April 28, 2011

Teach them diligently

We were sitting at the kitchen table.  The sun darted in and out as it played hide and seek with heavy clouds.  I was thankful for my yellow checked tablecloth which brought some Spring into the house.  Our lunch was  raw vegetables, coffee cake and tea.  We enjoyed the food and the conversation.

"Momma, how can someone have eyes but not be able to see?"

"Well, their eyes just don't work the way they were intended.  Children, do you know why God made your eyes?"

"So we can see?"

"Because HE sees. We are made in his image.  Do you know why God gave us ears?"

"Because HE has ears?"

"No. Because He hears. We have a nose because God can..."

"Smell!" they answer in unison.

"Yep. We have a mouth because He...


"And we have hands so that we can work and create and love and protect like He does.  We have been made in his image."

"But, Momma, Why did God make some people without hands or with eyes that don't work?" 

"God does everything for our good and to teach us about Himself.  He gives and He takes away.  Do you remember the story about King David?  When Samuel, the prophet went to annoint him?  God said "for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

The children listened to my words through the sound of munching carrots.  I took a sip of my tea and then said,

"Oh and, do you remember the story about the woman at the well?  Jesus told the woman about God.  What did He tell her?"

They responded, "God is a spirit and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth."

"GOOD! Yes, and you are a soul with a body.  But you must be born again - of the spirit - to know God.  All of God's creation points to Him."

"I'm glad I can see, momma."

"Me too.  But even if my eyes stopped working and the world became silent because I couldn't hear, I would still be able to be with my Jesus.  I will always be able to know him and hear him when He talks to me.  He talks to my spirit."

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  Deut 6:5

April 26, 2011


Today we have the Family Version of the Daybook.  We had to read Mr. Santos' mind to get his answers, as he is not available at the moment.  His answers might not be accurate.  They are what WE (the wife and kids) think he would say. 

(click on the icon for more daybook fun)


Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Outside our window...
Sophia (10): red tulips
Naomi (8): trees
Noah (6): a dog
Dad: Top Secret
Mom: buds forming on the birch trees - yeah!
 I am thankful for...

Sophia (10): my family
Naomi (8): my parents
Noah (6): my skateboard
Dad: good health
Mom: my Bible, good friends, chocolate with almonds, my very old van that just keeps on running and running.

I am learning...

Sophia (10): Algebra
Naomi (8): to read and write
Noah (6): to read
Dad: how to apply my strengths to my new job
Mom: to be quick to hear and slow to speak.  Will I always be learning this?

From the kitchen...

Sophia (10): coffee cakes. They smell good. Too bad we can't eat them. They are to give away
Naomi (8): food
Noah (6): pictures on the fridge
Dad: It better be carne asada and a plate of cookies for dessert
Mom: Chicken soup with biscuits (sorry Mr. Santos)

I am wearing...

Sophia (10): purple plaid dress with a pink sweater. It doesn't really match.
Naomi (8): a flower dress with a shirt underneath.
Noah (6): overalls
Dad: what? clothes. shoes. hat.
Mom: a black sweater with a denim skirt and touseled hair.  Pearl earrings that make me look more made up than I am.

I am creating...

Sophia (10): a letter to my cousin
Naomi (8): a doctor's office
Noah (6): a doctor's office
Dad: a plan for saving money
Mom: a menu for a Mother's Tea party.

I am going...

Sophia (10): to go outside to ride my bike
Naomi (8): to the library
Noah (6): to play in my doctor's office
Dad: to be home late tonight, I have class.
Mom: to finish mailing my invitations to the Tea Party

I am remembering...

Sophia (10): last summer's Bible Bee. We signed up again this year.
Naomi (8): When we went to the museum. They had a kid size doctor's office there.
Noah (6): A big plane that flew by. It was big.
Dad: ship terminology for a test
Mom: I need to buy soap.

I am reading...

Sophia (10): Cameron Townsend, a missionary story
Naomi (8): Betsy and Tacy (sophia is reading it to me)
Noah (6): My body book. I just look at the pictures mostly.
Dad: Textbooks
Mom: Isaiah, the Gospels, and Richard Peck books to the children for school.  We just finished his "On the wings of Heroes" (about wwii) and are beginning "A long way from Chicago"

I am hoping...

