Monday, December 30, 2013

No Christmas Break for the Hungry

The food pantry has been closed this week because of the holidays, however, donations have continued to pour in.  Kroger grocery store in The Colony has grocery bags that customers can purchase that are filled with pasta, pasta sauce, canned mixed veggies, instant potatoes and boxed stuffing.  Pallets of these donation came in last week.  Today the kids and I spent three hours sorting through donations and helping prepare the shelves for clients next week.  I think in three hours we still only processed two pallets of donations. 

After our time at the pantry today we ran over to Kroger's to pick up milk and eggs.  While we were there we saw a Dad and daughter shopping; they had bread, soup, and eggs in their basket, then Dad counted the money in his wallet and the girl had to put back the two cans of tomato soup.  I recognized them from the pantry, it was a reminder that there are opportunities all around us to do good for others.  

Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father,
so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.
John 6:57

Friday, December 27, 2013

Happy Birthday, Abigail!

Today is the baby's birthday, Uncle David was able to share her special day!  We usually celebrate birthdays with breakfast in bed but something about six people in a twin bed enjoying breakfast didn't seem very practical!  Abigail still requested her favorite breakfast of pancakes and bacon with a side of gifts! 

We enjoyed a good day of her favorite things and finished off with tie-dye cupcakes at home!  
     his wife’s name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman
    I Samuel 25:3

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Warmest of Christmas blessing to all our friends and family!  Here is a look into our holiday, we hope each of you had a wonderful holiday.  We look forward to a wonderful new year with each of you!
Blessings, Jon, Lisa, Frankie, Caleb & Abigail 

All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God.
Deuteronomy 28:2

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


I had grand plans of taking the kids to get their photos with Santa, but that didn't happen.  Fortunately, today when we headed to Kroger we saw Santa!!!  How awesome is that, right?!  He wasn't exactly the Santa we've seen at Stonebriar but hey, if you wait until Christmas Eve and run into Santa while picking up cranberry sauce, you really can't be picky!  Unfortunately, Frankie wasn't with us! 

when he finds it . . . he goes home, then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says,
"Rejoice with me" Luke 15:4-5

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Caroling at Parkview Senior Apartments

On the Sunday evening before Christmas our McDermott family participates in a holiday service night.  Church members can choose from card writing, caroling to shut-ins, preparing gift baskets, or making blankets for the Dallas Life Homeless Shelter.  

We chose to go caroling at Parkview Senior Apartments in Allen. There are several of the McDermott family who live at Parkview so it was special to sing to the families.  I did not get a picture of the group, but did snap a couple on the bus ride home.   

Following our service projects we had a devotional and finger foods, snacks and treats.  Santa was also in the Education Building for pictures! 

Here are a few flash backs from previous years: 

Sing to him, sing praise to him;
    tell of all his wonderful acts.
I Chronicles 16:9

Friday, December 20, 2013

Drama Club Christmas Party

Christmas celebrations continue for the kids this week.  Today they had an abbreviated drama practice followed by a white elephant gift exchange.  Caleb came home with cotton candy and Abigail received a bath soaps set.   

There was plenty of gift stealing and silliness.  And of course, snacks were involved.  The kids are very blessed that Mrs. Hansen dedicates so much time to our teens and blessed to have such great friends! 

they help each other
    and say to their companions, “Be strong!

Isaiah 41:6

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Serving with Friends!

Today was our last service day at the pantry for 2013.  Metro is closed because next Wednesday is Christmas and the following Wednesday is New Years Day.  I really love our Metro family, the adult volunteers are so great with Caleb and Abigail.  

Caleb being a quiet and thoughtful soul like his Dad, usually spends his time lifting and toting cans, cases of fruit, frozen pizza, you name it.  Today he even helped Ms. Gina repair a lose bolt on one of the shelves.  

Since Abigail is my social butterfly she prefers to greet the clients, help them shop, and visit with them about their week. Today Frankie was a big help sorting through the donations from Kroger. She's getting to be a professional at finding those expiration date, plus she has much better eye sight than me! 

Every day we begin our work at Metro with a prayer for humble hearts that look for those we can minister to, how powerful is that!!!  Different adults lead the prayer and it is so uplifting to hold hands with like mind people and pray.  There are days when I hear others pray and think, "Wow, I want their heart!" 

