Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Birthday, Grampy!

We had great fun making this video for my dad's birthday.  Alizona did the video editing, and a great job, too... we should get a high-speed camera card.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Please Help!!

Hurry on over to Booklover's blog and leave her a comment!  She is just a few dozen comments away from her goal of 1000 for 2007.  Come on, help make a little girl's dream come true. (Oh, excuse me.  She says it is not her dream, but she would still like your comments!)

Thank you to all of you who clicked on over to Booklover's blog and left her a comment.  She accumulated well over 1000 comments and is very happy with her popularity!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Loving Daughters

Lately I have seen some very nice demonstrations of daughter-love, that is, love of daughters for their moms. First of all, Luthien wrote a most beautiful card for her mom, Denise, at HeartnSoul

Then, Eyebright posted this very gratifying-to-a-mom entry here.  What a thrill to see a young lady make her own choice to do right, and not just say, "I can't do that. My mom won't let me." 

Alizona, my own precious oldest daughter, awarded me the Blogging Friends Award. (Yes, this is still an award-free zone, but hey, I can make an exception for my own daughter!  It's my blog.) Alie has entered that time of life when mothers and daughters begin to be not only parent/child, but close friends. I am so blessed to have her call me her friend! She is a treasure. I am so enjoying watching each of my girls' talents and personalities growing.  Each of them is so different! 

And last, but not least, Booklover reached beyond herself the other day as I was drifting away in a low-blood-sugar episode, and actually said,  "Mom, are you okay?"  This may not seem like a big thing to you, but this is the happy-go-lucky kid who always wants (and usually gets) the biggest or best or last piece of whatever delicious thing we happen to have sitting around -- chocolate, cookies, fudge, whatever.  That means she is not usually thinking of someone besides herself, but sometimes she does.  Today I saw by accident that she had slipped some of her own hard-to-come-by money into a good-bye card for our missionary friends who are moving on.   This is such a blessing to me.  There is a little heart of gold in there, and it just warms me up all over to see my girls growing like this.  Thank you, Lord, for these little jewels. They are getting brighter and shinier all the time.

(Sorry about the little teeny links. Will have to figure out how to fix that...)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Knee Mail

If you are familiar with Dr. Dino, Dr. Kent Hovind, you know that he is in prison right now with a new ministry, preaching to fellow inmates. I don't know enough about his case to defend him or otherwise, but he still has some great stuff. His prison experience has grown him as a Christian and a man. He has written some great devotions on his blog; many of them are conversations with God.  This is one that I particularly enjoyed.

GOD:    Good morning, son.

kh:    Good morning, Lord.

GOD:    I see you are reading My Word.

kh:    Yes, Lord.

GOD:    Why?

kh:    Why am I reading Your Word?

GOD:    Yes, son, why are you reading it? Examine your heart. Are you reading because you feel obligated? What’s your motive?

kh:    I guess I never thought about it, Lord. There are lots of reasons to read it.

GOD:    Yes, son, there are lots of reasons people read My Word. Some read it because of habit. Habits are good, son, and I want all My children to get good habits and avoid bad habits, but habit alone is not a good reason to read My Word.

Some only read it to get a message to preach to others. Some read it to salve their conscience. It makes them feel that they have done their daily duty to Me. Some read it so that they can impress others with their Bible knowledge; some so they can win a debate; and others so they can brag and say, “I have read my Bible every day for X number of years. I have read it cover to cover X times (Luke 18:11-12)!”  Some read their “chapter a day to keep the devil away.”  Some think reading My Word obligates Me to protect them or provide special blessings to them. Thus, thinking that My Word is a magic potion, they read it and think I’m indebted to them. However, I’m never in debt to any man. Some read it to look good to their fellow man (Matthew 23:26). They have their reward (Matthew 6:2).

You see, son, I search the hearts (Jeremiah 17:10). I know why people do what they do. I don’t need anyone to tell me what is in man (John 2:25). You would be surprised to know how many people read My Word only because of peer pressure or because they think others expect it of them.

Still others read it only hoping to find errors or contradictions so they can justify not submitting to its authority. Quite a few read it to see which Scriptures they can wrest (II Peter 3:16) to fit their own wild doctrines or wicked life styles. I wrote it so that some passages appear to contradict at first glance, so those who hate Me will be caught in their own net (Psalm 35:8).

kh:    Have I ever read Your Word for any of those reasons, Lord?

GOD:    Nearly all of them at one time or another, son.

kh:    Why should I read it, Lord?

