Monday, January 26, 2009


Ding! Dong! The WASLs dead! WOO HOO! For more information click here.


Atira is dressed up like her character Joy Ann, a girl who lived in the 1700's and lived the life of a prankster. She planned to move to Virginia as she had run out of people to prank in England. Wonderful story and she did a great job of getting up and reading in front of everyone. The second picture is of Jordan reading his and Peter's addition to a group story that we worked on that day. It amazes me that the kids do so well with speaking in front of a group considering they do not do it that often.
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 Ram (איל ayil, Strong's #352): This Hebrew word is usually translated as a ram but also as an oak tree. Because our modern western minds associate an object with an image we cannot comprehend how the Ancient Hebrew/Eastern mind saw these two objects as similar. The Ancient Hebrews associated an object with its function rather than its appearance. The functional meaning of ayil is "a strong one" and the ram is the strong one of the herd and the oak, the hardest of woods, is the strong one of the forest.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Expanders and brothers

Yesterday we had the joy of purchasing an expander for Atira. It looks like a retainer only it is used to widen and change the structure of the upper jaw and roof of the mouth. The results will hopefully be space for her teeth to fit, so the ones that are pushed forward will hopefully fall back into place. And we are also hoping this will greatly reduce or eliminate her need for braces all together, only time will tell. Anyway, she has this appliance put in, practices taking it in and out. She is sad and does not like how it feels. She keeps negotiating for ways to take it off, break times etc. A couple of tears fall as she realizes this is for full time wear until it has done it's job. Her speech is greatly affected and she is very unhappy about this. I keep reassuring her that it will improve as time goes on and she adjusts to it. Finally the dentist chimes in:
"Atira, your tongue needs to learn it's new placement with the expander in. You will have trouble talking for a while."
Jordan, her ever loving brother shoots in there "THANK YOU!!"
Of course we all busted up giggling, I told Jordan he will need to write the dentist a thank you note. As it turned out that was all that was needed and Atira's tears were turned into giggling and thoughts of revenge. What a wonderful day.


I wish I could express my emotions with this picture. They are of excitement, disbelief, utter suprise, giggling and so on. Why? Well, this girl in the photo with our daughter Atira is another girl named ATIRA! We thought we held the exclusive on that one. In her eight years of life we have not yet met another nor have I found one on the internet and yes, I do periodically look. The fact that her name was the same and spelled the same caused all kinds of excitement in our family. As the story goes, we had headed down to a Messianic congregation called El Shaddai for the day (a good 1 1/2 from our house). When we got there we signed the kids in for the children's program. Shortly after someone came up and said "oh, we have an Atira here!". Yeah right, is what went through my pea brain. I am thinking sure, Atera, Tera, Utara, Atara etc etc. Not Atira. Finally a girl comes up and grabs our Atira asks if she can take her to meet the other one and sure enough there she is! Same spelling and all! Only she is about 9 years older! Her parents named her that for similar reasons as ours too! They have very similar likes and dislikes, it was really quite incredible. She was also the sweetest girl, very personable and a joy to visit with. Pretty incredible!
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Um. What can I say? It was Friday night, he is feeling better and we were looking for a few laughs. In case you are wondering, Build a Bear clothes, purple angel wings, karate outfit and silky tap pants. We figure it all worked together seeing how he has had a special operation now.
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Jordan and friends

One thing Jordan loves about our Friday field trip days is that he has his buddies there. Above you will see from left to right, Andrew, Justin, Reuben and of course Jordan. They always have a good time together, sometimes too much of a good time and they forget they are also there to learn something. I am thankful for his friends, they are all very nice and very goofy guys.
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Katherine Grace Bond

I was not so sure about this particular field trip when we were told about it. First of all it wasn't really a field trip, we were heading off to the school to meet and hear from author Katherine Grace Bond. Second, I had never heard of her before. Hm. Well, it turned out to be a very fun adventure! She read us one of her stories "Legend of the Valentine". It was a lovely story about a black boy attending a mostly white school during the time of segregation. He runs into a school bully over and over and all of the other kids side with the bully. One day he comes home and his mom brings out paper and supplies to create valentines. The little boy is very sad and angry, telling his mom he has noone to give them to because nobody likes him. In the end his Grandmother counsels from the bible, telling him to love his enemy and to share with him a valentine anyway. The story ends with the other children sticking up for him in front of the bully and things really turn around. A very sweet story, with a wonderful lesson. This picture is of Atira being interviewed as the character from her story a girl named Joy Ann who is from England. It was a wonderfully funny little interview as she played her role. This week the kids are finishing their stories at home and will come in costume to perform as their character. I am really looking forward to watching this progression of their stories, wonderfully creative!
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Thursday, January 15, 2009


