Monday, July 30, 2007

my 2 cents

I read this article on Yahoo news today and 2 things struck me:

1. The editor speaks of the New Testament as completely true.
2. The editor expects us to accept that any written work NOT the New Testament doesn't have to be truthful.

Interesting . . .

Saturday, July 28, 2007

My New Favorite Kid's Book

I have been anticipating 2 deliveries for the past week and a half. The first one was my order from SonLight Curriculum, with some preschool books. I am starting Elijah in "Homeschool Preschool" this fall, on a very limited basis. It really is more for my benefit than for his! I want to teach him to sit still and to pay attention, but also I want to convince myself that I can do this! Even as shortly as a year ago, if asked if I would homeschool my answer would always have been "Dan wants us to, but I'm not so sure." Over the past year, however, I have had some great conversations with homeschooling moms and seen some great curriculum, along with God's work in my own heart concerning my selfishness, and I have turned 180 degrees! Now I am excited about the possibilities and anxious to try it out. I'll have to keep you all posted on how it goes, though. I might be back to where I started in a couple of months!

Ok, back to the original thought . . . My much-anticipated deliveries. SonLight suggests a daily Bible for their curriculum, but I had heard so much about another kid's Bible, that I decided to get that one. I ordered 2 kid's Bibles from Amazon and just got them on Thursday. They are the Jesus Storybook Bible and The Big Picture Story Bible. I love them both!

First of all, the theology of both is specific, not just a general retelling of Bible stories. Both tackle tying the OT stories to God's overall plan for the world. They explain the sin in the Garden of Eden not just as simple disobedience, but Adam and Eve thinking that there was more to life than God. That maybe God wasn't as good as He said He was. That's just one example of how they handle an OT story. I could go on for pages and pages, but I won't. I will just tell you that these 2 books are the best kid's Bibles I have ever seen (and we have a few already!). In fact, I think it is going to be a staple shower gift for all my friends who are having babies!

If you don't want to buy 2 new kid's Bibles, I would suggest going with The Jesus Storybook Bible. Although I love both, the Jesus Storybook Bible is a bit smaller, easier for kids to navigate and the pictures are wonderful! But don't mistake my recommendation as saying it is "better" than the Big Picture Story Bible. They are both great and every library could benefit from both!

Monday, July 23, 2007

One More Camping Story . . .

Sorry, no picture to go with it, but too funny not to post! Remember the bike Elijah got for his 3rd birthday? Well, he was riding it around the campground as I followed him and a cute little girl, probably around 4 years old and wearing a bikini, stopped and stared at him.
"I really like your bike" she said.
Elijah just stared back.
"Where did he get it?" she asked me.
I encouraged Elijah to answer her question.
Elijah just stared back.
So I answered and we went on our way.

A couple of days later, Elijah was again riding his bike around the campground, this time with Dan following and they once again ran into the cute little girl. She smiled and said "Hi" to Elijah.
Elijah just stared back.
Dan encouraged him to say hello back, but
Elijah just stared back.
As they walked away, Dan asked Elijah why he wouldn't say hi to the cute little girl.

His reply was, "She was SO, so cute."

Who knew that his bike would be such a chick magnet? :)

Camping Pics

As promised, here are the pictures from our camping adventure: Alli is happy, no matter what the weather! She is enjoying all the attention from her Grandma!
This is me reading and scratching my head. I did a lot of reading - not much else to do while it rains! Actually, it was nice to be able to read an entire novel while on vacation. I don't have a lot of time to devote to that much reading at home.
*Seriously, this is only 1 of 2 pictures of me from the entire time! Trust me, otherwise I would have chosen a better one!

Dan's brothers Tim and Mike, sister-in-law Jennifer, and Grandpa all on the trail of a geocache. If you are not familiar with this, it is basically a scavenger hunt for the age of technology. All it takes is a GPS device and you are ready for fun! The guys did a few of them, but didn't have much to contribute to the stash, so it was mostly just for the bragging rights of being able to find one.
Elijah's favorite pastime, riding on Grandpa and Grandma's tandem recumbent bike. Grandpa does all the work and Elijah just gets to enjoy the ride!

