive free copies of manuscripts pre-publication. The agreement is that they post a review on Amazon. 
We are teeny-tiny. And Madison-Avenue programs are beyond our scope. That’s okay. It isn’t our style, anyway. I told Dean, "I greatly appreciate every sincere review that trickles in the natural way." Thank you, friends, for your kind support.

Nigel finished a new cover for Lessons for Blackberry Inn (sequel to Pocketful of Pinecones) at my request. Do you see the Queen Ann's lace? His blackberries look edible.

One of Nigel Andreola's favorite graphic arts services is doing book covers. He would be happy to create an attractive book cover for you. He does all his work with a Wacom tablet turning his Wacom pen into a variety of electronic paint brushes.You can reach him here:

Nigel's 7th birthday 1996. (He recently turned 30.) 
I post on my Author’s Page, on a Monday or Saturday, stirring up ideas that I think will encourage. I hope one day we will meet in person.

Here is my book page on Amazon. Thank you for your purchases over the years, my friends.

I hope you will always set aside moments for your Mother Culture.
Karen Andreola 
PO Box 296
Quarryville, PA 17566