GOD:    My Word provides more things than you realize. It washes like water (Ephesians 5:26-27) and quenches the thirst (John 4:14) in those who hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matthew 5:6). My Word brings life (Proverbs 3:2) and light (Psalm 119:130). It is milk (I Peter 2:2), bread (Matthew 4:4), and meat (Hebrews 5:12-14). It is a light to your path (Psalm 119:105) and a search light for your heart (Psalm 139:23). It is your armor against the devil (Ephesians 6:11,17). It keeps you from sin (Psalm 119:11). It brings healing (Matthew 8:16). It makes you bear fruit (Matthew 13:20-23). It helps you learn of me (Matthew 11:29) to prepare you to live in my palace forever (Revelation 21:1).

kh:    Do I ever read it for those reasons, Lord?

GOD:    Sometimes, son, but not often enough. I’ve given you a lot. You have a sharp mind, good health, a loving family, a relatively free country, and lots of people who love and pray for you. You need to study to show yourself approved to Me (II Timothy 2:15). I’ve given you much and I will require much of you (Luke 12:48).

kh:    I know, Lord. That verse scares me.

GOD:    It should, son, it should. I love you. Get back to reading. I’ve got your back.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mnemonics for 10 Commandments

Do you have trouble remembering which of the Ten Commandments is which?  I did.  I grew up in a protestant church that followed the Roman Catholic version. After the Lord saved me, I could never keep them straight. If you have read through Exodus 20, you may have wondered why they don't match what you learned in catechism or CCD or whatever.  I'll spare you the explanation here, but I wanted to share this link with you, which is a great mnemonics device! Here are a couple of examples:

The second commandment, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, (...) Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them..."

The eighth commandment, "Thou shalt not steal."

Neat, huh?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Four Year Old Author

Emily announced to me the other day, "Mom, I am writing a book."
Me: Oh really.  What's it about?
Em: George Washington!  Will you help me?
Me (distracted): Okay.Sure...
Em: Mom.  Mom.  Mom?  How do you spell "George Washington"?
Me: G...
Em: Okay, what next?
Me: E....
Em: Okay, what next?
Me: O....
Em: Okay, what next?
Me: What are you going to write about George Washington?  That he was the father of our country? Our first President?
Em: No. What year was he born, Mom?  ....Mom.  Mom.  MOM!  Mom, what year was he born?
Me: Oh, I think 1700 something.  Let's look it up... 1731 or 32.
Em: How do I write it?
Me: 1....7....3.....2

For a while Emily worked alone. Then,
Em: Mom, how do you spell "dead"?
I spell it for her.
Em:  Look, Mom, my book!  Do you want to see it?  Mom, mom, MOM! See my book?
Me (still distracted): Yes. Okay. Where's your book?

"George Washington (was born in) 1732"  (32 written backwards)
Well, she is not very detailed in her report, but at least she's accurate...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I Am Not Religious

Do you ever have people confuse your salvation for religion?  Sometimes people think we do what we do (or don’t do what we don’t do) because we have a given set of church rules to follow. My good friend, Kristy, wrote this good piece on the differences between God-given salvation and man-made religion; I begged it from her for my ladies' newsletter and my blog.   Thanks, Kristy!


I Am Not Religious. I Am Saved!

I am not trying to keep a set of rules to attain salvation.

I already have salvation.

I am not religious; I am saved.

When I die and stand before God,

I don't have to worry that my good outweighs my bad.

I am not religious; I am saved.

I am not walking around observing ceremonies and traditions

because that's the way it's always been done.

And I don't need them to attain salvation.

I am not religious; I am saved.

I am not a person that can no longer sin. I still sin.

When I ask God’s forgiveness it's granted.

Salvation is not a process. It's a gift. A gift has to be accepted.

I am not religious; I am saved.

When I learn some new truth and God shows me my error, I try to correct it.

I fail over and over again.

I am not changing my life for salvation.

My life is being changed because of salvation.

I can't change my life by my own power.

I am not religious; I am saved.

I can't lose my salvation because of mistakes I make. God promises that.

I am not religious; I am saved.

I don't always feel saved. But that's okay. It's not about how I feel or what I think.

Being saved is based on God’s Word and His promises.

I am not religious; I am saved.

I am not trying to be better than my neighbor, friends or family.

I am trying to be like Christ.

I am not religious; I am saved.

I am not always understood. I know that. It hurts. God's Word comforts me.

I am not religious; I am saved.

My stand on issues is not popular. I strive to follow God's Word, not man’s.

I am not religious; I am saved.

Salvation is a gift from God. It can't be worked for or bought.

It's not a list of rules that have to be followed.

Salvation is not a doctrine, a denomination or a fancy church.

It's God loving us enough to send his Son to die for us.

Salvation is not in traditions, ceremonies, or what church you attend.

Salvation is in Jesus Christ.

