Sunday, May 31, 2009


Joanna was telling me about Kaitlyn being a "girly girl". In spite of having two brothers, Kaitlyn is all about the pretty things and romance.

Joanna got her some new hair doodads. Kaitlyn loved them! Joanna was pleased.

But little did she know that the new hair things would show her what a girly girl her daughter is.

Kaitlyn was playing quietly by herself with two of the hair baubles. Joanna listened.

"Mommy," Kaitlyn said, as she bounced a hair bauble in her left hand.

"Daddy," Kaitlyn said, doing the same with one in her right hand.

But the next thing she did was the kicker.

She brought the two baubles together, bouncing them happily along, then smacking them together.

"K I S S", came the sound.

I wonder what SHE sees at her house. :D

Friday, April 03, 2009

National Poetry Blog

Check out the new Poetry Blog that Jacqueline started.  I linked it in my sidebar under "Links I like".

Explorers and "Around the World" in Math

The children are learning about the great Explorers in our Co-op Homeschool.  We discussed how God confounded the language of the people of Babel, so that they spread out throughout the world.  Brave souls decided years later to travel, seeking wealth or lands.  We discussed what it would have been like to travel across seas and oceans in small ships, or through mountain passes on pack-horses.  Danger would have been all around - sometimes real, sometimes perceived.  There was no "edge of the world", there were no "sea monsters"...yet the explorers thought there might be.  So, they were courageous as they travelled far from  home.

We gave the children an assignment:

History - Explorers Project.


















Marco Polo








This is a research project.  Go to the library, use encyclopaedia, or the internet (LAST!) to find out information about your explorer.  Where did he live?  When?  What form of travel did he use?  Where did he go?  Did he claim any land for his liege?  Were there any conflicts during his travels?  Was his life in danger?

Find out some interesting facts about your explorer.  Include a map of his travels. 

Use the template to copy figures onto cardstock.  Decorate the explorer to reflect something of his culture or character.  (Sword, moustache, horse, uniform, equipment, etc.)


You will be giving a report on your explorer next week, and putting your guy up on the timeline.  You could even include a page for the other students to fill in with facts about your explorer. 

Around the World in Math

When we were finished with History, we played "Around the World".  The children line up, and the first volunteer stands behind the first in line.  I call out math facts, and the two of them compete to see who can be the first to call out the correct answer.  The winner moves to the next person in line, and continues "around the world".  The first one to get all the way around gets to sit down.

There's a lot of pressure to do well, and some of the kids like competition, while others feel upset when they get a wrong answer.  But with plenty of encouragement, they persevered, and everybody had fun.

I'm sure they're going to practice their math before the next co-op day.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring Cleaning with Little "Angels"

Truthfully, they're not so little anymore.

But my six youngest and my friend's three youngest children (the littles in their respective large families) tackled the back yard today.  

The garden was a mess. If you look carefully at the following picture, you'll see the garden fence, with lots of stuff that needs to be raked:

There was paraphernalia left over from finishing off the siding last fall.  There was an old door, tossed aside when the back door was replaced.  There were weeds and dry old vines and rocks and bits of glass and screws and nails.  Lots of junk to clean.  UGH.

Here you can see that the fence has been removed, and the garden area has been raked and cleaned.  

Elena is rejoicing...we're almost done:

Josh, Dan & Pat took turns driving the tractor around.  Here's Joshua taking a turn.  

They gathered garbage, taking it to the burn pile.  They pulled out the fence, which we plan to re-install after we till and make our garden about 50% larger than last year's.  They pulled out two posts that used to belong to our old wooden swing set, which collapsed a couple of years ago under the weight of a fallen maple tree.  

Linda, Elena, Tiana, Jessie and Joy used rakes and shovels to get rid of weeds and debris.  They worked tirelessly for hours, making a dreary task fun by working together.  

Christopher did lots of running for the older kids.  He picked up some nails and screws.  He ran and got buckets when we needed them.  

