Friday, September 28, 2007

First Day of School

I forgot to post pictures of our first day of school here at home, which was September 14. We had our school mascot helping with the learning process. :-)

Ah, the freedom of homeschooling!!


Julianne had an infected thumb from a hang nail and it just hasn't been getting better. I called the doctor today and they were able to squeeze me in. It turns out that she had a bad reaction to the Neosporin and it caused her flesh to grow out of her nail. Ewwww!

The doctor used a chemical to burn off the flesh and now she needs to soak it in Epsom salts three times a day and use a new cream. Julianne has been a great patient although she is disappointed that she won't be able to bowl tomorrow (or possibly the next week also).

Here's some pictures:

Please pray that this infection will heal quickly. Thank you!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Blessed Day

What a wonderful birthday! I am very blessed and have a great family! I love you guys!!

We didn't really have any plans for my birthday because Thursday nights are busy. Michael has music practice, Julianne and I go to karate, Jared is usually working and Jessica is out with Matt. But tonight all of us were home except Michael. I didn't have anything special planned for dinner (besides, who wants to cook??) and we were sitting in the living room trying to figure out what to do. Jared had just gotten back from training at his new job (The Cheesecake Bistro) so he didn't want to go out to dinner since he has just eaten. But he gave me money so "the girls" could go to Outback. Yeah! One of my favorite places.

We decided to call Matt and he met us there. We had the most wonderful time with lots and lots of laughter . Our service wasn't so good but the front-of-the-house manager ended up taking about $30 off our bill. That was a nice surprise! Another surprise was all the waiters and waitresses coming to sing "Happy Birthday". How embarrassing!! I was hoping that wouldn't happen :-).

And how do I know I'm getting older? The only thing I wanted was a Dyson vacuum cleaner. And now I have a purple one. The animal--which is great for getting up pet hair. Watch out, Squirt and Snickers, I'm heading your way.

Anyway, it was a great birthday and the Lord used this night to remind me that I have a wonderful husband, wonderful children and a wonderful (hopefully) soon to be son-in-law. They are all the best. Thank you, Lord, for this family. I love them very much!!

Bird Mania

I have several bird feeders in my yard, both front and back, and Julianne and I enjoy watching and identifying birds. Today was a very good day for us. In the space of about 15 minutes, we saw: a downy woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, a flicker, cardinal, bluejay, robin, bluebird, goldfinch, purple finch, mourning doves, sparrows, a Carolina wren, chickadee, and a nuthatch. I don't know why we had so many visitors but it was interesting to see them all. I recently bought some new birdseed that has peanuts in it and I wonder if they the woodpeckers were there for that?

Yesterday while I was babysitting, I saw a beautiful hawk flying overhead. I'm not familiar with most hawks so I don't know what kind it was. I'm taking my bird book with me tomorrow in case he shows up again!

"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?"

Saturday, September 22, 2007



A road like brown ribbon,
A sky that is blue,
A forest of green
With the sky peeping through.

Asters, deep purple,
A grasshopper's call,
Today it is summer,
Tomorrow it is fall.
(Edwina Fallis)
Autumn Fires

In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The gray smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Sometime bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!
(Robert Louis Stevenson)
Autumn Song

These are days of failling leaves,
The days of hazy weather,
Smelling of gold chrysanthemums
And gray wood-smoke together.

These are the nights of nearby stars,
The nights of closer moons,
When the windy darkness echoes
To crickets' farewell tunes.
(Elizabeth-Ellen Long)
Gathering Gold

I walked through autumn woods today;
I cupped my hands along the way;
Great trees shook down rich coins of gold.
More than my two small hands could hold.
(Katherine Edelman)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Two Great Reads

Tim Challies has a wonderful post asking the question, "Is Scripture Study Required for Christians?" Be sure to read the comments; there's a good discussion there.

John Piper preached about "Encouraging Each Other at the End of the Age" this past Sunday and I think this should be read/listened to by all church members!