Sophia (10): to buy a present for my friend today
Naomi (8): that Mom will come to my doctor's office
Noah (6): to go outside soon to swing on the hammock
Dad: that instead of chicken soup we will be having steak for dinner
Mom: that Mr. Santos will be happy with chicken soup.

I am hearing...

Sophia (10): The kids playing "doctor"
Naomi (8): the birds
Noah (6): what my mom is asking me for the daybook
Dad: what? this thing is a waste of time. you want to know what I'm HEARING?

Mom: The washer beeping...time to switch loads.

Around the house...

Sophia (10): the piano
Naomi (8): a couch
Noah (6): there's a gorilla cart outside. Is that whacha mean mom?
Dad: lots of work to do
Mom: sunshine darting in and out of the windows, giggles from the "doctor's" office, and two more coffee cakes to bake.

One of my favorite things...

Sophia (10): my bike
Naomi (8): horses
Noah (6): a gun
Dad: respect from my wife (and carne asada)
Mom: to laugh.  I just went to visit "the doctor" (playing with the children as they pretend).  They took an xray with an empty stapler, squirted something in my mouth (thankfully it was just plastic tasting water) and then picked up a small notepad to say "Will that be debit or credit?" I busted up laughing.
A few plans for the rest of the week:

Sophia (10): my mom makes my plans, but I hope we go to the library and to the store so I can buy that present.
Naomi (8): to swing on the hammock and sing songs
Noah (6): to go barefoot
Dad: work
Mom: help care for an elderly friend while his family is away at conferences.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

 The x-ray I received for my headache with the empty stapler.  It cost $600.00.  I charged it to my account.
The sign at the Doctor's office.  It read "Docter Naomi, Free Bibles."

April 25, 2011

To Muse

Take time to be quiet today. 

"There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on His Word spiritual strength for labour in his service. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them. . . . Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make but slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets, and do not thoughtfully meditate on God's Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; they would have the corn, but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it. From such folly deliver us, O Lord. . . ."

~ Charles H. Spurgeon

April 21, 2011

A Thankful Tea Time

Please join my friend Ruth and others here for Tea Time

I am having...

Jasmine Tea with a piece of toast.  It has been a quiet yet productive day. 

I am feeling...

Content and tired.

On my mind...

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ ~ Death is swallowed up in VICTORY!  Just think, the enemy of the whole world has been defeated.  No one on earth needs to fear death if they know Jesus.  Isn't this wonderful news?  Amazing News?  Worthy News?  Jesus Saves!

Some favorites to share...

My favorite thing about the Lord, My God is that He never leaves me and He never will.  I love this about Him.  What a wonderful God He is, a friend, a healer, a provider, a lover of my soul never to leave me.  NEVER.  Wow. 

O Magnify the Lord with me!
My favorite Boy

I love the way the Lord made my boy with all his "yummy boyness."  Always playing cowboys, spies, or soldiers.  He is so generous and loving to his momma, but I can feel him pulling away to be his own man. 

My favorite Man.

Mr. Santos has this Indiana Jones way of knowing how to do anything.  He's so tough and handsome and smart. 

My Favorite 10 year old.

Sophia Lou surrounded by her favorite things...her bike, her doll, and her books.  We call her "Sherlock DaVinci" because she is always examining, questioning, and seeking.  This girl that I love is my right arm, my secretary, my confidante, my friend.  

My favorite Middle Skittle.

Can you see the strong will behind those brown eyes?  Maybe not like I can.  Someday, she will use that will to love unconditionally and she will never waver.  This is 'my buddy, my buddy, wherever I go she goes, my buddy and me.'

April 18, 2011

Back and Forth

He came out this morning.  Then he was gone.  Back and Forth, Back and Forth...Couldn't he stay for more than an hour or two?  Long enough to get the temperature into the 50's?

The sun has vanished again, home to his favorite place behind some thick grey clouds.  I've been told he's available for service in some southern locations.  Perhaps The Santos Times could arrange to visit him.  Although, it would be so much more convenient (not to mention affordable) if he would just come HERE for a visit.

Should the Lord be willing to send him our way, I have a list of chores for him to do:

1) Warm and color my skin and bones.  (I am currently still a pasty white with a tinge of blue.)

