Saturday, January 16, 2010

Haiti Earthquake

The Haiti Earthquake has made the the last few days very sad! Look at these links (that I just got from Noel Pipers blog) The links are to a blog written by a christian family who run a children's rescue centre in Haiti, it gives a lot of insight. None of their children were harmed!

Lolly baskets are empty, but hearts are full:

Lolly baskets are empty...but hearts are full...God has been so good to answer my prayers!

Yesterday I wrote...."Tomorrow I look forward to celebrating a wedding, see my sewing blog. ( ) The lady who is struggling in hospital is the bride's close and very dear Aunty... please pray for all in these circumstances."

You can imagine my absolute 'thrilled to bits' joy when I saw this Aunty arriving at the wedding.... Thank you God for answering prayers by allowing her to be there!

It was such a refreshingly simple wedding....beautiful in it's simplicity and focus. What a happy day. I have prayed for years for this lady to have the right husband! It was such a delight to see her with her perfect match.

It took us nearly 2 hours each way in travel time and it was a very hot day but everyone enjoyed themselves and all have had a very good day. The boys had lots of yummy food, the little ones had a sand pit to play in, and the girls were topped up full of happy sentimental memories, Douglas and I had heaps of old friends to catch up with ... can't get better than that! The vows were written by the bride and groom and were beautiful....mmmm I love weddings so much!

Waiting for the bride.

Lift up your eyes...

A butterfly awaits within...

This week has been a very happy week of rejoicing over new life, but also a very sad week. I have seen two new gorgeous babies and had the privilege of cuddling them, enjoying them and praising God for their new lives but I have also sat with two people in hospital, one of whom is ready to go to be with her Lord. I also received some news of concern from a friend too. Again, I feel so out of my depth to reach out in love....but keep praying God would help me encourage as I go along. I come away always more blessed than I am a blessing. This week I have been left feeling challenged and touched. I am left feeling humbled and grateful for God's goodness in all circumstances and difficulties.

When I was at school our principal used to read this Psalm every term on both the first and last days of school...when I cry out to God, it is often this Psalm that comes to memory. I got terribly lost this week driving to visit someone and found myself surrounded by beautiful hills, with a little quaint church in front of me as I was praying to God and thinking of this was one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen! Isn't God thoughtful to have let me get so lost and to have touched my soul so gently with such beauty! It will forever be a photograph in my memory!

Tomorrow I look forward to celebrating a wedding, see my sewing blog. ( ) The lady who is struggling in hospital is the brides close and very dear Aunty... please pray for all in these circumstances.

Psalm 121

My Help Comes from the Lord

A Song of Ascents.

121:1 I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
8 The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Ramble About Getting Ready for School

Sports day, quilting, lace bobbin making and lace making, worm farming, nature study, baking, nature treasure hunts, Sunday School and picnics, youth groups and young adults, university and nannying, cricket and back yard soccer, swimming, Wolston House, Nerada Tea Factory, botanical gardens etc are just some of the things we did last year...I wonder what this year holds? My oldest daughter turns 20 this October and I am struck that the 'happy-go-lucky', easy going school days are whisked away by the flow of time, and all too fast. And I determine to enjoy this year with my children as much as I can!

It is sooon to be the beginning of the academic year in the Southern Hemisphere. And although I have lived in 4 countries in my life time I have always been in the Southern Hemisphere and so happily stick to this routine. (I was born in Kenya - my hubby is a Zimbo. No neither of us is Black but we are both African through and through. Together we have lived in South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia - so you guess who we support for the Tri Nations? My hubby always says he supports the under dog, but I notice he still gets pretty happy when South Africa does well! Imagine if Zimbabwe was playing well! )

Anyway for us it is the time of the year when homeschooling mothers either start to panic about what they are going to do in the next academic year or when they start to get excited about what they are going to do! Or maybe they will have a little of both...only a few more weeks to go!

Last year soon after we had flooded and moved I put Joseph and Erica onto 'Switched on School House' for everything and they have absolutely loved it! (SEE ) They seem to be learning heaps! For the next six months I will continue with it to buy 'a bit of time' for Emma and Tim, who are both learning to read etc. I hope to go back to Sonlight again sometime with these four. We'll see!

My two big boys are very good at maths and science and work very independently, although Douglas is in the backgound if they neeed help, which seldom happens. They have all their classes on DVD/CD. Jonathan is busy with year 12 this year. He will also prepare for the SAT exams for university entry, so it will be a busy year for him... he may need an extra six months or so to get eveything done that he wants to do- which is 'cool' with me!

I hope to run our usual Excellence in Writing Courses, and may teach some sewing classes to kids too, maybe ...????? We'll see, first things first - let's get into the swing again!

I generally use a mix of things like Saxon, Teaching Text Books, ABEKA, Apologia, Mystery of History and Story of the World etc, etc We also read a fact in this house I have to ban reading and music practice- yea, us home schoolers are rather weird at times!

