Showing posts from May, 2011

Life with Daddy

Yesterday morning I awoke, as is usual these days, to a pudgy little hand on my face and squiggling, happy Olivia in the crook of my arm.  I look down through blurry eyes, into her little round face, great with grin.  She is a morning person. I am....not.
We managed to find our way down the stairs in search of caffeine, when I overheard my husband reading aloud.   It is 6:30 am.  Then I remembered, Monday, O yes, it is Joseph's morning with daddy.  First they read and discuss a book, then they make the whole family pancakes from scratch.  They are really super too.   But what I heard him read from "Created For Work", by Bob Schultz sounded so good  that I returned to it later and read the chapter for myself,  once my eyes got opened and brain fully functioning, or about 9:30am. 
"God didn't have to put intricate designs on the wings of moths and butterflies.  He could have made them all gray.  He didn't have to paint a frog's eyes gold.  He could have made them all bl…

The Big Weekend

Saturday dawned cloudy, but promising.  We packed up the entire lot of us in our big red van,  with a hot lunch in tow,  and set off down the road,  a good drive, with the beautiful spring green of verdant pastures and thick Idaho forests,  and arrived at last upon the anticipated destination.  We seem to be quite a spectacle, marching down the sidewalk toward the Farmer's Market.   People stop talking and stare.  Each big person has a little one as shopping buddy, and we go..two by folks bob their heads mentally counting.   I smile.  It is always this way, and I find it amusing.

Our goal at the Farmer's Market was to purchase some plants for Anna's herb garden,  with the benefit of enjoying  the live music, colorful culture, delicious smells of home cooked vendors, and the plethora of hand made articles.  We were successful to find just the plants she was looking for, especially delighted with the Rhubarb, since we have a goal of perfecting a rhubarb pie by the end of the year.


My Mom's Pie

My mom makes the best apple pie ever.   Of course, it is a family favorite.   Over the years, whenever there is an occasion to celebrate, or a family gathering, you can be sure there will be apple pie.  I think she took to apple pie because she has some wonderful old fashioned transparent apple trees.  However, when a birthday came around, her pie became such a favorite  we would invariably ask for apple pie instead of cake.  One is never enough, especially if you want to have that wonderful, most blessed  occasion  of apple pie leftover for breakfast.

I suppose that one reason I love to make pie, not only apple,  (but it does travel well, if you were, say, sending one in the mail to your dearest loved ones), is because I have come to the conclusion that feeding people is my spiritual gift, and that my love language must be food.  :-)   In truth, I like to think that cooking and baking is a practical application of nurturing and life giving.
The joy of thinking of the folks whose tummy's…

Creating a Home

It always saddens me when I enter a home, and find a horrid mess.   Clothes, toys, and stuff piled everywhere. Not a tidy or orderly square foot anywhere.  Not a clean surface in sight. A mere trail leading through to ...somewhere.  
My heart goes out to the husband who works hard all day and comes home to such a disaster, knowing that his wife has not done her job,  nor saw fit that he should enjoy the beauty and peace of an orderly home, but preferred her agenda and comfort to his.
Imagine, if a husband went to work each day, but never did his job, instead sat idly chuckling over facebook status', reading magazines, watching tv, and making himself comfortable.   Likewise, when a wife and mother does not take care of her home, she simply is not doing her job, and her family pays for her laziness. I feel great pity for the husband of such a home, and for the children. 
I will not beat around the bush, but will, as much as I hate conflict, exhort women everywhere to maintain their ho…

Every Hour

For years, I had my daily devotional most every morning.  I would check it off my list of things to do that day, and get on with the day.  Notoriously, not too far into the day,  irritability, frustration and discouragement would engulf me.  I had a hard time with the thought of living a victorious life.  What was that about anyway?
Then one day I hit the bottom. I can't seem to get my act together and live the way I am supposed to!   I try and I try, so very hard, and I fail and flail and end up making such a mess. After a fitful night's sleep, when I awoke, before my eyelids even opened, my heart cried to God.   "Oh God help me!! I CANNOT do this (my life) without You!!  I don't even know if I can do this with you right now.  I just know that I do not have what it takes to raise these children in a God- honoring way.    I need You, every hour...maybe every minute." 

And that became my daily prayer for years.   Still is my daily prayer. 
I do not have what it t…

Spring has Sprung at last!

Spring! Better late than never!  We enjoyed some beautiful spring-like days this past week.  Once the sunshine appeared, (for more than 10 minutes),  we were eager to get our hands dirty with a bit of gardening.  There will be more veggies to follow, we are just getting started.  Here are the strawberries, under protection lest some critter, winged or four legged, takes a notion to visit.

