Sunday, October 30, 2011

Time at the Gun Range

My Dad's .357

This afternoon the boys headed over to DFW Gun Range for a little target practice. Last weekend Jon and I tried out the Bullet Trap in Plano. The Bullet Trap was nice, quite a few women but a little crowded. Jon said the DFW Gun Range wasn't as crowded, he even came back teasing me that Tuesday nights are 'Ladies Night' at the gun range, meaning free range fees and firearms rentals for the women.

Jesus said to them,
“But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag;
and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."
Luke 22:36

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Trunk or Treat

Tonight was Trunk or Treat at the McDermott Road Church of Christ.  About forty cars lined up with trunks open to hand out candy and goodies to children in the surrounding community.  Children in the neighborhood around the church building were invited to enjoy the bounce houses, free food and make new friends!

We took on a little circa 1560's direction with our costumes.  The girls went with the Maid Marian look, Caleb opted for the Friar Tuck look and Jon was going for the Johnny Depp from Pirates of the Caribbean.  Funny this is I looked more like Lady Kluck and Jon resembled Keith Richards!

He witnessed to them from morning till evening,
explaining about the kingdom of God,
and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets
he tried to persuade them about Jesus.
Acts 28:23

Friday, October 28, 2011

Francis Marie Day

Jon and our Baby Girl!

Today is Francis Marie Day!   Seventeen years ago today Judge David Winslow in Tulsa County completed Frankie's adoption. At the point her adoption finalized Sissy's adoption she had already lived with us for three and half years.  When her adoption was finalized we had a huge party at the Owasso Church of Christ!  Great friends manned dozens of carnival games for all the kids.  We hired a magician who had Frankie act as his assistant.  There was a cake to serve 200 people made as a replica of her new birth certificate!  There were a ton of gifts for Sis to open, it was a celebration of  the creativity God used to put our family together!

Each year on Francis Marie Day, we do something to celebrate her special day!  Usually it involves cake, gifts, princess for a day and a special dinner.  This year she opened gifts then I took her for a manicure and to get her hair cut and curled. Later in the day we met up with Jon and the kids for dinner at Johnny Carino's Italian Restaurant.

On a side note, my Grandmother, Dad's mom, never had a middle name, only the first name Eunice.  And when Frankie went to pick her legal name, Sissy wanted 'Francis Eunice'.  My grandmother knew that was an old lady name and wanted to steer Frankie a different direction.  My Grandmother told Frankie that she always wished she had a middle name.  And she always wanted the name "Marie", in fact she even signed her marriage certificate as Eunice Marie even though it wasn't her legal name.   A year after Frankie's adoption, my Grandmother went thru the legal process to have her name changed to Eunice Marie.  So while she was living the two of them would celebrate their Francis Marie and Eunice Marie Day together!

He has made everything beautiful in its time.
He has also set eternity in the human heart;
yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11

Super Science Night

$1 bill on fire,
but not burning!

balloon touch flame
but not melting!

Last night was our homeschool group PEACH's Super Science Night with Dr. Reid of Thinking Reeds! Dr. Reid's theme tonight centered around experiments with fire!  He demonstrated expanded surface area while blowing fire out of his mouth!  We also learned about what is required for fire, oxygen, fuel and heat while Dr. Reid isolated each of these items in experiments. 
Cans delivered to Minnies!
PEACH also asked members to bring canned soups, chili and tuna for Minnie's Food Pantry in Plano.  We were able to collect and deliver 60 cans of food to Minnie's this morning!   Additionally PEACH collected Box Tops for education that we use to fund a $500 scholarship each year for a graduating senior. 

After the earthquake came a fire,
but the LORD was not in the fire.
And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
I Kings 19:12

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Texas Electric Railway Interurban Car

Today’s adventure took us to an old-timey train car and railroad depot near downtown Plano, housing the Interurban Railway Museum. From 1908 to 1948, the depot served as a stop along the Texas Electric Railway as it ran from Denison to Dallas.

In 1990, the depot was restored and transformed into a museum. Inside the depot are detailed exhibits showing the history of Plano and the economic impact of the railway.

There is also a large room containing artifacts, such as a conductor's uniform, train seats, and a variety of equipment used daily on the train. There are hands on exhibits showing the difference in Alternating Current and Direct Current.

A Conductor gave our kids a guided tour of Car 360, just outside the depot.  The front of the car is a passenger car and the back end is the mail room.  Although many rail cars were robbed during this era, Car 360 was never robed. 

We toured the museum several years ago and they have made several additions to the museum since our last visit.  Last time we toured the kids were fascinated with the cotton exhibit today it was the electric room that caught their attention. 

Ask the former generation
and find out what their ancestors learned,
for we were born only yesterday and know nothing,
and our days on earth are but a shadow.
Job 8:8-9

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Art Beyond Sight at the DMA

Artist John Bramblitt show student how he 'sees'

John walking the classroom
Echo - Off Duty

The Dallas Museum of Art hosts homeschool classes for families.  The first class this school year is Art Beyond Sight.  Guest artist John Bramblitt who is a sightless painter from Denton. Mr. Bramblitt's works are both nationally and internationally renowned; he spoke with our class about his artistic process and what it’s like to experience works of art using his other senses. He was a sighted artist and when he lost his sight he had to relearn how to draw.  
Mr. Bramblitt brought his guide dog, Echo; who was “on duty” for most of the class time.  Mr. Bramblitt helped the kids understand how to describe art to someone who can't see.  For example the color pink might smell like bubble gum, it might sound like a soft blinking noise, or it might feel like a fuzzy blanket.

