Saturday, April 30, 2016

Let us Be Elegant or Die!

This afternoon we joined friends for Louisa May Alcott's classic story come to life in Little Women, the Broadway Musical.  It's based on Alcott's novel that follows the outspoken Jo March as she navigates her life as an aspiring writer. 

The performance was at UT Dallas and was presented through special arrangements with the Music Theatre International. 

The music and singing talent in this performance was amazing.  But, one of the best parts was the lovely costumes.  The young lady who coordinates our English Country Dancing each month was one of the costume designers for today's performance.  So many of the costumes were the same ones the girls have wore to our formal dances.  The family rents out the beautiful dresses for the formal Christmas ball. 

This was the first time for UT Dallas to produce a musical, hopefully it will be well attended and there will be more to come! 

Like a lily among thorns

    is my darling among the young women.

Song of Solomon 2:2

Friday, April 29, 2016

Katrina's QuinceaƱera

A Hispanic girls fifteenth birthday party is called her QuinceaƱera, but a Filipino girls fifteenth birthday party is an extravagant tea party! Or at least that's the way Katrina's dad told the story at her party tonight.  The china and silver were set, and the guests were served many of Katrina's favorite dishes from her Philippine heritage. One of Abigail's new favorites was the rice noodles and vegetables. 

The girls enjoyed their fancy evening with a few games thrown in, and a British accent contest!  Abigail is very grateful for this sweet friendship of almost ten years! Happy 15th birthday, Katrina! 

He who loves purity of heart,
    and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.
Proverbs 22:11

Striking Out on Their Own

The ninth grade girls class at church spent a little bonding time together today at Pinstack.  It is the new state of art bowling, dining, gaming, laser tag experience in Plano.  When they were deciding what to do on their outing they wanted it to be something they could do together and not just watch a movie.  I'm thinking it looks like they had a great time.  Pictured (L-R) Caroline, Abigail, Mackenzie, Lauren and Hayley.   There were a few from the group who couldn't make it, but I think this was the first of several great outings for these beautiful ladies! 

A special thank you to the ladies who teach this group each Sunday, Ms. Cynthia, Ms. Jessica and Ms. Vicki.  I understand they even bowled with the girls, with the bumpers up! 

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children Titus 2:4-5

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Culture and Culinary Art

The Dallas Museum of Art offers educational programming for all ages.  Today was one of their Teen Workshops.  The classes are very limited to four to six teens ages 14-19.  It's a very hands on, one on one class. 

Today the class of all girls took at look at the collection of Egyptian art on the third floors permanent exhibit.  Afterwards they went to the studios and made their own cartouche using leather carving tools on thick linoleum tiles.  Once completed they were able to transfer the images using an acrylic based medium on to linen.  

After a morning of creativity and hard work, Abigail and I headed to Klyde Warren Park to visit the food trucks.  Today's home school lunch was brought to us by Ruthie's Rolling  Cafe and featured the best grilled cheese sandwich!  

Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.

Ecclesiastes 9:7

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wickedly Wonderful

WICKED looks at what happened in the Land of Oz... but from a different angle.

Long before Dorothy arrives, there is another girl, born with emerald-green skin-smart, fiery, misunderstood, and possessing an extraordinary talent. When she meets a bubbly blonde, their initial rivalry turns into the unlikeliest of friendships... until the world decides to call one “good,” and the other one “wicked.”

So many things to love about this Broadway production!  As a huge fan of L. Frank Baum's writings, all fourteen of them, I was a little hesitant of anyone messing with the storyline.  But, just wow!  This production looks at the story from a different angle and stays true to everything you think you already know about Oz. 

The singing was unmatched!  We came home with the soundtrack and I'm pretty sure the girls and I will have all the lyrics down in a matter of days!  Abigail was pretty excited that the soundtrack features Kristin Chenoweth singing the part of Glinda on Broadway.  Kristin and I went to school together in Broken Arrow from the time we were in the 6th grade through graduation.  In fact our 30th high school reunion is this summer!  

