Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Gospel for Asia

While you are considering what you can do for others this holiday season, please consider Gospel for Asia. Many blogs have mentioned sponsoring a child, and that is a good thing. Our family, however felt that we could do the most good by sponsoring a native missionary. These missionaries head out into the remotest parts of Asia spreading the hope of the Gospel. They may plant dozens of churches in their lifetime. Some have families, and they may go for days without food because of their efforts to take the Gospel to a new area with no outside support.

The vision of
Gospel for Asia is linking these native missionaries with North American resources so that they can spread the Gospel freely. You can sponsor a missionary for $30 a month; the total amount for support of a missionary is $90-120 a month, which includes family and ministry expenses.

At the very least, please
go request their free book, Revolution in World Missions. If you've ever wondered, "why did God place me in America and give me all of this- there must be a reason?" You will have an answer to your question, and be challenged to reevaluate how you live and where you store up your treasures. The only reason for not requesting this book is fear that it will challenge the status quo and change you -- because it will.

If you still would like to
sponsor a child, you can do that through Gospel for Asia as well. And whether you are sponsoring a missionary or a child, 100% of your sponsorship money goes to that person. Nothing is taken out for administrative expenses.

Yes, you can do this. Did you know that most of the world doesn't have clean drinking water? We take this for granted.
Revolution in World Missions suggests that if the average American simply cut out of their diet the junk food and soda that is bad for them anyway, the grocery money that they save could easily cover the monthly sponsorship of a missionary. Even if you don't eat junk food, you probably drink a lot more than just water. So please consider it.

The Parable of the Rich Fool
13Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me." 14But he said to him, "Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?" 15And he said to them, "Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." 16And he told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17and he thought to himself, 'What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?' 18And he said, 'I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.' 20But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' 21So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God."
Luke 12:13-21(ESV)

I'm challenged again every time I think about it.

The gift of an experience

Tickets to all sorts of things are great gifts. Purchase family memberships to the zoo or science center. I want my children to appreciate cultural things too. Try tickets to the ballet, a children's concert at the symphony,or a children's theatre production. I know that these sound expensive, but local colleges often have free plays and concerts. Also our local symphony association has a program for homeschoolers that offers tickets for just a token price. In the past I've given my husband tickets to Lord of the Dance and he's taken me to plantation for the day, and another time bought me tickets to Les Miserables. You could also make your own "tickets" up for a variety of local activities like ice skating, a historic home tour, etc., and make your kids a tour package. Give the gift of a day trip to an attraction, event, or historic site farther from home. Treat grandparents by taking them along to activities they would enjoy sharing with your family. And classes or lessons: cooking, sewing, gymnastics, piano. Be creative and do your own. And tell me some of your ideas.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Carol of the Week

I love this carol, but I never knew that it had so many verses. I'd only heard the first three. It makes more sense with all of them -- it's the rest of the story.

Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day

Tomorrow shall be my dancing day;
I would my true love did so chance
To see the legend of my play,
To call my true love to my dance;

Sing, oh! my love, oh! my love, my love, my love,
This have I done for my true love

Then was I born of a virgin pure,
Of her I took fleshly substance
Thus was I knit to man's nature
To call my true love to my dance. Chorus

In a manger laid, and wrapped I was
So very poor, this was my chance
Betwixt an ox and a silly poor ass
To call my true love to my dance. Chorus

Then afterwards baptized I was;
The Holy Ghost on me did glance,
My Father’s voice heard from above,
To call my true love to my dance. Chorus

Into the desert I was led,
Where I fasted without substance;
The Devil bade me make stones my bread,
To have me break my true love's dance. Chorus

The Jews on me they made great suit,
And with me made great variance,
Because they loved darkness rather than light,
To call my true love to my dance. Chorus

For thirty pence Judas me sold,
His covetousness for to advance:
Mark whom I kiss, the same do hold!
The same is he shall lead the dance. Chorus

Before Pilate the Jews me brought,
Where Barabbas had deliverance;
They scourged me and set me at nought,
Judged me to die to lead the dance. Chorus

Then on the cross hanged I was,
Where a spear my heart did glance;
There issued forth both water and blood,
To call my true love to my dance. Chorus

Then down to hell I took my way
For my true love's deliverance,
And rose again on the third day,
Up to my true love and the dance. Chorus

Then up to heaven I did ascend,
Where now I dwell in sure substance
On the right hand of God, that man
May come unto the general dance. Chorus

Monday, November 27, 2006

Brian's birthday last night at his Mom's


My wonderful husband is 33 years old today!

