Magnanimously homeschooling, worshiping, creating.......

Join us on a journey of faith, healing, learning to live with part of our hearts missing, and recovery, as our family rebuilds our lives, after our son's long battle with cancer....and his eventual rise on eagle's wings into Heaven...victory is his...he is serving the King!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

our birthday girl...#7

This girl has been planning her 7th birthday since she turned 6! She also has been requesting a masterpiece cake. I wasn't sure how this would pan out with her brother's intense treatments consuming so much our time. To be sure, all the kids are happy to sacrifice for B, but it was a little hard for her to miss her party. So, after much thought and with B in order, we put the boys upstairs, screened our guests and kept it simple, short and sweet. She created her own princess invites. It couldn't have been more fun.

The day before her party we worked on that dream cake. I could have cleaned the house perfectly but instead, we kept up with caring for B while we spent the day building her castle cake masterpiece! What joy and memories.

Here is the cake in frosting stage.

We must taste first!

She is growning too fast.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

radio interview

Today we were asked to be interviewed for a CHILDREN'S MIRACLE NETWORK radiothon fundraiser. I think we did a great job. I just answered truthfully about whatever they asked and the Lord just had them ask the kind of questions that showed how important He was as a part of all this and how we are trusting Him to get through everything. It was amazing!
Bryce was just starting to feel quite tired and weak. Several days later he was hospitalized for neutropenia and mucositis. He was very ill, but he pulled through with God's help and strength and all the medical support available at IC.

Anyway, this took forever to blog due to all the events happening at the end of our 2008, but I had started it here and wanted it to be in the 2008 blog section, so at least I will know that this memory will be here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

a good Spurgeon post/ just where we need to be

One of the things I love most about trusting the Lord above as my savior, is the peace and comfort of knowing that there is a plan for my measly little life and that there is a purpose and it means something. Nothing that I go through is for naught and the wonderful peace in knowing that He truly places us where we need to be in our life. This Spurgeon archive just spoke to me and gave great comfort.

"He shall choose our inheritance for us."—Psalm 47:4.

BELIEVER, if your inheritance be a lowly one you should be satisfied with your earthly portion; for you may rest assured that it is the fittest for you. Unerring wisdom ordained your lot, and selected for you the safest and best condition. A ship of large tonnage is to be brought up the river; now, in one part of the stream there is a sandbank; should some one ask, "Why does the captain steer through the deep part of the channel and deviate so much from a straight line?" His answer would be, "Because I should not get my vessel into harbour at all if I did not keep to the deep channel." So, it may be, you would run aground and suffer shipwreck, if your divine Captain did not steer you into the depths of affliction where waves of trouble follow each other in quick succession. Some plants die if they have too much sunshine. It may be that you are planted where you get but little, you are put there by the loving Husbandman, because only in that situation will you bring forth fruit unto perfection. Remember this, had any other condition been better for you than the one in which you are, divine love would have put you there. You are placed by God in the most suitable circumstances, and if you had the choosing of your lot, you would soon cry, "Lord, choose my inheritance for me, for by my self-will I am pierced through with many sorrows." Be content with such things as you have, since the Lord has ordered all things for your good. Take up your own daily cross; it is the burden best suited for your shoulder, and will prove most effective to make you perfect in every good word and work to the glory of God. Down busy self, and proud impatience, it is not for you to choose, but for the Lord of Love!
"Trials must and will befall—But with humble faith to seeLove inscribed upon them all;This is happiness to me."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

bible devotions for children

Today I was able to have the pleasure of finishing a book. I love that feeling of coming to the end and already the excitement of starting a new one begins to well up inside. This devotional was read aloud nearly daily (with many interruptions this year), being more specifically geared toward A's level back when we started it. It seemed to take us forever since we didn't read it exclusively. Each lesson talks about the qualities and character of God and how to know Him better. It very simply includes verses, bible passages and hymns. I love for my children to hear words in hymns. If you have a very young child, especially one new to hearing God's word, this would be a great book to read, discuss and begin hiding God's word in the heart of your child. It can stir up good conversation in any young child however.
I especially loved the little end lesson where it reminds us that the Lord will return again someday and everything will praise Him.

