Friday, June 26, 2009

Whipped Cream Lesson

I have been a bit discouraged at the attitude of Josiah this week regarding his birthday. No matter how much we talked to him about the importance of celebrating God's creation and being thankful to God for giving him life, all he seemed to be focused on was presents and having friends over. None of which are bad in themselves but he just had an aire of expectation of presents. Needless to say next year we are going to do a quiet event with just the family. In any case I have been looking for teachable moments that would help Josiah understand that it is not about him.

During his birthday supper, Josiah mentioned that he gets served first because he is the birthday boy. So I purposefully served Naomi a bigger slice of pizza first and reminded him that the first shall be last. For desert, we had some left over cake and I topped it with raspberries and melted dark chocolate. I also table served a dollop of whipped cream on top of the individual slices. It was as I began this process that God used it to share a big lesson to all of us.

I took Josiah's fork to retrieve a nice size dollop of whipped cream and put it on Daddy's cake first and then mine and then Naomi's. As I was doing this I was talking about what it means that the first is last and the last is first. How God honors us when we think of others before ourselves. How we need to deny ourselves even in the smallest things lest we become too prideful and because that was the example Jesus gave us. And by doing so, we honor our Heavenly Father who sees and knows all things. By this time the whipped cream was almost out and I began to scrape the container with Josiah's fork so that I had a double portion of cream and placed it on his cake. And I ended by remarking that the when we apply God's principles and remember that the last is actually first, we will probably be surprised that it isn't the worst place to be after all and I gave Josiah the fork I had been using which was covered with whipped cream on all sides from all the scraping.

Almost immediately, Josiah returned to my humble, thoughtful, kind boy. He even thanked us and hugged us like one who truly was grateful and joyful. What a great God we serve that He helps us to understand His Ways when they are so counter to the culture we are in today. That He does not keep HImself as an enigma but rather is a Father that takes delight in His children.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Word Problems

We had a spontaneous round of word problems during lunch and I had to write my favorite one down. Josiah kicked it off with Jim had 5 presents and his daddy gave him two more presents. How many presents does Jim have in all? He continued to rattle off another 5 problems when Naomi started to beg for a turn. So we paused to let the little one have a turn and she gave us this problem.
Jim had ten pets and one of them died. How many pets does Jim have now?

Monday, June 22, 2009


Now that my grandma is back with my parents and all the company has left, I find the house quiet and calm. A little too calm. We still have remnants of the birthday bash strewn about and my goal is to finish cleaning it all up today because having a messy house gets me frazzled. Frazzled enough to be a bit grumpy with the kids and grumpy with the lack of progress on my gigantic to do list. In the midst of all of this, I hear God telling me to calm down and take stock of what is really important. Not to ignore responsibilities but to be aware of opportunities to invest in my children and others.

So when Josiah asks this morning why we have to learn about God, I need to stop what I am doing and explore this with him. When my brother needs some company because his friend just died in a car accident, I need to stop, go visit him and listen. And when I am repeating myself for the umpteenth time on the same subject, I need to remember and apply Proverbs 31:26b, "...she gives instructions with kindness."

We have finally arrived at rest time and I have three rooms cleaned up and a gnarly soiled kitchen awaiting me but all I want to do is crawl into Jesus' lap and learn from Him. What a great God we serve. Not only does He walk with us in our frustrations but He is ever-present to listen and instruct and pour His love into us so we can love others. All the mess and the aftermath of celebration can wait...I need to be with my God. Hallelujah!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

More tales from Great-Grandma

Today I got the privilege of hearing a lot of family history which I don't always know if I can believe but it is entertaining in the least. I learned that my great grandfather saw my great grandmother across the street and declared that that woman would be the mother of his children. He then befriended her dad and I think worked for him. (Not sure; some things get lost in translation.) ANyways, he wanted to ask for permission to marry her but he needed to see her legs first. He wanted to make sure she had a good figure under all those petticoats and material from those old fashion touch the floor dresses. So he devised a plan where she would have to step over a "obstacle" of some sort and be forced to lift her dress. The plan worked and when he saw her gams, he thought to himself, "Oh! Mama Mia! She is wonderful!" So that is the story of my great grandparents courtship.

I enjoyed hearing that story but there are more dramatic ones regarding spousal abuse and debauchery, murder and adultery. I could write one heck of a novel if I incorporated all thee stories together. Sometimes I think she confuses the talk shows she watches on TV with family history. In any case, my grandmother is quite the character. It still shocks me when she calls people sons of b***** and the other rude language she uses. I don't remember her using language like that when I was little. But coupled with her heavy spanish accent, it is quite funny.

