Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Roaring Banners

His banner
His banner over me.
A roar
Lion of Judah roars.
The whole earth trembles.

Hears from the greatest to the least.
Small, infinitesimal particles and out beyond the heavens.
I breathe.
Not do, say, think, hear, know, understand.

The Roar.
The Lion.
My banner.
Over Me.

The demons flee
banished to outer darkness.
And then.
Life for death.
Healing for ill.
Joy for tears.
Beauty for ashes.

The roar drowns out the doubt.
Fills the void and then,
Light grows. Warm, vibrant. Beauty unspeakable.
A banner.
A banner over me.
Love. Perfected Love.

His Name.
His banner.
His roar.
His banner over me.
I breathe.

Isa 59:19
So shall they fear The name of the LORD from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him.

My First Best Friend.

My sister Sue died yesterday morning. I see her dancing round the heavens with Jesus. No more pain. No more sorrow. Just.Pure.Joy.

Please pray for her family, her husband, Doug and beautiful kids, Aaron, Dan and Monica. Her sweet girl, Monica, found her.

I am profoundly sad.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


We spent yesterday at the house, throwing away about 80% of the "stuff" on the first and second floor. The basement should come in higher and the attic not so bad. The kitchen is off-limits becasue the timbers under the floor have gone missing.

We'll talk to contractors this week and get estimates. The insurance agent is talking about maxing out the policy and writing a check and several people have mentioned bulldozing the house, selling the acerage and getting a different house.
Oh my.
I am hanging out with Cub and Flower today who are 1/2 sick, cranky, sad, irritable and bored. I'm feeling lousy myself and melatonin only goes so far helping one sleep. This week-end, not at all.
Miss R spent last night in a Kentucky E.R. trying to track down a blood clot around her heart. Thankfully, even though the test came back postive the CAT scan showed nothing. I think Jehovah Rophi had something to do with a quick and total healing. Praise be HE!!

Lots of decisions ahead. We covet your prayers.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

He Provides

I want to be successful.
I am feeble.

I want to be strong.
I ache and hurt.

I want to be wise.
I am addled.

I want to have enough to give generously.
I am living off of the generosity of others.

What I have is gone.
What I want is not to be.
I crawl, like a bleeding, destitute woman to I Am and reach out
to touch the hem of the robe of Him.

He stands. He is clean, strong, creator, Abba, comforter.
I reach, ashamed, weak, crying, afraid.

He knows. Sees. Lifts my head. Gives me Hope.
Joy Unspeakable.
More than I can imagine.
More of You, Lord.
I need more of You.

"We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies."--2 Corinthians 4: 8-10

Friday, October 23, 2009

House Afire!

Yesterday morning at 6:20 a.m. we called 9-1-1. Our house was on fire! There is a lot of smoke damage, windows ripped up, walls trashed but the house still stands, we are all alive, safe and unharmed. Our praises are too many to list right now but our church family has truly been family in the past many hours, we are overwhelmed with gratitude with the food, prayers, gifts, clothes etc that have been pouring in.

I'll post pictures and share more later. We'd appreciate your prayers as we re-group and make many decisions.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Family Camp

Action photos from the week-end at Family Camp. The crowd was small but friendly, the weather delightful, the teaching phenomenal. Viking Man taught on Biblical Holidays and the symbolism and metaphor just blow me away. He spent Friday evening teaching on the law and the branch and my thought is that the church is weak and ineffective, partly due to the fact that we deliberately stay 1-dimensional and boring rather than multi-dimensional, embracing our heritage and the Jewish roots of our faith. I'm eager to incorporate more Biblical Holidays and plan to start with some Shabbat meals this fall. Daddy and his little girl.
"Leaf on Lake."
KB's eye for beauty. The girl has a gift!
Pastor Don asked everyone to bring Jewish food for the week-end. We brought Challah bread and corn quiche.

The food was delish! Also on the table was corned beef, a wonderful dish made of carrots, yams and dates, dried fruit, bread and butter. Yum!

