Friday, September 27, 2013

Speaker's Club

Speaker's Club

This year is Abigail's first year in Speaker's Club and today was her first speech.  The purpose of today's speech was to introduce herself to the group using the opening, closing, and three body points

Abigail choose to use her namesake, Jon's mom, with a her own sense of humor.  The child cracks me up.  She is only twelve and I'm constantly amazed at how comfortable she is in front of groups of people.  Granny, be sure to have a tissue handy! 

Caleb also gave his first speech of the season, he was assigned a persuasive speech, he was given the topic of Christianity and Vegetarianism.  He was to argue if the 'Thou shalt not kill' applied to the eating of animals using Biblical examples and teaching.  

It will be fun to see what topics the kids get to research and argue this year! 

“Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Exodus 4:10-11

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sixth Floor + DISD + Dallas Morning News Partnership

Today the Dallas ISD, the Dallas Morning News and The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza announced their partnership for educators, students and families around President John F. Kennedy’s legacy in observance of the 50th anniversary of his assassination. The press event was held at John F. Kennedy Learning Center in Dallas. During the kickoff, The Sixth Floor Museum’s Youth Advisory Committee donated replicas of a Kennedy rocking chair and rug bearing the Great Seal of the United States. These replicas will remain in the school's library where students can use them.  The Youth Advisory Council raised money for the replicas over the past summer.  Caleb used his Facebook and social media to solicit funds. 
Tom Huang of The Dallas Morning News, Nicola Longford, executive director for The Sixth Floor Museum and Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles all participated in the ceremonies.  The JFK Learning Center's fourth grade choir even performed a couple of songs to the delight of the moms and dads in the audience!  
The DISD superintendent announce that each school in the district will sponsor or participate in at least one event that will allow students to explore Kennedy’s legacy of achievements. In the spring The Sixth Floor Museum will hold a reception for students.
Caleb was one of the four youths representing the Youth Advisory Committee at the press conference today.  It was enjoyable watching them being interviewed by the Dallas Morning News and local television affiliates.  The kids got to put on their public speaking / improv hats as they answered such questions by reporters like, "How would you compare Kennedy and Obama's Presidency?"
During the presentation today the DISD Superintendent praised the Youth Advisory Committee for the gifts presented today and the hours they spent over the last year painting quotes throughout the school.  He thank the kids for being young adults who looked for what they could do for their country / community.     

We have different gifts,
according to the grace given to each of us.
If your gift is 
then serve
do it cheerfully.
Romans 12:6-8

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dodge Ball Tournament

Abigail's friend Sarah, from her softball team invited Abigail and the other girls from the team to the Prestonwood's Student Ministry dodge ball tournament.  The girls teams consisted of ten girls.  They all work black, and Sarah made hot pink sequin headbands and brought everyone hot pink and black striped knee socks.  They were too cute. 
The first round the twelve year & thirteen year olds were put against a high school girls team, they got pounded, literally.  The team moved to the losers bracket and faired only slightly better in their second game.  When they were eliminated the girls enjoyed the hamburgers, funnel cakes and snow cones. 
The girls also ran through the color gauntlet where they were doused with colored powder!
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
Psalm 19:5

Friday, September 20, 2013

Museum of Earth History in Dallas

Our first field trip of the school year was to the Museum of Earth History in Dallas.  It is located on the campus of Christ for the Nations and is run in partnership with Creation Truth Foundation.  The museum is an ever expanding educational evidences of creation and Earth history from a Biblical young Earth perspective.  The Creation Truth Foundation out of Oklahoma has a mobile museum that has been on display at the home school book conference in Arlington.
Many replicas of the items from the mobile museum are on display at the Museum of Earth History including full-sized dinosaur skeletons.  There is an array of dinosaur skulls, specimens, and artifacts.  The kids participated in the interactive learning stations.  There is an audio tour, but with our large group we had a docent led tour. The museum is still fund raising to add more sections to the museum. 

