Who writes this stuff?

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I am happily married to an amazing military man who spent 9 years enlisted and is now an Officer in the US Army. We have two amazing boys who are not so little any more! They still infuse every moment of every day with creativity and energy, and make my life an adventure.  I was educated at home, and am now teaching our children - second generation homeschoolers! I try every day to become more like Jesus Christ, and to love like HE does. If you want you can try and catch me at bethylovesandy@yahoo.com

My Blog Title Verse

"For the Lord gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6 NKJV 
The Message translation puts it this way "God gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding."

Verse of the day

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Coloring Pages of Life

Canaan pulled out one of my old coloring books today. An Ole Brumm malebok actually, which is the Norwegian version of Winnie the Pooh.

I can't remember if I picked this one up the first time I was there or had it given to me by one of my Norwegian friends, but luckily for me my mom ingrained in us at an early age a habit of "signing" our artwork. Across several of the pages are the names of me and my sisters and the dates when we colored them. It was such fun to see a moment in history recorded.

 It seems that we were all coloring together April 25, 1998. Why? I don't remember. It seems as if that would be spring break time - I would have been a sophomore in college. My youngest sister would have been 10.

 Canaan was looking through the book and read the date 4-25-98. He looked up at me and in all innocence asked, "was that back in the 1000's mom?"


 Yes Canaan. The year One Thousand Nine Hundred and Ninety Eight. The 1000's.

 He has always known the 2000's. Anything before then must be ancient history, surely!

 Thinking about it though, I realized suddenly that 1998 was 12 years ago. That date in April was before I ever met Andy, before I changed my major to child development and before my Mom lost her last baby, my sibling who would not yet be quite 12 years old.

 A lot can change in 12 years.

 But again, a lot can stay the same. At that time I already knew what I wanted. I wanted to find a man who loved Jesus even more then he loved me, and who loved me more then fame or fortune. I wanted to have children we could raise to live for J.O.Y. (Jesus, Others, Yourself) I hoped to birth some, and hoped God would give us more in other ways too. I wanted to write. I wanted to share what God was teaching me. I wanted to smile, even when it was hard, laugh through the tears, and love absolutely anyone God put in my path.

 Sometimes I succeed in those things I want. Sometimes I fail.

 Twelve years.
 I hope I have this Ole Brumm coloring book to look back on in another 12 years. I want to see Canaan's page, with his name, and the 2010 date written on it in 7 year old crayon writing.

 I want to remember this moment, and be thankful for it, no matter what the next 12 years bring.
 It's amazing what blessings a coloring book can carry.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

GA Agrirama

Mom and Dad came down to visit us this weekend, and I took a venture out of my comfort zone. Ever since my seizure last year I have not driven any farther then the local Target. I have gone as far as 30 minutes away, but that is only because from my mom's house to her Target is 30 minutes! Seriously though, because I still have little petite mal seizures all the time, I take driving very seriously. I am able to function while having one, can still continue to do what I need to do. But if I have several in a row and am driving (which means I can't close my eyes and just relax through them) it gives me a booger of a headache. So as often as possible, I just don't drive.
 But, Mom and Dad were driving down and were interested in stopping at the Agrirama in Tifton. It is only about 40 miles north on the interstate - but I am not ready for the interstate. 70 miles an hour is terrifying - sorry.  But, the old standby, the road that my Grandma took from Kentucky to Florida back in the day; well, it is still very much alive and in use. Hwy 41. The speed limit drops to 35 in every little burg, and there are stoplights all along the way, so 40 miles seems a lot longer that way. But it also winds through some beautiful farm country with tobacco, cotton, corn and pine trees swaying in the breeze.
 I have passed through all these counties before, multiple times between home and "home". But I have never noticed the county line signs before. I have never heard the names of most of the tiny little towns, and never would have known they existed. But on Saturday I drove through them, slightly stressed, but mostly proud. I appreciated their existence, their quaint beauty, and the history that they hold onto with tenacity.
 Most of all, I ventured out.
 My seizures behaved themselves, and the speed limit was never higher then 55.
 Life is good.
 God is good.

 Want to see the Agrirama?

My Boys will tell you the most important thing is the train. 

Who can resist 
an old man in 

Especially one who 
lets my boys ring the
train bell! 
I'm not sure Zion looks happy about it, but Canaan was thrilled! 

What shall he see next?

A friendly wave hello.

Spinning alpaca into thread. Right in front of our eyes.

Almost makes me want a pet....
I don't think the landlord would approve! 

Papaw the preacher

Helping the blacksmith get the fire started - pump the bellows. 

Now THAT is a fire! 
Even Zion gave it a try. 

Examining coal up close

 and admiring a dragon door handle the blacksmith had created. 

What an artist! 

When I was a little girl I thought I wanted to live in "olden times". 
I read Little House on the Prairie and Little Women one too many times. 

But then I see this, and remember who I am and am reminded to be grateful for where I am, when I am, every day. I wouldn't have lived very long back then! 

