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Psalm 78
. . . we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. .
so the next generation would know them . . . and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Air Show

This past weekend we attended the open house at the Air Force base in our city.

After a picnic lunch in a park (fried rice, egg rolls, and crab rangoon from a tiny hole-in-the-wall Asian greasy-spoon) we joined the other thousands and thousands of people who descended upon the base for the air show. We waited in the car for parking, inching along a mile-long road over the course of about an hour. We saw part of the show from our vehicle. Determined, we waited it out.

It was from our car that we saw the B2 Stealth Bomber fly. I'm sure you've seen these incredible "flying wings." They never cease to amaze me. Looking straight on, they appear incredibly flat!

I spent much of the show in the cool shade of this B-52 bomber (below), with Lydia.

We enjoyed seeing Mr. Edwards's friend Randy, who is an aviation insurer--and a pilot-owner of a Stearman bi-plane. In the picture below, you see our kids posing with Randy (on the left) and the pilot of the Japanese Zero (in the hat) who had performed earlier in a World War II-style dogfight, posing as the enemy Japanese plane. Behind Randy's bi-plane you can see the "Dream Lifter," which is probably the biggest plane I've ever seen!

The B1 bomber roared over us during our picnic lunch. These B1s were stationed at the base when Mr. Edwards was a kid. His house was right in their flight path and they rattled his bedroom windows as they took off.

The Japanese Zero (above) and a picture of the wing walker act (below).

The long line just to park the car and the long hike to the flight line were worth it for the tour of the refueling jet. The kids were able to see how the boom operator does his job offering a fill-up to other planes (Hope's stretched out in the picture below).

They also got to see the cockpit. A dear friend of mine, Joanna, piloted these planes for several years. I wished she could have been there to tell them about it!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Canterbury Pilgrims

You could say, in a way, we are all making a pilgrimage to Canterbury this week.

Hope and Sydney are reading a wonderful retelling of The Canterbury Tales and Lane will be reading a picture book of "The Nun's Priest's Tale" entitled The Chanticleer and the Fox (by Barbara Cooney).

Why, again, did people in Chaucer's day make pilgrimages to Canterbury Cathedral, a journey which is the setting for the story-telling in Canterbury Tales? To pay homage to the tomb of Thomas à Becket.

As the kids were reading in their history about the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas à Becket, in 1170 by Henry II's knights, I decided to dust off my copy of Murder in the Cathedral by T. S. Eliot.

Eliot's short play, written in verse, was penned in the 1930s as fascism was rising in Europe. The young twentieth century, already scarred by the Great War, watched as seismic change roiled the Continent. State governments took unprecedented powers over their people and pressured the Church to capitulate. At least it seemed unprecedented. Eliot knew another historical moment, the murder of Becket, offered a parallel and by looking back he found a way to respond to the current events.

Eliot puts these words in Thomas's mouth:
We do not know very much of the future
Except that from generation to generation
The same things happen again and again.
Men learn little from others' experience.
But in the life of one man, never
The same time returns. Sever
The cord, shed the scale. Only 
The fool, fixed in his folly, may think
He can turn the wheel on which he turns.
Eliot's play ends with the conclusion that we need to acknowledge our need for God and that He alone can rule over us with justice and mercy.
Forgive us, O Lord, we acknowledge ourselves as type of the common man,
Of the men and women who shut the door and sit by the fire;
Who fear the blessing of God, the loneliness of the night of God, the surrender required, the deprivation inflicted;
Who fear the injustice of men less than the justice of God;
. . . We acknowledge our trespass, our weakness, our fault; we acknowledge
That the sin of the world is upon our heads; that the blood of the martyrs and the agony of the saints
Is upon our heads.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Podcast Recommendations

Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, has a new daily podcast you might enjoy. The Briefing is about fifteen minutes, is available first thing in the morning, and provides Dr. Mohler's commentary on about five subjects in the news or cultural conversations.