The performance was part of the Dallas Summer Musicals at Music Hall at Fair Park. Before the show Abigail posted on her Instagram the picture in the lower left hand side (her ticket and the show curtain) and was excited when the actress played Nessa Rose (the Wicked Witch's sister), and two back up dancers from the show liked her post.  In fact the official Twitter account for Wicked re-tweeted her post captioned, 'My excitement for this show is Defying Gravity!'  Defying Gravity is one of the songs performed by Glinda and Elphaba (the Wicked Witch). 

When your eyes light on it, it is gone,

for suddenly it sprouts wings,

flying like an eagle toward heaven.

Proverbs 23:5

Sunday, April 24, 2016

That's My Boy

Every once in a while I get a text from the boy with pics from a student senate event or a pic from an event sponsored by the Honor's Department.  Sometimes I see him tagged in pictures from his club Kyodai, and it makes me happy to see him enjoying college life! 

Yes, to the grandmothers, his grades are wonderful.  With that said, he still finds time to work five days a week in Dr. Patty's office.  He also participates in the Honor's program and Ambassador's program and Student Senate and Kyodai.  In fact he was installed this week as the Kyodai club Secretary for the 2016-2017 school year.  

He's enjoyed camp outs, retreats, and formals with his club.  So many great memories I know he will treasure.  And  I loved getting glimpses into his new grown up world. I'm so grateful to God for all He has done in Caleb's life!  

“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”  Matthew 3:17

A Time of Innocence

My baby is the youngest grand baby on both sides of our family.  She has successfully avoided cleaning spit-up and changing diapers. 

Don't get me wrong, she's taught in the four year old class and mentors to the elementary age kids at church but the babies, oh that's not her thing.  She is amazing with older people and has a huge soft spot for the elderly; but again, not the babies!

As her mom, I feel compelled to push her past those limits.  So every now and then I sign us up for the nursery at church.  I get to play with the sweet babies and Abigail gets to push past her comfort zones.  

I'm grateful that Abigail and her closest friends aren't the boy-crazy, fixated on dating, weddings and babies; after all they're only 15! Ugh!  There will be time enough for that in the future.  In fact the sweet boy she's holding is her friend Lauren's younger brother.  But just every once in a while it's good to remind her of what adulthood will bring.  And then our time is up and she can go back to enjoying her youth! 

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. I Timothy 4:12

Saturday, April 23, 2016

My Hero

Today my softball girl got to channel her alter ego.  You see, on her CHANT softball team there are three Abigails.  One is Abby and one goes by Abigail, so when our Abigail joined the team she needed a different name.

The coach began calling her 'Kirk' shortening our last name and then one of the seniors dubbed her 'Captain Kirk.'  But don't be confused, that would be the Chris Pine Captain Kirk not William Shatner.  

So tonight when one of her team mates had a birthday party with a cosplay theme Abigail went as Captain Kirk.  I'm pretty sure the mustard yellow isn't her color but I still think she makes a smashing Captain!  These pictures are so fun to see the softball girls out of uniform and goofing off! 

There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?

Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

The Perfect Date

Another rain out allowed Abigail and Gracie to have a sleepover!  They went out with some of Gracie's friends from church for dinner and a movie. 

One of Abigail's favorite movies is Miss Congeniality which features the lead character who is an FBI agent who goes under cover as a beauty contestant, "Gracie Lou."  Abigail felt it her duty to make sure that Gracie saw the cute movie.  Plus, today was so close to the perfect date, "April 25th. Because it's not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket." 

This morning the girls headed to Snug on the Square for Snicker doodle Hot Cocoa and kolaches.  Friendship served with a side of chocolate is just the best!! 

Walk with the wise and become wise,
 for a companion of fools suffers harm.

Proverbs 13:20

Friday, April 22, 2016

And the Runner Up Is . . .

The high school team, CHANT, is finishing up their season, including a three game tournament today.  We were out at the ball fields in Allen, TX warming up at seven in the morning. 

In addition to being a tournament it was also Senior Appreciation for the girls.  The CHANT team has three graduating seniors who team mates showered with gifts, flowers and cupcakes at today's tournament. 