And then the tomatoes and peppers,  still in pots to allow us to bring them in until the danger of frost is over.  This year we have the usual Early Girl variety, but couldn't resist a Beefsteak or trying an heirloom Brandywine. There are 19 plants in all, I am hoping that is enough for eating fresh and canning.  My mouth begins to water at just the thought of a ripe homegrown tomato.

The children were having so much fun on the trampoline, Rose could not resist trying to obtain in flight pictures.  These two photos capture splendidly the essence of Jim.

Lulu surprised everyone Saturday morning with 4 adorable kitt…

A Walk on Camano Island

We are very fond of walking.
If anything could lure us out doors, it is the cease of rain followed by the glint of sunshine through the clouds. Such weather is perfect for a romantic stroll.
  Speedily, as the rain tapers off, we set forth into the damp path which has that refreshing, pure smell of earth.  On Camano Island, the air was heavy with the scent of flowers.  Slugs abounded, much to the delight of small boys, and puddles lured even a young lady.

 Every detail must be noticed.  The delicate drops of fallen rain teetering on a leaf. Sunlight reflecting off  gathered drops, shimmering in iridescence. Birds hopping among the grass, happily devouring the surfaced smorgasbord of worms. All a product of God's creation, which never ceases to amaze. All a gift of beauty waiting to be noticed,  acknowledged, accepted.
Thus, our simple meandering down a country lane becomes a journey to worship the King of Kings, the Maker of it all,  as we give thanks for each spectacular moment,  scene,  sme…

My Influence on a Sponge

She is at the age of imitation.  She duplicates my mannerisms.   She copies her older sister's fashion and speech.  She mimics heroines in movies.   She is a sponge, soaking up the worldview and culture which we set before her.  We are modeling the image of woman that will shape her philosophy.
It is terrifying and motivating all at once.

"What we want to do with our children is not merely control them and keep them in order, but implant true principles deep in their hearts which shall rule their whole lives;  to shape their character from within into Christlike beauty, and to make of them noble men and women, strong for battle and duty.  They are to be trained rather than governed.   Growth of character, not merely good behavior,  is the object of all home governing and teaching.  Therefore, the home influence is far more important than the home laws, and the parents' lives are of more moment than their teachings."  - J. R. miller-Homemaking pg 107

She's graduated, now what?

Our daughter, Anna, completed her high school education recently.  So, the big question is, Now What? Bible College? We talked about it. Our premise in home educating our children was that by the time they completed high school, they would have the equivalent of a year of Bible School already under their belt.   Having mostly accomplished that, why pay thousands of dollars to continue at college when we can do that here at home?
  Anna would like to continue her education here at home, as well as helping with the little one's schooling, assisting her daddy in his ministry, teaching a young ladies Bible study, and preparing for the future. We have been talking about what this would look like. First, the quest to learn should never cease. Endless possibilities for study abound all around us.   Keeping up with current events, politics, the economy and what that means to the family is one subject all the older children will engage in. Reading some great works on Christian theology, as well as Christian…

Vacation Highlights

The children were so grateful for one sunny day in which we could enjoy the beach! They found crabs, large and tiny.  They located clams by their spit through the rocky beach.  Bethany loved the sand.  Gabe would have stayed all day throwing rocks in the "pond..." I believe he found his life- calling.  Brian relaxed just watching it all, the roll of the waves, the children delightedly playing, the calls of the gulls, the occasional boat.  All the sounds and smells, so unlike what we are usually acquainted with,  it was perfectly romantic.   Rose discovered it to be the perfect photo opportunity.   Anna thought she would rather be int he mountains, but enjoyed the children's comical antics anyway.   I found the entire day to be almost surreal, like watching a scene from a movie unfold before me. I adore watching the children having a good time of it, and they LOVED the beach! Ahhh a most glorious day.

Christian Heiritage Conference

If you have never attended a homeschooling conference, you are definitely missing out.   The Washington Home Educators Conference is very worthwhile.  This year, Kevin Swanson was the keynote speaker,

and the Geoffrey Botkin family the featured session speakers.   Both were outstanding.   Besides the great teaching on topics such as higher education, courtship, what our father taught us about boys, Jane Austin, quadravocational vision, and sibling rivialry, there were many other sessions taught by a variety of noteworthy people. 
Then, there is the sheer encouragement of seeing thousands of Christian families there, worshipping together.

  Our older girls enjoyed being in the chorale, led by Neil Craig.  Hearing the concert on Saturday is worth the entire cost of the concert alone.  The memory of last year's concert will stay in my mind forever, I believe, as the 200 voice choir of young people rang out in beautiful harmony singing Fairest Lord Jesus, I had no choice but to burst into…