Friday, September 30, 2016

That's My Boys

This is for the grandmothers, and since it has pictures of the boy it gets a bigger picture! This weekend was Family Weekend at Lubbock Christian University.  The girls and I were up at 4:45am to hit the road and get out of town before heavy traffic.  We made it into Lubbock right after chapel at 10:30.

Caleb was already done with classes for the day; he has Greek and Hermenuetics on Fridays but they are early morning classes.  We were able to take him out for lunch and spend the day together. This evening the drama department at the school presented the musical 'Into the Woods' and did a fabulous job!  There are a few tag lines in the performance that the 'truth is up to you' which I fundamentally disagree with because there are absolutes that God has established.  Many people spend their lives trying to justify their behavior rather than accepting that it is not in accordance to God's laws.  I wish as a Christian college they could have changed this mis-information, but there may have been contractual issue with they play write that the 'bad writing' couldn't be altered. But I digress! 

We had a great visit with the boys and enjoyed catching up on the last seven weeks.   I love seeing Caleb and Richard as young men taking on life and responsibilities.  Richard was setting up the movies in the dorms for the evening and Caleb was tutoring two kids in Algebra while we were there. They are successfully navigating classes, laundry, jobs, club life, student leadership, etc., it's just so fun to watch!  

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

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Blessed Friendships

This was a day of celebration, after all, it's not every day that a girl turns 19!  Tonight we joined Ms. Kathy and the Baileys to celebrate Hannah's birthday.  It was really warm to be able to be included, as moms, with the girls celebration. 

Of course there was cake and presents but there was also lots of laughter.  We watched the newest Jane Austen movie, Love & Friendship based on her book Lady Susan.  Which I highly recommend, it's very clever and witty! 

The girls also watched an episode of Full House with the volume muted and filled in the dialog for the characters, which was laugh out loud, side splitting comedy. It was a wonderful evening celebrating Hannah's special day.  

Hannah is one of those rare friends who is good at everything she does and so incredibly humble.  She is hard working and diligent, kind-hearted to all, and incredibly gracious, even to those who aren't so honorable to her.  It is a friendship that Gracie and Abigail are so fortunate to have! 

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.  Ephesians 4:29

Monday, September 26, 2016

Be Prepared to Give an Answer

Our PEACH friends headed to the Plano Courthouse tonight to support one of our home schooled friends.  But not to worry there are no felons among us!  Abigail's sweet friend Mikayla has joined Plano Teen Court.

Teen court is a volunteer program that allows juvenile, 13-18 years old, Class C misdemeanor offenders to pay for their citation by completing community service hours. 

Defendants' cases are presented to a jury of their peers. Volunteer teen attorneys will represent the defendant. Teen jurors assign community service hours according to the discipline grid. Upon successful completion, the case is dismissed. 

MiKayla has volunteered in past years as a juror but this year she began serving as an attorney. We were able to watch her give opening and closing remarks while defending her client who was charged with exceeding the speed limit in a school zone.  The jury of peers was lenient on the community service hours given to her client, no doubt because of her excellent defense! 

And Alexander, motioning with his hand, wanted to make a defense to the crowd. 
Acts 19:33 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Making Time for Training

Abigail got in a little more softball this week by picking up with another team, the Texas Elite.  They are a 16U team who were playing in a tournament this weekend in Arlington.  Abigail and her friend Sarah offered a little pitching and catching support for the team.  

The teams for in two games before the rain finally won out.  The girls seemed content to hold out at a local Whatburger hoping for the best, but the rain never let up. 

He trains my hands for war,

    so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
2 Samuel 22:35

Friday, September 23, 2016

Choose This Day

In addition to the Sixth Floor Museum's permanent exhibit, which tells the story of President Kennedy’s assassination and its impact, they have 2 special temporary exhibits.  Our PEACH homeshoolers headed to the museum to tour the museum with special emphasis on the two special exhibits.  

The first special exhibit is: A Time For Greatness: The 1960 Kennedy Campaign.  It’s a special election year exhibit about one of the closest elections in U.S. history, Kennedy’s victory over Richard Nixon in 1960. It's an in-depth look at what is often considered to be the first modern day presidential campaign—noted for being the first election to feature a televised debate, the first to include all 50 states and the first to elect a president born in the 20th century.

There is also a look at campaigning wives and how potential first ladies impacted their husbands run for president.  The museum offers educators guides for the classroom.  It was a great addition to our election curriculum as we move closer to the November election.  You can tell the girls enjoyed their visit, it won't be long until they are old enough to vote! 

Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens.  Exodus 18:21

'Arty On Girls

It was another fun Teen Homeschool Workshop at the Dallas Museum of Art. Today was Larger than Life with a look at Swiss artist Nicolas Party transformation of the DMA’s Concourse with a bright and almost Seussical mural. 

In this workshop, the teen looked at artists who create larger-than-life artwork. In the classroom Abigail, Katrina and other teens created large-scale drawings working with oil paint sticks.  
I love that the DMA lets the youth explore different mediums and venues.  The oil paint sticks, like cray pas are one of my favorites for out door scenery. 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Ephesians 2:10

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Firm Foundations

Time for another Teen Bible Study with our PEACH group. They had another big turnout for our Answers in Genesis DVD study.  

My girl tried not to take pictures during the Bible Study so I don't have good group shots.  But these are fun pics from after the study.  

The kids also celebrated Kayla's 16th birthday tonight with cookie brownies for all! 

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Oh, Snap!

Time for the yearbook staff to meet up and dole out assignments!  Yes, home schoolers have yearbooks, in our case PEACH our homeschooling group represents about 250+ families. 

PEACH offers so many programs for our families and each group is represented in our yearbook.  Great gatherings like:

70+ field trips each school year
American Heritage Girls
Bi-Monthly Meetings
Classical Book Club
End of the School Year Picnic
Girl Scouts
Homecoming Dance
Jr. / Sr. Club (16-19 yr olds) 
Jr. Toastmaster Club
Mom Heart Group (Sally Clarkson Books)
Mom’s Night Out
Monthly meetings
Park Pals
Running Club
Science Fair
Spelling Bee
Technology Club
Teen Bible Study (Answers in Genesis DVD study)
Teen Pizza 
Trail Life 
Yearbook Club

There will also be special family pages, and the youth will layout the yearbook and be responsible for selling advertising.  Tonight the kids got their assigned pages and discussed advertising.  

I'm sure it comes as a shock that my girl is interested in photography and page layout comes as a huge shock, not! She's loved the publishing and digital imaging classes she's taken, so this is right up here alley! Plus, hanging out with sweet friends is an added bonus!  

The memory of the righteous is blessed, But the name of the wicked will rot.  

Proverbs 10:7

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Kyodai Panther Ball

So you send the boy to college for a higher education, so you know  he's busy studying and spending time in the library.  Or he could be with his club, Kyodai, playing Panther Ball.  

What's Panther Ball?  Well, the Panther is the mascot for Kyodai and what this really means is that they are playing a version of ultimate Frisbee with a dead squid.  

A few things I did not know until after I called him today: 1) you buy dead squids at the Asian food market; 2) Squid have orange blood!   

The guys went out a bought half a dozen squid for the afternoon's activities.  It was a recruiting event for the club with the new Freshman. It sounded like they all had a good time.  Caleb said he wore gross clothes because they smell so bad after the game.  He pitched his jeans and shirts.  Good to hear our college dollars are being well spent! 

“Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea”  Genesis 1:26

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Brotherly Love

Caleb called to check in today and some where in the conversation with the girls he mentioned that he was out of brownies.  He said he generally leaves his dorm room propped open a little with a bowl of the girls home baked goodness to share.  

His R.A. put in a request for chocolate chip cookies.  The girls filled Caleb's box with plenty of snacks and fun.  They topped it off with several dozen cookies. 

The girls decorated the box with "You're 1 Tough Cookie!"  Somewhere in the process of baking the cookies, Abigail managed to burn her arm on a cookie sheet.  On her card to Caleb she wrote, "Hey Cookie Monster! I hope your cookies don't taste like my burning flesh!"  I'm sure it'll make him laugh. 

Prepare food in the summer so that you may gathers provisions in the harvest. Proverbs 6:8

Monday, September 19, 2016

Another Win!

Time for another CHANT Chargers double header.  Because we are a home school high school team we don't have our own fields.  So in the fall we play with a league out of Richardson with other private schools.  Many of them have their own fields but have to share them with the baseball team. 

This lets the girls get in practice time and great experience with many of the teams they will face in the spring.  Tonight the Chargers won their first game 7-0 and won the second game 4-1!  

They are four games into the fall league and remain undefeated!  Go Chargers! 

Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. Psalms 37:5 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Eat Mor Ice Cream

What do you do when you're out running errands and you need a little snack?  Well, if you have a buddy who works at Chick-fil-A, then you stop there for a hug and an ice cream cone. 

Hannah started several weeks at our favorite fast food stop.  Now we have a great excuse for waffle fries and ice cream! 

He took curds and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and placed it before them; and he was standing by them under the tree as they ate. Genesis 18:8

Friday, September 16, 2016

Tso Good

There are days when you just need to slow down and enjoy friends.  Today was one of those days.  Don't worry we still bustled around in the morning and did all of our usual Friday morning food pick ups for the pantry.  But then we took a break to enjoy time with friend.

We've cleared a few thing off our plate this year to make time for the things we enjoy.  Being with real friends is one of those things that needed to happen.  Time to hang out, laugh, not learn anything, just be together and maybe eat a little Panda Express.  

If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:15-17

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Nerd Herd Meets the Geek Squad

This year our PEACH group kicked off a Tech Club. Two of the dads are taking on teaching the teens about the latest technologies.  

They had about a dozen kids show up for the first meeting. Mr. K walked the kids through different areas of interest to find out what the kids knew and what they were hoping to learn.  

The first thing on their agenda is learning about 3-D printing. It all starts with making a virtual design of the object you want to create. This virtual design is for instance a CAD (Computer Aided Design) file. This CAD file is created using a 3D modeling application.  The kids are using websites like Thingiverse and Shapeways to make their creations. When their 3-D creations are created, they will upload and print them.  There are even websites where you could make something like a pendant for a necklace and then have a 3-D printer print it in a precious metal! 

Another thing they will be working on is programming a Raspberry Pi.  Pi is small educational device, meant for hobbyists and aspiring youths out there to learn about programming.  The chip's main purpose is to power a cheap computer with a basic level of functionality, mainly geared towards small task. For example you could program the small board to take a photo when someone rings your doorbell.  The photo would be instantly sent to your phone and you would know who is at your door! 

It will be interesting to see what automations the kids create! I'm really thankful to have parents willing to teach the kids these latest innovations.  So many changes since the dot matrix printer!!  

The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.  Proverbs 18:15

Healing Hands International

Abigail and I joined the ladies sewing group at church for several hours of service at Healing Hands International (HHI). HHI is a ministry of the churches of Christ.  

Since our beginning in 1991, Healing Hands International has delivered more than $100 million in aid to more than 75 countries around the world. They send medical supplies and aid, and also drill water wells and train community leaders in Food Sustainability. 

They are rebuilding an orphanage in Haiti, training African women in business skills and growing techniques, delivering thousands of Christmas presents each year, and continuing Disaster Recovery efforts in Haiti and Japan.  

Abigail and I worked on sewing products for women and children in Uganda.  Part of time was spent sewing and stuffing teddy bears for the children as well as menstrual pads for young women.  It's such a different world than where we live! 

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
    when it is in your power to do it.
Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again,
    tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.
Proverbs 3:27-28

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tomayto, Tomahto

What's a girl to do with fifty two pounds of tomatoes?  In my case we went a bought eleven pounds of hamburger meat, four pounds of onions, peppers, jalapenos, cilantro, and other spices.  

The girls washed, chopped, diced, boiled and stirred for most of the day.  After about thirteen hours of hard work, we had 8 quarts of spaghetti sauce, 8 quarts of chili, 8 pints of seasoned tomato sauce and 4 pints of Rotel styled tomatoes with green chilies

I'm so grateful my Grandmother inspired me to learn to cook and preserve food.  Early in our marriage Jon would help me with the process no matter if we were putting up pickles, tomatoes, or fresh fruit.  It's remained a family project to work on together whenever we have fresh fruits and veggies.  Today I was especially grateful for all the girls hard work, they made the process so much easier.  I think they loaded and unloaded the dishwasher three times today while the pressure cooker was processing! 

At the end of the day I could hear my Grandmother’s voice as I watched the girls chopping and cooking saying, ‘You done good, kid!’

Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness  2 Corinthians 9:10

Monday, September 12, 2016

My Dream Team

First double-header of the fall season for the CHANT Chargers!  First game these ladies won 8-0 and the second game they won 6-1.  I would say they are off to a great start for the season!  Judging by all the laughter and noise in the dugout they were having a great time being back together! 

