Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I need a new name...

for Bible Devotions. I can't truly call it Bible study, as it isn't that in depth, but we read Bible verses about a particular topic for a week, talk about them, and pray before the day gets started.

However, I have some to believe that maybe a better name might be needed.

At 8:30 this morning, I call (from my prone position on the sofa) for everyone to come downstairs. Hailey decided to help me out, so she yelled up, "Kora, Aubrey, Brynna! Time for devotion!"

One of the older girls comes downstairs, yelling at those behind her, "Devotion time!"

I just found it funny. Does calling it this imply that we aren't devoted any other time of day??? What else could we call it? Or should I just laugh it off?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Education: tool or religion?

Today is the first day of school for most of our city. This is a puzzling day for Kelly and I as we listen to so many parents who rejoice that their kids are off their hands and back to school. I usually hear several people say this is the happiest day of their year. Since Kelly and I (for the most part) enjoy being around our children, and enjoy raising them, educating, and training them, this really puzzles us. So why did they have kids if they can't wait to be rid of them?

But I digress.

I am concerned about a trend I see in our country. For the last 50-100 years, education has become the new god, and all the trappings of education the new religion. Education is hailed as the cure to all of society's ills. If we can just get them young enough, the professional educator or politician might say, then we can eradicate such and such. If we can just get them to believe the right things, or spend enough money, then we can alter the future. There is nothing from domestic violence to poverty that can't be defeated if the right education were in place.

This ignores some very basic Biblical principles. Man is sinful - is conceived in sin. All of the earth's problems stem from this fact. And the only way to address this very root of evil is the cross. Not the correct K-12 education.

The Old Testament is replete with examples of God's people turning aside to follow the gods of the land in which they inhabited. I fear that many Christians have fallen into the same trap. Some buy into the world's belief that society can be cured through the right school program or curriculum. This in spite of the fact that the public schools teach what is direct opposition to the Word of God.

But I am concerned that those who have bucked the public educational system, especially homeschoolers, can often fall into the same trap. I have read and talked to some homeschoolers who seem to have the idea that doing so is a guaranteed "Do not pass go, go straight to heaven" card for their kids. That somehow it is a guarantee that the kids will turn out well. I think it is really easy to fall into this holier-than-thou attitude when we believe in something so strongly. However, I believe it is a form of legalism to get into this thinking. But no matter our educational method, only faith in their Risen Savior can take these children from sinner to holy and saved.

As the school year begins for so many, remember that our purpose is to glorify God in everything we do, and that includes raising our children. We need to teach them that is also to be their aim in life. Education is a tool in which to do that, to show them how to hide His word in our hearts, and to prepare them for the work God will call them to as adults. If your method of education does not do that, whether your kids go to public school, private, or are homeschooled, might I suggest that this is the perfect time to reevaluate things. Education is important, but without faith, it like a clanging gong or a clashing cymbal.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Color Green

I think my new intimate friend has arrived, and does not look as if it is leaving anytime soon. Notice I didn't say "best" friend, as that denotes a positive relationship. Yes, I believe morning sickness is settling in for a long stay. Unfortunately, it also seems to be bringing along company of its own - hypoglycemia. It doesn't take much for me to get the major shakes. And it seems to be following in Lauryn's pregnancy pattern; it's not morning sickness, but all-day sickness.

Fortunately it didn't hit too badly until the last 2-3 days, and since Kelly is now home, I am very relieved at the Providential timing of it all. Of course, I'd rather not have it at all, but I am glad it pretty much held off until Kelly got home.

Eating habits have definitely changed around here. I am having the most problem with drinking enough. I can only take a sip or two at a time when I'm nauseous as any more just sloshes in my stomach. For those of you who know me, I can't even drink too much Dr. Pepper right now. I tried this afternoon and couldn't finish it! Not only that, I can't stand anything too sweet. I made peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips earlier in the week and didn't eat a single one!! And when I do feel like cooking, by the time it's done, the smell of it has made me lose my appetite!

In the next 2-3 weeks, we have several activities starting up: scouts, piano lessons, Wednesday Bible study, Sunday school. Don't know how much I am going to be able to do. I'm trying not to get too panicky, but you guys know how hard that is for me. ;-)

So if you see me in the next few weeks, try to overlook the green tint to my skin or any odd behavior. It's just what one of my pregnancy books calls "progesterone poisoning."

