The Great Granola Giveaway

I’ve been wanting to do this for a while….even more so after winning a game giveaway on Rachel’s blog! (Dinner Games for Families!) So, instead of a recipe today, a chance to win an already prepared gluten free recipe from a couple of weeks ago – Pan Roasted Granola

Also, I want to offer two versions of this granola – gluten FREE and gluten FULL! All you need to do is leave a comment. That’s right, leave a comment! So…. all of you I keep running into at weddings, church, the grocery store, and on Facebook (you know who you are!) who confess to reading and NOT commenting…now’s your chance! Figure out how to leave a comment – it’s really not that hard – and tell me if you want to be entered in the FREE or FULL category. Your names will go in the hat and the kids and I will draw 2 winners out for next Friday!

So, go on and click the comment button and have a great weekend! 🙂

Continuing With Classical….(Part 3 =My Story)

Yesterday was our first day of Classical Conversations – Challenge 1 level, and this is our class pictured above – Kory, me, Briana, and Megan. We had a great day, but also a big dose of reality. High school/college prep coursework is difficult! As I began the Latin instruction, I thought that the kids would only be required to work with first declension nouns. As the lesson continued and I kept flipping through the pages of reading and assignments for the following week, I realized that they would also need to memorize second declension, the “I am” verb forms, and the use of a few conjunctions! And, I have one student with no prior exposure to Latin – Yikes! So…27 Latin exercises, 2 science lab reports, plus chapter reading, study guide and test, 4 math lessons plus a test, 2 short stories plus a 500 word creative essay, 30 pages of economics reading and questions, collection of articles for death penalty debate, and read induction of Taming of the Shrew! We did get to make copper hydroxycarbonate in science class which was pretty cool – so thankful that Kory has the opportunity to work through this wonderful curriculum.

Below is what I wrote for the “Personal Testimony” portion of the CC tutor application. It is both a spiritual and an academic requirement.

As a college student at the University of Texas at Austin, I struggled to fill out an application for a summer camp that required a written testimony of faith – or the story of my conversion. I had been involved in Campus Life (Youth for Christ) in high school and Campus Crusade for Christ in college, and had heard many testimonies – some quite dramatic, but could not quite figure out what my own story was. I went to my Bible study leader through Campus Crusade and told her I didn’t think I had a testimony. Laura, who I had been meeting with weekly in a discipleship relationship, said that I must have a testimony if I’d been eager to study God’s Word with her and share my faith on campus for several years by then. She asked me to tell her my earliest memories of the Lord in my life. I told her about the time I had been playing at a friend’s house, and longed to have one of her “dress up” bracelets that we had been using. I decided to sneak one of the plastic segmented bracelets, linked by elastic home with me, under my shirt sleeve. Upon returning home, I was overcome with guilt, and I headed straight to my room where I began to pray to the Lord and tell Him how sorry I was. In my own 6 or 7 year old way, I asked Him for forgiveness. (But, I’m fairly certain that I did not return the bracelet!) My family went to church, but faith was never really discussed at home, and I wasn’t ever told how to have a personal relationship with the Lord. My grandmother had given me a small blank book around this time, and somehow I also acquired a little green Gideon’s Bible. After the bracelet stealing episode, I began to read the Bible, and even copied down verses in my blank book. I, of course, had no idea where to start, so I just began at the beginning. The first verse I copied was; “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 I continued off and on with some semblance of this spiritual practice until high school. There I discovered a ministry called Campus Life. It was lead by one of the guidance counselors, Mr. Simons, as well as a teacher, Miss Riggs, to whom I had become close. It was in this ministry that I heard the gospel clearly, and was exhorted to surrender every part of my life to Christ. Joining Campus Crusade in college only continued this encouragement, and it was here, through Laura, and two other women named Cas and Tracy, that I learned to study the Bible and grew to love God’s Word even more. Now, about 32 years later, homeschool mom to three, wife of a godly pastor, and yet still a child in desperate need of grace and guidance, I am so thankful for Laura’s question about my earliest memory with the Lord. When I told her my story, she explained to me that all that is required for salvation is recognition of sin and a need for forgiveness from Christ – “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus…” (Romans 3:23-24) She reassured me that the experience in my bedroom back so many years ago was a true conversion, and that the longing to know the Lord and His word which followed were further evidences of the salvation I had received as a gift that day. Recently, I came across these verses in Psalm 71: “For Thou art my hope; O Lord God, Thou art my confidence from my youth. By Thee I have been sustained from my birth; Thou art He who took me from my mother’s womb; My praise is continually of Thee.” (v. 5-6) Those words encapsulate my testimony. He drew me to Himself at an early age and has sustained me through many years filled with both joy and pain. He continues to be my hope and confidence to this day.

