Sunday, February 28, 2016

Add to your virtue, knowledge

Today we wrapped up the book of Ruth, meaning I have presented the kids with Joshua, Judges, and Ruth.  Now we review, take practice test and prepare for competition.  The kids have been troopers, we have covered Rahab, Gideon, Samson, Delilah, Ehud, Jephthah's daughter and other not so typical Sunday School lessons.  The kids have hung tough through chopping off kings thumbs and toes; hanging kinds; chopping up concubines; just crazy stories of what happened when Israel left God. 

I'm so proud of these kids they have hung tough and learned so much.  I can't wait to see how well they do at Texas Bible Bowl.  The big thing is that they want to come back next year and add more to their knowledge banks!  

An intelligent heart acquires knowledge,
    and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.  Proverbs 18:15 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Take Me Back to . . . Atoka

The calendar showed a host of events today including building drama props and softball.  However, our industrious prop master found all the backdrops needed and wet field conditions cancelled practice.  So we had a Saturday free! 

Granny and Donnie had a rough week, Donnie's sister Betty passed away.  It was time to hang out and decompress.  We have a favorite Mexican restaurant in Atoka that is Caleb's favorite.  So of course Abigail took pictures of our dinner and texted Caleb! 

It was a short visit, but even just a little time together is so valuable!  

for your daughter-in-law loves you
Ruth 4:15

Thursday, February 25, 2016


There doesn't seem to be a day that goes by that doesn't include softball for the girl.  Her day began at 6am with Algebra II, and moving on from one commitment to another; ending in hitting lessons with Coach Kelly.  We had rain outs earlier in the week so she needed to get in some practice.  

Her CHANT coach said she will be getting equal time on the field as the lead catcher.  With that inspiration, she is putting in the hard work to earn that spot! 

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.  Colossians 3:23-24

Friends of Silver and Gold

After Speaker's Club, most of the youth stayed behind to help Hannah with her Girl Scout Gold Award.  Hannah raised enough money to assemble one hundred emergency bags for seniors.  Hannah directed the group to assemble the packs with flash light, multi-tools, first aid kits, water bottles, solar blankets and other necessities. 

Hannah has made arrangements to deliver her packs and finish the documentation to complete the Gold award.  The Gold Award is the highest achievement within the Girl Scouts, earned by Senior Girl Scouts.  Only 5% of eligible girls successfully earn the Gold Award. Go Hannah!! 

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
 Philippians 3:14

Be Sincere; Be Brief; Be Seated

What to do on a Thursday with no softball?  I mean what do normal people do?  Well, unfortunately, we don't know normal people so we met up with our PEACH Speaker's Club.  Abigail has loved the last two years in Speaker's Club, but has missed the last two meetings because of her vigorous softball schedule. 

Mrs. Hansen asked Abigail to serve as Master of Ceremonies for the afternoon, needless to say after six years on stage and two years of public speaking, the girl was right at home behind the podium.   I'm so grateful for the opportunities our Public Speaker's Club and Drama Club have provided Caleb and Abigail.  Being center stage is awkward for me at best, but the kids are so comfortable to be 'on.'  Jon is a great public speaker and teacher, so maybe some of that is inherited.  

As you can tell by the group shot all the kids are pretty comfortable around each other!
“A good speech should be like a woman's skirt; 
long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.”  

Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,

    for he will despise the good sense of your words.
Proverbs 23:9

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Be Blue

What do Mike and Ikes, Oreos, Eclipse and Crunch bars all have in common?  They all come in wonderfully blue packaging, making them perfect additions for today's care package, 'We Are Blue Without You!'  We filled it with snack and useful items for the boy.  Abigail included the sweetest card:
Hi brother, 
I love you! I can't wait for you to come home this spring break!  I bet you'll be glad to get away from classes for a little bit, even if you have to do some home work.  Text us when you get this and don't forget to share snacks with Richard! 
Love, Love, Love,

And they shall take a cloth of blue and cover the lampstand for the light

Numbers 4:9

Monday, February 22, 2016

Head in the Clouds

We spent the day with our heads in the clouds and our eyes to the sky at UT Arlington’s Planetarium with our PEACH friends.  It’s an amazing sixty foot dome theater screen.  The day opened up with a space rollercoaster through the galaxy.  Next, one of the space scientist took us on a star gazing tour of the sky, pointing out constellations with amazing clarity. 

While on the UT campus we took a lunch break at the Connection Cafe. It was a step up from your typical cafeteria and looked more like a food court at the mall with Chick-fil-A, Subway, Starbucks, Panda Express, etc.  Very snazzy!   

After lunch we returned to the Planetarium for ‘Back to the Moon’ featuring a race to return to the Moon 40 years after the historic Apollo landings.  It was especially enjoyable because it was narrated by Tim Allen, a.k.a. Buzz Lightyear! 

Next up was a look at the Arctic Circle where crews captured time lapse images of the Aurora Borealis in high resolution, fish eye lensed cameras.  It presented the explosions on the surface of the sun and the subsequent auroras.  Spectacular! 