Rev. 21:4 HE will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or sadness. There will be no more crying or pain. Things are no longer the way they used to be. You can imagine the comfort that brought, knowing this truth in the midst of all the illness and even death ( and near death) that our family has witnessed over this year. Life on earth can bring such suffering at times but it is not the end. What peace that brings. HOPE

Now, we don't dwell on those things, so let's go back to joy land.

Over the years my most consistent bible devotion with the kids has been reading aloud in good bible books. Just a little taste every day. I have circulated through a few good ones since D was little. It is satisfying to be at a stage in my homeschooling career to be repeating some of them. We will revisit this one now. It is full of rich illustrations. 'A' was quite young when last this was out.

Let me encourage you with simple. I like simple. You may have entered a more involved/ intense season of devotions with your child as they have gotten older, but wherever you are in your devotion season it is good to just be in the word. In my younger days, with little nursing babes, I used to feel overwhelmed about teaching my children's devotions. That's when I started this simplistic but oh so fruitful plan. As I read each day to them, God taught me more about Him. I was able to show Him to my kids in their daily lives and how to behave toward one another. There is a guidebook for parenting after all!! All the bells and whistles are nice and if you can swing it, then go to town, please. There will be a time to dig deeper and a time to be simple, but the Lord impressed upon my heart that just hearing His word on a consistent, truth giving basis and then living out what you've learned in your daily lives, truly builds mountains into the spiritual lives of ones children.

I am excited to reopen this book with my younger clan and then we will shift into another favorite that will be perfect for all three younger ones.... the child's story bible by Vos. This is one of the first real large story bibles I began reading to my children when D was little and I was a new Christian. It is a favorite. I couldn't believe how much I learned right along with them. A very special Titus woman-friend gave me her old beat up version after hearing that I longed to get my own copy. Back then money was super tight. I still have that book with it's duck tape binding. It is precious to us all.

Thanks Patty!

Monday, November 10, 2008

library card excitement

I have a confession to make. I wouldn't let my 3 younger kids get a library card....uhhh, sigh..I know, it sounds very cruel, but there was a method to my madness. When Dylan was young, I was like any other young, first time mom, anxious and determined that my child should be immersed in books and fine words and what is the next step after you have spent their first most formative years reading all the great books to them?? You take them in to get their own library card. Yes, of coarse. I took Dylan as soon as he was old enough to grasp the concept. Well that was fine when there was only one boy and no computerized due dates,until 3 siblings come along and the library went to the fan dangled computer system, which I love by the way. It's like one stop shopping only one stop library going. I became addicted. What power. You can order in almost any book you want from all over the state and it is delivered right to your local library. I couldn't have been more delighted. Just a quick check on line and I can renew or check due dates to my heart's content. So, when the kids started asking about having their own library cards (we do still step foot in the place) I hesitated and distracted them. How in the world would I keep track of all kinds of books from several different cards? Even with a number limit and if they happen to mark the items with the date, we renew frequently and that's alot of long number codes to punch in to get into each account. Ugh. The boys were easily satisfied but A broke me down. I couldn't hold my conviction any longer. Promises of keeping track and being responsible were made. Here she is with her prize library card all to herself. You would have thought she won the lottery of never ending supplies of candy.

This video speaks for itself. She got her card in the mail today. I have to go visit the local library now and I guess Toby is getting his as well....:---

Sunday, November 9, 2008

girl in leaves/ 2006 boys

More brilliant colors! Can you see the little girl blending in these photos? :)


There she is!
What a little leaf head!

I had to add these adorable fall pics of the boys from 2006. I just always remember them as so precious, I couldn't leave them out.

Friday, November 7, 2008

good friends cheering us up

Nothing can cheer up a kid who just had two painful chemo shots in his legs like a special visit to his buddies from afar. This family lives in a town not far from Iowa City and their mom has been my best friend since 8th grade. We spent the afternoon visiting. The children playing and the moms encouraging one another (especially me). It was good to get some much needed friend time. I am so thankful we went because right after we got home the chemo kicked in and gave B a bit of a bun kicking as well for a few days.


Here are two peas in a pod. They are pen pals, 4 months apart and play so well together when we can get meet up!

Thank God for is soothing to the soul...(and chemo injections) :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

new creature and blessings from above

One thing that I have I noticed, being a worker at home, homeschooling and having a child with cancer that is in the middle of treatment, is how good God continues to be to us. Even though we don't often venture too far from home, not including our weekly trips to Iowa City, I am amazed and thankful at how God blesses us with little gifts along the way. I am pleasantly surprised to look back at my short blog and see how many adventures we've had already, but each has been a small little treasure that God brings to our daily lives as we go. We waft along in between exhausted bodies, irregular schedules and intermittent vomiting.

