Saturday, October 31, 2009

DON'T GIVE INTO FEARFUL HYSTERIA...

...this Halloween season or beyond!

Several weeks ago, I had to take my kids to a local Party City store to buy birthday party supplies. There was this horrid, Halloween mannequin near the front of the store that moved and truly was very, very creepy. It freaked my preschooler out and nearly put her in hysterics. No matter how much I tried to tell her that it wasn't real, it was just a fake statue, she didn't care. It totally freaked her out.

Sadly, we grown-ups are often that way. We let ourselves give way to fear...often times fear that is irrational and life controlling. The publisher of Five in a Row, Steve Lambert, addressed just this issue yesterday, and in light of all the ghouls and skeletons and other scary things that often come with this time of year, I thought it was very apropos. Steve is specifically writing to homeschool parents, but the principle applies to us all:



It was 71 years ago to day that Orson Welles narrated H.G. Wells “War of the Worlds” on CBS radio- a broadcast which sent the whole nation into terror as listeners believed the United States had actually been invaded by Martians. The first 40 minutes of the one hour broadcast was simulated news bulletins which sounded absolutely real to terrified listeners on October 30, 1938.


I often see fear bordering on hysteria running through homeschool circles: fear of
government intervention, fear of our children not being able to get into college, fear of “worldliness” infecting our children, fear of what others think of our choice to homeschool, fear about the subject of socialization- the list is endless. The enemy will terrorize you with all sorts of “drama” that isn’t real- just like “War of the Worlds.”

In Hebrews 13:5-6 we read these words: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.‘”


Did you catch that? As those who love the Lord we have NOTHING to fear. God is with us and will never forsake us. That doesn’t mean we won’t face trials- even
difficult trials at times. But we have nothing to fear; the Lord is our helper.

When all those around you are being terrified of the next “drama” the enemy unfolds among homeschoolers- see that you’re the exception to the mass hysteria which so often accompanies these stories. YOU be firmly planted in faith and don’t fall for the hysteria which terrorizes those around you.



To read more of Steve's writings, visit his blog: http://homeschoolheaven.wordpress.com/

Friday, October 30, 2009

FLASHBACK FRIDAY....FALL FESTIVALS PAST
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With our church's fall festival coming up this weekend, I thought a look back at past fall festivals would be fun.
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Here's Daughter B at one when she was about 6 or 7.
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And here she is a few years later in her big sister's Liberty's Kids dress made especially by their Nana Rose.
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Son P was Alfalfa from the Little Rascal's that same year. He won in the costume contest. And Son D was an astronaut as you can see. Okay, not. He was the good ole classic cowboy.
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And the oldest daughter A sported a look that was definitely for a costume party only, that of a jock!
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

BEAUTY IN THE EVERYDAY

Juice bottles at a grocery store in Swaziland, Africa, taken by one of Anna's teammates.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

CONVICTED BY A THREE YEAR OLD

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Sydney Sample is a leader of an Adventure's In Missions "Real Life" Team in Nsoko, Swaziland. Nsoko is one of the very poorest areas of that country. Here is a recent post from her blog:

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Yesterday we had children from several of the care points we work at come to our base to work on an art project. The compound was covered with children that I had never seen before.
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Immediately there was one child that caught my eye. Only about three years old, he was wearing a tattered shirt, had no pants and was dowsed in dirt. Many of the children laughed at him because he was covered in his own filth; having no bladder control, every time he stood he would wet himself. He was just a baby but was old enough to be hurt by the laughter.
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I was standing behind him as we were getting organized for the art project and I watched as another little boy, also about three, held his hand and sat with him. I saw this little boy reach out in ways that, not only the other children wouldn't, but that many of us wouldn't.

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As I watched this three year old reach out to the untouched, unsought-out, filthy and beautiful little boy I was convicted.

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I saw Jesus.

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Our arms were made to embrace, to love, to touch and to reach out to those that are shunned.

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Had I forgotten?

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I knew what I was called to do. I took the beautiful little boy by the hand and brought him inside. I got to bathe him and clothe him, it was a beautiful and holy moment. We wrapped him up in an oversized towel and gave him a new shirt that fully covered him.

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Reaching out to the untouched, restoring dignity, seeing a little boy who holds the hand of his unclothed, untouched peer... this is love and this is Christ. I don't believe that boy saw the nakedness of his friend, I think that he saw a beautiful, beloved child of God. He had Christ's eyes.