He has also debuted another new podcast, Thinking in Public, which offers a more in-depth analysis on topics that might interest thinking evangelicals. I particularly recommend the first episode (from 9/13/10)  entitled "The Spiritual State of the Emerging Generation: A Conversation with Christian Smith." (The term "emerging adults" is now given to describe people aged 18 to 29, as this group increasingly delays the milestones of adulthood in our culture.)

I also recommend a recent two-part podcast from Ravi Zacharias's radio program "Let My People Think." Stuart McAllister interviewed Eric Metaxes, author of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. If you haven't read the new Bonhoeffer biography yet, or even if you have, you'll enjoy listening to McAllister visit with Metaxes about the remarkable life of Deitrich Bonhoeffer.

Academy Update: Knights and Castles

In the last five weeks, Edwards Academy students have covered a lot of ground. Rome's fall, the Barbarian invaders, the Christianization of the empire under Constantine, the Eastern and Western empires, the rise of Islam, the reign of Charlemagne, the Viking age, and William the Conqueror and the Battle of Hastings. Whew. And that's just the overview.

Our Tapestry of Grace studies are particularly fun this year since we are back to faithfully meeting with Truth Treasure Hunters, a group of three families who are all using Tapestry of Grace Year 2 (Between Ancient and Modern). With several kids in the group working on TOG's dialectic level assignments, we spend an hour holding a history discussion, followed by an hour working on a group activity. We love this group and how it complements our homeschool work.

So far the kids have made salt-dough maps of Europe, stained-glass Shrinky Dinks, mosaics with salt-dough and beans, and dragon-heads for Viking ships carved from soap.

This morning was our second Classical Conversations (CC) meeting. I'm the tutor for the Abecedarians (do you know what that means?), which means I get to have Toby in my class, along with six other four to six-year-olds. Kids of all ages in CC are memorizing the same set of information, mostly set to jingles or learned through games and play. Today, for the "presentation," all of the kids were asked to bring a favorite story or poem to read or recite. Toby "read" Old Hat, New Hat to his class. Lane read a short selection from The Trumpet of the Swan, Hope read from The Penderwicks, and Sydney read from The Princess and the Unicorn.

Here are some pictures of the kids at a recent outing to the park.

We were able to spend some time at Exploration Place after school one day last week. Mr. Edwards went directly from work and met us at the children's educational museum, where we spent about an hour. (Thank you Grandpa and Grandma Edwards for the family pass.)

The museum has a medieval themed play area that is always fun, but was particularly so given our studies.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Lydia is changing so quickly. She rolls over now and reaches for things. I've also noticed her grasping her hand, not quite "raking," but closing her open hand and scratching at her blanket.

At her four-month check-up, as she screamed during her vaccinations, I noticed her bottom tooth coming through. I'm trying to hold on to every moment, but the time is just flying by with Lydia's babyhood.

One afternoon I found Lane entertaining Lydia in the best way he knew how: sharing an audiobook with her! Notice how he placed the little speakers and carefully held the book for her.

The five Edwardses.

Toby is having preschool three mornings a week with my mother, his Grandma. She is giving him an amazing time of structure and routine and I have have the time to work with the older three students. In the picture above you see him showing his older siblings that he has learned to put the days of creation in order, after they were shuffled.

One of Toby's favorite things about preschool is snack time. Grandma lets him choose a ping-pong ball and look for the letter or number that is written on the ball. If he draws an "A", he must find the "A" on the alphabet strip, then he may choose a snack from the snack basket with the letter "A." Drawing a numeral gives him "free choice" snack.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Post-Library Recess

After we returned from the library, I sent the kids out back to play until lunch was ready. Here's what I saw when I looked out to check on them.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Your Gubmint Workin' For You

Thanks to a fool-hardy government program, used car prices are up 10% this year over last. If only we could turn in the real clunkers--yes, those folks in Congress--and get some cash. Now that would be something to cheer about.
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