"Job well done, kids!  Now it's time for a tea, but just let me get a final picture of the back yard.  C'mon, everybody line up so I can get your picture."

"Aww, do we HAVE to?"  (Half the kids had already made it inside...)

"Naww... it's okay...I know you're tired.  Snap."  

Monday, March 30, 2009

Patrick is now 17!

My goodness, that boy has grown!  He used to be a cute little blonde-haired, blue-eyed imp.  When he was two, he didn't often disobey outright.  He just quietly did what he wanted to do ---> drive his Tonka truck onto the highway!  

Broken bones, burns, and an operation for a hernia did not keep this little man down.  And here he is, now 17, taller than his dad.  He'll soon be off to work with his brother for the summer as a bricklayer's helper.  I'll sure miss him.  I told him he'll have to wear his new t-shirt every day:

Happy Birthday, Son!  We love you!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Granny Miller's Monthly Gardening Plan

Granny Miller has a feature on her blog called "Ask Granny", where she answers questions about food, gardening and farming. I compiled a list of her gardening chores month by month. For her original post, go here.

Gardening Chores from Granny Miller - Zone 5




  •     Spend January looking through garden catalogues;
  •     Read and plan!


  •     Start spinach or lettuce in a couple of pots on a sunny windowsill.
  •     Ordering seeds, fruit trees or nursery stock


  •     Ensure garden tools & equipment are clean and in good working order.
  •     Prune apple trees, brambles and grapes.
  •     Start cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts in a cold frame.


  • Spray Apple trees with oil dormant spray.
  • Sow oats.
  • Clear farmyard and garden of debris.
  • Rake and burn debris.
  • Divide and move perennial flowers.

  • Plant onions and peas as soon as the vegetable garden is dry enough.
  • Plant cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, radishes, lettuce and kale.
  • Plant new asparagus beds and fertilize old ones.
  • Plant new strawberries in April and bare root fruit trees and roses.
  • Check herb garden for any winter die off. Cut back plants. Chives are first!
  • Plant sweet peas
  • Enjoy the daffodils.

  • Clean out fishpond.
  • Plow in the middle of April.
  • Start tomatoes, peppers or any other tender vegetable or flower annual from seed indoors or in a hot bed, the middle to end of April.


  •     Continue with basic garden chores
  •     Apple trees begin to bloom.
  •     Tulips and lilacs bloom in May
  •     Grass first needs to be cut
  •     Make sure that strawberries, onions and asparagus are well mulched.
  •     Pick first asparagus in May.
  •     By the middle of May the garden gets well rotted horse manure and is tilled.
  •     Roses are pruned in May.
  •     By the last week of May the garden has warmed up enough to safely plant corn, potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, melons, winter squash, summer squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, wax beans, beets, carrots and green peppers. Some years I will plant celery.
  •     Plant marigolds in the garden for pest control and annual flowers for cutting. Sunflowers are planted for the winter birds and any annual herbs are planted at this time too.


  •     First strawberries are ready to be picked by the middle of June
  •     Asparagus are still being harvested.
  •     Make yearly pantry list.
  •     Start canning and freezing.
  •     In June weeding and tilling are the main garden chores.
  •     Lettuce, radishes and spinach need to be gathered and sometimes peas are harvested by the end of June.
  •     Apples are sprayed every week.
  •     Vegetables are sprayed every other week
  •     Keep a close watch out for cutworms and other garden pests.
  •     June is the time for hatching out chicks and ducklings.
  •     Hay is first cut in June.
  •     June is often when deer become a problem in the garden and the garden needs to be fenced with electric fence.


