Archive for January, 2008

Thursday Thirteen – Edition VII

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Thirteen Books I Would Like to Read

I’m always on the look-out for a good book. Here, in no particular order, are thirteen books that I would like to read:

  • Wise Words – Family Stories That Bring the Proverbs to Life –Peter Leithart
  • The Morning Gift – Eva Ibbotson
  • Discerning the SpiritsA Guide to Thinking About Christian Worship Today – Cornelius Plantiga
  • Great Exchange- My Sin for His Righteousness – Robert Bevington and Jerry Bridges
  • 1491 – New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus – Charles Mann
  • Inkheart
    – Cornelia Funke

  • A Secular Faith – Why Christianity Favors the Separation of Church and State
    – D.G. Hart

  • The Truth About Forever – Sarah Dessen
  • Amazing Grace – Megan Shull
  • Peter and the Starcatchers – Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
  • The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate
    – Gary Chapman

  • Memories of Childhood: The Classic Stories – Michael Foreman
  • Great Authors of Children’s Literature
    – Wendy Mass

Thirteen Books I Want to Read

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Family Worship

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

(If anyone knows who does this lovely clipart, please let me know so I can tell him or her how much I enjoy this art.)

I’ve mentioned previously how much I enjoy the writing of Richard Phillips. He often contributes to blog posts on a site called Reformation 21. Today I read one of his posts on family worship. Here is a short quote from that post:

What is family worship? Family worship is the gathering of the father, mother, and children to worship God in the home. It involves two essential elements: the reading and teaching of God’s Word and prayer. It is also good for the family to sing together. Our family begins with a short prayer, after which we sing a psalm together (we use the Trinity Psalter). Next is a time of family Bible study in which I teach, allowing questions and discussion (presently, we are working through Acts). I have often been thrilled by the insightful questions asked by my children, which shows they really think about biblical things (and really are learning in Cat Kids and Sunday School!). After the Bible lesson, we pray together, with every member of the family participating. At the very end, we stand together, hold hands, and sing with the Doxology.

As a family, we have consistently engaged in family worship throughout our life together as a family. Like the Phillips family, we find this is a perfect time to discuss life issues in light of what God teaches us in His word. This is the time when we memorize the faithful catechisms of the Christian faith. This is the time when we answer doubts and questions of family members.

Ready, SET, go!

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Here it is, late, time for bed, but I’m just now squeaking out a blog post. This has been a busy day (as I’m sure yours has also been). I could have posted after dinner, but I just had to go to the high school girls’ basketball game this evening. Our girls really excel at teamwork. It’s a joy to behold how well they work together. The game was hard-fought by talented gals on both sides, but, sadly, our team lost by 2 points in overtime. I believe the final score was 72 to 74.

I won’t list for you the other things that made this day so busy. Suffice it to say that a lot of necessary errands were run, children were taxied, and dinner was both prepared and eaten.

What I would like to do is tell you about a card game that one of the math teachers with whom I worked recommended to me. Two of the children and I “test drove” the game this past weekend and decided it’s one of the best. The game is called SET, “The Family Game of Visual Perception.” Twelve cards are placed face up on the table. There are three different shapes, three different colors, three possible shadings, and three possible numbers of shapes on a card. To form a set you look for things that are all ALIKE, or, things that are all DIFFERENT. The first person to spy a set, says, “Set!” and may take the set if he is able to satisfactorily explain to the other players why it IS a set.

There is a great website explaining more about this game, and other brain-challenging games as well. Did you know that SET affects your brain in some interesting ways?

At the earliest opportunity, I would like to get this game for our family, plus a closely related but more challenging game called Triology.

Have any of you played Set or Triology? If so, does your family enjoy the games?

Baking Day

Monday, January 21st, 2008


Here you see Sarah and me in the kitchen, where I spent a good deal of my time this past Saturday. Rebecca made a delicious pancake breakfast for her birthday sleepover girlfriends, but I did all the cleanup so that they would have more time to visit and play games.


Kayla is doing some art projects with the theme “Windows”, so she was going all around the house taking pictures out our windows on Saturday. This view out my kitchen window shows you the light snowfall we enjoyed Saturday. In about a week we’re supposed to receive about two weeks straight of snow. Let’s just hope! That will make this a winter the children will always remember. We don’t mind making up snow days in the summer, so LET IT SNOW!


My first baking project on Saturday was this large batch of Simple Granola. The family loves it as much now as they did 25 years ago.


My personal favorite is this Honey Whole Wheat Bread that is our daily necessity. Rick and I developed the recipe for this bread ourselves.

How is the Lord’s Day to be sanctified?

Sunday, January 20th, 2008


(Image from Snapshots of Joy)
Excerpts from the Westminster Larger Catechism:

QUESTION 116. What is required in the fourth commandment?

ANSWER. The fourth commandment requireth of all men the sanctifying or keeping holy to God such set times as he hath appointed in his word, expressly one whole day in seven; which was the seventh from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, and the first day of the week ever since, and so to continue to the end of the world; which is the Christian Sabbath, and in the New Testament called The Lord’s day.

QUESTION 117. How is the Sabbath or the Lord’s day to be sanctified?

ANSWER. The Sabbath or Lord’s day is to be sanctified by an holy resting all the day, not only from such works as are at all times sinful, but even from such worldly employments and recreations as are on other days lawful; and making it our delight to spend the whole time (except so much of it as is to be taken up in works of necessity and mercy) in the public and private exercises of God’s worship: and, to that end, we are to prepare our hearts, and with such foresight, diligence, and moderation, to dispose and seasonably dispatch our worldly business, that we may be the more free and fit for the duties of that day.

