Saturday, August 29, 2015

More Birthday Celebrations!

Donnie's birthday is just a few days before Frankie's so he suggested we meet up in Atoka, OK for Mexican food and celebrating. 

Donnie teased Frankie that since she was 30 she was officially older than him since he was only 29.  But Frankie reminded him that he turned 80 last year, meaning he was 81 now!  They had a fun time teasing each other. 

After lunch at our favorite meet up spot we went over the park to play with Sport and visit.  

Abigail made chocolate and vanilla cupcakes to share.  We packed away six cupcakes to take to Atoka, but Jon dropped them in back yard on the way to the car.  So I packed up another six cupcakes and dropped them on the kitchen floor.  The next six cupcakes Frankie packed and carried herself to the car without incident! It was funny, we were laughing too hard to be upset about the dozen wasted cupcakes! 

It was an enjoyable, lighthearted day just perfect for celebrating!  Frankie loved being the center of attention! 

They celebrate your abundant goodness

    and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
Psalm 145:7

Frankie's Birthday

Can you believe our little Frankie is 30 today!  Like all great birthdays we began with breakfast in bed, her choice, bacon, egg and cheese bagel.   Breakfast was followed by opening presents, everyone's favorite time!  There were movies, shoes, clothes and lots of other goodies.  Her siblings found several '30' birthday cards that she really enjoyed them poking fun at her! 

After she opened her gifts, Caleb called on Skype where they could video chat on my laptop.  That was great, we all enjoyed seeing his smiling face and listening to the stories of college life.

I posted on Facebook that it was her birthday so lots of well wishes poured in.  Sissy had a great time reading and responding everyone's comments.  

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.  Deuteronomy 30:19

Monday, August 24, 2015

College Care Package

The drive home from LCU was kind of quiet on Friday afternoon.  Saturday was a very long day, and it was just odd how quiet the house had become.  Not because Caleb is loud but because we were all used to interacting with him.  

So I took the girls out and we put together his first care package to arrive on Monday. On one of our pizza pick ups for the pantry we had asked for an empty pizza box.  We arranged dollar bills to make the pizza and quarters for the toppings. 

The girls made cards, Frankie's said, "You have a Pizza My Heart." And Abigail's card read, "Fitness? More Like Fitness Whole Pizza in My Mouth!"  

Sunday after services came the first phone call and it was glorious.  Caleb was hanging outside the caf waiting for lunch and called to check in.  The girls and mom were thrilled to talk to him.  The quietness was quickly filled with jabbering and shortly after his call things began to resume.  

This next phase will look different, but it is hard to be sad knowing this is what's best for him and the natural progression of life. . . care packages and phone calls and who knows, maybe an occasional laundry run! 

The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded
    than the shouts of a ruler of fools.
Ecclesiastes 9:16

Friday, August 21, 2015

Time to Let Go

This morning was the beginning of freshman orientation for the boy and parent orientation for Jon and I.  We sat through several hours of Q & A with various school administrators and then the parents broke up in groups and walked to different parts of the campus and prayed for the students and the school.  

At noon the new freshman walked in and the parents surrounded them as the Bible Chair prayed a blessing over the incoming class.  I'm not going to lie, it was tough.  But, I have great peace in where he's at and who he is.  I look with great anticipation to see the man he is becoming.  

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

Thursday, August 20, 2015

LCU Move In Day

Today was move in day for the incoming freshmen.  Caleb and Richard arrived at the dorms early, hoping to one of the limited pairs of risers for their bunks.  The risers allow them to elevate their beds and move the desks under the beds so they have more floor space. 

Jon and the girls drove up with the refrigerator, microwave and a few other odds and ends.  Each of the freshmen had a welcome basket waiting in their dorms.  The boys will be in Johnson Hall near the common area.  It was fun while we were moving in, I was in the dorm hanging clothes and I heard Caleb in the hallway introducing himself to dorm mates and making small talk.  It was heartwarming to hear how comfortable he was in his new environment!  Even just walking around the campus as Caleb took the girls on the tour, Caleb was so relaxed and at ease walking about the campus.  

