Monthly Archives: February 2007

Favorite Quotes…

There’ve been a few additions to this post over the last few weeks, and so I re-post it. Enjoy…

“Have a reason for whatever you’re doing.”
– Mom

Mom & Dad were living the purpose-filled life before it was a book! Mom told me this when I was in college. Her point was, don’t just do something because… that’s how it’s always been done, you’re stuck in a rut, someone else told you to do it that way & you have no idea why, etc. She was referring to the classroom, but she has lived it all through her life.

“I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine.”
John Adams to Abigail Adams, 12 May 1780

I love John Adams! The above quote reminds me of two things. First of all, I am able to live the life I do because of the great sacrifices of those who came before me. Secondly, I want to challenge my children to go farther!

“Bloom where you’re planted.” – Pastor Dave

“Life is like a quarter; you only get to spend it once.” – Pastor Dave friend

“He is no fool to give what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliott

“Your true greatness in life is not determined by your talent or wealth, as the world measures greatness, but rather by what it takes to discourage you and make you quit.” – Dr. Jerry Falwell

“If you don’t believe in God, you will believe in anything. If you don’t have a grounded belief in the notion that there is a higher power, that there is a God; if you don’t believe that…If you think that the earth & everything on & in it is all there is, well then of course, you might live your life in fear… helpless, hopeless, powerless…(that’s why there’s always) at least one crisis out there that is going to destroy us.” – Rush Limbaugh, Friday, February 23, 2007 speaking on the global warming debate, but referring also to the acid rain scare, ozone hole, war in Iraq, etc.

“When you leave this place, Corrie, and you will; you must tell them, tell everyone, that there is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still.”Betsy Ten Boom to her sister Corrie while in Ravensbruck during WWII.

God Is In Control

After reading one blog with a pregnancy annoucement & another talking about family size & the “quiver-full movement”, I thought this must be a good day to share our family testimony on the subject. If this is too personal for you, just hop off my blog for today.

When we were newly married & even before, I always pictured my family with at least six children. I never gave it a thought otherwise. Nobody in our family that I knew of had any problems conceiving as many children they wanted. In fact, the females in my family had the opposite situation from my grandmothers on down. So, when I got married, I just assumed we’d have children every two years or so until we had six to eight & that’s that. Preferrably, I even had the genders picked out – two boys, two girls, two boys, and maybe another girl at the end. One more of either gender after that would be ok with me, too. Keith has always said three to five, but more if I was up for it.:) Isn’t it fun to be so young & naive?

Once Keith & I made it to Korea & realized our teaching schedule was a good one – I worked from 9-1, then he from 1-5 & then we were completely free, we thought we could handle a baby with no trouble. We just had to have the birthdate in the summer. No problem! Nate was due July 19th – couldn’t get anymore mid-summer than that! I was now absolutely sure we could have as many children as we wanted & exactly when we put our order in for them.:)

When Nate turned a year old, it was time to “put in our order” for #2. Trouble was, the first window of opportunity came & went. By now, the Korea job was winding down & we were heading home anyway. We left the door open for the next baby whenever, thinking it would be soon.

That next year was a very difficult one for me. As a year & half went by, I was for the first time faced with the thought that we might not have any more! It may seem silly to outsiders, but that thought terrified me! It angered me. It hurt deeply. I loved children! I saw them as a blessing. I wanted to raise a whole bunch of them for the Lord. Why would God “just” give me one? (Editorial note: God gave Abraham & Sarah “only” one.) It wasn’t until I gave God my dream of children that God blessed us with Caroline. I remember the day I finally stopped wrestling with Him about it, gave up the struggling & admitted to the Lord what was obvious – He was in control & I trusted His will on this. He wanted me to get to the point where I was thankful for one, not sad about it & wishing for more! It was in April. God laid Callie in my arms the next January.

While we were expecting Callie, we came across the book A Full Quiver. Keith said it made perfect sense right away & left our family completely to the Lord. Believe it or not, I was the one who was a bit sceptical at first on that viewpoint, although for the life of me I can’t now remember why, but knew it was right for our family if Keith said it was. After a few months of prayer, right before Callie was born, my heart too saw that as the right way for our family to go.

After Caroline, I didn’t know what to expect. We now realized how very precious a gift Nate was, I mean, we always felt that he was, (his name even means “gift from God”) but after the “long wait” for Caroline, we found out what a gift from the Lord the timing of his birth was to us. We knew from day one that Callie was a gift. God had taught us that He alone gives life; He truly opens & closes the womb. He is totally in control!

