Saturday, December 29, 2007

Prayers for Preteens

This list of daily prayers for preteens came from Family Life but I can't find it on their site any more. I think it would be suitable to pray for all ages of children. Unfortunately, there are only 26 items but you can either add something to the bottom for the last five days of the month or just spread it over the month.

1.. Pray that God will protect your preteen's innocence.
2.. Pray that God will bring godly friends into your preteen's life.
3.. Pray that your preteen won't forget how to laugh.
4.. Pray that God will draw your preteen into a relationship with Him ordeeper into the relationship that's already established.
5.. Pray that God will bring other godly adults into your preteen's life.
6.. Pray that your preteen will be grounded in the spiritual disciplinesof Bible study, prayer, and worship.
7.. Pray that your preteen will learn to love the unlovely (reach out to other kids).
8.. Pray that God will bring about tests of character into your preteen'slife to help him learn how to stand strong in his convictions.
9.. Pray that your preteen will develop humility.
10.. Pray that you will catch your preteen in sin in order to haveopportunity to train him.
11.. Pray that your preteen will develop a larger peer group of believersthat can have its own identity --- enjoying music, parties, and memories together.
12.. Pray that intellectual understanding of the changes in your preteen'sbody will give your preteen cause to praise God for His glorious creation.
13.. Pray that your preteen will respect and treat the opposite sex in a biblical manner.
14.. Pray that your preteen will develop his own convictions about what hewatches, listens to, and reads.
15.. Pray that your preteen will learn self-control.
16.. Pray that God will allow you to catch your preteen in a lie. Pray also that God will give you the courage to follow through with the restitution and the repentance.
17.. Pray that your preteen will not give in to temptation to use drugs or alcohol.
18.. Pray that your preteen will be loving and caring to his siblings.
19.. Pray that your preteen will learn how to manage his anger.
20.. Pray that your preteen will learn how to control his tongue.
21.. Pray that God will protect your preteen's mind from being burned bypornographic images and ideas.
22.. Pray that your preteen will not develop an attachment and preoccupation with material things.
23.. Pray that God will keep the communication lines open between you andyour preteen during the teenage years.
24.. Pray that your preteen will develop biblical convictions.
25.. Pray that your preteen will stand strong when peers pressure him to do something contrary to those convictions.
26.. Pray that your preteen will begin to understand God's mission for his life.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Daily Prayers for our Husbands

Years ago, I was given a list of daily things to pray about for my husband, one for each day of the month. I've been a little lax in doing it over the past few years so this morning, I decided to write them out in my devotional book. As I was doing that, I realized that some of you may not have seen these before.

Although we all know it's important to pray for our husbands, if you are anything like me, you'll know that it's also hard sometimes to think of what we should be praying about, other than generalities or "bless his day". This list helps to dispel some of that fuzziness.

I'm not sure who wrote it originally so there is no credit given. My apologies if you know the person who wrote it.

1. That he might become a holy man, a man of prayer, mature in the Lord, growing in his knowledge of the Lord. I Thessalonians 5:23, Colossians 4:12, Ephesians 1:18-19, 3:16-19, 6:18.
2. That he might grow in all 11 descriptions of a man who will not be shaken as listed in Psalms 15.
3. That he might be a man of contentment as seen in Proverbs 15:16, Philippians 4:11, I Timothy 6:6-8, Hebrews 13:5.
4. That he might learn to take every thought captive, to not be conformed to the world’s thinking and to think scripturally. Romans 12:2, II Corinthians 10:5.
5. That he might daily seek God with all his heart, walking in the Spirit moment by moment, growing in his dependence on Him. Psalms 119:1-2, Proverbs 3:5-6.
6. That he would ever be captivated by my love. Proverbs 5:18-19.
7. That he would be a man of courage. Deuteronomy 31:6, II Chronicles 19:11.
8. That the Lord might give him wisdom to lead his family physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Ephesians 1:17-19.
9. May he always look at the plank in his own eye before seeing other’s sawdust. Matthew 7:3.
10. That he might become a called man, not driven, with well thought through and prayed through goals in life. I Corinthians 9:24-27.
11. That he might be a man of prayer, guarding his heart and mind, putting into practice what he ahs heard, seen and learned. Philemon 4:4-9.
12. That he might stand firm against the schemes of the devil and resist Satan in all circumstances. Ephesians 6:10-18, James 4:7.
13. That he might grow in spiritual maturity by putting away childish things, cultivating, understanding, striving after the Christ ideal, partaking of the deeper truths of the gospel, and overcoming temptation. I Corinthians 13:11, 14:20, Ephesians 4:13, Hebrews 5:14, I John 2:14.
14. That he might make me holy, cleansing me by the washing with water through the word. Ephesians 5:26.
15. That he would learn to not depend on his circumstances for happiness but on God alone. Hab 3:17-19.
16. That he would be a man who enters into spiritual warfare. Ephesians 6:11-12, I Thessalonians 5:8.
17. That he might have new strength in the midst of his busy schedule and that the Lord might infuse him with His strength. Isaiah 40:31, Ephesians 3:14-19.
18. That he might have a burden to see lost people come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Matthew 28:19-20.
19. That he would be kept from strange women and evil men and that his friends would be men and women who walk with God. Proverbs 13:20.
20. That his self image might be a reflection of the Lords thoughts toward him. Ephesians 1:17-19, Romans 12:3, Psalms 139.
21. That he might be a man responsible for family spiritual growth. Proverbs 4:1-14.
22. That he might not be deceived into unbelief, sin or bitterness. Matthew 13:8-10.
23. That he might learn to love as God has commanded. I Corinthians 13:4-7, Romans 12:8-10, Ephesians 5:25.
24. That the fruit of the Spirit might be exhibited more and more in his life. Galations 5:22-23, John 15:8.
25. That he might grow humility and being a shepherd. I Peter 5:2-6.
26. That he might grow daily in character. II Peter 1:5-8.
27. That he might keep a clear conscience I Peter 3:16-18.
28. That the Lord might protect him, guarding his course. Proverbs 2:8.
29. That he might learn to manage his time well. Ephesians 5:15.
30. That the Lord would put a song in his heart. Psalms 33:3, 40:3, Job 35:10.
31. That he may have a holy fear of God. Psalms 34:11, 111:10, Proverbs 9:10.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Thankful Tuesday

Cindy at Dominion Family has been posting advice from older mothers to younger mothers. The series is very good and the comments are well worth reading.

I was thinking about it this morning and realized that I am thankful for the good parenting resources that are available. Our #1 choice is Shepherding a Child's Heart, by Tedd Tripp. One of our Sunday School classes is going through the video series and I am reminded again of how valuable the information is.

Pastor Tripp doesn't just focus on external behaviours (do this or that and your child will behave perfectly). Instead, he takes us to the Bible and shows how the hearts of our children should be our focus, rather than their behaviour. When their hearts are right with God, their behaviour will follow.