  •     July brings cherries, blueberries, broccoli and cabbage.
  •     Weeding, spraying and pest control continues.
  •     Green beans are often ready to start picking by the middle to end of July.
  •     Dig the first sweet onions
  •     Pick summer squash.
  •     Cucumbers come ready and so do the very first tomatoes.
  •     Cattle are bred in July for April calves and hay is cut again.
  •     Harvest garlic.
  •     July can bring a bumper crop of blackberries.
  •     By the end of July canning season really begins to pick
  •     Many herbs are ready to be harvested during July
  •     Grapes are beginning to form on grape vines.


  •     If I intend to plant turnips, spinach or lettuce for the cool weather I sow them at the beginning of August.
  •     In August the annual flowers that were planted from seed are blooming.
  •     Sometimes it is dry here in August and certain flowers and vegetables will need extra water.
  •     Check for insects and plant diseases - late July and August brings 
  •     Continue to spray during August and take particular care with the grapes
  •     Sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, carrots, beets, spinach, lettuce, melons and new potatoes can all be harvested.
  •     By the end of August cucumbers are beginning to play out.
  •     Cabbage should be harvested before they begin to split.
  •     It’s important to keep the seed beds well watered - it's so hot in August it’s easy to kill cool weather vegetable seedlings before they have a chance to get started.


  •     Watermelons are ready.
  •     It's the end of most vegetables in the garden.
  •     Sometimes hay is cut for the third time.
  •     Tomatoes and peppers are still producing heavy and summer squash and green beans are mostly over unless I planted a second crop.
  •     Sometimes sweet corn is still harvested.
  •     Harvest and dry certain herbs like sage, rosemary, fennel and basil.
  •     First apples are picked in September
  •     By the end of the month some of the winter squash and pumpkins are ready.
  •     As the vegetables are finished, begin to clear out the weeds and old plants.
  •     Collect tomato, pepper, corn and other types of seed on dry, sunny days in September.
  •     Allow all the chickens into the garden to help me clean up.
  •     Move the ducks temporarily to the garden so their manure can be added to the soil.
  •     September is when meat chickens are slaughtered and market lambs are sold.
  •     By the end of September we usually have a killing frost. Kale and 
  •     Concord grapes are harvested after the first couple of frosts.


  • Sow winter wheat in early October.
  • October is time to remake the garden and to plant garlic.
  • It is also time to transplant and mulch strawberries.
  • October is the best time of the year to transplant trees or shrubs and is when tulips, daffodils and other spring flowering bulbs are planted.
  • It is also the time I collect flower seeds for next year's garden.
  • Apples are harvested in October and the orchard is cleaned and made ready for the coming winter.
  • Often the garden is tilled or re-plowed in October.
  • Sheep are bred in October for March lambs and kale and Brussels sprouts are first picked.


  •     In November field corn is harvested.
  •     Brussels sprouts are also harvested and any garden debris is cleaned up.
  •     Sometimes a single rose will bloom in November
  •     Often the weather turns cold before the garden can be put right before winter.


  •     Life begins to turn indoors again.
  •     Parsley, sage, chives and other herbs can still be harvested.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Stewie is Four!

It seems like yesterday that our grandson Stewart entered the world with a bang!  His birth was supposed to be one of those peaceful homebirths.  Everything was set up for his mom to deliver in the room right off the kitchen.  It was perfect - only steps from the bathroom.  

The midwife arrived in plenty of time, and Rachel breathed through the contractions.  She was amazing!  Everything was proceeding according to plan, when all of a sudden there was a poop.  Stewart had done his business while still inside his mother!

The peaceful homebirth turned into a mad dash to the hospital, in case the baby would have some respiratory distress when he was born.  It was stressful for everyone, but, thank God, Stewart made his entrance without too much ado.  

He was covered in poop from head to toe.  It was in his ears, his eyes, his nose...his hair, his armpits.  He was one poopy kid!  But we, the ones welcoming him into this world, loved him in a flash.  We, his parents and grandparents, thought he was beautiful.

He really was.  Underneath all that poop there was a blue-eyed, blonde-haired, baby boy.  Once we got him bathed and dressed, he was absolutely gorgeous.

