Thursday, April 29, 2010

Remember So, Forgetting Seem


in time of daffodils(who know
the goal of living is to grow)
forgetting why,remember how
in time of lilacs who proclaim
the aim of waking is to dream,
remember so(forgetting seem)
in time of roses(who amaze
our now and here with paradise)
forgetting if,remember yes
in time of all sweet things beyond
whatever mind may comprehend,
remember seek(forgetting find)
and in a mystery to be
(when time from time shall set us free)
forgetting me,remember me  e.e. cummings

I am putting myself under a 14 day trial of deleting the ever crazy FB account.  I have 14 days to change my mind and log in – and all will be restored.  After that, creating a new account – which shouldn’t be too hard as they will send me 300 friend requests without my permission . . . . . It makes me ponder why the 14 days.  Do they know that people can stand strong for a day or two, but two weeks without checking in on their friends is too long?

One problem of late – several times this past two weeks – is that I need to remember so and forget seem. I get caught up – living here alone – sitting to watch over the lake – family nestled in their beds, enjoying the solitary – that the posts on FB are not SO. They mostly are not GROW. and they are not FREE. People seem to post just enough to intrigue and get the Like button pushed. Stroke them a bit more. A bit more. A little behind the ears.  And like a well petted pup, as soon as you pull your hand away, they find a way to quietly place their ear under your hand while you are distracted – for a bit more of a patting. You don’t really know what the pup is thinking, or why it needs connection – just that it won’t go away.

I have had several “friends” on facebook post small bits of completly traumatic situations – begging and urging our prayers. Had we lived in the same town I would have driven over,helped to clean a dish, put a chicken in their oven. But here, by myself, with only the company of Mr. Stellar Blue jay in my view, and a few loony gulls, I have no way of real connection. I ask for messages as to the what and they why, so that we can walk together, hold each other in encouragement. But nary a phone call or a msg or a txt. Just more begging to be petted, than a quick blurb of how today is better than yesterday.

I want to make a turn. To focus on what is real in my life, and sort out what is virtual. I want to quit running to people to scratch their ears, only to be barked at or scratched when I stop.

It looks like we will be in our current location for another year.  These six months have been a wonderful vacation from our former life, and from any activity – but I am feeling the stirring of the Spirit – to find people to minister to locally, who can also minister to our family.  I am feeling the emptiness of being on many one-sided relationships, where I call, where I go, where I entertain, where I feed, I tweet, I like, I comment – Am I the pup with the scratchy ears?

I want to Grow, to Learn, To remember So, To forget Why, to Be Amazed, To be a seeker, and still, Remember Me. Remember Me. :)

I think I need to head out to take pictures of the morning flowers now. :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cultivating a Life God Desires

holy experience

I have not jumped in with typed thought of the journey that Ann from Holy Experience has been bringing us through – I read her blog as it pops into my Google Reader. Ready to take a deep breath and quiet moment to ponder what she shares. Her raw versions of a life lived – for glory or shame, for better or worse, inspires me to be more open here about my own thoughts.  A couple of weeks ago she shared this post - about the Easter People. I invite you to click over and read it – it is about Mark 16 – the latter part –

“And these signs will accompany those who believe:
In my name they will drive out demons;
they will speak in new tongues;
they will pick up snakes with their hands;
and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all.”

She shares her open discussion with what this could mean for us today – And – Quite Honestly – I had never given this verse much thought – except to roll my eyes at the accounts of people who would try this physically – and DIE – trying to “prove” they were believers.

I read her article – and it REALLY struck a chord with me, and as God would have it – that morning we were to all get in the car to drive to Salem.  I was mulling over the text in my mind, then remembering that my little bible was in the back seat, I asked Nathan to read the verses out loud and have Jon and Nathan tell me what they thought they meant.

