Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lenten Listening

As fresh blooms begin to push their way up from the earth, we seek stillness. We are hard at work on our Lenten listening. Around here, listening is hard work and requires a lot of effort. We are asking God to help us fast words and to listen well in those newly opened spaces. 

It's been hard to lay down words. Words, we so often use to defend, interrupt, or explain our position. However, I'm excited about what we see happening in our lives. God is encouraging us with new ideas and much more peace in our abode. 

We take heavenly and holy Lenten words and pray to have the courage to live them out in our lives.

The finest thing we can do in life is to grow a soul 
and then use it in the service of humankind. 

Mary Pipher 

I'm taking a blogging  break. God willing, I'll be back around Easter.  Blessings to you this Lenten season.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Words Wandering in the World

I like to think of the blog as my giant bookmark in the world. 

Reading this week:

The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children. 

~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I had to cast a bigger vision for my daughter, than what was cast for me.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy President's Day

Here's sister and I, on our DC trip a few years back. The kids were so little and we were crazy to take them sooo young, but we did have fun!

It was drippy wet the whole time. They were troopers...
I had all kinds of ideas for Lincoln's Birthday and President's Day but sickness derailed our best intentions. We did read a lot of books. On Abe's birthday, brother read us the Gettysburg Address and we talked about its' significance. I don't remember all our discussion, but we covered what was happening at that time in history, the Civil War, and why Lincoln's words still matter today for our nation.

Until, they were not!
After the Lincoln Memorial, we walked to The Air and Space Museum. Arriving sopping wet, I locked the kids and I in the family restroom, undressed them and promptly blew dry all their clothing in the super sonic dryer. An attendant finally let herself in to check on us. I didn't care; we were finally dry! We then promptly paid $48 for four hamburgers, 4 fries and 4 cokes at the McDonald's in The Air and Space Museum. Never again. Yet, it felt like money well spent at the time!

The Gettyburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. 

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. ~ President Abraham Lincoln
Classical Conversations Fun
 The kids have been working hard on the President's song this year. I had to prompt them at Garfield, but otherwise they did it on their own!  However, I cannot figure out how to get Blogger to find the Youtube we created, so here's a link:

Sister has also been enjoying a great unit on Oregon Government at school. We will revisit the topic of our government and leaders this summer in the weeks leading up to the 4th of July.

I am looking forward to picking up these two products for summer work at home. I love how this copy work includes essential information and art.

George Washington's Church, and I think pew at Christ Church, Alexandria, VA
Happy President's Day to you!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Easter for the Undecided?

The Reason for God (at Amazon)

From Amazon:

Timothy Keller, the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, addresses the frequent doubts that skeptics and non-believers bring to religion. Using literature, philosophy, anthropology, pop culture, and intellectual reasoning, Keller explains how the belief in a Christian God is, in fact, a sound and rational one. To true believers he offers a solid platform on which to stand against the backlash toward religion spawned by the Age of Skepticism. And to skeptics, atheists, and agnostics he provides a challenging argument for pursuing the reason for God.

The remarkable New York Times bestseller by the "C.S. Lewis for the 21st century" (Newsweek).

I read this book last year and highly recommend it.  Timothy Keller is both intelligent and inspiring. He desires his voice represent his Lord. Your local library will have this book on hand. No need to buy it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lent in the Land of the Living

Image from
Lent is for those in the land of the living, to remember there is a living hope, among us.

Ash Wednesday has come and gone and we are sick and not very into Lent. It's hard to tell if we are grasping a spirit of repentance. Who's thinking of repentance? We just want to lay our weary heads back to rest. Valentines is here, pushing back February blues, and little boy hangs a sign to wake, and "remember it is Valentines!" Today, we will do our best to embrace, give, and receive love, but will it be a Lenten Love?

We have devotions and talk about how to take earthly distractions out of our lives to make space for heavenly gifts, but mostly we just want to sleep off sickness. We pray, "Let us begin Lent in a posture of listening, not listless indifference."