She finds most of the cultural changes today disgusting and I have to laugh when she points out people on the street and says, "Look at that. Do you see her tattoos? (or piercings or immodest dress....etc...pick one.) That is disgusting! These people have no respect for themselves. No shame."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Great Grandma Stories

This week we are hosting Great-Grandma in our is actually grandma-sitting but I think hosting has a better sound to it. She is quite the colorful lady and will be turning 89 next least we think she is. (They didn't keep great records back then so we may be off by a couple of months or even years.)
I was thinking of keeping track of all the funny things she says. Yesterday I took Naomi to her Ta Kwon Do class and she wanted to watch some TV. So I left it on for her and she watched news for the hour. When I came home she said to me in her heavily accented English, "I am going to write a letter to that colored man because he is going to ruin health care." It took me a moment to understand what she was saying and then I had to keep from laughing because she was so serious about it.
And then today she was telling me a story about someone and she said that the woman was an "economic." as she gestured to someone taking a swig out of a bottle. And I realized she meant to say that she was an alcoholic. Sigh. It is going to be an interesting week.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Dinner Appreciation

Throughout our marriage Dustin has always, and I mean ALWAYS, made it a point to compliment the dinners I served him. He never forgets to thank me for making the food or for setting a nice spread on the table. I so appreciate his thoughtfulness in this manner and still am surprised with joy when he compliments my cooking even though it happens every night. Apparently the kids have noticed too.
It started out with some grunts of agreement and then it progressed to the kids declaring Mom to be the best cooker who deserves her own restaurant. In recent months I have been declared the Best Cooker EVER! But tonight took the cake. I received applause from the children for our delicious meal of sausage pasta ziti and caprese salad.
All because my husband has been modeling gratitude and appreciation. :)

Late Night Owl

I am up late pondering deep thoughts. Laughing inwardly because I have offended my friend the teacher from posting a simple quote on Facebook. Not laughing because I offended her, laughing because I am becoming an educational zealot. I hated those crazy homeschool moms when my son was in Kindergarten. Ugh! The ones that quoted famous people all the time and had an answer for almost everything. The ones that were always reading something and gaining further knowledge in some area. I couldn't stand those people!

Actually I was guilt ridden because I didn't want my son at public school all day. I was mad at my husband for wanting our son to go to public school. I hated woman who found such joy in teaching their kids when I still wasn't sure what to do with them half the time! Well, the tables have turned indeed. Now the trick will be to not be a zealot but to have zeal and zest for the life I am living now and to answer the calling that God has placed on me.

I am also thinking deeply on this whole church hunt thing. What a horrible place to be in! We have been going through a membership class to gain a better understanding of one of the churches we have been visiting. I feel like we are in the vetting stages for Congress as we grill the pastor and debate biblical views on everything from baptism to the second coming of Jesus Christ to the organization of the church. It is exhausting!! Part of me is so done with it but another part says endure just a bit longer. I don't know if this is how one should pick a new church or not but we are at least giving it our best shot in knowing what we believe and what we are getting ourselves into .....which means nothing if God doesn't specifically reveal to us where He wants us. So we wait on Him....

Now that I have unloaded my angst for the evening, I wish you all farewell and sweet dreams.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Summer Schooling

I have been praying about what to do for the summer with the kids schooling and exactly how the "plan" should go. We started homeschooling in April 2008 and we finished our K curriculum around February 2009 so we haven't been in the first grade for all that long so taking a break seems ridiculous to me right now. I have 3 goals so far for the summer. Continue Josiah on his language arts and get him to read steadily. Introduce the kids to great children's classics and read a ton. And lastly, delve into a subject that the kids choose. So I asked the kids want they would want to study and Josiah came up with an answer I am not quite so ready to delve into.
His answer? "I want to learn how animals have their babies."
My answer? silence, mouth open.....remind myself to close mouth and act cool.....more silence...remind myself to answer him....and squeeze out an "OK" from my mouth.

Where does he come up with these things?

Josiah: Hey Mom! I was thinking. Why didn't God give women three breast? I think he should have given them three. One here, here and here (he motioned the extra one should be between the two already in place). That way they can feed three babies at a time.
My response?: see above response.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Oh God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirst for more.
I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace.
I am ashamed of my lack of desire.
O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee;
I long to be filled with longing;
I thirst to be made more thirsty still.
Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed.
Begin in mercy a new work of love within me.
Say to my soul, "Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away."
Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland
where I have wandered so long. - A.W. Tozer.

It has been one of those weekends that we have seen and tasted that the Lord is good. Our struggle to find a church body has been on the forefront of our struggles and we found ourselves weary and heavy laden. Yet within that our most Holy God met us in the stench of our selves and brought about repentance and hope. We are no closer to finding a new church home than we were at the beginning of the weekend but our focus has returned to the main thing which is Jesus. Oh how I love that name. The road to finding a church home has been more daunting and weary than we ever imagined it would be. We have questioned our motives, questioned our responses, questioned our desires and even questioned ourselves. How does one go about picking a church? You follow the direction of the Holy Spirit in obedience.

