Thursday, October 31, 2013

Trick or Treat

Our kids have arrived at that age where they are too old for Trick or Treating.  However, it is probably one of Frankie's favorite days of the year.  And really, what is not to like from a child like perspective?  You dress up in fun, creative costumes.  Every neighbor is friendly, out on their porches and handing out candy!  

Abigail agreed to dress up to take Frankie around, mainly to keep her safe.  Abigail dressed as Katniss from Hunger Games and Frankie went as Flo from the Progressive Car Insurance commercials.  Jon followed at a distance visiting with neighbors as they walked around the block.  

Caleb and I passed out candy and watched Dracula and the Bride of Frankenstein

I love our little family. I love that Jon is o.k. with walking around to make sure the girls are safe.  I love that Abigail eagerly helped Frankie put a costume together.  I love that Frankie can remember what kind of candy each house gave out for the the last several years and who was home last year.  I love that when I asked Caleb to watch a scary movie, he automatically picks the classics.  I'm fairly confident we are not normal, and for that I am most grateful! 

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  Romans 12:2

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mi Poquito Gringo en el Sombrero de Koala

Both of the kids are taking Spanish, Caleb is in his third year of high school Spanish; and last year Abigail  completed beginning Spanish and is continuing with the Rosetta Stone program this year.  None of their classes have taught them as much or been as entertaining as working at the pantry.  

Many of the clients are Hispanic and speak very little English so the kids have had to speak conversational Spanish.  Several weeks ago Abigail learned the word poquito, meaning small.  It was easy to remember it's pronunciation because it sounds like mosquito.  Last week with Ms. Lizzie, Abigail used the word mosquito instead of poquito.  The rest of the day the other volunteers poked fun and teased her about it.  Today, the client she was working with when she said 'mosquito' brought her a hand written paper of how to say many of the words Abigail uses at the pantry.  

Ms. Lizzie had Abigail tell her the sentence she has trouble with, for example, "May I help you out to your car?" That sentence doesn't translate well to Spanish and ends up sounding like Abigail is offering to help them with their car, possibly change the oil? Ms. Lizzie translated sentences for her and then Abigail wrote it out phonetically so she could remember how to pronounce the words.
Buen trabajo mi poquito mosquito.  (Good job my small mosquito!)

Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.
Genesis 11:7

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

George W. Bush Library

There is never a dull moment for us.  This morning was to be a much anticipated visit to the George W. Bush Library.  Our home school group had a tour scheduled for 10:00am.  As we were in route to the facility my phone rings with the Gungan's calling to let me know a suspicious packages was found outside the library and it was under lock down.

We parked at the top of the parking garage across from the library and hung out to watch the action.  There were helicopters, police cars and the bomb squad.  A local news station camera man was on the roof top with us giving a play by play of what uniform belonged to which organization.  

We watched them check the package, x-ray it and carry it off.  The process took about an hour and half and by then our touring time slot was over.  We will return another day to actually see the inside of the building.  

Abigail said it was a lot more exciting than she expected! hmmmmm!

Be careful not to neglect this matter. 
Why let this threat grow, to the detriment of the royal interests?

Ezra 4:22

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Softball

Anytime Granny comes to town it is always a certainty that we will get rain.  She usually makes it down early Spring or Fall, and her visit generally coincides with a baseball or softball game.

This weekend was no exception.  Her visit brought buckets of rain last night.  When we awoke this morning it seemed a safe assumption that there would be no softball games.  But the sun came out, dried up the fields and shortly after church and Bible Bowl we headed to the ball fields.

It was an awesome game where you could really see the spirit that the girls all came to play ball.  Final score 7-8, we have one game remaining in the season.  We love having Granny in Texas, and Abigail made sure everyone knew her Granny was here to see her play ball.  

I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit.  Leviticus 26:4

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Granny's Visit

Jon's mom, aka Granny made it in from Oklahoma yesterday!!!  The kids get so excited when she comes to town.  They have a little rivalry about just who she is coming to see.  

There is Frankie who takes the position that as the oldest grandchild she is Granny's favorite.  After all, Frankie is the one who named Granny.  Abigail takes the position that she is named after Granny, therefore, the favorite.  

I take claim to being the favorite because I named Abigail after Granny.  Of course Jon pulls the, 'I'm her son,' line out. Caleb is smart enough to stay out of the playful banter.

Abigail played her heart out for her Granny today.  She had 2 RBIs and as catcher she had a throw down to 2nd and another to 3rd for two outs.  Shock waves win 10-9!