In the studio the youth had to recreate artwork based on their partners description.  The kids also spent some time in the DMA's Art Studio creating their own sightless works of art.  One exercise was to feel an object in a box and recreate on their page.

the LORD gives sight to the blind,
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,
the LORD loves the righteous.
Psalm 146:8

Friday, October 21, 2011

October Chapel

I think I mentioned in last months post our homeschool group offers a monthly chapel.  This is just the best idea ever!!! This year we are reviewing the fruits of the spirit.  Today's topic was Joy.  One of the homeschool Dads presented a great lesson, several youth gave recitations, and Caleb led singing. 
Great Job, Isaac!

His song selections for today were "Joy to the World" and "Heavenly Sunlight."  As we progress thru the school year several of the young men will be delivering the message. 

It was great to see that yesterday Caleb got to hear young men like Tim Barton speak and today Caleb stood up and led for the young boys to model. 

speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:19

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Reclaimng Texas for Christ

Blessing from Jewish Rabbi
Blowing the shofar (שופר‎) ram horn

Concealed speaker identity

Tim Barton speaking

This afternoon we attended the Reclaiming Texas for Christ 2nd Annual Conference.  The big draw for us was the opportunity to hear Tim Barton of WallBuilders.  Tim was speaking on what's happening in America's culture war today and how we can use history and the filter of God's word to impact our society.
The second speaker was on Defending Religious First Amendment Rights by Erik Stanley.  He is the head of the ADF Alliance Defense Fund.  The ADF recently promoted the Pulpit Initiative the encouraged preachers across the nation to speak freely from the pulpit on all matters of life, including how Scripture and church teaching have application to candidates and elections.
The third and probably most incredible speaker was a former Muslim from Egypt who has converted to Christianity, speaking on Radical Islamic Agenda in the United State.  It was crazy, there was no mention of him in the program, participants were asked to not take photographs of any kind because of the danger it would put him in for speaking out.
It was a great conference, I really like the kids being able to see their young Christian counterparts standing up and speaking their beliefs.  The speakers were so articulate and well educated, Caleb really enjoyed the conference.  Abigail attended with us but it was a little too deep for her.  I think she spent most of her time reading ‘Oliver Twist.’

I know that you are pleased with me,
for my enemy does not triumph over me.
Psalm 41:11

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lucia Di Lammermoor

Abigail and Frankie!  Aren't they lovely!

Outside of the Winspear after the Opera

The Dallas Opera opened this season with Donizetti’s 1835 masterpiece Lucia Di Lammermoor.  It is base on the 19th century Scottish romance by Sir Walter Scott.   

I get tickled because this is one of those operas that is in the 'romantic' genre, but it's about ill-fated love that concludes with murder and multiple deaths. It is very Romeo and Juliet, before there was Romeo and Juliet.  Abigail's friend from Tabitha Class, Ms. Vyneta and her hubby Mr. Tim joined us for tonight's performance.  That made it extra special!

The education department of the Dallas Opera put together great curriculum for students that really helped us prepare for tonight's performance.  This wasn't my personal favorite opera, but regardless, I always walk away with amazement of what the human voice can do!  There is also nothing like a live performance! 

Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs
with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well,
for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.
Ezekiel 33:32

Casa Manana's Oliver!

the kids & the Gungans
This month we have been reading Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist.  It is five hundred plus pages of doom and gloom.   Dickens mocks the hypocrisies of his time by surrounding the novel's serious themes with sarcasm and dark humor.  Today we headed to Fort Worth to see Casa Manana Childrens Theater’s musical adaptation of the novel called Oliver! 
As always it was very well done.  Casa Manana has the best children’s theater around.  Turning this tragic tale into a musical did lighten up the darkness factor.  Poor Oliver endures hardships, injury, sickness, incredible poverty and cruelty.  Oliver remains pure-hearted; he steers away from evil when those around him give in to it and in proper fairy-tale fashion, he eventually receives his reward. 
The book is better and far more suspenseful but the play would be a great introduction to Dickens tale and the effects of industrialism on 19th-century England.

I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
you are my God, do not delay.
Psalms 40:17

Monday, October 17, 2011

Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch

My trio in front of the pumpkin house.
Eric & Joseph
James & Lydia

Abs on the hayride


Smurfs & Abs

Ms. Gungan made arrangements for our church homeschool group to visit the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch.  Even though many of our homeschool children from church are older, they were still willing to share the fun with the younger children. 

Sissy with Clifford
This Pumpkin Patch is the best one I’ve been to in this area.  The cost is fabulous $5 per car, after that every activity is free!  They do ask that you bring CANNED GOODS on your visit.  The canned food donations go directly to the CCA Food Bank that serves needy families in the community.

There was a great variety of activities including face painting, hayrides and mazes.  There are wonderful cut out characters including smurfs, Charlie Brown characters, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Blues Clue and many more!   Lots of great photo ops. 

Caleb & Abigal
There were several bounce houses including a pumpkin bounce house, an obstacle course and a slide.  There were hay rides around the pumpkin patch.  The pumpkin patch sells a variety of pumpkins and gourds and edible squash.  Definitely worth the drive!

As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat, summer and winter,
day and night will never cease.
Genesis 8:22