Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Word Up!!!

Okay, so the makers of Visual Latin, a high school Latin curriculum, have outdone themselves with this fun approach to learning Latin and Greek roots.
My big two love Visual Latin, and Caleb has almost finished his first "year", along with reading Lingua Latina.

Anyhow. Noah had finished his current Latin work, and was so excited to move on to something new. I really didn't feel that Visual Latin was the right "next step" for him, despite all the fun his brother and sister were having with it.

Enter: Word Up! The Vocabulary Show!!! A fun little video introduces 10 new words with the Latin root and 10 new words with the Greek root.  This is such a fun way to bridge the gap, and increase Noah's vocabulary, without being too rigorous academically. After the video, there are FREE online activities including flashcards, games, and tests.

Right now, it's only $10!! And with the online content, each group of words can easily last a week (or two!!).

The first root was the word for water: Aqua in Latin and Hydra in Greek.
They learn all about aqueduct, aqueous, aqualung, aquatint....hydrate, hydrant....well. You get the point.

Today, Judah (age 3) informed me:
"Mom, Ezra and I are going to jump on the trampoline. But if it starts raining aqua....then we will come inside."

Monday, November 10, 2014

Can barely contain my excitement...

If you know me, you know that I research things. I have a joke with my husband where I tell him, "I know things." Usually, this is because he is surprised that I know something that seems fairly random for a...ahem...middle-aged mother of (soon-to-be) seven.

I have known for some time that I wanted to use this curriculum. I just wasn't sure when or how.
Summit ministries offers some fantastic resources, both by way of curriculum, and conferences, as well as a "semester" for high school graduates before going on to college. Their focus and heart is worldview.

As I prayed over Emma and Caleb for this year, the one thing I was most burdened for them was: worldview.  But there was still the issues of finances, timing, and how to fit this in with all the other stuff!!!!

Needless to say, the day has come. Today is their first day of the Lightbearers curriculum. It is intense. (They say an hour a day for 180 days). I don't know how accurate that is, because I'm just starting out.  But I am so excited to see how God will use this tool to grow our thinking and evaluating of what is around us.  I love thinking deeply about my God....and I am excited to see what the next 180 days will hold for us.��

PS-they have to do a pre-test today, where they answer yes or no to questions like, "If I obey God, things will pretty much go well for me."
Yikes. I'm so glad they get to start thinking about this stuff now!!

Friday, November 07, 2014

Just the beginning...

This kid came in early this morning and asked to snuggle. (This isn't his usual). Then, he quietly announced, "I finished the Bible today."  Caleb started in Genesis and read all the way through.  He says it has taken him two years and two months-which means he started just after turning eight. He is ten now. 

I am amazed. Daddy smiled and asked him, "So, was it good?" ;-p
I asked what his favorite book was and he said "Revelation."  Wow. 
I don't really have the words to convey all that I'm thinking and feeling. I'm so proud of this young man! And because of his example, his brothers (Noah, age 8, and Ezra, age 6) have started reading in Genesis.
One of the most amazing things about God's Word is that it is alive. It changes us. We can read it over and over and it never stops flowing the lifeblood of our God into us, and washing the blood of Christ over us. It never stops changing us, but is always useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

So. As I told my sweet boy this morning, this is only the beginning..... :-)

"It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it."
Isaiah 55:11

Tuesday, November 04, 2014


Most days....life is crazy. You find yourself just wanting to take a breath for a moment. Life, these days, is just....FULL. For everyone. The hustle and bustle. The classes and the appointments and the activities that we all think are so necessary.
It's easy to miss the *holiness* of each moment.  Every once in a while, God gives us this beautiful sense that stops us in our very tracks and reminds us to "take off our sandals", because the ground we are on is holy. Something is happening that we can't always taste or see or measure. 
Little tiny fingers are learning to fold in reference. Little tiny mouths are learning to say "Amen"....and there is an awareness that their childlike declaration of "let it be so" carries heavenly weight. The voices of children are lifting up simple prayers that are more profound than you thought possible.  Sweet boys give up play time to push little sisters on swings.
Things are happening.
I don't want to miss it. So today, I won't hustle and bustle. Today, I will choose to take off my sandals and bask in the holiness of the moment. Today, I am asking God to help me look not to the things that are seen (which include messes and squabbles), but on the things that are unseen.  BECAUSE..."the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." (2 Cor. 4:18)

Oh Lord! Give me eyes to see what is eternal today. My soul craves what is unseen...that holy ground where the mountains are moved by the smallest seeds of faith. There are so many things I get wrong. But today, I'm digging my toes into this holy ground. I'm slowing down. I'm seeing....with my heart. And I'm thankful.....

