Saturday, March 28, 2009

Blogger Friend School #126 Can You Hear Me Now?

Memory Verse: Mark 12:28-34

28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Intro: When Jesus starts his response with “Hear O Israel”, he’s referencing back to the Shema - from Deuteronomy 6-4 - Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One and Only, Blessed Be his Glorious Sovereign Name for ever and ever. Jesus says this is His greatest commandment. Like.. if you asked your child(ren) to clean a room.. and it wasn’t done.. they responded to you and said.. I heard you. What good is it if they heard you.. but didn’t DO it. So for us to say, we heard God.. but ignored his instructions.. that’s not good enough.

Assignment: What does God mean when he says HEAR.. he says it often.. if we don’t have an auditory reception of His voice. why is he saying HEAR.. what does it mean, what are we losing in translation? The word Shema doesn’t just mean Hear.. like what your ear receives.. it means more. Tell in your assignment what you think Shema means whether it’s active hearing or auditory hearing. I’m very anxious to read your thoughts on this. I hope you will all enjoy doing this assignment, as we are trying to dig deeper into the Word and have a better understanding of what the Bible really is about.

When I read this assignment on Tuesday, I got all excited about it, because I really do enjoy digging into words and meanings. Then life began to happen and suddenly I find myself here on Saturday with a page full of notes ready to post. Phew. It's been a full week! Yesterday was our last "official" day of classes before our spring break, so now I feel like I can breathe a little easier. Maybe I'll be able to catch up on the rest of the unfinished posts I have waiting for me!!!

So, here's where God led me in this study...
The Spanish verb oír and the Spanish verb escuchar.
  • Oír -- to perceive sounds, to give into the pleas of someone = hear
  • Escuchar -- to listen attentively; take into account; obey = listen

There is just something about the Spanish verbs which is different. During the past 100 years, American English has undergone a few changes. Nothing which terribly changes the actual language, but the rules have relaxed (in more ways than just grammar, for sure!) and many slang words have been added. Some words which used to be commonly used in a positive way are now used in a negative way or not used at all. For instance, my daughter was commenting the other day that someone accused a friend of hers of being "descriminating". I told her that 100 years ago, being descriminating was considered a good thing. In our language today, descrimination is only a bad thing. Many words are like that. Dumb used to just mean speechless, toilet was something everyone did to prepare for the day and gay was how you felt on a spring morning.

While the meanings of "hear" and "listen" haven't changed with the passing of time, it's good to slow down and really look at their meanings. In English they are used almost interchangeably, but not so in Spanish and also not so in the original Greek and Hebrew. The word translated oír or hear is a passive word. It implies that the hearer is just receiving. Escuchar or listen, on the other hand, are acitve verbs. That means that there is work being done on the part of the receiver -- some processing or application going on.

I focused on two main verses which use the word hear. The first is an Old Testament passage, the one which Jesus quoted in the passage above.

Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.
The second verse is from the New Testament:
James 1:22-23 ...But be doers of the word and not merely hearers...

In the first verse, the verb is the active form of the word. Take notice! Listen up!

In the second verse, the word used would be what your child is doing about 30 seconds after you begin lecturing about the state of his bedroom. He hears you, but he's checked out. He's already heard it, he knows what you're going to say, if he just looks like he's paying attention, you'll stop ranting soon, and he can get back to whatever it is that he really wants to listen to.

And that, my friends, is exactly what God says NOT to do! Don't just read your devotional book in the morning, move your bookmark to the next page and get on with your day. The woman who does that is (as the Bible says) like the person who looks in the mirror and then walks away and completely forgets what she looks like. Here's the whole passage from the book of James:

James 1:22-25 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

I hope this post encourages you to really listen to what God wants to tell you -- be an active listener, not a passive hearer!

Thirteen X Two = Fun

This post is otherwise entitled: Bad Mommy! You forgot to post about the twin's birthday!!!

Jessee and Seth are very forgiving, though! Thanks, guys!!!

One cool thing about having a birthday right after a US furlough: you get American gifts!!!


And American candy!!!

Thanks to a couple of gifts from some wonderful friends in Oregon, we even had an ice cream cake!!! (Thanks Aleta and Shari!!!) This was a first attempt -- and it turned out great, if I do say so myself! There weren't a whole lot of leftovers, that's for sure!

Happy 13th, Jessee and Seth!!!!
We love you!

Winter Furlough -- The Saga Continues

Well, here's the latest installment in the Furlough Novela!

Our snow trip!

We promised the kids that at some point in our journey, we would be able to play in the snow. Never mind that the warmest article of clothing that any of us had was a fleece scarf! We would do it, and it would be worth it!

