Thursday, April 30, 2015

Law & Order: C'Rhyme and Punishment

Tonight was the big performance!  The drama club has worked hard since September preparing for the big night.  Because our group is student led, the youth take a huge role in all aspects of the performance including costumes, set, choreography, make-up,  even line re-writes. This year was special because I didn't see any of the show until the actual performance.  

This was the kids fifth year in the Drama Club and of course Caleb's final performance.  I think the had 50+ kids participate this year including actors, stage hands and production crew.   The group has seen marked improvement over the years, I really enjoy seeing them blossom!  Great job to everyone!

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord
Colossians 3:23

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Dress Rehearsal for Drama Performance

We are only days away from the homeschool groups drama performance of 'Law & Order: C-rhyme and Pun-ishment.' 
It  is a comical look as two detectives try to solve the mystery of who pushed Humpty Dumpty off the wall. The suspects are all nursery rhyme characters.  Abigail plays the part of Mary, who had a little lamb.  We meet her in a support group being treated for paranoia about being followed by a Little Lamb.
Caleb is Georgie Porgie Puddin' Pie, who kissed the girls and made them cry!   He's kind of a creepy Rob Lowe character.  Several of the females have a restraining order out on him.  Oddly enough he is also in Abigail's therapy group!
Today was the dress rehearsal and the first look at how everything is coming together!
Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these  Luke 18:16

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Texas Christian Homeschool Prom

And finally, pictures from the actual prom!! The theme for this year's Texas Christian Homeschool Prom was The Chronicles.  All of the venues were set up with themes from C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia.  They had great set ups from the train station, the Fords of Beruna, Cair Paravel Throne Room, the White Witch's Castle, The Arena, Aslan's Garden, The Stone Table, The Silver Chair and others.   It was over the top fantastic!  The event hosted 1,600 home schooled high schoolers from across North Texas.
One of the things I really enjoyed was they had dozens of professional photographers at the event, all parents who donated their talent for volunteer service hours. The thousands of photos they captured were then posted to a Smug Mug account where parents could order prints!  Love it!  I was able to get quality pictures of Caleb and his friends without stalking them at prom!

Our mouths were filled with laughter,
    our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we are filled with joy
Psalm 126:2-3

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Pre-Prom Pictures

Before heading off to the prom, the kids all met up at the Hansen's home to take a few pictures.  They all looked so sharp.  Caleb went in a black tux with silk suspenders and a green and black tie.  We went ahead and purchased the tux so he could take it to college for formal occasions. 
I know he was worn out before he left because he had orientation in the morning for Hawaiian Falls and then in the afternoon he went over to the park to train the new hires how to use the cotton candy equipment.  The kid barely had time to run home, shower and head back out!

Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Ruth 3:3

Prom Night Set Up

Tonight is prom night for 1,600 homeschooled kids in North Texas.  All parents are required to participate in the preparations, donating a minimum of fours of service.  There are plenty of areas to work including set decorations, addressing and putting together invitations and tickets, costumes for adult chaperones and the one I selected prom set up.
Abigail came with me to assist.  We worked in the Tashbaan Marketplace setting up open air tents.  At prom tonight the kids can buy posters, scarves, Turkish Delight and other wares sold in Narnia. 
Just as a point of reference and to lend perspective to a bunch of homeschool mom's working on a giant project . . . Homeschooling Mom's tend to be control freaks, that's what makes them good at taking charge of their children's education.  They are not always great at working together with others.  It made for an interesting four hours! 
 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. Colossians 3:23

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Lubbock Christian University

Caleb and I made a trip to Lubbock Christian University today for me to see the campus.  Caleb had been here before with Richard.   Jon and I had dinner with the head of the Honors program a month or so ago.  Now that Caleb is ready to finalize everything, I wanted to take a look at the campus. 

It was a great visit, we ran into friends I grew up with from church camp; friends of relatives; youth from our home congregation.  It was a really great, peace-filled visit.  The drive is about five hours and it is definitely more rural than Plano, but the feel of the campus is a great vibe.  I feel really comfortable that it is a good fit for Caleb. 

All papers are signed and it is official, he's headed to Lubbock Christian University in the fall, Go Chaps!

For the Lord gives wisdom;    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding
Proverbs 2:6

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Saturday Softball

The weather cleared up and let us get in a little softball this weekend!  Abigail and her Southern Force played four tournament games today.  Tomorrow afternoon they'll have two more games.  
The girl was happy to get back out on the ball fields, the team looked a little rusty after several weeks of no games, but they got back into the swing of it by the third game. 
With our being gone the last couple of weekends with Bible Bowl, we weren't getting out of the house today without Padme'!  She was one happy puppy prancing out among the girls!  