I was looking around the table after our late breakfast of homemade cinnamon rolls (dairy and gluten free, no less!). My family all together, a new prelit Christmas tree shining, and Bing Crosby crooning in the background. And thought, It doesn't get much better than this. Merry Christmas, ya'll.

The best place to shop for Christmas toys...

is our local thrift store. On Friday I got a nearly new fisher price dollhouse for $.50, a boy's bike for $7.50, a huge Rescue Heroes plane in perfect condition for $.50, a bunch of new Christian books, some pillows for the play corner I'm making for the girls for Christmas, and more! My second run on Saturday produced a working Little Touch Leappad for $.50 and a beautiful Moses basket complete with yellow gingham bedding for $8 (future baby shower gift- usually $70-100). I'm on a roll--gotta go back today.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

"Praise Him for His mighty acts:
praise Him according to His excellent greatness"

George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor-- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions-- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Favorite Thanksgiving books

My friend Sherry asked for this list. It is primarily geared to a young child's taste.

  • Off to Plymouth Rock by Dandi Mackall and Gene Barretta
  • Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas and Shannon Stirnweis - most favorite
  • Thanksgiving Mice! by Bethany Roberts and Doug Cushman
  • N.C. Wyeth's Pilgrims text by Robert San Souci - beautiful illustrations!
  • Molly's pilgrim by Barbara Cohen and Daniel Mark Duffy

We also are reading A Journey to the New World: The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple, Mayflower, 1620, part of the Dear America series. The book is a bit difficult for my children to follow, but they loved the video Dear America: Journey to the New World which is based on the book.

Favorite Thanksgiving tradition

My favorite thing to do at Thanksgiving is to pass around these leaves which have Bible verses on them and specific ways to apply those verses; such as, "giving thanks always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit" : Give thanks for a specific prayer request that was answered. Each person gets two leaves. Sometimes we pass around a basket, sometimes we leave them by the plates, and sometimes the leaves are scattered all around the dinner table as part of the decorations and each person chooses two. But every year we share sweet fellowship as one generation praises His works to another, and declares His mighty acts.

Giving thanks for answered prayer

Choosing a song to sing together

Monday, November 20, 2006

Blessings from DaySpring

DaySpring cards sent this out to everyone on their e-mail list last year. I had printed it out and added it to my Thanksgiving file. When I read it again this year, I had to pass the blessing on.

Giving Thanks for God's Overwhelming Generosity
By Roy Lessin, co-founder DaySpring Cards

Everything in your life that flows out of love has come to you from God. Everything in your life that is good has been initiated by God. God has done everything for you, He is everything to you, and He is enriching other lives through you. His generosity is overwhelming, His blessings are limitless, His love is endless.

No one has favored you more than God. He has removed every stain of your sin, He has cleansed all the defilement of your iniquity, and He has silenced every voice of condemnation that hung over your head. He has saved you, redeemed you, and justified you.

All of God's grace abounds toward you, all of Christ's riches are made available to you, and all spiritual blessings are provided for you. In Christ, you have received the treasures that can never be taken away, the hope that can never fade away, and the life that will never pass away.

As you walk with Jesus day by day, you will find that your thankfulness to Him is an ever-increasing symphony of praise, building into a lifelong crescendo of gratitude that flows from your heart to His. You, who have so little, have received so much, because He has been so generous.

There are so many riches that He has given to you; so many answers to prayer that He has granted to you; so many kindnesses that He has manifested to you; so many joys that He has provided for you; so many mercies that He has extended to you; so many benefits that He has showered upon you. Everything you have has come from Him, and that is the reason why your heart can be so grateful.

Thank Him today because --
He formed you and made you.
He has given you the breath of life.
He has given you this day.
He is working in you to become all that He has intended you to be.
He is working everything in your life together for the good.
He is using your difficulties and trials to conform you to His image.

Thank Him today for --
The forgiveness of your sins.
The peace that passes all understanding.
The smiles that have come to your face because His joy is in your heart. The comfort of His presence that has quieted your heart and calmed your fears.
The hope that is in you because He has promised to always be with you.
The place in heaven that He has reserved and has prepared for you.

Thank Him today with --
Words of exaltation.
Songs of celebration.
A heart of strong devotion.
Thoughts of deep reflection.
Acts of admiration.
Claps of loud ovation.