Happy Reading!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Monday at Home

We have finally started our fall/winter routine! Yeah! I will miss the lazy-daisy days of summer but I'm glad to be back on a more normal schedule.

Julianne started at Southside Homeschool Co-Op and things are going well. She was a little taken back when she started receiving homework assignments. She wasn't used to having homework! We went through what she had to do and I showed her how to break it up into manageable bits and now she is doing fine. At first she didn't seem too thrilled about her science class but I think that was "for show". Some of the other kids in the class didn't like it and I think she was going along with them (peer pressure????). But everyday she tells me more and more about the class and the text she is reading. I have found out some fascinating facts about scientists and I've enjoyed quizzing her on vocabulary words. I'm learning also!

Tuesday and Thursday went fine as far as getting Julianne to class, babysitting and going to karate. I have more time inbetween each activity than I originally thought so I will not be running around like a chicken with my head cut off! LOL!

I have committed to staying home on Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Julianne entered one of her paintings in the State Fair so Friday we need to run downtown to drop it off but other than that, we are home those three days. Yeah!
After years of trying every planner there is known to man (and woman), I have finally found one that works for me! I. am. so. happy. It is called Amy Knapp's Family Organizer and it's pretty basic but just what I have been looking for. I like have the week on one side and the to-do on the other. There is room enough on the weekly slots to write down activities and any other kind of notes. I still use my Palm to keep my calendar organized but I didn't like that I always had to turn it on to read it and had to switch back and forth between the calendar and tasks or menus. Now I can leave this planner open on my desk and see everything at a glance. This one change has made such a difference. I feel so much more organized! Crazy, huh?

I still use a GraceWorks planner but I think of that as a more "spiritual planner" since I use it for sermon notes, my memory verses, devotional thoughts, etc. I also use the "household organizer" pages for my housework routine and the "project" pages for things at home and church.
Lastly, I wanted to mention that Nancy Leigh DeMoss from Revive Our Hearts is doing a twelve-week radio series on Seeking Him. If your station doesn't carry her program, you can listen to it at the website or receive it as a podcast. It's very, very good and very, very convicting!!!
That's all for today! May the Lord richly bless you as you seek to serve Him at home!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

In the Secret of His Presence

In the secret of His presence how my soul delights to hide!
Oh, how precious are the lessons which I learn at Jesus' side!
Earthly cares can never vex me, neither trials lay me low;
For when Satan comes to tempt me, to the secret place I go,
To the secret place I go.

When my soul is faint and thirsty, 'neath the shadow of His wing,
There is cool and pleasant shelter, and a fresh and crystal spring;
And my Savior rests beside me, as we hold communin sweet:
If I tried , I could not utter what He says when thus we meet,
What He says when thus we meet.

Only this I know: I tell Him all my doubts, my griefs and fears;
Oh, how patiently He listens! and my drooping soul He cheers:
Do you think He ne'er reproves me? What a flase friend He would be,
If He never, never told me of the sins which He must see,
Of the sins that He must see.

Would you like to know the sweetness of the secret of the Lorde?
Go and hide beneath His shadow: this shall then be your reward;
And when e'er you leave the silence of that happy meeting place,
You must mind and bear the image of the Master in your face,
Of the Master in your face.

(George C. Stebbins)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Margin Revisited

I wrote this post in January but thought I would share it again now that school and other activities are starting up again. The concept of "margin" has been such a blessing to me and I hope it will be to you also.
The first time I heard about “margin” was at a workshop given by a local homeschool speaker, Shelley Hendry, in 1998. She was giving a workshop on the Titus 2 woman and encouraged us to put margin in our lives. Like margins around the edge of a sheet of paper, we need to have margins around all the areas in our lives.

The principle of margin is from the book, “Margin” by Dr. Richard Swenson. He has also published a book called “The Overload Syndrome”. I highly recommend both of these books if you wish to put the principle of margin in your life.