And this would also be a great opportunity to introduce you (again) to the aforementioned LAURA! She has just started her own blog which has naturally followed her becoming a published author! She is a wonderful lady who obviously means a lot to me. Why don’t you hop on over and visit her blog now? And after that, you can check out her wonderful Bible study on the heart – Capture my Heart, Lord. Be sure and say hello – she would love to hear from you!

Continuing With Classical….(Part 2)

As part of the application process to be a tutor in the Classical Conversations homeschool program, you are required to write an essay response to Dorothy Sayers essay entitled “The Lost Tools of Learning.” I mentioned this essay in a previous post. You may read it for yourself here.

I am printing it (my essay) here as a way to remind and prepare myself for the coming school year. It can also serve as a small summary of what Ms. Sayers communicates in her 1947 essay in case you are at all interested in learning more about this approach to education. (Or, maybe you’ll just become more convinced that the Krum family is crazy, idealistic, and out of touch! Oh well… here goes…)

Response to “The Lost Tools of Learning” by Dorothy Sayers: The main problem with modern education, according to Dorothy Sayers, in her essay entitled “The Lost Tools of Learning,” is that the focus is on segregated subjects rather than on obtaining “tools for learning.” She points out that we are more concerned with teaching the details of individual subjects rather than teaching pupils how to think, and she laments that those subjects are divided by “watertight bulkheads” preventing the integration and natural connections to other subjects. She calls it a “distressing fact” that the intellectual skills we have acquired through modern education are not “readily transferable” to other subject areas beside the ones in which we first obtained them. And while this disregard for imparting an approach to tackling all subjects is her main frustration, she also points to the problem of media influence on pupils who have not a framework for discerning fact from fiction as well as the inability to speak to a specific question, refute an argument, and keep relevant in their discussion.

Her proposed solution is to return to an ancient model known as the Trivium. In this model, the years of education are divided into three phases: Grammar, Dialectic, and Rhetoric. These phases coincide naturally with the developmental stages of children. In the Grammar stage, young children are learning the “language” of various subjects. Every subject has its own language. In history, for example, it may be dates, people, important events, and timelines, whereas in Latin, it may be vocabulary and noun declension endings. They may not comprehend or be able to apply these facts, but they are acquiring the necessary facts or “language” that they will need in future dealings with the subject. The Dialectic stage capitalizes on the natural tendency of the young adolescent to question, argue, and prove others wrong. In this stage the teacher is helping the pupil to embrace logic and the proper mode of disputation. They learn to use language, define its terms, make accurate statements, construct arguments, and detect fallacies. Any subject can be used as material for practicing these skills. The final stage of the Trivium is called the Rhetoric stage. In this stage, pupils use their foundation of grammar and dialectic to express themselves eloquently and persuasively – both through the written and spoken word. This stage correlates to the older adolescent’s yearning to be independent and express himself.

Ms. Sayers is deeply concerned with the integration of all subjects and writes that the Dialectic stage shows how all branches of learning are inter-related. Math, for example, is not an isolated subject but rather a sub-department of logic. She is also greatly troubled by the inability of educated persons to make an immediate connection between “algebra and detective fiction” or “sewage disposal and the price of salmon.” All subjects are connected, and should be taught as such. Ms. Sayers finally advocates that theology is the “mistress science without which the educational structure will lack final synthesis.” In this statement, she is expressing what we as believing Christians should be especially concerned with as we educate our children: that all “subjects” were created by our Lord and ultimately tie together in Him – the Living Word, which is expressed best in Colossians 1:17: “And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

Gluten Free Friday – Zucchini Quinoa Cake

Found this recipe in the same issue of Living Without magazine that I found the fudge pops. Any gluten free folks (or peanut, dairy, egg free folks) really should get a subscription – always lots of wonderful recipes, helpful articles, and personal stories. I just renewed my own subscription!

Made this cake last night for friends who are fellow gluten intolerants, and it was enjoyed by all – even kids. It was wonderful to use fresh zucchini, too, which there is an abundance of right now around here! And it went great with the vanilla coconut milk ice cream they brought over – yum!