One of the deciding facts for me that LCU was the right place for Caleb was the sense that everyone from recruiters, administrators, and professors were determined to see Caleb and his fellow student succeed.  What a great environment, you want to know there are others right alongside him fighting and giving the tools to succeed. 

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips;
 on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything
 written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
Joshua 1:8

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

College Bound

Today was the day to move the boy to Lubbock!  His Jeep Grand Cherokee was loaded up with everything a young man could possibly need.  He has to check into the dorm early tomorrow morning so he and I made the five hour drive today. 

The ride to Lubbock was good, not much to see but cotton fields, wind mills, and cows. When we made it Lubbock Christian University he took care of a little business, you know, picking out his meal plan, rec ID, etc! He also stopped by the Bible Department to say hello to Dr. Patty, his honor's professor. 

This evening we attended services at the Green Lawn Church of Christ that is adjacent to the campus.  It was a sweet service with a prayer service for the youth and faculty returning to school. 

It was funny on the drive up the boy would hit the search button on his stereo and I promise we listened to every sad country leaving, dying song!  Ugh! 

I will make every effort to see that after my departure
you will always be able to remember these things.
2 Peter 1:15

Monday, August 17, 2015

Books We Read for the 2014-2015 School Year

One of the great things about keeping the blog is it serves as a great place to save things I want to remember.  I try to keep up with the major books we've enjoyed through the school year, but I don't always remember to mark everything we read. 

These post serve as a great reminder of books we read, sometimes they are books we want to read again!  Some of our selections are predetermined by our school curriculum and some are books Jon & I chose for them; still others are the kid’s personal sections. 

Anyway, for posterity sake here is the list for our 2014-2015 School Year:

Alive in the Spirit; An Angel Experiment; Angel; Animal Farm; Benjeapes; Bible; Canterbury Tales; Cross My Heart & Hope to Spy; David Copperfield; Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover; Dorothy Must Die; Fountainhead; Gathering Blue; Great Divorce; Hamlett; Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy;  Legend; Max; Maximum Ride Final Warning; Mind Gym; Mysterious Island; Ode to the West Wind;  Our Town; Paradise Lost; Percy Jackson's Greek Gods; Prodigy; Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports; School's Out Forever; Scorch Trials; Screwtape Letters; Selection; The Blood Olympus; The Dragon Book; The Elite; The Gallagher Academy; The Mental ABC's of Pitching; The One;  The Roar; and The Scorpio Races.

Here is a look back at previous school years:

Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.

Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.
Ecclesiastes 12:12 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Family Get Together

One last Sunday lunch together with the Gungans, Herrings and the Kirkwoods before we take the boys to college.  It will be interesting to sit down together in a few months and see how the boys have grown and matured. 

There are so many great things ahead for them and so many changes for every member sitting around this table.  I'm so grateful that some ten years ago God put our families together.  

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:4-9

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Our Homeschool Farewell to the Duncan Family

This will be the first of several sappy posts, so please bear with me.  Sappy seems to be where we are right now.  Our friends the Gungans are relocating to Oklahoma.  Our families have been together at church, homeschooling and play for the better part of eleven years.  

It is still surreal, it's hard to imagine their family not being here.  The up side is Caleb and Richard will be together at Lubbock Christian University and I know our families will still be tied together.  It will just look differently than it has the last eleven years. 

With that said, this morning was the first of the going away parties.  Our homeschool group had a nice come and go event for the family today.  Just a time to wish them well and thank the family for all they've done for our group.  

“Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.’”  I Samuel 20:42

Church Farewell to the Duncan Family

The second portion of our day was a farewell send off from our church family for the Gungans. 

The Sanderford family opened up their lovely new home for a come and go send off.  Lots of fun stories and sweet faces stopped by to wish them well.  

The pic in the lower left corner is one of my favorites, Abigail and Caleb sharing cake.  Something you have to know is Roy doesn't share drinks, food, germs, etc.  But in this one moment when his best friend offered him a fork, the two share the plate of cake.  

