Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Giggle for Your Day - From the Pen of a Tween

Waiting for your nuggets is hard.
You need something to pass the time.
You can write a card or rhyme
Watching the time tick by.
Right now time doesn't fly.
You can draw a picture of a 
Puppy who's cute
Or practice a song on your flute.
Maybe you can try to sing.
Then I hear a BING!
Hurray, Hurrah!
I was starting to think they 
Wouldn't come today.
They will taste good, I bet!
I check and .....

They aren't ready yet.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

What You Get From an 11YO When You Teach Dialogue

Sandra was talking to Kendra by the school playground.
“What are you going to do your essay about, Kendra?”  Sandra said to Kendra.  Kendra did a dismount on the beam.
“Well, I thought that I would do a persuasive paragraph on the oppression of Australian children because of the overpricing of bananas.”  Sandra laughed.
“Isn’t that a bit diverse?  I mean I’m going to do mine on the structure of huts in Africa.”  Kendra walked over to the bench where Sandra was sitting.
“Linsy is doing her essay on the ingredients in primary colored crayons.”
“Speaking of crayons, don’t you like the new art teacher?  She is really nice!” said Sandra.
Kendra sat down.   “Yeah.  She painted a picture of a tiger with green stripes and hung it in my homeroom.”
“She did that to my homeroom too!” said Sandy.  “Only mine was a horse with pink hair.”
Both girls laughed.  To them this was an ordinary conversation.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Engineers are Pretty Amazing

Educating my children extends far past letters and numbers, research and formulas.  It surpasses the books and reaches to the days and years well beyond my home.  
I sat in briefly on Laura's SEAM (Student Engineers Aiding Missions) reunion at Cedarville's  homecoming this weekend.  As they introduced the returning alumni,  I was reminded of why I love this place.  
Engineering challenges even the brightest.  CU's students are recruited heavily nationwide.  However, their excellent program extends further than academics to the mission fields worldwide.   
This particular meeting highlighted the team's recent trip to Bolivia delivering solar lights and water pumps.  They prepared for a Skype meeting with a mission's engineer in Guam.
One alumnus shared her experience the last four years in Kenya developing prosthetics on a low cost basis to be built on site with miminal tools. Another student was on his way to Honduras.  Yet another planned to be on the field using his abilities in the next few years.  One, previously heavily involved in SEAM, is an engineer at Honda and was on the development team for the bumper system in the 2016 Civic.  Most mentioned their involvement in their home churches now.  All commented on how missions had impacted their life.  .  
A strong academic university opens many doors.  Many colleges and universities offer that.  Cedarville offers what many others do not.  They take award winning, highly touted engineering programs and use them world-wide to share the gospel and change lives.  
I do not know where God will lead Laura.  It may be Africa or Micronesia.  It may be Ohio or Pennsylvania.  Wherever that road turns, I am confident that God will use what she has learned both in our home as well as at Cedarville to continue to changes lives for His glory.  

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Detours Are Not Fun, But Not Bad

The PA Turnpike closed and sent us off the main road to traverse winding country ways with no apparent guidance.  It's gloomy.  We had not traveled that far on our day of driving to see the big girls.  I had not had coffee yet, so let's be real. My first thoughts were not happy ones.
My wise husband took a quick stop for coffee and to recalibrate.  
On our way again, George Strait playing his smooth country, we headed out.  
Our redirection became an exercise in appreciation and finding hidden blessings.  Cows, horses, ducks, and sheep all grazed within feet of the road.  Reagan, our rodeo boy, even saw barrels set for practice.  From across one field of corn, we could see a rise of small mountain haloed in clouds.  The sun is not shining today, but we are smiling in the bus.  

As I write this, we are back on the highway, thankful that we were not the ones in the accident for which we were detoured.  George Strait is still playing, Bryan is singing along, kids are pleasant.  It has been a good morning.  

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Rain Was Good

Their feet are darkened with dirt.  I cringe when I look at their toes, their knees.  Two baths might make a difference, but bathing so many kids once is enough.  Dirt won't hurt.  It just looks gross. Their work of activity displays clearly as they run in to grab dinner.  "Wash your hands up to your elbows!"  Maybe they get enough of it off that they don't eat it.  After dinner, more layers of dirt accrue. 
The nights come more quickly now that fall arrived.  Schoolwork is done earlier as I school all the kids at home.  It feels good to get them moving more before bedtime closes their day.  Winter shortens that privilege, or at least makes it more difficult and more loud as the kids play inside.  
Tonight it rained. 
There was no lightning or thunder, so I let my dirty kids take advantage of a warmer fall evening.  It poured.  Though not for long, it was enough to incite silly giggles, broad smiles, and wide arms with faces to the sky.  