Over the years, we personally have found that this type of discipline and training leads not only to obedient children but children who want to follow God. Our parenting journey isn't over, by any stretch, but at this point, we are trusting that our children will continue on the path they have started with God.

I have also appreciated various messages and workshops put out by Sovereign Grace Ministries. Covenant Life church has a "Family Room" section and the messages linked through that have been excellent as well.

As parents, we do need to be careful to sift through all the resources available and make sure that what we are reading and studying lines up with Scripture. More specifically, the resources need to always point parents and children to the gospel of Christ. It is only through the grace of God that any of us are able to stand; this applies to parenting just as much to any other aspect of our lives.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Thankful for friends

I woke up this morning thinking about friends. Specifically, the ones God has blessed me with. I realized that I have about 5 or 6 close friends that I see regularly (and always wish I could spend more time with them). Then there are others that I really enjoy being with but our schedules don't allow visiting that often, except at church or in passing. But when we do spend time together, it's great.

Conventional wisdom used to say that pastors' wives (or pastors, for that matter) shouldn't have friends in the church. I've always thought that was silly and I am thankful that these days, it doesn't seem to apply. I am also thankful for where God has placed us so that we can have these friendships.

I imagine that part of the problem for some pastoral families is that it takes a long time to develop close friendships and pastoral families are often not in a church for that long. I just googled it and this page says that the average length of time for a senior pastor is 7.2 years and slightly longer for bigger churches at 8.7 years. That's actually longer than I expected. This site quotes Barna research and says it's 5 years on average. That's the figure I'm familiar with.

At any rate, if after 5 years, the pastor typically moves on to another location, how can he and his wife develop close friendships in the church? I think it would be very difficult, especially after the 3rd or 4th move. We've been at this church for 10 years. I know that if anyone had asked 5 years ago or 8 years ago how I felt about friends I would have said that we had a few close friends. Now after 10 years, the Lord has blessed us with many more and part of that is from having 10 years together. Some of my friends are new to the area but overall, it's the women that I have worked with and raised my kids with and gone to different activities with that have developed into the lasting friendships.

I must admit to being somewhat cynical about the "forwards" and posters about friendship that I get occasionally. And no, just because I don't send them on to 10 people and back to the person I got it from, doesn't mean that I don't value that friendship. I just don't value the forwards. But in thinking about friends this morning, I have to say that sometimes the fancy posters do say it well.

Actually the Bible says it even better:

"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy."

Phil. 1:3-4

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Thankful November

Rebecca at Rebecca Writes is once more asking for posts of thankfulness during the month of November. This has spurred me on to actually post something on this blog. Hopefully, it will happen more than once in November, although if I judge by the way October flew by - well, we'll see what happens.

I'm thankful for technology. I'm thankful especially for my ipod and how many great things I can store on that one small item. I'm especially thankful for it at the gym. It's going to be my new best friend for the next 4-6 months as my gym partner is having a baby this month and is taking a few months off. I expect to work hard and learn lots in the next 6 months!

I'm thankful too for the computer and for the internet. It's amazing how much is out there - and there's lots of really great stuff. Through facebook, I've connected with some old friends and some cousins that I haven't been in touch with for years. I'm able to download messages to listen to on my ipod and I do lots of school planning too.

Of course, technology is like cars - it's wonderful when it works and horrid when it doesn't. But overall, I think that technology has enhanced my life and enabled me to both grow spiritually and to be in contact with other people who help me to grow and learn. And that's a good thing.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Shameless Plug

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sunday Hymn - Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken

Glorious things of thee are spoken,
Zion, city of our God!
He, whose Word cannot be broken,
Formed thee for His own abode.
On the Rock of Ages founded,
What can shake thy sure repose?
With salvation’s walls surrounded,
Thou may’st smile at all thy foes.

See! the streams of living waters,
Springing from eternal love;
Well supply thy sons and daughters,
And all fear of want remove:
Who can faint while such a river
Ever flows their thirst t’assuage?
Grace, which like the Lord, the Giver,
Never fails from age to age.

Round each habitation hovering,
See the cloud and fire appear!
For a glory and a cov’ring
Showing that the Lord is near.
Thus deriving from our banner
Light by night and shade by day;
Safe they feed upon the manna
Which He gives them when they pray.

Blest inhabitants of Zion,
Washed in the Redeemer’s blood!
Jesus, whom their souls rely on,
Makes them kings and priests to God.
’Tis His love His people raises,
Over self to reign as kings,
And as priests, His solemn praises
Each for a thank offering brings.

Savior, if of Zion’s city,
I through grace a member am,
Let the world deride or pity,
I will glory in Thy Name.
Fading is the worldling’s pleasure,
All his boasted pomp and show;
Solid joys and lasting treasure
None but Zion’s children know.

Friday, August 24, 2007

She's Alive!

Yes, indeed, I am still alive. The summer has gone by quickly and we are ramping up to fall here. The weather has been behaving like it really is fall but I'm trying to ignore that. Of course, the fact that I've worn shorts once since we got home from holidays 3 weeks ago doesn't really help.

So what did I do this summer? Worked at camp, worked at VBS, went to BC for two weeks of gloriously warm holidays, planned for school, ignored my garden (except to pull out the incredible weeds that shot up during the two weeks we were gone), planned for school some more, practiced cello, cooked, processed in various ways about 80 lbs of peaches, organized the church library with my kids, enjoyed visiting with friends, welomed our son home from camp (and had a panicked 30 minutes when he didn't show up on the bus we thought he was on), celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary (we went for coffee and a walk) and watched swimming lessons every day for an hour for two weeks. And read a fair number of books, although never as many as I would like.

All in all, a pretty good summer. I think we're all starting to get to the point of looking forward to the structure of fall, although I'm trying not to think about how busy it's going to be. One more week left. We're heading to the city for today and tomorrow and I think we'll take a day away in Jasper next week and then *boom* - fall will start!

My tip of the day regarding computer use:

When I sit down to the computer, I try to remember to check the time. Then I decide right then how long I will be on the computer and keep an eye on the time. Sometimes I go over but it's helpful to get me off, especially if I'm just being lazy and surfing and not doing anything worthwhile. I'm 5 minutes overdue right now but that's because I decided to blog about 7 minutes ago! I just find that little check to be helpful to remind myself to get up and get going on other pursuits.

A photo for your enjoyment (I would post an old picture of ourselves but I don't have any scanned - you'll have to make do with a flower):

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Catching up

I'm heading out tomorrow morning with two of our kids to this place

located on the beautiful Shuswap Lake in the BC Interior.

I won't be spending too much time at the beach since I'll be working in the kitchen but I still plan to get some swimming and beach time in.

