T is for…

A Verse Hid in Our HeartsT is for
“The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that He planted. In them the birds build their nests; the stork has her home in the fir trees.” Psalm 104:16,17

A Hymn to Impart“Children of The Heavenly Father”

How Our Week Was Spent

The bombardier beetle has two sacks inside his body, each containing a certain kind of gas. Whenever it feels threatened, it is able to open a valve between the two sacks which allows them to mix. When the gasses mix it causes an explosion. Here is a picture I drew from another picture of it’s insides and how it works (Titus, 10).
Titus, Joel and I did an aquathon. Titus won and Joel came in 2nd and I was 5th. The ocean was very rough that day but we swam fast and then ran a whole mile. Then we got our picture in the newspaper (Nate, 6 1/2).
front page
Teacher’s Two-Cents
Our next 4 memory verses will continue on the “nest” theme so I thought I’d do a little series on our own nest starting with the one I hatched from. My Mom is the most gifted homemaker I have ever known. Growing up, we never lived in big houses but they were always beautiful and she made them that way with her own two hands, scouring thrift stores and garage sales for used treasures and giving them new life. She can completely transform a room in a day, sewing up curtains and pillows and seat cushions in a flash. And the things that come out of her kitchen! She is always cooking for a crowd, whether they are invited or not. 1/2 an hour till dinner time and 10 surprise visitors? No problem. And here’s the amazing part: she can do all this without ever messing up her kitchen! I know it sounds crazy but she has some magic art of cooking and cleaning at the same time so that even as she is putting all this delicious food on the table the counter tops and stove show no trace of the flurry that has just occurred in there. AND…get this…she is able to accomplish all of this without any granite or stainless steel in sight! Imagine having to work under such deplorable conditions as ceramic tile counters, white appliances, and standard oak cabinets! I know. I know. All the aspiring gourmet chefs of my generation are in total shock. Yes, her housekeeping skills are indeed legendary and if any of her friends are reading this you should know that the beautiful, spotlessly clean home you were so graciously welcomed into, did in fact look that way ALL THE TIME. And let me also tell you, she didn’t get much help from her five kids either. Of all her talents, delegation is NOT one of them. I don’t think I’d ever cleaned a toilet until I got my own apartment in college. But more on my own nests next week. Now that will be a lesson in contrasts!
“The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.” Proverbs 14:1


25 responses »

  1. My kiddos will love the video! Congrats on your wins in the aquathon! I am curious about the headline…cold? 😉 The high here was 18 yesterday and we are “suffering” the effects of another ice storm! It has been a crazy winter! Teacher, I loved hearing all about the nest from which you hatched! And I bet your current one isn’t such a contrast! You’ve inspired me this morning to be more hospitable and open my home more…even though I could never pull it off as perfectly as your mom!

    • Yes! It was rainy and “cold” here for several days, including the day of the race! temperatures plummeted into the low 70’s. 🙂 A lot of upset tourists! I’m glad my Mom can be be an inspiration to others. I know a lot of people don’t invite others over because they are embarrassed about how their house looks but I think guests will remember the love they were shown a lot more than the fingerprints and laundry piles!

  2. Yes, I agree. Your testimony about your mom has inspired me to be a better builder of my home. Too often I want to turn away opportunities to open up my home to others because I’m waiting for my standard of perfection in my house that will never happen. Perhaps my home won’t look spotlessly clean all the time, but when others are eagerly welcomed in, I hope they’ll come away remembering the love they received, not the dust on the shelves.

    • Amen! That’s exactly what they will remember! With children in the house 24/7 you WILL NEVER reach the standard you’re hoping for but that shouldn’t stop us from reaching out and welcoming others into our mess 🙂

  3. So much to comment on, but I simply won’t have time this morning. I’m so proud of the boys. At their age I didn’t even know how to swim. Had to teach myself later by just jumping in the deep end and trying to survive. You’re right, Julie, about “delegation.” No one else could ever do it as well! But you learned by watching her function. More about bombardier beetles or “stink bugs” later. Right now (rainy season) they’re taking over the garage. Have to sweep them out or “crunch” them.


