Monday, December 28, 2015

A Little Closer to 50!

Whew, with all the excitement of Christmas and Abigail's birthday you would think we could wait a bit for the next family holiday.  But the calendar would indicate it's my birthday!  I've never been real thrilled about the whole Christmas birthday thing, but I have to say this year knowing Caleb would be home for my birthday because of Christmas break made it a little more enjoyable. 

As always, the day began with breakfast in bed.  Yes, the whole family in one bed enjoying breakfast and opening presents.  Later in the day my mom and Bob called to sing me Happy Birthday!  I love the family traditions. 

A good name is better than precious ointment,

    and the day of death than the day of birth.
Esslesiastes 7:1

Sunday, December 27, 2015

My Birthday Girl

It seems almost unfathomable that our baby girl is fifteen!  When we relocated to Texas she was ten months old, it seems like we only blinked twice and now she's a beautiful young lady!  As our tradition, her birthday breakfast was served in bed, but because it's Sunday it was a little earlier than usual! 

Her breakfast of choice was sausage balls and Pawpa's hot cocoa, an excellent choice!  Her gifts included a little reading material, a video or two, some geek-dom and a little bling! 

From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;
    daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor. Psalm 45:8-9

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Books, Puzzles, and Games, Oh my!

Today was a refreshingly quiet day sprinkled with books, puzzles and board games. The girls spent several days working on beautiful New England seascape, one thousand piece puzzle.  All three kids broke out some of their new books.  I think Caleb made it through 900 pages today! The kids also taught Jon how to play Munchkin while Padme' broke in her new Nylabone.  The best part about the day after Christmas is snacking on the left overs and having absolutely nothing pressing! 

Better is a dry morsel with quiet
    than a house full of feasting with strife.  Proverbs 17:1

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Morning

Christmas morning is so much more enjoyable now that the kids don't get up quite so early.  Frankie still wrote her letter to Santa last night and left out cookies with a diet Dr. Pepper.  For the first time ever, Padme' walked up to the two peanut butter cookies on Santa's plate, sniffed them, and proceeded to eat them!  Padme' has never done that before but even in the last few months as she has gotten older, she has become a little more cantankerous.  It was funny because I happened to be up helping Santa fill the stockings and looked over to see that Santa's plate was empty and covered in slobber, suspiciously Santa was still sound asleep in bed! 

Deliver my soul from the sword,

    my precious life from the power of the dog!
Psalm 22:20

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Very Gungan Christmas

Today the kids took their annual visit to see the big guy in red.  This makes about a decade of Santa pictures together. We found a little time for catching up as we walked through the mall.  

The gift exchange between the kids has always been a great time.  When they were younger there were Christmases filled with Nerf guns, or the year of light sabers, or the year of marshmallow shooters.  This year with Caleb and Richard being roommates it was funny to see Caleb's gift from Richard included toothpaste because apparently Richard doesn't want Caleb borrowing his toothpaste.  And part of Caleb's gift to Richard included deodorizers for his shoes!  They crack me up! 

The best part of being together was listening to the boys tell stories on each other and each trying to defend themselves!   

We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

The Force Awakens

When you ask, 'who wants to see the new Star Wars movie' the response is an incredible, who doesn't!  today we joined twenty five plus homeschooling friends for the matinee showing. The Duncan's drove down from Ada to join us which made it extra special.  I can't tell you the number of light saber wars the kids have had together.  We've had field trips to the Fort Worth Museum of Science for a Star Wars exhibit when the kids were young. 

The movie did not disappoint!  Oh, except for that part where. . . (spoiler!)  Anyway, I remember seeing the first Star Wars movie when I was ten years old.  When the prequel came out, Jon and I took Frankie and BJ to see it and I was pregnant with Caleb.  The first time I felt him move was during the light saber battle in Episode I.   It was wonderful to have Caleb home to enjoy this together with other really special friends.   I know we will see this one again! 

After the movie we hung out at Cici's where the kids could enjoy lunch and discuss their favorite parts of the movie.  The hottest topic was, 'who is Rey?' argued out by head cannon Kenobi and head cannon Skywalker.  

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.  Ephesians 6:12

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Story of Ehud

Every Sunday after church is Bible Bowl practice, today Caleb presented the lesson of Ehud to the kids. Caleb has always enjoyed the story of the left-handed judge. After Caleb presented the lesson we played a few rounds of Jeopardy to see what the kids remembered.  It was wonderful to have Caleb home to present the lesson and the younger kids love having him in class.  They kids tried to stump Caleb with questions.  Caleb and the older boys all covered the Joshua, Judges & Ruth stories when they were in 3rd grade.  This is one of those stories that isn't told in a regular Bible class but is always a favorite with the boys. Something about stabbing the king, the guards think he's in the bathroom, dung coming out, defiantly not your typical Bible story.  

Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, and the Lord raised up for them a deliverer, Ehud, the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, a left-handed man. Judges 3:15

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Texas Legends Basketball

Thanks to our friends the Windons, tonight we attended our first Texas Legends basketball game. The Texas Legends are an American professional basketball team based in Frisco, Texas.  They play in the Central Division in the NBA Development League (NBA D-League), a minor league basketball organization. The Legends play their home games in the Dr. Pepper Arena and are affiliated with the Dallas Mavericks. 

With the release of the new Star Wars movie, the players came on the court tonight through a line of light sabers.  Tonight they played Reno and won 124 to 111.  Jon, Caleb and I have been to a few Dallas Mavericks game but I think this was the first basketball game for the girls.  The team is new and building up a following so tickets are reasonable and it was a fun family evening! 

O you strong man. He will seize firm hold on you and whirl you around and around, 
and throw you like a ball into a wide land.  Isaiah 22:17-18

Touring the AT&T Performing Arts Building

The AT&T Performing Arts Center is one of the prettiest buildings in the Dallas Arts District.  It is home to the Dallas Opera and we've been to many performances at this venue.  I've always wanted to do a backstage tour.  They host tours once per month allowing guests to tour the main portions of the building: the theater, guest boxes, etc. But only once per year, during the holidays do they permit tours backstage.

Today Frankie, Caleb and I went behind the curtain to see the green room, the massive back stage and holding areas.  The most fascinating portion was the elevated orchestra section. apparently operas are composed to be performed with the orchestra at a very specific distance from the performers.  The Elevated orchestra floor can be moved up and down with 1/32nd of an inch to ensure the composers desired sound level.  

Because operas are performed without microphones everything in the building is designed for the highest sound quality from the specific density of the cushions on the chairs to the gold plating on the front of the balconies. 

Russell Read the VP of Operations for the AT&T Performing Arts Center was back stage today overseeing preparations for this evenings performance of Jersey Boys, and he stepped in to give a personal touch to our tour.  The tours generally run 45 minutes, however he brought our group out on the stage with the set of Jersey Boys, and even gave us some insights on lighting, sound and pyrotechnics in the building. 

We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain Hebrews 6:19

Friday, December 18, 2015

Drama Club Christmas Party

It's that time of year for all the Christmas festivities to begin!  Today was the Christmas party for the high school Drama Club.  Caleb was invited to join in the fun.  The kids broke up into groups for a little Karaoke.  Each team had to choreograph dance mores and actions to assigned Queen songs.   Abigail's group performed to 'Find Somebody to Love,' and Caleb's group got, "We Are the Champions.'

One of the favorite events every year is the white elephant gift exchange.  The kids can select a gift from the pile or steal someone else's gift.   Abigail came home with a Taylor Swift calendar and Caleb received/stole a Shakespeare insults mug.  So much fun!  Love our PEACH homeschool group! 

An evil man is ensnared in his transgression,

    but a righteous man sings and rejoices.
Proverbs 29:6

Thursday, December 17, 2015


After ice skating with friends, Abigail spent the night with Gracie.  The girls took advantage of school being out to spend some time together baking and goofing off. 

The girls have teased ever since I dropped Abigail off at the wrong house on the way to Gracie's birthday party.  These days Gracie's mom meets me and then drives Abigail back to their home!  I can't imagine they think that I could get lost a second time! 

Treat the younger women as sisters,
in all purity.  I Timothy 5:2

Ice Skating with Friends

It's a little hard to imagine ice skating in seventy plus degree weather, but if you live in Texas that is a reality.  One of the local churches set up an ice skating rink in the parking lot, Caleb and Abigail joined friends from our home school group for an afternoon of fun.  

I'm not sure how long it's been since the two have been ice skating but it ended up perfect.  Abigail has been saying she wanted to go ice skate when Caleb came home for winter break and usually we head to the rink at the mall.  But this was so much better for them to be able to enjoy time with friends and check ice skating off the list! 

He gives snow like wool; he scatters frost like ashes. He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs;

    who can stand before his cold? Psalm 147:16-17

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas Lights

Each Christmas season we enjoy looking at Christmas lights around town.   We have a few favorite spots that include very elaborate designs and the down right gaudy!  The lights set to music are an incredible sight, but the over the top, just too much of everything are our favorite.  What's not to like about a lawn covered in bright inflatables!?  