Elijah, hiking up a considerable hill, searching for the geocache with all the big boys. I think he could live outdoors. He had an absolute blast camping and has been talking about going again since we came home!
All in all, we had a lot of fun, despite the rain. We are hoping for better weather next year, though!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Busy Week

Wow. It is finally Friday and the end of a VERY busy week. I have been meaning to post pictures of our camping trip, and once again, I have been too busy to get around to it. I will try to do it today or tomorrow.

Also, I have not forgotten that I need to post about the last 2 sessions of NA, with John Piper! Except now I am far enough removed from the sermons that I must listen to them again before I can adequately post my notes and make them make any sense to you or me! Now I just have to figure out how to import the (free download!) sermons from my hard drive to my iTunes. That will take my husband's help, no doubt.

In other news, I will be making my first trek to IKEA with my very pregnant friend, Sarah. I am so excited! I've seen their catalog and friend's pieces that they've bought, but never shopped their myself. We are making a day of it - I'm even getting a babysitter so it is just us! So all of you IKEA fans, you have until Tuesday to tell me what to expect. What are some pitfalls to avoid, what MUST I buy, what food do I eat?

Give me your thoughts!

Friday, July 13, 2007


We are home now, and you can tell by this picture what I will be filling my time with over the weekend. This is what comes after 5 days of camping in the rain.
By the way, I found Alli posed this way while I worked around the house. I guess she thought it was a suitable, comfy place to rest. Camping wore us all out!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Time Away

We are heading out of town tomorrow for a family vacation "up north." (We Wisconsinites love to go there!) So, the blog and my email will be a bit quiet for the next week, for sure. Hope you all have a great week and I'll try to post pictures of our camping when I get back!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Lies My Teacher Told Me

I just finished the book, Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen. Lent to me by my friend's daughter who had to read it for her American History class, I admit that I felt a bit silly reading it. I shamefully admitted to her that I don't know a lot about recent history (Vietnam to present) and she recommended it. Boy, am I glad she did!

The first 10 chapters are a revisionist historian's take on some of our most prized national heroes. Columbus, the Pilgrims, Woodrow Wilson, and Helen Keller, are all blatantly heroized in the top 12 history textbooks, according to the author. He devotes these chapters to tell, not the "true" story of these characters, but the controversy that each historical event entails. He asserts that history is not just facts and faces, but involves complex stories that compelled these heroes to act as they did. He fills the reader in on some of those details, as well as presenting some of the conflicting accounts of how they really behaved. One of his biggest complaints about our nation's textbooks is that they present only one side of every story and then call it "fact." They never divulge the conflicting historical accounts of why or how exactly situations came about, and thus strip all the controversy, and consequently the excitement, out of history, causing students to disregard the subject all-together.

He speaks to the Euro centric bent in all the textbooks that effectively disenfranchises students of color and how most books present every action the USA makes as honorable and good, and how we, as a nation, are always doing things for the good of the world, instead of showing the human depravity (he doesn't call it that!) of every government, our great one included. One caveat, the author is probably agnostic at best, as evidenced by his addition of "[sic]" to every reference to God as "He." In understanding this, any discerning reader will see some of the author's own preconceptions as he deals with slavery, race, and social class.

I must admit, I learned a lot from this book, and would recommend it to anyone who feels shortchanged in their American history education. I don't endorse all the author's viewpoint, of course, but the book made me think and definitely made me consider the wrongs that were done to the American Indian and to the African Americans during slavery and the civil rights movement. It educated me more on the Vietnam war than I ever learned in school and prompted some great discussions between Dan and I as I shared what I was reading. If you enjoy history, you will benefit from this book.
***As a side note, if you are familiar with SonLight homeschool curriculum, this book is included in their Core for highschool American History.