We did, and it was!!!

Our Portable Home

It "just so happened" (if you believe in coincidence, which we don't) that the Douglas County Homeschoolers' Group was hosting a tubing expedition at Diamond Lake the week that we were in town. Very cool! We borrowed snow clothes from just about every family in church (not really, but it felt like it!) so everyone would be toasty. What a fantastic time!

We homeschoolers basically had the mountain to ourselves and were able to slide down the hill as many times as we wanted during the course of the day. Did I mention that it was fantastic?

I took a little under 300 photos, and only about 15 of them were garbage, so it was really hard to choose just the right ones for this post. If any of you readers happen to have been on this trip and would like to see the other 2oo+ pictures. I got good shots of a lot of the people there -- not just our crew. The pics are hosted at

Alright, here are the photos...

Proof that I was there!

One thing I didn't get a picture of: Andrew and I were preparing to be towed up the hill. We were lying across the tube and holding tight to the rope. I realized that our gloves were about to be caught in the rope, so at the last moment -- just as the girl running the lift said, "GO!" -- I let go to move my hands down a bit. Apparently, Andrew let go at exactly the same moment. Suddenly we found ourselves plopped unceremoniously on our bellies, watching our tube bump merrily away up the hill. We were both laughing so hard we could hardly get up! Our friend Patrick said that it looked like one of those tricks where the magician pulls the tablecloth out from under the table setting. I'm sure that contributed to the collection of aches I had the next morning, but it was worth it!
When our fun in the snow was over and everyone was sufficiently cold and tired, we headed home to Winston. We stayed in the Roseburg area through Sunday- and on Monday we headed north to see Aunt Debbie, Uncle Mark and the rest of the family -- those who were available and not snowed-in, that is! Like I said, we weren't able to see everyone, but it was great to see those we did!!!
Next post: The Northernmost Point

The Outdoor Hour -- Challenge #2

This week's challenge was to use our sense of hearing to observe our surroundings. We split up and went 6 different directions (seven, if you count Sarah who went to the kitchen table to work on her French homework!) and spent 20 minutes sitting quietly, collecting sounds.

Great assignment. Looking back on it, I think I should have taken the whole group with me and assigned places for them to sit -- I kind of got the feeling that the oldest boys listened intently exactly as long as it took to get 10 distinct sounds and then high-tailed it back to the house. On the other hand, though, I can't fault the lists they came up with!

All three of the older boys are working through Wordsmith (a creative writing program). The unit the twins are currently studying is all about expressing the 5 senses through writing. They really got into this science assignment! I asked them if I could post their lists and they said, "Sure!" but only Seth knew where his was right off the top of his head. [You have to excuse Jessee. The boys have been living in a tent for two weeks while the cement roof of their room dries. They're doing good if they end up being able to find two of the same shoe, let alone a week-old school assignment!!! ;^) ]

So, here's what Seth came up with...(including the formatting)
Mocking bird singing
Car rumbling
Waves crashing
Workers talking
Cement-mixer turning
Wind sweeping through
Motor boat
Trees swishing
Worker whistling
Flies buzzing
Door slamming
Shovel scraping
Dog barking

We all had fun with this assignment. Andrew and Evie struggled at first with sounding out words they didn't know. I reminded them that it wasn't spelling class, so they weren't going to be graded on their spelling. With the pressure removed, they relaxed and really got into listening. Andrew was so funny! "Mom, did you hear the guy with the hammer? What about the guy with the shovel? The guy with the machete?" Can you tell he's really into tools? I honestly thought it was the same guy all three times. And to think I used to worry about his hearing!

Evie showed her personality, too. She said she heard 5 or 6 different birds and two or three different plants moving in the wind (rustling, that is...we don't have Ents here).

After the twins shared their poetic lists, Caleb chuckled and said, "I really didn't go in for the whole 'fancy' thing. I heard..." and he read off his list. It was a good list and it showed he was listening! I told him that he wasn't going to be graded on style! :^)

Our plan for next week (first week of spring break) is to make these lists into scrapbook pages for our science notebook. I'll take a photo when we get it done!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Winter Furlough -- Oregon or Bust!

We made it to Oregon with no incident. I like trips like that!

We lived in the Roseburg area for almost 10 years, so you can imagine that we have quite a few friends and family members that we needed to spend time with. Our home church threw a big "Mexican Potluck" the Sunday that we were there. What a blast...and yummy! We hadn't had enchiladas in ages! (Enchiladas are not part of the regular menu in this part of Mexico!)