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
Hebrews 13:15 (KJV)

Still being blessed

I had to write a follow up to my "hymn of the week." I've been listening the song online over and over since I found it for the post and it is blessing and convicting me still!

"Let no vice or sin remain That resists Your holy war"
Yes! "Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!(Psalm 139:24 ESV)"

The whole second verse nails the doctrine of election:
"I was blinded by my sin Had no ears to hear Your voice ...Had no taste for heaven's joys Then Your Spirit gave me life Opened up Your Word to me"
"having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you (Eph.1:18 ESV)"
Hallelujah! "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.(II Cor. 9:15)"

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Hymn Of the Week

We sang this today at our church's fifteenth anniversary harvest service. It is from Sovereign Grace ministries new CD Valley of Vision inspired by The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. I love it.

O Great God
Based on The Valley of Vision prayer "Regeneration"

O great God of highest heaven
Occupy my lowly heart
Own it all and reign supreme
Conquer every rebel power
Let no vice or sin remain
That resists Your holy war
You have loved and purchased me
Make me Yours forevermore

I was blinded by my sin
Had no ears to hear Your voice
Did not know Your love within
Had no taste for heaven's joys
Then Your Spirit gave me life

Opened up Your Word to me
Through the gospel of Your Son
Gave me endless hope and peace

Help me now to live a life
That's dependent on Your grace
Keep my heart and guard my soul
From the evils that I face
You are worthy to be praised
With my every thought and deed
O great God of highest heaven
Glorify Your Name through me

Words and music by Bob Kauflin
Copyright 2006 Sovereign Grace Praise
Listen here.

I found my Thanksgiving reading!

It is called "Five Kernels of Corn," from Home School Marketplace's e-journal.

Friends and funerals

Do I know them well enough to go to the funeral? Should I go to the viewing? What do I say? Common questions, I expect. Kris gives her answers as one who knows. I hope you will be encouraged to reach out the next time you start asking these questions.


Do your kids ever sound just like you? I apparently have a habit of giving a three point answer as to why my kids can't or will do something.

Rosie has a cold and has been fussy today. She was still fussy when she went to bed tonight. After the girls had been in bed for a few minutes, I heard Anna Kate start griping at Rose and Rose's fussing escalating. (Rose gets very upset if Anna Kate gets out of bed and leaves the room, especially since she's stuck in her crib.) I went to their room to settle them back down and opened the door just as Anna Kate was ready to open it and walk out. She immediately launched her defense:
  • A. I had a bad dream
  • O. Rose is screaming and keeping me awake
  • A. I'm going to your room to go to sleep.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Open Eyes

I just followed a link on Cerulean Sanctum to read the powerful story, "She Just Quit." Please go read it (it's short), and then look around this Sunday morning at your own church to see who might have become invisible.

Five things to do this weekend

  1. Attend a high school play. (We're going to a local Christian school's production of Alice in Wonderland.)
  2. Get all of your food shopping done so that you can focus on food preparation next week.
  3. Send out your Thanksgiving cards to family and friends.
  4. Let your kids print out a Thanksgiving craft or game at
  5. Plan a family activity or reading for Thanksgiving Day that will draw your family together before God with overwhelming gratitude for the blessings He's given to you this year.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Brian and Anna Kate

Thirteen Things I Love About My Husband

  1. His passion for God.
  2. His insistence that I'm beautiful, even at moments when I'm obviously not.
  3. His ability to fix anything that's wrong with the computer.
  4. His love of nature.
  5. He is the sweetest and nicest person I know.
  6. He can't keep a secret from me (it at least drives him nuts to try).
  7. His willingness, yea even eagerness, to take me to all of the living history and cultural stuff I enjoy.
  8. His excellence in the field of "daddying." There's nothing he won't do.
  9. His desire to rear our children to be the kind of men and women that will be pleasing to God, and the energy he expends to back up that desire with action.
  10. How well his genes mix with mine (as in, I think our children are beautiful - I know, I'm shameless. I can't help it.)
  11. He puts up with me. I'm telling you, he ought to get an award for that, especially when I'm pregnant (no, I'm not right now).
  12. His faithfulness to provide for our family even when he's feeling terrible. I appreciate it so much.
  13. He improves with age. Not that he's old. He just gets better and better all the time at all of the wonderful things he does.

This is my beloved and this is my friend.