Below is a two minute look at the Aurora Experience: 

The heavens declare the glory of God,

    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Psalm 19:1

Saturday, February 20, 2016

I'm Ready to Play Today

Well, a-beat the drum and hold the phone
The sun came out today
We're born again, there's new grass on the field
A-roundin' third and headed for home
It's a green-eyed pretty girl
Anyone can understand the way I feel

Oh, put me in coach, I'm ready to play today
Put me in coach, I'm ready to play today
Look at me, I can be catcher-girl

Seventy-six degrees in February, you better believe we're playing ball today.  The girls played seven innings out like the John Fogerty lyrics, 'just hit the ball and touch 'em all.'  It was a very close game, Chargers lost 3-2 to Irving MacArthur ISD Cardinals.  Abigail batted three times and had two base hits, smiling the whole way! 

 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men
Colossians 3:23

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Everybody Loves a Competition

Who doesn't love a little competition?  The girls qualified to play in a local tournament against six public school varsity teams.  It really is a different world when the home school team has nine players on the field and two in reserves versus an opponent who can field nine and still have ten on the bench!  That difference becomes very apparent by about the third and fourth game when the girls begin to get tired! CHANT played four games, won two and lost two; Saturday will be the play offs for final ranking in the tournament.   

As iron sharpens iron,
    so one person sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Gracie's Birthday

With Caleb off to college and the Gungan's off to Oklahoma, our house has become a lot more girly.  There are more squeals and giggles than the sound of Nerf wars!

After school today Abigail hung out with Gracie's family to celebrate Gracie's 15th birthday.  The girls had a great time that included steak, presents, grandparents and cake!  Those are all a few of my favorite things.  

May your father and mother rejoice;
may she who gave you birth be joyful! 

Proverbs 23:25   

Monday, February 15, 2016

CHANT Chargers vs. Trinity Christian High School

Today the girls played a little ball against Trinity Christian High School located in Cedar Hills, Tx.  The team is new enough that they do not have softball fields so we played at the fields in Desoto.  

Again, because the Trinity team is a young team, the Chargers were able to play all of our newbies, including Abigail, who got to catch for three innings.  She also made it on base at all three at bats, bought in runners and scored.   

It was a longer game that we usually play but all of the girls got to play and they got in a lot of practice time and learning time.  It was a bit odd to see our coach announce that we would be bunting so the opposing team could set themselves accordingly.  The weather was perfect for a little softball, Chargers for the win! 

Praise be to the Lord my Rock,
    who trains my hands for war,

    my fingers for battle.
Psalm 144:1-3 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine's Day with All the Pieces of My Mom Heart

Sunday morning services at Sunset Church of Christ, lunch and one more visit with Padme'; that's a Valentine's Day!  

For lunch the boys opted for On the Border for a little Mexican food.  They gave J.J. a hard time because that Kansas boy isn't much into spicy food.  The boys had big plans for their afternoon, I think they mentioned Netflix!  Caleb had to meet back up with Kyodai to clean up the room they had changed and prepped for Master Follies.  Whew, now for five and a half hours in the car! 

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
    but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

Saturday, February 13, 2016

G.I. Kyodai

'The Toy Soldiers of Kyodai were used to being left out of the bucket.  But, when one of their own is left outside with the dog, it is up to G.I. Kyodai to save their lost brother.  Do the boys in blue have what it takes to save the day?'  This is the description of Kyodai's performance from the Master Follies program.  

It was a fun look as the toy soldiers tried to rescue their lost comrade from the dog and succeed, well they rescued MOST of their comrade, one piece at a time.  Fortunately, the plastic toy didn't sit well with the dog's digestive system and the rest of their friend was retrieved or regurgitated! 

And yes, other clubs performed and their mom's can post those pictures.  As for this mom, I'm so proud of Caleb for putting himself out there and doing a fantastic job!!! And no, Kyodai didn't win a single award but they were by far this bloggers favorite!

A friend loves at all times,
    and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

Proverbs 17:17

LCU Forever Blue Family Celebration 3

Yes, yes, Caleb's face is blue!  In the Master Follies performance, Kyodai are plastic army men, blue plastic army men.  Caleb had a little time to join us between the matinee performance and the evenings grand finale. We attended the Forever Blue BBQ Dinner and Family Celebration where President Perrin outlined big plans for the university over the next three years. It was all part of the 20/20 Vision Campaign for the school.  The VP for University Advancement laid out the plans for the multi-million dollar campaign; the Flying J Wranglers performed fabulous Western swing music.
Somewhere in the day the kids hung out in Johnson Hall and played a little pool.  I'm pretty sure the boys have had a little more practice, Richard beat Abigail and Caleb beat Frankie.  It was gratifying to hear the banter between the kids as they goofed off! 
And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them.
Afterward his brothers talked with him.  Genesis 45:15

LCU Forever Blue Family Celebration 2

The lure of free food, non-cafeteria food will always be irresistible to the starving college kid!  This morning the boys joined us at the hotel for the continental breakfast and then we headed over to the campus.  

Caleb was able to join us for the Lady Chaps basketball game before he had his matinee Master Follies performance.  Jon and the kids and I stayed for the guys game.  It was amusing that their opponent was Rogers State University out of Claremore, Ok. 

