Wednesday, April 27, 2011

This Week's Accomplishments

Both Cavett and Kendrick hit milestones this week.

Kendrick has begun his first sport.  He has shown his patience and practice and has been allowed to start Karate early.  Typically they don't allow them to start until they are 4, and he is 4 months shy of that.  But, he has been watching all of Cavett's practices and doing the moves on the sidelines with the  kids.  He has a great grasp on the strength and even has better form than some of the kids already.  With Kendrick, I think he does better in a group setting rather that one-on-one, so he has been doing very well and will receive his gee this at this afternoon's practice.

For Cavett it was his first major school project.  Every child chose an animal for their research project.  Cavett came home last week telling me that his was a blue jay.  Really?  They are headed to the Dallas zoo for their final field trip and I thought no way is it really a blue jay as a zoo animal.  Come to find out it was... well, let's just see if you can guess.

For the beginning of his presentation, here is what he is showing.  Can you guess his animal? 

We spent one afternoon researching the rubric--Diet, Habitat, Characteristics, Predators, Interesting Facts. We learned many new vocabulary words including "Neotropics", "Frugivorous", and "Diurnal."  We spent one afternoon searching through Uncle Jonny's old National Geographic Kids, Ranger Rick and My Big Backyard magazines for pictures.  We spent one afternoon planning the board and gluing pictures and yesterday he wrote all the text on the board and together we made a model of clay.  Nana even gave him the idea of having big kitchen tongs, a serving spoon and tweezers to describe the different types of bird bills and why the toucan must have a 7 1/2" long bill made of bone and keratin.  The project will be turned in on Friday.  Whew!  Glad to have the first one of many behind us!

Of course, the icing on the cake was that he got to eat a box of sugary cereal for the project, because we had to show the mascot of Froot Loops!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Kendrick's First Solo

As children of choir member parents, Stephen and I have vowed that one of us would always sit with the kids during worship on Sunday mornings at least through elementary school.  This morning Stephen sang in the choir.  The male voice is needed a bit more than the soprano, so I sat with the boys...on the front row and I mean truly front row. 

I was really excited about it, because I knew that we would at the very least be singing "Christ the Lord is Ris'n Today."  This year Kendrick has learned this song in BSF and Cavett already knew it because of Psalty CD's.  So, as we drove to church we practiced our songs and I threw out a couple of other hymns I thought we might sing like "He Lives" or "Up From the Grave He Arose."  Cavett asked me, "How do you know all the songs, Mom."  Of course, the response was that I went to church every single Sunday growing up. 

All was going well....the boys sang every "Alleluia" in our first hymn, "Christ the Lord Is Ris'n Today."  Kendrick was mesmorized during the baptism but became a bit wiggly during the prayer. There was no Children's Sermon today--that is where I always cross my fingers and hope for the best.  Cavett hung in there and did an Easter word find during the sermon.   Kendrick colored and we did a connect the dot game, but he was listening to the sermon still.

At one point in the sermon, Pastor Tom was talking about the ending of the book of Mark and the Greek translation of verse 8 specifically. 

Bible in Basic English
16:8 And they went out quickly from the place, because fear and great wonder had come on them: and they said nothing to anyone, because they were full of fear that ...

His point was it was open ended,  that no matter where we are in life, we are not there yet and the story isn't finished.  Then he said it's like singing "Christ the Lord is..."  Loud enough for the front half of the congregation to hear, Kendrick busted out singing the rest of the line "...Risen today, Alleluia!"  It was precious and he got quite a chuckle. 

Pastor Tom then did it again at the end of the sermon, hoping that all would join in with Kendrick this time, but Kendrick was a little embaressed, I guess and Pastor Tom had to sing it again for all to join in. 

Interestingly enough, I had a couple of people tell me they though it was Cavett and didn't realize it was Kendrick.  What a testimony this is to the teaching of God's word at such a young age!  They are sponges!  No matter the age, a child can soak Him up! 

"It is the same with my word.
I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
and it will prosper everywhere I send it."
Isaiah 55:11

Friday, April 22, 2011


Jerusalem: city of peace

For the past two months I have had Israel on my mind.  Maybe I have been watching too much news with all the riots, but God has really placed them heavy on my heart. 

It began with one song--"I Was Glad When They Said Unto Me."  The text comes from Psalm 122.  I kept singing it in my head over and over, especially the "pray for the peace of Jerusalem" part.  Ok, so I got that message, God--pray.

A month later, my heart was lifted a bit with "Zion's Walls" from Tenderland by Copland.
Because one day, I will be within those walls singing the praises of Zion. 
Jerusalem Sage
Come fathers and mothers,
Come sisters and brothers,
Come join us in singing the praises of Zion.
O fathers, don't you feel determined
To meet within the walls of Zion?
We'll shout and go round

The walls of Zion.

Then, this week's BSF lesson was  Isaiah 61-64.  This contained Isaiah's prayer for Jerusalem and my lesson asked the question "Why do you think God has you studying these chapters at this time in your life?"  It's obvious from Isaiah 62, the Lord wants me to pray for Jerusalem and not stop until His glory is shown--"until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch."  Israel is surrounded by the chaos of the Middle East. It is so unstable in the region.  But when Jesus returens, she will be the "City of God's Delight" the "Bride of God" and they will live in peace and righteousness.

