Monday, September 22, 2008

Our adobe dwelling and zoo trip

Last week we concluded our Native American study by building a Hopi pueblo.

We also went to the zoo and took pictures of animals found in America. Nate was so bummed that most of the "cool" animals were from Africa and Asia. The kids really wanted to feed the birds, so I gave in and bought the little sticks with birdseed. Guess who was the only one who liked the birds? Gabriel.

The girls loved riding on the horses though.

This week are beginning our study of Exploration and Colonization. Fun!

PS: I know y'all are jealous and wish you had tie dyed a tshirt to match ours. We made two sets (one "brights" and one "camo") to wear when we go out - makes it easier for me to see everyone.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


See this adorable little face? Do you imagine the depths of depraved thinking it hides? I think not.

One of the best things about homeschooling is the ability to turn everyday activities and errands into lessons. I am sure public schooling families do this too, but being a homeschooler has made me more purposeful in my teaching.

We were at Costco and had a few minutes to spare while we waited for them to make our pizza. So we sidled up to the window and watched them while they prepared pizzas. The kids speculated on how many pizzas they make each day, and studied each step of the pizza making process. Lots of fun.

Then Susannah slips her arms around me and whispers in my ear, "Mama, someone gave me a present!" I turned around and Susannah opened her mouth to show me a piece of chewing gum. Alarmed, I asked her where she had got the gum.

She smiled and said, "Someone left it for me, right here under the table!"

"Susannah!" I exclaimed, "Do you know where that came from? Some nasty person chewed it up and left under the table because they were too lazy to throw it in the trash! It has been in someone else's mouth!"

Susannah's response? "Oh." While she continues to chomp away happily.

Eww! I explained that the appropriate response is not "oh" - it is is "Gross!" and should be accompanied by prompt spitting of the gum into the trash can, followed by brushing of the teeth (or at least swishing water in the mouth).

She protested, saying the gum still had flavor. She then explained that all the stranger spit surely had been replaced by her own spit since she'd been chewing for some time. Kindergarten logic. I ended up buying her a gumball just to trade it out with her.


Saturday, September 13, 2008


Sometimes here in Texas I feel restless. I get so excited when we take a trip back up to Blue Springs (my hometown) or even to Tulsa (where Philip and I met and went to college). I walk around the familiar streets of my formative years and wonder if I'll run into someone I know. I feel this vaguely hollow sensation, hoping I'll run into someone to reconnect with. I fantasize about moving back home to Missouri.

But the truth is, the desire I feel is not really a desire to return to my childhood home, it is a desire for my future home. The one I was made for, Heaven. I feel unsettled and nomadic here because I am supposed to. God wired me to feel discontent here because He wants me to be mindful of my true citizenship. He wants me to feel a little uncomfortable and out of place here to remind me that I will only fit in at His place.

Lately, eternity has been weighing heavily on my heart. I've been watching my children and realizing my time with them is so short. While some days it can seem like at eternity until nap time, in reality I have precious few years to mold and prepare them. Before I realize it they will be taking flight and I must be diligent to prepare them well.

In the same vein, my time here is so short. And while I will have all of eternity to reap the rewards of faithfulness on Earth, I must be diligent to use my time wisely.

Someday I will be home for good. In the place where all my discontent is soothed and my restless heart is still. I pray that God would help me to stay focused on that day and work hard preparing for it.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Our teepee

Being the industrious little beavers we are, we also built a teepee today in the backyard. We talked about how the Native Americans wrote in symbols and we wrote our own code. We used the code to write this story on the outside of our teepee:

"The USA and her allies fought the Germans and Japanese. The Navajo windtalkers made a code that could not be broken. They helped the USA and her allies achieve victory."

We scavenged some fallen branches from a local park to use as teepee poles. I think we should have used more than three.

We fastened them at the top and them tied on our covering:

Native American studies

We've begun our school year by studying Native America. We figured since we are doing American History this year we ought to start with the folks who were here first. Today we made Navajo fry bread.

We started with wheat berries and ground them into flour:

Next, we mixed 3 cups of flour with 1 tsp salt, 1 TBS baking powder and 1 cup warm water:

Kneaded it for a few minutes and then let it rest for half an hour:

Divided it into small balls and rolled them flat.

Then we cooked them until brown in hot bubbling oil. We sprinkled on cinnamon and sugar - mmmm!

We'll have more for supper, but without the cinnamon sugar. We are going to try them with beef filling. (Like a gordita).

