Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Everyone's pitching in around here to try and make our home appealing to potential buyers. This afternoon the kids worked hard on this snowman in the hope that it would attract anyone driving by.

Natural Consequences

We're big on "natural consequences" around here. Basically to us that means that the punishment should fit the crime. And I think carefully about discipline (or at least I try!) before dishing it out.
We have a rule about not playing with mama's camera. Well, the other day, Josiah broke it. The rule, not the camera. Because he's not Isaac, (who would be egged on by finding such a picture of himself on the family blog), I think this "punishment" is a good example of natural consequences. Most good pictures on my camera eventually find themselves on my blog. This pic. is no different.
Incidentally, does he remind anyone of anyone???

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ryley ("valiant one") David ("beloved")

Ahh, Ryley, my valiant one. What a gift from God he is. He carries a load on his shoulders, as does every first born. But he carries it valiantly. He is such a good example for his younger siblings. We've recently realized how much he enjoys responsibility. He seems to thrive on it. He is learning to be a leader and has such a tender heart. We've been working on finding appropriate times for everything. "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven..." Ecc. 3:1 We've also been working on taming our tongues! I'm leading the way in that endeavor, as this is one of my weaknesses. We recently memorized Psalm 19:14, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, o Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." We made up fun actions to make it easier to memorize. I love how the Holy Spirit brings that verse to my mind at appropriate times.
One of Ryley's gifts seems to be working with younger children. He really enjoys little kids and they seem to feel the same about him. He is like a little kid magnet, whether we're at church, the grocery store, or at a the house of friends. He loves it.
Yesterday the other children were all off playing at their friends' houses. Ryley and I had the afternoon together. I think we both enjoyed the silence, although it took him a while to figure out what to do with himself.

Another of Ryley's talents seems to be cooking. He prepared some delicious omelets for lunch. He added to the eggs green onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and chicken sausage. Yummy!

Josiah ("the Lord saves, heals,protects") Charles ("man")

What a man, my Joey-Charlos (Ryley's toddlerhood nickname for Josiah). His scientific and mathematical mind is astounding. His personality is very intense and focused, so we are working on learning to have a "happy heart" despite all those imperfections around us, in others and within ourselves. Josiah and I are learning this together. I, also, tend to be a bit intense and tense. "A cheerful heart is good medicine", says Proverbs 17:22, and we've been talking about how true that is, that our happy heart is literally good for our bodies, and the effect of stress on our bodies is quite poisonous. We'll never get away from "stress", but we do need to learn how to handle it properly. Stress is the #1 cause of disease, even above toxins and an unhealthy diet. I've been sharing with him what I've learned about meditation and taking time to be still and just be in the presence of the Lord. The Holy Spirit wants to minister to us and speak to us but we must be still sometimes and quiet so we can hear Him. "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10.
On Tuesday the boys were treated to a very special and exciting science workshop. The instructor was amazing and really has a gift for igniting children's desire to learn everything related to science, specifically hands-on projects. Ever since then, our house has been transformed into a giant mad-scientist lab. I've been tangled up in electrical wire as I cross my living room. I've slipped on the laminate as I step on a battery which rolls away. I've had to drain my bathtub of some very cold shallow water that's been used to float boats with real working motors and propellers in, just so I can have a shower. Shall I go on???
I'm so excited for the boys. I try to remain neutral and not show too much enthusiasm until they show me something new they've designed. It's mostly been robotics, but as I type, Ryley's in his room constructing a burglar alarm, complete with a buzzer. Josiah's in his room also, probably designing something that will blow up. It's just a matter of time before I know what he's up to.
We are truly blessed to have "little Josiah" in our family. (That is a name Ryley gave his goldfish when Josiah was a baby. Sadly, it died. Imagine the confusion when Ryley told the grandparents his bad news over the phone...) The Coke family would be seriously lacking without our dear second-born.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Isaac ("laughter") Jacob ("he grasps the heel")

Hey Aunt Ruthie,

Do you remember this song? I've been working on teaching it to the kids (only when Jeremy's at work...) and Isaac has put his own little spin on it.

What would our family be without Isaac? Probably a bit quieter, with not nearly as much laughter. He is such an important piece of the puzzle. I'm often amazed that we chose to name him Isaac (meaning "laughter") before we even knew him. But we always prayed about our baby names as we were deciding on them. And although we didn't know him, the Lord did. Jeremiah 1:5 says, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you..." His name was no accident.

Now, his middle name is Jacob, meaning "he grasps the heel". His brothers think that refers to his favorite move to pull when he's laying on the floor and one of them runs by. He grasps their heel alright, and roars with laughter at what happens as a result!

Anna ("gracious") Elise ("consecrated to God")

My sweet little girl and I had the day to ourselves yesterday as the boys participated in a science workshop. We totally enjoyed our time together. We spent our mornings painting, she at the table with her kid paints, and I on Ryley's bedroom walls. Then we shared lunch together, and after lunch, when she would usually be in "Quiet Time", I asked her to think of something fun to do together. She chose to play Sequence For Kids, her all time favorite game, and have a tea party. All at the same time.
My little Anna Elise (or Annalise, for "short", since you can't really shorten Anna) is such a joy. I'm sometimes overwhelmed with thankfulness for the blessing God has given us in her. I love our mother/daughter times and I pray that we will always have a close relationship.
"He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend." Proverbs 22:11

Monday, February 9, 2009

What To Do In Alaska When It's Too Cold To Play Outside

Ryley snapped a photo of some of us doing P90X the other day. The workouts are pretty long (between 55 min. and 90 min.) so the kids don't usually stay with me all the way through, but it is a way to burn up some pent up energy when you're a kid and can't be outside to play for real long because it's well below 0 (again)...Isn't it interesting that as an adult we don't work out to expend energy, but to gain more...hmm...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

8th of the 8th

Amanda, a friend and blogger, suggested posting the 8th picture of the 8th file on your computer. Here's mine. You will never believe this: This photo was taken exactly one year ago, on February 3rd, 2008. Amazing. How's that for random!??! And we were in Hawaii. It's -5 today. Ahh, memories...