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May we all see as that little boy, may we reach out to the unclothed and unloved and show them the immense love and acceptance of Christ.

To read more about Sydney's life amongh the precious little ones of Swaziland, venture over to her blog: http://sydneysample.myadventures.org/

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

CHECK OUT DAUGHTER B's ROMANIA BLOG!
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Her team blog is up and running. You can read her intro blog post plus the short biographies of her teammates. You'll also find things you can pray about and as time progresses, news about the trip.



Here's the link:



http://10ro0616amb4.myadventures.org/index.asp?filename=hey&tuid=1376452



Thanks for your interest in her trip and support of my girl!

Monday, October 26, 2009

INTRODUCING THE NEWEST MEMBER OF OUR MENAGERIE
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My 3rd daughter LG would like you to become acquainted with the newest member of our family. This new member is very tiny, very furry, and very, very fat.
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His name is Logan Seal and he's a kitten but we just like to call him Logan for short.
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Who named him that and why?
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"A" because she likes seals.
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What about the Logan part?

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I don't know where she got that from, I think that she just added that name on.
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Okay, go on.
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And he really likes to roll and claw and bite but sometimes his biting tickles. Though he's real cute and good with tricks.
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What kind?
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Well, he can roll. And he can fight. And he can run real fast. And he can walk backwards. But he's real cute when he walks up to you and starts cuddling up with you. It's so cute. And his mom abandoned him when he was less than a week old so we had to take him inside because none of the other cats would take him that were girls and already had another litter. Oh, and also, he's 3 weeks or 3 and a half weeks.
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What do you do to take care of him?
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I feed him, play with him, send him to bed, turn on music. He loves SPIRIT music. It's about this horse. His name is Spirit.
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And Logan Seal likes music?
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Yeah. But he doesn't like to play with yarn but he does like to play. When you shake your finger around he follows it.
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What's your favorite thing about having a tiny kitten to take care of?
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He's real cute and you can play with him.
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What's your LEAST favorite thing about having a tiny kitten to take care of?
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He wakes me up in the middle of the night.
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Do you think having Logan Seal will help you be a better mommy when you grow up?
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Eh, I don't think so that much.
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Why don't you think it will help you?
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Because he's just a kitten and also you do other things with kittens than you do with babies. That's why I don't think that. But do you know what I do not like at all?
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No, what?
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[My sister A], she lays these towels over all this poop in the box so then it smells so terrible I just have to plug my nose so hard to get all the smell away.
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Wow.
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I know.....

Hmmmmm....maybe we need to give Big Sister A equal air time for her rebuttal.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009


THE BALLOON BOY SPEAKS TO HOMESCHOOLERS
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By Steve Lambert, publisher of Five in a Row curriculum

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"Whether you saw it on live TV or on the news after the fact, few of us are unaware of the story of the runaway mylar balloon that supposedly was carrying a 6-year-old boy last week.
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It turns out that authorities are likely to file charges against the family because the entire event [may have been] contrived to gather publicity for a possible upcoming reality television show.
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How often do we do something in hopes of being noticed. Or perhaps how often do we not actually DO something- but simply WANT to be noticed. We want publicity for the sacrifices we’re making homeschooling.
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Here’s the vital truth we ALL need to remember: God sees.
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We perform for an audience of One. Even if our family and friends don’t appreciate what’s going on, God does. Even if our HUSBAND doesn’t appreciate the sacrifice we’re making sometimes, the Lord sees!
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Talk with your children today about the eternal truth that we don’t need to make a big deal to seek attention. The Lord knows what’s going on.
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Take a look at Matthew 6:16-18 When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
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Did you follow that? NO publicity agents for doing what we’ve been asked to do. We don’t need a public relations campaign and we don’t need to pull any media stunts to get the attention we crave. Do what the Lord has shown you to do in the knowledge that HE will see your obedience."
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To read more of Steve's writings, visit his blog:
http://homeschoolheaven.wordpress.com/

Friday, October 23, 2009

FORGET NOT
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Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet
and the winds long to play with your hair.
.
K. Gibran

(Photo is of 4 year old Miss M's feet taken by big sister B)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

THANKFUL THURSDAY

My very talented, wordsmith, friend Lisa wrote this good reminder regarding blessing and gratitude:

THANK GOD by Lisa Samson

I'm not one of those rabid Oprah fans. I love some of the stuff she does but I don't hang onto every word she says like it's God's or even quotes by Mother Teresa. But Oprah taught me one thing years ago that has been revolutionary in my life and honestly, she ripped off St. Paul and formulized it a little bit. Hey, the Bible is a book for all times, right?

