Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fort Inglish in Bonham, TX

Phillips, Gungans and Kirkwoods outside the stockade.
Headed into the pioneer house.
We actually toured with 70 homeschool
friends from PEACH.

The church/school room.

During the early years of the Republic of Texas Fannin County residents lived in constant danger of Indian attack, and Fort Inglish was a frequent refuge for settlers on the western edge of the Red River frontier. It was built in the summer of 1837 by Bailey Inglish in the form of a single blockhouse, sixteen feet square and topped by an overhanging story twenty-four feet square, probably surrounded by a log stockade. Although it was private, Fort Inglish played a role in several official campaigns against the Indians by the Army of the Republic of Texas.

Bonham, named after Alamo hero and messenger James Butler Bonham, was founded by pioneer Bailey Inglish in March of 1837. The settlement was first called Inglish’s Station or Fort Inglish after the blockhouse and stockade built for the protection of the early settlers. After the removal of the Indian threat to white settlement in Northeast Texas in the early 1840s, however, Fort Inglish fell into disrepair and was eventually dismantled. The stockade has since been rebuilt, surrounding the stockade are five restored 150-year-old log cabins that have been refurbished to represent a blacksmith shop, a frontier cabin, a schoolhouse and a general store. This replica was built in 1976, as a Fannin County Bicentennial project. A doctor’s buggy and military wagon have been restored and are on display in the stockade area.
Caleb removing corn from the husk
Abigail grinding corn

We got to see what life was like for the early settlers. Various pioneer activities were demonstrated including: lye soap making, broom making, candle making and various outdoor skills. Students may also participate in pioneer activities such as: shelling and grinding corn, frontier games, drawing water and washing clothes.

Abigail play the 300 year old piano
This is the point in the post where I offer witty comments about the kid’s activities, but alas in that "Mother of the Year Eludes me Once Again" category, I was goofing around with the kids before our tour and managed to lock my keys in the car. So while the kids took the tour I was outside waiting for the local sheriff to come by with a SlimJim and unlock my car! 

the LORD your God may bless you
in all the work of your hands.
Deuteronomy 24:19

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Dallas Stars Hockey Game

Tonight we took a night away from the kids to go out on a date.  Since we’ve been married we haven’t been out on very many dates.  Most activities are centered on the kids.  With our extended family out of state babysitters are few and Sissy usually doesn’t like being left behind.  Now, that is not to say that Jon and I don’t spend time alone together.  We stay up alone together usually or an hour to hour and a half alone each evening.  For twenty-one years that has worked for us.
Jon's Camarones Escondidos

Lisa's Tampico
We began our evening with dinner at Cantina Laredo.  It is a newer Mexican restaurant in our area that we have wanted to try.  Jon chose the Camarones Escondidos, which is grilled chicken breast stuffed with shrimp, topped with sauteed spinach and chipotle-wine sauce!  As for me, the Tampico caught my eye with Grilled chicken breast topped with sautéed artichoke hearts, mushrooms, spinach, red bell peppers with sour cream-poblano sauce and Monterey Jack cheese.  Sounds yummy, doesn’t it!
Following dinner we headed to the American Airlines Center for a Dallas Stars pre-season professional hockey game against the St. Louis Blues.  We had great seats in one of the suites that Jon’s company owns.  It was a fun evening, everything you would expect, the token fight, missing teeth etc.  And there were a few things I wouldn’t expect like cheerleaders in hockey, ice girls, and fans racing in giant gerbil balls. 

It was an enjoyable evening and the Stars won! 

Then all the people went away to eat and drink,
to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy,
because they now understood the words
that had been made known to them.
Nehemiah 8:12

Batting Practice

Abigail batting.
When we don’t have Saturday morning games, Jon takes Abigail out to the batting cages.  There are batting cages closer to our house but they prefer Extra Innings in Plano.  Jon loads the balls into the pitching machine, Abigail bats and Sissy takes photos. 
Sissy, with Abs helmet!
Usually at some point Sissy will take a few pitches and they never get out of Extra Innings without Jon batting too!  Today Abigail was hitting 50MPH balls!  I doubt she’ll see a pitch that fast in her 10 & under modified kid pitch division!

Jon, showing the girls how it's done!

I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave
so that after I have preached to others,
I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 
1 Corinthians 9:27

Friday, September 23, 2011

Script Read Thru

Improv game, "Who Am I?"

Our Drama Club has made their selection for this year’s performance. . . . (drum roll).  This year we will be performing ‘The Mysterious Case of the Missing Ring.’  The royal ring is missing, and the queen won’t sleep until the royal detectives find it! 

The play is written by Pioneer Drama Service and is the same play write we used last year for ‘Big Bad: the Musical.’  This year’s performance is not a musical!  Today the kids read thru the script and next time they will audition for the parts.  It’s fun to watch these kids come out of their shells and perform!

And let us consider how we may spur
one another on toward love and good deeds
Hebrews 10:24

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Food Pantry Service

Minnie's Food Bank in Plano - 2011
300 cans we collected for God's
Food Pantry in 2007
Abigail, Caleb & Jon measuring
out beans for distribution.

Yesterday I was talking to friends about our service in area food banks. In 2007 another home school mom invited us to serve with her family at God’s Food Pantry in Plano, TX. It was so touching and fulfilling to help, words cannot describe. Since that time we’ve been back to God’s Food Pantry in Plano lots of times, along with Brother Bill’s Grocery Store in Dallas, Cornerstone Baptist Church Kitchen in South Dallas, Little Elm Food Bank and more recently at Minnie’s Food Pantry in Plano.
Sissy stocking shelves.
If you have younger children I would suggest the two food banks in Plano. I would be uncomfortable taking young children who have never served to one of the food banks in Dallas for their first service.