Cub caught in the act of feeding his Redwall addiction. When he wasn't on the lake he was busy reading, playing ping-pong, Foosball and roaming the grounds and reading!

Viking Man, happy to be in the great outdoors surrounded by sunshine and his kiddos. Hannah was his happy kayaking side-kick all week-end long. He did an awesome job teaching, as usual!

A boy and a boat. Feche-boys big week-end take-away..."I want a kayak!"

One of KB's great photos.
Queen KB, fresh off the lake!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Paradigm Shift
Fellowship, family, children, intellect, faith, laughter, food, friends,
joy in exploring, thinking, capturing thoughts and words.
Playing with expressions, hyperbole, idioms, maxims, proverbs.
words, meaning. Truth.
Old Testament thinking.
Modernist self. Me, mine, gadgets, gain.
Shifting from what is to what's excellent.
Re-thinking, re-tooling
Waiting, expectant. About to be birthed.
A surprise.
Faith guides. Sight, once trusted, becomes obsolete.
Divinity producing and soon the whole world will sing.
My piece- inspired, expected, longed-for.
No more than others. No better, no less. Hands and feet and head cherised.
All who join in welcomed, wanted, waiting, walking True North.
Self gone. Greater gained.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

WR: Week 7

Feeling more on top of things this week.
We got through 2 weeks worth of Writing With Ease- I am LOVING this program from Susan Wise Bauer, no surprise. It is a gentle intro to writing- truly writing with ease, and incorporates copywork and narration. WWE II adds in dictation and by WWE IV the kids are learning how to diagram.
Flower's reading has taken off and she is reading the instructions on her math lessons, finding herself understanding words everywhere and thrilling at the joy of mastery.
Still enjoying MP's copywork books I, II and III. Cub is doing III again. His letter formation has improved greatly over last year. He actually has beautiful penmanship, which surprises me given some of his older sibs. MP's cursive books are fun and simple. The TDA first graders are loving the fact that they actually know some cursive!
Horizon's math for the notsolittles. Flower is cruising thru, doing 2-4 lessons a day. Cub has slowed down but one lesson is usually 2-3 pages and it's work. Feche-boy is steadily making his way through Saxon with the help of Viking Man.
We finished reading The Trojan War outloud and Feche-boy finished the study guide by MP. Another winner by my friends at Highlands Latin School. We begin the Odyssey on Monday.
TDA history is working through Intro to Classical Studies and so D'Aulaire's Greek Myths has been out for weeks. It's been a fav around here for years. Cub and Feche-boy are also going through the Famous Men of Greece study by MP and Cub is going to start on Augustus Ceaser's World by Genevieve Foster on Monday.
We hit memory work hard this week and tightened up some of the grammar and Latin poems we've learned, as well as Bible verses. Cub worked on geography, locating the world's major rivers.
Art was a 2-fer as our TDA instructress, beloved Zigrid was ill, so I led the kids in a drawing lesson from Bruce MacIntyre's Drawing Textbook. The younger kids really worked hard on mastering lesson 1. Zigrid did a make-up day on Thursday and had the kids use food coloring
to create primary and secondary colors, ice nilla wafers and viola! an edible object lesson. Yum!
Science focused on plants and Miss KB is having the kids make booklets using Dinah Zike's Plants book.
We also worked diligently on VP's Biblical and Historical timeline cards and are through the first card pack (32 in each) for both. We have a lot of work to do before they are committed to memory but we'll just take our time. The kids love hearing the info on the back and are eager to take time looking at the pictures and hear stories about the cards. The Veritas Press timeline cards are, imho, a must have. We've added dates and the kids are working hard. We finally put together the timeline notebooks and are ready to add in the historical figures the kids have colored. My thought is to have them add to their notebooks each year.
We listened to Classical Conversation's memory work cycle 1 audio CD at lunch every day. Even though the sentences are different the kids love to listen to it.
Drama was fun, of course, and the older TDA kids are doing a short skit for the family camp this week-end, telling about the importance of some of the Biblical Holidays.
TDA ordered the new Summit/Apologia worldview curriculum and I can't wait to incorporate that into our Wednesday Daniel Track. We're almost through with The Little Pilgrim's Progress. This week for etiquette we focused on phone manners and how to stand in line manners. The kids loved having me pretend to ring them and "test them" on how they would answer a phone.
I started working in earnest on the NUAMS certification. We sent in the paperwork this week to NAUMS as a transitioning school, so we have our work cut out for us to get that ready as well as be ready for TDA parent info nights starting in January.
Our crisis du semaine was the kitchen sink. What began as a slow faucet leak turned into a room sized Turkish Bath within a matter of hours. As a result, and after a day with the water to the house turned off, we now have kitchen cut-off valves (alleluia!), new kitchen faucet and pipes. The washing machine will have to wait but I did get a good movie in (The Reading Room) while hanging at NH, getting laundry done.
It was another full week but the parties not over. Viking Man is teaching at our churches Family Camp on Biblical Holidays. I have to get up in the morning and cook corn quiche and something else simple to take over for the Jewish meals we'll be enjoying together.
It feels like we hit crusing altitude after a bumpy launch and it's nice to have had a couple of steady weeks.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Snow Day!