I don't even remember what she called it, I'm sure it had a more zippy title than, "Today's List of 10 Things I'm Thankful For," but that was the concept. Each night before you fall asleep, write down ten things you're thankful for. Now, me being the rebellious underachiever that I am, I bastardized it and figured God didn't need the formality of pen and paper and neither did I. So I just say, "Okay God, here's today's list" as I lay my head on the cool side of the pillow. Then I start with the morning and go through the day. At least ten things, but some days it's, "Whoa!"

At first it's a little hard. We're not used to giving Someone else credit for the specific good things in our life . . . and . . . if you're like me, you might tend to focus on the negatives, the have nots, the she/he-so-did-not-just-do-thats. But after a while, it just rolls on out of you. In fact, and this sounds corny I admit it, when I lay down it's like, "Yeah! Let's get the list going!" Even on days that wouldn't look to be anything special, it's amazing how many things there really are.

Gratitude is a muscle. The more you exercise it the easier it comes. And you remember your blessings, you remember that God is with you, you remember that he will never leave you or forsake you, and you see him everywhere.

Gratitude is a fuel. When we're steadily thankful for the blessings God has poured out on us (and these lists usually don't include winning the lottery or a fancy car), we suddenly KNOW what we actually have, and when we are in full awareness of our gifts and resources, we know what it is we actually have been given to share with others.

Gratitude is the down comforter. When we're truly aware of God's goodness in our lives, we understand a little better his great love and care for us. We're not as apt to ask where God is in the tough times, because we know exactly where he is. He's in the fact that we slept under shelter, he's in the eyes of others he honors us to serve, he's even in that great burger.

Gratitude is also that too tight shoe on a journey we must keep traveling. Because sometimes life brings challenges and sorrows and in those times he draws us to himself, in those times we grow and change and transform into something a little gentler, hopefully a little wiser, and kinder to those who are as fragile as ourselves. We can even be grateful in the suffering because we know God will use it. He even redeems the pain if we let it. The old Catholics have a saying, "Offer it up!" when you are suffering. Our pains, when dealt with patience and love, like Christ dealt with the pain of the cross, can be offered as a sacrifice to our Father in Heaven.

So, this morning, I'm really thankful for my cup of tea here, another rainy day even though I don't feel like having one, friends for the journey, a loving family, my readers, a fuzzy black sweater that's keeping me warm, rousing conversations, my chickens, my faith community that encompasses many people and many forms, a husband that loves to cook . . . that's ten right there and I could go on.

Wanna play?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009



GOODBYE BLUE'S, HELLO BROWN!


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Steve's back! My kids have grown up watching Blue's Clues. And I won't even pretend that I didn't love it as much as they did. The adorable dog, the catchy songs, the great host. We have loved Blue's Clues with Joe, but Steve Burns as the original host was the one who really grabbed our hearts.
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When he left for college, er, left the show to pursue other career goals, we mourned the loss of new shows featuring Steve but were thankful for dvds. Now he's back on kids' tv, at least in a cameo appearance.

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While in my room this morning listening to my favorite online Bible teacher (Steve Brown), my teenagedaughter B started excitedly banging on my door telling me to come see....Steve was back! I hurried to the living room to find Steve rocking out to I HOG THE GROUND on a JACK'S BIG MUSIC SHOW video while all seven of my kids happily looked on.


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We still miss Steve's BLUE days, but this stirs up in us a little hope that one day we'll get to see him performing again on a regular basis. He really does have that something special.
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WE LOVE YOU, STEVE!



http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=5985921



'Cause I'm small!


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And I'm brown!
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And I hog...the ground!!!
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To own your own copy of Steve's I HOG THE GROUND, look for Jack's Big Music Show: Let's Rock!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

HAPPY AUTUMN!

..

Autumn is all the way here and I'm loving it! And as you can see from this adorable photo, I'm not the only one. I love this shot of my author friend Lisa's daughter taken on a recent family, homeschool, field trip. To me it just screams "HAPPY AUTUMN"! Hope it's a wonderful one for you and yours.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A ROMANIAN ADVENTURE

As I have shared before here at Graceland, my daughter B will be spending a month in Romania this summer with Adventures in Missions. I found a video today made by another AIM missionary that will give you a glimpse into the kinds of ministries that B and her team will be involved with. It's going to be an incredible experience!