The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,

    which shines brighter and brighter until full day
Proverbs 4:18

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Lovepacs Christmas Boxes

Last night the kids and I joined several other families loading up our vehicles with Lovepacs.  Lovepacs are boxes of food that are distributed to the poorest of families that might not have enough food when school is out on break.  Lovepacs is a non-profit group that relies on individual and corporate donations of food.  The food is packaged into boxes and delivered to the schools to be sent home with the children before the school break; Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break and Summer.  Because Christmas break is two weeks each family will receive two boxes of food.  

Today over 450 boxes totaling almost 250 Lovepacs were delivered to fifteen Lewisville Independent School District's East campuses severing approximately 700 children.  Just like we did at Thanksgiving, today we delivered to The Colony Police Department for at risk youth at the high school and later in the morning we delivered to the Middle School by our house.  Parents of these youth will come by the school to pick up the boxes of food.  Many of the 33 boxes we delivered to the police station will be taken by the officers to the family homes, primarily because those families do not have transportation.

I'm counting this as my workout for the day, each one of those boxes weight 30-40 pounds! Our local Kroger Grocery store donate bread for each of the 250 families receiving Lovepacs.    

For he satisfies the longing soul,
    and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
Psalm 107:9

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas Break at the Pantry

What an enjoyable morning with all three children volunteering with me at Metro Relief.  Caleb is home on Christmas break and all the friends we've met at the pantry were eager to see him and ask about all of his adventures.  

The pantry closes up for the last two weeks of the year to allow the volunteers to spend time with families.  Also, during the holidays there are many churches who offer food exclusive during Christmas.   

I think my favorite part of the day was hearing our guest say, "Is that Caleb; is Caleb back?"  Then you would hear Caleb let out a laugh as he hugged old friends. 

The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,

    and he makes known to them his covenant.
Psalm 25:14 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Church Youth Christmas Party

It was the perfect night for the church Christmas party, the weather outside was still seventy degrees so it felt a little more like winter indoors!  The sixth through twelfth graders gathered in the youth room for a Mexican dinner, followed by ornament crafts, trail mix for Santa and a gift exchange. 

the cheerful heart has a continual feast. 
Better a little with the fear of the Lord than 
great wealth with turmoil. Proverbs 15:15-16

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Padme's Pictures with Santa

When we visited Hakuna Matata earlier this week to get Padme's bath we found out they were hosting a pictures with Santa event today!  It's been several years since Padme' went to visit the big guy! 

She sat up like a big girl while the photographer took plenty of pictures.  He also did a set of pictures with Padme' and Sissy!  Aren't they sweet! 

Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own.  Proverbs 26:17

Friday, December 11, 2015

Pictures with Santa

Caleb made it home today from LCU and the first item on our agenda was to go see Santa.  Frankie insisted that we couldn't go until Caleb was here.  Last year we visited the Santa at Bass Pro and Frankie wasn't impressed because he forgot to ask what she wanted for Christmas.  This year we visited Santa at Stonebriar Mall we checked with his head elf to remind him that it's important for Santa to ask Frankie what she wants for Christmas.  It was a much better experience!! 

Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind,

    and the fool will be servant to the wise.
Proverbs 11:29

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Hakuna Matata Means No Worries

Our town got a great new doggie day care, grooming, and boarding facility named Hakuna Matata, so we went today to check it all out. They have these awesome stainless steel tubs on hydraulic lifts, which is really nice if you have a very large dong! Each station is in a private room with power washers and dryers. 

It was great, and so much better than the huge mess Padme' makes in my bathroom when I bathe her at home! I would love to say how much she enjoyed it, but at 10 years old she kind of a cranky and doesn't really enjoy anything besides being at home, but she put up with it! 

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?  Matthew 6:27

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Becoming Santa Claus Opera

When it comes to holiday performances, dance has The Nutcracker, theater has A Christmas Carol, and classical music has Handel’s Messiah. Today we’re checking out operas newest addition, composer Mark Adamo’s Becoming Santa Claus. With the family watching the world premiere at the Dallas Opera with a live simulcast to the  Lincoln Center in New York!

Becoming Santa Claus  is set in the Elven kingdom where spoiled Prince Claus will celebrate his 13th birthday with the party.  However, a bright star has signaled a momentous birth. Claus decides to dazzle this newborn with an assortment of the very latest toys before discovering that love is the most treasured gift of all.

The story doesn't go into the religious significance of the child's birth but is that 'presence' is preferred to presents.  It was cleverly done with elaborate, fanciful costumes and magnificent set designs! 