And all around me, like buds pushing their way up in early spring air, I see Lent blooming in lives as they go about daily living. Lenten people who shine Jesus, no matter the pain they are facing in our imperfect world. They serve healing in the form of food, both for the body and the spirit. Emergen-C for the inner and outer man. They seek to serve up wholeness. They feed all God's children, not just a select few. They feed their Lord. Because being sent out is as simple as serving a cup of water.

I used to think these Lenten people were glass is "half full" people, but now I know they are people who lean into their Lord. They are lenten listeners, leaning into a grace and abundance that has no limit. Leaning into Lent is living daily dependent on the Lord. Choosing to listen for my Lord in a land of loud voices. Choosing to create space for Him, when everything around me says, "create space for yourself."

And Sarah Bessey writes about Lent and a drop of water and I get it. Water. Living, giving water. We drink spring water and every drop of water we drink is pure grace. And we have drunk from the spring of bitter water and the spring of sweet water. There is a difference. He alone makes water sweet. He's knows the taste of bitter water and He still swallows it anyway. Am I willing to swallow what is bitter and trust His sacrifice to make it sweet?

In Oregon, we have liquid sunshine and we drink it up, drop by drop. In Lent, we have the opportunity to listen to our Lord, and drink Him up, drop by drop. Every drop we receive has the potential to brim up, over and out, and overflow into our thirsty land. Living water. Sweet water.

We will be praying about where to give a cup of water in the world this Lent, both locally and globally. Who do you need to give a cup of love to this Lent, or maybe just a cup of water?

And the little boy awakes and remembers it is Valentine's.  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy Birthday Thomas!

Unfortunately, we are party poopers and have decided to get sick. I am thankful the fevers have broken. I'm praying the circulating cough and sniffles will go soon. The calender is full this week with a lot fun things and we hope to be able to participate. 

We did ring in the Chinese New Year with steamed pork buns and yakisoba (or at least some of us). The pork buns are a nice, easy on the stomach, comfort food if you are sick. So we rest, read, and recover.

Here's to hoping we can make your party tomorrow Abe!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Pondering this Weekend

Because they only get one childhood, we do our best to help them soar.
Launching capsules at Evergreen Air Museum.

Friday, February 8, 2013

National Engineering Week February 17th-23rd

The Knack
 Dedicated to the ham radio lover in my life!
 An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality, safety and cost. The word engineer is derived from the Latin roots ingeniare ("to contrive, devise") and ingenium ("cleverness") (Wikipedia)

National Engineering Week will soon be upon us. In honor of the wonderful engineers in our family, I thought I'd post some resources. My plan between now and the 17th is to come up with 3 lessons and actually do them with the kids. More to come!
Linking You Up

National Engineering Curricula

Favorite Books for Kids

62 Projects to Make with a Dead Computer

Janice VanCleave's Engineering

Favorite Books for Adults

How to Fossilize Your Hamster

Favorite Engineering Types with Birthdays About Now

Thomas Edison

Ben Franklin

Math for Little Engineers

We know some young and old engineers who really like this series!

Life of Fred

Khan Academy

Favorite Products

Lego Simple Robotics (2012)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Love Patiently Perseveres

Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. ~ Elie Wiesel 

Wrestling hard to love when it hurts. Asking, am I willing to invest when it's deeply uncomfortable? I don't want to tolerate others, nor be tolerated by others. I want to invest love where it will last. I want to invest in ways that make me, mark me, and move me. Will I choose to give a love I must daily seek to acquire? A holy love obtained solely on bended knee. And you? Where are you loving where it requires growth, grace, and sometimes groaning?

"There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken.  If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one." ~ CS Lewis

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Will Travel. Take Cheetos.

 How the week passes faster than I can wink.
I'm thankful for newly finished floors.
Friday evening Cheetos game nights ought to be a tradition. 
Wow, they fall asleep fast after two gymnastics classes in one day.
I could care less about the Super Bowl.

 To get kids to sit still for pictures. Hah!
 Need a fun Friday night adventure?
We really enjoy this game, and boy we have a lot to learn!