...let the games begin!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
...let the games begin!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
This year we are doing regular school most days during Advent but are doing "Christmas School" on Fridays. Last Friday the boys worked diligently helping to make chocolate dipped pretzels, pizzas and coffeecakes (for us and for some friends), and cleaning up afterwards. In addition we listened to some beautiful Christmas music and read several Christmas books.
So Similar and Yet Uniquely Different
Despite their differences, Trisha Poff and Caity Spencer have won their ways into my heart. When comparing the two, focusing on only the similar and disregarding the differences would prove simply useless. I love them both for their distinct, contrasting personalities, yet also for their equatable interests and abilities. Considering the qualities and gifts each lady has can help me to see aspects in which I must change and shape my own life and character. Such friends as these prove the most worthwhile and meaningful mentors a girl may have. Both dear friends have remarkable similarities, yet much can result from a close comparison of personalities, ways of processing thoughts, ideas, styles, and many other areas.
Whether working in the kitchen or giving gifts, Mrs. Poff and Caity can turn anything simple into something beautiful, encouraging, and special. Adding their unique touch to any delicacy provides friends and family with food, which not only fills the stomach but also brings joy to the heart. Creativity comes easily to both my dear friends and they share a common ability to use this gift to bless people they come in contact with. When giving gifts, Mrs. Poff and Caity have a knack for picking out a special present with which to bless the receiver. Their creativity plays into this by taking time to think of something truly meaningful and worthwhile, nonetheless, their correlation does not stop there.
Reading, writing, shopping, decorating, and girly movies, all entice both Mrs. Poff and Caity. Solid, classic literature intrigues both ladies and by such reading they improve their minds. Whether posting on blogs or journaling thoughts, both friends adore writing. In spite of technology’s ability to quickly jot down ideas and words with the tap of the keys, both Mrs. Poff and Caity would infinitely more so enjoy a pen in hand. Letters and encouraging notes written by these loving hands continually prove a blessing to the recipient. Styles of clothing and themes for decorating have proven a common ground for discussions, however, some slight differences occur in these areas.
Even dear friends and mentors have their differences but we wouldn’t want it any other way. I think we should not like them half so much if they all possessed identical qualities, character traits, struggles, ideas, and preferences. Mrs. Poff and Caity differ on several points. First off, Mrs. Poff has married and has six delightful children. Instead of running a home of her own, Caity spends time schooling, swimming, and drawing. Blond and a Southerner at heart, Mrs. Poff has the gift of verbal communication, and though Caity does not lack it all together she must work a trifle harder to convey her thoughts verbally. Though both Caity and Mrs. Poff love color, they have separate, mismatched preferences on specific colors. Bright and fall like colors attract Caity’s eye while springtime colors enthrall Mrs. Poff. Similarities and differences between friends can draw them to each other and to other people in ways nothing else could.
Though my two dear friends have faults of their own, they provide wonderful tips and pointers regarding things I might have never picked up on. They differ in many ways but nonetheless they have just the qualities that God planned. I cannot begin to express how much these two ladies have influenced my life and taught me so much. Through hardships and trials, Mrs. Poff and Caity both have taught me so much concerning patience, perseverance, and trusting in God. Mrs. Poff and Caity have separate opinions on many things, yet nevertheless God placed them in my life for a reason and I cannot express to either of them how much God has blessed me with such spectacular, godly mentors and friends.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I love you Marissa, thanks for being so....encouraging, thoughtful, loving, caring, sweet, inspiring, supportive, responsible, understanding, cheerful, enthusiastic, jovial, sensible, reliable, vivacious, and well...YOU!
Monday, December 1, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
before the frosting
the tray of cookies
...and some for Daddy when he comes home tomorrow =)
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
First, there is the speculation that the body of Jesus was laid in a tomb that was not well marked and thus the women did not go to the right tomb when they went to anoint his body. Arriving at the wrong tomb they would obviously not find the body of Christ, and would mean the women could not have found His body. This is highly unlikely for one significant reason. The fact that Joseph of Arimathea was a prominent man in the first century made it inconceivable that people would not know where this affluent man’s tomb lay.
Second, many people disbelieve the resurrection because they think the body of Jesus was stolen. Who would have stolen the body? There are three groups would could plausibly have wanted to remove the body of Jesus: the Jewish authorities, the Roman authorities, or the disciples and other Christians. The second party that had a motive to steel the body of Christ was the Jewish authorities. Christians of the first century were influencing the pagans and, more importantly, the Jews. The temple leaders lost much of their popularity because of this. If they had removed the body of Jesus from the tomb, they only needed to bring it forth and their congregation of followers would have flocked back to their Jewish ways and customs, thus restoring the Jewish authorities’ power among people.
