Friday, January 31, 2014

Hangin' with the Homeless

We start off every Friday picking up bakery donations from Tom Thumb. Seats down in the mini-van and tubs full of bread and desserts. The rolls and cookies will be headed to Ft. Worth.  Most Friday's the kids schedule doesn't allow us the go with the Metro bus, because we have Speaker's Club and Drama Club on alternating Fridays.  But today we were free of commitments and were able to go out to Unity Park. 

Those heading out to Unity Park on Friday's usually split up the work with some making the soup, and some loading the bus with supplies.  Today the kids and I got to prepare the soup.  Never thought I would be mixing up 25 gallons of soup.  There are some wonderful ladies who brown up five to ten pounds of hamburger meat to be included in the soup. There are so many ways to help out and a lot of people who contribute so much. 

Today was Sissy's first adventure out on the bus! She worked in the pit with Kendall handing out soup, lemonade and cookies.  She seemed to enjoy it.  It was sweet, on the way home she fell asleep on my lap. 

 They were hungry and thirsty,
    and their lives ebbed away.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
Psalms 107:5-6

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wednesday's Work

I'd like to post something profound about our work at the pantry today, but really there was nothing earth shattering or even amusing.  It was a pretty simple day, but I really love our Wednesdays with this group of volunteers and clients.  So many neat people all with different stories and from different walks of life, who come together at least once a week to help others.  We only hang out on Wednesday, but many of our friends help out on Monday, Wednesdays and Thursday.  

For us to volunteer it means the kids have to double up on their school work usually an extra two lessons on Tuesday and two extra on Thursday so that what they have on Wednesday is minimized.  This allows them to spend five hours on Wednesday helping out. 

I was digging for pictures of Sissy the other day and came across pictures from probably eight years ago of the kids working at God's Food Pantry in Plano.  I had to include them in this post, they are just too cute! 

You gave no water to the weary
    and you withheld food from the hungry,
though you were a powerful man, owning land
    an honored man, living on it.

Job 22:7-8

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sweat Dries, Blood Clots, Bones Heal, Play On!

Do you remember being 13?  Imagine you are a teen girl and your Dad says, "What do you want for your birthday?"  I'm thinking most girls would ask for an iPhone, noise cancelling earphones, leather boots; something really, 'cool.'  What does my baby girl ask for?  Catching and batting clinics!  

After tonight's clinic, I think I need to order this shirt for the girl.  Yes, that is blood all over her elbow where she would dive across the turf to catch the ball.  She is fine, but Frankie is still hyperventilating! 

do whatever your hand finds to do,
for God is with

I Samuel 10:7

Friday, January 24, 2014

Double Date with Sissy and Padme'

Tonight was a typical Friday night where Caleb and Abigail had plans.  Usually on Fridays like this Jon and I take Sissy out for a date.  Tonight we brought Padme' along for a double date of sorts.  We first hit Scholotzsky's for dinner and then headed to PetSmart.  Padme' love visiting with the other pets in the store.  Padme' has been trained as a service dog for Frankie an proudly prances through the store with her.  When we get ready to leave the store Sissy give the 'toy' command and Padme' prances to the toy aisle and picks up a toy with her mouth then trots off to the check out counter.  We usually have to tear the tag off to check out because Padme' will not put her toy town until we get home. 

The righteous care for the needs of their animals,
    but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.
Proverbs 12:10

Speaker's Club: The Go-Getter

For Speaker's Club the youth were given the assignment to read The Go-Getter by Peter B. Kyne and summarize and apply the book.  It is a motivational parable to inspire leaders to take inattentive and excel against the odds.  It is the story of an old lumber company founder, Cappy Ricks, and a young World War I veteran, Bill Peck, who comes to the old captain for a job.  To prove himself worthy of his new job, Peck beats the odds, and his quota, and earns the opportunity to be tested for broader horizons.  Using the lessons he has learned from an inspirational mentor on the battlefield, Peck overcomes outrages obstacles with his persistence, determination, passion and a giant sense of responsibility.  Peck epitomizes the employee who is able to surpass expectation and join the ranks of leadership through undaunted effort. 

Above are the kids presentations.  

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run,
 but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

I Corinthians 9:24

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bus Ministry in South Dallas

Today we decided to check out Metro Relief's Saturday outreach.  We LOVE our Wednesdays in the pantry.  We have made it out one Wednesday to the outreach at Unity Park in Fort Worth, but our Fridays are usually so full with school, Speaker's Club and Drama Club that there is no way to squeeze in one more event.    

Because the kids really enjoyed the Friday trip out on the bus, Mr. Jason suggested we come out on a Saturday to a similar outreach in South Dallas.  Upon arrival at Metro, Abigail was able to help Mr. Jason with the soup.  In the meantime Caleb and I helped out loading the drinks, socks, hygiene items and clothes into the bus.  After the morning briefing and prayer the 20 volunteers headed out to Sunlight Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas.