And anyone that is married and reading this can now consider themselves tagged.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

For Girls Only

I think that my husband and my brother are the only guys who venture here, but just in don't want to spoil the surprise.

Now girls, would you like to make your husband's day? I was wearing one of those new outfits my husband bought me today, and I got a crazy idea. I really missed him, and my mother-in-law was at my house to assist, so I had her take a close-up picture of me blowing a kiss, and I e-mailed it to him. His quick response was that he had new wallpaper. And his later response was that I had rendered him useless for the rest of the day. (I'm grinning still.) And then to top it off, his huge computor screen caused the photo to blow up too much and pixilate, so my artist husband took me into photoshop and fixed the lighting and airbrushed me! He was pleased as punch about the whole thing, and when I mentioned sharing the idea with you, he strongly encouraged it. But he wanted to keep the picture to himself.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

According to His excellent greatness

As I was teaching my children Psalm 150 today, this phrase struck me: "praise him according to his excellent greatness.(v.2)"

How excellent is God? "For thou, LORD, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.(Psalm 97:9)"

How great is God? "O Lord GOD, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as yours? (Deuteronomy 3:24, ESV)"

There is no measure for either. "Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;his greatness no one can fathom.(Psalm 145:3, NIV)"

There is only one response:"I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.(Psalm 34:1)."

Let the thankful heart sweep
through the day and, as the
magnet finds the iron,
so it will find, in every hour,
some heavenly blessings!

-Henry Ward Beecher

Memory work this week

Scripture : Psalm 150

1Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
2Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.
3Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
4Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
5Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
6Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD

Song: Come Ye Thankful People, Come
by Henry Alford

Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field, fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown unto joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day all offenses purge away,
Giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store in His garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified, in Thy garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come, raise the glorious harvest home.

Poem: Over the River and Through the Woods

Over the river and thru the wood,
To grandfather's house we go;
The horse knows the way
To carry the sleigh,
Thru the white and drifted snow, oh!
Over the river and thru the wood,
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes,
And bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.

Over the river and thru the wood,
To have a first-rate play;
Oh, hear the bell ring,
"Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day-ay!
Over the river and thru the wood,
Trot fast my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground,
Like a hunting hound!
For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Scarecrow lover

Rosie loves scarecrows. She points them out everywhere, and has taken to kissing the one on our front door each time we enter the house.


If you have a Dollar General near you, you may want to run down there today and check out their fall decorations. They, along with the Halloween stuff, are already 75% off ! I was able to purchase a flower arrangement in a cornucopia (now the centerpiece on my table) for $2, ceramic amd metal pumpkins for $.50, a matching olive metal vase and large metal leaf tray both for $2, two caramel apple scented jar candles (large size) for $.75 each, and two stuffed scarecrow dolls for Rosie for $.25 each. I love a good deal!

Hymn Of the Week

This is an old hymn that few people know, but it has been a favorite of mine since high school. I especially love the third verse. Which is your favorite?

Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts

Jesus, Thou Joy of loving hearts,
Thou Fount of life, Thou Light of men,
From the best bliss that earth imparts,
We turn unfilled to Thee again.

Thy truth unchanged hath ever stood;
Thou savest those that on Thee call;
To them that seek Thee Thou art good,
To them that find Thee all in all.

We taste Thee, O Thou living Bread,
And long to feast upon Thee still;
We drink of Thee, the Fountainhead,
And thirst our souls from Thee to fill.

Our restless spirits yearn for Thee,
Wherever our changeful lot is cast;
Glad when Thy gracious smile we see,
Blessed when our faith can hold Thee fast.

O Jesus, ever with us stay,
Make all our moments calm and bright;
Chase the dark night of sin away,
Shed over the world Thy holy light.

Music by: Henry Williams Baker, 1862.
Words attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux, 12th century
translated from Latin to English by Ray Palmer, 1858.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Living History Pictures

Corn harvest circa 1814

The girls working on their cobs

Making apple cider

Enjoying the music (she did a number of original dances,as well)

Harvesting corn the old-fashioned way

"Pretty baby, pretty baby,
Rosie bug's a pretty baby "

"Oh, my goodness!"