I am not religious. I am SAVED!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Thinking on Eternity

As we speak my DH is conducting a memorial service. He didn't want to do it -- this is a really tough one, a suicide. But funerals aren't for the sake of the dead.  They are for those who are living on without their loved one. The woman (not someone we knew) hung herself, which, in my mind, has got to be one of the worst ways to die. In the old days, the condemned had his head put into the noose, and then he was suddenly dropped a good distance, enough to break his neck.  But someone who puts a belt around her neck and swings away from a chair must be absolutely tortured for several minutes, both in her body and in her mind.  I know, this is really morbid.  But I can't help thinking about this poor woman, who, if she never gave Jesus Christ any of her time before this, must have been desperately begging God for her life in her last moments. I hope she realized that he was her only hope for eternity. I hope someone in her life loved her enough to tell her before this how to be saved from her sins, and I hope she remembered that while she was on her way out.

My older daughters, Alizona and Booklover, are providing the music for the memorial service. I didn't want them to have to be there. This is one of those ugly things I wanted them to be protected from forever. The spirit of grief is so heavy at something like this.  I know if it were I playing the piano, I wouldn't be able to see the music for the tears. I have been praying for all three of them, the girls and my DH, all morning, as well as for the woman's husband and for the others who are attending the service. Could something good come from all this?  Could someone there realize their own need for peace with God?  That is also my prayer.

In our own home the whole situation has opened up some opportunities to talk with the little girls about death. "Mommy, is a rock dead?  How about a flower? Is a waffle dead?"  What makes a body alive?  And how can our souls have life? Oh, our souls live on forever.  It is the spirit that dies in sin and needs to be born again. The soul without a living spirit goes down to hell when the body dies, and "lives" there suffering and perishing, for eternity.  The soul that has been redeemed, bought back from the dead by the blood of Jesus, has been given eternal life.  In the OT, those who believed God sacrificed animals for blood to cover their sins. But when the Messiah came, the Prince of Peace, he was the last sacrifice for sins. His blood no longer only covered sins; it actually took them away.  Praise God, when Jesus Christ willingly went to the cross, he shed the last blood God would ever need. The blood of atonement.  It is finished.  Jesus paid it all. What peace I have in my heart, knowing without a doubt that my sins are paid for. No matter how bad things could get in this temporal life, I know I have peace with God through the blood of the cross. Do you? It is my prayer that someone at that service will receive this peace today.

Friday, December 14, 2007


More Stuff

I am still getting over the template disease.  It is getting better, I think. You may still find me messing with colors and stuff, but I am getting closer to satisfied.  We had a split vote here on the sky color being yellow or blue, so today it is blue.

For those of you who have inquiring minds, I drew the desert picture with Paint, then cut out our family photo with Adobe Photoshop Elements and superimposed it onto the desert pic. It's picky work and takes way too much time if you are not a perfectionist.  Kind of like changing templates -- way too much trial and error.  (Especially the error part!)  Every time I poured a different color into the sky, I lost parts of our heads.  Hence my pointed cranium. That "path" is supposed to be a little stream, but it can be whatever you want. We have both, but there are a lot more paths than streams out there!  And oh, that coiled thing is supposed to be a snake, not a rusty bedspring, but there are lots of old bedsprings out there, too.    So that is the limit of my artistic talent, and thank you for allowing me to share it with you.

More stuff:  Some of you asked about
that info I posted a bit earlier about kids being ready for the mechanics of writing.  I am sorry, I have hunted high and low for the source, and I CAN'T FIND IT ANYWHERE!!  I know it was in a magazine, either TOS or Homeschool Enrichment. If I come across it, I will you know.  I want to read it again, too.

The little girls slept in their new bed for the first time last night, and it sounded just like a slumber party going on in there for a while, hee hee.  It's such a blessing to hear them giggling together.  For a while.  I had forgotten about the problems that accompany bunk beds: "When is it going to be my turn to sleep on the top bunk?"  "Get down!  This is MY bed!"  "Stop wiggling! You are moving the whole bed, and I can't sleep!!"  "MOM!!! Tell her to hold STILL!"  lol.  It's still a blessing.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Just Stuff

Sorry I have been away for a while... no goals combined with no motivation doesn't get the job done!  It's been life as usual in this household. School, play, school, play, school, play some more.  What a tough life these kids have.  I remember when that was my life, too. Wasn't it great being a kid, having basically no responsibilities that had eternal consequences?  It's different now, though. I get overwhelmed, probably daily, with the thoughts I have about being an example to my kids, what they are learning from me (good and bad), and not learning from me (good and bad), what is really important for them to know in their hearts, with conviction, before they leave this cover of this roof, how much of the world's philosophy has permeated my children's education and thoughts for the future as women in this world, blabbety blabbety blah.  (I'm sure that is how it sounds to God, who is stuck listening to my thoughts all the time!)  I know my fretting is a lack of trust in God, in whose hands my girls are kept. Yes, they are safe in the Lord's hands, but I have a job to do, and every place I fail will have negative effects on them.  That is a lot of pressure.

