Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tommy's First Speaker for Little Boys and Girls

I bought this old (1885) little volume of poetry for children from the DHM from the Common Room. In case there are others looking for copywork, dictation or recitation pieces for their boys, I thought I'd share the poems here on our blog.
(**Update: I mistakenly thought these first few poems were from the "suitable for little boys" section but actually the first one is for little girls and the others are for both boys and girls. I will continue on with this project by posting the boys' poems first, then the girls', then the mixed ones. Sorry for the confusion.)
Each week I'll try to remember to post a few. I'm notorious for not finishing projects that I start because I forget about them but if I leave this little book by my computer, hopefully it will force me to think about it. If you print them out each week, you will eventually have the whole little volume yourself. Enjoy!
How Babies Grow
Baby wee, baby wee!
What does little baby see?
All among her pillows lying,
Never fretful, never crying;
Caper and crow, caper and crow!
That's the way that babies grow!
Baby fair, baby fair!
Rosy cheeks and curly hair,
Al among her pillows playing,
Little chubby hands displaying;
Caper and crow, caper and crow!
That's the way that babies grow!
"I Can" and "I Can't"
"I Can't" is a sluggard, too lazy to work,
From duty he shrinks, every task he will shirk;
No bread on his board, and no meal in his bag,
His house is a ruin, his coat is a rag.
"I Can" is a worker; he tills the broad fields,
And digs from the earth all the wealth that it yields;
The hum of his spindles begins with the light,
And the fires of his forges are blazing all night.
The Chickens
Said the first little chicken,
With a queer little squirm,
"I wish I could find
A fat little worm."
Said the next little chicken,
With an odd little shrug,
"I wish I could find
A fat little slug."
Said the third little chicken,
With a sharp little squeal,
"I wish I could find
Some nice yellow meal."
Said the fourth little chicken,
With a small sigh of grief,
"I wish I could find
A little green leaf."
Said the fifth little chicken,
With a faint little moan,
"I wish I could find
A wee gravel stone."
"Now, see here," said the mother,
From the green garden patch,
"If you want any breakfast,
Just come here and scratch."
God's Mark On All Things
There's not a leaf within the bower,
There's not a bird upon the tree,
There's not a dew-drop on the flower,
But bears the impress, Lord, of Thee.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

What I've Been Reading

Several titles by Randy Alcorn of Eternal Perspectives Ministries. So far I've completed Deadline, Safely Home and The Ishbane Conspiracy. I just started Dominion. They are the kind of books you just want to buy a thousand copies and pass them out to everyone you know. They are great reading for older teens and adults, providing a way to learn about things that you don't want to have to experience yourself in order to gain the benefits of understanding the issues.
The girls started reading them too. I gave Ishbane Conspiracy to Adventure Queen a day or two ago and she stayed up last night to finish it, telling me that everyone who has children should read it. When I looked up the website to post the link above, I saw a quote from someone saying exactly the same thing - that it should be required reading for every parent. Tom is finishing Deadline and has been raving to me of all she has learned about current social issues. I believe she is working on a post about it so I won't steal her thunder here.
Tom also is reading The Purity Principle and she said she would like to buy many copies to hand out to young people. It's small and easy to read and she felt like it made the case for staying pure very well using concrete examples from real people's lives.
The kids will probably be posting more about their thoughts on these books but I just couldn't wait to tell y'all to order these! You won't be sorry!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