Did I also happen to mention the gorgeous flower in the backyard called the Jerusalem Sage? 

I dare say if you ask many Americans they would have to think twice about why we support Israel and why we are allies.  (In fact, they probably know very little of Jewish faith or the Jewish history.) But, back to the problem at hand... The answer lies in Genesis beginning with chapter 12--God's covenant with Abraham.  And, God continues to reiterate His promise throughout the entire Bible.  God never gives up on Israel.  He keeps His promises.  Yes, a sinful people must be punished once in a while (Heb. 12:10), but in the end they are His people as well as the Gentiles who believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah (OT-Isaiah 56:7-8) and  (NT-Eph. 3:6) and that he died a substitutionary death to save us from our sin. 

Time after time, the Bible states that Jerusalem is "where it's at," but the most poignant place being Revelation 21-The New Jerusalem.  One may say that we are in the Thousand Year Reign of Christ with the church, but obviously, we are not in that Milinnial Kingdom.  There are still tears, death, sorrow, and pain.  Nations are still at war.  One day all that will cease and Jerusalem will be where the Lord will reign and all peoples and nations will stream there to worship.  (Isaiah 2:1-4)

The point is that our nation should continue to support and fight for Israel.  These are the "good guys" and it's not because we feel sorry for them about the Haloucost.  We shouldn't support them for social justice and collective salvation.  We should support them because they are God's chosen people.

I say "we" as an individual, however for salvation is not a collective doctrine.  Our individual salvation DOES NOT depend on collective salvation.  It is totally individual.  You must make the choice yourself.  Who's side are you on? 

If you still aren't convinced, read In Defense of Israel by John Hagee.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Antique Roses and Shasta Daisies

 "His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring,
with plants springing up everywhere."
  Is. 61:11

"The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air."  Song of Solomon 2:12

Pin Cushion Flowers

Black-Eyed Susans

There is nothing better than spring!  After a cold, dead winter, my perennials that die back to the ground are coming up and some with such vigor that I am amazed. 
Hardy Hibiscus-a week ago it was a leaf on the ground.  It has mutiplied ten-fold!
Basil-The big clump in the front I just planted, because I didn't think it was a perennial.  All the sprouts behind it came up this week  from last year's root system!

 It reminds me that one day all will be made new.  There will be no more death, no more pain, no more tears, no more mourning.  It will be perpetual spring!  Revelation 21:4-5
Knock-out Roses

I can't wait!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Today we said good-bye to our "first child" and sweet dog--Verdi.  He was 13 years old this spring. 

We got Verdi just a couple of weeks before we were engaged, so technically, he was my dog, but Stephen loved him just as much as me, if not more.  We picked him out of a litter in Ruston and of the puppies, he was the shyest. 

He loved to have a ball thrown.  He also would play by himself by batting it against a wall and catching it.  Once we had a pool, he adored swimming, but it didn't bode well for his ears.  He taught me a good deal about parenting--discipline, responsibility, sleeping in bed with me, etc.  Cavett and Kendrick loved playing with him and taking him on walks. 

We love you, Verdi.  See you in heaven.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Look Back to Look Forward

My sweet little sister turned 30 this week and posted an incredible blog that every mother who has given or will give up a career to stay home should read.  It's a lesson that we both have learned here recently.  I just wish it would have come to me sooner. 

Check it out:  The Degenhart Family

My conviction came from Isaiah of course.

"Does the ax raise itself above the person who swings it,
or the saw boast against the one who uses it?
As if a rod were to wield the person who lifts it up,
or a club brandish the one who is not wood
!"  Isaiah 10:15

"You turn things upside down,
as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!
Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it,
“You did not make me”?
Can the pot say to the potter,
“You know nothing”?
  Isaiah 29:16

I wish my voice was as good as KK's, but I know that God gives us each special and unique gifts for a purpose.  So for now, I'll continue in my gift that is all GOD's knowing I have nothing to do with any of my success--playing song-games with kids at BSF, filling in for a choir director whose Mom is dying and teaching K-2nd graders how to lead in worship through their hymns of praise.  My success in anything is for His glory.

Thank you, KK for the reminder!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ask Kendrick

Mom: So, what have you been up to lately?
Kendrick:  I don know...

M:  What are you most proud of?

K:  Pooping on the potty.  (He had regressed about 3 weeks ago, but now we seem to be back on track.)

M:  What is your favorite thing to do nowadays?

K:  Have a little screen time (Wii, TV, computer, etc)

M:  What is your favorite food?

K:  Chicken nuggets, frozen corn (still frozen), and grapes

M:  What is your favorite activity outside?

K:  Riding my bike.

M:  What's your favorite word?

K:  "barely" like "I can barely do this."

M:  Who is your best friend?

K:  Luke is my best friend.  (They are in the same pre-school class and I teach Luke at BSF.)

M:  Is there anything else you want to tell me about.

K:  Nothing.

In true fashion of the gender, Kendrick is a man of few words and you have to ask the right questions, but the sweet blue eyes and chubby cheeks will melt your heart everytime. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Impromptu Get-Together

Saturday, we were planning on heading to Fort Worth to meet the Chaneys at the Science Museum.  It turned out that the Chaneys came to our house and God blessed us with absolutely gorgeous weather.  We spent the entire day outside!  It was a much better decision!