Monthly Archives: November 2013

L is for…

A Verse Hid in Our HeartL is for
“Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings.” Psalm 61:4

A Hymn to Impart“Praise to the Lord”

A Sweet Little Prayer“Morning Hymn”

A Poem to Share“Who Stole the Bird’s Nest”

How Our Week Was Spent
We played bird school and Pete the Parrot was the teacher and he really talks because he has batteries inside him. We have real parrots here too. They are green. They don’t talk (Nate, 6).
We learned about eggs and how their shells are really strong. We held them and squeezed them as hard as we could but they didn’t break. Only if part of it gets hit they will break (Titus, 9 1/2).
Mom gave us fake eggs and told us to crack them open. There was a gummy egg inside that looked just like a raw egg and we ate them and mine had 2 yolks!” (Joel, 8)
"raw eggs"
Teacher’s Two-Cents
“Birds of a feather flock together.” And little boys of very different feathers will flock together, too, especially when on holiday in Hawaii.
The start of holiday season marks an upswing in the tourist season here in Hawaii and we’ve had more families than ever before fill the vacation rentals around us. Families from Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Canada and from all over the United States. There has been an army of little boys from all over the world around our place lately. They may not all speak English very well and they may not all like the same foods but I haven’t met one yet that doesn’t love playing in the water, climbing trees, catching geckos and chasing each other around with sticks. And they ALL love Legos! It’s been a delight to watch my boys making friends so quickly with these visitors and just as quickly finding out the fun things they have in common. This past week they were especially excited to report that one of these new friends was a Christian! Last year there was a family visiting from Canada with 3 boys and 5 minutes into their new friendship they were rejoicing in their shared faith. They were inseparable during their stay here and have all kept in close contact since then. So this is only the second time since we’ve moved here that one of their new friends has been a like minded believer. And, oh the thrill when they discover that fact! It’s an instant bond. It’s more than a holiday friendship. It’s an eternal, everlasting, unbreakable brotherhood and I’m so thankful that even at their young age my boys are able to recognize how special it is to flock together with others of the same “feather.” It’s called fellowship and it goes beyond the boyhood games they so enjoy with their other buddies. And frankly it makes me ashamed of myself. How often in the supermarket or on the airplane or out and about in the community have I met other Christians and regarded that knowledge in the same way I would as if we were from the same state or attended the same college. We have the same Father, folks! That’s a really big deal! “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit”(Ephesians 2:19-22). Happy Thanksgiving to all you dear co-heirs! I am so thankful for each one of you!
boys at play


K is for…

A Verse Hid in Our HeartK is for
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 17:8

A Hymn to Impart “On the Wings of a Dove”

A Sweet Little Prayer“Morning Hymn”

A Poem to Share“Answer to a Child’s Question”

How Our Week Was Spent
The Thermometer Bird has eggs that have to be always 91-92 degrees or they die. They keep them in a mound nest and cover them with rotting plants that make heat and then check the temperature with their tongues to make sure it is exactly right. If it’s too cold they add more plant compost and if it’s too hot they add cool sand. It takes 15 hours for the baby birds to dig their way out of all that rotten stuff. (by Titus, 9 1/2 and Joel, 8).

Teacher’s Two-Cents
Origami party
Last year as part of our Boy’s Day Celebration, one of our Japanese neighbors taught us all how to make Origami Carp Fish and she did such a great job I asked her to come teach us how to do Origami birds. Just like Boy’s Day this ended up becoming quite the multi-cultural affair. One of the neighboring vacation rentals is currently being occupied by a family from Germany that we have had a great time getting to know, so they came along for the lesson. While Maiko taught us some bird-related Japanese vocabulary, Ute repeated the same words to us in German and then I looked up what they would be in Hawaiian.
origami vocab
Ute also told us about the Storks which are a very special part of their culture. All the children had a great time folding their Cranes and eating their Japanese snacks while we Moms shared in the great international occasion called “Tea.”
Before she left, Maiko folded a few more Origami trinkets for us including a beautiful little “Star-box.” She explained that when she was in school, everyday at lunch they would each create one of these boxes to use as a trash receptacle for their lunch wrappers.
Star Box
This just blew my boys minds. They could not comprehend working so hard everyday to create something so lovely, just to fill it with garbage and throw it away.
The thought of taking what is lovely and filling it with what is corruptible should be quite foreign for believers. For us, as with the thermometer bird, the opposite is true. Think of the wondrous little treasures hidden down inside that mound of decaying, rotting matter. 2 Corinthians 4:7 says, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” As a Mom I can’t help but admit everyday what a fragile, helpless creature I am on my own accord. But I have Christ in me! And even though the tasks demanded in caring for little ones may seem endless and mundane they are nothing short of kingdom work in God’s everlasting economy. The cares and physical exhaustion that tax my body are but a “slight, momentary affliction” compared to the “eternal weight of glory” being laid up through the kingdom work God is accomplishing through my mortal flesh. So moms, “we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day…as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthinans 4:16-18