And now, he's four.  He knows all about being a poopy baby when he was born, because we've all talked about it.  He just grins, and keeps playing with his cars.

Happy Birthday, Stewart!

Friday, March 13, 2009

History Review, Geography, Science, Flags

Today in Co-op school we started our journey around the world.  We "toured" Canada, USA and Mexico, reading about each of those countries - culture, geography, etc. - and pasting their flags into our Passports.  Each child 0ld enough to do so got a map of North America to colour and label. 

We reviewed "Truth and Triumph", recalling the stories of Polycarp, Blandina and Constantine.  We reviewed and committed to memorizing the Nicean creed.

Aunt Adeena read some poetry to us, and taught us about stamps.  Each child created his own stamp.

Aunt Rachel read from a Science book.  We were all grossed out to read that some viruses don't actually come "alive" until they attach themselves to a living cell in the body.  

Tiana and Elena got the children exercising outside, as they ran around and used their imaginations.  

'twas all good...another day is done.  Now, off I go to bed.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Passports - Geography Class

On Friday the children made passports.  Each child has his own passport made of construction paper and cardboard.  After the gluing was done, Aunt Heather stapled the booklets, then off the child went to see Aunt Adeena, for the passport photo.  Uncle Dan downloaded the pictures, then printed it off, while Granny filled out the vital statistics for each passport.  The children even had to wait in line, like a real passport office!

This is what Elena's looked like, opened to the first page.  I blurred out some of her information.  Notice the official looking imprint?  That was done with the children's great-grandfather's Architect imprint!  (Great-great grandfather to some of them!)

Next week, we plan to "tour" North America, and get stamps or stickers from Canada, USA, and Mexico.  The following week, we'll "tour" Central America, then we'll travel to South America.  Once we finish the Western Hemisphere, we'll be heading to Africa, then Europe, Asia and Australia.  We plan on learning some of the culture, the geographical features, the main exports, the flags, and some of the history of each country we "visit".  This is a whirlwind tour, designed to introduce the children to the countries and cultures of the entire world!

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

GRRRR - More evidence that I'm not perfect.

Bob and Dorothy came for a visit today.  Bob is our pastor, Dorothy's his wife.  They're a lovely couple, genuine, caring, soft-spoken, and kind.  We are blessed to know them, and privileged to have them as our brother and sister in Christ.

Bob led our family in a short Bible study on the book of James.  He started with James' view of himself, and James' view of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

James 1: 1 James, a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ,

James called himself a "servant" - doulos, slave.  He sees himself as nothing but a servant, but he has the very best Master - God...the Lord, Jesus Christ.  He sees Jesus as the Lord, the Sovereign God; as the Messiah who came to save the lost, and as the anointed one.  

James was the half-brother of Jesus.  They had the same mother, but different fathers.  Jesus' Father was God.  James' father was Joseph.

Pastor Bob asked the children, "What would it have been like to grow up in a home where your older brother was perfect?"  They all agreed that in some ways it would have been neat, but the example would have been very convicting.

Bob thanked the children for their prayers, and told them how grateful he is that we pray for him when he is overseas.  He reminded the kids that they were privileged to have Christian parents who teach them the Word of God and live a Christian life before them. As I sat there listening to the study, I was convicted again that I am nowhere near perfect. During the entire study, I sat there thinking, "I am not even speaking to my husband."

A few weeks ago, I was busy doing crafts with the grandkids on Co-op day.  Rick was busy doing his books, and when he was done with the billing, he brought me the invoices and asked me to get them in the mail.  "Not now," I snapped.  Couldn't he see that I was in the middle of things?

He continued to press me, so I grabbed the stuff and trotted it over to his desk.  "I'll do it later," I said.  "Or you can take it to the corner yourself."

He refused.  I thought he was stubborn.  The mail had gone for the day anyway, so I figured I could do it later.