If the Romans had taken the body of Jesus they could and would promptly have shown the body to the people as proof that Jesus did not rise from the dead. This would have stopped the huge influx of people to the Christian faith and would have doused the ideas they were espousing. Also they could have saved themselves a huge amount of embarrassment. The fact that a “criminal” was be crucified, pronounced dead, buried, and then rose from the dead out of a tomb that was guarded by Roman centurions, caused a big ruckus within the Romans. If they had the body of Christ, they would have had the means of restoring their honor and dignity, and they would have been fools not to produce the body to give evidence that the rumors of the resurrection were false.
The 12 disciples and Christians in general were ruthlessly put to death and harassed because they professed belief that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and that He rose from the grave three days after He was killed. If the Christians had stolen the body of Jesus to make a statement or to pretend that He was mightier then they believed Him to be, a reasonable solution to their predicament was readily at hand. All they had to do was turn over the body to the authorities and the persecutions would stop. History has shown that people do not die for a lie, and since it would have been in their power to end the torture they were suffering, it is not preposterous to assume the Christians did not take the body of Christ to promote their agenda.
Thirdly and most popularly, is the swoon theory. This conjecture relies upon numerous facts that have been proven false. It proposes that Jesus’ death on the cross was faked and He merely fell into a coma, which looked like death. This is easily refuted by several documents written by eyewitnesses. In addition, if those documents are not respected, the sheer volume of far-fetched events that would need to occur to make this hypothesis viable are extensive. After He was taken off the cross the guards, professionals in their field of torture, pronounced He was dead. Just to be doubly sure he was dead, they stabbed Him in the heart. Water and blood flowed out. This separation of the two substances cannot happen unless the person has died (this is supported by cardio-surgeons). Assuming that He was able to feign His death, the next obstacle He would need to defeat would be to escape the stone tomb that he was laid in.
Carrying on the traditions of the people from the first century, the body of Jesus was embalmed, wrapped in cloth, and placed inside a tomb carved into the side of a hill. In this particular situation, the Romans were uneasy and posted guards at the mouth of sealed-off burial chamber. In order for Him to have unswathed Himself, rolled the massive boulder away from the opening of the sepulcher, and evaded the posted guards, Christ would have need to overcome the dizziness due to the loss of blood, and fatigue of being beaten (nearly to death), hung on a cross for hours, and then stabbed in the heart. On the part of the disciples, if Christ had truly eluded death, and was then a wanted man, why would they proclaim to the world that He was not dead, but alive. They had security in this announcement because, as the Apostles’ Creed states,
“[Jesus Christ] suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty.”
Fourth is the idea that the story of the resurrection is a myth, or legend. By definition, a legend is, “a story coming down from the past; especially one popularly regarded as historical although not verifiable.” For this story of Christ to have spread, there would have to have been a group of people committed to the corruption of history. Furthermore, all the people who were alive when Jesus supposedly rose from the grave, would have to, themselves, be dead. The scheme to fabricate such a spiel would have to have included secular historians as well as those who claim to have followed “The King of the Jews.” To make this rumor believed by numerous people, it would take roughly two generations beyond those who started it. Another point that seems to stand as evidence against the resurrection of Jesus being myth is the fact that it starts with women. Back then women were not regarded highly, and were certainly not the ones to lend credence to this tale. Consequently, the effort required to invent such an unconventional and easily refuted postulation is quite incredible.
Fifthly, some people subscribe to the opinion that Jesus’ resurrection was not bodily, but spiritual. In this case, the first four chronicles of the New Testament come into play. They each document the fact that Jesus was seen first by the women in the tomb and then by the disciples and others. To say that the resurrection was not physical means that the Bible would have to be discounted as erroneous. (There are many copies, or fragments of copies of these books. They are backed up by the oeuvre of temporal contemporary writers.)
There is one other theory about the truth surrounding the resurrection of Jesus, and that is to simply believe that God did what He said he did, recorded in the four gospels, each recounting the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Peter writes of a promise, found in 1 Peter 1:3, for those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He did defeat death when he rose from the dead:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has begotten us again to a living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation…”
After a brief look into these five different views of what happened to the body of Jesus Christ, it must be concluded that the resurrection was a miraculous event; every other explanation will fall short.
