Saturday, January 31, 2015

DMA & Klyde Warren Park

I’ve reiterated many times on my little blog that I started this as a means to keep the grandparents and extended family active and engaged in the kids’ lives as they are growing up in Texas.  It was never meant to be a how-to blog on homeschooling, parenting, Christianity, or any other topic.  It is just the musing of our rather boring day to day adventures.
One of the neatest blessing as a byproduct of the blog has been the joy in looking back at the kids’ lives over the past seven years.  Especially as we get closer to Caleb’s graduation it has been fun to look and him growing up.
With this being his senior year we have taken the time to do a few of his favorite things before he heads off to college.  But today, Abigail had softball practice and it was one of the few weekends when Caleb didn’t have homework with his Dual Credit class, or volunteer work at the Sixth Floor, or work with Metro Relief, or church event, or fill in the blank with other time consuming events. 
My sweet son asked Frankie to pick what she wanted to do today.  At her direction we headed out to the Dallas Museum of Art to see their impressionist Bouquets exhibit.  This was the last weekend for it to be on display. 
Later we had lunch at Klyde Warren Park and then met up with Jon and Abigail to see Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  Several years ago we saw a children’s stage production of this popular children’s book and it has remained one of Frankie’s favorites.  
It was probably not the typical day a 17 year boy would have selected but I love his heart that he would ask his sister what she wanted and then willingly go along with her selection.  She’s going to miss that boy!
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good  Titus 3:1

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Metro Relief Food Pantry

The food pantry, Metro Relief, where our family volunteers has been going through some remodeling.  I snapped a few pictures today so our friends and family can see the improvements. 
Some of our very handy volunteers built out and extended the walls for the shopping area.  Notice the bright blue paint and logo on the new wall! 
The Metro staff moved the intake area to the partitioned section in the lobby.  Guest enter and check in at the black table with Abigail.  Next, they meet with an intake volunteer in the portioned area for job information and prayers.  Then our guests proceed to the shopping area for groceries. 
Abigail enjoys greeting the guests.  Caleb is usually helping unload trucks and donations.  Sissy enjoys marking the cans with expiration dates.  Me, well I like a little variety.  Abigail snapped the picture of me hanging out in Ms. Gina's office doing paperwork on my laptop today. 
The pantry really looks nice and many people have worked hard to make improvements to our little pantry that happens to serve 120 to 150 families each week!

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love    and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty
    and fills the hungry with good things.
Psalm 107:8-9

Saturday, January 24, 2015

North Texas Soup n' Bowl

I’ve been sharing the bowls Abigail and I have been painting for the NorthTexas Soup n’ Bowl.  Well, today was the big event, the 6th Annual North Texas Soup n’ Bowl, raising funds and awareness for Metro Relief.
It’s a great fund raising event where chefs of popular area restaurants graciously prepare their signature soups to share with guests.  The event includes soups, yummy desserts, and an auction at the Tribute Golf Club.  100% of the proceeds from the event go towards food for Metro Relief’s food pantry.  

In addition to the kids and me volunteering at Metro Relief on Monday & Wednesday mornings, I also prepare the statistics for the pantry.  In January Metro Relief’s food pantry and volunteers helped distribute food to 501 families, representing 1,871 individuals in our community.  These families consisted of 704 children, 968 adults and 199 senior citizens. A  HUGE thank you to the volunteers who helped make it all possible.   
In January we served 36 first time families and 4 families in crisis.  Our volunteers assisted guest with 115 job opportunities and more importantly we were able to pray with 85% of the guests who came through our doors!  Soup n’ Bowl is Metro Relief’s primary fund raiser for the year and it is a great event.

On a side note, I highly recommend Kenny’s Burger Joint’s Creamy Roasted Jalapeno Soup!


Friday, January 23, 2015

Museum of Biblical Arts in Dallas

Today we took a journey through time, learning all about the history of the past 2000 years!  George Washington, Martin Luther King, Thomas Edison, Anne Frank, Abraham Lincoln and many others. The Tapestry mural teaches about past triumphs and tragedies, good and evil, and about heroes and villains.
It was part of the Museum of Biblical Arts Hero’s and History youth program.  Focusing on Vladimir Gorsky's world famous Tapestry of the Centuries is a monumental 9 foot by 18 foot painting on canvas which comprises the people and events that shaped world history, from the birth of Jesus Christ through 1999 A.D. 
This youth program included an art lesson, guided tour of the museum and a scavenger hunt with the life size painting ‘The Resurrection.’   My favorite piece is their life-size replica of Michelangelo’s Pietá cast in bronze and authorized by the Vatican. It came directly from the Michelangelo Museum--Fondazione Casa Buonarroti in Florence, Italy. 
My other favorite would be Michelangelo's Moses with Horns.  I remember my parent’s first visit to Italy and their photos of this piece.  I was intrigued with horns that were misinterpreted from the Latin when it spoke of the rays emitted from Moses’ face after speaking with the lord on Mt. Sinai.
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.  Exodus 34:29

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Piano, Softball and Pizzas, oh my!