Friday, August 24, 2007


Just got off the phone with Kelly, and he was able to get all his work done this week, so he will be coming home tomorrow! Yea!

The girls did a happy dance when they heard. :-)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Nice to Meet you, Mississippi

At supper last night, Aubrey came up with this one:

"So if I was to marry a man whose last name is Ippi, then I would Mrs. Ippi!"

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

And speaking of variability...

I just figured out that in 6 years at the beginning of the school year, I will have:

a 12th grader
a 10th grader
a 7th grader
a 6th grader
a 3rd grader, and
a Kinder

Talk about a wide range! This is a little scary...

Monday, August 20, 2007


I find it funny when people ask me if I don't get bored "just" staying at home with the kids. Now when I had only a toddler and a pre-schooler, I was desperate for adult conversation, but I don't consider that the same as being bored. :-)

Anyway, I was struck today about how varied the things I dealt with/taught today are. Here is a snippet:

*Helped H sound out sentences like "Ken fed the fat, tan hen."
*Taught K how to find the measurements of angles in a parallelogram with two sets of congruent angles
*Taught A how to take the "re" ending off a Latin infinitive in order to get the root of a verb on which to add the endings for the present, imperfect, and future tenses
*Sang the ABC song with L
*Read about Charlemagne and the Feudal system to B
*Taught A how to average and what the average of a group of numbers means
*proof read two thank you notes
*Counted by 10s and 1s with H
*Explained what a "cross-reference" was to A
*timed math drills for K and A
*Helped B with her geography assignment on Charlemagne's empire
*gave K a spelling test
*Taught H how to write the lowercase letter "n"
*Counted to 20 with L
*Showed B that the long hand on a clock pointing to a 6 means it is 30 minutes past the hour
*read Bible verses and had devotional time with all 5
*showed K how to cut out and sew a decorative pillow for a scouting badge
*checking all work and setting needed items out for correction

All this on top of supervising laundry, meals, piano practice, making a few phone calls, paying bills, writing emails, etc. Who says being a mommy mentally stagnating?

Oh, and as a funny, when I was teaching Hailey her phonics lesson, we were reading the sentence "Ben had a red van."

Me: (pointing to the word 'red' that she had just sounded out) This is the color red, not read as in read a book. (I tapped under the word) This is the color red.

Hailey (staring at the printed word on the page, and in a somewhat amazed and confused tome of voice): I thought it was black.

I had to laugh at that one. Guess I'll need to watch how I phrase things. :-)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The countdown begins

The girls and I dropped Kelly off at the airport today. We left church right after the sermon, grabbed some lunch (at Taco Banana as Taco Cabana is known in our family), and headed to the airport. He had to be there plenty early as he had all sorts of special equipment to get through security. And, surprise, surprise, I managed to do it without crying.

I tried to remind myself all weekend that he was only going to be gone 2 weeks. Women whose husbands are in the military are without them for months at a time. (In our 5 years in the Air Force, only once was he gone for more than a week, and that was to tech school, when Kora was 4 months old.) And Kelly is going to be in Colorado Springs, not getting shot at in Iraq. This tactic is managing to make me feel very silly and foolish, but not doing so much to comfort me. Hmmm, maybe a change in tactic is needed?

Honestly, it doesn't help much that he is going to the mountains, leaving me here in hot, muggy San Antonio. And he is going to see our friends the Prathers, and their new baby girl. While I am left here to deal with 5 kids, schooling, morning sickness, and possibly Hurricane Dean. :) But I'm not bitter about it, really. ;)

Seriously though, I am going to miss him very much. I know I often fall into the rut of taking those around me for granted. So I am sure the next two weeks will remind me often of what I have in him.

On to more practical matters, does anyone have any good movie suggestions for me while I am marking off the days until my husband gets home?

Friday, August 17, 2007

What kind of insect is that?

Kelly's grandparents live on a farm about an hour east of Lubbock, and that is where we were staying the last few days. While we were there, the girls played very hard outside with Kelly's cousins' kids. One night, Kora and one of the cousins caught a large grasshopper, and brought it inside to show the grownups.