“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
John 21:17

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Cards for Senior Saints

One of our family traditions is to sign and decorate Christmas cards and then deliver them to a senior assisted living center.  Most of the years we delivered to Hilltop Haven Home, it was a Church of Christ sponsored home in Gunter, TX, unfortunately it closed in March of this year.  It was heart breaking to hear of them closing the Gunter location because it provided care for retired ministers. 

I loved the sweet faces at Hilltop and the Christian hymns playing in the background.  In the summer we would visit and play Bingo with the residents! This year we had to locate a new home, boo!  There is a Senior Living Center about two miles from our home, so today we delivered 147 cards for their residence.  The best part about passing out cards is greeting and loving on the residence.  Because the home we visited today was more of an assisted living than a nursing home, they did not allow us to visit with residents.  We were permitted to drop off cards at the office and they would distribute the cards.  

I'll do my homework for our next visit because I really missed the hugs and smiles! 

Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:32

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Jr. High Christmas Party

Christmas is in full swing!  Tonight was the Jr. High Christmas Party for the church youth group.  It was originally scheduled for last weekend but the ice storm had other ideas.  The Cabral's opened up their home the group.  They had plenty of food and great desserts.  The kids played games including telephone tag.  Our youth minister, Matt, challenged the boys to a pull up contest, Abigail won! 

For the white elephant gift exchange Abigail took a package of AA batteries with a tag that said BATTERIES*   (*Gift not included).  Like her 'Life Gives You Lemons' gift, I think this was another Pinterest idea.  She came home with a darling Santa blanket.  The best part about the evening is that with Caleb driving, he was able to taxi her.  During the party he headed to Barnes and Noble and Target to do some Christmas shopping. 

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

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Time English Country Dancing

As if our day hasn't been busy enough, we finished off today with the Christmas Time English Country Dancing.  This is generally a little more dressy event, complete with Christmas treats.  The kids have such a great time together learning the dances.  With each dance they are encouraged to find a new partner, boys ask the girls and escort them on and off the dance floor.  Parents and siblings are welcome to stay and dance.  It is a great family event and a fun social event for the youth.  It is also a work out comparable to three hours of a Jazzercise class! 

To the faithful you show yourself faithful,

    to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
to the pure you show yourself pure

II Samuel 22:26

Speaker's Club: How It Should Have Been

Following a morning of Hobbit related events with our home school friends we then headed to Speaker's Club.  Today they were given table topics to 'sell' the Christmas ornament they received in the ornament exchange. 

Later in the meeting Ms. Hansen randomly paired off the kids and as it turned out Caleb and Abigail were paired together.  They were given five minute to take a well known story and change it up the way it should have been written.  Funny enough, Caleb and Abigail were given, 'The Wizard of Oz,' as the story to be re-written.  The instructions included not only to re-write the story but to dramatically present their new tale.  The link above is Caleb and Abigail's three minute abbreviated story.  

Did I mention they did this with five minutes of prep time!  Funny kids, make me smile! 

Starting from the beginning, Peter told them the whole story
Acts 11:4

The Desolation of Smaug

Guess what movie came out at midnight last night?  We hit the 10:00 am showing along with several friends from our home school group.  Our Classical Book Club read the book a couple of years ago. Last year we went as a group to see the first Hobbit movie.

Like last year we headed to iHop after the movie for their Hobbit breakfast.  iHop had menu items to satisfy Bilbo Baggin's six-meal-a-day habit, with options such as Shire Sausage, Bard's Brew Pumpkin Coffee, and Radagast's Red Velvet Pancake Puppies. 

Last year  we were fortunate to head to Glenn Beck's studios to hear Dr. Paul Kerry an associate professor of history at Brigham Young University for a discussion on J.R.R. Tolkien's writings and Christianity.  Click HERE to view that post.

Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him.
II Samuel 12:4

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

That's a Lot of Cabbage

I got a little tickled today when we were working at the pantry, the North Texas Food Bank delivered pallets of cabbage.  When the truck comes in on Wednesday we never know what it will be bringing and there are often surprises.  I was teasing Abigail that this is the closest she has ever been to cabbage!   I would be hard pressed to know what to do with cabbage besides coleslaw, cabbage rolls and maybe my Mom's Dolly Parton Soup!   I'm hoping our clients are more creative than me with all this cabbage!  

Better a small serving of vegetables with love
    than a fattened calf with hatred.

Proverbs 15:17

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Party with Metro Friends

We are starting to thaw out from the big ice storm of 2013!  Tonight we ventured over a couple of blocks to Mr. John's house for the Metro Relief Christmas Party.  

