Monthly Archives: May 2014

Regattas and Run-aways

A Verse Hid In Our Hearts To access all of this year’s bird-themed memory verses A-Z click here.
A Hymn To Impart To access all of this year’s Bird-themed hymns click here.
A Sweet Little Prayer To access all of this year’s bird-themed prayers click here.
A Poem to Share To access all of this year’s bird-themed poetry click here.
How Our Week Was Spent
We had our first regatta. All the canoe clubs on the island were there and our club got 2nd place. We race in the specials because we’re the youngest and we got medals. There were big waves but we weren’t scared. Only Mom was scared. We get to have another race this weekend (by Titus, Joel, and Nate).

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Teacher’s Two-Cents


Yesterday, my five-year-old asked me if he could run away from home…”just for a little bit…like an hour and 60 minutes?” And could I please pack him a snack and could he bring a knife in case of bad guys? Running away from home has been a great topic of intrigue around here ever since my older two boys read the “My Side of the Mountain” series. Not wanting to squelch this little attempt at manhood I gave him permission and suggested a few more things he might want to bring, including another brother, which was fine with him, and could he please wait until morning. He was all packed and ready to go right after breakfast so after a quick prayer and a kiss at the door they were off and “running away.” My two little men. And their snacks. And a very small knife. Very ill-prepared indeed for any real-world excursion but prepared enough for whatever bit of adventuring they had in mind for this morning. Someday they really will be leaving our nest and I suppose it’s little experiences like this one that will prepare them, and me, for the inevitable. The planning, and packing, and prayer, this playing at independence, gives us all a little practice for the real thing. Kind of like the canoe race. A whole lot of fanfare for a very short paddle and they were all cheered wildly back to shore. But that’s just play. Many centuries ago some young men left their mothers at the door and got into a great double-hulled canoe and started paddling. Over a thousand miles later they set eyes on an island and the story of Hawaii was born. Someday, my boys too, will be paddling out in search of their own story and when they do I want their going to be just as it was today; well prepared, with my blessing, and wrapped in the security of knowing they’re never too far to come back in.
Praying before the Paddle, "In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord."

Praying before the Paddle, “In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord.”


May Daze

April might have been full of Birthday fun but May is the icing on the cake. Here are just some of the events we’ve been celebrating the past few weeks.
Piano Recital
Our neighbor, Linda, hosted one more piano recital for the boys before heading back to the mainland for the summer. She had Nate and Titus play their own original compositions and then gave us a beautiful rendition of Joel’s piece, “The People of the Lord.”

"The People of the Lord" by Joel

“The People of the Lord” by Joel

May meant it was time to go up to the local coffee shop that had been displaying Titus’s artwork for a month and bring his masterpieces back home. He sold quite a few but here are some of my favorite florals that have found a place on our own walls.

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May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii and one of my new favorite holidays. All the schools have special programs where the children dress up in their Aloha wear and sing songs about Hawaii. At Tom’s school everyone brings leis to put on the cross. We had our own little program with music and a special lunch of Spam Musubi.
may day
That night was Tom’s school play which was probably the funniest one he’s ever done but Gideon looked quite bored already waiting for it to start and then slept through most of it. Must not be a big theater guy.
bored baby
Saturday was the Kentucky Derby which calls for it’s own little celebration. We started listening to the Triple Crown races years ago on the radio and this was only the second time we actually got to watch one on television and I have to say, the radio broadcast is much more exciting. Anyway, I donned my fancy hat and we read over all the entries in the newspaper and then picked horses to put a quarter on. Nate’s horse actually won and I don’t know who had the bigger smile, he or the jockey. We all ate like horses (apples, carrots, and oatmeal cookies). Next time we’ve gotta add “Haystacks” to the menu.

5/5 is Boys Day which is a Japanese holiday that the Hawaiians have adopted. This year was especially fun because we got to hang 5 carp fish out on the lanai (1 for each boy in the family). Last year we turned it into a very multi-cultural affair but this year we kept it Japanese. Sei’s mom gave us all a sushi lesson and we got to make our own rolls. Mine ended up looking like a big Japanese burrito which I thought was the perfect nod to a certain Mexican holiday of the same day. Boys Day + Cinco de Mayo = Cinco de Macho! We also had a Kendama contest which earned them a nickel a trick (in keeping with our 5 theme). Then they all dove into the pool to search for the $5.55 I had scattered along the bottom. Finders keepers! We finished with some blue Mochi and gummi fish for dessert and thanked the Lord for the gift of boys!