Please accept the present that was brought to you,
for God has been gracious to me
 and I have all I need.”
Genesis 33:11

Winter Care Packages

One Sunday per month the moms at church with college kids meet up and pack gift boxes for the students.  Each mom brings a dozen items and then one of each item goes into the care packs.  For Caleb's package the girls and I decorated it with red paper and wrote, "We Miss You Snow Much!"  And for the package we made for Richard we use light blue paper with the message, "Don't Flake Out on Your Exams!"  

Each of the moms wrote Christmas cards for the kids so they would have a package full of warm wishes going into finals week!  

It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.
Deuteronomy 11:12

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Lady Storm Softball

Abigail was able to get in a little softball today, and by a little I mean four 90 minute games.  She was playing pick up for the Lady Storm in a a tournament in Grapevine.

She is still adjusting to playing again after an almost three month hiatus because of the torn ligament in her thumb.

She's more than a little frustrated to not be playing catcher, but it will come in time.  She's hitting the ball well and with some more work she will be back behind the plate. 

  1. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality,he will give eternal life.  Romans 2:7

Friday, December 4, 2015

Visit to Nash Farms

Nash Farms is a historic landmark in Grapevine, TX.  It currently sits on 5+ acres of the original 200+ acres owned by Thomas Jefferson Nash in 1859.  The farm is now open for tours of the main house, pole barn, smoke shed, and animal pens. 

This is one of the first places we visited with the kids when we moved to Texas.  It was nice to see the expansion to the exhibits.  Many of the rooms to the main house have now been refurbished.  Most of the furniture is original to the house.  

Today's adventure was part of the estate's Victorian Christmas so the girls and I strung berries and popcorn for the tree. It was also perfect weather for hoop races and horse shoes! 

“Return to your homes with your great wealth—with large herds of livestock, with silver, gold, bronze and iron, and a great quantity of clothing—and divide the plunder from your enemies with your fellow Israelites.”  Joshua 22:8

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Glenn Beck Show

We were able to have a little hands-on political science class at Glenn Beck studios, and by that I mean we were at the taping of one of Glenn's shows in the studio audience and as a homeschooling mom, I counted it as school!!! It was a little odd to be at the taping without Caleb but always enjoyable. 

Glenn was filming a show emphasizing family and traditions.  It was a special show highlighting the traditions of his family with personal stories of his grandparent.  He was joined on stage by his daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter.  Glenn is an remarkably gracious man, it is always a highlight to hang out and watch the filming of his show.   It's also interesting to see all the behind-the-scenes action.  There is a lot of work that goes into a one hour show. 

The show was set to air today, however due to the terrorist act in San Bernardino, CA the show will not air until next week. 

A prudent servant will rule over a disgraceful son

    and will share the inheritance as one of the family.
Proverbs 17:2

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

LCU’s Big Blue “Elf-stravaganza”

Tonight was LCU’s third annual Big Blue “Elf-stravaganza” an evening crafts, photos, music, and the Lighting of the Chap.

The campus was decorated like the Christmas movie, Elf – including the Candy Cane Forest and Sea of Gumdrops and the World’s Greatest Cup of Coffee – as well as fire pits, hot beverages, and food options. Buddy the Elf himself, welcomed students into the Baker Conference Center, which was decked to look like Gimbel’s Department Store, complete with paper chains, paper s, ice sculptures, and a LEGO Empire State Building.

Caleb and other members of the student senate helped out with the Arendelle and Whoville locations. The Grinch came down from his mountain and posed for photo opportunities on one end of the SUB, and Whoville was filled with Seuss-style crafts for kids and their families. Arendelle had games of its own from building marshmallow snowmen to a snowball toss, while the snow sisters, Queen Elsa and Princess Anna, accompanied by Kristoff and Olaf, joined the festivities for pictures and lots of warm hugs.

LCU’s music groups performed songs of the season on the steps of the McDonald Moody Auditorium. The evening culminated with a countdown to the Lighting of the Chap and Christmas tree outside the Moody auditorium. Afterwards, students watched “Elf” in the SUB.

A glad heart makes a cheerful face
Proverbs 15:13

Happy Birthday, Padme'

Today we celebrated Padme's 10th birthday!  Padme' is a beautiful fawn English Mastiff.  She's been Frankie's companion and best buddy for the last decade.  

The girls made Padme' a party hat for the occasion, which Padme' clearly had not intention of wearing! She was, however, very interest in her gift bag which held treats and a new chew toy! Happy birthday, sweet puppy! 

They are dogs with mighty appetites;

    they never have enough.
Isaiah 56:11