Yes, I should have joined them, but I watched, smiling from the kitchen door, thankful that I stepped aside from proper and let some of the dirt wash off  and joy seep in.  

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


It is time for a gratitude adjustment.  Being a homeschool mom of six and a mom from a distance to two, is just plain hard.  However, hard is not always a bad thing.  We have seen our share of hard, and there will be more chances to view that side of life.  So tonight, I am choosing to relish the moment even if that moment is just that.
 Bookstore dates are not a thing of the past.
Hard days become new mornings.
Little children become bigger children.
Bigger children become adults.
I love to teach my kids.
I can smile at a future with my sweetie, Bryan.
God still works miracles in hearts and bodies.
Tomato soup tastes wonderful on a fall day.
Bible verses will stay forever in the hearts of my children.
The big kids who are home now have stepped up to the plate in the daily goings on.  
God is good all the time.

What makes a grateful heart in you?

Monday, September 7, 2015

Science Wows

Science scares me.  Or at least, it did.  I think many moms would put both science and math in the category of "I could never teach that to my kids."  I would have to admit, I got good grades in school, but it was not for a love of the science, but for a desperate study so as not to fail.  
I have now taught at home for over eleven years and have tackled science.  It did not tackle me.  
This week, Maddie and Kyle, both sixth graders, jumped in with two feet smack into the deep end of cell theory.  We sat together in the family room as I explained mitosis and meiosis.  (I told you it was deep.). Please, remember this is sixth grade.  We were not learning at a college level.  Still, there were new concepts to address.  
But here's the thing.  Science wowed us.  It usually does.  It is such a privilege to teach my own kids every subject from a Biblical worldview.  I do not use a Christian publisher for science, so the  material is not steeped in Biblical truth.  Truth, however, is not determined by what someone else thinks no matter their educational prowess.  
As I taught how cells divide and reproduce, I could not hide my excitement.  God is so obvious in the littlest things as cells.  Take a look for yourself. (Keep in mind, I am not a scientist.)
Every cell in our body has exactly 23 pairs of chromosomes.  Exactly.
There are over 50,000 genes on those chromosomes.  God enjoys variety.
Mitosis allows for more cells to be copied exactly.  So, when your little one scrapes his knee you can be thankful that new cells are reproduced.  Again.
For mitosis to occur, those 23 pairs of chromosomes have to be copied.  Each cell knows that.  Each cell knows to line up the pairs of chromosomes in the middle.  The cell membrane knows to disappear for the time being until the cell has split in half, only to reappear after the cell is reproduced.  Exactly.  
Did you know that the DNA in your cells, located on those precious chromosomes, is in every cell.  However, the ones that control your brain only work in your brain.  Sounds right, but how, friends, does it know exactly when to go to work?  Wow, God is amazing.  Aren't you glad that the bone cells work where they are supposed to?  How about the heart cells?  This just blows my mind.
How about meiosis, you ask?  First of all this can get a little hairy as I am talking with sixth graders.  Yet, this form of cellular reproduction shows God's perfect design as well.  Chromosomes divide as well in each cell, yet each parent provides only half, so that the new organism whether a plant or animal has the perfect amount.  Again the chromosomes know exactly where and when to line up and split.  
We are blessed in our family to have eight children.  Four of them are parented by my husband and me.  Though similar,  none of my children is an exact copy of either parent.  Each has his or her own personality, gifts, physical uniqueness.  In their likeness, they are individual.  Meiosis.  
Our newest four children share the same mother, but none have the same father.  Two are biracial.  Two are white.  Even in that, there are similarities.  They share likenesses in their differences.  Meiosis.
Wow.  Now doesn't science sound pretty cool?  

My kids laughed at my excitement.  I was still giddy when I shared this with Bryan later.  Other topics in science will not wow to this level, but if I am willing to take a second look, I undoubtedly will see another glimpse of God.  I challenge you.  Tackle science boldly. Don't be afraid.  God is really big in the smallest things.