We may end up at a church that we never thought we would attend but as long as we keep the main thing the main thing, I am hopeful. It has been such a rewarding experience to watch my very mild husband, become passionate about his family and the spiritual growth of his children. To see him set aside his comforts to reach out to Josiah and Naomi and teach them about the awesome God we serve.

Dustin and I did not grow up with parents that esteemed the Bible or attended church regularly. We do not have parents that have a relationship with Christ. We have been perplexed in how to relate our love for God to our own children, how to teach them at home and how to raise them in the admonition of the Lord. Now we understand. It all comes down to purposeful discipleship- bringing our children alongside us in our own journey in the faith. Living out a Deuteronomy 6 life. We don't need programs, we don't need to be trained teachers, we simply need to point everything back to our God who is the Creator and Sustainer of us all. Will we do it right? Some. Will we mess up? Count on it. Is there grace in all of this? Absolutely!
Praise His Holy Name!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Cubbie Verses

During the last month of Cubbies, I began noticing a strange occurrence while Naomi was trying to memorize her verse. I would say them a couple of times and she would repeat the verse a couple of times and she would have it down pat. And when it came time to repeat the verse at Cubbies, she did extraordinarily well for not having worked too hard. I couldn't put my finger on it but I knew something was amiss.
It turns out that as Josiah has been working on his phonics and Naomi on her coloring, she has learned to read quite well. When we test the kids on their verses, we have their book open with the Bible verse showing so that we as the teachers get it right and besides, most kids that age don't read so it isn't a big deal. Except for my little Miss who would simply read the verse when it was her book time and not memorize the verse which is the point of going to Cubbies. I had to chuckle because reading has been an arduous task with Josiah and here is baby sister doing it all by herself. (In the picture above she is reading to Aunt Amanda and Josiah, a Scooby Doo book.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Definition Changes

I am so aggravated with a friend right now that I had to write. We have been having an on-going "conversation" about marriage versus civil unions in regards to heterosexual and homosexual relations. Obviously I am against gay marriage and he is for it since he has decided to come out of the closet. We both claim to be followers of Christ and we have known each other for a very long time. In our "conversation" he was vehement that married couples have 1500 more "rights" than those in a civil union. I recently asked him to send me a list of those added rights and he sent me the court briefs which were about 75 pages long.

I read the first five pages but all it was was legal jargon detailing the rights of married couples but not necessarily the rights of civil unions...perhaps I haven't read enough yet. But I was thinking that isn't it like a liberal to try to paper log me rather than just name the differences. So I wrote back and requested the short list. If there really are that many differences in rights, I am sure there is a list like that out there somewhere. They would be lining the streets with it if it were really the case.

The point that I cannot get over is that a group of people should not be allowed to forcibly change a definition just because they want to. That would be like me demanding blue to be defined as the blending of two colors: red and yellow. No matter how hard I scream and cry and justify it, red and yellow will NEVER make blue. The same goes with marriage. It IS and WILL always be the union of a man and woman no matter what anyone says. Some things you cannot change, no matter how hard you rant and pout about it.

My fave organization: The UN

This was sent from Parental Right Org and I am sharing with everyone the need to be alert......

A parent’s right to raise their children as they see fit is a time-honored American tradition, but today it is being threatened. The Supreme Court’s Troxel v. Granville decision in 2000 undermined a 75-year heritage of Constitutionally-protected, fundamental parental rights, which 8 of the 9 justices abandoned. At the same time, a growing body of international law fuels activist judges to legislate foreign standards from the American bench, while treaties such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child would subject parental decisions to government oversight and international review.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra (MI-2) has proposed HJR-42, the Parental Rights Amendment, to stop the erosion of parental rights in American courts while simultaneously defending our laws from international invasion. Please, visit to learn more about the Amendment, and to join their email network by signing the petition to protect parental rights.

Dinner Talk #2

As we began to bow our heads to pray over our dinner, Josiah exclaimed, "I want to pray." This is a nightly request that we usually acknowledge but only after Daddy prays. Dustin provided the usual response that after he prays, Josiah may have a turn at which Josiah dropped his shoulders and began to make a face but changed his mind knowing full well that any sign of discontentment would result in the loss of praying at all as well as help with correcting the attitude. Naomi noticed the slight in fraction and says, "Daddy gets to pray because he is the pastor of our home." And she smiled a sweet, proud of herself smile and bowed her head. We both chuckled to ourselves and yet I couldn't resist having a sweet, proud of my girl smile on my face as well.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Dinner Talk #1

We always get in the most interesting conversations over dinner so I am going to try to keep a record of the things that come up. Tonight we were talking about Israel and God's chosen people and how they wandered in the desert for 40 years because of their disobedience to God. the conversation was primarily between Josiah, Dustin and I but as we talked about the long path the Israelites walked, Naomi piped up and said, "They even had to walk to Canada!"