Very much like our visit to Ft. Worth, at this point we handed out food and other items to guests.  Next, Serenity Church held a church service an AA, DA and several other something A meeting centered on Christ and recovery.  Following the church service and meeting, Serenity Church had us pass out bags of groceries for the guests.  

Upon returning to Metro, it was time to clean out the bus and wash dishes.  It was tough work, very mentally draining.  Caleb and Abigail really enjoyed it, but it is a lot less structured than the work we do at the pantry.  We will go out again, the kids want to check out the under the bridge ministry. 

I enjoy posting these for the out of state grandparents to see what the kids are up to, but this is also special for our local friends to see what great opportunities are right here in our own backyard! 

Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, 
and see that the fields are white for harvest.

John 4:35

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Visit to the Dallas Museum of Art

The school year seems to be flying by and we've been keeping a list of things we were wanting to check out at the Dallas Museum of Art, so today was the day.

Abigail has recently been learning about Winston Churchill and the DMA has a a nice collection of his writings, memorabilia and even his art work.  Yes, Mr. Churchill was an artist.  The exhibit is part of the Emery and Wendy Reeves collection.  The Reeves lived in the South of France in a villa that had been originally built for Coco Chanel. 

For Abigail we were also visiting the 1920's American Art collection.  The kids have several pieces in the primary collect of the museum that they love and it's always fun to visit and hear them laugh over their first impression of an art piece.  

They have closed down the Seventeen Seventeen Restaurant inside the DMA and converted it and the terrace to a new exhibit hall. Fortunately for Caleb, the cafe is still downstairs and opened for business! You just can't walk around and look at that much art and not get hungry! 

For this visit we chose to ride in on the DART, Dallas's rail transit system.  It's one of those things, I wanted Caleb to be familiar with riding the transit system.  Plus, it cost $10 to park at the DMA, and only $9 to ride the rail with no parking, plus I saved gas money!  Another bonus, I can take my Kindle and Abigail was able to keep working on her school work!

Splendor and majesty are before him;
    strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Psalm 96:6

Friday, January 10, 2014

Teen Game Night

Our friends the Gungan's are brave souls, can you image thirty-six teens in your home, on purpose!  Tonight was our home school group PEACH's Teen Game Night.  They went through one six-foot sub, nine pizzas, cookies, cupcakes, Peeps, veggies, fruit, chocolate covered pretzels and M&Ms! 

Many of these kids are together for Drama Club and our Public Speaker's Club.  They have formed great friendships and are such a great group of kids!  This is the group of kids you want in your home!   Thanks, Gungans! 

they help each other and say to their companions, “Be strong!”  Isaiah 41:6

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Groceries on the Go-Go

I'm not a fan of the mini-van, I miss my Montero Sport, there are serious advantages to driving a mini-van.  Today was one of those days.  We were working this morning at Metro and Ms. Beth asked if we could help her out with a pick up at Kroger.  

Kroger is the local grocery store chain that have been collecting donations for local food banks.  Most of the bags were picked up before Christmas but about 100 bags had come in late and needed brought to the food bank.  Enter the convenience of my mini-van, Caleb popped down the two rows of seats and now it could easily carry bags of donations!  One of the days I'll get pictures of us hauling our Friday pick up from Tom Thumb.  It a sight with the back of the van is filled with bread and desserts.  Those are the days the sugar aroma in the car will at five pounds to anyone in the van! 

God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose 
by being of one mind . . .until the words of God are fulfilled.

Revelation 17:17

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Pinterest Projects

So you know all those great do-it-yourself craft projects that you find on the Pinterest website that you are going to do some day.  Over Christmas break I knocked out a few of my favorites.  

The first project was a Sharpie bowl.  We made a few coffee cups and candy dishes decorated with Sharpie markers and then baked at 350 for 30-45 minutes.  On the bowls, I coated them with a spray sealer, but I chose not to use the sealer on the coffee mugs in case it was toxic! 

Next up was hoodies for the kids.  They were wanting Metro t-shirts but all they had were XL's so I took this opportunity to try a few more projects.  For Caleb's hoodie (the Navy one), I used the bleach pen method.  I started with a print out of the Metro Bus and then used fabric tracing paper.  Be prepared, the tracing paper doesn't give you a real clear image, but just a general idea of your layout. Next, I used a bleach pen to outline my drawing and then waited for about five hours before rinsing it out. Once the design was dry I used fabric paint to add a little color.

For Frankie's (the yellow one) and Abigail's (the white one) hoodies  I simply printed out my design and then used fabric tracing paper.  Once it was traced then I began painting using fabric paint. Because the girls shirts were light colored the tracing paper worked better on the girls shirts.  If you have trouble with your pen punching through the paper simply put the lid on your pen and trace using the wider rounded edge. 