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Mother’s Day Eve we had a family over that we had never met before for a picnic dinner on the beach. Nothing like the bond of Christ for making instant friendships. While the grown-ups talked ministry, homeschooling, and life away from family in a far-off-land, the kids set stuff on fire.
kids and fire
And finally, it was Mother’s Day. Nothing like throwing half-a-dozen parties right before The Big Day to show your boys how to do it right! And boy, did they! I woke up to roses and waffles (apparently we now have a waffle iron!) and coffee in my bed. And the baby miraculously NOT in my bed! We took Shirley, one of our dear, older neighbors, to church with us and she won the prizes for most children (8), most grandchildren (22), and oldest mother (89). I got the prize for youngest mother. Now that says something about the age dynamic of a congregation when the YOUNGEST mother is in her late 30’s and the next runner up was in her 50’s!
oldest and youngest mothers
A delicious lunch followed and then it was off to the nursing home for our monthly service with the residents there. Oh my friends, there were a whole lot of lonely mamas in that room. I have to tell you about one in particular who never used to come to the services but was always slumped in her wheelchair near the entrance. Her eyes would be closed but she would mumble like she was awake and we would always greet her and hold her hand but there would never be a response until one of us would say “Loretta, we’ve brought the baby for you to see” and then she would look up and smile and start speaking clearly. Praise God, the last two times we have been there Loretta has been at the service and we just park the baby in his stroller right next to her and she strokes his hands and feet as she sings the old, familiar hymns with us and reads along with the scripture reading and participates in every way. It’s amazing what just the presence of a little one can do. More than any words we can offer or gifts we can bring, a child can bring comfort and hope and healing to a lonely soul. Seeing God use my children in that way is the best Mother’s Day gift I could ask for.
Those are Gideon's toes at the bottom of the picture waiting for a tickle from Loretta

Those are Gideon’s toes at the bottom of the picture waiting for a tickle from Loretta

This week we are in the middle of Hawaii State standardized testing. There’s nothing like pages of little bubbles and #2 pencils to bring us all back down to earth.

and Z is for…

A Verse Hid in Our HeartsZ is for
“Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, ‘Behold your God!” Isaiah 40:9

A Hymn to Impart“Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”

How Our Week Was Spent
We did an experiment with different amounts of water in glasses and we banged on them with spoons and it sounded like bells. Then we drank all the water (Sam, 5).
That experiment showed that crickets chirp higher than grasshoppers because their wings are shorter. Also they are like thermometers because if you count how many times a cricket chirps in 15 seconds and then add 40 you get what the temperature is (Joel, 8 1/2).
Our neighbors took me and Joel and Dad on a hike down to Kealekekua Bay. It was hot and there were lots of grasshoppers on the trail. We went snorkeling and saw some neat fish. There’s a monument there in remembrance of Captain Cook who was killed by the natives. It is on British soil so we basically hiked all the way to Great Britain (Titus, 9).
I found an injured Saffron Finch on our Lanai. I carried it downstairs and everyone got to pet it. Then after we left it alone a little while I scared it and it flew away (Nate, 7).

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Teacher’s Two-Cents
This week’s blog was way late in getting posted so all this stuff happened several weeks ago. And since then there has been oodles of exciting stuff going on around here. So much that even though we’ve made it to the end of the alphabet we’ll have to blog a couple more times to get it all in. We’re all done with most of our school work at this point and are just focusing on math, spelling and our state reports till the end of the month. Plus we have standardized testing next week. Yikes!
So Happy Mother’s Day to everyone, especially the Omas, who Tom and I are proud and thankful to say are the two best moms in the whole, wide world. In fact the only thing better than having them for mothers is knowing our boys get them as grandmas. We love you, Omas! And as Gideon’s onesie proudly proclaims…
My Oma loves me