Two weeks later, he tossed the package at me.  He'd been looking on his desk for something else, and there it was, under some papers.  I completely forgot to mail it.

"I'm sorry," I said, but the apology fell on deaf ears.  It was such a little thing.  I could have stopped what I was doing, and taken a quick trip to the corner.  In so doing, I would have honoured my husband.

Yet, he could have done it himself.  Or he could have sent one of the other FOUR people in the family that have drivers' licenses.  I stewed about it.  

It's not that I didn't feel responsible.  I did.  But I also felt frustrated.  

So, here it is two more weeks later, and our cheque hasn't arrived.  Money is tight.  Tempers are flaring.  

When I think about it some more, it just shows me what a sinner I am.  I should have dropped what I was doing and mailed the invoice.  Rick should have gracefully done it for me, knowing I was busy.  He made it an issue of whether or not I put him first in my life.  I made it an issue of whether or not he has a servant's heart.

We were both wrong.

God, as usual, is good.  When we think we're getting spiritually minded, able to teach, growing in grace, He lets us mess up so we can see what is really going on inside.  "Out of the heart the mouth speaks".  My impatience is evil.  My frustration is sinful.  There is sediment in my beaker, and it's not at all pretty.

I think too highly of myself.  I need to take a lesson from James.  I am nothing but a servant.  

But I do have the very best Master - the Lord Jesus Christ.  

Lord, help me to remember that I am truly nothing but a servant.  You are a Good Master, and you design my days and order my steps to teach my Your ways.  When grandkids are clamouring and husband is demanding and dogs are barking and the phone is ringing, help me to stop and ask You what You want me to do.  Fill me with your Spirit.  Help me to have a heart to serve.  In Christ, I pray.  Amen.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Not an Indentured Servant

Some folks out there in cyberspace seem to think that young adults who remain at home are little more than indentured servants.  That may be so in some cases, but I think that in our family's case, it is not so.

My 20 year old daughter got up yesterday morning and went out immediately to care for her horse, and her sister's horse.  This is a joy for her.

She came in to get a bite to eat, then sat with us in the living room as we read 1 Timothy 4 and 5 together.  She had plenty to add to the discussion, as she always does.  We prayed together and had a tea with her older sister who came with her four children to spend the day with us.  The 20 year old enjoyed cuddling a couple of babies and teasing a 3 year old.

After that, she went out to her own computer, where she completed an assignment on 1 Timothy 4:12.  She loves theology, and it is her joy to dig into a verse and to write about what she finds there.  While I did the dishes and began preparations for lunch, she checked her email, read some blogs, and wrote some of her story.  She's a writer, and hopes to be published some day soon.  She also is an illustrator, so she spends time working on that skill as well.

Lunch was next, and she came into the kitchen to help prepare wraps.  We have odd allergies, so we had to chop up different vegetables and had different items to add to wraps, so each person prepared their own.  Again we had tea and a bit of a chat.  While I tidied the kitchen with my married daughter, the littles went out to play for a bit and the 20 year old went back to do her thing...which is writing, studying, reading, illustrating.

While I taught the kids in the afternoon, she worked on various projects of her own choosing.  She joined in the math quiz to prove to siblings and nephews that you can learn your math facts perfectly!  She blew them all out of the water, then she went in to the kitchen to stick the roast into the oven, along with sweet potatoes and butternut squash.  She brought tea to those slaving away in the classroom, and practiced piano for a while.

After a while another married daughter and her husband dropped in for a visit.  While I sewed badges on my youngest's Calvinist Cadet Corps uniform, she helped another married sister (who also dropped by) get supper ready.  It was a matter of getting someone to slice the roast beast, and mash the squash.  The married sister made the gravy, and the green beans were a snap.  (Pun intended!)

Later, this 20 year old hitched a ride to town with her sister to pick up our Cadillac which needed an oil change and a new horn.  On the way home she RAN OUT OF GAS (my fault!) and had to be rescued by her brother.  While she was in town with all of that, I cleaned up the kitchen, fed the dogs, and did all of the dishes with help from her brothers.  