In a world of 'make sure I get the credit' mindset, one of my favorite quotes about working together is, "It is amazing what you can accomplish when you do not care who gets the credit."  Harry S. Truman

Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.
 3 John 8 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

College Candy Care Container

Time for another care package to my favorite college kids.  Usually one night a week Caleb has a group of guys from his club over to watch a movie, so we filled the box with movie candy.  We include six flavors of Mike & Ikes; four flavors of Sour Patch Kids and pop corn. 

The girls topped the package off with homemade brownies, a special request from Richard.  Last they added some Monsters Inc. decorations with the message, "We Miss You a Monstrous Amount!"

The box should arrive in time for this week's movie night! 

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  John 13:34

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Stress Relief

My girl has spent her young life never stepping foot in a public school setting.  Not that it is right or wrong it is simply not the path we chose for our kids.  This morning Abigail took the ACT test at our local high school along with several hundred others.  She came home with horror stories of desks lined up in rows and the back of one desk touched the front of the next desk!  Stories of having to wait until break time to use the facilities! She cracks me up!  

Good news is that after such a stressful day she was able to hang out with friends this evening.  Katy, a friend from CHANT softball had her 15th birthday party and the girls celebrated!  I'm thinking that inflatable obstacle course would be a great way to wind down! 

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Friday, September 9, 2016

Compassion and Coffee

Schoolwork is set aside for the day for our first field trip of the school year. We made our normal food pick ups for the pantry and then hurried over to meet up with the Gungans! They were down from Oklahoma for a quick visit. We laughed until my cheeks hurt.  

In the afternoon we met up with Abigail's friends Gracie, Katrina, Elaine and their families for the Compassion Experience.  It is a mobile "mission trip on wheels".  Visitors see first hand the realities of global poverty, where you walk through the homes, streets, markets and schools of impoverished countries. In about 30 minutes, visitors walk through the true story of a child growing up in the developing world.

It's a powerful tool to demonstrate how great the need is around the world. Compassion tackles global poverty, serving more than 1.8 million children in 26 of the world's poorest countries. Today we walked through the world of Kiwi a girl growing up in the Philippines. 

After our tour of the Philippines we headed to the developed world in Frisco for coffee at Nerdvana. It's a cafe and gaming lounge.  There are joysticks you can pick up and join in on-line gaming plus an amazing assortment of board games.  The girls laughed and giggled their way through Skipbo and macchiatos! 

The Lord, the God of their fathers, sent persistently to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place. II Chronicles 36:15

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Created to be Together

Tonight we kicked off the first Teen Bible Study of school year with our PEACH friends.  This year the kids are going through Answers in Genesis DVD program.   It's a great study on the fundamentals of a Christian world view and evidences of a Creator. 

The best part of the evening was seeing how excited the kids were to be back together, and the moms too!
We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company. Psalm 55:14

A Toast!

School is in full swing and with that comes some of the great electives that are offered by our home school group, PEACH.  Abigail has completed two years of Speaker's Club and today began her third year.  It will exceed the necessary credits needed for high school but public speaking is such a valuable life skill that is seemed important to continue.

This year Ms. Tracey of the Pepsico Toastmasters will be leading our group.  They  will be working through the Toastmasters Jr. Beginner book for the newbies and Toastmasters Jr. Advanced for the experienced youth. 

A lot of old and new friends showed up for the club kick-off, it should be a great year. 

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.  Luke 6:45

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Book Selections and Awards

Each year I chronicle the books we've read in the previous school year.  Some books are part of our school curriculum and some are for pure pleasure.  It's fun to look back and see what the kids have enjoyed at different ages.  Last year I noted that Jon read through all of the Burton, Coffman Commentaries (Genesis through Revelation) for pleasure.  I feel the need to share that this year he began reading the first two volumes of Charles Sturgeons Sermons! How great is that! 

So, for posterity's sake here is the list of books for 2015-2016: 

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea;  A Man For All Seasons;  A Raisin in the Sun;  Angel;  Anthem;  Arsenic and Old Lace;  Bible;  Confessions of a Murder Suspect;  Darth Plagueis;  Emma;  Ender's Game;  Fahrenheit 451;  Fairest;  Faith of an American Soldier;  Fallacy Detective;  Frankenstein;  Friendly Persuasion;  Glass Sword;  Graduation Day;  Hamlet;  Happily Ever After;  Henry V;  Independent Study;  Invisible Man;  Letters from a Skeptic;  Little Women;  Magnus Chase;  Michael Vey & Storm of Lightning;  Much Ado About Anne; Much Ado about Nothing;  Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes;  Pride and Prejudice;  Pulse;  Red Queen; Shadow Queen;  Shane;  Shut Up and Sing;  Sir Gawain and the Green Knight;  Stars Above;  Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde;  The Journey of August King;  The Maltese Falcon;  The Music Man;  The Philadelpha Story;  The Quiet Man;  The Revenge of Seven;  The Romance of Tristan and Iseult;  The Testing;  The Wicked Will Rise;  The Young Elites;  To Kill A Mockingbird;  Winter

