Category Archives: Joshua

A New Contest

As with many bloggers, Kathy and I are not afraid to admit that we crave the shallow validation and witty banter of our readers (all seven of them). For that reason, we are sponsoring a new ‘Participation’ contest.

The winner of the contest will be the person who submits the largest number of comments, and will be awarded a valuable music CD, worth thousands of Turkish Lira.

The rules are as follows:

  • Your comment must be at least one full sentence long, and may not include any links to online stores that sell pharmaceutical products of a dubious nature (we get a lot of spam comments, which are automatically deleted).
  • Your comment may not be created by an automated program, but rather must be typed in by hand. Don’t ask me how we’ll tell the difference, programmers aren’t allowed to reveal their secrets.
  • Your comment must have something to do with the post to which it is attached.
  • If there is a tie, we reserve the right to either provide a prize to each person or to have a drawing to determine the final winner. Remember, Sarah is turning five, so 4 may not be her favorite number anymore.
  • Those who have commented already in July will have a slight advantage over those who have not, since we’ll be counting comments from July 1 to 31.
  • We reserve the right to reveal (or not reveal) how many comments each person makes over the course of the month to provoke (or suppress) the competitive spirit.
  • To qualify for this contest, a comment must be submitted during the month of July, but it can be associated with any blog entry since the inception of this blog. We’ll find it, don’t worry. :)

Here is a gratuitous picture of my oldest son, who is one of our most faithful readers, but does not comment much. Maybe this will be the turning point for him?

Joshua on his favorite porch swing
I doubt this boy will win the contest, but I’m not much of a prophet.

Project 365, Day 187

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My Three Sons

It’s morning! Time for breakfast, school, chores and a little brotherly snuggling. Thank goodness there is always a camera at hand to capture these sweet moments. Look, no tears, fighting or name calling. They’re obviously still asleep.

three brothers

Joshua - I’m the long suffering big brother. My smile is calm and serene but notice my death grip on Daniel’s hand. This is definitely a battle I’m going to win.

David - This is such a comfy spot. I love Joshua. Let’s Wrestle, Josh!

Daniel - It may be early morning but I’m dressed and ready to play NOW! Yeah, Joshua, let’s wrestle. I think I can take you!

Ah, brothers! Where else can you push and pull and wrestle and fight and love your way through life?

And, if you are very, very blessed, one day you might end up with sons (and gourds) of your very own.

boys will be boys

Cousin Timothy, Tim, Joshua and Uncle Momo (aka Mark) Thanksgiving 2005.

Kathy – Mother to three boys/Sister to three boys/Wife of just one

I am obviously one of the Very Blessed!!

Project 365 – Day 143

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A Servant’s Heart

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (I Peter 4:10-11)

Two of my five children have demonstrated an inclination toward the spiritual gift of service. Their hearts quicken with the opportunity to serve. They find joy in helping, often behind the scenes. They frequently anticipate the needs of family members and move to help. They are very different in the way they serve and their personalities and temperaments but the heart to serve is there for both of them. They are not perfect, of course, and sometimes serving (especially family) is the last thing on their mind.

sarah's braids

This cutie pie still requires/needs/demands/enjoys quite a bit of service from her siblings.

And yet, when the moment arises, they hear the whispered need where others often hear nothing. How kind of the Lord to place in our large family some with this gift. They bless all of us, and their (always slightly harried) mama most of all.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. (1 John 3:16)

There was a dinner and musical show at church this evening. The middle schoolers were in charge of serving the meal. Joshua immediately signed up to help. There was, of course, the draw of getting to be with friends, but the rest of the activity seemed a bit lacking on the excitement side. Dress up – not a favorite in any of my children’s opinion, with the exception of Princess Sarah. Serve food to tables of hungry church patrons – this is all wrong in a teenage boy’s mind, the food should be going TO the middle schoolers not AWAY from their hands and mouths.

joshua dressed to serve

Afterward, Joshua told me that he and a few other boys came up with a devious idea for playing a trick on the high schoolers. I braced myself, not sure I wanted to hear any details that might incriminate me or my family.