We had a special gathering of women at our church Monday night and the topic was The Longing to be Beautiful. I think it was the best talk on beauty that I had ever heard. The speaker was a woman who has been through some hard things in her life and among them the diagnosis of epilepsy in her 3yo son, his death by the time he was four in a car accident (while she was on her way to church) and breast cancer. She had lost all of her hair and had to have her breasts removed. This caused her to really seek the Lord on what He thinks about beauty.
The first Scripture she shared was a very popular one when addressing the subject, but it had much more meaning coming from our speaker.
"Your adornment must not be merely external - braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God."
After sharing more Scriptures and personal testimony we spent some time in small group discussion at our table of about 8 women. Among the eight was one woman who had to wear a wig, another who had anorexia and another who had plastic sugery to eliminate 200lbs of weight but still struggled greatly with too much body fat. It was amazing to see these women open up the private details of their lives. My only complaint was that our time was cut short because it would have been nice to pray for some of them individually.
This event was instigated for the women of the church but I was so glad I brought my daughters, even though they were the only young people. They split us up at different tables, which was great because they all had plenty of opportunity to talk to other women. I am really looking forward to getting to know so many "beautiful" women. When we were driving home that night and discussing the message, BLOCHhead said the teenage girls need to hear that probably more than the women did. Desegregation is something we hope to encourage more because young girls sure could benefit from hearing the testimonies of older women! I was blessed to see how open they were to the girls coming. One lady who was in charge of a coming event for adults told us we all needed to come even though it was supposed to be for adults only. She said with a sly smile, "Well, if you show up, we won't be able to turn you away!" How nice and beautiful!
I'll close with the piece our speaker closed with.
Our Daily Bread "For His Eyes Only"
When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see a lovely reflection? A handsome face" Or do you see a plain or unattractive countenance? We want to give those who behold us what my friend called an aesthetic blessing. But what about the beauty of holiness? Are others blessed by the beauty that flows through us from Christ?
A distinguished Bible scholar of the 19th century, J.B. Lightfoot, was described by one of his devoted students as "startlingly ugly: a stout little man with a grotesque figure and a squint." But that same student also said that Lightfoot ws "the best man I have ever encountered, and I say this deliberately after the experience of many years. In a day or two...his face appeared the most beautiful and lovable thing imaginable.
When Stephen was brought before the Jewish council for interrogation, "they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke" (Acts 6:10). As he was begin accused, they "saw his face as the face of an angel" (v. 15). By God's transforming grace, we too can have a daily beauty in our lives. As we walk prayerfully in the Spirit, our faces increasingly reflect the beauty of Jesus. -- Vernon C. Grounds

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


The dearest spot of earth to me
Is home, sweet home,
The fairy land I've longed to see
Is home, sweet home,
There how charm'ed the sense of hearing,
There where hearts are so endearing
All the world is not so cheering
As home, sweet home.
I've taught my heart the way to prize,
My home, sweet home,
I've learned to look with lover's eyes
On home, sweet home,
There where vows are truly plighted,
There where hearts are so united
All the world besides I've slighted
For home sweet home.
By W.T. Wrighton
Everywhere I may go in this life and everywhere I've been I find that no place is or could be more dear to me than my home. All the friends I have and all the friends I will have, none could possibly mean as much to me as my family.
Our house is not especially beautiful, there are books that sometimes litter the couches and shoes by the door and peace is not always present; brothers running through the house and sometimes barging into my room to ask for help with this or wanting to show me a new toy. But I would not give up the special time of helping a little brother (and yes even when its a inconvenient time) or talking with my sisters or reading together on a rainy day for anything the world has to offer!
I find that many people I've talked to have expressed regret that they did not spend enough time with a sister or brother in there childhood or that they wasted to much their time having "fun" in the world rather than being content at home. I have never heard anyone say that they did not have enough freedom as a teenager or they wished they had more "fun" while growing up.
I know that one day I will have to make my own decisions about how I spend my time but that time is not now and in the meantime I am enjoying my time and making memories that will last me all my life and will bring more joy to me than any momentary pleasure.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Rainy Day Read Aloud

A beautiful sight to a homeschooling mom's heart: all of the children voluntarily gathered around for a cozy time of reading together during their free time on a rainy day.

Encouragement to Face the Giants

We are all really enjoying our new church, especially the sermons, which have been very uplifting and encouraging. Yesterday we were gone all day. Since our church is an hour away and we wanted to go to a smaller meeting in the evening, we found ways to keep busy in between times. We went to the local mall, had lunch, and then caught a movie - and wow what a movie!
Facing the Giants was the most inspirational movie we have ever seen. After receiving an email raving about the movie from a local couple that hosts a Bible study for young people in our area, we decided to give it a try. We are not a huge movie-going family, mostly because we like to avoid watching trash, which is Hollywood's most often served item. But Facing the Giants was a real treat. Most of us cried as well as laughed many times throughout the film. The theme was trusting God through the hard times and not giving up. It was especially what the Doctor ordered for us right now.
I've been thinking lately of how many of us have hardships in our life of some kind or another. Whether it's relationships, finances, health or whatever, no one is immune from them. Sometimes counting your blessings is vital to your mental health. Have you ever been around someone who finds a way to see a blessing in any situation? Or can always find a reason to be thankful by thinking of others who are worse off? Those kind of people always make me marvel and I am so thankful for the reminders their outlook brings. I thank God he gave me a sister with exactly that gift!
Another source of encouragement for me has been books I have been reading by Randy Alcorn. So far I've read Deadline, Safely Home and I'm almost finished with The Ishbane Conspiracy. What wake up calls! These are really good books for older teenagers and adults. They really inspire you to see the big picture of this life.
God has been so good to give us encouragement from so many places right now. Weekly it has been a battle between good and bad. We get fueled with His Word and the fellowship of His saints and we feel very strong and then some news of some false rumor or something someone has said comes floating our way and I am tempted to loose my peace. The temptation to defend my family is very great (especially since I feel very capable of doing so), and sometimes thoughts of wanting to retaliate surface. For the most part, we are attempting to let it go, though occasionally we find it necessary to address something, especially when it is damaging to our children, but even they are having to learn the same lessons we are right now. Our kids have been a wonder to watch. They are really growing in their faith and I'm seeing a maturity that maybe only trials can bring. We often encourage each other with Scripture verses and songs. Through it all our family has been growing closer and stronger. God has sent us much in the way of encouragement to trust Him and have patience to wait on Him. We appreciate any prayers on our behalf for strength to do just that.
"Consider it all joy, my brethern, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4