I'm also taking books and scrapbooking supplies to work on during an afternoon break (after the nap and swim) and evenings. I know I'm taking too much but I might just need them all! :-)

My husband gets to stay home and work at home all week with the two younger children. I wonder if he's regretting these plans yet?

Back in a week. No promises to posting speed (I always wish I could post more but life seems to get in the way. Of course, if I stopped reading other people's blogs maybe I'd have more time but even that blog reading has been sparse lately) but I am hoping to take some pictures every day. I'll try to keep up a little better.

Summer Reading Challenge Update

My update comments are italicized:

Seasonal Soundings is encouraging us all to read over the summer with her Summer Reading Challenge. Here are the books I'm hoping to get through:

On Teaching the Piano - by Hetty Bolton. I've read this before but since I'm going back to some piano teaching in the fall, I thought it was a good time to reread it. I'm about halfway through. Now about 3/4 of the way through. It's a good reminder to be purposeful in my teaching.

Rhythmics, Dynamics, Pedal - by Leimer-Gieseking. As above. Not yet.

Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student - Corbett. I won't complete this before the end of the summer as I'm participating in an online study group that will go until February but I will be reading this weekly. We're working through logic this week.
This is going well. We have a week's break this week so I'm hoping to get caught up. It's a good thing I didn't have to do some reading this week - lots of running around.

Great Books -

VIRGIL - Aeneid (Robert Fitzgerald translation) - I'm on book 5. Finished! I really enjoyed it - that was a surprise to me. A little gory in places but generally very interesting. I'll be interested to listen in on the lectures in the fall.
LIVY- History of Rome (de Selincourt translation) There are 5 books (main sections). I'm about 3/4 of the way through the first one. However, I have more time for reading next week, I hope, so I'm hoping to make it through it. It's surprisingly interesting. The Great Books are really not that hard to read.
SALLUST - The Jugurthine War / The Conspiracy of Cataline
CAESAR - The Conquest of Gaul
CICERO - Selected Works
PLUTARCH-Lives of Noble Grecians and Romans, vol.2 (Dryden translation)
TACITUS- The Annals of Imperial Rome
SUETONIUS - The Twelve Caesars
JOSEPHUS - The Jewish War
EUSEBIUS- The Church History (Maier translation)
ATHANASIUS- On the Incarnation (with introduction by C. S. Lewis)
ATHANASIUS - Athanasius : The Life of Anthony and the Letter To Marcellinus
AUGUSTINE - Confessions

For our summer book club:
Winter Birds - by Jamie Langston Turner. Most of the books for the book club came but there are two still on their way so I've been restraining myself from reading the copy that I have sitting here. I'm tempted though.
Living the Cross-Centered Life - by CJ Mahaney

In my morning devotions
A Call to Commitment - a commentary on Hebrews by William Lane. I'm at ch. 3-4 and it's very interesting. It's funny but I hadn't really thought about reading commentaries until I saw it mentioned on girltalk. Then I was scanning bookshelves downstairs and discovered this one.
Not too much further. Maybe in a couple of weeks I'll get back to it.

You will notice there is very little fiction on that list. That's because I read fiction all the time, whether it's on the list or not. I have been reading through Patricia Veryan's books again, and I am at the point of needing to read all of her Riddle books (not my favourites out of hers but I'll force myself to read them again...).

The Riddle of the Shipwrecked Spinster
The Riddle of the Deplorable Dandy
The Riddle of the Alabaster Royal
The Riddle of the Lost Lover
The Riddle of the Reluctant Rake

I was in the city library shortly after I posted this and found 4 out of the 5 on the shelf and had the 5th one at home. I had a good binge and read them all. Mostly satisfying. I haven't reread one other series by her yet so maybe I'll get to them as well.

I'm working on a biography of Alexander Graham Bell that is very interesting. I also read Not Buying It and hope to post a review at some point. I read a Helen MacInnes the past few days - The Double Image. I really enjoy MacInnes' writing. She's very thoughtful too - it's not all action.
Happy reading!

Project 365 - June 24

Driving home from Edmonton one night about 10 pm, the sky was beautiful. Under the darker clouds, the sun painted beautiful colours. These pictures were taken out the car window so they aren't as clear as they could be if we had stopped but still beautiful colours.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Recipe Round-up - Rhubarb Kuchen

Rhubarb Kuchen

This is a wonderful dessert for this time of year, when the rhubarb is sweet & tender. Actually, it's good anytime! I think this recipe came from Canadian Living years ago.

3/4 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. plain yogurt
1 egg yolk
1 t. grated orange rind
2 c. flour
1/2 t. baking soda
3/4 c. sliced almonds
5 c. chopped rhubarb
1 T. orange juice
Glaze: 1/3 c. strawberry jelly (or jam)

In bowl, cream butter with 3/4 c. sugar; beat in yogurt, egg yolk & orange rind. Combine flour, baking soda, and 1/2 c. of almonds; gradually stir into butter mixture until incorporated. Using wet spatula or hands, spread evenly onto bottom & 3/4" up side of greased 10-in. springform pan.

Toss rhubarb with remaining sugar & orange juice; arrange evenly over dough. Sprinkle remaining almonds around edge. Bake in 350 oven for 45-50 minutes or until pastry edge is golden brown and rhubarb is tender. Let cool on rack. Remove sides of pan.

In small saucepan, bring strawberry jelly & 3 T. water to boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat & boil gently, whisking often, for about 3 minutes or until thickened. Brush over rhubarb & sides of cake. Let stand for 5 minutes. Makes 12 servings.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Summer Reading Challenge

Seasonal Soundings is encouraging us all to read over the summer with her Summer Reading Challenge. Here are the books I'm hoping to get through:
On Teaching the Piano - by Hetty Bolton. I've read this before but since I'm going back to some piano teaching in the fall, I thought it was a good time to reread it. I'm about halfway through.
Rhythmics, Dynamics, Pedal - by Leimer-Gieseking. As above.
Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student - Corbett. I won't complete this before the end of the summer as I'm participating in an online study group that will go until February but I will be reading this weekly. We're working through logic this week.
Great Books - my son will be doing Great Books II with Schola Classical Tutorials this fall. Since I wasn't very successful last year in keeping up with the reading, I'd like to do the majority of it this summer. We'll see how that works. (You can all stop snickering now, unless you want to look at this cartoon.)
Wow, that list does look a little daunting. I think I should be checking the study guides to see if the students will be reading all the pages.
For our summer book club:
Winter Birds - by Jamie Langston Turner
In my morning devotions
A Call to Commitment - a commentary on Hebrews by William Lane. I'm at ch. 3-4 and it's very interesting. It's funny but I hadn't really thought about reading commentaries until I saw it mentioned on girltalk. Then I was scanning bookshelves downstairs and discovered this one.
You will notice there is very little fiction on that list. That's because I read fiction all the time, whether it's on the list or not. I have been reading through Patricia Veryan's books again, and I am at the point of needing to read all of her Riddle books (not my favourites out of hers but I'll force myself to read them again...).
Sheesh, some of those covers just scream "romance novel". Veryan's books are romance, true, but her writing is much better than most romance novels. And there are no icky bits. I enjoy her characters & stories.
I'll be interested to see what I manage to get through this summer! Maybe this list is why I rarely write down what I plan to read!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Trail Ride

My eldest daughter & I went on a trail ride on Saturday. It was an all day ride to raise money for a local Bible camp - Brightwood Ranch Camp. They raised almost $21,000 which is fantastic, especially since this particular camp is focussed on inner-city kids and they don't charge the campers to come.