Surrounded by sweet friends, yummy snacks and great conversation made for a wonderful evening.  We had a white elephant Christmas gift exchange, which is always fun.  Abigail took a box of Life cereal and added lemons to it for her gift.  Caleb took a gift bag filled with giant marshmallows, graham crackers and Hersey bar for a DIY s'mores kit. I went with a food themed kit of non-food items including Mac-'n-Cheese lip gloss, Skittles flavored bubble bath, and a Reese's Cup Dog Pillow. Just silliness.  It is always fun to see what creative ideas everyone comes up with! 

Abigail got a cute stocking with a singing cow that was quickly stolen, sending her back to the pile to select another gift.  But before the night was over, Mr. John gave her a stocking just like it with a singing puppy!  His wife said Abigail reminds him of his granddaughter that is the same age and absolutely rotten! Mr. John and Mr. Arvid are the two men that Abigail works with when she is helping the customers shop!   

Caleb came home with a nice set of headphones.  Mr. Austin told Caleb that he can only use them if he walks around nodding his head saying, 'What up, G?'  Not sure that is happening! 

This is the group of people we spend every Wednesday with stocking shelves, marking cans, praying over the guest's needs. It was nice to be together in a not so hurried atmosphere.   It was an enjoyable evening with sweet people with a heart of service for our community. 

be honest and to speak the truth,
    so that you bring back truthful reports
    to those you serve?

Proverbs 22:21

Saturday, December 7, 2013

It's A Snow Day!

Day two of our captivity . . . oh wait, it's really not that bad! Jon and I got out to make the Tom Thumb donations pick up for the food pantry.  While we were there we checked out the shelves, it seems eggs, bread and milk were a little picked over! 

The kids worked on Frankie's favorite 500 piece Little Mermaid puzzle.  Later we took out a 1,000 piece round horse puzzle.  It has been in the box since last Christmas because Frankie was convinced it was too hard!  It took them a few days to work through it, but of course she was able to do it!  Jon was a big help with the hard parts! 

Jon and his mom, a.k.a. Granny both enjoy puzzles and usually when we are nearing the end of a puzzle and getting stuck then we call Granny to see if she would like to make a visit to Texas to help us finish up! 

Here are links to a few of our favorite puzzle projects: 1,000 piece Baseball Puzzle (2009); 1,000 piece Ziggurat 
 Puzzle (2008);   1,000 stateof Texas (2008); and 1,000 piece Presidents puzzle (2007).

And yes, you will notice I am in none of the pictures doing any puzzle.  I don't find them enjoyable or relaxing, I  absolutely am no help in putting a puzzle together.  But I love that the kids enjoy them and enjoy doing them with Jon and their Granny!

he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him
Mark 6:20

Friday, December 6, 2013

White Christmas

Yes, we did get that predicted ice storm!  It is beautiful, but every bit of it is ice, in fact so much ice that the canopy over the back patio caved in.  I'm talking posts that were bolted into the cement patio!  The beautiful roses were in full bloom when the ice hit! Looks like we will be indoors for a while! 

Click on the year to look back at our snow in 2011, 2010, & 2009

when darkened by thawing ice

    and swollen with melting snow,
but that stop flowing in the dry season,
    and in the heat vanish from their channels.

Job 6:16-17

Thursday, December 5, 2013

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

With the roof repairs complete, the boys headed outside again to set up the outdoor Christmas decorations. The decorations were characters from Rudolph that I drew and Jon cut out and I painted about 10 years ago.  They have held up well, each season I clean them up and re-seal them.  I can't wait to see them lit up at night! 

As you can see they are bundled up, the temperature is quickly dropping and the yard should be white tomorrow morning! 

To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness
Ecclesiastes 2:26a

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Up on the House Top

Jon and Caleb are pretty handy with everything from car repairs to appliance repairs, you name it!   This week they spent several days up on the roof replacing trim work, sanding and painting. With the house being two story the slope of the house is pretty steep, so Caleb wore a harness and was tethered to the chimney.  The pictures above were taken after the old trim had been removed and Caleb had scraped and sanded their work area.  Notice Sissy in the bottom of the center photo?  She never left the bottom of the ladder, she was very nervous about Caleb on the roof! 

The weather was seventy degrees and beautiful, but they were in a hurry to get the job completed before an ice storm hit in Dallas in December! 