LCU won both games, which is what you want when the alumni are visiting campus! 

Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom?” they asked.  Matthew 13:54

Friday, February 12, 2016

LCU's Forever Blue Family Celebration

For the Grandparents, these upcoming posts are for you, lots of pictures of the weekend with the boy!!  Caleb asked that we bring Padme' up for the weekend because he wanted to see his puppy! 

This weekend is LCU's Forever Blue Family Celebration. It's a weekend for alumni, students and family to spend together on campus. It is also Master Follies, a musical variety show featuring student performances. In the fall the students pledges various clubs and then during Master Follies those clubs compete with musical performance, singing, dancing and generally having a great time with their new club.  

We made it to Lubbock by early afternoon, Caleb had performed for the student body, anyone not in a club, on Thursday night.  This afternoon the clubs performed for Lubbock Christian School.  We were able to spend a little time together playing with Padme' and having dinner before his evening performance.  Again, for the grandparents, he looks great and is having a wonderful time.  We got to meet quite a few of the guys in his club, Kyodai.  Many of the guys in Kyodai are also Bible majors like Caleb. 

All of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another,be compassionate and humble.  I Peter 3:8

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Cookies! Pineapple Oatmeal, Peanut Butter, and M&M

Today Abigail made the call to Caleb to have him poll his friends for cookie preferences for us to bring up this weekend.  The winners were Pineapple Oatmeal, Peanut Butter, and M & M cookies.  The girls got busy baking and we armed with plenty of yummy goodness for the boys! 

Give me a sign of your goodness,
    that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,

    for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.
Psalm 86:17

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Number One Fans

Tonight the girl was scheduled to catch in her first high school game.  This is huge!  After tearing the ligament in her thumb in August this was her first time behind the plate for the entire game.

Good friends will wish you luck, really great friends will come out to watch you play and super amazing friends with drive two and half hours, sit in freezing cold weather and cheer you on!  Abigail is pretty lucky, she has all of those types of friends.  

The Gungan's drove down from Oklahoma and Gracie and her family came out and although I didn't remember to get pics of her fan squad until the end of the game the girl was over the moon to look up and see and hear half the bleachers cheering for her!!  

I'd like to report that she had a stellar game, but well, it was her first type back behind the plate.  There is room for improvement and all the skills will come back.  The greatest thing is the awesome support of friends and extended family.  In a world full of 'mean girls,' 'gossip girls,'  and bullies we have been blessed with a support system beyond my wildest dreams. 

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,

    but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24

Monday, February 8, 2016

Valentine Care Package

The girls decided it was time to send their brother a care, after all it has been almost  a month since they've seen him.  This time they collected goody bags for Caleb, Richard, Levi and J.J.   Each bag was filled with candy, sugary goodness and of course Valentines!  

For Caleb who is thorughly enjoying his Psychology class, Inside Out cards.  For Richard, who is in the LCU Band, musical instrument cards.  For Levi, who is in ROTC, Rescue Ranger cards.  And for J.J. who drive a huge diesel truck, Monster Truck cards.  

Frankie hand made a sweet card for Caleb that read 'Happy Valentine's Day' on the outside.  On the inside she wrote:
Big Brother, 
I hope you are having a wonderful time at college.  We all miss you and love you a whole lot. I also hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day.
     Love, Sissy
        P.S.  I love you! 

showing love to a thousand generations of those
who love me and keep my commandments.  Exodus 20:6

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Saturday with Friends

Abigail had a break this weekend from softball and was able to attend teen event at a friends church titled: The Unseen War.  Katrina, Abigail, Isabel, Sarah, Elaine, and Mikayla enjoyed a day full of encouraging messages presented by teens along with devotional time.  Isabel was one of the key speakers for the event so it was extra special for the girls to be there to support her in her walk to lead others to Christ. They broke for lunch and made a few new friendships.  It was a nice segue from the usual Saturday at the softball fields. Abigail has been really blessed by a great group of girl friends! 

They approach and come forward;
    they help each other

    and say to their companions, “Be strong!
Isaiah 41:5-6

Friday, February 5, 2016

CHANT Chargers vs. Frisco Reedy High School

One of the enjoyable moments with playing softball for so long are those moments where you run into former teammates and see how they are excelling in their talents.  Tonight the CHANT Chargers played the Reedy, a high school in the Frisco ISD.   Abigail ran into Mandy a friend we took piano lessons with for a few years. 

Mandy also plays volleyball and is a very talented athlete!  The girls enjoyed catching up and it was a delight to watch her play ball.  The only thing that made it a little sweeter was the Chargers won! 

Honor her for all that her hands have done,

    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Proverbs 31:31 

Monday, February 1, 2016

CHANT Chargers vs. Dallas Christian

Today the CHANT Chargers played at Dallas Christian.  They were a great team and we played until the sun went down.  We only had nine players so all of the girls got in plenty of playing time.  Abigail had a couple of good at bats, Chargers for the win 8-4! 

She sets about her work vigorously;

    her arms are strong for her tasks.
Proverbs 31:17