Book awards for the year by Ms. Abigail would be: 
Most excited for: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two
Would never read again: The Journey of August King
Most Intriguing: Confessions of Being a Murder Suspect
Most Disappointing: Blood of Olympus
Favorite Classic: Much Ado About Nothing
Yawn: The Revenge of Seven
Best Non-fiction: Shut up and Sing
Surprising (in a good way): Red Queen
Better than 'The Hunger Games': The Testing

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Colossians 3:2

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

That's My Girl

During this morning's ladies Bible class, Abigail took care of the little guys.  There were obstacle courses, slides, cartwheels and stories.  They ran, tumbled and rolled until they were tuckered out.  Then they listened intently as Abigail read them Bible stories. So sweet! 

from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. II Timothy 3:15

Monday, September 5, 2016

Straight Outta Cornfields

How grand are these pictures?!  Caleb's friend J.J. invited Caleb and their other friend Todd to his home in Little River, Kansas to go dove hunting for the weekend.  The boys took off Friday after chapel and made it in time for J.J.'s brother's football game.  

Saturday they were able to enjoy some fabulous home cooked meal. Caleb had heard stories about what a fabulous cook J.J.'s mom is, he raved about the steak he was served! 

The boys went out Saturday and Sunday evening.  I'm not sure how Saturday went but Caleb said he shot 12 doves on Sunday evening. J.J.'s uncle had him smear blood on his cheek of his first kill!  Love it! 

This was Caleb's first hunting trip.  He and Jon have done a lot of target practicing.  And he loves to shoot his compound bow, but he'd never been hunting.  When he texted telling me he was going dove hunting in Kansas he said, 'it's something I've never done.'  

I love that new things are exciting for him and I especially love that God has put great friends in Caleb's path at LCU.  Granny, be sure to show Donnie! 

He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; 
therefore it is said, "Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD." Genesis 10:9

Friday, September 2, 2016

Reel Them In

I'm thinking if we spent the morning (8am to 11am) picking up food and loading the coolers at Metro Relief.  Then headed to the church building and out with the church's Thrive ministry from noon to 5pm that would be enough activity for anyone! Right?! 

Apparently not, because the girl headed out for the evening to English Country Dancing.  She invited her friends Ella, Spencer, and Isaac, who all joined her for the evening. 

My friend Lana, (Isaac's mom) sent me the video below of Abigail doing the Virginia Reel.  I know it's not great quality but I thought it would give the grandparents an idea of the dance.  

They send forth their children as a flock;
    their little ones dance about.
Job 21:11

Feed My Sheep

Last year McDermott Road began delivering fruits and veggies to an area of McKinney where grocery stores are scarce.  It is the area north of Dallas, about two miles from the Samaritan Inn. The Samaritan Inn is the nearest homeless shelter in our area.  It's where we try to get our homeless guest who visit Metro Relief.  It allows them to stay in our area.

On the first Friday of each month McDermott Road members meet at the church building at noon to take the van and trailer over to Avenue F Church of Christ.  There we bag up packs of fruits and vegetables. Today we had potatoes, apples, onions, carrots, zucchini, corn, jalapenos, tomatoes, and bananas.  Each bag also contains information to connect with World Bible School.   We made 70 adult bags and 70 youth bags of fresh fruits and veggie.

When we completed the bags of food, we headed over to Fitzhugh Park in McKinney. This is the same park where we've done Popsicles in the Park several times during the summer months.  It's also not too far from the Allen Community Outreach where the church youth group have served in the past.

With the pop up canopy and tables in place we were ready to start helping the guests.  Each person who stopped by received food.  Abigail and others helped with the returning guests; I worked with the new guests and Frankie worked with Michael and Monnie manning the trailer!   We set up to serve food from 3pm to 5pm, but by 4pm we were out of food!

Next month the girls and I look forward to more guest and the guys have already upped our order for food!

Share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter
Isaiah 58:7