The summer was wet and cool. Tomatoes finally started ripening in late August and September was beautiful. Last night the combines were going full speed bringing in the soybeans and today we are blanketed by snow and mist.
The hosta bed.
The roosters. They aren't particularly happy with their lot in life, but it beats swimming in a stew pot.

The garden from the boy's bedroom window.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


As a family we've had unexpected and unrelenting problems since the launching of The Daniel Academy 6 weeks ago.
Car problems- 3 cars down in one week. The third car, our 17 year old Suburban pulls the trailer which hauls the wood, which affects our ability to heat our home. Our vans had to be repaired (neither repair was "that" much, but both in one week was a hefty bill in a month that was already short due to required travel in August) as we rely on them daily. The burb will just have to wait as it's too much right now, and we're praying that it doesn't get too cold too soon. The very next week one of the NEW spark plugs "blew"- defective from the factory, causing some wire damage and more time without reliable transportation. Thankfully, our mechanic had a loaner car but it was still pretty hectic as Viking Man works an hour west twice a week and we go east 3 days a week. Another week a tire was mysteriously flatter than a pancake. The tire repair dude at Stuff Mart checked it out and reported that there was, "no hole, no leak." He refilled it and said to come back it there were any more problems with our month old tires.
Last week the washing machine began making little greasy pock marks on all of our clothes. We didn't fully discover this until an entire load of Viking Man's dress clothes had been pock-marked. Thankfully, the place where Viking Man offers Biblical Counseling Services also has a washer and dryer so I spent several hours there this week-end doing a week's laundry for a household of six. A short term fix for now.
As if that wasn't enough, this week I've had strange and mysterious physical ailments that range from an old and irritating knee injury causing pain and distraction, to more serious and painful problems that I won't bore you with the ugly details of .
Why are we not surprised?

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12

Sure, all of these irritating and annoying problems could just be the result of having way old cars, over-taxing our washing machine with the demands of a large family, overtaxing my over-40 year old body. All true. However, I truly believe that education is the transmission of culture and I also believe that The Daniel Academy is a proactive Family Partnership that allows parents to guide and direct their children in the way that they should go. It's a new paradigm and a new/old way of thinking about child-rearing. It allows homeschoolers the fellowship and expertise they are lacking and public schoolers the excellence and personal attention that they are lacking. It fills some gaps. It threatens the expected. And when we do that in the name of Jesus Christ, I believe that the enemy takes notice.
I'd appreciate it if you could pray for me and my family as we walk out the call. I ask this because, "Two are better than one, they have a good return for their labor." Ecclisiastes 4:9 and we stand strong when we stand together. Right now we could use some good folks standing with us.