Um, I am wondering who's bed is this anyway? From this picture it appears to be Gunners bed and Jordan just squeezes in wherever he can fit. Goofy dog. Goofier kid, he likes it!
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TALL Tales

Our literature selection for right now is a book called "American Tall Tales" and includes several short stories. This was our first story and we read about Paul Bunyan. How giant he was, how big Babe, his ox was as well. How he adventured over the United States chopping down trees and starting different settlements. Very cute story, we thoroughly enjoyed it. So after our reading time together the kids made breakfast! On the menu was Paul Bunyan sized pancakes, and they did it all! The only thing I had to help with was flipping this mondo giants! None of us could finish even one pancake, they were really huge! It was a very fun morning, I love homeschool days like this!
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11-03-06 / Fish (דג dag, Strong's #1709): In the original pictographic script used to write Hebrew, and other Semitic languages, this word was written with the picture of a door, the letter dalet, representing a "back and forth movement" and the picture of a "foot," the letter gimel. When these two letters are combined we have "the back and forth movement of the foot/tail," a perfect image for a "fish." Interestingly, the "a" in the Hebrew word dag is pronounced with a short 'a' and would therefore be pronounced like our word "dog," another animal with a "tail that moves back and forth." Because of the abundance of fish caught in nets this word is the origin of another Hebrew word - dagah [str:1711] meaning "abundance."

Monday, January 12, 2009

Parental Rights

I have just learned of a change that is in the works with our government concerning parental rights. Please check out the website, sign the petition if you agree and forward it to your friends!
Thank you!
Below is a copy of the letter that was forwarded to me. 

Dear Friend of Parental Rights,

I was in the United States Senate this past week meeting with lawyers for a Senate office.  They told me directly what I have been hearing indirectly on a regular basis ever since the election.

Those who want to change family policy in America to comply with international law are preparing a full-scale effort to seek ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child during this next Congress.  Barbara Boxer recently told a planning group that they intend to use children’s health care as leverage to seek ratification of this UN children’s rights treaty.

Please link to our website to see a succinct summary of the problems with this UN treaty.

The strength of their forces has been greatly increased with the addition of Hillary Clinton as the nominee for Secretary of State.  She will have direct control over the submission of this treaty to the Senate and will acquire the authority under international law to sign any other treaty on any subject.

Hillary Clinton was the person who made the announcement for the Convention on the Rights of the Child when her husband’s administration signed the treaty.  Seeking its ratification is a lifelong dream for her.

Our situation is grim if we were to look only at the position of the elected officials.

However, recent post-election polling demonstrates that almost 70% of Americans do not believe that the use of international law in American courts on such matters is appropriate.  Less than 20% favor the use of international law. (The rest are undecided).   Virtually every sub-group in America opposes this kind of use of international law.

America is on our side. However, we have to be able to get the word out to help people hear the truth about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Our proposed Parental Rights Amendment will permanently stop this treaty.  So we have a one-two punch planned for the internationalists.

First, we must build a huge grassroots movement of patriotic Americans who believe that good families should be able to raise their children without worrying about compliance with international law. 

Second, these same grassroots forces need to convince our elected officials that we are not content with defeating this treaty for today alone.  We insist on a permanent solution.  We need the Parental Rights Amendment. 

I need you to do two things to help this become a reality.  First, please send a copy of this letter to everyone you know who believes in parental rights and American patriotism. 

Second, we need to raise a war chest to get prepared to launch a massive grassroots campaign.  The other side has millions of dollars left in their campaign coffers, and they have the President of the United States, the Secretary of State and all the media waiting to carry their message. 

We can win the debate because we have the truth on our side.  And we have public opinion.  But we won’t win if we can’t reach people.

