Apr 30, 2007

Chin Chin's

Zion actually believes she ate a bowl of white rice and chicken with "Aunt Becky."

Apr 28, 2007

Reflections On Rembrandt and the Golden Age of Dutch Art

Great artists and their brush strokes mean nothing when paramedics are working on a friend's child in the next room.

Three year olds don't really care all that much for the Dutch masters...but even with the inevitable episodes of fussing and squirming...it's good to bring them along...because somewhere down deep they will remember that the world is full of many beautiful things...and that life on earth is fleeting...but legacies last and last.

Best friends notice what is needed and fill that need...consistently...every time...without fail.

Dads on field trips and parenting intentionally are a blessing to their wives and children.

It's nice to be with gals who smile knowingly when your precious, darling child (not the baby) passes gas amidst the quite serious, never been out of Amsterdam, irreplaceable collection of centuries old masterpieces.

It's nice to be one of those gals when a sweet little boy decides he's had enough of this "art stuff" and the floor needs mopping with his white shirt and prostrate body serving as the tool to get the job done.

They are masterpieces and we are paying to see them...because the silk looks like silk and the velvet looks like velvet...and because it's really as if sunlight is actually coming through that window.

The "firefly room" upstairs...which the kids went through three times... will more than likely be what they remember most vividly.

I'm pleased with the impressions we take home.... that family portraits and pretty dresses and automobiles and photographs and burnt down churches ... and quilts...and canvases colored in shades of true blue....are art pieces too if only we look at them in that way.

Creativity is gift from the Lord and......... the Lord is "the master artist."

Apr 26, 2007

Number Five SWIMS!!!!!!!!!!!

Next comes Learning To Read in 100 Easy Lessons. Boy, time really does fly by.

Apr 23, 2007

Zion Evangeline...

Apr 22, 2007


Venice Beach Photos by Zion

Apr 19, 2007

Cedars of Lebanon

Okay Friends, I'm requesting prayers on behalf of a project we have been working on for about two years now. We believe we are in the Lord's will with it and it seems as if we have been getting consistent confirmations to move forward in pursuing this dream. Tomorrow...Bradley and his partner Ed will be meeting in Los Angeles with financiers who are interested in the film and yesterday was very encouraging...Shawn Hatosy...an actor we just love... attached himself to the lead role of Barry. I'll admit that these past two years have not been easy. I am not very good with highs and lows...with roller-coasters...with bunny trails...with silence...and we've seen glimpses of each. Every time there came an apparent disappointment or confusion though...shortly thereafter something would occur which brought clarity and renewed hope.

I am passionate about our bents and leanings in this area...that being the film industry... which is funny if you know me...because there was a time when I ran in the opposite direction kicking and screaming every time the thought of stepping back in was mentioned. That was because the whole Hollywood world we were plucked out of used to be such an idol to Bradley and I. It is no longer an idol and I covet your intercessions on our behalf.

It seems selfish and at least to me a bit ridiculous... when others are requesting prayer for sick loved ones or protection or healing...the list goes on and on...but I know our Father's heart is to have us ask "all things" according to His will and to have us in a place where we are fine with the outcome whatever He chooses. So, will you please pray that doors would open widely or shut tightly... so that we are confident that we are walking in the steps He has prepared for us?

There's more info about the film at

Apr 18, 2007

Thoughts on Mary Cassatt by Jemima

Mary Cassatt was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania in 1884. Mary's paintings are of children with their mothers and fathers. Sometimes her paintings are of her own family. My favorite painting of hers is "Alexander Cassatt and His Son Robert Kelso" because it makes me feel relaxed. I think Alexander and his son are very alike. Mary's mother and father were not happy when their daughter said she wanted to be an artist because at that time, people thought men should be artists, not women. Mary wanted to go to France to study great art but her parents did not want her to go. This was ridiculous because Mary's parents brought her to art museums when she was a child and that's where she got a passion for art. Mary's father realized that she really, really wanted to be and artist and he finally gave her permission to go to France. When Mary got to France she met a group of Impressionists. Some of the Impressionists were Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Camille Pissaro, and Auguste Renoir. Edgar Degas and Mary became best friends. They experimented with their paintings. Mary started using bright colors and painting people in everyday life. Mary Cassatt was a wonderful artist and she never gave up on her talent.

Lifting Virginia Tech ...

As my boys and I were driving the other day...I reflected on the events of 911. I asked if it ever entered their minds... that three airplanes, used as missiles...filled with people...
wives...grandparents...friends...went down. That buildings...very, very tall buildings went down. That thousands died on one day because of an act of terror committed on American soil. That they actually lived through a moment in time that will forever be written into the history books. It seems that 911 is with me always. It's not that it actually crosses my mind everyday but that it's part of my consciousness...part of a new reality. I don't believe I'll ever be able to get onto a plane again without considering the events of that day and I am unable to process my childhood landscape with an altered skyline. It just doesn't make any sense. The boys admitted that they don't really think about 911 as a reality...that somehow...it seems like a movie they saw...like an episode of a television show. You know ....The Day After Tomorrow or War of the Worlds... something Jack Bauerish or something.

