I’m loving quick takes this week as a place to wrap up all those odds and ends that I keep meaning to follow through on and haven’t yet.

1. My friend Megan made us a birth announcement for jellybean.

Then, ’cause she knows me well, she made another that I could post here.

I’m in love with this boy I tell you. In love.

Megan is the whiz friend who helped get me packed and ready to move at lightening speed. Her husband just deployed to Afghanistan a few weeks ago. He’ll be gone 13 months. It keeps me from whining about Aaron’s short trips to Thailand.

Check out her website here.

2. Did I ever show you a photo of the truck you all helped us fund raise for, for the Charis Home?

Thanks to the awesomeness of the internets we were able to raise enough to buy a truck for the orphanage we support through the charis project. (That website is so old. So many volunteers have started to upgrade it for us, and never finish. Sigh. I would do it if I knew anything about coding…) Now they have a ride to school and aren’t walking on dangerous highways to get there.

More pictures here.

3. Some of you may remember the discussion we had here a few months ago about China’s possible girl shortage in the coming decade due to the one child policy and selective abortion, and how that may affect Chinese culture. I was wondering if this might not change the culture for the better by giving girls, and the parents of girls more of a say and more of a choice. I recently ran across this article that turns the story in a different direction.

Apparently, there are a lot more girls than anyone thought, a whole lot more, thanks to brave parents who refused to abort girls, but didn’t declare them. In other words, there may not be a crisis in the making at all because the Chinese people seem to be wiser than their government. In case you haven’t seen it yet, here is the article. Chinese Hiding 3 Million Babies a Year

4. If you homeschool or are thinking about homeschooling or you just want to help your kids to be grow up to be thoughtful adults who have character I highly recommend checking out amblesideonline.org. It’s a free site based on Charlotte Mason principles. You can download all her books there too.

They have compiled reading lists and study plans for each year. It takes all the work out of curriculum and lesson planning. Just print the reading list, enter it in the course of study you have to file and your done. Oh, and print the 36 week study plan to go with it.

I didn’t really know about Charlotte Mason until this past year. It’s been fun to read her books and find that we already do much of what she did, and we’ve gone through much of her reading list for several years just reading together. (I can’t take much credit for this. My husband had a Charlotte Mason education, though he didn’t realize it, thanks to my homeschooling MIL. Not to wonder then that we had access to most of the books already, visiting her house each weekend.)

If you’ve never heard of here I will give you a quick preview of the 3 main points, I think.

  1. Help children form good habits so they don’t have to struggle against themselves to do things but that it’s second nature.
  2. Don’t give children “twaddle” to read, but living books, real literature, history, etc.
  3. Don’t tell a child what to think or remember about what they’ve read. Let them respond to it in their own way, and they will remember it for life.

5.  I have had a tab open for 3 months now as I read through the archives of Pleasant View Schoolhouse. I love this blog so much. It’s the photos, the lovely sewing and cooking she shows, the way she conveys so much with so few words and an image or two. (I can’t do that, as you well know.)

Maybe it’s the sense of order and peace about her home. That she has TIME to do these things. Whatever it is, if YOU have time to read you may enjoy it too.

6. Some words I wrote are in a book. A real live book made out of paper. Other people words are in it too because it’s an anthology. There will be a launch event at the San Diego City College Int’l Book Fair on Oct. 2. I’m going to try to be there, 4 small children notwithstanding.

If you are interested in getting a copy go here. I’m told an Amazon page will be up soon as well.

7. The family we rent our house from just had a baby boy this Saturday. When he was 3 days old he was airlifted to the NICU at the children’s hospital here.  His heart doesn’t work properly. Lack of blood has affected his other organs, kidney, liver, brain, etc. They can’t operate on the heart until he’s strong enough and the other organ damage has been fixed. I don’t understand it all, I just know he’s a little baby and his body is really not working. His parents are asking everyone to please pray for him. He’s 6 days old today, and his name is Caleb.

More Quick Takes are here.

all content © Carrien Blue



  1. Congratulations on raising the money for the truck!

  2. Thanks for the link to Ambleside. I've been curious about Charlotte Mason!

  3. Thank you so much for #3 — that is such excellent news!

    "Mr. Jellybean" is adorable!!

    I found your blog through Conversion Diary :).