“The senior highers were in charge of taking down all the decorations and cleaning up. We decided we would do it for them.” Sneaky laughter followed by smug look. “We did everything. We put the decorations away, took down the tables, and cleaned up. I just wish we could be there to see their faces when they see we did their work. Ha! Ha! Ha!”

More laughter.

Um, whose child is this? Adding to the weight of the situation, it turned out Joshua and his two buddies gave up their dinner in order to perform this mischievous “prank”. The rest of the serving crew ate during this time. When asked why they were working, Joshua said,

“I told them, why should the high schoolers get all the fun?”

Um, why indeed.

“They did give me a few odd looks when I said that, Mom,”

No doubt they were jealous, Joshua.

So whether you eat or drink[Or serve hungry church people food and drink] or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (I Corinthians 10:31)

I am often humbled by the work the Lord is doing in the lives of my children. He speaks to me through their example.

P365 – Day 139

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P365 – Day 135 (Joshua Speaks about Health, Fitness and Broccoli)

I’ve asked Joshua to come and share his thoughts on our first week of Healthy Living. Please give Joshua, age 13 and oldest of our five children, a big welcome.


Our guest blogger.

Water - Easy, I drink that much water anyway (1 points for 16 oz, 3 pts max)

Fruit - Trickier than I thought. It turns out I don’t eat that much fruit. Tonight, for example, I was determined to get all 50 points but I hadn’t eaten any fruit. It killed me to think I would only get 48 points. Mom said a bowl of applesauce (a generous bowl) could count as two fruits. Whew. 50 points! (2 points for 2 fruits)

Veggies - An annoyance. I just shovel in the salad. I usually have at least three servings of salad a day. I tend to eat a good helping at lunch (or else you get behind in vegetables). I don’t really like cooked vegetables. Rachel and I disagree strongly on how broccoli should be prepared. I say crispy, stir-fried. Naturally, as everyone would agree, crunchy and close to raw is the only way to enjoy broccoli. Rachel and Daddy, in their confused state of being, like them mushy. Yuck. (Veggies bring in a lot of points as they are rated on a graduated scale; 1st serving = 1 point, 2nd serving = 2 points, and so on up to 5).

Measuring - Another annoyance. Worse than the vegetable requirement. Measuring implies NOT eating, at least the vegetable one lets you EAT. I disapprove of programs that want to restrict that glorious activity known as eating. I am growing 13 year old, after all. It’s especially sad on weekends. I don’t like having to limit my bowls of cereal on Saturday; since that’s when we are allowed sweet cereals. (4 points per meal for measuring, ie limiting quantities).

Desserts - This one is not too difficult although it is a bit worse on weekends. One sweet treat a day is fine during the week. On Sundays, there are delicious goodies after Sunday School as well as treats at Bible study. How am I supposed to limit himself to just one dessert, may I ask? This week they served ice cream cake, Hostess fruit pies (which Mom absolutely forbids/detests), and chocolate cake. All at the same party. Torturous. (1 free treat a day, -2 points for additional desserts).

joshua and his bowl of applesauce

Joshua enjoys his bowl of applesauce.

Exercise - I’m spending a lot of time running on the treadmill at home. I think the treadmill will be very happy when we finish this little month long plan. Since we’ve started, I find my endurance is improving. The laps we run at the YMCA aren’t as difficult. We are granted 10 points for our time at homeschooling PE. I have a new appreciation for the PE program. (5 points for 30 minutes cardio, up to 1 hour).

Weight Training – Push ups and sit ups are both getting easier, though I still don’t like doing them much. I feel stronger which, I guess, is part of Mom’s devious plan. I’m already working up to the heavier weights in my weight training. (4 points for 15 minutes wt training or 50 push ups and 50 sit upts, up to 8 points).

I like this method of doing things. Not forcing or compelling us to work out or eat healty but setting goals and let us meet them (or not). I like the challenge of trying to get all 50 points a day. 50 points = 1 chip and 1 chip = $1.