Oh, for the days when I was in my prime,
    when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house,
when the Almighty was still with me

    and my children were around me,
Job 29:4-5

Cash Control Ladies

Today was also Caleb's last day to work at Hawaiian Falls, so before leaving for school.  He made his final stop by Cash Control where he ends each shift.  

The ladies have been great to Caleb and have even teased him that, 'not everyone can be Caleb!'  He takes great pride that his register is never off, despite the large volume and multiple transactions and credits that he process each day.  

He took his favorite ladies some cookie on his last day as a thank you for all the goodies they've given him over the season. 

Treat older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. I Timothy 5:2

Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday Night Slides and Fireworks

The boy worked all day today, in fact there was a scheduling change and he ended up working much later than he anticipated.  The girls wanted to be with their brother, so when he got off work they headed up to Hawaiian Falls for Friday Night Slides.  

The water park is lit up on Friday nights with led lights and you can ride all the slides in the slightly cooler weather.  It was still pretty crowded, so Frankie preferred to stay in the lazy river and float, and after working all day that was fine with Caleb! 

Tonight they even had fireworks to finish out  the evening.  

For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. Luke 17:24

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Metro Relief Send Off

Today was Caleb's last day volunteering at Metro Relief on a weekly basis.  Since he's heading to school next week, they had a party for him today complete with cards and gifts.  

One of the gifts was a case of Ramen Noodles!  How great is that!  I'm sure he'll be back when he's home on break, but it was a little bitter sweet to say goodbye to this group of friends! This great group of friends has consistently been the same group of volunteers coming together twice a week to serve others for three years! 

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.  Matthew 6:2-4

That's My Boy!

This morning I’m reminded in the difference in boys and girls. Caleb worked most of yesterday and then he went out to Collin College to sell back some of his textbooks. Afterwards he went to the Hawaiian Falls in Garland for the employee end of the year party. He came home around 10:15 told me about his day and went to bed. This morning I find a little trophy, certificate, and gift cards for Best Customer Service. When I asked him this morning, he said, “oh yeah, I forgot, they gave that to me last night.” If it had been the girls, they would have come running in saying, “Mom, guess what I won!?!”

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders  I Thessalonians 4:11-12

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Batting Lessons

After Emma's party we Jon over at Extra Innings for batting lessons with Coach Kelly.  Abigail's softball team, is a 14U team, meaning it is for girls 14 years of age and under.  Abigail will turn 15 in December and will need to bump up to a 16U team.  

That means we are now shopping for a new team.  She's been working with Kelly on her batting and has really improved her bat.  She's had three team tryouts this week and another one this weekend.  It's a tough choice to find a team that takes it seriously so she continues to improve.  But you also want a team that will give her freedom to also participate in Bible Bowl and Drama in the Spring. 

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

Emma's Birthday

Today the girls got together to celebrate Emma's birthday. We enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of games and painting. 

The girls were able to spend the day painting everything from glass tiles, to clip boards to clay pots.  Frankie especially enjoyed using stencils to decorate her pot.  Emma painted a really nice eagle on her tile!  

The girls also personalized each other friends signs and initials. The moms also enjoyed sine arts and crafts too!   

But now, O Lord, you are our Father;
we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand.  Isaiah 64:8 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

I Need a Burrito

In a house with three women, there are times when the boys need to get out.  Jon and Caleb have a code where if there is too much estrogen in the house sometimes the boys need 'a burrito'.  Because sometimes, well, a guy just needs a burrito.  

Today the boys took out after church and had a Whataburger for lunch.  Caleb has been wanting to get a little time in at the archery range with his bow. He knows he can't take the bow to Lubbock, and it's one of his favorite past times.

After that, they took a few toys over to the gun range and did a little target practice. Again, a past time he won't be able to do with his won equipment at school.  

If I say to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you, take them,’
then you are to come, for, 
as the Lord lives, it is safe for you and there is no danger.
I Samuel 20:21

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Oh My! Party

We enjoyed a great evening tonight with Ms. Emma and her family.  Our families have been close through home schooling for several years with PEACH.  