Would you believe that they said the same things that Anne said? It was chilling. How simple and sweet, how gently He guides us through our children. Hubby got to give a few examples of how he has Picked up Snakes with his Hands, How he Drinks the Deadly Poison, and how It has Not Hurt Him.The boys followed through with examples of their own.  I was driving, trying not to get emotional, since driving in the rain with tears really never turns out well . . . .

Anne’s Question Today – is How do you Cultivate the Life God Desires?

We are practicing daily – the using of the Lord’s name – to drive out the demons.  Fear. Pride. Selfishness. Doubt. Thoughts.

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ, King James (or)

”and all their intellectual arrogance that oppose the knowledge of God. We take every thought captive so that it is obedient to Christ.”Good News 2 Cor 10:5

Instead of shielding the boys from those who proclaim to know truth, which differs from Christ – we can show them, talk through, allow the Holy Spirit to be the Holy Spirit in their lives.   As Lil Jon goes to sleep at night, fearful that he will have a cavity – and he asks me for the 3rd time if he brushed enough, we remember – outloud – that this is not how Jesus would want our thoughts to wander before sleep. And we make a list of thankfulness for the day – and cast out the imaginations – in His Glorious Name – Jesus, Yeshua, Savior, Friend.

We walk with Him, day by day, each thought leading to what He wants us to do – it is hard to pick out a single moment of Cultivating the Life  that God Desires. I would pray, as spring comes, that we will continue with the weeding, the fertilizing, and the watering – but knowing that the Growth is out of our control – that the fruit only comes through the Holy Spirit. We are just willing to grow where we are planted. :) Willingness -

Saturday, April 24, 2010

How to give the Lesson – Nature Study

Wow – I sat down 3 hours ago to try to articulate what has been swirling in my noggin  - pieces of Last Child in the Woods and pieces of the introduction to the Handbook of Nature Study. Two loads of laundry and a two batches of dishes done – 2 cups of coffee. And now, my 4th post – so My ponderings is winning. . . . . .and I’m only on page 7 of 24 of the opening.

We are involved in the Handbook of Nature Study’s online group of the Outdoor Hour Challenge.  Many times we have created time outside to discuss the current week’s challenge only to have the boys be excited in a newt, or different tree, or different flower – I am glad that I have grown to a relaxed style of teaching – as Ann says:

“Often the teacher insists upon flowers as the lesson subject, when toads or snakes would prove the key to the door of the child’s interest.”

I smile, sometimes a sad smile, while listening to parents complain and lament over a student who insists on learning something different than what they have prepared.  I am reminded of times that an enormous worm has inched itself out from under our tarp while studying Pine Trees, or when an Oyster Catcher has caught their attention instead of the circling Eagle, or when the clams in the water are more exciting than the temperature study. Be available to move on – change gears. Do not see the Pine Tree study as lost – but the Earthworm Study as gained. “Curiosity may elicit facts, but only real interest may mold these facts into wisdom” She also tags the teacher at fault of a disinterested child sent back to the house that it less of the subject matter and more of her method. Ouch.

She gives quite a few pages of what time of day/week to give these lessons – but what struck me as wonderful – relates to the “how long”.  "

“The Nature-study lesson should be short and sharp and may vary from ten minutes to a half hour in length. There should be no dawdling; if it is an observation lesson, only a few points should be noted and the meaning of the observations made clear. If an outline be suggested for field observation, it should be given in an inspiring manner which shall make each pupil anxious to see and read the truth for himself”

It is true that most of our Nature Walks are 1-4 hours long – but are real Nature Studies are mere moments.  I will now for the future stop saying this in apologetic tones.  People will ask how we learned something, and I feel bad that we spent 15-20 minutes on the topic and moved on.  I am seeing from the Nature Study books I’m reading that this is the best way.  We need the 3 hour walk to observe the whole – it is in that walk that they discover the tiny flower out of place or the tiny bird not seen before.

She talks of the Object Lesson – did you play this at baby showers? Hold up an object or set of objects – let them see the items, and then hide the objects while you try to recall all of the detail.  It is better to have the object living in front of you, eyes amazed at the detail of the live of the object, taking in all that is real and present, than to walk and then talk at home, or walk, and then study out of a book what others saw.  It gives a better relation to life – “of being instead of doing”.

