Thursday, April 29, 2010

Springtime Gifts

The month of April has been lovely and we have been given such sweet gifts from the Father.

First of all, our senior-age neighbours decided that they no longer needed the bicycles that they have had in their "cellar" (a.k.a. basement) for awhile and asked if we would like them. I was the only one of the seven of us without a bike and was so thrilled that they thought of us. It is a bit retro, but I love it!

We've had great time with friends!

The boys even found discarded fishing line and made their own poles.


The cool air did not deter the little girls from hanging out at the beach!



We've had lots of time in the sunshine and enjoying the nature in our neck of the woods.

The boys found their first snake this past weekend on a hike with Bob.



And the blooms have been spectacular!





Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

Blessings in Jesus!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Great News!

While I was at the home school convention today I received a text message from Bob letting me know that the new sex ed curriculum has been scrapped by Premier Dalton McGinty! Wow! Praise God!!!

You can read more here and here.

More about the good things from the convention later...

Blessings in Jesus!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sweet Potato Quesadillas

A local restaurant has a great Sweet Potato Quesadilla that I really enjoy. I decided to come up with my own version, which is a little lighter on the cheese and has a couple of yummy additions.









These measurements are approximate, as I just made it up along the way!

Ingredients:
2 sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into cubes and boiled for 15 minutes or until soft; drain well and sprinkle with salt, chili powder and cumin
1 small onion, chopped and sauteed in olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped and sauteed with onion
5-6 cremini mushrooms, sliced and sauteed
1/2 cup chopped broccoli, sauteed
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
8 10-inch flour tortillas

In a frying pan, heat a small amount of olive oil. Add one flour tortilla and layer desired toppings. Then place second tortilla on top. Cook for a minute or two on medium heat. When bottom tortilla is starting to turn brown, flip the quesadilla over for the other side to brown. Keep warm in oven while cooking the remaining quesadillas. Makes four servings.

Enjoy!

Blessings in Jesus!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Protest Planned

We just heard from our friend Chris that the pro-homosexual curriculum story is going national. He was contacted for an interview by a national television outlet but had to decline for a prior family commitment. He is excited that this is not just being put on the back burner, as if it was a small isssue.

If you live in the GTA, please consider going to the protest on May 10 in Toronto.

Here is a related article.

The details of the protest will be posted here.

And even if you cannot make it to the protest, please PRAY that many, many families will show up to make their opinions against this curriculum known. This will affect our own children (yes, even those of us who homeschool) and many generations to come.

Blessings in Jesus!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Prayer Needs

Praying Friends,

We have a few items we want to share with you for prayer.

McMaster is winding up its term in the next 10 days or so. We ask that you pray with us that our fellowship will continue to share the gospel with summer students and especially connect with those who have never heard or received Christ before. Pray that the word of God would spread…2 Thessalonians 3:1 and that the Holy Spirit would empower us like never before.

Community – Some great doors are opening to share with some friends in the community. I [Bob] have shared the gospel with a couple of men who we share office space with. Pray for new life for these friends. There are also 2 other men Bob will be meeting with this week to talk about the Lord.

Lastly, Chris Kovac, a good friend, neighbour and Navigators staff at McMaster, has been leading an opposing voice regarding gender identity and sexual orientation education beginning in grade 3 within our local school board. The board has not really listened to the majority who oppose this implementation. For our US friends, there is a public school board and a Catholic school board. Below is an article in with Chris is quoted in the local newspaper. Pray for wisdom…not sure if this could be one of those Romans 1 situations where God moves his restraining hand of protection if our community is bent on gong this way. There are many in the city that would like to see the policy changed and are considering legal action.


Thanks for praying with us.

Bob and Scarlett Royce



Dear Friends,

Below is an article from the front page of the Hamilton Spectator today. Please read the article to see what the city is planning on teaching kids. Our voices need to be heard on this or untold numbers of children will be taught material that will have a negative lasting influence on this next generation. There is a poll on the spec home page today with a forum to post responses. Please take the time to vote and let your voice be heard. The poll can be found at www.thespec.com.