This picture really typifies Caity. She is on her way out the door to swim practice on a COLD November morning. Yes, she really does wear shorts and flip flops so she is ready to start dry land exercises as soon as she gets there. She does have some warmer clothes in one of the gear bags she is carrying and usually comes home a bit warmer dressed than this. She is very warm natured though and wearing flip flops, shorts, short sleeves, etc. even in winter is quite comfortable to her.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Thanks to my dear friend Queen Mom and my dear daughter Caity, I went ahead and tried using Ambleside Online for school with the boys. I am loving it. Along with that, I've been reading the blog of Linda Fay. One idea that she had that I wanted to try was a day of recitations. My application was that we would have a tea format (the kids love tea as much as their momma does) and all my scholars would share the scripture they were memorizing, the poem they had learned, sharing one of their Aesop narrations (the boys at least), and sharing from the books they have been reading. Since this was our first recitation day, we dressed it up a bit more than we might have otherwise. We decorated the table, used tea cups and pot, made small sandwiches, cups of roasted red pepper tomato soup, berries with whipped cream, and some of Caity's "famous" toffee chocolate chip scones. We all had a great time and the boys really enjoyed the opportunity to show us what they had learned. Here are a few pictures from our recitation time. We hope to do it frequently and add a few other aspects as well. I'll try to remember to post later in the year and report on how this is working for us.
During lunch we were talking about how you can tell a candidate is truly a Christian, or not. The boys were suprised that some of the nominee claim to be Christians, but don't uphold any Christian values. Scott decided that there were two tests that should be done to determine whether or not they truly believe: 1) ask them if they believe in Jesus Christ, and 2) ask them if they think evolution is true. Then we can know who to vote for. How simple it really is, a 9 year old can figure it out, why can't the rest of the US?
After we arrived back home with sample ballots for the boys Mark said, "Good. I'll fill mine out and send it right to Washington."
The boys had a lesson on how to vote and did immensely enjoy filling out their ballots. It was so cute, Mark and Scott especially were concerned about picking only godly men. I was temped, after the questions had been asked three times for most of the candidates, to say "come on it's just a piece of paper, and doesn't really matter anyway," but just then Mom said to one of them that it was great practice and she liked how they were diliberately choosing the people that were evidently godly.
Russell heard some of the early predictions for which presidential candidates winning the majority of the votes in certain states, "Barak is President (said very matter of factly and with an air of certainty.)" Mom then went on to explain that the a president rules over more than one state, fifty of them; the whole United States of America. "Oh, (insouciantly calm) that's a big job."
During a discussion at the dinner table Russell was telling Daddy about being able to "vote" using the sample ballot. "We brought home the...yellow kid's menu things..."
I am sitting here in the family room with Mom, Dad, and Rissa, a pot of coffee, and watching FOX news as they calculate up the votes, both personal and electoral. Yikes!
"We're not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be." -C.S. Lewis
Monday, October 27, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
so much for a candid shot, ah well =D
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
this is what I started with
All I need now are some princesses...
Monday, October 20, 2008
1. Learn to govern yourselves and to be gentle and patient.
2. Guard your tempers, especially in seasons of ill-health, irritation, and trouble, and soften them by prayers and a sense of your own short comings and errors.
3. Never speak or act in anger until you have prayed over your words or acts and conclude that Christ would have done so in your place.
4. Remember that, valuable as is the gift of speech, silence is often more valuable.
5. Do not expect too much from others, but forbear and forgive as you desire forbearance and forgiveness yourself.
6. Never retort a sharp or angry word. It is the second word that makes the quarrel.
7. Beware of the first disagreement.
8. Learn to speak in a gentle tone of voice.
9. Learn to say kind and pleasant things whenever opportunity offers.
10. Study the characters of each and sympathize with all in their troubles, however small.
11. Do not neglect little things if they can affect the comfort of the others in the smallest degree.
12. Avoid moods and pets and fits of sulkiness.
13. Learn to deny yourself and prefer others.
14. Beware of meddlers and tale-bearers.
15. Never charge a bad motive if a good one is conceivable.
16. Be gentle and firm with children.
Ah, imagine if these rules were followed in our homes; what a delightful place to dwell. At least they are something to strive for. I hope these steps have been as encouraging to you as they are to me.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
On a cool fall day a few weeks ago the boys wanted a fire (don't all boys always want fires?). Before we could have a fire we needed wood stacked. Here are a few pictures of the happy workers. Isn't it amazing how good we feel when we do a job that helps the family?
