Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I believe in Home Schooling!

The following was taken from an online reading of John Gatto's book Underground History of American Education:

He Was Square Inside And Brown

Barbara Whiteside showed me a poem written by a high school senior in Alton, Illinois, two weeks before he committed suicide:

"He drew... the things inside that needed saying.
Beautiful pictures he kept under his pillow.
When he started school he brought them...To have along like a friend.
It was funny about school, he sat at a square brown desk Like all the other square brown desks... and his room Was a square brown room like all the other rooms, tight And close and stiff.
He hated to hold the pencil and chalk,
his arms stiff His feet flat on the floor, stiff,
the teacher watching And watching.
She told him to wear a tie like All the other boys, he said he didn't like them.
She said it didn't matter what he liked.
After that the class drew. He drew all yellow. It was the way he felt about Morning.
The Teacher came and smiled, "What's this?
Why don't you draw something like Ken's drawing?"
After that his mother bought him a tie,
and he always Drew airplanes and rocketships like everyone else.
He was square inside and brown and his hands were stiff.
The things inside that needed saying didn't need it Anymore, they had stopped pushing... crushed, stiff Like everything else."

After I spoke in Nashville, a mother named Debbie pressed a handwritten note on me which I read on the airplane to Binghamton, New York:

"We started to see Brandon flounder in the first grade, hives, depression, he cried every night after he asked his father, "Is tomorrow school, too?" In second grade the physical stress became apparent. The teacher pronounced his problem Attention Deficit Syndrome. My happy, bouncy child was now looked at as a medical problem, by us as well as the school.
A doctor, a psychiatrist, and a school authority all determined he did have this affliction. Medication was stressed along with behavior modification. If it was suspected that Brandon had not been medicated he was sent home. My square peg needed a bit of whittling to fit their round hole, it seemed.
I cried as I watched my parenting choices stripped away. My ignorance of options allowed Brandon to be medicated through second grade. The tears and hives continued another full year until I couldn’t stand it. I began to homeschool Brandon. It was his salvation. No more pills, tears, or hives. He is thriving. He never cries now and does his work eagerly."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

In Memory of Alesya

Alesya went to be with Jesus last night at 10:00 p.m. She was a straight A student and wanted to be a school teacher. She would have graduated from high school this year. I will never forget her beautiful smile, and her courageous spirit. Pray for her family!

What Cancer Cannot Do!

It cannot cripple Love-
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Romans 8:35)

It cannot shatter Hope-
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:3)

It cannot corrode Faith-
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (1 Peter 1:7)

It cannot destroy Peace-
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14: 27)

It cannot kill Friendship-
A friend loveth at all times. (Proverbs 17:17)

It cannot suppress Memories-
The memory of the just is blessed. (Proverbs 10:7)

It cannot silence Courage-
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?(Romans 8:3)

It cannot invade the Soul-
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Romans 8:35)

It cannot steal Eternal Life-
And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. (John 2:25)

It cannot conquer the Spirit-
In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life . . . nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37)

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Story of Faith in God and How God Answers Prayer

Using a black permanent marker, Shane marked five eggs with a small ‘x’ and then carefully placed them under a broody, mother hen. On the calendar he counted out 21 days for the incubations period and wrote down the due date for the chicks to hatch on Sunday, March 10. Everyday he went out to the hen house, collected all the unmarked eggs and checked on mama hen where she faithfully sat warming her little treasures. Meanwhile, Dad cleaned up an unused rabbit hutch where he could move the mother hen away from the other chickens so they would not harm the baby chicks after they hatched. At the age of nine, Shane’s fascination with raising and hatching chickens were at its peak and he eagerly awaited and carefully watched over the precious nestlings.

The morning they were due to hatch, Shane, along with his two sisters, restlessly checked on them every opportunity they got, hoping that at least a couple of them would hatch. They fretted and worried about getting the chicks moved to safety from the other chickens as soon as they were hatched; so they kept a close eye on those eggs. But by Sunday evening nothing had yet happened. “Well, sometimes they are a little late hatching,” reasoned Shane.