So this week...we are faced with the reality of the Virginia Tech tragedy. The boys heard something...but they don't know the details...so I explain what has happened. I see a brief moment of realization...but it is brief. Almost instantaneously...they are onto the next thing. Why am I glued to Fox News...transfixed and unable to be distracted from the horrific events.... when they are able to move on with their day without a second glance back? As I've thought about this over the last 48 hours or so...I realize that I do in fact have very sensitive boys. After Columbine...I was late in picking up the boys from piano lessons by about 15 minutes. When I finally arrived, little Mcabe was besides himself with grief because he thought I had been killed knowing I was at "the library." I've seen them mourn losses and cry over personal sin. I know they are deeply concerned for the salvation of family members and friends. When it hits close to home...they are very sensitive.
But, sadly...they have grown up in a world where global/ national/and local violence and bad news are a way of life. They have never lived in a place... like I did... where planes were planes...big buildings were strong, and every hostage was released. They have never lived in a world where Star Wars was the closest thing you had to high tech warfare...or where double decker buses, subways or school campuses were safe. So if they never had it... of course they do not feel the loss... as deeply... as we who have had it.... do. I pray for our children...because they too one day will feel a sense of loss as we do now...and when I look at their starting point...at what is normal for them...and think of what the world is coming to...I can't even imagine. Lord, Come Quickly!

Apr 17, 2007

Movie Review by Galilee

MISS POTTER is a movie about Beatrix, her illustrations and her writing. She lived in England during the olden days, a time when there were no cars and when the clothing looked antique. She was a creative person who is famous for drawing Peter Rabbit. Beatrix was a happy woman who had courage. She reminds me of Jo March from LITTLE WOMEN. They were similar sorts of girls because they both had passion. Beatrix reminds me of my mom also.... because she is a passionate writer too. I recommend this movie for all ages because my mom is 40 and she liked it...I'm 11 and I liked it...and my little sis, Zion liked it and she's 3. I also recommend this movie because Beatrix is thoughtful and intelligent.

Apr 15, 2007

Little Moments Like This One

Here's an example of why I know the Lord has called us to be at home...living life intimately...in close proximity and multi-generationaly. Zion is in the bath and I am puttering around the room, humming. In all seriousness...she looks up at me and says in a worried way..."Is everything o.k., Mom?" I glance over...thinking what on earth could she be thinking...and I say... "Yes. Why?" "You were humming"...comes her matter-of-fact response. "AHHHH....I was humming"... I nod. "Yeah, in the book Sounder... the Mom hummed when she was worried"...Zion reminds me..."remember?" "You're right. She did hum when she was worried but your Mommy is not worried." Satisfied that I'm alright, she continues playing in the tub with her bath toys and I continue to putter. If she's "picking up on" things like this...think of what else she could be "picking up on." It's an awesome thought...frightening, humbling, exciting, and encouraging...all at once.

Apr 14, 2007

The Good Fruit....

Hopefully, one of the fruits of our home-education legacy will be that our children will be lovers of learning. We desire that they discover their God-given "bents" early in life...and that they are self-governed in pursuing those areas...with guidance and encouragement from those in their lives. Bria loves playing guitar. He has grandparents who support him in that interest and as well as a guitar teacher who shares his heart for worship and technical expertise at every turn. Bria doesn't need to be told to practice...unlike his years spent in piano study...he picks up his instrument and works hard on his developing craft. It's the same with editing. He likes to edit, therefore...he edits for hours...without complaint. I...personally, was a bit worried a few years back. It seemed as if he had "zero" interest in anything. As his mother... I was on a hunt to find his "bent." Now, he's pretty much on his own...with mentoring guidance coming in from the adults around him. He's a 15 year old high school sophomore, taking his second college course, working two part-time jobs for local ministries, and another... for a local production company as an editor. He also picks up freelance work filming/editing recitals and weddings... and such. I was obviously impatient and in panic mode then...all because the good fruit wasn't apparent to me. I didn't notice.... because I was so wrapped up in my time schedule...how it was ripening at it's own pace.

And, here's a shocker...Bria has read Matthew, Mark and the first five chapters of Luke in the past few weeks...without me knowing it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can I please get an AMEN?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I must admit that he's handled his 4 month long discipline very well...softening under it's pressure...turning from sin and pursuing righteousness. I'm not bragging because I know all of this...every tiny smidgen of it... is the Lord's doing.
(Mcabe tackles Spelling on his own initiative??????!!!???huh??????)