The kids participate in Drama, Speaker's Club, Jr./Sr. Teen Club, Book Club and almost any other home school event with PEACH.  Emma's mom, Mrs. Gungan and I have all served on the PEACH Board of Directors for many years together.  

Today was Emma's 17th birthday and we joined the Gungan's in celebration.  They also had a send off for the boys.  Emma is a fantastic artist and created awesome custom artwork for the boys to include in their dorm rooms. Very sweet! 

Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the 
divine being is like gold or silver or stone, 
an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 
Acts 17:29 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Glenn Beck Republican Candidate Debate

Caleb and I got an extra unexpected date today!  We have been fortunate enough to attend several tapings of the Glenn Beck television show on the Blaze Network. The show is filmed in his studios in Irving, Texas.  The show does a great job of rotating through the requests to give priority to first timers tickets to show tapings.

Caleb was hoping to make it to one more show before he left to college and as fate would have it, he got an invitation to today's show.  Tonight is the first Republican debate, so the show was a town hall discussion of talking points voters would like to hear covered in the debates.

Caleb is looking forward to voting in his first presidential election, he is his father's son!  

He changes times and seasons;
    he deposes kings and raises up others.
Daniel 2:21

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Date with My Boy

We are on the countdown of less than two weeks until Caleb leaves for college.  The next couple of weeks will be full of packing, finishing up at Hawaiian Falls, and saying good bye to friends.  

Jon and Caleb have a dad date coming up and Jon suggested to Caleb that a smart man would take his Mom out for a date before he left town.  

He wanted to check out the new Studio Movie Grill by the house so we headed over there for the matinee performance of Ant-Man, Marvel Comics latest release.  

Fortunately, today the lights were working! The theater was empty!  We got a personal showing of the movie, and lunch with our own concierge,  It was a fun movie, it had a fun scene with Thomas the Tank Engine which was fun because that's a cartoon Caleb grew up watching.  In fact we've even gone on a train ride with the Gungans on Thomas when it was in Grapevine.

After wards we made a few stops for needed college gear.  I'm gonna miss that kid, but I'm so excited for his future! 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosperyou and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

VIP Treatment at Hawaiian Falls

Hawaiian Falls is the water park near our house where Caleb works.  They have seven locations in the Dallas Fort Worth area.   For the past five years they have hosted a Champions Day for families with special needs.  It is a time when they close the rest of the park so there are no crowds, no over stimulation. 

When we go to Hawaiian Falls during regular hours Frankie may only ride one or two rides and then she sticks close to me in the wave pool or lazy river.  But today she could ride all the rides she wanted.  
Caleb was working cotton candy when we got there, but when his supervisor found out Frankie was there he covered Caleb's station and let Caleb have some time with Sissy.  I think she rode all but two slides.  

On one of the rides she met another girl and they rode several slides together.  It was wonderful to see her come off the slides excited and say, "Mom, I made a new friend!"  Frankie even felt comfortable enough that she and her new friend went off and rode several more slides together! 

If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,

    I will change my expression, and smile,’

Job 9:27

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation

For the third Sunday afternoon in a row, Jon and I have managed to sneak out for a date!  Caleb is usually working on Sunday afternoons and since there is no Bible Bowl going on in summer we are taking advantage of this time.  Today's adventures led us to the new Studio Movie Grill literally two miles from our home.  

It was a bit of an adventure because it is still a new construction and has been open for only a week, they were having a few technical difficulties.  Difficulties like the auditorium lights weren't working, making it hard to find your seats, read the menu, etc.  Fortunately everyone were good sports about it and it was a fun day! 

This '80's girl is a Tom Cruise fan and I especially like the MI series so it seemed only fitting that today's feature was Rogue Nation!  My favorite scene is the opener with Tom Cruise hanging off the side of the plane!  After all, that's what you go to a Tom Cruise movie to see!!  I'm still holding out for a sequel to Tom Gun!! 

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Matthew 17: 20