Zucchini Quinoa Cake

2 1/2 gluten free flour mix
1 cup quinoa flakes
2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon (original recipe calls for less cinnamon and nutmeg)
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini
3/4 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
powdered sugar (optional)


Beat butter for 2-3 minutes until creamy and white. Add brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla beating well after each addition. Sift all dry ingredients together in separate bowl. Beat dry ingredients into butter mixture a little bit at a time. Fold in zucchini and chopped nuts. Pour into greased bundt pan and bake at 325 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Cool and dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Continuing With Classical….

About 10 years ago, right before I started homeschooling, I attended a homeschool conference with my friends Tamyra and Karla. While there, I was drawn to the “Trivium” table in the exhibition hall. There stood Laurie and Harvey Bluedorn ( I had no idea who they were at the time!) with all kinds of information on a method of education called “classical.” I gathered up all kinds of information from this very kind and unassuming couple, stuffed it into my bag, pulled it out later in my hotel room, and began reading about this educational philosophy and approach that seemed rigorous, thorough, and “right.” I shared this discovery with Robert, we then read Douglas Wilson’s Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning, and were convinced this was the education approach we should take with our children. It is an ancient model of education, and some form of it has been around since those times, but there has been a recent resurgence of classical schools and methodology largely due to an essay written by Dorothy Sayers in the 1947. The essay is entitled “The Lost Tools of Learning,” and Mr. Wilson’s book is an expansion of that essay along with his own ideas, vision, and experience with implementing the classical model of education. Ms. Sayers graduated from Oxford, became a novelist, and was friends with many of the famed “Inklings.” (More on this in the future!)

So for the last 9 years, we have tried to use this model at home which has included LOTS of reading of classical literature (and “good” books), learning the events of history in a chronological order (as in lots of things that happened before we got here – from the Garden to the Pharaohs, to the Greek, Romans, Reformation, New World and Obama), learning the classical languages of Latin and Greek (amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant!), and much focus on math. So…Latin, math, and history have been the bulk of our learning and even how those three things overlap and intersect.

This year we are continuing with this approach, but joining with a community called Classical Conversations. It is sort of a one-day-a-week-school where the kids have a “tutor” and up to 12 other students in class with them. We were especially interested in this program for Kory, as he is considered a freshman in high school this year. (Oh my goodness!) We wanted him to have a rigorous/college prep program as well as a few peers to provide not only positive peer pressure to perform well academically, but also a place to discuss ideas, and get feedback on written and oral presentations. We also thought it would be great for him to have another teacher beside Mom for a while. (Mom was especially excited about this prospect!)

But it hasn’t quite turned out the way we desired. The only Classical Conversations community in New England at the time of our investigation was in Hamden, Connecticut – 84 miles from our house! We still felt it was do-able since it is only one day per week. We went to the parent meeting, and then took the kids to attend their open house – which is a day they allow other kids to actually participate in class all day long. Our kids were quite reluctant, but they ended up enjoying the day and making new friends. We decided to commit to being a part of that community mostly due to our anticipation of Kory having a male teacher and 6 fellow classmates.

Things changed in early summer, and we discovered that there would be no tutor for the Challenge 1 level (9th grade), but there would be tutors for the “Foundations” and “Essentials” programs which Cooper and Kayla would need. What to do? My heart was already so set on this opportunity, and the more I examined the curriculum, the more convinced we became that this was the best thing for the kids. Plus, my friend Tamyra who is a Classical Conversations director in Oklahoma, encouraged us by telling us what a blessing the program has been to their family – especially for their oldest daughter.

Can you guess how this story is going to end? We decided that more than a male high school tutor for Kory, we desired the accountability of the rigorous academic program, the record keeping services they provide for high schoolers, and the small group of peers he would interact with, so you guessed it…..Mom is the teacher yet again.

I have spent hours online filling out applications, and receiving the training required and even more hours reading some of the 20 novels that must be completed by the students in 30 weeks. (I forgot what a GREAT book The Scarlet Letter is, and I don’t think I’m a huge fan of Jack London!) I conducted my first parent orientation last night for the Challenge level families (middle school/highschool), and received my first tuition checks! (I am considered an independent contractor with CC, so tuition is paid directly to me, and I pay a portion back to the national organization.) So far, there are only 3 in the class including Kory, and the other two are GIRLS! There are a couple of boys considering the program, which would be great, but the girls are wonderful – extremely kind, gifted, and motivated, and I think it will be a really nice group!