Peace,

Chris Kovac


Sex ed moves to Grade 3




Sexual orientation on the curriculum

April 15, 2010

Carmelina Prete
The Hamilton Spectator
(Apr 15, 2010)

Ontario elementary schoolchildren will learn more detailed sex education in earlier grades under a new province-wide curriculum that begins this September.
The revised curriculum, to be taught in all school boards in Ontario, also means for the first time, children will learn about "invisible differences" such as sexual orientation and gender identity in Grade 3.
In addition to learning about healthy relationships, self-esteem and the value of delaying sexual activity, students will learn about some potentially controversial issues. Some of the material to be discussed includes:
* In Grade 4: puberty and its physical and social changes. It's now taught in Grade 5.
* In Grade 5: the concept of personal desire, liking someone "in a special way."
* In Grade 6: personal pleasure in masturbation, vaginal lubrication and wet dreams.
* In Grade 7: sex acts such as oral sex and anal intercourse.
Some parents and educators don't support such explicit teachings about sexuality.
"For some kids, it's too much too soon," said Vilia Milic, a Hamilton school teacher who taught for 36 years before retiring last year. "We're not letting kids be kids. We're rushing them. Whatever innocence is left will no longer be there ... I don't think it's the responsibility of schools to go into specific detail. It's problematic."
Chris Kovac, a Christian father of three, said teaching about same-sex relationships in Grade 3 is "completely inappropriate."
"They're little kids. Why get them thinking about things that has no relevancy to them at this point?" he said. "I'm paying taxes into a system that's teaching my kids something that's counter to what we believe at home. They should have to remain neutral on matters of faith and religion. "
Ministry of Education spokes-person Gary Wheeler said teaching about gender identity and sexual orientation is part of the province's overall commitment to inclusive education.
The province's equity and inclusive education strategy aims to see students of all diversities reflected in the curriculum.
At the same time that the province implements these changes to the health curriculum, it is also expecting school boards to have equity policies in place that deal with issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. Those policies have also drawn strong reaction from upset parents who don't agree it should be incorporated into their children's education.
The health and physical education curriculum, updated for the first time since 1998, reflects how the approach to teaching health has changed, said Wheeler.
"The focus is on helping students build skills for making healthy choices."
Sarah Flicker, a York University assistant professor who reviewed the curriculum, says the ministry's commitment to acknowledge sexual pleasure and desires to youths is innovative and terrific.
"Often when we talk to kids about sex-ed, it's a no-no-no, finger-wagging thing. It doesn't speak to the reality. Why do kids have sex? Because it feels good."
So how does one determine what sex information is age appropriate?
Physically, kids hit puberty sooner so it makes sense that it's taught in an earlier grade, she said.
Psychologically, kids mature at different rates but the key is to provide the information before most kids get sexually active, she said.
"If we wait until after they are sexually active, we are missing a key opportunity," she said.
Lastly, one has to look at youth behaviour. Whether we like it or not, educators need to be pragmatic about what youth are actually doing, said Flicker.
Hamilton's public board acknowledges some topics within sex-ed can be challenging to teach because of their personal nature and connection to family, religious or cultural values. Parents can choose to withdraw their children from those lessons. Hamilton's Catholic school board plans to teach curriculum in the context of their faith.
Flicker said she's always hearing from youths about how awful sex-ed is. "I'm really hoping these curriculum shifts will change that discourse," she said.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Overflowing

I am sensing and seeing God at work all around me.

Bob had the opportunity to preach on campus this week to a group of about 50 or so. He spoke on the freedom that we have in Christ (one of my personal themes!) to those whom he knew were already believers and then shared the gospel, as well, for those who may never have believed in Jesus. It was the highlight of his week!

One of the privileges I have in this life of mine is that I not only get to pour into my own children on a daily basis (since we home educate and I am with them almost all the time), but also I get to pour into the young women that God has placed in my life. I have the honour of mentoring and discipling several of them right now and I am seeing God move in great ways in their lives!