Continuing in this masterful pattern and with the recent influx of warmer weather, we were inundated with a plethora of 'wild creatures'. I didn't get a good picture of any of the many garter snakes that kept crawling out of nowhere. I am not sure how many there were or to what extent the children unintentionally tortured them during their excitations and curiosity. Anyway, it was a delight for the children and provided a more spontaneous educationaI experience than I ever intended to plan. I did get a few other pics though.

Here is Abby with a Praying Mantis. Isn't this little bugger huge? Abby wasn't quite in the mood to hold it. I think that she was thinking.."She does what to her mate after she marries him?"

Look what happened next...

Abby was in from playing outdoors for the evening and was doing her chores by putting her dishes away when she felt her hair and something was in it so she screamed and flicked it out of her hair! Wouldn't you know, there resting in a daze was an insect we had never seen before ourselves. It knew it was some type of huge beetle but we weren't sure which. LOOK.



He can give a very powerful jab if not handled properly!

Let the investigation begin. The kids always love our Audubon field guides and love enlisting our resident biologist/entomologist to assist them. I love this kind of treasured memory!

And so begins NATURE NOTEBOOKING. Bryce loves bugs. He loves anything nature and we were thrilled when he felt well enough to indulge in some artistic endeavors since the chemo makes these things very difficult for him, much of the time currently. Dad joined in this time which is a rare but pleasant treat.

Here's Bryce's finished product.




"Be thankful unto Him, and bless His name."—Psalm 100:4

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

nature walk

I couldn't resist taking the kids out for a nature walk today. I actually planned on it yesterday but the time flew by too quickly. It wasn't hard to find a wooded area nearby to explore. It was only a skip and a hop away from our doorstep, in town, but it was beautifully breezy and refreshing. We have always enjoyed finding new spots to peruse.

Here, Abby poses on a tree stump that was enormous! I don't know if you see the size by this photo but it has to be at least 100 years old.

Here are the photos that Abby took herself on

the nature walk. I think she did a very nice job

if I do say so myself. Toby makes a pretty good

subject as well. He is happy to pose!

Monday, November 3, 2008

blast off!!

Sunday was a beautiful day! Abby was too ill to go to church but not bedridden and we knew Bryce's counts were dropping but he was feeling much better. Therefore, Glenn decided we were all going to drive off and shoot our rockets as a family. The weather was perfect and being outside is low risk for Bryce. We had such a nice family time.

Here's Bryce's rocket blasting off!

Every Rocket blaster's worst nightmare. The wind took Glenn's rocket right in to a voltage line...:(

building rockets together

Glenn has been building rockets with all of the children over the last couple weeks. He is good with his hands and working on these projects with the kids. They had a blast. (Sorry for the pun) Bryce however did get a little exhausted after he worked on his. Isn't he cute?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

fall nature photos

We have a huge supply of these bright, glowing maples surrounding our property!

I love the way the light of the sun shines upon a few leaves blowing in the soft wind.

I love the brilliant reds of the oak tree and how it sits over the children's swing area.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

home made chicken noodle soup cravings

What a delight today was that my boy's vomiting eased in the afternoon and he was 'craving' different foods, searching for the right one to please his palette. Suddenly he remembered!! "Mom, you just have to make your home made chicken noodle soup! That would really make my stomach happy." Music to a mama's ears. He requested the right veggies and to pick out the noodles and even peeled the one potato, adding the carrots and goodies himself. Oh, how I have missed the joy of my little cooking helper boy. All the kids gobbled it up with gusto.
Look how perky he looks tonight after eating three helpings! What a contrast to how he looked earlier this week. Mmmm...Mmmm...good.


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Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary of the American Language defines Magnanimity as such:
MAGNANIM'ITY, n. [L. magnanimitas; magnus, great, and animus, mind.] Greatness of mind; that elevation or dignity of soul, which encounters danger and trouble with tranquillity and firmness, which raises the possessor above revenge, and makes him delight in acts of benevolence, which makes him disdain injustice and meanness, and prompts him to sacrifice personal ease, interest and safety for the accomplishment of useful and noble objects.