“There is not a weed or insect or tree so common that the child, by observing carefully, may not see things never yet recorded in scientific books;  . .”

Anna gives detailed encouraging instructions for how the lesson is to go – her main idea is to provide questions, having the answers come from what is seen.  In our experience, the boys have raced into the house to find the answers not seen – Where do they build their nests? What do they eat? What is their name? Which seasons will they be here? How big do they get? Are they poisonous? Who eats them? Who do they eat?  Why are they here now? How do they have babies? How long until the babies grow up? on and on their questions go.

I encourage you to get the book- and read the intro – and keep the field guide questions by your side.  I am not good at coming up with the observation questions – but she has written down many of their nature studies in one volume – and you can glean from her overflow. You can also visit Barb’s site to have her hand feed the questions as well, it is what has given us direction this winter to seeing the detail and not just the whole.

The Relation of Nature-Study to Science

This was the chapter in Anna’s book that gave me the most ah-ha.  The vocabulary for what we had seen and experienced.  I would think that in all of her “teaching” vocabulary – Anna was an Unschooler. :)

“Nature study is not elementary science as so taught, because the point of attack is tnot the same; . . .”

“In nature study the work begins with any plant or creature which chances to interest the pupil.”

She goes on to talk about the natural order of the seasons and what will come along in differing times to peak interest in the child, and now that will give comprehension to life – both on the planet, and individually.

She does state that nature study is perfectly good science, but is not meant to overwhelm a child’s mind – what they can comprehend. We learn this in parenting – answer the child’s question, careful not to give them more information – and when their curiosity grows, they will ask more questions, and your job is to dish it out piece by piece.  If this works in the passion and curiosity of the human body – why not in other studies as well.  In the book “Last Child In the Woods”, one of his biggest sorrows is that we give so much information on video and speeches that the children enter the woods convinced of their expertise.  Curiosity is lost. Discovery is gone.

I learned the definition of “pedagogic”.  She says - “If nature study is made a drill, its pedagogic value is lost”.  Hm. Am I giving Pedagogic Value to our learning? Do I want to?  In the greek this word means both Child Led and To Lead the Child, a style of instruction. I could and probably will write volumes on that idea alone. . . . .

I love that she says, “ . . when properly taught the child is unconscious of mental effort or that he is suffering the act of teaching.” Are your children “suffering your acts of teaching”? Again, volumes. :)

It is hard, without typing all of the text, to share what she gives – I encourage you to spend the 11 dollars plus shipping and make this book a part of your library – if you are reading as a parent, a teacher, or as an adult like myself, this may be the first book you pull off the shelf upon coming in from a long forest walk. :)

My Thoughts On

Handbook of Nature Study Photo of Book Cover in Mailing BoxThe Handbook of Nature Study – by Anna Botsford Comstock, Late professor of Nature Study in Cornell University – Copyright in 1911arrived in the mail last week – to my shrilling sweet joy! The boys thought I got money or chocolate in the mail. No. My Book. My long awaited book. Now I wonder why it took so long to spend less than $20.00 on an item that will sit between the Bible and my Sibley Guide to Birds on the shelf?


I’d like to share my Ah-ha moments from Part I of the book – I put this post, and the others on this book in my ponderings – as it has to do with sharing my thought process out loud – and not necessarily what the boys are actually learning or seeing. My ideas of how this learning fits together is gaining shape and form – which is something I have prayed for as the boys get older and more information than just the “look – pretty – stand by it so I can take a picture”.

I’ll just share some of my favorite quotes so far -

“ . . .the object of the nature-study teacher should be to cultivate in the children powers of accurate observation and to build up within them understanding.”