Okay...now it's Mcabe's turn to mature. And lo and behold....I'm recognizing good fruit. He's actually started to do co-op assignments without my prompting...and get this...sometimes he turns them in without my having seen them first. It used to be that he wanted my input on every draft...every sentence for that matter. He Googles on his own...writes book reports on his own...memorizes the Declaration of Independence on his own, films and edits music videos on his own....drums like a banshee ...my little boy is spreading his wings. We have him in a high school level writing course and he's been doing well...but lately, he's stressed and grumpy about it. Always the negotiator, he comes to me yesterday and places a deal on the table. If he can quit the Writing class (there's 5 weeks left before summer break) he will focus on Spelling (a dreaded area in desperate need of help) and Photography. He'll even enter a few photography contests (which in his world translates to "serious business") So as the day to day, hands on shepherd of his education...do I allow this 12 year old 7th grader to quit the Writing class to pursue other things? Is this giving him an easy out or some room to grow? As I ask the Lord for wisdom in this area...I'm hearing..........allow him to drop the class so that his spirit isn't crushed in the hopes that he will take this opportunity to fly.

(The World Through Mcabe's Lens)

Apr 10, 2007

My Seven Dollar Story

I'm in the right lane...about to make a turn...when I spot her over on the median. She's young...holding a sign...homeless? Yes. Because I seem to find a way to document life wherever I go...I instinctively lift my camera and snap a shot. I'm far enough away...so she doesn't hear the mechanics of the high-speed shutter. I snap another. The car in front of me turns...so now I must go. As I'm driving, I reach into my purse to see what cash I have. Seven dollars. Not much...but her sign said something about a bus ticket. Should I turn back? No, I'm only going a few miles...picking up a check for the Chemistry teacher and returning this way again to drop it off. She'll still be in the same spot. It will only take me twenty minutes at most. Wait...should I forget it and just keep the seven dollars? It's not like I can't use seven dollars...that goes a long way when ordering from the the drive-thru dollar menu. She didn't look like a drug abuser. I reach into my purse and add a tract (10 Reasons Jesus Came To Die) to my cup holder thingy where the seven dollars are now propped. I get the check from Brad and rush back. Same corner. No girl. She's gone....nowhere to be seen... not even in the rear view mirror. Drop off the check to the teacher down the road and turn back around to look for her. She couldn't have gone far. Maybe she's sitting in the shade somewhere...off to the side...out of plain sight? I loop around again, but she's not to be found. The girls are in the backseat and have caught onto the fact that my neck is straining and that my eyes are darting. They want to know what I'm so busy searching for. I tell them about the young girl...in her twenties...with the sign. There's nothing more I can do.

We stop and lift her in prayer. I explain to the girls that although I could not find the girl, Jesus knows exactly where she is...and that even though I thought she needed my seven dollars...He knows what she really needs and that even though I thought giving her a tract might draw her closer to the Lord...he is fully responsible for calling her into His bosom. I drive to the library, at peace with His sovereignty. There I find some gently used books for sale. When the total cost is calculated...am I surprised that it tallys to seven dollars...exactly the amount I have in my wallet once again? No, not really. Thanks, Lord for this second seven dollar blessing of the day. You make me smile. We head off to drum lessons. While we wait for Mcabe to be finished...we take a walk over to the resale shop. I find nothing today...but while I am there...the owner looks up my account. There's seven dollars waiting for me. I can have it in cash. The money goes back into my wallet and I leave feeling closely watched over and provided for.

Apr 9, 2007

Praying husbands and fathers......

...are a blessing to their Lord, their wives, and their children.

Apr 8, 2007

Reminders of His Love

But He answered and said to them, "I tell you that if these should keep silent,the stones would immediately cry out."
Luke 19:40
I'm just so humbled and tickled by this little love note written in the sand. I'm pretty sure I could possibly be the only person in the world who noticed it...as it is situated far off the beaten path in the middle of the high Sonoran Desert. I just had to share it. I cannot stop smiling.

He is Risen!

The tomb is empty!

Apr 6, 2007

Cactus Flowers

I see you in the thorns. I see you in the blooms. You are everywhere I turn....everyday....in everything. You are the LORD...the one and only.

It is written that the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. Lord, tonight...on this somber Friday evening...may I plead with You to help me never lose sight of the WONDERFUL CROSS and what was accomplished there....for without it....there is nothing.

Thank you for softening my heart today...gently...all day long. I am humbled by how you use our imperfections and the imperfections of those around us to glorify Yourself. You are The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Apr 5, 2007


Thank you Bradley, Bria, Mcabe, Galilee, Jemima, Zion , Papa and Nana...for making my birthday celebration at Guiseppi's special...and for loving me day in and day out...even when I'm unlovable.

Thank you Sheena, for baking me a "late night" cake. You are a sweetheart and I am greatly blessed by you.

Thank you Jana, Cate and kids (Tim and Sean too) for a great lunch. I adore our friendships. And the Allison Krauss tickets....more than perfect!

Thank you, my dear brother, for your heart...always a cherished gift.

And it was so nice sharing a birthday party with you Paige. Thank you Deb and kids for the thoughtful, thoughtful gift. I love it and you.

Apr 3, 2007

Frolicking Teenage Boys