Monday morning, the kids rose up early, while I was still sleeping, and ran out to check on the eggs. There was still no sign of them hatching. A little concerned, they decided to go ahead and move mamma hen and her eggs into the rabbit hutch. They carefully lifted her from the nesting box and carried the precious eggs to their new home. But an unexpected problem arose. Mamma hen would not sit back on the eggs. The children tried coaxing her in every way they could think of, but she just paced back and forth inside the hutch looking for a way out. It was a very chilly morning and those eggs needed to be kept warm or the babies would die. Our next door neighbor, Mrs. Busby, saw the distress of situation and advised the children to leave mama hen alone and then she would calm down and go sit on the eggs again. Reluctantly, we all went into the house, anxious yet hopeful. A couple hours later, we went out to see if she was sitting on them and found her still pacing and the eggs ice cold. By now we were all distraught over the unborn baby chicks. I told the kids to put mama hen and her eggs back into the nesting box, but Mrs. Busby, upon feeling how cold the eggs were, said they were probably no good. We were so disheartened and the kids felt so bad about it all. I decided to take them into the house and try to warm them. Mrs. Busby said I could try but that she thought they were way too cold. I brought them in the house and placed them between two towels on a plate and put them in the oven on warm. It looked doubtful . . . but we could pray!

I got out a story I had read to the kids many times. It was a true story about some children that had rabbits. One night, during a freeze, they forgot to lock the rabbit cage and all the rabbits got out of the cage. The next morning the children found them all lying around the yard frozen stiff. The children gathered up the rabbits and brought them into the house whereupon the mother and children prayed that God would revive them, and sure enough, God honored their faith and raised them back to life. I read the familiar story once again to my children and then told them that God is able to save these little chicks. We all knelt down to pray, Felecia, my 10 year old daughter, leading out.

It took awhile for the eggs to get warm enough to take back out to the mama hen. Moisture condensed on the outside of the shells. It didn’t look good. But we knew in our hearts that God was able to save the chicks, if it was his will. We tenderly placed the eggs back into the nesting box and the mama chicken went and sat on them. All Monday the children anxiously waited to see what would happen. By evening, there were no signs of life, and knowing they were already overdue, we thought that it was probably too late.

Tuesday morning Shane got up bright and early and went out to check on them. A few minutes later he came flying through the door, eyes as wide open as ever, “MOM! MOM! I HEARD PEEPING!” “Are you sure?” I asked, as we all scrambled into our rain boots and dashed out to see. We gathered in the hen house and quietly listened. Ever so faintly we could hear the peeping. Shane lifted up the mother hen and one of the eggs was just beginning to hatch. Later that afternoon, two little chicks had hatched and another egg was cracking. Dad carefully nailed some screening around the box so that they wouldn’t fall out.

Wednesday morning we had three chickens in all and there was a hole in another egg. We wondered if it was still good so we took it out and upon examination could see a little life moving around. We hoped it was strong enough to hatch completely out and placed it back under mama. Thursday morning we went out joyfully to move our new little flock into the rabbit hutch. Shane checked on that other egg and, sure enough, there was a new little chick.

“Four out of five eggs!” I exclaimed, “God really blessed.” We put the four little chickadees into the basket and I headed over to their new home while Shane picked up mama hen. Suddenly he came running towards me just as excited as he had been the morning when he first heard the peeping. “MOM! MOM! There’s another chick in there!” “Are you sure?” I asked in amazement. “Yeah, I picked up mama hen and there it was underneath her!”
“With God, all things are possible”! (Matt 19:26)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Having a Mary Heart and a Martha Mind

Lord of all pots and pans and things, since I’ve no time to be A saint by doing lovely things, or watching late with Thee, Or dreaming in the dawn-light, or storming Heaven’s gates, Make me a saint by getting meals and washing up the plates. Although I must have Martha’s hands, I have a Mary mind, And when I black the boots and shoes, Thy sandals, Lord, I find. I think of how they trod the earth, what time I scrub the floor: Accept this meditation, Lord, I haven’t time for more. Warm all the kitchen with Thy love, and light it with Thy peace;Forgive me all my worrying, and make my grumbling cease. Thou who didst love to give men food, in room or by the sea, Accept this service that I do -— I do it unto Thee.—

Cecily Rosemary Hallack (1898-1938)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Happy Fools Day!

We love too fool dad when he comes home from work. The girls just hid in the bathroom and I told him they were at the neighbors house and that his work called and needed him to work over time. Then they hopped out and yelled "April Fools"!
Which calls to mind a few years back when the kids were little and we decided to make him believe we were all sick with the flu. All day we practiced our parts. He would pull in and we would all jump into our assigned sick beds and when he came in we were going to tell him that we had been throwing up and moan and all sorts of stuff. Then when he seemed convinced, we would all jump up and yell April Fools!
The time finally arrived. He pulled in and we excitedly all jumped in our spots. Two of us on the couches two on the floors, blankets sprawled out, vomit pans next to us ect... (we kept our PJs on too) We heard the tinkling of the keys in the door and we were beside ourselves with anticipation, really trying to look sick. He opened the door and walked in but before he even got a chance to see what was going on, Priscilla, who was about 3 yrs. at the time, jumped up really excited and shouted APRIL HILLS!!!!! To funny-