June is a beautiful month in northern Alberta. I think it's maybe the prettiest month of the year, although each season has its own beauty. We rode mostly on a Jack Pine tree reserve that the camp has permission to use.

This is the first time the camp has done this rideathon. They were hoping for about 30 riders. Instead, they had over 70. It made for quite a group. These pictures don't even show all of them. There were also two wagons that accompanied the riders. At the point these pictures were taken, we were waiting for some of the riders at the end to catch up.

We rode a little through trees but mostly over beautiful meadows.

We rode for about 2 1/2 hours and then stopped for lunch. The camp brought up lunch for all the riders and it was a nice break for both riders & horses.

I tried to get a nap....

I rode a wonderful horse. Our daughter's riding teacher graciously hauled horses for us and Zimra did really well all day. She liked to trot or canter, especially on the way back, and we weren't supposed to be going too fast so I had to hold her back but that was okay. Everyone else was having the same "problem". We held them down to a jog for most of it but occasionally we'd let them speed up, then reluctantly bring them back to a jog.

Zimra even held mostly still for me to take pictures as I rode, although she did have a tendency to start moving just as I got the camera turned on.

I don't have any pictures after lunch because the storm clouds rolled in and we had thunder & rain most of the way home. Thankfully, the thunder wasn't too close and I only saw one flicker of lightning in the distance. We were wet and cold by the time we got back but it was still a great ride.

This was the longest ride I've done and it was a wonderful day. I'm sure my husband is very thankful we live in town and not on an acreage or the push to own horses would be much stronger!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sunday Hymn - In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
'Till on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost it's grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
'Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand

"In Christ Alone"
Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2001 Kingsway Thankyou Music

Monday, June 04, 2007

Project 365 - June 4

The vegetable garden. Tomatoes on the left, chives & sorrel in the front, lettuce in the 1st bed and radish & carrots planted behind. Peppers & basil are in the little greenhouse & beans are planted in the far right bed (lengthwise).

Saturday, June 02, 2007

New Attitude

Last year & this year, I wished I could have been at the New Attitude conference, put on by Sovereign Grace Ministries. Thankfully, even though I couldn't attend (and I'm not even sure if I would be allowed to as I'm not a young adult or young married anymore - do pastors' wives count?), they make available the messages from the conferences.

This year, the theme was discernment. I have listened to 3 1/2 messages so far and they are excellent. I highly recommend them to anyone - young or old. And the folks at Sovereign Grace Ministries are offering the mp3s free of charge.

You can go here to download them. Do it now! You will be blessed, challenged & encouraged.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Project 365 - June 1

I didn't actually take any pictures today but my oldest daughter (13) did. I think they are so gorgeous that I'm going to post them here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Project 365 - May 30

It's a beautiful spring evening here. After our long winter, the warmth of the past few days has been wonderful. All the trees are budding and many are blooming. These pictures are from around our front yard.

Lilac leaves & buds.

Lungwort & gout weed. Sometimes black & white works. Sometimes not so much...

Bergenia - one of my favourite spring flowers.

Forget-me-not, gout weed & lungwort (in the back). And a lone dandelion. Wretched things.

This is the "there's something wrong with this picture" picture. Can you tell me what it is?

And for those of you for whom all these spring flowers are long gone, well, rejoice with me! Our bulbs are blooming beautifully and I'm so happy to have them. The irises are just barely starting and the mid-season tulips are just coming. Spring in northern Alberta! Considering we just had snow last week, I think we're doing OK. LOL

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sunday Hymn - Like a River Glorious

Rebecca was asking this week about favourite hymns. I commented that this is mine. I think I have probably posted it before under Sunday hymns but a little repetition never hurt anyone.

I think this is my favourite because of the confidence expressed in God's provision and peace. I also love the alto line.

Like a River Glorious

Like a river glorious, is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth, fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth, deeper all the way.

Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest

Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there.


Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
We may trust Him fully all for us to do.
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.


Project 365 - May 27

As you can see from the previous photo and today's, it's dandelion season here. You can also see from this photo that it's time to plant the garden. I am way behind this year but a big part of it is that spring was about 2-3 weeks (felt like months) behind this year. So the project this week is to get the garden dug and planted. Hopefully I will be able to post a pretty picture sometime later this week.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Project 365 - May 24

Project 365

I came across an interesting concept. Project 365 is a challenge (?) to bloggers to take photos daily and post them. I thought this sounded interesting so decided to try it. We'll see how long it lasts.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ipod Meme

Rebecca posted this meme and invited others to play. I'm sitting at the computer, scanning pictures for a scrapbooking weekend coming up so thought it was something to do. And the bonus is that I'm actually posting!

Here are the instructions:

Get your ipod or media-player of choice, select your whole music
collection, set the thing to shuffle (i.e., randomized playback), then post the
first ten songs that come out. No cheating, no matter how stupid it makes you

I have a pretty eclectic mix on my ipod so it will be interesting to see what pops up. It is supposed to be completely random, according to the Apple people.

Chromatic Fantasy, Bach, played by Angela Hewitt

The Kraken, from Pirates of the Caribbean, At World's End (oldest son just bought the soundtrack yesterday in anticipation of the movie coming out this weekend)

Remember, sung by Zelos, a new band that was featured at the New Attitude blog

Requiem, with no other information. I'm honestly not sure what this is but it may be something else Pirates-related. I'll have to ask my children!

The Brethren Court, from Pirates of the Caribbean, At World's End

How Deep the Father's Love, sung by First Call, on their "Rejoice" album. We bought it a couple of months ago and have been somewhat underwhelmed. It's an album of accappella hymns but they have jazzed up most of the hymns, not that successfully, in my estimation. It's OK but not a favourite

God Follower, sung by Steven Curtis Chapman

Prelude No. 6 in D minor, from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1, played by Angela Hewitt

Lifesong, from the Lifesong album by Casting Crowns

I Hate Everything (But You), from the Mockingbird album, by Derek Webb

If you have an ipod and a blog, play along and leave a comment. If you have an ipod but not a blog, leave your list in the comments.

Friday, May 04, 2007

7 Random Things

Kim has tagged me with 7 Random Things about myself.

