Friday, November 20, 2009

Joshua's Bible Reading Challenge

Well, some of you may have read on facebook a little while back about Joshua's Bible Reading Challenge?

If not, this was it: Fabio challenged him to read through the whole Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.

Joshua likes to read. A lot. He generally reads about 2-3 hours a day, and goes through books like water. We have always been very careful about what he reads, but Fabio still thought he could and should be spending more time reading God's Word. So, he told him that if he finished reading the Bible through before we left for Brazil, he would buy him a watch that he had been wanting. That was on September 8th, of this year!

I was skeptical. I was afraid he would be too overwhelmed and get discouraged. But Fabio believed he could do it! That first day, he finished reading Genesis, and I thought, "Well, maybe!"

He put his other beloved books aside for the most part and took his Bible with him everywhere. He spent naptime reading the Bible and time riding in the car. He would fall asleep at night on the floor in front of the crack in the door where he had been reading his Bible.

Fabio had him keep a log of what he read each day, and we questioned him about it frequently to make sure he was really digesting and not skipping anything! We continually reminded him that, while it would be nice to get the watch, the most important treasure he would get was God's Word hidden in his heart, and what we hope will become a life-long habit of Bible reading.

He hit a lull after he got to the New Testament, for some reason. He just lost motivation for a couple of weeks and stopped reading so much. We encouraged him to keep going, without forcing him to do it. And, eventually, he regained momentum and finished the last page of Revelation on November 15th, just over two months from the time he started!

We are proud of you, Joshua!

Someone asked me today how we did this? I decided to include my answer here. :-)

First of all, we cannot take credit for the mind the Lord has given him and the grace of God on his life. We thank God for what HE is doing in Joshua's life.

But, if I were to boil it down to three things we may have done to encourage him in this area, it would be:

1) Read lots of book. From birth on, we have always read a lot of books and all of my children love reading. Yes, even Johann. :)

2) Not indulge in much media entertainment. We don't have a tv, and we greatly limit movies we watch. No video games either. There is a lot of research that has been done showing how these types of media (regardless of wholesome content or not), greatly effect the brain's ability to "picture" what one reads in a book, and also is detrimental to attention span development, etc.

3) When it comes to God's Word, children learn a lot from what they see modeled in their parents, when they love the Bible and read it daily, talking about it enthusiastically and teaching it to their children.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I just can't stop taking pictures of these kids!!

This is SUCH a Joshua picture! He has been having SO much fun with this copper wire the past few days....

Climbing to greater heights....
"I am cool because I am a rock climber now"

This little lady just LOVES to have her picture taken...

Israel is a stud....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fall is Fabulous

Fall is my favorite season! I just love the leaves, the crisp clean air, everything about it! I generally just try not to think about the fact that fall brings winter on.... but this year I don't even have to worry about that since we get to miss out on winter too! I can just enjoy the fall and know that after it is over, we get summer again, in Brazil!

This little man is growing up so fast! I have held a few newborns in the last few days and all of a sudden my "baby" seems so BIG to me!

So, I am constantly encouraging the kids to get outside and play in the leaves. Pile them, jump in them, throw them around, rake them. It is one of my favorite things to do in my spare time too. ;-)

Another great thing about fall is that it brings Dominique's birthday! This little lady turned FIVE years old in October! She is really growing up - and learned to ride a bike this week with no training wheels!!

We got to take another day at the zoo too, now that we finally got some decent weather, with the cousins this time.

Here is our princess on her wheels.

They really do love each other. Most of the time. Really.

This picture is SO Israel! I love this little man!

A ray of sunshine...

It is SO not easy to get Johann to LOOK at the camera long enough to push the button, let alone SMILE, so this picture is priceless to me. :)

And here is my big man. He has worked with Daddy two days lately! I am so proud of the young man he is turning into.

We have been busy, busy, busy with preparations for Brazil. Pray for us as you think of us, please!