When Callie was a year old, earlier than I expected, my heart ached again for a baby. It again seems strange from here because Callie wasn’t that old, but I remember crying on the phone with Mom about how nice it would be to have another. I suppose I was thinking we would probably be in for another “long wait”. Then Andrew joined us when Callie was hardly two. Those two were the closest in age yet. What a precious gift Anders is! We didn’t have to wait at all for him.:)

Anders is going to be four in March. I can’t believe it! I’ve had times of sadness thinking he might be our last baby, but not as many as I would’ve thought years ago. I guess God’s given me a gift of contentment. That’s not to say we wouldn’t be ecstatic if God surprised us again one of these days! But I just don’t dwell on it anymore. Both Keith & I pray often for God to work in & through our family however He sees fit. In that, I can be truly content. I am so thankful for our three children! If three is what God deems best for us, that’s all I want. If He chooses to give us more, that’s what I want more than anything. His will be done – Father really does know best! He’s proven that to me over the years.

I’ve always said I want an Isaac, not an Ishmael. I don’t want to try to force what God didn’t intend for me to have. I trust Him to give us exactly what is best for us. I’m so glad I have a God that has proven Himself over & over again to be utterly trustworthy!!!

If I Were A Bell I’d Be Ringing – Ding, Dong, Ding, Dong, Ding!

I am so excited! My little Shuffle came yesterday! Our family has finally moved into the ipod generation. In one hour, all my children’s ministry CDs (& I have a lot!) have been downloaded onto itunes & I am ready to go!!!!!

Now I can download Rush & listen to him while I’m working out instead of Keith’s history books. That way, he can give me the Cliff Notes on his stuff & vice versa. We kill three or four birds with one stone. By the way, Keith & I finished the Gen. Washington CDs just in time – yesterday – his birthday. SPOILER ALERT: George died at the end.

The other news: the same friend who gave the idea to organize all my children’s ministry stuff onto an ipod for easier use called & we are going to work together to do the summer Wednesday night kid’s ministry! She is an administrator & delegater, while I am a teacher & idea woman. Both of us have three younger children & neither of us wants to do it alone. God clearly put us together! It is so fun to see God put each church Body together where everybody can work & have fun using the gifts He’s given to accomplish the task He’s given!

“And I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to be his assistant. Moreover, I have given special skill for all the naturally talented craftsmen so they can make all the things I have instructed you to make…” Exodus 31:6

Carolina History

While working together on history, Caroline has come up with some good quotes. Thought you’d get a little chuckle & she’ll enjoy hearing about it someday.:)

Mom: “What ship did the Pilgrims sail to the New World?”
Callie: “The Mayberry.”

Mom: “William wanted to name his new colony Sylvania, meaning ‘woods’, but the king thought he should honor the memory of his father, who was his friend. The king suggested calling the new colony Pennsylvania.”
Callie: “So that explains it.”

Mom: “Who founded Pennsylvania?”
Callie: “William Vania.”

George Washington

In honor of George Washington’s birthday, I have to share some “George-isms” – modern language version of his Rules of Civility. There’s a little book by that title in our library, done in 2000; “The 110 Rules George Washington Wrote When he was 14 and Lived by all his life… George-isms”. It gives the quote, then a modern equivalent under it – very nice. Here’s a sampling…

Rule #38 – “In visiting the sick, do not presently play the physician if you be not knowing therein.”

When you’re with a sick person, don’t act like his doctor if you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Rule #56 – “Associate yourself with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”

Be friends with people you admire; it is better to be alone than in bad company.

Rule # 83 – “When you deliver a matter do it with passion & with discretion, however mean the person be you do it to.”

When you take up a task, do it with all your heart, even if there’s little reward.

Rule # 92 – “Take no salt, nor cut your bread with your greasy knife.”

Don’t reach into a salt cellar or a serving dish with silverware you’ve been eating with.

Rule # 98 – Drink not, nor talk with your mouth full; neither gaze about you while you are drinking.”

Don’t talk when your mouth is full from eating or drinking; and don’t stare at people when you’re having something to drink.

Great, aren’t they? I’m thinking of having each of my children use these as their writing assignments when they are in fifth grade – re-write George’s Rules. That would take them through a good part of the year & teach them a few things at once.

By the way, some have asked how the morning exercise routine is going. Great!! Keith & I have been faithfully getting up & exercising together & listening through the Washington CDs. Did you know that Lafeyette was only 19 when he came over to help with our Revolutionary War? Did you know that the winter of 1779-80 was a lot worse on the troops than the winter at Valley Forge? Did you know that George held the title of Commander in Chief under John Adams, too? Oh, the things you learn when you have a husband who loves history! Now you know!

