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Family Vacation!


We'll be back like Nixon, tanned, rested and ready.

Grace and peace,


September 24, 2004  |  Comments (14)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Parsley, Sage, Rosemary or Thyme?


What herb are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

(Via Chamomile MtnMama)


September 23, 2004  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink




Come to me in the silence of the night;
Come in the speaking silence of a dream;
Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright
As sunlight on a stream;
Come back in tears,
O memory, hope, love of finished years.

Oh dream how sweet, too sweet, too bitter sweet,
Whose wakening should have been in Paradise,
Where souls brimful of love abide and meet;
Where thirsting longing eyes
Watch the slow door
That opening, letting in, lets out no more.

Yet come to me in dreams, that I may live
My very life again tho' cold in death:
Come back to me in dreams, that I may give
Pulse for pulse, breath for breath:
Speak low, lean low,
As long ago, my love, how long ago.

--Christina Rossetti


September 23, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

Chestnuts fell like hail, cracked open, and their brown nuts rolled out in front of us as we walked down Khreshatyk Street this afternoon. The boys gathered several up, and I'm trying to gather info on how to eat them (and what precautions are necessary.)

Do you have to roast them? How do you roast them without an open fire? Anything you can share about chestuts is appreciated.


September 22, 2004  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



W.H.S.A.E. Update

The Holland (Michigan) Sentinel first ran a shoddily-written op/ed about homeschooling. Then, they pulled the article because of a flood of letters.

And now, they have the article back up, along with many comments from readers here:

Homeschooling Robs Children


September 20, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



Fluffy First Day of School Bows


The Girls on their first day of school.
Notice the traditional Ukrainian/Russian bows previously discussed.


September 19, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Help for de-Ezzoing

Courtesy of Amazon.com's Listmania:
Help for De-Ezzoing.

Also recommended:
Aware Parent Forum
FREEfromEZZO Yahoo List
Unprepared for Parenting
Ezzo Parenting Discussion


September 18, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Two Familes in Beslan

I've been avoiding, in large part, reading the news and looking at pictures from Beslan. It just hurts too much and is too "close" for me. . .

So, this is a warning--if you don't want to read about it, start scrolling now.

We have dear friends who serve in Moscow, but have ties to Beslan. This is from an e-mail we received from Steve and Marti this week:

"We minister in Moscow, Russia. Beslan, a city in North Osetia, is about a 40 hour train ride south of Moscow, close to the Black Sea, Chechnia, and north of the country of Georgia. Most of the regions around North Osetia are Muslim, but North Osetia has a large population of Orthodox Christians, and also some Evangelicals. Down the street from Beslan School #1 is Evangelical Baptist Church. Most of the children in that church go to School#1. The two pastors had their children in that school.

The Youth Director in the Baptist Church, a year ago, graduated from our Moscow based training program for Youth Ministers, "Perspektiva". Our pastors Yuri P., and Lance C., went to Beslan to mentor the youth minister, and while there they stayed in one of the pastor's homes.

When the tradgedy happened several people from our Moscow office went down to Beslan to give support and comfort. Following, is their report.

"Pastor Taymuraz Totiev and his wife Ria had 5 children.

Larissa, 14 years old - killed
Luba, 12 years old, killed
Albina, 11 years old - killed
Boris, 8 years old - killed

A daughter named Magina was found, released from the hospital, and is recovering at home.

The other pastor, (they are brothers and live next to each other):

Paster Sergei Totiev and his wife Bela had three chldren:

Dzerassa, 15 years old - killed
Anna, 9 years old - killed

A son named Azamat, 12 years old, is in the hospital and is being treated for severe eye injury in both eyes.

Our colleagues, Paul and Nedezhda, traveled to Beslan to take part in the memorial service at the Totiev's home and they gave a very moving report of what took place.

