Friday, April 26, 2013

OZ! Technical Rehearsal

Flying Monkeys in the Witch's Castle
Dorothy and Oz
Dorothy and Toto

PEACH's musical OZ is just a week away so today was their technical rehearsal!  This is full costume, sound effects, props, full show run thru.  It is the final look at the production and the last opportunity to tweak any scenes.  It was so exciting to see everyone's costumes with stage make-up. 
You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion,
and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.  
 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs
of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing

in many expressions of thanks to God.
2 Corinthians 9:11-12

Friday, April 19, 2013

Puppy Love

Springtime has brought showers our way, rain is a welcome sight to my would be garden.  However, with a 120lb indoor English Mastiff, Padme' wet soggy ground is not always welcomed.  Padme' is Frankie's dog and at even given moment of the day Frankie can tell you where the dog is and what Padme' is doing.  Most of the time Frankie can even tell you what Padme' is thinking! 
Frankie knows when Padme' wants more food, needs to go outside, wants to go for a walk, etc.   When the ground is wet and Padme' comes inside with muddy paws it is always and amusing sight.  Long before she lets the dog back inside Frankie will have a towel laid out and ready to gently clean the mud from between Padme's paws.  Today Frankie could not get Padme's paws clean enough to suit her so she then took Padme outside and hosed off her feet. 
Padme' has been trained to act as Frankie's companion and is incredible gentle and equally patient as Frankie mothers her.  Such a good little Momma!
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Philippians 4:5 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Safe at Second

See the green blur at 2nd base?  That would be Abigail, and although I'm sure she was running quickly, I am equally confident that this picture is blurry because I am unable to scream, cheer and take a focused photo! The girl loves the game, Dad enjoys being on the field with her, but the whole process makes mom a nervous wreck!  She runs when I'm sure it is not a good idea; swings at pitches I'm sure she can't hit; and steals bases when I know she'll never make it.  And yes, her instincts are much better than mine.  She is usually right, and I scream wildly in amazement. 

Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand,
and the very things they do understand by instinct
—as irrational animals do
Jude 1:10

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

On Tour with the Dallas Sympony

Today our homeschool group went “on tour” with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra as they introduced youth to music from all the countries the DSO has visited on their exciting journey through Europe.  There were great masterpieces of the orchestral repertoire from England, the Netherlands, Germany, and Austria.
Why didn’t you tell me, so I could send you away with joy
and singing to the music of timbrels and harps?
Genesis 31:27

Monday, April 15, 2013

Why Blog?

When I first began our blog it was after Jon's job had relocated us from rural Oklahoma where both our parents and extended family live to Texas.  The kids were young and the blog was a means for the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc. to keep up with our daily adventures.  It was great tool for family to keep up with the kids and then when weekly phone calls were made, relatives could respond and engage the kids about their week.   My mom would even print out my posts for their great-grandmother.

Now the children are older and can certainly convey the events of their week without being prompted in phone conversations with grandparents. In fact some family members are no longer around whom we used to blog our adventures for.  It was even great for Jon who funded our adventures but often was unable to join us.  So why keep up the blog?  The answer has surprised me.

One benefit to the blog that was unexpected is it has served as a digital scrapbook for our lives.  At the end of the school year I have printed off the blog and had them bound as a hard copy for our year.  It is a great reminder of where we have visited, what we've seen, books we've read etc.  The children have really enjoyed looking at their lives thru Mom's eyes.  If no one ever read one of my posts, I would be completely fine.  But I love that my children look with great anticipation to the ramblings of their mom about their childhood.
A more recent inclusion to the blog posts is the scripture reference at the bottom of the post.  That is my personal message to my kiddos, that one more opportunity to re-enforce what I hope they gleaned from our day.  Some of the scriptures are a huge stretch, some are humorous, some are the spiritual message I really hope they took away from our day. 
Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home
and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and
when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands
and bind them on your foreheads.
Deuteronomy 6:7-8 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sixth Floor Museum Living History with Wilborn Hampton

It has been almost a half century since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in downtown Dallas, yet stories from those who witnessed the event still resonate today. As the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s death draws near, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza will recall the assassination and other historic events of the early 1960s through a yearlong Living History Series. The series connects the past to the present through firsthand accounts from reporters, law enforcement officials, doctors, military personnel and everyday citizens who witnessed or, in some cases, made history.
Today Caleb and other members of the Sixth Floor Museum’s youth Advisory Committee facilitated the event with Wilborn Hampton, the youngest United Press International reporter at the Dallas bureau in 1963, Hampton covered suspect Lee Harvey Oswald at Dallas Police Headquarters. He later wrote a young adult history book, Kennedy Assassinated! The World Mourns: A Reporter’s Story.