Thursday, October 19, 2006

And a Few More For Good Measure

BlochHead did this copy of a Thomas Kincade picture with watercolor pencils. She hung it in her bedroom above her drawing table, even though I begged her for it!.
Even Tom tries her hand at painting when her fantasy reading inspires her to do so. She's a bit burned out on clay figures but I keep trying to encourage her not to quit.
Here's a few more by PearlKeeper. This next one is a sketch from a book she hopes to do illustrating the Lady of Shallot. These next two were done using one of Lee Hammond's drawing books.

Excuse Me While I Show Off My Daughter's Talent

PearlKeeper drew this picture of Adventure Queen from the photograph (below) when she was 4 months old. She is currently working on building up her portfolio and I was so thrilled to see this recent addition that I just had to post it! When she brought me the drawing I knew instantly that it was my first baby, who is now almost 19, and my heart went, "Awww!"

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ahh, The Memories...

TheLittlestPrincess is now the last of our children to use the tried-and-true Math It and Cuisenaire rods. I bought these about fourteen years ago. All of the other six used the Addit board when they were younger. It has been a joy teaching her because she gets it the first time it is explained and then practices with glee, dragging the set out to show anyone who will watch her do the drill.

Yesterday she read a little booklet to me and then decided to copy the entire thing into her copybook over the last two days with an accompanying color illustration.

God must have known this old homeschooling mom needed a caboose with some get up and go!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Through Difficult Times

Sometimes going through hard times we can tend to look at our hurt or wound and become overwhelmed with it, focusing only on the pain of it. But this verse explains to a degree what I've been learning recently: That the Lord can use wounds to cleanse us, make us stronger, and teach us to trust in Him completely.

"The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so [do] stripes the inward parts of the belly."
Proverbs 20:30

Another verse that relates:

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience."

James 1:2-3

The Lord's Heart is to heal the wound and we just have to be patient and be obedient to His ways while we trust Him to bring it to pass.

"Moreover the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun,
And the light of the sun will be sevenfold,
As the light of seven days,
In the day that the Lord binds up the bruise of His people
And heals the stroke of their wound."

Isaiah 30:26

Monday, October 09, 2006

Bottle of Tears

Our girls have been through some hard things lately and we wanted to remind them of where they could find their comfort. We gave them a present of these bottles tied with gold and silver ribbon. The inspiration for these came from a painting that my sister-in-law created. We gave it to them in hopes that they would always remember the lesson that God knows of our suffering and He wants to use it to refine us. Along with the bottles I printed the accompanying Bible verses on a little card. We gave them to the girls on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles.

"You have taken into account my wanderings;
Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?"
Psalms 55:8

"And I will bring the third part through the fire,
Refine them as silver is refined,
And test them as gold is tested.
They will call on my name,
And I will answer them;
I will say, "They are My people,"
And they will say, "The Lord is my God."
Zechariah 13:9

A Monster Campfire

During the Feast we are camping on top of our hill and every evening around the campfire we have a little family meeting when we sing, pray, read scriptures and talk. It has been a very special time for our family. The uncle-from-next-door has been joining us. This is what results when two pyromaniacs are in charge of the campfire. I think the logs that Mr. Potts gathered were the biggest I had ever seen used for such purposes.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

A Promise For Purity

Each one of us girls for our fourteenth birthday, have been given a promise ring as a promise to our parents and the Lord that we'll stay pure until we're married. I wrote a letter to Mom and Dad telling them what my promise is, and that I promise not only to stay pure but to trust their decisions and to honor their convictions it every area of purity.
My birthday was actually on the 27th but the ring took a little longer than we thought to come in, so we celebrated it on the 5th. Since sapphire is my birth stone, I had one put in the ring except instead of the usual color blue, I wanted a pink one. Some of the girls said I was crazy for it. They were already jealous of me having a sapphire for a birth stone because of the color.