*       *       *

ARRRGHHH!  I just wrote a whole bunch more on this post and LOST IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! sigh. I am so good at that.  Anyway, as I was saying, I wrote the above paragraph several days ago when I was buried in a sea of inadequacy.  I don't feel that way today, even though we have not done any school work in a while... I wonder why it is that one day you feel like crawling under the nearest rock, and other days you feel like you are on top of the world. Anyway...

My parents came to see us for Carrotlover's eighth birthday.  We had a really nice visit! Hmm...  Too bad we don't have a photo of them together.
Here she is with her daddy, on their way to the car for her birthday "date".

Carrotlover opened her gifts when they got home, and was very pleased to receive, among other fun things, some new skates and a helmet from both sets of grandparents. She just loves them!  I think she spent two days straight in them.  Yes, I let her skate in the house until the skates have been outside.  What can she hurt, besides herself and the rest of us? lol. Here she is, afternoon and evening, in skates. In the first photo she is reading the ONE book that was on her birthday wish-list, Spring With the Moodys.  Those books by Sarah Maxwell are great!

In other local news, Booklover FINALLY finished a quilt she has (not) been working on for a very long time!  A friend sent her a bunch of not-square fabric squares, maybe two years ago, and Booklover got inspired. I reluctantly participated with her in squaring the squares and cutting strips to go between rows of squares, since there weren't really enough of them to make anything big. Last night Booklover finally finished tying the quilt, and here is the finished product:

Pretty nice, huh?  Good job, Booklover!  She told me, "That hardly took any time at all. Why didn't I finish it sooner?"  She is beginning to sound a lot like her mother...

AND, since we were finishing things yesterday, Alizona also got to work on the afghan that has been hanging over her head for more than two years.  Ta da!!  She spent about 20 minutes weaving in the loose ends and now it is on her bed! She makes such nice, even knots. I don't know where these girls got all their talent.
It's not hereditary.  I have been trying to make an afghan, too.  I got about ten rows done, and then I forgot what size hook to use, and how to do the stitch. The procrastination, however, is hereditary.

So.  What is the big deal with bed covers around here?  Well, Emily had her prayer for a bunk bed answered, and the big girls wanted to pass down their matching spreads to the little girls.  Yesterday was spent shoveling a path through the little girls' room so the delivery men would have a place to put the bed together.  I WISH I had before and after pictures, so you could see that I really do do some things around here. The difference in their room is like night and day, and I feel good about it! I don't know how two little girls can make such a huge mess. ...Yes, I do, too.  It's just entropy.  Maybe this would have been a good time for an object lesson on the second law of thermodynamics!

So anyway, that is some of what we have been busy with lately. I feel sort of out of touch with you all -- it's busy time of year! Seems like there is something else to report, but that will have to be on a future post. Later!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Temporary Template Illness

Generally we don't catch whatever bugs are going around, and really, I thank the Lord for that.  It has been a long time since we got the stomach flu or bronchitis or any of that other gross stuff.  But I did catch something... I even stayed home from church last night because I felt awful, but mostly because Emily felt bad, too. This morning I discovered what it is -- I got the template-changing bug!  I noticed it has really been going around HSB lately.  As if I have time for this!  If I didn't have Alizona, I would be stuck with plain old boring HSB templates.  I would be languishing.  Dear daughter Alison sweetly administers my HTML, nurses me through Adobe PhotoElements, and comes running to calm me and restore my work when I scream, "AAARRGHHHH!!!! I JUST DELETED MY ART!!!."   (Most moms have different reasons for being thankful for their daughters.  I am thankful for her for all the same reasons you are thankful for your daughters, but I must add these!)  I'm not over this bug yet.  In a few days I should be over the fever and have my colors right. Thanks to Alison.

Writing Woes

My near 8 yo HATES writing anything school related. At first I thought this was just an obedience issue, but after I read some things (Ruth Beechick?) I wonder. There are certain things this child will write on her own, such as a letter or a story that is her own idea. But she would rather do any school subject orally than write answers in her workbooks, even math! 

So what I learned is this: if your child makes his letter O's clockwise instead of counter-clockwise, or makes his lower case r's backwards (hump before stick, right to left), he needs retraining.
I asked my daughter to write the alphabet while I watched. Sure enough, she makes her O's and r's backwards. The article also recommended some small muscle exercises to strengthen the fingers, such as using the writing hand to crinkle an opened sheet of newspaper into a ball. So this morning I had this child do just that.  You know how it is when your children are encouraged to destroy something, right?  They really get into it!  Soon I had four girls crushing newspapers into balls, and shortly thereafter, our own desert "snowball" fight!  We'll do this daily until the junk mail runs out, and I'm sure the weak little third grade fingers will become burly, strong, experienced, happy writers.

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