We are on CD 15 out of 17 in the book set. I’ll keep you posted when we finish!

Three Rules of Conduct Our Household

Keith & I are so excited! After nine and a half years of parenting, five college degrees between us (so far), & a combined seventeen years of teaching under our belts, we think we might have come up with a pretty good discipline plan, at least for our house. We’ve been incorporating it for the month of February & so far so good!

Knowing from classroom experience how it’s best to have a few rules that encompass everything you might come across, Keith came up with three rules to live by. He gives a “hat tip” to Lou Holtz for these:

1 – Do what’s right. Thumb up.

Hosea 14:9 “The paths of the Lord are true & right, and righteous people live by walking them.”

2 – Do your best. Give the British “cheerio” arm pump.

Colossians 3:23 – “Work hard & cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”

3 – Do to others as you would have them do to you. “No, after you” sign.

Luke 6:31 – “Do for others as you would like them to do for you.”

The VodPod has Nate demonstrating the three hand signals for these rules. We decided this would be a good way for Anders to remember them, but the added bonus has been that now we can signal across the room or in church or whatever & the kids know what we are saying to them – warning! Remember the rule! That has proved helpful.

The last (we didn’t give it a number – if this one is followed, the others will be, too) but most important rule, Keith explained, is not one we can enforce, but we can pray for them to live by…

Deut. 6:5 – “and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.”

This one we just make a giant heart in the air to cover everything; when we recite the rules.

The other thing we have put to work for us is a reward system/record book. These are to help us be consistant; something we struggle with. I remembered that when I taught a group of unrully fifth graders one year, we got along fine because I had my little black book that I carried everywhere. In this book, I recorded any notes to myself, rulebreaking (who did what) so I could talk to the parents about anything, have everything on record, remember which checkmark Mark, Jed, Oliver, Scotty & the Daniels were on!, as well as analyze patterns, etc. so they could be more quickly taken care of. With all that in mind, I got myself a “golden book”. Every day, we have six circles by each name to record the daily happenings. This way, when I declare Anders has lost his priveledge to touch a cat for the rest of the day, I can remember it, enforce it, & when Keith gets home, he can look to see how things went for the day & help enforce the declaration, too. This gives the kids accountability to Daddy-o, too; a very important element. The notebook also helps us keep records so we can look over the last few days to spot patterns if we need.

The six circles in the notebook are part of the reward system. If I don’t do some kind of systematic reward thing, I tend to get into a habit of correcting the bad behavior all the time & not praising the good I am seeing. Who wants to live under that? I don’t want to do that to them. So, to help me praise, we decided to issue six “gold coins” every day, each representing a nickle. They start the day with these six gold coins (yellow construction paper circles with their initial on them). If there’s a broken rule, a coin goes away. In the book, a circle is crossed off with reason why beside it. (When there’s blatent disobedience or defiance, they earn a swat along with it.)

At the end of the day, they can trade one coin for a treat from our treat basket to enjoy during devotions if they have any left. We talk about how the day went, celebrate good behavior, etc. The rest of the coins go into the “bank” – a little box I cut a slit out of the top & wrote “bank” on.

The bank holds their money for the month & at the end of the month, I’m willing to take them to the Dollar Tree to pick out a trinket or two as a reward. Or they can save it. Or, as money burns a major hole in Nate’s pocket, he worked out a deal with Dad to pay for a gun he wants really badly. Dad bought it for him, but he needs eight more dollars before he can play with it. This money can help chip away at his “debt”. We weren’t sure how this would work – February has been the experiment month, but so far Nate has earned $1.90, Callie is up to $2.05, & Anders has 50c. Mom says it’s too bad there’s not a Dime Tree for Anders! All that to say, it doesn’t look like it’s going to break our bank account. But it sure is helping me enforce the rules! It’s worth it.

A Very Merry Re-Birthday To You!

Dear Nate,

Do you remember what happened five years ago today? Daddy was on his way home from work, I was fixing dinner, & you were sitting at the counter listening to songs. “I’m in-right, out-right, up-right, down-right happy all the time” came on. We had talked about the Thief on the Cross that day, remember?

What a wonderful choice you made that day to ask Jesus to be your Savior! I am remembering that moment today & thanking God for His wonderful gift of salvation He has given us.:) Jesus loves you so much, Nathan! I’m thankful you chose to let Him in.:) It has been a joy to watch you grow in Him over these last five years. Daddy & I are praying for you every day & can’t wait to see what all God has in store for your life.

Love you, Re-Birthday Boy! Momma