Lauryn got very excited. "Mama, look! A gas-opper!"

Well, that got a laugh from all the aunts, uncles, cousins, and great-grandparents in the room. Then, bolstered by the reaction, Lauryn ran off to the other room to tell Kelly's mom. In a VERY loud voice:

"Gwanny, Gwanny, they got the ass-gopper!"

Needless to say we were all rolling on the floor, crying.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I'm alive and home

Yes, we did make it back home, though we had to drive through a monsoon to get here. We had a good trip, even though the reason was sad. We saw lots of family and some friends, had lots of good food, and - until the monsoon otherwise known as Tropical Storm Erin - a relatively smooth trip.

Graciously, my morning sickness has not set in yet! Thank you, Lord! I am extremely tired, and if I go too long without eating my blood sugar crashes (and when you are traveling and staying with other people, you are not always in charge of WHEN you eat) so I did have to contend with those issues, but it was much easier than I anticipated.

Well, the girls are bathed and in bed, and I think I am going to follow their example. They played with many cousins very hard and very late, so I think they are as exhausted as I am. Thanks to all of my friends who prayed for me during the trip!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Life goes on

As much as the universe seems to be altered when you find out you are going to be bringing another life into the world, somehow life keeps going on. Older kids still need attention and food, clothes need to be washed, all while awaiting for the proverbial hatchet to fall (i.e. morning sickness to fully set in).

However, we did have a very nice time on our own Friday night. Thank you again, Christine, for keeping the girls. They had a great time. We saw the latest Bourne movie (very good), ate lots of good food, slept in a little, and just had some great uninterrupted time alone together.

When we got home Saturday morning from picking the girls up, we found out that Kelly's great-grandmother passed away during the night. Kelly's dad was orphaned at a young age, and his grandparents finished raising him. His grandfather has been gone for a number of years, but Grandmother was 95 or 96 years old. So we will be traveling up to the panhandle this week as Kelly and his brother and some cousins will be pall bearers.

And on a frustrating note, I got my new printer this week, but when I sat down to use it, I found it is defective! After a wonderfully insightful online session with the HP tech support (ha!) they determined that it was a mechanical failure (really?) and that I needed to exchange it for a new one. So UPS comes and picks it up tomorrow, and I will wait (im)patiently for my replacement. It is really a nice model, picked as editor's choice in some of the techie magazines. So I am hoping I just got a dud, and that the next one will have me copying again in happiness.

So I would appreciate your prayers for our family this week, for those dealing with grief, and for me as I deal with morning sickness and fatigue while we travel.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The answers to your burning questions: Updated

Yes, I am pregnant.

Due on or about April 12 (or after, knowing my track record).

No, we were not trying for a boy.

No, I do not think it is a boy, thus the ticker at the top.

Yes, the girls are very excited. They can't wait for their new sister. :-) That's what they say they want. They must think a boy would rain on their parade at this point.

Yes, we're are looking into another home birth, but we are exploring our options.

We do have another April birthday. Brynna's is the 16th, and until now, is the only one without a birthday buddy.

I'm a little sick now, mainly when my stomach is empty. And sometimes a wall of fatigue hits me all of a sudden. But other than that I feel normal. However, I expect to be looking very green by this time next week.

Kelly is still going to Colorado in a week and a half. He'll be there 2 weeks. However, the September trip to Hawaii has been put off - until October. :-) But at least that is better than September. Still not sure if I'll get to go, but at least it isn't a week after he gets back from Colorado!

Thank you all for all the congratulations, etc. It's so nice to have supportive friends and family!

I should have added above, that not only am I convinced it is not a boy, but that I am not even praying for one; but am only praying for, besides a healthy baby, a SMALL one - as in under 10 pounds!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Anniversary presents

We had a wonderful anniversary yesterday. We didn't go out or anything - we'll do that Friday. Friday evening a friend of ours is having the girls sleep over, and we are going to paint the town, thanks to the gift cards from our sweet church family! So we had sloppy joes, corn and cookies (real gourmet meal, yes?) with the kids and hung around the house. The real celebration will commence in 2 days. :-)

However Kelly did get me these:

Aren't they gorgeous? They're actually much more stunning in real life.