“ . . gives the child a sense of companionship with life out of doors and an abiding love of nature. Let this latter be the teacher’s criterion for judging his or her work. If nature study as  taught does not make the child love nature and the out-of-doors, then it should cease”

She goes on to speak of being better not to give this time to children who really do not want to seek truth, or detail or spend time observing. I can’t write enough of how I feel that is true. Our way of life works for us. My passion is in discovery of truth – be it in the word or in nature or in people. However, I can not pull an unwilling child along that does not have the spark to share this passion. I do not wish to start a Nature Study School for the sorrow that comes to me when teaching kids who have not a care for what we are observing. Sorry – side note, but she did speak of it in her introduction . . .

I love her section on Nature-Study as a Help to the Health – when sharing talks with other teachers and their reasons for not incorporating this into studies – excuses of time and tiredness.  My favorite line to the “We need Saturday to catch up”

“Yes, catch up with more cares, more worries, more fatigue, but not with more growth, more strength, more vigor and more courage for work – In my belief, there are two and only two occupations for Saturday afternnon or forenoon for a teacher.  One is to be out-of-doors and the other is to lie in bed, and the first is best.”

Did I mention I love this gal? She goes on to say how the healing of “God’s beautiful world” can strengthen, and please and provide contentment. Love it.

My favorite quote from a mentor is actually in her wording in the chapter on When and Why the Teacher Should Say I Do Not Know. Early on, a mentor friend told me to not say “I don’t know” dismissively, with an excuse of it being in our studies later, or indifference to their question – but to follow it with – “Lets write it down, Lets look it up”.  Since that time, finding the things, as a family, that we do not know has been a thrill ride for sure.  Now- we find we know less than when we started as the world seems to gain detail to our observations.  We smile when we entertain visitors who want to assure us they are “experts” in the item that they saw 15 years ago in a field. Even in our exchanges with the staff of the various Oregon State Extension offices, their greatest smiles come from what we ask that they as well do not know.   The thought that we are incapable of teaching our children because we have forgotten most of public or private school is sad. The thought that we can not lead them in Bible or Nature because we ourselves do not know is limiting our journeys. Led the knowledge of the unknown create passion for the discovery!!!

“I do not know; let us see if we cannot together find out this mysterious thing. Maybe no one knows it as yet, and I wonder if you will discover it before I do.”

Let us not allow our interests to become limited to only the things we think we know.

Nature Study – My Journey and Passion for Truth

We love the outdoors. It is a too small statement for a life lived outside. I grew up mostly on the Oregon Coast. 

My father is an avid motorcycle rider – I spent and abundant part of my youth riding to camping parks across America for the weeken – and then given freedom to wander the park at will throughout the day. I would find a small path, or a stream, and then walk til it was time for the next event.

I have fond memories of growing up in my grandmother’s garden, listening to stories of the trees, of the strawberries, of the carrots. I knew that each plant had a story. My parents have had the same home less than a mile from the ocean since the lat 1970’s. Estuaries, rivers, marine life, storms, and a rich forest undergrowth has been a part of my life – as much as the contrast of our time spent in Oklahoma for  years or the high desert of Central Oregon for 5 years. Contrasts.

I share my history to share my wonderment of why I would know so little about what we are seeing this spring. Why does everything feel new? Through the eyes of a child – maybe – but they are running ahead poking banana slugs with sticks while I Macro Photograph a rare viola or trillium.  They see the chipmunk, and can reason its path through the evidence left along the trail – and then have wars with throwing the bits of pine cone on a stump, a leftover squirrel snack. :)

I wonder if my concrete belief and devotion to intelligent design comes more from years of exposure to the observations of being allowed to roam the lakes and rivers and mountainsides as a child days on end than to the reading of the book of Genesis and the truth written in my heart.  Anna Botsford Comstock (Anna) says that

“Perhaps half the falsehood in the world is due to the lack of power to detct the truth and to express it. Nature-sutdy aids both in discernment and in expression of things as they are.”