There you have it. Words of reflection from Joshua. No doubt he wants to earn money because my birthday is just around the corner. He’s a very generous son. :) I’ll see if some of the other children care to be guest bloggers and join us next time.


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P365 – Day 129 (Handy Man Joshua)

Not only he is a pleasant young man to have around, a helpful older brother, and a Civil War buff, Joshua is also very handy with a set of tools. During my IKEA bookshelf craze, Joshua put together Flarke after Flarke for me. When I start to dream about building the ultimate school room, Tim and Joshua tell me we won’t need walls, we can build the entire school house out of Flarkes. Aren’t they helpful! I can’t help it if IKEA sells a $20 bookshelf that holds LOTS of books. I’m a homeschooler, that’s what we do – buy and fill bookshelves. It’s part of the covenant you sign when you decide to homeschool.


I’m sorry but this person is obviously NOT a homeschooler. Or even a reader at all. What is that seven books on the shelf? Sniff.

Joshua serves another very significant purpose – a Project 365 Photo Model! When the day is coming to a close and I realize I haven’t taken any pictures, instead of panicking I just search for a possible subject. Who is still lingering around with the patience of Job? Joshua.

Obviously I can’t just snap a random picture and call that sufficient, no that would be too easy and mean I actually get sleep at night. Instead I have to come up with something a little bit creative. Thankfully Joshua is usually willing to participate (his patient, cheerful spirit is a blessing to the whole family – I have to be careful not to abuse it ruthlessly). Tonight a project presented itself just as I needed some photos. [I have some cute pictures of Rachel's visit to the allergist this morning but I'm not sure she would like them posted on the blog. What do you say, Rachel?? :)]

lazy susan and joshua

One of the Lazy Susan shelves in my cabinet broke today. It didn’t exactly break so much as sink lower and lower into the bottom shelf, rendering it rather useless. Rachel was working on the dinner dishes and Joshua was lying on the couch telling us about Middle School Youth Group when I began setting the stage for some good blog pictures. You have to work up to these things carefully. Fixing the shelf sounded too energetic for Joshua but I managed to convince him to come over and help me unload the shelves. He said I used persuasive words like “sit down while you work.” Did I mention the kids are all a bit wiped out from trying to keep up with the relentless pace of this new Healthy Living? All those vegetables and daily exercise requirements are exhausting.

joshua's puzzled

Taking after his very handy grandfathers (the handy man gene skips a generation in our family), Joshua couldn’t resist the project. That and my threat of going off to get Daniel spurred him on to action. Daniel is VERY talented in the fixing things department (our goal is to gradually bring him to a place where he FIXES more things than he BREAKS – it’s going to be a slow process I’m afraid). Not one to let his younger brother pass him by, Joshua quickly rose to the challenge.

Joshua emptied the shelves but then was stumped at what to do next. He took some screws out but still couldn’t figure out what was causing the trouble. I suggested he look at the Lazy Susan shelf in the upper cabinet to see if that would provide some insight into the problem. Sure enough, that was just the bit of help he needed. The next thing I knew he had taken it apart and fixed the whole thing.

Hooray Joshua!! He even worked on the bottom shelf (the one that WASN’T broken) and raised it up for me a bit. You’re awesome, J!

fixing bottom shelf

A little note to those who noticed Joshua’s (rapidly increasing) height – I don’t know exactly when he passed me by. The last time we were at the doctor’s office (maybe 6 months ago) he was hovering right around 5 ft 8 in. The doctor told him at the rate he was growing (on the growth chart) he would pass Tim’s height by the time he was 14 or 15. My goodness!!

Here he is in December 2006, still a pip squeak, barely my height. Tim is not threatened by Joshua’s growth spurt, no, not at all. He always poses for pictures like that.

christmas 2006

Only a few months later, in April 2007, look how Joshua has grown. Sigh. He’s now claiming to be almost 5′ 10″. How they do insist on growing up! There doesn’t seem to be any way to stop them.

joshua and Kathy


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