  4. Such joy in seeing the boys swim, compete and learn . . . grateful for others who continue to bless your lives in Kona . . . thankful for the many times we have graciously and lovingly been in your parents home too! Hi and hugs to all!

    • Don’t think we’ve overlooked your amazing hearts for hospitality as well! You and David are amazing examples of faithfulness to the Lord in the use of your home and resources to bless others. Thanks for sending some real, live hugs with Ben and Danielle.

  5. Congratulations to your boys in their aquathon finish times! And, thank you for the fascinating addition of the video on beetles. Amazing God!! His creation never ceases to bring awe.

  6. I was thoroughly enthralled by the bombardier beetle. One more story which shows the intricacies of God’s created organisms that lend the scientists a window for understanding the shortcomings of the evolutionary theory which so many have ascribed as fact. Thank you for sharing this with your sons, my grandsons, giving them the opportunity to choose in a rational way the truth of their origins. Love to you all. Opa (the other one)

  7. Oh, Julie, i just have to comment on your description of your mother’s “nest!” I have spent many lovely times in your mother’s various homes, and no matter what size or whether in dessert, mountains or town, they have always been a place of luxury due to her talented skills of decorating and the “magic art of cooking and cleaning at the same time.” I consider it an immense treat to be in her home. She has served many a lovely tea party, brunch, lunch and supper, and she always prepares delicious meals and serves them beautifully. I have taken home and used more than one of her recipes! Thank you for honoring her, Julie! She is an expert nest builder! 🙂

    Something my mother told me years ago when we had a bundle of lively children in our home, might be encouraging to you mothers of young children lacking the magical gift your mother has. Mama told me that I might have a few days in which my house was in good order, but then I might get behind one day and someone was likely to “drop in.” She told me to never apologize about the house, but to make the people feel welcomed. I have found that if one’s heart and home are open, people seem to keep coming back regardless of how perfectly maintained the home is! Loving hospitality is a good way to feather a nest!

    I do not always comment, Julie, but I am very impressed with the way you cover any subject you decide to teach. You are a very practical, fun, and interesting teacher and a perfect mother for sons! May God continue to direct you and give you grace for each day!

    Congratulations to Titus, Joel, and Nate on completing their aquathon so well, especially in such cold weather. 🙂



    • We did have to chuckle when we saw the “cold” referenced in the headline :). It was raining and the water was terribly rough but the temperature was still in the 70’s! Thank you so much for your encouraging words!

  8. Just to be clear, there were a few tasks that Mom had no problem delegating. To this day, I can’t stand the sight of louvered doors, glass window shelves full of colored glass knick-knacks make me shudder, and baseboards are meant to be dusty!

    And, btw, having lived down the street from me does NOT give you carte blanche to share your insights on MY nesting practices. That’s where you were heading with that “lesson in contrasts,” wasn’t it?! 🙂

    • Ha! If anyone outshines Mom in the kitchen it’s you! Oooh yeah, I do remember some time spent in front of those louvered closets with a sock over a popsicle stick wondering where the popsicle went that warranted such a stick and why I hadn’t gotten one.

  9. Enough about “glass knick-knacks” and “lovely tea parties” and sock-covered “popsicle sticks.” This is supposed to be a homeschool science site. Back to the bombardier beetle. I encourage the boys not to be dismayed when they encounter negative responses from evolutionists about evidences for intelligent design. Just take note how creative and inventive they become in trying to explain how chance alone can accomplish accidentally what God has wrought. What amazing “faith” they exhibit!

    Love you guys much,


    • You’re right! It would take a whole lot of faith to look at even the simplest bomb or “explosive device” as they are now called and conclude that it just happened to evolve by chance but people have no problem with making the same assumptions about the incredibly complex ballistics system built into this little beetle.

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