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:1

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday Softball

This afternoon marked the Shockwaves second game of the season.  I included several picks from the girls 45 minute warm up before the game.  Do you see that big smile on Jon's face?  He loves being out there throwing the ball with the kids!
Today Abigail felt like a celebrity when the home plate umpire recognized her from another league she's played on.  He was picking on her about being tough as nails.  She got an RBI in today; threw out a girl at second base and a drop third strike out.  I'm sure there were other notable events in the game, but I'm the mom and happy to be hanging out watching the fun with my Sonic drink. 
Towards the end of today's game Abigail took a hit to her knee cap from a fast pitch.  It took her out of the game for the last few batters but by the time we made it home she was walking on it and only has a bruise to show for the ordeal. 

Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complaints?
Who has needless bruises?
Proverbs 23:29

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Saturday Shockwaves Softball Game

Hooray, softball season is back, granted it is Fall Ball and more of a training opportunity than a competitive game, but it is softball.  Abigail loves softball, she likes being hot, sweaty, dirty, grimy, adrenalin running and everything that goes with the game. 
Tonight was the first game with her new team the Shockwaves.  She is thrilled there is another home schooled girl on the team.  And under 'it's a God-thing' category, one of her coaches is the son of friends of ours from church.  We didn't even know of the relationship until out friends were at the first game, and we began to connect the dots!
The girls had a great game, it was one of the most competitive games she's played in the last two years.  She had one at bat with a hard ground ball towards first. She did an awesome job catching, make me happy to watcher her play her heart out.  Even better was the sound of her big laugh coming out of the dugout as she joked with her new team mates!
they help each other
and say to their companions, “Be strong!
Isaiah 41:6

JFK Living History - Walter Mears

At the on going Living History Series at the Sixth Floor Museum the guest speaker was Walter Mears, the Pulitzer prize-winning American journalist with the Associated Press. Mears was also one of the Boys on the Bus that covered the 1972 presidential election between Richard Nixon and George McGovern. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1977 for his coverage of the 1976 presidential campaign. He has been inducted in the Associated Press Hall-of-Fame.
He was covering the White House when President Kennedy was shot and was one of the first to report on newly appointed President Johnson returning to the White House following the Kennedy assassination. 

Mears joined the AP in 1955, one year prior to graduating college. He reported on national politics from 1960 - 2001 and was said to be "the most influential political writer of his time." Throughout his career in journalism, he has covered 11 presidential elections. His stories have appeared in almost every American newspaper. He retired in 2001.
Today Mr. Mears participated in great conversation as directed by the Associate Curator for the Sixth Floor Museum, Stephen Fagin.  Mr. Mears told personable and humorous stories about candidates including Al Gore, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and others.  What an amazing career, and such a delightful story teller!  One of my favorite moments was his telling of being on the late, late shift covering the Cuban Missile Crisis and witnessing the first Russian ships to turn back!  We definitely plan to check out his book The Kennedy Brothers and Deadlines Past.

See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a ruler and commander of the peoples.
Isaiah 55:4

Friday, September 13, 2013

Speaker's Club

Our home school association's Speakers Club has resumed for this school year.  This year Abigail is old enough to participate and she is thrilled.  Of course that came as shock because she is such a shy child.  Oh wait, she's not shy! 

Today was the ice breaker meeting and each student got to introduce themselves to the group and they also played a few rounds where they were given a topic and had to extemporaneously speak for two minutes.  Something I really like is seeing how comfortable some of these kids were this year speaking as compared to the awkwardness of last year's introductions!   Thank you Ms. Kathy for your hard work!
Listen, you heavens, and I will speak; hear, you earth, the words of my mouth.I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!
Deuteronomy 32:1-3

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wednesday Service

So while Abigail was getting her contacts Caleb was busy at Metro Relief.  Much of his morning was spent unloading deliveries from North Texas Food Bank, and local churches.   Hawaiian Falls brought over two trucks with hamburger patties, hot dogs, brisket, and more.  It was all precooked food they sold in the concession stands and just needed heated up.  There was also a gentleman from Nebraska Furniture Mart who toured the facility today and then returned with a truck full or canned goods, and toiletries. 
I love these heart warming stories of local business doing the right thing when no one is looking.  There were no newspapers or fan fare, they simply did what was needed.  I know where I will shop for furniture! 
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Philippians 2:3-4

She Can See!