I this point I have laundered all three hoodies on cold gentle cycle and they have laundered well.  

Maybe Spring Break I'll tackle a few more items from my Pinterest DIY Crafts board! 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Ephesians 2:10

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sunday's Bible Bowl Practice

In October we began preparing for the Texas Bible Bowl over the Life of Moses.  It will cover much of Exodus, some from the book of Numbers and Deuteronomy.  Every Sunday I have twelve sweet kiddos grade 3-11 eager to spend an hour and half learning more about Moses.  Okay, eager may be an exaggeration, but, they keep showing up, doing their weekly homework, so I'll take that! 

Today we worked on a little review with an Exodus board game and a Ten Commandments board game.  I was very happy to find Moses board games on-line, because the last several years I have had to make my own games and that can be tough.  When we competed over the book of Revelation that was tough to make into a board game!  

Look at those sweet faces! 

You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, 
and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Deuteronomy 11:19

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Premier Tea Party for Downton Abbey Season 4

If you are not a fan of Downton Abbey, I'm sure that means you just haven't watched it!  It is a PBS Masterpiece British Drama set in the 1920's, that revolves around the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants. 

Today Abigail and I joined a few of our Downton Abbey friends for a tea to celebrate the season 4 opener tomorrow night.  Ms. Lana hosted our afternoon tea and her dear hubby served as 'Carson', the butler, complete with tux!  It was quite the proper tea!  

If you haven't check out the show, you will love it.  I usually try to watch the episodes before I watch it with the girls because their are portions I don't find suitable.  But as a general rule, it is a great use of television! It is hard to say which class is more entertaining the aristocrats or their servants!

When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened. Matthew 18:31

Friday, January 3, 2014

Metro Relief Bus to Unity Park

What an awesome day we had!   I really enjoy our Wednesday's at Metro, the relationship with the people we volunteer with, the people we serve, the sense of helping.  But today we ventured outside of my comfort zones to Unity Park in Fort Worth to serve soup, bread, cookies and hot cocoa to the homeless.  

Abigail has been wanting to go for a long time I have hesitated because she was only twelve, and honestly I wasn't sure what to expect.  With her recent birthday, this was the first opportunity to head out on the Metro bus. 

We started our day with our usual 8:30am Friday pick up at Tom Thumb, who donates their day-old bakery items to Metro.  These cookies and rolls were served to hungry souls three hours later!  At Metro, volunteers prepared soup with rice, beans, seasoned hamburger meat and veggies.  Other volunteers mixed up hot cocoa.  The kids and I gathered supplies and helped load the bus.

By 11am the bus was loaded with food, toiletries, socks, and blankets.  Because school is still out for Christmas break we had 23 volunteers, which was incredible because most of them were teens!  

When we arrived at the park, the bus was opened up.  Abigail and Christina hoped in the pit to serve food, other volunteers dished up food to be served.  Some volunteers worked out of the front of the bus praying and handing out blankets and socks.  Caleb and other teens walked with Austin around the neighborhood making sure people knew the bus was serving food.  

I hung out and mingled making small talk, and by small talk I mean listened to stories from a man whose apartment caught on fire last week leaving him homeless.  There was also a girl who was 24 who shared her life story about her mom, upon finding out her step-dad was molesting her, shot and killed her step-dad.  Now her only father figure is deceased, her mom is in prison and she is homeless.  

It was an amazing day.  All the things that seemed so important on the bus ride to the park: school work, house cleaning, bills, car problems; were not what I was thinking about on the way home.  On the way home I was so grateful for healthy kids, a home, transportation and meals.  I also felt very humbled that a few had opened up and shared their stories with me, and honored to take their petitions to the Lord. 

Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God.
Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day. I Kings 8:28

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Resolved for the New Year

Since our blog is mainly written to those friends and family who aren't in Texas and able to share the daily musing of our family, most of the posts are about the simple day to day happenings of our family.  But today I wanted to post something that I hope will inspire friends and family.  For sixteen years our family has read the chronological Bible every morning.  

In years past, Jon has read to us or we would pass the Bible around and take turns.  This year we purchased a chronological Bible for each of the kids so they could read along and in the future would have a Bible to take with them to college to carry on this habit.  It was a great addition!  It still amazes me how many 'new' things we learn each time we read through!  There are so many stories that are like visiting an old friend! 

The first years of reading were tough, the kids were small and sometimes restless.  This is the first year that we missed only a few days and quickly caught back up.  If you are not in the habit, try it!  If you have read through a chronological Bible before, do it again!  It is my favorite time of day with my family, we are together, Jon usually begins the reading and the kids take turns reading.   I love listening to them read scripture! 

Here are posts I've written in the past on this subject:  

to teach you that man does not live on bread alone
but on every word that comes from the mouth
 of the Lord.
Deuteronomy 8:3