I have about 7 minutes before we're to be picked up to head out to our last quiz meet. So here goes:

1. I have been coaching Bible quizzing this year for the first time and I really enjoy it.
2. I love choir. I've been asked to be involved in a community choir next year and I'm seriously considering it. But only if Terry will do it with me. I told him it could be our date night... (we've never actually had a date night so whether that is a plus or minus I'm not sure)
3. I am learning to play the cello. I was wondering the other day when I can actually say I play the cello as opposed to learning it.
4. I'm starting a ladies' book club at the church (or for anyone, really) and we are going to read Faithful Women and their Extraordinary God by Noel Piper for the first one.
5. I finished a knitted baby sweater & bonnet for my yet-unborn (supposed to be by today!!) niece or nephew a week or so ago. Then I promptly started another sweater - there's several babies arriving in our church this summer & fall. I like knitting baby sweaters.
6. I prefer black licorice to red but I'll take red if I can get it.
7. I always have a minimum of two books on the go but often 3 or 4. It depends on my mood as to what I want to read.

There - that's seven & our ride isn't even here yet. Off to find a missing bathing suit. Anyone who hasn't already done this meme can do it - just leave me a comment. I'm still waiting on that other book & movie one. :-)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Book & Movie Meme

My husband and son recently tagged me for a book meme and a movie meme. I shall combine them both here, just because I feel like it. Anyone who would like to continue the tag is welcome to do so - just let me know in the comments.

Name three characters (from books)...
1). You wish were real so you could meet them.

Anne Blythe
Elizabeth Darcy & Jane Bingley (same book so counts as one)
Margaret something from Jamie Langston Turner's books

2). You would like to be.

This is a hard one. Anne Blythe (she had her Susan as a housekeeper and lived in a beautiful place and had lots of children)
Susan from Narnia
Elizabeth Darcy (really, who wouldn't?)

3). Who scare you.
The spider & Sauron in Lord of the Rings. Oh and the Nazgul - I remember first reading that series & being terrified by them.



Name a movie you have seen more than 10 times. I've never seen a movie more than twice.
Name a movie you’ve seen multiple times in the theater. Never.
Name an actor who would make you more inclined to see a movie. Colin Firth
Name an actor who would make you less likely to see a movie. Tom Cruise
Name a movie you can and do quote from. The Princess Bride (not often but I have)
Name a movie musical in which you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs. Singing in the Rain; White Christmas; Holiday Inn; Sound of Music; Fiddler on the Roof
Name a movie you have been known to sing along with. See above.
Name a movie you would recommend everyone see. BBC Pride & Prejudice
Name a movie you own. Lord of the Rings
Name an actor who launched his/her entertainment career in another medium but who has surprised you with his/her acting chops. I have no idea
Have you ever seen a movie in a drive-in? Never
Name a movie you keep meaning to see but you just haven’t gotten around to yet. Can't think of one. I just got caught up with Pirates of the Caribbean 2
Ever walked out of a movie? Which one? Nope.
Name a movie that made you cry in the theater. Almost anything. Probably Narnia last.
Popcorn? Depends on the price
How often do you go to the movies (as opposed to renting them or watching them at home)? Once or twice a year
What's the last movie you saw in a movie theater? Night At the Museum (I think)
What’s your favorite/preferred genre of movie? "Chick" movies (within reason) or fantasy
What’s the first movie you remember seeing in the theater? A friend & I went to see a Woody Allen movie when I was about 16. That was the first movie I saw in a theatre. I can't remember what it was called but it seems to me it was weird.
What movie do you wish you had never seen? the half of Napoleon Dynamite I saw
What is the weirdest movie you enjoyed? The Village
What is the scariest movie you’ve seen? The Village (recent watches - when I was a teen, I saw parts of the Rambo movies & I think maybe parts of one of the slasher movies and those were scary - even with my hood over my face, it was scary!)
What is the funniest movie you’ve seen? I have no idea - probably the Pixar movies?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Book Review - Wisdom and Eloquence

Before I put Wisdom and Eloquence: A Christian Paradigm for Classical Learning (by Robert Littlejohn & Charles T. Evans) on the shelf, I decided to sit down and do a quick review of it.

Wisdom and Eloquence is a description and defence of classical Christian education. It is written primarily to Christian school teachers and organizers and this audience would be the ones to benefit most by it. However, the description of classical education is useful for anyone, be they teachers, administrators or homeschool parents. Littlejohn and Evans cover the purpose of education, philosophy of classical education (including what it is not), worldview in light of the liberal arts, and curriculum. Curriculum choices do not include specific texts or authors but instead which subjects to include in a classical education.

The most helpful concept for me as a homeschool parent was the concept of 12-K. The authors recommend that instead of starting at Kindergarten and working up to grade 12, that those planning curriculum for a school begin at the end - what should an ideal grade 12 student look like? What end product are we looking for? Then work backwards throughout the years to ensure that what is taught is always working towards that goal.

One of the most difficult things I have found as a homeschooling parent trying to educate my children classically is to know where we are going. It's easy to say that students will follow a typical school curriculum. But part of the reason we homeschool is that we have a different ideal for our children. And because we haven't been through this process before sometimes I don't know where to turn or how to achieve the results that we are hoping for. I am greatly indebted to an online community of homeschooling classical educators - I could never have gotten this far without their support, help, ideas and recommendations. However, sometimes I still feel like I'm in a bit of a fog - not really knowing where we are going. Wisdom and Eloquence helped to clarify that it's better to start at the top and work backwards and that has helped greatly. It's still foggy sometimes but it encourages me to keep on going.

I recommend Wisdom and Eloquence to anyone interested in education - whether public, private or homeschool. If you are in a public school, I hope that you will catch a vision for Christian education. If you are in a private school, classical or not, I hope that you will also catch a vision for what classical education can be and how beneficial it is to students. And if you are a homeschool parent, I hope that the concepts in this book will be encouraging and help you to have a vision for classical Christian education if you don't already and if you do already have that vision to help you to know that you are not alone and it's worthwhile to keep striving in the education of your children.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Letter to the Global Church from the Protestant Church of Smyrna

I received this via email and was asked to pass it on to as many Christians as I could. I know I don't have a large readership but still thought it was important.

A Letter to the Global Church from the Protestant Church of Smyrna
Dear friends,
This past week has been filled with much sorrow. Many of you have heard by now of our devastating loss here in an event that took place in Malatya, a Turkish province 300 miles northeast of Antioch, the city where believers were first called Christians (Acts 11:26).

On Wednesday morning, April 18, 2007, 46 year-old German missionary and father of three,Tilman Geske, prepared to go to his office, kissing his wife goodbye, taking a moment to hug his son and give him the priceless memory, "Goodbye, son. I love you."