You shall rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house
Deuteronomy 26:11

Friday, April 10, 2015

Law & Order: c-Rhyme & Pun-ishment

The kids in our PEACH Drama Club have been working all year on the production of Law & Order: c-Rhyme and Pun-isment.  It takes place in the nursery rhyme justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups — the detectives, who investigate the crime, and the magistrates, who prosecute the defenders.  These are their rhymes. 
Mister Humpty Dumpty has been found shattered and fowl play is suspected.  Can they solve the c-rhyme?  The script is full of silly puns and plot twists in this Law and Order spoof.   The play will be presented in just a couple of weeks, today they had cast photos for the program.  We headed out to a local part and the photographer took the kids pictures, these are just a few I snapped along the way.
One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
Deuteronomy 19:15

Thursday, April 9, 2015

College Tour in Tennessee

This morning Caleb and a group of kids from the Waterview, Brown Trail and Lewisville congregations took of on a chartered bus to Freed-Hardeman.  This weekend is their Makin' Music (aka Spring Sing equivalent) event. 
The youth toured the campus, got to sleep in the dorms, eat in the cafeteria and somewhat experience life on campus.   This is the last of his college favorites to tour.  Freed is on the short list of colleges he's considering.  Everything we've seen and heard about the school is fantastic and I'm sure the Tennessee campus is lovely. 

He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
     He restores my soul.
Psalms 23:2-3

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Dallas Opera's Iolanta

Tonight was another great student performance at the Dallas Opera.  We took a couple of Abigail’s friends Brianna and Emilie with us to see Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta. It’s the story of a blind princess who gains her sight only because she is motivated to seek a cure out of dedication to her new love.  Finally an opera with cheery finale; no stabbings, cliff jumpings, poisoning, just hugs and kisses.  
This was another one of the techno performances with stage projections instead of the elaborate stage designs. ICK!  Not a fan!  I love the singing and the majesty of the opera, and it was enjoyable, but my personal preference is the big elaborate sets and costumes.  The girls really seemed to have a good time in the fancy setting and Jon and Caleb patiently sat through to keep mom happy!
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
    the Lord loves the righteous.
Psalm 146:8

Sunday, April 5, 2015

No Greater Joy

This evening was the Leadership Training for Christ's awards presentation.  The youth, including Frankie, Caleb and Abigail, who participated in Texas Bible Bowl were recognized and presented with their awards.  Mr. Gungan also took a few minutes to recognize Caleb, Richard, Ryan for their first place team awards for the past nine years in National/Texas Bible Bowl.  He also spot lighted Caleb's nine years of highest score individually in his division and overall for the past nine years. 
During the evening Caleb and Richard were each awarded with scholarships though LTC.  It was funny because as their Bible Bowl coach, Richard asked me to write his recommendation for the scholarship.  I emailed Richard my rough draft that read, 'Do not consider Richard for this award, instead give all preference to Caleb Kirkwood who submitted his paperwork 3 days ago!'  Needless to say that wasn't the final version I sent in to LTC!  But Richard's reaction was fun!   It was very fitting that both received equal scholarships, they have done LTC together all these years and have really led the charge for the younger kids that LTC is cool! 
The first couple of years of LTC the kids were so excited however many of the older youth and even parents would make comments indicating that when they got older they wouldn't have that much time; or it wasn't cool when you get older.  Our family and the Gungan's have insisted with the children as they got older they could be the wet blankets the older kids were to them, or they could step up and be the encouragers they didn't have.   Every year, I have watched Caleb and Richard especially, step up and encourage the young men in the congregation.  Looking at the picture of the age span of 3rd-12th standing on stage tonight was a great testimony to who these young men have become.   I told you, it's been a very sentimental weekend!

For the grandparents, Caleb received Gold in Bible Bowl, Chorus, Drama, Speech, Sign Language, Service Challenge and Daily Devotional Challenge.  Abigail received Gold in Bible Bowl, Drama, Girl's Speech, Sign Language, Teaching Challenge, and Daily Devotional Challenge.  Both of the kids got 96 out of 100 Bible Bowl questions correct!  

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 4

Mighty Men

This morning left this mom feeling very sentimental and humbled!  Leadership Training for Christ weekend closes with a Sunday morning worship service.  This year was Richard, Blake and Caleb's last year to participate in LTC.  The boys have attended church together at McDermott Road since they were in first grade. 
In third grade, their first year with LTC, the three of them did song leading, Bible Bowl, Chorus, and Service Challenge.  Ten years later, the three of them have participated every year.  Richard and Caleb were recognized Friday night of LTC as two of only five youth who had participated in Bible Bowl all ten years.  Caleb was also recognized for his top scores in his division for most of those ten years. 
On Sunday morning, Blake led singing at the morning worship and Richard gave his lesson.  It was so humbling to see them leading, it was Blake's first time to lead at the LTC service. Last year Caleb spoke and in 3rd grade Caleb led singing.  This was Richard's 2nd time to speak, he spoke before the group in 4th grade.   Words can't express how amazing it was to see these three young men, who were boys just the other day leading the congregation of people.  Equally gratifying was that one of our McDermott boys, Kaiden, a fourth grader, also led singing.  He is one of the young men Caleb has worked with for Texas Bible Bowl.  The thought of these young men encouraging others to step out and lead in their faith made this mom heart leap! 