It was a really nice evening with the fancy dinner table set. Grandma and Grandpa came over and also our cousins from next door. Since there are a lot of kids when our two family's get together, they were privileged enough to sit outside eating on paper plates, while teenagers and adults got the nice decorated table:).

From my younger cousins I got a huge stack of cards and drawings they had worked on all day. The 5 year old boy was so sweet, he's been into drawing ever since he saw one I was working on. He gave me a lot of hugs and several drawings and asked me if they were good. I had a great evening and it was an awesome birthday even though it was a little late.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Beach Pictures

Smokey Bear - doing what else but playing with the critters.
We all took a little trip south to a marsh and walked along the dock.
The three-some playing in the sand.
The Littlest Princess.
One of the many evening walks on the beach. It was so much fun getting away and being together.
PearlKeeper and Adventure Queen just before they went parasailing with Mr. Potts. You can easily see which one is nervous and which one is confident! They all ended up loving it.

The whole gang!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Day of Atonement

Forgiveness is not a New Testament thing, ushered in by Jesus' death and resurrection. God has always made a way to obtain forgiveness. Hebrews 9:22 says "...without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." From ancient times there has been a way to obtain forgiveness through the blood of animals, which represented the victims of sin. The priests made atonement by eating the flesh of the sacrifice, becoming one with the victim and then offering forgiveness representatively in the victim's place. Under the old covenant there was a way to be cleansed.

But Christ came to fulfill this Law. He established a second covenant which was better than the first. Christ's sacrifice did away with the need to offer the blood of animals year after year. His was not a temporary fix. Read Hebrews 9 &10.

Jesus said, "Eat my flesh". Of course he wasn't talking about cannibalism. He obviously had something else in mind. We are called to take part in His sufferings and follow His example. He willingly became the victim of our sin and offered a way of atonement. He calls us to do the same:

"For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? [my note: This is obviously expected] But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in his mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed." 1 Peter 2:19 - 24

First there were animals, then Jesus, now us. God has given us a part in the evolution of the atonement process. The way to obtain forgiveness is to accept the gift of Jesus' sacrifice. The way not to loose it is to continue to forgive those who sin against us.

"For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions."
Matthew 6:14-15

The Day of Atonement is a day of fasting and humbling of souls (Leviticus 23:26-32). We can not enter into the Feast of Tabernacles without first going through the Day of Atonement.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Weekend Mountain Getaway

My family and my sister's family spent the weekend in the NC mountains at the cabin that belongs to Grandmom. We enjoyed the chilly nights with a nice fire in the fireplace and sat up way too late talking and playing games. We did manage a little bit of hiking, but my seven-month pregnant sister gave us a great excuse to hang out at the cabin. We also enjoyed our trip to our favorite toy store in town. Somehow it never really seems like we have twelve kids when we are all together!

At one favorite spot where the river cascades down into some pretty falls, some of the kids decided to take a unplanned swim. Which means they were all in their jeans. AdventureQueen led the way, as always, and dove right in and swam with her cousin to the waterfall. The funny thing about my family is you can count on the odd numbered kids doing the crazy things, while the even's would rather just stay comfortable. True to form all of the odds (1,3,5 & 7) got wet in the freezing cold river. The evens (2,4 & 6) stayed nice and dry on the sand or perched on the rocks.

Another funny thing is that whenever all of the males in our two families get together, everything turns into a competition. There is a little metal cowboy that swings a metal lasso at the cabin and you would not believe how many hours were spent timing who could make the lasso spin the longest. Then Mr. Potts picked up a little ring and chain sort of puzzle at the toy store and then it became a competition to see how many times in a row each guy could make it drop the way it was supposed to. At the river there was a large flat rock propped up against another one leaving a small space to crawl under through the water. In no time it was a competition to see who could squeeze through. It never ceases to amaze me what kinds of things can be turned into a contest!

It was a nice break from our routines. Even though we live next to each other and can get together almost anytime, it's fun to go away where there are no chores calling our names!