Pocket calculator anyone?

In a drainage ditch off to the side, all by itself was one little flower. South Ga is brutally hot, and the soil is full of clay and sand. A drainage ditch is not a comforting place- and yet, this little piece of beauty still grew, and bloomed, and gave a little color to this reminder of history's harsh trials. 
How can you not appreciate God's handiwork in a moment like that? 

Until next time...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday night's adventure... or why I didn't blog

Zion has been testing me lately. Every single day. Every fifteen minutes, it seems some days. So, in this picture you would think I would sigh with relief to see him sleeping so peacefully. 

Look again. Could that be the middle of the hallway he is sleeping in? 
Why yes, yes it could be. 

He is sleeping there after getting up multiple times, deciding to "water" his brother's plant (weed) in the windowsill, causing it to overflow everywhere, (at 10pm)
(picture of plant taken earlier in the day)
 declaring that he didn't like Canaan and didn't want to sleep in the same room as him, yelling emphatically that he was never going to sleep.... 

 I finally opened my E-mail account, closed my ears and looked the opposite direction of their room. 

Canaan seems to be able to sleep through anything and was cheerfully sleeping before most of the trouble went down. 
But Zion... Zion ended up here. 

When I went to pick him up and carry him back to his bed I noticed his little hands. They may have gotten a lot bigger then they were, but they can still curl around my finger - just like when he was a baby. 

 He may be tall, and lanky, and full of himself. But he is only 4. And he will always be my baby, just like Canaan will always be my baby. 

 I'm just glad I can still lift him! 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Do you ever just stop to appreciate the internet? Truly?

Yeah, yeah, I know it has it's downsides.
 People buy things they don't need, just because they are readily available - but they did that before the internet was created.
 People look at things that are immoral and degrading - but they did that too before the internet was created.
 Sometime people use it to say unkind things about others behind their backs, or perhaps even "to their faces"(at least as best they can if their face is a computer screen, but you know what I mean) - but guess what, they did that before the internet was created too.

 Sin is not new. I suppose the way it is carried around and displayed occasionally looks new, but sin remains what it is.

 But blessings - blessings are up to us to find. There is an un-ending array of ways to bless those around us, or those thousands of miles away. Yes - we could do that before the internet was created too. But sometimes it sure does expedite things.
 A message of encouragement can arrive in .05 seconds, rather then 3 weeks, all the way to Africa.
 The story of a morning with children which was draining can be shared by an exhausted mother, and commented on by an experienced mother, giving someone the strength to finish the day refreshed and with new ideas.
 School curriculum is there to peruse.
 Math, Science, and Print-outs of Thanksgiving turkeys with crossword puzzles on their bellies.
 The definition of every word, in every language I can imagine is at my fingertips, literally.
 All, at the click of a button.
 Father's have seen their children born from half way across the world.
 My own husband, rather then missing six months of our lives, was only partially removed because he got a written review every single day, and a video conference at least three times a week.
 Music from all genre's and languages.

 Blessings are up to us to find, and to give.

 Have you stopped to appreciate the internet? Truly?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Waiting for August

Some friends of ours wanted to add to their family. So they prayed, and they felt God telling them to "wait for August".

 Waiting happened. Things they didn't expect had to be worked through, and there were moments when it felt that August was a really long way away, and a lot of work and pain. But, through trust, and hope, and WAITING, August arrived.

 And he is so beautiful.
I watched him and two of his siblings the other day and so enjoyed having a baby around. 
His big sister thinks he is her baby. 
Cole is one of Canaan's best friends. 
(I don't know where Canaan's shirt was... Boys!) 

When August's Mommy came to get him, she stayed to talk awhile. 
I caught these pictures of her giving him kisses, and then him returning the favor.

August was worth the wait. 
God's timing is always worth the wait. 
What are you waiting for? 
Wait with anticipation, and faith, and most of all with joy. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A day in the life...

The Heart of the Matter blog hop theme this week is "A day in the life". Since we don't really keep a schedule, I thought I would just share a little about what we have learned lately.

We studied electricity last week - and are again this week. As with most things, we play it by ear. I found some books at the library about circuits, and wiring. Checked out the Magic School Bus and Max Axiom books, both of which always have great ways to teach kids, especially boys, about science. We've talked about magnets, and static electricity.  We've talked about the filament in lightbulbs, and how they have evolved over time.
 I keep saying we are going to do a "real" experiment one of these days - create a circuit with a 9v and wire, and an on and off switch.... but I keep chickening out. I sure wish Daddy wasn't out of town!