What to do after a day spent in at the symphony, taking in the cultural district in Fort Worth?  Well, since it's Thursday that means an evening of piano lessons and softball for Abigail. 
Every Thursday evening Jon and Abigail head to Ms. Kathy's for piano lessons.  Abigail and Sally are beginning level seven of Simply Music.  Soon they will be composing master pieces and teaching their own classes!
After piano, they head to Extra Innings for batting practice.  Usually Jon and Abigail reserve a tunnel for hitting, but once a month she meets up with Coach Archer for private lessons.  
As if that wasn't enough, when Jon and Abigail leave Extra Innings they head over to Papa John's and pick up unclaimed pizzas for the Harvest Program that they then deliver to Metro Relief. 
Whew!  I'm exhausted just thinking about their Thursdays! 

Turn from evil and do good;
    seek peace and pursue it.
Psalm 34:14

Cowboys & Culture at the Fort Worth Symphony

The Fort Worth Symphony had one of their youth concerts for junior high and high school kids today.  Today's concert was called Cowboys & Culture and featured a video tour of Fort Worth like the Botanical Gardens, Sundance Square, the Science Museum, the zoo, several art museums, and the Stockyards. 
On stage was a 'cowboy' giving a group of children the tour of the city.  The orchestra accompanies the tour with music matching the sights.   We heard Gershwin: Promenade from the Real McCoy; Smetana: the Moldau from Ma' vlast;  Saint-Saens: The Elephant from Carnival of the Animals and several other great pieces.
When the school year started, I asked Caleb to pick a few of his favorite spots and we would make one more field trip for his senior year, this was on his list.

David said, 'four thousand are to praise the Lord with the musical instruments I have provided for that purpose' I Chronicles 23:5

Friday, January 16, 2015

Thank you McDermott Preschool

The kids at our church preschool prepared hygiene bags for the homeless in South Dallas. The kids and I were privileged to go out on the Metro Relief bus to deliver these great bags to our friends on the street.  It was another cold day, but Caleb and Mr. John prepared almost 30 gallons of soup to help everyone warm up. 
When the bus arrived in South Dallas the tent went up and guests took turns coming on the bus to receive their packet of goodies; toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, toothbrush, hand sanitizers, etc.  I even had several hats and scarves that our home school friends knitted to hand out. 
When the guests come on the bus we try to meet any of the needs we can.  Sometimes it food, or warm socks but most of the time it's prayer.  Once the guests receive their bags they can step up to the window and get soup, hot cocoa and a cinnamon roll. 
Some of the Metro Relief volunteers serve inside the bus, others serve food out the window, but many hang out on the street and share a cup of soup with our guest and just let them tell their story.  Many of the homeless are very guarded and it takes trust and time for them to feel comfortable to share with the volunteers. 
It was truly a great day.  So grateful for the opportunity to spend it with my kids serving the least of these.

share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter
Isaiah 58:7

Monday, January 12, 2015

Happy 90th Birthday Mr. Jerry

Happy 90th birthday Mr. Jerry! He is what 90 years old should look like!  He's just an amazing man, he volunteers twice a week at the pantry; once a week he serves lunch at an elementary school; once a week he reads to a kindergarten class; and once a week he serves popcorn at the bank!  There is a reason why he looks so good, he never had time to get old!
Ms. Gina brought his favorite Bundt cake and we celebrated with a few gifts and balloons.  One of his daughters even flew in from Florida.  

Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Titus 2:2

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Painting the Town

We had another opportunity to be creative today and of course we took it!  There were a few more bowls that needed painted for North Texas Soup N' Bowl, so we did our part. 
Loaded with a Starbucks and paint brushes we were off and painting!   I'm fairly confident you won't find work featured anywhere but on our little blog, but it sure was fun!

He paneled the main hall with juniper and covered it with fine gold and decorated it with palm tree and chain designs. 2 Chronicles 3:5

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Downton Abbey Watch Party

It's a new season for Downton Abbey and what better way to celebrate than a watch party with friends.  Frankie and Abigail invited several friends over for tea, cucumber sandwiches, scones and jellies. 
Caleb acted as Jimmy, answering the door and taking coats.  Jon and I played Carson and Mrs. Hughes serving dinner and refreshing everyone's hot tea. 
The girls played a little Downton Abbey Bingo, and cut out character paper dolls.  They watched the Season Premier followed by an episode of Downton Manners. 
The girls had a sleepover and giggled all night!  Good times!

“Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”  Mark 7:28