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Joshua or Judah

I know many of our family and friends are curious as to why, after calling this baby Joshua for my whole pregnancy, we named him Judah after he was born. Here is the journey God took me on and why his name was changed.

The hills and the valleys - A lesson in faith through the storm

Isaiah 49:15 NLT

"“Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you!"

When I married my husband and took on his last name, which means “hills and valleys” I didn’t fully realize about the hills and valleys in the life I was going to live. This lesson started long before I realized what I was learning so I wont start at the beginning I’ll start where I first realized God was doing a work in my life. It was August 25th 2012. I was pregnant with our 3rd child and quite excited about it. After two normal and healthy pregnancies I assumed this one would go exactly like the others, after all I was young and healthy, why wouldn’t it go well?

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Stare down the Waves

Dear J,

Today at church we sang a song and one of the lines was "I'll stare down the waves because you own the tide" and it brought me to tears thinking of you. A year ago you had a near drowning experience in the waves that had us rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. You were awake, but unresponsive for nearly 45 minutes, then suddenly and without any warning you 'came back to us' and started singing UpTown Funk to the EMT. I still don't know what happened that day in the waves, why you suddenly passed out, why you were 'gone' for so long, or why you just as quickly you returned to us. This year when we went back to the beach I didn't know how you would handle the waves after that experience still fresh in your head, but you happily danced and played and kicked at the waves swimming way far out with dad and Grandpa without any fear. Your name, as I'm sure you are tired of us telling you, means Praise the face of God, my how you have taught me to do just that even when I don't have the answers to the tough questions, even when my faith feels like it will break like it did that day on the beach a year ago as I held your limp body in my arms. You, my sweet and wonderful boy, surely do stare down the waves bringing praise to God because you know He owns the tide. I love you, I love the praise you bring to our family, I love your bold faith when you pray. I'm glad dad and I get the honor of raising you.

Antarctica - travel journal

Day One of our Antarctic journey has us aboard an ice cutting cargo ship carrying supplies to the small year round base on the Antarctic continent. The boat’s hule is lined to break through the ice, and it creates a path through which other vessels can pass as well. We took a few hits from icebergs along the way and had to make repairs. We were all a little sea sick as the turbulent seas reached 60 foot swells. Upon arrival Mom fell to the ground and kissed solid land, and we spent the night resting and looking over the pictures from our Southern Ocean journey.

Basically the kids were on the top bunk of the bunk bed while I was on the bottom. M used a cup as a telescope watching out for icebergs, while J used a frisbee to steer the ship and D used a few cups and plates to adjust pressure release valves and monitor the research equipment. All the while I shook the bed and yelled things like “hard to port” and “Look at the Adelie penguins on the iceberg on our starboard side”. They all caught on and started yelling those sort of things to. D had to go below deck, the bottom bunk with me, and patch a few holes because J wasn’t a good sailor and knocked us into a few icebergs. When we arrived we discovered M’s cup was also a camera and she had taken pictures of the penguins and some of the ice so we could compare the ice formations as time passed, which basically meant we pretended to plug the cup into the TV while we all commented on the imaginary pictures we were seeing.

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Antarctica a lesson plan

It’s winter time in Antarctica and to demonstrate that we are leaving our blackout curtains closed for most of the day opening them only for a few hours around lunch and then closing them back up. Now I love my daylight so I can only tolerate this for a single day, if you don’t mind go for it longer. If you happen to visit Antarctica when it’s summer time you can try sleeping with the lights on.


Icebergs! It is full on heat of the summer here so a little outside playtime with icecubes is just what my little tikes need. For this project you are going to need a bath tub, water table, or sink - something deep enough that your icebergs can fully float in. You’ll need some craft sticks, a pen, and cup as well. Using the pen make lines on the craft stick, we are doing it each centimeter. Once your craft sticks are marked place them into the cups and fill them with water and freeze overnight. Try to keep the stick towards the edge so you can see your marks. Fill your vessel with water and then pop in your “icebergs” have them kid observe how they float, lead them into noticing how much is above the water and how much is below, etc.

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Cartography Lesson Plan

This week is an Art Club week. Which basically means a few friends come over I teach a lesson in art and then teh kids have at it. With the new world tour we are doing I'm no longer going to be focused on fine art lessons and rather taking each of the other kids along for a part of our journey. This week my kiddos will be learning more about the world as a whole and working on their vocab from last week (camp put us a little behind on that). We'll be focusing on the art of map making, or Cartography. I'm using the lesson plan from our Geography Through Art book on page 23. I'm modifying the creation of the maps a little, because I can't ever do anything exactly as I'm told... We'll be using some old ink pads that I have to distress the edges of the maps to give them a fun aged look. I also have some fun handmade paper that the kids will be using to make their maps look even more antique. I'll have them start out on a piece of copy paper then move to the handmade stuff once they know what they want their maps to look like.

You'll Need

  • copy paper or handmade paper
  • pens
  • ink pads
  • cotton balls
  • q-tips