The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. Psalm 16:6

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Some fitting sentiments from our dear friend, Mr. Milne:

"When I was One,
I had just begun.

When I was Two,
I was nearly new.

When I was Three,
I was hardly Me.

When I was Four,
I was not much more.

When I was Five,
I was just alive.

But now that I'm Six, I'm as clever as clever.
So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever."

Happy birthday, my little big man.
You bring us joy and smiles every day.
You are our "Sparkles."
Thank God for you.

Love, Mom

Friday, June 19, 2009

Homeschooling - Part 3

This is a continuation in the series on Why We Homeschool.

Here is my explanation of Hoyer Educational Pillar #2:

(2) As their worldview is shaped by the precepts of Scripture, they will be presented with the history of Man from the Fall as a story of the unfolding majesty of God's plan of Grace.

When my oldest was just four and I began considering homeschooling, I was blessed to read The Well Trained Mind by Jesse Wise and Susan Wise Bauer. It clicked with my mental picture of what a great home education could be, and I devoured the reasoning, recommendations, and techniques found within its pages. One of the things that I loved about the classical approach laid forth in The Well Trained Mind was the emphasis on studying history chronologically. What a concept! Start at the beginning and see how the history of the world unfolds. Brilliant!

I do not want to complain about my education, because it really was pretty decent. But, I feel as though I studied the period of history from the American Revolution to the Civil War several thousand times. Really. I can’t remember studying other periods in history at all. I’m sure I did. But obviously the emphasis was on this period in history.

As a Christian, I believe that our Lord is sovereign. He created the universe and has already dictated who will rise to power, what civilizations will flourish, and the outcome of every war and skirmish. It is very important to me that history not be presented as a series of chance events which have culminated in our present society, but that the history of the world is shown as the unfolding grace of God. I also want there to be no disconnect between the Bible stories we learn in the Scriptures and the “secular” history that everyone believes. I want my kids to know that the lush palace life of the Egyptians was enjoyed by Moses in his youth; when the Northern Kingdom of Israel fell it was to the Assyrians; when Daniel was being divinely protected from the raging lions in the lion’s den, he was in Babylon after the exile of Judah.

So how do you go about teaching history as the unfolding majesty of God’s plan of grace when the world would have you think that some accidental cosmic explosion brought this world into being and that you evolved from animals? Get thee a good study Bible and read the notes and introductions! I LOVE my MacArthur Study Bible for this. When planning to study the Babylonians or the Hittites or the Assyrians, find out what your Bible says about these people. What books of the Bible line up with your current topic? Not only will your children be blessed to see that Bible history and school history are one in the same, but you will be blessed for being in the Word of God and seeing just how magnificently His Word lines up with history. You will see that His Word IS history: factual and truthful.

My favorite pick for elementary history is, without question, The Story of the World 4-year history curriculum written by Susan Wise Bauer (who co-authored the Well Trained Mind.) It is a great narrative of history, written in small, digestible chunks in lovely story form. The accompanying Activity Guide offers coloring pages, maps, recommended reading, and crafts/activities. Bauer is a Christian, although the curriculum is not overtly so, allowing for your own personal Bible study to nicely augment the selections. Having maps and globes displayed about the house and available is also key in understanding history. Show them where, roughly, the Garden of Eden was located. Where is the Red Sea that the Lord parted for the Israelites? As missionaries began carrying the truth to far off places, where exactly did they go with the Good News of Christ?

My oldest boy, a history junkie, currently loves some Teaching Company courses he is taking, called Early Middle Ages and Late Middle Ages. Now, at age 12, his own Bible study and knowledge is brought to bear on what he sees and hears in these video lectures. It is wonderful to discuss these things with him! And it’s wonderful when he pauses the lecture to say, “That doesn’t really line up with the Truth.”

Yes. It is a blessing to see fruits of my labors and God’s abundant mercy in my children. It makes the time and the effort so very, very worth it.

Friday, June 12, 2009


If you're interested in listening to the great preaching taking place this weekend at the Resolved Conference, follow this link for the live feed:


John MacArthur, Steve Lawson, C.J. Mahaney, John Piper, Rick Holland. Good stuff. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Our Newest Resident

Oliver Wendell Hoyer
born February 7, 2009
Black Lab


Our beautiful Lillian turns nine years old today! We thank the Lord for His gift of this sweet, funny girl in our family. Here are nine special things about my special little girl:

(1) Until she was 5 years old, she called herself Yiwian. Those "L's" were a bit tough.
(2) She has a dry sense of humor that keeps us all laughing.
(3) She is such a wonderful little mother to her two little brothers. She really has a servant heart.
(4) Her need to be different from everyone else in the family. She definitely is an individual!
(5) Her love of my cooking. What can a mama say? All her favorite foods are things that I make. You gotta love that! (So today we are having strawberry bread, warm potato and sausage salad, and mommy pasta :-)
(6) She's a daredevil! When she's tall enough, she'll be my riding partner at Knotts!
(7) She's such a solid friend. She writes letters and saves seats and just really cares about people.
(8) She can, and frequently does, laugh at herself. What a gift.
(9) She is celebrating her last ever single-digit birthday!

I really, really love you Lillian! We all do. You are a gift from our Lord. Here's to many more birthdays and a life that glorifies Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer!

(Oh, and by the way, she and Daddy are out right now picking out a brand new puppy!)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Universal Studios

We recently went to Universal Studios to celebrate Nicholas' 12th birthday. Universal Studios is not our favorite place (Gustav & I), but our children adore it, so off we went. One of our favorite parts of the whole park is the statue as you walk in , seen in the picture here. Looks like a great statue of a filming scene, right? Well, let me tell you, looks can be deceiving. That man on the right there, with his hand in his pocket...see him? He's real. Yup, he stands perfectly still for a few minutes and then just up and walks to the other side of the display, scaring those who've never seen it before and delighting those who knew it was coming. I don't envy his job, standing in the Cali sunshine with who knows what kind of crazy paint/makeup on, but he sure entertains our family!

We had a fun time on the rides. Gabriel could go on the Jurassic Park ride 500 times in a row without getting bored. We only went on it 5 or 6 times on this trip. The bigger kids just love The Simpsons Ride, even though they'd never seen the characters before in their lives. And Gustav just loves the studio tour and the special effects show.

Here's Nicholas participating in the national pastime of twelve year old boys: stuffing his face! I know it gets worse. Everyone with older boys tells me it only gets worse, but I would rather not think about it. My grocery budget is already bursting at the seams. I remember fondly the days when a $20 bill could feed all of us at the drive-thru. No longer. I will choose to live in the blissful ignorance that this is as bad as it will get. Thanks for indulging me.

We took in one of the fun animal shows this time. We cracked up as these amazingly trained animals did all sorts of hysterical things. What a hoot!

Kurt loved his time in the Curious George area, designed for the littles who are too small to go on any of the rides. There are balls, slides, swings, and all sorts of super-fun things to do. And isn't he so stinkin cute? All matchy-matchy with his shirt and shoes. Come on.

Don't get Gustav started about the parking situation at Universal. You can pay $12 for stinky parking or even more for actual close-to-the-park parking. It makes his blood boil every single time we go there! I even prep the kids: "Don't talk to Daddy while he's parking." heh-heh.

All in all, a great day for the Hoyers. Lots of fun time spent together gets an A+ in my book!