Indians in the woods

The little man

sweet Anna girl

Purple princess

Friday, November 10, 2006

Five things to do this weekend

  1. Find a footbridge over running water and play "Pooh sticks." (This is the name my children have given to reenacting a scene from a Winnie the Pooh cartoon where the characters stood on a bridge, and threw sticks into the water, and watched them float downstream.)
  2. Check your local paper for any living history events in your area. We're having beautiful weather and are planning to attend one near our home tomorrow. The children love to watch someone turn sheep's wool into thread. It fascinates them.
  3. Rake some more leaves.
  4. Try out this amazing twist on pumpkin pie. I had the nerve to serve it at Thanksgiving in place of the traditional version several years ago, and there's been no going back.
  5. Stop and look at your children and take a moment to really see them for each of their beautiful selves. Then hug them close and thank God for this day with them; life is a vapor. I served a meal before the funeral of a five year old today. It makes you grateful for every moment God gives you with those you love. Pray for Laura and Jason. Their arms feel empty tonight.

Happy Birthday, Hannah!

Today is my sister Hannah's twenty-third birthday. You can wish her a happy birthday here or over at her blog This may be my life.'s a surprise(until she checks our blogs, of course.) I was seven and a half when she was born, and I am so blessed to have such a crazy-wonderful little sister. Love ya, girl!

Hannah and her husband, Joseph

My sisters, Hannah and Rachel

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Out of the mouth of the babe

I wrote this down right after it happened, but then I lost the note. So this is my best reconstruction...

Brian and I were discussing the fact that God is not bound by a time-line like humans. He transcends time. I commented that "he even rewound death" at times, bringing the dead back to life. About this time, Anna Kate starts chiming in from the background, " I know what rewind means." Certain that she is about to explain the workings of a VCR, we continued our conversation. But she was not deterred, and again insisted, "I know what rewind means." So I gave in, and said, "what does it mean, Anna?" And then I got a surprise.

"To rewind death means to take it away. And it not be there anymore. And we don't go there. And that's what Jesus did."

I was speechless.

Of course, not everything she says is that profound.

Last evening's devotions were the story of Mara, and the children of Israel's repeated search for good water. Brian read how they found a place with good water...Anna Kate enthusiatically took over,"and they had a picnic, and they roasted marshmallows, didn't they? And they made smores. I think they made smores!"

You never know what that girl's gonna say.

Bad Day Fix

I'm not usually big on forwards, but I got this link in my inbox and it is unbelievable! Take a look!

"Made to Work"

Anna Kate thought it would be great fun to wad up toliet paper and throw it into the toilet. While I was trying to unclog it and clean up the resulting mess(at least it was cleaning day and my bathroom is now sparkling), I had Ethan running to get paper towels, bleach,etc. And I heard him muttering to Anna Kate,"I can't just play all day. I'm a man and I've got to work. That's what I was made to do."

One Night With the King

In case you've missed it so far, I wanted to remind you that this lovely motion picture about Esther is still in the theatres. The sets are astounding, the story is inspiring, the acting is well done, and the details of the story's personal aspects are handled modestly and gracefully. The book by Tommy Tenney, Hadassah:One Night with the King, is even better (is there ever a movie that's actually better than the book?), and truer to the Biblical record. But I think you will find the movie a refreshing change from Hollywood's usual, and not at all low budget in appearance. I, personally, believe that if we want to complain about the way things usually are, then we ought to support those that try to do things differently. Especially one as well done as One Night with the King.

Thanksgiving Book for Kids

I just read the best Thanksgiving book : Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving. It is beautifully illustrated and unfolds the events through the lens of God's sovereign will. You will love it even if you don't have kids. But if you do have children, you simply must go buy or borrow it (like I did, we have the best library system here) in time for the holiday. I'll be posting the rest of our favorite Thansgiving books as soon as we read through the stack I've borrowed (we actually own several too, I'm a holiday book junkie), and decide which are our favorites. So seek and find, friends.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Some of my favorite thoughts on homeschooling

4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9(NIV)

"If the schools were perfect, I would still homeschool my children - because it isn't about school. It's about families taking their children back and educating them as they see best. It's about giving birth to a child and loving that child enough to want to nurture him and be a part of his life until he no longer needs you. It is the natural thing to do. School is only a substitute for the real thing."

- Kathleen McCurdy

And for those who are afraid to try:

-case scenario: Our children don't understand phonics,calculus, or Shakespeare or speak French as we would like them to by the time they leave home--what has been lost? Nothing of eternal value. Nothing that can't be picked up later.

But if we don't ardently pursue the cultivation of their relationship with the Lord--what has been sacrificed? An opportunity we as parents will never have again. Their hearts are malleable; their minds are impressionable. I want the best shot I've got to demonstrate to our kids the importance and impact of the faith that unites Kermit and me."