When she arrived home, she played a game on her computer, just to relax.

When you think about it, does she sound like an indentured servant to you?  

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More Co-op

Just the highlights from last week, because I am in the middle of teaching square roots.  

  • perfected the "boot-scooting boogie"  (Trenton is amazing!)
  • looked up the states from where we received Valentine's cards
  • Did fun geography with Aunt Adeena:  closest river, lake, island, volcano, sea, ocean, mountain range, etc.
  • Learned about Constantine with Aunt Heather
  • Everyone arrived late due to doctors' appointments, etc.  Next one will be better!

Saturday, February 14, 2009


We had a great time yesterday. All the school-aged grandkids came over (with their moms!) and had a blast together. The first thing we did was separate the littles from the bigs. The big kids went to the great room, where Aunt Linda showed them, step by step, how to draw a dragon. They came up with some "realistic" fantasy creatures!

Meanwhile, the little ones were working on Valentine's Day cards for someone special. They loved the gluing, cutting and coloring they had to do - but the best part was the glitter!

Once the little ones were finished their cards, in came the big ones. They, too, went to work on Valentine's day cards.

Lunch followed, then most of the kids trooped outside to play in the snow and ice, while the moms had tea and recuperated.

We then participated in Dance Class. Adeena taught us the "Boot-Scooting Boogie", then we did the Macarena. Most of the kids got the basics, and we plan to practice next week.

Heather read the true stories of Polycarp and Blandina, early Christian martyrs. Then we did Geography, studying maps - including townships, counties, provinces, countries, continents, hemispheres and the solar system. Each child wrote out their REAL ADDRESS!

I have fun asking the kids, as they leave, what they thought of the day at Granny's house. The best part, according to Becky, was playing with Emma. Justin thought that the maps were cool. All of them had fun.

And that's the best part, for sure.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Changed the Settings...

I changed the settings on my blog, so that only invited family members and friends can read it. This is to prevent any kind of surveillance by those who want to limit their liability concerning the crash that destroyed my car and gave me ongoing problems with my neck and back.

I hope that in the future I will be able to open access to my blog once again.

Meanwhile, I trust my lawyer's judgment.

I am about to make some changes...

to my settings on this blog. If you are a regular reader and want to be included in my list of who can read this, please email me:

Blessings to all.

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Courage to Persevere

It takes a lot of courage to persevere in the face of hardship. To keep on trying to have a baby, even though you lost one in late pregnancy is hard. Just dragging yourself out of bed to face another day as a single mom with four kids under 9 takes perseverance. Encouraging a husband to keep on keeping on when the bills are too many and the income too small takes wisdom.

I am blessed to have grown daughters who are courageous. They are women of valour, mothers of strength. I marvel as I chat with them about their circumstances, and inside, in the deepest part of me, I whisper a prayer to my God: "Help them, Lord. Strengthen them. And Thank You for their growth in grace. Thank You for helping them with the daily struggles. Most of all, Thank You for giving them hope."

I want them to know that they are women of valour. Jenni of the Blog "One Thing" says it well. She writes that the "Excellent Wife" of Proverbs 31 is a wife of valor. (Go there and read the post!)

I quote:

"What are these things that make up a wife of valor?
  • Working diligently
  • Providing food
  • Getting up early
  • Spending wisely
  • Exercising
  • Helping the poor
  • Clothing her family
  • Teaching kindness"
My daughters are women of valour. They hang in there, day after day, patiently enduring the trials that come their way. They have learned to trust the Lord and to lean on His grace. They know, like Jenni, that to do it in their own strength is foolish, for without Him, they can do nothing.

I admire them for their courage. More than that, I praise the Lord of Glory, for He is the One who gives them strength.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Oh, Danny Boy!