The Totiev brothers live in houses next to each other. Between 1,500-2000 people gathered in front of their homes, including many Christians who came from other areas to support the Totievs who ae loved very much. Neighbors of the Totieve family told them with tears in their eyes, "You lost your children, but we feel like they were our children too. They were shining lights on our street" [referring to their good behavior and helpful spirit}. Others in the crown began cursing and vowed to take revenge against the terrorists. Pastor Sergei Totiev, who lost two children in the siege, sttod up at the end of the service and said, "Yes, we have an irreplaceable loss, but we cannot take revenge. As Christians, the Bible teaches us that we must forgive. Vengeance is in God's hands."

This was the most powerful sermon and witness that has perhaps ever been heard in that community. The crown was very moved by what Pastor Totieve said. Truly the Totiev children who were killed are still shining lights in their community even as they lay in their caskets".

This information was sent to us from Moscow, and I hope will fill you in on some of the details about the hurting Christians in Beslan. The church also lost a deacon and many children in the massacre.

Pray with us for these dear fellow believers that lost those dearest to them.

If you want to read a news story with more detail, I recommend this one.


September 18, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Idealist and Mom

Activist Mama
You're an agitator! Your kids have grown up on the
front lines of rallies and pickets, and chances
are that you boycott at least one company for
its bad business practices. Your kids are
learning what matters to you and how they can
change what matters to them.

What kind of a freaky mother are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Hmmmm. . . So that's why I ended up a missionary. . .

(Via Andrea the Punk)


September 17, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



The Horrible, Disappearing Homeschool Article

As Christina pointed out in our discussion of this article, the Holland Sentinel removed Peggy Boyce's "Homeschooling Robs Children" editorial. But Chris O'Donnell e-mailed me a url for where it is posted down that was tracked down by TZB. Who, btw, confirmed the paper yanked it because they were flooded by e-mails from put-out homeschoolers.

If you really want subject yourself to this article, don't say I didn't warn you.

Original URL
Alternate Link 1
Alternate Link 2
Google Cached Snapshot of Article


September 17, 2004  |  Comments (24)  |  TrackBack (2)  |  Permalink



Welcome, Baby Lincoln!


Tuesday, September 14th, 2004
Time of birth: 3:52 PM
Weight: 9 lbs. 1 oz. Height: 22 inches

We are rejoicing with Derek & Carol, and Nathaniel, Benjamin and Christina on the birth of little Lincoln Montgomery!


September 17, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



What we've all been waiting for. . .

Hubby is back and blogging at Le Sabot!


September 16, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



And the Winner is. . .

This article is vying for the distinction of being the Worst Homeschool Article Ever. Though, a close runner up might be this one.

Some gems from Peggy Boyce's Home-schooling Robs Children:

What an ego trip for a parent -- to be all things to your children, to control every thought, every concept that enters their world. Is this education, or programming? To deny them the stimulation of working and playing with their peers is unfair.

. . .

The real trip was for the mothers, who received the big emotional rewards. My response is: Mothers, get a life. How unfair it is for you to take away your own child's life in order to gratify yours? Is this what we must expect from the "me first" generation as it raises their families?

Power-tripping mothers and deprived home school children are welcome to comment.

(Via Paul via Chris via Daryl. I was surfing.)


September 16, 2004  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



For the Politicos

If you aren't reading The Note, The Corner and Taranto's BOTW everyday, you're missing out on a lot of political fun.


September 16, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Evening with Sasha

This evening Sasha came over to visit and drink piņa coladas. We've seen her off and on this summer, but with the Summer Institute and Family Conference and other "big" things going on, we've had less time to just talk about life, love, and literature. I'm glad summer is over and life can resume a normal pace.


September 15, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Wisdom from Proverbs

4And it is not for kings, O Lemuel, to guzzle wine. Rulers should not crave liquor. For if they drink, they may forget their duties and be unable to give justice to those who are oppressed. Liquor is for the dying, and wine for those in deep depression. Let them drink to forget their poverty and remember their troubles no more. --the Teacher

September 14, 2004  |  Comments (10)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ramblings on School Days

Today was our first "real" day back at school for the 2004-2005 school year. Between the Family Conference last week and the boys getting sick, we pushed off the start again, until today.

