Monthly Archives: December 2013

N is for…

A Verse Hid in Our HeartN is for
“Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved son; with you I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21,22

A Hymn to Impart “Jesus, I Come”

A Sweet Little Prayer“Sing to God”

A Poem to Share“Bats”

How Our Week Was Spent
We learned more about bats. Most people are afraid of bats but they shouldn’t be because bats are actually good. Some can catch 600 mosquitos in an hour and some help pollinate plants. They are also good moms. A mommy bat will leave her baby in a bat nursery to go hunt and when she comes in she can find her baby again even though there are millions of other baby bats (by Titus 10, Joel 8 1/2 and Nate 6 1/2).

Teacher’s Two-Cents
I’ve never liked bats so I wasn’t very excited about this section of the text that focused on these “other” flying creatures of the fifth day. The more we read about them however, the more in awe I became over this “darker side” of God’s creation, especially when I learned how devoted the Mama bats are to their babies. Most bats only have one baby a year and they will nurse them for up to 6 months. The mama coos to the baby and the baby squeals back. In fact the mama knows her own baby’s squeal and scent so well that when she leaves her baby in the “bat nursery” to go hunt at night she can come back and pick out her own baby out of the thousands, even millions of pups huddled together.
My oldest “pup” turned 10 years old this week and I’m pretty sure I’d be able to pick him out of a million as well! But as well as I think I know him he is constantly surprising me as he grows. The fact is even though he’s been pretty much continually in my presence and under my influence for the past 10 years, there is thankfully a power greater than me at work in his life! So while I have been busy trying to create a boy who loves tomatoes, cleans up after himself, and does his math without complaint (none of which I’ve been successful at), the Lord who knit him together has been busy accomplishing a far greater work. As much as I poured myself into this child, the person who is emerging is a daily surprise, an unfamiliar wonder. I didn’t know he’d be a talented athlete, excelling at everything he tried, but the Lord who formed every muscle did.
play ball
I didn’t know he’d have the determination to read through the Bible in 7 months and the mind to acutely remember a wealth of details, but the Author of Life did. I didn’t know he’d be a gifted artist, but the Divine Designer did.

"Hawaiian Mallard at Sunset" Oil-on-Canvas by Titus

“Hawaiian Mallard at Sunset” Oil-on-Canvas by Titus

I didn’t know he’d have a steadfastness of spirit that would drive him to constantly seek after truth and cling to it, but the Holy Spirit did. I didn’t know he’d be a devoted big brother, but the Lord who blessed him with 4 little charges did.
big brother
I didn’t know he’d have the imagination, ingenuity and resourcefulness to be able to create what ever entered his minds eye from lego crafts to forts to useful gear to musical instruments to meticulously documented imaginary worlds, but the Creator of the Universe did.
bamboo horn
So maybe it’s time for me to stop lecturing him about not throwing the ball in the house, and time to stop sneaking tomatoes into recipes, and time to stop grumbling every time I pick up his dirty clothes and time to start getting to know this boy as God designed him, not as I will him to be. Happy 10th Birthday, Titus! My life is infinitely richer because you’re in it. You ARE my own beloved son and with you I am VERY well pleased.


M is for…

A Verse Hid in Our HeartM is for
“My soul will be satisfied with fat and rich food and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, When I remember you upon my bed, and meditate upon you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.” Psalm 63:5

A Hymn to Impart: “His Eye is on the Sparrow”

A Sweet Little Prayer“Sing to God”

A Poem to Share“The Bat”

How Our Week Was Spent
We learned how birds have a furcula which is just like our collar bones only stuck together. People that used to live before the Romans thought it had special powers because chickens were like prophets (Titus, almost 10!).
We saved the wishbone from our turkey and broke it and I won (Joel, 8).
and winner!
Teacher’s Two-Cents
Here’s a story about a bird. It begins at the end. By the time we met “Thomas” he was frozen solid and needed a few days of thawing in our fridge before we could break the ice and really get acquainted. We only had enough time to rub him down with some Hawaiian Alaea Salt before Thomas was whisked off to the local canoe club where he was lined up with dozens of other birds waiting to be wrapped in banana and ti leaves and chicken wire and face their second fate. The Imu Pit.

Prepping banana and ti leaves for wrapping

Prepping banana and ti leaves for wrapping

Thomas was the biggest bird there so he got to go in first. Lucky Thomas. Once he and all his now unfeathered friends were comfortably settled in the glowing coals they were buried by banana tree trunks and giant leaves and then wet tarps and finally a thick layer of dirt.
"Thomas" was first in line

“Thomas” was first in line

Then there was nothing to do but wait, which the boys could only tolerate so much of so we walked home on the golf course and did our waiting there.
I'm like the Pied Piper...always picking up extra boys as I go along :)

I’m like the Pied Piper…always picking up extra boys as I go along 🙂

Finally the time came to bring Thomas home. We unwrapped him like a gift and when the last layer of leaves was pulled aside we could see the transformation was complete. Thomas had become a mound of fall-off-the-bone tender, smoky, deliciousness. Paired with authentic Portuguese Sweet Rolls hot out of a real outdoor stone oven, purple Hawaiian Sweet potatoes, green beans and cranberry/pineapple rings, Thomas would have been feast enough.
Imu pit turkey and a bag of fresh Portuguese Sweet Rolls.

Imu pit turkey and a bag of fresh Portuguese Sweet Rolls.

But in true Hawaiian fashion (and Pilgrim fashion, too) the 20+ neighbors who joined us brought according to their own abundance as well. They also brought according to their own cultural culinary tastes which made for one of the most eclectic Thanksgiving feasts I’ve ever gobbled down!
Hawaiian Thanksgiving
But before the feast could begin the adults were all treated to our very own Thanksgiving Day Parade complete with a real live marching band made up of all the kiddos and a wondrous array of Hawaiian instruments, from bamboo horns and coconut drums to classic ukeleles. They blew and beat and strummed their way to the feast whereby we paused for prayer (in English, German, and Japanese!) and sang the Doxology together in Hawaiian.
parade participants
Later as our family watched the video we had made of our neighbors saying the things they were thankful for as they waited in the dinner line it occurred to us how awful it must be to know how much you have to be thankful for but not to know The One to whom we owe ALL our thanks. We all know the feeling of satisfaction that a full tummy brings after such a feast of “fat and rich food,” but true thankfulness is a soul food and can only bring that deep down satisfaction to the one who knows where their gratitude is due. Good gifts are a blessing but we miss out on the greater blessing when we lack gratitude to the Giver Of All Good Gifts. The Psalmist’s very soul was satisfied as he lay awake at night thinking of all the Lord had done for him. When I think how I lay awake the night before Thanksgiving fretting about “Thomas” our turkey and how he and all the other fixings would turn out and how in the world I would have time to set everything up AND get the family ready to attend the Thanksgiving Day service at church and how none of my fretting could add or subtract to all the blessings the Lord has showered upon our family, I realize that I missed out on a major blessing: a soul-satisfying midnight feast of thankfulness. From now on my goal is to turn every sleepless night into a real Thanksgiving Feast.