Our son Daniel was ripped out of his mother's womb too early, 19 years ago.  I had been admitted into the hospital just before Christmas, 1989, because of a placenta previa.  Daniel threatened to come way too early, and I was thankful that he stayed put until he was only 5 weeks early.  As it was, he had a rough birth.  He weighed just over 7 lbs when he was born.

Before I saw him, Dr. Thornback came into the recovery room and warned us that Daniel was in distress.  I was wheeled down on a stretcher to see the baby, who was hooked up to a ventilator.  He had an IV in his hand and a tube in his umbilicus.  He was wired up to every machine you could think of, and he looked so pathetic.  Yet, my first reaction was-- "what a beautiful baby!"

We went through a difficult couple of months after we came home from the hospital.  Daniel was hungry, but weak, so when he nursed  he didn't take in enough calories to sustain his weight and add any on.  He slowly lost ground.  He ended up being only 5 lbs, 9 oz.

Long story short, we pumped and nursed and force-fed the little guy, and he was transformed from a "little Prune" to a chubby, happy fellow.

And, here we are, nineteen years later.  No longer chubby, Daniel is lanky and lean, over 6 feet tall, intelligent, articulate, and godly.  He loves the Lord, and he loves his family.

And we love him.

Happy Birthday, Danny my Boy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Tiana has been baking cookies.  Some of those cookies have been eaten by her recuperating older brother.

It's nearly been a week since the surgery.  Jared has been happily sitting, watching videos, reading, and resting.  At first the leg was well-bandaged, but the seeping blood turned the bandage rock-hard, so that it was cutting into his leg.  I gingerly removed it.

Thirty-four staples, people!  Ugh.

The leg seems to be getting better, but I don't like the swelling, nor do I like the blood pooling at the bottom of the ankle.  I have applied arnica gel to help with the bruising, and have given Jared plenty of Vitamin C, cod liver oil, and curcumin.  And I have prayed, much, for God, the Great Physician, to heal my son.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

She knows

I was cleaning up an old filing cabinet today, and discovered all sorts of treasures.  Letters from my mom, my Gran, and my mother-in-law.  Cards expressing love.  Drawings and notes from my children.  Special cards from Rick that I tucked away to read again some day.

One of the notes was from a friend, Barb, with whom I taught a Sunday School class of teen-aged young women.  She wrote to express her love for me, and her gratefulness that the Lord brought us together.  Then she went on, "I've been thinking of the majesty of salvation - the thought of being "chosen".  In the book I've been reading, the author mentions how warfare is usually carried on in the home, where our guards are more easily let down."

Isn't it true?  Our guards are down when we're home.  We are more comfortable, so we let our true selves show.  Sometimes that's just not pretty.

Barb went on to share a picture of Christ standing in front of us when the arrows of danger come at us.  He is there to protect us.  He is our Commander, and He's in constant communication with us.  Earthly soldiers depend on transmitters which can be intercepted by the enemy, but our communication with Jesus is never interrupted.  

Barb wrote, "It made me realize afresh how little I call on Him at the point of confrontation."

Isn't it true?  When the toast is burnt, and the phone is ringing off the hook, and the teenager is stuck in the driveway, and the water is dripping from the ceiling, it's so very easy for a mom to come unglued.  When she opens her mouth to speak, the first words through her lips should be, "Jesus, Help!"

And He will.  He knows.  

We can have close fellowship with our Commander and King, for He is more than that.  He is our Friend, a very present help in time of trouble.  He is always prepared to help, and always willing to listen.  One day, I will see Him face-to-face, and I will know much more than the glimpse I know now.

But Barb knows.  She went to be with the Lord a couple of years ago.  

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Little Things

I am sitting here, cleaning off my desk, organizing more, wondering if it will EVER be done.   The renovation project is nearing the end, and I am in the very last stages.  I am labelling drawers and closets, sorting papers, creating a space for scrapbooking and art, finances and education.  As I work, I ponder the blessing that this room is to our family.  