Will you please make as big a gift as you can to support

Here is what they are saying about us.  At the hearing which featured Barbara Boxer, one of the speakers said that the people who will oppose this treaty are the “narcissistic sovereignty crowd.”  In other words, those who love America first are so guilty of excessive self-love that he describes us as having the mental illness of narcissism.

This is their real heart.  Not only do they want international law to control our families.  They think that we are mentally ill for loving America.

It is time for those of us who believe in loving our families and loving America to rise up!  We will not surrender this country or our children to such people.

Get involved today!  The battle is about to begin.

For God, family, and America,

Michael Farris

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Flood pictures

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MY GOODNESS! What happens after we have record breaking snow fall? Flooding. Lots of it. These photos are taken as we drove around the Snohomish to Everett area. On Thursdays the kids have homeschool PE. We left our home around 12:30 as we went through Snohomish we saw the flooding and the exits were closed off the highway. We made it fine to our class and I was asking the other moms if they heard when the river should crest and they were saying not until 10pm. So, we headed home after class and what we saw was that first photo up on top. Road closed. Thankfully I had a friend who had taken a different route and after calling her she gave me a sneaky way around (not the longggggg way). On our drive home we caught more of these photos, thanks Jordan for helping to take pictures! Yesterday we got a call from Lynn, who asked us if we wanted to see downtown Snohomish, so off we headed for that too! INCREDIBLE! The last two shots are from the river running right behind the main drag through Snohomish. The kids thought the "road closed" sign was kind of funny, after all it is almost covered half way in water! We have also had frinds who have damage from the flooding and I am sure there are many more. We are so sorry for all of those losses. Water is an incredible thing. It is life giving and a blessing, but too much of it and it causes death and destruction. What an amazing winter we have had this year and we are only in the beginning of January.
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Ted Pearce Concert

Oh, we had such a great time! We attended the Ted Pearce concert this last week with several of our friends and it was wonderful to hear him in person. He also shared his testimony of how he came to God, incredible and inspiring. He was a man on a mission, determined he could prove that the biblical history was completely inaccurate and false. It turned his life around, this obsession, and he is now a good and faithful servant of the Most High! He has also had the incredible opportunity to perform in Germany where he participated in a walk to one of the concentration camps, remembering the horrors and atrocities that occurred there. They had a service of remembrance and it was incredibly touching to see the photos and hear the stories. Our night ended with meeting some new friends and enjoying laughs with current ones. I walked away with he new CD as well, and that was a great blessing!
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11-02-06 / City (ער ar, Strong's #6145): Do cities sometime appear as 'dark' places? The Ancient Hebrews seemed to think so. The Hebrew parent root ar can mean a 'city' or an 'enemy.' Take a look at these other Hebrew words, all with the ar root within them. Ariyph is a cloud; sa'ar is a storm; arav is to grow dark; ur is blind; ya'ar is a forest; iyr is a city; sho'ar is offensive or vile and arphel (origins of awful?) is a thick darkness.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

More pictures

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Poor meowdy...poor wallet....

Stupid cat. Why can't he pass a little tiny microscopic crystal when he has to go potty? Why does there have to be a record breaking snow storm making our lives crazy at the same time? Why do the vets charge so darn much money to cure a cat but make it a bargain to have "the shot"? Why do we love our pets so much that we are willing to cough up an obscene amount of money to save their lives? Why don't I post the picture of my cat's bare butt on here? (I have the answer to that one, I am afraid you all will finally figure out just how crazy I am if I did that, especially considering I took the picture. I thought it was funny, it made him look like a cowboy wearin' chaps.) So, Shaggy almost died a couple of weeks back, he had crystals in his urine, it turned into an actual emergency and we decided to have him "re-routed" so to speak. He no longer has real boy parts, as a matter of fact, in many ways he functions more like a girl down there now. I asked Scott if we have to hang a rainbow flag or bumper sticker now. Anyway, I think I may call him Shagalina now. Stupid cat.
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Atira & Elizabeth

So beautiful! Atira and her doll Elizabeth are wearing their beautiful matching dresses from Grandma Sheila! I love it that they make doll and matching kid clothes! Atira was thrilled with this match! (And I really think that Elizabeth enjoyed herself too!)
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