Romania from ashley higgins on Vimeo.

To read more about Ashley Higgins time in Romania, visit her blog: http://ashleyhiggins.theworldrace.org/

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

WHAT LOVE LOOKS LIKE IN PUBLIC

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But the unconditional love is inseparable from justice... because the connection between love and justice is so tight that justice in part is what love looks like in public. Because when you really love folk no matter who and what they are, you hate the fact that they are being treated unfairly, you loathe the fact they're being treated unjustly, you gotta do something about it. It flows out of [you]. There's so much care comin out of your heart and mind and soul you can't stay still.



- Dr. Cornell West

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

HE'S CARRYING ME



As I shared last night, I've been struggling with feeling down...something very unusual for me. Cristi is a new friend of mine. Her son Chris was on my daughter's Swazi team this past summer. Cristi sent me the link to this video. She thought it would be an encouragement to me.

She was right.

I must admit that when I first saw the title, I thought it was going to be some cheesy "footprints in the sand" thingie. But I watched it because Cristi sent it to me.

And I was glad I did.

It did remind me that even if the problem doesn't go away immediately, or the circumstances don't change, that God is with me. I've been praying for this heavy-heartedness to leave. It hasn't. I smiled and laughed and sang and hooped and hollered at the fair with my seven kids today. But as soon as we left and the noise and lights and clowns faded away, I noticed the heaviness again.

I don't know how long it will be here. But I need to remember that no matter how long this lasts, HE will outlast it. He is the faithful Father who is always here for me. And He knows. And understands.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I'VE BEEN TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT
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The last couple of days or so I've just had a case of the blah's...negative blah's even. Now for some folks, this wouldn't be a big deal. In fact, for some folks, it's more the norm than the exception. But not for me. I'm that Pollyanna kinda girl that usually throws a party when life gives you lemons...yeah, not just makes lemonade, but uses it as an excuse for a shindig. I'm usually raring to go be with people and if I have the chance to go and love on some "least of these", I'm all for it.


But I had to make myself go minister yesterday with our inner-city friends. I just didn't want to go. I simply wanted to stay home and get in the bed with my book and some m&m's and get a good long read in before a deep, sleep nap. But I went. And I'm glad I did. The smiles that are brought out by such simple things as talking to a little one or taking a photo of a boy doing flips on the trampoline are balm to the heart.


And I even went back this morning and did some cleaning up at the "free store" this morning...sweeping, hanging up clothes, straightening the shoes, whatever.


It felt good knowing I was about my Father's business and taking care of those He loves.


But I still have a hurting in my heart. And though I don't feel really "blah", I do feel just sort of sad.


And I've thought about it and prayed about it and thought some more. Yeah, it's been rainy and overcast a LOT lately Yeah, some of the kids have been sick...hubby, too. Yeah, some extra stuff has been added to my plate. But I really think it's more than just those things. I really think the main thing is that I'm just plain homesick.



I'm homesick.



I miss Africa.



I miss Swaziland in particular.



I know I'm supposed to be content wherever I am. I know I'm supposed to trust that God will send me back there in His perfect timing. I know all these things with my head.



But once again, I find my heart just doesn't understand.



My heart just doesn't get it.



My heart hurts.



I miss laughing African children, the sunsetting over the rugged terrain,women dancing despite the hardships, men crafting beautiful art out of whatever they find, old gogo grannies full of joy, monkeys running across the road, relationships meaning more than schedules and to-do lists, church services that last for 3 and 4 hours and no one complains, Swazi voices raised in amazing harmony, safely picking up hitch-hikers, a slower pace of life.



Those are just a few of the things that I miss. I could write on and on about the things my heart longs for.



Longs so badly that it is physically hurting me.



I've got to find peace. I've got to focus more on God and who He is and the fact that He is in control and He knows what is best.



I know that in His perfect timing it will happen.



I can not spend my life here missing out on the joys and relationships and opportunities of now.



But it is so very, very hard.



May God forgive me.



And please, pray for me.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

HE IS BIGGER THAN ANYTHING !