I am reading the first part of Anna’s book – Handbook of Nature Study. As I now have my own copy, I am marking with pencil and post it to remember all that resonates with my experience thus far or encourages me to step out or  re-define and refine our walks.  I think the entire opening of Part 1 which is 24 pages long could be underlined.  I was impressed at her correlation to truth and knowledge based on simple observations.  Truth , absolute truth, is not brought up in learning circles often.  Written in the 1800’s she pioneered discoveries and documentation of our simple landscape – and in all of the “truth” that she speaks of, her closing encouragement is

“While an earnest attempt has been made to make the information in this book accurate, it is to be expected and to be hoped that many discrepancies will be found by those who follow the lessons. No two animals or plants are just alike, and no two people see things exactly the same way – the chief aim of this volume is to encourage investigation rather than to give information.”

We have seen trees and plants already in our studies that differ in behavior and growth from her observations on the east coast 200 years ago.  It is thrilling to think that something we discover in the woods can be a newly discovered species or behavior!

I’ll share in my next post a few of the things that I have learned from Anna’s introduction that will refine and direct our nature study times.  I do see the importance of being outside, of taking the photo and saying how lovely -

The difference seems to be in sitting in a concert hall – listening to the symphony – knowing it is pleasing to the ears, closing your eyes and enjoying the move of the music – and then leaving with no desire to know the composer, or the names of the instruments, or the structure of music, or the  musicians themselves. 

How long will thousands of tourists drive Hwy 101 stopping to pull out at parks here and there to take awe inspiring photographs with no desire to learn of the landscape that steals their breath?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Deactivated to Activate?

The past few weeks I have felt the need to back out of Facebook. I started with blocking the games and turning off the email alerts.  Then to de-friend many people I’ve been associated with but not really friends with. Then to group people into association of when or where we became friends or family.  I tried to “hide” everyone I didn’t need to keep up with daily.

Still, there was some crazy need. To know who is awake, who went on a walk, how everyone’s day at work went, who is watching Lost, Pictures from weddings, YouTube videos passed around and articles everyone thinks we need to read.

I sit here in the morning, having quiet time, reading and such, but with the laptop always here, always on, waiting for updates.  While the gardens grow weeds and grass, while the spider webs gather, while the board games get dusty.

This morning I took steps that I feel were in response to an obedience to a voice urging me to shut it off.  Facebook allows you to Deactivate – So I clicked the button this morning.

Oh the freedom I felt today. Yes, I do know I can log back on to re-activate  but knowing my intention to have this long term. Not needing to see who replied to which status updates or participate in typed humorous banter. I emailed a few friends and family to let them know that the good ol phone and email will need to be used to contact our family – life before Facebook emerges.

Oh for the things we got done today – no longer chained to the laptop. Bikes on the road, yard mowed, walks taken, household duties maintained, learning intentional, meals created, life lived. Pre Facebook style. 

It may not be forever, but I do need to get my daily priorities in line, I need to firm up my in real life friendships, and give my best effort to the boy’s learning days, and less to knowing who has the stomach flu or who went to a great restaurant. . . . .

I’ll keep ya posted on how it goes.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Man of Sorrow

What a treat we had today- gathering as believers – rejoicing that He is Risen!

We read Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

Our pastor spoke of being heavy of heart  - downcast days.  Really rather rare in my experience to find a pastor that will validate depression as an actual feeling – brought on by nothing but just merely waking for the day.

He brought us to Isaiah 53:3 – where we are told that Jesus was A Man of Sorrow.

He spoke from his heart, shared his struggles, and gave us hope of being Blessed  - Happy – in the Lord.

We came to Luke 24:50-53

And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God.

Which of course got me pondering -

I’ve had a few email exchanges this week – about whether to talk more ore less about our grief and sorrow.  On a day to day basis, I really have more joy and contentment than sorrow. However, when I think of my far away friends, of opportunities missed or lost, of false accusations, of my own shortcomings, of friends turning their back on God – I feel Grief.

