"We are all handmade people created by a God who is not safe or small." Rend Collective Experiment

Wednesday, September 22, 2010



Came upon this scene Sunday Morning as we were getting ready for church. I love how he opened his mouth as he applied her lip gloss. In the background Eben was giving him pointers on how to keep his hand steady. Too sweet!





I watch how they are with their littlest sister and hope and pray they will be wonderful husbands..and I pray she won't be a high maintenance wife. Ha!

Monday, September 20, 2010



Little Fella turned 18 months old on the 18th!

It crazy how fast time is going by.

He is such a sweet, cuddly, and happy guy.
He loves, loves, loves cars. He plays and plays with little toy cars all day long. We recently went away and we forgot to bring his cars. It was pitiful. One morning at breakfast he was pulling the blueberries out of his muffin and saying vroom, vroom.

He is a schedule boy. No matter where we are at 10:30 a.m. he falls asleep. He has fallen asleep in my arms at the pool, at the beach, at the park, etc. So funny.


He loves to play outside. He is an early bird waking at 6 a.m. and when I get him dressed he signs and says "Shoes" and wants to head outside.

He can say almost all of his brother and sisters names. It's too cute.

His siblings have many nicknames for him. They call him Bubba, Get-Get, Gamos, Daceba, Little Fella, and Benji. I have no idea where these nicknames came from..but they each have their own little name for him and he answers to them all.

He likes us all to be together. He gets very upset when someone leaves the house. He likes his Peeps with him.

He is a snuggle bug. He likes to tuck his head up under your neck when you hold him.

He is a blessing and we thank God for him every day.

Friday, September 17, 2010



He planted the seeds for his beloved pepper plants and faithfully watered and waited for them to grow. The spice he loves and craves is a taste of the home he left behind. Every Friday afternoon he picks the ripened, fiery peppers and then comes in to make the dough. He mixes and kneads the dough until it is smooth and shapes them in to pizza crusts. Pizza..the food of his new home which he loves and craves. He adds the peppers carefully to his pizza and with it the old and the new come together in a spectacular combination. I marvel at how this perfect blend pictures him and the beautiful person he is.


Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:9~

Thursday, September 16, 2010

1 Timothy 6:12~

Tonight at TKD the Instructor was determined to help the kids find their "Fighting Face". The face that would show their opponent that they were going to take them down..




Her scary face..Scared?





Scared Yet?



Danger ahead..smoochable cheeks.




O.K.... This really is a mean face for Joel. He is always smiling, so he was working it here.





OOH. Now that *IS* scary. 40 pounds of something fierce wrapped up in one scary little package ;o).

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
1 Timothy 6:12~

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Meeting.



The meeting was called to order..






It appears to be a serious matter...




And plastic shovels are involved...






Suddenly I hear "1, 2, 3 ..It's Showtime!" and they break off on a mission..





A Mission involving what? I giggle and wonder if they are plotting an escape.. or a Coup..Ha, ha.





Nope. "We are banging our shovels to scare away the Mountain Lions, Mama.."

Can you guess what movie they saw over the weekend?





I love them. I love the way they love each other. I love the way they band together and stand together against their imagined opponent...and I pray that they will always be shoulder to shoulder fighting the one the Bible calls the Lion. The one who comes to rob and steal. May they bang the truth of the Gospel all of their days..together.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010



Our boys doing "Partner Push-Ups" at TKD.. Push-ups are difficult enough, but partner push-ups can really stretch you. Especially when you and your partner are as mismatched in size as these two are. Not only do they have to perform the push-up, but they have to adjust their movements and compensate for their partners strength, or weakness, so they can smack hands at the right time.

It's a lesson we can all learn. Stretching, reaching, preferring others over ourselves..things that we as Believers are commanded to do. We must extend to one another grace. This grace is to permeate all spheres of our lives...family, church, homeschool...

Umm.. Homeschool. In the past several years I have noticed that we as a homeschool community can sometimes lack in giving grace towards our fellow homeschoolers and even to ourselves. Yikes. Did I just say that?

I think that homeschoolers tend to be researchers, readers, and information gatherers. We read articles, books, blogs, and anything we can get our hands on in regards to homeschooling. We attend conferences by homeschooling experts and listen to DVD's. There are some wonderful teachers out there, and some not so wonderful teachers.