Failure doesn’t phase You, worry doesn’t win,
Loss doesn’t leave You afraid to start again,
Our sin doesn’t shock You,
Our shame doesn’t shame You at all

Mistakes do not move You, terror doesn’t tame,
Death doesn’t doom You to life in the grave,
Our suffering doesn’t scare You,
Our secrets won’t surprise You at all

There is nothing above You,
There is nothing beyond You,
There is nothing that You can’t do…
There is no one beside You,
There is no one that’s like You,
There is nothing that You can’t do…

Whatever will come, we’ll rise above,
You fail us not, You fail us not,
No matter the war, our hope is secure,
You fail us not, You fail us not,
You fail us not…

Hatred doesn’t hide You, evil doesn’t ail,
Despair can’t disguise You and tell You that You’ve failed,
Our doubt doesn’t daunt You,
Our darkness won’t defeat You at all

You’re bigger than the battle,
You are bigger than the battle
You are bigger than the battle has ever been

To find out more about the artist 1000 GENERATIONS, visit their website : http://1000generations.com/


Here's a link to the sheet music if you are interested in performing it yourself: http://1000generations.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/Fail-Us-Not.pdf

Saturday, October 10, 2009

EVERYBODY NEEDS SOMEBODY TO STAND BY THEM



Get ready to sing along, tap your foot, and sway to the music!

I especially love the African parts....of course.

Friday, October 09, 2009

WORN OUT AND FULL...
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...of family fun & fried food. Today was our family's annual outing to the state fair. It was a small group for us today as our oldest daughter "A" was home with a sick "T" and our 2nd daughter "B" is at Orange Beach with friends. I missed having them there but hope to do an abbreviated make-up day next week.
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In the meantime, here are some shots from our day:
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The exotic petting zoo is where we always start our fair days and it is much enjoyed by the younger ones.


Porta-potty or laundry service??? I'm so confused.
The 4-H Barn is always a highlight of the day. Though D and his friend Caleb were quite frustrated that they couldn't get the exhibit to work. Little Miss M was perfectly content to spend most of her time in the barn "milking" the cow.

Yum-yum! Fried GREEN BEANS with ranch dip from Penn's Catfish House fair booth. They were SO good! And the green vegetatiousness of them almost made up for all the deep fat frying and sweets consumed today.
Walking the fairway and trying to decide on what to do...so many, many options and such limited, limited money.
Big brother P rode the Chinese Dragon with LG. I think at least one of our kids rides this one every year.
Big Brother D rode the "peace out" bumble bee with Little Miss M. He said that he was just ACTING like he was having fun so SHE would have fun. Sure. We believe you. Really.
D and P both entered crafts in the fair and both won ribbons. D entered a camp cook box on legs plus a wooden pen, 4th of July basket, and a Christmas tree ornament.

Patrick made a flag; large. painted birdhouse, and Christmas wreath.

Funnel cake! Mmmmmm! After huge fair fare feast at lunch --- which included a corndog, chili cheese corn dog, shrimp-on-a-stick, polish sausage, fried green beans, and chicken-on-a-stick --- one funnel cake was more than enough to satisfy cravings. And generously sprinkle D with powdered sugar and leave a fine chocolate film on faces and hands.
Little Miss M was asleep within a few minutes of leaving the fair but perked up when it was time to share cotton candy that we brought home for Mr. T and his sweet, babysitting, big sister.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

SGT. YORK SPEAKS TO HOMESCHOOLERS

By Steve Lambert, Publisher of Five in a Row homeschool curriculum

It was on October 8, 1918 that Sergeant Alvin York attacked an enemy machine gun nest, eliminated 32 enemy machine guns, killed 28 enemy soldiers and captured an additional 132 enemy combatants. For his unparalleled heroism York received the Medal of Honor. The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration and is awarded to those members of the American military distinguishes himself “by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States.” All too often the Medal of Honor is awarded posthumously.

York had been a hard-living man known for heavy drinking, fighting and brawling. But after a friend was killed in a bar fight, York became a Christian. Ironically, the man who would someday win America’s highest military honor tried to avoid military service as a conscientious objector. His claim was denied. You can read York’s appeal of the local draft board’s decision here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Conscientious_Objector_Claim_of_Appeal_for_Alvin_Cullum_York.gif

Once in the army, serious heart-to-heart discussions with his commanding officers convinced York that war could be justified in certain situations. Once convinced, York fought in a selfless way that eventually won him worldwide recognition for his accomplishments.

Have you ever felt strongly about something? Have you ever been convinced that you would NEVER do something specific? Perhaps you were convinced you would NEVER homeschool. And perhaps a heart-to-heart discussion with your husband, a close friend, or with the Lord Himself convinced you that homeschooling could be justified in certain situations.