 Our quote of the week is from Thomas Edison, "Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration", which makes a beautiful handwriting exercise, as well as stretching his vocabulary.
 We've thrown in some spelling words. Besides the obvious ones; electric, wire, magnet, Edison, I wanted him to think about ways to create electricity; Solar, wind, coal. I even threw in a doozy - Lightbulb. We'll see if he can memorize that one!
 One day we typed in Edison on Google, just to see what we could find. I hadn't remembered to find an age appropriate book at the library, so we were just meandering around. I found a homeschool site with some interesting points, written out in fairly easy bullet style - although more at about a fifth grade level rather then a second. I was reading them out loud to Canaan, hoping he was absorbing some of it, when he suddenly grabbed a pencil and paper and started scribbling.
 I nearly fussed at him, thinking I had lost his attention altogether - I wanted him to at least try to pay attention, even if it was above his grade level.
 But then I looked down and saw what he was scribbling.
He first drew the page with the numbers - starting with 10, because Edison built his first lab in the family basement when he was 10. Canaan picked 20 and 30 just because those sounded like important ages to him, and to tell you the truth, I have no idea what those are drawings of, maybe the automatic telegraph for one of them?... but age 84 is when Edison died. Just this evening Canaan was looking at the page and realized that he hadn't drawn anything in that spot. His question was, "What was the last thing Edison invented?" Not, "How do you draw a casket, or a grave, or a funeral" - I love his assumption that Edison kept on inventing until his last breath.

 The other page, and remember, it was spur of the moment so don't judge his handwriting or drawing skills by this example, has a picture of: 1) Edison having a brilliant idea, a lightbulb going off in his head! 2: oh, wait, that picture is the automatic telegraph machine... 3: The first motion picture Edison recorded on film was a sneeze. Canaan thought that was cool. 4: Edison also invented the phonograph, or record player. Canaan's idea of exactly what that is might be slightly warped... he calls it a giant CD player!

 That is a day in our life. The thing is, our days change so much, you never know what you are going to get!
 Yesterday morning we decided to repot several houseplants - and because of that we googled the parts of a plant, and talked about fertilization, pollenating, and honeybees, and Canaan became the teacher for a while, telling his brother that we need plants because they "clean the air and give us oxygen".
A Trio Bumble bee (with batman wings)
 After playing in the dirt I needed to shower. I told them that after their handwriting was done (Zion had to write his Bb's, Canaan his spelling words and quote of the week) they could cut from old magazines and make collages. When I came out Canaan was trying to decide if the shape he had created had a name. I told him to count the sides - it had eight. That means it is an Octagon. "But Mommy, a stopsign is an Octagon, and this doesn't look anything like a stopsign." Back to the internet we went. I found a fabulous site with the definition spelled out, the geometric angles explained, and a part that lets you create any shaped irregular octagon you want. Canaan got really creative with his Octagon-ing.
  I suppose that is why I love the term "unschooler". We study what strikes us that morning. Obviously, if nothing strikes us, I have to have a backup plan... because we can't sit around all day every day playing Legos. But most days, something strikes us, and we are off!
 And that, is a day in the life....

Monday, August 23, 2010

Haircuts all around

Zion did not want to smile - and his bangs are DEFINITELY crooked, although in this picture you can't tell as much. 

Canaan, who will almost always "cheese", and loves to look like Daddy.

Me, with it styled by someone else.

Me, a little bit closer to reality. (notice the sunglasses as a headband!) 

Me, "real world" - cause this is how it will be on a mommy day! 
We'll see if it passes the test.
My phone won't send or receive pics right now for some reason, so Andy hasn't seen the new hair yet. This blog is for him. What do you think baby? And why, oh why, do I look so much more tired on a Monday night then on a Sunday? Hmmmmm!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hot morning at the park

 We know it is going to reach the upper 90's most afternoons around here, and do our best to avoid going outside. It is just how it is.
 But the heat is only part of it. 

 It's the humidity. Sticky, heavy, weighing you down. Even at 10am you can barely breathe. 
But when you are in the under ten crowd... well, who needs to breathe when you are under 10, right? 
And it really is just so beautiful out!
I know that classically this is not a good picture - no one is looking, and I have no idea what I am doing with lighting and all that jazz - but it seems just the epitome of childhood caught in a picture. Barefoot boys, protective big sister, the shine of the sun beating down. 
Zion was losing his pants... as always. Looks like Canaan's might be too tight. I can't keep them in the right size! 
 The "bark" on the playground is made from recycled tires. 
The green momma in me loves it, and it saves us from splinters, but oh, does it make for some dirty feet! 
So proud of himself - about what I am not sure, but proud none the less! 
This little monkey is only 3 1/2, but he truly is a monkey. He can climb anything! 
I know, I know - half the picture is Canaan's arm - but I just LOVE Zion's face, and the pure green of the grass, and how you can see the chunk out of Zion's bangs - just to your right - that he cut, all by himself. 

And that, my friends, is where the tour ends. One picture later my battery died, and I cried. 
30 minutes later we loaded up and headed for some air conditioning, and after all that heat my boys talked me into letting them cut off all their hair. I love it with some length, but Canaan just wants to look like Daddy, military regs all the way. 
We came to an agreement somewhere in the middle. 
The camera has charged... pictures will follow tomorrow!