The team finished up in second place for the 2016 Texas Association of Independent Athletic Organizations High School Softball State Finals.  THESA took the first place trophy and were incredibly excited.  It was a good day for their seniors who had take 2nd place to CHANT for the past three years. The girls were gracious and everyone seemed to have a good time.  Abigail was excited that her friend Gracie came out to cheer her on!  

I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.

Ecclesiastes 9:11

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Every Vote Counts

Our PEACH youth stepped into a candidates’ shoes at the special exhibit at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.  The exhibit called Path to the Presidency gives youth a fun, interactive peek into past presidential campaigns, the changing face of the American electorate, and a glimpse at life on the campaign trail. 

The exhibit brings historic campaigns to life with artifacts, documents, photos, videos, and many other interesting components. There were great video clips of formal presidential debates and the kids got to try their hand at using a teleprompter to make their acceptance speeches.  Abigail and Gracie made their own political poster, and Frankie and Abigail re-created the iconic Kennedy brothers pose in the Rose Garden. 

He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
guarding the paths of justice

    and watching over the way of his saints.

Proverbs 7:8-9

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Take Me Back to Tulsa

The Texas weather has brought an assortment of thunderstorms to our area.  All of that rain played havoc on dirt infield softball fields.  A couple of Abigail's games for this week were cancelled until the fields dry out.  That gave us the opportunity to make a run up to Oklahoma to check on our family.  

It was good to spend time with my mom, it was our first visit since my grandmother, her mother, passed away.  We were able to slow down and spend time visiting some favorite spots where I grew up.  It was special to have Abigail along with me, she got to see the schools I attended.  I showed her the pizza restaurant, grocery store and law office I worked in during high school.  Yes, I held down three jobs during my junior and senior year.  

We even visited a few new favorites like 'Not Your Grandma's Cupcakes!'  I picked up a few cupcakes and we celebrated an early Mother's Day!  We also stopped by my brother Michael's apartment for dinner.  It's hard to believe he's been there for two years.  

Before heading back we stopped by to see Granny, Jon's mom!  She gets on to me everytime she sees her picture on the blog but it makes me so happy to see her!  It worked out that she was off work today for a doctors appointment so we got to visit with Granny, Donnie, and one spoiled lab, Sport. 

It was a quick visit, but I'm so thankful for the time with my mom and Granny!  It's hard to believe we left Oklahoma some fourteen years ago.  

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction

    and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.

Proverbs 1:8

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Comedy of No Errors

In my best Danny Kaye impersonation, "The Theater, the Theater, what's happened to the Theater?"  Well today it was overrun with young thespians who put a whole new spin on some of William Shakespeare's greatest works. 

Abigail's friend Maddie from her CHANT softball team portrayed Juliet in a mixed up comedy of Shakespeare's dreams, Before they were written these characters ran around in young William's dreams, each quoting another's famous lines.  

The performance was presented at Pilot Point Community Opera House by Maddie's homeschool drama group.   The group also presented "If Sherlock Holme's was a Woman."  It was a satrical look at life in a girls dorm room of an avid fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous character. 

Both plays were lively and the kids seemed to enjoy themselves on stage.  It was neat to see Ms. Maddie on stage and not on the softball field.  Abigail also enjoyed seeing the group give honor to their sweet Director, the equivalent of our Mrs. Hansen, who was humble and unassuming but had obviously invested a lot of time into the kids!  It's always a treat to see a humble servant being lifted up to a place of honor, I was touched by the kids remarks.

When you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 14:10-11

Friday, April 15, 2016

Sparkle and Sip

When the new Kendra Scott store opens up near you, what's a teenage girl to do but grab a friend and go shopping!!  We have a store near us at the Shops of Legacy but they opened a new store up in Watter's Creek near Gracie's house.   

The girls met up before Drama Club to do a little shopping and checking out the new Spring collection.  After checking out all the bling we headed next door to Bonnie Ruth's Bistro for some fancy hot cocoa and pastries!  

The girls both love the television show Gilmore Girl's and have been getting caught up on episodes before the new episodes are released.  I bought Abigail a 'Luke's Diner' t-shirt so she and Gracie coordinated their matching shirts today.  This mom had a great time hanging out with the girls! 