Caleb stcoking shelves.

There is just something amazing and eye opening about caring and sorting and packing boxes of food for those in need. There is something about seeing the truly grateful faces of the recipients. Additionally it is beneficial for the children to see the rusted, dented cans; the yucky beets ; lima beans; and even expired cans that some give as their offering. That ‘do unto others’ really speaks out. The kids get first hand how a family might be looking forward to their box of food for the week, only to get banged up beets and lima beans.

The work usually includes lots of carrying cases of canned foods, checking expiration dates, marking thru expiration dates, sorting cans on shelves, packing boxes, carrying boxes to recipients cars even unloading trucks. I promise you, four and half hours working in the food bank is way more work than any fifty minute boot camp class, and has longer lasting results!

If you are not in this area, rest assured there is a food bank where you live, check out, find a time when you can serve.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,I was a stranger and you invited me in,
Matthew 25:34-36

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Constitution Day 2011

Our homeschooling friends from church.
Ms. Belinda Teaching
Each year we get together with home schooling families from church to celebrate Constitution Day. This year Constitution Day, September 17th, fell on a Saturday so we held our class on the following Monday. Ms. Belinda is our Constitution Queen, and she presented great material from Constituting America.
Ms. Belinda wrapping Richard in laws.

It's not an easy group to teach, with ages from pre-school to high school, great creativity is required to capture everyone’s attention. Following her class the kids broke up into groups with various assignments. The younger kids had color pages and games, the oldest kids were given reports.
Hannah, Roy & Blake's report

Abigail's group included James, Ryan and Lydia and they were to prepare an infomercial to 'Get the Vote Out' for the Constitution. It was sponsored by Ryan's wig shop!
Caleb as Peter Muhlenberg
Many of the kids dressed up for the event, my kids wore their Glenn Beck founders Faith, Hope and Charity shirts. You can see Abigail's maroon shirt peeking out of her Julia (Stockton) Rush dress. Caleb wore his Harry Potter dress robe over his clothes to represent Peter Muhlenberg and other members of the Black Robe Regiment. The Black Robed Regiment was the name that the British placed on the courageous and patriotic American clergy during the Founding Era (a backhanded reference to the black robes they wore).
he to whom it belongs shall come and
the obedience of the nations shall be his.
Genesis 49:10

Friday, September 16, 2011

Homeschool Chapel

Abigail reciting her memory work.
Hooray, Chapel has begun for this school year!  We meet together once a month and various ministers from the area deliver the message.  This year Chapel will be focusing on the Fruits of the Spirit and of course the first message was 'Love'.  Pastor Bruce White of The Journey Church delivered a great message to the kids.  Caleb led the the music portion which included leading aCapella singing of 'Jesus Loves Me' and 'God is So Good.'  It was really great, it may have been the first time some had participated in aCapella worship. 
Caleb leading singing.

In the recitation portion Abigail quoted one of our memory verses, "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil." Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 
Pastor Bruce (seated)

I tried to be discreet in taking the kids photos during Chapel, but instead I just got blurry photos!  One mom came up to Caleb after Chapel and thanked him for taking the lead because her son volunteered to help with Chapel after seeing Caleb!  

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Across Five Aprils

September's Book Club

Our homeschool group offers a Classical Book Club for 6th through 12th grade. The kids meet every other month to discuss books of excellence while learning Biblical discernment in reading literature.This month they read Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt set in the Civil War era. Jethro Creighton, the main character, was Ms. Hunt's real grandfather. He told her the stories, and she incorporated them into Across Five Aprils. Great study guides for this book are available online.

Irene Hunt's book

Teach them to your children
and to their children after them.
Deuteronmy 4:9

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Genghis Khan: The Exhibit

The kids at the entrance of the Genghis Khan Exhibit.
Buddha God of War
Giled Bronze
Mongolian Siege Machine

Princess Giant Mummy
Gold alloy bracelet

Genghis Grill
Chicken, Veggies & Rice

Our PEACH Kids
Preparing our children to be the next world conqueror, we took a few of our home school children to the Irving Arts Center, to tour the Genghis Khan: The Exhibition. It is the largest collection of Khan Artifacts to leave Mongolia.

In preparation for the visit the kids and I watched several Genghis Khan History channel videos; completed the study guides; we watched Genghis Khan cartoons, I even found YouTube videos of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (with Genghis Khan); and to round out their Khan repertoire we YouTubed a little Star Trek: the Wrath of Khan!

The tour took approximately 2 hours to view the more than 12,000 square feet of exhibit space. More than 200 artifacts including gold jewelry, weaponry, silk robes, currency, tomb treasures and more are displayed alongside video-screens, hands-on activity stations and role-playing kiosks following the life of a poor, illiterate child as he becomes one of the world’s greatest conquerors and leaves a lasting imprint on modern-day culture.

John Wayne is
Genghis Khan
If you feel that you can't get enough Genghis Khan, then I would suggest one more resource, 'The Conqueror'. This is the 1956 epic movie starring none other than John Wayne as Genghis Khan. It is a movie that even Netflix doesn't carry. We found it on eBay.

One of the interesting things we learned was that Genghis Khan's real name was Temujin. We did a little digging to make sure we were pronouncing it correctly. Someone in our house pointed out that his real name rhymed with 'SlimJim' thus we can now pronouce TimJin. Homeschooling, gotta' love it!
in all things we are
more than conquerors
through him who loved us.
Romans 8:37