I have been meeting with one girl since last summer and it has been a joy to walk with her through ups and downs and every place in between. She is graduating soon and has realized this week that she was walking in her own strength and not trusting in God and asking Him to show her His path for her summer and future. I challenged her on Monday to put all of her plans aside, get before Him and ask what He wants for her life. And wow! Has He every moved mountains in the last five days! I saw her again this morning and the difference in her demeanor and attitude is just so GOD! She has been seeking Him and experiencing so much peace that can only be attributed to the Father. She has had to have hard conversations but because she is surrendered to Him and willing to obey Him, she has been able to stand strong in love and grace.

What joy there is in watching the Father move and work and change hearts and lives right before my very eyes! I know that He is going to continue to work in her and provide everything she needs, each step of the way.

I have more to share about other ways that I am walking with these girls, but at this moment, Bob is visiting and praying with someone in a mental hospital and I want to be able to spend some time on my knees for this man's deliverance.

Blessings in Jesus!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Double Digits!

Austin turned 10 yesterday! Wow! A decade old and only three years away from being a teenager! Man!

Austin's wish this year was to play laser tag, and thankfully, we were able to give that gift to him. He, Ben, Emma, Bob and our two friends, Matthew and Zachary had a GREAT time!




(Another delicious confection made by Emma!)


We love you, Austin, and are so proud of who you are! You bring joy and fun to our family and we love laughing with you. You are a fabulous brother to your siblings and really know how to shepherd them. It is fun to learn about all kinds of creatures with you and to watch you swim and play soccer. We also love how insightful you are and how Jesus shines through you!

Blessings in Jesus!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Long Weekend!

We had a lovely, long weekend. The weather was nice and Easter was pretty low key. Resurrection power and celebration are daily before me.

The boys had their cub car races at the church where they participate in a Cadets group on Friday. We had lunch there and I even met another home schooling mom! Several of the boys did not show up for the races, so our little girls were allowed to participate with two of the extra cars. We are thankful for this church and that they allow and welcome our children even though it is not our home fellowship!

And the most exciting part was that Austin's car won the whole shebang! Way to go, Buddy!





(Sorry for the weird yellow colour...taken with my phone.)

The one "Easter-y" kind of thing we did was to make Resurrection Rolls (or buns as we say in Canada). It's been a tradition since Emma was a little girl.



And we enjoyed the beautiful blue skies and sunshine!

(Can you spot TWO cool dudes in this tree?)
Pine cone wars!...

Not a little girl anymore...

Enjoying Maya's "restaurant"!
"Daddy, come and find me!!!"...


And this week we celebrate Austin's birthday! He is, at this very moment, playing laser tag with two friends, as well as Ben, Emma and Bob. He was so excited that he woke up at 6:45 this morning...not like him at all! :)

I need to run to get the chocolate glaze made for the cake.

Blessings in Jesus!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Catching Up

Happy April!

I've been very focused on Kenya on my blog lately and just busy with life. We did have some fun in February and March that I didn't want to just overlook. So hang on while we go on a *quick* catch up blog!

Skating with our friend, Leah, who really knows how to figure skate! It was fun to watch her.

She gave the girls some helpful pointers...

Tobogganing in a snow storm!


We took my Mom tobogganing with us and laughed until our sides hurt!


Collected for snow cream!

Gammy bought the girls a sewing machine while she was here visiting and they were able to make a few cute pieces for their room...



We went to our local botanical gardens for the Amazon exhibit (this was actually our third time to go).


A fun visit to the ROM...








A few shots from my trip to NC for Grandma's funeral...
My Uncle Jamie and Aunt Winky (Dad's brother and sister-in-law) were so kind to come all the way to Charlotte for the service. I loved seeing them!

Mom with her two brothers (Uncle Ervin and Uncle Gerald)...


Ava turned FIVE!!!!

And she had a dance recital...
During March Break we visited a local military museum...







We also had a great bike ride/scooter ride/walk with friends on one of the first sunny and warm days of the year!
The first official barbecue of the season. Austin wanted a lesson in how to BBQ!


Silly string fun with Daddy!

And just this week, two of my favourite friends were both at my house at the same time. It was extra-special since one of them lives on the other side of the planet! XOXO
I tried to make that brief, but I had close to three hundred photos to sort through. Whew! I hope to keep up a little bit better from now on. ;)
Blessings in Jesus!