Sunday, May 31, 2009


This is the bumper sticker that now dons our vehicle.


In short, it is a tongue-in-cheek 'If you can't beat 'em, join 'em'!

Want the long version? Well, here it is!

Most critics of homeschooling used to site academics as their main complaint against this particular method of education. However, that argument has died down as the test scores have come in and the colleges and universities are speaking. With that 'concern' tossed aside, the next big one on the list is SOCIALIZATION. If parents educate their children at home, those children will miss out on the opportunity to socialize with their peers and inevitably will become nerds, social outcasts and rejects of society. They won't fit in well with a group of children their own age, they won't look like the other children, and they won't talk like them. In a group of same-aged individuals, they will stick out. And this concern alone causes many to take an adamant stance against home education.

Would you like to know MY thoughts on socialization? If not, please stop reading lest I mistakenly offend you.

Socialization means "The process of learning interpersonal and interactional skills that are in conformity with the values of one's society." Wow! Really???? So, by definition and because we home school, my children are missing out on the process of learning interpersonal and interactional skills that are in conformity with the values of one's society. And to that I say, "Hallelujah and Praise the Lord!!!" Romans 12:2 says " And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God". The critics tell me I should be assuring that my children are learning the necessary skills that are in conformity with the values of their society but God's Word says that's the very thing I should be avoiding.

But what if my children won't fit in? What if they don't dress the same and talk the same as other children their age? What if they become.....(gasp!!!)..... NERDS?!?!?! This may surprise you but I really don't give a hoot if they end up being nerds! I don't care a lick if they fit in with their peers. But I'll tell you this: I am passionate about doing all I can to help them fit in with their Lord and Savior in Heaven and to conform to His values and His values ALONE. And if they enter the heavenly gates with horn-rimmed glasses and a pocket protector, I guess you'll know they were home schooled!!!

Perhaps homeschooling is not for everyone, but if socialization is the hook that hangs you up, it is a poorly grounded argument, especially for the Christian.

And by the way, go to any public or private school and I guarantee you a nerd will be found. Hmmmm.... must have some homeschooling in his family tree. Poor kid!

Friday, May 29, 2009

A Campin' We Went

Destination: Clear LakeThis boy looks so OLD to me!!!

When camping, Kaleb only takes his helmet off to sleep! One must be ready to mountain bike at any given moment, you know!

A donut in one hand and hot chocoalate in the other! The very essence of camping!!!

Please notice the hot chocolate on the forehead!

A very patient and faithful fisherman, this boy has become!

Sisters on the rocks...

Very seriously contemplating why his rod was fishless...

Beautiful, beautiful baby...

Hannah caught her first fish and the look of pride on her little face pales in comparison to the look of pride that was on her daddy's face!!!!

This is the before shot:

And this is the after shot!!! Yummy!!!
Upon arriving home, we were blessed with the news of the arrival of a little nephew (Jesse and Rebecca's third little one) in the wee hours of Thursday morn. Safe and sound and as cute as can be, so I've heard. Countin' the hours until my eyes can behold him and my arms can snuggle him. Praise the Lord!!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Pre-summer Days

Busy, pre-summer days, these days have been. Handfuls of love-laden bouquets for the window sill. I've been thrilled with a surprise patch of lupine, one of my all-time favorite flowers, that is thriving without any assistance from me. A gracious gift from the Creator, to be certain.I had given up all hope of putting in any sort of a garden this year. Craig cut down a tree in the back, falling it across our garden as oppossed to the fence (good call, wouldn't you say?!?!). This, along with the continuing kitchen remodel, occupied both the garden and my husband. Some seasons in life make a garden more conducive then others and I had chalked this up as a non-garden season. But the blessing of several sunny days in a row along with the even bigger blessings of a 9 year old boy with increasingly stronger arms and a joyful, willing heart, and a 7 year old boy willing to run hither and yon, gathering this supply and that, and two little girls, providing hours of giggles and laughter to serenade me as I worked, has made my garden a dream come true!!! Last night, I thanked Craig for giving me such wonderful helpers to assist me while he's away at work and I meant it!!!!!

All this outside labor can wear a girl out and this girl found a nice resting place beneath the shade of the mighty maple that canopies part of our backyard in the late hours of afternoon. This blanket, lovingly quilted and embroidered by her great-grandmother, snuck it's way outside, a place usually off limits to such lovelies. But alas, there it is, snuggled around Resting Girl.

Who could want more than a warm breeze, a good book and a prime seat in the wheelbarrow? Barrel-chest, lanky arms, bruised up legs soaking in the sun, this boy would happily live outside, from sun up until sundown and beyond, if only he could tote his guitar out there.