This is Christian, the sound tech, at New Hope. He and I fought with Powerpoint for the better part of an hour Sunday morning, but we won!!!

It was great to be worshipping with our old friends...and some new ones, too. I do miss the old piano, though. Keyboards are nice, but there's just a special "feeling" to good old piano keys. I think that it is especially true when it's a piano you've played a lot. Every keyboard feels different and playing one you're accustomed to is like "coming home". Sentimental fool, I know.
Here's Andrew roasting hotdogs in the fireplace at Pastor Dave and Julia's house.

Doug and our friend John talking about who-knows-what while the kids and Jennifer, his wife, were down at the stable riding. Doug and I were totally wiped out at this point in our trip, so we kicked it at the house while the kids rode.
When you're gone for a while, you miss some things! This little one is the new daughter of one of the young ladies who used to be in our youth group...way back when. Sigh. I feel kind of like a grandma! Kind of. Sort of. Maybe not. Anyway, we got to see several of our youth group kids and meet their children. Another sigh. There were some we didn't get to see and that made us sad, but I hope they know they are in our prayers!

We had a chance to get together with our friends who came down here in December. That was really cool. Here we are praying together before everyone headed home.

We just had a wonderful, although too short, time in Winston. We saw a ton of people, ate way too much -- including some yummy homemade ice cream at Shari's house -- and basically enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.

The high point for the kids during our time in the Roseburg area? You'll have to wait for the next episode for the answer to that question! Hint: It made being cold worth it.

Fun Fact Friday -- It's Blue!

Did you know that it's really easy to make your own colored sugar sprinkles?

Just add a little food color to a half-cup of sugar and mix well.

Oh, by the way, the blue is a lot of fun!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

Ultimate Blog Party 2009
Welcome to the party! Thanks for stopping by Beautiful Feet. Allow me to introduce myself, and then feel free to click around the room at your leisure. I've uploaded some of my favorite desserts over here. Sugar and calorie-free, of course. I love virtual desserts!
Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake

Fresh Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon bubble bread

That's not me. That's my oldest daughter, Sarah.

Coffee and tea are over there.

Drinks are being served in my favorite, environmentally-friendly coffee mugs (most importantly, they don't shatter when dropped on cement floors!)

Here's a quick look at who I am:

I'm Rebecca!

I'm a not-getting-paid-to-work-at-home mom of 6 kids. "Stay-at-home" implies to me that I never get outside, and I don't work. While that is sometimes true, it's a preference thing not an obligation. I like being a home-body, but if it's not work, I don't know what is!

My husband, Doug, and I moved (with our family, of course) from the Pacific Northwest to sunny Sinaloa, Mexico, a little over 3 years ago. We are missionaries working with a Calvary Chapel church in Boca del Rio, which is a small fishing village about a half-mile up the coast from our home. Doug is the youth leader and I...well, I do whatever it is that needs to be done at the time. Sometimes I'm the kitchen crew chief or the pianist or the photographer.
Sometimes I'm the local vet. I've led Bible studies and been the chauffeur for women's retreats. I was even Mama Clown once.

We have homeschooled our kids for almost 16 years. I started out a bit eclectic but pretty structured in my teaching strategies, and I've relaxed some over the years! ;^) You'll see some of our curriculum choices on the right sidebar. Also in the tag cloud (top of the page) you'll see all the lables for the posts at this blog. Click and read to your heart's content.

I participate weekly in Blogger Friend School. It's a great way to force myself to blog regularly and to push me outside of my comfort zone a bit.

I'm just beginning to host the weekly meme "Fun Fact Friday" over at our family blog. It's only been up and running for a couple of weeks, so it's a pretty new thing. I'm hoping it will be a fun thing -- my kids have been looking forward to it, since there aren't a whole lot of kid-appropriate memes out there!

I blog on not-quite-dinosaur-speed dial-up, so you'll never find YouTube videos here, but I enjoy creating little animated gif thingies and playing with I'm finding that the longer I blog, the more fun it becomes...except, of course, when the computer is being difficult, but that's part of the challenge!

Here's our house (it's a work in progress)...

Here's my view (it's really hard to choose a favorite -- we get 365 great sunsets a year)...

Here's our beach, which is about 2 blocks from our house. This photo was taken in December. To us, it's too cold to swim in the ocean in December, but our friends from Oregon thought the 80 degree weather was perfect for bodysurfing and sandcastles...

And that's probably enough info for one post! Be sure you leave a comment so I can come visit your party, too! And again, thanks for stopping by! I hope to see you here again soon!

Dios te bendiga!