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Noah Benjamin, age 8

My dear Noah Benjamin,
     You are eight years old!!!! There really aren't enough words to say what you bring to our family. You experience just about every emotion to an exponential degree. Because of this, you are one of the most snugly and cuddly boys I know. You are a dreamer, for sure! You are so very loving and thoughtful. 
     Your joy is so full and so abundant that you love including others in it (this is one of the ways I love seeing you reflect the heart of our God).  When we did your "last hoorah" of candy before you got your braces on, you very happily shared your candy with all your siblings. Down to the very last piece.  
When you got your new scooter for your birthday, within minutes, you allowed Judah to take it for a spin because you wanted him to share in the fun too.
     These last couple of weeks with braces....all I can say, is that I have been so amazed at the depth of character and integrity that has been growing in you. You have borne each sacrifice with such honor, and such grace. It's not easy being faced with a long list of: you can't eat.....  But you, son, have been SO faithful to not eat the items you have been asked not to, even if you were given an "out." You have remained faithful and true, even when it meant forgoing both snack and treats at church. All this to say: we are so proud of you, and of the character God is building in you. It seems that these moments that have gathered up into days, which have gathered up into weeks, and months, and now eight years!!!! Well, they have begun to produce a harvest. It is amazing to see the fruit that God is producing in you. Is it encouraging and inspiring.
     And so Noah.  This year, we pray that you would continue in the steadfast love of our Savior. We pray that you would know what is the height and depth and width and length of God's love for you in Christ. We pray that you would continue to be captivated by the joy that Jesus came to give you-it is full, and complete, and it is meant to spill over on to all those around you. We pray that the light of Christ would shine ever brighter in you, and from that amazing smile of yours.  And we pray that you would continue to DREAM BIG for God's glory and His Kingdom. We love you Noah Benjamin.
For the King! And His Kingdom!!!
With love,
Mommy and Daddy

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ezra the Great!

Six years old!!!! Sporting his new tool pouch.

Oh Ezra Lucas Knight Hester,
     I wish I had the words to say how much you bring to our family. And to me personally. I have learned more about the love and grace of God than ever. You are sometimes, a little challenging to parent. But it is not because you are a bad kid....it is because you are extraordinary. Once you set your mind on something, you simply must do it. (Many times, regardless of the consequences). And although this presents some challenges for a mom of a (now) six year old, it would be sad if I did not recognize how amazing this quality is in the heart of a young man.
     You are such a hard worker. I can give you tasks beyond your years because you will work SO hard. You have amazing initiative. At this stage in life, that works against me sometimes. But later, and even now at times, it is unbelievable how you can recognize when something needs to be done and go about doing it all on your own.
     You love big. Your spicy little sister loves you so much and frequently calls out for you when you aren't close by.  You pull Evelyn up into your lap and read books to her.
     You are super smart. At just now six years old, you are working at about a third grade level across the board. It is such a balance because you have LOTS of energy in that body of yours, and I have to remind myself to keep both your body and your mind stimulated and a little challenged in order to *help* you stay out of trouble.
     Some of your favorite time with Mommy or Daddy is when we read your special book, His Mighty Warrior.  This has been an invaluable resource as a devotional, and as an encouragement for your sweet heart as a warrior, and servant of the Most High King.
     This year, we pray that you would grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We pray that you would be surprised with joy at how wonderful it is to serve so great a King. We pray that your heart of love and service will grow.  And I pray personally, that I will love and serve you as your mom in such deep ways that you will always know how much you are loved by the Father.
     We are so thankful for all that you bring to our family, Ezra!!! 
For the King! And the Kingdom!
With great love,

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Big change...

Noah did such a great job! His braces are on and we just need to get used to a new way of eating and brushing and such.