We found that when we pricked them with a fork, they stayed flat. When we left them unpricked, they puffed up.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Messiah Complex

I've been watching the growing political fervor over Obama (especially among young people) with increasing nervousness. Sarah Palin joked in her speech on Wednesday that he could go to work after "he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet." And we all chuckled.

But truth is, we ALL have been guilty of the messiah complex surrounding Obama, and now , to a smaller degree, Sarah Palin. We humans have been doing this forever (check out the stories of Saul and Jesus in the Bible if you don't believe me.) We keep thinking that if we just get the right ruler, everything will be okay.

But God is not waiting for us to elect the right person. No human government can solve our problems. God tells us clearly in His Word what He is waiting for: "If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My Face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (II Chron. 7:14). He's waiting for us, the Church, His Bride, to get on her face and repent and pray.

What if we spent all the time we waste on politics on prayer? What if instead of waiting for the government to overturn Roe v Wade we reduced the need for abortions by befriending and caring for the unexpectedly pregnant? What if we cared for the poor ourselves instead of fattening our own pocketbooks? When the Church does what she is supposed to do, and is humble enough to beseech the Lord on behalf of our nation, then we would have no need for a messiah from either party.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The birds and the bees

So, I've been rather intrigued to hear all the rhetoric coming from the left about Sarah Palin. They've put themselves in somewhat of a bind, as the inherent fallacy and inconsistency of their worldview will be apparent the minute they open their mouths.

First off, we hear that she was irresponsible for having delivered a Down Syndrome baby when sweet little Trig was diagnosed in utero. In a world where 90+ percent of Down Syndrome infants are murdered before birth, this seems crazy. The liberals talk about their sacred cow, choice, but then gasp and gawk when a family decides that its commitment to life extends to all children God creates in the womb, not just those with the standard number of chromosomes. So, in reality, the liberals only approve of choice when it means taking the easy way out.

Next, we hear that she should be home taking care of her children and that the rigors of the campaign will cause too much strain upon her family. Isn't this what the liberals wanted. Weren't the mothers of the feminist movement burning their bras just for this very day? For years they have demeaned the role of the woman homemaker and instead of embracing God's plan for the family, have declared that in order to be equal to a man a woman must become like a man. And yet when a woman who disagrees with their ideals comes into her own, they start squealing for her to go back to the kitchen.

And finally, the kicker. Bristol Palin's pregnancy. First the rumor mill swirled that baby Trig was not Sarah's son, but rather her grandson. Then, when the Palin family shared the news that their 17 year old unmarried daughter was indeed with child, they immediately pounced upon this pregnancy as a failure of abstinence only education and Republican family values. Hmmm. Notice any glaring hypocrisy?

The liberals want to teach our children about sex, including information on contraceptive usage, abortion, and homosexuality as a normal and valid choice. They do not want to teach our children about sex with the benefit of any moral framework to hang their decisions on. Yet when a seventeen year old becomes pregnant and chooses not to kill her unborn child for the sake of convenience, they declare this to be an invalid choice. So, they want to teach our children how to have sex without moral guidelines, while reserving the right to tell them that they have done wrong later, when the natural consequences of sex (pregnancy) come to fruition. Can't have it both ways, liberals. Either it's wrong to be having sex and we should be teaching that it is wrong, or we should applaud and embrace teen pregnancy and unwed motherhood as wonderful life decisions.

Bringing us to my final point. I'm seriously doubting that Bristol Palin got pregnant because she had no idea how sex worked or that you should use contraception if you desire to prevent pregnancy. She got pregnant because she chose to engage in an adult behavior, probably without using adult precautions (who knows though, as contraceptive devices do fail, even when used properly). A liberal blog link that was sent to me suggested that because her mother supports abstinence education and creationism, Bristol probably assumed that babies were brought by the stork or that God left them under your pillow. Good gracious. Even my eight year old knows basically how babies are made (and that God's best plan is that we wait until marriage). If our children are going to act like adults and have intercourse they should be prepared to assume adult risks such as pregnancy.

I am going to start praying daily for the Palin family. Even though the choices Sarah Palin has made are not the ones that I would make (my heart is here, with my kids, and I look forward to the day I can devote all my time and energy here), I still believe she is an excellent candidate for VP.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Little joy

My little Luke said "Mama" today for the first time! (He's in speech therapy to help with his delay). He came running around the corner and yelled, "Mama!" When I jumped up and kissed him he thought it was soooo funny. So he's been jumping out and saying it all day long, and then dissolving into giggles.