Monthly Archives: April 2014

Y is for…

A Verse Hid in Our HeartsY is for
“You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine.” Exodus 19:4,5

A Hymn to Impart“The God of Abraham Praise”

How Our Week Was Spent
My brother, Nate, is an excellent piano player and swimmer and reader. And he loves snorkeling. He is a skillful hockey player
and he can run very fast and now that he is 7 he is better at all of those things. Happy Birthday, Nathan! (Joel, 8 1/2).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As Samuel grows up, I have noticed that he’s learning more and more amazing skills, including all sorts of things, like riding a skateboard, catching a ball, swimming, running, playing tennis, and a countless number of activities. The thing that I think stands out among all of those things is his love for his younger brother, Gideon. Every morning I see him lying in Mom and Dad’s bed hugging him and sometimes even singing him a song. Happy Birthday, Sam! Hope you enjoy being 5! (Titus, 10).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Teacher’s Two-Cents
To Our Neighbors,
It’s the week after the party and two little boys are still basking in the glow of cupcakes and presents and a fun time with friends. And even though they may not realize it now, someday they are going to figure out that the real magic of the evening was in the people that were gathered together on their behalf. We are so blessed to live in this beautiful place surrounded by neighbors who care so much about our boys.
So this thank you is not just for taking time out of your day to celebrate and for the good food and gifts and even for indulging a proud mama by participating in some corny games. This thank you is for each of you who have provided meals, given lessons, offered rides, doled out treats, played games, babysat, repaired scooters, hosted hot-dog roasts and recitals, told stories, led hikes, been lifeguards, lit paths, chased bike thieves, cheered rink-side and at races, shared sunsets tolerated all our noise, looked out for, spoken kind words, saved recyclables and pennies, and even delivered newspapers morning after morning folded with the comics in front right where little eyes can find them. You are more than just good neighbors, you are OHANA.
The hardest part about moving to Hawaii was leaving the most wonderful family in the world behind. Thank you for filling that void and showing true ALOHA to five little boys and their eternally grateful parents. God bless you all. Tom and Julie.
The Birthday Boys

The Birthday Boys


X is for…

A Verse Hid in Our HeartsX is for
“eXcept the Lord build the house they labour in vain that build it.” Psalm 127:1

A Hymn to Impart“God Will Take Care of You”

How Our Week Was Spent
I ran in a race with Nate and I passed all the big kids and Nate got first place and I got fourth. Ti and Joel had to swim in the ocean for their race and we all got medals and shirts and big pretzels (by Sam, almost 5!).
race day
Teacher’s Two-Cents
I know our verse technically doesn’t start with an X, nor does it contain any bird references. But it does sort of mention nests and is therefore the subject of the next post in our series. The entire Psalm speaks to my heart as a mother. Even though this condo in Hawaii wasn’t anywhere close to my choice of nesting locations I knew that if this was where He was leading us I would never be happy anywhere else. I might have found us the perfect little farmhouse in the country but it would have been me building that nest and not the Lord and my labors in the home would have been in vain. Now, that isn’t to say that even in this nest of God’s own choosing I don’t often feel that my labors are quite in vain. Because I do. Everyday. The tornado that is this crazy, boy-filled life seems to follow directly in the path of my cleaning. No sooner is the floor swept then it is covered in crumbs again. The laundry basket is filled just as quickly as it is emptied. An endless cycle of books and toys grace every surface. And just as I put away the last of the dishes the sink is filled again. Keeping house does indeed seem a labor in vain but I have to remember that making a home isn’t quite the same thing as just keeping house. And the home the Lord has provided for us here is serving as the perfect incubator to prepare all my little chicks for a life of service to our Lord.
The second part of verse 1 really gets me because I am a late-night worrier. But the Psalmist says “Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” My children are my little city and no amount of sleepless anxiety will keep them safe. Their Heavenly Watchman has them entirely in his keeping. Verse 2 says that the Lord “gives to His beloved sleep.” Now, I must admit I have called that statement into question many a time with a baby in the house but eventually sleep does come and no amount of “anxious toil” will bring it any faster. Then there are verses 3-5 which end the Psalm with, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!” I have no idea what the future holds but all my arrows are aimed in that direction and the Lord will guide them from this nest to their intended target. All my worry and anxious toil will not get them there any faster or any closer to the bulls-eye.

"Quiver Full"  an oil-on-canvas by Titus

“Quiver Full” an oil-on-canvas by Titus

Here’s a little poem I made up to end our little “nesting series.”

God bless this nest
and all this mess
that seems to spring up from the floor.
I just went through-
twas only a minute or two-
and it wasn’t here before.
But little hands
and little feet
get busy in a jiffy
and turn to shambles
through playful rambles
what had just been looking spiffy.