The little boys, C3 and R5, are still getting into the rhythm of dyetski sad. Bringing lunch in their lunch boxes is still the highlight of their day. (What wasn't the highlight of my day--finding a used "balloon" on the front steps of their school. I kicked it into the bushes.)

I'm amazed at how much easier it is to "do school" with only two children. Reading aloud to T6 and J8 went so much more smoothly, and the interruptions were question-asking ones as opposed to wiggly-children ones.

One of our family traditions is new toothbrushes for all major holidays--the first day of school, Christmas, birthdays. (And since there are spaced out throughout the year, it's a pretty effective toothbrush-replacement reminder.) Last week R5 saw some Winnie-the-Pooh toothbrushes. So this afternoon they were all presented with their Pooh, Piglet and Tigger toothbrushes.

The boys have a natural affinity for math. I've been concerned about missing any foundational steps, so we're still working through basic Saxon workbooks. But their mental math--wow! I'm really impressed and need to evaluate what would really be best for them. (I also realized the Saxon books I have are almost finished, and I need to order more.)

Our history/literature core is focusing on Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome--and the Bible history that corresponds to those times. For our Greece and Rome units, I'm drawing heavily from Classical Kids: An Activity Guide to Life in Ancient Greece and Rome. We also have some related Sonlight and Veritas Press resources, as well as a smattering of books we've found here. I'd like to order D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths. Hubby is going to start back with historical bedtime stories soon. I'm toying with the idea of doing a little intro to Greek and Latin as we discuss those civilizations, but not focusing on the languages intensely.

J8 is a voracious reader. We're finishing up some of the phonics foundations with VP's Phonics Museum, and doing more reading comprehension and oral reading this year. T6 is reading, but hasn't really "taken off" yet--though I can sense he's just on the verge of it. We're also continuing to work on phonics with VP materials.

For our morning circle time, we're reading Bible stories related to the time periods we're studying, memorizing the children's catechism, learning some new hymns, reading some poetry, and working on the ABC Bible verses. I'm constantly amazed at how quickly and eagerly the boys memorize these! I have the catechism, hymns, and Bible verses printed out and in notebooks for each boy. (It's so weird to think back to how my Mom homeschooled us before computers. . .)

Notice the absence of any planned science. Important, of course, but not a big focus this year. We'll likely read a few Usborne and DK books and talk about whatever the boys are interested in. T6 loves whales and oceans, so I'm sure we'll be doing some informal schooling related to that.

I want to do more hand's-on learning related to art this year than last year. We have some great books and museum visits planned, but little experiential art. We're still considering music lessons. We know a great piano teacher, but the boys are also interested in violin and guitar. (And honestly, the lesson costs are much more affordable here than in the States.) We also have planned play dates with The Girls until they move--one of the highlights of our week.

Ironically, we are in desperate need of a family vacation after this crazy summer. We're still trying to firm up travel plans, but our big dive into school is going to be more like wading. . .


September 13, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Strength to my Fainting Heart

My faith looks up to thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary,
Saviour Divine;
Now hear me while I pray,
Take all my guilt away,
O let me from this day
Be wholly thine.

May thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart,
My zeal inspire;
As thou hast died for me,
O may my love to thee
Pure, warm and changeless be,
A living fire.

While life's dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread,
Be thou my guide;
Bid darkness turn to day,
Wipe sorrow's tears away,
Nor let me ever stray
From thee aside.

When ends life's transient dream,
When death's cold, sullen stream
Shall o'er me roll,
Blest Saviour, then, in love,
Fear and distrust remove;
O bear me safe above,
A ransomed soul.

From the Trinity Hymnal.


September 12, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Yes, I know today's date.

And no, I'm not blogging on it. I just can't.


September 11, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Check these out. . .

Rebecca not only writes, but is also working on a new historical journal based David Brainerd's Blog.

Thanks, Joe, for pointing me to Rebecca's new project.

Also, I invite you to register and participate at the new AwareParent forum. I'm not a mod there, but you'll see me around.