Late last Saturday afternoon Chris heard the honking of Sandhill cranes. He spotted them circling overhead. Now we are on the east side of the mountains, far from the river and grain fields they normally search out. We enjoyed watching them for a few minutes while they continued to circle around seemingly looking for something. Soon they found what they were looking for in a few seconds were back on their way and over the mountains. What a beautiful fall treat that was for us.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Mom's Chai Latte
Curtis's Carmel Frappuccino
Rissie's Carmel Latte
Daddy's and My frappuccino
then just a random pic =)
"Davie Crockett" and Marissa
Thursday, October 16, 2008
As November fourth rolls around, discussions everywhere come to life on topics of voting, politics, campaigns, and political parties. Following on the heels of these debates, the ideas of voting the lesser of two evils and voting third party come to the top of the discussion board. Many people would rather vote for option b so candidate so-and-so does not get into office, while others vote third party and therefore, to some people’s way of thinking, throwing away votes. Americans have a responsibility when it comes to voting. Christians seldom vote for a person because he or she feels the candidate will lead this nation in a godly direction. We must vote not because one candidate has better standards than the other but because one candidate has proven himself worthy of the office by God’s standards laid out in the Bible. When the opportunity to have a say in elections arises we should not take it for granted but instead we ought to understand the Biblical qualifications of a civil magistrate and know how to act when such a candidate does not arise. Taking rights for granted can lead to bad decisions.
Beginning in 1789, with the election of George Washington, our Republic has thankfully given its people a chance to voice their opinion. Because of this freedom people think we “throw a vote away” by voting for a third party candidate whom they think has no chance of winning the election. Just because Americans have the privilege of participation in elections does not mean one must vote either democrat or republican at every opportunity. In fact if all the people who typically voted for choice b in fear, voted third party, only when the third party has a better candidate, the third party official would win. At times the choice of magistrate comes down to a decision between bad and worse at which time we must know what we should do. One does not have to wonder for long on this dilemma however because God has laid out His commands in the Bible for us.
Choosing a candidate does not require the candidate’s perfection but rather qualification. First and foremost God may raise up a wicked man for His glory, as He did many times in Israel, but for us to support the candidate they must recognize God as the dominate ruler. Also if we give our support to a civil magistrate, he must agree to fulfill the duty of the political office by first acknowledging his obligation to bare the sword in defense of the innocent. Exodus 18:21 lays down several guidelines for what a man holding or hoping to hold an office should portray. Verse 21 says to select “able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands.” Whether consciously or not, every vote we cast for a man who does not fear God, we vote for a fool. Now that we understand some of the qualifications, we must look at what we should do when certain candidates appear on the ballot box.
Having set standards by which we can discern the best candidate can help in the decision process. But what do we do when none of the choices before us measure up? Can we settle for less than God requires merely because of a lack of options? No, it would prove better to vote for an alternate choice or worse case not to vote at all than to vote in opposition to God’s Word. When two candidates run for office both of which meet the qualifications, the decision turns to a question of whom we agree with more, who believes in agreement with the Bible, and furthermore who holds God’s standards. On the opposite hand and more realistic side, however, if two candidates run for office neither of which match God’s requirements, we cannot support them. We have the privilege of voting but not at the cost of violating God’s standards.
Many people think if they do not vote for the lesser of the two evils at hand then the more corrupt candidate will take power in the office. We must however, understand the sovereignty of God. By definition, sovereignty means supreme authority. After we realize His power, we can understand that no matter how we cast our ballots, God has full control over the election and will bring into office the man whom He so chooses. As we can see in the Old Testament, God raised up many evil kings to rule Israel all of which fulfilled God’s purpose and plan, whether to bless or to curse the nation. Try as we might to make a decision according to God’s Word and cast our vote for a qualified candidate, God has supreme rule to chose who He will as ruler over our vastly rebellious nation.
I'd love comments and hear ya'lls thoughts. :)
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I resumed writing, but in just a few short minutes Curtis stepped outside saying I should grab my camera and get a picture of the moon rise. I did and have post the result, though it doesn't do it justice (the moon was a dark orange).
Monday was morning was dreary and overcast, but it made for several really cool looking pictures! ;)
Monday, October 13, 2008
Curtis is home on a (much too short) break from school. The timing is perfect for "his" raspberries. He picked a bucket and a half today. The portion that wasn't eaten out of hand is waiting in the fridge to be served with Caity's home made granola scones for breakfast tomorrow.