Consider now: Who, being innocent, has ever perished?
    Where were the upright ever destroyed?
As I have observed, those who plow evil
    and those who sow trouble reap it.
 At the breath of God they perish;
    at the blast of his anger they are no more.
Job 4:7-9

Square Foot Gardening

One of the garden beds with the new cages.

I should start off this post with my best Leonard 'Bones' McCoy impersonation, "I am a homeschool mom not a Master Gardener!"  However that doesn't change the fact I will keep planting things in the ground and being blissfully amazed when they grow!
Last summer after diligent Internet searches I decided what I needed to be a successful gardener was raised beds.  With that revelation, Jon and Caleb dutifully built three eight-foot square raised beds.  Which included bringing in an entire truck load of dirt plus railroad ties and garden timbers, etc.  Our yard in an 'over-sized' city lot on a corner, which from the acreage I grew up on translates to a postage stamp.  Nevertheless, the yard is L-shaped and in the long narrow portion of the yard they built these wonderful raised beds. 
They were a definite improvement over the previous years gardens however, bunnies, squirrels and even birds made off with more produce than made it to our kitchen table.  This year Jon and Caleb built cages of netting around the beds to keep out such critters.  The girls went out periodically to QC the guys work, it's funny that the only picture I took was the girls 'working' with Jon, when the truth is Jon and Caleb spent multiple hours working on this project. 
The beds are also fenced in with privacy fence on two sides, the house on the third side and a chain link fence to protect the fourth side.  Along the chain link fence I've planted grapes and blueberries which thrive in Spring.  Hopefully this year will yield a bounty of veggies and if not I'm sure there will be some modification for next year.  Thank you guys!

The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty,
to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.
Deuteronomy 28:12

Friday, April 12, 2013

Play Ball

Abigail is SAFE!

Padme' loves Game Day

Another day, another softball game! I love hanging out in the stands and being the mom that cheers for the girls as they play ball.  A good play is a good play no matter which team pulls it off.  I am not an athlete not in any stretch of the imagination!  My coordination is limited to walking or chewing gum.  So when I see the girls processing the play, catching, throwing, running in just split second reactions, I am in awe!
Winning is great fun, but a night out at the ball field sharing concession stand nachos and cheering parents is almost as great!
 if you have a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.
Acts 13:15

OZ! Rehearsal

PEACH's musical OZ is quickly approaching, we have been rehearsing at a local church but this is the first rehearsal on the stage where the kids will actually perform.  Our Musical Director, Isabel worked with the kids to get them used to the spacing and blocking on the new stage. 
It is amazing to see this student led group take the production from a written script to a live performance.  With many different personalities involved they have just as many opinions yet every year they work together towards a final production that is magnificent.
Lessons my sweet mom friends have taught me is that it does not have to be perfect.  The objective is that the kids learn to work together, to yield to each other, and that they enjoy the process.  That is a huge lesson for me and one I am grateful others lovingly guide me through!

I urge you, brothers and sisters, to submit to people
and to everyone who joins in the work and labors at it.
I Corinthians 16:15-16

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Batter, Batter, Batter . . .Swing!



Bats are swinging! I would love to post that we've got a great team and are rockin' every game, but that would be far from the truth.  The girls seem to enjoy playing together but they are not winning games.  But I love that Abigail plays with 100% behind the plate and 100% when she is batting, couldn't ask for more!  Every game we find something to celebrate, it may just be that something small like not getting hit by a pitch! 
And who knows maybe our team will get better as the season moves forward!
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has
called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Softball Princess

Life just seems to go in a whirlwind rush from one event to the next at a break neck speed.  We finish up our Leadership Training for Christ events to move quickly on Bible Bowl, then on to the kids drama performance and we sprinkle softball in an around every event. 
Tonight was team photos for her softball team.  We've had too much rain so the fields were too wet so we headed inside to the rec center for pictures.  It was fun to see the green screen backdrop to simulate the outdoor individual shots.
See, they are all false!
    Their deeds amount to nothing;
    their images are but wind and confusion.
Isaiah 41:29

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Texas Bible Bowl Awards Ceremony

Abs 1st Place 6th-9th Grade
Abigail, so happy!