You have many workers: stonecutters, masons and carpenters, as well as those skilled in every kind of work in gold and silver, bronze and iron—craftsmen beyond number. Now begin the work, and the Lord be with you. I Chronicles 22:15-16

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving 2013, is in the books and it was wonderful!  We headed to Oklahoma on Wednesday and were able to spend a day with Mimi, brother, his wife, and Uncle David!  Thursday we headed to Granny's house to spend the day with her, Uncle Bob, and our two nephews.  Friday we spent the day with my Mom and Mr. Bob.  I know what you are thinking, wow, I bet you guys were full!  The answer is yes, but that did not stop us from eating!  The food and fellowship was fabulous, I wish I had taken more pictures, but I was too busy enjoying everyone! 

On Sunday we headed to Broken Arrow Church of Christ for services.  Sissy got to see her beloved Ms. Kim and Caleb was so happy to see Mr. Tim.  We miss their sweet family ministering in Plano, but are so happy when we head to Oklahoma to get to see them.  I still feel a little lost in the lobby at the BA church, I kept looking for my Dad.  That probably sounds odd, but after 20 years of meeting him in the lobby after services at our designated 'spot,' I was a little lost.

We headed home Sunday after we picked up Frankie's puppy, Padme'.  Sunday, December 1st is Padme's birthday and she and Frankie were very happy to be reunited. Hoping everyone had a wonderful holiday! 

For long ago, there had been directors for the musicians and
 for the songs of praise
 and thanksgiving to God.
Nehemiah 12:46

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Canning with My Pickle Boy

It is no secret that Caleb loves dill pickles.  There is never a shortage of pickles in our house.  Generally I make our own pickles with a fresh dill, garlic and jalapenos from our garden.  Over the last several years while I get the brine ready for the jars my pickle boy takes car of cleaning and chopping the cucumbers.  Today we made eight quarts of dill pickle slices for sandwiches.  

I enjoy canning and the kids are practically pros by this point.  We enjoy strawberry jelly, blueberry jelly, apple butter, salsa and even cake! Every season we usually make sure in addition to our pickles, we have homemade salsa, canned peaches and some type of jelly.  

It is one of the most enjoyable things we do as a family!  Jon is a pro at setting the gage on the canner and sterilizing jars! The process is much easier now that the kids can all wield a knife! 

You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.  Genesis 6:21

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Dallas Symphony's President John F. Kennedy Memorial Concert

Caleb and the other members of the Sixth Floor Museum's Youth Advisory Committee have prepared for the events surrounding the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.  

Many of the kids participated in the JFK Day of Service at the the JFK Learning Center in Dallas.  This is the school where the kids have worked the last two years painting murals, and quotes on the wall.  Today they served organizing the library shelves and doing much needed service projects around the school.

Tonight several of the youth joined the Dallas Symphony Orchestra's Teen Council had a  rare opportunity to speak with Composer Conrad Tao before the Dallas Symphony's President John F. Kennedy Memorial Concert. Images of President Kennedy were shown above the ensemble in Dallas, playing Tao's, "The World if Very Different Now" at the Myerson Symphony Center.   Click HERE is the write up from the New York Times.  Click HERE to read the write up in the Dallas Morning News.

to them I will give within my temple and its walls
    a memorial and a name
    better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
    that will endure forever. Isaiah 56:5

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Home School Recital

It's that time of the year again for our annual PEACH home school group recital.  It is a chance for the kids to showcase their various talents.  The evening includes the recital portion along with a baking competition and an art competition.  This year with over 200 people in attendance we enjoyed everything from classical music solos, violin performances even Mary Had a Little Lamb in Russian!  

The art competitions was equally diverse including Lego sculptures, quilted pieces even charcoal drawings of Dr. Who characters.  The kids received ribbons and gift cards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place by age division for the art competition and the baking competition.  

Abigail played two of her Simply Music pieces for the recital, Sit By My Side and Ballad.  Caleb got his dream job along with his friend David of judging the baking competition.  Seriously, sampling 30 some pieces of baked goodness, what teenage boy wouldn't love that job!

We love our home schooling family and it has been so wonderful watching these kids grow up!  It is pretty neat to see their various hidden talents revealed! 

For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.  Lord, how great are thy works!
Psalm 92:4-5

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

It's that time of the year when the Gungan's host a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving for our home school friends.  It is that time when Mrs. Gungan invites the kids over, gives them the history of the first Thanksgiving and then follows up with a test!  She cracks me up!