The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Genesis 25:27-28

Friday, October 25, 2013

Public Speaker's Club

Here is a 'grandparent' post!  Today was Abigail's third presentation for Speaker's Club.  She performed a recitation of poetry by American poet and author, Shel Silverstein.  She combined three of his pieces from Where the Sidewalk Ends:  Sick, the Battle, and True Story.   

Their sponsor for Speaker's Club was out of town today so Caleb served as Master of Ceremonies.  

“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.”
Exodus 4:10

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Parkland Movie

With the upcoming 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy, there are a lot of JFK books and movies hitting the market.  One of the most exciting projects is the  Parkland movie

It recounts the chaotic events that occurred in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963.  The movie connects ordinary individuals who were suddenly thrust into extraordinary circumstances.  With the Living History project that Caleb has worked on through the Sixth Floor Museum it was touching to see these unwilling heroes.  We've met some of the actual doctors, secret service agents, the men who guarded the President's body, all who never wanted this to be a part of their legacy.  

Yes it is a sad part of American History, but it is also a story of people who stepped up to do the right thing.  I think of Abraham Zapruder who's name would forever be attached to the video of the assassination of the President.   This was a man who was an immigrant that loved America and was excited to see the President of the United States.  His daughter tells that he would even have night mares of that fateful day. 

The movie is currently playing in a limited venue, we saw it at the Angelica  theater in Plano.  It will be released to DVD soon. Be sure to check it out, it is a reminder of the bad and the good in America! 

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

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dallas Opera's Carmen

I am sure that there are some opera officiants who could write a prolific review of the Dallas Opera's Carmen.  As a mom, with children at home who loves the performing arts my review is fairly simple.  I love the majesty of the theater, the grandiose stage design and magnificent costuming, and Carmen has those wonderful attributes!  The stage for the three acts is amazing, I would love a back stage tour to see how these elaborate pieces were built! 

Carmen is the fabulous Spanish tale of a gypsy vixen who ensnares a once honorable Don Jose leading to his demise and ultimately her death.  This story was set to music by Georges Bizet into a masterpiece.  Bizet did not live to see the success of his wonderful work.

'But it's an opera,' you say, 'how was the singing?' you ask.  It was no less than spectacular! Every time we go to the opera I am surprised at how much of the music we already know but didn't realize the origin was an opera.  Tonight we heard the Toreador song from Gilligan's Island when Polonius (Skipper) sings advise to Laertes (Mary Ann).   The kids recognized the Toreador song from Beethoven's Wig, so in the elevator on the way we were all singing various lyrics.

We were joined tonight with several of our home school and church friends which always makes an event more enjoyable.  

Let God be true, and every human being a liar.
Romans 3:4

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Simply Music Piano Lessons

Tonight Abigail tested out to complete Foundation 5 of Simply Music.  Abigail has been playing piano for three years and has about fifty songs in her repertoire.  One of these days, I'll upload a video of her playing from her current play list.  She LOVES playing the piano, LOVES Simply Music and LOVES her instructor Ms. Kathy!  It is Abigail's goal to complete the program and become an instructor!  

And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations.
He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. 
I Kings 4:31-32

Johnny Appleseed Day

When the kids were young we would get together with our home schooling friends to celebrate fall, more specifically Johnny Appleseed. Check this link to see how adorable they were at our first Johnny Appleseed Day in 2008!

Today we got together at the Gungan's for apple tasting, apple bobbing and Disney Legend's Johnny Appleseed movie.  The big kids helped the little guys with the apple bobbing while the mom's visited and sipped on cider!  

We brought along our Spiced Apple Butter to be served on Cinnamon Swirled Bread, and Carmel Apple Cider.

Mrs. Gungan asked all the families to brings canned goods for us to deliver to Metro Relief tomorrow.  We came home with 74 items to donate tomorrow!  Thanks guys!!!!

Ready for a flash back of from our Johnny Appleseed Day in 2009?  Here are the kids reports on the various apples they brought to share with the group.  

For this is what the Lord Almighty says: “After the Glorious One has sent me against the nationsthat have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye— Zechariah 2:8

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Yummy Spiced Apple Butter

It is finally Fall in Texas, which means the temperature has dropped to the low 80's, but I'll take it!  At the grocery store today I saw all the bags of apples on sale and my thoughts drifted back to my Grandmother's tasty apple butter.  I picked up a 3 pound bag of Red Delicious and a 3 pound bag of Empire apples and then 2 pounds of Honeycrisp apples. 

Now keep in mind, I have never made apple butter before, but we've been apple picking and berry picking and have canned more than a few jars of jelly, so I wasn't really intimidated by the process.  These days there is that secret weapon called Pinterest where you can learn all things crafty!  I quickly found a recipe for Spiced Apple Butter with great reviews and went to work on the apples.

