Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Ziggurat Puzzle, . . . still!

We are finally finishing up on our 1,000 piece Pieter Bruegel 1563's famous rendetion of the Tower of Babel. We have done several thousand piece puzzles before, but these pieces are very small! I snapped a few photos today of Caleb using a magnifying glass to check out pieces. Not to be out done, Abigail drug out the microscope! As you can see, all the activity had Padme' really worked up! Our Thanksgiving weekend is winding down, the kids have a goal of completeing the puzzle by tomorrow, we'll see!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkeys abound this Thanksgiving day,

To cook the food and watch a parade.

We send you our love, a hug and a kiss,

It's too bad our banana pudding you'll have to miss!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Snack Time

As I was making Thanksgiving preparations, the kids were afraid that the birds, squirrels and other woodland creatures that live in our back yard would not have a Thanksgiving feast. I put them to work stringing popcorn, cranberries and dehydrated apricots. We strung them on tree by the big picture window, so that we could enjoy watching them. We also discovered that Padme' like cranberries!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Puzzeling Time

This is our current after school project. It is a 1,000 piece puzzle of an artist conception of the Tower of Babel. It is a zigurot, and all of the pieces are tan colored except the sky. Sissy snapped this photo as they were working on it. It looks like we will be on this one for a while. That is unless Abigail calls in the puzzle expert, Granny to help them finish it. That's what they did last time!

Monday, November 24, 2008

!! Boys !!

Last night Blake came home with Caleb to spend the night. We watched 'Around the World in 80 Days'. Jon had just finished reading the book to us! The boys played on their DS's. Today they spent most of the day as you see them in these photos. On-line computer games, 'playing and trading together.' You would think they would head outside or something, but instead they sat at two different computers playing the same game, with avatars or themselves, saying things like 'dude, I just killed a level 14!' or 'dude, I've got 9 chickens, do you want some?' or 'dude, I can make a sword, want one?' They play in virtual reality on-line all afternoon, never moving anything except their computer mouse.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen

This picture cracks me up! Abigail was mixing chocolate pudding and turned it on too high, it went splattering everywhere! So she turned off the mixer and ran up stairs, when she came back, she was wearing this S.W.A.T. helmet with face shield! No more problems with pudding splatter in her face!
She also uses this helmet when she chops onions so that the 'fumes' don't get in her eyes! I'm sure Williams Sonoma or Kitchen Aide will be patenting this idea shortly!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Poor Puppy

Hmmm . . . so what do these images have to do with each other? Well, yesterday someone broke into the back yard. Padme' as barking like crazy, Frankie went out to see what was going on, in time to see the perpetrator coming through our back yard with a rope. When they saw Frankie, they took off. I called the police, they found another neighbor who also saw the perpetrator and which direction they ran. We now have unmarked police cars patrolling the area. Frankie and the kids were freaked out rightfully so, who in the world tries to steal a kids pet?!?! Crazy people!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Today we celebrated our annual Charlie Brown Thanksgiving dinner with our friends. Our group keeps growing, today we had 28 homeschoolers. The kids listen to the story of the first Thanksgiving, followed by crafts. Next everyone enjoyed a feast of fun foods. OK, so after lunch there was a little play time, followed by a little more play time, and a little more play time. . .

Monday, November 17, 2008

Compare & Contrast

Going through all the great pictures from the retreat, I saw these two that made me smile. The photo on the left is us on our way to the camp site. Everyone is happy and excited about our pending adventures. The photo on the right is after three days of fun filled adventures. Even Padme' look a little worn!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Celebrate Families Retreat

The best part about the weekend was worship this morning. Despite the chilly temperatures, we met in the amphitheater to to praise God. Jon read scripture and directed the remembrance of the Lord's Supper. Caleb led, 'This World is Not My Home." Dave led the worship services. It was great to worship by the lake in the woods.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday's activities include classes reinforcing qualities of Fantastic Families from the same titled book by Joe Beam. Jon taught the class on commitment, I facilitated activities for the communication class. Frankie helped with Jon's class and Caleb helped with mine. Abigail served as the intern to our Youth Intern Chad in the Handling Stress class. During free we were able to rock climb, shoot BB guns, shoot bow & arrows, make candles, lots of great things. My favorite part of the evening was the camp fire at the end of the day. We sang camp fire songs and worship songs, the kids enjoyed the part about making s'mores!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday we kicked off our Celebrate Families Retreat. Jon and I have been working with our Family Life Minister, Dave Stevens to plan this weekend for months. Jon took off work on Friday so we could arrive early and set up. The kids enjoyed playing board games with our family and with friends. Frankie was the master of Uno. Caleb dominated at Monopoly, and Abigail especially enjoyed Clue. Every family enjoyed their own cabin, it was a very nice camp. Of course this weekend there was a serious cold snap, but it didn't damper our activities at all! Padme' spent the weekend at the 'puppy hotel'. I think next year we will bring her with us!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Very Blessed

Our big adventure today was to South Dallas. Cornerstone Baptist Church feed the homeless community. Their facility is very crowded and can’t accommodate the line of people outside their facility. The kitchen provides meals twice-weekly. They have on-going projects for transitional living quarters for homeless people who find shelter under nearby bridges and abandoned buildings. We took homemade muffins to the guests. It was incredibly sad. On a lighter note, Caleb said today, that if he was ever homeless, he would rather be homeless in North Plano than South Dallas.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Figaro, Figaro, Figaro

Jon and I treated Caleb to the sequel to the Barber of Seville, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Marriage of Figaro. Caleb loved the characters in The Barber of Seville (we saw it 2 years ago) and in this opera they are all grown up, with grown up problems that have to be resolved in one crazy day. There was also a teenager with a major crush, a tipsy gardener, and schemers and dreamers looking for love. It is hailed as one of Mozart’s finest and funniest operas! This opera was considered revolutionary – both musically and politically – the lively romantic comedy begins with Figaro and Susanna preparing for their wedding night, not realizing how many people they’ll have to maneuver around in order to fall into each other’s arms! The four hour opera, in Italian, with English supertitles, is probably not what most eleven year olds would pick . . . but Caleb had a ball! He was singing the whole way out of the opera house!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank You to Our Heros!

Today we honored the men and women who have provided our freedom! Along with our homeschool buddies from church, we cheered as veterans from our various wars, National Guard, Red Cross, Jr. ROTC groups and many others participated in the Dallas Veteran's Day Parade. The kid held up signs, waved flags and applauded as these brave men and women passed by. Granddaddy was 'old Navy' during WWII, and my other Grandfather was an 'army man' in WWII. Jon's father was an 'army man' during Korea.

Home Video of the Parade
(this is in a low-resolution so that it will load quickly)