Tilman rented an office space from Zirve Publishing where he was preparing notes for the new Turkish Study Bible. Zirve was also the location of the Malatya Evangelist Church office. A ministry of the church, Zirve prints and distributes Christian literature to Malatya and nearby cities in Eastern Turkey. In another area of town, 35 year old Pastor Necati Aydin, father of two, said goodbye to his wife, leaving for the office as well. They had a morning Bible Study and prayer meeting that some other believers in town would also be attending. Ugur Yuksel, likewise, made his way to the Bible study.

None of these three men knew that what awaited them at the Bible study was the ultimate testing and application of their faith, which would conclude with their entrance into glory to receive their crown of righteousness from Christ and honor from all the saints awaiting them in the Lord's presence.

On the other side of town, ten young men all under 20 years-old put into place final arrangements for their ultimate act of faith, living out their love for Allah and hatred of infidels who they felt undermined Islam.

On Resurrection Sunday, five of these men had been to a by-invitation-only evangelistic service that Pastor Necati and his men had arranged at a hotel conference room in the city. The men were known to the believers as "seekers." No one knows what happened in the hearts of those men as they listened to the gospel. Were they touched by the Holy Spirit? Were they convicted of sin? Did they hear the gospel in their heart of hearts? Today we only have the beginning of their story.

These young men, one of whom is the son of a mayor in the Province of Malatya, are part of a tarikat, or a group of "faithful believers" in Islam. Tarikat membership is highly respected here; it's like a fraternity membership. In fact, it is said that no one can get into public office without membership in a tarikat. These young men all lived in the same dorm, all preparing for university entrance exams.

The young men got guns, bread-knives, ropes and towels ready for their final act of service to Allah. They knew there would be a lot of blood. They arrived in time for the Bible Study, around 10 o'clock.

They arrived and, apparently, the Bible Study began. Reportedly, after Necati read a chapter from the Bible the assault began. The boys tied Ugur, Necati, and Tilman's hands and feet to chairs and, as they videoed their work on their cellphones, they tortured our brothers for almost three hours.*

[*Details of the torture: I debated whether to include this. I decided not to, mostly because of young ones (and old ones), including my own, reading this. However, it was terrible and gruesome. If you would like to pass this email on and would like the details, please email me and I'll send you the full text.]

Neighbors in workplaces near the print-house said later they had heard yelling, but assumed the owners were having a domestic argument so they did not respond.

Meanwhile, another believer Gokhan and his wife had a leisurely morning. He slept in till 10, ate a long breakfast and finally around 12:30 he and his wife arrived at the office. The door was locked from the inside, and his key would not work. He phoned and, though it had connection on his end, he did not hear the phone ringing inside. He called cell phones of his brothers and finally Ugur answered his phone. "We are not at the office. Go to the hotel meeting. We are there. We will come there," he said cryptically. As Ugur spoke Gokhan heard in the telephone's background weeping and a strange snarling sound.

He phoned the police, and the nearest officer arrived in about five minutes. He pounded on the door, "Police, open up!" Initially the officer thought it was a domestic disturbance. At that point they heard another snarl and a gurgling moan. The police understood that sound as human suffering, prepared the clip in his gun, and tried over and over again to burst through the door. One of the frightened assailants unlocked the door for the policeman, who entered to find a grisly scene.

Tilman and Necati had been slaughtered, practically decapitated with their necks slit from ear to ear. Ugur's throat was likewise slit and he was barely alive.

Three assailants in front of the policeman dropped their weapons.

Meanwhile Gokhan heard a sound of yelling in the street. Someone had fallen from their third story office. Running down, he found a man on the ground, whom he later recognized, named Emre Gunaydin. He had massive head trauma and, strangely, was snarling. He had tried to climb down the drainpipe to escape, and losing his balance had plummeted to the ground. It seems that he was the main leader of the attackers. Another assailant was found hiding on a lower balcony.

To untangle the web we need to back up six years. In April 2001, the National Security Council of Turkey (Milli Guvenlik Kurulu) began to consider evangelical Christians as a threat to national security, on equal footing as Al Quaida and PKK terrorism. Statements made in the press by political leaders, columnists and commentators have fueled a hatred against missionaries who they claim bribe young people to change their religion.

After that decision in 2001, attacks and threats on churches, pastors and Christians began. Bombings, physical attacks, verbal and written abuse are only some of the ways Christians are being targeted. Most significant is the use of media propaganda.

From December 2005, after having a long meeting regarding the Christian threat, the wife of Former Prime Minister Ecevit, historian Ilber Ortayli, Professor Hasan Unsal, Politician Ahmet Tan and writer/propogandist Aytunc Altindal, each in their own profession began a campaign to bring the public's attention to the looming threat of Christians who sought to "buy their children's souls." Hidden cameras in churches have taken church service footage and used it sensationally to promote fear and antagonism toward Christianity.

In an official televised response from Ankara, the Interior Minister of Turkey smirked as he spoke of the attacks on our brothers. Amid public outrage and protests against the event and in favor of freedom of religion and freedom of thought, media and official comments ring with the same message, "We hope you have learned your lesson. We do not want Christians here."

It appears that this was an organized attack initiated by an unknown adult tarikat leader. As in the Hrant Dink murder in January 2007 and a Catholic priest, Andrea Santoro, in February 2006, minors are being used to commit religious murders because public sympathy for youth is strong and they face lower penalties than an adult convicted of the same crime. Even the parents of these children are in favor of the acts. The mother of the 16 year-old boy who killed the Catholic priest Andrea Santoro looked at the cameras as her son was going to prison and said, "He will serve time for Allah."

The young men involved in the killing are currently in custody. Today news reported that they would be tried as terrorists, so their age would not affect the strict penalty. Assailant Emre Gunaydin is still in intensive care. The investigation centers around him and his contacts, and they say it will fall apart if he does not recover.

The Church in Turkey responded in a way that honored God as hundreds of believers and dozens of pastors flew in as fast as they could to stand by the small church of Malatya and encourage the believers, take care of legal issues, and represent Christians to the media.
When Susanne Tilman expressed her wish to bury her husband in Malatya, the Governor tried to stop it, and when he realized he could not stop it, a rumor was spread that "it is a sin to dig a grave for a Christian." In the end, in an undertaking that should be remembered in Christian history forever, the men from the church in Adana (near Tarsus), grabbed shovels and dug a grave for their slain brother in an un-tended hundred year old Armenian graveyard.

Ugur was buried by his family in an Alevi Muslim ceremony in his hometown of Elazig, his believing fiance watching from the shadows as his family and friends refused to accept in death the faith Ugur had so long professed and died for.

Necati's funeral took place in his hometown of Izmir, the city where he came to faith. The darkness does not understand the light. Though the churches expressed their forgiveness for the event, Christians were not to be trusted. Before they would load the coffin onto the plane from Malatya, it went through two separate x-ray exams to make sure it was not loaded with explosives. This is not a usual procedure for Muslim coffins.