It was a breeze, quarter the apples and toss them in a large stock pot seeds, peels and all, along with a little apple cider. When that was cooked down we then pressed the apple goodness through the foodmill. This makes easy removal of the peels and seed, plus all of the natural pectin is preserved in the apples.  

At this point you have applesauce. To transform it into apple butter you add the sugar and spice and cook it down, stirring constantly for about an hour and a half.  I was very happy to have helpers to take turns in the stirring process!  

It is good to recognize that apple butter is 1/2 cup pure sugar to every 1 cup of apple sauce and then you cook down the apple sauce by 50%.  So it is really apple sugar!  The kids were amused that apple butter contains no butter.  

We finished up with eleven pints of apple butter, and processed them in a water bath to seal the jars.  It was a simple process, not too time consuming.  The constant stirring for the hour and a half was probably the most tedious portion. 

Keep me as the apple of your eye; 

hide me in the shadow of your wings

Psalm 17:8

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Boys Playing Around

Have you ever wondered what your teen does when you are not around? I know my kids pretty well and very little surprises me anymore.  Today when I ran up to the church building to make copies for tomorrow's Bible class I saw my son and his friends out in the field with guitars.  Keep in mind, Caleb doesn't play the guitar.  The boys were filming some music video parody.  I snapped a couple of pictures and went on about my day, boys! 

The Lord will save me,
    and we will sing with stringed instruments
all the days of our lives
    in the temple of the Lord.
Isaiah 38:20

Thursday, October 17, 2013

PBS American Experience: JFK Like No Other

October will mark the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, the PBS American Experience biographers are releasing a JFK DVD in their Presidents collection.  Tonight a portion of the new film was shown at Studio Movie Grill in Dallas to an audience of PBS and their local affiliate KERA supporters along with several of our friends from the Sixth Floor Museum.  

The documentary begins with Kennedy's childhood including his sickly youth, progresses through his mediocre academics, his early political career as a lackluster congressman and subsequent successful run for senate.  The movie featured interview with two of Kennedy's sisters and include a lot of footage never before seen.  

The movie covers his run for President and reluctant selection of LBJ as a running mate, and their one quarter of one percent will for the Presidency.  Kennedy's sister tells the story of the family playing football the morning the election results were announced and their father telling everyone to come in because it was time for lunch.  Kennedy turns to his sister and jokes that he's being told to come eat his dinner by his father, doesn't he know I'm the President-elect!   

There was a Q & A with the Executive Director of PBS and the films Director.  They didn't really set out to unearth new, never released secrets, it was more and effort to combat the larger than life myths that have taken on their own life and depict an actual picture of the man.  

This four hour series will run on PBS November 11th & 12th and then be available on DVD.  I was born after the Kennedy assassination and have really enjoyed learning the history we have had access to through the Sixth Floor Museum.  I especially like that my children can have direct access to American History.  And regardless of your political affiliation when you can put a story of physical struggle, determination, ,and hard work in front of our children, that is always great.  The film does not omit Kennedy's silver spoon or his faults, but the overall tone is one of perseverance, hard work and determination.  

A lot of what is seen is this film is what the Sixth Floor Museum has really evolved into.  It is not a place to remember the assassination, but it is a place to remember a man's life and legacy.  

Sissy even joined us on tonight's outing, I'm thinking the bacon and cheese loaded french fries at Studio Movie Grill was the extra incentive needed.  I'm loving the selfie photos the kids took at the theater.  Caleb took the picture while I was chatting with other movie goers, how did he know Mom would want a picture? hmmm! 

Finally, brothers and sisters, 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

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Life of Moses

Hooray, it is Bible Bowl season again!  We began last weekend studying The Life of Moses from Exodus 1-20; 32-34; Numbers 1-3; 10-14; 16-17; 20-27; 31-36 and Deuteronomy 31-34!  Whew, that's a lot of Bible.  

The kids will compete in the Texas Bible Bowl during the first weekend of April.  During the first two class I've had 18 kiddos, there are a few others who are interested that may join us in the next few weeks. 

By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger;
he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.
Hebrews 11:27

Saturday, October 12, 2013

JFK Living History - Ferd Kaufman

The Sixth Floor Museum's Living History series links the past to the present through individuals who witnessed the assassination of President John F. Kennedy or other historic events of the 1960's.

Today an Associated Press photographer, Ferd Kaufman, who was at the Fort Worth breakfast and Trade Mart luncheon on Nov. 22, 1963 was the guest speaker.  Mr. Kaufman took one of the first photos of Lee Harvey Oswald in custody and covered the Jack Ruby trial.