(Scripture verses which substantiate the catechism answers may be found here, if you are inclined to look into this subject further.)

Day of all days the best

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

(Image from Snapshots of Joy)

I’m looking forward today to a blessed Lord’s Day. Each time Sunday comes around, I’m thankful to be stopped in my busy tracks. On Sunday I have the opportunity to focus more on heavenly matters than on the concerns and enjoyments of the here and now.

I enjoy being the first one up in the morning, so I’ve already read Ezekiel 28 – 30, my portion on the Blue Letter Bible reading plan that I’m using, and today’s selection from Day By Day Grace by Bob Hoekstra (As I’ve mentioned before, Day By Day Grace is such a good resource. The author has a gift for speaking biblical truth succinctly and memorably.)

Once everyone is up, each one of the children and my husband will eat a simple breakfast. I prepared homemade granola and honey whole wheat bread yesterday, so I wouldn’t have a big dirty kitchen mess to clean before church today. I started the coffee when I got up, and will soon go make another pot, since three of the older children are here this weekend, and they all enjoy their morning coffee!

Next Sunday will involve more work in the kitchen, though, since we will be showing hospitality to church visitors and some of the friends from church. This sort of Sunday work is what we call “work of necessity and mercy.” We know that the Lord tells us to show hospitality cheerfully to one another and to visitors, and the food isn’t going to appear out of nowhere! Still, I will try to plan ahead and get as much of the work done on Saturday as possible, so that I actually have time to visit with the folks who come over, and am not doing work unnecessarily on the Lord’s Day.

Now it’s time that I finish getting ready for the day. We leave at about 9 a.m. for Bible classes. Our class is beginning a study on the book of Ephesians, and the children are studying the Heidelberg Catechism. The worship service begins at 10:30 a.m. Our pastor is preaching this morning on “Loving the Church,” and the text for his sermon is taken from Psalm 122. Listening to the preaching of God’s Word is one of the main blessings of the day, since we are told in the Bible that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).

Good bye for now. I hope you have a blessed Lord’s Day.

Some pictures from the Sweet Sixteen party

Saturday, January 19th, 2008


Here are some of the guests and the guest of honor, Rebecca, at about 2a.m. this morning, ready to partake of the birthday cake.


This is a shot of the German Chocolate cake, prior to demolition.


One of Reb’s friends decorated this hat for her. The words say, “So my friends say I’m special.” Rebecca wore the hat all evening, even to the mall.

A great time was had by all, including this momma, who was the driver of a van full of incredibly talkative girls. It was fun. 🙂

Friday Haiku, early Saturday morning edition

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

Haiku Friday

Hello dear Friday Haiku friends,

It is 2:30a.m., the wee hours of Saturday, so I hope this Haiku still counts:

Today’s theme: birthday!

Dear Cadetie, Sweet Sixteen

Lots of fun tonight!

Honestly, I had the German Chocolate Cake baked, and thought I would have time to actually do this post on Friday, but . . . Rebecca and about ten of her girlfriends really wanted to go to the movies tonight. We got to the theater in plenty of time for the 7:15p.m. showing of 29 Dresses, but it was sold out. So . . . We occupied ourselves at the mall until the 10:15 showing. Suffice it to say that time elapsed, and the singing of “Happy Birthday to You”, the eating of cake and ice cream, and the opening of multitudes of presents didn’t happen until about 2a.m. I am barely conscious, but quite conscientious about posting, so here you have it. I’ll put up a photo of Reb’s cake, and maybe some of the jolly party attendees tomorrow.

For more Haiku, visit Jennifer over at Playgroups are No Place for Children and Christina at A Mommy Story.

Thursday Thirteen, Edition VI – Exercise Routine

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

Can you believe it? An easy, short, refreshing exercise routine in just 13 steps.
Each repetition of these steps takes just 7 minutes.

Do each exercise for 30 seconds. (I have a wall clock with a sweep second hand on which I keep an eye to tell when each 30-second interval has elapsed.) Walk around for 2 minutes to rest after completing the routine. As your strength/stamina increase, repeat routine, rest, repeat routine, etc.

MARCH Lift legs high and swing arms



SHADOW BOXING Stand with legs apart; do not twist at waist


HOLD STAFF AND SWING LEFT LEG, then HOLD STAFF AND SWING RIGHT LEG (Hold onto something with one hand.)

TOE RAISES (while standing behind chair for balance)



SWIM STROKE 15 seconds freestyle, 15 seconds backstroke

SIT KICK Sit in chair; try to kick alternating shoes off


WINDMILL Legs apart, alternate toe touches

Do this routine for 2 days; rest a day, etc.

Thirteen Easy Exercises

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Because I’m feeling sad . . .

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Psalm 42:6 – 11, Scottish Metrical Version

6 My God, my soul’s cast down in me; thee therefore mind I will

From Jordan’s land, the Hermonites, and ev’n from Mizar hill.

7 At the noise of thy water-spouts deep unto deep doth call;

Thy breaking waves pass over me, yea, and thy billows all.

8 His loving-kindness yet the Lord command will in the day,

His song’s with me by night; to God, by whom I live, I’ll pray:

9 And I will say to God my rock, Why me forgett’st thou so?

Why, for my foes’ oppression, thus mourning do I go?

10 ‘Tis as a sword within my bones, when my foes me upbraid;

Ev’n when by them, Where is thy God? ’tis daily to me said.

11 O why art thou cast down, my soul? Why, thus with grief opprest,

Art thou disquieted in me? In God still hope and rest:

For yet I know I shall him praise, who graciously to me

The health is of my countenance, yea, mine own God is he.