If that’s you- take a lesson from Alvin York and give it all you’ve got. Put your shoulder into the process and move ahead with courage and faith. Don’t be afraid to give it your all. It’s funny, isn’t it? Sometimes the very thing we swore we would never do ends up being very thing the Lord requires of us.

York could have “split the difference.” He could have given World War I a half-hearted effort, suspended between his heart-felt conviction as a pacifist and his logically thought out revelation that war might be justified in some circumstances. He could have gone through the motions without giving it all he had. But he didn’t.

Maybe there’s a part of you that still wonders if your kids wouldn’t be better off in a classroom somewhere. Maybe you agree “in principle” that homeschooling can be justified, but in reality you’ve got one foot in each camp. If you’ve made the commitment to give homeschooling a try then it deserves your very best. If that means charging a machine gun nest then so be it.

Tell your children the remarkable story of one of America’s greatest heroes: Alvin York. Consider buying or renting the wonderful story of Alvin C York starring Gary Cooper. Watch it with your children.

Then tell the Lord that you’re going to give homeschooling your very best effort from this day forward. I believe He will honor you for your decision.

For more of Steve Lambert's writings, visit his blog at: http://homeschoolheaven.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

INTERVIEW WITH A NEWLY TURNED 8 YEAR OLD
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LG asked me this evening if I would interview her regarding her birthday as I did for her brother T. How could I turn down such a request? So here goes:



LG, tell us about your birthday celebration.



Well, me and my friend and her mom went off to a Chinese kind of Mexican restaurant and then we went to Pet's Mark and we looked at all the animals. And after we left, we dropped them off at their house and we went back home to have my party. And first, we played. And then after that, they brought out the cake. I blew out all the candles. And then, and I opened up all my presents. And then we ate. And also we had pizza and...what type of cake was it?


Cheesecake.


Cheesecake.


Did you like the cheesecake?


Yes.


What did you get for your presents?


Um, Littlest Pet Shop, candy, a coloring book, a journal, a ball, a Littlest Pet Shop stuffed animal.


What was your favorite?


That's real hard. I can't decide.
Do you have maybe two that were your favorite?


Uh...more than that.


So you got some really good gifts, huh?


Uh, huh.


So how does it feel to be 8?


Great!


Do you feel a lot older?


Yeah.


Do you feel different?


No.


So why do you feel older?


Because I'm 8.


What do you think you will be doing in 10 years from now when you turn 18?


I'll be going to college. And while I'm at college I'll be taking classes.


What kind of classes?


Like art, martial arts, and that's it.


Where do you think you want to go to college?


I don't know.


Well what do you want to do as a job when you finish college?


Be an artist.


What kind?


Those people that like are at their house and they make pictures or they go on the street and paint pictures.


What do you think you'll paint pictures of?


I don't know. I mean it's all that time away.


That's true. Do you have a dream place you want to live?


Either...there's 3 places....and that's New York, Hollywood, and France.


Why New York?


Because they have all those big building and it's real cool there and everything's nice.


What about Hollywood?


Well, that place is real nice, too, and probably I could be in a movie.


So an artist AND an actress?


No, those two jobs are what I really want to be but I can't decide what I want to do.


And France?


Because they have all those neat places and all that great food and it's beautiful.


You might can visit your big sister B if she's living there.


I don't think so.


Why not?


'Cause B already has this other place.


I'm sure she'd let you visit her.


But she's not going to be living in France.


She's not?


Yeah, she's living somewhere else.


Where?


I forgot where she said it was but it wasn't France.


Denmark? Holland? Romania?


No, no, no, no, no.


England?


No.


A tropical island?


No.


Okay, so you'll be somewhere that B is not.


I told you.


You told me what?


I told you that she's not going to be living where I'm going to be living.


Okay. Well it sounds like you have some exciting plans for...


My future?


...yes...your future.


[She snickers]


Anything else you want to tell about your birthday or your plans for the future?


Can't I talk about something else?


What?


Like what's your favorite food. What's your favorite color?

Well, my favorite food is popcorn and Tex Mex and dark chocolate and...


That's you!


Well you said you wanted to talk about...


I mean me!!!!!


OH! Okay, so what's your favorite food?


I have 10 favorite sweets.


10??????


Yeah. Those are my top. Okay, let me say them: brownies, American flag cake, cheesecake, cookies, ice cream, Hershey chocolate, the new strawberry Whoppers, and the plain Whoppers, jello----wait! There's still 5 more types I remembered.


Okay, so go on.


Nerds, suckers, Tootsie-Rolls, rice krispy treats, OH! blueberry pie.


