Sunday, October 28, 2012

John the Baptist Cake

Caleb adding Eyelashes

In preparation for the Texas Bible Bowl next spring, I am currently teaching the book of Matthew every Sunday.  This Sunday we spent some time on John the Baptist.  Sundays can be a long day, worship servies are a 8am with Bible class following at 9:30 and then these kids volunteer to sit through an hour and half of intense study in the book of Matthew.  I usually bring a snack of some kind each week. This week I had a little fun and prepared a carrot cake in the shape of John the Baptist head on a platter, of course. 
Anything that makes these lessons memorable really helps it stick in the kids brains.  The cake was two sepate bundt cakes put together, and then I filled the tube hole with cupcakes.  I used flat pretzels to build out the ears and the nose and then covered it with icing. 

My Kids!  Love these guys!
I covered his hair with chocolate icing and then black licorice for fun.  I found some wax lips and dusted them with powdered sugar.  The beard and eye lashe were made out of chocolate sprinkles!  The kids loved it and had a great time!

 Prompted by her mother, she said,
“Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
Matthew 14:8

Francis Marie Day

Everyone gets a birthday.  One of the frustrating parts in dealing with the Department of Human Service while Frankie was in foster care was the almost four years it took to complete Frankie's adoption.  During that time Frankie celebrated four birthdays,. . . on the wrong day!  You see DHS had given us Frankie's birthday, a date supplied by a family member at her intake into the foster care system, the same date other foster care parents had celebrated.  It was only at her adoption when her birth records were re-submitted we found her correct birthday. 
With all of that said, as a mom, I wanted to make up for the unfairness of Frankie's childhood.  Upon the anniversary of Frankie's adoption we celebrate "Francis Marie Day!"  It is Frankie's special day, it is the date she became our baby!  This means Frankie gets a birthday AND her Francis Marie Day each year!  This year marked eighteen years since her adoption in 1994 when she was nine. 
Love my baby girl!
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:
to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep
oneself from being polluted by the world.
James 1:27

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dallas Opera: Aida

Tonight kicked off the 2012-2013 Dallas Opera season with Aida   It is set in Ancient Egypt, with a captive Ethiopian princess, Aida,  torn between her love for the Egyptian commander Radames and her loyalty to her own father and country. The lovers must fend off the schemes of a fiercely jealous Egyptian princess and decide whether true love trumps honor and duty.  I think Caleb was hoping for a few more battle scenes, but the girls enjoyed the beautiful costumes.
Although I'm certainly not a opera aficionado, I do love live theater and appreciate the skills it takes to perform, the voices, the creativity in the costumes, the beautiful sets and the lovely symphonic orchestra.   Live theater beats any TV or movie screen.  No matter how advanced 3D technology becomes it can't compare to a night at the theater.  I love how there is no instrument that can begin to duplicate what the human voice can do, and the myriad of talents God has placed in people. 
But be sure to fear the LORD and serve
him faithfully with all your heart;
consider what great things he has done for you.
I Samuel 12:24

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Christopher Paolini at the Dallas Museum of Art

Mr. Paolini signing Caleb's book

Today the Inheritance Deluxe Hardcover book was released and author Christopher Paolini kick-off a book lecture, Q and A at the Dallas Museum of Art.  Christopher Paolini is the best-selling author of the Inheritance Cycle the popular young adult fantasy series telling the adventures of a teenage boy named Eragon and his dragon.  Paolini was home schooled and at fifteen began writing this hugely popular book series.  So far he has sold over 33 million books over the last ten years. 

Paolini's Books
Caleb has read this series multiple times and loves the imagination and mythical lands of Alagaesia.  Tonight Paolini was at the Dallas Museum of Art for their BooksmART event discussing the final book in this series, Inheritance.  Paolini was charming and engaging, great stories about how he graduated at 15 because his mom didn't let them take summers off from school.  Lot of relateable home school stories, along with his love for the Tolkien-style fantasy books. 
Caleb really enjoyed the talk and question and answer session.  Of course when they went off in elf-language and old Norse it might as well have been Middle Earth to me!
Caleb did get one of his books signed and judging by the line Mr. Paolini may still be there signing books.  At the end of the day Caleb kissed me good night and said, "thanks Mom for taking me to see Christopher Paolini."  It's all good!
 an enormous red dragon with seven heads
and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads.
Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth.
Revelation 12:3-4

Friday, October 19, 2012

OZ Tryouts

Robert (the Wizard)
Our panel of judges

Emma & Brianna

The kids have really enjoyed our home school group's Drama Club over the past two years. Last year they performed The Mysterious Case of the Missing Ring and the year before that they did Big Bad: the Musical!  This year the club has decided on OZ!  Of course being a big Wizard of Oz fan, I am thrilled!  I'm most excited about helping build huge sets for the show!

Matthew (Scarcrow)
As for Caleb, this year he will be the Director and his friend Richard is the Stage Manager and sweet Isabelle will be the Choreographer/Musical Director.  The three student leaders served on the panel for auditions along side two impartial judges who work with Calvary Chapels drama department. 

Abigail tried out for the part of Dorothy and chose a piece of the script where Dorothy was interacting with Toto, played by Ryan.  They were too cute, both were awarded the parts they audition for and everyone seem to take the process well!  You always worry about the kiddo who didn't get the parts they wanted, but it to is a life skill to be mastered. 

