Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Effects of School

Not to be outdone by their uniform wearing brothers, the girls took great effort to find similar outfits.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

E is for Eventful

Yesterday was a landmark day. The boys entered formal school for the first time. Alex's sixth grade teacher was a former mechanical engineer in aviation. She will likely stimulate his interest in science and math. Fritz's third grade teacher has been teaching for 30 years and is the warmest and most loving teacher a kid could want. She is the reason we chose the school.

And after nearly 3 years of decisions, 6 contracts, 3 realtors, 1 huge disaster, 4 weeks of demolition, 7 months of reconstruction, countless prayers and tears, God sold our house in Michigan. All that comes to mind is 2 Peter 3:8:

"But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day."

Believe me, this human living those days felt like it was a thousand years, but God blinked and it was over.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Amelia Bedelias

My Emily and Jane were arguing on the way home from the library on which movie they would watch first. I said if they couldn't agree on one, when they got home they would have to draw straws.
Well, they took me at my word and this was the result.

Book Borrowings

The rules of men are strange and complex things. If I hadn't opened this book, I would have thought a Hutterite was a person wiped out by the Israelites in the Old Testament. Now I know otherwise. For anyone who has contemplated communal living this is an interesting look into the positives of shared work and the negatives of arbitrary rules. I loved the pictorial way they talked. For example, one of the Hutterite women bemoaned that her daughter was "a jar without a lid", because she didn't have a betrothed. May my Emily and Jane be jars without lids for a while yet.

Now walk in Afghanistan as a woman in full veil with her male escort as the Taliban changes life as you know it. This is a remarkable story of survival as a seamstress. After reading this I looked around my house and appreciated all the labor that went into the stuff around me. As these modern women put in 13 plus hour days hand-stitching elaborate designs by oil lamp, it makes one appreciate the reliability of our utilities and the ease of a western woman's life. Talk about carpal tunnel and sore eyes. Despite their false religion, they had an admirable work ethic and familial devotion.

Recommended by a new friend, I found it interesting that U-boats were in the Gulf of Mexico and the logistics of being so far from German soil. Andy Andrews (love the name) digs up a mysterious box and weaves a sweet story behind its contents. His characters slowly choose to forgive the unforgivable. Releasing their justifiable anger allows a love story to unfold. The author leaves you guessing whether it is fiction or fact. (Also published under a different title...The Heart Mender)

What can I say? This was the wild card book. So last month I heard about this Oklahoma woman who has turned the blogging world upside down with her anecdotes and recipes. Well, understandably why. She is funny and straightforward and passionately in love with her husband. It is a good combination and it makes a steamy and relateable read. I am glad I married a secret cowboy.

If you can ignore the old earth, global warming hype and the author's prejudice against Christianity, the storyline is fabulous. This story from the 1850s in search of the northwest passage makes modern sailors look like sissies. I loved how the Moravian missionary on board accredits God with changing the bawdy behavior of the men over their four years in a frozen land. The danger, deprivations and death seem so harsh, but the men seem amazingly resigned to their hardships and subordinate to their commanding officer. In the Arctic they were dealing with -65 degrees, even in Michigan the temperature rarely dropped below 0. These were manly men.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

For The War Effort

What is going on?

It started with a 34" circle which we cut from muslin fabric.

Fritz marked pattern lines onto the fabric beneath.

After we cut the 9 foot ribbons, marked them and glued them on, the kids took turn writing the message on the parachutes. "Dios es Amor."

Emily with one of her lettered parachutes.

Jane proudly used her best handwriting.

These will be released over guerrilla held areas in Columbia with Bibles attached to the ends.

I imagine a young soldier in fatigues looking up to the sky and seeing this billowing gift. As the spiritual war rages, God gave us this unique chance to send his message of love to the war weary.

Jane did a test drop.

Alex really wanted to climb on the roof of our house to test drop, but I didn't feel like carrying the ladder outside. (On past occasion the kids have all been on the roof. In a flat land the roof perch is excitingly scenic.)

If this is something you might want to do, you can find out more at:

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Curiosity Click

After accidentally finding this South Korean 14-year-old on Youtube (I'm ignorant of the music news), I had to share a few of his many videos. Sungha Jung plays a diverse group of artists like the Beatles, Cyndi Lauper, Kansas, Tears for Fears, Sting, Abba, Metallica and even Bach. When I saw that his Pirates of the Caribbean theme song returned 20 million views I decided to see what all the rage was about. Click below to hear his talent.