Not only was it built by our very own hands, but my husband designed it.  This GREAT room serves as a family room, a classroom, an art workshop, a sewing room, and a communication centre.  We are connected here - to one another through our family times, and to the world through the internet.  

It's a bright space, with eleven windows.  It's an airy space, with a cathedral ceiling.  Yet it's a cosy space, with warm dark brown flooring, and couches that invite you to curl up and read.  

I love this room, and the family that built it.  I love looking at the painted walls, the trimmed ceilngs, the new laminate flooring, and thinking about all of the little details that went into the renovations.

Today, after Linda wrote her blog, she called me over to read it.  I sat down at her computer, and the pain in my neck warned me that I couldn't stay in that position for long.  I stood, and read, and as I finished, I marvelled that my desk is 2 and a half inches shorter than Linda's, and that makes all the difference.

When Daniel built my desk, he built the desktop to fit onto my existing drawers, from a rather short old desk I had.  It fits me perfectly, and the placement of my monitor is just right.  I can look at the monitor without hurting my neck.

He built the kids' desks approximately 2.5 inches higher.  They're just the right height for my tall children - but just a bit too high for me.  This wasn't planned, by Daniel, or any of us.  But God, Who is rich in mercy, took care of that little detail.  He guided my son as he sawed and drilled and screwed the desks in place.  And He ordained that my desk would be at the perfect height for me.

The little things matter.  God blesses us in the work we do.

  Deut. 2:7 For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. 

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Over 8,000 steps today!

I am supposed to be working my way up, and today's steps were to be 7,500.   But here it is, late in the day, and I've already done 8,087 steps.  

Doc K, my family doctor, said I should shoot for 10,000, which I will do, the week after next.  I figure if I can keep it at 8,000 for this week, and 9,000 next week, I'll be doing good.

Now if I could only talk Rick into walking with me.  It's comforting to me that God sees my steps.  He knows my heart.  He delights in my way and walks with me.   Good to know.

Job 31:4  Does not he see my ways and number all my steps?

Job 34:21 “For his eyes are on the ways of a man, and he sees all his steps.

Psalm 37:23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way;

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Belgium & The UN Convention on the Rights of a Child

dystopian future is one where the social problems of today become greater in magnitude, producing a future that is filled with crime, war, and similar evils.

Today I read with horror a report about Belgian control of society.  In order to produce a society that is healthy and vibrant, medical doctors have committed murder, calling it assisted suicide.  Assisted suicide is bad enough when it is the suicide of a grown person who is somewhat rational and aware and able to make an informed decision.  Many advocates have clearly taught that suicide is not the answer, because the despair of dealing with illness or disability often passes, and afflicted people often live contented and fulfilled lives.  It ought to make you shudder with horror upon horror when you realize that the people the Belgians are supposedly assisting are less than a year old.  

Big Brother is watching, and making all of the decisions.  He has decided that hand-made clothing is dangerous, so it must be banned (see sidebar, at top left).  He has decided that life with disabilities is not worth living, so he kills and destroys.  He has decided that parents cannot choose curriculum with wisdom, so he has decreed.  And the people are so busy playing with their toys that they have not even noticed the curtailment of certain inalienable rights.

When I was a teenager, I read Animal Farm, 1984, and Brave New World.  The authors, George Orwell and Aldous Huxley, had contrasting views of the future:

Social critic Neil Postman contrasts the worlds of 1984 and Brave New World in the foreword of his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death. He writes:
What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us.

My fear is that both men were right.  In our search for pleasure and our desire to control, we have allowed leaders to make laws to protect us.  We do not want to take responsibility for our own actions, preferring to blame the government if things go wrong.  Our fear that life might not be full of pleasure has ruined us.  We have lost the ability to think, to discern, to judge correctly.  Scary.

Woe unto those who call good evil, and evil good.