Necati's funeral was a beautiful event. Like a glimpse of heaven, thousands of Turkish Christians and missionaries came to show their love for Christ and their honor for this man chosen to die for Christ. Necati's wife Shemsa told the world, "His death was full of meaning, because he died for Christ and he lived for Christ. Necati was a gift from God. I feel honored that he was in my life; I feel crowned with honor. I want to be worthy of that honor."

Boldly the believers took their stand at Necati's funeral, facing the risks of being seen publicly and likewise becoming targets. As expected, the anti-terror police attended and videotaped everyone attending the funeral for their future use. The service took place outside at Buca Baptist church, and Necati was buried in a small Christian graveyard in the outskirts of Izmir.
Two assistant Governors of Izmir were there solemnly watching the event from the front row. Dozens of news agencies were there documenting the events with live news and photographs. Who knows the impact the funeral had on those watching? This is the beginning of their story as well. Pray for them.

In an act that hit front pages in the largest newspapers in Turkey, Susanne Tilman in a television interview expressed her forgiveness. She did not want revenge, she told reporters. "Oh God, forgive them for they know not what they do," she said, wholeheartedly agreeing with the words of Christ on Calvary (Luke 23:34).

In a country where blood-for-blood revenge is as normal as breathing, many, many reports have come to the attention of the church of how this comment of Susanne Tilman has changed lives. One columnist wrote of her comment, "She said in one sentence what 1000 missionaries in 1000 years could never do."

The missionaries in Malatya will most likely move out, as their families and children have become publicly identified as targets to the hostile city. The remaining 10 believers are in hiding. What will happen to this church, this light in the darkness? Most likely it will go underground. Pray for wisdom, that Turkish brothers from other cities will go to lead the leaderless church. Should we not be concerned for that great city of Malatya, a city that does not know what it is doing? (Jonah 4:11)

When our Pastor Fikret Bocek went with a brother to give a statement to the Security Directorate on Monday they were ushered into the Anti-Terror Department. On the wall was a huge chart covering the whole wall listing all the terrorist cells in Izmir, categorized. In one prominent column were listed all the evangelical churches in Izmir. The darkness does not understand the light. "These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also" (Acts 17:6).

Please pray for the Church in Turkey. "Don't pray against persecution; pray for perseverance," urges Pastor Fikret Bocek.

The Church is better having lost our brothers; the fruit in our lives, the renewed faith, the burning desire to spread the gospel to quench more darkness in Malatya -- all these are not to be regretted. Pray that we stand strong against external opposition and especially pray that we stand strong against internal struggles with sin, our true debilitating weakness.

This we know. Christ Jesus was there when our brothers were giving their lives for Him. He was there, like He was when Stephen was being stoned in the sight of Saul of Tarsus.

Someday the video of the deaths of our brothers may reveal more to us about the strength that we know Christ gave them to endure their last cross, about the peace the Spirit of God endowed them with to suffer for their beloved Savior. But we know He did not leave their side. We know their minds were full of Scripture strengthening them to endure, as darkness tried to subdue the unsubduable Light of the Gospel. We know, in whatever way they were able, with a look or a word, they encouraged one another to stand strong. We know they knew they would soon be with Christ.

We don't know the details. We don't know the kind of justice that will or will not be served on this earth.

But we pray-- and urge you to pray-- that someday at least one of those five boys will come to faith because of the testimony in death of Tilman Geske, who gave his life as a missionary to his beloved Turks, and the testimonies in death of Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel, the first martyrs for Christ out of the Turkish Church.
Reported by Darlene N. Bocek (24 April 2007)
Please please please pass this on to as many praying Christians as you can, in as many countries as you can. Please always keep the heading as "From the Protestant Church of Smyrna" with this contact information:

Monday, April 23, 2007

Swallowing our Pride

I was thinking about pride the other day while driving. I'm doing a lot of driving these days, back and forth to a music festival, and it gives lots of time to contemplate.

Specifically, I was thinking about how to get rid of pride and how sometimes, one has to, to use the expression, "swallow your pride".

It occurred to me that swallowing my pride is rather like taking medicine. I know it has to be done so I need to face up to it, open up wide and swallow fast. The more quickly I take the medicine, the faster I will get better.

Is there something God is calling you to do that requires swallowing some pride? Take it like medicine - open wide, do it quickly and see what He will do in your life as a result of your obedience.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The History of the Ancient World

We own all four volumes of The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer, which are history texts for children, told in a narrative form. When I heard that she was beginning a series for adults, I was thrilled. I got The History of the Ancient World: from the earliest accounts to the fall of Rome at the beginning of March and spent the next month or so reading it. All 777 pages, excluding notes, appendices & bibliography.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. Ms. Bauer has an engaging style, and my husband would hear me snorting over particular passages, especially in the notes. She traces the history of several different areas of the world, beginning in the Mesopotamian Valley, but also including the history of China and then the developments in India, Africa and Europe. I found it helpful to read about the various cultures concurrently; often history texts focus only on one area at a time and it becomes difficult to figure out how they are related at different time periods. This is a technique that she used in the Story of the World books as well and it is equally effective here. I also really appreciated the charts at the end of each chapter, showing the progression through different rulers & cultures. And the maps were extremely helpful as well, especially when I just couldn't quite remember where that particular tribe or king was from!

One thing that particularly caught my attention was her treatment of Old Testament history. She first includes the OT history, which is a major accomplishment in itself, but then she treats it in such a fashion as to take it seriously. We see how the kings of Israel relate to the various other rulers of world cultures, in both good and bad ways, and it really helps to put it all into context.

I have already required my 12 & 14 year olds to read some chapters that correspond with our history studies. I only wish that it had been published at the beginning of the year instead of near the end so it would fit better with our studies. But that is only quibbling.

Overall, the subject matter is suitable for young to mid-teens and I have no problems with most of the book. There is one small section at the end of one of the chapters about the Greeks that parents will probably want to preread and decide if it's suitable for their children to read.

My preference for non-fiction books is normally to have footnotes. The History has end notes, which I was a little disappointed to see. However, Ms. Bauer strikes a nice compromise with some annotations at the bottom (notes, rather than footnotes) of the pages which are not so scholarly, although have some scholarly sections (referring the reader to other works on the subject at hand); her notes add details or opinions that are very enjoyable to read.

There is a lot of material covered in the book. Even the number of years covered must be daunting. I found that near the end of the book, it seemed as though perhaps Ms. Bauer was either running out of steam or words allowed (I suspect the latter - it did finish at 777 pages). I was a little disappointed, after such a complete treatment of the Old Testament history, to have the New Testament history largely reduced. Included - yes. But I was looking forward to more detail and was a trifle disappointed. But again, that's quibbling.

Ms. Bauer is hard at work on her next volume and I, for one, am hoping that it will be released well within what I think is her deadline of Spring, 2008. I would highly recommend this first book in the series to have as a resource on your shelves. But not only that - treat it like a novel and read from beginning to end - it's fascinating stuff!