Here are the “seminars” they will be taking from 9a.m. to 3:30p.m. every Tuesday beginning next week:

Algebra 1 (Kory will skip this class as he is doing Algebra II this year.)
Latin 1 (Henle)
Economics (1st semester) (stock market project and multiple texts)
Government (2nd semester) (learn history of U.S. gov’t and memorize U.S. Constitution!)
Debate (All public policy issues)
American Literature (20 novels, 20 papers)
Physical Science (Apologia text – in-class lab evey week, formal research paper in spring)
Drama (read Taming of the Shrew multiple times – compare/contrast ideas to Ravi Zacharias’s sermon series “I, Isaac take Thee Rebecca”)
Philosophy (read Sophie’s World, memorize top 25 philosophers, and their main ideas, compare/contrast with biblical worldview)

Guess who’s really getting educated this year???? ME!

Kayla and Cooper will participate in a morning program called Foundations where they will do a lot of memory work (“grammar” as it is called in the classical approach – more on that in a post to come!) in all subject areas, and an afternoon program called Essentials which is all writing and grammar instruction using The Institute for Excellence in Writing curriculum. Everyone will still do the bulk of their schooling at home, but will be accountable to their teachers and peers to be ready for the following week. And Cooper and Kayla will even still have to do a fairly full curriculum at home – their programs don’t offer math or much expounding upon the topics being memorized in class. It will still be up to me to provide for this at home.

So there’s the education update! I plan to post some parts of my application in the coming days in case you’re interested in the tutor requirements and further information on the idea of classical education. The application process was somewhat rigorous – lots of essay writing – but I am thankful that each tutor must go through the process. High teacher standards are a good way to start an educational program!

Gluten Free Friday – Twice Baked Potatoes

The last time I had twice baked potatoes was at a “progressive dinner” with my neighbors in Stillwater, OK – you know, where you have a different part of a meal at a different home throughout the course of an evening. I was the last house of the evening, and so provided the dessert – Christmas cookies and hot chocolate, but our neighbors Dawn and Carl had the main course which included twice baked potatoes. They were delicious, and I was so impressed!
So…we were having a few families over for a cookout last week and I thought I would make potato skins. The last time I made them though, I didn’t make good use of the inside part of the potato, so at the last minute I remembered Dawn and Carl’s twice baked potatoes, and decided to switch gears. I don’t have a recipe for twice baked potatoes, but how hard could it be??
So, I still don’t really have a recipe, but you can sort of see the steps in these photos. First, bake whole potatoes at 400 degrees for 45 minutes- 1 hour or until tender. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, let cool a bit and then scoop out inside leaving skin and a thin layer of potato pulp. (What do you call the inside of a potato?) Mash the pulp you removed just as if you were making mashed potatoes: add butter, milk, salt, and pepper – even cream cheese, sour cream, or yogurt. Spoon this mashed mixture back into the potato skin shells, sprinkle with cheese and bacon, and bake again at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until warmed through and cheese is melted on top.
You can get pretty creative with this, actually. I pulled some of those “pesto pops” from last week out of my freezer and stirred them into half of the mashed mixture making pesto potatoes…and pressing fresh garlic into the mixture would also be delicious! Of course, the bacon ones flew off the serving platter first…what can hold a candle to bacon??? But the pesto ones were also very yummy and were even better as leftovers the next day!
Enjoy!

Fun in Maine!