My baby girl got contacts today!  I think she began with glasses three or four years ago, and she loves her glasses.  You know, they're a great accessory, right up until she puts on that catcher's mask and she need to flip it off to catch a foul ball and her glass fly off her face with the mask. 
We went with the daily wear contacts because she is new to contacts and given the dusty ball fields, hopefully these will be healthier.  She had no trouble putting them in, the doctor said she was a pro.  When she was getting ready for bed, she got tickled that for the first time she could see in the shower.   I can't wait to see how they work for softball. 

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, September 6, 2013

English Country Dancing

Last year we discovered English Country Dancing through some of our home schooling friends.  The first Friday of the month, local North Texas Home Schoolers get together at a local church for an evening of family fun. 

There is a caller that runs through each dance with the kids until everyone is familiar with the moves and then they dance the entire song.  It is like a two hour Jazzersize class!  It is one fun evening. 

Tonight Caleb had a wounded foot but that didn't stop my young Casanova from enjoying his evening!

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,
Ecclesiastes 3:4

Drama Club

The kids are so excited that our drama club has started back up for this school season. Today the kids met together and got to pitch their ideas for this year's performance. Last year was the OZ! musical, this year will not be a musical. Abigail campaigned for 'Night at the Wax Museum' and Caleb campaigned for a 'Midsommer Night's Mid-Term.' In the end The Canteburry Tales was selected because it accomadated the large group best. At the next meeting the kids will read thru the script and the following meeting they will audition for parts. Caleb has stepped down from his Director's chair this year and is opting for time on the stage! Should be another enjoyable year!

It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs
and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me.
Daniel 4:2

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Dallas Museum of Arts: Frozen in History with David Lubin


As an extension of the Hotel Texas exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art, tonight hosted and exhibition lecture entitled, Frozen in History: The Arrival of the Kennedy's in Dallas.  David Lubin who wrote the commemorative program for the exhibit has written and lectured extensively about the iconic images of the Kennedy family.

Lubin is a Professor of Art at Wake Forest University and in a class setting assigned students to iconic photos of the Kennedy's to write up historical points of the photos, elements of style, underlying symbolism etc.  The compilation of these projects are now in his book  Shooting Kennedy: JFK and the Culture of Images.

From an art appreciation aspect he took the large photo above and pointed to the white gloves on Jackie, the white handkerchief in the President's jacket pocket and the white carnation on Johnson's lapel and directed the audience to the inverted triangle they formed, centering Mrs. Kennedy. He also broke down the rectangular elements in her jacket, the rectangular windows on Air Force One, the rectangular pattern in the President's tie, and the symmetry they added to the image.  All fascinating observations of why this is an appealing photograph.

He even gave a history lesson on why red roses were given to the First Lady instead of the Yellow Rose of Texas.  He spoke to the First Lady's French background, the Channel suit, even references to Julia Child's French cuisine in American kitchens.

What struck a strong cord is we are in an age where we can instantly look back and view a photograph just seconds after it is captured.  We can download an image for viewing in moments.  But when the photos of the Kennedy's arrived in Dallas, no one would view these images with out the knowledge that 45 minutes after the image was captured the President would be dead, the First Lady a widow and Johnson would be the new President.  It is also fascinating that the color image with the massive presence of Air Force One in the background is also the back drop for the cramped, tight, black and white image of Johnson's swearing in.

It was a very thought provoking lecture and Lubin even referenced the President having Addison's Disease that Dr. Thomas McConnell had discussed at the Living History event last month. 