Friday, October 9, 2009

WR: A full and Busy Week

This week felt like we were in a normal groove- moving through things, making progress, seeing some smiles again (finally!). The move to a 3-day program has been rough on the notsolittles. We are up by 6 and going all day long. They aren't used to so many people, the demands of a posted schedule, having other adults and kids making demands on their time, energy and emotional resources. But, finally, I think that they are re-grouping and beginning to enjoy some aspects of the week. Flower has been inspired by Art class and has spent every free minute creating pictures and texture and cutting and pasting.

On Monday we do school at home. Cub and Flower do copywork (MP), cursive (MP), math (Horizons and Saxon), read-alouds (The Trojan War by Olivia Coolidge- an excellent read!) and literature (MP study guides). Cub is working through the Hobbit and Feche-Boy is almost finished with the The Trojan War, then on to the Odyssey and the Iliad. The boys are also taking Apologetics, and FB is deep into Algebra. We are adding in Latin and Bio next week. Slow and steady and we'll probably be well into summer before he finishes the coursework but that is one of the bonuses of Parent Directed Education.

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we go to TDA. We have morning worship for 1/2 hour, then 45 minutes of Memory Work. Then 3 separate groups for English, which consists of Phonics, handwriting, narration, and dictation. Our spine is Writing With Ease along with Explode the Code, AlphaPhonics and MP's lit guides. I am sitting with the first graders individually to go over their ETC lessons and AlphaPhonics (everyone is at a different place). The kids are really getting it and there is some healthy competition developing with the kids who are behind in AlphaPhonics working hard to catch up to where other kids are at in the book (I'm using sticky notes to mark the pages so they see where the other kids are at. Not my origianl intention but it has one student especially motivated!).

Then Math, gym, Meditative Prayer, lunch. In the afternoons we do Latin, Science, Bible, History, intercessory prayer, VP cards. We have 14 kids doing VP cards at the same time and I don't know why it is such a thrill to me to hear them recite the memory work or VP cards but it jazzes me to hear them saying the sentences in unison, watching their faces, eager and thrilled that they are getting it. Woohoo. They are making cool connections. For instance this week the history sentence was: "The four things that follow war are Pain, Panic, Fear and Oblivion" and Z said, "Hey, Sodom and Gomorrah (one of the VP cards) - that's oblivion!"

Tuesdays and Thursdays are full and busy days. Yesterday all of the kids won a prize from the point system we've put in place for behavior and that is a GREAT indication of how well everyone worked on relationships and being diligent in their work. They spent a 1/2 hour playing together, sharing and trading prizes and generally having a great time. Everyone went home feeling good about the week and what we'd accomplished.

Today is a home study day and in our house that means more math, VP cards, copywork, dictation and literature. It also means some vacuuming, catching up on laundry cause the washing machine died this week and going grocery shopping.

We (me as Administrator and Viking Man as Director of Discipleship) are meeting with each set of parents to talk about educational and behavioral goals, the focus and purpose of the program, etc. and it's been just as much fun to get to know the parents better as it has been the kids.

And lastly, we finalized the TDA logo and colors. Another week before it's totally finalized and we can start using it!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

WW: Esprit Similaire

Miss. R and her friend, newly back from three years in China- both of them language geeks, passionate about the Lord and having fun being young.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ruach Eloyim Chayim

Formless and void.
Ha- Ruach came and blew galaxy upon galaxy into being.
Embedded deeply
into the fabric of the universe.
Vast expanse of depth and dark.
He placed times and seasons, purposes and people. Precious and hoped for
Loved by Him.
He Created.

Longing for the unfolding of the mysteries,
deep and secret things hidden
but only for a time.
Joy in knowing what's to come.
His beauty revealed.
Diamonds exposed.
The universe trembling and singing,
exuberant with expectations.
Expressions of his over-flowing love-
sons of Adam and daughter of Eve
Created to worship.
Fellowship in the garden.
More than knowing.
Fabric of being crying out in want and joy
for Him.
Ruach Elohim Chayim.