And so we continue on, busy days full of wrapping up school and digging in dirt and soaking in sunshine and growing and learning and loving and praising. God is good, so very good!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Hummock Hike

Wee little hiker, arms full of treasures;
Touching, holding, feeling, experiencing.
Learning Legs that run and jump and bound get awfully tired
Daddy's legs carry her, strong and steady
Even strength must view the Toutle River, of course
Hiker extraordinaire
"When can we go again, Dad? Tomorrow?"
It never fails. Every hike ends with such a question.

"This has been a GREAT homeschool lesson!"
This isn't school, Son. This is LIFE!!!!!
Breath it in! Touch it, study it, let it become part of who you are.
The Fabulous Four
My Fabulous Four
Our Fabulous Four
Oh, my soul does sing!!!

Pictures courtesy of the Hummock Trail in the Mt. St. Helens region. Lovely, lovely hike! What an incredible opportunity to witness the Creator's handiwork!

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Bible and PMS

Did you know the Bible addresses PMS???? Me, neither!

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to steal away for a few hours. I found myself, cup of coffee in hand, sitting at one of the glass-topped tables at our local library. It's one of my favorite places to be. Sky blue walls reaching up high to patterned, creamy white ceilings. Tall, multi-paned windows looking out onto old oaks and maples. The smell of book-lined shelves, some old, some new. The hushed stillness of library etiquette echoing off ancient walls. A Bible, a concordance, a pencil, a notebook. A retreat.

It is here that I am drawn to Titus 2. The verses are so familiar. Familiarity threatens to dull the words. The concordance makes them a bit the sharper. The Spirit makes them sharper still.

Titus 2:4 "That they may teach the young women to be sober..." The Message, the NIV, the NLT, the ESV, the NASB, the ASV, and many more, leave this part out. I'd like to leave it out, too. But the original text does not leave it out. In fact, it puts it first! Before grabbing my concordance, I ponder the word. Sober. One who is not drunk. A solemn, serious face. Perhaps even boring. These are the pictures of sober that come to my mind.

I thumb through the "S" words until I come to 'sober'. It happens to be the same Greek word used for "teach" in the same verse but not the same word used for sober later in the chapter in reference to older men (that one really does pertain to the consumption of wine!!!).
'Sophronizo/Sophron'. It means "to make of sound mind, self-controlled, moderate as to opinion or passion, temperate".

It would be easier if it meant serious or boring. I might be able to pull that off. A walk in the park if it meant "not drunk". No problem. But a sound-mind? Moderate as to opinion and passion? Temperate? Did my Creator forget that He made me with a UTERUS, for Pete's sake?

I asked Craig not long ago about habits. I asked him specifically what habits he would like to see me spend my energy in forming. I already had some ideas of my own. But I thought it only wise, as I am HIS help meet, to ask him. I was hoping he'd say something like, "Make apple pies once a week" or "Knit for one hour a day" (hee hee hee). Instead, he said he would love it if I had the habit of being more even-keeled. Hmmmmm..... Are you sure you don't want apple pies instead?

Well, when you've heard it from your husband and you've heard it from the Lord, you are pretty much without excuse! And now I'm pulling you in with me. Now you've heard it, too. So go ahead! Ask your husbands if they would like you to be more even-keeled. Then you can be without excuse, too!!!!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

He Speaks...

"Mom, you know how going to Heaven is the hard way but once you get there it's really good?"


"And going to hell is like going the easy way but once you get there, it's awful and terrible?"


"And you know how, even though it's not really true, they say that Heaven is up and hell is down, under the ground?"


"It's like gravity pulls you to hell, making it the easy way.......
But then God sends down a ladder"

He smiles cautiously. I see the hope in his eyes, the question "If I tell her this, will she get it?" I smile back, trying hard to fight back tears. He's taller today, his voice maybe just a twinge deeper today. But it is not that growth that swells my heart over its banks. It's THIS growth, its bright green shoots sprouting fresh and full of life. We, his father and I, cannot take any credit, none at all. He grows in spite of our failings. He grows in the light of Christ! My heart, oh how it sings! Humble, joyful thankfulness.

Lord, thank You that you speak into the heart of a nine year old in ways that I understand so clearly! I get it, God! I get it...

But God doesn't just stop there. From the bottom bunk alight by night light's glow:
"Mom, its like we are the messengers. We are God's messengers."

And God opens the hearts of mother and sons and pours out truth and teaching, shines down light and salvation. We are leveled at the Cross, mother and sons becoming children together before His throne. Words pour out of human mouths but it is the Holy Spirit, the Teacher, taking just a snippet of pre-slumber moments to fill our hearts with His truth. Unscheduled, unplanned epiphanies!
(And I didn't even have to get wet!!!!)

Cardboard Ministries

I have so much to share with you. Hopefully this afternoon I will have a chance. But for now, I wanted to share this YouTube video with you. Maybe you have seen it already, but talk about a powerful depiction of the saving grace of Christ! Praise God!!!!
Cardboard Ministries