Wow. That's a lot of sweets. And you left out donuts.


I still haven't said all of them.


You haven't?


Yes.


Okay, go ahead.


Donuts, pumpkin pie, candy sticks, Twizzlers, fudge, and cakes.


That it?


No, there's still two more. M&M's and Crunch bars.


Ooh, I like those.


Me, too.


So any other foods that are favorites and NOT sweet?


Yeah. Hamburgers, pizza, waffles, pancakes, bacon, eggs, ramen noodles, angel hair pasta, the shells macaroni-and-cheese, hot dogs, Cheetos, grits, oatmeal, rolls, brown bread, cheesy tortillas, cream-of-wheat, Chinese food, subway sandwiches, popcorn, catfish, shrimp, fried chicken, rotisserie chicken, sausage, broccoli...


That sure is a lot.


I know.


Are you done?


Yeah.


What's your favorite color?


Well, I have three favorites: blue, red, orange.


What is your favorite kind of animal?


Kittens.


Favorite kind of music?


Taylor Swift and The Jonas Brothers.


You have good taste.


But I still haven't finished.


Finished what?


You asked me what are all my favorite musics. I still haven't told you all of them.


Oops, sorry. Okay, tell away.


And a few of the Spirit songs.


From the horse movie, Spirit, right?


Yeah.


Is that all?


No, there's a few others that I really like but I don't know what band they're from.


Maybe I can help you.


But I also forgot a few of the songs.


Can you remember any of the words?


Uh........no. But I do remember that they were really good and I really liked them.


Okay.


Any thing else that you want to ask me?


Who is your favorite mom?


But you are my only mom!


So am I your favorite mom?


But you're the ONLY one who is my mom. No one else is my mom. So I don't know what it feels like to have anyone else. Except, of course, in the Roberts family.


Yeah, you know what their mom is like.


Yeah, 'cause I'm with them like every single day.


You are?


No, I said "like".


Ah.


Aren't you going to ask me any others? Questions?


Hmmmmmmm....what's your favorite subject or thing to do in homeschool?


Well, a few of the things in history are fun.


I didn't know you were doing history yet.


Oh, I do. Sometimes I listen to what the boys are doing.


And then, you do history also when you watch Liberty's Kids or go to museums with us or hear Daddy talk about it at supper and things like that.


Yeah. Now are you going to ask me anything else?


Is there something you do NOT like doing in homeschool?


Yeah. Copywork and Explode-the-Code.


I thought you liked Explode-the-Code.


That was back then when it was easy. But now it's boring. Even though I have to do it.


Why is it boring?


'Cause everything is too easy.
But you just said you liked it when it was too easy.


Can you please stop messing me up?


How am I messing you up?


You're confusing me.


YOU're confusing ME!


No I'm not.


Yes you are.


No I'm not.


Yes you are.


Now can we change the subject?


Okay, so what's your favorite time of the day?


4:30.


Why?


Because my favorite TV show is on.


Which is?


FETCH. It's this game show where 6 contestants sometimes go out but some of them stay in. Some of them go. Sometimes all of them go. And they split into teams. And the people that stay back, they do this half-time quiz show where they get points but the person who has the most points at the end gets a prize. And the place that the people stay at and go back into is called Studio G. But sometimes people call it the garage.


What is your LEAST favorite time of the day?


That would be at 10.


In the morning or at night?


At the morning.


Because?


I have to do all these chores. No break. Except when I'm watching [my little sister] but sometimes I don't do it at 10. And because sometimes the ground is wet so it gets my feet all muddy. And dirty. That's why.


Poor, poor LG. You work so hard.


Now are you going to ask me anything else?


When is your bedtime?


Sometimes on Fridays my bedtime is at 8:30. But on normal days just 8:00. But soon, I'll get to stay up til 8:30 but on Fridays, 9:00.


Well guess what time it is right now?


9:13.


And so what does that mean?


It's my bedtime? But tonight, my mom is letting me stay up later. Sometimes I get to stay up later than my time. But sometimes earlier, like 7:30.


Well, since it's now 9:14, who is your favorite mom?


You already asked that question.


But in light of the fact that you are staying up SO late, don't you think you could know for sure who your favorite mom is?


But you already asked me that question. Maybe if you look up higher than this, you'll see.


Sigh....so little appreciation is given to me for my kindness.


Oh, and thank you for letting me stay up later. Oh, and for cooking breakfast. And lunch. And dinner.