Art is going to have a higher profile this year if I can help it, as it is always the first off the list in a difficult year, last year was such a year. Not that my kids have any problems doing art minus a class. But I love art theory and history and appreciation too, and have nearly a dozen teaching DVD's to be used again! Hoping to get to the art gallery too in the next couple of weeks as they have an Asia Pacific Art Exhibition - I wonder if they will have any Maori art? I find their fish hook art and symbolism fascinating!

If you ever wonder where I am coming from...I guess my favourite home schooling philosophy is still Charlotte Mason after all these years. But as I have time constraints and work at so many different levels at once, I adapt and make do too.

We still do a lot of nature study and have continued that in the holidays with silk worms, moths and now eggs. Maybe this year we can get going with nature diaries and drawings again! I love this side of homeschooling.

Anyway, happy planning and getting excited all my dear Homeschooling Moms! And don't panic in a few weeks time it will all start to come together again! I always find this a good praying time as I ponder over each child. How blessed we are to cater for their individual needs - their gifts and their difficulties!

Below ....cheeky worm farming

Jessica's Poem:

The Gift

History waited,
Prophesies foretold,
But God's People rebelled,
Time did not stand still
But as we remember
History poised still for this time,
The time of the anointed Messiah king.

But then the noise of the tender wail of a child
The innkeeper friend crouched on the level above
"What? The voice of a child?" he said as he saw
Jesus laid in the
barrel for feeding below
'What of the Jewish king?'
he wistfully wondered

Meanwhile in the nightly shadows a shepherd snored softly
His friends nearby, A sheep as his pillow, The sky for his coat.
Then the sky burst forth in glorious light
The shepherd
jumped up in much of a fright
'An angel, a messenger from God his king !?!
Surely not come to see me in all this might?'
The angel cried out,
shaking with wonder at the message he brought,
"Don't stand terrified, it's joy I bring,
great joy you should sing"
But then the refrain,
a million bright messenger's,
shaking with wonder at the message they brought,
praising God
and saying
"Gloria, Gloria in Excelsis Deo, to God be the glory
both now and forever!"
Shaking with wonder at the message he heard
the shepherd ran full speed with the wind in his face
to look for the Messiah in meager cloth
who had bothered to tell the stinking shepherds
the time of the anointed Messiah king had come.

History waited,
Prophesies foretold,
But God's People rebelled,
Time did not stand still
But as we remember
History poised still for this time,
The time of the anointed Messiah king.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dear people who pray for me every single day! Thank you so much!

To all the people who pray for me every single day, thank you, thank you every so much!
I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your prayers!

Blessed indeed!

Besides my grandparents and parents, and my mother-in-law praying for us every day, we have had kindly older people who have 'adopted' our family for prayer, as we have moved around. They have faithfully prayed for us every single day, and we are blessed with prayers in at least four countries and in many churches as we have had to move is very humbling indeed. And I am exceedingly grateful for these Godly people who pick me, a 'nobody of importance' and who still pray for me after years of being away from them! I know my Ouma's (grandmother's) ladies Bible study still prays for us and we have never even been to her church! I have not seen my Ouma for nearly 16 years, yet she loves and prays for me, together with my Oupa (grandfather)! My Oupa cannot leave his home now, but I know he still prays! In the past Ouma's Bible study ladies have prayed for 'little' things like a child who is running a temperature or teething or struggling with speech therapy etc. After all God cares for the sparrow! I have been profoundly touched by such love!

Just tonight we traveled nearly an hour to visit our old church and an elderly gentleman came and said to me, "just to let you know that we have not forgotten you, even though you live far away from us now and we hardly ever see you, my wife and I still pray for you and the family every single day!" I was really choked up at God's grace to provide these faithful friends. They never phone or have our the latest news, or visit us....this gentleman is nearly blind and cannot 'do much' anymore but every day he and his wife pray for us! What a mighty work they are quietly doing!

Two thoughts...we can never underestimate the ministry of prayer and how God uses it!

And secondly ....what part do we take in this faithful every single day type prayer for the same people over and over again? I recon it is this type of habitual, faithful, passionate prayer that grows true 'lovers of souls'! That whisks away despair and grumpiness and frustrations.

As an older generation of praying people move heavenward, we ought to be becoming the new prayer warriors, we ought to be praying for new prayer warriors, and we ought to be adopting new people to pray for as the Lord lays them on our heart! And we ought also to be training our children the importance of praying faithfully for these dear ones every single day!

"Please, Lord, help me to be such a faithful prayer warrior too! And thank you, thank you for those who love us enough to pray for us every single day"

Photographs were taken at the Brisbane Botanical Gardens...don't they reflect a wonderful, mighty, interesting creator! The Welwichia is such an interesting plant see this blog post! ( Although please note, I do not know anything else about this blogger except that she is interested in the Welwichia, which has two leaves that keep growing, on and on )

What wondrous love that such a Creator cares so much for me!