Some days – especially on hormonal swing days – I can get anxious for no apparent reason. Or feel floods of the blahs and feeling totally out of control, helpless.  I realize that “the poor in Spirit” are those without Christ  who realize they need Christ – But today – I feel like He is speaking to me – one With Christ – Who needs Him More.  Blessed are the Poor In Spirit -

Again – I have more pondering in my mind than I can make my fingers explain –

I have been working on the affirmation junkie addiction – pulling back from facebook, not tagging my pages as much, knowing that it will slow down traffic, feeling content when I don’t get comments – and continue to keep the goal in front of me that I am writing for my own family, for my boys, For a school memory book.

However, there is a blessing and a joy – to continuously gather in the temple, praising God.

I am by no means calling Facebook the temple, but I do see a gathering of friends there – with people spurring each other on to better days, healthier living, fellowship with Christ, drawing those closer to their friends nearby together more often.

I am thankful that the Lord has seen fit to give us some Christian friends in town, and a place to fellowship – to find ways for the Lord to give us Blessing – and for us to Bless the Lord.

He understands our Sorrow – and He gives us Joy.

Keep Seeking Him!

He Is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

Oh for the sound of hard backed hymnals being dropped into the back of a pew after a rousing Easter Morning Praise!

I serve a risen Savior, he's in the world today;
I know that he is living whatever men may say;
I see his hand of mercy; I hear his voice of cheer,
And just the time I need him, he's always near.

He lives, he lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life's narrow way.
He lives, he lives, salvation to impart!
You ask my how I know he lives?
He lives within my heart.

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian,
Lift up your voice and sing.
Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the king!
The hope of all who seek him,
The help of all who find,
None other is so loving, so good and kind!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Reflecting, Reading, Sharing, and Passing on – this Good Friday

Moving around to several locations puts a hold on “Family Traditions”. Living in these areas without family – makes it hard to pass down family traditional moments to the kids. 

IMG_1178 Thanksgiving and Christmas – we didn’t try too hard to recreate the American Cultural Holiday – simple food, simple times, being together.  

The first week of January, both boys were quite sullen. After probing – they shared that they didn’t feel like it was the holidays. “We didn’t sing in the Choir, We didn’t attend the parade, We didn’t go to the finger food parties, We didn’t watch the right movies, It didn’t snow. . .” 

IMG_1185 What they related to the winter holy day season – new family traditions, created in Central Oregon.  It is becoming clear to me, that I will savor my traditions in my heart, and realize that our life creates new traditions for the boys.

Fast forward to this week – Good Friday – well actually rewind the last almost forty years – I have never liked Good Friday. What’s good about it? He Died. It was AWEFUL. I get it. I don’t need to sit around washing people’s feet or sitting in the dark or crying at the alter, or watching an overwhelmingly graphic movie to get it. 

Everything I do is because He made that choice.

Sorry – moving foward -

After reading so many posts this week –
I wonder if the boys “get it”. What this week is about. The things I ponder in my heart and remember and bring fresh into the forefront of my mind and thankfulness.

I have spent the beginning of the week talking to the boys about Christ, the lies of his followers, the accusations of the proud, the denials, the trial, the floggings and the Cross.  We’ve talked on the beach, in the forest, in the car.  I read this article by Anne as well – Click to read the whole amazing post

“Why? From the beginning I have watched and I have listened and I have pondered all these things quiet in my heart --- but now I have to ask: why?

Why didn’t You come down from that Cross in all Your power and Glory? Why didn’t You blind the chief priests with Your divine radiance? Why didn’t You still all their blasphemous tongues with the army of the heavenly host, with Your burning holiness, with Your flaming sword? Isn't that who You really are? Oh Son -- why?” – Holy Experience

We are going through many hardships in our family right now, our paycheck is less than our rent, our car broke down and drained what little we had saved, we’ve had unexpected medical bills, we’ve moved to a place where Christians focus on Churchianity and not on Christ, There doesn’t seem to be another unschooler around, There are few homeschoolers, and those with the third grade and under crowd, We haven't made family friends, no core groups, no Awana, no Good News Club – And yet, we moved here knowing this was God’s plan for our life. Pondering it in my heart.