2) Refill my vitamin D tank (running on empty for a whole season now)

3) Inspire me to wash the OUTside of my van.

4) Feed and warm the garden and farm soil.

5) Make my tulips bloom.

6) Scatter some diamonds on the water.

7) Help me change out my heavy wardrobe for something light and Springy.

I think this is a doable list.  Don't you?  Lord, would you please send him over?  And, can he stay a while?

 The children at the farm.  The soil was warm from the sun, but the air was cold.  You can see in the back the dark grey clouds that the sun hides behind.

 The new wheelbarrow - and TOY.  Noah pushes from behind while a sister steers.  Then, just as it is about to go down a little slope or hill, he jumps in and they coast coast coast...screaming and laughing all the way.  When the weather warms up I imagine them pulling me around as I sip my iced tea.  You think?  Nah, they wouldn't put up with that for long.

Or maybe.  This is Noah's recent chalk drawing.

April 15, 2011

Are you a Christian?

I've been swimming in Missionary Biographies and am moved to action.  I don't know what the Lord has in store for me.  For now, I intend to teach my children the scriptures and pray that I would be aware of any open door to share the truth of the Gospel.  What about you?

"If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for."
~ Charles H. Spurgeon

"I wasn't God's first choice for what I've done for China…I don't know who it was…It must have been a man…a well-educated man. I don't know what happened. Perhaps he died. Perhaps he wasn't willing…and God looked down…and saw Gladys Aylward…And God said - "Well, she's willing."
~ Gladys Aylward

"A tiny group of believers who have the gospel keep mumbling it over and over to themselves. Meanwhile, millions who have never heard it once fall into the flames of eternal hell without ever hearing the salvation story."
~ K.P. Yohannan

"What are we here for, to have a good time with Christians or to save sinners?"
~ Malla Moe

"He must increase, but I must decrease."
~ John the Baptist

"Not called!" did you say? "Not heard the call," I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father's house and bid their brothers and sisters, and servants and masters not to come there. And then look Christ in the face, whose mercy you have professed to obey, and tell him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish his mercy to the world.
~ William Booth

April 14, 2011


The following scenarios (and responses) are true stories taken from The Santos Times.

 ~ One ~

The Santos children are gathered around their mother to listen to the next chapters from their read-aloud book.  My 'Middle Skittle' doesn't understand metaphors and gets confused.  Instantly "stressed" she pouts and puts on a complaining attitude. "I don't get it! I don't like this book! This is boring!"

Distracted Response:

Mother sighs.  "Well, then go draw or something so we can hurry up and finish this book."  The younger brother joins her in playing and it is only the oldest who ever hears the next chapters.

Focused Response:

Mother:  "That is not a good attitude. If there is something you don't understand ask nicely 'Momma, would you please explain that part?'  I want to help you learn."

Middle Skittle: "Momma, would you please explain that part about the green chalk?"

Mother Santos takes time to explain what a metaphor is.  Then she tells the group what the author meant by the statement "Scooter's profile was freckled green chalk in the twilight."  The whole clan giggles understanding.  Three  new words are learned (profile, twilight and metaphor ) and everyone goes on to hear the next chapters.

~ Two ~

Walking in the parking lot, brother trips sister.  Sister manages to stop herself from falling on her face but does scratch up her hands.

Brother: "Oh, sorry."

Sister: "Yeah Right! You did that on purpose." She sticks out her tongue to share her deeper feelings.

Brother: "Did Not!" and returns a cross-eyed, tongue wagging face.

Distracted Response:

Mother: "Hey guys, stop fighting and be still!"

Focused Response:

Mother to sister:  "A young lady never sticks out her tongue.  It is vulgar and rude.  The Bible says 'a soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.' Now,  tell your brother "I forgive you."

Sister: "I forgive you, brother"

Mother:  "Now, thank God that you did not have a more serious fall."

Sister: "Thank you God for keeping me safe."

Mother to brother:  "Brothers are to protect and provide for their sisters.  Please be careful how you walk.  The Bible says 'do not return evil for evil.'  Apologize to your sister for arguing and making an ugly face."  

Brother: "I'm sorry sister for fighting with you. I'm glad you didn't get a bloody nose!"


Life in general is distracting. What's for dinner, paying the bills and health challenges are at the top of the list.  But nowadays it seems like we are far more distracted than necessary.  Texting, facebook, phone calls, web-surfing; these things can take over a person's thought life.