Tonight Hubby is giving an overview on "What is a Cult?" to the Student Fellowship. He especially recommend the info on cults from CARM.Org.

And visit World Reformed Fellowship for updates and article around the world.


September 11, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Brown Bear, Brown Bear

Check out Eric Carle's website. *grin*

(Via Donna)


September 11, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink




consider your laughter
consider my tears
consider my love
consider your fear

consider one small child
consider your cross
consider the hope that withers like a flower
consider my loss
consider the fire
consider the night
consider the truth
consider the light, my love
consider your heart

consider your heart
consider your heart

consider my love, my love
consider the darkness
consider my love, my love
consider the flame
consider my love, my love
consider the ghost of the living savior
remember my love
remember my name

consider your heart
remember my name

consider your heart
remember my name

consider your heart


September 10, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Midweek Update

The Family Conference is going great. I'm very encouraged by the feedback from our Ukrainian friends and from some of the new people from our neighborhood we've met through the conference. I've especially enjoyed the women's fellowship activities.


September 08, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Welcome, Aubrey!

Welcome to the world, Aubrey Kai!


This is my cousin, her husband, son and new baby daughter.

Saturday, September 4th
12:27 a.m.
9 lbs. 1 oz.
22 1/2 in. long

And, please be praying for little Aubrey. from my cousin:

Sept 8: She got distressed during labor and had to be resuscitated at birth. The first 48 hrs were grim, but she held out and with the help of oxygen, medication and the excellent care at the NICU here, she is doing MUCH better today. Each little organ has had to do a lot of work to repair itself due to the lack of oxygen she had at birth. Specifically, her kidneys and lungs had to prove themselves, but thankfully they are doing well now.

Sept 14: I ask that you pray specifically for Aubrey to learn to feed...bottle feeding is going very slowly, as she has to relearn the coordinated suck/swallow/digest reflex that babies are born with. She will stay in the NICU for as long as she needs until she is eating. The doctors have warned us that this will be the hurdle that takes the longest to overcome. But we have faith that she will learn soon enough and we'll be able to take her home once she does so. The other concern we have is what kind of long-term effects her birth trauma could have on her. Whatever the future holds for us and our baby girl, we are just so in love with her and are thankful she is with us.


September 08, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Family Conference Weekend

This is a busy weekend--we're involved with a neighborhood Family Conference with visiting teachers from Texas.

And. . . HOORAY! My boys are home safely from the seaside. They ran up to hug me and they look so sweet with their sunbleached hair and sunburns.

More good news. . . Carol's Storybook is up and running again.

Note to Jennifer--Carol's back!


September 03, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Starting Dyetskiy Sad

Today was R5's first day at dyetskiy sad, kindergarten. He and C3 will be going to a small dyetskiy sad for American and Ukrainian children, but taught in Russian instead of Ukrainian as the local schools are. And it's only a 5 minute walk away!

R5 was very excited this morning, especially about his dinosaur lunch box. The batteries in my camera ran out right as I was about to snap a picture of him in the school entrance. I sat in the main room for the first couple of hours. He ran out every so often to make sure I was there and to tell me what was going on. I appreciated that the teachers allowed the separation to proceed at his pace instead of forcing the issue. After awhile, R5 told me, "Okay--you can go now."

About an hour later, we were called because R5 was upset. He wasn't quite ready to travel by marshrutka with his new teachers and friends to the park. But he told me he wanted to be sure to be back in class when the students came back to school.

He was fine during the second part of the day, and when I picked him up he didn't want to leave! C3 will be starting at this dyetskiy sad on Monday.

I'm really happy that the younger boys have the opportunity to be in a Russian-immersion program. I think it will be a good fit for their personalities. And I'm looking forward to having more focused homeschooling time with the older two.


September 02, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Catechisms and Creeds

The Westminster Confession of Faith

The Larger Catechism
The Shorter Catechism
Catechism for Young Children

The Apostles' Creed

The Nicene Creed

Other helpful and historical church documents available at Monergism.com and CRTA.org.

(Especially for Samantha.)


September 02, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



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