Mr. Kaufman & his camera
Mr. Kaufman met Jack Ruby at the police  station when Oswald was being brought in and had a brief exchange. 

Later Mr. Kaufman would re-tell of that exchange to the Warren Commission.  

Above is one of the photos Mr. Kaufman took in Fort Worth the morning of November 22.   

The second black and white photo is one another photographer snapped with Mr. Kaufman in the background behind Oswald.  
JFK @ Ft. Worth Chamber Meeting 

When Jon went to take the picture of Caleb with Mr. Kaufman, Mr. Kaufman looked at what type of camera Jon was using and then positioned himself and Caleb for the best possible photo.  Once a professional photographer . . . 

Your eyes are too pure to look on evil

Habakkuk 1:13

For the Win

Saturday morning ball games are always a great was to start the weekend, unless the game begins at 8am, meaning warm-ups at 7am, meaning leaving the house at 6:30am, meaning a little girl had to be up a 6am on a Saturday! You would think that would earn a groan from a little girl.  I got up at 5:45 to start coffee and a good breakfast for her, only to find Abigail dressed and sitting on the coach! She loves the game.  

The girls had an awesome game it was a tight game, but the Shock Waves pulled it out 9-8!  Abigail had a fun play at home with a runner coming from 3rd, she has to tag the runner for the out, not just the base.  She laid the runner out.  Abigail thought the runner was sliding and didn't realize they were further out from home plate than were the play began.  It was a good play, but it did cause the other team's player to think twice before advancing home! 

The girls are really coming together nicely as a team.  It takes a few games for them to mesh and it is great to see them having so much fun.  I am really enjoying this coach and the girls.  The cute picture in the lower right hand corner is Abigail begging Jon to get her sunflower seeds out of the car.  As you can see there is a bag of seeds right beside her that coach brought for the girls, but someone sat the bag on the lid to the trash can and Abigail had 'issues' with eating any more from that bag! 

you can distinguish between the holy and the common,
between the unclean and the clean

Leviticus 10:10

Friday, October 11, 2013

Speaker's Club

This was our second Speaker's Club for the school year.  For today's assignments Abigail was to give an Informative Speech.  She spoke on the Michael Vey books that she enjoys.  Unfortunately technical difficulties ensued in my efforts to record her speech.

Caleb spoke on the topic of defending a young earth in the creation/evolution argument.  Following each speech the kids and their sponsor critic and give helpful hint to the speaker toward improving their public speaking skills.  

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

Flashback Friday

We have a new Tom Thumb in our town and they working with Metro Relief to help the hungry and needy in our community.  Volunteers take turns picking up bakery items each morning and delivering them to the pantry.  We have taken Friday mornings for pick-ups.  I started to take my van for the pick up, but knowing it would only be a couple of carts of breads and cakes we took the HHR.  As these things usually work out there were 4+ carts of food, two trips later we finished our pick up! 

The picture is the first load, Caleb carefully stacked everything and we were able to transport all the dessert without one casualty  When I saw the kids loading the car I flashed back to a 2006 picture of the kids loading some 300+ cans of food for God's Food Pantry.  They have grown some and don't seem to enjoy me taking their picture as much!  

When Abigail saw the picture from 2006, she asked me what she was wearing. I told her she has on Caleb's jeans and shoes she was mortified and asked me why I made her wear his clothes.  Really!!  The fact that she is not wearing ruffles and bows is proof I did not make her wardrobe selections that day! 

Praise the Lord, my soul. 
Lord my God, you are very great; 
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

Psalm 104:1

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Union Mandated Cupcake Break

Today as I was carrying cases of canned veggies to stock the shelves at the food pantry, I look over and Abigail is enjoying a chocolate, raspberry cream cupcake! Turns out, her buddy Mr. Arvid had suggested she quality check one of the donated pastries from Starbucks.  She said she was on her union mandated break.  Mr. Arvid told her she could have a break in the morning shift if she joined the union, all she had to do was pay him $20 bucks.  Not having 20 bucks, she negotiated a stand up break and one pastry.  

Mr. Arvid is Abigail's buddy, he's trained her how to help the customers shop, he even helps her with her Spanish.  The two exchange banter all morning. Fortunately Mr. Arvid has grandchildren Abigail's age so he is well versed in twelve year old logic! 

Do not rebuke an older man harshly, 
but exhort him as if he were your father. 