Caleb tied 1st for 10th-12 Grade

Happy Momma!

Jr. Inexperienced Division

Elementary Individual

1st Place Team 10th-12 Grade, even though Abs is 6th Grade and Ryan 8th Grade!

After a morning filled with testing and an afternoon of goofing off at the park, it is finally time for the dinner banquet and awards.  I get so nervous for the kids because I know how hard each of them have worked, if it were up to me there would be awards for everyone.  I know, their treasure is in heaven where they are storing up their knowledge but it is gut wrenching waiting to hear their names called! 
We begin with the Elementary Division, Zach and Keygan both placed in the top eight for this division!!  There is no team competition on the elementary division.
Next was the Jr. Division (6th-9th Grade), they offer an Experienced Jr. Division and an In-Experienced Division.  The In-Experienced is for teams of four who have never competed in Bible Bowl.  We had one team in the Jr. In-Experienced Division, Ethan, Ian, Roy & Blake.  These kids also took 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th in the Individual In-Experienced competition, (they were the only 4 kids and only team in this division).  But what a wonderful way to start off, talk about a shot in the arm, to walk away their first time with a first place trophy!!! I love that they offer the In-Experienced and Experienced Division, because there really is a huge learning curve for the new guys!
In the Experienced Jr. Division Individual (6th-9th Grade), Abigail took first place with 228 correct answers out of 250 questions, and Ryan was right there with her with a score of 220!
In the Experienced Sr. Division (10th-12th Grade) I played Abigail (6th Grade) & Ryan (8th Grade) up with Caleb and Richard (9th Grade).  Together as a team they were awarded 1st place team! In the Individual portion Caleb tied for first place with a 12th grader with 242 correct answers out of 250 possible. 
I am humble by the amount of Bible knowledge the kids have mastered over the years of Bible Bowl, God has blessed their efforts!  The friendships formed through years of spurring one another on is inspiring! 

And let us consider how we may spur one another on
toward love and good deeds,
not giving up meeting together,
as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another
and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:24-25

Texas Bible Bowl

Sissy and Padme'
The 'Power' behind these great kids!
Stache Bags
Picnic Lunch

Last Minute Studying

Roy, Roy, Roy!

What a day!!!  We began with a short devotional, and then three hours of testing!   Armed with their Stache Bags the kids had a good supply of snacks and sugar to keep them going.  When the testing was complete we headed to a local park for a picnic lunch and games.  This gave everyone time to run off a little pinned up energy. 
So very proud of the kids and the parents the time and effort each family dedicated to make this successful is overwhelming!  
The Lord, before whom I have walked faithfully,
will send his angel with you and make your journey a success,
Genesis 24:40

Friday, April 5, 2013

Texas Bible Bowl Devotional Night

In April of 2009 Abilene Christian University hosted its final National Bible Bowl and in 2010 Oklahoma Christian stepped in to fill that void.  Now in the absence of a Christian University stepping up to encourage this worth while pursuit, several churches of Christ have worked together to host the Texas Bible Bowl.  Youth from Texas and surrounding states prepare and compete on the first weekend in April. 
One of the great things about the group in Texas is they really strive to have lots of activities for the kids to spend time together.  It is wonderful to see these like-minded youth get together and instantly bond because they have focused so much of their energy in the same direction. 
The night before competition the kids have fun and games with a devotional. 
 they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one.
Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God,
for he has prepared a city for them.:16

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Turandot at the Dallas Opera


Tonight we traveled to Beijing, China, or maybe we traveled to the Dallas Opera's premier of Giacomo Puccini's Turandot.    It is the story of a barbarian prince traveling to Beijing, where he is reunited with his long-lost father and a faithful servant before taking on his greatest challenge — answering three riddles to win the hand of Princess Turandot, although failure will cost him his life!
The barbarian prince faces questions of family loyalty, faithfulness to duty, and honesty to oneself.  The prince gives up the love of the faithful family friend for the desire of the lovely Princess Turandot.  The faithful family friend gives up her life to not betray the barbarian prince.  Jon's advice to Caleb, 'don't throw away a lovely friendship for something newer and shinier.'  Jon's advice to the girls, 'don't give up your life for the sake of a stupid boy that can't appreciate who you are.'
The show was lovely, the sets, the orchestra, the costumes, everything was wonderful!

Greater love has no one than this:
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
John 15:13