Thwarted. Times. Seasons. People. Places.
Aborted. Masses of flesh. Beauty torn limb from limb
Sacrilege and sacrifice for nought.
Sin sickness rampant
Sons and Daughters turn away.
Father rejected. King shamed.
Ruach Hakodesh ka'sher dibber denied.

Righteous anger burns
Fire consuming sacrifices offered freely to idols.
Delusion running rampant.
Modern man, divorced from Living God of Old and Times to Come.
Post-modern words without meaning, formless and void.
returning to the beginning with No Shame.
No God. No King. No Ruach Olam.

Mysteries deeply buried exposed and
Ruach Ha Emet comes again.
Fire burning brightly.
Pure. Righteous. Dross consumed.

The vision, speaking
Appointed time and times,
Ruach he-Chazon at the ready.

Ha-Ruach- The Spirit
Ruach Eloyim Chayim- Spirit of the Living God.
Ruach Hakodesh ka'sher dibber - Spirit of Promise.
Ruach Olam- Eternal Spirit
Ruach Ha Emet- Spirit of Truth
Ruach he-Chazon - Spirit of Revelation

Monday, October 5, 2009

Jeremiad & Nehemiad

If you aren't yet familiar with the newly coined theological terms Jeremiad & Nehemiad, you need to hop on over to George Grant's blog and learn about them. More great church commentary by one of the great minds of our time: http://grantian.blogspot.com/2009/10/resounding-nehemiads.html

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Elastagirl and Tent Poles

We've prayed that God would expand our horizons and enlarge our tent and currently He seems to be doing so in many ways. As a result, we are being stretched. We've been stretched before so it's not a new experience, it's just always one that makes us realize how puny we were when we started. And as our tent poles are being moved out to accommodate a greater territory, the resources that we have are being called on to bear an even greater weight, to bear up under even more pressure and to adapt to whatever current need is being addressed. Yep, feeling a little thin (and wishing that were more literal than figurative).
I relate, probably too well, to The Incredibles. It just seems that we started out knowing that we could leap tall buildings, right wrongs, and talk rationally to psychotic impostor super-heros. We've hit middle age front and center and are bogged down by things like cars whose doors don't shut (maybe because we slammed them too hard ourselves), jobs that can be tedious (like hauling wood), sometimes unfulfilling (like washing the umptenth load of dishes) and don't always pay the bills, kids who don't follow the mold, and the knowing that we were meant for something with a little more pizazz. If I were only, really, truly, ElastaGirl and Viking Man were Mr. Incredible, we could get a little more done, with a lot less of what it seems like it currently takes.

But we're not Super Heros (darn that) and so, for us, it all boils down to faith. Cause I know that we are walking out some things that have been long-time callings and passions and burdens so that's not really what's at issue. It's just, dang it, that stretching thing again- called on to be a lot when it seems like we have so little.
Yesterday, we were all so hungry, it had been a long morning and it was well into the afternoon. The first bite was awesome and we seriously offered up a prayer of Thanksgiving. I started wondering about food and why God made us to require it. And I wonder if it's because He just wants us to think about what He's provided a couple of times a day. Maybe, because of the comfort in which most of us live, we've forgotten that food isn't a given and that it is truly cause for thanks. And really, when you think about it, God just added in the fun part of it, cause He did. Because He has a great sense of humor and fun, so He gave us chocolate and fruit and gum. Not cause we need it, but just to see us happy.

And I think that's where the stretching thing comes in, That when we're really following God we should feel thin, we should feel a desire for more, we should really long and hunger and seek and find Him. That we start the day with a knowledge that we don't have what it takes so we're looking to Him to fill in the gaps, which are many and deep and wide. And then wait for the surprise, the fun, the "just because." That as He provides all that we need it is abundant and good and we are filled with more than we can ask or imagine. That our hands, which seemed empty, become full, and out of His abundance we can walk out the call.