Train up a child in the way he should go;    even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Leadership Training for Christ Drama Performance

The final event for Leadership Training for Christ is Drama.  Each participating congregation writes their own script using that year's theme.  Again, this year's theme was Give It Up, taken from the book of Luke and centering around the answer Christ gave the Rich Young Ruler.
Caleb played the part of a game show host for America's Next Idol and Abigail was the famous model contestant.  Thanks to Mr. Deputy for the fun script and the time spent with the kids!

Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.  I speak to sensible people;
judge for yourselves what I say.
I Corinthians 10:13-14

LTC - Caleb's Speech - Give It Up

In the afternoon the young men present their speeches, again each should center around Leadership Training for Christ's theme, "Give It Up," taken from the book of Luke.  Caleb again presented the inverse of the topic, when you should not give it up.  He presented this again at the Sunday evening LTC awards presentation.  Such a gifted young man with a sweet and gentle heart. 

You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”  Luke 18:22

LTC - Girl's Speech

While Caleb and the chorus from church were performing at North Texas Leadership Training for Christ, Abigail was giving her speech.  This is her second year to compete in the Girl's Speech division.  This was her practice before she presented, I uploaded it because it had better sound quality for the grandparents. 
The topic this year was 'Give It Up' taken from the book of Luke.  Abigail wrote her speech, guided by their fabulous coach, Mr. Cooner.  She did well and earned a Gold medal for her presentation!  I don't think at fourteen I would have felt this comfortable speaking in front of a group of people!

As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her.  When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”  Luke 7:11-12

LTC Acapella Chorus

Saturday morning at North Texas Leadership Training for Christ is always the chorus competition.  You can see Caleb on the top row left hand side.  Abigail did not participate in chorus because her speech competition was at the same time slot.

Mr. Brad did a fabulous job preparing the 7th - 12th graders for LTC, they sound wonderful. 

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord
Ephesians 5:19

Friday, April 3, 2015

Bible Bowl - LTC 2015

The big event for Friday night at Leadership Training for Christ is Bible Bowl.  It is very different from the Texas Bible Bowl, this event is only 100 questions and it is a much easier test.  It is a simple comprehension test over the material presented.  This test is also taken from the NIV, where the Texas Bible Bowl is taken from the ESV.   This creates a few translation changes for the kids. 
All in all, I think between Caleb and Abigail and the three Gungans, not one of them scored less than 95 correct answers!  It was a great night.  LTC even recognized the kids who had participated in Bible Bowl all 10 years and Caleb & Richard were two of only five youth who had participated every year since 3rd grade, in a room of 600 kids! 
Years ago the boys as elementary age youth took grief from the older kids for doing LTC and particularly for excelling in Bible Bowl.  The goal has been as they got older to be a better role model for the kids, to encourage the younger children at church that LTC is cool.  Particularly that studying the Bible is cool, mission accomplished!  So very proud of these kids!

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.  2 Timothy 2:15

LTC 2015 - Sign Language

The first event for Leadership Training for Christ this year is Sign Language.  Caleb and Abigail both participated in Level 1 and signed the song, 'Holy Ground.'  Both received Gold medals for their efforts.  Thanks, Ms. Gungan!!

Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.  Acts 7:33

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Dance Rehearsal

The Texas Homeschool Prom is just a few weeks away and tonight they held another dance rehearsal at the local community college.  Why dance rehearsal?  Well there are some line dances, group dance that will be done to certain songs.  There is also a dance competition and probably more importantly, it gives organizers a chance to impart etiquette to the participants. 
Simple things are shared like remembering to escort your partner on and off the dance floor; if you go in a group reminding the young men to ask each of the girls in the group to dance.  Simple things to make the evening more enjoyable for everyone. 
Caleb, Emma, Richard, the Green girls and the Elliotts all attended together and had a great time. 

They send forth their children as a flock;
    their little ones dance about.
They sing to the music of timbrel and lyre;
    they make merry to the sound of the pipe.
Job 21:11-12

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Fools Fun

April Fools Day is always a fun day, today the youngest filled the coffee dispensers at Metro Relief with strawberry/orange Kool-Aid. Our guests were a little surprised, so were the other volunteers that depend on caffeine in the mornings.
Abigail and Frankie also wore their Minnie’s Food Pantry shirts and welcomed everyone to ‘Minnie’s.’ 
I may have finished up the day by short sheeting their beds, after they spent the whole day waiting to see what mom would do. 

 Deliver me from all my transgressions.
    Do not make me the scorn of the fool!
Psalm 39:8