‘Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory?
How does it look to you now?
Does it not seem to you like nothing?'
Haggai 2:3 

Dallas Museum of Arts Jazz in the Atrium

Thursday night, let's see, Greek art exhibit covering 200BC - 600AD, check; tickets in hand for art lecture, check. So what to do for the next hour, that is easy, Jazz in the Atrium at the DMA.  Every Thursday evening from 6:00 to 8:00pm there are live jazz concerts.  The concerts are free however casual dinner, cocktails or your favorite non-alcoholic beverages are available for purchase.
Having spent an hour and a half in the Body Beautiful exhibit Caleb needed sandwich, chips, and an iced tea.  After all it had been nearly two hours since his two bowls of crab and fried rice.  He would also require a protein bar after the lecture! Sorry for the bunny trail!
Tonight's performance was by the Rosana Eckert Quintet.  Rosana was billed as a 'rising vocalist in the jazz world, fusing bossa nova, blues and traditional swing.'  We enjoyed about an hour of the performance and even giggled when she threw in a Schoolhouse Rock number!

The precepts of the Lord are right,
    giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
    giving light to the eyes.
Psalm 19:8

Dallas Museum of Art - The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece

The Body Beautiful featuring masterworks from the British Museum is an internal touring exhibition of more than one hundred and twenty pieces.  With a name like 'the Body Beautiful,' you understand there will be a large percentage of piece nude.  I chose not to take the girls to this exhibit, just Caleb.  If you wonder why, well it goes back to the 'fig tree' post earlier this week. 
In covering Bible Bowl in 2007 we studied the book of Acts. In chapter 17 Paul was speaking to the Areopagus speaking about the idols made with human hands that they worshiped.  Many of the pieces in this exhibit could have been such pieces!   This collection is Greek and Roman bronze and marble sculptures, vessels, jewelry, ornate Sarcophagi from 200B.C. forward. 
Caleb also has an almost freakishly large data base of Greek and Roman mythology in his head.  Each piece we came to he gave me the background story of each deity, their Roman name, their Greek origins, etc.  He even gave me a lesson on etymology of the word 'panic' from Pan, the Greek god of woods and fields who was the source of mysterious sounds that caused contagious, groundless fear in herds and crowds, or in people in lonely spots.
There is a section in this exhibit where the pieces are in more sexual poses that we opted to skip.  Again, like Solomon wrote, 'there is nothing new under the sun.'  These appeared in their temples of worship, not just on the MTV awards show. 
The exhibit was very extensive, there is something to appeal to each viewer.  I am amazed at the talent to mold, paint or sculpt such pieces during such a primitive time. Caleb was captured by nuggets of information in Greek Mythology that he had not read before.  

Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.  “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands."
Acts 17:22-24

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Lessons Under the Fig Tree

The kids love Bible Bowl and as an way to encourage their interest our backyard is a living history of the books they have studied.  You see each year as we have focused on a book of the Bible for Bible Bowl some element has been added to our garden from the book we are studying. 
In 2009, we studied the book of John.  Caleb like the story of Nathanael under the fig tree.  So we planted a Brown Turkey Fig and have watched it grow.  It is now huge!  Definitely large enough to sit under!  In the past two years it has produced a huge crop of figs.  We have shared our fruit with friends and neighbors; made jellies and syrups; and today we made yummy snacks.
Again, where else would you turn for yummy recipes but Pinterest, and there we found a recipe for dried figs with almonds and chocolate. With recipe secured the girls and I harvested a bowl of ripe figs, proceeded to wash and cut them and then laid them out in my food dehydrator (thanks Granny & Donnie).  The following day we simply put a few dried figs in each mini-cupcake liner along with almond sliced and covered in melted chocolate!  Yum!
I get that all we did was made a few snacks, but in the process the kids and I chatted about the story in the book of John and revisited what we liked about it.  How awesome is that, plus we have snacks!

When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him,
“Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”
“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”
Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.”
 He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on ’the Son of Man.”
John 1:47-51