Abigail and Ryan
Do not pervert justice;
do not show partiality to the poor
or favoritism to the great,
but judge your neighbor fairly.
Leviticus 19:15

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Glenn Beck on The Blaze

We received a second invitation to the Glenn Beck television program on
The Blaze TV.  Today's taping was titled, 'Ask Glenn Anything."  It was hosted by Stu Burguiere, Glenn's Executive Producer and Head Writer.  Stu asked Glenn questions that had been emailed in as well as audience questions.
Some were obvious political in nature and some more personal.  Glenn has an incredibly witty sense of humor.  As a mom, I really appreciate that he is able to discuss his faith and God and the role it plays in his decision making.   
Caleb asked Glenn to sign his, 'Being George Washington' book.  I told Caleb I was going to hug Glenn's neck because I love his heart and faith.  Caleb asked that I not, because that would be weird.  As Glenn signed Caleb's book I told Glenn about our conversation, with that Glenn handed Caleb his book and gave me a big hug.  I told him how much as a mom of a boy I appreciate that he didn't 'hide' his faith.  He said it is difficult to talk about faith and God in front of millions of people because it is a private, personal thing.  I told him thank you for doing it, because my son and many other young men are watching him. 

In the same way,
let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tom Sawyer

Today we played hooky with Tom Sawyer and a few of our home schooling friends! Casa Manan brought to life Mark Twain's beloved novel. Tom, his best friend Huckleberry Finn and sweetheart Becky Thatcher found themselves in many adventures, including late-night trips to the graveyard, exploring dark, mysterious caves and hunting for buried treasure. The mischievous crew in this adventure had nothing on the mischieveous group of kids we brought! 
The Ferguson/Phillips, Gungans, Sanderfords, Kirkwoods and a few others were quite the group!  Even though Jon has read the book to the kids, I got tickled at Frankie being surprised at every turn of Tom & Huck's mis-adventures!

Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship
with each other in the name of the LORD, saying,
‘The LORD is witness between you and me,
and between your descendants and my descendants forever
I Samuel 20:42


Usually at least once a year while in Fort Worth the kids and I check out the Mattel Store.  It is located at the plant in Fort Worth where many of the toys are made.  We probably visited more often when the kids were younger, between the Little People, Hot Wheels, board games and Barbies.
These days the Little People and Hot Wheels are gone.  Several board games still linger, but Barbies fill the shelves in Frankie's room.  She has every Holiday Barbie since 1992 and a few fun Barbies from her favorite movies like The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins and My Fair Lady.
Today when we stopped by we found last year's Holiday Barbie that Santa forgot to bring and the 2012 Holiday Barbie in case Santa forgets again this year!
do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol,
an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman
Deuteronomy 4:16

Friday, October 12, 2012

And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None

With no ball games tonight, Jon and I managed a date night.  It's one of those things we promise to do more often but life seems to get in the way.  We started off our date with dinner at Papa Lopez Mexican Cantina.  You knew it had to be either Mexican or Italian, right!

Next we headed to McKinney Repertory Theatre's production of Agatha Christie's famous novel, And Then There Were None. Ten guilty strangers are trapped on an island. One by one they are accused of murder - one by one they start to die. 

Our sweet friend Eddy played the part of the doctor who slowing starts to unravel!  The play was fabulous and Eddy was a stand out! 

It was a fun night and a great evening out with my honey!

My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery. . .
Colossians 2:2

Chihuly Exhibit at Dallas Arboretum


The Dallas Arboretum is 66-acres of the most beautiful gardens!  There is nothing that compares to the beauty of God’s flowers!  But today my appreciation for God’s beauty and my appreciation for man’s creative were combined in the stunning Chihuly exhibit at the Arboretum.

Dale Chihuly is a very talented American artist.  He worked at the Venini glass factory in Venice. He is one of the most prolific and influential glass artists of our generation, with works in more than 200 museum collections worldwide including the Louvre in Paris.
Consider how the wild flowers grow.
They do not labor or spin.
Yet I tell you, not even Solomon
in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
Luke 12:27

Dallas Morning News Tour

Our group infront of the giant rolls of paper

As a former freelance writer for the Tulsa Tribune while I was in high school, I have always had a passion for the printed word.  I can vividly remember the first time I saw the giant rolls of paper running through the printing press in Tulsa.  So cool!  It would later be the reason I selected Journalism/Mass Communications as my Major at Oklahoma Christian.
Today I shared that thrill with the kids as we walked over the course of one mile while touring the Dallas Morning News plant.  Here they print not only the Dallas paper but the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and many other local distribution papers.

We were able to see where the receive paper from the rail cars, material handling, plate-making, the press room, packaging and maintenance. Our group was able to see the comics section being run for the Sunday paper two weeks from now!   .
They will have no fear of bad news;
their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
Psalm 112:7

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

GBTV with David Barton

As a homeschooling family we love WallBuilders! David Barton is the Founder and President of WallBuilders, a national organization that presents America's forgotten history and heroes. They have a special emphasis on America's moral, religious and constitutional heritage.
WallBuilders is a name taken from the Old Testament writings of Nehemiah, who led the movement to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and restore its strength and honor. WallBuilders has been the foundation for much of our American History curriculum.

Screen shot from the show with Caleb & I up front

Caleb loves history and has devoured much of David Barton's work! We have been to see David's son Tim Barton speak on October 20 , 2011 and today we were privilege to visit Glenn Beck's GBTV studios where David was hosting the Glenn Beck Show.

The show had special emphasis on elections of the past including famous debates, polling debacles, influential first ladies, and even hanging chads. I originally understood it to be a Q&A with a teen audience; but they brought in several other leading political historians with lots of information.
We sat front row in the audience an enjoyed every bit of the shows taping. There was a Q&A, but the audience was primarily adults. At the conclusion of the show Caleb did ask David to autograph his copy of Original Intent.
It was such a fun time; Caleb was fascinated by the booms and cameras. In the audience with us was David Barton's parents and before the taping I met his wife.
So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached
half its height, for the people worked
with all their heart.
Nehemiah 4:6