The kids also participate in crafts and games followed by a lunch including a few iconic Snoopy items like popcorn, pretzels and jelly beans!  While the kids enjoy lunch they watch the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Special! 

The older kids are great at helping the younger guys with their crafts.  All of the kids make a list of thankfulness.  

Here is a flash back at previous Charlie Brown Thanksgivings, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011.

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Colossians 3:15

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

George W. Bush Library Tour

We actually got to tour the George W. Bush Library today, unlike our last visit, no bomb threats!  It was fascinating primarily because much of the history took place in the kid’s lifetime.  There were things they recalled from hanging or dimpled chads; hurricane Katrina; 9/11; Saddam Hussein; economic crisis; and many factors that have led up to our current political climate. 

The museum is 14,000 square feet and filled with state of the art interactive, electronic exhibits.  We arrived at 10:45am for our 11am tour and didn't leave until sometime after 4pm, that is how much the kids were enjoying it.  We even had lunch in '43' the restaurant in the museum.  I highly recommend the sea bass and brown quinoa! 

There are some features for younger children, but I would recommend it for children who are at least upper middle school age and older.  I am fairly confident the kids took every interactive quiz in the museum from foreign policy to the three branches of government.  They really enjoyed the Decision Points Theater where you were briefed by various advisors and then would need to make an executive decision.  The moderator would then state how the audience had electronically voted and then what the Presidents actual decision was and the subsequent outcome. 

The Oval Office and adjoining Rose Garden were a huge hit or course.  If you are in the area do not miss the awesome attraction!  We will me back even though we have read every placard, every photo caption, it was just that good!  Abigail even discovered a career goal when she found out there is a head Pastry Chef at the White House.  Imagine all day long to be in charge of making sweets!  And yes, the Secret Service to permit flaming desserts, we read it on a placard! 

When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes[a] and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you.  Deuteronomy 30:1-3

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Friends and Fun

Tonight was a just for fun night hanging out with church friends.  After church the youth headed to Main Event in Frisco for some bowling, laser tag, video games and pizza.  

It has been nice that the last couple of days that the kids have had activities Caleb can drive them.  I might be a little neurotic that they text me when they arrive safely and text me again before they leave.   I don't think I'm ready for him to head to downtown Dallas, I'm slowly adjusting to the six lanes of traffic from here to the church building.  

bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Service Saturday

Service projects are my absolute, hands down, favorite activity for the kids!  Life will present itself with lots of 'fun' moments, but looking for ways to serve other people is a talent that is developed.  Today the kids in the youth group broke up into groups and went to members homes and helped out with various projects.  Caleb and Abigail were in the same group and served the Rains family, who have contributed so much to our congregation.  

The boys raked leaves, cleaned out gutters and did other odd jobs while the girls put up Christmas decorations and worked inside.  Our children have been blessed with surrogate grandparents here in Texas and I'm so pleased they can serve them in a way we would minister to our own family if we were in Oklahoma. 

Abigail grabbed a few jars of the apple butter we made to share with the families.  She got tickled when Matt, our youth leader asked her, "do you home schoolers just not watch t.v. and sit around making jelly?"  It's funny because Matt was home schooled too and gets the stereo typical attitude about home schooling. 

Children’s children are a crown to the aged,
    and parents are the pride of their children.

Proverbs 17:6

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Classical Book Club - Huckleberry Finn

Ms. Kathy does a great job of organizing and facilitating our home school Classical Book Club each month.  She has so many plates spinning at one time, I have no idea how she keeps them all going!  I do know that my kids love the investment Ms. Kathy has made in their lives.  

This month the kids read The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, and tonight they got together to discuss the book.  Imagine twenty-some kids getting together to discuss classical literature that won't be a part of their grade or show up on any transcript.  They do it because they enjoy each others company and because Ms. Kathy has shared her passion for great literature with them and it doesn't hurt that she always has great snacks! 

Last year we were blessed to see Casa Manana's production of Tom Sawyer.

whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Philippians 4:8

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Dance for Charlie

On the first of the month area home schoolers get together at a local church for English Country Dancing, think Downton Abbey!  Parents and families participate and the caller will walk you through each dance one or two times before they actually dance.  

Tonight Caleb's friends from the Dual Credit Club at Collin College Preston Ridge Campus held a benefit dance for Team Charlie.  Charlie is a beautiful four year old who has been diagnosed with leukemia.  All funds raised from the dance, concessions, etc. went directly to offset the cost of Charlie's medical treatment.