Well, all those are nice things to say to me. But guess what?


It's bedtime.


YES! You guessed the correct answer!


YES!!!!!! Oh.....I still have to go to bed. Oh come on, can't I stay up a little bit later?


Shnope. Time for you and the newborn baby kitty to be heading upstairs.


But the baby kitten is downstairs and I might wake him up.


Very, very carefully. Goodnight.


Okay.......... this stinks, this stinks, this stinks, this stinks.


Goodnight.


I'm going to bed already.


I love you.


Love you, too!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

RANDOM THINGS HEARD AROUND GRACELAND


My 4 year old M just asked me, "Can we watch the Monkees while you parent us?"


6 year old T told his oldest sister that when he is a teenager he is going to have lots of girlfriends. She asked him how many and he said a hundred. And he was "going to steal all the other guys' girlfriends...every single one." She told him that he wouldn't have very many guy friends that way to which he responded, "I don't care, because I would have a lot of girlfriends". When she told Super Dad, he beamed very proudly and said, "that's my boy" and patted him on the head.


I asked T what he was going to be when he grows up, he said "I haven't figured that out yet". Sounds like whatever it is, he'll be busy!

Monday, October 05, 2009

WHAT I WON'T BE EATING AT THE FAIR THIS WEEK


Every October, our family heads out the Mississippi State Fair. We pet the exotic animals, scream on rides, ooh-and-ah at the circus, enter crafts for judging, look at the exhibits, and eat yummy fair food. All year long we look forward to the Penn's chicken-on-a-stick, funnel cakes, and cotton candy among other tasty treats. And every year it seems like something new is added to the offering. Driving thru the fairgrounds as they were setting up, while on our way to turn in our craft entries this past Friday, I noticed signs for "fried jalapenos". Those have now been added to my list of what I want to eat.
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What I don't want to eat is another new fair offering---the Craz-E Burger. Yes, this 1,500 calorie monstrosity pictured above is one of the latest culinary creations to hit the nation's fairgrounds. Comprised of a beef patty, bacon, and cheese on a buttered KRISPY KREME donut for a bun, this big boy is one heart stopping attraction that will make it easy for me to "just say no".
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Now, pass the deep-fried Snickers bar, please.
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Sunday, October 04, 2009

TO ESTABLISH A RELATIONSHIP


"The function of prayer is not to establish a routine; it is to establish a relationship with God who is in relationship with us always...The function of prayer is to bring us into touch with ourselves, as well. To the ancients, 'tears of compunction' were the sign of a soul that knew it's limits, faced it's sins, accepted it's needs, and lived in hope."
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Sister Joan Chittister, THE RULE OF BENEDICT, INSIGHTS FOR THE AGES

Saturday, October 03, 2009


CELEBRATING A BEAUTIFUL GIRL'S 8TH BIRTHDAY

Today our 3rd oldest daughter turned 8 years old. We let her help plan the day including what food we'd eat and what we would do with our day. It started out with breakfasting on donuts and fruit salad (or is it "compote" when it's early in the day?).

Originally, we were going to have LG's best friend over to spend the night and then go to an airshow with our family. But when super hubby came home super sick after a week long business trip in Florida, plans had to be changed. So later on in the morning, after breakfast, we went and picked up LG's best friend and her mom, who happens to be one of my best friends. After much deliberation over where we should eat and what we should do, a very nice Asian buffet restaurant was chosen, The Ichiban.
This girl is a natural! First time EVER to use chopsticks and she caught on right way. Her mom? We won't go there.
Speaking of her mom....here I am with that fabulous woman! Isn't she a cutie?
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LG didn't want them to sing Happy Birthday because she's just not a "in the spotlight" kinda girl, but the servers who sang were very quiet and not hyper at all so she didn't mind it too much. And she really liked the special dessert they brought her.
And look at those darling bunnies made out of tomatoes! I would never have thought to put them on a dessert plate but it worked! Especially when an 8 year old girl is involved!
After the yummy lunch we headed over to PetsMart. No, we didn't get talked into buying any animals but like most 8 year old girls, they love cute critters and enjoyed just oohing and aahing.
This evening we had our family birthday supper. LG chose a variety cheesecake for her birthday cake. So we sang "Happy Birthday", gave her the cake, opened presents, then ate pizza and cheesecake while watching CITY OF EMBER.

It was a very special day for a very special girl. I'm very grateful for the gift she has been in the life of our family and look forward with anticipation to seeing how she grows in the years to come.