J is for…

A Verse Hid in Our HeartJ is for
“Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
Matthew 8:20

A Hymn to Impart“Jesus, Lover of My Soul”

A Sweet Little Prayer“Morning Hymn”

A Poem to Share“What Robin Told”

How Our Week Was Spent
Ti's nest
We learned all about nests. Some birds use spit to build nests and some people in China put those nests in soup and eat them. We had a nest building contest and Mom said we had to use spit to build them and other stuff that birds would use (Titus, 9 1/2).
nest builder
Mom made Bird’s Nest Soup like in China. Only it wasn’t soup. It was Jello with a gummy strings nest at the bottom. She said it was very not healthy for us (Nate, 6).
Bird's Nest Soup
Teacher’s Two-Cents
Here is our latest newly acquired piece of freeby furniture. The boys have named it the “Nest Chair”.
nest chair
This chair is only part of a long string of small blessings that have appeared, often mysteriously, on our doorstep. The condo we are renting came furnished and while that was a huge convenience since we arrived on the island with just our suitcases, it has taken a long time to add enough of our own things to make this place feel like home. (Tip: hanging a quilt up on the wall goes a long way toward making a homey nest and they’re easy to pack). Anyway, we haven’t spent more than a couple hundred dollars on furnishings or household goods since we moved here and yet looking around, the condo doesn’t look anything like it used to, mainly because of all the stuff we’ve been given. God has been so faithful in providing for our needs, not just with a great place to live but with everything we need to make it comfortable. He even answered our prayer for an electric keyboard so the boys could have piano lessons (the lessons are also a gift from a neighbor).
our new keyboard
And yet, as our memory verse reads, “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no where to lay his head.” Our God who provides for our own needs so richly and who insures that even the sparrow has food and a home, had not even a place to lay His own head while He walked this earth. I think of this in contrast to the false gods of the Hawaiians who demanded so much of them by way of gifts and sacrifices and even lives and yet could give nothing in return. Jesus had nothing and demanded nothing as far as physical comforts go, and yet He gave everything and continues to give everything because it is ALL HIS to give. As I look around our little nest I see more than just things. I see little presents from The-Great-Giver-of-All-Good-Things. Little things to make our lives more comfortable while He Himself went without.
Anyway, we put our new “nest chair” out on the lanai where it has become a favorite little napping spot for someone. I thought you might like to see what’s inside…
inside nest
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:19

I is for…

A Verse Hid in Our HeartI is for
“Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars and spreads his wings toward the south? Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high?” Job 39:26,27

A Hymn to Impart“How Great Thou Art

A Sweet Little Prayer“And God Said”

A Poem to Share“There Once Was a Puffin”

How Our Week Was Spent
We learned about Satin Bowerbirds. Boy Bowerbirds build nests on the ground and fill it with blue stuff because they like blue. Then the girl Bowerbird makes a real nice nest up in a tree to lay the eggs in (Joel, 8).

Satin Bowerbird's Nest by Joel

Satin Bowerbird’s Nest by Joel

We went on a treasure hunt for blue trash. We were Bowerbirds. I built a nest with sticks and all the blue treasures (Sam, 4).
Satin Bowerbird's Nest by Sam

Satin Bowerbird’s Nest by Sam

Teacher’s Two-Cents
The boys and I were really intrigued by the Satin Bowerbird. They could really relate to a male bird whose favorite color is blue and I could relate to the female of the species who insists she can build a better nest for her babies! I love how God gives us such great illustrations from nature. Here you have an example of a well intentioned bird who works very hard to build a home and fill it with all kinds of treasures. This certainly impresses the lady but she knows such “earthly” accommodations could never be suitable for the REAL treasures she has in store. So she sets to work building another nest high up in a tree where her little treasures will be safe and secure. Matthew 6:19-21 says “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” This Mama bird is certainly thankful for all her little treasures. And I have to admit, I’ve also really come to love the color blue.
My Blue Treasures

My Blue Treasures