Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Unlikely Friends

"There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." (Proverbs 18:24)
Without any brothers around, Clementine has struck up a friendship with our fish, Jack. They both bump their "noses" against the glass each day to get a better look at one another. The kids think it's the greatest and funniest thing!

Monday, September 28, 2009

What I'll Miss

By and by (as my Grandma used to say), the children will grow up. On this Monday full of gratitude, these are the things I am thankful for and will surely miss (although parents of older children tell me it gets even better :)

*Thankful for tiny kitchens with four year-old chefs who say, "I'm practicing being a parent".

*Thankful for finding this display on a bulletin board--remnants of what gives one particular child joy!

*for devotionals for little people

*for "tubby toys"

*for this little piggy that comes before the real bank

*for the ugly, fuzzy chairs they adore so much

*for the need to talk about the date and weather

*for the need to still use blocks for counting

*thankful that crayons are a still a big part of our lives

*thankful that this creepy doll is lovely to them
Lord, when I complain about the whining, the inability to use the toilet, the need to be carried all the time, etc. remind me again of these precious qualities that I will miss when my children are grown. Thank You for the unbelievable gift you've given me in my children.

holy experience

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Changes in the Unchangeable

"As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease." (Genesis 8:22)
What a comfort. As summer turns to Autumn, I can trust that these changes will continue on and never change! Thank You, Lord. You are the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

Thursday, September 24, 2009


My children are little "Backyardigans". If there's an opportunity, or an open door (which my son has found on more than one occasion), they dash outside, forgetting shoes, jackets, using the bathroom, eating lunch, etc. Because our nursery is adjacent to our home, the scope of exploration is immense. There is a white fence that runs along the back of the nursery and the gorgeous creatures that paw the dust just behind the fence are a magnet to my kids. They have always felt like we own the horses when in reality, they belong to our neighbours. My little ones have named them and fed them for years and we've enjoyed their beauty without the effort of responsibility. The whinny of these gentle beasts is a welcome sound through my kitchen window and evokes fond memories of riding as a child. I hear the laughter at the wet snort from one horse's nostrils and I smile; the delight of my kids becomes my pleasure.
Education requires Creation-embracing and we are so blessed to have an abundance of opportunity to make this a focus of our everyday lives. When homeschool gets tedious, don't forget to take your little Backyardigans to explore the woods or pond. Discover green carpets of velvet in a field, or intricate wings of dragonflies alighting on a creek. It's likely that nothing else will draw them closer to their Creator than this special place of meeting: His world.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Imagery From Psalm 23

We recite the Psalm together and then I repeat it; their eyes are closed.

They imagine David, the pastures, the lambs, God's arms in the valley.
We talk of the waywardness of sheep, how we're like them, how God, the Good Shepherd, gently guides.

They brush their papers quietly and I observe how He speaks to each of them differently as they work out their thoughts of the Word onto blank "canvases".

One is dissatisfied with her strokes and we try to fix them over and over, finally relating back to the sheep--we just can't find our way without Him.
Remind me, Lord, when I get frustrated at my inadequacies. I am nothing without You. I must sit at the feet of the Shepherd before I can wander the pastures of life, looking for food (the spiritual kind), nudging my little ones.

holy experience

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bible Memory Work

This summer, I challenged myself to memorize Psalm 103. I'm presently at verse 20 and still working at it! The words of this Psalm have blessed me immeasurably as I've repeated them over and over in my mind throughout the day. I'm determined to complete the memory work and as school habits are beginning, I will solicit my children's help. As they test me on the passage, they will undoubtedly discover Mommy's love for God's Word, as well as, learn the chapter for themselves!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Giving Thanks

It's Monday again. Time to give thanks for every little blessing :)

*for happy faces while learning letters

*for finding and following mysterious tracks

*for searching out the best trail

*for imaginative play

*for homeschool! (we get to work with a kitten beside us)

*for healthy eye exams

*for rainy days

*for Christian men's retreats

*for new friends

*for a month full of birthdays

*for laundry (speaking words of life here)

*for little voices in prayer at bedtime

*for embarrassing things two year-olds say to strangers (like: "you look scary!")

*for music--a tiny glimpse of God

"Sing songs, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your heart to God." (Colossians 3:16b)

holy experience

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Stuck Is A Good Thing

Stuck stinks. Here we were, ready to leave our campsite, my husband sweaty and tired from working on leveling the trailer--again, and we got stuck in the mud. We had a notion it might happen since we've been in this situation before. Last year, we had endured the same frustration so this year, we came prepared. We brought boards and other devices that would help us pull that hunk of metal out of the mud (in case of last day rain), but to no avail. We were spinning tires again. My husband wearily rolled his eyes as he climbed into the truck to go look for the maintenance guy with the tractor. He had planned the day out wisely so we would be home at a decent hour and now, we would be off schedule--something we deemed important at the end of our vacation. He returned a few minutes later and said the maintenance staff could come right away. We were relieved but still impatient.
Upon the tractor's arrival, we noticed something that turned our attention away from the negativity of the situation. Our son was beside himself excited that a huge, green machine with a long, thick chain was rescuing our trailer out of the muck. It dawned on me that just as I had soothed him to sleep that week with stories of tractor rescues, he was getting to witness such an event in reality! He was thrilled beyond measure. My husband and I smiled and retreated from our annoyance and gazed upon this little boy who was reminding us to find something positive in our circumstance. Instead of being anxious to keep our plans perfectly lined up, we enjoyed a moment we would have otherwise missed. We shared a memory with our son and learned that day that sometimes, stuck is a good thing.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Signs of Autumn

"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven..." (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

God Talk

He's leaving a legacy, one that's obvious. We know what he believes and he lives a life that exemplifies it. This day, his 90th birthday, is no exception. We arrive with a cake and gifts and his pastor is there. The conversation circles around God and His goodness and although he contributes little right now, the legacy speaks. The atmosphere is one he's pleased with because it's the way he has lived. God talk is his way.
Grandpa Holloway, we honour you on your special day and thank you for your quiet submission that leads us to follow the One you have honoured with your life.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Garden Buffet

She diligently gathers, inviting siblings to the feast,
a bowl of snails, flower petals, shells and bark;
Practicing her culinary skills, she stirs with nature's spoon.
There's pride in her offering and they kindly comply by
pretending to gobble up every last crunchy bite.
A satisfied smile crosses her smudgy mouth and
she wipes grimy, dirt-caked hands on her dress.