Kelly's present isn't here yet, and won't be until early April. . .

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Who were those young people?

Fourteen years ago this very minute, I was getting my nails and hair done, preparing to walk down the aisle in my fairy tale wedding. That night, just after 7 pm., I walked out to meet one very nervous young man, amid a candle lit church, in front of my uncle and his father, who married us. We were both 19.

I was very young, not just in years, but in wisdom, maturity, expectations, and perceptions. In many ways married life did not live up to my fairy tale ending dreams.

But I've come to discover it is better than that. While a more realistic idea of what it would be like may have saved me some angst in the early years :-), I have come to appreciate that true love shows itself best by always being there, even when your wife is nagging, frustrated with the kids, or generally not having a good day. It is shown when the baby has croup and you work together to make sure she is ok. It is in the everyday conversations, the planning of the budget, the praying together. It's in sharing the good times and bad, serving each other as well as others.

So today, as I think back over the last 14 years, I just praise the Lord that He brought us together, and has guided us. Thank you, Kelly, for being my best friend, supporter, encourager, and for showing me that real love is better than any fairy tale.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Is there anything funnier than a 2 year old mommy?

This morning, Lauryn was playing with her two baby dolls, named Baby and Sierra.

Baby was being very naughty and was hitting Sierra.

Lauryn then spun her around and started getting on to her:
"Baby, do you want to wose (lose) your toys? Hitting is a no-no! You no hit, and be nice!"

And of course, what did Baby do 90 seconds later?

Yep, hit Sierra.

At least she's realistic in her play. Either that or she's already paying for her upbringing. ;-)

Saturday, August 4, 2007


I find music absolutely amazing. There seems to be something built into the soul of man that requires it. Through the ages, no matter the culture, there has been music of some kind. It transcends language, race, gender, religion, culture, and even time. When we have music from hundreds of years ago, we can still play it and enjoy it today.

Kelly was playing one of his internet radio stations today that plays 80's rock music, like I used to listen to in junior high. I can't remember the names of most of the people I talked to on a regular basis 18 years ago (did I just admit that in my out-loud voice?) but when he started playing the music, I remembered the lyrics, even though I hadn't heard them in many, many years.

One of the music ministers in a church we used to attend used to make the statement that music was the one ministry that we would still do in heaven. There would be no poor people, no sick, no lost people, but we would still sing before the throne of God. I don't know how exactly accurate his claim is - after all there's much about heaven and what we'll do there that we don't know. However, the Bible does talk about singing the praises of God around the throne.

As a member of choirs over many years, I remember the thrill of intricate harmonies, stirring lyrics, and the almost magical melding of voices. But I know nothing can compare to that day. And if 18 years later I can still remember the crummy lyrics to really bad music, just imagine the songs we'll remember the instant we are in glory.

I think this is why music is such an inseparable part of man's makeup. Just as the stones will cry out in praises to God if man does not, there is a part of each of us that is made to sing praises to our Lord, that our sinful nature cannot suppress. It can be corrupted and made to serve the purposes of the enemy, but it cannot be denied.

In L.M. Montgomery's third book in the Anne of Green Gables series, called Anne of the Island, one of Anne's childhood friends dies of tuberculosis. Before she passes away, Anne tries to calm her fears of dying by talking about heaven. Her friend replies to her, "Yes, but it won't be what I'm used to." Our music in praise to Him, whether it is one of our hymns, or a piece from Handel, seems to me to be a bridge to the next life. What a comfort it will be when our time comes to leave this earth, and we hear the heavenly music for the first time.

May it be for each of us what we are "used to."

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Grumpy and Stumpy

I'll let you decide who is who. :-)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Our sweet church family

To those of you reading this who belong to our wonderful church family, we just want to say thank you for the sweet love offering you gave us. It is such a privilege to be a part of such a community of believers, and to serve in any way we can. It has been one of the most exciting things we have ever done, to help plant a church and watch it develop from infancy. Thank you!

And to the rest of you, our church family gave us some gift cards to use on our anniversary as a thank you to Kelly for all the ways he serves the church body. We already have a friend who is going to have the girls over for the whole night, so we are now all set! Thank you again!