They will sparkle in his land
    like jewels in a crown.  Zechariah 9:16

Just Feed One

If you've hung out around us you know we've volunteered at Metro Relief one or two times per week, every week, for the last three or four years. You also probably know that every Friday morning we pick up food at local retailers to be handed out at the pantry for the following week.  

I like to post about it every now and then, because it is a huge part of our week.  Also, so many of our friends help out with this outreach.  We have great friends from church who donate food, time, and money to Metro Relief, knowing it will go to great use.  

Today we picked up three shopping carts of  bread and desserts at Tom Thumb; 14 pizzas from two different Papa John stores; and thirty something pastries from Starbucks!  We also had some blessing bags for the homeless from a homeschooling friend and some knitted hats from another good friend.  

This weekend is the Grand Opening for Metro Relief's new location. It is an exciting time for the community to see what we do and to learn how to get involved in the pantry, bus, and homeless ministries.  

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.  John 6:35 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Fort Worth Country Day

Time for a little more softball!  Today our CHANT Chargers took on Fort Worth 
Country Day.  We were hoping to play their varsity team, however we were scheduled against the JV team.  

It did make for a fun game, coach mixed it up and let everyone play new position.  Our senior pitcher played catcher for the first time ever!  We eventually run ruled the other team and the umpires called the game.  

Hopefully with our blow out 12-0 score we earned enough credit to be scheduled with their varsity team next time! 

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

It's A Musical!

Tonight the Dallas Opera put on the first musical in its history in grand style.  Show Boat featured a 51-piece orchestra, 37 named roles, 43 chorus members, 27 boxes of hats, a 40-foot container of props and enough costumes to fill half of a 53-foot semi-trailer truck!

Jon and I took the girls along with Hannah and Mikayla to the extravagant production.  Show Boat began on  Broadway stage in 1927.  Playwright and lyricist Oscar Hammerstien (later of “Rogers and”) convinced Florenz Ziegfield to let him produce the show in the 1920s taken from the best selling novel by Edna Ferber. 

The show is probably best known for songs like Ol’ Man River, which was FABULOUS!  Some of the songs were adapted to operatic songs, but others kept the Broadway musical style.  

Great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. Matthew 13:2

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Hockaday School

Today's game took us to Dallas for a game against The Hockaday School.  It is an all girls boarding prep school.  The fields and facilities were absolutely top notch.  When we began the game it was hot and sunny, the air was filled with the smell of sun screen.  Mom's broke out the sun umbrellas, then with one gust of wind the temperature dropped fifteen degrees.  The girls got in three innings before the severe weather sirens went off.  

Both teams were ushered into to the athletic building to ride out the next thirty minutes.  The skies became dark, areas around us were being pelleted with baseball size hail!  Where we were, we never even saw one drop of rain, but it was close enough to set off the sirens around the ball fields.  When the game resumed we were able to get in three more innings, finishing out with Chargers on top 11-1!  

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,

    for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,

    till the storms of destruction pass by.

Psalm 57:1

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Earning Brownie Points

Today I opened up Metro Relief for a special tour for these cuties!  Brownie troop #6426 is work on a philanthropy badge.  They are learning about giving back to the community.  

I had the privileged of taking the girls around the pantry showing them what we do and why we do it.  The girls were great at helping answer questions about why someone might need a little help, whether it be to job loss or family illness.  

The girls came with donations of cookies for our guests.  They circled dates on food and helped Ms. Frankie get ready for Monday's pantry.  Ms. Gina got to visit with the moms and give them information on how they can help local pantries.  

It was a really energetic, sweet group!  Two of the girls, Bethany and Elizabeth are the sweet younger sisters of three of my Bible Bowlers, Zach, Robert and Henry.  They are wonderful friends we've loved on since before the girls were born! They've joined us at the pantry volunteering quite a few times, it was great to watch the girls excitement as they shared it with their friends! So sweet! 

You shall not oppress a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your brothers or one of the sojourners who are in your land within your towns. Deuteronomy 24:14

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Sweet Babycakes!

Ten tiny fingers, ten tiny toes,
Baby boy or baby girl? Who knows? 
We were in a hurry, baby soon will be here
We celebrated baby Lawry and shared the cheer! 

