Thursday, March 20, 2008

Blips of spring

We have enjoyed the past week of warmer (40's) daytime temperatures, sunshine, and squirrels. Today, I picked an ant off my head for the first time this year! Most of the snow has melted, leaving sandy puddles around the house. Some of the newly exposed grass is turning green. The ladybugs (Asian beetles), which hibernated in our baseboards this winter, have woken up and are swirling around the house and crawling on the walls, so Sarah and Solomon have gotten out the duct tape and are escorting them outside, lint brush style.

I have really enjoyed some daily walks this week with Noah, Sammy, Gideon and occasionally Susanna. Across the state highway on which we live, there is a bit of country road, which tunnels through woods, skirts horse pastures, and passes a neighbor with a duck-yard. Ducks are what we are after. We often find the flock across the street from their home, on the shoulder of the road, doing what ducks do. When we get to a certain distance, they proceed waddling back, quacking in stereo, at precisely the speed we are following them.

The last two times, the ducks were nowhere to be found, as their own backyard pond is thawing, and they must be by the water. However, our consolation was soon following, as the next neighbor proceeded to meet us by his mailbox with what appeared to be a lanky, tall, dog or a very small horse. It was neither: it was a goat! It was a pet goat. It neither mowed grass nor gave milk, but wore a badly chewed sweater and ate fiberglass insulation. Our neighbor explained it (and its companion) were pet goats. The goats had heard the children, and began to fuss until he brought them out to visit.

The kids were of course very impressed with the animals, and scared. But they were friendly enough and petted them.

To get to the country road portion, we have to cross some railroad tracks, and Sammy really dislikes this. In fact, he never wants to go for a walk because of the train tracks, but I make him anyway, and once we safely cross the tracks, he is fine and talkative the whole time. As we approach the tracks, he insists we move very quickly, so as not to get hit by any trains that could sneak up on us. What is funny is, our house is less than a mile from these tracks, and we hear them from home! We are trying to work with him in understanding that the train is much louder when you are on the tracks, so there is not much chance of them sneaking up on us.

I don't cover as much distance when I walk with the little guys, but its a very special time. Sammy is losing much of his pudge, and Giddy can do the entire distance, just about, on foot!

We are setting up a makeshift greenhouse in our front-porch master bedroom. We are taking out the white wire shelving from the old bus, and installing it in front of the south facing window, so we can start bell peppers and tomatoes. According to our expert Wisconsin gardeners, this is the time to start peppers, but not till April 1 for tomatoes.

If the weather radio is right, we should get fairly blitzed with more snow tonight and tomorrow! Six to 9 inches? We'll see. We don't put the snow shovels away until May.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Showers of blessings/California homeschooling

Last Tuesday, Debbie and the children were able to drive out to Minnesota to be present at Joel's funeral. It was a very, very blessed time, and we are so thankful for the Lord making the way for us to go. Dave, unfortunately, was stuck at work, as he was out of the office all the week before.

A couple of weeks before his homegoing, Joel had selected over a dozen wonderful songs for his own funeral. He desired that the time be spent in worshipping the Lord foremost. The focus was really on the Lord. Here is a link to the first half of the music portion. You won't hear much about Joel. There wasn't really any eulogy, in fact. But you will hear about the Savior that he loves and now worships face to face... click here.

Terri and the children continue to need our prayers, but we are confident that he who has begun a good work in them will be faithful to complete it. The Lord has really used this family through this time of great trial.

Regarding California and the homeschool situation

Our brother, Jonathan Lindvall, has written a challenging article regarding God's purposes in the recent court decision. We really value his insight, as one who was homeschooling when homeschooling wasn't cool.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Home with the Lord

Many of our friends have been praying for our friends, the Joel and Terri Strasser family, during Joel's struggle with cancer. He is no longer struggling, praise the Lord, but is home in heaven.

We are thankful for those who have upheld the Strassers with prayer during this time, and ask that you continue as the Lord brings them to mind. They are blessed with a very devoted church family, and it has been so uplifting to hear the way they have been supported in so many practical ways. Joel and Terri have been such a witness through this. We are looking forward to quite a reunion in heaven.

One of our earliest memories of the Strassers was visiting their church and hearing Joel and Terri, in the choir, singing "Find Us Faithful", which is now one of our favorite songs.

We're pilgrims on the journey of the narrow road
And those who've gone before us line the way
Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary
Their lives a living testament to God's sustaining grace

Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses
Let us run the race not only for the prize
But as those who've gone before us, let us leave to those behind us
The heritage of faithfulness passed on through Godly lives

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way

May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey

Oh may all who come behind us
find us faithful

After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone
And our children sift through all we've left behind
May the clues that they discover, and the memories they uncover
Become the light that leads them to the road we each must find

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way

May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey

Oh may all who come behind us
find us faithful

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Even more on Bible copy!!!

Abi has completed her first video/movie. The subject is, surprise, surprise, Bible copy! Much of the text is from the book, The Education of Kings, which is available on our website (www.inkleinations.com). Zak did the guitar.

We hope to have this showing at our literature table at the two homeschool conferences we are scheduled to attend this spring. The photos feature many dear friends from the States and Mexico. Check it out!

(The second conference is this year's Wisconsin CHEA homeschool conference in Oconomowoc, May 30 and 31.)