A problem we can run in to is we get all of these "voices" in our heads whispering to us what a good homeschool should be. Many times the experts give advice on everything from nutrition to finances. It isn't long before we have shaped into our minds a picture of what we as a homeschool families are supposed to be like.

I have had two homeschooling women in the past two weeks apologize to me for..

1. Buying store bought bread

and

2. Using a textbook curriculum

You would have seriously thought they had just robbed a bank the way the lowered their voices and their eyes as they "confessed" these things to me. I assured them quickly that I have done, and still do both of these heinous things.

We all homeschool differently and for different reasons. Never let anyone make you feel less than because you homeschool in a different manner than they do. Don't beat yourself up thinking there is a perfect homeschool way or a perfect homeschool family. There is not. The beauty of homeschooling is the ability to teach and raise your family in the way God is leading you. God may not be leading you the same as someone else and that is o.k. Give yourself grace, and reach out and give others around you the same.


Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
Colossians 3:14~


This article has had me giggling all day "Why Big Families Might Be Easier"

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday, September 03, 2010



Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1~

We have a fun weekend coming up. A cousin coming to spend the night and running a race with us in the morning. Jim will be off on Monday which is such a treat. We love days when Daddy is home.

Anyone have fun plans? I hope and pray everyone has a blessed weekend.


Here are some LINKS I found interesting this week:

Why Teenagers Are Growing Up So Slowly Today

As Allen writes, “We place kids in schools together with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of other kids typically from similar economic and cultural backgrounds. We group them all within a year or so of one another in age. We equip them with similar gadgets, expose them to the same TV shows, lessons, and sports. We ask them all to take almost the exact same courses and do the exact same work and be graded relative to one another. We give them only a handful of ways in which they can meaningfully demonstrate their competencies. And then we’re surprised they have some difficulty establishing a sense of their own individuality.”


Does Your Language Shape the Way You think?

As a Mom to children whose second language is English I found this to be very interesting.

When your language routinely obliges you to specify certain types of information, it forces you to be attentive to certain details in the world and to certain aspects of experience that speakers of other languages may not be required to think about all the time. And since such habits of speech are cultivated from the earliest age, it is only natural that they can settle into habits of mind that go beyond language itself, affecting your experiences, perceptions, associations, feelings, memories and orientation in the world.


For a Taste of Real Freedom, Check Out the Duggar Kids


Great article on the Duggar Family and Freedom.

My Learning Curve Meat+ More Meat = Security

As a family where most of the members are vegetarians this article sounded very familiar. Eben and Joel were down right obsessive about meat until recently. This past May they both declared themselves vegetarians (after an conversation with my older brother on farming practices in the US) and have chosen not to eat meat since.

When I was working in Ethiopia and told people I was a vegetarian, they either laughed out loud or shrank away in suspicion. At restaurants, waiters wanted to know why I would ask for “peasant food” if I could afford to go out to eat. I was once told that as a “rich American,” I should be eating beef – morning, noon, and night!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Matthew 5:16~



Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16~


It is always so hard when you don't Blog for a bit to jump back in. I never know where to start. I didn't intend to stop Blogging regularly..life just got busy. Then I became aware of some Blog controversy that made me stop and ponder exactly what this Blogging thing was all about. It can be so disheartening to see people tear each other down.

I have been so blessed to have lovely people read and comment here.

How is everyone? We have had a blessed summer. We did school up until August 1st. We also had a lot of fun at the beach, pool, free movies, and just enjoying each other. Our highlights are without a doubt the visits we had from family. Our sweet cousins came as well as our Mimi and Aunts and Uncles. We have some really fun and cool people in our family.

We had 4 Birthdays. We now have two 12 year olds. One sixteen year old..and a 41 year old. July is so FUN!

The older 7 children are in heavy training for their TKD black best test which, Lord willing, will be in November. They are teaching classes and then having hours of class time for themselves.

They are also training for a 5K.

We officially have 10 children in our homeschool. We have had a good week and seem to be finding a pattern. I told Jim our school could really use some janitorial and kitchen help. HA!

I hope you are all doing well. Are you back to school (Public/Private/Homeschool) Doing anything new in your schooling?

Much Love,
Renee