What a sweet afternoon celebrating the impending arrival of baby Lawry!  Ms. Tammy hosted a sweet diaper shower for Sarah.  Can't wait to see if Loralai and Smith get a new baby brother or baby sister!  

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord    the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth.
Psalms 127:3-4

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Those Aren't Girls, They're Sisters!

You've seen the fabulous pictures of the lovely ladies of the CHANT Chargers out on the fields playing killer ball games on the blog; well here they are hanging out in the stands at a ball game.
The ladies originally had a game scheduled but when it fell through they decided to cheer on the CHANT Baseball team in their game against the HSAA Baseball team.  HSAA is another home school sports organization in our area.  The girls have friends and siblings on both teams so they cheered for everyone! 

That's one great looking cheer squad who are just as pretty on the inside!  HSAA for the win, but in all fairness HSAA was the 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011 & 2005 Homeschool World Series Champions! 

the one who leads, let him do it with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, let him do it with cheerfulness.   Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.  Romans 12:8-9

Monday, April 4, 2016

Double Header in Fort Worth

The girls softball keeps us going!  As a homeschool team we are in a league with other private schools.  Today we drove out to Fort Worth for a double header against Nazarene Christian Academy.  Our CHANT Chargers are a high school team with 9th through 12th graders.  The Chargers graduated many of their Seniors last year so we are a very young team.  

Many of the private school are large enough to have a Junior Varsity (9th-10th) grade team and a Varsity (11th-12th) grade team.  Today's double header featured a game against Nazarene's JV team and then a game against the Varsity team.  On our first game coached played our younger players in key positions with Sarah pitching and Abigail catching.  

Abigail had a couple of great at bats with an RBI and a double!  Chargers won the first game 18-0 and in the second game with the tougher Varsity team we won 7-5 in nine innings!  The second game was a lot more to watch, nobody really enjoys a blow out game.  The second game the girls fought it out for nine innings, our normal is seven innings.  

I really enjoy that whatever Abigail does, Bible Bowl, softball, piano, public speaking, volunteering, drama, or baking she does it with all her heart!  That doesn't mean she's perfect at everything she does, it means she does her best in everything she sets her heart on! 

Do not turn aside from following the Lord,
 but serve the 
Lord with all your heart. I Samuel 12:20

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Texas Bible Bowl

Twenty-Six weeks of studying, forty-nine chapters, and twenty-four test takers studying the books of Joshua, Judges and Ruth!  This year Jon and I took twenty youth and four adult test takers along with twenty other family members for Texas Bible Bowl.  It is a full weekend of family fun including the two hundred and fifty question test along with games and fun for the whole family. 

My cracker jack crew included the following youth: Ethan, Levi, Nathan, Noah L., Bryce, Colin, Deanna, Gabriel, Henry, Zayle, Cade, Joey, Kaiden, Matthew, Noah S., Zachary, Abigail, Roy, Ryan, and Frankie. Caleb came down from Lubbock Christian University with recruiters who were offering scholarships to the top three students in the Sr. High Division.  

It was a great weekend and my kiddos did a great job! 

Individual Experienced (First-time Bible Bowler) Elementary (3rd-6th grade) Division:
5th Place – Ella and 4th Place – Noah L.

Individual Experienced (Previous Bible Bowl Participant) Elementary (3rd-6th grade) Division:  8th Place – Deanna; 7th Place – Gabriel; 6th Place – Robert; 5th Place – Matthew and 3rd Place – Joey.

Individual Experienced Jr. High (7th-9th grade) Division:  6th Place – Zachary, 2nd Place – Roy, and 1st Place – Abigail

Individual Experienced Sr. High Division:  1st Place – Ryan, qualifying for a scholarship money from LCU! 

Jr. High Team Division:  2nd Place – Zachary, Joey, Matthew, and Noah S.

Sr. High Team Division:  1st Place – Ryan, Roy, and Abigail, along with a team member from the Magnolia Church of Christ

Overall Abigail had the highest student score answering 238 out of 250 questions correctly!   

Train up a child in the way he should go;

    even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6