I love this photo collage, because it truly reflects the joy in this vacation we take every year. (We got back a week ago.) And being from Texas, it never ceases to amaze me that my kids are growing up spending 4 days in Maine every summer! (Not to mention hanging out in Boston and New York City occasionally!?!) Traveling in New England was just a daydream of mine growing up, and it was my top pick for a honeymoon trip 17 years ago. THAT didn’t happen (and sorry, but Galveston is just not the same), but I HAVE gotten to spend the last 10 years of my life being a perpetual New England tourist – funny how the Lord provides for those hopes and dreams sometimes.
This is the view (yes, really) from the deck of the cabin we stay in each year. It overlooks Perkins Cove in Ogunquit, Maine and is one of the most popular summer vacation towns around. And the cabin is a ministry of a very sweet and generous couple who have a home right there on the cove. The studio cabin sits in their large backyard right at the edge of the cove. It used to serve as the art studio of Mr. Smith’s mother. The Smith family’s ministry is to let pastors and missionaries come and stay there for up to 3 nights a year for free. The guest book is filled with notes from folks all across the country and the globe who have had the privilege to come and rest and get refreshed there – 20 years worth! And we’ve been enjoying it for the last 10!
Our first order of “business” is to cross that adorable white drawbridge (which is just a short walk from the cabin) and walk around in the cove shopping area. Pictured above is the kids’ favorite destination – the “penny candy” store. Inside, you grab a sand pail, and walk around filling it with individual pieces of any kind of candy you can imagine – all around 5-25 cents a piece. Then the trading and rationing begins and continues throughout the rest of the time in Maine. (There’s also fudge, and toffee, and turtles for mom and dad!)Kayla and I sported french braids for one of our days at the beach, and I discovered that I can still french braid my own hair! I used to braid mine and all of my friends’ in high school for various occasions. I keep seeing young girls with french braided hair these days….maybe it’s coming back in style! Anyway, it’s a great way to keep Kayla’s hair free of sand and tangles at the beach when she will agree to let me do it.
(And she loves being a “twin” with me – don’t know how much longer that will last!)The kids just love the beach. It is amazing how entertaining miles of sand and water can be. On our second beach day we stayed from 10am until 5pm! They just dug deep holes, built castles, rode the waves, carried buckets of water to fill their holes, made sand bridges, tunnels, and ate snacks all day long which gave mom and dad a little time to do this…. 🙂
Sit.
Just sit and read books and magazines that haven’t been cracked in a while…and talk…and drink iced coffee…and watch the kids enjoy themselves. Wonderful. We did, of course, get talked into going into the water a couple of times and it wasn’t actually that bad. The northeast coast Atlantic doesn’t ever seem to be anything but frigid, and usually I can only get in to my ankles, but it was nice and warm that day and so I made it to my knees. I think Robert made it much further than me.
Another fun spot in town is the Marginal Way…a mile long narrow walkway along the rocky shore which is absolutely beautiful. And we always take a detour from the path to climb all over the rocks as far down to the water as we can get. You just have to be careful not to stay out too long when the tide is coming in which can cause your original path to be covered in icy water for the return trip!
We look forward to this trip every year…a great way to end the summer!

Gluten Free Friday – Pesto Pops

I wouldn’t recommend eating these in the same manner as the fudge pops from a couple of weeks ago….unless you really, really love pesto, but this is a really great way to store your homemade pesto, which my friend Kim reminded me of last week. And just in time too, because there are rows and rows of it to pick at the CSA farm that we belong to. So, my 3 basil pickers and I have picked about 4 cups each week, brought it home and mass-produced pesto!
And how did I survive in the kitchen without my Kitchenaid food processor up until about 2 years ago when my dear friend Kelly (a.k.a. Miss Riggs!) purchased one for me? I think she was watching me make hummus in my circa 1950 Waring blender (but chrome, and quite retro!) that belonged to my grandmother, and decided it was time! She whisked me off to Linens and Things, and then Target that evening, and we came home with this amazing appliance that gets used almost daily! Zucchini shredded for bread, carrots for salad, chickpeas for hummus, fruit and yogurt for popsicles, tomatoes and onions for salsa, and several of my friends have been using theirs to “churn” their fresh raw milk cream into homemade butter which I am now itching to try! Homemaker happiness… 🙂
After making a batch (recipe following), you can fill ice cube trays, freeze, pop out, and store in plastic freezer bags for future use … not necessarily a summer afternoon snack on a stick, but great on pasta, pizza, grilled chicken, sandwich wraps, or just crackers!
Here’s the recipe – which is a repeat from a while back, but I just had to re-run it with Kim’s storage idea. Don’t know why I didn’t think of it before – used to make and store homemade baby food the same way.
And now I am absolutely pooped out from making the stuff all afternoon – good night!
(Oh, and thanks Kelly…special batches for you and Jack next month!)

Pesto

2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese (or both)
2 Tbsp pine nuts (walnuts and pecans will work as well)
1 garlic clove, crushed
salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend well. Add more olive oil if needed for a smooth consistency. Toss with pasta, etc.