- Debra Bell
in The Ultimate Guide ToHomeschooling

(coincidentally she was my evaluator
when I was homeschooled)

Another Voter Aid

Check out Family Research Council's voting guides here.

Go and Vote...

...for conservative, constitution-upholding, pro-life candidates. Choose Life! And, if you live in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, or Wisconsin, please remember to vote in favor of traditional marriage for your state's marriage amendment. You're vote really is important.

"All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing."
- Edmund Burke

Monday, November 06, 2006


The other one. The one where God "chose us in him before the foundation of the world(ESV)." The Irish Calvinist has some posts I'm carefully following here and here. They have a great discussion going, so if you take a peak don't forget to read the comments. I'm really trying to work through some of that stuff and really understand it. (Is that possible or am I just kidding myself?) I'm thinking about asking some of my questions and opening some serious cans of worms. But not tonight.

Ramblings of a Guilty Mind

I've just set a new record for spending money on clothes in one day.

And it blows my mind.

Because I'm pretty much a tightwad. I like to get really cute clothes - at the Salvation army - for $3. But the situation was getting desperate. You know the drill. You have a baby and you think, "this will get better, I'll lose more weight soon, I don't want to spend money on clothes that won't fit next year..." But next year is here. And, unfortunately, they would have fit after all.

But Walmart had nothing. And Burlington Coat Factory had nothing. And the thrift stores I used to find things at aren't open in the evenings for child-free-hours-in-the-dressing-room-to-find-one-thing-that-fits.

So I had a closet of a few mostly fits, several almost fits, and a couple of actually fits and looks nice. But all of those were in the laundry. And it was Sunday morning. And that's when the straw broke the camel's back.

After some desperate searching and trying on of outfits, I said to Brian, "if you can find anything to match either of these two remaining tops in my closet, I'll be going to church, otherwise... " Well, he found the same outfit I'd had on a few minutes ago. The sweater I've had since high school (or was it junior high) and a very nice khaki skirt that was given to me and makes me look like a whale. A combination I usually wouldn't want to go out of the house in. (Do I sound as shallow, as I think I do?) And then, of course, I didn't have any tights or shoes that went with it. So I went to church in 50 degree weather in a sweater, khaki skirt, and birkenstock-type sandals hoping I didn't look as bad as I thought I did.

So sweet Brian took me shopping, and encouraged me to keep buying things, and tried to take such complete responsibility for it that I wouldn't even feel guilty. But I do anyway. I told my mother that I thought maybe I shouldn't wash them yet, because surely I should return some of them.

She told me not to. She said that sometimes mothers have to actually buy clothes for themselves.

And I did get some great deals at T.J. Maxx and they were having a huge sale at J.C.Penney's (yes, I actually went to the mall, it was that bad).
The upside is I don't think I'll have another day (at least before spring) when I'll say "I don't have anything to wear." And thanks to all the basics that I found, I think I'll be able to redeem virtually all of the matchless orphans in my closet.

And I still feel like I should take something back. But it's too late. I've washed them.

Hymn Of the Week

We sang this hymn together in church for the first time this week, right after a beautiful rendition by an ensemble. It immediately won hymn of the week.

The Power Of The Cross

Oh to see the dawn
Of the darkest day;
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men,
Torn and beaten then
Nailed to a cross of wood.

This the power of the cross:
Christ became sin for us,
Took the blame, bore the wrath -
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Oh to see the pain
Written on Your face,
Bearing the awesome weight of sin.
Every bitter thought,
Every evil deed
Crowning Your bloodstained brow.

This the power...

Now the daylight flees,
Now the ground beneath
Quakes as it's Maker bows His head.
Curtain torn in two;
Dead are raised to life;
Finished! the victory cry.

This the power...

Oh to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death;
Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.

This the power of the cross:
Son of God, slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2005 Thankyou Music

Friday, November 03, 2006

Thanks to Good Mothers

Today Rose and I went to a huge homeschool book sale. We were able to get many new textbooks and fiction books for $1-2. The only downside was juggling a 15 month old and a big cardboard box filled with books. But as I moved from the sidewalk sale to the inside of the store, a sweet young boy magically appeared to open the door.

On our way home, we stopped for some new piano books for Ethan, and then at Little Ceasars to pick up a pizza for lunch. This time, I was juggling a 15 month old and a pizza box, and a kind young man practically ran to help me with my car door.