When I read Anne’s pleading question to God, it struck hard.  In comfort – of knowing what God can do – thinking we understand what God Should do – and seeing something vastly different. Wondering Why.

The day before I had read this on her site:

Anne asks on Holy Experience if Christ wants Fans or Followers?

But You never called for admirers; You the Christ called for disciples, for followers, not the numbering kind, not the tribe kind, not the fan club kind, but the ready to walk The Way kind, the ready to be rejected, willing to suffer, prepared to die kind.

Click to read the whole amazing article!

Am I a fan? Am I raising Fans? Or am I raising the pick up your cross and follow me kind of boys? They ask all the time – Why? Their cute child like faith always reassures MY tears that it is God’s Plan.

I learned that there was a Pioneer Cemetery at the top of Spanish Head yesterday.  I loaded up the boys, packed my Bible, (my NLT, easy to read, familiar and loving, given to me by a great man, shared with great friends – the boys know I will read great things when this gets put in the backpack) and told them we were going on a weird field trip.









We drove up the hill, higher than the 101 route, straight up – to the Taft Pioneer Cemetery.  I talked to them about Friday – and what had been happening to Christ on this day almost 2000 years ago. What he was going through. Of Peter’s passion and denials. Of being sold out. Of being falsely accused. We sat on the hill, in the rain, our unobstructed view giving us a scenic prize, visible as far as our eye could carry – and read out of John. What Christ went through. What he could have done. How he answered them.

IMG_3168Talking about the graves, I told them how thankful I was that these pioneers left their countries to come to America. So that we’d have the freedom to sit in our car on a rainy day and look out at the beach, free to be homeschooled. Free. How they each stood up for what they thought was right, and forged the path for us. But each one of these people each led to the same spot, physically, here on this hill.


(One of the first we saw was of Edward Easter.
Note that he was only 23 years old when
he gave his Life for our Country in WWII.)

And yet another came before us, set it in motion thousands of years before, to come to the perfect time, to take on everything that separates us, so that we will never need to be separate again. Taking on every doubt and selfish desire, every spark of pride and  hard headedness, so that we can have His fruit of faith, peace, joy, self control, – love. So that we could really be like him.  This one pioneer – was only in the grave for 3 days.

He is the only one that does not remain there.

It is one thing to have “Baby Jesus” in all the Christmas carols, or the cross as an ornament for all things celtic or christian – but another to understand that the Cross stands for death, and suffering, pain and transfer of sin.

The clouds broke up, and we walked through the pioneer graves -

talked about Mary and how startled she must have been that third morning, when the tomb was open and empty.

We will have chocolate bunnies, and brightly colored eggs, we will have too much sugar and a slow cooked brisket, we’ve all gotten hair cuts and plan to attend the sunrise service at the beach, we’ve picked which congregation to join to sing Up from the Grave He Arose! and He Lives! -

But for a few days – these three days – we will stop. Slow Down. Remember. Teach. Reflect. Try to understand – the significance of His Choice – and what our choice in response should be.

The boys thought it was interesting that a bike and 1902 would be together. Albert lived until the 1980’s – but it did make the people seem real – since their PaPa is a Rider.

The boys ran up the hill to look at the “big one”. This is what led to the Mary/Martha talk of
“What if that tomb was empty when you got up there?”

IMG_3173 IMG_3174 

The incredible views gave way for conversation about what God can see, and what we can see. 

They had not seen a fresh site before. This one was a year old, yet someone had been bringing fresh flowers to adorn it. We got to talk about Mary coming to care for Christ and the Grave as well.




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Praise God – that It is Finished – That Death was not long – that He Is Risen – just as He said – written by witnesses – passed on – agreed in our heart by the Holy Spirit – Entrusted to us to pass on to our children. Sunday’s on the Way!