Many of our home schooling friends were there!  It was fun to see the kids put their cotillion skills into practice! Great organization, great event, great cause, thank you Dual Credit Club! 

Here are a few pictures from previous dances, 2013, 2012, and even 2011.

The human spirit can endure in sickness,

    but a crushed spirit who can bear?

Proverbs 18:14

JFK Living History - Newman Family

The Bill Newman family stopped by the Sixth Floor Museum today to a full audience for a Living History event.  The entire family was present including sons Clayton and Bill.  They shared their story of what they saw and heard on that fateful day on Dealey Plaza.

Mr. Newman has always maintained there were multiple shots from the direction of what we now refer to as the grassy knoll. In his Dallas Sheriff's Statement on Nov. 22, 1963 he said, "I thought the shot had come from the garden directly behind me, that was an elevation from where I was as I was right on the curb."

Caleb and other members of the Youth Advisory Committee acted as greeters and ushers for the sold out event.

The YouTube video is an interview in Dallas less than an hour after the horrific incident.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Boxes and Boxes and Boxes of Blessings!

The last several months the food at the pantry has been a little thin, especially with the government shut down holding up the delivery of the prepaid items coming in from the North Texas Food Bank.  The good news is many of the public schools have food drives throughout the month of October and that food is beginning to come in to the pantry. 

On Monday volunteers from Metro Relief picked up at the area schools.  The haul of food was just amazing! In our spare time this week, we worked alongside other volunteers sorting cans of food, and probably only made it through 1/3 of the donations.  

Metro is expecting more donations in the coming week.  All of the food needs expiration dates checked and sorted by food types so that it can go on the shelves in the coming months.  It is truly amazing how the community is better equipped to meet the needs of their own than the federal government! 

Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Luke 14:12-14

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Weekly Visit to the Batting Cages

Our weekends have been packed with softball games meaning that during the week we have softball practice and batting practice; not to be confused with piano lessons, or speaker's club, or classical book club, or drama club or Bible bowl, or the volunteer work we do!  

Some days I wonder when life got so busy!   It is a blessing that we can drag the kid's laptops with us as we run from one event to another.  I do worry about the kids being too busy and having too much on their plate but there probably isn't a mom around who doesn't have the same concerns.  

For now I'm happy Abigail has a Christian coach on a team with a fellow home schooler.  I feel blessed that piano is taught by a Christian mom who has home schooled for years, and that most of their activities are by role models I treasure having in our lives! 

Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.
1 Timothy 5:1-2

Dallas Symphony Organ Odyssey

If I was asked what is the greatest perk of home schooling, I suppose I might be expected to pontificate on the benefits of a customized education; or perhaps quote statistics on the achievements of home schoolers; but honestly, the greatest perk is the field trips!   Seriously, we study the fine arts at the Dallas Symphony, Dallas Museum of Art or the Dallas Opera.  We study political science at the Sixth Floor Museum or the Bush Library.  

Today we attended the student performance Organ Odyssey at the Dallas Symphony.  The program featured music written specifically for the organ. The Dallas Symphony's organ has 4,535 pipes and each piece was performed in tandem with over 90 musicians.  

A couple of the highlights were Johann Strauss II's Space Odyssey and one of Papageno's songs from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Magic Flute, which we saw last year at the Dallas Opera.  

And all the people went up after him, playing pipes and rejoicing greatly, so that the ground shook with the sound.  I Kings 1:40

Monday, November 4, 2013

Caleb is Driving

It seems almost surreal that Caleb could possibly be old enough to drive!  I'm not sure where the time has gone, it seems like just a few days ago he was pushing his Little People school bus around the pool table. 

Six months ago he got his permit and today at the six month mark he was able to take his driving test.  We did the online parent directed National Driver Training program.  It was really easy to use and he enjoyed it.  It is structured so that  the student must achieve a 90% mastery of the material before moving to the next section.  

Having completed his six months and one day with his permit and completion of the on-line program he went today to take the driving portion of the test.  Thirty minutes later he was an official licensed driver!  

Because that Frankie doesn't drive and for various medical reasons will never drive this was a bittersweet milestone to me. As today approached I was excited for Caleb and equally heartbroken for Frankie.   I did not share those feeling with Caleb because I didn't want to take away from his big day.  But being the incredible, amazing, awesome kid that he is, when we got home he asked Frankie to go with him on his maiden voyage without a parent to take her to Sonic!   She beamed the rest of the day!  

Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Luke 6:31