This certainly doesn't happen every time I'm juggling. Actually, it's kind of rare. But to have it happen twice in a row made me want to say "thanks" again. Not just to those boys, but to the mothers (and fathers) who undoubtedly taught them to be gentlemen. And it reminded me to remember to teach my son the same.

Thanksgiving Psalm Memory Challenge

The Sparrow's Nest had an encouraging post on memorizing Bible verses, personally, and with your children. I wanted to share how our family has been memorizing Scripture lately. and then issue a challenge to those of you who need a little lift in your efforts. (And I certainly wouldn't mind the accountability to keep my own family on track).

I used to do just what Mrs. Wilt does, teaching verses while doing everyday activities. I still do that, but found I sometimes needed a better way to be more consistent in order to memorize larger passages. Now we try to recite our "verses of the week" at each meal. I am amazed at how quickly my young children can memorize.

Our most recent passage was the Lord's Prayer. Anna Kate and Ethan both memorized it, and as we begin to thank the Lord for our food, Anna Kate frequently says,"let's pray our new prayer." Ethan queried recently,"doesn't God want to hear about something different and not just the same thing?" (Smile, sounds like something I've said before.) Yes to both. We usually end up praying around the table. And Rose loves to pray too, taking back our hands, bowing her head and expressing grateful gibberish, just when we think we're through.

Our next passages are a review of Psalm 100 from last Thanksgiving, and then two weeks to learn Psalm 150 in time for this Thanksgiving. I challenge you to try this in your own home if you do not already have a Scripture memorization program working for you. I would love to hear which Psalm your family chooses to memorize for Thanksgiving.

Five things to do this weekend

  1. Line up someone to watch your kids (if you're not planning on taking them with you) while you vote on Tuesday.
  2. Make sure you are voting for a freedom-loving, pro-life candidate.
  3. Rake up the rest of those leaves and let your kids jump in them.
  4. Put out your Thanksgiving decorations and throw out those wrinkly jack o'lanterns. I'm so excited for my kids to see this Plush Pilgrim playset their Gran got for them. The story of the first American Thanksgiving is always a hit at our house.
  5. Make pumpkin waffles.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Be Careful With Magic Erasers

I felt compelled to share a warning with you. Magic erasers and other similar products apparently contain alkalines that could cause burns. Read this post on Kerflop about her sweet little boy's face being burned, and please think twice before letting younger children use these products.

Planning Ahead for Advent

Thanks to Lindsey at Enjoy the Journey, I'm putting a Christmas post up before I have a Thanksgiving post. And one of my pet peeves is Thanksgiving being crowded out by Christmas. But sometimes you just have to plan ahead for good things, and Lindsey's new blog, Advent for Evangelicals looks like a very good thing. I was so excited the first time she mentioned it, and it is beautiful! I'm looking forward to garnering many more ways to share advent with my family.

Here are some of my family's favorite ways:

  1. Brian has really enjoyed Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas, an advent book with readings from many different authors with many different backgrounds.
  2. When I got married, I wanted a nativity set like my mother's. A wooden building with moss and ceramic figures. I was student teaching that first year and my sweet cooperating teacher got me one as a Christmas gift. It's always given a place of honor, lately, on top of the piano, in the living room in front of the window.
  3. I searched high and low for a nativity playset safe for the under 3 set, and finally found this one. It is a huge hit every year when the Christmas things come down from the attic.
  4. My piano students always look forward to putting aside lesson books in mid-November and learning Christmas music for our annual recital at the nursing home.
  5. We love to invite over our little friends and have a birthday party for Jesus complete with balloons, streamers, and a birthday cake. We've missed it the past couple of years due to illness and babies, but I'm excited to plan this special celebration again.
  6. Reading our huge collection of Christmas books. I'll post a list of favorites later.
  7. My favorite new find is Christ in Christmas: A Family Advent Celebration. This compilation of Advent devotions by James Dobson, Chuck Swindoll, James Montgomery Boice, and R.C.Sproul has a devotion and family activities for each Sunday of Advent and daily Scripture readings, along with songs and instructions for an advent wreath. The readings are already written into my lesson plans.

Now I'm really getting in the mood. I feel like I could go on forever. I keep thinking of more "favorites" I'd like to share with you. But first things first. I'll try to stick with Thanksgiving posts for now - just watch out the day after!