P.S. I had an abundance of kale from the farm as well….so I added some to one of the batches of pesto. Turned out great, and I recently saw a recipe for “Kale Pesto” which I am trying to locate, so I can give that a try soon. LOTS of kale at the farm!

The Socialization of Chickens (and children, it turns out)

I’ve received many inquiries through the years on how I planned to give my children proper “socialization” since they are being educated at home (as if public school is THE ideal place to teach children proper social skills, as if same age segregation is real life “socialization”, as if…..umm…this subject seems to require its own post at a later date!), but I never considered the socialization of my feathered flock until recently. Turns out chicken socialization can be a bit tricky!
Our first 10 chickens came last spring and started laying eggs about 5 months later. Imagine: the mothering and producing qualities/responsibilities of an adult in only 5 months! And big proud mamas is just what they became, having the “rule of the roost” for the next 8 months! (Now, they are not technically mothers, because we have no rooster, but I’m pretty sure they are unaware of this, as they proudly sit atop each day’s clutch of eggs.)

Well, as you may know, we decided to purchase 8 more chicks this spring, and after keeping them inside and warm for the required amount of time, they needed to join the grownup ladies out in the coop. I had read a bit about “pecking order,” and now began to consider the realities of this as we planned to mix the flocks together. It can get ugly.

I called my friend Aimee (resident backyard farm consultant and pro) and she described what she had done with hers in previous years: put the little ones inside their own cage INSIDE the coop of the big ones for a few days – a cage in a cage. This way they can observe each other but not have actual contact, hopefully preventing some future aggression, as well as facilitating harmony among the girls in the long run.

So, we executed that plan, and left them there for about three days. Robert kept saying that it was just like when the new freshmen enter high school – they all flock together for protection while all of the seasoned upperclassmen look on and laugh and their obviously unenlightened state. (I happened to escape this emotionally grueling situation to some degree, since I had been chosen to be a freshman cheerleader, and THAT title carried with it some degree of clout – with some folks – which bought a type of fame, as well as some freedom from this usual initiation process. Sad but true, and just another reason public school is not my first choice for the socialization of my children. And for those who worry that homeschooling removes “salt and light” from the local school and community, my thoughts have just been that Jesus called the children to come to Him, while it was the adult male disciples that He sent out into the world. It’s nothing but a battle out there – lots of pecking and being pecked, and in my opinion, not the best place for our impressionable and immature children to be sent to share their faith – nor something expected of them scripturally. So much for a future post on the subject…and I apologize for any toe-stepping-on. I happen to know many wonderful kids and families who make the public school thing work just fine, but surely you knew we had opinions/convictions on this subject!)

Anyway, I did go out and open the chick’s cage a few times to see what would happen, and it was ugly indeed! The grown mamas were pretty cruel and pecked the little ones on the head and back trying to establish their authority immediately. So, back into the cage I would put them for another day of “observation without integration.”

After a few more days, though, the littles were getting too crowded in their interior cage, and just had to be let out to fend for themselves, come what may. They received a fair amount of torture to be sure, but there have thankfully been no fatalities. And today, weeks after the initial integration, everyone remains healthy. The little ones are still running and squawking for their lives at times, but they are catching up in height and breadth to their upperclassmen counterparts. Soon, we (and hopefully they) won’t be able to tell who came first. Size will seemingly be the great equalizer.

And doesn’t it seem to be a great equalizer in our lives and relationships as well? Our years, plus the training/modeling we hopefully received from our families, plus the maturity and transformation we have received in the grace of Christ, enable us to truly socialize with all sorts of people. And not simply socialize, but love, and sacrifice ourselves- even like Jesus did. Young children are not yet capable of this, and it is not required of them – and same age peer groups don’t usually encourage it. (Actually, there are a lot of grownups not yet capable of this either – myself included at times!)

And chickens…..well, let me just tell you that I have yet to see any sacrificial love going on in the hen house!

When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I have been fully known. But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:12-13

Life is Tough…

I came across her greeting cards while on our recent trip to Maine, and thought they were great!

I especially like the one that has the above sentence on the front as well as these profound statements that I can also relate to 🙂 ….

and

Aren’t they great? I bought a card and a magnet at my favorite store in Ogunquit, ME – Art and Soul. I just looked at the rest of her designs this morning, and can’t wait to purchase a few more items in the future… so delightfully fun and yet full of gritty truth at times!