Izzy turns 17

Today is Israel’s 17th Birthday!

It was during the time of Desert Storm and I wasn’t sleeping well.  I’d stay up all night and watch the news releases about our soldiers then go to work each day, bleary-eyed and tired.   I was praying, in particular, for one young man who had been captured.  It was such a joy when he was finally brought to safety by our troops!

I’d spent the last two days walking in the woods behind our house, trying to “get the show going” with all that walking.  What I failed to consider was the size of a pregnant woman’s bladder versus the walk back up to the house.  I also failed to consider that those large Tarzan-esque vines that wrapped around the trees were not harmless.  Poison ivy and Poison Oak are not my friends.  They attacked when I was at my most vulnerable.  Sigh….

Nevertheless, with much reading of the Psalms and hours of prayer, little Israel Josiah came into the world.  Josiah was my favorite of all the Israelite kings, and Israel came from my childhood crush on Darby Hinton who played Israel Boone on the old Daniel Boone TV series.   (pretty sure it was Darby Hinton, he was a cutie)  We did have several people ask us if we were making a political statement by naming our son Israel.   Seemed pretty lame-o to tell them the reason behind his name!

Now that I know even more about the nation of Israel, the more I realize that God Himself used His divine sense of humor to help us name Izzy!  The nation of Israel is the Ultimate Come Back Kid!  With everything stacked against them, they continue to persevere.  They are a nation of achievers, with numerous Nobel prizes, scientific discoveries, medical breakthroughs, and amazing technological advances.   

Not a bad legacy behind a kid’s name, huh?

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem!

The Dangers of Home Education

At our homeschool,  we are studying Oklahoma History.  When we were listening to a lecture about the Vikings (Heavener Runestone, look it up online and tell me why a Viking would come all the way to Oklahoma!) there was a particular weapon that intrigued us all.  Being G I Joe afficianados, we like a good weapon.  There is a Viking record that says they were attacked by Indians, who threw something “about the size of a sheep’s stomach” at them, which exploded and scared the Vikings back. 

What in the world could THAT be?jungle-crazy-logo.gif

LET THE RABBIT TRAILS BEGIN!!!!!!!!

During our arrowhead hunt yesterday, our intrepid guide, Mr. White, mentioned that calcium carbide and water form acetylene — and that perhaps it could be an option to consider in trying to figure out what the “Native American Grenade” consisted of.  Hmmmm….

Well, with the intoxicating powers of the internet and help from The Baking Baker lady’s memory, I found this little gem on Wikipedia:

It is still used in the Netherlands and Belgium for a traditional custom called Carbidschieten (Shooting Carbide). To create an explosion, carbide and water are put in a milk churn with a lid. Ignition is usually done with a torch. Some villages in the Netherlands fire multiple milk churns in a row as an oldyear tradition. The old tradition comes from the old pagan religion to chase off spirits.

It is used in toy cannons (see Big-Bang Cannon.)

Be still my beating heart!
An opportunity to make something go KaBoom?????  It is the dream of every homeschooling boy across the world!!!!  (and a few of the homeschooling moms, too)

If it involves mud, dirt, animals, explosions, or excessive noise, WE WILL BE THERE.

Servant-Hearted Leadership

A week ago I was listening to one of Nancy Campbell’s daughters speak about being a good mother.  www.aboverubies.org   At one point in the message, she shared an incident where she asked God to tell her what He thought of her mothering abilities.  God spoke to her loud and clear at Walmart. 🙂   *Now don’t you want to go order that CD series? 

 I’ve had a few incidents lately where I’ve stood in awe of how God filled in the gaps of my mothering…

Son#4 came home from a trip today and was telling me about the activities, sermons, music, etc.  A few things slipped out that caught my attention and caused me to question him further….

at one point, the youth were asked to go pray for their youth pastors…and, out of the entire group, Son#4 was the first to step forward.  The announcement was then made that they should also pray for the assistants/helpers in each local youth group.  Son#4 was the only one of our group to do so.  He was surprised and a bit sad that none of the other kids acknowledged the full team.

But I was surprised by something else!  How did you know to do that?  What makes you different from the other kids?  I don’t recall ever teaching you to notice!

When I arrived at the church to pick him up, the other kids were outside talking and laughing,  Son#4 was nowhere to be found!  After searching a while, I found him out on the bus, sweeping and helping The Delightful Ms. M (our lady bus driver).

I asked him about that later on — was it his job, had she asked for help?  No, he just knew the bus was trashed and he didn’t want her to do all the cleaning by herself.

HOW DID HE KNOW TO DO THIS?

 Once we got home and had plenty of time to talk, I asked him about that sort of thing — at length!  He said that working on the farm and cleaning offices had made him realize how it takes a lot of work to earn just a little bit of money.  Also, after teaching a children’s class for 3 years (one of our family projects), he saw how the helpers did all the grunt work and usually were not noticed — and he did not want the Delightful Ms. M to feel like she was not appreciated.  He went on to tell me that she had stopped him before he got off the bus and thanked him for praying for her.

Pass the Kleenex.

Who is this boy?  Where did he come from?

All I can say is this:  I have never been a perfect mom.  In fact, I have blown it so badly so often that my kids can share stories of my catastrophies in parenting for HOURS on end.  But you know what?  God is so incredibly MERCIFUL!  He stands in the gap, He fills the needs, He provides opportunities that I overlook. 

My hope is that every young mom who feels insecure and unworthy will catch a glimpse of how amazing, loving, kind, merciful and helpful God truly is.  The simple prayer of asking Him to help you teach and train your kids is sufficient — He does and He will continue to do so — and the fruit of His teaching will always be a delightful surprise!

 Stop fretting…..Trust Him to fill in the missing pieces. number4

Itty Bitty Baby Boy

new baby printLots of changes around here — most of them being DIAPERS!

Grandbaby #3 was born a week ago and we’ve all spent hours cuddling him.  So many things are different this time…GB3 (Grandbaby #3) has a sweet mom who enjoys having our multitude of kids come over and play “pass around the baby”!  Her mother, who is from New York, is also very generous about sharing — even though she knows we’ll have the lions’ share of time with GB3 after she leaves.   

This has been almost stress-free, with the exception of a little health scare that required a last minute c-section…and, in the midst of all that, I met a very interesting woman at the hospital whose musical family played with the “Old Timers” of country music.  (I’m not very familiar with the music, but I have heard of the names!)

 Additionally, more bridges were mended with ex-family members.  Seems there was concern that I might harbor ill feelings for the past — but, when we began sharing stories of Grandma Chelsea — the doorways of communication burst wide open.   Grandma Chelsea’s youngest son (my oldest son’s paternal uncle) had never sat in on a birthing before — 🙂  he was able to experience the long hours in the waiting room — the girls giggling, the boys teasing, and the family praying.  There were several times he said he should leave, yet I could tell he simply wanted to be asked to stay.  Apparently my “tribe” understood that, too — and they’d beg him to wait just a little longer.  He did!  He even became brave enough to stop by unannounced.

So, itty bitty baby boy has already brought about some sweet changes….