What is this margin and how do I create it? Margin is a “white space” around all you have to do during the day. It’s allowing time in your homeschool to work on character qualities when the need arises. It’s allowing time for the unexpected when you are heading out the door to church or on errands. It’s thinking “can I do this (activity, work, etc.) without relationships suffering or losing my sanctification?” It’s having enough time in our day that we can joyfully go about our duties as wives and mothers. It’s planning your life with a cushion for mistakes.

One practical way to do this is when running errands. If you have little ones, you know that nothing takes “ten minutes”. Allow extra time for things to go wrong. Remember that an errand involves stopping what everyone is doing, getting ready, getting everyone into the car, driving to the errand, doing the errand, loading everyone back into the car and driving home. Once you are home it takes a while to unload everyone (and things if you’ve gone shopping) and to unwind and get back to your daily routine. Allow time for this!

Allow margin for time to do important things. If you are so tightly scheduled that when your child asks you an important question you don’t have time to answer it, then you need margin. If you have outside activities so crammed together that you are in a panic when a child loses a shoe or there is a detour in the road, then you need margin.

One of the things that Shelley said during the workshop that stuck with me all these years is “life is not a dot-to-dot”. It’s not about getting from one place to the next in the quickest way possible. We need to have time in our lives to worship the Lord, train our children, manage our households, and care for our husbands. If we are on a dot-to-dot journey, then those areas will be neglected and we “will malign the word of God” (Titus 2:5).

Do you have margin in your life? If so, can you share some of the ways you accomplish this? If not, will you prayerfully ask the Lord to help you in this area?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Friday, September 07, 2007

Answered Prayer

Thanks so much for praying! Hurricane Felix went further south than first expected so Mark and Heidi did not get the wind and rain they expected. There were still lots of flooded roads but they expected much worse.

Praise the Lord!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Urgent Prayer Request

Please be in prayer for our missionaries to Honduras, Mark and Heidi, and all the other workers at Hospital Loma de Luz in Belfate. It's about 90 minutes east of La Ceiba, right on the coast. You can see the Caribbean from the top of their hill. The workers at Loma de Luz are deciding right now whether to evacuate or stay as a relief center. They are in the direct path of Hurriciane Felix. If they evacuate, it may be a while before they are able to return as the roads and bridges will surely be washed away. This happens regularly during the rainy season and this is going to be much worse. I believe they are expecting 10" or more of rain.

Also pray for the local people that are in the path of this hurricane. Pray especially for Santos and Argentina, two special ladies that I met while down there.

I will keep you posted on all that is happening. Thank you for your prayers!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Another Picture Update

Michael and I at Kobe

My stash of John Piper books that arrived last week!

Jessica's scream of joy at her birthday present. A Posesis purse.

A vulture in the neighborhood!

Eating a squirrel.

Our friend, the scavenger.

Julianne and Jared with our friends' children from Miami. They are missionaries with YWAM.
Julianne at Kobe

Julianne and Snickers relaxing on the couch

Matt and Jessica at Kobe

Everyone at Kobe for Jessica's 21st Birthday!
Julianne and her friend, Katy, teaching a Backyard Bible Club

Bananagrams, our newest word game!

This isn't in focus (hey, I didn't want to get too close) but this is the black widow who decided to visit our mailbox. Eeww!!

It's hard to see but this is a bluebird on top of one of our bird feeders. A nice surprise!

That's it: July and August in pictures.

Summer Update

Tomorrow will be the unofficial last day of summer so I thought I would update with some pictures and videos of the last two months! I'll put them into several posts to make it easier to load.

The following videos are from Jessica's 21st birthday celebration at Kobe Steak and Sushi in Richmond. Here the chef is flinging shrimp for Jessica, Matt and Jared to catch in their mouths. It's really dark but I think you can get the idea.

Here the chef shows the proper way to break an egg.........

Next is a neat trick with an onion......

This last one is the chef preparing to cook. I do the same thing. LOL!!