This was never more real to me than when I went two weeks without internet or phone.

Life slowed down.  I had more time to think.  More time to listen.  I had no reason to usher my children away when their chatter was too much.  So, I listened to their chatter.  At first, I listened with a heavy sigh.  I thought, 'there is so much I need to do on the computer,' or 'I wish I had a phone to call so-and-so.'

It is a little humiliating to admit I had this attitude toward my children.  At the same time, I am thankful that it was revealed.

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Romans 12:3 (italics mine) 

What distracts YOU?  Music lessons? Sports activities? Women's ministries?  That person who makes you so mad?

God tells us what he wants us to think about. 

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Joshua 1:8 

 The more we think (and meditate) on God's word, the more we are able to handle the events that happen in our lives. 

and another thought ~
"If we never have headaches through rebuking our children, we shall have plenty of heartaches when they grow up."

— Charles H. Spurgeon

April 10, 2011


(click on the icon for more daybook fun)


Sunday, April 10th, 2011
Outside my window...

A large stone with big cracks and holes.  Noah has been playing "stone mason" with his chisel and hammer.
I am thankful for...

the return of my internet connection and all that I learned during the two weeks of being "unplugged"
I am learning...

That there is a spiritual foundation to every surface need.

God never stops helping us to grow.  He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it.

From the kitchen...

Juicy orange slices, sweet cantaloupe, and chicken tacos.  What an abundance!  God is so good to give us so much food to eat.  Come over and let us share with you.
I am wearing...

my coat in the house.  It is COLD, but it is also mid-April, so we don't turn the heater on like we used to. Brr.
I am creating...

a Bible study from all that I am learning from the book of Revelation.  What a wonderful time I am having. 

"Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein for the time is at hand."  Revelation 1:3

I am going...

to continue to limit my internet use.  I don't want to miss so much "real life."
I am remembering...

Resurrection Sunday is almost here.  He is risen!  He is risen indeed!

I am reading...

Some biographies with the children.  We just finished Gladys Aylward.  I had read it before, but it was so good to re-read it.  All the things those dear Chinese Christians suffered for their faith!  I was ashamed of how little I will put up with at times.  Yet, look at Jesus.  For the joy that was set before him, He endured the cross.
I am hoping...

My sister has a beautiful wedding.  Of course she will.  Only, I won't be there to enjoy it.

I am hearing...

The children playing with clay at the table, the teapot whistling, "Sophia, turn off the stove!" and Mr. Santos calling me to help with a chore.  I better skedaddle.
Around the house...

The signs of a restful Sunday afternoon...shoes scattered, pillows and blankets on the sofa, and snacky foods out for grabbing.
One of my favorite things...

A few plans for the rest of the week:

School.  A visit with a friend.  Order some lesson books from Keeper of the Faith.  Thank you Lord, for this abundant life I live!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...
(actually, a few)

 The remnants of a yummy fruit tart The Times enjoyed in celebration of our 13th wedding anniversary.

 Not one...
but TWO bouquets of flowers from Mr. Santos.  Would you believe it has been over 10 years since the man has given me flowers?  These made me VERY happy.

Be thou my Vision

I usually get the last hymn of the church service "stuck" in my head and end up humming it for a couple days.  I am always grateful for this.  God uses the words to minister to my soul.  Won't you sing this with me today? 


Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

What do you want God to Be in your life? If you would like to listen, click below:

April 05, 2011

No communication

For the next few days (weeks, months, forever?) Mr. Santos has decided that we will not have internet or phone at our house.  I am at the library to check my e-mail and to say hello to you all.

It is very strange to go "off-line".  I don't know what is going on in blogland. I am not up on the latest controversies. My friends can't call me and I can't call them. I have been tempted to rebel -  to demand my rights and not accept this limitation placed on me.

But instead, I am taking it as from the Lord. After all, he is in control of my life. Do I believe this?  We demonstrate what we believe by how we live.

Life has slowed WAY down.  My children and I  talk face to face more.  Our door is open to any visitors who want to know how we are.

So, there's the head's up.  I will be preparing posts for you all and trying to visit as I can.  Until then, the tea pot is whistling and the banana bread is warm.  Come over! 


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