I Timothy 5:1

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sixth Floor Museum's Youth Advisory Committee Kick-Off

coffee in the Cafe' before his meeting
Tonight was the first meeting of the Six Floor Museum's Youth Advisory Committee for the new school year.  This is Caleb's third year to serve on the committee and he has loved every minute of service.  The artifacts housed in the Sixth Floor are such a huge part of American History and to think he has had the opportunity to be involved as such a young age.  

Tonight the youth met to sort through applications to fill spots left by last year's graduating senior committee members.  For our local friends if you have youth interested in participating in this great group, check out the video below for details of how to get involved.  The video is a short two minutes and was filmed last year, it features Ms. Sharron, their sponsor whom Caleb and the other kids adore.  You will spot Caleb a few times in the video! 

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

Monday, October 7, 2013

Best Bible Study Ever, I Pinkie Promise

Every other Monday night our home school teens, 7th - 12th grades, get together for a Bible Study at the Gungan's house.  They have been using Answers in Genesis' Creation vs. Evolution curriculum.  

Usually they begin the evening with pizza and snacks, followed by a DVD lesson and group discussion.  It is all youth led and directed.  Once they finish up with the Bible study the boys generally graze  on the left overs while the girls giggle and explain how that last M&M really filled them up! 

Next they head outside for some sort of game.  Tonight they played competitive basketball and zombie tag.  By competitive basketball I mean, I saw boys headed outside with axes and plastic swords.  Not too sure what occurred on the basketball court but I know one child ended up in a cast! Fortunately it was only a broken pinkie, but it makes me snicker, the difference between boys and girls!  

But evil men (who play Zombie Tag) are all to be cast (on their pinkies)
aside like thorns,
which are not gathered with the hand. II Samuel 23:6 (Lisa's revised edition)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday Softball

If your Sunday is filled with church and Bible Bowl and you find you have a couple of spare hours in the middle of the day, what to do?  Hmm, play softball of course! With rain outs earlier in the season today we had a Sunday game! 

The weather was fabulous!  The girls were in great spirits and so fun to watch.  They held their own the first two innings, unfortunately somewhere in the third inning things went south!  Abigail had a good game with two at bats, one hit, one double and 2 RBIs.  She threw down two outs at second.  

In her warm ups she was hitting wiffle balls and she got excited when she hit a wiffle ball hard enough to break it!  That's me delicate baby girl! 

The Lord is my strength and my defense;
    he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him,
    my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

Exodus 15:2

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Church Fall Festival

Like I mentioned in the post earlier, fall weather blew in today.  The timing was perfect, because it was our Fall Festival at church!  Many very talented families at church put together 30+ games, plus photo booth, food, and jump house for the neighborhood kids around the church building.  Invitations were sent out to the homes in the one square mile of the building. 

We worked the Spray Away game.  It was the only outside water game, and yes it was a little chilly! The game let players compete at shooting ping pong balls off of golf tees with a squirt gun! 

It was a great event, lots of new faces, lots of smiles, and lots of candy for the kids! 

Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret,
    I will put to silence;
whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart,
    I will not tolerate.

Psalm 101:5

Fall (Ball) is in the Air

Fall has defiantly arrived in Texas! We headed out for Abigail's game this morning in beautiful weather, in fact, yesterday's high was 92 degrees! We arrived an hour before her game the girls warmed  up in gorgeous weather. In just a matter of ten minutes a cold breeze came in and a literal cold front blew in!  By the time her game began it was 62 degrees, cold and drizzly.  

The girls were in sleeveless jerseys and freezing!  They bonded as a team as they all tried to stay warm.  Abigail had two at bats with one RBI, one single and one run. This team is such a good fit, they are competitive but very encouraging and positive.  Some teams are competitive and just mean, we have played on a few of those teams.  And some teams are friendly, super happy, cheering, non-competitive, everyone gets a trophy type teams.  We have played on many of those teams.  

This team is tough, they want to win, and play hard! But the coach makes them call out during stretches what goals they have for today's game.  The coach refers to each of the players as 'girlfriend'.  They are not permitted to trash talk  If they are in the dugout they are expected to make noise for their team mates on the field.  It is a really great experience.  And in the 'its a small world' category, it turns out the assistant coach is the son of a sweet family at our church! 

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, 
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. 
Then you will be able to test and approve what 
God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 
Romans 12:2

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Who's Your Preacherman?

Caleb and  several of his friends have done videos for LTC and just for fun.  This is the latest installment to their fun!  Which preacher would you hire, John the Baptist, Moses, Paul or Oscar Bologna? Silly boys!
“Do not consider his appearance or his height,

for I have rejected him. 
The Lord does not look at the things people look at.
People look at the outward appearance,
 but the Lord looks at the heart.”
I Samuel  16:7