It's the Little Things

We have three daughters. Our oldest is almost 13. When she was little, probably just over 2, I started french-braiding her hair and putting curlers in occasionally. That lasted until she was old enough to decide she didn't want them anymore (maybe 8 or 9).

Our second daughter has naturally curly hair so I don't do much other than combing it and sometimes french-braiding it when it's wet.

Our third daughter, now 6, has straighter hair like her older sister's hair. I have braided it, etc. but that's about it. Tonight I found some foam curlers and asked if she would like her hair curled. She was enthusiastic so I did it.

A little while later, she came to me with a hug and a kiss and said, "Thank you, Mama." It takes such little things to make this child happy! What a good reminder for me - to take the time to do special things for this youngest one!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Resurrection Sunday Hymn

Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Dying once He all doth save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids Him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

**Note: I know that others will probably post the same one this week but it truly is my favourite Easter hymn and I look forward to singing it all year. I took the words from Cyber-Hymnal but ended up changing quite a few. There's about 10 verses there and some of them have the same words but in a different order. This is the version I grew up singing.

He is Risen; He is Risen, indeed.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Reflections from Morning Devotions

I Thessalonians 4:13-18

13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.[a]15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

This passage is often referred to only in the course of discussion regarding end times. But in reading these verses this morning, I think (and, of course, this is nothing new) there is great application to be made in time of death. We say that we do not grieve as those who have no hope, but we don't always look at the context of the passage to see why. Paul tells us that our hope is in the return of Christ, whether asleep (dead) or awake (alive). All those in Christ will be caught up to meet Him.

And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Palm Sunday Hymn

Hosanna, Loud Hosanna

Hosanna, loud hosanna, the little children sang;
Through pillared court and temple the lovely anthem rang.
To Jesus, Who had blessed them close folded to His breast,
The children sang their praises, the simplest and the best.

From Olivet they followed mid an exultant crowd,
The victor palm branch waving, and chanting clear and loud.
The Lord of men and angels rode on in lowly state,
Nor scorned that little children should on His bidding wait.

“Hosanna in the highest!” that ancient song we sing,
For Christ is our Redeemer, the Lord of heaven our King.
O may we ever praise Him with heart and life and voice,
And in His blissful presence eternally rejoice!

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Brilliant Quote

"You would think that Christian writer GK Chesterton was describing today’s
public educational system when he said, “Education is the period during which
you are being instructed by somebody you do not know, about something you do not
want to know.” Christians need to realize that much of our public education
system is training our children to be cogs in the economic machine, and not
enabling them to pursue what is truly beautiful. "

From a new blog I discovered: Scriptorium Daily

The quote is from Cursed Cursive. I don't entirely agree with not teaching cursive, just because I happen to think that writing in cursive is faster and easier on the hand (although at least a couple of my kids would disagree) but I loved the quote.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Good Thing!

You paid attention during 91% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Town Comes Alive

Over the past few days, it seems like our town has come alive. Driving around, one sees many people out walking, running, biking or skateboarding.

The reason?

It's finally approaching spring here! Yes, it's getting warmer (5C right now) and the snow is melting. The sidewalks are drying up, although parts are still covered in snow and/or muddy water. Grass is starting to show around the edges of the lawns, at least the south-facing ones. And the roads are mostly clear, although the alleys are still filled with deep ruts of snow and water. So I am thankful!

And in the very warmest garden bed, crocuses are starting to show their little tips. Now that means spring is really on its way.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Break

I've observed that when Kim and others take a break, they only blog once a day.

I, on the other hand, have not blogged for at least 2 weeks. Maybe more - how long ago was March 4? :-)

What can I say? Life has taken over. Schooling the kids, cooking, cleaning, scrapbooking (probably more scrapbooking than cleaning but who's counting?), reading - blogging has taken a back seat to them all. But I have some great scrapbook pages - 2006 is about 1 page in total away from being complete.

I haven't decided yet if that's OK or if I'll continue on with this. But I do have one book review I'm hoping to get to soon and I also wanted to introduce

Oldest Son's Newest Project - The Quizzing Nerd.

I hope he keeps it up - it's been great so far! Oldest daughter's blog is linked in the sidebar and she's started posting some more too.

The hubby has not. Maybe we should combine forces - we seem to be about equal in our output!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sunday Hymn - Praise, my Soul, the King of Heaven

Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven;
To His feet thy tribute bring.
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Evermore His praises sing:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Praise the everlasting King.

Praise Him for His grace and favor
To our fathers in distress.
Praise Him still the same as ever,
Slow to chide, and swift to bless.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Glorious in His faithfulness.

Fatherlike He tends and spares us;
Well our feeble frame He knows.
In His hands He gently bears us,
Rescues us from all our foes.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Widely yet His mercy flows.

Frail as summer’s flower we flourish,
Blows the wind and it is gone;
But while mortals rise and perish
Our God lives unchanging on,
Praise Him, Praise Him, Hallelujah
Praise the High Eternal One!

Angels, help us to adore Him;
Ye behold Him face to face;
Sun and moon, bow down before Him,
Dwellers all in time and space.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Praise with us the God of grace.

Friday, March 02, 2007

100 Best Books

A booklist from the Deputy Headmistress. As she did, I've bolded the ones I've read, italicized the ones I want to read, left alone the ones I don't have an opinion on and put a comment after those I really liked or disliked.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte - I can't remember if I've actually read this one all of the way through
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman - not planning to read it either
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens I've read it once and I'm reading it to my older children right now
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy - I much prefer Far From the Madding Crowd
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller -
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare - I've read and/or seen an assortment but not all of them.
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier - I might have read this but can't remember so it doesn't count.
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger - heard enough about the steamy bits to decide I wasn't going to read it.
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky - I may have tried this once but obviously didn't get far
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy - see Crime & Punishment
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden This was for the library book club last year. I found it to be so sad and tragic, especially since the main character didn't seem to realize how sad and tragic it really was
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown - not planning to either
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - I think I read the first 5 pages and off it went to the library. I thought it was boring.
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving Why is this one considered to be such a classic? I found it tawdry and sad.
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins - fun read!
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery - and, of course, all the books in the series. Anne of Ingleside is my favourite.
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood - no thank you
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding Junior High - I'm not asking my kids to read it!
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel - again for the library book club. Ick.
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons - another one that seems to be recommended as a classic that I didn't get
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon - very interesting and different but at least not as icky as some.
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - no, thank you
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck - highschool. I think I liked his writing or at least the word pictures.
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov :P
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold :p
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Alborn
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo I struggled through this in highschool and eventually finished it. I started it again about 3 or 4 years ago and couldn't get through all the political meanderings. One of these days, I'll read it again and skip those parts!

I think this is a funny list because it's got such a variety of books on it. I guess everyone has a chance at it, anyway.

What about you?